Prompt Nights – A Cup of Nostalgia [4]

espresso-coffee-machine-morning-red-cup-smoke-wallpaper

“It is singular how soon we lose the impression of what ceases to be constantly before us. A year impairs, a luster obliterates. There is little distinct left without an effort of memory, then indeed the lights are rekindled for a moment – but who can be sure that the Imagination is not the torch-bearer?” – Lord Byron

“The faintest waft is sometimes enough to induce feelings of hunger or anticipation, or to transport you back through time and space to a long-forgotten moment in your childhood. It can overwhelm you in an instant or simply tease you, creeping into your consciousness slowly and evaporating almost the moment it is detected.” – Stephen Lacey

“In every age “the good old days” were a myth. No one ever thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them.” ~Brooks Atkinson

“His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Nostalgia for what we have lost is more bearable than nostalgia for what we have never had, for the first involves knowledge and pleasure, the second only ignorance and pain.” – Mignon McLaughlin

“The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with — nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape. It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they can add up to the story of a life.” – Rob Sheffield

Hello everyone and welcome to another exciting week at Prompt Nights. Have you ever felt nostalgic? I am quite sure you have. We all tend to feel nostalgic at some point in our lives when we sit and look back upon the past. We all have memories which we like to cherish and which ends up bringing a huge smile on our face. I am guessing you guys know where this is going; that’s right tonight our task is simple. Write a poem about nostalgia or share a delightful memory with us. Make us feel nostalgic and take a step back into the past. For inspiration please refer to these two wonderful poems below:

The Blade of Nostalgia

by Chase Twichell

When fed into the crude, imaginary
machine we call the memory,

the brain’s hard pictures
slide into the suggestive
waters of the counterfeit.

They come out glamorous and simplified,

even the violent ones,
even the ones that are snapshots of fear.

Maybe those costumed,
clung-to fragments are the first wedge

nostalgia drives into our dreaming.

Maybe our dreams are corrupted
right from the start: the weight

of apples in the blossoms overhead.

Even the two thin reddish dogs
nosing down the aisles of crippled trees,
digging in the weak shade

thrown by the first flowerers,
snuffle in the blackened leaves
for the scent of a dead year.

Childhood, first love, first loss of love–

the saying of their names
brings an ache to the teeth
like that of tears withheld.

What must happen now
is that the small funerals
celebrated in the left-behind life

for their black exotica, their high relief,

their candles and withered wreaths,
must be allowed to pass through
into the sleeping world,

there to be preserved and honored
in the fullness and color of their forms,

their past lives their coffins.

Goodbye then to all innocent surprise
at mortality’s panache,
and goodbye to the children fallen

ahead of me into the slow whirlpool
I conceal within myself, my death,

into its snow-froth and the green-black
muscle of its persuasion.

The spirits of children
must look like the spirits of animals,
though in the adult human

the vacancy left by the child
probably darkens the surviving form.

The apples drop their blossom-shadows
onto the still-brown grass.
Old selves, this is partly for you,

there at the edge of the woods
like a troop of boy soldiers.

You can go on living with the blade
of nostalgia in your hearts forever,
my pale darlings. It changes nothing.

Don’t you recognize me? I admit
I too am almost invisible now, almost.

Like everything else, I take on
light and color from outside myself,
but it is old light, old paint.

The first shadows are supple ones,
school of gray glimpses, insubstantial.

In children, the quality of darkness
changes inside the sleeping mouth,

and the ghost of child-grime–
that infinite smudge of no color–

blows off into the afterlife.

Nostalgia

by Billy Collins
Remember the 1340’s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called “Find the Cow.”
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
These days language seems transparent a badly broken code.The 1790’s will never come again. Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills
and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,
time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps,
or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me
recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess.

 

So pick up a pen and lets begin! As always the prompt will remain open the entire week so that everyone can write according to their own pace and time. Those who wish to link old poems are most welcome to do so. Please click on the blue widget below. When it opens be sure to click on “add your link.” Now skip the blanks and proceed directly to “try here” written at the end in small font. It will direct you on how to link your poem. Please visit other Poets and do comment on their poems. Have fun ❤️

Prompt Nights – Nothing haunts quite like Karma [3]

Beauty-Nature-Wallpaper

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs

“There’s a natural law of karma that vindictive people, who go out of their way to hurt others, will end up broke and alone.” – Sylvester Stallone

“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.” – Peyton Conway March

“But life inevitably throws us curve balls, unexpected circumstances that remind us to expect the unexpected. I’ve come to understand these curve balls are the beautiful unfolding of both karma and current.” – Carre Otis

“Things don’t just happen in this world of arising and passing away. We don’t live in some kind of crazy, accidental universe. Things happen according to certain laws, laws of nature. Laws such as the law of karma, which teaches us that as a certain seed gets planted, so will that fruit be.” – Sharon Salzberg

“When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel.” – Harold Kushner

Until recently I believed that Karma didn’t exist. But guess what? I was so wrong! Karma tends to hit you when you least expect it. Hello everyone and welcome to another exciting week at Prompt Nights. Tonight, we are going to share our poetic views or perhaps share an experience related closely to Karma. What is Karma? What role has it played in your life? Believe me when I say that every act which we perform is observed and goes not unseen. Some are punished while some are rewarded. It all depends upon the acts we perform. What goes around most certainly comes around. For further inspiration please refer to the two amazing poems below:

Karma

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I
We cannot choose our sorrows. One there was
Who, reverent of soul, and strong with trust,
Cried, ‘God, though Thou shouldst bow me to the dust,
Yet will I praise thy everlasting laws.
Beggared, my faith would never halt or pause,
But sing Thy glory, feasting on a crust.
Only one boon, one precious boon I must
Demand of Thee, O opulent great Cause.
Let Love stay with me, constant to the end,
Though fame pass by and poverty pursue.’
With freighted hold her life ship onward sailed;
The world gave wealth, and pleasure, and a friend,
Unmarred by envy, and whose heart was true.
But ere the sun reached midday, Love had failed.

II
Then from the depths, in bitterness she cried,
‘Hell is on earth, and heaven is but a dream;
And human life a troubled aimless stream;
And God is nowhere. Would God so deride
A loving creature’s faith?’ A voice replied,
‘The stream flows onward to the Source Supreme,
Where things that ARE replace the things that SEEM,
And where the deeds of all past lives abide.
Once at thy door Love languished and was spurned.
Who sorrow plants, must garner sorrow’s sheaf.
No prayers can change the seedling in the sod.
By thine own heart Love’s anguish must be learned.
Pass on, and know, as one made wise by grief,
That in thyself dwells heaven and hell and God.’

I Do Believe In Karma

by by Francis Duggan

And what we do receive from life can often be our due
What goes around does come around as some are known to say
And the time does come when for our sins to Karma we must pay.

I do believe in Karma if we wrong someone in any way
To it for our wrongdoing some price we have to pay
Our sins against others left to Karma to recall
What goes around does come around and that does apply to all.

On the Universal Karma not everyone does believe
That on what we do unto others in turn we do receive
There is a price you have to pay if you do others ill
And if the law does not catch up with you then Karma surely will.

With what goes around always comes around I for one does agree
Though others many others would see it differently
Karma will return to haunt you for any wrongs you’ve done
It is so Universal and is for everyone.

 

So pick up a pen and lets begin! As always the prompt will remain open the entire week so that everyone can write according to their own pace and time. Those who wish to link old poems are most welcome to do so. Please click on the blue widget below. When it opens be sure to click on “add your link.” Now skip the blanks and proceed directly to “try here” written at the end in small font. It will direct you on how to link your poem. Please visit other Poets and do comment on their poems. Have fun ❤️

On Popular Demand – Into the soul deep there lies but Silence – [1]

mountains_fog_lake_branches_silence_48345_1920x1080

“Silence is exhilarating at first – as noise is – but there is a sweetness to silence outlasting exhilaration, akin to the sweetness of listening and the velvet of sleep.” – Edward Hoagland

“There comes in all our lives a time … when the ears can listen to no music save what the moonlight breathes through the flute of silence.” – Marcel Proust.

