Friday, August 19, 2016

I Wish I'd Written This

Oh, that's right – I did! :)

The Sword of Archangel Michael
By Rosemary Nissen-Wade

The sword glows
in my right hand.
My arm swings from the shoulder
wielding blue flame:
sharp light, the cut of truth.

Precise moves.
Economy.  Bite.
These are the qualities.
These and blue light —
a laser that heals where it touches.

In the beginning
the word.
The word true,
the word precise,
the word deliberately aimed.

It cuts to the heart,
my sword in flight.
From the heart of God
to the point of now
exactly aimed,
quick light.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 1995

First published Divan (e-zine) issue 4, Dec. 2001.
Also in Secret Leopard: New and selected poems 1974-2005, Alyscamps Press (Paris) 2005

This was one of those rare, 'wholly given' pieces that needed no tweaking. Where do they come from? (And why won't they do it more often?) At times like those, I think there's a fine line between inspiration and channelling.

And though I wrote it in 1995, I still like it and feel proud of it. There are so many that don't stand the test of time so well, I'm glad to have one that does. 

What's it about? Take your pick! Maybe it's about poetry. Or truth. Or healing. Or all of the above. I wish now that I had just called it The Sword, but it's had its title a long time and been published with it and all; so be it. I had been paying some attention to Archangel Michael at the time, and I thought it would serve as a sort of explanation for anyone who wanted that (even me). But it doesn't really explain anything, of course. This one must remain a mystery.

Artistic preferences are subjective things. My readers might like others of my poems better, but this is the one I'd most like to be remembered for (if, that is, I'm remembered at all).

So I'm wondering – do you have a particular favourite among your own poems? If so, it would be fun if you'd post a link in the comments, with a note about why. I'd be fascinated to see.

This is a good moment to say thank you to the people who take the trouble to comment on the 'I Wish I'd Written This' posts. I'm usually in contact with the featured poets to let them know when they're 'going live', and give them the link. They are thrilled when they see comments coming in – even though they can't all get access so as to reply. 


And by the way, were you expecting 'The Living Dead' this week? Quite right, that was the schedule. I'm making some changes, because I need to be a little less often glued to the computer and put more balance back in my life.

From now on I'll be posting on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month, and the 5th when there is one. And there won't be a regular rotation of topics. 'I Wish I'd Written This', 'The Living Dead' and 'Moonlight Musings' will still keep happening, but they'll turn up more unpredictably, according to what I most want to share at any given time. And sometimes the Moonlight Musings will be written by guests.

I hope you like surprises!

P.S. Well here's a surprise already. For some reason I have trouble this morning Googling the links people have kindly posted in their comments. So, being the impatient type, I thought 'Bugger this' and went and got myself a Mister Linky. (I have other ideas for using it in future.) Please post your links here instead. If you have any, that is. Not everyone has a firm favourite of their own. (Often, it's the last one we wrote, lol.)

You may ignore 'leave a comment after linking', if you have already left one anyway. :)


  1. I love surprises. This poem came at the precise moment I needed it. Piercing! As is the inner Light. I also love your question: "So I'm wondering – do you have a particular favourite among your own poems?" A poem to be remembered by, if at all. Gosh. This is a new thought to me. I will be back when I have given it more thought.

    1. I'm so glad you said that! I confess, I was a bit worried if I would appear terribly conceited – or, as we say here, 'up myself' – posting one of my own.

    2. I picked one, but I could have picked another. I'd like to put this one in a book called something like "only gold can stay." We celebrate birthdays over and over again.
      (So, you really say "bugger"!)

    3. Oh, so glad to read the poem you picked, to which I say a resounding YES!

      I do indeed say 'bugger' – and many another foul imprecation besides. :)

  2. I do like surprises! And, I love this poem.

  3. Thanks for your wonderful share this morning, Rosemary! I especially liked its strong last stanza. No surprise that a poem from some years ago of yours would be one you would like to be remembered for. I have some early poems as well that express me a lot better than my more recent ones. Your challenge is a good one. Perhaps I will be back!!

  4. I smiled with delight when I saw it was your poem. And WHAT a poem! As you say, a fine line between poetry and channeling. I have had poems that appeared to be channeled as well, when I would type as if taking dictation. Once for the entire month of April. Hasnt happened for some time now though.

    This poem packs power, like the sword itself....."quick light", and a sword of healing. Absolutely wonderful.

    I am happy for your changes, Rosemary, as I well know the feeling of being glued to my desk chair, LOL.........Thank you for the years of dedicated work keeping this site going. I look forward to upcoming Fridays with anticipation.

