November Notes Day 16 /Photochallenge: Poem – Free Verse – “Immeasurable” #photochallenge #poetry #amwriting


For November Notes the song is “Words as Weapons” by Birds. I’m combining with NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge Prompt.


Credit: Discrete


“Words as Weapons” by Birds


You can try to measure her angles,

Try to rationalize her curves.

Measure her so your comprehension of her is scientific;

But to math and science she’s absurd.

She has no rhyme or reason,

And you can’t make a person a logical equation.

Her body is not algebra,

Nor is she a kind of Cosine, Sine, or Tangent Angle.

You can use your words as methodical weapons,

To untangle her qualitative values,

But your words like swords will never cut to her core.

She’ll use her tears as numerous weapons,

And you can’t measure those.

Their quantitative value is beyond this world.

And she’s no statistical value,

She isn’t found in Trigonometry or in quadrilaterals.

And you’ll find no help about her in Epistemology;

Nor any philosophical math or logic.

Some things in life are beyond words and equations,

They aren’t logical or reasonable,

They are what they are.

And if you love all her curves and angles,

Can’t you let that be enough?

There’s no need to hypothesis,

To predict the future or the next hour,

So what if her face is symmetrical?

You can use your words as abject weapons,

To untangle her qualitative values,

But your words like swords will never cut to her core.

She’ll use her tears as numerous weapons,

And you can’t measure those,

Their quantitative value is beyond this world,

It’s called feeling and living in the moment,

Joyeux de Vivre or spontaneity,

No being afraid to let life happen,

To have Passion in the here and now.

Though you find it easier to measure and quantify your life,

Perhaps quality is a better goal?

And if such beauty you behold,

That you cannot find the exact right words,

There are other ways to show your love.

You can use your words as hurtful weapons,

To untangle her qualitative values,

But your words like swords will never cut to her core.

She’ll use her tears as more painful weapons,

And you can’t measure those,

Their quantitative value is beyond this world.

Before your mind starts to unravel,

In charts and graphs and parabolas,

Accept her for the flower she is,

Blooming without thought or reason,

In the midst of a freezing winter.

She is who she is and she isn’t a number,

Not even a poem,

She’s only and always a woman,

Her worth immeasurable,

Her love beyond equations and perfect values.

She is your summer in the bitter cold of life.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved

Interview With Michele Vecchitto


Hi everyone! Wonderful to see you again for this biweekly interview with Michele Vecchitto. Michele is a friendly and kind woman who has a talent for writing wonderful poetry and engaging stories. I have been following her for a couple of years now, so I hope you will like her writing as much as I do. You can visit her blog here: Steps Times Two – Love and Life . . . The Second Time Around.


miichelle-interview-4
Credit: Michele Vicchetto

1. Hi Michele, Please Tell Us About Where You’re From?

I live in Niantic. It’s a lovely town on the Connecticut shoreline that somehow manages to hold on to the charm of days gone by while still offering all the conveniences I might need.

One of the many treasures in Niantic is a used bookstore called The Book Barn.It now has four or five satellite locations, but the main store is a complex which includes a large barn and several quirky, smaller buildings, each overflowing with books devoted to a particular genre. The few resident cats and some goats, add to its unique vibe. It’s a place to spend the day and get lost in books. Niantic also recently opened a new boardwalk along the beach that offers fantastic views and a place to meet neighbors.


2. Can You Tell Us More About Yourself, Your Everyday Life?

I’m the second of four sisters. My family is especially close and the fifteen children my sisters and I have between behave more like siblings than cousins. My parents are definitely the foundation of our lives. I love everything about belonging to a large family – the support, the laughter, the chaos, and the history we create.

My three children are young adults, busy finding their place in the world. In some ways, they could not be more different from one another, but they remain close. I’m enjoying watching them evolve into the adults they will become. I’m proud of the choices they’ve made and the direction each of them is following in life.

I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.

Our personalities are different but we complement each other well. We are each other’s top priority and do everything we can to support each other in our many endeavors. We’ve intertwined our families and I feel blessed to have his three strong, caring, and talented children in my life as well. They, along with their families, are a vital part of my life.

On a professional level, I teach middle school Literature and Language Arts. I love working with students of this age. It’s my favorite age group of kids. I’ve taught math and science and enjoy teaching each subject, but I’m most thrilled to spend my days sharing Literature with my classes. Preteens and teens this age are discovering their voice and it’s exciting to see the world through their eyes.

Additionally, I work as a freelance editor. I’m working with an audio book company and enjoy the exposure to books I might not otherwise read.


“I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.” – Michele Vecchitto


3. When Did You First Start Writing and Blogging? 

I started my blog in 2014 as a way of keeping myself disciplined about writing, but I’ve always been a writer. I kept journals as a teenager and still have poems I wrote for a memorable class in high school.

My teacher, Ms. Jordan, helped me discover my voice and probably inspired me to become a teacher. I was a stay at home mom for fifteen-years, and when my children were in school, I’d spend eight or more hours a day writing. I took writing classes and completed two novels and a few children’s books.

When I divorced in 2007 and returned to work full time, I lost some of my dedication to the craft. Steps Times Two is my blog and remedy to not being able to write all day anymore.


4. What Does Writing and Blogging Mean To You? Why Do You Write?

I’ve always been a writer as mentioned earlier. I many of my stories and poems from younger days and used to write tales for my kids, nieces, and nephews.

I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.

Beyond these meanings, I love the way writing connects people. I am so excited to be able to talk with people from all over the world about subjects I have brought up or someone else has written about. It sounds sappy, but I believe people are more alike than different and we all have something to share. I am a big fan of the community writing fosters between writers and readers (etc).


“I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.” – Michelle Vecchitto


michele-interview-1
Credit: Michele Vecchitto

5.  Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?

Sometimes motivation comes from pure emotion. I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of it’s own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.

Inspiration for me can come from anywhere: a look between two people; a snippet of conversation I overhear; the expression on someone’s face when they don’t notice I’m looking; and/or an unexpected situation or some mundane activity we all experience. Music also inspires me. My playlist has a bit of everything on it and I love to hit play and let my mind drift. Sometimes I’ll find something to write about immediately and other times, I have to file an idea away and let it resurface when it’s ready.

As well, I’m a huge fan of writing prompts and blogging events. It’s a terrific way to stay involved in the writing community and interact with other people. I love to follow and read what other people are writing because each piece leaves me with something to think about and offers a varied perspective to consider. Prompts for me are similar to a puzzle. Each of us figures out how to put the pieces together in a different way to create authentic images. It’s fun when someone has a completely unique take on the same prompt.


6. Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer to Write?

I prefer to write in the mornings, although, it’s not always possible. During the week, I will write when I come home from teaching school. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d write from the time the kids went to school until they came home. I miss those days! I’m hoping to stay home next year and write full time.


“I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of its own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.” – Michele Vecchitto


michelle-interview-3
Credit: Michele Vecchtto

7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

I have my blog which I try to work on each day. I also post on Poet’s Corner on WordPress and do my best to keep up. I am working on a historical fiction novel based on my husband’s grandfather who escaped from Poland in the early 1900’s. I’m enjoying the research portion of this novel greatly. In addition, I recently cleaned up a YA novel I wrote about ten-years ago. My romance novel also needs editing and I have two short stories to finish.

My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!


8. Can You Tell Us About What Your Publishing Process Has Been for Some of Your Writing?

I’ve had poems published in anthologies and in places like The Reverie Journal. I have self-published two volumes of poetry which can be found on Amazon. I’m considering adding a third volume but I think my next push will be seeking a publisher for a novel.

Years ago, when I had more time, I was organized about sending my work out. I had a contract with Blue Mountain Arts and several ‘good rejections’ from publishing houses. I took classes and attended conferences. I think networking is a huge part of the publishing process and hope to get back to it in the next year.

I’ve been invited to participate in the Austin International Poetry Festival next April. Eight of my poems will be included in their anthology and I plan to travel to the event to do some readings.


“My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!” – Michele Vecchitto


9. Are You Able to Describe Your Writing Process To Us?

My writing process varies, depending on the type of project I’m working on, but it always includes music. I have a million playlists and a great pair of headphones.

The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me. If I’m working on a poem, I jot ideas or prompts on post-it notes and arrange them around my writing space.

If I’m working on a formal piece, I’ll have notes on rhyme schemes and various types of poetry. After I write, I’ll look for photos to accompany what I’ve written and then decide on a title. My titles always happen last.

If I’m working on a novel or short story, the music part is the same, but I’ll have notes on my bulletin board or in folders which I can flip through. I also send rough drafts to my sister Maureen. She’s read everything I’ve ever written and offers me honest feedback. She’ll tell me what works for her as a reader and what doesn’t, then I go back and edit.

I set my larger pieces aside, sometimes for days but often for months, and then return to them so I can see them with fresh eyes. My YA book has been through three major revisions already and I think it’s almost ready to send out.


11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading? Any Genres In Particular?

