Poetry

Saturday is for Poets

Peaceful photo
photo by Joel Sorenson via Pexels

I have neglected this blog for sooo long — now I am determined to get back into writing and posting on a regular basis. I’ve missed it.

It’s Saturday and raining — I am tired from a long, stressful work week. I need some quiet, reflective hours to rejuvenate and balance my racy mind. I am sitting here with a cat on my lap, a cup of tea, attempting to write something meaningful. (Well, meaningful to me at least!)

When I am feeling out of sorts, stressed or frazzled, poetry often comes to mind. I love to read poems at times like these — a poet’s words drift easily through and around my mind, mingling with my own emotions, coalescing into a meaning that is more feeling than thought. It’s calming and regenerative. I am thankful that poetry seems to be gaining in popularity these days.

I have been reading some new-to-me poetry, discovering works that I love and yearning to find more. My favourite reads will always be in the form of novels, but I am looking forward to broadening my literary experiences with more poetry and other forms of art. Suggestions? I would love to try your favourite poets!

One poet that I have getting to know is Rupi Kaur. Her lovely books of poetry are everywhere and her engaging expressions are a delight to delve into.

This is one of my [new] favourites:

i thank the universe
for taking away
everything it has taken
and giving to me
everything it is giving

balance ~ rupi kaur, from Milk and Honey

 

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Art, Cats, Poetry

A Cat, A Comics Artist & A Haiku

Cat Image
Phoebe’s Portrait

Last year,we contributed to the Kickstarter project Furr: A Comic Anthology About Cats. This project was the brainchild of Alex Park, the founder of Tabulit, an online publishing platform committed to building a creative economy for indie webcomic artists and providing a platform for comic lovers to read and subscribe to a range of comic genres.

As part of our contribution to the Kickstarter campaign, we were entitled to receive an original portrait of our cat done by one of the artists featured in the anthology, along with a printed copy of the anthology.

After looking through the artists, we decided to choose to have our cat’s picture done by Ross Brownell-Dupont. Ross is a talented illustrator and comics artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art & Design. He works in ink, watercolour and pen.

A few days ago, we received Phoebe’s portrait in the mail — we were so excited! Ross’ work delighted us — we couldn’t have been more pleased. What do you think? Isn’t she beautiful? And we think that Ross captured her character perfectly.

If you are interested, Ross is available for commission work. You can reach him at rbrownelldupont@gmail.com

If you want to read some excellent webcomics, check out Tabulit — you can even read my daughter’s work there!

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Hey! I haven’t forgotten that it is Haikuesday! I composed this little poem for my lovely Phoebe.

Cat, you calmly sit
staring with determined will
a bird trills a note

Mindfulness, Poetry

Sunday Contemplation

Water ImageAnother week has gone by — and I was searching for a beacon of hope, something to soothe my soul and bring a smile to my face. A reprieve from the tragedy, the nastiness and the grimness that is so prevalent around us these days.

I am always uplifted by heartwarming stories about the kindness of strangers, the courage of ordinary people and the many acts of gratitude that circulate around the globe. Stories about the beauty of humankind, simple acts of love and everyday heroes fill me up. Luckily, there are many such anecdotes around, easy to find with a quick search.

Here are some examples I found this week — I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Song is Poetry

Angel City Chorale is a Los Angeles choir that boasts over 160 singers with an expansive repertoire that includes music from classical to pop and everything in between. The choir was started in 1993 and is known not only for its music but also for its good works. Their motto is “Building Community One Song at a Time.” Find out more about this group.

Watch this YouTube video of their performance of Africa. Oh, how I wish I could sing like this!

Poetry in Motion

I love flashmobs and a few years back it seemed as if people were gathering every week to put on a mass dance or sing-along. These days, flashmobs aren’t as news worthy, but I love watching them and would LOVE to be in one. In the video below, watch these amazing students as they perform a group dance at a mall in Liverpool.

Comic Relief

In this last video, members of the New York City Ballet perform an excerpt from The Concert, a lighthearted comic ballet by Jerome Robbins. These talented dancers prove that even missteps can be beautiful, poetic movement.

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Mindfulness Thought:

Mindfulness isn’t difficult. We just need to remember to do it. ~ Sharon Saltzberg

Poetry

Flashback Friday — Vintage Poetry

child with umbrella illustration
Original illustration for Rain, from A Child’s Garden of Verses

It was rainy here all day — wet, but mild. “Typical, for Raincouver,” I hear you say! Yes, the skies were grey and wet, but people were out walking with their umbrellas closed. I say it was raining, but really, it was only sprinkling. Nothing to get excited about, it is April after all, we expect rain — how else will we get all those May flowers?

I was thinking of National Poetry Month as I was out splashing in puddles, and I remembered one of my treasured books from my childhood. A vintage copy of A Child’s Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Some of my favourite poems are in that little book and I have fond memories of reading it.

