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Re: Poetry Sundays


Red


Raised to tend my elders, and the roses,
I seek the toothy imprimatur
at my own expense.

Baked goods are my specialty.
They cure loneliness,
imply my youthful acquiescence
and coat the lupine stomach with carbs.

I float through green ferns and over mossy rocks
in my scarlet butterfly wings.
My life is sure to be brief.

vkp
Dec/16/2012, 3:34 pm Link to this post Send Email to vkp   Send PM to vkp Blog
 
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Re: Poetry Sundays


cheating by posting a piece I wrote years ago:


Waking Beauty

You saw me, a playing child, laughing amongst the roses.
My shining eyes reflected worlds;
singsong choruses to which I danced proclaimed their glory.
I, a cherub princess, all the doting subjects at my command,
all I asked was their love and beneficence.
Fairys clapped for me, flittered in with luminescent kisses,
fed me on honey, cakes and sweet lilac tea,
whispered me their blessings, giggling and tittering,
watched over me with warm caresses of enchanted nurturing.
I loved easily, laughed whole-heartedly, sang from my soul
happy dance tunes and whimsical madrigals.
There shone radiant magic throughout the land
in the morning of the world.

It was not so easy as I grew.
Word got out, worried whisperings,
that there was a curse upon me.
Those who had seemed so open and friendly
grew distant, masked their faces so I would not call to them,
or became furtively hostile so I would stay away.
I thought it was the power, soon to be mine by succession.
Surely they feared to be too familiar with the potential Queen.
I tried to reassure them, to be warm and familiar, to look for
little ways to please them.
The fairies still played with me, but sometimes turned mean.
They whispered ugly rumours, pinched me and flew away.
They called me fat and ugly and would feed me only thistle and briar.
Then, sometimes, without notice, all would be forgiven, all would be
a madcap party, a whirling swirl of luscious scents and colours,
a warm embrace of magical happiness,
warm and safe and cherished.

I learned to be needy without showing need;
peering sideways into partially opened doors
to see if I could find one safe to enter.
I took to finding little chores that would take me into
unused corners,
bending over so none would look into my face with malice.
I took to wearing common clothing, layered into camouflage.
I took to telling myself that I must indeed be awfully horrid and
worthless to have lost so much and be so reviled.
I took to taking on any sorry chore that would have me
that I might say to the courtiers:
"Look, I am a humble laborer, not worth your attention."

So I was spinning and pricked my finger, as the curse foretold.
My blood called forth the evil energy to swoop into my open wound.
Unconscious.
Life moving along beyond my senseless form, without my knowledge or input.
Who can tell what may have been done with my unprotesting body.
I was not dead, not appropriate for burial;
still helplessly breathing, metabolizing/catabolizing, inexorably,
yet so slowly, so quietly, so manifestly without power, so easily forgotten.
The wicked ones who would benefit from my demise became old and dust
while I slept.
Those who were false to me acquired many more sins and salvations,
traveling their own rocky roads.
The curse took no notice of time or circumstance.
I existed in a liminal state of vague dream images,
static discharge of random sensory neurons.
I did not expect; I did not wait; I was not aware of being.
Sometimes excruciating nightmares might overtake me;
no matter.
I could neither hear nor utter, but just breathe on
as images vaguely formed and dissipated.

They say there was a malaise over the kingdom.
Work became hard to find and
wandering adventurers moved about the land
hoping to find their fortune.
There was a far off war diminishing the resources
and often intense skirmishes along the borders
increasing fear and bravado.
The once wise and strong ruling family, disrupted in
succession squabbles, had been deposed.
There were no strong rulers, but only petty tyrants,
and not so petty.
The gardens had gone to weeds and brambles.
The fields suffered; sometimes from drought,
sometimes from mildew,
sometimes from marauding scavangers.
Perhaps these were my nightmares come to life.

There was a young prince from a noble but impoverished
family.
He had grown strong and brave, taking in stories of better times.
He had heard the fable of the cursed princess,
sleeping, hidden, once a source of glory and happiness
in a merry and prosperous land.
He had nothing but a dream, to find me.
 
They say he set out down a road that others had followed.
But where others had met with sorry fates, or become lost,
or defeated by the inpenetrability of the twisted trees and brambles,
he found no incumbrance.
There I was, within his reach, so pale and still.
It is said that he wept for joy, took me up into his arms,
whirled me about and kissed me reverently,
infused his bouyant dream into my sleeping form.

I felt the warmth of living moving through me.
I felt safe, exultant, cherished.
My senses slowly revealed themselves,
though true consciousness had not yet returned.
 
