IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY – RUBÁIYÁT

The Rubáiyát is a Persian form made of several quatrains. Its name derives from the Arabic plural of the word for “quatrain.” This, in turn, comes from the Arabic Rubá, meaning “four.”

This Persian form of poetry is an unlimited series of rhymed quatrains. In each quatrain, all lines rhyme except the third, leading to this pattern:

a
a – 2nd line rhymes with the first.
b
a – 4th line rhymes with the first and second

Example

These are some of the favorite quatrains from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam translated by Edward Fitzgerald:

Wake! For the Sun who scattered into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heaven and Strikes
The Sultan’s Turret with a Shaft of Light.
[Stanza 1]

Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
The Winter garment of Repentance fling;
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly – and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
[Stanza 7, 1st edition]

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread — and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness —
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
[Stanza 12]

The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
[Stanza 71]

For more information see: Rubiyat

MARIE ELENA’S Rubáiyát:

Rosie’s Book of Monster Love (a Rubáiyát for little ones)

On a page where monsters lurked,
Underpaid and overworked,
Unacknowledged, unasked-for,
Feeling useless, sad, and irked
 
There amongst the story’s snooty
Characters of empty beauty
Overvalued, charmless types
Moral character off-duty
 
Lived delightful little Rosie –
Chatty, she, and very nosey.
She transformed the monsters’ page,
Made it colorful and cozy,
 
Summoned monsters, large and small,
Left out not-a-one at all,
Made them tea and cakes to savor
Oh, those monsters had a ball!
 
Rosie held each monster tight,
Loved “so much,” and took delight
Being cuddle-loved by ogres
On the page devised for fright!
 
Rosie spread her arms out wide,
“All friends here!” she beamed with pride.
As each page turned eagerly,
Rosie’s love spread story-wide.
 
© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013
 
 (In honor of my just-turned-two granddaughter Sophie [aka “Rose” and “Rosie”].  When she loves a toy, she squeezes tight and says “SO much!  SOOOOO much!”  She also often spreads her arms wide as described in my poem, as if to pull all of us in the room into her arms, and exclaims, “All friends, here!”  while she just beams with delight.  We have no idea where she gets this stuff.  😉  The love of our lives, for sure!)
 

WALT’S ATTEMPT:

DARKNESS IN THE WESTERN SKY

A lurking sense of animus
for one who once was amorous,
descends upon a heart so torn
leaving love less glamorous.

Surrendered heart left mangled
from a tethered heart so dangled,
a soul in distant shadows lives
in memories deeply tangled.

When eyes are closed one’s vision clears
and in the whistling wind one hears
the sounds of life harmonious,
although separated by the years.

The softness of her hand still lingers
in the tactile stroking of her fingers;
a touch to play inside your heart
like the song of celestial singers.

And in the West her body rests,
with hands held folded across her chest,
and perpetual night remains descended
clutched against her tranquil breast.

How can this love in memory lie
long after reasons for it dies?
Do souls get punished for misgivings
to assure that we the living cry?

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

CONTEMPLATING WAVES OF EXPERIENCE: A Short Memoir in Poetry by Claudette J. Young

And then life throws us the high hanging curve ball. And no matter how hard we swing for the fences, sometimes we strike out. Our successes come in the ebb and flow of our desire and heart. Much like the waves of the oceans, our shared experiences flow from us, broadcasting to all shores.

This is the fourth installment of the Memoir-Chapbook Project describes the contemplations in a truly heart-felt way! It can be found under the tab above, Memoir Project Chapbooks and the link below.

CONTEMPLATING WAVES OF EXPERIENCE: A Short Memoir in Poetry by Claudette J. Young

***

The next group of poet authors are listed in order below:

Connie Peters (Mar. 11)

Barbara Young (Mar. 25)

Laurie Kolp (Apr. 8)

Sharon E. Ingraham (Apr. 22)

The prompts are still open and available in the archive (Search). There is still time to complete your memoirs for inclusion in the project. They will continue to be featured in the order they are received in e-mail.

