RIFF SUMMER CHALLENGE

Summer mixtape

Photo by hosein zanbori on Unsplash

“Music is the direct link
between the soul and the divine.
The body is like a hollow reed
and music fills it with the song of the gods.
Music will calm you, soothe your nerves,
tell you of otherworldliness.
Even in the midst of great turmoil,
music can bring peace to your heart.
No one lives without music.”

Deng Ming Dao from Chronicles of Tao

I’ve been on quite the adventure digging through my boxes and bins of old journals and keepsakes. I am finding ticket stubs, setlists, photos, and written documentation of my summer adventures. …


A poem

Photo by Mimi Garcia on Unsplash

judge not me as main character
for fiction lies beneath
screen shots are not my essence
no matter the language I reveal
assumptions of nature
are corsets on humility
minds conjuring magic
are tricks of the heartbeat
judge not me as a liar though
for it’s (mostly) truth I seek

so tell me what you call
defense of creativity
author and narrator
there’s distinction between
definitions of the fine line
but I’m not the company I keep
shedding off the mirrors
one can surely breathe

Samantha Lazar 2021

Thank you for reading. Samantha Lazar is a writer, poet, and teacher…


A Poem

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Call up your favorite languages
Call up your mother tongue
Spill out your crafty treasure chests
Dust off your used to be hobbies
Pull down the attic ladder
Gather the scrapbooks, the yearbooks, the printed photographs
Your sewing machine
Restring your guitar
Clear your throat for the harmony
Gather the heirloom seeds
The fabrics and dyes
Your crochet and knitting needles
Your cross-stitch too
We are recruiting poets
The world needs you!

You will need to pack your paintbrushes
Your oils and acrylics and biggest canvas
Bring your spraypaints and biggest statements
Things are about to get messy

Bakers and…


Always learning teacher/writer/mama/wife/sister/daughter

Author’s image: Photo of me, contemplating my life choices during most of 2020

Hi! My name is Samantha Rae Lazar. Thank you for taking the time to read my little auto-bio. I began writing on Medium in June 2019, and I am in love with this platform, even with all of its challenges and changes. It has become the writing community I have always craved.

I have been a writer since I could write and a humanities teacher (English/Language Arts, Social Studies/History) since 1998. I have lived the school schedule since I was in pre-school. I buy new planners/calendars in June. I currently teach 5th grade.

I live and work in a beautiful…


A poem

Image by Brigitte makes custom works from your photos, thanks a lot

listen —
if I could lounge in
alliteration
I would live by the letter L
literally
lull my life, a lullaby
la la la
look —
add a K — I’m hooked
rock-a-bye
in a lake-side hammock
your lips to my lips
your kiss to my kiss
and I’m lost —
slip-sliding
kaleidoscope eyeing
speak —
let's evoke
vocally local
laugh for the thrill
of being awake
and alive
I am a loving child
quickly fulfilled
and easily wild

Samantha Lazar 2021

Written for Scrittura’s Saturday Poetry Prompt: just because you love the sound. …


Live with less stress

Image by Alexey Kuzmin from Pixabay

As teachers who return to the classroom in August, we all know how difficult it can be to transition out of leisurely schedules into the more hectic workdays. After being on this same schedule all of my life (23 years of it teaching), I would like to think I have this routine down.

I don’t.

As July comes to a close, I am trying to get my house in order. Of all of the things I planned to do, many of them are figuratively and literally collecting dust. But this week, I have been in nesting mode. I have been…


Poetry Can Be a Tool For Healing

Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash

I had the honor of being interviewed by my friend Anita for an upcoming episode of her podcast, Resilience Apothecary. Her first episode, “Poetry For Self-Care”(linked below) touched my heart. She asked listeners to share a poem that has helped carry them through difficult times.

I shared These Enchanted Paths, which appears in my book Reaching Marrakesh. Here is a slice:

tiptoe down now
child of mine, we are home
these are the dusks
I dreamed of showing you

In the upcoming episode, we speak about the power of writing and the unbelievable healing that came to me through poetry…


Consider the opportunity carefully

Photo: LinkedIn Sales Solutions/Unsplash

You’ve arrived at a party where your friend is asking for support for her new business. She gives a presentation and shows you the products, which, to be honest, seem awesome. You want to buy something, but you are also intrigued by the discount. You could get it at wholesale. You also are tempted by the idea of making some extra money. You could own a business, set your own hours, and work from home. That student loan payment is looming in the near distance, and it seems like a great opportunity. What do you do?

To be clear, this…


Prose poetry for regret

Image by Nikki Wyatt from Pixabay

fallow contemplation, instead a reverse reflection, and I too, jumped the fence — pretending with the dandelions, weeded with self-obsession, I regret my age — not of my years — but of the stuck space I tend to haunt

speak out — for ignorance feeds on its self, never full, but not really hungry either — it’s a glutton for numbness, and in that — never feeling the hard stop
of pain

skin flush, extraction, words sink ground water deep, and I know I’ve been wrong — dipping my cup involved — but remorse is knowing more than intention sowed…


Haiku of the dream

Photo by Intricate Explorer on Unsplash

Smokies and Rockies
rivers and canyons southwest
camp at Jenny Lake

mists — Appalachian
laurels and rhododendrons
Blue Ridge horizons

summer snow — Tetons
marmot, moose, bear, snake, magpie
glacier skinny dip

music and picnic
dance — festival at twilight
food truck rodeo

holding hands we hike
see lands of beautiful earth
we are free to breathe

mountains and seas call
arches and geysers await
while we dream at home

Samantha Lazar 2021

Someday, hopefully soon, I will feel safe enough to travel again with my son, who is not yet old enough to receive a COVID vaccine. Even though…

Samantha Lazar

Poetry, fiction, and essays in celebration of being a Mom, Wife, Educator, Writer, & Lover of Life.

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