That I’ve learned nothing at all apparently

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Old habits die hard, if they die at all.

I took part in a 30-day poetry challenge shortly after signing up for Medium. I thought it would be a good idea to force myself to write every day for 30 days. Lock in the habit. I was successful at that. I wrote every day for 30 days, and have continued writing every day.

As I was thinking about putting together my what did I learn reflection to post I kept coming back to an event early in my writing journey. I took a creative writing class some hundred years ago as a sophomore/junior undeclared major of some sort. …


Tysons Corner, Northern Virginia, 1952–1968.

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

94 Acre Woods: Stories of a land not forgotten

Story #1

We siblings, 5 boys and I, the one-and-only girl, grew up in a magical neighborhood in Northern Virginia. In a time when there were still patches of woods with creeks and critters to discover. In a time without constant adult supervision we learned to adapt, get along, imagine, and thrive.

A recent trip back to the neighborhood was depressing beyond tears. The entire 94 Acre subdivision and surrounding woods has been replaced with hotels, office buildings, off ramps and an expanded shopping mall parking lot. It wasn’t a shock like a sudden death is. …


True Story by Carolyn F. Chryst

From Family Photo Collection by Walter E. Chryst

The Family moved from Virginia to Oxford, MS, in the summer of 1967. This was well after the “ Battle of Oxford” race riots of 1962; but it was all the town folks could talk about. Dad bought a house nearly 20 years after William Faulkner’s “Intruder in the Dust” was filmed in it; yet it was all our neighbors talked about. A run down behemoth Victorian that belonged to a long lost era. The house even had a slave quarters listed as a selling point; which was all we Damn-Yankees from Virginia could talk about. To eleven year old…


Photo by Edward Lowe 1946

What’s your origin story?


No lie the tales my story is writ upon

Image by Rhonda Melling https://pixabay.com/photos/girl-firefly-fairy-tales-354579/

Six decades on and I believe
fireflies bring magic
to a midsummers eve
pitch-black save for
twinkling above and below

Clapping of hands still
brings Tinker Bell back
from the brink of death
felt it for sure and for certain
fifty or one, energy pours
into brightening my life

No two snowflakes alike, a wonder
infinite combinations of us, amazing
if you tend carefully, no two days
ever the same, ever-evolving, ever new

I know G. Washington did not
proclaim as fable says
“I can not tell a lie”
no cherry tree was felled by the boy
still, I foolishly believe in…


Where shall we put them?

Image by <a href=”https://pixabay.com/users/congerdesign-509903/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=2246071">congerdesign</a> from <a href=”https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=2246071">Pixabay</a>

Our section is FULL!

It’s getting crowded where my mother’s ancestors lie, in Jackson County, Independence Missouri in Woodlawn Cemetery. The tombstones seem squished together and tucked in hither and yon.

I recently traveled back to Independence, Missouri for the ‘life celebration’ of my last remaining Aunt. The presentation took place at a funeral home chapel rather than the church she spent 80 plus years attending. This was the daughter’s and grand person’s choice. The ‘celebration of life’ was well scripted by my cousin and her child. Ninety-six years packed into a 45 minute presentation felt disconcerting.

Okay I have to interrupt the story…


Poetry challenge day 3 write something that broke you

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

I wrote of the thing that broke me
shattered my soul into fragments
but like a wounded beast
can not show weakness
for fear of being eaten alive

I can not share the tale
of my broken shards
in public, in print
perhaps in a few years
when paycheck doesn’t matter
and writing is what I do

This much I can share
Only Mom knew that
Humpty Dumpty was
pushed off the wall
and all the king’s horses
and all the king’s men
couldn’t put Humpty
together again

Poetry Challenge Day 3 write of when something broke you from the inside Sahil Patel

Timing drives most things in life — I can not share the…


Torn apart poems woven into a new piece

Photo by Masha Raymers from Pexels

with some transitional assists…

I am sometimes leather and sometimes lace
and always exactly who I am

… but I is dying, clogged
by too many desperate veins of thought

words run down my arms to the digital
light I do not understand but value
the one who … bleeds blue ink across pages

because of

lies he tells himself, forged by lies he was told

I am left

raw as hide ripped from dears

It is to breath to ask
and wonder, to map out the why
to question the what and there for

of pain, yet

The poem…


Why I can’t go with the flow

Photo by Rad Cyrus on Unsplash

Of all the things to think about
Variables to sort and filter
Every detail delineated
Round and round and round
The thinking goes
Halting for nothing ‘cept coffee
In endless what if loops
needles in my brain knives in my feet
Ingrown thought patterns
Gain purchase

over planning
veins bursting
every inch aching
rest is for the weak
too much to think about
having not enough time
in all the day or
nights to plan for every
knit-whit mishap
I overthinking
never thinking to just
go with the flow

Reflection on process 30-day poetry challenge day 1

When stuck on what to write, or overthinking the concept. I…


A Covid-19 Memorial

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Car, Plane, Plane, Bus, Car — a 12 hour trip

I go to bury my Aunt Rosie. Except not, her interment had already been done months before, and the stone carved with the date of 2020.

My siblings and cousins came from across the country to celebrate the life of the last of our parent’s generation. Not the 96-year-old one who got Covid, but the Rosie we recall. Covid took her body, though she had gone elsewhere already. Yet all of us had visited her long after our own parents had gone.

A still grieving daughter and grandchild could not bear to feel the connections and hear the stories of…

Carolyn F. Chryst, Ph.D.

Has had an eclectic life — Waitress, Actress, Zoo Curator, Story Teller, Poet, Exhibit Designer, Writer, Farmer and Educator.

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