Tuesday, May 31, 2005

When the cat's away ...

I'll just post a Fitz from my achives
to serve until mother gets back.


Cleansing Wind

Oh, how to capture the caressing breeze;
a guardian panting upon my neck,
a dreamed hint of Myrddin's falcon wings,
the ever wind enchanted by my swing
from human fear to ethereal kiss.
Nay, it is only the soft pulsing sorrow
drawn from the breathing of my spirit,
as some feckless friends withdraw in folly.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Off the Radar

Dearest Cherita Fitz'ers . . . Once again I find that I have manifested my incredible talent for the mismanagement of time. I am going to Utah for a couple of weeks to spend some time with my mother and suddenly I find it is all abruptly time to go. I’ll be leaving Wednesday morning. I have a list of ‘things-to-do’ that is so long, I don’t think there is anyway to do them all before Wednesday morning. I am hoping to take a lap-top with me so that I can at least check into the Blog’s on a limited basis, but the jury is still out on whether or not I’m going to get away with it. If not, it will be mid-June before I am back on line. I know everyone will keep posting and that I will find a wealth of beautifully braided words when I return. The question is, will I have severe, unmanageable withdrawal symptoms? I suspect the jury is still out on that as well! Blessings to you all. ~ Winnie

Notice of Gleaning

Seed Lines have been Gleaned from the poem “Fitz #1 continued” by Maya (Featherstone Woman)
Posted at Cherita Fitzgerald, Wednesday, May 25, 2005

“Caught in the breath of night.....”
“Join me, if you dare to dream.”

The resultant Gleaning is posted at the Alluvial Mine http://alluvialmining.blogspot.com/
Thank you Maya!
Gleaner: Edwina Peterson Cross

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Fitz #1 - Grim Echos

Seed Line: My generation is reading history (From Fran)

Grim Echos

In a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ moment, my generation is reading history

Everything must be scrapped, rearranged
Ideas, behavior, purpose, turned up on their axis

We shout, we sing, we take to the streets carrying flowers
We change the fabric of history
Now in age, we watch in horror, as heedless history callously repeats itself

The unseen

VI's "Eternal Forest"
took us delightfully to a special world of light and perceptions --
but what of times that we cannot see and must reach beyond ...

"Green reflecting pools
are the eyes into the soul of the forest"
just writ -- reflecting also on my trip last week-end, with as much 'free form' as I might allow under this site's guidance (and my keyboard's poltergist control)

Sit with me beside a smallish lake
and we will share such fantasies,
drawn from impossible meeting of forest and reflection --
clouds rushing to slip through that razor edge,
then bouncing back from nothingness
as ripples in the sky and song upon the waters.

I skip a pebble flat and glancing --
seven footsteps lightly prancing,
messages of presence and interference
that will reach the dwindling shores of never,
echoed silent and lost to the horizon --
toward imagined line twixt if and memory.

Come back with me at long past bedtime
when there is no moon and laughing sky.
Then this lake is steel grey and lonely
as no images of now can entrance the longing heart,
and you must reach out with other eyes
to know the depths of lake and soul.

Here is pebble of trusted weight and form
to skip across the frozen lake of dreams,
and pulse the message of your being.
Tell me of the footstep number and the distance to the shore,
and how you know that the faintest wave
will shatter stones just waiting there.

Reach down - down to touch the surface,
just a faint cold shock, nothing more --
proof that you are now one with all, --
for your ripples cast will flow out and on and live forever;
but only if you have faith, my friend,
and come down to the lake with me.

Fitz 1 "Whispering Bones"

Bones in memory, memory bred in bone

Whispering bones tell the story
send the word that has been hidden

My generation is reading history
in blood, prophesying , planning,
no longer able to deny the past

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Fitz #1 - Shuttle Singing

Fingertips kissed on loneliness, I read the incisions like braille

Asked by the Elder Futhark, question etched in the stones of time
I turn bones in whispered silence: Nauthiz

This dream of moon has no answer, moon answers without dream
Smooth and untouchable, these virtual runes made by my
Technologically advanced, ergonomic, totally cracked keyboard

About "Gleaners"

Hello Cherita Fitzers!

This is just a note to let you know about something interesting that was generated by the birth of Cherita Fitzgerald. One of the members of the Soul Food community was interested in the idea of Cherita Fizt, but was unsure about ‘poetry.’ She said she would like to be able to take a line from any of the Soul Food Blog’s and write about that idea - using prose as well as poetry. And so “Gleaners” was born. I suggested locating “Gleaners” at the Alluvial Mine Blog because that Blog had been inactive for awhile. There are some “Gleanings” at the Alluvial Mine already, a couple of them mine, one poetry, one prose. When a line is “Gleaned” it is always fully credited to the author, listing which Blog it came from, the date and, of course, the authors name. There is a “Gleaning” that came from LivePoets on the Alluvial Mine already (the poem is Rudwulf’s and the seed line is: "We interrupt your regularly scheduled day to report the mackerel sky. . ." with the citation: Ruhdwulf at Live Poets, 4/26/05.) The Alluvial Mine can be found here: http://alluvialmining.blogspot.com/

If anyone has a problem with this concept, please let me know. It seems to me nothing but a compliment to an author’s wordsmithing and just another avenue toward the birthing of language and the cooperative creative process. However, they are your words, and if there is any hesitation about it, please let me know.

