I curtsy before you…

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photo by Jeanne (painted by Annika)

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Instead of composing my own poem about “manners” today, I want to share these hilarious bits from other poets. These are today’s prompt from Jan Hutchinson.

Manners Prompt
Write a poem made up of suggestions (real or absurd) for
appropriate manners or behavior in specific situations. You might
talk about being taught manners. Or you might simply entitle your
poem “Manners” and go somewhere unexpected.

Carrie says it’s more rude to stare at a blind man on the street
than to make a fat person joke about someone on TV.
Tony Hoagland

If someone you know
who died long ago
appears to you in dream,
it is rude to point out to them
that they are actually already dead.
jch

…silence is always good manners
and often a clever thing to say
when you are at a party.
Tony Hoagland
in “Social Life”

Style
Mary June’s brother Willard always had
just a certain corner of his handkerchief
hanging out of his hip pocket. That was
my first intimation of a personal style.
My hair wouldn’t comb down; so
every night for years I wore
one of Aunt Klara’s silk stockings
pulled firmly on top of my head.
When we had company my mother was always
afraid I would swing my soup spoon
toward me rather than away. And I was to
leave a little, not scraps like a dog at the last.
These glimpses of decorum in my early life
have fitted me for success. My manners,
my neat handkerchief, and my tame haircut
have seen me through everyday encounters with society.
William Stafford
in The Way It Is

Manners
Sit, she said. The wolf sat. Shake, she said.
He held his face and tail still
and shook everything in between. His fur
stood out in all directions. Sparks flew.
Dear sister, she wrote. His yellow eyes
followed the words discreetly. I have imagined
a wolf. He smells bad. He pants and his long tongue
drips onto the rug, my favorite rug. It has arrows
and urns and diamonds in it. The wolf sits
where I’ve stared all morning hoping
for a heron: statuesque, aloof,
enigmatic. Be that way, the wolf said.
There are other poets.
Pamela Alexander
in Inland

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In the here and now

byBoyanaPetkova

illustrator: Boyana Petkova

Some say

there is no now,

just this hairline crack

between the past

and the future

in which we sense

our presence.

 

Others say

there is nothing

but the now,

and the now

is eternal,

expansive.

 

This is not an argument.

It’s a paradox.

                   jch 6/28/2015

Definition #183 Artist

Jeanne the artist strikes a note!

Jeanne the artist
strikes a note!

 “I am

a birdbrain;

I have no right

to sing.”

jch 7/9/2014

My Song:

What is an artist?

Artist

See with third eye

Breathe in the Spirit

Blossom with passion

Perceive light and shadow

Discern

Listen

Create like the creator’s daughter

Celebrate diversity!

E-Poetry

Who came to the Poetry Reading?

Who came to the Poetry Reading?

Every April, Jan Hutchinson stages a poetry reading of her April Poetry Month Prompts
with the help of Cecile at the Roe Jan Library in Hillsdale, NY.
From 230 writers, we gleaned some 30 who shared their work with us.

Some of them played and sang,
some strummed and intoned,
some recited lyrics hankering for a melody,
some read, carefully rocking us with their chants,
some made us laugh with absurdity.

Some shared secrets,
some tweeted scant phrases that fit in the cracks,
some whispered; some shouted,
some wrote; some didn’t,
some gestured in polka-dotted tights.

Jan read too, modestly,
elegantly pulling the whole thing together,
a wide track from Great Barrington to Hillsdale,
from meadows to ponds, from hills and vales,
reaching even to Armenia’s 16 year old bards.

Three years in a row:
seeds planted
poems bloomed:
poetry’s Boo-Peep
and her sheep.

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