Jul 29, 2011

PhotoPlay Gallery: In Good Company

by Claire Burge

PhotoPlay and Random Acts of Poetry collaborated again this month, bringing visual beauty and verbal delight together into one rewarding, creative response. Last week, we invited you to capture a conversation with your camera. Some of you went a step further and wrote a sestina – a poem form that fits well with our topic on conversation.

Enjoy “Floor Chat Girls” above, taken by Darlene of Simply Darlene, and “Home Grown,” our feature poem by Charity Singleton of Wide Open Spaces, who says sestinas are “39-line poems with all the structure and form of a contract, but with the rhythm and soul of a conversation”:

Home Grown

At last, after a long day, I am home.
Sitting at a desk all day, the wait
knotted up in my neck, I think of my garden.
Growing food is like money in the bank,
And the hoeing, digging, laying stone –
Like caring for an old friend.

I like to invite my friends
to come share a meal in my home,
a meal from the garden: stone
soup. 1. A little of this. 2. A little of that. 3. Wait.
My friends have come to bank
on that kind of meal if I am cooking from the garden.

We eat while swapping stories of the garden.
I’m not the only clodhopper. One friend
is growing eggplant. “Bank
on some ratatouille, and home-
made bread at my place next week.” “Wait,”
I say, “That’s my specialty.” We laugh. Glass tones

echo as we toast. “To the hearthstone!”
The comfort of home, the abundance of the garden,
What more could we want? Oh wait.
The cucumbers. She grew them herself, another friend.
Gathered them up and brought them from her home.
She grows them in the back, along the bank

of the storm drain. The bank,
there in the back, tapering down into grass and stone,
keeping the water away from her home.
But also away from the garden.
“It’s been so dry,” says my friend.
But this isn’t the first time we’ve had to outwait

Nature. Just last Winter, in the dead weight
of stark cold, we dreamed of Spring. We banked
on it. In the wet, wet Spring, we longed for our friend,
Summer. Now, with Fall just a stone’s
throw, and us, still enjoying the garden,
we try just to be content, feel at home.

Each season we wait, our chins to the grindstone,
Forgetting to bank the blessings of now, storing food from the garden,
sharing meals with friends, finding a way to be at peace at home.

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The links and gallery images below contain submissions from last week's participants.

All Random Acts of Poetry participants

Anna’s Truth vs. Lies
Charity’s Home Grown
Claire’s Sestina
Glynn's The Last Conversation
Jessica’s Conversation
Kate’s For Terry (Not a sestina)
Maureen’s The Interview
Monica's What Poetry Can Do
Rosanne's Sestina for Fishers of Men
Violet’s Declaration

All PhotoPlay participants

Click on the thumbnails for a full view of the conversations captured in these images.
Andrea BillBob
Cindee Claire Connie
Curly Girl Dan Darlene
Deidra Gen Jeanne
Jenny Jessica John
Kelly Lee Mark
Monica Patricia Peter
Sandra Susan Tricia
Violet

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If you’re just joining us at The High Calling, you can read the PhotoPlay invitation here and L.L. Barkat’s Random Acts of Poetry invitation here (or more about here). Then keep an eye out for next month’s opportunity to participate!

Image by Simply Darlene. Used with permission. Post by Claire Burge in cooperation with L.L. Barkat.

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