lizcommotion: a line of ducklings walking towards the viewer (duckling line)
[personal profile] alexseanchai  is hosting a Two By Two: Fun with Couplets poetry event (and you don't have to rhyme or use meter unless you want to)

[personal profile] jjhunter  is hosting How are You? in Haiku

come play with us!
(seriously, my brain fog is all mrrrrph today, so it's definitely *not a contest*, just fun with words)

[signal boosts appreciated! ]

lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
[personal profile] jjhunter  is running a How are You (in Haiku) today! it is fun! I wrote a haiku about cats and windows and laps, because that is my day so far. <3
lizcommotion: typewriter on a table, faded (writing)
One of my favorite for-pay jobs was working as an amanuensis for a semi-retired poet, Norman Nathan. I was sort of a combination of administrative assistant (filing, typing, etc.) and assistive device (reading the poems out loud to him, which is really the best way anyhow) and poetic critic (providing literary criticism, which we both knew he could ignore at will if he disagreed). I went once a week for about six months, before Dr. Nathan's health started affecting his memory and my unidentified Lyme/POTS started affecting my ability to travel to work.

Some of his poetry was more, er, traditional than I liked. Some of it was less so. Some of it, though, was simply breathtaking.

This is the favorite poem he wrote while we were working together. He has others, published and unpublished, that are just as good scattered throughout a variety of literary journals, and one published book of poetry. He also has written some short stories, which are good as long as you realize that he wrote them before he stopped being able to see a computer screen or typewriter, so gender roles and other variables may be a bit dated.

And now, the poem.

Like Virtue

Like Virtue, the poem is
its own reward;
even if no one applauds it,
sees it, hears it, enjoys it,
the words nurture the growth
of the creator;

Shakespeare surely
wrote lines and threw them
into the grave of a friend,
as was the custom,
with a feeling too piercing
to be less than private,
while not buried in his mind
or lost to his characters.

-Norman Nathan
published in 2012 Tribeca Poetry Review

rest in peace, friend ♥
lizcommotion: typewriter on a table, faded (writing)
I write silly limmericks to cope when I am out of cope. Probably I should do this when I am not out of cope, too; this is something I am working on. Anywho, here's one from recent days:

There once was a boy, Harry Potter,
whose patronus was not weasel or otter;
with a brilliant stag,
dementors he did bag,
and Tom Riddle's army did totter.
lizcommotion: typewriter on a table, faded (writing)
[personal profile] jjhunter  is hosting her lovely "How are You" (in Haiku) series again at her journal today.

I have no brains to describe it, but it is pretty self-explanatory I think and JUST CLICK THE LINK AND HAVE FUN TIMEZ. /brainfog

lizcommotion: typewriter on a table, faded (writing)
Because collaborative poetry is fun and awesome, and it is cold outside, and also it is good procrastination. Perhaps too good...

Not eligible for the current [community profile] poetree   writer's challenge as I'm guest-judging, but if you are interested in writing collaborative poetry for that there are free dreamwidth points available for the winner(s). Just saying!


Wind Shear

winterswept wind-red lips struggle,
wind words between bitter bites
bitter tang of tears and sweet forgiveness
tears through tired torment, strafes sadness
through snotty confessions, union complete
of heart-self and snotty skin, rejoining
skin burned by wind, under winter's hesitant sun rejoicing
in hand slid in hesitant hand, holding
holding onto promises of spring

by [personal profile] lizcommotion  and [personal profile] cadenzamuse 

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 4

I would like to leave kudos for this poem

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lizcommotion: typewriter on a table, faded (writing)
[personal profile] jjhunter  and I had a collaborative poetry jam! We wrote seven poems in three days, and now we're posting about the process and putting up our favorite poems over on [community profile] poetree . Today is day two. You should check it out!

PS Signal-boosts appreciated, if you are up for it.
lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
I had a moment of enlightenment/nirvana that was quite nice yesterday amidst all the suffering/dukka I've been going through lately. I wrote about it in [personal profile] jjhunter 's most recent How Are You? (in haiku) post, but felt it deserved its own space as well.

