#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek! Finale

I wish I could keep this celebration going on forever! I follow a lot of fun, interesting bloggers, each deserving a direct link for you to dance along.

There are thousands and thousands of bloggers out there. You may follow three or three hundred. The purpose of this made-up week is to encourage you to interact with those who write/paint/travel/share with you. If you like what you read, click that little LIKE button. REALLY like what you read? Drop a comment! We/you/they love to hear back from you!

I love reading your blogs Leah, Ann, Ray, Jackie, Jan, Crissouli, Blue Settia, Walt, d Marie, Suzanne, Patrcia, Mary J, Nick, Marion, Patty, Dawn, Annette, Denise, Jeremiah, CJ, Joel, Jan R, Marie, Norm, Alan, Waterdove, Glorialana, Tess, Gwen, Craig, Pirate Patty, Doug, Craig, Austin, Peter, Anne, and all those names I’ve left out. You all rock! Keep it going! I look forward to following more bloggers, and you should too.

BE a part of the creative world. Appreciate your creative friends this week — and every week!

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#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek! Part 4

One of the easiest kind of blogs to follow — and the most fulfilling — are poetry blogs. I know there are a zillion of them out there…poetry is just one of those techniques that speak straight from the heart. It’s not as easy to master as you would think. But those I follow have mastered their crafts well.

I know you have your favorites — I hope you will share back — but here are just a couple that I have enjoyed through the years.

If you love love poems you must have heard of Maxima. Stefan Maxima has a way of wrapping love around his fingers and pouring it upon the page. His poetry is full of affection, awareness, and sensuality. Find his work at https://hillsofherchastity.wordpress.com/

In The Morning

The morning is bathed in
the scent of roses.
To be silent wounds.
To voice our thoughts,
speak our mind,
is the better way.

I see your face in dew drops
clinging to the edge of yellow petals
I want to sing to you your favorite song,
it is better that way,
but this morning you and I are silent.

A morning:
The sun’s ray stirs the imagination
Your smile leaves a trail to my corner
of happiness where I am
a victim of your charm.

I’m speaking of this morning
with the breeze so gentle and caressing
here on the terrace where you sip
your first cup of coffee.

I love you my only one,
this I know,
and I know that you love me too,
but this morning we are silent.

 

Friendly Fairy Tales (https://friendlyfairytales.com/) makes me want to dance with the faeries in the moonlight. I am very much a unicorn/faerie kind of girl, and Brenda Davis Harsham’s poetry zings straight to my heart. Hers is the kind of blog that I go directly to and read post after post after post, liking them all!

Freckled Lily

Rippled pond,
dew-strung lawn.
Yawning moon
welcomes dawn.

Freckled lily,
dappled light.
Brindled dog
barks away night.

Rising songbirds,
snuggling owls.
High-strung cat
fusses and yowls.

One eye open,
I view the day,
hear caterwauling,
push sleep away.

Tea and oatmeal,
plump blackberries.
I paint with words
and dust of fairies.

Freckled Lily

 

One of my favorite poets is a newcomer to my world. Ivor.Plumber/Poet (https://ivors20.wordpress.com/). Ivor is a relatively newcomer in the WordPress world (I think), at least with this blog. His poetry is the kind that touches your soul. Sometimes it’s sad, often it’s reassuring. Ivor’s way of writing is everyman’s way of writing. Do check him out.

 

Everlasting Smile

My eyes, narrowly cracked.

My cheeks, slightly etched.

I rest here, retracing every mile.

Remembering, your everlasting smile.

My lips, already dry.

My tongue, trying to say goodbye.

I wonder, was it all worthwhile.

Remembering, your loneliest smile.

My throat, lumpy and sore.

My chest, heavy as never before.

I look back, recalling your life-style.

Remembering, your younger smile.

My lungs, empty and tight.

My legs, weak and light.

I relive, your personal exile.

Remembering, your generous smile

My head, spinning from fright.

My heart, deep and out of sight

I sleep alone, crying like a child.

Remembering, your everlasting smile.

https://ivors20.wordpress.com/page/2/

 

I have followed  Catherine Arcolio and Leaf and Twig for the longest time. Her poetry never ceases to amaze me. She calls her style Ekphrastic poetry” which is the verbal representation of visual representation.  Writing in short staccato notes has to be one of the hardest forms of creativity. Matching this form of poetry to amazing images is truly an art. You must check her out. https://leafandtwig.wordpress.com/

Humble Abode

unassuming bloom
calling
monarchs home

 

 

 

 

Support your poets. Try writing poetry yourself. Your soul will thank you for it.

