Sunday, October 30, 2011

Skip Dessert

me there
I will
pounce on you
a cat
clawing, hiss.
I feel your tongue
tease me
creamy pie;
urge to

@laurie kolp

I can't believe you have such a dirty mind! Come on now...  pies, dieting...

Prompt inspiration: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads where Kerry challenged us to try out the Waltz Wave form.

Spooked Spirits

Key by key, letter to letter
the ghostwriter types away
spooky untold tales long buried,
while a player piano in the corner
key by key, note to note
booms low bass clef chords
incense burning, lights dimming;
spirits chase scary folk away.

@laurie kolp

Picture prompt inspiration: Magpie Tales

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ghost Gutter Inn

Flickering… a mélange of sidewalk signs
that in a second flashes ‘orange’ and ‘red
neon lights carved too bright to really see
{mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha, mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha}
the hungry thing… lurking… in the shadows
twitched in time the demons in your mind
caught unaware inside Ghost Gutter Inn.

The air of night a bloody gurgle in its throat
that if you listen close enough you’ll hear
a THUMP followed by a crooked laugh
{mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha, mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha}
like a genie… possessed… in a bottle…
twitched in time the demons in your mind
vanished inside Ghost Gutter Inn.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (twitched, crooked, bloody, sidewalk, bottle, flickering, gutter, gurgle, thump, vanished, carved, caught)

Also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Halloween share

Friday, October 28, 2011

Balancing Billy

Billy the Penguin slid through the ice
bumped his head and fell down twice,
until his wife knit five colorful bands
to wear on his tail, fins and "hands"
for balance with magnets inside--
and now Billy the Penguin can glide.

@laurie kolp

Picture/prompt inspiration: In Tandem

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This thing we call time...

"I can't believe how long it's been since we last talked!"

Haven't you ever said that to a loved one or a friend after too much time has gone by since you last talked to them or even saw them? I sure have, and I'm saying that to you now. I can't believe how much I've slacked on this blog. I do have some very justifiable reasons as we all do when our defense mechanism kicks in: the kids are keeping me busy, Pete's night classes are taking a toll on me, I've been concentrating on my poetry, the dog ate my homework... oops, that's an excuse for something else. Anyway, you get the drift.

I remember when the kids were little. People would tell me to enjoy this time because once they start school, it will fly faster than a flight to New York. It was a little hard for me to believe them as I was consumed by poopy diapers, fitful nights, mysterious illnesses, trips to the ER and the list goes on. All I could think was, "Is this ever going to end?"

And now they are well into school and I find myself wondering where all the time has gone.

Yesterday I went to my ENT for a checkup (remember my Meniere's Disease?). It had been two years since my last visit and I am happy to say I've been dizzy-free (except for those blonde moments). He has me on a daily regimen of Zyrtec and Astepro nasal spray to control the fluid build-up in my ears.  Time has been good to me in that respect.

Until I mentioned to the specialist how my hearing in my left ear seems to be weakening at which they proceeded to give me a hearing test. It showed a definite decrease in the hearing in my left ear since the last test.

"You're too young for that," Doc said. "We need to find out what the problem is. It can be a virus or perhaps a tumor (malignant)."

Tumor? Oh my, God how I 'awful-ize' things. I went from little tumor in my middle ear, malignant at that, to an inoperable brain tumor in a matter of seconds. The rest was just a whirl: heavy-duty steroids, come back for an ABR test, then maybe an MRI... blah, blah, blah.

And I'm thinking about my jumbled speech, headaches, saggy left eye, the problems I've had with my left shoulder (of course, I'm a little dramatic at this point). The time I need to live, please dear God.

{Today I started my steroids so I WILL be a writer/poet on steroids for a week or two.}

Time, time, time... I have to wait for you now. In the meantime, I'll try to catch up with those (friends, loved ones) who have snuck by because of... well, because of me.

