They Say (a poem)

It’s so much easier for me to write about the fun parts of fall than it has been to talk about the difficult summer that I’m so glad is behind me. I kept feeling I should write about it–that emotion, our hard times, are the inspiration behind the fruit of our best work. Sometimes, though, life is so hard, you can’t write about it until it’s behind you. You can’t write in the dark…no matter what they say.

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They Say
By: Amanda K. Fowler

They say
you can feel bad things coming
in the wind.
But I say
it’s not true.
In the heat
of summer,
I felt nothing at all
when disaster struck
three times in three weeks.
I felt nothing
when three of my loved ones,
pieces of my heart,
fell away from me.
I felt nothing,
till I got one back,
the one I needed the most–
his near-death only near,
thank God–
and then I felt everything.

They say
water is the soother
for us all–
it is how we were born,
after all;
it cradles us,
easing the gravity
of everything.
It cleanses us.
But the waves I felt this summer
were the wrong water:
tears instead of surf.

They say
you can feel it
when summer shifts to fall,
when leaves retire
to the splendor of their finest moment–
and this time,
I agree–
it’s a slow goodbye kiss,
a healing, scabbing cool.
I feel the wind
blowing away the ash,
carrying away
the burns of summer,
finally behind me.

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Happy Easter & Happy Earth Day!

Oh readers, I’ve missed you! Life has been SO busy and demanding of my time lately (how dare it?), but mostly good. Tonight, the waitress at my sushi date with Jeremiah brought me an entire pot of tea for myself, which I was more than happy to drink all of…

View image on Twitter

 

…but less happy to be experiencing that slow-release of caffeine, still. I thought I would jot off a quick blog post before sleeping/staring at my ceiling. 😉

I’ve fallen terribly behind in my blog challenges–so tonight resumes with “H” in topic (see blog title) and form (haiku) for A-to-Z and NaPoWriMo!

I hope you had a Happy Easter, dear readers! Mine was lovely: it started with morning Easter Mass with my family, followed by Easter celebration dinner #1 with Jeremiah’s family, then concluded with Easter dinner #2 with my family. It was wonderful to spend the day so meaningfully with so many people I loved–and the spring weather was just gorgeous!

This is my official Easter bonnet! 😉 Left to right: me, Jeremiah, Jeremiah’s mom, Sarah, and Jessie ❤

Easter Treats

By: Amanda K. Fowler

Eggs full of candy–
But unlocked sweetness inside
Your heart is the treat.

 

I hope your Easter was just as lovely, dear readers–and I hope you have a Happy Earth Day, too!

Thank you for bearing with me as I adjust to the demands on my schedule. I hope to bring you more posts soon! 🙂

Fruity Little Poem: Ode to a Key Lime” | A-to-Z NaPoWriMo

Hello, dear readers! I hope, despite the bad rap it tends to get, that your Monday was pleasant. Mine was–I got to spend time shopping with my dad, followed by a book-talk-sushi-date with Jeremiah, topped off with this:

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt took me far down memory lane–back to high school, to be specific. Upon reading the prompt, I realized I’d already written a poem that matched it perfectly, from a similar assignment in Senior AP English. While I searched for the poem in the archives of my computer, I found many, many pieces of writing, including fiction, poetry, a screenplay, critical essays, memoir-style essays, and more. I even found chapters from the original version of the YA fantasy novel I’m currently working on. (Thank goodness I restarted it anew…) I was shocked to see how much I’d written, not just as a student, but also in my free time, and it’s amazing to me how long it took me to decide to be a professional writer. 😉 I was also grateful to discover the acquisition of my degrees in English and Writing & Publishing was time and money well-spent, considering my vast improvement–though I still catch vestiges of sentimental romanticism creeping into corners of my work from time to time.

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NO! Bad sentimentalism!

Luckily, I found this poem wasn’t sappy–but rather tart. 😉

Today’s prompt is to write a love poem . . . but the object of the poem should be inanimate. You can write a love poem to your favorite pen, the teddy bear you had as a child (and maybe still have), or anything else, so long as it’s not alive!

Ode to a Key Lime
By: Amanda K. Fowler

Bright green:
A color usually associated with jealousy.
But you, little one,
Are more envied than envying.

Exotic in origin;
Nothing commonplace about you.
Divorce yourself from your family,
Take your own name and the equatorial beach house.

Beautiful, perfect fruit;
Bewitch your victims into biting your bitter flesh.
Intoxicating, electrifying;
They can’t stop drinking till your body is drained.

Prima donna of flora,
Grace us with your presence!
We eagerly await your renaissance all year,
Only to have to part after so few months.

Pies, juices, garnishes;
Tart though you may be,
We find a way to glorify you;
For you deserve the honor of kings.

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“Charm for Happiness,” “Dancing,” & “Eternity”: Poems for A-to-Z NaPoWriMo

Hello, dear readers! I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend! It seems spring is coming here in fits and starts, which is making for some pretty weather–and lovely poetry inspiration. 🙂 This weekend, I got to visit Jeremiah’s farm; take a long walk with my mom; and play ukulele music (my newest instrument to learn!) to celebrate a birthday party against the backdrop of springtime drizzle and fog. These picturesque experiences have inspired my poetry for tonight.

Today’s post is catching up on letters C, D, and E for the A-to-Z Challenge, and the corresponding NaPoWriMo poems (the prompts, for which, I will post directly above the poem, along with the inspiration).

In keeping with today’s status as the third day of NaPoWriMo, I challenge you to write a charm – a simple rhyming poem, in the style of a recipe-slash-nursery rhyme.

When I read this prompt, I wondered what kind of charm I would come up with, if I had the power for it (beyond just my pen 😉 ). I immediately thought of the conversations I’ve been having with multiple people lately on the elusiveness–and importance–of happiness. I know there are a few things that are guaranteed to perk up my mood, and they’ve gone into my charm below. Feel free to borrow the spell for your own use–it just might work. 😉

Charm for Happiness
By: Amanda K. Fowler

An ocean’s tide lapping your toes,
The scent of wildflowers tickling your nose,
A cuddle or snuggle with fur or skin,
Messy epiphanies with your favorite pen,
The warmth of the sun bathing your face,
The kindness of strangers–a show of grace,
A few bars of song played with fingers or voice,
All of these things to make you rejoice.


Write a lune. A lune is a sort of English-language variation on the haiku, meant to better render the tone of the Japanese haiku than the standard 5-7-5 format we all learned (and maybe loved) in elementary school. There are a couple of variants on the lune form, but just to keep things simple, let’s try the version developed by Jack Collum. His version of the lune involves a three-line stanza. The first line has three words. The second line has five, and the third line has three. You can write a poem that consists of just one stanza, or link many lune-stanzas together into a unified poem. 

The nighttime fog last week was so gorgeous, I just had to turn it into a poem. 🙂

Dancing
By: Amanda K. Fowler

Still, dense, heavy,
Fog drapes like a blanket
Covering the night.

It hushes, hides–
But under the gleaming streetlights,
It is dancing.

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The night sky is always so beautiful and vast out in the country. It’s truly awe-inspiring, and I realized–there is power in perspective. No prompt for this one; just my own idea.

Eternity
By: Amanda K. Fowler

A million stars dot the sky,
twinkling, shimmering,
ruling over their planets
and the life they hold.
I am just one pair of eyes
staring at the infinite,
but–I can cover ten stars
with just my thumb.

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Two Challenges, Day Two: “April First” and “Brynhildr’s Passion” (A-to-Z & NaPoWriMo Day 1 & 2)

Hello, dear readers! Well, April is off to a busy start for me. I’ve decided to do my best with the challenges–even if the posts will be short, I’d like to attempt them. They broaden my creativity, and I would like to use them as warm-ups for the bigger writing projects I’m focusing on. I mentioned the specifics of the challenges in my last post, but I will define them here, for future reference:

A-to-Z Challenge: Every day in April (except Sundays), write a blog entry based on a topic beginning with consecutive letters (i.e., April 1 = A, etc.). The origins of the challenge are explained here.

NaPoWriMo Challenge: Every day in April, write a new poem from your own imagination of from the daily prompt here.

Without further ado, I present to you days one and two, below.

Day 1–A:

April First’s Verse Curse
By: Amanda Fowler

April Fools…
…I broke the rules.

Perhaps it’s best
I started late–
for all is jest
on this date.

Day 2–B:

Prompt: Write a poem based on a non-Greco-Roman myth. You could write a poem inspired by Norse mythology, or perhaps by one of these creatures from Japanese legend.

I consulted my resident Norse mythology expert, Jeremiah, for this prompt; he recommended Brynhildr.

Brunnhild by Gaston Bussière
Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Public domain under {{PD-1923}}

Brynhildr’s Passion

By: Amanda Fowler

The fire encircling your castle
is a ring of hate around your heart.
It will engulf you whole–
but your love could extinguish it all
if only you let it.

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“The Pumpkin”–A Poem and Memory Celebrating Fall

Happy Fall, readers! Since the autumnal equinox was yesterday, it’s official. 🙂 I hope you had a fun Hobbit Day and continue to celebrate through Tolkien Week. My family did indeed go mini-golfing as planned, which was lots of fun. We were very careful and checked the whole course before putting, because you know what they say about hobbits and holes in the ground. 😉

When the weather started to turn more autumnal here, I had a sudden flashback of a fall memory from several years ago (2008, to be precise). It came back to me as a poem, as flashbacks (luckily!) often do for me, since I record memories in words, writing the world in my head as I see it.

This is a memory from a time when a group of our friends from UIUC went to a nearby apple orchard. Jeremiah and I were in the same group, and we had dated before but weren’t dating at the time (yet). 😉

I wanted to save the poem to share with you until it was officially fall. I hope it’s not too sappy-sweet, but then, it is the season for maple syrup and sweetened gourds of a certain variety–which will star in the poem today. 🙂

I wanted to share a few photos from that day, too.

The group with some of our spoils (Jeremiah’s doing the American Gothic on the very left, and I’m on the very right).

This was surely meant for little kids, but that didn’t stop us from joining in the fun. It required some intense crouching.

Ripe for the picking!

But this is what I was really excited about, as you’ll read below (the pumpkins, not the modest-afterthought statue).

The Pumpkin

By: Amanda K. Fowler
I knew you loved me when
we went with friends to an apple orchard,
but I wanted a pumpkin
so you followed me to the rows of orange gourds.
They’d already been picked,
because crops were bad that year,
but you spent hours with me,
looking at each one,
turning them over and over.
I saw every curved side
underneath your hands.
We felt the dirt coat the skin
like afterbirth,
and I think
we imagined
they were babies,
and we had to find the one
that was ours.
The sun made
our shadows long,
and I grew discouraged,
and the others were far away
wagons and bellies
full of apples.
But then you found it:
our pumpkin baby.
It was huge,
and healthy,
and bright.
You brushed the dirt off
and showed me how
it had a flat side
from where it lay
while it grew against the earth,
and it would be perfect
for my carving,
you said.
I loved it,
and you looked smaller
under the weight
of the behemoth gourd,
but you never struggled
or grunted,
just carried the pumpkin
to the register
and then the car,
gingerly,
protectively.
And when the others teased you
about looking at pumpkins all day,
you just smiled.
I never carved it;
it was already perfect.
And I knew I loved you then.
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I hope you enjoyed the poem. Now, I’m itching to go back to an orchard! What’s on your fall celebration list? 🙂

“Beliefs”–A Poem

“Beliefs”
By: Amanda K. FowlerBreaking Glass

Beliefs shatter worse than glass.
At least glass can be mended,
but when faith is lost
it is often gone forever–
decomposed into sand in the wind.

When we are young,
this is not as grave.
Our understandings are pliable,
still being defined.
Theories are posed
and tossed out,
the clay of our minds
still being shaped
into form.

But
a belief gained
or proven
is all the more poignant
when acquired later,
because we know
how risky an investment
faith can be,
especially when it didn’t quite
get hardened with that clay.https://i2.wp.com/www.clker.com/cliparts/q/h/2/Y/J/a/kindness-md.png

Angel wings,
unnecessary kindnesses,
sacrifice,
truth,
life,
love.
These are beautiful to me,
and they will bring me wonder
no matter how old I am,
no matter how many times I see them.
These are what I believe in.