Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year from One Stop Poetry



Happy New Year from One Stop Poetry

Auld Lang Syne
By Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

(CHORUS) For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie's a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS 

image courtesy creative commons http://www.flickr.com/photos/c_r_i_s/

One Stop Poetry celebrates -"The Voice of Art" a closer look at Mitko Gogov



Carrying over the art and concepts of Mitko Gogov from yesterday. I wanted to show you some of the art that Mitko's students have created. 



The Voice of Art


The participants firstly have the opportunity to hear something about the sticker art and the different styles of creating them and during the time for workshop they had the chance to try to create pieces of art in which they will mix different materials as sprays, markers, paper, colors, stencils etc. For the one that were interested in vis a vis conversation I explain more about the old school graffiti, colorful, 3D, characters etc. 

My idea was to try to mix both styles on one board: Big stickers vs. Colors, sprays, stencils, composition. They were pretty interested in the idea also in the topic and all of them invent creative and unique ideas. 


I've done more than 10 courses (like the Voice of Art) connect  students with contemporary art. Basically, this is try to transform all the messages and ideas that we have as youngsters that are ready to take active part in the society through different art workshops.
Moving through this process is like moving through the real ideas, the strategy is the same, we learn about our possibilities, our ability to stand up for our idea.

what the students do
The students and the youth in general are people full of positive visions about everything that surround them. They can create perfect systems for the society in which they'll insert all the necessary things that are needed for the planet Earth safety just using their creativity (for example organic or recycled materials.)


what art is doing for them
Art is like an engine for them. I think that art should generate positive feeling in everyone. Planting art in the daily life of the youth in the society will make them more open and sensitive for real topics. Art in general motivates, inspires, makes the people more common with  nature and the inner soul. Art is changing the youngsters, with that, the society is changing too. ..more art more creativity and ecoLOGICal environment. 

What is your goal with your art workshops:

me as a person that leads this kind of activities/ workshops is motivation to share the information with the participants and to create an atmosphere where we can discuss and exchange our knowledge about art. Learning trough the people that are on same age as me for me is big challenge. There are ideas that one day I hope that I'll see realized. worth to be shown..with strong message that can change the consciousness of the human mind. 



what kind of media do you work with
I use different styles and techniques on my workshops. In basic they are all connected with the contemporary art ..but let's say I've done few workshops with organic and recycled materials. we create amazing expo of art installations and canvases with mixed materials. Painting workshops for expressionism, pop art, action painting. a lot of workshops for street art and the different styles that we see on the streets like stickers, stencils, graffiti, street illustrations etc.
besides these I've done few forum theater workshops also as classical and physical theater. Actually I start using some methods from the theater as energizers between the activities on the training courses or youth exchanges.
I've taken part of some multimedia and film workshops; some of them were part of  international film festivals.







Thursday, 30 December 2010

Moondustwriter's Thursday - guest featuring Artist and writer Mitko Gogov

I’m pleased to introduce One Stop Poetry readers to Mitko Gogov. I met Mitko on Twitter aka @potru ( where I meet most the talented people on the globe). I was drawn to his artwork  never knowing he was a published poet.
Mitko was, born 1983 Skopje, Macedonia and presently lives in France. He is a youth worker and a conceptual artist.  As youth trainer, he provides different creativity workshops such as: forum theater, multimedia, stick art, street art, graffiti, use of organic and recycled materials in contemporary art, handmade and social aspects. 
He has had several international group exhibitions 
and projects held in Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, France, Norway, and Italy. 
Mitko is a published poet and short stories writer in several magazines and anthologies: Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria. 
Active graffiti painter that currently participate on street art festivals, and works as a DJ with the name dzamski, specializing in psychedelic trance, dark forest, 
experimental and ambient sound. 

Mitko what started your journey in the arts and poetry?
Poetry:
Something I know about me, I look through the prism of art. When I was kid I use to write a lot. I have notes with over then 400 poems from that time. I used to write about everything that surrounds me. That outside me and the inner one, the relation between the two. Reading everything that my hands catch and I had the luck to be (all my life) with people who are in the culture and art area. At that time, most of the magazines for literature for kids and youngsters used to publish my poetry and I started with radio show on the radio in my city.
After some breaks, in high school they publish some of my poems in my school almanac & a few magazines in Macedonia; I also took part of some poetry events in my country.
There was the big break after that when I was not writing for a few years and I started again 2-3 years ago since then they’ve published my poetry in Serbia and Croatia in anthologies and in Macedonia in a few magazines for literature and I've done a few poetry performances supported by art installation, sounds, visuals etc.