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS – PROMPT #96

Time to resurrect a popular prompt. You know the drill. Take a line from one of another poet’s poems at POETIC BLOOMINGS and use it in your new poem. Be inspired by their piece of worded wonder and write the poem, remembering to attribute the poet and poem. Get by with a little help from our friends!

MARIE ELENA’S POEM:

VOICES

Unable to distinguish a thought
A voice
A word
A frame
A syllable
Alone in a sea of conversation 

“Alone in a sea of conversation” from Erin Kay Hope’s TRUE BRAVERY (Imagism form)

WALT’S POEM:

SNAPSHOTS

Visions secured in
heart tattoos of Technicolor.
Kodachrome kept
in the vault of your mind;
photographs with a memory.
Bringing joys long festered,
sequestered deeply within.
Sorrows of many lost
tomorrows preserved
in faces and places
of loves long gone.
And somewhere, there is
a flash of brilliance
illuminating the shadows.
Memories live in photographs.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

From “Artistic Aquarian” by Michelle Hed – So Hey… What’s Your Prompt #94

*****

The fourth installment of our Chapbook Project will debut tomorrow, February 25, 2013. Claudette J. Young offers Contemplating Waves of Experience: A Short Memoir in Poetry

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #95

We find our inspiration in anyplace we encounter or look. Reading a newspaper or a magazine can offer ideas. Even the back of a cereal box can spark your muse. Thankfully, there were no poems written about Riboflavin! But in all this magnificence, we need to select the BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS:

MARIE ELENA’S CHOICE:

Marilyn Braendeholm’s “China Children” broke my heart in its sincere and moving depiction of the unthinkable:  children “unwanted at birth, and left in colder but steadier hands.”  The analogy drawn to the “fragile potted plants waiting for spring – sitting there still and unattended on bare benches, naked blank faces staring into candlelight” is almost more than I can bare.  There were many outstanding pieces this week, but this one grabbed my heart and did not let go.

CHINA CHILDREN (by Marilyn Braendeholm)

They remind me of fragile potted plants
waiting for spring – sitting there still
and unattended on bare benches, naked
blank faces staring into candlelight.
Their backs straight, feet rooted to the floor
under a long wooden table. A sturdy timber

cut on a bright green summer day, sliced
from a forgotten branch of antiquity, felled
and now held together by the press
of coughing chests against its old oaken
planks. This long table holds centre place
for these little ones, unwanted

at birth, and left in colder
but steadier hands.
These frail potted plants – pressing stares
of imaginary cakes on plates, want
for lack of sustenance that they need.
And as they gnaw on dried meat, all eyes

observe the door opening on the creak
of sore hinges, opened chills rushing
in scurries of flurried snow across the floor.
They know there’s no hiding from storms
that rage like mortal sin
beyond their cloistered walls.

Title from article about China’s social care and orphanages. The Telegraph newspaper.

(c) Misky 16/2/13

 

WALT’S SELECTION:

In reading the poems this week, I had narrowed them down to four that really caught my eye. More scrutiny brought me to two. And this choice was even more of a challenge. Then in reading further I knew why I could not separate the selections. Sometimes, we turn to another to learn nuances of a job or craft that when studied closely, they resemble that of the “teacher.”  So, my choice was to NOT separate them, but honor them together. The “student” found it within her to express herself in poetic terms as a recent epiphany. The “teacher” is reflected in her work. These two are indeed a “teacher – student” combination.

The student, Debi Swim, wrote:

Trust (by Debi Swim)

Some seeds need coaxing.
They learned not to trust
Fickle tempered fits
Of irrational
Unseasonable blitz –
now hot, now cold.

Some souls need coaxing.
They learned not to trust
easy smiles, blank eyes
broken promises
and smooth, oily lies –
I love only you.

http://bdtonline.com/lifestyles/x1633474269/Some-seeds-need-coaxing-to-sprout

Bluefield Daily Telegraph- Local Newspaper

***

The teacher is and remains, Salvatore Buttaci who offered:

A NEW LEASE ON A COWBOY’S LIFE (by Salvatore Buttaci)

At a time in my life when a fella should pause
From his labors and plan what’s the best
To enjoy his retir’ment, my sister, a wider named Tess,
All a sudden she passed. Lookin’ back, I was blessed.
But the story ain’t over; it’s comin’ the morn
An’ my nephew I reckon will move in for good.
Now what t’make of this turn of events?
I was walkin’ around like a man made o’ wood.

Did I mention my nephew’s a handful to raise?
“You’re my uncle,” he tells me, “no way you’re my dad.”
“Well, then, par’n me! Z’actly what makes you so mad?”
But he keeps hisself quiet, not tellin’ he’s scared
An’ I tell ‘im t’ give an ear, listen t’ me.
“All I want is t’ make you, boy, happy again.
And your mama in heaven, what would she say
If I failed in my mission? What would I do then?

Been some years since my sister Tess’s gone an’ her boy
Well, he worked out jus’ fine. Him an’ me in this place
We been cowboys ever since: seems I never could face
Not be working an’ take an old man’s retirement place
On the porch on a summer day jus’ watchin’ grass grow.
Me an’ Tommy, ya know we both keep ar’selves busy a tad.
We been raisin’ the finest o’ horses in Oklahoma
And that feller, Tess’s boy? Can ya b’lieve it? he calls me Dad!

————–

We come to find that Salvatore has been “tutoring” Debi in form and poetic structure. Thanks to Sal for providing the lead, and to Debi for having the good sense to follow. Congratulations to both who share my BEAUTIFUL BLOOM this week!  And to Misk for her equally well-deserved Bloom from Marie! 

————–

POET INTERVIEW – MARY ROSENTHAL MANSFIELD

profile

MARY ROSENTHAL MANSFIELD

We’re very pleased to interview Mary Mansfield, who is yet another poet Walt and I first met at a Poetic Asides poetry challenge hosted by Robert Lee Brewer.  Mary has certainly earned her share of Beautiful Blooms here – a testament to her talent.

MARIE ELENA:  Welcome, Mary!  Let’s start with your blog title”  Write Wing Conspiracy (Plotting world domination one poem at a time…). Hahaha! Watch out world!

I love this little excerpt from your “Write, Not Right.”

 Words hold power,
And one poem at a time
Every poet possesses
The power
To change the world.

 Your blog title is humorous, yet this excerpt makes me believe you might mean this sincerely.  Please elaborate.

MARY:  I absolutely do mean this!  Words truly do hold power.  Think about the religious texts we turn to when seeking strength in times of crisis, the historical documents that have shaped the course of history, the political speeches that can rally us to action.  When I look at the world and the challenges we face, so many of the issues plaguing humanity cannot be solved with rationality and intellect; we need to change people’s hearts, and poets are uniquely qualified to do so.

MARIE ELENA:  What a grand thought, Mary.  What have you specifically written with that goal in mind?

MARY: I can think of two specific poems I wrote that I think fit this. I wrote “A Light Against the Darkness” the day of the tragic movie theater shooting last summer in Aurora, Colorado, and I couldn’t help but be struck by the sense of helplessness that seemed to sweep across the nation that day. I was looking for a way to move forward, to show that there was hope for our future as long as we stood against evil.

A LIGHT AGAINST THE DARKNESS (by Mary Mansfield)

Evil is not the monster under the bed
Or the boogey man lurking in the shadows.
 
Evil is real.
 
Evil walks the earth in human guise,
Bathing in acid rivers of hate,
Stripping away any shred of humanity
To commit unspeakable acts of violence.
 
Evil is a coward,
Preying on the innocent and unsuspecting…
An explosion of rage that destroys a city bus,
A destructive shower of bullets
In a movie theater or at a summer camp,
Silver wings transformed into lethal missiles
Raining terror down upon an unwary nation.
 
