Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Retro Writes (Tuesday) #8



The Rules:

Welcome to my new writing challenge!

Every Tuesday I will post some lovely retro-era eye candy as inspiration (think 50's-80's decades).  I will be posting photographs and advertisement ephemera that, perhaps, is quite different from modern day photography in hopes that it may inspire us to come up with parallels and concepts we might not otherwise make with modern art/photography.

Simply write a piece of poetry, fiction, flash fiction, or even create your own art-work.  Anything goes so long as you create/write something original!

Leave a link to your post so I (along with others) can visit and comment.  Please also link back to this page in your original post so others can find it.  

Most of all, have fun creating!


And now, for the prompt.


Retro Writes (Tuesday) #8


Look at the advertisement photo for a few moments and allow yourself to be inspired.



Here is my contribution:

Inferior To Time

Long ago when I was raw
and tender, and did not
know the difference

the sky sat before me,
and the wooded edge
rattled behind.

I lay belly-down between the
edge of evening, dream-hungry
and full of the imaginary,

then i was gone.  A cough
caught between breathing and speaking.
I named the day across the margin
of my paper and then moved on.

I sat wrapped in a fabric between
braided chains of cotton and fleece,
an overcast sort of Thursday.

Clouds played pictures inside my eyes
while a young man read at my side,
our elbows barely touching.

The smell of October seed
was enveloping, a tang of pine,
calm of cedar and familiar skin,

but I was busy reaching behind,
hand grazing grass for a memory
that passed me while I slept

and soon there was no one
on the grass but myself,
one shade eclipsing the next.

Try being a shadow in some
faded photograph, it's an empty
place between the edges
where the ink runs cross-ways and
the paper curls against time
like an old shoulder turned against you,
and every color is a variation on gray.

But for the sake of things that
stay the same, I will say she
was writing in the woods
and her eyes were wide open.

She was warm and strong
but the shadows between
the trees stole her light.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Childhood


"An Afternoon Folly"

When I was a child I knew red miners
dressed raggedly and wearing carbide lamps.
I saw them come down red hills to their camps
dyed with red dust from old Ishkooda mines.
Night after night I met them on the roads,
or on the streets in town I caught their glance;
the swing of dinner buckets in their hands,
and grumbling undermining all their words.

I also lived in low cotton country
where moonlight hovered over ripe haystacks,
or stumps of trees, and croppers’ rotting shacks
with famine, terror, flood, and plague near by;
where sentiment and hatred still held sway
and only bitter land was washed away.
~Margaret Walker~



Created for a challenge at Take A Word.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Mail!

Anne Sexton is probably my most influential literary idol.  It is from my in-depth studies of Sexton that, I believe, I was able to find my confessional poetic voice.  

"Letter To Linda"


(Source: Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters.)

Wed — 2:45 P.M.

Dear Linda,

I am in the middle of a flight to St. Louis to give a reading. I was reading a New Yorker story that made me think of my mother and all alone in the seat I whispered to her "I know, Mother, I know." (Found a pen!) And I thought of you — someday flying somewhere all alone and me dead perhaps and you wishing to speak to me.

And I want to speak back. (Linda, maybe it won't be flying, maybe it will be at your own kitchen table drinking tea some afternoon when you are 40. Anytime.) — I want to say back.

1st, I love you.

2. You never let me down

3. I know. I was there once. I too, was 40 and with a dead mother who I needed still.

This is my message to the 40-year-old Linda. No matter what happens you were always my bobolink, my special Linda Gray. Life is not easy. It is awfully lonely. I know that. Now you too know it — wherever you are, Linda, talking to me. But I've had a good life — I wrote unhappy — but I lived to the hilt. You too, Linda — Live to the HILT! To the top. I love you, 40-year old Linda, and I love what you do, what you find, what you are! — Be your own woman. Belong to those you love. Talk to my poems, and talk to your heart — I'm in both: if you need me. I lied, Linda. I did love my mother and she loved me. She never held me but I miss her, so that I have to deny I ever loved her — or she me! Silly Anne! So there!

XOXOXO

Mom

Create for a prompt at  The Three Muses.

Coffee Cup!

"One More Cup of Coffee"

Your breath is sweet
Your eyes are like two jewels in the sky
Your back is straight your hair is smooth
On the pillow where you lie
But I don't sense affection
No gratitude or love
Your loyalty is not to me
But to the stars above

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go.
To the valley below.

Your daddy he's an outlaw
And a wanderer by trade
He'll teach you how to pick and choose
And how to throw the blade
He oversees his kingdom
So no stranger does intrude
His voice it trembles as he calls out
For another plate of food.

