Posts Tagged ‘Literature’

PAD Finish Line Reached

April 30, 2012 6 comments

poem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I reached the finish line today of this year’s annual Poem-A-Day Challenge, hosted by Robert Lee Brewer of Writer’s Digest’s Poetic Asides.

Three days spent out in the wilds of the north country near the Canadian border has advantages. The wilds had a cook shack with great food, live entertainment, plenty of friendly folk to keep a body moving and interacting, learning and taking away new experiences and perspectives. It also had nighttime freezing temps, daily sunshine, sprinkles when relaxation was needed, and a small-town parade with all the usual trimmings.

While out there on the high plateau, I kept thinking about poetry and what I’d take away from the Rendezvous that I could use later for either verse or prose. I’d met unique people with otherwise long-lost talents, children who could defend themselves without anger or cook over an open fire without complaint. I’d seen crafts that rivaled any in a museum anywhere. And best of all, I came home knowing that I will go back next year for a repeat.

The PAD challenge continued without me, but I’ve managed to put together something for each of the days missed. I hope you enjoy these small offerings and that you’ll continue to return to this blog after this challenge ends. I have a new, improved blog for the end of the week, with new pages to visit and things to see. Until then, daily posts will continue.

Now, on to poetry.

Day 27 Prompt: “The Trouble is (blank)” Fill in blank, make it the title, and write poem.

The Trouble is Time Bending


Arbitrary limits,

On something non-existent,

Takes no talent, no finess.

Limiting nothing takes

More than care,

Requiring belief

That increments from

One mind equal

Production possibilities.

How can seconds become

Minutes or hours, when

Only days/nights exist in time?

Does breathing count

As a measuring stick, or pulse,

When clocks don’t function?

© Claudette J. Young 2012


Day 28 Prompt: Write a problem poem.

What Price Time


Forcing life into minutes and hours,

Taking life from the living,

Becoming machines, wound up

For the pleasure of someone else.

Can we not function except to

Sweep hands and crystal faces?

Are we mindless with this labyrinth,

Marking existence with clicks and clangs?

© Claudette J. Young 2012


Day 29 Prompt: Take a favorite line from an earlier poem this month, and rework it into a new poem.

Prayers Danced in Circles


Call forth with drum and song

Answers from Creator’s hand.

Step lively in obedience,

Sing with heart’s voice to

Weave supplication upward

Toward Creator’s ear.

Circles with unending,

Beginning, revolving in circuit,

To define all life as one,

Connected and connecting.

Such is Earth, Water, Fire, and Air—

Each touching each, depending,

Giving, moving forward as willed,

Calling singers, dancers to moving circles,

Calling forth prayers to the heavens.

© Claudette J. Young 2012


Day 30 Prompt: Write a take-away poem. Open interpretation.

Too Long, Too Short


Thirty days hath April,

Poems coming still,

A challenge for all.

Nothing too small

To contribute in word

Thoughts, noun or verb.

Is thirty days too long, too short,

For birthing poems for sport?

Should we make this habit,

A daily ritual, or run as rabbit?

© Claudette J. Young 2012



Power to Poetry Through Exposure

April 28, 2012 7 comments
metrical tree of an iambic foot

metrical tree of an iambic foot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the misconceptions about poetry is that you have to spend years studying it, learning every nuance about it, have an MFA degree in it, ad infinitum before writing your first poem of consequence. I’m sure some teacher somewhere planted that propaganda early, during the organization of educational systems, to terrorize the average student into the closet, never to pen verse again.

Odd as it may seem, verse began long before written language. When you find an ancient Viking, ask him. He can probably recite one of the sagas and leave you breathless for a couple of hours.

What is it about poetry that demands that it be written down in certain forms to be considered legitimate?

Consider this case: unless one is a serious scholar of poetic form, the truth about the small and unobtrusive haiku, with its few words and syllables, would never surface in this country. True Japanese Haiku has no title (Americans seem to find one necessary for meaning.) It uses 17 morae, which are not syllables.

For those who are really interested in a complete explanation of the difference between morae and syllables, Marc van Oostendorp published a marvelous paper on Mora Theory in 2005. Suffice it to say that individual languages, such as Japanese, are high in moraic qualities. Entire analysis formulas exist to document a language’s spoken moraic structure.

