A Poetry Practice

10 minutes is all it takes

A little less a little more

To spill your guts

Explore the universe

Are you willing to explore?
10 minutes to start your day

To play in wonder or scream

To sit and ponder

Dance and sing 

To elaborate on that dream

10 minutes is all it takes

A little less a little more

I dream a dream of poppycocks

And go dancing out the door.

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An Angel Amongst Us

(A poem written to honor the Life of Gladys Long, a friend of my family for almost 70 years)
An Angel Amongst Us
Born on Christmas Day,

 there is no doubt 
That an angel she was on a long term leave from heaven
Her love was felt by 

all those she touched 
A lady and gentle soul through and through
Giving a smile and a thank you to everything we did 
To every time we included her in our lives
Always giving a beautiful smile, compliment and hug
She was a teacher too, showing us how to be brave in the face of challenges
Showing us how to be strong when we may felt weak 
Reminding us what courage really looked like
For my children, she was a hero, who taught them through her actions more than her words 
To Gladys, we all were her family and she wanted to be there for all the important things in our lives
A mother to all the children of her life, all of us hers, although none of us were
What a gift, what a special soul.
And her husband Herb, a man standing by her side for 68 wonderful years
She was as gracious to him as she was to us all. 
While we may be sad for our loss, we really must feel blessed for how long God allowed Gladys to stay
To teach us of love, of family, of grace each and every day
To share her love of life, her love of everything we held dear
Gladys we love you now 

and will every passing year.
Gordon Martin July 15, 2016

Wonder

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Wonder aloud between two perhaps more. Wonder aloud be silent no more. 
Wonder what if, what more, who for. Wonder without keeping the score.
Wonder for nothing for you for me. Wonder how far how deep you can see.
Wonder  in rap, in beat, word and song. Wonder knowing we all belong.
Wonder keep wondering from now and now again. Wonder in one word, one hundred or just ten.
Wonder today for all those to see. For wonder gives life to you and to me.

Mardi Gras en Force

Poetry is more than words

It is song

music

and beat

a movement

of dance

of jigs

spins and reels

old and new

coming together

rhyme and meter

of voice 

a passion so deep

in language not understood

but felt

breath funnelled 

through instruments

evoking sounds

through hands and feet

Rock n Roll moves 

operatically

through ears to heart

hips mardi gras en force

from them to us

and in between 

a party begins

Making a Poetry Video Collage

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I spent the morning

wrapped in words Warm

Blanketed 

In layers

Buried in feathers

Of birds

That once flew

Among

Friends 

Climbing high

Into the sky

Buoyant

On the winds
With the window

Open

The world

Entered

Fresh

Alive

And sunny

Beckoning
And from there

I created

Mixed the ingredients

a stone milled

Bread

30 sec of Wild Compassion

And 14 sec of Somewhere in America

Listening I was moved

Also to write

Not just that which inspired

But of the pain I have been feeling

Of late 

Freedom emerged

From my ears

Through my heart

And out onto the page

I mix in George Elliott Clarke and Shane Koycan 

Poets from Canada bringing 

Sweetness and crunch to this 

Concoction

The recipe is not yet

Complete 

The bread not yet in the oven

I am enjoying mixing the 

Words and clips

Enjoying the aroma emerging

Reminding me of days gone by

When my step-mom used to make her bread in Apple Juice cans

Round and ribbed they would emerge

Yet still delicious

With peanut butter and jam

By Sunday Eve

It will be complete

A masterpiece

Who knows

But good enough to eat.

Fast and Cheap she says

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This is not a poem more a rant – for a friend – to a friend who when I asked about getting authorizations from poets to use their voice, their words or videos in a montage for the opening of our breakout Session Poetry as a tool for Inquiry at a conference in May in San Francisco said to me ” whatever is fast and cheap”.

