Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts

Monday, July 2, 2012

No Longer (New Poem For the Broken-hearted)

No Longer

It’s over,
this day and a lifetime
of love; of love 
have known 
nothing but 
his tender goodbyes.

Hello! Hollow sound
drowned by the roar of the surf,
Solitary footprints in the sand 
gilded in the glow of 
a setting sun, a sun setting 
on my fool’s paradise.

Wash them away, heartless ocean
Tide me over ‘til death, ‘til death…

…Do I part
from dreams unrealized,
when years of hanging on
have failed?

Grasping for the glittering horizon
a risen wind slaps my face
He loves me not
He loves me not
I stare at the waves as they lap at my feet

again and again and again...

Each time the sea ebbs
I sink
a little deeper
until one day
I'll disappear completely.

Enough, enough

Begin anew ~ I pledge
Loyal, devoted dog, I am no longer
No longer willing
to wait for tomorrow’s sunrise
to live.
To live.

~by Nicole Ducleroir, 6/2012~

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Fabric" by Jessica Bell -- Check It Out!!


Today I'm celebrating the release of Jessica Bell's new poetry collection, Fabric ... Wait! Please don't close the tab at the the mention of poetry! Trust me, just watch the trailer and then read a little note from the author herself before deciding to disappear ...

Jessica says:
My poetry will not baffle you with phrasing that scholars award for academic genius and that can only be understood by those who wrote it. My poetry is for the everyday reader. In fact, it is even for those who don’t like to read poetry at all. Because it is real, stark and simple.

The poems in Fabric are no different. They explore specific moments in different people’s lives that are significant to whom they have become, the choices they’ve made. It’s about how they perceive the world around them, and how each and every one of their thoughts and actions contributes to the fabric of society. Perhaps you will even learn something new about yourself.

So, even if you do not usually read poetry, I urge you to give this one a go. Not because I want sales (though, they are fun!), but because I want more people to understand that not all poetry is scary and complex. Not all poetry is going to take you back to high school English, and not all poetry is going make you feel “stupid”.

You can still say to people that you don’t read poetry … I really don’t mind. Because if you read Fabric, you’re not reading poetry, you’re reading about people. And that’s what reading is about, yes? Living the lives of others? 
Are you still here? I hope so!

Please support the life of poetry today by spreading the news about Fabric. Hey, perhaps you might even like to purchase a copy for yourself? The e-book is only $1.99 and the paperback $5.50.

Here are the links:

Let's keep poetry alive! Because not all poetry is "dead" boring ...

About Jessica Bell:

If Jessica Bell could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. And not because she currently lives in Greece, either. The Australian-native author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist has her roots firmly planted in music, and admits inspiration often stems from lyrics she’s written.

She is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and co-hosts the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop on the Greek Isle of Ithaca, with Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest.

For more information about Jessica Bell, please visit:



Monday, May 23, 2011

Sneaky Red Sock GIVEAWAY Winners!

The winners of The Sneaky Red Sock Giveaway are:

Monica Mansfield @ Storytelling and Me
Linda H. @ Lind-guistics

Whoot!!!!  Each of you have won a signed copy of Ali Murdoch's poetry collection entitled The Sneaky Red Sock.  Congrats!  I'll be in touch via email to gather your mailing 411.

Thanks for playing along, everyone!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sneaky Red Sock GIVEAWAY!

[Don't miss the Giveaway details at the bottom of this post!!]

A couple months ago, my sister's brother-in-law contacted me about a book his colleague wrote titled The Sneaky Red Sock.

Ali Murdoch is the creative mind behind this eclectic collection of poems.  Murdoch's sense of humor permeates everything he pens, including his Amazon Author Central author blurb:

Ali Murdoch is an entrepreneur turned author, who had to rely on the business route when his sporting career was cut tragically short by a lack of any real talent. The father of three very troublesome children he lives on Long Island, New York and does his best to keep control by threatening to recite poems at night unless they go to bed. It even works some of the time!

What I loved about this book:

Murdoch's clever prose reminds me of Shel Silverstein's work.  Like Silverstein, Murdoch crafts poems with a wonderful melodic quality and canny humor.

Every poem illustrates the sharp, witty way Murdoch perceives the world around him.  This book is full of smart plays on words and observant imagery that brought a smile to my face again and again.

