Ekphrastic poem written for Colleens weekly poetry challenge, based on photo by Annette Rochelle Aban.

I have decided that I need to get back to my poetry writing, which I dearly love but for some reason I have veered away from it, and it seems as though I am looking at enter these challenges as a stranger timidly seeking acceptance into the group. Really? Back to the drawing board, or more specifically: back to the blank page awaiting a poem.

I never heard of Ekphrastic poetry, but I like it. It just means describing a photo or art work in words, aside from the image. Often a picture has deep meaning which may have little or nothing to do with the actual visual picture. This is true of the photo by Annette Rochelle Aban, which features a collection of starfish and sea shells. The first notion that came to my mind was of a collection accented or contained within a border that is simply a string of beads. The meaning (for me) was one of a collection of personal treasures which remains private to me and unknown to anyone else. Those treasures of course may be actual things acquired sometime in life, or memories that have nothing to do with the sea or any things of the sea.

Here is my contribution, in the form of a Haiku. Although I am especially fond of free verse, Haiku is my go-to form when I want to poetize (is that a word?) a thought or a vision in a succinct and intuitive form.

secrets

my treasures abound
safely forever obscure
secured in my heart

(Sometimes, 2021)

my tawdry tale of the run-away toilet

One of the really big news items in my rather quiet daily event calendar, on Tuesday, was the arrival and installation of a new and higher toilet. The plumbers (family friends) did a great job of replacing the 20-year-old “facility” with the sleek new state-of-the-art inexpensive toilet from Home Depot. Their clean-up work ethics are very high, and the toilet was promptly removed to a location near the front walk.

No matter how grown-up, or nonchalant we as adults may be, a toilet outside of its natural habitat, There is no way that toilet can be made to be esthetically correct. It is stark white, for one thing. simple but ugly in its countenance. A toilet is a toilet, and there are no adjectives to make it sound attractive or versatile in purpose. One just cannot ignore a toilet in the front yard. Some pointed complaining caused the thing to be removed from the middle of the front flower bed, but it still was perched on its temporary wheels in all its glory in front of the garage. A slight improvement…but still I wanted it gone.

So DIY was my only immediate option.

Now, I am somewhat infamous in close circles for making a spectacle of myself, making me look completely ridiculous. I didn’t even consider any side effects or untoward shenanigans. The toilet was still sitting on the flat, roll-away dolly and I felt comfortable in just giving the toilet and its apparatus a slight shove in the right direction, and roll it over to a secluded spot near the turn-around. How hard could it be?

The effect was just what I expected….except that the wheels were facing the opposite direction of where I wanted the thing to go. Its started to move, but it was just out of my reach, and I could not grab it soon enough to steer it away from the side of the car, which was like a magnet calling the ceramic monster toward the freshly washed side of the car.

I had my red steel walking cane in my hand, and I attempted to use it to divert the path. That worked, and the missile veered off, away from the car. However, there is a massive concrete apron which allowed the thing to roll about thirty feet to the grassy front lawn. I, as gracefully as possible, chased after it with my cane in my hand waving wildly at the break-away toilet on its wheels…more in the fashion of a weapon than a guide.

Fortunately, the edge of the concrete at the grass of the yard stopped the motion, and the toilet did not fall off of the dolly (all the way) and I was able to right the thing and push it back in the opposite direction to park it by the turn-around, out of sight.

There was only one witness to my fiasco, that I know of, and that was a guy on a motorcycle cruising by on the road. I’d love to hear his comment to his wife: “today I saw an old lady with a stick chasing after a toilet on wheels that was rolling down a driveway.” I don’t think he could have heard me yelling at the toilet over the noise of his engine. You don’t see something like that every day.

Last night I wrote a story (in a dream)

Last night I wrote a dream— or dreamed I wrote a story. When I got to a pit stop and stumbled to the loo it occurred to me that I was in the middle of a dream. The dream had a title (as so many writers’ dreams begin,) completely mundane: Last night I wrote a story. I kept repeating those words. as I crawled back in my bed to continue dreaming.

In the dream story it was well organized: and I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget. Sure, there’s a notebook and pencil there (somewhere) but finding it would require wakefulness, and being awake would ruin the dream stream. I wanted to use words like reverie, and gossamer, and thought about my new Thesaurus to find new words that would preserve my frame of mind. I knew that if I succumbed to sleep…enticing as it was…the dream would fade, or disappear altogether.

A train. That’s what the dream was about: writing a story about a train–and my thoughts were consumed with writing the outline of the story about the dream on paper, or sending it from my brain to my keyboard.

