Sunday, January 29, 2012

Poetry Picnic Week 24: Free Linking

Isn't it great to feel free? No constraints, no rules, no restrictions. This week, that is my humble offering. This is what I lay in front of you: a blank slate, an awaiting canvas. Fill our walls with words this week with no limitations on style or theme. My gift to you. Have fun!

Obscure vs. Graceful By Mr Blaque - Obscure vs. Graceful

Damn the world and all its wonders
Burn everything that stands
Destroying the barricades
Let my evilness through
Recognize the purity of death
Glorify all that is living
Watch the beauty of the earth
Rebirth of life shining
The aging enlightenment
From wonders that push through
Kill everything that moves
Having it beg for mercy
Because I’m absolute
Worship this idol
Of selfish greed
Let life progress
Smile at every waking endeavor
Allowing the passionate togetherness
Instilling a unified knowing
Of one’s spirited heart

The letter to Oz by Jennifer Ratcliffe

Fear is love
and there is nothing more ferocious than the creature herself.
Listening quietly and glazing politely
wishing crooked smiles on the windowsill,
enraptured fingers hovering over your desolate skin.
You lose your mind
it'll never come back,
not without the rats and worms.
Living with new memory,
speaking, running, understanding
loneliness and fear.
Fear the affair that casts your endless sleep,
how I wish the kitten would lick my wounds once more.
The empty pit of consciousness
I know that of wrong
but I wish it right anyway.

Grizzly Island Road by Steven Federle

Soft sky, blue and white
cloud swelling over low hills,
delta waters,
twilight sloughs
calling to geese and egret,
kingfisher and mallard
to lounge in waving reeds
as grazing cattle linger
in verdant valley.
Like a river the road flows
down to the sacred sea,
to the deep, living stream
of Earth.

The Huntress-TB by Crayfish

She traces my thought paths
through my thoughts and words.
She scours all my drawing
for footsteps unheard.
A silent hunter between dusk and dawn,
waiting in the wings to pour over scorn.

All Jokes Aside by Alex Dissing

are like tectonic plates:
sometimes they shift,
and when they do,
it shakes the ground
beneath you.
that this is just a simile, though,
because you can’t be at fault
for settling in the fault zone.

It’s only human that we fall in love,
but when we do,
where exactly are we falling from?

A relationship
shouldn't be a leap of faith,
it should be a grasp of the right hands.
The lovely mystery
is sometimes hard to understand.
My answer to my relationship riddle
is not ground-breaking,
it's just me.

As silly as it sounds,
we’re all looking for someone
who we can be comfortable with being silly around.

To submit your poetry entry, please use the InLinkz below. We'd be delighted to hear from you if this is your first (or second or third or millionth) time, so please don't hesitate to leave a comment below or to link back to us on your own blog.

Weekly poetry picnic starts at 2pm on Sunday and ends on 10pm on Thursday. Best wishes this week and happy poeming.

Theme for Week 25: Military, soldiers, veterans, or poetry dealing with physical, mental, and emotional healing…

Link your entries to both our blog and to Bradley’s blog at the same time, Thanks…
That’s for next week….

PS: Poetry for Wounded Warriors, Launched by Bradley A. Peraino

Please post your poems about the military, soldiers, veterans etc. here. (As well as any poetry dealing with physical, mental, or emotional healing,) It will be open all year. I do request that people stay respectful towards our nation and her heroes, leave politics at home and come armed with the love and compassion that our brave men and women so rightly deserve. Thank you for your participation and may God shine down upon our nation's true 1%, her Soldiers!

Anti-war, Politics, etc. will not be acceptable. My request from you is that you post a message with the link on your blog. There is no limit on the number of posts and the posting will remain open until December. I hope that you can help me with this project.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Poetic Reflections Week 24: Larry Meredith

Tell us about yourself.

My name, which I write under, is Larry Eugene Meredith. I live in Delaware with my wife of fifty years. Yeah, I’m old. I have three kids, several cats and very little money. I walk a lot and I write a lot.
Tell me about your blog, the name, what does it mean to you?
I have several Blogs dedicated to different subjects. Two are dedicated to my poetry. “Blossom and Weeds” are poems I wrote from 1954 through 1980. “Old Man and the Syllables” those I wrote since 1980, most of which are from the last decade. The title is a takeoff on Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea”.
My regular whatever-strikes-my-fancy Blog is “Drinking of Elder Men”. The title is taken from a poem I wrote called “Time II”, which contained the lines:

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men,
As if they exist.

