reborn as Atlantis crumbled.
|Phoenix Press (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
|Phoenix Press (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Whitman is my favorite classic poet.
Walt Whitman was born May 31, 1819. He was the second of nine children, four of whom were disabled. At age eleven he was pulled out of school to help support his family. At age twelve he began to learn the printing business and was mainly self-taught. His collection of poems Leaves of Grass, which he began working on in 1848, was so unusual in form and content that no commercial publisher would publish it. In 1855 he published his first collection, consisting of twelve poems, at his own expense. His editing job was the only way he kept himself afloat.
Despite his rough upbringing in poverty, Whitman took his experiences and used them to give a foundation to his writing. He could not know and truly appreciate the wonders of life without first experiencing the grime. And that he did. Whitman was a writer that the average worker could relate to. Because of his experiences, his poetry speaks to us all.
And we listen because he knows what it is to live. He has begged in the gutters with the worst of us, and he has soared through the heavens with the best.
Excerpt from Song of the Rolling Earth
A song of the rolling earth, and of words according,
Were you thinking that those were the words, those upright lines?
those curves, angles, dots?
No, those are not the words, the substantial words are in the
ground and sea,
They are in the air, they are in you.
Were you thinking that those were the words, those delicious sounds
out of your friends' mouths?
No, the real words are more delicious than they.
"Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and mothers of families. ... reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem."
~ Walt Whitman
I came across this again in my notes. It’s something I wrote a few years ago, but still applies today.
I was going through the same phase of: any other writer could tell this story better. Then I remembered my conclusion when I put myself down as a bad parent.
Even though I'm not the best mom, I don't want anyone else raising my kid, because I know him best.
As a writer, my characters deserve the same. I may not be the best writer, but I know my story and characters and no one can tell their story the way I can.
One of my favorite fantasy authors, Patrick Rothfuss, responded to a commenter who wished they could write like him. I wrote this verbatim into my bliss book so I’d always have a reminder when I start comparing myself to other authors.
“I’ll never be able to write a book like The Last Unicorn. I wish I could, but I know I can’t.
You can’t write the sort of story I write. Only I can.
We all have our own style. Our own way. Our own something we need to say.
If you want to write like me, you’re bound to fail. What you want to do is write your story, but do it brilliantly. Do it so well that it shines.
But it takes time. And revision. And depression. And work. And then more work…
I’ve been there. I know what you’re talking about.”
We are all unique. We each have a story to tell. Whether we tell that through our blogs, or poetry, or fiction, or in a different medium such as film or art. We can all contribute to the world. When we stop contributing, we do the world a disservice.
Keep on Going on
You are you.
No one can replace you;
No one can love
the way you do.
You're not just one star
in the universe;
You are someone's sun--
They would be adrift
if your light went out.
Don't give up your dreams—
your success, your creations, your journey,
may change someone else's life.
Keep on going on.
There is darkness in my background, but I have embraced this. I didn’t give up on myself, or my dream. I am happy to announce that the book shaped from that darkness, Chiaroscuro, is now published. It is available for purchase as a digital book from SynergEbooks, my wonderful publisher. And will soon be available for Kindle and Nook.
This is my first published collection of my own poetry. So I am very excited to release it to the world.
|Urban Willow (Photo credit: Ian Sane)|
I seem to be writing a lot of rain this month. I love the rain. The sound, the smell, the touch. I’m going to start out with an oldie but favorite. The second poem was my villanelle about the weather for day nine. And the last is an Elfje I wrote today.
Red sneakers exchanged for red galoshes,
I wander in the hungry rain.
The green clouds in the stormy sky
Light the lazy edge of the sidewalk
And my dog a dusty wolf
Stalks the myriad puddles,
Hesitating when he finds himself
In the depths of their dim waters.
But I, in my new galoshes,
Lose myself in the worn rain.
Run to catch my train…
huddle on the platform;
I look out at the rain--
the lightning is insane,
a light dance in freeform
transforming the terrain.
The train pulls up to its domain--
I clamber on, glad to get warm;
I look out at the rain,
forehead pressed on windowpane
I watch the waters swarm,
transforming the terrain.
At least it's not a hurricane.
Soon we'll reach my dorm.
I look out at the rain
transforming the terrain.
one becomes many
storm clears the air
Note: "Reflections" is a poem from Chiaroscuro, coming soon.
“Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.”
--Edgar Allan Poe
"Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance."
“A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.”
--W. H. Auden
"Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose-petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo."
“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.”
"Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement."
"Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves.
What humans can be, they must be. They must be true to their own nature." --Abraham Maslow
tide laps at my toes
washing away my woes
the sky a clean slate
for me to daydream prose
This second poem is an older one, but still rings very true. This is the place I go when I close my eyes, needing sanctuary.
My Quiet Place
A meadow on the hill,
Filled with hues of green;
A gentle slope
Perfect to roll down.
A scent of green, of
Bees humming through the glade;
The sky a blue
So true it sings.
In this meadow lies a cottage--
Simple, yet elegant it stands;
Myriad windows light every room,
Dust fairies dancing in the sun.
A warm breeze fills the air
Bringing scents of fresh cut grass,
Of lilacs, blossoms, roses
Climbing up the walls.
Nothing can harm me here.