American English isn’t an especially moraic language. And there are probably few poets in this country that would rather do pure Haiku than use syllables and deviate. When I have at least a few months to devote to additional study, I’ll delve into this precision of thought. Until then, I’ll muddle through with the American version.

Here’s a simple haiku as an example.

 Water rushing now,

Stones weeping my memories

Time flows without end.

This verse, that I wrote many years ago, exhibits the common 5-7-5 syllable line scheme. The trick to Haiku, I’m told, is the juxtaposition of its subject elements.

Here I begin with rushing water, placing it in the present tense in the first line; nothing unusual there.

The second line acts as a transition to the next line/subject. The stones are weeping memories. Whose memories? Mine. I’ve placed myself in this short tale, which also combines the presence of now and the past of my memories.

The third line twists what has already been stated to take everything into another time zone. Subject has shifted to Time, away from Water. The last word completes the concept of never-ending Time. Yet both subjects are brought together by the verb flows.

To me, this verse silhouettes several concepts and story specifics. It may not be the greatest example of haiku ever written. I certainly don’t believe it is. I do think that it shows how such a verse is written and how the meaning morphs from one subject to another, using a transition line to make its case.

Please let me know what you think. Did my small poem do its job? Did it work as hard as it could to tell its story? Oft times only the reader can tell effectiveness. Drop a comment and give me your opinion.

PAD Day 24—Two For Tuesday

April 24, 2012 2 comments
Skírnismál, one of the poems in the Poetic Edda.

Skírnismál, one of the poems in the Poetic Edda. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone knows love and its opposite. There are love poems galore because each person experiences it differently. On the flip side, each person has experienced the other side of love; the one that brings pain/suffering instead of continued joy.

Poetic Asides asks participants in its Poem-A-Day Challenge to tackle the subject of love today. It’s Two For Tuesday with a call for a love poem and an anti-love poem. Wait for it. The scramble is on, with the upshot being poets throwing poems by the handful into that cyber ring.

I have to ask forgiveness on this one, for it brings both aspects together into one poem. I hope you enjoy it. Later I’ll probably feel guilt and do at least one more poem for the day.


Too Short


Memory serves to recreate that moment

When temptation and speculation began

With a look, an accidental touch, a word.

Wearing your autumn fire in your hair


You smiled with dark brown eyes,

Laughing at something said by another.

I watched, knowing love again

Within a heart made cynical by life.


That moment when you turned and sighed,

Snuggled, saying you wanted to be kissed.

Ah, how could you know my thrill in that

Instant of being wanted by languid request.


A time of sweet refrain marched to its tune,

Leaving me unprepared of its ending too soon.

Guilt and hurt reprised tamped cynicism,

Bringing an understanding of full meaning,


To one who’d never been allowed this life

With another to share all my joys and strife.

© Claudette J. Young 2012


PAD Day 23 Prompt: Write a morning poem

April 23, 2012 1 comment
Walt Whitman's use of free verse became apprec...

Walt Whitman's use of free verse became appreciated by composers seeking a more fluid approach to setting text. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I begin my day like most people. Yet, within ten minutes of getting up the computer is one and I’m in my chair beginning the day. The time of day varies according to the hour I got to bed the night before.

This month, which is winding down and has many of us scrambling to complete writing challenges accepted twenty-three days ago, has forced me to accomplish at least four things each day that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. That’s a huge change, but a welcome one. Even as I feel harried on occasion, I also feel vindicated in my belief in self. If nothing else has come of this month, I have that for however long I choose to remain true to it.

Since I’ve already announced the poetry prompt of the day, let’s get on with it. I hope you enjoy these offerings for this Monday morning.




God’s Alarm Today


Ribbons of ethereal light-splashed color

Pour out their hearts for my sake,

To bring me back into this waking world

Without need for jangling noise

Or mind-bending musical accompaniment.

© Claudette J. Young 2012




A moan, a stretch, each signals awareness

Of body, long seconds before mind is engaged,

Just before spirit reclaims thought to realize

Your presence is gone with night’s dream.

Wonderment at spirit’s choice of companions

Floods the body, releasing joys at reunion

With one absent so long from life’s path,

Giving solace with knowledge of future visits.

