Friday, November 8, 2019

Wild Fridays: Poems of the Week



No-one can replicate Sherry's wonderful Monday features! We're not even going to try to emulate her fabulous interviews and full schedule. But, as our Friday topics are already varied, we thought we'd sneak in some Poems of the Week here too – not every week but now and again. It's always been such a pleasure to read those features which showcase members of our own community. (Note: 'Poems of the Week' doesn't mean they were written this week, but that they are chosen to be shared this week.)


Two Poems by Audrey Howitt
(aka Divalounger) and a chat.







Dreams of Trees

The night coats the rim of the moon with its cloak.
The night pours its lush scent into the secret indentations of the trees,
Into the carnal world of darkened bark.

The night lives in the scent of its admirers,
Those admirers who pour into its blackness,
Who come covered in oils so rich in fragrance
that they ooze the carnality of the trees, of the night, of the moon.

Oh radiant moon, find me this night and cover me in the softness of your down,
That I may scent you in my dreams and sight you in my eyes.


My Soul's Song

I sing my soul alive each day,
With the grace of the breath of the great light
United and shining within.

Intoxicating, this song.
I am drunk with my life
As it fills and sates me.

Who will sing my soul alive
When my body lies desiccated,
Mere dust upon the crust of the earth?

I hurry not toward death’s door,
For its hinges creak in unseemly harmony,
Discordant to well-tuned ears.

Yet I feel death’s dark breath upon my back
As I hurry away.
The song of light calls.



Audrey, who describes herself as 'Poet, Singer, Voice-teacher, Recovering Attorney, Psycho-therapist, Middle-aged Mama and lover-of-life', has recently renewed her active participation with us after being otherwise occupied a while. But for these lovely pieces I went back to earlier posts at her blog, so hopefully not too many of you have already seen them. There are two because I love them both so much that I couldn't choose! In both poems I find the combination of mysticism and the obvious feeling for nature inspiring and moving.

Following Sherry's example, I asked Audrey some questions:

Rosemary: Would you care to tell us how each of these poems came about?

AudreyTrees are a favorite subject of mine. I write a lot about them and feel a special pull toward them.  Dreams of Trees is an early piece.  I was just starting to write poetry then. It was a time of intense stress for me in my personal life. We were putting the kids through college, I was back in school and still trying to make enough money to pay the bills.  Dreams of Trees grew out of my feelings of needing to escape, to be cradled again by the trees I spend most of my time with in my yard. 

Rosemary: I'm very fond of trees myself and think they are wondrous, sentient, benevolent beings. No wonder you turned to them – and no wonder I liked this poem!

Audrey: I wrote My Soul's Song during my mid-50's--I was feeling my age and starting to focus on what I wanted my back half to look and feel like. (I am optimistic I think--maybe it was my back 1/3rd).  I have always felt a pull toward the light and connectedness that exists between us. For me, this piece was about being in the light as I move toward older age. (I hope this doesn't sound too weird Rosemary.)

Rosemary: Not to me! It is very much what I'm up to as I age, too. Also I do believe that our poetry can be one way of spreading the light to others – when we happen to manifest it in a poem, as you have done with this one.

I notice that some of the comments on your recent posts remark that you are a master of minimalist poetry or micro-poetry. And I agree! You can encapsulate an essence and, in just a few words and some excellent placement of spaces, succeed in conveying both fine nuances and depths of meaning. Yet the two pieces I've chosen, which are earlier, are longer and more detailed. Is brevity something you've arrived at gradually?  And was it a conscious choice from the outset, or something that snuck up on you?

AudreyI have come to minimalism gradually. and not really intentionally. I have always been drawn to smaller forms, especially the Japanese forms. Japanese poetry is so clear, simple, and elegant. But I am a rule-breaker and so I was not interested in the stringency of the forms.  I started experimenting. I wrote pieces in English and then translated them into Japanese, trying to get the feel of clear, simple images in both languages. The minimalism grew out of that. But I still write in longer forms as well, I am working on a series of pieces right now in longer forms.

RosemaryYou speak and read Japanese???? I'm impressed! How did that come about?

Audrey
I speak Japanese and Russian--I lived in Japan as a young adult and then studied the language, but quit in the face of learning all the Kanji. Russian is the first language I learned. (I am the first child born here of Russian immigrants.) I learned English from watching cartoons.  

Every time my younger daughter hears me sing in German, she says that it sounds like a Russian singing in German--

I like languages!

Rosemary: Wow!

And this answer leads to more questions.

When you say, 'the first child born here of Russian immigrants', where do you mean by 'here'? 


Audrey: I am the first child born in the US.

Rosemary: How amazing is that! I thought maybe you meant in your little corner of it.

And where does the German come into it? More and more intriguing, lol.


Audrey: I sing and teach classical singing – opera and art song – so I sing a lot in Italian, French and German.

Rosemary: Ah yes, the 'Divalounger' aspect of you. How lovely it must be to have a gift for music as well as poetry!

I see that, like me, you sometimes play with Satya Robyn's and Kaspalita Thompson's initiatives such as 'small stones' and 'writing your way home' – using writing as a way of mindfulness and, in the case of the small stones, looking outside oneself for inspiration. Has this influenced your development of poetic less-is-more?

Audrey: S
mall stones fill my notebooks--I am not sure that they are all poems, but they are my way of dealing with life and sometimes poems grow out of them.

