My newest adventure is underway. It has lead me to take up residency in a new blog,
Like the Feathers of an Arrow (affectionately known as LFA).

...don't open...don't throw away... is not disappearing completely (not yet),
but postings here will be limited.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

3 Time Capsule: New Year's Resolution & New Year's Resolution: Counterparts

Titles:  New Year's Resolution & New Year's Resolution: Counterparts
Date:  between 12/01/04 and 01/11/05 and 01/03/06 (respectively)
Setting:  Life after college--during second post-college job
Form:  Free verse
New Year's Resolution
Meet a man
Get plastered
Sing Karaoke
Go skinny-dipping
Fall in love   
Not necessarily in that order
Plastered seems the logical start
giving enough courage to break into song
loosing enough inhibitions to disrobe
finding enough moxie to flirt
loosening up enough to let someone in
Yeah, that definitely may take a drink or two

New Year's Resolution:  Counterparts
Reinstate Poetry-List Emails
Refocus on writing my next great novel
if the poetry’s going to suck
the story might as well be good.
Watch all unopened movies in collection
go to the movies alone
if I can watch a movie at home by myself
then surely I can manage a theater ‘alone’.
Be more social
Only each chocolate on days that end in ‘sday’
if I’m going to have to deal with people
I can’t give up my sugar high completely.

Notes:  I thought with the new year knocking on the door it would be a good idea to revisit these two pieces.  They were written a year apart from each other.  Both consist of a shortlist of resolutions.

Artifact I:  The email of New Year's Resolution:  Counterparts I sent out after reinstating my Poetry-List Emails.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2 Time Capsule: Awakening

Title:  Awakening:  the road ahead
Date: 02/21/2000
Setting:  Life after collage--during first post-college job
Form:  Free verse

Bridge freezes before road surface,
Slow road curves ahead,
Slippery when wet,
Hidden driveway,
Deer crossing,
Dead end.
As we look at the road ahead,
we can’t help but hesitate
and look back.
Nine years we have spent
in this womb;
Grown in the sanctity
of these walls
Pampered, pacified, spoiled
and on occasions
given a swift kick
in the ________.
We can see the hand outstretched
The hand which has held ours
for so long.
The one we fought,
yanked at and rebelled against,
wanting to pull away.
Now with it all too willing to let go,
We realize we have only our own
two feet
to hold us up on this new journey.
We've been warned,
of the pot holes,
the speed bumps,
the other drivers,
even of the road rage;
that of others and
our own.
We can only hope that as we come
to each new intersection,
We take heed of all
the hand has taught us.
The path will not be easy.
We know we shall
bruise a knee or two,
But we will rise.
more courageous,
and more determined
to find our way.
Even those among us,
who may still be naive enough
to see only a perfect road;
who may still be foolish enough
to ignore the speed limit,
will soon be awakened
as they spin uncontrollably
on the black ice.
They too will gain control
And we will conquer
these obstacles.
We will succeed!!

Notes:  This time capsule has two stops. 

Stop 1--My first job had me working in a K-8 school.  I had the opportunity to work with grades ranging from 2nd all the way up to 8th.  Towards the end of my second year, I composed this poem for a group of students who I had had two years in a row.  They ended up reading the poem during graduation.

Stop 2--During my second job, I assisted a Language Arts teacher in a project she was doing with her class, the Cocoa Bean Cafe.  She had her students take the poems they had written, find images to reflect their words and create a PowerPoint that would run as they presented their poem at the Cocoa Bean Cafe (her classroom all decked up with snacks and cocoa to boot).  After, I worked with several of the students to turn their work into a vodcast using PhotoStory.  Of course before I could do any of this I had to test things out myself; so I took Awakening...and thus came, my first youtube poem.  (Not that there are many of them.) 

Artifact I:  This is an image of the poster created with this poem.

Artifact II:  My video of the poem.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

3 Time Capsule: Chain Reactions

Title:  Chain Reactions (As the saga unfolds...)
Date:  between 09/1999 and 06/2001
Setting:  Life after college--during first post-college job
Form:  Undefined

Notes:  There were several things that led to me to sharing this.  It is neither poem nor prose, but this morning as I was driving this popped into my head.  I took it as a sign.

Each month, someone was assigned a bulletin board to design.  When the time came around for me I had a little fun.  The board started off with a title, "Chain Reaction," and a card that read "You" and on the inside "Yes, You!!"  Approximately every other day over the several weeks I added a new link.  The idea was to show how one thing (good or bad) can ripple and effect someone you never met.  The display included two chains, one starting out with a positive action the other with a negative action.

