Eclipsed

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Gabriela Marie Milton, poet and author of the best-selling book Woman: Splendor and Sorrow, hosted a poetry competition that concluded a few days ago. She challenged us to write a poem inspired by one from her book.

I chose her poem “The Moon and I” and wrote about the phases of a woman’s life: child, lover, wife, mother, and wise-woman/crone. The feminine connection to the moon is deep and abiding and threads through generations of time.

My poem, Eclipsed, won third place in the competition, and I couldn’t be more grateful or honored. A link to Gabriela’s book is below, as well as links to the winning poems. I hope you take a moment and enjoy some inspired poetry.

Eclipsed

The moon and I trade glances beneath the light of ages
reflections of our phases, we traverse boundaries of shadow
the birth and death of stars adorns our voyage
my course uncharted on a shoreless sea.

She is the sand-dollar storyteller of sirens and undertows
hidden caves beneath blooms of coral, troves of stolen gold
a moon-faced child unblemished by the salt of tears she weaves
tales of faithfulness sung to the sea’s rhythmic strum.

A seductress, she trades in the caress of madness and liquid kisses
when a timorous heart flares and passion burns by torchlight
skin and wings consumed, I surrender to the mariner’s lure
drown in the tide’s curling crush and gull’s lonesome cry.

She is the gibbous years, molding castles of compromise
sand towers dripping through faults in cupped hands
I comb the half-moon beach for luminous abalone
craft a chime of common jingle shells, all that I find.

She is the windborne balloon of my daughter’s dream awakening
a boy fishes upon the crescent of her smile
sea-smoothed glass tumbles at their feet for sorting, for choosing
for all my devotion, iron ships founder like paper-sailed toys.

She whispers a harmony of waxing and waning
an old crone’s serenade in her waves’ refrain
when sea thrift and violets yield petals to sheer bluffs
she chants from the conch cupped to my ear:

You are the nautilus spinning outward
eternal feminine on a string of pearls
iridescent ’til the sun succumbs to midnight deep
when a silken wind sweeps over lunar dunes
erasing your footprints
rolls you into darkness
eclipsed.

***

#1 Bestselling New Poetry Collection by Gabriela Marie Milton

Brian Geiger, editor of Vita Brevis Press: “Woman: Splendor and Sorrow…is an arabesque of womanhood, depicting the broad strokes and finer details of love, identity, and femininity. With vibrant imagery and fresh ideas, Milton’s poetry and prose explore these topics with passion and sincerity. There’s something here for all readers.”

***

To read the poems of the winners click Here.

Congrats to:

First Place – Virginia Mateias

Second Place – Ingrid Wilson and Eric Daniel Clarke

Third place – Timothy Price and D. Wallace Peach

To read the poems of the Honorable Mentions click Here.

Congrats to:

Joni Caggiano, Cindy Georgakas, Jeff Flesch, Karima Hoisan, and Carrie Yang

The Moon That I Made

Holly is known for her luscious and sensual imagery. While I’m deep into NaNaWriMo, I thought I’d share one of her poems that swept me away on a tide of beauty. I hope you enjoy. ❤

House of Heart

Bone white as driftwood, I stand sturdy

as the currents. The waves rush to shore,

collect against sugar mounds then fall

lacy back to the sea.

The ribbony pink sand diffuses light

to a soft ecru that coaxes abalone

and urchin shell to an ambient glow.

Soon the tide will devour the day and

night will descend, distorted and bowed,

like the curve of horizon that swallows

the sun in a wheel of sparks and the

moon that I made for you rises in

flecks of gold.

Gold-Leaf-Paint Paintings For Sale | Saatchi Art

Saatchi Art “flecks of gold”

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Hawaiian Haiku

While visiting my brother in Hawaii, I couldn’t resist a little haiku based on the beautiful island of Oahu.

aquamarine sea

wind-stippled sparkling silver

laps on silken sand

tricksters somersault

sailboards soar with wind-borne kites

breathtaking in flight

We visited the memorial at Pearl Harbor

sacred burial

Battleship Arizona

beneath azure waves

Hawaiian sunsets

eruptions of vermillion

cauldrons in the sky

We hiked to the sacred ruins of the queen’s summer palace through a bamboo forest.

ruins in the jungle

bamboo clatters in the breeze

musical pathways

Thanks for taking a poetic journey with me.