Evil leaves toxic footprints upon the ground,
A poison strong enough to evoke
Images of the most horrible atrocities
Just at the mention of a name…
The gas chambers of Auschwitz,
The killing fields of Cambodia,
The bloodied plains of Darfur.
 
Evil is a powerful adversary,
Bloodthirsty and ruthless,
But just as surely as evil exists,
Goodness exists, with more power and greater numbers.
 
Let the good-hearted people of the world
Stand together against the growing evil,
Casting aside that which may divide us
In pursuit of a nobler cause,
With faithful hearts and fervent prayers
Sent heavenward because only
The light of love and tolerance
Can stop the encroaching darkness.

 And then there’s “resistance,” which I wrote at the height of the election season. I found myself increasingly frustrated as it seemed that the public was growing far too complacent, accepting what was being presented to them at face value instead of actually paying attention to the facts and trying to decipher the truth for themselves. While in that poem I pushed perhaps a little further into the political fringe than I normally would, I think it’s good to encourage a little critical thinking when it comes to the news.

resistance (by Mary Mansfield)

resist the poisons
pumped
into our weakened bodies,
man-made plagues
set loose
upon an unsuspecting world
 
resist the lies
injected
into our minds
by manipulators 
seeking more sheep
to cower
at the feet
of their masters
 
resist the misdirection
of the magicians of power
with so much to hide, 
subterfuge
their only armor
against the truth
 
resist the invasion
of the eyes and ears
of the betrayers;
gird your houses
in silence,
for the time of battle
approaches
 
there is no other option
we must resist

 MARIE ELENA:  Both poems are quite powerful, Mary, and lend themselves fittingly with your goal.  Very impressive.

MARY:  I don’t know that I’ve had any success in changing the world on a larger scale, but changing the world doesn’t have to be a monumental task. We all wander through our lives to a large extent very insulated from each other, something made even more apparent with the increased presence of electronic communications. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we are all alone, that no one understands our struggles. Some of the themes I seem to return to in my writing again and again – grief and loss, dysfunctional relationships, the search for meaning in my life – those are such universal themes that touch all of us at some point. I believe that if I can make one person feel a little less alone, make them realize that others have walked that path and shared in that pain, then I’ve done something that has made a difference.

MARIE ELENA: Hear, hear!  You are quite an inspiration, Mary!

I understand you are interested in writing novels as well as poetry.  Tell me what you do to hone your craft of novel writing vs writing poetry.

MARY:  I’d love to write a novel at some point, and I’ve got a couple of ideas floating about in my head that I’ve been trying to get sorted out.  At this point they’re still a bit of a jumbled mess that usually takes me a good twenty minutes to try to explain to anyone, so I’m not quite sure they’re ready to spring to life just yet.

As far as honing my skills, I try to learn as much as I can, studying plot structure, character development and such.  I’ve been trying to work on some shorter pieces but sometimes those ideas are stubborn little things that don’t want to cooperate.  And I read as much as I can, although undeniably not as much as I’d like.

MARIE ELENA:  You describe yourself as “A mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a side of bacon.”  HA!  Tell me more!

MARY:  Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but occasionally my writing can be just a little bit dark and dreary.  I think that little blurb helps to keep me from taking myself too seriously and reminds me to lighten up every now and again (also the reason I have cartoon pillowcases for my bed!)

MARIE ELENA:  I wonder if your classmates knew about the cartoon pillowcases.  😉 I understand they voted you “most likely to become president.”  Nice!  Do you know why they felt this way?  If you really were the president, what about you would make you a good one?

MARY:  First of all, thanks so much for assuming I’d make a good president, because I’m pretty sure it would be disastrous.  I’m overly opinionated, I don’t compromise, and I have this tendency to just blurt out whatever I happen to be thinking.  Not particularly great qualities to have when trying to navigate the political waters of Washington.  I’m pretty sure my high school classmates gave me that particular “honor” simply because I was one of the smartest students; unfortunately we all know far too well that intelligence and politics have very little to do with each other.