Artifact I:  A picture of the bulletin board.

Chain Reaction
(As the saga unfolds…)

(Yes You!!)
You tease Jacob about his answer in class.

 You hold the door open for another student and mention you like her outfit.
Jacob, feeling upset after being teased, leaves the room in a huff and walks into Max without saying excuse me.

Jessy, feeling unusually good about herself because of the compliment paid to her, congratulates Henry on his presentation.
Max annoyed at Jacob’s rudeness slams Brianne’s locker on her hand because she was in his way. 

Henry, bewildered that Jessy even noticed him, thanks one of his teachers for all of the help he had given him.
Brianne aggravated by her locker being slammed and in pain yells at her little brother Jimmy for following her.

The teacher, shocked by Henry’s gratitude, e-mails a teacher from another school to thank her for the advice she had shared, which allowed him to help Henry.
Jimmy upset by his sister, shoves Trevor into the middle of the street when Trevor accidentally bumps into him.

The e-mail made the other teacher’s awful day a little better, so that when she sees Paul she tells him how impressive his paper was and that it shows much improvement.
Trevor terrified by being pushed into the middle of the road freezes as a woman swerves to miss hitting him.

Paul overwhelmed with pride and joy, helps another student who was loaded down with books and then invites him to hang out with him.
The woman in the car smashes into a telephone pole as she swerves.

The boy, Gerald, was so amazed that someone as cool as Paul wanted to hang out with him, that he changes his mind about a very important decision he had made.
A woman, you never met, lies in a hospital bed surrounded by her husband and two kids, who are praying that she will just open her eyes or squeeze her hand. 

Gerald, a boy you never met, realizes he has a lot to look forward to in life and decides to remain a part of this world.
Your actions make a difference.

Your actions make a difference.
Because of YOU
(Yes You!!)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2 Time Capsule: Dear Santa

Title:  Dear Santa
Date:  between 11/15/93 and 06/14/94
Setting:  Senior year of high school
Form:  Free verse w/ rhyme

This year I wish for one simple thing
I’d like a baby brother
For that’s what I hope you’ll bring.
Someone for me to play with 
And sing sweet lullabies
To rock to sleep in his little cradle
Where my head once use to lie.
I know I've been a good girl
I've said my ‘thanks’ and ‘please’
I always clean my plate off
I even eat all my peas.
And so I ask you nicely
Oh, Santa would you please
Bring me a little brother
To grow with, love and tease.

Notes:  During my senior year, I had the opportunity to take a class that allowed you to leave school for the last two periods of the day and go to one of the school district's elementary schools to work with a teacher.  I was paired with a first grade teacher.  During this time, I did a lot of different things from working with students to making photo copies.  I remember one afternoon listening to the teachers in the hallway after school about the student work hanging on the wall.  One of the student wished for a sibling.  From that this little number came to life.

Artifact I:  The scribblings that led to the poem.

Artifact II:  The final writing of the poem.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

4 Time Capsule: --For the Children

Title:  --For the Children
Date:  12/01/1995
Setting:  Sophomore year of college
Form:  Free Verse
Innocent children
brought up in a world
of robberies and muggings,
of dealers and drugs,
of murder and death.
They have no choice.
To them this is nature
Defective in nurture.
They do everything
in their power
just to survive.
Their pain is incomprehensible
All the suffering
Swelling up inside them.
They can’t help
what they shall become,
But we can.
Artifact I:  Original poem.

Monday, November 26, 2012

1 Q Series: Why Poetry? -- Q3

Welcome to the third and final installment of the first Q Series, aptly named Poetry. (For more information on the Q Series, see information located at the end of this post.) Over the course of three Monday's--today being the second--I will be exploring three questions about poetry and myself. They are as follows:
Why do I write poetry?
Why do I like writing form (poetry)?
Why do I prefer free verse (poetry)?

So with out further ado...

So alas we arrive at the final question:  Why do I prefer writing free verse?  What about free verse calls to me more so than any other form out there?  It's freeing!  Sorry, I couldn't help myself.  In all honesty I started writing in free verse because I didn't really know much else.  Sure, like most grade school children, I learned haiku, diamante, and acrostic.  Might I have learned more than that in school--sure, but those were the ones we were taught to write.  

Truth be told, knowing such little form (prior to ...dodta...) I wouldn't have really even known what classified my writing as free verse except for the fact that I did not conform to any particular number of lines or syllable, nor did I care if rhyme made its way into my verse.  And to be completely honest I had no idea what meter really was so you can bet that never had any impact on my verse.

