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  1. Yesterday
  2. tonyv

    Mum's Old Watering Can

    Sorry, Phil. That part went over my head maybe because I drew conclusions from your comment to Judi about bird and bee populations. I do like the poem. Just yesterday before making my reply I re-read Seamus Heaney's "Clearances 5" and an analysis of it. I liken your poem to his and get the same feeling from each. Here's the link to that poem and its analysis: LINK. Tony
  3. badger11

    Mum's Old Watering Can

    Thanks Tony. I deleted the 'memories' line because it was 'telly'. The poem is about negative changes, including the loss of life (and the suggestion the mother is no longer present). That would be a positive outcome, but...perhaps there isn't one...I'll let the reader decide. cheers phil
  4. Tinker

    24 Syllable Challenge

    May 20 Prompt: Buckram
  5. I don't really need to know the story, but I do love how the speaker expresses his own inquisitiveness: To me, it seems like he's matter-of-fact about it. He thinks he knows why, but he can take it or leave it. If he really wanted to know, he could probably look into it and find out. Tony
  6. tonyv

    circles

    The leaves' distinction from the tree itself, how they're unable to reach the rings inside the tree/grain is profound and captures my imagination. Tony
  7. tonyv

    Mum's Old Watering Can

    I'm prejudiced, because I saw the very first version and liked it very much. While the poem is more clear re the "chorus," I question whether there's too much bird with the addition of L2. Does it serve to distract from, or water down, the poem's human/relationship aspects? The only suggestion I was going to make insofar as the original was concerned involved changing "memories" to "memorable": Perhaps a family dish later: a cawl with lamb, potatoes, and carrots makes a memorable night. and the last stanza to: We water the dusk and find a chorus. Maybe I'm missing the point, that the point is the birds. But with the title, I'm looking beyond ecology at a snippet of the relationship between the speaker and his mother. Tony
  8. badger11

    Mum's Old Watering Can

    Pleased you enjoyed Tink. Many bird populations are in decline, but then that is true of bees too. all the best badge
  9. Last week
  10. Tinker

    24 Syllable Challenge

    May 19 deadline 4 PM Eastern Standard Time Prompt: writhe I'm Home Her soft, furry belly on full display as she writhed in anticipation at her mistress's return. ~~jvg
  11. Tinker

    Mum's Old Watering Can

    Ha ha, You had me at the opening two lines. And then it just keeps getting better. "water the dusk to find a chorus" WOW! I love this! ~~Tink
  12. Tinker

    24 Syllable Challenge

    May 18 deadline 4 PM Eastern Standard Time Prompt: travail Marathon Muscles burn, throat parched, one more stride, the travail forgotten in the triumph of finishing the race. ~~jvg
  13. Tinker

    24 Syllable Challenge

    Prompt: Lilac Mom Lilac and lemon drops flavor my memories of my miniscule grandmother we all called Mom. ~~jvg
  14. Tinker

    24 Syllable Challenge

    In the Daily Prompt Thread I've included several 24 syllable "poems". At Writing.com there is a daily challenge to write a poem in exactly 24 syllables, no more, no less and include some form of the given prompt word. Sometimes it produces some very good poems. Most of the time it is more an exercise in stretching the vocabulary and condensing your thoughts. No high poetry here, just quick, attempts to expand your writing. I've found in writing these short pieces, they have often led to inspiration for longer poems. I thought maybe someone else would like to join me in this exercise so I'm setting up, a separate thread. I'm stealing the prompts from the original forum. I don't write one every day and this is not a contest, no winners, no losers. Just have fun writing. 24 Syllable Forum Let me regale you with the merits of this forum, poets disciplined to stretch and to condense. ~~jvg
  15. Tinker

    Haiku Fridays

    #28 skipped Friday haiku slept in Saturday morning now sit at computer ~~jvg
  16. There's no dawn chorus. Too urban. Too much meow. We water the herbs: a swaying fennel, the ever eager mint, a pot of thyme. A Robin's rambling along/above/beside not furtive, bold. Streetwise. Perhaps the family dish later, a cawl: lamb, potatoes, carrots. No vegetable allotments. Just driveways. We will water the thorny bush, and that stubborn fern, and those annoying weeds. We will water the dusk to find a chorus. Wild things. Feathered gods. Songs.
  17. Tinker

    Honoring the Military

    Outside the VA ClinicMostly men in somber colorscluster along the covered walkway,sitting or standing near the whitemetal benches that line one sideof the cement VA Building.The absence of cigarette smokedrifting from the green "smoking area"allows the scent of rosesthat grow groomed on the other sideto dominate the Spring air.There is a cacophony of laughter,a cough and bass and tenor voices that drawl in conversation.A jacketed, sad-eyed PTSD Doghugs the leg of his young masterwhose hand absently strokes a silky ear.Bob sits a little taller in his chair,sporting his Korean War cap,as I wheel him to the entry doorand a Viet Nam vet, opens it for us.The savory, sweet taste of camaraderieis extended to each newcomerin a nod, a hand, or a word.Brothers born of war. ~~Judi Van Gorder May is National Military Month and will end with Memorial Day, honoring our fallen soldiers. The photo above is of two brothers, my Uncles, an infantry man and a fighter pilot, with a broken neck from being shot down, having come home from World War II. Both brothers lived to the age of 95. Images of proud military men and women, dressed in uniform spark pride in me even when I don't know who they are. The honor and glory inspired by the defense of one's national flag is a theme of millions of poems and stories from the beginning of literature in almost every culture. Of course we know that the honor and glory of military prowess doesn't shine as brightly in the foxhole, from under an overturned Humvie or from a POW camp. But the thing that seems to thread through it all, is the bond these military men and women form with each other. We can honor our military with praise and thanks, we can also honor our military by recognizing the sacrifice, pain and horror of war and doing our utmost to promote peace. Flanders Fields In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie, In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. ~~~John Mc Crae Dulce et Decorum est Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs, And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly behind. Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.— Dim through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,— My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori. ~~~ Wilfred Owen Notes: Latin phrase is from the Roman poet Horace: “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.” Honor Our Military Let's honor our military, The men and women who serve, Whose dedication to our country Does not falter, halt or swerve. Let's respect them for their courage; They're ready to do what's right To keep America safe, So we can sleep better at night. Let's support and defend our soldiers, Whose hardships are brutal and cruel, Whose discipline we can't imagine, Who follow each order and rule. Here's to those who choose to be warriors And their helpers good and true; They're fighting for American values; They're fighting for me and you. ~~Joanna Fuchs If you have a military story to tell, I would love to read it. Happy writing. ~~ Judi
  18. dcmarti1

    Relatives are assigned, families are chosen

    So glad you enjoyed it, and I liked learning about your family, too. :)
  19. Tinker

    Relatives are assigned, families are chosen

    Hey Marti, Of course I had to Google Mille Bornes and found a French, Hall of Fame, board game. Learn something new everyday. I'm always fascinated by genealogy. My mind immediately starts asking questions. Divorce wasn't as common in the early 1900s as now and fathers rarely got custody of children back then. I would love to find the story behind that. Then WWII comes along and granddad goes away to fight and gets caught and spends time in a POW camp leaving your Dad with a stepmother. Ooooh those letters are priceless. I have 2 letters from Uncles, Dad's brothers, who were overseas during WWII, really to my Dad but addressed to me and written as if they really were writing to a baby girl. I look at them every once in a while, even now. So much love. They weren't POWs, one in the infantry and the other a fighter pilot. (who got shot down and broke his neck but survived.) As for the ages, so young to die. My Dad died at 56, my Mom at 61. But both Uncles died at 95. I remember my Dad actually fretted through his entire 55th year because that was the age his father died of Miner's Consumption. Dad was so relieved to make it to 56, then half way through the year, my athletic, fit Dad was downed by lung cancer. His mother lived to 102, with body and brain in tact. I have long outlived both parents but have a long way to go to catch up with 3 grandparents, 102, 97, and 98. I just loved this poem, it brought back so many of my own memories and created new avenues of thought. ~~Tink
  20. Earlier
  21. dcmarti1

    circles

    There are elements of peace, acceptance, AND maudlin all at the same time. Skillful. I liked the Leaves fall from a near by tree like former selves Evocative.
  22. eclipse

    circles

    This dying man hears angels tumbling down like grains in an hour glass, he stares into the circles in the park pond-reflections never settle. Leaves fall from a near by tree like former selves unable to reach the rings inside the tree grain, the last leaf falls like an angel's tongue providing the location for the rope, the park is the bell the pond is the clapper. Fading with the song within a song of a bird his circle is complete as the earth recedes.
  23. dcmarti1

    Clips of the Horizon

    Loved this: glued together like my first grade papier machete sculpture. Those pics are Gustav Dore, right? 😉
  24. As a child I was intrigued with the Mille Bornes box of my father's parents. Actually, it was his father and stepmother. My grandfather was divorced and received sole custody of my father before WW2. I have no idea what that really means, but I think I know what it might mean. My grandfather was in a POW camp and we have the letters he was allowed to write. I never heard my father discuss his mother. I never saw pictures of my father's mother. My grandfather died at 59. His brothers also died at 59, except for one at 65. The grandmother I knew died at 56. My father died at 49. I have yet to play Mille Bornes.
  25. dcmarti1

    Some call it progress

    FASCINATING article! Thank you, AND thank you for reading.
  26. tonyv

    Clips of the Horizon

    Dave, I'm excited by the Poe reference you've shared. I haven't read a lot of Poe, so I'm looking forward to reading and enjoying "Dream-Land." Of course, Keats' beloved "Bright Star" is a personal favorite of mine. And there's another one I think you might appreciate, too: Edgar Bowers' "The Astronomers of Mont Blanc." Tony
  27. David W. Parsley

    Clips of the Horizon

    Hi Tink, I appreciate your willingness to read on in the face of a topic not in your usual sphere of consideration. Achieving this almost unimaginably remote world renders a sensation to me similar to passages from the Book of Revelations or Paradise Lost (think of Lucifer assaying the perils of Chaos to achieve the newly formed Earth, setting down to consider the expanse of Eden from the summit of Nephates), or a musical piece like Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Vaughn Williams. I do not pretend that I have produced anything remotely like the nonplus of these works of literary and musical tour de force, but that is what space exploration is like for me. Nor can I pretend that this modest celestial body in the far-off Kuiper Belt is anything like Eden, but the scientific revelation it presents is almost as profound. Here is a relic of the solar system's planet formation action, a piece that was kicked by the wildly flailing gravity fields to its current frozen hermitage, an eremite in the best tradition of Keats: Bright star! would I were steadfast as thou art— Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night, And watching, with eternal lids apart, Like Nature’s patient sleepless Eremite, The moving waters at their priestlike task Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores, Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask Of snow upon the mountains and the moors— Cheers, - Dave
  28. David W. Parsley

    Clips of the Horizon

    Hi Tony, apologies for being slow to respond, I just wanted to do it right. You and I both totally geek out and get high on vast expanses, experiencing new landscapes, the prospect of remote stars and mysteries beyond our current reach but beckoning to our expanding grasp. I appreciate the shared resonance! It is ironic that the term Ultima Thule refers to the opening invocation section of Virgil's Georgics, where he includes Caesar in his catalogue of deities, asserting that influence as extended to the most remote (ultima) Thule and sufficient to consider inclusion as a new star in that divine firmament. Georgics Book 1 As certainly as we have attained this "nothing" celestial object, we may perhaps add it to the dominion of human reach and knowledge, but also acknowledge that having "made it here" we simply push a little further out our next ultima, that to which we aspire but can claim only a hypothetical threshold of knowing. Perhaps a measure of humility is in order as expressed by Edgar Allan Poe in his own reckoning of the ultimate. The tenuous message sent back by the New Horizons spacecraft could have been lifted straight out of Poe's ominously atmospheric Dream-Land: I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule— From a wild clime that lieth, sublime, Out of SPACE— out of TIME. Cheers, - Dave
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