sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

600px-william_simpson_-_charge_of_the_light_cavalry_brigade_25th_oct-_1854_under_major_general_the_earl_of_cardiganWhat is a Mesostic? A Mesostic is similar to an acrostic, but the spine word (or words) run down the middle of the page rather than down the left side. The letters of the spine phrase are capitalized. The choice of words also follows certain rules: the next capitalized letter can’t appear between it and the next word, or sometimes both the capitalized letter and the next capitalized letter can’t appear.

Here is a short article on Mesostics:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesostic

Mesostic poems can thus be generated using an initial text (Oracle) and a spine word, most likely using a Mesostic generator program. Here’s a link to one:

http://mesostics.sas.upenn.edu/

and here’s some information about the project at the University of Pennsylvania that produced the program:

http://mesostics.sas.upenn.edu/about.html

Here is an interesting piece by Marjorie Perloff about John Cage’s Mesostics:

http://thebatterseareview.com/critical-prose/116-john-cage-conceptualist-poet

The following was generated from “Charge of the Light Brigade” source using the poem’s title as the oracle:

                      
                  in guns into ii the theirs Cannon
                                rigHt
                              them cAnnon to left of
                                 fRont of and stormed boldly they and of the
              their sabres bare as in air sabrinG
                                 thE gunners there charging
                           army while wOrld wondered plunged in the batterysmoke
            they broke cossack and russian reeled From
                                  sTroke sundered rode but not not
                            v cannon rigHt
                                of thEm cannon
                                 to Left of
                              them behInd at had of from mouth of
             left of six hundred vi when can their Glory fade o
                                wild cHarge
                                   They made all world wondered honour they made
                            the light noBle six
                                 hundRed
                                   I half a half a a onward the rode six
                           forward the liGht
                                  chArge for the
                             guns he saiD
                               into thE of left and through

You might think, “Everything’s up in the air. I can’t write.”

Or, “I’m so upset, I can’t paint right now.”

Or, “I’m moving and I’ve put all my supplies away. I’m not able to make anything.”

These are the times, during change, when it’s imperative to pick up the pen, the paintbrush, to sew, dance and make music.

In the past year there’s been lots of change in my life. I have a new boyfriend. There’s been a lot of family and friend drama. I’ve considered moving. On the world stage, there’s been a divisive election year followed by an even more chaotic post-election season.

hillary-clinton-donald-trump-drug-policy

I’ve had a hard time creating this year. It seems pointless to write and make things when I’m upset or angry. Is my creative work important during these changing times? I’ve decided it is. In spite of all this chaos, I’ve learned the basics of quilting, started a photography website Anne Westlund Photography and even wrote a few poems.

If nothing ever changes, we become stale and so do the products of our creativity. Rather than decry these “interesting times,” use them as fodder for your creative impulses. Utilize conflict and uncertainty as inspiration, subject matter, and learn to see the world in a new way, with “new eyes.”

That’s what we need, a new vision, not the “same old, same old.” So get creating! Much success to you!

daffodiills-1

NaNoWriMo &
Poetic Asides November 2016 
PAD (Poem A Day) Challenge

Time to gear up, stock up on extra Halloween candy, charge all your batteries, and get some sleep while you can.  It’s Lose Your Mind Month for writers and poets.

We have several post here about NaNo and the PAD Challenges we’ve done as a group, as well as individually.

National Novel Writing Month
(NaNoWriMo)

Write a completely NEW 50,000 word novel from scratch between Nov. 1 – 30, and load a gibberish version on the site for word count at the end. If you are a REBEL (me), you can engage in variations on the theme.

This year, I have two projects:

  1. my hubby and I are co-creating a shorter novel (novella length, maybe). His ideas and story design, with me making it into something cool, doing all the writing.
  2. Editing, fleshing out, and completely revamping a NaNo I wrote in 2008. The idea is to see if I can create a novel in verse, or at least extensively in verse.

Poetic Asides November 2016 
PAD (Poem A Day) Challenge

The Poetic Muselings are going to tackle the PAD Challenge again at Poetic Asides. Our goal is to gather our collected poems from the past few PADs, pick a dozen or so prompts we’ve all done, and come up with another book — with four versions of each prompt we select. Maybe more poems will be added, but we’re aiming to embrace our eclectically creative take on specific prompts.

