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Category Archives: Form poems

Spring’s Debutantes (NPM ’16-Day 16)

Spring’s Debutantes

Party deb Pansy and, before her, Crocus
whisper in royal shades of an amethyst queen.
Frilly Lilac and loose-limbed Wisteria
trailing scented clouds of hocus-pocus
languid on trellis and bower lean.
The starchy Tulip sisters dressed in flames
bring to this dance a daring new criteria,
strut a bold contrast to spring’s purple dames.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Well, we’re over halfway through the month and still on track for writing one poem a day!

This poem is in the form of a san san—a new form to me. The 8-line san san has a set pattern of rhymes (a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d), and is supposed to contain three images. Read about it here.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2016 in Form poems, Nature, Personal

 

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Gratitude (NPM ’16-Day 13)

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Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

I had a lovely experience of gratitude expressed to me last weekend.

A bit of backstory.

Years ago, it became customary for our church’s small groups to discuss Sunday’s sermon in their meetings. The church office provided sermon notes for that. In February of 2011, the pastor responsible for small groups asked me if I would write the notes, which included making up discussion questions and writing a prayer at the end.

Since only a few knew who did them, I got very little feedback. I wasn’t even sure they were being used. When we had a pastoral change in 2014 I thought that maybe the new pastors would release me from my responsibility. But no. The new pastor in charge of adult ministries wanted me to soldier on. So I did.

And I’ve been perfectly fine working in obscurity. I love Paul’s description of the church as a body where each of us plays a part, some visible, some hidden. In fact, I rather liked being a bit hidden—though I did explain to those sitting around me in church Sunday mornings why I brought my laptop and typed furiously through the sermon.

All that changed on Sunday—actually Saturday night, when I got a Direct Message on Twitter from our lead pastor, saying some nice things about those notes, asking me how long I had been doing them, and saying that he was going to encourage their use for his current sermon series. And so on Sunday morning, pastor spilled the beans on me and those notes, and I got a congregation’s worth of applause for five years of note-taking and -making.

It was lovely to get the thanks and recognition. But it also felt awkward—even dangerous (for I know how easily pride creeps in). Plus it was nice when no one knew who was responsible if there were typos or the questions were dumb. That era is over now I guess.

Because I’m writing a poem a day this month—and when you do that, everything you experience becomes potential poem material—the poem below was my piece for last Sunday. I wasn’t going to post it, but then I didn’t have anything suitable for Spiritual Journey Thursday, which seems like the right time to share it. (The form is a triolet.)

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Photo: pixabay.com

Gratitude

My name was mentioned today and there was applause
I was thanked and honored for work done backstage.
I’m glad I had no part in this because

my name was mentioned today and there was applause.
Now I’ll have to watch i’s and t’s and avoid faux pas
This incident is a kind of turning the page.

My name was mentioned today and there was applause.
It was nice to get thanked for something done backstage.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

james 4:10 1 Corinthians 12:14-26

(The notes I write are now online, in case you’re curious, on this page.)

 

 

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Doodling Supper (NPM ’16-Day 10)

I love how Robert Brewer describes a “doodle poem” in his April 8th prompt:

“So for a poem, I’m thinking this could start off as something small that stays small or builds to epic proportions.”

On reading this prompt, almost at once I thought of cooking a meal. It may start leisurely enough but inevitably builds to that crucial moment when all the cold and cooked dishes must find their way to the table at the peak of their crisp, or piping hot goodness. And then, of course, it all ends with the call.

A counted-word cinquain seemed a good vehicle to deliver a doodle poem.

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Photo: pixabay.com

Doodling Supper

Mix beef
eggs, oatmeal. Peel potatoes.
While meatloaf bakes, tear lettuce, toss
radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes. Set table. Done? Cut. Mash.
Supper’s on!

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

 

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2016 in Cinquain

 

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A different layer of life (NPM ’16-Day 8)

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Carts of the homeless (Photo © 2015 by V. Nesdoly)

A different layer of life

i
Cluster of loaded carts—evidence of the homeless,
a non-migratory species of west-coast life,
a society as apart from us as the birds.

They ignore us, just like the birds.
Bulging carts are nest and forest of the homeless.
They seem to live in a different layer of life.

They relate to each other—that is their life.
We as nonentity to them as we are to the birds.
Morning path is strewn with cart-droppings of the homeless.

Birds, what can you tell us about the life of the homeless?

ii
I recall my Master was homeless.
He honored the rootless life,
assured all who listened that His care included the birds.

I hold out my hand with seed for the birds,
never considering whether or not they are homeless,
delighted when one connects with my life.

I need a different perspective on life
one that includes love for all manner of birds,
especially those in a season of being homeless.

Homeless one, what can you tell me about your life as a bird?

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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This poem grew out of a new form to me—the Tritina. It is like a mini-sestina. The NaPoWriMo site explains it this way:

The tritina is a shorter cousin to the sestina, involving three, three-line stanzas, and a final concluding line. Three “end words” are used to conclude the lines of each stanza, in a set pattern of ABC, CAB, BCA, and all three end words appear together in the final line.