And this is what I arrived home to:

My backyard.

everywhere we roam

a precious world awaits us

where beauty abounds

NaNoWriMo Update:

NaNoWriMo, (or as my husband calls it, Ninny Rhino) is going well. I’m ahead of schedule, though that probably won’t last. To everyone who’s writing up a storm… keep going! To everyone else, take advantage of the month of light blogging, enjoy, and relax!

Winter Calls

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Winter Calls

We flow into autumn

from summer’s embrace

when twilight hastens and the sun rides low

ripening abundance

a gilded farewell

Quilted paths of crimson

through colors we roam

mugs of cloved cider and a cinnamon moon

our pumpkin’s grin candled

memories loosen

When scents of woodsmoke curl

on crisp, crackling morns

will you weave me a shawl from skeins of soft wool

hold me warm by the fire

for my winter calls

*

This poem is a double ennead – a syllabic form consisting of three stanzas of 33 syllables in a 6/5/11/6/5 pattern for a total off 99 syllables. The challenge is hosted by Colleen Chesebro over at Carrot Ranch. It runs once a month and I invite you to check it out. Colleen’s prompt this month was “Autumn” and she encouraged us to use our senses. Happy Writing.

Dark Angel

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*

smoky kisses linger
in a fool’s wild heart
prisoner of the dark angel’s velvet smile
devoured by haunted lips
her dance of desire

*

This poem was written in response to Colleen’s Double Ennead Challenge No. 7 at Carrot Ranch. We were instructed to use the Magnetic Poetry Oracle and write one stanza with syllables 6/5/11/6/5.

The Shadows We Breathe #NewRelease

I’ve been on hiatus for a few days with a sore back and, upon returning to the blogosphere, was delighted to see the release of Sarah’s latest anthology. I’m honored to have my work included with that of her other talented contributors. Many thanks, Sarah! I’m closing comments here as I’m heading out for some treatment (and pampering). Hugs!

Lemon Shark

3D_Mockup_Vol1_watermark logo

It’s here! 🥂🖤 🎉

The Shadows We Breathe is now available in eBook and paperback!

eBook

Paperback

I am so grateful to have worked with seven talented, amazing authors to create this gorgeous anthology of short fiction.

 

Thank you to all the authors who contributed. And to Loni Townsend and Allie Potts for their help and patience in explaining techy stuff I don’t understand. 😜💕

 

Blurb

WE ARE ALL PART SHADOW 

Life promises joy and sorrow. Alongside the light, there will always be traces of darkness. It is the nature of being human.

In this anthology, we explore relationships—how they sculpt us, hurt us, help us, and reveal our deepest desires.

Eight artists, whose words paint worlds, bring you stories of heartache, loss, hope, and forgiveness. They unveil the intimacy and complexity of relationships.

Whether family, friend, or lover, connections to others can hold us up or break us…

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Unknowable: #TankaTuesday

Image Credit: Kerfe Roig

This poem is my attempt at a crapsey cinquain for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday. It’s inspired by Kerfe’s visual art above.

~

Unknowable

starlight

stitched in patterns

weaves a vast universe

deciphering the mystical

with faith

~

I’m on the road, hiking around here:

File:Shasta At Night (258050167).jpeg
Mount Shasta. Credit: Dheera Venkatraman, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

So, I may be a bit delayed with comments and visits. But I’ll catch up. Thanks for stopping by!

A Haiku Muse

My blogger friend Brad over at Writing to Freedom is having a birthday today. If you haven’t visited Brad’s blog, you’re in for a treat. He takes beautiful photos and writes poetry (often haiku) to complement them.

He invited his followers and their muses to stop by. My usual muses are negotiating with a necromancer and outsmarting reapers, so I contacted a muse escort service and this is who they sent:

A haiku muse

I didn’t know there were haiku muses, but apparently, they’re everywhere. Just check your backyard or local park. My diminutive muse flitted around the garden while I packed a picnic. She wanted to show me a place called Silver Falls.

