Wednesday, 27 June 2012

'The Path' by Julie Kennedy

The Path

Do you know how difficult it is to tread the path of light
Surrounded by a world invested in darkness?

Do you understand that your emanating inner light is a beacon
And the brighter you become the more darkness you will attract?

Do you know that if you stop you will be swallowed up and become like all the rest?
Like all the others who fear, who hate, who are conduits for the darkness,
To be used and cast aside.

Do you realise that you will be confused in the presence of darkness?
That logic will elude you
For the darkness will use all kinds of trickery to destroy you,
One way or the other - even at your own hands.

Do you know this world has reached a crisis point when you will be asked, finally
"Which master do you serve?"
Love or Hate

Do you comprehend the enormity of it? Do you understand the implications?
As the light gets stronger - so too does the darkness,
For the darkness hates the light, the darkness hates the truth.

Do you know you will be asked to analyse everything and everyone
To the extent that your brain will almost cease to function
In order for you to see the truth.

And do you realise that when you try to pass the information on
To those still in darkness
You will be mocked and pilloried and deemed as mad
For you must be silent, and observe and play the games they play,
Whilst knowing they are indeed games.

Do you know how hard it is to be who you are
When all around you are invested in making you what they want you to be
For their benefit - for their darkness.
For when you try to expose your light and verbalise your enlightenment
You will be brought back to 'reality' by those who profess to be doing it
Because they Love You.

Do you comprehend the heartache you will suffer when those you love
Who choose not to journey with you
Turn against you - unable to understand or forgive
That you cannot stay with them in the darkness.

And do you know there will be no rewards, or appreciation, or pats on the back
Once you begin on the path of enlightenment.

Be aware of your future before you take the step - before you begin your quest
For it is not an easy path
You may lose much of what you hold dear during the journey
Including your sanity, your ability to manifest, your identity
You will believe you are mad - or stupid - or both
Accept that you are neither, but a Warrior for Love
And for the Future of this World.

This was written in 2003 by my beautiful, spiritual Mum at a very emotional time in her life. I wanted to share this because I have been to the doctors with her today as she is facing another very stressful period in her life. She is a highly spiritual person and is so sensitive to the world and people's nastiness, that sometimes it overwhelms her to a point of exhaustion. This poem is all about that daily struggle to be a good person when you are up against what feels like the world and all its darkness. As she says;

'There will be no rewards or pats on the back'

All I can do for her is give her lots of love and an endless supply of tea, as she said she is the eternal optimist and is always planning for a bright future. I don't want to be sloppy, but I really don't know where I would be without her today! :)

This poem, along with other poems that have inspired her and the beautiful artwork are as always available on her website ~ here

In other news 'Silver Threads' is now on! I would love some new friends and a review or two if any readers are members :) Link ~ Silver Threads on Goodreads 

Monday, 25 June 2012

The lies I told my Mother

The lies I told my Mother

Last Tuesday,
                   whilst rummaging,
I found a box of the lies I told my Mother,
                                                            one lost summer.
Bright and golden August sunshine
spilled across the wooden floorboards.

White wild flowers sprung up between the cracks.
The smell of orange juice was almost tangible.

The lies laid before me,
                                 scattered like stars.
Small and innocent, childlike.
The shame that lay beside them,
                                            had engulfed and consumed.

I heard my Mother's voice whisper,

'Leave that which scars the spirit to fade beneath the dust'

This is the first poem you see when you read 'Silver Threads' and it's one of my mums personal favourites. I wrote this is 2010, I can't remember what was in my head when I wrote this but I know I was experimenting with different layouts inspired by reading Carol Ann Duffy's 'Feminine Gospels'
My favourite line is;

'White wild flowers sprung up between the cracks.'

That's why I choose the picture to go with the poem. That line I think has great magical imagery. I enjoy setting out poems like this, I think it forces the reader to concentrate on different lines in the poem that other wise might have been over-looked. It also makes you read it slower, maybe making the poem more memorable.  

In other news I have had another poem accepted by Etherbooks and also 'Silver Threads' is now featured on their home page! :) I hope you all have a fantastic week, Happy Monday. 