MARIE ELENA:  So, what does a day in the life of a poet/novelist/world changer/mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a side of bacon/overly opinionated/possible future president look like?

MARY:  Wow, I don’t know that there’s any such thing as a typical day in my life.  My days are just so dependent on the level of pain I’m dealing with.  I’ve suffered with chronic back pain since my daughter was born, and the pain has only worsened over the years.  On a good day I’ll be able to make it through the normal household routine, pretty easily – school, errands, dishes, laundry, dinner – and have some time to try to get some writing done.  But on those bad days, which come along much more frequently lately, I spend the majority of time with either an ice pack or heating pad on my back with brief periods of trying to get things done for the family.  Admittedly a lot seems to fall through the cracks, and trying to find the focus to write is almost impossible.  That’s the biggest reason I had to throw the brakes on a few months ago in regards to my writing journey…dealing with the constant pain, lack of sleep, and family pressures left me on the brink of a breakdown.  I just had to find a better way.  Not quite sure I’ve done that just yet, but I’m closer than I’ve been in a very long time.

MARIE ELENA:  I’m so sorry that you live with pain, Mary.  That sounds just awful.  I’m glad you are making progress in dealing with it.  It’s hard to even imagine.

As you well know, sometimes through pain comes a miracle, as evidenced by one of my favorite poems of yours.

Three Minute Wait (by Mary Mansfield)

Three minutes can become an agonizing eternity
Mary's Miracle
Mary’s Miracle

Alone in the bathroom at 4 A.M.

I hold that white plastic stick like a talisman,
Praying that the tiny spark of hope
That always resurfaces at times like this
Would not be extinguished once again
With tears of disappointment.
After years of dealing with a malfunctioning body
Flooded with deceitful hormones,
I understood that crushing emotion all too well.
I’m afraid to breathe,
Fighting back another wave of nausea,
Wondering if this could just be anxiety,
Maybe a touch of the flu,
Or perhaps something more…
My hands shake as the timer rings
And I glance down at the indicator,
Terrified of what I’ll find.
In that moment,
Two pink lines showed me
That miracles can happen,
Even to someone like me.

MARIE ELENA:  This piece expresses a candid encounter with such strong long-term yearning, come to fruition.  I’m so glad you were finally able to conceive, and have a healthy little miracle.  If you don’t mind, please tell me about your battle with PCOS.

MARY:  For those who don’t now, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone disorder that affects an estimated 6-10% of all women.  Some the symptoms of this disease are infertility, early menopause, high blood pressure, insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes, abnormal hair growth patterns, and obesity.  PCOS is treatable with medications, diet, and exercise, but there is no cure.

Looking back, with all I’ve learned about PCOS, it’s pretty clear I’ve had this disease since I was a teenager but it took until my mid-thirties to get an official diagnosis.  Over the years I’ve come to something of a reluctant acceptance of my fertility issues, and I realize how truly blessed I am to have my daughter, but still there’s this longing for another child that never seems to fade and a certain amount of heartache as I watch those around me get pregnant and have their babies.

And as if the fertility issues weren’t enough to shake my identity as a woman, the hair growth changes I’ve been through are just insult to injury.  The hair on top of my head is significantly thinning, but I can grow a full beard and moustache, and my eyebrows have turned into some kind of little mutant caterpillars resting on my forehead.  To an extent I can stand back and laugh about it a bit, but it’s hard to feel sexy waking up with stubble on my chin.

MARIE ELENA: Goodness.  We just don’t always know what folks are dealing with right under our noses.  Thank you for being so forthright, Mary.

You dealt with pain in a different sense growing up, as published in Bullyville.com.

Dear Bully,

Actions have consequences…
I’m a shadow from your past,
Faceless and forgotten,
But I remember you.
You turned that playground
Into your own private torture chamber,
Acid words thrown in the faces of the weaker,
Indelible scars time can never erase.
I was no threat to you.
I had no control over how I looked,
The neighborhood where I lived,
The money my family didn’t have.
 
