New Poetry: She Emerges

May 29 2023

I attended the Spoken Views Live Poetry Night tonight. Second time and this time I read a poem I wrote today. I freaking, absolutely LOVE this group of people. This is my new Monday night jam!

Photo of me on stage, a photo with the two people who welcomed me last Monday, Mountain and Marleta, and two photos of my new shirt (which I LOVE!!!)

Here’s the poem I read:

She Emerges

It’s been 15 years.
The amount of time it takes
For one to blossom from infant to teenager.

During those 15 years
She dove deep
Exploring her inner world
Drawing within herself.

No more socializing,
No more attending events
Attaching herself to the walls
Of her inner life.

Safely around herself
She spun a secure cocoon.

Weaved with the essence of
Her two kids, safe friends, family,
And healing and inspiring books.

Within this protective casing
She dove deep into confronting
Past hurts, past trauma.

Sitting with the pain, the discomfort
Allowing herself to feel every
Emotion that appeared.
Sadness, anger, joy, happiness,
content, shame, guilt.

She dove deep into experiencing
The silence of nature
The silence of life
The beauty of nature
The beauty of allowing nature to bring forth
Healing words to share with the world.

She spent many years of her
Life within this cocoon
Radically changing how
She viewed the world
And her fellow humans

Nearing the end of this molting period
She knew the radical transformaiton
Of her inner life, her heart, her soul
Was complete.

She began shedding
her protective casing.
Only to realize that her physical body
Was not yet ready to emerge.

The years of financial struggle and worry
Had taken a toll on her body.
She spent the next couple of years
In search of what ailed her body.
Finally discovering and addressing the reason.

Once her physical body was on board
With emerging,
And after learning that she, like her kids
Is neurodivergent
She realized there remained
Something within that begged
For release, for transformation

She spent months in search of
Just the right therapist.
This is exactly what the trauma
Of her youth, teenage years, and young adult needed.

An outside force to clear the
Remains of what she alone could not clear.

With each session,
the protective casing she had
Spun all those years ago
Began to crumble

She emerged as her authentic self
Her shining self
Ready to share
Of herself without fear
That shining and sharing of her true self
Would attract unwanted and unlovely attention.

For so long ago, as a young child she
Learned that when she shined,
It attracted that which felt wrong
And that which she did not want.

She is helping that young Camilla
Has hugged and loved her
Placing her in a special
Nook carved in her heart.

Behold the awakening of all that
Could have been
If she had felt safe to
Be who she wanted to be
Explore all that life had to offer
Choose a path that fit her
Feel attraction for who she was attracted to
Love who she wanted to love

The transformation is complete
She’s 16 again
Ready to LIVE life
On her terms.

A neurospicy Pisces
Lover of olives,
Dancing, Walks
And passionate kisses.

Get ready world
With no fear
With no holding back
She has emerged. – Camilla Downs – 2023

Monday Night Poetry – Leaving the Comfort Zone

May 22 2023

I stepped out of my comfort zone big time tonight. While Thomas was in their 6:00pm appointment, instead of sitting in the car for an hour, I drove 5 minutes to Shim’s Speakeasy.

This was my first time here, and I loved it. The atmosphere and the people were awesome. Plus!!! They have Guinness 0. Woohoo! I was only able to stay for an hour, but I plan on going next Monday, and I can stay for the full spoken poetry event, getting myself on the stage. 😱Thursday looks like fun with Old Skool Music. Yay me!! 💖💋💖

Throwback: The One Stillness

**THROWBACK POST** 

(I think this was written in 2017 – Originally submitted to a poetry website for consideration to be published.)


(Photo taken by me Spring 2019)

The One Stillness

And she began the walk,
The walk of only she,
breathing in, knowing she was breathing in
breathing out, knowing she was breathing out.

She listened in the stillness,
the sound of
the song birds
the beeping construction equipment
the roar of an airplane overhead
the creak and pop of the plastic fence
the screech of the shiny black vulture as he took flight
the echo of a distant cough across the wetland
the jingle of her dream catcher earrings in the breeze
the whir of the traffic in the distance.

She felt the soft breeze
Tenderly caress her cheeks,
hair lifting ever so gently.

