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The Moon Kicked Around On Earth


Guardians guard
the temple gates, on either side
with multiple arms, of Indian Gods
and ten heads each, of the demon king –
Ravana.
 
God and Devil
rolled into one are two –
by this strangely miraculous feat,
they outnumber the onslaught
of many feet.

But there is no
accounting for the moon.

She’s a spy,
a double-agent like Mata Hari,
she plays for both sides
with the cunning of Machiavelli.
Sharp twists, sudden turns,
sly, swift, deft maneuvers,
she’s passed on from one
paramour to another -
following close on the heels
of the most powerful.

Shot like a canon
furious and fast, she slips
past, the flurry of arms, legs,
heads - guards fall, the temple
explodes, to the agony and ecstasy,
the hum and drone,
of countless devotees.

 
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Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: The Moon Kicked Around On Earth


queenfisher,

This poem appears to require some special knowledge of Eastern conceptions of God, or gods. My own knowledge is limited. I have read some, and have spoken with Hindus, for example, but what I know is limited. From my Christian perspective, from the Judeo-Christian heritage, I can understand the Trinity, how an entity can be both individual and unified with the other two. Or better put, I can understand that the concept exists. Maybe the Devil and God in this poem is something similar, if not identical. The ten heads and multiple arms makes sense to me in terms of the new physics, that an atom (or some particle, not sure) can be in two places at one, or that we may live a a world where there are billions, or an infinite number of universes. That's the sense I get. The function of the moon in this poem escapes me. Is the moon depicted this way because it isn't dealt with in Hindu or Eastern mythology, or is this your own personal take on it, your own poetic usage.

As you can see, I'm merely opening up the conversation; I'm not asserting anything. I'll wait for your reply or for someone more conversant with the mythology, or the religious background, if it's required, to chime in. I'm open to learning here. Zak

quote:

queenfisher wrote:

Guardians guard
the temple gates, on either side
with multiple arms, of Indian Gods
and ten heads each, of the demon king –
Ravana.
 
God and Devil
rolled into one are two –
by this strangely miraculous feat,
they outnumber the onslaught
of many feet.

But there is no
accounting for the moon.

She’s a spy,
a double-agent like Mata Hari,
she plays for both sides
with the cunning of Machiavelli.
Sharp twists, sudden turns,
sly, swift, deft maneuvers,
she’s passed on from one
paramour to another -
following close on the heels
of the most powerful.

Shot like a canon
furious and fast, she slips
past, the flurry of arms, legs,
heads - guards fall, the temple
explodes, to the agony and ecstasy,
the hum and drone,
of countless devotees.

 



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Re: The Moon Kicked Around On Earth


dear zak

thanks for the response!

actually you don't require too deep a knowledge of indian mythology to guess what the poem is all about.

suffice to say that indian gods / goddesses are depitcted with multiple arms & that Ravana the devil king / the bad guy had 10 heads & was defeated in battle by Ram the good guy also worshipped as a God in the epic Ramayana.

that's the only clue i'll let on...

the poem i'm afraid is posted for fun! i want the readers to guess what the poem is all about.

i'll explain later but i don't want to...right now ... so early!

the only other clue i can give is - the moon is a metaphor like the rest of the poem!

Last edited by queenfisher, Jul/22/2013, 12:58 am
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Bernie01 Profile
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Re: The Moon Kicked Around On Earth


QF---

get thee to a nunnery---repent!

The wrong reader---a wronger reader for this poem you cannot imagine.

What a poet thinks of his or her poem, marginal; T.S. Eliot’s notes are educational and delicious, but most of us only make a mess when we start explaining. It’s in the poem, or nothing.

The opening is leadfooted, prose.

Ten heads might be in vogue given the local movies here about blood sucking…vampires…but we are talking adults here.

Prose:

Guardians guard
the temple gates, on either side
with multiple arms, of Indian Gods
and ten heads each, of the demon king –
Ravana.


guardians guard...is the poem stammering? and, alas, what do we expect guardians to do?


A docent speaking.


Feat/feet….lordy, lordy…please no. please.
  
God and Devil
rolled into one are two –
by this strangely miraculous feat,
they outnumber the onslaught
of many feet.


If it’s strangely miraculous---could you dispense with the label and give me something strange and ….etc…

Here is a line I like a lot. Me, I start there.

But there is no
accounting for the moon.


And Mata Hari? WW I. she slipped into cliché status almost as soon as the war ended…


Double agent…Isn’t that why we call them spies?

She’s a spy,
a double-agent like Mata Hari,
she plays for both sides
with the cunning of Machiavelli.

