dVerse Poetics – My Inspiration

T S Eliot photographed by his friend and correspondent Ottoline Morrell. public domain image

T S Eliot photographed by his friend and correspondent Ottoline Morrell. public domain image

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”  T.S.Eliot

Today, I have the happy task of being bartender at dVerse Poetics Pub. This means I get to talk with all the folk in the community who make comments. I also get to choose a prompt. We often speak of someone who inspired us to write. I am asking our community to write about the poet and their poem that inspired them to begin writing. I am also asking them to take the prompt farther and if possible, write the poem in the style of the inspiring poet. My inspiration is T.S. Eliot. I took this poem from one of my few surviving notebooks wherein I wrote my poems years ago. This is from January 1965. It is full of all the angst and alientation of a teenager at odds with the world around her. And it is a bland imitation of several of Eliot’s poems.

January – the dark month
The month of moonless nights
And stars hidden by clouds.

Smoke tasting fog – piles of grey ash
In cans on the sidewalk
And the ash men come –
Reaping what the fire has tasted and left behind –
Ash days
Grey and dry – trees cremated to warm
Those flower folk hidden behind lace curtains
And wide porches sipping tea and eating cakes
Made by those below –
Silent in their movements
And almost as invisible
As the skeleton of an oak leaf –
But visible if the flower people gaze hard enough
But who only sip their tea and eat their cakes
who only look away.

A little dog trots on the sidewalk –
He alone has someplace to go.

Two men in black coats walk
Towards him and he shies away from them.
He jumps on the steps leading up
The grey walk to the big house
And whines as the men pass by.
Black hats black coats
Twins of darkness on this empty street
The flower folks entombed behind
Long panes of glass.

In a country graveyard by a long deserted church
With dirt as red as blood
I saw neglected graves and on one was set in a stone
A photograph behind smashed glass.
I assume it was the person buried in the blood red dirt.

Buried behind a pane of glass
In the blood red dirt of January
I sit by a dead fire and sip tea and eat cake.


Twofer Thursday – Kick it….

This post is especially for my friend Huntie over at Chasing Rabbitholes and for the other Bitten Babes – and you know who you are as well.

We’ve had hard times, sad times, bad times. Let’s put a smile back in style…

For just a few minutes, step back, breathe, relax and shake that booty. Go on girls…rock it. Hugs and love to the other onnabugeisha in the Bitten crew.

Monday Musings

Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that,
But the really great make you feel
that you too, can become great.
Mark Twain

You must always remember…
You are Braver than you believe,
Stronger than you seem,
And smarter than you think.
Christopher Robin



Monday Musings: Be thankful in small things



Wounded Warriors – Thank you – Faith of the Heart

I volunteer at our local Veteran’s Hospital.  It has been my privilege and honor to be of service to our service personnel who have been wounded in the line of duty.  It has been heartbreaking and heart lifting.   I can do so little and really, it is they who have helped me.

We all have our journeys and wounds – some wounds take longer to heal than other.  But I have learned from these courageous warriors, it is your attitude that is what is important – how you define your pain and suffering and healing rather than letting the wounds define you.  They encourage each other and when necessary, tell one another to get off their pity pot and start going forward.  Wow.

Several years ago, a new saga in the Star Trek mythology came on TV – Enterprise – the pre-history of the original Star Trek most of us know.  I was immediately captivated by it and not just because the luscious Scott Bakula (a long time favorite) was the star of the show.  The theme music, when first I heard it in the opening credits, brought tears flowing down my cheeks.  Faith of the Heart….the words said it all to me about my journey, pain, hard times, renewal, faith, healing.  A few Sundays ago, it was my time to do the special music for church service.  After much thought of so many other songs, I chose this.  I chose it because it is a true song. It says much about my journey of faith as well as my journey of life.

One day on one of the wards, one of the guys was having a hard time with his physical and emotional healing.  He had lost both legs below the knee and one arm at the shoulder.  He had been working so hard and today, he was so tired of it all.  I was sitting, helping a young man with his lunch when one of the other men, began singing this song.  In just a moment, it was taken up by the others.  Obviously, this song rang true to them all.  I sat there awed and humbled by these men – they were wounded for us and now, they were at their most vulnerable and yet, also at their strongest.  The young man was encouraged and began to sing along.  Afterwards, they all applauded and cheered and continued on with their healing process.  No whining, no blame, no holding back –

The video with the words is below.  As you continue your journey in life, remember these words, remember these heroes, remember: it is your choice how you heal or don’t. It is your choice how you move forward or stay stuck.  They were wounded for us, but they were healed for themselves and those they love.

Thank you again to all our service members, wounded, healed, whole, deployed, at home, retired…God bless and keep you every one.

Live….From New York – it’s….

Actually, it’s just me, tiptapping on my tablet with my trusty stylus.  Some kind of evil surreal virus has destroyed my computer and until money from heaven falls, I will be posting from, answering and sending emails from, doing my homework for school on – my tablet.

I feel as if I am in the Dark Ages pushing my quill slowly across the parchment or, even farther back, chipping out weird little images from stone.  Tap, tap, taptaptap…

I am going to try to catch up answering a ton of emails, reading a ton of posts, maybe doing a post – sometime this weekend, after I have studied and done homework – I already feel inundated after just a week of school!!! And hyper, did I mention that?

But before I start in hyperdrive this morning and after several cups of coffee, I am going to go outside and indulge in the ancient art of making a chain of clover blossoms – one for my poor crazed head and the other to wear around my neck – the Princess of Clover chains before I change into my costume of Court Scholar and what is more likely, Court Jester.  SamCat the Ripper thinks perchance I may be a Chew Toy, but at this point, my vote is on Jester.



Back step singing and Starting back to school

Tomorrow I start back to school for the first time in ages.  I have my books:  Pharmaceutical Calculations, Pharmacy Law, and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Compounding and Drug Dispensing.  I am pumped. I am scared.

As usual, I can’t sleep.  When in doubt, I often look to music.  During the Christmas holidays, at 3:00 am in the morning, as I looked up at the stars and connected with their Maker, I threw back my arms and belted out the Halleluia Chorus.  I am no singer, but what I lack in expertise and tone, I make up for with joy and jumping up and down and waving my arms.

Tonight, I already feel the song to the stars in my soul:  Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s unfinished opera, Turandot.  This version is by Pavaroti, live in Paris.  The English translation is below.  I find many of the words apt and the tune always makes my heart feel too big for my chest.  So often I have sat on my back steps and watched it snow, felt the rain fall upon me, wrapped myself in my grandmother’s quilt while frost gathered on the grass, listened to cicada, inhaled the incredible aroma of honeysuckle. So many poems written as I sat alone and felt the world move around me.

Not everyone is into opera, but I think we all are into living our lives fully and with passion.  Close your eyes, let the incredible beauty of the melody enter you, let the inspirational power of the human voice lift you to the stars….and please, don’t think of me singing this when you do. I want you to soar, not bunny hop!

Nobody shall sleep!… 
Nobody shall sleep! 
Even you, o Princess, 
in your cold room, 
watch the stars, 
that tremble with love and with hope.
But my secret is hidden within me,
my name no one shall know… 
On your mouth I will tell it when the light shines.
And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!…
(No one will know his name and we must, alas, die.)
Vanish, o night! 
Set, stars! Set, stars! 
At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win!

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