A Poet Out Standing In His Field

Bear relaxesToday I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing one Shakespeare “The Equine,” a poet out standing in his field and, reportedly, a legend in his own mind.

The Daily Haymaker: Good day, Mr. Shakespeare.

Poet: Hay! And please, call me Mr. Bear.

The Daily Haymaker: Right then, Mr. Bear. Lovely of you to join us from Poet’s Paddock today. How are things in pastures green?

Poet: Well, Mr. Haymaker, we’re pretty laid back out there these days. The cruel winter is behind us, but we’re still waiting for the grass to be greener on our side of the fence. Everything is very late.

The Daily Haymaker: Are you the only poet in your paddock?

Poet: Yes, yes I am.

The Daily Haymaker: Would you please tell our readers at The Daily Haymaker

Poet: Great name, by the way …

The Daily Haymaker: Well, thank you …. Now if you could explain to our readers just when you came upon your poetic prowess.

Poet: Well, it all started with the Scribe, of course.

The Daily Haymaker: Scribe?

Poet: Yes. As you might imagine, having hooves puts me at quite a disadvantage when it comes to recording my musings.

The Daily Haymaker: Indeed!

Poet: So, naturally when I was looking for a sucker, I mean horse mom to call my own I scanned the radar for someone who could write reasonably intelligibly.

The Daily Haymaker: And you believe you found him? Her?

Poet: Her, actually. Yes, I did, though I let said Scribe and horse mom believe that she found me. It’s easier that way.

The Daily Haymaker: Of course. So, how long did it take for you to plant the idea in your horse mom’s head that you had creative notions you wanted to get off your mind?

Poet: Not long, actually. She’s a sensitive soul and I could tell she was looking for an outlet. You know these artistic types, and if they’ve been in any kind of creative drought well, as you might imagine, they’re an easy target.

The Daily Haymaker: So, how does the creative process work for both of you?

Poet: Actually, Mr. Haymaker, I stand out in my field and eat, and she shows up at the barn one day and tells me we’ve written a poem.

The Daily Haymaker: Really, it’s that simple?

Poet: Absolutely!

The Daily Haymaker: How many poems have you written together? Any chance of a recitation? A couple of lines, perhaps?

Poet: Well, we have self-published three short chapbooks so far, and we’re working on a collection of sonnets. As for a recitation ~ from my Sonnet XIV, second stanza:

While beauty lies within the eyes that see

And no two eyes shall ever see the same

Believe, I must, her eyes were meant for me,

While others’ eyes their own beauty proclaim.

For handsome though I be to all who care

It matters most to she who calls me Bear.

The Daily Haymaker: Yes, a sonnet ~ like your namesake William Shakespeare?

Poet: Who?

The Daily Haymaker: William Shakespeare? The Elizabethan poet? You must have heard of him.

Poet: Neigh. The only other Shakespeare of which I am aware is my father, Shakespeare in Love.

The Daily Haymaker: Really?

Poet: Yes. And, just as a side, his father was Sherlock Holmes.

The Daily Haymaker: Indeed! An illustrious background to be sure. Where were you born?

Poet: Well, Germany. I’m Hanoverian. Some call me the Happy Hanoverian because I’m so, well, happy. Still, I don’t suffer fools.

The Daily Haymaker: And your relationship with your father?

Poet: I’ve never met him, but the Scribe has shown me a photograph. A handsome stud, to be sure. But then …

The Daily Haymaker: Of course, I can tell as you yourself are quite debonair.

Poet: Well, thank you, thank you very much. My mother, as I recall, was quite beautiful also. I have her even temperament.

The Daily Haymaker: And what do you do for exercise ~ you know, to keep the creative juices flowing?

Poet: Well, I’m trained in classical dressage, actually. One of my present challenges is to get back into shape since the Scribe has been unwell and I’ve had to back off my training. Things are picking up again, however, and this pleases me.

The Daily Haymaker: Any chance you’ll show?

Poet: I can’t answer that. It’s up to the Scribe. I’d be happy to but then, she must be comfortable.

The Daily Haymaker: That’s awfully generous of you.

Poet: Naturlïch.

The Daily Haymaker: And now, Mr. Shakespeare, I mean Mr. Bear, where might one read your poetic renderings? Actually first of all, please explain your nickname.

Poet: Actually, it’s not a nickname, it’s a barn name. It’s something the horse moms do to make life easier for themselves. Some equines, like myself, have rather sophisticated names noted in the breed registry which are quite cumbersome to use on a daily basis. Creating a barn name makes sense. In fact, I don’t mind the name Bear. I’m told it was given to me because I’m like a big, cuddly teddy bear, whatever that is. I try to maintain my dignity by not thinking about it too much. Still, I get the sense it suits me.

The Daily Haymaker: I’m sure it does. Do you get called “Bear the Bard?”

Poet: No.

The Daily Haymaker: Now, where can one find your poetry?

