I love the silent hour of night,
For blissful dreams may then arise,
Revealing to my charmed sight
What may not bless my waking eyes.
A poem for my poet friends this fine Monday morning….is this you?
A poet is the strangest sort of soul
You in this life may e’er expect to meet
More broken, even while more truly whole,
Innocently intending well, more sweet
Than any but a five year old should be
Unfit to meet a callused world’s demand
Or to behave aught expediently
All grace in flight; an albatross on land
But don’t the all too common error make
Do not fall into the too easy trap
Avoid the fatal egoic mistake
Imagining that poet as a sap
Powerful spirits, classic and antique
Give voice when poets ope their lips to speak
I’d like to put my angst, my wonder, my emotions in a small, precise package.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet
And so are you.
No, that’s not exactly what I’m looking for. I’ve heard Bob Dylan is a poet — won a Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016:
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
Bob Dylan, 1962
That’s pretty heavy. It rhymes, but I don’t think I could sound as lyrical.
Scratch scratch…cross out…scratch scratch….
Maybe I should write something in the vein of Percy and Byron:
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, 1813
Dear me…how could I ever match that tenor? That creative creation?
Scratch…scratch…cross out….scratch…scratch…cross out….
My Internet friends Ivor, Walt, Dwight, Brenda, Ana, Maxima, and others seem to have a knack for putting emotions with words. Some are more like half thoughts magically strung together; other offer haikus, sonnets, couplets, and other forms I have to look up to know.
They make it seem so easy.
My very good friend Jane from my Writer’s Association aches and pains over the shortest of poems. She writes, lets it sit, revises, thinks about it. I am amazed there is so much to five or ten lines. But they always sound like music to my ears.
For writing poetry is so much more than writing five or ten lines.
I used to think writing poetry was a breeze. Just find a topic, shorten some sentences, throw in some imagery, and you’re set.
It’s also like thinking you are born a basketball player like Michael Jordan or an artist like Vincent van Gogh — that anyone create a masterpiece.
There is a lot of banter around these days saying “Just Be You.” You already are an artist/poet/soccer player. Just dig deep and connect and “be” that person.
Got news for you. No famous basketball player or artist or singer just woke up one day and had gobs of talent. Talent may lay dormant in your genes, but you have to work at it to get it out. Michael J. didn’t even make his varsity high school basketball team on his first try. VanGogh only sold one painting in his lifetime.
Yes, Mozart was a prodigy at 7. Picasso made his first oil painting when he was 9 years old. There are always exceptions to the rule. But the rule normally is: you are indeed what you want to be. You have the heart, you have the goal — just do it.
But practice first. Whether it’s basketball or writing, don’t expect a hole-in-one your first time out. You have to learn first. Practice first. Fail first.
And keep on going.
So later this evening I will try writing a real poem. Then I will let it sit. Then I will change a word or two and look at it again.
Then I will get some ice cream, watch NYPD Blue, edit my novel, check Facebook, take a nap, then get back around to look at it again. Make it a part of who else I am.
Only then can I start to be a poet.
Today I am really overwhelmed with beautiful, fun, magical posts. Color! Poetry! Philosophy! You don’t have to follow them (although you will be glad you did), but go take a peek and see if you don’t come out with a smile on your face!
Each day…..is a little life…..Purplerays
Apple Blossom Breeze — Brenda Davis Harshman
Flows — My Monkey Mind
Dancing Birds – Make Art – Magic Happens
Miracle — All of It… — David Kanigan
Each Leaf In Its Own Time — Leaf and Twig
What Do You Yearn For? — Jan Beek
Not What I wanted to Hear — Walt Page
When I read this poem this morning it reminded me so much of a short story I wrote that I had to repost it. We all hope our dreams become our reality once we move along. Thanks, Walt, for the beauty of the written word.
Often when I sleep I dream I go to a place I call Night Dream Meadow Where the moon is bright And my heart is light And I listen to the voices of the night I walk through the meadow Following the path Leading me to the Rainbow Bridge Where I’m greeted by the dogs […]
I got a notice on Facebook today about this past post from a couple of years ago — and it’s fun! Here it is again…
It was the week before Christmas
And all through the house
The kitties were running
In search of their mouse.
