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Weekend Coffee Share, Of Poets And Politics

October 15, 2016 10 Comments

If we were having coffee I would invite you to sit down and tell me about your week over your favorite beverage. I am loaded with chai, roiboos, green, white, and herbal teas. For me, this season is perfect for jasmine roiboos. It is floral with a full rich flavor of harvest. Jasmine makes me swoon. Today is the full moon known as the hunter’s moon. There will be a lunar eclipse. With all that drama in the heavens I am sure some stories will be brewing down here on earth.  What is happening in your world?

The story we all want to bring to an end is the election. The population is weary. We can’t take much more of this bickering.  People are short-tempered about everything now.  Any social discourse can end in controversy for no reason.  I spent most of my time this week at home to try to avoid the total breakdown of society.  Of course, this tactic was futile.  I did write a few short poems, trying to get in the swing of a more productive practice as a poet. I am hoping to ease into a poem a day for life without setting a firm discipline…wondering if that will work.  I bid adieu to my Audible account without regret, after my free three-month trial.  Alexa is still able to read any book in my kindle library for which I purchase the audio component. Amazon has also launched a new free trial which I snapped up right away.  Prime members can now pay 7.99 a month for access to the entire catalog of music in the Amazon system.  This is very similar to the Apple music deal I took last year.  I will not keep this one after my free month either.  For the time being I am having Alexa play Bob Dylan songs. She can play his songs all day and never repeat herself.  I am thrilled to fill my home with the works of our new Nobel Prize winner, Bob.  In my youth I memorized all his songs and could play them on the guitar. He was an idol.  He is inspiring me now to practice being a poet.  His early songs are so funny and brilliant.  Many fit perfectly with this election too.  I am so glad he was not a lazy poet like I am.

The healthy trend continues in the kitchen.  We had a tasty walnut spinach nut loaf this week, and I found a recipe for nut crisp crackers I believe will be the bomb.  The only ingredients are ground up nuts of your choice and egg white.  I look forward to rolling some out next week because I think they will replicate those nut crisp commercial crackers I love.  I also discovered that the pesto shortbread dough makes a fine topping for savory cobbler dishes.  I think the nut crackers could go either sweet or savory as a crust on the top to add crunching excitement.  I am planning very nutty meals until all the old nuts have been consumed.  I will let you know what I learn about preparing and eating nuts. We will learn everything there is to know about nuts on November 9.  I wish everyone forbearance and wisdom.

To join the international coffee party this weekend click here.  Read, write, opine with a group of congenial writers of all kinds.

#NationalPoetryDay, 140 Character Challenge

October 6, 2016 1 Comment

Today is #NationalPoetryDay, a time when good, bad, silly, and stuffy poets come out of the woodwork.  Twitter is all a twee with creative use of language, both in rhyme and free verse.  All the classics are on hand from the bard to Lisa Simpson.  The political rhymes are flying along with Rumi at his best.  If you have not followed a hashtag or written poetry before, today is your day.  The Japanese form known as haiku is often attempted on twitter, but there are more forms from which to choose.  Try your hand at a short poetic statement and join your fellow poets on this special day.  You will find that 140 characters is more than enough to express sincere sentiment.  Be part of history.  Join #NationalPoetryDay October 6, 2016 to stretch beyond your current limits and have some fun.  Here is my first of the day:

 

Title Wave

April 17, 2016 1 Comment

Waving

Waving

Stretching out the vocabulary in search of catchy rich phrases to use as bait

To entice the dear reader to click onward with interest and intellectual curiosity

Words that sound funny when spoken are at the top of my title writing lists

These are followed by ironic twists and puns on popular trending events of the day

Alliteration is always appreciated as it is displayed across the stream of options

Decide to read or not to read, the precious investment of attention and time is given

To the words that signal a meaningful moment, a change of perspective, perhaps new ideas

NaPoWriMo2016

NaPoWriMo2016

Find poets to follow at #NaPoWriMo in April.  Submit poems of your own and experience to joy of writing poetry.

Funky Betsy’s Alchemy

April 11, 2016 2 Comments

book spines

book spines

The alchemist left a pile of books on the table with hints
About the kind of recipe we would need to visualize
To be kind in sacred places, such as heaven with Betsy
It turned out to be a very funky project for our powerful group
We concluded that our common mind was unconquerable

NaPoWriMo2016

NaPoWriMo2016

The prompt for yesterday’s #NaPoWriMo poem was to create poetry using spines of books.  After seeing some very good ones by my fellow poets I had to attempt one myself.

