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Category Archives: Poetry Friday

Note to Spring

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Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly

Note to Spring

The monsoons of March
with their downpours and douses
are greening the sides
of the fences and houses.

Yes, we love green   (it is St. Paddy’s Day, after all!)
but we’re eager for more
colors to brighten
the outdoor decor.

Purple and yellow
red, blue, pink, and white
we’re longing to find
in the lengthening light.

Please don’t delay,
feeling bound by the date.
The welcome mat’s out, Spring,
we’ve unlatched the gate!

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Goodies on display at Scoop ‘n’ Save – Langley, BC.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Nature, Poetry Friday

 

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Curling

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Curling rocks, lined up for play in the hack (Image: Pixabay)

Curling

In the hack and grip your rock
crouch and graceful glide precise
eyes on broom across the sheet
send the stone along the ice.

But you can’t hit everything—
need to keep the four-rock rule.
Play it cagey—make the tick
learned in Weagle curling school.

Skip is yelling from the house
to the sweepers, “Hurry hard!”
Rock is light and slowing fast
comes to rest, a perfect guard.

Rival stone sits in the rings
they would dearly love to steal.
“Throw a bullet,” is the call,
“sweep it clean, we want to peel.”

Now the house is getting full
rocks in twelve-foot, four-foot, eight
try the double, watch the jam
need to throw a lot of weight!

It’s our hammer and last rock
draw to button a clear shot
sweep for line and watch it curl
–
it looks easy, but it’s not!

© 2011 by V. Nesdoly

It’s the week of the Brier — a week-long curling bonspiel that pits men’s rinks from Canada’s provinces and territories against each other.

If there’s one game I love to watch it’s curling. I love the fact that there’s athleticism and strategy involved (curling has been called ‘chess on ice’). I love it that ordinary men and women (moms, teachers, accountants, chiropractors, golf-green-keepers, pharmacists) from small-town Canada get to be in the spotlight. I enjoy the pace of the game, and the way it’s televised so that you can see the look on the players’ faces, watch the progress of the rock along the ice,  and  see those great shots replayed. It has taken lot of self-discipline for me to get anything done this week (with three games a day and each several hours long… good thing I have a knitting project on the go!).

I wrote the ditty, above, several years ago while watching a Scotties (women’s) or  Brier (men’s tournament). It uses a a bit of the game’s vocabulary (and is a re-post).

In case you’re interested, here’s a glossary of Canadian curling lingo (Canadian Curling Federation).

The video below features the top ten curling shots from a few years ago at one of the Canadian spiels that was played to help select Canada’s men’s and women’s rinks for the 2010 Olympics (where the Canadian men’s rink [Kevin Martin] won gold and the women’s [Cheryl Bernard, shown in the still shot below] won the women’s silver).

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Poetry+Friday+TagThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by the multi-talented Michelle Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty.

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Posted by on March 10, 2017 in Poetry Friday, Re-post

 

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Collins and Canada

I’m delighted to be joining the celebration of former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and his 76th birthday on March 22nd. (Thanks to  Heidi Mordhorst and others for the suggestion and heads-up on this!)

Though I don’t have any complete books of Billy Collins’ poetry, I’ve come across many of his poems online and have heard him read and lecture on YouTube. I always enjoy his work. To me it has a Seinfeld-ish vibe—poetry about little inconsequential things that are almost nothing, but in his hands become big, consequential metaphors of life and relationships.

The Poetry Foundation is where I found the poem of his that jumped out at me for today’s celebration. We in Canada are celebrating too. This year is our 150th Anniversary as a country. I’m helping to edit, for our local poetry society, an anthology in honour of that birthday, so I’ve read quite a few poems about Canada lately and was delighted to find a poem of Billy Collins’ called “Canada.”

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Canada Bag – Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly

Canada

– Billy Collins

I am writing this on a strip of white birch bark
that I cut from a tree with a penknife.
There is no other way to express adequately
the immensity of the clouds that are passing over the farms
and wooded lakes of Ontario and the endless visibility
that hands you the horizon on a platter.

