Today was the last day of the 7th poetry challenge week for Our Lost Jungle website operated by Khara House. It’s a marvelous site and everyone should stop in just to see how this thing works. The form challenge for this week was to write a prose poem.
What is a prose poem? Well, it gets complicated because consensus is hard to come by on that question. To quote Khara, who teaches poetry:
For our purposes, though, let’s pool a few standard “rules” of the prose poem form to work with:
1. A prose poem is a poem that is written in prose (which basically means a poem without line breaks—I purposely avoid using the term “paragraph of poetry” as some poets do, because it’s something more than a paragraph)
2. It is the job of the poet writing a prose poem to ensure that the poem still maintains a “poetic quality”
3. To maintain that quality, the poet should employ common poetic techniques, such as rhyme, repetition, heightened imagery, fragmentation, etc.
4. A prose poem can be anywhere from a few lines to a full page, and beyond”
I made two attempts at this challenge. Here they are for your enjoyment.
The perfect spot to rest and reflect squatted a dozen yards ahead; the brook widened and wrapped around it like a snake eating its own tail, leaving a tiny island isolated from the world. A fold of hazelnut root, sheltered and shaded by dreamy green of Lady’s Slippers and Solomon’s Seal drew my attention as congregations of May-apples gossiped in the breeze. Their saucy white-blossomed petticoats flirted with me, while the sickly sweet scent of those petticoats rode the breeze to mingle with the distinctive smells of wild herbs. Other greens added their odors to blend with that of loamy soil to form a unique perfume around my tiny secret island.
# # # #
My poor young self listened to the words string themselves into commentary, wrapping around daydream like so much cotton candy on a stick. When I found the desert with its solitude and saguaro sentries, I drank in its nights while sitting under a blanket of the galaxy’s brightest stars. Air tasted of cactus flowers and dust, and coyotes howled for the sake of hearing their own chorus. Skunks did their nightly rounds, looking to pilfer whatever delicacies were left unattended. Words came. Not in a flood, but rather with the smoothness of a desert creek; shy, hiding from onlookers until sunlight couldn’t be avoided, when it burst forth to glitter and pulsate with personal meaning. That piece of me that always waited for the right time emerged, and the quiet inner voice remained to tell its stories and run the mental projector. Now, though, a real audience sat in the theater. I focused on that murmur and listened. Awareness hummed within me.
- prosepoem: geese (briarcat.wordpress.com)
- Opening of London Olympics – Prose poem (doodlejuice.com)
- Room On The Moon (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)
- Why is it sometimes easier to write a poem than a piece of prose? (imustwritenow.wordpress.com)
- Poet Captivates Readers with Prose Poems (prweb.com)
- Traveler (briarcat.wordpress.com)
- Contests and Other Things Fun (claudsy.wordpress.com)
I’d like to know if you, the reader 1.) think this is a viable project, 2.) have suggestions for changes to poem placement, or 3) think that a different poem should be used for this photo.
See, not so hard. Just leave a comment to let me know what you think and why. I take all suggestions seriously. And thank you in advance, for taking the time to at least look at this.
The last few days have been interesting ones at Chez Young. Yesterday one of my Haiku poems was placed among the five finalists of a Haiku Poetry Challenge at Khara House’s website “Our Lost Jungle.” That was exciting. My Haiku poem stood with poems from four other marvelous poets, all of whom I’ve admired for a long time.
Today, my inbox held contests, challenges, and Calls for Submission from websites and publishers of varied types, no few of which were for poetry.
The first was an easy contest from the sense of an entry. It was a give-away contest by J.L. Spelbring (ebysswriter). The prize for this contest was multi-faceted. And you betcha, I’m entered in this one and gladly. will get copies of Dan Cohen’s book “Masters of the Veil,” either in paperback or PDF, and a chance at a B&N gift card at the end of summer.
The first Calls for Submission came from Robert E. Brewer of Writer’s Digest fame. Okay, so I’m a chump. You guessed it; I’m going for one of these slots, too. Robert’s looking for both how-to articles for the 2014 edition of Writer’s Market. He also calls for poetry to grace that year’s Poet’s Market. Call me an over-achiever. That’s okay. I am, and I’ll submit here, too. I do write poetry, after all.
To top off all the contests, challenges, and submission calls was Jane Freidman’s Newsletter “Electric Speed” which gave me great writer/reader tools to check out in my leisure time. How great is that?
With all of this going on, I’m going to be one crazy writer trying to keep up. My book of poetry “The Moon Sees All” is the in the hands of my beta readers, who are getting their responses and critiques back to me throughout this month. I’ll have that to finish off next month before going out to agents/publishers, That excites me as much as anything else.
