Category Archives: Poetry

Creativie Juice #68

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Creativie Juice #68

A dozen inspiring articles to spark your creativity:

  1. Beautiful Jersey City and Paterson, New Jersey.
  2. Two of my favorite things: quilts and limericks.
  3. Art dolls.
  4. Can creativity be taught?
  5. These new books sound great. Hollywood thought so, too.
  6. This article about Picasso summarizes: “Not only has massive chunks of our culture been created by specific men who abuse women but also that so-called ‘Western culture’ in its entirety has been marked and in many ways defined by systemic and institutionalized misogyny that has chewed up women for art and discarded them en masse.” Some things never change. Or can they?
  7. Do you like potato chips that look like faces, and clouds that look like other objects? Then this quick video will make you smile.
  8. How to draw a fox.
  9. Some beautiful tangles.
  10. What the blank spaces in a painting convey.
  11. Inexpensive copies of art masterpieces you’ll use every day.
  12. Bonsai!

Honk If You Love…

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My response to the Daily Post prompt.handheart

Honk if you love:

Jesus
Babies
The beach
The clean smell of the air after a rain
Biting the least attractive piece in a box of assorted chocolates and discovering it’s the best thing you’ve ever tasted
Taking an item to the checkout and finding out it’s 50% off
Quitting time on Fridays
Getting a hand-written letter
Kissing your sweetheart
Family heirlooms
Wildflowers
Bumping into an old friend
Finding $20 you forgot you had
A night sky full of stars

My Pain in a Black Disguise

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In response to today’s Daily Post promptFaint.

My Pain in a Black Disguise

On my failed canvas I overpaint
This time allowing myself no preconceived expectations
Mindful only of each stroke of the brushblack square
And selecting only bright colors
Straight from the tube, no muting

The movement on the surface pleases me
Draws my eyes ‘round
Never lingering for long
Until I see it: the faint outline of the portrait
I’m trying to forget

I take my palette knife
And scrape off the layers
Intended to hide my pain
Pain is inevitable
I paint the whole thing black

© ARHuelsenbeck

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Mysterious Acrostic

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I’m submitting this as my final OctPoWriMo poem, and also as my offering for today’s Daily Post prompt:

Castle of Mystery

Mysterious walls and towers,
You isolate your inhabitants with your moat
Shielding them from the evil without.
Turrets teem with archers
Ever ready to shower demon attackers with flaming arrows.
Residing within your ramparts are brave warriors,
Inspired poets, devoted clerics,
Obeying the mandate of your monarch to
Uphold the kingdom, glorify God, and
Shelter the remnant of the people forever.

Castle

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#ALCGC2017 November Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 November Check-In

I love challenges! They encourage me to try new things. During October, two very good challenges, Inktober and OctPoWriMo, helped me with my goal of creating more poems and art.

I wrote several poems during October, and the best ones are posted here and here. One turned into a Christmas poem, so be sure to visit ARHtistic License on December 25 to read it.

For Inktober, I often defaulted to concurrent Zentangle challenges, and completed fourteen drawings in all. I posted some of them on ARHtistic License, and all of them on my Instagram page. Here are some of my favorites:

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On the book front, I still have no representation for the three picture books I’ve sent out to agents. I wish I were an illustrator; I think if agents could see what I’m visualizing, they’d love my books for sure. Sigh. I’ve started rewriting two of them to submit as short stories.

Starting November 15 I’m running through The God of Paradox with my Bible study group. I know the third lesson is too lengthy. I’m actually thinking of taking most of it out and writing a second Bible study guide out of it. Anyhow, after this dry run, I should be able to fine-tune it and start submitting it in early 2018.

I’m still rewriting The Unicornologist. It keeps getting shorter, but it needs to be meatier.

I’m still practicing the same last 11 pages of The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book, and I’m still up to p. 59 in Essential Elements for Guitar. My tone and facility are improving, even if it looks like I’m not getting anywhere. I’ve been pretty good about practicing on piano, recorder, and guitar, but I’ve missed a few days due to lack of energy.

