June 2001Café Society's Poetry News Update
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a double interview with
Richard Vallance & C. S. (Scotty) Snow


BIO OF RICHARD VALLANCE:
He was born on March 11, 1945 in Guelph, Ontario Canada. He was raised on the Naval Base, H.M.C.S. Cornwallis, on the Western shore of the Province of Nova Scotia in the Maritimes. After traversing the beautiful Bay of Fundy many times during his childhood, he became addicted to the sea.

When Richard was 10 his family moved to Stratford-upon-Avon, in southern Ontario, sister city to her namesake in both England and in the United States. The new Shakespearian Theatre was constructed there in 1953.

He then went on to high school and graduated from Grade 13 with flying colours, taking the Ontario Scholarship Award for his school. Then he went on to earn an Honours B.A. at Sir Wilfred Laurier University (1968), and a Master of Library Science degree at the University of Western Ontario, London (1975).

After that he worked for several years as a Reference Librarian, first at Sudbury Public Library, then Alqonquin College of Arts and Technology (Ottawa), and finally, the University of Ottawa.

Severe alcoholism forced Richard to retire on long-term disability, nine years ago, at the age of 47. He says this is the best thing that could have happened: "I stopped drinking cold turkey on March 25th., 1992, and have never looked back since.... Before age 47, I might have composed about 200 poems. Since that age, I have written at least another 1,500, of which about 1,000 are sonnets. It's just mind-boggling! Oh well, there are always late bloomers in life. I guess I'm one of them."

Since then he has lived a "passionate, sometimes a 'tempest in a teapot' - but almost always reasonably happy life". He lives in a happy, long-term relationship with his boyfriend, Louis-Dominique Genest, who was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, on April 11, 1950. They have been together for four years.

PUBLISHING HISTORY:

  • 1. A Quilt of Sonnets: Forty Four Familiar Poems. Ottawa: Providence Road Press, (c) 1998 56 pp. ISBN 1-896243-07-x
  • 2. "À la belle inconnue (Robert Schumann)", in: Arts and Literature Review. Lakehead University. Vol. 1 (3), 1972
  • 3. "Chanson d'Auverge", in: A Ray of Hope. (c) 2000. 257 pp. pg. 129 ISBN 1-58235-559-2
  • 4. "Pow Wow", in: An Hour at Sunrise. (c) 2000. 313 pp. pg. 167 ISBN 1-58253-539-8

    INTERNET:
    Autumn Leaves [May/June, 2001] - and several of his poems will soon appear in A New Millenium Anthology [also in CD] and in another journal, which I am not yet at liberty to disclose.

    Yahoo Groups:
    Describe Adonis
    le jeune matelot
    Poetry Lynx Links
    and co-moderator, along with Scotty at: Narcissus Reflects

    UK Smart Groups:
    Wil Shakespeare and Pierre de Ronsard - Across la Manche
    Illiassia - Homer's Iliad - Smart Groups (UK)


    BIO OF C.S. SNOW:
    Scotty (C.S. Snow) was born and raised in San Bernardino, California. A self taught Musician, Songwriter, and Poet, and self styled Modern Progressive Artist, Scotty has also for most of his years been an activist in Gay civil rights and Native American causes. He now lives in San Clemente, Ca.

    Scotty runs the Yahoo! Group Narcissus_Reflects. His book "Observations" was published in 1997. He also recently had several poems accepted for publication in Kedco's Millennium Dawn anthology, which will also be an e-book. His website is The Hype Machine. See also his page at AuthorsDen.


  • Poetry L & T:This first question is for both of you - when and why did you first start writing poetry?

    Richard: Well, I really can't quite put my finger on when I started, but I do know that I was writing a fair amount of poetry by the time I was 18, when I even composed a 240 line poem called, "Bras d'Or" (Golden Arm), all about Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. The poem is in English, but it evokes a great deal of the spirit and zest of my ancestors on my mother's side, who were Scottish, much as is a large portion of the population of that island. I can still remember going there in a small ocean cutter with a bunch of other boys my own age, and feeling that almost constant exhilaration of being so very young and sensual! Practically the whole trip, I had goose-bumps! It is this Experience more than any in my entire life which has grounded me, and brought me to where I am today, both as a "Neo-Romantic" sonneteer, and a poet versed in other poetic forms, deeply immersed in the flora and fauna, as well as the Amerindian culture, of Canada.

    I have always been endowed with an ineffable capacity to relive the rhythms of music (any kind of music) when I listen to it. It was around age 7 when I first noticed this, as I used to listen to Beethoven's Symphony no. 5 over and over, and it stuck. Why, merely listening to a song or a symphony twice allows me the freedom to replay it at will in my waking state, mentally aloud, with all the rhythms and instrumentation intact. I have often invoked entire movements of symphonies or concerts, playing sonorously in my mind, at will, as I fell asleep, even though I cannot read music. Countless poets throughout history have been unable to read music. But they do write it.

