Thursday, February 26, 2015

2015 Sound Poem Project Day 26: Train

Happy Poetry Friday, Sound Poets!


Let's all wish a happy birthday to
HEIDI MORDHORST
who is hosting Poetry Friday today
at My Juicy Little Universe.
It happens every year. As we near the end of our poem-a-day project, I feel a mixture of finish-line glee and sadness. Get a group of poets together, writing regularly on a common theme, and a community pops up overnight like a circle of (creative, lovely) toadstools.

And if you're not ready to the daily prompts to end.. GREAT NEWS! The birthday girl herself, Heidi Mordhorst, is doing a poem-a-day project for her birthday month, March. Check it out at My Juicy Little Universe.


Today is Day 26 of Author Amok's 2015 poem-a-day project. We are spending February writing in response to sounds.  

For a full description of the project and how to participate, please read this post. I hope you'll join us. I'll continue posting poems from Day 26 as they come in. Thanks to everyone who has sent in poems so far.

Our Day 26 prompt is the sound of a train. This sound was suggested by Myra of Gathering Books.

A train's whistle, the departures and arrivals echoing through a station, even a subway's clatter is a nostalgic sound for many of us.

In Patricia VanAmburg's prose poem, past and present -- memory and history and family story -- overlap as we move from phrase to phrase, the way we might move between train cars.

Changing Trains with My Parents
by Patricia VanAmburg

Even before the war—my mother rode trains by herself or with her sister—
days and nights on the town—no trouble with navigation—finding the way
to fine hotels—after the war my father rode trains in France—some filled
with orphans begging for cigarettes and chocolate—some cars still holding
 Nazi loot—others stacked with corpses—he found his way home— now this
clanging metro car freezes both in their tracks—they quiver like mice before
the raptor—unable to board—I am screeching above the clammor—get on—
GET ON—but they are stationary—I must push them through the closing door.

My train poem also connects to memory. When my son (who is about to graduate from high school) was small, he was obsessed with all vehicles. Trains were his favorite. Naturally, I became a reluctant enthusiast.

Baltimore Pantograph
By Laura Shovan

Word learned from my three year old
who sat in his car seat naming
every vehicle we drove past.
From him I came to know
a backhoe from a bulldozer.
The long-necked excavator
resembled an Apatosaurus
drinking at a muddy pond.
The long-necked crane,
more like a giraffe
picking leaves off the trees
with its open jaws.
From him, my knowledge
of train cars, whether
they moved people
or some other freight. How easy
it was to spot a pantograph—
a word I did not know
before my son arrived—
its thin electric arms reaching up,
holding fast to the charged wire
as the train darted from station
to station in a city
we were learning to love.

Linda Baie from Teacher Dance sent in an old poem today. (Totally fine, Linda!). She says, "I wanted to share this memory that occurs every time I hear that train blow the whistle."

One Moment

We ran,
late for the train
across platforms and tracks.
Engines hissed,
bumbled and buzzed, and we stumbled 
in and out of shadows.
The whistle shrilled,
the engine roared,
so loud I startled.
We watched the train pull forward.
Click, clack, click, clack!
Click, clack, click, clack!
We ran faster.

My new husband whistled.
The conductor looked out,
and pulled a lever.
Wheels screeched,
slowed,
stopped.
I wondered at the whistle’s power,
yet even more,
I marveled at this skill,
unknown to me.
And then grabbed the arm
of the mysterious man
I called my husband.

      Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

It snowed in Maryland again this morning. Many of us along the East Coast will enjoy the promise that Mike Ratcliffe's train brings.  Mike explains, "My poem isn't in response to any one in particular, but more generally to the sound of a train moving along the rails."
Good Sleeping Weather
by Mike Ratcliffe
Spring peepers singing out back,
and in the distance,
a freight train's steady rhythm.

Bonus sound!


We're almost at the finish line, poets!

Here are all of the sound prompts for the last week of February. Remember, there will be a prize for our most prolific poet.

Footsteps in snow

Smoke on the Water
Sea Turtle

Ugandan Music

Train

Suggested by Jennifer Lewis.


Sunday, March 1: Project Wrap-up

If you'd like some poem-starters to wake up your muse, you'll find them at the bottom of this post. Drop in any time with a poem. I’ll continue to post your work throughout the month, no matter which sound you are writing in response to.

Would you like to read what we’ve written so far? Here are links to the week 3 poems. Each of these posts links to the week 1 and 2 poems.

Santa Fe Church Bells Poems by Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, and Charles Waters.

Quaking Aspen Poems by Diane Mayr, Charles Waters, Laura Shovan, Patricia VanAmburg, Mike Ratcliffe, and Karin Fisher-Golton.

Tuesday, February 17 -- new poem!
Laughing Child Poems by Charles Waters, Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, Michael Ratcliffe, Linda Baie, Margaret Simon, and Heidi Mordhorst.

Mysterious Space Sound Poems by Patricia VanAmburg, Charles Waters, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, and Margaret Simon.

