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Poetry efforts so far…

For the past few weeks, I’ve been attempting to learn poetry. My editor thought it would be a good homework assignment for me, to teach me “how to get emotion in a single line,” and branch out a little more. That’s fine. I’m geeky, I like assignments.

I’m not going to lie. I’ve been struggling with this. Not with writing the poem. That comes pretty quickly. I look at the photo prompt on Peanut Butter and Poetry Jam (the Facebook site I’ve been asked to look at on Saturdays where they put up a new picture prompt to give you some ideas for the week), and then think about it and write whatever comes to mind. I spend a little bit of time on it, but not more than ten minutes. You see, I don’t quite know what makes up a poem. There are so many kinds. Haikus, ones that rhyme, those with rhythm and cadence, some that, to me, make no sense at all, yet are still considered poems.

This is a really cute site because they are so supportive – they just want to spread the love of poetry, so I’ll continue the exercise each week, but at some point I’d like to actually understand what I’m doing.

This week’s photo prompt had a gothic looking woman standing on a ceremonial platform with fire, symbols and all these mystical things around her. Go to the site here and you’ll see it…

So, this is what I came up with:

I dance around the firelight,
And move along the wind.

I’ve heard the names, the uttered cries,
But none can see within.

Sybil, enchantress, witch and shrew
Are names spit out with hate.
Their fear so deep, it stalls their hearts
Against nature’s untainted plate.

But I am of the earthly realm
Mother’s lifeblood seeps through my veins
Her beauty calls and takes me home
And Wicca is my name.

Is this a poem? Is it written correctly? I have no idea. I’m a fiction writer, so to me, I just write a story around the prompt. At some point I’d love some technical advice about the above. If any of you would like to chime in, by all means!

And come over to the site here: https://www.facebook.com/pbandpoetryjam/?fref=ts and like the page. There’s quite a few of us that leave poems each week. On Saturdays they post the prompt, people post their poetry all week, then the admins choose one on Thursdays and Friday discuss it. It’s not a popularity contest, or a win/lose scenario and you can comment on all of them.

I will say, I am seeing the connection with emotion. Some have given me chills, so I know that’s the feeling I need to impart with each poem. A way to create an emotional response.

Do you like poetry? Do you write it? Come on over!

Why Fiction Writers Should Write Poetry

I’m going to start by saying that I don’t really consider myself a poet. I’ve never quite understood it, I never caught on to the rhyming and cadence. I just didn’t get it. I thought you were either a good fiction writer or poet, much like people say you’re either a good baker or cook. I’m learning that neither are mutually exclusive.

About two weeks ago, my editor suggested I start writing poetry. Now, you need to understand “her suggestions” are never just light suggestions. They mean something… and it usually means work on my end. She’s not your typical editor. She’s also a teacher and when she sees something in your writing she thinks you could use to improve yourself to become a better writer, well, she tells you. (if you’re interested in this type of editor who teaches as well as edits, check Denise Vitola out here) Anyway, she suggested I go to this new Facebook page called Peanut Butter & Poetry Jam and look at the image prompt they put up on Saturdays. The concept is you write a poem in the comments and then on Thursdays they pick a poem to discuss on Fridays. She said this would be a good exercise for me and “it was suggested” I do this each Saturday. (hmm…suggested, ordered, take your pick).

Created by Beth Ann Ryden

Created by Beth Ann Ryden

But I did. Strangely, my poem got chosen the first week. I’ll be honest, I didn’t spend a lot of time on it. Nor my entry for the second week. It wasn’t that I didn’t care. Normally I agonize over work that goes public, but I have no real idea of what I’m doing, nor any idea of what I should even agonize about. But, while I’m self-conscious and it feels like my entries are lame, I’m trying. And apparently, they seem to be passable and getting some nice feedback. Come on over and like the page and put in a poem. No cost, no competition, just feedback. Please don’t be fearful. I’ve talked to people who want to do it, but get scared they will be judged. I promise you, this isn’t that kind of place. If I can do it, by all means you can. Here was my entry last week with the gorgeous photo prompt created by Beth Ann Ryden.

My Entry:

“How often does the sea meet the sky, papa?”
“As often as the sun rises and sets, the moon waxes and wanes, and the tides flows in and out. As often as the dolphin breaks the surface to breathe, the fish swim in schools and the earth spins. The sea meets the sky from the moment you wake, to the moment you sleep. Rise up, dear daughter and meet the sky, for wonders will be met and joy will be felt when your face touches the sun.”

So I started thinking… am I a poet? Have I ever been? I was in the attic last night and I actually found this poem I wrote when I was about twelve. I remember thinking back then I still had no idea what I was doing, but you can see the joy in it. The way I circled the “dots above my “i’s,” the little doodle drawings on the margins like kids do.

