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A January week

I have returned to an old habit—following the Capture Your 365 daily photo prompt challenge (#CY365), and pairing the photos with a few lines. I’m finding it’s really quite doable if I keep up with it.

So, without ado, here are some of this week’s captures:

Last Saturday’s prompt was WITH WORDS. Here is the photo and poem I cobbled together from the week’s words in my 2018 Word-A-Day calendar.

01-06-17 With words

(Photo © 2018 by V. Nesdoly)

On New Year’s Day the BENTHOS froze
under our polar bared toes.
Our Christmas treats we now CONTEMN
against our hopes of getting slim
(though with bold APPETANCE they still beckon
our calories we’ve resolved to reckon). 
PROCRUSTEAN as resolutions are
without them we won’t go as far
their value is at least HEURISTIC
and though our methods are simplistic
to fight holiday excess PIACULAR
our hopes still burn for the spectacular. 

Sunday, January 7th the prompt was WHITE.
We met our newest grand-dog on Sunday. His name is Henry.

01-07-18 White

Henry (Photo © 2018 by V. Nesdoly)

Tuxedo Henry— 
natty polka-dotted socks
fashion forward tail

Monday, January 8th’s prompt was SPLOTCHES (OF WHITE). This photo doesn’t really answer the prompt, but it had to be taken. (The next three photos are of my grandchildren.)

01-08-18 Splotches (of white)

(Photo © 2018 by V. Nesdoly)

Little Santa girl
delivers the best gift—
herself

On Tuesday, the prompt was ODD ONE OUT.
Two moments made my photo day, and inspired a tiny poem:

01-09-18 Odd one out

(Photo © 2018 by V. Nesdoly)

01-09-18 Odd one out

(Photo © 2018 by V. Nesdoly)

Caught
in the act
of play

On Wednesday the word was MINIMAL.

01-10-18 Minimal

Hooded Merganser (Photo © 2018 by V. Nesdoly)

Study in white, black, 
brown, with amber eye
Hooded Merganser

And finally yesterday, Thursday, the challenge was to photograph EXQUISITE. Oh boy… it was a very unexquisite day here but I did escape the dull and dreary indoors for an even more dull, dreary, and damp out. And I found something exquisite!

01-11-18 Exquisite

Nandina also known as “Heavenly Bamboo” (Photo © 2018 by V. Nesdoly)

Leaves of flame, embers
of berry warm this soggy
January day

(I just had a great suggestion from Joy in the comments below about making the verse above more comfortable in its skin…. changing it to a rhyming couplet or a quatrain. I’m opting for the quatrain. Thanks, Joy!)

Here’s version 2:

Leaves of flame
embers of berry
warm this soggy
January

(All poems above © 2018 by Violet Nesdoly – All rights reserved)

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poetryfridayThis post is linked to Poetry Friday. Our hostess today is Jan, who directs the poetry traffic at the Book Seed Studio (what a fabulous name for a blog!). Thanks Jan!

 

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29 Comments

Posted by on January 12, 2018 in Kids, Light, Poetry Friday, senryu

 

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2018 one-little-word reveal (Spiritual Journey Thursday)

Welcome to the first Spiritual Journey Thursday post of 2018. Today I and my SJT friends are unveiling our one-little-word choices for the year. My trusty altar-ego Power Shot is here to do the honors in a storyboard sequence. Take it away, PS!

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Life is full of so many lovely distractions.

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But now it’s time to get to work…

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Write and tackle that “To-do List”

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Wait. I need to see what’s happening on Twitter…

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Aand Facebook and Instagram, and Pinterest, and all the social media hangouts I love.

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No PS. FOCUS!

So there you have it, folks. My word is FOCUS.

Frankly, I was loath to leave my 2017 word LISTEN behind. So I picked its cousin who is not quite so sensory specific.

The word FOCUS came to me as somewhat of a lifesaver over the last few weeks. On November 1st, my husband had hip replacement surgery. My broken hip experience of 2014 sure came in handy here as I knew what to expect. Still, on some days the compounding of caregiving and household responsibilities together with Christmas almost bowled me over.

When I began to feel overwhelmed, I would calm myself with self-talk like: “Just do the next thing” and “Focus.” That attention to the moment and refusal to give in to distraction helped me stay on top of things through the first weeks of hubby’s recovery.

He’s well on his way back to normal now and Christmas is over. However, I’ve decided I want to hang onto FOCUS a bit longer applying it to my work, my relationships, my leisure, and my spiritual life.

