Monday, December 30, 2013

Poems of the Week~ Truedessa and Ed Pilolla~ A Double Header!

Kids, in winding up this year of spectacular poetry from our members, I wanted to offer you Truedessa's marvelous poem from last summer, Dear Ancestors, which I had meant to feature much sooner. I cannot let this year end without sharing it with you.

Then, Ed Pilolla, of his blog by the same name, gobsmacked me with my favourite poem of his of all-time, The Trees this week. There was nothing for it but to give you a double-header of delight. Enjoy!

Truedessa writes the dictates of her muse at True Wanderings. You are sure to find many wise and wonderful gems there, for Truedessa is a seeker and a dreamer. Her work is all about the journey.






Dear Ancestors,



I have heard your soft whispers
blowing through tall green pines
please remember us & our ways
calling me to a higher understanding
moving vessel between two realms


I have walked beside you on rustic trails
through oppressive darkness & bright light
soared on the wings of a red tail hawk
swooping the forest & canyons below
new perspective flowing river of life


I have sat by your warm campfires
gazed into roaring flames, listened
crackling & popping of hot embers
heard amazing stories brave warriors
fighting for survival during harsh times


I have danced counter-clockwise
under a velvet sky & golden moon
haunting native rhythm water drums,
wooden flutes & shaking turtle rattles
caught in the beat feathery feet


I have heard your cries & felt your pain
watched in sadness over a dying land
trees disappearing, water no longer pure
earth changing click click of hands
modern times & evolution of mankind


I have embraced the arms of a journey
followed a path through woodlands
traveled a field of wondrous dreams
seen faces of hope for lost people
in the shadows of a new world


I have given my heart to learn the way
of the dreamer, so that I may unlock
the gateways to new dimensions
finding the keys to possibilities
welcoming the colors of imagination 

Thank you for awakening a sleeping storyteller..

Sincerely,
A Dreamer...

Truedessa, August 17, 2013


Thank you, Truedessa, for this wonderful poem, and for the beauty of all of your work, so descriptive of  nature and the spirit world, so inter-connected with the All That Is.

Now here comes Ed, lickety split, on his way to receiving an Excellence in Journalism award at some point in the near future, I predict. And who, while we have known him, found true love and produced the most beautiful baby girl ever, proving that goodness, love and beauty are abundant in this world. (Check out his blog for Hazel's photo. It brings joy just to look upon her radiant presence.)



The trees are really one large tree running through the earth, branches reaching out so her fingertips and rooty toes poke through the land. Pruning a limb is trimming her nails. Snoozing in the shade is sleeping in the giant’s hand.
Squids reside in the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean, and she looks more like them than you or me. The land created tunnels where the true-hearted play, even the moon presses secret footprints without anything to say.
Night and day are children of father time, and both kids share this wild tree house on God’s starry farm.
Magic as an eclipse, gifts reveal themselves. Before lunch is where I grew so much younger in your strong arms, sweet as the dark daughter sweeping land and feet with a midday kiss.
                                                           ********************
Wow, kids. Don't those two offerings swell your heart? Such possibility and inspiration, seeing life through the eyes of a poet brings us! The joy of sharing, encouraging and appreciating each other's work, so wonderful and rich an experience.  It has been a glorious year of sharing our love of poetry with you, my friends, and I look forward to much more of the same in 2014.
.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Poetry Pantry #182


Ice skating at Rockefeller Center, New York City, below the Christmas tree.
         
Illuminated sculpture, New York City, at Madison Square Park, with wintery sky and trees in background



Holiday display in front of the Flatiron building, 5th Avenue, showing a
New York City old-fashioned winter scene.

Wintery snow scenery in the countryside of New York.


Greetings, Poets!  


Glad to see each of you here this Sunday before New Year's. 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.  This time of the year is busy, I realize, so I will be especially happy to see each of you who has time to visit with us today.

This week I am sharing New York City / New York countryside photographs kindly shared by Loredana Donovan.  Thank you, Loredana.   I really enjoyed your winter views.

A slight change will be taking place at Poets United beginning in the NewYear.  Beginning on Wednesday, January 8, Susan Chast will be in charge of the Wednesday prompt. Instead of being called "Verse First," it will be "Mid-Week Motif."  We at Poets United would like to thank Kim Nelson for her months and months of wonderful Wednesday prompts, and we definitely hope to see her around Poets United in the future as well.  And, of course, we would like to welcome Susan Chast, and we will look forward to her unique prompts each week.  I've already seen some of the prompts she has lined up, and I think you will enjoy them.

I issue an invitation here to those of you who participate in Poetry Pantry.  If YOU have special photos that you would like me to feature some week, let me know what kind of photos you have.  There are participants here from many different cities, many different countries.  I think it is great fun to see different areas featured. I am especially interested in scenic views of your area or an area you have visited.  Send inquiries first to dixibear@aol.com letting me know what you have.  I am interested in city or country views - in your home area or places you have traveled.

