Dear Followers and fellow bloggers,
I am very proud to announce the release of my first Haiku Poetry book – Haiku Moments available through Barnes & Noble. I appreciate your continued support. Thanks to all who bought The Secret Life of Mandalas.
I often ask myself what is the role or job of the poet? Each time the response depends on what is happening in the world and in my personal life. I ask other poets the same question. Sometimes I wish I could ask my favorite poets, especially those who became well-known after they passed. I could imagine their reaction when they learn in their after life that people finally get and appreciate the poems they wrote.
As I pondered the question I went back to my collection of poetry books and looked for some insights. Inspired by poet’s biographies and other readings, I wrote a poem that hopefully answers the question. I mean if you have ever asked yourself what is the role of the poet.
The Role of the Poet
I believe the world needs a poet more today
It needed one yesterday as well
because a poet is one to tells
truths we may not want to hear
a poet brings to light what is most dear
and helps us to face fear
A poet brings you back into your own life
and teaches you how to breathe in and out
in stillness and in meditation
while you listen carefully to your breath and heart beat
and to the divine explanation of why we are all here.
A poet is a little god
who soothes your soul
and lets you peek into life’s crystal ball
to see yourself for the very first time
A poet sings the songs that make the world go round
and says what matters in free verse or rhyme
a poet knows how to expertly use every utterance and sound
in alliteration or onomatopoeia or assonance
and when it comes to choosing
the right meter
who else can we possibly trust
It does not matter what form a poem takes
A poet must not mistake
an epic, a limerick or an ode
As long as a poet can bring back the spring
in the middle of winter.
A poet can make you sing
and help you see the purpose of a fly
and you can either believe every word
or decide to defy
its relevance or ambiguity
but we must admit the poet’s acuity
for words and how to use them in a soliloquy.
Being a poet is not an easy job
a poet can make you smile
or make your heart throb
A poet can also make you think
about so many things that need thinking
and when you don’t understand
the message it can really stink
but as for me
I still hope to be
a poet someday.
A New bud appeared
after the mighty snow fall
I very happy to announce that my coloring book is now available at www.barnesandnoble.com. Thanks for your continued support.
The Poets light but Lamps —
Themselves — go out —
The Wicks they stimulate
If vital Light
Inhere as do the Suns —
Each Age a Lens
Recently I decided to link my poetry to my artwork via several venues. I published my coloring book in September of 2016, The Secret Life of Mandalas, which is available via Amazon.com.
I have always loved graphic design and making my own greeting cards and other products. Zazzle.com and Threadless.com gave me the opportunity to create my products and use my art and poetry.
I want to thank those of you who have been so supportive this past year. I truly appreciate your comments and feedback.
Occasionally, I will post some of my products as they become available. However, my main focus and labor of love will continue to be writing poetry.
I met Ms. Ortiz Cofer several years ago at a writer’s conference. I was impressed by her presentation and right away purchased her books. One of which is Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood. The essays contained therein were fascinating to me. Some events reminded me of my family and things they did to keep dancing in their new environment when they first moved to New York in the late 1949. Silent Dancing was awarded the 1991 PEN/Martha Albrand Special Citation for Nonfiction. Ms. Ortiz moved to New Jersey from Puerto Rico. In 1967 her family moved to Augusta, Georgia.
She was a poet, essayist, and beloved professor of English. After reading her poems I realized we had so much in common. She wrote about her childhood and growing up in a new culture after her family migrated to live in the United States. For me it was the opposite. I was born here and left to study in Puerto Rico. I also suffered from cultural shock. I had to learn many things about my parent’s homeland and culture and adapt to a new way of life. I have just started writing stories about my experiences and my family. I taught for many years and recently retired as well. She lived briefly in the New Jersey town I taught for many years.
“Among Cofer’s works were “The Line of the Sun,” a novel that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and she won an O. Henry Prize for the story “A Latin Deli.” Cofer’s works are also in English literature text books for high school students.”
Sadly, I learned that Ms. Ortiz Cofer died on December 30, 2016 at the age of 64 after battling cancer. She retired from The University of Georgia in 2013 and became ill shortly after. My favorite poems are in her collection of poems The Latin Deli. She was a true role model and I pray that she is resting in peace, silently dancing in heaven. My prayers go out to her husband and daughter.
Here is an excerpt of one of her poems:
“Blood tells the story of your life
in hearts as you live it;
bones speak the language of death,and flesh thins
with age when up
through the pores rises
the stuff of your origin.”
Words like waterfalls
Gently flow into my heart
A poem is born
In honor of Emily Dickinson, one of my favorite poets since I began reading her poems in the sixth grade. I have a collection of books written about her. One of my favorites:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
The following is my first found poem where I have used words, phrases, lines or even stanzas from other works including my fellow poets on WordPress. Please see attributions. Hope you enjoy reading the Found Poems. I will appreciate your feedback.
Dedicated to my doctor
Listen to the gifts of your heart
There is a rhythm to life
Laughter and love heals all
So much to do, so little time
I trapped a moonbeam in a bottle
enjoyed my morning walks in the woods
Everything is fine
Pressed fall foliage in my journal
to test the power of time
What is this new hope I feel?
my heart beats strong again
Life is beautiful!
Live it well my friend.
During the month of November I will post in a series some found poems. Found poems are poems that build a collage of meaning thoughts taken or borrowed from other poems, prose, magazine articles, newspaper headlines, love letters and other sources. It is the careful restructuring of different works into a new poem. I decided I would use poems and other good reads I find right here at WordPress including re-framing some of my own poems into a new-found poem.
According to the Academy of American Poets “A pure found poem consists exclusively of outside texts: the words of the poem remain as they were found, with few additions or omissions.”
I will acknowledge the blogs or poems from which I selected verses or lines for my found poems. I will also set up a challenge for my Found Poem day. If you have a found poem you would like to share with me at MelbaChristieatPoemattic.com, please copy it on in comments and I will publish it on November 30, 2016.
In the meantime, here is a preview of one of my found poems. Please send me your feedback. Also I want to thank my followers for their continued support and especially for getting a copy of my new coloring book The Secret Life of Mandalas available through Amazon.com
My Poem Hunt
I went hunting for a poem to love myself again
(Many years ago I learned
a poem can be a true friend)
I searched my notebooks in the attic and this is what I found:
A poem recited so many times by me
by Maya A.
filled of thoughts so profound
my heart simply hit the ground.
You may write me down in history
Just like moons and like suns,
with the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I rise.
The poem I found inspired me
to rise above it all
I will not let anything get me down
Nothing at all.
I now know and believe
That even the sound of my name
brings forth my heritage
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave
I am their courage
I am their sacrifice
The poem I found in my attic today
made me proud
My found poem includes excerpts From And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou
a smile full of dimples
when she tastes
of a blueberry.
When we listen
we can hear the unspoken words
of the sages of the future
when we listen
the songs of the crickets
are meant to heal our souls
when we listen
we can decipher
the secret whispers
of the butterflies
Photo by Melba Christie
When we listen
we can hear
the heart strings of a young lover
strumming like an acoustic guitar
when we listen
we can hear
the harp of our soul
playing an opus
to help us become
more aware of who we are
when we listen
there’s no telling
what sounds will resonate
to help us appreciate
the life we take for granted
all the more.
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