Art:
In my teenage years, I started with the street art and that inspired me a lot to start with the graffiti, stencils, stickers and cartoons history. All this life hidden behind the streets and the adrenalin as part of the elements that makes the work more interesting. Taking part of some alternative art events as very young also connect me with the art. I start making for different exhibitions and contest miniatures, nature,graphics, some abstracts forms..during the time I start experimenting with stage constructions, urban or art installations. Film, video, multimedia. ..with the all contemporary art trough which I can express my concept. I've done 2 movies: one documentary and one experimental. But I've participate on making of some other film projects as part of the team as director of photography, scenography even once as part of the actors :))
I try to mix the experience from the street and the way of seeing the art also as the classical museum art ..with all this great styles that are changing trough the time.
I have also some works that are results of workshops around the Balkans made of organic and recycled materials. As conceptual artist I try to connect the concept with the origins. To bring the network back to the primitive, where the earth is respected and all the elements that keep us live. I try to promote ecological active environment 

Working from young age on different cultural events, theater and film festivals took me deep into the magic of art as meaning of the life. One of the prime substance for living. People that create art are special, pure, they make unique presence ..



How can you use the arts in your youth work (both written and visual)?
Art is perfect tool for expressing. You can present a specter of ideas trough different art methods. There are different techniques for expressing your future expectations, hopes and fears for example or using the pallet of different art periods and topics. In the contemporary era for the young people is more easy to understand the art, everything around us is art and for them sharing their feelings, emotions, opinions trough art is provocative. When I lead art workshops I give the space to the participants to create their idea on the way they want. .. with the writing skill is easier to explain them how is the proper way to put the things in line that makes sense.
It's a pleasure to be in environment with young people full with visions and ideas for better world, active citizens that are changing the society.


Prelude. Rebirth
by Mitko Gogov

In the traces of the shadows
the tranquility of their silent  voices
is vibrating.
Like lost leaves
we are pushing ourselves toward the sky,
...actors that are playing with the wind.

Prelude of the fear
to be still alive.

Decay, earth, ash,
bottles at the end of the coast,
without stopper,
without message

we transforming into particles
somewhere into  the Ocean.



All work Copyright 2010 M. Gogov
Mitko is also on Facebook 

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

One Shot Poetry Wednesday (Week 26)


Welcome to One Shot Wednesday!

Hello, Everyone! I'm Adam Dustus, your host for this week's OSW. As 2010 draws to a close, it is my pleasure to begin the festivities for our final One Shot of this year. Before beginning, I'd like to officially welcome Gay Cannon (beachanny) to The One Stop Team. We are extremely fortunate for her skillful help (in addition to her overall wonderfulness); and in case you missed it, check out her excellent Monday post on a familiar face from One Shot Wednesday, Anthony Desmond Scott

*Also, don't forget about the One Shot Wednesday "Best of the First 6 Months Anthology." If you entered a poem in weeks 1 - 25, then you are eligible. Please refer to One Shot Wednesday Anthology for more information.

Okay, enough with the speeches, let's get right into it....
If you are new to our weekly poetry meme, here are the guidelines:

1) Write a poem (due to the growing number of links, please post 1 poem)

2) Link your post to One Shot via Mr Linky (put in your name & URL of poem)

3) Please visit the poetry sites of other One Shot poets & provide feedback

4) And don't forget to invite others to join in our community of online poets!

*All forms of poetry are accepted.

Thank you for your participation & support,
dustus
 

One Stop Spotlight - Roary Williams aka @CoyoteSings

Roary Williams is one of the poets I met on twitter when he re-tweeted one of my haikus. I had a look at his profile and blog "My dreams move slowly" and immediately fell in love with his poem "The Reason: for poets who have lost their way." Written in such a warm-hearted and sensitive way, it just touched my soul and I think most poets can very much relate to his words.

After following and contacting him, I found out that he has a big heart for micropoetry spread through twitter. Below, he will tell us more about his vision of using twitter as a platform for poetry, encouraging other poets and collecting twitter-poetry. I can highly recommend following him on twitter (@CoyoteSings). He will brighten up your day with the micropoetry he's spreading.

