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Poetry Friday ~ Mermaid

23 Jul

Hello, my friends! Welcome.

Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge

Colleen says: This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs). Annette Rochelle Aben from last month’s challenge has provided the photo for this month’s challenge. Remember, it’s not so much about describing what’s in the photo. Look beyond the obvious to find new meaning.

Photo by Annette Rochelle Aben

MERMAID

Don’t mistake songs in the wind for wind songs

Don’t confuse figures out at sea, that

sit on distant rocks for sea lions

She dwells where worlds hide in the

deep, and emerges to

the wild call of the

running tide to

warn us, “let

the seas

be”

photo by Sandra Bittmann

If it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
Unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.

Have a great weekend and never give up on shooting for the stars!

Poetry Friday ~ #CinquainPoetry

12 Feb

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog.

This week, Colleen Chesebro from Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge selected the words to get us going. These words are opposites with many synonym possibilities:

Loose & Tight

Photograph by Kat J (Unsplash)

Heavy

days devoid of

love, smiles or kind remarks

I wait, fingers closed in tense fists

for him

***

Hopeless

Out of my mind

with desire to escape

but too stiffened with fear to move

I’m doomed

Photograph by Alexander Krivitskiy

Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. This is a real problem in many countries including the United States. I realize we have a lot going on right now with three different strains of the corona virus out there and a world wide pandemic. I understand you may not want to think about anything else going on in the world right now. But put yourself in the place of anyone of these young people for a moment. This could be anyone’s child, sister, brother, girlfriend, cousin . . . suffering torture, debilitating fear, and hopelessness every single day.

Human Trafficking Indicators

While not an exhaustive list, these are some key red flags that could alert you to a potential trafficking situation that should be reported:

  • Living with employer
  • Poor living conditions
  • Multiple people in cramped space
  • Inability to speak to individual alone
  • Answers appear to be scripted and rehearsed
  • Employer is holding identity documents
  • Signs of physical abuse
  • Submissive or fearful
  • Unpaid or paid very little
  • Under 18 and in prostitution

Thank you for stopping by today! Stay safe and healthy.

Poetry Friday ~ Christmas in Florida

4 Dec
Photo by Lynda Hinton (@lyndaann1975 – Unsplash)

Hello, everyone! Happy Holidays and a warm welcome to my blog!

I live in south Florida and Christmas traditions are a little different down here. We don’t have snow, so we can’t build a snowman, but we can build one made of sand. There’s no sledding or skiing, but we do have surfing Santas and boats decked out in Christmas lights and decorations. We also have Winterfest, a town named Christmas, Disney World and much more. I found this poem about Christmas in Florida and thought I should share it. I hope you enjoy it.

T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
No noses were frozen, nor snow on the ground.

No children in flannels were tucked into bed,
They all wore their shorty pajamas instead.

To find wreaths of holly was not very hard,
For holly trees sprouted in every backyard.

In front of the houses were daddies and moms,
Decorating hibiscus and coconut palms.

The slumbering kiddies were dreaming with glee,
Hoping to find surf boards under the tree.

They all knew that Santa was well on his way,
In a fiberglass boat instead of a sleigh.

He whizzed up the rivers, zoomed up the canals,
Delivering toys to good boys and gals.

The tropical moon gave the cities a glow,
And lit the way for Santa below.

Quite soon he arrived and started to work,
He hadn’t a second to linger or shirk.

He jumped from his boat and gave a wee chuckle,
He was dressed in deck pants, with an ivy league buckle.

There weren’t any chimneys, but that caused no gloom,
For Santa came in through the Florida room.

He stopped at each house but stayed only a minute,
As he emptied his sack of the toys that were in it.

Before he departed he had a long drink,
From the glass of fresh orange juice left by the sink.

He turned with a jerk and jumped into his boat,
Knowing that he still had more toys to tote.

He put it in gear and he opened the gas,
Then up the Peace River he went like a flash!

And I heard him exclaim as he went on his way:
“Merry Christmas, Punta Gorda, I wish I could stay ….

Photo by Lynda Hinton

Take care and stay safe and healthy!

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

20 Nov

It’s the third week of the month! Time for Colleen’s Poetry Challenge‘s Ekphrastic Photo Prompt!

This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs). Diana Peach from last month’s challenge has provided the photo for this month’s challenge.