 I’m not sure you can be a writer without being a reader. I love both equally and will read almost anything. I like to balance my writing with quick, light reads and books which require more concentration. I’m  a big non-fiction reader. It must be the teacher in me, but there’s never too much knowledge to learn. I always want to discover new things.

My own writing style has surprised me at times. My YA book is a fantasy novel which is something I’ve never followed, however; a fantasy story was the tale waiting to be told when I tackled the YA book project.

I must confess, I do enjoy writing darker, more provocative pieces. There’s such power there. I enjoy  inspirational pieces as well. Both of these kinds of writing have their place.


“The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.” – Michele Vecchitto


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Credit: Michele Vecchitto

12. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers or Anything Else You Would Like To Add?

I find the more I write, the better I get. It’s a commitment and like any other craft, needs to be nurtured so, keep writing.

I’ve also started a Facebook page and hope to add more writing related posts in addition to my own poems. Twitter has been a great resource for finding writing communities and sharing information for me as well.


13. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs?

I’m not sure I have favorites. I love to read blogs of all styles and content. A friend of mine started a blog in which she combines book reviews and running called Belle of the Book. It’s fun to follow a blog when you know the writer personally. If the writing is good I want to read it.


14. Here is A Piece of Michele’s Writing She Has Shared:

“Deerfield’s Ghosts”

By Michele Vecchitto

deerfield
photo: Atlas Obscura

Wandered into a cemetery

surrounded by a stone wall

hidden in the deep wood

The cold winter’s wind

calling the shadows and

whispering my name

Air weighted with sadness

as tombs of sorrow beckoned

like a house so empty

I stood alone, waiting

as voices of the lost

washed me in time’s tempest

My hands embraced each soul

as I traced those crumbling stones

placed long ago with care

Overcome with tears

as I read of Martha. loving daughter

a life lived five short years

And her mother, wife of John

who shared the same last day

in another time, another place

Night fell and mockingbirds

resumed their evening song, playing chords

that matched a funeral march

Chilled to the bone and wearied

I sank to my knees beside a family plot, crying

Tell me where hope lives

Awareness that each stone was marked

with that date, February 29, 1704,

came slowly, deliberately

Echoes of war drums rang

through the silence as fear

electrified the hallowed space

The massacre of yesterday

forgotten as time moved on

still hosts ghosts of the innocent

Every once and awhile

the lost invite someone back

to share their story

And so I did


Michele says about “Deerfield’s Ghost:” “I love this one because it almost wrote itself. When I came to the point when I narrowed in on a subject, I googled “massacre” to find a specific date to use and came across a list of victims from the Deerfield massacre of 1704. The funny thing is, it included the names and ages of people I had included in my poem.”


More Links To Michele’s Blog Pieces:

  • Ray holds special meaning for me because it was written for a dear friend who passed away. Reading it at his funeral was the first time I’d read my poetry in public and I feel grateful I had a chance to honor him in this way.
  • Small Town Hens is an example of a poem I wrote after I witnessed a situation that made my blood boil. It makes me chuckle now because it captured my disgust at poor behavior.
  •  Light of Love was written after the nightclub attack in Orlando. I will sometimes respond to current events in poetry. This incident demanded a response.
  •  The Choice and Metamorphosis are two old ones that I wrote during very difficult times.  I try to live my life as described in “The Choice” and “Metamorphosis” speaks to the ability to persevere in even the darkest of times.

Thanks to Michele for thoroughly and thoughtfully answering the interview questions. I wish her much luck with her writing and future endeavours. Here is the link to her blog one more time: Steps Times Two.


I hope you enjoyed this week’s interview. If you would like to share and answer interview questions on writing and blogging of any kind, feel free to reach-out to me on my contact page. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

Poem: Free Verse – “In Eyes Perceive” #wordhighjuly #poetry #balintataw



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http://www.pixebay.com

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I’ve lost clarity; it’s obvious, observe —

When I’m peering through dense walls, 

Where you disguise your life;

I’m blinded from your changing eyes.

Obsidian pupils, shining as glass;

Solidification of molten lava black.

Rings of green surround pupils.

In certain light, your eyes blackish-green fire;

In another light, they’re a grassy knoll.

I perceive your eyes, understanding you;

When you’re hostil, temperamental;

Your eyes alter colour, swirling into black.

A bitter ocean, a complex green.

Obsidian pupils merge; fight pleasant green.

The storm rages, your eyes stay grating.

As steel and concrete, 

You’re cold, unflinching.

——-

When you’re serene and absorbed in life;

Your eyes tint with light, 

Glow with presence;

Glimmering alert, understanding.

Conversing comfortably; 

Words match your eyes.

Face, sure and bright; 

Joy glows from your lips, 

The creases in your smile.

Wrinkles, fan your eyes;

You laugh and illuminate my sight.

Your fantastic mood drawing people to you, 

My beacon.

——-

But my favourite vantage,

Of your eyes;

Dark pupils focus, adore me slow.

Feeding an ethereal glow;

Throwing off embers of warmth.

Mysterious eyes, wide-open; 

Your true-self, no posing.

Brilliant fire of space simmering;

Us a compass twain, 

Star dust and nebulas.

You appear almost sleepy, 

Eyes perceiving my eyes;

Mood indicators; receptors of feeling.

The lights in all the stars, 

Of every universe, combined.

Heat from your heart (and other parts),

Obsidian meeting obsidian sheen;

Aurora Borealis in our eyes gleam.

Waves of heat and colour impress.

Of all the giant and tiny world’s,

Unparalleled; the world we combine.

Nebulas spark across the dark;

Your truth is when you memorize me, 
Satisfied smile, softly content.
We’ve conquered stars;

As light is the only source,

Differing our eyes; a genetic defect passed,

Transforming brown, to blue and green;

The Northern Lights, 

Enfolding us in time, our space.

——–

Credit: I thought about a lot of John Donne poetry writing this: A Valediction Forbidding Mourning and The Good Morrow mostly. Also, if you haven’t read about why some people have blue or green eyes, when originally, humans only had brown eyes, check-out: Wikipedia – Eye Colour. Turns out blue or green eyes is not a pigment, it has to do with structural colour and the scattering of light in certain conditions. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: No Piano Mom.


Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.

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http://www.pixebay.com

———

Mom, I don’t want to play piano, 

But you force me every week, no! 

You say “it can’t be that hard,”

My piano playing, will never go far.

You think I’ll get better when you make me play, 

I practice, fumbling the wrong keys — you say:

“My boy he’s going to be a musician,

My Alex is going to go far, be a physician;

Playing the piano helps with math and science skills, 

Playing these notes, he learns to read music: I’ve chills, 

One day he’ll be a musician and a doctor, 

How could a mother want anything more.” 

So I pound out the notes, keeping my hand like a ball,

Ignoring your wince when my fingers stumble and fall.

I want to do something fun, 

I want to play soccer and run.

I want to be an astronaut, or maybe a fireman, 

A hero who saves people, maybe Spider-Man?

I’m not sure yet what I want to be, 

I don’t like math or piano you see. 

But my printing is good; I handwrite well,

My typing is fast; in my stories, witches cast spells.

I like to read; I’m quicker than other children.

Are you listening to me? Or yelling certain —

I should be practicing piano, something you decided for me.

Never asking how I felt as years passed by and I still played off key.

I couldn’t memorize the music; it was tedious, 

I preferred writing stories, characters mischievous. 

How your face dropped, 

Now you never talk to me; you stopped.

Because I didn’t become a musician or a doctor,

I used my talents and your boy Alex plays professional soccer.

Writing stories in the paper about sports and other topics, I glean.

I didn’t meet your standards; I lived my own dreams.

——

© Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Oh What a Rush to the Start


Prompt: Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.

——

Coldplay, “The Scientist.”

 (Please go onto my blog page to see this music video if you can’t see it here.)

——-

I was just guessing at numbers and figures, pulling the puzzles apart. Questions of science, science and progress, do not speak as loud as my heart. Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me, oh what a rush to the start. – “The Scientist.” Coldplay

——–

If you’ve watched the music video for the song “The Scientist,” by the band Coldplay, you understand in the music video you experience the story of the ‘the scientist’ (Chris Martin’s role) in reverse. Martin the lead singer of Coldplay plays the ‘the scientist’ in the music video and begins the music video lying on a random mattress outside of a residence and he moves backwards throughout the entire day.

We see ‘the scientist’ eventually return to a scene of an accident where his girlfriend was killed. She comes back to life and we are taken back to a point where she is taking off her jacket instead of putting it on, and doing up her seat belt, instead of taking it off. Hence, we know why the girlfriend crashes through the wind shield later — no seat belt.

 At the end of the music video, ‘the scientist’ and his girlfriend are a happy couple on a regular day driving. Martin sings, “I’ll take you back to the start,” at the end of each of the choruses and it’s because ‘the start,’ his time with his girlfriend before the car accident was wonderful.’The scientist’ merely wants to be with his girlfriend as before.

