Wednesdays are for Poetry

This week I had a clear poetry dream. I woke with the words floating around me and I managed to capture a few of them in my journal. The entire concept of the poem, however, isn’t complete. I’m hoping when the school year is over and we get through graduations and parties, I’ll have time to sit and fully complete my strange little cheese grater poem. Stay tuned.

I want to thank the WordPress poetry community. You have created such a positive and safe space. I’m honored and humbled so many have read and commented on my poems. Thank you. You sure do know how to make a gal feel welcome and encouraged. I haven’t had as much time to read and comment lately, but this summer I’ll be deep-diving into all your wonderful words. There is an abundance of talent and inspiration here. Thank you for making me feel so welcome.

My offerings this week:

  • Free-verse poem processing my feelings after dropping my daughter off in the woods (pictured above) for her 8th-grade trip. She’ll be fine. I mean, right? Right??
  • Erasure poem created from a page of “A Court of Wings and Ruin” by Sarah J. Maas
  • Erasure poem created from page one of “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab

Both of the Erasure poems were a gift for a dear friend’s birthday. I didn’t get a great photo before handing them off, but still wanted to include the process and the words.


Erosion

tiny increments of sand
tiny toes and hands
barely perceptible
yet unbreakable
changes everything
changes nothing

wind, water, waves

latched together we begin
as not two
but one plus one 
merging all moments
hearts beating, meeting 
together in time

wind, water, waves

tempest tantrums force
skinned feelings as
two become two
linked by still fused
hearts beating, meeting 
together in time

wind, water, waves

finger by finger hands
pry free, move toward
monkey bars and swings
pushing, pulling as still
hearts beat, meeting
together in time

wind, water, waves

warring words rage
as torrential tears
fall between two who
don’t see how to keep
hearts beating, meeting 
together in time

wind, water, waves

standing taller than 
mother, biting hard 
at tethers outgrown, words
sting eyes, burn places where
hearts beat, meeting
together in time

wind, water, waves

spring becomes winter
winter becomes spring 
old-growth gives way to
loves eternal connection
hearts beat, meeting
together in time

wind, water, waves

acres and acres of sand
brushes between same-sized hands
barely perceptible
yet unbreakable
changes everything
changes nothing

*Thank you Chris for inspiring me to record myself reading my poetry


The Artist

Painting a lie 
bright pale, blooms 
fat sunshine, idle 
rose lurking, open
thorns, satiny hills 
distance—unrelenting.

Painted flesh-shredding
flowers, chocked off
sunlight, smaller stained 
brushstroke, wide calculated 
dab—swirlcolors. 

Portray not idyllic 
disposition, not too
happy, finally healing 
horrors, divulged past 
crafted—demeanor.

I chose.


Don’t Look Back

Running air burns back 
angry mobs. Lanterns glow 
breaks horizon, spills tangling 
woods to beat dying wind.

Shadow blurring flowers from 
ground. Stars wake like freckles.

One love.
One life.
One god.

Mock promises.

Doesn’t slow.
Doesn’t look.
Doesn’t want.
Stands static.

She runs.

#100DayProject: Photography-Week Thirteen

“You don’t have to stay anywhere forever.” – Neil Gaiman from The Sandman

Last night I wanted to see the “blood moon” eclipse. Nobody in my family wanted to join me, so I went outside myself. The houses, trees, and clouds blocked the sky and I couldn’t see anything. Normally, I’d have let exhaustion win out and simply gone to bed. Being an amateur photographer though, changed my mind. I really wanted to try and photograph the eclipse. It felt important to me.

I grabbed my camera and climbed into the van, pajamas and all. At the top of the nearest hill, I found every single parking spot taken. It seems I was too late to the party. Driving and driving, I couldn’t see the moon anywhere and the only places I found to pull over were blocked by trees and houses. Time was ticking away and I was convinced I’d missed my chance, but I didn’t give up.

I put on some upbeat music and followed any road with hills, trying to get as high as I could. Finally, at the very end of my window of time, I found an area with new construction. When I pulled in I found a lookout spot clear of trees and people, complete with a cute little bench. A beautiful breeze greeted me and I spent about 15 minutes taking photos and allowing myself to enjoy this rare moment of peaceful reflection.

Photography and writing are giving me permission to seek out beauty and magic for myself. It’s giving me hope I’m going to be okay when my teenagers leave home, a blueprint for what life after the busy day-to-day mothering has ended.

