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Passions in Poetry

The Serenity Garden (journal part II)

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Sunshine
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550 posted 08-17-2004 09:24 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Making a special request of my PiP friends...

Put myself out on a limb, and now I need a few fingers crossed.  As this tends to impede typing, however, just cross your eyes and wish me luck, please.

For the first time ever, Kansas is going to choose its state Poet Laureate.  You cannot nominate yourself.  The rules are very firm, the criteria very strict.  My Prairie Inkwells partner and friend, Bridget Shenachie, made the nomination, and I did the rest of the work gathering all required information and a few poems.

So...as I have informed a few...they will probably choose one who is strong in academics...

but it was an exercise, nonetheless, and I learned something about myself along the way.





Nightshade
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551 posted 08-17-2004 09:45 PM       View Profile for Nightshade   Email Nightshade   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nightshade's Home Page   View IP for Nightshade

Crossing my fingers, eyes and toes Karilea !!
This is awesome !! WooooooooooooHooooooo !!
Janet Marie
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552 posted 08-17-2004 10:54 PM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

academics smacademics...

they need to pick someone strong in MUSE.

Congrats Kari, the opportunity will open doors...and win or not...it wont change the fact that writing is in your blood.
Mysteria
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553 posted 08-17-2004 11:05 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Good luck Karilea, and I want to ditto JM's remarks if I may, as sometimes people are so over-educated they tend to say very little.  If the level of academics is the criteria, they are surely on the wrong track.  You always grow from trying so good luck.

I am suffering big time up here in Vancouver, and have basically turned into a lazy slug.  I can NOT stand this heat, and they say it will just get a little worse every year.  I never thought I would pray for rain, but I sure am, and won't ever complain about being soggy again.  I have no idea how people in the South deal with this heat, I really don't. (I guess an air-conditioner will be next on my shopping list.)
iliana
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554 posted 08-17-2004 11:38 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Karilea -- okay that answers one question.  Yes, my fingers are crossed!   ...jo
iliana
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555 posted 08-17-2004 11:40 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Sharon -- I was wondering where you were.  Now I know.  It's not been as hot this summer as usual....really odd.   ...jo
iliana
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556 posted 08-17-2004 11:40 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Calling Karen....where ya been, Karen???
Mysteria
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557 posted 08-17-2004 11:56 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Iliana, I have NO energy and certainly no inspiration these days to write squat, but fall/winter is coming, thank goodness.  They tell me I am a "summer" and if that is so, I wonder why I like cold weather so much   

Karen I believe is wearing her boss hat to those putting in her new tile floors.  I personally can't wait until this reno is done, now back to sitting in front of my
serenity blaze
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558 posted 08-18-2004 05:12 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I'm checking in now to say a goodnight--the floor IS done, 'cept for the molding.

(Now for my bookshelves! hugging me in my own gleeeeeeeeeeeee)

And Kari? I've been waiting for this. You know I'll continue on with well wishing prayers--you deserve to be honored as you are one of the most hardest working writers I've met.

And now...I have to try that sleep thang...

I'd cross my fingers but I can't type with 'em UNCROSSED, so just say "shhhhhhh" while I shut down and tiptoe off to couch. Hopefully I won't step on a dog on the way.



love to all, tired me...
garysgirl
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559 posted 08-19-2004 05:33 AM       View Profile for garysgirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit garysgirl's Home Page   View IP for garysgirl

I just caught up on my reading. It was good to see all of you.
    
Sunshine
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560 posted 08-19-2004 03:12 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Ethel!  Welcome home!!!
serenity blaze
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561 posted 08-20-2004 04:08 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I haven't told a story in so long.

My thoughts have been bumper pool crazy in my skull of late, and I can't seem to find that calm it takes for me to just ease a paddle into the waters all gentle and smooth. When writing feels good, that's what it is like. It's...well, serenity.

But I thought I'd share a gift I received tonight. It felt more like a care package actually. It was from my brother, Keith, who died unexpectedly a little over a year ago. It was a bundle of letters he had written to me, from Smith County Jail in Texas, as well as some from Huntsville State Penitentiary--a section known as "The Walls."

They are very dear to me, and the only reason they left my possession was because one year, on my brother's birthday, I found myself without a gift to give to him. No money. No chance of getting any either.

He'd mentioned once or twice that he might like to write a book of experiences, so I worked from that, and I gathered all the letters I'd received from him, (one, sometimes two a week) for the three and a half years he was incarcerated. I added photos of him I had kept. There he was playing guitar. In another, at our kitchen table, playing "RISK" with some buddies. There were pictures of the family which I knew he didn't have--my brother was a vagabond and not the photo album type. I put all of this in a box, with a couple of legal pads and one of those great smooth-writing gel pens, and wrote on the first page of the yellow legal pad, "Now WRITE."

