Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Me, You, Music

Watch me
kiss me
let me
make music
with you
the sound barriers
the ear drums
beyond repair
can you
hear me
as your heart
to me its
inciting a dance
of palpitations
frequent and fervent
this song I recite
and commit
to memory
the love
engulfs the spirit
that forever connects
to you and your opus.

Published in NUMBAT Western Austrialia Poetry Journal Issue 2, May 2008.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Soul Mates

Like infrared lights
I can see you in the darkness.
In a crowded room,
we speak with our eyes
secret conversations,
if they only knew.

My arms are weak
yet strong enough to
carry your burdens and
combat your insecurities.
Your body is hard
but like an over-stuffed body pillow
you catch me when I collapse.
And on days when I pick the scars
and re-expose life’s painful memories
you reach deep inside my
chest cavity and caress my bleeding heart.

Our connection is profound,
multi-dimensional, transcending the natural.
Drowning in turbulent waters
my buoyancy is you, your life jacket is me.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hiding behind a Fictitious Name?

My favorite, favorite, favorite artist, Beyonce Knowles, recently unveiled her stage name, Sasha Fierce, with the release of her latest album, “I Am...Sasha Fierce.” Sasha Fierce, Beyonce’s performing alter ego, shows her more outgoing and sensual side. Beyonce has been reported by as saying: “I have someone else that takes over when it’s time for me to work and when I’m on stage. An alter ego I’ve created that kind of protects me and who I really am. Sasha Fierce is the fun, more sensual, more aggressive, more outspoken and more glamorous side that comes out when I’m working and when I’m on the stage.”

Of course there’s been a lot of buzz about Beyonce’s alter ego, Sasha Fierce. I’m not sure why, because she’s not alone. Writing under a fictitious name has been a very common practice since the eighteenth century, when writers and journalists used pseudonyms to pen controversial or even illegal articles and letters to the editor. It’s still common practice today for actors and artists to use fictitious names (e.g., Eric Bishop as Jamie Foxx). And it’s just as widespread for writers, who sometimes choose to write under a different persona as well -- pseudonyms or "pen names" (e.g., Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman).

Like many artists, I, too have a pseudonym, Sage. Like Beyonce, when I write under the name, Sage, I am bolder and less inhibited. However, unlike Beyonce, it’s not an alter ego; instead, it’s a way to make my name more distinctive. More importantly I am free from preconceived notions, assumptions, stereotyping, etc., as my race and gender are disguised. But I am open to judgment -- of my words and craft, which I always welcome wholeheartedly.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Favorites...

This Christmas By Chris Brown

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Reflections

The frigid snow
chills my aching body.
I can’t get warm,
my heater is shoddy.

Yet, I sit and reflect
as the holiday nears,
it’s not about money or gifts
or Santa’s reindeers.

My steady outlook remains
despite the inclement weather,
I’m flying high, soaring free
Blissful…light as a feather.

As I think about Christmas
my spirit shines with glee,
I laugh. I smile. I am thankful.
Jesus died on the cross for me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


An abstract concept,
allow me to explain…

I experienced starvation and dehydration,
which caused me to hunger and thirst
and eventually, gratefully…I was able to succumb
to the intense hunger pangs and parchedness
with your nourishing touch and emotion, and free-flowing spirit.

My love for you is inherent,
intentional, unequivocal.
As my body proclaims its love for you, I experience
increased heart rate, sudden loss of appetite and sleep,
and an overwhelming feeling of excitement.
Essentially, my heart is burning with whole-hearted desire
for you.

I love our natural affinity for one another,
the passion, romance, intimacy, and commitment.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Her Kind

By Anne Sexton

I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.

I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.

I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by,
learning the last bright routes, survivor
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
I have been her kind.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Favorites...

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

A very poignant book that explores race and female relationships while allowing readers to fall in love with the central character, Lily, as she discovers love and the idea of home in turbulent times. A lovingingly-written drama that truly touched my heart.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

She Sings

Small in stature,
yet, her voice and spirit are extraordinary.

The warm-blooded vertebrate chirps
her harmonious song at daybreak.
Her song is a natural phenomenon
of her intense beauty.

Unbeknownst to them,
her bright, cheerful demeanor is a façade.
Her eminence and intrigue fill their home.

She sings…

Every morning
they gather and stare --
pointing and admiring her
beauty and trill.

They smile
as they walk past,
waving and promising
to return to listen to her lullaby.

She sings…

Day after day
she quietly watches them interact.
They talk, laugh, play, and dance
without her.

Her song is her rhapsody
that passes the time
and combats the solitude.

She sings…

Her song is her instrument
that travels far beyond
the bars of the cage.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

No Poetry, Just Facebook and United American Insurance

Instead of writing poetry, I've been on Facebook. Facebook is easily addictive. Somehow I've racked up close to 110 friends. One of those 110 friends I recently reconnected with was diagnosed with MS a few years ago and has no job. No job, no benefits, no insurance. Health insurance, life insurance…insurance, you name it; some folks just don’t have it these days.

I recently learned of an affordable healthcare insurance company, United American Insurance Company. United American Insurance Company offers a full line of individual life and health products to meet every need and budget, including: Hospital, Medical, and Surgical Supplements; Cancer and Critical Illness Policies; Whole and Term Life; Medicare Supplements; Accident Plans; and Annuities. United American Insurance Company also offers Group Retiree Health Insurance and Worksite Products, including Limited-Benefit Health, Life, Critical Illness, and Cancer Plans.

Sounds promising? Check out United American Insurance's Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. I’m going to pass this information along to my old high school friend.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Favorites...

Make it Work (Sabra and Dominic) - Shane Sparks Choreography

Who said there's no romance in hip hop? Got to love Shane Sparks for this piece; the music and lyrics truly meshed with the choreography, especially at the scene -1:05.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

55 Words, No More, No Less

I only do it once a week. Doubled-over, holding my stomach, pleading with my intestines. Indeed, the pain is excruciating.

This week is no different. I’ve found myself back in line, waiting to be asked, “May I take your order?”

One-by-one, I devour each lightly-salted, ever-so-golden, French fry. And now for my extra-greasy cheese burger…

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Meme...

Tag from Sam Rasnake:

RULE ONE, I have to grab one of the books closest to me, go to page 56, type the fifth line and the next two to five lines that follow.

RULE TWO, I have to pick five people who love books and who could receive the Bookworm award with honor.


yet there they were
pushing up
with the force
of an old love.

- "White Crocuses" from They Tell Me You Danced, poems by Irene Willis.

Tag: Amy, Ana, Emily, Rachel, Tonia

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Favorites...

Don't Speak - No Doubt

One of my favorite songs and videos. Great song -- Gwen Stefani's vocals and the guitarist did it for me. Great concept for the video: No "I" in Group or Band.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Poetry Circle -- Free!

Facilitator: Elizabeth Warner, MSLS, AHIP
Second Saturday of each month
1:00-2:30 PM
Location: The Little Portion (LP2)
1049 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ

Drop-ins are always welcome!
Gather to consider, to compose and share poetry as creative healing expression. The emotional, the sacred, the spiritual, and all that is human are the “stuff” of poetry. Come and experience poetry as praise, celebration, and grace. 

Please call (856) 869-3125 to register or register online now!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jeremiah's Hands

Your hands are warm and clammy
scarless and wrinkle-free
they reek of apple-flavored lollipops
but I still hold them close to me
for as long as you can stand it
I know this moment's going to end
with the blink of a teary eye
your hands will transform and expand
ignoring my pleas for slow motion
life's fast forward plagues us one-by-one
So for now, I enjoy the sticky,
apple-scented sensation
between my fingers with my son.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Favorites...

"Writing [a novel] is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way."
-- E.L. Doctorow

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Moreover, the Moon ---

By Mina Loy
From The Lost Lunar Baedeker: Poems of Mina Loy, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1996.

Face of the skies
over our wonder.

truant of heaven
draw us under.

Silver, circular corpse
your decease
infects us with unendurable ease,

touching nerve-terminals
to thermal icicles

Coercive as coma, frail as bloom
innuendoes of your inverse dawn
suffuse the self;
our every corpuscle become an elf.