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go.
To the valley below.

Your sister sees the future 
Like your mama and yourself
You've never learned to read or write
There's no books upon your shelf
And your pleasure knows no limits
Your voice is like a meadowlark
But your heart is like an ocean
Mysterious and dark.

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go.
To the valley below.
~Bob Dylan~


Created for an art challenge at Digital Whisper.

Butterflies!

"Butterfly Dreams"


I'm not like the girls that you've known
But I believe I'm worth coming home to
Kiss away night
This girl only sleeps with butterflies
With butterflies
~Tori Amos~


Created for an art challenge at Sunday Postcard Art.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Twittering Tales #18

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.


Girl In Paradise

The sky was a cerulean meditation.  Circles of green undulated in waves beneath the pier.  She sighed against the breath-beat of the sea.


AND


The Star Shower

The clapboard walls of decorated gray swayed against the waves.  Outside the window, night danced between the sky-sear of falling stars.

The Seamstress and The Owl

Photo Credit:  Adventures in the Wild



She ducked beneath the naked branches of winter, feeling a bit of sympathy for the trees that seemed to shiver, and traveled onward.

Her first clenched tightly around the gift, she wondered if he'd be waiting.

A few winter birds seared the white-cloud sky, the early air as crisp as burned foliage.  She inhaled deeply, watched each breath escape her lips in tiny little circles of mist.  Oh, the small things!

The world was as white as a gas-lit lantern, the kind of overcast morning that set your inner clock to a mis-tick.  For the veil of creek mist camouflaged the village.  Were you to wake from a brisk nap, you wouldn't know if it were near-dusk or post-twilight.

With her closed hand held against the warmth of her breath, she traveled on.  She was close now, she could see the glint of the river calmly roiling against the flailing light of nights' last shallow stars.

Yes, he was perched on the old log near the bank, calm as the deepest sort of meditation, unflinching as her old soles crunched their steps across the icy landscape.  She strolled calmly toward him.  He was as regal as the first day they met, his eyes as welcoming as the warmth of a summer long spent.

In so many ways, he was her only friend, and so she held her hand toward him, spread her fingers to watch him eat.  Like so many days past, he ate with a brave certainty, trusting this kindred soul dressed in the flesh of a young girl.  Once full, he would doze as she unburdened to him her worries, and embroidered, with flowery words, her life stories.


Written for a prompt at Mindlovemisery's Menagerie.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Instrumental!


"Song of the Siamese"



A long, long time ago,
In the land of idiot boys,
There live a cat, a phenomenal cat,
Who loved to wallow all day.

No one bothered him
As he sat, content in his tree.
He just lived to eat 'cause it kept him fat,
And that's how he wanted to stay.

Though he was big and fat,
All the world was good to him,
And he pointed out on the map
All the places he had been.
[Cowes, Cathage,Karthom,Cannes?][India,Sardinia?], Kathmandu,
The Scilley Isles and Sahara, too



Once when he was thin
He had flown to old Hong Kong,
And had learned the secret of life,
And the sea and the sky beyond.
So he gave up his diet and sat in a tree,
And ate himself through eternity....


~The Kinks~

Created for an art challenge at Three Muses.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Retro Writes (Tuesday) #7



The Rules:

Welcome to my new writing challenge!

Every Tuesday I will post some lovely retro-era eye candy as inspiration (think 50's-80's decades).  I will be posting photographs and advertisement ephemera that, perhaps, is quite different from modern day photography in hopes that it may inspire us to come up with parallels and concepts we might not otherwise make with modern art/photography.

Simply write a piece of poetry, fiction, flash fiction, or even create your own art-work.  Anything goes so long as you create/write something original!

Leave a link to your post so I (along with others) can visit and comment.  Please also link back to this page in your original post so others can find it.  

Most of all, have fun creating!


And now, for the prompt.


Retro Writes (Tuesday) #7


Look at the advertisement photo for a few moments and allow yourself to be inspired.


Here is my contribution:

Sadie's Song

The strange voices of men
in dirty inner-city bars
always scoffed at my
briefcase full of poetry-on-pages;
they never understood the
dreams behind my eyes,
the road-dust in my shoes
itching, still, to be shed.
They built pretty paper walls
with my words and were
always shocked at my
after-morning break-through.
I would assemble doors
with their rebuffs, deleted
'no' and 'never' from the
writing-reservoir of my mind.
The imagination became my
utopia, a complete esoteric
experience of heaven-on-earth,
found between colors and words,
books of the poets, the
ideology of Anais Nin soaking
between my brain space
like chocolate-cream gravy;
She made me long to dance
like wild ivy caught on the mend
of some unexpected summer wind.
A random lover once told me 
to stop running, to smell the roses,
so I made a bed of the dessert,
naked skin became my shield,
I was as wild as birch-wood and elm.
Each night the stars twinkled
their pointy-toed two-step
across my nerve-endings 
a cosmic electrification, primal
in the way  no hand-palm 
has touched me, before or sense. 


