I’m quoting Kim from Writing in North Norfolk. “I’m welcoming dVerse poets to Prosery, when we ask you to write a very short piece of prose that tells a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end, in any genre of your choice: flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction.
As it’s a kind of flash fiction, we have a limit of 144 words; an additional challenge is to hit 144 exactly. The special thing about Prosery is that we give you a complete line from a poem, which must be included somewhere in your story, within the 144-word limit. You may change punctuation but you are not allowed to insert words in between parts of the quotation.
We see Ole Tom with his bent shoulders and thinning torso We see his wind-weathered face and his thinning gray hair He sits in my living room strumming his guitar Singing the fourteenth verse of an old folk song He has a thousand such songs tucked into his head Along with the entire books of Matthew and Acts We see him as an ancient sage We look at him through the wrong end Of the long telescope of Time His mind is sharper than mine ever was And he shows no signs of stopping Each Christmas Ole Tom recites the Christmas story From the book of Acts, never reading, just expounding Amazing the congregation with his masterful memory He is the epitome of a wise man: Ninety-three going on thirty Never see him as old and never underestimate Ole Tom Turn that telescope around!
What fun to participate in dVerse poets’ invitation to Prosery. It’s a challenge to come up with a 144 word poem, but not when you have such a delightful subject as Ole Tom. How we loved him!! He will live in our hearts forever.
Do you have an ole Sage in your life? Count your blessings if you do… and consider joining the fun at dVerse Poets!
Were you able to find the “complete line from a poem” that I was required to insert as part of my Prosery? Which do you think it was?
See ya tomorrow. Have a Terrific Tuesday! Love, JanBeek
There were two d’Versepoets.com prompts for today. The instructions are “Write a piece of prose (flash fiction, memoir, nonfiction) that is 144 words or less and includes, word-for-word, ONE of the lines indicated above from Carl Sandburg’s Jazz Fantasia. I chose this line: “… a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills.”
Successful Independence Day
It is a hot July 4th afternoon. My husband and I are on the shady side of the bleachers. Across the arena sun-lovers shade their eyes and strain to see the gate open as the rider emerges on the hump of an angry, cinched bucking bronco.
One by one they buck out of the gates. The audience holds its breath as the rider tries to stay on the required number of minutes before the whistle blows and they are free to dismount. Too often, the rider is bucked off before the whistle. We pray no one gets trampled as the clowns emerge to divert the horse’s attention and the rider scrambles out of harm’s way.
Back home in the pasture, the horse nibbles its reward as a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills. Another successful Independence Day!
It’s Sunday. It’s a day we set aside to worship God and listen to His Word. As I listened to Rev. Steve Hundley deliver his sermon today, I did my usual. I recorded on my bulletin what my ears took in poetically.
Here are my notes:
People flocked to Jesus. He began to preach from a boat. He had to distance from the crowd So he drifted out a bit to float.
Distanced from the multitudes, Jesus told the Parable of the Seed. The Seed is the Word of God, Spoken to the people in need.
Jesus warned that the Word Often falls on deaf ear. He explained that not all seeds Grow in all who hear.
But those who allow the seed to grow, Spend time to allow the seed to sink in, Let it bury itself in their hearts, Can bear fruit and juice they drink in.
The seed of the Word is like A Smoothie blended into thought and deed. Let the Word transform you And grow to the Faith we all need.
But we may carry a ball & chain of doubt That keeps us from letting go Of the seeds that need to be planted In Good Soil so they can grow,
Don’t hoard the Seeds of plenty That God has blessed in you. Sow them, grow them, harvest And blend them to a Smoothie. Do!
Every seed carries in its bosom the future. Trust God to make the seeds grow. Be the sower who trusts the Maker To find Good Soil wherever you go.
The Parable of the Sower
Matthew 13:1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:18“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Have a Super Sunday, Dear WordPress friends, Bee well Bee safe See ya tomorrow Love, JanBeek
In her Annika Perry’s Writing Blog today, Annika posted this wonderful song:
Annika wrote, “The specially organised show in the Netherlands entitled ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light’ was inspired by the song ‘Love Shine a Light’ by Katrina and the Waves which won in 1997 for the UK.
The pièce de résistance was the incredible finale; singing alone at home, the performers as a whole sung ‘Shine a Light’. There was not a dry eye in the house as the full impact of the One joining forces to create a unity shone out across Europe!”
Check out Annika’s delightful blog and leave a comment. Tell her JanBeek sent you!
Blogs like hers are such a gift… …just as your visit to JanBeek and your comments are a gift to me!
Other Writers are Gifts
As I spend time reading my Bible and devotionals and spending time checking out the recent posts of the blogs I follow, I am especially cognizant of what a gift you writers are to me! You share from your souls – some grateful, some melancholy, some inspirational, others troubled or questioning, all are snippets of life in various parts of the world.
I love visiting, praying with, and walking with Donna “thefathersfeet” every morning:
I enjoy strolling through derrickjknight‘s garden and neighborhood with him & his wife (the head gardener) each day:
I am endebted to Cristian Mihai for his daily blogging tips and inspiration. He never fails to motivate my desire to log in to my WP site and share with you. He “walks the talk” and always practices what he preaches. His titles are often quite intriguing:
I fall in love with poetry all over again each day I log intoRoth Poetryand read what Dwight has shared today. I love, love, love her “Life is a Poem” that she posted today. Click on “Roth’s Poetry” in blue up there to read the poem:
Love shines its light on me when I go to Pat Cegan’s “Source of Inspiration ” each day and dwell in the warmth of her poetry. I don’t have to do anything but just BEE there… and I feel healing love and peace radiate from her words.
If you want to practice shining the light of love on others, try going to:
Sharing the Gift the blog Pat posted a day ago. She has love to share! I took what I needed and a little extra for you!
I always enjoy Richard at BigSkyBuckeye and the ideas he shares so freely – his own as well as others. Today he shared his granddaughter’s poem in “Monday Memories:”
This poem is a guest post from my then 11-year old granddaughter. She wrote this poem for her Language Arts class, and she has given permission to post her untouched words just as she wrote them. Enjoy the gratitude that she shares.
Check it out… and share with me some of the blogs that are your daily go-to’s. Which bloggers inspire YOU the most?
Have a Wonderful Week, my friends. I am shining the Light of Love in your direction today. God Bless You!! Virtual Hugs, JanBeek
Today my Writers’ Group friend, Janet Muirhead Hill, joined me to share what we’ve been working on. (I was disappointed that three others who might have joined us were unavailable today. Hopefully they’ll be here for our next meeting).
I was inspired to write the poem you see above. Janet shared the book she has just completed and published, Prism. It was started by her deceased sister, Joan Bochmann, who knowing she was leaving this earth before she could complete it, asked Janet to promise she’d finish it for her. Here it is… available on Amazon … I have my own autographed copy… yay!
During our time together, Janet and I used a prompt by
Do click on Clint’s link above and see how he finished those sentences. His site is a new discovery. Living in Africa, his photos are phenomenal, and the way he helps us glimpse at his beautiful country through his words and photos is such a gift!
I wrote the following using his prompts:
“It is the world outside where we find birds, trees, clouds, friends, travel opportunities, and space. It is the world inside where we find peace, God, self-confidence, acceptance, and opportunities. We are especially blessed when from the inside we can hear and see the birds, we can look out at trees, clouds and blue sky, we can feel peace and acceptance from friends, we can plan travel and invite friends to travel here, and from the inside we have space to grow spiritually and the self-confidence to capture opportunities to do so.”
From the inside, we remain child-like, free to paint as well as write, free to dance as well as stand, free to openly express our true selves. Free!
Dance and Create
After that initial activity prompted by Clint Bulongo’s blog, we tried our hand at creating “Eifchen.” This form of poetry was introduced to me this morning by bigskybuckeyeLifeElfchen
Using his definition of this German-inspired poetry, Janet and I wrote our own “Elevenies.” I wish I had saved hers to share with you. Richard, at bigskybuckeye had three of them on his post. Here’s one of his:
Overwhelmed Life’s pace Quickens and races Time to reorder life’s Priorities
And here is one that I wrote:
Numbers Bear meaning Forty is magical Seven represents God’s completion Prioritize
Try your hand at an “Eifchen”! Dance with it freely, like my Boston Terrier, Taze, is dancing up there. Don’t let anything stifle you!!
