Category Archives: Poetry

Old Pond

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Furuike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

— Basho

The old pond

frog jumps in

sound of water

                 Bashoo

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Literal Translation

Fu-ru (old) i-ke (pond) ya,
ka-wa-zu (frog) to-bi-ko-mu (jumping into)
mi-zu (water) no o-to (sound)

Translated by Fumiko Saisho

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An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

Translated by Harry Behn

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Antic pond–
frantic frog jumps in–
gigantic sound.

Translated by Bernard Lionel Einbond

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MAFIA HIT MAN POET: NOTE FOUND PINNED TO LAPEL
OF DROWNED VICTIM’S DOUBLE-BREASTED SUIT!!!

‘Dere wasa dis frogg
Gone jumpa offa da logg
Now he inna bogg.’

— Anonymous
Translated by George M. Young, Jr.

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The old pond, yes, and
A frog is jumping into
The water, and splash.

Translated by G.S. Fraser

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The old pond,
A frog jumps in:.
Plop!

Translated by Allan Watts

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Weekly Photo Challenge:  It IS easy being green!

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Delila state of mind

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They always said DeLila daydreamed too much; she needed to pay attention to her work.

They always said DeLila was rather spacey . . . drifty . . . flighty . . .

Some said DeLila’s imagination was too fantastic; she wasn’t grounded in reality.

One said DeLila would never amount to much.

Another said she was likely to one day just flit away and never come back.

You know what, that’s just what she did.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge:  State of Mind and reposted today for Magic. I wish more people would, if just for a portion of their day, use a state of mind more like DeLila, who I invented here. We could just pop ourselves into a bubble and let the breeze carry us somewhere else. I have no doubt many bloggers practice this way nonetheless. I used this photo recently in another post but it felt appropriate for this week’s challenge. I love the weekly challenges, I ponder them all week and look at my world through a different lens because of the themes.

By the way, after I composed this flash fiction I made a quick internet search for the name Delila which I chose for no good reason. I found this story and songs of Delila, a Kurdish song writer, drummer, protester, warrior woman who was killed by a Turkish soldier. She was not at all like the character I invented here. Her music is delightful and mesmerizing, though I don’t understand the lanuage of her lyrics. 

 

Umbrian Hills

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Sonnet 13        by Mark Jarman

Drunk on the Umbrian hills at dusk and drunk
On one pink cloud that stood beside the moon,
Drunk on the moon, a marble smile, and drunk,
Two young Americans, on one another,
Far from home and wanting this forever—
Who needed God? We had our bodies, bread,
And glasses of a raw, green, local wine,
And watched our Godless perfect darkness breed
Enormous softly burning ancient stars.
Who needed God? And why do I ask now?
Because I’m older and I think God stirs
In details that keep bringing back that time,
Details that are just as vivid now—
Our bodies, bread, a sharp Umbrian wine.

Quilt from Council Quilt Show 2016 in Council, Idaho. 

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Details

Summer Solstice

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Watercolor printed on tiles by Lauren McCarter

Summer Solstice by Carrie Richards

This was when the whole world measured time
This is when the light would turn around

This is where the past would come undone
and the spinning earth will mark a new beginning
Let’s go back in time, to when it all began

To the breaking of new dawns
Where moments bright with fire, would light the chanting song
Where pagans worshipped sun, and danced among the trees Wore strange masks of covered straw, and blessed cold ash with awe Wreaths hung upon the door against all spirit’s, dire
and when the winter’s grasp let go, the sun reversed the pyre
This was when the whole world measured time
This is when the light would turn around So that spring arrives, and seeds will sprout and grow
Oh, radiant sun, stretch the day, shorten night
Return earth’s darkness into light
This is where the light will turn around
And this was where the past has comes undone

 

Lauren McCarter is a watercolor artist living in Boise, Idaho. She generously gifted this art piece to me at a time when I needed a boost. Thank you, Lauren!