Upon Receiving the News

to prepare for
the worse but hope
for the best, she felt as
vulnerable as a child on the
playground. cornered by a ruthless
bully. hoping this was all just a figment
of her overactive imagination; let the battle
begin... she was prepared ... to fight... and win.

@laurie kolp

Poetry inspiration: 3WW (figment, inclined, vulnerable)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Natural Engagement

We rode our bikes into verdant fields
of tomorrow, our future as bright as
the diamond on my left hand, then

at night we made love under a starry
sky and cuddled in our tent like
bears hibernating in winter's frost.

@laurie kolp

Inspiration: Open link at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Sunday, October 23, 2011

After (Hours of) Going Nowhere

"Slow down. I'm asking him
for directions since you're too
proud to admit defeat," said
the disgruntled wife, panting

~after (hours of) going nowhere~

a trip to the city nit-picked down
to every last detail, suitcases
packed, tickets hot and wild plans lost
to self-will; she'd finally had enough. 

@laurie kolp

Picture inspiration: Magpie Tales

Prompt inspiration: Kerry at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asked us to write a puente poem. You can find out more at the site.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Osculating Fire

The tattered t-shirt a dying
ember within his tentative


was stamped forever
in a heart long frozen, how

she wore it like a yule log 
glowing merriment and joy;

a breach of judgement
ignited concupiscence,

he touched her crimson lips
with his, probed further

until she pulled back,
slapped him like a grease
fire on the stove.

@laurie kolp

   {osculating~ kissing; concupiscence~ strong sexual desire, lust}

Prompt inspiration: 3WW (breach, ember, tentative)

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Stronghold

Cinquain Form:

Ever reaching
I carved my heart on you
Will you take me in your branches?

@laurie kolp


Tanka form:

A heart carved with love
Reaching out I long for your
Everlasting warmth
With strong arms titillating;
Leaves me satisfied

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspirations: Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Isabel Doyle's Tree-Hugger

Sunday, October 16, 2011

No Lucky Ducks

The young girl breaks
from the working line
looks into my camera
with a thoughtful stare

a bit perplexed
... or so she seems.

I ask her what's wrong
read her red heart lips
exaggerating each syllable,

"These ducks aren't lucky!"

and we roll over in laughter
to mask the sadness we feel.

@laurie kolp

Picture prompt inspiration: Magpie Tales

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dancing at the Ocean's Edge

In the shallows of the ocean deep
where broken shells are gathered
and sea foam cotton is a mirage
that fools the young at heart,
causes feet to drop on textured sand

a burst of pain settles in the toes
now dancing through hoops of fire;
one shoulder twists and then the other
like a bolt of Charo shimmying
rolling tongues until she topples,
forgives the waves for cutting in the fun.

@laurie kolp

Poetry inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (forgive, shoulder, topples, shallows, bolt, broken, gathered, dancing, drop, burst, causes, feet, hoops)

Also linked to Imaginary Garden With Real Toads Open Link Monday

Friday, October 14, 2011

Recycling Red

A sore thumb amid a green thumb
Hitchhikes through life unnoticed
Until a bright light picks him up
Plants him in a thriving garden
Filled with books to be shared and

@laurie kolp

You can read more about book boxes here (thank you Kerry).

Picture prompt inspiration: Kerry @ Real Toads

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Famished by the Sun

The dying grass crunches beneath bare feet
that walk a path each passing rainless week
back and forth to the yellow sprinkler hose,
in hopes at least a bit survives this drought.

Trees and shrubs blanched white begin to wilt,
a frown it seems as if they've given up
craving autumn's shades of orange and red;
blind hunger lost in sun's unending heat.

@laurie kolp

Poetry inspiration: Poets United Thursday Think Tank (hunger)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Patience with a little umph (and how to make eraser earrings)

Have you ever heard the saying, "Patience is a virtue?" I used to hate it when adults told me that as a child, but now I understand what they meant. I do have patience in most cases, but I know when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to bark. But my voice is like a whisper in the library, even when I'm mad. Speaking up can be challenging for me.

