Monday, June 6, 2016

Blog of the Week ~ Grace at Everyday Amazing

This week, my friends, we are pleased to feature the Canadian poet, Grace, who writes so beautifully at Everyday Amazing, where, Grace says, "I paint a canvas of my ever-changing world". As a long-time member of Poets United, we have featured Grace a few times over the years. Her Life of a Poet interview was in 2012, and we did a Blog of the Week in 2014, as well as some poems of the week, given how beautiful her writing is. (Her writing truly is Everyday Amazing! It was hard to limit myself to a few today.) Grace lives near Toronto, in Ontario, Canada. Pour yourself a cuppa, and let's enjoy a few of her gorgeous poems.





Sherry: Grace, so nice to be chatting with you again. 

Grace: Thanks for the feature.   As you know, writing poetry is a fun hobby for me.   I get my inspirations from my everyday life, like my weekday train rides, watching documentaries, (mostly nature), and reading the poetry of other poets.

Sherry: I still remember the woman in the yellow coat that brightened one of your winter morning train rides. Smiles. Grace, do you have any plans for your writing in the months ahead. Is there anything you'd like to tell us about?

Grace: I don't have plans of publishing my work, as it's only a hobby for me.    

I am busy with work at Downtown Toronto City, and keep myself professionally updated by studying and taking exams every year.

The big family event that happened was when my eldest son got married last year, May 31, 2015.  It was a memorable family reunion, as our families came  from different parts of the world. 


My daughter- in-law is wearing the red dress


Sherry: Oh congratulations! That must have been a wonderful event, a wedding and a family reunion.

Grace: As to writing, I wish I can write more, but I now refrain from linking up during weekends as I would like  to be more active and doing some other stuff (like hiking and visiting parks), specially during the warm seasons.  I am envious of poets who pour out their deep emotions and thoughts on the page and blogs about it.   I don't think I have reached that point yet as I keep myself in check.   You asked me before about my best work, and I believe, then and now, that my "best" is still coming.

Sherry: Wow, you already write brilliantly. I await future work with anticipation. Smiles.

Grace: What I enjoy most about writing poetry is the community of poets - they are warm and thoughtful writers.   And even though we have not met each other face to face, you get a glimpse of their hearts and lives though their words.

I now feel more comfortable sharing pictures of myself and my family.


During our autumn walk. I'm in the middle.


Sherry: Thanks so much, Grace. It is lovely to see you and your family! Yes, over the years, reading each other's deepest thoughts, we do get to know each other very well. 

Grace, recently, I was blown away by your poem "A Dance In the Sky". I loved it so much, I really wanted to hear about it in more depth. Let's dive in.


A dance in the sky

your umber words
undo
my laced-up ribbons

kindles fire
effervescent as wine
i snow melt

furrows to crown
& between fingertips
i grow fresh skin

throw wild air-kisses
to red-
crested cardinals

there's no time
swooning over you

because
you've already flown,
dancing with starlings



Dancing with starlings


Sherry: Your imagery in this piece is so gorgeous, Grace. Tell us the story of this poem, won't you?

Grace: I was watching the video of the murmuration of the starlings, and I was awed by their beauty and flight.   The winter season is long in my part of the world, so I was looking forward to the return of the birds and advent of spring.    I also wrote this as a word challenge - in 44 words only.

Sherry: You described  it to perfection in those few words, Grace. Another poem with birds in it really spoke to me: your "Lost Brotherhood". Let's take a look.


Migrating Siberian cranes over the Himalayas




white against white
    sky is an open road
       above ice-capped mountains

wild is the call of wind
    that rushes in our lungs
       as we cross continents & rivers

to where the sun greens
     every blade of grass, browns earth-
        worms, yellows fish in marshlands

we fear not the crossing
     the flock is brotherhood
        marking the journey old as sea

our wingspan fight
     against eagles and vultures
         yet we fear not
              as we smell rain clouds
       above the marsh & bogs
       
as we travel  
      on and on       
           don't lead us astray
                     with your hunting games
                 for our prized plumes
         for our tender meat

leave us 
      in our untamed earth
            dense, unsettled as clouds  
               with the wind as our choir      
                       we move as kindred souls 
                                   in silent geometry
                                     
                            Let this be not our  
                                                         last
                                                                 j o u r
                                                                             n
                                                                                 e
                                                                                      y


Sherry: I pray it isn't their last journey too. I love "leave us...unsettled as clouds / with the wind as our choir..." Beautifully done, Grace.

Grace: Sadly, these long-lived cranes are on the list of endangered species, as its population has greatly diminished in the last three decades.