 

Welcome Vole Patrol

images

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him—did you not
His notice sudden is,
The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen,
And then it closes at your feet,
And opens further on.
He likes a boggy acre,
A floor too cool for corn,
But when a boy and barefoot,
I more than once at noon
Have passed, I thought, a whip lash,
Unbraiding in the sun,
When stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled and was gone.
Several of nature’s people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality.
But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.
“A Narrow Fellow in the Grass”  by Emily Dickinson
This poem hangs on my bathroom wall honoring our resident snakes who defend our land from voles and mice. This morning our cat hunted insects along side our house where grass grows taller in a shallow gulley shaped by snow melt and rain dripping off our roof. I chanced to catch her studying a sleek Yellow Bellied Brown Racer, the first snake we’ve seen on our property this year. True to it’s name, all I saw at first was a whip lash as it sped to a safe corner and tried to hide behind tall catnip. Such a beautiful light brown skin and soft yellow belly. We looked each other over, then I walked away. We also have Blue Racers, generally bigger, and I bet I’ll see one soon.
I tell the truth, I did not make these images. I found them in an image search. I was more interested in mowing down long grass this morning, for good reason.
Hey, WordPress bloggers, have you had this problem where the draft looks spaced nicely with extra lines between stanzas of paragraphs but it posts with no spaces between each? I think it’s a WordPress thing just for now. I hope I can edit it later to put in white space where I intended. Any ideas, I’d appreciate them.

Miracles

trilium
Trillium

Miracles     by Walt Whitman

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night with any           one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and           bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.

To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the ships             with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

 

For the Weekly Photo Challenge: Half Light

Optimistic

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Juvenile Northern Goshawk on garden fence post with faded prayer flags

Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart;
When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart:
Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright,
And fright him as the morning frightens night!

from “To Hope” by John Keats

This post is my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Optimitic. You can read Keat’s complete poem here. I’ve been observing birds at my garden for a long time. This immature Northern Goshawk has been a visitor for about a week. Winter is hard for wildlife. Consider the predator that must keep optimistic to spy and capture its meal.  A predator at my bird feeder is not necessarily a bad thing. An oportunist, it takes advantage when it can to locate food. Predators are a necessary part of the food chain, eliminating the weaker, slower, less alert prey and thereby strengthening the gene pool of the survivors and reducing their competition when scavenging their food. I root for the predator and I root for the prey. They teach me patience and hope.

(I’m not certain of this hawk’s identification but it’s the best I can do with the sitings and photos I’ve had available.)

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Telephoto lens make the hawk look like it’s closer to the feeder than it really is.
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Quail tracks in my garden. A covey lives beneath the mass of Elderberry and Wild Cherry and Wild Current bushes nearby.
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Quail are among several types of birds that are optimistic at my feeder. I use only black oil sunflower seeds.
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American Gold Finches rest in the Elderberry branches next to my garden, and very near the feeder.
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Look in the center near the pine trunk for the Red Breasted Nuthatch. I have only 1 pair of these just now, and I would intervene to save them. This daring little fool darted to the feeder for a seed even while the hawk was on the post. It brings one seed at a time back to the tree to eat.
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See the fox tracks trailing from the tree, around the snow mounded on the “giant hands chairs” and under the brush? Bigger tracks are probably from my dogs.

Last night a neighbor and my dogs alerted me to the likelihood a mountain lion or bob cat is prowling our neighborhood. I’ll see if I can find cat tracks today. The moon has been full for a few nights.

 

 

 

 

strike

Strike

Sudden blow     bundle of muscles and feathers

A swift  punch                   a severe and  unexpected calamity

How I wish to collide violently with myself

The shock of the strike                  the assault or unexpected injury

Impact with vehement feeling or expression

Shoved in my mouth

When an electric current passes through all or part of the body

a talon in the chest wall                 stammering heartbeat

to create strong internal stress

A claw in the heart          limp corpse in the hand

And what is myself without wings

A means or instrument of flight, travel, or progress

Will you collide violently with me

Will you inflict a harmful and obsessive influence on the mind

Shove my blood into your mouth

A bundle              unwrapped and uninvited

The shock            jar          impact                 

Collapse

Strong blow to the sense of decency

And I want to root for the Beast

For it must live by plunder

Taken by robbery, theft, or fraud

It knows no other way                   seized and devoured

 

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About this poem

This morning I heard a bird hit the window. I looked for it and saw this hawk tangled with its prey in the deer netting strung around my garden. My camera was upstairs in the loft. I got two quick shots, then ran downstairs to get closer. When it heard me on the deck it had recovered, was resting, and then alarmed by me it flew away into the pines with its prey. I can’t tell if it took a quail or jay until I snow shoe to the scene and look for feathers. A jay and a pair of nuthatches in the pine were telling me all about the excitement.

I opened my e-mail and read the Poem a Day sent from Poets.org. Today’s poem is a new format for me, it introduced me to invoking and intervening using dictionary definitions in the text. Definitions are set off in italics. The inspriration came to me from here.

The predator and the daily poem, they just seemed to belong together and so inspired me to create this composition.

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Look below the branch this nuthatch is on and left of the trunk. It’s mate is peeking out.

by window light in a castle

Here’s another response to this week’s photo challenge, CREEPY. Today I look into windows and out of windows at fortresses in Transylvania, high up into the Carpatian Mountains. I consider sitting or standing in nothing but window light in Bran Castle. Would I be content? Would I be a prisoner or hostage in olden times? Would I be a ghost of someone who knew intimately the light inside the torture chamber? What secrets are hidden in dim  light of a castle window? What shall I compemplate at my own window today in the Rocky Mountains?fortress window skulls

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Favourite Place

by Terry Collett

For the umpteen time in as many days
You were caught sitting in the window
Of your uncle’s room, and he in as many
Times scolded you for disturbing his
Papers and books and cluttering up
The place, as he put it in his bass
Voice, which vibrated the timbers.Go elsewhere and sit and stare
And clutter up another room, and
Don’t look at me like that girl,
He moaned at you, jabbing his
Stubby finger into your bony chest,
Giving you the I’m-the-adult-around-here
Stare, and so you moved off and out
And pulled the door closed on his musty
Room with his dusty books and papers
And that smell of tobacco and old
Men and never went back again.

At least that’s what you told him
Thereafter, although you often crept
Back in and sat in the window looking
Out at the orchard, where, on certain
Times of night or day, you could see
Your now dead auntie, wave as she
Went on by the trees and on her way.

Poem from http://allpoetry.com/poem/5640287-Favourite-Place.-by-Terry-Collett
See more of my photos for the photo challenge CREEPY when you click here and here. 

Hidden passages

In the Tunnel
Up the hidden stairs

Anything can happen

when you take the first steps

into a hidden passageway.

Strange lights appear.

Walls close in on you.

Pretty creepy.

Especially when

stairs are involved.

And if

it’s in the dark part

of an ancient castle

deep in Transylvania

deep in the Carpathian Mountains.

And if you’re alone.

At night.

And it’s Bran Castle,

one of several

that inspired the story

of a cunning vampire.

The setting, they say.

Would you proceed toward an unknow light source?

Would you step

round the corner

toward an unknown light

source?

step up B & W tint

Would you recall

the murderer

creaking

up the old wooden stairs

every night

to your bedroom

when you were a child?

You knew you would be the first one killed,

silently

because you were too scared

to scream.

Next,

your sleeping brothers.

Would Dad wake up

in time

to save his family?

You never found out.

down ancient steps

What ghosts crept down these

primitive planks,

before you?

Did they escape?

Will you?

Will you miss a step

and tumble down head first

screaming

as you see your belly

falling over your face

again and again

like you were a child?

Again and again?

Who will unlatch the door

at the bottom

and hold you

this time?

Keens on stairs 3 colorful

Better carry a lantern

and wear sensible shoes

lest you slip

and break your neck.

Blood wipes up

completely

from polished stones,

they say.

stone staircase

Better yet,

stay away.

Don’t go

into dark passages.

You’ll never be the same if you do.

This poem was inspired by images I made during my experiences at The Horror Writers Workshop Transylvania, in July, 2015. Of the scary photos and writing on my blog for the photo challenge, CREEPY, the post Hidden Passages is the most popular. It doesn’t show images of things created to be scary like a ghost bride racing away on a ghost horse, or a skull with horns over a huge fabric draped in the woods, or animal skulls baring their teeth in a fortress window. No, instead it shows ancient wooden or stone stairs, most of them spiraling, and small dark hallways and strange lights. Those images are more real and we all have fears of the real more than the fantastic art pieces created to scare us.

Downy Phantom

owl fledgeling

Perched on splintered stump of silvery tree,

downy phantom

always, always watching me.

