Text issues

Jan. 5th, 2017 06:03 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I spent a good bit of yesterday, and almost all my working time today, reading poetry.

I am looking for something for a Canadian composing competition. There are a few this year, because of the 150th birthday celebrations, and they tend to be open to Canadian citizens/permanent residents: this is a rather smaller pool of entrants than some competitions have, so it feels more important to enter.

But, well. What's an appropriate text? These aren't sacred choirs or competitions for the most part, so something secular would be good; yet, I'd still like it to feel transcendent enough that I relate to it as I might relate to a sacred text. I'm not much of a patriot and I'm uncomfortable with nationalism, but something Canadian-themed seems like a good idea. But I also don't feel I can do justice to anything touching on the genocidal colonialism that is part of Canada's history and still results in serious oppression for First Nations people today; nor do I want to pretend that didn't happen by only focusing on aspects of Canadian history that are seen more positively.

So, then, a text on a nice safe topic by a Canadian author seems in order. Great! But most of the good stuff isn't in the public domain; and what is in the public domain has failed to grab me, so far. I can't tell whether that's because it's doggerel, or whether it's simply that I've read so much that everything seems like mush now.

I could use some of my grandmother's poetry. I've not previously found it easy to get an official-sounding signed permission form from my father regarding the copyright; the closest is an e-mail along the lines of "Of course you can use any of Gramma's poetry, dear" which... won't really cut it. I can probably ask him to just sign something if I can come up with some wording, but the likelihood of managing that before this particular deadline is low. I also don't speak enough legalese to know where to start with this; and if I then want to release the music itself under a Creative Commons license, which is my preferred practice, it gets even more complicated.

So, I'm probably going to have a bash at setting one of my own poems. I'll need to make some changes to the language: nobody in Canada talks about a terraced house, really. And it feels very, very vulnerable, setting this poem, which is about a real person in my life. Also, it's a bit of a sod to set: a lot of sudden contrasts between the fantasy and reality sections, and wordy in places, and with no real resolution. But I have been meaning to set it for quite some time.

NaPoWriMo 3

Apr. 5th, 2016 07:36 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
Consecration

I tell myself it's only
a trick of the light,
wishful thinking,
the sun in my eyes...

But my memory is seared with brightness.

NaPoWriMo 2

Apr. 2nd, 2016 05:07 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
A thousand small kindnesses you offer.
Each builds on the last,
row on row, until
I learn to wrap myself,
safe and warm,
in the blanket of your care.

NaPoWriMo 1

Apr. 2nd, 2016 05:02 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
A lune:

Saturday: wash clothes,
mow the grass,
make this house a home.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I've decided to take part in NaPoWriMo 2016. I last did this in 2013, and didn't finish, partly because at the time I was planning my wedding and various other things. This year I have less on my plate and I am hoping to complete thirty poems in thirty days.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I've always loved lilacs,
but the sweetness of your smile
makes me wish they bloomed year-round
to please you.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I would traverse mountains for you,
     cross countries and continents
     to start a new life at your side;
But you're nearby.

I could keep watch outside a castle,
     raise armies to defend you,
     vanquish every earthly foe.
But you live in an ordinary terraced house. It doesn't even have a moat. And you don't make enemies easily.

I long to capture the tears of the unicorn's cousin
     and mix them, according to ancient recipes, into an elixir
     tasting of lilacs and gin
     that cures all ills, heals all pains
     and present it to you.
But you'd only blush at the fuss and find someone who needed it more.

So I try to be sensible, and follow the world's rules in showing my clumsy affection.

I hope you understand.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
The high street bustles with traffic noise,
Cheap fruit, discounts, the odd car alarm.
But yet I have known no greater joys
Than seeing your smile, taking your arm.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
The train.

Dazzling strobe sunlight flashes
syncopate against
trundling on uneven rails.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
On my kitchen windowsill
sweet peas perform a
slow-motion life eruption.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
February, and how to survive it.

First, the socks. An extra pair
before leaving the house.
Don't forget!

Put your skates over one shoulder,
hanging by laces.
Walk to the rink.

