Friday, May 31, 2024

Friday Writings #129: What Do You Hear?


Hello again, dear Word Weavers. 

I trust you're all well and happy. Now – listen up! 

Going  through my old files recently, I came across the following poem of mine, which then inspired this week’s prompt:

is nonexistent.  Deep night
contains the crackling fire
the pop of swelling boards
my dog’s breathing.
Sometimes a frog
or a choir of crickets.
The fridge creaks and whirrs.
Listen deeper, and hear
the hum of the air-waves
outside, not quite subliminal;
a message we ignore.
And the pump of my heart
excited, loud in my ears.
Silence is the condition
of being still enough
to hear all we never hear,
to hear all the small
important sounds that break
the silence. If there were
© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 1989
First published Yarra Valley Writers.
Also in my collection, Secret Leopard (now only available as an ebook from Smashwords).

So, for your optional prompt this time, I invite you to explore the question, 'What do I hear?' You may definitely include what you do not hear! Other possibilities include what sounds (human or non-human) you hear around you, what you hear on the news or in the street, what your heart tells you, what messages the past may have, and so on.

Guidelines: One post per person; poetry or prose, old or new; not exceeding 369 words (apart from title); add that post on Mister Linky below; when possible, please read other people's posts and leave an encouraging comment. And of course you are free to ignore the prompt if you like, and give us some other treat from your pen!

Next week, Magaly will invite us to write poetry or prose inspired by a quote from the last book we read. And she wants us to share the actual quote and book title at end of the post (because she’s an interesting quote hoarder).



This photo of an attentively listening cat is by Zane Lee on Unsplash 


Friday, May 24, 2024

Friday Writings #128: Itty Bity


Hello, Word Artists and Admirers! I've been practicing a seasonal form of tea that uses extra small equipment that fits into a little box, so my mind has been on all things wee. For this week's optional prompt I invite you to write about something small (like a raindrop, a ladybug... or a lie). I'll take poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction. Just remember, one entry per person and keep them to 369 words or fewer.

Next week, Rosemary will invite us to explore the question, "What do I hear?"

Friday, May 17, 2024

Friday Writings #127: All I want is…

Greetings, my dear poets and storytellers. How is life in your bit of the universe? Have you written or read or listened to something that added to your life? Or, perhaps, like me, you just listened to a song (or most of a song) that left you frustrated. I know how specific that sounds, but… I’m blaming it all on torn back muscles, an MRI that took forever, and terrible sound. I usually ask MRI technicians to turn off the music, but I was distracted by pain and totally forgot. To add to the general misery, the headphones weren’t working properly, and I was left only hearing random words and partial phrases. One of which inspired today’s optional prompt.  

So, I invite you to write poetry or prose which includes the phrase all I want is. Since I might never know what the person in the song wanted then, I shall satisfy my curiosity by reading what you and your muse want now.  

Required: Add the direct link to your response to Mister Linky. One post per participant, please, 369 words maximum (excluding title), for prose and for poetry.

Optional: You may share old or new pieces of poetry or prose, and you may write to the prompt or to a topic of your choosing.

Requested (not compulsory but strongly recommended): Visit other poets and storytellers. Read their contributions. Share your thoughts on their words.

for next week, Rommy will be asking us to write about something small (a raindrop, a ladybug, a lie, etc.).

Friday, May 10, 2024

Friday Writings #126: Textu


 Greetings, dear Word Weavers –

Do you all love it as much as I do when you find a form that’s new to you?

I’m currently excited about textu, a form perhaps invented and certainly publicised by Palestinian-American poet Fady Joudah, who has a whole book of them, titled simply Textu. (Available on Amazon, where you can read a sample first if you’re not sure you want to buy it.) The only rule of a textu is that it must consist of exactly 160 characters, including title and spaces – the same as a text message.

[Autocorrect just rendered that as ‘160 chatracters.’ Not exactly wrong!]


OK, messages between iPhones are not limited to 160 characters, and on other phones messages the go over this number are now sent as two consecutive messages; but the 160 limit is still described as ‘traditional.’ (How can anything so recent as mobile phones – or cell phones, if that’s your word – have a tradition??? Ah, perhaps I'm showing my great age! Never mind, 160 it is.)

I’ve been having a play with textu, and find they need no other rules. That one constraint is enough to force some very interesting and satisfying results.

I’m allowed to post one of Fady Joudah’s for purposes of study. I like this one:

Travelling Light

Distance dissolves as distance
place as place

In you I’m near & far
& I in me is what you are

but near myself I’m not
myself so just how far

Sometimes he has written a poem in two parts (two verses) totalling two lots of 160 characters. A few pieces are several verses long. I am reminded of Samuel Peralta, whom some of you know. Back when many of us were writing poetweets of no more than 140 characters, Sam sometimes posted whole poems as successive tweets. 

I originally thought I invented tweetpoems, as I called my first efforts, only to discover soon afterwards that other people had the same idea and someone had coined the even better name. That’s why I’m not sure whether to give Fady Joudah full credit for inventing textu: he might not be the only one. I don’t know that he claims to have invented the form or the name, anyway, though I imagine he probably arrived at it for himself.

It’s an excellent name, reminiscent of that other very short form, haiku. Also, 'textU' is the name for Android’s private messaging service. I like the idea of a poem being a private personal message to the individual reader!

So the optional prompt for this week is to write a poem – or, if you prefer, a very short piece of prose – as a textu of exactly 160 characters including title and spaces. You may choose to give us several in the one post, either as verses (or paragraphs) of one piece, or as separate pieces. If you do give us more than one, please include them all in one post and make sure the whole doesn’t exceed our 369-word limit.

The usual guidelines: 

One post per person; link to it in the Mister Linky box below. [Autocorrect gave me ‘Mister Kinky’ – yes, truly. I was tempted to leave it, just for fun!]

Word limit 369, excluding title and notes.

We accept poetry or prose, new or old, on prompt or off.

Please, when possible, read others’ posts and leave encouraging comments.

Most importantly, have fun!

P.S. I'm participating in a poetry slam this Saturday afternoon, so please excuse me if I don't get around the traps to read your textu (or other writings) straight away – I'll either be rehearsing or performing.

Next week, our inspirational Magaly will inspire us by inviting us to write poetry or prose which includes the phrase “all I want is”.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Friday Writings #125: Favorite Words


Hello, Word Artists and Admirers! I recently finished re-reading Wee Free Men. While there are many fun and wonderfully memorable bits in that book, this time around I took special delight in Tiffany Aching's little quirks, like her love of the word "susurrus". When I was younger, my favorite word was "flamboyant" and I remember loving to look at things to decide if they were truly flamboyant or not. (Admittedly my standards were low. As I recall, plain red umbrellas qualified, just so I could have the chance to use the word).

It's not just me and Tiffany. A lot of people have favorite words.

So for this week's optional prompt, I shall ask you to think of one of your favorite words and use that as inspiration for a poetry or prose piece. Please also indicate somewhere in your post which word you chose to work with. As always, I'm open to fiction and non-fiction. Just please keep your words to 369 or fewer, and one entry per person.

Next week, Rosemary will ask us to write a poem or story (or a few) in only 160 characters including title and spaces. (If you choose to write more than one, please put them all in one post and make sure that collectively they don't exceed our 369 word limit.)