Tag Archives: writing process

Let There be Light

Sometimes, to get to that authentic part of ourselves where poetry resides, we have to illuminate some dark corners.

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Let There Be Light


My mind is a growling dog.
While I stew and fuss,
fulfilling lists,
she jumps the screen door,
beckoning.
Rude me, to turn my back
on the only playmate
who wants to play
the same games I do
every day, every hour,
because I fear that initial
plodding through silt
page after page
in search of the stream
of words.

Sometimes boredom
yawns so wide
that I have to enter it,
to wander its inner closet
where for decades
only cobwebs
have stirred.
In some dark corner
where I spank the dog
or search the bedside table drawers
of a lover called out at midnight,
I find the river’s source,
but then
the phone
rings and I’m off
gathering crumbs from a forest path,
leaving lost children
stranded in their own story.

Stray puppies—I collect every one,
wild orange funnel flowers
and guava
washed in an afternoon kitchen
just before the invasion
of five o’clock sunlight.
All of them I carry back
to hidden places
to rub against each other
and ignite
into the language of this place
where life goes in,
plays dress-up,
but emerges
nude,
like poetry.

 

If you’ve been following me for four years, you’ve seen this one before. The prompt word today was authentic.

QUERY

Query

Have you a pattern for your life
wherein you’ve cut out stress and strife,
only allowing perfection?
Is every day a new confection—
cherry pie and chocolate cake?
No rejection? No heartbreak?
No erstwhile friends or jealous crazies—
your entire life a field of daisies?
It must be great, without a doubt,
but what have you to write about?

The prompt word today was pattern.

Amused

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(photopainting by jdb)          

      Amused

When she enters, I’m in her thrall,
and I have no control at all.
Sometimes she carries a riding crop
and drives me on so I can’t stop.
She rides in smoothly from my dreams
inspiring reams and reams and reams
that must be written when I wake.
I’m driven onward for her sake.

If my muse should feel abused,
believe me, she is not amused.
She mounts my back and spurs me on
until all her words are gone––
released upon the teeming pages
while she rides off to join the sages
sitting there upon the shelf,
and I am left with just myself.


About “photopainting”: the photo above was created using only  iPhoto tools from this original taken at my favorite crazy story (Galeria El Triunfo) in Guadalajara yesterday :

Version 4

Today’s prompt was Muse.

That Point

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That Point

It was at that age
of worrying about others
of feeling not enough
of looking for a pattern that was myself
that I put words down
fearing them
or if not them, fearing those who read them.

At that age when I didn’t know what I thought,
I was astonished that the hand that wrote
knew more than I did
and taught that I must be brave,
fearless on the page in a way I had not yet learned to be in life
so that I became a writer to teach myself.
To have someone I trusted as a guide.

It was at that age when I wanted to be admired––
that age when I sought to be loved––
that age when I yearned to be thought a thinker,
important, listened to––
that I somehow was led to listening to myself.

There are these times we are led to by life
that become turning points
so long as we continue.
That sentence. That first sentence stretching
into the future, into now.


I found this poem on my desktop, and although I vaguely remember writing it, I can’t find any evidence of having posted it on my blog.  For some reason I feel it ties in with today’s prompt and so I’m going to post a second response to the prompt today.  Happy 2016 to all.  I hope we all come closer to discovering our best selves in the year to come!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/a-brand-new-you-effective-tomorrow/

 

Change, Change, Change

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Change, Change, Change

The main change I wanted to happen when I started writing a blog was to dedicate myself to writing every day––to make writing top priority. That has happened over the past 19 months, when I have written every single day, no matter what.  The biggest change came about because I started writing first thing in the morning rather than putting writing off until I found a convenient time. Now I put other things off in favor of writing.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Singular Sensation.” If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?

Silvestre

Silvestre

The passion of the wallflower
pressed between the pages of
her garret room
may range farther
than the wildflower.

She hides it by day
under her mattress,
the only evidence of it–
ink bled into her fingertips.

Through the long night,
her pen spills her to infinity
with the wild stars
on the other side
of closed shutters,

immersed in waters
she has never stepped into–
plunged into by words
that she gives over to
night after night
after long year.

Words so sensual
that her father,
if he sees
from that dark Hell
any fair creator
would have sent him to,
must not be capable of haunting
or he would.

She imagines him
watching her submit
to a different lover
every night–
her back bleeding black
from the ink of the passion
he has pressed her to.

As if her submission

were the most dynamic
of all works;
as if no one
had ever said Yes
like that.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Third From the Top.” The Prompt: Go to your blog reader. Scroll down to the third post in the list. Take the third sentence in the post, and work it into your own post. (The line taken from my reader is the last italicized stanza of my poem. You can see the entire poem by Luci Shaw that it was excerpted from HERE.) And my poem is fiction, folks!

I woke up with the word “Silvestre” streaming through my mind. I knew that I knew what it meant, but in the end I had to look it up. Of course. It means “Wild” in Spanish. Even before I looked at the prompt, I knew this had to be my topic and as it turned out, it worked with the quote I was given. Thus, the name of the poem which might better have been named “Wild Words” but I like “Silvestre” better, and Patti, it is only coincidence that it is also our father’s middle name. I would never assign our father to Hell nor accuse him of the implications in this poem. Thus, this disclaimer when normally I feel no words should have to be explained.

Odd Little Saturday Morning Poem

Odd Little Saturday Morning Poem

I lie in bed, flat on my back, head raised by pillows,
computer raised to eye level
by a wadded comforter over bent knees.
I listen to raised voices in the village down below,
the staccato of an inadequately mufflered car revving up,
a hammer falling on wood, birds in the coco  palms.
A pianissimo chorus of dogs spread
over the surrounding hills swells to a frenzied crescendo,
then falls silent but will swell again.

I have dropped obligations
like clothes shed for a lover.
My Saturday morning pool aerobics and zumba,
I slipped out of years ago.
Group luncheons hang from doorknobs and chair backs.
Committee meetings lie sloppily abandoned in the hall.

I have retired from the running of the world
to run my own small universe on paper.
Saturday morning is my brainstorm session
with “Me,” “Myself” and “I.”
“I” suggested feeding the dogs,
but they are quiet now, so
“Me” suggested we let them lie.
“Myself” laid out some words to dry
in the heat of the fire of our communal
inspiration, laying them smoothly on the page,
rumpling up others in her fist to send them sailing
to join the crumpled singles event invitations in the corner.

This slow Saturday morning dressing of pages
and stripping them bare
is a sort of ceremony celebrating seizing time
and making it my own.
Pages  fill up with passion, angst, anger,
irritation, joy, laughter, camaraderie.
There is more than one word for each.

Imagine such control over your world–
not having to live the world of any other.
If you could have any life you wish?
Imagine a Saturday morning  building it.

 

The Prompt:  Me Time–What do you like to do on Saturday morning?  Are you doing it now?