Lynda G Smith's E-Mail Address: gaelyn2001@sympatico.ca
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Still breathing, writing, painting, fiddlin' and riding my tractor. Still in the dark sky country studying cosmology and astronomy and still marvelling at natures wonders. As an artist, I learned to express who I am and what is important to me through a tactile media. As a poet, I am learning to express myself through a search of self, metaphorically, painting with words. So much to learn, and so many greats to knead with the fingertips of our mind. Some of my favourites are Pablo Neruda, Emily Dickenson, Seamus Heaney, Robert Priest, Neile Graham and so many others. It's good to be back here. I 've been on intermittently since 2000/2001. A special thanks to all who take the time to critique. It's what I love about this site! Lynda

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Displaying Critiques 1 to 37 out of 37 Total Critiques.

Poem TitlePoet NameCritique Given by Lynda G SmithCritique Date
In SummaryDellena RovitoI very much like the triplet treatment of your poem Dellena. Like life which has a beginning a middle and an end, you have explored the timeline with a dignified treatment of your theme.The sounds and rhymes are important and yet subtle. I also enjoyed the contrast of ending to each stanza, making them a focal point. I have always been consumed by time and its passage. So the theme hits home for me. You show your active participation in your depth of understanding - you are not simply an observer as some people are.The fact that it is an ongoing process lives in the verb tenses. Very well thought out. I will come back to this. Lynda2008-07-31 12:05:55
Blood Melts Like IceDeniMari Z.This is stark raw emotion, delivered in stark precise words. The brevity of the lines speaks to the pain - short breaths required. The solitary state of 'I Do Not Care'... is very striking. But you are too nice for this poem... I would not have ended it with 'Your love I'll always save'. Somehow I believe the strength you showed in the rest of the poem should be shouted in the last line. You are a brave woman to have seen this through! Both you and your poem deserve a powerful denouement! Be a David to the Goliath of this pain. You deserve nothing less. Leave your readers cheering!! in admiration Lynda2008-07-30 20:41:53
BackgroundRegis L ChapmanAn intense driving poem rich with internal rhymes at a breakneck pace that leaves you breathless at the end of its reading... rather like life, it it is honestly and truly lived. I was also fascinated by how you structured the poem, visually rising to a crescendo and then returning to the same word group, consolidating your theme, the pulse of the poem and the lyric quality to the verse. Your metaphor that binds to all of the natural elements stays true to the end - a fitting treatment for this metaphysical writing. I particularly like the image of 'the ants and roots which consume our sheaths returning'. Dust unto dust, but love simply 'is'. Thoroughly enjoyed it Regis.2008-07-30 16:27:37
Light Behind CloudsRegis L ChapmanRegis, this is so lovely, this sharing of the love between two. You are right, your love will be sustained with this one, in your heart and mind, as something that was right and good between you. I wish you continued healing for it is always hardest for those left behind, and I know that if you continue to write poems as poignant and touching as this, it will come about. It reads with a gentle flow, a rhythm couched with rhyme in places that is unforced and natural. The startling juxtaposition of stars by day and sun by night as your memories bear you up, make us realize just how strong this love is. I like to think that when we live with someone, we breathe in the motes of their body and in a curious way they become part of our physical being. Yes you are one, right down to the molecules of your being. She is still with you. Lynda2008-07-28 13:21:14
Straining IntensityJames C. HorakMemory is such a powerful instrument - whether it is all that we have linking us to some vibrant moment, or a sometimes wooly filament that wraps around the past wound for our mental use at some later time, to knit into a metaphysical reality that will warm us on a cold winter's night. There is a poignancy that embraces a past in these words, but it is very much a private past, one this romantic heart is reading as warm, in contrast to the the brittle frost of times passage. The wonder of this is that while these moments connect us to our past, they can also give us glimpses of our future, our possibilities, all of the inevitable threads that will continue with or without us. 'So well moved the fast catch of dreaming memory...from one of memory's flames to the other' -a sublime testament to the fabric of a life. 2008-07-27 09:08:59
NEW BURLINGTONJames C. HorakJames: I keep coming back to this piece, like a beautiful morsel of leather to be suppled between the teeth before it can become what it was meant to be in your mind and heart. I ache to stumble around in your frame of reference for just a bit. It's only right that in a dreamless and sleepless night, I look again at its heart. There is Life and Art here in a Robert Rauschenberg-like tug-o-war. Jim's poetry took us to that level of becoming aware... the challenge to open the doors between what is known and what is unknown. I think Neitzche would have loved to read Jim's work too. Of such stuff are dreams made...and the odd song. I love how this feels on my tongue, how the words surround the ideas and the possibilities. It's almost dawn... I better try to get some sleep before I waste it. This is more a read response than a critique. I can't pretend to what I do not know. Just wanted to let you know that this was important to me. 2008-07-26 03:48:50
Bluemarilyn terwillegerThere is so much honour in this waltz of words. Being an artist, I am somehow genetically bound to Van Gogh's Starry Night with it dance of blue and gold rythyms. You too are an impressionist. With words you have painted a canvas of memory, and you have enfolded the words with a quiet passion running the colour throughout the poem, your theme consistent to the end. It is clean and a delight for the tongue to read. I confess that 'hues'-2nd line gives me pause, but it's a small thing and probably personal. A delight as I said! "knee deep in Vincent's sky' would have given him so much pleasure and amazement.-Almost as much as me. 2008-07-16 22:37:04
