How Long must it wait

It’s been way too long since I’ve visited my blog spot. So many other things keep me occupied — contests with state poetry contests, selling books on Amazon, flea markets, my antique mall space — and family. But that’s no excuse. Right now, I’m so dismayed and discouraged for this country’s future. Our congress does not seem to be for the people. Some of them, yes — but not so many.

However, our vision – our concentration should be on God because He has a plan. Learning to trust is a hard go at times. I want to be in that mind-set.

Went to a couple good classes at Oregon Christian Writers one day conference. Met with friends – a good time. Moved my spot in the Lafayette antique mall – better case – better location. pleased with that. And in the midst of sending in more contest entries. Will have poems in several anthologies this fall such as: Red Earth Revisited, a lovely coffee table type book, There’s This Place I Know. This book features photos from vacations and such — plus a short write up about why you liked the place. It’s quite attractive. So I want to send more to that market.

And meanwhile I’d like to be able to furnish cover photos for persons doing their own chapbooks – this would be at a moderate one-time use fee.

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LATE/EARLY

Couldn’t sleep – back hurting and mind won’t quit. Working on the Kentucky State Poetry Contest. Due the end of this month. Have had a few things published online and in print. Today read website at Highland Park website (jennifer@highlandparkpoetry.org.) = the theme was Dreams. I have one poem in that listing. Also received by email the website for Diplomat (Wanda Parrott, Senior Poets) She had created a poetic form named pissonnet (piss-o-nay).  It is 14 words format – title – Line 1: 3 single syllable quartets — words 1 & 4 and 2 & 3 rhyme; Line 2: 2 word single-syllable rhyming couplet (punch line).

Sounds hard but once you get the hang of it – not too bad – unfortunately not many people entered this poem which was a Tom Withers’ Angel Without Wings Memorial contest. I want to try more of these as it’s unusual. Makes you think.

Here’s mine for example:  SAD END  … Man thumps, jumps span; deer leap, keep clear; gun pops, stops run. Kill hill.

Fun, huh? I think there were a couple other wins this month — however, one cannot dwell on the past – each day brings a new BLANK page to write upon. So, let’s keep writing.

Remembrance Day

Grandson Morgan and I drove to Redmond Cematary to place a rose on brother Norman’s stone  – Norm was serving on the U.S.S. Fox submarine out of Oakland when he died in a car accident. He was only 22. We miss him still. My little brother – who I didn’t pay enough attention to (I was the big sister and had to kid-sit younger bro and sister.) Now my sis lives down the street – it’s a wonder she still speaks to me – we’re different as ever was — and I was a mean big sister.

but we’ve had much fun over the year s- two of our boys were best friends (hers and mine) – they talked without talking  knew each other’s mind seems like. Family is the greatest. (but no one wanted to play them as a team in Pictionary — they’d make one line and guess it. (and they didn’t cheat) )

Right now trying to compile contest chapbook material. Have a title “Dancin’ With Words”. since the last chapbook I did was “Dancin’ Thru’ Puddles.”

Enjoy the sunshine – we finally have some – and pray for those poor folk in Okla and Texas with tornadoes, flooding, etc. I don’t know how they pick up and start all over. it’s inspiring.

Easter Sunday and white stuff falling

We’ve had little snow this winter – but today (spring by some standards — when kids want to hunt eggs in the yard) snow is falling – even tho temperature is high for snow.

Marvelous church service – several were baptized, including couple younger kids — their parents helping with the event. It was grand and holy.

Of late I’ve entered so many contests, I have truly lost count – but challenges present themselves every day. Just recently discovered Galaxy Verse. Joining this group allows you to be published in their anthology and enter their contests free. I sent in poems for eleven categories — two more to go. Pennsylvania contest netted a first prize — with a poem I’ve always loved. Perhaps when we finish a poem and say “ahhhhh” it could mean that it’s a winner somewhere. Wyoming poetry society newsletter used two of my poems in their newsletter  — again one was a favorite.