Note:  Although I used first person, this isn't about me.  I don't really prefer dirty bars and strange men.  LOL.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Best Things are Free (A Haibun)

I had the pleasure of taking a long car ride, yesterday, through the wooded back roads.  We deemed it a shortcut but, really, it was colorful eye-candy.  What I thought about most, though, were all those old-fashioned, abandoned farm houses and antebellums.  As I whisked by each one, I could almost feel their busy ghosts of some other lifetime calling out to not be forgotten.  I thought about all the families, the lives, the births, the deaths, the important memories long-ago lived and probably now forgotten.  It struck a chord in me to write and this prompt gave my words ignition.




Country Mile

This back road spins like a sundial set to fast-forward.  I am driving west, way beyond the peripheral of my memories' hope chest.  The last of an evening sun cuts a line between the prairie, a diagonal orange alongside shadow as if one ray, alone, could not survive inside such solitude.  Dilapidated farmhouses, abandoned of some earlier, busier year, dissect the wilderness.  They sway against the backdrop of hollow meadows and winter wood, hidden eye-emblems only meant to be seen by the random traveling gypsy.

Today that girl is me and I dip into the ancient scribe-scenery of old poets who came before me.  An abstract stillness lays between the hills of my windshield-horizon.  A brown blur eased across the rounded shade of green, as if mother nature got a bit too giddy with her brushstrokes.  Or, perhaps, the early evening shadow skewed her iris.


Each eye is a scab
marred by dark indecision.
Today I shed old skin.



Written for the Monday Haibun at dVerse.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Dictionary-Themed Postcard!

Anything to do with writing, scribe, words, and books sort of gives me heart palpitations.  I loved working with this theme.

"The Book Hoarder"


“The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall; nations perish; civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead.” — Clarence Shepard Day


Created for at art challenge at Sunday Postcard Art.

Old-Fashioned

What can be more old fashioned than being on the farm?  Farms recede as far back into history as you can count, really.  But they remind me most of my roots.  And for that, I dedicate this cute picture of a memory.

"Going Back Down South"



If you wanna go,
I'm going back down south now.
Go on take my hand,
I'm going back down south now.
Wait 'til you see the light,
I'm going back down south now.
~Kings of Leon~



Created for an art challenge at Take A Word.

Dominoes!


"Girl In An Empty Room"

 “The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” – Albert Einstein


Created for an art challenge at Digital Whisper.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Late-Winter Excursion

It's not yet Spring but it sure feels that way today.  We topped 65 degrees here in Eastern Kentucky.

If you noticed, my weekly writing posts were a few days late this week.  And I'm totally behind on my comments (later this evening, I promise!).

But today I had a break from migraines, and so we enjoyed a late afternoon at the lake.







We fed the ducks.  We ate junk.  We sat and watched the sun dip into the edges of the lakes dark water where I'm sure the fish were swallowing the last of light.

And now?  Now I'm enjoying the great Van Morrison.

Sometimes all you need is to look up to see that life is great.  :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Word List Wednesday #11



EVERY OTHER Wednesday (twice per month) I select a list of at least 10 words (sometimes more).  I pull these words from a favorite literary piece that has inspired me. Usually it's another poem.  I always provide the poem author and title unless you want to go read it for yourself.

The idea is to take those 10 words and create a new, unique piece of writing of our own.

I love word lists/wordles because  they allow me to use words I don't often use, and those new words encourage fresh concepts and ideas for my poetry.

I first created this weekly prompt to inspire myself.  However, I am extending the invitation to others who may enjoy writing with my word list.  I invite you to link your work in the comments section if so!



The Word List for this week is selected from the collection of poetry titled Riversongs by Michael Anania.

This week I wanted to mix things up. So, you can choose between the two prompts, or write with both.

Word List:
waterglass
wilted
nylon
sluiced
southward
spilled
current
occluded
hemp
jostles


OR

Use this excerpt from the poem In and Out by Michael Anania as inspiration for your own unique poem.

She cranks the head up
and turns his face to the window,
late light sluiced past
chokecherry across occluded eyes;

the brown water threads its sludge;
the sprung branches of a fallen elm
trail curls of yellow scum, turning
as the catheter bends southward.

