CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? (please read)

Hi and thank you for following RANDOM ACTS OF WRITING!

I’ve been a proud and enthusiastic participant in the Wordpress blogging community since 2010. Back then, “blogging” was still a buzzword. It was a fairly new way for us to communicate our thoughts and ideas to the world, and we were all excited to join in — write! create! comment! share!

It seems different now, almost seven years later. Folks don’t comment as much, we’re not interacting as often. Do you find that yourself?

I wonder sometimes if the newfangled interface of the Wordpress platform is at fault. We don’t seem to SEE each other as much – remember the days of Freshly Pressed?

Maybe it’s just the number of social media platforms we’re all managing. We now blog, Facebook, tweet, pin, instagram, link in, and tumble on our desktops, lapstops, ipads, iphones and mobile devices. Wordpress reports that we, its bloggers, produce 69.5 million new posts each month! And that’s just here, in this blog space.

But what are we saying? Are we communicating with each other or just at each other? Are we talking about important things? Doing GOOD work on behalf of our craft, our community, our culture? Are we supporting each other’s efforts to do the same?

Let’s face it – communicating with each other, doing good work, supporting each other – they’re more important NOW than ever before.

I encourage you to come back, join in the conversation. Share your thoughts and ideas on your own blog, in the comment field below, in the comment fields of other blogs.

(If not on Wordpress, then keep in touch with RANDOM ACTS OF WRITING on Facebook.)

Let’s start talking!



©2016, Jen Payne. For more, read “How Much Data is Created on the Internet Each Day?”.

Thanks Giving

Michael shows up often, everpresent.
Before him it was Uriel, lesserknown,
weaving great gifts from remnants of loss.
Of the seven, these are my most familiar.
Of the lesser ranks, who move about
without Virtue of card or introduction,
there are too many to count:

my oldest salvation

the one of limitless joy

the healer

the soul mate

the spirit of mother

the wise one

the sharer of words

the connoisseur

the lover

the hawk

the smallest angels

I am daily surrounded by love and light,
by blessings and spirits unyielding,
for them – and you – I am most grateful.


Poem ©2016, Jen Payne

This Day, in Perspective

from Collected Poems and Translations
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.

Photo ©2016, Jen Payne

A Collection of Masks

Gone the foolish masquerade,
the stranger born of my familiar
sits face-to-face,
our broken masks lie lame,
love no miracle elastic

‘Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!’

What illusion shall I conjure next?

Poem ©2016, Jen Payne. Photo from House on the Rock, Spring Green, WI, ©2016, Jen Payne.

Common Ground, This Dark November

We cross paths on common ground,
the one who taught me about god in lowercase,
the violence of separation, that security is an illusion.
We embrace, kiss cheeks……….exhale
and for a brief moment heal our fear,
right the heinous vote of a people divided.
I am not yet fit for human consumption,
but I’ll take this morsel of kindness,
this exchange of kindred spirits.
I know she sees the grief I hide behind dark glasses,
but she no more mentions that than I the demons of oppression
that haunt her dreams and fill these long, dark days.
We know love will have to be enough for now.

Photo: Two women donning gas masks as part of an air raid drill. © Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria; Poem ©2016, Jen Payne.

Getting So Much Better All the Time

In the room of heartsick naysayers,
one assured voice suggests
“maybe it will get better”
but I cannot find her source.
Surely optimism
in the face of hate
comes at a cost to someone.
On her way home,
did she see the swastika
painted on the overpass?
wonder why her friends
sport safety pins as jewelry,
weep when waking
to this new dawn?

Branford swastika, photo courtesy of WTNH, New Haven. Poem ©2016, Jen Payne.