Sunday, May 31, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 103 - Taste Life

Continuing with a journal I wrote seven years ago, where I examined positive and negative reactions to people, things and circumstances, here is my latest found poem. I've taken a section of my notes concerning positive emotional reactions, and have reworked them into a poem.

Catch other poets - Ride the Poetry Train.

Taste Life

Any and all kinds
Fill me with
And joy

Shrub cutting
That first tiny green shoot
Dormant buds in spring
Intense thrill
Goes through me

Physical exertion
Being able to
Work my body
Not accompanied by asthma
Makes me feel strong and very happy

When I dance
Get into the dance trance
Extreme feeling
Of empowerment
The funkier the better

When my dog
Cuddles up to me
When we're on
The couch
Deeply-felt well-being

Densely satisfying things
Rice, beans, oatmeal
Lentils and bread
Taste life

Encircled with family love
Being hugged
Having a rub
Husband's sexy voice
Beautiful smile and deep blue eyes

Melt inside
Almost unbearable
Exquisite feeling of being truly alive

- Julia Smith, 2009 / original text 2002

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 102 - Does It Ever End?

Last week I turned part of a journal into my latest found poetry. I'm going to continue with the same journal for awhile.

Here's a look at some of my negative emotional reactions to situations and things.

Ride the Monday Poetry Train Revisited.

Does It Ever End?

I often get
Scenes which include
They come to me
In my writing
It's like being haunted

Raw meat
Really hate looking at it
Handling it
Rarely cook meat at home

Flogging scenes
Come to me
Haunted by the
Sounds of it

Human musculature
Really, really hate
Anatomy drawings
As long as there is
Skin present
Dancers, athletes
I'm a big fan of
Well-developed muscles
But not the raw-meat variety

It's like being haunted
By the sounds of it
By the cries of pain
I try to work this out
Through my characters

Circumstance in life
I complain about:
Manager who tries to
Demean me
Put me in my place

Faults I notice most
In others:

Injury or disease
I fear:
Any pain purposely
Re-injuring my knee

I purposely avoid:
Won't beg
Or plead
For anything
Had to learn
To ask for

Still difficult

Not keen
On addressing crowds
Don't really like it
Everyone's looking at me
For me to speak

Experience or activity
I especially fear:
Having to bear
Horrible pain
Loss of the esteem
Of those I love
Truly losing control
When I'm
I fear
Hurting someone

By the sounds of it
By the cries of pain

I try to work this out
Through my characters
They come to me
In my writing
It's like being haunted

- Julia Smith, 2009 / original text 2002

Stills are from the Russian film 1612.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 101 - Greatly Enjoy / Great Fear

For today's found poetry, I'm heading into a workbook journal I started in 2002. It's a past life journal, following the exercises in You Can Remember Your Past Lives, a used paperback I picked up when I was out with my husband. We were on our way to see Black Hawk Down, which is something I noted in the journal. Coincidences should always be noted when you're dealing with past life stuff.

I've always believed in reincarnation, even when I was young and hadn't really been exposed to the concept of it. Likely because I've personally had break-through memories come up for which I had no explanation as a child. My recovery of past life info has been a constant thread in my life. I saw a past life therapist while I lived in Toronto and had five sessions with her.

Once I moved back to Nova Scotia, I did personal meditation work and mindful observation of things in my life. When I found this book, it really helped me pull my personal work together into something I could look at and learn from.

My poem today is taken from the results of a rating-system quiz called Reactions to Stimuli. Ratings from 5 to 1 were given to various cultures, people, animals, weather and environments to take stock of my natural attractions and repulsions. This is a beginning marker to see where I have past life issues and strengths. 5 represents greatly enjoy, totally comfortable. 1 represents great fear, distaste, discomfort.

Greatly Enjoy / Great Fear

Greatly enjoy
Totally comfortable
British gentry accents
Scottish accents
Swedish accents
Russian accents

Enjoy kings or queens
Enjoy Catholics
Enjoy liberals
Enjoy teachers

Dancers, musicians greatly enjoy
Writers, directors enjoy greatly

Brunettes, totally comfortable
Blue eyes greatly enjoy
Grey eyes
Toned muscles
Correct body weight
Tall - enjoy greatly
Long hair, comfortable

Babies to 3 years
Enjoy, enjoy
Little girls and little boys
Adults aged 20-40
Total comfort

Enjoy, comfort
Totally great
Enjoy. Great
Comfort - total

Being in water

Being alone outdoors


Total comfort

Crowds, part of the masses

Books and reading

Enjoy greatly

Great fear
Evangelical faiths
Fringe groups

Fear conservatives
Fear fringe political parties
Fear fundamentalists

Bureaucrats - distaste
Corporate executives - distaste
Salesmen - distaste

Thin body types

Bulky muscles

Mice as pests

Arid climates

Loud noises

Great fear - tornado
Great fear - lightening
Great fear - sensation of falling
Great fear - crowds as mobs

- Julia Smith, 2009 / original text written 2002

Ride the Poetry Train! Click HERE.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 100! - Don't Give Him What He's Fishing For

This post feels very special to me. It's my 100th offering on the Poetry Train.

