When I was little my parents made sure I would learn how to swim. They figured that since we lived next to Lake Michigan that if I didn't learn to swim, it'd be wrong. It would be just wrong to live next to a Great Lake and not learn how to manage the waves. So when I was four I was put in swimming lessons. Here I'd be able to learn. I'd get a feel for the water and the way your eyes burn when you've been exposed to the chlorine. Yes, I think I had goggles but you know what I mean. Feeling the flow of the water wasn't really scary. They strapped me into those floaties so I'd always be carried. Eventually you learn to let those floaties go. After time the deep end becomes the real prize. You know, when you first learn to swim you start with just a toe? You dip it in the cool water and then s l o w l y you put in a little more and keep going until your feet finally touch the floor of the swimming pool. It can take some time to get to the deep end. Some people love to just dive in. Not me. I had to work my way up. Finally, when I did it I felt like the ultimate winner - like I was a real Olympic swimmer. I'd need a gold medal to showcase my mettle and to display to the world how I made it to the deep end and I'd be unforgettable! Little me, tiny little me - can you imagine? With all of the lessons I was more than prepared for Lake Michigan. I was prepared for the salty oceans, the streams, rivers and the little ponds. There was not a single body of water that I'd not dive upon. Head first as I submerge myself into the wells of the world where maybe just maybe I'd learn something new about myself and everybody else. In the process of it all, it seems like it was so long ago that I really learned what it meant to go off the deep end. The deep end endeavor is all too heavy for any regular swimmer to comprehend. You'd need pristine training, and even then - you might not fit in.
Sorryto be blunt, not everyone is meant for the deep end. I was just a lucky one. You might think of it as chosen. By experiencing the deep end, I learned not to depend. F r e e z i n g. Ice cold waves resemble the ways of old and familiar former companions who shapeshifted into shadows and who all became so shallow. S W I M. The waves, broken and choppy, they'll push you around and pull you down. Ride them. They will always try to drown, but there's a secret. Listen. In the deep end you can never feel the bottom. That may be part of the problem; In the deep end do you have the ability to feel? Or comprehend what is even real if you never hit the bottom? Once you've been in the deep end for a while, you despise all things shallow. When they say I've gone off the deep end, just know that it's true. I was built for this; no, trained for this. Not everyone can handle the deep end blues. Not everyone can swim. Not everyone can handle the weight of the waves. Can you?
I’m just a product In a department store. Waiting on a shelf To be used like a whore. And when they are done they Turn their backs On the shelf once again. They consume me 'til they’re done. 'Til they have no use for me anymore. It never matters that I cared. It never matters how long I was there. It never matters the time we spent. It only matters what they spent. They want a return. They want a refund. They want the newest model, the next best thing. Except, now - I’m vintage. They don’t make ‘em like me anymore. The new models are not as efficient. They say the new models are cheaply made - or that they’re all the same. They break down easily and they don’t work. They’d never have a warranty. Maybe the consumers should have thought of that before. Maybe the consumers should have recognized my value. I’m a product with nothing left to prove. They made their choice, they are the Ones who choose. I don’t have an option and really - I never did. Donate me NOW to some “less fortunate” person - Maybe they will bid! Maybe they will cherish me, And keep me safe. They’ll look at me and say: “This one’s a keeper.” “A real collector’s item - she’s rare - she’s got old school features.” Unique - I’d be. Complete - I’d be. Finally - I’d be Loved. © KIMBERLY ANNE INC. 2022
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Ode to Anonymous - Pindaric Ode - Lyrical Poem New beauty with frosted skin and colorful harmony, Singing warrior songs, under skies covered with nightfall. A sleek princess with a voice like warm honey, Your soft tongue, well-influenced by life’s days, your arsenal. You sound just like a fantasy, and never could be heartless; I am consumed. With piercing eyes, like sapphire ocean waves, you struck me leaving wonderful wounds. A whirl of energy enters me, and I’m enthralled with you; it is so wrong, Searching for your taste, to you I do not belong. Your lips are unafraid, and bitter as vinegar. Grim lady, you are genuinely magnetic. Your melody is lucid; haunting and sinister. The chaos that is you, inspires only those most poetic. My captivating, candy-coated glacial Queen, Your euphonic touch is so surreal, this must be a dream. by KimberlyAnneInc
My poem was definitely inspired by someone. It’s an Ode, so that should be pretty self-explanatory.
For all you know, it could be the Queen of England, or Betty White. Maybe I’m a bit fond of her. Whoever this is about, can be revealed at a later time. For now – let’s talk about lyrical poems.
The more I’ve been studying poetry, and its different forms and structures, they less intimidated I feel by it. I remember writing poems as a little kid in my bedroom. Music and words have somehow always made me feel more complete. For as long as I can remember I’ve considered music, poems, storytelling, art and everything in between as the most important and valid forms of expression. Emotional expression, artistic expression – these are actual declarations of human existence.
Despite writing little rhymes when I was a kid, somehow in my adult life within the last decade or so I started to let poetry intimidate me. I thought I couldn’t do it. I thought it would be pointless or a waste of time. Somehow along the way, I lost a piece of my creative self-expression. I’m grateful now to have put more time into learning, and I mean truly learning more about poetry and reconnecting with my own creative spark of self-expression.
My poem above, Ode to Anonymous is an example of a Pindaric Ode. During my studies, I learned about many different kinds of poetry; and lyrical poetry was one of them.
Lyrical poetry does not just consist of odes, but in this blog – that is what I’ll be focusing on. Generally, lyric poetry focuses on a brief description of intense thoughts and emotions. Sometimes this style of poetry is about nature, romance, grief, or death – just to name a few.
In my example above, it does have a bit of romance, but there are plenty of other elements that are hidden and not so hidden. Lyric poetry is also meant to be read aloud. By studying even further, I realize how important it is now to read poems aloud and hear them read aloud by others.
The thing with poetry is that when it’s spoken, and you hear it vs. just reading it, it can be interpreted differently. It’s like you experience the words differently. You feel the emotion differently. The message that the poet is trying to send is just absorbed so much better when you hear the words aloud.
The form of my poem above is called Pindaric Ode. The Pindaric Ode originated in ancient Greece and is named after Pindar. He was known as one of the most epic lyric poets of all time. Pindar is also the reason why Odes exist.
The word ode derives from the Greek word oide, which means “to sing or chant.” Odes were originally performed to music. The duration, metrical patterns, and rhyme of these songs were certainly different long ago. Since the time of the ancient Greeks, odes have evolved into three different varieties, but the core form and premise have remained the same.
If you want to learn more about all three types of Odes, check out the Poetry Foundation website. (By the way, The Poetry Foundation is based in my hometown, Chicago – so you know I have to show love!)
The structure of an ode is distinct from that of other forms of poetic expression. Each of the three varieties of odes has its own particular characteristics. In contrast to Pindaric and Horatian odes, which must adhere to strict rules, irregular odes are free to take any form. It is common for odes to be constructed of several lines or stanzas of poetry, but they can be of any length.
In ancient Greece, odes to sports or other events were designed to be performed with dancers and a chorus. Odes were used in celebration of major athletic affairs, such as the Olympics.
Pindar enjoyed including mythical allusions in his art as a way of paying homage to the gods. See, now this is something Pindar and I have in common. If you know me, you know how much I love allusions and mythology. Pindar was spot-on by making sure everyone knew that mythological allusions are the best. Pindar was one super cool dude; he even taught Sappho a thing or two. Epic.
Before I get carried away about mythology and allusions, let me get back to the point!
The particular form that I used above is the Pindaric three stanza form, also known as a public/celebration form. The reason for this is due to Pindaric odes commonly being used for public events, sports competitions, or celebrations.
Generally speaking, Pindaric odes are separated into three sections, or stanzas: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode.
- strophe – first section of an ode; a group of stanzas of alternating metrical form (see my 1st stanza and check out the ending words of lines 1-4)
- antistrophe – second section in a poem consisting of alternating stanzas in contrasting metrical form (kind of like the 1st stanza, but AABB pattern instead of ABAB for rhyming end words)
- epode – third section that follows the strophe and antistrophe and completes the movement (Stanza 3 (6-line sestet) – lines 9-14)
And there you have the structure and form of a Pindaric Ode! Writing poems with strict form and rules is actually quite challenging – especially if you’re a rebel writer like me. One time I did get in trouble for writing too many words over the limit on a school assignment. I have issues, I know – but only the best kind. It’s embarrassing since that happened not so long ago, but it’s true! If you are a rebel writer, tend to overwrite or just totally despise following forms and structures of any kind – but especially in writing, then you understand what I mean. 🙂
An Ode that I read, that really helped me understand the form of a Pindaric Ode was the poem, The Bard by Thomas Gray.
