INFORM POETS – PLEIADES

This titled form was invented in 1999 by Craig Tigerman, Sol Magazine’s Lead Editor. Only one word is allowed in the title followed by a single seven-line stanza. The first word in each line begins with the same letter as the title. Hortensia Anderson, a popular haiku and tanka poet, added her own requirement of restricting the line length to six syllables.

Background of the Pleiades: The Pleiades is a star cluster in the constellation Taurus. It is a cluster of stars identified by the ancients, mentioned by Homer in about 750 B.C and Hesiod in about 700 B.C. Six of the stars are readily visible to the naked eye; depending on visibility conditions between nine and twelve stars can be seen. Modern astronomers note that the cluster contains over 500 stars. The ancients named these stars the seven sisters: Alcyone, Asterope, Celaeno, Electra, Maia, Merope, and Tygeta; nearby are the clearly visible parents, Atlas and Pleione.

The poetic form The Pleiades is aptly named: the seven lines can be said to represent the seven sisters, and the six syllables represent the nearly invisible nature of one sister.

DE’S EXAMPLE:

Starlight

Stain yourself in something
small, pinpricked and silent,
strangely unseen. You must
spill it just right in ink,
splayed loose to ebony
sky. Bright stones aligned; a
sisterhood of lost shine.

Copyright © 2014 De Jackson

***

WALT’S PLEIADE:

WHENEVER

When time allows, he will,
whether now or later.
Who knows when it will be.
Walt’s having a problem.
Will he resolve issues?
Will he reach for tissues?
We’ll have to wait and see.

© Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014

BRILLIANT BLOOMS – PROMPT #151 AND BREVETTE

The latest prompt had us taking common word combinations and describing our vision in our own words. The varied phrases were rather unexpected and yield some great work. As our guest hosts are finding out, it isn’t easy to choose one outstanding poem; there are so many. Laurie Kolp , we are excited for your success with the release of your book, and I thank you personally for adding your help in navigating this ship!

THE BLOOMS:

WALT’S CHOICE

My choice changed as I read further down the comments, several times, as a matter of fact. Just when I thought I had settled on one, the next one had me changing my mind. This fact is magnified by the point that the poem I chose was the last one posted. This poet’s work always slips under the radar, but is no less outstanding than the rest. Her patience has paid off. Linda Hofke, you earn this BLOOM with your Haibun.

LIGHT FOG by Linda Evans Hofke

“It’s not that everything is cloaked in a thick cloud of white; shapes and forms and colors come through but are muted as if fairies spun a layer of light lace all over the place, hazy and crazy with light shining through tiny cracks here and there. Visibility is blurred but I know who you are.
And if the fog thickens and all goes white then I will know you by your voice.”

I hadn’t exactly understood what grandma was trying to explain about her eyes, but I saw the sadness in them, watched them grow misty as she spoke.

mourning dove
hastily takes flight before
camera focuses

© Copyright Linda Evans Hofke – 2014

 

LAURIE’S SELECTION:

Laurie has confirmed the challenge of choosing a poem for the BRILLIANT BLOOM. She struggled with the array of wonderful poetry. When it was all said and done, she had chosen Salvatore Buttaci’s “Storm”

STORM by Salvatore Buttaci

Hot-wiring the horizon,
Lightning accelerates skittish clouds
In a breakneck, thundering frenzy
While twin suns on tangerine fire
Crackle in our eyes.

Holding hands on the sofa, we watch
The late-afternoon sky show
Through our backyard window,
Electro-etching one more
Memory in the making.

When I look back at you again,
You are still there.
© Copyright Salvatore Buttaci – 2014

***
INFORM POETS BRILLIANT BLOOMS

The Brevette form is as concise as it gets. It’s more of an image maker; a flash of thought that has a poetic flair. It’s that simple. But, in exploring the various forms that are out there, it was time to expose you to this bit of worded wonder. These thoughts are highly provocative, feeding the thought fully.

PENNY HENDERSON earns a BLOOM for this Brevette, a great image after this exasperating winter:

spring
e v i s c e r a t e s
depression

© Copyright Penny Henderson – 2014

***
WILLIAM PRESTON gave us this string of interconnected brevettes which as Claudine Young had expressed WOULD make a fine picture book. The form itself works well in this application and his progression from the birds building their nest, and ending with their young birds leaving, is purely circle of life. For this William earns his BLOOM.

 

Birds
b u i l d
nests.

