Monthly Archives: April 2013

Kasen Renga

This is really just a continuation of Japanese poetry forms, but this is one I’d never heard of before & is an exciting new discovery!

Renga is another form of collaborative poetry – and puts me in mind of Exquisite Corpse, only not as drunken and more nature-based! And, just gets those wheels a-spinnin’ in my head. There are new poetry open mics sprouting all over town. I’m in a poetry frame of mind and I have poet friends…they might be game for such a collaborative effort!

Traditionally, a kasen renga refers to flowers twice and the moon once in a set of 36 stanzas. Can you do it? I will try, too.


Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Uncategorized


Japanese Poetry Forms



I think this post is all my daughter’s fault. She has been fascinated with the Japanese culture since she was about seven years old–art, culture, society, etc. What once was an infatuation, has become a life thread for her, because she is engaged to a wonderful Japanese man and has been studying the language for years.

We homeschooled for several years, and because of her love of Japanese art styles (and because of my love of poetry) we did a haiku & tanka segment for English lessons. I loved haiku and tanka because at that time of my life, I was trying to break away from strictly rhymed and metered poetry, but was having a hard time finding my free verse voice. It was a win-win segment of study for us!

I actually found a website that says everything I want to say on the topic of Japanese Poetry Forms, but I noticed that there is a little word (Challenge) near the top of this particular page. Did someone just challenge me? Did they? Huh. DID THEY!?

Perhaps I will have to do another 100 [Poetry Form] challenge of some sort after the 100 Haiku(s). I have haiku in the queue (not intended to rhyme, but I’m a poet & I don’t know it–but my feet show it; they’re longfellows (a ditty my grandpa used to always recite to me since I was the family poet from a very early age! I sure miss that wonderful man (Grandpa)), but just started working on the actual cards themselves. I have homes for about a dozen cards so far…after that is anyone’s guess as to where I will send them!



Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Ice Cream/I Scream

Even my ice cream is celebrating National Poetry Month. Please bear with me, so I can share the story, which will eventually come back to the ice cream.

Here’s another ‘I’ word: Icky, which is how I’m feeling– thus another day-late post and the screaming, but in my quietest inner-whisper voice. I’ve been battling a bevy of illnesses – shingles, autoimmune disease and migraines for a solid six weeks now. As a result, my appetite is nearly non-existent (which is good for losing weight, but not so good for regaining strength & energy). The migraine part has become another ‘I’ word, intense. Pain, brain fog, auras, fever & nausea and after a couple weeks of this, I was put on a medication to hopefully kill the migraine today, but I had to eat with it. I also needed gasoline, or my car would not have made it home or back to work today. What does one eat, when nausea makes everything sound horrid?

The thought of ice cream didn’t completely gross me out, so I bought some of the chocolate-cherry variety at the gas station. Limerick Cherry Chocolate, to be exact. It’s made by a company I’ve never heard of (2nd Street Creamery) and it didn’t taste half bad! The cutesy limerick, on the other hand, was on the cheesy side and could use a little work…



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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


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One Hundred Haiku(s)!

[Note: I had this typed up & ready to go yesterday, but crashed & burned before I posted. Also! Received my broadsides from Guerilla Poetics Project in the mail yesterday, and the first two have already been smuggled!!]

I just learned that the plural of haiku is not haikus…it’s simply still haiku, though it is becoming accepted (at least in America) to use “haikus” to mean more than one poem. Ya learn something new every day!

I bet you’re wondering where the hundred part fits in. Well, let me tell you! Twitter is a fascinating tool. I met a lady from Australia there who challenged herself to sending 100 Pantone postcards all over the world. Thought it was a great idea, so I adapted it to fit a haiku theme. I received a buttercup yellow Pantone card from her that matched the walls in my living room to a tee!

Where will I find 100 people to send haiku cards to? You might be able to help me out there! If you are interested in receiving an original haiku penned by moi, leave me a direct message (& feel free to follow me) on Twitter – @velvetjademuse . Please let me know why you’re DMing me, so I know it’s not spam & leave me a way to contact you for your address. Although I live in the USA, I will send anywhere in the world. If Spanish is your native language, I will even write haiku en espanol! (I could use the practice!!)


Posted by on April 10, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Good News/Guerilla Poetics Project

Good news first–nothing to do with writing. I officially lost 20 pounds, had a small wardrobe malfunction at work & officially needed to buy new clothes that fit. The good news? I don’t look fat anymore! Still have in the neighborhood of 15 more pounds to lose, but so happy!

I talked about broadsides last week, and the site I am about to share with you is a great way to pay-it-forward with poetry broadsides! The Guerilla Poetics Project has various broadsides for purchase (Very reasonably priced. I purchased 30 for $7.50US.) and the idea is to covertly smuggle them into library books, restaurants, subways, coffee shops, etc. The nifty thing is that the person who discovers the poetry broadside can register it online, and you can track how many of your broadsides were found & appreciated!



The idea behind this project is to ensure poetry’s place in history. People are forgetting the classics, and society’s interest in poetry is fading. It’s been said that poetry is such a hard sell, it’s nearly impossible to give away. As a lover of poetry, I want to make sure that it isn’t a dying art form and I’m more than willing to be that hippie dork girl who stands on a street corner giving away peace, love & beautiful words.


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Posted by on April 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


Frost, Found Poetry, Flailing & Fun

What is it about The Road Not Taken (also sometimes referred to as The Road Less ImageTraveled) that still has people relating to it a hundred years later? Here’s Robert Frost‘s poem, so you can test it out for timelessness yourself:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I have lost my poetry! I won’t have time to look for it today, but I will hopefully find it tomorrow! I already talked about Found Poetry in my Collage Poetry entry, but that is really what I plan to do on Sunday…I’m itching to try some found poetry collages! I have all sorts of words and images cut out of magazines and I’m ready to go as soon as I can find the time.
Flailing, oh the flailing. I am just barely treading water with the A to Z Challenge! I’m relatively new to blogging and I didn’t learn about the challenge until last weekend, but I was hoping to stay a day ahead of the curve throughout the month. I started out strong, and now I’m starting to flail! Oh, wail! Writing is supposed to be all about the fun, in my humble opinion. It’s the one part of my life that is normally not stressful. So, look for some more lighthearted posts in the coming days. I’m determined to put the FUN back into this project!



Posted by on April 6, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Exquisite Corpse

[Note: The contents of this post may or may not make sense due to a 3-day migraine. Read at your own exquisite peril.]


Exquisite Corpse is an old parlor game a group of creative friends made popular in the 1930s. It involves several players who “write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of it, and pass it on to the next player for his contribution.” The name of the game is a direct result of one such collaborative poetry effort:

“The exquisite corpse will drink the young wine”

I remember making art with my classmates in grade school in this manner too, and the game has been adapted to suit many surrealist art styles. Some early artistic creations can be found in a slide show filled with strange looking creatures and wild imaginations.

I can’t wait to do this with my local writers’ group! Several among us write poetry, and this would be a fun exercise, maybe even for the non-poets. suggests that your group should come up with a sentence structure beforehand…like adjective/noun/adverb/verb/noun – and that everyone can contribute one word at a time, until you feel you have a poem of sufficient length. You can add articles, verb tenses, etc. later, when you’ve completed your own exquisite corpse of a collaborative poem.

I will go exquisitely nap now and dream of fabulous collaborations!


Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


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