Monday, November 24, 2008

55 Words, No More, No Less

Over Starbucks coffee, she admitted to her roommate, “I’m confused.”
“Why?” her roommate asked puzzled.
“Yesterday you hugged me. Today you pinched me. Should I be apprehensive about what you will do tomorrow?”
Her roommate looked her square in the eyes and declared, “I am a portmanteau of a friend and enemy...frenemy. Approach me ambivalently.”

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Favorites...

The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan

A beautiful story! Learning about one's past often allows us to gain a new understanding of that person's behaviors...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the sonnet-ballad

By Gwendolyn Brooks

Oh mother, mother, where is happiness?
They took my lover's tallness off to war,
Left me lamenting. Now I cannot guess
What I can use an empty heart-cup for.
He won't be coming back here any more.
Some day the war will end, but, oh, I knew
When he went walking grandly out that door
That my sweet love would have to be untrue.
Would have to be untrue. Would have to court
Coquettish death, whose impudent and strange
Possessive arms and beauty (of a sort)
Can make a hard man hesitate--and change.
And he will be the one to stammer, "Yes."
Oh mother, mother, where is happiness?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not Quite Good Night

Rain falls.
Taps the pane.
Close the blinds.
Flip the switch.
Now it’s dark.
Sleep crawls in.
Soul still stirs.
Brain begs to rest.
Light seeps through
slits of my blinds
taunts my eyes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Favorites...

Dead Poets Society

One of my favorite movies -- for the love of poetry...seize the day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Sitting next to you, in silence,
I watch your reflection in the mirror
admiring your long, brown-tinted locks
accessorized with small, white seashells.

As you primp, I am intrigued.
Your bronze-colored vanity
is neatly arranged and centered
in your incense and candle-filled room.

The smell of musk-scented oils
aggravates my nose –
potent and concentrated.
And like usual, we begin
our song and dance:

I want to wear red polish.
You say it’s seductive.
I opt for black.
You say it’s demonic.
You suggest nude.
So I wear nothing.

Young and naïve, maybe
but wise enough to know
that the resiliency of our relationship
is faltering. So I continue
to look for ways to bridge the gap.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Poetry in the Park

Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission presents...

Poetry in the Park
Monday, November 10, 2008
7-9 PM
Featuring Eugene "The Composer" Brown

*Poetry in the Park is held the second Monday of each month

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Poetry Analysis

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Favorites...

James Patterson's Kiss the Girls is a real page turner - a sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-biting-your-nails-thriller. I also loved the fact that one of the central characters was a no-nonsense, kick-butt young female! Great action thriller.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Measure of Democracy

What’s left to say after this seemingly endless campaign? The Op-Ed editors asked five poets to answer that question in writing and on audio.

Check out the NY York Times...

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Fast, loud, dramatic
yet, surprisingly safe and reliable.

When static social inertness surfaces
and my desire to flee manifests
to someplace still, isolated, and familiar
where I can hibernate like a bear,
safe from the dangers of the world
shed my skin like a snake,
ridding my body of discomfort,
or blossom like a lightly-watered, sun-beaten orchid

my Lamborghini Murcielago is my diversion
my vehicle for escape,
even if only temporarily,
I am assuredly, contentedly a recluse.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Favorites

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware off, no shortcut."
-- Stephen King, On Writing

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lucille Clifton Reading - November 3, 2008

One of my favorite poets, Lucille Clifton, will be reading her work in New York City at The 92nd Street Y on November 3 @ 8 PM. W.S. Merwin will also be reading his work. For ticket information, click here.

Lucille Clifton’s “poems are made with an unerring ear and a burning mind,” wrote Adrienne Rich. “There are very large psychological reaches within this taut, spare poetry.” Clifton is the author of Good Woman; Next; Blessing the Boats, winner of the National Book Award; and most recently, Voices.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cutting Greens

By Lucille Clifton

curling them around
i hold their bodies in obscene embrace
thinking of everything but kinship.
collards and kale
strain against each strange other
away from my kissmaking hand and
the iron bedpot.
the pot is black.
the cutting board is black,
my hand,
and just for a minute
the greens roll black under the knife,
and the kitchen twists dark on its spine
and i taste in my natural appetite
the bond of live things everywhere.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mental Notes

They come and go
spontaneous and erratic
when I’m half asleep
driving on the freeway
pretending to be engaged
in a lackluster conversation
that point in time
when I’m trapped
between my conscious
and my subconscious
those pristine moments
when I can’t escape
so I can process
and really ignite
leaving me
frustrated and deficient
wrecking my brain
trying to remember
but it’s no use
once again
I have missed out
on what was
probably my best
gone and forgotten
like the others
but they always resurface
next time
I hope I’m ready
to capture or at the very least
revive my thoughts and
permanently engrave them
in my mind and when I’m ready
transfer them to paper.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Favorites...

I'm With You - Avril Lavigne

One of my favorite songs because Avril sings her heart out, jolting your emotions. Love the intensity.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grandfather Says

By Ai

"Sit in my hand."
I'm ten.
I can't see him,
but I hear him breathing
in the dark.
It's after dinner playtime.
We're outside,
hidden by trees and shrubbery.
He calls it hide-and-seek,
but only my little sister seeks us
as we hide
and she can't find us,
as grandfather picks me up
and rubs his hands between my legs.
I only feel a vague stirring
at the edge of my consciousness.
I don't know what it is,
but I like it.
It gives me pleasure
that I can't identify.
It's not like eating candy,
but it's just as bad,
because I had to lie to grandmother
when she asked,
"What do you do out there?"
"Where?" I answered.
Then I said, "Oh, play hide-and-seek."
She looked hard at me,
then she said, "That was the last time.
I'm stopping that game."
So it ended and I forgot.
Ten years passed, thirtyfive,
when I began to reconstruct the past.
When I asked myself
why I was attracted to men who disgusted me
I traveled back through time
to the dark and heavy breathing part of my life
I thought was gone,
but it had only sunk from view
into the quicksand of my mind.
It was pulling me down
and there I found grandfather waiting,
his hand outstretched to lift me up,
naked and wet
where he rubbed me.
"I'll do anything for you," he whispered,
"but let you go."
And I cried, "Yes," then "No."
"I don't understand how you can do this to me.
I'm only ten years old,"
and he said, "That's old enough to know."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sitting on the Sun

Yet again you drove me to
that place...
that place I dread going
that place where the anger and rage marinate
that place that defies the maximum rating on my thermometer
causing sweat beads to trickle down my face
(I am scalding)
sunspots to emerge on my skin
(I am sweltering)
that place...

You are my nuclear reactor
and once again
I am on fire…
red with fury.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Favorites...

Time (Neil and Lacey) - Mia Michaels Choreography

Such amazing choreography, with such emotion it brought tears to my eyes. Love Mia Michaels!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Timeless, Raceless, Sexless…Barrierless

Regardless of our differences, we are able to connect with individuals through the gift of poetry…

Driving along a deserted path one Saturday afternoon…sun roof open. Music blared from the speakers. I soaked up the sun and absorbed the earth-shaking bass lines. Arriving at my destination, I pulled into the parking lot of a quaint, somewhat-desolate white house. Stepping over an abandoned tri-cycle, I climbed the creaky stairs. I entered the room and met the quizzical eyes of ten strangers, all about 15 years my senior. I quickly scanned the room of curious faces, and immediately wondered if I was in the right place.

After hearing a soft, gentle voice, “You must be Erika,” I realized: this is the place. Despite this realization, a wave of awkwardness enveloped me…I’m not certain whether it was the age difference, or the fact that I was the only individual with high melanin concentrations in the room. Perhaps, it was a combination of the two. Nevertheless, I found an empty seat and tried to get comfortable.

No real introductions, we delved right in. One after another, they allowed their emotions and creativity to pour out. Really good stories and poetry. How good? Well, lets just say, if my body was litmus paper, their words alerted me to the presence of arousing, poignant, and oftentimes – witty poetry and prose. I laughed, felt goose bumps, and other times... Well, I was extremely touched after being introduced to American poet Sharon Olds by someone in the group. I found myself holding back tears as she read her work. “The Last Evening” was that poignant -- touching on a subject that many can relate to -- experiencing the slow death of a loved one and desperately trying to come to grips with it.

