Saturday, August 03, 2019

Poetry Sisters At It Again with Ekphrastic Poems

This month the challenge was to write to one of three photos Sara shared with us. Here's the photo I chose and a few of the poems I scratched out.

Street Art, along the waterfront, Tel-Aviv
Photo by Sara Lewis Holmes

13 Ways of Learning This Landscape

open your heart
open your mind

rely on all your senses
what do you see?
what do you hear?
what do you smell?

start with the sky
the blue
the white
the spaces in-between

notice the dark
the light
the rising
the setting
the moon and the sun

lower your eyes
to the horizon
where lines blur

see what rises
out of the landscape
tall and imposing

admire flora
and fauna
earth and water

take your shoes off
sink your feet in the sand
dip your toes in the water

shift your view
to what man has made
take it in from
every angle

find structures of
concrete and metal
barbed wire

look for color
for movement
for light

find it not among
the buildings
but on their sides

birds take wing
street art bringing
hope to life

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected by Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Poetry Friday and Triolets

Welcome! Poetry Friday is here today. It's also the first Friday of the month and that means the Poetry Sisters are sharing poems for a new challenge. This month we were charged with writing triolets with heat as a theme.

A triolet is an 8-line poem that uses only two rhymes throughout. Additionally, the first line is repeated in the fourth and seventh lines, while the second line is repeated in the final line. Because of this, only five different poetic lines are written.  The rhyme scheme for a triolet is ABaAabAB (where capital letters stand for repeated lines).

My poem was inspired by a memory of my grandmother and the realization that I was complaining and just needed to buck up and do my work. While writing it, I was also reminded of a letter my grandmother wrote to my father during the war. (One page is pictured below.)
If you can't read it, the portion at the beginning says:
We are having lots of fun trying to get butter, so far we have had enough, & now Truman says we have to tighten up our belts, so we can feed the other countries, & we are going to have to eat dark bread, so there was a flour scare on & Sat. I went shopping in the Star Market & the people in there it was just like a mad house & no flour.
So, that's a long introduction to my poem, which isn't really about heat, but uses the word.

Grandma Quoted Truman
Grandma quoted Truman in times of trial
"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."
Would tell tales of Depression and war, if you'd just sit a while
Grandma quoted Truman in times of trial
Made my worries seem so juvenile
I think of her words when I feel like bitchin'
Grandma quoted Truman in times of trial
"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. (I won't be adding them again to the round-up below, so be sure to visit them!)
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today. I'm rounding things up old-school style, so please leave a comment and I'll add you to the post. Happy poetry Friday all!

Original Poems
At A Journey Through the Pages, Kay shares an original poem entitled Lady Liberty.

Kimberly Hutmacher shares a poem she wrote for a clunker swap (cool idea!). It is entitled Be Changed, Be You.

Molly Hogan shares a "little love song to oatmeal" in her poem entitled Oatmeal.

Linda Baie shares a poem entitled Looking Long. It was inspired by the exhortations of a John Moffitt poem that says "If you would know that thing/You must look at it long."

Michelle Kogan is sharing an acrostic poem for the 4th of July reflecting on American values. She's also sharing "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is sharing her poem "For A Little While" in the new anthology I Am Someone Else.

Carol Varsalona is reflecting on nature the part it plays in her writing life. She shares some digipoetry and a cherita.

Matt Forrest Esenwine shares a tanka in the form of photo poem. What a lovely window box!

Irene Latham is sharing a number of poems she's written, inspired by LOST WORDS>

Inspired by the word feldgang, Margaret Simon wrote a poem while looking out her kitchen window.

Heidi Mordhorst is cleaning out, going through papers, and sharing some original poems from childhood.

Mary Lee Hahn is showing off her fence beautification project and her poem entitled The Choice is Yours.

Cheriee Weichel is writing about her family history and sharing these inspired poems. Today's poem is entitled Crossing.

Jone MacCulloch is sharing a lovely haiga/haiku.

Poems of Others
Tabatha Yeatts is sharing the poems of Christine Potter and Cambra Koczkur, two poets writing about current events.

Catherine Flynn is honoring her dad and sharing the poem High Flight by John Magee.

Ruth is sharing a lovely collection of thoughts and poems on and by Donald Hall.

Sylvia Vardell is is asking poets to share poems that did not end up in a published collection. One such poem and an interview with Janet Wong are highlighted today.

Little Willow is sharing song lyrics from the Duncan Sheik song She Runs Away.

Poetry Projects and Exchanges
Linda Mitchell is showing off some of the incredible poetry swap goodies she has received.

Talking Poetry and Writing
Michelle Heidenrich Barnes is kicking off a new series of reader highlights. Today she's spotlighting Linda Mitchell, who also set the ditty challenge for the month.

Poetry Books and Other Inspirations
Carol is sharing a review of Kate Messner's middle grade novel, Breakout, where one of the main characters uses mentor poets to write her own poems.

Myra from Gathering Books is sharing thoughts about the collection Standing Female Nude: Poems by Carol Ann Duffy.

Robyn Hood Black shares a link to her artsyletters Summer Letter. There are so many fun things in it. Do stop by for a visit.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Poetry Sisters Write Skinny Poems

Andi set this month's challenge to write a skinny poem. A skinny poem consists of eleven lines. Lines 1 and 11 can be any length and line 11 must use the same words from line 1, thought they can be rearranged.  Lines 2, 6, and 10 must be identical. And finally, what makes this poem skinny, is that fact that all lines except for 1 and 1 (the first and last) my be only ONE WORD LONG. You can learn more about the form at The Skinny Poetry Journal.

This form scared me. Couple that fear with a hellacious work schedule as of late, and that meant I had no poems the afternoon before posting. So, I was poem-less, but promised I'd try my hand at this form. Here are several first drafts of poems I whipped up just in the nick of time.

Skinny 1
A poem is a prayer
prayer is a poem

Skinny 2
My numbers don't lie
the audit
don't number my lies

Skinny 3
Carefully chosen words
words carefully chosen

Skinny 4
Traveling through time:
traveling through time.

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. Liz and Sara hope to have poems in the next week or so. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Michelle Kogan. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Friday, May 03, 2019

Poetry Sisters Write Dizain

Sara set this month's challenge to write a French Dizain, with bonus points awarded for using the word “square” in the poem. This form consists of one 10-line stanza with 10 syllables per line. The rhyme scheme is a/b/a/b/b/c/c/d/c/d. You can read more about the form at Robert Lee Brewer's site at the Writer's Digest.

I played around with a several topics and wrote three poems, all of which are fair attempts at the form. However, I couldn't get past the calendar and the date, so I decided to write one more poem. You see, my father would have been 93 on Sunday. The tenth anniversary of his death is May 7th, and on the 10th, he and my mother would have celebrated 67 years of marriage. I hate that the beginning of May makes me so maudlin, especially because I thought it would be easier by now. It's not. Here's the poem I was inspired to write about my dad. I struggle with titles, so this one is untitled at the moment.

In early May my heart’s a hollow square
a box that holds my memories of you
Time heals all wounds but this cannot repair
Ten years without a father, I’ve made do
despite the dark and sad days I pushed through
I long to call you up, seek your advice
This time I’d listen well, would not think twice
Despite the gruff exterior you cared
I knew your heart, your work, your sacrifice
I’m pained by all you’ve missed and should have shared

Here are two additional poems I wrote while experimenting with this form.

How to Write a Poem
A poem doesn’t need to rhyme they said
it’s all about the heart and words you choose
select the ones that mend a broken thread
or square with all you know or just amuse
then tell the story of your faithful muse
take form and substance over what is new
eschew the window dressing, find a view
translate the human drama into art
dig deep into your soul and tell it true
love letter to the world a splendid start

Welcome to Boot Camp
A military life? They were surprised
It didn’t seem the hill I’d want to climb
The day we all arrived we exercised
our independence for one final time
then changed our clothes and scrubbed the floor of grime
We marched from place to place our corners squared
No matter what we thought we weren’t prepared
They broke us down and built us up again
as iron bonds were formed by hardships shared
they gave us swords but I preferred the pen

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

I also gave Laura's photo poem format a try and posted another dizain to Twitter. Head on over to check out  my math-themed poem.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. Kelly, Laura, and Andi  are all grappling with life this month, but they'll be back with us soon.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

NPM 2019 Day 30: Personal Ad for a Frog

It's hard to believe that April is coming to a close. The last poem I'm sharing is part of series of poems I am working on that resemble classified or personal ads.

Personal Ad for a Frog
Winter sleeper, spring peeper
Champion hopper, eyes copper
Log squatter, loves water
Bug catcher, heart snatcher
Eats flies, great thighs
Winner of the swimming prize
Better than those other guys
Pick me!

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can see all the poems I shared this month at NPM 2019 Original Poems.
Happy Tuesday all. I'm so glad you spent this month with me celebrating poetry. Since Friday is the first of a new month, I'll see you back here for another Poetry Sisters challenge.

Monday, April 29, 2019

NPM 2019 Day 29: Scenes From a Train

Today I'm sharing a poem I wrote for a 2008 challenge that required using the five words sky, knot, fork, wall, and rose, as well as either trumpet or bullet as the sixth word. I recently dusted this one off and revised it. 

Scenes From a Train
She imagined riding on a bullet train
not in this creeping coach filled with
the sounds of screaming kids,
strains of muffled music, and
buzz of constant chatter.

She stared out the window,
eyes locked on the swirl and
knot of a flock ascending--
an immense black wall of
feet and feathers, wings and wind.

When the sky grayed and opened,
she traced the heavy drops,
rolling in forked rivers and streams
down the glass.

Hours later, lulled by the hum of
steel wheels and whispered voices,
she nodded off and missed
the rose and orange sunset
that quietly followed the summer rain.

Unfazed by all these events,
large and small,
within and without,
the train traveled on.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2008-2019. All rights reserved.

Happy Monday all. See you tomorrow for the wrap-up of National Poetry Month and one more original poem.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

NPM 2019 Day 28: Acrostic Riddle

For more than 10 years I've been working on a series of riddle poems on animal collectives. I'm not sure why I've been stuck on this topic, but perhaps it's because I love words and collective nouns are a fascinating bunch of words. Here's one of the riddle poems, written as an acrostic.

Sticklike legs step and strut
Through tidal flats, mangrove swamps
Awash in pink and vermilion
Noisy honking keeps us together as we
Dig and forage for meals in the mud

Who are we?

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2017. All rights reserved.

My thought in writing these poems is that the collective noun would appear somewhere in the poem, along with clues to the animal. Once the reader turns the page, the animal would be revealed, along with some factual information.

For the above animal, you may be more familiar with the term flamboyance, but a group of these birds is also called a stand.
Image from article Beauty From the Bottom Up

Happy Sunday all. See you tomorrow for another original poem.