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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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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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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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Sounds

By now you’ve probably switched calendars, thought about—maybe even listed—a few resolutions and goals for the year, and caught yourself writing 2016 instead of 2017 a time or two. Plus, you may have chosen your one-word for 2017.

The custom of choosing a word for the year has been around for a while. I’m not sure whose idea it was to begin with but memory and scrapbooking enthusiast Ali Edwards has been choosing a yearly word since 2006 and has even developed a One Little Word business, offering prompts and scrapbooking products to members. I like her definition of “one word”:

“… a word to focus on, to live with, to investigate, to write about, to craft with, and to reflect upon…”

My word for 2017 came to me in the early hours of December 18. I had just written a blog post about my 2016 word (“mindfulness”) and choosing a word for 2017 was on my mind as I snuggled under the covers for a few more winks.

Also around that time I had been noticing that many of the big-name bloggers and productivity specialists I sometimes read were trying to convince me that I needed to be more focused to accomplish more and thus make more money in 2017. To do that I would want to sign up for their webinars and courses, but hurry because the special price would go away soon. I felt so bombarded by voices, it was becoming hard to hear the voice I really wanted to hear. How could I listen above the noise?

That word LISTEN sparked a frisson of recognition in me. You could say that morning it woke me up. LISTEN would be my one-word for 2017!

Because I always choose a scripture to go along with my word, I knew just what that would be too—Jesus’ words from John 10:

“To him (the Good Shepherd) the doorkeeper opens and the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him for they know his voice” – John 10:3,4 (emphasis added).

I want 2017 to be a year of listening for, recognizing, and hearing to the extent of obeying the voice of my Shepherd above all other voices.

During 2017 I’ll explore many other facets of the word as well, such as listening to nature, to people, and to all the ways one hears and listens metaphorically—by reading, tuning in to my intuition, visually observing and hearing the unspoken communication of those around me—that sort of thing.

I’m planning to try some activities this year related to my word. You may want to join me:

  1. Find and collect quotes with 2017’s one-word in them.
  2. Find, collect, and memorize Bible verses that relate to my word.
  3. Make a playlist with songs that relate to my word.
  4. Look for and watch TED Talks about my word.
  5. Journal / blog about my word.
  6. Collect objects with my word on them to display around the house.
  7. Make a collage or other art project relating to my word.
  8. Write a creed or manifesto as an ideal for how attending to my word will affect my behavior.

And now to prove that hearing and listening have been on my mind for a long time, here’s a poem from my files. It’s one I wrote in 1980 when I was taking a summer writing course.  (In it you’ll hear sounds that you probably haven’t since that era of wooden clogs that we wore for a while).

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A Western Meadowlark–a frequent sight on the Canadian prairies but rarely seen here on Canada’s southwest coast. I photographed this one one January morning at Blackie Spit, Surrey, B.C.

Sounds

A foghorn groaning his pain in the bay,
Liquid notes of the lark on a new spring day
The gleeful ring of the telephone
Cutting the still of an evening alone
The tock, tock, Tock, TOCK, TOCK, Tock, tock, tock of feet
In wooden clogs on the concrete street
The fiendish howl of the winter wind
When I’m warm inside, and so is my friend
The raucous cawing of crows in spring
And the gentle plop, plop of the snow, melting
The hiccupy laugh of Brita at play
When she catches her ball, then flings it away
Crystal chimes in December, buzzing crickets in June
The shrill school bell—so welcome at noon…
Sounds there are without measure to feed our ears
To sharpen our pleasure and soothe our fears
To add to the riches of all our years
Wealthy the one who truly hears.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

Do you choose a word for the year? Does your word choice have a story behind it? What ideas for activities could you add to the list above? I’d love to read your responses. Leave them in the comments, below.

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This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, the first Thursday of each month. Today it’s hosted by Carol Varsalona at her blog Beyond LiteracyLink.

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Technician

Yesterday I had a medical procedure which needed an intravenous line to insert contrast dye. My experience at the medical centre was unusually drawn-out as apparently I have what they call “rolly veins” (which have the good sense to slip away from needles).

The workers were wonderful, though. And in the hour it took to get that chunk of hardware into me, I had lots of time to study them. One technician particularly snagged my attention.

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Image: Pixabay

Technician

Her pants were green, her vest was blue
her top turquoise and peach
her hair a tidy dreadlock mop
Africa tinged her speech.

She worked with warm efficiency
to get an I.V. started
but four pokes chasing slippery veins
left her a bit downhearted:

“You’re my first patient of the day,
fear it will be a bad one.”
She warmed my arms with towels and sheets
handed me to the next one.

Two more technicians tried their luck
I felt like a pincushion,
with bandaids sprinkling both my arms—
unfortunate condition.

“She left her veins at home,” she quipped.
“She is the one to blame.”
Then kept on checking back until
the I.V. doctor came.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2016 in People, Personal

 

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What is this light?

We have a beautiful paperbark maple in the back yard. It is one of the last trees to green up in spring and to redden in the fall. We see it from our kitchen window. When it is in full color, it’s almost as if  there is a glowing presence outside, looking in at us. It’s coming into its full beauty right now!

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What is this light

that window-watches
with a molten glance
all the burnt-orange shades
of lingering Autumn’s dance?

That stains the cool
November afternoon
with pear-gold burnished joy
and flapping goose’s tune?

In windy rain the flakes
of sunlight falling fast.
Drink in this wine
before fall bloom is past!

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All Rights Reserved)

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This poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Laura Salas at Writing the World for Kids.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2016 in Nature, Poetry Friday

 

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