Poetry from Poemcrazy Workshop

Here are three poems from the workshop with Susan Wooldridge.

Using word tickets, word pools, post cards, stolen words and pure magic.  All of these poems here brought tears, full of raw emotion and feelings.  I do hope you enjoy.

I Remember by V. Krueger

I Remember
Hewn stone
Hopscotch on the kitchen floor,
Blue sky, full moons
Strange surprises and early spring
I remember
Frail old people, laughing children
Rambunctious conversations over dinner
The smell of a warm stove and coffee

I remember
Enchanting, silly, lost little girls,
Plates stacked, silver, really?
Dark, dank, scary, stairs to the cellar
I remember
Cold winters, pancakes and syrup
Important dreams
Steaming milk, the smell of diesel.
I remember
Shaggy horses,
The delightful smell of cows,
swish, swish, swish , milk in the pail, a warm barn..



Amnesia, I Have Forgotten What I Was by Katie Lyn Branson

I am Life the dishsoap in the
Spanish home disembodied as my
Mother stands at the kitchen sink
Singing to my sister about shortning
Bread
The sweet, sweet, sweet smell of chocolate
Chip cookies, the chlorine as she cleans the
Sink
Sewing up shadows of compact berries
I remember the expression, No problem
Knocking full of neon light-script
Nom Nom she says, yes yes I’ll have
Another song
The language of the north hand calls me
And I’m the dishes as I set the table
Come back to me potato chips
Crunchy with mustard, sour, salty
Honey tastes, not dainty
Amnesia, I have forgotten what I was
Encounter me in Monaco, a glittering
Firebrat, stunning as a Japanese Geisha
Three lovely syllables form me
Mira, headlights Wildfire
I am leafless trees of burnt umber
Dancing and sensual,
I am a cactus prickly when you prod me
I am a Victorian lady, proper and prim
Every moaning lover calls me home
The agony of eternity’s with them
An ocean full of squares, sharp
The softness of a waterfall full of leaves
Beckons me to the bloodroot of me
The Swamp Dewberry, earthy and sweet
I am so many things knocking at myself
As I chain-smoke my words on paper and
Become a lurking mask of myself
sewing up shadows of a bubble

Ball on the Green by Katie Lyn Branson
I feel like the endless golf ball on the
green, lonely and waiting to be hit from
the club
The luminosity of the sun shines on my
white surface in a desert of green
The rain hits the umbrella, plink plunk thunk
The feather boa around my neck is soft
Tickling my chin
I feel like wearing red and dancing on the
green. The green velvet lawn in July
as you take the weekend to burrow yourself
away and forget what I said to you in a musical moment.
I feel lost waiting for the hit to come
from you sending me spinning and reeling
towards the hole.
Another point for you as you score a
Par four and write it with your little
pencil of grafite
I could erase your marks and write
in my own.
I win! I shout at you.
For once I have the upper hand
Your stalking Jaguar-self won’t scare
me this century
Photograph me as I dance in the rain
over cobblestoned streets, my silken skirts
An Oriental Poppy of endless movement.

Kate

All poetry is copywrited 2015 by V. Krueger and Katie Lyn Branson.  Do not use without permission.

Meeting Susan G. Wooldridge

I lead a very quiet life, so having the chance to meet an author I absolutely love, has been a huge highlight of my year.  I have rambled on a fair amount about Susan Wooldridge, author of Poemcrazy and Foolsgold often enough that I worry I’m going to wear you readers out.  However, when one falls in love with a book or set of books, or in this case, the author, one tends to go on about it quite a lot.

Just recently my local library hosted a free workshop with Susan Wooldridge and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend.  It was all and more than I could have ever imagined, leaving me with some stunning poetry, if I do say so myself, and a host of inspiration. I was able to meet other authors that gather every Saturday, at my library none the less, and it was a wonderful experience.

Susan is even more fun in person than I would have ever thought. I mean, I love her books and her style of writing is wonderful, but she’s actually like that in person! I could gush…. Okay, I kind of am gushing. I may continue through this with much more.