"there warn't no home
like a raft, after all"

Each spring the land spills back
with the receding floods, the slag
of the gray flats hooked with rubble,
stiff weeds strung with drying mud;
the rivers harvest bobs in the dark current.


I actually chose the second prompt and found myself inspired to write my own poem about water.

Here is my contribution:

Flood Waters

I dreamed of
river banks and young ankles,
brown water threading
the edges where the land spills
into a blacktop Boulevard.
Saw myself in the fresh
skin of ten, weeding the water,
blonde head bobbing between
the garden's harvest,
a mere dandelion petal
hooked against the wind,
blowing somewhere far south,
a descent too sharp to remember
even the scent of fresh daisy
and chokecherry, talcum powder
and country gravy;
The girl whose heart died inside
while she was still alive
wants to remember the slippery
comfort of warm algae, the
Korean-war fisherman by the shore,
the kids even younger than
her then-cheap ten
dancing along the pavement
like specters against
the windshield of the moon.
An innocence not yet
dead enough to be reborn again,
a time when my bare feet,
wandering poets even then
who refused logic or authority,
still imagine me in.


The nostalgia choked me up as I wrote this.  I miss the simple times gone by.  Like the blow of a swift wind, unexpected, and something sacred has fled too far beyond your fingertips to grasp and so I touch them inside my dreams, scattered shard of memory that last momentarily.  They touch me like hot hands, a mark with no scar.  An invisible evidence that still lingers, even in the absence of association.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Retro Writes (Tuesday) #6



The Rules:

Welcome to my new writing challenge!

Every Tuesday I will post some lovely retro-era eye candy as inspiration (think 50's-80's decades).  I will be posting photographs and advertisement ephemera that, perhaps, is quite different from modern day photography in hopes that it may inspire us to come up with parallels and concepts we might not otherwise make with modern art/photography.

Simply write a piece of poetry, fiction, flash fiction, or even create your own art-work.  Anything goes so long as you create/write something original!

Leave a link to your post so I (along with others) can visit and comment.  Please also link back to this page in your original post so others can find it.  

Most of all, have fun creating!


And now, for the prompt.


Retro Writes (Tuesday) #6



Look at the advertisement photo for a few moments and allow yourself to be inspired.


Here is my contribution:


New Body, Old Soul

Vodka and chocolate
mixes well with everything
except garter lace
and lazy inhibitions.
I cannot speak 
of anatomy,
yet my fingers
long to dance
across his skin,
a carnival of touch,
a secret sort of sin.
I swallow the lie,
I scar my soul,
visions burn
behind my eyes,
unwholesome
as the most risque
sort of housewife,
I still warrant them.
I yearn to
betray myself
for the sake
of sensuality,
for the sip
I long still
to take from the
champagne glass
of some other life.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Quadrille



An Unmentionable

This phantom 
heart string,
invisible vestige,
it spins between
my fingers.
I thrill for
the taste
of touching you.
A love not 
yet in love,
still my secret ties
have come undone.
I inhale as the
ghost of  my 
hearts old breath
beats again.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Roaring 20's


"Annie's Attic"
I LOVE him, I love him, ran the patter of her lips
And she formed his name on her tongue and sang
And she sent him word she loved him so much,
So much, and death was nothing; work, art, home,
All was nothing if her love for him was not first
Of all; the patter of her lips ran, I love him,
I love him; and he knew the doors that opened
Into doors and more doors, no end of doors,
And full length mirrors doubling and tripling
The apparitions of doors: circling corridors of
Looking glasses and doors, some with knobs, some
With no knobs, some opening slow to a heavy push,
And some jumping open at a touch and a hello.
And he knew if he so wished he could follow her
Swift running through circles of doors, hearing
Sometimes her whisper, I love him, I love him,
And sometimes only a high chaser of laughter
Somewhere five or ten doors ahead or five or ten
Doors behind, or chittering h-st, h-st, among corners
Of the tall full-length dusty looking glasses.
I love, I love, I love, she sang short and quick in
High thin beaten soprano and he knew the meanings,
The high chaser of laughter, the doors on doors
And the looking glasses, the room to room hunt,
The ends opening into new ends always. 
-Carl Sandburg-


Created for an art challenge at Digital Whisper.

Valentine!

"The Romantic Age"
This one is entering her teens,
Ripe for sentimental scenes,
Has picked a gangling unripe male,
Sees herself in a bridal veil,
Presses lips and tosses head,
Declares she's not too young to wed,
Informs you pertly to forget
Romeo and Juliet.
Do not argue, do not shout;
Remind her how that one turned out.
-Ogden Nash-


Created for an art challenge at Take a Word.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Vintage Romance

I am thrilled to host the theme this week at Sunday Postcard Art!

