Tag Archives: Poetry Week

Poetry Week wrap up on Heartspoken.com

CactusBloomKSExDesert Canvas wraps up Poetry Week

Months ago, Elizabeth H. Cottrell and I started to chat about featuring one of my poems on her Heartspoken blog…then we both got, ya know, busy.

I decided to have a Poetry Week on my blog, and the blocks fell into place.

The Poetry Week wrap-up, Desert Canvas, is on Elizabeth’s Heartspoken blog.

 ***

Are you a small business owner? Learn how to connect, create, and communicate on Elizabeth’s Riverwood Writer blog.

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Poetry Week boasts a funny bone, by Karen S. Elliott

Painful Process

Can’t write
I’m blankfamily march 3
Last typed
It stank

Sitting here
Fingers quiet
Cursor blinks
Creative diet

Tapping keyboard
Marking time
Can’t make
Deadline

Fingers stiff
Head full
Imagination
Set to lull

Beers swilled, shots tossed
Slouching now
Completely lost

Laptop
Slammed closed
Deadline missed
I’m hosed

Grab pen
Ink to page
No sense
Growing rage

Rip it up
Start fresh
Stanzas done
Still a mess

Note to self
Bury head
Give it up
Go to bed.

***
Odednews-files-2013-02-gold-nugget-660-jpg[1]

What is an ode?
Just a part of something else.

It’s unearthed in a mother lode,
And buried in a secret code.

Shaped inside a fashion model,
Sung amongst a mountain yodel.

***

Rollercoaster

Topsy-turvy
Stomach rumbles, a little erp
Should have waited on the buttery popcorn.

Topsy-turvy
Mouth opens, roiling burp
Wish I’d passed up that Tex-Mex chili dog, y’all.

Topsy-turvy
My clenching stomach is swilling greasy
Shoulda said no gracias on the empanadas.

Topsy-turvy
Makes me green and sickly queasy
A little nein on the brats and kraut would have been a good idea.

Topsy-turvy
Stop this mechanized lightning bolt
Why didn’t I say no grazie on the porchetta panini?

Topsy-turvysushi
Screeching wheels jar me to a halt
I couldn’t think of kekkou desu, no thank you, before I ate the sushi.

Topsy-turvy
Let me off, find a bucket
The international buffet is making a come-back.

***

Fishes

I worry about the tasty fishes,
Swimming with the sharks.
I’m sure the sharks look upon those little fishes,
As tasty, miniature, lunch-time dishes.

***

DSC_4478-copyKaren S. Elliott was raised by a mother who wanted to be an English teacher and who worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader and an aunt who could complete the Sunday New York Times crossword in a day. Their favorite expression was, “Look it up!” Karen reads punctuation and grammar manuals for fun. Karen is an editor and proofreader, blogger, and writer. Her short stories have been featured in The Rose & Thorn Journal, Every Child is Entitled to Innocence anthology, Valley Living Magazine, BewilderingStories.com, and WritingRaw.com.

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Poetry Week welcomes writer Pamela S. Wight

pamela wight snow

Snow Falls
Pamela S. Wight

Snow falls as silently as stardust on a bright clear night.
Stardust covers the houses and the trees and the ground and you –
if you’re out on a star-filled night.
The sound is a hush.
A hush as haunting and beautiful as a
mother’s lullaby to her newborn babe.
It’s the same sound of snow falling on oak and dale,
on lampposts and driveway, on forest and plain.
But the snowflakes are exposed by their very nature;
they are white and pristine on a background of pewter sky.
The snow shines like elegant moving polka dots
floating with the grace of a thousand ballerinas.
It’s the dance of nature’s beauty,
of the grace of life and death,
of love from the spirit of the universe.
Snow falls silently so we can hear
our own delight at nature’s spectacle.
Snow falls silently so we can accept
our life, and death,
on nature’s terms.

***

pamela wightPamela Wight is a published writer and editor.  She fulfills her need to write often and to write well by teaching creative writing classes in Boston as well as the San Francisco Bay area, and has written/edited/published a Zine of short stories and poems.  Belonging to the Women’s National Book Association/SF and the California Writers Club keeps her connected with other writers crazy for their craft. Pamela’s novels include The Right Wrong Man and (soon-to-be-published) Twin Desires, and in progress, Life After Kids and The Inn of No Regrets. Pamela highlights her passion for writing and living in her blog, Roughwighting.