But first, enjoy a few of his poems...I won't tell you how often I've read "The Reason: for poets who have lost their way"... no, I won't...

~ Claudia


"The Reason: for poets who have lost their way"

All these poets, doing battle in their chairs,
Writing about cherry blossoms, and crows,
and gentle birds maybe flying, maybe singing,
maybe doing nothing at all
except looking pretty.

Writing about the sun, the moon, and each individual star
as if they all had names and meaning, and could talk back to us.

Writing about love, and more love, and even more love
until there is so much love we have to rent
an extra warehouse to store it all in.

Writing about beautiful melancholy, and glorious depression,
as if those things were some sort of beautiful smack
that made men keen and women swoon.

Writing about the curious, writing about the mundane,
Writing writing writing until the seats of their chairs
are stained with black spots of words.

Writing as if their lives depended on it (they don’t).
Writing as if the world needed to hear them (it doesn’t).

Writing on behalf of all humanity,
Writing on behalf of themselves,
Writing because the world is spinning
and they can’t figure out
where or when
to get off.

Writing about death,
Writing about almost dying,
Writing about death in the first, second, and third person,
from behind the fourth, fifth, and sixth wall…

And then…

a million words later, growing through the rubble,
this beautiful daisy smiles, and bows her head and says

“Thank you for thinking of me. I was sure you all had forgotten.”

and then she holds up her roots like a prom dress
and scurries off giggling, as if she were late
for a birthday party, leaving dirt
all over my desk.


________________________

micropoetry:

broken glass
this sun
that shines through you
(senryu)

***

I could not
find the words
so silence
found them
for me
(gogyohka)

***

I said it
in three words
you said it
with your eyes
closed...
(gogyohka)

***

first frost
all the stars
the night left on my lawn
(haiku)

***

inside
stars hanging on trees
outside
trees hanging on stars
silent night
(gogyohka)

***

sometimes
sparrows fly out of my poems
and I have to chase them down
and put them
into another poem
(gogyohka)

***

this desert monk
who needs no water
sits waiting
for his one flower
-cactus

***

in the dead of night
the remote conversations
of neighborhood dogs
(haiku/senryu)

***

my heart
this insistent hawk
I cannot keep down
though I stand
two feet on the ground
(gogyohka)

***

I trade sparrows
birdseed
for company
and leftover
songs
(gogyohka)

***

© Roary Williams (@CoyoteSings)


About Roary:

I live in central New Mexico, in the high desert, and have lived here since 1989. I grew up in Detroit, Michigan however. While most people on Twitter know me as a poet (I like to call myself a micropoet), I have spent more of my life as a musician. I play and write on my keyboards, which are synthesizers, but I grew up on a baby grand piano. I also played classical violin for eight years as a youth, and was in a local symphony.

But I've written poetry since I was a kid. My main influence for writing poetry is e. e. cummings. I honestly have not read many other poets, except what I came across in school. I loved cumming's use of words, punctuation, but mostly his unique ideas. Considering he was writing in the 50's, I always thought he was a poet who really broke ground in his words.

I love the idea of poetry on Twitter, and see micropoetry as a rebirth of the older Japanese poetry, such as haiku, senryu, and tanka. In the earlier times of Japanese poetry, they wrote socially, and form and content was followed strictly. It was a way for the people to connect. I see this reborn in the micropoetry of Twitter, where people connect with their poetry in an electronic social media. While much less strict, forms are still followed, albeit nothing like the traditional Japanese forms. I see myself and other micropoets as pioneers, of a sort, reinventing poetry in mostly 140 characters or less. Links to longer poetry are often ignored, but the micropoetry that finds itself into tweets is read voraciously, and through the function of retweets, talented poets are read by many people. The micropoets of Twitter often inspire each other, and work off of each other in a way that, before Twitter, was not done with the lightning speed it is done now. An idea, a theme can spread like wildfire and you can have 20 micropoets relating to each other in just a few hours, even sometimes a few minutes. Poetry has taken a resurgence on Twitter, and I think it is phenomenal.