Boots off. Skates on. Squeeze feet in.
Pull the laces tight -- no, tighter.
Take the guards off the blades, stash them in your boots. Wobble to the ice.

Then glide. Slide over fissures and bumps.
Push away from the edges, sail out to the centre of the rink
(mind you don't catch your toepicks in the rough patches).

All is freedom, motion, laughter, until the cold toes and cheeks are too much.

Then the unlacing; relief balanced by stiffness as circulation returns.

Fumble the blade guards back on with cold-slowed hands, skates over shoulder again, boots on.

Trudge home with your blisters and your memories.

If you're lucky, there'll be enough milk for hot chocolate.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
You warned me you were fickle.
You said friendship would fade.
And now I'm in pickle
When you won't accept my aid.

I tried to take it easy.
I tried to disconnect.
You didn't mean to tease me
And you don't mean to reject.

But still I love you fiercely,
I cannot help myself.
I don't show you how you pierce me
Now you favour someone else.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
She's safe now.
Life is going well:
Good job
Great friends
Generous, loving husband.
But remembering the shouting
The long hungry nights trying not to cry
She still hides food in her bedroom:
Just in case.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I came to visit and say goodbye.
I'd gathered up the borrowed books,
And extra jumpers, by the by,
And tea, and mittens on a hook.
I brought some coins, one for each eye,
To pay the toll to cross the brook.
In spite of all this carry-on,
I came, and found that you had gone.

NaPoWriMo 7

Apr. 8th, 2013 09:59 am
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
You'd failed, abandoned us; you'd left.
Why should I think you could come back?
We struggled, lonely and bereft.
Your easy absence was our lack.

How to continue, left behind?
What good news could we truly tell?
And then, this weakness of the mind:
They said that you'd come back from Hell!

I can't accept it, won't conspire
To lie to people in their grief.
I need to see your wounds; require
A tactile witness for belief.

And yet, I thought I saw you wince
In love and care. And even though
It's been some twenty centuries since,
I've seen you bleeding here below.

You've picked me up, I've touched a welt;
Those scars are real, I will allow.
Mayhap I know how Thomas felt.
"My Lord, my God" -- I know you now.
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
I hear an army charging upon the land,
And the thunder of horses plunging, foam about their knees,
Determined, in red vestments, behind them stand,
With coaxing words and kindly eyes, the charioteers.

They whisper at dawn their message of peace.
I rise from sleep and put the kettle on,
And try to rouse you from the duvet's crease:
"Awake! Awake! Breakfast, and then we may begin."

They come singing in warnin their freedom-song,
They come out of the sea and skip smiling on the shore.
My heart, have you not yearned thus to belong?
My love, my love, my love, why don't we join with them now?

NaPoWriMo 5

Apr. 5th, 2013 06:11 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
The sun is swiftly setting;
Soon the night will fall.
There's no way of forgetting
The sun is swiftly setting.
My trembling hands are letting
Notes drop while winds squall.
The sun is swiftly setting;
Soon the night will fall.

NaPoWriMo 4

Apr. 5th, 2013 05:20 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
My home,
The place I rest,
My refuge, my escape,
My heart, my dreams, will always be
With you.

NaPoWriMo 3

Apr. 4th, 2013 06:37 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
There was a time
So long ago
When I could rhyme.

It wasn't mime:
I used to know --
there was a time.

The bells would chime
and stars would glow
When I could rhyme.

I could knead dough
Or say hello.
There was a time

I wasn't slow.
The words would grow
When I could rhyme.

Back in my prime
The seeds I'd sow.
There was a time
When I could rhyme.

NaPoWriMo2

Apr. 4th, 2013 04:53 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
Harvest


Your words hang in the air,
warm, reassuring.
While you aren't looking
I gather them up,
folding their delicate tissue carefully,
and slip them quietly into my bag.

Safely home in kitchen-cum-laboratory
I compress your words
string the shining jewels they become
onto gossamer threads
to wear, daily, near my heart.

They will not return to you empty.

Profile

artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
artsyhonker

September 2017

S M T W T F S
      12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 07:49 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios