Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fun Games to Get Creative Juices Flowing

Just for fun—and to create ideas for stories and poems—play these games. For added fun, play with them with friends to see how many different results can come from the same words.

1) Pick five random, seemingly unrelated words. This can be done by pulling whatever first comes to mind, or by opening a book to the first page that falls open, closing your eyes and putting your finger on a word. Then open another page for the next one, and so forth. Use the five words in a sentence.

2) Pick five random words, but instead of using them all in one sentence, weave them into the first two paragraphs, and then continue with the story you've begun.

3) Pick five random words and create a rhyming poem. This works well for a limerick which consists of five lines.

For example:

1:I'm choosing five words by opening a book and pointing: Get-together, giving, outfits, passivity, school.

With obvious passivity, I went to the get-together where participants were giving outfits to the local school.

2: I'm choosing a different set of words by the same method: Slamming, complimented, relatives, long-term, spread.

Startled by the loud slamming of the door, I held my breath, waiting for my father to scold me. When I heard no forthcoming rebuke, I peeked into the living room to see my parents sitting around a card table with visiting relatives. Cards were spread in rows in front of Dad and my uncle. Canasta.

I turned to leave, but Dad saw me and called me over to the table. I braced myself, but instead of delivering a reprimand, he told my aunt and uncle about my success at a recent spelling bee. I hadn't expected to be complimented, and I smiled my relief. Walking away, I wondered if this new attitude of Dad's heralded a long-term change in our relationship, or if I'd receive a lecture on lady-like conduct when the relatives were gone.

3: Picking more random words: miseries, thank, soaring, worth, minute

The miseries of love and life
Should make you want to thank the strife
When soaring you see what it's worth
the minute you find second birth.

OR a limerick

When miseries try to confound you
Thank the stars they do not impound you,
For when you are soaring
With minute throngs adoring
Your self-worth will certainly ground you.

More word game ideas next time. Have fun.

Monday, January 18, 2010

War and Peace

I'm going to share a couple of poems that I've written as I contemplate the civil rights movement as well as current conflicts on Martin Luther King Day. Much was accomplished by this remarkable man, but so much remains to be done in the fight against inequity and ethnic hatred. It seems that mankind as a whole just can't learn from the past, and greed and intolerance shape the world we live in.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Nothing can bring peace but the triumph of principles."

Here are my poems:

War and Peace

Life and love and joy and peace

and happiness abound;

Yet so does hatred, war and strife

and fighting on the ground.

War and peace and good and evil

seem married to each other.

From day one through history

Man has sought to kill his brother.

Mothers weep for children slain

Wives mourn their spouses lost.

Heads of State when war is done

Don’t like to count the cost.

For soon it all begins again

Upon some foreign shore.

Never learning from the past

They just commit to more.

Sacrificing not themselves

But mothers, dads, and sons

Daughters, wives, and husbands

Are armed with bombs and guns.

Those who long for peace and pray

That common ground be found

Cannot staunch the flow each day

Of blood that soaks the ground.

It’s in the heart of every man

And woman and their brood

To wage an endless battle

‘Tween evil and all that’s good.

Until there is a victory won

By tolerance over greed

Love and peace will never win

O’er hate’s insidious seed.

We each must fight the battle

In our own heart and mind

And to our inner selves be true

If peace and love we’d find.

How Long Must the Darkness Prevail?

How does the world go on turning

When hurting and grieving, we fall?

The incredibly strong human spirit

Rises to answer the call.

The pain and the suffering around us

We notice when we feel the blow,

But the sorrow and pain of today is

Not new to the world as a whole.

As long as the world’s been in motion

And people have felt hate and fear,

Violence has been perpetrated

In both faraway places and near.

Just one thing can possibly stop it

As long as the world goes around:

Hearts filled with love and compassion

In all of mankind must be found.

Respecting the rights of all others,

Considering each others’ pain,

Allowing to each his own tenet

Would permit peace and freedom to reign.

Both poems written and copyrighted by Janet Muirhead Hill

P.O Box 2885, Norris, MT 59745

The poems may be reproduced and shared for free. Please give credit to the author when doing so.