Connect with Pam on Facebook and on Twitter.

pamela wight The Right Wrong Man cover

Henry

Henry

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Poetry Week welcomes the enchanting Mairi McCloud

Etymology

The word Valid comes from the Latin,
(As so many words do),
Originally meaning
Be Strong.

I want what I am feeling
To be valid,
But I do not want to
Be Strong.

Love
Is not so simple as
Validity.
It may be Old Germanic
(With a bit of Latin thrown
in too, just for good measure).
It means many things:
Desire,
Pleasure.
But it is also a bedfellow to the word
Leave.

I desire to pour myself
Into another human being.
To fill up all their dark spaces with
Light and understanding.
To feel pleasure in their company
And in the fact that they are near,
And always will be.

But I do not wish to be left alone,
And I do not wish to be strong.

***

I think of you easilyMairi 3

It is such a relief
Not to care anymore
Not to have that painful catch
At the heart, that longing,
Never to be satisfied,
Whenever you are mentioned,
Whenever a picture of you is seen.

I used to dream of kissing you.
Sometimes that was all I could think about,
Your sweet mouth, and your skin
Touching mine.

And yet I feel a little sad
To discard you,
Push you aside like a used
And forgotten toy

I think you would care,
But only as much and no more
Than you always cared.

And that was always the problem.

***

The ghost in my flat

There’s a little girl who waits on the landing
below my flat,
between the second storey and the third.
She likes to look out the window
so much so that she is distracted
most of the time
by what’s happening in the back garden
that she doesn’t see me when I come out
and lock my red door behind me.

But when she does notice me
she stares at me with
large, dark eyes with a serious look
and silently berates me
for taking so long.

She usually stays there, on the landing,
sometimes by the window,
other times peering after me through the
rungs in the banister.

Only once did she follow me,
stepping on my heels
trying to catch up
letting me know
she was there.

***

Mairi 2

Crows

when they strut on the ground, look very grand
and stiff and self-important,
like fine gentlemen turned out in their best mourning
at an important funeral.
They don’t look comfortable,
but the do look important.

On the branches of trees they hunch their shoulders,
sharing conspiracies with each other,
rasping out warnings to the neighboring magpies
that shuffle nearby.
They are watchful, careful,
always on guard.

And when they fly their wings are a glistening array
of color: shimmering emerald
and a deep stain of indigo hiding beneath the black.
They curve through the air – graceful –
arrayed in the most beautiful of clothes.

***

MairiThough I was born in Utah, and lived into my twenties there, I have since lived in central New York (think rural: farmhouses, cows and the like) and am now currently living in Glasgow. I have been in Glasgow for about two and a half years, studying archaeology at the University of Glasgow. I find Scotland to be an enchanting place, and have yet to explore all its nooks and crannies. I have loved to write ever since I was a wee girl, and find solace and joy in doing so. I keep a blog, ostensibly for my family to keep track of what I am doing, though I love that friends keep an eye on it as well.

Connect with Mairi in Glasgow.

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Poetry Week welcomes Shirani Rajapakse

Saturday Afternoon

Webster perches on the table
by my side and waits

ever patient. Spell check is
sometimes negligent. I think he

gets into moods. He takes his own
version, tries to impress.

Tells me I am wrong and he’s
right. He never

admits he’s wrong. Not even
once. How like a man. Spell check’s

a young punk with his
pants hanging down to his knees.

“Wassup?” he calls to
the air as he struts around in designer

shoes. Not much help there. So
old Webster hangs out by my side in

dignity. Ever patient. Old is gold they say,
while the newness is oblivious to it all.

***

Inside the Old Room

What would the wallsDSC01711
say if only they
could speak? Would they

tell you of the dreams
I dream when I am
not with you, or my thoughts

that I speak out
for no one to hear
lest hearing

make real? What would they
say, those walls, if they
could converse with

you and me?
Would they ask me
to leave for daring to do that

which I should not. For
I am a mere thing to please.
Nothing more to you.

***

Late Evening

The wind rustled through
the trees, moving this
way and that
and the leaves began to
gossip. What did they speak
of I do not know. I wish
I knew as I sat in
my room
looking out of the window
at the trees bending
in agreement with the weight
of secrets that moved
through their being.