Poet: I have my own website, Poet’s Paddock. It’s currently being redesigned, but I believe it’s still up for grazing.

The Daily Haymaker: Marvellous! Well, thank you so much for stopping by The Daily Haymaker today. It’s been a pleasure to speak with you.

Poet: Pleasure’s all mine. Say, do you have some spare hay for a starving artist?

~*~

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_nMy response to Free Write Friday with Kellie Elmore.

Here is the prompt:

per·son·i·fi·ca·tion
pərˌsänəfiˈkāSHən/
noun
1.
the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.
Select something nonhuman and write about it as though it were human. It is up to you whether or not you reveal what it is, but I have found it a lot of fun to leave it a mystery and allow others to guess at what you were writing about.

~*~

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Just A Statue

“That’s a bit dark, isn’t it?” Mona screwed her mouth into a pouty knot and grimaced. “Miss Liberty looks like she’s had a few.”

“A few what?” asked Lisa.

“You know, molto vino.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! It’s a statue!”

“Whatever … she’s seen better days.”

“No doubt.”

Mona and Lisa stood together and studied the desolate rendering.

“I wonder what it means,” Mona offered a half smile only half interested.

Lisa withdrew into herself for a moment, an emptiness filling her eyes that Mona found profoundly disturbing.

“What’s up with you?” Mona asked between smacks of gum.

Lisa didn’t answer right away, trying to grasp the image’s message. Sharing how she felt was going to be a challenge. Mona was easily distracted.

“I’m trying to imagine myself empty, broken and as betrayed as that poor Miss Liberty,” Lisa explained. “I’m trying to imagine everything I represent crumbling on uncertain ground and me landing in a heap with my head smashed in.”

Mona wasn’t buying it.

“But it’s just a broken statue. It doesn’t mean anything,” she whined.

“It’s not the statue, it’s what it represents ~ liberty and freedom for all. What if we forget that freedom demands responsibility; demands it be supported by deeds and not just paid lip service.” A tear sprung to Lisa’s eye. “Imagine how you might feel if the very people who claimed to love you undermined everything you represented by their actions or, for that matter, inaction. When we forget who we truly are, when we forget what it truly means to be free and are unwilling to defend that to our deaths we are as fallen as that statue. We need to wake up. We need to wake up soon.”

Mona thought for a moment. Took another look at the image and sighed. She couldn’t see any meaning.

“You’re weird. It’s just an ugly piece of art.”

Lisa turned to face the friend she realized she hardly knew.

“Perhaps, but we’re both free … for now.”

~*~

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_nMy response to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday challenge this week. Follow this link to find the image prompt.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

The Writer’s Nightmare

Weekly Writing Challenge: Poetry

 The Writer’s Nightmare

No inspiration,
There is none,
I sit here, void, and
Twiddle thumbs.
It’s writer’s block that
Bogs me down.
The channel closed;
My smile a frown.
I patiently await a sign,
A notion that
Might just be mine,
That from the Ether
Will descend
And soon to Earth
Through me be penned.
But somehow it
Has missed
Its mark,
The channel
Unaligned; no
Spark.
A shift in
Wave length
Must be wrought
Before the
Words flow
Into thought.
So ’til that time I
Wait and
Wait and wait and
Wait and wait and wait,
Til once again Muse
Can be free
With words and thus
Inspire me.

~*~

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Staring Out The Window

 

2014-04-08-09-52-48

 

~*~

“Sadie!”

Young Sadie, lost in a haze of distracted thought, didn’t hear her name being called and continued to gaze absently through the classroom window toward the woods in the distance. She was looking at nothing in particular. It was an escape.

“Sadie Perkins! I’d like to see you outside. … Now!”

The double-barrelled effort to get her attention worked. Sadie snapped back to real time and turned to see a disappointed Mrs. Crowell pointing toward the door.

A chorus of “Ooh …” from Sadie’s classmates resonated about as she rose quietly from behind her desk and made the embarrassing walk across the classroom to the door.

“Quiet, all of you,” Mrs. Crowell admonished, “or you’ll be coming back after school.” She cast a concerned look in Sadie’s direction and opened the door. “After you.”

Sadie, unaccustomed to being singled out for any reason, let alone to be told off, walked timidly into the corridor. She was trembling inside. Her defences rising.

Mrs. Crowell, the school’s deputy headmistress and a kindly, well-put together but stern woman of late middle years, closed the door behind them. The hallway was empty and quiet. She stopped.

“Sadie, please look at me,” she said to the pretty brown-haired girl with the big, sad brown eyes.

Sadie could already feel tears welling up, but couldn’t understand why. All she’d done was stare out the window. With hesitation she looked into Mrs. Crowell’s steely blue eyes.

“What’s wrong, Sadie?” The usually intimidating deputy headmistress asked with a gentleness Sadie had not been expecting. “Why do you stare out the window?Why don’t you pay attention in class? I’m concerned about your progress in math, but I’m also worried about you. Is something wrong?”

