Victorious Voices, 2014!

Hi Folks:

Earlier this month Marcia and I were pleased to attend the 5th Annual High School Slam Poetry contest known as Victorious Voices. Started by Jeremy Loveday, this fifth year had contestants from more schools than ever before, and this is wonderful news!

Slam poetry was founded by Mark Smith (So What!) in the late 1980s. For those new to slam poetry, the competition rules are fairly simple. Each poet (or team) has three minutes to present their poem. Following that is a short grace period, but going over that time results in a time penalty. All poems must be original and poets can read their work, but props and costumes are not permitted. A few poems this year (or rather parts thereof) were sung, something we’ve not seen before.

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Small Stones

Hi Folks:

Friday November 1 was Mindful Writing Day according to the people at Writing Our Way Home and it was also our introduction to a form of writing known as small stones.  From the site,  “A small stone is a short piece of writing that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment.”  As photographers, our photographs for the most part are momentary vignettes, small slices of time or experience captured in an image and this style of writing attempts the same only with words.  Some styles of poetry – micropoetry or haiku for example can use this approach, but they need not do so and small stones need not be written in poetic style.  Some excellent examples of small stones can be found on the blogzine a handful of stones.  As for us, we’re still learning this style and so it may be that some of our stones need some polishing, but we’re having fun with it so far.  Here are a few examples from us:

Marcia:

moon roof opens
plump fingers slide into view
as the son rises
blond haired toddler
the light of their lives.

last breath of scent
in blossom full
as leaves release their lives
to flash their own glory
one last time

Autumn leaves masked her path. Rain pelted down as peacocks preened under cover of the gazebo.

Mike:

The soft gentle curve
of her body
as it folds into mine…

Sweet scent of her hair
and the quiet even rhythm
of her breath in sleep…

The best place in the whole world.

Under the gazebo a woman in a bright red raincoat chats on the phone while three peacocks stand by, patiently waiting their turns.

The Great Blue Heron on the pier sits and watches the couple who stare past and do not see … while the harbour seal laughs a silent laugh.

If you’ve written some small stones or other prose/poetry we’d love to read them!  Leave us a note in the comments below.

Hugs,
M&M

For Marcia…

Hi Folks:

Eleven years ago today Marcia proposed to me – down on one knee and everything. After much deliberation and careful consideration (all of which took about ¼ second), I said ‘Yes’.

We continue to say “Yes!!” to each other every day.

I wrote this poem for her and wanted to share it with you:

Every morning,
as you awake,
I caress your fingers
with my face…
and know we two are loved.

Happy 11th Anniversary, Darlin’!!

Forever and For Always,
Me.

Victorious Voices Returns!!

Hi Folks:

One of the ‘challenges’ of living in Victoria is that it’s such a culturally rich, diverse place to be that there are times we want to befriend Hermione Grainger.  We’re sure she’s a lovely young woman, but our ulterior motive would be to see if we could borrow her Time Turner.  We’d even invite her along; she could just slip the chain over all three of our heads…  One case in point is that this past week marked the 4th Annual Victorious Voices High School Slam Championships.  Mike was able to be there last year, but Marcia wasn’t: an event we wrote about here.  Monday night was the Semi-Finals, with eight teams from five schools, plus a ‘wild card’ team made of students from other schools.  Monday night was also the monthly Pen in Hand Poetry and Prose Readings at Serious Coffee in Cook St. Village.  Tuesday night was the Youth Slam at Solstice Café, but there was also a talk at the Royal BC Museum (with Sierra Club BC) on the ecology and preservation of the Flathead River ecosystem in southeastern BC.  However, nothing was going to keep us from attending the Victoria Event Centre on Wednesday night to attend the Victorious Voices Finals.

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The Land of ‘Up’

Hello, Dear Readers!