The Bible passage that I’ve chosen as my focus true north is Philippians 3:13,14:

“But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

To me this means living a life of purpose that will be effective in its trajectory because of its focus on the things that matter.

spiritualjourneyfirst-thursday-copyThis post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted today by Margaret Simon on her blog Reflections on the Teche. There you will find links to more 2018 one-little-word reveals. (Thanks, Margaret, for hosting and for making the swank 2018 Spiritual Journey button!)

 

 

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Dear After-Christmas Leftovers

I love this week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day! After the busy time of shopping and gifting and cooking and hosting, it’s wonderful to sink back into the chair of “it’s all over!”

These days do have their hazards, though. This little breakup note to the Christmas leftovers is a poem I wrote a year ago today.

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Where the leftovers live (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Dear After-Christmas Leftovers

 

Three days ago before the Christmas feast
I eyed you, in your cling-wrap-covered bowls
and labelled cartons, with anticipation.

On that night I gave your contents unrestricted
access, made a holiday food exception
in all its buttery, crispy, tart and tasty,

poultry, stuffing, cabbage-rolly
glory—then savoured
trifles of cake, eggnog, those very

rich chocolates filled with brandy
melted by sips of creamy
fresh-brewed coffee.

But now I view your half-full cartons
with a different eye, though they still
tease and mock: “A spoonful

of cold dressing, dollop of cranberry
doesn’t really count. Surely you wouldn’t
throw out half a dessert!”

I’m sorry, but I would.
We’ve had our little fling
though just three days ago
I said yes to everything.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All Rights Reserved)

poetryfridayThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Heidi Mordhorst, who takes us into the wonderful world of trees.

 

 
15 Comments

Posted by on December 28, 2017 in Christmas, Light, Poetry Friday

 

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An early Christmas present (Hurry to Bethlehem!)

Last November I wrote a children’s Christmas poem just for fun. It was a countdown poem, starting with ten multitudes of angels, dwindling down to the one baby in the manger. I shared it with my writing friend Laurel, who liked it.

Fast forward to this fall, when Laurel took a job at our church in the children’s department. One of her responsibilities was to help plan the Christmas concert. She asked whether she could use that poem I’d written. Of course I gave permission, we made some changes, and I gave her carte blanche to use it as she liked.

A few weeks ago when I was setting up for a women’s class with the help of our pastor in charge of the technical stuff, he said as an aside, “Your book turned out really well.”

“My book?! I never wrote a book.”

“But didn’t you write the poem?”

Then it dawned on me. Laurel & company must have developed my little poem into a book.

Indeed, that is what happened.

So this Christmas, the little book I never knew I’d written has been distributed to hundreds of kids (the Sunday School children were given copies to help them memorize it for the concert) and on Sunday it will part of the show. That’s a pretty fine early Christmas present, I’d say!

I photographed it to show you…

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Front and back cover of Hurry to Bethlehem

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A multitude of angels
brightening the sky.
“Do not fear,” their leader says.
“I will tell you why.

“To you shepherds I bring news
of the greatest joy.
In Bethlehem is born this night
Messiah baby boy!

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Leave your sheep behind you here
travel to the town.
You’ll find Him in a manger
dressed in a swaddling gown.”

They hurry into Bethlehem
as fast as they are able.
On many streets they search and search
seeking the right stable.

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In barns they visit one by one
are donkeys, cows, and sheep
but then they hear a baby dry.
“Not all the town’s asleep!”

They race at once toward that barn
knock on the flimsy door.
“Come in,” a voice from inside says,
“What do you come here for?”

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The door swings wide, they come inside
watched by four pairs of eyes—
a cow, a donkey, man and wife
who can’t hide their surprise.

The light is dim inside the barn
shepherds can hardly see
but then, by the low lantern light
they make out there are three.

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Father stands beside the two
guarding them from danger.
Mother rocks the crying babe
then puts Him in the manger.

Here is the One in swaddling clothes
just like the angel said
in a straw-filled cattle trough
for His newborn bed.

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Then countless times they tell the tale
by their excitement driven,
“This night our simple eyes have seen
Christ the Saviour given!
Glory, glory to our God
in the highest heaven.”

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

You might want to check out my friend Laurel’s Toward Christmas blog, where she posts a poem a day throughout Advent (following the stories of people in Jesus’ lineage—sometimes called the “Jesse Tree”)

And now I wish you and yours every blessing of the season!

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poetryfridayThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Diane Mayr at Random Noodling.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on December 14, 2017 in Christmas, Religious

 

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The year of LISTEN (Spiritual Journey Thursday)

Ps 46_10

Coloring sheet gifted to me by Irene as part of the Poetry Friday summer poem swap. (I plan to spend a few more hours in quiet contemplation working on this in the days ahead.)

My one-little-word for 2017—LISTEN—has served me well… so well, I’m sad that the year is almost done.