The Saddest Leave The Least Of Clues

Depression sneaks up when least expected

What you once had seems far above you

as you spiral into darkness

sapping your life of meaning

but you smile all the time

though you’re rarely fine

You leave no clues

Depression

is like

cancer

“Real depression is when you stop loving the things you love.”

Atticus

When I saw the image chosen by Author, D. Wallace Peach it reminded me of a beautiful soul who couldn’t see her ethereal beauty in the water because she was shrouded by the darkness of depression. I have several loved ones who suffer from depression. This poem is dedicated to them and to anyone else who is struggling with this disease. What a lot of people don’t understand is that there are two types of depression. Feeling extremely sad when you lose a loved one, a pet, or when you lose your job or go through a divorce is perfectly normal. People expect you to suffer some level of depression when you experience something terrible. Being diagnosed with clinical depression is an entirely different thing. This is an illness that stems from there being a chemical imbalance in your brain. When depression hits it does so without warning, and it comes with muscle aches, loss of focus and concentration, insomnia, overeating or loss of appetite, headaches, digestive problems, anxiety . . . . It is a disease like diabetes, lupus, COPD, Alzheimer’s or cancer. Whenever I get a chance, I try to create awareness because there’s a stigma attached to this disease and there shouldn’t be.

Click on image to read an excerpt from my upcoming book, The Rise of Gadreel.

Poetry Friday ~ Gratitude

8 May

Hi, everyone! It’s the first of the month, and that means poets choose their own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge

The year 2020 has seen its share of major historic events and bizarre incidents in just a little over five months–– including the acquittal of President Donald Trump in an impeachment trial, the bushfires in Australia, the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and the entire world grinding to a halt as businesses shut down and people are quarantined.

As I ponder on these events and others like the death of (a legend) Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash, the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union, the Dow plunging 2,997 points due to coronavirus fears, the 2020 Summer Olympics postponed, and the fact that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their duties as senior royals in Buckingham Palace, I want to pinch myself to be sure I’m not in some dark and eerie nightmare. Despite the peculiar times we’re living in, I’m sure everyone can find at least one thing to be thankful for, right?

I’m thankful that my family and I are doing well, and that we have plenty to eat and drink, and our toilet paper inventory is full. I’m grateful that this nightmare has not prevented me from doing a lot of reading and writing. My cooking and baking skills have gotten better. Despite the fact that I miss my family I have enjoyed our zoom get togethers. I’m also grateful to be in such great company during isolation – there are no better quarantine buddies than my husband JC and Pomeranian Scribbles. I have a roof over my head and a great view of a golf course. How could I not feel gratitude in my heart.

Although there are a plethora of strange happenings there are also appreciable moments. To be honest, there have been times when I’ve been down, fearful, anxious – none of us has ever lived through times like these. It’s easy to feel vulnerable and like you have no control over the outcome of your life. But when have we ever had total control over the outcome of our lives? We can’t focus only on the negative – it won’t solve a thing. Let’s think about all we should be grateful for.

“The most powerful weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. Train your mind to see the good in this day.”

Gratitude should be

as natural as breathing

Inhale and Exhale

Photo by Candice Picard @candice_picard

Stay healthy, helpful, and calm, my friends!

Poetry Friday ~ The Day After

1 May

Hi, everyone! Happy 1st Day of May!

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 175, Theme Prompt. This month’s theme is: “The Day After” chosen by Elizabeth from Tea & Paper (Blog)

Photograph by Jr Korpa

The Day After

As we hike through the wounded city

We search for something live and bright

Any remnant that we once

existed in the flesh

my ghost finds nothing

except the clear

evidence

that we’re

gone.

Photgraph by Clement Falize

Brilliant scientists

experiment in lab coats

doomed us all to hell

“This is the way the world ends,

not with a bang, but a gasp.”

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but for a while now I’ve been reading about how scientists are working with microorganisms to engineer them to perform certain tasks. There’s good that could come from this, for instance, if a bacteria was to be engineered to locate and kill only cancer cells in a person’s body, leaving the healthy cells alone. If this works, other microorganisms could be used in the same way to rid the body of many diseases. Things can go horribly wrong, though. So many discoveries and inventions were made for the good of the people only to end up in the wrong hands and used for atrocities –– just ask Einstein. I know this all reads like the premise to a Sci-fi novel, but once scientists discovered how to read and map a strand of DNA they’ve been busy experimenting with things we can’t even imagine. Who knows what they’re cooking up in those labs? Like maybe a solution to the overpopulation problem no one wants to talk about. Like maybe engineer a virus that can target the old and diseased, and kill them by the thousands? That can certainly solve the overpopulation problem in the world while maintaining the young and strong safe. After all, they are the future.

Poetry Friday ~ Idea & Fancy

17 Apr

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

Colleen Chesebro from Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge picked the two synonyms for this week’s challenge. Remember, there are many ways to use these words.

Here are your two words:

Idea & Fancy

He’ll make love to the seven continents

and his offspring will rule the masses

but before then –– we surrender

to our desire to be led

the “We” campaign begins

a government scheme

Bring on the chaos

and they will

come to

me

Photo by Hudson Hintze

I have so many questions bouncing around in my mind about what’s going on in the world as it pertains to COVID– 19. I’ve been thinking a lot about the aftermath of this pandemic. What is going to happen to all the small businesses that are now closed? Will they recover? Will the school system be irrevocably affected? What changes will be made to the government?

We’re still a ways away from a vaccine, so when will isolation and social distancing end? When will people be allowed to go back to work?

How will this experience change our mindsets? Our mindsets shape our thought habits. And our thought habits affect how we think, what we feel, and what we do.

Now, we also have the Bill Gates coronavirus conspiracy theory to think about, too. I know I can’t be the only one with questions spinning out of control in my head. What are you thinking about? How do you handle the stress and anxiety that comes with all these questions?

***

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

20 Mar

Welcome, everyone! I’m thrilled to have you visit. It’s the 3rd week of the month, and that means we have a photo prompt. Colleen’s 2020 Poetry Prompt Challenge.

Padre, from Padre’s Ramblings, provided the photo for this month’s challenge.

Here’s my contribution for this week, a Butterfly Cinquain:

I Prefer a Book

tempted

by the Autumn

that labored to make it

thoughts of the soil and its duty

and the

full bellies of

grapes who hang on to vines

that twirl and reach to the heavens

s o r r y.

“Reading—the best state yet to keep absolute loneliness at bay.”

—William Styron

Photo by Tim Rebkavets @timreb9

“Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.” —Mary Schmich

I know there are many people who are self-quarantined or in mandatory isolation due to the coronavirus. Don’t despair. Grab a book, and meet some fascinating characters, walk in their shoes and take an extraordinary journey. I wish everyone a calm, safe and happy Friday and weekend.

Poetry Friday ~ Comfort & Worn

13 Mar

Welcome, everyone! Happy Friday the 13th!

I have several topics I want to address today, and it’s going to seem random. I apologize in advance.

Firstly, let’s talk about the coronavirus and COVID- 19. Unless you’ve been vacationing on the moon you’ve heard these terms before. The coronavirus has been around for a long time. It’s the same virus associated with SARS in 2003. COVID- 19 is the disease caused by the newly identified type of coronavirus that emerged in China in December 2019.

COVID- 19 symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath. Now, these symptoms are similar to the flu, and we are in flu season so if you have these symptoms call your doctor and let her know, but don’t go crazy thinking you have COVID- 19. Don’t automatically go to the ER without speaking to your doctor first because if you don’t have it the ER (emergency room) is probably a great place to catch it, and if you do have it you’ll most likely pass it on to people that are probably in a more vulnerable state than you are. Please call your doctor and act calmly.

There is no coronavirus vaccine yet. Prevention involves frequent hand-washing, coughing into the bend of your elbow and staying home when you’re sick.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has these suggestions:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds (about a round of Old McDonald had a Farm). Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects people frequently touch.

I’m not a doctor, but I’ve worked in the medical field closely with doctors for many years. There are a lot of nervous people out there acting in panic, and that only makes things worse for them, others and people in the medical field who are only trying to help. You can calm your nerves by simply keeping yourself informed and by applying the 3 Ps: Positivity, Preparedness, and don’t Panic.

Let’s stay positive, but prepared, and please don’t panic it only makes things worse for you and others.