© Claudette J. Young 2012


PAD Challenge Day 22

April 22, 2012 6 comments
Cover of "Fairest"

Cover of Fairest

We poets have been put on the bench this morning for the prompt: write a judging poem. You can be the judge or, if you prefer, you can be the one judged. Okay, Robert. Here goes.



Aren’t we all?

Don’t we cringe

When faced with stares

That bring blushes

To cheeks, downcast eyes?


Who can say with truth

They never did wrong?

Who can stand upright

Without guilt lying within?

Who can judge any but self?

© Claudette J. Young

Have you ever had one of those lines that haunt you, keep running through your mind so that it zips back through at the oddest times? Me too. Those over at Poetic Bloomings must have had the experience as well, because they gave us the opportunity to take care of that problem today.

The poetry prompt this morning was to “take the last line of a poem you’ve already written this year and make it the first line of a new poem. Like a dutiful poet, I complied. Here’s the result. I took the last line of my poem for Day 13 of the PAD Challenge and used it for a different concept for Poetic Bloomings. I hope you enjoy the irony.



A sacrifice to her hourglass self,

Her life becomes a painful series

Of diets, exercise, and calorie counting,

Striving always to be Mirror’s perfect

Reflection, a temple to evoke envy

From all who witness her magnificence.

Ah, the resounding pity, should anyone

Guess she wept each day for the luxury

Of tasting just one sliver of birthday cake.

Queens pay, too, for being the Fairest of Them All?

© Claudette J. Young


Please leave a comment if it suits your fancy.


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Poetry’s Microscope: PAD Challenge 21

April 21, 2012 4 comments
Price Gun

Price Gun (Photo credit: Magic Robot)

Participants were handed an interesting writing challenge this morning. We were asked to write an “under the microscope” poem; either literal or metaphorical.

I doubt many of us can leap into our labs, scan a few slides and take up the scientific poetic slant, but you never know. I may try one later today; I do have a couple of ideas that travel that path.

My first attempt to satisfy this challenge is below. I’m not sure why Muse took me on this tangent, but it was the first thought to jump up and demand my attention.

I hope you enjoy the resulting fare.

What Price Celebrity


What price paid for fame

That we seek this scrutiny?

What price extracted in a game

Of hide and seek and infamy?

What price do innocents pay

For camera shots at school,

Where others are brought to bay

And thrill-makers stand to drool?

What price for bodies abused

For weight, highs, lows, or sleep?

What price to be so pursued,

In the name of love, admiration deep?

What price paid for a moment’s peace

Within the fish bowl of personal making?

Related websites:

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Cracking the Genre Code

April 17, 2012 4 comments
(L to R) American science fiction, fantasy, an...

(L to R) American science fiction, fantasy, and horror author William F. Nolan, American science fiction and horror author Jason V Brock, American science fiction and horror author John Shirley American science fiction author Frank M. Robinson . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you ever think of poetry as a vehicle for science fiction and fantasy? If you haven’t, don’t berate yourself. Most people haven’t.

Today’s poetry prompt, though, asks for that very thing. Poetic Asides Two-for-Tuesday Prompt Challenge: Write a science fiction poem and a fantasy poem. So without further ado, I give you my response to that challenge. (Note: For me, it can be serious and filled with drama. I can also do the twist.)

Paramis Shared

At the edge of night,

Where mottled sky and earth meet,

Dark shadows pool amid cliffs and plains.

Under stars making up Ryan’s Hope,


All my children begin their pilgrimage

Toward the annual space dome challenge,

On a search for tomorrow’s new tech,

That will ease the days of our lives


And take us through the coming cycles

Of our guiding light, with the bold

And the beautiful flashes of Earth’s last

One life to live.


I wait for their return, for their new knowledge,

Knowledge that will temper our fears,

Watching as the world turns its face once

More toward our sun, to live in constant day.

© Claudette J. Young 2012



Road traveling star lanes

Divested weather vanes,

Enter worlds before unknown

Ever searching adventure,

Many times liquid streams,

Plains, mountains, fancy dreams.

© Claudette J. Young 2012


Dream of Home

Green-lit caverns deep

Warmth-washed moisture seep,

Emerald pool crystalline

Bathers recline, eased within.

Muffled laughter ripples soft

Against pinnacle ceiling aloft,

Spending regard gentle and pure

Ever drawing me toward the lure,

Of sweetest home beyond compare

Acceptance true in the heart’s lair,

Smiling eyes open embrace here

Evaporating distant fear.

