My Idea of a Fourth – Prose/Slam Poetry

It’s laundry soap an the smell of hot summer dried grass,
and freshly mowed grass,
and the sky is blue with white streamers,
and the streets are quiet as trucks are filled with ice chests and sleeping bags,
and it’s Peter painting the town’s phone booth,
I like saying ‘hi’ on the fourth of July
stopping to say ‘hey this is going to be a great day,’
while the good old Main is lined in our red, white and blue,
colors said that way on this day that make me want to cry,
So thankful am I to be in this country of mine,
and it’s the garden that grows with all the flowers of summer,
the Playboy rose that tickles my nose with it’s rich flair,
and the spicy mountain air, perfuming the air,
it’s the richness of coffee in my porcelain cup,
and the bright red current granita, I can’t get enough,
and it’s the words I lay on my page every day
It’s the things you can’t see by what makes freedom for me,
the sky and the trees and the whispering breeze,
the right to do whatever I please. . .

The fourth is always a simple, quiet affair for me. I never do much of anything, but it’s the simple things that I love best. And I saw and smelled all of this today. It’s who I am, it’s what I like, and I wanted to share it with everyone.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.

Kate

Writing in the Car

innovative journal writing

 

I rarely write in the car due to motion-sickness. Ah the joy of looking down at print then suddenly you are swimming and ready to half pass out. Bleh. It happens more often than not, so I’ve grown quite used to just riding in the car and making sure I am staring straight out the window.

However, one thing that I’ve wanted to try for a while is jotting down the things I see as I am in the car and create a poem from it. Susan Wooldridge wrote a whole poem on it when she visited us up north from Chico. She wrote down our street names and what she saw along the road. I knew where she was because of what she had written up. In another poem from her Bathing With Ants, you know she is writing down things as she is driving a car full of vegetables somewhere, as the signs and places and feelings are there.

On a recent trip to Klamath Falls, I was fortunate enough to have my new pocket journal I splurged on for my birthday. It’s this gorgeous little leather cover with snazzy, expensive paper inside (I hacked it and made my own insert-able booklet so as not to go crazy spendy on paper) The picture above is me in the car, writing as I go.  Phrases to the poem that I’m writing, which I’ve yet to finish yet, are “Throw out the buttercups, there are cornflowers along the road, and the wallflower pops up its orange head, the milkweed’s about to burst……
Grass lake and falling snows and geese standing in dismay, a Phantom driving slowly…..

 

I love the Phantom line because we were following behind a semi truck with the name Phantom on it.  And fortunately I wasn’t driving. I could not have written anything had I been driving. That’s just too dangerous.  Anyways, I liked how I could capture what I was seeing, though as you drive 60+ mph, it’s hard to capture it all. I had to start just writing down snippets and hope for the best, all while watching amazing bird life and mountain snows fall, and strawberry fields all planted, and rain and rivers and lakes and pelicans flying by…. yes, pelicans, and I swear I saw cormorants as well…. Klamath Falls is stopping and breeding point for some ‘exotic’ birds.  I think it’s cool.

And Mrs. B was wondering why I was writing in the car, but I can’t turn off my brain. I haven’t been able to turn it off since April when I was writing every day, multiple poems and thinking about things differently.  No, I haven’t posted much here since april, but I have been crazy thinking and writing things down in other places. I have so much I’ve written that it’s crazy. And half the things I write, I don’t know what to do with them!

But I must ask, have you ever written in the car? While driving? At a stop sign? As the passenger?  Do you note things you see and write them down later?  I try and make this giant moving picture in my head, a film of sorts, but I can’t keep it all. I try to remember every detail but there is so much to see.

Kate

Everything Stopped poem & My 24 Hour Romance poem

A photo by Joanna Kosinska. unsplash.com/photos/B6yDtYs2IgYSo, thankfully Robert Brewer posts a Wednesday poetry prompt, because I was feeling a bit down at the end of PAD. While I might have been cutting down on my writing, I had gotten in the flow of writing poetry every day and I was in serious withdrawal.   So the first Wednesday prompt after the end of PAD was ‘when everything stops’ and this week’s was ‘running its course’.  The first prompt had me writing about when writing stops, but that didn’t go very far. So I ended up writing about one of my characters. So poetry for my heroine. Here it is first.

Everything Stops
Everything stopped when he walked up
to the bar and bought her a drink
that she declined, but smiled prettily
and her eyes invited him in, though
her words were cautious.
He was her night to her day
Opposites in a crashing world of
guitars and drums and pictures and
still motion.
And all around the noise was a roar
But they stood like long lost friends
afraid to touch but longing to
step over the line in the sand
separating one beating heart
even though they had only just
met.

 

I rather like how it turned out because I can see how my two characters meet, in this moment where they are kind of oblivious to their surroundings.

My second poem for ‘running its course flashed to me when I met a marvelous man three years ago, or was it two?… and I suddenly understood instant attraction and it was kind of wonderful, and I still flash back to that first kiss that was something to hold other kisses up to. Sadly, I pined for too long, but oh well, I have my weird moments.

My 24 Hour Romance

Our relationship ran its course in 24 hours
from beginning to end
though I pined for you for thirty days
or more, or less as I slowly forgot
or gave up, or moved on…… I don’t know
But I still taste that perfect first kiss
and I still shudder in longing
and I still hope you would come back
Even though I know you never will.
For twenty four hours I was yours
until you said I would make someone a
perfect wife.
Why couldn’t it be you?

I feel that that is a bit bitter sounding, and maybe it is. Maybe it’s because I’m tired of other people telling me I’ll make a great wife for someone. You never want to hear that from a guy you like.  Maybe I’m a bit morose right now. May gets to me sometimes. Probably because it’s my birth month and my life comes back to haunt me in its own way. I start doubting my life, or what I’m doing, or the lack of things happening the way I had planned. Most people do it at the start of the year, you know, New Year’s Day? I do it on my birthday.

Well, despite morose, in some ways, I hope you enjoy.

Kate

Misread Poetry Prompt – Hazardous

Hazardous Life

Hairdryers, air mattresses, Coca Cola,
heating pads, skill saws, coffee pots, all
hazardous to your health, say
all the warning labels.
May cause cancer, will electrocute,
don’t leave near children.
This will kill you!
Browned potatoes have
known to be toxic and cause cancer
but we don’t recommend not eating
browned potatoes.
Warning labels on mattresses and matches
warnings on soap, wine and tobacco.
Don’t, don’t , don’t, everything says.
I’m curious. How do I live if everything
is hazardous to my health?

Okay, it’s not brilliant, but seriously, everything has a warning label.

Kate

She Disappeared – Or, Now She’s Back

Hello dearies,

After Writer’s Digest’s Poem a Day (PAD) and sending in my five poems, I kind of crashed when it came to writing. I found it apropos that on the Wednesday following PAD, Robert Brewer posted the poem prompt, When Everything Stops. Literally, everything with writing kind of stopped, at least here.  I always find that I have that problem when I do a challenge that means writing every day. I get a little burned out and put everything on hold.

Now I didn’t actually stop everything. I was writing at my writing group, and I actually have a couple poems that came out of the last two Wednesday Prompts at Robert Brewer’s Poetic Asides.  I dabbled in a bit of flash fiction and wrote a Hazardous poem because of my misinterpretation of the one PAD prompt of haphazard. It was pretty fun though.

Now the early summer is here and my mind is off on several directions. Especially now that I received  six gorgeous new notebooks for my birthday. Oh the things to put in them! And I also splurged on this new leather journal, a pocket one, because of this offer I saw online. It is Renaissance Art Innovative Journaling and the offer was for a free Primer journal to see how they are. I paid just the shipping, which was $9.95, but I love it. It is just right for your purse or pocket. I can’t afford the paper choices they offer, though I would love to get the refills, so I made my own. But check out the free journal offer here —> Free Journal

So now I have several things to write in and ideas and such.  I have a project with the Friends of the Library, my local chapter, where I am going to be hunting for poetry lines or famous lines about the seasons or the months or such for a calendar that the Friends are going to make supposedly with a local photographer. I mean, it’s quotes. And writer things. I can do that.

So I’m still writing, just not as prolifically as I was a month ago. But it’s okay, now I can focus on a story I started in winter and trying to finish it.

How is everyone else writing along?

