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A couple of poems about jokes, plus the jokes

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.

Never Forget Your Dreams, Revisited

The Poetic Muselings are traveling with famous company!

Tripping around the internet universe recently, I was startled and giddy to discover MY post about Scanner Daybooks (Journals) (and some shots from Anne Westlund’s, in her follow-on post, and some of Mary’s) had made it into Barbara Sher’s Refuse to Choose collection!

My original post was in 2012, but I’ve written and shouted about Barbara, her books, forum, and classes for many years.  I met Barbara in the early ’80’s and took a WishCraft Class from her through the Learning Annex in San Francisco. A most marvelous adventure.

Read my slightly updated post to see what I’m talking about — I think you’ll have fun. Then, follow the links at the end to see other examples of capturing the elusive creativity of never forgetting your dreams.

 

Several years ago, I found Refuse to Choose, by Barbara Sher, author of WishCraft and other amazing books. This one was directed at “scanners”- those of us who have so many projects and so many ideas that we can’t figure out what to do first and often end up paralyzed into inaction. I come back to this book repeatedly for inspiration and validation that I’m not really crazy.

A major tool in this book is a “Scanner Journal“, a place to track all of the wild things that go on in my head and that I really really want to do, or at least explore a bit. I’m sharing excerpts of my journal in this post. This photo, from my favorite T-Shirt, sums it up, and is on the cover of mine.

I’ve been fascinated for years by the Chief Crazy Horse Memorial project, near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. The carving of the mountain has been going on for over 50 years, with no federal or public funds involved. We’ve been there twice and I carry around a piece of mountain* to remind myself to never forget my dreams. (The project and my connection are a story for another time and place.)

I wrote my earlier post while recuperating from hand surgery and limited to typing with one finger on my left hand, and struggled to communicate with my Dragon voice recognition program.  Way out of my comfort zone.  I usually handwrite my poetry and notes for articles, novel ideas and whatever else is kicking around in my head. I wasn’t used to writing aloud, but hoped it would  create interesting new synaptic brain links. (Not a huge success for poetry, for me.)

Mary’s post about the Bliss Box (and here) really started me thinking about all those ideas I’d shelved during the prior year and half since my car accident and assorted other distractions. Several items in the opening shot of this post live conceptually in my Bliss Box, which once held tea; I bought it because I wanted the box, and gave away most of the contents.

Scanners are not only permitted but actually encouraged to follow their wild tangents, capturing them in a semi-organized fashion in their Scanner Journal. Here’s a sample page, plus perhaps the wisest statements I ever came up with and which is posted all over my house:

I looked through my Scanner Journal to see how my dreams were faring –  what I’d forgotten or at least misplaced, who were still nagging me (yes, they are real life critters to me), and the ones that danced with joy because they were getting attention.

I was surprised:

Our poetry anthology was out there in the universe. We adopted a wonderful dog. My office and workspace are even better than I imagined when I created them in my head. I began practicing tai chi on a fairly regular basis and participated on stage with my class in a martial arts program.

NaNo novel I pitched was well received at a writers conference before my car accident, etc., pulled me away. Perhaps this was the most fragile of my projects: a cross between Catch 22 and Terms of Endearment, which an important person wanted to see. I hadn’t — and still haven’t — done anything with it.

But it was all the poetry that clamored to be put on paper with purple fountain pen ink that shouted the loudest. My answer to dealing with all of those critters who must  be fed is what I called my Red Bag of Courage:  a large zipped binder with sections for portions of several projects. Sometimes you’ve just gotta hand-write a note instead of typing onto the iPad. After I could carry it . . it was going to include new poetry I’d written, blog ideas, etc. I was inspired again.

If you look back at the opening photo here’s where you’ll find:

~Ganesch, to keep me on track. When I’m following my right path, Ganesch removes obstacles in my way. When I’m not heading where I should, he throws boulders and icky things on the road to get my attention.

~A monkey I need to watch diligently to keep off my back.