The 15-year-old girl choked back her tears. Something was wrong. Something was definitely wrong, but there was no way to speak of it. She coped with her deep agony by drifting away, far away in her mind to far off thoughts she never reached. To dreams she could not identify.

“Such a good and responsible girl, is our Sadie,” people would say about her ability to cook meals, care for her siblings and housekeep all while trying to maintain an active school and social life. Long days putting others needs first.

Sadie’s thoughts wandered off the edge of the world in search of something lost. Innocence, perhaps? She did not know. She could never find it.

She was exhausted, so much so her ability to focus and discipline herself at school was next to impossible. She was as smart as any of the other kids in her top-tier class at school, but too distant, too distracted to make anything of it. Many of her marks reflected this.

She escaped the weight of her responsibilities at home by staring out of windows.

“Sadie … are you there?”

Tears poured down young Sadie’s pink cheeks.

“Yes, Miss.”

Mrs.Crowell pulled a clean tissue from her pocket and handed it over.

“Listen, whatever it is I would like to help you. Would that be okay? Would you be willing to meet with me in my office tomorrow at lunch time?”

Sadie wiped away the cheap mascara gathering in pools beneath her eyes and sniffed. It didn’t sound like an order but she didn’t feel like she could, or even wanted to, refuse. Somewhere deep inside she felt something positive stir.

“Yes, Miss.”

“Good. I’m glad. You are an intelligent girl and deserve to do better in school. Let’s see what we can sort out for you. In the meantime, do you think you could try to focus a little more during my lessons?”

As math was Sadie’s weakest subject she wasn’t sure what she could promise.

“I’ll try.”

Mrs. Crowell smiled and patted Sadie on the arm.

“Okay, then. Let’s go back inside and start things fresh.”

Sadie wiped away her tears and took a deep breath. How unfamiliar it was to feel this pat on the back. Could she trust it? Dare she?

Mrs. Crowell opened the door and ushered Sadie back to her seat. But for the scratching of pencils on paper, while students worked out their sums, all was quiet.

The next day, Sadie went to Mrs. Crowell’s office, and they talked. There was the promise of more lunch hour meetings and for once in her life Sadie began to feel something resembling hope. The teacher who had once intimidated her was becoming something new; something she’d never experienced ~ someone who genuinely cared about her needs and wanted to help her grow. A mentor.

Two months later the kindly teacher was claimed by cancer.

Sadie returned to staring out the window.

~*~

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_nMy response to this week’s Free Write Friday challenge from Kellie Elmore. Ends on a bit of a downer but who knows where the free write will take us.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

 

Go Away!

 

 

to-love

 

~*~

“What the hell does that even mean?” Cynthia glares at me with raccoon eyes and wails. “What do you know of my pain? My suffering? You who have everything. You think my life can be fixed with empty platitudes? Go away!”

She slumps her fashionable thirty-something frame into the sofa and sobs like thunder.

Sobs I remember.

I know her pain. She only assumes that because I am older and seem to have my life together that I have never walked through the valley of shadows. But, she doesn’t know me. She only sees the illusion of me.

I recognize Cynthia as the woman I was 20 years ago ~ broken, confused, stuck, desperate, angry, frustrated, bitter ~ all hidden behind a finely applied mask of pretty lies that fit so tightly it almost suffocated the life right out of me.

With the ignorance of those who know only their own pain she doesn’t realize that the rutted and pot holed path I’ve walked is not so far from her own. A path bordered with noxious weeds and pretty plants that poison, overshadowing the cheerful flowers clinging to the healing rays of the sun.

She doesn’t realize that I know what it’s like to be in the choking embrace of another’s misery; to watch the petals fall from a once blossoming life; to have my fondest dreams lopped at the first branch or, most often, not even have a chance to take root.

She doesn’t know because she never looks beyond her own suffering.

Yes, I know her pain, and as I watch her sobbing there I feel it all over again ~ the heart-burning, gut-wrenching, headache-inducing dismay of disappointment and sadness rolled into one ugly ball of torpid feeling. A numbness that acts out like this. Cold. Hard. Stinging. Selfish.

As I witness her anguish, however, my awareness reminds me of triumph over adversity. It reminds me of how I am able, now, to look life in the eye and tell it “I love you” just because it is … and just because I am.

Cynthia cannot see this yet, and perhaps she never will. Perhaps she will wallow in her divorce, or lament her poor choices or berate her appearance and spout profanities to her dimming light until the end of her days. I cannot know for sure.

Still, what I do know is this ~ not I or anyone else can hold her hand and lead her down a path to healing until she is ready; until she opens her eyes and chooses to move beyond her pain.

I don’t know what that will take for her. Everyone’s wake-up call is different.

In the meantime, all I can do is listen and love her, my daughter, and pray she will be alright. That one day she will learn to love her life for the precious gift it is.

And that is all.

And as she bids, I go away.

~*~

My response to the Free Write Friday challenge from Kellie Elmore.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014