Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 119 “Mystery & Attract,” #SynonymsOnly

I’ve watched from the sidelines for some time as Colleen Cheseboro issues a weekly poetry challenge. This week I decided to try my hand at Haiku – a form of Japanese poetry that consists of 3 lines with a 5/7/5 syllable count.

HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! SYNONYMS ONLY!  The prompt is MYSTERY AND ATTRACT.

Let me know what you think – honesty only! 🙂 I love trying new things when it involves words!


This challenge is for Tanka, Haiku, Senryu, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry forms. Freestyle rhyming poetry is not part of this challenge.  If you’d like to give it a try, visit Colleen’s site. https://colleenchesebro.com/2019/01/15/colleens-2019-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-119-mystery-attract-synonymsonly/

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Confidence #NewYear #Shadorma

As I always do at the beginning of each new year, I seek a word for the upcoming year through meditation and self-reflection.

For 2019, the word I received is CONFIDENCE!

While many who know me may wonder why I would need that word, to me it made perfect sense.

Confidence to keep pressing forward, to keep pursuing a publisher and to keep writing is exactly what I need! If I can believe in myself and my work, then it is a thousand times more likely someone else will also believe in me.

So, to honor that commitment for 2019, I made a list of goals. Trust me, I never do that, but somehow I felt the inspiration this year. The goals are not earth-shattering, but instead simple.

However my #1 Goal is: I will publish a new book in 2019.

There. I’ve said it, now I must follow through. 🙂

I’ve learned so much about poetry from Colleen Cheeseboro and while I didn’t make it into the timeline last week to submit this Shadorma, I’ll post it here and credit her for the challenge.

Basically a Shadorma is a six line stanza with the syllable count: 3/5/3/3/7/5

So, here goes!

Confidence
Time to let it flow
Let it go
Let it show
Trust the Universe, it knows
Your best way to grow

I’d love to hear from you how you approach a new year!

Old Jim’s Christmas Parole

This poem and piece of artwork are taken from Discovery – Poetry And Art by Rick and Jan Sikes.

Prison was a lonely place to be during the holidays. Rick often told stories of depression and how there was an increased number of suicides around Christmas.

I chose this poem because, in a twisted way, it does have a happy ending.

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Old Jim’s Christmas Parole

Rick Sikes

A story of morals, for Christmas telling

Of an old convict, who next to me, was celling.

One hell of a man, that old Jim,

We called him “Pops”, but all respected him.

He’d been in prison since I don’t know when,

Probably chained to a tree, while they built the pen.

No one sent him anything, so we gave what we could give.

He was old and sick and had sorta’ lost the will to live.

Christmas eve, he was restlessly walking,

I asked him to sit down and we started talking.

“Hell, son,” he said, “I’ve been down roads rough and tough,

Then, I went straight, hung it up – I’d had enough.

But, you know how it is when you’ve fallen before,

Get seen around a place where someone makes a score.

Well, that’s what happened to me this time,

I got railroaded right on down the line.

I’ve got something in my eye, no use lying, it’s a tear.

I ain’t heard from my wife or kids in many a year.

But, you know boy, I got a goin’ home feelin’ in my soul.

Don’t see how though, ain’t no chance in hell for parole.

Damnedest feeling I ever had, can’t understand,

Wishful thinking I reckon, of a foolish old man.

I guess you know, my home-folk passed on years ago.

It even seems if I was home, they’d be there I know,

Just like old times watching the children play.

Home is the sweetest place on earth on Christmas day.

That’s something you remember, now don’t forget,

I don’t see no way I could get home, but it may work out yet.

Best wishes to you boy, I’m tired, gotta go to bed.”

The next morning old Jim made it home, they found him dead.

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This beautiful poetry and art book is available in three different formats.

Hardcover – Full Color

Paperback – Black & White

eBook

Or, if you’d like an autographed copy, you can order direct through my website:

https://www.jansikes.com/books.html

 

 

 

 

 

Day #12 Welcome to WATCH RWISA WRITE Showcase Tour #RRBC #RRBCWRW

Blog Tour Banners

Thank you all for joining me today on this amazing showcase tour being sponsored by RWISA (RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS), an elite branch of the amazing RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

This showcase will feature 19 talented writers, each having their own special day to be featured on multiple blogs.  Please take a moment after you’ve read the author’s work, to click on the link to take you to that author’s profile page on the  RWISA site.  On my blog, that link will be the author’s name.

