Sunday, June 30, 2013

Poetry Pantry #156





Greetings, Poets!  

Glad to see each of you here this week. Hope you each had a poetic week & also will share one of your poems here.  It is always fun to get to know you through your poetry; and I hope you feel the same.  I wonder if you find it easier or harder to write poetry in summer.  For me, I think, inspiration (for some unknown reason) is a bit harder to come by in summer...though summer is my FAVORITE season of the year.  The picture above was taken by me at sunset at a Disney World resort.  I just love the reflection.

This is one of my favorite spaces to post.  I hope you look forward to it too.  Link your ONE poem.   Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  We ALL like comments, so if you link please DO spend time visiting others.  That is part of the fun as well.  We really like it if you link back to Poets United too, so we spread the Poetry Pantry word in the blogosphere.

Come back a few times on Sunday and Monday to see what's new.  Visit some strangers, and they will become new friends!  Making new friends and reading new poetry, what more could one want?

Also, don't forget to visit Poets United other days of the week.  For example, every Wednesday Kim posts a new "Verse First" prompt.  Hope you will join us there as well!  Sherry Blue Sky does a feature (it varies) on Monday, and Rosemary Nissen-Wade does "I Wish I'd Written This" every Friday!

If you are on Facebook, look for us there as well. Join our site.  It is one more way to stay in touch!

And now...here is the procedure, for those who are new here:  Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to a poem in your blog. The link will close Monday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT), but you can still visit the links of those who have posted them.

Enjoy!













Friday, June 28, 2013

I Wish I'd Written This

The Properties of Water

 By Kate Jennings

1. 

Stamp as you walk on the sand.
It is hot, but not too hot, when hot
is the only alternative.

Stand at the water's edge. A wave tackles
your knees, and you lean against it.

Run, lifting your feet high, one after
the other, through the push
and pull, into the midriff of a wave.

Gasp your wits together. Quickly,
under the next wave. It fumes,
and your dark head bobs in the swirl.

Swim. Roll with an ocean-going gait.
Elbows rib the air with cathedral strokes.

This is all the freedom you ever wanted.

Over your shoulder, a wave swells.

Kick hard, harder, arms windmilling.
The wave rushes you
from deep-water shadows to figurehead triumph.
For a sweet moment, you are the wave.

The wave turns bully,
smacks you down hard
and tries to drown you.

Play possum, lie doggo, let the wave
have it's way. It is only sport.
The wave will boil to nothing.


This is only the first section of a longer poem. You can find the rest of it here. It is an accurate description of what it is like to swim at Australian beaches. I don't know if Jennings intended anything metaphorical as well, at the time that she wrote it — but I chose it that way at this time, just after we in Australia have lost our first woman Prime Minister. I didn't agree with everything Julia Gillard did or said, but I admired her for many reasons. I'm sorry she's leaving politics, I'm incensed about the misogyny to which she was subjected during her time in office, and I think she made her exit with considerable grace and courage. [More details here.]

It seemed fitting to look for a poem by an Australian feminist on this occasion, and I'm glad to have found a poem I could genuinely wish to have written for its own sake, quite apart from any extra meaning I choose to ascribe to it just now.

Kate Jennings, though Australian, has lived in New York most of her adult life and is perhaps better-known now as a novelist and essayist than a poet. In fact, although one can find her poetry books online, they appear to be out of print. Luckily the contents are all available to read at the Australian Poetry Library. Be warned, much of it is difficult, uncompromising poetry‚ but rewarding. There are biographical notes there too.  Her prose works are available via her Amazon page, as is the ground-breaking feminist poetry anthology, Mother I'm Rooted, which she edited in 1975, when she still lived in Australia. (It is one of my lifelong regrets that I was too shy in those days to submit anything to it. But I learned my lesson: that was the last time I failed to submit to any publication I wanted to be in.)



Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Verse First ~ Omniscience

Welcome to Verse First, where simple notions prompt amazing poems.

