Winter Yule Musings

Photo by Mourad Saadi on Unsplash

The wind gusts in bursts of force, chickens ruffling feathers and flouncing off in a cackle of panic. The roar of wind in the pines and rattling metal. Lead gray skies and scudding clouds. Winter faded grasses bend down nearly sideways, undulating in static waves from brittle stems. Brown seed heads stiffly shake and vibrate.

A  sign blows maniacally, flopping irreverent in the wind that cyclones down main street, whipping the stars and stripes to sailboat sail loudness. A snow-covered peak plays hide and seek with the snow laden clouds, heavy, damp, icy. In out, in out, till grizzled grey-back bison mountains are snow-dusted, and conifer fur-back travels like rippling hide, up to mist that hangs at nose blowing , muzzle puffing height. A white fog and smoke forming, swirling in the late twilight air. Hovering at steeple tall, the white spire straight and sharp, piercing the sky.

And distant peaks could also be gilded in the goldest light, shiny as a new coin, glimmering and glinting for a brief moment before the watery lemon ice sun slides quickly down, as if cold itself needing to scurry off to stick its toes in the warm sands and tropical waters.

Clear day, so bright the sky is finally an icy robin blue and a ice cold wind blows down from the mountains, bringing the metallic scent of snow, ice, and pine tree needle freshness. Florescent lichen full of damp fungi spore scent, musty, sweet, sharp, full of the woods. The woods calling. Their dormant loveliness silent, but for a burst of raven calling, or the chitter chatter of stellar’s jays and robins, the catcall of a towhee, the blackbirds and grosbeaks chatter whistling in the trees. The streams burbling over rocks and boulders and ice pockets.

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Winter solstice is here, come, gone, and just one day now and the day has grown minute moments longer. Yule and holiday is in the air in just its own way. The earth is laughing its way towards springtime, but paused right now for a moment of reflection. Lit candles, pull down the mistletoe, the pine boughs are sharply scenting the air. Tuck in bows and all colors of red and green. Fling out bells and brightly colored lights. The sweetest tastes are in all forms, in sight, sound, and smell.  Starlight and winter light and all the moments to gather one’s thoughts together. Just a pause.

 

I have three days off for the holiday, which I am trying to savor without falling apart. I am at a crossroads of frustration again and it’s all happening too often. I’m trying to take moments when I can to observe and mentally document what I see. I have missed being able to get stories out, my head too full of work and life. I sit down to write and get discouraged. I can’t seem to get the ideas out. I want to work on my Christmas stories, but they seem stuck.

I hope that all you lovely readers have a beautiful Christmas. If I think about writing again, well you’ll hear from me then, but if not, Merry Christmas, dearies.

Love,

Kate

Metaphors Seemingly Abound

Recently, and much to my annoyance, chagrin, and well, I’m going to go with annoyance, Sampson, my sous chef, told me I write in a lot of metaphor. I had just gotten done handing him a poem that is riddled with metaphor, I get it, but it irked me. He, on the other hand, writes quite literally.  Okay, not always; he did just use Othello in one of his raps he shared, and it was a metaphor.

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The poem I wrote was filled with metaphor because I hadn’t wanted to state the obvious. The obvious is feeling like I’m in the middle of an ego war between my chef and sous chef. Do you honestly think I am going to spit that out as common knowledge? So metaphor is the only way to deal with it if I’m going to share it. Sure, using two chess kings and a queen make for a really good simile. Maybe because I feel like I’m on this playing field that is very much like a game at times. I’m the queen, by the way. I wrote the poem, read it off to my lovely writing group, but I did explain it to them. They got it.

I guess my question is, when is it too much metaphor? If I wrote it so that not everyone, unless I explained it, would know what I was talking about, but also anyone could read it and use it how they wanted, is that unreasonable? To me, no, but maybe I am going to metaphorical at times. I read Ada Limon and half the time I don’t know what she’s talking about, unless it’s a literal poem. I read many other poets that use metaphor all the time, or I don’t know if they are using metaphor because well, gosh darn it, I don’t know the poet. But do you think things can be too metaphorical at time?

I find it hard to always express myself in literal terms because it means being vulnerable if someone reads exactly what you are saying. So metaphor is a reliable tool when you want to say something, but don’t want to show your hand. Which is a lot of my life. That being said, I have used metaphor as just a way to express something more emphatically than if I was just stating it literally.

Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s Sampson. Maybe it was the day, or my mood or his mood, which was feisty, and I was irritated with him already because he left me hanging in a conversation and never answered. He still hasn’t answered.  I’m sitting there on a ledge, dangling off or waiting for that push from behind and the push isn’t coming. See, there’s my form of metaphor.

