poetry

Fork in the Road

#8 of 86: A Purpose-Driven Bop

Onward to The Bop, a 3-stanza form that, in context, presents and attempts to solve a problem. No rhyme required for this one, but because I love rhyme I had to go for it. I just finished Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, which is on several must-read lists, particularly for readers looking for inspirational and motivational options. If you haven’t read it, the first part documents Frankl’s experiences in four different Nazi concentration camps. Although the subject matter is delicate and could easily veer on gruesome, the tone is more matter-of-fact than graphic. It is hard to comprehend that the Holocaust happened in my grandparents’ lifetime… The second part discusses Frankl’s idea of Logotherapy, a psychiatric theory that places the quest for meaning ahead of pleasure, power, or any other construct. Overall the book spoke to me, but on my search for meaning, it gave me more theory and food for thought than advice. Still, it was nice to get out of my head and I realized just how rare it is that my thoughts don’t dwell on me and my existence.

 

I Just Need to Choose My Path… 

My parents never said “Ash, you can do ANYTHING!”
My teachers never thought “Wow, she’s going places!”
I might have looked in the mirror and felt the sting
of not being special – another face among faces.
But wait, I thought, I’ve got ideas… I’ll make big plans!
I’ll prove them all wrong with my fate in my hands!

I’m not afraid to live! But I’m a little scared to choose my path…

I had always loved to bake, so that’s it – I’d be a chef!
But I lost faith before I learned to boil water…
No, not a chef. But I’m an artist – what else is left?
Oh, film! I love film! That’s a much better offer!
A student in the city and the next Stanley Kubrick!
This is… really stupid. Why is everyone so pretentious?
Do I give up again? They’ll all call my bullshit…
I just need a little break to come to my senses.

I’m not afraid to live, I’m just scared to choose my path!

Fresh start starts NOW! I never wanted to make movies anyway!
It was never the photography, it was the stories that I loved.
I’ll write great stories, Oscar-winning screenplays!
Or, a novel! Best-seller! A Great American one, sort of…
Or, epic poetry! Gripping verse and masterful craft!
Or… Infrequently blogging poems reflective of my past???

I’m not afraid to live, but I’m still finding my path.

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come by day

#7 of 86: Busy Blitz

Have to say I loved The Blitz, a 50-line, super-fast, meant-to-be-read-aloud form created by Robert Keim. There is no punctuation and no required rhyme. I could explain the rules, but it’s better to just glean the form by reading an example. Try to read this without moving your lips, or bobbing your head, or getting into some kind of rhythm. It has an inherent lyrical beat that’s hard to ignore.

Come by Day

Here we go
Here we come
Come and go
Come to know
Know your self
Know your name
Name the price
Name the game
Game is won
Game is lost
Lost in love
Lost in space
Space and time
Space and place
Place to stay
Place to be
Be on track
Be on time
Time is mine
Time is money
Money hungry
Money watch
Watch your self
Watch your step
Step to the front
Step to the back
Back of the line
Back of your mind
Mind your surroundings
Mind your manners
Manners matter
Manners and respect
Respect your self
Respect your neighbors
Neighbors are noisy
Neighbors will think
Think about the future
Think about your family
Family affairs
Family forever
Forever in debt
Forever young
Young and beautiful
Young and broke
Broke as a joke
Broke up the day
Day and night
Day by day
Day…
Night…

Preface Blackout Poem from Charlotte Bronte's Wuthering Heights

#6 of 86: Blackout with Bronte

Blackout Poetry, or Erasure Poetry, involves taking a segment of complete work and removing a limited amount of words to create a new poem. A Blackout basically takes a Sharpie to a printed work, leaving behind a series of words or characters to make something new. I tried this with a preface page from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I copied an image and added black rectangles in Paint to reverse highlight the words I wanted–it was a surprisingly creative experience! I can see these being really meaningful if the new edit somehow references the meaning of the original text.

The final text reads “Preface: time laughs at Fate | your World was found | human and beautiful it grows”

Scrabble Tiles

#5 of 86: I Never Thought This Would Happen

I didn’t really enjoy my experience writing Anagrammatic Poetry, in which the lines of the poem are anagrams (scrambles) of the title. I hummed an hawed to try to make something that made sense, which isn’t really the point. I started out very ambitious, then tried to just make a sensible couplet, and just could not do it! I might try this again some other time, but for now this was the best I came up with.

