We live our lives and we make our choices, living with their rewards or consequences. Some things work out for us. And sometimes we think we could have, should have or would have done thinks differently. These times were the fodder for this prompt in our MEMOIR PROJECT’S 19th week.


“I am who I made myself to be, within a future I designed” and “to regret steps taken or missed, mars the one I am or could be.”  Inspirational bits of wisdom such as this are what move me to often refer to Claudette Young as my wise and wonderful friend.  “Making Life Happen” is a prime example of the wisdom she displays with nearly every communication.  Wisdom flows poetically from heart to pen with extraordinary regularity.  Thank you for this, Clauds.  This “Beautiful Bloom” is for you.

Making Life Happen by Claudette Young

How odd that life
Has come so far
Without plan or
Long-term goals;
How odd that I
Sit here writing words
For purposes of
Looking for regrets,
When for so long
I worked to remove
Them from future life;
How odd that in
Looking back I can
See only forward to
The knowledge that
I am who I made
Myself to be within
A future I designed,
And to regret steps
Taken or missed mars
The one I am or could be.


As poets, we seek to find our own voice, a style that is identifiable with our work. But sometimes we just can’t go wrong to write in the style of successful poets of the past. Intentionally or not, when we tap into that spirit, it can stand out tremendously.  I chose this piece for just this reason. Jane Shlensky channeled her inner Robert Frost to offer this poem that could have been written by Frost himself! Expanded from his words, this is Hoarfrost Lessons.

Hoarfrost Lessons by Jane Shlensky

“I never dared to be radical when young for fear it would make me conservative when old.” Robert Frost

When I was young and futures long and slow,
I said, “I don’t do grief, regret, or fear.”
I should have added “shame”—I didn’t know
that life has means to shape our sojourns here—

has ways of teaching us to speak with care,
has arrows reaching deeper than the heart,
has ways of reinventing all we dare,
has tools for taking our beliefs apart.

Now in my slate-gray hours, I perceive
how much I squandered on unthinking deeds;
with all the good, yet I regret and grieve
when I knew right but followed where wrong leads.

Aged lessons give us paths we can pursue,
but youth instills in us what not to do.