    So if any reader can get behind the words, and hear the music — whatever that music may be for him- or herself — that reader truly grasps the pure tonalities and wavelengths of poetry, and is really sensitive, actually "sensible" (in the 18th. century meaning of this word in English, and its current French meaning) to the message of the poem, which is always ineffable, i.e. beyond words. Hence, once the reader absorbs the poem, that poem is also the reader's, no longer fully the poet's. As for "words", they are merely symbols, even metaphorical links to the eternal world (which is, after all, the world we live in). I would even claim that words, indeed human language itself is allegorical, while music is the natural rhythmical medium whereby it is invariably expressed.

    In other words, music and poetry are merely mirror images of one another. Taken to its rational extreme, this notion should permit a poet to write the same poem in more than one language, say, English, French and Spanish. I have often done so. It seems to me that there will be a trend to this sort of paralinguistic poetry writing in this Century, as this momentum fits so neatly into the multi-(tele)communicative world of the wireless Internet world, etc.

    Scotty:I see no lines of demarcation between lyrics and poetry. If there are, I think I've definitely done my part over the years to blur them. I've always had this certain fascination with words, the turn of a phrase; the power of language to bend and stretch, and even convey several meanings within the course of a stanza or phrase. I don't consider myself a writer so much as a discipliner of words.

    I began writing lyrics at age 14. They just started coming to me, flowing through me, and I found that I had a tremendous facility for language and its use to convey complex ideas. I like to leave as much room for interpretation of my work as I possibly can. The more of themselves the reader can bring to a piece, I think, the more they enjoy it and relate to it. As for classical poetry, that's a rather recent addition to my oeuvre. Richard is really doing a splendid job of showing me the ropes, teaching me different meters and rhythms. It's definitely opening up new doors for me.

    Poetry L & T:Richard - what is it about the sonnet that makes you seem to prefer it to other forms of poetry?

    Richard: The Sonnet, first created by Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374) out of the earlier Quatrain and Italian Villanella (19 line poem), further refined by William Shakespeare, and in continual evolution and flux since then, has always and must perforce require the strictest of discipline on the part of the poet.

    The Petrarchan Sonnet is comprised of 4 verses, the first 2 of which are 4 lines long, and the last 2 are 3 lines long. This format, for some psycho-kinetic reason, has an enormous intrinsic appeal to the human ear, by which I mean not merely the ear, but the Inner Ear of the Mind, the source of all hearing.

    The "Shakespearian" Sonnet, comprised of 3 verses of 4 lines", culminating in a rhyming couplet, imposes yet another stricture on the poet, who is obliged to surprise the reader with an unexpected twist to the "theme" or thrust of the 3 previous stanzas, or indeed, to surprise and even utterly shock the reader with a totally amazing conclusion. It requires great poetic skill to achieve this impact.

    Then, there is the question of metre and rhythm, in other words, of tonality or music. I must emphatically stress that the marriage between "words" or symbols and music in the Sonnet is unbreakable. You simply cannot divorce one from the other. The words, actually the verses, which in turn flow into each stanza, must literally sing. But they should not be sing-song. That would be like listening to the same thumping beat over and over and over again, as we sometimes hear in some of today's disco "music". Spare me!

    And of all metric schemes used in English poetry, the iambic pentameter is probably the worst culprit for creating this sort of sing-song, soporific effect, -- all the more so as English is a rather soft-spoken, "laid back" language. The poet should, in effect, vary his or her rhythms, by using trochaic, anapaestic, spondaic or "sprung" rhythms, or whatever sounds natural to his or her ear. And that is what I do at the very minimum. Sometimes, I just go ahead and shatter the rhythm for a beat (foot) or two, to wake the reader up.

    The pre-formatted structure of the Sonnet imposes severe restrictions and demands on the poet. But that is where talented writers must rise to the occasion.

    Poetry L & T:To Scotty - I notice that you sometimes use a repeated phrase in your poems, especially in "All Away". Sometimes this sounds like a chorus. Do a lot of your poems turn into songs?

    Scotty:Actually, these days, a lot of my songs turn into poems and vice versa, it's really interchangeable. In the case of "All Away," the refrain is repeated as sort of a Gideon's Trump sound; a call to rapture. The lyric was written soon after the death of my mother from cancer in 1998, as a tribute to her. It's my take on what I imagine a biblical rapture would be like. The refrain is a dramatic device, a call heavenward if you will.

    Poetry L & T:To both of you - What made you first become involved with running poetry groups on Yahoo! and UK Smartgroups?

    Richard: Well, I don't know, "It just seemed like a good idea at the time." I was using Yahoo a lot anyway, And I saw that everyone else was doing it; so I thought, "Heck, why not me too?" And the rest is history. Good heavens, look what I got myself into. More to the point, look what WE ALL got ourselves into, our little gang of writers!

    Scotty:Blame Richard! We were talking on the phone one day, after one of our long periods out of touch, one of his winters abroad, and he started telling me about Yahoo Groups. I'd been looking for a way to connect with other writers for a while. So I figured, “Why not start my own group?"

