RAWR!

Attainable
Untamable
Creative
Investigative
Explore my mind to find
The woman behind these eyes
Independent
Fierce and Strong
No cage will hold me long
Set out
Upon the world
Forging my path
Nec Sorte Nec Fato
I am not just a thing of beauty
I’m not just a girl
Brains
Feelings
Memories and more
Not just human
With love never poor
Raw
Funny and fabulous
I am not like the rest of us
Like you
Like me
Like Her
Like the artist canvas
High upon the easel
I am many things
I am many people
Lesbian
Lover
Loud
Proud and a mother
Stand behind me
Stand before me
Stand with me
And never against me
Or I will mow you down
I am woman
Hear me RAWR!

Twitter: How it helps me as a writer and poet

I was recently asked to write a short comment about how Twitter helped me ( @NikkiDreams )  as a poet. My new friend Tony Riches ( @tonyriches ) over at The Writing Desk: Writing, thoughts and useful links for writers got more than he bargained for I think. Well simple request kind of turned into an entire blog. I have so much to say about this and to understand how it helps me you really need to know a little about my past as far as that is concerned and how I evolved to this point.

I first started writing about 3 or 4 years ago in my early 40’s. Before that I have never written or read much of anything. I hated English and literature all through school. In fact until 5 years ago I had not read more than maybe 15 books my entire life. As a Fine Arts major at East Carolina University in North Carolina I continued to loath English, writing and literature until I had one amazing and inspirational class during a summer session my “2nd” junior year. It was “Old English”. The teacher had a masters in it along with a few other degrees. Books like “Beowulf” and “Njal’s Saga” blew me away. I still have the books I bought for the class to this day. The teacher even spoke old English and read poems and stories from that period. That planted the seed in me that took another 17 years to grow. but I was captivate and truly inspired by what I read and learned in that class.

17 or so years later while going through a very difficult, painful and metamorphic period in my life, I started writing. Blogging actually. It was a cathartic and healing experience I started to enjoy immensely. My writing began to blossom and so did my appetite for reading. I have read more books in the past 5 years than my previous 40. I started writing more poetry offline. And eventually started posting it in between regular blogs. Almost overnight I found a new creative outlet that appealed to me as much as my other artistic pursuits in music and illustration. I posted and people responded. That fueled me as much as any visual artist receiving favorable reviews about their work.

Then came Twitter a few years ago. I went a year without using my account. Then I started cross posting poems and linking them on Twitter to reach more people, faster. Twitter is a hugely viral way to get instant feedback and provide expose for more people directly to to your work. I use Twitter more and more as a tool to get that exposure and instant gratification, as well as just make some great frineds online. Amazingly I have only recently realized and taken advantage of using Twitter to educate myself and find other resources. Connecting to other writers of all types has really been a blessing not only to see how they write but to find great resources. The first Twitter poet I satrted following is Samuel Peralta ( @Semaphore & his blog Semephore ). Jessica Kristie ( @jesskristie & her blog  jessicakristie.com )  is another wonderful poet among several I follow.  One Stop Poetry ( @Onestoppoetry ) is also another really wonderful connection for Twitter Poets.

Interestingly enough the art of writing micro-poetry on Twitter is great practice for writers. You really have to think sometimes to get an idea across elegantly in so few words. And there is almost no better outlet for stream of consciousness writing. I do that all the time on Twitter and Tumblr with short poems and bursts of creative ideas. It makes you think in a much different way. If you are good you can successfully break with accepted grammatical rules that actually work better in poetic formats. While this is my opinion, I have found the best poets not only break with tradition on a grand scale they even make up their own words as part of the art. Fitting everything in that 140 character burst of writing forces you to do that more often than not. And it is good for creativity. The AP and Chicago style books and my High School English teachers may cringe and disagree. But what is art if it does not break the rules and create new ones.