For all of those writers out there who think they can’t compete, I ask this: how do you know? Have you don’t much of it? If the answer is “NO,” you might be short-changing yourself and your abilities. Remember: the only sure way to fail at something is to never do it. Be a doer, even if you think you can’t be good at it. Until you do, you can’t know.
Have a great weekend, peeps. Soak up the atmosphere wherever you are, smile at yourself as much as you do at others, and do something different with an hour or two. You never know—that something might become your next passion.
- Anniversary Week – Poetry Contest (dversepoets.com)
- Two Haikus Sprout from Travel (steffiwrites.wordpress.com)
- Here’s a fun poetry contest! (littleboxofbooks.wordpress.com)
- Andrea Gibson, DeVotchka and “How it Ends” (dadpoet.wordpress.com)
- poetry contest – $1 entry fee! (roughverse.wordpress.com)
- Just Keep Writing (floatingwiththebreeze.wordpress.com)
- Winner of the Name That Abstract 8 and new Poetry Challenge (timzauto.wordpress.com)
- How Innovation Is More Poetry Than Science (fastcompany.com)
- Poetry Picks (guerrillapoem.wordpress.com)
Each year millions create an almost migratory herd, like so many waves rolling toward a shore called “vacation.” Each traveler has in mind a personal calling toward whatever destination reaches in and takes hold of the heart for that season. How many can resist that pull?
My writing partner left this past weekend for vacation with her children. Since that particular blog is on vacation this week, I’m left with additional and unanticipated hours of luxurious time to delve into new studies, new avenues of knowledge exploration. I could spend the extra hours working on some of my long projects, but they’ve already been delegated to regular work hours.
For now, I can download seminars and listen without guilt, soak in new knowledge to add to those bits I’ve stored away, and investigate hitherto unknown streets that branch off the cyber highway. There’s a lot of territory to roam in only a few measly days. What if I get lost?
No fears. Fear is the little mind killer. That has become my motto of life.
Learning new software applications will get an hour here and there. A new book will have a half an hour of my time each day. An hour long seminar each day isn’t too much to do. And a couple of hours devoted to my writing course will pay off handsomely in a few months. (I’m rebuilding—not revising–my YA novel.)
The finishing touches on my first book of poetry are happening today. It will go to beta readers within a few days, as soon as I get them all lined up. Once it’s out to readers, I’ll concentrate on the second book. I have all of the photos, thanks to Sister and that trusty camera of hers. It’s begun, but now I must implement the outline for the epic poem.
Did I mention that I just had two more poems accepted by Four and Twenty Short Form Poetry? That drives more incentive to send out more poems and create a few more just for outside submission. Surprises like this one I can handle without difficulty.
So far my week is starting out pretty well. Speaking of poetry, here’s the one I did yesterday for Poetic Bloomings Prompt of Write a Resting Poem.
What gentle rustlings
Probe mind’s nooks
While sleep hangs
What probings shake
While slumber paces?
What shakings loosen
Ponderings, dry eyes,
And weave weariness
Into strain’s distress?
These rustling, probing
Shakings serve to
Alert, with useless
Of sleepless nights
And fog-filled days.
Oh, to sit beside the
Stream of Forgetfulness,
Dipping toes into sweet
Thoughts of Easement;
To feel Zepher’s breeze
Linger on naked skin,
While Pan plays his
Lullaby to needy ears;
To rest within a cradle
Rocked by Earth’s pulse,
Removing all care, worry,
The better to nurse from Peace.
Some may see my planned week as anything but a vacation. That’s fair. For me, who has the occasional full day up in the mountains or along a lake shore, my definition of vacation tends to differ from that of others. A day to do nothing but read a new book or an old favorite is a mighty vacation indeed.
Enjoy your own coming holidays, everyone, and leave a comment here telling of your own vacation plans. Or, do you have to wait for get a break from routine? Don’t be shy. Everyone wants to go somewhere. Feel free to share.
- Poetry Revisited (kbunge.wordpress.com)
- The American in Me - (intheperputualruins.com)
- Workin’ For It – a Poem in Response (margoroby.wordpress.com)
- A Summerful of Tuesday Tryouts (margoroby.wordpress.com)
- Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon Celebrates One Year (lcurrelley.wordpress.com)
- Looking at the ground, seeing you. (owmaria.wordpress.com)
- From Nature’s Patient Hands: For Couplets, Elizabeth Barrette (wbabiak.wordpress.com)
- BYOD: Death of the nonworking vacation? (zdnet.com)
- Writing Poetry and the Creative Process (lizbethwrightbooks.wordpress.com)
I escaped to my poet’s playground this morning and got to compose in the sandbox with my paints.