~ Winnie

Eternal Forest

Within the eternal forest of rain,
I wander alone,
lost in the shadows.

Tendrils of moss reach to entangle,
draw me into moist green caverns
from which I might never emerge.

Trees growing from the decay of their nurturing mothers,
the fallen giving life to the new.
Moss draped branches restricting my view.

Green in one hundred thousand shades
punctuated only by shadows
beyond which green is supreme.

The constant drip from branches above
like the tick of an old fashioned clock
dripping my life away.

I search for the sky
but all that I see are canopies of green.
I am surrounded above and beneath

by lush vegetation.
that smothers my psyche
as do rivulets with long grasses flowing.

Green reflecting pools
are the eyes
into the soul of the forest,

they draw me.
Shall I let go?
I'm tempted.

Release me,
Eternal Forest of Rain.
For return now I must

to sunshine and sky.
I will never forget you,
Forest of Life

for you are the cradle of being,
the keeper of secrets,
our life.

©May 28, 2005

Fitz#1 - going - pass the shuttle

The stars sung ... the song shone

I hear the chiming of the moon … think of you,

and see your future mem'ries in the thunder of falling leaves,
caught in wafting scent of sunlit quivering dew …

but mostly I forget to remember the touching of your dreams
and whispered silences that color my spirit's canvas,
which dance with fingertip kisses on loneliness.

Fitzgerald Number One - Still Going

A star sung for each soreness, a song shone for each pain

In this sky bruised and black; dark and arcane
Shot full of lightening, in a bright sudden vein

The waiting air shudders, tight and pregnant with strain
Finally thunder erupts - a crashing refrain
In an hushed, indrawn breath . . . at last . . . comes the rain

Fitzgerald #2 - Grandmother's Days and Ways

Remembrance recalls my grandmother’s days and ways

Apron of gingham tied over her dress
Crisp, starched white for Sundays
Lemon drops in the pockets

In the rooms that were hers, I learned to learn
From the lips of one who listened
At eighty-five, she said the ballet lessons I taught made her a little stiff

Friday, May 27, 2005

Just goes to show who's the crone around here

Fitzgerald and Hemingway, my mother’s generation

As always, our infatuation
prefers our grandmother’s days and ways

Our mother’s are merely latest has-beens. When my children were in their teens
these two became champions once again. Fashion is fickle, especially when books
become victims of analysis so both of these guys give me mental paralysis.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I wouldn't recommend it

This offering is not a challenge and I do not recommend you try and write a 'sestina', but I started this a week ago, and now Winnie wants 'form',
so here it goes.

A Sestina is based on six words, each of which must be the final word
of a line in each of six stanzas of six lines each;--
but, the order of the use of these words
must vary from stanza to stanza such that any word
never holds the same position more than once (pant, pant)

Then -- a refrain is added as a single line including all six words.

Hopefully the whole thing makes some sense when you are done.
This was a popular contest of Troubadores in the 14th century,
which may explain why they all died off!


Poetic Tapestry

If one is to consider poetry an art form,
Beyond a mere contrivance of fancy words
Or an essay presented with lively passion;
Then meter should be subject to nature's rhythm,
And man's battle with himself the only theme,
With life's comedic flow the only irony.

If one would ascribe to poetry as passion --
A matching of one's inner pulse with rhythm
Acceptable to readers less capable with words,
Then the poet must accept another dull theme --
A responsibility to mask most irony
With subtle use of meter, rhyme and form.

One would say a poet but hears a rhythm,
Born of Earth and stars and lost love irony,
And allows this sense of awe to take on form,
That takes the reader on a path within words,
Which perhaps only give a hint of passion
As verse after verse weave a most valid theme

It is the reader who completes the irony,
By placing their own spin on any hidden theme --
Caught up perhaps by the 'oft subtle rhythm
But, ignoring same, wishing the piece to inform
Of solutions to life's riddles cast in words,
And attempt to ignore any intense passion.

Thus readers may get something from poetic theme
That the poet never intended in simple form
But is projected upon the poem in true irony,
And many times the poet is accused of passion
Far beyond communion of simple rhythm
And thoughts and dreams and profoundly soulful words.