I’ve hardly done any dancing this month. The last Tuesday in September, I landed funny on my right foot and heard it crunch. It hurt really bad. I danced on it an hour and a half two weeks later, but that was probably a bad idea. Until recently, it ached something fierce if I spent more than half an hour on my feet. I think I’ll be able to resume dancing next week.

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Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on December 1, 2017, to share your progress during November. I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.

 

More OctPoWriMo Poems

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More OctPoWriMo Poems

October is Poetry Writing Month. I shared some of my OctPoWriMo poems a couple weeks ago. Here are some more.

Day 19’s prompt was fox or foxy:fox-317023_960_720

Encounter with the Fox

On a walk down our dirt road I spied a fox
I felt so honored to meet her
She swished her fluffy red tail
And pranced on her tiny little feet
I stepped toward her and she danced away for a measure
Then turned around to check on me
I stood still and held my breath, no threat to her
She ignored me and went about her business
Hiking off toward the trees

Day 21’s prompt was nothing remains the same; suggested form: abecedarian.

Rantings of a Geezer, in Alphabetical Order

Aging is for the birds.
Balance isn’t what it used to be. I’m afraid to climb a ladder.
Contemporary church service makes me long for the old traditional ones.
Doctor sees me more often than my children do.
Eyes see better than ever after my cataract surgery. Ha! Score one for old age.
Friends are dying one by one.
Graying, thinning hair.
House is falling apart faster than we can put it back together again.
I need ibuprofen to get through the day.
Jogging hurts my poor bones. Can’t do it anymore.
Knees hurt.
Laughing makes me pee.
Memory plays tricks on me. What day is it? What did I come in here for?
No one cares about my aches and pains.
Old, older, oldest.
Prunes keep me going.
Quick, answer the phone—you’re closer.
Retirement is a mixed blessing: I like my little pension, but I miss my colleagues.
Senior discounts! Now, that’s a good thing.
Television is a waste of time. These days there’s nothing to watch but junk.
Useless. I can’t do what I used to.
VPAP helps me breathe while I’m sleeping.
Who is that old woman who stares back at me from the mirror?
X-rays show arthritis.
Yearning for the good old days.
Zero—that’s how good I feel on a scale of one to ten.

Day 25’s prompt was taste of satisfaction:

A Writer’s Progression

Ideationfrustrated-writer-2
Inspiration
Preparation
Perspiration
Gestation
Creation
Incubation
Completion
Presentation

Submission
Anticipation

Rejection

Dejection

Revision
Augmentation
Amplification

Resubmission
Anticipation

Rejection

Deflation

Recalibration
Elaboration
Perspiration

Resubmission
Anticipation

Rejection

Frustration

Reevaluation
Permutation
Innovation

Resubmission
Anticipation

Rejection

Exasperation
Self-flagellation
Procrastination
Stagnation
Starvation

Abbreviation
Perspiration
Transformation

Resubmission
Anticipation

Communication
Affirmation

Publication

Elation
Celebration

Admiration
Appreciation
Quotation

Vindication

Repetition

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’m obsessed with the Unicorn Tapestries at the Cloisters, the medieval branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I’ve visited them there a few times, and they always take my breath away.

When I saw that the prompt for Day 29 was breathtakingI knew my poem had to involve a unicorn somehow. The form is a villanelle.

The Quest

For one objective was I born,
One purpose is my earthly goal:
To find the elusive unicorn.

I search for his majestic horn;
His horn is my magnetic pole;
For one objective was I born.

True to the oath that I have sworn,
Toward this I pour my heart and soul:
To find the elusive unicorn.

My search is futile, wise men warn,
While I perform my sacred role:
For one objective was I born.

And, so, I blow the hunter’s horn
To fill my destiny’s gaping hole:
To find the elusive unicorn.

