Thursday, August 30, 2018

Going Going Gone! (Midweek Prompt!)

The other day I was trying to remember various poems that I had once memorized.  (Agh.)  

I typically picked poems to learn that I liked very much; I also went for factors such as rhyme and meter as these tend to serve as mnemonics. 

When I was thinking through these old favorites, I was struck by how often they began with a “going.”  (Not necessarily a leave-taking, but simply some kind of movement.)  As in:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made,
Nine bean-rows will I have there, and a hive for the honey bee
And live alone in the bee-loud glade. 

(From The Lake Isle of Innisfree, by W.B. Yeats.)

Let us go then you and I
when the evening is spread against the sky
like a patient etherized upon a table.

(From The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot.)

As I walked out one evening,
walking down Bristol Street,
the crowds upon the pavement
were fields of harvest wheat.

     (From As I Walked Out One Evening, by W.H. Auden.)

I went out to a hazel wood
Because a fire was in my head
And cut and peeled a hazel wand
And hooked a berry to a thread.

     (From The Wandering Aengus, by W.B. Yeats.)

Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil’s foot, 

    (From Song: Go and Catch a Falling Star, by John Donne.)

What I realized is that “going” is a very common jumping off point for a poem; poems from the Odyssey and The Canterbury Tales on down often describe some kind of journey--be it a journey across the world, out to your garden, to the far side of the moon, or into your own heart. 

So, poets, your prompt for the day--should you choose to participate--is to use the trope of “going,” however that may go down for you as some kind of jumping off point for your poem.  You do not need to use the word “going” in your poem and you do not have to write in the present, past or imperative sense (although you probably will use one of them.)

For extra points, although we all know that the game of poetry doesn’t really keep score, think of writing a poem that someone might memorize and that won’t immediately “go” out of their consciousness--i.e. consider incorporating rhyme, meter; also keep it relatively short! 

I hope you are all well!  I am sorry to have been so absent from the blogging world and am grateful to Kerry for allowing me to remain as part of the group. 

The pictures such as they are are mine. You are free to use them, all rights are reserved and please credit Karin Gustafson.  Thanks! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Tuesday Platform

Patrick Hendry, Unsplash

Autumn Day

Lord: it is time. The summer was immense.
Lay your shadow on the sundials
and let loose the wind in the fields.

Bid the last fruits to be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now will not build one
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long
will stay up, read, write long letters,
and wander the avenues, up and down,
restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.  ~ RainerMaria Rilke

The time is almost here when Autumn's sweet breath serenades the land, when begrudging leaves blush and hills turn a shade of gold and red. I have been in love with Autumn ever since I can remember. Greetings poets, wayfarers and friends it's a lovely day here in Kuala Lumpur and I am looking forward to reading poetry with a cup of coffee.

If you have any thoughts to share, ideas you wish to release into the wild or a world view to express then you have come to the right place. Please share a poem of your choice and enjoy the company of your fellow scribes.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Let's Eat!

Weekend Challenge:  Let's Eat!

Hello Fellow Toads. Let's trade some tales of the best ever bugs, flies, and crickets we have eaten. Some of you may be aware that at one point in my several incarnations, I was a chef - matriculated at the CIA, worked under some good chefs and finally became a chef.  Therefore, one of the things I always ask people is, "What is the best meal or food you have ever eaten?"  It doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to have been the best thing YOU have eaten.  For example, one of my favorite meals was eaten with a coworker after a long hard night's work. The meal consisted of chicken salad from one of those plastic tubs on a hot dog roll, a couple of oreos and the crumbs from the bottom of the potato chip bag.  It was all she had at the time and it was good!  The company made it special, you see. Tony said, "You learn a lot about the person you share a meal with."

I have traveled all over and have memories of some special meals in special places - Lyon, Hong Kong, London, my hometown of Durham, NC.  One of the people I admired most in the world was Tony Bourdain.  He traveled, he ate.  He was fearless in the food he tried and I don't think he ever met a food he didn't like.  He did the Parts Unknown series on CNN and one of the best segments he did was in Manila.  Here we see Tony at his best - fun loving, sentimental, honest, eating with people who love to feed people, and children off the street.  I am including this segment which shows that the food doesn't have to fancy and gourmet, it just has to be eaten in the company of fellow food lovers.  It is the segment on Halo Halo (hollow hollow or mix mix) which is a Philippine street food.  He happily shares it with children on the street.  You can tell he is truly loving the experience.

What I would like you all to do is to write a free form poem about the best food you ever ate, the best meal you ever had. I would like you all to keep it brief please - No more than 20 lines and in a free form - meaning no form is allowed: no sonnet, no ode, no haiku, no haibun, no cherita, sonnet, etc.….I want the form to be footloose and fancy free. Travel with us and share with us your meal. Walk with us and talk with us.  Have fun with this prompt.  Tell us about the food, the ingredients, the drink, the company.  Let us in on your pleasure in a meal well eaten.  And watch this short video clip.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

On the edge of starry night ~


E.E. Cummings was born on October 14, 1894, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His style universally portrays different types of structure which adds interest and creativity into his poetry. He uses four different facets of form and structure which are: choppiness in sentence length, spacing and punctuation, overall poem length, and shape. As I was going through some of Cummings's poems, I came across one that completely blew me away:

The Hours Rise Up Putting Off Stars And It Is

the hours rise up putting off stars and it is
into the street of the sky light walks scattering poems

on earth a candle is
extinguished the city
with a song upon her
mouth having death in her eyes

and it is dawn
the world
goes forth to murder dreams….

i see in the street where strong
men are digging bread
and i see the brutal faces of
people contented hideous hopeless cruel happy

and it is day,

in the mirror
i see a frail
dreams in the mirror

and it
is dusk on earth

a candle is lighted
and it is dark.
the people are in their houses
the frail man is in his bed
the city

sleeps with death upon her mouth having a song in her eyes
the hours descend,
putting on stars….

in the street of the sky night walks scattering poems.

Our frame of reference is the last line of Cummings's poem. Choose your own form or write in free verse, if preferred. I look forward to reading what you guys come up with. Please do visit others and remember to comment on their poems. Have fun!