Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Not Alone

Open your heart and let me in…
let me be the balm that soothes your pain,
the torch that keeps the shadows at bay.
Let me ferry you over the rocks that line your path,
protect you from the sleet that reigns on gray days
threatening to freeze you in this dark place.

Oh that I could wrap you in these arms
and hold you until you felt safe!

I am here.

I cannot cure your ills,
only remind you
that you have been
and will always be
a part of me.

Accept the love I send...
let it envelope you
ward you up against this storm
and remind you
that you are

© Ginny Brannan 2013
(*Reigns rather than "rains": my word of choice meaning to rule, be predominate or prevalent)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Dream

Created for NWCU WWUC "I Have a Dream":

I dreamed a dream in times gone by
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
When hope was high, and life worth living
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I dreamed that love would never die
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
 This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
I have a dream my life will be
so different from this hell we’re living
so different now from what it seems
and life won’t kill the dream I dream

You may say that I’m a dreamer
but I’m not the only one
I hope some day the world will join us
and the world will live as one”

Martin Luther King, Jr. during "I Have a Dream" speech

This is my "Dream" Mash-Up, a combination of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Mis (final stanza slightly paraphrased to fit, apologies to the writer), the "I had a Dream" speech of MLK, and the words from John Lennon's "Imagine." There is no improvising or improving the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. He envisioned this dream, and we, we are the bearers of the torch. We must keep that dream alive!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

For the Record...

Remember our meeting, back in the day,
in High School English…poetry?
Christmas that year, your gift to me
… a record album.

I still remember…

not just the gift,
but the giver.

© Ginny Brannan January 2013

Original image is by Charlotte Gainsbourg/slightly altered

The image provided by The Mag brought many flashes from the past, sharing a one, albeit brief. Image has been slightly altered to fit the memory.
Written for The Mag, #153. Tess provides the image, we the story!

Just In...

Written for d'Verse Poets Poetics: Reaching the Masses:

“This just in, this bit of news…
the NRA have had their way,
the lobbyists have won the day--
no limits to the money spent
to bribe their way through government…
“Now we’re afraid we must report
some local children have been shot
by gun the shooter got from home
from arsenal the mother owned."
(We cannot comment with our views--
we must stay neutral on the news.)

“This just in, not far away
are people living in the street;
so many without food to eat…
“But let’s just change the topic now,
don’t want to spoil your dinner hour.
Please excuse us while we take
a scheduled commercial break.
We’ll be back with weather trends;
“Is global warming on the mend?”
(So carefully, we must discuss
wouldn’t want to cause a fuss…)

“This just in, we must deploy…
sent out once more to destroy.
"At this time we're still unsure
what this little 'fight' is for...
land or oil or overthrow;
another despot needs to go.”
“When will constant conflict cease?
“How can we find a lasting peace?”

“This just in, a quiet story
to end the show and ease your worry,
to leave you feeling quite content
with this hour you just spent...
“And one last thing that you must know
before we close and let you go:

“Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this broadcast are those solely of the author of this station, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any specific news agency or that of the U.S. government. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any U.S. government entity, or that of anyone except said author.

(This is just written 'off the cuff,' kind of a Rant in rhyme. Poetics invites us to write from the view point of "media," in this case a television news show. P.S. "disclaimer" borrowed in part from a real news disclaimer)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hand in Hand

Tenaciously, our hands embrace,
sweet nuance found in soft caress...
Emboldened, fingers intertwine--
with thumb on back of hand, you trace
against bare skin...feel stir within...
in tethered warmth, I acquiesce.
Then quickened heart anticipates
through promises conveyed, unspoken;
and sharing secrets once repressed,
you whisper faintly in my ear
in language only love translates.
Our shadows dance upon the wall
in a myriad of shifting shapes;
then palm to palm, your touch palpates
to kindle fire, hand in hand.

©  Ginny Brannan January 2013

Sharing at d'Verse Poets Pub Open Link Night Week #80

Written for The Mag #152, image provided by Tess Kincaid
She provides the image, we the story!

I decided to try my hand (no pun intended) at this form, a sort of Free Verse with structure. 
This style is called a Weave. It can be written in two line stanzas, five line stanzas, or no separate stanzas at all. 
Its rhyme scheme follows this pattern: abcad befbg ehiej (and so on).
The first and fourth lines rhyme,  the second line rhyme from the first stanza becomes the rhyme for the first and fourth lines in the following stanza, so the second line from stanza one "weaves" into stanza two; the second line from stanza two "weaves" into stanza three. This form has no definitive number of lines. (*My one slight 'veer' off format, the internal rhyme in L5)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

In the Words

Written for NWCU WWUC 1/17/13:

Image: Appetite for Photos, with permission

The stone cold face expelled all hope
of ever coming back again
and for awhile I stayed afloat
but then discovered leaky boat

With each rejection darkness grew
I tried to ride the winds of change
but craft continued to sink down
I knew that I would surely drown

He saw the signal of distress
and shared a light to guide me home
and through the rain and bitter cold
it steered me past the rocky shoals

I’d lost my compass on the way
but in the words I found my map
and when the sun broke through the dawn
I'd learned that I could carry on.

