Crow

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crow-on-bench

Crows always seem like such wise old watchers to me. If they could talk, I wonder what stories they would tell

I took the photo of this old sage in  Loeppky Park, Dawson Creek this summer.

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PF-2This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Michelle at her blog Today’s Little Ditty

Wild Rose Roundabout (NPM ’16-Day 29)

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Wild Rose Roundabout

I unfurl my face to you—
now that it’s almost May.
It was a juicy April
with lots of wet-root days.
To January and February’s sparrows and chickadees
my shriveled red ancestors were food.
Leaves paled and lost their grip
driven crazy by November’s gales.
Ripening in August heat,
hard green hips blushed.
It was a May ago
my forbears smiled their last on you.

My forbears smiled their last on you—
it was a May ago.
Hard green hips blushed,
ripening in August heat.
Driven crazy by November’s gales
leaves paled and lost their grip.
My shriveled red ancestors were food
to January and February’s sparrows and chickadees.
With lots of wet-root days
it was a juicy April.
Now that it’s almost May
I unfurl my face to you.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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The April 28th prompt at NaPoWriMo was to write a story poem—backwards. We saw the first wild rose blossoms on our walk yesterday morning, roses were on my mind, so I decided to write a wild rose story.

The challenge to write a Reverso poem (a poem in which the lines are reversed bottom to top, making a second stanza or an entirely new poem) has also been circulating around the Poetry Friday network. So I tinkered with my story until it worked as a Reverso poem of sorts.

However, there is at least one aspect of a Reverso that my poem doesn’t satisfy. In a genuine Reverso, the meaning changes when you change directions. I know I have not achieved that.

 

SJT – Redemption (Midwife Openings)

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This week’s theme Spiritual Journey Thursday word “REDEMPTION” had me scratching my head at first. I know the traditional religious meaning of the word “redemption” is the rich concept of salvation from sin through the atonement of Christ. But one also hears the word redemption used in another way. I read or hear it used often as a theme in story or movie.

(The site ranker.com, for example, has a list called “The Best Movies About Redemption.” The opening paragraph describes the theme:

“Some of the most beloved movies of all time feature the theme of redemption. These are the stories that motivate us to hold on to hope, fight to survive, always believe in the best, and recognize that anyone can change. This theme reminds us that life is a series of choices, and for every act of injustice there is justice around the corner!”)

One of the dictionaries I consulted defines this type of redemption:

“the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.”

Many Bible stories include this theme. The story of Joseph comes to mind. Another much shorter tale is the one of the two midwives who defied Pharaoh’s command to kill the Hebrew male children as they were delivering them to help Pharaoh control the Hebrew population explosion. Bible commentaries suggest these two women, Shiphrah and Puah, were Egyptian overseers of a guild of midwives and that they were middle-aged. The Bible tells their story in Exodus 1:15-21.

Some years ago when I was writing a series of poems on Bible women, I wrote one about them. Here is their story of redemption:

Shiphrah and Puah (Artist unknown)

Shiphrah and Puah (Artist unknown)

Midwife Openings

Pharaoh said,
Kill each newborn boy!
Midwife code, training
each prospective mother cell
cries, Our lives, not theirs!

We will risk
raising Pharaoh’s wrath.
We fear God Yahweh.
To commit infanticide
means blood on our hands.

Hebrew boys
live despite king’s plot.
Yahweh smiles on us.
We grow great with fruitfulness!
Midwives may apply.

© 2015 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

spiritual-journey-framedThis post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

What’s your favorite story of redemption? Have you experienced redemption in this way?

Aviation Mystery

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B.C. mountains from the air

View of B.C. mountains from the air – Photo © 2015 by V. Nesdoly

Aviation Mystery

This is a poem of everyday freight
of Flight 66 that was bound for Prince George
a steep wooded hillside, a wreck found by night.

Southeast of Crown Mountain strewn over a gorge
the cockpit and crew were found the next day
of Flight 66 that was bound for Prince George.

Plane dropped from the sky in a curious way
near engine nacelle space a small fire burned
the cockpit and crew were found the next day.

He combs through the wreck to see what can be learned
bits of cockpit and fuselage in amongst trees
near engine nacelle space a small fire burned.

