Monday, July 22, 2019

POEMS OF THE WEEK - POEMS OF PEACE

Our thoughts are on peace today, with beautiful poems written by Susan Chast, of Susan's Poetry, Sumana Roy, who blogs at Sumanar/Lekha, Gillena of Lunch Box, and Wendy Bourke, of Words and Words and Whatnot. Each poem talks about peace, what it is, and what it isn't. By the end of this feature, I hope all of our spirits are soothed and encouraged. Let's dive right in.







Peace is the horse of my daydreams
with paces smooth as silk, and speed
enough to comb wind through my hair
while still allowing me to see
the panorama passing by.

Peace is the horse everyone rides
workdays, Sabbaths and holidays,
holding the reins loose and kind
as if their moods and tempers were
the same, horse and rider as one.

Peace is the horse that takes us home
when our day ends and dark sets in.
We let them lead us to surprise
that well-known lands look bright and new
in the twilight as our day ends.


                                 
                                                                            source


Sherry: How I love this poem! Especially "Peace is the horse that takes us home." Where did this poem come from, my friend?

Susan: Where my poem came from:  I thought "How I wish for peace!"  And then I remembered the little rocking rhyme "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."  If peace were a horse and everyone could ride, so much would be possible.  I've been told horses pick up the tiniest mood changes, and that opening up to horses and not fighting them is key to having good rides.  I put that in the poem, too, with the mutual relationship between horse and rider what makes the world anew. Wouldn't that be lovely?  And, of course, you can substitute in any animal or the earth itself or even God--because acknowledging presence, having conversations, and building mutually beneficial relationships make peace possible.

Sherry: My Grandma used to quote that saying all the time. I would love to see us all riding the horse of peace. Thank you, my friend, for this beautiful poem, and image. Sumana's poem shows us the other side of peace, lurking in the shadows of man's tendency to war.






Peace lives
as the shadow of war -
where gunmen smell darkness
in every flower -
when this heart morphs
into a desert
peace comes out
as succulent
with spine -
peace is the mirage
of the green shadow,
walking with a lute in hand -
yet you are deaf -


Sherry: Peace walking with a lute in its hand, yet we are deaf. True.

Sumana: Thank you so much Sherry for selecting my Peace poem for your Monday feature. Feeling greatly honoured to be teamed with all my favourite poets.

"Peace" was written as a response to one of Susan’s Midweek Motifs.

I tried to use subtle, tender, vulnerable and resilient imagery to describe ‘peace’ in the poem. Peace is a concept beyond the reach of the belligerent and gross humans; so it will remain ever elusive to them. Tennyson wrote almost 150 years ago:

Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Yet we are seeing thousand wars and no trace of peace. Sad, isn’t it?

Sherry: Yes, it is very sad, that in all these centuries, humankind has not found a better way to live together. Sigh.

Gillena's poem points us in the direction of hope. Let's read.






The wings of the butterfly are not still
They are white, flapping in the breeze
The colour of the sky is not overcast
It is the azure of a bright sunny day

The absence of birdsong is not disturbing
It is fleeting and transient
They will be there again maybe in a second
Maybe in an hour, who knows

The quality of peace is not turmoil
It is the assembling and arranging
Of everything into  channel of hope
Of gratefulness and of satisfaction


                                   
                                                                         source 

Sherry: I love the idea that "peace is the assembling of everything into a channel of hope and gratitude". So well said, Gillena.

Gillena: ‘OF PEACE'  is one of those poems i wrote in response to a prompt. Though my approach was haiku-like in its birthing, I wrote from observation and contemplation, not knowing where my muse would take me. The poem starts with the carefree nature of a butterfly, the trust, the providence and the gift of the creator. There is a continuity of trust in verse two, even though there is a shift to design and the completed task of Creation.

We live in a world where peace is on the wish agenda of so many; yet, we are faced with war, strife, and change, disturbing us and forcing us to question our very existence and creed. So that Verse three dives in pulling out the remaining gift in the Box of Pandora, hope. Hope is really all that is left to us to claim as ours, in everything, as we strive for peace on our beautiful blue planet.

So there we have it, poem -  OF PEACE.

Sherry: I so feel those words, Gillena, that hope is all we have left. As well as activism, I suppose,  refusing to allow our leaders to destroy the world for the sake of money and power. Sigh.

Wendy recently wrote a poem that reflects such a beautiful, soulful peacefulness, I wanted to share it here as a poem of peace. Let's bask in its beautiful lines and soothe our souls a little.







Wendy Bourke photo



lavender is the colour …
of the hour ... of peace ...

somewhere …
in all the moments
of day ... or night ...
or dusk ... or dawn ...

there is a flowered confluence …
hidden amongst the heavy fronds of living …
a portal to a space ...

far ... far away ...
from the revving fatigue ...

time rests ... there ... in that place
above the pale
intents and purposes ...
the sorrow and the pain

... and floats … 
as simple as a leaf
upon a lavender sea

... and drifts ... and drifts ...
eyes closed …
it whispers from the deep
nebulous of being

… let it be ...


note: this is a poem I wrote using a method laid out by Elizabeth (in an interview she had with Sherry) in the Monday, May 27 Blog of the Week Feature, entitled: How to Write a Poem When You're Blocked. Check it out, if you haven't already. I found it very helpful.