Anyway, with no further adieu, this is one of my favorite spaces to post poetry each week.  I hope you look forward to it too.  An older one or a new one, it's your choice.

Link your ONE poem.   Then leave a comment below. Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  (If I miss your poem, visit me, and I will visit you... I am like anyone else, appreciating reciprocity.) 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 (after the new year) Susan Chast posts a new "Mid-Week Motif" 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, December 27, 2013

I Wish I'd Written This

...and this, and this, and ...

This is as close as I can get to Christmas for a Friday post, so today is the day I am giving you a treat — a smorgasbord of poems from some of the wonderful people I've already featured before. But the poems are different.

I hope those of you, in any part of the world, who observe a festival around this time are all still having a delightful festive season — and that anyone else is also having a delightful time!

(And sorry, it seems this posted later than usual. I am away from my usual computer and even my usual town, and must have got a bit mixed up.)

Bounty (a remix)
By Jennie Fraine

Thinking of Christmas and the arrivals
with children, I take the camp bed
we no longer need

and come home with two green skirts
(my  favourite colour) and a felted
gumnut hat with stalk.

The very next day I can wear the hat!
The day after, it is warm enough
to wrap a skirt around.

I have drawers full of picture and photo
frames, toys on  shelves in garden,
wooden bowls, Bakelite.

Oh sheds and shops of donated goods
you constantly surprise me, gift me
a sumptuous life.


It Is Cold & Raining in Austin, Texas
By Thom Woodruff

The lights we share are candles and electric bulbs
if we were ancients, there would be fires blazing
to keep us warm and keep out the cold
yet wisdom says to welcome in / all elements challenging
Rain that floods, cold that freezes
Coughs and colds and sneezing allergies
Caught within this web of cities
that look like blazing fires from space
we steal back time, and for a moment
meditate on human fate.
Time's candle flickers in the wind
Night will reclaim us to the cold
We have this moment to reflect
upon the New Year—and the Olde.


The Tree Walks Home with Me
By Donall Dempsey

my uncle Seanie

growing from the soil

my uncle Seanie
a silhouette in sunset as natural as a tree

I climb up
into the branches of his hands and
the tree walks home with me

always in my dreams I am
always climbing up into my uncle
his footsteps falling forever in my mind



The Tree Outside the Yoga Room
By Helen Patrice

The tree outside the yoga room
 takes me through the yearly dance
 from summer to winter and back to heat again.

 We are both in savasana
 as winter blankets us,
 both deep into earth,
 muffled by sky.
 My hands curled soft,
 while outside, the tree stretches out
 and holds the clouds in place
 with bone and twig.

 We wait for Spring,
 for Demeter to cease mourning.
 We shall burst forth
 in joyous tremblings of blossom
 and Salute to the Sun.

 The tree and I,
 we take our yoga slow,
 like sap, like the year.
 There is time and space in both of us.


Elegy for the Not Famous Poet
By Lori Wlliams

Someone, I Tell You, Will Remember Us - Sappho

As we reduce to root and rock,
we speak there, still — recite with dusty breath
food for worms, old lovers, the synchrony in death

look up! at the tree above the stone,
see green turn to brown in a blink,
then blink again, watch peaches grow.
The sun once a sword that flamed our belly
now leaves us to bone. Don't cry,

listen for the poppies that burst
through the earth.  You can remember us,
what we meant. You have that.




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


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays to All!



Welcome Winter Solstice!  

Happy Hanukkah!   

Have a joyous Kwanzaa!

May Pancha Ganapati be wonderful 
for you and yours!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!


Whether you celebrate the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Pancha Ganapati,  Christmas - or are simply  enjoying being alive on Planet Earth, this wonderful December of 2013, we want to extend our warmest wishes to you and your loved ones. May you all enjoy the warmth and wonderfulness of being together around your own hearth fires, and be ready to come out, pens blazing, in the New Year. 


Monday, December 23, 2013

Blog of the Week ~ Gabriella's Writing Corner

Kids, I'm sure you have encountered Gabriella on the poetry circuit. This talented poet writes at Gabriella's Writing Corner, and is active in the online community. On her About page, Gabriella describes her poetry as "impulsive, evocative, and feminist" - all good descriptions! As I so love to do, I sleuthed around her site, magnifying glass in hand, and plucked four of my favourites of her recent poems for your delectation. Enjoy!




I sing the hills and mountains,
dark forests, fresh brooks,
the deep blue sea
i sing the generations before me
lives of my grandmothers
lore of my forefathers
i sing public education
dedicated teachers
printed books and libraries
i sing freedom of speech
reporters, newspapers,
poems and protest songs
i sing the affection of pets
the words of friends
comforting smiles of strangers
i sing the fireworks of summer
thin bubbles of champagne
and your name
     *     *     *
Isn't that beautiful, kids? Here is another very evocative piece :


photo (and tree) by Gabriella

The sky is everywhere
white snowflakes whirl
on the horizon, pale
seasonal blanket
the sky is everywhere
we retreat to the house
enjoy the dance of
joyous red flames
the sky is everywhere
as we rewrite
the lost and forgotten
languages of love
fragile eternity
     *     *     *
So wonderful! And another: 
Do not seek me in the blue sky above,
I am not hiding in the clouds.
Do not seek me in antique cold buildings,
I do not care for old grey stones.
Do not seek me in ancient books and scrolls,
I am not a definition.
Do not seek me in long-winded sermons,
I prefer life to homilies.
Instead, seek me in the songs of young children,
In their imaginative games.
Seek me in passionate conversations,
in correspondence between friends.
Seek me in the shudders of first embrace,
In the yearnings of hungry eyes.
And above all, seek me in rhymes and rhythm,
In the skilled words of the poets.
     *     *     *
Yes, "seek me.....in the skilled words of poets", most of all. And speaking of the skilled words of poets, check this out!


Past is the blind faith of childhood,
the sun is low as men yearn to find
a path, soft gleam in busy lives,
remember an ancient promise.
some hold battered dog-eared books,
with dark or thankful hearts they bow.
pleas softly whispered, sacred words,
they offer gifts or just themselves.
spry burning flames on golden oil
dancing shadows on clouded walls.
incense sticks glow, smoke blurs the line
between what is profane, divine.
enduring light of red candles,
human presence, smiles of strangers,
mischievous laughter of small children,
comforted souls now cease to fear.

reassured there will always be
bright chirping birds, cool mountain streams,
red dawns, use for old skillful hands
deep love, joyful chapters to write.
     ***     ***     ***
This poem filled my heart so much I wanted to start at the beginning and live life all over again! Thank you, Gabriella, for the gift of these poems, and for your participation at Poets United. It has been such a pleasure getting to know you through your wonderful poetry. 

Have a wonderful Christmas, those of you who celebrate, and bright blessings to all! 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Poetry Pantry #181



         
Klagenfurt, Austria

Klagenfurt, Austria

Klagenfurt Austria - man carving
figures out of wood in the area of Christmas stands.

Klagenfurt, Austria - Lit candles
in a church. Natasa said they lit a few.


Klagenfurt, Austria

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.  December is a busy month, so I will be especially happy to see each of you who has time to visit with us today.

This week I am sharing a few photographs kindly shared by Natasa Dolenc and are of Klagenfurt, Austria, taken a year they had very futuristic decorations.  Natasa provides this information about Klagenfurt:  "Klagenfurt is elevated 446 metres (1,463 feet) above sea level and covers an area of 120.11 square kilometres (46.37 sq mi). It is on the lake Wörthersee and on the Glan River. The city is surrounded by several forest-covered hills and mountains with heights of up to 1,000 m (3,300 ft), for example, Ulrichsberg. To the south is the Karawanken mountain range, which separates Carinthia from Slovenia and Italy."    Thanks, Natasa, for sharing with us this week!

I issue an invitation here to those of you who participate in Poetry Pantry.  If YOU have special photos that you would like me to feature some week, let me know what kind of photos you have.  There are participants here from many different cities, many different countries.  I think it is great fun to see different areas featured. I am especially interested in scenic views of your area or an area you have visited.  Send inquiries first to dixibear@aol.com letting me know what you have.  I am interested in city or country views - in your home area or places you have traveled.

Anyway, with no further adieu, this is one of my favorite spaces to post poetry each week.  I hope you look forward to it too.  An older one or a new one, it's your choice.

Link your ONE poem.   Then leave a comment below. Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  (If I miss your poem, visit me, and I will visit you... I am like anyone else, appreciating reciprocity.) 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, December 20, 2013

I Wish I'd Written This

The Summer Day

By Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


Here is another one I think lots of people will know — and if so, I'm sure you'll love to read it again. She's a favourite poet of many people including me. This is one of the first Mary Oliver poems I ever encountered, decades ago now. I instantly wished I'd written it — and many of her others too. I dearly love her aesthetic of using simple, accessible language, and her fresh eye on nature.

For instance, what a wonderful picture of a grasshopper, above! Through her eyes we see the grasshopper as a real character, not merely a thing. Mary Oliver not only loves nature; she has great respect for it too.

It's the last two lines that bring us up short. Such a powerful question! It reverberates forever after. (Well, it did for me.)

Christmas is nearly here for the many around the world who observe it, in either a religious or secular way. For myself, I observe the Solstice, which in my part of the world at this time is the Summer Solstice. Even without the title, we would know that this is a summer poem, wouldn't we, with the strolling through the fields and falling down in the grass? And it is a spiritual poem in its way. Also it seems to me a joyful one to give you, at a time which is traditionally associated with joy.