Rosemary: Well, small stones don't have to be poems. Most of mine are, because that's what I like to write, but sometimes doing them in prose feels right. I turn to them when I'm blocked. I find it a very useful practice, not only to keep writing alive, but for my own wellbeing too. It's so nice to come across others around the world who are still writing small stones years after being introduced to them.

Many thanks, Audrey, for being so open with us, and allowing me to share your lovely poems.

******

Hope you enjoyed this post, everybody – and, as Sherry would have said: Next time it might be you!

And now – I'm excited to announce that the wonderful Rommy Driks has joined the staff of Poets United, and in the very near future will start hosting some of the Sunday posts.


Material shared in this post is presented for study and review. Poems, photos, and other writings and images remain the property of the copyright owners, usually the authors.




29 comments:

  1. These are wonderful poems. I can so much relate to the love of trees and to the "settling in" to aging. I'm utterly impressed with all of Audrey's accomplishments. What a full life and what a talented existence.
    Thank you Rosemary for this post and for keeping Sherry's style alive.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Audrey and Rosemary for the poems and interview. I am a huge fan of trees too, and live to read and write poems about them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Rosemary! I so appreciate the opportunity to speak with you and to be a part of this wonderful community!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you so much, Rosemary and Audrey for the wonderful poems and interview!❤️ It's always a pleasure to know more about the Poet, their life and thought process behind writing poetry!😍😍

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I am always quite fascinated by process, particularly as it can differ so much between individuals. I've got a 'Moonlight Musings' on that very topic coming up soon.

      Delete
  5. A great interview and I can just say one thing about these poem Wow
    That first poem is an absolute stunner and every word is beauty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Marja. And yes, obviously I agree about the poems.

      Delete
  6. Rosemary, I have been out all morning at a seniors social and Qi Gong session, and just got home. How wonderful to come in here and find you and Audrey doing a Poems of the Week feature. I am so excited I had to come in and comment. Now will go back and read, and comment further in a bit. Yay!

    Rommy, how nice that you have joined the team. I hope you gals enjoy the journey you are embarking on as much as the rest of us have. It is a Trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a wonderful life is on offer in Tofino! I love to hear about your varied activities.

      Delete
    2. Seniors get treated like GOLD here. The District gives a LOT of money every year to be spent on entertaining us with varied and wonderful activities. Plus there are a lot of things going on all the time as well. For a small village, it offers cultural activities beyond anything I have encountered anywhere else. Kind of funny though - the deep breathing during Qi Gong made me dizzy all over again! LOL.

      Delete
  7. I love the idea of the moon covering one with its down.......wow! I share the intoxication with life the poet describes in the second poem. So uplifting to read in these gloomy times. I also feel how finite time is as we pass midlife and the road ahead is not as long as the one behind. Wonderful poems, Audrey! It is so lovely to read you. An awesome goal, to live in the light, as we age....and shine some of that around for others, as poets try to do. I am ASTOUNDED that you speak and read Russian and Japanese. Wow! I didnt know you spoke Russian first. Wonderful feature, Rosemary and Audrey! I am stoked!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You set the bar very high, my friend! I'm glad you think I have followed in your footsteps successfully. I had no idea what interesting things a chat with Audrey was going to uncover. We have such talents among us, and such rich lives.

      Delete
    2. Yes, and always much more to find out, which is why we never will run out of features!

      Delete
  8. Audrey, those 2 poems are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Also, Audrey, I love languages also. I don't know any Russian but studied Japanese in college, stopping after 2 semesters because kanji was intimidating! I speak French and some Spanish and also love to sing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Revived Writer--I hope you enjoy singing--it is the most interesting and challenging thing I have ever done! Toi, toi, toi!

      Delete
  10. Two lovely pieces of poetry and a very interesting chat. Your facility with languages is amazing, Audrey … as is your background and expertise in music and song. Your writing, I have always thought, is beautifully imbued with qualities that are uniquely yours, Audrey … wonderful, mesmeric words rendered in stunning cadences … and I daresay, your plethora of talents shine a very special creative light on your poetic pieces.

    Thank you for taking this on, Rosemary. I appreciate all the contributions the staff at Poets United make on behalf of our community of poets. Great job on this, Poets!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Audrey I loved your poems and reading about your life!! Thank you, Rosemary for sharing Audrey with us~ I agree, there is music in your poetry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truly my pleasure. It was so nice to find out all these interesting things.

      Delete
  12. Wonderful! To love Dark and then to love Light, on after another enhanced both poems, I think. Although I haven't read your poetry in a along time, I recognized you in your poems. That's a great thing. maybe it's the minimalism, but your images are also lush. Thanks for picking this feature up, Rosemary--and thanks for the wonderful announcement about Rommy coming on board. There's lots of excitement around here!Sherry and Mary will be missed very much, but Poets United is strong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we would all miss the features on community members much too much if we didn't continue them as best we can manage.
      Yes, I know all the team (including our recent retirees, Mary and Sherry) are thrilled that Rommy is now on staff.

      Delete
  13. So enjoyed Audrey's poems and interview - what a fascinating journey. I look forward to participating in prompts with her here at Poets United!

    ReplyDelete
  14. There is only one Sherry. And only one Rosemary, too. We are lucky, lucky, lucky to get to enjoy interviews by both.

    Also, I really like the second stanza in Audrey's second poem. There is power in being drunk in ones life and finding nourishment in that drink.

    ReplyDelete

This community is not meant to be used in a negative manner. We ask that you be respectful of all the people on this site as each individual poet is entitled to their own opinion, style, and path to creativity.