Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Boatyard!

Kinda wish I was near a northern boatyard to see the lights and feel the snap of a cold wind before going inside for a hot chocolate...but not that much.  Missing my peeps, but plan to celebrate in balmy Georgia, with the luminaries of Peachtree City, and the luminaries who are my friends :) 

BUT!  I will get a taste of New England as my sister and most of her family forsake the frozen northland to join me in landlocked Atlanta.  We can barely sleep, and they haven't even arrived yet.  But in two days, we intend to squeeze every last ounce of goodness from this historic first visit. 

So the Boatyard will be closed till the New Year while we frolic and play.  Hope you too have some poetic, historic moments with your best peeps, a hot beverage of choice, and balmy weather.  Or snow.  Or whatever it takes.  And for those having a not-so-fun Christmas, may I offer this poem from Jan Richardson: Blessing of the Longest Night. 

I'll leave you with the French gem, Gloria,  one of my personal favorites, featuring soprano Isabelle Savaugeot, who hits notes as high as the oculus under which she sings in L'Eglise Reformee, in the Marais, Paris. Decidedly unboatyardish, but positively poetic. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Haiku

How about a little Christmas haiku for your mid-week frenzy? 

Smooth, shiny baubles
The red Volvo estate, yes?
We were happy then.

Itchy, ugly brown
Carpets our hallway, a blight.
Contrasts elegance.

Courtesy of my dear friend and colleague, Dileep, from Australia, of India/Sri Lankan ancestry, married to a South African, living in America.  How's that for a cross-cultural melting pot wrapped up in one purple-clad, red-sneakered individual?!   

Among his many talents, Dileep is a fantastic photographer.  Take a moment to look at his website for a glimpse of some poetry in photos.  

Two other friends are beavering away on their poems, so there may be more before week is out.  I have, apparently, created some monsters...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Epiphany is My Cup of Tea

I always eat peas with honey
I've done it all of my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
but it keeps them on the knife.

With that and other recitations from "Green Eggs & Ham" and "Jabberwocky," the OM Poet Tea kicked off last Friday, in search of epiphanies...

Did they find them?  The 30 or so tea-loving, poetry-fearing fans gave it their best shot.   First came The "I Can't Write a Poem" Poem warm-up exercise, then the prompt: write about their most memorable Christmas.  Within minutes, chitter chatter gave way to silence.  Not even the clink of a spoon on china could be heard.  There were some expressions of pain and perplexity, to be sure--whether from the exercise or the memory, I can't tell.  But everyone was in 'the zone.' 

When the timer when off, a few brave souls shared their efforts: poignant, funny, or thought-provoking.  One husband and wife, unbeknownst to each other, wrote about the same Christmas: the one when their relationship began. 

The dainties were delightful, the teas perfect for the rainy day, and sales brisk.  Our worker bee hosts, including two handsome young men greeting us at the door, were all diligent in creating a lovely atmosphere. 

No salt water taffy was consumed, but I have one more event to get rid of that box!

Thank you one and all for hosting, participating, cleaning up, and writing!  I'm soliciting sample poems to share next time, so we'll see if I get some takers, and there are more photos on Facebook if you haven't seen them already.   

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Box of Bees

Hope you all had a fine Thanksgiving, and we won't get into Black Friday.  Let's just say I wrote a few poems about it, and studiously avoided all stores.

I wrapped up my five-event sprint with a week off, unplugged and recovering at home.  Catching up on the pile of paperwork I had been throwing in my apartment the past few weeks, I flipped through a journal picked up at the Florida writers conference.  I had forgotten about reading this interview, with Robert Birnbaum and author Sandra Cisneros.  In it, Ms. Cisneros admitted:

"I don't have very much contact with other writers.  I don't get invited to these things, or I don't go to them... It's very rare.  Even when I do these book fairs...I come in and I go out.  I can't hang around with lots of people these days because I am hypersensitive.  So when I am around a lot of people or a big roomful of people, I get almost autistic.  I get overwhelmed and really tired...

"I think because the kind of work...is so intensive with people that perhaps, whether you realize it or not, you are just absorbing everybody's buzz.  I feel like I am in a box of bees when I am in a room with lots of people and I'm just looking for the door."*

Sandra, you are not alone in the bee box!  Anyone else recognize the symptoms?! 

I had first read the interview after fleeing the conference, having absorbed way too much people buzz.  Sitting on a park bench in St. Augustine, I had laughed out loud in recognition.  Busted!

Very few people have articulated just what happens to the monastic inclinations of the average (introverted) writer, in the face of conferences, book signings and readings.  A box of bees.

Thank you, Sandra Cisneros, for your gift of words!  After a week off, I'm ready to emerge again.  Whether you like buzz or not, there is honey in that bee box!

Next event:  

Dec. 6: "PoeTea," 3:30-5:00 pm, at OM, 285 Lynnwood Ave., Tyrone, GA.  Readings, signing, poetry exercises, tea and light refreshments.  Sponsored by the OM Bookstore, with discounts for the season, so c'mon in, sip some tea, write a poem, and squeeze in some Christmas shopping to boot!

*From "Writers Ask," published quarterly by the editors of Glimmer Train Stories...a journal I've never succeeded in scoring an acceptance!   Issue #58, Winter, 2012, Glimmer Train Press, Inc.