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Cyndi MacMillan's Blog

About Cyndi MacMillan
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 I have been a member of Poetry soup since 2011. 


Though my forte is fiction, verse has always appealed to me. There is nothing like a play of words to rattle the ordinary, to tickle away the dust of stagnation. My favourite form is the contemporary sonnet, but I also enjoy free verse. Also, I love the zen experience of haiku, its seizure of a moment, how it can hold a universe in so few syllables. And I admit to a fondness for the Rondeau.




My life is simple, but busy. I’m a writer and stay at home mother. Days are full. 


Currently, I am working on a novel or ... ha ha... should I really say that the novel is working on me? Characters! They have a way of turning a world upside down.


There are some amazing poets on the soup. I am blessed to call many my friends ~~ Cyndi




MY NEW CONTEST: Z is for ZARIA: AN ABC Couplet


Blog Posted:2/26/2013 11:31:00 PM

My girl is turning four this spring, she is  currently working on her alphabet and has learned more than half of it already.  She inspired this contest.


THERE  WILL BE A PRIZE

FOR  THE

FIRST  PLACE WINNER.


I’d  like you to write 14 couplets, 28 lines, no more and no less, and create a  unique didactic poem that teaches not only the alphabet, but also delves into  another subject (see example below)

This alphabet poem must not use the old standards of A  is for Apple and B is for Butterfly. Think… A is for Andromeda, B is for  Belatrix (stars and constellations.)

Huh,  you say? Whatcha talking about, lady?

Your  mission is to take a subject and create an Alphabet “book” on ONE THEME. YOU  MUST KEEP THE THEME THROUGHOUT YOUR POEM.

Truthfully,  I was cocky when I came up with this challenge. I thought, easy peasy. Guess  what? It took me about 6 hours to write mine! Trust me coming up with something  that makes sense for the subject and does not sound like forced rhyme is work  people. Prepare to sweat, at least a bit!

So  here’s an example…

A is for  Allspice, one pinch will perk up a dull coffee cake,
B is for Bay leaf,  smart cooks know it’s a kitchen help mate. 

C is for Cinnamon, a perfect  partner for ripened apples,
D is for Dillweed, tell me, Dear, do you pucker for pickles?

E  is for Epazote, so zesty in quesadillas,
F is for Fennel seed, a healing herb as old as Judea.

G is for Ginger, lets make  a sweet house from gingerbread,
H is for Herbes de Provence. “C’est bon!” Grandmere often said. 


I is for Italian Seasoning, spaghetti sauce made for you,
J is for Jamaican Jerk, rub on meat and then barbeque.

K is for Kala Zeera which has a rich, nutty flavor,
L is  for Lemon Grass, steep for a tisane to savor.

M is for Marjoram, superb in a potato casserole,
N is for Nutmeg, add to warm cider, season your soul.

O is for oregano, this spice, dried or fresh, is so  ersatile,
P is for Piri Piri, a taste loved by the people of Portugal  .

Q is for Quassia, brew just a bit to aid digestion
R is for  Rosemary, pork and lamb’s ideal companion.

S is for Saffron, not only luscious, this spice is also luxurious,
T is for Thyme, use in stews and turn a bland meal delicious. 

U is for Uzazi, a rare pepper grown in Eastern Africa
V is for Vanilla, this fragrant gift is from Mesoamerica.

W is for Wasabi, eat in moderation or you’ll need to recoup,
X is  for X Striata, cooks in Nigeria grind this into pepper soups.

Y is for Yellow mustard seed, keep the faith and remember to pray,
Z is for Zaa’tar,  sprinkle on hummus then dream of lands far away

Rethink meals, replace  old spices, refill those tired coffers,
then enhance every dish with the  gems the world offers.




You  can play with syllable count, use any kind of near or slant rhyme that you wish.  Your X and Z words can be a stretch, but do not use EX for X…

Stuck for a  theme? Here’s JUST a few ideas...


BIRDS
SEA CREATURES
INSECTS
FLORA AND  FAUNA
FAMOUS POETS and WRITERS
FAMOUS WORKS OF  ART
PHILOSOPHY/PHILOSOPHERS
BOOKS OF FAITH/FAITH FIGURES
FAMOUS  HISTORICAL SIGHTS
CITIES OF THE WORLD
ANY OF THE SCIENCES (Geology,  astrology, medicine, herbology, math, biology etc)
FASHION AND  CLOTHING
COMPUTER TERMINOLOGY


If  you’re still stumped, consider what interests you… literature, music, sports?  All good, too!

