Friday, January 3, 2014

Writing Poetry, and Writing in General

I, like most all others, learned something about writing poetry in grade school.  At that time, poetry had to rhyme, and it made it more of a struggle to conceive a well written story.  Not only did we have to write about something, but our lines (1 & 3 and 2 &4, or 1 - 4, or 1 & 2 and 3 & 4, or something to that effect) had to rhyme, and it had to make sense.  The best ones were written as though you were telling a story and you hardly noticed that the ends of lines were rhyming.

Not so mine.  Stilted, to say the least.  I kept some of those poems; and, I like to return to them to recall my first efforts.  Even then my heart and mind were yearning to express something for others to connect with.

About age 12, my first recollection of a poem that knocked me to the ground was by Vachel Lindsay:  The Bronco That Would Not Be Broken Of Dancing. I read it and could not quit sobbing all night. To this day, I tear up and my heart aches, though I can keep it together.  That poem told a story, a beautiful story, a heart-breaking story - and it rhymed.  I saw the rhyming and I just kept reading the story.  So... I continued as a high schooler to try to write like Lindsay, and I never got very far.

After school, marriage, motherhood and a work-life took over, and with that, my urge to write fell off my radar.  Infrequently, my muse dropped in and I'd visit with her briefly, only to send her packing after a couple of poems.  I'd place somewhere in a file folder to let them gather dust.

Long story, short, I divorced, my child grew up and flew the nest, and I continued working until I retired.  I joined the Georgia Poetry Society, and my muse would again call or stop by.  I entertained her for a short time, and then got into genealogy and Find-a-Grave activities.  Circumstances led me to change pace, look for new directions - or old directions, and now I feel really driven (?) to write more.  Not only poetry, but short stories.  I am entertaining (once again) a novel.

In the next day or two, I'll share some of the OLD stuff - and it is stuff - but it is sort of fun to read it and get back into the mind of a silly teenager in love with love.  You can laugh with me.  Until next time...

Unfinished Business

         For my father who I found March 3 1996.  May he always rest peacefully.

He, fractious father; raging river
headed downstream, crashing upon rocks,
plummeting into churning pools,
darting off in self-determined direction.

She, errant daughter; frightened child
adrift on meagerly crafted raft,
without paddle or pole to steer,
desperate to navigate his currents.

For them, life was rarely lukewarm. 
They found themselves on opposing ends,
blazing lava to frozen tundra,
devastating detestation to passionate adoration.

She studied him for clues
to meet his expectations,
to receive his understanding,
to find his acceptance.

His words left her speechless. 
His anger left her sobbing. 
His intellect left her impotent.  Yet,
she hungered for his love.

Just as they discovered common ground
where they could draw close,
create warm spirit between,
place tender kiss upon a cheek,

He abandoned her, when she found him
in a pool of blood,
shotgun in hand, silent. 
Peace, at last, for him.

© 2005 Linda Farmer Ames
Published in Journal of Outsider Poetry: Psychological Poems,
Roadbump Publishing, San Francisco, CA, 2009, Page 8

Thursday, January 2, 2014

the journey

voyage of discovery to
meet mysterious stranger,
reveal similarities,
recognize differences,
realize common ground to
share contentment, joy, delight.
only time will make clear
if potential new world is
spacious as the universe,
brilliant as a glowing star,
                deep as a black hole,
                collapsing upon itself.

© 2007 Linda Farmer Ames
Published in The Reach of Song An Anthology of Poems 
by The Georgia Poetry Society, 2006-2007


My lips upon her head
rest upon that special spot
that yields her heartbeat –
our connection,
like an invisible umbilicus,
that melds us into unity.

© 2005 Linda Farmer Ames 

Published in A Community Speaks: Art, Poetry & Prose
Rivertown Poets and Storytellers, 2005, page 53


New life, tender and soft;
she rests within my arms. Tiny
head cradled in the crook of my neck as
her moist, gentle exhalations warm my skin. 
New baby fragrance drifts up and
I breathe her freshness into my being.
My cheek strokes downy coat that cloaks her head.
My lips rest upon that special spot that
yields her heartbeat, and
connects mother and daughter through invisible umbilicus,
forever uniting our hearts, our souls, our lives.

© 2006 Linda Farmer Ames

Published in The Reach of Song, An Anthology of Poems 
by The Georgia Poetry Society, 2005-2006

Note:  No poem is ever finished.  "Connection" is a newer version of the poem, "Soft."

Another Reality

Cowered on the cold tile floor, 
she dodged laser beams dispatched 
from spaceships to blind her.
Monotone electronic voices 
bombarded her consciousness, 
screamed obscenities, 
issued threats, belittled her character, 
ruptured her heart, destroyed her soul.
Weak, crumpled limbs could not defend 
against searing pain.
She lay mute and immobile.
She would never believe 
they were not real.

 © 2005 Linda Farmer Ames

Published in A Community Speaks: Art, Poetry & Prose
Rivertown Poets and Storytellers, 2005, page 52

HandScape: View from Above

Rivers, streams in shades of blues, greens
criss-cross through valleys,
flow up, surge down hillsides.
Pale pink mounds, soft, swollen,
highways, byways intersect and circle.
Loose translucent shroud envelopes
bent, twisted shapes,
once straight, supple.
But, no more.
Eighty-nine years;
resting on her lap,
Mother’s hands.

© 2005 Linda Farmer Ames

Published in A Community Speaks: Art, Poetry & Prose
Rivertown Poets and Storytellers, 2005, page 53