Day and Night, #poetry

Day and Night, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c) 2021

“I am rest and respite.”

“But I am energy and light.”

“You are dangerous and fiery hot.”

“So, I make plants grow, and you do not.”

“Don’t be so sure, for I inspire the tides.”

“Well, I inspire humans to come outside.”

“Must we fight to have a place?”

“Well neither of us should feel disgrace.”

“Perhaps we should just compromise?”

“Yes, yes, that would be most wise.”

“So, it seems now that we agree.”

“Yes, humans benefit from both you and me.”

“Who will rule at what time? I just don’t know…”

“Of course, an unbiased decision, so let us go ask the crow.”

Off they went to clarify,

The crow, without chaos, would decide…

And today, we have both the moon and the sun

For we could not survive without either one.

* A poem inspired by “Animal Wisdom” by Nancy Wood. Based on the line, “Darkness and light settled their differences.”

#WeekendCoffeeShare Stream of consciousness. While I wait…

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. It’s been quite a week. All is good now. Want to know? What’s it like to live a day in the life of someone awaiting a COVID test?

I know you want to know…just like that girl who asked me to describe what it’s like giving birth after I’d had my son. I summed it up…”It’s like the worst cramps you could ever imagine. ” She looked letdown. I did not communicate the drama, the fear, the excitement and the feeling that God is in that room and that I was a chosen one, to bear this pain and deliver this life. But I digress.

It should take 24 hours to get my test results…I hope. So I’m out of work today and will be again tomorrow. I think the moment by moment is agonizing.  My symptoms seem like that of having a cold, my glands are swollen and that’s what troubled me. Children have been sick at school and leaving early. Today, the soup I ate for lunch is sitting wrong with my stomach. I’m just going to be raw and honest here. We should all do that more.

I heard someone somewhere use the phrase that when they write it’s like God is guiding them. Are they seeing that bearded man in the sky reach down his hand to guide the pen? I’m not.

Yes, there certainly is a muse. She is a younger, but wiser me who would have spoken up for herself many times when I didn’t. She pops things into my head, and I become amused, inspired, thinking, “Yeah, I should do something with that thought.” If I’d heeded her sooner I would have traveled much more, written long before I did, and done more exciting things.

I don’t think there’s an angel guiding me, and when I write, it is not holy. I write to escape demons. Or, more specifically, to purge them. I imagine a kaleidoscope of vomit spewing forth from my mouth or through my pen and onto the paper. They are not horrible things that I did, but they are things that always make me feel I am less, they are things that some would, or would have once, defined me as. Trailer trash. Product of divorce. Daughter of an alcoholic. Navy brat. Divorcee. People make assumptions about these things. I could perfectly fix my hair and makeup and look like I had all the privilege I could besides that of race. I could dress like a professional working woman and mother and no one would know the crap I’d put up with from my husband at home. It was eating me up.

You’ve gotta spit up those demons somehow or they will give you an ulcer or some other GI disorder. They’ll eat at you and travel to your nerve endings causing serious sensitivity and pain issues. So, this is why I don’t think my writing is ‘touched by an angel.’ It is human, it is real, it is of this earth. Though everything I write has a message for someone, that you are not alone, it is not going to convert anyone and I suppose it won’t get me into heaven. But that’s not the point, is it? The point is to make something beautiful out of the tough lessons we’ve learned or the crap we’ve been given.

And I probably don’t sound like a good Christian, but I’m going to thank God he gave me this ability. It has helped me to dream and imagine myself into better realities. It has helped me survive.

***Thank you for stopping by and reading. I have a few constant encouragers, and I thank you so much for this. My test was negative, and my allergies were the cause. I felt so much better yesterday. Covid anxiety is serious. Today being World Mental Health day, let’s all be kind to each other!

Brinesians Go to Camp. #amwriting #RDP

(c) 2019, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

How would you know if you’ve met a Brinesian?  Very few people know what Brinesians are, but I know, and I am willing to share.  Take our English word, “brine.” It means  something related to the sea.  Therefore, I’ve named this species living under the sea “Brinesian.”  This life form has intelligence to match or surpass humans.

What do you mean, where did I get that word?  I myself have created that word to describe this species.

