Sunday, May 31, 2020

Writers' Pantry #22: Onward, June

Josh Hild, Downtown, Unsplash
“Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly.”― Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

Greetings everyone! Hope you are safe and well! This is Sanaa and I am back with another exciting Writers' Pantry this Sunday.

It's unbearably hot these days in South Asia with temperatures ranging from 32 to 40 degrees celsius and humidity from 74 to 91 percent. The scent of sweet rain and dark grasses is welcome every now and then as we head towards June. With everything that's happening around the world, I cling onto every little shred of beauty and hope that I can find. 

I remember last week during a conversation with a friend, the look on her face and the sigh that accompanied was one of softly deflating; it felt as though despair had lifted but left her with melancholia instead of relief. Let's talk about perspectives, shall we? So far, for every person I see, I study the eyes. I look for signs of strength or incoming weakness that threatens to plague. The sun was bright and early, its rays spreading across the sky signaled perhaps the beginning of a new chapter. But for her, the sunrise had lost its charm, the rain its steady drumming and solace. And it occurred to me that she had given up! 

I know things look bad. Terrifying even. Especially in the US and other places worldwide. But we mustn't lose hope. This is the time for us to stick together. The energy that we put out into the world matters a whole lot. So, let us write away! Who knows? As Christopher Reeve wisely stated: "Once you choose hope, anything's possible."

Announcements and Reminders:

The topic for next Weekly Scribblings is "It takes a bit of Discipline." Rommy confides in us and says that she has found herself in a position where she needs to be a little more disciplined when it comes to food in order to address some health issues, which aren't overly serious but she feels it's best to make temporary changes before she has to make permanent ones. And so, for this prompt, she would like us to shape our ideas around the idea of discipline.

Rosemary delighted us with "Wild Fridays #21: Thought Provokers," where she features Elevensies by Kerri Shying! Do scroll back and check it out in case you have missed it! This one is an absolute treat!

Remember, you have one whole week to participate in prompts now. Just keep in mind that some people may have moved on to their next project after a couple of days, so entries posted later might not receive many visitors.

For now, I invite you to share your entry as Poets and Storytellers United welcomes both poetry and prose (i.e. stories, articles, essays) feel free to link anything old or new and relish in the work of others. Also, if you opt to share prose then please keep it to 369 words or fewer.
Pierre Bamin, Unsplash

And now, without further ado, let us dive into the Pantry! Looking forward to grabbing a cup of tea and reading you all! See you on the trail! 💘

Friday, May 29, 2020

Wild Fridays #21: Thought Provokers

Elevensies by Kerri Shying 

I'm labelling these as thought-provoking for the form rather than the content. (Which doesn’t mean that they don’t invite thinking about what they say!) It's a new form, which I thought might interest you as much as it does me.

there’s you    reminder of a past   run back
on ghost feet    too wild
in longing   for far
spaces    hung and drawn now
dried as salt eel

stiff as the wind off the sea

you still able    to prick
the water out of eyes
as dry of love    as the linen
worn thin    hung warm
out on the line

from Elevensies (Newcastle, Puncher & Wattman, Slow Loris series, 2018.)
This can be bought directly from the author (email: kezshying at gmail dot com).

Sunday    I learned about potatoes
hidden   dirty   grown in tyres
winter  fruit  of blazing sunshine under
withered tops   gathering the handfuls  I’m
childish with delight   would the

                                         garden of Eden have been a different story

If Eve had offered Adam the potato
sat roasting  round the fire
skin cloaks pulled tight for warmth
heavy bellied  after carbs   curling up
for sleep   spuds born innocent and free

from Knitting Mangrove Roots (Macau, China and Markwell, Australia: Flying Island Books, ASM, and Cerberus Press, 2019. Pocket Poets series). 

Kerri Shying, an Australian poet of Chinese and Wiradjuri family, is the creator of this form. The blurb of Knitting Mangrove Roots says "The elevensies form was invented spontaneously in conversation between Kerri and Kit Kelen" (Australian poet and visual artist, formerly Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Macau) "who noticed that this was how things were tending for her, and that an eleven liner could become a respectable form in its own right: a form any poet might attempt. Five lines either side and the middle line’s the title, that’s all there is to it."