They tore through the kitchen
And under the chair
Then disappeared down the hallway
As if never there
The stockings weren’t hung
I’m nobody’s fool
For all that’d be left
Would be shredded in drool
The doggies were eyeballing
The goodies I baked
They had full intention
of sharing my cake
The tree stood by waiting
for garland and lights
The statues and santas
Were stacked way up tight
Christmas cards were patient
For pen and for stamp
My list just kept growing
There under the lamp
I was cooking, I was cleaning
I was staying up late
Worrying about strudel
And empty Christmas plates
The kitties were wrestling
And howling at night
They were drinking milk from glasses
And causing a fright
Then what to my wondering
eyes should appear
But a Food Network magazine
And a bottle of beer
The recipes flowed
Like snow in the hills
With last minute tips
For stove and for grill
On Candy! On Cookies!
On chocolate pecans!
The holiday planning
Had only begun!
Another beer or two
And I was planning gourmet
Pot-au-feu and remoulades
And salmon pate
After the six pack
The tree decorated itself
The dogs baked a meatloaf
With the elf on the shelf
The cats were all dancing
To Jinglebell Rock
The ornaments were hung
On the dining room clock
The beauty of Christmas
Shown brightly that night
My head did a spinneroonie
But that was all right
The turkey and stuffing
Could wait one more day
I took two more aspirins
And called it a day.
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!
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/
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.
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!
barks away night.
fusses and yowls.
One eye open,
I view the day,
push sleep away.
Tea and oatmeal,
I paint with words
and dust of fairies.
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.
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.
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/
Support your poets. Try writing poetry yourself. Your soul will thank you for it.
There was a time
The universe expanded before me
Choice was a luxury
Youth my companion
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
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
Claudia Anderson, 2013
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
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.
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.
I 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
Katzenworld ~~ Purrsday Poetry: The Cat on The Green Bench
Back Yards and Alleys ~~ A Closer Look
The Feathered Sleep ~~ Water
Leaf and Twig ~~ Buche de Noel
Business in Rhyme ~~ Poetic inspiration: Poetry is Art
Maxima ~~ Once We Meet
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
An ancient Chippewa tradition
The dream net has been made
For many generations
Where spirit dreams have played.
Hung above the cradle board,
Or in the lodge up high,
The dream net catches bad dreams,
While good dreams slip on by.
Bad dreams become entangled
Among the sinew thread.
Good dreams slip through the center hole,
While you dream upon your bed.
This is an ancient legend,
Since dreams will never cease,
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
I’d have great stories
with ambushes and
car chases through
city streets. I’d easily
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
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.
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.
Blur my perception of the past
Connection with my roots
Happened long after
My Irish mother
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
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
The 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.
* 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.
* 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?
There 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.
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.
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!’
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
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
So fill your glass with revelry bought
Whether water or wine it matters naught
Drink to love both present and past
And friendships made that ever last
Poetry by Claudia Anderson ©2015
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.
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.
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it makes me wonder.
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.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.
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.
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?
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.
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.
And she’s buying … a stairway … to heaven.
Lyrics — Stairway to Heaven. Led Zeppelin, 1971
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.
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.
You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.
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.
by Claude McKay
Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night,
As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,
And they, frail things had taken panic flight
Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn
To see them huddled together in a heap,
Each merged into the other upon the lawn,
Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
By night they stealthily had stol’n away.
Find more poetry from Claude McKay at http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/claude-mckay
Find more images of real snowflakes at SnowCrystals.com
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.
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.
And so the usual becomes unusual. Or is it the other way around?
Never underestimate the beauty of nature. She will fool you every time. She doesn’t need golds and yellows and reds to be breathtaking.
A step back into time, or a step forward — these magnificent entities will be here long after you and I are merely memories.
Sunlight, Rain, Shadows. They forever endure.
Of course, Joyce Kilmer said it best:
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
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
“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
I’ve always loved that quotation. Full of imagery, full of chances to make magic. So many imagery paths to choose. But which one?
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 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.
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.
The more I see the intricacies of the world, the more I am amazed. Astounded.
See more microscopic visions at www.sandgrains.com. You will be amazed, astounded, and humbled too.