In 2010 Sherry Blue Sky wrote a comprehensive profile of Mary Oliver for the Poet History feature we were running then, which you can find here.

How lucky we all are that Oliver is a prolific poet, as you can see at her Amazon page. She has also written how-to books on the writing of poetry, which you will find there as well: A Poetry Handbook and Rules for the Dance.

She is an acclaimed reader too, and here she is on YouTube reading the poem The Summer Day. I found this lovely interview with her on YouTube too. And here is the link to other YouTube readings and interviews.




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


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Verse First ~ Gifts & Blessings

Verse First ~ Gifts & Blessings


Welcome to VERSE FIRST, where simple notions prompt amazing poems.
Today's notion?

GIFTS & BLESSINGS



Today's is another simple prompt. Write a short, sweet poem in which you express your appreciation for the gifts and blessings you enjoy. And savor them. Savor them. 

Post your poem on your site, then link it here. Please! Share original work and honor the Poets United spirit of community by visiting and commenting on others' contributions.


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Monday, December 16, 2013

Life of a Poet - KIM TALON

This week I am pleased to be featuring another fellow Canadian, Kim Talon. Like Robert Bourne, Kim hails from Ontario, a chilly region this time of year. She writes at TALON....barely scratching the surface. Kim is also a wonderful photographer. Her work can be enjoyed at her sister site,  Talon's Photography. Kim has a special talent for capturing the beauty of eastern Canada in her nature shots. You will also find some pretty spectacular photos of birds on her site. Come along, as we swoop in and ply her with questions. 






P.U.: Kim, it is always great to interview a fellow Canadian. Tell us a little about where you live and what you love about it.




Sunday, December 15, 2013

Poetry Pantry #180


         
Raffles Hotel - Singapore - Christmas Decorations
(This is the hotel where the Singapore Sling was invented.)

Singapore - Christmas Decorations
Taiwan  - Christmas at Taipei 101Mall
(Taipei 101 was formerly called the World Financial Center
and was the highest building in the world from 2004 - 2010.)


Taiwan - Christmas at Taipei 101 Mall


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. 

This week I am sharing a few of my photographs taken when I visited Singapore and Taiwan a few years ago when Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world.  In 2010 it was replaced by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

I issue an invitation here to those of you who participate in Poetry Pantry.  If YOU have special photos that you would like me to feature some week, let me know what kind of photos you have.  There are participants here from many different cities, many different countries.  I think it is great fun to see different areas featured. I am especially interested in scenic views of your area or an area you have visited.  Send inquiries first to dixibear@aol.com letting me know what you have.  I am interested in city or country views - in your home area or places you have traveled.

Anyway, with no further adieu, this is one of my favorite spaces to post poetry each week.  I hope you look forward to it too.  An older one or a new one, it's your choice.

Link your ONE poem.   Then leave a comment below. Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  (If I miss your poem, visit me, and I will visit you... I am like anyone else, appreciating reciprocity.) 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, December 13, 2013

I Wish I'd Written This

But I, Too, Want To Be a Poet
By Fanny Howe 

But I, too, want to be a poet
and live a virtuous life
To erase from my days
confusion & poverty
fiction & a sharp tongue!

To sing again
with the tones of adolescence
demanding vengeance
against my enemies, with words
clear & austere

To end this tumultuous quest
for reasonable solutions
to situations mysterious & sore

To have the height to view
myself as I view others
with lenience and love

To be free of the need
to make a waste of money
when my passion,
first and last,
is for the ecstatic lash
of the poetic line
and no visible recompense.


Stop me if you've heard this one! Apparently it is well-known, which is not surprising. I'm sure many poets feel Howe speaks for them.

It must be a bit tongue in cheek, surely? She IS a poet! Or is she being sarcastic, poking fun at idealistic notions of what a poet is or should be? Or, does she express her own simple truth? Possibly all of the above simultaneously.

'Visible recompense' is something we'd all like, isn't it? But to be freed of the need for it — ah, what freedom that would be! To be able to devote oneself to one's poetic art, for its own sake....

I'd like to have written some of those excellent phrases. I look for some to quote here as examples, and find the whole poem is a series of them! It is hard to separate any from the others — except of course the most arresting and goose-bumpy of the lot: 'the ecstatic lash / of the poetic line'. How I'd love to have written that!

Fanny Howe is a prolific, prize-winning poet. Her Amazon page is actually three pages. The Poetry Foundation gives a brief, literary biography and several of her poems. Wikipedia fleshes out the information a bit more. She is also a novelist and short story writer, married to a poet and writer, and the mother of three adult children, one of whom is himself a novelist.

Here are a number of links to her reading her poetry, on YouTube and other places. Enjoy!


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