Before I started writing micropoetry, I wrote mostly essays, and believe it or not, mostly about ferrets, posting to the Ferret Mailing List as an advocate for ferrets. I also, for a short time, wrote Bridge greetings which are short stories written about real ferrets who have died, written in order to comfort their keepers (I don't like to use the word "owners"). Ferret keepers whose ferrets had died took great comfort in the stories of their ferrets making it to the Bridge, a sort of in-between place where ferrets wait for their keepers to claim them in the afterlife. While the stories were imaginary, the ferrets and keepers were very real, dealing with difficult emotions. Writing those greetings put me very much in tune with my own deep-seated emotions, and I think it is one of the reasons that I write poetry like I do.

And while I sometimes fantasize about getting my words published, I am more connected with the idea of people on Twitter reading them almost immediately after I write them. Even if I were a published poet, I would not get the feedback and emotional response in the same way that I get it from Twitter. It also ties me, not to just readers of poetry, but to many, many other micropoets as well. It is like the micropoets of Twitter are one living, breathing organism, reading and writing words. I have found much respect amongst the micropoets I write with, and I feel respect for all of them who bravely put their words out there. It is not always such an easy thing to do, to instantaneously wear your heart on your sleeve in front of sometimes thousands of people.

Over the last 14-16 months, I have done quite a bit to encourage the micropoets, and for a long time I collected their words on blogs I created to archive them, namely the Dragonfly Collection and the Dragonfly Archives:

dragonflycollection
dragonflyarchives

It occurred to me that all this poetry I found on Twitter was just disappearing, and I wanted to preserve it the best I could. Unfortunately, archiving all the poetry worth saving was a near impossible task, simply overwhelming with 1500+ tweets of poetry being written a day. Even with the help of a lovely lady named Jenny (@gennepher, from Wales), I was not able to sustain it, although we kept it up for over eight months. School and work finally took their toll.

I wanted the micropoets on Twitter to know that their words were important, that what they worked so hard to create meant something. In my unique position, collecting micropoetry, I watched poets come and go, and watched their words and styles of writing evolve over time. I loved that aspect of it. I think it made me a better poet.

To me, micropoetry is more about the community and connections of the poets than anything else. I hope to continue writing on Twitter for a long time to come.

Monday, 27 December 2010

One Stop Spotlight - Anthony Desmond Scott

Hello everyone, I'm Gay Cannon and I'm so excited to tell you I have joined the @onestoppoetry team.  There are exciting new projects planned for the year ahead and it's an honor to have been asked to join the team in bringing them to you. 

I will be doing occasional spotlights and for my first official one, I want to introduce you to Anthony Desmond Scott.  If it hadn't been for Anthony, you wouldn't be reading this from me, I wouldn't know about poetry online, @onestoppoetry or probably even be writing again. Anthony was my first real twitter friend. I had been looking at twitter more or less as a news feed for many months. Then @MyWordWizard started following Anthony and me at about the same time and we were finishing their prompts. Anthony is in all things curious, and even though he writes deep, sometimes dark and very intense poetry; yet, his disposition is easy going,thoroughly likable, always polite and invariably upbeat.

Anthony discovered blogsites. We both created one and the rest has been a journey in meeting new poets, reading and being read by other poets spurring both of us to read more, write more and to connect.  Because of this I am happy to interview him for the spotlight today.

Anthony, tell us about yourself.

I'm a 19 year old guy with a passion for poetry and music. I've never been the average kid. I've always felt different from just about everyone. Through the years of coming into who I am, I've experienced feeling out of place and such. But with the guidance of my Mother and the will of myself, I learned to embrace all the things I enjoy and love being a true individual.

I know your mother has been a major influence in your life. Tell us something about her.

My mother is the one person who stood by me through everything. She made me the person I am today. My mother's writing evokes her tragic childhood experiences such as sexual and verbal abuse by family members. She could've gone down a destructive path but when she had me at 18 she turned those bad experiences around for the better as a Mom and now as a strong independent woman.



When did you start writing poetry and what and who inspires your writing?

I started writing poetry when I was 16 and fell in love with it. My first complete poem was 'Self'. When I had written that, something clicked inside of me. I knew poetry was my destiny.

Frank Stanford is a big influence for my poems. I love how tragic his poetry was. Yet there was sometimes a small bit of light in the midst of all his pain. I also take inspiration from paintings and music. When it comes down to it, the core of my poetry is the good and bad of life. I express it only in ways that come naturally to me.

