Sunday, July 21, 2019


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


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.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Perfume

I am delighted that Sanaa, our newest staff member of Poets United, is guest host today at the Midweek!  Enjoy!  
I will be back in August.  
Much love, Susan

Method by Loui Jover ~ Pinterest

Perfume is like cocktails without the hangover, like chocolate without the calories, like an affair without tears, like a vacation from which you never have to come back. ~ Marian Bendeth

Perfume is a story in odor, sometimes a poetry in memory ~ Jean Claude Ellena

Midweek Motif 

Perfume. The mere word and image brings to mind a thousand different things, as it's steeped in romance, in culture and in history worldwide.  

Perfume is thousands of years old, with evidence of the first perfumes dating back to Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Cyprus. The English word "perfume" comes from the Latin per fume, meaning "through smoke." In fact, legend has it that Cleopatra had the sails of her boat slicked with fragrant oils!

Your task today is to write a new poem that revolves around the idea of perfume. Feel free to take the subject in whichever direction that suits you i.e romantic, solemn, philosophical, dark etc.

by Charmaine Chircop

My cherished one...
Here I am, alone with stone wall paper
in the silence of my room.
The pit-pattering raindrops upon my windowsill
help me to remember, outside is cold and vacant too.
Here I lay, on my dark brown couch
 like on other nights and many afternoons.
Here I stay, undisturbed, with a pen in my left hand
Provoked to put black ink to paper
Seduced to write down unconscious thoughts
Terminal thoughts and deepest aches
wrapped in the echo of your absence.

If only you 'd knew, my rose was not seasonal
Its crimson still bleeds, like in yesterdays, now gone.
Its perfume still lingers between forgotten postcards
and the impossibility of separation.
Its petals once blown, still float across the boundless ocean
The same ocean that moves, that spreads breathlessly
between our lands, our lips and hands, but not our hearts
Nor the hundred fantasies that still reveal your footprints
along my distant winding paths.

by Andrea Dietrich

In primrose twilight, summer is still near.
She whispers in my ear; I hear her in
the one lone owl that hoots to only me.
I wake to find her shining through the clouds -
though breathing not so warmly on my cheek.
I glimpse her waning smile as in a field
I dance to soundless music in her sun.
My mind goes wandering, and in the breeze
I hear her sigh, for she is lingering
within the scent of asters that I pluck.
I’m hanging on to that one glint I see
of her before me in gold glitter dusk.
But in the cries of geese across the sky,
she calls goodbye, and sweet is her demise.

Michael Faudet ~ Perfume ~ Image from Pinterest

Please share a new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community
 (Next week Sumana's prompt will be ~ Dance)

Monday, July 15, 2019


We have three special poems for you today, poet friends, by three wonderful poets, about the combined joy and pain of life and love in this beautiful world.  We hope you enjoy these offerings, written by Rosemary Nissen-Wade of Enheduanna's DaughterCarrie Van Horn of Net Full of Butterflies, and Marian Kent of Runaway Sentence,  all beloved long-time members of Poets United. Let's not delay another minute! Let's dive right in.

I introduce into the conversation
the subject of my death.

He decides to stop studying
and train as a nurse.

He asks where he can acquire
my poetry book.

His torch goes out; he gets lost
in the middle of a forest.

Walking through the bush
he blisters his toe.

Here at home I stub my toe and
burn my arm, which blisters.

Love oh love oh careless love ...
all love is in this one.

My soul is crying and crying
the pain of my joy.

Oh darling, my darling
time doesn't stand still.

I sing on the wind and arrange
to meet you later.

I want that you should live
a fine life and strong.


Sherry: Oh, Rosemary! I actually felt, in my heart, "the pain of my joy", as I read this. That says it exactly - the love, the memories, the joy, the pain of the whole damn thing. Sigh. What a brilliant poem. It's a beautiful form, the ghazal.

Rosemary: I first became aware of the 'ghazal' form about 12-15 years ago. I found it intriguing and beautiful. I didn't register until much later that one of my favourite poems since childhood, James Elroy Flecker's 'Yasmin', is subtitled 'A Ghazel' (sic). Flecker's (which has been featured at Poets United) has a strict form, not identical to what we are now told is correct for the ghazal, but very close to it – and is a beautiful demonstration of how to handle and transcend a strict form.