Today’s special guest: D.L. Finn

d.l. finn author pic

Poetry by D. L. Finn

 DARKNESS

The air is thick as you breathe it in

Filling your lungs with its silence.

It unnerves you when you’re alone

Because in the darkness there are shadows.

They are filled with the unknown

While the quiet is lurking with danger.

It’s unseen, watching while your heart is racing

And your skin drenched in sweat, you scan the night.

You see nothing and hear nothing

Yet, you know it’s there.

You hurry back into the light where it’s safe

Shut the door and lock it with a sigh of relief.

You quickly forget the darkness

But, what you don’t know is…

It hasn’t forgotten you.

 

TO FLY (Musings from the Back of a Harley)

We fly by the ranches…

Cows, goats, and horses.

Grazing golden-grass untroubled…

As we rumble loudly past them.

The ponds are rain depleted…

Fall harvest signs invite us to stop.

But, today is a day to fly…

To fly past normalcy

To fly past worries

To fly past obligations.

They rush by us like the scenery…

Soaring past our leather-clad bodies.

They crash behind us like a boat’s wake…

Miraculously missing us in our frantic flight.

Yet, all is forgiven flying on our motorcycle…

As our souls chaperon our journey.

THE RIVER’S GIFTS

It’s smooth and gentle on a warm spring day…

The rocks and trees are mirrored in its purity.

The beach’s sandy-warmth caresses me…

As I skim a flat rock across the water’s surface.

Eight small splashes are my reward…

Expanding into rings that disappear into flow.

Fish swim with the current beneath…

Hawks soar above searching for their next meal.

I deeply breathe in the serenity shared by the river.

A delicate butterfly swoops down and rests in front of me…

I want to touch it, be a part of its splendor, as I watch it fly away.

It finds nectar on a purple flower at the water’s edge…

I inhale bliss as the butterfly’s hunger is satisfied.

Searching up river I find water cascading down a rocky ledge.

I pause to drink in the magnificence and wisdom…

The river can negotiate any obstacle and continue its journey.

Here next to the flowing wonder, I find peace and beauty…

I absorb this into my being, with gratitude, for the river’s gifts.

 The End

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

D.L. Finn RWISA Author Page

How would you like to become a RWISA Member so that you’re able to receive this same awesome FREE support? Simply click HERE to make an application!

 

Children

I am late posting my blog for today. But, better late than never, I suppose.

This past week, I have taken care of my three-year-old granddaughter every day all day long. Believe me when I say I had forgotten the amount of energy and attention they require. I fell behind on everything and dropped into bed exhausted every night. 🙂 All that aside, look at this sweet face.

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That day we went to the Crayola Experience. 🙂

Then she has swim lessons every day.

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Grasping at ideas for an activity, we painted sea shells. She loved this a lot.

I will have her again this coming week, then she will be back in school. While these are exhausting days, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

The other day, she said to me, “Mimi, remember before you were born that I was your grandmother?” Wow! That floored me. Who knows. Maybe she was.

And to go along with this theme today, here is a poem and artwork from Rick.

LITTLE GIRLS AND ROSES

Roses are like pretty little girls

Petals swirling, lovely curls

Sweetly blushes the scented roses

Angel cheeks, buds like little noses

Tender fragile blooming at random

Prettiest ones are where you find them

Dew kissed angels from above

Rare beauties symbols of love

Delicate and soft seem they fantasy

Charming warmth assures reality

Thankful am I that both grows

Pretty little girls and the beautiful rose

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Make it a great day, everyone!

 

Winner of Poetry Book

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It is with red-faced embarrassment I realize I never drew for a winner of the poetry book, Discovery from my April post.

Could it be that perhaps I am trying to juggle too much? Nah! Never. 🙂

Anyway, the winner of the eBook format of Discovery – Poetry and Art by Rick and Jan Sikes is none other than TINA FRISCO.

Tina, watch your email. The book is on its way and I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

Meanwhile, back to your regularly scheduled program…

Forbidden Love – Nonnie Jules #RRBC #RWISA

5-star-review

In my opinion, these two books go hand-in-hand and there is no way to separate them.

If Only There WAs Music              And the music played

“IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC – THE POETRY OF FORBIDDEN LOVE” BY NONNIE JULES AND GIANI JORDAN

BLURB:

This is a book of poetry for and about forbidden love. These poems are sexy, sensuous and hot, but most of all, they are poems of love… and the feelings they arouse in you are unbelievable! They “feel” like love songs and you will “feel” like singing, but they are only spoken words coming from your mouth, without music. If you aren’t in love before you begin reading this book, you will go seeking a love afterward.

MY 5 STAR REVIEW:

This book of poetry is unique, not only because of the authors and the way they collaborated to write these poems but also because of the subject matter ― Forbidden Love.

The emotion, longing and unbridled passion are expressed exquisitely. Divided into two sections, the book explores two points of view. The first is a compilation of poems written by Nonnie Jules. She approaches the subject of forbidden love through the eyes of the woman who is the object of Giani Jordan’s affection. The second part of the book is told through his eyes. The poems are raw and honest emotion felt by both as they take us, the readers, through a myriad of regrets and guilt to longing so intense it causes physical pain. What can two people do who fall in love, yet are committed to others?

In my opinion, the authors work through to a climactic solution and conclusion from one poem to the next. I felt as though I was watching two people waltzing across a dance floor or observing a well-executed opera. Each poem stands alone yet blends with perfection into the next. This is a beautiful book from cover to cover, and it is an absolute must that you take time to read about how the collaboration of these two authors came about.

“…AND THE MUSIC PLAYED” SHORT STORY BY NONNIE JULES

BLURB:

This book is the sequel and the final chapter in the love story between Giani and Christine. The first book, “IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC…The Poetry of Forbidden Love” (a co-authored project), was a love story told thru the eyes of two lovers…but written for the hearts of many.

Across oceans and thru many barriers, two hearts try to connect – but with the distance between them, will their love survive? And, with the forces-that-be against them coming in the form of murder plots and domestic abuse, the bigger question is…will they?

MY 5 STAR REVIEW:

I read this short story before I read the prequel to it, “If Only There Was Music – The Poetry of Forbidden Love.” And, because of the way this story affected me, I had to immediately go and read the book of poetry that inspired this short story. When Giani Jordan falls in love with beautiful Christine who lives halfway around the globe, he struggles with guilt. He is married. She is married. But, their love is so strong, so intense neither of them can deny it. So, when Giani walks into his house after making a trip to Italy to see Christine and hears his wife, Lena, making love to another man, he makes an easy decision. Divorce is the only answer. But, Lena’s greed takes over. After all, how can she be expected to live on a measly one million a year? When she recruits her ex-con boyfriend to kill Giani, she is smug and confident all the wealth soon be hers. But, justice is sweet. I won’t spoil the story by telling you what happens, but I couldn’t put this book down. I had to know who would triumph. If you love a satisfying short story filled with intense drama and emotion, you’ll love this one.

FOR MORE BOOKS BY NONNIE JULES, CLICK HERE

Nonnie Jules is the President and founder of THE RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and THE RAVE WRITERS’ INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS.  Both are International Organizations that provide support to and guidance for authors who want to get more reviews for their books and find new readers. But, there is a kicker. You have to give to get. You can read all about it here: https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/

 

Rick Sikes 8-5-35 to 5-1-09

It is hard to believe that it’s been nine years already. I’ll never forget that early morning exit from life that Rick made and how the Angels surrounded us. And, I know I will see him again.

This is my tribute to him today…

Did - Didn'tby Jan Sikes

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A story as big as Texas itself!

Poetry & ArtFrom the heartand soul.

 

http://www.jansikes.com

http://www.ricksikes.com

BOOKS

 

Poetry Connection #RRBC #RWISA

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As we wind down to the end of National Poetry Month, I am compelled to share a couple of excerpts from our Poetry and Art Book, “Discovery.

I chose this first poem for many reasons, but mainly because it is such a pure organic expression of longing and love from within a prison cell. I hope you enjoy it and take time to FEEL it.