After sharing our “Elevenies,” we read to one another some samples we brought with us of writing we had been working on at home.
Share Your Writing
Janet shared an introduction she has written to go with her book, Prism.
Then I shared some of my journal writing. One of the things I shared was the peace prayer of St. Francis of Assisi sung by Susan Boyle. Janet was not familiar with Susan’s angelic voice. This is too beautiful to keep to myself. I’ve shared it with you before, but it is worth hearing again:
I sang along with the words to the song, written on a page in my journal. Janet listened – enthralled – to this gorgeous rendition of the prayer.
Then Janet said, “Oh yes, I used to have that prayer memorized. Haven’t thought about it in a while.”
Time to put those words in our souls, my friends.
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace, Lord. Help me seek to console, to understand, to bring hope and light, and to just love!
Do you have a place for writing, and people who love to write with whom to share your writing? Tell me about it – and them.
None of us on earth lives alone. Each of us is kin the the other. We need one another – You are my sister, my brother.
I will defend your right To live in peace and justice. I will work to be an example Of the love we need, so you can trust us!
Trust us to work together To make this earth a place of care, Care for all God’s creation – A place we equally share.
No man is an island No man stands alone. Each man’s joy is joy to me; Each man’s grief is my own.
We need one another, So I will defend Each man as my brother, Each man as my friend.
We need one another So I will defend Each woman as my sister, Each woman as my friend.
Recently I posted this picture on my blog along with a series of photos that exemplified random acts of kindness. This woman could easily be me. The man she is standing beside is a friend from across the world whom she met playing Words with Friends.
I play Words with Friends with a myriad of people from all over the world. Some of them are busy chatting with me between plays, asking questions, helping us get to know one another.
I’d like to picture one of them wearing a “Love Felt” heartfelt t-shirt like that fellow … and then coming to visit me. I have WordPress friends that I invite to come to Montana and visit me, too.
Might you do that someday?
Each one of you is my brother/sister … each one of you is my friend. We need one another. What would it be like to be writing a blog everyday and have no one out there to read it and respond? Pretty sad!
Thank you for reading over my shoulder. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for being the holder Of my heartfelt thoughts that have no end!
Paul Holdorf posted the following beautiful, eloquent essay on FaceBook today to accompany his wonderful photograph above. Do yourself a favor and take time to live in the scene with Paul and me for awhile. I am still there… in the arms of love and contentment.
No further comment from JanBeek necessary. Just savor Paul Holdorf’s creativity. ❤
“I can’t help but wonder what life was like for the occupants of this home. One might at first say that life sure is easier now, but is it? To be sure, it was a hard life, but it must be so rewarding to directly benefit from hard work. Very few things had to be purchased. Most things were made from whatever was available. A hard days work did not have to be converted to cash in order to benefit the family. The same soil that had to be scrubbed out from under fingernails, when properly tilled and watered, grew food for the table. It also grew food for the livestock that in turn also provided sustenance for the inhabitants of this home. As I stood there, I could hear the life that once resided here. A chair scraped on the rough wood floor as Dad got up to go make sure all was well outside before darkness settled in. The children helped clear chipped and faded dishes from the table as Mom brought in a pale of water to rinse things off. There was enough light left for several hours of exploration, so soon the distance sounds of laughter blended in with the clanking of dishes and the splash of dirty dishwater being thrown out the open door. Next to the door, in the corner of the room, stood an old broom, patiently waiting to remove the gravelly evidence of an evening well played. Later, after the children were all played out and tucked into a crowded bed, a silhouette could be seen in the warm light of the setting sun. Out in the yard, next to the swing hanging from a tree, a tired but fulfilled couple sat on an old log bench with their arms around each other. She leaned her head on his strong shoulder, and he thankfully leaned his head over hers. They watched the golden light dip behind the distant mountains and spread a blanket of oranges and reds over the high mountain valley much like the bedspread that would soon bring warmth and comfort to this couple. They work hard, they sleep when the sun sleeps and rise with it in the morning but it is a good life. Nothing is wasted, and everything is wisely used. I walk away from my daydream as they drift off to sleep. Stars begin to twinkle and an owl calls from its roost out in the forest. Rest and rejuvenation fill weary bodies with readiness for the next day, when they’ll do it all over again with joy and contentment in lives well lived.”