Here’s hoping you enjoy this playtime effort. I’ll have more poetry tomorrow, and more postings during the week.
Have a great weekend, everyone, and come back for the holiday week refreshed and energized.
One of my other blogs got lonely today. In order to keep it from gathering dust, I wrote a piece that talks of obligation, creation, writing, and put it all in a package that takes its inspiration from the manual on poetry.
Calliope is one of my several personalities. I figure if you’re going to go to all the trouble of having more than one persona, you might as well give each one room to spread out.
So, if you’re bored, have time on your hands and just want to see something different that you get over here, pop over to Calliope. The fare over there has a different flavor than Claudsy’s Blog; at least, most of the time.
Enjoy yourselves. Comment if you desire.
It’s Poetry Day on Two Voices, One Song today.
If you haven’t been to the site yet, take the time to look around, drop in comments where you will. Enjoy yourself.
Obviously this is the last day of May, but it’s also the day before the launch of a new website called “Two Voices, One Song.” My friend, Meena Rose, and I have created a new joint venture. It’s a blending of philosophies, perspectives, and visions, which I hope all of our regular readers will enjoy.
We’re inviting our readers to take a peek inside this new space before the rush of tomorrow, to have a look at the rooms within our freshly built abode.
Does this mean that Claudsy’s Blog will cease to exist or be abandoned like an old toy in favor of a new one? Not for a long while yet, is the only answer I can honestly give. It does mean that I’ll only be posting here every other day, instead of daily, as is now the case.
Meena and I are blending as much as we can of who we are as people and writers to give readers a far better look into our minds. Among the rooms at “Two Voices, One Song,” you’ll find regular brainstorming sessions between us while we work out problems with pieces of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. You’ll find regular pieces of finished fiction/non-fiction, as well.
Memoir entries centered on travels we’ve made, and understandings or thoughts we’ve taken away from those travels, will show up in the garage each week. Discussions of philosophy will take place in the Library, even while meditation is offered in the Garden. For those in need of writing prompts, there is a large selection from which to find just the one to stir the imagination and the Muse.
Along the way, we’ll have links to places we find worthwhile, engaging, or instructive. We urge every visitor to take advantage of these offerings and to offer feedback in return.
Profiles and interviews, stories and articles, poems and projections all come together there for savoring by the reader.
In the meantime, I’ll be having regular posts here as well. If I do fiction there, it will show up here. The same holds true for poetry and questioning pieces.
And while Claudsy’s Blog will migrate much of its content to the new site, Claudsy’s Calliope will do the same; as will Trailing Inspirations. This co-mingling of content and perspective feels like the proper thing to do right now, in this surge of creativity that was fostered at the beginning of May.
Please enjoy a tour of “Two Voices, One Song” and see if what you’ll find there will be as suitable to you as my offerings here. Once you’ve been there, leave me a comment here. Tell me your thoughts on this coming attraction.
I’ve come to enjoy seeing all of my visitors here over the past many months. You’ve made my daily postings so much more than they were when they came fresh from my cranium.
Thank you all for sticking with me and what I might bring to the table. I’m looking forward to having you visit for a long time to come.
Until I see you again on Saturday, a bientot,
PS: Flash Fiction Friday erupts from the Kitchen with a story from yours truly tomorrow on “Two Voices, One Song.”
- Meena Rose On the Air (claudsy.wordpress.com)
- Spotlight Saturdays: De Miller Jackson (meenarose.wordpress.com)
- Observations of a Modern Day Ancient: Saga of “As the Arrow Breaks” (meenarose.wordpress.com)
- on “black box” (sippey.com)
- A Passion for Immortality: On the Missing Pulitzer and the Problem with Prizes (themillions.com)
- Genre Fiction and the Real Problem With Philosophy of Science [Uncertain Principles] (scienceblogs.com)
- CPASC Philosophy (cpastorycentral.wordpress.com)
- Philip K. Dick, Sci-Fi Philosopher, Part 1 (opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Preface to D. R. Popa’s Crossing Washington Square (literaturesalon.wordpress.com)
Once upon a time I met a young, shy woman named Meena Rose. She’d come onto the Institute of Children’s Literature’s Writer’s Retreat to join our merry band of word workers. It took less than a half dozen visits for her to become a favorite attendee. Her wisdom belied her youth. Her perception and insight startled many of us who’d lived twice as long. And her gentleness melted our hearts.
I give you Meena Rose, who will surprise those who don’t as yet know her and who will bring smiles to those who already love her. Take it away, Meena.
Have you ever slowed down your train of thought?
