Saturday, 22 June 2013

Happy National Flash Fiction Day ~ Blackbird


"It started softly, almost like a golden humming within a dream, that then became a small part of the dawn chorus, singing strongly his song of welcome. As the days brightened and the nights receded more and more towards the horizon, he started visiting my window sill and just before the last star of night had faded away he would sing just for me, joyously, but with a sharp tone, a strange notation that he had come to tell me something.

His beak was smoothed, polished to a vibrant yellow, his feathers were a like a velvet black cloak he wore with pride and he knew me and I knew him. As he woke me earlier each morning, during the week when the sun walked the longest through the sky, a mid-summer message from a spirited blackbird - I nicknamed him Solstice and he wove a dance between the green robed branches just for the joy of being.

The songs grew more desperate, his visits longer each morning, a swift imploring look in his eyes, a wishing to talk to me, tell me his real name, his story, something for my heart alone. In my lack of sleep blackbirds flew from every shadow, walked across my fingers and across my thoughts - his song wasn’t finished so my eyes didn’t close.


On the morning of the longest day, rising like a blue translucence shell into the darkness, I went out to the garden, the dew collecting on my feet like gold dust. He was in the tree above me drowned in green shadows and it was then when I reached out to him that I fell asleep, enveloped by the grass in its mid-summer growth. I felt my arms stretching, moving out of place, my bones softening, losing their shape, my back burned and pulsed, the first tips of feathers broke my skin, a downy black veil washed over me like rain - and I knew the morning songs and all the songs I must now sing. It was then that Solstice and I could speak".




I love this piece! Really, really love it! I know to be a 'cool' writer you have to berate yourself ... say 'I could always do better!' but that's not me! lol

Blackbird was inspired by Carl telling me that there was a blackbird in the trees behind where we live, he said he could recognise the song. So that planted the seed for this story and it just grew from there. I also wanted to tie this all in with the Solstice and National Flash Fiction Day so it all turned out perfect, I especially enjoyed naming the bird 'Solstice'. Also just a day after I had written Blackbird, a real one turned up! 





He must be the one Carl could hear in the mornings. Yes, I have nicknamed him Solstice and he is very, very greedy! Every time he has a beak full of food he runs like mad as if he has stolen it from right under your nose and revels in the theft! 







I'm also really pleased to announce that my flash fiction piece 'A Collection' has been featured on Flash Flood who are doing a 'flood' of fiction to celebrate today. Please check out mine and all the other very talented writers who have been featured :)



Happy Saturday, Solstice and National Flash Fiction Day 





Monday, 17 June 2013

Within the Roots



'Buried in an earth so thick and suffocating, I lay forgotten.

Roots of purpose wove their way through and within me and I was left feeling punctured and worn thin, 
                  
frayed and degraded under a rich soil used to bury the faces of loved ones'







I know, I know, it's a bit morbid, but hey why not? Some people like morbid and sometimes it just feels appropriate! lol I hope you all take you own meanings from this piece (as mentioned in the wonderful guest post by Ellie Stewart) 

There are some obvious meanings here like being buried, forgotten etc. but I'll bet there are some meanings here that only have significance with you ~ I'd love to hear them :)

Think about the symbology of dreams, you could have a thousand different interpretations of what a cat means in a dream and you would probably get to the end of your patience trying to sift through them, but what does a cat mean to you personally? If you love cats this would be a symbol of love or good fortune, if you hate cats or have a phobia then they would represent the complete opposite. I know I'm waffling a bit but personal meanings and symbology I think is really fascinating. 

There is nothing much more to tell, I'm still writing, still frustrated! lol I have entered some competitions, mostly to 'just get my work out there' and with some hope that I could win! Also the 22nd of this month is National Flash Fiction Day so I'm going to post some of my own flash/micro fiction, hopefully I'll come up with something a bit more special ~ Any ideas welcome.




Happy Monday 



Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Guest Post ~ 'The meaning of poetry belongs to you' by Ellie Stewart


Just as my humiliating school experiences in P.E. have given me a fierce aversion to all sporting activity, so too it seems that our experience with over-enthusiastic English teachers has put many of us off poetry full-stop. We can probably all recall the frustration of poring over every phrase and syllable of a dull poem about a flower, searching for the hidden meanings the teacher convinced us were there until our eyeballs fell off their stalks.