So in honour of NPM, I am posting a poem from the book, one that illustrates the feeling of this rainy Vancouver day. Enjoy!

By the way,  A Child’s Garden of Verses is available as a FREE ebook from the Gutenberg Project! If you are interested, follow this link to the website, then do a search for the book. There are over 56,000 eBooks available to download or read online on this site.

RAIN
The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.

~ Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child’s Garden of Verses

Mindfulness, Poetry

Poetry and Mindfulness

The world is full of poetry. The air is living with its spirit; and the waves dance to the music of its melodies, and sparkle in its brightness. ~ James Gates Percival

the oceanIs there anything more soothing than the sound of the waves breaking on the shore? Is there any better way to spend a lovely, sunny afternoon than combing the beach for the sea’s bounty — smooth, round stones and sea-washed shells? Translucent pieces of clear, blue sea glass?

Walking on a sandy shoreline never fails to soothe my soul — always eases my mind. My heart is filled with the magnificence of the ocean’s power. I feel that I belong to and am part of something larger than myself. I feel a connection with the heron, the eagle, the hawk and yes, even, the common seagull as they soar above the ocean’s current searching for their dinner.

The salty sea air invigorates me — I feel strong, but also, peaceful, calm and deeply connected to the planet and all who inhabit it.

The ocean is beautiful, powerful, life-giving.

The ocean is poetry.

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Mindfulness Thought: Be calm. Be now.

Poetry

Haikuesday — Is it Back?

So… it’s been months since I have participated in writing a haiku on a Tuesday. Is Haikuesday still a thing?

Today was a gorgeous wintry day in the Lower Mainland — no rain and a mix of sun and cloud. A perfect day for a tramp around Serpentine Fen. And excellent inspiration for a bit of poetry.

January sky
Leafless trees bleak in grey light
The soaring hawk shrieks

Uncategorized

A Different Kind of Poetry

Blog Post #360

Yesterday was International Haiku Day and since I wrote a haiku for that occasion, I thought I would explore other forms of short verse, for today’s post. I discovered that there are many kinds of laconic poems, besides haiku. For instance: limericks, the 5-W poem and terse verse, to name a few.

One of the most popular forms of short poetry is the cinquain, developed by American poet, Adelaide Crapsey. Inspired by Japanese haiku and tanka, Adelaide devised the cinquain, a poem written in five unrhymed lines that are meant to convey an emotion or mood by imagery and vivid language.

There are many ways to compose a cinquain, but the two most popular versions (and the simplest) are the syllable method and the word method.

The syllable method is written as follows:
Line 1 – two syllables
Line 2 – four syllables
Line 3 – six syllables
Line 4 – eight syllables
Line 5 – two syllables

And the word method is composed in this way:
The first line has one word for the topic (and is also the name of the poem)
The second line uses 2 words to describes the topic
The third line has 3 words denotes action related to the topic
The fourth line expresses feelings regarding the topic
The fifth and last line is usually another word for the topic

I tried my hand at writing cinquains using the second method. What do you think of my two attempts, below? Do you write poetry? Tell me your favourite style of poetry.

Puppy

Puppy

Puppy
Wriggly, warm
Yipping, licking, romping
Furry bundle of love
Baby

Ballerina

 

Ballerina

Ballerina
Beautiful, pirouette
Bending, twirling, flitting
She is breathtakingly graceful
Dancer

Uncategorized

Spring is in the Air — A Haiku Poem

Blog Post #359

Today is International Haiku Day — so of course, I did what anyone would do — I wrote a haiku!

It was a gorgeous day and my haiku is a tribute to the season. I love walking outdoors and noticing the budding trees and the blossoming shrubs. It lightens my soul and brightens my day to see flowers poking their heads out of the earth, preparing to burst forth in a showy hue. Soon the world will be awash in the beautiful colours of spring: fresh green, vibrant yellow, deep red and bright pink. I love the vibrancy of Spring!

Tulips

Spring’s beauty unfolds
red tulips wave in the breeze
tree buds unfurl green

Nature, Poetry

Cherry Haiku

Blog #353

After our long winter, it is exhilarating to see daffodils sway in the breeze, to notice the budding branches and to find rhododendrons getting ready to explode their colour throughout the neighbourhood. The cherry trees have finally blossomed and Vancouver is swathed in the frothy pink of delicate petals.

Cherry Tree

Morning sun rises
warm spring breezes stir the air
cherry blossoms falls

Uncategorized

Sleepy Time Haiku

Blog Post #346

I’m tired and the thought of my comfy bed is uppermost in my mind — so why am I still sitting here ostensibly writing a blog post, but browsing through my Pinterest feed instead?

Could that Café Verona I slurped down at 5:00 pm be keeping my brain buzzing with a million whirling thoughts? Or am I a crazy person too stubborn to call it a day and relax into the sweet peacefulness of sleep?

Sheep

Sleep is beckoning
stumble to my bed yawning
sweet dreams are waiting