    Poetry L & T:To Richard - Your sonnet Describe Adonis inspired the name of your Yahoo! sonnet group. Why do you think poets have so often been inspired by romantic legends of old, such as the one about Venus and Adonis? Might the key be to do with legendary beauty, or the appeal of the sword/sorcery side of it?

    Richard: Neither beauty nor sword/sorcery. The myth of Venus and Adonis dates far back into ancient History, and was found in many cultures: Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Greek. But it was the ancient Greek lyrical poets such as Alcman, Alcaeus and Sappho, who immortalized it. Shakespeare's Sonnet 53 has nothing to do with overwrought human passion, nor with sorcery, in any way. It is, as were so many Sonnets written by the finest sonneteers of the Renaissance, a Platonic "conceit", where that word is defined as:
    “2 literary a far-fetched comparison, esp. as a stylistic affectation; a convoluted or unlikely metaphor. “ [Oxford Compendium]
    Stylistic affection and the use of unexpected metaphors was endemic to Renaissance poetry, from the time of Petrarch's Canzoniere, to Thomas Wyatt, Pierre de Ronsard, Edmund Spenser and William Shakespeare, amongst so many others. But such "affectation" was not for mere effect. Shakespeare, as were all Renaissance poets, was first and foremost a courtly writer. He was, like all the rest of the gang, a "Renaissance" man. But what were these writers beginning again? Simply this: the great classical traditions of ancient Greek and Roman Literature, especially the former. Now, even the most cursory glance at this poem reveals its Neo-Platonic conceit. So, rather than being concerned with "beauty" (a vague word like: love, truth, honesty, faith etc.), Shakespeare focussed on the sheer MYSTERY of life - which is where all great literature, all great poetry resides.

    Here again, the poet merely serves as an illuminated or luminous medium for the eternal which informs (gives FORM to) this physical world of ours, with all its wonderful human passions: love & hate, hope and despair, courage and fear, etc. And in this sense, all truly moving poetry, and all the more markedly so, sonnets, have as their underpinning source this restless current of human existence, which in turn is, as Shakespeare so eloquently and so enigmatically phrases it:

    What is your substance, whereof are you made,
    That millions of shadows after you tend?
    All truly inspired * poetry is, by default, at once mystical, enigmatic, philosophical and emotionally profound, set in the cameo of the universal musical tonality, which is at the heart of the human psyche. It would be a misnomer to conclude that Romantic era poetry is "inferior" to Renaissance poetry, or turbulent Twentieth Century writing less appealing than either of these genres. In the same light, the Sonnet is neither any more inspired * nor any less than any other genre of poetry. But it does require a high degree of discipline and a sophistication of intellect, which only some writers feel comfortable with.
    * inspired = in + spiritus Latin for = the breath (coming) in

    Poetry L & T: To Scotty - As a songwriter, which bands or artists do you think have written lyrics which would stand alone as poetry, if the melody were taken away?

    Scotty:I like storytellers. It's truly a lost art in lyrics and poetry. And, in my opinion, there's none better than Bob Segar. His work is just so rich and prosaic! He's truly amazing. The same is true for a lot of the 60's folkies; Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Van Morrison, Roy Harper et al. Harper's "Another Day" is pure unadulterated poetic bliss. Sheer genius.

    Poetry L & T: To both - How did you meet and what were your first impressions of each other?

    Richard:Well, I used to stay down in California for 3 months in the winter, to escape the bitter cold of Canada's winters, in 1995, 1996 and again, in 1998. Scotty and I “congested” in re-connected in 1998, and on both occasions, we had a real hoot, driving all over southern California, visiting the Missions and Anza Borrego Desert State Park, generally making total asses of ourselves, and revelling in it, being ourselves. Scotty's wild and zany personality appeals to me enormously. I wonder why? We both have highly attuned "musical ears", even as good as a cat's, I'd say. And, besides that, we're both a gay as the birds, though, of course, Scotty is more than I am. I'm just a loon, but he's a wild goose.

    Scotty: I definitely felt I'd found a kindred spirit in Richard. We're both fairly (!) odd birds, and we have fun with that whenever we're together. And yes, I think we do share the same sense of rhythm and language. Although, I think Richard's approach is a fair sight more abstract than mine.

    If I may be permitted one quick story: That second time that Richard and I got together in San Diego, in '98, was the first time we'd really started showing each other our material. He was readying to publish "A Quilt of Sonnets" and he showed me the manuscript for it.

    This one sonnet of his; "Pow Wow," really grabbed my attention. I mean it blew the top of my head clean off! The sense of rhythm was just spot-bang-on. He'd actually captured the feel of the drum; it resonated to the marrow. It was just.....I was fit to be tied when I read it. Just extraordinary! Breathtaking even. It was then that I decided to try my hand at something different, to up the ante a bit in my personal growth as writer. So, I started searching for a form that I could start with, and I hit upon haiku. Now, I've always been a very experimental type; I like to get in there and turn any medium I'm working with on it's ear, to shake things up a bit, it's all part of my definition of the truly modern artist.