The poetic version:

arose from child's pose
quest complete: a pair of bluebirds
found a home in mine
bonus prize: cedar waxwings
bathing, my eyes shedding years

The prose version:
Cut in case you just want the poetry without any spoiler explanations )

ETA: And yes, I did cheat and make it a tanka. :P

lizcommotion: A British stamp of Queen Elizabeth (UK stamp)
Tanka 12/14/2012

stamps whisper stories
a journey from hand to truck
unknown messengers
the promise of a letter
unopened, with words to spill

nudged to write again by reading the works of [personal profile] jjhunter , [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith , [personal profile] alee_grrl ,[personal profile] cadenzamuse and all the folks on [community profile] poetree . Thank you!

Poem written for one of my penpals...who I don't think follows me here, so hopefully it won't spoil the snail mail surprise!

lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
First, the semi-sad but also I hope moving and compelling things:

- I made a post on [community profile] bitesizedcleaning about cleaning when coping with a depression weasel storm. Comments and suggestions are appreciated.

- [personal profile] staranise made a post about "relational bullying" and perfectionism that blew my mind (trigger warning: this may bring up intense emotions) ETA: Added the direct link, whoops.

Second, [personal profile] jjhunter is running a love meme (thank you, JJ!) and I have a thread that has SO MUCH LOVE, what I'd really like is for people to go and nominate other folks/themselves and just spread all the love around!

Third, the Sunday [community profile] poetree Picnic is happening.

And finally, I give you a recent finished knitted object I sent to someone who needed sparkles. Since they've received it, I can now share:

Sparkly Scarf 1
Close up of a knitted scarf with stripes of black yarn with sparkles in it, purple alpaca yarn with sparkles in it, and blue and black  variegated novelty yarn with simple lace holes. Stripes travel vertically. Another photo of the whole scarf is on Flickr
lizcommotion: Pile of books (book)
So[personal profile] jjhunter ran a "How are you, in Haiku?" the other day that was super fun, and I neglected to link to it on the day. It was lots of fun though! I hope she will host again soon! *glances meaningfully at jjhunter*

Some cosmic force seems to be telling me to get back into haiku/tanka writing - perhaps to cope with Glitch closing? - because [personal profile] cadenzamuse  is doing a NaBloPoMo (National Blog Poetry Month) and writing haiku.

December 6th is my favorite so far. It begins:

Her heart hibernates...

(P.S. Clearly I need a poetry icon of some sort.)

lizcommotion: A leather journal (well-used) (journal)
Apparently my brain decided that translating Latin poetry was only fun over a decade after I'd taken a Latin class. This happened when I wanted to look up and post a particular poem (which I'd translated in Latin class), only to find that all the translations I could find easily were *wrong*. Also, I seem to remember more about Latin than I thought, although I'm still a bit rusty so I apologize for any errors in this translation. But I think it is more correct than the other one I found on, which goes way off in the second and third stanzas - I don't even know where he's getting that stuff. Poetic license, I guess?

Just a bit of context: Catullus lived in the 1st century BCE, and is writing this poem to his (married) mistress. The  name does not indicate that she was a lesbian. Rather, it's a pseudonym he gave her to protect her identity. The poem is mainly concerned with others seeing their true passionate love and jinxing them, giving them the Evil Eye, etc.*

Catullus V

Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love,
and let us value the rumors of old men at only one cent.
The sun is able to set in the west and return:
we return once only with brief light,
night is one perpetual sleep.

Give me a thousand kisses, then one hundred,
then another thousand, then a second hundred,
then anywhere another thousand, then one hundred.
then, with many thousands having been made,
we do not know [their number]; we will continuously disrupt
any who have the power to envy maliciously,
with his knowledge of how many be our kisses.**

Original Latin, for the curious )
**I fudged the grammar on the last line a bit to make it make sense in English, but that's the basic gist of it.

ETA: And by remarkable coincidence, Catullus seems to be the poet of the hour, as [personal profile] jjhunter  has posted an excellent translation of this poem over on [community profile] poetry . So now you can read/compare if you so choose.
lizcommotion: image of a water lily blooming in a pond (lily)
Poem: Now and Then, By Sandra Becker
(note: scroll down for poem, it's the last on the page)

I'm a big fan of Buddhist poetry. This one is available in its full form from the Buddhist Poetry Review (well worth exploring). I particularly like the lines:

at the most unlikely moment, Winter Solstice,
the sun’s light furthest away, as if I’d never suffered
a migraine, never made a zillion mistakes,
as if I’d never known the sorrow of an orphaned child,

lizcommotion: Two African American men gazing at a sign reading "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" (bayard rustin)
I didn't get a chance to post this wonderful poem for the QUILTBAG poetry week they were having over at [community profile] poetree  purely because the book it's in was packed and then I went to Seattle. D'oh. However, I have to say I think this is one of my favorite QUILTBAG poems.

It's from an anthology called Poetic Voices Without Borders 2, which I picked up at a library book sale. It's a great book that has a lot of poetry from different countries and identities.
Trigger warning: reclaims a three-letter-word for a gay man that starts with the letter F in a positive way, but I'm trying to be sensitive that some people still have a hard time with that word in any context )

I'd like to just say that I'm also posting this in honor of every person who's ever been told that something they're doing wasn't gender appropriate. It's works like this that can help heal those wounds, IMO.

How is my icon related to this post? A post on Bayard Rustin is probably going to follow soon, but you can read ahead if you want on Wikipedia.
lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)


This post goes out to [personal profile] northern , so she can appreciate a Fairouz (also spelled Fayrouz) song or two before her library's festival. Fairouz is a Lebanese singer who is one of the most famous musical artists in the Arab world. She was born in 1935, and chances are that if you eat in an Arab kebab restaurant you are going to listen to at least one Fairouz song or cover. (Unless of course they're one of these newfangled places that are all about smoking sheesha/hooka and only play Trance music.)

My favorite song is by far Khedny, which is below. I have had the good fortune of having it translated by my partner, because translations are few and far between on the internet. Arabic is a very poetic language, and I find it striking how poetic this song really is. It is a real tear-jerker among Lebanese people (and others, me included now that I know what it means).

Translation from my partner (please note the asterisk comment, as that line is not meant to be sexual but it comes across that way in English because there is no direct translation of the word):
Read more... )
lizcommotion: A Japanese schoolgirl overlooking a harbor and a figure with wings (Choice)
I just finished reading Writing and Enjoying Haiku by Jane Reichold. Really excellent book. If you want more information, she has an excellent website with all sorts of free information and guides (including places to get published). It's helping me really get haiku. As a Buddhist, it wasn't a big leap from meditating to stay present in the moment to writing poetry that expresses staying present in the moment. Not that it means it's easy, it just helps.

I'm also really excited about writing tanka, as it's a form that both has a set structure (with a twist!) and can incorporate more human elements than haiku. It's also a challenge to set some of my wilder emotions aside and focus Very soothing.

So my current NaPoWriMo challenge to myself is as follows: write two poems per day. One "Western" lyrical/prose poem, and a tanka that compliments (but does not repeat) the previous poem. Plus I'm adding an image from Open Clip Art.

To date, I've completed drafts of poems on Dragonflies (4/1) and Castle (4/2). Today I'm working the theme Bicycle but I'm struggling with the tanka. I may write it later tonight or (gasp!) tomorrow. I really want to keep this up throughout the month.

With any luck, I can make a nice pdf ebook or perhaps a chapbook type thing. Perhaps I'll crowdfund it?

Also excited about combining haiku and crafting. Because I have been neglecting my papercrafts.

lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
Just a shout out! [personal profile] jjhunter  is doing an awesome collaborative haiku/hokkai thingy for each day in April. It's basically an informal renga. Written in a syllable count of 5-7-5, 7-7 , 5-7-5, etc.

Check out today's thread.

So far (if I may repost):

will to meaning, and
power comes naturally
connections attract

he buttoned his three-piece suit
lipstick stained the collar

lipstick from the stick
mere color, but lipstick from
lips growls mine, mine, mine

bulldog chews his chosen toy
hiding it from his master

Come on over to add your own verse(s)!

lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
by [personal profile] lizcommotion

they call these days fine
in England the land of erupting
thrashing rain pours forth
into drizzle
rivulets running down sodden green fields-
the green dazzles emeralds
on fine sun-splashed summer days

I call myself fine
in parties to passersby the polite
thing to do is mask the deluge
threatening to erupt amidst the fog
mist abyss with no landmarks
so easy to lose oneself on the moor-

then at last a mooring, latch onto safety
wait as the howls of lashing lost winds pass
deep breaths soften tear-laced throats
releasing unrestrained voices of a thousand sparrows
chortling chirping welcoming
weary travelers to a fine cup of tea

staring at barometers is pointless
no storm endless
brilliant days cycle into night


lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)

October 2017



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