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Category Archives: Poetry Friday

Wanderlust (poem swap edition)

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What’s second-best to Christmas? A parcel from the post-person during summer poem swap season, of course!

When I opened my front door after a summons by the bell on Monday, there was no one there. But there was an intriguing white package propped against the doorframe—poem swap goodies from Irene Latham!

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The Car and the car! (Summer poem swap 2017)

The parcel had in it a coloring sheet, perfectly in sync with my 2017 one-little-word “Listen,” a book, The Car, by Gary Paulsen, an actual car—a tiny metal roadster complete with two seats and a transparent front window (cutest thing you ever saw), and this poem…

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I love everything in this poem swap parcel but my favorite item is the poem. It reminds me of the summer and fall way back, when I and a couple of friends spent four months backpacking around Great Britain and the Continent. (Yes, that’s what we boomers did in the 70s; we called it the “Europe cure.”) For two of those months we rode the trains, crisscrossing Europe on a Eurail Pass.

Irene’s got it exactly right. The train cubicle, your pack, the hostel are your whole world—bed, dining room, office, garbage can… The sky is the only constant. And you begin to feel like a creased old map, up for any destination, knowledgeable, wise, and invincible.

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poetryfridayThis poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Linda Mitchell at her blog A Word Edgewise where a poetry prompt auction is going on!

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2017 in Poems by others, Poetry Friday

 

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Bridge

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Image: Pixabay

Bridge

The dentist has been drilling
deep inside my mouth
readying the pier holes
for a bridge from north to south.

My blissful gum’s been sleeping
through the whining and the fuss
but my thoughts are asking, Will it be
a bridge of beam or truss?

Maybe it will be a drawbridge
with spans that raise and lower.
Or a bridge that gives my chewing help
because it’s double decker?

Or suspension rope creation?
Cantilever or pontoon?
Will my mouth be full of cables?
Will I look like a cartoon?

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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I’m not sure why this poem jumped out at me from my stash. Perhaps because yesterday morning I got a text from my dentist, reminding me of an upcoming appointment. Or perhaps it’s because it’s “Take your poet to work” week and dentistry is definitely a type of work (for the doctor and the patient, I would say).

Thankfully, the bridge in my mouth is inconspicuous, as is most work done by dentists these days… and painless too (aside from the wallet).

poetryfridayThis poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by  The Logonauts.

 

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2017 in Kids, Light, Poetry Friday

 

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A poem about my name!

It’s a real treat to get anything by snail mail these days. When that envelope in the mail contains a poem, that’s a double treat. When that poem is from our own Tabatha Yeatts and it celebrates one’s own name, that’s a treat in multiples!

Tabatha sent me this poem about violets for round one of the summer poem swap. I learned history about my name that I never knew (and was inspired to be a better violet.)

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Violets (Image: Pixabay)

violet poem

Thank you, Tabatha, for organizing this summer poem swap, and for composing and sending this treasure!

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poetryfridayThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link.

Next week the round-up is hosted by Tabatha Yeatts. In honour of National Macaroni and Cheese Day on July 14th, next week’s roundup will have an optional Mac-N-Cheese theme (I’m drooling already)!

 

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Dominion Dreams

Tomorrow (July 1st) is a very special day in Canada. For not only is it our nation’s national holiday—Canada Day—(like the U.S’s 4th of July), but this year we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday on this day.

I have been well aware of the specialness of this year for quite some time. Eighteen months ago our Fraser Valley Poets Society began working on an anthology focusing on Canada and timed to release just before July 1st. As associate editor some of the weight of that 208-page, 18-contributing poets book fell on my shoulders and so it was with great joy and relief that I saw the book launched just last Monday.

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O Canada: Celebrating 150 Years – back, spine, front cover.

At the launch, the editor and I explained some of the processes of putting it together, and several of us read selections from it. At the the break all contributors present assembled around a specially designed cake for a group photograph. Then we celebrated with cake and other goodies before an open mic time.

 

I wrote several Canada-themed poems for the book. The one I share, below, was based on an article I came across on the website of the gold rush town Barkerville (a very interesting place to visit if you love history).

The article, written from the British perspective, attempts to dispel the gloom of naysayers and convince Brits of the wisdom of colonizing this newly discovered land—which had monetary value too (and that should convince them, if nothing else did!).

Of course the fact that this wasn’t really their land to claim is a matter to explore another day. You could say that, to some degree, their confident assumptions still haunt us.

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This mural on the side of the Fort Langley Historic Site depicts the Hudson’s Bay Trading Post built on the Fraser River near the current site in 1827. Local First Nations Stò:lō people traded salmon, and furs for metals, ropes, and Hudson Bay Blankets, with guns being a relatively unimportant item.  (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly, Information from Wikipedia Langley National Historic Site and Fort Langley.)

Dominion Dreams

Based on an article published in the British newspaper The Cosmopolitan – June 10, 1867

The amount of earth’s crust to be ruled by our queen
defies European analogies!
No matter that more than half this vast land
is in a perpetual perma-freeze.

That all that grows there is pale reindeer moss
roam the musk-ox and wild caribou.
There’s still much land left not in barrenness’ grip
to claim on this land mass so new.