The Direction of Choice

There was a time
The universe expanded before me
Choice was a luxury
Youth my companion
Direction meaningless
Lost in the sparkle of the stars

Lately the vastness of that universe
Has shrunk before my eyes
The galaxies of choice
Have turned to
Cold hollow moons
Planets of necessity

Funny how small
My world has become
The luxury of time
Exists on fewer and fewer
Planes of existence
In this world and the next

The choices are not the same
As in the days of
Gauzed-wrapped visions
Candy-sweet dreams
Jobs and friends and goals
Now have razor edges

Options have narrowed
Doors once open
Now request verification
Of paths followed
And stars wished upon
In duplicate form

I can no longer shuffle the cards of
Destiny and Delusion
The games have been chosen
Hands have been dealt
Bets are hedged
The world is keeping score

I must play the hand dealt
Watch the glow of dawn
Twist into curls of dusk
Time no longer my friend
Its shadow the scent of musk
Choice is mine no more

My vision has become blurred
Memories have faded
My heart has been broken
By limitations of my body
And the changing of the guard
As they march into the fog

I never forget my heart
The journey that brought me here
I love and I cherish
I live and I learn
But cannot go back
To the land of never was

Even though hope fades
In the emptiness of dawn
And space of my soul
Reality bounds from the sky
Our star’s blinding glare
Reminding me of the truth

All I need to do is breathe
The universe, the stars
Will point the way
And the world of choice
Will open its doors
Once again.

                   Claudia Anderson, 2013

Happy (day after) Poetry Day!!

If you miss the bus, don’t worry — there’s always another behind it — that’s the one I’m usually on

 

By Reason of Insanity

I write to share

I write to dream

I write to entertain

I write to celebrate

I write to release passion

I write to create passion

I write to escape

I write to explore

I write to feel better

I write to feel

I write to clarify my thoughts

I write to understand my thoughts

I write to understand the world

I write to escape the world

I write to find an outlet for my emotions

I write to make sure I have emotions

I write to encourage

I write to invigorate

I write to bring a smile

I write to bring a tear

I write to cover my inadequacies

I write to deal with my inadequacies

I write so that I never forget

I write so that others never forget

I write to be understood

I write to make others understand

I write so that I will understand

I write because

I am a writer

Another Wonderful Share

I must be in a sharing mood this week! I don’t follow a whole lot of bloggers, but the ones I do I really love their work.

Brenda is one of those poets whose words remind me of windchimes. Maybe she and I share a “Friendly Fairy Tale” connection, but there’s something musical about her poems. Do go and visit her website and be enchanted like I am!

 

Gathering in the sky are low, heavy mists: snow clouds shaped by Zeus and Thor.

via Star Swords — Friendly Fairy Tales

Write What You (Don’t) Know

anne-rice-novelist-quote-i-do-want-to-go-another-way-to-writeUnder the stress of writing for both business and personal, I am experiencing something that I have encouraged others to do for some time.

If you’ve ever read any of my work (and maybe I should just start a new page and SHARE something once in a while), my style is much like my blogs:  easy going, sassy, fun and a test ground for obscure vernacular. I usually stay in the same vein,  the same comfort zone. Middle-aged heroines, slightly evil protagonists, a little mystical, a little macabre.

But now and then I take a stab at writing things that make me uncomfortable — things I don’t do well. Murders, politics, modern day drama. I do this because it’s important to push my comfort zone just to see if I can adapt. To take a step on the other side of the fence.

I find myself doing that at work lately. Emails and FB posts about products are a lot more cut and dry than free form poetry. I can’t use too much humor or any sarcasm, lest the readers get the wrong impression of the company. Which is how it should be.

But writing these straight-laced entries is more of a challenge than I thought. It seems I’m almost too straight-laced. It has been suggested by my work mentor and friend that Facebook is more a social interaction, and that I can promote products while keeping it fun.

Can you be a different writer for different situations?

Have you ever tried to write third person when all your life you’ve been a first person kinda writer? Have you ever tried to write research findings with a straight face while letting loose with sex scenes in your current novel?

It’s not as easy as it appears to be.

We all have a personal slant to our writing. Throw a bunch of papers from different writers on the table and most times people will know who wrote what. That’s good from a reputation standpoint. But what if the group wanted you to throw something strange and different into the mix? Could you?

There are so many different worlds to try out. And in the privacy of your practice room,  nobody has to read your writing but you. Try a story from a different point of view. From someone who grew up in the Old South. Someone who lives in an isolated village in Norway. From someone who has been abused. From someone in the 1800s who had to go to work in the mines at age 9. From a serial killer.

It is good practice to get into other’s heads besides yours. Even if you’ve never been to Norway, a little research goes a long way. Surely you’re not a serial killer, but what about their justifications?  The point of these exercises is not precision — it’s practice.

I’m about due for a wrong-way-turn short story. I’ve written about places I’ve visited or driven past, my characters are half-visions of me, and I feel safe in my middle-age-heroine cocoon.

And writing descriptions about sheep clippers and paint brushes just doesn’t take me far enough away.

 

From Chinese Food to Poetry

d76daf8a-bffe-3e49-a6fb-5a9cc47065f5I was sitting in my favorite Chinese restaurant, waiting for pick up, and was struck with this fun idea for a blog about the Chinese language and their people and traveling and visiting foreign villages and…

And then I came home and opened WordPress.

And all this POETRY fell out!!

So my Chinese/Italy/England fantasy will wait. I want to share the beauty of poetry and the worlds they come from.

 

Friendly Fairy Tales ~~ The Elves Must Go  img_0111

 

 

 

img_20160608_00010-1Katzenworld ~~ Purrsday Poetry: The Cat on The Green Bench

 

 

 

Back Yards and Alleys ~~ A Closer Look  20161110_105725_resized

 

 

 

The Feathered Sleep ~~ Water    the_pursuit_-_nudes_swimming

 

 

 

Leaf and Twig ~~ Buche de Noel  dsc038291

Business in Rhyme ~~ Poetic inspiration: Poetry is Art poetry_art1

 

 

 

Maxima ~~ Once We Meet   dscn5602

 

 

 

This is just a thimble of the wonderful writers I follow. WordPress, the Web, is full of poetry bursting at the seams. I didn’t realize I enjoyed listening so much. Please check out the above poets and discover some of your own.

Let the music tickle your ears.

Astronomy — the Song, not the Science

giphyLike lesser birds on the four winds
Like silver scrapes in May
And now the sand´s become a crust
Most of you have gone away

Come Susie dear, let´s take a walk
Just out there upon the beach
I know you´ll soon be married
And you´ll want to know where winds come from

Well it´s never said at all
On the map that Carrie reads
Behind the clock back there you know
At the Four Winds Bar

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
Four winds at the Four Winds Bar
Two doors locked and windows barred
One door to let to take you in

The other one just mirrors it
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
Hellish glare and inference
The other one´s a duplicate

The Queenly flux, eternal light
Or the light that never warms
Yes the light that never, never warms
Or the light that never

Never warms
Never warms
Never warms
The clock strikes twelve and moondrops burst

Out at you from their hiding place
Miss Carrie nurse and Susie dear
Would find themselves at Four Winds Bar
It´s the nexus of the crisis

And the origin of storms
Just the place to hopelessly
Encounter time and then came me
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

Call me Desdanova
The eternal light
These gravely digs of mine
Will surely prove a sight

And don´t forget my dog
Fixed and consequent
Astronomy… a star [repeat indefinitely]      ~ Blue Oyster Cult, 1988

 

This is a blog that wraps around my friends the poets.

I have written poetry — I think everyone has. Beauty is in the eyes (and ears) of the beholder. Some are just better than others at it.

I was listening to oldies music at work the other day and I pulled this song out of my flash drive repertoire. Listening to the words made me curious, so I Googled them, and here they are. And I wonder.

What do they mean?

There are lots and lots of songs (especially from the 60’s) with psychedelic melodies, lyrics, and mushroomed foundations. I suppose when you saw God from another planet anything was possible. And there are lyrics far more cryptic than those above.

But, like abstract art, I don’t get it.

I am not a scientific, linear thinker. Far from it. My stories include time travel, magic, computers that write their own stories, and women who follow shadows. But I suppose I always need one foot in reality, or else nothing will make sense.

The lyrics of songs are just as powerful as a sonnet, a haiku, or free verse. They can say so much, so little, be deep or light or anything in between. It’s just harder when it’s ME that has to figure out what it all means. Like modern art, I know there are things I’m supposed to figure out on my own. Like a Jackson Pollock painting or a Craig Haupt sketch. There is a feeling, a meaning, behind its creation. Sometimes, if the artist is alive, I can plain ask (like Craig!) Other times, if the artist is long gone, I’ve got to either figure it out myself or Google that, too.

In the end, I guess I just liked moondrops and astronomy.  And that is meaning enough for me.

****

P.S.  I just looked up the meaning of the story…I like my own imagination better.

 

A Poem for the End of October

dreamlike-autumn-forests-janek-sedlar-22__880October is for Dreams

 

Poetry, like short stories, novellas, chapterbooks, and song lyrics, are music to the ear. Whether that music is a symphony, a hum, rap, an Irish ballad, or a rock band guitar solo, matters not. Something about the rhythm, the cadence, the meaning of the words transports us across time and space to a place that brings a smile — or a tear — to our face.

Born in 1788, Lord Byron was one of the leading figures of the Romantic Movement in early 19th century England. A poem he wrote 200 years ago brings to heart the crossing of the dream world and reality. It serves up nine stanzas, but the first is the one that caught my eye — and my ear. Like a symphony.

