Monday, October 3, 2011

The Window to The World on Life of A Poet Week 2

Can you tell us about yourself?

I am an outgoing and obnoxiously effervescent person, who loves people and the beauty and wonder I find in this world. My life has had its share of trauma and heartache, as everyone's does, but I don't dwell on those times, nor do I shroud those memories in false colors, to make them lighter and brighter than they were at the time. I see hope in all things, although I don't always act on what I see.
I have a love affair with words, and love being a writer and poet. I write because there are words and stories within me that need to get out. I need to set words to page, in such a manner that they rise above their individual beauty, and become tellers of stories, painting pictures of love, hurt, beauty, hope and joy, like life. Perhaps I create life, by giving letters purpose and direction. They do so love to be free to roam the page.

Which country do you live in now? What’s your profession? be general, no need to specify your location...

America is home, where I live on my Pirate ship full time, on Southern California's beautiful waters. When I'm not sitting on the back deck of my boat, I'm managing people and resources in the automotive industry.

We’re happy that you have been part of Poets Rally as a participant, what has driven you to where you are in this particular community? 

I started my blog, because I needed an outlet for the words I had within me. I realized early on, that simply writing wasn't enough, I needed a community of writers. I needed to read what others wrote, to see how they saw the world, and how they described what they saw. I wanted to find poets and writers who were skilled at their craft, so I could learn techniques and styles that were still unfamiliar to this fledgling writer.

I also sought honest critique and review of my own work, so I could become better at what I was trying to do. When I found Poet's Rally, I knew I had found a community I could call home. In addition to the technical side of it, there was a joy of belonging, of contributing to something greater than myself. The artists who belong and participate at Poets Rally have an energy and enthusiasm that stays with you, long after you've read the contributions.

How long have you been blogging? Do you think being part of a poetry community contributes to your creative writing?

I started writing in February of this year. I started a blog, posted images that I found interesting, then wrote what I saw or felt about the image. I knew very little of writing, never realizing what I wrote was poetry. I had stories and images I needed to share, but I didn't know the techniques or formats that would make my words have the impact I knew they had within them.

My words would have languished unseen and unloved, alone on my blog, if I hadn't found the community of poets and writers who blog and share their work. Through their comments, suggestions and ideas, by reading a wide variety of writers and seeing how poetry is done, when done well, I was able to take my humble and disorganized forays into writing, and turn them into pieces my visitors enjoyed reading. I would not be the writer I am today, may not have kept writing, if it hadn't been for finding and partcipating in the online community of writers and poets.

Why poetry? Do you write fiction too?

I have no idea where the poetry came from, it certainly doesn't fit my Pirate image, but it seems I had little say in the matter. When I write, I sense a rhythm in the words as they start to flow, they flow out naturally onto the page with little apparent input from me. I enjoy rhyming also, the sound of rhyming when read aloud, the joy of finding the right word to end each sentence on, knowing it was right, even if it didn't rhyme, that brings me pleasure.

I had never attempted fiction writing until this week. Even when I tried to write something else, it always turned out to be poetry. I posted a small image while responding to a comment on one of my recent posts. One of my faithful readers (crew actually), challenged me to write a story on the image. I did, and it was received very well, and received a number of very nice and heartwarming comments. Many of my readers asked for a sequel to that first story, so I wrote a sequel, which also seems to be getting excellent reviews and comments. So, in total, I've written two pieces of fiction. I enjoyed the process so much though, that I'd like to try my hand at more pieces. 

Please share 3 to 5 blog links you enjoy reading most, give 1 or 2 sentences to tell why you love their creative process.

Jo Bryant's blog is one of the first I visit each day. She has a passion for life, and shares a variety of poetry, writing, photography and interests with her readers. There are always fun and interesting surprises here.

These pages are a never ending source of wonder and entertainment. Her interests are so varied, her writing so passionate, I find myself becoming interested in topics I would have never imagined, much less looked up on my own.

This writer has a view of the world so few see, and it is shared so beautifully and eloquently. From the trials of writing, to the wonders this world holds, it's all here for your viewing pleasure.

How do you know when a poem is done? your own experiences need to be shared here...  

My poems all tell a story, if a succinct and oft times short one. When I sit down to write, I have an image in my mind of the story I want to write. I don't have the words, just the image I want to portray. Usually within three to four stanzas, I can squeeze in the beginning, middle and end of the story. When the words capture the image I have in my head, it's done and I hit 'submit'.

How do you decide when a poem is "good"? Do you redo your own poems after they’re posted? it could be poem someone else written...

I never redo a poem. When I first started writing, I would reformat or change the style of what I wrote as I learned how poetry is done, but I didn't change the words or their order. When I write, I sit down and do it in one sitting. I never seem to know what I'm going to say next until the words come out on the page, but I can sense the rhythm as I type. So far, I've never gone back to edit or change a line on my own, other than to correct an occasional misspelled word due to my hurried two-fingered typing. I always ask for input from my readers though, and when they find something that sounds awkward or out of place, I change it. It doesn't happen often, but it's always appreciated. I reread everything before I submit, and I feel I'm a very discerning reader. If it matches the image in my head, then I feel it's good, and I'm done with it.

Do you think music and poetry are related? Why?

