YouTube Tuesday: Brought Together

It’s Tuesday (again), which means another poem from YouTube. Here’s one from my book, “City of the World”.

Brought Together

Brought together
By a common bond
Though we were born
Thousands of miles apart;
Here we are
Seated together,
A circle of faces
Of various races
Working and living
Side by side,
Pulled into one another’s lives
By the thrill
Of promise;
A desire to learn,
To know
Something more
Than everything
We have ever been taught.
We collide
In this spinning city,
Vibrant and chaotic,
Forming friendships
And relationships
Out of nothing
But a dream;
In and out of love,
In and out of sight;
We have all shared
This wish,
Looked up at the stars
And begged with our hearts
And our eyes
In our most intimate moments.
There is no rule
On who you are
Or who you have to be
Out here:
The hermit greeted by a lion,
Roaring with pride,
Standing strong,
His confidence encouraging
It to break out of its shell;
He rules the night
Without a pause for thought,
Defiant and fearless
Unlike the hermit,
Who comes with reservations
And a lack
Of the lion’s authority.
What they do not share in mind,
In spirit
Are the same;
Drawn into the same sphere
Of want
And belief,
Wanting to seek out
The unknown;
My family of strangers
With ambitions of
Pure delight,
United by our quest
To pursue something
Far greater than ourselves:
There for every celebration
There for every fall.

© Laura Marie Clark

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page to purchase a copy of the book: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html — or find it on Amazon

YouTube Tuesday: The First Lesson

Welcome back to YouTube Tuesday! Today’s poem reaches back in time to November 2013, and the first time I ever taught English – to a class of primary school kids, who still somehow managed to terrify me. Please check it out below, and let me know what you think either below or on YouTube.

The First Lesson

What great fear paralyses you?
There are those who fear spiders,
Innocent as the majority are;
Others who feel faint up high
When they look at the ground below;
Some whose concerns are amplified
By the close proximity of a crowd;
Mine strikes me down when I need strength:
A presentation leaves me with chills.

So why then did I gravitate towards them?
Teaching, whatever age the students,
Is all about presenting information:
Public speaking I have always despised,
But I try never to flee from a challenge
And, aware that my uneasiness had
Total control over the person who I was,
I chose to force myself into a position
Uncomfortable to me, so I could master fear.

I would be a liar if I claimed
That it had been easy or enjoyable
To teach that first lesson, when not only
Did it frighten me, but I also had
No skills, no practical training to speak of.
But if life is not for diving in head first,
Then what is it that we’re living for?
I worried, I stumbled, I quaked from head
To toe: my hopes of victory seemed pathetic.

In a moment gripped by our fear
We can be quick to condemn ourselves
To fates most unfitting, early deaths, or
Embarrassment that we imagine to linger.
And so in that first lesson, I believed
That my time was already up.
But afterwards, observed what errors
I could look to correct – and had proven
To myself that fear can be defeated.

© Laura Marie Clark

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page to purchase a copy of the book: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html — or find it on Amazon

Estrangement Isle by Stacy Gleiss

unnamed.png

I live on the Isle of Estrangement,
mourning the one who sent me here,
with the words “I’m cutting you off.”

The mainland Normalcy–
a place where people forgive and talk things through,
is sometimes visible through the haze.

If I thought I wouldn’t be turned away,
I’d attempt to cross the frigid straits,
As it is, with no beacon, the one with the boat must return.

In the meantime, I worry all those who visit,
this private space where I grieve,
will tire of my sad face.

So with a sense of desperation I teach,
of how it was I came here to exist,
hoping they will stay a while,
on my island of exile,
this place called Estrangement.

About Stacy

Stacy Gleiss has lived a life immersed in Japanese culture—a culture vastly different from that of her home state of Michigan. In her experience as the teen bride of a traditional Japanese man, Gleiss found inspiration for her memoir, The Six-Foot Bonsai.

