We’re looking off into the near distance, searching our horizon for the next big thing. Every adventure is out there for our taking as long as we’re making a concerted effort to reach for it. Of course, writing a horizon poem will work for you here as well. Or take a new look at an old thing and make it new (relatively) again! We stand on the cusp of that brave new world. Where will it take you?
Fog may blur your view
of hope on the horizon,
but it’s no less there.
Walt here. So, I stand on the cusp of a new adventure in my life. I will be retiring in June (June 3rd to be exact). And being within the month, I’ve been keeping silent count of the remaining days. I figured that’s a good point to use as reference, so here’s what I propose..
A COUNTDOWN TO ______________
Write of the anticipated something in your life in a countdown to that momentous occasion. That’s the theme, but you can word it however you wish to convey your thoughts. I’m counting on you all to do me proud (you’ve never let me down!) I don’t anticipate you’ll start now.
We’re thinking animals this week. It’s a fact that animals are blessed with certain instincts and traits to aid in their survival. We know a cheetah is very fast. We’ve all heard of how “wise” an owl is. Squirrels are gatherers. Dogs are loyal; cats aloof… Take an animal trait or instinct and use that as your inspiration for your poetry. Mild or wild, get “animalistic” on us!
WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM
Silently they graze,
and suddenly in a dusty haze
they kick up their hooves
and raise the roofs,
a guaranteed stampede indeed.
You can hear them rumble,
yet they remain humble,
they hear nature's call
as one by one their obstacles fall.
And from the deepest of chills
you can hear them shout,
It’s a new year. Hopefully we’ll experience changes in a positive way. (Not anything like the past couple of years). And as we think of changes, who knew change better than the Thin White Duke, David Bowie, who would have celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday. Bowie was instrumental in changing music. He changed his style (think Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars vs. Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby). He had changed his persona on a few occasions, always morphing into different versions of himself. Then there is one of his hit singles, “Changes.”
We’re writing a change poem. Change can do you good. And the aspect of change, from spare change, to loose change, to whatever change you can imagine. Perhaps change your poetic style for this one. You decide whether bad or good, but make your Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes flow!
I've found myself slowing down a bit,
pitching less of a fit and finding the groove
I'm in moves me in a whole new direction.
I'm in no hurry of late, not looking to become
the late, great Walt. It's my fault, bringing
so much passion to my words that you've heard
before. I'm more sedate, (that's debatable)
less stable with all my cards on the table.
The best cards held close to the vest
have long been played. Not looking
to cash my chips in just yet. I forget where
I had left them. I'll get them neatly stacked
and be back for the final deal. So my steps
have faltered a smidge and Walter by the fridge
is where you'll find me. Don't mind me.
As long as I've got a few arms up my sleeves,
I'll leave here writing verse. It could be worse.
I could be riding in the back of the hearse,
instead of giving the funeral director directions.
As we close in on Christmas, we are surrounded by the trappings of the season. Pick an item associated with Christmas and write a Christmas poem from that item’s point of view. It could be an ornament, or a branch on Christmas tree. It might be an angel tree topper or a figurine from your nativity creche. What does the donkey see? The Star of Bethlehem? Christmas from a different perspective.
We are fortunate this week to get an early Christmas gift, in the guise of our Marie Elena Good rejoining us. It is a Good present indeed!
Cross of Christ
My place atop the Christmas tree may seem a lofty place for me, but humbly, I point down below through greenery and lights aglow to manger scene that holds the Christ who paid the price in sacrifice for every woman, man, and child – this perfect Lamb – this undefiled Rescuer, Redeemer, God I represent, and richly laud.
Each year, they bring me out to celebrate,
and I wait in silent vigil, keeping watch
over everything Christmas. My uniform
is well appointed and my double jointed
jaw may have me cracking jokes
or other nutty things. Mouse Kings
and sugarplum faeries complete my circle.
I do enjoy the joyous music this time of year.
My job is to protect and serve with nerves
of oak, just like any bloke who chooses
to enlist their service. Yet, I'm nervous.
I'm suspicious of that elf up on that shelf!
(c) Walter J Wojtanik - 2021
2021 is sprinting to the end and thank God it is! It’s been a struggle, but we’re surviving as best we can. Now, we stand on the cusp of our Thanksgiving holiday in the States. The precursor to Christmas is almost nigh. So we are asked to write our obligatory “Thankful” poem … anything with the word THANK in the title or in the body of your poem would be greatly accepted! So, for Marie and myself, we tell you that we are very thankful for each and every one of you who share this ‘familial’ garden with us. We appreciate you to no end and consider you all family as well as friends. Happy Thanksgiving to all who will be celebrating. And Happy you’re with us moving forward! Be thankful!
Good afternoon, all. I’ve missed your word-filled, wonderful selves. I’m mostly better now, but still not up to reading or writing. It’s hard to describe, so I won’t even try. 😉 But upon sneaking into the garden to say hello, I see our fearless leader Walt is M.I.A. Trying to get in touch with him to make sure he is okay. In our absence, feel free to write an Absence poem. We’ll both join in when we are able.
In the meantime, know this: There is no shortage of Covid-free cyber hugs to you all!
Thanks to Marie for catching my fall (as any Good partner and “sister” would). And to all who reached out privately to check on me, it was greatly appreciated. I am not “the late” Walt, I was just late! 😉
It seems the paintings and works of artist Edward Hopper are great fodder to inspire other artists in their endeavors. We as poets have come across this from time to time. Many an Ekphrastic poem has sprung from these offerings. Some show the desolation of the human condition, or the interaction of the same.
Today I offer three such works for your poetic interpretation:
Each painting expresses something and it’s your job to relate what it says to you. Choose one and tell us what you see!
The man had many hang ups,
and this one will have him hung over
all day. Another Sunday with nary
a prayer on his lips, but plenty of
Jack Daniel’s on his breath.
He curses God for his lack of strength
in battling his demons, for they’ve
cost him his job and his family.
Responsibility was never his,
and he wasn’t laying claim to this.
On any given Sunday you’ll find him
pissing his life away; he thinks
he’s keeping his demons at bay.
Autumn is upon us and as the season takes hold we take comfort wherever we find it. It could be from a bowl of hot soup, it might be a warm blanket or a seat next to a warm fire. What is your comfort? We’re writing a comfort poem!
On Wednesday, during our exploration of Wallace Stevens’ work through his “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”, I instructed you to be mindful of this piece of poetics. Stevens observed his subject from many different angles, yet staying true to his subject, blackbirds.
I ask that you choose a subject, be it something in your travels or something in your realm of influence, and write your observations in as many parts as you see fit. The point of view is all yours. There is more than one way to skin a cat, so they say. There are many views of your chosen subject. Write them!