Animals/Pets, Fiction, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Writing

‘Rewind Interview’ with Writer, Blogger, & Poet Ryan Stone #amwriting #interview #nonfiction #poetry


Welcome to another ‘Rewind Interview =” in my now weekly interview series. Ryan is a talented Australian poet, extremely amazing, so I’m excited to reshare his interview with you both on my own blog and now on the Go Dog Go Cafe. The Cafe is a writer’s hangout and you can even submit your work there for publication. Here is the link to do that here: Go Dog Go Cage Contact Page.

Originally, I was doing this as a bi-weekly feature, only on my own blog. So in order to do this as a weekly feature on both my blog and on the Cafe, I’m going to be sharing some ‘Rewind interviews” as I think these writers are equally due recognition on both sites. Just to mention, since this is a ‘Rewind Interview’ some of the info might not be current.

Today, I’m excited and pleased to share with you the talented writer, poet, and blogger Ryan Stone of ‘Days of Stone’. Please visit the link provided to read more about Ryan and read his superb poetry.


Ryan Stone Image
Ryan Stone

1. Please Tell Us About Yourself? 

The blood of the Irish runs deep in my veins but I’m an Australian born and bred. I was raised in a ‘man’s land’ of karate, fast motorbikesheavy metal guitars, and football with Aussie rules.

My love of reading and writing was not readily accepted. Instead, I was forced to indulge my interests under my bed covers by torchlight. But the poets Seamus Heaney, Kenneth SlessorWalt Whitman, and Maya Angelou  — all have a way of asserting themselves in my writing.

Although I have no real love of uniforms, I’ve worn a few in my life so far: the combat fatigues of a soldier in the field and driving a battle tank; the torn black denim of a metal guitarist; and the turnout gear of a firefighter. I’ve been a rank-and-file cop, a detective, and a member of a plainclothes special duties team. When all the uniforms are stripped off, I like to think it is the writer who remains.

I have no formal credentials, only an observer’s eye and an insatiable appetite for books. I’m rough around the edges, but the right turn of phrase will stop me dead in my tracks every time. I love MetallicaTed Kooser, and with equal passion, my closest friend in the world, my German Shepherd (don’t tell my wife).


 “When all the uniforms are stripped off, I like to think it is the writer who remains . . . the right turn of a phrase will stop me dead in my tracks every time.” – Ryan Stone 


 2.  When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?

The first time I considered my writing to be writing, was towards the end of high school. I was blessed with an incredibly passionate English teacher who managed to channel a teenage boy’s angst and anger into something less destructive. When one of my poems earned me a kiss from a pretty girl I had a crush on, I knew writing was something I’d stick with.

I’ve never been much of a social media fan. But I reached a point where I became sick of waiting several months for editors to respond to my poetry submissions; I turned instead to WordPress. Along with all the great writing and posts, I’m able to read from other writers.

However, I’ve developed a wonderful, supportive group of friends, and readers, who offer feedback and advice in a much shorter time frame than editors. While I still submit to poetry journals, my year of blogging has given me a huge amount of enjoyment and satisfaction.


 3. What Does Poetry Mean To You? Why Do You Write?

To borrow from my favorite quote by Anton Chekhov: Poetry isn’t being told the moon is shining – for me, it is being shown the glint of light on broken glass.

I love the way a poem can capture more than a photograph, can carry an image or emotion over time and space, and let me experience someone else’s worldview for a moment. I also like the way reading one of my own poems years after it was written can transport me back to a previous ‘headspace,’ for a moment.


” . . .Poetry isn’t being told the moon is shining – for me, it is being shown the glint of light on broken glass.” – Ryan Stone (borrowing from Anton Chekhov)


4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation To Write?

Nearly all of my poetry begins while I’m running with my dog through the rain forest beside my house. Usually, a thought, a memory, or an observation takes root and nags at me until I jot it down. Sometimes, an unusual word or phrase will catch me the same way.

My dog has developed his very own here we go again’ face which he pulls each time I pause during a run so I can tap out a note or two on my phone.


 5. Do You Find There Is a Time of Day You Most Like To Write?

Predominantly, I write at night, when my boys are asleep, and the house is quiet. I am frequently awake into the small hours of the morning and find my 2:00 am mind is quite adept at slipping out of the shackles my daytime mind imposes. During these hours, I can most effectively explore and develop the notes I jot down during the day.