Below is a sample part of a poem I’m still debating on how to title. Basically , I was in the car with someone and he said something that literally shut me up and had me flushed super red. Trust me when I say it was really kind of sexy and the car got very hot, but at the same time it was good.  This is the metaphor that came out of it. Is it too ridiculous? I have another friend on the other hand, that said I have a gift. So basically Sampson is making me second guess myself. And now I’m back to being annoyed. But readers, what say you?

Want and need are two very different things here
in this game being played out with nothing more
than just a few words tossed onto the playing field.
It's a glance, thrown back and forth; a tennis volley.
I can see he's waiting for me to center
my lady and take what he's offering; a parlay;
what's mine for the asking, as he drives nearly
every thought out of my head; watching, reveling
in every glance tossed my way, filling the spaces
in between with tension so thick
it would take more than just a simple move,
it's no mere pawn stepping into arrows flying
back and forth in the small places between the attack.

So maybe I’m just trying to figure out my voice. I don’t think second guessing myself is a bad thing. How do we become strong writers if we don’t take criticism with grace? Compliments are all well and good, but we need criticism as well to survive. The bitter with the sweet. (bitter of course is the criticism) We can’t spend our whole lives eating sugar, we need some bitters to digest it all.

That being said, Sampson has irked me.  And all metaphor aside, I could lovingly stab him with my knife. (pardon the kitchen gallows humor)

Kate

PAD Day 30 – Dead End – Dead Ends and Roads, and Endings?

Well, it’s here.  Yesterday was the last day of the Writer’s Digest Poem a Day challenge.  How will I ever survive without a poetry prompt every day? I am actually a lot a bit sad about it being the end, just because it brought focus to me, albeit, I felt a bit neurotic writing poetry, and so much of it, ever day.  But now to scale down the close to forty poems to five to send in to Robert for the challenge part.  Who knows, a couple might be picked.

Doesn’t matter so much as it turned out writing so many poems was good for me. It allowed me to express myself even more than I have been able to, unlocking some doors that I had slammed shut last year. While opening the doors is like opening a wound, it’s not a bad thing. It just lets me reevaluate life and realize that while outwardly I say I’m okay, a part of me is not. Emotions and such.

And while I probably won’t be able to submit any of these poems to a literary magazine, because a lot of places consider a blog as being published, I’m okay with that. But it makes me want to settle down to writing more poetry that is more expressive like it has been this month. There were areas I never thought could come out so emotional. Who would think a prompt of footwear would make me cry? Or tackling stars, or Important things, or  even silly and serious things? All of the prompts made me really think. And most of the time it took me all day to ‘brew’, as the term flew around the writing group today, and finally perk some poems by evening. It usually took me most of the day to let the idea gel. But it was good.

Русский: Грунтовая дорога в Гремячьем Колодезе

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, the last prompt was dead end.  A lot of people would probably think of dead end as a negative thing, but for me, while one of my poems comes out emotional, and one a little neurotically personal, dead ends also make me think of living in the country where a dead end road isn’t really ended, but just the pavement stops and then it’s open fields, or a dirt road, or a bike path, or a path to a creek, or a deer trail, or something utterly magical, or utterly ordinary, depending. I kind of like dead end things.

So here are my dead ends.

He’s A Dead End Road of Longing
Don’t go down that road of longing
it’s a dead end street of hope;
Not even a possibility of a country lane,
but a brick wall, ten stories high.
Try all you want, but you can’t break
through all the barriers he built up
to keep you at bay.
He’s piled obstacle upon obstacle
in his wake, and as you sift through the debris
and ever locked door
there is more in front of you.
He’s an expert of disguise, hiding himself
and all your suppositions are just that.
Just hopes you’ve made up in your mind,
hoping for the impossible to escape his mouth
and tell you all the things you want to hear.

 

I Like Dead End Roads
I like dead end roads of asphalt
that escape into the wild.
A deer trail, a dirt road, two tire tracks
that lead through tall grasses waving.
A sea of waving grass and ships of
wild flowers floating on the sea of green.
Where you wander down a buzzing of
unknown insects, the white noise
to the whisper of a breeze.
Down, down, down the track to
What? An abandoned barn?
To a rippling stream?
To nothing at all, but a path that
just keeps going on beyond
the dead end road.