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Barred Owl feldgling, first day out of its nest. It was still there 2 hours later. Barred owls are often out in day time. I was hunting morel mushrooms, walking along with my head down, looking at the ground. I smelled a cougar and got the clue I should look up once in a while. Directly in front of me at a distance this fledgling had been watching me. I never saw the cougar, or the parent owls or the nest. Only 1 morel in the bag and that’s OK, for this day.

With great respect for baby wildlife I put my 2 German Shepherds in the van, made my photos in a little time, and left. I got pretty close but I didn’t want to scare the fledgling. Never take one home. They don’t need rescue and they are not intended to be pets. Fledglings seem pretty stupid, or extremely inexperienced. I hope it lived through the night. Great Horned Owls at my home spend months feeding and training their young in the art of hunting so I hope this one has a parent looking after it, too.

owl sweet face

To break the silence

elephant piano

The Piano Man

by Grace

In 2005 The Piano Man was found wandering the streets of Sheerness in a soaking wet suit and tie.
He didn’t say a word.
When presented with pad and pen he simply drew a grand piano.
His nurses sat him in front of a beat up old upright
he played for four hours straight.
For four months his hands were the only things to break his silence.

Alexandre Dumas said “man will never be perfect until he learns to create and destroy.”
Do you ever think about how Beethoven hacked the legs off his piano so he could feel the sounds he couldn’t hear in his head, through his chest?
And Van Gogh heard the sounds his paintings made but kept going until his sanity
was just a memory floating on a distant river under a tired Milky Way.
And you see, like a Gaelic folk song blindness runs red through my family,
so I know it’s not much but I’m here, still trying to mould my hands to say the right form of ‘I love you’.

(Read more http://hellopoetry.com/poem/670237/the-piano-man/.)

I found this street piano in Old Town in Lewiston, Idaho. I stopped and played a while. It has less keys than my own piano and only 2 foot pedals. Somehow, this and playing outdoors was comforting and more relaxing than playing at home. I didn’t play any song, really, just made harmonic sounds and enjoyed the experience. Later I had coffee outdoors at a little shop a few blocks away and I heard someone else playing for a few moments. What a treasure to have a public piano out doors for spontaneous tunes.

Passers By

As a composer and as a musician I’m a true believer – and this is not to be overly diplomatic – I’m a believer that there’s artistry in everything from a lawn gnome to a desk chair to a symphony to an Andy Warhol painting. There’s art in absolutely everything.

Darren Criss

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Passers By

by Carl Sandburg

Passers-by,
Out of your many faces
Flash memories to me
Now at the day end
Away from the sidewalks
Where your shoe soles traveled
And your voices rose and blent
To form the city’s afternoon roar
Hindering an old silence.

Passers-by,
I remember lean ones among you,
Throats in the clutch of a hope,
Lips written over with strivings,
Mouths that kiss only for love,
Records of great wishes slept with,
Held long
And prayed and toiled for:

Yes,
Written on
Your mouths
And your throats
I read them
When you passed by.

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After I photographed https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/fish-mural/ in Lewiston, Idaho, I walked a few blocks to Old Town. Here I found more murals on a brick wall and 4 cheery chairs on the sidewalk across the street from the library. The chairs are constructed of steel and bolted in place. I collect old table chairs always with intention to paint them. These look devine in solid colors. Keep it simple.

A Narrow Fellow

A Narrow Fellow in the Grass

By Emily Dickenson

A narrow fellow in the grass

Occasionally rides;

You may have met him—did you not

His notice sudden is,

The grass divides as with a comb,

A spotted shaft is seen,

And then it closes at your feet,

And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre,

A floor too cool for corn,

But when a boy and barefoot,

I more than once at noon

Have passed, I thought, a whip lash,

Unbraiding in the sun,

When stooping to secure it,

It wrinkled and was gone.

Several of nature’s people

I know, and they know me;

I feel for them a transport

Of cordiality.

But never met this fellow,

Attended or alone,

Without a tighter breathing,

And zero at the bone.

I like this poetic experience about coming upon a snake unexpectedly. This is the first snake I’ve seen this year and I’ve never seen a Rubber Boa (Charina Bottae) in grass. I’ve always seen it on a gravel road casually warming itself. This one is more likely a lady than a fellow because she’s about 24 inches long, and males rarely grow to that length. The first one I saw several years ago looked like an overgrown worm, the head and tail look so similar and it is very shiny. That’s a handy trick for fooling a predator. When in danger, this snake tucks its head into its coils and beats at its offender with its tail, trying to fool the bully into thinking it has a chance to snap its head. Hence, its tail is often scarred.

