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Tag Archives: free verse poem

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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Duty revisited

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Image: Pixabay

Duty revisited

Forget what I said earlier about Duty
being a stern mother
and a tiny house
where I kept stubbing my toe
on “You shoulds.”

Lately Duty has become
a pool noodle
that keeps me happy
playing in the safe shallows
instead of risking
the big surf of the deep,

a tether
that won’t let my ball
arc dangerously through the air
and maybe get bruised on the rim.

I haven’t opened the freezer lately either
to check on the state of my dreams.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Prompt – Inspiration:
This prompt for this poem was the following on the Poetic Asides blog on November 18, 2013:

“For today’s prompt, write a “forget what I said earlier” poem. This poem could be a response to a poem you wrote earlier in the challenge (or just earlier in general). Or it could cover one of those moments–I have them all the time–when you say something that ends up proving wrong or that you wish you’d taken back.”

The poem that “Duty Revisited” talks back to is…

DUTY

Duty is a stern mother:
Do your homework first.
Finish the cleaning before you read.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
Don’t be late!

Duty is a tiny house,
no room for big projects.
I want … ricochets back
You should
Always stubbing my toe on something.

Duty is a pair of old jeans,
comfortable, unpretentious, serviceable,
sturdy, familiar,
safe.

Attention to duty means well-fed children,
happy parents,
a manicured lawn,
a reconciled account,
a shining car,
…a freezer full of dreams.

© 2004 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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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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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Personal, Writing

 

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Mountain

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Along the Kicking Horse River – Golden B.C. (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Mountain

“By Your favour, O Lord, You have made my mountain stand strong.” Psalm 30:7

The hill outside my Golden Motel
is a face of barren gravel
nourishing only weeds
though pines grow up
it’s angled backbone—
everyday grace from hard mercy.

The gunmetal peak
rising behind it
appears impermeable, immovable.
Now partly obscured
by morning vapours
it speaks of Your faithfulness
there whether I see it or not.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Prompt – Inspiration
Scene from a window: I wrote this while on holidays in July 2013, looking at the mountain outside our Golden B.C. motel window.

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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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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in Nature, Personal, Religious

 

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Still mothering me

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A favourite photo of my mother as a young woman.

Still mothering me

Five days ago
would have been your birthday.
It’s been eight years …
But you still visit me often
keep me cool every summer
when I slip on the brown sundress
rescued from your closet
wrap your arms around me
every winter week
it’s the old magenta sweater’s turn.
Sometimes I catch glimpses of you in the mirror
as I hobble about on my cane
recovering from my own broken bone.
Two weeks ago I found
your white velcro-flap runners.
Now, like you, I can always
fasten my own shoes.
I’ve been wearing them
on my outside walks.
The other day taking the last tired steps
of my limping trek home
I’m sure I heard your voice:
“You be careful now.”

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (written April 15, 2014 – All rights reserved)

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Prompt – Inspiration

Three years ago (March 2, 2014 to be exact) I took a short tumble on some stairs and broke my hip. That resulted in surgery and a whole lot of new experiences for me. I documented some of them in poems (which I’ll share over the next few days—new experiences are great poem fodder, by the way). This is one written at that time, chosen for today because April 10th was my mother’s birthday.

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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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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in LIMP sequence, People, Personal

 

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Vena Cava

Through Poetry Friday friend Ruth, I discovered the writings of Jan Richardson and her Women’s Christmas Retreat booklets. Last year I downloaded the one for 2015 (Illuminating the Threshold) and worked my way through part of it using its questions as writing prompts.

She ended the third chapter “The Cave of the Heart” with these questions:

“The ‘cave of the heart’ is a way of describing that place where, even for some small space of time, we can turn inward and pay attention to what is stirring within us. How do you find or create this kind of space? Are there practices, people, or places that help you listen to your life in a way that enables you to return to the world with renewed vision?” – p. 11.

My one little word for 2017 is LISTEN, and so the question: “Are there practices, people, or places that help you listen to your life…” popped out at me as I re-read these comments just now, and the poem I wrote in response last February:

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Vena Cava*

The vena cava of the psyche
also needs the in and out of breath
the in of distance—
a walk
a drive
a vacation
the out of spill
a journal
a pen
the in of a song
the out of tears
the in of an essay or poem
the out of conversation

So the blood of growth and change
pumps from the cave of the heart
to the head, the hands, and the feet.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

I’d love to know: How do you listen to your life?