He held me close and danced me into movement,
laughing freely and whispering words of encouragement.
He did not rush me, nor let me feel anything but loving support.
He told me how he had grown up dreaming of finding me,
returning me to my rightful place,
removing the curse upon the land.
"And what, my lady," he asked, "have you been dreaming all these silent years?"
Dec/16/2012, 4:03 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 
vkp Profile
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Re: Poetry Sundays


Libra -- wow -- thanks. The prompt fit in with something you'd done already, which means it is a good idea. Some great stuff here. "Being needy without showing need" really stuck with me since my first reading, yesterday. Came back this a.m. to read again.
vkp
Dec/17/2012, 8:38 am Link to this post Send Email to vkp   Send PM to vkp Blog
 
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Re: Poetry Sundays


vkp,

I've liked the idea of rewriting fairy tales ever since I read Sexton's Transformations and appreciate the prompt to write from the POV of a fairy tale character. I'm tickled by the way you've recast Red as a carb conscious modern young woman.

libra,

I enjoyed the first person retelling of Beauty in which you have synthesized the old and the new both in terms of the language used and the psychological concepts expressed. Love the way this ends with a question.
Dec/17/2012, 6:47 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: Poetry Sundays


Thanks, Kat! I don't see her as too modern, though, since she lives to take care of others and will die young due to terminal acquiescence! But yeah.... she does try to hold off death-by-wolf with muffins... at least for awhile longer! Ha ha!

vkp
Dec/17/2012, 6:59 pm Link to this post Send Email to vkp   Send PM to vkp Blog
 
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Re: Poetry Sundays


Okay, so it's not Sunday, but I saw this prompt on another board and thought, why not?

Write a New Year's Day poem. Here's a one by Kim Addonizio for inspiration:

[sign in to see URL]
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Re: Poetry Sundays


Lovely poem and a fine prompt, Kat. Good way to start the New Year. Wishing everyone the best,

Chris
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Re: Poetry Sundays


It looks like libra didn't need a prompt!

[sign in to see URL]
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Re: Poetry Sundays


It's true, it's a lovely blog, Libra,

Chris
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Re: Poetry Sundays


Kat -- Thank you. I've fallen down on the job. Lots going on. But I love your prompt and guess what? It prompted me. Here we go:

New Year Poem

Stranger in a strange house,
a different skyline,
glow from someone else's lamp.

A new year has crept through
the door of my heart,
left off its hinges after the flood.

When the sky darkens, it comes close
to sit on my breastbone
like a thirsty porcupine.

I flinch, then open my eyes
to where the quills
break through.

Jan/4/2013, 5:24 pm Link to this post Send Email to vkp   Send PM to vkp Blog
 
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Re: Poetry Sundays


thanks for enjoying the dance

here's a New Year poem from a couple of years back:

Ringing the Changes


Seconds of afterlight, Sun lapsed into horizon
Quiet of new snow, cold blanket to trees, roofs, road
Gentle twilight, before the night, before all the freeze of laughter,
bubbling partying, high hats and hands, desperate to ignite,
to touch ice to ice and become.

New Year searching forward, blind drunken eyes behind,
leaking distilled tears denied. We are jolly good one and all.
Revels, broken lyrics, misremembered, misunderstood;
gladly clapping hand against back, strapping together to
keep upright, sloshing through traffic mottled snow
slipping together, sliding to raucous tune,
old fools' show, commemorative legends to pull out over
brandy and fire.

Resolutions and revelations.
Look into the molten glass, sparking visions
Clean star twinkles ask not, glorying in terpsichore,
no written lines obscure wide sky, open beyond horizon
mistily expanding into rolling sea. Drink to the season,
to oblivion, to ecstasies bequeathed in excess emotion,
rolling, amniotic, amnesia of expectation. Breathe --
vestigial gills awaken.

This is the first measure of the first movement
a pirouette, a dervishly delightfilled whirl.
Cast upon this rocky estuary, dance inner wise
third eye calling dawn into destiny.
Jan/4/2013, 7:57 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 
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Re: Poetry Sundays


Hey vkp,

No need to feel there must to be a prompt every Sunday or that you must always be the one to post it. We've tried a few prompt threads in the past and none has been as successful as this one, so I hope we will all just follow our inner promptings and see where they take us.

I like your New Year poem. It makes me want to look up porcupine as an animal totem and see what hidden meanings there might be.

Hey libra,

It took me years to realize some of what was behind all those drunken new year revelries and next day resolutions. I like the way your poem ends on an uplifting note:

This is the first measure of the first movement
a pirouette, a dervishly delightfilled whirl.
Cast upon this rocky estuary, dance inner wise
third eye calling dawn into destiny.

