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

Archive for the category “Anne Westlund”

Make Visible: Winter

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.

Even though it’s not quite winter yet, it’s getting there. Here is my rendition of the cruelest season.

Ice Age

The bird hops on the branch
closer and closer
Head cocked, eye a small ball bearing
down on me.
Does she see a worm or a shiny piece of metal?
We stare at each other across
the chilly space.
Between us evolution, the difference
between the wild and the tame.
Her feathers in my mind.
Hat and gloves, scarf and jacket
on the movie screen in her head.
I stamp the snow with my boots,
jeans too thin for a day like this.
The branch waves as the bird,
small brown/grey inches closer.
Embarrassed by this scrutiny I
look away.
Out of the corner of my eye I see snow
coming down, the branch swaying,
this bird has flown.
Leaving me alone on a cold snowy day.
Wanting the feathers and the beady eye
to come back.

But I am alone.

And winter goes on forever.

© Anne Westlund

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

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Make Visible: The Big Questions

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.

We all ask ourselves the big questions from time to time. Here’s a poem that both asks and answers the big questions, in a way.

Fungi

So existential
So philosophical
almost Zen Buddhist.

You’d never know it,
from my letters, emails
chatty with activity
detailing my relationships
the things I wonder about…

Life, death, the afterlife
mushrooms sprouting in my head,
the fungus of eternal questions.

This I don’t share.
This I keep to myself.
In the shade of this great tree.

© Anne Westlund

mushrooms

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

Make Visible: Summer of Creativity

My poetry does not exist in a vacuum. It reflects my life, at the moment and in retrospect. One way I “fill the well” is through doing arts and crafts projects. Here are pictures of what I’ve been up to for the past 3 months.

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The jacket took about 2 years to embroider off and on, so glad to finish it!

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

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

Make Visible: Childhood

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.

These are memories from childhood. They aren’t strictly accurate, but they do capture the flavor of my childhood. Sometimes truth is more important than accuracy. Memory is a maze of images that we can get lost in easily. Try writing poems about your childhood. You’ll be surprised at what you come up with!

Car Trip

“It’s so hot,” Mom said for the 500th time,

Bubble gum melted like pink vinyl onto the back seat,
Dad pulled over, “Sir, you were doing at least
65” by the State Patrol—just a warning.
I threw up Hershey bars and Coke, carsick on my
Cousin Keith from Minnesota, we stopped at the “one
And only” reptile farm—snake shows and a 10
Foot python. We stayed at a motel that went nowhere,
Looked like a train, everyone saw Old Faithful except me,
I was in the Ladies room.
In Nevada we bought fireworks for the 4th, my brother
Exploded a cherry bomb in the toilet and stole
All the Dunes ashtrays.
My mom swore we’d never go on a trip like that again,
In our cool air-conditioned living room, while I played
Cards, a picture of the sunshine state on the backs.

Dad said “Next summer let’s go to Disneyland.”

© Anne Westlund

Ashtray

Come back on Friday, July 26th for Make Visible: Communication

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

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.

Disorganized

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

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Make Visible: Love and Attraction

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.

This particular poem, “Valentine,” was written in response to a challenge to write a Villanelle, a form of poetry. It was also written as a Valentine for someone I was attracted to at the time. Poetry, classically, portrays love and attraction. It’s not unusual to write a love poem. Some of our first attempts at writing poetry are love poems. Please try your hand at love poetry if you haven’t already.

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Valentine (Villanelle)

Cupid’s arrows pierce my heart,
Despite love’s shifting sands
Never will we two part

Card stolen from Wal-Mart
More than eruptions from my glands
Cupid’s arrows pierce my heart

To get to you I took the BART *
IPOD plays my favorite bands,
Never will we two part

I feel the sting of his golden darts
Make of me any demands
Cupid’s arrows pierce my heart

Dressed up like a dime-store tart
You held me in your gentle hands
Never will we two part

Your eyes travel my Holy Lands
Ready for your commands
Cupid’s arrows pierce my heart
Never will we two part.

* BART-Bay Area Rapid Transit

© Anne Westlund

Come back on Friday, May 3 for Make Visible: Organization.

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

Make Visible: Criticism

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.

Criticism of your writing, your looks, or your personality, whether positive or negative, has an impact.  As “sensitive poets,” perhaps we react even more strongly than others.  Remember, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade (or lemon bars)!

 

Today, I offer you this poem about criticism.

Made lemon squares today. The crust is similar...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Lemon Bars Deluxe

Bitter with the sweet

Criticism unasked for
Compliments as well

Sprinkled with powdered sugar
Melting in my mouth

How much honey
Will take away the sting?

Your words sweeter
With every bite of lemon.

© Anne Westlund

 

Come back on Friday, April 5, for Make Visible: Love and Attraction

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

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Make Visible: Light Through a Window

Stained glass window 2

Stained glass window 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s the poet, then there’s the poem. One cannot exist without the other. Every poet has their own particular point of view. Like light through a stained-glass window, the poet filters inspiration. The poet is the stained glass. The light is inspiration or Spirit or emotion. The light and the stained-glass together create a special kind of light. That light becomes the poem.

 

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.

 

For without an audience we are just playing to an empty room.

Anne Westlund

 

Today’s subject is Paper (and writing).

 

To a Piece of Paper

 

Here is the dance floor

parqueted with words,

Here is the curtained bed,

Here is the blank blueprint

where dreams find their architect,

Here is the cloudbank

from which God’s hand emerges,

Here is the egg,

from which tall tales are birthed.

Here is the wide field

of my imagination.

 

© Anne Westlund

 

Come back on Friday, March 22, for Make Visible:  Criticism.

 

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

 

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Make Visible: Workshop Poems

To continue our series on the Muse Online Writers Conference and our Poetry Workshop last fall, I present to you two poems that were written during the conference.

 

 

Even though the Poetic Muselings were “teaching” or facilitating the Poetry Workshop, we also “learned” from each other and the participants.  I always come up with new writing when I attend MuseCon and this time was no exception.  Here are two poems that literally wouldn’t have existed if not for our workshop and MuseCon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Persona Poems

 

 

 

Persona poems are poems that are written in a voice other than that of the author, where the author pretends to be someone else. ~Margaret Fieland

 

 

 

This is the prompt I used for my Persona Poem:

 

 

 

– The loneliest keys on the keyboard that never get used

 

Typewriter Keys

Typewriter Keys (Photo credit: jon|k)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Question

 

 

 

 

 

Q?

 

I have a question.

 

Why am I so neglected?

 

You like E and A

 

and I far too much.

 

You never type Quasimodo or Quack

 

Or even misspell, using Q for K.

 

I’m in a quandary.

 

There’s not much I can do,

 

the letter Q

 

on your keyboard,

 

lonely, upset, tired.

 

I know I shouldn’t quomplain,

 

but I do.

 

Q?

 

 

 

 

 

© Anne Westlund

 

 

 

 

 

  • Ekphrasis / Picture Poem

 

 

 

An Ekphrasis or Picture Poem is a poem inspired by a work of art.  I was inspired by Visual 5, a collage by Lin Neiswender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit to the Beauty Shop

 

 

 

 

 

Like a chorus of blondes

 

they tell me my hair is fried

 

from at-home color

 

 

 

These hairdressers

 

all perfectly coiffed

 

like angels of desire

 

swoop in and mutter over

 

my split ends

 

 

 

In need of proper maintenance,

 

conditioning and decent upstanding

 

expensive $$ permanent color

 

 

 

I don’t know whether to laugh

 

or cry

 

 

 

I’ll stick to my box color

 

I’ll stick to my free hair cuts

 

thank you very much!

 

 

 

The choir shrieks off-key

 

paling against the vagaries

 

of economy

 

 

 

So much for a “free” consultation

 

 

 

I don’t leave a tip.

 

 

 

 

 

© Anne Westlund

 

 

 

 

 

Please check out the Muse Online Writers Conference and sign up for next year’s conference here: http://themuseonlinewritersconference.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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