You can find Jan Richardson’s Women’s Christmas Retreat booklets available for download on THIS page.

* The vena cava are either of two large veins discharging blood into the right atrium of the heart, one (superior vena cava) conveying blood from the head, chest, and upper extremities, the other  (inferior vena cava) conveying blood from all parts below the diaphragm – dictionary.com

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today Linda at Teacher Dance.

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Posted by on January 6, 2017 in Personal, Poetry Friday

 

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Vancouver Island

Today (July 1st) is Canada Day! A Happy 149th Birthday to Canada, the country I love. As you can imagine, the birthday celebrations this year will be eclipsed by celebrations next year when Canada turns 150. (Our poetry society is planning to publish a book of poetry to commemorate the event. Our members are busy writing about Canada. That bit of writing is also on my to-do list.)

Today, a poem about one of my favorite places in Canada to visit. Though it’s just a 90-minute ferry ride away, Vancouver Island is a special place full of memories of the wonderful times we’ve spent there. The accompanying slide show lets you see just a few of its features. Of course the best part of any place we visit is the friends we have there.

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Vancouver Island

Ninety-minute crossing meanders between Gulf Islands
from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay
slows us down to island speed

Drive roadways lined with rocky outcrops and arbutus trees
that shed their trunks in curling rusty flakes

Shiver in bone-cold Port Hardy fog
Breathe air that feels thick as a milkshake.

Watch whales breach, sea lions sunbathe
on a brilliant Telegraph Cove morning

Spend a day wandering Chemainus
camera in hand gathering murals

Gawk at Buddha statues and goats
on the roof of the Coombs market

Stroll past Victoria’s Parliament Buildings outlined in lights
to the skirl of the bagpipes of buskers

Talk with my friend till late
Wood fire embers snap a sleepy goodnight
as I head to the guest room

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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PF-2This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Poetry Friday

 

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Poetry Friday – fiery edition

Welcome to Poetry Friday, hosted right here this week.

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In western Canada, we’ve had an extra early start to the forest fire season this year. Last week the entire town of Fort McMurray in north-east Albert had to evacuate (85,000+ people).  A fire that had started just few days earlier was whipped into a frenzy by winds and aided by extreme dryness, no leaves on the trees, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures. It moved so quickly and unexpectedly, some people had only minutes to gather their things and flee town.

The fire, that continues to burn, has left that city and moved into less populated areas. Now comes evaluating the damage and rebuilding. My heart goes out to the people of Fort McMurray.

Forest fires are a common phenomenon of western Canadian summers. Though I have never been threatened by one, I have seen enough news footage to imagine the experience. I wrote the poem below some years ago.

canada-fire

This picture was the prompt that helped inspire the poem below.

Forest Usurper

Born a common spark
baby tongue creeps, crawls
nibbles grasses, needles, twigs.

Lambent cub
egged on by wind
runs and leaps, laughs and licks.

Hungry adolescent hunts
smorgasbord of pine, hemlock, fir,
belches plumes of caustic smoke.

Suffocating stench
stampedes forest creatures
to the glittering river

sends wild-eyed homeowners in 4x4s
loaded with papers, photos, pets
traffic-jam creeping from his pounce.

He is king of the heat now
dancing on the forest crown
swishing his tail on the summit.

Buzzing dragonflies spit
bucket after bucket of pink.
Under his gauzy skin, beast continues to binge.

Only heaven’s tears carry the clout
to say Enough, to stop the treason.
Still he plots, smoldering in caves of blackened roots.

Copyright©2009 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Interested in forest fires? Macleans Magazine‘s “Q&A: What you need to know about the science of forest fires” has lots of interesting information.

I thought of the many teachers and educators that contribute to Poetry Friday when I read the story “When evacuation was ordered, Fort McMurray principal fled with busload of students.” I’m sure all of you would show the same courage, presence of mind, and dedication to the kids that she did!

Now it’s your turn!  Please click on the Mr. Linky button below and leave your links on the page that opens.  Thank you!

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Nature, Poetry Friday

 

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