Writing Night Ryan Stone
Credit: Andrew Neel via UnSplash 

” I am frequently awake in the small hours of the morning and find my 2:00 am mind is quite adept at slipping out of the shackles my daytime mind imposes.” – Ryan  Stone


6. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

I have two fantasy novels I’m working on at present. One is about a princess who becomes a pirate queen after her parents are murdered, the other is about an orphan boy who becomes a magician and later, a king.

Both novels began as short stories which expanded and grew during a couple of National Novel Writing Months (NaNoWriMo).  As well, both novels are over hundred-thousand words and in need of serious revision. As with everything, time is a killer.

Poetry wise, I’m writing a chapbook with one of my closest internet mates (Ajay) who lives in India. It is loosely based on flowers and cultural differences. I’m currently editing a collection of my Senryu (5-7-5) poems, with the intention of self-publishing a small e-book of one-hundred Senryu poems, in the next few months, unless a publisher comes along sooner.


 7. Have You Published Any Writing or Are You Planning To Publish Works Of Writing In The Future?

I’m fortunate enough to have had many poems published in a number of online journalsprint anthologies, and poetry magazines. I never thought anyone other than my mum would enjoy my writing and rarely submitted my writing anywhere until recently.

A few years ago, I wrote a poem called “Unburied Hatchet,” which I thought had a chance of being published, so I submitted it to a couple of places and was rejected each time. On a whim, I sent it into the monthly competition in Writers’ Forum Magazine (a magazine in the UK to which I subscribe).

I was blown away when my poem won first prize and £100 (quite a lot of money with the Australian exchange rate being what it is). That first win gave my confidence a much-needed boost and I’ve been submitting ever since.


“I wrote a poem called “Unburied Hatchet” . . .I sent it into the monthly competition in Writers’ Forum Magazine . . .and was blown away when it won first prize and £100.” – Ryan Stone


8. Can You Briefly Describe The Process You Went Through To Publish or Are Going Through To Have Your Writing Published?

All my publishing to date has been by submission, so I’ll talk about publishing by submission. Whether it’s a print journal, online review, magazine, blog, or something else, the rules are always the same:

  • Read the publication first, to gain an idea of what style of writing they publish. While it doesn’t hurt to offer something fresh, I usually have a fair idea of an editor’s likes and dislikes before I submit.
  •  Read and re-read the submission guidelines before you hit sendAn improperly worded subject line can be enough for an editor to discount the submission without even reading the poem. Some publications request everything in the body of an email, others prefer attachments. Decent editors are inundated with submissions which meet their specific requirements and most, won’t waste their time with substandard submissions.
  • Take rejections gracefully. Analyze any critiques subjectively and apply critiques if you think they are warranted. BUT DON’T GIVE UP – submit, submit, submit. There are a million homes for poems out there and because a poem isn’t right for one editor or magazine certainly doesn’t mean it won’t be a prize winner for another editor or magazine. While I’m realistic about my own writing, I generally look at rejections as a case of a bad fitnot a bad poem.

 


 

 9. What Is Your Writing Process Like?

Almost exclusively, my writing begins as a note or two on my iPhone (often while I’m running) and later develops on my iPad. My writing environment is incredibly vital to me and the Mac/iPad writing program — Ulysses — puts me in an excellent creative ‘headspace.’ I tend to write the first draft quickly once idea forms and then I’ll put it aside for a week or two, before returning and revising a poem over and over and over…

I am incredibly fortunate to have found a brilliant first reader. She’s an amazingly talented poet in her own right as well as possessing editing skills second to none. For some reason, I’ve yet to understand, she seems to enjoy my writing and conversation and has nurtured and developed my poetry to no end. My first reader’s input is a huge part of my process in developing a poem from initial idea to finished piece.


“I tend to write a first draft quickly once an idea forms and then I’ll put it aside for a week or two, before returning and revising a poem over and over and over . . .” – Ryan Stone


10. Do You Prefer Certain areas of Writing or Reading Styles or Genres?

When I’m reading a novel, it is usually fantasy and almost always a seriesStephen King’s Dark Tower collection is a favorite, as are Game of ThronesMagicianThe BelgariadLord of the Rings, and Bernard Cornwell’s Arthurian books.

I also play a great deal of electric guitar which draws me to music biographies as well, anything rock or metal is fair game. Additionally, I love short story collections: Italo Calvino takes first prize there, and I read as much modern poetry as I can get my hands on.