Museum Stairwell Poems by Linda Baie, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Charles Waters, Margaret Simon, Diane Mayr, Patricia VanAmburg, and Karin Fisher-Golton.

Friday, February 20 -- new poems!
Reptile Poems by Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Margaret Simon, Laura Shovan, Mike Ratcliffe, Donna Smith, Robyn Hood Black, Buffy Silverman, and Charles Waters.

Traditional Chinese Music Poems by Diane Mayr, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Robyn Hood Black, Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Carol Varsalona, Charles Waters, and Margaret Simon.

2015 Sound Poem Project Day 25: Ugandan Panpipe

It’s Day 25 of Author Amok's 2015 poem-a-day project. We are spending February writing in response to sounds.  

For a full description of the project and how to participate, please read this post. I hope you'll join us. I'll continue posting poems from Day 25 as they come in. Thanks to everyone who has sent in poems so far. We've got more world music today, poets. 

Our Day 25 prompt is a Ugandan panpipes.

This isn't our sound clip today, but I offered it as a second option. Enjoy another sample of music from Uganda.


Linda Baie of Teacher Dance opted to write in response to the video.

Sitya Loss – Happiness

So,
adolescent boys
dancing free,
strut and dubstep, prance and jump.
No matter where in the world
they be,
boys are boys--
see…
And girls, girls also be
in the world of dance,
see…
She,
she alone,

spree.

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

Charles Waters captures the joy of children dancing to music in his poem.

PEARLS OF AFRICA
Flutes decorate the air
As pearls of African beauty
Tap dance barefoot on faded grass,
Chocolate arms glistening,
As Grey Crowned Crows, in
Mohawk bristled glory, bustle about
 In packs while kids, smacking their lips
On plates of bananas, beans,
Spinach, laugh at a joke
Only they can understand.

(c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

The original clip for today has a frenetic beat, which you can see reflected in the next set of poems. First, here is Patricia VanAmburg's contribution.

Palpitations
by Patricia VanAmburg

The day his EKG danced
he heard the rhythms of Uganda—
blown breath of stopped flutes
echoing like empty bottles—
continuous rattle of beaded gourds—
cymbals clanging on dancers feet—
the swish of undulating skirts—
peaks and valleys on rustling paper—
secret code for initiation—
through passages of life and death.

Like Patricia, I responded to the pounding rhythm of the music.

Panpipe and Drums
by Laura Shovan

pedaling a bike
through city traffic
weave past
pedestrians
cars, cabs
beeping
skim sidewalks
slip under lights
turning yellow
there' s a beat to it
a racing rhythm
legs pump pedals
like flat palms
against the skin
of a drum

I like the way Mike Ratcliffe hears threads of other styles of music in the clip from Uganda.

Listening to a Ugandan Folk Song
by Mike Ratcliffe

In the panpipes' whirl of this Ugandan tune,
I see dervishes dancing to ecstasy.
I hear the frenzy of a jig or reel,
the familiar skirl of Highland pipes,
the atonality of an Asian song.

When our ancestors left the heartland,
did they carry a common tune,
whistled and hummed,
sung from band to clan
as they moved across the land,
carried down the ages,
coursing through our souls?

Thanks to Diane Mayr of Random Noodling for sharing this bit of research. As Mike pointed out, panpipes are an ancient instrument, found all across the world. Diane says, "The sound clip caption mentioned the 'obulere.' I found it was pan pipes. That started me looking at pan pipes--there are variations all over the world. Then I got hung up on Pan and his pipes. I read several versions of the story--and now there's mine."

Pan's Pipes
by Diane Mayr

To thwart the advances
of Pan, the goat-man,
the lovely nymph, Syrinx
engaged in mythic high jinxs.

She called upon her sisters
to change her into a reed--
a trick not long to succeed.

A breeze came through, it
blew the rushes and reeds
raising a tune, playful and twee
that caused Pan's heart to
skip a beat or two or three.

Pan cut down the reeds to
fashion a flute so he could
toot that song forever.

The story is not all glory,
for Pan soon found tedium
in the medium. And the
medium--she was pleased.

One more video before we end for today. Those of you who have been to the Dodge Poetry Festival will remember the musical group Yarina, from Ecuador. Among the instruments this folk music group plays is panpipe!


Here are all of the sound prompts for the last week of February. Remember, there will be a prize for our most prolific poet.

Footsteps in snow

Smoke on the Water
Sea Turtle

Ugandan Music

Choose a train sound. Thanks to Myra of Gathering Books for the suggestion!

Suggested by Jennifer Lewis.


Sunday, March 1: Project Wrap-up

If you'd like some poem-starters to wake up your muse, you'll find them at the bottom of this post. Drop in any time with a poem. I’ll continue to post your work throughout the month, no matter which sound you are writing in response to.

Would you like to read what we’ve written so far? Here are links to the week 3 poems. Each of these posts links to the week 1 and 2 poems.

Santa Fe Church Bells Poems by Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, and Charles Waters.

Quaking Aspen Poems by Diane Mayr, Charles Waters, Laura Shovan, Patricia VanAmburg, Mike Ratcliffe, and Karin Fisher-Golton.

