March 4th, 2010

gold star

Poetry Fishbowl WIN!

I am delighted to announce that the Poetry Fishbowl has WON the Poetry category of the 2010 Rose and Bay Awards!  *happy dance* *confetti*

Never mind the mainstream ... there are still places where poetry lives.  We had over 132 voters in the Poetry category.

Thank you all for your support.  You're a fine and enthusiastic audience, and I couldn't have done this without you. 

Poetry Fishbowl Report for Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The March theme was "elements and elemental spirits," which people interpreted in many creative ways.  The prompts were slow to start, but then picked up, and there were several early sales.  I worked from 12:30 PM to 1:30 AM, so about 11 hours allowing for lunch and supper breaks.  I finished 20 poems and started 1 that probably won't be finished for quite some time.  Most of the poems were short or medium-short, a few medium-long, one long, and one unfinished epic.  I wrote mostly free verse this month, though some of it had shaped verses -- tercets and quatrains, ascending or descending lines, etc.  I wrote one shape poem, a rare form for me, and the epic has intricate infrastructure.  Some poems came from single prompts, while others combined prompts; a few prompts led to multiple poems.

A total of 16 people sent prompts.  Three cheers for new prompter/new donor technomage!  That earned you folks an extra freebie poem.  There were 60 comments, including mine.

Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the March 2010 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"The Attraction of Opposites"
"Casting the Circle of Words"
"Digging for Roots"
"The Door in the Sky"
"The Elemental Symbiotes"
"The Elements of Wisdom"
"folded wings"
"kū shiki"
"This Hidden Light"
"Light and Wind and Fire"
"The Orphaned Elements"
"The Song of the Elements"
"The Transformation of Elements"

Buy Some Poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, read the list of unsold poems, which includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.

Regarding the shape poem, "Creativity," it would benefit from being animated.  I posted a discussion about this, which has attracted attention from ericatrandom.  Two people have already expressed interest in cosponsoring this.  It's not priced yet because my usual system doesn't apply to a poem that isn't written in lines!  I'll keep you updated on developments.

Regarding the epic poem, "A Periodic Table of Elementals," I spent a sizable chunk of late Tuesday night just figuring out the infrastructure.  I wrote the first two verses, Hydrogen and Helium.  I'm waffling a bit on price, because writing this is a lot harder than my usual $.50/line poetry; but it's already going to be insanely expensive if I finish it, so I'm hesitant to request $1/line.  But I thought the idea of describing all the scientific elements as elemental spirits was just so cool, I had to try it. I have posted a second discussion about this poem.

All of the currently sponsored poems have been posted.   Copies of the unsold poems have been sent backchannel to their respective prompters.  Later there will be a generally sponsored poetry poll and a donor perk-post.  I did get around to making an icon-sized donor badge, which I will put in the perk-post so that donors can save it for their use.  (EDIT 3/4/10: The donor perk-post is now up.) The March donors include: ellenmillion, technomage, wcg, dianavilliers, minor_architect, marina_bonomi, and dreamwriteremmy.  Yay, yay!  Thank you so much.  

If you haven't already heard about this, winners have been announced for the Art, Fiction, Other Project and Poetry, Patron categories of the Rose and Bay Awards.  I am delighted to report that the Poetry Fishbowl WON the Poetry category!  You folks are a wonderful and enthusiastic audience; I couldn't have done this without you.  Thank you all for your support.

The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.


Poem: "The Elements of Wisdom"

This poem came out of the March 2, 2010 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by janetmiles

The Elements of Wisdom

In the first days,
the elementals walked this
world beside the mortals:
dwarves, elves, fairies, and undines.

Then the first days ended,
and the world became less malleable,
and the elementals withdrew to their own realms.
For a time all was well --
but it did not stay that way forever.

The mortals flourished
and soon they covered the world
with their cities and their business and their needs.
They stripped the Earth of its jewels and its forests.
They bound the Fire and made it labor for them.
They soiled the Air with the filth of their ways.
They robbed the Water of its many fishes.
Then the world began to falter under their weight.

The elementals looked out from their realms
and grew displeased.
"This is not good," said the dwarves.
"What shall we do?" said the elves.
"We must remind the mortals how to behave,"
said the fairies, fanning their fragile wings.
"Yes," said the undines, "but secretly,
for they are grown fierce, and a danger to us all."