She focused her eyes on the
vibrant luscious pink flower
and found her thoughts to be,

I am the vibrant luscious pink flower
swaying in the breeze
The flower is me.

She focused her eyes on the crisp green
blades of grass hosting
plump round droplets of water,

I am the crisp green blade of grass
hosting the water droplet,
the blade of grass is me.

I am the plump round water droplet
resting on the blade of grass,
the water droplet is me.

She focused her eyes on the
majestic black vulture

I am the majestic black vulture
resting on a rock
the vulture is me.

She focused her eyes on
the tall crooked tree,
laying her hands upon the cracked bark
smoothed by the winds of time.

I am the tree standing tall and crooked
the tree is me.

And she is,
and they are,
fulfilling this Divine Life.

And she ended the walk
The walk of One,
breathing in, knowing she was breathing in
breathing out, knowing she was breathing out. – ©2017 Camilla Downs

**July 2021 Update – This poem is in its “raw” state. A polished version is included in my latest book, a free-verse poetry memoir titled, Words of Alchemy. Go here to learn more … 

Words of Alchemy

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

A Life Changing Visit to South Lake Tahoe – James Interviews Camilla

Several months back, I was honored to be a guest on JQM Literary Chat with James Quinlan Meservy. James and covered where my first name originated, my roots, poetic words bubbling to the surface, and a life changing visit to South Lake Tahoe. Join us …

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:

I’m Camilla Downs (pronounced like Pamela, but with a “C”). I was named after Camilla Sparv, a Swedish actress in the 1960’s and 70’s. I’ve been told that I’m the great great grand-daughter of a full blooded Chickasaw Indian and Irish immigrants (haven’t researched this yet, it’s on my to do list for this year).

I have lived in Reno, Nevada, USA for the past 14 years, moving here from the Seattle, Washington area in 2006. I spent my first 18 years in Jackson, Mississippi and Houma, Louisiana. I love walking. I am out for walks anywhere from three to six days a week. Nature is partly the inspiration for my writings and poetry. The other part is a desire to process my life experiences; to give them an outlet through writing.

I have been single parenting fourteen year old Thomas and eighteen year old Lillian since Thomas was 1 year old. Lillian has a chromosome deletion simply called 18p-. This means she is missing the short arm of chromosome #18. My kids and I call ourselves Team TLC to correspond with the first letters of each of our names. During 2015-2019 we were tiny home dwellers, living in a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 810 square foot apartment. That was one heck of an adventure!

WHAT INFLUENCED YOU TO WRITE YOUR GENRE(S)?

My latest book to publish is a poetry memoir of the last 6 years of my life. It was largely inspired and influenced by Nature, and the many walks I took during the time it was written. About six years ago, I visited Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe, California. The beauty was quite overwhelming, bringing me to tears. As I drove home, I made several stops along Lake Tahoe, sitting to take it all in. While doing this, poetic words bubbled to the surface of my consciousness. This was the beginning of a six year journey of being inspired by nature with poetic words, then later, inspired by life events.

My first book is a memoir of my journey to acceptance of myself, and acceptance of becoming a single parent to two children, one with special needs, one a genius (who is most likely on the spectrum). The influence for this book was born of a desire to share my life with others, in the hopes of letting them know they are not alone. In addition, the feedback I received for life experiences I shared on my blog and in social media, fueled the desire to share in a published book.

The second book, for which I am simply a contributor, is my daughter’s book. I collected her writings, organized them, wrote the introduction, edited, proofed, and published the book. Her book was intentionally not professionally edited so as to share her unique view with the reading world. A photo I took of her was used for the cover of the book. It is in the fiction genre as it is a collection of her short stories and poetry from 5 years old to 15 years old. The influence for this book was a desire to help Lillian have something that showcases her unique talents and skills. She and I had talked about publishing a book ever since she was about 5 years old.

The third book, I am also simply a contributor, as it is a photography book of photos my then 8 year old son took. I organized the book, wrote the introduction, and he and I chose quotes to pair with the sections of the book. The influence for this book was a promise I made to 8 year old Thomas. Before he began the 365 photo a day project, I told him that he he followed through and finished, we would publish the photographic journey as a book.