Tuesday, February 17 -- new poem!
Laughing Child Poems by Charles Waters, Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, Michael Ratcliffe, Linda Baie, Margaret Simon, and Heidi Mordhorst.

Mysterious Space Sound Poems by Patricia VanAmburg, Charles Waters, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, and Margaret Simon.

Museum Stairwell Poems by Linda Baie, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Charles Waters, Margaret Simon, Diane Mayr, Patricia VanAmburg, and Karin Fisher-Golton.

Friday, February 20 -- new poems!
Reptile Poems by Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Margaret Simon, Laura Shovan, Mike Ratcliffe, Donna Smith, Robyn Hood Black, Buffy Silverman, and Charles Waters.

Traditional Chinese Music Poems by Diane Mayr, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Robyn Hood Black, Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Carol Varsalona, Charles Waters, and Margaret Simon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2015 Sound Poem Project Day 24: Sea Turtle

It’s Day 24 of Author Amok's 2015 poem-a-day project. We are spending February writing in response to sounds.  

For a full description of the project and how to participate, please read this post. I hope you'll join us. I'll continue posting poems from Day 24 as they come in. Thanks to everyone who has sent in poems so far.

Put on  your scuba gear, poets. We're heading under the sea today.

Our Day 24 prompt is a sea turtle.

The Green Sea Turtle:  Chelonia mydas
From Jacob's Jungle
I'm going to go first and get it over with today. This was a sound I struggled with, so instead of playing with the burbling water sounds, I went to Rhymezone.com and looked up rhyming words for tortoise. I shoved as many rhyming and near-rhyme words as I could into my poem.

Tortoise
by Laura Shovan

Your chorus is cautious.
Hidden in a flawless
coral forest, sound orbits
in vortices of porous ocean.
Down here, life’s a circus
of gorgeous creatures: porpoise,
walrus, enormous orcas.
Your carapace has one purpose:
lonely fortress.

Karin Fisher-Golton is also thinking about all of the gorgeous creatures that live (normally) out of human sight.

The Underwater Way
by Karin Fisher-Golton

Undersea sounds—
soothing splashes
babbling bubbles
rhythmic wash.

How in the midst
of this aquatic lullaby
can there co-exist
a fish eat fish world?

The underwater citizens
confine their violence
to a snap
             then quickly resume
their peaceful flow.

Diane Mayr is taking a break from the 50+ inches of snow up north to vacation (in her mind). I'm glad she's giving the tortoise some company.

winter break...
me and the green turtle
in a green sea

Our turtle wasn't so sure he wanted a scuba diver with a camera and microphone in his face, as Linda Baie observed.

         Nap Interrupted

A turtle naps. It’s slow to go,
while fishes make a moving show.

Danger near, eyes open wide,     
Flipper moves, away it glides.

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

Patricia VanAmburg also lets the tortoise make a getaway. Great use of title here, Patricia!

Bubble Maker
by Patricia VanAmburg

no ordinary aquarium
this blue-green world
of the periscope-eyed
turtle-shell scuba in
submerged getaway

The opening line of Charles Waters poem captures the sound we heard today. Great use of onomatopoeia.

GREEN TURTLE

Sounds of gulping drizzle
Leave loggerhead impervious
As fishes nibble his algae coated
Shell for their morning meal. 

(c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

We're almost at the finish line, poets! Keep swimming...



Here are all of the sound prompts for the last week of February. Remember, there will be a prize for our most prolific poet.

Footsteps in snow

Smoke on the Water

Sea Turtle


Choose a train sound. Thanks to Myra of Gathering Books for the suggestion!

Suggested by Jennifer Lewis.


Sunday, March 1: Project Wrap-up

If you'd like some poem-starters to wake up your muse, you'll find them at the bottom of this post. Drop in any time with a poem. I’ll continue to post your work throughout the month, no matter which sound you are writing in response to.

Would you like to read what we’ve written so far? Here are links to the week 3 poems. Each of these posts links to the week 1 and 2 poems.

Santa Fe Church Bells Poems by Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, and Charles Waters.

Quaking Aspen Poems by Diane Mayr, Charles Waters, Laura Shovan, Patricia VanAmburg, Mike Ratcliffe, and Karin Fisher-Golton.

Tuesday, February 17 -- new poem!
Laughing Child Poems by Charles Waters, Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, Michael Ratcliffe, Linda Baie, Margaret Simon, and Heidi Mordhorst.

Mysterious Space Sound Poems by Patricia VanAmburg, Charles Waters, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, and Margaret Simon.

Museum Stairwell Poems by Linda Baie, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Charles Waters, Margaret Simon, Diane Mayr, Patricia VanAmburg, and Karin Fisher-Golton.

Friday, February 20 -- new poems!
Reptile Poems by Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Margaret Simon, Laura Shovan, Mike Ratcliffe, Donna Smith, Robyn Hood Black, Buffy Silverman, and Charles Waters.

Traditional Chinese Music Poems by Diane Mayr, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Robyn Hood Black, Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Carol Varsalona, Charles Waters, and Margaret Simon.