So do not get caught up in choosing just words,
But allow yourself to be lost in passion,
And permit the reader to select the theme,
Which they will do without sense of irony,
Mistakenly thinking that your message is form
And the song they hear is their own secret rhythm.

Thus, passion can be the theme, and words engender form,
bound in an irony of rhythm beyond both reader and poet.



I think Maya is right and that trying to keep track of the strand you are on is confusing. There is also the fact that you might work on a poem for a couple of days that was to have been strand four, only to post and find the Fitz was up to strand seven. I think it is not necessary for the strands to go in order and no need to note them. I do think that it is necessary to keep the number of the Fitz so we can track what came from what. Right now there are two Fitz going. One has a lot of strands, the other just two. I think we can keep several different poems going at the same time if we just note which one we are working on so they don’t get confused. I would like to be able to go back and say, ‘this came from this.’

Also, lets keep the poems on the main board rather than putting a poetic response in a ‘comment’ section. That way no one is going to miss them. By all means, use the comment section to make comments! But let’s keep the poems we are weaving on the board.

As I have said, organization is probably my worst problem. If anyone has any other ideas on that front, please let me know.

Write on!
~ Winnie

Fitz#2 - Stranded two or thereabouts

Reality is full of artifice

'tis said that a man can only perceive what he already knows.

Each by each, we then strive to expand our own reality,
to which we are chained by symbols, words and humanity.

Each author, poet
and simple sharer of thoughtful words and actions
tells a story -- provides a shoulder on which I may stand.



No Duckie, No one in the shadows!

I turned out to be a teacher, not a performer
Creative Movement . . . Everybody up!

Every one up and out on this perfect polished, pristine, parquet floor!
You can slide on it, and spin and stretch and bend and twist and fly . . .
Always! Always! The process, not the product!


Work like you don’t need the money
Love like you’ve never been hurt
Dance like nobody’s watching
Take risks right down to your shirt

Live like there is no tomorrow
Give without need to gain
Climb ‘till it hurts to go further
Then go on ‘till you can’t feel the pain

Praise everyone just like your children
Remember how great that felt
Have the courage to live out your dreams
No matter what cards you’ve been dealt

Cry at all the best movies
Laugh even though you feel sad
Always save time for your dreams
Hug your kids when they’ve been bad

Remember that you are the greatest
The greatest you there has ever been
We all have inside us whatever we need
To achieve even our wildest dreams

So... Dance like nobody’s watching
Go wherever you want to go
And at the end when your life flashes by
Make sure you can enjoy the show

(Richard Mulvey)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fitzgerald #2 - Strand One

Lets see if we can keep more than one Poem going! This is Fitzgerald #2.
Not a Cherita - Just a Fitzgerald, but a Fitzgerald to Fitzgerald!
I wanted to try something totally different. If there are rabid Hemingway fans out there . . . have at it! (I am however, hereby ducking!)

A Fitzgerald to Fitzgerald

I said I was going to dump a fifth of whiskey on Hemingway’s grave
As a sign of respect
“But, I still like Fitzgerald better.”

“Ah! How can you say that?”
“Fitzgerald was more honest. He wrote about artifice, but he was honest about it. Hemingway wrote about ‘reality’ but it was full of artifice.”

Fitz#1 - Strand Six!

For the poet weaves, pass the pain and push the chance

Fast trap the words in nets shot with starlight
Whose fabric we’ll cut into slices of white night

A star for each soreness, a star for each stricture
We’ll bind up all wounds with a starcrusted picture
For tonight all the poets will dance

(Edwina Peterson Cross)

Taking the fifth -- CF#1, that is

Threads of my thinking, and of yours …

Quick! Pass back the shuttle, wind the bobbin, double the needle,
warp the woof and treadle the pedal -- for the poet weaves tonight!

The fabric we make will bind all wounds,
and swaddle a child, drape an altar and trail a vale,
as we dance the poet's polka.

Is this third strand? or fourth? CF

Weight of the world, ten thousand messages waft upward into blue

Threads of my thinking, and of yours, netting
around our turning globe our laughter and our tears

Tied to this finite ground, we dance,
we fly, we dream and weave, and cry together
and know our world is but a ball floating toward infinity

CF #1 - third strand

The Earth Is Flat Because the Sky Says So

Though hidden in clouds of yesterday,
the sky bulges with the weight of the world.

Outside, I look up at gray folds swollen with the tears
of a one-dimensional world.
Inside, they look at me, same gray folds swollen with the tears
of a lifetime on an earth so flat, a life of depleting reality.

Indeed a challenge! Love it!

fitz #1 continued

Caught in the breath of night.....

my spirit leaves a body that is slowly losing touch.
I'm free to spin..to soar.. to roam.

