PHOENIX RISING – DESTINATION: POETRY – WHERE AM I?

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Let’s talk setting this week. We know, everything happens someplace, in some frame of time. That is the environment of our poetry.

Observe your surroundings. Maybe you’re indoors in a room. How is it appointed? Furnished? Unfurnished? What part of the building is it? What building is it in? Suppose you are outdoors. How’s the weather? What time of year are you experiencing? Urban or rural? What country, region, city or township is it? Year? These are all a part of our setting.

And setting can be categorized in three distinct ways: physical, historical or cultural/social.

PHYSICAL SETTING

  • location
  • the climate
  • natural or topographical features
  • architecture
  • furnishings

HISTORICAL SETTING

  • time and date in history
  • events having historical significance (past or present)

CULTURAL/SOCIAL SETTING

  • people
  • cultural background
  • ethnic background
  • socioeconomic situation
  • religious/philosophical beliefs

Since poetry is a concise expression, the implications of setting are a major function of the rest of the poem.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to write your poems this week with a main concentration on the three aspects of setting and less on the characters within your verse. Go into specific detail and inject imagery into the places and settings that inspire you. Ask yourself, “Where am I?” and write about it!

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61 thoughts on “PHOENIX RISING – DESTINATION: POETRY – WHERE AM I?

  1. William Preston

    UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

    Head north, head north,
    ever following the north star;
    head north, head north,
    and though you falter, go on forth
    to stations near and stations far,
    to hide in garret, barn, or bar.
    Head north. Head north.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. William Preston

    GAZING AT THE MEDIEVAL CATHEDRAL

    The gargoyles leer
    and chill my soul clear to the bone;
    the gargoyles leer
    with grimace, gesture, snarl, and sneer,
    as though for sins I should atone.
    Despite their fundament in stone,
    the gargoyles leer.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. They can be intimidating…
    yet all they can spout is what the sky puts out.
    Very nice.

    Like

  4. In my Mother’s Valise I put…

    the architecture of my soul
    is packed away in a suitcase
    once known as a valise

    it belonged to my mother
    and it wasn’t that small, was quite heavy
    adorned with rivets and fraying leather trip
    the color of the outside was
    like blue and white marbling

    for years I kept it, stored old clothes in it
    I let it go a few years back
    filled with clothes for charity

    that architecture of my soul
    that belonged to a childhood
    that can only be remembered
    first through rose colored glasses
    then through opaque shades
    hiding buckets of ‘what if’ tears, then
    finally through the broken mirror of dreams

    they say it is healing and healthy
    to let go of the past; move on
    create new avenues in this present

    I am a poet, I am a mother,
    now grandmother – my life is full,
    my soul now bared upon
    pages that strangers eyes read –
    they nodding in agreement to some parts

    that the architecture of one’s soul
    can be ever changing, rearranging
    in the physicality
    of our mental states
    budding in spring, fried in summer,
    cooled in autumn and frozen in winter;
    as we get carried away…in being lost and found.

    ©JP/dh

    Liked by 4 people

  5. FRONT PORCH, AS THE BREEZE BLOWS

    Freshly repaired and painted,
    deck chairs stained and remain
    side-by-side. Bamboo screen
    hiding the world from the view.
    Fields, a dream come to life,
    grass undulating in waves
    waiting for the next breath.
    Cloud pocked skies azure
    in hue, through the lattice
    the breeze finds its way.
    The front porch on a perfect day!

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2015

    Liked by 3 people

  6. connielpeters

    An After-Church Poem

    I sit here in my green comfy chair
    tapping the keys of my laptop.
    The living room is open to the kitchen
    where Vanessa pushes away from the table.
    My husband wipes her face, while teasing.
    Vanessa erupts in a fit of giggles.
    She pushes a button on her DynaVox,
    “Loren is being crazy again.”
    “Loren is being crazy again.”
    “Loren is being crazy again.”
    She laughs a deep belly laugh.
    He wheels her out of the kitchen
    so she can watch movies in her room.
    Justin sits beside me in the next chair over.
    With his knees up to his nose,
    he’s falling asleep with his jingle bunny.
    His arm is up with a jingle, jingle
    then his arm slowly lowers
    while his eyes close.
    Then up his arm goes, jingle, jingle,
    then back down.
    Up again, jingle, jingle, back down.
    I type my poem while the radio plays,
    “Here I am on earth, so I’ll let my words be few.
    Jesus, I am so in love with you.”

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Mother’s Embrace

    Clover, dandelion greens and grass carpet the loam beneath my bare feet. Nearly clear cloudless blue is my ceiling, (but for thin cottony wisps decorating horizon). Measures of bird-song and feathered goings-on are my source of unending lessons and inspiration. And now to my left – just amazing now – three black-masked cedar waxwing congregate in trembling aspen. I almost can’t take my gaze off them long enough to write this line. I’ve been waiting for these creamy-breasted creatures with mysterious eyes and now – just now – they’ve taken to sky – chased away by a handful of sparrows. There’re three great pines to my right – a beech, birch and a maple, too – I sit near the fringe where fence keeps honeysuckle and bramble at bay. Marsh lives beyond that will soon blink with indigo irises – purple gems shining through thick of growth. Yes, this – beautiful this – this is my blessed sanctuary – my sitting place for morning coffee – my spilling place for words of adoration – awe for the abundance of creation.

    Breathe in gratitude
    Nature’s arms always open
    exhale thankfulness.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2015

    Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a great week/weekend…I’ll be back to read…thank you for the inspiration, Walt! This is an important topic and I like the idea of stopping and asking oneself, “Where am I?” A good practice in awareness. :)’s

    Liked by 3 people

  8. loricarlson66

    Interesting concept… I do tend to focus too much on the characters and their emotions. I will definitely give this some thought and try to work it into my poetry this week. Thanks!