Nests
h o l d
young.

Young
b e g
food.

Food
b u i l d s
wings.

Wings
l i f t
birds.

Birds
f l e e
nests.

© Copyright William Preston – 2014

CONGRATULATIONS SALVATORE, LINDA, PENNY AND WILLIAM ON YOUR SELECTIONS AS BRILLIANT BLOOMS.

PROMPT #151 – “IMAGES AND IDEAS”: GUEST HOST – LAURIE KOLP

POET AND PHOTOGRAPHER LAURIE KOLP

POET AND PHOTOGRAPHER
LAURIE KOLP

This week we travel back to Texas to tap our next Guest Host. As you will read, she is an accomplished and well published poet and photo artist. I am happy to help her announce that her first full poetry collection,  Upon the Blue Couch, was released just yesterday. See the link below and learn about Laurie Kolp’s accomplishments. And as always, thank you Laurie for your help this week!

***

Laurie Kolp lives in Southeast Texas with her husband of 15 years, three kids and two dogs. Although she was born with Irish and German blood, her native tongue is poetry. She writes in a 3 by 5 corner, one wall an outlook visited quite often by cardinals, mourning doves, grackles and blue jays. The other side open to eyes behind her head always watching the goings on of her family. This type of lifestyle has led Laurie to believe at times she must have developed attention deficit disorder (ADD). One second she’s nitpicking a poem, the next kicking Nerf balls with her boys… or off to shop with her daughter for those last-minute things teenagers need… interrupted by chores that lead her on tangents. But she always ends back in her little nook fingering keys and reading books of poetry. By the way, Laurie’s first full-length poetry collection, Upon the Blue Couch, comes out this month. Learn more at her website http://lauriekolp.com.

 

Discover more about Laurie at  her blogs:

Laurie Kolp Poetry
Bird’s-Eye Gemini.

***

FIRST OFF, LAURIE AND WALT, IN CONJUNCTION WITH MARIE ELENA GOOD, WOULD LIKE TO WISH YOU ALL A HAPPY EASTER!

PROMPT #151 – “IMAGES AND IDEAS”: Take a word image (“cloudless sky”, “rainless thunder”, “twilight’s last gleaming”…) . List some of the ideas your choice elicits and write them into your poem.

WALT’S IMAGE:

CLOUD FILLED SKY

Clarity is a rarity,

patches of blue shine through

vaporous mists, floating suspended,

a never-ending journey never touching down.

Thoughts muddled in mind and heart

find a way to start, an expression

to soar, confused no more.

© Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014

***

LAURIE’S IDEA:

GRASSLESS FIELD
 
a sprint from home to track
when news too much to bear
chases her, a wasted thief
 
kneels in grassless field
and waits for steady breathing,
sweat nourishment for desert floor
 
so close the dirt a glove
for fingers sinking down
her asylum, one with earth
 
a fortune doomed childless
as barren as this paddock- –
she looks into the sky and screams
© Copyright Laurie Kolp – 2014

PROMPT #150 – SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE: GUEST HOST – BENJAMIN THOMAS

Our Guest Host is as prolific as he is talented. Spanning a wide range of topics, forms and styles, I’ve looked forward to his joining me for this week. You see him post as poetryshack, you know him as Benjamin Thomas. Welcome Benjamin!

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POET BENJAMIN THOMAS

POET
BENJAMIN THOMAS

Benjamin Thomas was born and raised in the great state of Ohio, Buckeye country, as they say.  He currently resides in Dayton, OH (Go Flyers!) where he has spent the last 18 years going to school and working in the field of physical therapy.  He is happily married to the love of his life and has two little bustling, bumbling, tumbling whippersnappers that he chases when he is not at work.   He first began writing poetry in 1995, then took a long hiatus until Fall 2010 when he mysteriously discovered Writer’s digest’s Poetic Asides poem-a-day (PAD) challenge and met poets from all  places including our own Walt Wojtanik and Marie E. Good.  

***

PROMPT #150 – “SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE”

Consider this: The government has declared that upon the first of May, you must change everything about yourself. You can retain only one feature, characteristic or character trait. Poem about that one constant. Prove that some things never change.

WALT’S PART:

THEY LEFT MY SMILE

They took my time,
they took my rhyme.
They took my money,
they took my soul.
They too my heart.
they took control.
They took my dignity.
They took my resolve.
They left me with my smile.

