Poem A Day challenge starts tomorrow

Welcome Back

Its been a while but I just wanted to give you a heads up that over on Writers Digest website tomorrow, this years Poem A Day (PAD) Challenge for November begins. As the title suggests, each day there will be a new prompt posted for you to write your poem from. If you have ever wanted to write poems, the PAD; Poem A Day Challenge can be a great place to start.

From the main website, scroll down a little and look for the ‘What’s New’ area of the site, there you will find that day’s prompt and often the previous couple of days prompts too. I believe this is an American site, so the times of day when the prompts go live will be based on that region.

Don’t know about you but I do like sitting by the patio doors, having breakfast, looking at the misty mornings of autumn and writing poetry. This is my most productive time of the year for poetry. This season hurts emotionally, and physically and often mentally too but from there, also comes a creative force. A voice that needs to be heard and the prompts often tempt that voice onto the page. If I could give you one tip, its to write the words your soul wants to speak.

There are a lot of rules about poetry, and lots of poetic forms to explore shoud you wish too. Stephen Fry has written a comprehensive book about them called The Ode Less Travelled, which I ‘tried’ to read but I got confused n just took my journal, a pencil and let the words fall out. Sometimes it works, sometimes they need a nudge to make them sound graceful in a poetic sence. Sometimes the prompts cause free writing, rather than true poetry. But if you write from your soul, it can feel soo good, so freeing, so healing. Follow your heart, get paper, a pencil n feel what you feel, write what you feel, hear, think and see. You might surprise yourself.

Just remember if you are nervous about writing for the first time, or for however long you have been writing. NO ONE has to see what you write. You can write for YOU, because you want to, like to, need too. If you aren’t sure if what you have written ‘works’ for you, maybe try reading it outloud to yourself, it can help to get the words to scan the way you feel you want them too.

I’ll let you into a secret, which is that I write ALL the prompts into a journal to save. I love to write poems, and there are times when the prompts grab me as I read them and the words just flow, other times, they need to be saved n savored at a different time. For me poetry is something that just ‘happens’ I cannot and do not write to order, I’m mearly the one holding the pen and the words arrive. I’ve also found this approach good as at different times I can have different reactions n poetry thoughts and ideas from the prompts so it can be good to revist them more than once.

If you are new to poetry, or this challenge and want to make it a bit special, one of those mindfulness, self care n kindness practices. Do treat yourself to a journal that feels beautiful to you, grab a pen or a pencil can be good as its easier to make corrections if you wanted too. But what is most important is to ‘just write’ it doesn’t have to be perfect, to rhyme if that doesn’t feel right for you, just let the words fall out of the pen and go from there.

If you want to look up different poetic forms (different kinds of poetry) then Stephen Fry’s book An Ode Less Travelled is good. I found it helpful as a reference book so if someone mentioned a technical term that I didn’t understand I could look it up, but I didn’t get on so well reading it from cover to cover but I have dyslexia and shh don’t judge me but I don’t know a verb from a noun. So if too are not one of life’s most accomplished english lit masters, please don’t let that put you off giving writing poetry a go.

Links

  • Writers Digest website Once the challenge has started go to the ‘What’s New’ section on the left hand side for each days new prompt
  • The Ode Less Travelled; Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry. A great place to look up the ‘technical terms’ used in the poetry¬† world, like stanzas, and different verse forms. You don’t need to read this first, but if you want to learn the local lingo of poetry, learn new forms/styles of writting it is very useful.

If you find yourself bitten by the poetry bug, the PAD Challenge happens each April and November on the Writers Digest site and there is also a poetry prompt every wednesday on the site throughout the year, also found under the ‘What’s new’ section.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy your poetry journey.

Billie x

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Winter Survival Plan: November 2016

Welcome Back

For a number of reasons I find the winter months very difficult, so for all those whose hearts also sink as the light levels drop here are a few sites n projects that I would like to share to help us through the long winter evenings. These are just a few ways I’m going to use to distract from the anxiety and depression and hopefully add to my mindfulness options as a gentler way to deal with difficult times. Enjoy

Poem A Day (PAD) Chapbook Challenge over on Writers Digest

This is a twice yearly event one in April and another in NOvember, where the lovely people post daily prompts for you to write poetry too. You can post your finished pieces to the site, or submit them to the competition itself, but for me I just like to write down all the prompts and write as the muse grabs me. If you would like to join in, I’ll add a link at the end of the post. All you need is a journal and a pencil so its free to play at this level.

Susannah Conway e-course Daily Guidance

As those of you who read this regularly may know, I have taken Susannah’s The Sacred Alone course earlier in the year and it was AMAZING!!!!! I adore Oracle cards and it was mention of this course that got me into them when I first visited her website earlier in the year. Daily Guidance is going to cover using Oracle cards and Tarot cards in an intuative way, for personal growth and journalling. I adore journalling, when my hands allow. I have to admit that until recently I have had no interest in Tarot and if I’m really honest viewed it in a bad light. BUT being open minded I wanted to learn more and although when I signed up for this course was going to focus on the Oracle deck side of things, I am now the proud owner of two lovely Tarot decks, and am eager to learn to use them for healing and spiritual growth. Link to the class at the end of the post. My two Tarot decks are The Dreaming Way and also The Gaian Tarot, I could continue of my love for these decks but that is for another post. I’m trying to sit on my hands and NOT fall into the collector of Tarot decks like I have become with the Oracle decks but perhaps different Tarot decks also share different energies like the Oracle decks do so more may well happen in time.