~A slinky to remind me there are many ways of getting from Point A to Point B, and to have fun while I’m doing it.

~My rock from of the Chief Crazy Horse Memorial. Korczak gave this answer to the question of how one goes about carving an image out of a mountain: “Study and observe, then remove what is not the horse.” (* from above: people can buy chunks of not-horse, with the money going to continued work on the monument.)

~A zebra, because I think zebras are cool, and I like to color them brightly when I have the chance.

~The open book and everything on it are all reverse images created in Picasa when I was playing around today. That’s why the paper is black, and the monkey is white.

Sometimes I just have to create my own reality. Enjoy creating yours.

NOW FOR SOME COOL LINKS:

Barbara Sher’s official site:  Barbara Sher’s Official Site ( http://www.barbarasher.com)

Refuse to Choose! and other Barbara-Sher books: (http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Sher/e/B000APWZC6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1457739259&sr=1-1)

Barbara’s “Refuse to Choose: the Forum for Scanners: (http://boards.barbarasher.com/viewforum.php?f=30)

A google search for examples gave me this, including our contributions. Note that some have “road writer.net” as location; these were temporarily housed at my other site when we had major blog gremlins. I don’t know how to correct the link within the Daybook Tangents site.:

daybook tangents barbara sher —

 800 × 555 – poetic-muselings.net 

 800 × 477 – poetic-muselings.net 

 1024 × 768 – poetic-muselings.net 

 2448 × 3264 – poetic-muselings.net 

 800 × 745 – roadwriter.net 

 800 × 600 – roadwriter.net 

 825 × 891 – roadwriter.net 

 655 × 800 – roadwriter.net 

 401 × 449 – poetic-muselings.net 

 714 × 800 – roadwriter.net 

 300 × 226 – poetic-muselings.net 

 

 

 

WHO IS DAVID SEAH, AND WHY IS HE HERE?

A version of this post was published in April, 2015, before the gremlins devoured and destroyed portions of our blog. After you read this, go spend time exploring davidseah.com.  Lots of time. Read other interviews he’s done — no two cover the same territory.
Then, come back here later for Parts 2 and 3 for more.  Michele

Meet Dave, a talented, whimsical storyteller who uses computer technology to bring his stories and creations to life. His serious side is always looking for a better way to organize, systematize, code, and simplify tasks —  these products are spare, beautifully balanced, color coordinated, and do their job well.

Then there’s his other side that loves to explore and tweak options, express how he (and we) feel about life. These creations led me to contact Dave. His very generous sharing of time and ideas fill this post, plus two more to follow.

We exchanged over 6,000 words! How to distill his wisdom, humor, eclectic personality, deeply held and expressed views, took a while. Plan time to go get lost in his website. Discover how he works, what he’s created and shared with the universe.  

But first, enjoy Part 1 of the David Seah saga:

 

Just who is Dave Seah?

I don’t really have a succinct answer for that!

Factwise, I’m a 48-yo Taiwanese-American living in New Hampshire about 40 miles north of Boston. It’s a suburban area without good Chinese restaurants, which makes me sad.

Mostly I work as a freelance interactive developer, though I am trying to transition away from that into making products based on my own design work.

I gather that you were always interested in technical issues, trying to figure out how things work, and how to make them work better.

That’s a valid observation, though I think that I’m more interested in “human issues” that have technical aspects that I can solve.

I find technology for the sake of technology pretty boring. The application of technology, though, in the pursuit of “something better” or “something MORE AWESOME” is hugely interesting to me. It’s about empowering and enabling, and sometimes I’m able to muster the ability to work through the technical issues.

Figuring out how things work is an exercise in understanding how to make some aspect of life better. That said, I like digging into the technology and the principles behind it to find the uncommon and non-obvious effects they have, and thinking of ways that they might be useful or perhaps amusing.

What experiments are you most proud of creating/adapting in your growing up days?

I wasn’t a particularly experimental kid, but I did discover computers when I was in the 7th grade, around 1980-1981.

A lot of my formative beliefs about information sharing and team come from that time of learning in a group of three of us, and I spent a lot of time learning the innards of the Apple II computer.

I would say I learned the bulk of my computer knowledge, or perhaps gained the mindset for using computers, before I went to college for computer engineering.

In high school, I was probably most pleased with winning a school bridge building competition with an interesting load-bearing design that no one else had thought of by a 2:1 margin, or 10:1 if you didn’t include the student who cheated.

I also enjoyed writing, and was in-fact thinking of becoming an English major instead of a computer engineering major. I figured I could always write, but would learn more in computer engineering that I didn’t know, to the chagrin of my English teachers.

 Did you write much as a kid? What were your first doodles and writings about?

Yep! I had a mysterious grasp of essay writing at an early age, which I didn’t realize for years. I would just write-out what I was thinking and present it in an order that made sense, each paragraph building on the previous one. I enjoyed using WordStar, the seminal early word processing program, because I could type as fast as I could think

My first memory of a story was for I think was the 7th grade, when I had stayed up late writing an assignment at the last minute (hand-written, as this predates word processor use in my house).

I had put the names of my friends in the class in the story, which was loosely a Star Wars-inspired story, and the teacher reading it aloud made for a lot of interesting reactions from my classmates. I also spent a lot of time drawing spaceships with my friends (this was the late 70s/early 80s after all), which I started in the 4th grade.

I still have all the drawings too! Generally I didn’t write except for class after the 8th grade, but I think what really drew me was making up worlds…that’s what video games were to me, in the early days of that art form.

I grew up as an Army Brat, and experience feeling a “stranger in a strange land”.  You said on your blog that you spent your first years in MA, then moved to Taiwan for another chunk of your youth. How did that affect you?

I was born in New Jersey, where my dad was the minister for the First Presbyterian Church of Monmouth County. This was a rural area, mostly farms, and we were the only Asian family anyone had ever seen in the area.

I don’t speak Taiwanese or Chinese because when I was in pre-school, apparently I was speaking a mixture of Taiwanese and English and the teachers thought I had brain damage or a developmental disorder, so my mom started speaking to me only in English and I lost the language.

At the time, my parents didn’t think they would be returning to Taiwan because of the government (they were blacklisted as human rights activists by the KMT, the losers of the Chinese Civil War in 1949). In 1976 or 1977 our family moved to Taiwan when I was 9.

The result: massive culture shock. It was already easy to feel slightly out-of-place as the only Asian kid where I lived, but at least there was TV and I could read and understand what people were saying. In Taiwan I couldn’t do that. I went to the American school the entire time I was there, not speaking Chinese and being regarded as a weird foreigner.

Then on returning to the US for college, I unexpectedly went through yet another 5 years of reverse-culture shock (realizing this only 5 years after it was over), because I’d been away for so long and I lacked common experiences with my other classmates.

The effect, I think, was always feeling like an outsider or stranger, to this day. It took a long time to develop comfort in some social skills, but even now it is difficult to put away the feeling that I am an outsider/intruder that doesn’t belong.

Was art your first love, and tech more of an adult decision?

Neither of them are a first love, I would say, as a maker. I’m probably more of a reluctant creative.

I was more excited about stories than anything, particularly ones that I thought I could make. I wanted to (and still do want to) make really interesting experiences. I love animation, illustration, computer graphics, computer game design because of the stories and feelings they encourage, and for the knowledge and experience they deliver.

I’m a frustrated storyteller, and both art and technology are where my efforts seem to have gone because I have wanted good tools and good skills. Where I have fallen short, though, is having the guts to tell those stories and keep practicing.

It feels like I’m only now just getting over that block. Making things that are lovable is hard!

David, thank you so much!

This was my trigger to contact Dave – I LOVE
the Angry Scribble option!I call it my  Grump’s To Do Form. 

 

END OF POST 1. 

NEXT TIME, MORE ABOUT THE CREATIVE PROCESS, HOW AND WHY THE BLOG HAS MORPHED OVER TIME, WITH EXAMPLES, PLUS THE GROUNDHOG DAY APPROACH TO TRACKING. 

PART 3 INCLUDES A FRANK DISCUSSION ABOUT POETRY, COMFORT ZONES, CONFLICT, AND MORE FUN POSTS TO READ ON DAVE’S SITE. 

 

Make Visible: The Feminine, by Anne

This post was one of our favorites, and is being shared again. Enjoy!


write-pic
I’m a poet with a particular point of view, and write 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.

“The Feminine” is often expressed in writing by men. I offer you this poem, by a woman about femininity and what it means to be a woman. To me, just to me.

No Woman is an Island

More like vast continents
covered in dark forests,
hidden lakes and tributaries,
golden cities.

This land, dotted with small towns,
broad highways and dirt roads
is easy to get lost in.

There are no maps,
no signposts.

It’s not my fault,
if you lose your way…

Anne-1-25-16 post pic

© Anne Westlund


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

 

 

Always Learning: What Do You Call a …?

thumb_IMG_0119_1024Happy 2016, Everyone!

I thought that groups of animal and/or object names had a specific rhythm and form to them, like a “gaggle of geese”. Not always the case, to my surprise.

Harlee, my amazing Standard Poodle, deals daily with several major disturbances in her life. When she barks at any of them, she’s sent to her “place” until she stops barking. Totally unfair, but she goes nuts otherwise.

I looked up the real names for these critters, but think, to her, this describes it better:
Version 2— A Trauma of Turkeys (wild, who wander by her window several times a day, tromp through territory she considers to belong to her and her pack)
 A Sh*t-load of Squirrels (who torment her repeatedly, run up and down the deck railing, moon her when she looks at them, and otherwise create chaos for her. )
— A Damage of Deer (who eat “her ivy”; property of our next door neighbor, but which she’s very possessive towards)

IMG_0117_1024— a Cacophony of Cats (perhaps the most dreaded enemy, and not just because I’m highly allergic to them.)

These are my names for them.  A Rafter of Turkeys, a Herd of Deer — boring. However, a glaring or clutter or nuisance of cats is so right on.

Here’s a science lesson, in poetic form, to teach you some of the true names:

The Grand Scheme of Things

… set out as “a/an … of …”
you can figure it out
imaginatively, I presume

Obstinate Buffalo
(banish “bison” — such a dirty word!)
ooh, Cultured Bacteria!

Business Ferrets
Flamboyant Flamingos
Towering Giraffes
a Stud of Mares in confusion?

Bloated Hippopotami
Cackling Hyenas
Jellyfish Flutter or Smack

Otters Romp
by Squadron of Pelicans
and Penguins Huddle Proud

thumb_Photo on 2011-10-09 at 10.15 #2_1024Prickly Porcupines
Ostentatious Peacocks
Rhinos in a Crash

Buzzards hold Wakes
Cormorants Gulp, poor creatures
can’t swallow the fish they catch

Parliamentary Owls
watch Woodpeckers Descend
and Kangaroos Troop and hop

Unkind, Conspiratorial Ravens
watch Sharks Shiver, while
Swans of the lake, do Ballet