Here is to October, to Dreams, and to the music of language.

The Dream

I

Our life is twofold; Sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off waking toils,
They do divide our being; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of eternity;
They pass like spirits of the past—they speak
Like sibyls of the future; they have power—
The tyranny of pleasure and of pain;
They make us what we were not—what they will,
And shake us with the vision that’s gone by,
The dread of vanished shadows—Are they so?
Is not the past all shadow?—What are they?
Creations of the mind?—The mind can make
Substances, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
I would recall a vision which I dreamed
Perchance in sleep—for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
And curdles a long life into one hour.

 

 

 

October Dream Poetry

9572440208093fac1c038300b1bd0500October is for Dreams

 

Dream House

I went to the house of the Lady of Dreams
For a dream to carry away
That should ferry me over the blackest streams
I had to cross by day;

For comforting dreams from her small white hands
Rise up like butterflies,
And dreams like the lakes in old fairylands
Lie back of her shining eyes,

And gold-riddled dreams like tapestries
Cling painted along her walls
And yellow bird-dreams from shadow-trees
Come fluttering when she calls;
And all of the day-dark when she spoke
Was shattered and rainbow-hung,
And she gave me a dream like a scarlet cloak
And a dream like a wreath rose-strung . . .

But I went from the house of the Lady of Dreams
And my packet of dreams blew wide,
And only a red-rose cloud in streams
Swung torn in the west outside!

Margaret Widdemer, 1918

 

Margaret Widdemer (1884-1978) was an American author who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (known then as the Columbia University Prize) in 1919 for her collection The Old Road to Paradise (1918).

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Dreamcatchers

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DREAM CATCHERS

001966fb37895dc80beed59f975a012e

An ancient Chippewa tradition
The dream net has been made

6bcb1200f09892c8b56e7cbad469e60e

For many generations
Where spirit dreams have played.

771fd7175107db9c027ac611de61afa6

Hung above the cradle board,
Or in the lodge up high,

0a9717cad48e22d6a392cc6029202e14

The dream net catches bad dreams,
While good dreams slip on by.

ae37f5e5fe361ef3d3924dce581f667d

Bad dreams become entangled
Among the sinew thread.

dreamcatchers2009023

Good dreams slip through the center hole,
While you dream upon your bed.

f40946eda5bf72900f6e0490519f866d

This is an ancient legend,
Since dreams will never cease,

il_570xn-312950022
Hang this dream net above your bed,
Dream on, and be at peace.

284b4fc85974b08cba2500acd02831d9

  First People

October is for Dreams — Dream Poetry

October is for Dreamsred-and-orange-flower-4

 

My thoughts this cool October evening drift to the twilight mist that exists between worlds…the world of dreams. I also love to share the thoughts and creations of other dreamers.

Tonight let me share the magic of my friend and fellow blogger Brenda Davis Harsham. Her blog, Friendly Fairy Tales, is full of poetry and flowers and everything dreamy. Here are her thoughts on dreams.

 

If I Remembered My Dreams

If I remembered my
dreams,
I’d have great stories
with ambushes and
car chases through
city streets. I’d easily
evade cross-dressing
grandma clowns
and black-feathered
ballerinas.
I’d be chased
by giant grasshoppers.
I’d get away
in the nick of time.
I’d soar over over treetops
in a hot air balloon.
I’d solve impossible
theorems.
I’d invent a spaceship
or stow away in one.
I’d speak Spanish,
know the names of
all the stars,
and birds would take
seeds right from my hands.
Instead, I sleep as deep
as the Mariana Trench,
and if I swim with lantern fish,
dine on sea cucumber
or comb my hair with jellyfish,
I will never remember
or wake to tell the tale.

Take some time and wander through Brenda’s website https://friendlyfairytales.com. You’ll be glad you did.

October is for Dreams

200I admit it. I love Fall.

Not just because I am at the end of my hot flash phase. But the smells, the sights, the feel of warm afternoons and cool evenings, gorgeous sunsets, cuddling under blankets, and since I love the night time, earlier sunset times so I have more snuggle writing time.

Lately my world feels like its drifting in and out of the dream world. My dreams, others dreams, the magic and absurdity of our subconscious as it dances at the edge of twilight, gives me the sensation when I wake that I just had the most incredible adventure.

If I could only remember it.

So throughout the month of October, I’m going to hang around the dream world, bringing you poetry from other dreamers, pictures, stories, tales and myths. That way you can pull your blanket up a little closer to your face and hide when you must, play along if you want.

Four years ago today I wrote a blog about dreams. How perfect to start the month off getting lost in the shadows. Hope you enjoy.

