Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ May Day or Walpurgis Night




Midweek Motif ~ May Day  
or Walpurgisnacht


Today's challenge is to write a poem for May Day or to give a poetic account of a celebration that was.

Today is May Day's Eve.  Whether you know May Day as a worker, union member, politician, pagan, Christian or another tradition, it is a day to celebrate loudly.  Yet at various times and places in history one or the other of these celebrations was dangerous. 


You may know it from music or poetry, Mendelssohn, Goethe, or Tennyson. Here are links to Wikipedia's general information on May Day folk celebrations (like Walpurgis Night) and International Workers Day.  
Queen Guinevere's Maying by John Collier, 1900

"For thus it chanced one morn when all the court,
Green-suited, but with plumes that mocked the may,
Had been, their wont, a-maying and returned,
That Modred still in green, all ear and eye,
Climbed to the high top of the garden-wall

To spy some secret scandal if he might ..."

from Idylls of the King: "Guinevere" by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1859).

For me the day marks the end of the poetry challenge for the month of April, the first steps to plans I made all winter and the beginning of What. Is. Next. 

Please:
  
1.      Post your  new  poem on your site, and then link it here.
2.      Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
3.      Leave a comment here.
4.      Honor our community by visiting and commenting on others' poems.

(The next Midweek motif will be  Children.)

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

LIFE OF A POET ~ SCOTT HASTIE

We have a real treat in store this week, kids, as we visit a village outside of London, England - a very interesting and focused poet, beautiful countryside and some travel photos that will have you checking your bank balance and readying your luggage. Today we are talking to Scott Hastie of his blog of the same name. Settle in, this is going to be interesting.





Sherry: Scott, it is so nice to be meeting with you. Tell us about the village and country you call home, what you love about living there, and with whom you share your life.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Poetry Pantry #199


Sunset over the Pacific Ocean - Kona, Hawaii

Banyan Tree, Kona, Hawaii

Sea Turtle, Kona, Hawaii

Palm Trees, Kona, Hawaii

Swimming Beach, Kona, Hawaii

Young Woman Performing at a Luau, Kona, Hawaii



Greetings, Poets!


Glad to see each of you here this week for Poetry Pantry  It is always enjoyable for me to get to know you through your poetry; and I hope you feel the same.  Admittedly, I personally appreciate those with whom there is a feeling of reciprocity, which makes for a feeling of community.  I think we ALL tend to visit (after a while) people with whom we reciprocate.

This week I have shared photos of Kona, Hawaii.

Be sure to visit Poets United tomorrow to see what Sherry Blue Sky  has planned to share.  Will it be a featured poet?  A featured blog?  Or a featured poem?

Glad to see the turnout  for  Mid-Week Motif Wednesday continues to be good.  We hope to see you this coming week for another challenging prompt by Susan Chast!

And on Friday, remember to see who Rosemary Nissen-Wade is featuring on her "I Wish I Had Written This" or "The Living Dead."

I 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.  There are participants here from many different cities, many different countries.  I think it is great fun to see different areas featured. I am especially interested in scenic views of your area or an area you have visited.  Send inquiries first to dixibear@aol.com letting me know what you have.  I am interested in city or country views - in your home area or places you have traveled.

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?

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.

Friday, April 25, 2014

I Wish I'd Written This

Dreams, Always in Color
By Anne Schneider

She can’t see enough anymore to sew, 
but younger friends still can – 
they save her their remnants and bits of braid, 
yarns and rick-racks she puts aside in sacks 
all beneath her bed with winter dreams, 
dreams, always in color.

Early spring, she scatters the salvaged pieces 
like birdseed across her yard, 
frees fabric to the whim of wind – 
pleased by the confettied grass, 
she revisits dreams around her hearth, 
dreams, always in color.

Every year for Easter, grandchildren arrive,
resurrect her spirits, and look for colored eggs 
of course, but more above their heads – 
trees flutter, flicker with bright cradled nests 
and dreams of flight, 
dreams, always in color.


With Easter still fresh in our memories, this was a must! I requested it after spotting it on Anne's facebook page and falling in love with the tale it tells.

Anne Schneider is a Kerrville, Texas writer and author of Breath Found Along The Way, a book of poetry and face-cast mask art. She is an accomplished mask-maker; and she leads natural healing Reiki workshops and Tai Chi classes at her Ventana Al Cielo Studio. Anne’s poetry has been published in numerous anthologies, including the Texas Poetry Calendar and the Austin International Poetry Festival Anthology. She writes and edits for the Kerr County People magazine and is currently working on her memoir Seasons of Plenty, the Healing Journey of Maiden, Mother, Crone  — which I can't wait to read!