However, two flash fictions were accepted – stories that presented a fun challenge. The idea was to start first sentence with “A” and continue each sentence with the next letter of the alphabet. It was great fun. Another challenge was the pissonnet (pisonnay) poem. Look it up — try it.

This is poetry month – celebrate your poetry on April 15 – share poems with your school, a care facility, in the cafeteria at work — somewhere. Introduce those who think poetry is ancient and boring to something fun. Humor works well — and poems that ring true for everyday life.

And keep accepting challenges whenever possible.

THE WORD IS OUT

In spite of 3-5 inches of snow last week, we’re heaing that Spring is on its way – soon. Every night we’re below freezing, glad for the morning wood fire, but then daytime is warm and sunny. Trust it kills off all the fleas and such outside. Our pup dog can’t go outside for couple more weeks as he hasn’t had enough shots — and we have so many wild animals around here. Including the deer that come by daybreak or dusk to nibble — and leave piles of little pellets.

McBailey is learning – it’s a slow process being trained – but we have hope. Meanwhile I sent off the national contest and now to finish Mississippi contest by March 15…only a few days left. Hoping and praying. One blessing of the national contest – I typed up many of the rough poems I’d had in files. Hope to do much more of that. There is some meat on their bones.

Little money comes my way but there are perks. Just received a copy of the flyer that was posted with art work on Pace buses in the Highland Park Illinois area. Really neat as I love this poem — “Save That Smile” – I hope it was an encouragement to someone who rode that bus.

Since spring is popping out the croci in our turnaround…and showing the spears of daffodils, think toward spring and summer poems…there will doubtless be calls for them. A spring-feeling poem of mine was used in the Wyoming newsletter last year (did I mention I belong to 15 difference state poetry societies — a big plus). The poem was called: Butterflies (not too original a title, but…)

BUTTERFLIES

Barefoot, we race across a meadow

chased by clouds of butterflies. Our arm

shadows skim across tall grasses. They

pump, windmills churning paths before

us, butterflies quickly fill voids

we leave in evening mist.

A large, lone monarch flits against

my glasses, sticks there, peers

into my brain wth surgical vision.

Does he see fear — panic that I’ll

wallow on bright wings, choke

on his feelers?

Abruptly I slide him off, but stop

to see if he can still fly. His brilliant

wings and body lie still, until, I swear,

a score of his friends carry him away.

 

PUP DOG

Yup – we’ve contracted for a pup. McBailey is his name. We’ll probably pick him up early next week, far’s I know. We’ve dog-sat the mother many times and she has good disposition.

As everyone else in the world I know, we’ve been busy with many projects. Retired? what does that mean? This morning mailed a submission to Naugatuck River Review.Have never won there before – but there’s always the first time. Upcoming is selection of work for the National Poetry Assn – an enormous task. Thousands enter this contest – last year I won one prize  I believe.

I continue to try out new forms – did some Fib poems – worked on a “blackout form” and line poems, plus a form I can’t spell. Lots of fun. Around the 20th March will lead a poetry workshop at the Writers Weekend at the Beach (great small friendly conference – I recommend you look that one up). It’s held at the Methodist Camp Ground in Ocean Park  – this will be our 23rd year. Imagine! There is a website.

Like to share a couple (very) short poems from Sir Charles Keppel, an older poet, so sharp and pointed in three to five line poems. He’s gone now but his poems live on. “COUNTERPART” Uncanny, the way of a mirror — All my parts in reverse — A stranger to myself.  “RESISTANCE” Just hanging on at 91 — Wondering some mornings When, bleary-eyes, I stagger to my feet, How I can cope with another day.  But that indefatigable Workaholic of a heart of mine Leads an independent existence.

“Implosion” Letters explode into words, Words into sentences…Then there is the gentle art…Of somehow making sense.  “!!!” Three periods whooping it up — Such excitable little fellows!