"Lost Brotherhood" was a prompt for eco-poetry which I hosted for D'verse.   I wanted to write about the plight of Siberian cranes when they are migrating between seasons.  I used the words to create a wing-like formation when they are flying, and the eventual fall from the skies.   I think it's fun to play with the format of the words on the page. 

Sherry: You succeeded. very well, Grace. The way the closing word fades and drifts off the page really underscores the plight of the cranes.  

Your poem "Traveler's Heart" spoke directly to me, as I have written many poems about traveling. Your imagery is, as always, glorious in this poem. And I love the changing formats of your poems, which look so wonderful on the page.
      

Traveler's heart


Give me 
autumn's billowing wind
Ruffling falling leaves to wet canvas 
I am blue butterfly trifling the wheat fields
Up north, I travel to gaze snow-capped mountains
Down south, I gather shells & listen to sun-lit chimes

I flicker back and forth between cities and seasons
To the east, I drink green tea & feast on pink lotus
To the west, I sip ripe wine & study cathedrals
My luggage is not yet filled of souvenirs
 With colorful shirts and silver spoons 
Like clouds, I will not rest, not yet
For I have a traveler's 
   w
       a
           n
               d
                   e
                     r
                l
       u
s
                                                     t



Sherry: I have it too, though now I do my traveling through words and the imagination. Which is why your words lift me up and carry me off so wonderfully.

Grace: I am also inspired by the photography of other artists. I must admit I find it hard to write without pictures or having a mental picture in my head. Along with the title, I wanted to create a shaped or visual poem, to complement my words. To do this, I first write the words in a normal way, then I play with the format on the page. 

My most challenging shaped or visual poem was "When It's the Real Thing". After that exercise, I felt bolder to experiment with the words!



When it's the real thing



I'd like to buy 
the world a poem 
for all 365 days, I
will not keep it 
company but will 
let it tumble, rip, 
crash, hobble, run,
slam, burst as autumn 
red leaves drifting by 
the river canal, falling 
over bridges & archways
until the verses settle down:  
a torchlight, bell, majestic river.

I'd like to give the world a view:

happiness, not bought & sugared,
nor snowed white as turtle doves
but simple yellow morning bloom.
Then I'd teach the world to sing  
in perfect harmony with trees, 
with each fading leaf color and 
passing clouds. Because there's a
poem to be found even in empty
road, lonely mountain, rainy days,
rusted can, or walking hand in hand.
Life tastes good when you keep it real. 


Sherry: It looks beautiful on the page, and I love its message. So positive!

Thank you so much for starting our week off so beautifully, Grace. And for your loyalty to Poets United. We appreciate you, and look forward to enjoying much more of your work in the years to come. 


I hope you enjoyed these lovely poems as much as we did, my poet friends. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!




37 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for the feature and encouraging words Sherry ~

    I appreciate the support you and the rest of the Poets United team give to the poets week after week ~ Have a wonderful week ~

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  2. You are more than welcome, my friend. It was truly my pleasure.

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  3. What a wonderful feature - I have seen your beautiful face for many years and now I know a little more - thank you both. It's interesting I think we do get to know each other in ways that perhaps the 'outside' world doesn't. The good thing about writing/blogging is that we reveal what we want on our terms and there is much of you Grace in your beautiful words - graceful by name and word - and what better way to travel than on the page..I wish you much happiness hiking and exploring and sharing your sights with us

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Jae ~ I like the idea of traveling via our poems ~

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  4. Ive always thought of how much the name describes the person: Grace. That is the underlying theme in all your poetry, so beautifully flowing. Thank you Sherry for selecting Grace's blog. I think the title of her bolg describes her too - she's amazing.

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    1. Thank you for the lovely words Myrna ~ I appreciate your support ~

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  5. Really enjoyed this interview, Sherry and Grace. I concur with you, Grace, one very nice thing about the blogosphere is the community of poets. Nice to see the family photos & also to learn where you find your inspiration!

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    1. Thank you kindly Mary ~ I find the poets here and in other communities such a supportive bunch of people ~

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  6. This is wonderful! Grace is such a pivotal and hardworking member of the poetic communities she is a part of that it's great to learn more about her here. Thank you for featuring her, Sherry :-)

    Grace....I love your writing style....your words and the way you put them together are so lovely. The first three lines of "A Dance in the Sky" send shivers down my spine because they are so stunning and moving.....and I remember well "A Traveler's Heart" as it was one of my favorite responses to that prompt. I LOVE the shape you wrote it in and the words are DIVINE. Your brilliance is clearly the 'real thing' and it's always a joy to read your words, Grace :-)

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    1. Thanks for your lovely words CC (you were the guest host of that prompt, smiles) ~ I appreciate your support and look forward to reading your poems too ~

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  7. Beauty in formating and word, it's a had combination to employ. Sherry, was right at the introduction, it is hard to not keep reading. It's a pleasure to have been introduced to your work, Grace.