    Well, from what I'd seen at the time, haiku had always been used to express tranquility; peace, calm. Well, we can't have that **, can we? A few days later, I proudly presented Richard with a rough draft of "Earth Change." Richard and I knew immediately that we had something very special here, and we both began in earnest throwing around ideas and rewriting it, tightening it up a bit. It was an exhilarating experience for both of us. We left the first three stanzas intact, exactly as I'd written them, and Richard came up with some brilliant lines, and it just all came together amazingly. It was just one of those rare moments. That was the beginning of our working relationship, and the rest, as they say, is “histoire”.

    (Interpolation by Richard) Well, we can't have that **, can we? - is definitely one of Scotty’s favourite expressions, and I “second that emotion”! For instance, who ever said the Sonnet had to be written in pentameter? Who ever said it had to follow any sort of pre-defined structure (actually, I prefer the word, “stricture”, other than that of being 14 lines long? Certainly not me!)

    Poetry L & T:To Richard - who are your favourite poets, classic and/or modern?

    Richard: Tricky. Well, as it stands these days (subject to change without notice), I am just nuts about the sensually elegant and deeply moving, exquisite sonnets of Pierre de Ronsard, whose writing is nothing short of sheer wizardry. Shakespeare generally pales in comparison (sorry if I offend any readers, but that's just the way I see it). Some of Shakespeare's sonnets shine luminously, such as Sonnet 53. Others are more convoluted, much to the distress of novice readers of the Sonnet form. His work seems uneven to me. No offence to Shakespeare-o-philes, but that’s just my call (a view which I share with a number of critics of Shakespeare’s Sonnets).

    But, one particular English Sonnet just drives me out of my tree, and that is, Thomas Wyatt's magical balladic hunting song, "Whoso List to Hunt". If you've never read it, you simply don't know what you're missing. I am also very fond of John Keats, who is indubitably one of English Literature's most polished poets, and of Percy Bysshe Shelley's, Ozymandias. Gerard Manley Hopkin’s quirky rhythmic measures, called "sprung rhythm" for very good reason, pique my creativity a lot. Edna Saint-Vincent Millay, an American sonneteer (1892-1950) is particularly appealing to me, as her exquisitely intimate sonnetry touches my own femininity so very personally, while her poems at he same time, seem to excite my feminine to converse silently with my masculine, so that we end up with a marriage, in a human psyche (my own). Pablo Neruda, a Spanish poet and novelist, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in the 20th. Century, is a real heart-thumper, too!

    Poetry L & T: To Richard - As someone who has a liking for poems in French - Do you have any favourite poems in which the French has, for you, enhanced the “meaning” of the words with the “beauty” of the language?

    Richard: Well, you know, as a Canadian, I have spoken both English and French most of my life. At University, I specialized in languages and linguistics, and became very versed in French Literature, as well as that of other languages. Since I live in Ottawa, the Capital City, I speak both languages interchangeably, frequently in the same conversation!

    I have always loved the sound and rhythm of French, which, to my ears, is quite distinct from that of English. But I think it is a misperception to believe that French is "lovelier" sounding or more flowing than is English. They are different languages, and each has its own sonority and tonality. For instance, in French, many consonants are unsounded a lot of the time; whereas in English, they are almost always pronounced.

    However, both the French "l" and "r" are pronounced much more emphatically than in English, as indeed is the vowel "u". Here are a couple of lines from 2 sonnets, the first by “The Immortal Bard”, Shakespeare, the 2nd. by the "Poet of Princes and the Prince of Poets", Pierre de Ronsard.

    What is your substance, whereof are you made,
    That millions of strange shadows after you tend,
    Shakespeare (Sonnet 53)

    And/et

    Las! Le temps, non, mais nous, nous en allons,
    Et tôt serons étendus sous la lame.
    (Alas! Not time, but we ourselves, must go away,
    And soon we shall be winnowed by the scythe.)

    Pierre de Pierre de Ronsard, (1524-1585)

    You will notice, if you read these quotations aloud, that the tonality is indeed different, but neither language can claim the laurel for musicality. Other than that, as a result of the Norman conquest of England in 1066 and their rule until at least 1450, English was drastically and permanently changed, so that it has virtually lost most of its "Germanic" flavour. It has incorporated literally 100,000's of French words, and its pronunciation has been softened so much that English sounds completely “foreign” to speakers of other Germanic tongues, while at the same time, it falls somewhere within the spectrum of pronunciation of French, Spanish and Italian.

    So the two languages complement each other. Interestingly enough, historically speaking, they in fact DO live in the same house, right here in Canada, and they have been doing so for some 300 years – which is, uncannily, about the same length of time as the Norman occupation of England.

    Poetry L & T:To Scotty: You have a chat facility on your group Narcissus Reflects. Are you likely to be organizing chat events about poetry in the future?

    Scotty: ...Perhaps even a rousing round of poetry tag?

    If our participants would be interested in doing so, I would certainly love to. Things like that are very hard to co-ordinate though, I think, with the sun never setting on the internet empire and all. We all live in different time zones, and on different schedules. I'm not exactly sure how any but regional chat clubs can hit on that certain time that is best for everyone.