Intrusive Cockroaches
Pandemonius Parrots
Murderous Crows can’t be trusted

a Convocation of Eagles
Emus in a Mob
Crocodiles Float like logs

a Tribe of Goats
Implausible Gnu
Storks Muster for their appointed rounds

Rattlesnakes Rhumba
while Cobras Quiver
and Moles Labor and Mumble

Tigers Ambush
with the Zeal of Zebras
while the Lounge of Lizards
croon amphibious songs

~~~~~~~~~~~

Note: I took great poetic liberty with some of these, but used the following sources for inspiration:  

http://www.patcom.com/pdf/Whatdoyoucallagroup.pdf

https://sciencebasedlife.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/what-do-you-call-a-group-of/

http://www.namibian.org/travel/misc/collective-nouns.html

http://www.lyberty.com/encyc/articles/murder.html

http://mdc.mo.gov/blogs/fresh-afield/animal-aggregations-or-what-do-you-call-group

 

All photos c. Michele M. Graf, 2007-2016

Apollo’s Lyre is on indefinite hiatus

Dear Poets,

to create is to live
to breathe the essence
of what must be shared
to survive our feelings

For two years, I’ve used these lines to introduce “Poetry’s Heartbeat”, my column at Apollo’s Lyre e-zine. I still believe in these lines, a portion of a poem I first published in the Desert Woman Magazine in 2007.

Now I’m using this venue to get the word out that Apollo’s Lyre is on indefinite publishing hiatus. I know some of our readers are waiting for word about poems they’ve submitted. and others are waiting for overdue publication dates. We’ve been scurrying behind-the-scenes, but have been unsuccessful resolving our problem. Below are details.

I’m emailing folks, but with over 400 on the list, it’ll take some time to reach everyone individually. While this door is closing temporarily — Lea shouted that out today — I want to encourage you to continue writing and submitting your work. Please let us know when and where you get published, so we can raise a glass of bubbly with you.

For those who are eagerly waiting your spot on the Poetic Muselings site, we will begin sharing those poems here in January.

Next month I’ll share more about my new project — TaCaMeFi (Take Care of Me First), which I believe will help unclutter our lives and our minds, so we can move forward to do what is most important to us.

The following is the heart of what I want to say to our poets and readers of “Poetry’s Heartbeat” at Apollo’s Lyre. I set this up as an auto-response to all new incoming messages while I work to contact individuals:

We are sad to announce that Apollo’s Lyre is going to continue its publication hiatus indefinitely. Unresolvable problems with the host, Tripod, have made it impossible to access or post to our site. Our publisher, Lea Schizas, has repeatedly contacted them; no one at Tripod has responded to her pleas to at least open the site so we can let our readers know what’s going on.

Efforts to create a new site and format for Apollo’s Lyre are underway, but we cannot in good conscience ask you to wait indefinitely. If you submitted poems and are awaiting word about them, consider this message as our way to wish you success with placing your work elsewhere. If we accepted your poems, and gave you an intended publication date, please accept our deep apologies that we will not be able to showcase them as intended.

We are releasing back to you all poems that have not been published; we would still appreciate you adding a note if you republish a poem that appeared in Apollo’s Lyre, identifying the issue and year you were part of our family. No new poems will be accepted nor will any already sent to us be held as backlog for the future. We hope they all find good homes in the poetry universe.

I would like to send each of you a personal message, thanking you for your support, respect for our ezine, and sharing your beauty with us. The logistics of contacting well over four hundred creative souls makes this too daunting, and I chose to start this way, with a general note, so you could begin sending out your work immediately to other publications.

It’s been my honor to serve as Poetry Editor for the past two-plus years. I’m awed by your talent, courage, and willingness to open up and say what must be said. I wish you all the best in your writing and other creative endeavors. I’d love to hear from you so I can read your poems as they appear elsewhere online or in print.

Thank you for your patience, too. I know this has been very stressful waiting to hear from us. It’s been quite stressful from this end also, as we’ve tried our best to figure out how to move forward. On behalf of Lea and the rest of the Apollo’s Lyre staff, we wish you a terrific holiday season, and a productive new year, full of health, love, and happiness.

Michele

(note: this was edited to remove some strange “links” that worked their way into the post; I have no idea why/how they got here, but hopefully, they are GONE for good now.)