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014

 
***

BENJAMIN’S BIT:

CHANGE ME NOT

Change me, change me not.
Gut the interior,
but I’ll keep one spot.
Skin me silly,
extract all muscle strap.
Pluck each nerve, and remove the thinking cap.
But I’ll keep my funny bones please.
And yes, they’re all funny.
Just ask mister humerus.
Who’s contagiously hilarious
and always very humorous.
Procrastination, slowness
they can all take it back.
The warranty still valid
“defective”, there’s been a crack.
How slow is slow?
Like slow-freezing molasses,
with the speed of a centipede
wading through the grasses.
I’m laughin’ til’ the cows come home,
when I’m splittin’ grins in my sleep.
And these funny bones are chucklin’ hard,
still rumbling six feet deep.
So change me, change me not,
gut the interior,
but I’ll keep
that spot.

(C) Copyright Benjamin Thomas – 2014

BRILLIANT BLOOMS PROMPT #149 AND DIATELLE

We’ve entered April to celebrate all things poetic, and Nancy Posey has given us a prompt to ponder. Poems about the poetic process were the order of the day and it has brought forth some wonderful and imaginative poems. All of our poets bring their “A” games each week. These are two that we would like to highlight! We present the BRILLIANT BLOOMS to:

WALT’S CHOICE:

Too much in this piece could have been written by me from the title (pointing to my many sleep disorders,) right down to my not drinking anymore. Our obsessions do take over at times. But we take these thoughts and commit them to page, ready for many new adventures. Laurie Kolp certainly has this mastered. She earns my BLOOM.

INSOMNIAC by Laurie Kolp

Sometimes my dreams
leave me slack-jawed.
It’s like an attack
of lucid metaphors
begging for home
awakens me
and I can’t sleep
until they’re delivered
safe and sound
to my writing shack,
which is odd–
calling the nook
where I write a shack.
But it’s like that
with papers strewn
this way and that,
words on purple
and yellow pads
waiting in line.
Sometimes I can’t
even find the door,
but it seems as if
I live there,
according to my kids.
They call me
a poetic maniac,
but that’s okay–
I don’t drink anymore.
© Copyright Laurie Kolp – 2014

***
NANCY’S AWARD:
I loved so many of your poems this week, but when choosing, I tried to climb inside the head of honest-to-goodness reluctant readers of poetry (Remember, I teach literature—poetry to eighteen-year-olds at eight in the morning.) This one I found so much fun. I love the way she uses language of poetry and tipsy dance.

POETRY by Barbara Young

always wants a dance.
Even when nobody asks
she gets out on the floor.
Alas I am left, tapping,
with two left trochees
and a pest of unvoiced plaints.
Amphibrachs,
and some tepid punch jiggle
when I bump the table
for I bump the table
when I tap. Poetry does
enjoy a good turn
in a lampshade.
© Copyright Barbara Young – 2014

***

INFORM POETS BLOOM:

WALT’S SELECTION:

Henrietta Choplin wrote this tender and beautiful DIATELLE, truly one of her best pieces submitted. I was totally taken by this poem.
FRON A DISTANCE, PEACE by Henrietta Choplin

In
stillness
may I miss
nothing at all.
Lying in quiet, bliss
Remaining steady, not to fall
That rock in the distance, to me it calls:
“Let me surround you, building a structure within
There I hold you…I will not let you fall,
And through your trust, I will stand tall
With strength you cannot miss.”
Nothing at all
will I miss
Our bliss,
Then.

© Copyright Henrietta Choplin – 2014

***

NANCY’S CHOICE:

I did my best to read the poems without considering who wrote them, but I have to pick Jane’s Diatelle, mainly because I love the imagery and the verbs—scotching a barn..keening and weaning, evoking spring so subtly.

I found this form so challenging, I think, because it’s hard to have varying line lengths with rhyme. I felt like a ninth grader given a form and forced to make it fit. I wouldn’t dream of sharing my outtakes. This one by Jane Shlensky really worked for me:

Words
distilled
can be filled
with deep meaning
sweet syllables that build
a castle or scotch a leaning
barn, raise roofs or still a widow’s keening.
Such strings of sound abound and sing aloft with birds
in languages we cannot speak—greening
of trees, all things newborn weaning—
but know in our hearts, stilled,
but listening
ground new-tilled
good-willed
Heard

© Copyright Jane Shlensky – 2014

 

CONGRATULATIONS LAURIE, BARBARA, HENRIETTA AND JANE AND OUTSTANDING JOB TO OUR INCREDIBLE POETS.!