    But, we created Narcissus Reflects as a place for poets and writers to get together and learn from each other. That is certainly why N.R. has a chatroom. So I think if we can workout the logistics of it, I'm game!

    Poetry L & T:To both - Do you think the Internet has become a valuable resource for poets? Is there, in your opinion, any negative side to running public poetry forums online?

    Richard: Well, definitely yes, and sometimes, no. The Internet is a totally new medium for the transmission of ideas, the arts in all forms, whether separately or merged, and all "plastic" Artistic modes of statement (music, painting, sculpture, photography, novels, poetry etc.) In this Century, artists, particularly versatile ones, are able to mix and match artistic media as they please, often with startling results. For instance, musicians, poets & artists can all be recorded in a "live" DVD café, where the audience is the artists themselves, along with their friends, who come in to cheer them along. There are countless other ways of doing Art on the Internet.

    But, as a professional librarian, I feel I must warn artists and writers to be careful WHERE they send their works on the Internet, because there are many unscrupulous hackers & Companies out there, who will not only "take your money and run", but even steal your work under copyright!

    Scotty:The internet has brought many disparate artists and visions together, which is always a good thing. It's an invaluable creative tool; a marvellous opportunity to pick the collective creative brain in real time, as it were. When you think about it, this is truly the first generation to have that opportunity.

    The downside of all this, of course, is also that the internet has brought many disparate artists and visions together. I think we're all still learning what it is to be part of a world community and collective mind, to use our resources wisely A lot of us, myself included, still have this nasty streak of egoism in us that tends to want the spotlight, which makes it very difficult for all of us to learn from each other and grow as artists in this the first truly global melting pot of personalities and ideas.

    Poetry L & T:Last question, to either or both - Do you have any words of advice for poets who wish to improve their work enough to be published by a reputable publisher?

    Scotty:Have fun with it! And be passionate about it. If you're not enjoying what you do as an artist, then I think the passion won't show through in you work. I know that that's been repeated so many times that it's almost gone beyond cliché, but it really is true. You can't fake passion, no matter how many rewrites you do. That's what publishers are looking for; someone who really enjoys their work. Also, try to put as much of yourself into your work as you can, let your work reflect who you are.

    Originality is key. Don't wear your influences too much on your sleeve, for what you are doing now is creating a new voice. Strike that balance between your influences and your own voice with the emphasis being on creating something totally new and unique.

    This being a new millennium, people are looking around every corner for the seeds of a the next renaissance. One can either strike a renascent pose, which is very easy to do, and which seems to be being done to death of late, or be truly innovative, which takes work. In the end, though, which category of artist do you think is going to be remembered 100 years from now, or even into the next millennium; the poser or the true innovator? If you can pull off the above hat trick, you should be well on your way to artistic freedom and happiness. Which is what it's all about, anyway.

    Richard:I believe that pretty much sums it up for me as well.


    CLICK HERE to read poetry by
    Richard Vallance and C. S. (Scotty) Snow




    EDITOR'S LETTER, JUNE 2001

    Dear Poets,

    This issue features a double interview with Richard Vallance and C. S. Snow (Scotty). They run the Yahoo! poetry groups Describe_Adonis and Narcissus_Reflects respectively, plus several mirror groups in UK Smartgroups.

    Featured poets this month are David E. Barnes, Roger (The Quill) Worley, Harding Stedler and Jan Sand.

    Any comments on this issue or back issues can be emailed to me on the link at the bottom of the page. Please indicate whether you would like the comments to go into the Letters section. Announcements are always welcome, you can also promote poetry books here.

    Poetry submissions should be in plain text in the body of an email, with a small jpeg author picture attached, also a bio, with the URLs of any ezines mentioned, so that they can be shown as links. This increases the chance of inclusion, especially for late submissions. Pictures are best at a maximum of 520 pixels across, otherwise they take ages to arrive by email, especially in bitmap or TIFF format. Further submission guidelines are available on request.

    Best Regards,

                      



    Featured poets this month are David E. Barnes, Roger (The Quill) Worley, Harding Stedler and Jan Sand. Many thanks to all contributors.


    David E. Barnes

    DAVID E. BARNES
    (deBarnes)

    Born in Australia - 1943 - Paddington, New South Wales, . He began writing at 18 years of age when he took up folk guitar, song writing, and performing at folk centers around mainland Australia, and Tasmania. He worked as a carpenter in Melbourne, leaving for the bush in the early 60's, finally settling in Perth in 1972. He worked as a Real Estate Agent for 24 years until the death of his wife; becoming a fulltime writer poet in 1996. He has been an active Internet poet and has been published in Australia America and England. Recently he was published in the Paris/Atlantic, an International Journal of Creative Work. Spring issue: 2000. He is also the Publisher of Poetry Downunder an online poetry site in Perth Western Australia. Recently some of his works were published in an Anthology released in Perth W.A. November 2000.