    1. A whole month of 'given' poems – that's extraordinary! A gift indeed. We can only accept with gratitude these rare events, which are surely beyond our conscious control.

      Thank you for the thanks. I think few work harder than you! It's lucky for us all that Poets United is primarily a labour of love.

  5. Thank you for sharing, Rosemary! I like when the words coming as channeling....reading couple feels like the poem was your expression of some deep passage, where you strongly attuned yourself to healing/spirituality...mho. The changes you decide to restrict yourself by - your priority, your right. If you interested I do have one poem I wrote in very interesting way: by following the rhythm of one of my favorite song.... it's here

    Thank you again for sharing...and I hope to keep reading your interesting post, even not so often. Blessings!

    1. Interesting rhythm, yes, but that was actually the last thing I noticed; I was so riveted by the fascinating subject matter and the imagery.

      Incidentally, Google didn't take me to the post but only to your blog. Luckily I can read a link and was able to see that the poem is Unfamiliar Guest, posted in Feb 2012. Luckily, too, you have your blog archive showing in your sidebar!

    2. I have now added a Mister Linky to this post. Perhaps you would like to repost your link there, so anyone else who is interested may find the poem more easily.

  6. creates strong images of valor and shining armor-inspiring

    1. Perhaps it was really written by my animus, whom I like to think of as d'Artagnan! LOL

  7. Love your poem Rosemary, it resonates with that heroic energy that occurs when one finds oneself and ones true purpose.

    I do have a poem that is one of my favorites because I was breaking the rules when I wrote it. We were often told in writing classes, that we must learn the rules and use them until they were instinctual. And maybe then we could break them. I didn't think I'd live long enough to do that. But, blogging seemed to give me that opportunity and I ran with it,


    1. Elizabeth, it's very mysterious, but Google simply refuses to lead me to the right place. Could you please repost your link in the Mister Linky widget I have now added? Thanks.

    2. Rosemary, done. I tried it and it took me directly to the piece I was trying to share. Thanks for the Mr. Linky,


    3. Google doesn't love me today! :) I am so glad I thought of the linky thing, because I'd hate to have missed reading this fantastic piece! It deserves to be your favourite. (I've said more at your site.)

  8. What an amazing poem Rosemary! I am not sure I have a favorite of my own but perhaps the 2 about grief that were published as they still relay the pain of grief deep in my heart.

    I smiled when I read how you were seeking more balance. I am working on that too and hope to be back with blogging and poetry soon.

    1. Yes, interesting how grief can pull our best poems from us!

      As readers we love to be moved as well as entertained. If you can bear it, perhaps you could give us links in the Mister Linky I've now added, to remind us of those poems, or for those who may have missed them?

  9. I love this poem Rosemary. I think it flowed from your soul, a gift. So nice of you to share it with us. It is definitely one to be proud of.
    I do have a favorite of mine. Much of it just flowed too and, at the time, made no sense to me. I've never had that happen again.
    I look forward to the surprises and am glad you're scheduling your time to suit you best. Enjoy.

    1. Is your favourite posted to your blog, Myrna? Would you care to share it with us via the Linky I've now added?

  10. Wow...Pointed and razor sharp poem, packs with power...sword like...Wish I had written this :)

  11. evidently your 'wholly given' poem came down through the sword like lightning. It's certainly a poem I wished I'd have written. As for what makes a fave - I guess the one to the link I posted is one because it formed itself almost of its own free will yet spoke the words I wanted

    Yes I like surprises and fully understand the need to dislodge from the computer - enjoy some more free time

    1. Thanks for linking! Oh yes, I can see why that one's a fave. It's yummy and gorgeous in its language and flow, even with its edge of darkness.

  12. hey Rosemary, no doubt this is a very good poem, but i find that this is not what your usual style these days is. i am not saying that your latter poems are better, but i am just trying to find a comparison. i usually find in your 'modern' poems a hint of humour, even pathos, but i think the great thing is, a writer evolves in his/her literary journey. whatever he reads or his experiences may shape his style.
    i do understand about those rare, 'wholly given' pieces, one of those that came at a moment's flash and need no tweaking. and one of these happens to be one of my favourites, if not my favourite (i am posting it in your Mr. Linkey). Anyway, like you said, poetry is a very subjective thingy, and that may be a good thing too.

  13. Luv the flight of that sword Rosemary, from its scriptural schema, it is i'm thinking one of those poems that can last and last without becoming outdated.

    I find that after i have written and i read and re read my poems, i am sometimes surprised at my thought patterns and musings. Then some pieces i write and long after i read them i feel the same way about them. There are those i write and like very much, but i think this one i have linked tops my list of favourites to date.

    Thanks for the invitation to link in

    much love...


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