To Dream or Not To Dream…That Is The Question

One of the yin-yangs of hormone fluctuation is sleep, or lack of it. Between hot flashes and finding a comfortable position, my REM’s make rare visits, leaving my consciousness floating in the bubbles of semi-sleep through the world of dreams. Now, many people say they don’t dream; others leave a notepad on their nightstand so they can record the ching chang jumble that comes out in the middle of the night. I believe we all dream, but length, depth and retaining capacity is what makes everyone’s claim different.

Scientists and talk show hosts tell us our lives are influenced by anything and everything, and our dreams are one way of dealing with all of it. Dreams, and  their alter ego, nightmares, can result from everything from eating pizza before bed to an argument earlier in the day. Dreams can be triggered by stress, anticipation, having too much time on your hands or, more likely, not enough.  Scary movies, sappy movies, long distance phone calls — everything can leave a chip in your mind that can explode into a myriad of dreamy scenarios.

The great thing about this flight through those shadowed clouds, though, is the variety of experiences it presents. I doubt my conscious mind could make up half the things my subconscious does. And if it could, would it be as fun?  In my dreams I interact with bosses from 20 years ago and talk to family members who are no longer with me. I wander the halls of my grade school, look out on Lake Michigan from a high-rise balcony, and walk through castles of long ago.  I have driven off cliffs and been chased by  unseen dragony/monster things. I have stood in a shadowy alley talking to Edward Norton and had coffee with Kiefer Sutherland. I have run from building to building to building, either looking for something or trying to get somewhere, and have jumped and bounced and flown my way across the landscape.

Where in Jove’s name do we get these ideas from? 

Being a writer, I often bring some of the unearthliness of my subconscious and put it into forms that entertain me and others. Without analyzing every laugh and tear, I try to bring these esoteric beings into my writing. The more nonsensical, the better. Other people transform their dreams into paintings, gardens, photography, and card making. So why not writing?

Of course, the down side of dreams is that they don’t always give you a direct answer to your cosmic questions.  It is fairly obvious that when I dream of my son as a toddler rather than a college kid, I am searching for the olden days connection we had when I was omnipotent and he was subservient.  When I am wandering through corridors and cross loading docks and down long hallways filled with shops and warehouses and theaters I am lost in more ways than I care to admit. But instead of interpreting these dreams as portents of bad things to come, I would rather see them as insights to the possibilities that lie ahead. We have the ability to choose which meanings we take to heart and which  we toss out. We can choose to see rain in the clouds or we can just see clouds. 

The best course is always to choose a little of both. Don’t ignore the clouds that are thunderheads, and don’t step out of a plane to bounce on their springy tops.  But let those clouds be dragons or snakes or ships. Notice the thread of reality that runs through the middle, then make what you will of the rest. Don’t worry what others think your dreams mean, or if you can’t remember their endings. The old adage that it’s the journey that counts, not the destination, makes as much sense to your unconscious state of mind as your conscious one. Take that journey and run with it.

As for me, I’m looking forward to tonight. I told Kiefer I’d meet him at the coffee shop sometime around eleven.  Maybe I’ll even ride my dragon there.

 

 

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

shamrock-heart_designTo my Mom, who was Irish.  Miss you, Mom. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

*

*

Irish Regret

Bittersweet memories

Blur my perception of the past

Connection with my roots

Happened long after

My Irish mother

Went wandering

Into the Eternal Green

I always heard the song

Of the creative muse

In my head, my heart

My very soul

Yet my ignorance

Veiled the possibilities

Of today, tomorrow

And all that had been

My dearest Irish Rose

A perfume I rarely inhaled

Is your memory enough

To make the garden bloom again?

My mother’s secret shadows

Haunt me to this day

Leaving so many strings untied

If only I had paid attention

I should have asked about

Her blood so green

And history so ripe

Tales of the clan of Cullen

Too late came to light

Only to become part of

Yesterday’s sunrise

I’m sorry I didn’t feel

Your Celtic heart

Pounding inside of mine

I hold onto the strands

Of Irish dreams and songs

One last attempt to thread the tapestry

Of an ancestry so bright and real

I shine within my mother’s glow

And scream it from top to hill

My melancholy regret

Is that she’s not here

To dance the jig

And toast the shamrock

With her daughter so true

And so Irish

Why I Write

man writing a contract

I write to tell my story

I write to share your story

I write to entertain

I write to be entertained

I write to escape this reality

I write to capture this reality

I write to make you smile

I write when I cannot smile

I write to make you feel

I write when I don’t want to feel

I write to hold onto the passion

I write to release the passion

I write to calm my thoughts

I write to excite my thoughts

I write to understand the world

I write to escape the world

I write because of overactive emotions

I write to make sure I have emotions

I write to hide my insecurity

I write to reveal your insecurity

I write so that I never forget

I write so that you can forget

I write to be understood

I write so that I will understand

I write because I am a writer

I am a writer

Because I write

READ THESE (gimmicky) GUIDELINES NOW!!

dos-donts-celebrities1The world is full of gimmicks — full of one-liners and sensational promises for everything from growing hair to making money while staying at home.  Just do this. Pay a fee for that. Follow these 5 rules and 10 guidelines and you’ll be smarter, prettier, richer, and so on.

Well, I want to cash in on that rigmarole, too. Every blogger wants to be popular. Well read. Recommended. Vital to the survival of the planet. Admit it — we don’t care about statistics, yet every time we get a new follower we do the Snoopy Dance.

So in that same (silly) vein, here are tried-and-true rules for you to follow if you want to be a popular, magnetic, P’s and Q’s type of over-the-top blogger.

DO…

*  Write about kittens/cats and puppies/dogs. No one can resist the cuteness of baby animals. Even if they poop in your lap or chew your new pair of shoes, there’s something cute about the whole thing.

*  Pictures. People love pictures. Nature’s a good one: flowers, trees, paths. Can’t beat Mother Nature for a Stress Buster. Makes ya just wanna go out and do the Irish jig, doesn’t it?

*  Use pictures of food. Even if your recipe/story/antidote doesn’t have anything to do with the pic, who can resist an image of ooey gooey caramel or creamy, cheesy lasagna or a bead-sweating glass of whatever? Makes my mouth water just to think about it.

*  Quotes. People love stories that start or end with quotes. Surely Mel Brooks or Clint Eastwood carry the same charisma as Dali Lama or William Shakespeare. Try a “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue” kinda lead in. You’ll knock ’em dead.

*  Lists. People can’t resist lists. The top 5 to 10 of anything is enough to hold their attention. Now, no one says these lists have to make sense — no one pays much attention to the rules once they leave your blog anyway. But they certainly are eye-catchers!

* Talk to make-believe characters. People love being entertained. I know of a blogger who talks to cheeseburgers and gargoyles. Why not you? And, who knows? They may be more informative and entertaining the evening news.

 

Don’t…

*  Go overly long on the length of your blog. I know you want to unburden your soul, explore the possibilities, make new friends, share recipes, etc., etc., etc. But  you and I know that the attention span of most readers is less than that of a gnat. At 600 words you’ve still got an audience. By 800 people are starting to open a second window on their computer. 900 to 1000 words people are throwing a load of laundry in between sentences. Anything on it’s way up to 2000 words might well be voted “Novel of the Year.”

*  Steal — borrow. The Internet is full of ideas. Borrow what you like and make it yours. If you DO borrow directly from someone, give them the credit they’re due. Readers don’t necessarily care if your words sound familiar — they just don’t want to get sued for reading them.

*  Talk about the same thing over and over. If you are sharing pain, share it. If you are sharing music, or thoughts on television shows, share it. Then talk about something else. Show your progress. Your research. Your over-vivid imagination. People love getting lost. Let them get lost in your mind.

*  Give up writing the best blog you can. Make sure every sentence counts. You want to reach as many readers as you can with your message, no matter what that message is. Good bloggers are followed, not by the quantity they pump out, but by the quality. A story that makes you think, makes you feel, makes you chuckle, will stay with the reader a lot longer than one that flashes in the night.

And — (wait for it…) Who needs hot flashes in the night anyway?

Poetic Expression

magic bookThere is something about getting older that brings out the bouquet of life around me/us. I don’t mean the I’m-gonna-die-sooner-than-later syndrome (that we all go through no matter what our age), but a sense of looking around and taking more and more in.

Okay — part of the “take it all in” thing is that I’m moving a little slower than I was 30 years ago, so there’s more time to look around. More time to gauge my steps so that I don’t trip over something. Or step on something. Or twist my back avoiding something.

But it’s more than that.

I’ve always enjoyed poetry — I’ve written a number myself now and then. Lately I’ve been finding myself wanting a way to express a moment in time without typing a thousand words. I’ve had no formal poetry education; my expertise in writing has come mostly through trial and error and writing since I was 10 and being a proofreader for 15 years.

I find that sometimes a hundred words say more than five hundred. That, depending upon the word and its placement, thoughts and emotions can be inferred instead of spoken. Now, that’s no surprise to those who have mastered the art of poetic license, but it’s a surprise to me.

My friend Jane has been a poet all her life.  She loves creating effects with as few words as possible. And she is so wonderfully good at it. There are others whose blogs I follow, too:  Dawn Whitehand at https://apoemandadrawingaday.wordpress.com/, Catherine Arcolio and https://leafandtwig.wordpress.com/. I have my favorites, you have yours. Sometimes you find someone who writes just what you feel. Other times you are left wondering. And that’s a good thing, too. But that’s the beauty of poetry.

Life flies by so fast. Maybe too fast to read a three-page poem. But there’s plenty of time to read a short word or two about the world.