Wendy: My poem 'the lavender hour' is one of several pieces I have written lately that harken back to  or spring from  childhood reminiscences.  So much of living – in my case, living in a very big city – seems to be getting more and more tumultuous.  Whatever the reason (or combination of reasons), I do feel a growing harmonious connection to those things from my childhood that have an indelible and tender place in memory ... be they: sight, sound, fragrance, taste or feel.  Revisiting those things (when it is possible to do so) is pleasant, calming and peaceful.  Of course, it is often not possible to physically recreate that which speaks so compellingly to us.

As I mentioned in my short story 'in the stream of consciousness', lilacs were a big feature of spring in the town where I grew up and, thus, many fond memories, centered around lilacs, return to me, particularly at this time of year.  Alas, I have not seen, or smelled, lilacs, in decades.  Lavender, on the other hand, is far more commercially available ... at least the scent of lavender, which is known for its calming properties. I very much like lavender, as well – though it is not quite as redolent as lilac. But, like everything in life, we must work with what we have.  Thankfully we have stream-of-consciousness to get us where reality won't take us ~ smiles ~

Though I no longer meditate, I do find that simply resting in a tranquil setting, several times a day, is very restorative to the spirit. Often I play light classical music or soft nature sounds in the background.  Sometimes I light incense or scented oils. Sometimes I put a fan on low to stir the air, a bit. And then I simply relax and float away to whatever envisioning I drift upon.  I find these little idylls beneficial in several ways.  They promote creativity.  Indeed, many a poem has sprung from one of these rests (as was the case with 'the lavender hour').  They foster a sense of being able to take control, at least on some level – and that, by extension, I think, contributes to a pleasanter head space (as opposed to one's state of mind, zooming pell-mell through the hours).

While we do live in very distressing times, we can at least carve out a little peace for ourselves.  It's a good place to begin finding it.  One cannot help but think of all the wonderful possibilities for our planet, if more people paused occasionally, throughout their day, in peaceful reflection. 

Sherry: Yes. I am thinking of the million children in China meditating for peace recently. Hopefully some of those vibrations wafted across the sea to North America, in all its present angst. Your poem is lovely, Wendy. We needed it!

Well, my friends? We hope you take away some hope and some peace from the sharing of these poems. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!



Sunday, July 21, 2019

POETRY PANTRY #487


Lone Cone as seen from the inlet
Nancy Powis photo


Chesterman Beach in living colour
Nancy Powis photo


Frank Island on Chesterman Beach
Nancy Powis photo


Tofino has sunsets spectacular enough to strike you spellbound. The three photos above were taken by my friend, Nancy Powis, who lives on the inlet in Tofino.  The village is on a peninsula - on one side, the wild west coast, on the inlet side, the more placid waters and mudflats. Nancy graciously allowed me to post these beautiful shots. Our writing group has held two writing retreats at Nancy's beautiful home, where the tranquil view out the window inspires our writing. Thank you, Nancy, for these beautiful sunsets - such stunning vistas!

We hope you caught Friday's Moonlight Musings, a discussion on the importance of "Flow" in poetry, written by Rosemary's guest presenter, Australian poet Sarah Temporal. It was an interesting article.

On Monday, we will enjoy poems of peace, written by Susan Chast, Sumana Roy and Gillena Cox. We hope you enjoy these meditations on peace: what it is and what it isn't. On Wednesday, Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif will be: Dance. That might get our toes - and pens - to tapping!

As it is Sunday, you know the drill: keep the coffee hot, and coming. Let's dive into the Pantry and enjoy all that is shared. Leave us a few words to tell us how you are and don't forget to visit your fellow poets. We all love comments. Smiles.



Friday, July 19, 2019

Moonlight Musings

















Flow

Today I'm handing you over to a guest presenter, Australian Sarah Temporal, who has appeared here once before in the same capacity. As soon as I read this article on 'flow' at her blog, I was excited by it and asked if I could use it. I didn't find it until quite some time after she posted it, but it's not a topic that will soon date.


Sarah's primarily a spoken word poet – though I think her writing also works beautifully on the page – and she means this post from her blog to focus on oral performance, or 'slamcraft'. However I think the concept of flow is also important to the poem on the page, imparted and experienced visually.

Of course, ideally a poem will work both ways, and I know that many of us, in addition to blogging, contributing to literary magazines, and publishing books, do also attend poetry readings whenever possible, recite our work on YouTube, or add SoundCloud presentations to our blog posts. So, either way, I trust you'll find something valuable in Sarah's ideas.

I'm going to send you over to her blog now, with a quick click, because her article is interspersed with videos and things which you'll get a much better experience of there. Go!

Then, you may very well wish to leave her a comment there, but please come back here too and share your responses with us all.




Material shared in ‘Moonlight Musings’ is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.