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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




SEASON OF LIGHT CONTEST WINNERS!


Blog Posted:1/2/2013 9:29:00 PM


House winter snow moonlight 24x36 oils on canvas painting by RUSTY RUST / M-240

House in Moonlight by Rusty Rust, Oil


I was so delighted by the entries to my Season of Lights/ modified Kyrielle contest. You poets really dazzled with your lines and the verses were both charming and soulful.


Thank you to everyone who gave this a go. However, a few did not even attempt to write a kyrielle, so – unfortunately — I was unable to give them a placement.

Now, I was looking for at least the last word of each stanza to be identical in each stanza. I also gave extra marks for using devices such as metaphor, simile, and alliteration. I placed based on flow, strong and/or unique verb choices, careful selection of nouns and avoidance of unnecessary modifiers. I also took into account tone and mood and whether the finished piece was so polished, it practically gleamed.  I wanted something slightly different, something free from cliché, a lovely surprise gift for us to open.

Here are the winners:

1st Place

Yuletide Eve
By Craig Cornish



The cool crisp air where cirrus sweeps

like strands of angel hair flow deep,

in the heavens where faith resides

on this Eve of Yuletide.


As the light of day grows dim

and carollers sing familiar hymns,

scarved red and green, side by side

on this Eve of Yuletide.


In the night the bright bulbs glow

lane by lane, row on row,

while the fire warms those inside

on this Eve of Yuletide.


At worship faithful praise and sing.

Around the village church bells ring.

Within his love we will abide

on this Eve of Yuletide.


In silent night while children sleep,

mothers kneel and softly weep,

praying for a peace worldwide

on this Eve of Yuletide.


Out in the fields, no city lights

among the stars there in the night,

the brightest hope on high presides

on this Eve of Yuletide.



Right away I was captivated by the description of the cirrus clouds. A mood is set. The alliteration is spectacular, but not overly done. Reading this out loud is musical. Euphony. The second stanza made me smile. The verb SCARVED is rarely used. Its placement here is perfect. The third stanza brought even more alliteration, lovely, lyrical. I can almost HEAR this as a carol. The fourth stanza moves the poem forward. There is a real flow to this kyrielle, the night lengthening. The fifth stanza had me closing my eyes. Yes, so true. Then the final stanza ended where it should—with hope and light. Craig, you had me at cirrus and kept me with you. Congratulations on your first place win.

2nd Place

 

  DIWALI

S.Jagathsimhan Nair


After the heat and then the rains

As a cool quietude starts to reign

Bringing into fraught lives more glee

Comes the day of lights, Diwali


Time, on fireworks and feasts, to splurge

Love, joy and hope finding a surge

Nights turn light’s veritable sea

During the time of Diwali.


The oil bath ritual helps restore

Nerves sore, bringing love and peace more

‘Good quells evil’ is what we see

As the message of Diwali


Even those who’ve got to borrow

And the ones caught in mild sorrow

Whatever their private woes be

Joy to them too, come Diwali.


Oh, I loved this poem on so many levels. It is De-LIGHT-full! The first stanza hooked me right away. The RICH RHYME (a rhyme not often seen by me on Soup) used in the first two lines (rains/reign) is lovely. Right away I’m wowed by a metaphor which also uses CONTRAST. The idea of quietude (peace) ruling. Clever poet!  The second stanza starts with the word time and the stanza IS about time. Nice flow here. The word veritable charmed me. The third stanza brought in more senses—touch, something that no many poets attempted with this challenge. And the final stanza bestowed another gem of a metaphor and finished with a flourish. Just a wonderful poem, Jag. I hope you shared this with your family! Congratulations!

Winter Solstice

By Carrie Richards


Have you ever wondered where it all began

The rituals marked among the Celtic clans?

