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Saturday, 8 October 2011

Guest Blog - Jacqueline Dick

If you're on twitter and you have an appreciation for poetry, do yourself a favour and look up Jacqueline Dick, who twits under the handle @fumanchucat. If you're not on twitter, wonder over to her website, and have a look at her longer work. 
Poetry is a difficult art form to get right. To manage it in 140 characters, touch your audience, and evoke a genuine response, lifts it into the realm of magic. 
Here's one of my personal favourites of her micro-poetry:
Moon sees / barbed wire /and hides / behind cloud

So when I stumbled over her words (got to love that re-tweet button), and then got chatting to her and then managed to sweet-talk her in guest blogging for me, I got very excited (yes, I get excited a lot. Dealing with remarkable talent does that to me, every time). 

Then she sent me the post below, which for me - and no doubt a lot of us writing folk out there - just sums up the whole story.          


Why Do I Write? – a short personal essay

 I’m at a cocktail party. Guy standing next to me at buffet table, scarfing little toothpicked meatballs and double dipping cracker spread. “So waddya do?” he asks me. ”About what?” my wise-guy retort. Oh , I knew full well he’s not asking me if I have a viable solution to oil spills. I know what’s he’s asking and why. But do I want to be defined by what I do for a living, or for an avocation? Well, do I? Partly, yes.”I’m a writer,” I said, scarfing my own little stash of meatballs. Guy lifts eyebrow. “Oh? So waddya write?” “Words, words, words…..” I cleverly parry, borrowing from Hamlet. 

Why dance, why paint, why blow notes and air through a tuba…because we have to. But what does that really mean? 

 The real answer for me? It’s as if someone is knocking at my door and I’m ambivalent about answering. Or the telephone is ringing….now on it’s 4th ring before it goes to message. Damn it! Okay! Answer the knock on the door. Pick up the dang dong phone! I gotta know who’s at the door. Who is phoning me. Same with writing. Something is nagging at me. A thought, maybe evoked by a hurtful remark by an acquaintance. A racist remark overheard on a bus. I have to explore, it, define it somehow. I don’t paint, I’m not a photographer. But I do have a way with words. And with writing…any emotion evoked by beauty, need, anger, love, there comes that knock on the door to my soul. That persistent call… to explore the universality of these feelings, to dissect, to find exactly the right words that will cause me and others to say “Yes!” That epiphany, that aha! moment. And, to mitigate the loneliness of experiencing that moment by sharing it with others. 

 There’s the added question. Do I write for myself, or for others. Both. First, what am I thinking, feeling about the topic. Gotta get it down. Define it, and that defines part of me. Someone else’s critique is valuable in that it forces me to sometimes go on a word diet, or change the recipe a little to make it more distinctive, more palatable. So, sure, I write for others. That helps me to validate what I think, what I write. And when my colleagues and readers review and critique, if they nail it, I’m emotionally and spiritually nourished. 

Falling Up 

Walkin’ Downtown 
Mood down black-brown 

Sun-filled Farmer’s Market 
Sensuality of rainbowed ripening fruits 

 Basket cornucopia overloads 
Spilling to ground 

 Strong sinewy male helping hand  
Frisson on neck’s nape 
 Sudden senseless jealousy 
Of fruit hand touched

Unwelcome crazed thought  
Stranger’s fingers prodding, testing me 

From hand to eyes 
Amused, blue, crinkled-cornered 

 Naked confusion, damn! 
 Unfair full wattage smile 

 Ancient recognition, trampolining heart  
Starting no-net tightrope walk 
Falling, falling, falling 


 A Little Night Music – a poem 

 Cellos’ deep sounding smile 
Scent of earth and rain 
After the storm 

 Now the darkling
 Bass, violas, castanets 
Sound nocturnal romance
 Exciting moon and stars to dance

Ecru sounds
Of a lyrical moon 
Piccolo and flute
Fugue to 
Twinkling lights
 En pointe stars 

Tenor chants 
Plaintive song
In wee hours
Only shadows hear

The sounds of flowers 
The strings of the firmament 
The heart’s harp 
Poetry that needs no words 



J H Sked is the author of WolfSong & Basement Blues.
You can find WolfSong on Amazon, Sony  e-bookstore, Nook, iTunes &  Smashwords. Basement Blues is on Amazon, SmashwordsiTunes  and  Nook