Thursday, June 28, 2012

Amelia Earhart

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.-Amelia Earhart

My adventure of writing poetry met up with Amelia Earhart's adventure of trying to circle the globe in late 2009. I had been writing regularly for only a few months when I went to see the movie, Amelia. I ended up writing two poems that were inspired by the movie.

July 2 will mark the 75th anniversary of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. Another search for the remains of the airplane and other artifacts is scheduled to begin.  Will one of the greatest mysteries in American history finally be solved?

Related links:

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

The Earhart Project

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Golf-Poetry in Motion

Well, it can be! Golf is a game of tempo and timing. The ball is just sitting there waiting to be struck. So why can't a player hit it perfectly everytime?

Like Yogi Berra said about baseball, golf "is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical." There are distractions like noise, the sun in your eyes, the wind in your face and the beverage cart creeping into your peripheral vision.

Like writers, golfers are rarely satisfied with their efforts on a given day. If I'd made that short putt on No. 3, missed the bunker on No. 8, made it over the water on No. 11, stayed in bounds on No 12 and made a hole-in-one on No. 14, I'd have shot my best score ever!

Like writing, golf draws you in. No matter how poorly you are playing, you always hit at least one shot that makes you want to play again. That's because if you can hit one shot like that....


Fairways and greens
Fairways and greens
Hit the ball
those two places.
How simple it seems!
But, I see the trees
and the rough and
the sand and
sometimes there's
water that snakes
through the land.
Of course, the biggest
hindrance of all
is the way I actually
swing at the ball.

Let me know if you're a golfer or if you have some other obsession besides writing.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guest Poet Timothy Pettet

I am pleased to welcome my first guest poet, Timothy Pettet. I met Tim through The Writers Place. I have had the pleasure of hearing him read some of his Zero and Mona poems accompanied by music. I'll let him tell you the story...

Timothy Pettet decided to give himself a coming out party as a poet in the summer of 2000. He had been writing poetry since he was 18 or so but didn't regard himself as a poet until he was nearly 50 years old. His work has been published in several regional literary journals. Three of his poems from his narrative cycle about Zero and Mona will be appearing in the next issue of Coal City Review. It was in an effort to get a painter to participate in his coming out party that he met Jane Booth, who became his mentor and muse. The Zero and Mona poems came out of their dialogue about color and language, and Tim has written several poems in response to her painting. This painting is titled, "Adding Cream" and appears on Jane's website. The poem became known as "An Alchemy of Light" when it earned the honor of having music developed to accompany the poem. A melody by Nick Baker was adapted by Prometheus Unbound Ensemble. The poem's original title is "The Magic of Glass" and was developed in conversation with stained-glass artist, Viviane Faulkner. All rights to painting and poem are reserved.

An Alchemy of Light                        

The Magic of Glass

Added to sand,
liquefied by fire
and cooled to glass,
salts of copper
glow green
like the drapery of leaves
on a fisherman’s stream.

Salts of gold,
mixed with sand
and melted to flow
across the span
of invisible panes, flash
like the side of a rainbow trout.

Salts of cobalt
cool to the blue
of patience, allowing
the wiggle and glimmer
of a lure on the surface
to be enough – satisfaction
in the dream of the catch.

Timothy Pettet

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Writing about Reading

 I began reading my poetry (out loud and to other people, that is) fairly early in my life as a poet. After I started writing poetry in 2007, it took me about two years to start to write regularly. Shortly after that happened, I decided I should attend an open mic. I saw a notice about an open mic called the Salon at The Writers Place and decided I would give it a try.

The Salon is affectionately referred to as 4th Monday because that is when it is held. Sharon Eiker hosts this event, welcomes everyone and encourages the sharing of artistic works of all genres. I was so terrified that first 4th Monday that I could barely tell Sharon my name. If I could actually remember reading, I would say the words came out pretty shaky; but they did come out.

Readings have introduced me to new people and new places. Recently, I wrote a poem about some of the places in Kansas City at which I have read a particular poem. This was my theme poem for a very special reading. The Crystal Field Scholarship Reading is an annual event in Kansas City and raises money for the scholarship, which is awarded to a creative writing student at the Unversity of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC). The 2012 theme was Journey.

Traveling Companions

My poem is a traveler,
a midnight reveler.
It's been out on Halloween
and marveled at the party scene.
It has found the neon lights
and the city's famous sites.
It went to the building, Bloch,
when Romare's prints hung on the walls
and echoed through the halls.
It wandered down to 18th and Vine,
stopped at the Blue Room
and had a great time.
My poem is a traveler,
but fortunately,
it never goes anywhere.
without me.

I welcome any stories you want to share about doing readings or why you don't do them.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

The Art of Sharing

The awards ceremony for the 2012-13 Rocket Grants Program was held yesterday. This program was launched in 2009 by the Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City MO and the KU Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence KS with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The grantees involve 24 artists, comprising three individual projects and seven collaborative ones.

I am a member of a writing group called Vox Narro, which received a grant for a project called "Tell Me A Story." Most of the members of the group were able to attend the ceremony.  We already had been notified that we received the grant; but, to me, there was something special about sitting there, hearing our names called and actually receiving the grant. I liken it to the difference between knowing you will be receiving a gift and actually opening it. Our gift is now open and we get to start using it!

After the grants were distributed,  artists and collaboratives gave short presentations about their projects. I had read about the projects, but hearing about them from their creators was a whole new experience. Each shared a little history and the goals of the project. More than that, all shared their creativity and enthusiasm.

Two grantees from 2011-12 made presentations about their recently completed projects. This was a look into the future, a preview of what could be accomplished.

Click here for a list of all the 2012-13 projects. For more information about each project, click on the project name.