But tonight, I called my sister just to say "howdy" and she told me she had found a grocery bag on the front stoop--full of letters from Keith addressed to ME. It seems his former room-mate had found them and kindly deposited them there for us to find. Funny, I searched through piles of notebook scribblings, books, and personal belongs after his death, looking for just this very thing. I was heartbroken when I didn't find them, and I remembered my brother, when I gave him that gift, insisting that I keep them, because he would only lose them.

I told him he'd need them for his book.

He told me it was the best present that anyone had ever given him.

*  *  *

I had forgotten my glasses tonight, so I sat on the porch, squinting, holding fluttering paper at arm's length, reading, reading, reading. Crying, yes, but I was laughing too, when I'd read the phrasings that were uniquely his, hearing his voice from the pages.

I found a poem he'd written in one letter.

In another? I found character sketches of his cellmates.

Then I found one without a postmark. It had been addressed to me and never sent. He had written across it--"too negative to send". It was seven pages long, front and back, in tight script, with urgent, desperate underlinings--and somethings scratched indeciperable. I had found my brother's lamentation, his "Jeremiad", and funny, but I stopped crying then, while I read. I had simply ceased to be. I was there, with him, in the days of monotony, the humiliation of daily bowel movements and showers and inspections and censored writings...it was synopsis of all the letters from prison anyone has ever read.

It stunned me.

This letter was dated September 17, 1978, and here I was, finally reading the words of his experiences.
The things that happened that forever changed him. The things that bent him into a being who reacted with actions I didn't equate with the person I knew from before those trials. I held in my trembling hands the complete understanding of my brother.


If I may, I'll quote him here, from one of the letters I read tonight:

"Every day is like the day before. I sit here wondering how I got here, and I realized that I was always on the highway, looking for short-cuts. I thought I was bored. Now I know what [expletive] boredom is! So stop all that yawning, you've got the world by the balls.

Let my life be a light to you--better yet, a roadmap. Don't take home for granted, and take care of Mom & Dad. I love them more than they could believe from now."

Then there was,

"I love you, too,

with his signature

"p.s. send Gene's address"

and this made me laugh out loud:

"p.p.s. REGISTER TO VOTE!"

*shaking my head*

I miss him, but this was so fine a present I had to share. Perhaps there will be more, I dunno, but right now, I just kissed his ashes, and told him, "be careful what you wish for brother, I AM registered and you can no longer cancel out my vote!"

*  *  *

We got on like that, we did.  

*  *  *

I love you my brother and that don't die!


(and I came back to correct the date--I was going to correct the typos and misspells, all the bad syntax, but then I shrugged and thought, "it reads more like a letter from prison with them in.")

Thanks for listening, yet again.

[This message has been edited by serenity blaze (08-20-2004 05:06 AM).]

Janet Marie
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562 posted 08-20-2004 07:57 AM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

KA?  *huggingyou* ....


very very cool baby...Im so happy for you that those letters resurfaced. I know how much all that means and what can be learned.

4 years later and Vante's family is still finding hidden poems and letters in books and drawers...his brother found a poem right before my last birthday...

ya gotta love those "traces"
serenity blaze
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563 posted 08-20-2004 08:37 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I still can't believe it.

*hugging me*

All that was left was a cigar box full, compared to a BUNDLE, but that one letter is priceless--the one I'd never read.

I'm so happy, Jan.

(and that pic? sorry it's in such bad shape, but it was the only one taken the night of his b'day and it was made into a refrigerator mag and when it fell into the sink? I scanned it to save...and that's priceless to me too. He's actually holding one of the letters in that pic, I believe.)

sigh.

A beautiful, surprise, and trust they will be kept cherished.

Sunshine
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564 posted 08-20-2004 08:56 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

"but that one letter is priceless"

~*~

You are blessed in SO many ways...
serenity blaze
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565 posted 08-20-2004 08:59 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Well, according to Keith, I've got the world by the um, gonads.

And yanno? Right now, this moment, I do believe that.

Mysteria
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566 posted 08-20-2004 12:34 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

but a happy cry.

Just was meant to be.  That love karma thing again, and it is postive at that.
garysgirl
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567 posted 08-20-2004 09:25 PM       View Profile for garysgirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit garysgirl's Home Page   View IP for garysgirl

Karen,

And, I know this right here more so than you will ever know.......

I was there, with him, in the days of monotony, the humiliation of daily bowel movements and showers and inspections and censored writings...it was synopsis of all the letters from prison anyone has ever read.

iliana
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568 posted 08-20-2004 09:28 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Serenity, little miracles happen ever day, as you know so well.  Those big ones always seem to come at exaclty the right time.  *hugging you* .......jo

Hi ya, Sharon, hope it's cooling down a bit.