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS?

I don’t know that I have a favorite author, book, or literary character. I love to read authors and books that enlighten me in an interesting or fun way about life, topics, events of which I am ignorant. I like authors and books that involve my emotions, books that I can’t stand to put down. The majority of what I read is nonfiction.

However, I do love reading fiction if it covers a topic I want to learn more about, or it has an inspirational message. I also enjoy fiction books that have a character solving a mystery, as long as the mystery to be solved is not someone’s murder or crime related.

Here are a some of my latest reads: On Writing by Stephen King Untamed by Glennon Doyle Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz Star Crossed by Barbara Dee The Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee The Library Book by Susan Orlean

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH POTENTIAL READERS?

What I’d like to share are words from readers, rather than myself, from blog reviews and Amazon reviews …

A beautiful testament to the love and dedication of a mother to her children, and her personal transformation using nature as a guide and companion. I was instantly transported to zenlike mindfulness by the melodic prose in this beautiful collection. Poems like “Released” will remain with me as a reminder of the healing strength of our connection to nature. The rich imagery and natural metaphors make each piece a standalone daily meditation. – Michelle S.

I have always loved Camilla’s writing. So glad she put it in a book for me, for us, to always have on hand. Her poem form is original and real. I get release and comfort in reading the selections. Godspeed to her and thank you. – Amazon Customer

Words of Alchemy is warm and personal, like being invited to sit on the author’s couch and listen to her talk to family and friends. Intimate and loving, these poems are a celebration of family, of friends, of life, of nature, and of adaptation. – Amazon Customer

What a joy it is to read this gem of a poetry book. Full of beautiful free-verse, a memoir about friends, family, relationships and the love of the nature. This is for you if you enjoy the natural world, (as I do,) if you appreciate poetry that delves into the heart and doesn’t hold back. In many ways it is an intimate and brave expression of the author – Camilla Down’s – thoughts and feelings. – Marjorie M.

This book is full of beautiful, inspiring, thought provoking poems about love, nature, acceptance, joys, fun, mindfulness and gratitude! They really pick you up and make you consider your own life and the changes you could welcome to lead a happier, fuller life while reading about Camilla’s passion and love for nature, family, friends and all the small things that a lot of us take for granted! It’s emotive, and lovely and just a stunning read for a day when you may be feeling low! It’s a feel good collection of poems that really will brighten your day! – Lynne P.

Follow the link to read the full interview on the JQM website …

JQM LITERARY CHAT WELCOMES Camilla Downs

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post – Planting Seeds of Love – Free to Be You

**THROWBACK POST**

Written some time in 2017


(Hike to Lake Tamarack – September 2020)

The poems I write are from nature and shared through my heart and fingers. They are inspired by nature photographs made by me. I sit with a photograph, ask what I am to share, touch my fingers to the keyboard, close my eyes, and let the message flow.

It is as if nothing else exists when I’m in this flow. It is almost always aligned with something I am in the midst of personally, and will usually answer or clarify an issue for me.

This poem was written the morning after I attended a local show by The Alchemist Theatre. The theme of the show was Providence. We all took white stones, were walked through a beautiful prayer/meditation at which time the name or image that appeared for us was our “name”. We then wrote this name on the white stone.

The message shared with me that night is that I am supposed to plant seeds of loving-kindness wherever I go and these poems are part of that. This served more as confirmation as I’ve known for a while I was supposed to do this, yet, was unclear on how.

LoveSeed is the name that came to me during meditation. For quite some time I’ve been dancing in and out of my own darkness and shadows. I experienced a shift that night.

This is the message I wrote to the members of Alchemist. “It is when we are in the depths of our own darkness, we can rest assured the light and solutions are simply awaiting our embrace of said darkness ….. for the light will shine, shine, shine once we patiently dance with the darkness.”

The next day I sat with this picture of trees I took in the summer of 2016 and thought, “What do you have to share?” (2020 Note: I am not sure which photo of trees to which this referred, so I’m sharing a recent photo.) This poem is nature’s message to me and anyone else to whom it speaks and one of the many love seeds I am to plant.

Free to Be You

Light and peace
await you dear one.
I know this is
your heart’s desire.

