Thursday, January 31, 2013

Everyday Inspiration

Where do you look for inspiration? The moon and the stars? Mountains and oceans? Major events like births, deaths, weddings or graduations?
Writers are encouraged to write everyday, but are we willing to write about the everyday? The commonplace. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. A cup of coffee. The drive to the grocery store.
I couldn't write poetry regularly until I began writing about the everyday. Then a funny thing happened. The everyday became special. I could write about routine things because I took note of them and saw detail I hadn't paid attention to before.
How many of you have had the experience described in the following poem? 
I scrutinize
the rectangle
in my hands.
It doesn’t
look worn.
I grip each end
and give a little tug.
Make sure all
the corners lie flat.
Face the top of
George’s head
to the left,
just like in
the picture
near the slot.
The machine
starts to take
the dollar in
but spits it
back out.
I have
no other
to use
in its place.
What everyday experiences have you written about?
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday Photo-Modern Life

What image do you think represents modern life? For me, it's the keyboard. We use keyboards to type emails, text messages, to do lists, social media posts and documents of all sorts. We carry them with us, like we used to carry pens or pencils.

Thanks to Veronica Roth for this week's Wordsmith Studio Photo Prompt-Modern Life. Take your own photograph of modern life and share it in the comments at the link above.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Art from Art

In November 2009, I went to the luminary  walk at the Kansas City Sculpture Park for the first time.  I stopped by George Segal's Rush Hour and was facinated by the docent's explanation of the process used to create the sculpture. So much so, that I went home and wrote a poem, "The Lost Wax Process."
Seven months later, I learned that I had written a piece of Ekphrastic Poetry and had joined in a well-established tradition of writing poetry inspired by visual art. Although I rarely set out to do so, I found myself writing ekphrastic poems regularly. Now, they are a staple of my poetry diet, both the ones I write and those that are written by others.
This week, I had the opportunity to be part of the opening of an exhibit at The Writers Place called "Art from Art".  It is an exhibit of ekphrastic works. One of the joys of being part of this exhibit is sharing space with friends who have been an important part of my journey with ekphrastics. The other is the diversity of the work that comes out of the simple concept of letting art inspire art.
Have you done any ekphrastic writing? Have you ever written a poem inspired by a family photograph? What about writing inspired by other art forms such as music, movies, plays or books?
You also might be interested in Beyonds Words, at the American Jazz Museum.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Photo-You Might Fly

How do you start?
Take the first step.
You could stumble, but
you might just fly.
Spread your wings and try.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Photo-Romantic

This week's Wordsmith Studio Photo Prompt is romantic. Like most of the stores, Rebecca Barray has us looking towards Valentine's Day. 
How about a little wine to go with that Valentine's Day dinner? Maybe you and your loved one will share a toast.
Why don't you fill in the shadows? Take a picture that says romantic to you, post it and share a link in the comments at the Wordsmith Studio website.
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Grief Support-Listening

Listening is an essential part of grief support. Why? Because talking is of major benefit to the person who is grieving.

It is important for people to tell the story of the person who has died and their own story-how they are feeling after the loss. In order to do this, they need to find people who will give them the opportunity to talk and be willing to listen.

There may be times when you are basically listening to them cry. This is extremely difficult, but again important because they need to be able to show whatever feelings they are feeling and feel comfortable doing so.

Other times, they may need to share stories, some of which you may have already heard. Be a good listener and, if the time seems right, share some of your own stories about their loved one.

Most of us spend time preparing what we are going to say when we talk to someone who is grieving. Instead, spend some time preparing to  listen.

I Won’t Tell You

I won’t tell you
how much
this loss will hurt
how lost
you will feel
how long
your grief will
seem oppressive
how often
you will feel
like you are on
a roller coaster and
want to scream
to get off
how many times
you will think
“I can’t wait to tell…
I won’t tell you
how your life
will change, but,
if you want to tell me,
I’ll listen.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Photo-Metal

Believe it or not, this tower is one of my favorite things to photograph on my morning walks. I took a new picture of it for this week's Wordsmith Studio Photo Prompt-Metal, provided by Rebecca Barray.
Early in the morning and during warmer weather, this is a great stopping place for birds. I've seen a lone bird sitting atop it desparately calling for company. I've also seen rows and rows of birds on several  levels.
I also like to take pictures of shapes. Break a single entity into different shapes or find shapes created by the positions of multiple entities. I love taking pictures of the various triangles, diamonds and other shapes visible in different portions of the tower.
It's not too late to join the fun!  Take a picture of something metal then go to the prompt and post a link to your photo in the comments.
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Another Look at the Clouds

I had a window seat on one of my flights during the holidays and took some time to look at the clouds. Looking at the clouds has become one of my favorite past times when I go on walks.

I took advantage of looking at them from a different perspective and found them to be just as interesting. I wish I had had access to a camera, but I didn't. Instead, I came up with this description:

Above the Clouds

Looking down on the clouds
we usually look up to see.
Some are so thick they
surely will stop us if
we try to fly through.
Others look like fog
obscuring the brilliant
blue sky that surrounds them.
We are swallowed by 
gray as we descend 
until we look up to
the clouds once again.