Well, howdy! My name’s Chel Owens and I’ve a small confession to make: I’m not much of a rancher. The closest I’ve gotten to a rodeo is watching “McLintock!” The closest I’ve gotten to a saloon is to use the bathroom at a bar during a road trip.
What do I know? Poetry. And -believe me- poetry is amazing. It’s clever, awful, silly, serious, snarky, sincere, and beautiful.
Take Ogden Nash:
Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it, and found it good!
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.
Or, William Shakespeare, the master prose-smith:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Poems are the beat of life; the catchy jingle we hum whilst eating French fries (chips); the wandering phrase we think as our heart flutters in love.
Poems also terrify a large number of writers.
That’s why I’m here. Or Pal and Kid said I could use the bathroom. Either way, I’m up on this stage and I’m going to get you to write poetry. Everyone can write poetry, just like everyone can write. We each have a voice that needs expression and is beautiful when it finds itself.
So, for this introductory post, I’m not going to ask much. All I want is for you to take yourself on a date.
You heard me.
Get yourself alone, somewhere safe. If you can, go somewhere beautiful and inspirational. The catch is that I want you to bring along a notebook and writing utensil. Yes, I want paper and a pen. No, I don’t want those new-fangled electronic devices.
Step two is to get comfortable.
Third, soak in your surroundings. Meditate. Find your happy thoughts.
After all of that, I want you to word dump prosaically. Write words, phrases, observations, descriptions, and even the odd knock-knock joke –all in the form of a freelance poem.
Once you’re ‘finished,’ you’re allowed to look it over and lightly edit. Maybe you misspelled epiphany and it’s bothering you; you are allowed to fix that word. Perhaps you really hate how you compared a winter’s day to your ex-husband’s drinking habit; you may compare the snowscape to something more appropriate. The only thing you are not allowed to do is crumple up what you wrote and throw it into the saloon’s toilet.
If you’re comfortable, return to your computer thingy and share your masterpiece with me using the submission form. If not, I’ll settle on an “I did it, Chel” in the comments or through the form.
You can do it. Believe me. I can safely say that I have seen the worst poetry ever, and yours is not it.
Lather, rinse, repeat. We’ll have you poem-ing in no time.
©2021 Chel Owens
Anyone kin poem! I believe that’s true
an’ since I got time, I’ll see what I kin do.
Sure is good not runnin’ the bar t’day
But I ain’t gone very far away
I’ve took pen an’ pad up the Poet Tree
Tryin’ ta write some lines fer our frien’ Chelsea
Wanna be able ta say ‘Chel, look what I did
Some rhymin’ lines from A. Kid’
Ah shift. Ya ever git stuck when ya write?
I’m in these crotchety branches an’ wedged in tight!
Don’t reckon I’ll git down anytime soon
Good thing Chel’s got the saloon
Anyone kin poem, cain’t ever’one climb
But I’m likin’ this program, think it’s real fine.
Yay, Kid, you did it! A fine example to us all.
Even tho’ yer up a tree
I, fer one, love yer poetry!
I don’t know how you do it… brilliant poetry that makes me smile every time, D. <3
A fine challenge.
I expect everyone to do her homework. 😉
Howdy Chel! Mighty fine outfit for the Saloon! Okay. I’m one of those I-write-don’t-poem keyboard clackers and I’m going step up, step out, and accept your challenge.
Yesssss! And, my husband, The Almighty Photoshop Genius, dressed me. That’s what I get for teasing him about adding fringe. 😀
Ha! A buckaroo must have her fringe, Chel. He is a genius with photoshop, that’s for sure.
Great set of instructions, Chel. I’m still resisting but the muse is in sight.
Your muse is much, much closer than you think. “I’m still resisting but the muse is in sight” was a very well-metered verse. 🙂
I owed Chel a pome. I thought I might write it while awaiting my turn.
Time to fill. An experience to savour. But how can you schedule the muse?
She caught me before dawn as I composted old tea leaves
Having woken too early.
Excited? Needing a wee.
Back to bed with my cuppa
In the dark, scorning pen and paper
As birds serenade at my window
I winnow through feelings
To harvest words.
I had a pome. But reality wasn’t listening.
Quicker. Smoother. No odours I’d imagined. The soothing smell of a medical mask.
