Dear Lovelies!!! In celebration of my 26th birthday this week, I am happy to mail the first 26 people who inbox me their address a handmade poetry postcard! BONUS: let me know if you have a favorite quote from a poem. (don’t worry, I have no other use for your address)
If you want to restore your faith in love,
become a spectator at airport arrival gates.
Bright sky faces and celestial bodies,
arms stretched out in full extension;
hearts on edge like runway lights.
The other night, I went over to a new friend’s house to return something I borrowed.
When I came in and sat at her dining room table,
she did not ask me if there was something else I wanted to talk about.
She did not inquire as to how long I would be staying.
She brought out 2 cups,
and 2 forks,
and she began to share her drink and dinner with me.
After eating and chatting, I asked if she’d like to use my computer while I washed dishes.
Shortly after, we thanked each other and I walked home.
These seemingly simple acts have a deep affect on us;
the ability to share with another, our earthly possessions
our spirit, stories and experiences,
and at times, our silence.
Sometimes we make friendship out to be very dramatic.
Friendship is not defined by ride-or-die moments.
Friendship is bringing out 2 cups
and 2 forks,
with no questions.
with light and love,
Sharpening the Pen: Haifa! is participating in National (U.S.A.) Poetry Month. Each person is striving to write one poem daily throughout April, and you are welcome to join us!! Write about anything that comes to mind. And, if you need some ideas, you can check out the following writing prompts. There are 30 listed on spirituality and reflection. We will be meeting 15 April to share our most inspiring pieces so far…
“Know thou of a truth that the seeker must, at the beginning of his quest for God, enter the Garden of Search…. He must search after the truth to the utmost of his ability and exertion, that God may guide him in the paths of His favour and the ways of His mercy.” Write about your search for faith, however ‘God’ might apply to your life.
Make a list of three people: one family member, one person that you know of but don’t know personally, and one past or present love interest. Choose one from the list to be the subject of this poem. Write in the form of a letter to your subject, or telling the story of the conversation you would have with him/her/it.
Write taking a new perspective on a cliché (e.g. at the end of my rope)
List your three greatest weaknesses. Write about sharing a two bedroom apartment with a personification of one of those weaknesses.
Write about an event from the perspective of only one of your senses.
Write from the perspective of a plant growing in a historic location.
Write involving some sort of repetition, be it in a structured form (such as a villanelle or a pantoum), or inventing your own pattern.
Write about a memory too difficult to talk about.
Research a late religious leader (an Apostle, Iman, Hand of the Cause, etc) and write a poem about his/her life’s story.
Write in the form of an editorial sharing some “good news”.
Write about a major world event from the perspective of a child.
Write from the perspective of the bird in “Ye are even as the bird which soareth, with the full force of its mighty wings and with complete and joyous confidence, through the immensity of the heavens, until, impelled to satisfy its hunger, it turneth longingly to the water and clay of the earth below it, and, having been entrapped in the mesh of its desire, findeth itself impotent to resume its flight to the realms whence it came.”
Write an ode to an object that is significant in your life.
Write a poem at least 50 words long using only one-syllable words.
Take one of your poems (preferably a long one) and edit it down to 99 words.
Write about one of your siblings (or childhood friend if you are an only child). Use an anecdote to describe his or her quirks, characteristics, or personality.
Reflect on the bounty of one a sacred experience you’ve had and write about it.
Write a poem inspired by the melody of your favorite song. Try to make the rhythm of the poem follow the overall rhythm of the song.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá says that the heart is a box and language is its key. Only by using the key can we unlock the box and observe the gems inside. Think of a person in your life–perhaps someone you have had a conflict with. Write a poem to unlock that box.
Write about a train.
Write as if you were back in school and the teacher made you write a phrase one-hundred times on a chalkboard. What would the phrase be? Perhaps think of a challenge you had to overcome as a child.
Write comparing one of your experiences to another performing art. How was the event like a ballet dancer’s recital, a trapeze artist’s first circus show, a painter’s street mural, etc.
Search through your Facebook friends (or your address book if you don’t have an account) and find a friend that went to high school with you. Try to recall a memory with that person and write on that.
Write explaining how your work (inside or outside of the World Centre) is worship. “Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Find the text of an advertisement, something really materialistic. Take the text and transform it into something beautiful and moving.
Write about the comfort of blankets, use similes, metaphors, and/or anthropomorphisms.
Write about the last words or thoughts of someone or something right before it dies.
Visual prompt! Keep a look out for pictures hanging on walls anywhere you go on this day. Write based on the picture that struck you the most.
