Rena Graefner: Poet/ Writer

Rena Flannigan was born in Scotland and many years ago moved to fill her childhood dream to live in Canada.  Her biggest success was becoming the speed skating champion of Scotland and Great Britain.  She became the Canadian Champion at Kempenfeldt Bay, Barrie in 1964.  Always athletic, she was a good tennis player and skier. Later, she found her niche on the dance floor winning trophies for Latin and Ballroom dancing.  Rena was a tailoress, a teacher of Fashion and Design, and she became the Vice-Principal of a private designing school.  These were followed by a career as a Tour Guide and Manager, her all-time favourite occupation.  Now she is learning how to use a computer and wants to be a writer of various genres.

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SPRING, WHERE ARE YOU?

Snowdrops appear

Their bell heads waving in the breeze

There is no sound of ringing

Are they sad because

The April showers are not here

To give them a drink?

Instead of April showers

Bringing the flowers

There are snowflakes

Dancing in the wind

Enough to cover the snowdrops

Holding back other colourful buds

The trees once again have branches of white

There should be green all around

Snow is for winter

It is now Spring, but it is hard to tell

A white carpet covers everything

It is all over the grass and flower beds

Are the buds on the trees also confused?

Are they hiding, waiting for the sun

To warm them and welcome them

To please the souls

Of the winter’s weary people?

Will it end soon is a question we all ask

To see a blue sky during the day

Lifts the spirits and hopes high

The night falls

So does the snow – again

This is not supposed to happen

It is April not bitter winter

Mother Nature fooled us

No snow when it should have been here

Summer in January.  Some days

Shirt sleeve weather,

The climate is so confused

Upside down and back to front

Even the sun is hiding

Above the grey clouds

No warmth can we feel in the air

To lift our spirits out of the doldrums

We must think positive

Spring will come . . . it must.

 



 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

WHAT IS THERE TO BE THANKFUL FOR ?
The time has come . . .
For the leaves of brown
To come tumbling down
The trees of gold are ablaze in the sun
Telling us that summer is nearly done
The colours of Autumn are always so special
Beauty surrounds us at every turn
We mortals will die and never return
But nature sleeps until there’s warmth in the sun
In the meantime the crisp air of winter will come
To nip our noses
To kill the roses
To transform the scene with a blanket of snow
All is not lost as time changes colours
In spring buds will reappear
The flowers will grow in a multitude of blossoms
And, once again, all is right with the world.

All they have to do is say first thing in the morning, I am alive, I will make the best of today. I can get up and move around which is more than millions of people in this world can do. For this, I am thankful.
Go to the bathroom for morning ablutions and be glad they have a toilet, and they do not need to go to the bushes like millions of people who will never know what a flush toilet is, or have running water from a tap so they can take a shower or make their morning coffee.
Even if they don’t have a lot of money they can go to the grocery store to buy food and eat while millions don’t know if they will ever eat again – and often don’t. To have a roof over their head and a stove to cook on, when others are still using outdoor fires with antiquated utensils to cook with, if they do manage to get food, much of what has been found in rubbish dumps. Not to have to huddle in doorways on the street for shelter, or beg for handouts from passers by. For this, they should be thankful.
Hard as life can be for many among us if they think about these things then maybe they will start to look around and realise how fortunate they are. Maybe they will see the marvellous colours of the trees in autumn, the beauty of spring and the smell of fragrant flowers as they emerge from the buds. Even if they find winter chills them to the bone, will they not look at the beautiful trees covered in snow and wonder at Natures handiwork in creating such beauty with ice crystals? There is so much to be grateful and thankful for it is hard to define it all.
Good health, good friends and family, people who care for them and encourage them to live each day and who look forward to being with them. Finding pleasure being with such friends. If a person hibernates at home, alone, it is a sure thing they will only be morose and no fun for others to be around. They might even stagnate by being so much alone. Do they not understand that having friends gives them something to look forward to and that they can be glad and thankful to have such people in their lives? So many people in this world have no one so to have good friends and family is a big bonus to be happy about.
To grow up in a warm family home, to study and find a good job with a reasonable income. Maybe eventually marry and have their own family, even to lose a spouse which is one if the hardest things to do. To reflect and be thankful for the happiness shared knowing that their departed spouse does not want them to be alone or unhappy.
Truly, there is so much to be happy about, just to be able to do anything, no matter how trivial it might be, to share it with friends is a blessing in itself. To bring a smile to a stranger, hoping it makes their day, and that they in turn will share a smile with someone else. Because they gave away a smile -just about the cheapest thing a person can give and share. It costs nothing but can do so much to lift a person’s moral and spirit to set them on a happier path for the rest of the day. Even a pat on the back or a handshake can be stimulating to someone else. Someone who maybe needs that warm touch to make them feel better just when they need it most.
So once again, I pose the question, what is there to be thankful for? If you don’t know by now then sadly, you never will! Life is such a short span to enjoy, be thankful that you had the opportunity.
Rena Flannigan Words 848 October 11, 2012



 

STORMS AND GALES

Outside the window the wind blows fiercely
The trees bend to the whim of the gale
On the quayside ropes are straining
Against the metal bollards
Holding the old wooden boats secure
They will not sail on this wild night

Maybe not even on the ‘morrow
Creaking and straining at the ropes that bind them
They will heave and pull but find no release
The sails are furled ‘till morning light
No one will climb the mast or stand in the Crow’s Nest
There is nothing to see far off in the dark

When the boats came to the dock what did they carry.
Cargos of gold and silver from far away lands
Bartered jewels for a foreign Queen’s crown
Did slaves row the boats – men tied deep in their bowels?
Were they captured and their life stolen away
To be sold in a foreign land from a public square?