The second verse — the quote provided — always seemed Frankensteinish to me. The main character played by Martin alludes to himself being a scientist and is like the mad scientist in Frankenstein “guessing at numbers and figures” and “pulling the puzzles apart” trying to make time go back to a point where his girlfriend is still alive. But unlike a mad scientist, this scientist discovers “questions of science, science and progress, do no speak as loud as [his] heart.” 

‘The scientist’ Martin plays, feels his love for his girlfriend and his desire to see his girlfriend is beyond the answers all scientific progress can provide him. He wants for science to help him, to make his girlfriend alive, but science doesn’t have that capability. He wants to hear is his girlfriend “tell [him she] love[s him].” ‘The scientist’ wants memories of his girlfriend to “come back and haunt him.” He wants everything to go back to the way they were before the car accident — at the beginning. It’s why he sings, “oh what a rush to the start,” at the end of this verse.

In his mind ‘the scientist’ wants the past back. He can’t have it back because that’s not how science or reality works. You can’t go back to the past except through your memories. You can only live the present and look forward to the future. Coldplay’s song “The Scientist,” speaks of  ‘the scientist’s wish for his memories to be real again, to be the present, to go “back to the start” and be with his beloved. For me, “The Scientist” is a distressing song and has always touched my heart. It makes me sad thinking about ‘the scientist’s’ predicament.

What if you could return to the past and change something, would you, if science provided you with the capability? I think if nothing else, this song tells me that the whole concept of love and emotion is not scientific or not only. There is something about love and our desire to be with our loved ones, which goes beyond science and is a matter of the heart: “The heart has reasons which reason cannot understand,” as the saying goes. Listening to this song tells me even though people believe we as a society are advanced in science, we are not as advanced as we would like to believe. There are emotions and feelings science will never truly be able to explain.

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Some Canada Day Trivia and My Favorite Canada Day Videos


O Canada
O Canada (Photo credit: mrjoro)

So happy Canada day everyone! Did you know that you live in one of the most blessed countries in the world? We have so many rights and freedoms that many other countries can only dream of. Now it has been a long time since elementary school history, in which we students covered the history of Canada but there are some very special things I would like to share with you about Canada borrowed from the website ” 43 Interesting Facts About Canada.”

1.  Canada became a country on July 1, 1867, when the British North America Act was passed by the British Parliament.l

2.“O Canada,” originally named “Chant national,” was    written by Adolphe-Basile Routhier (French lyrics) and Calixa Lavallée    (music) and first performed in Quebec City in 1880. The song was approved    by the Parliament of Canada in 1967 as the unofficial national anthem and    adopted officially on July 1, 1980.c

3. It’s population density is 8.6 people per square mile, making Canada the    ninth-most sparsely populated nation in the world.

4.According to the 2001 census, 42.6% of Canadians are Roman Catholic, 23.3%    are Protestant, and 16% claim to have no religion.c

5. Ice hockey is Canada’s official national game.a The modern game    of ice hockey was developed in Canada, based on games that have been played    since the tenth century.c The rules were first published in the Montreal    Gazette in 1877.a

6.Canada contains 9% of the world’s renewable water supply.m

7.Cryptozoologists claim that Canada is the home of several cryptids, including    Sasquatch, a giant sloth-like creature known as the beaver-eater, a cannibalistic    wildman named Windigo, and a number of lake monsters, such as Ogopogo in    Lake Okanagan, British Columbia.c

8.The West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, was once the world’s largest    shopping mall. It now ranks fifth, but it still contains the world’s largest    indoor amusement park.m

9.Canadians have made many important inventions, including Kerosene, the    electron microscope, the electronic organ, insulin, the IMAX film system,    the snowmobile, and the electric cooking range.c

10.Newfoundland was the first part of Canada to be explored by Europeans.    Ironically, it was the last area to become a province, in 1949.l

(Random Facts . “43 Interesting Facts About Canada.” Page 1.  2 Jul 2012.  < http://facts.randomhistory.com/2009/01/15_canada.html >. 22 Feb 2009.

 

Also, I would like to share with you some of my favorite Canadian Youtube Videos so enjoy;

I am Canadian Anthem Molson Canadian-   http://youtu.be/zWDXE9Pbjic

I am Canadian Rant – http://youtu.be/pXtVrDPhHBg

Canadian Girls – Dean Brody – http://youtu.be/gvuHQkwMRmo

Shit Canadian’s Say 0 http://youtu.be/m0EsYiNA76Q

Happy Canada Day!