 

Did the poem get a sale at your local supermarket on clichés? LOL.

Machiavelli?

17th century all of a sudden, what happened to India in the 19th? The flower of colonialism.

Story telling, docent like:


Sharp twists, sudden turns,
sly, swift, deft maneuvers,
she’s passed on from one
paramour to another -
following close on the heels
of the most powerful.

 

Make this come alive, show me her shimmer, her whimsy. Her leathality.


Here is a Japanese classic description---am I crazy, or is it sensuous as hell?


Lady Murasaki describes Genji at age 17:

quote:

“Over soft, layered white gowns he had only a dress cloak, unlaced at the neck. ... lying there in the lamplight, against a pillar, he looked so beautiful that one could have wished him a woman.”





And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.

         --Wallace Stevens, from "Sunday Morning"

Words, words….prose and more prose….like a canon…furious and fast---that needs a marker? That needs a comparison with a canon?

Agony and ecstasy---has the poem never read Irving Stone’s The Agony and Ecstasy (Michelagelo).

Circa 1960’s.


Shot like a canon
furious and fast, she slips
past, the flurry of arms, legs,
heads - guards fall, the temple
explodes, to the agony and ecstasy,
the hum and drone,
of countless devotees.



is the poem putting me on? taking advantage of my old age, failing eyesight, and massive debts the size of a sun god....just said that for fun.


have a nice day....LOL


bernie

Last edited by Bernie01, Jul/23/2013, 9:04 pm


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Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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Re: The Moon Kicked Around On Earth


and here, a native Tamil speaker and lover of all things ancient and less than ancient Indian around her...Siva, right here in our IBPC Forums.

Siva asked for my suggestions but she has not approved these changes. The flavor, in an case, comes through:


1980 The Black–MarieAmman Temple

Devotees struggle to the ant hill temple
and the undisturbed snakes inside---they lug in
offerings of milk and eggs, fangs puncture holes
in these eggs until the yellow and white stream
down; you picked up a small kernel of muck
and swallowed but i could not even go 'round
the foul pit thrice as required for divination.

1981 Nagercoil

We went back and forth to the Temple of the Snakes
with a vow to donate two bell metal jars;
we overturned them in a corner of the courtyard
to be set upright when our children were born.
  
1983 Kasi

We dragged a heavy sack load, a crude stone serpent
and two sculpted stone snakes intertwined in passion--
if baby Krishna did not lie in a cradle hangng
from the hood of these snakes then our child remains
sleepless and without peace.

1984 The Palm Leaf Oracle

If you trampled on these reptiles in another birth
or in coitus a curse will leave you childless until
propitiation is made to the the Gods with an abundance
of service.

1985 The Story of a Piece of Flesh

Gandhari cut a piece of flesh and put it
into a hundred jars, and a hundred children bloomed
like the stories that grow in circles around his head
from the hookah pipe.

1958 The Bharathi Mill Pondicherry

Amma and I scrambled the pits of coconut trees
for snake skin jackets. Amma was mad
and I was uncared for, but we made a go all the same.
We spied like boys looking at women bathing
in the Ganges; we learnt how the reptiles molt.

2009 Pugalur

My grown up son now drapes snakes around his neck
at snake shows; the charmer holds the snake's mouth;
after this simple demonstration, a pot of sealed snakes
are released in the Kolli hills.

2010 Snake Show TNPL

I hold the dull red non-poisonous snake in my hands
and I choke; nothing happens when I hold the viper
and his crate.

1978 Erode

A snake came to the cooking pandal at my wedding place
everyone prayed with camphor and incense and tight shut eyes
it slithered away, I alone kept my eye-lids full open.

Conclusion

So much for my bragging; I died of fear the day i handled
the blunt poison less mud snake that smelt of s hit,
but nothing happened as I held the viper, his dead black
eyes never blinking or looking away from my face.

Now, I reach into the carob scented fissure of your arms,
rest my face in your stone trough as Rama passes close by
as water leaves a tap;

Our past present and future is written on palm leaves,
written many thousands of years ago.


Siva Ramanathan



Erode is the administrative headquarters of Erode District in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the banks of River Kaveri.



bernie



Last edited by Bernie01, Jul/24/2013, 10:53 am


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Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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Katlin Profile
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Hi queenfisher,

Like Zak, I'm having some trouble understanding the poem due to my unfamiliarity with the god(s) depicted. I looked up Ravana, which helped a bit, but I am still confused logistically by what is going on in the first stanza. Ravana has ten heads and multiple arms, but so do the guardians? Like Bernie, I felt saying "guardians guard" was redundant and a missed opportunity.