There are other e-courses on different subjects on Susannah’s website too.

Joanna Powell Colbert e-courses

One of the Tarot decks I purchased was Joanna Powell Colbert’s The Gaian Tarot, there will be a very gushy post at another time as to how wonderful this is but on visiting her site and following her on Twitter I found out about an E-course called 30 Days of Hecate –¬† A Daily Sacred Pause of Welcoming Hallowmas. Link at the end of the post. I admit to knowing nothing about Hecate but I am expolring my spiritual options this year, I adored Denise Linn’s book Kindling the Native Spirit and my body is certainly very in tune with the weather and seasons as pain levels and more are also very effected by them so I am interested in learning more about earth based practices. Join up quick on this one as it starts 24th October.

When my hands allow I have also been batch making soup n such for the freezer so when I feel exhausted or my hands don’t work there will still be another option to a ready meal as an option in the freezer. Yes food does make a big difference to mood, so eat as well as your health allows. May the weather be kind, may you find hope courage and comfort in what ever you do to plan a coping strategy through the long dark evenings. Let me know what your strategies are, would love to hear about them, and your fave Oracle and Tarot decks too. #Confession I’ve also started a collection of Tarot books, but not all have arrived yet and I will hold off reading them till AFTER Susannah’s class.

Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell

This is my book of the month, need to swap the copy I have as it arrived damaged but she is an amazing empowering writer and since I loved her Light is the New Black book so much I HAD to get this too.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, look forward to hearing your strategies for winter.

Namaste

B x

National Poetry Day 2016: Canary Song

Today is National Poetry Day, so here is a poem dedicated to my canary L’uccello, who has the sweetest song.

L’ucello

Yellow bird, so soft and round,

Never known to cause a frown,

How tall he sits, when he does sing,

Brings Joy and light to everything.

 

A bird so small and yet so bold

Never one to make you scold,

He loves to fly, to perch, to sing,

Brings joy and light to everything.

 

My darling Bird, your song so pure,

An angel’s voice, I am sure,

Come sit a while and hear his song,

And in your heart, he does belong.

 

Such joyous notes, brings tears to eyes,

Pure pleasure at his warbling cries,

Of such delight and without measure,

This darling bird, he brings such pleasure.

 

Here is a video of L’ucello singing, for those wondering about his name, its Italian for Bird.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, will you be joining in with National Poetry Day 2016? I’m hoping Writers Digest will post another Poem a Day Challenge in November like they did last year. I don’t try to post to a schedule with the prompts but I like to save them for when inspirations strikes.

 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

B x

Choices

Welcome Back

In response to my Mean Girl poem, I also wrote this. Sometimes those around us, even with the best intent say things that hurt and wound us. When you are unwell those negative comments can go round and round in your head and hurt you further. Here is my kinder way to process those times.

Choices

I choose not to listen, to the mean things that you say.

However well intentioned, they hurt and cannot stay.

I choose, not to talk to you, I have no words today.

I’m saving up my energy, to find the strength to stay.

 

I choose not to listen to the mean things that I say

I know they’re from the mean girl,

Who knows just what to say.

If I do not listen to her, may be she’ll go away.

 

I choose to be gentle and extra kind to me

Because I do deserve it and I’m trying to be free.

I turn away, from the dark clouds, that chase and frighten me,

There is a nicer person, who is also inside me.

 

The one who likes to do art,

The one who really cares

The one who’ll always listen

The one who wants to share.

 

Each day is full of choices.

Even though they feel so hard

I will try to choose the gentler ones

Be kinder to my heart.

 

Best wishes and thanks for reading

B x

 

The Mean Girl

Welcome Back

They often say you shouldn’t listen to the negative narration in your life, but its not always easy not too. Today’s poem explores that.

Mean Girl

A mean girl lives inside me,

She’s really not my friend

She’s made of all the dark stuff

And makes me cry again.

 

She whispers bad memories to me,

She narrates my every day

But coz she’s full of bad stuff

She knows just what to say.

 

She often leaves me crying

Lying shaking on the floor,

Not wanting to get up again,

I don’t want anymore.

 

I shouldn’t listen to her,

I know she isn’t being kind.

But she really is persuasive

And lives inside my mind

 

Sometimes she has a day off.

And Oh what joy that brings

To have some space and quietness

It really gives me wings.

 

I’m learning not to listen,

To the bad stuff that she says

To wait until she’s finished

Then do something else instead.

 

Alternative last line….

‘And just go back to bed.’

 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

 

B x

We Are

As a follow on to the I am poem, here is my ‘We are’ poem, dedicated to all those who need help but are unable to access it. Sending us all Peace, hope, light and compassion.

We Are

We are the silent warriors

The ones who hide our pain,

The ones who cannot find our words,

Nor ways to ease the blame.

 

If you have a mental illness

Society needs to change,

Coz we are, still made to hide it,

And live our lives with shame.

 

Oh there are some, who do find help

But many more that don’t

You call us weak, but you are wrong

You do not have a clue.

 

The courage, strength and fight it takes

To make it each day through.

How easily you judge us,

When you do not know our pain.

 

I hope one day the change will come

And no one, will have to hide

That compassion and hope can help us find

Our needed sense of pride.

 

Best wishes and thanks for reading

B x