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Red Lights

I decided to write a poem inspired by William Carlos Williams’ The Red Wheelbarrow. Natasha Head has also allowed me to use her breathtaking photograph.

Red Lights

red light contradicts
blue sky and so much
depends on makeshift branches
set in stone, and her translucence
glazed with ice.

© Ben Ditmars 2014

natashahead

Photograph courtesy of Natasha Head

The Joy of Writing: Haiku

It is my firm belief that anyone can write poetry. It is not an art reserved for the learned or the few. Much like painting it can be taught. I want to walk you through a process today much like Bob Ross did in his series, Joy of Painting. We will have colors on our palette much the same comprising nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Follow along, express yourself, and above all, have fun.

The Joy of Writing

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Image Source: Flickr

It’s a wonderful day to write poetry and today is about haiku. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about it.  It has to have 5-7-5 syllables or it must be about nature.  These are guidelines at best. Modern haiku can be any combination of three verses under 17 syllables.

Let’s start out and run all the words across the screen that you need to write along.

First off, we have some basic nouns. Let’s make them about nature, though it is not a requirement:

Snow; flower; midnight; moon

Now, that you’ve got those, let’s consider what nature is doing by looking at verbs:

Whisper; sleep; fall; gaze

And finally, I’d like you to imagine how you will describe nature with adjectives:

brilliant; white; effervescent; swift

The first thing you’ll want to do with these nouns is pair them with verbs. Think: how am I like nature? I’ll give examples but you can put them anyway you like.

Sleeping flowers

Whisper Midnight

Falling snow

Remember our adjectives? We haven’t forgotten about them. Take them from the list and pair them up: brilliant, white, effervescent, swift.

Sleeping white flowers

Whisper swift Midnights

Effervescent snow

Feeling confident? There’s one more step. Feel free to change and rearrange verse in any way you see fit. Every line doesn’t necessarily need an adjective.

Whispering moons

Gaze on swift snowfall

Sleeping white flowers

Now, you’re a haiku poet. That’s all there is to it. Let me know how it turned out and be sure and share poems on your blog or in the comment section.

Until next time: stay confident and stay writing!

My Adventures in Tea

A few years ago I bought a box of Tazo tea and wrote poems about the different flavors. These were the results.

Awake

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Image Source: Flickr

A blend of black teas
Just right for breakfast
With some toast and eggs
Perks one up from
Tired misery.

Calm

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Image Source: Flickr

A Rose Petal strips off its barb
To dive into a pool of chamomile
Where it makes love to soothing herb.

They twist inside
Each other
Sharing flavor,
Aromatic steam.

But as they fall,
Asleep on quiet buds
There’s a spinning sense
Of calm.

Decaf Chai

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Image Source: Flickr

Heralding the end
Of adventure
To leave me tired,
Without motion.

My heart beats less
Rapid than it did while
Drinking your brothers
And your sisters down.

They passed through my veins
Electrically but you are years of
Clotting and cholesterol.

The proverbial black sheep
Of flavors.

Yet, I feel for you
So different, now alone like me.
It might possibly be fate
That’s brought us here.

Organic Chai

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The spices weren’t as strong
As I remember them being.

I imagine that the dryness
Of the teabag faded
Fresh, new leaves.

But the hint of a memory,
Or a moment was sufficient
And I took what solace
There was possible

In faint recollections
Now less pictures than ideas
Of what transpired,
Changed my life forever.

Earl Grey

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Image Source: Flickr

I wonder who this man
Named Earl might have been
And why they found him grey.

I’m sure he wasn’t black or white
But somewhere in between,
With how he talked and
Got things done.

He could have been a
Lawyer or a politician;
Perhaps a contractor with
Two-hundred different deadlines
That got into the tea biz late in life
When his hair had lost its sense of color,
Heightening his grey.

Passion

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Image Source: Flickr

That sip –
Surreal.

A bitter wine,
Dry and remniscent
Of a past, now slipping
Through my neurons
Like water in the folds
of held up hands, cupped
to catch the rain.

The Joy of Writing: Love Poems

It is my firm belief that anyone can write poetry. It is not an art reserved for the learned or the few. Much like painting it can be taught. I want to walk you through a process today much like Bob Ross did in his series, Joy of Painting. We will have colors on our palette much the same comprising nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Follow along, express yourself, and above all, have fun.

The Joy of Writing

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image Source: Flickr

It’s another fantastic day and I’m happy you’re here to write with me.  Remember, we can all be poets and express ourselves. Because that’s what it’s really about: expressing ourselves. Just stay confident and stay writing.

Today we’re going to try something a little different.  I’m going to walk you through writing a love poem. First off, we have some basic nouns, or body parts:

Face; lips; hands; hearts

Now, that you’ve got those, let’s consider what we might do to these different body parts by looking at verbs:

Brush; kiss; burn; break

And finally, I’d like you to imagine how you will describe these body parts with adjectives:

Pale; dark; trembling; firm

The first thing you’ll want to do with these nouns is pair them with verbs. Think: how will I interact with the person I love? I’ll give examples but you can put them anyway you like.

Brush face

Kiss lips

Burn hands

Break hearts

After this we can determine who is kissing lips and breaking hearts.

The simplest form to take for all of these is you, the writer:

I brush your face

I kiss your lips

I burn your hands

I break your heart

But you can just as easily enjoy these things with the person you love:

We brush faces

We kiss lips

We burn hands

We break hearts

Remember your adjectives? We haven’t forgotten them. Take them from the list and pair them up: pale, dark, trembling, firm.

I brush pale faces

I kiss dark lips

I burn trembling hands

I break firm hearts

I hope you’re writing along because there’s one more step. Let’s try different perspectives in the same poem: I, you, or we.

We brush dark faces

We kiss pale lips

I burn trembling hands

You break firm hearts

Feel free to change and rearrange these in any way you see fit.  Every line doesn’t necessarily need an adjective.

I burn your hands

as we kiss lips

brushing dark faces and

breaking pale hearts

That’s it for today. Thank you so much for writing with me.

Remember to believe in your abilities and let me know how it turned out. I encourage you to share poems in the comment section or on your own blogs. Email me with any questions or concerns: beeditty@gmail.com

Until next time: stay confident and stay writing!