Originally, my love of poetry was nurtured by Maya AngelouKenneth SlessorJim Morrison (The Doors), and Jewel Kilcher. When I first discovered Ted Kooser a few years ago, my own poetry made a huge leap.

Kooser’s book, The Poetry Home Repair Manual, was full of ‘Aha!’ moments for me. Most recently, I’ve lost myself in the brilliant Buddy Wakefield and Richard Hugo’s: The Triggering Town.


 11. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice For Other Writers?
 

I’m not really big on dishing out advice, as everyone writes uniquely. What works for one person, won’t always help another person; but I can certainly share what works for me.

  • The important thing is to write, write, write and keep writing. It doesn’t have to be good. I have loads of writing which will probably never see the light of day; however, once the first jumble is out of my head, the writing that follows is much better.
  •  I don’t edit my first draft as I write. I write it all down and worry about cleaning it up later. If I’m only editing a word or two, then I’ll delete and replace. If I’m editing a whole line or large section, I cut and paste in a new version – v1, v2, v3, (etc .) and keep each version in the same document. I find it’s much easier to revise without the fear of losing words or ideas I may want to later reinstate.
  •  Once I’m happy with a version of my work, I put it aside for a few days and return to it later with ‘fresh eyes.’ I find it much easier to spot weak pointssticky spotsdoubled up words, bad rhythm, (etc.) when I’m reading it fresh.
  • The poem is more important than the truth. When I’m writing a poem based on an actual event, I find it easy to place value on a thing because its memory is significant to me. Often, I don’t want to let the thing go from the poem. This can become a weak point as the particular thing doesn’t make the poem better and doesn’t hold the same value for the reader. Once I let the poem dictate what to keep and what to cut, rather than trying to stay one-hundred-percent true to my memory, my poetry comes together far tighter.

“Once I let the poem dictate what to keep and what to cut, rather than trying to stay one-hundred-percent true to my memory, my poetry comes together far tighter.” – Ryan Stone


12. Is There Anything Else You Would Like The Share With Us Which You Think Is Pertinent To Writing or Yourself?

An honest first reader who will tell me what works and what sucks without worrying about my feelings is worth her weight in gold.


 13. Can You Please Share With Us Few Links Of Your Favourite or Most Loved Pieces?  
*****
“Unburied Hatchet”
by
Ryan Stone
*****
Axe
Credit Markus Spiske via UnSplash
*****

Until I saw those wasted hands,

brittle as chalk, I hadn’t thought

how fast the years make ghosts.

*****

I heard them once called brawler’s paws.

For me, they were always more:

cobras, poised to strike.

*****

But his brawling days are gone now;

I could kill him with a pillow,

if I cared enough to try.

*****

Thin sheets press tightly to a bed

more empty than full, his body broken

like the promises of childhood.

*****

Haunted eyes betray last thoughts

of a dim path, spiraling down.

He hopes to make amends.

*****

“Forgiven?” he croaks,

barely there, as always,

and I’m wishing that I wasn’t.

*****

With the last rays of day as witness,

I turn my back with purpose

and hear the silence roar.

*****

In a late-night bar, I catch my reflection

swimming in a glass of bourbon;

but I’m staring at a ghost.

*****

First published in Writers’ Forum Magazine issue 163, April 2015 – first place

 


Please Find More Links to Ryan’s Writing Below:


Thank you so much to Ryan Stone for doing an interview for me. I appreciate his time answering the interview questions a great deal. I would love to interview you too. Please let me know if you’re interested in sharing yourself and your writing on my blog. You can reach me on my Contact Page.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Cleave Poem - right, left, and whole poem as 3 separate poems., Fiction, My Thoughts, Poetry, Published Work, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Works Published, Writing

Published on wwww.spillwords.com: Poem – Cleave – ” Unwrapping Deceit” #poetry #amwriting #spillwords


Thanks  so much to SpillWords for publishing anotherof my poems. This is a Cleave poem and it’s redone as it was a poem from a few years ago. It’s called Unwrapping Deceit

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Animals/Pets, Bop - 6 lines, refrain, 8 lines, refrain, 6 lines, refrain, Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, NaPoWriMo, Nature, Poetry, Quotes, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Day 11 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/Writing Prompt: Poem – Bop – “Peripheral Madness” #NaPoWriMo #AtoZchallenge #poetry 


Today’s NaPoWrIMo prompt is to write a poetry form called the ” Bop, a kind of combination sonnet + song. . In the basic Bop poem, a six-line stanza introduces the problem, and is followed by a one-line refrain. The next, eight-line stanza discusses and develops the problem, and is again followed by the one-line refrain. Then, another six-line stanza resolves or concludes the problem, and is again followed by the refrain.” For the A to Z Challenge the authors name will begin with letter J from GoodRead’s quotes. Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for last week’s writing prompt and picture. 