What’s your idea of paradise?
|oak (Photo credit: mindfulness)|
Fun fact: This quote from my Mom is about me.
I did have one night owl child who still does better at night than in the morning. I tried everything - she just couldn't get to sleep. I eventually gave up and allowed her to stay awake and play quietly (Fisher Price Little People was generally her game of choice )- rule was she had to play very quietly so as not to disturb the rest of the family who actually wanted to sleep...when she got tired she climbed into bed on her own. When she started going to public school and couldn't sleep in, things had to change, but she was a little more willing to understand and cooperate by then.
Two very different night poems for you today. These were written earlier this month.
Charm of Night
I ask for sweet dreams
with the birth of this charm
flower of buckwheat
protects me from harm
feather of owl
to watch as I sleep
sprinkled with moondust
to make my dreams deep
will calm the mind
then strips of willow
will this charm bind.
This second poem was for day 13’s prompt on Poetic Asides. The prompt was to write an animal poem, and as a bonus challenge to make it a sestina. I wrote about a creature of the night with an animalistic nature.
The Reign of the Night
Brothers walking in the rain,
our destination nowhere;
afraid to prove
what we already knew --
that our string of lies
wouldn't get us through the night.
We find a barn late in the night,
shelter from the soaking rain…
but danger in the shadow lies,
tooth and claw tear us where
lifeblood flows, I know
this the end will prove .
We die and rise the same, and prove
ourselves creatures of the night--
a taste for blood I hadn't known,
the cravings I try to rein;
my brother finds a dame from somewhere,
paints her as a whore, but I sense lies.
I sense her heartbeat where she lies;
I turn away, my honor to prove
and make one little room, an everywhere
within to contain night;
I will not let it reign,
I must keep saying no.
My brother insists, he knows
resisting is a lie,
with our new life we can reign,
to our debtors prove
we will rule the night;
we can go anywhere.
It is a strange world where
my brother is the one to know ,
the one to lead the night;
I will see where his path lies,
let him be the one to prove
that he can take the reins.
I fall into where the darkness lies,
abandon humanity I know would not approve,
surrender myself to night's reign.
This week is National Library Week. Last year, I created a book spine poem from books at my local library. The poem represents what the library means to me.
Brink of Chaos
The Great Escape
I could spend all day in a library. After my senior year of high school I spent the summer working at a library as a page. I confess, I wasn’t the best employee. I was too distracted by the books. It’s not the most efficient to stop and flip the pages of a book while shelving. I’d love to work in a library again. I truly do love the atmosphere.
In honor of both library week and poetry month, I have written another poem.
My Second Home
The library was my first love
perfect for a book-a-holic,
no budget could sustain my obsession.
A sacred space filled with treasures;
fingers trail on book spines…
so many choices
each one a new adventure--
Do I read an author tried and true?
or experience something new?
Some days I come
not for the books
but the atmosphere.
Sit back in an armchair
wrapped in hushed air,
soak in the rich love of words
infused between these walls,
let it inspire me…
flow through my fingertips
to fill the pages of my notebook.
|Puerta de entrada al pasado / Entrance door to the past (Photo credit: NeoGaboX)|
|collageOrama's Etsy shop|
|Finite Cyclic Groups (Photo credit: derekbruff)|
|Unfurling so many ways (Photo credit: sbisson)|
|Vegan Chocolate Fudge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
|Gunnar Ekelöf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Augustine says, "Tag och läs! and take for good what you read." I mean with "Tag och skriv!" Read, and make it your own, give it your own expression. --Gunnar Ekelöf
Chiaroscuro (kee-ar-uh-SKYOOR-o): The contrast and balance between light and dark.
Chiaroscuro is the title of my upcoming poetry book being published by SynergEbooks. Today I’m going to share how the collection came to be.
Back in 2008, I took a course at the Muse Online Writers Conference called “How to Turn Your Poetry Into a Saleable Chapbook.” I had a lot of poems under my belt and wanted to create a cohesive collection.
I looked over all of my poems, and sorted them into themes. I found a lot of them were on the darker side: death, pain, abuse. Of course, a lot of those were from my teenage days. You know how teenage angst can get. But I still use poetry to deal with the darkness.
With encouragement, I went ahead with the dark theme. Chose my title, Chiaroscuro. My initial tag line was: Exploring the darkness, bringing the monsters of death and abuse into the light.
What was initially a 25 poem chapbook, later expanded to a book length collection so I could enter it into a local writing competition. I didn’t win, but I did get valued feedback from my peers, and wrote what is now the introduction.
Within us resides a tapestry of darkness and light. It is woven into our hopes, fears, dreams, and secrets. To understand the tapestry leads to knowing ourselves. Follow these threads of dark and light. You may be surprised at what lies hidden, lost, or wandering.
Last year during April Poetry Month I wrote some promising poems that fit the theme, so I polished those to fill out the content some more.
And now it’s on its way to becoming a digital book. Here’s a glimpse inside:
The door lifts to the bleak garage--
One year has passed since he's been gone;
my heart's withdrawn.
His red race car
sits like a scar.
My finger traces through the dust
as thick as lust;
I draw a heart
and then depart.
|BMW R1200GS Adventure motorcycle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
|Broken Fence (Photo credit: Chrispl57)|