A work in Progress . . .and needing feedback

So my grade for my poetry class is based 50 percent on the portfolio I turn in. I have divided it into two sections: One, Requiem Poems About Being a Widow and two, Abundance: Facets and Fancies of Life. I’m not sure which order to put them in yet. Suggestions? The professor has read and made suggestions for revising most of the poems. I’ve taken her advice under consideration as I’ve been rewriting, but I’m finding some of things I simply don’t want to change, because they say exactly what I meant. Most of the poems have benefited from repeated revisions. Some of them though, haven’t been through that process. If anyone cares to read these rough drafts and give me feedback, that would be helpful as I try to polish this portfolio. Thanks, Sue/KyneWynn

The Fruit Basket

A gift. A cheery basket filled with
Gleaming apples, red and gold,
Brightly colored tangerines, bananas,
And waxy pears, artistically arranged,
Exuding Christmas Cheer.

Reading the tag,
“From the 10th Ward,”
I’m puzzled, confused.
Why am I receiving a
Fruit Basket?

As I slowly remove the plastic wrap,
Releasing the tangy scent of tangerines,
Meaning dawns. Fruit basket.
Widow’s. Fruit. Basket.
And I’m the widow.

I recoil from the thought,
A widow? Me? No.
Denial – denied, the fruit basket,
Evidence of truth tucked
Among the pears.

A rich, red apple mocks my loss.
In an instant it is careening through the air,
Thudding against the wall –and I,
A pulpy mass, slide to the floor,
In bitter tears.

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Cards

Today I received a Valentine’s Day card — I really wasn’t expecting one, but my guy sure did melt my heart with his sincere words and loving sentiments. Thank you David! And we’ll for sure watch The Incredibles the next time you come to Grandma’s house.

Cheers,

KynEwynn

(who is actually getting some things accomplished today! — go me.)

Some Quotes about Writing that I like

These are about writing in general and poetry in particular. . .

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learned to dance.

Alexander Pope

We get only the inspiration we are qualified to receive. And unless we have laid the groundwork by conscious planning and hard work, there is no inspiration to be hoped for.

— From Western Winds An Introduction to Poetry p.347

Significant emotion, as T.S. Eliot said, is that “which has its life in the poem and not in the history of the poet.”

Anziano Saga 2/13/08 – Jerky, House, Street

Email from Jason Feb 13, 2008

Ciao mom! How is this week going? Did you get your studying done? Two poems written? Good. Ok, to start off, my health is quite good. No worries there. The only thing that could be slightly troublesome is that I’ve lost weight. Like twenty pounds or so since before the mission. So, my suit is a little big, but I figure that’s a good problem to have. I eat pretty healthily. Oranges are really cheap here, and really good. You can get 3 kili for a Euro at some places. That’s like 6 pounds for $1.50. Not bad at all. Plus there’s a lot of salad, and multivitamin pills. I’m healthy. My feet haven’t stopped aching since I got here, but that’s apparently just a missionary thing. Walking around all day is tough on the feet. My shoes are holding up pretty well so far, though.

The people in Italy are generally pretty cool. When stopping people on the street you never know what the response will be. Most of the time you can see a person walking slowly, ambling down the street with obviously no real destination. You get as far as “Hi, how are you?” before they put up one hand, and say “non mi interessa” (not interested) or even funnier “no, ho fretta” (I’m in a hurry). One lady was walking soooooooo slow. putting one foot about two inches in front of the other, topping out at about 1 mile an hour. Tops. But she was in a hurry. ok then. “Good day”

House is fun, too. Everyone here lives in apartment buildings. There are no houses. Most houses are gated, so you can’t get in without knowing someone is home, and buzzing them on the intercom, or “citofono.” So that’s where we do house. Push a button, and wait for the “Chi è?” (Who is it?) “Hi, we’re missionaries, and…” Click. Ok then. Buzz. “Chi è?”
“Hi, have you ever heard of a living prophet?”
“No, Non mi interessa.”
“ok, who do you know that would be interested in eternal families?”
“non lo so. nessuna.” (I don’t know. Nobody.)
Sometimes, they’ll lie to you. “Uhh, yeah, I’ve heard of a living prophet”
“Oh really?” Click.
Or the really funny ones…
“Hi, we’re missionaries, can we come up?”
“No, there’s no one here.”
“uhhh…uh huh…there’s YOU. YOU’RE there.”
“oh, I’m not here either” Click.
Well then.
There’s also “I’m under the shower” “I’ve got three ovens going” “I’m already saved” “Go to heck” and a whole bunch of other responses from time to time.
However, when you actually do get to talk with someone, they are really nice, if not hard-headed. They’ll listen to what you have to say, and then maybe take your little pass-a-long card, and be off. Every once in a while, we actually end up talking to people on the street for half an hour or so. We teach them about the restoration, or families, or god, or prophets, or anything. It’s quite fun.