The inner workings of my brain...
As I have mentioned before, my left-brain (which is ever so slightly more dominant) should prefer the structure of non-free verse.  But as I have also stated, part of why I write is to break away from that half of my brain.  Such a structured and logical being can be quite exhausting.  Maybe part of that is because I have a relatively balanced brain.  Sometimes, I have even wondered if I wasn't always more right-brained, but in order to preserve my sanity forced my left-brain to take more of a role.  

The irrational thoughts...
The key is 'irrational'.  When it comes to expelling the emotions, fears, and anxieties that bind me, there is no controlling the shape they take.  They just pour like a mad person rambling on and on and on.  They don't pause to think about fitting to a specific number of syllables or hitting a predetermined meter.  Honestly, I just want to get them out and get them out as quickly as possible...sort of like ripping off a bandage.

The truth about "free" verse...
I suppose it is important to understand the definition of "free verse" in order to decide if that is in fact what I prefer.  Based on what I've read (free of meter, unrestricted in line number/length and rhyme), I'd say free verse is indeed what I write.  The thing is I'm not sure that "free verse" is ever really free, at least not for me.  If I were to look back over my writings I can find numerous poems that incorporate some form of structure.  I have found that I quite enjoy line repetition; I like linking stanzas by creating a relationship between how respective lines start.  

There are definitely little nuances that I can see in my writing that while "free" are structured.  Take for instance the poem below.  Each stanza contains the same number of lines, the first line in each is only two words which includes a noun and a descriptor of the noun; the second lines describe an action of the noun; the third lines all start with 'a' and compare the noun to something else (some form of figurative language, I was never really good at tell the different kinds); all forth lines end with "raging emotions"; and the final lines all begin with "longing to."  
Methods to Soothe Raging Emotions
gritted teeth
hold tears at bay
a flimsy dam of sticks
bombarded by raging emotions
longing to pour freely
rioting music
course throughout
a volatile tidal wave
melding with raging emotions
longing to find rhythm
breath moves
slowly in, slowly out
a soft gentle breeze
releases the raging emotions
longing to suffocate
Another example:
Holding Me Tight
Imagination walks with me down the lonely road
a constant friend I lean upon time and time again
opening up a world to me that I cannot find here
Imagination saves me from all that troubles
a deadly weapon I wield over and over again
killing the fear and anxiety that invades me here
Imagination holds me tightly on those lonely nights
a warm body I wrap myself with again and again
shielding me safely in arms that I am unable to find here
These are just two example of where "free" is only accurate in the sense that there is no defined meter, syllable count, and/or rhyme.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

0 Time Capsule: --Blooming

Title:  --Blooming
Date:  11/21/97 and 02/01/98
Setting:  Senior year of college
Form:  Shape Poetry

Notes:  This was my first attempt at writing within the confines of a shape.  I think since, I have only done so on one other occasion.  It came out okay, I guess.

Artifact I:  First attempt at construction.  (I believe aside from drawing a horrible set of petals, I moved the position of the words.)

Artifact II:  Second and final construction of poem.

Monday, November 19, 2012

3 Q Series: Why Poetry? -- Q2

Welcome to the second installment of the first Q Series, aptly named Poetry. (For more information on the Q Series, see information located at the end of this post.) Over the course of three Monday's--today being the second--I will be exploring three questions about poetry and myself. They are as follows:
Why do I write poetry?
Why do I like writing form (poetry)?
Why do I prefer free verse (poetry)?

So with out further ado...

Why Form Poetry? Seriously, what on earth would possess me (or anyone for that matter) to constrain poetic inspiration to a rigid set of rules and parameters? Don't get me wrong, I understand the aesthetics of form: the way meter plays to the rhythm of the words, the way rhyming presents an appealing sound, the way repetition adds a flow and emphasize to a thought. I can definitely appreciate the use of poetic form both when I read silently or aloud. But to employ such constraints truly hurts my brain.  Truth be told, poetic form and I have a love-hate relationship.  I love to hate it.

The inner workings of my brain...
Now one might think that my logical - very structured - left brain would love the rules and guidelines set forth by form, but one of the benefits of writing is being able to shutdown that half of my brain. It provides me with an opportunity to allow the irrational thoughts and fears threatening to consume me run free--more like a mustang on the open range than a stallion let out in the fenced in pasture. If it were solely up to my brain, I would fight tooth-and-nail not to write in form. Although it is my brain...yes the lovely left brain...that has rationalized out why I like writing in form.

