Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Poem: Heart's Ease

This is a little poem I started writing a while back, and I've come across it today handwritten on lined paper, so I've played with it a bit, and this is the latest version.

Does it seem as light hearted as its creation, or a bit heavy in tone? Or perhaps nonsensical? Here 'tis.

Heart's Ease

A cobalt so deep
it inks to mysterious

A dusk created in the 1880s
in the mold blown shape

of a glass vessel to pour
A heart full of auger and ache

A patterned baroque...

It's petaled foot splayed
in 24 rays, a rotation of hope

So don't pick it up
by the hollow handle-

Cup it, you dolt, Bury
your nose and breathe

From its credible spout

© 2014 Annie King 10-15-14

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Poem: Gossip


It was the mildest of flirtations
A gravitation of sky matched avatars
A cyber event of two known entities
A swoon and a blush -
Did you see them?
Cool in the armor, warm in the defense
Scented like the realm of flowers

© 2013 Annie King  9-8-13

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Poem: Invaluable Trinket Box

Invaluable Trinket Box

She was 72, or 86, or 93.
The clear patterned trinket box,
pressed glass, three inches round, base and lid,
sat stolid on her dresser top or on her bedroom desk
or on her bathroom vanity tray, for fifty plus years,
a gift from her deceased child (she died in 1973), or her
daughter’s child, or her husband, no one quite remembers
which. Inside was once a bright gold ring with a jeweled paste.
It came to her with a card and a kiss.

played with the ring and lost it
over twenty-five years before the inglorious
dumping of the glass box into the cardboard
carrying it to the Goodwill and into the hands
of a nostalgic customer, who purchased it for one
dollar, her own mother in mind, and brought it home
to sit on the sideboard and house a miniature sculpture
in relief, an antique clothing button depicting
the profile of a famous Greek.

Later, she learns the pattern
has a name, it’s Daisy & Button.

© 2013 Annie King

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Poem: Chaff and Chatter

Chaff and Chatter

It’s an uneasy calm
knowing that walks
and scented flowers,
squirrels in scamper
and birds in song are
a way to soothe- but
nothing can replace
those porous bones-

Compel a rain stick
to produce a colorful chatter
before the turnaround.

The mind is porous, too.
How can you sieve the chaff
out of your brain, and leave
in place, unfettered,
productivity and love?

Sand sorters, with their
plastic screening, leave
behind the broken shells
and bits of twig and seaweed,
interesting to examine
and then discard. Perhaps
if you examine the bits of
broken memory, fragments
of stress, pebbles of fear, it
will be time to throw them
out. Discover what is new.

© 2013 Annie King

Sunday, May 19, 2013

First Poem After the Pain: A Rambling Update

First Poem After the Pain

Knowing that if you fall
you are likely to break-
Should you step on that stool
and reach for that ceramic cup
at the back of the highest shelf?
Should you bridge that cascade
of file folders and piled up mail
on your bedroom floor wider
than your step?
Should you move, at home,
the weight you’ve been restricted
at work to lift?

I don’t feel like swiss cheese
but when I look at the bird bones
of this wrist, this slender ankle
and its narrowing taper to a
size 4 foot, when I feel the pain
tweaking my right knee (oops, that’s
the osteoarthritis and not the osteo-
porosis), and I remember the stab
in the mid-back, as if a clawed
alien strove to pull my spine
through a created breech and the
muscles spasm and respond with
an intercostal pain from the back
through the ribs tight under the breast,
and the left arm weakens-

It’s a dancer I want to be, a swim
gymnast, a yoga aficionado, a tai chi
water baby (And what is tai chi- a discipline
I may decide to learn with its no connection
to water but its decided fluidity).

Supplements? Oh, there are many, with
their gastro-intestinal distress. Perhaps I shall
skip the shells you can pick from the beach and eat,
with their unproven validity, ground into the
form of a horse pill, a swallowing choke.

Stretching, strengthening, resistance, aerobic walks-
these are becoming a daily habit and a retreat-

I enjoyed a natural beach yesterday-
green ocean- and walked, a gentle stretch
for calves and feet, in a wildlife refuge,
a mind calming effect, yet aware of movement
and how it may or may not result in a tweak.
I altered ways to sit on a beach blanket.

I am past most pain, with a practicum of prevention,
but there is the chronic threat and I cannot forget it.
There is the tendency to slide, and I must not. I type
when it’s best I were exercising. I shop to find the right
equipment when it’s time I did the endorphin stretch.
Formal PT is finished, but not the continuation.

© 2013 Annie King

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

For the Writer and the Artist

I wrote a short story today, a complete first draft, revised as it was developed, and given minor changes, a word here or there, upon completion. It "feels" like it might be good.

I'll be working with it again and again before I submit it in less than a week for my first short story of two in the Fiction Writing Workshop I'd decided to take. I'd started out with a different short story, I would still like to finish, based in part on a character study turned in for the class. It has proved to be a longer process, and is a story, presently, without an end.

I enjoy the main female characters of both of these stories. Both are stories of relationships and tragedies; the first between two sisters, the second between a woman and a man. It feels good to be writing again. In the first short story, one sister is a social worker, and the other, an actor. In the second short story, the woman is an artist, and the man a gallery owner. They are defined by history and circumstance, more than their professions.

I'm beginning to learn, it may be possible to do this writing thing, not to formula, but, with "a certain set of skills" that have finally coalesced and can be applied; though I still write and enjoy writing, without any plan. I write to see what will emerge, letting the characters and the story shape themselves.

The requirements for this online university level class, along with considerable reading, discussion assignments and meaningful feedback, are to write and revise two lengthy short stories of literary quality with psychological depth. I am feeling encouraged.

I've written short stories and novel chapters with literary merit and psychological depth before, but not in a long time. It's not feeling easier, but I'm feeling more assured that what I write can be of worth.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Literary Theory Class - Help?

I have an opportunity to take a class in Literary Theory at the university level. I'm registered for the class, along with a Fiction Writing Workshop, but I can only take one, while working full time. The writing class is online, and will require a substantial commitment. The Literary Theory class is "live."

If you've taken a course in Literary Theory, or have an opinion about it, I'd like to know about your experience. Even the introduction to the text, and the instructor's opening remarks, consider the concept that learning various literary theories may alter your experience of reading a work of fiction for pure pleasure. I'm not sure I want to "open that door." My response to what I read is based on my personal knowledge base and experience, and my own unique set of values, differing from any theory or construct. Though I appreciate, and understand that my view of the world is not the only view, it is my view.

Do you think an understanding of Literary Theory enhances your response to literature; or that it spoils it? Drop and Add ends tomorrow. I'd really like to know what you think.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Those Boys

This song reminds me of Lisa Hannigan when she sings a sad but hopeful song, with a depth of emotion. "Let me learn from where I have been..."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


It's an iPad. It's a learning curve. It's a typing with two fingers, and a wish she'd maybe bought a  notebook after all, 'cause if she's gonna have to buy an external keyboard just to get an apostrophe and a backspace on the same screen on the touchpad as the letters, well... If only she could get some comfort after a really rough day, and no one asking how it's been.. And James Taylor on free Pandora just ain't cuttin' it... and all the access to free books in five different formats ain't seeming so special, after all, when she never has time to read them, and typing requires a thought process and a visual. And what the heck did she buy the 32gb hard drive, when it seems all you can do is save to the I-cloud, and it's gonna be until November before Microsoft Word becomes available, and the pinch and swipe is feeling more a pain than a boon, 'cause it's just too slippy slide. Yes, there are advantages, but Apple is much too proprietary. This is not a review.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Poem: Bennington


Bennington For Sale

Glass spun with gold,
a cranberry hue, patterned
in sunbursts and diagonal swirls.

A container of light,
dappled and fragrant with quilted
diamonds and chambered reflections
of water dropped nipples, applied
blown handle. A feminine colonial,
complete with pontil. Touch to
drink from its hand crafted lips.

© 2012 Annie King 9-28-12

I’ve been collecting glass lately, miniature pitchers specifically, period reproductions inexpensively priced and amazingly beautiful.

This little poem is about a three blown mold cranberry art glass pitcher priced and purchased at $4.99 plus the shipping for glass, probably circa 1970s, though it could be as late as the 1990s, when the pattern was still being produced; a copy of a circa 1830s to 1850s early American pitcher. The same reproduction is variously priced up to $30 and $35. I am a wise and patient shopper, willing to wait for the perfect pattern, color, and the perfect price.

I have purchased several small glass pitchers that may prove to be originals, in a three blown mold cobalt, a three mold blown emerald green, and another in what may be an early American cased glass in a clear blue pattern over light blue with an opalescent base, each for less than $10, yet to be identified in my search of reference books and online resources.

The chase is fun and my growing knowledge and appreciation for hand blown glass, from its inception in antiquity to the modern era, is proving to be rewarding; and just one more of my many hobbies.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Poem Reprise: Give a Thing

Give A Thing

Trust is a curious thing
You toss it forward
and it bounces back
in surprising trajectory,
knocking you backward
down a basement stair

You grab for the banister
Rearranging your outfit
you climb back up with
shaky steps, considering
the ways you may shorten
your skirt and reappear

© 2010 Annie King


Give a Thing first appeared here. Thank you all, for your comments then, and any new comments, now.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Poem: Stillness


I know why I am drawn
to statues formed of bronze,
or alabaster, marble white —

The wall plaque won at the age of ten
for a 4th grade spelling bee, an ivory Madonna,
calm child enfolded in soothing arms, the curve
of cheek, the fullness of lips that purse
to kiss, the contemplative love —

The coldness cloaks a warmth,
a figure cast or shaped from life —

Yet hollow are the sockets, with sight
beyond what eyes can see, an airy space
contained within that defies the solidity.

And when I see it, I am folded, too,
into that peace and formality, that death
in active sleep, a space for dreams.

© 2012 Annie King 4-7-12

When I wrote this poem, thinking of that little plaque, barely six inches tall, smooth and unseamed, with a hole in the back to place upon a nail, and the face of the Madonna and her young child with his bare arm, and the curve of the faces and the folds of her cloak and mantle, I think of how many times through the years, when I find it in a childhood box, I want to touch it, and how the same feeling is evoked when I see a statue, or even a photograph of one. There is something about an image captured in a tactile manner that differs from a painting. And yet, I do not touch it. I gaze upon it, like a piece in a museum, and cup it in the palm of my hand.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Stranger

The stranger made colors out of music, fire out of colors. She saw him. She recognized him. She asked him. The stranger went away, leaving the colors, igniting the fire, no longer a dying thing, but a living. Patricia A. McKillip’s short story, The Stranger, is masterfully written. Originally published in 1993, it is contained in McKillip’s short story collection, Harrowing the Dragon.

An interesting element, because of her humanity, Syl is called inhuman by the stranger, because she is not afraid of him, this man who makes dragons and burns home and field and sheep, with beauty so incredible even the victims are momentarily awed before they are horrified. Syl sees the consuming fire within him, and by her recognition- does she free him?

The understated relationship between Syl and Liel adds a quiet dignity to her attraction. One knows, while reading the story that Syl’s simple life with Liel is more fulfilling than any she could achieve with the stranger, despite his talents and his indifferent cruelty. She is attracted to the stranger, not for his potential for love, but for the mystery of his gift.

She will seek and weave beauty out of his colors, where the stranger has made only tragedy. A reader does not have to wonder where he has gone, but what Syl will make of all he’s left, worrying how the colors may consume her, reveling in her inner strength and believing with the steadying influence of Liel’s love, she will evoke the colors and share their startling beauty with her world.

The best way I can describe Harrowing the Dragon is a collection of stories evocative of myth and fable and fairytale, originating in Patricia A. McKillip’s discerning and complex imagination. Set in a nameless modern time or a timeless middle age, drawing upon the known and the unknown, from the opening lines, McKillip’s short stories captivate the reader with fully formed and functional characters set firmly in a convincing three dimensional world. They act, and we, the reader, are changed by what they see and what they do, and we decide how we feel.

The cover art is by Kinuko Y. Craft.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Peace I Give to You

I heard this song, played and sung live last week, and the tune and the words, convey, with sincerity, a simple thought: All I have to give is peace, and I give that peace to you.

I heard this song with my family and my friends at an Arlo Guthrie concert. He told a wonderful story about his father, Woody Guthrie, as a preamble to one of the last songs Woody Guthrie ever wrote. It was the final song in the concert and we all sang along.

Arlo says it's about the peace we feel inside, that makes dogs lick us and babies like us, and that if we give that little peace, the big peace will start taking care of itself, and that singing together, we're fixing things we didn't even know was broke.

If you click into the YouTube video, you can hear the whole story preceding the song, for a total experience of over 8 minutes. Fast forward to 3:42 to hear only the song and just a snippet of Arlo's intentions in singing it, as a gift to you and to me and to all of the world. Fast forward to 5:10 to hear only the song, recorded lovingly, by Arlo's wife, Jackie.

My peace is worth
a thousand times more
than anything I own...

My peace, my peace
is all I've got, that
I can give to you.

I give my peace to you.