Towards Understanding, Through Poetry

In Towards Understanding, her first book of poetry, Lillian was able to share her real life journey of growing up on her own, struggling to survive, breaking the chains of inner conflict and finally growing “towards understanding” of her value and purpose in life – but not quite reaching it. Readers witness her survive childhood trauma, learn that her life does indeed have value and discover a passion for the environment, animals, gardening and writing. The collection of 125 poems is arranged chronologically in order to walk the reader through her experiences over a 17-year period (1988-2005). Many of those poems won awards and literary recognitions for Towards Understanding were published in a wide variety of online and print publications in Africa, UK, US and Canada.


*Note by author: This one shows the emotional upheaval and recovery process, the exhausted elated victory of one wall eroded away while the realization that there is so much left to do sinks in.

Somewhere down deep below,

Feelings inside me multiply and sow.

The harder, colder feelings then enhance,

And outside, they are determined to show.

Sticking to all four sides, they take control.

Bouncing back and forth, the inner starts an echo.

Resounding lessons and sermons –

All mixed up words that reap confusion

As they bond and fill every hollow.

Somewhere down deep below,

The ability to love dimly glows.

It sends a shadow down the forbidden path…

And then one wall begins to erode.

One down, yet thousands to go…

Slower, yet steadier, the programmed feelings flow.

This endless battle has made the slightest advance,

Behold! The cycle has surely begun to slow!


* Ode to my loving husband of 31 years (so far), written when we first met. He patiently waited for me to trust in love.

Who are you to disturb my inner thoughts?

To come here, innocently driving my fears away;

Creating new fears as the old ones fade?

Don’t go – but for God’s sake don’t stay.

Show yourself to me or just go away.

Your feelings are welcome here I think,

Wanting your smiles and tears;

And with you, I lose some fear.

Yet I try not to care.

I may not be able to stop the flow.

Gotta ask you to stop this but please don’t you go.

I am confused between my fears and you

To you, I am who I am.

Still you stay where you stand.

I fear I may enjoy this too much

Might not let go of your hand.

I’ll be strong, take it as it comes and enjoy our time.

Wait for the inevitable chime.

I’ll try not to push you away, I swear.

Nor will I show you too much.

Yet it is so hard not to believe in this.

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