Wanderingmarilyn terwillegerHi Marilyn, It was hard for me to decide which poem to speak to first. It must be my seaborn soul for the rythyms of this verse took me to the shore, waking my own memories of quiet times. I've always admired your use of metaphor and imagery: the colours, the sounds, the smells, the suspension of time in words like 'drugged, dally, and calm' and 'slide, linger and wane'. A hypnotic cadence. Even the visual presentation of the lines as they swell and recede echo the lapping of waves whether of water, shadows, or memories. It is a stay for peace and reflection and one I enjoyed very much.2008-07-16 15:56:17
Alignment CuesLatorial D. Faison Latorial, The simplicity of the beginning caught my attention right away. I read through this work and I was blown away with its power, its strength...I know THAT silence! A silence that is so deafening, that it blocks out thoughts and hopes and dreams and yes even memories of good sex. What has caused this ringing... something so loud in your head or your soul that it resonates within pushing you to the edge of a precipice....This noise of silence places some kind of audio blinders on your being but you tear them off, refusing to go quietly... The audio blinders have not affected your mental acuity and your own sanity is not endangered here, simply we see the power of clear thinking and the courage to meet what comes before you. They call it crazy.... You have given them your limits... whoever they are... no matter what they say.. You recognize the dangers, but also your own strengths and your own passions. I appreciate the terse brevity of the phrasing, the simplicity of the words. They work here as an explored thesaurus would not. congratulations... a wonderful work. Lynda 2005-03-12 22:12:38
Pepe LePewKenneth R. PattonMay the dance begin Kenneth... this is a poem about self discovery and acknowledgment. I have always had a fond place in my heart for the inner skunk, especially one so readilly recognizable. I like your use of personification. The romantic within is perhaps something you are a tad uncomfortable letting out.... so he murmurs from within the words every love wants to hear. I like the breathiness of your three line stanzas. The polish of what lies hidden... the jewel buried deep within... the diamond in the rough...ruff...*smle. the contrast you use between the first two verses points to our dreams versus our realities. The smooth soft sounds of the first, the hard edged words of the second. Perhaps there is simply needed a key to let out your inner skunk. I don't think he's as smelly as you might think, especially if he can switch to spanish... Si puedes hablar en esto idioma hermosa, escucheme... no abandones ahora que estás casi al final.... and flowers ... only the merchant applies a price... to a woman they are priceless whether an orchid or a humble daisy. Then a cry redolent of the anguish that one feels in moments of inadequacy. He sobs helplessly.... this inner skunk who resides in your soul ... the fact that you name him , says you are not unwilling to acknowledge him or give over completely to his power. You have control expressed in these observations... sometimes we need to let go. You are looking inward critically to see what is not there as opposed to what is.... kenneth, enjoy your exploration... for with insights like these to share, a woman can well overlook a man who is not Fred Astaire... Lynda My Inner Skunk speaks French Mon Cherie, Ma Jolie, he murmurs Je t'aime, Je t'aime While I outwardly guffaw And make some Crude remark Mi Amore, Mi Corazone He switches smoothly To Spanish  While I hand you A 99 cent rose And he sobs helplessly Do something!  You fool! He shouts If you could only DANCE!2005-03-12 21:44:12
On the Banks of Sweet MarieSean DonaghyThis is a lyric to delight the hearts of any who would visit the land that enchants our imaginations and our minds. You have achieved a rhythm and a mood that takes me to the spot and at once takes me back to the days of my girlhood when I sang the folksongs of those faraway places. I can hear an Irish tenor with haunting pipes, singing to and for his love. But this is a love of the country as well as soul and your descriptive phrasing is exquisite. The use of time passage from night into day and on in the ageless cycle... there is promise here too in your consistent return to the banks of Sweet Marie to conclude each stanza. This finds a place among the timeless ballads that will be passed down through the years. Are you a musician Sean? I can hear it sung to the tune of Sally Gardens(if you repeat the last two lines of each stanza) but perhaps you have your own melody hidden in your heart. As a poem it is as the fluid of your brook… flowing without interruption of word or thought. I particularly like the phrase ‘where the moon and stars wait patiently’ The personification of the elements is rendered beautifully here. Sing away…. Lynda 2005-03-12 19:34:21
The VowLatorial D. Faison Latorial, Within the first beats of the first breath of poem, you echo the rythyms of a heart, work - rest -work -rest.... in the work the words are strong and at rest they are soft, quiet, words at peace with their place. Vows are not understood or appreciated by everyone and this seems a holy vow, to some higher purpose, to a spiritual realm either from a past relationship or that purely spiritual link to your Lord. I enjoy the play of metaphore in the second stanza giving us reference to the value of the one who drew from you this vow. missing... longing... speak to the action and to the emotion, but they do so much more through a poetic realization of their potential. This has a personal import to me as the value of a vow goes beyond the words, beyond the emotion to the heart of the matter. You speak eloquently to this, with simplicity and power, by not overstating, by pruning the excess and leaving us with a poem that expresses your personal strength and purpose. A wonderful expression of an idea.... Lynda The Vow Missing him won't explain away  this craving  for  syncopation  his heartbeats  in me the common  denominator  of twice my likeness absent  from my flesh alive  in my spirit longing won't bring him  back to me now so I spread these wings  realizing the vow2005-03-11 18:22:03