‘It’s just a poem about a daffodil!’ we’d sob, ‘I can’t see how the yellowness represents the poet’s unrequited lust for their mother, or how the gentle breeze is a metaphor for the unstoppable tide of Marxism! Please can we just leave it as it is…’

I think there’s a perception that poetry still needs to be processed in this way: that somehow we’re not allowed simply to read and enjoy it on our own terms- that we have to understand it through relentless study and analysis if we’re to ‘properly’ enjoy it. Call me a philistine, but I don’t think you do need to pick apart each poem you read, study the historical context in which it was written, or even understand its true meaning. A poem’s meaning comes from what it means to you.

I don’t understand most of the poetry I read, but I love poetry. I turn to my collections and anthologies when I’m seeking inspiration: they open up my mind to new ways of experimenting with language and expressing my own perceptions of the world. Sylvia Plath’s poetry is written with clear but brutal honesty, and her words fall down the page in a cascade of magical images: ‘Naked and bald in furs/Orange lollies on silver sticks’ (from ‘The Munich Mannequins’). Whatever the original meaning she intended, we can pocket these images like the brilliant pebbles we find on the beach, taking them home with us and out of the context of the poem, if we choose.

Plath’s poem ‘Sheep in Fog’ has an opening stanza that is so quiet and striking, I think it stands alone as a poem. It inspired my own poem I wrote about my mother – just those first three lines.

‘The hills step off into whiteness.
People or stars
Regard me sadly, I disappoint them.’

This sense of vivid, disconnected images (not necessarily intended by the poet) makes me think of how Thom Yorke wrote the lyrics to Radiohead’s song Kid A: he literally pulled cut-out writings out of a hat. ‘We got heads on sticks/You got ventriloquists.’

Every time I open up a poetry collection or anthology, I make new discoveries. I feel as if I am six years old again, sifting through the sparkling beads of my mother’s jewellery box. Untangling long necklaces, discovering odd earrings tucked away. I’d spread them out onto her bed and transform them into snakes and frogs, twirling flowers and dancing birds- I do the same with the poems I find.

The twisted religious imagery of Ted Hughes Crow collection reads to me like a Greek myths and fairy-tales: disturbing events told cold, written plain. There is, I know, so much to uncover in his words, but you can read these poems naively, as a child would, and your experience of their power and dark humour will not be lost.

One of my favourite poems of all time is ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’, by T. S. Eliot. Eliot was big on the importance of making poetry difficult, and a preserve of the elite who could understand its necessary complexities and the tangled references to other literary works it makes. Prufrock begins with a verse from Dante’s Inferno, in Italian. It also contains references to Shakespeare, The Bible and John Donne. Some of these you will get, because they have become so infused with our culture and our collective memories, but some of them you won’t. And I don’t think that matters.

Prufrock’s meandering rhythms, and the images that fall over them, are coiled in my mind like a song. I have never read (or, perhaps, even seen) something that so perfectly captures the feeling of summer evenings in a city, as the sun sets. It reads like gathered memories, like a half-remembered dream; it’s about loneliness and longing. And, like every song or book, painting or poem you have ever read that means something true to you, that feels inextricably connected to your being, part of me says of this poem: ‘It’s about me.’

It ends:

‘We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.’

Dennis Hopper’s character recites a line from this poem in Apocalypse Now, which is pretty cool.

And as a final note: take a look at this post that sniggers at people who have given their honest opinion of classic works of literature. I agreed with most of them, and you may too. If so, and you gave up on poetry long ago, I promise you that if you keep scanning that beach, you’ll find those brilliant stones.




Ellie Stewart grew up in Wimbledon and Tunbridge Wells and studied English and Philosophy at The University of Leeds. She has been published in various literary magazines online and won The Writer's Village Best Writing Award Winter 2012. Her stories have been published in anthologies by Fluster Magazine and Arachne Press. She currently lives in South East London and works for King's College. You can follow her on Twitter @elliemayonnaise




Jade's thoughts:

This is the first of what I hope to be a long list of guest posts on here. Thank you Ellie so much for writing this great piece ~ I'm hoping it will spark some discussion.  Readers who want to know more of her work can visit her blog. If anyone is inspired by reading this great post and would like to write something similar yourself, please email me at jadelizzie85@hotmail.com.

Also what a auspicious time to have my first guest post as this is my 100th post! :)

Happy Tuesday 



Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Eden


'She was courting an isolation never known to her before. The walls were humming with a silence that could be felt and seen, she knew she was undeniably alone. Not even a creature or a wisp of something unknown lingered on the air to watch her.

