On the Perks of Aging, Spec Work, & Chicken Soup

“The drive to be successful while still in the first blush of youth … does not apply to the contemplative arts.” My dear fellow writers over 40, we happen to be “in the peak of condition!” as Poirot would say.

“Never work on spec.” — Bob Bly. Watch this video.

Chicken Soup for the Soul wants your stories and poems. Submit.

On Guest Posts, Poem Painting, & Freedom

Want to write a guest post for Indies Unlimited? Read this.

“But your poems are rather hard to understand, whereas your paintings are so easy.
Easy?
Of course — you paint flowers and girls and sunsets; things that everybody understands.
I never met him.
Who?
Everybody.”

Find out who the poet/painter is.

Do you pity yourself? Bully yourself? Choose to be free:

“yet none knows well…”

Sonnet #129

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had
Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

Owl You Need Is “Uyui”

Charmingly clumsy Russian lyrics by a French student of Russian. Mesmerizing music by a French composer. Performed in Russian with a heavy accent by a French band. Animation created by different artists from different cities and countries.

A delightfully imperfect surrealistic mix.

In a nut shell, whenever the singer-storyteller’s down in the dumps or in dire straits, he hears these tender owls calling him from behind “Uyui” and feels his heart lighten.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

“Star of the County Down”–an Irish ballad–one of the all-time greats.

Up until now I’ve never paid much attention to the lyrics, or rather the way they’re written. The tune’s mesmerizing in itself, but the words by Cathal McGarvey (1866–1927) make it even more so.

He distills a vivid story into memorable, and very singable, lyrics highlighted by the tight rhyme scheme: double quatrain stanzas, with the first and third lines of each quatrain featuring an internal rhyme [aa]b[cc]b. (The refrain is a single quatrain with the same rhyming pattern.)

Near Banbridge town, in the County Down, 
One morning last July
Down a boithrin green came a sweet cailin,
And she smiled as she passed me by…

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Enjoy: