I missed “Poem in your pocket day”

April 17, 2011

Dagnabit. It was on April 14th.

I found out about this
through Digital Cuttlefish,
but is it now too late
to properly participate?

Alas, there is a lack
of calendars to track
this type of information.

Oh, what am I
to do to try
to make up for this abomination?

I guess I have to write it now
and hope you all forgive me.
What’s the best way to remember? How?
I’ll forget again next year, just wait, you’ll see.

Then again, it isn’t like
a day to write needs saying
Any minute, any hour
can be a time for playing.

All it takes is time,
a little drive, ambition.
It doesn’t even have to rhyme
I just tend to make that happen naturally. It’s a gift, what can I say?

So there is it, the poem from me,
this year’s late addition
to what really, seriously, ought to be
a lifelong, loved, tradition.

Anyway, the point of the day is to actually share favourite poems, not write your own necessarily.

So, now I’ll share mine. It’s hardly insightful or anything but a favourite it is and has been for 20 years or so. It’s called “Haunted” and not even Google could help me find an author for it. I’d copied it into a poetry journal I made in school. Fortunately I kept that. I never could have quoted it verbatim otherwise.

One summer day down by the lake
I threw a stone at a little snake.
I only meant to scare him some
And to relieve the tedium.
It didn’t just scare him. It killed him dead
Now his thin little ghost comes each night to my bed.

He comes every night and gives me no rest,
He curls on my pillow, he lies on my chest.
He wails in his little snake voice, so pathetic
His little snake sobbings so soft and poetic.

“Oh why did you kill me, you nasty big brute
When I was so little, and helpless, and cute?
Now I’ll never feel sun and I’ll never eat fruit
Or talk to a newt but you don’t give a hoot.
With that horrid big rock you just put me away
Now I’ll haunt you and haunt you until you are grey.”

He doesn’t pay heed to my pitiful cries.
He just lies there and stares with his little snake eyes.
His tiny snake body full of sorrow and spite.
His little snake body so see-through and white.

I can’t tell my mother. I can’t tell my dad.
For I know I’ve been wicked, I know I’ve been bad.
With this weird little ghost, I know I’ll be cursed
Till I’m old or I’m dead, whichever comes first.

I’m focusing on my oath project today

March 12, 2011

Turns out I’m presenting a week earlier than I originally thought.

Good thing I swore an oath not to procrastinate on it… Kidding. I didn’t swear an oath; I just promised myself that today would be the day I buckled down and figured out exactly what I should say and what I should print for hand outs. It’s an informal thing and I shouldn’t be stressed over it, but it’s been a while since I’ve been in front of a room full people for speech purposes. I don’t want to stand up there and feel unprepared.

edit 7:34: so far so good. Was looking up curses, as those who would swear oaths to gods had to be concerned about what would happen if they broke one. This is totally unrelated, but I ran across the Biblical Curse Generator just now.

Lost for a smart remark to see off your enemies? Unable to deliver that killer insult? Put an end to unscriptural restraint with the amazing Biblical Curse Generator, which is pre-loaded with blistering smackdowns as delivered by Elijah, Jeremiah and other monumentally angry saints. Simply click the button below, and smite your foes with a custom-made curse straight out of the Old Testament!

“I pray thou shalt go about weeping and wailing in sackcloth and ashes, thou son of a Philistine!”

“Harken, O thou who art a byword for idiocy, for you will be kicked by an incontinent camel!”

“Woe unto thee, O ye discourager of the brethren, for you will beget difficult teenagers!”

Well, maybe not verbatim quotes, but entertaining nonetheless.

9:22 – still okay but going through my history looking for a link I didn’t bookmark. Pain in the ass.

14:00 — pretty much got it written out as I’d like to present it. Probably ought to email a copy to the leader of our group so she can skim it and then later this week we’ll have to talk about whether it’ll suffice or if it needs altering in any major ways. Hopefully not, but so long as any criticism is aimed at making it better, I’ll take it.

15:25 final first draft adjustments are done and a copy’s been emailed for approval. Finally! This really put me in mind of my papers in university. At least this was only 5 pages of writing, not 25… The internet really does make research a lot easier, but I can see why people get concerned over plagiarism and quality of search content. I was careful to use real news sites and provide links and printouts of everything I was quoting.