Marcia here.  I’ve been having a delicious conversation – in poems – with a friend and I wanted to share one segment of that with you!  Enjoy!

wiggles & jiggles & giggles galore
laughed ever so hard & still wanted more
so in order to keep the momentum flowing
i thought to record what i thought to be knowing
as i reached for a pen something soft i did touch
it startled me ever so, ever so, ever so much
that i started to giggle all over again
realizing where i was now & where i had been
my feet had been planted quite firm on the earth
yet with all of our banter, camaraderie, mirth
bubbles of giggles expanded inside
and with highest vibrations taken me for a ride
with my head in the clouds and my toes in the sea
what touched me was water, yes water! you see
and i know that you know what i know to be true
’cause we live magic lives, we decidedly do
the water of life fills our glorious cup
for you see we are blessed in the world of UP
In Light and such glorious Laughter!
Sending Rainbow Hugs your way!
Marcia 🙂

The Spirit of Canada

Hi Folks:

Last night Marcia and I were down at ‘The Well’ on Fort Street for the semi-finals of ‘The Spirit of Canada‘ – Poetry, Spoken Word and Singers/Songwriters’ Contest.  Our friend Sheila was reading poetry in the event and has moved on to the finals on August 6!!  All of the poems and songs were to incorporate Canadian culture, politics, landscape and/or humour, and there was some excellent talent there.  Listening to the various performers, however, got me thinking about what it means to be Canadian, and I was reminded of a story shared with Marcia and me some years ago.  I think it captures the essence of Canada in many ways.  I was going to write it out for this post, then remembered that I’d already done so a couple of years ago.  Here once again, then, is ‘Telling Tales‘.

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. If you’re in Victoria on August 6, be sure to come by The Well for the final presentations!

Remembering Liz…

Hi Folks:

Seventeen years ago today, on June 16, 1995, Mike’s sister Liz passed away in hospital from acute liver failure.  She was not a candidate for transplant.  She was not yet 39 years old.  The whys and hows of this aren’t important at the moment, because today we want to celebrate her life and not her untimely demise. Continue Reading →

Victorious Voices 2012

Hi Folks:

UPDATE: This post is about the 2012 event.  If you’re looking for our 2013 Victorious Voices post, you can find it here.

Although Marcia and I have both been writers for most of our lives, our introduction to ‘slam poetry’ is somewhat recent – only since Shane Koyczan performed at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.  Like all forms of poetry there are a few rules to follow, and since slam poetry is spoken, most of those rules relate to presentation.  Poetry slams are ‘competitive’, but competitive in the true sense of the word – from the Latin, meaning ‘to strive together’.  All work must be original.  Poetry may be spoken individually or in ‘teams’.  Each poet has up to 3 minutes to perform his/her piece, with a 10-second grace period following that.  Any longer and the poet begins losing points for going over time.  The time begins when the poet first engages the audience.  The poet may not use props or musical accompaniment, and may not wear a costume.  That’s the essentials of it.

Last night marked the 3rd annual ‘Victorious Voices‘ final – Victoria’s Secondary School Slam Championships.  The semi-finals were on Monday night, but unfortunately we missed that event.  Eight teams from local secondary schools made the semi-finals, and the final four teams performed last night.  The students were from Esquimalt High School, Pearson College, and Reynolds Secondary (Junior and Senior).  The event was held at the Victoria Event Centre, on Broad Street between Johnson and Pandora. Continue Reading →

Hello in There

Hi Folks:

Last Friday Marcia and I were at the Cornerstone Café for their ‘Open Stage’ night, and it was wonderful to see this continuing parade of people get up in front of the microphone – this person singing and picking a guitar, this person doing some very loving slam poetry, the next person reading what they’ve written, and so on.  And sitting there in the audience, it occurred to me that if you saw these people on the street or in the elevator you’d never know that she loves opera or that he’s working on a novel or… Continue Reading →

A Year in the Life … revealed …

Hello Dear Ones!

Two years ago today, on the Sunday of Canada’s Victoria Day long weekend of 2009, I stepped onto the retreat grounds of Queenswood and an incredible journey began … leading me to write my first book:

A Year in the Life of a Bus-Traveling Poet

It has been – and is still – a magical journey, one in which you, Dear Reader, took an active role … as one of my dearest inspirations! That’s why I thought to stop by today to share this exciting news with you … my book has been published and is now available for sale!  You can check it out here: http://bit.ly/buspoet (paperback) or here: http://amzn.to/buspoet-k (Kindle version)

And, as a tantalizing little bonus for you, a glimpse of one of my very favourite sections: Continue Reading →