Culturally different stuff…Well, all the kids smoke. When they ask to know English swear words we tell them “belt” and “scissors” and the WORST one “pope is a dope.” There’s also a never-ending supply of pictures of scantily clad women. You get to know the road really well, because sometimes that’s the only place you can look without feeling guilty. There are buses all over town that no one pays for. School gets out at 1pm, or a bit earlier, so there’s kids out everywhere in the afternoon. at about 1:30 or 2 the whole country pretty much shuts down. Lunch is the big meal here. It’s a family thing. If you go out at 2 or so, there’s NO ONE out. no cars, no people, no stores open, no nuthin. Then, after lunch, everyone take naps. That’s when we study language. President Toronto said that naps are ok, too, so occasionally (just to get a feel for the culture, of course) I’ll indulge in a twenty to thirty minute power nap. Then, at 4, we’re out the door again. The city takes about an hour to wake up after that, and then from 6 to 9 when we go in, everybody walks around. That’s just the thing to do. You can shop, or eat (the gelato is amazing, and so are the panzerotti -a deep fried thing of bread stuffed with mozzarella and tomato sauce), or just hang out. That’s usually when we try to stop people. It’s fun.

Well, we still meet with the Manzo’s, and teach them, and read the Book of Mormon with them. We met with this guy named Michele (mee kell eh, a very common name) and his cousin Francesca. We gave them both a copy of the BoM. Francesca actually read it! That’s so amazing for an Italian! She was a little concerned about how Nephi killed Laban. I was ecstatic that she got that far! I think she might actually read that book all the way. So amazing. Other than that, we have a couple other investigators who won’t read or pray, or anything, so it’s hard to make progress with them. We also do a lot of finding work. We help give food to the homeless and needy, teach a free English course at the church, and help out a teacher at a university English course. There we read these boring business letters. “Dear Sirs…” They’re fun to make fun of. Well, almost out of time…

The highlight of the week was doing street. Anz C. tried to stop a guy walking his HUGE dog. he’d just been sent some deer jerky from home, and he’d had it in his pocket. It was gone, but the scent must have remained. So he stops the guy, shakes his hand, and the dog jumps up on him, and locks it’s front legs around the leg of my companion (who has a slight fear of dogs) The dog slobbers all over his suit, and it looks like the dog is getting read to take his date with Anz Carley’s leg to the next level when Anz C. finally is able to tear the dog’s legs off of him, give the guy a pass-a-long card, and walk away. Man that was funny. I still laugh about it.

Time’s up.
I love you all. Kudos to Karina C. again for writing to me. Everybody else…I’ve got lots of Kudos’s to give out. Don’t deny me the privilege of giving them to you, k?
Well, Have fun, be good. The church is true. Yeah.

Ciao!
Anziano Fullmer

Another Writing Assignment

So for the writing exercise for the last assignment, I was supposed to write about a dream, incorporating a “kinship with poetry” — Did I succeed? (This may be somewhat familiar to some of you, I wrote an essay about this before.)

I climb into the back of Old Blue, the motor steadily hums as we drive up into the foothills, the wind is whipping my hair across my face. Watching the valley in the distance behind me, eventually, I recognize we on the road to the Pine Tree place. It seems to take forever, but the engine thrums, and I watch the potato fields pass by. Through a haze of dust I see the power sub station, and I know we are almost there.

Abruptly, the paved road ends and becomes a gravel road; then a dirt road. Coming around a curve, I watch as the sunlight shining through the trees creates a dappled effect on the hillside. Alongside the road, wildflower’s claim their place an array of bright orange Indian paintbrush contrasting with the delicate lavender and blue of forget-me-knots, and Johnny jump-ups. The flowers play hide and seek with me in the tall grass. As we drive along, a billowing cloud of dust forms behind us. Spying the remains of the Winter House, I know the scary, narrow, stretch of road is coming up. I am always afraid we are going to fall off the edge. I squeeze my eyes shut, and waiting, I hear the change in the engine’s rumble, and I know we are climbing again, and past the scary part. Just a few more miles, and we will be there. Rounding the last bend, I see the gate, and wait impatiently for the truck to come to a stop so I can jump out the back.

Scrambling over the gate, I start running, headlong, heedlessly, down the steep dugway. It calls to me, urging me on, faster and faster, feet pounding, struggling to keep my balance, the trees blurring as I run. Suddenly, I lose my feet beneath me, and falling in slow motion, I tumble, tumble, tumble, to the bottom of the hill, a kalidiscope of elbow, knees, face, and hair —suddenly I wake up; the wind is blowing, a branch tapping a steady staccato rhythm against my window.

