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Thursday, June 22, 2017

poetry CHALLENGE #59

LYCANTHROPHY IS A MENTAL DISORDER IN WHICH A PERSON THINKS HE/SHE IS A WOLF. A FRIEND  OF YOURS HAS THIS DISORDER.

WRITE A POEM IN WHICH YOU TRY TO TALK THEM OUT OF THEIR DELUSION.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

poetry CHALLENGE #58



YOU ARE HIKING IN A SWAMPY FOREST AREA. SUDDENLY YOU SEE SOMETHING RISING UP FROM THE SWAMP.

WRITE A POEM DESCRIBING WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

poetry CHALLENGE #57



YOU ARE CLIMBING A HILL. YOU MUST GET TO THE TOP! THERE IS "SOMETHING" YOU MUST DO THERE.

WRITE A POEM EXPLAINING WHAT THAT "SOMETHING" IS.




Tuesday, June 6, 2017

POET PROFILE



ANNE SPENCER BANNISTER (1882-1975) poet, teacher, civil rights activist, and gardener, was born Annie Bethel Bannister on February 6, 1882, the only child of Joel Cephus Bannister and Sarah Louise Scales, in Henry County,Virginia.

Her development as a poet began in early childhood where she enjoyed a great amount of freedom and solitude to explore the natural world. During this time she did not attend school because her mother felt that the local schools were unsuitable for her daughter. She read catalogs like Sears and Roebuck and wrote independently in her many moments alone.

 Anne was eventually enrolled in the Virginia Theological Seminary, in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1893 at the age of 11, where, despite having a mostly illiterate  childhood, she graduated as valedictorian of her class in 1899. After graduation she became a teacher and taught school throughout Virginia until 1901.

Her literary life began at the seminary where she wrote her first poem. She continued to write poetry to record her thoughts and feelings.

In 1919, while working to establish a branch of the NAACP in Lynchburg, Anne met and worked with the poet and activist James Weldon Johnson, who discovered her poetry. Using Johnson's editor, she published her first poem in 1920 in the "Crisis" magazine.

The themes of her poetry were religion, race (though rarely explicit), and the natural world. Although she did not write "protest" poetry, she was obviously well aware of White oppression. Many of her poems convey a romantic concern with the human search for beauty and meaning in a disgusting world. According to "The Vintage Book of African American Poetry"..."Her most rigorous poems engage the reader through piercing images and chiseled, precise language..."

Anne did not publish any volumes of poetry during her lifetime, but she was published extensively during the 20's in the most prestigious periodicals,collections, literary journals, and anthologies. She won national attention for her poetry, and as a result,  friendship of some of the most prominent Black writers of that era. Anne resided exclusively in Virginia,  where she worked for almost two decades as the librarian of Dunbar High School, but she maintained close friendships with many writers of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, and W.E.B. Du Bois included among them.


Anne was poetically active until her death in 1975. She will be remembered as one of the most significant poets of all time.









           

Thursday, June 1, 2017

THURSDAY POETRY PROMPT

WRITE A "RECONNECT" POEM



HELENA'S POEM



You are
Every sweet dream
I've known since time
Began crossing the shores
Of the Mesopotamia river
Valley where once it ceased
But the current reversed it's
Flow and now sends
Your essence roaring back
Through the tributaries of
My soul




Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A POEM FOR TODAY

SHOUT OUT



Big shout out
To those in the
Audience
Who taught me
Encouraged me
Inspired me to be
A poet whether or
Not they knew it
Was in my head at
The time
Still I would not be me
Would not have this
Voice as if
It belonged to me alone
Thanks



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

POETRY CHALLENGE #55

WRITE A POEM DESCRIBING HOW IT FEELS TO BE OVERWHELMED WITH A RESPONSIBILITY TO SOMETHING OR SOMEONE.