Among other Blogs I keep up is “All the Monsters in My Mind” consisting of my short fiction.
When did you start blogging?
I began with a website in GeoCities sometime in the early-to-mid 1990s called, “Nitewrit’s Lair”. I don’t think the term Blog was in use yet. I began my current Blogs in 2008 with a Blog called, “Night Writing in the Morning Light” that I still do. It consists of essays on various Christian thoughts and Scripture. The title was based on Psalm 42:8.
Your first poem? Remember?
The earliest poem I have was called “Ballad of Peppy the Pup”, a parody of “Ballad of Davy Crockett”. I was 12 when I wrote. The earliest poems I have that weren’t parodies were written when I was 13:
The Goodbye Tango
Means it’s time to go.
The night has slipped away,
It is tapping the day.
The sun is up so
Play the Goodbye Tango
We have danced all night.
The dawn is rising bright.
Wasn’t it fun, though?
Play the Goodbye Tango.
The record player goes
With songs of prose
About love and romance
As through the dark we’d dance.
But all good things end.
The stars grew dim
And the moon grew low.
Play the Goodbye Tango.

The other one is “My Little White Lamb”, a country song. It was published a couple years after I wrote it and recorded a year after that. It went right to obscurity.

She came into my life

Like a little white lamb,

But she went out

Like a big roaring lion.
Why did she double-cross me
At the crossroads of life?
Why, oh why, did she leave me?
I will just walk along the streets
Alone and weary.
All alone in this world without her.
Or ending it down by the river
Because I feel so lowdown and blue.
Was I ever so down right untrue
Or unfaithful,
To her in our attempt at true love,
To make her sad, my little white lamb,
Or has love just flown like a dove?
When they lay me in that big cold coffin,
And when that black hearse starts on its slow way,
Then will you remember how I loved you
Right until that end, my dying day?
You came into my life
Like a little white lamb,
But you went out like a big roaring lion.
There on the doorstep you left me,
All alone and crying.

What are your writing inspirations?
I don’t know. That is a mystery to me. Everything and anything, I suppose. Writing just happens beyond my complete control. Some call it a gift; I think it is more a curse or incurable disease. Write I must, I can’t stop if I wanted to.
How do you define poetry as “Good”? Do you revise your work?
I revise my work over and over. I never feel completely satisfied with it. As far as what is “good” poetry…I think art is very subjective. It is a matter of individual taste. I believe these elements should be present to make a “good” poem. A sense of music to the lines. Take a shopping list: toilet paper, peas, bread, cheese, milk. It is a list, very flat. We can give it a sense of music by rearrangement: Bread, milk, cheese/Toilet paper, peas. So thought goes into construction and word use to give it a rhythm and musical quality. It doesn’t have to rhyme, just flow nicely off the tongue. Comprehension. I think a poem should be understandable. Understanding may not be easy, the reader might have to work at it, but in the end it should be understandable and not gibberish that just sounds pretty. Art should communicate. Meaning and purpose. The poem should have a meaning or a purpose behind it. It doesn’t have to be a profound meaning, but there should be at least purpose. If it is simple a description then that is the purpose.
When did you start writing poetry? Do you write fiction as well?
I began knowingly writing as writing when I was 10. I was performing material and co-publishing a newspaper by 11. I probably began writing poems from the start. Most my early poems were parodies of popular songs. I was also writing fiction and little plays, mostly comedy. I did stand-up in high school and incorporated some of my poems into my routines. I also did my first public reading of 26 of my poems when I was 17. I started getting stuff published regularly and often in the 1960s, both fiction, nonfiction and poetry. (I was paid for these things, too.) Two of my poems were included in an anthology of American Poetry in 1970.
Do you have a favorite author or poet?
My favorite poets in my youth were Edgar Allan Poe, whose work really got me interested in poetry; Edwin Arlington Robinson, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson and Carl Sandburg. I’ve enjoyed many other poets since. My early inspirational writers were Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, Evan Hunter, Henry Gregor Felson, Charles Beaumont, Sinclair Lewis and Ernest Hemingway.
Favorite quote?
“It is better to remain silent and be though a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” This has been attributed to different people. I always attributed it to my grandmother, but it really is a paraphrase from Proverbs.
Why do you support Jingle Poetry Community, including Jingle Poetry @ The Gooseberry Garden?
Because I feel it is important to have a place where poets can share their work with other poets and whom else might stop by to read. Poetry needs outlets in this world to keep it alive.
What’s your plan for your future writing?
Just to keep on doing it as long as I can.