My journey stirs up naysayers’ scorn,
Yet still, I search the hidden knoll.
For one objective was I born:
To find the elusive unicorn.

Poems © by ARHuelsenbeck

Did you write any poems in October? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Weekend Writing Warriors #77: The Taste of Toasted Marshmallows, Revisited

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Weekend Writing Warriors #77: The Taste of Toasted Marshmallows, Revisited

Every Sunday, the Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday participants share 8-10-sentence snippets from their works-in-progress on their blogs for others to read and comment on. Join the fun! Click on the links to see the full lists.

Today I’m reposting one of my OctPoWriMo poems. I wrote this in response to Day 3’s prompt: the taste of metal, which made me think of shish-kebobs, which of course made me think of toasting marshmallows. The form is cheritahanna-morris-278272

The part of the barbecue I like the best.

I select a skinny branch on the tree and snap it off.
I peel off the bark, and I sharpen one end of my stick to a point, rubbing it against the concrete back porch steps.

I stick a marshmallow on my homemade skewer, and hold it over the smoldering coals.
There is an art to this: too close, and it burns; too far away, and it takes forever.
Just right, and the sugary white blob turns brown, like deep suntan, the innards sweet melty goo.

Any suggestions on how I can make this poem better? Please comment below.

I may drop off Weekend Writing Warriors for a while. All my stories are in the midst of rewriting. The stories you haven’t seen yet are too raw for human eyes right now; they need to stew awhile.

The Taste of Toasted Marshmallows

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The Taste of Toasted Marshmallows

I’m participating (sporadically) in OctPoWriMo (October Poetry Writing Month). Here are some of my efforts:

hanna-morris-278272Day 3’s prompt was The Taste of Metal. I imagined shish kabob, which led to memories of toasted marshmallows:

The part of the barbecue I like the best.

I select a skinny branch on the tree and snap it off.
I peel off the bark, and I sharpen one end of my stick to a point, rubbing it against the concrete back porch steps.

I stick a marshmallow on my homemade skewer, and hold it over the smoldering coals.
There is an art to this: too close, and it burns; too far away, and it takes forever.
Just right, and the sugary white blob turns brown, like deep suntan, the innards sweet melty goo.

Day 7’s prompt was And Then I Went Too Far, which reminded me of a childhood incident I’d forgotten:

The Day I Ran Away

I can’t remember why I left
Some unbearable grievance no doubt
Running away seemed a reasonable response
And a marvelous adventure

maxi-corrado-140647Without any forethought
Without packing any provisions
I hopped on my bicycle
And pedaled till I grew weary

Two towns away I rode to the hospital
A nurse exited, her shift over
I approached her and said,
“I’m running away from home.
Can you help me?”

I expected she would see what I fine girl I was
And offer to adopt me
Instead, she sighed
And lifted my bike into the trunk of her car

Dashing my hopes, she didn’t
Take me to her home
Opting to drive me to the police station
And hand me over to authorities

Who weren’t interested in where I wanted to go
Or why I left
Only in calling my bewildered parents
To come pick me up.

My father apologized to the cop
And transferred my bike to his trunk
And said nothing to me beyond
“Get in the car.”

At home, my mother berated me
“How could you make us worry so?
What were you thinking?”

How could I tell her
It seemed a reasonable response
And a marvelous adventure

Day 9’s prompt was Tapping the Ash of her Cigarette, which reminded me of an anthropological artifact of my childhood:

The Ashtray

Photo by Amin.

In the 1950s and 60s,
An ashtray was an appreciated gift for a grownup.
We made them for our parents in school and at Girl Scout meetings.
They were ubiquitous.
Families displayed them on coffee- and end-tables.
Children emptied them daily as part of their chores.
(That’s as close to cigarettes as they were allowed to get—
Funny how our parents recognized their “coffin nails” were bad for children.)
My parents both quit smoking, my father only after a heart attack.
My mother-in-law quit the hard way: dying of lung cancer.

