Not Surprising

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Back of church envelope featuring the motto repeated by Pope John XXIII, and favored by Pope Francis 

“You cannot with a single stroke wipe out all of the sins people in general are committing within the Christian religion, especially within the clerical order, over whom you should be even more watchful. But you certainly can and are obligated to do it, and if you don’t, you would have it on your conscience.”Saint Catherine of Siena

God help us, and Happy Feast of the Holy Family!

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2019 Is Almost Here, Ready To Submit?

Mr. Loulou (Louis Le Ray)

  • Do you feel like poeming about teaching?

Go ahead. Write about K–12 teaching, and/or teachers, and submit your unpublished poem for a chance to win The $1,000 (!) On Teaching Poem Prize. No entry fee. Deadline: January 1st, 2019. Restrictions apply, read the guidelines carefully. Good luck!

  • Do you publish your poetry on Instagram?

Summer 2019 issue of Rattle will be dedicated to Instagram Poets. Submit your poems for a chance to be discovered, and promoted by the notable poetry magazine. You can also nominate poems written by other poets. Deadline: January 15th, 2019.

  • Have you put together your submission to Measure Review?

Guided by the editorial vision of Ashley Anna McHugh, Measure Review, an online magazine of formal poetry, will advance the legacy of Measure. Submissions will open in January, 2019. Get your unpublished sonnets, haiku, etc. ready.

Image: Paul Gauguin. Mr. Loulou (Louis Le Ray), 1890. Oil on canvas, Overall: 21 3/4 x 18 1/4 in. (55.2 x 46.4 cm). BF589. Public Domain.

Are You Feeling Christmas?

Head (Tête); also called Etude de brodeuse

Christmas Wish

I feel no Christmas, cried a little girl,
I don’t feel any of the Christmas cheer,
the tree is up and lit, the garlands swirl,
and Rudolph leads his pack of swift reindeer,

but I feel nothing. Sobbing would not cease…
Old Santa hugged her, Don’t be sad, my dear,
they are not always real — the things one sees,
what’s real is hidden from the eye, but near.

So close your eyes, put on your largest grin,
unlock your heart and let your Christmas in!

© 2013 Sasha A. Palmer (aka Happy)

Wishing you lots of Christmas cheer!

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Head (Tête); also called Etude de brodeuse, 1904. Oil on canvas, Overall (lower edge irregular): 15 x 12 3/4 in. (38.1 x 32.4 cm). BF553. Public Domain.

Tolerant Facebook?

Crucifixion

  • Shame on you, Facebook.

Last week, on the eve of Advent, Facebook blocked Janet Martin’s blog, and deleted all links to it she posted in her feed.

Janet is my friend. We met on poetry forums in 2011, and have been reading each other’s blogs, exchanging emails, and occasional handwritten letters ever since.

If you’ve been to Another Porch you know that Janet is a very talented poet and photographer, and about the sweetest person one can imagine.

Yet Facebook found her offensive.

  • So, what is Janet guilty of?

The official, and vague, reason for Janet’s punishment is “violation of Facebook community standards.”

The unofficial, but likely, reason is Janet’s Christian faith.

Again, if you’ve been to Another Porch you know that Janet is a deeply religious person. Her faith is reflected in everything she does, in everything she writes, and posts.

Do you find Christ offensive, Facebook? Sure looks that way.

  • Put up a fight!

If Facebook discriminates against you, because you are a Christian, or a conservative, don’t just leave Facebook. Stand up for yourself, don’t let them bully you.

“Yes, they do! (target Christians, and conservatives) Not surprising at all. But they will NEVER touch what really matters and God is mightier than FB…his Word will never be silenced or ended. Hallelujah!” — Janet Martin

P.S. Even the links Janet posted in a private conversation in her Messenger were deleted. Guess what she linked to? Poems about Advent.

P.S. Janet’s blog has been unblocked, and she can post links to her blog again. Janet, being Janet, wants to think it might have been a glitch, or a faulty algorithm, etc. Maybe so. However, Facebook has repeatedly removed conservative posts from my feed, or pushed them way down so they became almost impossible to find; Facebook deleted my conservative Catholic friend’s opinion post, and the whole comment thread it generated, without any explanation, etc. And the fact that “private” Messenger is censored makes it even harder to trust Facebook. So, I’ll stick to my version of what happened. 

Image: Austrian Master. Crucifixion, c. 1400–1420. Tempera and gold on panel, Overall: 18 3/8 x 11 1/8 in. (46.7 x 28.3 cm). BF828. Public Domain.

Poetry Periodical & December Contests

Mont Sainte-Victoire (La Montagne Sainte-Victoire)

  • New Poetry Periodical!

Ugly Duckling Presse is starting a new poetry periodical.

UDP will accept up to 5 pages of poetry by December 31, for possible inclusion in the first issue, to be released in early 2019.

Submissions from new writers, translators, and people living outside the US are especially encouraged.

Read the guidelines carefully, and submit.

  • December is a great month for writing contests!

Plenty of FREE writing contests to choose from.