No grid of chairs. No queueing in the cold.
No fuss. No celebration. No tears.
Should I change my morning pages? Admit her tattooed arm hid the needle?
I have a pome. Semi-spontaneous. This isn’t it.
❤❤ I love it!
Reblogged this on ShiftnShake and commented:
It’s the first Monday, which means Chel Owens is running a poetry prompt out of the Saddle Up. Ride on over and take part in the fun.
How do I love this post? Let me count the ways.
1) “Everyone can write poetry, just like everyone can write. We each have a voice that needs expression and is beautiful when it finds itself.” That is so very Carrot Ranch!
2) “I’m not going to ask much. All I want is for you to take yourself on a date.” Reminds me of The Artist’s Date ala Julia Cameron
3) “I want paper and a pen.” Love the low-tech retro take. It comforts me.
4) “go somewhere beautiful and inspirational” You bet. Maybe there’s a poem out there waiting for me. If one catches me, I’ll bring it here.
5) I love seeing the saloon stage getting used for a poetry platform.
6) I love that it’s you on that platform and those two yahoos can go fishing. (If Kid manages to get out of the Poet Tree)
😀 Truths, all.
And, Pal and Kid need a break now and then! 🎣
Love the outfit, Chel.
A great opening act at the Saloon, Chel! I love your challenge. My bookshelf filled with journals of writing this, that, bits, and pieces from meadows, back roads, nooks and crannies loves your challenge. I do not write a lot of poetry, but the light-hearted get-at-it instructions are definitely an encouragement to wander down that trail. Thanks for shaking the Poet Tree here at the Ranch.
You’re welcome! I love the ideas of writing bits in journals. There are many times when inspiration strikes, and coming out of that with something poetic is not a difficult step!
When you travel the backroads with your camera, field glasses, notebook, and pencil, you never know what might happen. An attempt at cowboy poetry and some awesome pictures were my gift on that day a few years ago. There is no place like the great outdoors to be inspired to do a lot of things you never thought you would.
Coyote They Must Be
by Ann Edall-Robson
at a slow easy pace
Out west and a bit north
from the home place
The sun was a dancin’
so bright late in the day
Shadows and shapes
and a squawking jay
There on the horizon
some 800 yards out
An unusual movement
needed to be learnt about
Come close glasses
making the scan
Not one but two animals
scattered on the land
Coyotes they must be
moving so fast
Across the creek
up the draw
onto the hill at last
Seemed awful big
to be seen from here
But the distance
made it quite clear
Topping the ridge
those critters swung ‘round
And laughter erupted
at what had been found
Them coyotes’ a-runnin’
from that waterin’ hole
Turned out to be cows
up there on that knoll
😀 👏 Situation, details, ranch, and humor! Wonderful!
A fine bit of cowboy poetry! I really enjoyed your imagery, Ann. <3
I did it Chel, and submitted it too!
Yay! Thank you!!
99 syllables? Or free flow?
Free flow, baby!
I just couldn’t do the free flow, Chel… But I tried. 😀
Hey; if you’re past the nervousness of first-time poeting, you can count yer syllables. 🙂
LOL! It’s funny how our minds work, isn’t it? This was great fun, Chel, and I loved your new cowboy duds. Your hubby did good! 😀 <3
I just saw I left my cushion on my stone bench…I musta been out for about ten minutes… but I didn’t want to freeze my derrière. (I’ll be right back…)
OK I submitted my verse for better or worse.
It’s just an observational piece in 99 words… though you didn’t say if there was a word limit… this is CR after all. So I did some minor editing 🙂
No limit!! And I wondered how many derrières were going to freeze!
It’s still winter!! Though I’m counting down the days until spring 🙂
Believe you me, it’s definitely still winter where I’m at! ❄
Reblogged this on Chel Owens and commented:
Here she be: my guest post about poeming. I encourage everyone to mosey over and take a gander!
Great to see your face here, Chel. Love the outfit. In Oz we’d call you a jillaroo. Anyway, straight out of my dripping pen on this fateful day comes my spontaneous contribution, barely dressed to be out in public.
Join the Q
What happened to rejection slips,
those faux regretful ‘get-out-of-heres’
phrased as ‘not for us this time’
and ‘we hope you find other outlets’?
At least you could use them to cover cracks
and tears in (and tears on) your wallpaper
or hang them on a nail in the outhouse
to serve a useful purpose.
Now their dismissive misery bombs
come in electronic packets
wrapped in New Age platitudes
generated from recycled Hallmark cards.
But I have a cunning plan,
at this moment slowly unfolding,
to re-invent myself as
as an avatar to suit the literary times.
Amidst hints of urban hip and grunge,
I’ll be genderless, but nevertheless,
the full alphabet of political correctness,
dystopian yet mystical (think Rowling meets Attwood).
I’ll deluge them with agonies and ecstasies
forbidden love and conspiracies,
all couched in incomprehensibility
and seeing Anon is taken, I will be known as Q.
Well done. The ‘Rowling meets Attewood’ thought made me smile at what the outcome might be.
I can see that you’ve poemed before. 😀 I guess I’m a Jillaroo. 🦘
In this sense https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackaroo_(trainee)
So good! 🙂
I’m always in awe of the way your words just ripple and flow. Lovely poetry. <3
Thank you so much, Colleen. That’s exactly what every writer wants to hear.
It’s well deserved my friend. <3
OK, I’ll add to the choral. Yo, there Mizz Chel!
What Chel? i-Pads an’ tablets an’ i-Phones are banned?
This poetical premise gives me a far-too-free hand,
So I’ve wandered, Wi-Fi free to this ‘ere fallow field,
But my poetical muse won’t be moved nor revealed.
It’s a frustrating caper,
A blank sheet of paper,
Not a thing comes to mind;
My stress can’t be underlined.
This ol’ ballpoint pen is no match for my keyboard-
I miss the humming comfort of my Mac umbilical cord,
I don’t wanna be out of my megabtyte comfort zone,
I miss the good chimes when I recall on my i-Phone.
Access to files-Denied!
Same for Punctuation Guide,
I’m redooced to writing dreck
Coz I really rely on Spell Check.
But well, for Chel, I’ll give it the Old Skool College try,
But the thoughts I hoped would lyrically soar don’t fly,
And as I sit doin’ this left field writing I stop and think…
How perverse it is to run out of inspiration and ink.
😀 Honestly, you seem even better without your umbilical HDMI cord. 😉
A gem, Obb 🙂
She said I could do it
I don’t know why
That I should write a Poem
I forged past My doubters
And here it is Chel
My work so you can show em’
Laughter is contagious. Start a pandemic
I posted my Poem
And she wanted more
They clapped and they clapped
And shouted encore
I wanted to write it
Most surely I did
My ego was willing
but just not the id
It will not be long
so I cut it by half
And all I can say
Is to tell you to LAUGH
😀 Very nice.
Thank You Check out my blog sometime. You will laugh
poem she said—
close your eyes and create
thoughts running wild and free
I just couldn’t help myself. I guess I think in syllables now! Blame it on the full moon and the fairies! Besides, I just finished my taxes. All that counting did it to me again. <3
😀 Now I want to write a poem about taxes – specifically accounting. What if I wrote it on graph paper?
LOL! No, I prefer the bookkeeping ledger sheets. That way you can keep your debits and credits in line. 😀
🤔 Hm. Bar graph poetry?
You know, it would be a great visual on your blog.
Lookit’ thar! I’m feeling silly for not jumping in the saddle earlier – is there a “due date” for a participating poem?
Heck no, little writer! I’m just barely gittin’ to the first ones!
Lol. I’m so behind on everything.
Reblogged this on The Reluctant Poet.
I just read your 2nd post – anyone can write a poem; and was thrilled to read I could still fulfill this first challenge!
I love to read poetry. but writing a poem?
Anyway – here it is – no rhyme or rhythm but the lines do turn — “reverse” —
and done the pen-paper way- as you suggested. This was fun!
It’s April, beautiful red flowers
On berry shrub near the patio.
Flash of dark green
Darts in and out of shrub
Breeze sets into motion
Pine trees tall and short
Shadows sway on sandstone wall
No poets swaying in the trees
Remembering Frost’s poem
If you watch the swaying trees
You may start to sway
Open the window and fly away!
Saifun (Carrot Ranch)
Great! I love how I can see and feel what you did, and that you ended with flying away!