Try some three line poems. Think in terms of short and pithy, meaning that hits home, but doesn’t linger. The following poem of mine was sold many times — RAISE THE SHIELD.

The attack begins. I start to run. “Lord

it’s too much,” I cry. I scramble

for a place to hide

until temptation’s past.

“The Shield. Raise the Shield,”

the Spirit urges. “Those fiery darts,

aimed at you, may strike another

if you duck.”

Another form I tried this week was one word lines, tops two words. This makes an interesting effect. Whatever you do — don’t be afraid to experiment.

 

 

 

AND THE DEER CAME

The deer came this morning again — usually at daybreak or dusk – eating bird food from the picnic bench and up on the porch, the picnic table. Surprised they like that stuff – but there’s not much green around for them. Finally took down the Christmas tree – really hate to do that – it was a lovely tree, even tho it fell over twice in one day, breaking some old ornaments. Now it’s burned up and ornaments packed away.

Working hard to catch up on poetry contest submission and new ideas. It’s a task I love, but a task nonetheless. Tomorrow taking day off to shop the library book sale – hope to find gems.

As I’ve mentioned before, I like trying new forms of poetry. One recent form (a doozy) is Dimished Hexaverse. Horrible sounding form – but not all that hard once you concentrate on it. I want to do more of those — and of the Fib form. Also a fun one.

The Dim. Hexaverse if 5×5 syllables, next line 4×4, next, 3×3, next 2×2, and 1×1

Here is one attempt:

THREATENING

Every night downtown

buildings frown deep

move closer

windows

glare

 

Try your own — and do attempt new forms. One I recently wrote and sent it was taking one word from various places – newspapers – poetry books, etc. Take up to 10 words, then use all of them in a poem. Another was collecting actual headlines from newspapers – then constructing them into a poem. Have fun. I’m exciting about a more difficult poem I want to do, incorporating a comparison to Vivaldi, the composer.

FULL BUSY SEASON – FULL HOUSE

We’re had full time busy at this house – but it’s been fun. Our youngest and his wife with new baby, four kids; dog with four new puppies – rabbits at h ome in their trailer, etc. have been visiting us – and at last we got snow. I’m very very glad – something I prayed over. Lots of meals and dishwasher always full – plus clothes dryer for the snow clothes.

So wonderful to have this foot of snow that is staying for them to play in. We had 14 below zero the other night and only 2 below last night – so the snow stays. Husband and son take turns pulled in the kids on sleds behind tractor. good time by all.

Now youngest, his coz and family are visiting – last night we had new year’s party – great fun. AND I got to take a nap today. felt wonderful.

now back to real life. Happy New Year. May it bring blessings to all

CHRISTMAS ONLY 4 DAYS, RAIN CONTINUOUS

Rain – when it should be snowing. Grandkids having to stay in the house – discouraging for sure. They keep entertained pretty well — and there’s been some package shaking (quite normal of course). Still not done with the wrapping. One of my least favorite things to do.

Also doing a few poetry entries. One problem many writers face is FEAR. Not wanting to submit their work for fear there is such competition, someone will make fun of their work, they don’t measure up. Well, you get the picture. And it’s a real fear for sure.

For example, here in Oregon, I don’t measure up to the literary marvels of local societies. They are miles ahead and above my head as well. However, I win prizes often in other states and my work is used in anthologies frequently. There is always hope.

A poem of mine that was used in a small publication — and in one of my chapbook sums it up…

BUGLAR

If I would hold tight to my muse

and not drift yon and thither,

my poems would stand up to abuse.

I’d not be in a dither.

 

But humbling comparison

to master Bards of verse

have kept me hiding in my den,

my muse gone sad to worse.

 

So, if I had some choice advice

for eager, struggling poets:

To hesitate spells your demise.

Dust off your horn and blow it.

Meanwhile, I pray that all of you experience a wonderful Christmas time as we remember the gift that God sent to us at Christmas time in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ.