Archive for November, 2010

Poetry Challenge ‘The Art of Progress’

Posted in ALL MY POETRY CHALLENGES, Inspiring poetry, My Poetry with tags , , on November 30, 2010 by echostains

connoisseur by Norman Rockwell

  Adam Dustus who has a wonderful poetry blog kindly suggested a poetry challenge which featured this painting – The Coinnoissoir’ by Norman Rockwell.  I have called the challenge ‘The Art of Progress’ because of the corresponding post I wrote over on Echostains – which also provides a link for this challenge. Clicking any of the paintings will take you over there to see what I’ve written about this painting and the other two – and why I think they represent ‘progress’.  The challenge is to write a poem or Haiku about ‘progress’.  You can use any of the pictures as a prompt or just write about ‘progress’ itself.  The poem can be serious, humourous, short or lengthy.

The Railway Station by William Powell Frith, RA. 1862


Please note;-

The idea behind the challenges is to publicise Bookstains (as well as having creative fun) so therefore it is imperative that the poet link to Bookstains to further the challenge.

 In return the poem is copied to the challenges particular page and the poets own website mentioned with a link and the poem critiqued on not only Bookstains but also on the poets own blog or website.

 If you wouldn’t put the poem on your own blog, please don’t send it to mine and expect me to promote it.  This is a genuine challenge – so please play fair:-)  

 I wracked my brains trying to decide which painting to go with, but just couldn’t decide.  So, I thought I would just write  a short Acrostic poem about progress itself and what it means.  Sometimes progress is no such thing.  It can be two steps forward then two steps back – so in effect you can go all around the houses to end up in the same place!  Sometimes we over complicate the simplest of things – sometimes the old way can be the best. Sometimes the act of being seen to be progressing – progression for progressions sake can actually be destructive.

 Paving the way to a future uncluttered,

 Ripping down structures all boarded and shuttered

 Oiling the wheels of our Brave New World

 Gasping for air as through life we are hurled

Ringing the changes whilst wringing our hands

Eking existance in strange no mans land

Searching for new ways, disgarding the old

  Seeking the grail but finding fools gold.

©Lynda M Roberts 2010


Turner The Fighting Temeraire 1839


Jessicasjapes who has a wonderful poetry and prose blog has contributed this poem based upon Frith’s painting ‘The Railway’ Thanks Jessica!

The Railway Station by William Powell Frith 1862.

I stand on the station,
my eyes assaulted by the throng:

The fretting lady, flushed and hyperventilating,
begging with unladylike candour,
a loved pet dog to carry onboard,
her remonstrances ignored by officious officialdom.

The bossy family, self centred and fraught,
hurrying behind a flustered porter,
luggage heaving en masse,
loyal wife dragging indulged children.

The foreign tourist, feigning ignorance,
reluctant to submit precious monies,
the cabbie insistent and world-weary,
outstretched hand insistent.

The brave warrior heroes, uniformed and disciplined,
fighting red-eyed mistiness,
parting loved ones for distant fields of fire,
love torn for country and family.

The wedding party, tearful with happiness,
wishing everlasting good fortune,
excited whispers deafened by announcements,
a bride departing for a new chapter.

The schoolboys, motherly embraced,
hiding embarassment and apprenhension,
a fresh scholarly challenge awaiting,
far from the warm bosom of home.

The professional criminal, outfoxed and undone,
restrained within a foot of freedom,
apprended in full view of tired wife,
a future apart within walls.

A railway scene in 2010?
No, a flashback memory of 1862.

Technology progresses,
People remain the same.

© Jessica D’Angelo 2010


Our third contribution is from turtle memoirs.  Please check out this wonderful creative blog!  The poem is called ‘Coinnoisseur’ and it is based upon the Rockwell painting. 

Call me a connoisseur of love.
I stand in front of modern paintings,
study them till eyes go thick with tears
and paint runs thin again—fast and faster
colour flows to colour back in time, now there
it is, no there, and there… and ever further back
to reconstruction of first moments, the big bang
of creativity that gives me now, this universe
before me. Outside of time I realize futility
in such thinking—how can there be start
or endpoint to what’s circular?

New eyes fit patchwork pieces back together.
I gaze in wonder at this painter’s perfect rendering of vision.

Where is the love the artist felt in painting?
Does it live in colour, easel, frame? Is it light
that shines now in my heart, a knowledge new,
this vision of my own?—All that and more…
A patchwork quilt of moments fuelled by
an inner flame lit long before we knew
the boundaries of time, now waiting
on our rediscovery of desire to keep
forever burning our love creations,
to pass forward, let them linger
in an other’s senses, light
another’s hearth.

©Turtle Memoirs 2010

Our fourth poem comes from Adam Dustus, poet, novelist  and graphic artist, Please take look at this interesting blog!

Standing in the Way 


Dignifying Respects
Paid dues to just remain
Such maddening illusion
Norm standing in the way

©Adam Dustus 2010

I Dwell in Miss Havisham’s House

Posted in ALL MY POETRY CHALLENGES, My Poetry with tags , , , on November 18, 2010 by echostains



Miss Haversham

I am trying to get an expression of light and dark – life and death into this poem.  Miss Havisham (Great Expectations) pays the young Pip money to see him play with her ward, the beautiful Estella. Well aware that the young boy is in awe of the girl, she watchs Estella, gaining satisfaction from the cruel way she has taught her to break hearts.  Miss Havisham, as she tells everyone, has no heart herself…..  Jilted at the altar when a young woman the old spinster sits in her dirty, dusty mouldering wedding dress.  No light is allowed to enter the rooms.  The wedding cake lies crumbling on the table – a home for mice.  Time has stood still.  This poem is written from an observant mouse’s point of view:-D


I Dwell in Miss Havisham’s House

No light shall enter here

Nor candlelight find the dark recesses

I watch, as she obsesses upon her past.

No future, and no hopes,

Just deaths decay awaits

Her nearing fate among the festering icing.

The clocks like sentinals, stand

With stiffened hands that staunch the years

Of dried up tears and pain

Loves lost refrain

Lies broken – creaking,

Whilst I remain in shadows, watchful, sneaking.

Coins for childrens laughter

Chink in vain against her frozen heart

That beats apart from this life and the next.

But cruelty has its grip

On youthful yearnings,

Snuffing out the candles of hopes celebrations.

Her icy heart shall spend it last

As fiery blast consumes her bygone lace

And shadows chase across that mouldering room

And join deaths gloomy choir

As flaming tongues conspire

With  ancient lace to form the tinder

To  her pyre

©Lynda M Roberts 2010

image from here with thanks!