Cafe Chat: Backcatablog Alisa Hutton at Dusted Words and a response poem “No Ordinary Day”

Hi.  Remember me?  S Francis here from SailorPoet.  Over the next few weeks I will be transitioning my collaborative work over to the GDG.  Hope you are all well.

Here, I revisit my backcatablog of Alisa’s work.

At long last! Alisa, thank you for your patience, but after Chuck’s comprehensive review of your work, I recognized that the work required of me for Backcatablogging had transformed. Alisa’s writing is fantastic and I am very eager to see her hang out at the cafe from time to time as it allows. First, let Chuck speak for himself with his fantastic work here:

After Chuck had provided the details, I needed to inhabit the words and find a response vehicle. I also learned that I needed to think through what backcatablogging was all about. I want to invite writers looking through the window into the cafe, spend some time learning about them and their writing, listen, read, and then inhabit their words and the worlds they create. Hopefully, I will be able find a piece of my own voice through their writing and let it prompt something that becomes a sort of hybrid.

Alisa writes about the ocean, living on the Pacific side of North America, I found a common connection with my own love for the ocean growing up on the Atlantic side of North America. So, I set myself a task of writing a found poem and ran a search on her blog for the word ocean:

You can follow the link above to the search, and then link to the many wonderful poems that provided me the words for my response poem. My next step was to cut and paste all the lines with the word ocean in them. Then the crafting began. I challenged myself to find a narrative arc from these lines, beginning with “The ordinary day/ my ocean died.” It took some time to get to that arc, but it ended up being one about healing and a She – reading Alisa’s poems there is a “She” that runs through the lines as a character – perhaps this is the same She, or a different She. I think, mine is Ocean, my first Love.

Alisa, thank you for your words, thank you for writing, and I hope to see you around the cafe!

This is for you, distilled from your words, some lines so perfect I kept them as is:

no ordinary day

that ordinary day

my ocean died

She took my hand

led me through

my deepest fears

in Her gentle arms

breathing salt air

She whispered tides

no one would notice

they swallowed me

we drank medronho

far from the edge

where fish

offered nourishment

healing and growth

we sank we rose

She washed over me

that clear winter night

when the moon danced

dusted with magic

Song of the Week – Patrick Watson – Man Under the Sea – Introducing Barista Alisa – and a response poem – Weight Ocean Weight

I have just finished reading Alan Lightman’s book The Accidental Universe, a very good and respectful discussion that allows space in the world for both science and faith. He divides the book into seven essays to explain different understandings of the universe from all disciplines of science with a respectful reverence for both the technical and the spiritual aspects of our existence: Accidental, Temporary, Spiritual, Symmetrical, Gargantuan, Lawful, and Disembodied. I recommend taking a week to read the book, one chapter a day, and let his thoughts permeate your thinking and creativity. With discipline, time and a safe place to create, each chapter could inspire you to develop a deeper understanding of the meaning of your life, our existence in the universe, and how much we should respect the simplest fact that we are alive. Whether you believe an intelligent being created this place or that it is the result of the most miraculous and random alignment of singular circumstances or any variation in between, we should share one thing: AWE. We should share this awe and let our beliefs and faiths guide a fabulous conversation about what matters more: we exist and we will never really, truly know why.

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Friends o’ GDG: Poet Girl Em Has a Table at the Cafe

This week, I will be sharing with you some very close friends of the Cafe. Poet Girl Em played the part of Leonardo DiCaprio to my Cillian Murphy a few months back when we has some exchanges in an imaginary cafe. Somewhere back in late March or early April are some comments that have me responding to Em sitting at a cafe. This inspired us to write responses to each other. My Sunflower poem on Sudden Denouement is also a response to one of her posts. Rumor has it we have an anchorage to tend to, give us some time, we will get to it.

In March…

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Letter to a Young Café: Letter One – 11 – 6 – 17

“… ask yourself in the stillest of night: must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple ‘I must,’ then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke (trans. M. D. Herter Norton) First Letter to a Young Poet

And so… the Go Dog Go Café, a community of writers and friends who hope to help welcome you and listen to the words you feel compelled to write. Pull up a chair, write, read, drink your favorite coffee, stick around for a while and share your journey as a writer. This global bunch of folks connected through Word Press, and we hope that you will find our virtual café as inclusive, supportive, and encouraging as we have found one another. Maybe, like me, you have turned inward year after year and seem to have always felt a compulsion to write and are now looking for a venue where your music can be heard. Maybe you are like others who have discovered the necessity to write only recently. Maybe you have refined your craft of writing and need a place to polish your art and gain that last bit of confidence before seeking out places to publish. Maybe you are still finding a voice to make your writing distinctly your own. All are welcome here at the Café.

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Hey There, Little Girl

Hey there little girl
Standing by the sea wall
Don’t you know that
The tide isn’t due for hours?
I don’t want to see you
With tears in your eyes,
You deserve so much more.

So raise your head
Brighten your eyes
It is not hard to try.
All you need is a smile
That is what I have to give.

Hey there little girl
With the broken China doll
Don’t you know that
You are breaking more than the doll?
I don’t want to see you
With tears in your blue eyes,
You deserve so much more.

So raise your head
Brighten your eyes
I give you my smile
For you to return,
It is what you need.

Little girl,
Hey there little girl
Do not let those tears
Run down your blushed cheeks.
If they begin to fall
Call out for me
I will wipe your eyes.

I love you little girl,
I love you.


To learn more about this poem follow this link:

Spoken Word Renga(s): Solving Lonely Winter Nights and Spring Responds to Winter Loneliness

My dear, Brave and Reckless friend, Christine has recorded the first mass-collab from the Go Dog Go Treetop Cafe. Gina has suggested that they be read together as one piece, so below the Soundcloud links of Christine is the combined piece. The list of stanza authors is below that along with links to the original prompts for the two separate strings.

I look forward to doing this again soon, already have several folks lined up and will welcome more – just post a note down in the comments below! One of the things I love the most about this poem is that it represents writers from: Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Australia, the UK, India, and the US. Next time, I would love to include more great people from more nations to this truly international collaboration!

Most importantly, though, thank you, Christine for your excellent readings.

Lonely winter nights
watching street lights cast shadows
—the world looks better

under a fresh blanket of white
a pure, stretched canvas
to paint stardust dreams
curled up under my grandmother’s quilt
sleeping dog breathing gently at my feet

And for tomorrow
thoughts of dancing snow angels
repel sleep’s shadow

Myriad colors
refracted in dream’s landscape
non shadows refined

Dawn unravels late
Snow built a world in silence
the outside feels like a room

– crossable. Those
dog-print steps, a march
carrying soft shadows; mud
quilt-stitch, a bark

Waiting inside winter bedrooms
Follow street lamps Snow Angel
Built from dream snow. Soon
Melts lonely ice shaved hearts
Lie together on snow mattress.

petals opened wide ~
beckoned in the morning dew ~
then blushed, satisfied

grass hang head
droplets glisten pearls
all around

new leaves on trees
dance in the wind
It’s Spring 🌸

wind carries sweet sound
like cherry blossoms soft cry
the heart keeps sighing

bees and butterflies
buzz and flutter about
kissing flowers on their route

Clouds cry raindrops
As birds sing their happy tunes
A zephyr caresses passing shadows.

angels melted from snow slip
between open pedals blushed
waiting for spring winds to warm
softness now drips melted snow
dreamed inside a bedroom alone

Above: a combined collaborative effort loosely based on Japanese poetry styles by Storyteller, Christine, Mr. D, Vanessa, Hana, Bronwyn, SailorPoet, Tanya, Sangbad, PS, Gina, Chuck, Fiona, SailorPoet (in order).

Starting prompt from storyteller can be found here:

Hana and Bronwyn are poets and ex-pat friends here in Singapore; ex-patted from Germany and Australia, respectively.

Starting prompt from Tanya Cliff can be found here:

Make Me Yours Again

Good morning Patrons!

I want to share a powerful poem by one of my favorite poets and people. This poem speaks the words we all feel or have felt inside as we walked through those doors. Maybe we are not the You being looked for in this poem, but we are A you that can hold the hand of another in moments like this and say, “you are not alone, I am here, I will listen.”

Spend some time with Midwest Fantasy Writes today and this week and beyond, her poems are beautiful and often more than a little stimulating!

Look for a sort of collaboration of sorts in the near future.


Midwest Fantasy Writes

Make meMake me yours again.

Make me the object of everything you ever wanted.

Make me weak in the knees, wanting to fall at your feet.

Make me feel like this body is a garden you will tend with perfect care.

Make me safe being by my side as we walk into the night.

Make me know you are proud because I am by your side.

Make me smile into your face because your arms are around me.

Make me giggle because you twirl me with the beat of some silly song.

Make me brave as you cheer me on for some new adventure.

Make me warm on the couch cuz you just want to cuddle.

Make me laugh in the morning because you come out and sing me a song.

Make me dance by playing my favorite music even if it’s not yours.

Make me drunk with words that profess…

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