Category Archives: Poetry

Fairies and Other Good Stuff

Fairies and Fireflies Michelle Torrez

Fairies and Fireflies by Michelle Torrez

When I was a little girl, my Grandma Joye and I would sit on the front porch of her Craftsman style house and make up stories about fairies together.  Under the sweeping mimosa trees, we’d build fairy houses of twigs, shells from fallen nuts and acorns, bark, moss, grass and flowers to make sure the fairies would stop at her house for the night.  We chased fireflies and marveled at the flowers on her four o’clocks.

One of my cherished possessions is a handwritten copy of her poem Fairies and Other Good Stuff written in a blue ballpoint pen with drawings of fairies all over it.  On the days I miss her the most, I pull it out and think of those warm summer nights on the porch swing surrounded by fire-blinks and fairies.

When everyone is out of sight,

Or sound asleep, I stay at night

And think about some special tot,

Remembering things we liked a lot.

And in my thoughts again we’re found

Out on the porch swing or uptown

Where at the park, through nook and cranny,

You lead a huffing-puffity Granny!

Some busy folks don’t understand

About the good things right at hand

To please a child to sight or touch –

And please a Grandma twice as much.

They’re funny when they make a fuss

And call our best fun ludicrous

(Ludicrous means strange, you see,

Which can’t apply to you and me!)

For we are serious when we think

Of Penny Peacock, a fire-blink,

Or Rosie Rabbit’s powers to keep

The children safe in a forest deep.

They shouldn’t scoff for we are sure

That fairies are and always were,

(A few of us, if the time we took,

Could show them where, if they’d really look!)

In the evening late when the sun is set

And all the dark has not come yet,

While grass is warm before the dew,

There’s a fairy place I’ve shown to you,

Where little fire-flies wink and blink –

You think they’re here and then they wink

Away off in another place,

Or sometimes right up in your face!

Then in a circle, sparkling bright,

Fairy wings light up the night,

They turn and swirl and fly so free

In a rainbow dance for you and me!

On tiny, silky wings they glide

First all alone, then side by side

Around the fairy-queen, who’ll swish

A magic wand for a rainbow wish.

It’s sad that some folks never see

The beauty shown to you and me

So we’ll just soak it up and then

Shine it back out all over them!!

-Joye Kanelakos

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Plink Plank

Plink Plank

This word reminds me of a poem my Grandma Joye wrote.  She used to read it to me, every time I was at her house and it rained.  Truthfully, I didn’t mind the rain there so much.  It was a great opportunity to sit on her big covered front porch in the swing.  I still always sleep best when the rain sings me a lullaby.

 

It was so dark when I arose

I didn’t need to look to see

The Rain remains, and I suppose

Another day is lost for me.

 

Sometimes, to spend a day inside

Can be the greatest thing to do.

A time to think and dream or hide

From duties somewhere calling you.

 

As grudgingly I settle down

And try to concentrate and think

Through dreary thoughts there comes a sound

A dancing, happy, snappy “plink.”

 

I’ve chosen the remotest place

Where there should be no noise real soon

But tiny raindrops on the flu

Plink, plank a spanking brand new tune.

 

Softly, tiny gentle drops

Were brining me their melody

Delightful and refreshing plops –

In dancing, rain-time harmony.

 

Each one has gone to so much pain

To leave such happy note so free.

I’m heading straight out in the rain

So they can play “Plink, plank” with me

 

-Joye Kanelakos

‘Til next time,

Jessica


Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

by Dylan Thomas and read by Anthony Hopkins

‘Til next time,

Jessica

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The Bard’s Birthday

English: Title page of Shakespeare's Sonnets (...

Title page of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is the day that is typically celebrated as Shakespeare’s birthday. He would be 450 today.  To commemorate the day, and although Sonnet 21 isn’t one of his most popular, it has always been one of my favorites.

In it, Shakespeare vows his love is true and the words he writes about his love will be as well, and truth will take the place of the forced comparisons other poets use.

 

 

Sonnet 21

So is it not with me as with that Muse,
Stirred by a painted beauty to his verse,
Who heaven itself for ornament doth use
And every fair with his fair doth rehearse,
Making a couplement of proud compare
With sun and moon, with earth and sea’s rich gems,
With April’s first-born flowers, and all things rare,
That heaven’s air in this huge rondure hems.
O! let me, true in love, but truly write,
And then believe me, my love is as fair
As any mother’s child, though not so bright
As those gold candles fixed in heaven’s air:
   Let them say more that like of hearsay well;
   I will not praise that purpose not to sell.

 

 

 

‘Til next time,

 

 

Jessica

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kubla Khan Read by Benedict Cumberbatch

I recently posted that Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan is my favorite poem.  Then I found this clip of Benedict Cumberbatch reading it.  Although the cadence and pace are not the same as the way I typically read it, which is really similar to the way my college professors did, the change in pace shifted my focus to words and phrases in another way, emphasizing different imagery and motion, especially in the middle.  Its interesting, I like it.  Have you ever been to a poetry reading?  I think it might be fun.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

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More poetry

Have you ever found something that worked its way inside and just refused to leave?  Coleridge’s Kubla Khan did that to me.  The very first time I read it or heard it, I just couldn’t let it go, and I don’t know if I could tell you exactly what grabbed me.  Each time I read it, I am caught again.  Every. Single. Time.

Kubla Khan

BY SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE

Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
   Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
   The shadow of the dome of pleasure
   Floated midway on the waves;
   Where was heard the mingled measure
   From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
   A damsel with a dulcimer
   In a vision once I saw:
   It was an Abyssinian maid
   And on her dulcimer she played,
   Singing of Mount Abora.
   Could I revive within me
   Her symphony and song,
   To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
I’ll resist delving into Coleridge’s story about an opium induced dream as the creation story for this piece…well, I’ll mostly resist.  Whether truly a dream, finished or unfinished, it doesn’t really matter.  It is just beautiful.  Are there any songs, poems, books that grab a hold of you this way?
‘Til next time,
Jessica
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Ode to A Nightengale

Keats read by Benedict Cumberbatch…poetry month. (Yep, that’s the only reason I found this…poetry month.)

‘Til next time,

Jessica

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