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Archive for the ‘Make Visible’ Category

Make Visible: Home

write-picI’m a poet with a particular point of view. In these next blog posts I’ll post poems on different subjects from my point of view. Each poem is an expression, through me, of inspiration or Spirit or emotion. What you see in this light is what you bring to the poem.

Home is where the heart is. Home is where you hang your hat. Whatever your definition of home is, I’d like to hear it. Here is one of mine. Like a snapshot, it’s more of a fleeting impression than a textbook definition.

My Town

Above the hum of machinery
the sound of cars rushing by
I can hear the birds
in defiance.

There are still bugs
despite all the disinfectants,
weed-killer, napalm.

Dogs roam free
in our neighborhood.
They come up to say hello
or bark their freedom
at their fellows behind fences.

There are more slugs every year
it seems like.
The rain brings them
in the morning, in the grass
a convention.

And the deer
not hunted here
in this unnatural setting
eat weeds next to the post office
four of them, a family portrait.
Frustrated hunters
with gun racks in their trucks
have to stop
as they cross the road.

© Anne Westlund

Photo by Chris Westlund

Photo by Chris Westlund

Come back on Friday, June 28th for Make Visible: Childhood

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

Make Visible: Organization

write-picI’m a poet with a particular point of view. In these next blog posts I’ll post poems on different subjects from my point of view. Each poem is an expression, through me, of inspiration or Spirit or emotion. What you see in this light is what you bring to the poem.

What is it about staying organized? It’s a noble pursuit, so they say. It’s so hard to get and stay organized. A poem can be about anything, anything at all, or even nothing at all. This is my poem about organization.

Disorganized

If I was truly organized
I’d know where everything was
every last paper
every last book.

I’d pay my bills on time,
find the keys
and my favorite lipstick.

But bills pile high on the dresser
my desk has layers to excavate
can’t find my slippers.

You tell me organizing is easy.
In a minute I’ll lose my pen,
then this poem will be over.

© Anne Westlund

 

Disorganized a huge mess

Disorganized a huge mess (Photo credit: Yuba College Public Space)

Come back on Friday, May 31 for Make Visible: Home

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

 

 

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Make Visible: Love and Attraction

write-picI’m a poet with a particular point of view. In these next blog posts I’ll post poems on different subjects from my point of view. Each poem is an expression, through me, of inspiration or Spirit or emotion. What you see in this light is what you bring to the poem.

This particular poem, “Valentine,” was written in response to a challenge to write a Villanelle, a form of poetry. It was also written as a Valentine for someone I was attracted to at the time. Poetry, classically, portrays love and attraction. It’s not unusual to write a love poem. Some of our first attempts at writing poetry are love poems. Please try your hand at love poetry if you haven’t already.

 

Valentine (Villanelle)

Cupid’s arrows pierce my heart,
Despite love’s shifting sands
Never will we two part

Card stolen from Wal-Mart
More than eruptions from my glands
Cupid’s arrows pierce my heart

To get to you I took the BART *
IPOD plays my favorite bands,
Never will we two part

I feel the sting of his golden darts
Make of me any demands
Cupid’s arrows pierce my heart

Dressed up like a dime-store tart
You held me in your gentle hands
Never will we two part

Your eyes travel my Holy Lands
Ready for your commands
Cupid’s arrows pierce my heart
Never will we two part.

* BART-Bay Area Rapid Transit

© Anne Westlund

Come back on Friday, May 3 for Make Visible: Organization.

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

 

 

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Make Visible: Workshop Poems

write-picTo continue our series on the Muse Online Writers Conference and our Poetry Workshop last fall, I present to you two poems that were written during the conference.

Even though the Poetic Muselings were “teaching” or facilitating the Poetry Workshop, we also “learned” from each other and the participants.  I always come up with new writing when I attend MuseCon and this time was no exception.  Here are two poems that literally wouldn’t have existed if not for our workshop and MuseCon.

  • Persona Poems

Persona poems are poems that are written in a voice other than that of the author, where the author pretends to be someone else. ~Margaret Fieland

This is the prompt I used for my Persona Poem:

– The loneliest keys on the keyboard that never get used

Typewriter Keys

Typewriter Keys (Photo credit: jon|k)

A Question

Q?

I have a question.
Why am I so neglected?
You like E and A
and I far too much.
You never type Quasimodo or Quack
Or even misspell, using Q for K.
I’m in a quandary.

There’s not much I can do,
the letter Q
on your keyboard,
lonely, upset, tired.
I know I shouldn’t quomplain,
but I do.

Q?

© Anne Westlund

 

  • Ekphrasis / Picture Poem

An Ekphrasis or Picture Poem is a poem inspired by a work of art.  I was inspired by Visual 5, a collage by Lin Neiswender.

Visit to the Beauty Shop

Like a chorus of blondes
they tell me my hair is fried
from at-home color

These hairdressers
all perfectly coiffed
like angels of desire
swoop in and mutter over
my split ends

In need of proper maintenance,
conditioning and decent upstanding
expensive $$ permanent color

I don’t know whether to laugh
or cry

I’ll stick to my box color
I’ll stick to my free hair cuts
thank you very much!

The choir shrieks off-key
paling against the vagaries
of economy

So much for a “free” consultation
I don’t leave a tip.

© Anne Westlund

 

Please check out the Muse Online Writers Conference and sign up for next year’s conference here: http://themuseonlinewritersconference.com/

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

 

Make Visible: Jennifer Ruth Jackson

write-picFrom the shadows of the Muse Online Writers Conference emerges an outstanding poet, Jennifer Ruth Jackson.  We were delighted to have these particular poets in our poetry class at the conference.  They all displayed enthusiasm and grace in tackling new forms.