Today's notion?

OMNISCIENCE

In Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg says, "In writing you can know everything." So today, be omniscient. Be a know-it-all, an expert; be the last word. Write a poem with a voice of authority.

After you post your work on your website, use Mr. Linky to share it here. Leave a comment below if you like, and please support others by visiting and commenting on their work.

I look forward to reading your bold, all-knowing perspectives.

~ Kim



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Monday, June 24, 2013

Poem of the Week~The Traveller

Kids, there are a lot of really great poems out there on any given day, but when I read this one, posted in the Pantry on Father's Day, I swooped down on it as happily as an eagle on an especially tasty mussel. The Traveller, by Rosemary Nissen-Wade, who writes at the aptly named The Passionate Crone, was written some years ago  to her step-dad, as he lay dying. 

I commented, on her site, that if I were doing I Wish I'd Written This, I would select her poem. And then went: wait a minute! I do Poem of the Week! So here it is, for your delectation.



My stepfather showed me oceans.

Now these midnight moments

call and flesh the ketch
from childhood,
dusted by moonlight,
perfectly still
at the end of the pier.

That New Year’s Eve we danced

in circles on the sand.
Sand and sea joined flat.
We might have walked straight out
with no dividing breath.

‘St. Elmo‘s Fire,’ he said

pointing, as flame without wind
blew in the bare poles
leaving them clean.
The moon’s long wake
pierced the horizon.

My stepfather gave me boats.

Tonight he’s dying,
I’m far from home.

Twin masts faintly gilded

rise perfectly still
through all my seas, all ships
poised ever since,
a track of light
widening across the water.
Gone by morning.



First published in Universe Cat (Melbourne, Pariah Press, 1985)
Also in Secret Leopard (Paris, Alyscamps Press, 2005)


Rosemary, I love that he gave you oceans and boats. And that you had "two dear fathers". Lucky girl! Thank you for your beautiful poem, and for your reliable and unflagging contribution to Poets United. I adore your purple  dress! And your irrepressible spirit!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Poetry Pantry #155






Greetings, Poets!  

Glad to see each of you here this week. Hope you each had a poetic week & also will share one of your poems here.  This past week, if you didn't notice, I wasn't active in the blogosphere.  I was at Disney World with my daughter and two grandchildren.  I took the photo above in the the Magic Kingdom.   Memories are wonderful, aren't they?  Whether they are preserved in pictures or in poetry or in some other form.  Poetry IS important in my life, and so are photos.  I took many wonderful photos, which will help me relive my vacation for years to come.  Poetry truly is much the same.......

This is one of my favorite spaces to post.  I hope you look forward to it too.  Link your ONE poem.   Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  We ALL like comments, so if you link please DO spend time visiting others.  (Several of you forget about that aspect...sigh.) That is part of the fun as well.  We really like it if you link back to Poets United too, so we spread the Poetry Pantry word in the blogosphere.

Come back a few times on Sunday and Monday to see what's new.  Visit some strangers, and they will become new friends!  Making new friends and reading new poetry, what more could one want?

Also, don't forget to visit Poets United other days of the week.  For example, every Wednesday Kim posts a new "Verse First" prompt.  Hope you will join us there as well!  Sherry Blue Sky does a feature (it varies) on Monday, and Rosemary Nissen-Wade does "I Wish I'd Written This" every Friday!

If you are on Facebook, look for us there as well. Join our site.  It is one more way to stay in touch!

And now...here is the procedure, for those who are new here:  Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to a poem in your blog. The link will close Monday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT), but you can still visit the links of those who have posted them.

Enjoy!













Friday, June 21, 2013

I Wish I'd Written This

Interlude
By Dame Edith Sitwell (1887 - 1964)

Mid this hot green glowing gloom
A word falls with a raindrop's boom...

Like baskets of ripe fruit in air
The bird-songs seem, suspended where

Those goldfinches--the ripe warm lights
Peck slyly at them--take quick flights.