 

Dead End Dreams
Dead end dreams, I’ve had a lot of those.
The kind you make at 5, 10, 18, 25, etc.
The dreams you think will become amazing.
Like becoming a ballerina though you are a klutz.
Or you will have four kids named:
Sadie, Phillip, Sofie, and Paul.
But then, you are not married at 25
like you had planned for the past fifteen years,
and you never became a nurse because
you nearly passed out watching your sister
get an IV at ten, turning green and dizzy and loopy.
And all your inner dreams died long ago
except for maybe one or two you water
and feed, trying to keep alive and so far
they are far from dead end….yet.
Just more of a detour on the tale ends
of a dream of a dream
where hopefully they become a car
on the highway of life where no road
ever really ends.

Kate

Map Me Out – Blogging U – Poetry 201

So, Friday’s assignment for Writing 201 – Poetry, was Day 5: Map, Ode, Metaphor. Map of a woman’s heart by D.W. Kellog 1833-1842

I did a couple of odes last spring with the Writing 101, and I think I liked them…. Okay, just checked, yep, I loved them. See Odes to Things in Drawers – Wooden Spoons & Handkerchiefs

But this time around I think I sort of got lost in what is an ode. I need to revisit it and work on more odes to get the feel.  However, I liked the them of Map and Metaphor, so while I’m not sure this is an ode, I’m hoping it’s close.

Map Me Out

Unfold me out on a table-top
Map me who I am inside and out
I’m made up of rivers of hair
Valleys, mountains and rising peaks
Run down the roads in my palms throughout.

Traverse and travel the backroads of me
I’m a citadel of silence behind walls
A lone city in a country all mine
Fields bare my stamp of ownership
Mountain winds tug me with wild calls.

Folded up I’m a mystery of only a name
Spread out, you see all my hidden flaws
Take out your marker and find points of interest
I’m there but I’m not until you arrive
I’m an adventure of sideshow draws.

I’m a map of myself and not like any other
An priceless country of all that I am
There’s no one quite like me around
My mind is a cave all to myself
And read me all you want, this is who I am.

 

So… again, personal. I seem to only be able to write this way. Not a complaint, just an observation. I’d love people’s opinion on if this is an ode or not. I seriously need practice for sure.  But I hope you enjoy.

Kate

A Concrete Herringbone – Poetry

herring                bone                   in                   the sky          a storm’s               coming

a storm               of long               ing                   for a              change              that won’t

come soon          enough             to suit                 me as           impatience            colors my

thoughts           and dreams         feel like               fantasy          and hope is            further away

than I                  thought             it could               be, but              I don’t want             to give up

so do I let the storm cover me over or do I break free and let the rain come down?

they say that salt water fixes everything; tears, sweat and the ocean…but rain is sweet

 

Okay, this isn’t specifically ‘animal’ other than herringbone, which is what the clouds looked like as I stepped outside tonight. I’m not good with concrete poetry since I have never played around with it much, butStephen Fry in his “The Ode Less Traveled”, talks about it in some very unique forms. It is also mentioned in Poemcrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge. I love it and sometimes it is stunning. I have seen several pieces of this poetry come out of today’s challenge. I am suitably impressed. (I’ve linked a few at the bottom of the post) And you can see what the sky looked like below in the picture I took, which gave instant inspiration to this challengeherringbone

I love enjambment as it is so amazing to have that heart wrenching break. I really feel a twist in my gut  when I am jolted from a smooth, flowing line that stops! And I have to continue on the next line. It thrusts   me forward and I feel affected by poetry that uses this. I think Billy Collins is good at using it, and e.e. cummings was known for using it as well. (side note, I don’t like much e.e. cummings but a few)

Kate

 

Below are some of my favorites

  • Fly   (prodgic.wordpress.com)
  • No longer human     (janebasilblog.wordpress.com)

  • A Kiss     (cnalfonso.wordpress.com)

 

Lady Night and Master Storm

Lady Night in your velvet mantle so blackest blue
Diamonds and a moonstone jewel hang upon you
the finest in the night array your delicate self.
Master storm in his raging mists of grey and black himself
Scudding closer, the edges a wisp of mist
A hint of the power in the brooding black insist
A trickery to the hidden rage
He’s hiding behind his soft finery, a false stage
Trailing wisps mock his true force
Waggling a come hither finger at you in course
Drawing you into his darkness and destruction
A trickery of darkest seduction
Hide yourself from his stunning power
Tuck yourself in your hidden bower
Leave him to his raging and thunderous shouts
For there is no other safer routes
Escape from his stormy weather
And let him leave you far from his trailing tether.

I was out last night and the waning moon in the eastern sky with the bright stars  was being chased by a monstrous storm to the west. The trailing, wispy fingers of it coming close. Within moments, the clouds had over taken the moon.  I picture a delicate lady at the ball being overcome by the dark and dangerous duke… (I’ve read too many romances.) This is what came of it. The rhyme was by accident as I looked at the two lines that start the poem.

Kate