Abstract AmbiguitiesJames Edward SchannePhotonic thoughts never to escape the singularity of the mental process. I do like this metaphore James and within it there are so many possibilities. The inhaling enlightenments .... well if Stephen is proven right as he revealled in Ireland not long past, they might be able to escape after all... Apart from the offerings on this site or others like it, we as writers and poets sometimes find ourselves on the precipice of the unknown drawing inspiration from wonderlands vast and furious. I do like the poetics here with this mix of Alice and Hawkings' landscapes. It gives a rich contrast not only visually but psychologically. I think therefore I am.... And if I don't think I will no longer exist...mapping the way to processes that will puzzle and intrigue or terrorize us til the end of the month or the contest begins anew. How vulnerable are Rodin's sculptures? How vulnerable are we. There is acid in the rain that falls from time to time and it stings and eats away the heart. I thought the twist of 'rodinian stoned by guile an amazing turn of phrase. The thinker came to mind crowning the gates of Hades. I also like your use of mouth sounds if that makes sense... There is a vivid contrast in the sounds that finds echo in the images. And what is important after all... the emotive strength of these lines is made all the stronger by single syllable words... quotes, yelled, strips, notes, drips..... aggresive and brilliant, especially in the 'morpheme drips' 'Wow! Words that fall one by one to feed or drug... and you don't stop! What you do with 'knows with a twist' - that is so you! *grin* and then to conclude with strength and an almost angry gesture of challenge... You think, therefore you are... Never doubt.... A fascinating work James.... Lynda                                        2005-02-08 23:08:12
LessonsRachel F. SpinozaHi Rachel, I want to be like you when I grow up*grin* My mother taught me how to mourn From earlier poems I connect this first line with your matriarchial history. And from your mother's heart, the connective tissue of time and consequence in a gift of recognition. The line is so simple. Solitary, quiet, direct. I find the most profound thoughts are usually stimulated by words that have been pared of excess, sculpted to the bone. The m sounds somehow deliver comfort even with the solemnity of its genesis. And then almost in an unconscious echo you continue with an aside in a soliloquey of that other world, an other worldliness, observed and experienced by the rest of the world, or perhaps another age... {not how to greet the morning wild with gladness, drunk with dreams and stumbling toward a bliss of  consciousness} What delicious sounds... These words are as intoxicating as their reference, expressive with sound and sensibility. I like the use of the brackets to set these lines in thoughts apart to be considered somehow more carefully in our mind and heart. The metaphore is amazing. My father taught me how strive toward a worker’s world of peace Your father too gave you a gift of great value. In the rythym of these lines there is a methodical respect for traditional values, and the ethical standards which are so much a part of who you are, as a person and as a poet. Here are values of the heart and mind and not pride in what we can do, but who we are. These are the things that will leave a lasting impression on the world; you, your poetry, all the things that are real - the intangibles that make up your frame of reference. [not how to make a picket fence behave or satisfy demands  of  massing dandelions] And finally to this unnamed facilitator, who brought you into the world, whether physical or mental, in a startling image of sound and sight. I wonder how many people become doctors in order to touch life in such a direct way. And how many are gifted with the ability to startle into life a being, a thought, a realization, a hope.... I do tend you push your poems into the metaphysical, but that is what I bring with me, and perhaps why your poems touch me so deeply and you – you slapped me wide awake and taught me to attend the light and  listen for the sounds of life that bubble up in kneaded clay Sometimes the kneading can be painful and sometimes fun, sometimes just hard work, but it's always productive. This metaphoric image of life bubbling up in the kneaded clay is one I will take with me into my kitchen the next time I make bread. Thank you for this amazing piece Rachel, Lynda   2005-02-08 20:13:59
Right in the Rosetta StonesJames Edward Schanne Hi James, I thoroughly enjoyed getting out my trowel and brush to excavate the depths of this work. You launch immediately into a graphic illustration of the Rosetta, and the mechanism which makes this communication possible. But you do much more in this verse... I think the simplicity of the traditional rhyme lends itself well to the subject matter. The challenge of interpretation of ancient symbols and the loss of meaning by the passage of time will probably be less of a problem in this day and age of documentation in records transcribed in other than sculpted stone. I can't help but wonder what the scribes would have thought of our computers and words that appear out of lights and switches. How soft has evolution made us...Yet we still hunger to understand and we will always as you suggest have a common need to communicate and with technological wonders at our fingertips, we can and will indeed put flight to our words and thoughts. Very interesting... Lynda 2005-01-22 11:32:30
untitledRachel F. SpinozaRachel, Beyond criteria which are so well met, this touches a chord within all of us. How could it not! You have used the haiku to great effect for in the rythyms which find echoes in waves, there is a silent understanding, comprehension and even an aprehension... Natural laws of physics are emotionless and yet they pull from us the strongest reactions. This is more an acknowledgement than a critique... so do what you will. I have been perusing some Nietzsche this week and your haiku brought it back to the surface... "The most spiritual human beings, assuming they are the most courageous, also experience by far the most painful tragedies: but it is precisely for this reason that they honor life, because it brings against them its most formidable weapons." Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher. Twilight of the Idols, "Expeditions of an Untimely Man," aph. 17 (1889). take care... Lynda2005-01-03 21:57:37
Old FriendLatorial D. Faison There is so much of friendship in these lines, Latorial. You take us beyond the physical and the emotional and lift us to a place of possibility, a place where I love to dwell. Perhaps that is why I'm responding to this work. You cross barriers of time and consequence, without leaving the ground. You anchor us with the goals of civility, silliness and resilliency. That's a broad scope where each of us has found ourselves at one time or another and the ballancing act that keeps us centered somewhere between heaven and hell and our dreams. How we stretch and become flexible in our life relationships will always add to our knowledge. That metaphysical place where the growing edge cuts into the new, will sometimes bring discomfort, sometimes wonder, sometimes understanding, but always something new that will change us, transmogrify us out of stasis and into that maleable mind-place that is so exciting. Your use of contrast in the second verse too 'little, too much, too long, to hills'... I like your lexical use of too/to - it multiplies and flows like a river with newly discovered tributaries of sound and meaning. I would like to see greater strength in the last stanza. More an echo of the first two. That's a subjective observation and you are free to chuck it! Over all I really enjoyed this verse and I'm going to go back and read more of your work. Good work! A good beginning to the new year.... with smiles of friendship... Lynda2005-01-03 16:14:49
The Great DivideRick Barnes Thought you had moved to Iceland at last!!!!*grin* So good to see this posting! Sounds like much water under the bridge Rick, or is it that it is time perhaps to build one?!? 'Standing slightly lop-sided' (being tall amplifies this image) lends to the metaphore of balance, you finding yourself needing to work at keeping your feet under you, just the other side of comfort, as you regard what might once have been a molehill. The rhymes are used so effectively, and the assonance of the l's flow the words into a natural reservoir in 'cavity. The speed of my mental reading gentles over 'deeply weathered cavity' as if the water running down the hill drops into a 'cenote' deep and ancient, kept hidden from the prying eyes of tourists. The engineer in you weighs every consideration... but 'I've already decided' says you have layed out the tools for drawing up the plans - you are allowing a flexibility into the mix that was not there before. The next few lines are analytical in extremis and the calculations are careful indeed. This is an ordered mind, working out the equations in the project. Now it seems there is but the decision as to whether you will accept the contract! I was pulled in by 'force of your gravity'. That it is 'constant' speaks to the ongoing presence of this 'mass' in your life and the struggle within as you offer up an equal pull in the opposite direction... - one from self preservation to keep from falling into the crevasse perhaps. But crevasses are so wonderful to explore, getting dirty in the divide as it were. And then the poem opens up in the last line, 'of loving and living with you', and it is these words of quiet statement that offer up the hope of conquering that crevasse - loving was placed first, a priori consideration, but not separated from 'living with'. It is always amazing what that deeply weathered cavity can hold and that one can make one's way through the crevasse if one lights the way. Wonderful as usual, Rick. Lynda 2004-08-12 10:59:14
Red SandWayne R. LeachWayne... the staccato delivery of these powerful words are like ragged breaths of pain. Each and every word is necessary and there is no tautological expression here. You are a poet correspondent, reporting more than the image, more than the words. You leave me gasping and stunned as I'm sure were the families. The contrasts in colours paint the aggression with stark ugly reality. The sea reddens... not for the first time... and your words stir memories of years past, of pain shared by all nations who find themselves at the feet of an aggressor. when will we learn. The bloody sea that returns red to its roots hearkens back to historical references of first born sons and the times of struggle that have not changed all that much. Only the weapons change... and in this instance, the event could be timeless for you have made it universal with the knife. I was very moved and paused to reflect on man's inhumanity and what we can do about it..... write on.... Lynda2004-08-11 19:42:02
A Rose for YouWayne R. LeachOh Wayne.... did you want my address too*grin* What a lovely romantic piece of writing. Freckles for a sun-kissed face shining with its budding love... unresistable. Your poetics bear a sweetness that I am sure would bless the one for whom the poem is intended. i might gentle the phrase of 'a dreadful pace' to something softer, more in keeping with the beauty and love of the poem, but that is my only suggestion. I took delight in the blushing rose which finds its equal in the tender hope and trepidation that echo in the last lines. what I do delight in is the way you have concluded the poem. With a resolution and a benediction that love will travel with the rose, and she will know that someone loves her.... there is an honesty and an openness to the words that come straight from the heart and distance too often plays to our fantasies, but this is not the end, for love finds a way. Disclose away.... send the rose! and don't forget to include the poem!2004-08-11 19:27:21
The Nightingale's SongRobert L TremblayHi Bobby, I trained at st. michaels in Toronto and pulled my quota of night duty. As I wafted through this poem, your metaphore brought new reflections to old memories. Such a direct metaphore with such fresh insight and observation, it had me sighing without harm. An ode to Florence and all who followed the path. Your portrayal of a night, storm-ridden by stress and weather, brought back a remembered perspective. I was touched by a vision of your nocturnal songbird, reminded each time of the place this name and bird have in my frame of reference, displacing ego with what needed to be done. How many times have I heard the soft humming of colleagues as they created their own relief and in a miraculous way were able to take the thoughts of the bed-ridden off of themselves onto some higher plain. Your songbird you see, can be both metaphorical and reality, and in both lies a small miracle. The tradition of your rhymes gives a quiet dignity to this noble work, and I mean the double entendre. How I wish I had said... 'who's pain was deeper than the deepest sound.' I have witnessed and shared this pain, beyond our ability to express, and you have put it eloquently into words that touched me deeply. Thank you for putting humanity into duty, and the reflection of destiny into our humanity. Thank you for this, Lynda2004-08-10 21:04:28
UnspokenJana Buck HanksJana.... this is my kind of poem, a dive into the subconscious from a five metre spring board, cleaving the surface without splash, a clean clear cut. You have me wanting to read Alice again with some of the perception that you point to in this poem. Your opening lines take us into the nebula of self exploration, where the dynamic is anything but quiet. There is a strangeness in certain sounds,                                                                    smells,                                                                colors, I particularly like how you emphasized the distance of these qualities that catalyze distant memories, connecting to thoughts and times past. The physical distance you effect with your line divisions is used to great effect, as if the sounds, the aromas and the hues surround themselves with bubbles of imagery. I wonder if the break after happiness would be better served with a period. "All my life.... seems to start a new thought. I like the brevity of the phrasing in this section as if your mental eye is darting around the corners of your mind taking us with you as you travel through these possibilities. It's amazing isn't it how our memories are formed by so many extraneous forces. One last suggestion; I wonder if you even need the an/or in the phrase , 'In dusty albums, and/or stories told' It reads quite well without and there is no dividing our attention. The memories as fabrics in a crazy quilt is exquisite. 'As I remember the tunnel, maybe I will find the light at the end.' This would make a powerful ending, and they are your words. Good words indeed! Lynda2004-08-10 19:20:30
UNTITLEDJACK M HRINIAKJack You have inheritied a beauty of soul from your father. He was a man of wisdom who obviously shared that with his son. There is great strength in gentleness and the time you are taking and have taken, to honour him with your words will ease your pain and set a fine example for your son. I love the passion of these first lines. What an incredible image you paint - A memory of who he was in your life, you carry with you, and that you seek some answers to life's mystery is in your whispering of his dying sounds. It seems intrusive to be reading this somehow. Thank you for sharing. The blunt statement of 'my father is dead' ... acceptance, stoic love, simplicity - your words bow before your head and leave me in a quiet place. Endless waitings out of sightless windows.... eyes to the soul, eyes that no longer see, windows that are blocked.. what could he not see visually that he saw with his soul internally, this heart that knew the individuality of the universe. I'm reading the 'than' as 'then' - these two word lines so alone in themselves, so full of pain...do you not think that a man of such wisdom would hear in the silence, the song of the birds who touched his soul... I like to think so. I don't think we are ever truly alone unless we choose to be. He does not strike me as a man who was touched with self pity but with grace and love. and I love your conclusion... the chord 'echoing' - you will carry your father's song as will your son will, your own. This is a fine tribute to your father Jack. Lynda2004-08-10 09:55:19
Crystalline Life CollageRobert Wyma HI Robert, I enjoyed this excursion into the metaphysical realms of your mind and your poet's hand. This ride makes me think you are truly alive. Where there is thoughtful contemplation of one's journey, where one allows the mind to turn over the detritus of the day to uncover a truth, where one accepts that life will present us sometimes with smooth river stones that we can fondle in our pockets and sometimes the ripping rocks that expose what we are made of, we will find our way if we but pay attention, and that is what your poem speaks to me. The brevity of line make for succinct and crisp punctuations, for consideration and contemplation. 'riding in imaginations wash'... I loved this image... a wash created by turbulence, enhanced by imagination, will still as the energy of the wave is allowed the time to settle, to takes its proper place in our history. Everything we experience, battle through, will bear on our dreams, on our thoughts and our lives and make us better people in the long run, if we accept them humbly as the harbingers of self-knowledge. I really like your use of the term 'stewards of direction' and term of 'betterment earned'. Yes, we live in a changing world and we are evolving emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and even physically, and it serves us well, if we learn to recognize that the best place to be is on the growing edge. The title Crystalline Life Collage... is so appropriate in metaphore for a crystal which continues to grow in beauty and complexity, in strength and facet, made from all that touches our frame of reference. I've really enjoyed spending time with these thoughts... Lynda 2004-07-29 22:53:30
japanese verse 54 (Hammerhead Shark)Erzahl Leo M. EspinoHi Erzahl, Once again, you have hit the nail on the head*grin* Form and metre are spot on. I love the progress in this haiku. The subject/object of our attention, the marine carpenter, the hammerhead shark. The reason, the action, and its' descriptors, how he swims swiftly towards his feast, and finally the raison d'etre... to fix or fill its belly. There could also be a metaphore in that fixing as a directional compass would fix the direction of attraction. However you meant it, I thoroughly enjoyed the feast! While I was on a cruise in the Caribbean this past winter, I was blessed with an overhead view of one of these magnificent creatures. He must have been full, for his pace was leisurely as the cruise ship changed his path and direction. He did not seem to mind, simply accepted the ship as winner of that particular sparring match and swayed away at right angles to us, just below the surface of the water. Your poem took me back and reminded me of the simple graceful strength of that magnificent creature. A carpenter's work has always heralded respect. it is an honest avocation whether on land or sea. And a good carpenter does not waste time. He knows how to harvest his materials and use them in the most economical of ways. To be swift, to be accurate, to honour the purpose of his existence, to be, his goal, to cull the oceans in total efficiency. This haiku culls the words and metre of possibility in sureness and simplicity, the efficiency reflecting off the character of the one who gave it seed. Thank you for sharing this wonderful genesis of thought. Lynda2004-07-23 20:30:31
japanese verse 53 (Ecstasy)Erzahl Leo M. EspinoErzahl... This Haiku delights and lifts and separates the men from the boys!!! In its' simplicity, it is profound. To be able to take the form, the restrictions and set them free in such a natural way, is certainly a gift. I know from reading your bio, that this is a challenge you take up gladly and we are certainlly the beneficiaries. I take especial delight in the juxtaposition of seventh heaven and cloud nine, and the connective tissue of pleasure! It is a smooth and spiritual transition and the tone of the poem 'elevates' even as you use the word! Wonderful! Looking forward to more.... and I intend to read back into your other poems to see what other gems lie there.... Lynda2004-07-20 21:22:06
A Poem Is. . .Joanne M UppendahlJoanne... How aptly you describe the tools of defining moments; the potential a poem has to be the surgical instrument that can cut to the quick of an issue, or grace a form with words unseen and unconnected before the revelation of the verse, the carrier or power, be it beauty in the sound of nature, or nature in the beauty of sound. We live through our poems and share with those who read, the essence of who we are as people, and in the moments reliving, pass on to them through the 'blood' of our poems the potential to feed the multitudes. These images and sounds both soft and sharp spill into my senses and ask me to pay attention to what lies beneath the words, that I too might feast on crabapples or fly on the wind through woods...taking me with you on a path I have never travelled before. The flow works wonderfully here, the power within us to connect with music, water and our bodies life force lead us to the focus, the music of the spheres...as old as time and philosophy....concentration, awareness, openess and appreciation. the reader rides the poets purpose, following, heeding, I have lept through these pages my heart beating, echoing the rythym of the waves, the eternal undulation of energy through word and thought. And I was captivated by your metaphore of the 'beaver's tail on the pond of today'! Symbolic of the need to warn, to pay heed to what is going on around us, but also to realize the moment in each poem, and through our poems, to lay before the reader an exclamation... a wake up call. Poets and artists, writers and musicians have ever been the prophets, the forerunners of needed action and activism. But to manage this call through such superb poetry, is rare. Thank you for reminding me of what we can accomplish when we write. Lynda 2004-07-20 09:27:53
The hallwayMark Andrew HislopAaah Mark, To realize lunacy, is to acknowledge possibility! Poetry written out of love and/or infatuation, has opened many a door, and the tone of this poem is rich with hope and wonder and even, if I dare say amazement and surprise. Student days are days of learning; whether learning a language, learning who we are in relation to other people, learning who we are within ourselves, learning about those possibilities and potentialities contained within each of us. The poem floats in an almost surreal state and yet taughtens with tension and expectation. you use some good contrasts with the brightness of the flourescents and the osfuscation caused by bodies. The tension of your wait is echoed also in the crisp jeans, the Italian shoes, the hair pulled and gelled tightly back. You have offered the dazed effect of her presence on mind and body, yet there is in those last few lines queries about what really happened, or perhaps what happened in your mind and your acceptance of the fact. There is some delicious confusion... not in your writing but in the contrast between what is going on in the world around you and what is going on in your heart. I'm looking for a sequel*smile2004-07-07 23:16:40
InvisibleJana Buck HanksJana: I'm not sure how to proceed here... On one hand I want to speak to the poem, while on the other I worry that what I might say be construed as trite. First to the poem. What a way to jump start a thought! The double entendre of 'souls' is perfection. Already the weighty spirit is established. Sometimes the simplest things are the most profound and you made me think on this for a time. There is an ache in the implied need to find self worth, and a wish for a deeper understanding to life's purpose. "what's it all about, Alfie?" as the song asks... we are not alone in wondering. The choice of the venemous coral snake and the stabbing effect of the strobeing(sp?) effect of the sos, stacattoed screams of anger and frustration...perhaps anger at not being seen... invisible....within time that seems futile... tomorrow and tomorrow. Your poem speaks volumes and perhaps that is a good thing. Good that you have so expressively put such serious work into words. I leave it feeling that you have once again hit the nail on the head. I know this feeling. We have all in the past been intimate with it at one time or another. People who live life with passion are bound to hit valleys... it's what makes the mountains so amazing when we get back up there.... Lynda 2004-07-05 03:39:55
Why is it that.....Sherri L. WestOh Sherri... lol, I love this poem! It's wit and wisdom and so much delight!!! I immediately connected with it. You have delivered a universal message that at once pulls at the heart strings and the funny bone. The phrasing is immaculate, breathy and quick and vital!(like you I would hazard a guess) Even as you pose your questions, we confront these same issues in our own minds. The repetition of the questions, fired in rapid succession are spot on! The way you have used rhyme to punctuate and emphasize works extremely well. They connect in sound as well as mind one following on the one before. It is deceptively simple and yet incredibly rich. Did I say I love this!!! I also like how you repeat the title question of 'why is it that'.... re-emphasizing, stressing how important these issues are to you, dividing them so that we can surround ourselves with these mirrors of ourselves, for there is not one of these questions, or statements, that I've not made myself! This is good... and then to get rid of your mirror... I laughed out loud! It's 2 am and I'm going to bed smiling. Thank you for this wonderful stand up poem with it's challenges and the mirror that you hold up to anyone who reads it. Did I tell you I love this*grin* Lynda2004-04-16 02:09:23
I Took You With MeRick BarnesAaaah my dear Breighter, This is music, the lyrics of a soul, bound up in mystery and sensuous imagery. The words 'pale incandescent spill' are only outstripped by the journeys I took as I considered the possibilities; beyond the light of memory, beyond the light given off by others, beyond the light of your daily existence, beyond time, there lies the mystery of who we are and what defines us as a person. To glow beyond the light implies a source of internal power. I know a few people who shine like this... Travails is anchored by pale with such delicacy, your muse must have smiled. I could almost imagine this as an homage to your muse. With silhouettes to simplify, to clearly define, in your own mind, you lay before us a metaphore that is layered with potential. People are often plagued by indecision and loss of place, so that to read these 'sure' words that declare the home that this 'one' has within you, offers incredible comfort. The brevity of the phrasing helps to focus thought. Your internal rhymes are effortless and natural, especially when they continue into phrases that compliment the metre, in a poetic balance. This is a distillation, a soul stripped of dross... were you surprised by these thoughts?? Sometimes poems help me to understand aspects of my being that were "behind a glass darkly' and through this amazing process there is illumination, sometimes for self, hopefully for some who read them. This is such a poem, at least for me. Lynda2004-04-12 23:26:19
The Sixty Seven Percent Solution to the ProblemThomas Edward WrightTom, What a wonderful walk... a zen experience, lived vicariously and causing a flood of memories. There is so much that we as humans can take into our lives, our souls, our thinking, which ultimately effect and direct outcomes. I loved the tense of your verbs... you would... you could... so much potential and this word I love... Possibility. Life is all about choices. 'As a man thinketh', as a man sees, as he chooses... so he is, so is the world. You bring us so humanely through the telling, and not without humour(humor for you Americans*grin). Your aseptic conditioning is showing. You would probably have a coronary if you saw what my dogs sneak as treats. As I live on a horse farm, I shall leave that to your ...uum imagination! The telling has the flavour of a fireside sharing; the family gathered around with these memories painted in words redolent of sweetness, both in subject and in delivery. These little vignettes of their life/lives have me smiling all the way through. I really enjoy the timed release of the delivery as well... regular, steady... like the constant steady drip of the sap. You've made it very personal... we can choose to know these people, we can choose our own path... Your metaphores and images are as usual superb. dogs and drippings, chainsaw's harvest, the empty cans as soldiers(I particularly loved that one), the chalice of the sample with homage paid, the discernment of the wine connoisseur*smile... 'the bold golden wine', the Aunt Jemima(which I grew up on) such a contrast pointing to the authentic as the better choice, tubes running like telephone lines - images and sounds on so many levels, contrast again between the chemistry of nature and the chemistry of people, the interesting parallels of Venturi and venting, The conlcusion is masterful... If the plate runs with sweet maple syrup...a resonance of peace, of order, of priorities, of choices... and we're not that different from the dogs, are we, licking. Nice bit of unification there. I thoroughly enjoyed the walk and now I think, being a Sherlock Holmes fan, I shall go and enjoy my copy of the "Seven percent Solution" One elixer calls to some, - so different from another. One creative, one destructive. I think I'll stay with the sixty-seven percent solution. Lynda 2004-04-06 20:33:10
White, Fallow WorldsC ArrownutHi C. As a teacher of art for many years, I have learned that the best way to release creativity is to not tell someone what to do to solve their problem(even if I could), but to ask questions that might allow the answers which are in your mind to bubble up to the surface. This is your poem and you are the executive creator and director. So ... I will try to couch my observations with some questions for you to add to your already stormy brew*grin. As a lover of cosmology and astronomy, I think of science as principly a factual study. 'The facts ma'm, nothing but the facts!' You have teased us with a mystery.." 'something' beyond the control of science " These are hard edged words in the first stanza and then you introduce a metaphore of angels. You have a picture in your mind... very descriptive. Is there a way that you could tie these hard-edged words into your metaphore? This might help with the unity, and create flow. I am a great lover of the work of Emily Carr, a Canadian painter from British Columbia around the time of the Group of Seven. What many people don't know was that she was a superb writer, winning some of the top awards in the Canadian literary world. One of the things that she said about her writing, was how hard it was to look at a line or an idea, wonderfully written and know that it needed to be put to her surgeons knife because it affected the health of the whole. Is there something here that needs to come under the knife??? Are flakes impenetrable... yes. given 10 feet... Hey, I've shovelled loads myself... easier than manure, but again... Is there a way to tie this image into a common metaphore? I love the title... 'White fallow worlds'... So expressive! So immediately explanatory. Thinking out loud...Fallow in this instance, characterized by inactivity? a world ploughed but unseeded? purpose... to eradicate weeds/... conditions of barreness, lack of color, idle, unprepared? This certainly ties into the insular image in the last stanza, but is there a way to unite it to your metaphore of angels?? In good science, questions usually give rise to more questions... and then as what you know reveals itself, the conclusions are made. Some poems demand to be written... I read that somewhere and it stuck in my feeble brain. Some have to be taken apart, and put back together. I hope this helps. There is a very special idea in this poem and one worthy of the effort you are putting into it! with smiles and anticipation. Lynda 2004-04-04 12:43:06
Swimming With MaryThomas Edward WrightIt is hard for me to divorce myself from the emotion that this poem evokes. The delivery of the personhood of Death is dealt with dignity, not only emotionally, but with the simplicity of the phrasing, the quiet of the aftermath of the war. Quiet, yet deliberate, the phrasing underlining the inevitablility of outcome, no syrupy sentimental sadness... simply acceptance. The metaphore of the lens of memory gives us some relief from the pain of the first few lines. Still you drive us through the moment with words of poignancy, teaching us with simple yet poetic illustration, what it means to have CFS, taking us to the roots of your profession Your visual colouring of how an elderly lady might wish to appear , reveals how she wants even in death, to be at her best, not causing anyone any trouble, but easing their way if possible... The cyanosis underscored by the word 'gasps', the drifting in and out... The breaks in the poem are much needed - You were very wise. As if you want to give us time to absorb the pain of what we are reading, absorb it , take it to our hearts, our own lungs. But relentless we must continue to track death...You hold her up to us in a similie that is so speaking. You speak your admiration for her with 'and still a smile' . That simple phrase... so graceful, so full of grace is she... gives us the why of this poem. Her eyelids half mast... so perfect the phrase.... the position, the admission of death, that we might remember their life. Half closed.... the door to her life is being closed. You will no longer be allowed entry. there's nothing more you can do, except grant her the dignity of your peaceful presence... by sitting at the foot of her bed, acknowledging what she is going through, and allowing her to grace 'your' presence with her spirit. The short clips of stanzas read like nurses notes... short, pointed...your own hopes that she will not linger, the only lengthening breath. In the benediction of the stanza, there is a descending volume of actual words, but the strength is increasing. Like the image of a mountain, only in reverse... you reach the apex of your thought and reason. This throws the accent surely.... 'you don't' Then once the apex of death has been realized, you begin your descent into reminiscence. I am reminded of the quote, "And God gave us memories, that we might have roses in December." In this penultimate stanza, there is the slow comfort of promise, of meaning, and your shared place which from now will reside in memory. You give us room... you give us time with this space, you teach us in a very practical lesson how to allow dignity to be the gift that it is. I am grateful Lynda 2004-04-01 14:02:02
A Late Afternoon ServiceThomas Edward WrightThank you for sharing this Thomas. It brought back a memory of a 16 year old friend who said that the forest was his cathedral. I am at my most comfortable out of doors and dusk delivers such beauty. You have captured the music and mystery of it, in your poem. Your historical references to the Greeks and the analogy to how they viewed the stars and the import of meteorites and celestial events as themselves special harbingers from the gods, is delightfully metaphored, your words and image so expressive, how you double metaphored the snow falling as stars... As an artist, I know only too well what happens to colour when light is removed: how colours lose their vibrancy and form takes precidence, sculptural, bonding itself to your frame of reference, how textures feed information that is superceded by the light of day, to become a great assist at dusk. How they call to one another... I have tried to join in those hymns from time to time, but they always know the counterfeit member of the choir*smile* I suppose I should attend practice more often. And my decks, covered with the seed covers and tossed seeds too small for their consideration, or the husks of their communion to be swept into the garden... to become the body .... of our earth. I love that you dissolved the word atmosphere... losing its clarity even as you would lose visual images in the falling snow. To be still in silence is a hard task for any human. Once again, I must practice. You managed this late afternoon and your metaphore of 'pocket my tongue' is exquisite. I too have cats who cannot understand the purpose of glass, who speak to the birds and squirrels who would tempt them beyond their capacity to endure. The imagery of the symphony of sound as it begins to ebb into night sounds is indeed worthy of the masters name. You are an amazing poet. The benediction of understanding and compassion and acceptance of the night as a time when prayers ascend and we look forward to whatever comes our way on the morrow, has me drawing breath in a sigh. It is dusk even as I write this, and your poem has developed in my mind and heart, a fresh awareness.... Thank you Lynda2004-03-31 18:08:42
By the PondJoanne M UppendahlJoanne, this pastoral poem was designed for the soul of an artist. It is so visual, embedded with imagery. There is a stillness, an expectancy in the iris that guard the pond... the 'stalks... so still and straight... standing quiet and motionless, and the reception of the ducks by the palms of the pond... what a lovely image... so gentle and sentient. The sounds of the gulls as they wheel and dip are joyful, not only in the image but in the words themselves. Air offerings ... what an eyefull... We have all seen this and so many of us have taken part in this experience, it's easy to put ourselves in the place of the benefactor. Life is so like this... an exchange of offerings and then the gift of accepting. The colours and shades of spring are delicately cast in the last few lines, supported by the image of the cradle, once again repeating the metaphore of support that you used in the 'pond's upturned palms'(lovely sounds) I have been thinking about gestation with regards to spring and this poem is redolent with that metaphore or burgeoning life. And like spring, you give a promise of what is to come... with velvet sighs... aaaah Thanks you... I thoroughly enjoyed this. Lynda2004-03-30 02:08:49
What Missing You MeansRick BarnesWell Rick, you've done it again. How much delight there is in surprise, in the unexpected, twisting the norm into a view that is fresh and enlightening. There is an ache to the initial sounds, the open vowels which gradually switch to a keening in all of the long eeee sounds. Clever man. I really liked the phrasing of line 9...making me think and breathe most before I accept the phrase of time, and concluding with the cost. You have opened up a new understanding, new possibilities, in a word,'missing' and isn't that what poetry is all about. Hope this goes into the next chap book. an old friend... Lynda2004-03-28 19:18:15
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