By: Meena Rose
It just so happened that I was asking myself that very question a few days ago. I was curious what my thoughts would be on a topic if it was delivered in freeze frame segments to my mind. Would I reach the same reaction in the end or would it be different for having slowed down the input and the reaction to it?
There really was only one way to find out. It was to put the idea to the test and have a voice recorder on standby to record my immediate impressions before they faded. Since I normally neither watch nor listen to the news, I decided to select the first full story that I would tune into. Without further ado, here are the results. I will relay the segments and then reconstruct the story at the end.
Newscaster: This is about a little boy
Meena: Ummm, and, so?
Newscaster: Who ran
Meena: Really, where?
Newscaster: Into the street
Meena: Irresponsible parents, silly boy, will they ever learn. <I am feeling very agitated and angry>
Newscaster: In front of oncoming traffic
Meena: This does not bode well. <My gut actually heaved and I felt myself tense up>
Newscaster: Escaping from
Meena: Oh no, I am so sorry little boy. I hope you are safe. I am sorry for judging your parents too. <My arms get goosebumps>
Newscaster: His father who was
Meena: I knew it. You were just like all the little kids who escape the grips of their parents. <I am feeling flushed and angry again>
Newscaster: Chasing him with a knife.
Meena: Oh, no! Dear God, no! I am SO SO sorry kid. You should never have had to deal with that. Your dad is a monster you did not deserve. Please be alright kid, please be alright. .
Newscaster: A bystander
Meena: The story is not over? Please let it end well
Newscaster: Tackled the father
Meena: Yes! Yes! Oh wait, what about the boy? What about the boy? Don’t keep me waiting.
Newscaster: While another bystander
Meena: Please help the boy! Please!
Newscaster: Pulled the boy
Meena: And?!? Hurry up!!
Newscaster: To safety.
Meena: Yes! Yes! Kid, I am glad you are safe! <My knees feel like jello and I am breathing fast>
To be honest, my mind shut down after that. It did not want to hear any more. I had had enough. Promptly, I turned off the TV set and sat in a broody silence. For once, I understood why I can’t bear to hear the news. Being jerked around emotionally from the extreme heights of expectation to deep valleys of despair within the blink of an eye is really not my cup of tea.
However, I am this way when I read fiction as well. My mind will parse, process, analyze and react to the story in segments which I am certain the author had not anticipated. They do not obey the basic rules of punctuation. I am so riveted to the book and the adrenalin rush reading generates that I lose myself in time.
One time I had read for 5 hours straight. The sun had set and I was famished. I went to the bathroom instead and settled in for another 5 hour burst. That book just had to be finished in one day. I literally “wear” the POV character as a cape around my shoulders and walk a chapter in their shoes. It adds to the experiential rewards I receive from reading.
There are times when I have been so angered by a story that I have flung the book clear across the room and relished in hearing the “crack” resulting from the spine hitting the wall. Once, I have cooled down, I would get up and pick the book up, apologize to it and start reading it again as though no violence had transpired.
There are other times when I have been so moved to tears that I cried openly without bothering for a tissue to dab at my eyes. Those books have tear stains upon their pages, marring the perfect finish of the page.
There are other times when I had been so terrified that I would hide the book away from sight and make a pact to only read it during the daylight with many hours separating the reading and sleep. Let us not forget about laughter, joy, peace and love; all equally powerful.
I developed a term for this reaction. I call it Enhanced Experiential Engagement (EEE).
There is something to be said for allowing the train of thought to cruise at its normal pace. I wonder if it mercifully collects large enough nuggets of information to spare us the highs and lows in our unending assessment of the world around us.
Or, do we still go through the highs and lows without dwelling on them for too long, thereby nullifying the effect? Are we better off perceiving the world in an EEE way? Or, are we better off without the notion of EEE?
Here is the story I heard:
“This is about a little boy who ran into the street in front of oncoming traffic, escaping from his father who was chasing him with a knife. A bystander tackled the father while another bystander pulled the boy to safety.”
How did you react? Did you slow down your train of thought? Did you have an EEE? Describe your reactions upon reading the story.
Meena Rose is a multi-lingual world traveler and transplanted Oregonian; a mother of three children (one boy and two girls) who works as an analyst by day, promoting creativity through writing, storytelling, and role playing wherever she goes.
Catch a glimpse of this lovely lady each day on her website, “Through the Eyes of Meena Rose” at: http://meenarose.wordpress.com/
With each day’s offering, you’ll discover more depth than you might imagine.
- The MNINB Annotated Blogroll: Poetry In Motion, Part Deux (meenarose.wordpress.com)
- Poet Treat Tuesdays: Three Matches (meenarose.wordpress.com)
- Prompted Wednesdays: Of Pretenders, Chameleons and Travelers (meenarose.wordpress.com)
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