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Warbler’s Confession

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Warbler (Image from Pixabay.com)

Warbler’s Confession

(After witnessing a strange sight in the French Alps, March 24, 2015)

Today one of those giant fowl
passed with the grandest roar
I watched with admiration
how this mighty bird could soar.

But then it did the oddest thing
a most peculiar sight
changed attitude from up to down
descended like a kite.

I chirped and called and warbled
to warn it of disaster
but that great monstrous creature
only descended faster.

It plowed into a mountain
crashed into the cliffs
split into a million tiny
shards and broken bits.

I admit my jealousy
of giant’s perfect beak
its angle eyes, symmetric wings
its feathers smooth and sleek

it’s eagle speed, its beeline flight
its course above the cloud
its noble bold intelligence
its call, steady and loud.

But that’s all in the past now
I’ll never more complain
that I’m a simple warbler
and not a fancy plane.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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I wrote this poem on April 1, 2015, the first day of 2015’s National Poetry Month. As you can tell, it was inspired by a tragic air event that had happened about a week before, on March 24, 2015.

I planned already earlier this week  to publish it for Poetry Friday as my persona poem contribution to Michelle’s (and Laura Shovan’s) May challenge at Today’s Little Ditty. Then another eerily similar plane disappearance occurred just this morning, May 19th, Paris time.  Oh my! My poem is by no means meant to make light of these very serious events.

Warbler reminds us, too, that it’s good to be just who we are.

Poetry Friday LogoThis poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by the lovely Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in History, Nature, Poetry Friday

 

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Poetry Friday – fiery edition

Welcome to Poetry Friday, hosted right here this week.

Poetry Friday Logo

In western Canada, we’ve had an extra early start to the forest fire season this year. Last week the entire town of Fort McMurray in north-east Albert had to evacuate (85,000+ people).  A fire that had started just few days earlier was whipped into a frenzy by winds and aided by extreme dryness, no leaves on the trees, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures. It moved so quickly and unexpectedly, some people had only minutes to gather their things and flee town.

The fire, that continues to burn, has left that city and moved into less populated areas. Now comes evaluating the damage and rebuilding. My heart goes out to the people of Fort McMurray.

Forest fires are a common phenomenon of western Canadian summers. Though I have never been threatened by one, I have seen enough news footage to imagine the experience. I wrote the poem below some years ago.

canada-fire

This picture was the prompt that helped inspire the poem below.

Forest Usurper

Born a common spark
baby tongue creeps, crawls
nibbles grasses, needles, twigs.

Lambent cub
egged on by wind
runs and leaps, laughs and licks.

Hungry adolescent hunts
smorgasbord of pine, hemlock, fir,
belches plumes of caustic smoke.

Suffocating stench
stampedes forest creatures
to the glittering river

sends wild-eyed homeowners in 4x4s
loaded with papers, photos, pets
traffic-jam creeping from his pounce.

He is king of the heat now
dancing on the forest crown
swishing his tail on the summit.

Buzzing dragonflies spit
bucket after bucket of pink.
Under his gauzy skin, beast continues to binge.

Only heaven’s tears carry the clout
to say Enough, to stop the treason.
Still he plots, smoldering in caves of blackened roots.

Copyright©2009 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Interested in forest fires? Macleans Magazine‘s “Q&A: What you need to know about the science of forest fires” has lots of interesting information.

I thought of the many teachers and educators that contribute to Poetry Friday when I read the story “When evacuation was ordered, Fort McMurray principal fled with busload of students.” I’m sure all of you would show the same courage, presence of mind, and dedication to the kids that she did!

Now it’s your turn!  Please click on the Mr. Linky button below and leave your links on the page that opens.  Thank you!

 
33 Comments

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Nature, Poetry Friday

 

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Un-Hallmark Mother

Un-Hallmark Mother

While I gifted icon carnations
and Hallmark lines, “Mother” to me
smelled of duty and mothball wisdom.
She my root of conscience, scruple

permission to pursue the chaotic
then, like her, to sort and label.
I lived for her sideways compliments
overheard in conversations with her friends.

Her widow-grief broke down walls:
She was fellow-woman.
Our friendship rooted, blossomed—
she was always so good with flowers.