Brinesians are a deep sea species, so we’ve rarely seen them.  However, plastic pollution is killing much of their way of life and survival. They are able to take on a human form.  Still, you want to be aware when you’ve come across one.  They are very curious about us and might want to take some of us back home.  After all, they may have to adapt to be able to live like us, out of the water.  I have a suspicion that they come to camp out for a time in the air and go back when they need the seawater again.  Maybe they can take more air in time.  Right now, with humans relaxed and vacationing, is a great time for them to camp out here.

Should we be concerned?  Yes. Have you even been listening?

Why are they green?  Well, I’ve only seen one, but I surmise that they are green based on their surroundings, but they’re only green when they are out here, on land.  After all, seeweed is green.  Don’t be fooled into believing it is a sickly human.  That’s what they want.  We will see them more and more.  I tell you, they are camping out as we speak, taking in our way of life.

**Transcript of Dr. Vincent Millispen’s last speech to the delegation on Science and Evolution before being forced to resign.

*Check out other responses to the word of the day (camp) at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/

 

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Photo by James Lee on Pexels.com

Weekend Coffee Share. A Bird’s Eye View

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Alli .  The weather looks beautiful, but I’ve been moving slow this morning.  I also have had some coursework, and I am almost done.

Last night, I went with my mom and my son to a Mexican restaurant with a really hip, cool vibe.  It was packed, so we sat at the bar.  After a while, a guy comes over, and I recognized him as one of my cousins.  We are all glad to see him and chatted for a good, long while.  He travels a lot.  It was really nice though, to feel connected to family beyond our small unit.  He tells interesting stories, but my family is awesome story fodder.  🙂

I am going through growing older and having new health issues pop up, having to go through tests.  Throw a prayer my way, please.  I may or may not need it, but it is greatly appreciated.  Enough of that.  No need to worry.  It makes me wonder, if I were a bird or a spirit looking down on my life, what would I think?

 

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Which makes me think of my writing life and experience.  I posted this on Facebook this morning: The space that a story inhabits is important. I have been drawn in by spaces and places, as in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the movie, Bladerunner 2 as well as in The OA, my new Netflix obsession.
Visualizing yourself in a place or places adds a level to any story. On the left is a crude map I drew of a few city blocks in Undercurrents in Time during my drafting. These blocks also appeared in Detours in Time, but the street names changed due to events and time shifts in that first book.  (Of course, all this followed by an invitation to read my books and a link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF in Kindle, K.U., or print.)  Shameless self-promo done, but it is Independent Bookstore day!  They carry everything.  One independent bookstore in Jacksonville called the Book Nook carries my books, but I’ll work on expanding that.

I am sorry coffee was brief today, but I do recommend that you watch The OA if you like mystical sci–fi or anything uber weird.  It is delicously weird, but full of hope.  Imagine if, in the worst of moments or crises, you could leave your body because your spirit was free.  The thougth is quite addictive.  See?  I am off to a massage now.  Must relieve a lot of stress caused by worry, no doubt, and the constant drive to be better.  Well, maybe that and getting older.

Have a great day, my friends!

April. #RDP #shortreads

(C) by 2019 Pamela Schloesser Canepa

The wind was howling and we needed to take a break from our cliff hike.  Mike spotted a cave ahead in the distance.  “Let’s stop there,” he suggested.

The height was already making my breath come in short spurts; the wind made me feel like I’d be toppled over any minute, but with one foot in front of the other, we made it to the cave.

“Further in, so the wind won’t blow dust at us,” Mike said.

It sounded reasonable to me.  Further into the cave, I saw a huge blanket on the ground.  Mike and I look at each other warily.

In my peripheral vision, I spotted something moving.

“Stop right there!”  Mike wielded a pistol.

“Really, Mike?”  I was disgusted.

“You wouldn’t be so judgmental if it was a bear,” he argued.

The moving object was much too thin to be a bear.  As it came closer, I could see it was human in shape, with its hands up.

“No harm here, it’s just me,” the small form said.  A small form with the voice of a man.  He seemed taller as he slowly came closer.

Unthreatened, Mike put his pistol away.

“Do you live here?”  I asked.

“Oh, no.  I was camping with my girl.  She wondered off; I’ve been looking for her, well, until the wind picked up.”

“Shouldn’t there be a search party?”

“Not anymore.  It’s just me now.  I’ve been at this for a few weeks.  Haven’t gone home since I last saw her.”

“When exactly was that?”

“The end of April,” the man replied.

“Did you know it’s September now?”  I asked.

“September?”  He chuckled.  “That’s not funny.”  His face grew worried and withdrawn.

“When the wind dies down, we’ll take you into town for a coffee and steak, my treat,” Mike offered, probably feeling badly for having been so defensive.

The man just nodded, eyes wide open as saucers. Exiting the cave, he sang softy:

“April came and went. 

Its beauty fleeting, its energy spent. 

But my love is all but gone.

And all I have left is this sad song.”

MIke and I exchanged nervous glances, wondering what we’d gotten ourselves into.  I patted the man on the back.  “That’s Mike, and I’m April,” I said.

 

***Thank you to the Ragtag Community.  Visit them for other takes on the prompt and to join the daily writing inspiration at Ragtag Community on WordPress

**Both the poem and story are written by yours truly.  Thanks for stopping by.  Your comments are also much appreciated!

Short Fiction: “To Walk.” #shortreads

To Walk, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa. (c) 2019

I don’t care if you believe in reincarnation or not. Either way, I was once a seasoned philosopher. People would come from miles and miles to hear me speak.

As public transportation became more popular, I resisted. What use did I have for a horse or chariot? I would walk everywhere I could. The sun would warm my face and the cool breeze would whisper around me, telling of the season. There would be happy children, dogs, or squirrels along my route. I was one with nature.

Now, I live a somewhat different life. Oh, there’s still plenty of time for philosophizing. I put other people at ease. There is obviously purpose in my life, if nothing other than to remind people to lighten up. But I await indoors, always anticipating that one word: Walk. I will lose my composure whenever it is uttered. She seems to understand and doesn’t get after me too much for lounging on her couch or comfy chair. All I long for is to hear those words.

“Want a walk?” She asks, like she doesn’t know the answer. I’ll immediately jump up and down, pawing her legs, begging.

“Do I want a walk? Woman, what do you think? Don’t make me beg!”

The moment we walk out of that door, I am me again, regardless of the leash around my collar.

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**Every day there is a new prompt at Rag Tag Community in the form of one word.  On RDP Saturday, the prompt is “walk.” This was my response.  I hope you have enjoyed it.    Check out other posts or the writing instructions at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/rdp-saturday-walk/

My First Ever WP Blog Post Repurposed, “Nikki Giovanni, You Inspire Me!”

I have recently been reminded that I’ve reached my three year anniversary of blogging with WordPress.  I have not regretted a moment, except maybe the times when I didn’t feel like I could post more than one a week.  This first post was quite fitting, as it documents a turning point of inspiration, and why I bought that little notebook that helped me become confident enough to remember fleeting thoughts and piece them together.  I was lucky to win tickets to a rare speaking engagement!  Without further ado:

Reflections From July 16, 2015 (that I wrote in my little notebook):  My inspiration comes from many people and places, but one that is quite memorable is the poet, Nikki Giovanni.  I am fired up right now, because I got to hear her read at a luncheon today!

I love her smile here, and her lack of make-up or artifice.  She is herself, at home and comfortable in her own skin.  The first day I heard of her, I was not any of those things.  I was 20 years old, unsure of myself, finding myself the only one of my peer group in college, and how I got in I wasn’t always sure; I certainly assumed for several years I would not be going.  My self-esteem was hinging on some “boy” I was having some “sort of” relationship with while in college.  I thought about it, and him,  entirely too much.  Should I keep it going?  Should I forget it, tell him it wasn’t what I wanted or fulfilling me spiritually?  Geesh.  What a waste of time, mulling over such a wishy-washy situation.  Had he wanted more, I probably wouldn’t have, so why wasn’t it that simple for me?

Fact is, I was in college, being challenged, and enjoying that greatly.  I was working part-time, not always enjoying it, but I was paying bills, albeit barely.  I was going home to an apartment that was partly mine and a roommate who, it turns out, was not as great a friend as I thought.  I didn’t even always want to hang out with her.  I was not a drunk or a partier, (maybe twice a month), but I was somehow just at an emotional low.  Maybe I was short-changing myself? I wanted more emotional fulfillment.  So, I had read something by Giovanni and then saw this quote from her, that somehow just really clicked with me; I even copied it down and put it somewhere safe to look at again and again.   Here it is:

      “There is always something to do.  There      are  hungry people to feed, naked people to  clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.”

― Nikki Giovanni

I was wasting all this time with some college boy who didn’t even care if I thought about him, living in an apartment with a friend that was no longer a friend, and feeling unfulfilled.  The only thing that fulfilled me at that time was diving into the Literature and texts I was assigned.  Oh, and some of them really saddened me.  There was Gothic Literature such as Mary Shelley.  Existentialism.  I really felt it all.   But I survived.  I moved back home with Mom for the remainder of college, continued working, and paid for a lot of my own college.  I made time for other friends, and my college relationship pretty much ended when he went away to an out of town school.  But Nikki’s words stuck with me.  There is a world out there in need,  why should I stay in here in my own head worrying about things, when I can go out there and make my world better?  And look at all the energy we sometimes spend on an unhealthy or one-sided relationship, or even friendships that no longer serve us, when there is so much more to do?
You could say I live her advice.  I suppose the last part of her quote is what I put to use back then, regarding who you should engage among you, and who you should remove.  Lord knows, I had to practice it many times repeatedly over the course of my life.  I also took a good amount of advice from the Bible, but how confusing that can be to a young person.  Nikki’s quote on sick people, hungry people, those needing clothes, is also a reminder to someone like me who had all that I needed.  I was getting an education, but it wasn’t making me happy and I felt so alone.  I can say that got better.  It is also true that I struggled with depression at times.  I had to sometimes just do something good for another person in need.  Sometimes I had to just get busy and get out of my head.  Analyzing existentialism or the deeper meaning of Gothic Literature can be a gloomy subject.  But it was very deeply satisfying when I could take a break and do a good thing, or have fun in the sunshine for a while.  One day, I would like to be able to consider myself a successful writer.  There is no amount of money or number of books I will assign to that.  Giovanni herself said something like that today, about how money won’t fulfill you.  You just need to have some of it to stay alive.  It thrills me to say that Nikki Giovanni has influenced me.  I’d like to put that on the back of a book one day!
And as for teaching,  yes, like Nikki said, we need more black children to grow up, get educated, and go into space!  We need them to become scientists, like  Neil deGrasse Tyson. (Who, by the way, is really cool!)   It is much needed for the equality of the races.   Imagine, if I could turn the right student on to a book about space or time travel, and in turn, encourage him to explore space!  Such an honor it would be.  It gives me something to remember when I look at that sea of faces every August.  They all have the potential.
Nikki also mentioned how our language is changing.  (Look at the definition of marriage.  Just recently it was decided by the Supreme Court that two women or two men can now marry).  Think of the definition of equality; she mentioned how a black man and white woman could not have married 60 years ago.  The world is changing and so is our language.  We need to observe and we need to write about it.  So I am writing right now.  She said, “Everyone go out and buy a notebook to write in today.”  I already have one.  I thought it was lost, but it has turned up again!  And I also have this space here for writing.  So I am inspired again!   Indeed, there is so much to do.    Life is good!

Weekend Coffee Share. “What a Long, Great Trip it’s Been!”

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Alli every Saturday morning! I love this coffee photo from Pixabay, as it is very reminiscent of Kerouac, although now I can add Ginsburg to that thought; I’m making my way through Allen Ginsburg’s poetry book, “Television Crawled Like a Baby toward that Death Chamber,” and what an appropriate title! I read maybe two poems a week, as I don’t want to speed through it. I also have another book on the side, I must confess. Poetry books work better for me when I keep a certain poem with me for a week. I’m going to perhaps surprise you and exude total positivity today. 🙂 Maybe I feel like I have my job and work well under control, or I just feel I can focus on me this weekend? At any rate, I’m celebrating a few things today.

I received this notice yesterday from WordPress about my third anniversary with WP blogging. It has been the best experience and has fueled my writing and my author platform! I’ve also become part of a community of bloggers from Africa, Ireland, Britain, Dubai, and many other far away places who share unique perspectives and yet, have a lot in common with me. I had blogged with Google Blogspot for about 5-6 years and never got the feel of community as much as I do now. Besides discussing the writing journey or creating short fiction here, some of my posts have been very personal and based on some struggles I had in my family in the last 4-5 years; all I have received is supportive responses, and I never regretted sharing. I’m truly thankful I started that first post, which was either about seeing NIkki Giovanni speak in 2015 or a cool fact I’d learned about our galaxy while at home sick. I may re-post it soon in memory!

Thank you, WordPress!

Really, it’s fun to think back on the things I have discovered. I’ve also discovered authors I would not have otherwise and read books I might not have heard of had I not read my WordPress post feed, books like “Echo” (dystopian sci-fi) or “Damp Dogs and Rabbit Wee,” a humorous memoir written by a dog-walker in Scotland. I truly hope their writing keeps flourishing. I’ve found a way to tell others about my writing as well, and I’m thankful to those who have read about my book(s) and got their own copy to read and some who left a review for it! Now for the next celebratory item:

Bixby and me.

Sorry for the tired eyes. It was a cold Friday night, end of work-week unwind.

This dog of mine is the best friend a girl could ask for. He loves my whole family. We’ve had him for four years now, after adopting him from the shelter.  Wed finally decided to spend the money and time on a dog-training course. Let me tell you, it does pay off! Half of the goal is training us humans to be consistent in our requests and rewarding behaviors and not to be negative in our responses to behavior. He will now sit for a treat, wait for a treat, leave it when asked, and lie down for a treat when asked. He is getting better at walking on a leash with us as well. My mom and I are his main walkers, and we can’t have an over-enthusiastic dog yanking our arms our pulling a shoulder out of socket. He has gotten so much better, what a canine angel! Today was class six, and he graduated. Hooray for Bixby!

Anything for a treat, but the hat only stayed on for a few seconds! 🙂

Thank you for having coffee with me and listening to my wonderful news!  Thanks also to those of you who stop by even on the weekends when I am feeling overwhelmed and sharing when you can empathize.  Have a great week, everyone!

Weekend Coffee Share. Delayed Rush

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.com.  I normally would be drinking coffee right now, but I’m putting it off since I want to maximize my relaxation today.  I really need to relax, (spoken with a nervous tick in my eye).

Do you know what middle-schoolers are like in the springtime?  You do?  Okay, multiply that by twenty.  Add in a dash of test anxiety and total relief when it’s all over.  I mean, nobody wants to learn anything right after taking an hour and a half test.  That describes my week.

Add  to that my participation in a screenplay contest that required me to learn a whole new format for my story ideas.  Formatting in Word?  Not my forte.  I am thinking short stories are more for me.  But I did it!  I finished and sent it off.  Now we wait for feedback.  I don’t expect to win anything.    At any rate, I’ll be editing a novel in the meantime, so I guess these two months will go by quite quickly.  I have a crick in my neck and a tick in my eye.  Hence, the reason I am delaying my coffee.  No, you go right ahead.  I really don’t mind.

I can delay my coffee need; I have an appointment at noon for ninety minutes in a float tank!  I remember how much better my stressed shoulders felt after the last time.  Except, last time, I kept coming back to my thoughts and observations.  I had a cup of coffee before I went.  I don’t need to be so alert.  Maybe I just need to slip a way for a little while…

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It’s worth a try.  I feel like a mermaid in the tank, and while it’s not as stylish and roomy as the one pictured here (plus the fact that my face is above water), I love the feeling of floating.  Either way, it’ll be good for relaxing my body.  I’m sure, when I’m done, I’ll head right for the coffee shop on the corner.

That’s my life lately.  I still have half of my editing to do on Undercurrents in Time.  Have you read Detours in Time yet?  The sequel is coming…

In the meantime, I’ve listened to Lana del Rey a lot lately.  Do you have any suggestions for inspiring music?  I always like something new.

Have a great week!  How are things in your corner of the world?  Please send your suggestions for music to inspire and help me kick back.  Not the kind to put me to sleep, but to take me away from the day’s frustrations and checklists of what is undone.  It’ll all wait.

Thanks to Allison for keeping the #WeekendCoffeeShare going.  Visit her and see other coffee shares or even submit your own at Eclectic Alli

Nikki Giovanni, You Inspire Me!

Since I seem to have so little time to blog lately, I thought I would bring out one of my first WordPress posts about a subject dear to me, the inspiration I have received since youth from the poetry of Nikki Giovanni.

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From July 16, 2016:  My inspiration comes from many people and places, but one that is quite memorable is the poet, Nikki Giovanni.  I am fired up right now, because I got to hear her read at a luncheon today!

I love her smile here, and her lack of make-up or artifice.  She is herself, at home and comfortable in her own skin.  The first day I heard of her, I was not any of those things.  I was 20 years old, unsure of myself, finding myself the only one of my peer group in college, and how I got in I wasn’t always sure; I certainly assumed for several years I would not be going.  My self-esteem was hinging on some “boy” I was having some “sort of” relationship with while in college.  I thought about it, and him,  entirely too much.  Should I keep it going?  Should I…

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