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I have always been a poet at heart, encouraged by a mother who loved poetry and whose soul understood its value for connections with others. Writing poetry and sharing it has been a marvelous vehicle to express hard truths as well as shining moments from my own heart. Sometimes I may not know what my own heart has distilled from my experiences until I hear myself verbalize it in a deep conversation with a trusted friend, or as it flows through the inkpen onto the page or trickles from my fingers onto the computer screen. Since the purest form of expression for me has always been poetry, and my heart lets forth its deep with a rush of words that seem to always want to first arrange themselves poetically, poetry has literally been the deepest, easiest language for my soul to speak.

Life has breathtakingly lovely times, and it has dark, difficult times. Reading others' poetry that expresses their feelings about both sides of life furnishes aha! moments, as my soul is comforted and nourished by the universality of our unique experiences. When I read a poem exploring what someone else has felt and it resounds deep inside me, I know I am not alone. I am connected. I am supported by the us-ness of life. Poetry, with its plethora of form and shape, style and tone, celebrates the tapestry of eloquence hidden in each of us, using the vehicle of well-chosen, meaning-laden, intentionally shaped words - no matter the language. I am always enriched by and thankful for poetry, whether it's created by another or birthed from my ownsoul.