Happy Birthday, Brad. My little muse and I wrote these for you!

hidden glades of light

sift through mottled canopies

a glimpse of magic

***

fiddleheads unfurl

green curlicues and whimsy

crowning last year’s fronds

***

boughs of emerald lace

spring’s parasols catch the light

fragrant in the sun

***

old stumps die and thrive

nurse a woodland’s nascent growth

life cycles entwined

***

silver waterfalls

glittering with frothy light

rainbow in the mist

***

Happy Birthday to Brad from the land of big trees!

The Sea Witch’s Bargain

Something short today! Yay!

This poem is in response to Colleen Chesebro’s #Tanka Tuesday challenge. It needed to include synonyms for Eager & Hope provided by Sally Cronin. It’s a syllabic poem called a Double Ennead consisting of 3 stanzas with syllables 6/5/11/6/5.

My goal was to capture the theme of my current WIP: The Ferryman and the Sea Witch.

The Sea Witch’s Bargain

Beware a dark bargain
A craft of desire
Conspired with the merrow’s silver-tailed witch
Her golden-tongued harpoon
Bristles with veiled barbs

She feasts on treasure-dreams
Conjured from sea beds
Her oaths, leviathans steeped in deception
Plunged in mountainous waves
She drowns the reckless

Or forsake her plunder
Mortal in the brine
A quiet heart surrenders to airlessness
Clasping pearls of courage
Deep in love redeemed

Life Lines by Sue Vincent

As we celebrate our dear story-teller, poet, blogger, and wise-woman Sue Vincent, I’d thought I would share my favorite book of her poetry.

Below is a sublimely beautiful poem from its pages, and my review. If you enjoy it, consider picking up a copy for own heart’s enjoyment. ❤

Flowers

by Sue Vincent

There were always flowers.

Orchids pinned upon a mother’s breast,

All lace and diamonds.

Long black gloves

And painted lips,

As she left, laughing.

A child who watched

As the door closed.

*

There were flowers…

Yellow tulips,

Cellophane and ribbon

A girl who blushed

As the curtain fell

Upon the stage;

She cradled them,

A first bouquet.

*

There were flowers,

Roses and lilies

White, in hands and hair,

Their fragrance mingled

With frankincense,

A ghost of awe and wonder

Finding a home

In memory.

*

There were flowers…

Rainbow hued,

Everywhere.

Greeting a life newborn,

With love and welcome,

Lighting stark severity

As a babe cried.

*

There were flowers…

Daisy chains

Around his brow,

Crowning him with sunlight,

In laughter,

In simplicity,

In love.

*

There were flowers,

Three roses,

Red as life,

Placed in a cold hand,

One for each heart

Saying farewell.

Too long,

Too soon.

*

There are flowers,

Heather and bluebells

Painting horizons

Still unexplored.

Pathways of petals

Laugh at our feet,

Inviting.

*

In joy or sorrow,

When the tears fall,

There are always flowers.

*

My Review

This collection of 52 poems by Sue Vincent is a gem. I’d give this book 6 stars if I could. It’s hard to put into words how moving I found Vincent’s poetry. The poems are free form reflections on the profound moments of life, the deep emotional wells of love, loss, and memories, the rhythms of nature reflected in our journeys, and the poignant journeys themselves.

It was almost impossible to pick out a few favorites, but I’m giving it a try: “I See You” is an exquisite poem about aging and the lasting echoes of youth that we carry inside our memories. “Flowers” (which makes me weepy just thinking about it) chronicles a woman’s life-stages in flowers from birth through death. Two touching poems are told from the point of view of someone watching a loved one sleep. They’re both gentle and heartachingly beautiful. “Just for a Moment” is a rare syllabic poem in the collection about the peace of love, and “Memory” about love lost.

Though the poems can be read in an hour or so, I would suggest savoring them. Highly recommended.

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You can connect with Sue here:

Blog: Daily Echo – Echoes of Life

Website: France & Vincent

Twitter

Facebook

Check out today’s beautiful post from Sue: Impression of Contentment

Happy Valentine’s Day. Hugs.