Hey, Sunshine.....waiting in anticipation for news about your entry.  How long will it take?  
Mysteria
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569 posted 08-20-2004 10:01 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Jo, finally yes!  It is getting cloudy, and they say it is going to rain for days, I can hardly wait!  I knew I loved this place but never did I welcome its rain like I do right now.  Enough is enough of this heat.

I have been filling big black bags and more bags all day to give to our local charity, as they have a drive on to get goods and raise money  to help our homeless here over the colder months.  I purged like some mad woman, (so far 6 huge bags of clothes and shoes, 2 picnic baskets full of stuff, and 3 boxes full of kitchen stuff.)  I never realized I had so much hidden until I watched Home and Garden Television, where they had this show on organization.  Those that know me, know I am a neat freak, but never did I realize I was that organized to hide THAT much stuff that well.  Out it goes.  You know?  This getting older is fun, less to take care of, and more time for me.  
serenity blaze
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570 posted 08-20-2004 10:15 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Ethel? I forgot to hug you welcome "home."



And ain't our Sharon just as cute as bug?



Okay, Sharon, I concede, no such thing as a cute bug.

But yer still cute.

and a howdy to everybody! :waving:

I've been reading, and cooking, and reading and reading...

yummies everywhere!
Sunshine
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571 posted 08-20-2004 10:22 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

So where're my cookies?  

Jo, dear...I've no idea when the announcement will take place.  All entries were to be in by September 1, 2004.

The "office" won't take place until 2005 and will be a two year commitment.  Which means that when one is chosen, they have some time to reorganize their lives a bit so they can serve on this very active chair.
http://arts.state.ks.us/programs.html

Here is the site regarding all what was required and what will be expected of their candidate.  I've gone over their form several times, and I can find nothing on there that says when they will make their announcement, or how contact will be made - one way or the other.  But they have all required information on my part, so it's sit and definitly NOT twiddle one's thumbs time...there is still so much to do just day to day.

Serenity, I've read your brother's story a few times now.  He was extremely fortunate to have you in his life.
vlraynes
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Somewhere... out there...


572 posted 08-21-2004 08:46 PM       View Profile for vlraynes   Email vlraynes   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit vlraynes's Home Page   View IP for vlraynes


Just peeking in with a quiet 'hello'...

I hope life is being good to you all...


And, Karen?...

HUGE HUGS to you...

I'm so happy that Keith's letters were returned to you, and that you found such a special part of your brother in the bunch... 'priceless', indeed...

Love you, my sis...
Sunshine
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573 posted 08-21-2004 09:42 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

YEA!  Vicky's reading!  Vicky...check your e-mail....

And Karen?  For a different reason, check yours, too!

serenity blaze
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574 posted 08-21-2004 11:06 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Got it! (and g'nite, Kari! )

and I know I got quiet after sharing my happiness at finding a bit of my brother, but I had to have time to digest what I was reading and learning about him, and somehow make it fit in with what I already knew.

I like things to make SENSE. I really want things to mean something. And the happy answer would have been (and I giggle a bit here) that my brother had reached from beyond (oh I said that out loud mockingly as I typed too--my daughter thinks me nuts again-- )but anyhoo, I suppose that I could have taken it that way and put a happy ending on the stories of us, but then, in that teeter-totter way that is my life, I got news of the loss of another friend:
http://www.nola.com/obituaries/t-p/index.ssf?/base/obits-21/1092983212301190.xml

Like I said, I like things to make SENSE. And I find myself wondering, "now what is THIS?"

The cause of death is no doubt underscored as I'm trying to figure out the indeciperable. (Don't think it didn't give me some anxiety coupled with a sense of urgency, too.)

Funny tho, I don't even cry anymore. It's like, "there goes another one of us..."

And I am human--so I do wonder at times why not me, along with the obvious "when me"? But it all sounds so melodramatic out loud, and it even looks ridiculous in print to me.

For now, I'm just tired of trying to find an answer. I think the Cap is right--I'm trying to figure out something that isn't even a question.

It's like Dustin Hoffman in "Rainman". Poor guy, walking through life in half-steps, trying to figure out "Who's on first?"

Remember?

"It's a JOKE, Ray. You're never gonna figure out who's on first, 'cause it's a joke."

Maybe life is like that...all I know is I'm kinda tired and the heat is making me cranky. But I'm still here, folks.

I don't have a clue as to WHY--but I am.



But anyhow, her name was Kerry. They didn't mention it, but she was a pretty good amateur photographer, who took some great candids backstage and managed to sell more than a few. I'm not surprised her family didn't mention it though. It was all part of the lifestyle we embraced that has proven to be the catalyst for our various exits.

(and btw, don't go fussin'--sharons? that means YA'LL--I'll be released from the internist on Monday and it's on to the next! grin--my insurance company rues the day they agreed to THIS family's coverage.)

But that's way more than I wanted to say, but I wanted to explain and let ya'll know I'm okay.

Really.

 
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