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

PAD Day 29 – Haphazard – My Books are in Upside Down Pyramids

Today’s prompt, from everything I have gathered, since Writer’s Digest seemed to be down all day, was ‘haphazard’. I had read it wrong earlier in the day as hazardous and started writing about things that are hazardous to our health.  I may have to finish that just for the heck of it.

I seem to have a random way of piling things, in piles that are not physically possible. Physics was never a strong suit of mine. And will never be despite my love of Legos and blocks. But that’s another story.  I have this thing where the smaller items get piled under the larger things so needless to say, my stacks of paperwork, books and whatnot tend to fall over. I’m not sure why this is the way it is, but my mother has always said I build upside down pyramids. I have gotten a bit better over the years, but honestly, I still do it. Really, even as I write this, I brought home four field guides and I just plopped some magazines and a picture book on top of them. It’s a really dangerous pile and kind of messy.  I’m really terrible about it. Sigh.

My Books are in Upside Down Pyramids

I pile books, not in neat piles, well maybe somewhat neat,
but mostly they end up in upside down pyramids
the pointy end down, the wide base up
a rather haphazard arrangement that ends up
tumbled in a pile or sliding to the floor.
As I type, the bird books and a novel are under a stack
of magazines and a picture book.
I’m never organized, tidy, or OCD when it comes
to piling books, except maybe sometimes
like cookbooks, they always come out neat
and tidy.
I’m not organized, or my organizing is haphazard
in its own way in where piles of paperwork
end up with other piles of paperwork and I can never
find anything till it all gets dumped together
for another day of sorting and tossing
which is never often enough

PAD Day 28 – Important – Important Documents, Dreams, and Words

The prompt for day 28 (sob, how can it be almost done!!!???) of PAD was Important (blank).  I liked Robert’s one prompt idea of Important Documents, so I went with that. I actually had ideas floating around in my head all day, but just didn’t want to sit down to write. I had hoped to keep the poetry flowing in a steady day to day thing, but I wanted to do other things tonight. Or last night since it’s technically morning right now.   I think I was channeling Boris. He’s been in my mind since I finally got a letter from him a week ago. So, old feelings have resurfaced, much to my chagrin, though the muse has been at work.

You know how the Greeks had their nine women muses?  Well for women, I think we need men as our muse. Or at least I find men inspiring. Maybe not.  Maybe it’s just Psyche’s Call that I’m listening to.  For those that are wondering about that phrase, I just am giving promotion to one of the women in our writing group who sends out a writing prompt ever day. They are not your normal ‘word’ prompts, but more of a thought process digging deeper into one’s psyche.  I urge you to sign up and check them out. They are thought provoking and while they haven’t ever really made me start a story, they do make me reevaluate what I am writing, or make me look at what I’m writing a bit differently.

A current prompt from Psyche's Call

A current prompt from Psyche’s Call

Important Documents

I hold out these important documents
tied up in manila and twine and brass rivets
and cogs and wheels and locks and keys.
They hold things so dear to me, but I’m handing
them to you, trusting you to not tear me apart.
I hold documents so dear to me, out to you,
you who has been a part of me over the years.
I wrote them to you, for you, about you,
then tucked them away safely for years,
afraid of showing myself to you.
But you have been ever bit as safe
as the warm blanket that holds me at night
never judging me for the words I wrote
for you, about you, to you.
Thousands of words, written too big to say out loud.
I can only whisper them, or write them down.
My heart too afraid to utter a syllable of sound.
I know you won’t shatter me, but I still hand them
to you and ask you to read what I say
inside my very soul each time I say your name.

Important Dreams

These dreams are what build universes
and stories
and chapters
and titles
These dreams are what make my world explode
in color
in song
in dance
These dreams are what turn out words
in rhyme
in poems
in laughter
These dreams are what make me create
a world
a hero
a love story
These dreams are what are so important to my life
in hopes
in longings
in promises

 

Important Words

I wrote out a poem for you, or two, or three, or millions more.
I have them in scraps of colored paper and index cards.
I wrote them on pictures, on postcards, and notes.
I have important words for you to hear though I can’t say them.
They are too big to say out loud, to small to write them down.
They are what make you a dream, and me the goddess writing them.
They are what make you the mystic and I am the mystery unfolding.
They are what make you the sorcerer and I am your slave.
The magical words bind me to you in simple ways.
The words tie me up in hopeless thoughts too confounding.
The words cling to my skin like sand on the beach.
The magical words are my shackles and my freedom.
Come read them and take them with you.
Take them from me so I forget what I said.
Let me throw them to the wind like petals on the prairie.
Only you could ever know what they mean to you and me.

 

Clearly there is a theme, of sharing words with someone, but also being afraid to, but then knowing that person would not hurt you. It’s a weird feeling. Maybe it’s a feeling that’s too big to express. Maybe I have been writing poetry for too long and too many this month. Maybe it’s a good thing that the month is almost over of a poem or more a day. Because clearly I have been writing more than one poem a day.

Kate

PAD Day 27 – Take off – My Assistant is Never Around

A few years ago when the Gevalia commercials came around with Johan, I joked that his brother Sven was my assistant. Sven, I imagined was like Alexander Skarsgård and I was always shouting out for ‘Sven! Come and do (blank)!” Sven, unfortunately was never around. He couldn’t even brew me a cup of coffee. He and Johan spend their days drinking coffee and making sure their pretty boy faces are never damaged.

A friend has her maid, Maxine, who is just like Sven. Totally useless. On the plus side, we don’t pay them. So they are doing an honest day’s no work…..

 

My Assistant is Never Around

Sven, my assistant, is taking today off
not that he’s ever been much of a help
sitting around drinking my coffee instead
of bringing me a cup or two, I blame his
brother Johann who works for Gevalia
lazy good for nothing gorgeous men
who are too consumed with themselves
Instead of mowing lawns or heavy work
instead of being at my beck and call
instead of doing anything worth while
I hired Sven cause he’s a good lookin’ guy
who I thought would bring me coffee in bed
and do all the heavy lifting I’m not willing
to do, but instead I’m doing it instead.
So he’s rather useless, and I pay him
too much, but what can I do, he’s a
pretty boy I like to watch move around
Ah, I might want to fire him, but why
when he doesn’t cost me a dime?

PAD Day 26 – Love/Anti-love – I Was In Love With

So apparently for ‘seasoned’ PAD participants know that a Tuesday two of ‘Love/Anti-Love’ is all part of the deal.  Last time around, in November I didn’t get anywhere with a sonnet on love.  This time around though, whew. Oh, too many emotions in this one. Too much of myself, too much of what was, and what is, and what will never be.  Sometimes this is where poetry hurts.  Sometimes this is where I’m actually afraid to share it with all of you because it’s something personal.

I wrote the other day about a childhood crush, but that isn’t the same as the first time being really in love. I think it’s too pure really.  My first love/crush was when I was too innocent to really know a thing. But my first love was when I was 24, and I seriously lost myself for two years.  No really, I can go back in my journal and there is nothing for two freaking years! I hate myself for that. I can’t even remember what happened in those two years.  Ugh.

I Was In Love With

I was in love with a  boy;
a man not grown up, but I loved him
so much, my heart hurt
and my life was his and I lost myself
for two years.
He was my world in chaos,
but my life was chaos and
he was not my safe haven.
But I was his, and I was lost
and it took me years to be found,
not before almost losing myself again
over another man boy.
But a man I’ve never met
found me and and found myself
and let me find me until I fell
in love with him.
But I’m still me, and more of myself
than I ever was alone.
And I’ve become myself
in more ways than one
and I love this man
in more ways than one.
But he is him, and I am me
and never the two shall be as one.

 

Then there’s this one.  Anger in that one.  The second man boy I dated semi tricked me into saying I loved him.  It was more when I was distracted with my dog and it came out the wrong way and it was on the phone and it was not real. I was so annoyed with myself, and him. And it didn’t last long at all. And I call that a ‘whoops’ moment in my life. I don’t even count the guy as a real thing.  I’m laughing here. But enjoy. I don’t know if it’s anti-love enough, but I’m counting it as one.

I Never Meant ‘I Love You’

Don’t tell me I love you, you tricked the words
out of me but they are lies.
They were words said in distraction.
I never really meant them for you.
Don’t have me throw lovely things in mud.
Because words like these for you are diseased.
You wanted what was untrue, but you thought it real.
These words are not real but fantasy I hate.
You say you love me, but I can’t reply.
And trickery isn’t love to me.
So go off and say I was untrue to you.
But these words were never meant for you.