    Like

  9. I’ve had a crammed and crowded porch… that I have vowed to tackle so I too can look out without ‘skeeter worry in this now ending spring bounding summer ~
    Lovely.

    Like

  10. FRONT PORCH, AS THE THUNDER APPROACHES

    End of day plays Jekyll and Hyde,
    It’s a bit warm to remain inside.
    A hasty retreat is beaten to the cover
    of awning with a rainstorm dawning.
    Deck chairs edge closer; the center
    of the porch as ground zero.
    Clouds dance, Lightning brightening
    the horizon. Hearing in the distance,
    rumbles tumble, a cacophonous cascade;
    nature’s serenade played in tympanic
    tumult. Nearer the furor approaches.
    Rain showers encroach on late spring.
    A brilliant display on the front porch at the end of day!

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2015

    Liked by 2 people

  11. It’s Always Five Inside

    Five years old
    and her world
    has swirled to a
    kaleidoscopic
    confusion.
    A Picasso reality.
    Like Alice, she can’t
    get a grip on this craziness.
    What do they mean,
    Daddy’s in Heaven?
    Why is everyone so quiet,
    tiptoeing around?
    She walks along the
    weathered stone wall
    dragging her ragdoll.
    Poor little lonely girl
    this desertion will
    dog your steps
    even when you’re old.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. TO THE SEAS

    Men must go to the seas.
    Sailor and wayfarer share this desire.
    Mired in rich tradition, a mission
    of heart; determination.
    In ships and boats
    floats and dinghy and rafts.
    Any water-tight craft will serve.
    Grey cummulo-ominous clouds
    churning, yearning for release.
    A treacherous chop,
    the surging surf of a spiraling sea.
    A dangerous dilemma,
    way off shore and a combative oar.
    Wishing to not become debris,
    men must go to the seas.
    God help them all!

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2015

    Like

  13. Just Down The Road

    As evening sky settles pink, four
    friends head to a favorite Italian
    restaurant. Sign in red
    scripted letters on white post
    with an arrow leading several steps
    down into a grotto setting,
    sound of opera playing.

    New waiters speak only Italian,
    smile graciously, and pick up
    a word here and there. Wine flows,
    antipasto plate is whisked away,
    and the main course arrives.
    At meal’s end, collective sighs.
    The four leave sated, carrying
    containers of leftovers, and dessert,
    for which no one had room.

    In darkness, with a sliver
    of moonlight, they walk
    back to their car. The underpass
    is filled with homeless people,
    young and old, huddling together,
    trying to keep the cold at bay.
    “This is a sin,” one couple declares,
    taking out the pristine containers
    of leftovers, and offering them
    to a grateful pair of homeless
    Veterans. “You should not do that,
    the other couple admonishes, “or they
    will not even attempt to pull themselves
    up.”

    Four old friends continue their walk
    in chilling silence.

    It is also up on my blog: http://Purplepeninportland.wordpress.com/just-down-the-road.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ART BEAUTIFULLY COMPOSED

    A cross the field, ‘neath azure skies,
    B eyond the mountains, beyond the seas.
    C learly, one can see the signs
    D iscovered in the beauty of a Summer’s day.
    E verwhere the view proclaims
    F orever lives in always dreams,
    G iving rise to raise your eyes to the
    H eavens, (disguised as azure skies).
    I f man were meant to fly, he’d hover o’er fields green
    J ust to glimpse the beauty exposed.
    K eep your hearts open for
    L ove to live within,
    M indful of the world around you,
    N ot only of yourself. For
    O nce this beauty captures your spirit
    P ursuit of such scenes are repeated, a
    Q uest for the masterpieces of life.
    R eclaim your place in the world, your
    S tation in this fine and expressive work.
    T each your children to appreciate its beauty,
    U nderstanding that what you give them
    V alidates your reason to exist.
    W hether you embrace the world, it is your target.
    X marks the spot where your heart will begin.
    Y ou are always welcome to share your voice,
    Z eniths of art beautifully composed await you.

    © Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik

    Like

  15. FRONT PORCH: EMPTY NEST

    The winds have calmed.
    The rains have ceased
    and now there’s peace.
    Two vacant chairs reside
    and inside the rooms seem vacuous.

    You’ve done your very best
    to build this cozy nest and now,
    you have earned a needed rest
    to reap the fruits of loves labors.

    Just you and mother hen,
    and a chick who will return
    now and again. The walls that bind
    confine in the vibrant hues

    you choose. Peaches and cream,
    lemon yellow and mellow shades
    of beige and blue. When through,
    there will be little left to do.

    The street is rambunctious
    with silence. Across the way
    the creatures in the field play
    and skitter; quite lively critters.

    And the birds clutching their branch
    sing a sweet sparrow sonata.
    Just two facing the world.
    They’ve surrendered their nest,
    the best is yet to come.

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2015

    Like

  16. connielpeters

    The Lake

    Straggly trees covered the embankments
    that flanked each side of the lake
    which stretched out to the blue sky.
    A spattering of fluffy clouds drifted by.
    The bench was up the slope a little ways,
    perhaps far enough that when the water was high,
    people stopping a spell to take in the scene
    wouldn’t get their feet wet.

    Like

  17. connielpeters

    The mountains
    circled the pool,
    like a giant’s bathtub

    Like

  18. […] PHOENIX RISING – DESTINATION: POETRY – WHERE AM I? […]

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