The Hairbag Poet-The Drones of War

Hi and welcome to my Friday series The Hairbag Poet.

 

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

You can read about the history of this series here.

One of the things I love about being the Hairbag Poet, is the research that goes into writing this series.  I know it’s mostly silly, and weird subject matter attached to often disturbing photographs (thanks to my brother Donald) that I write about, but I take the learning of poetry seriously.

For this post I came across a poetic term called Caesura. According to poetry foundation Caesura is “A stop or pause in a metrical line, often marked by punctuation or by a grammatical boundary, such as a phrase or clause. Medial caesurae (plural of caesura) can be found throughout contemporary poet Derek Walcott’s “The Bounty.” When the pause occurs toward the beginning or end of the line, it is termed, respectively, initial or terminal.” Caesura can be marked with this symbol ll (parallel lines) in the middle of the line, but according to literary terms it is not usually marked at all. Some famous lines evincing caesura are the “The Star-Spangeled Banner” lyrics “Oh, say can you see ll by the dawn’s early light…” Another example is Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” “To be or not to be, ll that is the question.” A beautiful example of initial and terminal caesura can be found in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem “Mother and Poet.”

I hope you enjoy these posts. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and please feel free to post your own poetry in the comments if you feel inspired by the photographs. I always love reading other peoples perspective on “art”.

 

The Hairbag Poet

Photo by Donald who says, “Barbie sends in her archers.”

The Drones of War

The Drones ride in with their spiked wings.
Vengeance coats their metal tips.
Fairy Queens do not veil themselves in honey,
but ready themselves on the battlefield;
defeat absent from their vernacular.
No hive of arrows will incarcerate this fierce sprite.
With quiver mute, the Drones retreat.
Their return…cocksure!

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The Hairbag Poet-The Fairy Wars

Hi and welcome to my Friday series The Hairbag Poet.

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

You can read about the history of this series here.

Todays poem covers two poetic writing styles of repetition: anaphora and epistrophe (or epiphora). According to Poetry Foundation, anaphora “is the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines to create a sonic effect.” On the other hand, epiphora is when a word or phrase is repeated at the end of successive clauses (Literary Devices, 2018).

I attempted to incorporate both into my poem today. Hopefully this Hairbag Poet got it right.

I hope you enjoy these posts. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and please feel free to post your own poetry in the comments if you feel inspired by the photographs. I always love reading other peoples perspective on “art”.

 

The Hairbag Poet

Photo by Donald. He says, “The barbies thought it was a good time to take the fairy stronghold. They were mistaken! And so the Fairy war began”

The Dolls of War lie prone in the sun soaked grass of a summer afternoon.
Tears cry for the fallen.
The Dolls of War espy the Fairy Queens triumph; hubris hangs in azalea’s fragrance.
Tears cry for the broken.
The Dolls of War rigored bodies prove victims of an indiscriminate battlefield reaper.
Tears cry for the wicked.

The Hairbag Poet-Space Sled

Hi and welcome to my Friday series The Hairbag Poet.

 

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

You can read about the history of this series here.

Yikes, I know, I know, I have been MIA for quite some time now, but my grad school end of the year projects took up so much of my time, and to add insult to injury I decided to continue the craziness by taking an 8 week summer course.  I am a glutton for punishment. Now that school is finally out for the summer, we will be catching up with our winter aliens, but first we must catch up with our poetry, because as the Hairbag Poet, I still have so much to learn.

One thing I’ve realized about these alien characters, is what I’ve realized about most fictional characters we read about, which is, we tend to hypostatize them. For example, I have been living with Harry Potter in my house for years. My daughter has been pining to go to boarding school at Hogwarts, and waits patiently for her letter of invitation to shoot out of our fireplace. We often view our favorite characters as old friends, and believe in their existence. When Mulder and Scully of the X-Files came back on TV, it was like a high school reunion for me; we all looked a little older, but reveled in the good old days none the less.