    AROMA OF GRASS
    © deBarnes 20th July 2000

    Dedicated to Elisha Porat

    Until I reclined
    in summer's warmth,
    aroused by the fragrance
    of fresh cut grass,
    blades piercing
    into my disfigured flesh;
    I didn't believe
    I was back home from the hospice--
    back stricken
    from the conflict
    of the surgeon's scalpel:
    I started to rise
    but the weight of the sun
    flaunted my weakness,
    Drunkenly, I climbed the hilltop
    like a child, wrapped
    in the sweet fragrance of grass.


    PLEDGE
    © deBarnes 12th August 2000



    A band of Gold,
    worn faithfully thirty years
    round her finger,
    did not count in her favor.
    He covets youth,
    fears age,
    turns on it like a predator
    to absolve his fear:
    age is his master,
    and she,
    she is cast aside, discarded.
    Age treats her cruelly
    in the autumn of life...


    MARBLES...
    © deBarnes Revised 8th December 2000



    Mankind
    simply marking time,
    in time,
    the zones, between light, darkness;
    in the sea of humanity
    so many face stare,
    mysterious...
    once spirited,
    clear, illuminated
    like a boy guiding ships,
    along shores...
    of tranquillity;

    is the robin's song the fifth element?
    The voice in the wilderness
    naked...
    in snow, creating snow angels;

    So many elements stir
    on the easel:
    love sweat tears
    blood hate pain...
    framed on the museum walls, captured
    pigment, crammed colour on canvas.
    Picasso's haunted
    haunting look,
    Madonna beguiles...
    the bones, dust destined to walk on, pass.
    Chaos, man earth,
    marbles...
    rolled by the boatman
    through the cosmic swell;

    is it so strange to ask?
    has another,
    the other side of time, found,
    a black hole...


    Précis
    © deBarnes 6th December 2000



    Shade, moves to the rise
    and fall of the sun...
    it has no profile, no force
    shape of its own... no colour, motion;

    yet casts an never-ending
    array...
    of intricate patterns on shifting
    landscapes.

    Flying, soaring on earths face.
    Shade has followed
    wavering paths, all her days;

    and I shall not be in rage
    dying... a shadow,
    when my shade fades, into...
    the dying sun;

    who will ever know?
    I basked in sun... shadow soothed,
    at twilight;

    watching waves flow,
    each new thrust curling up... half the body
    half its shadow acquiescent.

    Let the glitter of stars and time
    fill your eyes...
    let the end of all define you, against
    the dying night;

    And not be in rage
    dying...
    a shadow...


    [email protected]



    The Quill

    THE QUILL
    (ROGER C. WORLEY)

    Published - Stand A Alone, Scroll Artist Magazine .. E_Zine - Twice winner at PoetryDownUnder - Two winner at Point of life - Two winner at Poetic Links - Published around the world on the net. From Alaska to Belgium.

    The Quill runs these websites for poets:
    The Poets' Porch
    Poets Yellow Pages
    Alpha Poets
    Inclusion on these sites is mostly by invitation, but published poets can ask for an email submission form by emailing The Quill using the email link at the end of his featured poems.

    Poet's note - "I am a poet who writes whatever happens to come into the gray matter... I believe in making the reader smile. There is to much pain and suffering in the world. I have been given a Nick name 'The Master Quill guru of the twisted tales.' Once you read my writings you shall know why..."

    NOTE:
    Due to a large amount of Virus HOAXES, The Poet's Porch now list in Poet Resource center three locations to check the facts. SO, in doubt..check Poet Resource center.

    List your site ..at
    Poets Yellow pages.com

    FIRST LOVE
    © 2001 The Quill (roger c worley)



    As he lay mangled, his body torn, under going
    life saving procedures,
    her mind wondered into the past.
    For more than a decade they had shared all life's most
    intense moments.
    Tears filled her deep, sky-blue eyes as a
    quivering, clenched fist
    between
    her lips restrained her from screaming out,
    releasing her deepest hurt and
    disbelief.

    Memories walked the pathway of her thoughts,
    reminding her that he was
    her first, true love,
    her most precious friend.
    Never had he let her down or
    not listened.

    The first to share her bed
    and touch her body,
    her comforter on
    the coldest nights; he was not replaceable.
    NO way!

    She screamed, shocking the whole staff.
    'He is my life save him.'

    Minutes seemed to become hours as she paced to
    and fro
    in the hallway awaiting word on his condition.

    Dropping to her knees she prayed, prayed as never
    before

    with the deepest
    human conviction and unselfishness.
    The whole ordeal replayed before her now-closed
    eyes.

    The Dog, ripping sounds, and the beast's repeated
    barbarism,
    tearing body parts to
    dismemberment ...


    Her body commenced to shiver
    and rock while recalling
    the trauma.
    Thoughts of living without
    him created the deepest
    depression.

    Then the door swung open,
    and the most joyful
    words

    penetrated her ears, bringing relief
    and joy to her entire being.

    She rushed into the room,
    finding him wrapped in
    stitching.

    Reaching down, she placed her soft
    hand upon his checks
    and her lips
    against his
    and tenderly kissed
    him.

