Late August Mornings and Looking Ahead

Rugburn, taking a selfie.... Okay, I held up the camera, but it looks like he is.

Rugburn, taking a selfie…. Okay, I held up the camera, but it looks like he is.

I’m up early this morning, and while 8am isn’t the crack of dawn, when you go to bed after two, 8 is early. My puppy, a 12 year old puppy mind you, has an unusual growth under his eye, the same eye that I had a cyst removed from back in June.  So it required calling the vet first thing this late August morning.  (and while I have to wait till Wednesday for a visit, I’m stressing. I mean, I don’t know what I would do without him)

It’s one of those mornings where it smells like almost fall.  Not quite there, but almost.  I feel like fall might come on a bit sooner this year because everything else seems to be coming on so fast.  Yet looking back, it I remember everything falling into place at its normal time. In July we had our massive heat spell, then out of nowhere, it broke with two weeks of rainy sort of coastal weather. Suddenly, Boom! There was that first hint of fall in the air.  I always hate when that happens because I actually like the summer heat and smells.  Okay, I can’t really handle anything above 95 and feel really good, but that’s beside the point.  I like summer. It’s usually the season I’m feeling the best.

You know it's late summer when the wild clematis is sending out it seeds.

You know it’s late summer when the wild clematis is sending out it seeds.

So here we are at a week from September.  Today is the first day of school… No really I just pulled up the School District and there it was. No one in my family could remember.  So it is like officially fall, in that pre sort of way that it happens a month before it reads on the calendar.  Truthfully though, after reading Liza Dalby‘s East Wind Melts the Ice, where she says how the seasons actually start before the date on the calendar, I never look at the dates on the calendar as accurate. I think about fall almost a month before it happens, while mentally grabbing a hold of ‘summer’ that is and trying to dig my heels in.  I want to wear shorts and summer camisoles as long as I can. I want to feel warm when I walk outside.  And gosh darn it! I want to keep my tan which is so pale since I have this super pale FinishGermanWelshIrishWhatnot skin. My tan is like what a normal person gets in one week of the summer.

I’m hoping though with the cooler weather (ha! right. considering it was 90+ degrees yesterday) that I might be able to settle down and write more. I have pretty much given up doing much major writing over the summer because it was hot, I was tired, there was so much to do, I was reading…….. excuses. Except for the fact that I just got a letter from Susan Wooldridge who said she wasn’t writing a lot either.  I need cooler weather to write. Granted, I have dabbled in some poetry. I have a couple marvelous ones that I’m happy with and some that I have half finished and various starts. Eventually I hope to have them finished.

I never know what to do with my poetry. Do I post it here? Do I try to publish it? I have this Coral flushed series I’m doing that sort of relate to Boris… Okay, fine, they are technically just for Boris, but in my opinion they are good. So what do I do with them?  I really like dabbling in poetry because it’s something ‘small’ but I can take it anywhere with me.  I have my little book and pencil, because I seem to like to write poetry in pencil unless I’m out and all I have is a pen and several pieces of scratch paper or the back of my library book receipts.(those are actually fun to write on)

Fiction is sometimes so BIG in feeling that I feel like I have to really sit down to write it. But poetry is really something you can take with you, even down to having a small Moleskin or Field Notes and pencil (or pen) in your back pocket You don’t have to take hardly anything with you. It kind of makes it this perfect thing to write, because even if you don’t really do poetry, everyone has a poem in them just from how they might describe a flower they just saw.

And now I’m starting to ramble off on a tangent that is far from what I was thinking when I sat down on the couch on the porch waiting for the coffee to finish perking and listening to the Stellars Jays…… Oh wow does that sound so good to me.

What I wanted to say was that I am going to be doing a 31 Days in October again.  This year the theme will be ladies, femininity and all things girly. Or relating to me since I’m a girl. I have to keep a few options open just in case I can’t figure out a post or two.  I need to start working on posts and plotting out some ideas a bit more, along with deciding what I want a button for the  challenge to look like and a place for all these posts to go. I didn’t like that I have a header tab that is for last years listing. Maybe I can add under that or something. I clearly did not thing about it at the time.

So, new stuff for October is coming…. along with three new book reviews this month. I received a book last Monday and by Wednesday, I was done.  Okay it was lightish reading, but still I flew through it.