At the end when she needed help
even to get dressed
my heart pinged for her
like she was one of my kids.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

***********

Store-bought cards do express a sweet dimension of motherhood, but the real thing is always much more complex. I would be lying if I said my relationship with my mom was all good. We clashed sometimes during my teen years—and beyond. But we worked through our rough spots and became more than friends. It was a relationship that changed with the times and seasons. Mom died ten years ago this June. Does a daughter ever get over not having her mom around?

The photos are of one of our last outings in May 2006. Hubby and I drove her down to White Rock Beach, took her out for lunch, walked to the bear statue at the end of the path, went to the end of the pier, and posed her under the spring blossoms she loved so much.

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday hosted today by Sylvia Vardell at her blog Poetry for Children.

 
26 Comments

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Personal, Poetry Friday

 

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NPM ’16 – What I learned

SpendItAll-Dillard

The entire quote from which the above is taken:

“One of the few things I know about writing is this: Spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book, give it, give it all, give it now… Some more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.” – Annie Dillard

I once had the quote by Annie Dillard (above) pinned to my bulletin board. It was encouragement to be less hesitant to use my “good ideas”  (what if I never got another one…) and to share my writing. This last month I have put it into practice perhaps more than ever before. For not only did I write a new poem every day but  also published daily here on this blog.

I think I enjoyed April of 2016 poetically more than any National Poetry month till now. I’m sure that’s because I put more into it in several ways. Here are some things I learned about myself and the writing process.

1. The fact that I was determined to post a poem every day had me working harder and more purposefully than other years when I wrote daily but didn’t go public.

2. I got a lot out of following other poets’ projects. Here are some of the April 2016 poem series that I enjoyed a lot:

Mary Lee Hahn’s series inspired by old photos.

Donna Smith’s series inspired by vanity license plates.

– Irene Latham’s series “Art Speak” inspired by paintings (many that involved food, to go with her latest published project Fresh Delicious).

– Amy L. Vanderwater’s series “Wallow in Wonder” inspired by the daily questions at Wonderopolis.

Margaret Simon’s series inspired by photographic images.

– Doraine Bennett’s series “Feet in a Creek” inspired by specific poems of favorite poets.

Heidi Mordhorst’s series of poetry paired with music.

– And of course, being part of the 2016 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem.

These series got me thinking that on another year I’d like to write to a theme.

3. Writing daily has helped me feel more relaxed about the process. It has showed me that if you sit with an idea for a while, something usually surfaces. The wonderful thing about poetry is that it can be about anything. When I give what James Scott Bell calls “the boys in the basement” the assignment to come up with an idea, they usually do. It helps, though, to be patient and respect the process.  Here’s how I described that process some years ago

Some Poems

Some poems appear like lightning
an epiphany moment
of illuminating clarity

Others are a groping hand-over-hand
out of the well of experience
into the light of meaning

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

4. Finally, what kept me going most was the companionship of my writing friend Laurel. She joined me in this challenge by publishing a new poem of her own almost every day on her blog Four Parts Hope. There’s nothing like a poet buddy to keep one on track. Thanks Laurel!

Thanks, as well, to all who came by and read these daily April postings!

I will now resume my usual pedestrian schedule of one or two posts per week.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Personal, Writing

 

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I Remember … (NPM ’16-Day 30)

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Story time with Aunt Helen

I Remember…

I remember the holes in the green roll-down blinds
and how they looked like a starry sky.

I remember caramel-colored fly paper
hanging twisty from the ceiling
dotted with black.

I remember making cakes and cookies
when we got to play with water in the sandbox.

I remember lying sick on the couch
and how the flowers in the living room curtains
became faces.

I remember story time with Aunt Helen.

I remember angel food cake
and strawberries with whipped cream
for every birthday.

I remember licking the beaters.

I remember Saturday work
and how much I hated it.

I remember washing the cream separator last
and how slimy the dishcloth got
in old soap and lukewarm water.

I remember early wash day mornings
with the sounds of the chugging machine
and daddy playing quartet records
while he waited for another load
to hang on the line.

I remember starting the fire in the sleigh—
the smell of kerosene and smoke
and how one side of my leg
would soon be sunburn-hot.

