News of the day

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Image: Pixabay

News of the day

Where were the police at LAX?
“I’m not resigning,” says Mayor Ford.
Journalists killed by Senegal mob
and our son-in-law has a brand new job.

Leveraging was new to me.
More healthcare government outages planned.
Big trucks give auto sales record torque
but the kids are moving way up north.

The Queen of Nanaimo hits a dock
Tonight’s the night we push back the clock.
But heart-breaking headline of the day:
Soon the grandkids will be two days away.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Prompt – Inspiration
Robert Brewer at the Poetic Asides blog gave this prompt on November 2, 2013:

For today’s prompt, write a “news of the day” poem. The poem should use some sort of recent news event as a springboard. It can be a news story from today (this morning), but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, you could even go “old school” and find news stories from archived sources–like the “news of the day” from 1936 (to pick a random year).

I wrote it that day, just after having received the news that my daughter and her family were moving from a three-hour drive away to clear across the province from us.

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VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

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Birders

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Image: Pixabay

Birders

carefully document
unusual birders
human populations
have virtually gone extinct
additional searches
better document
small populations
lost race
of endangered species—
birders are our
natural resource

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

(Found poem from National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of North America, “How to Be A Better Birder” – p. 19)

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Prompt – Inspiration
Find a poem—somewhere…anywhere!

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VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

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Searching Forgiveness

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Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly

Searching Forgiveness

Forgiveness – what it is and what it isn’t
It is not enabling
It is not about forgetting

Forgiveness is uncommon but possible
miraculous, the answer
God’s intervention, Divine
the final form of love

Forgiveness is the flip side of gratitude
simply a one-sided transaction
a selfish act, an inhuman quality
a Six Gun lyric, overrated

Forgiveness is a choice, a healing choice
healthy like chicken soup: good for what ails you
balm for the soul
the first step, the path past anger
the way home

Forgiveness is an art form
an important struggle
up to you
letting go of grudges and bitterness
letting go of the hope that the past can be changed
the best revenge
a gift to yourself
the key to action and freedom
the secret to happy relationships
Forgiveness – is it right for you?

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Prompt – Inspiration
I “found” this poem (written in April 2011) by googling “forgiveness is” then rearranging and compiling the results. I thought of doing this because, though we give a lot of lip service to forgiveness, it’s not usually considered a practical solution to being wronged (just watch the reaction of a victim or victim’s family when they’re facing the possibility that the perpetrator will not get his just desserts). I was actually surprised that forgiveness came off as well as it did.

I was reminded of this poem by the devotional reading we read last night. My husband and I end each dinnertime by reading some Bible or inspirational passage. This year we’re going through a devotional by Smith Wigglesworth.

Wigglesworth was a plumber from Great Britain (1859-1947) who had amazing insights and a powerful Christian ministry during his time. This snippet of the reading for April 4th had his thoughts on forgiveness:

“Look to the coming of the Lord. Be at peace; live in peace, forgive and learn how to forgive. Never bear malice; don’t hold any grudge against anybody. Forgive everybody. It does not matter whether they forgive you or not, you must forgive them. Live in forgiveness; live in repentance; live wholeheartedly. Set your house in order, for God’s Son is coming to take what is in the house.” – Smith Wigglesworth, Smith Wigglesworth Devotional, p. 161.

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VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

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ICSPOTS (NPM ’16-Day 28)

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One of the most fun parts of this April has been following the projects of various Poetry Friday friends. Donna, at Mainely Write, for example, has been posting vanity license plates she has photographed, a day for each letter of the alphabet, and using one of the day’s plates as a poem prompt.

When Adele Kenny’s blog (one of the places I check daily for poem-writing ideas) linked the poem “Which Way is Up?”—the thoughts of poet Tony Gruenewald on seeing a vanity plate flash by him on the road—I thought immediately of Donna’s project.

I surfed over to her website and on browsing through the variety of plates, a semblance of order began to suggest itself to me and, voila—a found poem!  Donna has generously allowed me to use plate photos from her blog for ICSPOTS. (Thanks Donna!)

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© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly, Photos by Donna Smith (All rights reserved)

In case you didn’t get the message via the plate lingo, here it is, in translation (with my additions in parentheses):

Icy Spots(?)

Whatever
Look up,
Love Jesu
North Star.

Oh my—
Are you salt?
Misfit?
(It’s) OK.

Kiddos,
Anchor D(own).
Rejoice.
You are loved.