Find your spirit animal for fun at http://www.jerismithready.com/quiz/. Then write about it.
Seek out a co-worker that you haven’t gotten to know well and ask them how they ended up working at your job. Write on that person’s story or the conversation you had with your co-worker.
Also check out the original, Sharpening the Pen: Portland!
you have always moved in devout rotation around the Sun.
Yet, scientists once affirmed that this process was absolutely reversed.
Exceptional men delivered exceptional speeches
and well-informed dissertations
about how you
are the center of the universe,
the daily inspiration;
how the Sun moved enraptured by the vibrancy of your beauty,
and this It does.
For how can One not adore that which was created by the fire of Its love?
the Sun is shining brightly;
It will burn.
It will burn.
It will burn.
It will give light,
All that remains
is for you to take your turn.
In the latest workshop, we wrote based on A Quite World by Jeffrey McDaniel.
Write a poem about life if you were limited to 167 words a day.
…by Jeffrey McDaniel
In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.
When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.
Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.
When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.
…by Andrea Hope
I wake another day to a new song.
3 verses. 4 choruses. 1 bridge of off-key notes that I do not sing along.
I let my body sway to the rhythm of repetition.
At least that has not changed.
I wonder if you are ever grateful for the early morning relief
since the word rations began.
I smile at you asleep.
I whisper a prayer.
I do not wake you,
relieved that there is no longer the unnatural need to say goodbye.
At work, I use my hands to mold and direct the children into their seats
like every morning.
I use no words of scorning.
I save my speech for the first paper Josephine turns in
with all of her bs and ds facing in the right direction.
Your writing has become so lovely and clear, Josephine.
I’ve decided to make my words lovely and clear.
When Lawrence is the first boy brave enough to join the girls in double dutch
I ask Adib, isn’t that cool?
He shrugs his shoulders before
moving in closer.
When Lola comes with a red knee, I do not ask how did this happen?
I scan the playground before motioning Toby over.
He slowly drags in our direction with his head toward the pavement.
I lift his face to hers and open before them a small kit for first aid.
His hands and eyes tremble as he carefully wraps her wound.
We are whispering soft secrets to the midnight air. We are telling boogiemen and bedmonsters that we refuse to be scared…” —Andrea Hope
We had our first Sharpening the Pen: Haifa! (sister writing workshop to Sharpening the Pen: Portland!) I am sharing our prompts if you’d like to join us…
Prompt 1: Write a metaphorical nature poem based off this one below by Doc Luben.
We chose to write about being a mountain.
—-Day 9 - Doc Luben
I have been replaced by a tree.
I believe it is an elm.
Reach to touch me and I will be hard and air temperature.
I move only when blown or pulled. The crack of an axe will not even flinch me.
Scientists imagine this process
would have to have taken years,
a lifetime of lifetimes,
but it was quick, I changed while no one was looking at me.
I am still shaped the same, my bark is the color of skin
I still have a round grotesque belly and
wear collared shirts in unflattering colors
but I am an elm, we can be sure of this.
Peel back the layers of wood on the outside
and you will find more and more wood.
I will not even feel the peeling.
I no longer pick things up or use them,
just slowly grow around them
until they are difficult to retrieve.
The process of being me
has become quite gentle and free of consequence.
I rustle pleasantly. I provide shade.
I make a nice spot for a picnic.
—-by Andrea Hope
You are finally a mountain.
After all the pressing and pushing yourself together,
you are now compact.
Your head is a cold that few could survive in,
it can no longer absorb oxygen or memories,
so I share few thoughts,
and I rarely come up there.
I stay here on your side where a person should stay,
trying to initiate the crumbling of avalanche from your shoulders.
—by Johnetta Jordan
I started gathering dust at a very young age. Collecting as many particles as I could from the vast supply floating in the air around me.
Some of the dust is pretty; yellow and green pollen from the flowering trees in the garden. Some of it is dirty; ash and smoke bellowing from the industrial factories outside town.
All of it is collecting on me.
What started as a little dust collecting on a very young soul has grown to a mountain of rocks and boulders, trying to prevent me from making progress in the future while holding me back in the failures of the past.
Homework: Prompt 2.
“O CHILDREN OF DUST!
Tell the rich of the midnight sighing of the poor, lest heedlessness lead them into the path of destruction, and deprive them of the Tree of Wealth. To give and to be generous are attributes of Mine; well is it with him that adorneth himself with My virtues.” Baha’u’llah. Choose one of the following beginning lines (or all 3). Be as literal or abstract as you’d like:
Generosity looks like…
Generosity smells like…
Generosity tastes like…