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Monday Musings: To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme

Reading over the thirty poems that I wrote in April allowed me to assess my writing style. Verdict: Haphazard.

Admittedly, I don’t read a lot of poetry—more now than before—for various reasons. I have more preferred genre preferences, and I suppose I don’t want to be influenced by the style of others. When I began to write poems, I didn’t set out to write a particular form or have a rhyme scheme in mind. It was all about getting my thoughts down in a way that I thought accurately represented the concept. I let the process dictate the final outcome.

As children, we learn rhyme from nursery rhymes, primer reading books, and word families. It becomes second nature to rhyme, and sometimes it is hard not to.

From the very start, I found that rhyme placement was a way to grab the reader’s mind, and too many often detracted from the imagery or idea that I was trying to convey. So, some of my poems have very few, but when they occur, it’s effective. I guess you could call it fluid form poetry or floating rhyme.

I try not to use an unfamiliar word or words that can’t be immediately understood by the context unless, of course, that important rhyme gives exigence to incorporate the word “reticent” (or taciturn, for that matter).*

Learn the rules so that you can break them or make up the rules as you go along. If they don’t work—change them.

I’m not saying that my writing is unique, but it is mine from my heart and mind. I chose to share these words with the world because they help me put things into perspective, and I hope that they can do the same for others along with providing entertainment in this world we all share.

– Leon

*exigence (n.) – demand, requirement

*reticent (adj.) – discreet, restrained, taciturn   


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 30 (Destinations)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  Write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place.

Here it is. The last day of the challenge. I want to thank you for stopping by and reading my daily creations. I hadn’t poetry for a while, since I shifted my focus to my science fiction writing. It was a good incentive to get back to what started my writing journey, and looking back on the last 29 days, I’m happy with what I wrote.

Here From There

No two people
Will arrive at the same place
Given directions and a numbered pace
We line them up
And teach the skills
Then release them with free wills
Learn the basics
So you can make the choice
Everybody has a voice
Start at Reading Road
Make sure you don’t miss Comprehension Boulevard
Turn at Writing Avenue
Left or right it’s yours to choose
You will see Math Street coming up
Spend time at the Basics block
If you miss it
You may get lost
Don’t hesitate to ask for directions
Everybody there 
Is extremely helpful
And each has a different perspective
You can try to climb the hill 
Of  You Can Be Anything You Want To Be
For some it’s better to go around, you’ll see
There is no shame to turn around
And start again a second time round
Sometimes it will be best 
To ignore the GPS
You will find your destination 
Changes as you travel the nation
But when you arrive
Take a look around
This will be the place you’ve found



Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 30


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 29 (Windows)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  This one is called “in the window.” Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene.

One more day to come. I think I’m going to miss the routine.

Looking Back

My childhood home disappears 
Behind the climbing tree
My first college dorm fades
Into the brownstone facades
My apartment with the narrow stairs
Slowly hidden by its neighbor  
The rented house seems smaller
Even though I’m not the last to leave
The waving line dwindles
While the music plays 
I must have missed the point
When the mountains yielded to the prairie
I looked away for a moment 
The ocean gone when I return my gaze
I am sometimes filled with envy that
The rear window has seen the last 
Of all my firsts



Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 29


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 28 (Questions)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  Write a poem that poses a series of questions.

Up early this morning. Again. To. Much. Pressure.

Purpose

What will I write about today?
The poet pondered
Lying in the meadow away
From distraction
Will it be poignant?
Do I try to shed a little light?
Does it need to give a fright?
How can the words I write
Make a difference in someone’s life?
Will rhyme present itself
At the proper time?
Where will inspiration come?
Or do I sit here deaf and dumb
Until the words…until the words…
Begin to surge
Why do I write anyway?
The poet sat and questioned 
There are not enough words
To answer that
Then
Then as the sun set
And the moon rose
And the sky exploded
In a tumult of emotion
The answer was revealed
Because I can
And the poet’s fate was sealed


Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 28


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 27 (Up early and waiting)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  To be announced

Up early this morning. Was able to pick up some work for the week. It’s been a while so I couldn’t say no. Since the prompt isn’t posted yet, I’ll offer this:

Control

Like clockwork
Until it isn’t
Routines repeat 
Until they don’t
Stay in the groove
Until you jump out

(What’s that? No, it’s not a rut. OK, it’s kinda a rut.)
Don’t change
Until you need to
Expecting the expected
Until the unexpected jars you into accepting that no matter how hard you try
You’re not in complete…

Control

Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 27


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 26 (Parody)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  Write a parody. Besides being fun, writing parodies can be a great way to hone your poetic skills – particularly your sense of rhyme and sound, as you try to mimic the form of an existing poem while changing the content.