“Often silence is a powerful weapon. If we only knew how valiantly it could serve us in defense we should use it more. Under abuse or attack it may be the sign of guilt; but it may also be a proof of innocence and an unmistakable evidence of nobility.” – John Daniel Barry

“There is something in the nature of silence which affects me deeply. Why it is I know not; but I do know that I love to be alone at such an hour as this. I love to forget the outward world and hold communion with the beings of the mind.” – Charles Lanman

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact–from calling on us to look through a heap of millet-seed in order to be sure that there is no pearl in it.” – George Eliot

“The true genius shudders at incompleteness — imperfection — and usually prefers silence to saying the something which is not everything that should be said.” – Edgar Allan Poe

Welcome to our first ever segment “On Popular Demand.” I chose to host this segment for the purpose of sharing and bonding with fellow Poets. Being creative people, we are always in constant search of ideas for writing a poem. We yearn for inspiration. And what better way to inspire than to share our thoughts with one another. A huge round of applause to everyone for suggesting ideas for our segment. The topic which received the highest number of votes this week was “Silence.” For inspiration please refer to these two wonderful poems below:

Silence  

by Edgar Lee Masters

I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea,
And the silence of the city when it pauses,
And the silence of a man and a maid,
And the silence of the sick
When their eyes roam about the room.
And I ask: For the depths,
Of what use is language?
A beast of the field moans a few times
When death takes its young.
And we are voiceless in the presence of realities —
We cannot speak.

A curious boy asks an old soldier
Sitting in front of the grocery store,
“How did you lose your leg?”
And the old soldier is struck with silence,
Or his mind flies away
Because he cannot concentrate it on Gettysburg.
It comes back jocosely
And he says, “A bear bit it off.”
And the boy wonders, while the old soldier
Dumbly, feebly lives over
The flashes of guns, the thunder of cannon,
The shrieks of the slain,
And himself lying on the ground,
And the hospital surgeons, the knives,
And the long days in bed.
But if he could describe it all
He would be an artist.
But if he were an artist there would be deeper wounds
Which he could not describe.

There is the silence of a great hatred,
And the silence of a great love,
And the silence of an embittered friendship.
There is the silence of a spiritual crisis,
Through which your soul, exquisitely tortured,
Comes with visions not to be uttered
Into a realm of higher life.
There is the silence of defeat.
There is the silence of those unjustly punished;
And the silence of the dying whose hand
Suddenly grips yours.
There is the silence between father and son,
When the father cannot explain his life,
Even though he be misunderstood for it.

There is the silence that comes between husband and wife.
There is the silence of those who have failed;
And the vast silence that covers
Broken nations and vanquished leaders.
There is the silence of Lincoln,
Thinking of the poverty of his youth.
And the silence of Napoleon
After Waterloo.
And the silence of Jeanne d’Arc
Saying amid the flames, “Blessed Jesus” —
Revealing in two words all sorrows, all hope.
And there is the silence of age,
Too full of wisdom for the tongue to utter it
In words intelligible to those who have not lived
The great range of life.

And there is the silence of the dead.
If we who are in life cannot speak
Of profound experiences,
Why do you marvel that the dead
Do not tell you of death?
Their silence shall be interpreted
As we approach them.

The Silence of Love

by George William Russell

I could praise you once with beautiful words ere you came
And entered my life with love in a wind of flame.
I could lure with a song from afar my bird to its nest,
But with pinions drooping together silence is best.

In the land of beautiful silence the winds are laid,
And life grows quietly one in the cloudy shade.
I will not waken the passion that sleeps in the heart,
For the winds that blew us together may blow us apart.

Fear not the stillness; for doubt and despair shall cease
With the gentle voices guiding us into peace.
Our dreams will change as they pass through the gates of gold,
And Quiet, the tender shepherd, shall keep the fold.

 

So pick up a pen and lets begin! As always the prompt will remain open the entire week so that everyone can write according to their own pace and time. Those who wish to link old poems are most welcome to do so. Please click on the blue widget below. When it opens be sure to click on “add your link.” Now skip the blanks and proceed directly to “try here” written at the end in small font. It will direct you on how to link your poem. Please visit other Poets and do comment on their poems. Have fun ❤️

Prompt Nights – Spontaneous or Not [2]

natural-mountain-view-hd-photos.jpg

“I tend to be really pragmatic, but ultimately tend to be attracted to people who pull me into more spontaneity. I’ve really learned that, through surrender, the best experiences of my life have happened.” – Amy Adams

“Real laughter is spontaneous. Like water from the spring it bubbles forth a creation of mingled action and spontaneity – two magic potions in themselves – the very essence of laughter – the unrestrained emotion within us.” – Douglas Fairbanks