The irrational thoughts...
While I expressed in the previous installment, I started writing because it was a way for me to expel all of the crazy thoughts and fears that induce anxiety and stress.  Poetry is my coping mechanism.  I find, however, the older I get the harder it is for me to lull these thoughts to sleep, for though I talk about this being a purging of sorts, they always resurface.  I find that the annoyance and struggles of writing in form, following a specific rhyme scheme or employing a certain meter, help to take my mind off of the emotions and feelings that I am writing about.

The lessening of pain...
It is sort of like biting my finger when I have a massive headache.  My hurting finger helps to dull the ache (or my knowledge of the ache) in my head.   I'm able to write out the emotions and feelings without having them overwhelm me.  The harder, stronger, or deeper the emotion, the more I love to hate poetic form.  It really is as simple as that.  

The Q Series is a new theme. I decided Mondays needed to be spiced up a little bit. Plus I do kind of miss my incessant ramblings. How it works is quite simple. I take a topic of interest to me, personal or not, pose two - four questions, and spend several Mondays exploring the questions. I might miss the occasional Monday with this, but there is no hard and fast rule that I must post on least not yet.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2 Time Capsule: Old Magic

Title:  Old Magic
Date:  04/22/11
Setting:  ... don't open ... don't throw away ...
Form:  Free verse
i drank in whispers
sweet sounds
carried from the moon
soon sleep took me
teardrop dreams danced
raining balloons
only to pooled
near my true love
Notes:  When I started this blog, I set up some rules that would force me to write; I could not remember the last time I had written.  Included with these rules was one that had me composing on the spot with little to no editing once published.  That rule forced me to compose with fingers on keyboard and while I do enjoy this medium, paper and pencil have been my weapon of choice.  

The poem I selected this week is from a prompt that came from OneStopPoetry's Friday Poetically with Brian Miller.  I can't be certain (with OSP off the air now), but I believe the prompt had us take words from another source (I want to say a Shel Silverstein poem, but I could be wrong) and use them in something new and different.  In order to accomplish this feat, I wrote down a slew of the words in a journal which was just itching for words to breathe life into it.

You'll notice the words are grouped by first letter.  My guess is that originally I had thought I might try a poem were all (or at least most) of the words began with the same letter; it did not turn out that way in the end--as you can see.  In the end I created a short little whimsical piece.

A couple of days after writing the poem above, I composed one called reunited, which spoke about...well...being reunited with my paper and pencil.  I started this blog almost three years ago after a spell of not writing at all;  put it all together and paper-pencil and I had not been together for at least three years.  I know that some time this week I spoke about my little hiatus from here and how upon returning (in full force) I allowed my blog rules to continue to be suspended and instead created my themes as a way to inspire (continuous) writing.  The other thing I took up, which started with the poem presented here is a journal full of writing.  

I think that's enough babbling for today.  Maybe one day I'll talk about the difference between tapping out poems with fingers and pouring out words on paper with pencil.

Artifact I:  Original list...don't ask where the poem is on this page...I can't quite figure it out myself.

Monday, November 12, 2012

2 Q Series: Why poetry? -- Q1

Welcome to the first Q Series, aptly named Poetry.  (For more information on the Q Series, see information located at the end of this post.)  Over the course of the next three Monday's I will be exploring three questions about poetry and myself.  They are as follows:
Why do I write poetry?
Why do I like writing form (poetry)?
Why do I prefer free verse (poetry)?

So with out further ado...

Why Poetry?  Of all the forms of writing out there, why would I choose poetry as my form of expression?  Just as important is why I write at all.  These are not simple questions and their answers are far from easy.  Honestly, I find it hard to figure out where to begin or even what to include.  But I do quite enjoy my second form of writing (what I've deemed Ramblings), so hopefully we'll all be able to follow along.

The inner workings of my brain....
I have several theories running in regard to the craziness that infects my brain.  One includes how I was originally right brained (creative/artistic), but due to the irrational thoughts threatening to destroy me my left brain (logical/analytical) took over.  Of course my right brain has continued to plot uprisings and so in the end I have a rather boring--and oddly--well balance brain.  You see while my left brain (the one that loves solving systems of equations in multiple variables and using the Rational Root Theorem to find possible solutions to polynomial equations) has managed to tamper most of my irrational side, those thoughts are still there longing to escape and so I tap into the right side and write (no pun intended).

The irrational thoughts...
So as the tagline for this blog states, "this letting of words is my salvation. it pulls all the toxins from my mind, body, and soul."  I write in order to release or purge myself of the incessant and trying thoughts that threaten to consume me.  Does that mean that I never deviate from the internal?  No, occasionally it is just as important for me to write about something so completely unrelated to how I am feeling or the thoughts running around unchecked.  It's how I keep sane...well maybe not sane so much as functional.