Friday, 22 June 2012

My 6 Sentences

You are my Sunshine

The hour we were married, the bells started their harmonious rendition of 'Green Sleeves', their golden, brassy sound resonated through the building. You looked at me in my floor length green dress and it was a magic moment that couldn’t have been predicted, our wedding day was blessed.
You looked so mature, dressed in deep purple, with an aura of seriousness but with a never faltering bright smile.You held my hands and we exchanged words and rings, like Celtic twining branches of silver and gold.

I don’t quite remember becoming an adult, but I remember you being there, at every step, growing and laughing with me, allowing you under my black cloud and loving me.
I was too embarrassed to have that first dance with you, but we have many days ahead of us to have that dance, in the rain or moonlight; you are my sunshine.

Today I thought I would share some more micro fiction, these are some of the '6 sentencers' I have been writing. It's very challenging to limit yourself to just 6 sentences, but it's good fun and keeps your mind ticking over. It's helping me write differently because writing a mini story is so different from writing poetry. With my poetry I want to run away with the descriptions of colours and the sky etc - I'm hoping this is what makes my poetry unique and what makes people carry on reading. I'm learning now to hone in that urge to describe and just run away with telling a story.
'You are my Sunshine' is all true! This is a homage to my Wedding day this year to Carl and as you can see from the photo we did wear green and purple! lol No white puff ball dress for me! The most magical part of the day was that the bells of the City Hall really did start playing 'Green Sleeves' the minute we started saying our vows! You couldn't make it up!

Lucid Dreaming

She felt like she had been asleep a hundred years. Her dreams had been gripping and lucid, her eyelids ached and she couldn’t grasp reality. In her dreams she had been in a desert landscape, and the sounds of a foreign language had drifted on the dry wind like melodies of a song. Everything she touched felt like ancient parchment and the sun had crawled along her skin like a persistent burn.
Someone had spoken to her she was sure, about love and deep affection, he had scanned her face with his deep chestnut eyes and stroked her hair, soothed her. She tasted honey on her lips, it was too real, too tangible, she found sand in her bed that night.

This is another example of what I have been writing. I really like this one especially the line;

'the sun crawled along her skin like a persistent burn'

I just love the descriptive beauty of that! lol I'm running away with description again! I am a true poet at heart!

I hope you enjoy them, if you want to read any more they are on my 6 sentences profile ~ here

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Silver Threads is in the Top 100!

This is a quick delighted blog update to say that Silver Threads is now in the Amazon top 100 selling poetry ebooks!! It's number 43 at the moment, it was number 38 a while ago (though Amazon is updated hourly) I am so ecstatically happy!

I am going to have a drink soon to celebrate and even though this might be short lived, as I said the top 100 changes frequently - I was there! I was on that list and no one can take that away from me. I feel like this is a huge achievement for me.

I want to thank everyone who has bought Silver Threads from the bottom of my heart! and also everyone that has supported me. I am still amazed that I write what people want to read, I hope that in some way my poetry has touched you. :)

Thank you, thank you x 

Monday, 18 June 2012

Dylan Thomas - Love in the Asylum

Love in the Asylum

              A stranger has come
To share my room in the house not right in the head,
              A girl mad as birds

Bolting the night of the door with her arm her plume.
              Strait in the mazed bed
She deludes the heaven-proof house with entering clouds

Yet she deludes with walking the nightmarish room,
              At large as the dead,
Or ride the imagined oceans of the male wards.

              She has come possessed
Who admits the delusive light through the bouncing wall,
              Possessed by the skies

She sleeps in the narrow trough yet she walks the dust
              Yet raves at her will
On the madhouse boards worn thin by my walking tears.

And taken by light in her arms at long and dear last
              I may without fail
Suffer the first vision that set fire to the stars.

This is my favourite poem by Dylan Thomas. The line that grabbed me and made me fall in love with this poem was the line;

'A girl mad as birds'

Just that simple sentence explains so much, I can see in my mind's eye a girl that's skittish, nervy, bubbling over with excess energy, ready to fly at a moment's notice. Anything with a hint of madness hugely appeals to me! lol 
In the book I have, which contains this poem, they have said that it was written in April 1941 and it was inspired by his relatively new marriage to Caitlin, also there is a hint of 'madness' from the ongoing War at the time.