Writings from the past

On my “writing shelf” there is an assortment of notebooks and journals, which surface now and then and entice my writers’ eye to once again peruse the long forgotten, ignored, or awaiting rediscovery, and perhaps publication, of some of my literary works of yore.

As I struggle to surface from my self-imposed sabbatical, or writer’s sulk… it occurs to me that these scraps and bits of pencil-scribbled wisdom, born of a deep need for self- expression, may deserve to be brought to a venue where they may be read if anyone chooses to do so.

Word for Writers:
The worst thing you’ll ever write
is better than
the best thing you’ll never write.
(Sol Saks)

…………………………………………………………

This item was part of an exercise designed to find a point to start writing. In the center of a page write a word…this one I used was AFRAID. Then connect with arrows various thoughts pertaining to the key word, until a viable prompt starts your writing. (This was February 23, 1984)

Here’s my effort, using the word “Fear” as my prompt:

“The biggest fear I have is that I may run out of time to do what I must, which is simply, to write—that the day that marks the end of my life will come and I will say “no—not yet!” I’m afraid of sadness, of my own feelings of inadequacy…of the sadness of my children…the inability to do those things that I want to do, yet not to find the time—or inclination to do so. To be, to write, to fulfill my own destiny. I spend too much time worrying about the “children” who are not children at all, but worrying about them, yet most of all worrying about myself and the fear of not becoming what I must become.”

That’s it, what I wrote back then. 46 years ago! Good grief. Today those children are grown…so are their children, and THEIR children are teenagers. I still worry about them all, though they are no longer my personal responsibility. I still worry about my self-proclaimed goal as a “Writer.” Yes I have been a writer of sorts all through my life, at times even a professional newspaper writer. Now I’m a blogger…and I worry and fret about not writing.

Yep, the more we change the more we stay the same.

………………………………………………………

{More from the Green Notebook:]

I had just acquired my first computer in 1983, and I was enamored of it to the point of writing this:

“What does a square, cold, metal blox with a few strange things called “chips.” offer to a middle-aged woman? The answer is … the future, the past, the beginning and the end.”

That ancient Kaypro II was really was all that to me. I supported my five kids for awhile single-handedly as a single mom, as a newspaper reporter. Earned supplemental income as a newspaper writer. Then worked my way through my college degrees … and even now I blog and write. Not the same computer all those years of course…I’ve never been without since that first machine arrived.

The rise of the machines has had real meaning to me all through the last four decades…and beyond. In fact one of my early blogging attempts is extant, entitled “Rise of the Machines” or something like that here on Sometimes. A search of “computers” should locate it.

This is fun, I think I’ll do some more meandering backwards through my notebooks and computer disks… I’m having some writers’ block issues after my almost four years of “not writing much.” I love being back at SOMETIMES, and getting reacquainted with many of the “old gang” of the bloggersphere…

children are

Farewell the Muse

… and yet again with an oldie from “back in the day.”

SOMETIMES

I’ll never write another word
–ever– I think, maybe a bit longer.

The Muse has left me, alone and mute
singing quietly inside…but it isn’t writing
not bringing forth words of rhyme
or golden thoughts or phrases that soar
with the uplifting quality that speaks of fulfillment
of the annunciation of the soul
(if that is even the right word.)

What does that mean?   My Muse does not respond.
Silence echoes across the lines, across the fields,
rich and full, and absence of sensation…or character.
There is no solution, no evolution…no rhythmic flow
of syllables, or stanzas, flights of fancy…
clever ways to express a notion
…or just to form  a simple phrase–
no silver tinged sunsets,
no tales from the depths of despair…
no soaring ecstasy of the bliss of a kiss.
Words which once were at the edges of my
repertoire –within easy reach of the empty…

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Welcome 2018! Pondering resolutions for the New Year…

 

ONE resolution: this year SOMETIMES (THE BLOG) will return to the my Top, #1, Main Pursuit…..every day.

Last year, 2017, was not my best year for writing and working on my blog.    Current events interfered with my goal, which was to put writing with a capital W at the top of my “things to do list.”      Oh sure, my postings were more or less regular, but heavy on the Re-blogs borrowed from other bloggers.

Also, over the year 2017  I posted a lot of my own posts from past years, and many photos gleaned from my hobby of photography, dear to my heart and fairly popular with followers.     The pursuit of bright flowers and trees, and the odd-ball occasional photo that inspired and illustrated the blog entries.       And Poetry…a newfound love thanks to WordPress courses which brought quite a number of acquaintances and blog-friends in trading our poetic masterpieces.    It was in these groups that I found the joys of writing Haiku, and other fancy poetic forms, and my favorite– “free-form” poetry.