It was also tempting to stop for a while and play Sushi Cat 2 but I was strong and resisted the urge. There’s nothing stopping me from playing now though…

To Dial-Up Land I go again

February 23, 2011

To Dial-Up Land I go again
To family not seen.
As usual my posts shall be, then,
Few and far between.

Still, I’ll write a little when
there is time or inclination.
Only one or up to ten –
depends upon determination.

Things going on at the home front– a family birthday party and a pie sale fundraiser for Telemiracle.

It’s not so much a miracle as it is a test of perseverance and stamina and generosity. It’s put on every year in Saskatchewan by the Kinsmen and Kinettes. The money they raise goes toward people in the province that need medical assistance, from operations to equipment. It’s running at TCU Place in Saskatoon this year, March 5th and 6th. I’ve never attended the thing but I’ve watched it on television. Dial-Up Land is also known for its Farmer Vision: the 2 TV channels that would each run all 36 hours of the Telemiracle broadcast when I was younger. I admit with little guilt how glad I was the year we finally got a VCR…

Anyway, Bob McGrath, much beloved from his Sesame Street history, has been a staple of the thing for years. They get other known entertainers and fill the rest of the time with local acts and requests to “Ring Those Phones!” so they can take the donations “Higher!” As annoying as that chorus gets, it still works; since its inception 35 years ago, Telemiracle has raised over 88 million dollars.

When you’re writing poetry instead of sleeping..

January 8, 2011

you may as well turn on the computer and share the damned thing.

Resurrect the past?
I can’t.

Because a moment does not last
and every blink of

takes it further away.
Even though my brain

it happened yesterday,
I must lay the ghost to rest;
it ends.

Life delivers a new
second, minute,

not a dream. Better to undo
the latch so crazy birds

nothing more

I’ll throw them through the door
so I am

What I wind up liking about this one is the fact that it works on a couple different levels. The five or so regular readers I have on the blog might perhaps catch whatever personal history references are in there (I’ve used poetry as a means of catharsis before), but one could also suggest that these lines might refer to a person realizing he or she is an atheist and ready to move forward into that new way of life.

Nifty, eh?

Well, at 1:30 in the morning it seemed nifty…

I’m also going to use this post to mention something poetry related that I don’t think I knew existed: National Poetry Writing Month. The Academy of American Poets started it up in April of 1996 to raise awareness of the need to promote creativity in all walks of life. The League of Canadian Poets got on board with this in 1999 with the intention of promoting free access to Canadian poetry at libraries.

There’s also NaPoWriMo that runs the same month, where participants aim to write poem a day. I think I’ll do that this year. It’ll be a hell of a lot easier than November’s NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, wound up being. That was like a second full time job that often encroached on my actual full time job on account of when the muse would strike. She ain’t waiting for no coffee breaks…

A little light poetry

December 23, 2010

Dial-Up Land’s the place to be
With gifts beneath “O Christmas Tree.”
And such delights a break shall bring
Tho’ it disrupts this blogging thing.
No fear, fair readers, I’ll return to thee.

Count four days and four nights, too
A holiday, yes, but much to do.
Perhaps a post will find its way
Hope if you like but please don’t pray
For topics funny, noteworthy and true

Will the Pope be attacked this year?
For stolen dolls, did you shed a tear?
Will some writer again announce
Those things we atheists denounce?
Or new disasters spreading fear?

No news is good news as they say
But bad for bloggers every day
While one might wish the world could rest,
Then what new knowledge would I have to test
When next you pass my way?

Saskatchewan Library Week is almost done

October 21, 2010

but there’s still a chance to win a Galaxy Cinema gift card worth $100 if you bring your completed (or at least attempted) Power Grid to any Saskatoon Public Library.

Today’s cheats:

Visit the Library’s art gallery and name one piece of art

Today is the last day for Lynn McKenzie-Barteski’s Garden of Art display at Frances Morrison Library so I guess I should have done this square earlier this week and stopped in myself to see what was there. There might be a picture called “Swiss Chard,” judging by the advertising on the library’s website. I like eating vegetables but I can’t imagine the allure of painting them. Her other art is pretty fine, though.

