Monday, March 30, 2015

LIFE OF A POET - LOCOMENTE

Today, my poet friends, we are once again making an international flight to India, to visit the poet we know as Locomente, whose real life name is Satya. Satya writes at Locomente....Romancing Words. Let's pour ourselves a cup of chai, of which we are growing very fond, and enjoy a visit with this beautiful young poet. Satya has shared a wealth of colorful photos about her beautiful and ancient culture, so this will really  feel like a visit to India, for those of us who are armchair travelers.




Sherry: Satya, I am so happy to be doing this! I have prowled around your blog and you have many wonderful talents and interests, so this will be a fun interview! Let’s jump in.

Tell us about Satya: your family, where you live, your work, and don’t forget any family pets.

Satya: Satya - is a very independent girl who has spent most of her life with herself; solitude has been her twin sister.

I am a Chartered Accountant and work as an auditor. I am the only child for my parents, who also fit into the shoes of best buddies. Where I live is a tricky question. Five days  a week I live in the city where I work. And the other two days is spent with my parents in my hometown – 325 miles away.

We had a pet dog. He was my love until he passed away. I felt very sad when he left us. And, I decided that I will not have any pets. It is very sad to see them leave.

Sherry: I know just how sad that is. I still miss my Pup terribly, after four and a half years. Where did you grow up, Satya? Did you begin your creative journey in childhood? What came first? Writing or art?

Satya: As a child, I lived in three cities. However, I have spent best/most days in my hometown, Kerala. It is a small town with several temples and rivers. It carries an old world charm. The best thing about the place is that everyone knows each other and are sometimes related!


Sunset at Marine Drive, Kochi, Karala

My mother always pushed me into literary competitions in school for writing essays, stories and poems. When I always managed to write essays, poems and stories remained a distant dream. I concluded that I lack imagination and I am good at articulating only facts. Eventually, during college days, I started writing poems. Stories followed soon.



I enjoy writing, and any form of writing entices me. The joy of expressing thoughts, hopes, dreams, desires, uncertainties and all that through words matters the most.

Sherry: It is satisfying, isnt it?

Pookkalam - a flower carpet made in Kerala during the Onam Festival

Satya: I have to tell you that poems are really tough.  Sometimes, they refuse to emerge. And that’s what I love about it. Poetry calls for strong emotion. Unless you believe in what you are expressing, it will never strike a chord with the reader.


Kathakali...a famous Karala dance form

Sherry: Exactly.  Would you like to share one of your favorite poems, or one that expresses who you are?

Satya: Choosing one poem was really difficult Sherry. But I have tried. And I think this is one of my favorites– As I wait

As I wait here
To see you
To hear you
I think of your smiles
Silly at times
Naughty sometimes
Full of love most of the time
Then those little eyes
Sparkling with a twinkle
That winks and droops in sleep
That peers through my eyes
And those rare intense looks
Ah! As I wait here
I miss you
I miss you so much
That I almost feel your presence around
I almost hear your laughter
And that voice full emanating warmth
Suddenly I realize...
Loved ones will always remain in our hearts
And we can feel them through our breaths;
Hear them through our heartbeats!

Sherry: This is lovely. "Loved ones will always remain in our hearts," it is true. Do you have a favorite form? 



Panchavaadhyam - a musical extravaganza

Satya: Haiku happened after I started blogging. It was challenging and initially, I made several mistakes. However, its simple outlook and complex structure attracted me towards it. (You can find my Haiku here)


The famous Kalpathy Car Festival

Favorite poetic form? I don’t think I have one. I believe that it depends on my mood and the thought I want to convey. A limerick is perfect to convey humor, acrostic to give new perspective to a word, haiku to express concisely and free-style poems to write anything/everything.

Again, choosing one haiku was really difficult. But, I have tried and think that this looks better. 



Yes! Loss and failure
Nothing but sheer illusion
Do not take to heart

Sherry: I love this, Satya! You also write micro-fiction. Tell us why you love it.

Satya: Micro-fictions are nothing but short stories, with  100 words or less. Sometimes, I leverage and use 120-150 words. I came across this form through blogging only. I always believe that it is easy to write long stories when there is no word limit. We can elaborate as much as we want and convey our thoughts. But, micro-fiction has a word limit. It must also have a story. So, it is challenging and tickles the right brain. So, I love that form. (You can find my Micro-Fictions here)


Deities ready for the Car Festival

Sherry: I cant imagine writing an entire story in 100 words - but you do it so well! You are a very talented artist as well.  Tell us about your painting. 



A beautiful river near my home

My home town, Agraharaam, 
where we share both walls and love

Satya: My mother is a good artist. Actually, she is multi-faceted. As a teenager, she introduced me into the world of painting. Painting requires a vision and requires us to work towards achieving it. It calls for high degree of imagination and concentration. And they last forever! They are time-consuming too.



I started painting flowers and birds. Eventually, I practiced to paint human faces and sceneries.  Over a period of time, I realised that I enjoy painting Indian Gods more. The joy of giving shape and color to your favorite God can be overwhelming! (You can find my Paintings here)

Sherry: Is the satisfaction similar or different, on completion of a painting or a poem?

Satya: I feel most satisfied on completing a painting. It could be because painting requires more planning, vision, and requires lots of time. I cannot do it as and when I wish, you see.

Sherry: I am fascinated by the very beautiful Kolam I found on your site. Please tell us about this intricate art form. 

Satya: Having spent most of my growing up years in heritage village, where temples and traditional values play a vital role, learning kolam happened like a natural part of growing up. I made my first (decent) kolam when I was seven years old. The joy of adorning the courtyard with intricate designs gives immense satisfaction and pride. (You can find my Kolam here)

One of my favorite Kolams


For those who don’t know what Kolam is:

Kolam refers to intricate patterns drawn both free handedly and by joining dots. These can be widely seen in the Southern part of India. Women draw this early morning, preferably before Sunrise after cleaning the courtyard. Earlier, rice powder was used – it was a means to feed ants and small insects. However, these days, stone powder and even chalk is used. If such powders are used, it is called Pudi Kolam. Sometimes, brick powder will be used as outline on auspicious days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If rice powder is mixed in water and similar patterns are drawn, it is called Maavu/Maa Kolam. In West Bengal, it is called Alpona. In North India, people used rice/stone powders for the outline and fill the patterns with colors. This is called Rangoli.

It is believed that Kolam brings prosperity. It is drawn for almost all the auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals. When someone dies in the household, the family don’t draw any kolam for a year.  

Children in small towns learn the art of making kolam at a very young age. In fact, a girl who knows how to draw impeccable and intricate kolam is a pride for the entire family and the village where she stays. However, owing to modernization, city life and apartment culture, this art is soon dying.

"My world still carries an old world charm,
and I am proud of it!"

Sherry: This is fascinating. It would be a great shame for this art to be lost. I admire that you live in such a rich culture, Satya. It must be amazing to walk in the footsteps of history, surrounded by such beauty. When did you come to the world of blogging? How has it impacted your writing life?

Satya: Blogging happened in 2011. I am sure that it has influenced me a lot. Blogging gives an opportunity to express, an excuse to observe and a reason to think! It has also added different facets to me as well. Photography (I am still an amateur) happened; book and movie reviews followed.



A famous fun activity - Uri adithal, celebrated during Lord Krishna's
birthday. There will be pots filled with curd, tied in a wooden frame,
and decorated with balloons and toys.

Sherry: Favorite well-known poet? What do you love about his or her work? 

Satya: Robert Frost – His words “Miles to go before I sleep” is etched in my mind. It is just six words. But it conveys the essence of human life!

Sherry: Do you enjoy travel? Favorite place to visit? Anywhere you have not been and want to see? 

Satya: I love travelling and exploring new places. I always want to visit Jammu & Kashmir in India. It is said to be Heaven on Earth – mesmerising and charming. And some day, I would like to roam around in Rome too.

A mouth-watering Indian snack-
Murukku

Sherry: Favorite color?

Satya: Ummm… Pink!!!

Sherry: When did you find Poets United? Is there anything you’d like to say to our members?

Satya: I came across Poets United when I started blogging; in 2012 I guess. As a budding blogger, it gave me a platform to share my poems and read other poet’s works.

"Every morning and evening,
we will light this lamp"


To the fellow members, all I have to say is Thank You! Your comments and perspective means a lot to me. It always brings a smile and motivates me to write better. 

Sherry: Thank you, Satya, for allowing us to get to know you better, and for your loyal participation at Poets United. We look forward to enjoying much more of your work.

Isn't she lovely, kids? What a wonderful visit! Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Poetry Pantry #245

Poppy's Photographs from Crete
(and one from Canada)
-Serene Aquamarine-


Agios Nikolaos, Crete.

Ombros Gialos, Crete.

Agios Nikolaos, Crete

Plaka, Crete

Lake Simcoe, Ontario Canada

Greetings, Poets! We have finally entered spring, and I must say I am not unhappy to leave the season of winter behind.  Spring is always such an optimistic season, I think, as things begin to green up again.

Today we have Poppy to thank for more wonderful pictures.  She chose the theme of "serene aquamarine" this week.


Be sure to check out "I Wish I'd Written This" this week. Rosemary is a bit under the weather so Sherry did the feature.   She shared the poem "Being a Person" by William Stafford & included some details about his life as well.  (Scroll back one article.)Get well, Rosemary.

Susan, for this week's Midweek Motif, will have us write about "cherry blossoms." Do you see them in your area?

I am still looking for photographs from your part of the world.  Let me know if you have some!

Share a poem with us below by linking it using Mr.Linky, and visit others who also link.  Enjoy!


Friday, March 27, 2015

I Wish I'd Written This


Being a Person                                                                                                         


Be a person here. Stand by the river, invoke
the owls. Invoke winter, then spring.
Let any season that wants to come here make its own 

call. After that sound goes away, wait.

A slow bubble rises through the earth
and begins to include sky, stars, all space,
even the outracing, expanding thought.
Come back and hear the little sound again.

Suddenly this dream you are having matches
everyone's dream, and the result is the world.
If a different call came there wouldn't be any
world, or you, or the river, or the owls calling.

How you stand here is important. How you
listen for the next things to happen. How you breathe.


              - William Stafford



You can see why I wish I had written this. Sigh. Rosemary is a bit under the weather, today, my friends, so  I am bringing this poet to you, who wrote so wonderfully (and prolifically) during his lifetime. Stafford lived from 1914 until 1993, but he got a bit of a late start as a published poet. He was 46 years old when his first major collection of poetry was published.  Traveling Through the Dark (whose title poem is one of his best-known) won the 1963 National Book Award for Poetry. Not a bad start! During his lifetime, his body of work totaled some 22,000 poems. 

Stafford observed a quiet daily routine of writing. His work focused on the ordinary events of daily life. He died of a heart attack on August 28, 1993, having just written the lines:

'You don't have to
prove anything,' my mother said.
'Just be ready
for what God sends.'



Wow. Stafford was born in Kansas, and received his BA from the University of Kansas in 1937.

He was a pacifist as well as a poet. When drafted in 1942, he declared himself a conscientious objector, and performed alternative service in forestry and soil conservation (for $2.50 a month!) from 1942 until 1946, in Arkansas, California and Illinois. While in California, he met and married Dorothy Hope Franz, and they had four children, including one child who died, two artists, and the poet and essayist Kim Stafford.

He received his MA from the University of Kansas in 1947. His Masters' thesis, the prose memoir Down In My Heart: Peace Witness in Wartime, was published in 1948.

William Stafford was appointed 20th Century Consultant to the Library of Congress in 1970, a position now known as Poet Laureate. He taught, during his lifetime, at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon, Manchester College in Indiana, San Jose State, California, then returned to Lewis and Clark.

Not only do I wish I had written this poem, but his dedication to his craft inspires me to work harder on my own. 


Feel better, Rosemary! For any errors or oversights in my presentation of this material, I humbly apologize.

source: Wikipedia
Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders