Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia

These were the instructions for this week’s Dungeon Prompt:

This week, let’s step out of our blogging boxes and shake things up. If you normally write poetry try writing prose. Or if you normally write freestyle poetry, try writing a sonnet. If you normally write in the first person, write in the third person instead. If you normally write about other people, write about yourself. If you normally write a hundred words, try writing eight hundred. If you normally write over a thousand words, try writing a haiku (without a thousand words of explanation).

I had no doubt which form of writing is out of my comfort zone; it is writing poetry.  I thought about it for a short time and then concluded that this might be the week that I didn’t participate in Dungeon Prompts.  When I shared that conclusion with my blogging friend Cheryl-Lynn at Traces of the Soul, she suggested I write a Tanka. Continue reading “Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone”

Loosening Your Grip (Acrostic)

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Living and learning that is our task

Each encounter, removing the masks

There are no shortcuts, no easy way

To live life’s journey, day after day

Instruction manual? That would be nice

Not possible? Then here’s some advice

Gripping your plans with hands of steel

Gives pain, misery, endless ordeals

Open your hand, the path to reveal

 

As I wrote the acrostic, I remembered a poem that I have loved for decades.  The author is unknown.

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

 

Written for this week’s Dungeon Prompt.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature (Acrostic)

Nature

From birth to death and beyond
Offering beauty and protection
Rendering love unconditional
Creator, sustainer, destroyer
Energy that has no bounds
Sharing all that she has to offer

Only “the times they are a-changin”
Feeling our neglect, our abuse

Nature’s crying, can’t save us from ourselves
Another earthquake, people dying
Temperatures rising, ice caps melting
Upon us come floods, superbugs, disease
Realization is dawning, but is it too late
Eager earnest effort is essential

(Note:  The quote is the title of a Bob Dylin song)

Written for Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature

Branches Reach for the Sky शखाः आकाशं प्रप्नुवन्ति (Haiku)

 

In an earlier post, I shared pictures of blooms on a tree that is in my back yard.

 

 

I realized later that I wanted to give readers a better sense of the full majesty of the  tree.  It is much taller than my house and covers a significant area in both my yard and my neighbor’s.  I decided I would do that by taking photos of different parts of the tree.

 

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 सौन्दर्यम् उन्नतं तिष्ठति
मूलनि पृथिव्य़ां गभीरं खननमं कुर्वन्ति
शखाः आकाशं प्रप्नुवन्ति

beauty standing tall
roots in earth digging deep
branches reach for sky

 

Do you know what type of tree this is?  (I don’t.)

 

An Offering (Haiku)

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Handful of petals
Offering to the Mother
From my heart to hers

 

 

The Haiku was written about a Bhagavati Puja I attended last night. The photographs were taken after the puja had ended.

The Bhagavati Seva Puja, is an ancient Vedic puja ceremony done to restore balance in the environment and bring peace within us and the world. It is a very beneficial puja performed to keep us in harmony with cosmic forces, thereby removing and overcoming the sorrows of life and bringing spiritual upliftment.

 

Waking in the Night (Troiku)

I have been intrigued lately by a form of poetry that Tournesol from Traces of the Soul and Tournesol Dans Un Jardin has been writing.  (See Courting Moon.)  The style is a new form of Haiku called Troiku that was developed by Chevrefeuilles.

In this style, there is a three lined Haiku that is the base of the poem.  The author then creates a separate Haiku using each of the base lines.

Here is my first attempt at writing a Troiku!

 

*****

Waking in the night

dreaming about Sanskrit

It’s time to blog!

 

Waking in the night

Raindrops falling

Mind on overdrive

 

Dreaming about Sanskrit

Will I ever learn?

Yes!

 

It’s time to blog!

Ideas rolling in

Can sleep another day!

 

 

Amma, Embodiment of Compassion

Amma, Embodiment of Compassion

For the tiny infant to the eldest elder, she is there.
For the faint of heart and the bravest of the brave, she is there.
For the rich and the poor, for the saint and the sinner, she is there.
For those who are happy and those in despair, she is there.

When I’m sad and lonely, when I’m in danger, she is there.
When my children, friends and family need help, she is there.
When I need momentum to learn and grow, she is there.
When I want a hug because I’m feeling low, she is there.

Amma, embodiment of compassion and love renowned.
I thank you with an appreciation that has no bounds.

*****

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Note:  Most of the pictures come from Amma’s Facebook Page

Written for Writing 201: Hero(ine)  The assignment was to create a ballad using anaphora or epistrophe.  “Anaphora simply means the repetition of the same word (or cluster of words) at the beginning of multiple lines of verse in the same poem. Epistrophe is its counterpart: the repeated words appear at the end of lines.”

The Fog

The 5th Writing 201: Poetry assignment was to write an elegy; a first-person poem on themes of longing, loss, and mourning. The word prompt was “fog.”  My poem is very rough, because I definitely don’t know what I am doing on this one!

I chose to write about my experience with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome during the 1980’s.  While the poem itself is unskilled, I believe there will probably be numerous readers who will relate to my experience.

The Fog

Five years living in the fog
Everything is slow; can’t think, can’t do.
Exhaustion never ends.
Plan after plan put on hold.
Dreading to go to bed at night
Can’t face yet another dawn.
Walking to the kitchen to make some food?
Not worth it… why try?
Heavy
Heavy
Heavy
Five years later, fog is lifting
Good days, bad days, but it’s shifting.
Will it end? Will it return?
Dare I hope?
May I hope?
Hope?

They Wiggle and Squiggle!

I love the variety of challenges Writing 201: Poetry is offering us.  Today’s assignment was to explore Concrete Poetry, also known as Shape Poetry.

“The idea here is to arrange your words on the screen (or the page) so that they create a shape or an image. The meaning of the image can be obvious at first glance, or require some guesswork after reading the poem. It’s up to you to decide how difficult you want to make it for your readers.”

We were also encouraged to use enjambment.

Enjambment “may sound like a mouthful. But what it describes is a really simple phenomenon: when a grammatical sentence stretches from one line of verse to the next.”

The word prompt we were to use was “Animal.”

“Polar bears, microbes in your cells, unicorns, your pet hamster, lolcats: find a way to include an animal, today’s word prompt, in your poem. Or write about a situation that can bring out the animal in you (or someone else). Or dig deeper into the word’s etymology (anima = latin for breath). One way or another, give us a beast of a poem.”

It was a fun assignment to do, although figuring out how to do the formatting in a way that it held when put into the post was a challenge.  I am grateful to the various people who offered suggestions.

So here is my animal shape poem using enjambment!

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And here is a photo of my “pets!”

My Worms!