5 Day Photo Challenge Day 4

I accepted a challenge to post a story/poem/other every day for 5 consecutive days inspired each day by a new photo. It started raining in the early evening tonight and I snapped this picture.

Tonight’s poem is free verse – details found on Shadow Poetry again. 
Enjoy! 

  

  
Early Evening Rain
The sun had not yet set

instead was merely dipping low –

obscured by broken bits

of rain-filled clouds.

The sun refused to go

to bed just yet 

and shook off the cover

of a building storm cloud.

The girl walked slowly

twirling her umbrella 

as she left her office

much later than she liked.

She saw the sun’s efforts

in the reflection

on the rainy, wet sidewalk.

She smiled and 

kept walking

knowing rather sadly

that the universe 

would not let the sun 

have its way.

It would be dark soon

and the storms were

headed their way,

but still 

there was beauty

in the light 

that remained,

and in the new puddles

where the last

of the sunlight

could dance. 

5 Day Photo Challenge Day 3

I accepted a challenge to post a story/poem/etc inspired by a picture every day for 5 days. Today is Day 3. πŸ™‚

For my selection today, I chose to do a poem. Since I have been trying to learn poetry, I like to play with different forms to try my hand at different patterns and rhyme. This form is a septuplet, which I found on the great poetry resource site, Shadow Poetry

I hope you enjoy, and I will see you tomorrow for Day 4. πŸ™‚
  

Ticking
Clocks tick, 

consistently, 

in measured beats.


Time 

stops –

and starts again,

when lovers meet.

K is for…

  

My 2015 A to Z Challenge Theme is Quotes & Lines from Literature. Each day I will be posting a favorite quote or a few lines from well known short stories, poems or novels, with the letter of the first name as the A to Z. I’ll have a short write up with each quote, but each quote can also serve as a writing prompt for readers or myself.  I may write a poem or flash fiction based on that quote, or just throw it out there as inspiration. Hopefully you’ll join me in this adventure! I’ll try to include some of my favorite blog finds as I move through the challenge as well.

   

I’ll confess when brainstorming for K, I tried to think of authors whose name started with K and then looked for the quote, rather than having this one. This quote is from Khaled Hosseini’s And The Mountains Echoed, which I will also admit I have not read, but I really love this quote. 

So many favorite books feature characters who seem ordinary or feel ordinary but end up having extraordinary things happen to them.  Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen are just a few. 

By reading, or writing, we can find ourselves in the characters who live in an extraordinary world and through them feel extraordinary as well. 

To start of the new week of A to Z posts, I’m adding in a poem. I chose the Nonet form which I found on Shadow Poetry. A Nonet has nine lines, with the top line having nine syllables, the second with eight syllables, the next seven, etc down to the last line, which only has one. Rhyming optional. 

Ordinary

By CJS 

Some may say there is nothing worse than

being ordinary, but still 

the ordinary may find

extraordinary

moments may happen

in a life that

seems normal

even

dull.

I is for…

My 2015 A to Z Challenge Theme is Quotes & Lines from Literature. Each day I will be posting a favorite quote or a few lines from well known short stories, poems or novels, with the letter of the first name as the A to Z. I’ll have a short write up with each quote, but each quote can also serve as a writing prompt for readers or myself.  I may write a poem or flash fiction based on that quote, or just throw it out there as inspiration. Hopefully you’ll join me in this adventure! I’ll try to include some of my favorite blog finds as I move through the challenge as well.

 

   

Isn’t this quote beautiful? I got this one also from 365 Days of Wonder, by R.J. Palacio.  

Having our own alphabet with which to write poetry is so beautiful and so empowering. We all have within us the tools to create something wonderful. We all have our own voice, our own perspective, our own story that makes up that alphabet. Whatever your poetry, you have what you need to make it. 

As a writer, I love this because it’s a reminder that no one else can write exactly what I might write. A favorite writing quote tied to that comes from Charles De Lint: 

Don’t Forget – no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.”

Another great quote in this same vein is from the fantastic Neil Gaiman: 

The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”

As Gaiman suggests, this needn’t be limited to writing exactly, whatever your poetry may be, you have it in you to make it. 

I heard on the radio this morning the story of a hole in one by 75 year old veteran golfer, Jack Nicklaus at this year’s Masters. Prior to playing that day, an interviewer had asked Nicklaus if he was going to make a hole in one. He replied something to the effect of “Sure that sounds good.” Then he goes out and makes one! I’m not a golfing follower, but I would say that was pure poetry. Something also tells me Nicklaus had no doubt he had the alphabet for that poetry, either. 

So what will your poetry be? It makes me think of one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies, Dead Poets Society, where Robin Williams’ Mr Keating gathers the boys into a huddle and quotes “Uncle Walt” (Whitman) to them, then says:

“That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

What will your verse be? 


Poem A Day – Day 19 – Prompt is Rain

Hello and welcome to Day 19 of my month long poetry adventure! A poem a day for the whole month – crazy! But also super fun and challenging.

Today’s prompt, which the OctPoWriMo organizers are providing every day, is Rain. They gave us words and pictures and advised free writing for ten minutes on rain.

I followed the free write direction today and it took me to an odd place. I actually love the rain, and could have explored several different ideas. I have great affection for all things British and always remember the rain while I was in London, so I had a few London thoughts. But I may use that for something different because I kinda went off on this tangent. Hopefully you’ll like where I ended up.

Have a great week, y’all. Please do come back and visit during the week as well. Thanks!

After the Storm
By CJS

The drops tracked down the windowpane, slowly
then racing to the end,
as if being chased.

She stared at the window
and the raindrops
and tried to think of peace
in the tracks of unfeeling rain.

She was not so unfeeling
and at times wished
she could be,
sometimes she felt too much.

Did he feel anything?
Or was he just a raindrop
racing across the window
of this small part of her life.

She turned away
from the rainy window
And thought to herself
The sun would be out soon.

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Poem a Day – Day 18 – Prompt Black Out

With yesterday’s prompt I spent a lot of time playing around with the magnetic poetry in the prompt because it was such fun. Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt was also really creative and I spent a lot of time messing around with a lot of different ways to discover “found poetry” by blacking out existing text in a book or online pages etc.

I looked at books around the house but I didn’t want to black out a real book. So I snagged pages from favorite books that I have on my Kindle app on my phone and used a photo editor. I just never found a good clean way to get a result I was happy with.

I finally picked up some magazines and tried to find a small section I could mark up that didn’t have really tiny font. Basically I have spent a lot of time to come up with very little. Still, though, it’s been good exploring a new way to get to a creative place. πŸ™‚

Below is the poem and the text from which I took the words for it.

Untitled
By CJS

A collection-
from all we are after.

You discover
newfound respect.

Men, let’s embrace change today
the image, more important.

Acknowledge this
book-loving, devoted spirit.

Alive
Find it

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Poem a Day – Day 17 – Prompt is Words

I loved today’s OctPoWriMo prompt. They pointed us to an online version of the magnetic poetry kit, which I have always loved, so the online version was a great discovery!

I have spent quite a lot of time playing around with that game today. I’ve even had to bookmark it so I can make many happy returns to their site. πŸ™‚

I’ve included some of my favorites below. I had to limit it to three because otherwise I would have posted about twenty. I’ve just had so much fun! πŸ™‚

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Poem A Day – Day 14 – Prompt is The Poets We Know

Our OctPoWriMo prompt for today was a bit different. Instead of a specific theme, we were given a variety of great lines from accomplished poets to use as inspiration.

The line I chose is from Denise Levertov:

“Two girls discover the secret of life in a sudden line of poetry.”

While maybe I haven’t quite discovered the secret of life, this last year I’ve really been opened to poetry, both reading and writing it, thanks to The Love Book app and iF poems app. If you are a regular reader you have heard me plug these many times, because I love them and it is how I came to this new appreciation for the beauty and wisdom of poetry. I think there is something especially affecting about having the poems read aloud, and by someone who knows what they are doing. These apps really sparked the love for me, but books I have picked up (and been given – thanks Jess) since finding these apps have really cemented what I imagine will be a lifelong love of poetry. What a gift is that?

So my very simple try for a Haiku is given with love and appreciation for everyone involved with those apps. If you don’t have them already, go get them. πŸ™‚ There is a lovely print version available now as well, but the apps have my heart.

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

It seemed so simple –
Just a line from a poem,
but her world opened.

Poem a Day – Day 9 – Write on!

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Would Shakespeare have imagined
By CJ Schwartz

Would Shakespeare have imagined
his sonnets would still be read today?
Would Whitman have dreamed
his words would still hold sway?

Would Poe, Byron, or Auden
have thought it at all strange
that his words could still move us
though our world has changed?

“But I’m not Keats or Shelley”,
you might be inclined to say,
but you cannot imagine where
your words could live one day.

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

Today’s prompt mentioned what we may say to someone who wanted to quit writing poetry.

I will admit I struggled at first. The first day I was excited I had signed up for OctPoWriMo. “Oh, yeah, I can do this,” I thought.

The next day I seriously thought about throwing in the towel. Was anyone reading that would care if I quit?

Ultimately it came down not to what others would think, but how I would feel if I quit. Which would be…not good.

Today’s poem is encouragement that I could have given myself that day.

So, what would I say to someone struggling? I say, “Write On!” πŸ™‚

Day 8 – Prompt is the Moon

Today’s prompt was centered on the moon and all it inspires.

With the moon I think weird things like werewolves and vampires who can only walk around at night. My free write suggested in the prompt led me to nothing that especially inspired me.

I was also pressed for time on this because I got the chance to go see a screening of NT Live’s broadcast of Streetcar Named Desire from the Young Vic in London at an art museum in Ft. Worth, TX. If you get a chance to see NT Live showings, I would encourage you to check it out. It’s a very cool experience.

The poetry form suggested for today though was kinda fun to play with, so here is my attempt at an acrostic.

In the Moonlight

marry me, he said, as we walked
over the bridge downtown,
our hands entwined and
no one, it seemed, around.
love me? he asked, with a grin.
i did, of course. entirely.
guarded no longer.
he had won me completely.
true love exists. so I said yes.