All those micro-poems, lines of Haiku, creative thoughts and “Twitter Poems” have helped me learn how to write better. Often, those little bursts of creativity are seeds for larger and more complex ideas that grow into full poems. One of those little bursts on Twitter actually evolved into a full screenplay that I am writing. And the coolest thing is not only the instant feedback, but the reminder is always there in your timeline so you can ignite that larger idea on paper, in a blog and hopefully as a published work later on. They are like little notes to myself sometimes. If only my spelling and editing skills were up to par. Yes there is always room for improvement. My very first published poems on other sites were the direct result of using Twitter as my own creative outlet and yes, cringe, a marketing tool. But hey, nobody is going to read your work if they don’t know about it or how to get to it.

So that is my story and I am sticking to it. Twitter has been a major reason my poetry has blossomed not only in exposure but a catalyst or rather inspiration for my love of writing. I have connected with some very extraordinary poets and writers because of Twitter. And I look forward to many more great connections. You can expect to see me on there for as long as it is a relevant and useful way to get exposure and grow as a writer. I expect it will be around for quite a few years.

And the Inspiration never ends.

For a Moment

I thought I heard your name
Turning to look I saw the pipers race across the beach
Edge of the advancing surf
The choreographer in their daily ballet

Long sheets of liquid glass coat the shores
Revealing deep blue skies in the warming sands
A whole universe reflected at my feet
For moment I thought I saw you staring back at me

Morning walks on the beach
Are like the confessional of the senses
Long forgotten memories peak out cautiously
From their cool dark burrows in our minds

The odd wave crashes mightily near the shore
A vision of childhood awakens in the concision
The foamy smell of salty air unlocks a lifetime
I look up seeing playful figures form in the blowing spray

Rushing water erasing footprints
Toes sink into the quickening sand
Water teasing my ankles biting cold then a familiar coolness
For a moment I though I felt your hand in mine

Notice how time slows as we shuffle in the surf
Organic patterns and ripples form around me
Timeless art renewed with each new wave
Pictures in my mind shifted by the years

My mind wanders with my eyes along the horizon
Pelicans gliding effortless over the contours of the sea
An excited dog bolts out across the beach
Playful thoughts returning to the present

I sit below the dunes a broken reed at my feet
A collection of shells arranged in a smile at my side
Left undisturbed the beach will reclaim this spot
The same is true for memories of you

The Emptiness is My Art

 

I struggle to make peace with you
Your bony withered hand
Clenched in a ball around my heart
Time drags on along quiet empty shores
Your faded dying skin
Wrapped like worn gauze around my bones
The warmth of feeling distant in my mind
Your wretched smile
Trapped in mirrors before me
My eyes blackened in the gray of living
Your stream of whispers
Silencing the music in my ears
Memories peeling off my papered walls
You tear my soul
Discarded shreds of life from colored pages
Beaten down a crawl at snails pace
You impeded my stride
Iron balls weighting mortal thoughts deep
The sands no match for your gale
Each grain etch and scars a constant reminder
A endless symphony of monotone chants
This is your destiny
This your tragic way
The torch of cold lifeless flame
Burns brighter each loveless day
I struggle to make peace with you
The emptiness is my art
Your charge to care for always
We are bound forever cold
My lost and lonely heart

Where the Sunrise

Where there is courage to rise each day
The shadow of fear covers the path in darkness
Desire stands alone conscious in the obscure of night
Confidence the sacred jewel on a crown of hope

Where there is will

Where there is want of more each moment
The frozen grip of insecurity binds us in our place
Longing reins in the fears rooted in our minds
Strength the tireless companion standing at our side

Where there is courage

Where there is hunger for that outside our grasp
The walls of failure rise to obscure our way
Optimism casts its light on endless mazes
Determination an unstoppable force on the road of achievement

Where there is love

Where there is zest to live each waking moment
The pain of sadness cripples even the most able
Passion fuels the fire that warms our hearts
Love the the golden sunrise in the gift of life

Changing it all…

I have spent my life changing. Trying to change. Trying to improve myself. Working towards a better me. There was a time in my life I did not care. That is no longer me. I admit I am far from perfect. I procrastinate like a pro. I fall back into self destructive patterns as fast as the wind changes direction. I cuss like a sailor. The list goes on. Basically I am my own worst enemy. My fear to live a life better than I am now is fueled by self doubt. Yeah me. I am not the pinnacle of self-confidence I pretend to be. Funny how several people have noted how confident I am upon meeting the for the first time.