Jingle Poetry at The Gooseberry Garden~ Poem of The Week ~Passing By C Rose

A poet  ‘On a mission to give a perspective of compassion to all things in this world’ using a unique ‘verb’ form of the key word ‘poetry’. The word ‘poetized’ became the attractive element in the style. I had come across the name but not read any verses. This special visit revealed a personality replete with creativity dedication, the love of sharing ideas and expressions above all inviting the ideas and thoughts of other writers to ‘share’ too. Lately a trend of ‘no comment attitude’ has  been noticed  across the web, which is not conducive to creative writing. Writers with poetic talent must come forward to inspire and as I read more about C Rose I found that her mission’ is to inculcate the love of writing and sharing’ which led me to select one of her poems for this week. Being a Teacher myself I was happy to note a special thank you note for her teacher and mentor. Nations who honor their Teachers are always successful.
The poem is deeply philosophical with a religious touch in the words ‘carried souls splash’.’Perforated borders’ a perfect poetical phrase, reflecting intense imagery of ‘life as a particle of dust, and the war stricken world on so many borders’ ‘dissecting’ cutting humanity to destroy  peace and end life. My choice of the week is …
Passing   by    C Rose                 
With  each passing
carried  souls splash
fingers  through the next
crossed  through rippled
inertia , experiencing
the  came and went
walking  the circumstance
of perforated borders
our  particles dissect
Flash Fiction and much more noteworthy expressions by C Rose on:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Poetry Blog Review: On Few Miles

A journey in words can go a long way. Engrossed in words, the journey may go for eons, yet we may feel like it has only been a few minutes. It may be a marathon, a hurdle race of millions of meters, yet at the end, if we ever reach it, it may feel like we’ve been traveling only a few miles. Today, I review the blog of a friend, my co-host here at Review Tuesdays, Someone is Special aka SiS. He’s called his blog Few Miles, and we’ll travel some few miles with him here today.

Saravana Kumar, writing under the pen name of SiS began his writing journey with a poem titled “Sorry” but he’s continued to pen down poems and stories which need no apologies. He’s woken up angels in his dreams, and the blog’s poems, he says, are inspired by the dream girl. Given his pen name by his sweet friend, he continues to use the name and with the words he pens, he tries to cross the many hurdles and critics to remain focused as a writer with myriad thoughts in his mind.

The blog Few Miles’ template has been edited by him, a simple look with a mix of orange, blue and the main background of white. The blog header has a logo “FM” that is also the Faison of the blog. The blog has a single sidebar to the right, and the sidebar houses a large assortment of widgets; from twitter contact buttons, to the award badges he’s won on various platforms, from archives and favorite posts, to the recent comments list and category cloud. The blog has, so far, got visits from more than a hundred different countries since beginning in October 2009, and has 242 posts to-date.

SiS is not a “particular” writer; in the sense, he doesn’t prefer a particular form, or genre for that matter. He writes what comes to his mind at that time, or depending on if a meme inspires him. If he feels unable to write, he’s willing to take breaks to refresh his muse. SiS likes to write for contests, be it poetry or prose and experiments with the same. His themes vary from causes to nature, but most of his readers would recognize that the theme that dominates the others is romance. He is a self confessed “romancer” and his stories have that emotional pull to it. Quite a few of his posts also revolve around cricket so I think he is a great follower of the sport as well. SiS writes regularly for memes, and is also the host of a meme called Room for Romance, a monthly meme with themes based on his favorite emotion.