It’s there.
It never leaves you.
It cannot leave you
for it is what you are.

The light is the Source.
And you are the light.

At times you choose
to recede into the darkness,
and disconnect from the Light.

Pass through the darkness,
you must,
if you wish to
emerge into the light.
The darkness can always
be transcended.

And emerge you will.
Emerging into the light.
Merging with the light.
BEing the light.

You will know this.
You will feel it.
As the light embraces you
and becomes you,
all else will lift
and you shall be set free.

Free to be you,
free to come home
to the true you,
free to share divine love
in the way only you can share.

Come,
Be in the glory
of peace and light
for this is your inheritance.

Ever there,
Patiently waiting
for your awakening. – © Camilla Downs

This poem is published in its original, raw state. An edited version of poem appears in my recently published book, Words of Alchemy.

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post: Poetry – Freedom Walk

(I recently changed the hosting company for this website, along with all other websites I manage. In the aftermath, my draft posts got deleted. Oh no! Fortunately, they were in the back up and could be reinstalled. However, the original draft dates were deleted. I’m taking that as a sign that it’s time to do cleanup and housekeeping. I think this is from 2016, not quite sure.)


(Scripts Wildlife Preserve – June 2020 – Photo by Camilla)

**THROWBACK POST**

Freedom Walk

I walk this path with legs
that have walked many miles

I walk this path with arms
free of heavy burdens from the past

I walk this path with a mind
that supports and encourages the heart

I walk this path with a heart
that is pure and ripe with love

I walk this path with eyes
fresh with new perspectives

I walk this path with ears
awakened to natures sounds

I walk this path with a nose
that inhales the sweetness

I walk this path with mouth and lips
parted to breathe the benevolent essence

I walk this eternal path home
with all beings as one.

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Headed Home – Words of Alchemy

Headed Home

And she walked.
And she walked.
She walked until
Arriving at
The home of
Peace and Joy.
Discovering once there,
She had been
Here all along. ©Camilla Downs

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

These Were the Days – Eight Years in the Making

With Lillian turning 18 and the stressful move, I got behind on posting things here. For a while, you’ll be getting some older posts as I get caught up (this one from my birthday in February) … Much love!

February 22 2020:

8 years in the making …. Team TLC – Thomas, Lillian, Camilla … 3 family members …. 4 published books …. There are more to come. However, I need to take this year to press the reset button, for my physical health and for the emotional health of Thomas and Lillian. We’ve drifted from the Team in our Team TLC; which I know will happen as they get older. Yet, I’ve let vital areas slip by the wayside over the past 4 or 5 years, especially this last year.

One major struggle is about to end for us. Once that gift is showered upon us, the rebuilding of Team TLC begins. Of course it will look and feel different than when Thomas and Lillian were younger, and that’s the beauty of it, tempered with the longing of the way it used to be.

I get the feeling the next book will be authored by all three of us. We shall see. I never really know until I become focused on the book’s creation. xoxo

There were days
She could see no reason to continue

There were days
Shrouded in darkness and despair

There were days
Bubbling with joy and love

There were days
She knew the reason to continue

These were the days
The 18,250 days of riding the wheels of her life.

Thank you for being along for the ride. It’s a joy to share it with all of you. If you’d like to learn more about our books, go here … https://camilladowns.com/books/

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Walking – Words of Alchemy

🧡🧡🧡

Walking

Walking is spiritual.
Walking is magical.
Walking is miraculous.
Walking is praying.
Walking is meditation.
Walking awakens one from the deep sleep of separation.
Walking is dancing with the oneness of all that is. – ©Camilla Downs

🧡🧡🧡

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Emerge – Words of Alchemy

💚💚💚

Emerge

And out of the darkness
We shall emerge.
A darkness that
Has been necessary.

A vital and pivotal point
Of confronting the
Shadows within.

For to have more
Than brief glimpses
Of the light,
This acceptance, forgiveness,
And dissolution of shadows
Must be met.

As what awaits is
The eternity of light and love,
Ever there, ever lovingly
And patiently waiting
To welcome us home. -©️Camilla Downs

💚💚💚

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! A free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 18 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.