Thursday, May 18, 2017

THURSDAY POETRY PROMPT

WRITE AN "IMPROVEMENT" POEM








LADY LUCK



Things have gone
From bad to worse
Putting  our life in
Reverse
But with
These lucky numbers
I will make things
Better just need a
Big hit today
2-----7-----0
These three digits
Came to me last night
In a vision
Play them straight or
In combination and wait
For the lady I love best
Luck she will come
Through for me put
Me back on my feet
In a day or so
In no time

Now
If I can just borrow
A dime







***Prompt by RL Brewer's "Poetic Asides" blog


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

POETRY CHALLENGE #54

WRITE A POEM THAT IS BASED ON A SCENE FROM YOUR LIFE IN WHICH SOMEONE IMPORTANT TO YOU PLAYED A CENTRAL ROLE.



Sunday, May 14, 2017

A POEM FOR MOTHER'S DAY

ON THIS DAY





What part did you take in

The biggest event

Of your life

What did you do

To be born

Push or pull

Strain or

Labor in pain

So on this day

Don't forget to
                                                                                       
Celebrate the

Woman who  did

Something revolutionary

In your life


Thursday, May 11, 2017

A POEM FOR TODAY

CROSSING OVER




Where is it that
We go to when
We sleep when
We dream at night
Where we live an
Other life on the
Shores of eternity?


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

POETRY CHALLENGE #53

USE THE FOLLOWING WORD GROUP TO COMPOSE A POEM:



PINES====TAMBOURINES====RAINDROPS====WINGS





Thursday, May 4, 2017

A POEM FOR TODAY


MY DEAR


It don't matter how
You got here
My dear or that I
Was waiting for
You to appear
Here my dear
Come near
It don't matter what
They say
Come here
Come near
Come lay with me
My dear


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

POEM-IN-YOUR-POCKET-DAY

================================
DREAMS - by Langston Hughes


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow



================================

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

POETRY CHALLENGE #51

In 1790, while free Blacks paid taxes to support schools, their children were not allowed to attend these schools. Imagine that you were a Black child back then...

WRITE A POEM TELLING WHY YOU SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO GO TO SCHOOL LIKE ANYBODY ELSE


Saturday, April 22, 2017

A POEM FOR TODAY

A POEM IN HONOR OF EARTH DAY





IS THIS THE FUTURE?




NASA
Discovered
A new planet on the
Horizon much like
Earth  500 light
Years away orbiting a
Dim red star much like
Our sun the closes match
To earth yet
Cousin or  evil twin?




Thursday, April 20, 2017

THURSDAY POETRY PROMPT



WRITE A "ONE" POEM






1



Lone wolf
Runs with the pack
Sometimes runs
Alone refusing
To conform doing
What it takes to
Stay safe keep the
Pack safe not always
Playing fair wild on
The prowl constantly
Looking for prey





Wednesday, April 19, 2017

POETRY CHALLENGE #50



A woman opens her front door and finds a bouquet of flowers on the doorstep...

WRITE A POEM DESCRIBING THE EVENTS THAT LEAD UP TO THIS MOMENT






Friday, April 14, 2017

A POEM FOR TODAY


INAPPROPRIATE LOVE NOTE






Sweet sweet child sweet
Like fresh fruit from the
Vine I hereby declare you
Mine dropping as you did
From high in the sky so
High out of nowhere you
Appeared like dew drops
On tree leaves like air we
Breathe are you a figment
Of my imagination like a
Ghost I saw in the dark or
Are you the answer to a
Prayer that pounds inside
My heart


Thursday, April 6, 2017

A POEM FOR TODAY



THIS TOO SHALL PASS



This too shall pass this too
Shall end goes for everyone
Person place or thing no
Matter how big you are no
Matter how much you worth
Final bell will ring one day
To commit you back to earth
I'm gonna miss me when I'm
Gone

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

POETRY CHALLENGE #48

Pick up the book, magazine, or newspaper that is nearest to you and open to a random page. Start your POEM with the first line at the top of the page and end it with the last line at the bottom of the page.