Without further ado, here is Jennifer Ruth Jackson:

 

Who I am

My name is Jennifer Ruth Jackson.  I’m a wife, writer, crafter, and murderer of stick figures.  I have written poetry most of my life and short fiction is climbing up there.  I love horror/fantasy but am not tied to any genre.  My work is forthcoming/published in Strange Horizons, Paper Nautilus, Kaleidoscope Magazine, and more.  Oh, and I’m disabled.

The Muse Online Writers Conference

I believed, at first, the Poetic Muselings were playing a joke on us conference newbies.  A poem based on anagrams.  Sure, right, uh huh.  Then we’re supposed to describe them in alternating lines.  Good one, ladies!  Oh, wait, they weren’t joking.  Crud.

I wasn’t the most cheerful attendee when the first homework assignment came at us.  Usually, I enjoy playing with different poetic forms but this one seemed so, restrictive.  I didn’t think I was even going to make it through.  But, I did.  I found words that worked and tinkered around until it sat fairly well.  And then I let everyone share their thoughts on it with me.  That is where things really began to shine.

The people who worked with me and for me during that workshop (and entire conference) were the best assets to the whole operation.  I received incredible feedback, met people much more talented and insightful than myself, tried new things, and got what everyone has always told me a “great conference is supposed to give”.  I even found a new writing partner.

I took multiple workshops (and lurked in others) and was always surprised by how much there was to take in.  The offerings were so numerous that I never lacked for something to do.   If you attend this year, you are certain to see me there.

My Writing Advice

I can’t tell you anything you haven’t already heard but, if I have to repeat something, it had better be something darn good and something I apply to my own life/craft.

So, here it is:  Be true.  True to your readers who are looking for the wounds, the passion, the excitement, the connection to something larger than themselves.  True to your writing by creating worlds that resonate with you and don’t just chase a trend.  And, hardest of all, be true to yourself and every messy, silly, embarrassing, enchanting thing that comes with it.

Pandora’s Jar

My mystery kept her up all hours.
While her husband slept oblivious,
she caressed my contours with gentle hands.
Her breath, excited in the darkness,
shot through me like an arrow of misery.
Evils stirred inside me with every touch.
Sick, slimy things that snaked through me
whispered, “Soon”.

I struggled against the drowning panic,
knowing one day she’d hold the key
and release everything I tried to keep inside.
Realization and dread would finally quell
her innocent curiosity gone awry,
with only hope to comfort her kind.

But I miss the nights of being hers, just the same.

Mary Harrsch Pandora

Mary Harrsch Pandora

Darkness Reign

Dark genre sins
dance beneath moon and pen
Raking redness
across a million backs
And regress ink

to smeared, wet syllables

 

Designers rank

Stephane GinerDarkGenre

Passage

 

Spinning straw to silk
Spindle golden needle thread
Once unrelenting
Through patient hands, steady wheel
To become butterfly wings

BarbaraHobbs

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

 

 

Make Visible: Memories

The Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, seen from th...

The Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, seen from the southeast side of the bridge. This is a 7×1 panoramic stich. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Make Visible:  Memories

Poetry is about remembering, remembering a moment in time.  Like a photograph, a poem preserves moments that can never be experienced again, at least not in the same way.  This helps the writer as much or more than the reader.  There may be moments you want to remember, not just with a photograph.  Of course, we don’t have photos for all of the important events of our lives.

Task:  Write a poem about a city or town that figures prominently in the story of your life.

Try it!

I wrote this poem for a Powell’s poetry contest.  I guess they were looking for something more avant-garde because it didn’t win.  Here’s my memory of Portland, OR:

Memories of Portland

At OMSI we learned about the space race
Watched metal balls drop, spin and disappear
And entered a giant red heart
Leaving it, heartbeats ringing in our ears
Excited by it all.

We always ended up at the Oyster Bar
Suspicious of anything with a shell
Crustacean or mollusk
I settled on clam chowder and crackers
While my family feasted on gifts from the sea.

Only in later years
Did I enjoy the simplicity of the Japanese Gardens
Observing a perfectly reenacted tea ceremony
From a distance, while the rain fell
Boulders as islands, surrounded by seas of white rock.

In my college days I could appreciate
That land mass, Powell’s, full of books
More than I could ever read in a lifetime
Losing myself in the Gold Room
Taking home a stack of books a foot high.

© Anne Westlund

 

 

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

 

 

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Make Visible: Rewards

Here is an idea to motivate yourself using rewards, rocks and index cards.  I adapted this idea from a post on The Simple Dollar.

IMG_2285

Step One:  Index Cards

 

First, you get 20 index cards for each of your goals, ones you have trouble motivating yourself to do.  The three goals I picked out were exercise, homework and reading.  Make a number of Xs on each card.  For something that takes a lot of time, like homework I only have three Xs, for exercise, 10 Xs and for reading 12 Xs per card.  Then every time you do a step towards your goal, say go for a walk, you punch a hole in the index card.  When you have the card full you give yourself a reward of your own choosing.

IMG_2296

Step Two:  Rocks

 

I like a visual reminder of how far I’ve come.  So every time I punch a hole in one of the index cards I give myself a rock and put it in a glass vase.  I have different color rocks for each goal and a small green pearl every time I fill a card.  I got the rocks at a dollar store.

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Step 3:  Rewards

 

When I fill an index card with punched-out holes I give myself a reward.  They are inexpensive gifts I give myself.  Every other card has 2 rewards and every 5 cards has an extra reward.

 

Step 4:  Review

 

Every so often review how far you’ve come and what goals you are still having difficulty with.  I haven’t been doing well on homework, but have been doing great on exercising!  If you try this motivational method, let me know how it works for you.

IMG_2292

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

 

 

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