I’m so grateful for this journey.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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My bonus photos this week are those I took of the lunar eclipse. Although the photos aren’t the best, they are some of my favorites. The last shot was taken as I was walking back to the van, a quick shot I was surprised to find out later not only captured my entire face but also the peace of the moment.

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#100DayProject: Photography-Week Twelve

“I cannot help but wonder how many of us walk through our lives, day after day, feeling slightly broken and alone, surrounded all the time by others who feel exactly the same way.” -Patrick Rothfuss, The Slow Regard of Silent Things

While waiting in line in San Francisco this week to hear Neil Gaiman speak, I struck up a conversation with an interesting woman dressed in beautiful shades of green. We talked of our love of Gaiman, but also of our own creative endeavors. It felt wonderful to have projects to talk about and to feel comfortable sharing my journey. Art allows us to connect through our shared brokenness and to feel part of something bigger than ourselves.

I’m still new to calling myself a writer and photographer, but I’m loving this journey of creative self-expression. My photos this week mostly come from that overnight trip. I hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful week.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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Here are a few bonus photos:

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Poetry: Am I cool enough to play in the poet’s sandbox?

Poetry has wriggled itself inside me, leaving me pondering words and feelings for hours. I wish I’d not stopped writing so I’d be further along and far more skilled at expressing myself and seeing metaphors and abstractions. My poetry class has been a rough back and forth. Sometimes I feel excited and joyful, and other times I’m filled with crippling self-doubt.

I have a lot of work to do.

This week we did our own version of two poems, which play off of each other.

The first is “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks. We were to write a version of this poem as a writer at Comic-Con. I’m fairly certain I’m the only person in my class who has never been, but I imagined myself there. The first thing that came to mind was feeling like I don’t belong—a sense I’m not creative or real enough. I followed the exact format of the poem and found when others shared their interpretations they were far less rigid in their thinking—something for me to ponder moving forward.

For our second poem, we looked at “The Golden Shovel” by Terrance Hayes. He uses all the words of “We Real Cool” to create two more poems with different meanings. I found this exercise the most fun I’ve had so far. I loved breaking the words up and playing with how they sounded reading them out loud. This was also the most personal for me, exploring my feelings of being not worthy of being part of the creative world.

I hope you enjoy this third week of poetry. As always, any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.


Wordy Ones
Lost at Comic-Con

Too much I see
This bunch. See

The fake. See
Me take. See

Words real. See
Me feel. See

It all. See
Me fall.


Lost in Wordy World

Part I

Audaciously ungraciously stumbling too
drunk with unresolved dreams much
too much to be with, play with, cool kids. I
pretend, extend, and reach with all to see

if real me is enough. Naive and candied, honeyed this
world of wordy geniuses, the authentic bunch
eludes timeworn plain-Jane me, blinking un see

n. Hidden within shadows, turning, twisting off the
path traveled, into deep waters where fabulous fake
ery lives within the pulsing, pushing. Arms paddle to see/

sea creatures within writhing, writing to unearth a me.
Screeching too late, too late, haunted—take
deeper voyage under, over, pen on paper to see

k truths with excavated shoveled sand. Words uncover wily words
writhing words, piled upward and upright toward some real
ness. Will I, won’t I, the dance of solitary solidarity see

ing where words take, two pigeon-toed left feet, lead/lean on me.
Bounded, tethered by urgent hoping, desperation—finally feel
and reel and real, to uncover the sea and seethe and see.

Kindness, ambition married with martyr me, it
wars, bloodied knives out, within my curving all-rounded
frame. It’s mothering outward me versus internal me see

ing vast emptiness hidden in wordy distant worlds. The me
to be, to stumble, slipping on words with care, for I may fatally fall.

Part II

Writers write words too
big inside to ignore, much
ruckus, boisterous blabbering. But I
hear the calling whippoorwills, see

the creaking willows in this
hollow by the sea. I fond a bunch
of cryptic messages, bottles see

n bobbing up and down the
waves to me, for me. Not fake
pain, no, far too real. See

the version, vision of me
you see, isn’t to take,
no, it isn’t for you to see

at all. With my words/
weapons I become more real
ly me. Each breath, see

words flow, float from me
—pen on paper, the feel
of all or nothing, see

me give and give, it
feels like not enough. All
I am and all I see—

collections of words in me.
Don’t look away or I’ll fall.

Poetry: Stumbling forth

I’ve fallen in love with poetry and have been reading a lot more of it. I’m inspired by the variety, depth, and beauty of the distinct voices poets bring to their works. While I’m still quite clumsy, I’m enjoying exploring different types of poetry and playing with line breaks, punctuation, and repetition.

Last week, I was blown away by the thoughtful comments of encouragement and support. My anxiety tells me those poems were a fluke and everyone will hate this week’s offerings, but I know that’s resistance taking the lead. Creativity takes a lot of courage, and I’m summoning all I got to keep moving forward. One word at a time.

This week’s classwork was to write poems inspired by our favorite books. I’m sharing three poems:

  1. Erasure poem from the first page of “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss
  2. Erasure poem from a random page “The Slow Regard of Silent Things” by Patrick Rothfuss
  3. Acrostic poem using “The Name of the Wind”

I hope you enjoy these latest attempts. As always, any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.


Night

Silence;
hollow lacking,
wind creaking,
brushed autumn laughter.

House;
music huddled,
quiet news,
sullen sorts underfoot.

Splintering;
black heat,
white hands, 
polishing lamplight flame.

Subtle;
wrapping deep,
wide stone,
patient flower waiting.


Surely

slow down, fingers touch
brushed sweetness
curled edges
realizing proper treasure

surely
surely

the moment eyes want
furious things
shame burning
greedy wanting twisting 
world of pushing desire 

she closed 
around herself
obviously

in
need 


Into the Wilds Within

Tired, weary I bring myself forth to press into
hallowed places, for I dare not travel alone into the
ethereal nest of words I can’t say out loud.

Nothingness, thick about me, caped and hooded,
aloof with boots of thick mud, trapped between
me and me and me, the versions of which I can’t
erase, write again and again for all time.

Oh, worldly wordsmiths of grace and mire
forgive me my shortcomings, for I’m not worthy.

Tis the smoke in my eye blinding me to the
hero, the pain of which I can’t find no matter how
earnestly I go into the woods and the wilds to

wrestle the places deep within to seek diverse
images. Words fail me, they don’t capture the
nothingness and everything of the beautiful
dreams of what could be, what I could be.

#100DayProject: Photography-Week Ten

“The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure.”
-Cornelia Funke, Inkheart

I was fortuate enough to spend my birthday weekend at the beach. There’s a part of me that can only be filled by returning to the magic of the ocean. I feel introspective, peaceful and altered each and every time my toes touch the sand. This trip was no exception. The hours I spent walking the beach taking photos were some of my favorites in memory—just me and my camera. I hope you enjoy my selections.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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Here are a few bonus monochrome images:

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Poetry: New adventures

While I’ve always admired and enjoyed poetry, the skills it takes to craft such beautiful imagery within the framework of a poem have eluded me. In an attempt to improve my writing all around, I enrolled in a poetry class specifically designed for fiction writers. We meet once a week and have assignments that I find both challenging and enjoyable.

I’ve decided to be transparent about my journey, as a way to chronicle my exploration and perhaps inspire others. Here’s the culmination of my first week’s work. There are three free-verse poems.

  1. A poem borrowing heavily from Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”
  2. A poem critiquing something we dislike in genre fiction
  3. A combination of the two poems

I hope you enjoy my first, clumsy attempts. As always, any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.


Part I: My gimble love

we were to meet near the Tumtum grove
sweetest Mimsy and I
in the wabe of the bright callay moon

vorpal drunk on too much gyre and honey-wine
myriad dreams rollicking, frolicking
singing multitudes, manxomes, moments

yet snicker-snack, quicker-quack and outgrabe
you caught me instead
slithy and slimy-the ultimate uffish trickster

tying my hands with rough tulgey strands
behind my burbled back
whispering wicked words under frumious breath

wound and wound, like ugly bandersnatches
to silence whiffling cries
hands and heart knotted, cold as beamish bears

you couldn’t let violet joy breathe between
sweetest Mimsy and me
no, not with such a frabjous, frivolous hallow heart

oh, what will become of me, dearest mome
without my gimble love
stuck within the fettered borgogoves for all eternity