So …. Rules this time

1)Write a 14 couplet poem – 28 lines total – about the alphabet using one  theme.
2)
No old  standards, no C is for Cat.
3)EACH LINE  MUST GIVE A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE WORD YOU HAVE CHOSEN FOR THAT LETTER … i.e….K is for Kala Zeera which  has a rich, nutty flavor)
4)The last  two couplets should underscore your poem’s theme.
5)You  may include a brief footnote about yourself (see below)

Please,  read my winner's blog once this contest is judged, where I will highlight what I  enjoyed about your poem.


There will  be a gift exchange, so to speak….


The  first place winner will receive the children’s alphabet book

M  is for MAPLE

A  CANADIAN ALPHABET BOOK

BY  MIKE ULMER



This is a great gift for kids and older kids, and hey,  even we who pretend to be adults. You can keep or give it to your children,  grandchildren, neighbour’s children, your public library or your local literacy  agency.


The gift YOU will  give? I will be printing off copies of these poems for my daughter and having  them coil bound, solely for the enjoyment of my family. I hope to give this to  her years in the future… tell her about Soup and its wonderful poets (hence, why  I am asking for a small bio, if you'd like to give one.)

So, game on, people. Show me your  magic!

xoxo
Cyndi


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  1. Date: 2/28/2013 6:14:00 AM
    Cyndi, you are fertile soil for this old brain, I will give it a try, give your little angel a big kiss for me, and to mama angel, have a blessed day, your scented Rose, xxx

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  1. Date: 2/27/2013 2:38:00 PM
    sounds interesting, cyndi. I have done a few very similar to this style in the past!!

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  1. Date: 2/27/2013 9:46:00 AM
    Thanks again, Ruben.For those in checking the readability of their poem, go to for how to do it with word. http://www.wa.gov/esd/training/quickguides/readability.htm Mine was only grade 2.8! LOL! Though I don't know many 7-8 year olds in my neighbourhood who'd know the word 'Judea.'

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  1. Date: 2/27/2013 9:32:00 AM
    wonderful example poem, this will be a tough contest for those brave enough to try

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  1. Date: 2/27/2013 9:09:00 AM
    Love it! It's a real challenge, Cyndi. One question: you said didactic, do we have to write a poem for children? ...using words they can understand?

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/27/2013 9:36:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    :) GREAT question. I was going to add notes about this to the contest, then didn't. Okay, I'm thinking the language should MOSTLY be for, say around a grade 4-5 level,but a few challenging words, too, a chance to open up conversation and increase vocabulary... I think there used to be a program for that. Tells you what grade level you're writing is at?
  1. Date: 2/27/2013 9:06:00 AM
    This sounds like an interesting challenge. I think I'll give it a go.

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  1. Date: 2/27/2013 7:08:00 AM
    What a loving and "Entertaining" mind you have---sounds like fun!

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    cornish Avatar craig cornish Date: 2/27/2013 9:41:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Oops I've already done one on another subject and you're right--took a while---btw z isn't hard with zephyr and Xebec a Med, Sea boat---anyhow, already did one on another love--cooking. Thanks for the idea tho !
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/27/2013 8:25:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    My girl is using her tools to fix her Barbie car, so I have a moment, LOL... future mechanic? Okay, I have one for you :) A is for Aboard, B is for Berth, Nautical terms! You'd have to go through the dictionary and brainstorm for X and Z... but then you'd end up with a nice one for your grandkids, too. You could add pictures for them gotta go
  1. Date: 2/27/2013 6:51:00 AM
    Wow, very cool idea! It sounds a bit intimidating, but I will give it a try. Yours is awesome :)

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  1. Date: 2/27/2013 5:44:00 AM
    Sounds interesting. And daring. .. have fun..pd

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  1. Date: 2/27/2013 1:07:00 AM
    Cyndi will give it some thought...great idea...David

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  1. Date: 2/26/2013 11:49:00 PM
    This a nice idea, Cyndi. A fine ABECEDARIAN poetry contest. "A is for apple" is the easy form, but I think that I have licked it with My A - Z Affairs..... I do not think I have another one inside of me. Good luck with the contest and hope to read the entries when time allows. Love, Su