Anne is posting her poems on her site, so check them out there:
http://anneisstaringatthesun.blogspot.com/

If the rest of us decide to use our own sites as well, I’ll add the links here.

Stay tuned for updates during November and after.

 

Michele

Here are three poems I wrote in response to photo prompts for F2k class at Writers Village University.  Writing a poem inspired by a photograph is harder than you think!

picture-prompt-1b

Of Frogs and Fishing

I’ve kissed a few frogs.

In the fourth grade,
warts on my hands
from kissing a boy,
no doubt,
his eyes bulging, croaking
hello in the halls.

The auto mechanic
who told me fish stories,
never kissed him.

Prince or pauper?

The newly divorced,
washed up on the beach,
flopping on the sand.
Yeah, I kissed him.

Plenty of fish in the sea,
or so they say.

The businessman who flashed
a fistful of credit cards,
enough for decent fishing gear.
I never kissed him.

Maybe it was the tin crown
that fooled me, the too shy
toad always just out of reach.
I kissed him.

Does that make me a princess
in a pink tutu, ever hopeful?

I’ve kissed
a few frogs.

picture-prompt-2c

Patriot

I believe in liberty,
justice, peace and plenty.

All that good shit.

The flag for which it stands.

And the Pursuit of Happiness.

You both get out of my way
before you get trampled.

And that guy, carrying that flag
on the beach, like it was yours alone…
and alone to bear.

These red, white and blue tennies
will leave marks on your back.

So get out of my way,
get out of my way.

picture-prompt-1c

Stacks

My bedroom,
shelves of notebooks
and books, both kinds,
hardback and paperback.

They could be the important
kind, history, philosophy,
politics, law.

Instead, fiction-old favorites
and new friends, cookbooks,
Astrology and travel books,
writing books.

The local branch
of the Westlund library.

Favorite Poems

djinns

Les Djinns is one of my all-time favorite poems.

Here is the poem (in French, of course)!

http://poesie.webnet.fr/lesgrandsclassiques/poemes/victor_hugo/les_djinns.html

Here is a link to someone reading it on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLQv4GgQX9A

Here are the first couple of stanzas in French:

Murs, ville,
Et port,
Asile
De mort,
Mer grise
Où brise
La brise,
Tout dort.

Dans la plaine
Naît un bruit.
C’est l’haleine
De la nuit.
Elle brame
Comme une âme
Qu’une flamme

Toujours suit !
Note the rhyme pattern, A/B/A/B/A/A/A/B

The form, both the line length and the rhyme pattern, contribute greatly to the effect of the poem. It’s extremely difficult to translate, but here is a link to one that stays pretty true to both the text and the form:

http://lyricstranslate.com/en/les-djinns-djinns.html

At one point I attempted to translate it myself but gave up in despair. Instead, I ended up with the following piece of nonsense:

lee_jeans

Lee Jeans

by Margaret Fieland

 

The real
report:
the meal,
in short,
a quart
of grease,
the teas
a tease,
the torte

,

is too plain
and not sweet.
They complain,
I repeat.
It is plain
it’s insane
to remain
here to eat.

 

The chef, you know,
who kneads the dough:
he had to go.
It’s quite a blow.
He stole the plants,
a big advance,
and all the pants,
when things were slow.

 

I hear him approach
I know it is he.
He sounds like a coach
or an angry sea.
I may be a fool
but I think it’s cruel
and not at all cool
to take things and flee.

 

So I went down the hall
to see what could be found.
I had heard someone call
so I looked all around.
I walked down to the lamp.
I wanted to decamp
but I had a bad cramp
so I leaned on the wall.

 

It was warm for the month of May.
I looked around and he was gone.
The chef hid from me, and I say
that the search for him may drag on.
I know that he has run away;
I looked around to see which way.
I know I won’t find him today,
and I don’t know where he has gone.

 

Our restaurant will close. I want to weep,
We have no more money and we are dinned
by all our creditors. I cannot sleep.
He destroyed our livelihood. He has sinned.
He took the money and he stole away.
If he is caught, then for his sins he’ll pay,
but when that day will come no one can say
and for now all our money has been skinned.

 

We would need to buy some more pants
for the waiters and for the cooks.
We could get by without more plants;
but I took a look at the books:
we can’t get by without more dough,
and there’s no place we could go
that could provide us with the dough.
That chef has really cooked the books!