My feet are feathered like a bird
Among the shadows scarcely heard;

I bring you branches green with dew
And fruits that you may crown anew

Your whirring waspish-gilded hair
Amid this cornucopia--

Until your warm lips bear the stains
And bird-blood leap within your veins. 


The aristocratic English eccentric, Dame Edith Sitwell, was a controversial poet. The link on her name, above, leads you to a discussion of widely differing opinions of her work. It has been dismissed as nonsense and lauded as genius. I don't share either of those extreme opinions, but I do love her playfulness, her delight in unusual rhymes, words, and arrangements of words. I love that her poems are so highly visual in their imagery, and also so very musical. In fact, during her lifetime she collaborated with musicians and performed her work to musical accompaniment.  I like  this poem, Interlude, for all those reasons, and because, as a love poem, it manages to be both subtle and sensual, delicate and lush.

A detailed biography and a selection of her poems can be found at PoemHunter, and a different selection of poems, available for reading online or downloading as a whole book, here.

She was capable of very serious and powerful poems too, the most famous probably being Still Falls the Rain, applying Christian imagery to the London Blitz of World War II. The link takes you to the text of this poem plus a recording of Dame Edith reading it in strong, deliberate tones.

Though our focus here is on poetry, it is worth mentioning that she also wrote some books of prose. She said she did so only for money; nevertheless, she wrote them very well too. I fell in love with her study of the young Queen Elizabeth I, Fanfare for Elizabeth, when I was a young girl myself, and have never fallen out of love with it.



Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Verse First ~ The Long & Short of It

Welcome to Verse First, where simple notions prompt amazing poems.

Today's notion?


The Long & Short of It

Prompted by June, the month with the longest daylight hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest daylight hours of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, I challenge you to say what you must in the quickest and simplest way possible. That's it.

Post your work on your website, use Mr. Linky to share it here and leave a comment below if you like. Remember: Support your fellow poets by visiting and commenting on their work.

I look forward to reading your tight and concise creations. ~ Kim



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Monday, June 17, 2013

Blog of the Week~Anthony North

Kids, I am sure you have enjoyed Anthony North's sharp-eyed and comprehensive view of current affairs, politics, environmental issues and much more on his blog: Anthony North ~ Thinker and storyteller.





There are always many topics to think about and discuss, written with his trademark wry humour,  a variety of essays, poems, sci fi, crime and detective stories, and tales of horror and mystery. In short, no matter your proclivities, you will find something of interest here. Here's a peek:


READ WITH MUMMY
Gossamer thin ghost
The veil descends at night time
He missed her so much
***
BEAST: He still saw a man in his
reflection. Yet the body of his victim
said otherwise. The beast within
always fools its host.
***
Jekyll’s dilemma
His potion not needed now
He was of two minds
ANSWER: As he saw the ghost, he
wondered: do they have brains? He was
answered as the spirit possessed him
and replied: ‘Yes. When we need one.’

Anthony offers a wonderful array of free ebook downloads, at the following links:

I, Writer - 43 stories, writing tips, memoir
I, Observer - nonfiction, philosophy, essays
I, Adventurer - adventure flash fiction
I, Unexplained - nonfiction, new age, the paranormal
I, Crime Writer - flash fiction, crime genre
I, Sci Fi Fan - post-apocalyptic to virtual reality
I, Horror - horror flash fiction
I, Romantic - fiction, romance, short stories

........and there are others. Wow! A wonderfully varied collection! 
Way to go, Anthony!

Anthony, we applaud your productivity in organizing so much of your work in ebook form. I am inspired by your example - but am very far behind you in trying to do the same. Thanks for your valued participation at Poets United. Keep shining, kiddo!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

It's Father's Day in the Poetry Pantry!

image from Wikipedia Creative Commons

Dad, the sky was 
never as beautiful
as when I saw it from
your shoulders.

Kids, it is Father's Day, a day when we express our appreciation to dear old Dad, who quietly gets up every morning and works a long day to earn a living, but still has time for baths and stories when he gets home. Dad shows us the world, makes us laugh, helps us dream, coaches our growing and points the way to a limitless horizon. Because he believes in us, it is easier for us to believe in ourselves. Because he is kind, his daughters learn how to choose a kind partner. Dad's boys are the apples of his eye. His daughters are Daddy's little girls. When Dads turn into Grandpas, they have a special twinkle in their eyes for their grandkids, and they get choked up easily around them, because they know how vulnerable children are, and how hard life can be.

Today let's remember our Dads and Grandpas, in whichever way feels right to you.

You know the drill: post the link to your blog in Mr Linky, and make the rounds to read some of the other offerings. It will be wonderful to read about all of the Dads!

Happy Father's Day, Big Guy!






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Friday, June 14, 2013

I Wish I'd Written This

Walking Past Midnight 
By Billy Howell-Sinnard

He runs ahead into the night.
The bodiless phosphorescence--

reflection of countless tiny stars
falling--covers the ground in light.

I follow dark stars in the snow
to an open field beyond trees;

we two, the only living beings
in sight. The unlit houses bare

faceless mirrors staring back
like a coven of somnambulists.

Reluctantly, I yell for him, afraid
I will awaken sleepers. We run,

instinctively, to the back door,
shaking the snow from our bodies.

Shoe and paw prints disappearing,
a moment's presence buried.


Billy Howell-Sinnard posts in some of the same poetry groups as me on facebook, and I consistently admire his work. I particularly love his haiku and tanka, which have the same qualities as this longer piece I've chosen — musicality of language, beautiful and evocative visual imagery, and something else that I don't quite know how to designate except to say that he gets a sense of soul into his text somehow, though without being overtly spiritual. He follows the gentle and idealistic Baha'i faith, and posts many of those teachings on his facebook page; so I wonder if, perhaps, when spirituality imbues one's whole life, there is no need to spell it out in one's poetry: it will show anyway. He says of himself as a poet: 


He loves words but believes poetry transcends words. He likes simple language that through the power of spirit transcends the moment.

I found that quote with a poem of his, Red Trike, in the Victorian Violet Press and Journal, where I also learned that he is a former heroin addict now working as a registered nurse, and that he studied cast metal sculpting at the University of Iowa.

The best place to find more of his poetry online is at SoundCloud, where you can hear it.


Any poem or photo used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remains the property of the copyright holder (usually its author).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Verse First ~ MOVE

Welcome to Verse First, where simple notions prompt amazing poems.

Today's notion?

MOVE

... because after 20 years in the same community, that's exactly what I'm doing; and by next week I hope to be ensconced in a new, albeit temporary, studio space wherein I can resume my writing and painting routines. I can't wait. I miss you people!
Now, consider Khalil Gibran's words of wisdom below, and then write.  Only rule ~ no more than 20 lines. After you post your work on your website, use Mr. Linky to share it here. Leave a comment below if you like, and remember to support fellow poets by visiting and commenting on their work.


March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life's path.

~ Khalil Gibran


I look forward to reading your unflinchingly pared-down poems. ~ Kim



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Monday, June 10, 2013

Life of a Poet ~ Helen Dehner


Kids, sometimes we cross each other's paths frequently, moving among similar sites, so I am sure many of you have enjoyed the writing of Helen Dehner at Poetry Matters. I am so looking  forward to our visit today! Just wait till you see the spectacular scenery Helen enjoys. Makes me wish this visit was in real time! Look out the airplane window at those peaks! It's like flying over the Himalayas (which I do often, the same way we're doing now!)



Poets United: Helen, you live in one of my favourite states – Oregon, though I am a coast girl and you live in Bend, in the mountains. Tell us a bit about your town and what you love about your life there. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Poetry Pantry # 153


World Trade Center ----- Before 9 / 11 / 2001




Greetings, Poets!  