Absolutely. Music 'is' poetry. Good music and good poetry can stand on their own, but they are often much more than their individual parts when combined. When listening to music that moves me, even music without words, I can see the story it's telling. When I read good poetry, I can hear the music in the background.

What issues are close to your heart? Women’s rights, child abuses, etc.…name one…

There is not a single issue, but one that encompasses so many. Anytime someone or something seeks to put their interests first, to dominate or subjugate another person or creature, simply for being who they are or need to be, I am angered and hurt. I try to change these situations when encountered, or assist those in need when I can. I try to support those who assist the downtrodden or abused, whether it be animal or human.

What’s your other hobbies besides writing? Do you have pets? Give us a picture if you own a pet.

 Besides the joy that comes from living on my Pirate ship, I enjoy SCUBA diving and riding my motorcycle around around the countryside. Not at the same time of course. It should come as no surprise that I love reading, and spend many hours falling into others stories. 

 I am very lucky to have the company of two wonderful cats onboard. Lyra is an 8 year old Russian Blue, and is a kind and gentle princess. Bastian is a 4 year old black domestic short hair. He is an exuberant bundle of joy and curiosity, and oft times lives up to his nickname of El Diablo. Both are lap cats, and love to sit on or around their Captain, no matter what he's trying to do. I've also trained them to stay on the boat, so they have the run of the boat, inside and out, while I toil away at work, earning money to buy the treats they so enthusiastically enjoy.

Please list your blog links below, share 1 or 2 poems that represents best of your poetry talent…

Thanks in advance.

My blog;

These are two of my recent pieces that I enjoy and feel convey the essence of my work so far.

Touch of hand, sweet caress, love yearns deep though young,
Words unspoken though heard  by heart,  by thoughts emotions sung.
Learning love at tender year, both scared but willing souls,
These feelings swell from childish breast, run as newborn foals.
This love be bright but lacks one thing, my soul that stands apart,
I feel their love but cannot share, for love stole others heart.
Never felt this love before, this love I won’t achieve,
Lessons learned will pass me by, its loss I fear to grieve.
Tender youth in loves embrace, they know not how I mourn,
Lost in love, their first it seems, my heart from body torn.
In crayon shades of red and black, I watch and mourn my loss,
For love in hand of others grip, ne’er know my heart they toss.
Though child I be, I wish them well, and hope their love endure,
It cuts me deep as ragged blade, though still I wish no cure.
For love is rare though pass me by, I pray their hearts entwine,
Though cry at night with ‘passionate pain, this love someday be mine.

Cool river, dark and green, flows past this child as life and scene,
Eleven summers this boy has breathed, growing quick, though not a teen.
Brothers play on baking sand, they yell and scream with plays delight,
In desert heat on western land, they fail to see this emerald light.
I stand on spit of island small, with creaking wood to bridge the gap,
From baking earth to distant isle, my mind creates its map.
Of treasures deep and fishes large, that hide in flowing river,
I plunge again in flowing force, to gasp and shake and shiver.
I stare at fish that stare at me, and share these waters deep,
Run across this narrow isle, I scream and make the leap.
Naked boy on summers day, burnt brown by heated sky,
Arms held wide and vision strong, no doubt that I can fly.
Waters surge and draw me in, as river chuckles bright,
With laughing tones and tempting words, it shows its flowing might,
My laugh is filled with water tones, and subtle under currents,
Summer ends but not this boy, I laugh with youths assurance.

Image Credit: Rough Water John


The Poetry Palace said...

enjoyed your responses, John.

keep it up.

Anonymous said...

It was my pleasure dear friend, and a pleasure to belong to this community of kindred souls. Thank you, from the bottom of my Pirate heart, for this wonderful opportunity.

emanita01 said...

RWJ, thanks for sharing more of you with others and your crew! Yet, from such a brilliant gem, I'm sure there are still many wonderful facets to come :-)

Old Raven said...

I truly enjoyed the interview. Help me out please. I went to your blog, it was delight and I loved the photos and poems. BUT ... it is the 3rd WP blog today that I have wished to comment upon and literally could not find a place to comment.

Old Raven said...

OH ... love kitty too!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! You can comment on any of my posts, and I will be notified and read it. Also, you can click on "about Roughwaterjohn" at the top and you can leave a message there also. It doesn't matter which post you comment on, I'll find it. I'm sure there is something similar on many blogs. It would be a pleasure to read your thoughts, I hope you find time to return. Oh, and the cats say thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Also, I pictured you much differently. Not in a bad way. Just not what I expected. Not sure what I expected, though.

Jo Bryant said...

that last comment made me giggle - told ya - without the patch and parrot

Anonymous said...

I've posted images of my Pirate self on my blog a few times, but usually in diving gear or on a motorcycle. They were much clearer images (without the patch or parrot Jo :-) )so you may have those in the back of your mind. That smiling face with the cocktail in one hand, really is me. I would send you the link to the prior images, but that would be too easy. :-)

sara said...

This is a really great interview. I like the way you describe the link between music and poetry. It does just as you described. I have yet to see two pictures of you that yet look like the same person every time. :)

Morning said...

Glad to see you shine here, John.

very enjoyable interview.


Anonymous said...

This is a great interview, John. Thank you for sharing with us. I have been away with traveling - so now I must go to discover your recent works of fiction. Your posts are always a pleasure to enjoy ~~ :-)