So I pledge to follow my true love of writing into the Y2018.    Instead of whining and thinking up reasons why I can’t write, I will just DO it.     Just sit down and write.    Also, I spend a lot of time writing in notebooks….and on envelopes, scraps of newspaper, any handy source for writing on.

I’m already a day late with the “every day” pledge.   My post featuring Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald…singing “Tropical Heatwave” should go a ways to redeem my lagging sagging New Year Resolutions.

So… see ya all on the blogosphere.   How’s that for “trite?”   🙂

 

New Leaf…stay tuned

OK.     Enough time has been wasted on the agonizing and agonistic misadventures of the United States Government (or lack thereof.)    I do hope to live long enough to ingrain some of the History of the World Under Trump into my DNA.   Right, I’m not even sure that is possible, about the DNA that is, but the truth is that until about twenty years ago I was not even aware of such a thing.       Science was never my bag,  although my interests and obsessions lie as much with clouds and rocks, bugs and sea creatures, as any one.

A basic interest in Geneology is in fact part of my basic make-up, due largely if not mainly to my Dad’s Mom, my Grandmother Lillian Turney Piper.    The font of knowledge or awareness of our family origins was argueably Lillian’s mother, Ann Avann Turney, of Tenterton, England.      OK, enough with the name-dropping.

We lived with the aforementioned forebears until I was three, so direct influence of Great Grandma Ann was by osmosis, so to speak.   She no doubt talked with me a lot about family affairs.  She also kept personal diaries after the age of about 80, when she was forced to curtail her former active social life and retreat to her home.   There she wrote her faithful diary entries…and discussed life and the world with visitors and family.    She read daily newspapers and other periodicals, and often wrote and received personal letters.

Visitors included members of social clubs, and church membership.   GG Ann was into all sorts of world activities, and wrote poetry.   Yes…a poet.   There was no WordPress then, of course, no computers or email.   The telephone was tied to the wall with a cord, and used only in turn with other people on the line (of course they listened in) so one just stated their business and got off the phone.    No texting…no cell phones.

GG Ann was keenly interested, and involved to whatever possible extent, in the WCTU: The Women’s Christian Temperance Union.   Their target—Alcohol.     I wish that here would follow exciting tales about women in long dresses and big fancy hats smashing bars and bottles with axes.   Or at least, rolling pins.     I have no details about GG Ann’s adventures with the WCTU, although there are extant examples of her original poetry and quotations clipped from newspapers.

To get back to my new pursuit…as I said earlier, my preoccupation with the United States government (or lack thereof,) only grows by the hour, and has no practical application to my personal blog.    My associates, followers, correspondents, critics…mostly are on the same political page wherever they are in our world.   Common sense and questionable judgement urges me to stay out of the comment sections of various venues, on the premise that everyone has an opinion and anything I say they will ignore, take offense, or call me names…which hurts my feelings.    Preaching to the choir has no direct result except winks and thumbs-ups…and arguing with the posters, trolls or not, is counterproductive and only makes me mad.

This morning a blogger pal reposted an article from a newspaper that mentions the Koch Brothers and hitherto emphasized family (group?) The Mercers.   I know who the Koch Brothers are…friends of Trump, I think…but the Mercers?   Hmmm, I have decided to find out who these people are, what they are up to, and—if they are related to ME.     GG Ann’s grandmother was a Mary Mercer… so that’s my new preoccupation.   (stay tuned)

 

 

The Pen…by poet Charles Yonkings

The Pen

There is a bang
as the gavel
strikes the bench.
My mind unravels
from the sentence
that is imposed
Just another case closed
and life as I know it ends…
Ten years thrice to
serve in the pen.

But then
I pick up my pen
and start to live again.
With each stroke of  ink
I transcend
my transgressions,
release
my repressions.
And for the first time
I am truly free
because of the pen.

©Charles Yonkings,2016

Extradition…by poet Charles Yonkings

Extradition

Click go the cuffs
clamped on wrists,
rubbed raw
from the irons’
cold embrace.
Legs shackled,
chained at the ankles,
Crammed
in a cargo van
Filled
with fellow fugitives
on a journey
across country
to fulfill fate’s wishes
and the desire of destiny.

©Charles Yonkings, 2016

Stats are fun!

I love the STATS feature of WordPress, and every once in awhile go to the page and look it over.   Actually its two pages.   They are very well organized, and I notice some new twekes that I really like.  For instance the Followers list now has that little round bubble photo with the blog avatar.   Mine is a yellow rose.

Today I have had four visitors so far, or to be more specific, visitors from four countries: UK, Ireland, Australia, and someplace else.   The multi-color map illustrates where the viewers are in the world at a glance.