Here’s a stanza from his poem:
II.2. "'Mighty victor, mighty lord, Low on his funeral couch he lies! No pitying heart, no eye, afford A tear to grace his obsequies. Is the Sable Warrior fled? Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead. The swarm, that in thy noon-tide beam were born? Gone to salute the rising Morn. Fair laughs the Morn, and soft the Zephyr blows, While proudly riding o'er the azure realm In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes; Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm; Regardless of the sweeping Whirlwind's sway, That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey.
See the rhyme scheme and pattern?! The poem was crafted with excellence and has provided me with a perfect example on how I could attempt to write my own Pindaric Ode (even though mine is much shorter!).
In this poem by Gray, he presents ideas about two nations sharing a common history. Gray sought to investigate the concept of the significance of Wales within an old British nation.
Gray chose the poem’s structure and words with care and intention in order to make his poem appear a bit more ancient, and more important, so that he could use it to convey his ideas.
The conflict between Edward I, the English invader, and the last bard of Wales is depicted in Thomas Gray’s poem “The Bard,” which was written in 1757. The poem was a major success, and it played a significant role in establishing the image of the Welsh mountains as a symbol of liberty in popular culture.
I could probably go on and on about this, but it’s late so I’ve got to stop right here. A post from me was way overdue, so I figured this would suffice. If you’ve read this far, thank you. Your attention span makes me extremely jealous! I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe learned something new. Let me know in the comments.
To read more, you can check out these links for reference:
Do you remember the first time you brought your newborn home from the hospital? Your first baby. Do you remember counting every breath? Feeling their chest? Putting your ear next to their tiny little lips that would one day ask, “WHY?”
I’ve recalled that feeling and lived it again. But this time with no bassinet, no crib, no play pen. Instead I’m laying on the bathroom floor, worried sick. Counting breaths per second as the clock ticks. As I think of my foolish ways, and the dismay that was brought on by today, I ponder it all as I stare at my new stray. With all that I can and all I’ve got, an offering should take place.
She’s eating and breathing and drinking which is a relief. Considering her condition, as told by the vet it’s somewhat of a rendition of – well, I don’t even need to tell. You already know. She’s mostly silver, grayish, kinda blue. She has a tiny white patch on her chest too. Her eyes are the darkest green, but somehow resemble emeralds or jade that have been spun into a galaxy that lives in her gaze.
Mystic as she is no matter what is wrong, I’ll treat her like my own and sing her all the songs. The ones I always chant to the other two I have, like a ritual I plant and water what I can.
Filled her water several times, because she kept drinking and drinking. Water is a gift of life, primordial and consistently. Thinking and thinking, I call her Nixie. Tiny little sprite, washing everything down. I watch her, observing as she circles around. 9 times like the waters of Styx. If she has 9 lives, then I hope they let me have – at least one.
I hope she doesn’t go yet, because we’ve only just begun. But if she has to take her journey, she won’t do it alone. Precious little Nixie Styx, this can be your new home. ✨
Celestial Windows© – a Prose Poem by KimberlyAnneInc
Running again I see you chasing me. Is it impossible for me to see without eyes on the back of my head? I’m cornered as you climb through the window to get inside. The tiny little white square window that you somehow managed to open. How can you fit inside? In a world where nothing is solid of course, it makes sense. You push your way through and seep inside like liquid. This is impossible but you have your ways. I cannot escape and I’m trapped. Pushed into the corner and the walls made of light brown wood melted and pushed into me right back. You’ve done this many times and when I try to run you always catch me. Sometimes I want to make up with you but I know that when I do it will always end the same. It always ends the same. You grab the cell phone out of my hand. You question me again. You corner me. You squeeze me and it hurts. You do not let me go. In fear and fright, I scream and I cry but only in a way that I can recognize. You are not able to see. The walls start to melt around us as they push us closer together like flowing waters against rock pushing, pushing, pushing, until the imprints are made, the curves are present on the gray cold stone. Exactly what I don’t want. In terror, I freeze. I won’t let you see it. Smile at you so I can play tricks too just like you. I wish I could be like you. I want to crawl out of the window that you climbed in but my feet do not work. Solid like a cold gray stone. How can I escape this moment? The only thing that is left for me to do is wake. Wake. At my wake, they will stand vigil.
They will stand watch like Cerberus who barks in the lot. Watching and waiting like I will wake up. Wake. I just want to wake. Up. Lately, I’ve been so down. Like the pits within the earth, the ones that are covered in green moss and brown dirt. How much farther can I go? Digging and digging, below. Picking the colors from the earth as I become the meadow and picking at my flesh; this is what I do now. I pick them and dig. I cry out for Charon, please come and help. Escaping this place is what I must do. Digging and digging I want to go. I’ve had my wake and I cannot wake, take me across the waters made of souls dark and light and warm and cold. The agony above somehow compares to Theogony of all. Styx pushes and it melts but it’s nothing like you, not even with all of its shadows. Yours tops it all as a veil over the sun.
Running again the craft of Charon cruises down the bed made of spirit as it carries me to a castle. Here you will find me but you certainly won’t catch me. I’ve found something much more powerful than you but only in the most fervent way. Abducting myself to travel to another realm with a barrier in between and live with all of the things unseen. It’s better this way I think while passing through Elysium and the Meadows of Asphodel. Finally making my way through after many journeys I find myself in Tartarus which somehow is better than being Up and awake and in the presence of you. Persephone may want to run and if she does I hope she comes to you. I will send her myself and then take her place and look into the eyes of a god who can’t be worse than you. Hades would stand with a seraphic grin as I tell him all of the things and with his own celestial windows bearing his spirit I’d feel safe and warm in this otherworldly underworldly place that is somehow swarming with the ice of frozen souls but none would compare to you. Tired no more I wouldn’t run. No longer can I see you chasing me. I’m too busy filling bowls with seeds of pomegranate fruit and all on my own because it’s all much better than you. Shoving the seeds into my mouth and swallowing them down, planting myself there forever so that I never see you again but somehow if I do in this world they will already know you. Seeds, all of the seeds make it easier for me. You can run now I am the Queen and in the realm of the dead in the far depths of the Underworld, I am more alive than ever. This new sweet taste of disposition is something I envision Cupid’s bow and arrow would never be vigorous enough to create as I stare into the celestial windows.
I have a gift for you, my grandpa says. With excitement, I jump up and down. So tiny and little, my feet make no sound. He has a box and it's wrapped with a bow. Someday, my dear, you will certainly know. Keep the box with you and never let go. This gift will guide you and it will protect. When it is open you can see the things you will never forget. Greater than any other gift, nothing will compare. Unwrap the box and you will see how I care. All of those times you should not have been alive, And should not have survived, It was me And the gift, Working out of sight. The one that I gave you so long ago. The prettiest one, that was wrapped with a bow. You have much work to do still, here in this life. This is a gift that can withstand all time. You can pass down the gift to your own down the line. It was given to me, and now I’ve given it to you. Stay strong and have courage, as we need you to do. There is no greater gift than the truest of love. Marching behind you, we push and we shove. Your wisdom is brimming, your light they'll try dimming. Do your greatest and make us so proud. Believe in the magic and keep passing it around. Do not be afraid, and hold close your gift. It’s been crafted with much care, I’m here to uplift. Remember me always, my grandpa says. No longer tiny and little, I’m fierce and I’m loud. When I stomp on the ground my feet do make a sound. With all of my force I shake and I scream, Energy swarms and it moves and I see. All of the things I was meant to see. With the power of the gift, I have so much more. It’s everything I’d ever need or could imagine. More than just one lifetime could fathom. Looking at the gift now, the box and the bow, I wrap it back up knowing what I know. Tie it so tightly, With all the love And care that I can, Now the box feels mighty, even more than before. Set it aside and wait patiently for the next, Now when it’s my turn I’ll give it to them too, When they most need it! When the day comes, with honor I'll tell Someday, my dear, you will certainly know. Greater than any other gift, nothing will compare. With the power of this gift, You will never be defeated. Keep the box close and always be aware. Untie the bow and you will see how I care.
Wandering in the snow.
Freezing in the cold.
Can’t stay afloat.
The horns are crowning –
The top of her head.
Breaking through her skull.
Just like the doubt.
The monster trips,
But will it fall?
Is anyone there to catch the one who walks alone?
Who can see what is underneath
the rough skin and coarse fur?
