Expressive Arts Center
Dawn D. Collins, M.A., CMP 
87 Sunset Drive, Stuyvesant, NY 12173
(518) 758-8369 or (518) 424-2342
All these poems are the exclusive property of the author, Dawn D. Collins, and must not be duplicated or used without prior permission.
Most recent additions -
I asked, "What Is and Where Is - the Divine?"
The Divine Spirit, the holiest of Holies,
the Divine Spirit is present within,
within every thought, every act of mercy,
kindness, tolerance, compassion and Love.
The Divine Spirit asks not to look at the surface
but at the sanctity of each and all.
The Divine Spirit is present in the Light,
the illumination of day and night,
the Source of all energy.
The Divine Spirit is Peace and Grace
in its highest form and purpose, 
unifying and binding, giving rest and solace
to all who seek for the good.
-----------------------------Servant Prayer---------------------
I pray,
Divine Spirit, heal me, let me manifest your Grace.
Divine Spirit, teach me, provide me the tools to instruct Your way.
Divine Spirit, shepherd me, so in turn may I nurture 
and nourish the lambs You send my way.  
Strong Genes (March 2010) 
What color are strong genes
Color of your skin or hair
or ancestral characteristics?
The materials we are made of
determines how we wear.  
The materials we are made of
are woven of the values that we learn  
the beliefs we hold dear
the foundation of our faith  
and the spirit that perseveres.
(Inspired by Jessie H. Collins, my Mom, 3/15/09-2/9/2010)
Sweet Instrument
As I take you in my arms and hold you 
I stroke and touch you with tender care
I want to dance and sing to your music
Move to the power of energy we share
Hours are dear we spend together
time for mourning and bliss sublime
time for joy and celebration
For soulful moment and tender time
Through love and loss we’ve been together 
With you my prayers to God I raise 
In the quiet comes new inspiration
Words of love and thankful praise
You’re the messenger of feelings 
the notes and rhythm I command
Sweet instrument, companion to my voice 
Sweet deliverer of joy through my hands
Late Blooming
Roses from the yard
late blooming like me
leaves stretching towards the sun
as I stretch for what I am to be
I see a full flower
But not every leaf is perfectly formed
As each day is not perfect
From the day we are born.
What we gather and what we give 
creates the beauty that we live
What we savor from each day
renews our senses along the way
Our voices merge, intermingle encircle and support
waves overlapping,     spinning, spouting,
going dark and deep       tones descending
reaching, sweeping,         whirling and widening 
softened waves,        simultaneous harmony
each of its own nature        and part of the whole.
Russets, camel, orange and brown
Olive, teal, turquoise and puce
I wore the teal and russets you would choose 
I loved pink, pale yellow, soft sky blues
The colors are long faded
Memory is dimming too
Choices in your life are very few
I feel sad to watch them go
for with their leaving, this I know
My color is stronger by your faded hue
Still, I’ll not wear crimson like you do. 
Touched to the Soul (For Jennah)
You're taking my heart
and wringing it free
I'm feeling the pain
not where I want to be
I'm fighting so hard
to hold the tears back
losing control, losing control
touched to the soul
touched to the soul
In Between 
Somewhere in the here and there  
that's where I meet you
in a place beyond the seen,
a place in between
Colors, sights and sound
worldly and unworldly
wordly and unwordly
swirls, jags and zaps
blood red, mustard yellow, 
black and forest green
In the turning points
the center of the silence
you've called out
I witness to your shout
We've walked the walk
leapt, crawled, and cried
Somewhere in between
you and I
there's a crack in the void
a knowing in the noise
life can be pretty ugly
ugly can be pretty
what and where the matter
somewhere in between
Who Are We- What Are We
We are nature and natural
we are community, we are animals
we are alert and aware
conscious and nurturing
building, creating, the muse within
we are young and old
tasting and touching
feeling the fabric, the texture
the light and the dark
the brilliance and the dim 
stars seeking each other’s galaxy
style and semblance
watchful, keen sensing creatures
balancing and bending, 
flexing In the form we take
looking for the food of life to sustain us
dependent, co-dependent, independent
solitary and seeking solace
diverse and colorful
reflecting and shimmering sparks of energy
trying, testing, conquering, failing
leaves glistening and golden glowing
going from green to earthen ash
a part of a cycle, birth to growth
to ceasing shape, to leaving human form
we are spirit, spiritual, spirit led, 
spirit filled, greater than one self
we are a part of the universe.
Spaces and boxes
holes to fill, to cram
niches in time –
Where shall I place
these niches of mine?
Life gets overcrowded,
like a cup over filled,
a run away train..
paint it pretty, leave it plain
strip the excess…
there’s something in there
where’s the skeleton,
the essence..
where, where, where?
Dreaming, exploring, stretching through struggle
Surfacing above, reaching and breaking confines,
Changing patterns from yesterday’s routine
Dreaming explores imagination, 
imagination breeds creativity, 
Creativity calls for enthusiasm
For becoming, for being all we aspire to
For striking a note, the note leading to music
The chrysalis sheds, shrugs off yesterday, and 
a creation of beauty emerges.
Love Never Dies, Love Stays
You ask where is the meaning?
All in nature withers and fades, turns to yellowed whites and greys
memory dims faces from the past but love never dies, love stays
Time for fun and laughter, painting pictures; Dancing to rhythms wild and sweet
Strumming strings, 3 to 32; Feeling warm sand and surf beneath my feet
Love never dies, love stays
Gathering of friends and family; Treasures of tales to tell
soft fur, a kitty’s purr, playful pups and tender soft baby skin and smell 
Love never dies, love stays
Cuddling under covers with my love; Time to rest, restore and roam 
Holding hands and sharing hugs; Wishing children each a happy home
Love never dies, love stays
Enjoying creature comforts, finding balance and release
Making merry music and singing and seeking soulful peace
Living a life of prayer and praise; there is the meaning
Love never dies, love stays
In These Times©
In these times we need to love each other
To reach out a helping hand
Respect all of our neighbors far and wide 
Caring for our family, neighbors, friends.
In these times when so many hearts are broken 
we need to listen and to understand, 
knowing that only with love can we forgive 
we can heal our hearts and mend
In these times we need to give to others
without thought of getting back again
To live in the beauty of the moment 
Seek peace in simple pleasures 
Thankful for each day we spend
In these times, we need to love
In these days and in these years
Give time to what matters most 
The best gift comes from a heart that cared.
By Dawn Collins Ouellette
Letting Go (10/06)
As I ponder the existence and mortality of creatures, 
human and otherwise, the ones held dear,
the temporary nature of things in life,
I realize it's all a part of the process --
this letting go.  
We are not meant to cling too tightly
From the onset of life -- the birthing
we are preparing for the ultimate letting go.
In youthful exuberance we lay claim to things
We call them our own but ultimately
the most vibrantly color-arrayed sunset fades
the most splendid flower's petals wither
the grass turns from green to brown
and this is part of letting go.
It is only the caring that lingers
the gifts of love and laughter and company
we savor the sharing of spirit
and we do not dispense with them
in the letting go.
Cleaning the Closet (11/06)
Cleaning the closet, shuffling the memories
Fabrics and forms worn over decades or more
Pondering what to discard
what to relegate to the extremities
the deep dark corners almost out of reach.
Certainly some of these older items should go
like dim glimpses of the past faded and worn
I pack away some and preserve them
as vestiges of what once was.
Their shapes, textures and sizes represent and recall
the tastes, the places, the days 
the dreams and scenes, recent and distant.
I'll part with these shabby collections
and their recollections will fade in time
the new, the fresh forms and present will crowd them out.
"Song for A.J." (Written in tribute to A.J. Seymour, my brother, before his passing)
If I could send you a greeting, not a wish for just one day-
more than a big bouquet of flowers that would fade and wither away,
I'd write the world a story, arrange the words to melody,
I'd sing for you a song of love while strains of music play
I'd give you days full of laughter in the company of friends,
I'd give you days full of sunshine that seem to never end.
