Weekly Short Stories Contest and Company! discussion

Weekly Poetry Stuffage > Week 144 (November 9-16). Poems. Topic: Guitar Strings

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message 1: by Caitlan, lioness rampant (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) | 2866 comments Mod
You have until November 16th to post a poem, and on November 17th-21st we’ll vote for which one we thought was best.

Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Please don’t use a poem previously used in this group. Only one poem per member please.

Your poem can be any length.

This week’s topic is: Guitar Strings

The rules are pretty loose. You can write a poem about anything that has to do with the topic. I do not care, but the poem you post must relate to the topic somehow.

Have fun!

message 2: by Caitlan, lioness rampant (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) | 2866 comments Mod

Al, that's beautiful. It's so sad, yet wonderfully poignant. Lovely.

message 3: by Caitlan, lioness rampant (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) | 2866 comments Mod
(cries) It's j-just s-s-so s-sa-ahad.

message 4: by Caitlan, lioness rampant (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) | 2866 comments Mod
(falls to the ground, crying)

message 5: by Caitlan, lioness rampant (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) | 2866 comments Mod
Kirilee: Hey, you keep your mouth shut, mister. You're the one who caused all this!

message 6: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
Wow, Alex! This is a beautiful, beautiful poem! Definitely, my favorite of your poems. I think you've hit one of those 'purple patches'.

message 7: by Caitlan, lioness rampant (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) | 2866 comments Mod
Purple :D

message 8: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
Yup. Directly quoting from a source: 'a section in a piece of writing characterized by rich, fanciful, or ornate language'.

message 9: by Caitlan, lioness rampant (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) | 2866 comments Mod
Psh. No one could ever hate your writing XP

message 10: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
You're welcome, Alex. This poem in particular is exquisite! Nothing resonates with me the way dark poetry/tragedy does.

message 11: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments Ah, Al...it is very depressing when you post so early! How can I possibly submit anything in the shadow of such great writing? What a deep, sad, moving poem. I'm with Ajay- the darker, the better. You are very talented indeed.

message 12: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments You're too sweet :D

message 13: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments Hahaha...not the case?

message 14: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
Ryan, I'm pretty sure that your's will be good. Infact, I'm looking forward to reading it.

message 15: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments Haha, well the W.S.S. is certainly good for the ego! Thanks, Ajay, and likewise.

message 16: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments What music do you like to play on your acoustic, Al?

message 17: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie  (ChasmofBooks) | 2868 comments Such a pretty and sad poem, Alex! Good job.

message 18: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments I'll do my best to stay on your (and Frank's) good side/s then :D

message 19: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments Rose Street

Sitting on that balcony
with guitars on our laps
and beer by our feet,
any dream was possible;
on six gossamer strings, awaiting release.

Nothing mattered
in those glory days
but the words
and the chords
and the magic that lived, somewhere beneath.

A world away
from the pain of today
and the melancholy
that remains
as slowly but surely, each dream fades.

So many times
I find myself
sitting back there with you.
Carelessly laughing
and strumming to some stupid song.

Those days were golden
but I never realised
they were the best of my life
until they had passed
as all things pass.

Sometimes, when I am lost,
my ears catch brief snatches
of melodies half-heard
and half-remembered;
life seems a little less dark.

And I am reminded
that this too shall pass.

message 20: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
Ryan, I just knew it would be good! This poem's well-etched and poignantly nostalgic. My favorite stanza:

Sometimes, when I am lost,
my ears catch brief snatches
of melodies half-heard
and half-remembered;
life seems a little less dark.


message 21: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments Thanks, Al.
Thanks, Ajay.

message 22: by Caitlan, lioness rampant (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) | 2866 comments Mod
Ryan, that's a beautiful poem. I agree, it's very nostalgic.

message 23: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments Thank you, Kat - greatly appreciated :)

message 24: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (last edited Nov 12, 2012 05:30PM) (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod

Rock Baby


Heaps of
shackled lyrics.

A swivel
of the senses &
away she grooves,
those lean shoulders
swishing fish-like, humming
strumming the strings of her core.

Scores of
humbled cynics.

The Interviewer:
What's music to you?

for lunch.

for hunch.

Sure thing, the
guitar does pull
the right strings.

12th Nov,12

message 25: by Thomas (Marimbapanda) (last edited Nov 12, 2012 04:41PM) (new)

Thomas (Marimbapanda) | 328 comments So... I don't play guitar (Unless Guitar Hero counts...) so I really do not know what to write. I will try my best.

Just a Few Strings

I have been pounded
And struck.
Flicked violently with
A pluck...

Yet I continue to live on.

I have been broken
And snapped.
Replaced and poorly

Yet I continue to live on.

I have played music,
Bad and good.
I don't play what I
Could, would, should...

Yet I continue to live on.

I have been neglected,
Lately I feel much too
Left rotten...