"We will teach them to tend the land," said the dwarves.
So they revealed its cycles, and the mortals were enchanted,
and they began to take better care of the land.
"We will give them new games," said the elves.
So they made games that taught mortals of elemental magic
and the mortals began to cherish the wisdom hidden in each element.
"We will carry amusements for them," said the fairies.
So they showed the mortals radio and television and movies,
and the stories reminded mortals how much could be lost to carelessness.
"We will show them death," said the undines.
For they were the keepers of water, without which there is no life,
and the mortals shuddered to recall how close to the edge they had come.

It was not easy for the elementals
to slip through the mortal world and
do their work through dreams and inspiration,
but they persevered.  Not all the mortals
were convinced by their insistence,
but some were, and these convinced others
in turn.  Enough?

That play of the game is not yet complete.
Come, take up the cards --
the elementals will gladly deal you in.


Poem: "The Song of the Elements"

This poem came from the March 2, 2010 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from xjenavivex and sponsored by janetmiles.  This is just one set of possible correspondences between elements and musical instruments; I had fun with it.

The Song of the Elements

Drums are the Earth,
wood and skin turned to tumbling sound.

Flutes are the Air,
breeze become breath become music.

Violins are the Fire,
gut and hair and cry of hot-blooded beasts.

Oboes are the Water,
long wet reeds weeping their hearts out.

Voices are the Spirit,
the only musical instrument made by God.


Poem: "The Orphaned Elements"

This poem came from the March 2, 2010 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from siliconshaman and stonetalker.  It was sponsored by janetmiles.

The Orphaned Elements

They were all there,
the ones we have forgotten,
tucked away in a smoky corner of the aetherium:

Good and Evil were arm-wrestling as usual,
cheered by a circle of drunken dodos.

Loud dance music filtered through the walls:
Earth and Air, Fire and Water
hooting it up with their crowd of followers.

The element of Freedom
complained to her friends,
"Those mortals have forgotten us."

The element of Style
tipped his elegant black hat and said,
"I quite agree with you, my dear,
but whatever is to be done about it?"

The element of Surprise
drummed fingers on the wall.
"Well, we could go crash the party."
A watching thylacine yawned capaciously
then nibbled between its toes.
"Then again, we could get up a gang of our own
and head down to Earth for some fun."

The element of Creation
was using a luminescent hookah
to blow nebula clouds overhead.
"Don't bother me," she said, "I'm on vacation."

The element of Crime
pushed himself away from the table
and said grimly,
"I will remind them."


Poem: "Casting the Circle of Words"

This poem came out of the March 2, 2010 Poetry Fishbowl.  It combines prompts from flutterbychild, wyld_dandelyon, and siege.  It was sponsored by janetmiles.  I would really enjoy trying this one in a ritual someday! See a scrapbooked version of this poem.

Casting the Circle of Words

We are casting the circle of words.
We are summoning the sacred space of speech.

We are calling the quarters:
Nouns, the things
Adjectives, the descriptions
Verbs, the actions
Adverbs, the refinements

We are calling the cross-quarters:
Pronouns, the replacements
Conjunctions, the joints
Prepositions, the relationships
Interjections, the accents

We are summoning the sacred space of speech.
We are casting the circle of words.


Generally Sponsored Poetry Poll for March 2010

Below is the generally sponsored poetry poll for this month.  You have $10 to spend.  You may choose TWO of the 3 remaining $5 poems: "The Elements of Civilization," "The Elements of Life," or "The Star of the East."  Alternatively, you may choose ONE of the 3 remaining $10 poems: "Digging for Roots," "Ella meant..." or "Mountains in the Sky, Fires in the Sea."  This poll will stay open at least to Friday evening; if there is no clear winner by then, I may leave it open longer and encourage more people to vote.

EDIT 3/5/10, 10 PM: 0_o They ALL have 2 votes. More opinions, please!

Poll #1533934 Generally Sponsored Poetry for March 2010
This poll is closed.

Which of the following do you most want to see published?

"The Elements of Civilization" AND "The Elements of Life"
"The Elements of Civilization" AND "Star of the East"
"The Elements of Life" AND "Star of the East"
"Digging for Roots"
"Ella meant..."
"Mountains in the Sky, Fires in the Sea"