Try writing one yourself. You will be surprised how melodious it feels.

The Raven Unicorn

 

unicorn

I love writing. I love writing everything — including parodies.

Most of you know I also love unicorns.

I came across this wonderful little ditty the other day. I wrote it as an invitation to my 60th birthday party. I believe instead of complaining, whining, and belittling the day we cannot do anything about, we should make a big deal of it every day.

So enjoy my ode to my birthday party two years ago.

 

 

The Raven  The Unicorn

by

Claudia Edgar Allan Anderson

 

Once upon a weeknight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary

Over a many quaint and curious volume of forgotten recorded TV shows

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping

As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my patio door.

‘Tis my dogs I muttered, tapping at my patio door.

Only this and nothing more.

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December

And each separate dust bunny made a mess upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow – vainly I had thought to borrow

A DVD from my son’s room, but sorrow – sorry he had misplaced Avatar

Just a phase and nothing more.

Presently my channel surfing grew boring, hesitating then no longer

Dickens or Rennie dogs, said I, truly your forgiveness I implore

But the fact was I was napping, and so gently you came rapping.

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my patio door.

That I scarcely heard you. Here I slide open the door

Snow piled there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing

The dogs so quietly sleeping, sleeping down the bathroom hall

But the silence was now broken, and the dogs were gently snoring

And the only word there spoken was the whispered words ‘sixty oh.’

Merely this and nothing more.

Open here I flung the patio shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In stepped a stately unicorn of the saintly days of yore.

Not the least chuckle made she; not a minute stopped or stayed she;

But with the air of a know-it-all, perched above my breakfront door

Perched upon a duck decoy just atop my breakfront door

Laid down, and smiled, nothing more.

By the silly and irreverent decorum of the smirk that she wore

Though thy horn be sparkly and spirally, thou, I said, art sure no dog.

Smiling and bouncy ancient unicorn wandering from the snow piles

Tell me what thy lady’s name is on the night of the Walking Dead finale!

Quoth the unicorn, ‘sixty, oh!’

The unicorn still beguiling, all my weary bones into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a foot stool in front of unicorn and breakfront and door;

Then upon the polyester sinking, I betook to linking

Fancy unto fancy, remembering all my years of glorious tales

What this full-figured, laughing, ditzy unicorn

Meant in singing ‘sixty, oh!’

Prophet! said I, thing of beauty – prophet still, if real or fancy –

Whether astral traveling or whether sent by Gandalf

Are you telling me age has no meaning

Quoth the unicorn, ‘sixty, oh!’

And the unicorn, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the duck decoy just atop my breakfront door;

And her eyes have all the seeming of a family whose love is beaming

And the ceiling lamp o’er her streaming throws her shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that now is dancing on the floor

Now is singing ‘sixty, oh!’

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Wine Glasses

In hand-blown crystal glass I see

Reflections of how it used to be

The finest wines in heaven poured

In vessels fit for any Lord

Chalice of Abbe Suger from the Abbey of SaintDenis

 Finely crafted of wood and glass

A stem created from materials past

To hold God’s work in one’s small hand

Is to drink His brew throughout the land

Creations from His thoughts to man’s delight

Turned into a display of shadow and light

Wine glass, engraved, twisted enamel threads in stem. George Bacchus

So fill your glass with revelry bought

Whether water or wine it matters naught

unusual wine glass 1

Drink to love both present and past

And friendships made that ever last

Medieval wine goblet

Poetry by Claudia Anderson ©2015

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Stairway to Nowhere

There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.

 

 

nature-landscapes_widewallpaper_spiral-staircase-to-nowhere_25769

 

 

There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
In a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.

 

 

12

 

 

Ooh, it makes me wonder

Ooh, it makes me wonder.

 

stairway to nowhere 11

 

 

 

There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who stand looking.

 

 

11

 

 

Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

 

 

Stairway to Nowhere 5

 

 

And it’s whispered that soon, if we all call the tune,
Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long,
And the forests will echo with laughter.

 

 

Stairway to Nowhere 4

 

 

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now,
It’s just a spring clean for the May queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on.

 

 

0e947bfd5ed11e4739ee22f0b62947cc

 

Your head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know,
The piper’s calling you to join him,
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?

 

 

Stairway to Nowhere 2

 

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold.

 

 

Stairway to Nowhere 3

 

 

And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.

 

 

15

 

 

 And she’s buying … a stairway … to heaven.

 

Sculptures By The Sea 2013

 

Lyrics — Stairway to Heaven. Led Zeppelin, 1971

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Water Drops

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans;

in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence.

The timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness. And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.

20140413-img_2867_1000px_1000

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

For that which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of night.

And if you would know God, be not therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.


And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud,  outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.

You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.