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    1. And nice to meet you too ~ I find the blogger poets very friendly and encouraging ~ Hope to read your poems soon ~

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  8. Beautiful poetry, enjoyed every single poem very much. Thanks Sherry and Grace!

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words Thotpurge~

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  9. This is truly an amazing feature Sherry and Grace. Such delightful words enhance the love for poetry. So lovely to see you with your family Grace :)

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    1. Thank you for the lovely words Sumana ~

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  10. A lovely interview, Sherry – and I loved reading the poems too, and finding out about your life, Grace. You are one of the poets I most admire, not only at Everyday Amazing but also the other blog where your subject is always love and you manage to write on the same topic with enthralling sensuality over and over again, making it always new. (HOW do you do that?) It startles me to see such lovely writing described as just a hobby! But after all, I think it's good to see our poetry as our play.

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    1. As Scarlet, I love to play with sensuality, ha ~ I think the trick is to forget what I have written, then see it again in a new light ~

      Thanks Rosemary for your kind words & I truly appreciate it~

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  11. Am so happy you enjoyed reading and hearing more about Grace, my friends. Grace, your work is so good that I was startled too when you said it is just a hobby. Whatever it is named, though, it is first rate poetry and I am glad we get to enjoy it! Smiles.

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    1. Thanks again Sherry ~ Have a lovely week to you all ~

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  12. I don't blame you for wanting more nature it's very important. Love your poems Grace, they are lovely to the mind and eye! I think Traveler's Heart is my favorite and I love how clever When It's The Real Thing is but they're all wonderful.

    You are lucky to have a family that does things together like taking nature walks and such. I miss the family thing very much.

    Nice to read about you Grace, Sherry does such a fine job. I just love hearing about the many people I share with weekly.

    Best to you! Bekkie

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    1. I have to organized my family time during weekends so we can have time to be together ~ I appreciate your kind words about my poems ~ Thanks Bekkie ~

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  13. I don't blame you for wanting more nature it's very important. Love your poems Grace, they are lovely to the mind and eye! I think Traveler's Heart is my favorite and I love how clever When It's The Real Thing is but they're all wonderful.

    You are lucky to have a family that does things together like taking nature walks and such. I miss the family thing very much.

    Nice to read about you Grace, Sherry does such a fine job. I just love hearing about the many people I share with weekly.

    Best to you! Bekkie

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  15. Dear Sherry and Grace thank you so much for this post. You inspired me, helped me to write about "grace." Something I have been wanted to write about, but did not know how? http://somethingsithingabout-annell-annell.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you very much Annell ~ I was inspired by the Amazing Grace song for my blog title ~ Will hop over to read, thank you ~

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  16. Grace what a pleasure to catch up with you and thank you Sherry for another wonderful interview. I had been missing you in the Sunday link up Grace so what a treat to read these magnificent poems...I love the visuals you create with your words....the last one (bottle of Coke) and the words from the jingle were fabulous.....hard to imagine this is not your best writing. I look forward to so many more of your poems Grace.

    Enjoy your time with family and in nature Grace....two of the best ways to spend time!!

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    1. Donna, its fun to write these visual or shaped poems ~ Sorry I haven't been around for the Sunday link up as I am trying to be outdoors these days ~ Catch you around the blogger world ~

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  17. Another superb interview, Sherry. You are a wonderful poet, Grace - your beautifully rendered pieces are imaginative, penetrating, nuanced and insightful.

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    1. Thank you to my fellow Canadian poet, smiles ~ I appreciate your lovely words Wendy ~

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  18. How good it is see you featured here Grace. I love how you are such a great observer of the world and it come out so well in your poetry as well as the inventiveness in its presentation.

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    1. Thank you kindly for your words Old Egg ~

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  19. Thank you so much Sherry and Grace for taking out time and sharing this wonderful interview with us. Grace, its always a pleasure to read your poems as I learn so much from them. Your sense of style leaves me oh so breathless each and every time I visit. I wish someday to become a woman of your caliber :D

    Wishing you loads of happiness and success for the years to come ahead. Keep creating that magic with your pen..!

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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    1. Thank you for your lovely words Sanaa ~

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  20. Grace, it's wonderful to know a bit more about you. you are a very good visual poet. i simply adore your poem "When it's the real thing." It really looks like a Coke bottle, and i loved how you incorporate some of it's advertising lines into the poem. simply a work of art. and yes, there is a poem to be found in any empty road, rainy day or rusted can. :)

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    1. The Coke-inspired visual was fun to play with ~ Thanks for your lovely words ~

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  21. You are amazing, Grace! How lovely that Sherry picked these poems for an extended visit. Keeping it real. Yes! And without the product, as in your poems.

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