Twice this week I have been put to the test and it's only Wednesday.

Start with this kind of eraser to make the earrings (they come in all colors)
Monday morning Nicholas stuck a piece of an eraser in his ear. Some of the boys had been making earring hoops out of the ends of those pointy pink erasers. They cut a bit of the circular end and then slit each O; voila- perfect fit. Nicholas came out of school last Friday wearing them. I thought, "How cute!"

I'm trying out the newest fashion trend- eraser hoops.

The "cuteness" of eraser earrings was the furthest thing from my mind when I found out what had happened. I was not very happy.

My anger quickly turned to panic. Nicholas had tubes in his ear as a baby. He's prone to ear infections. I wanted that sucker out and fast. I picked him up from school and we zoomed over to the neighborhood walk-in clinic. Had I called the pediatrician, we would have had to drive clear across town and wait for hours WHILE exposing ourselves to yucky kid germs. Surely this was the easier, softer way.

Guess what? It wasn't. We had to wait for an hour anyway and the doctor completely missed the mark. He looked inside Nicholas' ear and said all he could see was wax. Then he proceeded to wash his ear out, which caused a few winces from my poor sweet boy. After all that rigmarole, the Quack Shack said he had an ear infection and that his ear drum would probably bleed. I looked deep in his ear and saw the drum, but I still wasn't satisfied. Nicholas, on the other hand, was ecstatic because the doctor had gotten him off the hook.

When we went to pick up Andrew (it was a half-day), the nurse and I peeked in Nicholas' ear once again. I felt like Nancy Drew looking for a clue. And we found one. There in plain view was the pink gob.

What the ENT pulled out of Nicholas' ear

I was able to get Nicholas in with the ENT who took the eraser out with no problem. He doesn't even have an infection; just irritation. Talk about patience. Monday required a lot.

Today I went to the post office to mail a friend a signed copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Troubled Times. I gloated as I weighed the package and printed out the postage while the others waited in lunch-hour lines. I knew I had finally figured out how to make the postal system workable. Before Christmas, too! That is until I discovered I couldn't just slip the package through the self-serve slot; it was too big. The Flustered Blonde Lady behind the counter, who I think was quite rude, told me I had to get in the back of the line so she could approve it. I'm so sure! No wonder the post office is in trouble. It certainly was with me.

Feeling impatient and miffed, I left and ran an errand. When I went back, two ladies were now behind the counter. I waited behind the five people in front of me (which was nothing compared to earlier) and walked over to the Much Nicer Lady when it was my turn. I noticed Flustered Blonde Lady glance my way as I shared my negative experience with Much Nicer Lady. She told me that sometimes they get bombarded with so many customers at once that... blah, blah, blah. I still don't think I should have to go through the line if I do it myself. It's like going through the check-out line at a grocery store to make sure you rang up your items correctly at the self-service. Don't you think?

In both incidents, I felt like I had to say something. On Monday I called the Quack Shack and told them they had been wrong, that the doctor wasted our time and money. They promised to credit our card for the co-pay. Of course, you already know I spoke up today. Sometimes you have to, but I always feel a little guilty. Patience IS a virtue after all; and so is defending what is right.

Early Morning Delight

The aromatic air led me to this place;
percolating coffee, cinnamon, vanilla
swirled into tantalizing tastes I admire.

You ordered a piece of apple strudel
while I puckered up my lips, painted them red
hoping you'd follow me back to the hotel.

@laurie kolp

Poetic inspiration: 3WW (admire, follow, piece), Poets United Midnight Snack

Monday, October 10, 2011

A conversation the other day

On running into someone at a meeting...

Me: How've you been? I haven't seen you in awhile.

Her: Oh, girl... it's good to be back. The pneumonia shot nearly took me down.

Me: Really?

Her: I have to get it, you know. I've had pneumonia five times. I have chronic emphysema, not to mention asthma. I do breathing treatments daily. That's why my voice always sounds so raspy.