Look into the past and they are found

This day is when the sun would turn around


For when darkest days of winter fell upon

The Pagans found a way to carry on

And through the years traditions tumbled down

For this is when the world now turns around


There are fables told and many customs formed

Of the apples pressed and wassail spices warmed

With toasts regaled when snow skimmed off the ground

This day was when light would turn around


There are moments keen with memory as bright as fire

And woven wreaths would halt all spirits dire

While Pagan songs across the land resounded

For this was when the sun would turn around


A Yule log fire would burn for twelve dark winter days

And ashes kept to bless the next year on its way

Reverse 'o time, as ebbing days were found

This is where the sun would turn around


They would meditate and dance among the trees

And hide their faces, chant with chivalry

The radiant light would stretch the day with crowns

This is where the sun would turn around


This is where the past now comes undone

Reverse earth's darkness with the golden sun

This is where old legends come unwound

This is when the light would turn around



A poem that begins with a question and then delivers a detailed and wonderful answer! And though this is one of my longer entries, not a single word is wasted! Adverbs/adjectives are minimum. The classic poets of the past would applaud the precise use of description. I had contemplated bolding the verbs used, to further illustrate how well this is put together. There is also some beautiful, unique metaphor (light giving crowns to daytime, for example) Carrie, congratulations on your win. You gave us something truly memorable here.

3rd Place

Hear Oh L-rd
By Debbie Guzzi



The Festival of Lights, Chanukah has arrived

a hopeful time of praise each year revived.

The Menorah lit, each home becomes a church.

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe.


Our sister Miriam lights the shamash taper first

a maiden fair and scholarly her prayers rehearsed

to bring together all that's beautiful, diverse.

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe.


Eight nights we praise the L-rd for gifting us with Light

and pass around small things which bring delight.

We rejoice. In brotherhood we are immersed.

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe.


May G-d in his greatness light all your days

May family, friends, and foes mend their ways

for all have needs, let kindness tame their thirsts

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe.


Sumptuous language. Light is used both as a noun and a verb in this poem and each stanza’s first line has a reference to light. This form of repetition is subtle and maintains the tone. Well done! I especially enjoyed the careful use of alliteration and how this poem moves from being a very private moment within a family and then flows outwards to all. Congratulations, Debbie. I’m so glad you shared this with your Soup family, and I hope you shared this with Miriam, too ?


A Christmas Season Souvenir

By Andrea Dietrich


Taking our sleds down hills of snow;

Ice skating though cold winds might blow.

Those days of beauty crisp and clear -

A winter’s treasured souvenir.


Exchanging gifts with those we’d meet

at big reunions. What a treat

to have all my relatives near.

Such a wonderful souvenir!


The talent show my church would host

with Christmas goodies I liked most

and whispering in Santa’s ear.

Our small flock’s joy was souvenir!


Stringing the popcorn for our tree

while being with my family

laughing, talking and filled with cheer.

Togetherness - our souvenir.


The night before - so hard to sleep!

In morning, down the stairs we’d creep.

No times to come could be as dear.

My memories are souvenir




Oh, this poem kept its nostalgic tone and chose the word “souvenir” both as its theme and its repetition. Perfect! The language is crisp, unfettered and tight. The mood is wonderful and is kept from beginning to the last line. The tale within this kyrielle progresses as it should. And because of the minimalist approach, the poem moves quickly, just like the holidays, a whirlwind of traditions. The poem is wrapped up nicely, too. Congratulations, Andrea! Wonderful!


The Christmas Stockings

By Suzette Crous


Children far too young to realize

That some things in life you should prize

We had no jobs and no takings

Bare were the Christmas stockings


Scrounging colourful material

Lace, chintz and chiffon ethereal

Ribbons included in the making

A show for the Christmas stockings


Balls of red and green and scrap yarn

Imaginary faces darn’

On beautiful princess and kings

Displayed in the Christmas stockings


Plywood and some leftover paint

Canopy bed fit for a saint

Pea under mattress, her liking

Endured for the Christmas stockings


A penguin made of black felt

A hobgoblin with a scarlet belt

‘Gold’ jewellery box, flaking

Accepted for the Christmas stockings


Coconut ice cut into stars

Liquorice plaited into bars

Brownies and tarts kept me baking

Produced for the Christmas stockings


My daughter was five that year

Son’s smiles, laughter brought a tear

After all this time – despite mocking

Treasuring the Christmas stockings


Granddaughters, by the Grace of God

They look like two peas in a pod

Material gathered for the making

Of this year’s two Christmas stockings



This is such a charming kyrielle. I can easily see this as a children’s book, complete with illustrations (Su, I’m serious. Consider it! “Toy” ;-) with the idea...) There is such a seamless movement between past and present. The flow has grace and style. Congratulations on this win... such an enjoyable grin maker your penned!

4th Place

Christmas Period by Olusegun Arowolo I enjoyed how the last line was turned in this poem to reset the mood and intent! Wonderful. I loved the message, too!

Christmas by Joyce Johnson I truly was impressed how this poem unfolded and what was encapsulated here. Such a lovely piece filled with tenderness... lovely.

Missing Christ by Richard Lamoureux Though this is not about the festivity of Christmas, I enjoyed this fresh approach to the subject. Well said! Tidy piece!

5th Place

Christmas Spirit by Linda Marie Oh, I felt transported into the land of romance with this gleaming kyrielle. Such a bright piece that practically glitters!

Christmas Me Dear Mandurah by Yanny Widjanarko Thank you so much for bringing us all “down under” to share in Australia’s Christmas. I so enjoyed your poem!

Lord Have Mercy by Sara Kendrick. Resounded in me. So many of these feelings are shared by Christians. If only we could all celebrate our faiths joyously and openly and equally... sigh... another prayer, perhaps?


Again, my apologies for the delay in judging this contest!

Happiest Holidays to my friends around the world!

Hugs
Cyndi

PS- I will have to contact soup. There is no way to view a contest judged in 2013 yet? Huh? Ooopsie?

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  1. Date: 1/3/2013 11:38:00 AM
    Thank you for the placement and your kind comments, Cyndie. You have gone to a lot of trouble to highlight the pluses in each poem. WE applaud YOU for the opportunity to showcase our traditions. I loved every poem listed and Craig's poem had me humming (I cannot sing). :-)

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 1/3/2013 11:41:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I am not that good at illustration (though I do watercolour painting for fun). So, of anyone wants to run with this poem and the idea of a children's book, you have my permission to do so. :-)
  1. Date: 1/3/2013 10:38:00 AM
    cyndi, thanks so much for my win and for what you said here in this blog about the writing of my poem. much appreciated. I read all your winners list just now and was very impressed. and I totally agree with your first place choice. that poem is amazing!!!

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  1. Date: 1/3/2013 9:44:00 AM
    Thank you Cyndi for the placement. Feel really honored. To get placed and get to know what you feel about the write. Inspiring words. Thank you so much:) Jag

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  1. Date: 1/3/2013 9:31:00 AM
    Thank you very much Cyndi, not only for placing my poem on your list of winners, but for this wonderful blog giving our poems such thoughtful attention. You put so much effort and time into your contests, ......it is much appreciated, and makes it a special pleasure to be acknowledged. Thank you so very much!

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  1. Date: 1/3/2013 9:26:00 AM
    Thanks so much Dee for my win and for highlighting all the wonderful cultural input we have here on soup! Mime is my baby sister and a police officer and as with all youngsters doesn't really think her old sis has any important input ;)

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  1. Date: 1/3/2013 7:08:00 AM
    CYNDI, Thank you for hosting another challenging contest and for my placement, I am honored, and congratulations to all the winners. Sorry but I'm away from my computer and text about one word a minute!

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My Past Blog Posts

 
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
SOMETHING FOR EILEEN... and OTHERS WHO TAKE RISKS
Date Posted: 4/26/2014 5:54:00 AM
HELPLESS, A KYRIELLE. NEW CONTEST WITH TIM RYERSON AS CO PILOT! WAHOO!
Date Posted: 4/14/2014 9:24:00 PM

My Poems

12345678
Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
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
2/9/2014TESTIMONIALS, A SONNET FOR BRIANSonnetfaith,friend,nature,
2/7/2014Double Oh-- A JAMES BOND CROWN, BUILDING IT UP SECOND SONNET POSTED--Crown of Sonnetsgames,passion,
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 Ghali Lebanon Flag Lebanon Read
Poet Destroyer A United States Flag United States Read
Faye Gibson United States Flag United States Read