INFORM POETS – SENRYÛ

A short Japanese style poem, similar to haiku in structure: three lines with 17 or fewer total “syllables”, however, senryû tend to be about human foibles while haiku tend to be about nature, and senryû are often cynical or darkly humorous and satiric while haiku are serious.

WALT’S SENRYÛ:

In darkness of night
soft seductive shadows fall,
upon window shade

Copyright (C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

rice wine invades
all sense of balance gone
saki to me

Copyright (C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

artist painting
scenes of nature
saved for future’s gaze

Copyright (C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

PROMPT #172 – “MUSICAL MEMORIES”

Listen to some music from an earlier period in your life. Write a poem about the memories they evoke or how they make you feel.

WALT’S MUSIC MEMORY:

SHANE INTO THE SUNSET

shanesings

Shane Gibson Shane Brother Shane

A cowboy rides
into town; a new sheriff
to spread the peace and keep it.
A voice thick and drawn, a spellbinder
weaving words with an eclectic style,
a smile that charms the masses.
In a class by himself, this music man
stands ready to draw, “guns”
loaded with wit and wisdom.
A cosmic sort, ethereal and as real
as none before him. Riding the airwaves,
up and down the eastern seaboard,
a hoard of believers hanging on every
word and absurd quip, a quick lip
across the Buffalo radio dial.
And me a young-blood, hearing the
endearing worded wizardry of a sage
at an age when one was lacking.
Packing as much sincerity
in the clarity he offered.
Brother of another mother,
Shane Brother Shane. The memories remain,
“Love is but a song we sing”,
opening the “Box” releasing the gifts
lifted high. Peace and love in
a nightly “Get Together” tethered
by heartstrings and leather fringe.
The trappings of cool, nobody’s fool;
he ruled the sunset. Ride on cowboy!
Shane. Brother Shane.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

 

And if you get the chance, wish our Marie Elena a Happy Birthday today. Send her a thought or a greeting in whatever way suits you, here or across the web.

Happy Birthday, Pardner!

 

INFORM POETS – LANTERNE

The Lanterne is a type of poem that has one syllable in the first line, two syllables in the second line, three syllables in the third line, four syllables in the fourth line, and one syllable in the fifth line that related to the first word of the poem.
Example

* 5 line poem
* each line has a specific number of syllables

line 1 = 1 syllable
line 2 = 2 syllables
line 3 = 3 syllables
line 4 = 4 syllables
line 5 = 1 syllable
* lines do not rhyme
* poem is based on one sentence or idea

WALT’S LANTERNES:

soup
steaming
comfort food
aromatic
broth

Copyright (C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

hair
wind tossed
receding
in full retreat
bald

Copyright (C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

eyes
windows
to the soul
hearts and minds in
sight

Copyright (C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

BRILLIANT BLOOMS PROMPT #170 AND HEXSONNETTA

Here it’s Tuesday and quite clear I’m a late bloomer this week. But I would be remiss not to acknowledge the consistently outstanding work of our poet gardeners. Forgive my delay.

We have come to express in color with the vibrancy and variance of tint and hue. We forgo red for crimson, green for emerald and every shade in between. And so the prompt painted wonderful works. In this season of Autumn, we are ravaged visually with the golds and auburns and shades of brown. The surety of October’s call to slumber fall within the tints of brown expressed well in a return by Jerry Walraven (Chev Shire, for those who recall his works under this moniker).

“Somehow Brown” by Jerry Walraven

I like to pretend,
as Autumn swirls about my feet,
that the song
sung by the leaves of sienna
is sweeter than
the song
sung by those of rust.

That those of persimmon
carry warm notes
through cool breezes
to my nighttime window.

That copper colored leaves
spend more time airborne,
enjoying the twists and turns
than their russet neighbors.

But the citrine colored
leaves from this river birch
are dotted now
with moments of sepia,
coloring time
and condensing space
as
these lovely shades
give way
to charcoal lines
sketched against gray skies
and different beauty.

await.