Here are my two contributions:

"Vintage Love"


"The Keepsake"

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Space-Inspired!

Today at Poets United, we were inspired to write in terms of Space:

Space is a point and it may extend to infinity. We all have our space in between. It is often a comfort zone or a suitable environment but more often it is not.

Not sure how the other species feel when humans intrude their space. But we know how people react when their personal space is breached.

Today our motif is all about Space, whether it is Cosmos or a tiny dot. 



Winter-Sky Cipher

This past winter
was a barren land-
full of frozen stalk.
And I wore the cold
of love's stare like
a see-through sweater,
and so by the light
of  a fire set against
night air, we scoured
the heart-words of
each other like scavengers;
Each dusk-hour swallowing
the bright swell of the moon
like a brown-cream latte,
so we measured time by
brush strokes and hot drinks.
His fingers, brown and slim,
captivating to touch and whim,
dipped their shades of world
into my eyes and I saw new things.
I watched with heart-wings
as the snow both fell
and melted across the
window-filled sky each night,
and myself always dreading the
drought of a lone spring season.
His meal was a meager salvation
in the time-spectrum made
of space and rhyme.
And the end made of me
a gloaming Sapphire among
silver light, left hungry and wanton.
 His voice was a compass
dipping one Octave too far south,
a sound that would not carry.
And still, at this desk bent into
a block of metal and cedar,
I cannot forget how his head
dipped into the vessel of
my then-empty chest;
how his mind was the sky
and I long, still, to swallow stars.

Shot-Glass Poetry

We were inspired over at dVerse Poetry this week to write a short poem of 33 words (or less) whilst using bar and drinking-related terms.  I'm so thankful for the creative bunch there, I've hit a dry spot with writers block and this quirky little prompt was just what I needed!

 Ah, but here’s the kicker: try to use these words in ways that have nothing to do with the bar scene, alcohol, or drinking. Use as many as you like; pour your poem as tall, short or neat as you like, and come back for another round.
And if none of these words or phrases speak to you, go prohibition on us: write anything you want. Just make it short enough to fit on a cocktail napkin. (Keep it at 33 words or less.)
photo by De Jackson

Here is my contribution:   
Three Sheets to the Wind

They always say
'name your poison.'
I'll have twisted-whiskey
coffee on the rocks.
But I won't lie,
words are my elixir;
all served up in a tumbler-
full of 'turn the page.'

....and one more...

Poetic Elixir

His breath is a vesper
and I'm about to
tie one on in
this Kamikaze  cab.
I'm tipsy on
conversation, tongue-
stirred and word shaken,
straight-up tired
as the twisted
Sandy River, running home.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Moon

"Hello Moon"

Amidst the dark sky , shining is The Full Moon
Feeling so Lucky and Blessed
Oh.....! so Big , Shiny and Boon
Gentle breeze of rarity, Moment Evidently The Best
Unget-at-able, Yet Very Much Wishful
Luminous Rays of Hope, Confidence and Divine Veracity
Fear of Darkness Vanishes , Seem Blissful
Inspiring to Fulfill Dreams with Vivacity....! 
-Vidya Pandarinath-

Created for an art challenge at Three Muse.

Retro Writes (Tuesday) #5




The Rules:

Welcome to my new writing challenge!

Every Tuesday I will post some lovely retro-era eye candy as inspiration (think 50's-80's decades).  I will be posting photographs and advertisement ephemera that, perhaps, is quite different from modern day photography in hopes that it may inspire us to come up with parallels and concepts we might not otherwise make with modern art/photography.

Simply write a piece of poetry, fiction, flash fiction, or even create your own art-work.  Anything goes so long as you create/write something original!

Leave a link to your post so I (along with others) can visit and comment.  Please also link back to this page in your original post so others can find it.  

Most of all, have fun creating!


And now, for the prompt.


Retro Writes (Tuesday) #5


Look at the advertisement photo for a few moments and allow yourself to be inspired.


Here is my contribution:


Says Housewife Claire

Shoes off, hot coffee
A break from kids and cleaning;
Thank God for Mondays!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Oriental Postcard

I love this theme.  My little lady (ten years old) is Asian American.  Her father is from Taiwan.  I don't particularly know too much about the cultural customs and such but hope to integrate some Asian-Culture learning into our home school curriculum sometime this semester.

"This Fortune is For You"


And here is my gorgeous Asian daughter:



Created for a postcard art challenge at Sunday Postcards.

Friends

"Conversation and Coffee"
“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.” 


Created for an art challenge at Take a Word.