She felt the urge to write and wrote such words of depth and understanding, of the people she watched and reached out to with the bones in her fingers stretching and clicking in her many attempts. They would not hear her or see her grasping hand, she was concealed behind a glass so thick she could trace the bubbles of its impurities with a changing heart

As she wrote into the days and nights, needing less and less light to read her words, blocking out the light, shielding away from the windows like a flower closing its face to the dusk. Her finger tips grew soft and pooled out like melted wax, they stuck to everything she touched. She stroked the cool walls with a deep yearning to walk them. Skin untouched by the sun, started to pale to a translucent sheen with its visible marbling of blue tinted veins. 

Her pupils lost their definition and eyelids as thin as white rose petals claimed their place over her iris.

When they find her shed skin, lost behind a carved chair, with its paper thin markings of a woman consumed by herself. With all she left behind, the pages on pages of fiction, prose, poetry and the unknowable love she created on paper, 

could they ever know what she went through …'



It's been a long time since I posted some micro fiction on here, maybe I fell out of love with it for a while (and concentrated mostly on poetry and prose) but now I'm back experimenting again.

I have been spending a lot of time alone recently and they say 'write about what you know' - so I was inspired to write about being alone. As I was writing this the story unfolded about a woman turning into a lizard and it just flowed out of me. I am really pleased with it, it's beautiful and a bit creepy lol - let me know what you think? I love the part about the fingers melting like pools of wax :)

It felt right to call my piece Eden. I did a bit of research into lizards in mythology and was drawn to the Christian ideas around lizards/reptiles. Even though it's a snake in the bible that tempts Eve, lizards are still a part of Christian ideology and I found a lovely quote attributed to St Gregory, who on watching a lizard basking in the sun, said that the lizard might symbolise;


'the soul that humbly seeks enlightenment'


I have already found two people interested in guest blogging, I'm really looking forward to reading their posts. I hope maybe my micro fiction piece inspires a few other people to have their say on poetry, prose or micro fiction.


Happy Wednesday 





Saturday, 1 June 2013

New Poem of the Month for June ~ A Sleepless Summer


I’m always sleepless in summer
My bones call to me,
in morbid tones
to be bleached by the sun

A summer’s night
and its madness;
my skin tastes of salt
and murmurings of fortunes

Harsh and stung
by the green growth that summer brings,
finding the tastes
of sap, dry soil on my lips

and it calls to me
in my rigid bones …
For a wish cast in that moment
cast adrift like a stolen feather,
they are the ones that haunt us

and we wonder why
our bodies yearn for a thought … 
                                                      or a simple blush of sunlight




Can you believe that this poem marks a whole year of 'New Poem of the Month' posts! A full year! I have compiled a list below of a full year's worth of new poetry, have a look through and let me know which are your favourites. It's so interesting looking down the list, it's like looking at a year of creative progression. I can remember why I picked that certain poem, how I was feeling at the time etc 

Also you will see that the name of the blog has changed from 'Poetry Musings by Jade Kennedy' to just 'Poetry Musings' ~ I figured that you all know who I am by now! lol Another reason for this is that I'm wanting to start featuring guest posts; the blog from now on won't just be about myself and my poetry. I started thinking about this because of the announcement from Salt Publishing (a big UK independent publisher in poetry and fiction) that they are to stop publishing poetry books from single authors and that the poetry market is crashing! Why is this? Really my question is, why do people hate poetry? I personally think it is the word 'poetry' that puts people off, there is a persona that poetry has, that it's 'not for just anyone' ~ its high brow, academic, (it has far too many 'rules' for my liking) and beyond the reach of everyday people

I want to start featuring guest blogs just about poetry, prose and micro fiction about anything you feel needs to be said. If you hate poetry and hate everything about it, send in a guest blog and let us know why. If you want to talk about how writing micro fiction is the best thing in your life, I'd love to hear about it. Also you can feature your own poetry/prose/micro fiction, review other writers and add links to anywhere you like. Send them to me at jadelizzie85@hotmail.com 

The only rules are; no swearing and no attacking another writer personally! 

I'm now on Google+ as well, so come join my magic circle :)




Have a great weekend 



June 2012 ~ Midnight Fae

July 2012 ~ Sanctuary

August 2012 ~ The Daydreamer

September 2012 ~ My Clockwork Heart

October 2012 ~ Paper Tree

November 2012 ~ As White as Ghosts

December 2012 ~ Thief

January 2013 ~ Mosaic

February 2013 ~ Just Listening

March 2013 ~ Once around the Sun

April 2013 ~ NPM #1 ~ In their soft footprints ... Tom

May 2013 ~ Dreaming of Spring