“What I fear and desire most in this world is passion. I fear it because it promises to be spontaneous, out of my control, unnamed, beyond my reasonable self. I desire it because passion has color, like the landscape before me. It is not pale. It is not neutral. It reveals the backside of the heart.” – Terry Williams

“Creativity is not merely the innocent spontaneity of our youth and childhood; it must also be married to the passion of the adult human being, which is a passion to live beyond one’s death.” – Rollo May

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – E.E Cummings

“Follow your bliss, and doors will open for you that you never knew existed. Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell

Hello everyone and welcome to another exciting week at Prompt Nights. Thanks to each and every one of you for your love and support which in turn made the inauguration such a huge success! Tonight, I want each and every one of you to pen down your deepest emotions regarding the subject of spontaneity. Do you plan ahead or like to go with the flow? Do you prefer random holiday trips or planned vacations – as each holds its own unique thrill. It is said that the best of works arise from bouts of spontaneity. Do you believe such a thing could happen? It’s time to find out! For further inspiration please refer to the following two poems below:

Spontaneity

By Samuel Daniel

TEMPT me no more; I will not be delayed
In hope, or balked in what I know is mine;
Yet not for me is there of worth displayed,
In use or store that’s not already thine.
Spectacle for the eye in dimness cast,
And prophet’s vision other than for me;
The mighty “Now” withholds no insight past,
Or potent speech, that life might better be.
That which is vital, first and always new,
I sense myself, nor need to take in trust
The probability of what is true
From “storied urn or animated bust.”
Thus shall life’s morning never know decline,
And all that is or can be shall be thine and mine.

Spontaneous Me

By Walt Whitman

SPONTANEOUS me, Nature,
The loving day, the mounting sun, the friend I am happy with,
The arm of my friend hanging idly over my shoulder,
The hill-side whiten’d with blossoms of the mountain ash,
The same, late in autumn–the hues of red, yellow, drab, purple, and
light and dark green,
The rich coverlid of the grass–animals and birds–the private
untrimm’d bank–the primitive apples–the pebble-stones,
Beautiful dripping fragments–the negligent list of one after
another, as I happen to call them to me, or think of them,
The real poems, (what we call poems being merely pictures,)
The poems of the privacy of the night, and of men like me,
This poem, drooping shy and unseen, that I always carry, and that all
men carry, 10
(Know, once for all, avow’d on purpose, wherever are men like me, are
our lusty, lurking, masculine poems;)
Love-thoughts, love-juice, love-odor, love-yielding, love-climbers,
and the climbing sap,
Arms and hands of love–lips of love–phallic thumb of love–breasts
of love–bellies press’d and glued together with love,
Earth of chaste love–life that is only life after love,
The body of my love–the body of the woman I love–the body of the
man–the body of the earth,
Soft forenoon airs that blow from the south-west,
The hairy wild-bee that murmurs and hankers up and down–that gripes
the full-grown lady-flower, curves upon her with amorous firm
legs, takes his will of her, and holds himself tremulous and
tight till he is satisfied,
The wet of woods through the early hours,
Two sleepers at night lying close together as they sleep, one with an
arm slanting down across and below the waist of the other,
The smell of apples, aromas from crush’d sage-plant, mint, birch-
bark, 20
The boy’s longings, the glow and pressure as he confides to me what
he was dreaming,
The dead leaf whirling its spiral whirl, and falling still and
content to the ground,
The no-form’d stings that sights, people, objects, sting me with,
The hubb’d sting of myself, stinging me as much as it ever can any
one,
The sensitive, orbic, underlapp’d brothers, that only privileged
feelers may be intimate where they are,
The curious roamer, the hand, roaming all over the body–the bashful
withdrawing of flesh where the fingers soothingly pause and
edge themselves,
The limpid liquid within the young man,
The vexed corrosion, so pensive and so painful,
The torment–the irritable tide that will not be at rest,
The like of the same I feel–the like of the same in others, 30
The young man that flushes and flushes, and the young woman that
flushes and flushes,
The young man that wakes, deep at night, the hot hand seeking to
repress what would master him;
The mystic amorous night–the strange half-welcome pangs, visions,
sweats,
The pulse pounding through palms and trembling encircling fingers–
the young man all color’d, red, ashamed, angry;
The souse upon me of my lover the sea, as I lie willing and naked,
The merriment of the twin-babes that crawl over the grass in the sun,
the mother never turning her vigilant eyes from them,
The walnut-trunk, the walnut-husks, and the ripening or ripen’d long-
round walnuts;
The continence of vegetables, birds, animals,
The consequent meanness of me should I skulk or find myself indecent,
while birds and animals never once skulk or find themselves
indecent;
The great chastity of paternity, to match the great chastity of
maternity, 40
The oath of procreation I have sworn–my Adamic and fresh daughters,
The greed that eats me day and night with hungry gnaw, till I
saturate what shall produce boys to fill my place when I am
through,
The wholesome relief, repose, content;
And this bunch, pluck’d at random from myself;
It has done its work–I tossed it carelessly to fall where it may.