Part II: Too sweet for me

Super sweet taffy names
sticky, pointless, giant cones of
toothaches
you feed them to me relentless
as if more is more is more
confused I throw you down
and you smile and tell yourself
it’s me
who doesn’t
get
you

wheels of definitions, connections
turn in place while
story gets lost under
sideways leanings
cleverness loses characters
messes mess with me
wondering
where
did the
story
go

where is the truth behind
the many, many words
names, places, movement
half-light and half-truth
half right
don’t tell me a lot of nothing
tell me all of one thing
I can
believe
is
real

where is the soul of the sweet
the ingredients of the truth
the messy darkness
cloudy with connections and conversations
the door within the door
the dream within the dream
truth 
I can
truly
feel

don’t just tell of deeds done
action, reaction, repeat
but the why and the why and the way
curiouser and curiouser
deeper and deeper
secret journals
in watery caves
monsters within who
fight
with 
gospelly
fingers

give me contradictions wrapped in truth
make me feel something I know
make me know it again
with the kind of 
unexpected gasp
I won’t, can’t forget 
so when I close the book
your words live
inside
me
forever

Part III: Lover, tell me more 

in the wabe of the bright callay moon
you feed them to me relentless
as if more is more is more
confused I throw down
singing multitudes, manxome, moments
you smile and tell yourself
it’s me
who doesn’t
get
you

slithy and slimy—the ultimate uffish trickster
turning wheels of definitions, connections
sideways leanings behind burbled backs
messes mess with me
whispering wicked words under frumious breath
to silence whiffling cries while I’m left
wondering
where did
you
go

untruths hidden behind many, many words
wound and wound, like an ugly bandersnatch
messy darkness stuck in action, reaction, repeat
half-light and half-truth—half right
vorpal drunk on too much gyre and honey-wine
don’t tell me a lot of messy nothing
tell me
the thing
I
seek

unwonted discovery, hidden verity
knotted, cold as beamish bears
door within a door—dream within a dream
secret journals in watery caves
frabjous, frivolous hallow hearts
monsters who fight with gospelly fingers
everyone, anyone
stripped
naked
real

let violet joy breathe between 
contradictions wrapped in truth
lost and found within the pulsing borogoves
make me feel something I know
but make me know it again
with unexpected gasps I won’t, can’t forget 
your words 
alive inside
me

my love

#100DayProject: Photography-Week Nine

“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.” -Edgar Allan Poe

While out on a walk this week I stumbled across a field full of holes. This little guy poked out and I was able to snap a quick picture before he disappeared back into the ground. He’s got a torn ear, but I think it makes him even more interesting. Isn’t it true our flaws are what make us uniquely beautiful?

My birthday lies at the end of this week, as does a trip to the ocean, so I’m feeling a lot more chipper. We had some rain and the sky has been fantastically beautiful with lots of fat, fluffy clouds. I hope you enjoy my offering of photos and you have a wonderful week.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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Here are two bonus photos from my iPhone 13.

My adorable nephew:

Full moon surrounded by clouds:

#100DayProject: Photography-Week Eight

The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, “Why?” and sometimes he thought, “Wherefore?” and sometimes he thought, “Inasmuch as which?” and sometimes he didn’t quite know what he was thinking about. -A. A. Milne

I’ve been feeling like Eeyore this week—lost in contemplation and not quite sure what any of it means. The further I dive into my creative endeavors, the clearer it becomes I have no idea what I’m doing. I need to learn so much. In the meantime, my kids, my house, and my yard need my attention. I feel rebellious, antsy, and unfocused.

Part of this uneasiness might be my 45th birthday approaching. I wish I’d kept writing when I had children or started photography years ago. The horrible sense I’m running out of time has been hanging onto me this week and it made writing my short story and editing my photos this week far more challenging. My confidence feels fractured, but not fully broken. The only thing to do is keep moving forward.

One word and one image at a time.

Thank you for following my journey and rooting me on. I appreciate it so much.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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I’m far more productive away from home. I can’t run into the kitchen for another snack when I feel a lull in inspiration or start doing something like laundry or dishes. I love the coffee shop I’ve been writing at, but it’s near my daughter’s school about a half-hour from home. Next year, she won’t be there anymore and I’ve been seeking someplace close to home.

After a few misses, I’ve found it at The Fig Tree. If I close my eyes tight and imagine the perfect place to create, this place would come close. Artwork on the walls, beautiful bricks, comfy spots to sit, bookshelves, and a drink called Persphone. I’m here right now and I feel at home and inspired. Here’s my view, taken with my iPhone 13 a few minutes ago.