Muse Hymn Box

Jenny Aarts

Carolyn Aitken

Heather Blakey

Nicole Cody

Elizabeth Hayes

Stephanie Hansen

Jean Houston

Vi Jones

Gail Kavanagh

Tad Kelson

Jan Kricker

Audrey Larkin

Lisa Mahon

Amanda Maruhn

Sue Meyn

Belleruth Naparstek

Kay Marie Porterfield

Jo Ralston

Frances Arnett Sbrocchi

Teresa Seed

Cathy Tudor

Megan Warren

Nicola Warwick




Amanda Maruhn, from Michigan, USA, is an English and Communications major at Spring Arbor College. She's determined to be a writer, and has only recently discovered the fact that she already is a writer, even if she hasn't published as much as she would like. Her relationship with her muse seemed veiled in smoke, until it came to her -- like a flash

My muse is fire. She is bright, brilliant in color, glowing and hot.

She is insistent, burning, demanding immediate attention. Sometimes she is the tiniest spark, an idea so small you're not even sure you really thought of it. Almost it might be the echo of a dream, an unvoiced desire, a pause in a busy day, a feeling that something important has brushed your life, and you must stop to acknowledge it.

Other times, she is raging, full blown, a forest fire, the world in flames. My head pounds, my heart aches, tears come to my eyes. I realize I am in the midst of a battle, and I must not rest, even for a moment. Pages pour out of me, like water trying to douse the flames, but she burns as long as she chooses.

And she is everything in between. Sometimes she is a cozy fire on the hearth, and I write letters to old friends. She is a campfire, and memories gather around like ghosts. Some are full and warm, as sticky as marshmallows. Others have the taste of ash, and show of the struggle, as well as the joys. All the old memories are prodded and stirred up before her light.

Sometimes she is a solitary candle, a beacon of one passionate thought. Poetry often is born under this solid, steady flame.

And there are times when she smolders, a heat just below the surface, warming me with sense of purpose, but no words come. That's when I remember to feed the flames with the work of others, stories, poems, articles, essays written under her light, to encourage my own.

I have not yet figured out how to control the blaze, if such a thing is even possible. I cannot sit down and demand a candle, or even a forest fire. It comes in its own season, and I stand back accordingly. But my muse never burns me. I do that myself when I do not respect her strength, when I stand too close and try to pretend that she is not there. Her light is always with me, when I would have it any other way but what is presently with me. Patiently, my muse burns, a tireless flame who will not listen to me, thankfully. My muse is fire, and she burns as she wills.



Muse Hymn Box
Soul Food Cafe


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Heather Blakey asserts the right to be identified as the author of this work