One of my earlier efforts - might have been 12 yrs old?

One of my earlier efforts – might have been 12 yrs old?

Do you write poetry? How do you feel about it? Love to hear!

Poetry Continued…Part #2

sunphotoI had such a nice response to last week’s poetry post that I thought I would share some more. With this lovely exercise, I’ve tried to write some poems myself, but I always veer into Alice and Wonderland silliness. Best I leave it to the poets who do it best. Please enjoy these three great gems!

MY SUN
by Amanda Bohus

You are my sun,
embodied in radiance.
Filled with a warm inner glow,
your light from within-shines on.
Emanating from your being,
touched by your heart,
encircling me with your rays of light.
Loving,nurturing,
enraptured.
Awakened by your touch,
adorned with your brilliance,I flush,
resplendent in your aura.
All is illuminated,
I am loved.

SIXTEEN
by Lars D.H. Hedbor

She commented on my daughter’s red hair
Said that she’d had red hair once, too
And mentioned that she was ninety-two
But said, “I’m still sixteen here”
And tapped the side of her head
She looked no more than in her seventies
I told her that and she laughed
Her son was nearly that, I think
We talked for a while as she waited for him
And when she left, I was sad to see her go
She was lovely, in spirit, word and face
And to me, she was still sixteen, too

Lars is the author of the Tales From a Revolution Series of novels of the American Revolution. http://larsdhhedbor.com

CHOCOLATE CAKE
by Julie Elizabeth Powell

It oozed from the sides
And the middle
And the top,
As the knife tipped
In the middle
Then bore down,
Smoothing its way to the edge.
800 hundred calories at least
A slice
Depending on the filling, the frosting
The size.
It can be adorned with strawberries if it likes
That’s at least one portion of fruit!
But what is the measure
Of pleasure
As it melts and mingles
Away all the worries of the day?
Piles on more
Some might say
But have they ever
Tasted its sensuous enchantment
Its crumbling, slumbering
Sumptuousness?
I have
And it’s mine while I’m
Alive
And after that…
Well, there must be chocolate cake in
Heaven,
Otherwise what would be the point?

Julie’s poem comes from her book FIGMENTS. Please check it out here: http://amzn.to/19T9Zdi

Please let the authors know what you think – I’m sure they’d love to hear your comments.

And while I can’t write poetry, I can write fantasy novels. My new fantasy thriller, THE HUNT FOR XANADU, just hit #1 in the Goodreads Buddhist Fiction Listopia list. It is available on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1ixAnkP

Things I can’t do… Write Poetry – But others can… and brilliantly!

poetryI love to write fantasy/thriller fiction, mixing real life scenarios with the fantastic. What I can’t seem to write is poetry. This beautiful form of expression simply eludes me. But, there are some excellent poets out there and this week I wanted to showcase two lovely poems for your reading enjoyment.

Wapiti Meadows
by Richard L. Weatherly © 2012

A keening wind howls
through lodgepole pines,
rays of golden sunlight shines
glistening on quaking aspen leaves
and dance in the frosty morn.

The powerful bull elk crashes
from tree line,
tossing antlers like tree branches,
sharp tines, ready for a fight.

With dark-brown head and mane,
he prances forth – tawny back and shoulder muscles ripple.
Bull elk trumpets his mating call,
warning rivals, and an invitation to the herd.

Hot vapors hover over a verdant meadow
Brisk morning air, valley sprawls
beneath a hovering mist.

Home to the herd of elk cows with calves,
gathered while grazing,
drawn to gurgling
in the rippling brook.

A cow answers the bull elk’s call.
Life’s cycle is serene
in the valley of the meandering stream
where Nature’s beauty reigns supreme.

For more about Rich Weatherly and his writing, see: http://richweatherly.com/my-writing/
Richard L. Weatherly © 2012

“Lindi”
by Rachel Weisserman

We would bind feathers to our feet and run
across the waves to where sea met sky,
clouds washed white by wind.

We’d dare each other to stroke the scales
of the snake that curled around us,
big and warm and sleeping.

I would race to touch its nose
and dash laughing over the sea

but you would stay to brush
your fingertips along its scales,
shining in the sun like waves.

I tore you away when it moved,
the tail shaking, the tongue flicking
from between its blunted lips,
my legs shaking as I thought of its teeth.

But your hand stayed outstretched,
wet and shining like scales,
wet and shining like waves.

You can reach Rachel on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thespiritspit

Wow, right? These two poems were so good I thought I’d start with them. I’m sure the authors would love to hear your comments – please let us know what you think of them.