Visit Stacy’s blog here: https://thesixfootbonsai.com/

And here’s the link to her book, The Six-Foot Bonsai, on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Six-Foot-Bonsai-Soul-Lost-Rising/dp/0692773134

YouTube Tuesday: Moving In

Welcome back to YouTube Tuesday! I’m really enjoying posting my poetry to YouTube, it’s a new challenge that lets me revisit old poems and look at them in a different way. This week, I present “Moving In”, from my book of poems “City of the World”.

Moving In

The thunder of busy roads becomes a constant reality,
Litter on the streets attracts a plague of misery;
Unwelcome guests can crawl inside underneath your door
A padlock is the only thing that keeps your home secure

There’s a three-lane motorway at the end of the street,
A shopping centre down the road with great places to eat
From western favourites to untried eastern delicacies;
All desires catered for with exquisite recipes

This narrow street feels separate from everything around
Lonely motorbikes and busy chatter are the only sounds;
Drive up the ramp into your house, park it in the front room,
Four or five bikes stood together in the gloom

The building is four stories high, a balcony at the top
The spiral staircase in the centre seems to never stop;
Ceilings high, spacious rooms, simple decoration,
Designs that do not fail to suggest a temporary location

This is not a place where you would have expected to live
But the more time you spend here, the more it seems to give;
Empty walls provide no more than a room to rest your head:
Your time is spent out in the city, occupied instead

A hotel home shared with others, also there to see
Everything that is on offer in this vast city;
Possessions few, a suitcase full of clothes and favourite things
But within this community you will feel like a king

Money aplenty to spend on food, on fun, on booze;
You’ll be surrounded every day by a world to amuse
And once you’re comfortable in this intriguing place,
You’ll find it hard to picture anywhere else as your base

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page to purchase a copy of the book: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html — or find it on Amazon

Opportunity for Budding Writers: microAGGRESSION Anthology Submissions Open

Creative Talents Unleashed have recently announced a new opportunity for budding writers to submit their poetry, short stories, journal entries, thought pieces, and essays for publication in their next anthology. The anthology will be entitled “microAGGRESSION: Then & Now” and you can discover more about it, including what the company is looking for and how to submit, on the Creative Talents Unleashed blog or on the event page on Facebook.

Submissions will be open until the end of February.

Foreword . . .

Balance is key in understanding the impact of Microaggression or, depending on your viewpoint, the lack thereof. Does it affect you, personally? Does it affect somebody you love? Is it real? Is it cultural? Or is it just some fancy “new” term used to further complicate how people communicate with one another. Should it be ignored, or highlighted and explored? Is it worth your time? The purpose of this anthology on the subject of Microaggression is to explore its ceiling from the surface and below. This book, “Then & Now”, will serve as a manual on this topic and more importantly, inspire generations to take a closer look at the layers of human communication that go unspoken for time and time again.

YouTube Tuesday: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh

Back to the real world after my birthday – and it’s YouTube Tuesday again! Here’s “Arrival in Ho Chi Minh”, an excerpt from my book “City of the World”.

Arrival in Ho Chi Minh

It rises like a crescendo
Steady and quite sure
Then falls like a cliff edge
And I know of no cure

The turbulence meant nothing
But another leap to me
On my insane, lonesome voyage
To Ho Chi Minh City

I forgot my education
(Wait – what’s my name?)
If everything were to go wrong,
Then I would be to blame

It rose like a crescendo,
Fastened onto my heart,
Then fell like a cliff edge,
And pierced me like a dart

I had done it! Reached a place
That I knew nothing of;
Despite the fear inside me,
One that I would come to love.

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page to purchase a copy of the book: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html

5 Things Not to Worry About When Writing Your First Draft

Creating the first draft of a novel is a long and complicated process. It is easy to become distracted from what is important: consistency, logic, and readability are typically my main focuses. Here are 5 things not to worry about when writing your first draft so that you can keep your attention fixed on the story you’re trying to create.

  1. Spelling/Grammatical Errors

Writing ‘their’ instead of ‘there’ or ‘the’ instead of ‘then’ is something that all writers do. Ignore the spelling errors when you spot them, and fix your attention on the world or the characters you are trying to create. You won’t be able to get them all – that’s what the editing process is for. And you’ll go through several (if not more) other drafts before you even get to that stage. For a first draft, readability is of more importance than these little mistakes.