The climate and earth are not what you’ve heard
why, the song-sparrow sings first of April.
While the melons and grapes and peaches so plump
are ripe long before the first snowfall.

Now speaking of snow, you likely don’t know
it covers the land—a warm mantle.
So the Red River farmer welcomes early flakes
to blanket fall’s spring wheat so gentle.

And Isle of Orleans just below Quebec
navigators have dubbed Isle of Bacchus.
While cows overwinter to Fort Edmonton
—very bearable, that’s what the fact is.

A Governor General under our queen
will rule this vast new Dominion.
We’ve tallied the value of stocks, goods, and land
it comes to over $1 billion!

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All Rights Reserved)

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Happy Canada Day to all Canadians reading here. And to those in the U.S., Happy 4th of July (in a few days)!

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

 

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2017 in History, People, Poetry Friday

 

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Ghostly visible

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August 6, 2016 Photo (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Ghostly visible
as winter’s “Fresh Blueberries”
summer’s Christmas scene

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly

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I photographed the Christmas scene above last August when we were visiting the kids up north. I wondered how many times I had passed it and not even seen it. It made me think of other things we see and subconsciously ignore because we know they just aren’t relevant. Is there some psychological phenomena behind that? Probably!
PF-2This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Carol at Carol’s Corner.

 

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2017 in Objects, Personal, Poetry Friday

 

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Parade!

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Parade—band, balloons
horses, bulls, flags, floats, tractors
and candy vultures!

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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It’s parade season! These photos were taken last year when we were visiting the kids/grandkids in Dawson Creek. The Friday noon parade introduced a weekend of rodeo fun!

PF-2For more poetry fun, visit Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Mary Lee Hahn at her blog A Year of Reading.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Kids, Light, Poetry Friday

 

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Shannon Falls Haiga

My sister takes amazing nature photographs. When I saw these on her Facebook profile yesterday, complete with haiku she’d written (her first she says), I told her she should write more and my thought was, I’ve got to share these with other lovers of nature and poetry.

Poetry Friday is the perfect place. So here for your visual and reading pleasure is a suite of Shannon Falls Haiga – photos and haiku by Bea MacPherson (shared with her permission, of course).

Shannon Falls Haiga

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Kiesha Shephard at Whispers from the Ridge.

 
 

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Tablet Life

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Kindle collections on my tablet (one of my happy places in tablet life) – Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly

Tablet life

Tablet life is swipable
expandable and squeezable
pushable and snappable
all at your fingertips

Clickable and searchable
tap and type and drawable
a workout for your head and hands
but not the best for hips.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Do you own a tablet (or smartphone—that might be even worse)? Have you fallen under its spell, so that you can’t be without it out let it out of your sight? I must remind myself of the truth of the little ditty above when I’m tempted to linger too long with my very fun, versatile, addictive but sedentary tablet.

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Tara at A Teaching Life.

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Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Light, Objects, Personal, Poetry Friday

 

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Tea Dialects

Afghan tea

Tea dialects

I flick on electric kettle
and offer chamomile, peppermint
Red Rose, Earl Grey, or green
pour steaming water over gauze pouches
into clear mugs that show off
emerging jewel colors.

Recall the ceremony of biscuits
and creamy English Breakfast on a tray
served in porcelain by an aunt
before breakfast in a Winchester cottage.

Dream of spicy chai, bought outdoors
just after sunrise from an Afghan tea-wallah
water heated over his smoky fire
poured from a copper teapot into a glass
and sipped through lumps of sugar.

Know that wherever I am
the warm, fragrant
steeped-to-perfection
language of tea
needs no interpretation.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Prompt – Inspiration
Last January my friend Laurel and I wrote ekphrastic poems inspired by photos in the Shadows and Silhouettes collection, one of The Big Picture series in the Boston Globe. This poem was in response to photo is #20.

Laurel’s poem “Tea for Two” prompted by the same photo is HERE.

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VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Joanne Early Macken at Teaching Authors.

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Posted by on April 28, 2017 in Ekphrastic, Personal, Poetry Friday

 

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Out of my element

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Photo: Pixabay

Out of my element

I bushwack through brush
trying to remember to hand off
face-high branches to the hiker
just behind
keep an eye out for stinging
nettle, poison oak
haul myself up thigh-burningly
steep hills, inch down steep declines
side-footed with the caution
of an arthritic senior
but when we reach the stream
bridged by a fallen log
I freeze.

How will I cross
without my pack throwing me
off balance?
Pray my shoes sprout cleats.
Envision crawling across
the narrow rounded bridge
on hands and knees…

“Come on!” my friend cries
as she lithe-springs
from log to shore.
But how can I “come on”
with feet and legs possessed
by sweaty
trembling
paralysis?

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Prompt – Inspiration
The prompt for this November 2012 poem was “Write a poem that scares you. It could be a scary movie or ghost story poem. It could be a poem about a secret in your past. It could be a poem about your worst fear. It just needs to bring up a scary/fearful/uncomfortable emotion as you write.”

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VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

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Poetry Friday LogoThis poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Tabatha Yeatts at her wonderfully eclectic blog Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference.

 
19 Comments

Posted by on April 21, 2017 in Nature, Personal, Poetry Friday

 

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