———-

Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

———

“I don’t think it had ever occurred to me that man’s supremacy is not primarily due to his brain, as most of the books would have one think. It is due to the brain’s capacity to make use of the information conveyed to it by a narrow band of visible light rays. His civilization, all that he had achieved or might achieve, hung upon his ability to perceive that range of vibrations from red to violet. Without that, he was lost.”  ― John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids

————

Sight I think is amazing for what could, 

We see without vision, eyes to perceive? 

The world around us is intricate, complex, 

So our eyes make sense of the colours, shade —

Tints, tones, complementary colours, those —

In the same family, yet inside were sightless

Gazing beyond sight, gazing within, without. 

——-

It’s fascinating to think how each of —

Us sees the same thing differently; by —

Sight and experience — the image changes. 

All see such varied pictures notice where, 

The colours blur, wind; how they can deceive us. 

How red, green, purple, blue, orange and yellow, 

Mix together, painterly dragons fly. 

Optical illusions nearly missed disguised. 

Gazing beyond sight, gazing within, without. 

——-

Blended carefully the animals come —

To life; birds, unicorns, oxen, and some, 

Mythical creatures, pale faces turned down. 

See not only within the painting see —

Inside your heart, for the truth sits there, 

Ignore the blindness, learn to fathom more. 

Gazing beyond sight, gazing within, without. 

——–


——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, Free Verse, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, NaPoWriMo, Nonfiction, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Quotes, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Day 10 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/ Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse -“The Swan” #amwriting #poetry #AtoZchallenge #NaPoWriMo


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to “write a poem that is a portrait of someone important to you. It doesn’t need to focus so much on what a person looks (or looked) like, as what they are or were.” The corresponding GoodRead’s Author’s Quote for the A to Z Challenge, begins with the letter I. Thanks to NEEKNERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie who provided the wonderfully creepy photograph.


Credit: saccstry.deviantart.com
———

If I’d been born a ghoul, I think I would’ve killed people. I just happened to be born a human. That’s the only reason why I’m allowed to live a moral life.” ― Sui Ishida

———

I knew her as a little girl,

Though others thought her odd.

She had that “something” about her,

People either loved or abhorred.

At first, I thought, she was enormously strange,

But her quirks endeared me to her.

She protected me from those cruel girls,

One smile from her, they stumbled away on their heels.

She had shocking violet hair on one side,

She was never quite a blond. 

Always experimenting with new looks,

Trying to glean from her appearance,

Who she was inside herself.

Her eyes a brilliant cornflower blue glimmered,

When some person made her enraged.

Her friends all knew some stupid student,

Would soon regret their actions;

She only had to smile.

And some bullies face turned violet, rouge, or primrose.

My friend was odd but lively,

Never afraid to do anything. 

Dragging me along, to be a part of her drama.

Of her wicked practical jokes,

Others whispered she was a bit ‘Tim Burton,’

Calling her the ‘corpse bride.’

But she would always smile,

In a way that scared many,

Who never knew the truth about her —

She was passionate, kind, and loyal.

If you could get past her walls, her insecurities,

She was most lovely and grew to be a beauty.

Her hair still half-purple — it was her thing.

How we knew her for her. 

Her terrifying smile gleamed, 

She could now afford braces,

For teeth that had scared everyone.

And when the braces disappeared,

Her teeth stood in straight white rows.

Her grim frown had turned forever upside down,

She was no longer that weird girl.

Though there was still ‘something’ about her;

Strange became a talent, something sought after,

When she transformed into a swan.

She became a cut diamond, no longer rough, she was —

Perfectly odd. 

——–



———

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Current Events, Free Verse, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, NaPoWriMo, Poetry, Quotes, Relationship, Writing, Writing Challenges

Day 4 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge: Poem – “A Secret Within A Secret” #amwriting #poetry #NaPoWriMo #AtoZchallenge


Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo is to write a ” poem with a secret – in other words, a poem with a word or idea or line that it isn’t expressing directly. The poem should function as a sort of riddle, but not necessarily a riddle . . .” As well, my GoodRead’s author quote will start with an author’s name beginning with the letter D, for the A to Z Challenge.