As I went through 2017 it helped me make a habit of listening to others, especially when in conversation. Countless times through this year when the urge to interrupt came over me, I would hear in my mind: “Listen.” That reminder brought relaxation and a certain peacefulness as I continued tuning into what the other person was saying.

I’ve become alert to the wisdom of others about listening. Here’s something I read just a couple of days ago that sums up listening to others better than I could say it:

“Listening is more than being quiet while the other person speaks until you can say what you have to say … Generous listening is powered by curiosity, a virtue we can invite and nurture in ourselves to render it instinctive. It involves a kind of vulnerability—a willingness to be surprised, to let go of assumptions and take in ambiguity. The listener wants to understand the humanity behind the words of the other, and patiently summons one’s own best self and one’s own best words and questions” – Krista Tippett in Becoming Wise (p. 29) quoted by Melissa Moore in Entrusted p. 153.

“Generous listening is a revolutionary act of kindness in a world of screaming and competing voices” – Melissa Moore, Entrusted, p. 153.

I have also practiced listening to God through Bible reading, prayer, paying attention to the lyrics of praise and worship music, tuning in to podcasts, and more. One of the practices I’ve begun this year is Bible journaling. It was such fun to create visual memories in my Bible in response to Bible verses about listening. I’ll leave you with a short slide show of some of my listening signposts.

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sjt-2017-graphicThis post is linked to Spiritual Journey First Thursday, hosted today by our wonderful coordinator and cheerleader Irene Latham at her blog Live Your Poem.

 

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Layered deconstruction

First of all, HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my American friends!

On December 11th last year, an apartment complex that I pass on one of my walking routes burned.

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Apartment fire – December 11, 2016 (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

It wasn’t totally destroyed but has been unliveable these many months as it’s being repaired.

Though it’s not the most beautiful subject, there is something compelling about repairs going on behind curtains month after month and  so it has been my photo / poem subject several times in the last while. On July 25th, in response to the photo prompt “Layered,” I took the photo below and wrote about it (in a shadorma):

Layered

Apartment repairs – July 2017 (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Layered

 

One afternoon
massive fire engulfed
water wrecked
smoke sullied.
Months later still rebuilding
layer by layer.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

On October 16th in response to the photo challenge “Deconstruction.” I photographed and wrote about it again (this time in a senryu):

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Apartment sheers – October 2017 (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Deconstruction

Construction gauze—
band-aids for fire-singed rooms
healing their scars

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

It will be a happy day when all that reconstruction is done and its people can move back in. (And so I’ll probably write about it again.)

I’m adding that last ditty to Michelle Heidenrich Barnes’ November Padlet, where this month’s challenge is to “write a poem that finds beauty in something that is not usually considered beautiful.”

Oh, and speaking of Michelle, she’s just completed the publication of The Best of Today’s Little Ditty 2016. I’m pretty stoked to have a couple of poems in that volume. What a great collection of poems from all the lovely Poetry Friday peeps! Congratulations, Michelle (and committee) for another great book!

(To add icing to that ditty cake–between when I posted this and now, my physical copy of the book arrived! It’s so cool to hold it in my hands!)

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poetryfridayThis poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Carol, at Carol’s Corner.

 
20 Comments

Posted by on November 23, 2017 in Form poems, Objects, senryu, Shadorma

 

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Five Cinquains

I wasn’t going to join in on Poetry Friday today, then went to Linda’s roundup, found her post on Adelaide Crapsey and the cinquain form, and decided to put something up after all.

The cinquain is one of the short forms I’ve written in when composing poems in response to the daily photography prompts I’ve been following. Here are five (in honor of the cinquain’s five lines) that I’ve written in the past few months. They’ll take you back to spring and onward. (Title is the photo prompt word or phrase.)

Fresh

Fresh

Policeman’s helmet (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

just washed
smell of laundry
policeman’s helmet grows
riotously beside the stream
fresh pink

Group

Group

McBurney Lane art piece (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Teamwork
Community
Get involved, Lend a hand
Support, Help out, Volunteer, Care
Give back.

A helping hand

HelpingHand

My viewing deck on eclipse morning (Photo © 2017 by V.Nesdoly)

Eclipse—
protect my eyes:
box, tin foil, white paper
pinhole camera in my hand.
Viewed safe.

Fencing

Fencing

Bug on a fence (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

After
stone-bottom burrow
this sleek white thoroughfare
is a bug’s sci-fi fantasy
new world!

Silver

Silver

Street vendor sugar bowl (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Silver
imperfections
can’t hide your sweet intent
like grey hair, wrinkled face of our
Granny

All the above © 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)
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poetryfridayThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Linda at Teacher Dance.

 

 
 

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