sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

A Few Poems for the Holidays

Saint Nick’s Christmas Excess

snow One Christmas night, fat old Saint Nick
ate so much roast goose he got sick,
thus was forced to belay
that night’s ride in his sleigh,
rushed the gifts all to FedEx. How slick.

Next Christmas, when faced with a chimney,
he muttered, “I will not be able to shimmy
down that narrow slot,
with a fire so hot.
I’ll go in the front door, by Jiminey.”

What Happens Christmas Night

Do you wonder how, in just one night,
Saint Nick can make such a long flight?
He sends some gifts by mail,
some others by rail,
which makes his sleigh load quite light.
I’ve noticed that Saint Nick’s a bit
big around for him to fit
inside ur chimney, Christmas night
struggle must be quite a sight.

Perhaps he oils his nice red suit
all over so that he can shoot
right down the chimney. Then you’ll see
he’ll cut his hand and sprain his knee.

I guess that all those aches and pains
will hurt so much that he’ll complain
that getting down was such a chore
he’s going to leave us by the door!

White Christmas

Winter wonderland of woe
all we have is snow and snow.
Piles and piles of slushy glop,
mushy, wet and nasty slop

Wets my socks and wets my shoes
numbs my toes and shorts my fuse
Watch it snow and wish for Spring,
no more snow and shoveling.

 

 

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Gifts and Inspiration

‘Tis the season of giving. This year, I decided to do a Christmas countdown for my husband. I handmade 25 cards, and numbered the envelopes. On each card, I wrote an activity, a compliment or thank you, a service, or a gift. I even wrote him a poem for one. I wanted him to feel loved and appreciated.

card-1-e1387576722636

I took some inspiration from the internet, and had to get creative to decorate 25 different cards. It was a fun, time consuming project which I spread out over multiple days. Here are a few of my favorite cards:
card-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news, I now have a new desktop muse. Not long ago there was a sale on My Little Pony Funko mystery boxes. We ordered eight. They are so darn cute! Here’s the line-up:

mlp-train-e1387576909748

This one is my favorite, and has been dubbed my magical muse.

mlp-muse-lyra-heartstrings

mary-sig2 (1)

 

 

 

 

An Exercise in Imagery

Dreigiebelhaus (three-gables-house) Am Laien i...

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. As my gift to you, I’d like to share a fun exercise to create unique imagery.

Sometimes I find myself getting stuck using the same descriptions and phrases in my writing. Especially in poetry, it loses that pop. One of my favorite exercises to get out of this rut is one I learned in high school.

1. Come up with a list of common adjective/noun combinations. Since it’s the day after Christmas, I’m going to choose some season appropriate terms. The more you come up with, the better a chance you’ll get an awesome description out of this. I like to come up with 10-12, but for teaching purposes I’ll do six. Adjectives in green, nouns in red:

white Christmas
evergreen tree
falling snow
slick roads
gold rings
hot cocoa

2. English: Six dice of various colours. 4-sided ... Now choose a number. Any will do as long as it’s not a multiple of the list you have. Since I have six items, I would not use the number six. You can use virtual dice to give a random number, or roll an actual die. Since I have six phrases, I’ll use a regular die and re-roll if I get a 6. I rolled a 4.

3. This number is the shift number. Leave the adjectives where they are, and shift the nouns down the number rolled. Christmas would shift down 4 to match with gold. My resulting list:

white snow
evergreen roads
falling rings
slick cocoa
gold Christmas
hot tree

4. These are now your prompts! Use any that inspire you in a poem or story. As you can see, some combos are definitely better than others. White snow isn’t very original, but evergreen roads excites me. If you get a dud, and none of the results speak to you, pick a new shift number.

Another variant: write a bunch of adjectives and nouns on pieces of paper, and put them in separate bowls or bags. Mix them up, and grab one from each. A grab bag of inspirational imagery.

Here’s my poem inspired by the above. I have the start of an evergreen poem, but ended up on a tangent and wrote this one instead.

What color is your Christmas?

White with snow
and frosted branches?

Blue with longing
for romances?

Mine is one of gold
as I snuggle down with slick cocoa
and listen to the joy around me.

A child’s laughter making
all those purchases worthwhile

The Carol of the Bells
echoing like falling rings

And at the end of the day
the family gathers round
to watch a movie

As a child I never could have known
Mothers have the best Christmas,
with memories of gold.

 

For another example, see my very first poem written using this technique.

I’d love to see the poems you come up with, using either my list or one of your own.

Next time on Mary’s Expression: A book review.

Let’s Write a Holiday Poem

English: Modern Bubble light

In honor of  the winter holidays, let’s write a poem celebrating one. Stumped for ideas? You won’t be for long.

Jot down your very brief answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the first time you remember celebrating this holiday?
  2. Who was there with you?
  3. Which was your most memorable celebration of this traditional holiday?
  4. What is the favorite scent you remember from this holiday?
  5. What was the most special gift you received during this holiday?
  6. What is your favorite sound associated with this holiday?
  7. What is the favorite food or beverage you associate with this holiday?
  8. What is the holiday decoration you remember best from this holiday?
  9. What texture or tactile memory do you have of this holiday?

My answers were:

  1. The year my Dad hung balloons and streamers from the ceiling for Christmas morning.
  2. My little sister and two older brothers and our parents.
  3. The first one I remember.
  4. The smell of the blue spruce tree branches.
  5. A huge stuffed panda bear.
  6. The metal bells we got to hang from the lower branches that would tinkle as we swept by.
  7. Pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream.
  8. The angel hair spider webs that diffused the light around the oil-bubbling candle tree lights.
  9. The cozy feel of red and white candy-striped flannel nightgowns

Now, work these memories into a free-verse poem. Nothing has to rhyme. You can rearrange or delete or add more ideas as you go along. Try for a natural flow and pleasing sound of the words you choose.

Here’s my poem:

 

The Big Christmas

Santa came! Santa came! I shout with my four-year old squeal

Streamers cascade from the ceiling where balloons hover,
Held in place by static electricity and pieces of tape
The room, to me, a fairyland of bubble lights and halos
Pungent scent of  blue spruce tree, needles sticky

Tinkling bells as we pull out presents
My package wrapped in bright paper so big I ask,
Is it a horse?
No horse, better yet, a giant panda, black and white
Contrasting with the chaos of color around me

The memory of my sister and me, in our peppermint-striped
Flannel nightgowns as we hug our new stuffed animal friends
My brothers follow two strings leading outside,
To discover bicycles hung in the trees

Our excitement intoxicating my parents as they share
A Christmas hot toddy and  slice of pumpkin pie
Smiles tired but satisfied,
At this big Christmas
©2011 Lin Neiswender

When you are satisfied with your poem, print it out or email it to the people with whom you share these memories. It will be a holiday gift to them like no other. Perhaps you’ll inspire them to write their special poems too.

 

 

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