I know you were as thrilled as I was to find @Onestoppoetry. What has it meant for you?

I think @Onestoppoetry is amazing because there's no competition, just love. One Stop Poetry gives us so many opportunities to showcase ourselves as the best poet we can be. I appreciate this community and I feel appreciated as well. You can't beat that.

What are you aspirations for the future?

I aspire to be a prolific figure in poetry. After I've lived a long happy successful life, I hope my work will live on and continue to inspire.

I am happy to share these poems of Anthony's with you today.

sElf

I'm staring at a vacant wall full of emptiness
Wondering if I'll finally make it my own
Intimidated by the knives in my soul
Cutting incisions in my flesh
Marking their territory
While hunters tread my grounds
And shoot my guarded veins
My spirit still remains

When the seasons change
Hunters rampage across the bridge
To destroy the light that shines on me
As winter approaches and summer passes
All that's left is a lonely breeze

Hunters put down their rifles
And charge full steam ahead
As pulses of blood rush towards my head
With battle scars resulting as tears
Running out my mind
Next target lies where my memories are confined
My pupils dilate as my eyes
Awaken back to where it began
A wall covered in my deepest secrets

© 2008 Anthony Desmond Scott. All Rights Reserved.



DARE
Rats are almost an equal to men, women, & children

Remove our skin cut it from our flesh
So it falls from heights unimaginable
Shells from shots we've fired
Fill our mouths to keep from swallowing our tongues
As they gauge our eyes & roll them in a pond of lava
Rip our legs off right below the knee
So one can't see over this fake fucking mountain &
Dare to make a judgement on who's better

© 2010 Anthony Desmond Scott. All Rights Reserved.


'Normal Is No Rule'

Cheap carpet harvested my open pores
Laid to rest everynight in the Sahara
Sand flew in my eyes while I made bold attempts to sleep
I wake up with dirt in my mouth
My spit forms a mudslide
That drains through my intestines
I wish to cough up blood in the midst of
Making an over dramatic statement
In regards to the ratio of too much or not enough love


Questions/Reasons

Perfect ways to get to know the honest form of human
Which came from woman on her back
Soft spoken gentle voices tender touch
So much of what I need
I already want but cannot have

I'll stay on my back

© 2010 Anthony Desmond Scott. All Rights Reserved.

You can find Anthony on Twitter @iamEPanthony
His blogsite is http://glassstaircase.blogspot.com

Photography courtesy of creative commons wall Laura Chifirium http://www.flickr.com/photos/lchifi/231115148/

Sunday, 26 December 2010

One Stop Poetry: Picture Prompt Challenge (Holiday Edition)

Take the Holiday Poetry Challenge!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday weekend! Due to the hectic nature of this time of year, One Shoot Sunday will return next week in its entirety with what promises to be another spectacular interview by Chris G. It will also include a picture prompt challenge inspired by a photo from a professional photographer. 

For this week's abridged version, I offer an image I shot a couple of days ago in New York City. The scene is part of Rockefeller Center, home to the world famous Christmas tree and ice skating rink. Without revealing additional information to influence your writing, let us see what you come up with using this festive image as a prompt! As always, make sure you enjoy the creative process. Have fun with it :)

Rules:
Write a poem (or Flash Fiction 55) based on the prompt.
Then post your creation on your site.
Sign up using Mr. Linky so people can find your work.
Let us know what you are sharing by leaving a comment below.
Finally, please visit other participants & comment on their posts.

Thank you,
dustus

Challenge Time!


Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas to all our readers



To everyone of you that reads, contributes, shares and enjoys, have a great Christmas and a fantastic New Year... cheers Pete

We appreciate each of you. Writing poetry just wouldn't be the same without the support each of you gives... Best Wishes Leslie

To our artistic peers, readers, & friends, Happy Holidays & Thank You.
Warmest regards...  Adam

Thanks to each of you for your creative and inspiring presence - you make One Stop what it is...have a fantastic Christmas and a good start into 2011...Claudia

It's an honor being part of a community filled with so many talented and creative people...each and everyone of you have a gift, and it's a real pleasure you've shared a piece of it with us. To all, my thanks, and my best wishes for the holidays! ~Chris

Great to join with you and see where poetry takes us in 2011.Wishing the best of Holidays to you and yours ~Gay



photo by dustus

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve




Christmas Eve 
a night 
of reflections.
A   time 
to   be 
  s  i  l  e n  t 
t   o    
   l   i  s t  e n...