That God and Devil being rolled into one is very different from our Western take on good and evil, so I'm intrigued but uncertain as to how this miraculous feat is achieved.

I like the moon's appearance in S3 into what is seemingly a male-dominated world up to this point. This female entity is cunning and by her wiles is able to achieve what others cannot. She not only slips past the guards, she causes the whole temple to be brought down, and I will say in keeping with the spirit of the poem, to its knees. I really like the last two lines:

"the hum and drone,
of countless devotees."

I understand what Bernie is saying about the cliches, but I assume using them was deliberate and meant to add a campy, irreverent, ironic tone to the piece. I've been going through a bunch of old papers recently, and I came across this quote I had written down on a notecard years ago:

Commonplace construstions can function well in a poem. Deployed for conscious effect, familiar phrases--e.g."blankets of snow," "blue sky," "day after day" . . .--help speed things along with an easy tone. Comfortable as a favorite ottoman, such relaxed speech can invite, condole, reassure and help convey the matter in a poem without mooing for attention. Too much of this, however, begins to feel lax, slack and lacking in inventive spark.

David Yezzi in Poetry, April 2000

Have you struck the right balance here between "relaxed speech" and "inventive spark"? Bernie says, hell no. I say, not quite, but I don't believe you are so far off the mark; that's because I don't think you are trying to write the kind of poem he's wanting you to write.

Thanks for posting, queenfisher. I can't wait to hear your take on this. I, too, hope you have a nice day. emoticon
 
PS I forgot to mention the title is catchy.

Last edited by Katlin, Jul/24/2013, 11:12 am
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Christine98 Profile
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Ravana is often depicted and described as having ten heads. The ten-headed Ravana is also sometimes depicted with only nine heads because he has sacrificed a head to convince Lord Shiva. He is described as a devout follower of the god Shiva, a great scholar, a capable ruler and a maestro of the Veena. He has his apologists and staunch devotees within the Hindu traditions. Ravana also authored Ravana Sanhita, a book on Hindu astrology. Ravana possessed a thorough knowledge of Ayurveda and political science. He is said to have possessed the nectar of immortality, which was stored inside his belly, thanks to a celestial boon by Brahma.[1] According to some theories, he was a historical emperor who reigned over Sri Lanka from 2554 BC to 2517 BC.[2]

From wikipedia--well that and the name "Ravana" which dispelled those pesky, blood-sucking vampire associations that sprang so automatically to mind.

It's good to be introduced to something new or, in this case, centuries old. A subject which has occupied countless generations of talking adults.

Chris
 
 
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Katlin Profile
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Hey queenfisher,

Here's another quote about writing I found on a notecard and thought you might like:

Give Yourself in Belief

Glued to the pages of my journal, a letter from a friend [Stephen Dobyns]:

It is necessary to give yourself in belief to the motivating event. It is necessary to be gullible. Once that part of the writing is done, one has to become ruthless. You must become an expert at the first, before becoming expert at the other, even if it means writing nothing but junk. At this point in your writing the process is more important than what is produced by the process. You need to do more to give yourself to the emotion, the event, the story.


Laure-Anne Bosselar, Small Gods of Grief
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Christine98 Profile
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Well that's just it, Kat. That balance between "belief in the motivating event" and the "ruthless" review that follows but has no value if it inhibits the former.

That's where workshops such as this one can do some good or a great deal of harm. When Bosselar states, "one has to become ruthless," the "one" to whom she is referring is the writer herself, which brings me to bernie's comments. Suffice to say: there's a difference between critiquing a fellow member's poem and pouring acid on it.

It's not just a matter of arrogance and bad form, it's an assault on "belief in the motivating event," without which creativity can't happen.

That's not what this board is about.

Chris
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Katlin Profile
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Re: The Moon Kicked Around On Earth


Chris,

No, that's not what this board is about. We don't have different critique forums for different levels of critique, which might be confusing to some. We don't have forums for beginning writers as opposed to advanced writers, just as we don't have forums for "beginning" poems as opposed to poems that have been revised many times and are ready to go out into the world in search of publication. I don't think it is helpful to the writer to critique a poem posted "for fun" with the same intensity one would critique a poem about to be entered into a contest. In both cases, however, I think the writer deserves a basic level of respect, especially when it comes to tone.
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Terreson Profile
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Not understanding. I know enough about Hindu religious mythology to feel comfortable enough to enter into it all. But not much more. What I'm not understanding is this: the poem is a delightful narrative, told with panache, I respond to the play it involves. Poem is a treat and fleshed out nicely. If there is more to the story, in terms of mythological layering, I would love to know. But I think the surface play of it can carry over anywhere. Moon goddesses are all the same, no matter the cultural context. They bring mischief in a very, very serious way. Good stuff.