Oh, Do a Parody

The parody
Should be easy
Something to make fun of

From lots to choose
How could I lose
Just change around the words

The Rime was way to long
Maybe do a nursery song 
I tried to write about the fog

Switched direction
Asked the question
Where does the sidewalk end

Tried some Poe
But do not know
Enough of this old master

I admit defeat
I can’t compete
With King Weird Al Yankovic 

I misread
I thought it said
Write an ode to a parody

Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 26


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 25 (Occasion)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo:  Write an “occasional” poem. What’s that? Well, it’s a poem suited to, or written for, a particular occasion.

Graduation Day

Can I sit beside you and cheer out loud
Without fear or paranoia
And not be nervous in a crowd

Handshakes replaced by an eyebrow raise
I don’t recognize you
If you don’t wear the same coat

Tired of my recycled breath
And my moist chin
The anti-fog cloth fails every time

Is this separation a trial
Giving wide berth
As if everyone is suspicious

Not missing some social expectations
Did I just purge
Unnecessary friendships

Throw my mask in the air
Like on graduation day
If this is ever over

Lessons learned
Yet are we be prepared the next time
When the world fights back

Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 25


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 24 (Animals)

NaPoWriMo

Sometimes the prompts are too specific.

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo: Find a factual article about an animal. A Wikipedia article or something from National Geographic would do nicely – just make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else – it could be something very abstract, like “sadness” or “my heart,” or something more concrete, like “the streetlight outside my window that won’t stop blinking.” You should wind up with some very funny and even touching combinations, which you can then rearrange and edit into a poem.

Write a poem about an animal…Got it.

The Cat Says "Meh"

I often wonder 
What animals think
Exercising free will
Or running on instinct

The smaller the creature 
The less it has choice
I suppose that’s the case
What would they say with their voice

I can’t see a housefly 
Trying to have fun
But the dog in the park
Enjoys fetch and run

The birds come to my balcony 
At the same time each day
If I’m late they do tell me
I guess they trained me you could say

To know their thoughts 
I could surely wish
As Adams quite elegantly put it
So long and thanks for all the fish


 

Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 24


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 23 (Response to a Poem)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo: Write a poem that responds, in some way, to another. This could be as simple as using a line or image from another poem as a jumping-off point, or it could be a more formal poetic response to the argument or ideas raised in another poem. 

I can still picture the book cover, feel the rough pages, and remember the smell. He didn’t even need to open it.

Midnight Son

Thank you, Mr. Service
For weaving tales
Of Arctic trails
And giving me
The childhood memory
Of my father reciting 
The Cremation of Sam McGee

  

 

Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 23

Thanks to everyone who purchase my book during the sale! Your ongoing support is appreciated.

Still chock full o’ great stories!

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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poetry

NaPoWriMo: Day 22 (Earth Day)

NaPoWriMo

Poetry Prompt from NaPoWriMo: Write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place.

This morning I found out it was Earth Day. Should I be surprised that it crept up on me?  Sorry, prompt.

One Day

Am I to blame
Should I feel shame
Awaking to find the Earth still weeping
Without fanfare
Like people don’t care
Earth Day continues it’s creeping
Nothing on the news
No reminders I can use
One single day seems somewhat fleeting
My search engine failed to show
A humorous graphic to alert me to know
That we all have to work on succeeding  
Our world still needs 
Our attention and good deeds
Goals set and targets to be meeting
I do my part
Vehicle remains in park
More often than I am driving
A big consumer I am not
My needs outweigh want
I’ll fix before I think of buying
I limit my waste
Don’t toss things in haste
Avoid products in excess packaging 
To throw out I refuse
I’ll try to reuse
Or pass on to others for using
This rock is on loan
As a species we don’t own
Our damage deposit slowly dwindling
One last thing to say
It will still be Earth’s day
When you wake up the next morning  

 

Read it again on Medium.com (yes, I do get paid/read): Day 22

Thanks to everyone who purchase my book during the sale! Your ongoing support is appreciated.

Still chock full o’ great stories!

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.