I am also writing this in a wooden canoe,
a point of balance in the middle of Lake Couchiching,
resting the birch bark against my knees…

Read the rest…

I used Collins’ “Canada” as a mentor poem for my own Canada poem:

Canada

– Violet Nesdoly

I am writing this on a beaver tail
that my camera captured
beside a dammed prairie stream
under a canopy of blue
that sets off bordering quilt blocks
of yellow, brown and gold.

I am also writing this in Tim Horton’s
where I have just rolled up the rim
to “Please Play Again”
and am thinking of ordering
another coffee along with more hope
of a CRV, TV or even a Tim’s card
to help colour the long white winter.

O Canada, as the anthem goes,
scene of massive mountains
and mosquitoey lakes,
you are the memory of Mountain Lake,
the one-room school on the Saskatchewan prairie
where I learned to skate and spool knit
play Rook and binge read
sumptuous fare: Pookie and Old Yeller
My Friend Flicka and Thunderhead
Caddie Woodlawn, White Fang
Pat of Silverbush and Mistress Pat
which wondrously arrived
from time to time
in a traveling box.

O Canada, I want to be friends
as long as my memory lasts
to snap the bluebells in spring
and herons in fall,
cool off with Iced Capps® in summer
hibernate with poutine in winter
knit toques and pick Saskatoon berries
with only the occasional foray
over the line.
See that north-moving row of cars
approaching the Aldergrove crossing?
The woman in the passenger seat
of the blue Honda
wiping Edaleen ice-cream off her hands
before she digs for her passport
is me.

© 2017 (All rights reserved)

Happy Birthday, Billy Collins (and Heidi Mordhorst, who also has a birthday in March)!

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Heidi Mordhorst and her blog My Juicy Little Universe.

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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in Poems by others, Poetry Friday

 

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Concession (for now)

A few weeks ago Ed DeCaria announced that the March Madness poetry competition would be back with a new name (Madness! Poetry) and a new website (madnesspoetry.com). At that time he put out the call for poets to audition to be an authlete in the competition.

One part of the audition was to write an original poem to this setup:

Imagine winning five consecutive matchups to reach the Madness! Poetry Finals, then losing to your opponent in a close and controversial final round. Write a concession poem to be shared with your imaginary opponent upon her/his victory. It can be kind, mean, funny, defiant … whatever.

Well, I wrote the poem but then decided to keep my hat out of the ring and not enter. However, all is not wasted. Now that entries are closed, I will share my poem of concession as today’s Poetry Friday offering.

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A Pun-kin Shake

Concession (for now)

I see that I am bested
and I accept my fate
but give me just another year
and I am sure I’ll rate.

Twelve months of rhythmic exercise
of jogging iambs, spondees
of breathing hyperbolic air
a year of pumping ironies.

A diet rich in meataphor
poetic pun-kin shakes
served with sides of organic rye-me
limerick and lime breaks.

spiced with sage and cinnanom
cuplets of pear-ody
joined stickily with enjambment
and stanzaic all-eggory.

On such a regimen, I’m sure
to build poetic muscle.
But now farewell—to get this done
I know I’ll have to hustle.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All Rights Reserved)

Now I wish all Poetry Friday authletes who will soon be in the heat of Madness! Poetry much agile word-ability!

Here’s the Madness! Poetry Calendar to know when all the action is happening. If this competition runs like it did other years, readers get a chance to vote for their favorite poems and poets!

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Karen at Karen Edmisten*.

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Posted by on February 24, 2017 in Light, Poetry Friday

 

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Mustard

We had a snow day on Sunday. No church. No walk. (Superbowl for hubby, though – the TV wasn’t snowed in.)

I used the gift of those extra hours to tidy up my gmail and in the process came across a poetry prompt that I couldn’t resist. So I also wrote a poem.

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Mustard

Seeds the size of faith
ground and added to young wine
became the fiery condiment
must-ardens*

Sauce as ancient as Indus and Rome,
modern French’s, dyed paprika and turmeric,
drips from every summer hotdog
stains every childhood shirt.