Lift-off is the hardest part,defying gravity and other earthly overtures.
I am a winged beauty, floating above the heads of the congregation.
Join me, if you dare to dream.

This is a Challenge

This is a challenge
For a feeble mind like mine
Words are nourishment.



Ebony fingers
touch the strings
a song to mark
the place I first knew you

You set the rhythm
made the dance of years
each step. When gentle day
turns swift to night
I will not be alone

Your touch has healed my pain
I smile for you
this music tunes my heart
to yours

CF#1 - second strand

I allow the 'velvet twilight wind' to caress my cheek.

I know the Mistress' secret hand touches my very soul,
though hidden in clouds of yesterday.

My aging blood still ripples against the stones of strife and pain,
reduced to glistening polished pebbles of eased memories,
finally as sand that slips away in timeless rebirth.

Here I am Winnie!!!

Winnie Love,
I am here,
Here is where I am,
Here is where I choose to be!!!

I am ready to learn more of the art of poetry.
Hugs and kisses,


Welcome all to the Blog of Cherita Fitzgerald, a new born Muse

Here we will come together to weave our words into wonder
Plait our poetic thoughts into layers of fascination

As faucon said: “A golden braid of mind, soul and spirit
Endlessly folding back upon itself
To reflect new images of poet and EveryLight”



I thought it best have the first thing you would see at Cherita Fitzgerald be a . . . Cherita Fitzgerald! This new-born Muse has begun to have a distinct personality to go with her blended form. Cherita Fitzgerald is the melding of two poetic forms, the Fitzgerald which requires exactly 55 words and the Cherita, (pronounced CHAIR-rita) a Malay poetic form consisting of a single stanza of a one-line verse, followed by a two-line verse, and then finishing with a three-line verse.

Of course Cherita Fitzgerald is just the catchy name that I choose to call this Blog, what we do here certainly need not be restricted to these two forms. Poetic forms are practically endless and many of them lend themselves to partnering and cooperative poetic blending and reflecting.
Renga, Sijo, Tanka and Hakiu are a few other forms that spring to mind. And Tan Renga! Which, like our friend Cherita Fitzgerald is a combination of forms . . . looking like a tanka and working like a renga.

If you are new to these forms - or to poetic forms at all - do not be concerned. They are easy to learn and often very easy to use. Several of us have recently discussed the fact that, though it seems strange, working within a poetic form often makes writing poetry easier. It can act as a laser and bring your focus to a point where the words flow in a way they otherwise wouldn’t.

After quite a bit of thought, I believe the best starting place for our weaving is with a regular Fitzgerald. (We will let Cherita sit out until next time.) According to faucon, who introduced many of us to the Fitzgerald, it is a poetry form popular in Northern California, that embraces the discipline and exactitude of a Haiku and Sonnet, but allows much greater flow of creative inspiration and ease of focus. The title can be of any length (a way of cheating), but the body of poem, song, prose, essay, whatever – must be exactly 55 words long.

The idea of the weaving begins when the next participant takes a line from the original Fitzgerald and uses it to begin a new Fitz of their own. Thus, the first poem is reflected in the second and woven into it as well. The third person takes a line from the second and it goes on.

At the LivePoets Blog http://livepoets.blogspot.com/
you will see several of these woven poems that were begun and continued there.

We will have to see how the flow goes, but I envision it will be quite possible to have several different poems going at the same time so that participants can pick up and weave from an existing poem or begin a new one, if the muse moves them. If this gets too confusing, we’ll pull things back at that time.

In a separate posting I will lay out a Fitzgerald waiting for someone to pick up a line and weave it into something luminous and new. I have designated the poem as Fitzgerald #1. Anyone who picks this particular piece up should add that designation to their heading. I also indicated that it was ‘First Strand.’ When someone picks it up, takes a line and makes their own poem, they will designate that piece as Fitzgerald #1 - Second Strand. The third person will take a line from the second strand and their poem will be Fitzgerald #1 - Third Strand . . . and on it goes. I think this should keep track of things. Keeping track of things is not my long-suit in life, however, so we will see what we will see and perhaps need to be flexible.

And so we begin!

Za vashe zdorovye the weird, wide world! Skal to the dance of words! And of course, and always . . . . . l'chaim ~ to life!

~ Winnie

Here are some sites where you can read about different poetic forms. I can’t find anything on the Fitzgerald . . . maybe we be breaking ground!


Fitzgerald #1 - First Strand

Selene Dances the Day

A single star rises above seashelled hills
Velvet twilight wind
Brushes the sky with ebony fingers
The pale numinous moon
Goes out like a candle
Caught in the breath of night
She has already danced the sky for hours
Pearled, translucent
Masquerading against the day
Ethereal, elusive
Whispering . . .
'Nothing is ever
Quite what it seems'

(Edwina Peterson Cross)