I am an INCREDIBLE actress. When it suits me.

But oh how I fall. I have been working for months now with a therapist and self evaluation to try and get past these last seemingly insurmountable hurdles. The irony being all that I have changed about who I am and my life over the last 3 years. You can change or fix just about anything with surgery these days. You can change your entire wardrobe. You can change careers. You can change your hair color, cut and style. You can change jobs and latitudes. You can change your mood with a little help from a friend. And yes you can even change your sex apparently. We are a world fast becoming a planet of designer humans.

But there are two things you cannot change. Your past and your mind. I hear the sound of squealing breaks of disagreement on that last one. I say that out of experience really. So hear me out. We can change the way we feel about a great many things. Education and enlightenment play a big role there. We can OVERCOME, contain or control a great many things in our heads. Just having an open mind and a willingness to change are pivotal in ones ability to modify your thoughts and feelings.

I am struggling. Struggling to change that last bit of me I hate so much. I am afraid to live and free myself of all those fears that hold me back year after year. Those fears that pull me back in to self destructive patterns. The fear that keeps me from living all the dreams I carry with me to protect me from the darkest places of my mind. I feel like a small child that just wants someone to hold my hand. Just long enough to take me across that bridge of fear.

But there is no hand. And all the confidence I can muster seems short lived. I am afraid of people. I meet people and never see or hear from them again or look them in the eyes and feel I am not liked for some reason. Am I too tall, too ugly, too pretty, too weird? I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere. This I have felt all my life. I still feel this way.

See all that self defeating stuff. It leads to being lonely. It leads to self doubt. It is that thing I have never been able to change about my mind. The part of my mind I cannot change despite my best efforts. And I don’t know why or how.

If only I could get past the fears in my mind that keep me from truly being the person I am in my own dreams.

in the silence

a heart longing to beat
lungs searching for a breath of fresh air
arms acing to hold
a slow dance in a room with no music
dinner for one in a restaurant of many
wind blowing in hair unfelt.
the unopened box of chocolates on the counter
an empty glass of a pair
gray clouds in a clear blue sky
a single room apartment.
the lone chair in the window
remembering what is lost

a Whisper in the Silence.

Wreck of the s/v Evening Song

Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!
This is the sailing vessel Evening Song
Latitude 22°28’14.25″N
Longitude 154°51’9.77″W

Evening Song, Evening Song, Evening Song
This is the US Coast Guard
What is the nature of your distress?

Evening Song, Evening Song, Evening Song…

The harsh din of static fills the airwaves
Rush to service boats and helicopters launch
Always on standby
Always waiting
The job they love
The job they hate

A night rescue filled with peril
Neptune’s rage unleashed
An ocean of wind and blowing foam
Torn mountainous peaks of writhing waters
Black rain coating a blackened sky

6 souls
6 frineds
6 lovers
Alone in a torrent
Lost at sea

Spotlights strain to pierce the night
Nothing
Eyes struggle losing focus
Nothing
Radars piercing the angry gale
Nothing

Choppers on scene
Two in the air
A ship and three boats soon arrive to a watery grave
Waiting, looking, hoping
A long face peers out from the helm

20 hours maybe more
A search for life
A search for clues
No sign of the ill-fated
No word from the crew

The quieting storm reveals no clues
A search called off
Day three in the air
All vessels to port
Relatives’ blank stares

Alone on the beach
Sadly she stands
Daughter of the captain
Child of the sea
Her parents taken no goodbyes only tears

A voyage of discovery
A passage among frineds
To visit the islands and be with loved ones again
Sailing the ocean a call to the seas
Ended one night with the last Evening Song