Monday, December 12, 2011

The Window to The World on Life of A Poet Week 7 on Old Raven

Can you tell us about yourself?

Hm, I shall shortly be 65.  I have lived a varied and rewarding life, one that has had numerous extremes.  In order to find contentment and happiness I have spent a lifetime changing those things about myself that needed changing.  Changing (of necessity) has been my lifestyle.  Thus known as a shapeshifter.  

Which country do you live in now? 

I live in the Middle of the United States … but am an old east coaster.

What’s your profession?  

I am retired.  I spent 25 years in healthcare … thirteen of them involved with the AIDS/HIV movement and caring for those with AIDS/HIV.  I retired from healthcare and opened a women’s fashion boutique … until I retired.

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?  

Thank you.  Oh my … it has taken me many years to give myself permission to do anything creatively … just for pleasure.  I have written poetry on and off for years and never gave a thought to being published.  In 2005 as I was turning 59 I had a remarkable spiritual experience … shamanic in nature.  This experience lead me back to writing.  It also lead me to the study of war and what it does to the men and women who are its participants.  I went on to finish my Masters degree and became involved with veterans of war and the creative writing experience.  Throughout these experiences I discovered that the genre of “war poetry" to be my favorite.  I have written a fair number of war poems, I consider these my best poems.  I have been ill for the past two years and not involved with anything including writing.  This spring I again found the desire to write.  I went online and somehow found this marvelous group along with a few others.  I love these groups for they are diverse, worldwide, filled with interesting and good poets who are supportive of each other. What more could one ask for?

How long have you been blogging?

Oh dear, not long, I am not sure … about the same time that I found you folks.  Let me look and see.  I just went to the beginning of my blog and it says April 29th of this year.

Do you think being part of a poetry community contributes to your creative writing? 

I most certainly do.  It challenges me.  It gives me a plethora of very interesting poetry to read.  It is wonderful to read the work of others and in turn have them read your own work and comment. It also challenges me.

Why poetry?

I was introduced to poetry at a very young age.  It has always given me great pleasure.  It also give me a voice.  I find it to be a universal language.  Poets may not always understand another's poem, but they will understand the heart of the poet.

Do you write fiction too?


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

OK, lets see.  I have to say this is a difficult task and I could easily place the names of 40 poets here.  However, I do not have the time.  So I think that I will mention those who have had the most impact upon me.  Thus I will select first:

Jaime Dedes’ Musing By Moonlight link:  I choose her link because she has the first blog to which I subscribed.  I did so because I find her to be exceptionally professional.  She is well informed and through her generosity she shares her knowledge with others via her blog.  Her own poetry is excellent.  She also sees talent and shares or highlights that talent for others to see.

STARDREAMING With Sherry Blue Sky link:  another wonderful poet Eileen O'Neill saw the similarities between Sherry and myself and introduced us early on.  We became friends who truly relate to each other’s life experiences and to each other’s poetry.

Thirdly, Ostensible Truth at: who I find to be brilliant with words.

Then there is Ravenblack whose blog “Conversations the other day,” can be found here:  The most succinct thing that I can say about Ravenblack and myself is that Raven people tend to find value in each other.  Their writing will often emanate from their very Raven-ness.  This common bond allows a special understanding of each other’s poetry.

This is a really difficult task, for there are so many wonderful poets whom I read.

Isabel Doyle was one of the first bloggers whom I read when I re-entered the world of poetry.  We each have a real love of animals.  I believe that she lives in a country I visited and loved.  She also speaks from what she feels as do I.  A common bond for us both. 
She has two blogs: Living in Exile found here:
and Written In Exile found here:
I find her to be rather clever at times.

I simply cannot leave Kerry off this list so here is a sixth poet who is wise, witty and filled with a generosity of spirit. 
Kerry O’Conner of Skylover:
and of “imaginary garden with real toads” here:

So … there you have it.

How do you know when a poem is done?

Oh my … that is so simple.  The faster the words pour out of me the more genuine the poem, the more quickly it is finished.  Although I will say that after this happens I can put it away for a year and then pull it out and tighten it up … insure that it truly reflects what was inside of me.  If I have to struggle … the longer it takes, the less likely that it will be of quality.  I do not call myself a writer.  I do not have to write as evidenced by my long dry periods  … that do not bother me.  To write I must be passionately inspired … or, have a very active muse.