The original Poetry Train was started by a blogger named Rhian/Crow woman. She's a photographer and fine artist who also gathered a lively group of poets around her for a wonderful season of creativity. When her artistic pursuits took her in a new direction, the Poetry Train derailed for awhile.

I chugged along, naming my posts Poetry Monday. I couldn't hop off this thing.

Miracle of miracles, Gautami Tripathy began the Monday Poetry Train Revisited. Bless you, Gautami! Even my poetic words cannot express what the Poetry Train has meant to me.

I'd like to thank all the readers who stop by this blog on Mondays. Your comments are sweet as raindrops to me.

I'd like to embrace all the poets I've encountered on this journey. Your work has never failed to inspire and intoxicate me.

I look forward to the next 100 posts with hunger, passion and awe.

You can check out my previous posts in my archives. Click HERE.

Today's found poem is a writing exercise I did at one of the writer retreats at White Point Beach in Nova Scotia. I've reworked it into a poem.

Don't Give Him What He's Fishing For

"Beep. Beep. Beep.
Mrrm. Mrrm. Mrrm."

Little plastic wheels rolled
Back and forth, back
And forth
Across the cement floor
"Taran, honey," she mumbled
Turning onto her side

The rolling continued
Without sound effects
For some reason
That made it seem worse

Anya flipped the worn blanket

Sat up

Head swirled for a
Long moment
She waited

The spots in her vision
Fizzled away

Taran knelt
Rolling the moon mobile
Around himself
Scooting to keep up with the toy
He wasn't so
Pale this morning

It made her growling stomach
Easier to bear

"What are you doing?"
She asked
As if they were in the playroom
And not
This cell

"My guy is
On his way to
Lunar Space Station 12."

Taran didn't look up

"What's he going to do?"
She asked
Rubbing her arms
Trying to get some
Circulation going

"He's going for help."
Little plastic wheels rolled
Back and forth, back
And forth
Anya's heart hollowed
In her chest

"Is there help
At the space station?"
she asked
Glad her voice didn't shake

"Yeah," Taran said
Hair falling over his eyes
She was glad he didn't look up
Just then

Anya's pulse quickened
The low rumble of the outer lock
Made its way into the

She reached down
Marvelled that Taran
Slipped onto her lap without
A word
He'd never come to her
Without cajoling
Before the soldiers appeared
In her dining room

Echoed down the
Hall. She

Chest rising
Falling rapidly
No air reached her lungs
Anya's grip
On Taran tightened
The inner door unlocked


Martinus stood

Looking at them
An uncomfortable moment

He carried no food
A slave brings bowls
If Martinus appeared
It would be a long morning

He entered, turned
Shut the door. Then
He dug in his pocket
Pulling out a small toy
Anya pressed

Her palms across Taran's
Hoping he would
Absorb the
Warning of danger
Through her

Martinus crouched

His face level with Taran's
He allowed her son a good look

At the toy
Please, Taran, don't
Give him what he's fishing for

She begged silently

"Have you ever
Seen this before?"

Martinus asked

Taran shrugged

"What is it?" Martinus' gaze
Bored into her son's face
Anya held him
As if she could
Make this
All go

"It's a Hoozelie Draw-Engine,"
Taran said

"Is it yours?"

"No. Hoozelie
Is for babies."

"Do you know any
That might like to play with this?"

"I'm five. I don't play
With babies."

- Julia Smith, 2009 / original piece written 2007

Illustration - Azureus Rising - Prison Cell by Hideyoshi

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 99 - Smiles Saved For the Banquet

Here is my latest found poem. I've taken this from a writing exercise I did almost a decade ago, when I found a wonderful writers' group in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

We met at one another's homes, once a month. We would do writing exercises, and then share pieces of writing we'd been working on. I so enjoyed finding this group. They helped me stay sane when I'd moved from the Big City of Toronto to a fishing town of 8000.

This poem visits one of my favorite stories - the King Arthur/Guinevere/Launcelot love triangle.

Ride the Poetry Train! Click HERE.

Smiles Saved For the Banquet

Turned in the archway
His face shadowed
By the lowering sun

"It is said
You are often found weeping."

"By whom
My lord?"

Guinevere asked
Her tone flat

"By the court.
The servants.
By most,
In fact."

"It is a lonely time
For me, these
Wet months. It
Turns my mind
To my own home."

"So many years away.
It still brings tears?"

Took a step into
The room, still feeling
The heavy distance
Between them.

"A woman's world
Is her home,
My lord.
I have no children
To comfort me
Here. My mind
Turns to those days
When I thought
A child was part of
My future. That
Is all."

"So you
Do weep

"All women weep
In our rooms
When we are left to
We save our smiles
For the banquet
And the garden.
We allow our sighs
When we are
Tis of no

"It is to me,

Walked to his queen
And stood before her.
"I should like
To take you from
These shadows
If they wring such
From you."

- Julia Smith, 2009 / original piece written April, 2000

Painting: Queen Guinevere by William Morris