Heart, Soul, and Rough Edges — A Gypsy Journey of Words and Wonder

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Make Visible: Home


I’m a poet with a particular point of view. In these next blog posts I’ll post poems on different subjects from my point of view. Each poem is an expression, through me, of inspiration or Spirit or emotion. What you see in this light is what you bring to the poem.

Home is where the heart is. Home is where you hang your hat. Whatever your definition of home is, I’d like to hear it. Here is one of mine. Like a snapshot, it’s more of a fleeting impression than a textbook definition.

My Town

Above the hum of machinery
the sound of cars rushing by
I can hear the birds
in defiance.

There are still bugs
despite all the disinfectants,
weed-killer, napalm.

Dogs roam free
in our neighborhood.
They come up to say hello
or bark their freedom
at their fellows behind fences.

There are more slugs every year
it seems like.
The rain brings them
in the morning, in the grass
a convention.

And the deer
not hunted here
in this unnatural setting
eat weeds next to the post office
four of them, a family portrait.
Frustrated hunters
with gun racks in their trucks
have to stop
as they cross the road.

© Anne Westlund

Doe in backyard

Doe in backyard

Come back on Friday, June 28th for Make Visible: Childhood

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director


Writing Narrative Poetry

nitesky7 A couple of months ago, I signed up for the first of four parts of an online course in mythic structure. We’re now partway through part two, and I find myself working on a long, narrative poem about a warrior who goes to Hell to seek revenge for his slain fellows.  I started this particular poem as a homework assignment, and in spite of my feeling that the poem was complete in itself, the comments by my fellow students (“what happens next?”) led me to continue it.  I don’t usually write horror stories — in fact, I’ve never written one — but the poem does have its grisly elements. Here’s the first stanza from Part II:

Jovan  strode down a narrow path

where walls gave off an eerie light

and crunch of bones beneath his feet

sent screams of souls to demon’s blight.

If I had to write about this in prose, I doubt I would have come up with anything close to this, but somehow writing in rhyme freed me.   The  poem is the longest I’ve written, and it’s far from finished.  It’s about 26 four-line stanzas so far.

I worked on a number of poems for part one of this course, including another where a soul goes down to hell.

Of all the story structure types I’ve studied, this one — the hero’s journey — feels the most natural. I read lots of Robin Hood, King Arthur, fairy tales, Greek and Roman mythology, and the like growing up, and apparently absorbed a lot about about the scaffolding without being aware of it.  All in all, a fascinating subject, and a rich source, for me, of poetic inspiration.

The Gates of Hell

He stood before the gates of hell

to bargain with a shade.

He drew a breath, then struck the bell

and drew his heavy blade.

The gate was formed from primal fire,

glowed with a steady flame.
But in that hell, his heart’s desire,

and on his head, the blame.

The shadow slipped between the glow

that formed the fiery gate.

Dar raised his sword to strike his foe.

The shadow murmured, “Wait.

“If you would see your love once more,

then listen now to me.

While men have entered hell before,

no man has broken free.”

“And yet I, too, must take a chance,

so shadow, stand aside.

The shadow bowed, and with a glance,

let hell’s gates open wide.

“I’m going now to meet my love.

Though I’ll remain in hell,

my story will be know above.”

Then did the death-bells knell.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Mary's Poetry Month Success

I was very pleased with my poetic productivity in April. Here’s the breakdown.

I competed in daily challenges on the Sims 3 forums. These consisted of weekly themes, and daily styles/forms. Not all poems had to be newly written for the contest.

  • Wrote 19 new poems, and entered all but one day.
  • Won twelve days (half of those were ties).
  • Earned 2600 points ($26 of Simpoints which I got in stuff for my game).
  • 1332 words of poetry written.
  • Compliments on my poems, as well as small gifts from other contestants.
  • Four new Sims friends (fellow poets).
  • Overall winner (most wins and points).
  • Eight poems packed with potential that need polishing.

I’m so glad I participated in the Sims 3 Forums rather than the Poetic Asides blog this year. It was much more intimate, and I think that helped to inspire me as the month went along.

I also composed two Book Spine poems, one which I shared in my last post. The other is one I did for the library contest. Below is my poem showing what the library means to me. It was a finalist (top ten of over 100 entries).

Mary's Library Book Spine Poem

Mary’s Library Book Spine Poem

Brink of Chaos
The Great Escape

Doing the book spine poem at the library also had another benefit. See that bottom book? I grabbed it solely for the title. I glanced at the front cover blurb due to the butterfly. Went on instinct, and checked out the book. Read it in two days. LOVE. The book is HAVEN by Kristi Cook. It’s a YA about a girl with precognition, who transfers to a school where everyone has some sort of psychic ability. In the author’s own words: Think X-Men meets Twilight.  Loved the characters, the fresh spin on the plot. Could not put the book down. Immediately checked out book two, MIRAGE. Now eagerly waiting for book three to come out (this fall!).

To end the post, I will share with you one of the poems I wrote last month. A Villanelle.

The Author

A goddess, many worlds do I create
to fill with danger, passion, magic, flight,
with words alone manipulating fate.

A lonely princess on a grand estate,
a dragon in his lair just out of sight,
a goddess, many worlds do I create.

Each character is given a strong trait
then thrown into some unforgiving plight;
with words alone manipulating fate.

When countless suitors seek to procreate,
the dragon takes them out with just a bite.
A goddess, many worlds do I create.

A hero uses wit to then debate
and keeps the dragon occupied all night,
with words alone manipulating fate.

The dragon tricked to eat some poisoned bait,
the princess freed to her own tale rewrite.
A goddess, many worlds do I create,
with words alone manipulating fate.

Mary Butterfly Signature

Enhanced by Zemanta

Make Visible: Organization

I’m a poet with a particular point of view. In these next blog posts I’ll post poems on different subjects from my point of view. Each poem is an expression, through me, of inspiration or Spirit or emotion. What you see in this light is what you bring to the poem.

What is it about staying organized? It’s a noble pursuit, so they say. It’s so hard to get and stay organized. A poem can be about anything, anything at all, or even nothing at all. This is my poem about organization.


If I was truly organized
I’d know where everything was
every last paper
every last book.

I’d pay my bills on time,
find the keys
and my favorite lipstick.

But bills pile high on the dresser
my desk has layers to excavate
can’t find my slippers.

You tell me organizing is easy.
In a minute I’ll lose my pen,
then this poem will be over.

© Anne Westlund


Disorganized a huge mess
Disorganized a huge mess (Photo credit: Yuba College Public Space)

Come back on Friday, May 31 for Make Visible: Home

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

Enhanced by Zemanta

Post Navigation