I remember grape juice and pop—
our Christmas dinner “wine.”

I remember frosty spring mornings
and cracking crystal ice.

I remember spring evenings
full of the drone and ribbet of frogs.

I remember the smell of earth
and the wind holding its breath
just before a summer rain.

I remember the gentle sound of grazing chickens
on summer holiday mornings.

I remember how prickly nervous I got
gathering eggs from nesting hens.

I remember the smell of the kitchen
when Mom made pickles.

I remember the smell of wheat
in the fall when Dad was combining.

I remember the sweet-sour caramel crab-apples
Mom made for fall picnics.

I remember reading
till 2:00 or 3:00 a.m.
and wishing Anne of Green Gables
was my friend.

©2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

***************

I decided to take the April 29th NaPoWriMo challenge of writing an “I remember’ poem:

“… write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details, and don’t worry about whether the memories are of important events, or are connected to each other.”

I discovered, once I got started, it was hard to stop! The poem contains only a few of my memories. Are they anything like yours?

And with that I come to the end of  poem-a-day National Poetry Month 2016! It was fun posting a new poem every day, even though sometimes a little hectic. Of the 30 poems I published this April, 28 were newly written this month. Thanks for all who came by to read and leave a comment!

I’ll now get back to my usual about twice-a-week posting schedule.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 30, 2016 in People, Personal

 

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Wild Rose Roundabout (NPM ’16-Day 29)

Wild Rose Roundabout

I unfurl my face to you—
now that it’s almost May.
It was a juicy April
with lots of wet-root days.
To January and February’s sparrows and chickadees
my shriveled red ancestors were food.
Leaves paled and lost their grip
driven crazy by November’s gales.
Ripening in August heat,
hard green hips blushed.
It was a May ago
my forbears smiled their last on you.

My forbears smiled their last on you—
it was a May ago.
Hard green hips blushed,
ripening in August heat.
Driven crazy by November’s gales
leaves paled and lost their grip.
My shriveled red ancestors were food
to January and February’s sparrows and chickadees.
With lots of wet-root days
it was a juicy April.
Now that it’s almost May
I unfurl my face to you.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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The April 28th prompt at NaPoWriMo was to write a story poem—backwards. We saw the first wild rose blossoms on our walk yesterday morning, roses were on my mind, so I decided to write a wild rose story.

The challenge to write a Reverso poem (a poem in which the lines are reversed bottom to top, making a second stanza or an entirely new poem) has also been circulating around the Poetry Friday network. So I tinkered with my story until it worked as a Reverso poem of sorts.

However, there is at least one aspect of a Reverso that my poem doesn’t satisfy. In a genuine Reverso, the meaning changes when you change directions. I know I have not achieved that.

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Form poems, Nature, Objects

 

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ICSPOTS (NPM ’16-Day 28)

One of the most fun parts of this April has been following the projects of various Poetry Friday friends. Donna, at Mainely Write, for example, has been posting vanity license plates she has photographed, a day for each letter of the alphabet, and using one of the day’s plates as a poem prompt.

When Adele Kenny’s blog (one of the places I check daily for poem-writing ideas) linked the poem “Which Way is Up?”—the thoughts of poet Tony Gruenewald on seeing a vanity plate flash by him on the road—I thought immediately of Donna’s project.

I surfed over to her website and on browsing through the variety of plates, a semblance of order began to suggest itself to me and, voila—a found poem!  Donna has generously allowed me to use plate photos from her blog for ICSPOTS. (Thanks Donna!)

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© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly, Photos by Donna Smith (All rights reserved)

In case you didn’t get the message via the plate lingo, here it is, in translation (with my additions in parentheses):

Icy Spots(?)

Whatever
Look up,
Love Jesu
North Star.

Oh my—
Are you salt?
Misfit?
(It’s) OK.

Kiddos,
Anchor D(own).
Rejoice.
You are loved.

We (are) grateful
You be brave,
Überkül (Extra cool)
Smoov (Smooth)

VN.

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Buffy Silverman at Buffy’s Blog.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on April 28, 2016 in Found, Personal, Poetry Friday, Religious

 

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