Election Day Micropoetry

Election Day

In the second of my poetry ‘sets’ looking at notable days in November’s calendar, I picked a day that as a follower of American politics has become synonymous with change. This year is not nearly as traumatic as the one that preceded it and allows a measure of considered reflection on how many of us have become complacent towards the concept of democracy.

I’m quite pleased with sections of this work, though on considered reflection there’d be some revisions. However, we’ll present it to you now as is regardless.


Election Day

Democracy
It used to be
A constant source
Stability

Not any more
Out the door
Apathy
You and me

A time to change,
Think, rearrange
Priorities:
The things we see.

It matters not
What we’ve got;
In the end
Help your friends.

Each vote will count
The right amount,
Objectively:
They keep us free.

To not take part
Breaks my heart:
Do your bit
Promote it.

Remember who
Allowed you to
Be free, and strong
Where we belong.

They gave their lives
We survive:
Two World Wars,
So much more.

So when that cross
Goes in the box
You’re in the booth
And know the truth

A vote should mean
Single theme:
Make it real
Truth reveal.


 

All Saints Day Micropoetry

All Saints Day.png

Things have been quite quiet on the prose front in November, mostly because I’m running a separate Haiku project on my personal Twitter. However, a daily poem remains on the IoW feed, with weekends off now to allow a bit more time for creativity to grow. I found writing every day was as exhausting as running or exercising, and giving myself a break is really beginning to show benefits. Here’s the first of four pieces of five separate sections, based on notable days in November.

The 1st of the month is All Saints Day for Catholics. Here are my thoughts on whether such celebrations matter in a modern context.


All Saints Day

This holy day,
Remembrance:
All those whose love
Triumphed past hate.

Understanding
That saints are made:
Demonstration
Better lives led.

This history
Presentation:
Reminder for
All those sinners.

Aspiration
To be finer:
Improve outlook
Become wiser.

This old order
Has long since passed
Religion used
To dictate life

Depressingly
For others, it
Remains a tool
For just such means.

This is unfair
A Universe
Full of knowledge
Is more than faith.

Comprehension,
Then: human saints
Allow minds that
Understanding.

This is their gift:
Grasping faith is
Made by humans,
And thus our path.

Enlightenment
Emotions give
Vital insight
To what we are.


 

#ThinkTober Week Three

Week Three of the Haiku project ended up as something of an experiment in different canvases. Some worked, others didn’t, but overall I learnt a great deal about organising myself more effectively. Needless to say, all of this is useful information to take going forward in the weeks to come.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from #inktober2017 @inktober prompts. Day 15: No Fate.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

One of the most significant changes will be that if I use myself as a canvas, I’ll need to get somebody else to take the pictures. This picture is a bit more blurry than I would like: had I been better organised, a far more professional picture could have been taken. Also, fountain pen ink is by far the best thing I’ve found to write onto my skin. This won’t be the last time that happens, I’ll wager.

#ThinkTober: 31 Haiku from #inktober2017 @inktober Prompts: Day 16. Tattooed Lady

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

Welcome to the green space outside my house: one of the trees here fell down a few years ago and crushed my car. This one, however, appears to be made of sturdier stuff and became my backdrop: I did think about writing on the bark, but am pretty certain that would qualify as vandalism. Card and BluTack had to do instead.

#ThinkTober: 31 Hauku from #inktober2017 @inktober quotes. Day 17: I, Wood.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

In the interests of full disclosure: this spider was not killed in order to make the Haiku happen. I found a long-dead spider corpse (with an already detached leg) to play a stunt squashed arachnid. I still need to put this unit together, now I come to think of it… ^^

#ThinkTober: 31 Haiku from @inktober #inktober2017 prompts. Day 18: Dead Legs.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

I need to make more use of custom card cutouts in the Christmas set of Haiku I’m planning. Hobby shops probably will be able to provide me with some festive shapes, and I’m smart enough to be able to design some of my own. There’s also the opportunity to print out my words and then place them against plainer backgrounds, which is an approach I’ve not utilised…

#ThinkTober: 31 Haiku from #inktober2017 @inktober prompts. Day 19: Look, in the Sky!

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

This, of all the Haiku I’ve done, is my absolute favourite of all. It required me to have to write a poem only using the Scrabble letters and then finding a way to place them on the board where particular letters had to be duplicated. Okay, that’s not exactly how a game would work either, but you can’t have everything.

#ThinkTober: 31 Haiku from #inktober2017 @inktober prompts. Day 20: Score!

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

Yes, I texted this one in because I was short for time.