What ever is fast and cheap you say…
You are so funny –
this is not a fast thing – to do a video montage of 5 minutes may take me a lifetime as I move from inspiration to inspiration
As I move from the new to the old, from the young to the dead
From the slam poetry finals of one then two then three
As my brain and mind goes in a different direction as I remember the stylings of Shane Koyczan, the named Poet of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and his poem “We are more…
As I travel that highway somewhat reading and listening more to him and
Who in 2007 at Words Aloud- said “this is my voice,there are many like it but this is mine.”
Then I switch the Channel
To watching Harry Baker, World Gram Slam Poetry Champion Harry Baker do his world winning poem Paper People at a Ted X event
Then leaving that to follow Joe lead me into new waters deeper into places of discomfort
Into the world of academics
Into the world of those who call themselves poet and are – poets, writers, teachers, PhD’s, academics who inspire yet grade.
My first stop being
The African Canadian Metis Nova Scotian Poet Laureate of Canada George Elliot Clarke i read through an analysis of his writing style and see how awards he has won and how many books he has published and read his poem, The Emissaries, which was described as what he can do when allowing his understanding of imagery and emotion to create the poem, to become pure poetry, what Robert Frost meant by “poetry” when he called it what could not be translated into a different sound
And from which a stanza reads

a motel sign glares blood-red,

opposite a home of the freshly-dead.

the black body of a Bible,

lynched on the tree of a table,

is motionless as possible,

i would read it if I were able

(if it’s words were not birds of prey in a bomber-sky, olive and grey)

Fast and cheap you say as I go deeper into the caverns of why we write – to say the things that we can’t say aloud or may have always been afraid
Which leads me to remember that you write about why you love your daughter and hate your daughter, and write about things that are unfair
Then get back on track and think about Santiago, a poem on a different planet from me it seems, yet brings me back to
To the First Latino, son of an immigrant farmer, (who Trump intends to send packing), Poet Laureate of USA, Juan Felippe Herrera formerly Poet Laureate of California who invited his Grade 3 teacher, Mrs. Sampson, to his first reading at the US Congress Library because she invited him to the front of the class and sing a song “three blind mice” and told him he had a beautiful voice.
And who said
“When people ask – what is poetry Juan Felippe – It is freedom. That is what it is. That’s what everybody has. And when you use your own voice, your own personal voice, freely, the real you, then we’re all united”
Fast you say and cheap –
As I explore roads and voices that I have never ventured on
When i need to face myself and the voice inside that says – too accomplished, too smart for you – who do you think you are to say that you too are a poet
Fast and cheap you say
As I move from inspiration to inspiration
Wondering how many roads saying yes will lead
As I read about Bombs in Brussels and the death of a 46 year old man who was former Mayor of Toronto who became a laughing stock of the late night talk shows, when it is not so funny now … Because addiction ain’t funny – and l life is short and unfair
Fast cheap and easy not easy – you did not say that
And it is nobody’s fault but my own as I should be applying for a job or preparing for an interview or going to the gym or making my lunch
As I move from inspiration to inspiration
This rant ends now and yet I am sure you can see that when you got me on the phone last year and asked me that silly question – “would you play with me?” that you opened new worlds of language and words that I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams

That my words – mine would be published in a Conference for Global book – yet of course it would have to be about Fear Rising which it does for me daily and yet when I read it I see that it is not what defines me
Fast and cheap she says
As I reach and say mine and
As she tosses me the ball
Run with it, go
Over obstacles, invented

Imagined, through mud

So thick and hills steep with rocks jagged cutting my feet into shards

Shall I run lightly

Or move quietly

Or blindly move forward

Like the Titanic

In these dangerous waters
Fast and cheap you say
As I look at my watch and see

3 hours later

Still not 30 seconds on a 5 minute montage.

A Poet, Who Me?

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A Poet, Who Me?

Claiming to be a poet 

I see

Is daunting 

When we

Consider

That there are those

Who ply that trade

Who write themselves

Clear

Of noise

Of fog

Who share themselves

Boldly

From mountain

From gutter

I like a child

Emerging 

See

That 

All around

Are poets that inspire

In words 

that delight

The question 

shall be

When facing an never ending

Library of poems

Shall I put down my pen

To say

Not me

Or shall I too choose

To honor

Inside

To honor

This voice

As it spills out of me

Onto page after page

To dam it up

Cruel

Like my mother

Constipated

In pain

Knowing that

Only

In allowing

Will growth occur

From seed

To sprout

I rise 

From nothing to beauty

From below

To the sky above

Watch me soar

I am the poet

Of my life

I am the writer

Of my soul