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

DEDICATION



THE DR. IS OUT
for Maya Angelou


Without knowing you
Taught me the meaning
Of love and understanding
Of myself as a person of
Color in all things to no
Longer be afraid to lift
My voice and sing rise
Above the friction of life
Relegated to the second-class
Citizenship lane to rise above
Life sentenced to the iron bars
Of a caged in soul which now
Sings all praises to you daily
For healing me for making me
Well enough to lift my voice
To rise still rise

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A POEM 4 2 DAY

INVISIBILITY IS A BITCH




I get awesomely annoyed when
People act like they don't see me
On line at the check-out counter
Pushing their shopping cart filled
With hundreds of dollars worth of
Stuff into the line at an angle
From another direction cutting in
Ahead of me squeezing into a space
That isn't there invisible like
I must appear



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

POETRY CHALLENGE #47


WRITE A POEM IN WHICH YOU BECOME AN ARTICLE OF CLOTHING: A HAT, A SCARF, A PAIR OF SHOES.

What do you see, hear, feel taste, smell? How do you look? What do you do differently now that you are this object?


Thursday, March 23, 2017

A POEM 4 TODAY


FIRST DAY OF CLASS




Teacher went on and on about
I don't know what
Voice echoing
Unwinding like a snake
In the grass eyes feeling
Sleepy head starting to bob
And weave momentarily
Yawning stretching for an
Instant out of the woods drifting
Again eyes closing blinking
Head nodding eyes staring into
Space drifting further eyes closing
Closing closed into a zone where a
Voice echoing somewhere in a tunnel
Unwinding somewhere beneath my
Eyelids wake up sir class is dismissed.








Wednesday, March 22, 2017

poetry CHALLENGE #46


Write a poem that is based on a scene from your life when the whole family got together for a "fun event."





Thursday, March 16, 2017

A POEM 4 2-DAY


F-WORD



I still don't say the f-word
I call it memorial
The f-word
Too final
For me
Too much to fret
I still haven't visited her
Body in the ground yet
Though I have closure
Peace I found it somewhere
Around here about a long
Time ago without
Knowing what it was.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

POET PROFILE


WILLIAM STANLEY BEAUMONT BRAITHWAITE  (1878-1962)
was born into a well-to-do, family  in  Boston, Massachusetts.

Braithwaite was largely tutored at home by his father, William Smith Braithwaite, who had spent time in England studying medicine. The younger Braithwaite studied the usual subjects, plus French and literature. His father died when Braithwaite  was the age of  7, his death plunging the entire family into poverty.

Braithwaite's mother, Emma Dewolfe Braithwaite began working as a domestic to support her growing family.

Braithwaite had to quit school at the age of 13 to help his mother support the family. He worked as an errand boy for various proprietors for a few years. Finally, at the age of 15 he was apprenticed to a typesetter for a publisher, Ginn & Company. It was here that he developed an affinity for books, writing and poetry, and where he began writing  his own poems.

Braithwaite eventually published 3 volumes of poetry.

His first book, "Lyrics of Life," was self-published in 1904.  His 2nd volume, "The House of Falling Leaves," was similarly published in 1908. His third volume, "Selected Poems," was published in 1948.  Braithwaite's poems reflects  his love  of the universal theme of  loneliness and passion.

During his career, Braithwaite compiled and edited numerous poetry anthologies from poems collected from various periodicals. These yearly anthologies helped to launch the careers of many American poets.


Braithwaite died at his home in Harlem, New York in 1962.













POETRY CHALLENGE #45


WRITE A POEM THAT SUGGESTS HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR PLACE IN YOUR FAMILY, YOUR COMMUNITY, AND YOUR COUNTRY.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

THURSDAY POETRY PROMPT

WRITE AN  "EKPHRASTIC" POEM
***The Last Supper - a painting by Leonardo da Vinci



COLORATION


In the museum I
Viewed a reproduction of
The Last Supper
The most admired most
Studied most famous painting
Of all time circa 15th century.
Then I saw
Another copy done by a
Lesser-known artist circa
20th century who made a
Radical adjustment in the
Complexion blush by depiction of
Melanin-rich faces with images
Much closer to reality











Prompt by RL Brewer's "Poetic Asides"  Blog

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Poem 4 Today


STORM WATCH


It felt like a summer
Storm but spring had not yet
Arrived. Dark cumulus clouds gathered
Across the firmament. Vibrant
Winds rushing in from the
East brought a
Loud rumbling burst of
Thunder with torrential
Rain drops.
I closed my eyes to the
Flashes of lighting and
When I awoke the storm
Had passed over.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017

THURSDAY POETRY prompt


WRITE A "NOPE" POEM



No Means No



My initial lesson in the art of
Chasing women and drinking
Was not taught right. I found out
Too late  to be spared the pain of
Female rage, but I made it through
The night. Had the help of a pint of
Jack Daniels by my side to
Clarify the scene:
When a woman says no that's
Exactly what she mean.