Being a regular writer, his frequency of posting is high, and though is he is talented to hold the quality, depending on the frame of mind he is in; his posts do have a tendency to waver on that front. A positive point about SiS is that he takes critique well and works on his posts to get better as he writes. I’ve been reading him for a while now, and I’d say I have a lot of favorites from his posts to list out here. If any of you are very much addicted to romance in reading, I’d say his blog would be a drug to you. On a personal note, I’d very much say him to work on his determination, as I’ve known him to think of quitting when results are not going his way.

As a reader, I think the first thing I’d look at in a blog is the post. As a writer, I feel that I would also want my reader to read the post. In your blog, I find the sidebar assortment of widgets to be overwhelming. When the badges of winning entries you have had in competitions is present directly, the reader would be distracted to reading that instead (though it being there as a celebration of your success is quite understandable). If possible, try to declutch it somehow. Explore more themes other than romance in your long stories. Look to better yourself each time. I think you are good already, but still aim for the perfection that is elusive. A writer’s journey is always toward perfection, hence the reason for it being an endless one. Other than that, I’m quite happy as a reader to visit the blog. Keep going!

Glad to review your blog, and let me know how you found it, if you’ve found me wavering on some point. Cheers and have a lovely week ahead.

From the Review Tuesdays team here at Jingle Poetry Community,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thursday Poetry Forms (Poetry for Dummies) Week 24

Another week starts here at the Gooseberry Garden and I am CC Champagne, here to delve deeper into the murky waters of poetry forms with you.
A few months ago I caught a pretty bad cold with a fever and all the dizziness that comes with it. I was stuck at home, restless, having nothing to do, and stumbled on this post over at d'Verse Poets Pub for their Form For All about a poetry form called Pantoum. Before this day I had always claimed that there was no point in me trying my hand at formalised poetry, but in my mentally weakened state I decided to actually try to figure out what on earth it was all about, starting with the brilliant information provided by Gay Reiser Cannon in that first post.

The Pantoum derives from the Malay poetry form Pantun and its longer form of intervowen quatrains called the Pantun Berkait. From what I gather this form has developed in translation to the English language and made popular in the early 1800's by, among others, Victor Hugo and Baudelaire. I will not claim to completely understand this poetry form, but since it was my first ever attempt at proper formalised poetry and I found it truly inspiring, I wanted to share it with you. It is also interesting since it shows that new poetry forms are born out of old ones and then, with time, become old ones themselves. We should not be afraid to try, as our mistakes may be tomorrows' new poetry forms!

A Pantoum is
  • based on quatrains (stanzas or paragraphs of four lines each)
  • can be any number of stanzas, but always ends with the first and last line of the poem.
  • Plays with repetition of lines in a set pattern.
  • ABAB is the preferred rhyme scheme (first line rhymes with the third line, second line rhymes with the fourth line), but ABBA can also be used.
The scheme in which the lines are repeated looks like this:

1. (A)
2. B
3. A (or B)
4. B (or A)

2. B
5. A
4. B (or A)
6. A (or B)

5. A
7. B
6. A (or B)
8. B (or A)

7. B
9. A
8. B (or A)
10. A (or B)

9. A
3. B
10. A (or B)
1. B (or A)

I am sure some of you are probably wondering what on earth I am on about now, so to illustrate I thought I'd give a few examples, starting with Baudelaire's Harmonie du Soir (the apparent starting point for this madness) in translation by William Aggeler:

Evening Harmony
The season is at hand when swaying on its stem
Every flower exhales perfume like a censer;
Sounds and perfumes turn in the evening air;
Melancholy waltz and languid vertigo!
Every flower exhales perfume like a censer;
The violin quivers like a tormented heart;
Melancholy waltz and languid vertigo!
The sky is sad and beautiful like an immense altar.
The violin quivers like a tormented heart,
A tender heart, that hates the vast, black void!
The sky is sad and beautiful like an immense altar;
The sun has drowned in his blood which congeals...
A tender heart that hates the vast, black void
Gathers up every shred of the luminous past!
The sun has drowned in his blood which congeals...
Your memory in me glitters like a monstrance!
— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)
Another example, which is not really very Swedish of me to do (but I hope you will forgive my apparent pride), is my own first ever attempt at this form, 'When Mother Earth Shakes':

When Mother Earth Shakes
When Mother Earth in anger shakes,
no man withstands his human fate.
To her succumbs both love and hate!
How can she forgive us more mistakes?