Concealed and unrevealed.
Clenched jaw and grinding teeth.
All she needed was warmth.
Retreated to an open space,
Deficient of a hearth.
With no pressure.
No eye could see the monster’s face.
No one can tamper with.
The flowers spring out,
Like the horns;
From the dirt in the ground,
Now she is a myth.
Words by: @kimberlyanneinc
Art by: Inna Vjuzhanina
The first time I saw your face My heart sank into my chest It fell into my stomach! My eyes could not believe the sight You took over my entire being No one else had any meaning. How could I be so lucky? You just fell into my life On one of the worst nights. I could get lost in you, Like you could get lost in me, It’s been years now and - My feeling only grows deeper. If there was ever a time I was not sure, It’s not today. I made some mistakes But still, I cannot ever replace you. I don’t want to go back and forth Or waste any more time. It is easy to see That you should be mine. I am addicted to your mind. When I look into your eyes I feel like I am home. This is where I want to be and this is where I will stay. Only if you let me. Just let me stay, I’ll be with you forever. I will never leave your side. You mean more to me than most, And more than you will probably ever know! My words written can never explain. They will never portray! It would be impossible to capture how I feel. Trying to catch that feeling and make it tangible, Just to show you that it's real. It can’t happen. I just need you to believe In the chemistry. When I’m with you Time Does Not Exist. You always notice the little things. The important ones. You remember. Can you be yourself with me? I can with you. It’s hard to do with others, But they don’t matter now. Focused. We are focused. When you smile at me I know what it means. With you, everything feels different. It feels right. Let me keep you forever, Brilliant. Like a bright light. You showed me how to love again, And how to be a friend. In the darkest times, My soul was lost. Now it has been found. To you, I owe many things. A teacher and a lover. A true best friend. Let me keep you forever, For me, there is no one better. Sweet as honey. I Love you endlessly because With you it's always sunny.
“Don’t lie to me”, she says? But did you know, she lies to herself? She denies herself, every day. Yes, and every night. She can never admit that she is riding the waves. She goes through the motions! That girl is in love. “Don’t lie to me”, she tells him. “I’d never”, he said. She is only allowed to lie to herself. She wants him to know it. Put her feelings on a shelf. Like a book waiting to be read. Untouched, collecting dust. Pick me up! Open me. It screams at her when she looks. On the back burner. They are still kept warm, those feelings. Sweet like a cobbler or freshly baked pie. She knows they are there. They gotta cool off! She ignores them. The flame becomes too hot. Even when on low. But don't burn the house down now. Keep an eye on it. Don’t stare too long. It won’t cook right if you do. That’s what I’ve told her. Do you think she will listen? Oh, she is in love! She can’t keep lying to herself. Not good for her health. She’s gotta recognize it soon. She will. Denial doesn’t last forever. Nothing does. She can’t lie to herself. She’s so addicted to him! Impossible to catch a buzz. What can she do? If she cannot be true? Maybe it will drive her mad. You mean, like the hatter? Not that bad. She’ll figure it out. Hopefully sooner than later. If only she knew. She is the dictator. Of her heart.
I'm wearing your t-shirt again.
It hangs off my body
Flows down past my hips,
And covers barely enough.
I'm In your t-shirt again.
Lying in bed.
There's lots of room,
More than enough.
I'm wearing your t-shirt again .
It's the only thing I've got.
To help me feel like I'm not alone.
But it's never enough.
I'm In your t-shirt again.
Pondering to myself
How All of it happened;
Wishing you were here.
It's just Way too much.
I'm wearing your t-shirt again.
I washed it the other day,
Put some extra bleach to keep it white.
Just how you like.
It doesn't smell like you.
But it brings me solace,
While I lay on the floor.
The bed is too empty,
Unlike my head.
By myself -
Yet another night.
The snow is dancing around.
Like powdered sugar,
It's soft and bright.
Glowing in the night.
Just like this t-shirt
That you gave me.
So, I could always have it,
To remind myself of you.
Staring in the mirror,
At the curves of my legs,
Looking at these threads,
That cover me, just me -
As I count the days.
But it's simply not enough.
It won't be until you can
Be here with me.
With how the seasons
If it will ever be enough.
I will be here.
With only Thought and Memory.
Trying to reason.
The Loneliest of heathens.
Wearing your t-shirt again,
Until it becomes almost like skin.