Tackling Racism With Haikus

A haiku is a Japanese poem consisting of three lines, the first is five syllables, the second is seven and the third is five again, as you can see above. For such a short poem, they have the capacity to be very powerful.

Poetry is a way of using words to express something. Words can change people’s lives and destroy people’s lives, they have so much potential. If only we can use words to beat terrible things that exist in the world, like racism. Words can do more than any amount of fighting, wars and conflict just cause more hate. Words can turn hearts around. We can employ poetry to raise awareness of, and eventually conquer, racism.

Let’s start a campaign called Tackling Racism With Haikus. Come on guys. I think we could do this. We may not be able to wipe racism off of the face of the earth, but I think we can make a change. So everyone who is reading this now, please go and write a haiku in the name of anti-racism. If you have blog, post it on that and ask your followers to write one too. If you like you can reblog this post and raise awareness.

You know, being bloggers, we have a really amazing tool at our disposal. We have A VOICE! So we should use it to do something good and worthwhile. Don’t worry if you’ve never written a poem in your life or if you think you’re not that good. It’s the thought that counts. Let me know in the comments if you’ve written one and I’ll check it out. Also don’t hesitate to ask any questions.

Right, I’ll start.

You don’t understand
how colour doesn’t matter,
it fades in the end……..

 

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Let The Audience Look to Their Eyes!

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Titania, queen of the fairies, in the spectacular A Midsummer Nights Dream Live from the Globe.

I’ve been watching Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare Live from the Globe on Iplayer this morning. It’s so good! It incorporates music, dance, comedy and, of course, the wonderful, enigmatic, meaningful language of Shakespeare.

The title is a quote from Nick Bottom, the comic part in this play, when he is describing how good an actor he thinks he is. He wants to play all the parts in the play, the hero, the villain, the lady and the animals. He is saying, in this quote, that when he kills himself (as the hero) he will need to produce some tears so he says: Let the audience look to their eyes! Which is silly really as you can’t exactly look to your own eyes, can you? Shakespeare’s good like that.

I love, love, love Shakespeare. I’ve already read all of his 37 plays, I can quote whole passages, translate them into modern English, I’ve written a few adaptions of many of his plays, completed in depth study guides,  I just love the language. It draws me in, makes me think.

Anyhow, A Midsummer  Nights Dream is two and a half hours long, so I’m watching it in half hour parts.

Here is a quote that I particularly like: “My soul consents not to give in to sovereignty.” Hermia. sovereignty means supreme power and authority, in my own words. I like Hermia a lot because she stands up for what she believes and she isn’t afraid of anything. She even tells the Duke of her land what she thinks is right and sticks to it even when he threatens her with death.

 

Here’s my favourite dialog from the first part, between Hermia and Helena. If you don’t know the storyline, I would go look it up now. Not only is it intriguing, it will help you understand this next passage.

Basically, this is Helena complaining about how Demetrius doesn’t love her to Hermia, who Demetrius does love.

Helena: Teach me how you look and how you sway the motion of Demetrius heart. 

Hermia: I frown upon him yet he loves me still.

Helena: Then your frowns could teach my smiles some skill! 

Hermia: I give him curses yet he gives me love.

Helena: Then my prayers could such affection move!

Hermia: The more I hate, the more he follows me.

Helena: The more I love, the more he hates me.

Hermia: His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.

Helena: Except your beauty! I wish that were mine!

Hermia: Take comfort, he shall no longer see my face. Lysander and myself will fly this place! 

Helena: No!? 

Note: Lysander is Hermia’s love.

Lyrics

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I was writing a song recently, which was quite a new experience for me.

Anyhow, my song wasn’t really about anything, I was just rambling on about poetry and music when this line popped into my head.

I thought about it for a while and found it very interesting. I decided to put it in my song, in fact it’s the first line…….

What comes first?
The tune or the words?
There was me,
In my skinny jeans,
Begging you to teach me,
Teach me how to fly!

Fly, fly, fly, teach me how to fly!
Why, why, why, can’t my songs be like the music?
Music……

I was sitting there,
Mama always told me not to stare,
But couldn’t help it.
I was strumming my guitar,
Never knew I’d get this far.

‘Till you taught me,
taught me how to fly, fly, fly.
Taught me how to fly through the sky.

So I’d like to tell you,
How you saved my life,
Giving me the lyrics,
Teaching me to fly.

So, what does come first? The tune or the words? I think it depends if you are more wordy or musical. For me it’s definitely words, how about you? Please let me know in the comments.

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Some of my favourite lyrics.

Quotes

Seeing as I wrote a post about inspiration a few days ago. I thought I’d put on some inspirational quotes today. *smiles* I love quotes, to me they’re a sort of poetry. I think quotes are a brilliant way of using words.

q4

 

q1

q

q3

Inspiration

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Sometimes I’m out and about and I have a brilliantly creative idea. I kick myself ’cause my pencil and pad is at home. Then it’s gone. The idea flickers, burns and dies within just a few seconds. I still remember it sometimes, but somehow it doesn’t seem so good.

Then I go home and pick up my pad and pencil. The blank, white sheet stares at me, the lines that run across it are like prison bars. Like the words inside my mind are trapped. Someone who isn’t  writer wouldn’t understand this, but it’s sort of depressing. Seeing that blank sheet and not having any words to decorate it. This is my struggle.

I’m sure all writers go through this. But the thing is you must push through it. You must just write and let inspiration guide you when it can. Stephen King said: Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. Sometimes you have to go out and look for things, it’s like everything in life, it won’t always come to you.

inspire1

Perfectly sums up what I’m trying to say about finding inspiration.

But still spontaneous inspiration is wonderful. It shows the absolute beauty of your mind.

Inspiration strikes at unexpected times. Roald Dhal admitted that sometimes he used lipstick and a sweet wrapper to record some idea he’d had. I think a decent writer has to find the balance between using spontaneous inspiration and finding inspiration themselves.

What are your thoughts on inspiration? Please let me know.

Inspiration concept crumpled paper light bulb metaphor for good

Love this.

Me, A Shortlistee?

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Remember the poem I wrote to enter into the Amnesty International Youth Awards?
Well, it was shortlisted for the top ten! I felt so excited, I just couldn’t stop laughing and jumping up and down.This was a national competition and  thousands of people had entered.  I rung everyone, telling them the great news. I was thrilled. The feeling was amazing.

I had to wait a few weeks to find out if I had made it into the top three, unfortunately I didn’t, but I wasn’t disappointed. I didn’t expect even to get into the top ten.

A couple of days ago I received my certificate, which is very grand, and a small prize: an Amnesty International book. It is the Human Rights Act in sketches and it is by the children’s laureate, Chris Riddel.
If you haven’t read my poem you can read it here at:https://graciechicksblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/the-candle/

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Staff And Rachel’s Wedding

Staff and Rach

Staff and Rach

We were invited to our friends, Staff and Rachel’s, wedding. It was a lovely day, everything was perfect, exactly how they’d wanted it.

The whole room fell silent, I remember the silence ringing in my ears. Only the fairy lights twinkled from their places entwined over the wooden boughs of the ceiling. The atmosphere was expectant and people turned to look at the little doorway through which the bride would enter, causing a rustling of fascinators.

The curtain was drawn and the guests drew in their breaths, a bridesmaid stood there quietly.  She wore a navy blue dress and reminded me of an ancient greek goddess. Clinging onto her hand was little Charlotte.  She was wearing a white dress and the hair on her head was curled into sweet, wispy curls.  People smiled as she walked by, swinging a little wand of willow.  The next bridesmaid walked quickly and I could hear the hard clack clack of her heels on the shiny floor.  Her dress swayed softly as she went, her head bowed, her hands clasped together.

The curtain was drawn again and I looked over to Anna who was pulling a bow across the violin she held. Her eyes were closed and a smile much like the Mona Lisa’s played on her lips. Secretive, but happy, as if only she knew the secret to making such heavenly sounds. The music rose and fell. I turned back round to see the curtains opening.

Through the tiny gap, rapidly widening, I saw a swish of ivory. I watched as, slowly, a beautiful bride appeared. Her Father stood beside her, he was proud and smiling. She looked straight ahead to her future husband, a gentle happiness and eagerness in her face. Rachel’s dress was stunning. Dainty lace, a woven web of tiny flowers and leaves, covered her chest and arms. Silky ivory folds cascaded down her body and swirled around her feet, like a waterfall into a whirlpool.

She took her first few graceful steps. She held her head high, her golden hair pinned up. She reminded me of a swan, the way she glided down the aisle, her snowy train trailing behind her.

Staff stood waiting, his expression emotional, his eyes full of love and adoration. For a few moments all they saw was each other. Until the celebrant broke their trance.

Everyone present there that day could not help but be mesmerised by the sight of Rachel meeting her groom. They held hands and looked at each other with such fondness that it brought a wide smile to every guest’s face.

Photos!

Rachel and her Dad

Rachel and her Dad

 

Outside taking wedding photos. Staff and Rachel, Staff's parents in background.

Outside taking wedding photos. Staff and Rachel, Staff’s parents in background.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

Staff making his speech

Staff making his speech

 

 

 

All dressed up

All dressed up

Me, Evan and Irys

Me, Evan and Irys

 

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Lavender biscuits

Lavender biscuits

 

I thought this was really cool

I thought this was really cool

These showed us where to sit. Aren't they lovely?