 

Next week we will be having our first ever “On Popular Demand” segment. For this, I need you guys to discuss and choose a topic amongst yourselves. Let me know which topic you would like to be featured. Please refer to the chatroll on the website or the poll which I have created on the group page on Facebook. And remember, the topic which receives the highest number of votes wins?

So pick up a pen and lets begin! As always the prompt will remain open the entire week so that everyone can write according to their own pace and time. Those who wish to link old poems are most welcome to do so. Please click on the blue widget below. When it opens be sure to click on “add your link.” Now skip the blanks and proceed directly to “try here” written at the end in small font. It will direct you on how to link your poem. Please visit other Poets and do comment on their poems. Have fun ❤️

Prompt Nights – Perfection [1]

driving-perfection-hd-wallpaper

“Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.” – Carl Schurz

“Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Dancers, many dancers today can do so much technically. You can give them steps that are complicated, then more complicated, pyrotechnical – and they can execute these steps to perfection. But to do simple steps with a pure classical line, that is truly difficult.” – Natalia Makarova

“Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“If God had made a perfect world, it would be a magic trick, not creation, with no meaning or place for us to learn and create. Mankind is not yet ready for a perfect world. We do not know how to appreciate perfection.” – Bernie Siegel

“But quality of work can be expected only through personal satisfaction, dedication and enjoyment. In our profession, precision and perfection are not a dispensable luxury, but a simple necessity.” – Niklaus Wirth

Welcome to Prompt Nights! Ever since the first time I started writing, I was fascinated with the idea of creating my own individual sphere. I was inspired by three outstanding online communities: Poets United, Imaginary garden for real Toads and dVerse Poets Pub. Which is why I like to think of Prompt Nights as an extension of these glorious communities. Tonight, I want you guys to express your poetic views regarding the concept of perfection. What is perfection? What role does it play in your life? Do you strive for perfection when it comes to writing or painting? Being a Poet, it’s very important for us to get our message through to the reader. And so, for this very purpose we strive to find the perfect words to display our deepest emotions. I can’t even begin to describe the number of times I tweak my poems before I feel that they are just right! For further inspiration, please refer to the two amazing poems below:

The Habit of Perfection

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Elected Silence, sing to me
And beat upon my whorled ear,
Pipe me to pastures still and be
The music that I care to hear.

Shape nothing, lips; be lovely-dumb:
It is the shut, the curfew sent
From there where all surrenders come
Which only makes you eloquent.

Be shelled, eyes, with double dark
And find the uncreated light:
This ruck and reel which you remark
Coils, keeps, and teases simple sight.

Palate, the hutch of tasty lust,
Desire not to be rinsed with wine:
The can must be so sweet, the crust
So fresh that come in fasts divine!

Nostrils, your careless breath that spend
Upon the stir and keep of pride,
What relish shall the censers send
Along the sanctuary side!

O feel-of-primrose hands, O feet
That want the yield of plushy sward,
But you shall walk the golden street
And you unhouse and house the Lord.

And, Poverty, be thou the bride
And now the marriage feast begun,
And lily-colored clothes provide
Your spouse not laboured-at nor spun.

Sonnet XV:

-William Shakespeare

When I consider everything that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and check’d even by the selfsame sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay
To change your day of youth to sullied night;
And all in war with Time for love of you,
As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

 

So pick up a pen and lets begin! As always the prompt will remain open the entire week so that everyone can write according to their own pace and time. Those who wish to link old poems are most welcome to do so. Please click on the blue widget below. When it opens be sure to click on “add your link.” Now skip the blanks and proceed directly to “try here” written at the end in small font. It will direct you on how to link your poem. Please visit other Poets and do comment on their poems. Have fun ❤️