I think it works regardless 😀

#ThinkTober: 31 Haiku from #inktober2017 @inktober prompts. Day 21: Instant Message…

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

… and that is Week Three done. That leaves me another 10 days worth of Haiku to complete, which I’ll post as one complete post after the Project is finished. Many thanks for sticking with me thus far, and I look forward to seeing you for the last part of the journey.

#ThinkTober Week Two

Think-Tober

Week Two of my Haiku project pushed me outside: when I do this again (and that’s quite likely going to happen in December) there’ll be more planning to give a mix of interior and exterior locations. I found this space on a part of communal land in my hometown that forms part of a cycle path across various boroughs.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from @inktober #inktober2017 prompts. Day 8: Entropy.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

This week was mentally one of the toughest I’ve had for some time. Looking back now, I knew the problems were coming well before they arrived, and this image ended up being slightly more prophetic than had originally been the intent. Of everything produced thus far, this one remains the most personal.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from #inktober2017 @inktober prompts. Day 9 : Angry.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

Tuesdays are rubbish days in this parish: it made recycling the board for the Haiku a lot simpler than normal. On reflection, I could have shown more waste, as it is not really clear this is balanced on a ton of bags…

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from #inktober2017 @inktober prompts. Day 10: Rubbish.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

This one was a no-brainer: I’ve spoken at length on my personal site over the health benefits of exercise, not simply for the body but for my mind. Next time around I want to stop using squares of paper as my substrate for writing. Today came with the revelation that there need to be more interesting things written on, something I am going to fix going forward.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from #inktober2017 @inktober prompts. Day 11: Happy Feet

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

As a result, this was the first day with a) a budget and b) a theme planned in advance. My daughter got the benefit of eating the chocolate hearts used: those wooden ones are now decorating my desk area. The paper plates will get used over Christmas.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from @inktober #inktober2017 prompts. Day 12: Romance is Dead.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

You won’t realise it but my back garden’s had a starring role in the composition process: this is the stump of a eucalyptus tree that despite having had most of its roots cut out is frankly refusing to die. It made a good basis for the haiku, and this proved my most popular Haiku of the week.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from #inktober2017 @inktober Prompts. Day 13: Life finds a Way.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

I’d planned an extravagant end to the week, using myself as canvas, but depression effectively ruined that party. So, I went simple and small, and on reflection, this is a far more powerful representation of the poetry. The more I think about it, the better this day’s work is at precisely describing exactly how I felt.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from @inktober #inktober2017 prompts. Day 14: What Fear Looks Like.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

That’s week two done, and with the success of the last 14 days I have decided to do this as a bi-monthly ‘project,’ beginning again in December with a visual Haiku Advent Calendar. For now, however, it is off to plan week Three’s content.

See you in seven days 😀

#ThinkTober Week One

Think-Tober

Most of the time, when I have an idea, there’s nearly always been a moment in the development process when I regret it. However, that has not yet happened with Think-Tober. In fact, between you and me, this is the most fun I’ve had with a project since I came up with the Patreon at the start of this year.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from #inktober prompts: Day One 😀

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

I could, on reflection, have simply stuck all of these images on my better seen (and more widely read) personal Instagram account, but that would negate the point. It isn’t about the views. This is me, making art for myself. It is finding original ways to tell stories with words and pictures and is the best fun I’ve had for a very long time.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from #inktober Prompts: Day Two. Geometric Love Song.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

The plan is simple: look at the prompt word, then think of how the Haiku could be presented. Is it something I can do easily or will the process require a setup? How complex or otherwise do backgrounds need to be: would something too complicated detract from the point of the poetry?

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from #inktober prompts: Day Three. For Shores.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

There’s been some thinking too about the place in which I live, and how backgrounds and environments can be altered, constructed as frameworks onto which poetry can be inserted or placed. Every day is a new ‘scene’ to be created, built and then photographed. This is only my camera’s phone too: no manipulation save for the filters Instagram presents.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from @inktober #inktober quotes. Day Four: Drifting.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

Then came the revelation that there is video too, so with thought these words can move and become something more than simply static tableau. That’s a concept that still needs some thought, but the door opened, as a result, is significant.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from @inktober #inktober2017 prompts. Day 5: …and RELAX.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

There is acting, in every day’s work: pieces of myself revealed (sometimes with intent, others by accident) that is turning what began as something academic into a deeply personal experience. Looking back on the last week comes the realisation that there is so much more that could be done, and it inspires me to attempt next week’s selection with more flair and skill.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from @inktober #inktober2017 prompts. Day 6: Weapon of Choice.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

Then comes the understanding that simple is best, sometimes: of all the week’s ‘work’ I think this is my favourite Haiku of all. When simply reduced to writing implement and paper, all the stresses and strains of the world fall away, and everything is perfect. Everything else, in effect, is superfluous.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from @inktober #inktober2017 prompts. Day 7: Navel Contemplation

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

I posed naked for this picture: of course, you can’t see that, only scars from surgery to the upper abdomen and belly button. I make myself part of the art but am never really comfortable with that process, so next week there’ll be more of the same, to push out of comfort zones and try to make statements. Each of the 31 days will be as different as possible: no repetition, and absolutely no compromise.