We (are) grateful
You be brave,
Überkül (Extra cool)
Smoov (Smooth)

VN.

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Buffy Silverman at Buffy’s Blog.

The Great Civilizations (NPM ’16-Day 15)

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“New parts for old–magic materials…” (Image: pixabay.com)

The Great Civilizations

New parts for old—magic materials
eyes and ears do dance steps on the stage.

Print spreads the word on horseback, the book
finding the way, measuring the world, making music.

Every room in the house—the bedroom, the bathroom
dining out on teaching and learning, the world of work.

In the kitchen preserving sweets and treats
body and mind, familiar fruits next to the skin.

On the water washday and cleaning chores
improvising on nature, using nature’s materials.

Instruments generating power, lighting
new and synthetic foods—marvels and wonders.

Making things from metal, practical chemicals.
The car is born on two wheels!

Bringing up baby, dressing up, dressing down
in pulses, nuts and oils, fine fabrics, essential fabrics.

Instant riches in playing fields, board games,
gadgets for the home—alternative treatments.

Water and waste in harmony, harvesting the water,
sending messages of Spring and Summer, Autumn and Winter.

In the beginning—signs and symbols. The computer
revolution making and mending ancient games.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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The prompt was to write an index poem. This is a Table of Contents poem — a poem whose title and lines are cobbled together from lines in the table of contents of the book  The Origins of Everyday Things. Words in italics are my additions.

The final poem reminds me of surrealism in art. Found poems often strike me that way.

Spine Wisdom (NPM ’16-Day 11)

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P1050831P1050832P1050833P1050834Spine Wisdom

Nature never stops talking
in a conspiracy of light,
earth against your cheek,
and a round slice of moon.

Here on the ground
witness the weather of the heart
in patches of Godlight
and a tumbled stone.

“Everyday greatness,” says the Noticer
is inscribed in the art of work,
won in the battlefield of the mind
breathing fire—a long obedience.”

The call is onwards and upwards
follow the dream, embracing your second calling
with burning hearts
to an open heart, open home.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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This “wisdom” was refined from book titles–yesterday’s prompt at NaPoWriMo. Words in italics were added.

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I did it!!! I wrote one poem a day for the whole month of April. And this time it wasn’t even hard.

I think that’s because I sat myself down at the beginning of the month and gave my lazy, self-indulgent side a lecture:

– No excuses. Don’t even think of whining or feeling sorry for yourself or telling yourself you’re out of creative energy

– This is your work this month. Priority one. Make a spot for it in your daily schedule; list it along with your other “To Do”s. You have to have something written before bed.

– Any idea is game. Use one of the April prompts or an idea of your own. It doesn’t matter.

I have purposely not shared these raw creations here for several reasons. One, most of them need more work. And too, I’m learning that it’s nice to have a stash of poems that haven’t ever seen the light of day just in case something fits with a contest or publication where there’s a “No Previous Publication” rule.

But I want to share one here with you today, just as proof that I’ve actually been working!  Here’s my poem from April 14th.

Inspiration: that day I happened to read L. L. Barkat’s  Tweetspeak Poetry post about creating and using “jealousy stacks” to write poetry.

Inspired by her idea I then pulled an old issue of Garden Wise (now known as B.C. Home and Garden) off my shelf, made a bunch of jealousy stacks (interesting turns of phrase and lovely words that I wish I had thought of) from articles in it, and finally cobbled them together into the found poem “Gardening Gurus” below.

Butchart Gardens - Victoria B.C.

A gardening guru has obviously been in charge of this plot! (Butchart Gardens – Victoria, B.C. – photo © 2015 by V. Nesdoly)

Gardening Gurus

Gardening gurus bypass pruning shears
for exuberant plantings. In a passion for blue
covet classic blue blossoms, lacecaps
spherical corymb flowerheads
felty silver-grey leaves.

Let nature work for you in whorls
nosegays, posies, floriferous crowns of myrtle
sprigs of rosemary, wheat for fertility
leafy bowers lavish and cascading
the vibrancy of summer.

The wound tar, desiccated roses
rangy growth habit, old deadheads
loppers, weed hounds and recipes for infection
are not in our gardening culture.

Our floral colony is a little summer house,
romantic haven where sage shares the bed
with airiness of lady and deer fern
moon-gated arbors, pergolas and pavers.
Rondel echoes colours of honey citrus sorbet.
Last rays of sunshine fill uncontainers
with peace and enchantment.

© 2015 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

How did your National Poetry Month go?

P.S. Oh yes, today I start as a blogger at our Inscribe Writers blog. My first
post there is “What is poetry?” Do you agree with my conclusion?

Paul Simon reunion

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Approaching train

…Can’t you hear that hearts-and-bones / train in the distance…

Paul Simon reunion

Duncan, my dear, take me to the Mardi Gras
to the outrageous hurricane eye
for the mother and child reunion.

Just because I was not born under African skies
not born in Puerto Rico doesn’t mean I don’t belong
in that Kodachrome Graceland of peace like a river.

Wartime prayers sung to an American tune—
there was something so right about that song
sung by Darling Lorraine.

You can call me Al if you like
the obvious child hearing spirit voices of father
and daughter—still crazy after all these years.

Can’t you hear that hearts-and-bones
train in the distance, while we sit here stranded
in a limousine of the late great Johnny Ace?

You be the boy-in-the-bubble
born at the right time, slip slidin’ away
into the cool, cool river. Adios Hermanos.

It’s late in the evening. He’s gone at last.
Now it’s just me and Julio down by the schoolyard
imagining what they’ll say:

“He was quality.
She was last seen wearing diamonds
on the soles of her shoes.”

© 2014 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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A lovely surprise phone call from the contest administrator of The Ontario Poetry Society (TOPS) delivered the news that “Paul Simon reunion,” above, earned an Honourable Mention in this summer’s Sparkle and Shine Contest.* Another entry of mine (“Christmas on the Wet Coast”—of which an earlier version was published on this blog, but prior publication was okay) earned a Judge’s Choice award. Both will find their place in the Sparkle And Shine Anthology due out later this year.

I was especially thrilled at the placement because the contest’s judge was Jan Wood, a friend of mine (no worries about favouritism hanky-panky though, as there was no I.D. on the poem entries) who is an amazing poet and a frequent winner in all kinds of Canadian places.

TOPS runs many contests, with reasonable entry fees, quite a few open to non-members.  Check out the list of upcoming contests HERE and join in the fun!

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by kids’ poet extraordinaire, Amy LV at The Poem Farm.

(And what, you may be asking, is a “Sparkle and Shine Contest”? The theme list on the contest guidelines almost reads like a poem itself:

Poems to be about fame, glitz and glamor,
poems about astronomy, astrological poems, horoscopes,
space travel, silver and gold coins or body or face paint, fireworks,
poems about fashion, celebrations, parties, start-struck poems,
poems about prisms, poems about shooting stars or falling stars,
poems about polishing shoes, glass, leather, furniture, silverware & tea services,
famous people poems such as actors, singers, politicians,
sports figures and authors and gem poems, such as diamonds, rubies,
emeralds etc. whether in a natural setting or in a jewelry setting. )

The (not so) secret message of Christmas

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Children posed in a Christmas tableau

Christmas tableau (from our church’s Christmas production, 2012)

The (not so) secret message of Christmas

Unto us a child is given.
O come let us adore Him!
Yea, Lord, we greet Thee
Emmanuel; His name is called Emmanuel.
Veiled in flesh the God-head see.
O holy night!
Light and life to all He brings.
I wonder as I wander.

© 2013 by Violet Nesdoly (all rights reserved)

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The November Poem-a-day challenge  for today, Thursday the 21st, is to write a secret message poem.

Having attended my first Christmas function Wednesday night,  I have Christmas on my mind. Can you find the (not so) secret message of Christmas in the poem above, made up of lines from Christmas songs?

Poetry Friday LogoThis poem is part of Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Katya at Write. Sketch. Repeat.

Spine poem sequence

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i
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i
waiting for the play to begin
the impossible uprooting
done

here on the ground
what’s between us can’t be heard
weather of the heart

enigma from the stone
earth against your cheek
polishing the petoskey stone.

ii
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ii
slow train passing
weaving the wind
open the door to another realm

duet for wings and earth
a deed to the light
a trail of light

the ordering of love
the kisses of his mouth
midnight in the garden

iii

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iii
god of missed connections
a breath of light
breathing fire

rattlesnake plantain
animals of my own kind
let me out!

love, laughter and tears
the unfolding of the soul
I am the poem

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I’ve never tried putting together a spine poem so I decided to make that my poem-a-day yesterday. It was fun but more challenging than I thought. Already I’d like to be rearranging some of these lines!