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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




WHEN POETRY IS PERSONAL... footnotes, background, revelations... PROVIDING KEYS TO LOCKS


Blog Posted:2/10/2013 12:29:00 PM




Su’s most recent blog is thought provoking. Please, read it! Among other things, it calls into question the assumption which poets often make on what is deemed common knowledge.

Now, it got me really pondering what we relay in our verses. I was thinking about the... responsibility?... that poets PUSH onto the readers. Poetry, to me, is meant to be … streamlined. Explanation shouldn't be inserted into a poem, the way some poets force rhyme, sacrificing art for clarity.

If one reads about deep sea diving it should read as the experience of the diver, not as  a step by step guide on how to put on the scuba gear.

When a 13 year old reads Flander's Fields and has no concept of war and its toll, then that youngster must be given the background in order to understand the poem.

We all must have enough of a glimmer to "get it." Sure, some things are universal: love, pain, longing, forgiveness, truth, food and sleep and regret...

And yet I believe everything, all life’s experiences, merit the ability to be preserved, celebrated or lamented, in poetry.

EVERYTHING.

So, where does that leave the poet?

FOOTNOTES!

Please, if I haven’t lost you, read this poem:


Embroidered Dreams

Embroidered dreams pierce one long night,
Your silken floss pulled its invite,
Needles prick the small child in me,
Haunted by shadowed tapestry,
Those knots you made of dark and light.

I watch your hands, so pale and slight,
Lift and plunge with thin strands of white,
Before dawn breaks my heart I see
                                                Embroidered dreams

I sit at your feet, so contrite,
While frayed threads are tugged much too tight,
Each stitch that you left holds snugly,
But what you shaped longs to rip free,
All comes undone and now I write
                                                Embroidered dreams


This is a highly personal poem.

I posted this on soup, entered it into a contest and received some lovely comments in regards to its language.

Now, what this poem is about…

I am dreaming of my mother who was bipolar, at the time called manic depressive.

She loved to embroider and passed this hobby down to me. As a young girl, I often would just sit beside her and watch her motions, fascinated by the process of stitch and knot. Embroidery is an art.

Her condition was hidden from me and I did not understand her mood swings, often violent and frightening. Her emotions were complex and engulfed her family.When manic--- when she was happy--- oh, she was delightful… de-light-filled. Engaging, captivating, sweet and loving.  She was a petite, pretty woman with patrician features. Her hands were doll like, small but with long, dainty fingers.

Then there was my ‘other mother.’ Her anger was terrifying. After trying to kill my father on her 45th birthday, she got drunk and hung herself with an electric cord in a stairwell. I got the call just before dawn. I was devastated by the news. I was there to see the body bag rolled out on a gurney.  I went through her things and donated them to the Salvation Army. I was a teen. It took over 25 years to let go of guilt for not being able to help her.

I loved and still love my mother, regardless of what transpired, the rage, occasional beatings, and the things which she said to me that no child should EVER hear. Decades after her suicide, I still miss her. I battle with memories, try to hold on to the dear ones while letting the horrific ones go. Mothers MOLD us as children and as adults we are apt to examine, closely, who we have become, who we truly want to be.

Bipolar mimics the movements one uses to embroider clothe. Up and down. Down then up. It pierces. The thread can seem pretty at times, frayed and wrought at others. One needs to see the whole picture, looking at it from only the front shows only one side. Turn it around. See the workings, the knots, the frayed ends…

Now, if you have time, please, read my poem again, perhaps a tad slower.
What do you see now?.
What do you know now of its heart?


Embroidered Dreams

Embroidered dreams pierce one long night,
Your silken floss pulled its invite,
Needles prick the small child in me,
Haunted by shadowed tapestry,
Those knots you made of dark and light.

I watch your hands, so pale and slight,
Lift and plunge with thin strands of white,
Before dawn breaks my heart I see
                                                Embroidered dreams

I sit at your feet, so contrite,
While frayed threads are tugged much too tight,
Each stitch that you left holds snugly,
But what you shaped longs to rip free,
All comes undone and now I write
                                                Embroidered dreams


Thoughts? Fire away!

And please read Su's blog! VERY INTERESTING!
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  1. Date: 2/11/2013 1:09:00 PM
    I like the way you fit all of the emotions into the rondeau form. B-P is different with each iindividual and meds now are so much more advanced. I have these same dreams for my daughter.

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    Grisetti Avatar Joann Grisetti Date: 2/11/2013 1:10:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I like the idea of a weekly interview.
  1. Date: 2/11/2013 11:53:00 AM
    @ Cyndi.... The interview idea is great (see my comment at end of this page, please). :-)

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  1. Date: 2/11/2013 9:47:00 AM
    Of course Sis, you know I got this the first time...I would for it runs in my family also [thank goodness so far I only have anxiety issues controlled with diet exercise, yoga & meditation]. Back to your original tac .. footnotes etc. I feel the write should grab the reader in such a way that if there are a few things they don't get GOOD that helps them grow! Off they go to research a word! BUT if the write is not evocative, is strictly dry and scholarly most will just stop reading it. Lastly, at certain times of life certain things appeal, what you couldn't get into at 20 might capitivate you at 60. [PS sort my verse for Mother poems & for the word knots]

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  1. Date: 2/10/2013 5:01:00 PM
    You have a voracious passion for writing my friend, and your an excellent teacher, but truth be told, I will never be able to express my inner emotions so deeply as you, the more you reveal yourself to me Cyndi, the more I am in awe of you. I want to thank you for your dedicated ways, your courage and your friendship. My grandmother taught me how to slip stitch when I was very young, the memory lasts forever, so will you, in my heart, love xxx

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/10/2013 7:14:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thank you, lady-with-the-big-heart! And you write deeply with a style and grace which I admire.... your words are always kind and I'm gratefu that you are here on soup, where your gentle outlook and spirit continue to nurture all, and that your poetry always speaks to the heart xox right backatcha
  1. Date: 2/10/2013 4:42:00 PM
    This was a heart wrenching confession Cyndi and as you wrote it I can imagine how much you had to let go of so that we could have knowlege of it. Life is confusing at the best of times with moments of beauty and terror; we are expected to react with some degree of normalcy but often that is not possible. Your poem is the testimony of a child's confusion and through it all, enduring love.