The comic drawings by illustrator Simon Goodway were brilliant and heightened the humor of each piece.

The website Murdoch created to promote his book is wonderful!  Check it out here -->

Here's an example I loved from the book:

by Ali Murdoch, The Sneaky Red Sock, page 24

I was given a quiz, which I think I've solved
To explain the difference between Committed and Involved.
I was eating my breakfast, when the analogy fitted,
The hen was involved, but the Pig was committed.

Some Criticisms:

This book is self-published -- which I think is fantastic!!  However, a publisher may have cautioned against a couple things, such as:

The Sneaky Red Sock looks like its target audience is children.  The cover art is bright and cartoon-ish, something I would expect to see shelved in the children's book section.  And, the back cover blurb begins with, Welcome to a world where booby traps are successfully sprung, ghosts frighten teddy bears, and sneaky red socks turn everything in your washer a nice salmon color.  -- All this suggests to me that it is appropriate for children.

And in fact, many of the poems are.  But many aren't.  In the back blurb's second paragraph, Murdoch says, Misbehaving children and even grandparents' rowdy parties are all dissected with a moral scalpel...  -- I think a traditional publisher would have taken greater care to market this book to one intended audience.

Also, a publisher would have used a professional editor who would have found and fixed the mechanical issues throughout the book, starting perhaps with the punctuation typo on the back cover:  This eclectic mix of poems, cartoons and ditties brings you face to face with the US Army's most secretive of weapons, "the Bunny Blaster" and their all new "Think Tank".

Above all else, though, Murdoch's wonderful sense of humor captures your attention and keeps you turning the pages to see what ingenious and entertaining observations of life's absurdities he tackles next.  The Sneaky Red Sock truly has something for every member of the family to enjoy, though adults should pick out those their younger children will most appreciate.

I have THREE signed copies of The Sneaky Red Sock to share with you!  To add your name to the drawing I'll hold on Monday, May 23rd simply leave me a comment on this post!

Please Tweet and FaceBook!  Thanks!!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

'J' is for...?

I'm so happy Jessica Bell had the insanely creative idea to use the A-Z Blogfest as an experimental canvas for 'showing' emotions/feelings/states of mind.  And I'm thrilled she asked me to partner up with her!  We're working with the same list of prompt words and using them to inspire our fiction or poetry.

Today, our prompt word begins with 'J'. Based on the poem below, can you guess what emotion/etc. I've depicted?  Looking forward to your guesses in the comments!  Here goes:

A wicked temptress stalks her prey tonight,
With graceful gait, hips sway to generate
Heart’s sweet desires; mine slowly swells with hate,
The fires of lust sparked in the dark ignite.
Across the room the albatross takes flight,
As if on feathered feet she floats; too late
To stop her stealth approach toward my date,
I sense at once she has him in her sight.

A brush of lips, he whispers in my ear,
I turn; my face is mirrored in his eyes,
Words uttered so no one will overhear,
His hands direct me, to the door they steer,
Last glance I see her glare and realize,
Her jealousy's not veiled by silent jeer.

Any idea what emotion inspired this poem? (Hint: I wrote this a couple years ago prompted by the same word, and it appears in this poem :D)

BTW, this is a Petrarchan, or Italian Sonnet.  A Petrarchan Sonnet is a fourteen line poem distinguished by its strict iambic pentameter and rigid rhyme scheme: abba abba cdc cdc (Sicilian sestet). The first eight line stanza, the octave, establishes the theme and developes the poem in a certain direction. The ninth line is the turn which heralds a distinct change in tone from the octave. The second stanza, or the sestet, introduces a new development in a different direction, with the first tercet carrying this new direction to a definite point; and the final tercet bringing the theme to a conclusion.

Be sure to visit Jessica's Blog and read her 'J' entry!  See you over there :))


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Off-the-Cuff Poetry: Double Acrostic

I'm feeling lots of love and harmony in my universe today, mostly because my sweet friend and crit partner showered me with both on her blog today.  I hope you pop over to visit Jessica Bell today, to see first hand why such a talented writer is also an amazing friend.