Tere
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Canon or

Cannon?
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dear all

sorry for the delay - but i was traveling - up on the mountains to abu - no comp - no laptop - no nothing but plenty of stupendous mountains, forest, rain, mist, birds, bees, bears, panthers, monkeys....generally good fun! just returned last night - so lots of catching up - please forgive if i sound disjointed & weird - my head is still in the clouds!

boy am i glad nobody guessed what the poem is all about - i take full credit for that - just shows i pulled a real fast one - & it all fell way off the mark! no aspertions to anybody's intelligence but my own - which can stretch the truth way past its limits & beyond to make it unplausable & rdiculous even...! wild weeds grow in my head!

before i begin to answer each comment it's only fair that i should explain the poem but before that i admit i'm guilty of all the criticism / praise posted here - which i take in very good spirits with the hope of improvement - so thanks all for indulging me so generously - i feel rather undeserving!

the poem is prosaic & full of cliches & errors in language, punctuation, spelling & yes it is cannon. i will address the mistakes in revision including the guardian bit etc.

i think i just got carried away with what i could do to a game of football! this was written during the last world cup football fever. the game of football here is not the american version - i think they play it differently. the football i'm talking about is played with two rival teams - i think each side has 10-12 players with a goalee on each side. the goals posts are defined on either end with a netting - & the goalkeeper who guards / defends his post. the ball has to be only kicked around with the feet - to make a goal or to pass the ball from one player to the other. however you can use your head to make a goal. this kind of football is a craze in europe & some other countries including india. i just know the basics of the game & not too much in depth.

but during the last FIFA world cup - all the boys / men in the family were glued to the t.v almost all night to watch the game & so i had my full dose of football fever - the same thing happens when a game of cricket is on! two most popular sport in india with hockey as the third. some sports are more than sports & become a religion with huge fan following.

the two goalkeepers on either side - defend their goals against all odds & the onslaught of so many feet! that's one person each against the rest of the team. it just seems they're devil & god rolled into one - with so many hands & heads!

the moon is the football - as i remember the ball being white in color. she does play for both sides.

the last stanza is the goal being made & the devotees are the supporters of their team.

the goal area with the two posts are like hallowed ground - if that is invaded you lose.

well it's a bit haphazard - but that's what the poem is all about - it's just a game of football.

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arkava Profile
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Re: The Moon Kicked Around On Earth


queenie, i don't hv much of an opinion on thr poem. i can see you are having fun and i thts all tht matters. bernie whoever siva is i hope i never meet him or her in rwal life because i'll surely pull his f ing nose off and wear it so i cant smell the execrescence he has produced. ok i was trying a conceit like queen but i guess it didn't come out rt.

indian or approved indian? thts the q to ask. i ask it of myslf every time i come across !@#$ like what you hv quoted.
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QF

ah....FUT-BALL...

and so mini thinked they didn't know nuff bout dark/glorious Indian gods and godesses...(as though we could any better explain the conversion of Paul on the road to Tarsus)

i hope my own lighthearted poking fun is now a little better tolerated in that fresh new light cast by the poet.

as i asked you in my crit:

is the poem putting me on? taking advantage of my old age, failing eyesight, and massive debts the size of a sun god....


one thing i learned on stage at LA Comedy Clubs....not everyone finds us funny.

afterall, some folks wanted to hang mr Swift after his A Modest Proposal---his idea, to eat chilren to help with the Irish famine.

one thing about Siva in India---she writes about Indian life---not Kant, Derrida and other western gods.

bernie
    

Wikipedia:


Kodaikanal is a city in the hills of the taluk division of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.[2] Its name in the Tamil language means "The Gift of the Forest".[3] Kodaikanal is referred to as the "Princess of Hill stations" and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination.
 
Kodaikanal was established in 1845 as a refuge from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains.[4] Much of the local economy is based on the hospitality industry serving tourism.




Siva's 2012, July IBPC winner:

Kodaikanal

by Sivakami Velliangiri


The observatory draws tourists
who come to see dark spots in the sun.

Here they talk ‘climate.’ Space is a snapshot,
a museum of telescopes and explanatory pictures.
Each dark spot is bigger in size than the earth.

Favorable changes might happen, more rains,
unusual, unseasonal blooming of the Kurunchi flowers.

At the house the flowers are the same pastel shades
of intermingled bright hues. Same as when
my half sari twined around the oars of a boat.