The letting of words...
This brings us back to why poetry.  I could just as easily journal (or dear diary) myself into sanity.  In fact, some of my ramblings are just that.  The problem is it is too personal.  With's's abstractness...I can disconnect myself.  When I write poetry I can take an emotion or feeling and express it in such a way that the thoughts and events that sparked the irrational feeling floating in me are not really easily uncovered.  It is sort of like being covered from head to toe in body paint, so that even though you are completely naked no one can really see you.

The Q Series is a new theme.  I decided Mondays needed to be spiced up a little bit.  Plus I do kind of miss my incessant ramblings.  How it works is quite simple.  I take a topic of interest to me, personal or not, pose two - four questions, and spend several Mondays exploring the questions.  I might miss the occasional Monday with this, but there is no hard and fast rule that I must post on least not yet.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

3 Time Capsule: --After the Journey

Title:  --After the Journey
Date:  06/18/98
Setting:  Summer after final year of college (during a touring Europe)
Form:  Free verse
Yesterday seemed to last forever,
draining me with every passing hour.
To sleep was but a dream
in this endless day it seemed.
And now, as I’m about to drift away
after this 24 waken hour day
goodnight is all I can say.
Notes:  After graduation, my cousin and I took a trip to Europe as part of a tour.  It was an wonderful and amazing experience.  The above is the first poem written outside the borders of my own country.  I really didn't write much while I was there.  I have begun to realize that I tend to write more from inside my head than what I see; I'm not sure how much sense that makes, but I can only image what I might have created had I been more focused on my writing back then.

Artifact I:  The original poem written in a cute little journal.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

2 Time Capsule: Betrayed Hearts

Title: Betrayed Hearts
Date: 04/23/01
Setting: Life after college—during first post-college job
Form: Free verse
I saw everything
as I sat quietly on my perch
the hypnotic trance
encapsulating your souls
as your bodies intertwined
the intense passion
emanating from your beings
as you melded into one
the powerful meaning
betraying your true feelings
as you gazed into each other’s eyes
I saw everything
as my heart sank quietly
I do not deny that you love me
For I know you do
but your heart longs for someone else
whether you see it or not
I saw everything
from my quiet perch.
Notes: More than ten years ago, probably two or three years before this was written, I had a story rolling ‘round in my head. It lingered so long that I thought it would make a good book / screen play. I’m not really sure which I thought of first (probably the book), but either way it didn’t much matter. I did not have the patience for writing prose (at least not beyond 5 typed pages or so) nor did I have any experience with writing screen plays. The idea mulled around in my head for quite awhile before I thought, why not try exploring the story through poetry. And so I did just that; between 04/23/01 and 06/19/01, I composed a small collection of sixteen poems (what might be called a chapbook) called 3 Hearts Betrayed. The story is told by all three characters. Each character share a part of their story, which guide through the twists and turns of a love triangle.

The past couple of years with the way that technology has opened up the world, I have thought about putting voice to the poems, adding images/video, and breaking the story open. Of course that would mean finding three voices—two if I take on the female. Plus there is the finding/creating the right images or video. I know it is not beyond my capabilities, I just am not sure I can hit the vision I have in my mind. Maybe one day…

Artifact I: The top of the page were the first poem was written that outlines the thoughts on the three characters

Artifact II: The first poem written in the collection, which is the 11th poem

Artifact III: The image from the back of the chapbook

Artifact IV: The image from the front of the chapbook

Sunday, October 28, 2012

1 Time Capsule: Night of Spooks

Title:  Night of Spooks
Date:  between 10/11/97 and 11/21/97
Setting:  senior year of college - near Halloween
Form:  free verse (see notes)

Notes:  I really don't have to note the reason for selecting this poem for today, so I'll avoid the urge.

I did not begin exploring poetic form until way after college.  Until exploring my first sonnet (see--Time Capsule:  C Your Way Out of It), I honestly do not think I knew anything (formal) about meter.  I say formal because (obviously) there is no doubt that being exposed to poetry (especially children's poetry) you can hear the rhythm.  Anyway, while this is free verse, you can hear a rhythm.

