Monday, January 26, 2015

Looking Through My Poetry Notebook Today, A Find

I'm on vacation from classes for the next two weeks. 

This is a time I want to use as a period to reflect and rediscover who I am again.  I'm going through a grieving process right now over a relationship that went sour. I expected too much once again.  Perhaps this time I have learned my lesson.  I really hope so.  

We cannot put the totality of our faith and hope for happiness in others.  Sometimes we get lost in other people, and that is a huge mistake. We have to find our higher selves in reflection, quiet, and if we believe in God, Him the Comforter. I am seeking these to recover from my sadness and disappointment.  

I wept a little today for the first time in weeks.  I cry and grieve easily about this life. Today tears and also prayer healed me and I sought my poetry notebook, the poetry of a few others, and I ended up here.  The battle with this hurt will linger for awhile, but I feel I will overcome it and be a better and wiser person.  Love and respect people, but never expect very much. 

I'm trying to get refocused on a love of mine that I have some control over, my poetry.  Here is a poem I wrote that I haven't granted a title to yet that found in my poetry notebook.  

As a little girl I wanted to play my grandmother's clotheslines
Like a musical instrument.
They were strings of a giant guitar.
I loved guitars, my very young aunt had one.
Grandmother would go outside
With two or three clothes baskets
Nearly vomiting out clothes, bath and dish towels.
She was robust and patient out there
With butterflies, bees, and dragonflies, orbiting her.
I would sit on the concrete doorstep and watch.
Then hot and restless in the summer sun
I would go back inside to the washroom
Where the potbellied obese ringer washer sat
On it's skinny legs in the corner.
Playing with its rollers, I would try to twist them,
But they only moved when grandma and my aunt washed,
Inserting underwear, towels, clothes,
Slaughtering them like a streamroller.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Eternal Urchin

For me love is like 
That diamond ring,
The pink one in 
The jewelry store 
Window. I want to afford it.
It's not designed that I can.  
I remain the urchin
staring in the window. 

A Poppy Above Athens

How did it push itself through 
Ancient rock I wondered that day
On the Acropolis. A lonely poppy
Minute like a small splash of blood,
Grown through stone fragrant
Above Athens, the Parthenon's
Shadow blanketing it. 

Re-Opening: It Has Been a Year and a Half

I shut down this blog to private a year and a half ago.  Over that time period I debated whether to reopen it.  I had gotten some good responses to it, so that wasn't the reason I closed it off from cyberspace.  I was concerned that someone might steal some of my poems. However, all poems I posted here are in their first, raw stages.  They need more work.  Overall for someone who has written the bulk of her poetry in middle age, I feel I've done a fairly good job as a novice poet.  If someone steals some of them, they will only be snatching the first stage of each of these poems.  My passion for poetry and the desire to write my own really blossomed about four years ago.  I have a long way to go as a poet, but I believe I have potential.  

The last time I posted I was in the US.  Now I am living in northwestern Anatolia in the city of Eskişehir which was the home of one of Turkey's earlier and greatest poets Yunus Emre. I teach English here to teenagers, university students, and adults. A Turk told me Yunus Emre is like the Shakespeare of Turkey.  

I always remember Jo in Little Women saying something to the affect that living abroad is good for the writing. I think she was speaking of Europe specifically, but Europe is not the only inspiring place on earth.  I find Turkey to be quite inspiring.  

This week with so much snow on the ground and very few classes because of New Years, the desire for writing came back to me.  Being alone with no one to talk to over the last few days,  trying to arrange my thoughts and focus on writing again apparently brought back the urge to write most powerfully.  Ideas about what my writing means and how it might affect others even if I never become a big time author and poet have been in my thoughts.  

I'm learning that the most important to do if the desire for writing is present is to write.  Write even if the words are not coming I've read in several places.  It also doesn't matter the size of the audience or whether fame or fortune are possible. What matters is to write and release that need for creativity.  

Summer 2014 I wrote two short stories, the first time I'd tried such writing since I took creative writing in when I was an undergraduate.  I attempted to be literary and psychological in those two stories.  I'm trying to find my voice.  I'm trying to discover what kind of writer I really am.

So here at the beginning of 2015 I begin a new session of poetry.  Enjoy.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Three Haiku

I've been reading haiku a lot lately and posted a number of poems by masters such as Buson, Issa, Shiki, Basho, and Taneda on my social media accounts Facebook and Twitter.  They are also my favorite composers of haiku. 

What triggered my love of haiku was this book that I have a copy of: Haiku: An Anthology of Japanese Poems.

Here's a nice page of classic haiku: The Haiga Pages.  Also many classical haiku can be read on

I briefly studied haiku sometime in probably high school, but I remember feeling intimidated by it.  My teacher tried to keep us within the 5-7-5 syllable pattern which is the Japanese method, but I've learned that the rules are not so strict in English.  So tonight I tried my hand at some.

Walking, worried eyes
down a lonely road,
my car broke down.


Birds singing,
too confused to sleep,

midnight super moon.


A floral branch hangs
in front of the moon,

I gaze in my loneliness

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Two Poems in Video by Mahmoud Darwish

I've written in the past that my poetry blog would not just contain poetry written by me but occasionally poetry written by others. 

Some weeks ago I saw a quote on my Facebook timeline by someone named Mahmoud Darwish. I think I'd seen quotes by him  on there before.  This last time I decided to do research.  I was immediately excited to learn that he was a famous poet.  Wikipedia writes that he is considered by some to be the national poet of Palestine. 

There are videos of him on YouTube reciting poems.  I've read a few of his poems online and want to read more.  I've listened to a song called Passport which is a poem by the Lebanese singer Marcel Khalife based on a poem by Mahmoud Darwish.  I first heard this song at the end of the movie Amreeka, which a movie I've watched twice now and like very much.  The characters are Palestinian, but I can relate to their sense of not feeling like they don't belong to their homeland or their adopted homeland in America.  I love the main character Muna's optimism and perseverance through betrayal and disappointment.  

I don't have it anywhere as difficult as their characters or as Mahmoud Darwish had, still I believe all alienation feels rather the same.  Those who don't self-destruct learn to live through it, work through and around it, and if you have something of the creative in you, you begin to make something artistic out of it.  You turn your tears into an artistic artifact.  I decided to take the creative route because most of all I want to love my fellow humans which is one of the hardest tasks of all.

I will continue to humanize even the enemy... The first teacher who taught me Hebrew was a Jew. The first love affair in my life was with a Jewish girl. The first judge who sent me to prison was a Jewish woman. So from the beginning, I didn't see Jews as devils or angels but as human beings. Several poems are to Jewish lovers. These poems take the side of love not war. ~ Mahmoud Darwish

Here are two videos in English and Arabic of poems by Mahmoud Darwish with him reciting the poems in Arabic. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Seeker

As the moon cries itself
to sleep
as the seas turn to brimstone
as I roam the deserts of
the world
seeking you only you.
There are only weary eyes.
There are only mute mouths
as the child swings on the playground
When will be my last
day on this flower petal earth
that weeps and dies?
I seek you only you.
I have wondered a long time
where you are
and if a time will come
when I will finally find you.

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