 

He has passed by the court!
I see him hide away
behind the kegs of port.
He’ll try to hide all day.
I know this thief is Ben
and he has fled again.
We must catch him, and then
he must be made to pay!

 

His name’s Ben Fontaine
He lives in Billox.
He can fly a plane.
He’s sly as a fox.
He has a strange smell.
It’s one I know well,
one like a gazelle
or maybe like lox.

 

His home’s a lab
with no front door.
He owns a Lab
or three or four.
His face is grave.
Although he’s brave,
he is a knave
down to the core.

 

It’s not vague,
what is more,
what a plague
to the store
was that man
when he can
steal a can
or some more.

 

No doubt
in brief,
without
the thief,
our woe
will grow.
We’ve no
relief.

 

What are some of your favorite poems? Leave us a comment and let us know.

POEMBALL Machine

Publishing update! An unconventional way to (possibly) get my poems.

In Provo, Utah, you can visit Enliten Bakery and Café and get poetry for a quarter. Put together by Provo Poetry, you can put a quarter into a re-purposed gumball machine, the POEMBALL machine, and get a capsule with a poem by a local poet.

They also have a portable machine at Happy Valley Farmers Market, and will be having a third machine soon at Pioneer Book.

And now there is a chance that one of those poems could be mine! Three of my poems were accepted for the project, and each will be printed at least five times. So if you ever stop by Provo, stop in at Enliten Bakery and Café and take a chance. Be inspired.

Mary Butterfly Signature

Here are  poem, but before you read it, here are the three jokes I mention:

Mathematician, Physicist, and Engineer:

In the high school gym, all the girls in the class were lined up against one wall, and all the boys against the opposite wall. Then, every ten seconds, they walked toward each other until they were half the previous distance apart.

A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer were asked, “When will the girls and boys meet?”

The mathematician said: “Never.”

The physicist said: “In an infinite amount of time.”

The engineer said: “Well…in about two minutes, they’ll be close enough for all practical purposes.”

Violinist at the pearly gates:

A violin player dies and goes to heaven.  At the pearly gates he is
handed a beautiful new violin and invited to play in the Orchestra of
Heaven, a rehearsal of which is about to begin.  He sits down and
begins warming up.  After a while, a little old man with an unruly
mane of white hair steps up on the podium and begins waving his arms
wildly.  "Who's that?" the new violinist asks his stand partner.  "Oh,"
replies his partner, "that's just God.  He likes to think he's von
Karajan."  

And here is the golf joke:

Jesus and Moses are playing golf in Heaven when they come to the par-three 17th hole, a long carry over water to an island green. Moses tees off with a 3-wood and hits the green. Jesus takes out his 5-iron and says, "I'm going to hit a 5-iron because Arnold Palmer would hit a 5-iron from here." 

 Jesus tees it up and hits a lofted iron shot that finishes 25 yards short of the green and in the water. 



 Jesus shrugs and starts walking on the water to where his ball went in. Just then, a foursome approaching the tee box sees Jesus walking on the water. 

 One of them asks Moses, "Who does that guy think he is, Jesmus Christ?" 

 Moses turns and says, "No, he thinks he's Arnold Palmer!" 

and finally, the poem:

 

Silly Season

 

“Do you remember

any jokes, Mom?”

My six-year-old

stares at me.

 

Violinist at the Pearly Gates?

Jesus golfing?

Mathematician,  physicist,

and  engineer? Nah.

 

Anything we told each other

as kids is politically incorrect.

“Besides lightbulb jokes.”

He’s heard those.

 

“No,”  I say.

“I don’t.”

An explanation, and another poem:

Many years ago, I heard a joke told by a friend (he was German) about a Frenchman, an Englishman, and a German. All three are supposed to be executed by being guillotined. The guillotine malfunctions, and the Frenchman and the Englishman are spared.

The punchline is something like:

 

So the executioner raised his axe, but before he could cut the rope, the German yelled out:

“WAIT! I see what the problem is!”

sandcartoon

Thus the following poem of mine:

 

 

Fixing the Guillotine

Remember the joke

about three men

about to be executed?

 

The Frenchman and Englishman

are spared, but alas,

the German is an engineer.

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