I first found Dylan Thomas when I stumbled across 'Under Milk Wood' - I had obviously heard of him but never spent the time looking for his poetry. When I read 'Under Milk Wood' I loved the rhythm of the poem more then anything, the fast pace and the flowing in and out of moods and emotions, all under the cover of darkness! It's just magic.

I also carry a secret hope that I am related to him since my great grandmother's maiden name was Thomas, and we think there is a Welsh connection too :)

I forgot to add the other day that my writer friend Natascha has started doing '25 Facts About you as a Writer' on her blog. Here is the link to my 25 facts  - 25 facts about me as a writer 
I would love to hear from any other writers who read this and see if there are any similarities between writers. Happy Monday

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Micro Fiction take 2 - Blue

She stroked her hand across the aging wallpaper that always reminded her of him, his words and heavy scent. Everything held a part of him, secretly tucked into its core.

She had her suspicions that he hadn’t left, that he was always just out of vision, that if she blinked he had suffused himself back into her memories again.

 She could remember him now, she could hear his words as he recited his vows. Holding her hands in his, they were slightly cold but comforting. He was looking at her with his deep penetrating stare, that many found intimidating, but to her they mirrored his love so clearly, she felt she could touch that bright blue love with her bare hands.

There would never be another blue that perfect. That cold feeling came back now, of his hands around hers and the sensation of a cloudless summer sky. He was here again, right on time and waiting for her stories.

This is my second attempt at micro fiction - 'Blue' and I must say I'm loving it! Blue is about loss and mourning, but as my family have said when they read it, it's a beautiful story and very touching. I hope you enjoy.

I have also joined a writers community called 'The 6S Social Network - What can you say in six sentences?' I have already posted two 'six sentences' one called 'Prayer' - which is a short medieval type piece and 'Her Quote' which is a shorter version of my last post on here. Check out my profile ~ here

Also I have been having loads of success with Ether Books - They publish quick reads to your iphone, ipad etc and I have had 3 poems accepted and published by them! Happy days! :) 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

My first attempt at writing Micro Fiction

It was her sense of love that called to them. The lifeblood in every gracious stride and the defiance in every strand of nut brown hair that curled down her back. Men gravitated towards her and tried in desperation to hold her, trying to claim that aura of hers that glowed with perfection. The quote she lived by was ~

‘The dark is more than a lack of light, clarity. It breathes as deeply as any ray of sunlight’

Everyone had their different opinion about its meaning, she told them they were all wrong but she never explained why. She said they had to work it out themselves and that that was the meaning of the quote and maybe the key to life. She told everyone who would listen that she was told this quote by a traveller from India, translated from the Hindi, and that he saw a sign that day to gift this quote to the first person he thought worthy. So on that day, sat next to a fountain, she was given the words to live her life by, from a traveller clothed in white.

This is my very first attempt at writing micro fiction. I was intrigued by flash fiction and wanted to know what it was, so I looked it up and it sounded right up my street! There were so many different definitions about what was and wasn't classed as flash fiction and there are so many disputes over the word count, some say 500 words or under, some say 1000 words! So I thought I'd play it safe and call my attempt mirco fiction, it seems to fit more into that category anyway.
I am really pleased that I have found this outlet since I have always wanted to try my hand at writing stories, but I always run out of steam. So this is perfect for me, I love the short snappy, voyeuristic element of just suddenly stumbling across a fragment of a story. It keeps you always wanting more.
I'm very pleased with my first attempt, there will definitely be more in the pipeline. I'd love to know what people make of it and possibly give it a title! Any comments welcome :) 


Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Purple Tree

'The Purple Tree' - This is a brand new painting by my Mum, which I have claimed as mine and named 'The Purple Tree' 

We are working together on possibly doing an Art and Poetry book. I'm am thinking of calling it 'Art and Poetry from The Purple Tree' I was inspired by the painting to write my poem below. We are wanting to create a grown up fantasy/fairytale book.