Again, read the guidelines carefully, and submit your work. Good luck!

Image: Paul Cézanne. Mont Sainte-Victoire (La Montagne Sainte-Victoire), c. 1900. Watercolor and graphite on laid paper, Overall: 12 3/8 x 19 1/8 in. (31.5 x 48.5 cm). BF652. Public Domain.

Let Us Be Thankful

River Scene–Boat and Trees

The leaves are falling off the trees…
Here goes
Another one! Folks bundle up so they won’t freeze…oh,
No! The summer’s gone. Where does the summer spend the fall? Where does it go, you
Know? I miss it
So…the heat and all…but wait! How ‘bout the snow? I love that stuff! It makes me
Grin, when
I look up and let the fluffy flakes fall on my chin, and tongue…no, not just yet — I’ll
Visit, where’s that place you say, where now the summer stays? But
I can’t go till in the snow I’ve played for days and days…
No, I can’t
Go till in the snow I’ve played for days and days!

© 2018 Sasha A. Palmer (a.k.a. Happy)

Image: Ernest Lawson. River Scene–Boat and Trees, c. 1907–1910. Oil on canvas, Overall: 25 1/8 x 30 1/8 in. (63.8 x 76.5 cm). BF484. Public Domain.

On Saying “No” & November Writing

  • Rings a bell?

Whatever anyone talked about, and there was a lot of talking, you couldn’t tell anyone that what he was saying was wrong. You couldn’t tell anyone that. You had to say, “Yes, that’s right.” To say “no” was not allowed — death. And those folks wouldn’t stop saying, “Freedom.” How strange.

K.A. Korovin, a famous Russian artist; a diary entry on the post-revolutionary Russia

  • Do you keep a diary?

Might be a neat idea for the writing month of November — starting a diary. Or, if you feel like socializing, check out ten online writing communities recommended by Writer’s Digest.

Whichever writing activity you choose — spring into action, and enjoy!

Image: K.A. Korovin, “Spring” 1917, public domain

 

On “Delete” Buttons & November

Landscape (Paysage)

  • Think of deleting your Blogger blog?

Think again. According to Adam of Too Clever By Half, there’re at least four reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Luckily, if you’re tired of your Blogger blog, don’t want to see it, etc., you have a much better option than hitting the “delete” button.

  • It’s November — are you writing?

Whether you’re on Blogger, WordPress..whether you blog or not, if you’re a writer, chances are you’ve set some daring writing goals for November. That’s great.

However…if you feel that NaNoWriMo isn’t your thing — you aren’t alone. It’s okay to be a slow writer. Some of them are doing quite well. Heed what Anne R. Allen has to say.

Do what feels right, and write.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Landscape (Paysage), c. 1900–1905. Oil on canvas, Overall: 8 x 12 1/4 in. (20.3 x 31.1 cm). BF236. Public Domain.

All Saints’ Day

  • A message for the Pope:

“You cannot with a single stroke wipe out all of the sins people in general are committing within the Christian religion, especially within the clerical order, over whom you should be even more watchful. But you certainly can and are obligated to do it, and if you don’t, you would have it on your conscience. …

Do you know what will happen to you if you don’t set things right by doing what you can? God wants you to reform his bride completely; he doesn’t want her to be leprous any longer. If your holiness does not do all you can about this — because God has appointed you and given you such dignity for no other purposes — God will do it himself by using all sorts of troubles.”

Saint Catherine of Siena writing to Pope Urban VI in 1380.

Amen.

Those who should be in the forefront of fighting for the Church and her values — heed the warning.

  • And here’s Saint Catherine’s message for everyone:

“Start being brave about everything. Drive out darkness and spread light. Don’ look at your weaknesses. Realize instead that in Christ crucified you can do everything.”

Never despair. Never give up your faith. Never let your soul slumber.

Image: painting by Fra Angelico, 15th century, public domain

Did Poetry Need Saving?

Portrait of a Man Holding a Watch

  • Are you a poet? Read the following statements:

“A day in the life can consist of all-day writing, touring, or, perhaps unprecedented for a poet, time in the office with her team to oversee operations and manage projects.

Building their own mini brands, poets can harness e-commerce to supplement their income.”

  • Did this make you flinch? Chances are you aren’t a wealthy poet.

Most likely, not a Rupi Kaur’s fan. You probably don’t think that Instagram saved poetry. You might very well doubt that poetry needed saving in the first place.

“But poetry, like any other art, must adapt to the world changing around it.” Must it? Hmm… I wonder.

  • Don’t despair. You are not alone.

“…the man who has often been called the greatest poet of the 20th century struggled to make ends meet. He accepted money from relatives to buy underwear and pajamas, and anxiety over his finances drove him to breakdowns.”

His name is T.S. Eliot.

Just keep writing poetry.

Image: Frans Hals. Portrait of a Man Holding a Watch, 1643. Oil on canvas, Overall: 32 1/2 x 26 1/4 in. (82.6 x 66.7 cm). BF262. Public Domain.