***

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAShirani Rajapakse is a Sri Lankan poet and author. She earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and a MA in International Relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University India. Her book of short stories, Breaking News (Vijitha Yapa 2011) was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award. Shirani’s work has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, Dove Tales, About Place Journal, Skylight 47, The Smoking Poet, New Verse News, and The Occupy Poetry Project. Anthologies featuring her work include Voices Israel Poetry Anthology 2012, Song of Sahel, Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, World Healing World Peace, and Every Child Is Entitled to Innocence. Her poetry was featured on Verses in Motion radio. Connect with Shirani at her blog.

Note: Shirani is in Sri Lanka and may not see comments until the next day. While it may be noon central time here in the U.S., it’s nearly midnight in Sri Lanka.

sri lanka

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Poetry Week welcomes Beverley A. Hoyles

Beverley Hoyles CVR and spine

Across the bridge

beat of my heart
like rock n roll band
plummet to acute silent
moment in time
before the scream
a split second
multiple scenarios
the mind have crossed,
penalty weight heavy
tempo and meter
dark in my head
do I dare demand
runnaway
it’s been a long time coming
cannot go gently,
walking across
tears stream down
know first hand
the loud cries
of anguish
truth and substance
haunting deja vu beckon
you hear but not listening
my pleas unheard
secrets disguised
I pound my chest
agony of soul
of futility
devoured by darkness,
travel twisted veins
bleed vestige of hope
jagged rock of defeat
grounding grinding growls
earth bowls of rumble
forever lost,
pointless
it’s mad absurd
my wails of why
unnoticed
I yearn for freedom
how can you pretend
scum of sum prevailed
captive between
shiver and shook
the loss of light and focus
your audacious laughter
vibrate my soul
twisted loathsome
desolation fill
mock my
shred of hope
dungeon of horror
terror feel
inevitable defeat
yield or not
don’t make a sound
breathless,
no longer coming
but here
unprepared
is there a
glimmer of care
in this stare
only one word
help.

***
My Friend

my friend indeed
upon her pretty face
a mysterious smile
it’s real and true agreed
dark countenance cover
with many veils and tales compile
i see past your smile
affection for you remains forever,

past the facade
of potential flaws
i’m here for you
just because
to face the changes
true to God’s best for you,

though miles apart
i send my smiles
love and hugs
with heart
and stand applause,

friend i will strengthen
you with prayers
for God to keep you strong
bless you with love
encourage you with hope,

yes you may
hide among
the tallest of these
you do not grasp
dear friend, you
stand out amid the rest
with grace,

you are the rare and delicate
surprise diversity of life
and light
resident in the forest deep
someday
with gentile petite stride
steps out
a secret to unfold

***

Lake of Feeling

Somewhere beyond
now and then
here and there
between sleep and wake
lies a river
entrance to a lake
where all
feelings reside,

feelings
escorted
on secret
kaleidoscope
glistening light beams
into a magical lake
an array of
ingredients,

at first glance
a magical place
sandy beaches
in crescent bay
lofty mountains
iridescent light,

closer inspection
fakes, mistakes, discoveries
reveal tragedy,
a castaway on the
grains of sands
of abrasion
mixture of heaviness
bitterness and yearning
anger, guilt and suspicion,
mountains
envelope, capture into
depths, a darkest prison,
Beneath skies lurk
demons of despair
shadows of once was,
stark aloneness
empty of life,

each deposit
in the mix
unattended
a stench
reflux of the soul
nightmares emerge
vengence
destruction
like the after affects
of a dark magical potion
Incantation,

surely the lake
of feelings
has good,
I remember good,
once upon a time,

swim the dangerous
infested waters, my god
why have you forsaken me?

finally the solution
examine, embrace, accept
and cast the unacceptable
picking up the pieces of lies
refined by fire of truth
all bitterness destroyed,
surrender to reveal
pure gold of
feelings cast
its beautiful bow
to uncover once concealed
love, hope, comfort
and peace
‘it is not my fauth’
separation of memory
and healing
at last!