You can visit Anne at www.PoetsMask.com or  www.ReikiTexas.info

I was lucky enough to visit her in person during my 2006 poetry tour of Texas. It was a very special interlude. We devised a workshop using writing, mask-making and dance, and presented it together; and we held a poetry reading under the stars with a number of local poets.  As well, she and her friends and family gave me a wonderful time, showing me Kerrville and environs. In the course of all this, we naturally became dear friends for life, and I'm glad to have been one of the people who sparked her interest in learning Reiki.

At the first link above, you can read more of her beautifully sensual poetry and also buy her book.

Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Science

“Faith” is fine invention (202)

                                           BY EMILY DICKINSON
“Faith” is a fine invention
For Gentlemen who see!
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency!



Midweek Motif ~ Science


Time to write to things Scientific and observable in Labs.   
Let us see what science can do.
Between 4 lines and 14 ~ Form is up to you.  


Inspiration:     Warning!  As a Romantic, Poe was not a fan of science.

SonnetTo Science

                                      BY EDGAR ALLAN POE
Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
   Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,
   Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,
   Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
   Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car,
   And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
   Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?


Sonnet Parody of Poe’s “To Science”        
With gratitude for Poe’s vision and visions
By Susan Chast

Science!  True Sister of Poetry thou art!
You nurture all being by opening eyes!
And compliment modern poets’ hearts,
White dove, whose wings are open files!
Why should they hate thee? Or how deem thee weird,
Who wouldst aid them in their questing
Throughout and beyond  planets’ atmospheres?
How could they deny using thy virtual wings?
Hast thou not lifted God into place?
And driven out the Devil from the deep earth
So that inquiry and simile meet face to face?
Hast thou not found atoms in what was a dearth
Of matter, power in what was mere sun, and to me
Given insight into how conflicts mock liberties?


~

Please:  
1.      Post your science  poem of 4 ~ 14 lines on your site, and then link it here.
2.      Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
3.      Leave a comment here.
4.      Honor our community by visiting and commenting on others' poems.

(The next Midweek Motif is Mayday Eve or Walpurgisnacht.)

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Chat Between Two Poets - Susie Clevenger

Recently, my friends, a poem titled Bewitch the Oppressors, really spoke to me, with its ecologically urgent and environmentally aware message. Our own bright-eyed Susie Clevenger penned it, at her blog Confessions of a Laundry Goddess
I nabbed it for a Poem of the Week, and then we decided it would be interesting to have one of our poet chats about it. Enjoy the poem and the animated short - which is beautiful - and then join us by the fire for our chat.








Luna, bewitch the oppressors
who drench the earth with poison

that stills the bees’ flight
and leaves the garden barren.

Morning has grown silent:
Luna, bewitch the oppressors
pouring death into the wind
to rob honeycombs of gold.

Wildflowers no longer
turn the meadow into a bouquet.
Luna, bewitch the oppressors
who plunder the queen’s kingdom.

Please restore hope of another spring,
another summer, poppies touched
by velvet wings humming the song of life.
Luna, bewitch the oppressors.

©Susie Clevenger 2014



                                         Bee - 3d animated short from Vladimir Loginov on Vimeo.


Sherry: Susie, I love this poem so much! And the beautiful video that accompanies it. Tell us what inspired it.


Luna and Shaman Rabbit
by Toril Fisher


Susie: The poem, Bewitch The Oppressors, was originally sparked by the painting, Luna and Shaman Rabbit by Toril Fisher. Her paintings on the lids of abandoned bee hives are not only beautiful, but make a statement on how humans have lost their connection with nature.

Huge companies now control much of the farmland and production of farming.  Their practice of fertilizing with a 24d herbicide mixture containing 50% Agent Orange is senseless and, in my opinion, amounts to an act of war on all living things. This continued practice is causing the colony collapse of the European honey bee that pollinates many of the agricultural crops worldwide.


an act of war on all living things


Sherry: Agent Orange! I didn't know that is what they used, though I was aware of the decline in bees due to pesticides. This is really criminal. I can't believe it is allowed.

Susie: The word bewitch means to cast a spell on or gain control by magic. Throughout literature, the moon often is given the ability to bewitch. When I did some research I found information on moon planting, planting according to the lunar cycle. It is an ancient practice that is finding a contemporary resurgence. 