———

Credit: Abigail Keenan via UnSplash

——–

“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.” ― Diane Arbus

———-

On precious plush lips, she rests her hand, 

She’ll never tell you what thoughts she’s had. 

Preferring mostly, to let you wonder, 

To pillage her plunder, 

Yet to never understand who she is. 

The secret so hidden and complex; this —

Illusion she portrays, by and by, everyday. 

You can search through her closets array, 

Of clothes and shoes, or her jewelry gleaming, 

With her nothing is as it seems.

You’ll never find it hidden in kitchen drawers, 

Packed away in the cupboard’s coffee tin or —

When you find out her password to her page, 

Or look in private documents, bills or her wages.

It’s not in some box in the garage, 

And begging her won’t assuage —

What you can never seem to pin point, 

What you can never find in her poise —

The grace of her movements, her brilliant blue —

Eyes, searching yours, praying that you’ve a clue.

She’ll let you touch her how you like, 

She knows your confusion without spite. 

She’s hoping you’ll find it, but will you ever know? 

The truth it lies within her soul, 

And when you know — you’ll know. 

——-

———-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.


Audio Poems, Current Events, Fiction, Free Verse, History, Memories/Childhood, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Writing

Poem/Song: “You First” #music #amwriting #lyrics #poetry 


Something a little different for these words/lyrics. I’m no singer but my voice isn’t horrible.

——–


Credit: http://www.verywell.com – “Do You Dare to Take Off Your Mask . . .”

——-

Under her mask, she’ll hide behind it,

You’ll never hear the truth.

There are legends inside her,

But the truth can be a terrible thing.

Let her hide behind her mask in her makeup,

Let her be free.

*****

Because we all hide behind faces that aren’t really ours,

And oh baby, you’ll see, you’ll see

That the person who’s wearing a mask isn’t just her,

It’s you and me too.

Under her mask, she’ll hide behind it,

Reveal yourself first, you first.

——

Under your mask, you’ll hide behind it,

She’ll never see the truth.

You have treasure buried deep down,

In your keep, it’s a difficult truth.

She’ll let you hide behind your mask unshaven,

She’ll let you be free.

*****

Because we all hide behind faces that aren’t really ours,

And oh baby you’ll see, you’ll see.

That the person who’s wearing a mask isn’t just you,

It’s everyone too.

Under your mask, you’ll hide behind it,

Reveal yourself first, you first.

——

Under their masks they’ll hide behind them,

No one will ever hear the truth.

There are stories locked in everyone,

Maybe there not all scarring ones.

Each person is hiding from starlight,

Let them now see.

*****

Because we all hide behind faces that aren’t really ours,

And oh baby you’ll see, you’ll see,

That the person wearing those masks isn’t just them,

It’s universally.

Under their masks, they’ll hide behind them,

Reveal yourself first, you first.

*****

Because we all hide behind faces that aren’t really ours,

And oh baby you’ll see, you’ll see 

That the person who’s wearing a mask isn’t just her,

It’s you and me too.

Under her mask, she’ll hide behind it,

Reveal yourself first, you first;

Reveal yourself first, you first,

You first.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved

Fiction, Free Verse, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Poetry, Relationship, Writing, Writing Challenges

Photo Challenge: Poem – Free Verse – “A Nightmare of Ink” #amwriting #poetry #nightmares


Thank you to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the his week’s Photo Prompt chalkenge.

——-

Credit: Reylia.deviantart.com

——-

She holds the flowers teaming with a life force all their own, 

Knowing the ombré blue blossoms will escape; 

Flutter into the world carried on the wind, 

Pettles and fluffy white seeds blown across the land. 

Messengers of hope and artistry, a beauty undefinable. 

Her hands tightly grasp the stems, no thorns to prick errant fingers. 

She can’t let go, however, she she tries, 

Hands entrapped on rough stems holding too hard. 

So rigid are her hands, blood comes forth, 

The pressure of her grip too intense;

With great thought, he watches her, observes her reactions, 

She doesn’t understand why he’s hurting her; she needs help. 
She’s dressed in her navy dress and in life he loves it, 

In her dream, he picks at the fabric of her sleeve in disgust. 

Mumbling to himself, then struck with a thought, 

He’s found a thin fluted vase in blue to match her flowers. 

She doesn’t conprehend the symbolism or the reason, 

When ink he pours onto her flowers from the vase. 

He stains her hands until they appear black, 

The flowers are ruined and slicked with ink like oil. 

The streaming ink is everywhere, 

Her beloved smiles at her, he chucks her chin and winks, 

Takes the flowers and places them in the vase. 

The ink is all over her hands and arms;

Hers and his, and he’s laughing. 

Saying how difficult ink is to remove from one’s skin, 

So he cradles her face and he kisses her long, 

But then she awakes in her dream, 

To permenant ink stains all over her face and hands.

He smirks at her, walks away no care for the ink staining him. 

The moon gleams in the sky and it rains — buckets of tar black ink, 

Caressing her body, covering as sludge, dripping and spilling. 

What value is ink if she has no pen’s cartridge to put it in? 

She’s not able to use it to write. 

The world around is flooded by this precious commodity, 

And when she finally awakes for real, all is forgotten. 

Yet, the hands she holds up to the sunlight, 

Are stained dark black;

She’s tattood in the memory of a dream, 

Nightmares and reality never giving way to truth. 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

 

Fiction, Italian Sonnet - Iambic Pentameter - Octave (abbaabba) - Sestet (cdcdcd), My Thoughts, Poetry, Relationship, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Poem – Italian Sonnet – “Dodged A Bullet” #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.

—–

Credit: http://www.pixebay.com

——

Song of love he sings for her, poetry;

His heart in words difficult to sing.

Lyrics mean everything; his voice brings —

Such soft words gently strummed; he’s lonely

What weapon wins love’s war? The truth only? 

Does she understand? His music, his heart? 

Fact of his feelings —life with her, prays starts.

His daylight is her smile, his voice slowly

Sings last syllables; his baritone stops. 

She listened not, she had such vanity

He never knew she was so off-handed, 

Laughed at his song with her heart made of rock.

Raised her nose, sauntered away cruelly, 

She said not a word; he dodged a bullet. 

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

alouette, Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

Tale Weavers: Poem – Alouette – “Entrapped” #taleweavers #poetry #amwriting 


Thanks to Lorraine from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s Tale Weaver prompt on having a dark side or the dark side of life. 

——

Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

——

” . . .Don’t get to close its dark inside. It’s where my demons hide, it’s where my demons hide” – “Demons” by Imagine Dragon

——-

They’re people we meet, 

In them darkness keeps. 

A veil over haunted eyes, 

Something telling weighs, 

Light badly betrays;

Shadows lift, they’re undisguised

—–

Putting on a face, 

Something’s hidden; pace —

Steadily, you’re caught thinking. 

Truth can be harmful, 

Darkness it swarms. 

Seeming ruse has us shrinking. 

——

To start, talk awhile;

Some demons revile

Other darkness isn’t asked for it’s, 

Unfairly gifted, 

Souls broken, shifted;

Waiting for light at home lit. 

——-

No one is so lost, 

They can’t be reformed. 

Shadows hold tightly, a hand —

Gives hope in the dark,

Heals bruising black marks. 

Keep helping, say: “Here’s my hand.” 

—–

Though darkness found can —

Be fearful, programmed, 

In those with no conscience led;

Most people are sought, 

It happens a lot;

We’re trapped in nightmares dread

—–

But the light of hope, 

In dawn always glows

Derelict souls need help, change, 

Is possible;

Not impossible. 

Leave no one entrapped; estranged. 

—–

©Mandibelle16 (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Current Events, Event, History, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Writing

Robert Frost’s “The Mending Wall” and Current Political Significance in the US and the World.


Credit: http://www.darkmediaonline.com

Since the beginning of the campaign in the US for the final Republican and Democratic nominees, I haven’t been able to get this poem out of my head. Perhaps I had such a wonderful professor for American Poetry that Robert Frost’s “The Mending Wall,” made such an impression on me.

Thirteen years after I’ve graduated, I still think about this poem and what wisdom Frost imparts to people in his own time and ours. Mainly he suggests his poem is less about literal walls or fences, but about how neighbors should treat each other. Whether you’ve read the poem or not, you may find certain correlations between Frost’s poem and the current political situation in the US.

I think the biggest issue Frost’s poem highlights is why we build walls in the first place. The line at the beginning of the poem: “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” implies not all of us enjoy having walls between us and our neighbors (1). Frost isn’t merely talking about physical walls or fences but about the walls that exist in relationships between people.

