Monday, September 26, 2016

POEMS OF THE WEEK ~ KERRY, JAE ROSE AND TRUEDESSA

This week, my friends, we have poems from three brilliant poets to share with you. I asked Kerry O'Connor of Skylover and Skywriting, Jae Rose of  her blog of the same name,  and Truedessa, of True Wanderings, if they would share the following poems with us, and they graciously agreed.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Our first selection is Kerry's beautiful poem, part of a series she embarked on recently that is resulting in some wonderful work.







THREE LITTLE BIRDS ALL IN A ROW

Three little birds in a row 
Sat musing. 
The Black Riders and Other Lines ~ Stephen Crane


I


Yes, some days, the sky is bleak
with wind grinding the clouds
and birds stolen on the wing –
and on those days, your heart
feels full of pebbles
slowly grinding your blood to dust.


II

A man came to me once, in a lonely place,
and offered to show me
the waterhole where he kept his heart.
He drew it out, and cradled it
like a pet; it clawed his hand.
I saw it had the beak of an eagle.


III

There are no answers in the firmament;
but here is my garden, waterless
and dying. Every bird comes of its own
volition, or hunger, to eat the apples
I have halved and skewered,
a purposeful dissection of my own heart.


IV

If you have a song, sing it for me now
before the drought has broken
that I may pick each note apart to wear
on a grey string around my neck.
And I will love you for life;
I will love you in the lonely place.

Kerry O'Connor, August 6, 2016

Sherry: So evocative, Kerry. I resonate with the pebbles in the heart, such a good description. I especially admire loving someone "in the lonely place." You have echoed Crane's tone admirably, yet this poem is wholly your own, and beautiful.

Kerry: This poem is, in fact, a continuation of one I wrote a few days earlier, entitled Aye; But Beloved, and both were inspired by my reading of Stephen Crane's The Black Riders and Other Lines which is a compilation of Crane's shorter pieces. Crane's poems seem to fall under the themes of righteous wisdom, human wisdom and love and its loss.

The latter theme is central to my poetry and these were the stanzas which inspired me the most. Crane's poems are all quite individual, however, while I have used the idea of short pieces to provide a more cohesive narrative of a single speaker. In 'Three Little Birds', I have made the connection more obvious by including the same motifs in each, namely the birds, the heart and the water (which becomes a song in the final stanza). 

I am currently working on another set of stanzas, which begins HERE. I have also recorded a reading of the entire collection thus far, under the title, Aye; But Beloved and Other Lines, which can be found on Soundcloud HERE

I doubt these poems would have been written if it were not for my reading of Crane, and I have acknowledged this in my choice of titles, and preface quotes. At present, I do not know if the series is complete, and that is an exciting position to be in for a poet, especially when the well is so often dry.

Sherry: Yes, indeed, it is always thrilling to contemplate a series of poems! Thank you for this, Kerry. And thank you for the link to the spoken poems, always a pleasure to listen to.

Now let's take a look at a powerful piece by our friend, Jae Rose.






Prophesy


She crunches her apple 
It has been a long time 
Sometimes yesterday
Almost tomorrow
She is wishing inside
Quietly parked in my arms
Happy 
I think
Composed
She corrects
Her hair is shiny
Dress 
Clean pressed and fresh
It was good they caught you
She whispers
Holding my hand
If they hadn’t 
We wouldn’t be able to play any more
Quick sticks
No time to lose
Our sins and thrills 
Have tolled and rolled
Fallen like timber
Instilled in our soul
We have to make things right 
She trills
I am scared of falling Alice
Then don’t 
She says
All falls start with one bad step
I think of the man
Of being stuck 
In the bottle of glue
Contained
Trapped
She corrects

We watch the clouds
Dreaming past the telephone pole
In the lines are forgotten shouts
Irascible destinations
Cards laid out

Installed
Enabled

We are given to magic and stars 
Twelve small stones
Mixed in a bowl of fireflies and mint

Poesy
Prophesy
Fable

There may not be home or even a rainbow
But the end always lies in the palm of our hand.  

Jae Rose August 16, 2016


Sherry: That closing is absolutely wonderful. I love the note of strength, and, as always, Alice's clear correction to find the exactly right phrase. Your small pilgrim is a wise soul.

Jae Rose: Thank you for choosing one of my poems for your feature. It is a pleasure to stand beside two inspiring poets - thank you also to Kerry and Truedessa.

'Prophesy' was the first poem I wrote after being discharged from hospital. I had a short break from blogging - and the various things that caused me to be there in the first place.

I was feeling brighter than usual. Hence Alice was all fresh and polished. Perhaps we were both renewed and a little less tired. It felt good to be home. Like something accomplished and tidied up. 

It sprang to life from four prompts - Magical Mystical Teacher’s Sunday Scribblings 2 - ‘Compose’ - and her Sunday’s Whirligig of the same week.  The Sunday Whirl and Sanaa’s Prompt Night's - ‘Let’s take a look at the cards shall we’.