This notion of truth in our fictional characters and stories is known as verisimilitude. Verisimilitude, according to the Poetry Foundation, is “the appearance of being true, or a likeness to truth.” It’s interesting to note that Veritaserum is Harry Potter’s magical potion of sodium pentathol. Ver, as you may or may not know, is the latin root word meaning truth or true. I think writers are often mixing truths or at least believable fiction into their writing, and we as readers love believing in them. I for one would not hesitate to touch the stones at Craigh na Dun to go back in time to meet the hunky, lovable, Scottish Highlander Jaime Fraser in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Believable fiction is what often brings us all together at the water cooler, pining over characters that don’t exist in real life. I guess we can all dream a little…

I hope you enjoy these posts. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and please feel free to post your own poetry in the comments if you feel inspired by the photographs. I always love reading other peoples perspective on “art”.

The Hairbag Poet

Photo by Donald who says, “The Alien tries the ways of these strange inhabitants.”

Space Sled

My offspring and I
are still stranded in Maine,
in this snowy cold land,
with its icy terrain.

We fear that the double clawed creatures
are spies,
Led by a cold, creepy
smoking old guy.

They’ve been lurking about
at the shore,
on the pier.
They’re tracking our movements
with high tech spy gear.

Our Wand of All Knowledge,
that’s fixed with a chip,
has picked up a message
from our mothership.

Our spacecraft is coming,
the rendezvous’ far,
so we hijacked this space sled,
like human, snow car.

Our Wand of All Knowledge
will guide our descent
down the snowy cold banks,
over frozen cement.

The spies sense our movement.
We see them approach.
We fasten the reigns
of our horseless sled coach.

They are closing in fast
on my offspring and I.
If only this red, plastic, chariot
could fly!

We zoom down the hill
icy spray coats our face
our sled gathers speed
at a breathtaking pace.

This Olympic like race
draws the smoking man near
in this steeplechase, face-to-face
tense atmosphere.

Our ship’s up ahead,
but the sled’s slowing down.
The angry clawed spies
begin making ground.

My offspring is caught,
clamped in double clawed jaws.
My Wand of All Knowledge
fires magnetopause.

The clawed beasts scream out,
releasing my offspring,
but smoking man grabs him
and locks him in coiling.

The Wand of All Knowledge
takes aim at this foe,
and blasts him 10 feet
into piles of snow.

I uncoil my offspring,
and remount my sled.
These humans are crazy!
They want us for dead.

Two miles to go.
The ships lights are in sight,
but ahead I am blinded
by two bright flashlights.

“Stop! FBI!”
Come two voices
quite dully
from the X-Files two agents
called Mulder and Scully.

“We’ve been to your ship,
and we know who you are,
and we’d like to assist you
back home to your star.”

My offspring and I
were relieved to find friends
on this hostile, cold planet
of clawed beasts and men.

“Greetings to you
Mr. Mulder, Ms. Scully,
your kindness is felt
in my three chambered zulli.”

“We’ve heard of your work,
and we plead you take care,
in your search of the truth,
for the truth is out there….”

“Now it’s time we depart
back to X-241,
to our planet Ogda,
that is warmed by one sun.”

“One day we’ll return,
but for now we’ll take leave,
but we want you to know
it’s ok to believe.”

X-Files, Mulder and Scully

 

Hairbag Poet-Ekphrasis-Coming Home

Hi and welcome to my Friday series The Hairbag Poet.

 

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

You can read about the history of this series here.

Each and every week I post a picture, and write a poetic interpretation of what I’m seeing, but I didn’t realize (because I’m the Hairbag Poet) that this is actually a type of poetry known as Ekphrasis. In Greek Ekphrasis means description. According to Poetry Foundation,  “An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.”

Ironically my brother has been doing a study/portfolio/ of his Wand of Knowledge toting Alien, and has sent me two photos this week of Alien family experiences in the snowy tundra of Maine.  I say ironically because I too have been a bit alien obsessed, having found the new X-File series recorded in the free on demand section of my cable. Have I been living under a rock not knowing that Scully and Mulder were back in action?  Can I just say how happy I am!

Scully and Mulder are back in the new X-Files!

I’ve titled this poem Coming Home, both for the Alien photo, and my nostalgic return to one of my favorite T.V. series.

I hope you enjoy these posts. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and please feel free to post your own poetry in the comments if you feel inspired by the photographs. I always love reading other peoples perspective on “art”.

Photo by Donald who says, “Facing harsh conditions on third planet the alien finds shelter for offspring and the wand of knowledge.”

We hale from solar system
X-241.
Our planet is Ogda.
It’s warmed by one sun.

We traveled through space
to learn and explore,
when our vehicle crashed
on your Maine ocean floor.

We signaled for help,
but our systems were down
so we swam to the shore,
and walked into town.

Your planet is harsh
Your language is odd
we were chased from the sea
by an angry clawed mob

We need to find shelter,
safety, protection
contact command
and prepare for ejection.

This abandoned old house
will do nicely I think,
with its minty green shutters
and door painted pink.

My offspring and I
will camp here for the night.
Our Wand of All Knowledge
provides crystal light.

This plastic pitched shelter
will be our new home
where our space crafts can land
in this crude aerodrome.

I open the door,
and step quickly inside
relieved to discover
its unoccupied.

My Wand of all Knowledge
is fixed with a chip
that signals distress
to our home mothership.

It may take some time
for help to arrive
my offspring and I
must learn to survive

in this place they call Maine
with its downy white lands
and monstrous sea creature’s
double clawed hands.

Will the aliens be rescued?  Will Mulder and Scully be called in to investigate strange Maine alien sightings? Will the smoking man and his shadow government conspire to get there first?

Stay tuned. Until next week…

The Hairbag Poet-Madness Poetry

Hi and welcome to my series The Hairbag Poet

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

You can read about the history of this series here.

So as some of you may know I have been participating in the 2018 March Madness Poetry competition hosted by Ed DeCaria over at madness poetry.com.  I wish I could remember how I stumbled across this competition and give that person credit, but unfortunately being the Hairbag Poet that I am, I can’t remember. It was sometime last year that I went to Ed’s site to check out what the madness was all about, and sign up to be notified when the 2018 competition would be open.

In the meantime I learned that the Madness Poetry competition is a writing challenge that starts with 64 authletes (writer athletes) competing against each other in bracket like matchup of skill (mimicked after the college Basketball brackets). In order to enter the competition you must submit an entry poem.  This year I was asked to write a poem about the Thinkier Trophy, and to my pleasant surprise, I received an email a few weeks later letting me know I had been selected to compete.

The Thinkier Trophy

After jumping up and down with excitement, I went onto the madness poetry site to check out the past competitions, and get a feel for the contest.  Since Ed re-launced the site in 2017 as a new site with less technical difficulties, you can only see the 2017 competitors, but if you go here, and dig around, you can read the other competition years dating back to its inception in 2012. As I started to read the past entries my excitement faded to anxiety.  The talent was intimidating; the writing top notch.

However, I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, and when the first day of the competition arrived, and I received my first word, I was ready.   My word: Bedevil. I spent all my free time (which isn’t much) thinking about my word, looking it up, perusing the thesaurus for inspiration, until finally a small idea seeded, and grew into a poem.  I was excited and nervous to put my work out there to be judged and voted on.  Would I suffer a humiliating loss? Would anyone like my work? Whatever my fate, I was happy I had written a poem with my assigned word prompt, and stayed within the 500 character limit (which was not easy to do!).