It’s practical and helpful for to us to avoid petty arguments by having physical fences around our yards. But Frost suggests in “The Mending Wall,” it is not helpful at all, to have walls and distance between people and their relationships with one another. This can cause large rifts between people when they don’t agree or share a similar opinion. Communication and negotiation need to be encouraged, instead of building bigger walls. We forget many other people in this world are the same as us, going through similar trials. It doesn’t matter their religion or ethnicity, we’re all human.

Open communication and friendly communication is a necessary key to life. While physically we may have to “set the wall between us once again,” or have certain boundaries, I don’t recall stone walls every setting to right differences of opinion or thought (14). We can’t stop talking because we don’t agree, reaching for the best compromise available is vital.

Erecting a wall between the US and Mexico will affect US relationships with other nations, not only Mexico. It also makes the US government appear isolationist. Moreover, it affects other countries who would think it was okay to support their own selfish ideologies which are not democratic.

Isolationist countries and governments do not prosper in themselves or in helping their citizens prosper. In today’s world it is critical for us all to have open communication and at times compromise and not always get ‘our own way’ with other countries for the good of all; the current US government goes against this globalized view. Trump stands for himself and if you’re a lucky American who supports a view he does, he might stand for you too. But it’s not something I would count on in a person who is extremely unpredictable.

In Frost’s poem, the lines: “There where it is we do not need the wall: / He is all pine and I am apple orchard. / My apple trees will never get across / [and] eat the cones under his pines, I tell him,” show the utter absurdity of having such a thick solid wall between the narrator and his neighbor (23-27). Frost’s point in these lines is if the speaker and his neighbor acted neighborly, they wouldn’t require a fence between them. It’s absurd to have a wall between them because the narrator’s apples don’t eat his neighbor’s pine cones and vice versa. The neighbor lacks insight into the situation.

He is similar to Trump who wants a wall between the US and Mexico beyond the border which already exists. Trump is akin to the neighbor insisting ” . . . good fences make good neighbors.” Truly walls break down relations between people and invite people to spew hatred and feel they are entitled to act badly and Trump’s actions are encouraging this behavior (27). People have choices to act how their conscience tells them, but when the government decides on input-less actions that destroy relations with other parts of the world and with US citizens, this government is self-serving.

Frost’s speaker also wonders about this wall he and his neighbor always fix in spring. He asks “. . . why do [fences] make good neighbors . . . ” commenting that “[before] I built a wall I’d ask to know / [what] I was walling in or walling out, / [and] to whom I was like to offense” (32-34). For me, these lines are shockingly apt in current US politics.

In Robert Frost’s poem “The Mending Wall,” the wall is not only a physical wall/fence it’s symbolic of relations between neighbors and metaphorical walls between people, in a broader sense, all sovereign nations. Trump insists on building a wall because it will wall out drugs from entering the US. He also believes he is keeping out illegal immigrates as well as crime. I think Frost would say, Trump is missing the bigger picture.

To my knowledge, Obama never had outstanding issues with Mexico. Most of us are aware of the drugs going back and forth across the border from Mexico and the people who want to leave Mexico for a better life. I would argue as many have, one way or another, the immigrants who want to get through are going to find a way through.

We also know for a fact, there are already tunnels to bring drugs into the US. If Trump wants to stop drug cartels from selling drugs, maybe he should focus on his own citizens involved in the purchase and selling of drugs. If you take away the market, perhaps you stop drug trafficking; however, my hunch is if Mexico sells fewer drugs, those who want or need drugs, will find another source.

Additionally, Frost’s line about giving “offense” is relatable to Trump not caring what Mexico thinks about the wall (34). He wants to make them pay for it and he doesn’t care that their President refused. He offended Mexico and its citizens; hopefully, he doesn’t plan on vacationing there anytime soon as many US citizens like to do. He’s going to make it difficult for US citizens wanting to vacation in Mexico and other places around the world in general. I’ve meant many wonderful American citizens on vacations but I know there are places where they still have to wear a Canadain flag on their outfit, so they are not thought be Americans. I would hate for this to be worse because of current affairs.

He’s going to make it difficult for US citizens wanting to vacation in Mexico and other places around the world in general. I’ve met many wonderful American citizens on vacations but I know there are places where they still have to wear a Canadain flag on their outfit, so they are not thought be Americans because it would be dangerous to them or their cash supply. I would hate for this to be worse because of current affairs in the US.

As well, Trump offended the Mexican President who refused to visit the US after Trump announced the wall. He’s set back relations with his physical and symbolic wall with Mexico. I believe US dealings with other countries will suffer setbacks as well because I think other nations will see US actions and be less inclined to trust their government and Trump.

