Of Trees and Song

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Thanks to Michael Bryant @purplesulfurstudio for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/g6Pir20bEo0

Today’s prompt honors one of my favorites, Mary Oliver. I was challenged to write a poem based on the natural world: it could be about a particular plant, animal, or a particular landscape. I needed to try to incorporate specific details while also stating why I found the chosen place or plant/animal meaningful.

Remembering our lovely day spent among the redwoods, I wrote about them because I will never forget the size of the trees, the wonder walking among them, the nail-biting drive up and down and around hairpin turns, and the stunning beauty brought with the rounding of the bends in the road.

of trees and song

sprawling, mossy overgrowth
living velvet green
reaching, knobby redwoods
house romantic clandestine

whispering, spider and fly
meet in secretive coves
praying, tranquility
hinged on majestic groves

breathing, peace settles
as songbird melodies rise
laughing, i throw my head back
and join the chorus reprise.

—by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Oh How I Love Mary!

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A few things have “prompted” me writing this poem. First of all is the Mary Oliver book I picked up on Amazon.

Flipping through the book I found this amazing little poetry form used by Marianne Moore. The word syllables shape the form—five lines in each stanza with a rhyme scheme of aabbc. Each line has a set number of syllables, and the order goes like this:

1
3
9
6
8

This unique syllable pattern repeats for each new stanza.

And so I began.

Five different false starts later, I settled on “things”. Between cleaning my closet out while watching hoarders, and trying to get everything organized in the house before Tracy’s spine surgery, the topic seemed a natural one.

Why and how does junk continue to collect? Why is paper the bane of my existence?

I don’t know the answers, but I know that this poem is a good reminder to focus on what really matters. Investing in relationships is way better than investing in Amazon.

what really matters

things
take up wings
and fly into the tiny recesses
of our lives, she guesses.
now the tempest rising becomes

our
tasting sour
and bitter with each acquisition;
caused by our own fission—
multiplying all kinds of junk.

stop.
don’t buy. drop
your wallet and spend your time with
people, not on the myth
that buying things brings happiness.

—Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan



Minimalism. What’s your take on it?

NaPoWriMo2021 Day 12

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Valens Flavius on a Roman Gold Coin

The prompt was called “Past and Future.” This prompt challenged me to write a poem using at least one word/concept/idea from each of two specialty dictionaries: Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction.

I learned some interesting history and some lessons for the present day. Hopefully you will, too.

Time to Pay Attention

Valens should have heeded
the advice of the wise Mary Oliver:
He should have paid attention.

The Goths of old deserved
no lenity; they were as savage
and insidious as the Imperial army.

Marching behind a facade
of obsequiousness, they
bewildered and bewitched.

It was Valens who encouraged
them to make depredations
on the good people of Thrace—

to appease them in some way. So
perhaps he deserved what happened.
Alas, his eyes were opened—

too late. His men tried to hide him,
but Valens’ cave was found.
The Dirty Goths burned him alive.

The Force no longer covered
the likes of Valens; though fierce,
he was no longer impenetrable.

He should have listened
to wise Mary’s instructions
on living a life.

He should have paid attention.

-a draft poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Share the love, write a poem, appreciate a good friend. Each moment is a new beginning.

Peace  NaPoWriMo 2016 Day Twenty-Five

Today’s prompt was to write a poem that begins with a line from a another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then goes elsewhere with it. Any poem will do to provide your starter line. Of course I chose a line from Mary Oliver’s newest work, Blue Horses.

Peace of God

Maybe the desire to make something beautiful is the piece of God that is inside each of us.

Maybe it is exactly the piece of God within us that longs for peace.

Maybe the peace that we long for is the divine sense of order trying to organize the chaos.

Maybe the chaos surrounding us is exactly what creates the desire for beauty.

Maybe I  could be wrong but what of the chaos beyond explanation?What of bigotry and hatred?What of war and injustice?

Maybe as we connect with our piece of God to create beauty, maybe in that space is where we find peace.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day Ten

#NaPoWriMo 2016 Day Ten

The prompt today was easier since yesterday’s was so hard and required so much vulnerability and bravery. Today’s challenge was to write a “book spine” poem. This involved me taking a look at my kindle “bookshelf” and writing down titles in order (or rearranging the titles) to create a poem. I used the book titles in their original form. Can you count all the books? How many of them have you read?

If you’ve never tried writing poetry, today would be a great day to give it a go with this prompt. It was just plain old fun. I absolutely loved it! Post yours in the comments below please.

bookshelf

tattoos on the heart
bring a kind of just mercy to life–
a fine balance of purple hibiscus, yellow crocus and a wilder rose.
one thousand gifts
rising strong–
a pavilion of women the same kind of different as me.
pastrix,
resilient pilgrim–
release your sacred cows and
ride your blue horses.
at the corner of east and now,
i’ll sing you home.

Day #8

National Poetry Month: Day #8

Today’s poetry writing prompt was to rewrite a famous poem, giving it my own spin. Any famous poem would do. One of my favorite poets is Mary Oliver so I chose her morning poem which you can read here. This is my twist on it.

Evening Poem

Every evening
the world
awakens.
Under the blueblack

sky of twilight
the silent
stirrings of creatures
rousing from slumber

and stretching wing and leg
to welcome the stars begin–
and hunters
like ninjas, like silent
and dangerous

warriors suddenly appear.
If it is your fortune
to be peaceful you
will pass quietly under the moon

for hours, your quick
wits and keen eye watching everywhere.
And if your soul
lies tender within

your body
and feels fully the dangers —
if it’s all you can do
to stave the rising fear —

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a child crying to feel safe
and protected and loved–

each coo of a creature
caring for its young
is a song sung and answered
richly,
every evening,

whether or not
you have ever dared
to venture into darkness,
whether or not
you have ever hoped
to be cherished.