    Then, turning,
    she asked the unthinkable
    question:

    ' Will-- he-- be-- O--K ? '

    The reply renewed her faith
    in needle and thread.

    'Your Teddy Bear will be fine'



    WHO COULD ASK FOR MORE
    © 2001 The Quill (roger c worley)



    The muscles in her thighs
    ripple when she walks.
    Her hair is golden brown
    and flutters in the wind.
    When she looks at you
    with her deep almond eyes,
    you can not resist falling
    into the pleasures she offers.

    From the start I knew
    she had a wild streak
    and enjoyed roaming
    the streets for excitement ...
    But, like a fool,
    I fell head over heels
    in love with this
    feminine beauty..

    Over time I have learned
    to accept her ways and
    provide the many things
    which she desires.

    And in return she comforts
    me with all the charms
    at the disposal of a female.
    Kisses, tender touches

    and insuring ...
    with her body that my
    body stays warm
    on the coldest of nights,

    my friend and comforter.
    Who could ask for more
    from a stunning, gorgeous
    Australian border Collie.



    FREE AVAILABLE:
    © 2001 The Quill (roger c worley)



    An all-terrain, two-seated
    Sportsman model with
    Ti tandem construction.

    This one-owner, low mileage,
    Solar powered vehicle was
    Abandoned by prior owner.

    It's equipped with G.P.S.,
    TV production components,
    Punch-proof tires & fenders.

    It never needs anti freeze,
    Oil changes, or water. The
    Paint will not rust or dull.

    Illegally parked on Lunar soil--
    If you remove it, it's YOURS!

    (Round trip air transpiration
    Not provided.)



    [email protected]


    Harding Stedler

    HARDING STEDLER
    Retired from teaching, after 34 years in the classroom, I now work at a local publishing house, designing Language Arts materials for elementary-school youngsters. Also, this is my third and final term as secretary of the Poets' Roundtable of Arkansas.

    I have two small grandchildren--Lauren (age 3) and Matthew (age 1). What a joy! Both love critters, so we go on treasure hunts in the woods frequently.

    LEAVES OF REMEMBERING
    © Harding Stedler



    The wind is my silent partner
    as Indian summer
    showers me
    with tokens of remembering.
    And I remember well
    the oppressive heat of August
    that sent corn leaves
    curling early
    and left kernels stillborn
    on withered stalks.
    Today, tree limbs dance
    in rhythms crisp as celery,
    and the grassless ground
    is blanketed
    to cushion coming snow.

    If ascension is as effortless
    as leaves' return to earth,
    or as playful as their descent,
    I cannot help but feel
    that dying will be a journey
    worth remembering.


    OLD DOGS THAT ACHE MY HEART
    © Harding Stedler



    Old dogs hobble through the park
    unassisted
    and between their strides
    scratch fleas.
    Even the scratching is labored.

    They wander without purpose
    through days that seem forever.

    Their hunting days are done,
    and they are but objects of affection.
    They crave warmth and sleep
    and no longer run with wolves.

    They like gentle days
    and quiet nights...
    and old bones
    to chew on in their dreams.


    PAINT BRUSHES ON SOFT MORNINGS
    © Harding Stedler



    Morning's heavy dew
    deters intruders
    who do not want their footprints
    used as evidence against them.
    They know wet grass
    will reveal their shoe size
    and leave sole marks
    in depressions of their tracks.
    So, they leave morning's dampness
    for the squirrels
    to dip their tails in
    to soften the blazing sun
    on a far horizon.


    MISSED CONNECTIONS
    © Harding Stedler



    Today, we miss connections
    with the soldiers
    who inquire about you.
    Soldiers whose Southern roots
    exact a toll on history.
    They want you to tell
    about Confederate life
    in the 21st century,
    how things have changed
    in a hundred years.
    Listen is all they can do
    from their unmarked graves.
    Listen and rattle their bones
    in barren clay.


    WAITING TO WADE
    © Harding Stedler



    At three, you leave for the beach
    tomorrow--your first time ever
    to wade in sand.
    Though you don't know
    what beach sand is,
    you seem excited.
    You are sure to return
    with seashells
    and tales of sand crabs.
    Stories about incoming tides
    and distant ships.
    You will bring me
    an enviable suntan
    and memories
    that will last a lifetime.
    Your vacation is mine,
    and I can hardly
    wait to wade.


    [email protected]



    Self-portrait by Jan Sand

    JAN SAND, poet and illustrator from New York, is a regular contributor to Poetry Life & Times. and the newsgroup alt.arts.poetry.comments. A great deal of his work is about animals, or science fiction.

    Recently Jan was published by Kedco Studios Artist Profile Press, on their latest CD ROM e-book, "A Way With Words (Poetry Real and Surreal), which also includes complete books by Dale Houstman, Sara L. Russell and Keith Gabriel Hendricks. Jan's illustrated book on the CD is called "Wild Figments And Odd Conjectures", which is also sold separately, in a limited-edition "single" CD.

    To see an illustrated article about Jan's poems, visit the November '98 issue of Poetry Life & Times, and scroll down past the Editor's Letter. He also has his own poetry pages on Charlotte's Web at Artvilla.

    NEW YORK
    © Jan Sand



    If I entwined my hair with flashing light,
    Inscribed my forehead bright with fire red
    Diagrams of curves and clouds to bring to sight
    The cavorting shapes moving in my head;
    If I dyed my ears blue, drew a banana on my nose,
    Placed between my lips a round glass eye,
    Hung each armpit with a yellow rose,
    Strung glass bells inside my thigh
    To titillate my genitals and tinkle
    On arousal, wound ribbons out of gold
    Around my calves to curl and crinkle
    As I strolled into the subway crowd, bold
    In all my manic glory, perhaps a face or two
    Might glance my way, dismiss this clown
    And return to puzzle out the clue
    For ten across, maybe six down.


    DEPRESSION
    © Jan Sand



    The line of time in flattened hours,
    Prolonged in night, but parallel at day
    Of languid contour to my life.
    I would snap this whip to bring alive
    In blue flames of energy, of delight
    In sweet fruit, warm responsive flesh,
    Crackles of bright sound and rough feel
    Of pulsing action. It merely needs
    A handle properly to grasp, to mate
    With welcome thumb and palm, but, as yet,
    My clutch is no match for its evasive slither.


    MORNING CRY
    © Jan Sand



    Seventy-five!
    Seventy-five!
    Seventy-five!
    And I'm still alive!
    My head is still good
    As any head goes.
    My eyes still see
    From the top of my nose.
    My stomach, ah well,
    I can't complain
    Nor even quarrel
    With a limited diet
    That quells the riot
    From food when I fry it.
    Everyday I peruse
    The pages in back
    Of the daily news
    Where people much younger
    Are no longer alive.
    I still have the hunger
    To live, to survive,
    And I use all the tricks
    Eat the pills for a fix,
    Do the long exercise
    That should contrive
    To make me be,
    Eventually,
    Seventy-six.


    [email protected]


    Dogwood Press Announcement

    Click the logo for contest results...




    The 14th St. Y of the Educational Alliance
    The Center for Cultural and Performing Arts
    Wendy Sabin-Lasker, Director WhY Women Poetry Series,
    Veronica Golos, Artistic Coordinator for Literary Programs

    Presents:

    Thursday, June 7, 7pm, $7
    A WhY Words Series

    OPEN AS YOU CAN MAKE IT!

    OPEN MIC with a special teen segment.
    Poets, musicians, performers, praise singers all welcome!

    344 East 14th St.
    New York, NY 10003, USA

    Come at 6:30 to sign up, or phone:
    212-780-0800 x255

    NEW FOR FALL: WRITING CLASSES
    From Fact to Fiction - Carol Dixon
    All In One Poetry Workshop - Kate Light
    Free the Artist Within - Jelayne Miles
    Writing a Life: Discovery of Soul and Surface - Patricia Smith
    News From Poems - Angelo Verga
    (Classes start mid October.
    For information please call 212-780-0800x255 and
    leave your name and address {s l o w l y} for further information).

    For more information about events in the fall, or to join the mailing list, write to:
    Victoria Golos [email protected]



    NEW ANTHOLOGY - SUBMISSIONS WANTED
    For Kedco Artist Profile Press

    We pay in free copies of anthology + prizes for the best.
    Short story trophies + solid silver medallions to be won!

    Submissions of short stories and/or up to 10 poems wanted for new MILLENNIUM DAWN anthology, to be published both as a CD rom and a bound book.

    Email submissions to Elaine Davis at [email protected] before September 2001.


    HIDDEN BROOK PRESS - CONTEST NEWS

    Due to a technical problem with emails, we have extended the
    deadline for the SEEDS 5 contest to June 15.

    There is NO ENTRY FEE!!

    We are also gathering submissions for a new anthology:
    Hidden Treasures: an international anthology of poetry.

    You qualify to be included if you have entered all three of our Hidden Brook Press contests: SEEDS, Open Window and No Love Lost, at some time in the past or have submitted work to our upcoming contests. If you have entered all three of our contests then you can send us your work to be included in this up coming CD - ROM poetry book .

    Please email Richard Grove on: [email protected] for more information,
    or visit the Hidden Brook Press website.


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Submissions wanted for new book: Project Joy

    Project Joy is the beginning of a series of books to celebrate the human spirit, featuring the work of Larry Jaffe, Michael Levy, and twenty guest writers. We invite submissions of stories, poetry, and essays that reflect the depth and scope of human experience, in particular the element of joy. The first book in the series will be published in fall 2001.

    For complete submission guidelines, please write to Michael or Larry at: [email protected]


    THE PERILS OF NORRIS cartoon, #6 of new story.
    Spot Reginald The Rat and win a prize! Mail me if you spot where he is...

    The Perils of Norris started in August 2000. To catch up on past episodes, click the links below and click your browser's Back button to return.

    #1  #2  #3  #4  #5  #6  #7  #8  #9 #10




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    Mail me on: [email protected] with any poems, letters or poetry news.
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