Submission for National Poetry Month

Hello, friends, I need your help! Those who are participating in Tell Her Summit’s 30 day poetry challenge have been invited to submit ONE poem from the challenge for something special they’re putting together (we don’t know what, yet.) I’ve narrowed it down to four and would love help choosing between them. Please leave a comment here, or on facebook, or email me at [email protected] with your choice. If you’re willing, please also let me know WHY the poem you choose is your favorite. This will help me in my decision.

Thanks so much!


—It’s Okay To Leave—

It is okay to leave people
Who don’t inspire you
Who make you feel less like yourself
Who can’t help you become all you dream of being.
It is okay to leave people
If their presence will keep you from sharing the way you want to
Or living the way you want to
Or loving the way you want to.
It’s okay to leave people
If they make you question things that matter most
Or doubt who you are and want to be
Or feel bad about yourself
Even just a little.
It’s okay to leave people
When staying will crush your soul.

—Making Love—

Barriers down, clothes off
Body and mind exposed
Trusting you’ll meet me in tenderness
Turning to the fullness of you in welcome and reverence
Embracing your heart with my own
Entwining my spirit with yours
Communing with a language more than words
Caressing all within a single touch
Breaching the boundaries of our bodies
Breaking beyond all barriers
Till our souls meet within that ancient circle
And we know the ecstasy of recognition
And drink from the wellspring of the deepest love


We’re all growing,
reaching for clouds,
dropping our leaves with the fall of our faith
and budding again with the spring of new hope;
trying so damn desperately to belong
that we haven’t yet learned how to stay evergreen.
But if the only place we ever belong is to ourselves,
and the only peace we ever make is with ourselves,
it is enough.
It is as it should be.

—To Those I’ve Loved
And Will Love—

Show me what you like reflected in the mirror
and what you hate
and what you’re proud of
and what you try to hide.
Show me the clothes you’ve bought but never worn because the colors are too bright
and the patterns are too gaudy
and the sequins are too shiny,
but you can’t bring yourself to part with.
Show me the journals where you write your darkest secrets
and the storyboards that hold your biggest dreams
and the lyrics to all your favorite songs
and the poems and pictures and paintings that you’ve never shared.

I want to know your doubts and where they came from,
your beliefs and how you’ve nurtured them,
your fears and what they’re made of,
your courage and what has given you the strength you’ve needed when you’ve felt you can’t go on.
I want to know what makes your heart soar
and makes it fall,
which parts of you are numb
and which are excruciatingly, agonizingly tender.
I want to know what you’re proud of
and what you’re ashamed of,
what you brag too much about,
and what you’ve never told a single soul.
I want to know where you’ve been inflicted by pain
and where you’ve inflicted it on others,
the ways you’ve been hated
and the ways you’ve been hateful,
and what scars are left from all the hurting and the healing.

Give me your fractures and your lesions,
your gaping lacerations,
your bruises, bites, and burns,
your open heart bleeding red with the wounds of everything that’s ever threatened to destroy you
and beating crimson with the vitality of everything you’ve ever had to overcome

And I will wrap them in my love so truly and so tenderly perhaps someday you’ll understand:
That scars are just tattoos which tell a better story
and shadows are the very things which emphasize the light
and you, my love, my life, my dark, my light,
my brilliant perfection, my terrible mess,
Are a masterpiece.

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5 Responses to Submission for National Poetry Month

  1. Tami Van Dyke says:

    My choice:
    To Those I’ve Loved and Will Love

  2. Derrick H. says:

    Rina, my choice for this vote goes to “It’s Okay To Leave”. I have a very personal connection to this poem stemming from a person very close to me. This person caused irreversible damage to another in my family. It is expected that I look past what was done just because that person is family. The thing is, I no longer think of them in that way. Although my connection to the poem is a little skewed from perhaps the original context, the poem speaks volumes to me and that is why I chose it. I so enjoy reading all your bare truthfulness. Thank you for sharing. -Derrick

    • Rina says:

      Thank you very much, Derrick. Your connection isn’t at all skewed. When I originally wrote it, it spoke to a specific circumstance, but since then I’ve come back to it thinking not only of all those times I’ve had to make the difficult decision to leave, but also those times when others have had to make that difficult decision about leaving me. Because although I hope to always bring love and compassion and support to all my relationships, there are times when I’m just not enough, or too much, or can’t fit within the life someone needs to live. After reading everyone’s comments so far, and thinking about yours, in particular, this one may end up being the one I submit, because it is so universal and does speak to so many things I, personally, need to be reminded of so very often. I appreciate your feedback and your friendship.

  3. Colleen says:

    To Those I’ve Loved And Will Love

    This is the one I choose :)

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