Me: Poor thing... do you smoke?

Her: Yes.

She looks away. End of conversation.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The King Who Was Bullied

A man who was highly esteemed
hailed by all the almighty king
was knocked down to size
bullied by tough guys
and now he's a small figurine.

@laurie kolp

Picture prompt inspiration: Magpie Tales

Friday, October 7, 2011

"Beautifully Gifted" is beautifully inspired

"Many of us women get tripped up in finding our identity, settling sometimes, unbeknownst to us, for something false, taking our cues from the world," says Angela Bisigano, PhD.

Several weeks ago I received an email from an agent representing a company, PR by the Book. She asked if I might consider reading one of their books and writing about it on this blog. I said why not, what could it hurt? The list of book titles she gave me ranged from nonfiction to fiction to self-help. I selected the spiritual/motivational book entitled Beautifully Gifted because... well, I loved the title and it promised to help me discover my true calling. I just knew this had to be a nudge from God.

The author of Beautifully Gifted is CBN-endorsed Angela Bisigano, PhD. She specializes in psychology and ministry, specifically issues concerning women and helping them find their "unique giftedness and calling." She has written this book as a guide that can be used alone or (preferably) in groups. The layout is very organized with quotes from scripture, practical applications and guide questions in each chapter. Dr. Bisigano includes real-life examples, many of which pertain to struggles in her life that she has learned from and how they have led her to God.

The 208-page book (including appendix and bylines) encourages you to forgive your parents and trust God so that spiritual growth can occur. Living in resentment is living in captivity. According to Spiritually Gifted, "God's plan for our lives includes healing, restoration and freedom." Angela shares a story about forgiving her father. He had had a heart attack. She was sitting at his bedside wondering if he believed in God. She asked him if he'd meet her at the pearly gates. He said yes. It wasn't until later that she realized she hadn't asked him to meet her inside the pearly gates. She said it was okay, though, because he recovered. This moved me to tears.

Dr. Bisigano provides lists and descriptions to help you identify what your spiritual gifts and talents are, along with pages for note taking. The part guidebook/ part interactive journal invites you to recall the major turning points in your life so that you can write your story to share with the group. Finally, Beautifully Gifted leaves you with a workable plan for carrying out your calling. Included in the appendix is a resource for those who wish to lead a discussion group.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was very informative, interesting and personal. I was reminded to listen for God's guidance within and not to let outside hindrances block me from my purpose in life. Learning about what the author has gone through and the things she has struggled with in her life made it easy for me to relate to her as a real person.

I discovered that I am already using my God-given talents through writing and tutoring children. I was inspired to maybe share my story someday, which would be like an act of Congress considering I am very quiet and START SWEATING PROFUSELY AT THE VERY THOUGHT OF SPEAKING IN FRONT OF GROUPS. Maybe God will call me to do that later in life. If so, I know I'll have a wonderful guide in Beautifully Gifted.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Skeleton Ghosts

Mommy says I'm being silly
that there are no such things as ghosts
but I say this house is haunted
and I know because...

she comes out at night
from the dead, a skeleton;
no sheet like Casper does she wear
only bones that pop and creak.

I sneak beneath the covers
but her cackling follows me;
hahahahaha- I scream!
A light flashes through the night,

Mommy says I'm being silly
that there are no such things as ghosts
but I say this house is haunted
and I know, I just know. It is.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poets United Thursday Think Tank

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pumpkin Carving at Public School

Hands knead orange slimy goo, grab
fistfuls of mealy seeds and dump
them on old newspaper for later use

spitting contests and pumpkin pie
perhaps a little guess-timation;
how many do you think there are?

as eager students gather ‘round
a cooling collection of leaves
golden, red and brown; unique.