I think it was one of those poems that tumbled out without much prodding. Alice felt full of energy and young. Ready, waiting and happy to talk again.

On top of Alice’s chatter, Sanaa’s prompt brought out a little magic and playfulness. The bowl of fireflies and mint was a pleasant surprise and seemed to fit in with the stones, palmistry reference and stars.

A little internet trawling changed the title from prophecy to prophesy -

To prophesy is to predict something or to utter something inspired by one's god’.

The photograph posted with the poem was the fabric of my sister’s dress. She stayed with me whilst I was in hospital. I think the pattern and flowers show how it felt to be with her and to safely return home.  

Colour, love and hope which hopefully I can draw on if/when darker days return. 




Sherry: My friend, we all hope they will not return, at least not in such force. We shall help you hold them at bay.  And bless your sister for being there with and for you. She is a good sister.

That weekend was a wonderful one for poetry. That same day, in the Pantry,  I read Truedessa's wonderful 'Cupping Light', a poem which holds great impact for me and whose refrain repeats in my mind, still, as a message to me from beyond the veil. Let's take a deep draught of that light.









In a sacred circle we gather
those who believe
in dreams...

We come to meditate on
life to find the answers
of our heart

Slumbering under the tree of life
I surrender myself to the beat
of twenty pounding drums...
thump
   THump
      THUMP

Dropping the cloak of insecurity
I drift away through the portal
of opportunity. My resting body
takes in spiritual nourishment

Through the darkness, I find my
way, following the signs that
lead me closer to my destination
twisted trees, screeching owl

I hear nocturnal life breathing
around me, feel the eyes peering
through hidden places.
crisp
  crackling
    twigs break with each step
      deer brush against the canvas
        of darkness...

Shadow people watch from the hollows
of giant oaks , maples and evergreens
fresh scent of pine circles me like a wreath
of pleasure...

Walking in two worlds, to find my true
potential in a landscape of changing
views, the river sings a reflective song

My heart races, beating to ancient calls
I hear you, the wolf howls from the cliff
of awareness, offering his guidance
  owoooooooooooo
     OW00000000000000
         OW000000000000000000

Darkness tightens its noose around the
hanging trees, fear of the unknown
grips me in a changing world

Apparitions dart between the
huge trunks, chanting a song
breathe, inhale/exhale

I love you
  I forgive you
    I thank you


Ahead the golden crescent moon
shines high above the treetops
shadowy figure steps out of night
approaching me, a wolf follows
in his steps...

I feel suddenly very small in this large
place of wonder. Fear of darkness in
the other world worries me, I want
to run, but can't move...adrenaline
flows through my veins....

I step forward to full-fill the dream
quest. The stars become very bright
illuminating the heavens and my path

In silence I stand before an ancient
dweller. His hair long, thick & black
with solemn eyes that reach for me
I can see the scars from the battles
of past lives.

The trees burst into a thousand lights
and my heart sings a song of new life
he offers me a firefly, places it in
my open palm. I cup it to my heart...

The offering of light is mine to carry into
my waking life.

 I love you
     I forgive you
        I thank you


echoes, as I am called back into the sacred circle
bringing with me the gift of light...

author's note: This is a vision that came to me
through meditation, it is what it is, a gift. May
you all carry a piece of light with you in your
journey.

Truedessa, August 7, 2016


Sherry: This poem is so powerful, and affects me in a very deep way. As I  mentioned, I often repeat to myself the lines "I love you. I forgive you. I thank you", and picture Pup's dear black face, as if he is speaking them to me. Tell us more about this poem, and experience, won't you?

Truedessa: First, I am delighted to be featured on Poets United - Poems of the Week. The poem you have selected is special to me as it came to me during a crystal bowl meditation / drumming session. I had been feeling the darkness of life with recent events in the world. My intention was to find light. My poem basically described the journey I embarked on as I slipped into the dreamscape.

For those who have never experienced anything like this, it can be overwhelming as everything seems very much alive as your senses become more acute. My intention was heard and full-filled, as I received the gift of light in the form of a firefly/lightning bug. I was touched by this gift and knew I had to bring honor to the vision and share the gift with those who might be in need of hope and light.

I love you.
   I forgive you.
      I thank you.

These are the words used in the chant of healing. May we all cup light and hold it to our hearts. Thank you, Sherry and the staff of Poets United, for creating a community filled with love.

Sherry: Thank you for writing this beautiful poem, and for sharing it with us, my friend.

And thank you to each of you talented women, for your poems, and your faithful participation at Poets United. We are what we are because of our members, and I feel very privileged to be among you.

My friends, I hope you take away something beautiful from these offerings today.  Sigh. My little cup is filled right to the brim. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you! 