Glad to see each of you here this week. Hope you each had a poetic week & also will share one of your poems here.  The picture above is one I took while riding on the Staten Island Ferry before 9 / 11.  We also had an opportunity to eat in Windows of the World at the top of the World Trade Center. A friend of ours worked for NBC, and she made reservations....and we literally had the best table in the house!  A wonderful memory.  Memories are wonderful, aren't they?


This is one of my favorite spaces to post.  I hope you look forward to it too.  Link your ONE poem.   Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  We ALL like comments, so if you link please DO spend time visiting others.  (Several of you forgot about that aspect last week....sigh.) That is part of the fun as well.  We really like it if you link back to Poets United too, so we spread the Poetry Pantry word in the blogosphere.

Come back a few times on Sunday and Monday to see what's new.  Visit some strangers, and they will become new friends!  Making new friends and reading new poetry, what more could one want?

Also, don't forget to visit Poets United other days of the week.  For example, every Wednesday Kim posts a new "Verse First" prompt.  Hope you will join us there as well!  Sherry Blue Sky does a feature (it varies) on Monday, and Rosemary Nissen-Wade does "I Wish I'd Written This" every Friday!

If you are on Facebook, look for us there as well. Join our site.  It is one more way to stay in touch!

And now...here is the procedure, for those who are new here:  Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to a poem in your blog. The link will close Monday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT), but you can still visit the links of those who have posted them.

Enjoy!













Friday, June 7, 2013

I Wish I'd Written This


Doves 
By Phillip Barker

Morning, green-tea steams
The black book collects her thoughts
Tears, like petals, fall
Her eyes track a flight of doves
Reflected in broken glass


One of the many lasting friendships I made on MySpace through poetry was with Phillip Barker, aka Soma. We collaborated on running haiku and tanka groups there, and eventually moved them to Facebook. The poem I've chosen is in fact a tanka.

The tanka is one of my own favourite forms, often used for expressions of love and longing, and subject to fewer rigorous requirements than the (traditional) haiku. Contemporary tanka (and haiku) in English often dispense with syllable count; however this one, you'll note, keeps to the 5-7-5-7-7 rule. 

Phill is a fellow Aussie and lives in Melbourne, a city I know well as I lived there more than 30 years myself — but that was before MySpace. We never ran across each other back then and still haven't met in person. Nevertheless he's a trusted and understanding friend, and the perfect collaborator as we share many attitudes and values. 

An irreverent soul, serious about art, he tends to gather other poets around him in online communities where there is much hilarity, much jocularity, and also a genuine delight in celebrating each other's talent.

As well as a poet, he is a digital artist and a musician. His main blog, where you can find more of his poems, is called An Unauthorised Autohagiography. (He has a wicked, and self-deprecating, sense of humour). There are samples of his art accompanying the poems, worth admiring in their own right. You will also find links to his music, and to other places for viewing his artworks. But before you wander away from the poetry, look for the several pieces with audio. Phill has a wonderful, deep voice with a naturally caressing quality. It's a treat to hear him read. 

As I've indicated, I first met him through haiku — but he is capable of long, discursive poems too, and does them very well. You'll find plenty like that at his blog, many of them haunting, some of them wild. And I must mention that he excels at erotic poetry. Do read and listen to Lick! It's not to be missed. (But expect to feel pretty hot and bothered as a result.)

You know I never leave you with just one piece if I choose a very short poem. So here is another sample of Phill's work.

Ringing

excellent green tea!
and I'm OFF! to serve the ku.

ancient trees
drink long of the flood
willow fronds caress the waves

water, gurgling over the falls
upstream — reluctant to come

leaves spiralling gently down
to race along the river

she paints her picture
he writes a final few lines
they retire, content.

a bell, fading quickly
still rings in my mind


... of which he says:  '
A bit of explanation for them what likes the minutiae.  These stanzas are my part of a haiku / tanka cooperative write — right?'

