RoadWriter

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

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

Make Visible: Communication

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 talking? How you can say things but they don’t seem to reach others, and vice-versa. Here’s a poem I wrote about communication last September. I hope you enjoy it!

heart-balloons_00067772

Talk, Talk, Talk

So many things we can’t say
to each other,
are we hiding the worst parts of ourselves
or the best?

Wearing my heart on my sleeve,
always.
I’m no poker face.
Everyone knows what I’m thinking,
even before I do.

But you…
a charming, un-scalable wall,
a good-natured mountain,
whose stone face
hides so much
pain.

We communicate best in gestures,
not words.
The words fail us,
filling up the space
like balloons,
ready to burst.

Where’s the damn pin?

© Anne Westlund

Come back on Friday, August 23rd for Make Visible: Summer of Creativity

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

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Using stanzas to enhance your poetry

 

A few months back, I took an online songwriting course  with Pat Pattison. The course was given  by http://www.coursera.org an organization that allows anyone to enroll in free, online, university-level courses given through a number of institutions of higher learning.

One of the most interesting things I took away from the course was the notion of stable versus unstable. He argues that the number of lines, the line length contribute to the verse feeling either resolved (stable) or not (unstable). Even numbers of lines feel stable, uneven lines unstable.

So here is an experiment with a poem of mine.  Here is the original:

Traveling Man’s Blues

 blueroad

It used to be that all you’d need to travel round the states

was a couple hundred bucks and nerve to tempt the fates

by sticking out your thumb. Then you could cruise to anyplace.

I was bitten by the traveling man’s blues.

 

I hitchhiked up to ski country and there I learned to ski.

I found a real nice place to stay, at least it seemed to be,

but after just a month or three they all got tired of me.

Now I’m caroling the traveling man’s blues.

 

I moved on to Connecticut to swim in Candlewood Lake.

I camped out in the summer. In the fall I tried to break

into a cozy cabin. Boy, was that a big mistake!

Now I’m studying the traveling man’s blues.

 

They threw me in the slammer for a year or two or three.

That was the end of traveling for quite some time for me,

but I’ll be out of here real soon. And then, to where? We’ll see.

I’m stilling mastering the traveling man’s blues.

 

and here is a version with three line stanzas

Traveling Man’s Blues

 

It used to be that all you’d need to travel round the states

was a couple hundred bucks and nerve to tempt the fates

by sticking out your thumb. Then you could cruise to anyplace.

 

I hitchhiked up to ski country and there I learned to ski.

I found a real nice place to stay, at least it seemed to be,

but after just a month or three they all got tired of me.

 

I moved on to Connecticut to swim in Candlewood Lake.

I camped out in the summer. In the fall I tried to break

into a cozy cabin. Boy, was that a big mistake!

 

They threw me in the slammer for a year or two or three.

That was the end of traveling for quite some time for me,

but I’ll be out of here real soon. And then, to where? We’ll see.

I’m stilling mastering the traveling man’s blues.

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Witness to the Art and Dedication

"Writing", 22 November 2008

I have a nine-year-old son and a husband who both love my attention. I know they both have Quality Time as one of their top love languages (and mine!), so it is important. However, this has made it even harder for me to write when others are around. My son wants to share, or do something with me. My husband comments “but you had all day to write”. So I tend not to write on weekends or breaks from school. Or if I do, I get cranky from all the interruptions. Then an event like NaNoWriMo comes around, or National Poetry Month. I think: this is important! I will make an exception. But the boys don’t see it that way. To them, it’s the same as every other day. So as the month goes by, I would do less challenges in evenings and weekends. Until I eventually stalled out altogether, feeling I wasn’t getting the support I needed.

I have since realized my mistake. It’s impossible to prove to someone that my writing is important if I don’t act like it is. I haven’t made it a priority. I can’t expect them to respect my writing time when I don’t respect it myself. When they don’t *see* me write. I put that to the test last April. Both husband and son were made aware that I was going to write a poem each day, and be spending time on the poetry forum, even on weekends and spring break. In return, my husband helped remind my son when I was working, and I got the space and support I needed. And it ended up being my most successful poetry month.

Now that it’s summer, I’ve put into the schedule for one hour of writing every week day. It’s not a perfect system yet. My kid is good with schedules, and has been giving me the hour when I ask for it. I need to be more consistent in doing so, and not wasting that hour when I do.

How do carve writing time for yourself? How do you convince those in your life that writing/creativity is important?

Mary Butterfly Signature

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