Know longing gentle breath

Inside home’s green caverns depth.

© Claudette J. Young 2012

Mixing It Up with Poetry

April 16, 2012 4 comments

The Muse of Poesie

Today’s prompt on Poetic Asides was simple. Write a mixed-up poem, no restrictions on subject or how you mix it up.

Again, wide open prompts like this one bring out a creative spark in people who must be seen to be believed. Humor cuddles with inspiration; absurdity takes a swing at nonsense, at the same time that both end with profound observations; teasers dive off the board into a sea of emotive pieces that defy categories; and cento makes an appearance from a pro. You just can’t predict what you’ll find inside the prompt’s comment section.

Take mine, for instance. When I began writing this morning, I intended to write about having been given the wrong directions for driving to a specific location. Not a difficult assignment from myself.

I got eight lines in and realized that Muse was dictating again on a subject that paralleled my intent. It became inspirational instead, surprising me as much as anyone. And I allowed it. Here it is for your perusal. Enjoy reading.

Much Needed Surprise 

I followed your directions,

Though there were missteps.

I’d begin once again,

Hoping to make no detours.

I left early but arrived on time

To your doorstep, a marvel sublime.

A picket fence greeted me,

Banking rivers of pansies,

Holding back a flood of color.

I didn’t think you’d remember

My favorite flowers and all.

You kept my swing company

Until I arrived to feel the peace,

Created for me by your side.

There, within your glory I’ll

Live for all eternity, a child

Learning To Be as one with thee.

© Claudette J. Young 2012

Below is the poem I wrote this morning for Poetic Bloomings, which required verse focused on “senses” in all their definitions.

Sense and Sense Ability

We hear world’s echoes,

And see daydreams unfold.

Aromas fill our heads instead of humor,

With joys known or

Disgust at odorous repeats.

Fingers trace life’s passing,

While feet feel roads beneath.

And taste sensations

Keep our appetites replete.

© Claudette J. Young 2012


The End Is Near

April 14, 2012 9 comments
The Doomsday Conspiracy

The Doomsday Conspiracy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Doomsday is the theme for the day, and seemingly for the year. Poetic Asides used that trend for its prompt of the day is this April poetry challenge. Write a Doomsday poem. That’s about as straightforward a prompt as any could find.

So here’s my take on the subject for today.






It’s Coming, Pay Attention

White bears with patchy hair

Move inland in search of lair.

Seabirds take new route home,

Veering distant, old paths to roam.

Bees that make honey so sweet

Die away, less pollen to sweep.

Water/land dwellers all,

Gasping, grasping, failing, fall.

Weather gone insane ‘tween now and then,

Leaving us to ask, “This happened when?”

© Claudette J. Young


Enjoy your weekend, folks. Stay safe if you’re in the storm zone, watch the beaches for denizens of the surf that can cause harm, or sit in the sun with drink in hand. After all, it might be your last enjoyable weekend for a while.

Striking Fear in the Heart of Man

April 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Deutsch: Freitag der 13. im Kalender English: ...

The dreaded Friday the 13th has found us again. Dare we show ourselves in the light? Will dire portents of evil stalk the denizens of lesser shadows? Oh, I think it’ll be alright, just this once.

The Poem-A-Day Challenge prompt for today reflects the calendar and our cultural superstitions. Write an unlucky poem. Okay, that’s what’s on the menu for today.

Enjoy the fare that’s placed before you and save a chuckle for later when you need it most.



Unlucky in Love: Poor Male

There she is, so coy

Delicate in black negligée,

Waiting for my attentions.

Whisper soft, I approach

Her boudoir, quick stepping

To show off my prowess.

We meet, ah, sweet surrender.

Wait! Not yet! Too late.

Her juices leave me dying.

For her love, her magnificence,

I give myself to her, twitching,

A sacrifice to her hourglass self.

© Claudette J. Young 2012

On This Day

Watch where you step,

Your mother’s involved.

Beware the ladder’s tunnel,

The feline noir’s crossing.

Never mention the Scottish play

Or purse your lips on stage.

Who’d’ve thought soap

And tub would do me in?

© Claudette J. Young 2012

Just in case you are curious about the Lady in Black from the first poem, remember what Black Widows always do.