Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Always Unfinished

[There’s a big announcement after the poem, so make sure to check it out after you’ve read this sweet poem by Barbie Angell!]
Always Unfinished

I try to piece together
This quilt of bits of time.
So I can sleep at night
With all I know is mine.
It will always keep me warm
And always keep me safe,
Those ragged little memories
Of the life I had to make.
And if you scan it closely
You’ll see that you are there
Among the stitched promises
And the empty cans of beer.
Amidst the tears and laughter
And the lovers that went wrong.
Somewhere in between
My countless favorite songs.
I’ve struggled all my days
To keep all the little scraps
Matchbooks and guitar picks,
An endless array of crap.
And I sorted through it all
And I weighed the good and bad
And I pretty much kept everything,
All the happy and the sad.
Yeah it’s taken me a lifetime
To be the girl I am,
And I refuse to live in bitterness
When life didn’t go as planned.
No I’ll take all that I’m given
And I’ll be better for it all.
I know it’s all just living
Every single time I fall.
I’m sure I’ve had it better
And I know I’ve had it worse,
But I’m not one to blame another
Or think my life is just a curse.
I want my quilt to span the globe
And cover everyone I’ve met.
I’d like to buy the world a coke
And toast a life of no regrets.
I want you all to sing with me
Some universal happy song.
And know that if you’re really you
Then nothing can be wrong.

Barbie Dockstader Angell
© 2009-present

It’s my great pleasure, friends, to announce that Robert Frost’s Banjo’s own Rockstar Poet in Residence Barbie Dockstader Angell will be publishing a book of children’s poems & illustrations later this year. Barbie’s book will be published by Grateful Steps out of Asheville, North Carolina, a first-rate publisher of children’s literature, & a real force for community building in western North Carolina.

You can get a preview of the book as it’s in progress at this link, & also leave comments there; I know for a fact that Barbie & Grateful Steps are looking to get folks involved in the process, & to my mind it’s a wonderful opportunity to interact with the work of a talented & unique poet. 

For myself, I’ll say that this news has made me very happy. Barbie is not simply a contributor to Robert Frost’s Banjo—she’s also a good friend & someone whose creativity I hold in high regard.  As a contributor to this blog, her poems & illustrations bring an added dimension that delights me & readers as well—in fact, since Barbie came on board as a contributor in May, her poems consistently have been among the most popular posts. 

So please join me in offering Barbie congratulations in a comment, & also please take some time to go to Barbie’s issu site & look at her wonderful book in progress!


  1. I was here earlier this morning, but I was on my laptop which, for some reason will not permit me to comment on Blogger.
    I did get over to the Book-in-progress and read the entire manuscript. I was also granted the ability to post a couple of tweets to the brilliant poet herself!

    This is destined to be a classic!

  2. Congratulations on the book, that's wonderful.

    And I refuse to live in bitterness
    When life didn’t go as planned.

    I like the inspiring messages in this poem. I think of people who want me to be tidier and iron out all the wrinkles in my life, while somehow still being content with who I am. But that's not possible if you can't accept yourself. The image of the bandaged wing is much truer than perfect unruffled feathers.

  3. eViL pOp TaRt....first of all, i love your name. :) and also....thank you. :)

    kat, aw thanks, you're incredibly sweet and i loved your tweets. :) i'm so happy that you have such confidence in my work.

    hkatz, thank you, it's been a lot of work already, but it's so worth it. :) yes, exactly. all those little idiosyncrasies we have and we carry make us who we are. and each one is a gift from someone who has touched our lives, whether good or bad. :) the drawing was of "me" when i was sick. i liked the idea that the angel's wing was bandaged so clumsily as though it wouldn't take much to repair it. i have a couple of versions of a fairy with the same sort of injury. :)

  4. Barbie, I don't place my confidence lightly. I mean every word.

  5. kat, i presumed as much, but the affirmation makes it even better. :)

  6. Hi eViL pOp TaRt, Kat, HKatz & Barbie

    eViL pOp TaRt: I join you in that--thanks!

    Kat: Yes, I guess there was some glitch in the commenting here earlier--but glad you were able to connect. I agree with your assessment, & thanks for the comment!

    HKatz: Yes, congratulations are indeed in order--thanks!

    Barbie: Thanks again for what you bring to the blog & for being such a good friend too :)

  7. john, we could go all day thanking each other....let's just add an infinity to it & leave it at that. :)

    ....stupid autocorrect, that should've read "no john, thank you!" ;)

  8. No glitch - it's just my laptop and Blogger. They don't jive.

  9. Hi Barbie & Kat

    Barbie: :)

    Kat: OK--others had a problem too, tho--glad it cleared up for you!


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