Saturday, May 31, 2014

On Being "It"

    Public Domain Image, Old Teddy Bear by George Hodan

While I loved to play
Hide and Seek
when we were kids
I always hated being “it.”
I worried I would wander forever
and never find a single soul.
But then again, I worried when
I hid, no one would find me.
and there I would sit,
in the dirty clothes hamper
’till wash day.

This 55 is for all the Toads in the Imaginary Garden at IGRT, and especially for Hedgewitch who is taking over, this week, for the G-man.  Click on the link and check it out.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Questions of Identity

1. Who are you and whom do you love?  That's what MarinaSofia asked us at dVerse.  

I love my family and friends, of course,
and I love things unseen, spirits and souls, Creator
I love trees and flowers, oceans,
skies, rocks and autumn,
new snow – but not in March,
fresh spring mornings
sunsets and sunrises all year long.
I love horses, dogs, cats,
and my particular dogs and cats,
Otis, Rusty, Emma, Maggie, Chevy, Lars, Dante, Frank
and all the others.
(Yes, I know I didn't list the people.  Don't read too much into that)
I love elephants,
just about all mammals,
lovely snakes and reptiles,
and flying and travel,
drawing and painting,
music – but not all music,
the smell of fresh bread, cinnamon, lilacs,
solid things,
and also liquid
and ethereal things.
I love the smell of new, clean babies.
I love stars
and I love the blue-black night
that surrounds them,
and I love the moon especially.
And I love tiny frogs and fireflies,
and laying on a big, flat rock after dark
on a cool summer night
and feeling the warmth radiating from it,
warming me though.
I love the smell of wood smoke,
the feel of flannel against my skin,
 and cashmere and silk for that matter.
I love the way little children draw,
before they have been taught
that drawing is hard.
And I love riding very fast
on a strong, dark horse,
the feel of the reins in my hands,
saddle leather against my legs,
 and the motion beneath me.
And I love baths,
very warm steamy baths.
I love Sunday mornings
in bed with strong coffee
and the crossword,
newspaper pages scattered
across the bed,
sun streaming in.
I love the blues and greens of the ocean,
and color…vivid, soft, psychedelic, muted,
and black and white,
and form and line and shadows…
I love shadows.
And I love very cold beer,
and dry red wine
and silver earrings
and “I am not really a waitress” nail polish,
and men,
I do love men.
And women,
and men in kilts,
and men in bowties,
because bowties are cool.
I love umbrellas – red umbrellas,
and rain and thunder and lightning…
I love starting.
I love books and reading and writing
and words.  I am in love with words.
And trains… I love trains,
and toast, and dragons and…

Well, I've sort of gone off the rails here, haven't I? I can’t seem to get past who and what I love in the questions of identity.  There is just so very much cool and lovable stuff in this amazing universe!  And I love that you've read this, even though it's not exactly a poem but more of a list.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Writing Process: Blog Hop

Thank you to Beth Winter who invited me to participate in this blog hop about the writing process. Her blog hop post is available on  Eclipsing Winter.  She published this on April 28th and I was supposed to follow suit the Monday after. However, the dog ate my homework, etc. and here I am, fashionably late, as I tend to be.

Beth Winter writes poetry, prose and anything else her itchy pen decides to scratch.  A self-taught poet, she has written nearly 800 poems, nearly as many hournals and has possibilities piled around her.  She lives and works in the beautiful Kansas Flint Hills.  She maintains a website called Eclipsing Winter where you can read more of her work.

My Writing Process

Question 1) What am I working on?
I just finished doing the April poem a day challenge.  This is the second year I have attempted it and the first year I succeeded in 30 poems in 30 days (though exactly not one each day).  That means now I’m editing poetry!  I am also putting together a book of poetry, the contents of which change each time I take a fresh look at it.  I am also (at least in theory) working on a novel I started two NaPoWriMo’s ago, which somehow morphed into 2/3’s of two completely unrelated books.  I am also editing a sci-fi / fantasy book for a friend.  And I collect quotes.  It’s an ongoing thing that I do for myself.

Question 2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Hmmm…I really don’t know how to answer this.  I write in both free and formal verse.  In general, my poetry tends to be short, like my attention span. (laugh now) I think it’s generally quite accessible.  I like to have a punch or a twist, something poignant, unexpected or funny…sometimes darkly funny. I frequently like to use science metaphors and similes, but actually I never met-a-phor I didn’t like.  And did I mention I love bad puns and wordplay in general?

Question 3) Why do I write what I do?
I have several reasons for writing. Sometimes I write to help order my thoughts, sometimes to express my thoughts and feelings.  Sometimes, though not often I write in response to current events.  Other times a word or phrase strikes me, and it becomes the kernel of a poem.  In fact I have a word document called “snippets” where I keep those words and phrases, and I revisit this when from time to time for writing ideas.  And, I take poetic license with everything I write, which is why I don’t do non-fiction.

4) How does my writing process work?
I am not normally able to produce a poem a day – April was pretty stressful for me.  Some days writing goes quickly and easily, but most days it doesn’t.  And I have some problems both getting into a writing mindset, and also functioning in everyday life.  This means some days I put my muse on hold - but not as often as she ditches me! But the more I write, the more often I get those moments when I need to drop everything and write down a line, idea or poem.  Generally I try to spend time early in the morning with my coffee and my little dog, Otis, and my laptop.  I have a spot in the enclosed porch full of windows looking out at some beautiful countryside.  My other best time of day is in the evenings…real life tends to go in between.  As for each piece, I can spend anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours on it a first draft.  After that I fiddle with it for a bit, publish it on my blog too soon.  And after awhile I reread, perhaps a month's worth, and revisit the ones I still like.  I think writing both drives me crazy and keeps me sane.  There are so many great quotes about writing, so in closing I'll share one of my favorites with you"

"Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence."  -Alice Walker


Please take time to visit Ginny Karpinski Brannan at her blog Inside Out Poetry, a talented poet and good friend.

A New England country girl at heart, Ginny Brannan resides in Massachusetts with her husband, son and two cats. Encouraged by her best friend, she started writing poetry in 2009. She enjoys writing both form and free verse. She has been published in The River Muse —Art and Literary Journal Edition 1 Vol. 31; The dVerst Poet's Anthologyand is currently awaiting publication of one of her poems in Journey of the Heart: An Anthology of Women's Spiritual Poetry due for release Summer 2014.

Fear of Flying

When I was a child
I never slept at naptime.
I would slowly rise up
to the ceiling and
look down
at my  silent self,
then fly around the room
and out the window.
I’d check on the nest
in the tree outside my window
then go up, through the branches
up through clouds
into the sunshine,
far enough to see the curve of the Earth
pale, in the distance.

As I grew older
my flight time diminished;
still, I excelled in science class
when we learned about meteorology
and cloud formations.
I remembered my time
among them, and counted them
as friends

As an adult,
I have a fear of heights.
I left behind the foolishness,
and the magic,
of flying away from my body
until this morning…
Something is different
and familiar -
a feeling in the back of my throat,
perhaps a change in
barometric pressure
(or grown-up life pressures).
I feel a lightness I haven’t felt in ages…
and the rushing up.
I look down at myself,
zoom once around the room ,
then sail out the window
and across the open field
down the road and out over the ocean.
And now I know,
I was never afraid of heights,
I was afraid
that once I left
I would
never come back.

Check out Magpie Tales by Tess Kincaid for more responses to the image, or add your own.  Image by Martin Stranka.  This is also linked to IGRT open link night.  Go there to read a variety of wonderful poems by some fabulous toads.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Another Mother's Day

Ghost of my mother
whispers to me still
when I close my eyes
and dream.