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Category Archives: poems

my poems in response to various prompts

Poem Tryouts: Be Still My Beating Heart

11:10 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Dave Grohl singing Blackbird

Hello, everyone. I am a trifle behind so let’s get right to it. A word day, yes? Still. Do you feel the slowing down within what’s around you? I find when I think the word still, there is a moment that feels so. I know it has to do with the i and the ll’s, possibly the initial s, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

The meanings, though, they are of interest because they are quite varied. When I hear still, I think unmoving. A logical offshoot, then, is the meaning quiet. We can have tranquility or noiselessness. A little harder to see is the meaning even yet, as in, Still, I don’t know about going into the storm. To see how that works and to look more closely at etymology and meanings, I have given you two links.

As to what to do with the word, Choose one meaning and have the poem reflect that meaning.

Or, looking at the pages I gave you (or another you prefer), use several synonyms within the body of the poem, but not the word still.

Or, create an image that embodies stillness. Choose words that sound still.

Or, go your own way.

Play with that and I look forward to seeing what arises. I shall see you Thursday for links and next Tuesday for another prompt.

Happy writing, all.

 

 
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Posted by on 01/03/2016 in poems, poetry

 

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Poem Tryouts: Stop and Smell That Rose

10:52 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Paul Simon’s album Graceland — one of my favourites

Hello, all. We seem to think it’s Spring down in this part of Texas. The trees are suddenly green and the birds are going nuts. Clearly, none of them watch the Weather Channel, because the forecast says we freeze tonight. Temperatures are dropping for the next several days. So, let us find our peaceful spot, visually.

Yes, it is image day. Yay! I am posting an image and you may respond to the scene you see but, if you want some fun, find a site with paintings and sift through until you find the painting that makes your insides relax. Post the painting (with attribution) with your poetic response to it.

Whenever I come across the Monet below, I pause and everything in me slows down and relaxes. If I were to pinpoint what affects me, it’s the boat, something about the way it faces, its colour, its bare mast and the still water.

boat on canal

Find your peaceful spot and I look forward to seeing them and reading your poems. The poem does not have to have anything to do with you, or with the painting, but should probably involve peacefulness in some way.

I shall see you Thursday for links and next Tuesday (Hello March) for our next prompt.

Happy writing, all.

 
41 Comments

Posted by on 23/02/2016 in exercises, poems, poetry

 

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Poem Tryouts: Abandon Ye!

9:30 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to… well, who else? Bowie, of course

Hello, everyone. Are we all bundled so we don’t freeze our patoots? Brrr. Enjoy your summer, southern hemisphere. To distract us from the cold, let’s play with a word. I decided I wanted to explore abandon several weeks ago when Mark Windham sent me a wonderful photograph he knew I’d like. You’ll see it for our image prompt in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the word. word book

Do you like my new word collecting book? My daughter gave it to me for Christmas. Hand bound with leather cover.

Abandon originally meant to put someone under bond, to put someone under someone else’s jurisdiction. Now, we use it to mean leave completely and utterly. I almost abandoned you this morning because of a video game the same daughter introduced me to at Christmas.

Then there is the phrase with gay abandon. Sounds more positive, you say? I always thought so until I pondered it this morning. Usually, if you have decided to throw yourself into something with gay abandon, you are abandoning morals, mores, possibly laws.

We haven’t played with a word, in a while. So, abandon whatever you are doing, gaily or not, and explore. There are many ways you can go with this.

1] Go to the page I have given you the link for. Write your poem using words and phrases from that page. If you choose this one, remember to credit the source.

2] Go to the page, but use it more as a spark for an idea.

3] Write about something you abandoned. Despite the general negative connotation of the word, this can be a comic story.

As the sun set
she abandoned him
to the wolves.

He was bigger
and brawnier
than she.

What do you mean you don’t see comedy?

4] Write about a time you felt abandoned or were abandoned. Seared forever, in my memory, is the time, in fourth grade, when, despite my parents’ warnings, I dawdled while getting ready for school. Fine, my mother said, we’ll leave without you, and they did. You should have seen me tearing down the stairs — we lived on the fourth floor, but our elevator was molasses —  screaming at the top of my lungs — the poor neighbours. Then my bag fell and everything spilled out…

That’s more comic, you say? You should have been me.

5] Write about a situation on a more worldly scale where the word abandoned works.

6] Go your own merry way.

I will see you Thursday where I will talk a bit about my day with Poets & Writers Live, in Austin and give you a couple of links; and, Tuesday for another prompt. I may do a borrowed one. Now, I am abandoning you and going back to my game.

Happy writing, all.

 

 

 
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Posted by on 12/01/2016 in exercises, poems, poetry

 

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Poem Tryouts: Unzipped

9:01 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to With Your Love sung by Jefferson Starship

Hello, all. I think I made a rash statement to the effect I would post a picture and keep mum, leaving all possibilities to you. Do you know how hard that is?!

street art unzipped

I found this on Pinterest without title or artist, for which I apologise. Let’s see what you do with it (this is killing me). I will say that whatever results, the image is your spark and doesn’t have to be a part of the poem; or, you can focus on one part of the image and ignore the rest.

I will see you Thursday for links and things and next Tuesday for yet another image prompt, one where I can go back to directing.

Happy writing all.

 
43 Comments

Posted by on 08/12/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry

 

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Poem Tryouts: Look Out

9:43 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to George Ezra sing Budapest — talk about fascinating — Wikipedia this child and listen to his voice while staring at his portrait. Surreal.

What? Oh, hi. I got caught up in George. Shall we write? Short and sweet, as a friend said earlier this morning.

I was going to do a borrowed prompt, but I looked out my window just now and changed my mind. Look out a window now. NOW, not in a bit. If you have to walk to one, carry paper and pen. Jot down everything you see. If something, in particular, catches your eye, focus on it, that one thing, and write a poem. Otherwise, write your scene.

Sometimes, we get caught up in the personal and forget about what draws people into a piece of writing, the visual context provided. We need anchors to what we read, and the visual is one of the strongest. If you happen to have an audio, or other sensory thing going on, throw it in, too.

Go to it. Give me your window. The window, by the way, does not have to be part of the poem. Neither do you.

I will see you for links, Thursday (let me know if you have anything you want mentioned); and we’ll go for the borrowed prompt on Tuesday.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
30 Comments

Posted by on 13/10/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry

 

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Poetics Serendipity

8:54 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Mack the Knife sung by Bobby Darin (I never get tired of it)

Howdy! My computer is up and running. My room looks habitable. Things are looking up. I hope everyone is well and ready for links.

1] I follow two newsletters regularly. I’ve mentioned Diane Lockward’s Blogalicious before, but haven’t mentioned Origami Poems in a while. One of the things I most enjoy is the poems shared from their latest micro chapbooks. Check them out and, if you are anywhere near Rhode Island, attend one of their events, for heaven’s sake!

2] Bless Trish Hopkinson for the continuing work she does researching markets for poets. This time, it’s in regard to markets that pay poets. My link will send you to her blog where she has a downloadable spread sheet.

3] Parker Molloy has written an article for Upworthy, on what makes a word real. He focuses on The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, created by John Koenig, but mentions a TED talk on the same subject. You can read, then listen!

A great trio if I say so myself. Have fun with them. I shall see you Tuesday the 15th for my regular prompt.

Happy writing, y’all.

 
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Posted by on 03/09/2015 in links, poems, poetry

 

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Poem Tryouts: Beyond the Pale

9:45 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Hotel California sung by Vocal Sampling

Hello all. I hope you are well. Parents, I’m sure you are heaving sighs of relief. West Coast USA, stay safe. Those fires are even scarier than usual. The unpacking and putting away has gotten to the point that we can see what finished rooms will look like. We may even be able to pull the car into the garage, soon.

I have used my family as prompt inspirations, often. This time it’s an email back and forth between my two brothers. They had been talking about one thing and shifted off on a tangent.

Steve: Speaking of beyond the pale, did you know that there actually was a Pale you could be beyond? There was also a Pale of Calais, which now consists of a large Muslim refugee camp. When you break it down to its “roots”, a pale is a fencepost.

John: You’re all wrong. Read Rutherford’s Russka. It has to do with Jews in the Ukraine. Beyond the pale that is, not the book.

Steve: That was a Pale, but it was from the earlier English term applied to Ireland, which itself was ultimately from the Latin palus, or stake.

I love having a family that has this kind of discussion. I had looked the term up some years ago, being curious about the usage. I looked it up again, yesterday, and found myself fascinated by the other words that derive from the original pale, or stake: Pale is an old name for a pointed piece of wood driven into the ground and — by an obvious extension — to a barrier made of such stakes, a palisade or fence. Pole is from the same source, as are impale, paling and palisade. (worldwidewords)

Where does this leave us? Somewhat undirected, I think. Some possibilities:

1] Go with one of the other words that derives from the original.

2] Use the idiom in some way. You may, but don’t have to, quote the actual idiom.

3] Use two or three of the italicised words together.

4] Run with your own idea.

I shall see you Thursday for links and then I’m off for a week. Skip is homesick for Atlanta. We’ll take a quick road trip and I’ll be back here Tuesday the 15th for another prompt.

Happy writing, everyone.

 

 
15 Comments

Posted by on 01/09/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry

 

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