 

 

Oracle Shore 

April 10, 2016 1 Comment

The sails of the ship are set for a voyage to the edge of the map

Where the orphan dog and the sandman keep company in dreams

Each has received instructions that niether match nor overlap

To find meaning in the readings we hear murmured behind the scenes

The moment we weigh anchor the parrot starts to warn it is a trap

Hard to tell if the bird knows something or has been taught these routines

April is Poetry month. Join the fun all month at #NaPoWriMo.  Write, read recite, invent, enjoy poetry!

NaPoWriMo2016

NaPoWriMo2016

Noise in the Background

April 9, 2016

sky

sky

sea

sea

Does the conversation turn to dust in a can of ancient fish sauce
When originality is mentioned? Why can we not agree that diversity is fun?
The water was left running in the kitchen, sink overflowing, food floating
Into the back yard, over the fences, drifting into pieces as it scattered
The hungry mass of humanity was washed away to sea on a lump of sugar
Still retaining the sweetness of the last big stadium event we witnessed
Watching, unable to save the system as it collapses, we break for lunch
I have a hunch this picture is just a shadow of the future chaos in store
If we listen with concentration there is a sound of the ocean’s roar

NaPoWriMo2016

NaPoWriMo2016

Visit the #NaPoWriMo site to discover new poets around the world. April is the month to celebrate poetry.

Ride the Poetry Train

April 6, 2016 5 Comments

poetry train

poetry train

caboose

caboose

The journey on this train takes place in the dark, starlit cabins full of images

Rush through the night collecting emotions, memories, deeper instincts

Collecting these soul-shaper consciousness experiences into words takes place

In the dining car over tea and coffee in the morning, and in the lounge all day

Poets sit in silence to straighten out the prose that spills onto the pages

Comparison is healthy, normal, and confusing as each work grows into itself

The train is full of poets yet each one of us has a different destination and fate

In prompts, styles, discussions and reverie we join in a common mission

To bring forth the poetry that only we as poets can bring up from the mine

History holds poets and potters in high regard, finding all the meaning

Of civilization in broken ceramic chards and discarded recorded words

 

 

NaPoWriMo2016

NaPoWriMo2016

The poetry train departed the station 1 April and will travel non stop until 1 May. Join the fun at #NaPoWriMo by submitting your own work or finding new poets to enjoy.

#WorldPoetryDay and the Poet in You

March 21, 2016 1 Comment

Today is World Poetry Day, so twitter is all aflutter with haiku.  UNESCO is running a thread for pros and amateurs to enter the fun using the hashtag #tweetku.

There are some funny and inspiring poems flying around, and we see coffee houses where they are accepting poems for payment today.  This celebration has grown and become more popular since last year.  I urge you to join the creative fun, even if you are not feeling very poetic at this moment.  Read some of the other tweets for inspiration or just to tickle your funny bone.  I know that we are all poets because I write a poem each day for poetry month in April for #NaPoWriMo. I have no particular talent or style, but after 30 days of poetry I feel very accomplished and more creative.  I use original art or photography on my April poems to make them a little more interesting.  The important part is the practice rather than the poems themselves.  I am hoping to expand my subject matter again this year.  My first year was way too drippy, all about spirit, dreams, and tinkle tinkle reality..pretty dull and one dimensional.  Last year I did some new topics like my ancestor’s beheading at the Tower of London.  The art and the poem were infantile, but I did give it a whirl. Practice does not really make perfect in my case, but it does make psychological inroads into my own thinking and ability to write.  I am warming up for next month today:

Here is one I love, with a little pun:

Let the poet in you loose on the town today..or at least read some.

 

 

Road Trip Epic

May 28, 2015 4 Comments

Christmas 1960 Pam & Father

Christmas 1960 Pam & Father

When Jack Kerouac was on the road with Neal Cassady they immortalized a time in America marked by dramatic change. In the 1950’s I was on the road frequently myself.  I lived in Pittsburgh and my paternal grandparents had a farm in Arkansas.  I went with my parents to visit the farm on holidays. We had a giant Buick sedan for most of my childhood.  The entire back seat was my space, complete with bedding and books.  My mom packed food and drinks so my dad could “make good time” on the road.  There was always time to stop at the catfish farm near Louisville, Kentucky to catch and eat catfish.  I was heavily into that place.

My 1950’s road trips in no way resembled the Beat generation experience.  When I read On the Road in the 60’s it was hard to imagine that we had been alive in the same 50’s decade.  My parents were into helping my grandparents in Arkansas then hauling back produce and meat from the farm to Pittsburgh.  The Beat Poets were into drinking, sexual experimentation, and living from hand to mouth.  My grandparents’ farm in Arkansas and Alan Ginsberg’s poetry farm had nothing in common, other than the word farm. Their worlds would never meet.  I listened to Ginsberg read Howl and other poetry on stage at Duke University as part of the cultural enrichment program in 1969. This performance might have shocked my parents to death, but they would have no contact with any such thing.  The road had changed significantly from the vision my parents cherished of America.  The times were a changing.

My parents continued to love driving and road trips until the end because it gave them a sense of freedom. We sang and played games in the car when I was a kid.  I did a lot of driving as an adult, but now am content to stay very close to home.  I drive less than 200 miles a month normally, which is just my style.  I am very glad, however, that I did hit the road early in life and often.  I have fond and vivid memories of exciting epic adventures that could only happen on road trips.  Do you have a favorite memory of travel by car, gentle reader?

 

 

Schedule Success

March 30, 2015 6 Comments

sunrise on the Rillito

sunrise on the Rillito

Today I am preparing for the verbal marathon of #NaPoWriMo, during which I will produce 30 poems in 30 days. April in Arizona is a very rapidly changing display of flower to fruit to summer heat. We have hit 90 already and are staying just below that 90 degree mark for our high temperatures this week. Wild flowers and cactus blossoms are liberally painting the desert with saturated colors. Nights are cool, with a drastic differences between the low and high temperatures. Our climate is one of extremes, and we seem to be drifting into ever more unpredictable weather and endless drought. By May the heat will keep many folks inside for most of the day. April, however, is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate nature.  My preparation to become a poet has fostered a schedule change in my routine.  I started going to the gym as soon as I awake in order to log my exercise and clear the slate for the middle of the day.  Much to my delight my gym is not yet very crowded at 6:30 in the morning.  I hit the weight room, take a walk along the river, then linger in the steam room as long as I can.  The accomplishment feels good, but the steamed clean body is also a wonderful benefit.  I leave feeling uplifted and energetic.  I had such a great time today I am sure it will be easy to implement this new routine for April, and maybe for the entire summer.

I have been gathering my strength as well as my supplies for this challenge.  I have a few notes, some art I have been preparing, and a notebook for freehand writing.  I normally do all my composing on a laptop or iPad, but all the poets say longhand unlocks a certain part of the brain not accessed on a keyboard.  I am interested in illustrating my own poems, so I will jump back and forth from paper to digital formats in creating the visuals.  Anything goes.  I am not educated in all the themes and forms that poetry takes.  I always end up in iambic pentameter if I make up a rhyming ditty out loud (limerick style).  On paper it is fun to write in different colors, applying doodles, notes, mind mapping, or any device that fills and shapes the page.  My goal is to stretch creatively in both my written and visual material.  I am looking forward to reading the other participants poems because I know from past years that is where the real inspiration occurs.

I am also setting up my sewing machine on my office desk for daily use.  I believe that creativity runs in streaks, and to capture it all, one must work in different mediums.  I have a stash of beautiful fabric; and who doesn’t like to have new wardrobe options that nobody else has?  The tactile, somewhat mathematical activity of sewing a garment is a good balance to word craft.  I plan to make clothing suitable for wear at poetry readings and gallery openings, in other words, unusual.  I am seeing  this challenge as I might perceive a duck that looks and quacks like a duck.  If I look and act like a poet, I am on my way:

  • I will be in nature for the sunrise because that is what I think poets should do.
  • I will conclude my active work out early in the day to make plenty of uninterrupted time for art and poetry.
  • I commit to sewing some new garments designed to tell the world that I am a poet (or at least an eccentric).
  • I will mingle daily with my fellow poets who are sharing this month with me
  • I hope to turn on some of my gentle readers to my fellow poets and their work

Following the hashtag #NaPoWriMo will take you to the source.  I wish you pleasure, perception, and connection during this special month.  Enjoy!!!

NaPoWriMo 2015

NaPoWriMo 2015

spring green

spring green

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