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Poetry Friday ~ The Merchant of Venice

29 May

Hi, everyone! It’s the fourth week of the month, which means, we get a Theme Prompt! Merril D. Smith, the winner from last month’s challenge selected a quote from Shakespeare’s A Merchant of Venice as this month’s theme. Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge

This week’s theme is:

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

After each good deed

no parade or accolades

Take a step higher

on heaven’s ladder until

you have reached St. Peter’s gate

I read The Merchant of Venice in high school, and I remember having mixed feelings about it. The Jewish loan shark (okay, moneylender) Shylock horrifed me with his request for a pound of flesh as payment for a loan.

Here’s a rough and short summary of the story: A man named Antonio owned a fleet of merchant ships. One day, a gold-digging friend of his, Bassanio asked him for a loan so that he could pursue a rich woman named Portia. But Antonio’s ships had not come in with his merchandise yet, so he had no money to lend him. Instead, Antonio tells his friend to ask Shylock for the loan promising that he’d pay it back once his ships return. When Bassanio asked Shylock for the loan, instead of charging extremely high rates of interest, as he usually did, the moneylender asked that a pound of Antonio’s flesh be the payment if the loan was not paid within three months.

Three months went by, and Antonio’s ships had not returned. He was told that they were lost at sea. It was time to repay the loan, but Antonio was broke. Shylock had him arrested and demanded his pound of flesh. Bassanio, now married to the heiress Portia, offered her money to pay the loan. However, Shylock held a grudge against Antonio because he considered him competition in the loan business and an anti-Semite (which he was). Shylock insisted he must be allowed to extract a pound of flesh from Antonio as per their contract.

Long story short (too late), Portia, (Bassanio’s rich wife) dressed as a lawyer (?) managed to safe Antonio’s life. She won the case against Shylock by stating that there was no mention of blood in the contract. Therefore, if he could extract a pound of flesh from Antonio without spilling any of his blood he could go ahead and do so, but if he spilled one drop of his blood he would go to jail. Of course, Shylock knew it would be impossible to cut out a pound of flesh from a man without an enormous amount of blood shed.

In the end, Shylock lost his daughter and part of his wealth to another of Antonio’s friends, and was forced to become a Christian (antisemitism). Antonio’s ships came in afterall, and he and his friends lived happily ever after with their spouses. At times, I viewed Shylock as a villain and other times as a victim. Nevertheless, The Merchant of Venice is a story worth reading.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a fabulous day!

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

22 May
Photograph by Balaji Malliswamy

Hi, everyone!

Every 3rd week of the month it’s Photo Prompt time at Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge. I won the last photo prompt challenge so I had the privilege of choosing this week’s photo. I chose this intriguing and somewhat scary nature photo by Balaji Malliswamy.

Colleen’s words:

Remember, a photo can be a metaphor for your poetry. Think about the mood, the theme, and the color. Think outside of the box. We know there’s a crocodile, but what else is going on here? What do you smell? What do you hear? There’s more here than meets your eye. Surprise me!

There are many movies and books that depict crocodiles as monsters, but they’re simply animals trying to survive in the wild. Here are a few fun crocodile facts:

  • Crocodiles are reptiles.
  • The physical characteristics of crocodiles make them good predators.
  • Crocodiles are fast over short distances.
  • Crocodiles have the strongest bite of any animal in the world.
  • The muscles that open crocodiles jaws however are not so powerful, reasonably strong people could hold a crocodiles jaw closed with their bare hands.
  • Like other reptiles, crocodiles are cold-blooded.
  • Crocodiles can survive for a long time without food.
  • Most crocodiles live in fresh water rivers and lakes but some live in salt water.
  • Crocodiles eat a variety of fish, birds and other animals.
  • Crocodiles release heat through their mouths rather than through sweat glands.
  • The saltwater crocodile is the largest species of crocodile.
  • Some crocodile species can weigh over 1200 kg (2600 lb).

My poem today is about the most dangerous predator on the planet, man.

“I am an evil man. I do not love anyone. I wish harm to everyone and good to myself. I am an egoist. I am not God. I am a beast, a predator.”  