And then it was my turn to share. I read, “Synchronized Hearts,” an original poem about connecting with someone, spirit and energy, in the midst of chaotic, arousing music. They, too, felt the presence of my poetry, offering words of praise, debating about its sensuality, and overall -- providing meaningful feedback/critique.

It was at that moment that I was reminded of something I once heard about poetry: it is truly a gift that connects people, despite their differences...timeless, raceless, sexless…barrierless.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Last Evening

By Sharon Olds

Then we raised the top portion of the bed,
and her head was like a trillium, growing
up, out of the ground, in the woods,
eyes closed, mouth open,
and we put the Battle arias on, and when I
heard the first note, that was it, for me,
I excused myself from the death-room guests,
and went to my mother, and cleared a place
on the mattress, beside her arm, lifting
the tubes, oxygen, dextrose, morphine,
dipping in under them, and letting them
rest on my hair, as if burying myself
under a topsoil of roots, I pulled
the sheet up, over my head,
and touched my forehead and nose and mouth
to her arm, and then, against the warm
solace of her skin, I sobbed full out,
unguarded, as I have not done near her;
and I could feel some barrier between us dissolving,
I could feel myself dissolving it,
moving ever-closer to her through it, till I was
all there. And in her coma nothing
drew her away from giving me the basal
kindness of her presence. When the doctor came in,
he looked at her and said, "I'd say
hours, not days." When he left, I ate
a pear with her, talking us through it,
and walnuts—and a crow, a whole bouquet
of crows came apart, outside the window.
I looked for the moon and said, I'll be right
back, and ran down the hospital hall,
and there, outside the eastern window,
was the waxing gibbous, like a swimmer's head
turned to the side half out of the water, mouth
pulled to the side and back, to take breath,
I could see my young mother, slim
and strong in her navy one-piece, and see,
in memory's dark-blue corridor,
the beauty of her crawl, the hard, graceful
overhand motion, as someone who says,
This way, to the others behind. And I went back,
and sat with her, alone, an hour,
in the quiet, and I felt, almost, not
afraid of losing her, I was so
content to have her beside me, unspeaking,
unseeing, alive.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Synchronized Hearts

It’s dark.
Most are inebriated.
I escape to the dance floor
in hopes you will find me.

Flashing strobe lights,
a crowded room,
thumping bass lines
blare from the speakers.

I close my eyes.
The music electrifies me,
leaving me no choice
but to move my body.

The music absorbs me.
I feel your energy.
I feel your stare.
It’s alluring.

your movements mirror mine.
Natural, internal vibrations.

Our eyes lock.
We touch…finally.
Our hearts beat
in harmony.

A magnetic
fire blazes.
I hear you

We transcend.
We are one
with the sound waves.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Favorites...

A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini

My favorite book -- a poignant, heart-wrenching story that deals with the plight of women in Afghanistan -- focusing on mothers and daughters and friendships between women. Excellent book, truly a must-read (with a box of tissues).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I fall deeper and deeper
deeper and deeper
into the darkness.
My heart bleeds
my lip trembles.

It took years,
decades even
for me to see that now...

The sky is blue.
The river flows.
The birds sing.
The light captivates me.

I never knew
there's so much
to learn, to see, to understand.

I travel with a violet rose
what a pretty color.

I can't turn back
nor would I desire to.
Once revealed
always exposed.

I am intrigued.

Monday, October 6, 2008


He loves her.
He loves her not.
And on some days,
it’s somewhere in between.

Her heart is like
the soles on her shoes:
worn and tuckered out,
past refurbishment and repair.

But, she sticks around
like a bee to a flower.
With his love as her nectar.
And her desire: his impetus, his pollination.
Together, they produce sweet honey.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Favorites...

Spin Spin Sugar - Sneaker Pimps

One of my favorite songs, for it's basslines, vocals, chaotic tunes -- you can't help but move your body -- great song.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Slanting Light

By Arthur Sze

Slanting light casts onto a stucco wall
the shadows of upwardly zigzagging plum branches.

I can see the thinning of branches to the very twig.
I have to sift what you say, what she thinks,

what he believes is genetic strength, what
they agree is inevitable. I have to sift this

quirky and lashing stillness of form to see myself,
even as I see laid out on a table for Death

an assortment of pomegranates and gourds.
And what if Death eats a few pomegranate seeds?

Does it insure a few years of pungent spring?
I see one gourd, yellow from midsection to top

and zucchini-green lower down, but
already the big orange gourd is gnawed black.

I have no idea why the one survives the killing nights.
I have to sift what you said, what I felt,

what you hoped, what I knew. I have to sift
death as the stark light sifts the branches of the plum.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cloudy Reflections

Sitting on a swing,
head titled back,
legs swaying back and forth,
gawking at the bright blue sky…

I wonder how the clouds
assemble to fashion
such perfectly-shaped
white cottony images?

I’ve seen this before
almost a billowy-type motif.
Yet, it’s not important
because I like it all the same.

And just like that
without warning or discourse
sudden interruption:
the clouds dissipate.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


A natural release,
especially when I’m alone.

Flowing freely, rapidly…discreetly,
initiated by my countless emotions:
joy, sorrow, anger, humor, frustration, pain.

Some cast aspersions
and consider it shameful…even infantile,
yet, it is essential for my growth, expression,
my catharsis.

My eyes are transparent windows.
As my eyelids fill with water,
I embrace the instinctive, necessary washings…
the clarity.

*Image: Lotus Woman painting by Helena Nelson-Reed

Friday, September 26, 2008

How to Tackle Writing Assignments

Click image to enlarge

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Slums of New York

From the streets of New York
Lets get down to the nitty gritty
It’s called the projects, the ghetto
Ever been to the big city?

Dilapidated neighborhoods
No streets paved with gold
Barefoot versus $400 shoes
“That’s life,” is what I’m told

Product of my environment?
Prostitution, violence, and gangs
No. I fight to stay positive
Combating severe hunger pangs

Some say I’m a failure
Many tell me I won’t make it
Their words are excoriating
At times I just can’t take it

I’m just trying to live…survive
and make the most of my life
but the streets of New York
vomit fire flames -- grief…strife.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rhyming Poetry

What's the difference between poetry and prose? One of the differences is line length. Another is the use of poetic devices that heighten the use of language and sound. Rhyme is one of those poetic devices.

Using end rhyme is the most common form of writing rhyming poetry. End rhyme is the use of rhyming words at the ends of the lines of a poem. The use of end rhyme creates what is called a rhyme scheme. The rhyme scheme is the pattern of rhyming words in a poem. If you have a stanza of four lines (known as a quatrain) and the words at the end of the first and the third lines rhyme, and the words at the end of the second and the fourth line rhyme, you have a rhyme scheme of abab. It will look like this:

The sky is blue (a)
The grass is green (b)
My heart's anew (a)
My life's serene (b)

There are other possible rhyme schemes, many of which often sound more sophisticated and more complex or more satisfying, such as abab, cdcd, efef, or abba, cddc, effe. There are even some quite intricate rhyme schemes that are pretty amazing, like Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven." Check out a few lines:

1) While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door
2) Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor
3) Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore
4) So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
'Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door
5) But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, 'Lenore!'
6) 'Surely,' said I, 'surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore
7) Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door
8) Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, 'art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore

You'll notice many of the pairs of lines have internal rhyming between a middle word and the end word, with those words then rhyming with the middle word of the next line as well. Pretty impressive if you ask me!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Summer Love

Yes, I know.
You caught me staring.
But, I can’t help it.
Deep like my passion
I am searching your face
because the way you looked
at me last night, your eyes
whispered, “I love you.”

And under quiet winds,
you held me close,
burying your face in my hair
(peach-azalea scented shampoo,
your favorite)
gently kissing my neck.

And when you’re not around
I walk around in your t-shirt
smothered in your scent
closing my eyes,
wrapping my arms
around my body,
envisioning your touch.

