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Category Archives: Personal

Two weeks after surgery (Limp – 3)

p1010399

Introducing my best friends during rehabilitation: cane, picker, long-handled sponge, shoehorn, sock dresser, and two-wheeled walker (and I thought only little old ladies used these–oh wait…)

Two weeks after surgery

(March 17, 2014)

Why does it hurt so far from the incision?
My muscles are a straitjacket of pain
to natural walking unseen, inner prison.
Will I ever walk easily again?

Deep in my hip a tremolo of weakness
that frightens me when stepping with a cane.
At physio a modicum of redress.
Back walker-creeping I feel old and lame.

Violet Nesdoly © 2014 (All rights reserved)

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This poem is the third in the series of poems I wrote about a mishap I had this spring. Click on the “LIMP sequence” category below to view all.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2014 in LIMP sequence, Personal

 

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Membrane (Limp – 2)

Rainbow bubble on the beach

Membrane

“The membrane between the normal and unthinkable is exceedingly thin” – mother of an autistic child

fall, fracture
pops rainbow bubble
thin unseen
fragile skin
between normal everyday
and life ever changed

disappeared
flight 370
Oso Slide
membrane slashed
now mud, rubble, tears, searching
no going back

© 2014 by Violet Nesdoly (all rights reserved)

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Around the time I had my accident, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 went missing and the people of Oso, Washington suffered an unimaginable tragedy. Viewed from the perspective of those incidents, my mishap was peanuts. Still, all three contained elements that reminded me of what the mother of the autistic little girl my daughter used to babysit said the day she told her story to the women at our church–the poem’s epigraph.

This poem is the second in the LIMP poems series. Click on the “LIMP sequence” category below to view all.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Form poems, LIMP sequence, Personal, Shadorma

 

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Poem sequences (introducing LIMP)

In Diane Lockward’s June newsletter,* the Craft Tip article “Poetic Sequences: Practice Makes Potential”  by Oliver de la Paz tells of his visit to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Spain. On that visit he came across one room where the paintings, drawings, and studies  on the walls, as well as the  sketchbooks filling a table were all remarkably similar in texture and colour. That’s because they were all studies of the same subject—the painting Las Meninas by Velazquez.

La Paz likens these artist studies of Picasso’s to what poets do when they write sequences. He says, “By writing a series or sequence of poems on a singular subject, we can create a volume of individual poems that are at once independent and in dialogue with adjacent poems in the series or sequence. These are generative exercises—painting studies and sequential writing.”

Two advantages la Paz sees in writing sequences:
1. They allow for a close study of a subject from different angles and perspectives, at different times of day, in different seasons, through different moods etc. (depending, of course, on the subject).

2. One doesn’t have to “mine for” a different subject every day. He says, “I’ve found that working in sequences frees me from obsessing over a blank page. Psychologically, I’m prepared to work with content that has already been worked over.”

The power of sequences came to my attention even before I read the newsletter article when I judged a poetry contest a while ago. Though the entries had no names on them, I suspected several were by the same person because they were about the same subject. The subject was a certain creek. The first poem about the creek didn’t strike me as particularly strong. But as I read the second and third poems about the same location, I saw how these “studies” fortified and bolstered each other, the whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts.

I have found myself naturally circling back to some subjects in my own writing,  perhaps because they were new experiences for me and writing about them helped me understand them better. The death of my mother was one such. So was my broken hip this spring. Beginning in March, when I was newly recovering, to April’s poem-a-day challenge, and on, I wrote quite a few poems about my unaccustomed state.

The other day I collected them and found they were a sequence of sorts. I’m going to be sharing them here over the next little while (though not arranged in the order I wrote them).  I call them my LIMP sequence. As in the poems about the creek, when these LIMP poems appear with others of the same subject they seem more complete than they do as individual poems. So, welcome to my LIMP sequence! Below is the first one.

Runner with cane

My trusty cane

Limp

(After Genesis 32:24-32**)

Jacob wrestled with an angel
I fell down some stairs.
The surgeon plated, screwed it
but I was unawares
somehow he took a bit off
I now walk with a limp.
Does God bestow a blessing too
with this gait that’s gimp?

© 2014 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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*You do know about Diane Lockward’s excellent newsletter, don’t you? It comes out every month with a prompt, a craft tip, a writing-book tip and other goodies. If you don’t subscribe, you know you should. (You can subscribe in the right sidebar of her blog Blogalicious.)

**The Bible story is that one night Jacob wrestled with an angel, the angel injured Jacob’s hip, and Jacob wouldn’t let the heavenly being go until the angel blessed him. Jacob did get the blessing but along with it came that lifelong crippled hip.

By the way, I’m walking just fine these days, the cane long retired. Even the limp is growing less noticeable every day!

