Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Toads in Tandem with Kerry and Lolamouse

"We grow accustomed to the dark..."

In dark nights, my breath grows weary
and my words turn to stone
on sleepy lips, as I enter
daring the high sky town.

I press the stars against my lips
my wishes kiss skies deep;
a loyal friend, the darkness holds
my secrets in its keep.

There are many forgotten rooms
locked upon old despair:
my spirit fingers work the keys,
caught up in knotted hair.

I dare not speak beloved's name
for fear the gods will hear
Though petals plucked from flowers fall
and silent pleas they bear.

Secrets may perish on the tongue,
red leaves wither to white,
but in my dreams your voice calls clear
Love has no wish to hide.

But how I dream my spirit sings
a music true and fair
that need not whisper prayers in vain
and perish in despair.


The most difficult thing about collaborative poetry is finding the place where two completely different poets, with their own voices and styles, can start. We began with Emily Dickinson, or rather, with her words. I sent Sheri a word pool of over 100 words commonly used in Emily Dickinson's poetry, and three titles of her poems. Sheri suggested we go a step further and write in Emily Dickinson stanzas, in iambic feet (loosely applied on my part) and 8/6 syllable counts. We went our separate ways, having decided to write 3 stanzas each under the chosen title. When we regrouped, we were amazed to see how seamlessly our stanzas fitted together, and no, we are not saying who wrote which ones - that would defeat the purpose.  

We hope that you will enjoy our poem, written to celebrate a whole year of Real Toads magic, which has been about collaboration from the start.


Scarlet said...

Lovely work, Kerry and Sheri ~ I couldn't separate the work, but find it weaved beautifully ~

Cheers to you both ~

Hannah said...

Excellent collaboration!!!

These lines struck my poetic heart:

"my breath grows weary
and my words turn to stone
on sleepy lips,"

"I press the stars against my lips
my wishes kiss skies deep;"

Such a beautiful job of integrating your gifts ladies!! :)'s

Herotomost said...

Wooohooo!! that was a great collaboration, the seamless thing worked really good, the voices in unison painted a ethereal romantic quality that carried throughout. I like this tandem thing...shows off some really great talent. Great job you two.

Susan said...

Wow! First on the illustration which knocked my socks off and readied me for the poem--
Second on the poem held together on a subtle form that makes each image flow one into another so that just as I wanted to yell "Wait! how can silence keep God from hearing?"--your poem replied "but in my dreams your voice calls clear / Love has no wish to hide."

So, indeed, this room up there will not be empty and forgotten, not end in despair.

Exciting! Delicious! Thank you.

Laurie Kolp said...

Amazing, beautiful... and thanks for sharing your collaboration process.

Ella said...

Both of you have woven your talents into one unique voice~ This was amazing...I loved each line...
It captures a secret language from the past! Bravo :D

Other Mary said...

This is really lovely. I would never have guessed it's made up of bits from different authors. When you all collaborate wonderful things result! And happy anniversary!!!
Thank you :o)

Lolamouse said...

Thanks so much for your kind comments everyone! This collaboration thing is pretty cool!

Kay L. Davies said...

I can't tell who's who, which means you are both wonderful poets. Congratulations on this collaboration.

Mary said...

Together your words produced a piece of magnificent writing. It is really quite a feat to produce collaborative writing where you cannot tell who wrote what. The two of you have accomplished this. Rock on, Toads!

Mystic_Mom said...

Really cool, love how you did this! Wow.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Once the first 2 stanzas pass, I love how the "I" persona is identified in each 2nd stanza alternating with "my". Love that subtle shift! The special line for me is "Secrets may perish on the tongue..." A beautiful piece of poetry!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Many thanks to all who have stopped by to read this collaboration. I was amazed that having written our parts as separate poems, we could slot them together with hardly a need for adjustments. My thanks to Sheri, who was so enthusiastic about the whole idea, and really got the ball rolling. All I had to do was follow suit.

Margaret said...

Inner longings released only in slumber... Beautiful. I never would have guessed this was written separately!

Martin said...

This is magnificient! And seamlessly interwoven. My congrats.

Marian said...

very, very nice!!