A seed poem for Chalkboard’s Time to Rhyme project

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Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

Like cheap tea brewing in a fragile cup,
they let you steep
then wrung you out, releasing bitter words
you could not keep.
And as they spilled and stained, they scalded, scarred.
The pain runs deep.
I listen; there is nothing I can do
to help. I sweep
shards and fragments, wipe away all trace
and watch you weep.
A burden shared is doubled, never halved.
I do not sleep.
Each day I strain and struggle and each night
I work to break what’s wrong and fix what’s right.

This cavatina is a seed poem for the Time to Rhyme collaboration on Chalkboard. To continue the rhyme chain, choose rhyming words from this piece as a base for your poem. Learn more

I am
not who you think I am
not who you expect me to be
not who you want me to be —
I am not defined by you

I am
not designed in your words, your deeds
not created by the presence or absence of you
not born in opposition to you
I am not defined by you

I am
uncounted pieces melding to form one
implying imprecision, defying definition
nothing less, nothing more than
I am

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Wild. Photo by Raj Sharan

I wrote this poem in response to the following challenge:

A Write or Die response to After the War by A Maguire

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Photo by Rubén Bagüés on Unsplash

It had gotten
seriously out of hand —

The smooth surface of the air
throbbed. Its shine
and fire had died, breath held
to feed the winter.

It was coming
as sure as their seed —

The wind like a gunshot
of order, like the impossible
children conceived through
their hunger.

Flames of sleep
shivered close and strong —

The sharp voice called:
back, knees, hips hauled upright,
a hand vaguely walking
bones around the walls.

(not tonight)
coming, with the smile
cracking time behind him.

He hadn’t told anyone yet.

A Maguire,

As I searched for combustible materials…

A Write or Die response to Chrysanthemums by Indira Reddy

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Image by Cocoparisienne (Pixabay)

October 25, 2012

I lose hope that my calls to Brighid are heard — better that than the alternative, that she hears but ignores me. Why she of the home and the hearth still does not light my womb, despite all my offerings and prayers, I cannot imagine. But I fear I may never hold the heir I so yearn for, a wriggly, bonnie babe at my bosom, a boy-child.

My wife, Amyra, tells me my actions are futile at best — she and all the others have borne only girl-children and many of those deformed or disfigured. Why should I think my…

If you’re in the mood for love, have we got a treat for you! (And if you hate this example of consumerism at it’s baldest, now’s your chance to fight back.)

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Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash

The Serenade project kicked off last week, seeking your ideas of what love might sound like…in words and music. In the true spirit of Chalkboard, we asked for you to find some music you like and write some words to go with it, and then submit your lyrics and recording.

Here are a few of the responses and the mood they’re best suited to:

  • Dreaming of how things used…

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Photo by Tamyka Bell

My head held high, my eyes turned low
I take my time ’cos I don’t know you
Or what this means, or who we are
Or how each small step can feel so far

Ten steps closer to you
Ten steps away from everything I knew
And I feel so scared to try
So, so scared to learn what secrets might lie

Beyond what I know and what I feel
If what I feel is even real
Is even true, and then, why me?
Why you?

If I’m dreaming, Wake me when it’s over — I’m not leaving I don’t…

❤ Submit your serenade ❤

I promise:

  • You won’t be the only one who submits a song to Chalkboard’s Serenade.
  • You won’t be the only one who submits a spoken word piece, either.
  • It doesn’t have to be polished.
  • It doesn’t have to be fancy.
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Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash

It might still feel scary to submit your piece, but I guarantee you the experience of writing a lyrical piece that’s set to music is well worth stepping outside your comfort zone.

And just to get you started, in the spirit of vulnerability and trust, here’s one I prepared earlier:

(You can also use this as a template to check you’ve provided appropriate licensing information.)

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Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

I want your smile
I want your touch
I want your time
I want your love

One, two, I want you
Three, four, give me more
Five, six, I need my fix
Seven, eight, I can’t wait

I want your lips upon my own
I want my skin to be your home
I want your dreams to come true
I want to spend my life with you

I never knew
That love could be so

I’ll drink you in, swallow you down I’ll sing your praises all over town I feel so high from what we’ve found I know…

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Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash

Call for submissions — new deadline February 21st

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably getting bombarded with images of how romance should look (red), feel (warm), smell (like roses), taste (chocolate, champagne)…but how does it sound?

Let’s find out!

Spoken word or song

You don’t need to be a composer for this one. In the true spirit of Chalkboard, this is an asynchronous collaboration, so someone has already written the music — you just need to find it and write the lyrics!

We’re looking for your words, written with a rhythm to match your chosen backing track. We’re looking for your voice, speaking or singing over that track, telling…

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Original photo by rawpixel (Pixabay)

Short Cuts: fiction by a top writer in Poetry

Continued from One: Folly

After work, Jordan walks three blocks uphill to Central Station, taps her go card at the entrance, keeps left on the escalator down to the platform, and stands behind the yellow line until the Nambour train shows up at the usual time, which is five minutes after its scheduled arrival time.

She takes a seat reserved for disabled passengers — the only other option is a backwards-facing seat under a flickering fluorescent light — and tucks her tote bag under the seat, carefully hooking the strap over her knee so it won’t fall over.

She does…

Tamyka Bell

Sponsored Altra Red Team Member. Sobah Beverages Fit Team Member. writes. runs. drinks coffee. doesn’t go in for that whole sleep thing

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