Member Poetry: Time with a Pen

Time with a Pen

Marie A Warner

 

Sitting down to collect my thoughts,
To draw out what otherwise I would have not.
Always going… thinking of the next thing to do,
My mind always buzzing but to what end I can’t construe.

 

Weighing out what matters at this stage of life,
Knowing what cleanses me from layers of strife.
Enjoying the discovery that words are a friend,
One that will be with me until the end.

 

To collect them on the page gives me such relief,
It helps my day move forward with a new belief.
One I wouldn’t have ever known if I had not sat down,
And given my pen some time to move around.

 

* written in Redding, CA 9/16
Copyright © 2016
by Marie A Warner
All rights reserved.

Member Monday:The Game, by Marie A. Warner

Spontaneous Pen Image
A poem from WF member Marie A. Warner appeared in this month’s newsletter. Much to my embarrassment,  the poem ran with typos and transcription errors. My apologies, Marie.
Here is Marie’s poem as submittted.
The Game
 
I came upon a truth today
It was quiet at first
But then it ran in to me straight away
 
It had been buried under layers 
of color coordinated clothing, healthy weight, 
frosted hair and a countenance that I could situate
 
It showed up in a game that we all could play
One that would push the truth up in such a way
That I could see, hear and feel
And value what it would reveal
 
It was different for me, or maybe it was the same
It gave me a mirror
And as I said it I could hear
The meaning that directed me for so many years
 
I was eager to share it with others
For I knew as I said it
It would pull out the weed
The one that had poisoned my heart from its true need
 
The need to be connected
To others in heart
To let down my guard
So I could be a part
 
A part of this world that we all do share
The one that has become somewhat dark in despair
It helped me decide to turn on my light
To share it with others, to make it more bright
 
To help build the message
It is not too late
I can now join in and appreciate
 
* written in Redding, CA 9/16
Copyright © 2016
by Marie A Warner 
All rights reserved.

Looking for Poets

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The Writers Forum encourages folks to find a local writers group for support in your writing endeavors. Our last monthly meeting was devoted to examining writers groups: how to find them, how to get the most out of them, and common mistakes with writers groups. You can find some local groups, or form your own group, by clicking on the ‘Critique Groups‘ button above. Here is a request by one local poetry group looking to add members.

Please remember that each group is a voluntary gathering of writers. Writers Forum does not monitor each group, and none of the groups are official extensions of the Writers Forum. Therefore, Writers Forum does not endorse any individual writers groups.

The Seventh Sense Poetry Group was formed in Redding in 1981 when seven women answered a newspaper notice entitled “Closet Poets, Come on Out!” and out they came with their shoe-boxes of poems and other writings; the kind of box that each would grab, along with family photos, in case of fire or flood.

The name “Seventh Sense” created itself when we noticed something important was lacking when one of us couldn’t attend our weekly, writing “session.”  We finally realized that the seven of together created another “sense” beyond our recognized five senses and even beyond the sixth sense many of us possess. Together we formed a “Seventh Sense” hence the name.

Each week we would gather at someone’s home, take out our writing tablets (made out of paper), be given a “title” and then have 20 minutes or so to write, ending up with seven different perspectives of the same title.

The titles were thought up by our Title Lady (me) and over the years, we’ve been challenged (good for the brain) by the titles:  Mojave Telephone Booth, The Back of Grandpa’s Neck, I’ll Plant Flowers, The Night the Moon Fell Down, That Far-Away Look, Bessie’s Bra, The Poet With No Readers and on and on.

Another unique part of us writing together was that no critiques could be offered unless someone asked for it. No one did. We could go home and clean up the messy lines and scratched-in changes on our paper but the essence of what flowed out of us in those 20 minutes or so, remained intact, uncluttered by praise (although we didn’t object to it) nor by a disapproving eyebrow (we turned our eyes away).

Now, 35 years later, only four of the original seven remain but we still call ourselves the Seventh Sense Poetry Group out of respect and love for the original group; everyone’s still together in our hearts. We stopped our writing sessions for several years because life sent us in too many directions but just recently we started writing again, this time once a month.  In spite of being called “elderly” we’ve found out that amusing and amazing stories and poetry still fly out of our shriveling brains and we’ll probably all be together until we’re not.

If you are interested in coming to our next meeting, Nov. 5th (Sat.) at 10:30, send me an e-mail at itsamejan@hotmail.com and type Seventh Sense in the subject line and I’ll send driving directions to our meeting place.

Thanks.

Jan Saremi, Title Lady

A Reading to Remember

Group 2

The venue was perfect as seven local poets gathered to read selections from their writings on Friday, August 19 at the Old City Hall downtown.

Old City Hall

I had missed an earlier reading the previous Friday due to a cold. I still had the cold on this Friday, but I was determined to hear at least a few of the poets read. Once there, I was so drawn in by the depth and passion of the readings that I was there until the end.

Continue reading

Upcoming Readings

Local poets will be reading from their work tonight at the Old City Hall downtown, from 7:30-9:00. This event is free.

Also, the Poet Laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera, will be speaking at Shasta College on Wednesday, September 7 at 7:00 PM. This event will also be free.

Lunch With a Poet

Guest piece from Writers Forum Newsletter Editor George T. Parker.

20160721_120323Yesterday’s lunchtime visit with California’s Poet Laureate was time well spent. Several Writers Forum members were in attendance, along with an audience of about fifty or sixty, to hear Dana Gioia (pronounced JOY-ya) recite pieces from his latest book 99 Poems: New & Selected, and to explain his views on writing poetry for everybody.

Gioia’s ambition as Poet Laureate,as well as during his tenure as the Chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003-2009, is to take poetry out of academia and make it available for everybody. He insists that poetry is in the interests of ordinary people, not just English majors at universities, and as evidence, he points out the enormous popularity of such poetic forms as hip hop, rap, and cowboy poetry.

Gioia was interviewed by Nathan Solis at the Redding Record Searchlight. You can find the interview here.

Gioia reminded us of the charm of recited poetry. Words on a page take on a new life when spoken. For example, the first stanza of his poem ‘Finding a Box of Family Letters’ reads:

The dead say little in their letters

they haven’t said before.

We find no secrets, and yet

how different every sentence sounds

heard across the years.

Now listen to the same piece recited:

 

Hearing the words brings the piece to life, and helps to teach us how to read and hear other poetry. Learning poetry can only help to enhance our other writing, as well, teaching us meter and cadence of the language. Poetry can also teach us how to refine the language of our other writing.

Find a poet you like, and learn!