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Lust For Words 3

Highlighting the very best of unseen Poetry by Vocal Creators ❤️

By Kayleigh Fraser ✨Published 11 months ago Updated 11 months ago 12 min read
Top Story - August 2023
Lust For Words 3
Photo by reza shayestehpour on Unsplash

I always begin with the poem that inspired the theme of the list. The one that stopped me in my tracks, had me open the create story tab and start typing for another article.

This week’s theme is appreciation.

This is a collection of the unseen Vocal poetry that contains powerful magic. The magic to supercharge us with the reminder of just how much we have in life to be grateful for. This is poetry that is not only enjoyable to read and feel, but it actually boosts our health and well-being. What else can be more worthy of celebrating than health boosting poetry?

Well this week I suggest nothing!

Life is existence. But joyful Life is fuelled by appreciation. Appreciation is the magic dust that separates the happy from the unhappy. The healthy from the sick. The loving from the fearful. It keeps us present instead of rooted in the past or pining for the future.

This poetry is a prescription for joy.

So let us roll out the brass band and,

Wait, no…Stop.

I hate brass bands. That’s noise not music. It’s like the bagpipes, painful, painful, painful.

Allow me to try again!

Ladies and gentle people, allow me to bring (dim the lights please) the first of our (I said dim, not dark!) brilliant poets to the Lust For Words world stage! Please offer them a warm round of applause and welcome as we share a reading from each of them.

Allow our hearts to offer sincere gratitude for their time and the love that they channelled through virtual ink to share with us today. What a true gift each and every one of them are to us here on Prison Earth as they hand us the cell door key!

Let us show our appreciation with the warmth of our reception, hearts and comments.

(Spotlight, please!)

First Poem

by Kristen Balyeat

Kristen inspired this week’s theme with her magnificent ode to the senses that grace our lives. She takes us on a lengthy journey that serves as a truly welcome reminder to take nothing for granted and to offer appreciation for what we often forget to.

When we have something available to us everyday and it becomes normal we tend to forget the magic of it. Some may call this a fault of the human condition, but I see it differently. We have to work to remain in a state of appreciation for what we have. That work? It is love.

We won’t die overnight if we forget to be appreciative but we do lose a little of our sparkle. And if we allow this over many months or years? We lose so much of our magic that we become like robots operating on autopilot. Going through the physical motions that are necessary but not truly living.

We become blind to all of the incredible, wonderful magic surrounding us. Magic that is us! That is life! The remedy is appreciation and little reminders to appreciate what we have forgotten to is medicine for the soul. It revives our sparkle. Our vitality.

So thank you Kristen for this soul medicine. Thank you for sharing it with us. Thank you for humbly reminding us to voice appreciation for what we have taken for granted recently and needed to be prompted to say aloud. Your heartfelt tribute tenderly reminds us of the extraordinary beauty our senses infuse into our existence and that we would indeed be nothing without them.

by ARC

Well, in the rankings of what is indisputably the most important thing to each and every one of us; the breath most definitely wins all of the first place medals. Which makes appreciation of the breath the fastest route to unlocking our health and true joy.

I know, I know.

It sounds so simple that it can’t possibly be true, right? But the science verifies it. Of course no one has quite yet pulled all the research together and packaged the summary to you in such a way, but I assure you if you read the academic evidence base you will conclude the very same.

Better still, just begin a short 15 minute daily practice where you give your full focus and attention to your breath. [I’m going to recommend to you to search Breathwork Beats Sandy on YouTube and follow one of his introductory videos]. Appreciating your breath is appreciating life.

What you appreciate, appreciates.

I know, I know.

It doesn’t sound complicated enough, does it? Let me promise you this. If you make that daily investment in yourself after 6 weeks you will not only feel completely renewed as a human being but you will also see your life improve in ways that could only be described as magical.

Serendipitous moments. Strange ‘coincidences’. All that jazz. It’s literally waiting for you on the other side of your commitment to cultivating a true and sincere appreciation for your breath, for your life. Invest in yourself!

Where were we? Ah yes. Sorry. Bit of an unexpected tangent there!

Back to ARC (Tony)’s masterpiece of a poem Ode to Breath. It’s a must read. I hope that my introduction to the importance of the breath only serves to help you better understand why I revere it so. Although of course it doesn’t need it.

Even if you remained completely unaware of the power that your breath (and appreciation for it) is capable of unlocking in your life, you would still love the poem. Because it’s brilliantly written. A very clever play on words about the art of learning to love. To truly love. Which is the silver medalist on the list of life’s most important things 😉.

I’m a massive fan of Tony’s work already. He would definitely make my Vocal Dinner Party List!

(Which could be a fun, unofficial article we could each write? To choose 3 Vocal Creators who we would invite to a dinner party and write about why we chose each of them. We could even flash fiction how we envision the night going based on our ideas about who the creators are. It could be comedic, or idealistic… so many ways to do this. Ah so many tangent creative thoughts tonight writing this! Ignore!)

by Kate Kastlelberg

Indigo. The under-appreciated colour. Indigo. An immensely undervalued poem that has rested here untouched for two long years, unseen by anyone except Kate.

Let’s change that shall we?

This poem is very different in tone from the last two. The feeing of melancholy is strongly conveyed and reminds us of the inevitable hurt that is caused when we don’t give our attention to what is ever there being it’s exquisite and rare self. There are clear parallels between this and the many other aspects of life (of us!) that go unnoticed, awaiting the light of appreciation.

Kate’s poem elegantly portrays this week’s theme from a completely different angle. Instead of nudging us towards remembering, we are shown a glimpse of the pain caused by neglect. It brings us down a little into it’s depth, so that we may experience more joy when we refill our heart with appreciation. Just remember the last part is the most important!

I found it humbling to realise that colour is indeed an aspect of life that I do frequently neglect to give thanks for. So thank you, Kate. Thank you for reminding me of yet another of life’s incredible blessings to be appreciative of.

Writing a list of even just three things that you are grateful for (like the colour indigo!) before going to sleep creates a massive shift in your psychology over a short time. Try this for 6 weeks and you will experience big shifts in how you feel. We typically go to bed running our mind over all the negative things that have happened, our regrets, what mean thing someone said or did etc. Then we ‘marinate’ in those negative feelings for 6-9 hours and wonder why we feel defeated before we even open our eyes. Break the cycle. Focus the mind only on what you want to appreciate in your life. Which, should be the good things! You will feel the difference. It’s one of the most simple, minimum effort practices that gives big rewards in a short timeframe. But don’t trust my word - experiment and find out for yourself! Because words don’t teach, experience does.

by Jennifer Lorraine - Bloch McGee

I found Jennifer after her well deserved runner up placement in the Sensational challenge and I was excited to dive into her other works. This was the first one I selected to read and it somehow managed to exceed my already high expectations. Jennifer has a remarkable talent for conveying imagery that evokes strong emotion. Her ability to immerse us into her world in only a few short lines is a true gift.

The poem itself is not an obvious fit for this week’s theme. It walks us through the evolution from fear to mastery and from growth and strength, artfully signifying the passage of time and the constancy of change. It is not directly drawing you to appreciation but rather, it leaves you with a lasting, impactful sense of how much there is to appreciate. To appreciate the journey and how much we experience on that journey. The entire life cycle in itself.

How could this not leave you with a profound feeling of gratitude for all that is?

by G. Douglas Kerr

I found this poet thanks to their Runner Up placement on the Short and Sweet Challenge. The purity of my vegan soul couldn’t stomach their dairy inspired poem so I instead went to their page to peruse other works.

This is what I found.

The Comfort is an insightful and rather dystopian observation of our modern western world. It highlights the darkness behind the bright lights of the city that seek to lure and imprison us. It serves as a strong reminder of what is truly important in life and what we should not be giving our attention to.

There is a line that reads;

but loss should never happen to profits,

growth is preordained like all the gossip

Can I just underline that and say no more? Wow.

The poem is a masterpiece and has sat for 7 months now without the light of appreciation. It’s time.

by Loryne Andawey

A beautiful reminder of how life is appreciated or depreciated by our perception. Loryne poetically captures the lesson that how we perceive becomes a choice (when we cultivate awareness over programmed reactions). Which ultimately means we are choosing our experience of life through our ability to perceive. So if our life appears to be ‘bad’, then we ought to adjust our filter of perception. For it is that filter which directly impacts how we feel and how we feel is everything.

If you can look creatively at what appear to be problems in your life and choose instead to see the opportunity and blessing over what is ‘wrong’ it will profoundly shift your experience of life from helpless victim to empowered creator.

(Click here for an article I wrote called Silver Linings that can help to inspire doing exactly that)

Loryne also reminds us that what is broken and unworthy of one person’s attention is beautiful art to another. Never stay long in company that fails to appreciate your worth. Put yourself always into hands that see you as the beautiful art you are.

(I feel that I ought to just add onto this, often we are not looking at ourselves as the beautiful art we are. We can’t escape ourselves. Start there! The company you keep will not see your worth if you don’t)

by Charlotte Eden Morris

Every one of us will read this with a different subject in mind. For some it may be that cute little hedgehog in the photo, for others perhaps God or if you were blessed enough to have such a mother it may be her. Whoever it is that you think of, this poem is serving us all a valuable reminder to appreciate those loving souls we (hopefully) have in our lives.

Appreciate each of them for who they are. It’s so easy to criticise others for who they are not in spite of all the evidence showing that we only bloom in positive environments. If we catch ourselves criticising others, simply stop and apologise. The more we practice this, the healthier our relationships become and the people around us begin to glow.

No matter how harsh the winter May seem, keep sowing seeds and cultivating as much love as you are capable of each day, know that summer will one day come and that love will all return to you.

by [ME!]

I have to be honest with you, deep in the realm of undervalued poetry - this one is bouncing off the walls in desperation of finding an audience. Even if it’s a critical audience! (I mean, preferably it’s well received by a kind audience, but at this stage my poem and I are not choosy!)

I don’t have social media or any way to share my work other than posting it here and hoping someone clicks on it. Which means that most of my articles go unread. This was one reason that I left vocal for a while over the past year. It had started to feel more like a place to pour acid on rejection wounds than fun. I kind of lost heart putting so much work into my stories to have literally no one read them! (I understate here - I really did feel a little heart broken 😓).

However, that time away made me realise many things. Namely that I love to write. And I needed to write because of that love. Whether one, a thousand or no people read my work shouldn’t have any impact on that love. Vocal is my portfolio. I write and I post and it’s a place to keep my work. It’s a place I can access from anywhere in the world. I never have to worry about losing it. I love writing for the competition themes and the people I’ve been slowly meeting in this community.

This was a slight tangent…

What I’m trying to say is that although I’m absolutely accepting of my work never being seen….but it’s not what I would choose! If you are still reading this article all the way to here (firstly, thank you) please do cast your loving or critical eyes over my poem and leave a comment 🥰 I will sincerely appreciate it!

by Joi Poetry

I could have selected any one of Joi’s poems for this weeks’s column. Perhaps it is just because they are written from my heart that I so appreciate them. Joi has managed to so perfectly encapsulate the many tanged emotions the heart has when it loses a love it never thought it would.

I was in particular appreciation of this poem because it transports me back to a moment my heart still cherishes and would break all rules of the universe to travel back in time to.

Perhaps you will relate, but if not I’m quite certain it will still leave you with a sense of softness and vulnerability that your heart will appreciate.


This next mention is a bit of the lists ‘wildcard’ choice. It made the list for the same reason as the others, it evoked deep appreciation in me. But for very, very different reasons to the others. From the photo of the woman glamourising smoking to the painful emotions conveyed, this poem made me feel immensely grateful to no longer be that person. I feel very grateful to my past self for doing the incredibly hard and vulnerable task of dissolving my anger into tears to release and overcoming my severe attachment (addiction) issues.

This poem pulled at my heart so much. It made me feel deeply sad for my past self. For that girl in me so very desperate for love from another. The girl who was always silenced from crying through threat of physical abuse. The girl who begged for love in dark places that offered nothing but empty promises and inflicted more trauma. That girl whose screams were then drowned out for years by me every time I chose avoidance, distraction, work, smoking, cannabis, alcohol, men or simply shuting her up with sugar. Just like my parents taught me.

Being reminded of how painful that life was made me in turn feel profound gratitude and relief that I put the years of work in to no longer be that person. To instead become the person who choses love. Every time it was hard to, I kept choosing love. And sometimes I slipped backwards but with more compassion than judgement I kept moving steadily forwards.

The tears I cried reading this poem are a mixture of residual pain, of sorrow for what I had to go through and of deep, deep relief. And that relief allows me to step back into the light of appreciation. Appreciation for my strength. For not continuing to self abandon and ignore the screams of my inner child. I almost want to say I’m proud of my past self, but I’m still unsure pride is healthy. So instead I choose to remain grateful that I had the tools and the opportunity to evolve beyond who I was back then. That desperately unhappy and lost child chain smoking to suppress all that pain inside.

Finally, thank you Sara for this incredibly vulnerable poem.

by Sara


About the Creator

Kayleigh Fraser ✨

philosopher, alchemist, writer & poet with a spirit of fire & passion for all things health & love related 💫

“When life gives you lemons,

Know you are asking for them.

If you want oranges, focus on oranges”


INSTAGRAM - kayzfraser

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Comments (18)

  • Dana Crandell11 months ago

    What a wonderful job of uplifting your fellow creators. We can reciprocate by posting your story in the social media groups.

  • Mark Graham11 months ago

    Good work. Most of my writing here also pretty much unread.

  • Poppy 11 months ago

    I'm always excited to discover another one of these series. Thank you for spending the time putting this together. I'll have to read these pieces and catch up on the others asap!

  • Justine Crowley11 months ago

    Congratulations on top story as well Kayleigh. Superb <3 <3 Poetry is not an easy thing to write <3

  • Ok...this is SO cool! Was this for a challenge? I apologize that I don't know because I have not been around much (my life was turned upside down). I hope to get back into things in a few months. Your writing is masterful! I can't wait to have some time to dive into YOUR work. I adore seeing how folks use words to craft a beautiful story - regardless of the type of writing. Thank you so much for including me in this :D I am awed and humbled. So amazing and well done!

  • ARC11 months ago

    This is so awesome, Kayleigh. Can I just say... I love your tangents? 🤷‍♂️😂 For real though - it's what makes your anthology articles *yours*. My mind works in tangents and branching pathways so this is very comfortable reading for me. I recognize it may not be for some. Voicing at least one single perspective that appreciates and enjoys the tangential nature of your writing here. I find it fun :) Thank you for taking the time to put this together. Humbled to have been chosen and included in such lofty company as the creatives in this post (including yourself). 💙 Love that this got you a (very worthy) Top Story! Congrats and well-done 🙌

  • I truly appreciate you putting this list together. It makes it so much easier for someone like me who misses a lot of great work on Vocal to get caught up on some true gems. Love your opening humor and insightful plunge into each poem chosen. Congratulations on Top Story. Oh yeah, apparently I never Subscribed to you, but now I am 👍🏾

  • Margaret Brennan11 months ago

    I've made a note to read all of these. Thank you for bringing them to my attention.

  • Kristen Balyeat11 months ago

    Yeah, Kayleigh! Congrats on top story!

  • Jazzy 11 months ago

    Coming back to tell you congrats On Top Story!!!❤️❤️❤️

  • Paul Stewart11 months ago

    Admittedly, still to read this, but wanted to pop on here to say congrats on Top Story! Well done, Kayleigh!

  • G. Douglas Kerr11 months ago

    Thanks Kayleigh for the inclusion and appreciation.

  • Definitely swinging back here to read their poems! I don't know so many of them! Thank you so much for this!

  • Kristen Balyeat11 months ago

    KAYLEIGH! Oh my dear goodness, this piece was absolutely magical and I am so very honored and grateful to you for sharing my poem, and for the incredible words you said about it- and for all of the words you said! I am so uplifted by the message you delivered in your intro and could not agree with you more!!! Your words were absolutely beautiful and made me emotional as I said "YES! SO MUCH YES!" to each and every line. What a bright spirit you are, and I thank you so much for sharing it with all of us, and for adding so much light in to all of our worlds with your message. Thank you again for sharing my poem– I am so humbled that it was the inspiration for this incredible piece of art you created. You also picked an amazing piece by ARC...Tony! It's so gorgeous and one of my favorites of his! So meditative and full of appreciation and parallels. I definitely agree with your sentiments on his work, I'm also a huge fan! It resonates on a sprit level. He's a wise one! :) SO excited to get the chance to read all of the others you have listed here, as I have not read ANY of them (including yours)! I'll have to go back and catch up on your previous pieces. Gosh, just so overwhelmed with gratitude right now! All the love and thankfulness headed in your direction (insert lots of hearts here:)) Thank you again, Kayleigh!

  • Jazzy 11 months ago

    I love how deeply you engage this community and those explanations; oh my! I also don't have socials, so I can see how it's hard to write something and not get a heart. I'm so excited to check out all of these poems! Thank you for sharing!

  • Alexandria Stanwyck11 months ago

    👏🏾 I am often thankful you started this series especially since I have recently strayed away from the poetry community for the most part. I am able to read poems I would have probably never found myself. So thank you!

  • Novel Allen11 months ago

    Wow, you put a lot of work into this illuminating bit of unsung stories.. Very well done, lots to read.

Kayleigh Fraser ✨Written by Kayleigh Fraser ✨

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