Red

RED SWATCH

I was talking recently with a good friend, a very talented artist, who also has a love for unique literature and for writing. Having spent a lot of time in Japan, he has an immense appreciation for that country’s culture and it’s literature. He’s currently working on a book of poetry in Japanese — poems with unique subject matter and perspectives on elements of the world and life. One of the things he’s experimenting with is being able to express color in words only — so that someone who’s never seen the color can get a true sense of what it is. He asked me if I had any ideas or concepts concerning the color red that might be worked into such a piece.

I shared with him that I had actually written a short piece like that a few years ago about the color green. And the idea of doing the same thing for other colors was intriguing. So I left the conversation with his asking me to think about the color and pass on any concepts that came to me in case they provided something more he might incorporate into his work.

Well, a challenge like that is just too much to withstand, so I found my mind delving into the subject repeatedly over the next 12 hours. And, sure enough, I came up with my personal version of describing the color red in words only. I shared it with him, of course, with permission to use any of the ideas or concepts he thought would be helpful. But then I decided that my followers here and on my poetry site might enjoy it as well.

And, no worries: my sharing it here won’t step on his toes where his own work is concerned. Because the only thing he’s considering using are some of the concepts I’ve shared,  not the poem itself. And, of course, since his book of poems is being written in Japanese, my English poem won’t interfere with the effect of his finished work in the least. So here’s my interpretation of that wonderful, unique color.

RED

Red is fire and passion.
It lives; it shouts; it takes possession
Of every scene in which it plays a part.
It is the exclamation mark of life.

It speaks of blood that flows throughout our veins.
It speaks of hate that steals away that blood.
It speaks of love that overcomes all hate.

It’s energy unleashed:
Invigorating, stimulating, titillating, aggravating.

Bold, emphatic, quite dramatic;
Life-inspiring, soul-empowering:
Red!

 

 


 

Advertisements

The Rest of Our National Anthem

 

U. S. FLAG

In the course of any given year, most of us hear our national anthem sung dozens of times.  But what we hear is not really our national anthem, but only a small part of it.  Every time I hear it sung, I am frustrated at having to stop singing at the end of the first stanza.  We never seem to go on to the end of the song and find out why it is that we can trust that our star-spangled banner will continue to wave, and why we can be sure our land will continue to be brave and free.

Several years ago, as a high school teacher, I was given the responsibility of creating a large production in honor of our nation and our constitution, and my instructions included making sure that the whole community was involved.  I immediately decided that this was my opportunity to include the last stanza of our national anthem as part of the program.  I realized that most people did not know the words to that stanza at all, and, in fact, some people did not even know the song had four stanzas total.

I’m asking my blog readers to stop right now and take just a few minutes to think about the final verse of our national anthem.  It has a whole lot more to say beyond the fact that we are proud of our flag and the nation for which it stands.  In fact, the last stanza makes the most important statements of the whole song.

“So thus be it ever, when free men shall stand

Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.

Blessed with victory and peace, may this Heaven-rescued land

Praise the God that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just

And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust!’

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

We need to sing this last stanza every time we sing the first one, because it is only the fact that God Himself made us a nation and preserved us as such — and that He is the one who has rescued us each and every time from destruction — that allows our star-spangled banner to wave anywhere at all.

I hear a lot of people today talking about how this country is doomed.  I also hear a number of religious leaders preaching that God will judge the United States for all of its evils and allow foreign powers to come in and overthrow it.  Now, I am a strong Christian, and I am deeply troubled by the abortion, drugs, crime, child abuse, pornography, and sexual laxness of our nation. But I also spend an enormous amount of time with God — in His Word and in prayer. And I believe that the Lord has made clear to me that He created this nation for His own purposes.   Except for Israel, this nation is the only one on earth that can point to the fact that God literally called His own people to travel to these shores and found a new beginning.

He did so because he intended this nation to be so established in freedom and justice for all that it would be free to put forth the Gospel of Jesus Christ to an extent unknown in any other part of the world.  And we have done that.  True, we have not always done other things right. But the fact remains that thousands of God’s faithful people are citizens of this nation, and as such, they live Godly lives, influence others to do the same, and continue to put forth the Gospel.  As long as those people are praying and keeping the door open for God to intervene in this nation — and to fight on its behalf — we will not be destroyed.

So, even though we need to work at getting our act cleaned up in a lot of ways, we can, nevertheless, take a deep breath, put a smile on our face, and continue to lift our voices in song, singing:  “Praise the God that hath made and preserved us a nation.”

No matter how many atheists try to get the words changed — no matter how many elected officials misquote the words of our Constitution in order to try to keep faith out of our government — no matter what —- the words of Francis Scott Key still reverberate through the hearts of millions of Americans, and indeed this is still our motto: “In God Is Our Trust!”

 


If you’d like to learn the words to the the remaining two stanzas of the song, you can find them here.

 

 

~~~

Friends???

solitude-stickpins

Alas, I’m at odds and at ends.
I’ve upset all my liberal “friends.”
I’m a stickler for truth;
Liberals hate it forsooth.
Only lies will accomplish their ends.

Liberal friends believe every tale told
By the media, brutal and bold
In its efforts to slay
All but Muslims and gays.
And they choose to wear moral blindfolds.

Well, I know that our friendship’s at stake.
But there’s no other stand I can take.
They’ve been drugged into sleep
With the guile and deceit.
But I pray that some day they’ll awake.

 

 


 

Weekend Coffee Share — 6/16/18

Thanks to Eclectic Ali for hosting the weekend coffee shares.

cropped-coffee-being-poured-w-spoon-pdpics-px.jpg

I’m so glad I have some time to share coffee with you guys this week — because I am really excited to share with you about my newest venture. I have recently created a brand new poetic form. At least, I think I have. With all the searching I’ve done, I’m fairly certain no other poets have this form out there. I’m excited, not only because I loved the challenge of creating a unique form, but also because there is only one poetic form that is generally recognized as being ‘American’ by the poetry world. So this new form that I’ve created — being American myself — will be the second.

And to make it even more truly American, I borrowed from my own Cherokee culture to give the form a name. I’ve called it Tso’i. That word is pronounced “cho-ee,” and it is the Cherokee word for the number ‘three,’ and I chose it because the syllable count for the 5 lines of the poem are in multiples of three. I’ve posted about the form — along with examples of poems that follow it — in more than one post on my author’s site and my poetry site. So I don’t want to be too repetitious here. But I know there are a few people who read the “Coffee Share” posts who don’t read my others.

That being the case, I want to tell you the details of my new form so that any of you out there who enjoy writing poetry can try it if you’d like. So here’s the scoop:

A Tso’i poem must meet the following guidelines:

It must have 5 lines
Lines 1, 3, and 5 must have end rhyme.

Syllables:
Line 1 has 3 syllables.
Line 2 has 6 syllables.
Line 3 has 12 syllables.
Line 4 has 6 syllables.
Line 5 has 3 syllables.

Lines 1 and 5 follow a dactyl meter.
Lines 2, 3, and 4 follow an iambic meter.

Subject matter and theme are open to the poet’s imagination and preference.

Here’s one example from my own work:

PARAMOUNT KNOWLEDGE

Knowing God:
Oh, what a wondrous thing
To comprehend such pure love; I’m completely awed,
Learning I am priceless
To my God.


If any of you poets out there would like to try this form yourself, please do and leave a copy of it — or a link to it — in the “Comments” section below.  And have a great weekend!

 

 

~~~

Tso’i: New American Poetic Form

QUIL PEN AND INK -- LunarSeaArt -- PXWell, I think it’s time to name my new poetic form. I thought about a few possibilities, but since one of the predominant — and most noticeable — aspects of this new form is that the syllable count for the five lines of verse is calculated in multiples of three, that number seemed a good choice to focus on for the name. Also, wanting this form to stand out as a truly ‘American’ creation, it seemed like a fun idea to look to my Cherokee heritage for the proper word. After all, how much more ‘American’ can we get than one of the original tribes of people who inhabited this continent long before any white men set foot on it?

So, borrowing the word for ‘three’ from my Cherokee culture, I am christening this new poetic form with the following name:
Tso’i — pronounced “cho-ee”

`
And now for one more example of Tso’i. Just a little something relating to this task of choosing a name.

CHOOSING A NAME

Giving birth
To a new form of verse
Requires a unique name to convey unique worth:
One kind to themes of hope,
Love, and mirth.


I’d also like to extend the invitation again to all my readers: If you’d like to try your hand at writing a poem in this form, please come back here and share it — or the link to it — in the “Comments” section below.

Here are the particulars once more:

The form has 5 lines.
Lines 1, 3, and 5 must have end rhyme.

Line 1 has 3 syllables.
Line 2 has 6 syllables.
Line 3 has 12 syllables
Line 4 has 6 syllables
Line 5 has 3 syllables

Lines 1 and 5 use dactyl meter.
Lines 2, 3, and 4 use iambic meter.

Subject matter and theme is open to the poet’s imagination and preference.


I still find Tso’i a little difficult, even though I created it, but it’s been worth the challenge.    It’s definitely worth a try if you love writing poetry.   So, come on: try it and have some fun with me.


You’ll find more examples of Tso’i in these Related Posts:
Introduction of the Form
Second Demonstration of the Form


photo: LunarSeaArt @ pixabay.com

 

 

~~~

Experiment # 2 in New Poetic Form

I’ve composed a second poem in my new form — as yet un-named. I’ve searched to find any indication that this form has been used by any other poets, but I know I haven’t unearthed all the information. So, as I mentioned in my original post when I introduced this form, if anyone out there knows of it’s being used previously, please let me know in the comments below. Once I’m convinced it truly is a new form, I’ll need to give it a name. So if you have suggestions for that as well, let me know.

Just to review, the form is as follows:

5 Lines.
The first, third, and fifth lines have to rhyme.

Line 1 has 3 syllables
Line 2 has 6 syllables
Line 3 has 12 syllables
Line 4 has 6 syllables
Line 5 has 3 syllables

Meter for lines 1 and 5 is dactyl.
Meter for lines 2, 3, 4 is iambic.

I’m still finding this form pretty difficult, but I like a challenge once in a while. If you want to try it and write your own poem in this form, please share it in the comments section or by a link to your own blog.

Here’s this newest effort:

HEALING HAND - DARK SEPIA - FEATHERED

PARAMOUNT KNOWLEDGE

Knowing God:
Oh, what a wondrous thing
To comprehend such pure love; I’m completely awed,
Learning I am priceless
To my God.

 

 


 

New Poetic Form???

QUILL & BOOK - SEPIAI’ve been experimenting with some unusual, new (I think) poetic forms. The following form is one of my experiments, and I haven’t found any indication that the form has been used previously by any other poets. If readers are aware of this exact form already in use somewhere — anywhere in the world — I’d appreciate your letting me know. This particular form is difficult for me, but I’m working with it as a way of stretching myself and forcing myself out of a too-comfortable rut.

Here are the details of the form:
The poem must consist of 5 lines with the following syllable count:
Line 1 — 3 syllables
Line 2 — 6 syllables
Line 3 — 12 syllables
Line 4 — 6 syllables
Line 5 — 3 syllables

Meter in lines 1 and 5 is dactyl. But meter in lines 2-4 is iambic.
Rhyme scheme:  Lines 1, 3, and 5 must rhyme.

Following is one example of a poem using this pattern.

TAKING A SNOOZE

Lullabies
Encourage babies’ sleep.
But often as I sing I also close my eyes,
And sleep myself until
Baby cries.

_________________________________________________

If you’ve come across this pattern previously, let me know.  Or if you’d like to try it yourself, leave your own poem in the “Comments” section below — or leave a link to your own site with your poem in a post.

 


Also posted this on my ‘Ahyoka’ site.

 

 

~~~

Calling Trash By It’s Real Name

In this video, Robert Florczak, artist and illustrator, shares a succinct and lucid exposition on how we have allowed creativity to be taken over by man’s lowest and most base qualities of character. He’s referring specifically to painting and sculpture, but it’s just as true in the field of literature.

I see it most predominantly in poetry — with the modern attitude toward poetry being one that snubs its nose at any work that is based in the strict disciplines of meter and rhyme. These two characteristics of poetry have literally been the major components of judging a poem’s quality and excellence for generations. Now, everybody and his brother claims he’s a poet because he writes a few prose lines of symbolic jargon, breaking those lines in a helter-skelter pattern (which translates to NO pattern), and which says absolutely nothing that makes sense to most reasonably intelligent minds. (Let me hasten to add that everyone who writes free verse is not guilty of this sin, but a huge number of them are guilty.)

And the publishers of poetry overwhelmingly cater to these works, turning up their noses at the skilled poets who have expressed beautiful thoughts in forms that required them to actually discipline themselves and apply real mental and psychological effort at creating their work.

I recently read a piece of free verse by a poet (whose name I will not give) who was being praised and promoted in a publication that is available world-wide. I read the piece. Then I read it again. I could not understand it at all. Now I admit I’m not “the smartest person on the planet,” but I have a substantially high IQ, I have a college degree, and I have spent years teaching English, composition, and literary interpretation to high school and college students. With that kind of experience under my belt, if I literally COULD NOT even understand that piece, then it was trash. It’s good for nothing. Why was this publication promoting that particular man and that particular poem when thousands of other poets had written perfectly understandable and exceptionally beautiful works in the same year? I’ll tell you why.  Because the public has bought into the lie that art is now supposed to be something that insults our intelligence and our highest moral instincts.

We see the problem, not just in poetry, but in all literary art. To me poetry stands out, but in truth, the dedication to ‘trash’ in literature is most easily seen on the movie screen. Where do those scripts come from? Well, to be sure, some of them are written specifically for the big screen or for TV, but a great number of them are taken from the novels currently on the market. So what does that say about those written works? You’re right. They fall into the category of trash as well.

So am I saying all modern literature and art are trash? Absolutely not. But we as a society have stopped discriminating between what is real art and what is trash. We’ve let the trash mongers take the lead and take over. As Robert Florczak says on this video, we need to get back to taking the time to judge the works put out there in the marketplace and refuse to purchase, visit, celebrate, advertise, or support the counterfeits that offer us no genuine excellence or beauty.

Let’s get back to truly appreciating genuine art — the works that actually inspire and enrich us because of their profound and life-elevating qualities. The works that required all-out commitment to excellence and tireless work and discipline on the part of their creators, so that they would be worthy of being accepted as true art.  When we get back to judging art as we should — and responding appropriately with our money and our time — we’ll start seeing the trash tossed into the garbage heap where it belongs. And we’ll start seeing more real artists stepping up to the plate to create pieces that will make our lives richer.

 


 

Gray Days

Exif JPEG

Gray days strain at my nerves.
One now and then isn’t bad.
But day after day of gray after gray
Is starting to make me quite sad.

My psyche’s all out of whack
Mornings are like end of day.
I don’t mean to whine, but with no sun to shine,
Even my blue car turns gray.

A rainy day once in a while
Is surely a blessing indeed.
But rain every day, with more gray and more gray,
My patience quite totally exceeds.

 


 

 

~~~

Young Man, Be Wary of Winsome Maiden

ENGLISH COURTSHIP

She had a winsome smile and quite a winsome way.
Her voice so musical refreshed the air.
Her winsome little dimple and her twinkling eyes of blue
Caught all the young and callow fellows unaware.

She’d capture their attention neatly, one by one.
And beckon each to step within her door
And sample tastes of tea and pastries rich and sweet —
Then promised good behavior would earn something more.

So each one stepped inside, expecting much delight,
And ate his fill at ample table spread.
And while each gazed and swooned over her winsome ways,
Her poison worked its magic until each was dead.

 


Daily Post Prompt: Winsome

~~~

Making My Future

Another borrow from my “Ahyoka” site. But I thought it might encourage a few folks on this site as well.


 

SNOW MOUNTAIN ROADS - 12019 - PX

To look out on a new year bright with promise,
With unmarred paths that hopeful feet may take —
It gives my heart a thrill, and I’m enchanted
By all the choices I’m allowed to make.

And even though I know there will be pitfalls
And hurdles now and then that must be cleared.
I know my heart will hear the Lord’s direction,
And nothing up ahead needs to be feared.

For in my own decisions rests my future.
It isn’t luck or happenstance or fate.
And this new year before me bright with promise —
I’ll boldly grasp it, and I’ll make it great.

 


photo courtesy of 12019 @ pixabay.com

 

 

~~~