Where people would stare as future owners poked and prodded
Checking their teeth as if they were horses
Shackled ankles, chains on their wrists
With iron collars around their necks
Chains tying them to the next man
Taken to plantations for the rest of their lives

While the drunks became the King’s Men
Men dying of thirst to drink a tankard of beer
Being mindful to watch for the King’s shilling
Deep in the bottom of the glass
Not seen until the beer was done
Too late Mate, we’ve got you now

The wiser men checked the tankards bottom
They had no intention of sailing as crew
Knowing the terrible life on board those boats
Seeing a shilling through the glass the navy grabbed them
Destiny set them to sail the Seven Seas
Even in wild winter gales, but not this night.

Rena Flannigan Words 302 December 12, 2018



 

Janet Naidu -Poet

Janet Naidu was born in Covent Garden, Guyana, a rural village close to the sugar plantations of Farm and Diamond.  Janet comes from humble beginnings—her father worked as a cane cutter and her mother sold greens in the village and in the market place.  She, along with her seven siblings assisted their parents in earning extra income.

Janet has made Canada her home since 1975. In 1973, two of her poems appeared in a small booklet called Heritage. After writing sporadically over the years, her first collection of poems, Winged Heart (1999) was short-listed for the Guyana Prize for Literature, poetry category.  Her other two collections include Rainwater (2005) and Sacred Silence (2009). Her poems capture themes of uprooted movements, nostalgic memories, resettlement, feminism, resilience and survival. Her writings also include essays of cultural and historical themes. Janet Naidu (4)
Her poetry and writings have appeared in news media, online publications, anthologies, referenced in books on Indo Caribbean themes and in the Women’s Journal of the University of the West Indies.

Janet obtained a BA from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London, UK.


Janet, thanks for taking the time to do this interview for my readers. I’d like to focus on your collection Rainwater, in addition to your writing, in general.

Q. At what age did you start to write? What do you remember writing about? Does that writing still exist today?

A. As a teenager I sold greens in the village with my mother and had a notepad to write down credit given to the villagers. I used to also make little sketches and writings at the back pages when I waited for people to purchase items in our baskets. But most significantly, I started writing to pen pals around the world after posting my name and address in a pen pal magazine. I had pen pals from New Zealand, England, Germany, Japan, Pakistan, USA and many other countries. It was during this time, I entered into writing to pen pals around the world, telling them about my family life at home, and life in Guyana. I used to get creative, talking about simple things in the village, like when the sugar cane would burn and the cane dust would come through our windows. I made it sound exciting. Living in Canada, I am often taken back to that time when I was care free and thoughts of the natural world flowed so greater then. This reflection continues to influence my writing.

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Ratings on WRITING Competitions

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Sites for checking up on the multitude of writing competitions, separating the chaff from the ones worth pursuing…because it’s always wise to do your due diligence before proceeding.

https://selfpublishingadvice.org/allis-self-publishing-service-directory/award-and-contest-ratings-reviews/

Guest Author -Conditions

 

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Guest Authors are invited to submit their work for publication in my Blog. It will appear on this page. Writing can consist of a Short Story, Slice Of Life, Poem or Travel Piece.

ALL the following conditions MUST be met:

  1. The work must be the original work of the person submitting.
  2. Pieces MUST be 2,500 words or less.
  3. The work must not be defamatory, libellous, racist or pornographic in nature.
  4. Submit a brief Bio [no more than 150 words].
  5. State contact information.
  6. Attach a Headshot.
  7. Previously published work acceptable, providing the rights have reverted to you.

THE AUTHOR MUST ATTACH THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT TO THE WORK SUBMITTED 

[NAME OF WORK]

I, [author’s name] understand that for the Work listed above:

  • It is being submitted for the purpose of publication in Ken Puddicombe’s Blog for a limited time.
  • The work is subject to editing for format and content.
  •  I understand there is no payment for publication.
  • I further certify that I own the copyright to this work and have all rights to it, and that if it was previously published, all rights have reverted to me and will revert to me after publication in Ken Puddicombe’s Blog.

Send your work to

kenpudwriter@gmail.com

Subject Heading: Publication in Blog

 

 

Michael Joll

MJoll New Background for CS

Author Michael Joll

Born in England during the Late Pleistocene Age, Michael Joll has called Canada home since shortly after Confederation. He has held many jobs, from selling Continental Delicatessen in Selfridges on Oxford Street in London, to temporary part time deck hand and purser on a car ferry plying the North Reach of the Bay of Quinte. In between he was gainfully employed for forty years too many. Retired since 2004 (“The hours are great, the pay not so much”) he has spent most of that time writing fiction. He has been a Brampton, Ontario since the mid-1970s with a wife (his own) and the memories of the dogs with whom he has been privileged to share his life.


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TOOLS FOR PROMOTING YOUR WRITING

TOOLS FOR PROMOTING YOUR WRITING

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