Actions have consequences…
Do you even realize the havoc you caused?
Your voice echoed through my mind for years,
Leaving me damaged and vulnerable,
Easy prey for a much more vicious type of bully,
Whose brand of psychological terror
Made you seem like an amateur.
 
Actions have consequences…
I know the price I’ve paid for yours.
It would be easy to hate you,
To wish you the kind of anguish
I’ve lived with all these years,
To continue the circle of cruelty,
But I won’t.
This ends now.
 
Actions have consequences…
I know I can sleep peacefully tonight.
What about you?

By Mary Mansfield.  Read more at http://www.bullyville.com/?page=articles&id=403#lQD5bJBCxbfj5BPW.99

MARIE ELENA:  Mary, do you feel you were bullied more than most?  How did you handle it, and what did you learn from it?

MARY:  At the time, while in the middle of that classic teenage angst, I was convinced that no one was suffering as much as me.  The much older (and hopefully wiser) me understands that I really didn’t have it all that bad.  I was smart enough to take advantage of the school’s guidance counselor on a pretty regular basis, and I was fortunate to have supportive friends that I could turn to.

MARIE ELENA:  What advice (if any) do you give your daughter about bullying?

MARY:  I do worry about her dealing with bullying, but thankfully there is such great awareness in the schools today about the risks.  I try to do what I can to build her self-confidence and make sure she’s armed with the knowledge she needs to deal with any issues that should arise.

I think it’s also important to make her realize that not everyone she encounters is going to like her, and she won’t like everyone she meets, and that’s perfectly acceptable.  She just needs to remember to treat others with respect and to accept no less in return.

MARIE ELENA:  Excellent advice.  You sound like a caring and wise mother.

So, how do I segue to Jeopardy?  😉  Just forge ahead, I guess!  I understand you and Alex Trebek are “like this.”   How fun!  Tell me about it!

MARY:  My mother is the biggest Jeopardy fan, never misses the show, so I grew up watching it with her.  I signed up online for an audition that was being held in Chicago and was lucky enough to be chosen to try out.  Out of two hundred people in our session, only eight of us passed the test.  Six months later I got the call to fly to Los Angeles for the taping.  I won twice, ending up with cash and prizes totaling just over $20,000.  And no, I did not get a Daily Double…just had to throw that in, it’s one of the first questions everyone seems to ask me about the experience.  Alex Trebek was quite friendly and very funny, entertaining us between taping segments with a pretty good Sean Connery impression.

Mary & Alex Trebek

Is this cool or what?

MARIE ELENA:  That sounds like so much fun, and certainly not something we can all add to our list of life experiences!

As I ask everyone, Mary, if we could know only one thing about you, what would you tell us?

MARY: Now that is a very good question.  Probably that I’m a work in progress.  I don’t have a clue where all this is heading, but watching it unfold just might prove to be entertaining.

MARIE ELENA:  Though I usually end on that note, I decided this time to save your poem choice for last.  I get the impression this poem and your reason for sharing it tells us more about you than any interview could do justice to.  The honesty and depth of this piece brought tears to my eyes.  Thank you, Mary.  It is has been an honor and a pleasure getting to know you better.

REUNION (by Mary Mansfield)

 I saw an old friend,
One long absent and feared lost
To time’s meandering path,
 
Location unknown,
An artifact from my past
Brought into the light once more,
 
A damaged woman
Whose healing and redemption
Was never a guarantee.
 
The fate of rash hearts
Is often desolation,
Eternal exile and grief,
 
But she has survived,
A renewal of the life
She was always meant to live.
 
Welcome back, old friend.
It’s nice to see you again
In my mirror’s reflection.

You know, it is so hard to pick just one poem to serve as a reflection of where I am in my writing and in my life in general, but this comes awfully close.  I’ve found that I tend to be most comfortable writing about emotions, about the heartache and pain that can be so often found in our lives.  And this particular poem has that little twist at the end that I’m awfully fond of, that last little detail that changes the entire meaning of the previous lines.

From a more personal standpoint, those words really resonate with me.  I’ve felt for quite some time that I’ve lost a large part of myself along the way.  That struggle to get back to the life I know I was meant to live is pretty daunting, sometimes I don’t know that I will succeed.  Maybe I’m just seeking redemption one line at a time, and every word is just another step forward on the path.  The real trick is finding the strength to keep going.

IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY – IMAGISM

Imagism is the name given to a movement in poetry aimed at clarity of expression through the use of precise visual images. The early period often written in French form was Imagisme.Use the language of common speech, but employ exact words, not the nearly exact, nor the merely decorative word.

An example: Autumn by T.E. Hulme

A touch of cold in the Autumn night –
I walked abroad,
and saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
and round about were the wistful stars
with white faces like town children.

Try your hand at connecting with the Imagism spirit. Be descriptive and paint the visual picture. Good luck.

MARIE ELENA’S IMAGE:

A Little Girl’s Dream

She dreamed of grace through ballet –
Tulle layered to below her calf
Satan ribbon crisscrossing at her ankle
Waltzing on toe.
Ballet was offered only paired with tap,
For which she had no desire.
No desire until she acquired a taste
For black patent leather shoes.
Became enthralled with
Brush step, patter tap
Clicking rhythm
On hard surface beneath her feet.
Decades later, as she sees herself
In elderly women who
Shuffle
Lumber
Trudge,
She once again dreams of grace.

 © Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013

WALT’S IMAGININGS:

FROSTFUL DAWNING

Mists hang low, clutching the grass
with moist fingers. Lingering
for the feel of the warmth of
sunrise’s first heated breath,
knowing the rising sun spells
its demise. It would be wise
for the mist to remain prone.
If left alone it will remain.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2011

READ IT IN A MAGAZINE – PROMPT #95

… or a newspaper. Take the title of an article from the daily news or your favorite periodical and make it the title of your poem. Write a new poem. It need not relate to the original story. Identify the Title and publication from which it came. Your poem in black and white, to be read all over.

MARIE ELENA’S CLIP:

UNREHEARSED THIRST

A sip of water was fodder for ranting.  Slanting toward screwy, this hooey distracts from the facts, be they left or right.  Polite society allows a variety of thought, and we ought to connect and respect.  To be precise – fight nice.

© Copyright – Marie Elena Good – 2013

Marco Rubio’s Water-Bottle Moment, posted by :  http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/02/marco-rubio-water-bottle-moment.html

WALT’S COLUMN:

AN ANGEL IN HIS POCKET

He walks in charmed steps,
blessed in life by the people
who have become the many threads
in the fabric of that life. He is assured
on the path he had chosen, no longer
frozen by fear and here for the long haul.
For above all else he is guided,
guarded by the presence of the one who
offered her heart and kept him whole.
Opening his eyes to his very soul,
making his rise as quick as a rocket,
compliments of the angel in his pocket!
 

© Copyright – Walter J. Wojtanik 2013

“An Angel In His Pocket” by Lee Jenkins / Sports Illustrated – December 4, 2009

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT #94

We looked to the stars for this week’s prompt to get an indication of what effects astrology has on our lives and personalities. Not that we are pigeon-holed, for we make our own way, developing our personal taste and senses of style. “What’s you sign?” becomes the question of self-examination. And so…

 

MARIE ELENA’S BLOOM

What’s not to love about a poem written by a book-loving poet of true worth, about her inborn love of books.  Nancy Posey’s Libra is simply a delight to read – I can even hear her skipping down the marble steps, and see the satisfied gleam in her eye, anticipating devouring her goods.  Nancy, I appreciate the way you create with your words – from scenes and emotions to something as concrete as how you make your line breaks work for you.  I enthusiastically offer you this week’s Bloom.

