Today, I sit with Sofie as she dreams away. Oh, the life of a dog. With a light breeze, our days are warm, a blessing after sweltering 100 + degrees weeks with no central air in the house. We need rain, Lord. The fire season is upon us here in California, and I pray for rain often. Last year, devastating fires devoured the west coast. It’s strange that while we are in a terrible drought here, other states have flooded. A colossal funnel would be helpful to bring some of that needed rain here. We have had only a spitting of rain all year, where we live. And only two times here, that I am aware of, since the first of the year. The average is about 11 inches. California has had 5 inches since October. California, as you know, is an enormous state. We are in dangerous territory here. I remember water rations when I was a kid. Here, the water company is now asking for us to use 10 percent less water. I’m sure we’re in for more rationing in the near future.
Are we talking about the weather? Sorry. Let’s talk poetry instead. What kind do you like? I tend to try out new forms all the time. I have enjoyed writing free verse lately, although rhyming is generally my thing. I also tend to write in irregular meter—usually 8 and 6 syllables combinations. But recently, sonnets, rondeaus, rondelays, rondels, triolets, and other formulaic poetry have kept me busy. I like the structure, wisely chosen words for the feet, and meter. They are like a puzzle. I like puzzles. Still, I like to write freely at times. But artists are like that. We want to create our own unique design. To do this well, we study the great artists. Whether you draw, paint, compose music, write poetry, write prose, play an instrument, or all of the above—studying the masters, finding out the rules, playing by those rules, hones those skills. And once you know the rules and how they work, you can bend or even break them. You can then craft them into something new, using the knowledge of those who have gone before.
Most importantly, if you have a story to tell, tell it. Sing it. Paint it. Play it. And do so well.
Until next time, blessings.