The 'Wild Women of Etna"

The ‘Wild Women of Etna”

We started off our session ‘stealing words’ from the stacks of poetry books Susan brought with her. (on a side note, I want to have half of those books. I didn’t have time to write down all the amazing titles!) Flipping through the books we grabbed words we liked or called to us from these books, writing them down on a sheet of paper.  I grabbed so many words I wanted to keep going and going! I had a huge list.  Here is a sample.

headlights, eternity’s, the expression, No problem, every moaning lover, chain-smoking, neon light-script, leafless trees, cactus, disembodied, dainty, waterful full of leaves, detective, compact berries, gasoline, ocean, Bloodroot, Swamp Dewberry, Victorian, Paint November…..

Then we started throwing words up onto the whiteboard until we had this AMAZING wordpool.

Susan standing with our word pool.

Susan standing with our word pool.

One of our more hilarious moments was talking about the ‘detective (my word) who charged 3.95 a second’. We kept repeating the phrase over and over trying to fling it into our writing.

Susan then had us all loosen up with dancing in the library parking lot. Our library delivery guy saw us all acting like ninnies, and declined to join in. (I don’t blame him. I mean, the Wild Women were at it…. ) We spun around and said our vowels in a song of movement.

We pulled out Susan’s word tickets; words cut from various sources and taped to ‘Admit One’ tickets. If you have read Poemcrazy, you will know what these are. Sadly, I did not get a picture of them.  I need to make my own, but have not gotten around to it yet.

IMG_5659

Our poetry starters, now on my ceiling for further inspiration.

Then we started writing using starter phrases of I remember, I come from, I am not, I am, and so forth.  We used our word pools we had stolen and the words thrown up on the white board. We scribbled away, me with my red fountain pen, writing furiously.

Then came the heart wrenching moment when Susan asked if she could read our poems aloud.  I have to say, while I handed out mine first because I was done, I was quivering inside. Do you know how personal a poem is? If you are a poet, then yes, but for those that do not write it , it can be a nerve wracking experience to have someone read a very rough draft of what you just wrote.

As Erin Andrews said recently on an episode of Dancing with the Stars, ‘this show is sponsored by Kleenix’….

We cried and we laughed, oohed, aahed and were blown away by the stories we told in just moments.  One writer, Robbie, made me want to cry with how beautiful her poetry was. She described this place that I wanted to step into that reminded me of the Melendy Family in Elizabeth Enright‘s  “The Four Story Mistake.”  And Vicki’s poem was so beautiful…. I will include hers within this post as she was gracious enough to allow me to post her poetry to share.

A small break, goodies from the Friends of the Library, then back to work this time  with switched out word tickets and postcards we selected that called to us.  I chose three, that I don’t have a picture of. A Georgia O’Keefe red poppy, an impressionist painting of rain on a cobblestone street in some French city, and a stone sphere on a green lawn in an abstract painting.  Word tickets and postcards transformed us into a sobbing mess.  I was writing, so quietly, filled with this burning ache in my chest.   I ended crying as Susan read my poem.  It was like I had been slammed by pure emotion.  It was amazing, but wow.

She read all of our poetry and it was stunning.  One phrase from one of the poems I loved was “I’m having a silent affair with my land’.  Isn’t that amazing?

"What's that word?"  with Donna May

“What’s that word?” with Donna May

Reading about the "Snow Angel"

Reading about the “Snow Angel”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ended the three hour workshop with requests for Susan to come back and moments of awe. I met some amazing ladies and have been invited to meet for the Saturday writing circle!

Susan handed us our Poetry license and we are all official. She even graciously signed our books. (I now have two books signed by an author. I don’t think I could be more jazzed)

I’m seriously inspired and I have started collecting a sample of obscure poetry books to steal words. I mean, I already have done that, but nothing like what I did  at this workshop.

Susan signing her book Poemcrazy

Susan signing her book Poemcrazy

I will post a separate post of my poetry and Vicki’s poetry.  If I can ever get any of the other ladies to share, I will try and post them in another post.

This was one of the best days ever. I know, I sound gushing…. If you ever get the opportunity to go to a workshop with Susan, I highly recommend it. It was incredible.