This probably won't be done until next year, but I will keep my blog readers informed as it progresses.

I hope you all have a wonderful sunny Saturday :) Please leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Check my Mum's Facebook page for more artwork ~ here

The Purple Tree

I saw through a summer’s mist
a purple tree,
on a star scattered, lonely hill.
Tiny white flowers
flowed upwards
to its thinnest branches
and opened their hearts to the sky.
Under its roots I saw
silvered eyes watch my every breath.
I thought I heard
a rustle of leaves that sounded like
a stolen Celtic rhyme.
This was a place for seekers of stories,
that mortals could only hope to glimpse.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Last Poem by Anthony Woodville

When my love of writing and my love of history come together I become a very happy bunny! lol.  I wanted to share this poem as part of my 'Poets that I love' but not many people will have heard of Anthony Woodville - he isn't a famous poet. He is more well known to historians. I first came across his poem reading Philippa Gregory's 'The White Queen' - A wonderful book about Elizabeth Woodville, Edward IV's Queen, what a fascinating life she lead! I would highly recommend the book.

Here is his poem ~

Somewhat musing,
and more mouring,
In remembering 
This world being,
of such wheeling,
Me contrarying,
What may I guess?

I fear doubtless, 
Is now to seize
My woeful chance;
for unkindness, 
and no redress.
Me doth advance

with displeasure, 
to my grievance,
and no surance
of remedy;
Lo, in this trace,
Now in substance,
such is my dance,
willing to die.

Methinks truly
Bouden am I,
and that greatly.
To be content;
seeing plainly
Fortune doth wry
All contrary
from mine intent

My life was lent
Me to one intent.
It is nigh spent
Welcome, Fortune!
but I ne went
Thus to be shent
but she it meant;
such is her won 

I know this is hard to read, but to me it has such depth. It was written in 1483 the night before he was due to be beheaded, on the orders of Richard III. Anthony Woodville had been brought up in a wealthy family that were, by the skin of their teeth, surviving the Wars of the Roses. Like many other families they had changed sides and fought in many bloody battles. The whole family were suddenly brought into fame and wealth when Elizabeth Grey, Anthony's widowed sister becomes the Queen of Edward IV, some said at the time that she did so through witchcraft! She was after all the widow of a man that had fought and died opposing Edward IV.
So, after many years of being the favoured family of the royal court, the Woodvilles even earned themselves an Earldom, with Anthony becoming the 2nd Earl Rivers after his father. Their luck and influence ran out when Edward IV died, leaving his young son Edward V as his heir. Anthony was escorting Edward V to London for his coronation when he was captured by Richard III.

Many things are falsely written about Richard III, but this is not one of them. He imprisoned Anthony in Pontefract, charged with treason and without trial, beheaded him on the 25th of June 1483.

His poem is so poignant, having been written in the last few hours of his life. To me it speaks of an acceptance of fate. The wheel of fortune had taken his family to the highest heights and had now turned. I feel he realises in the end that life is a game, a game when in the 1400s life could be taken away at any moment by the displeasure of a ruthless monarch.
Anthony Woodville was a writer, musician and traveller and apparently the author of the first book printed on British soil.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Getting back into Poetry Submissions

I decided that after 'Silver Threads' came out that I would get back into the poetry submissions scene. I sent my first submission off in November 2011, and I now have a long list on my computer of the ezines that I have sent off to since then. I sent loads off in November, December and January, had a bit of a break in February to get married and then began again in March and April. In May I was planning and waiting for my ebook and didn't have the spare time. I actually entered 2 competitions in March - The Bridlington Poetry Festival and The Sentinel Quarterly Poetry Competition, I didn't hear back from either! lol  Obviously my poetry is not what the judges were looking for! lol, but they are fun to enter and as the phrase goes 'you have to be in it to win it'

So I thought I'd share some websites that have been a great help to me ~

Duotrope - This is the best poetry magazine/ezine list on the internet (as far as I know anyway) They have hundreds of ezines to search, and best of all it's completely free! I have found many ezines to send off to on here, it's invaluable. It's not just poetry either, you can search for novel and short story publishers as well.

