Friday, January 29, 2010

Sonnet #4 - The Chess Game

So here is sonnet #4, a Petrarchan one this time. This is my first, and was more difficult. I don't quite like the way it flows (or doesn't flow, actually) - but hey, it's DONE!

Sonnet #4

Set up the board and choose a side - you're white
And I am black. Let's start this game of chess.
So as your pawn moves out I must confess,
My mind grows dim, although my eyes shine bright,
And then I send my troops in to the fight.
I look and plan and move then feel the stress,
Of knowing I will soon be in a mess,
And I'm unable to avoid this plight.
You are superior to me by far,
Your nimble brain is way ahead of mine
In planning moves so far across the board.
Confused, I'm falling like a shooting star;
You calculate, and wear a hapless guise,
Then pierce my king through with your mighty sword.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Songs/Dreams/Bad Dolls

So I do not yet have a poem made up of song lyrics. Since I brilliantly reasoned out that song lyrics basically ARE poems I decided this could easily get very 'schmaltzy.' So, in going over different songs I realized two things:
#1. I still start waaay too many sentences with the word 'so.'

#2. I need to put some kind of twist on this.

#3. It's kinda fun to combine titles into songs-that-should-never-be-written-titles. Here are just a couple:

-I Want to Hold Your Orange Nickers (from I Want to Hold Your Hand, Beatles and The Power of Orange Nickers, Tori Amos)

-I Love You a Bushel and a Peck, a Bushel and a Peck and a Hug Around the Cape Horn (that old song we all sang as kids, and Valpariso, Sting)

-It's Like Thunder, it's Like Lightening, Electric Avenue (Knock on Wood and Electric Avenue)

Do you have one?

And now for something totally different! (as Monty Python would say)

So, the other night I woke up from a dream laughing. Really. You know how sometimes you make a joke in a dream, but then when you wake up and think about it, it actually makes no sense? Well, maybe that's just me. But this time my dream joke was still funny (at least to me) after I woke. I was imagining bad toys, and had a list of 3 or 4. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I can only remember this one:

In the category Toys that Should Never Be Made is the paper doll that is an emo Barbie called:
Cut and Paste and Cut Barbie

Random Acts of Kindness, or Kind of Randomness

So, on Thursday I took up a challenge by a 'friend' on Facebook to do a random act of kindness to someone I don't know, and to re-post the challenge as my status. (I realize I have taken up several challenges, ie poem from song lyrics, with nothing to show for it to date, but...I digress). So, here I am thinking there will be this huge, random wave of goodness on the way; but I have to say the whole thing was a bit underwhelming. I think I was the only one who responded to him, and only one person responded to me saying, 'I do that all the time anyway, and it's no big deal.' To which I thought, 'well, I do nice stuff every day too, or most days....'
But writing that back just seemed wrong. So instead I write it here. lol

So, I put myself into helpful, kind, good-Samaritan mode and set out with my daughter to pick up an odd assortment of groceries, household products and a really-belated Christmas present. I figured there would be loads of chances for random do-gooding, but the opportunities were surprisingly scarce. Then as we were about to leave the mall parking lot I saw the car in front of us had its lights on, and the driver was still sitting there. So, I helpfully and randomly, through a combination of shouts and gestures, communicated to him that his lights were still on.

Now, it's just a little thing, and I'm feeling mildly dissatisified, that that deed was not good enough to count. All the way through the next store, nothing. Then I saw my chance. I'm standing in line at a self-check register and the woman checking herself out - er...checking her purchases out - in front of me is having trouble. Turns out she has mistakenly chosen the Spanish language option and she doesn't speak Spanish. Neither do I, but what the hell; I'm gonna help! I quickly realize that the way I can be most helpful is to get a store employee to come over and reset the thing. Which I did...then moved to a different register. After all, my daughter's sweet and sour chicken from the deli was getting cold. Good-ish deed #2?

So, as we're leaving this large parking lot, another parked car has it's lights on (it was one of those grey, gloomy Wisconsin winter days, when one puts one's lights on to be seen, rather than to see). No driver in the car, so I call the store and report it, then drive off. Well, I guess I can count this as #3. As my daughter is taking the first bite from her container of chicken I see there is an old guy at the stop light with a sign begging for food. I tell Kate, 'Look. Maybe you should give him your chicken.' Being a basically good and decent and guilt-ridden middle class American she does. So, do I count this as good deed #4? Really, that was Kate's good deed. And, come to think of it I mostly just got other people to do good. I mean, I didn't translate the Spanish, or announce the headlights or give up my chicken. I'm more of a 'good deed facilitator' rather than good deed doer. least some kind of good stuff got done. But, no tidal wave...more like a leaky faucet.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sonnet #3 - Time

Ack - It's Saturday! How did it get this far into the week? I am a horrible manager of time (and most other things, come to think of it...but that's another story). So, today I have a story about time, and what a very odd, unpredictible thing it is...written mostly in the van on the way to Sandy's (I wasn't driving, whew) while the radio was on!

Sonnet #3

I wonder how it works - the time I mean
I just know it's a mystsery to me,
And probably that I will never glean
How time can be so vast, and yet so wee.

The boring things can make time last so long
It's pace is imperceptible at best,
But pleasant times go by just like a song
A bird might sing while feathering its nest.

And longer times can race or creep by too
As suddenly we take a backward glance
At years gone by and feel a little blue
And wish that we cuold have another chance.

If only we could know before they're past
To savor all these bits and make them last

alt. ending:

So Einstein's theory turns out to be true
Time's relative for me - is it for you?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

'Oh what a tangled web we weave... ' How cool is this? It's a spider web covered with hoarfrost spun on the outside of the barn. If I was any kind of writer this should inspire a bucket-ful of poems, ok, I'm working on it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Song Lyrics

Pointed Comment:

So, I'm going to take up the challenge from Flash, and create a poem made up entirely of song lyrics. To that end I have been looking up and reading lots of song lyrics in my spare time (and by spare time I mean the past 45 minutes). And, it's surprising just how insipid a lot of lyrics to really good songs are - or at least songs I really like - when you separate them from the music! So, with my writing prowess I'm thinking I should start writing song lyrics! I mean honestly, I can be as insipid and anyone! Really!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Challenge

So, Flash (sister-in-law and instigator) has challenged me to write a poem from pieced together song lyrics. I'm officially saying that I accept the challenge, now going to start looking up lyrics! (and wishing I would not have posted this until after the piece was finished!)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

sonnet #2

Ok, here it is. It is finished, but I'm not particularly happy with it. And I have two (or three) alternative endings; not sure which to go with. I'll put them both down, think about it, and eventually choose one...or else make up something totally different. My biggest fear with this one is that it says nothing new, or in a new or different way, and is simply a big puddle of syrup. And I don't just want to create a puddle of pity. Oh well, here goes:

Sonnet #2

I lie awake at night and wonder why
The Earth revolves so slowly and so true,
The stars stay in their places in the sky,
And I know I can always count on you.

We know our fate: to be taxed and to die,
This is for sure, although it might be cruel,
The comfort I took was how you would try
To make me feel just like a chreished jewel.

And that's the way the world had worked for me,
So just imagine how I must have felt,
When you said that you needed to be free:
The stars began to fall, the earth to melt.

So now I lay awake and wonder why
My feelings for you still refuse to die.

Or....... alternate ending:

So now I know the stars and Earth and you
Can waver, wobble, fall and be untrue. (-or, Can waver, wobble, fall without a clue)
Status Update:
Week: 2
Day: 7
# of hours spent thinking about blog: 9 (approximately)
# of people I have told about blog: 2
# of blogs for the week: 1 (this is #2)
# of poems for the week: 0
Level of panic: High
Likelihood of posting sonnet before midnight tonight: High
Likelihood of misspelling 'likelihood': High

Pointed Observation:
The second week of any resolution is the tough one; the one that separates the men from the boys. (So, if that's the case, what am I doing here? lol)

Random Observation:
If you are over 30 and still say, 'AWESOME!!!' frequently, it's not as cool as you think. I know it's an opinion thing, but trust me, I'm quite confident I'm right.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The World Out There (snow shoeing & writing prompts)

Well, today was...hmmm, maybe that's the end of my sentence. This was not a terribly productive, creative or remarkable day. I did get a chance to go snow shoeing for a little while before the sun went down. I trudged around on the top of the ridge on our property. I have to make myself stop and really look - I am so saturated with the beauty of this place I forget. The snow, with a trillion sparkling specks flashing in the late afternoon sun. Crisp white snow, thin blue sky, and soft grey-brown trees all create this place I call home. Ok, I'm crap that that descriptive writing stuff, but here's something interesting: There were tracks all over... turkey, deer, and coyote. So that's mildly interesting, but one set of tracks went diagonally across the field, and then just stopped. Just stopped. They are shmeared and mussed, so can't be identified for sure, but I figure they must be from a turkey. And it only now occurs to me that it would be much more impressive if I had a picture of that, but hey...I'm just learning!

I have also peeked around a bit and found that there are LOTS of other people out there doing this! What's wrong with all of you? So, I have stumbled across several sites that give writing prompts. Here are a couple of them:

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sonnet #1

Ok - here is the first sonnet of January! Whew (wipes back of had across forehead). Thank you Flash for suggesting only one per week! There are a couple things I'm not quite satisified with yet, but I'll let is sit for awhile, then noodle with it ('noodle with' is a very highbrow literary term, don't let it scare you, lol).
So without further ado, here goes:

Sonnet #1

Today I clean and organize and sort.
Three piles: to keep, or throw or give away.
Place like with like, is my silent retort,
It's best deciding quickly, don't delay.
Though there are heaps of stuff, I feel a sense
Of true accomplishment as I progress.
The burden lifted from me is immense,
The chaos wanes, then I declare success.
So outside me looks good, and order reigns,
But inside, my emotions are a mess-
All jumbled, cluttered, causing me great pains
I'm really at a loss, I must confess.
I've neatly dealt with my environment,
But can't get my emotions to relent.

As I said, there are a few rough edges...but it's a start!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January = sonnet/ dog vs. cat

January Poems:
So, I decided to concentrate on one type of poem, or maybe one theme per, month and it's time to decide what the first of the poems will be. I think I should start out with lots of structure, since I so desperately need structure and discipline in my writing. With that in mind I will concentrate on sonnets this first month.

Quick Review:
A sonnet is a poem 14 lines long, with a set rhyme scheme and meter. The meter is iambic pentameter, which is basically 5 units per line, with each unit made up of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. For example: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (W. Shakespeare)
For the rhyme scheme there are two basic types, Shakespearen and Petrarchan.
Here is a nice, clear explanation:

Totally Random and Unrelated Thought: Dogs vs. Cats
Just something to think about...Female cats are referred to as 'queens' while female dogs are 'bitches.' That's why I want to come back in my next life as a cat! Besides that, dogs have to learn tricks, walk on a leash, go to the bathroom outside and sometimes wear demeaning clothes someone else chooses for them. Cats on the other hand do not. Their main duties are to look inscrutible, snooze in the sunlight and choose which, if any, mere mortals to bestow their affections on. So yes, while I love both, I would prefer to be a cat!

So, first sonnet soon to follow!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Post

I'm starting a blog - a poetry blog. I have no idea if this will be of interest to anyone but me, but it will at least get me writing and thinking about poetry. I didn't think much of blogs until I saw the movie Julie and Julia, and it suddenly seemed brilliant - or if not brilliant at least a good idea to try.

So I was thinking of a different type of poem each month, and do a poem a day (5 days/week), but Flash, my much geekier and more realistic sister-in-law, suggested one poem per week. Of course the one per week would be more polished; five poems per week would be very rough, and then maybe I would take one or two days each month to fiddle with them, to come up with a few more finished poems. But, being the agreeable (see: lazy) person that I am, I have decided to go with her suggestion of a poem per week.

So, this blog is one of my New Year's resolutions. Another resolution I made is to not throw food at people. This will be made easier if I keep my next resolution, to eat and (most especially) drink less. Then I round out this little orgy of self-improvment with: exercise more (which should not be too difficult , as my current activity level is about equal to that of a couch cushion - unless one counts respiration). So here it is, 1:41 PM on the first Sunday of the new year, and already I have blogged, and consumed no alcohol today. Woo hoo! Ok, enough of that; I don't want this to turn into Bridget Jones' diary, with # of cigs smoked and units of alcohol consumed, etc.

Note to Self: (and anyone else who may read this, I suppose) I seem to start sentences with the word 'so' quite a bit. Let's see how that works as I keep writing.

Now I'm going to dig up some info. on poetry, and try to learn, or re-learn, something about it. Then I will follow with the first poem of the year!