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Category Archives: Personal

Tax Time (NPM ’16-Day 22)

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Tax Time

Number crunches
reconciliations…
what I need when I must do my
taxes.

Quicken
holds my numbers
generates report for
neighbourhood accountant—tax time
good friend.

Boxes
all filled in right?
Have faith in tax person.
Rebate in bank account proves we’re
all done!

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

Photo: Pixabay.com

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2016 in Cinquain, Form poems, Personal

 

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Mother Speaks (NPM ’16-Day 19)

Mother Speaks

Do not
throw it away,
we’ll use it for patches.
We can always eat bread—and eggs.
Na-yo.*

Are you
reading again?
Still not done the dishes?
You could always weed the garden.
Homework?

Early.
So much to do.
I’ll be in the garden.
Don’t be listening on the line.
Felt pens!

Can you
make some supper?
First you work, then you play.
We’ll have a picnic—I’ll make it
special.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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

Yesterday’s prompt at NaPoWriMo was to:

“… write a poem that incorporates ‘the sound of home.’ Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore.”

I read the prompt in the morning and dismissed it. But then as I was making dinner last night, all these sayings that my mother had started coming back to me.

My mom was an amazing woman. As a mother of many children, she worked hard and expected me, as the eldest, to do my share. Mostly I was a pretty compliant kid, though I did choose inside jobs where I was routinely distracted by whatever was happening in the book I was reading at the time. I chose a counted syllable cinquain form to give the poem some ‘bones.’

*Na-yo is Low German expression that communicates a resigned “well yes.”

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2016 in Cinquain, Form poems, Personal

 

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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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Monday is washday (NPM ’16-Day 12)

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The clothes-horse hangout (Photo by V. Nesdoly)

Monday is washday

Sunday night sees piles of clothes
segregated in lights and darks
reds and prints, huddled together
dreading the morning.

Machines go through their cycles
pour, churn, whirl, whir.
Monday air is sweet with dryer sheets
damp with clothes-horse hangouts.

A half hour in front of the TV
pairing, folding, and—Voila!
our closets and drawers
are fat and happy again.

The pant hangers
keep disappearing.
The ones that remain
too anemic to grasp heavy jeans

which will soon be replaced
in any case
by spring capris
and summer shorts…

What a strange power there is in clothing.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

***********

This poem was inspired by yesterday’s prompt at NaPoWriMo and strives for the effect of “An abstract, philosophical kind of statement closing out a poem that is otherwise intensely focused on physical, sensory details.” I’m not sure I achieved it, but I tried. The ending statement of the poem is attributed to Isaac Bashevis Singer.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2016 in Objects, People, Personal

 

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Spine Wisdom (NPM ’16-Day 11)

P1050831P1050832P1050833P1050834Spine Wisdom

Nature never stops talking
in a conspiracy of light,
earth against your cheek,
and a round slice of moon.

Here on the ground
witness the weather of the heart
in patches of Godlight
and a tumbled stone.

“Everyday greatness,” says the Noticer
is inscribed in the art of work,
won in the battlefield of the mind
breathing fire—a long obedience.”

The call is onwards and upwards
follow the dream, embracing your second calling
with burning hearts
to an open heart, open home.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

***********

This “wisdom” was refined from book titles–yesterday’s prompt at NaPoWriMo. Words in italics were added.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2016 in Found, Objects, Personal

 

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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)

********
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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