© Ginny Brannan January 2013

For Wednesday Wake Up Call we are invited to share when the desire to create first hit us. For me it was at a pivotal point in my life, after losing job of 18 years. Had always seen the glass as half full, until suddenly it wasn’t anymore. My best friend suggested I try writing as a creative way to vent what I was going through. But along the way I discovered something I really enjoyed. For some it is second nature to write, others a calling, for me it was and still is a way to express feelings, events, emotions, bits and pieces of life that are just waiting to be written. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Arise the chill that stills the air
and pierces deep into the bone;
in gelid voice articulate
through frozen words that penetrate
with no intention to atone.

I stand unsheltered and alone
against this fierce hibernal storm;
in polar winds that paralyze,
while knowing there’s no compromise
as blood congeals and limbs grow numb.

When did this endless winter come?
Its sepsis seeps into my soul.
The permafrost invades my core,
and shatters on its frozen shore
any hope of being whole.

An arctic heart devoid of warmth
…a fractured heart that beats no more

© Ginny Brannan January 2013

Sharing at d'Verse Poets Open Link Night Week #81

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Not Good-bye

We arrive at this gathering--
my dad’s family…
my family, but not.
Not like my mom’s, the Italians,
who I see every week…
who I play with, who I know…
No, this is the other side --
loud, boisterous, always joking.
Eating strange-smelling foods
like pierogies and kapusta.
and I, the quiet little niece
from out of town.

A summer cookout at Aunt Helens.
She, the oldest, the magnet that pulls us together--
four sisters, five brothers, countless cousins.
My Aunt Lucy opens her accordion,
the music erupts…
I hear the singing, the laughter.
I am 5 years old, standing on my dad’s feet
as he steps and spins me to the polka beat.

Fast-forward five decades…

I arrive at this gathering today…
to see this family, my family.
Together again.
We hug, we reminisce,
we come to honor this lady--
our magnet, our glue.
And somewhere from the depths,
words I remember from childhood
tumble forward:

“Dobranoc Ciotka Helen,
dopóki się znowu nie spotkamy."

“Goodnight Aunt Helen,
until we meet again”

© Ginny Brannan January 2013

(When my dad's family parted after a visit, we never said “goodbye," it was always, "dopóki się znowu" Actually, in my less-than-perfect Polish, I remember pronouncing it as"dobe vee gin ya")

Not exactly poetry, but am sharing anyways. 
We said our farewells to my dear Aunt Helen this week, the oldest in my dad's family, she passed at 95.  I loved hearing how she became a Red Socks fan at 85 and would watch all the games! She was the glue in the family, the one that stayed in touch, the one that came to my graduation, my wedding, the one that always sent a card and letter at Christmas. So I do not say goodbye, but say instead "...until we meet again."

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Written for The Mag #150
Image provided by Tess Kincaid. She provides image, we the story!

Image by Daniel Murtagh

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bella Luna (Lunes)

Trying a format featured at d'Verse Form For All called the Lune 
Sharing at d'Verse Poets Open Link Night #78, since I missed Form for All!

pale moon slowly ebbs
darkened sky
awaits a new dawn

hope shines elusive
a bright star
just beyond our reach

inspiration comes
in wee morning hours

the dawn breaks
I watch through my window
as world awakens

© Ginny Brannan January 2012

The Lune is known as the American haiku.  Robert Kelly, American poet, studied haiku, and altered the form to fit English with a 5-3-5 syllable count, and omitting capitalization and end punctuation. There are no requirements on having a nature theme, the poem may rhyme or not, may use similes or metaphors or any other poetic device. 
There is also another form of the lune, in some ways simpler, and thus more widely taught in the primary and secondary schools. American poet and essayist Jack Collom created this alternative version. In Collom’s version, words are counted instead of syllables, and the structure is a count of 3-5-3 words. This version was apparently created by accident, when Collom was working with schoolchildren, and he misremembered Kelly’s structure. The new form stuck because words were easier for children to count than syllables – thus making it easier and more enjoyable for them to create poetry. The form has been taught this way for over 35 years.
*The first 3 are in Kelly's format, the last in Collom's.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Odd Lots #3: Choose Wisely

Image: Charlie Parant, used with permission.

Photo Credit: Charlie Parant "Leave Only Footprints" Many thanks, my friend!
Like, Love, Follow on Facebook: Appetite for Photos
  Or here at his blog: Appetite for Photos

*From my own "Odd Lots & Brief Thoughts" original quotes.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ashes to ashes...

I watch another year come and go
the final embers glow
as it burns down and snuffs out,
joining all the others
in a pile of spent ash.

The promise of a bright, clear tomorrow
   still as elusive as smoke on the wind.

© Ginny Brannan January 2013

Image: R.A.D.Stainforth

Written for and shared at THE MAG #149.
Image provided by Tess Kincaid--She provides the image, we the story!!

Sharing at d'Verse Poets Pub Open Link Night Week #77 January 1st, 2013!