Hulled or whole-grained, sophisticated mustard
mixes congenially with vinegar, wine, water
lemon juice, whiskey, beer; remains
a wholesome but tart foil to ham, chicken, cheese.

Bavarian or Dijon, sweet or hot
honeyed, spiced, fruited, or Poupon
yellow to brown this world citizen
is welcome at tables on every continent.

A jar of French’s still lives in my Canadian fridge—
faithful standby for sausages, wieners, mayonnaise
parson at the emulsification nuptials of oil and vinegar
and a spread for a 5-year-old’s favorite sandwich.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

* How it came to be called “mustard”:

The first element is ultimately from Latin mustum, (“must,” young wine) – the condiment was originally prepared by making the ground seeds into a paste with must. The second element comes also from Latin ardens (hot, flaming).

Source: Wikipedia.

The post that contains the prompt: “Eating and Drinking Poems: Barbara Crooker’s ‘Ode to Olive Oil’“ quotes Barbara Crooker’s wonderful poem in full.

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Katy at her blog The Logonauts.

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Posted by on February 10, 2017 in Objects, Poetry Friday

 

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Seasonal haiku

Though right now I’m giving my main attention to another writing project, daily walks still inspire haiku-length ditties. Experience the season with me…

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Back gangrenous snow
approves bitter new day clenched
in freezing’s headlock.

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Frigid morning—still
Winter’s hit the snooze button
while we watch for Spring.

white-quilt-melted

(Photos © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

White quilt melted.
Cover’s off for all to see
baby-Spring pink.

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Carol at her Beyond Literacy Link blog. As usual, there’s a wonderful variety of poetry and poetry-related fare available there!

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Haiga, Haiku, Poetry Friday

 

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Poetry Friday – aim high edition

Welcome to Poetry Friday, hosted right here today.

When I realized, early this month, that I, a Canadian, had signed up to host on the very day of the U.S. inauguration, I gave myself a head slap. What was I thinking? Why hadn’t I noticed earlier? I feel like the wrong person to host today, but things are what they are.

I know how devastated many in this group are over the election results. Others may be jubilant. Though I have no skin in this particular game, I too am a citizen of a democracy, have seen my share of chosen candidates and preferred parties lose and win, know how demoralized, angry, upset, even punchy I feel when they lose, how ecstatic I am when they win.

In the end, though, we have control over so little. The weather, who our neighbors will be, what our family and friends think, all kinds of circumstances including the outcome of elections are out of our hands (except, of course, for our one vote).

But we do control one thing—at least to a greater extent than others: ourselves. And so I leave you with an old and idealistic challenge posed by one of your own—something to strive for, no matter what goes on in the rest of the world.

 

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View of Mt. Baker from BC  (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

NOBILITY

~ by Alice Cary (1820-1871)

Truth is in being, not seeming;
In doing each day that goes by,
Some little good—not in dreaming
Of great things to do by and by.
For whatever men say in their blindness,
And spite of the fancies of youth,
There’s nothing so kingly as kindness,
And nothing so royal as truth.

We get back our mete as we measure:
We cannot do wrong and feel right;
Nor can we give pain and gain pleasure,
For justice avenges each slight,
The air for the wing of the sparrow,
The bush for the robin and wren,
But always the path that is narrow
And straight for the children of men.

We cannot make bargains for blisses,
Nor catch them like fishes in nets,
And sometimes the thing our life misses
Helps more than the thing which it gets.
For good lieth not in pursuing,
Nor gaining of great nor of small;
But just in the doing—and doing
As we would be done by, is all.

Through envy, through malice, through hating
Against the world early and late,
No jot of our courage abating,
Our part is to work and to wait.
And slight is the sting of his trouble
Whose winnings are less than his worth;
For he who is honest is noble
Whatever his fortunes or birth.

(This poem is in the Public Domain)

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Posted by on January 19, 2017 in Poems by others, Poetry Friday

 

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