alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
[community profile] poetree is hosting its next community themed week starting on Monday, March 31. There are plenty of spots open if you are interesting participating as host. You can also participate by commenting on posts as the week goes. These weeks are usually a lot of fun.

POETREE @ Dreamwidth: Stitches in Time: Exploring Perceptions of Time through Poetry: March 31st - April 5th

What's the time? Depends on who you ask — and where you're standing. Sign up now to participate, March 31st - April 5th @ [community profile] poetree.
alee_grrl: From Fantasia: Demon mountain from Night on Bald Mountain (bald mountain)
Poetry, because my brain is itching to do something besides panic. I'm driving down to Norfolk on Monday. The essay/short answer portion of test is on Tuesday, and multiple Choice sections on Wednesday. I'll return home on Thursday.

Over at [community profile] poetree there has been some fabulous posts this week on exploring politics through poetry, including [personal profile] raze's wonderful exploration of jazz poetry and Langston Hughes. You might say that this poem was inspired by that post and jazz poetry.

This is a little rough in spots, and I'm not sure about the fourth and fifth stanzas.Poem below the cut. )
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
POETREE @ Dreamwidth: Exploring the Body Politic: February 17th - 22nd

From census to consensus, let's map the polities in our lives. How do we dramatize — or dismiss — our conflicts of interest? Where's poetry to be found in politics? Sign up now to participate, February 17th - 22nd @ [community profile] poetree.
alee_grrl: Railroad tracks through an autumn forrest (autumn rails)
Cross-posted at [community profile] poetree. This is my entry for this week's community themed week about remembrance and memorial. I wanted to share this here as well because it is what I spent a lot of time working on last week. Post does not reflect my current mood. I am very happy and enjoying my birthday!

In the northern hemisphere November is a time when the days darken earlier and shadows seem more prevalent. This can make it easier for our personal demons to trouble us. As the holidays approach we often feel our losses more deeply. For many people I know November is a time for remembrance and memorial. Whether it is remembering their dearly departed on All Saints Day/Dios de los Muertos, remembering Veteran's and the cost of war on Armistice/Veteran's Day, or remembering holiday seasons past be they good or bad. For me personally it is a mix of all these things, plus the annual memorial that is my birthday, mixed with the anniversary of a dreadful storm that I witnessed as a child.. Most would not think of birthdays as memorials, but in the sense that it is a day for remembering and contemplating the past I find that birthdays are the ultimate memorial. I felt it fitting that I start our week on remembrance and memorial since today is my birthday.

It is a month that always makes me think of the past and the many uncertain associations that I have with the month. It is also a time for me to reflect on the positive things that have come into my life, and the wonders of friendship and love that I've experienced as I've grown older. I wanted to write a poem that captured this mix of feelings and contemplation. I am going to put the poem under a cut as it may contain some triggering material for folks. For all the darkness and rawness contained in the poem, I did try to end on a lighter more hopeful tone. Also, for those interested the storm referred to was one that hit the Shreveport, LA area on November 15, 1987. It spawned several tornadoes, including the F3 that essentially went right over our heads.

Feedback and constructive criticism is always welcome. I also welcome people to share in the comments what they remember this month.

So trigger warning: poem contains themes of child abuse, domestic violence, neglect, PTSD, and rather detailed description of a natural disaster and the related shock )
alee_grrl: Railroad tracks through an autumn forrest (autumn rails)
November always sparks a lot of contemplative thinking for me, particularly as my birthday approaches. Fittingly enough my birthday kicks off [community profile] poetree's next community week which is set around the theme of remembrance and memorial. It seemed appropriate that I sign up for the Monday, November 18th post. I'm going to be writing about birthdays as memorial and how November is always a strange mix of celebration and grief for me.

I have several poems brewing right now, particularly with all the memories that are often stirred up around this time of year. My initial thought was to do one long poem, but after a bit of writing and reflection I realized that I want to explore some things more fully. I decided to start off with an etheree to get my poetic juices flowing again.

November's Child
Read more... )
alee_grrl: miniature pumpkin surrounded by fall leaves (pumpkin leaves)
[personal profile] jjhunter has a trick or treat: haiku post up. She did this last year too and it is a lot of fun. Go to the post, leave a prompt in the comments, and/or answer a prompt with a haiku. It's super fun.

Happy Halloween and blessed Samhain.
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
POETREE @ Dreamwidth: Fragments of Sappho: September 16th - 21st

Exploring fragment 16 in depth, in translation and (re)imagination. Sign up now to participate, September 16th - 21st @ [community profile] poetree.
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
So next week is [community profile] poetree's next themed week, and the topic is emotional intimacy. I would like to do at least one post, possibly two (if I can find some collaborators for at least one of the days).

Here are the ideas I'm kicking around:

1: how poetry's format lends itself to creating intimacy
2: using poetry to heal emotional intimacy and trust violation/damaged pathways

Want to collaborate?
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
POETREE @ Dreamwidth: Emotional Intimacy: June 17th - 22nd

In honor of QUILTBAG pride month, [community profile] poetree is hosting a community themed week on 'Emotional Intimacy'. Sign up to share your thoughts or creative efforts June 17th - 22nd.
alee_grrl: The poet's tree against a night sky (illustration for poetree @ dw community by djinni @ lj) (poet's tree at night)
So over at [community profile] poetree we are planning our next community themed week. This is a week where individuals or groups can host a single day rather than a whole week. A theme is selected to group the posts around, and the post can range over a huge variety of topics within the theme. For example our last community themed week was a Celebration of Dr. Seuss's Poetry.

Our next themed week is Emotional Intimacy. It is a very broad topic and we are hoping to have as many posts focused on non-sexual intimacies as well as sexual intimacies.

There are a couple of things that come to mind when I think of this topic. One is how poetry as a medium is a particularly useful/powerful tool for creating intimate space. Another fun one would be to write a poem about friendship or familial intimacies and explore the topic that way.

There are so many ways to talk about emotional intimacy and trust. What are things that come to your mind when you think about this topic?
alee_grrl: Girl wearing plaid skirt, stripey socks and bracers pulling red wagon with teddy bear (quirky)
So yesterday I did a meta post over at [community profile] poetree on the influences of Dr. Seuss, especially Oh! The Places You'll Go, on graduation rituals and speeches. Having been through three different graduation ceremonies now, it was fun to ponder the influences and life lessons of one of my favorite poets.
alee_grrl: 9th Doctor in front of the TARDIS arms crossed, looking up and smirking (dr who Smug)
Broke my drive into three days, so that I had to drive no more than four hours each day. First day I stayed overnight at a friend's house, which was very nice. Second day I crashed at a motel in a smaller town. Got in early enough to hunt down a local movie theater and go see the new Star Trek film, which was fun. Was delighted to find a Japanese restaurant as well and treated myself to sashimi for dinner. Got to sleep in too, since the last leg of my trip was only a couple of hours. Made it to Virginia yesterday afternoon and am settling in nicely. Am probably just going to relax and chill out today.

In other news, [community profile] poetree is officially off hiatus! We're kicking off our return with a multi-hosted week celebrating the poetry of Dr. Seuss. I will be doing a post Thursday on graduation rituals and Dr. Seuss's poetry. There are still two open days (Tuesday and Thursday)! So if you are interested in doing a post, head on over to the sign-up post and say which day you would like in the comments. Posts do not need to be long, nor particularly academic. You could write about a specific poem/book of Dr. Seuss, or you could write a general post on how his work inspired you in some way. You could do a complement post where you discuss a work you created (art, poem, etc) in response to a Dr. Seuss poem. You could share a sound recording of your favorite poem. There are loads of things you can do!