There are statistics showing Yearly and Daily progress.   My stats begin when my blog did: 2011.   I think two people looked at it that year…and I know who they are!    2012 and 2013 the blog sort of languished in cyberspace without much attention.     Then at the end of 2014 it picked up, when I started to take it more seriously.

In 2015 and 2016 the posts multiplied.   This is when I enrolled in several WordPress classes, which were free and fun.   This is also when I met lots of other bloggers, some of which have remained loyal to this day, originally classmates in various courses.   There was Writing 101, Writing 102;  Photography; Poetry Writing; Fiction Writing….just to name a few.   The classes were voluntary….could follow themes or just wing-it and write whatever.   Different forms of Poetry—that was my favorite, where I learned forms of poetry that I never knew existed.    (Oh, I guess I did, from some old English class participation, but promptly forgot.)

The cool thing about the classes was that there were assignments, and huge class lists of bloggers that signed up, and every day for the class period (a week, month…) my followers list grew.

So for a good time check out your Stats.

 

Second Guessing myself…

Day 8, 2017.

Wow!  We are already heading into the second week of the new year.   January is the busiest month of the year as far as family birthdays count.   My late husband, two grandsons, a son, great-granddaughter, son-in-law, and daughter-in-law.  And that is just my immediate family, not counting at least one niece from my Florida-Clan.

I used to send cards with detailed notes in them, and even money.    Now that I am basically a poor church mouse, I’m lucky if I get a card out at all.   Oh, sure, there are electronic cards that are relatively easy to send, and I must say those are often very attractive…and they even sing or play music for the recipient.

My intentions are good, and yes, I do know what they say about good intentions.   I do at least think about people on their birthdays.

Unfortunately (I guess,) I am not really into Facebook or other social media.   Let’s not go into that here, with a wink and a nod to my excuse/reasoning that these venues cause a LOT of trouble.   E-mail was bad enough, always a risk for correspondents.

Blogging is my love, being a source of endless blank pages on the computer screen, beckoning with a promise that I can write/say almost anything about nearly any subject.  I write poetry, essays and diaries about the good old days…at least MY good old days.     My goal for this new year is to write something every day…or at least re-post something that I have written since my blog SOMETIMES was born.

One of the sweet things about blogging is that we tend to attract like-minded writers who more or less follow our work.   We enjoy each others’ photos, essays, and poems, and short stories.

One rule I set for myself is to write with care.   To me that means avoiding offending anyone, getting uppity with those who do not agree with me, or writing obnoxious or unsubstantiated  things.    Normally I rest fairly well assured that when I push the SEND button, and later when someone opens my post to read it, there will not be any adverse effects.    Sometimes (often, actually) what I write is intended to be humorous, though representative of my views and opinions.   Satire and sarcasm I use sparingly,  with care and judgement.

I have published 671 posts to this blog, Sometimes, as of a glance to my Stats page just moments ago.    This represents steady publications the last couple of years, and the total over the life of my blog since 2011.   I have deleted two posts that I recall, rewrote a couple, but most have stood as written.      I don’t think I’ve offended or insulted anyone, and I take great pains to avoid such writing.

My number one goal this year is to write every day.    Actually I do write daily, usually in a variety of diaries and notebooks…then transfer items to my blog.    Once in a great while I have misgivings about a post, and accordingly re-write it, edit it for spelling or grammatical errors…and for any questionable content.     It takes a few moments to go back in the pages and fix typos or mis-spellings, or to make glaring corrections of fact.

Yesterday I wrote one of my problem pieces, and have mulled it over in my mind since.   It is about the infamous Wall which has been proposed…whether actual or theoretical, our president-elect now owns this idea, and possibly feels he has an obligation to “build the wall.”.     My purpose was to post the link to photos of the existing wall between the United States southern border and Mexico.   The suggestions that were included in my post are facetious…tongue-in-cheek…sarcastic.   When I came to my computer this morning I fully expected (dreaded, perhaps,) some negative comments about my rather outrageous “suggestions” for extending the border.    Especially worrying to me are “guests” or browsers who happen-upon  what I write, not regulars that recognize snide…ok, snarky…sarcasm.    So far so good…

 

 

 

I’ll pick a BIC…pondering a pencil

At once the rhyme is stalled,
the fluent flow of words stilled,
the dulcet murmur bereft of
sweet music of endless ages.

The pencil point  rests upon a noun,
its description lost and barren
with failing adjectives and
lingering resting diction…

The words are there,
upon the page,
waiting patiently
for the tender tenor of softly
scratching graphite on white paper…

So  satisfying are pages
filled with silver grey threads
woven in intricate, unique handwriting.
Pencil lead so soft, recorded with
the flourish of fine exotic ink
without the permanence of errors
impossible to eradicate with invisibility.

© Sometimes, 2017