BRILLIANT BLOOMS PROMPT #148 AND CINQKU

I cannot tell you all what a tremendous help you have been in tilling this fertile poetic garden. The Guest Hosts so far have been such nurturing souls and we have all benefited from that. My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Jane Shlensky for her diligence and tenacity to stay with the project, comment on almost every poem posted.

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WALT’S BLOOM:

The idea of culling three lines from a poem and giving them a fresh start, is a form of revision which is a major part of the writing process. The original poems were a step stone to something rejuvenated and better; a new perspective. The poem I chose became in our author’s words, ”something different”. But in her irrepressible story telling style, Barbara Young rewove her three lines into this tapestry:

BARBARA YOUNG’S “DIFFERENT” POEM

[First time I tried to tell this memory,
I thought you were shadows
on the cave wall. Did not know
that you had losses, faces, grandbabies.
It was a story I told, in Mama’s sense
of telling stories: falsehood, if not an outright lie.]

In Tennessee, the winter ‘fifty, ‘fifty-one
was like this past one: frigid. Ice broke everything.
This memory belongs to that November.
The stars were clear as ice, the moon full
but small and cold. We’re in the country:
where my grandmother, grandfather, uncle lived.

[A farm with two mules, a half-dozen cows.
A woodstove in the front room; a single,
hanging light bulb. I catalog the mismatched chairs
in the original poem, and tell you the unpainted
sheetrock walls are gold-brown, mention
a souvenier pillow, the smell of hickory smoke. ]

I don’t remember who was in the room–
a ring around the hot stove, faces red, backsides
cold as outside–when my uncle Bill came back
from hunting. We’d have heard his dogs,
foxhounds, barking and then belling, out there
up and down the hills and hollows. Echos.

[I would have seen fox skins nailed to the barn.
They kill hens, foxes do, and I have seen
the tiny yellow chicks trying to stay warm
around a light bulb. The men and their dogs
are out hunting foxes. Or sitting around a fire
talking in low nasal country voices, and drinking.]

That is where memory plays false. I was three,
maybe four. My true recollection isn’t framed well,
but nailed to the wall, a page from a magazine.
My uncle lets the cold air in, has a gunny sack;
in that, what he dumps into the circle of family
is a fox cub, small as my hands, and terrified.

[I tried to make a poem from that, for the cave
and its shadows. Added a gun that was–if even there–
unimportant. Missed telling you the truth.
Not some thing about the south and rural barbarism,
but: That I was as frightened in that room of poets
as a fox cub dumped out of a gunny sack.]

© Copyright Barbara Young – 2014

***

JANE’S BACK TO SQUARE ONE BLOOM:

Guest-hosting has been a great experience for me, reading so many fine poems from so many fine poets and people. Thank you, Walt. While bloom selecting has been a little daunting, it has given me an insight into how editors of books and magazines feel when they select poems for their publications. I realized that I’m more of a gatherer of posies than I am a single-stem girl, but I have to say to you all that there was a lot to love in your poems this week, and a lot to love in the kind and caring way in which you encourage one another. That’s the fertilizer that makes this garden grow, in my opinion. I winnowed for hours and still sat like a child holding a Whitman’s sampler but allowed only one piece of chocolate. My short list had Jerry Walraven, Patricia Hawkenson, Bill Preston, Nancy Posey, and Hannah Gosselin, but that isn’t short enough, alas. Finally, I took a nap and went with the first poem that claimed my thoughts when I woke . It ain’t scientific, but it worked.  This week’s Brilliant Bloom goes to Patricia Hawkenson for a poem that chilled us and offered the power of redemption through music.

I LEARNED FROM THE BEST OF THEM by Patricia Hawkenson

Bent over
in a mocking bow,
he should not
be jealous
of what I know.

For my fingers
know the quick wind
of a knife blade
taunting closer,
in a father’s control
of his child’s fear.

My eyelids know
the pain of closing
while trying
to look straight
ahead.

My back felt the spaces
welt between the bars,
the blackness of blood
on my white sheets.

I knew how
to hold it all inside
until my keyboard grabbed
my fingers tight
and forced them all
to fly away.

© Copyright Patricia A. Hawkenson – 2014

***

WALT’S CINQKU BLOOM:

This short form seemed to garner some outstanding thoughts and their corresponding amazing poems. From happy to sad, determination and despair these Cinqku all met the challenge. This one was clearly thought provoking, slightly tongue in cheek and quite telling. Two oars working together move forward. One oar steers to the shore, of just goes in a circle. Paula Wanken expressed that vision smartly. There is wisdom in her words.