This summer is so different
from last: colorful, intriguing,
hot and humid, lovely.
It’s like the sun is smiling
the love has healed the crying
it’s my summer love…

Featured in Acts of Faith anthology, published by Wright Jusino Publishing, 2008.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost's, "The Road Not Taken," has been one of the most analyzed, quoted, and anthologized poems in American poetry. A wide-spread interpretation claims that the speaker in the poem is promoting individualism and non-conformity.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bright Birth, Dark Death

When the sun rises
it illuminates the world,
combating the darkness,
the once familiar cloak of comfort.
The infant yawns, stretches,
and allows small doses of sunlight
to enter the slits between her eye lids.

And when the sun sets,
it shades the world,
granting permission to the living
to rest, to sleep.
The elderly woman yawns, closes her eyes,
and allows the darkness to engulf her.
Eyes closed, she can still see the light.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's a Grind

Looking to display your work while enjoying acoustic music, poetry, spoken word, and art work from area artists?

Cultural Art Expression & It’s A Grind presents

A Special Evening of Performance & Art
Enjoy open mic performances of poetry, spoken word, and acoustic music as you view art work from area artists.

Two nights only:

Friday, October 10, 7 – 10 pm
Saturday, November 8, 7 – 10 pm
It’s A Grind
2350 Rt 33
Robbinsville, NJ 08691

Anyone interested in submitting work or participating, please contact E. Stelling, at or 609.356.3186.

Open to the Public

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Persephone, Falling

From Mother Love by Rita Dove.

One narcissus among the ordinary beautiful
flowers, one unlike all the others! She pulled,
stooped to pull harder—
when, sprung out of the earth
on his glittering terrible
carriage, he claimed his due.
It is finished. No one heard her.
No one! She had strayed from the herd.

(Remember: go straight to school.
This is important, stop fooling around!
Don't answer to strangers. Stick
with your playmates. Keep your eyes down.)
This is how easily the pit
opens. This is how one foot sinks into the ground.

Mother Love is a modern interpretation of the Greek myth of Demeter, Persephone and Hades. It is the story of Demeter's anguish at the loss of her daughter, Persephone, who is kidnaped by Hades, king of the underworld, and becomes his consort. According to the myth, the frantic and despairing Demeter spends her time searching in the earth and, overcome by sorrow, neglects her duties as the goddess of agriculture and the harvest. Crops and flowers wither and die, trees lose their leaves; there is no spring or summer, only winter.

Demeter refuses to return to her duties until Zeus promises to make his brother Hades give Persephone back to her mother. Hades agrees, but before Persephone leaves the underworld she eats six pomegranate seeds.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Meme of the Unspectacular

On this spectacular Friday, I learned that I was tagged by Sam, for a "meme of the unspectacular." Interestingly enough, I've read some other bloggers' unspectacular responses, and I've found them to be quite spectacular.

You be the judge as to whether my responses are worthy of the unspectacular:

1. I'm addicted to reality TV: Big Brother, America's Next Top Model, So You Think You Can Dance, America's Best Dance Crew, John & Kate Plus 8, American Idol.

2. My personality type represents between 9 and 13% of the US population: ESFJ.

3. I listen to my favorite songs at least once a day: Like a Star (Corinne Bailey Rae), Blurry (Puddle of Mud), Don't Speak (No Doubt), and anything and everything by Beyonce.

4. I tried apple cinnamon rice cakes today. It's been added to my list of favorite "I-wish-I-was-eating-a-warm-brownie-with-ice-cream-but-this-will-have-to-do" list.

5. I drink pickle juice.

6. I always enjoy the book more than the film version (e.g., Devil Wears Prada, The Mermaid Chair, Not Without My Daughter, Needful Things, Pet Cemetery, Along Came a Spider)

I've almost fulfilled the terms and conditions of the meme...

And so now I have to tag six other bloggers:

Amy, Anthony and Rebecca, Cara, Emily, Jennifer, and Lori...tag, you're it!

And are the meme rules:

1. Link the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. List 6 unspectacular things about you
4. Tag 6 other bloggers by linking them

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Moving Day

A white room with no pictures
yes, this is rare
an infrequent routine I begrudgingly welcome.

Tripping, but not falling, completely
to pick up so-called “durable and quality leather”
penny loafers with polyurethane soles
So, how did Sparky chew a hole through the heel?
False advertising at its best.

And look at the ceiling:
cob webs attached themselves to all four corners of the room
like cotton affixed to adhesive,
dust bunnies scattered across the floor, poorly camouflaged.

My perfectly-manicured hands,
armed with a dust mop and Lysol disinfecting spray
(dreaded days of aggravating my allergies are soon nonexistent!),
my mission: eliminate and destroy
all that is filthy and damaging…
memories included.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Everlasting Domicile

Like a pale yellow lotus flower
she emerges from the muddy waters
rising to the surface during the day
limbs outstretched, ready to embrace life
and absorb the sun’s natural heat.

Sinking below the terrain at night
she hibernates, seeking shelter from
the gusty winds and dusty air.

Yet, she remains
entrenched in the clear, pure water
rich in oxygen, with submersed roots.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Peace Fair

Looking to exhibit your artwork and read your poetry? Check out the information below:

SEPTEMBER 20, 2008
5684 York Road, Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, PA
Promote harmony while exhibiting your artwork and reading your poetry. Contact Barbara Simmons at

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Japanese Poetry

Poetry has been a major Japanese influence on the literature of many countries. Here are four types of ancient Japanese poetry:

Haiku: An unrhymed Japanese poem recording the essence of a moment. Nature is combined with human nature. It usually consists of three lines of 5/7/5, 17 syllables (kana) or less.

Senryu: A Japanese poem similar in structure to haiku, but more concerned with human nature, and is often humorous or satiric -- usually in three lines of 17 syllables (kana).

Tanka: An unrhymed Japanese poem consisting of five lines of 5/7/5/7/7, totaling 31 syllables (kana).

Kyoka: A poem in the tanka form but with the satirical, ironic, humorous aspects of senryu.

Here's my attempt at writing Japanese poetry:

The earth’s crust opens
The Roman God of fire
Erupt and release.

Sound democracy
salacious majority
win big, lose nothing.

On daddy’s lap
methodically, I ponder profusely:
time is running out
mother arrives
my visit ends abruptly.

Appointed official
unwavering to the world
benevolent to your family
calculated in your approach
who’s pulling your strings?

I'm a novice, but hope to progress as a writer of Japanese poetry!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Poetic Emergence

When I was a child,
my mother equipped me
with a pen and paper
and instructed me to wrap my arms
around the rhythmic compressed language
freeing my mind and creating a memoir
of my journey to maturity.

From pubescence to womanhood
I soaked up the story prose
of spirit and feeling and I meditated.
Through this progression,
my mind has ripened, my lexis has richened, and
the words continue to travel through me
like the blood that flows through my veins.

Colorful prolific phrases,
words as concrete images,
painting pictures and decorating the pages,
inciting visual orgasms, propagating artistry,
breeding inner beauty, and
satisfying my thirst for an abundant life
filled with ingenuity, void of lackluster and mediocrity.

Walk with me
and witness my elevation…my catharsis,
as I continue to procreate life
through metaphors, allegories…literary illustration.
Interpret my self-expression,
sustain my connectedness to others,
embrace my sanguinity…
as I emphatically give birth to individuality and creativity.

Behold: my poetry.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Free Verse Poetry

Recently, someone read one of my poems and said, "I thought poetry was supposed to rhyme!" I explained that there are many types of poetry, including free verse, my poetry form of choice.

Free Verse is an irregular form of poetry in which the content free of traditional rules of versification, (freedom from fixed meter or rhyme). In moving from line to line, the poet's main consideration is where to insert line breaks. Some ways of doing this include breaking the line where there is a natural pause or at a point of suspense for the reader.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Welcome to Sage Creative Corner!

This literary blog is dedicated to creative expression. Here you will find:

• writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm (poetry),

• a literary medium distinguished from poetry especially by its greater irregularity and variety of rhythm and its closer correspondence to the patterns of everyday speech (prose),

• exploration of the various types of poetry,

• poetry by my favorite poets -- contemporary and historical, and

• upcoming writing and poetry events.

Thank you for visiting Sage Creative Corner.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Friday Favorites...

Blurry - Puddle of Mudd

Great, great song! One of my favorite bands (along with No Doubt). I initially thought the song was poignant when I first heard it, but when I saw the video -- wow...painfully believable and heartfelt.