(C) Jerry Walraven, 2014

 

The Hexsonnetta followed as our featured form. This variation of a traditional sonnet brought a newness to an old “friend”.

Capturing the essence of life in this Hexsonnetta, our friend and mentor, Salvatore Buttaci brings us these words by which to live.

LIVE IN THE MOMENT by Salvatore Buttaci

It’s foolish letting time
Escape to parts unknown,
A fault that’s ours alone
Because we set our minds
Ahead or far behind
This moment we are shown.

It’s wise to live the now.
Ignore what’s not yet born.
Forget the vanished dawn.
I tell you this is how;
To this you ought best vow:
Why let time pass, then mourn?

Oh, live for all it’s worth,
Each moment be your birth!

(C) Salvatore Buttaci, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS JERRY AND SALVATORE on your Blooms.

Exceptional work all!

PROMPT #171 – “LIFE AS YOU KNOW IT”

You are the Professor of “LIFE 101”. What is the first lesson you would impart? Write it as a poem!

PROFESSOR WALT’S SYLLABUS:

LESSON ONE: WORK ON LOVE

We struggle to start,
with a passionate heart
and no idea how a plea of insanity
can render all of humanity smitten,
as if bitten by the love bug.
Any amorous slug would suffice,
and never look twice when the first glance
will cover any chance you have
to topple heart over heels.
You will know how it feels
when your mouth gets dry and try
as you might, you can’t fight the urge
as others delight in your plight.
Your hands will sweat, and you will get
tongue tied inside. You will quiver
and shake; make a fool of yourself.
Stutter, stammer and throw glamor out
the window, it is not pretty.
But anything worth while in life is
worth the effort. Make it!
Take it as it comes; accept a little shove.
And above all else, work on love.

Copyright © 2014 Walter J Wojtanik

 

INFORM POETS – HEXSONNETTA

The HexSonnetta, created by Andrea Dietrich, consists of two six-line stanzas and a finishing rhyming couplet with the following set of rules:

Meter: Iambic Trimeter
Rhyme Scheme: a/bb/aa/b c/dd/cc/d ee

Iambic Trimeter means the usual iambic (alternating unstressed/stressed) meter for every line of the poem, but instead of the ten syllables that comprise a typical sonnet’s iambic pentameter, this particular form uses six syllables of iambic trimeter per line. Thus, the name HexSonnetta. The first part of the form’s name refers to the syllable count per line. The second part of the name, Sonnetta, is to show this to be a form similar to the sonnet, yet with its shorter lines and different rhyme scheme, it is not the typical sonnet. Not only does this poem have six syllables per line, it also has a set of two six-line stanzas, giving an extra “hex” to the meaning of HexSonnetta. The rhyme scheme is a bit of a mixture of the two traditional sonnet types, with the two 6-line stanzas having more the rhyme scheme of an Italian sonnet, but with the ending rhyming couplet being the featured rhyme scheme of the English sonnet. The first stanza presents the theme of the poem, with the second stanza serving to change the tone of the poem, to introduce a new aspect of the theme or to give added details. The final couplet, as in an English sonnet, can be either a summary (if the theme is simple) or it could be the resolution to a problem presented in the theme. In any event, it should nicely tie together the whole piece and could even appear as a nice “twist” presented at the end.

WALT’S HEXSONNETTA:

THE END OF SEASONS

As Autumn starts to fall
a chill returns to stay.
The wind comes out to play,
you hear her howl to call
to creatures great and small,
farewell to Summer’s days.

A pall surrounds the night,
the shroud of darkness, black
as shadows that attack
and cover all in sight.
Quite soon the bitter bite
of Winter will come back.

The end of seasons come.
It draws us close to home.

Copyright © 2014 Walter J Wojtanik

PROMPT #170 – “TINT AND HUE”

Making great inroads into the Autumn season, we are inundated with the magnificent palette of colors that present themselves as the winds grow cold. Think of your favorite color. Find the variations in shade of your chosen color. (Blue – Prussian, peacock…) Write a colorful poem using as many of these alternate descriptors as you can. We are in a sensory mode since last week’s prompt. We continue by tapping into the visual beauty of color.

WALT’S POEM:

RED SAILS AND SUNSETS

Broad brush strokes of Alizarin Crimson
and amaranth, American Beauty Rose is a miss
that lusters like a ruby in the noonday sun.

Auburn tinted leaves leave little to imagine,
but the grin that spreads from ear to ear
is clear. Brick and mortar are not built for speed,

indeed they are solid; a structured foundation
upon which lives are constructed. We’ve tucked
our collars up and the skies remain changeable.

Unstable weather not withstanding, Fall
is handing us a sneak peek at the peak of the season.
There is no reason to stay sequestered, it has festered

for as long as you’ve been marooned. Soon
the Cardinal will perch on barren branches
and the chances are slim that Winter will delay.

All fruited hints of a tint so rusty; ruddy
and bloody replacing candy apple and cherry,
(although grapes make great claret; burgundy)

and we see the sun diminish at the finish of day.
Unfurled, our canvas sways and stays billowed
like a skyward pillow capturing the breath of Him.

Scarlet spinnaker shadowed in silhouette,
you have yet to pull anchor, thankful for this moment.
A descending sun back-lighting the horizon,
it will rise again on the next New Day!

Copyright © 2014 Walter J Wojtanik

 

BRILLIANT BLOOM PROMPT #169 AND EPIGRAM

We’ve made sense out of our sense of belonging, reaching out to feel what our surrounding are all about. The poem that struck me  strongly was this poem by Benjamin Thomas.

SLEEP ON THE BATTLEFIELD

The canons of mind are put to sleep; fierce red dragons of anxiety are slain at ease. It’s walls testify of a lasting peace, the corridors hum rhythmic liberties, while the pain has ceased.

An abundance of rest blankets the battlefield, gently arrays the dead with hope. It’s soldiers dream their heart under its comforter. While the war is over, they still cope.

The winter is past, the rain is over and gone, and the time of singing has come.

Benjamin Thomas

For the Epigram Blooms, I am selecting a group of poems by three of our poets. Since the Epigrams are short blurbs of poetics, I choose the collected Epigrams of Salvatore Buttaci (including Spring Wish, If We Could Go Back and Not Such A Tall Tale), Susan Schoeffield‘s (Becoming One With Nature, Heightened Senses, Fibber’s Tale) and all of William Preston‘s finery!

CONGRATULATIONS BENJAMIN, SALVATORE, SUSAN and WILLIAM! Exceptional work poets!

And Damon, we’re glad you came back!

INFORM POETS – EPIGRAM

A very short, ironic and witty poem usually written as a brief couplet or quatrain. The term is derived from the Greek epigramma meaning inscription.

WALT’S EPIGRAMS:

Montgomery lies in sweet repose.
Her husband caught him with Sweet Rose!

Copyright (C) Walter J Wojtanik 2014

 

The night grows dark; the shadows long,
the musty smell is thick and strong.
Anne, once glad that she had married him,
is gladder now that she has buried him!

Copyright (C) Walter J Wojtanik 2014

GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP by VIVIENNE BLAKE

The next e-chapbook of poems from our July P.A.D. (Granada Camp For Wayward Poets) comes from Vivienne Blake with her collection entitled:

LoveHate

A Love-Hate Relationship

Contents:

1. Holiday Time
2. Deluge
3. Revolution
4. The Mill and the Pony Camp
5. Camp Stew and Chocolate Whip
6. A Forest of Flies
7. Exploration
8. Evening Walk
9. Renaissance Camp
10. Leadership
11. Recipe for Joy
12. River Camp
13. Ottava Rima
14. My Place
15. Campfire’s Burning
16. Sleeping Out
17. Time to Go Home

1. Holiday time

Unpack the tent to find a hole.
Mend the tent.
Pack the tent.
Pack some food
and something to cook it in,
eat it from, wash up in;
wellies,  waterproofs,
sleeping bags,
rugs and warm clothes.
Maps, musical instruments
and lego in the car
to amuse the kids on the journey.
Hang on a minute.
Must I?
Couldn’t I
have a five star hotel
with en-suite bathrooms
and someone else to cook
and make proper beds
and clean up after me?

No.
Oh well, I can dream.

2. Deluge

Someone up there turned on the tap
and pulled out the plug,
to unleash Niagara on an unsuspecting world.
The ants scurried hither and yon
in search of shelter
under the coverlet of a leafy haven
and dryads danced with naiads
in an ecstasy of nature.

3. Revolution

Panting up the thousand-pedal hill
rain hammering on my cycling cape
arms out searching for escape
eyes blind with ragged temper tears
cooking over a flickering candle
sleeping cold on  stony ground.
It’s a simple no-brainer to explain
why I’m on a mission to ban camping:
Weather

4. The Mill and the Pony Camp

Two little girls with bicycles
set out towing a horse
to a tiny island between millrace
and Grand Union Canal.
The horse set free to graze,
they set up their little camp.
Freedom

The nights were hard
the food was bad –
each meal a variation on sausages or Spam
with Shredded Wheat and marmalade for breakfast.
But not deterred,
intrepid girls explored
one on horseback,
one on bike, in turn.
Adventure

A week went by adventuring
without a serious problem.
The occasional fall
didn’t scare them at all –
the pony was their factotum,
carrying shopping or girl
back to camp full of environment,
then home, at last, for nourishment.
Hunger

***The Grand Union Canal runs from London to Birmingham in the centre of England and at that time there were still pairs of narrow-boats taking goods between the two cities and beyond, with whole families travelling the waterways all their lives.

5. Camp stew and chocolate whip

Camping wild means simple food,
mostly out of a tin or two –
ravioli, washed down with pop
or mince and tomato makes a good glop.
Beans and spam or sausages
plus of course hot beverages.
The kettle and the camp stove
plus frying pan enough to contrive
a meal sufficient to survive.
But mere survival is not enough:
chocolate relieves a diet of mostly mush.
Tabasco adds a little spice
to everything in paradise.

6. A Forest of Flies

Words hang heavy while creatures swarm
and buzz and hum around the tent,
storm my citadel; jump
with passion onto my skin; thrive
on my flapping, swatting, clapping;
sneer at my efforts to remove them.
Without an ounce of magic
I’ll never be free of them.

picture URL:

7. Exploration

Holding our breath in reverence
for the mystery of the forest
we’ll explore the dangers ahead
timid yet brave for adventure,
breathing in good fresh air.

How to escape the labyrinth?
Tie a string and trail it behind,
leave paterans of twigs at junctions
or cut blazes in bark to point the way?
Keep an eye out for monsters
or maybe a bear.

Collect pebbles in pockets
for a cairn at the top
to show that we were there.

Pateran:  an arrow of stones or twigs, left on a path.

8. Evening Walk

Distant view
of trees and pastures
now obscured by waving maize.

Remote hum
of main road motors
muffled by beloved birdsong.
Inaccessible roughness
of thick bark on oak trunk
untouchable high above the bank.
Sweet flavour
of luscious blackberries
lingers long on my grassy walk.
Insistent perfume
transports rosy thoughts
from some secluded garden.

image:  Sandwood Bay from Undiscovered Scotlane.co.uk

9. Renaissance Camp

Sandwood Bay in Sutherland
in days gone by as now reachable only
after a twenty-mile trek across moor and mountain.
My renaissance camp would set up there.

Back in time, like a Tardis
I’d wander the pristine shore
rejoicing in the sounds of the sublime –
the swish of sea, the cry of guillemot
the scream of dive-bombing oystercatcher.

Mermaids would whisper their stories
into my ear to re-invent for the children
who’ve accompanied me there –
sturdy trekkers that they were,
receptive to wilderness and beauty.

