Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Verse First ~ Ghosts & Spirits & Scares

Verse First ~ Ghosts & Spirits & Scares!


Welcome to VERSE FIRST, where simple notions prompt amazing poems.
Today's notion?

GHOSTS & SPIRITS & SCARES!

It is, after all, nearly All Hallow's Eve.  You must have expected this one! Without further ado, write a piece about ghosts or spirits or scares. In honor of the day, make it either exactly 31 words or 31 lines. No fewer. No more. GO!

After posting your poem on your site, link it here. Please! Only share original work and honor the Poets United spirit of community by visiting and commenting on others' contributions.


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Monday, October 28, 2013

Poem of the Week~The Force of Feathers and Chains

Clicking along the blogroll recently, I was gob-smacked by this amazing poem written by Carrie Van Horn at Hope WhispersCarrie followed it with an amazing story and her wise commentary. Carrie has been a valued member of Poets United since its very first days. I was especially impacted by what she wrote to accompany the poem. I wanted to make sure you didn't miss it, so it is our Poem of the Week this week. Enjoy every perfect word!








"God loved the birds and invented trees. 
Man loved the birds and invented cages."
~Jacques Deval

There is a force that feathers know
that ride together upon a wing in flight

and so to do links of a rusty chain
that hold down and lock up tight.

There is a might that bricks know
when holding up a sturdy wall

and so does the metal ball and crane
that can make the building fall.

Sometimes the chains that bind us
are bound by our own hands

and in turn the liberty we so long for
becomes too heavy for us to withstand.

The soul possesses all the muscles
to carry a thousand pounds of woe

yet it also holds the skill and power
to courageously let it go.

Many years ago when I was going through the separation and divorce from my first husband, I left the home I had known for eight years and took off with a packed up car and a discouraged teenager heading to the home of a dear friend I had gone to church with years before. We stayed under her comforting wing of hospitality and encouragement for about 6 months. It was a difficult time of change for both me and my son.


During that time there was a simple story her son shared one day that has always stuck with me. It holds a profound truth in its simplicity and has crossed my mind many times when I have felt stuck in a situation. 

 He had a dog that he loved very much that he kept mostly in the back yard. Whenever he would wash his car, he would bring her out in the front yard and tie her chain to a tree while he scrubbed down his ride. Eventually, the dog got so used to the routine, that she would simply sit by the tree knowing she was chained to it, and watch him work on the car. He admitted that as time went by he got complacent and would bring her out front on the chain, but instead of tying her up he would simply place her by the tree with the chain and go about his business. The dog was so used to being chained to the tree, that she did not exert any force or effort to try to break away to even realize that she was no longer bound with the chain.

I cannot tell you how many times I have thought about that story and realized how relevant it is to certain situations people face in their lives. We get so accustomed to the obstacles that we have holding us back, that we settle like roots of a tree and stagnate where we stand.
Assuming there is no way out or means to make a change. Then like bad fruit we become bitter and angry with the yoke we must bear, never taking the time to comprehend the fact that it is only us that can make a true difference. Only we can make the choice to walk away, change the circumstances, or simply lay down the burden.

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. ~Lewis B. Smedes

                                           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wow, Carrie, you packed a powerful lesson into this post. Thank you so much. I especially needed this reminder right now, and I, too, now can't stop thinking about that dog, tied with an invisible chain to that one spot.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Poetry Pantry #173

New York City at night, view of the Empire State Building from 5th Ave.
                   
New York City: Fountain at Madison Square Park with 
the Empire State Building in the background.


   

NYC Skyline with Freedom Tower skyscraper on the far left.

Yellow Taxi Cab downtown at the corner of 5th Avenue and 23rd St.



Greetings, Poets!  


Glad to see each of you here this week. Hope you each had a poetic week & also will share one of your poems here.  It is always fun to get to know you through your poetry; and I hope you feel the same. 

This week I am sharing photos that Loredana Donovan shared of New York City!  I quite enjoyed them and hope you will enjoy them too.