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 2/26/2013 11:52:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    ABC poetry form is derived from Abecedarian, but distinctly different, and another form is the Name poetry form....
  1. Date: 2/26/2013 11:42:00 PM
    Sounds a great idea, not an easy one, but a great one. If your ears burn it will be my mumberlings under my breath, lol....Seren

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My Past Blog Posts

 
I HAVE TO SHARE THIS... BEST ARTICLE ON FIGURATIVE WRITING EVER!!! Worth the read!!!
Date Posted: 8/22/2014 10:47:00 AM
THIS IS POETIC PROSE
Date Posted: 8/20/2014 9:28:00 AM
Death in Family
Date Posted: 7/23/2014 8:30:00 AM
A CHANGE REQUEST FOR MEMBER CONTEST WINNERS PAGE... Me... upsetting another applecart... or a good idea? Thoughts?
Date Posted: 7/22/2014 3:57:00 PM
GARDEN PARTY CONTEST WINNERS... YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!
Date Posted: 7/15/2014 9:57:00 PM
CONTEST JUDGES: A WAY TO FIND AN ABUSER
Date Posted: 7/15/2014 10:32:00 AM
NEW CONTEST: HARD SHELLS: TURTLE INSPIRED FREE VERSE
Date Posted: 7/13/2014 5:19:00 AM
LEATHERBACK BOY, FREE VERSE, CONTEST SOON TO FOLLOW
Date Posted: 7/11/2014 9:53:00 PM
SONNET TITLE FOUND..THANKS TO CHARMAINE... MINDING MANNERS
Date Posted: 6/11/2014 6:17:00 PM
THANK YOU FOR THE SONNET ENTRIES...short short blog
Date Posted: 6/9/2014 3:27:00 PM
TORRENT: A CONTEMPORARY SONNET, example for my contest
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 6:56:00 AM
NEW CONTEST- Garden Party: VERB-alized NOUN-sense with FLORAL accents. Hungry for summer!!!!
Date Posted: 6/4/2014 10:19:00 PM
UPDATE ON THE HELPLESS CONTEST-- My apologies to all. Exhaustion has hit the household- possible heat exhaustion
Date Posted: 5/29/2014 1:40:00 PM
GENITALS in PRINT, AN OPEN DIALOGUE
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 3:20:00 PM
CONTEMPORARY PUBLISHED HAI_KU TO SHARE
Date Posted: 5/21/2014 2:24:00 PM
UPDATE ON THE HELPLESS/KYRIELLE CONTEST - please check your entries
Date Posted: 5/16/2014 8:47:00 PM
A CARD FOR FRANCINE ROBERTS, who is recovering from a car accident!
Date Posted: 5/9/2014 8:10:00 PM
A WORD PAIRING POEM- THE CLEARING, PAIRINGS BY CARRIE, AE RIVENBANK, CALEB, RUBEN & ANDREA
Date Posted: 5/8/2014 10:21:00 PM
PROMPS FOR WORD PAIRINGS 2 - COME AND PLAY
Date Posted: 5/7/2014 8:50:00 PM
********PLAY WITH ORIGINAL WORD PAIRING***POEMS BUILT BY SOUPERS #1, 3 and 4
Date Posted: 5/6/2014 9:04:00 AM
THE BEST HOW TO WRITE POETRY ADVICE I'VE EVER HEARD. WORTH 20 of YOUR MINUTES. FANTASTIC!!!!!!
Date Posted: 5/5/2014 9:13:00 AM
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROSE AND POETRY. One piece of writing, three ways
Date Posted: 5/4/2014 12:50:00 PM
TRADITIONAL POETRY MARKETS FOR EILEEN AND OTHERS WHO LOVE RHYME
Date Posted: 5/3/2014 8:14:00 AM
A LOOK AT A LITERARY JOURNAL CONTEST, RULES and the WINNERS POEMS
Date Posted: 4/29/2014 8:37:00 PM
POP QUIZ HOT SHOTS... C'MON... LOVE 'EM, DISS 'EM, JUDGE 'EM, PLACE 'EM!!!
Date Posted: 4/28/2014 3:47:00 PM