Between snowy cedars in snow to his knees
activated transmitter whose signal is mute
bits of cockpit and fuselage in amongst trees.

No witness to tell of that day, on that route.
This is a poem of everyday freight
activated transmitter whose signal is mute
a steep wooded hillside, a wreck found by night.

© 2015 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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It’s been happening a lot lately—planes mysteriously disappearing from radar with the wreckage found later, mute and mystifying. One of those events (a cargo plane crash in the B.C. mountains on April 15, 2015) is the subject of this poem that I wrote during this April’s poem-a-day challenge. This Transportation Safety Board entry provided some of the poem’s details. The terzanelle form with its repeating lines seemed right to tell the story of this tragic mystery.

Since the original story, there’s been another development. Two weeks ago the autopsy of the pilot revealed that he had high levels of alcohol in his body. So sad…

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Sylvia Vardell at Poetry For Children.

My favorite genre

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fictional landscape

Though I enjoy being swept away in a good biography and love the way poetry transports to realms of emotion, sometimes evokes a belly-laugh, and even the urge to toe-tap along,  my biggest pleasure as a reader is to get lost in great adult fiction.

Adult fiction is also my biggest challenge as a writer. In a way that makes it my most unfavourite writing genre. I find it hard. But when I have, at various times, decided to stop trying to write it, I’ve felt like a quitter. I’m sure that’s because since I relish living in the alternate universes others have created, hope springs eternal that maybe, if I work at it enough, I’ll be able to create a believable story world populated by fascinating characters of my own.

Writing Destiny’s Hands was what helped me realize this was important to me. The story lived inside me for a long time but I never thought I’d be able to get it out in a way that I, let alone others, would want to read. So when I wrote it, re-read what I’d written, and got caught up in the story—captured by my own words like the writing of other authors had captured me—I was shocked. You mean I might be able do this?

I know Destiny’s Hands is, by many standards, a novice effort. Can I do better? I’m trying. Come back on March 24th when I’ll talk about my current work in progress.

Blog hop for writers - logoWhat’s your favorite genre as a reader? As a writer? Tell us about it in the comments.

See what other Blog Hoppers like to write HERE.

November prompt – remember

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Langley, BC, Cenotaph after the Remembrance Day ceremony, 2007

Langley, BC, Cenotaph after the Remembrance Day ceremony, 2007 (Photo © 2013 by V. Nesdoly)

We’ve entered November–the month in which we set aside a special day to remember our country’s soldiers. In Canada we call it Remembrance Day.

We commemorate by wearing flocked red poppies in the weeks leading up to November 11th and on the day, gathering at cenotaphs throughout the country to lay wreaths, pray prayers, and honor our veterans with songs, readings, flypasts, bugle calls, bagpipes, and salutes.

But this is only one way people throughout generations remember.

In Bible times people’s memories were jogged by feasts (Leviticus 23). During the Feast of Passover, for example, the Israelites remembered their dramatic release from Egyptian slavery (Exodus 12:14). During the Feast of Tabernacles (also called Booths or Shelters) they remembered their wilderness wanderings when for forty years they lived in tents and God provided for their needs (Leviticus 23:42,43).

In the New Testament Jesus began a new memory tradition with the Last Supper. On that night His sharing of the bread and wine became the memorial feast for His death and resurrection that we call Communion. (Mark 14:22-25; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

Remembering is complex. Memories are triggered by many things: photographs, the reminiscences of others, looking through the attic, smells, songs, celebrations, food …

Memories come colored by a range of emotions from pleasure to anguish, joy to embarrassment. They may leave us with a spectrum of feelings from laughter to tears, thanksgiving to guilt.

This month I invite you to write about something you remember.

  • Possibly a memory related to the special day we celebrate on November 11th will inspire a short story or essay.
  • Maybe the season, with its colors, tastes and smells will trigger memories perfect for a poem.
  • Perhaps you’ll write about an object or celebration that helps you remember.

Whatever you write about and in whatever form, make sure your piece is full of detail and specifics. What senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, sound) were part of your trigger experience? Do your best to transport your reader to the time and place of your memory.

Happy writing as you remember this November!