The Rubber Boa preys on mice and voles. It kills by constricting its victims, sometimes squeezing several baby mice at a time while fending off the mother with its tail. We have moles and voles and ground squirrels on our acres so it’s convenient to have this snake around in addition to Bull snakes and Racers. They all go down into the rodent holes for meals. Rubber Boas give live birth, are known to dig, and may live 50-70 years. It’s main predator is in fact humans who capture and sell them for pets, which is illegal in the US.

This animal never strikes and bites with its small head so for people like me who don’t care to handle snakes, the Rubber Boa is a gentle one to begin with. Indeed it seems to enjoy clinging to a human arm and riding around for a while. One of my students told me his dad brought home a Rubber Boa behind his back, asked his son to close his eyes, then put the small snake in the kid’s hands. It wrapped around the boy’s arm and stayed there for hours while he rode his bike, shared it with his friends, and then went to the library with it still attached to himself. That’s when he found out how horrified our small town librarian is of snakes of any kind. His mom said the snake finally got lost in the house and they never found it. She still wonders about it when she scoots things around in closets.

Frank’s Place

sepia tone abandoned house

Frank’s place

Home was never for you

your too many wives

your too many sons.

You lived

on bacon

and beans

and beer.

Modest shack called home,

called Bear’s Den,

Bear Cat Proprietor.

Even your ghost cannot rest

on that old chair.

road gate and sign

This post is my response to the 2015 March Photo-a-Day challenge/course prompt: home. And since I took the poetry 101 challenge the last 2 weeks of Feb,,  but didn’t post many poems, I wrote a poem for today’s photo. Last weekend I participated in a writers workshop to learn more about Ekphrastic writing. That means the writing is inspired by or related to an art piece, be it visual, music, performance, architecture or other art forms. Truly, this is my neighbor’s place, or his ghost’s place. He died several years ago and his family only camps here once a year to hunt nearby. Look behind the yellow caution sign and you’ll see my place up the hill, adjoining Frank’s. I adjusted the photo in Photoshop CS4 to a black and white image, added noise and tint to make it look like an old photo or newspaper clipping. I made the photo in late Feb.. To participate in the March Photo 101 course and challenge click here.. You can read a dark flash fiction story about Frank’s outhouse here..

Try a metapoem

This poem could be a sequel to the metapoem I posted recently in the Photo 101 class. Thanks, Rose Red. A metapoem is a poem that talks about poetry or writing poetry. You can also write metafiction stories talking about the story elements with in the context of the story. Enjoy these. Thanks, Rose Red.

A second cup

                 by Rose Red

my poem is
an orphan now
clinging to the hem
of my dress
dismissed as claptrap
she tugs, and hands
me my pen
to finish drawing her-

 

Here’s the metapoem I posted recently. https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/and-then/

And now, plenty more samples of metapoems. Tess Gallagher’s poem is posted in my laundry room next to the chalk board.  http://mseffie.com/assignments/poem-a-day/metapoetry.html

Carl Spitzweg - der arme poet neue pinakothek

Flood

Today’s poem is “found poetry”, the quickest solution to drafting a poem for Poetry 101, using poetry refridgerator magnets while ironing water out of my Rosewood floor instead of teaching art school, performance art today.

To take water or moisture out of wood, cover the wet spot with a dry T-shirt and set a hot dry irion on it for  10 – 15 seconds. Don’t move the iron around, just let the heat work in one place for a little while. The heat draws moisture from the wood into the cloth. Move to a different part  of the shirt and repeat. This works on wet wood and waterspots or rings if the water spill is recent. Yesterday’s water leak is still giving me moisture today, along with today’s leak.

I’ve been hoarding Scotch my sister-in-law brought me from Scotland and I found that 3 fingers on ice reduced my anxiety about the damaged floor. Wouldn’t you know the damage was discovered about 30 minutes before I was to leave to teach children’s theater in a classroom. The teacher sent me an e-mail message that she was going home since she has no voice today. She planned to leave me in charge with the librarian assisting. Sitting at the laptop put me in a position to notice the water leaks. So I cancelled the art school class and got to work on the spots. The teacher and librarian will figure out what to do with the kids.