In each of these books, the titles in the contents page act like another poem. (And yes, the pivot lines / titles are displayed differently in each book, as shown above. It's merely a typographical difference, but I thought it would be interesting to show you both  possibilities. Visual presentation matters too.)

I recently heard Kerri read some of her elevensies at a session of the local Poets Out Loud poetry readings – currently presented on Zoom, which means we can get to hear poets like Kerri, who lives a long way from here (in Newcastle, near Sydney). I fell in love with the form and hastened to buy these books, which had me love it all the more.

As she is eager for other poets to give it a try, I did. (See here and here.) And I encourage you to do so too. (They could be your offerings for the next Writers' Pantry.)

Here are two more from Knitting Mangrove Roots – contrasting pieces, equally satisfying.

sex is for the poor   amid the rubble
of their earthquakes   fleeing from
the death squads   one last shot at
heaven   off-chance   tomorrow  comes
substitute consumption   with

                                                             life's untaxed little luxury

so far away   my memory   of morning
you woke me  flew us both  to Paris
walked me   on a whim   hand in soft-skin
hand   the blue-stone cobbles   made love
in gold sunlight   saw  colour    anew

sex is for the rich   the taking
to places of woo  the beds
strewn  like sets  with rumple
impoverista  cry for sleep
a pillow   partner silent

                                                  lacking snores the recipe for love 

you made me a cuppa  before
you went to work  it was
with one sugar  I didn't mind
maybe I needed    one
big day   on the plate   so sweet


 Post Script 

Magaly recently mentioned the new book, Riders of the Tempest, by our frequent contributor H. Hennenburg, so I grabbed a free copy from Kobo. (It's still available free there, and from Kindle and iBooks.) What a thrill to see that she has included us in her Acknowledgments. 

Thanks, Heather; lovely to be appreciated. You're awesome!

Everybody, this acknowledgment is for all of us. Please take a bow and/or give yourself a pat on the back, knowing that by participating here, and turning up to read others' writings and leave comments, it is you who build this community. We all have a part in developing not only our own writing but each other's too. You're all awesome!

Material shared here is presented for study and review. Poems, photos, and other writings and images remain the property of the copyright owners, usually the authors.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Weekly Scribblings #21: Anagrams

Greetings, poets and storytellers. I hope this week is being good to you. I’ve been a tad sickly, but things will get better (they always do, don’t they?). Speaking of better things… the other day, a friend sent me a copy of Craig Santos Perez’s “Ars Pasifika”:
when the tide
of silence
say “ocean”
then with the paddle
of your tongue
the letters to form
I enjoyed the clever use of anagrams. So, for today’s prompt, I invite you to write new poetry or prose using anagramsa word, phrase, or sentence formed from another by rearranging its letters. Looking for inspiring pairs, trios? Visit the following links:

By the way, am I the only one who read Lolita about a gazillion times without ever noticing that Vivian Darkbloom is an anagram for Vladimir Nabokov? 🙄

Add the direct link to your poetry or prose to Mr. Linky. One entry per participant. If you choose prose, please keep the count to 369 words or fewer. This prompt shall remain open for a week, so we have all sorts of time to delight on each other’s words.


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Writers' Pantry #21 - Change of Plans

Hello word artists and admirers! If things had gone the way I had planned they would, I'd be on vacation with my husband, probably enjoying a foodie adventure or two in honor of our 25th anniversary. But of course Covid-19 happened so we had to switch our expectations around a little. 

Fortunately my husband's DYI foodie adventure game is on point (he's kind of a magician when it comes to playing around with food) and even though we can't enjoy travelling together, we're enjoying staying at home, taking walks and playing video games with each other. Although my plans have changed, I'm glad I still get to spend my time with him. How have you adapted to changes in plans?

An AMV made from one of our favorite TV shows and one of our favorite bands

Announcements and Reminders
  • Rosemary treats us to words we might have missed from our fellow writers in her latest Wild Fridays post.
  • For our next Weekly Scribblings, Magaly invites everyone to write new poetry or prose using anagrams—a word, phrase, or sentence formed from another by rearranging its letters. For example, “skin” is an anagram of “inks”. You can find more examples HERE and HERE
My plan for Sunday remains the same--invite you to share your words, poetry or prose, new or old, fiction or non-fiction in this week's pantry. Remember, one post per person and if you choose to play with prose, please keep it to 369 words or fewer. The pantry is open for seven days. Enjoy!