PAULA WANKEN’S CINQKU

Setting
sail, with oar
in water, moves
me…alas, only in
circles.

© Copyright Paula M Wanken – 2014

***

JANE’S CINQKU BLOOM:

One of the things I love about this blog is that people rise to a challenge, take on any form, and churn out these wonderful “attempts” that read more like the finished thing. I ate these little cinqku up, each one as imaginative and clever as each of you are, but finally I offer my bloom to Darlene Franklin for a cinqku whose central image has kept me spinning.

DARLENE FRANKLIN’S CINQKU

Breezes
brush winter’s
cobwebs into
skeins of spun memories
new thread

© Copyright Darlene Franklin – 2014

CONGRATULATIONS to Barbara, Patricia, Paula and Darlene on you selections. And great work by all our contributors!

INFORM POETS – CINQKU

The CINQKU was invented by Denis Garrison as a closer analogue to haiku than the American Cinquain (Adelaide Crapsey), minimizing the utility of the line break technique. Cinqku follows a strict 17-syllable count arranged in five successive lines of 2-3-4-6-2 syllables. No title is used for single verse cinqku poems which are written in haiku- style free diction and syntax with no metrical requirement; a turn is used that may be similar to kireji in haiku or cinquain. Sequence, crown, and mirror, cinqku may be titled.

WALT’S CINQKU:

poems
from the heart
expressed in love
touch and caress the soul
sweetly

© Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014

****

JANE’S CINQKU OFFERINGS:

thirteen
turkeys graze
plowed fields, free range
vulnerable as ducks
sitting

(C) Copyright Jane Shlensky – 2014

****

Jane’s Crown Cinqku

Forecast

trees cast
shadow veins
across snow—like
nature’s nerves fingering
out, tense

pretense
casts shadows
hiding icy
glint behind sunny sheen
white lies

warmth lies
wind-slanted
thawing cold light,
wintry blasts contrite; truth
recasts

(C) Copyright Jane Shlensky – 2014

IT’S FLASHY FICTION FRIDAY – 14 Mar 2014

The odds of Rob Halpin and me posting a prompt for the FLASHY FICTION site simultaneously were astronomical. But we beat the odds. It just happened. Sorry to upstage you Rob!

This week, you’re looking at some historic event with a twist. It involves a family member.

HISTORY AMIDST THE COBWEBS gives the twist and explanation of what your fiction entails. Everyone has a little story to tell. Share yours there.!

INFORM POETS – PALINDROME

Since Hannah reads the same both forward and backward…

A palindrome, by definition, is a word, phrase, verse, sentence, or even poem that reads the same forward or backward. It stems from the Greek word palindromos: palin, meaning again, and dromos, meaning a running. Combining the two together, the Greek meaning gives us, running back again…

Shown below are examples of the word-unit palindrome. The carefully placed words form the same sentence, whether it is read forward or backward. For example, ‘Mirrored images reflect images mirrored’ which includes a word in the center as a reversal point for the sentence or even the poem.

WALT’S S’TLAW

AGREED

Truth.
Opinions offered,
given options, taken liberties.
Good for one, is good for another.
Slightly nodded, acknowledge approval,
assured, thoughts the same, conjoined spirits.
~Agreement~
spirits conjoined, same the thoughts. Assured.
Approval acknowledged, nodded slightly.
Another for good is, one for good.
Liberties taken, options given.
Offered opinions.
Truth.

Copyright © 2014 Walter J Wojtanik

HANNAH’S PALINDROME

CO-CREATING

Muse
Universe
Energetically flows,
ancient and archetypal-
collects inspiration…
fragments of light,
shards of shadow,
slipping images-
swirling together waiting;
hoping for spilling.
Swelling and surging
provoked breath,
finally poem
eventually paint and ink-
colors struggle and thrive;
heart and soul,
consciousness bloom.
Canvas of mind
co-creating
mind of canvas.
Bloom consciousness,
soul and heart
thrive and struggle colors-
ink and paint eventually,
poem finally…
breath provoked,
surging and swelling
spilling for hoping-
waiting together swirling;
images slipping,
shadow of shards-
light of fragments.
Inspiration collects,
archetypal and ancient-
flows energetically…
Universe
Muse

Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014