I also wanted to mention that someone sent me a DM (direct message) on Twitter asking why I only feature certain people on my blog. First of all, I’m an equal opportunity blogger and always have been. I’m constantly volunteering to host people on my blog. If we know each other, and you want to be featured on my blog let me know. Contrary to what some people may believe I don’t own a crystal ball. If you’ve never asked me to feature you on my blog don’t bitch complain about not being featured on my blog.

Lastly, don’t allow anyone to influence your thinking or how you feel about another person. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Before you reject, turn your back on or completely disregard someone because another person told you to do so, think for yourself. Judge someone according to the way they’ve treated you and by their deeds. Make up your own mind who that person is. Don’t allow anyone to do that for you.

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge (Synonyms Only)

Here are the two words selected by Ruth Scribbles, winner from last month’s Syllables Only challenge:

COMFORT & WORN

Photograph by Aimee Vogelsang @vogelina

With painted on smile

she raises silent uproars

Once she brought you cheer

and kept you safe through the night

you happily held her tight

***

Now she’s forgotten

in a dusty li’l corner

wearing tattered clothes

recalling when a simple

hug could heal that broken soul

Photograph by Dominic Romero @domr_

Have a fun, safe and creepy Friday the 13th!

Photograph by Franck V. @franckinjapan

Poetry Friday ~ Wild Fire

10 Jan

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

Since September, 17.9 million acres of Australia have burned in one of the country’s worst fire seasons on record. That’s an area larger than West Virginia, and more than eight times the area that burned in California in 2018, the state’s most destructive year for wildfires. 

The fires have now killed at least 27 people and destroyed almost 2,000 homes. The blazes turned skies orange and made breathing the air in Sydney as bad as smoking 37 cigarettes. Those are just the impacts on people. The destruction of the country’s land and biodiversity is harder to fathom. An estimated 1 billion animals have been lost, and scientists fear long-term damage to many sensitive ecosystems. 

Though rain brought firefighters a slight reprieve Wednesday, the AP reports that hot and windy conditions that will keep the fires burning are expected to return later this week. 

It’s a disaster that’s particularly ominous: In a warming world, extreme fire events like this one will only grow more likely to occur. – Australia Fires: 7 Things Everyone Should Know About The Brushfire Disaster.

Photograph by Cris Saur @crisaur

What is happening in Australia right now is devastating. I feel terrible for the families that have lost loved ones and are suffering through this hellish brushfire disaster. The number of animals that have perished in the fire is perturbing. 1 Billion animals dead! The firefighters that are putting their lives at risk every day battling the flames are amazing. It is easy to feel helpless, especially if you live on the other side of the planet, but there are things we could do to help.

  • If you’re in Australia, Givit has a list of specific items needed by people and organizations affected by the bushfires.
  • People with emergency response training can sign up to volunteer in Queensland.
  • The World Wildlife Fund is collecting donations to restore habitats for koalas impacted by the fires.
  • You can donate to the Australian Red Cross’s fire recovery and relief fund.
  • You can also donate directly to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, the Country Fire Service Foundation in South Australia, and the Country Fire Authority in Victoria.
Photograph by Mark Galer @markgaler

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 159, #Poet’sChoice

I chose to share this beautiful and heart-wrenching poem by Philip Salom dedicated to the men and women who fight these fires. Below is part one of the poem. You can read the rest of it here.

Bushfire

As if going into battle, the knapsack 
full on my shoulders, its pipe and nozzle
slung up like a rifle.
We fought along the river, seeing shrubs
explode, riddled with fire,
eerie sounds of trees shrieking
like things alive, feral, flames like faces
spilling down into the ferns.
We staggered, sick with the hammering heat,
dousing endless flames that slammed at us
like nightmares, sullen ghosts
groping at our limbs. We plunged
into that day's red thunder,
subsumed like suiciders who stare into
the rifle, gulp the flame. Individuals
meandering in something huge.
We choked in smoking semi-darkness,
shadows through the lead-coloured
air of limbo.

Now the aching blistering weight
of the knapsack pulling my shoulders.
Exhaustion worries the scorched end
of some unity: thought and action
fused into one. Sagging now,
heavier than the slopping drums
behind the tractors coming in.
We see the new men walking in
and seem to meet our earlier selves
but are more certain and more tired.
I, older than my youth, seeing these men
as if they were children.
Photograph by Liam Pozz @liampozz

Enjoy the rest of your day!