The most curious part to me is how one man can destroy relations with other countries around the word so quickly through his lack of diplomacy and unwillingness to cooperate. I don’t want the US, Canada, or anywhere to be larger targets for radical terrorists or desperate criminals because Trump is blocking people from migrating to the US from the Middle East. Many people there are like us, regular people who don’t deserve to be labeled terrorists due to their religion. Some of those people require help due to actual terrorists such as ISIS, who are making it difficult for them to meet their basic needs.

Frost also writes in his poem about those who don’t love walls and would like them down. His narrator sees no need for the wall and thinks he could tell his neighbor, “‘I could say “Elves” to him, / [but] it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather / [he] said it for himself (35 – 38). Frost implies the neighbor needs to recognize for himself and ‘say’ for himself, that the physical and metaphorical wall between them is absurd. 

I think the same principles apply to Trump and his wall. The wall is a thoughtless law as well as the symbolic breaking down of US relations with other countries such as Mexico and realistically, several others. The current US President won’t ever admit he is wrong.

In the end, I find the situation with Trump and the US government much the same as Frost describes the neighbour in his poem: “In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed./ He moves in darkness as it seems to me, / [not] of woods only and the shade of trees (40 – 42). To the narrator of Frost’s poem, rebuilding the wall between his neighbour and him is a game.

He even wonders if he could put “a notion” in his neighbours head and say “[elves]” made the stones fall out of place (29,37). But to the neighbour such as the US government, this is no game. While the rest of us mock Trump and have “mischief” in us as we read daily what Trump’s decided to do now, we are also somewhat afraid.

Trump walks around as Frost’s speaker’s neighbor, “an old-stone savage armed . . . [moving] in darkness . . . (40-41). This darkness is as an ignorance and not only of “woods . . . and the shade of trees (42).” I cannot imagine all the duties a President has; however, I do know about starting a new job as I’m sure many people can relate to.

Often, it is best to let things be done the way they have been done, to learn the experience and the wisdom behind the methods people use currently, before implementing massive change. At times, we think our own way of doing something is better. Then one day it hits us why something was done a certain way, how much easier it is to keep doing it that particular way. Once you learn how things are done, then changes can be implemented with reason and with experience behind that reasoning.

With US relations with its own citizens and the citizens of the world, we can only hope Trump ends his walk in darkness and ignorance. Perhaps one day he will step into the light and see why past Presidents acted how they did in certain matters? That he was elected by citizens and speaks and acts for them.

It’s my hope he searches beyond his own experience, what he’s been able to do freely as wealthy and powerful man. I hope he listens to the people who elected him and acts with discernment, that he learns to think before he acts. One encouraging thing about Trump I did hear was his admiration of Winston Churchill.

In conclusion, Frost calls his poem “The Mending Wall” because he hopes each year relations with his neighbour will improve, that eventually they won’t need a wall between them. Can we hope this much of the new US government? That they will not build walls to isolate their country? That they will not only think about themselves in this diverse, multicultural, and globalized world? I hope so. I’d hope Trump eventually learns to mend relations with his neighbours and not to snub them or God forbid, cause war. I hope he learns to see beyond the saying, ” . . . [good] fences make good neighbours” (45).


The Mending Wall

By Robert Frost

*****
1. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

2. That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
3. And spills the upper boulders in the sun;

4. And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

5. The work of hunters is another thing:

6. I have come after them and made repair

7. Where they have left not one stone on a stone,

8. But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,

9. To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,

10. No one has seen them made or heard them made,

11. But at spring mending-time we find them there.

12. I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;

13. And on a day we meet to walk the line

14. And set the wall between us once again.

15. We keep the wall between us as we go.

16. To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

17. And some are loaves and some so nearly balls

18. We have to use a spell to make them balance:

19. “Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”

20. We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

21. Oh, just another kind of out-door game,

22. One on a side. It comes to little more:

23. There where it is we do not need the wall:

24. He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

25. My apple trees will never get across

26. And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

27. He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

28. Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

29. If I could put a notion in his head:

30. “Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it

31. Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

32. Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

33. What I was walling in or walling out,

34. And to whom I was like to give offence.

35. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

36. That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,

37. But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather

38. He said it for himself. I see him there

39. Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

40. In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

41.He moves in darkness as it seems to me,

42. Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

43. He will not go behind his father’s saying,

44. And he likes having thought of it so well

45. He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

*****


See Poetry Foundation: The Mending Wall by Robert Frost.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.