Mslexia - 'For Women who Write' is Mslexia's motto, so yes it's just for us women. They have a great list of other ezines that they recommend. They hold lots of competitions for poetry, novels etc - Their current poetry competition closes the 18th of June, so there might be time to enter still. I thought of entering this as well.

Poetry Magazines  - This is the first site I came across with a list of poetry magazines. They are all in the UK on this website (where as Duotrope has loads of American ezines) and they are mostly printed magazines rather them ezines. Great site though and well worth a look.

I have started in earnest today to send off some submissions. Today I sent off a submission to 'Poetry Breakfast' - a site that encourages poetry with your morning coffee, which I think is quite fun :)

Sunday, 3 June 2012

'Silver Threads' is now available!


'Silver Threads', my gorgeous ebook is now available on Amazon!! You can buy it here ~ 

Silver Threads by Jade Kennedy 

I know I might sound like I'm gushing and getting over excited but I am absolutely over the moon! I know a lot of writers talk about that first moment when they have a book published - and that magic feeling. All I can say now is that I don't feel like a failure anymore, I know that sounds mad but I feel like I have finally done something worthwhile. So this moment, documented on my blog now for ever more, is that moment that all writers talk about. Who knows where this will take me now, in 10 years maybe this book will be the start of my writing career. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed because I'm not for a minute going to let myself think of the opposite.

I'm still astounded that people want what I call 'the mad ramblings in my head', but I must have something. The product description on Amazon written by my publisher Jamie McGarry describes my poetry as ~

'The poems are filled to the brim with rich, descriptive images to savour, illuminated by moonlight and a scattering of stars - and a sincere respect for our literary heritage, with subtle nods to Robert Frost and Virginia Woolf along the way.'

I want to thank Jamie McGarry and Ele Lawlor (my Publisher and Editor) for all their hard work and dedication, not only to me but all the authors that have been published by Valley Press - a small independent publishers in Scarborough who obviously have world domination (in a literary sense) in their sights.

Here from the book is the book's namesake 'Silver Threads' (one of my favourites) ~

When those silver threads weave
as soft and tender as white starlight
curling in tendrils through and within,
                                                 her crimson demure
was carried on a Celtic verse,
spoken around tribal firelight
when fire fled across the dying summer sky.
It was her curse to cradle
In all its raw iridescent facets
braided and fused into her ancestry;

told in sagas, bred into myth,
of women from the East with flowing silvered hair.
Also the paperback version of Silver Threads will be available in August, so please keep checking back. The beautiful cover is by my Mum, people who read the blog regularly will know how talented she is.

I would really appreciate any one who buys 'Silver Threads' to leave a comment telling me your thoughts, I would  love to hear from you. Have a wonderful Sunday and Jubilee weekend, I know I will :)

Friday, 1 June 2012

New Poem Day for June ~ Midnight Fae

Midnight Fae

When she walked, undaintily
on the earth with small elfin feet
and it knew her touch,
saw her midnight-blue aura

could almost pronounce her name,
she was beautiful, wondrous
a fae  without flaw
a spirit within a spirit.

She only spoke in rhyme,
passing on wisdom like scattering wild flowers.
Watching our world in unnatural ways
with vivid silvered eyes, darkly framed.

She spoke to me,
of when she was revered,
when minstrels sang poems of her
in a lover’s guise.

Belief in her has never been needed,
by me or you, or logic.
She thrives, holds court
listening to those alone in the woods.

This is the first of my 'New Poem Day' poems, as promised this is one of my poems that has never seen the light of day before. 'Midnight Fae' was again another experiment, sometimes I just sit at the computer and write - with nothing in my head, no ideas or thoughts about what to write a poem about. This was was one these poems!
Most of the time my poems are born out of an image or a sentence that captures my imagination and then the poem 'snowballs' in my mind for a few days (sometimes just a few hours) and then gets written down. 

I love the imagery in this poem. I love the images that 'She only spoke in rhyme' brings up, it has a lovely fantasy feel to it. 

The lovely artwork is another of my mum's, this one is called 'Solstice' ~ Her Facebook Page