I'm into Day #7 of the 15 For 15 contest at  Halfway there!  Each day, out of the 50 entries the contest judge chooses her five favorites as that day's "winners."  Top pick gets 1004 points, second gets 1003, and so on.  A scoreboard is updated every day.  If you miss two entries in a row, you're dropped from the competition.  At the end of the 15 days, the writer with the most accumulated points "wins."  (Prizes of the sites virtual tokens are awarded the first, second and third place winners.)  Of course, it's not about the points.  If you stretch your writing muscles, rising to the challenge every day and producing creative, inspired entries, you WIN.

That said, I won yesterday, earning 1004 points.  My entry follows, but first here's what I wrote for the current photo which will be judged today:

When I first saw it, I groaned.  I suck at fantasy writing.
I went the metaphor route, instead.

                                      Heinous  m ~ o ~ n ~ s ~ t ~ e ~ r   HatreD
                                      Asphalt black, arched back, winged warrioR
                                      Terrorizing, blow torched words; boiling anger-spA
                                      Rancor rooted in fearful heart    ~~   RaginG
                                      Extinguish your flaming snout! Spout no mO'
                                      Decide to love, even that which you have yet to learN

And here is yesterday's prompt. The squirrel in this photo is actually a Malabar Giant Sqirrel.  Lives in India.  Go figure! My entry is below.  

Miss Pamela Parrot, while grooming the long red feathers in her right wing, noticed movement below on the forest floor. She pulled her beak away and cocked her head so she could see better out of the facing eye.

What in tar-nation? she wondered.

A furry mass of vibrant blue and red scuttled to the base of a long-dead tree just opposite the tree Miss Pamela perched upon. Her pupil dilated and constricted, trying to better focus on it, as the thing climbed with lightening speed to the topmost nubs of broken trunk. It was only then that she could pinpoint what she was seeing.

"Little Scotty Squirrel? Is that you?"

Scotty Squirrel didn't answer. He stared straight ahead, whiskers twitching in concentration. At the same time the tip of his pink tongue snuck out the corner of his snout, he lifted three paws off his wooden perch. Wobbling wildly, he clamped his claws back down, righting himself before he tumbled into the airy void. Then, composed, he tried again.

"Scotty? Son, what are you doing there? And what's happened to your beautiful golden coat. Looks like someone tried to paint a canvas with your pelt!" She cackled at the thought.

Scotty almost lost his balance again and glared at Pamela. She eyed him again, and a thought dawned in her mind. Slowly, she lowered the leg tucked up against her breast and wrapped the talons around the branch, side-by-side with the other claw. Scotty seemed relieved and placed again all four of his paws on solid wood.

"I've come," he began, then cleared his throat. He began again. "I've come, Miss Pamela, to ask your hand in marriage."

Miss Pamela began to laugh, but caught herself just in time. Little Scotty's eyes were bright, hard. He was completely serious.

Miss Pamela tossed her head, then bowed it. Raising her eyes, she said, "I'm very flattered, Scotty. Honest, I am! But, dear, we are two very different species."

"But I love you!"

She stretched her wings, flapped them before refolding them at her sides. "You are the sweetest little thing! But we live different lives, eat different things. And besides, I'm so old, I remember when your great-great-great-great grandparents were born!"

Scotty Squirrel carefully stood on his two hind legs. A breeze threatened to topple him but he held fast. When he was sure of his balance, he looked up and into Miss Pamela's eyes. "It's okay. You aren't ready. I understand. I can wait...."

As he raced down the tree trunk headfirst, he wondered what on earth parrots ate...

Thanks so much for reading!  Have a fantastic day :D



Friday, October 22, 2010

Celebrating "Daddy"

I've been revisiting Sylvia Plath's poems this week and reflecting on her dark genius.  She is by far one of my favorite poets, because her work never fails to get under my skin and inside my heart.

In Sylvia Plath's poetry, as well as her fiction, suicide is a recurring theme.  And each mention of suicide makes her work all the more haunting for readers today, forty-seven years after she took her own life.  One such poem is "Daddy."

I first discovered "Daddy" a couple years ago when I was researching allegory in poetry.  I was hypnotized by Sylvia's words, by the tone of the piece and the way it affected my emotions.  Then, I found the video on YouTube of Sylvia herself reading the poem.  It became an instant favorite of mine.

I'm going to share that video here, and just below it are the words to "Daddy."  You can scroll and follow along -- I think that makes the experience that much better.  I hope you enjoy it.

by Sylvia Plath

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You--

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.

