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.




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