These showed us where to sit. Aren’t they lovely?

Irys looking pretty

Irys looking pretty

Evan wearing a proper tie for the first time!

Evan wearing a proper tie for the first time!

Selfie with Dad

Selfie with Dad

 

Selfie with Irys and Mum

Selfie with Irys and Mum

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mum and Dad in the photo booth

Mum and Dad in the photo booth

All having fun in the photo booth

All having fun in the photo booth

Dancing with Charlotte in after the ceremony.

Dancing with Charlotte  after the ceremony.

Pose!

Pose!

The delicious wedding cake. Four layers: red velvet, victoria sponge, chocolate and lemon drizzle. WE ate this whilst dancing along to a energetic folk band!

The delicious wedding cake. Four layers: red velvet, victoria sponge, chocolate and lemon drizzle. We ate this whilst dancing along to an energetic folk band!

The Candle

 

thecandle

I wrote this poem to enter into the poetry category of the Amnesty International Youth Awards. It took  me a long time to write the poem I really wanted to enter, like, five hours and eight attempts. Not to mention discussing it with and receiving advice from  various people, such as my Mum, Dad and friend Ollie.

In the end I was just honest with myself and wrote a poem based on my own experience. Here it goes:

The Candle

Every morning I get up and light my candle,
in the midst of darkness it can be seen for miles.

My candle shines freedom, beams truth and radiates justice.
My candle makes a difference.

Sometimes my candle burns strong and bright,
but other times a slight breeze makes it dwindle.
Sometimes a gust of wind blows it out completely,
but I always relight it and nurture it back to life.

thecandle2

When ever my candle does start to dim,
I remind myself of all those who need me,
who may otherwise feel alone.
I don’t want to let them down.

I look around me and see all the people who are like me,
feel the same passion as me,
a passion for humanity.
And I feel bound together with all those who desire to keep their candles alight.

So I smile to myself and continue to shine.

“It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”

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Summer Sunsets

Happy smiles

Happy smiles

Everyone has dreams, ideas, things that float about in your head, but only some people have a special and unique ability to put these thoughts and daydreams into a beautifully woven web of words, music or paint.  Some of these people are poets, artists, musicians, authors, playwrights, singers and lyricists.

I hope to become a few of these things. I would lovefor my name to go down in history as an author or a singer, but I know that it is unlikely, I am happy just to have these as hobbies that I enjoy. The thing I do hope to be successful with is poetry, it is something I love, I am passionate about and  I do a lot of in my spare time. I like to share my poems and inspire people to have poetry as a pastime. It allows you to get your emotions out, capture your feelings and grasp an aspect of life and pin it onto a piece of paper

Some boys, including my Dad and Brother, might think, “I’d rather go fishing”. Well, the way I see poetry is rather like fishing. I have a theory that everyone has words swimming about in their mind, your pencil and paper are like your rod and  net, you catch the words with your pencil and put them on your peice of paper.  Some people are naturally talented at poetry, while others are more practical, really it doesn’t matter, it’s the enthusiasm that makes a difference.

So let me know, whether you already love writing poetry or you have just decided to begin, what have you written about?

Here’s my latest:

SUMMER SUNSETS

A windblown, carefree figure
silhouetted on a hill,
summer sunsets swirling,
I will love you still.

Time freezes
when I’m with you.
The sun stoops down to kiss you,
she leaves an amber burn upon your cheek.

Will you stay with me forever?
Under the skies of beauty.
Will you answer me “never”,
when I ask if you will leave me?

We’ll swim in the moon’s waters,
dance with the planet’s daughters,
sleep in the sun’s quarters.

The stones will sing us songs,
the stars will bang great golden gongs,
the bells will ring,
a hundred birds begin to sing.

Favourite Tennis Player?

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I love tennis, as I’m sure some of you all do too. It is my dream to go to Wimbledon one day, I would love it.  It’s fun to watch or play, but have you ever thought about who your favourite player is?  I only really watch Wimbledon, sometimes Queens. It’s really hard to decide who you want to win, but I always cheer for the new players.  I just think that if the same top people like Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Roger Federer win every year it gets a bit boring and predictable.

My fave has to be Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, he is so smiley.  I want to know who your favourites are, do you cheer on the not so famous players? Are you loyal to your country’s favourites? Let me know, leave a comment below.

Here’s my Wimbledon poem, hopefully I’ve captured the main feel and elements of the tournament.

Echo of shots out on the court,
the audience rises in applause.

It’s love-fifteen,
as the crowd tucks into strawberries and cream.

Summer days, nice and hot,
players doing rallies and shots.

Only in white,
the sun is so bright.