Artifact I:  Copy of the first typed image...with far too many periods.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

2 Time Capsule: Herstory

Title:  Herstory - Man's Plight for Equality
Date:  undetermined (technically still unfinished)
Setting:  Original idea sparked junior year of college, mainly written during second post-college job
Form:  Novel (maybe more of a novella at the moment)

For this one you have to follow the on Herstory - Man's Plight for Equality; it will lead to the prologue and first two chapters of the book.  (Note--this is an old version of the story, slight changes have been made since.)  Of course, I wouldn't blame you if you were too lazy to read all of that especially without at least a little bit of a blurb....below is what I initially envisioned the book flap to read.
In 1890, the American Woman’s Suffrage Association and the National Woman’s Suffrage Association joined forces. In the midst of this union, a group of extremists under the leadership of a young ambitious woman formed a radical group called the WŌMen Society. In the hopes of achieving their goal, the WŌMen Society departed for a new world under the guise of equality.
Almost a century later, Charles Amarett finds himself plagued by dreams, which transform his normal happy domestic life into a crusade for equality. With the support of his wife and children, Charles unites the men of his society in a plight to balance the scales through the obtainment of man’s right to vote. In an attempt to guide and inspire a nation of men and understand the force behind his dreams, Charles discovers there is more to his dreams than he could have ever imagined.
Notes:  I decided to go a different way with this time capsule post.  No poetry today.

When I was in college, one of the general ed requirements was to take a woman's studies course.  It was during this class that the idea first popped into my head.  I actually posed the idea to one of my roommates, but she thought me crazy.  Sometime between then and when I really picked up the idea and ran with it, I had written a short (not even a page) intro.  When I did return to it, I'd like to say that was probably in 2001 (a good four years later), those words expanded into what is know recognizably the prologue.

This here was my first (longer than a dozen pages) story.  I have always been more partial to poetry.  Truth is I really don't have the patience to write much longer items than that.  Case in point the story With Just a Touch that I started on this blog and have yet to finish even with the end close at hand.  Even if we look at how long it took me to finally complete the insane ten act ballad, my motivation for writing anything of length is quite obvious.  I argue with myself that I managed to trick myself into writing it.  Since each chapter starts off with a dream, I was able to wrap myself around these short little stories that could be written in any order I like.  Even when I finally filled in the meat of the story between the dream sequences, I went out of order.  Anything to keep myself from realizing the amount of time and effort I was putting into one entity.

Herstory is not my only novel-ish length write.  I did manage to trick myself into writing another.  Unfortunately for the other three already started potential writes, I have yet to undermined my lack of motivation to expand them beyond the initial pages and outlines I've created.  Technically even this story here, while complete, is not quite finished.  I think part of the reason for that may be because it is my first; it holds a special place in my heart and for that reason just doesn't feel quite right (or done).  I think I'm just not quite ready to let it go.

Artifact I:  Original write (in green) of the blurb intended for the book jacket.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

2 Time Capsule: With Shaking Hands

Title: With Shaking Hands
Date: 03/21/02
Setting: Life after college--during second post-college job
Form: Free Verse

Thunderous rain
pounding on windows
pales in comparison
to the pounding of my heart.
Tremors rattle over my body
the harsh movement
visible only to my own eye
seems as though the earth quakes
beneath the surface of my skin.
Teeth clench like a vise
to hold back the raging river of tears
to fight the rock slide of thoughts
so I might look upon you
speaking my mind
past my fear of confrontation

Notes:  I cannot recall the precise circumstance that led to this particular write.  I do know that still the mere idea of confrontation brings forth such fear that often (as sad as it is) I walk away from it.  I suppose some might say that walking away is okay.  But in the long run....not so much.  

Artifact I:  Original handwritten poem on nice yellow paper.

Monday, October 8, 2012

2 More on 'Save the C.O.N.E.S.'

In yesterday's Time Capsule post, I made reference to a 'story' which is technically a personal narrative told from the point of view of a road cone. 

The story was written by a close dear friend of mine, Queen Cone.  She was too shy to pose for a picture, but I'm still trying to sneak one.  Queen Cone is a real cone given to me by my friends from high school.  I can't recall if it was sophomore or junior year, but she was a gift they hoped would lift my spirits.  The idea that I'm good at masking my depression is really just a farce to make me feel better.

Anyway, she was kind enough to dedicate her story to me...

In return, I let her use my poem, which I posted yesterday.  Along with some photos I enhanced that depicted her life and story.  It was fun toying with photoshop and all the different effects;  adds a bit of character really to such dismal images.

I know you're all dying to here her story, but I'm not so sure she wishes to go completely public with it.  I'll ask her...maybe if your lucky....  But here is just a taste of the beginning of her story.

One would think the idea of my own kind being torn apart and butchered would horrify me. One might believe seeing them patched haphazardly together in the likeness of the species that brought about their death and destruction would enrage me. One might think that. But it does not bother me in the least. Truth be told I am a bit envious of my fellow comrades; they have transcended our pitiful existence becoming something that provokes an array of emotions from those who abuse us daily. The thought that I might follow, preferably in a less painfully manner, in their footsteps seemed impossible. Nothing is impossible.