I'd wipe away your worries, give you nights of quiet repose
You'd have endless hours of pleasure with all you treasure most
In health, wealth, and wisdom, you'd watch your children's children grow
in love, peace and joy, as seasons come and go.
Winter Reverie
Summer slides into winter
and daydreams linger on paths.
Slick and swift in white snow
cross country skiis glidiing.
spending pensive hours in the chill.
Ah, curling up cozy and warm
reflective by the fireplace;
wood sparking, mulled cider sipping,
my thoughts drift where they will.
Woman at the Scroll Gate
What awaits behind scrolls and lines
Barred entry - what awaits before?
A door to the past, the future, the present
Or is there more?
Etched deep are lines, surface evidence
calling for a closer look, past life and present living
The future beyond is revealed, below the arch, the narrow opening
How far, how much, to open, to look, to question, to explore.
Imprisoned (Inspired by "Suitcases" exhibit, NY State Museum, Albany, NY;
a nun held for rebelling against superiors)
Oh, banish temptation! Dark clouds hanging over me.
Banish these voices, and enemies cramping me.
My allegiance lies in a place above all these
Release me from grief and let my spirit free.
I came to serve on faith; this discipline fails me.
The very vow I made is now the prison I see.
Beauty In Your Eyes (Inspired by the special needs individuals I have served)
Sweet dear one, I love you
I don't care what others see.
Precious child of the Divine,
alive in and for the moment,
within me, my soul cries,
I see beauty in your eyes
Join in the chorus that rises,
a song of joy is found.
Savor the air you breathe;
Dance to your own rapturous sound
Sweet dear one, I love you
I don't care what others see
Each word is a gift, each gesture,
You are precious as well to me.
Within me, my soul cries
I see beauty in your eyes.
Scattered Splashes, Solitary Petals
Little splashes of colored petals
purple, green, petals scattered
so representative of the here and there
moments of beauty, buried
but attempting to break forth.
The scratching efforts of life
emerge and dig through
wavering, wandering, looking
looking hard
to get past - the scratching --
to find the beauty.
The painting shouts!
There's a light beneath...
white, bright light -
don't keep pushing,
find the essence
Don't keep adding more
Stop scratching for more
Be content with the petals
Make room for solitary petals.
If I Had Wings (For Bryanna, Katelin, and Kearra)
If I had wings, I'd fly to your door
By you in my imagination
I'd hold you in my arms sharing 
dreamland stories another day more.
If I had wings, I'd fly where you are
slide to new horizons aboard a falling star.
By twilight we'd explore distant shores,
glide through misty waters above Niagara's floor
All the brilliant colors of the rainbow
would form a bridge for us to climb
A picnic on the clouds we'd serve,
a luscious spread for just we few
If I had wings to fly to be with you.
A Red Barn 
Ramshackle red barn, windows askew
Roof rusted and caved in, 
timbers rotting and faded
light passing through.
High grasses growing, 
cluttering path and entry,
leaning walls, barren and deserted,
holding musty scents & memories of hopes, 
of caring and love once you knew.
Indulgences (in progress)
An ice cream cone, refreshingly cold confection,
coating your tongue with frosty wet sweet flavor
A hot cup of chocolate on a cold winter night
marshmallows floating on the surface topped with a curl of whipped cream 
It coats your lips and lingers momentarily before disappearing
into the brown cocoa depths and waits for the last sip
A piece of glint - real gold, white or yellow, 
gem, crystal or diamond resting against bare skin, 
slyly or boldly shimmering, gleaming....
Spirit-Inspired Poetry (Christian)
Your Guardian Angel
In times when you are alone
You need some tender care -
You cry out for comfort
and no one is there.
When your strength is wavering,
and there's no patience to spare,
You need a spirit to guide you - 
a voice to answer your prayer.
Your guardian angel stands ready
to help you when you call,
to lift your heart and spirit
when you're about to fall.
God's heavenly ally,
His personal messenger on earth.
Your guardian angel stands ready
beside you since your birth.
Your guardian angel is beside you
when you need the will to cope,
ever present and behind you, 
a source of energy and hope.
Joyful Awakening Flute Improv with Hapi Drum and Dulcimer.