And now I am at 900+ words. Wow, I really just let it all fly out. I should stop.

Until I write again at some random point. Happy Monday, Dearies. (September means OUAT is coming soon! Yes!)

Kate

Right For Me – A Poem

472622366Back over my birthday and the week prior I met a darling boy/man, and I was still dealing with new feelings about Boris.  Recently my emotions have gotten the better of me as I watch The Bachelorette and drool over gorgeous men, at the same time dealing with Boris and possibly someone new in my life.  (Online dating can be a whirlwind in it’s own way)

I have had poetry and romance and kisses in my head to the point where I have this perpetual knot in my chest.  I can’t write it all down enough and I am getting stuck and lost in my mind more and more. Fortunately, I was able to capture some of what I’m struggling with in a piece of poetry.  I am titling it ‘Right For Me’ because I’m not sure what else to call it. I think my birthday….. no, pardon Neeko, was the catalyst to all of this.

 

 

 

 

Right For Me

I’m too old for you
Too young for him
Just right for me

I’m too close to there
Too far from here
I’m just in between

My words too long
The story too short
The plot just right

I’m looking back
I’m plowing forth
Just standing still

I like you a lot
I love him a little
I’m happy with me

I wish on you
I hope for him
I dream for me

 

Just a little something to express myself.

 

Kate

 

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.

 

 

Related Posts

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

Bad Girl – Poem

I am - a bad girl
        Naughty
              Wicked
                   Evil
 A wink glints
        in my eye
 As I sink pearly teeth
 Into an ice cream sandwich---
        For I am  pre-diabetic.

 

The logo of Klondike bar

The logo of Klondike bar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes being good gets to you, even if your blood glucose meter tells you that you are a bit too high. I have kicked over into pre diabetes and I’m having to be good now.  No excess sweets and carbs. Gah, it’s frustrating.  Except for the fact that I happen to enjoy the new almond milk I am making. It seems to work better than milk for teas and snacks.

But sometimes you just can’t resist that Klondike ice cream sandwich. Which, by the way, is THE BEST ice cream sandwich ever. Even over those Nestle or Carnation ones.  Trust me.

I am such a bad girl. Now don’t bug me. I’m eating.

Kate

Future – A Sonnet to Think On

Future

The future is a foggy mist waiting
And like water it slips through our fingers
Opening drawers of thoughts of waking
A landscape of ideas that will linger

Dare I attempt to write the things over
An elegy here and a ballad there
The ballad first, an elegy slower
Maybe I should just write the prose to compare

Poetry is in my future plans I know
And the past mistakes will fade in time
Time always fades the mistakes I know
New horizons are in the coming rhymes

I shall miss the companions I write with
But life will go on for I am a word smith.

 

 

Hello all you wonderful people I connected with in the Commons.  This is my last *sob* assignment. A sonnet on the future.  What a perfect way to end the course.  I attempted to stick with a Shakespearian sonnet in style  abab cdcd efef gg, and along with the iambic pentameter.  I’m not sure I managed that perfectly, but I have not had a lot of luck with sonnets.  (@BenHuberman I knew you were going to throw a sonnet at us!)

I thought it might be nice to include bits of the themes from the past two weeks. Water, fog, drawers, landscape, ballad, elegy….  And I think it actually turned out rather well. I have been wanting to work more with sonnets, especially since reading Edna St. Vincent Millay‘s sonnets this last year. She has some stunning poetry.

I also want to say that one of the best ways to write poetry has been using the McGill Dictionary of Rhyme program. It is this rhyming dictionary with the space to write your poetry. It gives examples, a thesaurus of sorts, and the schematic of certain poetry forms, including sonnets, since there are several variations.  You might want to check it out if you are like me and have issues rhyming. That being said, I still use my rhyming dictionary more often, but this is nice.

So, I will probably write one more post on this whole experiance, but for now last assignment down, and what fun this course was.

Passionate Perspective – A Found Poem

Passionate Perspective Found Poem

I think I was limiting myself to what I could write about by using fashion magazines. :P but still, it turned out rather well if I do say so myself. And it was fun snipping and pasting with tweezers… My father said I would be terrible at ransom notes due to fingerprints on all the words…. Well, since I won’t be attempting to ransom something, I should be fine. And I loved finding a landscape picture to paste the words on.