In drives around town and during our morning walks, I keep seeing signs of the homeless. I chose my three words (life, homeless, birds) and then began to work through my thoughts.

I found the tritina easier to write than the sestina. It was a good way for me to sort through mixed feelings.  After writing the first part, I felt I still had some resolving to do and so decided to push on, mimicking the first section by repeating the order of the three words again. Thus it is a double tritina  (parts i and ii).

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2016 in Form poems, People, Personal, Religious

 

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And we’re off with “Greener Grass”(National Poetry Month ’16 – Day 2)

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Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly

Greener Grass

The discontented colt
longing for neighbor’s luscious grass
turns envy green.

“Count blessings,” Mother
says. “We’ve clover daisies, dandelions
and green grass!”

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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And we’re off!

The poem above is my poem for April 1st. I’m even posting it here and linking it to The Poem Farm, because this is a Wonderopolis-inspired poem, following the challenge Amy LV set herself and invited us to join in.

To do these poem-a-day challenges, I use a variety of prompts. A document with links to Poetic Asides, NaPoWriMo, Adele Kenny‘s blog and now also Wonderopolis, sits  on my desktop. Every morning I check all four, collect the prompts and the let the ideas stew. Later in the day, when I find the time, I compose a poem. It may be based on one or a combination of several of the prompts, or something else entirely.

The subject for the above poem came from Wonderopolis. The lune form was the suggestion of NaPoWriMo.

(This is a word-count, not a syllable count lune—a Collom Lune [though the NaPoWriMo post describes it differently—5-3-5 words—than all the other sites I consulted which say a Collom Lune consists of 3-5-3 words]. This is a 3-5-3 word lune.)

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2016 in Form poems, Kids

 

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Spring journal

Spring has sprung and every day something new pops!  My camera has been busy. I take photos on our morning walks and often write briefly about what I’ve seen later as a sort of nature diary. Today, three recent entries…

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Forsythia – Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly

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Hyacinths – Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly

Winter / Spring

Winter’s grudge farewell
via two-faced Rain
(under grey nourishes change)

Spring’s hallelujah
Forsythia bursts golden
Hyacinths sweeten the air.

–  (Sedoka) March 9, 2016

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Fallen trees after a recent wind storm – Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly

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Catkins – Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly

March gales do Spring’s inspections.
Not all that blooms is assured a future.
Catkin-laden branches
perish in their prime.

–  March 15, 2016

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Clematis armandi – or Evergreen Clematis – Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly

White blooms
cover arbor
Clematis armandii
Spring’s preposterous happiness–
her star!

– (Cinquain) March 15, 2016

(Thanks to gardener Robin, my niece who helped me identify this one)
(Poems © 2016 by Violet Nesdoly – All rights reserved).

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday where Robyn Hood Black is our host today. Drop by Robyn’s blog  Life at the Deckle Edge for links to this Friday’s roundup of poems for the young and young at heart.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2016 in Cinquain, Nature, Poetry Friday

 

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On the Threshold

I seem to have impatience in my DNA. WAITHolly Mueller‘s one-little-word for 2016—would probably be a good choice of a word for me one of these years.

In the spiritual realm we’ve been told quite plainly to wait for God—to reveal the next step, to act on our behalf, to bring about His desired result, to reveal His goodness, etc.:

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” – Psalm 27:14 NIV.

“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” – Psalm 37:7 NKJV.

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope” – Psalm 130:5 NIV.

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him…” – Lamentations 3:25 NKJV.

We’ve also been told that God’s concept of time is not ours—as Moses reminds us in his psalm:

“For a thousand years in Your sight / Are like yesterday when it is past” (Psalm 90:4)

and Peter in his letter:

“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

For us it’s hard to comprehend those 1000-year days!

We’re not the only ones to chafe at the need to wait. Old Testament characters Abraham and Sarah, for example, when promised a nation from their offspring (non-existent at the time: Sarah was barren) and after years of waiting, despaired of the promise ever coming true. They decided to substitute their own plan and Ishmael, son of Abraham and Sarah’s maid Hagar, was the result. What a lot of heartache that produced!

Personally, no matter how much I know the value of waiting for God’s timing, it’s something that continues to be a challenge for me live. I wrote about the subject of waiting a few weeks ago in response to a booklet I’m working through (“Illuminating the Threshold,” Jan Richardson’s 2015 Woman’s Christmas Retreat). I suppose you could call it me giving some advice to myself about waiting.

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The Waiting Room   (Image by gerait / pixabay.com)

On the Threshold

I enter the house
automatically step up
over the threshold

You invite me in
as a polite host should
offer water, tea

Life’s transitions not
so accommodating, I’m
left on the threshold

Or in the foyer
anteroom-sitting, waiting
indeterminate

Time to prepare
but for what, whom, when?—Relax
doors will open soon

It will come to pass
when time has reached its fullness
don’t twist the locked knob

Live the interlude
overture between movements
be fully here, now

Don’t chafe inaction
uncertainty of between
chat with others here

They may be angels
prologue emissaries sent
for your next chapter

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Scripture quotations marked NKJVV are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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