Monday, February 4, 2013

The Creation of Bayou Summer



In my last post I mentioned my questionable relationship with Twitter and it's highly addictive nature. It's where I go to give my blog posts an additional audience, to rant a bit about politics and the issues of the day that give me pause for concern, and to laugh at the spectacularly creative and funny people who inhabit that strange universe. It has also become something else for me, something wholly unexpected when I first signed up almost two years ago @TeresaEvangelin.

I noticed a few Twitter pals were writing what is known as micropoetry, wee poems that must stay within the 140 character limitation of Twitter, which requires writers to winnow, refine, and reduce.

Poetry is often very personal and intimate. So, in order to be more comfortable, and with the encouragement of my friend, Cletis Stump, I created a persona, Bayou Summer, and asked the few who knew to help me maintain anonymity. Bayou came out of my deep love for the city of New Orleans and my inexplicable sense of familiarity with its streets. You may find her @bayousummer

After a month or so of hiding behind this persona, and with the encouragement of those who knew, I'm now comfortable revealing that Bayou Summer is Teresa Evangeline. For those of you on Twitter who wish to do so, you may find a gallery of those I consider my best micropoems @bayousummer2.

Here are a few of my micropoems. I hope you enjoy them.





Whippoorwills calling in the cool August night ~ a woman's handbag ~ left open on the table

A silver earring ~ an unfinished poem ~ a sandal with a broken strap

Blue heron sings in the river as the ocean swallows the moon

How many tears will fit inside my grandmother's blue willow tea cup ~ this small cup ~ that once held snowflakes

I awake to your voice ~ a poem so bittersweet ~ I turn to you and we drift into morning

We float down the river of longing on a raft of fallen leaves...

You drive ~ I'll put my head in your lap ~ and my feet out the window

Storm clouds move over prairie ~ in tall grass ~ the meadowlark sings

Crow walks past puddle ~ filled with morning rain ~ sees only sky

Butterflies tremble on raspberry stained fingers...

Grass stains on her eyelet sundress ~ longhorns in the distance

1) Five miles down a gravel road ~ farmhouse on the river ~ curtains blowing in the breeze ~ above the kitchen table

2) Lilacs rest beside the sink ~ bare feet warm as summer ~ these need a drink she said to him ~ and then I'll be right over

Swans against a darkening sky ~ on perfect wings of being

Inside my cupped hand ~ a baby bird's last breath

He plays dulcimer on city streets ~ with gold dust in his hair

He slips into the room ~ to where she sleeps in shadows ~ a box of stars in his strong hands

On his tongue ~ the beautiful rolling of words

In Jackson Square ~ a piano plays ~ the fan turns and shadows melt into air

A bluebird's empty nest in the corner of the attic ~ sometimes at night I hear it ~ slowly filling up with longing








Images by artists Jonathan Green and Rene Magritte, and a photograph from NASA.

40 comments:

  1. Oh these are fun -- I was not familiar with micropoetry. Just enough words to tell about a tiny piece of time and/or space. -- barbara

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    1. Barbara, I encourage you to give it a try. I'm having so much fun creating these vignettes.

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  2. Hello Teresa:
    The strict word count on Twitter certainly does make for pared down writing. The bare bones of your ideas which you have shared here today are absolutely enchanting. So many themes and thoughts condensed and concentrated which, after reading, simply explode in the mind.

    We have enjoyed this so much!

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    1. Jane and Lance, I'm so glad you've enjoyed them. Given your vast experiences in life and literature I find your comments very encouraging.

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  3. Welcome out of the Twitter closet, Teresa. I like these small micro-poems, which are similar to the "stones" that are being written throughout the blogosphere. I wasn't aware of your connection to New Orleans. I spent my youth about ninety miles from New Orleans, and knew it well in my youth.

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    1. George, Thank You! It feels liberating! :) I recall your post about seeking and finding William Faulkner when you were a student. I haven't spent a lot of time there, but I feel a part of myself has always been there. A fascinating city.

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  4. I have tried Twitter before and just never quite "got" it. I might need to give it another try, if this is the indication of what can happen. For me, the two:

    "He plays dulcimer on city streets ~ with gold dust in his hair" and "A bluebird's empty nest in the corner of the attic ~ sometimes at night I hear it ~ slowly filling up with longing" capture the essence of the small amount of words allowed. I must try this sometime, it would be a great mental exercise.

    New Orleans fascinates and scares me. I have been twice and have been smitten by it. Were I a decade or so younger, I'd consider an extended stay there. There would be tales to create there.

