Dream Descent

Sweet slumber is now
upon me; the moonbeams cast
shadows on my bed.
Clouds of lavender
lure me into the abyss
and I fall ever
so swift into a deep dream.

The stars lead me through
darkness to a world that seems
to only exist
within hidden thoughts.
Memories that once seemed vague
flood my subconscious,
only to be lost at dawn.

Remembering an American Poet

Forty-two years ago today the world lost an American poet who, without a doubt, would have given the world much more had he lived longer. Tragically, he gave up his ghost in Paris, France on the third of July in 1971. To pay homage, here is my favorite poem by none other than James Douglas Morrison, the American poet (better known as Jim Morrison of the legendary rock group, The Doors).

POWER

I can make the earth stop in
its tracks. I made the
blue cars go away.

I can make myself invisible or small.
I can become gigantic & reach the
farthest things. I can change
the course of nature.
I can place myself anywhere in
space or time.
I can summon the dead.
I can perceive events on other worlds,
in my deepest inner mind,
& in the minds of others.

I can

I am

 

Rest in peace, Lizard King.

 

Writer Wednesday: Favorite Poetry

This week for Writer Wednesday, I’m taking the easy way out: sharing three of my favorite poems instead of posting one penned by yours truly.

Listed in no particular order, these three have always given me inspiration. Jim Morrison is my favorite American poet (his eccentric and completely warped mind has always intrigued me); I also love the works of Shel Silverstein (reminds me of my childhood obsession with his famous poetry books I would check out of the school library for weeks on end) and Maya Angelou (so inspirational).

Without further ado… enjoy!

POWER  (Jim Morrison)

I can make the earth stop in
its tracks. I made the
blue cars go away.

I can make myself invisible or small.
I can become gigantic & reach the
farthest things. I can change
the course of nature.
I can place myself anywhere in
space or time.
I can summon the dead.
I can perceive events on other worlds,
in my deepest inner mind,
& in the minds of others.

I can

I am

————-

Where the Sidewalk Ends (Shel Silverstein)

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

The Autumnal Equinox

The Autumnal Equinox

Autumn has finally arrived!

This is my favorite time of year, by far. The air is crisp, the leaves are beginning to change colors and fall, pumpkin patches are going to be thriving in no time. It’s time to celebrate! It’s time for bonfires with friends, curling up with your favorite book by the fire, and saying farewell to the warmer months.

While I’m sad to see summer go, I’m happy to welcome fall with open arms. It’s time for the Earth to begin her slumber for the winter months… and the process is absolutely breathtaking. I love to take drives through the all-American neighborhoods in my area and witness first-hand the change of the seasons. From the leaves falling gracefully to the ground below to the fresh chill in the air, the autumn months are easily my favorite time of year.

Here are some of the reasons why I’m a big fan of autumn:

– Mother Nature is at her finest.

The leaves changing colors at my dad’s place, “Little Pine.”

One of my favorite things about fall is taking a trip to my dad’s and taking photos of his property. He has a gorgeous place, and while summer there is beautiful, fall is absolutely breathtaking. The photo above is from a few years ago, early in the morning.

– It’s time for fall fashion!

Scarves. A girl can never have enough to get her through the days of fall!

I am so not fashionable, but I love a good ‘scarf and warm boots’ combo! I cannot get enough of earth tones – maybe that’s the hippie-boho chick inside me, but there’s something extra special about fall fashion. Scarves are my favorite fall accessory, but when the weather gets a little colder, I love to break out the mittens and hats and enjoy the crisp weather. I also enjoy curling up beside the fire with my sweetie or a good book.

– Having my favorite fall drink.

Hot cider or chai to warm your bones on those chilly nights.

Whatever your beverage of choice may be, you have to appreciate something warm, sweet, and spicy. I’m a Starbucks addict, and if you are too… you should try a Spiced Apple Cider with a splash of chai tea. It’s perfect for a nice fall evening!

– Visiting the pumpkin patch.

Strolling through the local pumpkin patch.

Going to the pumpkin patch is a ritual all children should experience. Hell, I’m almost 30, and fall is not quite the same unless I take a walk through one. The air, the colors, the pumpkins… this is an essential trip to take during the fall months.

What does fall mean to you, and what are your favorite things about the season? Please share in the comments below!

(Featured Image photo found on http://tumblr.com.
Other photo credits: thegloss.com, Google image searches for Fall)

Goodbye to the Grove

Orange groves garnish
the south Florida countryside,
so far and so wide.

A girl of ten plays hide and seek
with the trees north of Lake June Road.
Running through the dirty blonde sand,
she stops to grab a fresh bite.
The juice trickles down her chin…
she tosses the peel, hoping
that Farmer John doesn’t catch her.

At sixteen she had her first kiss,
under the early spring blossoms
blooming. Lying in the sand,
wrapped ever so tight in his arms,
believing their love would last
forever… or at least beyond
the first unwelcomed winter frost.

At eighteen, the time came to say
goodbye – her studies took her
miles away from her cherished
groves. In Minnesota, she
found solace and solitude
in a quiet apple orchard.

At twenty-two, she met a new
love and shared with him her orchard.
This is where her forever
indeed began. Lying in
the meadow, she took him in and
tangled together, they counted
the stars that twinkled the north sky.

At twenty-four, she made the trip
home to the sandy groves. She
took a stroll to reminisce…
Closing her eyes, she caresses
her belly while thinking deep –
her new forever will arrive
in just a few months down the line.

Saying goodbye to the
the grove, she grabs one last orange,
takes a taste… goodbye.

——

This poem went through 7 days of revision, guided by a packet given to us by our professor for our “X-Treme Revision” poetry project. Read the original version here on Versification, my poetry Tumblr. I really feel like it has really come a long way, but I don’t think it’s finished. But then again… are these things ever finished? I may just put this one away for a while and see what happens the next time I look it over. So, if you’d like to give me some feedback, please do in the comments below – I really enjoy hearing your thoughts and any advice you may have for me!

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be composing a case study on my revision and will describe in detail what went into changing this poem. Once that’s turned in, I’ll be sharing it (at least a condensed version if not the full thing) here, in case anyone is curious about how the process went for me.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Writing for the Workplace

Writing for the Workplace

No witty introduction to this one – we’re diving head first today!

I work in Corporate America… and I can’t tell you how many times I want to claw my eyeballs out of their sockets with the nearest sharp utensil when I read a terrible email from a colleague. Why does this happen? I have to assume a lack of proper preparation for workplace environments is to blame.

Over the summer, I took a course about teaching technical communication. Because of that course, I have narrowed down the area of college writing I want to teach – writing in the technical world for engineering and science students. I think it’s important for students bound for a corporate, professional workplace after they graduate understand how to effectively communicate through writing.

Our world has most definitely reached the digital age in recent years – communication will never be the same as a result. It seems that we, in corporate environments, converse with our colleagues over email and IM systems more than we pick up the phone. I personally like this, because I find it easier to be more concise with my words and convey my point clearly. Granted, there are some times where it’s always better (and easier) to pick up the phone or schedule some face time with your co-workers, but it’s essential to corporate success that people understand how to communicate through written words.

Some tips I’ve come to hold near and dear when composing work emails, documents, and more are as follows. If you can remind yourself of these when writing a co-worker, you’ll be off to a great start.

  • Keep it simple and be quick, clear, and concise as possible. Short and sweet is the best way to go – you don’t want to bog your readers down with pages and pages and pages to read. Explain your message clearly, be concise, and be sure to get to your point as quick as you can – if you are a busy person, you should assume your reader is just as time-poor as you are.
  • Write as you would talk – except use the proper version of your language. Your voice is what the reader will hear when they read your message, so make it conversational. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through, either – these are your words, and you are attaching your name to the message… so own it!
  • Break your message into short paragraphs and avoid long sentences. Reading words on a screen can be daunting for some, and easier for others. Accommodate your audience – breaking up your paragraphs and keeping sentences short will allow your message to be easier to read. I tend to get overwhelmed when a colleague sends me a long email and it’s all in one paragraph. I have literally copied and pasted it into a Word document to break it down, so I can receive their message a little more clearly. Think about this the next time you don’t use paragraph breaks!!
  • Maintain a positive tone.  It’s tough to read emotion through written word sometimes (especially in text messages!), so it’s important to be positive throughout your message. This will help your reader see the point you’re trying to make without negativity.
  • PROOFREAD AND EDIT BEFORE SENDING! I will say this over and over until my students understand this must happen EVERY SINGLE TIME a message is sent to someone through written words. I won’t lie – I’ve caught some serious typos or found that my message didn’t make sense when I reread it before sending. I suggest reading your message to yourself out loud to see if it makes sense. Things seem to read differently when you hear them aloud versus when they stay on the page. Don’t hesitate to have someone take a glance too – a fresh pair of eyes can catch things we don’t the first few times around.

Of course, there will be exceptions. Case in point, my boss and I are very close – if someone read our emails, you’d be able to tell that right away. We use emoticons and sometimes shorthand, but most of the time we keep it super professional – our company records all communication for legal purposes, so we want to be sure we’re professional when on the record. We start with the usual address (“Hi Nicole,”) in the first round, but then usually it’s a conversation back and forth in the replies that follow. The important thing here to be sure you gauge your audience and use communication to accommodate accordingly.

If you have questions or want more advice about writing for work or your professional environment, let’s chat!