If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.

~12 October 1962~

What's your favorite poem or poet?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


My sister and I were almost Irish Twins. Eleven days after I turned one, she was born. We were raised like twins, though, for the first couple years of our lives. Mom dressed us in matching clothes, cut our hair in identical styles. But as we grew into our personalities, we learned how different we were. How different were the things we coveted in life.

We left the family nest on opposite roads, in search of our desires. For several years, we hardly spoke.

I wrote the first "Sister" poem during those angry, silent years.

Just before last Christmas, my sister cried out. For help. For her life. I answered. That week, I wrote the second "Sister" poem.

My sister is starting a new life. Clean. I'm so proud of her. She's (always) on my mind, and since I can't seem to concentrate on much else today, I'll share my "Sister" poems with you.

A Sister Lost

ges ago we shared our lives, but now.....

adness tortures my soul when I think of you
mmersed in glamorous audacity, skin and ego
troked by countless people, but none who really love you. I see you
rample down fields of flowers in reckless pursuit of nothing that matters
ager to finger that golden horizon.
eaching, insatiable, for the jewel-encrusted platter

aden with unrestricted choices, you are
blivious to the pewter chalice you've knocked to the floor
pilling my love, unnoticed, under the
able of your life.

By Nicole Ducleroir 10/2008

A Sister Found

ging accusations became brittle with time

iphoning the last of my stubborn resolve
nto the abysmal void where what matters not is
ilenced, forever.
ime is touted as the healer of all pain, but
veryone knows it takes more.
eaching out from your fractured world, shaking the family tree, you

orced me forward, frightened, until the gap between us snapped shut and
rder returned to the universe in my heart.
nwritten chapters await our pen; across the first pristine page I write:
Never, ever again will I accept a day of my life
evoid of your precious light.

By Nicole Ducleroir 12/2009

Author's Note: Due to width limitations of blogger post columns, some of the longer lines of these acrostics fell to the next line. Arg.

Artwork by Linda Wilder

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Empty Fish Tank

Almost exactly a year ago to the day my husband brought Mr. Odie home to live with us. He has been one of the best pets ever... considering he's a fish. For one, he hasn't died yet. In terms of our experiences with fish, he's a centenarian. Hell, he's freakin' Yoda.

The kids really wanted a kitten, in fact, Sidney had launched a full-blown campaign to persuade her father that our family was sadly incomplete without a pet. When Christian brought Mr. Odie home the children were enthusiastic (even Sidney, who declared this "was not what she meant by a pet"), especially since Mr. Odie was a Betta Fish. Up until then, we'd only welcomed standard Tetras and Mollies into our tank. They were fun to have around for the week or so they managed to stay alive. Betta fish are apparently much heartier creatures. In addition, Mr. Odie has real personality. He comes right to the glass when you peer into his tank. And they say a Betta Fish is as playful as a dolphin. If you drop a ping pong ball onto the surface of the water, a Betta Fish will push it around the tank with his nose. Although, if Mr. Odie can perform this trick, he's keeping it a secret from us.

In honor of Mr. Odies's annivarsary, I'd like to share a poem I wrote last year prior to his arrival.

You see, the fish tank occupies what I consider valuable real estate in the kitchen. It's located on a stretch of wall between the end of the countertop and the table -- a space where I have always envisioned a bulky, rustic sideboard-like piece of furniture where I could store table linens and the overflow of dinner ware. There was almost a year between the passing of the last fish and Mr. Odie's arrival. During that time, the fish tank was empty. I wanted it dismantled and moved to the garage, but Christian liked the look of an aquarium and enjoyed the percolating sound of water through the filter. So it stayed. Empty.

I'd planned on framing the following poem and hanging it above the vacant tank, as a passive-aggressive jab at my husband's stubbornness. Before I got the chance, he brought the Betta home. Mr. Odie, this one's for you!

The Empty Fish Tank
By Nicole Ducleroir

Giggling water gurgles
from a guppy's ghost town tank
It sits fishless in my kitchen;
Stubborn husband I have to thank.

He'd see the stretch of wall undressed
should the vacant tank disappear;
That the spot would sport a buffet
is ignored by his id austere.

The battle of mismatched iron wills
rages on the silent front line.
I'll bide my time, but once I find
that perfect piece....
The space is MINE.