*Prompt by RL Brewer's "Poetic Asides Blog"

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

POETRY CHALLENGE #42


Write a poem that is based on a scene from your life when "PLACE" had a special significance.








Thursday, February 16, 2017

thursday POETRY PROMPT

WRITE A "REFRESH" POEM


Always Poetic


Before I met the new
Dark room collective of
Poets like Tretheway, Smith,
And Young
I knew the old school
Poets like Tennyson, Coleridge
And Longfellow
Who all captivated and refreshed
My imagination with descriptive
Scenes of soldiers and sailors at
War and peace
On land and sea riding horses on
Death missions and meeting
Ancient mariners on a deserted street






*Prompt by RL Brewer's "Poetic Asides" Blog

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

POET PROFILE


PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR (1872-1906)

was born in Dayton, Ohio, and attended the public schools of that city.

The son of two former slaves, JOSHUA DUNBAR, who escaped enslavement in Kentucky and fought  in the Civil War, and MATILDA MURPHY DUNBAR, who taught the young Paul how to read, Dunbar himself, was never enslaved.

Dunbar published his first volume of poetry, "Oak and Ivy," in 1893.

He was steep in the oral tradition, and would go on to become a powerful interpreter of the Black experience in literature, essays, and poetry. These writings were militant by the standards of his day.

Dunbar gained international renown and popularized Black literature by lecturing and reading his poetry.

Dunbar published prolifically, over 400 poems, 4 novels, 4 collections of short stories,dozens of articles in magazines, song lyrics, musical plays and sketches.

His death in 1906 at the age of 35 followed years of declining health, including alcohol abuse and tuberculosis.


Paul Laurence Dunbar is one of the greatest poets in the Black tradition


poetry CHALLENGE #41


WRITE A POEM DESCRIBING SOMETHING YOU DID WRONG...AND DEEPLY REGRET.




Friday, February 10, 2017

FRIDAY POETRY


WRITE AN "IT CAN'T BE" POEM



Not My Plan



It was not my plan
That you and I
Should be coupled
Together like fetus
To umbilical cord
Bound to each other for
Nourishment and life
But here we are
It can't be
It was not my plan







*Prompt by RL  Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

TUESDAY poetry

HELP FIND ME



Have you seen me
I went missing sixty
Years ago without a
Trace my father maced
My mother and took
Me away
Today they call it
Kidnapping
Have you seen me
I went missing
Years ago





Thursday, February 2, 2017

poetry CHALLENGE #40

YOU HAVE MADE A PACT WITH THE DEVIL. HE HAS AGREED TO GIVE YOU SOMETHING YOU WANT IN RETURN FOR YOUR SOUL.


Write a poem to describe what it is you want: Money? Fame? A red Corvette?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday POETRY

Write a "nothing better" poem


A Love Supreme




There are no words

To express that which

Is now and forever more









Prompt by RL Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thursday POETRY PROMPT

WRITE A "DREAM" POEM



I Wake Up Screaming




When my head falls
Off the pillow in bed
At night sometimes a
Battle begins in my sleep
With me, myself and I,
But only when my head is
Low like that I'm
In too deep, my dream
So real I scream










*Prompt by R.L. Brewer's "Poetics Asides" blog



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

THURSDAY POETRY PROMPT

WRITE A "SOMETHING NEW" POEM





Romantic Implications




It all started in
Brooklyn, New York
Circa 1967 sitting in the
Lowe's Pitkin movie with
My girl, arm around her seat,
Hand on her right breast, fondling
New, unexplored teenage fantasies.
It was so thrilling and passionate when
She turned and softly French kissed
My trembling mouth.
007's You Only Live Twice
Never had a chance to be watched.





*Prompt by R.L. Brewer's "Poetic Asides" blog