Even if you don't have the time, energy, or ideas to do a post, please check out the other posts as they go up. There will be lots of opportunities to participate via the comments.
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
POETREE @ Dreamwidth: The poetry of Dr. Seuss: May 27th - June 1st

Write a Dr. Seuss-style poem, record a tongue twister, discuss your favorites, and more - Monday, May 27th through Saturday, June 1st @ [community profile] poetree
alee_grrl: Open book with purple iris in crease, text reads poetry (poetry)
This poem is for [personal profile] gramina who won [community profile] poetree challenge #23. Zie requested a poem on the theme of grief/loss/change. The title was inspired by listening to the absolutely haunting Skyfall by Adele.


I always think about you
this time of year
sky heavy and gray, the weight of it
ready to fall around our shoulders

the still cold quiet
death on the wind
aches through to my soul

these are the days your loss
echos painfully
through the chambers of my heart
I long to have one more
minute, hug, touch, smile
one more sliver of forever

frozen fingers of wind tug
tendrils of hair uncovered
a playful howling ghost

gloved hands tucked deep
huddled here waiting
for the sky to fall
I think of you

I wrap the memory of your smile
around my heart like a coat
You laugh shivers through my veins
hot chocolate for my heart
I can hear your whisper
let the sky fall

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
alee_grrl: Autumnal poet's tree (illustration for poetree @ dw community by djinni @ lj) (poet's tree)
This poem was written for [personal profile] ashestosnow who [community profile] poetree Climbing the Poet's Tree Challenges #13 over the summer. Zie was very patient in waiting for hir prize. Zie requested a poem on spiritual encounters with fire or trial by fire. Thank you for your patience!

Kiss the Flame

burn through
my troubled
soul. Cauterize
these old wounds, destroy
those pockets of poison
that have lingered for so long.
I stare across the burning coals
and envision the lies of my past
and the lost child I once was. Kiss the flame.
Read more... )
alee_grrl: 9th Doctor in front of the TARDIS arms crossed, looking up and smirking (dr who Smug)
Just spoke with my grandmother and uncle on the phone. Grandma is moving into her new assisted living apartment on Monday. My aunt helped her pick out new furniture and my dad, aunt and uncle will help her get moved in and settled come Monday. Such a relief.

In other news [personal profile] jjhunter and I have been working to get [community profile] poetree back up and running after a long hiatus, not to mention getting some old projects for the community done and updated. The comm will come off hiatus this coming Monday (Sept. 10). Our first week back is going to be a multi-hosted theme week in which we will explore one poem in depth. The poem we have chosen is Julia Stein's Downtown Women. Julia Stein has even given us permission to repost the poem in it's entirety, though sadly she will not be able to participate in the discussion due to health reasons.

If you want to participate, check out the sign-up post. This is a great poem about immigrants, women, the labor movements and so much more. There are so many ways in which to participate. You could look at the historical context of the poem, write or create something in response to the poem, translate the poem into another language and discuss the issues surrounding its translation, create an audio or video performance piece in response, or anything else that fits into the theme of exploring this one poem in depth. There is still plenty of room for hosts, and it's a heck of a lot of fun to get involved.

Also if you are interested in hosting a week of your own, check out our current sign-up post. You do not have to be a poet, just enthusiastic about poetry. Nor do you have to be a Dreamwidth member; the community admins can always put up your posts on your behalf. Details about how that works are available on the sign-up page. You can host a week posting on any topic related to poetry (and the week itself does not have to be themed, though you can do that if you want). Check out the sign-up and our community introduction post for more details. And feel free just to check out. [community profile] poetree is a wonderful way to explore poetry and make friends with like-minded people.
alee_grrl: Bruce Willis holding coffee cup.  Text reads: Coffee fail....caffiene levels dangeriously low (coffee fail)
Warning: Written after night time sleepy pills were taken. Rambling and typos may ensue.