Did I mention it’s opening night for Robin Hood, Children’s Theater at the real theater, not the school program? I sewed the costumes. The director called this morning and can’t find the sparkly knight’s hood. Not sewing a new one today!

The Walrus and the Carpenter for Children’s Theatre

children laying on floor
Dead oysters on the beach
children mime rowing a boat
rowing a boat in chorus

I’m taking the WordPress poetry challenge but I’m not keeping up with assignments so well. I’m an Artist in Residence for performing arts in 4 rural schools, 5 classrooms. (The Robin Hood costumes I sewed are for a different program.) And I’m taking some art classes in the evenings. I’m a little distracted from my poetry assignments so I’ll share what I did with a famous poem instead of composing my own original one today.

Here’s a favorite poem I’ve adapted into a short play for 3rd graders. I left room in this first draft for kids to make changes if they think it will make the play more interesting. You can share this with teachers or youth leaders you know for education purposes. They can contact me for clarification or help, or to contract me to teach children’s theater. I love performing arts and writing plays!

The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll

script adapted by Kay Addington MacDonald, M. Ed.

Scene 1

On a sandy beach, clear sky, no birds or clouds, Sun shining with all its might, Moon sulking because the sun had no business being there in the middle of the night.

Props: large sun working hard to shine, large moon looking sulky (might be kids in costumes), 2 or more ocean colored long airy cloths for ocean billows

Stage hands: 2 kids gently waving blue cloth near the floor to represent smooth billows (more hands, kids, could wave a second cloth)

Characters:

Narrator

Sun

Moon’s off stage voice (can be one of the maids or Walrus or Carpenter)

Walrus

Carpenter

7 maids (chorus dancers)

Curtain up!

Tableau:  Sun stands boldly and begins mime when narrator tells its part, Moon stands sulking

Stage hands:  create smooth ocean billows with cloth by kneeling and gently waving it

Narrator (off stage voice): The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll

The sun was shining on the sea,

Shining with all his might:

He did his very best to make

The billows smooth and bright —

And this was odd, because it was

The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,

Because she thought the sun

Had got no business to be there

After the day was done —

Moon (in sulking pouting voice): It’s very rude of him to come and spoil the fun.

Narrator:  The sea was wet as wet could be,

The sands were dry as dry.

You could not see a cloud, because

No cloud was in the sky:

No birds were flying overhead —

There were no birds to fly.

Enter:  Walrus and Carpenter walking close together and weeping to DL. Walk slowly and at DL continue miming walking and weeping. Mime looking at all the sand.

Walrus and Carpenter in chorus:  If this were only cleared away,’ it would be grand!’

Walrus:  If seven maids with seven mops swept it for half a year, do you suppose that they could get it clear?

 

Carpenter:  I doubt it. (shed a bitter tear)

Walrus and Carpenter tableau:  crying and looking at beach and maids dancing

Enter:  7 maids in chorus dancing and miming mopping up the beach sand

Exit:  7 maids in chorus dancing and miming mopping up the beach sand

Note: include canon in movements if kids can use more challenge*

Curtain Down!

Scene 2:

 

Scene:  same as Scene 1, but add 1 large rock for Walrus and Carpenter to sit on

Characters:

Narrator

Walrus

Carpenter

Eldest Oyster

Groups of 4 oysters, all the kids are oysters, in groups of 4

Tableau:  All oysters sleeping in oyster bed downstage, the Eldest Oyster is downstage center and much larger than the rest; billowing waves are center stage behind Oysters. Walrus and Carpenter are upstage. It should look like oysters in the sea and Walrus and Carpenter on the beach.

Walrus:  (Sees oysters) O Oysters! Come and walk with us!

A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,

Along the briny beach:

We cannot do with more than four,

To give a hand to each.

Eldest Oyster: (looking at Walrus, don’t turn your back to audience) Mime:  wink your eye, slowly shake your heavy head NO, meaning to say you do not choose to leave the oyster-bed

All  Oysters: Mime chorus movements in groups of 4:  brushing your coats, washing your faces, cleaning and shining your shoes

Note: include canon in movements if kids can use more challenge*

Tableau:  all Oysters except Eldest, in groups of 4 pose as if eager to get out of the water and go for a beach walk with the Walrus and Carpenter

Stage hands: kneeling, gently wave long airy white cloth to represent frothy waves at the shoreline

First 4 Oysters: eagerly move all hopping through the frothy waves and scrambling to the shore to the Walrus and Carpenter and take their hands. Mime walking on the beach with the Walrus and Carpenter.

Second 4 Oysters: repeat and get in position behind the first 4

Third 4 Oysters: repeat and get into position behind the second 4

More sets of 4 Oysters: repeat until all Oysters are on the beach, miming walking behind the Walrus and Carpenter, except the Eldest who stays in his bed

Walrus, Carpenter, and all Oysters except the Eldest: continue miming walking on the beach until Narrator tells Walrus and Carpenter to rest on a rock.

Narrator:  The Walrus and the Carpenter

Walked on a mile or so,

And then they rested on a rock

Conveniently low:

And all the little Oysters stood

And waited in a row.

Oysters: quickly line up in one row

Walrus:  The time has come

To talk of many things:

Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —

Of cabbages — and kings —

And why the sea is boiling hot —

And whether pigs have wings.

All Oysters in chorus:  But wait a bit before we have our chat;

For some of us are out of breath,

And all of us are fat!

Carpenter:  No hurry!

All Oysters in chorus: Thank you so very very much!

Walrus:    A loaf of bread is what we chiefly need:

Pepper and vinegar besides

Are very good indeed.

(Looking at Oysters) Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,

We can begin to feed.

All Oysters in chorus: But not on us! After such kindness, that would be

A dismal thing to do!

Walrus:  The night is fine. It was so kind of you to come!

And you are very nice!

Carpenter:    Cut us another slice:  I wish you were not quite so deaf —

I’ve had to ask you twice!

Walrus:  It seems a shame to play them such a trick,

After we’ve brought them out so far,

And made them trot so quick!

Carpenter:   The butter’s spread too thick!

Walrus:  I weep for you. I deeply sympathize.

Walrus: (With sobs and tears, holding his pocket-handkerchief before your streaming eyes, sort out the largest from the smallest, placing he largest closest to the rock. Be careful not to turn your back on the audience.)

 

Carpenter:   O Oysters, you’ve had a pleasant run!

Shall we be trotting home again?

Narrator:  But answer came there none —

And this was scarcely odd, because

They’d eaten every one.

All Oysters, except the Eldest:  Carefully and slowly collapse dead on the beach.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

*Creative movement ideas

Several underlying techniques are commonly used in choreography for two or more dancers:

  • Mirroring – facing each other and doing the same
  • Retrograde – performing a sequence of moves in reverse order
  • * Canon – people performing the same move one after the other
  • Levels – people higher and lower in a dance
  • Shadowing – standing one behind the other and performing the same moves
  • Unison – two or more people doing a range of moves at the same time

Movements may be characterized by dynamics, such as fast, slow, hard, soft, long, and short.

Movement space can be high, mid, low bodies and stage places, spins, leaps, lunges, use forward, side, back motions.

And then

And then

ideas began to emerge

like tears in the bottom of her

eyes

they flooded and pooled and spilled

over the rims

soon words

and

phrases

ran down her cheeks

and

dripped off her nose

she sniffed

she snorted

ideas

words

sentences

streaked her cheeks

in enormous loud sobs

like winter runoff streams plunging

over boulders

rushing

in the melt

pools of paragraphs drenched

the page

and then

the story told itself.

About this poem

This writing responds to the first prompt in Witing 201: Poetry, a challenge to write and post a poem a day for 2 weeks, using the given prompts. The topic is water and the device is similie, comparing with “like” or “as”. I skipped the form Haiku on this prompt. I used tears, flood, stream, and pools for the water theme. The whole thing is rather a metaphor, and it uses similie. So far I haven’t posted a poem a day, but I’m sure to catch up this weekend.

The ideas and words came to me while I was on almost the last day of sewing 16 Robin Hood costumes for children’s theater. I was working at the cutting table. I keep a journal with me when I’m engaging my hands in projects because that’s when words often come together, when I’m in the artist’s zone, the other half of my brain. Do something unrelated, then the ideas and words can free themselves from my overthinking about them.