     A       
moment
for  an  elderly  woman
in her over soft leather chair
to  take  a  look  back in time 
  h   e  a  r     the     s  q  u  e  a  l s 
of    now    grown    children
gaze into the eyes of her grandson
linger       on        that       love 
     Live         A        Memory


one 
l  a  s  t 
t   i   m   e




A Christmas Eve Story
by
Leslie Moon

The Christmas tree lights beautifully reflected a colorful glow with hopes of a new day. Cecilia sat in her armchair comfortable to sit and remember the past. It's as if in each ball she could see a face of a loved one. For a moment she heard voices of long ago. "Honey quick before your brother gets home. I want the tree to look perfect."
 "Oh mama" Cecilia sighed. I wish you were here. I wish you had decorated our tree."
Cecilia was glad she had the memories but sorrowful that was all she had.

Cecilia was the only remaining member of her family. A tragic car accident had taken her thirteen year old brother, her mother, her father, and the little one. “Cee”  had been spared because she was staying overnight at a friend’s. It was during her Junior year in high school; she was a sixteen year old with no family to care for her. That’s when she met Gray.
Grayson was an only child. His parents were very generous people but because of that, they had very little. When they had heard of Cecilia’s trouble, they had offered her the one room cottage in their backyard. They became her family. Grayson and Cecilia were married two years after she graduated from high school.

The memories spun forward. With a smile, she remembered her neighbor, Ben, who was now with his dear wife. The memory of that Christmas Eve still very fresh. Times were still hard but they would get through because of memories like last Christmas.
***


Cecilia looked at the kitchen calendar as she prepared breakfast.


“Only one week before Christmas Eve and his seventh birthday.” You could feel the deflation in her lungs and spirit.
“I only would like the Star Wars Lego set mama,” Jonnie’s blue eyes had said pleadingly a week before.

Jonnie had never been spoiled as a child. His parents showered him with love but had been careful to put money away for college rather than buy an abundance of toys. A wooden wagon complete with a set of wooden blogs had been hand made by a neighbor. Another neighbor had bought him several metal toy tractors to play with outside. He and daddy had built the sand box and tree house last summer. Those were the toys of an almost seven year old boy. They didn’t have videos to watch for there was no TV. The last one had died after the bank account had. Jonnie knew his daddy had lost his job, but he had little concept of the cost of a desirable set of Legos. He thought a dollar or two would pay for anything.
"Daddy has those two dollars sitting on his dresser; I bet I  know what they are for."

 "Who can help?" Cecilia pondered. Grayson’s aging parents were on a limited funds. Cecilia would never tell them how bad things were. They had lost much of their retirement when the stock market fell. Resources were too limited; they had already offered to pay for Christmas dinner and that was a strain for their budget. Cee knew they would have given everything to help - she would never ask. She was trying to run down the list of Grayson's friends or employees. Grayson had owned a company and before closing gave most of what was left in reserves to those he had to layoff. Grayson never thought of himself; he was just like his parents. Cecilia loved him for that. But right now, she wanted her boy to have the one thing he had hoped for and dreamed of for his birthday.

“It's all he has ever asked for dear.” Cecilia pleaded with furrows that had never been on her face before. “We have to find the money. Don’t you have a friend who owes you something?”
“Honey they are in as bad a shape as we are if not worse. I can ask around, but I know they are struggling to put food on the table just like we are. Gifts will be scarce for a lot of people this year.”

“I hate this economy! This is not our child’s fault.” Cecilia said as she stomped outside and flung the front door shut.
She had grabbed a sweater knowing she needed a long walk in the chilly, evening air. Another of a series of long walks.
She stomped for the first mile. She peeled off a birch limb so she could swish it and slap at the air. A frown plastered on her beautiful, usually cheerful countenance.
Her face softened as it grew tired from the tension. The walk, as it always did, eased the strain of an unbearable situation.


As she turned the corner, she stopped at her favorite lilac colored rose-bush just to take in the last of the season’s scent. She loved the fact that roses still bloomed in their mild December climate. She was startled when an elderly gentleman greeted her.

