Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Process

JulieAnn’s post this morning, and one by Natalie over the weekend has me thinking. Isn’t that what a good blog is all about, to get you thinking, hopefully outside your own personal box or deeper into your own motivations and ideals?

I consider myself a poet, I know quite bold of me. I’ve tried the poorly written American novel, as I’ve said copious times prior, “I’m not gifted with long term vision, and I can’t write by the seat of my pants.” It doesn’t mean that I don’t know what works, it just reinforces the long standing comment “Those who can’t write, edit.” I may have paraphrased something else along the way.

But I am a poet and over the years my focus has changed; hopefully my talent has evolved and grown. Eight years ago my daughter, Psam, introduced me to a Friday night poetry group. I was hooked, writing poetry and meeting each Friday night online to share, critique, and grow – it was and continues to be the drug of choice for me.

In the early days a topic was given at the end of Friday night’s workshop for the week (it still goes that way, but I usually set the topic.) Sunday morning in the quiet hours before the house awoke I would begin weaving words into metered and rhymed stanza. Sometime using the topic literally, others metaphorically.

The Elementals

The morning mist sets on the moors,
above the heather wet,
and holds the light close to the ground
the moist, damp air it's net.
The churning waves sent from the sea
batter the rocky beach,
the salt spray flies to meet the mist
where moors and ocean reach.
I raise my arms up to the sky
in praise, my morning rite,
drink of the day into my soul,
of salt spray, moor, and light.

The mid day sun rides on the sky
where Gulls and Petrel soar,
fields of blue, are the air and sea,
mauve, heather on the moors.
The foam peaked waves, crash to the sand
below the granite cliffs,
where churning winds, gear up to rage,
a gale wind strong and stiff.
I raise my face up to the sun,
drink in the wind and light
its strength and peace rain over me.
I breathe eternal might.

The western sun has gone away,
dusk heralds in the night,
a storm brews strong upon the sea,
waves gather strength and height.
Dark churning clouds are rumbling deep,
and flash with brilliant light.
Tempest winds howls over cliff and land
and blow with all their might.
I stand and breathe the elements,
drink in the raging sight.
it's pain and brute force bolsters me
in life's continual fight.

The morning mist lays on the greens,
a bonney day begins,
the birds are winging on the sky,
the bees are buzzing hymns.
The churning ocean will reach the cliffs
and kiss the basaltic rock.
The breeze will freshen on the bay,
and ruffle on the loch.
I stand in awe, in silent peace,
I bow my head to pray,
for the wind and rain, sun and mist,
I thank God, every day.

© 20 July 2000 Calista Cates-Stanturf

As the war began the surge of anger in my veins changed my weaving process; no longer could I write rhymed meter, the lilting voice abandoned me for several years. Suddenly my voice was jarring, asymmetrical, abrupt coloured black and gray and red. People began not being so entranced with my jarring work.

Requim of the Demigods

Dealers of Death sell their wares,
in the name of security and peace.
Thank the mothers of young
sacrificed on the alters of democracy,
good youths blithely thrown
after the negligent wants of old men.
Demigods whose clocks are ticking
fear no legacy in time.
Your mark spilt blood on the world
rends in the soul of humanity,
Renewed hate and ignornace.
© 21 September 2004 Calista Cates-Stanturf

While poetry comes from the heart, I don’t agree that every thing people call poetry truly is. Words must be massaged, have relationships with each other, build in to a painting that speaks to both the heart and to the soul. BTW, if you use the words heart, soul, and love in a poem be prepared to be battered, bruised and battled by academics without ability or sensibility.

Today I sit in the quiet. My metered voice has returned, but I can also write in my asymmetrical voice. The joy of poetry has returned and so has my writing. I will sit with eyes closed, a word in my head, a face in my mind, a vision for interpretation, I will write. Maybe it’s just for me; maybe some year I will actually query an agent or house for publication? Who knows? But I will continue to write, continue to share, continue to listen to the beating of the universe and interpret.


Covet, crave consumption
my lips it taunts
dangling temptation
indulgent wants
decadent desires.

Purring pampered pleasured
oh, do I dare
dip into desire
without care
of torrid, torturing thoughts?

Terrible temptation
taste buds haunted
unsated want and need
licking flaunted
chocolate consummation.

© 29 February 2008 Calista Cates-Stanturf



Phoenix Touch said...

okay... so now my mouth is watering and I am on a desperate search for "chocolate consummation."


Cele said...

I'm eating Cadbury minis as I type, ahhh the nectar of the gods.

JulieAnn Henneman said...

I think motovation is a big part of poetry writing. You write to craft something beautiful and that is a good thing. I write to sort of put into words the jumbled mess in my gut. That's a weird thing. But it works. :)

Cele said...

JulieAnn you've said it before, poetry is the voice of the soul. So very true, and it's cathartic all at the same time.