A to Z Challenge – J is for Justice

April 11, 2015 at 12:05 am | Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015, Poetry | 9 Comments
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A2Z-BADGE [2015] - Life is Good

During my most creative and productive years, when I still had the enthusiasm and energy for my writing, I entered many competitions. A lot of these were on wordpress.com. Some were for short stories, and a lot were for poetry. Through entering these competitions, I encountered many different forms of poetry, and wrote them too. Some were better than others.

One form, with which I was previously unfamiliar, was the pleiades. This was

invented in 1999 by Craig Tigerman, Sol Magazine‘s lead editor.

The poetry form name comes from the star cluster Pleiades in the constellation Taurus, which consists of hundreds of stars, though only six are visible. In Classical Mythology. seven daughters of Atlas and half sisters of the Hyades, were placed among the stars to save them from the pursuit of Orion. One of them (the Lost Pleiad,) hides, either from grief or shame. The Seven Sisters were Alcyone, Asterope, Celaeno, Electra, Maia, Merope and Tygeta. Nearby in the cluster are the parents, Atlas and Pleione, which are clearly visible.

The Pleiades form consists of the following:

A one-word title;

Seven lines, each beginning with the same letter as the title;

Each line is usually six syllables, but can be longer.

Here is the Pleiades poem I wrote for a competition:

Justice

Judges, uphold rule of law;

Juries decide outcomes,

Juggling fact and fiction.

Judicial process becomes a

Juggernaut, lumbering,

Jealously guarding forms’ sake;

Jeopardising true justice.

(c)  Linda Visman

Share Your World –Week 41

October 18, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Posted in Australia, Experiences, Family, Society | 13 Comments
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Share Your World blog badge

Here is week 41 of Cee Neuner’s Share Your World, where we answer Cee’s questions to share a little of ourselves and our world with others around the planet.

Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?

Both hubby and I love to take photos, to record our lives as we live them. When we visit family, we are both busy taking photos of our kids and grandkids. We only occasionally get a look-in ourselves. We will often come home to find there are no photos of us among the hundred or two we have taken!

Although many people hate having their photo taken, I don’t mind it. I would like my family in the future to know what I looked like and how life changed me through the years. I look back on my childhood and mostly can only imagine what my family looked like, how we grew, what we did, where we lived and where we went.

There are very few photographs to see, because in those days – the 1940s to 1960s, the cost of a camera, film and developing was too great for struggling family. Nowadays, we can take as many photos as we like at little cost. We need to remember to print them though. If anything happens to digital photos or they are not accessible due to changing technology, then people in the future will be the same as we were in the past, with little or no record of their lives.

What did you most enjoy doing this past week?

Last weekend, I was part of a Community Fair. My writing group had a stall to publicise what we do and how we can assist budding or novice writers to improve their craft. It was a beautiful day, with lots of people about browsing a myriad of stalls in the main street which had been blocked to traffic.

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who came over to look at the books and magazines our members have produced. Many of them stayed to chat about writing, and quite a few were interested in coming along to our meeting to see how we operate. The best was that two of those interested are young teenage girls.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Books. It is so hard to resist them!!

Which letter of the alphabet describes you best?

It is difficult for me to choose one. Instead of looking at the shape of the letter as many will do, I am listening to the sound of it. When I do that, there are several that could apply to me at some level.

B          I want to be myself and not other people’s versions of me;

I           I – me. There is a selfish gene on one side of my family history that I always have to fight. I am getting better at it, though I still often like to get in my opinion on something;

U         I am becoming more empathetic to others as I get older, and enjoy helping you where I can;

X         Some twenty-five years after being divorced from my first husband, he finally found someone else and allowed me to be his ex-wife;

Y         I often ask why. Why is there so much hatred in the world? Why do we have to destroy our environment for the sake of short-term financial gain? Why this or why that? Maybe I should rather be asking, ‘How?’: ‘How can we fix things?’

Here are a few bits of fun too: ‘A, what did you say?’ – ‘C, I told you so!’ – ‘E, that scared me!’ – ‘G, that’s amazing!’ – ‘L, not again!’ – O dear, that’s terrible!’ – ‘RUOK?’ – T and biscuits anyone?’

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Skype is a great way to keep contact with my children and grandchildren, who all live far away. It was great to talk with one of my sons and his family.

I have a fairly light week coming up, with few scheduled commitments. I am looking forward to doing some of the things I have been putting off.

(c) Linda Visman

Looking at Photos

March 5, 2010 at 5:18 am | Posted in Society | 1 Comment
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It’s an amazing world, when a T-shirt allows the U.S. Dallas Cowboys  to intersect with indigenous kids in a remote community in Central Australia. It’s great that, by looking at my photo album these kids can also connect with another culture within their own country. But it also highlights the differences between what we see as ‘normal’ western living and life in the real bush.

It is November, 1991. In my photos, the kids see my British-Australian family, who live well over a thousand kilometres away, in homes quite unlike the tin-shed shacks or brush-and-tarp shelters they live in. My five sons pose before backgrounds of sea or mountains, clear creeks and dense, tall bushland, so very different to their flat country of red sand, spinifex, wattle and mulga. My children engage in activities that these youngsters may never have a chance to even know about.

The five girls are in my Education Department supplied caravan, which sits with two others behind to the school grounds at one end of the community. In my van, I have a couch, table and chairs, an electric frypan, a washing machine, a refrigerator, a television, even a fizzy drink maker; in fact pretty well all the ‘necessities’ of modern life. I do not have a telephone though –the school office has one, but a phone service only became available there four months previously.

The girls’ families have none of these common conveniences in their homes, not even a TV. They do not have electricity – or showers either. The kids shower at school, before class. After their shower, they change into school uniforms, and the cleaner washes their clothes in the school washing machine. At the end of the school day, the kids change back into their own, clean clothes. The teachers wash the uniforms, ready for the next day. The girls in the photo came to visit me after school, and are wearing those clean clothes.

Things have improved there in the last eighteen years. They now have power and television, satellite dishes and telephones, though no mobile phone service. They have greater access to vehicles and a well-stocked store with petrol bowsers – no more having to travel to the cattle station to stock up on basic rations. They have council offices and work sheds – but very little work. The school buildings have been upgraded, but the level of service is still dependent on the individual teachers who go there. Education is still not highly valued, because there is no incentive to learn.

I look at this photo and remember the hard work and the joys, the despair and the hope, the struggles and the achievements. Mostly though, I remember the kids – their brightness and their smiles, their openness and their enthusiasm, and their trust. I think of the things they didn’t have – those I have already listed, but also no grog and no petrol sniffing.

 When I think of the things they did have – an open-air lifestyle; bush tucker to supplement the basic foodstuff they could buy; a joy in simple things, like making a toy from a piece of wire and a tin can; their traditional family and social structures and ceremonial life – and I think that, in many ways, they had it better then.

© Linda Visman, March 5, 2010

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