Then it was time to vote.  This is the coolest part.  Ed has the voting divided into three sections: the authlete vote, the student vote, and the community vote.  We as writers get to vote all throughout the competition, even if we lose, and this vote carries some extra weight.  The student vote comes from schools that have signed up their classrooms to read and vote on the poetry entries. The student vote also carries heavy weight considering the poems have to be kid friendly.  The community vote consists of everyone else who chooses to sign up to read, and vote for their choice of best poem. The voting is open for two days, at which time everyone can vote and comment on their favorite poems. The winner then proceeds to the next round. With each round the authletes are cut by 1/2 until only one winner is left standing.

After two nail bitingly, nervous days, I was elated to discover I had advanced to round 2.  It was a close match, and the writer I was up against had a very funny poem.  Humor is key to winning most times, but not all of the time, and my little mythology poem squeaked by for the win.

Round 2 had me up against another excellent writer. My word: incoming.  Again I stewed on my word, and let ideas simmer until I came across one I loved.  I wrote to my word, and kept to my 500 character count, but unfortunately for me, this was the end of the line.

The good news is I get to keep on reading and voting on all the new poems yet to be written.  It is exciting to open my computer and click on each entry and discover the creativity of each writer as they display their new works.  With each new poem, I learn a little more about rhyme and meter, form and style.  I am inspired to keep writing no matter what.

I cannot wait to see how this years Madness will end, and who will be honored with the Thinkier Trophy.  I also cannot wait for another chance at Madness next year.

Please continue to follow along at madnesspoetry.com to read, vote, and enjoy the immense talent, and amazing poems being created. If you know any teachers who might be interested, please share this post with them so they can incorporate this competition into their lesson plans for next year. It is a great way to introduce poetry to children of all ages, and set up for April’s National Poetry Month.

I hope you enjoy these posts. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and please feel free to post your own poetry in the comments if you feel inspired by the photographs. I always love reading other peoples perspective on “art”.

The Hairbag Poet

The Hairbag Poet-Why?

Hi and welcome to my Friday series The Hairbag Poet.

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

You can read about the history of this series here.

Today’s poem is going to tackle the very difficult topic of school shootings. I have three children: one in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary school. They all practice lockdown drills.  This has become matter of fact for them.  There are days I sit at the bus stop and watch my children get on the bus and wonder if today is the last day I will see them.  My kids will never know anything different.

As a healthcare professional I am appalled at the way this country handles, and has handled, mental health issues. Starting as far back as the mid 1950s deinstitutionalization began with the introduction of Thorazine, and the belief that people with mental illness could be managed on an outpatient basis, despite the fact that there was no system, or funding, ensuring successful outpatient follow up (pbs.org, 2005).

Now in 2018 we find ourselves having a mental health crisis and wonder why?  What are we missing?  Why do children want to kill?  Why are the signs of mental illness ignored? Why are semi-automatic weapons of war easily accessible to the general public, and in particular to teenagers? What is the responsibility of primary care physicians/pediatricians in recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental illness? What is law enforcements responsibility? When will enough be enough?

In my post today the picture that was sent to me by my brother Donald had an interesting caption. He wrote, “As promised the aliens returned with the wand of knowledge…or fill in your thoughts.” My thoughts got me to thinking about how alien school shootings are to me. It’s not how I grew up. I love the idea of a wand of knowledge, or perhaps a wand of peace. I’m realistic enough to know life doesn’t work that way.

Young children’s brains are equally alien to the idea that they too could be a victim of gun violence in school, but it doesn’t mean they don’t think about it, or have an opinion, or ask why. My poem today is written from their perspective.

I hope you enjoy these posts. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and please feel free to post your own poetry in the comments if you feel inspired by the photographs. I always love reading other peoples perspective on “art”.

 

The Hairbag Poet

Photo by Donald, who says, “As promised the aliens return with the wand of knowledge or fill in your thoughts…”

Why?

Why do we have to duck and hide,

and lock our doors

so terrified?

Why has school become so scary?

Teacher says, “It’s cautionary.”

I say, “Can’t we all be friends?”

Is this too hard to comprehend?

Help the kids with angry souls,

and implement safe gun control!