Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Poetic Reflection Special: Zoe

Tell me about yourself?

As someone who likes to look at things in depth, this is a difficult question to answer, but here goes...
Once, under Perth's eternal sun, there was a girl who tried hard to fulfill the plan others made for her life. Then one day, she found love. First, the love of Christ, then a year later, the love of a good man. After this brief blip in the imposed order of things, she got back to the schedule, slotting a wedding into her science based career almost seamlessly. One day, the strain of trying to be someone she wasn't, became too much and she cracked, shed her career of veterinary surgeon and began to heal. Fortunately, her hubby came with her. They had 2 adorable children and she realized that she had always loved working with children. She trained to be a teacher. In the long process of healing, she realized that although she was always pegged as a scientist, her heart was that of an artist and poet, and that her soul yearns to find voice in verse and pigment. She is still finding that voice.

Tell me about your blog, the name, what does it mean to you?

I called my blog "Moonlight and Shadows" because the night has always held a fascination to me. Even deep in the city, I strain my eyes seeking the moon and stars, seeking the solitude of night's velvet warmth, and the gentle touch of night breezes in the moonlight. My poems initially fell into those two categories - beauty in nature and people around me, and a darker style of verse that I associated with the shadows. I think this is also a paradox in me - intense joy and beauty for the most part, but I have also experienced life's shadows and that gives me an insight into that pain and darkness in others too.

When did you start blogging?

Oh, I am just a newbie when it comes to blogging! I had begun tentatively sharing some of the 'Moonlight' category poems and the overwhelming response was that I needed to share them on with a wider audience. I thought blogging would be a good way to do that, and hopefully meet other poets who I could learn from.

Your first poem? Remember?

I did write some rather raw poems around 10 years ago, partly because of that time of healing, partly associated with my mother's death and the resultant events. But my creative 'awakening' really happened only 2 years ago, and found voice in two poems - one called 'Concerto in Rain Minor', which came from lying in bed and listening to a short summer storm in the night. The other was called 'Awakening' and tried to capture that incredible experience of feeling my creative soul start to come alive. I will include both poems below. :)

What are your writing inspirations?

The warmth of sun, glittering on the ocean, the whisper of leaves as they glimmer in the moon, the richness of the earth beneath the golden wheat and the cry of brilliant parrots as they flee before the storm....
The sense of wonder in a child's dance, the hooded mask of pain in a stranger's eyes, the agony of feeling a gulf stretch between two friends, the wordless sorrow shimmering in someone's tears...
The contrast between light and darkness in my soul, long dead voices that taunt me, the freedom offered to me by my Lord, joy, pain, faith when it's easy and faith when it's hard, healing, brokenness, and above all, hope.

In terms of literary inspirations, I cannot honestly identify one author who has inspired what I write. As quite a musical person, I have long enjoyed works of fiction where lines have a sense of rhythm to them, a 'vibe' or certain something in their flow. Authors like Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, the Aussie poet, Bruce Dawe. Authors that draw on intense sensory descriptions and depth of character, like Chaim Potok, Erica Bauermeister.

How do you define poetry as “Good”? Do you revise your work?

I adore poetry that uses vivid imagery, or clever irony to invoke emotion. I also love poetry that just has a wonderful rhythm threaded through strong statements or images, but always, always, I seek depth - of imagery, emotion, character or thought. Having said all that, I do not have the skill to define what makes a poem 'good' - either with my own work or that of others. I just prefer to think of poems in terms of what sings to my own heart.
Regarding revision - well that is something I find hard to do. I tend not to revise at all, unless a line isn't quite hitting the rhythm that feels right to me for it.

what's your plan for your future writing?

At this stage, my plans for the future are simple - to keep writing and developing this talent the Lord has given me. I have a feeling He isn't finished with my poetry yet, but I simply don't know where it is going. I have had suggestions that I should write music to go with some of them, I have experimented with painting to illustrate poems, and I have even been told several times that I should publish a book, but who knows what the future holds?

Why do you support Jingle Poetry Community, including Jingle Poetry @ The Gooseberry Garden?

I so enjoy the community at Gooseberry Garden - what a blessing to have found a group of poets that are both good poets and lovely people! Here is a place we can all grow together, and watch this wonderfully diverse garden develop and produce some very succulent fruit! I wonder what this year's crop will bring...

So, here is to fine verse, good community and an exciting journey as we write together!

Concerto in Rain Minor
The wind hums with pre-concert chatter,
back and forth amongst the gum trees.
with a sudden swelling, it dies down
to silence, awaiting the first notes.
Softly, a drop here, a drop there,
the concert begins.
I lie curled beneath warm blankets,
listening to this impromptu orchestra:
Firm beats on the tin roof, softly echoed in the trees,
each drop clear and crisp, playing through the night.
I cherish each note as it swells with the breeze,
slowly crescendos and stills once more.
In my mind's eye, I see the applause
of dry earth, drinking in each beat
savouring each note that drips from the trees.
As the rain passes, the sun rises,
and each leaf sparkles in
memory of its melody.

Sun-warmed limbs,
Blissfully unaware
Do I dare
To wake the dragon….
Salt kissed air,
Swooping and soaring high,
Cobalt sky
To ride the dragon…
Bejewel’d eyes,
Awakening fast
What a blast!
To rouse the dragon….
Fearless heart,
Uncluttered, storm cleansed sight -
At last… flight!
To be the dragon…