On his blog, RothPoetry, Dwight posted this today,
“Today we were asked to write poetry from our book shelf. Bjorn, at d’Verse, called it found poetry. The challenge is to arrange and make a poem using book titles from our shelf, without changing any titles. I thought these were a very fitting group for the times we are experiencing. See what you think?
Money, Sex, and Power
The Brilliant Idiot
Dialogue with death”
So I thought it would be fun to take up the challenge and do my own “Found Poem.”
I’m OK – You’re OK
Faith is the Answer
Mornings with Jesus
Go to Dwight’s WordPress blog: see some other Found Poems. Take up the challenge! Go to your bookshelf. Share a Found Poem with me. Have fun with it. I’d love ❤️ to hear from you.
Not everyone who reads my blog has a blog of their own. Not everyone who writes a blog has anything published anywhere else.
Must you write a blog or have something published in order to consider yourself a writer?
Does writing in a journal qualify you to call yourself “Writer”?
When you create a grocery list or a list of your “To-Do’s” for today, you are writing. Does that make you a “Writer”?
Definition of Writer
a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist.
a clerk, scribe, or the like.
a person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc., to writing
(in a piece of writing) the author (used as a circumlocution for “I,” “me,” “my,” etc.): The writer wishes to state….
a person who writes or is able to write: a writer in script.
The Key to Being a Writer
The key to being a writer lies for me in the definitions number 3 and 5 above. It’s so obvious!
To be a writer, you must write! You must commit your thoughts and ideas to writing! Not just the ability to write (like writing your signature on a check or signing your name on a card), but the ability to put your thoughts and ideas down on paper or computer or someplace where others can read them.
Are you a writer who writes for others?
Play at Writing
Write like a child at play – words are the beads; string them together one bead at a time.
Writing should be fun! Cristian Mihai on The Art of Blogging says, “Just punch the damn keys.” In his post today, he reminds us also that we are never finished in our quest to be anything… writers, artists, body builders, you name it!
Cristian Mihai wrote in the blog I imbedded above (for your ease in going to read it in its entirety), “… we are all works of art. And we are never, ever, ever complete.”
He quoted 70 year-old Seneca who wrote,
“I am still learning…”
Cristian went on to remind us,
“One thing of extreme importance in life is never, ever to be complete.
To always strive for more.
To be able to reinvent yourself on a constant basis.”
He said, “We are not nouns, but verbs. Action is what defines us. And we can change what we do as we learn and develop new skills.”
I appreciate the ideas I glean on a daily basis from Cristian Mihai. He helps me put into action some of my better impulses, and to do it with the Spirit guiding me.
Let the Spirit Guide Your Writing
Let intentionality yield to spontaneity. Let the spirit guide you.
Spiritual direction is as important to the life of a writer as good editing is to the life of the mind. Both deliver us from the blindness of a solitary thinker.
Being a solitary writer squeezes our vision and makes us myopic. Being short-sighted cuts us off from the wonderful world of criticism. Your spirit can guide your creativity, but seeking one’s own center does not mean we should discount others’ opinions.
Writers Are Not Indifferent
In his book, Saints and Writers – On Doing One’s Work in Hiding, Belden C. Lane wrote the following about prolific writer, James Joyce:
“James Joyces’ wife, Nora, loved him for his ordinariness. She paid little attention to his writing. With critics, Joyce had to second-guess himself. With Nora, he never had to prove anything. It was worthless even to try. Loving indifference can prove a safe place – a hidden center – from which one’s creativity grows without being turned back onto itself.”
I am not indifferent to the responses of others to my writing. Unlike James Joyce, who evidently came across as “ordinary” to his wife, my husband treats me like I am anything but ordinary – a very special, talented writer whose ideas are worth reading. He reads each of my blogs before I post them. I am not indifferent to his editorial ideas, and I appreciate his input.
Let Your Creativity Grow
Just as Cristian Mihai reminded us in his blog today, never ever be complete! Never consider your skill set as mastered. Always keep learning and growing and seeking ways to improve.
You ARE a writer! You DO commit your thoughts and ideas to writing.
A few of your ideas expressed in the comments below will not be met with indifference by this writer. I LOVE hearing from you. You help me to keep growing!