***
This is dedicated to friends who have suffered abuse and its secondary effects…here’s to you and your continued healing.

dancing
dancing
dancing
gown so sheik and sheer
sleek with splendor
move so smooth with sway
syncopation and symmetry
viewers delight
in all her array,

the aged dancer
repeat
it’s envy i fear
my ankles are weak
unraptured feet
crumpled defeat
strength has disappeared
not as lithe
don’t have form,

but in the heart
it’s fred astaire
how amazing
to choose to respond
not react
to the tragedy
varied disappointment
underlay of apathy
take the abysmal
to profound
change the world
take away injustice
restore
a crippled heart astound
soothe a frightened child
comprehend the bad and good
that’s what happens
when you dance
from a youthful heart,

in the heat of day
incredible
smells and sounds
like the discovery of
peppermint, eucalyptus
and camphor
to revitalize its magic
to the agonized weary soul
memories unblock
where shadows weep
freed to unlock
rhythm and tales
of the past
change the austere
to radiate poise contrast,

not
how others see
at first sight
when they see the stance
inside the frame
of frustration and pain
wails of anguish have danced
battered and bruised
senseless days of panic
nightmares claim
secret chamber
now unlocked
not foreboding
prepared for love
convey
can you hear the music
i’m
dancing
dancing
dancing
in my heart.

***

??????????????????????????Beverley is the recently published author of “Feet First” – Steps to Survival, Forgiveness & Triumph. “Feet First” is the autobiographical story of a woman [Beverley] whose future was adversely impacted by her formative years.

Beverley is a wife, mother and grandmother; born and spent most of her life in Newfoundland and Labrador; now living in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.

She admits to the bumps (and washed out bridges) on the road of her true life journey where she worked the hardest for God and others; entertained her greatest fears and doubts while confronting, tackling and battling her addiction to guilt and shame, all amidst a pastoral ministry. A survivor of child abuse, she continues to campaign for the advocacy of putting a stop to all forms of abuse. Her desire is to be a vessel of honor for God who wishes to speak for those who can’t speak about their traumatic pasts.
****

Connect with Beverley on her Feet First book site, Facebook, Feet First Facebook page, blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Feet First is available as paperback or ebook, via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters Indigo, or Essence Publishing.

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It’s Poetry Week!

img005I kick off Poetry Week with what I refer to as my signature piece, Mom and Bocelli. Today is Mom’s birthday, so I thought it fitting.

Mom was born Lois Jane Holmes in Lansford, PA, February 18, 1921. She loved her family and instilled “loving family” in all of us. She was a seamstress, a crossword and quote-acrostic puzzler, a meatloaf to beef bourguignon chef. She could jitterbug and waltz; she liked the classics and opera and big bands. She studied French and Welsh and could pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (it’s a town in Wales and if you don’t believe me, here’s a YouTube pronunciation). And she loved Phillies baseball – she took notes and could discuss trades and stats with anybody.

I miss her awful.

***

Mom and Bocelli

Mom introduced me to Andrea Bocelli several years before she died,
And he comforted her throughout her final days.
He’s blind, you know. I did not.
I loved to watch her, sitting in her favorite chair, body rocking, eyes closed.
I imagine her still, mouthing words she could not pronounce,
Italian opera coming through the speakers of her silver boom box.
Before I left the coast, before she died,
I bought two tickets instead of paying several overdue bills.
She said, Dear, I haven’t been to a concert since the Dorseys.
And I said, Well, we’re going.
We drove to Philly and talked about mother-daughter stuff,
And listened to his tender voice melt through the speakers of the silver sedan.
We had two tickets and two tuna sandwiches.
At the over-under bridge, there was a back-up,
and we started to laugh about needing a bathroom,
and we agreed that you should not laugh when you need a bathroom.
Then we laughed harder still.
Inside, we sat above,
mezzanine.
And there he was.
We were close enough to see the grizzle in his beard.
Before long, Mom and I cried and held hands.
Near the end he sang our favorite, “Nessun Dorma.”
We squeezed hands and sobbed and soaked a pile of tissues.
Through those tear-stained eyes, I will always see my mother.

*** 

Andrea Bocelli, Nessun Dorma, YouTube

Stay tuned, please. Poetry Week will continue with Beverley Hoyles, Shirani Rajapakse, Mairi McCloud, Pamela Wight, and then a few more selections by me next weekend here and as a guest on Heartspoken with Elizabeth H. Cottrell.

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