Last edited by Katlin, Jan/5/2013, 10:08 am
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Re: Poetry Sundays


Kat, The porcupine came to me in a flash, but when you mentioned the totem medicine, I looked it up and got (among other things) this:
quote:

The porcupine has very powerful medicine: that of
faith and [sign in to see URL] can move mountains with these powers.

That seems right to me and fits with the poem. Do you think? I got this too:
quote:

Purity, joy, wonder, self-determination, trust, solidarity, nocturnal magic, re-generation, delight in the simple pleasures of the world, independence, virtue, incorruptibility, humility, self reflection, self defense and protection, and the importance of self-empowerment.

I do not have my Animal Totem book unpacked but these came from a couple of online sites. Glad you prompted me to look it up. Makes my choice seem more interesting!
vkp
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Re: Poetry Sundays


So much good stuff going on here. Kat is right. Of all the improv threads the board has had over the years this proves to be the most successful.

Tere
Jan/5/2013, 3:16 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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vkp,

I remember one time when I mentioned a fox in a poem you looked it up for me, and I was fascinated by what was revealed. I figured there might be some deeper, unexpected meaning in your porcupine choice. Faith and trust, yes, that does make sense and fit the poem, but I wouldn't have imagined "purity, joy and wonder." Likewise, self-defense and protecton, sure, but I hadn't thought of the flipside: self-determination, self-reflection and self-empowerment.

Tere,

Yeah, this is a good improv thread, isn't it? Poetry Sundays is a great title too. Conjures up a few unclaimed hours on a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and hits the right relaxed, impromptu tone. So glad vkp thought of it.
Jan/5/2013, 3:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: Poetry Sundays


It's Sunday.
May I be so bold:
It is the Epiphany; and I have one:

epiphany


the crepuscular world knows, does not say
All language is metaphor
Intermingled, light and diminishing glow


and a couple of bloggers':

[sign in to see URL]
 
The Innkeeper: An Epiphany Poem
Carol Penner


[sign in to see URL]

Last edited by libramoon, Jan/6/2013, 8:27 pm
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Re: Poetry Sundays


Ah, an epiphany poem! What a good idea, Libra.
Thanks for it,

Chris
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Hey libra,

This is a good prompt. I enjoyed the poems you linked to. I'd never heard of Women's Christmas before, but I like the notion.

Last edited by Katlin, Jan/7/2013, 9:32 am
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Interesting prompt and I'm so pleased you put it up, Libra. Very cool. I tried it. I felt that the prompt was open-ended in a great way. So this is what I came up with. Wrote it in past tense then switched it to present. Have no idea. But it's what came.

Epiphany Poem

We sit at the counter, eating eggs.
Around us, sleepy faces shine
like buttered biscuits.

Outside, winter is a pretense
of spitting rain and
slimy left-over leaves.

He holds my hand
under the counter,
pulls it onto his leg, warmly.
Then he lets me go.

The windows, streaked with water,
bleed gray light over all the
faces. Shivering,
I turn to the left,
to the right.

Toast sticks halfway
down my throat.
A ponderous barge on the river
forces its way through my sternum,
cracking bone to dust.

My eyes close just in time
to see the answer.
Jan/7/2013, 10:22 am Link to this post Send Email to vkp   Send PM to vkp Blog
 
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vkp,

I'm not sure how the poem would work in past tense, but it works well in present tense, especially that pivotal point half way through the poem.

My poem is a combination of prompts: I turned a dream I had into a fairy tale of sorts that has an epiphany ending. Needs a title. Suggestions welcome. Don't know about the tense in this one either. I wrote it in past tense, tried it as present tense, then a combination of the two. Still a work in progress.

Fairy Tale

I was young and naïve
as the story goes , a silly ninny
as only a recently graduated
college coed can be

when I answered their ad
in the classifieds. Two middle-aged
women with pet crows
rented the whole house but sublet
the first floor apartment to me.

I was made uneasy
when they’d whisk down the stairs,
crows on their shoulders, to admonish
me about the loud music,

and by the way
I never challenged
their request to keep the upstairs door
between our two worlds unlatched.

I felt beholden
and had signed a contract.

One day—what season was it?—
I came home from work to find
the place vacated, vacant.
Both women and birds were missing.
Along with all of my possessions!
Save one wooden chair
tumbled over and broken
in the living room.
 
My hollow-heeled footsteps
on the hardwood floor
was the only sound as
I walked outside and sat down
on the porch stairs.

It wasn’t raining or cold.
Still daylight.
I didn’t know what to do,
who to call. Those longhaired sisters
were long gone, whereabouts untraceable.