Yet I continue to live on.

I sit upon my,
Heap of garbage.
A worthless world,
Is the new image...

Is it worth to continue to live on?

message 26: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
Wow. Excellent poem, Thomas! To answer your question, yes. It is worth to soldier on. And if you are going to continue writing like that, you will definitely do more than just live on. I loved everything about this poem. Very skillfully done.

Thomas (Marimbapanda) | 328 comments Alex: I agree 100% with Ajay. This is by far one of your best poems yet! Great job!

Ryan: *Shudder* This was a very dark poem, but it seems as if that is a theme with the poetry this week... Amazing job with it. I love your tone. Really great.

Ajay: Your poem, as it is now, stands out with all of the others. Unlike the others and me, you seem to to have a much more positive poem. Its great and the images, as always, stick out. Beautiful job.

message 28: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments How are you today, Ajay? Another great poem from you, mate. I really look forward to your poems each week. They never disappoint. I really like the images you created here. I loved how the "heaps of shackled lyrics" and "scores of humbled cynics" work together. Can I ask what your motivation for this was? (Other than the obvious " guitar strings", of course!).

Hello Thomas. How did your competition go? Thanks for your comments. I agree with something you said earlier-the positive comments are a big part of posting here. I really enjoyed "Just a Few Strings". I always find it hard to single out a particular line or two in your poems-everything just fits together so well that it works brilliantly as a whole. Interesting concept, too. I wonder how many poems have ever been written from the point of view of the humble guitar string? Not much music without them! Great job, I like it a lot. Well done, mate.

message 29: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
Thank you, Thomas! Glad you liked it. I wanted to write something dark but I'd literally run out of stock. This one was inspired by a t-shirt.

message 30: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
Oops. I have no idea how I missed your comment, Ryan! Thank you, really glad you liked it.

I'm alright mate. How are things at your end? This poem was inspired by a t-shirt and the girl who wore it. She was obviously a fan of rock. Her t-shirt had this caption 'Rock Baby'. Her guitar was slung over her shoulders and she was listening to something 'heavy' on her ipod. The very moment we stepped of the tube-trains, she went to a spot on the pavement and started playing. It was beautiful. I listened to her for about half an hour. This was about two years ago. I made up the other parts (re: the interviewer and stuff) :)

message 31: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments That's awesome, Ajay. Nice one sitting and listening/watching for half an hour. I do that myself when someone plays well. Good explanation-I was picturing a nymph-like rock chick strumming away when I read it.

message 32: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments And all good here, thanks for asking. My two boys keep me occupied and happy :)

Thomas (Marimbapanda) | 328 comments Thanks, Ryan, but it really isn't nearly good enough. My writing is still to immature to be considered "good". Thanks anyways. Comments really are great.

Thomas (Marimbapanda) | 328 comments Oh! And my competition... My band placed 25th in semifinals. Technically, that means my band is the 25th best in the nation...

message 35: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
Thank you, Ryan. Yes, she played it quite well. It's still a fresh, solid memory that. That's good to hear, convey my regards to your boys! :)

message 36: by Shayma (new)

Shayma (almightysush) | 47 comments Homeless and lucky

I found these guitar strings laying about.
I wondered who would throw them out.
I said I'd take them and try them out.
But I was just dreaming for I am as poor as a mouse.
I live on the streets without a penny to spare.
I can't even afford a single pear.
When I was six we were thrown out from our loving warm house that we cared not about.
No family to love us or talk about,
For our parents are dead and we are without, a loving warm house to walk about.
So I put down the strings, for they're not for me.
For I am as poor as poor can be.
But I do have two brothers, one four and one three.
And I sometimes feel that they will leave me.
But then I see those faces and think- lucky me!
For I have two brothers who adore me

message 37: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
Shayma, I think it's perfect! I loved the sudden sharp turns which you've provided through these images/themes. Very deftly handled.

message 38: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments Beautiful poem, Shayma. I really liked how you painted such a desolate picture of suffering, tinged by a small hope. This glimmer of hope was defeated but despite all the misery, there was the realisation of how we are never alone with a loving family. I enjoyed the contrast you provided here. Very nicely done!

message 39: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments Thomas, your writing will no doubt continue to grow and mature the more you write and grow yourself. But to say that it isn't "good" because you don't think it's mature is incorrect. Poetry comes in many shapes and sizes and the fresh, vibrant approach you take makes it very enjoyable to read. I would have to argue that if I, and I'm sure others on this site, find enjoyment in your writing, then it makes sense to classify it as good. Take that one more step - if you get pleasure from writing it and sharing it, then it is even better still.

As for your competition - wow! What a great result. No doubt the earnings of much practice and hard work. Congratulations!

