Northern Drive to St Lucy

Northern Drive to St Lucy
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Comments on Dreaming

Dreaming

Mighty sot and sweet are those words my love,
Sailing through time on the back of a mouse,
With wings of magnet on a pure white dove.

From somewhere, out there in the galaxy;
Fraught with megabytes f time, on our hands;
We have come with immense expectancy.

Your smiles, cards and roses you have sent me,
In glowing emoticons and siggies;
I understood perfectly, your sweet plea. 

Our love has reached the highest spatial plan;
Two spirited hearts, meshed so very well
In cyber land, that’s where it all began. 

This dream of ours very soon will come true,
As we exit the rolling, blue meadows,
To speak, face to face, the words I love you.

 With internet crashes and weird attacks,
Waiting here on Cloud Nine been mighty long;
Come, come Jack; to Silver Sands to relax.

 Dream all you can until the morning’s wee;
Cyber love is the weirdest of all things;
Catching the real McCoy, you pay no fee. 


“Dreaming” belongs to the poetic class called Lyrical Poetry. When poets write emotional rhyming poems and their themes explore romantic feeling or strong emotions, essentially what they have created fall into the realm of lyrical poetry. Reading lyrical driven poetry, the rhythmic beat has song-like attributes.  In addition to exploring romance as the focal theme, lyrical poetry is written with stanzas of three verses, where the end rhymes have two rhymes enclosing a blank verse. This arrangement has created what is known as an “enclosed tercet” with a rhyming pattern aba; the length of each verse must be in iambic pentameter.  The poem “Dreaming” has met these fundamental requirements as for example, shown in the first two stanzas of the poem:
 
                                                                        Rhyming Pattern:
Mighty soft and sweet are those words my love,          a
Sailing through time on the back of a mouse,               b
With wings of magnet on a pure white dove.                a
 
From somewhere, out there, in the galaxy;                   c
Fraught with megabytes of time, on our hands;            d
We have come with immense expectancy.                    c
 
This rhyming pattern called rhyme scheme insists that the first verse rhymes with the third verse throughout the various stanzas of the tercet poem. A tercet poem has stanzas made up of three verses.
 
“Dreaming” is a social commentary poem made up of septet stanzas. Seven verses make a septet. The imagery in this poem, points to love being solicited on dating platforms in cyber land. The aura of finding love in space is romantically captured in the first six stanzas and last stanza being the spoiler, as the delusions of grandeur raises its ugly head on these cyber lovers so much in love.
 








Monday, August 26, 2013

Comments on Daffodils


























Daffodils

The long cold days and nights have taken leave;
See those sequin drips of spring on the ground;
The gentle rain upon those buds supply;
They open their eyes; see birds perched on boughs;

Narcissi at my feet blow their trumpets;
So dependable and easy to grow;
They rebuild themselves for the next year spring;
By asexual and sexual means;

Beneath those trees lies a carpet of green;
A cushion and a seat nature brings,
For the graceful drift of daffodils’ hues;
The scenery all around is complete.

These springtime guests do stand nobly in line,
With cheery nodding heads fully aglow,
Filling gardens, vases and those grassy banks,
With yellow, orange and white point to sky.

They herald in the joys that springtime brings;
Their trumpets too signal summertime thrills;
Blooms of daffodils caught my attention;
They flaunt their beauty in blazing sunlight.

As we celebrate our place in nature; 

Daffodils show God's love for all mankind;
And as a symbol of human condition,
Teaching how to be happy and share love.

(April 2006, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

My first experience of spring in the Southern Hemisphere was September of 2004 in North Island, New Zealand. Of course, in the Northern Hemisphere I experienced all four seasons of the year in England, Canada and USA in my youthful days where I buried my head in my studies at College and University. I didn't pay too much attention to plants and gardens as I do now that I'm an Erdiston College Tutor Emeritus. It was awesome to experience sub-tropical climate having been used to tropical climate in my native Barbados. The first flower that drew my deep attention and admiration one early spring day in Orewa, New Zealand of 2004 was the golden daffodil. I have never seen this flower before only its picture that accompanied the poem "Daffodils" by William Wordsworth taught to me as a pupil in Elementary School in Barbados before the island gained independence from the Union Jack.  This trumpet shaped flower has profound beauty and comes in multiple colors, but I adore the golden ones. I was told by a Kiwi that the daffodil is a perennial flower that blooms from bulbs during the spring and that they are the first sign of spring. Though describing this flower as being a narcissus, the point was made that it symbolizes spring, rebirth, new beginnings and friendship. In describing the daffodil it was clear to see nature as a reflection of God. 

During my first spring in Ohio, USA in 2006 the daffodils were every where the eyes could see, so I said to myself why not take pictures of those in my sister's garden with the camera I purchased two years ago from Dick Smith Electronics in the mall at Orewa. So here am I sharing that picture with you here on this blog. Then, as a back-drop I penned this poem that celebrates the daffodils and mused about my connection with natural world using perception and experience. This I did drawing from the skills of a nature poet whose functions are to document the outdoors and interprets what is sensed and experienced. My poem I present to you, though not written in the style of Williams Wordsworth poem "The Daffodils" I gladly share with you. It is written in Blank Verse also known as Blank Form. It uses a regular metrical pattern in iambic pentameter verses with end-stops but no end rhymes. Blank verse and Free verse are often misunderstood or confused.  A good way to remember the difference is to think of the word blank as meaning that at the ends of verses where rhymes would normally appear are "blank", that is, devoid of rhyme; the "free" in Free Verse refers to the freedom from fixed patterns of traditional versification.

Punctuation marks work differently in poetry than in other forms of writing. In poetry, punctuation marks are used not so much for grammatical correctness but rather for effect. The poet selects the type of end-spot that corresponds to the length of pause desired. When a long pause is desired the full-stop is used. When a short pause is desired the comma is used and the semicolon is used for a pause that is longer than comma but not as long as a full-stop. In poetic craft, the full-stop, question mark, and the exclamation mark are placed under the category long pauses, whereas, the comma, semicolon, the ellipsis and the dash are placed under the category of short pauses. The poet is mindful that a punctuation mark, or the lack thereof, can change meaning and add depth to the poem; so that is why the choice of ending is considered with the uttermost care.

The most common forms of end-stops in poetry are the comma, semicolon, question mark, exclamation mark, the dash and the ellipsis. These end-stops are clear pointers of the poet’s involvement in the “stage management” of the poem as it were. The poet tells readers of the poem where to pause and when not to pause. End-stops in a poem slow down the pace in the reading of the poem, whereas the enjambment accelerates the pace. The end-stop is the opposite of enjambment which will influence the reader to move along to the next verse without pausing. 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Comments on Chatting with Cyanocitta Cristata


Chatting with Cyanocitta Cristata

Crested, blue chattering bird; yes you are,
Keeping my company all winter long;
My other feathered friends have gone afar,
From the snow and icy winds blowing strong;

Monogamously you mate ‘til you die
Right! If people would on this trait partake
Divorces I opine wouldn’t be high;
Marriage vows are sacred for goodness sake.

From my Ohio lodging saw you did perch
On the highest bough, there you take your place;
Cardinals and robins too, fear your birch
Bully tactics hidden on pretty face 

Fearless as love my jay-bird cocks its crest
On the gray limb of a snow-flecked maple;
Blue, white and black bedecked its fancy dress
What shenanigans will you once more pull?

Casey chased you from her backyard feeder;
She said you displayed a bad attitude;
And that you are a corvid pilferer;
Stealing and raiding with high latitude.

I do think Casey was harsh, mean and unfair;
You only wanted to eat and play
Musical notes, across the woodland air;
Such utter nonsense I do hear you say.

From dawn to dusk I did hear blue jay’s call;
High up in forest trees it seemed to me;
Throughout the winter, spring, summer and fall
Its musical wheedle and tooloolee. 

Cyanocitta Cristata my true love;
I shall miss your sweet notes your voice recalls,
And your gorgeous body floating above;
With peculiar quirks, ruffles and falls;

I’m leaving Buckeye for the surf and sand,
It’s for a while but I must go away;
To raise black-belly sheep on Maycock’s land;
Shall be back jay-jay on Thanks Giving Day.