None of my friends smokes.
None of us have ashtrays.
It’s funny how times change.

Day 11’s prompt was Dancing. What follows is a true story:

The Epsom Salts Girl

The orchestra’s playing a waltz
And I can’t dance

Two weeks ago I landed on the side of my foot
And heard it crunch

My partner asked if she’d stepped on my foot
I said, “No, it was all me.”

Nothing broken, just badly sprained
My chiropractor said “Soak it in ice water.”

Are you crazy?
I’m a hot water and Epsom salts girl

Day 13’s prompt was Art:

Process

The white canvas jeers
I smother it with inky darkness

Then I take my palette knife and scrape it off
Leaving gray areas behind

To counteract the gloom
I smear on aqua and yellow green
Shock it with pink
Burn it with yellow and orange

My brush blends the colors
As if the canvas were my palette
And a cityscape forms before my eyes
With sidewalk cafes and flower shops
And car headlights reflecting off rain slick streets

I graduate to thinner and thinner brushes
To add the people who live in this city
People with jobs and relationships
People with places to go and people to see
I step back and survey my world
I dip my pinkie in cadmium white
And dab it judiciously where light is needed

It’s not too late to jump in and write some poems of your own! If you’ve posted an OctPoWriMo poem online, share a link in the comments below.

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#ALCGC2017 October Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 October Check-In

It’s undeniably autumn! The year will be over soon. How are you doing on your creative goals?

I’ve made a few drawings this month, although I didn’t do one every other day as planned. I used photos as references for these (click on the smaller images to enlarge):

And I reinterpreted some of my favorite illustrators’ pictures:

And I entered a few  Zentangle challenges, posted herehere, and here.

I wrote four poems this month, and posted three of them, here, here, and here. (Yes, I know. I’m using the term poetry lightly. A couple of them are kind of prose poems.)

In October, I’m looking forward to participating in Inktober and OctPoWriMo. I know my limitations; I know I won’t make a drawing and write a poem every day. I’ll be happy if I do one or the other.

The last weekend of September I went on a writers’ retreat. (I’m coming home today!) I expect to start (in Scrivener) a project I journaled about twelve years ago.

I’m behind where I want to be on my blog. I have holes starting October 10 (though I have 90 posts scheduled between now and April 2). I keep telling myself the world won’t end just because I miss a day on ARHtistic License. I just like being dependable. I’ve posted daily for about two years.

I’m sending out queries to agents for my picture books. So far no nibbles. Sigh.

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I’ve signed up to be a contributor for A Writer’s PathSo far I’ve submitted one post. If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, I’ll let you know when it goes live.

On recorder, I’m continuing to practice the last 13 pages of the Sweet Pipes Recorder Book. I’m chicken to go on to book 2, because it looks really hard. I have another book that I used with my sixth graders when I was teaching that involved improvisation, but I can’t find the CD that goes with it. And so I’m procrastinating on moving forward.

On guitar, I’m up to page 59 in Essential Elements for Guitar. 

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Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on November 1, 2017, to share your progress during October. I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.

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Flavorful

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Ice cream by mark-cruz-334535

 

The best flavor of ice cream is vanilla.
It’s a well-known fact.
Vanilla is the flavor against which all others are judged.
Vanilla is the standard bearer, the brand prover.
If you have a fine vanilla, you have a fine ice cream, indeed.
Of course, if vanilla is too plain for you,
You can liven it up by mixing in some cherries,
Or put it between chocolate and strawberry for a Neapolitan vibe.

No, chocolate is the best flavor of ice cream.
It’s a well-known fact.
Chocolate is what everybody craves.
But if chocolate is too tame for you,
Mix it up with some nuts and marshmallows, reminiscent of rough roads.

No. The best flavor of ice cream is butter pecan.
Adventurous and refined.
You don’t need to add anything to it.
It’s perfect the way it is.
It’s a well-known fact.

My offering for The Daily Post prompt: flavorful.