LIBRA (by Nancy Posey)

I was weighed
in the balances
and found wanting—

wanting books
books
and more books

little wonder
my rites of passage
began,
not with
a driver’s license
but with
a library card

turned loose
on Saturday afternoons,
left alone
to prowl the stacks,

I agonized over
just
the right
books,

checking them out
then walking
down the marble steps
out front,
books balanced
in my arms

knowing what lay
in my stars—
other people’s stories
becoming my own
page
by
page.

WALT’S BEAUTIFUL BLOOM:

Born under a bad sign or not, you display certain traits that point to the stars. And sometimes it is so telling, it is laughable. Our poet has shined her starlight on a glimpse of one such scene. As stereotypical as it sound, the blatant truth of it is spot on. I had a brother who was far too horny and full of B.S. They are real people; predators. The slimy end of the gene pool beckons to DIVE RIGHT IN. Amy Barlow Liberatore, here is your BEAUTIFUL BLOOM.

DIVE RIGHT IN (from the mini-series, “Amy: The Lost Years) by Amy Barlow Liberatore

I know it’s a dive but
I dive right in anyway
Thigh-high boots first and
black silk bustiered boobs
not far behind

A drink; I start to shine; a
dim bulb sidles over, his
best pick-up line the
cobwebby question
of the truly unhip:

“What sign are you?”
After all these years,
you’d think it would
no longer be laughable
to answer, “Virgo”

But sorry-ass dudes
who think they can
get you with a ‘lude*
also seem to think it’s
hilarious to say “virgin”

Now he’s making fun
of my birth sign
“Hold on, Jack,” I snark,
“who’s the one with the
fake tan and a wink

that tells me you watch
WAY too much old
Magnum, PIs? Let me
illuminate you, buddy
I may have been born Virgo,

but I’ve a Gemini eye:
I can see Taurus rising
in your attitude, cuz
you’re way past horny
and full of B.S.”

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

CONGRATULATIONS NANCY AND AMY! GREAT BLOOMS AND GREAT POEMS POETS!

IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY – OVILLEJO

An OVILLEJO (the name comes from the Spanish, meaning “tight ball of yarn”) is a verse that consists of ten lines. There are no specific line lengths required, but the shorter lines (numbers 2, 4, and 6) are usually no more than five syllables long, and the other seven lines no more than eight syllables long. The rhyme scheme reveals the mystery of the form:

1. a, Longer line
2. A, Short line
3. b, Longer line
4. B, Short line
5. c, Longer line
6. C, Short line
7. c, Longer line
8. d, Longer line
9. d, Longer line
10. A+B+C  <— This line combines Lines 2, 4 and 6 to complete a thought.

Many Ovillejo devotees  suggest having the last line or phrase in mind before writing, to help set your theme. (But flying by the seat of your pants offers some interesting variations!)

MARIE ELENA’S ATTEMPT

PURSUED (an Ovillejo)

We need only listen as He speaks,
and seeks
to keep us from abysmal graves.
He saves
the weak offender from sin’s cost.
The lost
redeemed, forgiven, and embossed –
sanctified with His holy name –
this sinless One who shouldered all our shame.
He seeks and saves the lost.
 
(Thanks to DE MILLER JACKSON for reminding me that God pursues me.)
 
© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013
 

WALT’S WALTZ:

Nothing is as cheerful as
life is,
quite the grand brand of mirth,
well worth
it until we’re on the gurney.
The journey
keeps your heart in play; the tourney
of your lifetime is played to win and laugh.
So steer away from sins and gaffes,
life is well worth the journey.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

I HOPE I HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING by Linda Swenski

Of the many things that a life well lived provides, among these are the lessons that mold us and give us our character and personality. We hope that in these travels, we pick up at least a little something to keep moving us forward.

This is the third installment of the Memoir-Chapbook Project which expresses these hopes in an excellent way! It can be found under the tab above, Memoir Project Chapbooks and the link below.

I HOPE I HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING by Linda Swenski