From Our Writers

Voice Catcher: Member Ann Farley Featured

VoiceCatcher is an online magazine that features the creative writing voices of women. Published in the Portland, Oregon, area, Writers in the Grove member, Ann Farley is featured in this month’s issue with her poem, suRReal WOman walked oFF Canvas.

Ann will be among the featured readers at a special event for VoiceCatcher on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, at The Corkscrew in Sellwood, South Portland at 7PM.

Congrats to Ann!

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Sketches of Anticipation

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Bunny Hansen.

A letter arrives.
A price is paid.
A lover returns.
Anticipation rises.
Sometimes a morning sun
Warming new beginnings
Sometimes a midnight moon
Cooling dark endings.

Spring sap, anticipations pulse
Surges through sleeping branches
Inciting covert riots, among
Winter started roots.
Dormant blossoms provoked
Into multi-hued revolutions
Overthrow cold suns and short days.

A stalking tiger watches, waits in ambush
Frozen in stealth, muscles twitching
Stripes screened by sun-streaked grass
Saliva drips from emblematic fangs.
Hunt’s end, foreseen from the beginning.

Anticipation, gallant, armored knight
Charges onto epic battlefields
Reclaims golden fleeces of the heart
Slays doubt breathing Dragons
Plundering priceless dreams.

A dazzling gold vein exposed in white quartz
Detonates a miner’s expectations: “Mother Lode.”
A silver candelabra, darkened, tarnish-shrouded
Is rubbed and polished until purity appears.
A trickling brook meanders, swallowed by
A desert flash-flood, it carves a grand canyon.

Expectant prisoners, tenacious caterpillars
Anticipation etched on their hearts
Push against restriction’s limit
Struggle with confinement’s boundary
Natures mutate, time tempered
Finally, sentence served,
They catch the wind.

Opening nighters are seated
Orchestra, mezzanine, balcony
Critics view, review and preview
Backstage nerves infiltrate anticipation
Costumed in repetitious rehearsals
An actor reruns his lines
A tenor re-trills his scales
A dancer perfects a last leap
The theater strains, tension taunt
Listening for the call: Curtain up!

My Prayer

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond.

I wish people would be
happy all around us.

I wish the world’s population
would stop fighting and putting
fellow human beings down.

I wish we would be
content.

I wish we would be
heard by all people.

I wish we would listen
to the needs of each other.

I wish we would see people
for who they are.

I wish miracles would happen
every day and that they could
be seen by everyone.

I wish peace and tranquility
for all.

Writing Tips: Raise or Rise Up!

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Gretchen Keefer.

Raise or rise up? While both of these verbs indicate upwards motion, the difference is in “what” is going up.

Rise, rose, risen: No objects go up. The subject of the sentence is the only thing moving towards the ceiling or sky. The action stays with the subject only.

Gary rose slowly from the recliner and left the room.

Heat rises.

The sun and moon rise daily.

Joe has risen through the ranks to make CFO at a young age.

Raise, raised, raised: Now, something is going up! “Raise” needs an object to lift or nurture, as in the case of children, crops, and animals. Ask the question “Raise what?” and fill in the blank.

  • Raise your hand.
  • Bettina raised her eyes toward the heavens and shouted in hallelujah!
  • Allison raises horses.
  • Mark’s construction crew raised the new building in record time. (Not to be confused with “raze,” which means taking the building down.)

Never Give Up

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond.

When you feel like
You are beaten down,
Maybe you are.
Never give up!

You get bad news
Feel like you can’t go on.
Yes, you can.
Never give up!

Given a life-threatening health crisis.
Feel like life will not get better.
Yes, it will.
Never give up!

Berry picker, babysitter, nursing assistant.
Feel like you are
Overworked and underpaid?
Yes, you are.
Never give up!

Wherever life takes you
Remember to never give up
For you never know
What is waiting for you
Around the corner.
Never give up!

A Book Review

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Bev Walker, based upon her review of the book, “Thieves Break In,” by Cristina Sumners, Bantam Books, 2004, a British detective story.

The following are the real, actual Chapter headings of this book.

Chapter 1 – Late July 1997, Wednesday – (In which we are introduced to the victim, one Rob Hillman, who is missing. The last sentence states he’s been found. So far, so good. I look forward to some interesting detective work.)

Chapter 2 – January 1997 – Almost Seven Months Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 3 – Summer 1933 – Sixty-four Years Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 4 – Wednesday – The Day of Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 5 – February 1997 – Five Months Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 6 – June 1944, Shortly After D-Day – Fifty-three Years Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 7 – Thursday – The Day After Rob Hillman’s Death, About Seven in the Evening

Chapter 8 – February 1997 – Five Months Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 9 – May 1945, Two Weeks After VE Day – Fifty-two Years Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 10 – Saturday Morning – Three Days After Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 11 – April 1997, During the Easter Holidays – Three Months Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 12 – June 1962 – Thirty-five Years Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 13 – Saturday Lunchtime – Three Days After Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 14 – Early July 1997 – Three Weeks Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 15 – July 1963 – Thirty-four Years Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 16 – Early July 1997, Sunday – Four Days After Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 17 – Mid July 1997 – Two Weeks Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 18 – Spring 1972 – Twenty-five Years Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 19 – Lunchtime – Five Days After Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 20 – The Monday Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 21 – Twenty Years Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 22 – Monday Midafternoon – Five Days After Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 23 – A Wednesday in Late July 1997 – Thirty Minutes Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 24 – Winter 1995 – Two Years Before Rob Hillman’s Death

Chapter 25 – Monday – Five Days After Rob Hillman’s Death, Three Hours After Sir Gregory’s Death

Chapter 26 – Minutes Later

Chapter 27 – A Few Minutes Earlier

Chapter 28 – Two Days Later (mystery solved!)

THE END

Dear Writers,

Now, I consider myself only a moderately orderly person. And a fan of detective stories. Especially British detective stories. Any detective story with a sense of humor, but this one really put me to the test.

I’m not adverse to scanning, and dumping, the dull, the witless, the inane. If it doesn’t grab me in the first three chapters, I may give it a spit and polish and go on to other things, but believe it or not, in spite of its time frame acrobatics, this one held me in there.

I read it all, clear to the end, while flipping back and forth to keep reminding myself which decade we were in. It was like trying to read on a bus traveling fifty miles an hour over a very bumpy road.

The author’s first acknowledgement is for her “splendid” Editor, and I quote: “for refraining from murdering me while I kept her waiting an extra year for the manuscript.” One wonders if that editor is still on the job. Or maybe in a rest home somewhere. Or waiting tables in a peaceful kindergarten where there’s regular food fights.

Nevertheless, dear readers, would you believe? This is a good story!

But please, dear writers, have some mercy.

No One Wins Like This

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Alex Davidson.

Don’t ignore their feelings.
Don’t laugh at them but with them.
Don’t fight but resolve.
This is how we win together.

But this isn’t how the world works.

We ignore the helpless and wicked.
We laugh at and bully those
We find different or scrawny.
We fight only ourselves.
No one wins like this.