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My Poetic POMEGRANATE GIFT to you

I’m sharing a poem/holiday gift I came up with for a couple who are very dear to me.

During the past two years, my friends worked hard to dig themselves out of long-standing debt. Diligently, one decision at a time, they paid off credit cards and loans, and now own their cars outright — and paid off their mortgage. I’m incredibly proud of their courage and actions.

One of them is facing layoff after five years of increasingly complex job duties, and several “near-miss” shutdowns. No new angel seems ready to land to postpone closure of the company, and my dear friend is stressed to the max with the situation. Her husband knows they can get through this, and I do, too.

We talked about what they’ve done to fix their finances, and how their lives are now vs. three years ago. Health insurance continuation through COBRA* is possible — and must be done. Unemployment insurance should be a given, under the circumstances, while she’s looking for another position.

“But COBRA will take up almost all my unemployment!”

“Maybe, but you don’t have the outstanding bills to deal with now. You can make choices — good choices — don’t forget that.” I told her.

This got me thinking about our usual gift exchange — we both spend time and money looking for something unusual for the other; in fact, we have more fun with this particular giving than with anyone else.

So I decided I’d give them a POMEGRANATE this year. I explained what it was, and why I was doing it, and asked them to please follow these instructions, as a favor to all of us:

 

thumb_IMG_0308 - Version 2_1024

POMEGRANATE

(POM for short: Peace Of Mind.)

Peace
Of
Mind

Each
Gift
Returns

Attention
Needed
And

Treasures
Energy

Take the money you were going to spend on your gifts to us, write a check to yourselves (don’t cash it), subtract it from the check register, and put it into a band aid box.

Label the box “COBRA VENOM” , and find some good symbols to put on the box.

Each week, add another check written to yourselves, and feed it to the COBRA box. Consider it as “spent money you no longer have”. Even $25 per week adds up.

If you get a cash-out of comp time or vacation, put at least half of it into the COBRA box, off the top.

Hubby and I will send you a check to feed to the COBRA. You can cash that one and either put the money in directly, or do it via another physical check.

This is the most precious gift you can give yourselves — and one we never had growing up. The stress of being on the edge of financial chaos played a huge part of our lives, and absolutely created the situation that led my father to run away from home and rejoin the Army when I was ten.

Our lives would have been quite different if our parents had a clue and could see the way out of it.  Not complaining about how we ended up, since both of us found the loves of our lives, but it’s still a spectre that haunts.

You’ve made such progress in the past two years. Embrace that and look at this as a time to stand back and creatively appreciate that you can handle this.  You have choices about the food you buy, what else you need now, and what could go on a wish list for next year.

You aren’t obligated to buy anything. You are responsible for taking care of yourselves emotionally, physically, and financially.

I’m very proud of what you’ve done — you are an inspiration to me to clean up parts of my life that drag me down. This includes projects that grab my attention, but not my full passion. Clutter I’m holding on to because I haven’t stepped back quietly enough to hear what’s in my heart.

Engaging in Retail Therapy or Hand-to-Mouth Eating Therapy hasn’t ever solved it for me, though heaven knows I’ve given it every opportunity!

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing we have just too little of . . .”

Please give yourselves this gift of love this year, and keep it in mind for future gift-giving.

I wish you peace, health, creativity, and much love.

Michele

PS: And to you, dear readers:

We’d be delighted to have you buy our books. However, this may be the time to swim upstream until you are more stable financially. Then go buy one for yourself, and one for a friend. Enjoy it without guilt. Pass the idea along.

* COBRA:

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances. For more info, see, among other sites, this one:

http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm#.UMFnC5Pjlj4

 

 

A Poem for Halloween

English: Pumpkin carving - photo taken in dark...

English: Pumpkin carving – photo taken in darkness to show the effect of illumination from within (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Character Parade
By Lin Neiswender

Porch lights off,

Too old for this
Bed calls to me
Time to remember
Nearing years’ end

Every minute precious as it’s recalled
Baby dressed like pea in a pod, held by Mom