Sherry: I have heard of that, too, and of communities such as Findhorn, in Scotland, where the gardens are magical, due to the humans working closely with, and listening to, the nature spirits. I am loving this conversation, Susie!

Susie: Nature is so much wiser than man and, upon seeing the rabbit Shaman in the painting, I thought how appropriate it was this creature of fertility would lift a prayer to the moon asking for humans to realize, if the bees die, so do they.


if the bees die, so do we

Sherry: Humans are taking such a long time to comprehend the magnitude of this truth.

Susie: When I was doing some research for the poem, I felt such grief. I question the sanity of humans, that would poison soil and kill the very thing that insures life is regenerated. 

The lust for money blinds the soul, when it has no concern for the harm it perpetuates. I felt I needed to add my voice to the outcry at this atrocity. Thankfully,  I also found many who are working to educate and petition industry to be more responsible. 

Poetry often draws attention to the world's condition. I find myself writing more often with that thought in mind.

Sherry: Thank you for being that voice, Susie! And for inspiring us to add ours to the conversation.


Kids, Susie has provided links to her interesting sources, for any of you who wish to learn more.

Bewitch The Oppressors

Toril Fisher Art

Moon Planting

Colony Collapse


Many thanks, Susie, for this chat, and for your long-time loyalty to and participation at Poets United. And for your wonderful poetry, which graces our lives and adds depth to our days. Kids, I know you are aware that there are reams of wonderful poems to enjoy in Susie's archives. One could wander happily in there for hours.

Come back and see who we feature next, kids. Who knows? It might be you!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Poetry Pantry #198

Chimney Rock, North Carolina


Me standing under the flag at the top of Chimney Rock


A View from the top of Chimney Rock


A creek in the town of Chimney Rock, North Carolina


Lake Lure, NC - Where film "Dirty Dancing" was filmed



Eastern Continental Divide, North Carolina



Greetings, Poets!

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate!

Glad to see each of you here this week for Poetry Pantry  It is always enjoyable for me to get to know you through your poetry; and I hope you feel the same.  Admittedly, I personally appreciate those with whom there is a feeling of reciprocity, which makes for a feeling of community.  I think we ALL tend to visit (after a while) people with whom we reciprocate.

This week I am sharing some North Carolina, USA, photos.

Be sure to visit Poets United tomorrow to see what Sherry Blue Sky  has planned to share.  Will it be a featured poet?  A featured blog?  Or a featured poem?

Glad to see the turnout  for  Mid-Week Motif Wednesday continues to be good.  We hope to see you this coming week for another challenging prompt by Susan Chast!

And on Friday, remember to see who Rosemary Nissen-Wade is featuring on her "I Wish I Had Written This" or "The Living Dead."

I 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.  There are participants here from many different cities, many different countries.  I think it is great fun to see different areas featured. I am especially interested in scenic views of your area or an area you have visited.  Send inquiries first to dixibear@aol.com letting me know what you have.  I am interested in city or country views - in your home area or places you have traveled.

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?

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.


Friday, April 18, 2014

The Living Dead


Honouring our poetic ancestors

Sumer Is Icumen In

— Anonymous

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu;                      
Groweth sed and bloweth med
And springth the wode nu;
Sing cuccu!

Awe bleteth after lomb,
Lhouth after calve cu;
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth,
Murie sing, cuccu!

Cuccu, cuccu, wel
Singes thu, cuccu;
Na swike thu naver nu;

Sing cuccu, nu,
Sing cuccu,
Sing cuccu, sing cuccu, nu!


OK, here's my own translation, mostly phonetic and not at all scholarly:

Summer is a-coming in,
Loud sing cuckoo;
Groweth seed and bloweth mead
And springeth the wood now.
Sing cuckoo!

Ewe bleateth after lamb,
Cow after calf coo,
Bullock starteth, buck farteth,
Merry sing cuckoo!

Cuckoo, cuckoo, well
Sings thou, cuckoo;
Nor stop thou never now;

Sing cuckoo, now,
Sing cuckoo,
Sung cuckoo, sing cuckoo, now!


I was trying to show how to read and make sense of the medieval English in which this was written, so I kept as close as I could to those sounds — though some words, like the one for "cow", needed a greater change.

The link on the title, above, leads you to Wikipedia. There you'll find a slightly different original version (mine is the version I first encountered, as a child) and a more scholarly translation, into modern language — where we discover that the cow does not so much coo as call, and the "buck" is a goat. We also learn that it was written in the middle of the 13th Century, in Wessex, England, and was a type of song known as a rota, or round, to be sung in four parts.

I've labelled it anonymous, as no-one knows for sure, but some researchers think it may possibly have been written by the medieval monk and composer, William of Wycombe.

I've loved it a long time, just as words on paper. I was lucky enough to be brought up on poetry, and it was in one of my books; but I didn't realise until now that it was really a song. It is also known as The Cuckoo Song, and you can hear it sung on YouTube.

Australia is well into autumn now, but for all of you in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer is indeed coming in, heralded by Spring — a very welcome Spring, I gather, after a severe Winter. And above all, this little ditty is joyful. I chose it most of all for the joy. Some of you may well be familiar with it already. For those who weren't, now that you know what it means and (roughly) how to say it, I hope you too enjoy!

PS Steve King, in the comments below, reminds me of Ezra Pound's naughty parody, which is apt in all sorts of ways.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Holy Days and Holidays

1
:  holy day :  a day set aside for special religious observance
2
:  a day on which one is exempt from work; specifically :  a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event
3
chiefly British :  vacation —often used in the phrase on holiday —often used in plural
4
:  a period of exemption or relief <corporations enjoying a taxholiday>


Midweek Motif ~ 
Holy Days and Holidays


What makes a day Holy?  Which holy day(s) do you celebrate?  How?  
Pick one of the four definitions of Holiday above to address in a new poem.  
Wikipedia lists more than 50 holidays and events in April! 

Inspiration: 

                        TO MY HAGGADAH

Over the years your staples have slipped
and pages loosened. Here a faded purple crescent
of ancient wine, there a smudge
from bricks of date paste.
But when you speak I swoon. Tell me again
how we were slaves to a Pharaoh in Egypt
but the Holy One brought us out from there
with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.
Sing to me of unleavened bread, of parsley
dipped in bitter tears. Remind me
if I wait until I feel fully ready
I might never leap at all. Waltz me giddy
through psalms of praise. Promise me
next year a world redeemed.
by Rachel Barenblatt  of  Velveteen Rabbi, used with permission

~~~



“To me, everyday is an observance of a 'holy day' for 
'this is the day the Lord has made' and as such 
I do not observe high nor 'low' Holy days."
― R. Alan Woods [2013]


Please:  
1.      Post your holy/holiday poem on your site, and then link it here.
2.      Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
3.      Leave a comment here.
4.      Honor our community by visiting and commenting on others' poems.

(Next week's Motif ~ Science)

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

LIFE OF A POET - HUMBIRD

This week, my friends, we are visiting Humbird, who writes at  The Sunbeam, and who regularly responds to our Mid-Week Motif, and links to the Pantry. I am interested to meet this poet, who hails from Russia, a country that has always intrigued me. Bring your travel mug and come along with me, as we swoop in to a fine landing at her front door.




Sunday, April 13, 2014

Poetry Pantry #197




At Bampton, England - where Downton Abbey is filmed



Bampton of Downton Abbey fame



Bampton

Bampton

Bampton

Bampton


Greetings, Poets!


Glad to see each of you here this week for Poetry Pantry  It is always enjoyable for me to get to know you through your poetry; and I hope you feel the same.  Admittedly, I personally appreciate those with whom there is a feeling of reciprocity, which makes for a feeling of community.  I think we ALL tend to visit (after a while) people with whom we reciprocate.

This week Jo-hanna has shared some fascinating photos from Bampton where the series Downton Abbey is filmed.  (Here in the US can see this series on our PBS stations, and it is a wonderful series.) She said it is only a few miles down the road from where she lives.  Bampton is located in the Thames Valley, has many 17th and 18th century houses, and is one of the oldest towns in England.

Be sure to visit Poets United tomorrow to see what Sherry Blue Sky  has planned to share.  Will it be a featured poet?  A featured blog?  Or a featured poem?

Glad to see the turnout  for  Mid-Week Motif Wednesday continues to be good.  We hope to see you this coming week for another challenging prompt by Susan Chast!

And on Friday, remember to see who Rosemary Nissen-Wade is featuring on her "I Wish I Had Written This" or "The Living Dead."

I 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.  There are participants here from many different cities, many different countries.  I think it is great fun to see different areas featured. I am especially interested in scenic views of your area or an area you have visited.  Send inquiries first to dixibear@aol.com letting me know what you have.  I am interested in city or country views - in your home area or places you have traveled.

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?

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.