I felt bereft and betrayed, as fairy
tale characters often do, my heart
heavy as the stone a suicide
ties around her waist, insurance
for the fait accompli.

You should have known better,
I thought. Or someone thought through me.
You’re an accomplice.

Two wrens landed on the railing
in the lessening light,
and I could just make out
the startled/ing edge of an epiphany:
At least your life was spared.


Last edited by Katlin, Jan/7/2013, 10:31 pm
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Re: Poetry Sundays


Kat, I am fascinated that this was a dream! So incredible what the mind conjures. I had a dream recently about a tornado -- keeps wanting to become a story or a poem. You have given me inspiration. I agree that the tense is not quite right yet. The tenses, rather. The inconsistency is not working for me. I love the imagery of the birds, the sisters etc. I wonder if this could become a story, actually, and be fleshed out a bit? Do you ever write stories?
vkp
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vkp,

Thanks for the feedback re: the tenses. I went back and posted the past tense version. Not really happy with it, but it's consistent and will have to do for now. No, I haven't written a story in years! But maybe I can develop the poem more, put more flesh on those dream characters' bones.

Looking forward to reading about that tornado dream when it comes into written form. . . .
Jan/7/2013, 10:38 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: Poetry Sundays


PS I'm so excited that this thread has gone onto a third page! It is a lovely thread with such a variety of responses. I look forward to it -- writing and reading....
Jan/7/2013, 10:45 pm Link to this post Send Email to vkp   Send PM to vkp Blog
 
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Re: Poetry Sundays


Just off the top of my head, I can think of a few poems posted on this board either inspired by animals, or that make wonderful use of animals. Terreson, Zak, Kat and Magy come to mind right off the bat. Terreson's In High Ravine invokes a cougar, and The Mississippi Kite is an evocation of those beautiful wild birds. He also wrote the cat poem about a stray cat "anchoring his bed tonight." Kat and maybe Chris wrote cat poems, and so did I -- on Kat's Chalkboard thread at one time. Devil Ears by Zak, and a poem about an animal shelter come to mind, inspired by dogs. I remember another one by Zak about animals going to heaven. Magy's poem, The First Thaw is really about a horse. I know there are more that I am not bringing to mind now. Animals are comfort. We love them, and they can be used as symbols for just about everything. Animals graciously share their world with us, though as a species we do not always treat them graciously in return. Personally, I like it when writers honor animals. So maybe this idea will inspire some of us to write an animal poem. A new one if we've done it in the past, or maybe for the first time.
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Something posted awhile ago in Field Notes:

It was the kind of heat
that causes cats to hug linoleum
and brings the pill bugs out
curled into brittle ball bearings or
unfolded, legs fanned like embryonic eye lashes
whisper-walking down in the crevices.

Thanks for the prompt, v, and for starting this thread,

Chris
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Yes. An excellent prompt.

Tere
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A Simple Poem

Smoky cream, triangle ears
and the furry halo
all cats use to sneak into heaven.

She purrs fish and yawns liver
and leaves pink tongue winking
when her mouth is prim.

Blue eyes see all the world
through the curiosity of her love.
She is uniquely mine.

“Whither thou goest,”
I imagine, are the words
she chirrups when airborne.

Tucked and folded,
no paw out of place,
her tiny claws cling.
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Yes, excellent prompt, vkp. I really like your simple poem. Or should I say, your simple love poem. I love "the furry halo/all cats use to sneak into heaven."


Chris, I really like your poem as well. The details are so accurate and imaginative they wake me up. Was I asleep? Apparently so.
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Cooper's hawk, a girl in need,
picked off a white bird
not quick enough to save itself
from talon and beak.

I watched the whole of the scene.
Forensic evidence indicates an egret.

She came in like an arrow's strike
through your middle heart.
Until too late white bird could not
have seen hawk's surgical approach.
We never do see so clean an approach.
The ground tumble of two birds a
fact already accomplished, in heaven perhaps.
And my sweet girl hawk sure of herself,
a practiced huntress, practiced like the moon.

I watched. You might have thought
the whiteness against winter brown grass
was a patch of snow, only, red of entrail
pointed my senses to blood and flesh;
ripped away blood and flesh of incident prey.

I sometimes wonder what warriors and women
wonder at the sight of collateral damage.

For five hours I watched my sweet girl hawk
and she noted me watching her engorgement.
Precision. Care. And her clinical eye.
That is what I admire the most as I watched
this sweet girl hawk eye out an egret's heart.


(Typed to the screen)

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Jan/17/2013, 8:05 pm
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Amazing poem, Tere, and amazing to me that you typed it to the screen.
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