Other poems I saw labelled 'ghazals', though, did not bother with the traditional complex rhyme scheme, and at the time I encountered them (having missed that point about 'Yasmin') I didn't know any better. I found them fascinating and of course wanted to try for myself. They kept the other main feature of the ghazal, being written in a series of associated couplets: not in a linear sequence, but connected by theme. So that's what I thought a ghazal was, and that is what I attempted in this poem. It's my very first attempt. (I also missed the point that the lines are supposed to be the same length, and tend to be long.)  

I have since discovered and attempted the stricter form, and am now more inclined to call my others 'quasi-ghazals'. However, there are those who say the strict rules are a comparatively recent development. At dVerse, where this month's form prompt is the ghazal, we are invited to write either 'classical' (strict) or 'contemporary' (freer) ghazals, so I posted and linked this old one to see if people thought it made the grade. The fact that you wanted to feature it, Sherry, suggests that something's working! I do think contemporary or quasi-ghazals can make for interesting poems, even if they are not 'correct'. 

In either case, classical or freer, I like the way the lack of linear progression may create a degree of mystery. We are eager to be accessible nowadays – and for the most part I too strive for that, and think it desirable – but perhaps we forget that mystery (as distinct from mere obscurity) can also be a lovely quality in a poem.

Sherry: I think it is especially lovely in a poem. One wants that element of wonder, when fortunate enough to achieve it. Carrie's poem carries the same awareness of life and death as yours, Rosemary. Let's read:

Like ghosts we walk through miracles never knowing 
how close 
we come
For we cannot see what we do not believe
But in another life we were horses
Where no fences gated our hearts
Free to be what we truly were
We galloped far beyond what could be seen
Grazing truth all the while
And always hungry for more
Like a mighty wind our spirits pushed through
Making themselves known to all
For freedom does not linger on regret
Nor feed on darkness
It moves on gallantly in the light of day
and those willing to let go
Will dare to jump any fence that comes their way
But that was another life and time
The rising dust of a distant star
Here we walk through miracles never knowing how close 

we come
Ghosts cannot touch, but merely pass by in silence
And we cannot see what we do not believe.


Sherry: How I love "in another life we were horses....." This is such a gorgeous poem, Carrie!

Carrie: I wrote Souls and Horses for the Muse photo prompt. The photo was an older horse being stroked by a human hand and it made me think of how sometimes humans can be so limited by what they believe and what they see before them. Horses always represent such strength and freedom and the poem just grew from there. 

Photo by Tatiana from Pexels

Thank you so much for all you do Sherry! I am blessed to know so many talented and inspiring people on blogger at Poets United and other writing communities. You Mary, Sumana, Susan, Rosemary,  Magaly and Sanaa are amazing!

Sherry: Thank you, Carrie, for sharing your poetry with us, and for your long loyalty to Poets United. You were here in 2010, when I arrived. Smiles. 

Marian Kent was also one of our first members. Her poem expresses the way I have been feeling this past two years, watching our society unravel. Let's take a look.

Marian: I'm so flattered that you asked, and would be honored. I'm copying the poem below. I wrote it two years ago but unearthed it (because of that Facebook memories feature) and of course it is so much more relevant today than when I wrote it. Our society is broken, everything keeps breaking, I am broken, and yet am surrounded by love. As I'm sure many of us have been feeling. And it's been another cold and rainy spring here :)

I threw open a window
to melancholia
of cold and rainy spring

Lonely breezes blow in
like electricity
raising gooseflesh
straggled strands of hair

All I can think is
there’s so much love
yet everything is broken

Sherry: That is what creates so much grief and puzzlement in me, Marian. There is so much love, yet everything is broken. I am seeing and hearing things I never thought I would see in North America, so many hard-won human rights being rolled back. How we will put it all back together again is the question.

You said exactly what I feel but haven't known how to put into words. Thank you for closing this feature off so brilliantly, and for your long membership at Poets United.

Well, my friends? Food for thought in these poems, and emotions that resonate. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!