(June 2007)

Genre      -               Nature Poetry
Form       -               Heroic Quatrain
Tags        -               Dramatic monologue, iambic pentameter, rhyme scheme

Comments on – Chatting with Cyanocitta Cristata

 “Chatting with Cynocitta Cristata” is in the catergory of nature poetry in the form of the heroic quatrain.  This poem reveals a one-way conversation by the persona to a second person. A poem of this nature is considered a dramatic monologue. A dramatic monologue consists of revealing a one way conversation by a character or persona, usually directed to a second person or an imaginary audience. It typically involves a critical moment of a specific situation.

The critical moment in this poem is about the avian drama that played out one early spring morning in April. The poem’s imagery is from observations in the back-garden of a Cleveland Heights homestead in Ohio, USA. The gorgeous evergreens, deciduous trees and pines provide a welcome habitat for all kinds of wildlife; nature at its best as prying eyes held in awe what flora and fauna do naturally throughout the four seasons of the year. They keep the environment beautiful as they provide a sumptuous banquet table laid out that activates all our senses. That is why environmental protection is the responsibility of world citizens. The behavior of the birds among the trees provided a natural theater for my discerning eyes amid the ever changing weather patterns. The window view from where I sat provided the proper undercover to see the behavior and shenanigans of squirrels, bees, butterflies and all sorts of birds which have made their homes in Ohio. This constant interaction of animals and birds in the wild is awesome.

It was from that vantage point that a bizarre scene played out between two birds, the robin and the blue jay (Cyanocitta Cristata). The sky wore one of the many shades of blue that usually comes in the spring time when the day-star cascades its light with luster. The drama unfolded when a robin was the first to take its position on a high bough of the tree garlanded with ivy vines. A moment later, half second or so, another bird, the blue jay landed on the tree garlanded with ivy vines. A territorial war had broken out because the blue jay would have no other bird perching on the uppermost bough of the tree; that much I figured out from the blue jay’s body language. How dare you sit on that high bough, you arrogant robin! They fought and they fought; beaks crashing left, right, back, and center. It was obvious that the blue jay would win the battle of the birds because with each blow of its beak the robin fell to a lower bough on the tree. The territorial bird-war ended with the defeated robin having to accept its place on the lowest bough and the blue jay sat triumphantly surveying the land from the highest bough on the tree.

The rhyming pattern of this poem is such that the first verse in each stanza  rhyming with the third verse in each stanza; the second verse in each stanza rhymes with fourth verse in each stanza  as in an abab arrangement; and all the verses are iambic pentameter verses. Hence each stanza is called a heroic stanza. The poem has nine stanzas with a rhyme scheme abab cdcd efef ghgh ijij klkl mnmn opop qrqr as indicated by symbol markings end-words shown on rhyme scheme analysis in 
Table 1a and Table 1b.

Table 1a

Chatting with Cyanocitta Cristata


Rhyme Scheme
1
Crested, blue chattering bird; yes you are,
Keeping my company all winter long;
My other feathered friends have gone afar,
From the snow and icy winds blowing strong;

2
Monogamously you mate ‘til you die
Right! If people would on this trait partake
Divorces I opine wouldn’t be high;
Marriage vows are sacred for goodness sake.

3
From my Ohio lodging saw you did perch
On the highest bough, there you take your place;
Cardinals and robins too, fear your birch
Bully tactics hidden on pretty face 

4
Fearless as love my jay-bird cocks its crest
On the gray limb of a snow-flecked maple;
Blue, white and black bedecked its fancy dress
What shenanigans will you once more pull?

5
Casey chased you from her backyard feeder;
She said you displayed a bad attitude;
And that you are a corvid pilferer;
Stealing and raiding with high latitude. 


a
b
a
b


c
d
c
d


e
f
e
f

g
h
g
h

i
j
i
j


Table1b

Chatting with Cyanocitta Cristata


Rhyme Scheme

6
I do think Casey was harsh, mean and unfair;
You only wanted to eat and play
Musical notes, across the woodland air;
Such utter nonsense I do hear you say.

7
From dawn to dusk I did hear blue jay’s call;
High up in forest trees it seemed to me;
Throughout the winter, spring, summer and fall
Its musical wheedle and tooloolee. 

8
Cyanocitta Cristata my true love;
I shall miss your sweet notes your voice recalls,
And your gorgeous body floating above;
With peculiar quirks, ruffles and falls;

9
I’m leaving Buckeye for the surf and sand,
It’s for a while but I must go away;
To raise black-belly sheep on Maycock’s land;
Shall be back jay-jay on Thanks Giving Day.



k
l
k
l


m
n
m
n


o
p
o
p


q
r
q
r

Rhyme Scheme abab cdcd efef ghgh ijij klkl mnmn opop qrqr




Now you wonder why is the rhyme scheme not simply abab as oppose to the lengthy rhyme scheme abab cdcd efef ghgh ijij klkl mnmn opop qrqr. The reason is this, the length of the rhyme scheme is not a problem because it adheres to the stipulation that the heroic quatrain must have the end-word of the first verse rhyming with the end-word in the third verse, and the second verse must rhyme with the end-word in the fourth verse. This is the formula on which the heroic quatrain is created. In “Chatting with Cynocitta Cristata” you would have noticed that the end-rhymes in the first and third verses in stanza 1 do not rhyme unilaterally with these verses in subsequent stanzas; neither do the end-rhymes in the second and fourth verses in stanza 1 rhyme unilaterally with these verses in subsequent stanzas as shown in Table 1a, Table1b. However, they do rhyme independently in each of the subsequent stanzas. That is why; the other letters of the alphabet are incorporated into the rhyme scheme to reflect this trend.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Comments on "CouCou Dish" Poem


CouCou Dish

Coucou you sing our freedom songs
And okra says it's true;
Singing Robyn, merci beaucoup!  
Surprise! No peek-a-boo.

True Bajans love the real coucou;
Served all year once a week;
Thursday is really coucou day;
Well done with real technique.

Corny mass floats on saucy sea;
Molded well on the plate;
And flying fish swim round its core;
Wingless yes! But sedate.

A salisbury steak I'm not;
Neither a duckanoo;
When saucy river round me flows;
You've got the real coucou.

Coucou you sing our freedom songs;
A wholesome dish so true;
Singing Robyn, merci beaucoup;
Surprise! No peekaboo.

CouCou is our national dish
Chopped okras glue the maize;
Carved firmly with a buttered mold,
Served on ironing days;

Our coucou sings cool pop tunes
Loud and sweet from the chest
Flying high all around the globe
Rihanna tops the nest.

At all cost we make pepper sauce
With spices from the land
Foreign brands too we use in stew
With industry we stand.

Coucou you sing our freedom songs
A wholesome dish so true;
Singing Robyn, merci beaucoup
Surprise! No peekaboo.

Food is the mainstay for all living beings after water. Mrs Carmeta Frazer former Food Promotion Officer at the Barbados Marketing Corporation now the Barbados Agricultural Development Corporation trumpeted the slogan “Food Comes First” was a strong advocate for local food production and the use of local produce in the preparation of dishes. Food is so important that even as far back as 3 000 B C poets wrote about food in all its various manifestations. The 20th century poet Virginia Woolf wrote classically about it. Food is a timeless subject in poems and goes beyond its metaphoric use and poets relish writing about food literally and to reveal its universal quality and the never ending pleasure food brings.  The poem “Co Cou Dish” is also a food metaphor as well because a metaphor is face-value understanding and experiencing, and seeing that face-value understanding in terms of another thing.  This poem "CouCou" can be so many things for it brings into play the influence of the French in the islands of the West Indies, for example "Coucou" is not only the singing bird but a French word which in English means "Hello" or "Good Morning", "peekaboo" comes from the old French word "pique-a-beau", translating to resentment or one's lover, which accounts for the covering of one's face with the hands. This was often done to signal others in town that the coverer was upset at the coveree for some indiscretion and that the offending party was to be dragged off by a mob and beaten with sticks. The authentic French words "merci beaucoup" meaning "Thank You."

In Barbados, farmers are encouraged to buy local and artisanly  produced foods against the pressures of globalization in the food industry and as expected in the slogan the poem can be a food metaphor promoting all aspects of fine arts, culinary art as well as, the poem metaphorically promotes the survival f a variety of local and ethnic groups because community members experience and transmit their local identify in terms of food-related experiences. Food is a metaphor not only for a specific local identity in question, but also for political and cultural resistance.

In its literal sense "CouCou" is about the national dish of Barbados. Returning Nationals and tourists from around the globe often remark that they savor the epicurean delight whenever coucou and flying fish is on the menu, this truly authentic Bajan dish.  The imagery in this food poem makes reference to the pop-star Robyn Rihanna Fenty. The career of this singing super-star, born on February 20, 1988 in St Michael, Barbados has without doubt, elevated this 166 square mile island to the fore-front of the entertainment world. In recognition of this, the Government of Barbados showered on her the accolade of “Honorary Youth and Cultural Ambassador for Barbados”.

The poem “CouCou Dish” is written in ballad meter. The ballad is essentially a narrative poem with a stanza of four lines with a refrain stanza of necessity. The plot is the dominant feature of the ballad, dealing with a single crucial episode, narrated impersonally with frequent repetition and that’s where the refrain verses come into play. Traditionally, the ballad is written in straight forward verse seldom with detail but always with graphic simplicity and force. The ballad meter is derived by using alternating verses of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter followed by the last words of the second and fourth verses rhyming  in each stanza whereas the first and third verses in all the stanzas do not rhyme. This poem has multiple stanzas made up of six stanzas and a refrain stanza. The rhyming pattern reflected in all the seven stanzas are shown below:

Coucou you sing our freedom songs
And okra says it's true;
Singing Robyn, merci beaucoup!  
Surprise! No peek-a-boo.

True Bajans love the real cou cou;
Served all year once a \week\;
Thursday is really cou cou day;
Well done with real \technique\.

Corny mass floats on saucy sea;
Molded well on the /plate/;
And flying fish swim round its core;
Wingless yes! But /sedate/.

A salisbury steak I'm not;
Neither a ~duckanoo~;
When saucy river round me flows;
You've got the real ~cou cou~.

CouCou is our national dish
Chopped okras glue the maize;
Carved firmly with a buttered mold,
Served on ironing days;

Our coucou sings cool pop tunes
Loud and sweet from the chest
Flying high all around the globe
Rihanna tops the nest.

At all cost we make pepper sauce
With spices from the (land)
Foreign brands too we use in stew
With industry we (stand).

Notice that the rhyme scheme in the poem "CouCou Dish" shows that the end-rhymes in the second and fourth verses in stanza 1 do not rhyme with the end-rhymes in the second and fourth verses of all those stanzas that follow. For this simple reason, the rhyme scheme for "CouCou Dish" just cannot be xbyb but must take into account that end-rhymes in the second and fourth verses in stanza 1 do not rhyme with the end-rhymes in the second and fourth verses of all those stanzas that follow; hence, instead of merely xbyb rhyme scheme we have an expanded rhyme scheme xbyb xcyc xdyd xeye xfyf xgyg xhyh xiyi xjyj.

The rhyme scheme in "CouCou Dish" is much longer when compared with the rhyme scheme xbyb in "Bajan Conkies" as shown in the excerpt below:

When November comes to the door,                              
Zesty conkies we share;                                    
Sweet and mighty strong with essence;          
A Bajan dish set square.                                   

Pumpkin alone will never do;                                                           
Mix, corn, coconut fair,                                    
With potato, sugar and spice;                                          
Cook on square leaves with care.                   

Conkies wrapped in banana leaves;                               
Do pass the plate with cheer,                                           
To friends but satellites of none;                     
Great cheese-on-bread is there.                       

Stacked independently on plate,                     
Conkies banana wear;                                                      
Housed in jacket uniquely ours;                      
We stacked on tableware;                                               

Skilled fingers cut those leaves to strap,         
From stalk with sharp hardware;                   
Laboring these souls toiled each day,                             
In cane-fields near Foursquare;

Notice that the xbyb rhyme scheme in this poem "Bajan Conkies" shows that the end-rhymes in the second and fourth verses in stanza 1 rhyme with the end-rhymes in the second and fourth verses of all those stanzas that follow. The xbyb rhyme scheme is the shortest rhyme scheme in English Language poetry.

Click on this Link to read all the verses in "Bajan Conkies"



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Haiti Under Rubble from 7.0 Earthquake

Natural disasters whenever and wherever they occur impact on all of our lives. The Good Book says we are our brothers and sisters keepers lead by the Holy Spirit. Hence, we must do our part when disaster shows its ugly face. Any assistance, great or small, given from generous and loving hearts has equal weight. I'm passing on this information I received that Barbadians can go to First Caribbean Bank to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti. The banking information is shown below:

First Caribbean Bank Account--2645374-- Cheques can be written to: HELP #2645374

For more information click on this link

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