I think of this poem as more of a metaphor. I do have my camera, and the photographs of the country are this story of a landscape. Something to escape and dream about. It’s semi vague, but isn’t all poetry sometimes?

I liked trying to find different sizes and colors. I don’t know if I got the whole theme of enumeratio. Did I use enough “and’s”? I liked starting every other line with one.  I’ve been wanting to do this type of found poetry for a while now. Is blackout poetry the same? I kind of think it is. I’ve wanted to do a piece of found poetry using the town bulletin board at the post office. With all its flyers, it’s a treasure trove of found poetry just waiting to happen.

And if you can’t read the poem, here it is again in print.

in my camera the photographs of country light
   and stunning grace and freedom
is a passionate perspective
   and reaching across the fair northern sky
a new direction, a breath of fresh air
   and spectacular joy and living
fall color and strong white light
   and look to move forward to
Fling open the door
   and see a day of dreams.

Odes to Things in Drawers – Wooden Spoons & Handkerchiefs

Ode To a Wooden Spoon
Lying in the dark drawer, but not alone
The wooden spoon waits for the moment to come alive
Bursting with possibilities in the mixing and stirring

In your tireless waiting for mixing don't bemoan
You are meant for than mixing and whirring
It is in the kitchen you are meant to thrive

Oh spoon, you are forgotten with the bamboo 
But you are lovelier and stronger than most spoons
How will I ever exist without your strength as I stir?


Ode To a Lace Handkerchief

Forgotten lace lies within the scented drawers of oak
Scraps of muslin and linen so fine and soft
Delicate for a woman's hand or purse

Carried in the past by ladies of fine lives evoke
Thoughts of Knights past in there bravery were never scoffed
A symbol of devotion in song and verse

Oh delicate handkerchief you are lowly to some
But you hold a touch of gentry to your humbleness
And I sing to you and your usefulness in verse

 

I actually want to keep writing odes to things in my drawers. Now, I am no Keats, who wrote magnificent odes to urns and nightingales, but I think these turned out okay.  I was talking odes with my family last night and my father came up with Ode to a Wooden Spoon. I’m not sure this is what he was going for, but I have only so much I can work with.

I was first thinking of handkerchiefs since I use them regularly. I have some lace ones, some quite utilitarian and boring. But they are all rather wonderful.  And I wanted to write about sweaters, and jeans, and pencils and scissors, and stamps, and various other things I keep in drawers.  Can we do an Ode to a Paperclip?  This was fun, and today I checked out some more books on Odes and Ballads and other various poems.  I liked poetry enough, but with this Blogging U course, I am full of poetry!!!!

Okay, I’ll calm down.

Kate

Fingers That Linger – Prose Poetry

I wish my fingers were slimmer and thinner than they are. For they are far from elegant, since they are short. A friend had thin fingers that were so slim and pretty. Mine are rather ordinary with nails that break, even if they are painted in shades of pink. Though I like to wear silver rings in them, which is pretty in it’s own way. But my fingers can linger on a man’s skin; gliding over rough, smooth, and stubble. A whisper of sin is in my fingers. If you get me started I am not prim and proper. I can play one’s skin like a violin, singing and skimming over the surface like a nymph. And with a pencil I can will  my missives to be in tune with my mind. Without my fingers, imagination wouldn’t be on the paper. Things I think would be left in my mind, and wouldn’t it be much better if they were able to be read? Even if I am the only one reading them. I can’t dismiss my fingers, even if I wish they were more than they are. One day my fingers will write something incredible, and in that moment, I won’t wish they are thinner and slimmer and different than they are.

 

I have never quite understood prose, and recently I attempted to figure out what prose is exactly. I’m still not sure. I’m not even sure this qualifies as prose. (If you know, please comment) I love assonance because of the subtlety of the sounds.  Because ‘finger’ was ‘lingering’ in my head, the short ‘i’ sound is hopefully noticeable.  Yes, I am telling you because even I might not notice it.  See, there are a few more ‘i’ sounds.

I think I would like to attempt more prose, and in the past, I think what I wrote as prose is in my flash fiction moments. How do you know?  Well, either way, I liked this assignment for today.