I will issue an invitation here to those of you who participate in Poetry Pantry.  If YOU have special photos that you would like me to feature some week, let me know what kind of photos you have.  I am especially interested in scenic views of your area or an area you have visited.  Send inquiries first to dixibear@aol.com.

Anyway, with no further adieu, this is one of my favorite spaces to post poetry each week.  I hope you look forward to it too.  An older one or a new one, it's your choice.

Link your ONE poem.   Then leave a comment below. Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  (If I miss your poem, visit me, and I will visit you... I am like anyone else, appreciating reciprocity.) We ALL like comments, so if you link please DO spend time visiting others.  That is part of the fun as well.  We really like it if you link back to Poets United too, so we spread the Poetry Pantry word in the blogosphere.


Come back a few times on Sunday and Monday to see what's new.  Visit some strangers, and they will become new friends!  Making new friends and reading new poetry, what more could one want?

Also, don't forget to visit Poets United other days of the week.  For example, every Wednesday Kim posts a new "Verse First" prompt.  Hope you will join us there as well!  Sherry Blue Sky does a feature (it varies) on Monday, and Rosemary Nissen-Wade does "I Wish I'd Written This" every Friday!

If you are on Facebook, look for us there as well. Join our site.  It is one more way to stay in touch!

And now...here is the procedure, for those who are new here:  Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to a poem in your blog. The link will close Monday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT), but you can still visit the links of those who have posted them.

Enjoy!

















Friday, October 25, 2013

I Wish I'd Written This

A Style Of Loving

By Vikram Seth

Light now restricts itself
To the top half of trees;
The angled sun
Slants honey-coloured rays
That lessen to the ground
As we bike through
The corridor of Palm Drive
We two

Have reached a safety the years
Can claim to have created:
Unconsumated, therefore
Unjaded, unsated.
Picnic, movie, ice-cream;
Talk; to clear my head
Hot buttered rum - coffee for you;
And so not to bed

And so we have set the question
Aside, gently.
Were we to become lovers
Where would our best friends be?
You do not wish, nor I
To risk again
This savoured light for noon's
High joy or pain. 

Vikram Seth is probably better known as a novelist — though his first published novel, The Golden Gate, was in verse. He is most famous for A Suitable Boy, a very thick novel indeed, set in his native India. It's the only work of his I had read — and thoroughly enjoyed — until a friend recently introduced me to his poetry, which I find just as captivating. 

Since childhood he has lived in both India and England and now divides his time between residences in both places. He studied at Oxford; then went to Stanford University in California where he studied first Economics then Creative Writing. At Nanjing University in China he studied classical Chinese poetry. He speaks a number of languages and writes in several, but describes English as his 'instrument'. It's not the only one. He plays the Indian flute and the cello, and sings German lieder, particularly Schubert (so Wikipedia informs us). The biography at PoemHunter describes him as poet, novelist, travel writer, librettist, children's writer, biographer and memoirist. He identifies as bisexual and has been active in working for anti-homosexual law reform in India.

One thing I like about this and all his poetry is his facility with rhyme; something I am always in awe of when it's done well. I also have great sympathy with the sentiments expressed, having reached a time of life when I too value the 'savoured light' of time spent with friends above the 'high joy and pain' of any new romance. And he says it so sweetly, doesn't he?

You can find more of his poems at PoemHunter and his books at Amazon. The 25 poems at PoemHunter are also available for free download in pdf (you bet I did!) and if you Google A Suitable Boy, it is available for free download for Kindle, or in epub or pdf versions.

Seth is interviewed here about his novel An Equal Music, and his (fiction) writing process.



Any poem or photo used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remains the property of the copyright holder (usually its author).


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Verse First~Food & Writing....Writing & Food

Verse First ~ Food & Writing ... Writing & Food


Welcome to VERSE FIRST, where simple notions prompt amazing poems.
Today's notion?

FOOD & WRITING ... WRITING & FOOD

Food and writing. Writing and food. They so often go together. Ours bookshelves and reading nooks, kitchens and dining rooms have been inhabited by food writers and their inspiring work for a very long time. Consider   Jean-Anthelme Brillat-SavarinElizabeth DavidM. F. K. FisherMapie de Toulouse-Lautrec and Martha Stewart, to name just a few.

