The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Archive for October 2012

A Found Poem

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I recently poked around a copy of a PowerPoint presentation I was given.  I looked for words or phrases that caught my attention, and came up with about 25.  I wrote them out and started looking for patterns in the list.  Pretty soon, I fixated on a group of words that shared a recurring sound.  I found a few other chunks of phrases and sentences to throw in, scratched out a few drafts, and came up with a found poem.  I should do this more often.

What the ROE* Had to Say

Our comprehension of the literature compels us to convey to you that your zip code is a guidepost to how you will be stranded upon completion of our summative assessments.  We felt it best to share out these disparate standards.  Questions?  Thank You!!

(*as explained on its website, the Regional Office of Education performs regulatory functions, coordinates and delivers state and local services, and disseminates information for educators, school districts and the community)

Written by seeker70

October 23, 2012 at 11:06 am

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Sciences vs Humanities

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You probably remember Joel Hutson, professor extraordinaire at College of Lake County and Elgin Community College.  Not only was he featured two years ago in one of The Seeker’s more well-liked pieces, but he has posted herein to provide his insights into science and film.  He took a scientific approach to last week’s post My Tree–I’ve included it below, and follow it with a full posting of the poem of which I spoke (the crappy one that I’ve never been too happy with and decided to scrap…).  I hope you’ll enjoy the different views of what’s happening to that tree on the corner of my balcony.  If nothing else, this is an example of how writers approach the same topics from  within their given disciplines.  Thanks for contributing, Joel.  ~  Jeff

p.s. hey wordpress–thanks once again for wrecking my line and stanza breaks!  you guys can’t fix this problem, really?

“Although poetry is not my forté, my latest hobby is growing trees from seeds. An unexpected side-effect of this hobby involves dealing with the anxiety produced by the changes in seasons upon tiny, seemingly defenseless seedlings, so perhaps I can offer some insights and ponderings that might help your poetic efforts.

“Everyone knows that leaves change color in autumn because they are dying, but, what many people don’t realize is that what are dying are not the leaves per se, but the tiny, green symbiotic chloroplasts (bacteria) that have evolved to live inside leaves & turn carbon dioxide back into sugar for food. Thus, the changing of a leaf’s color signals the loss not only of food to the tree, but the death of it’s ability to use sunlight, which itself is fading fast with oncoming winter. However, these trillions of tiny deaths allow us to finally see the beautiful red, orange & yellow pigments that the tree makes to help its little friends collect sunlight.” ~ Joel Hutson

Once again: The tree under consideration

In May, the locust tree

off the corner of my balcony

dresses in jessamine

that soon falls to the ground.

In August I lie

in the shade and recall

Syrian creation myths

when the breeze

whispers her name.

Now it is October.

Her branches are engulfed

in sudden yellow flames.

Soon she will blush, ashamed

of her weakness in the tide,

before she is stripped bare

and her leaves are blown

to the gutter.

I watch, unblinking.

~  Jeff Burd

Written by seeker70

October 15, 2012 at 7:48 pm

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My Tree

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I could list a hundred cliché reasons why fall is such a great season.  Pumpkins…  corn mazes…  cider…  football…  blah blah blah.  The summer heat is finally gone and the winter freeze isn’t quite here…  blah blah blah.  Regardless, they’d all pale in comparison to my favorite thing about fall.  All I have to do is walk out on my balcony and check out the locust tree that puts on a show each year.

I’ve tried for five years now to write a poem about this tree.  I’ve hemmed and hawed and hacked it to pieces, restructured it, thrown it away, got it back out, and kicked my own butt for it being too “ordinary.”  For chrissakes, it’s about a tree.  The most important thing I’ve learned is that not everything can / should become a poem.

A picture is worth a thousand words, allegedly, but I’ll wager that this one is worth the thousands of words I can’t seem to get together.

“…Now it is October. / Her branches are engulfed / in sudden yellow flames…”

Written by seeker70

October 11, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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