I never thought that would happen…

I never thought that would happen…
Put A world though event thin heap
Thorough pet up than held twin wave
Prevent u what tough hate pin hold

found alphabet

#4 of 86: Alpha on Zodiac

Alphabet poetry is pretty self-explanatory. Each line starts with a letter of the alphabet, each word starts with the next letter of the alphabet, etc. I added an element of rhyme to this one, and I actually learned a lot about the zodiac in the process! Much harder than I thought it would be, but this form can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.

Alpha on Zodiac

Zodiac, by definition, is an imaginary belt of the heavens.
You can trace the concept back to Babylonian times.
Xenophiles of ancient Rome recorded the zodiac in essence.
Western astrology divides the zodiac into twelve signs.
Variations of the zodiac focus on animals, elements, or dates.
Universally, the signs are applied to astrological horoscopes.
True believers use these transmissions to predict their fates.
Skeptics dismiss such nonsense as a way to sell dreams and hopes.
Rams are the symbol of the fire sign Aries under planet Mars.
Quick to judge, but warm and vital, an Aries is a natural leader.
Peaceful and methodical is Taurus the bull, drawn to pleasures.
Often reserved, but only to a point, these are stability seekers.
Next is Gemini, the twin sign of the social and adventurous.
Much like Cancer, the loyal crab surrounded by friends and family.
Leo the lion is relaxed and in charge, yet proud and decorous.
Keep Leos grounded, as they can border on smugness or pageantry.
Just the opposite, Virgos are sympathetic, logical, and practical.
Introverted maybe, but always thinking and applying their skills.
Harmony and balance are key to Libras, who are fair and tactical.
Genuine and matter-of-fact, the Scorpio seeks passion and thrills.
Freedom, learning, and discovery are paramount to Sagittarius.
Enterprising Capricorn is ambitious, serious, and goal-oriented.
Decent and generous, yet stubborn, describes humanitarian Aquarius.
Casual on the outside, Pisces is inwardly sensitive yet contented.
By and large, the pop culture of the zodiac is a departure from science.
A glance up to the stars on a clear night can vindicate our compliance.

American Flag

#3 of 86: Ae Freislighe for Election Day

Talk about a tricky form… The Ae Freislighe is an form is constructed of 4 line stanzas (or quatrains) that follow a tight rhyme scheme. Each line contains 7 syllables, the first and third lines ending in a three syllable triple-rhyme (xxa) and the second and third lines ending in a two syllable double-rhyme (xxb). The last line should start with the first word of the first line. (Who thought of this???) Anyway the form forces some sing-songiness, but I thought it could help loosen up a heavy topic like politics. You be the judge!

Let’s Talk Politics

Three cheers for democracy
A system made by choices.
Now I see dichotomy
and conflict forced by voices.

When stating your opinion,
don’t droll on and on carefree.
You might feign a position
which with others don’t agree.

It might not seem concerning
to not want to look aloof,
but others are discerning
if they do or don’t approve.

It can damage character
and it can hurt your business.
It makes online predators
and turns an old friend vicious.

Our system must continue,
the flipside is too scary.
Just know we all contribute,
Three branches and the many.

Crossword puzzle

#2 of 86: Acrostic Poetry

I love acrostic poetry I’ve added this element to other poems without calling it an acrostic because I think it’s a fun hidden message for analytic readers (which I’m not, but I like writing that way). Yesterday I wrote an abstract poem, Saturday Morning at the Diner, and I acrostic-ally added the word BREAKFAST using the first letter of each line. Actually, that was how I started and how I decided which sounds to use. These are really fun because they add the puzzle aspect of formal poetry that I really enjoy, but the chance of a reader spotting it is a lot greater than a particular beat or meter.

 

The Departure

Can you recall your first great read? An epic novel or time-honored classiC?

Once you crack that cover and read those first few lines—away you gO.

Verse and chapters build a world that becomes TOo real for movies or TV.

Experience another time or place, another life, without having to go anywherE.

Reading: The vacation you didn’t know you needed, the answer you weren’t looking foR.