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    1. Morgan, You must give it a try. I believe you would be quite good at it. You have a wonderful way with words, and it is a great writing/mental exercise.

      It's never too late... New Orleans would most definitely create some great life stories for you. ;)

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  5. I have an acquaintance who is a micropoet. His name is Henry Wadsworth Shortfellow, and Twitter's 140-character limit suits him to a lower-case t. [Sorry, couldn't resist.:)]

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    1. So, what would that do to his epic poem "Evangeline"?

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  6. The text would read, "Good News!", leaving over 100 characters for the scholarly apparatus.

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  7. Easy to take any of those and make a stanza. You know I write very small myself.Do U know you have word verification that is hard to see?

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    1. No, but I have gotten rid of it, yet again.

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  8. I especially love the imagery in the blue willow teacup. You are so talented, Teresa. I can see why you can become addicted to this sort of thing. Lovely! Thanks for sharing with me over here on your blog, since I don't "do" Twitter. :-)

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    1. That particular poem has had what they call the most "retweets," others tweeting them intact from my page to theirs with attribution. It's gratifying to know some of these speak to others. I'm glad this one did to you. :)

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  9. Pleased to meet you Summer Bayou - some of those lines are deliciously memorable : a sip of rare single malt rather than a draught of beer.

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  10. Dear Teresa, you truly are a poet at heart. Your 140-characters-or-less poems are so evocative. With few words you help me enter a feeling or a place or an experience. Thank you. Peace.

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    1. Thank you so much, Dee. I've surprised myself even. :)

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  11. The art of writing succinctly, especially in a poetic form, is almost a lost art. You certainly have shown that you do well at this. You make the reader stop, think, and often smile! A bit like the short, thoughtful rhythm of Haiku, don't you think? In any regards, brilliant!

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    1. Yes, it is similar to haiku, but not the traditional format. It seems to be evolving... :)

      Thank you!

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  12. Oh, and this is my favorite!

    "I awake to your voice ~ a poem so bittersweet ~ I turn to you and we drift into morning"

    Just wonderful

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    1. I'm so glad you shared your favorite... Thank you!

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  13. How lovely ...all of it ! Yes it does have a haiku feel. Wonderful job bringing us along with such descriptive pieces!

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    1. Hi Willow. So glad you visited. I love the description in your interests in your profile. Happy Blogging!

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  14. Awesome micro poems! Especially love...
    "Crow walks past puddle ~ filled with morning rain ~ sees only sky" and
    "a box of stars in his strong hands".
    Haven't ventured into Twiter yet...not sure how it works.

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    1. well, I see you have figured it out... :) Thanks for your comments, Cat.

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  15. Lovely poems, ringing with beauty, inspire me to try

    As the farmer weeds his garlic, geese glide across the sunset, honking

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    1. Bill, You're a natural. I mean that. That is perfect. You will have so many opportunities to write what you see. Please do and join us at Twitter. It's fun!

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    2. That just happened to me and it was quite beautiful. As I was walking home, I remembered this post and decided to take a stab at it. I appreciate your kind words, but a natural I'm not. :)

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    3. Actually, it does have a wonderful haiku feel to it in the very traditional sense. I love the image, and "As the farmer weeds his garlic," is very nice... truly.

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  16. Beautiful! They're extremely visual, I can imagine an illustration instantly for each of them.
    First warm feeling I've had towards Twitter!

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    1. Thank you, Jill! almost every day I swear I'm going to leave it and yet I hang on because of this... :) Maybe that's a poem :))

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  17. These micropoems are beautifully crafted as is your prose. Creating vivid, sensual imagery in so few words is a rare gift. I truly am in awe of your ability to do this...

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    1. Hi, Cletis. I hope you know how much your encouragement means and has always meant to me... without it this might never have happened. I'm so grateful for your friendship.

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  18. Hi Teresa,

    My relationship with Twitter is uneven. Sometimes my timeline is very entertaining, but often it's frustrating.

    I've recently become interested in flash fiction -- similar to micro poetry in the constraint of word counts. I'm working on a few stories, but haven't posted any yet.

    It's good that you have linked your name to your micro poetry. If you hadn't, I may never have seen your poetry.

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    1. Hi Ray, My relationship with Twitter is love/hate... :)) I don't know if I'm going to continue...giving it some time to see, but thinking of closing my accounts and just continue blogging. I like the idea of flash fiction, but mine would come out of a memoir type of writing.

      I'm so glad you followed the link. It's appreciated.

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