My Poems

12345678
Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
8/21/2014DEGREESSonnetbooks,sensual,words,
8/7/2014NEUTRALIZEDSonnetcolor,home,
7/17/2014CRADLEDTrioletbaby,love,
6/9/2014THE RETURNSonnetdepression,giving,life,lo
6/7/2014TORRENTSonnetcelebration,life,women,
4/21/2014LA MARQUISEFree versepsychological,
4/8/2014BUKOWSKI CONTESTFree versemoving on,power,teenage,
4/4/2014GINGHAM AND LACE, A BLITZ POEMVersedaughter,love,
4/4/2014NUDE, THIRTY DOLLARS, A BLITZVerseart,imagination,lost love
3/24/201450 GODSFree versegod,peace,philosophy,
3/15/2014WINTER IN PORTLANDFree versedepression,winter,
3/11/2014FREEDOM BLUESTail-rhymefreedom,
2/28/2014WELCOME TO THE BLUENOSEAcrosticfish,history,journey,sea,
2/25/2014PITY THE PIRANHAFree verseintrospection,people,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY, LINDA MARIE, EASTER WALK, 7th REPOSTRhymefamily,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 6- DEDICATED TO LINDA MARIE, REPOSTRondeaufaith,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 5 - FAMILY TREE, REPOST FOR LINDA MARIEVersefamily,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 4- A REPOST DEDICATED TO LINDA MARIERhymefaith,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 3- EASTER LILY, A REPOST FOR LINDA MARIEVerseeaster,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY 2-- A REPOST AND TRIBUTE TO LINDA MARIESestinaheaven,
2/15/2014HAPPY FAMILY DAY-- A REPOST FOR LINDA MARIE- WE MISS YOUVersefaith,
2/13/2014DOUBLE OH, A BOND CROWN, EXAMPLE FOR CONTESTCrown of Sonnetsfilm,sexy,
2/13/2014DOUBLE OH, A JAMES BOND CROWN OF SONNETS - 6 down 1 to go- SAMPLE FOR CONTESTCrown of Sonnetsadventure,film,sexy,
2/11/2014ORION: A PERSPECTIVE for third to tenthSonnetmythology,star,
2/10/2014TARTANS, A SONNET FOR FRANCINESonnetfriend,patriotic,places,p
12345678

My Photos


Fav Poems

123
Poem TitleFormCategories
The Sowing Free versedevotion,
Ten Little ToesRhymedaughter,lifeold,old,,gra
Woodland RhapsodyQuatraininspirational
Contradicting KeatsSonnetintrospection,life
Surrender to LoveRhymeloveme,
A Totum Pole OdeConcretenative american,people,
MORE DREAMS TO ROWRhyme royalinspirational,life,
When the Tab Comes DueFree verseinspirational,introspecti
Lighting My Candle From WithinQuintain (English)caregiving,introspection,
The Kirk by the SeaCoupletnostalgia,religion,love,
Moonlight On The WardChokahealth,life,
Nocturnal PoetryRhymeimagination,life,poetry,
SlumberEpicdedication,epic,slam,
FROSTY NIGHT STROLLCoupletinspirational,seasons,
Our ThanksgivingLight Poetryholiday,
Tomorrow's GraceEthereepeace,
A New Star Shines Above HawaiiRhymededication,music,
Jesus, Our SaviorShapereligion,life,
Monarch of SummerHaibunanimals,devotion,inspirat
UntouchedRhymeforgiveness,me,me,
Midnight PearlsThan-Baukintrospection,love,
Beaucoup BloomsTerza Rimanature,spring,spring,
On Heaven's DoorwayNarrativeinspirational,life,care,c
WALKING ON FAITHVersefaith,for children,
BeachworldFree verseplaces,sea,sun,
123

Fav Poets

PoetCountry 
Debbie Guzzi United States Flag United States Read
Caryl Muzzey United States Flag United States Read
Andrea Dietrich United States Flag United States Read
Joe Flach United States Flag United States Read
nette onclaud Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Drake Eszes United States Flag United States Read
Mystic Rose Canada Flag Canada Read
mourning mist France Flag France Read
elizabeth wesley Canada Flag Canada Read
Rhonda Johnson-Saunders United States Flag United States Read
Ruben O. Argentina Flag Argentina Read
Carrie Richards United States Flag United States Read
kathryn collins United States Flag United States Read
Catie Lindsey United States Flag United States Read
craig cornish United States Flag United States Read
David Williams United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Charmaine Chircop Malta Flag Malta Read
Francine Roberts Canada Flag Canada Read
Eileen Manassian Lebanon Flag Lebanon Read
Poet Destroyer A United States Flag United States Read
Faye Gibson United States Flag United States Read