Toddler plays the Great Pumpkin role,
Bucket clanking knee
Another knock at the door,
“Trick or Treat!” on sweet young lips
Pirates swagger up the walk, brandishing homemade swords
Beating flowers, bushes, leaves into submission
Hobo tips the hat for candy rewards
As gypsies twirl in flowing skirts
Occasional ghosts or Presidents in mask
Super heroes, fairy princesses whisper soft “Thank you’s”
Most polite, a few greedy

Blow out my pumpkins,
Bring them in,
Another Halloween at its end
Time flies faster than I can ken

©2012 Lin Neiswender

Make Visible: Revising

This article was part of the PDF for our Poetry Workshop at the Muse Online Writers Conference earlier this October:

English: Pink Pearl eraser from Paper Mate.

English: Pink Pearl eraser from Paper Mate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I first started writing and for a good twenty years after that I never revised my poetry.  It never occurred to me to do so.  At an earlier Muse Conference I was introduced to revision in one of the poetry workshops.  Not just punctuation or line spacing, but real revision.  This can include taking a small part of a poem, a scene or image, and expanding on that to create a whole new poem.

Sometimes you need fresh eyes to help you with your revising.  That’s where belonging to a poetry critique group can help.  Remember it’s up to you to re-see your poem.  Don’t depend on others to tell you what’s wrong or right with your poem.  Those may sound like two different pieces of advice.

Others can point you in the right direction, but you yourself are responsible for how your poem turns out.  Only you can decide when it’s finished and ready to go out into the world.

 

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

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Newbie Lane

This post was written by Carla Girtman, who was a huge help to us in the 2012 Muse Online Writers Conference, as the Poetic Muselings conducted a week-long poetry workshop.
We thank you, Carla!

“Sure, I can do that. What do you want me to do?”

“Just something about the conference?”

“I’m on? OH! I’m on!”

Hello, out there! Honorary Museling here, guest blogging for the first time. Wow. What an experience at the Muse Online Writing Conference. First time there too! Being a Museling is hard work!

The Muselings are such a great team and well-organized with a clear plan for their online workshop. Lin, my good friend, told me about what they were doing and I said, sure I can do a workbook. Send me the stuff. Then there were meetings, and meetings and meetings! Planning times that everyone could meet because of time zones — big challenge.

If you didn’t attend this online writing conference you missed a variety of different chats, forums, and information for all types of writers. The website was easy to navigate and user friendly. Me, I mostly hung out in the poetry workshop; one to support the Muselings and two, there is only so much time in the week. I work full time and had to grade 15 rough drafts for my online students by Saturday night. Arghh! Time was not my friend. Great thing about this conference is you can go back and visit the workshops to get what you missed. I plan on going back to visit the workshop “Mythology and Fairy Tales as a Basis for New Stories.”

Now I’m not that much of a poet, at least until after the conference. Anyone who can create an Aragman poem and have it make sense, you have officially become a poet. With an aragman, you take a phrase to an anagram maker and see what comes out. I took my Muse name SurfWriter, ran it through the anagram maker and came up with 20, count them, 20. Played with them for a while, but those anagrams weren’t talking. Really? Err Surf Wit? What am I supposed to do with that? So I ran my name through and got over 1000 anagrams. At least something to work with. Don’t let anyone fool you – aragmans are hard to create! Here’s mine.

Alarm! Tracing
the cat who hides
Alarm! Crating
The cat who snarls and yowls.
Alarm! Carting
The cat to the vet.

Alarm! Cat grin!

If you didn’t get a chance to participate, download their participant’s workbook (my contribution to the workshop) and take on the challenge of writing three little known forms of poetry. Be sure to check out Saturday’s chat notes on how to incorporate the poetic form into other forms of writing which was very informative. Michele’s a great moderator and herds cats well LOL! We also presented ideas on revising poetry and how to start a poetry group.

(What? Wrap it up?)
The Muse Online Writing Conference is astounding. Over fifty topics to choose from, hundreds of amazing writing professionals who put together this conference –free. All because they want to support writers who want to become better writers or who want to explore other challenges. I can’t wait until next year!

 

 

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