I started one of the two classes I am taking this summer, both very intense class wise. This course is negotiation and ran from 8 am to 5:30 pm today, and will run from 1 pm to 5:30 pm tomorrow. We did get an hour for lunch and plenty of breaks, but 8 hours of class work (interactive classwork thankfully, 8 hours of lecture only would have had me wanting to poke my eyes out and run screaming claiming the elder gods were coming or something like that). I am completely knackered and loosing the ability to type, and so I will be seeing my bed shortly.

The class is looking to be fun and interesting, but time intensive. This may require a hiatus (longer than the one we seem to have going) over on [community profile] poetree. Hopefully we'll sort some things out. This four day intensive course ends next week, and then I have about a week before my three day intensive mediation course starts. Eep. That one is 8 am -6:30 pm for the first two days and 8 am - 4:30 pm the last day. Final projects due that Saturday. I know I can do it, but am finding it all a bit daunting. So if I'm not around as much, sudden intense increase in world load is likely the problem. Feel free to poke me and make sure I'm still kicking. :)

Lots of love to everyone in my dwricle. Night Night. zzzZZZzzzzZZZzzzzz
alee_grrl: Open book with purple iris in crease, text reads poetry (poetry)
This poem is for [personal profile] primeideal who won [community profile] poetree's Climbing the Poet's Tree Challenge #12. There was no specific prompt, so I took the inspiration from [personal profile] primeideal's journal and AO3 site. I noticed ze liked both Harry Potter and Wicked, and this was born. It is a poem written by an adult Harry Potter, who took up writing poetry and journaling as part of his therapy in the years after the war.

Defying Gravity

The world has tried to hold me down.
Every insult another stone, heavy
on shoulders too tiny to bear
Atlas' load. Semper Gravitas--
leave your smile at the door.

We met by chance, your smile unfolded
as we sat, two strangers on a train bound
for a new adventure. Magic and mystery,
a world unforeseen--friendship at last;
tiny cracks form in the stones round my heart.

We two soon become three,
and gravitas fell to the side. Smiles
became more frequent and laughter abounded.
Insults still thrown, but heaven was found
the day my broom took to the skies.

The world fell away, the wind tugged
my hair; the sense of freedom surrounded.
Gravitas returned when my feet touched the ground,
but the pull no longer overwhelmed me.
Because now I knew how to defy gravity.
alee_grrl: White swan silhouette over stylized rainbow heart with Love Justice, Love Equality beneath (pride)
Today was the last day of our QUILTBAG poetry celebration week over at [community profile] poetree, and I was happy to share some of my own experiences and favorite poems. You can read the entry here.

That post describes how my introduction to Catullus, an ancient Roman poet, and Sappho, an ancient Greek poet, broadened my horizons as a freshman in college. The experience of studying the poems of Catullus also had one additional side effect: unintentionally scaring the crap out of my roommate.

As part of our final we had to actually declaim one of the poems in proper meter and style (as the poems were often publicly declaimed as a form of publication during the days of the Roman Republic). The style of reading was very different from reading a modern poem, which often leaves the emphasis and speed up to the reader. Instead there was a very specific speed and rhythm to be used. The effect is almost song like (think Gregorian chants), and requires a lot of practice to get right. We had to recite the poem from memory to a tape recorder as part of the final, so there was some serious worry involved alongside all the prep. I was even dreaming about it. I was self-conscious enough that I wasn't practicing around others, so my roommate had no idea that I was working on this.

Early one morning my roommate woke me up. She was rather freaked out. Apparently I woke her up when I set up in bed, chanted a long bit of Latin, and fell back in bed. She must have seen the Exorcist recently as she said she had been waiting for my head to start spinning around. It took a bit to reassure her that no, I wasn't possessed merely worried about my upcoming final. Though I do have to admit that if my roommate woke me up by sitting up in bed and spouting Latin, I'd probably scream too. We had a good laugh over the whole incident.
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
[community profile] poetree is hosting a week of QUILTBAG poetry in honor of Pride month, and the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Please check it out. I'll be doing a post on Saturday, but there are some other fantastic hosts who will be posting throughout the rest of the week.


alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)

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