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/10/2013 7:18:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Lizzy-Dear, yes, it was all so confusing. My mother taught me many things which contradict the chaos of my childhood. One was honesty, at all costs. We each have stories, a thousand chapters, yes? Some are lovely... some, well.... there is no way to convey an entire life into a poem. Only snipets. Hugs to you. I DOOOO think of you. :)
  1. Date: 2/10/2013 3:13:00 PM
    BTW, I must clarify--just in case--when I said below, I hesitate to call it a poem, I meant it was greater than a poem--it's a super awesome poem and I truly love it and shall seek it out and fav it--like many others of yours!!

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  1. Date: 2/10/2013 2:34:00 PM
    I'm enjoying reading these comments, each with great points. I also understand that each point of view comes with its own history, experiences and interpretations that I can not possibly grasp, unless these are shared with me, as well. Will comment to all personally, later. Dinner calls! Motherhood calls! My family is on the way home ... hugs Cyndi

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  1. Date: 2/10/2013 1:20:00 PM
    First, I agree with Suzette, I am blown away with the emotion, the personal intensity of this. So much so that I hesitate to call it a poem but more a look at your naked soul. There are so many souls that could not be where you are--there must be something they gave you at their best that was golden, or perhaps, no, you are surely a tested gift left to us, a combination of those golden gifts and simply you. That being said, what those self absorbed pointy headed academics are saying,trying to say in a way that is bullcrap,would'nt incite me half as much if it were plain talk as you have written here,and interpretations, particularly for the young should be drawn out, not explained.

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    cornish Avatar craig cornish Date: 2/11/2013 9:57:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    sorry----Cyndi
    cornish Avatar craig cornish Date: 2/11/2013 9:56:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I hear you Cundi
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/10/2013 7:30:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Have you ever noticed that if we read something, then reread it twenty years later, it suddenly has more depth? Perhaps, we've read more on a subject, experienced a life change, lost something, gained something.. as we grow so do our interpretations, yes? xox must sign off soon.
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/10/2013 7:28:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    The pointy heads were taught by pointy heads who were taught by pointy heads ;-) It isn't their fault, not really. I often wonder at all the interpretations and what some of the poets would have to say about poetic autopsies , and how far they are from the the poets vision.
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/10/2013 7:24:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I am constantly trying to define my voice as a poet. I love metaphor, the play of words that is subtle, complex. Yet I do not believe in 'stranding' the reader, that they feel at a complete loss, staring at abstract without so much as a lifeline! This poem was, truly, written only for me, after the actual dream. I was back. Watching her.
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 2/10/2013 1:32:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    :-)
  1. Date: 2/10/2013 12:56:00 PM
    Cyndi I think I am going to sound a tad trite when I say I knew where you were coming from the first time I read your poem, but that is only because I had ' problems' with both of my parents (both dead now) and you are right, we as the adults do examine ourselves but if you are like me then there are no answers to be extracted. I do have another take on what you are saying because when it comes from to it I would rather 'Show not Tell' where possible I would rather take the risk and make the reader stop and think or even better read it again. I like your poem it does paint a good picture...

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/10/2013 7:47:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Not trite, at all :) I sometimes think the pen just has a mind of its own. I do edit. Rethink a twist of thought, too much of this, not enough of that... I show as much as possible, and (I think) the bottom line is that poetry should first be written to please its author. Or else why write it at all, eh, chum? Hugs to you and the Mrs!
  1. Date: 2/10/2013 12:46:00 PM
    Goosebumps! This is so much more powerful once the door is opened and I got to look inside the poem - not just words on a page. Thank you for sharing this very personal history with us. I do think that it illustrates perfectly what I have been trying to communicate in my blog. You just said it so much better. Blessings, Cyndi. Love, Su

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

    I think that it is a great idea. But why stop at just new poets. Maybe we could have a weekly "vote" of poems we wish to put up for nomination to be interviewed.
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 2/11/2013 11:52:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Maybe we could do the interview Live here... all are invited to ask questions - sticking to the poem.Just thinking out loud here. If you have a look at my Bio here, it kicks off with an interview which was done on me. The standard questions might give you a frame to start off with.... :-)
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/10/2013 7:55:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Blessings back,Grrrrr, I detest these tiny boxes that (irony here) do not allow chatter boxes, like me!, to wax on. Anyways, lol, blessing backatcha! Hugs!!!! Cyndi
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 2/10/2013 7:52:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hey, Su, for some time now I've been considering a weekly blog (I do want to start my weekly newsletter again, highlighting the new poets on soup.) I have long thought how cool it would be to take a poem that is obviously layered with meaning and then send the poet questions, and then post the "interview." I can see some liking this, and some hating it, big time ;-)

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