Sunday, September 25, 2016

Poetry Pantry #321

This is a statue of Duke Kahanamoku
which stands on Kuhio Beach. Duke
is a Hawaiian hero and the father
of modern surfing!  Google him
if you want to learn more about this
interesting man.

This is a Banyan tree.  The only
place I have seen them is Hawaii.
Aren't they cool?

We didn't spend ALL of our time at Waikiki.
We also took a tour of the 'north shore.' Truly,
there are some magnificent beaches &
beautiful scenery all along the coast.

The USS Arizona Memorial is located
at Pearl Harbor.  It marks the resting
place of 1102 of the  1177 sailors and
marines killed on the USS Arizona,
December 7, 1945

This is inside the Arizona Memorial.  These are
the names of those who died on December 7, 1945.
At the bottom of the list are people who were
stationed on the Arizona who died later & whose
body was brought to be buried with other shipmates.

And the flag still flies over the Arizona Memorial!

This was written on the wall of the
Hawaii State Art Museum.  I think it can
apply to other places in our world as well,
don't you?

This is part of the Hawaii State Art Museum.  Ha,
it used to be a YMCA.  This USED to be a pool.
Now this is NOT a pool, and what you see is NOT water.

Greetings, Friends!  This is my second week of sharing Oahu, Hawaii, photos.  Last week I shared mostly Waikiki.  This time I shared a variety.  I hope you have found them interesting.  Oahu, Hawaii, is indeed Paradise!  Visit if you can.  You will not be disappointed.  But now I am asking YOU for photos.  I like scenery of places.  I also like it if you can write a bit about the photos that you share, as I have.  You have seen a variety of photographs here at Poetry Pantry.  If you have considered sharing your photos, perhaps NOW is the time.

Monday Sherry is featuring poems by THREE very participatory Poets United Poets,  You will recognize each of them! Please remember to stop by.

Wednesday Sumana will have have us write to the prompt "Two souls: caged and free."  Write either about a 'caged soul' or a 'free soul.'  Use your creative imagination, and I know you will come up with an intriguing poem.

With no delay, let's share poetry!  Link your poem below.  Stop into comments & say hello. Then visit others who have shared poetry.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Equinox, Equator


September equinox illustration
Seasons are opposite on either side of the Equator, 
so the equinox in September is also known as the
Autumnal (fall) equinox in the northern hemisphere. 
In the Southern Hemisphere, it's known as the Spring (vernal) equinox. 
*  *  * 

September ~ New Year
by Susan Chast

Best cool of night and warmth of day
Be spring or fall your hemisphere
To sleep and wake to self in play
Best cool of night and warmth of day
To know the God to whom we pray
In Nature’s arms and atmosphere
Best cool of night and warmth of day
Be spring or fall your hemisphere.
* * *
"With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere."
 C. S. Lewis

“The summer ended. Day by day, and taking its time, the summer ended. The noises in the street began to change, diminish, voices became fewer, the music sparse. Daily, blocks and blocks of children were spirited away. Grownups retreated from the streets, into the houses. Adolescents moved from the sidewalk to the stoop to the hallway to the stairs . . .” 
― James Baldwin


“She turned to the sunlight
    And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
    "Winter is dead.” 

― A.A. Milne


* * * 


Midweek Motif ~ Equinox, Equator

Here we are again when Fall and Spring begin on opposite sides of the Equator.  

These are my favorite seasons as North and South spin away from each other.  And for only a minute, Light and Dark stand evenly and gaze at each other with neither envy nor fear.  

Your challenge: In a new poem, show us the Equinox or the Equator as you experience it. 



Image result for equinox quotes



There will be Stars

by Sara Teasdale
There will be stars over the place forever;
After the house and the street we loved are lost,
Every time the earth circles her orbit
On the night the autumn equinox is crossed
Two stars we knew, poised on the peak of midnight
Will reach their zenith; stillness will be deep --
There will be stars over the place forever,
There will be stars forever, while we sleep.



Said a Blade of Grass

Related Poem Content Details

Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, “You make such a noise falling!  You scatter all my winter dreams.”

Said the leaf indignant, “Low-born and low-dwelling!  Songless, peevish thing!  You live not in the upper air and you cannot tell the sound of singing.”

Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept.  And when spring came she waked again—and she was a blade of grass.
 
And when it was autumn and her winter sleep was upon her, and above her through all the air the leaves were falling, she muttered to herself, “O these autumn leaves!  They make such noise!  They scatter all my winter dreams.”

Related Poem Content Details

Who are you, reader, reading my poems an hundred years hence? 
I cannot send you one single flower from this wealth of the spring, one single streak of gold from yonder clouds. 
Open your doors and look abroad. 

From your blossoming garden gather fragrant memories of the vanished flowers of an hundred years before. 
In the joy of your heart may you feel the living joy that sang one spring morning, sending its glad voice across an hundred years.


* * * 
Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community

 Next week Sumana's Midweek Motif will be ~ 
Two Souls: Caged and Free