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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we age, we apprehend
Belonging brings benefits
Communities that share survive
Deep underground roots entwine
Eventually all return to earth
Feeding new growth
Giving is good for you
Hold out your heart
Instinctively we reach
Just to touch someone
Keeping true to ourselves
Living in the moment
Making connections with
Neighbours and others
Oceans link every
Place on earth
Quality of life improves when we
Reach out to others
Summer sun warms us
Transforms our
Understanding
Vital to
Wellbeing
Xtraordinary things happen when
You and I
Zealously connect

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Our poetry group’s theme for this week was stone.  I couldn’t find any inspiration, even though I’d been given this stone heart last weekend.

This is what I hurriedly came up with at the last minute:

Like a millstone round my neck
a rolling poem was gathering no moss
my muse decidedly stony-faced
couldn’t cast the first word
just a stone’s throw away

I was stonewalled
stone cold sober.
Would it come easily
if I was stoned?

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At yesterday’s virtual workshop we were asked to write Fibonacci poems.  These are multiple-lined verses based on the Fibonacci sequence, where the number of syllables in each line equals the total number of syllables in the preceding two lines.   Here are two I created:

What
is
the point
of cleaning?
Everything around
just gets grubby over again.
Why waste energy in perpetual search for dirt?

 

She’s
gone
left us
flown away
back home to England
she shared our bubble for two weeks
we wonder how she’ll fare and when we’ll all meet again.

Fibonacci sequence

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This is Paula’s personal view of New Zealand women’s poetry, and it is also scholarly.  There’s obviously been a great deal of research, and there’s also a great deal of love for the writers mentioned.  Only those who’ve published a book of poems qualify for inclusion which means some names I looked for weren’t there.  I was pleased to find a couple of sentences about Airing Cupboard, the women poets’ group I’ve belonged to for the last five years.  Pleased too to see my friend the late Lorna Anker is included.

This is a substantial volume, of 461 pages, plus biographies and notes, and that sign of a quality book, a ribbon marker.  Paula made it easy to relate to the different poets with fragments of their lives and motivations, and a detailed explanation of their work with examples.  My time is over-committed during the next few weeks so I’m returning the book to the library having thoroughly read only about a third.  A sister blogger has done a more detailed review.

This book records the history
of local women’s poetry

 

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Shelter

Just Gimme Shelter, sang the Stones
in their far-from-dulcet tones
they sang it back in sixty-nine
when life seemed to be more benign

They didn’t have to deal with Trump
or Brexit or that Boris chump
no dope or dying referenda
on their political agenda

Now fifty years have passed and yet
good shelter still seems hard to get
to reach a truly sheltered state
the best way is to meditate

If from the storm you want to hide
take three deep breaths and go inside
shut all external thoughts away
and practise mindfulness each day

 

©Ruth Gardner

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The moment I went in the shop
what caught my eye?  A hat up top
a hat intended for a Texan
a lovely black and purple Stetson
as you may know, the purple hue
is one that I’m attracted to
of course I had to try the hat
it fitted perfect, fancy that!
This shop’s for charity and so
the money asked is very low
the price?  Two dollars said the sign
this tiny sum could make it mine

But then my stern pragmatic side
said you have got no horse to ride
you never do a western dance
I wonder when you’d have the chance
to wear such headgear, beg your pardon
it’s really not quite for the garden
and have you given thought at all
considering your house is small
just where this hat could find a spot?
You hat rack’s over-full, is’t not?

Though sad, I was forced to agree
with sensible pragmatic me
I left the hat, I said goodbye
resisting all instinct to buy
but when I pass next Friday morn
if that hat’s sitting there forlorn
a poor, rejected adoptee
I may just take it home with me.

©Ruth Gardner

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The summer’s coming, buzz, buzz, buzz
did you know?  well, the bee sure does
a window open, in he flew
with not so much as ‘how de do’
I heard persistent buzzing sound
as he gyrated round and round
he could not see, his brain so numb,
the window through which he had come
I tried to shoo him out, but no
he was determined not to go
he settled in a handy spot
I trapped him with a yoghurt pot
then with my tongue between my teeth
I slyly slid a card beneath
the bee enclosed, I went outside
he buzzed indignant at the ride
I let him go, he flew off free
with ne’er a thought of thanking me.

©Ruth Gardner

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The interworld cannot be seen
it’s situated in between
that’s where subconscious takes control
revealing secrets from my soul
not only during hours of sleep
but when awake day-dreams can creep
seduce me from my daily round
and take me somewhere quite profound
where problems may find their solution
from an intrinsic contribution
ideas that I don’t know I know
with inside knowledge start to flow
this is the way it works for me
inspiring prose and poetry
in day-dreams I may meet my muse
who offers concepts I can use
so if you see my eyes are dazed
please do not think that I am crazed
do not disturb me if you’re waiting
it may just be that I’m creating

©Ruth Gardner

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When Rudyard Kipling came to visit
he found our rivers were exquisite
the train, he thought, was rather slow
in eighteen ninety-one, you know
he did not mark the suffragists
at that time busy making lists.
I wonder was it in our city
that he composed his famous ditty?

It went: If you can keep your head
and not succumb to fear and dread
make sure that you don’t deal in lies
don’t look too good nor talk too wise
when these instructions all are done
what’s more – you’ll be a man, my son
with hash tag me too one did oughta
consider: What if he’s a daughter?

 

©Ruth Gardner

 

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Prime Poems

Poetry I learned in Primary School has stayed with me all my life: Gems such as Mr Horace Caterpillar, Joshua the Jaguar, and Bad King John.  Of course they all rhymed!  I’m surprised I have almost no memory of any poems learned at Secondary School in the early 1960s.  I can’t even remember the names of my English teachers.  Perhaps none of them was ever my form teacher?  I remember teachers of other subjects – Mrs Laidlaw for Maths, Miss Cooper for French, Miss Scott for Latin, but English is a blank.  Did any of my readers go to Epsom Girls’ Grammar School and remember English teachers’ names?

I remember one French poem Il pleure dans mon coeur . . . and have memories of singing O Divina Clementina (My Darling Clementine) in Latin, but English poetry has faded completely.  If I stretch into the depths of memory I can imagine Ozymandias, The charge of the Light Brigade, and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, but it’s a long stretch.  I’m certain we never learned any New Zealand poetry.  Shakespeare was dissected and discussed, along with G B Shaw, and I’m sure we read Man Alone by John Mulgan, but it wasn’t until after I’d left school that I discovered Janet Frame and Jane Mander.

English was my best subject (84% in School Certificate), strange that its memory has dimmed, especially as I now call myself a writer.  Certainly I was not inspired to go on and read poetry, and for many years the only poetry books on my shelf were English Poetry for the Young, published 1904, which had been my mother’s text when she was in Standard 6 at Normal School (1923), and the English Poetry volume of The Outline of Knowledge, published in 1924, which has my father’s name inscribed – the only one of his books I possess.  It’s no wonder my poetry tastes tend to the older formats, and I love rhyme.

Parental poetry books

Nowadays I enjoy creating and sharing poetry, and lament the apparent gaps in my education.

Scant memory of my English class
although I got a decent pass

 

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