Poem of the Week by Julie Leibrich

julie-leibrich-1Distinguished local writer and poet

Raumati author Julie Leibrich is well known for her writings on justice, crime, spirituality and health. As well as a writer of children’s stories and non-fiction, she is also a poet.

Her first poetry collection, The Paper Road (Steele Roberts), was published in 1998.

More recently she produced a pocket size hardback called A Little Book of Sonnets which combines the 14 line poems with photos.

The poem below is the first one in this collection.

Julie wondered if she could cope with the limitations of the sonnet: I couldn’t begin for fear that using a strict form might spoil something essential about the way I write. So first I needed to write about my fear.

If I stop words

If I stop words dissolving into ink,

and think instead of rhythm, form and rhyme,

will I relinquish that spontaneous link

of heart to hand, which sometimes feels sublime?


I write to listen, not to make a speech.

I never know what thoughts will fill the space

or what horizons could my feelings reach.

Poetry is a gift. A kind of grace.


I fear that tempering with the way I write

will block my path towards the secret door

Through which I sometimes glimpses an edge of light.

Will sonnets hold me tight as I explore?


The page goes quiet. I take my pen in hand.

We only hear the truth in shadowland.