I wasn’t so much born into this world as I was made. My first real memory was being stacked with others like me and shoved into a large white and orange vehicle. I recall being like that for quite some time. I immensely disliked being in the back of the vehicle and often wished that I would be released from the restrictive space. It wasn’t long before I realized I should be careful what I wish for.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

1 Time Capsule: Save the C.O.N.E.S.

Title:  Save the C.O.N.E.S.
Date:  01/23/02
Setting:  Life after college--during second post-college job
Form:  Free verse

They were worked to the bone
Their fragile shape
tossed and beaten
left to the elements of nature
drenched and frozen 
They were regarded as tools
Their obvious color
exploited and marred
left to fend for themselves
trampled and broken 
They were more than that to us
Their humble existence
tortured and abused
left us to save them
relieve and relinquish 
They were more than just road cones 

Notes:  When I was in high school...well let's just say we did some odd things, but then again who didn't.  Right?  For the life of me I cannot remember what C.O.N.E.S. stood for, but it was made up well after we had concluded the senseless acts of youth.

Three years ago, I was working with an eighth grade teacher and her class as they wrote narratives; the honors class was challenged to write a narrative from the perspective of an inanimate object.  Inspired by this, I wrote a narrative from the point of view of a road cone.  It was quite an interesting idea, but it had within it a touch of reality.

Artifact I:  A copy of the poem printed with a cone in the background.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

4 Time Capsule: In the Eyes of a Friend

Title:  In the Eyes of a Friend 
Date:  09/30/02 
Setting:  Life after college--during second post-college job
Form:  Free Verse 
In the Eyes of a Friend
In the eyes of a friend
you see yourself
a reflection
glorious and beautiful
surrounded by hopes and dreams
glowing in a light
of happiness and love
In the arms of a friend
you find yourself
snug and tight
comforted by a warmth and gentleness
strengthened in a presence
of security and love
In the heart of a friend
you find yourself
smiling and laughing
held fast by thoughts of the future
wrapped in a love
that will withstand the test of time
In the tired wrinkled eyes of a friend
you will see yourself
young and beautiful
surrounded by memories
glowing in a light
of everlasting love.

Notes:  Two weeks ago for my Time Capsule post I dug up a poem called A Wedding Song:  a poem for two voices.  I noted that the year I wrote this included two wedding; my friend for whose wedding I was prompted to write it and my brother's.  While I gave both couples a copy of the poem, I felt the need to write something else for my sister-in-law.  Since, I have used this poem a couple of times for homemade cards to celebrate either a bridal shower or wedding.  

This poem was written 10 years ago today.  That means that both couples will be celebrating their 10th year together.  Their eyes are not quite tired and wrinkled, but still the love there within them glows.  

Artifact I:  The original write where all the you's were I's and the yourselfs were myselfs.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

1 Time Capsule: P(ain)'s & Q(uestion)'s and Relaxing Beat

Title(s):  P(ain)'s & Q(uestion)'s and Relaxing Beat
Date:  between 09/25/03 and 06/21/04
Setting:  Life after college--during second post-college job
Form:  Alphabet Poem and Reverse Alphabet Poem
--P(ain)’s & Q(uestion)’s
Alliance Built
causing disarray
Every foe
grudgingly harbors
indiscretions (justifiable killings?)
Love means nothing
only pain
Questions rise
surrounding troubles
vanity with xenophobia
yields zilch

Relaxing Beat
Zapping your xylophone
            working vibes
Undertones tremble
            relaxing quiet people
Overpowering noise
            moves listeners
Kaleidoscopic jangles
            intensify harmonies
            granting freedom
Escaping disturbing cares…

beat away!

These two Alphabet Poems are created by each word using the next letter of the alphabet verse every line.  After creating one with ABC order, I thought it might be fun to go for a backwards version with ZXY.

Artifact I:  My first ABC poem--later named.

Artifact II:  My first ZXY poem.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

1 Time Capsule: A Wedding Song--a poem for two voices

Title:  A Wedding Song -- a poem for two voices
Date:  02/16/02
Setting:  Life after college--during second post-college job
Form:  Free verse -- Poem for two voices

Should he but
touch her face

Should she but
whisper his name
and she melts
and he melts

They are drawn

to one another
to one another

she stands before him

he stands before her
with her heart
wide open

with his soul
to bare

No words can express

No token can reveal
the bond they share

but for today
but for today

As she gazes into
his eyes and speaks

As he smiles back
at her and speaks
They unite as one
They unite as one


their lives
to one another
to one another

Should he but
say her name

Should she but
smile his way
and she melts
and he melts

even more

in love
with one another
with one another

(Technical) Notes:  In order to get this to line up right, I had to use tables.  I'm not sure how that will effect the appearance of this on mobile devices.  The layout is extremely important to the way this poem is intended to be read.  Each column is a different person.  Anytime a line appears on the same  line in both columns, the lines are read together.  To make this easier here, I have altered the color of the lines read simultaneously.

Notes:  I attended two weddings this year.  One of my high school friends got married and my brother got married.  I wrote this for my friend.  I did end up writing another poem specifically for my brother and his wife, but I still gave them a copy of this one.

This was my first attempt at writing a poem meant to be read by two voices.  I think when I first started teaching, I came across a book called Math Talk:  mathematical ideas in poems for two voices.  The whole idea seemed quite interesting to me and took two things I loved and put them together:  math and poetry.

I have since attempted writing another poem for two voices.  It was also supposed to be an attempt at writing a sonnet.  (It would have been my third.)  The sonnet part didn't really work.  I totally muffed the iambic meter and the second line ended up with two extra syllables.  Granted I didn't quite realize it at the time.  But it did turn out to be a decent poem for two voices.

Artifact I:  Original hand-written poem

Artifact II:  The final product that I created for my friend and sister-in-law.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

2 Time Capsule: --Dancing & --Messy Jessie

Title:  --Dancing  & --Messy Jessie
Date:  between 11/21/97 and 02/01/98
Setting:  Senior year of college
Form:  Not a Limerick

There was a young man from France
Who didn’t know how to dance.
He went to a fair
On his lovely mare
And boogied when struck by a lance.

--Messy Jessie
There once was a girl named Jessie
Whose hair was very messy,
Until one day
In the middle of May
She met the lockness, Nessie.

Notes:  I wrote this long before I ever truly explored meter in form.  I had a basic understanding that there had to be a certain type of beat that went with limericks when I attempted these two quite pitiful (meter-wise) entities.  As far as meter is concerned, I did not really explore that until I wrote my first sonnet about eight years or so ago.  Even that was only a brief meeting.  Not until this blog did I begin to really delve into meter.

As for limericks, this past month or so I came across a blog (Mad Kane's Humor Blog) that challenge readers to partake in a little limerick fun.  It was from here that I realize how truly awful my initial attempts were.  Since these two, I have written three limericks that fit the form a bit better.  It is definitely an interesting form.

Artifact I:  Original writing (torn from a notebook I used for one of my college classes)

Artifact II - IV:  Limericks inspired by challenge

Sunday, September 2, 2012

2 Time Capsule: Thoughts

Title:  Thoughts
Date:  04/16/1996
Setting:  Sophomore year of college--first Poetry List poem
Form:  Free Verse

The winds echo through the trees
while sunbeams bounce off crystal waters
by which I am surrounded
sinking slowly down
into its depths
I am engulfed by cool caressing fingers
Fully emerged
my breath is lost
Suddenly a pain
As though someone is standing on my chest
I gasp for air
yet none is to be found
Struggling frantically
the surface miles from my touch
Piercing the water
with an immense thrust
my head tilts back
Tasting the air once again
thoughts soften in my mind
and images subside
The wind echoes through the trees
while sunbeams bounce off crystal waters
which surround me and now embodies my mind

Notes:  This poem was the first poem I sent out via email to a group of people.  It was (as it would turn out) the first poem of my Poetry List collection.  While 95% of the poems written for the Poetry List were written on the spot in the computer lab between classes, this one was not.  It was simply the first I chose to share with others in this manner.

Artifact I:  Original handwritten version of the poem.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

3 Last Call: Does Your Light Still Shine?

Blue Orb
(image by rmp, that's me)
Does Your Light Still Shine?

I've heard it said
a speck of dust floating
at the right moment
in the right light
can cause anomalies
in photographs.

Is it wrong for me
to hope that false?

I have a photo
where this beautiful
blue orb hovers
over my brother's chest
as he guides our nephew
--your grandchild--across
a hay bale mountain.

Is it wrong
for me to hope
it's not a speck of dust?

I stare at that photo
where my finger clicked that
light into digital permanency
and feel the tears surface.
The day before
a convergence of two
events--his birthday and
the day we laid you to rest.

Is it wrong
for me to hope
it not
a speck of dust?

Blue Orb (zoomed in)
(image by rmp, that's me)

This is my offerings for this week's dVerse Poets Pub OpenLinkNight. If you get a chance, check out all of the talented poets who have stepped up into the spotlight.