No man withstands his human fate!
No matter what predictions man makes.
How can she forgive us more mistakes?
When faced with all our human hate?

No matter what predictions man makes,
her righteous anger we cannot sate!
When faced with all our human hate,
she rises up for all our sakes!

Her righteous anger we cannot sate!
She knows man’s care for her he fakes!
She rises up for all our sakes,
reminding us our world can’t wait!

She knows man’s care for her he fakes!
To her succumbs both love and hate,
reminding us our world can’t wait
When Mother Earth in anger shakes!
In any case I hope this has inspired you to have a go at this multifaceted form, where you will find that the challenge isn't only to repeat the lines correctly, but also to - somehow - drive the poem forward within the strict confines of the rules it is based on.

If you do feel like sharing a Pantoum with us here at the Gooseberry Garden, or any other poetry you have written, please join us at the Poetry Picnic Week 23, where the topic is New York Times' Headlines. A fantastic idea to keep us poets current and not just veer off into the poetic dreamland we sometimes inhabit. Another suggestion might be to join in the Thursday Poets Rally Week 61, where the engines have just started for this week. I hope to be seeing you back here next week, for more mind-crunching poetry forms.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Poetry Picnic Week 23: New York Times Headline Topics

A Photo Taken By The New York Times on Fashion and Style

Please enjoy some poetry and have fun in our party:

Your Art Matters By Chimnese  
This morning I picked up the paper,
Usually I read the financial section,
But instead I took a brief moment
To see the who’s who in the cosmopolitan
Of the New York Times,
I must say I have found a lot of things,
Especially on what’s happening
In the world of literature and modern art,
Sculptures and new books being released,
I have spotted that the Jewish Art centre
Is shifting identity,
The Judah L Magnes Museum has
Reopened as the Magnes Collection
Of Jewish Art and life,
And is also now part of the library
At the University of California, Berkeley,
I am so delighted that art hasn’t died yet,
Those historic monuments can be carried
Through generation after generation,
We stand to know that Art does matter,
That whatever we do in this life,
That our creativity will never
Be outnumbered that Art is timeless.

Smiles by  Shail  

Gathered from all over
In a glass jar
Happy, nervous, tearful, lopsided
Open, beguiling, sinister, guarded
Icy smiles that never reached the eyes
And warm ones that lit them up always
Smiles that opened doors
Those that shut them close
Smiles like sunshine on a rainy day
Like cool breeze on a hot summer day
Smiles protective like parasols
Others the impetus to face storms
Smiles that brought you to your knees
And those that made you swell with pride
Toothless and naughty
Seductive and haughty
Shy, reaching out
Bold, drawing in
Smiles shine like multi-colored pebbles
In my glass jar
Reminders of milestones
Of life’s journeys.

Love By WyomingDiva  

Do you remember
special rose-scented
I do...
mostly my own
Magical first dates
Hoped for engagement
Fairly tale marriage
Surprising birth of daughter
and adoption by her
true father, my husband.
All of our birthdays.
Even the dogs get
remembered in
our home.
The passing of those
dearly missed and
some not so much.
Cinnamon and brown
sugar contentment
permeates our lives.

Relied Upon by Robin  

accept it.
it moves through…
you don’t know what
will be
if you give up
on that fire that relies upon
nothing beyond itself for

Read New York Times yourself (see link below)  to find a topic to write about under certain headlines!

To Submit Your Poetry Entry,

Please use InLinkz below, and leave a comment in case it is your first time!  It would be awesome if you could link back to this post on your blog.

Weekly poetry picnic starts 2pm, Sunday, and ends Thursday, 10pm…Enough time for you to take the challenge, write about it, and share with us…

Flash Forward: Theme for Next Week-

Next Week we will have Free Linking, NO Theme, Heaven, Oh?

That’s next week,
Keep up the excellence.
Hope to see you share then!

Food and Style By The New York Times

Home and Garden


Foreign Relations

The Academy Awards Best Actor Brad Pitt

Happy Chinese New Year 
Best Wishes for the Year of Dragon!
Much Love!
Image Credit: