Beauty From Ashes


(photo via

Light penetrates the cracked door
she slouches further into the corner of darkness.

He still sees her as she spins out of control
counting each revolution.

Light reveals the ugliness of ash her life has become
a life wasted on cheap screws and cheaper whiskey.

He is no stranger to this world
He has walked amidst desperation, before.

Light shines on her beauty; a cleansed soul,
before granite marks her time.

P. Wanken

written for The Sunday Whirl prompt to write a poem with these words: light, cracked, slouch, spin, revolution, ash, wasted, cheap, screw, stranger, desperation, cleansed, granite.



  1. Hi Paula, you seem to have come up with a poem that had the same ‘mood’ as mine. I can picture this desperate person!


    1. Brenda…thanks, as always, for providing us with a great prompt. Sometimes when I see the words one of them jumps out at me as an “oh no…not THAT word” but I still manage to work it in. “Slouch” was the word this week. And then there’s always a word that can have more than one meaning, but as soon as I read it, the word itself tells me how it wants to be used and does not relent. “Screw” was that word this week. It set the direction for the whole piece. Again…thank you for your work each week to provide us with inspiration. ~Paula


    1. Thanks, Deborah. I appreciate your visit and your comment. I am grateful that even a soul such as this can be cleansed and seen as beautiful. ~Paula


    1. Yes — it is a shame that so many live in that darkness. But I am thankful there is a Light that can cleanse to reveal beauty. Thanks for stopping by!


  2. I am impressed! This poem goes full circle, from hopelessness to hope, and then hints at the common end of all humanity.


  3. That lovely wordle set the mood, but it was fun. I thought mine was pretty dark, but you have the record so far for the day.

    I had to laugh at, “a life wasted on cheap screws and cheaper whiskey.” That sounds so un-Paula, but it means the wordle pulled you into an unusual direction. You had to temper it a little with β€œbeauty,” but it really is terrific write.


    1. Mike…the wordles always take me in a direction that surprises me. And it wasn’t so much that beauty was tempering the image of cheap screws and whiskey…it is a contrast in reality. A soul CAN be cleansed no matter it’s ashen condition, restored to something beautiful. There’s a passage in Isaiah that references the hope of healing…giving beauty for ashes. And “He” is Christ, our Light in the darkness.

      As always…your encouragement is a blessing.


    1. Truthfully, that was my favorite line. I have felt, at times, like I’ve been spinning out of control…and then am reminded of how much my Creator loves me. There’s a passage in scripture that refers to knowing how many hairs are on my head. That’s the kind of God who cares about me to the point of knowing how many revolutions I’ve made as I spin out of control….as He patiently waits for me to return my eyes to focus on Him.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comments.



  4. Paula, as I type here, nothing is visible. I press ‘post’ in hope, and voila, it appears. But the likelihood is that typing ‘blind’ it will be full of typos!


    1. Viv – thanks for your visit…and recognizing with me the possibility of Light.

      Unfortunately…the possibility of “light” (read: transparent!) letters in my comment box is happening much too frequently. I’ll see if WordPress can help resolve the issue. As for typing blind…not bad! I made no adjustments to your comments. πŸ™‚



  5. Paula, from the second I read your title from Isaiah 61:3, I knew I was going to be treated to a wonderful poem of redemption, and I wasn’t disappointed. You have a way of bringing biblical truth to the wordle poems that illuminates without being preachy. Well done, my sister! πŸ™‚


  6. Of course spin goes with revolution. Wish I’d thought of it. I like the way you paired them. And that ending, that last line, wow – powerful. I like the hope/redemption there.



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