Sunday, June 20, 2010


This is one of my favorite memories of my Father. It was not Father's Day, but I always remember this happy recollection on that day.

Homesick at Chi Rho Camp

I came with the other kids from church,

one sunny Sunday afternoon,

to spend one week at Chi Rho Camp.

We were all separated into teams.

I was twelve, and mingling with strangers

was hard for me, but I was still hopeful.

In my little group we talked about

Christian values, only I was so shy

my heart was in my throat, so when

I tried to speak, I forgot what I intended

to say and everybody


I was so embarrassed! I felt like

I couldn’t face any of them again.

I cried, and told one counselor,

I was homesick and wanted to go home,

and besides, the weather had turned cold

and I really needed my coat.

She somehow sent word to my parents.

They didn’t have a phone, but impossibly,

my dad appeared with my winter coat.

We went out and sat on a bench,

right out by the water of Crystal Lake,

his arm around my shoulders,

and waves slapping at our feet.

The sky was gray, and the wind was

cold, but the rain held off.

In the clear golden water, waves

rocked flat round stones on the bottom,

as big as the span of my hand.

Daddy asked me what made me

feel homesick, and then asked me

what I hoped coming here would be like?

He gently suggested that if I left, it could

never turn out the way I wanted,

and the chance could be gone forever.

I felt better, and decided to stay.

My dad changed everything that day.

© by Ruth Zachary

Monday, June 14, 2010


Visions Gather


Shapes take order

out of chaos

as darkness yields to dawn .


Words sound in the virgin snow.


Footprints lead to where

no body moves.


A ghostly promise

compels the artist to make images;

the poet to

make poems of them.


Art work images and writing are the Copyright © of Ruth Zachary


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


After Monet, Study for Mixed Media Collage © by Ruth Zachary

Reading Other Writer’s Work Can Sharpen Your Own Style.


Ted Kooser said, “We teach ourselves to write the kinds of poems we like to read.” He said even a poem you don’t like can teach you, if you can articulate how you would change it.


Sometimes the influence of another author’s work can be absorbed on an almost imperceptible level. Even some prose is so lyrical it has that kind of effect. I see this as a good thing. As a visual artist, other imagery influences me and yet it always is interpreted in a way that is uniquely different than the source.


Recently I saw Barry Lopez in an interview on Bill Moyer’s Journal, and was very impressed with the lifestyle he has embraced in order to nourish his writing. Lopez goes out into remote areas to experience nature in an intimate way, so that he can bring back his impressions and reflections to reach others whose lives rarely experience it.


Years ago Lopez wrote Of Wolves and Men, which I read and was most impressed by. Since then he has gone on writing, and has written several published books, containing his nature essays, and short stories that reveal unique qualities in people. I find both forms spiritually uplifting. As a writer, I am inspired by his style, which I would define as poetic prose.


Lopez narrates some of his short stories on audiotape. In Light Action in the Caribbean, he reads very well, imbuing his characters with unique personality. The stories too, grip the imagination.


His Artic Dreams, a National Book Award Winner, contain his observations and notes about people and animals living in the Artic. He draws from many sources, history, science, literature and myth in the construction of his essays, and truly takes us to places most of us would never experience.


I don’t know as yet how his unique vision and language will affect my writing. I do know trying to say something of substance is something I value, and Barry Lopez always says something of value to me. In reading his work, I believe I can only be strengthened in my own writing.


A Challenge to Visitors of this Site –

Read an author you have been influenced by, or share the impact a particular author has made upon your own thinking, and hopefully upon your writing.

You are invited to share your reflections on this site. (You will be attributed)


Writing and Images are the sole Copyright © of Ruth Zachary.