Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Colour (Color)

Color effect – Sunlight shining through stained glass onto carpet
(Nasir ol Molk Mosque located in ShirazIran)

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
Rabindranath Tagore
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.”Alice Walker
“One should be a painter. As a writer, I feel the beauty, which is almost entirely colour, very subtle, very changeable, running over my pen, as if you poured a large jug of champagne over a hairpin.”Virginia Woolf

"ME TOO" by Annell Livingston:
"Hold the world as tenderly as a lover."

(Used with permission.)

Midweek Motif ~ Color (Colour)

Working on this prompt is brightening my world! Today, I share words from Annell Livingston who created the "Me Too" acrylic painting above:  
I have been studying color for over fifty years.  And color is like exploring a cave deep underground, the doors or passageways keep opening, just when you think you have a handle on the subject, another door opens and presents new possibilities.  We begin with the hues of color, or the names of each color, like red, yellow and blue.  The lights and darks of color, tints and shades.  The temperature of color, warm or cool.   And the intensity of color, or the brightness or dullness of color.  There is so much to explore about color and its vibrations, it is a lifetime study.
Today, I'm inviting us to question how color around us shapes our moods and how our moods influence our environments.

The Challenge:  In your brand new poem, reveal the color of a place or an event.

Angostura de Paine.jpg
Angostura de Paine, Chile. By Ricardo Hurtubia

for my sisters
Because we did not have threads
of turquoise, silver, and gold,
we could not sew a sun nor sky.
And our hands became balls of fire.
And our arms spread open like wings.

Because we had no chalk or pastels,
no toad, forest, or morning-grass slats
of paper, we had no colour
for creatures. So we squatted
and sprang, squatted and sprang.

Four young girls, plaits heavy
on our backs, our feet were beating
drums, drawing rhythms from the floor;
our mouths became woodwinds;
our tongues touched teeth and were reeds.

(Used with permission of the poet.)
First appeared in Song of Thieves 
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003
Purple as tulips in May, mauve
into lush velvet, purple
as the stain blackberries leave
on the lips, on the hands,
the purple of ripe grapes
sunlit and warm as flesh.

Every day I will give you a color,
like a new flower in a bud vase
on your desk. Every day
I will paint you, as women
color each other with henna
on hands and on feet.

Red as henna, as cinnamon,
as coals after the fire is banked,
the cardinal in the feeder,
the roses tumbling on the arbor
their weight bending the wood
the red of the syrup I make from petals.

Orange as the perfumed fruit
hanging their globes on the glossy tree,
orange as pumpkins in the field,
orange as butterflyweed and the monarchs
who come to eat it, orange as my
cat running lithe through the high grass.

Yellow as a goat’s wise and wicked eyes,
yellow as a hill of daffodils,
yellow as dandelions by the highway,
yellow as butter and egg yolks,
yellow as a school bus stopping you,
yellow as a slicker in a downpour.
. . . . 
(Read the rest of this marvelous poem HERE.)

                          BY GEORGE ELIOT
The sky is cloudy, yellowed by the smoke. 
For view there are the houses opposite 
Cutting the sky with one long line of wall 
Like solid fog: far as the eye can stretch 
Monotony of surface & of form 
Without a break to hang a guess upon. 
No bird can make a shadow as it flies, 
For all is shadow, as in ways o'erhung 
By thickest canvass, where the golden rays 
Are clothed in hemp. No figure lingering 
Pauses to feed the hunger of the eye 
Or rest a little on the lap of life. 
All hurry on & look upon the ground, 
Or glance unmarking at the passers by 
The wheels are hurrying too, cabs, carriages 
All closed, in multiplied identity. 
The world seems one huge prison-house & court 
Where men are punished at the slightest cost, 
With lowest rate of colour, warmth & joy. 

In the Bois de Boulogne (Berthe Morisot) - Nationalmuseum - 22575.tif
In the Bois de Boulogne by Berthe Morisot (1880)

Pied Beauty 

Glory be to God for dappled things – 
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; 
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; 
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; 
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough; 
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim. 

All things counter, original, spare, strange; 
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) 
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; 
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: 
                                Praise him.

 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 ~ Treasure)

Monday, March 19, 2018


Sadly, my friends, this week we are saying farewell to Steve Sullivan, The Unknown Gnome, one of Poets United's very first members, who died of pancreatic cancer on March 7th. Steve's wife, Trini, his beloved Dulcina, is kindly allowing me to feature this gentle man, who was my friend. There is a beautiful love story here, so pour a glass of wine. Set out some dark chocolate. Let's have one last bittersweet visit with Steve.

I first interviewed Steve in 2011 and was immediately enraptured by his and Trini's beautiful love story. Steve, (nicknamed TUG online), hails from the USA, but he and Trini, (known online as Dulcina), fell in love across the miles, as some of us sometimes do, through their poems, and Steve followed his heart to Cantabria, Spain, to be with Trini. They married in 2006.

Here is their beautiful little cottage among the mountain peaks. This is where Steve chose to be when he took his last breaths in Trini's arms on March 7th.

Their cat, Grey-Gray

 This is their spectacular view. 
They truly live among the peaks.

One of Steve's biggest chores, when he was well,  was cutting the grass. But he didn't forget to leave a love note to Trini on the lawn.

Trini tells us that everything happened very fast with Steve. His sufferings began at the beginning of the year. He was taken to hospital February 11. The doctors discovered he had pancreatic cancer, stage IV, terrible news.

In February, while in hospital, Steve penned these final lines. He always described himself as "a simple gnome, writing simple poems". But he was so much more than that. He will be remembered through his beautiful poems, and the books and loving memories he left behind. He had such a beautiful and faithful heart. He and Trini lived a God-centered life together, as you will see from these poems.

         ***        ***

in between the beats of pain
in half breath of your love, lord,
i breathe

       ***     ***

it's better to suffer the pain
in this world than the next

         ***     ***

i never knew death
would come with such a lovely smile

        ***      ***

Treatment was to begin March 9, and Steve told the doctor he wanted to be at home until then. An ambulance took him there February 23rd.

On March 7, half an hour before he took his last breath, he told Trini he wanted to watch the Divinity channel.  Trini says, "My Steve, after so much suffering, wanted to see Divinity. I can feel him in the air  and taking care of me every second. He IS a man of God."

Steve often addressed his friends as "dear one". Here is a poem from 2013:

dear one, 
write them
write of the rest one finds in pause
where to think beyond themselves 
is peace

teach them the difference
between the holy
and the common
the worthy
and the worthless
the precious
the vile
and the viral

teach them
the work of faith
the melody of hope
the drama of love
little by little the Way
a pure heart endures


In what were to be his final years, Steve worked on a series of books, which were beautifully done, with poetry and wonderful images. I am proud to possess his books, which are truly  works of art.

Trini tells us, "My Steve said that writing was killing him, but he did not stop until he could finish his last work of poetry, "SBB Trilogy", "The Unseen Seed", "The Unheard Word" and "The Unvoiced Vox", completed with Notes in "Postmortem".

"He spent hours and hours without end writing at his computer. He knew his time on earth was coming to an end. How could he know? He IS - not "was" -  a gifted soul."

The Unknown Gnome Poems

The Unseen Seed Trilogy,
Books I, II and III

***      ***

Trini posted the following poem shortly after Steve's death: "My Steve wrote this beautiful poem about us sleeping embraced in 2015. My Steve is and will be always alive in my soul and in his poetry. Love and good poets are immortal."

as our parting is to be
i leave you this

even in your age
when you no longer leap and rise
and sleep by its design
holds you more than you desire
let me lift with words your spirit
where i will cradle you 
with love beyond rejection

and if there be a next life
promise it to me
be here with me
if not now
then when
we meet again
in love beyond rejection

        ***        ***

Sigh. So much love. Tears of joy, that this man lived and loved so well. Tears of sadness at his passing. 

Steve leaves behind his loving wife, Trini, his son Shawn and daughter Shannon, and their partners, and some adored small grandchildren, to whom he was beloved Grandpa Sully. His wife and family will miss his loving presence every day. We poets in the blogosphere will miss him, too. He encouraged our dreams. He was a beautiful poet, a true friend, and a loving presence online.

Steve, you make me want to be a better person. You will never be forgotten. Trini, our hearts go out to you. And you are right: love and good poets are immortal.

Sadness at the passing of this fine man, one of our own. And gratitude for having known him. Do come back and see who we talk to next, my friends. Who knows? It might be you!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Poetry Pantry #395

Taken Inside the Milwaukee Art Center

Time passes so quickly.  I cannot believe it is Sunday again and time for another Poetry Pantry.  My weeks become busier as spring begins.  Time for hibernation is over, it seems.  The world is coming back to life, and it is a good feeling.  The photo above is one that I took inside the Milwaukee Art Center a couple weeks ago.  It is a beautiful building!

It has been another busy week at Poets United.  Monday Sherry featured poems by Rajani, Kerry, and Magaly.   Wednesday Sumana's Midweek Motif was SCREAM.  Next week's Midweek Motif will be Colour/Color.  Feel free to write a poem ahead if you like.

Friday Sherry shared the poem "sacred" for I Wish I'd Written This.  Scroll back if you haven't read it.  Just as Rosemary has been sharing the works of Australian poets, Sherry will be periodically sharing a work of a Canadian poet.  This poem was written by a young member of the Driftpile Cree Nation and what a powerful poem it is!  This poet has a great future.

Monday, be sure to return. Poets United has lost a fine poet, and Sherry features him and his work.  He hadn't posted for a while, but is indeed missed.  His wife is still around in the 'sphere' and will probably read this article as well.  So let's all visit PU tomorrow and give this poet some 'love.' I think many of you will remember him, especially those who have been around for a while.  So sad when we lose someone...and so quickly too.

With no further delay, let's share poetry. Link your one poem below.  Say hello in the comments.  And visit the poems of others who link.