From The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky

*

The Stalker

The silent stalker

camps outside your home and waits

Followed you all day

He claims to add balance to

your soul ’cause he’s seen your horns

Photo by Viktor Mogilat

I hope you liked the post! Let me know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy the rest of the day!

Poetry Friday ~ Transition & Harmony

15 May

Hi, everyone!

Kerfe from K. Lines That Aim To Be (Blog) chose this week’s words for Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge. We can’t use the exact words. Instead, we must find synonyms to use in their place.

Transition & Harmony

Poetry Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-author-poem-the writer next door-Vashti Q-Tanka
Photo by Tim Marshall

Together

The world is changing

Look at the shape we are in!

Must we all adapt?

Every fight is a chance

Real gain does not come easy

Photo by Hidde Rensink

My editor informed me this morning that I’ll be getting my manuscript back this afternoon. Yay! I’m happy, excited and a little nervous. Even though she’s kept in touch sending updates every Friday, and had always said she hadn’t encountered anything mayor to correct I still can’t help feeling the jitters – that’s just me. Well, this means I will be quite busy this weekend. I can’t wait for you guys to see and hopefully read this book. It’s been the most fun to write so far, and I’m beyond excited about it.

I hope everyone is safe and healthy. Enjoy this day and the weekend, and don’t forget to count your blessings!

photo by Shane Rounce

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 ~ A Photo Prompt

24 Apr

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 174 Photo Prompt

Jude, from Tales Told Different, selected the photo for this month’s challenge.

Hello! I hope everyone is safe, healthy and having a fabulous day so far.

THE GOOD WITCH

Once upon a time they used to burn us

Because in our gaze there is a snare

And we dance beneath the glitter

of a starry night, singing

We float with subtle grace

over Mother Earth

drawing circles

in the air

to end

plagues

I hope you enjoyed my Etheree. When I saw the prompt picture I immediately thought of a witch. The kind that knows what to do with herbs outside the kitchen. ;D

A quick update: The 3rd installment of my Fantasy Angels Series is still with my editor (she works on several manuscripts at a time). I can’t wait to get it back. In the meantime, I’ve had an idea for a crime thriller gnawing at my brain for quite some time, so I’ve started on that. I’ve written a loose outline, some character arcs and began my first draft a couple of days ago. I’m excited about it so I’m writing as much as possible while the juices are flowing.

Keep an eye out for a contest involving this book (Coming Soon).

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 ~ Cinquain

3 Apr

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog.

March is the first month to feature five Tuesdays. So, Colleen Chesebro from Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge would like us to work with a specific syllabic poetry form.

This week’s form is:

The Cinquain & It’s Variations, (excluding the Tanka).

My contribution this week are a grouping of Reverse Cinquains:

Photo by Fred Pixlab
Listen
to the pounding of my heartbeat
it can better tell you
of my longing
for you
***
My love
I dream of you even when you
are sleeping by my side
and I miss you
always
***
We fought
harsh words tumbled from salty lips
fists balled like angry stones
sorrow lingered
I bled
***
I spoke
your name and cringed at its sour taste
it was all a dream that
ends in nothing
I woke


Sometimes relationships end badly, and all you can do is learn from your mistakes and move on. Some people argue as if it’s the last time they’re going to see the person they’re arguing with and so they say the nastiest things. Once you’ve crossed that line there’s no turning back. An argument doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship. This applies to disputes between friends, co-workers, siblings . . . We all have disagreements, but there’s no need to leave mental scars. There is a right way to argue. If more couples argued the right way there wouldn’t be so many break-ups. We can choose our words carefully because they are powerful, and if used to cause maximum damage things will end badly. Check out this article from Psychology Today. 10 Tips to Having Arguments the Right Way

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

~Maya Angelou

Photo by cloudvisual.co.uk

I appreciate your visit! Stay safe!

Poetry Friday ~ The Night Sky

27 Mar

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

Photo by Mark Basarab

It’s the fourth week of the month – time for a Theme Prompt! Last month, Colleen Chesebro from Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge selected Sally Cronin to pick this month’s theme:

The Night Sky

I am the night sky

you are the feverish stars

that fill up my soul

You are the night sky

I am the stars you embrace

only to help me

shimmer all the more brighter

you hold me close until dawn

Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a safe and happy Friday!

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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.