“Those were always my Angela's favorite. She said they had a “delicious almost heavenly” fragrance.”

“They do indeed”, Cecilia’s voice said sadly. Her eyes gleamed with remnants of her tears.

“Young lady -What's the trouble?”

Usually Cecilia would not have unburdened herself to anyone definitely not a stranger. She was always a private person; after her family died she never revealed emotions except to a willow branch and the air. Somehow her troubles just blurted themselves off her lips and into that same evening air that took the brunt of her frustration.
Yes all of it: her husband, the economy, Jonnie’s gift, the Lego set, even slamming the door.

“I understand times are hard for most folks. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. We had a grandson who loved Legos too.”
Cecilia saw a tear moisten the corner of the old man's eye

“Something happened didn't it Ben???” The compassion evident in her whisper.

“Randy was in a serious accident, on his bike, when he was ten; he wasn’t wearing a helmet.” The words struggled to emerge from his throat.
Cecilia reached for her new friend and hugged him. All of a sudden, her troubles seemed so small.
This elderly gentleman was alone in the world. His wife of fifty years of marriage was gone. His only grandson – his legacy vanished in a moment. He had a strength in his frailty that she needed.

“Please join us for Christmas Eve dinner it will be simple this year. Jonnie loves new friends and it will take the sting of not getting those Legos for his birthday.” She chattered on as though she had known Ben for years rather than minutes.

"Christmas Eve. Hmm” His face looked a bit brighter at the prospect.

Cecilia was certain that he had some wonderful memories of Christmas Eves in his past.

“We would love your company.”
“Angela would have been 80 on the same day as Jonnie.” A tense smile crested his lips.
“Then you will have the honor of celebrating Angela and Johnnie’s birthday with us - please.” Unintentionally, her eyes looked like a puppy dog’s.
Ben wondered if Jonnie had the same endearing eyes. “It will be my pleasure. What might I bring?”
“Please you will be our guest. Nothing is required but your company.”
“Good enough. I will see you and Jonnie on Christmas Eve.”
***
Cecilia and Grayson sadly couldn’t scrape together the funds for the Legos. She managed to make a cake, put together their favorite meal for Christmas Eve. They loved celebrating with Christmas Eve Mexican food including homemade tamales; Gray had been able to find a $3 small Lego's starter set on sale. The wrapped package had a big tear spot on the paper. The mother carried the small box with love. The only gift her son would get for his birthday and for Christmas.
When Ben arrived, he brought a container of ice cream (something Cecilia had been unable to squeeze from her food budget) and a card "for the birthday boy." How had he know what their favorite ice cream was. Ben and Jonnie hit it off right away. Jonnie was telling Ben about the kitten he had rescued; showed him his latest bruise. Ben hadn’t had tamales in years and stated that Angie and he loved Mexican food. Tamales being their favorite.



Before the candles were lit, Bent whispered to Grayson and smiled as he saw the words “Happy Birthday Angela and Jonnie.” printed on the cake. Cecilia saw a tiny trickle run down Ben’s face.
After Jonnie blew out the candles, Grayson proudly said with a chuckle “after your cake you will have to see what’s at the front door.”
Grayson knew Jonnie couldn’t wait. “Go ahead son. The cake can wait.”
Jonnie ran to the front door and ogled the large package with bright helium filled balloons attached. He cradled the gift as though it was gold. He walked proudly back and sat down to have birthday cake.
After Jonnie opened his gifts, he pulled his daddy and his new friend to the living room to help build the Star Wars Space Station. “I’ll save the Star Cruiser for later,” he winked at his mother.
She looked at the box that contained the Star Cruiser. It was taped where there had been a rip. The card was signed “from Ben, Randy and Angela.”
A tear welled in her eye as she thought of a wife smiling down from heaven clasping hands with her 10-year-old grandson who was glad he got to share his Legos with a 7- year old boy named Jonnie.

“Mom.” Jonny said with a sleepy voice.
Yes honey. Cecilia smiled

“ That was the best birthday I will ever have. I knew I probably wouldn’t get the Star Wars stuff but after I met Ben it really didn’t matter. Mom. You know what I learned this birthday? People matter not stuff."

“Hmmm” the anxiety of months was finally gone from Cecilia’s voice.

“Do you think Randy and I would have been friends?”