Kate

Susan and me.  I wanted to go with her.... She said I can visit any time. I will have to take her up on it.

Susan and me. I wanted to go with her…. She said I can visit any time. I will have to take her up on it.

 

 

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A Real Life Captain America

In this day and age it isn’t often that you can find someone you truly admire and look up to. There are very few heroes like there used to be and we tend to look to our imaginary superheroes of film or television. Captain America of Marvel fame is quite popular. Embracing the values that made our country great, it’s easy to see why we look at figures like this in awe and respect.  Personally, I’m a huge fan of Captain America.  He embodies the good looking, clean cut, clean life, God fearing, country proud man of the era of WWII, which is obvious since that is his time period.  This is my idea of an ideal man. He had the right qualities, and oh look, he knows how to treat a lady as well.

captain-america-wallpaper-chris-evansBut there are very few men like Captain America. Very few men whom our boys can look up to and have a role model.

Except for maybe one man.

Noah Galloway.

It’s not often that you can look at a man who is ballroom dancing and say, oh, that is someone to admire, but in the case of Noah Galloway, I think he is truly someone to admire. Taking Dancing with the Stars by storm, he has taken the ballroom to new heights and surprised, impressed, and made us all cry.  Who would have ever thought a man missing the limbs on his left side could ever do what he has done every week?

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 10.37.26 AM_0Here is a man who was lost out of high school, who saw the two towers being bombed, who decided to sign up to fight for our country.  Who lost his limbs and what was the life he knew in one moment. In one flash everything was gone. He gave his arm and leg for our country. He served our country and fought for our freedom and lost something so personal.  How could anyone who has not been in combat even come close to knowing what this man has gone through.

And yet week after week he danced his heart out, bringing us to tears with his amazing work ethic and self motivation. Here is someone who respects hard work and pushing one’s self. Never giving up even when there were downsides to the dancing. Even though he has never received the highest scores.  Caring for his partner, Sharna Burgess,  in a way that all men should care for a woman, be it friend, mother, sister, lover, etc. He respects women. You can see it in how he treats Sharna.

Here is a man that embodies Captain America.  Who says we need Marvel with a fake hero?  We have a hero right here at home is showing the world what he can do. Pushing himself beyond the boundaries of modern dance.

...... Or the fake shield?

…… Or the fake shield?

Whom would you rather have? A real man like Captain America?......

Whom would you rather have? A real man like Captain America?……

Showing us all that pushing ourselves does get us somewhere.

You want a man for your young son to look up to? Show him Noah Galloway and you are showing him the real Captain America.

I know which captain I would take.

Kate

On the Verge – Prose Poetry

I’m on the verge of being two persons, a little girl with no idea where I am going, but then He says I have attributes that in history, men would start wars over. And I think to myself, how could he not want me with words like that. I am a queen of desire and His words make me that way. Words that make me feel delicious, as he says delicious after I send a glimpse of more than he should ever see. And I wonder if I have become the naughty temptress that revels in her femininity while He stokes fires of longing deep in my belly, my spine tingling with awareness as he prods just a little more and I give in to his suggestions. I’m wicked and good and sexy and sweet. I’m so many things swirled around together to create someone I don’t even know myself. Yet He seems to get me in ways He shouldn’t. He tempts me in ways that are dangerous waters for my heart. I want more and more and more. I want to give in. I want to beg. I want to demand that He give it all to me. I want to whisper his name and toss myself at His feet in supplication. Delight me, demand from me, form me into someone I am not. Turn me from angel to demon. Let me be a *daydream dressed like a nightmare. Let me be woman, let me be Empress to you, my King. Let me sit on the golden throne of someone else and be far more free and alive than I am alone.  He gives me life I never knew and I crave more as he pushes me far more than ever I thought possible. I want to be on the verge of more than I am.

A personal experience brought on this prose. I can’t explain it all and it’s rather personal, but I couldn’t keep it in. I feel I could go on more, but I like the brevity of this.

*Courtesy of ‘Blank Page’ by Taylor Swift

Kate