I hope you’ve enjoyed both poetry and art.

Scary Nights Micropoetry

scary nights.png

We began October with a reminder of what it is that drives most people this month: the event at its end. I’ll be honest, Halloween’s never been a great big deal for me. I am not a huge horror movie fan. Sure, I enjoyed Buffy and Charmed, but that is the extent of my interest in the Supernatural. I’m not sure what I’d do as a costume, either: probably a gaming or film character. Watching people get all excited over spoopy stuff is a largely toothless experience.

However, there’s enough of an understanding to give a poetic backdrop. Enjoy.


SCARY NIGHTS

As evenings darken
A single cry, hearken:
Welcome time of the year
To spookiness and fear.

Time to buy ripe pumpkins
Stock up on piles of treats
Ready for the children
When they come down your street.

Crisp, sharp chill in the air,
Smell of fresh burning leaves:
It isn’t long now till
Start of All Hallows’ Eve.

Are you ready for scares
To be frightened to death
Then see it’s deception
Laughing in the same breath.

So, prepare yourselves to
Enjoy this Halloween
Time of year where darkness
Is the place to be seen.


National Poetry Day Haiku and Micropoetry

2017-banner-1

It seems somewhat disingenuous to have produced a week’s worth of poetry for a single day’s celebration, but I decided to use an existing format to advertise a worthy cause. In the end, my efforts were largely lost as individual works, so putting them together as complete entities a week on seems like a very sensible thing to do. Both of these sets of poems were written whilst I was in Birmingham, the first time that this has happened. I intend to do more location work as time goes on: it was glorious to sit, pencil in hand and write these sequences first in longhand.

My physical notes for the Haiku portion of last week’s #nationalpoetryday @PoetryDayUK output 😀

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

I learnt an awful lot of useful stuff last week: not to overstretch, to rewrite (constantly) and to not be afraid to alter my perceptions of what is important. As a result, I feel these two sequences are the best produced by a long way in this process of poetic evolution.


I AM FREE.png

To sit, then write words
Chosen without concern, this
Is truly freedom.

To think without fear
Pure joy, earnest expression
Woman’s true freedom.

To laugh at the joke,
Criticising: no comeback
Their own true freedom.

To believe better,
Transformation, empathy
Our right; true freedom.

To exist, equal
Consideration, respect;
Life’s meaning, freedom.

To own all such things
Yet not to understand for
Some, they don’t exist.

Greatest injustice:
Belittle those without their
Deserved, true freedom.


Only when taken away, does
Freedom really matter:
Existence, shattered.

Grasping just how lucky we are,
Then liberation is gone:
Loss, horribly wrong.

Those lives that exist without rights,
Fighting for every breath
Nothing precious left.

Look to us with excess, and say:
‘Why don’t you understand?
Life is in your hands.’

Perhaps answer is to lose all:
No sitting on the fence,
Fatal consequence.

Finally, when all fear is gone,
Then truth can be revealed:
Divisions held, healed.

I control, both body and name
Not taken for granted:
Freedom, implanted.


What’s my Name Again?

Origins

I have been working REALLY hard the last couple of months, and there are days when I will be honest, things just happen on autopilot. Last week’s National Poetry Day endeavour was not what I expected it to be: part of me felt a fair amount of disappointment. I didn’t get a single retweet for my work, and I felt the exposure gained wasn’t worth the effort expended. Then, on Friday morning, something odd happened. I was driving back from dropping the youngest from School and, sat waiting at a set of traffic lights saw a girl in her 20’s in an outfit that, at a casual glance, beggared belief.

Once upon a time, I wouldn’t have chastised myself for such a casual condemnation of personal taste. This time, however, I did and when I got home there was a sudden and rather unexpected need to write the moment down: not as a blog post, but as a poem. You can find The Girl Who looked like a Sofa here and that moment has somehow unlocked a part of my brain that used to exclusively thing in terms of prose and nothing else. Now I find myself wanting to willingly write poetry as a supplement to my stream of consciousness written output. This is a new sensation.

romance.exe

Previously, I’ve been producing output almost to order, mechanically in some cases… and somewhere between this being considered requirement or relaxation, a seed has germinated. I’m beginning to think differently. There’s a need to produce poems not just as words, but in a more visually appealing manner. That’s how the idea for the 31 Days of Haiku Challenge was born, after all.