Today, ponder your favorite food, restaurant, bar or cafe'. Think about what makes your mouth water, piques your gustatory interest, causes you to crave. And then write about it. Just make certain you elicit that same interest in your readers.

Post your poem on your site and then link here. Post only original work that speaks to the prompt; and then honor the Poets United spirit of community by visiting and commenting on others' contributions.


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Monday, October 21, 2013

LIFE OF A POET - ROSEMARY NISSEN-WADE

Oh, what a treat I have for you today! Since we seem to be on a streak of staff interviews, I asked the Passionate Crone, Rosemary Nissen-Wade, noted poet extraordinaire of Australia, if she would indulge us in an updated interview. Rosemary brings us I Wish I'd Written This every Friday, rain or shine.  I was thrilled when she said yes. Fasten your seatbelts, kids, as we are zooming the skies to beautiful Aussie-land, where the scenery and the people are glorious, and larger than life.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Poetry Pantry #172

Ballintoy Harbour, County Antrim. A very picturesque area of natural 
beauty, along the North Coast of Northern Ireland

Eileen's hometown of Macclesfield, Cheshire is nestled just below these hills. A market town, with access to scenic views and countryside in less than five minutes from her home.

Cushendun, County Antrim. A popular beach area, which lends itself to many opportunities for photographers and painters. Situated in the area known as The Glens of Antrim. Across the sea lies Scotland.

The Giant's Causeway, North Coast County Antrim. A World Heritage Site and Fourth Greatest Natural Wonder in the United Kingdom. An area with basalt rocks and columns, formed from volcanic eruptions. A main tourist site.

The Clarence Mill, Bollington Macclesfield. One of many former silk making mills. 
Beside it is Macclesfield Canal.

   
The Buxton Road, Macclesfield in familiar snow. This area is one of the highest points in England, which usually gets snow first. A long winding road, between Macclesfield and the old spa town of Buxton, Derbyshire.
                     



Greetings, Poets!  


Glad to see each of you here this week. Hope you each had a poetic week & also will share one of your poems here.  It is always fun to get to know you through your poetry; and I hope you feel the same. 

This week I am sharing beautiful photos that Eileen O'Neill, who lived in Macclesfield for 20 years, and is one of our regular Pantry participants and long-time Poets United members,  has given me permission to use. They are scenic photos of Northern Ireland!  Thank you, Eileen!

I will issue an invitation here to those of you who participate in Poetry Pantry.  If YOU have special photos that you would like me to feature some week, send them to me along with any necessary explanations of the photos.  Also, let me know if you wish your name mentioned or not. Send to dixibear@aol.com.

Anyway, with no further adieu, this is one of my favorite spaces to post poetry each week.  I hope you look forward to it too.  An older one or a new one, it's your choice.

Link your ONE poem.   Then leave a comment below. Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  (If I miss your poem, visit me, and I will visit you... I am like anyone else, appreciating reciprocity.) We ALL like comments, so if you link please DO spend time visiting others.  That is part of the fun as well.  We really like it if you link back to Poets United too, so we spread the Poetry Pantry word in the blogosphere.


Come back a few times on Sunday and Monday to see what's new.  Visit some strangers, and they will become new friends!  Making new friends and reading new poetry, what more could one want?

Also, don't forget to visit Poets United other days of the week.  For example, every Wednesday Kim posts a new "Verse First" prompt.  Hope you will join us there as well!  Sherry Blue Sky does a feature (it varies) on Monday, and Rosemary Nissen-Wade does "I Wish I'd Written This" every Friday!

If you are on Facebook, look for us there as well. Join our site.  It is one more way to stay in touch!

And now...here is the procedure, for those who are new here:  Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to a poem in your blog. The link will close Monday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT), but you can still visit the links of those who have posted them.

Enjoy!















Friday, October 18, 2013

I Wish I'd Written This

I Want to Hold Your Hands: 
A poem for the people of Syria

by Barbara Ehrentreu

I want to hold your hands
Parents of children lined up
in burlap bags
whose joy and laughter have
been snuffed forever by
a ruthless dictator who
cares more for power than
for the lives of his people

And I want to hold the hands of you
who escaped over the borders
holding your children's hands
Wanting only to find a safe haven
and finding instead a city of people
who like you want to have
a normal life for themselves
Instead milling around in a refugee camp
where a tent is your home and you
must depend on the goodness of others
to feed and clothe you and your family

I want to hold your hands and not shove
bombs onto your war torn country
I want to virtually hold you and say

it's okay for the moment
You would be safe with me
For weapons have no place in
my world

Yet people hurt by bullets or bombs or gas
Innocent of the crime
of being alive and on the wrong side
must live in fear that soon
my country will sear your souls
with senseless weapons and soon you
will be witnessing more death
Only this time the death will come from
the outside and you will lay your hope
n the street and bury it with the bodies
of your children.


Barbara Ehrentreu posted this poem on her facebook page on September 5th, in response to the terrible news from Syria about the gassing of civilians including children. I wanted to feature it immediately, but there were other posts which needed to take precedence. 

Barbara, originally from Brooklyn, New York, now lives in Stamford, Connecticut. I first came across her work during the annual April Poem A Day challenges at Poetic Asides, hosted by Robert Lee Brewer. Now we are in a poets' group on facebook together. Her interview with Robert on her blog, Barbara's Meanderings, begins with her reminiscences about being shy and overawed when she began participating at Poetic Asides ... until she felt that sense of a poetic community which we here at Poets United also know.

As well as a poet, she is a retired teacher, a Children's Author and a Young Adult Author. Her YA novel, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, is available in both paperback and Kindle editions. You can read about it on Goodreads. As a blogger, she uses the name lionmother, and she is indeed the mother of a grown daughter. Her passionate concern for the young is obvious, and although many were appalled and distressed by the situation in Syria, it doesn't surprise me that she was the one who wrote the poem I'd like to have written about it. The compassion in it touched me deeply.



Any poem or photo used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remains the property of the copyright holder (usually its author).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Verse First ~ Half & Half

Verse First ~ Half & Half


Welcome to VERSE FIRST, where simple notions prompt amazing poems.
Today's notion?

HALF & HALF

Today's prompt is completely prescriptive. 

     1. Fold a sheet of paper in half
     2. On the left half of the page, list 10 nouns
     3. Think of a career or occupation choice.

     4. On the right half of the page, write 10 verbs that correspond to that position.
     5. Open the paper and connect each of the nouns with a verb. 
     6. Using any of those combinations, write a 3 stanza poem, 3 lines per stanza.

After posting your poem on your site, link here. Please post only original work that speaks to the prompt; and then honor the Poets United spirit of community by visiting and commenting on others' contributions.


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Monday, October 14, 2013

LIFE OF A POET ~ GRAPELING

Kids, you know how, when someone new arrives on the poetry circuit, and writes well, our ears perk up and our antennae stay attuned? That's how it was for me when I first started noticing Grapeling's work. You will have bumped into him around dVerse and more recently at Poets United. This poet, whom we now know as Michael, has recently become a Toad.  So I thought it might be timely to swoop in and learn more about him. Hop aboard. We are headed to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world....Laguna Beach!




Poets United: Michael, so good to meet you! I must ask: why “Grapeling”?



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Poetry Pantry # 171

Part of Tofino harbor, British Columbia

Chesterman's Beach, Tofino
     
                     
British Columbia, Canada

   


British Columbia, Canada

British Columbia, Canada

Greetings, Poets!  


Glad to see each of you here this week. Hope you each had a poetic week & also will share one of your poems here.  It is always fun to get to know you through your poetry; and I hope you feel the same. 

This week I am sharing photos that Sherry Blue Sky has given me permission to use. They are photos of British Columbia, Canada, a beautiful area of Canada in which she lives.  A few are specifically of Tofino where she feels particularly at home!

I will issue an invitation here to those of you who participate in Poetry Pantry.  If YOU have special photos that you would like me to feature some week, send them to me along with any necessary explanations of the photos.  Also, let me know if you wish your name mentioned or not. Send to dixibear@aol.com.

Anyway, with no further adieu, this is one of my favorite spaces to post poetry each week.  I hope you look forward to it too.  An older one or a new one, it's your choice.

Link your ONE poem.   Then leave a comment below. Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  (If I miss your poem, visit me, and I will visit you... I am like anyone else, appreciating reciprocity.) We ALL like comments, so if you link please DO spend time visiting others.  That is part of the fun as well.  We really like it if you link back to Poets United too, so we spread the Poetry Pantry word in the blogosphere.


Come back a few times on Sunday and Monday to see what's new.  Visit some strangers, and they will become new friends!  Making new friends and reading new poetry, what more could one want?

Also, don't forget to visit Poets United other days of the week.  For example, every Wednesday Kim posts a new "Verse First" prompt.  Hope you will join us there as well!  Sherry Blue Sky does a feature (it varies) on Monday, and Rosemary Nissen-Wade does "I Wish I'd Written This" every Friday!

If you are on Facebook, look for us there as well. Join our site.  It is one more way to stay in touch!

And now...here is the procedure, for those who are new here:  Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to a poem in your blog. The link will close Monday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT), but you can still visit the links of those who have posted them.

Enjoy!















Thursday, October 10, 2013

I Wish I'd Written This - Poetry of Dave King

A Love Poem

By Dave King (August, 2013)

Do you remember how it was?
It was not always hearts and flowers
and sunshine through the trees.
The clichés sometimes passed us by,
but that first handshake fast became
two hands of friendship -- and the start
of all my happiness to come.

And then it was that joyfulness 
slipped by unnoticed for a while,
the way it often does.
Not just contentment: beauty,
and a kind of bliss I had not known before.
Dormant at times beneath a heap of cares --
the mortgage, job security, the kids --

but there as ever was in that same hand
that shook my world 
when nothing seemed it could.
And now it is that all is treasured
dearly once again, and known for its true worth --
and tightly clutched as in two hands.
A drowning man, I will not let it go.


How do I prepare for death?

By Dave King (September, 2013)

How do I prepare for death?
I asked a wise man long ago.
You don't, my son, 
the wise man said:
Let Death prepare for you. 

Her laundered sheets 
and candle lights
or spring flowers round the bed
will take you back
to early days...
How bright the vision then!
How clear the way ahead!

She'll sweep the house
of all those fears
accrued along the way:
the frights that have no form.
Not dreads of death,
but worse than those:
to not exist;
the aweful void.

Such terrors follow the more solid ones,
those obstacles the world threw up
to make you doubt or start again,
to hesitate.

Each in their turn depart.


And Death Shall Have No Dominion

By Dave King (January, 2009)


Like autumn leaves
we change our colours when we die.
That's all we ever were:
a change of colour on a canvas ground,
one small fleck of difference
on an otherwise flat field
in a desert 
           of indifference.
Here death
          is the death of all
dissimilarity,
             the smudge of detail,
the erosion
           of the figure by the ground.
Death is the perfect decorator,
a broad-brushed artisan
for whom the wall assumes
a perfect matt, flat hue.


Dave King  (19?? - 2013)

Dave King, who blogged at Pics and Poems,  has always been a well-respected poet in the poetry blogosphere, and as most of us know he passed away on October 4, leaving many with a feeling of loss.  Thursday dVerse Meeting the Bar  paid tribute to him (take a look), and we at Poets United thought it would be good to pay our own tribute to Dave as well featuring a few of his poems.

His poem "A Love Poem" is truly a beautiful poem, and a tribute to his long marriage to his wife.   I would say that this poem is one of my all-time favorite Dave King poems, one which truly shows his tender heart.   It is the kind of poem I wish I had written.

The second poem is "How Do I Deal With Death?" And it was his second last poem shared.  It is obvious that death was on his mind, though he advised his readers in his blog, "Don't read too much into this."  (But, of course, I am sure most did)

The third poem is "And Death Shall Have No Dominion," written in 2009.  I like especially the last four lines of that poem. Take a look.

Dave was a private person, for the most part.  He had chosen not to be featured in an interview at Poets United, preferring to keep a low profile.  I do know that he lived in Surrey, England, with his wife Doreen.  (They had at least one child, probably more.) Some of his growing up years were during World War II, and I remember one poem about playing in some of the rubble of war when he was a child & another in which he reminisced about being in the hospital quite seriously ill when he was young.  I always enjoyed his World War II (and after) reminiscences. Dave was a teacher by profession.  He also had a great interest in visual art and made mention of painting himself before his hands began to shake.

Dave was a prolific blogger.  He had blogged since December, 2006, and had hundreds of followers. Up until the last few months of his life he posted a poem every day, and he had a lot of loyal followers (and I am proud to have been one of them).  Dave had a scientific mind as well as a creative mind; and his poems often showed a very unique perspective & were very thoroughly (and almost painstakingly) carried out.  Dave had a style of writing that could be recognized, even if his name was not on the poem.

Last summer he started being absent from the blogosphere some days. In his August 15 entry, he shared why he was far less visible in the blogosphere.  He mentioned Stage 4 prostrate cancer; but he still sounded just a bit hopeful.   He continued to post poems periodically and commented on other poems as much as he could.  His September 16 poem "Why Can Only the Living Mourn?" was the last poem he wrote.  It is worth a look as well, if you haven't read it.  It seems he knew the end was relatively near.  On October 9, Dave's son Gavin wrote in Dave's blog that has father had passed away on October 4.  And thus was the end of the life of a very good man, a fine poet, someone who wrote many poems I would like to have written.

Rest in peace, Dave King.  I am sure many of us have poems of yours we wish we had written.



Any poem or photo used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remains the property of the copyright holder (usually its author).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Verse First ~ Writers are Lovers

Verse First ~ Writers are Lovers


Welcome to VERSE FIRST, where simple notions prompt amazing poems.
Today's notion?

WRITERS ARE LOVERS



In "Allen verbatim : lectures on poetry, politics, consciousness", Allen Ginsberg shares an interesting viewpoint: "Writers are great lovers... and great lovers realize that they are what they love."

 Ginsberg further revealed that he loved Jack Kerouac and his work, and that he wanted to write in a way that would please his idol.  "... being in love with Jack Kerouac, I discovered that I was Jack Kerouac: that's something love knows."

Ginsberg's perspective encourages us to ponder the writers we love and the writing we produce because of that love. Your assignment this week? Choose one poet you adore and write a piece to honor or express that adoration. 

After posting your poem on your site, link here. Please post only original work that speaks to the prompt; and then honor the Poets United spirit of community by visiting and commenting on others' contributions.


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Monday, October 7, 2013

Life of a Poet - Sherry Blue Sky

Today, Kids, (using the word Sherry Blue Sky would use), the table is turned.   I told Sherry Blue Sky, who blogs at Stardreaming With Sherry Blue Sky it was about time SHE be interviewed.  I had to twist her cyber arm just a few times (smiles) until she gave her usual cackle and then agreed. So I hope you all will enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed 'talking' with Sherry!




Poets United:  Sherry, I know that a person's childhood often has a lot of influence on who a person becomes as an adult.  Can you think of two experiences you had as a child that, as you now look back, are integral to just who you are as an adult?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Poetry Pantry #170


                                         








Greetings, Poets!  


Glad to see each of you here this week. Hope you each had a poetic week & also will share one of your poems here.  It is always fun to get to know you through your poetry; and I hope you feel the same. 

This week I am sharing photos that Talon, one of our regulars in Poetry Pantry, took and gave us permission to use.  Thanks, Talon.  Your photography is impressive.

I will issue an invitation here to those of you who participate in Poetry Pantry.  If YOU have special photos that you would like me to feature some week, send them to me along with any necessary explanations of the photos.  Also, let me know if you wish your name mentioned or not. Send to dixibear@aol.com.

Anyway, with no further adieu, this is one of my favorite spaces to post poetry each week.  I hope you look forward to it too.  An older one or a new one, it's your choice.

Link your ONE poem.   Then leave a comment below. Then visit other poets.  And I will too.  (If I miss your poem, visit me, and I will visit you... I am like anyone else, appreciating reciprocity.) We ALL like comments, so if you link please DO spend time visiting others.  That is part of the fun as well.  We really like it if you link back to Poets United too, so we spread the Poetry Pantry word in the blogosphere.


Come back a few times on Sunday and Monday to see what's new.  Visit some strangers, and they will become new friends!  Making new friends and reading new poetry, what more could one want?

Also, don't forget to visit Poets United other days of the week.  For example, every Wednesday Kim posts a new "Verse First" prompt.  Hope you will join us there as well!  Sherry Blue Sky does a feature (it varies) on Monday, and Rosemary Nissen-Wade does "I Wish I'd Written This" every Friday!

If you are on Facebook, look for us there as well. Join our site.  It is one more way to stay in touch!

And now...here is the procedure, for those who are new here:  Each Sunday we start a new post with a New Mr. Linky for you. This is so that you can post a link to a poem in your blog. The link will close Monday at 12:00 p.m. (CDT), but you can still visit the links of those who have posted them.

Enjoy!















Friday, October 4, 2013

I Wish I'd Written This

The Red Hawk

By David Campbell (1915 - 1979)

The red hawk hangs upon the wind
And the wind strips the ridges bare:
All things go with it but the mind
That rides at peace in hurrying air,

And in the silence finds its voice,
Leaving like larks its songs behind:
The tempests come, they keep their poise;
The seasons change and they are there.

Blow then, and strip these blonding plains,
These delicate round hills. The blind
Are murderous, yet the hawk remains
And all of time in his still stare.


David Campbell, sometimes known as 'the farmer poet' (which he was), had a gift for capturing Australian rural landscapes. Many people loved his poetry for exactly that reason. Being an Aussie myself, it's certainly enough reason for me to love his work, and to wish I could have written this.

But his pastoral poems are not just simple descriptions, beautiful though they are in that respect. There's a keen and questing mind behind them, and he always leaves one with a sense of something profound underlying the words.


His subject matter was not always the countryside. He also wrote about love and war, birth and death, and particular people — but nature usually found its way into these poems too, often metaphorically. In later life his writing became more experimental, but I think of his mastery of rhyme and metre as typical. You can find all his poems at The Australian Poetry Library.

The link on his name above leads you to the Wikipedia article, or there is a more detailed account of his literary career at The Australian Poetry Library.

He was a man's man: a decorated war hero (a pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force), a keen fisherman, a golfer, polo player and boxer. He also liked to paint. He graduated Bachelor of Arts from Cambridge University, was poetry editor of The Australian newspaper for a time, and sat on the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. He was a prolific poet who won many awards, and he also published a volume of short stories. A posthumous volume of letters between him and fellow poet Douglas Stewart was published as Letters Lifted Into Poetry.


(If you Google, you may come across another Australian poet called David Campbell, a very good 'bush poet', but you can tell the difference by the fact that that one did not die in 1979 but apparently is still going strong.)

P.S. What a  beautiful form this poem is in, isn't it? Such a distinctive rhyme scheme. It seems as if it should be one of the classic forms but I can't find it. Does anyone else recognise it? Or did he, perhaps, create it?



Any poem or photo used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remains the property of the copyright holder (usually its author).

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Verse First ~ "He Said. She Said."

Verse First ~ "He Said. She Said."


Welcome to VERSE FIRST, where simple notions prompt amazing poems.
Today's notion?

"HE SAID. SHE SAID"



Poet and short story writer Grace Paley said, "It is the responsibility of writers to listen to gossip and pass it on. It is the way all storytellers learn about life."

Natalie Goldberg expounded on this idea by saying, "We should learn to talk, not with judgment, greed or envy, but with compassion, wonder and amazement."

Today you have some options. Write about gossip. Write about what happens when wagging tongues do harm. Or not. Write a poem of conversation. Or write about the growth potential when interactions are based on compassion, wonder and amazement. You choose.

After posting your poem on your site, link here. Please post only original work that speaks to the prompt; and then honor the Poets United spirit of community by visiting and commenting on others' contributions.


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