I Still Remember My First Poem

This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday quick write hosted by Kate Moutang. Join us each Thursday night on Twitter (#FMFParty) for fun and fellowship, then grab a pen and start writing when the prompt goes live!

My First Poem

I still remember the first poem I ever wrote, although I don’t remember my exact age. Perhaps eighth grade, the year I won a NIV children’s version Bible at school and the year we lost my grandpa. For the first time, I had my own Bible, one I could actually understand without having to wade through countless thees and thous and whosovers.

For the first time I read the Bible because I wanted to. I wrote notes in the margins and underlined verses. The things I’d head all of my life took root and grew within me. For the first time, I felt a deep connection to my personal Savior.

That year, we kept our horses at my parents’ new property out in the country. Every few days we’d drive out to ride them and make sure they had enough water and food while my parents did something on the property. We also had a lot of snow. I yearned for a one-horse open sleigh (although I had no harness nor a horse with training to pull the sleigh).

I contented myself with riding bareback around our little valley, singing Christmas carols at the top of my lungs to the cottontails and my patient mount. Occasionally, I would stop and lean on Prince’s mane and watch snowflakes drift down from the dappled sky.

Poetry Lurks in Unexpected Places

And I would think. Think about what I’d read in my Bible, about God, the incarnation, and what Jesus’ sacrifice meant for me. My poem composed itself as Prince walked across the snow-covered valley, nostrils flaring at each unexpected movement. His hoofs made only a dull thud with each step, the usual clip-clop muffled in soft whiteness.

I still remember my first poem. Do you? I'd love to hear your story. #fmfparty #poetry Click To Tweet
I still remember my first poem. Do you? I'd love to hear your story. #fmfparty #poetry
The Star

A single star
Shines its light
Upon the snowy land.
It blinks its all
Important message to
Those who'll understand.
With the quiet gray of dawn
it slowly fades away.
And all that's left is
Just a memory of
What it had to say.

What about you? Has a poem every found you in an unexpected place?


  1. Love the poem, Anita!

    I’ve recently taken to occasionally commenting on a couple of literary agency blogs (Steve laube and Books and Such) using the form of a Shakespearean sonnet.

    As an example, here’s my effort on today’s Laube blog (https://stevelaube.com/lesson-two-from-sailor-bob/). The subject was finding new ways to do things (especially in writing). I sort of went off-leash, and applied it to the head-butting between current seculars and Christians.

    A cat can be skinned in myriad ways
    and every answer’s right;
    diversity! the wide world says
    will keep society bright.
    Now I don’t hold with skinnin’ cats
    except the dozer kind,
    and I don’t hold with an answer that’s
    not Biblical…so we’d better mind
    that wisdom born of old:
    “If at first you don’t succeed,
    do like you was f***ing told!”
    But it does seem that we have a need
    to preserve our Christian nation
    with studied faith, not innovation.

  2. My first poem was a song and still rings in my ears at time. For such a time as this for such a time as this oh Lord what would you have me do…(and it goes on from there) it was long and rambly and covered lots of possibilities. 🙂

  3. Anita, what a blessing to read your post. I found myself almost there with you on your horse, Prince. I love the poem. So beautiful! I love how poems sometimes come to us unexpectedly. Nature does it to me. I just sometimes feel overwhelmed and I have to write! Blessings to you! xo

  4. as a child, i have no memory of writing poetry. i do remember thinking it always had to rhyme and it so wasn’t my thing. i think i made a few stabs at it, but it was usually very hokey. i don’t remember having english teachers that particularly inspired me along the way. i already loved to read and spelling came easily to me. none inspired me to write poetry…or to write at all. writing was always tied to lots of rules. not fun at all!
    it was only as an adult, a young mom, that i learned that poetry didn’t have to rhyme. i don’t remember the first poem, but writing poetry that didn’t have to rhyme was fun for me…and enabled me express my feelings as well.
    since blogging, i have done more poetry on occasion. i have no certainty that it is even decent. but i enjoy it on occasion. in fact, i made another stab today. i’m at #30 slot. i’m convinced it is more for my enjoyment than anyone else’s. blessings.

  5. That was a very sweet post Anita!
    I can’t remember the words of my first poem but I can remember writing it, it was in the 4th grade & my teacher didn’t like it as she thought it wasn’t original :-/ .

  6. I liked your poem! I can’t remember mine but my mum recently found a Mother’s Day card I had given her when I was about 7 and it had a little poem I’d written in it so I must have started early!

  7. I love this… and the poem! I was at Jumping Tandem when the Lord started connecting the dots of how poetry has always called me and invited me to come away with pen and paper and lean in and listen!

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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