The Dream By Rick Sikes

I dreamed I was out of prison last night

The long awaited time to set things right

You were a picture of loveliness in my sight

For hours we kissed, as I held you tight

Soaring, orbiting the heavens, souls in flight

No windows barred in this world of sunlight

Tears of joy did I weep

So happy, I couldn’t go back to sleep

I thought of a rose, though the prison yard is deep in snow

Feeling great, awakening from a beautiful dream, you know

It seemed that I had touched you, it was grand

Tenderness of your eyes, the caress of your loving hand

Tasting of honey were your sweet lips

My eyes traced your soft body like fingertips

You snuggled up to me so warm, so mine

These moments totally divine

No light, no dark, no time, in this dream of ours

Filled with love scents and of wild-flowers

Talking about the many things we’ll do

My antics bringing gay laughter to you

Smiling, drifting into sleep; cuddled, you and me

Sailing peacefully into tomorrow’s reality

 

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ARTWORK BY RICK SIKES

 

I chose this next poem because it is written from a base of truth. Rick has been gone now for nine years and at times I think maybe I should try opening myself up to have a relationship with someone else. But, then I read this and know it can never be…because “I am you and you are me.”

I Am You – You Are Me by Jan Sikes

I don’t know how it came to be

That we in spirit love were joined

Somewhere out in eternity

Then split apart like a germinating seed

And placed on earth each other to seek

We looked in many stranger’s eyes

Only to turn away and recognize

That this was not the one we sought

You and me

Then at last, fate heard our plea

And now forevermore we’ll be

Bound in love

By satin chains and golden threads

And endless love where we make our bed

And never again will we part

For we are joined heart-to-heart

From Spirit World to earthly plane

We’ll never need to search again

In love with you, I am set free

For I am you and you are me

I hope you enjoyed these excerpts from “Discovery.” I’d be honored if you’d pick up a copy and ecstatic if you read and review it.

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In print and eBook format on AMAZON

To celebrate National Poetry Month, I will give away one eBook of “DISCOVERY” to someone who leaves a comment and shares the post on social media. The winner will be chosen at random.  Thank you!

No Shame in Surrender

Surrender

This time of year brings around so many vivid memories, this being one.

On March 9, 2009, a long agonizing night began for me and Rick Sikes. He had been in and out of the hospital since January 2009 and we were back again for more IV antibiotics to try and fight the infection slowly eating away the flesh on his right leg. With daily hyperbaric treatments on top of the strongest blend of antibiotics available and morphine for pain, recovery remained elusive.

And then the unthinkable happened. I knew something wasn’t right as Rick struggled to breathe and his fever rose. But, the nurses assured me that he was not in distress.

When the Pulmonary Therapist made his daily rounds the next morning, he immediately recognized the signs and went into action. Rick had developed pneumonia. Within less than an hour, a ventilator was in place, all pain meds stopped and the vigil continued.

When the wound care team came to change the dressing on his leg, my heart broke at the tormented cries that escaped from his throat. It took every ounce of strength I had to stay calm and try to comfort him.

I thought we’d reached the end. And, during the wee hours of the morning, after another sleepless night, I wrote this poem, never imagining I would have a chance to read it to him.

Surrender

There is no shame in surrender when it is time

Like General Lee, you’ve known when to lay low and when to climb

I’ve watched you suffer for so many years

Your life seemed destined to one of pain and of tears

Yet you fought on – the valiant soldier in fierce battle

You boldly sang your song – rode tall in the saddle

You’ve now come down to the last battle call

You’ll hang up your sword, tired and weary you will fall

But know that you’ve left many good marks behind

While you learned how to love and how to be kind

Taught lessons to all who shared your many paths

That will long be remembered after you’ve passed

There is no shame in surrender when it is time…

I did get to read it to him several days later, as he survived pneumonia. We both cried. Then on May 1st, he hung up his sword and left this earth.

April is National Poetry Month. In celebration, I have discounted the eBook version of Discovery – Poetry and Art by Rick and Jan Sikes.

I’d be honored if you’d pick up a copy, read and review it!!

Order here.

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For more on my books and music, visit: WEBSITE