  1. Missing Words/Punctuation Marks

Sometimes, when you return to what you were writing after a break – a cup of coffee, a sleep, a holiday – you notice words or punctuation marks that you missed (or duplicated) the last time you wrote. Don’t waste your time going back through what you wrote to find and correct these errors – focus on the content of your writing, and return to how it is written at a later time.

  1. Writing a Story from Beginning to End

Stories, essays, articles, poems – lots of things that you read, whether online, in books, or in journals, has not been written by the author going from point A to point B all the way through the point Z. Authors can jump in and out of scenes and parts of the text, then piece them all together to create a first draft. So long as you have a plot outline for each section, you can move around when you write, according to your inspiration – this helps a great deal when trying to create a consistent pattern of speech for individual characters.

  1. Filling in the Little Plot Holes

Big plot holes are a big problem, but small plot holes are more difficult to identify, especially when working on a first draft. Eventually, you’ll want to get rid of these niggling little issues to create a more logical narrative, but if you spot them during a first draft merely make a note in the document (or somewhere else you will spot it) and come back to it later. Focus on the glaring points that need to be made for your story to progress towards its ending.

  1. Creating the Next Best-Seller

It would be awfully nice to see the cover of your book in shop windows, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, sitting and daydreaming about it won’t get your story written, and it won’t get it any closer to being published – whether independently or by that publishing house you’ve got your eye on. You can’t create a best-seller every time you write. If you’ve never been published before, then your first book is unlikely to leap off the shelves into readers’ hands – that’s why you have to keep writing!

Remember: your first draft will likely be very different from your final draft. There will be things to add, things to remove, and things to alter – but those things can come later.

Introducing “Writing Tips ~ Exploring The Writer’s Path Volume 1”

Many of my writing tips are featured on Creative Talents Unleashed and in their anthology Writing Tips Volume 1: Exploring the Writer’s Path – check it out here!

Creative Talents Unleashed

Writing Tips Volume 1

Introduction

Do you dream of being a writer? Have you already dabbled with words, but still need some help finding your style on paper? Or are you one of those who have so much to write, but just can’t find the time to get the task done? This book could be your saving grace. Put together by a group of talented writers from the Creative Talents Unleashed family, Writing Tips Vol. 1 is for any level of writer.

I believe everyone can write. If you can carry on a simple conversation, then you are capable of writing. Some just don’t know where to start. You don’t have to be educated or have a degree to be a good writer. Some of the greatest writers in the world didn’t have that opportunity when they started writing. If you’ve written in a journal or a letter, you’re already an author. You just…

View original post 537 more words

YouTube Tuesday: The Hermit

It’s that time of week again – time for another YouTube clip. This week’s poem is “The Hermit”, an excerpt from my book “City of the World”. Check it out below!

The Hermit

The dream was simple
With a hint of something
Gloomier:
A shaky apprehension
Threatening to shatter
The illusion.
In the summer sun, anything
Seemed possible;
Even the crazy – turning
From a hermit sheltering in
A secluded corner
Of an empty beach
To a fully-fledged adventurer
Going where? Leaving when?
Who could tell?
A loner in the wind.
The crab listened with interest
To suggestions,
Fired from all angles,
Took new ideas on board, however
Out of character they seemed.
A claw dug through the sand
That was its shelter
And with intention,
Slow but deliberate,
The hermit followed.
The world outside beckoned
To it, calling
Attention to future possibilities;
So it scuttled away to discover
What the shelter
Could not teach it
On that little beach where it hid;
Plunging into the ocean, it made
The first step out
To sea, to the world beyond
Its protective shelter,
Where brand new memories
Waited to be found.

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html

YouTube Tuesday: City of the World

Here’s a short one for this week. The first poem from my book “City of the World”, also called City of the World:

City of the World

So many faces, so many names!
How am I to immortalize them all?
The marvels, the jokes, the many joys
That belong to every one?
Around the globe, from East to West,
We came to sample the fruits
Of the home we found together
Far beyond our simple beginnings

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html