Negative Criticism

Magaly asks us for a short article, 369 or fewer words, on this subject for her Moonlight Musings: the Interactive Edition, #1 at Poets United. Here is mine (369 words without title):

Negative Criticism

(a) It has its place.
(b) It comes in various kinds.
If someone says to me, ‘This line of your poem isn’t working,’ is that negative criticism? No, not to me. (It's useful feedback.) If I‘m told my writing is banal, mediocre, boring, yes that is – but might also be true. In which case I could choose to benefit from it and lift my game … oh all right, AFTER the first flash of indignation. [No-one ever has said that to my face; but now you know my worst fears for my work.]
Then there’s the kind which is meant to hurt or even destroy.

Some is ’heat of the moment’: outrageous insults soon regretted. These usually come from our nearest and dearest! They’re hard to overlook, but if we value the relationships we must try.
Then there’s gossip and slander, said behind your …

Something To Do While Watching the News

Something To Do While Watching the News
I think, when we see the news on TV, it’s easy to go into horror and woe.
But there is danger adding anger to anger, letting fear and hate proliferate.
Remember – we increase both Love and Peace in the Universe, not by making things worse
but rather by being those qualities: seeing, in our minds eye, how they fill us – and now
projecting them as light in intentional flight to the war-torn places, the tormented faces.
Excuse if I preach. I do think that each ray from each soul adds to the whole –
perhaps infinitesimally, yet surely exponentially? I can only start with me. So can you. Oh, may it be!

I was recently given a challenge to write truthfully, without 'artistic imagination', while using rhyme. Poets United's Midweek Motif ~ Televised finally gave me an occasion to try it.

I Don't Sew

I Don’t Sew

It didn’t come naturally. Girls at my High School had to learn it (and cooking) in first year; boys woodwork. Aptitude was not a criterion.
My stitches were large, uneven, crooked, sometimes stained (inky fingers).
I was always in trouble, having to unpick and do things over. It took ages of homework time. My parents were concerned; it took time from academic studies.
Mum sat down with me one night, said, ‘Watch me,’ and very slowly did the first four stitches of my homework hem on a square of cotton meant for a handkerchief. I had brought the same thing home night after night to unpick and repeat.
She explained how she inserted the needle close to the edge of the hem, made the stitch tiny, kept them the same distance apart, slanted them in the same direction. I went all the rest of the way along the hem, using her first four as a guide. It was painstakingly slow.
Next day, I showed the sewing teacher.
‘YOU did this all by yourself?’
‘Mummy helped me,’ I admitted. She erupted, ho…

I Miss the Best Bits, Though

I Miss the Best Bits, Though

as the bus careens downhill somewhere between Inverell and Grafton, quicker than my camera can click – a tree with a bulbous trunk as if it grew in the outback; a bare, domed rock half the height of the tree it stands beside; a sudden bank of crags.
We have time to see, though I don’t snap, the wallaby bodies beside the road. It’s not that car drivers hit them, so much as they who hit the cars – ancient beings without road sense not needed when this continent and its creatures formed.
Now we move very slowly between thick banks of spindly trees on a one-vehicle-wide descent. It’s long. Police let a line of cars, going north or south, traverse in turn. We crawl, then finally gather speed. I miss a startling gully, deep, amongst the surrounding trees on level ground.
Later, back home, I discard lots of blurry shots. I notice I haven’t kept any showing a river shrunk to mud puddles after the years of drought. I wanted viewers to see and know – but after all my quick snaps co…

Birthing Perfume

Birthing Perfume (the scent of the frangipani)
Suddenly I see, my frangipani – which has grown wide and high in my nine years living here and claiming I have any right of ownership – startlingly appears, the first time I’ve seen (else I’m unawares) to have sprouted a giant phallic symb- ol. But quite the opposite: it’s a womb! It’s a great, hardly-ever-happens pod full of new seeds, high up on a limb.… New trees, heaven-scented, will rise to God.

Written for Poets United's Midweek Motif ~ Perfume. Frangipani (plumeria) flowers have one of my favourite scents, and at present the winter bareness of mine reveals this new development, so weird and surprising that I Googled it and made the discovery I write of above. 
As I'm a guest presenter at dVerse over the next few weeks, featuring Poetry Form: Dizain, I decided to write this poem in that form. I always thought the dizain came easily to me – not this time, lol! But I hope the eccentricities of this piece are at least interesting. Perhaps …

Summer Love #12: Skinny dipping in the moonlight

The prompt at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is for a haiku or tanka on
Skinny dipping in the moonlight
in the summer ocean swimming in our naked skins, we float on moonlight

(I'm not responding to every prompt, so the numbering system in this series is my own.)

Summer Love #11: Heatwave


after the summer heat
raindrops kissing my naked body
Ah! that coolness

© Chevrefeuille

At Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, we are asked to create a troiku from the above source haiku. Here is mine:

after the summer heat
we replace first one blanket
move closer together


raindrops kissing my naked body
my skin tautens in anticipation
I imagine your touch


Ah! that coolness
the soft breeze in our hair
as we dance