Posted in Poetry

Stops and Starts

Funny the things that come to you
in the night, he said after a moment.

Your eyes, accustomed to that dark,
see his silhouette
against the distant
city light
all orange and skin.
He takes a drink
of the wine, turns
holds it out to you.
What poison
What apothecary

You are not back-lit
He won’t see your hand
Tremble
as you drink.

Let’sgobackandstartover.

© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved

 

for dVerse Meeting the Bar where Amaya has us building bridges and filling gaps.

The Challenge:  Use a line from one book as your starting line and a line from another as your poem’s end-line.

I chose to use a line from my most recent read, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (highly recommend it!!) as my opener, but I edited it slightly.
“It is funny what comes to one at night, he said after a moment.”  Pg. 289

My end-line was taken from my next book, The Longest Road, by Philip Caputo“Letsgobackandstartover” Pg. 185 (yes, it is all run together like that!)

 

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Posted in Poetry

The Snake’s Keening (A Response Poem)

I am guest-hosting Meeting the Bar at dVerse Poet’s Pub.  I challenge my fellow poets to write response poetry.  (See Marlowe and Ralegh’s poems for examples.)  I have written a response in the voice of the snake to Denise Levertov’s poem, To the Snake.  Her poem follows below.

The Snake’s Keening

Bright Girl, when you plucked me from
the grass and round your neck I hung
felt your seering warmth
and whispered in your ear the secrets
of a serpent’s curse
the weight of sin and shame I bare
wounded in your ears —

Bright Girl — I swore to my scaled children that certainly
you were sinless! But truly
I had no hope of ever passing your heel, only desire
and be held by you, for that thrill,
which bereft
of guilt, as the grass closed
behind me, and you with that dark
assurance in your eyes,
I shall never share.

© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved

To the Snake
by Denise Levertov

Green Snake, when I hung you round my neck
and stroked your cold, pulsing throat
as you hissed to me, glinting
arrowy gold scales, and I felt
the weight of you on my shoulders,
and the whispering silver of your dryness
sounded close at my ears —

Green Snake–I swore to my companions that certainly
you were harmless! But truly
I had no certainty, and no hope, only desiring
to hold you, for that joy,
which left
a long wake of pleasure, as the leaves moved
and you faded into the pattern
of grass and shadows, and I returned
smiling and haunted, to a dark morning.

To the Snake, by Denise Levertov
Poetry Foundation, October 1958

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Sweet Peas – Renga Challenge

Here is my first Renga Challenge for the January Edition of Casting Bricks.  Care to take up this challenge?  Just drop me a note in the comments section below and I’ll set up a post for us. Renga is normally a total of ten couplets completed by two poets.  January is going to be a great month!  ~Jilly

 

“Like sweet peas in water colors
Echoes cross the river…”

 

 

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Jilly’s January Challenge – Casting Bricks to Attract Jade

Casting Bricks to Attract Jade

Jilly’s January Challenge! 

We begin a new year and we begin a fresh month of Collaborative Poetry.  Looking back, December was a bit sluggish to start, but then, celebrations and vacations fill up our lives in that most festive month of the year.  As we approached Christmastime, the December Challenge gained momentum and we caroled our way into New Year’s Eve.

Again, it my pleasure and honor to be your host for Casting Bricks to Attract Jade.  The Chinese tradition and idiom that sparked Jilly’s monthly challenges holds the spirit of collaboration and of working within the realm of the genius of our fellow poets and writers.  I ‘cast a brick’ – a challenge poem, hoping that you will come forward with something far more valuable than the brick – that what you write will be as jade.  During the past six months we have seen many half-poem challenges presented and completed by poets from all around the world.  We also delve into the Renga format; more about that below.  I hope you will present a Challenge poem for others to complete and also find a challenge that you would like to turn into purest jade! 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Write a half poem and post it to your blog with a link or tag back to this page (Jilly’s January Challenge). If your Challenge poem is a form (sonnet, quadrille, etc.) please state as such and give a quick review of the form or a link to a site that does that for you.
  1. Stop by here and add your Challenge link to our Mr. Linky.
  1. Find other Challenges that you would like to complete.

Write the 2nd half of their poem and post the entire poem to your blog.

Return here to our Mr. Linky again and post the link to that completed poem.

You may also want to put a comment on the other person’s original Challenge post to let them know you have accepted their challenge. Also, take some time during the month to stop back here and read some of the other completed challenges.  You will be amazed at what is built by bricks.

  1. Spread the word. Extend the invitation to your other poet friends to join us. We are creative, friendly and quite often, a madcap group of poets!  Everyone is welcome here!

NOTE:  In order to keep the links for Challenges (your half poem) different from the links for the Completed Poems, I suggest the following:  When posting your Challenge half poem, post the name you would normally use along with the word ‘Challenge’ behind it.  ex: Jilly Challenge.

When posting the link for a Completed Challenge, post your user name & the name of the person whose Challenge you completed.  Ex: Jilly / Colin (if I am completing a challenge put out there by our good friend Colin Lee.)

There is no expiration on our Mr. Linky, so feel free to post new challenges and complete challenges throughout the month.  Complete as many or as few challenges as you feel comfortable with.   Most importantly, have fun & flex your poetic muscles!

RENGA Challenges:  Renga is a Japanese collaborative poem that involves two or more participants. The idea was suggested last fall by qbit at The Quantumverse and has been great fun!  If you choose to kick off a Renga, include the word ‘Renga’ after your name (qbit – Renga Challenge).  It will be up to you to assign volunteers to work on a Renga Challenge.  I am linking you back to qbit’s explanation from September on this for guidance.

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know through the Comments or Contact me directly.  Cheers!  ~ Jilly

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

It’s Never about Birds

Five days have slipped by since the November edition of Casting Bricks to Attract Jade rolled out and I am finally managing to slow down enough to put a Challenge Poem out for anyone who would care to give it a whirl.  I was discussing clichés with my students recently and that sparked this challenge poem.  There is no form, so do as you will, my fellow poets!  Full details about Casting Bricks are here or click on my perma-link on the side bar.

It’s never about birds in poetry;
it is about our inadequate,
marrow-filled bones that
weigh us down
reminding us of the immediacy
of the dust.

It’s never about stars in poetry;

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Narcotic

I hold the needle, paused above my vein
pump a fist to watch it rise and bulge like
hungry goldfish lip-quivering for a grain
of tetra flake craving; a perma-blight.

What night-terror stands naked in the hail
leaves me gill-gasping, ravening for you
a gritty fix for this rapacious frail

 

Here is my Half-Poem Challange for the October Edition of Casting Bricks to Attract Jade.  It is in sonnet form and I have written the first 7 lines, leaving it open for collaborative completion of the last 7 lines.  The English Sonnet is 14 lines in 3 quatrains and a couplet, holding a rhyme scheme of abab / cdcd / efef / gg.  Good luck and happy writing, my friends!  ~ Cheers, Jilly 🙂

Jilly’s October Challenge is open to all poets; please join us!

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Hospital Birth Delivered

For Jilly’s August Challenge (Casting Bricks) it is my privilege to collaborate with Alison Hankinson – A Spoonful of Sugar to complete her wonderful Challenge poem entitled Hospital Birth.  I have added two stanzas that more are mirrors from a different perspective rather than a continuation of the narrative, and added a word to the title, as well.  Alison’s words are in bold.  

 

 

Darkest hours                                                        Pangs belabored

Patiently pacing                                                    birth forestalled

Dim-lit dawn                                                          legs and lungs

Life-embracing.                                                    exhausted sprawl.

 

Bald cry echoes                                                      Maternal scream

Through the walls                                                 sweat-drenched face

First born child’s                                                   flesh of my flesh

Entrance call.                                                          pangs erased.

0812171041 (2)
The Process

 

 

© Collaborative Poetry

Hankinson / Lyman

 

Everyone is invited to join in with Jilly’s August Challenge of Casting Bricks!  Just click the link on my sidebar for the details.  ~ Jilly

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry, Poetry

Forgotten Better Days – August Challenge Half- Poem

Casting Bricks, the August Challenge opened a few hours ago and this is my Half-Poem Challenge.  Anyone is welcome to take the challenge of completing my poem and reposting the collaborative final product.  Please do write a half-poem challenge of your own and post a link through the Mr. Linky on the Jilly’s August Challenge page!  The more the merrier, y’all!

My Challenge Poem is a Bop.  The basics are 3 stanzas with 6 lines, 8 lines, and 6 lines, with a refrain line repeated after each stanza.  There are no meterical or rhyme scheme requirements for this form.  I have written the first stanza, the refrain line, “Forgotten better days and a badly written play” and the first two lines of stanza two.  You task is the complete the second stanza, add my refrain after it and then write the third stanza.  The development of the poem is to present a problem in stanza #1, expand or explore it in stanza #2, and then either resolve or reveal a failed attempt as resolution in the last stanza. Good luck and happy poeming! ~Jilly

FORGOTTEN BETTER DAYS ( a Bop)

Smoke gathers round the rim of my coffee cup
remnants of the skirmish in my untouched bowl of cereal
your suitcase sits by the door, the new leather one
not the weary worn green canvas with tags from our trip
to Paris last summer
leaving me with a million

Forgotten better days and a badly written play

Blurred words seep through the wall
you on the phone with some unknown

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Casting Bricks – Jilly’s August Challenge

Casting Bricks

Jilly’s August Challenge

Let the Collaboration Begin!

Welcome My Poetic Friends!  The NEW Casting Bricks Challenge is now open for the month of August.  I am so excited about a new round of collaborative poetry.  The July Challenge was a huge success, we had a great deal of fun, connected with other poets, and were stretched in our writing skills.  Based on the feedback and interest expressed, we are here again for a new set of poems.  Here is how it works:

  1. Write a half poem and post it to your blog with a link or tag back to this page (Jilly’s August Challenge).
  2. If your Challenge poem is a form (sonnet, quadrille, etc.) please state as such and give a quick review of the form or a link to a site that does that for you.
  3. Stop by here and add your Challenge link to our Mr. Linky.
  4. Find other Challenges that you would like to complete.
  5. Write the 2nd half of their poem and post the entire poem to your blog.
  6. Return here to our Mr. Linky again and post the link to that completed poem.
  7. You may also want to put a comment on the other person’s original Challenge post to let them know you have accepted their challenge.
  8. Spread the word! Extend the invitation to your other poet friends to join us.  We are a crazy, friendly bunch, after all!

NOTE:  In order to keep the links for Challenges (your half poem) different from the links for the Completed Poems, I suggest the following:  When posting your Challenge half poem, post the name you would normally use along with the word ‘Challenge’ behind it.  ex: Jilly Challenge.

When posting the link for a Completed Challenge, post your user name & the name of the person whose Challenge you completed.  ex: Jilly Colin  (if I am completing a challenge put out there by our good friend Colin Lee.)

Questions? Suggestions?   Just drop it into the Comments on this page and I’ll do my best to address it.

There is no expiration on our Mr. Linky, so feel free to post new challenges and completed challenges throughout the month.  Feel free to complete as many or as few challenges as you feel comfortable with.   Most importantly, have fun & flex your poetic muscles!   Cheers!  ~ Jilly