They’ve picked up the baton
now that trekking is behind me,
in search of remote places –
renaissance of the seeds we sowed so long ago.

10. Leadership

Voices various
instruments melodious
blend harmonious
in chorus classical
conductor tyrannical
resultant canticle
beauty inexpressible

11. Recipe for Joy – a senryu chain

Past and future days
soaked in memories and dreams
comfort and solace

Good days and bad days
tolerated with courage
happy and sad days

Doing and making
obsession and digression
learning and laughter

12. River Camp – a prose poem

I wake in the dawn to the sound of lapping water and the pungent scent of river mud.  I stick my head out of the tent flap to watch the peaceful Thames.  A hatch of midges dances, erratically catching the first rays of the sun.  The grasses at eye level glisten with dew and silvered cobwebs join the green blades into a lethal network.
Lazily I roll over, yawn and stretch.  A cacophony of birdsong separates into distinct sounds: trills, squeaks, coos of wood pigeons, chattering chaffinches, melodies in harmony and à capella airs.
The siren song of the river beats at my will until I squirm out of my sleeping bag and pull on yesterday’s clothes.  Bare feet in cold, wet grass, then mud squidges between my toes as I push the dinghy with a rasping rattle until it floats.  I clamber in.
The current takes hold and the boat drifts peacefully past pollarded willows, their stubby trunks supporting an effusion of shaving brush fronds.
A pair of swans glides past, with four cygnets in line astern.  I spy a gaggle of fluffy baby moorhens under the bank with the triangles of their parents’ upturned tails nearby.
A silent shadow swoops above, neck tucked in, as the heron searches intently for its breakfast in the murky green water.  I am content.

13. Ottava Rima

A hatch of midges hovers in a cloud
above the Kielder Water at eventide.
Hungry for human blood they are avowed,
not to disperse until it is supplied.
Despite this hazard, hardy walkers crowd,
for the beauty of the lake can’t be denied.
As complex eco-systems demonstrate:
it’s nature’s way ever to compensate.

14. My Place

I rather fancy a beach hut,
with a gingerbread porch painted blue.
A proper bed with a mattress
and a bright hand-made quilt or two.
It would need a little bathroom –
my days of dew-soaked treks are gone –
a camping stove for cups of tea
and the occasional meal for one.
It could be hidden among the dunes
on the coast not far from home,
so when the mood takes me for camping
I wouldn’t have far to roam.
A comfy chair in the porch
to idle the days away
watching the tide as it comes and goes
and the birdlife cabaret.

15. Campfire’s Burning

A gaggle of girl guides
ging gang goolied
without a clue what it meant.
We came round the mountains
wearing pink pyjamas.
A big baboon by the light of the moon
combed his golden hair
while riding on a donkey.

We found a peanut, ate worms,
carried water in a holey bucket
to the quartermaster’s stores,
and sang of the explosion of Sambo
from too much fizzy pop.
We laughed with a Kookaburra up a gum tree
and finished with Courtesy –
our favourite campfire song.

We grew quietly sentimental
as flames dwindled
into a heap of ashes,
sang Taps
and went to bed.

16. Sleeping Out

Head to toe on veranda hammock
under phoney bearskin rug
sisters chatter loudly long into the night.
Little by little spreads the silence of sleep

or does it?

Ripples from river slurp softly on the bank
crow of wayward cockerel
causes murmurs from sleepers
rustles in the flower beds
as hedgehog creeps along
beat of wings from hunting owl
summer crickets’ creaky song
but little by little spreads the silence of sleep

17. Time to Go Home

Where are you hiding? The parents called.
Come out this minute, it’s time to go home.
They searched the camp,
they searched the woods,
they shouted hither and yon
until at last from the old oak tree
a giggle met their ears.
We don’t want to go home,
they shouted
as their hiding place was revealed.
Hard-fought negotiation ensued
with promises to return next year
before at last they slid down to the ground
and sulked all the way into the car.

 

All poems above (C) Vivienne Blake, 2014