“I think you and Randy will be friends some day and you will have wonderful stories to tell about his grandpa Ben.”
"This has been a wonderful Christmas Eve and Birthday mama"
***


"Yes we will make it through," Cecilia smiled as she turned the Christmas tree lights off and looked at the scant gifts under the tree. The stuff doesn't matter- the people do."
***************

Many of you may be struggling financially this year; when times are hard it seems the holidays can sour. My family has had our share of tough times - this year being one of them. Can I say to each of you - You make the difference. Not the stuff! Each of you brings a smile and value to this blog community also into your community wherever that is in the world. You have each touched me with your words this year - for that I and the team at One Stop Poetry are grateful. Wishing you and your families holiday wishes.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Moondustwriter's Thursday - special Christmas Eve Eve Poetry


Thanks for joining Moondustwriter Thursday.

Since most of us will be celebrating time with our families this weekend, I wanted to reflect on another aspect of family--those we love who are absent or gone. Many have loved ones serving overseas. My friend Sean sent me a poem that was inspired by his mother. He lost her this year - it's his first year without the songs, the baking, the memories of the gifts she gave to visiting professors, or the gingerbread houses she created with  children. It can be a lonely time for many.

My father and grandfather both died close to Christmas so I remember the loneliness and still ache for their voices and reassurance at this time of year. As you read these poems (the Christmas tree poem written by Sean's mother), reflect on those you love. If you would like to link a poem, a memory, a comment, a picture, we at One Stop would love to be drawn a bit closer by the warm glow of memories and each other during the holidays.




What do I want Santa?

Our troops overseas home safe,
With their families.

Everyone to catch the Christmas spirit,
Like the flu and spread it.

For if not peace on Earth,
At least piece of mind for all.

For those who have suffered loss,
To be comforted by the season.

To wish those in despair, hunger, pain,
Comfort, food, and healing.


What do I want Santa?
I want to remember Mom with family,
In happy memories.

I want to say Merry Christmas,
To my daughters face to face.

I want to hold my love, wish her well
To unwrap her in mornings light.


What do I want Santa?
That all should want gifts of love,
Not gifts of material measure.

To ask for the impossible,
So miracles can happen.

If
we here 
believe      in
PEACE ON EARTH
And     in   good      will
for      all    we     must    not
let      our   questions         over 
rule            the     starry     magic

this
magic



Star photo courtesy of Cretive Commons and Luchilu: http://www.flickr.com/photos/luchilu/2122762150/



Tuesday, 21 December 2010

One Shot Wednesday - Week 25


Welcome to One Shot Wednesday - Week 25

Hi and welcome to this weeks One Shot Wednesday. I am Pete Marshall & today I will be your merry host.

Following the recent announcement of our "The Best of One Shot Wednesday - The First 6 Months" anthology, published under Limited Editions Press, today's One Shot is the cut off week, number 25,  for poetry to be considered. For further details please visit the following link;

Rest assured however this is not the last One Shot Wednesday, just the last for your poetry to be considered in our first Anthology. I hope you also note the word "first" as we will be releasing further publications throughout the coming year.

The first 6 months of One Stop Poetry really has been a wonderful success which has seen us grow at an amazing pace whilst still keeping true to our original beliefs. As we have grown so has the team, who work diligently, week in week out, to bring you such wonderful features.  We have so many great plans & announcements  in store for 2011 and look forward to enjoying every day of the next 6 months with all of you, who help make this such an exciting place to be.

In just 6 months One Stop Poetry has seen itself firmly established as a place that brings together the arts from all around the globe, and lends itself to quality and as a platform to helping you realise your dreams.

On behalf of all the team at One Stop Poetry I would therefore like to thank you for your support over the last 6 months & to wish you the happiest of Christmas's and a wonderful & prosperous New Year.

Cheers Pete

One Shot Wednesday - week 25

For those of you who are new here's how it works

1) post a poem to your blog
2) link your poem to One Shot using Mr Linky, where you will be prompted to enter your name and the URL for your poem. The URL is the web address for your poem
3)Visit other One Shot Poets, as many as you wish. Tell them how you feel when you are reading, encourage and interact with them. If you wish to critique remember to be positive and constructive, negative criticism does not help anyone.
4) Tell others about One Shot Wednesday by including a link to this page on your post