Almost Finished

Today I turned in Lesson 9 — that means only the portfolio (8 – 20 of my revised and polished poems), the midterm (I’d better get on that), and the final — and I’ll be finished. No more reading, no more exercises, and no more writing poems on demand. This is one of the last ones I turned in.

Cheers,

Sue — who will soon be on to Writing Family History lessons.

Mountain Meadows Requiem

In evenings’ stillness
Amidst the rocks;
I hear blood crying
From Mother Earth.

The record of suffering
Engraved in nature’s memory,
Quietly weeps, for those
Who listen with their hearts.

Desolation all around;
Barren soil mourns
for innocents’ blood,
Spilled, in frenzy.

But Mother Earth knows,
She marks the place;
For those to find who gather,
sharing her sorrow, at dusk.

Finished Reading

I have finished all of the reading for my poetry class — yippie do da day — That is 14 chapters and 200 poems. Now I just have to write/revise two more poems, and then pull together 8 – 20 for a portfolio. Which ones shall it be? Any suggestions? — oh, and small details like doing the final. . . yep that small detail. I must study my alliteration, simile, scansion, meter, and off-rime, and be prepared. I can see the end in sight!

Happy Birthday Kelly

If I could sing, I’d sing the happy birthday song — but he would have hated it. Ever since about his 30th Birthday– Kelly quit liking to have birthdays. He said it made him feel old. And, he didn’t like getting another year older and realizing he hadn’t yet done things he thought he should have, “by now” — I suppose it is a good thing he’s not here to endure being 50 — he won’t ever have to to blow out 50 candles in mortality — lucky. I have now officially outlived him — how weird is that. And I look at other people I know, people who you would think would have gone by now, and they are still here, and he’s not. Sometimes it makes me wonder. So, I’m not even sure how I feel; obviously I’m not asleep. I don’t know how or if to mark this day. Last year Jason took me out to dinner on this day. I thought I had a plan for today, but it fell apart, and now I am at loose ends, and I feel like crying. Will these tears ever end? It seems not. I’m almost through what I think of as my widow season — from November to June — from the anniversary of his death, Nov. 9th through the holidays, the anniversary of our engagement, his birthday, Valentines Day, our wedding anniversary, Mother’s Day, and then my birthday — and then I have a respite from all of those holidays and anniversaries days, from the middle of June until the beginning of November. Maybe I’m looking at it all wrong. Maybe. It’s been three years now, and I still miss him with such intensity, that it is hard to describe. He always sang that bit from the Garth Brooks song, “I’m much to young to feel this damn old.” — He was young, much to young to leave me. But it happened, and I’m here, left to carryon — So I guess that is what I have to do. Carry on — and make it through another day of remembering. Perhaps the memories will be filled with warmth this time. That would be nice. Perhaps more later — or not. S.

Another One Bites the Dust

Another poetry lesson that is — yes, I indeed conquered another one, only one lesson, one poetry portfolio (listen to that alliteration), and two tests to go, and I’ll have the class whipped. Hmmm, maybe I should have taken the midterm, at midterm, instead of doing all the assignments first? Ah, well, it will save some studying time, I can study for the midterm and final at the same time, and it will all be fresh in my mind. The instructor may not however, grade the rest of my assignments until after I take the midterm — that, I suppose remains to be seen. Then it’s on to writing family history. My mantra, “I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.” — So this is from my latest lesson. . . . I realize they are a little on the dark side– but I guess that’s where I’ve been lately; been missing Kelly. It has actually been theraputic to put these feelings into writing, or rather remolding them. Is reworking, and editing past writing for present classes kind of like “regifting” — wait,don’t answer that, my conscience is good with it, after all, I am the author, and my poetry retrofitting is helping me get through this class without pulling my hair out. Anyway — my latest efforts.

Writing Prompt – Write a poem using few or no connective words- conjunctions, etc.

Grief

Grief
Endless void
Pain-filled why
Ragged sorrow
Trapped inside.

Stark
Countenance
Reflects void
No intrusion
Permitted.

Ache
Between breasts
Constricts breath
Woman suffers
All alone.

So, I’m still working on the poetry class. Last night I reworked a 55 word piece of prose I wrote, (as part of a challenge) into a 55 word poem. It may be familiar to some of you — anyway, FWIW — Sue/KyneWynn

In Fifty-five Words

Father and son,
Playing father and son.
On stage, the dialogue
Between the character
Neil and his father
Was electric.
Excellent casting decision.
It was just like watching them
At home

Teenage angst.
Overbearing father.
In a way,
Disturbing.
In the end,
on stage,
the son committed suicide.
At home,
That night,

My husband died.