Well, now that I have written this I have to admit that I opened a poem up this morning to post and have spent the last 5 hours rewriting it.

How do you decide when a poem is "good"? Do you redo your own poems after they’re posted? 

I know immediately when a poem is good, for it all comes at once and I can barely write fast enough to get it out.  Oh yes, I often will post a poem and come along in a year or two and then pare it down.

Do you think music and poetry are related? Why?

You bet!  First let me say that although I love music I am absolutely tone deaf.  Music can take one to places that give a poet something to write about.  Of course songs are poems put to music.  But music is filled with the emotions of the writer, the listener and the players.  Musical notes and chords tend to take me to places within myself that initiate my writing.

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

Men, war, combat, combat PTSD.  The ways in which war have destroyed the lives of the men and women who are the direct players and how their experiences go one to affect and destroy generations of families.  Shamanism.  The world’s spiritual disciplines.  The study of healing.

What’s your other hobbies besides writing?

Over the years I have worked in silver, gold and stones making jewelry.  I have painted with oil and watercolor and acrylic.  I have worked in clay.  I love photography and taking pictures, cooking, creating home spaces, and I will tackle my pastels soon.  However, I have a book that I must write … I know that I must, I just have no idea how to go about it.  Ah well, it will come.

Do you have pets? Give us a picture if you own a pet.

I have two cats Boy-Boy and Itty Bitty.  I also have two dogs, Jax and Boogy.

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

My Blog is called “Crows Fete Words to Fly By.”  The name came to me in a split second.  Crowsfete is a reference to the celebration of aging and to my “corvidness.” Words to fly by is a reference to the first thing that I did after the spiritual experience that I mentioned having at 59.  I was becoming more and more afraid of flying, especially after 911.  This by the way is not all that unusual for women who have passed their 40th year. Therefore, I learned to fly a 1947 Luscombe 8 Taildragger.  The plane was one year younger than I.  I fell I love with it.  But flying is a rich man’s sport and I am not a rich man.  I am a happy and contented woman, married to my soul mate and best friend who is an attorney.

My blog address is here:

I wrote the following poem about my flying … it is exactly how I felt.

unearthing desire

love engulfs me

commitment is all

love excavates my senses

feeds my needs

unearths my desires

perpetuates itself

love smashes fear

is insurmountable

I wish to run to hide

I stand my ground

I choose to win

my love is an act of faith

for through faith my fear

becomes desire

highly charged

erotic demanding


I give myself over to it with abandon

my abandon requires skill

caution and control

I move slowly diligently

savoring each

moment of foreplay

never quite wanting to peak

flying does this to me

The following poem is one that I want to see published. It is my favorite poem and  inspired by a B-52 Bomber pilot, a Vietnam War Veteran who shared very briefly a small piece of his experience with me.  It is combined with some of my own experiences as a young army wife to my first husband.
Rolling Thunder

I remember them.
Large black fins
in 67 & 8.
We’d drive to Kadena,  
park the truck
watch them circle
like sharks
behind the security fence.

All we saw were black
shark fins ... taxiing for take off,
B-52s lined up for Vietnam.
The NVA called them 
Whispering Death.

Three years…860,000 pounds
of carpet bombing.

Rolling Thunder
coming out of U-Tapao,
Anderson and Guam.
They came in threes … Arc Light!

Coming from the 9th, the
22nd, the 91st, 99th, the 306th, the 454th, and
the 461ST, they flew at 50,000 ft,
subsonic speeds, refueled in mid air,
carried 70,000 pounds of mixed ordnance.

Known with affection as BUFFS
Big Ugly Fat Fuckers
Operation Linebacker.

Ten, twelve hours in the sky
peeing in a sleeve,
freezing or scorched while
flying towards hell.

Clear left, limbs seen hanging
clear right, friends literally falling from the sky.

Then, the Christmas Bombings, SAMs brought them down
U-Tapao lost two in mid-air
One in each cell…one on final…the entire crew lost.

Thanks in advance.

You are welcome.  I am sorry that I had to make you wait and I am again most appreciative for your interest and for all that you do for poets online.

My best,
Liz Rice-Sosne (Old Raven) 


The Orange Tree said...

lovely pets there,


Jingle Poetry At The Gooseberry Garden said...

lovely interview.