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Showing posts from August, 2019

Go Away, Online Stalker

Another sestina for the dVerse poetry form challenge. Back story: I recently started using Instagram and already am targeted – just as the facebook stalkers seem to have finally given up. Boring!

Also sharing this with Poets United's Poetry Pantry #491


Go Away, Online Stalker
Go away, stalker, don’t pursue me on facebook, or follow me on Instagram. I don’t trust you. I’ve seen your kind before. I can tell by the way you praise my smile.
I exercise that lovely smile wryly, when I see you. Don’t for a moment think I can’t tell you plan to exhibit delight, even awe, at having suddenly seen your new dream; you’ll swear it’s I.
You're even a bit amusing, thinking I would favour you with a smile. I know you have seen that I’m an elderly widow. Don’t bother, pal, I’m not that lonely. Or you’re really a robot. I can tell.
You’re fronting a Russian crim? Do tell. But you won’t of course. Even I know that much. So take your oar out of this boat; don’t try to smile as you fall overboard, and don’t bother swimming …

My Friend the Thinker

The latest form challenge at dVerse is the sestina
(based on a particular sequence of line endings over six six-line verses.)  The back story is part of the inner journey of a close friend.

Also linking to the final Tuesday Platform at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.

My Friend the Thinker
She spent a long time seeking God, reaching out and listening, wanting to find out for herself just who and what God is. Would He turn out to be evil? Or is He truly Love? Is He Life?
She was turned away from her daily life (the one she’d had)by illness – so, lots of time for God. What do you do if you think God might be evil? I guess you do some very serious listening. After all, you wanted to know what really is. You asked Him to acquaint you with Himself.
What if you find that your own and every other self is not in fact having a separate life – although then again, at the same time each one is – but is a tiny part of God, created from God? Would it drive you mad? Would you stop listening? How would you fee…

Negative Criticism [Prose]

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.
Professional
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.]
Personal
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 [Prose]

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…