Write an acrostic using the word LIBRARY

Again, you can’t steal mine, but you can use it to jump start your own creativity.

Life is complex
It’s always a challenge
But when problems seem insurmountable
Reading a book can take you away from all of that
All you need is a your library card number to
Request a getaway
You deserve it

That was fun.

Saskatchewan Library Week day 2

October 19, 2010

As promised, more cheats for the Power Grid contest (pdf) running at all Saskatoon Public Library locations:

Complete as many of the activities as you can over the course of Library Week. Bring this “Library Power Grid” into any Branch of the Library to have the activity square stamped and to receive a ballot for a chance to win one of three $100 gift cards to Galaxy Cinemas.* The contest is open to patrons of all ages.

*Library staff and their immediate families, as well as Library Board members, are not eligible to win prizes.


First question:

Who is the Writer in Residence for 2010 –11, and what are her hours?

This year it’s Alice Kuipers and she’s available by appointment Tuesday 1-9 p.m. or Wednesday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. It’s not part of the question but the Writers in Residence arrangement allows aspiring writers to drop in and get some tips and help from people who’ve gone through the struggle themselves. If you have a manuscript that you think needs some professional TLC, you can drop 10 pages of it off at Community Relations at Frances Morrison Library and make arrangements for some time with Ms. Kuipers. Or, you can try some of the tasks she’s set up instead and read what she puts on her website as well.

Write a limerick about the Library*

The asterisk points to a website where you can post as many of those as you want by October 25th.

My limerick (which you can’t have) goes as follows:

While down at the library I
found so many titles to try:
cookbooks, romances,
plays, “learn to dance”s
and none that I needed to buy!

Yeah, the meter seems a little rough, but no matter. At least I wrote one. See how easy that was? It took merely a minute, gang. Limericks are fun.

What is the book “Manifold Destiny” about? Look it up in the Library catalogue to find out

Search in progress: logging in, getting to Encore, discovering that lo! and behold! it’s that book about cooking on your car engine. And at this moment I’m writing, it’s listed as Available. And it looks like we only have one copy. How about that.

More cheating tomorrow, so check back. And I’ll check how many chances you’ll get to win the big prizes, ie) if they’ll give a ballot for each stamped box, or one ballot each time you show up to get boxes stamped, or only one ballot per person no matter how many boxes get stamped. With any luck, it’ll be the first one.

Based on results, we know this isn’t accurate

October 14, 2010

Godlessgirl played with it yesterday and I gave it a try myself: this site, urlia.com, takes a portion of your blog (or any site) and rates its writing style and perceived “mood” of the author. I came across as a female between 66 and 100 years old and “personal and upset most of the time.” Bummer.

It rates based on merely 10 posts with “enough English words,” but I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to jolly things up a little more sometimes. It does get a little dark and dreary in here so I’ll see if I can work on that.

It really is that warm this weekend

October 9, 2010

It’s twenty-five degrees Thanksgiving weekend.
Thirty years ago they would have called it
“Indian Summer.”
Now in P.C. times it’s global warming
and we’re to furrow our collective brows
with worry and alarm.

Is that really why it’s hot outside? Should we fear
and gnash our teeth and flap our jaws debating
cause and effect,
or take the warm days like a gift from Summer
who must have tied some knots in Winter’s boots,
delaying him a while?

Either way, the see-saw flips from yes to no,
from know to “We have no idea,”
but we press on.
It’s a gamble knowing who to trust, believing
those who ought to know, and failing that we give
celebrities the microphones.

We can always count
on the cute ones
to distract us.

another poem related to funny, yet not

October 9, 2010

I gave myself the chore of
writing something funny.
The trouble is it’s hard to tell
what is or isn’t half the time.

Self-deprecating humour
keeps comedians
in gravy and nice suites
and I know it’s my routine as well
so comforting and familiar.

Laugh and the world
laughs with you.
Laugh at yourself first
and pretend for the world
you’re in on the joke.

Slapstick and banana peels
remain laugh-track standards
all because the audience
has been primed to think it’s
funny – why should it be?

If people want to claim
this world is “gone to hell
in a hand basket”
might not the reason be
the loss of empathy?


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