Turnips, carrots, bush beans and herbs
still thrive in the backyard. Every summer
we pretend three or four days in a hill station
can reduce the heat of our working days.

Now I search the meaning of ‘Manorama’
Krishna as the full filler of Eternal Bliss
in these hills.


Judge's Comments: This is a quiet and evocative piece with some clever and memorable bits: “full filling” instead of “fulfilling,” for instance, is very pleasurable. I like the way the speaker and others are introduced almost surreptitiously as the poem progresses – the “my” in the fourth stanza, the “we” in the fifth—each of these is a small and satisfying surprise, and the whole piece gestures at a complete narrative without letting us lock one into place. And the line “Each dark spot is bigger than the earth” has a strange beauty. --Troy Jollimore






Last edited by Bernie01, Aug/9/2013, 4:57 pm


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Hi queenfisher,

Football? Nope, totally missed that connection. American football is different from the football you are describing. I think in America what you call football, we call soccer. And what we call football, I'm not sure you call anything at all. LOL

"some sports are more than sports & become a religion with huge fan following."

True. I have a friend, the mother of three sons, who often says, "Football is my religion." In Bull Durhahm, one of my favorite romantic comedies, Annie, the main character, says:

"I believe in the Church of Baseball. I've tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn't work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there's no guilt in baseball, and it's never boring... which makes it like sex. There's never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn't have the best year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball: you just gotta relax and concentrate."

To read the rest of her opening narration, go here:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094812/quotes

So, looking forward to the revision when you have it.
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dear katlin

enjoyed all the quotes - informative & educative! thanks!

yes -baseball! that's like a kind of religion in america very popular! like cricket in india is huge..!

& football in the u.k & parts of europe - is very big! the kind of football i've tried to write about.

americans will not identify with this kind of football at all 'cos that's not the way it's played there as you mention.

the european football plays to packed houses & there have been stampede & killing etc. all kinds of high emotional drama - for what seems to be just a game! - but it's not just a game - it is religion - & i can identify with the high passion & emotion as the same happens here with cricket.

what struck me about the game:
as i said - only two goalkeepers for either side - to save the goals entering into the area defined by the goal-posts. so that's the hallowed ground being guarded.

whenever a goal is made the whole stadium eurpts - some in agony - some in ecstacy - depending on which team they are supporting.
agony & ecstacy - yes cliche - but fitted so well.

now the goalkeepers who defend any goals being made seem as if they have numerous arms & heads - both can be used to defend. they have to defend against so many other players.

so devil & god rolled into one are two - that's the two goalees on eithr side.

actually the poem fell into place - only in my mind of course! with the moon as the metaphor for the football & giving it the qualities that i did - seem to work for me!
& i was pretty sure it would be confusing for others & nobody would guess - but when i did explain it to a few readers who'd watched the game & were fimiliar with this kind of footbal - did begin to see the far-fetched connection. & the best comment i got was from a guy who just said two words: 'you indians'!

so that's it - us indians as we proudly say are like that only!

i just felt the need to give an explanation.

thanks once again for the time you spent & all the very helpful quotations.
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dear ole bernie

yes definitly - taking advantage in your old age!

thanks for all the siva poems - i read her with great interest as a fellow indian - very rooted & very indian. i really admire the indian flavor she brings to her writing & her facility etc. but i can never aspire to write like her - i think i lack the discipline & the rootedness. & it would be so boring to do that - no fun for me!

perhaps sometimes 'being indian' might presuppose a 'slot'. like being an 'american' or britsh!

i shall attempt revising the piece - thanks for all the pointers.
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hi christine

one thing good that's come up with the poem & all the discussion - readers are now familiar with ravana! thanks!

i was attempting something new & different for me -

altho there's no excuse for mistakes, clumsy writing etc etc. even if a poem is posted for fun it should be competent as is expected from these forums. i have great regard for people's time & would not like to waste it.

all the comments will be very helpful in revision.

thanks for all your comments i really appreciate it.

as for good ole bernie - i don't mind him at all - he's old enough to be my grandfather!
Aug/12/2013, 2:28 am Link to this post Send Email to queenfisher   Send PM to queenfisher Blog
 
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Re: The Moon Kicked Around On Earth


thanks for reading arkava!

i couldn't help having a good laugh at your response!

dear tere

thanks a ton! i'm just so happy you actually enjoyed the poem - for itself! that's very gratifying! i love the instinctive intuitive response!

you're absolutely right about moon goddesses & all goddesses in general! i have the perfect love poem about them & will post sometime.
Aug/12/2013, 2:37 am Link to this post Send Email to queenfisher   Send PM to queenfisher Blog
 


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