Wednesday, May 28, 2014

In Memoriam

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, 
but rarely admit the changes it has gone 
through to achieve that beauty.

Dr. Maya Angelou
April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Changing Tides

Changing Tides

The tide came in and
almost knocked
us off our feet.
We kept our balance.
The tide went out,
and left behind countless
pieces of broken shells.
I examined several
then decided I didn't
want any souvenirs.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Buried Lies

Buried Lies

Take your stance.
Dig in so
you won't slip.
Going back, cock
 your wrists quickly
then propel the
club head downward.
Ball and sand
 fly together.
It takes
a firm blow,
but we can
escape from
buried lies.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summer Reading-The Game's Afoot

The Game's Afoot

The solitary cyclist rode by
the Priory School as the
three students came out.
"Have you seen the
dancing men?" he asked.
"No," they replied. "Why
don't you ask Charles
Milverton Augustus?"
"He went to the empty house
to speak to the Norwood builder,"
Further up the road, the cyclist
 saw the noble bachelor
wandering among the copper beeches.
He was wearing his golden
pince-nez and examining
the blue carbuncle.
"Have you seen the
dancing men?"
"Yes, they went
to Wisteria Lodge to
entertain the Red-Headed League.
The creeping man says
this will be his last bow.

How many references to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes can you find? What tops your reading list this summer?

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Seaside Chat

Seaside Chat

The ocean is right outside
with a beach made for walking.
I take to it often, with
a notepad and pencil in hand.
I’ll be ready when the inspiration
comes, as I know it will.
The ocean begins to speak.

Where do you go to find inspiration?

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Reflections, snoitcelfeR

I love to take pictures of reflections. They are the two-fers of photography. For example, you can take one picture and capture buildings on opposite sides of the street. You also can get two pictures of the same objects in one frame, such as a tree and a tree standing on its head.

Thanks to Rebecca Barray for this week's Wordsmith Studio Creative Prompt-Bonus. Wordsmith Studio has Twitter chats every Tuesday. Join us at #wschat at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern time.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

What will Replace Letters as a Connection to the Past?

The Women’s Interstate Network

The letters written by the women in the family
kept them connected across the miles
 and through the years.
The points of origin were on each coast,
 in the desert and near the Great Lakes.
These were the epistles of Lil, Stelle and Jean,
Zena, Camille and Mary
and Ann, Em and Roxie.
They carried news of brothers and sisters
and their spouses and children,
of home and places never seen by the readers.
Some were written in the same Catholic school cursive.
The words spoke from the paper in distinctive voices,
 heard with the heart instead of the ears.
No matter how far the letters had traveled,
when they were read, the authors were
as close as the next sentence.

I read this poem at a reading at the Downtown Neon Gallery in Kansas City in January. I half jokingly asked the audience, "You do know what letters are, don't you?" I got the laugh I was seeking, but also some acknowledgement that my question wasn't that outrageous.

The letters Mother received from her sisters and sisters-in-law helped me get to know them and uncles and cousins, most of whom I saw only a few times in person. How many of you have read letters from your ancestors?

Letters written by prominent figures have allowed us to be privy to what they thought were private conversations. Here is a link to the first of the poet Ranier Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, that gives insights into his thoughts on writing.

Will blog posts, other social media posts or even emails reveal as much to future generations as letters have revealed to us? Are they as intimate? Do you have a favorite letter or collection of letters that has special meaning to you?

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Writers on Writing

I like to collect quotes on different topics. Things that resonate with me for various reasons. Of course, a number of the quotes I save pertain to writing. I decided to share 10 of those today:

...I write to keep in contact with our ancestors and to spread truth to people. Sonia Sanchez

Never keep a poem waiting; it might be a really good one, and if you don’t get it down it’s lost. Ruth Stone

I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering. Robert Frost

As soon as coffee is in your stomach, there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move…similes arise, the paper is covered. Coffee is your ally and writing ceases to be a struggle. Honore de Balzac

For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can. Ernest Hemingway

She was so much a writer that she didn’t need to put the words on a page—the world was her paper. Isabel Farhi about her grandmother Betty Friedan 

I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is more than living, for it is being conscious of living." Anne Morrow Lindbergh

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself. Charles Dickens

If  you read a great poem aloud--for example, “To a Skylark” by Percy Bysshe Shelley--and read it the way he set it up and punctuated it, what you are doing is breathing his inspired breath at the moment he wrote that poem. That breath was so powerful it still can be awakened in us over 150 years later. Natalie Goldberg

You need to know that your poetry muscles can get bigger. Nikky Finney

Do you have a favorite quote about writing?

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