Monday, May 16, 2011

Beachy Thoughts

Illustration by Carmen L. Brown, 1917 - courtesy of Monday's Child

At the Shore

Another sunny morning at the shore and
The ocean greets my piggy toes in cool, foamy waves.
The shells on the beach and also in my bucket
Have a glowing iridescence: it’s like silvery silk, wrapped around a tiny world.
Everyone should have a morning like this at least once.
Starfish and conch and mussels swim by in the salty water.
“How do you do?” I sing, greeting each one with a smile.
Only time will tell if they’ll
Remember me after I’m grown, but
Every once in a while, when I see a pretty shell, I believe that they will.


Poetic form: Acrostic

Process notes: This illustration brought back memories of when I was little and I visited my grandparents, who lived in Atlantic City.  I always looked forward to walking the beach so I could see the treasures hidden in the sands, and also, I loved stand in the shallow waves and feel the water tickle my toes.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Share & Shairi Alike

Monday's Child posted an adorable illustration by G. Shepheard of two little Dutch girls and two little cats - who are apparently fascinated by one another.  As the mom of twins, this prompt was irresistible to me.

Therefore, I decided I needed to write a quatrain kind of poem, in order to get the two and two/twin thing going.  I visited The Poets Garret for an idea, and found - to my delight - the form Shairi


Sister and I saw two small cats.  They looked at us and said, “Mew!  Mew!”
Sister observed, “Like us, they’re twins – that’s twice as nice!” I said, “So true.”
She asked the cats if they would like to come with us, or just pursue
some wee field mice.  Each thought a bit, then climbed aboard her wooden shoe…

…and my shoe, too.


For those who might be interested, here's the scoop on the Shairi:

This is a rather unusual form, originating from Georgia in the 12th Century. The English language version is a mono rhymed quatrain of sixteen (16) syllables broken up into four sections.
There are two versions, the Dabali Shairi or low version, and the Magala Shairi or high version. The low version is not really suited to the Iamb poet as it consists of five syllables, followed by three syllables, a caesura and then a triple rhyme. Here is the schematic;
x x x x x, x x x, - x x x x x, (x x a)
x x x x x, x x x, - x x x x x, (x x
x x x x x, x x x, - x x x x x, (x x
x x x x x, x x x, - x x x x x, (x x
The Magali Shairi is much better suited to the Iambic user as sections are broken up into fours (or two iambs), there is still a caesura after the second section, but the requirement is only for a double rhyme. Here is that schematic;
x x x x, x x x x, - x x x x, x x (x a)
x x x x, x x x x, - x x x x, x x (x
x x x x, x x x x, - x x x x, x x (x
x x x x, x x x x, - x x x x, x x (x

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Story is Told in Paint Strokes...

Image courtesy of Magpie Tales/Smoldering Fires, Clarence Holbrook Carter, 1904-2000
Columbus Museum of Art

To Ahulani, Long Gone But Still Cherished, On Mother’s Day

The likeness was painted a long time ago.
The mountain was on fire, but that’s just background:
a setting for a portrait.  In this tableau
you cannot see the truth which an artist found
but if you knew the story, it might astound.
After years in the shadows of smoky peaks
she found the baby, with his pink chubby cheeks… 

but no one around knew who the small boy was
except that apparently someone left him
to fend for himself. And she said, “Just because
you’ve no name - perhaps abandoned on a whim? - 
it doesn’t mean you should lack.  Life shan’t be grim.
‘Little Boy from the Mountain of Fire,’ I
take you as my own.  Ohana.  ‘Til I die.”

Process notes: The form is Rime Royal Sonnet.  The painting reminded me of a place in Hawaii, but viewed in a lens from long ago. The poem was penned in honor of mothers everywhere - especially since Mother's Day is this coming Sunday.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rollin' in the Clover

Illustration - The Red Clover Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker/courtesy of Monday's Child

 The Red Clover Fairy and the Springtime Bumble Bee

Good Morning, Mister Bee.
I see
you’re visiting my bloom.
and color brought you here,
my dear?
O Bumble Bee, it’s clear
you’ve come to pollinate ~
I so appreciate
new buds with Springtime cheer.

(Poetic Form: Ovillejo)

A Note:

Hi there!'s been a while, hasn't it?  For those of you who stopped by to pay a call and write comments, I thank you so much!  Really!  And I'm sorry too, because not only I haven't posted recently, but I haven't visited anyone recently either.  I did manage to squeak out some poems for the PAD Challenge at Poetic Asides, but other than that, I really haven't had much time to do anything else, because of a different writing matter...

See, beside writing my quirky-ish mostly rhyme and mostly poetic form poetry, I also write children's fiction.  I did manage to get one novel (Penny Wishes, 2009) published by a small press, but alas, the press went out of business later in the same year.  I have several others in the works.

However, I just dreamed up a new story idea - which oddly enough, came from a dream (that's happened a number of times, believe it or not) and so I drafted an outline of the story (middle grade historical fiction) which I shared with my writing group.  They saw potential in it, which was pretty cool.  Right after that, I attended a 1st page SCBWI event which featured two editors from well-known publishers ... and it went pretty well.  So ... I've been heavily focused on that project, largely because I now have a three month window for submission.

And that's the story - at least to date.