And why did I choose these particular pieces, why would I wish to have written them? For their beauty! This musician also makes music with words.



(Note: He tells me he's a double-l Phill. I've made belated corrections.)



Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Verse First ~ I Remember

Welcome to Verse First, where simple notions prompt amazing poems.

Today's notion?

I REMEMBER

Start your poem with these two words. Write them, and then free write for fifteen minutes. Set a timer if you have to. Listen to music if you like. But whatever else is going on in the room, let your mind travel back and your hand across the page.

I REMEMBER...

When your fifteen minutes are up, finish the line you're working on, then walk away. Leave the words for another fifteen minutes. When you return, transform that free write into a piece that conveys the sensory, emotional and literal details of your memory. Make the memory belong to the reader, with no excess, no waste. Cut out every word that does not serve a distinct and valuable purpose. 

After you post your work on your website, use Mr. Linky to share it here. Leave a comment below if you like, and remember to support fellow poets by visiting and commenting on their work.

I look forward to reading your memorable contributions. ~ Kim



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Monday, June 3, 2013

Life of a Poet ~ Kay Davies


Kids, I'm sure you have come across this poet in the blogosphere - she gets around, for all she says she's an "unfittie" when it comes to travel. Kay blogs at An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel (Getting around the world when it's very often hard getting around the house).  I was enjoying Kay's writing long before we discovered we were both born in the same year, and had both grown up in Kelowna, B.C., though we went to different high schools. AND she worked at the Kelowna Daily Courier, as did I, as a feature writer and reporter, only she was there one year after me. I had fled to the city of Vancouver before the ink was dry on my high school diploma! I thought you all would enjoy a visit with her as much as I did. So gather ' round. I think Kay has the kettle on.




Poets United: Kay, give us a snapshot of your life growing up. Especially the years in Kelowna, and a bit about your homesteading years. (I re-read your interview at Real Toads, and am fascinated by the homesteading. Your folks sound like the coolest people!)

Kay: LOL, Sherry. My folks were the coolest people, but we weren’t homesteading. Dad bought 6 acres (going straight up) on the back of Knox Mountain. There was one flat spot suitable for a house about halfway up. Dad hired a dowser, who found water, but away down by the original road. So Dad had to build a zig-zag path, edged by poles cut from our own trees, from the flat area down to the well. Water was brought up in the backs of trucks and cars, or fetched by one of us kids in a 1-gallon A&W root beer jug.




Sunday, June 2, 2013

Poetry Pantry #152






Greetings, Poets!  

Glad to see each of you here this week. Hope you each had a poetic week & also will share one of your poems here.  The picture above is that of a peacock.  I took it when we visited the zoo this past week.  I think it is mating season, as a peahen was frolicking just out of sight!!

This is one of my favorite spaces to post.  I hope you look forward to it too.  Link your ONE poem.   Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  We ALL like comments, so if you link please DO spend time visiting others.  (Several of you forgot about that aspect last week....sigh.) That is part of the fun as well.  We really like it if you link back to Poets United too, so we spread the Poetry Pantry word in the blogosphere.

Come back a few times on Sunday and Monday to see what's new.  Visit some strangers, and they will become new friends!  Making new friends and reading new poetry, what more could one want?

Also, don't forget to visit Poets United other days of the week.  For example, every Wednesday Kim posts a new "Verse First" prompt.  Hope you will join us there as well!  Sherry Blue Sky does a feature (it varies) on Monday, and Rosemary Nissen-Wade does "I Wish I'd Written This" every Friday!

If you are on Facebook, look for us there as well. Join our site.  It is one more way to stay in touch!

And now...here is the procedure, for those who are new here:  Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to a poem in your blog. The link will close Monday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT), but you can still visit the links of those who have posted them.

Enjoy!