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspiration: Poetic Asides

At Last

Running amuck at last
Early adulthood freedom rendered  
Sophomoric attitude impacting
Pollyanna-like naivete; results--
Ejected lovers amassing piles of shit
Counterproductive, rancid rapscallion
Tethered; maturity at last

@laurie kolp

Prompt inspirations: 3WW (eject, impact, render), Real Toads (use the #1 song from the day you were born as the inspiration to write about your life... mine: Respect by Aretha Franklin)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sets of Three

Three rejections in three days makes for one hell of a dive in the gutter (nose first in stinky, grimy dirt might I add).

Just last week I was sitting on Cloud Nine because my copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times (with my story, Signs of David) were waiting on my front porch when I opened the door. I was like a child on Christmas when I opened the big cardboard box. The book officially comes out TODAY, October 4, 2011. My story is on page 168.

On Saturday, I took a very impromptu trip to Webster, TX when I found out that Poetic Asides' author Robert Lee Brewer, editor of Writer's Market and Poet's Market, would be reading his poetry there. Many wonderful poets have met on the streets of Poetic Asides (PA) and have gone on to form friendships and partnerships, write chapbooks, and move forward in their writing careers. The formation of Baker's Dozen, my online group of poets around the world, is a result of PA. All of this has been made possible because of Robert Lee Brewer's continued support and sincerity.

It was a riveting experience to finally meet the person who has inspired me in so many ways. You can read the poem I wrote, Meeting Robert Lee Brewer, here. The amazing thing is that I was able to sit next to him for four hours of poetry reading and then discuss the poems during the many breaks. We even talked about everyday life, our families and growing up. I felt like I was sitting next to an old friend or even a brother. Robert encouraged me to read my sonnet, I Am the Sea, at the open mic round robin. It was the first time I had ever read one of my poems aloud and to do it with the support of Robert was astounding. I will never forget Saturday, October 1, 2011 (10+1=11, as Robert signed in his newest chapbook, Escape).


Then I received the first rejection in this wave of three on Sunday. It was a short story I had felt so good about when I submitted it to Glimmer Train, I just knew I'd finally make some big bucks off my hard work. NOT.

Monday the letter came from another publication where I had submitted a piece that made it through the first round, but obviously not the second. How dare they turn down such a personal piece after I went through all that hell to live through that experience and even more to write about it!

Today (Tuesday) a very positive email awaited me with a personal note about how wonderful my micro-story was and how it grabbed the attention of the editor of Narrative Magazine, but didn't quite cut it. Damn! How much more can I take?

Despite the Chicken Soup story and meeting Robert Lee Brewer experience, I am focusing on the negatives. Why do I do that? Writing this has helped me, though; and what I really need to do is reread I Am the Sea. After all, I wrote it as a reminder that I will always bounce back after rejection and that I write because it's part of me. My skin will grow thicker and I will survive (after I mourn for awhile).


Sets of three, right? Things happen in sets of three. I'll take my losses and move forward. Maybe there's a third acceptance out there somewhere.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Meeting Robert Lee Brewer

I wander into the bookstore
alone, but not lonely
anxious, but not nervous;
energy has driven me miles

yet the ambiance is the same here or there
as Saturday hustles and bustles--
cash registers cling, music drifts
aromatic coffee becomes a magnet

and I am reading the headlines
waiting for a grande mocha
until I ask, "Where's the poetry reading?"
a crooked finger points, I follow its lead

to Robert Lee Brewer

no trick, nor joke-- a treat
four hours, a poetry buffet
prompted, I get up and read, too
...for the first time.

@laurie kolp

Poetry inspiration: Shared at Real Toads, Poetic Bloomings (lonely, headlines, energy, wander, music, joke)

Every Time

a fearful face
in a myriad of shadows
within hell’s concrete mind
blatant signs--
guilt, grief, regret, gloom

every time she remembers

running circles
on a hamster wheel
dark memories--
a church, a promise, a gun: BOOM! BOOM!
adventure lost to fear alone

every time she remembers

@laurie kolp

Poetry inspiration: The Sunday Whirl (adventure, fearful, signs, face, cobbled, myriad, lost, alone, concrete, remember, church, circle)