Thomas (Marimbapanda) | 328 comments Thanks, Ryan... :)

message 41: by Shayma (new)

Shayma (almightysush) | 47 comments Thank you so much Ajay and Ryan. I'm glad u guys liked it.

message 42: by Kate (last edited Nov 16, 2012 01:13PM) (new)

Kate | 29 comments This poem is a reverso poem--it reads up and down, like a musical scale, to change meaning or voice with the same words, so the form inspired me with the musical prompt. This is my first go at a reverso.

He Plays
by Kate Camp

A wail from my lips
my vibrato
his palm mute.
Sweet music—
thrumming through him—
takes hold
of my rhythm,
the bend and release
of my spine.
Down the frets,
his fingers rasp,
as he strums
his guitar strings.
My every fiber,
my sinews—

my sinews,
my every fiber,
his guitar strings.
As he strums,
his fingers rasp
down the frets
of my spine.
The bend and release
of my rhythm
takes hold,
thrumming through him.
Sweet music!
His palm mute
my vibrato
a wail from my lips.

message 43: by Kate (new)

Kate | 29 comments P.S. Palm muting is a guitar technique...as is bend and release...

message 44: by Ajay, The Caped Crusader (new)

Ajay (Ajay_N) | 1136 comments Mod
Kate, that's brilliant! Loved it.

message 45: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments Fantastic, Kate! What a perfectly beautiful poem. So clever, well done!

message 46: by Kate (new)

Kate | 29 comments Thanks so much! I'm glad y'all like it.
I had good ideas for the last two prompts, but life and NaNoWriMo got in my way. This one I just had to drop everything today and write. I love everyone else's so far, too, and I'll leave some love on here later when I can...

message 47: by Paula Tohline (last edited Nov 18, 2012 06:10AM) (new)

Paula Tohline Calhoun (PaulaTohlineCalhoun) | 493 comments Got here late, so this is not an entry, just a "toss in" because it came to me of a sudden, courtesy of my muse, "Poly."

Loss and Gain

Never a master have I been
unless being a lover counts.
I have felt and heard the ridges on my fingers
whistle across the ridges of the lower strings;
I have felt the slip of my fingertips
upon the upper strings.

With study, I learned the chords
surprising myself with harmony made from disparate strings.
Not a master, but a lover, I have played;
with my guitar I made music of my own.
Something of mine to share when it pleased me.
Or to keep for myself when needed.

Life gives and takes sometimes.
Things we love are taken away,
but not the memories. My guitar is
silent, save for when I hear my son
take control and show me up. I feel
nothing but pride in him, self-taught so well.
He too was born with the passion,
creating love out of music, and
music from love.

Accidents happen, the use of a hand
is taken away, and so is the joy of
pretending to be a master. But the love
is never gone. It plays on, still
callousing my fingertips with memories.
Weeping goes for nothing, yet I grieve;
But I grieve and move on. Without the
instruments of my hands, I have found
other instruments of my heart. Music
comes in many guises and forms. And
for a while yet, I can still sing. For joy.

(Sorry to be posting this so late, but Poly made me. . .)

message 48: by Ryan (new)

Ryan | 5262 comments "Loss and Gain" is simply beautiful, Paula.

Such a deep and moving piece of writing. As a devoted guitar player myself, the thoughts and sense of loss you portrayed were very sad. Topped off perfectly by an uplifting ending. You are such a talented writer.

Did I detect a lot of truth in this poem?

Very skillfully handled, well done.

message 49: by Paula Tohline (new)

Paula Tohline Calhoun (PaulaTohlineCalhoun) | 493 comments Thank you Ryan. True story. Lost about 90% of the use of my right hand in a surgical accident several years ago. Used to play guitar, piano, flute, etc. I am still learning to be left-handed, but I am about as right-hand dominant as they come! Except for one thing: I have always cut a deck of cards one-handed, and only with my left hand. . .strange talent, but useful for us one-armed bandits! LOL

With the help of a great free-ware program, MuseScore, I manage to do some composing still. Frustrates me not to be able to play it out myself, though. I have to listen to it played with that awful MIDI sound, but hey! It still works! And with the program I can print it all out (I used to hate notating anyway!), and have somebody else play it for me on a real instrument.

All is well. But I still miss my guitar and my beautiful piano. (Gave both to our eldest son, who is a very good musician. Donated my flute to a mission in South America.) It was too hard to look at them - mute symbols.

message 50: by M (last edited Nov 18, 2012 05:56PM) (new)

M | 10156 comments The Acorns of Past Seasons

He fell from the cedar beside the stone lodge,
his mouldering pages stacked in the garage
with an etched Viking sword and a moth-eaten sail,
with past seasons’ acorns and rain-spotted mail.
A shade among shadows deciphering bones,
a blonde girl’s svelt figure wanders the flagstones,
the runes carved by Norsemen long weathered away.
Let the old pencil pusher call back in fine gray
what she played with deft fingers, her décolleté gown,
the movie house boarded, the diner torn down.

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