#ThinkTober 31 Haiku from #inktober Prompts: Day Two. Geometric Love Song.

A post shared by Sarah Reeson (@internetofwords) on

Every day, I have determined, will be different. I’ll try my hand at design using pens for some days, find suitable locations to present thematic words on others. I want to build a picture not only of my life but the place I live and things that matter to me. Poetry has become another means of expression as a result. It is also producing surprising subsidiary benefits, mostly in the means by which I express myself normally.

thankyou.png

I want to do more visual work. If this can be successfully combined with words then so much the better. Almost overnight, I have a completely new means by which to express myself.

You can totally guarantee I will make the most of it.

Breathe In

autumn schedule

I’m here on a Friday to celebrate what has been a successful month for this little site. Starting on Monday is the very real possibility of multiple posts a day and a really rather packed schedule all the way until Christmas. Having already pre-warned you about Think-Tober, I went away and made better graphics, and that will begin via Instagram on Sunday. I suspect there’ll be a compilation of seven days worth of posts in this medium at some point across the weekends in October too.

Think-Tober.png

We’re still behind a bit, but once October’s Book of the Month titles are posted on Monday along with the last of the outstanding acrostics, there’s no excuse to keep up to date. This month will also see an alteration to Patreon tiers in an attempt to attract more interest, plus some subtle changes to the concept’s major remit. I’d planned to reassess every three months, so this part of my plan is still on schedule. Looking ahead, the Book of the Month will be taking a one-month hiatus in November to accommodate my participation in the 2017 NaNoWriMo event.

nanowribanner

I’ve written on and of for NaNo across five years, but only the last two have been serious efforts. This year, the plan is to come up with something I will turn into a potentially saleable novel. That level of completion and professionalism has, as yet, eluded me, but I believe I’m in a decent position this year to make that a reality. To make sure I’m utterly focused, rethought and re-organised Patreon content will launch again December 1st. Everyone who is currently a Patreon will also be getting an exclusive (and personalised) Christmas gift, as a thank you for your continued support.

The Girl who looked like a Sofa.png

Until then, you can expect an increase in the amount of poetry being written, original works appearing and all sorts of other TOP QUALITY GUBBINS.

One Day Like This

2017-banner-1

This year, poetry for me became something more than dusty pages and old blokes in church halls. When terror ripped through the lives of people who never asked for a war, killing the truest, most innocent lives, poetry galvanised an entire Community. One bloke stood up and, for a moment, everybody listened to his words and were moved to tears.

Except the smart people know that poetry has never just been for books and schools, it’s for everybody. It is the blood that drives every song on the radio, from manufactured pop to the anthems of a generation. Revolution is everywhere, and in every syllable, even now. When I was young it was Pink Floyd and Bowie sewing the seeds of diversity, swinging at authority. Now there is a new generation of poets, whose words have such strength as to stop even this cynical old woman in her tracks. I defy anyone with a soul to really listen to Tunnel Vision and not think, at least for a second, of the legacy the actions of a few have wrought on our Planet.

The greatest agent of collective human advancement is not free markets, despite what our leaders might have us believe. It is the ability to express ourselves without fear of attack or reprisal, of thinking beyond ourselves and collective greed to something better, nobler than wealth as aspiration. It is the means by which the World exists together, side by side and stronger, living longer, place where nobody is persecuted for being different. Poetry has always given a voice to the darkest recesses of the human condition: that window on our souls is never more needed than now, this moment, every second.

Poetry is freedom, and expression to believe in ourselves.

Patten #1.png

It is a persistence of memory, growing old and looking backwards, looking forward with optimism to what yet might be achievable. It groans with angst and moans with pleasure and without it, I realise now, I was less of a writer. This year, I started writing poetry not as a chore, but with tentative ardour, and now my love affair is in full, glorious flow. It gives metaphors chances to illuminate unexpected corners. It has allowed a woman who was afraid of her own voice to once more stand upright, inhale and then speak her words with pride. It has transformed my existence, and there will never be the right couplet to express how grateful that makes me.

Never believe you’re incapable of change. I’m almost 51 and my poetic journey has only just begun: maybe if I’d started earlier… but there is no time for regret anymore. It is time to live each day as it comes and realise that it is us that makes life better not just for ourselves but the people around us. This day has given me the opportunity to share what I think and feel about a concept I hated as a kid, tolerated in my teens and then ignored for decades because I’d forgotten how to listen. Now ears and mind are open again, I can’t get enough of it. Poetry has transformed the course of my writing, and I’m grateful for one day where I can proudly stand up and admit that it will always be a part of my life until I die.

Poetry is worth all the effort. Take the first step into a wider Universe, and you may yet be surprised at what you discover not only about the world, but within yourself.