Kahlil Gibran

For more breathtaking water drop photography, you MUST visit Water Drop Sculptures by Martin Koegl  http://waterdrop-photography.com/.  You will not believe your eyes.

http://awesomenator.com/

http://www.liquidsculpture.com/

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Snowflakes

Snow Fairy

by Claude McKay

snowflake 8

Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,

Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,

snowflakes

Whirling fantastic in the misty air,

Contending fierce for space supremacy.

snowflake 10

And they flew down a mightier force at night,

As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,

snowflake2

And they, frail things had taken panic flight

Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.

snowflake 6

I went to bed and rose at early dawn

To see them huddled together in a heap,

snowflake 13

Each merged into the other upon the lawn,

Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.

snowflake 7

The sun shone brightly on them half the day,

By night they stealthily had stol’n away.

snowflake 1

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Find more poetry from Claude McKay at http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/claude-mckay

Find more images of real snowflakes at SnowCrystals.com

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*

Sundy Evening Art Gallery — Trees

The beauty of Fall brings trees into the spotlight. The glory of golds and reds and browns dazzle the eye and the heart. But there are other incredible sights that we call trees.

amazing_tree2

The poet Leonora Speyer says:

The trees are God’s great alphabet:
With them He writes in shining green
Across the world His thoughts serene.

 
amazing_tree11

And so the usual becomes unusual. Or is it the other way around?

most_unusual_trees_38

Never underestimate the beauty of nature. She will fool you every time.  She doesn’t need golds and yellows and reds to be breathtaking.

socotra_dragon_tree

A step back into time, or a step forward — these magnificent entities will be here long after you and I are merely memories.

amazing trees image (4)

 

 

Sunlight, Rain, Shadows. They forever endure.

 

amazing_tree13

 

 

Of course, Joyce Kilmer said it best:

 

amazing_tree6 (1)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Fireworks

fireworks

 

Of all the things I shall miss

When I close my eyes for the last time

Husband, children, friends

Laughter and tears

Hugs and kisses

The thing I shall miss most

Are fireworks.

 

Sparkling flowers against a midnight hue

Their splendor reminds me of life

A hundred thousand crystals

Shimmering for one brief moment

Blinding the eye, filling the soul

Symmetrical and perfect

Against the dark blue sky

 

Vibrant sensations fill the warm air

Glittering spiders fade slowly

Leaving a faint trail of memory behind

Reminders of thoughts and desires

Once strong and true

Now nothing more than

Whispers of long ago

 

The beauty of life is reflected

In the spectrum of colors

That dance above my head

The reds are love, the greens are breath

The blues and ambers and silvers

Glittering aspects of a life well lived

That slowly melt with time

 

The glory of fireworks

Dissipates as quickly as they explode

Reflections of life on this earth

Symbols of how quickly it begins

How swiftly it ends

A flicker in the night

A moment soon forgotten

 

Of all the things I shall miss

When I close my eyes for the last time

Husband, children, friends

Laughter and tears, hugs and kisses

The thing I shall miss most

Are the fireworks

Of the existence I once knew

 

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Gary Greenberg

 “To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”        
 William Blake

 The glacially deposited sands around Lake Winnibigoshish, Minnesota, contain abundant sediments from the igneous and metamorphic minerals of the Lake Superior basin. A sample includes pink garnets, g

I’ve always loved that quotation. Full of imagery, full of chances to make magic. So many imagery paths to choose. But which one?

 

Gary-Greenberg-5-480x364Grain of Sand2

 

 

Who really ever thinks of sand? The dictionary defines sand as “small loose grains of worn or disintegrated rock.” Rock. Building blocks of roads, mountains, and gardens. Boulders and cliffs. Sand is merely the accumulation of hundreds and thousands of years of erosion. Isn’t it?

 

Sand from Skeleton Beach in Namibia contains rounded and polished pink-and-red garnet. Image Copyright © 2008 Dr. Gary Greenberg, All Rights Reserved.

 

Sand fills our beaches, mixes with our soil, pots our plants.  We wash it off our feet and make castles out of it. So versatile, so insignificant.

 

Figure-5-13

 

But if you stop by Dr. Gary Greenberg’s world, you will find grains of sand are so much more than that. For Greenberg, his photography, his art,  is a doorway through which we can more deeply embrace nature. His mission is to reveal the secret beauty of the microscopic landscape that makes up our everyday world.

 

puffy starsStar-Shaped Sand Grains from Okinawa. These tiny foram, a type of protozoa, secrete beautiful star-shaped, calcium carbonate shells, or tests. www.sandgrains.com

 

The more I see the intricacies of the world, the more I am amazed. Astounded.

And humbled.

 

green-sand C 2008 Gary Greenburg

 

See more microscopic visions at www.sandgrains.com. You will be amazed, astounded, and humbled too.