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2014 in LIMP sequence, Personal, Religious

 

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Dawson Trail Tanka (1)

Dawson Creek - Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway

Dawson Creek – Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway

We got back from our vacation in Dawson Creek, B.C. at the end of July. Dawson Creek is a town in northeast B.C. Near Alberta’s western boundary, it is Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway. Our daughter’s family moved there some months ago, and this was our second visit (the first was this winter/spring).

One of the things hubby and I like to do every day at home or on holiday is walk. Though I explored part of the Dawson Trail earlier in the snow, my broken hip brought an end to that. Now that I’m walking again and it’s summer, I was able to explore the full length of this trail that follows Dawson Creek’s meander through town.

Part of the trail is lined with granite boulders onto which poems have been engraved. I found eight of these. All the poems are tanka, celebrating the seasons, flowers, birds and critters of the area.

I’m posting four of these today and will do the next four in another post soon. I hope you enjoy this taste of the four seasons of northeast B.C.

Tanka stone in on Dawson Trail

Tanka stone on the Dawson Trail

Pussy WillowsPussy willows pop...

 

Canola fieldsThin wind carries grit

 

spider webAmber light suspends

 

winter - seed podssparrows

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I wish I knew who wrote these delightful poems. If I find out, I will certainly give credit.

Poetry authored by Donna Kane, Marilyn Belak, Megan Kane, and Rebekah Rempel.  A big thanks to reader Donna Smith who unearthed this document  (p. 17) with the information about the poetry stones and their authors.

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge.

Oops, change of plans. Robyn is injured and so that Poetry Friday doesn’t have to go missing, Irene Latham at Live Your Poem has taken up the slack. Thank you, Irene!

 

 
 

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August

purple starfish

Purple starfish on a Salt Spring Island beach, August 2012 – Photo © 2014 by V. Nesdoly

August

Here already
—with your brown lawns and leggy baskets
blushing tomatoes and blackening berries,
hairy, husky ears of corn?

Your arrival means it’s time
for our last summer fling
on ferry boats to azure islands
where we’ll walk beaches
with nervous crickets and hungry wasps
hunt shells, snap starfish
read in the dappled shade

Back home I’ll shop with you
braving the hordes of moms and kids
with their lists of ruled and unruled,
Crayola and calculator,
for you are the time
to stock up on marked-down
Five Stars and boxes of Bic
gel technology and fluorescent sticky notes.

Before you slip away
we have a date to stand in line
for Super Dogs and the Musical Ride
the Logger Show and flying bikes.
Later with hands mini-donut cinnamon-scented
we’ll muscle our way through crowds
lined up for massages
from the back rub machine,
clotted in front of barkers
hawking magic cloths and unblackable pots
to the table of framable prints.

So hello, dear August.
though your coming caught me by surprise
please don’t be in a hurry to go
for you could never overstay
your welcome.

© 2014 by Violet Nesdoly (all rights reserved)

 
18 Comments

Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Nature, Personal

 

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Writing

Beach pea and daisy

Writing

Beside the path
that winds through my
waking and sleeping,
grow, like wild flowers,
scenes, insights, connections.
Some days I am too rushed
or distracted to see.
On others I am wiser,
live with the perception
that gathers a bouquet,
chooses one or two
to press
between the covers
of a book.

© 2004 by Violet Nesdoly

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Today’s poem “Writing” is reposted from a first appearance here in 2010. Sad to say, I haven’t been picking or pressing many of those wildflowers lately because I’ve been engrossed in something else. The poem “Writing” is part of it.

CalendarYou see, I’ve been studying Mark Coker’s style guide on how to format documents for Smashwords. (In case you’re not familiar, Smashwords is a website through which you can publish and sell your own ebooks.)

I’ve wanted to try my hand at this kind of self-publishing for a while and decided to make my guinea pig document a chapbook that I first published in 2004 called Calendar. After spending several weeks snatching moments here and there to work on my document, this Monday I nervously hit “Publish.”

Amazingly the process completed without a hitch! And so today I’d like to introduce you to the 2014 ebook edition of Calendar!

Poetry Friday LogoNow to see what the rest of the Poetry Friday ladies and gents have been up to, click over to Buffy’s Blog where the lovely Buffy Silverman is laying out this week’s  Poetry Friday fare.

 

 

 

 
 

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Magnolia haiku

Magnolia buds Cream magnolias in bloom Magnolia petals on the ground

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Despite my accident earlier this spring, I’ve been getting out for a walk most days. Perhaps the fact that I go more slowly (cane and all) has heightened my enjoyment of spring this year. Many days what I see on my walk becomes the day’s poem (especially this April when I’ve been challenging myself to write one a day). These three haiku came about that way.

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference. She has a double treat for us–the Poetry Friday collection as well as a Collection of Imaginary Poems, inspired by the Dictionary of Imaginary Places. Hie thee hence!

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Haiku, Nature, Personal, Poetry Friday

 

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