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Cyndi MacMillan's Blog

About Cyndi MacMillan
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Cyndi MacMillan is a well-rounded writer who embraces many genres and forms. Her work has been published in local newspapers and has won contests. She enjoys reading literary journals, and she is actively pursuing publication within their glossy covers.

Verse is both magnetic and kinetic. She attempts - madly- to give equal attention to her poetry, short stories, and a novel-in-progress, the Trim of Wicks.  Regardless of genre, she focuses on language. One word has the power to repel or pull. She never forgets the reader and does her best to make their ride interesting.

Poetry soup is a good forum which enables people from around the world to share poetry. It has some great resources and provides a nice space for friends to meet.

Cyndi lives in a small town in Ontario with her husband, young daughter and far too many books.



Blog Posted:1/20/2014 11:07:00 PM



Delighted, I return to the stained glass


studio in a dream. A Maltese Seraph


is nigh, pleased by crafted canvasses.


Peace plays in her illuminated laugh


for she is moved by both the fired art


and wholesome scenes piously framed


in elongated windows. Pure light darts


between beauty forged by artistic fame


and the silvered coats of horses pulling carts


on the village street. St Jacobs, a plain land


praising simplicity: a message of heart


heard in her voice, seen in the lay of  hands.


But a wink teases as she lifts suncatchers,


seeing sweet figolli in each pastel patch.







*Above, a picture of Figolli,a Maltese cookie decorated with bright icing and enjoyed at Easter. Like two dimensional Easter Eggs ;)


This is to our friend, an angel of Soup, who is from Malta.


About the studio


Heartbreaking! The studio which I so loved has closed its doors. The shop lives on in my memory and dreams. Suspended on chains were countless stained glass ornamentations, strung in perfectly straight lines to create the illusion of walls. The Studio had too many windows to count and the light would stream through each grouping of glass, creating the effect of small, glowing rooms. I wish now I?d taken a picture. The pictures in this blog of stained glass are from a studio in Muskoka, which I may highlight on another sonnet.  


About St Jacobs


St Jacobs is a Mennonite Village. It is common to see people drive by in horse and buggy.Old order Mennonites wear clothes of another century. The women wear prayer caps and pinafores, calico dresses, no make up, no adornments. The men wear black suits, black hats, solid shoes. Some of the old order Mennonites even STILL work their land with a horse drawn plow, make solid wood furniture without a single tool that requires electricity and do not own phones.


About the Poem


I specifically chose to plop our Charmaine into this colour imbued shop with elaborate art, so unlike the village where it ?was? situated. The juxtaposition was important to me. Also, the Mennonite view to ?keep things simple? is shared by Charmaine, whose writes can have strong themes yet often choose, wisely, to refrain for overly elaborate words or hidden meanings. She likes things to be understood, to be clear, as do the Mennonites.


I think that our Charmaine is so filled with light, reflects what is good and INTENSIFIES it, like a suncatcher, so I chose words carefully to emphasize the comparison. Delighted and illuminated were intentionally used. Charmaine is a spiritual woman who shows such grace on the soup. I used faith inspired language: Seraph, peace, wholesome, piously. I wanted the euphony, the ... cadence?...of a hymn. I hope I captured this effect in MaltEse, pEace, ScEnes, piouslY, beautY, SimplicitY, StrEET, tEases, FigollI (which I imagine is pronounced Fig-ole-lee (yes, Charmaine?), ShE, SwEEt  ...  As a Christian, I associate hymns with this sound because of jEEEsus, the long E sound often stressed or held. Nigh, an old word, I use in a contemporary form with the theme of an olden art, timeless ways


I edited the word ?Sheen? and changed it to ?Silvered? but wonder if I should have



I?m a fan of alliteration and used it here Crafted/Canvasses, Peace/Play, Between/Beauty etc...



Now, the comparison between the cookie and the stained glass windows was to echo the aha moment of a haiku, a form which Charmaine enjoys ...


I usually do not use the nearly even a third of the amount of adjectives and adverbs which I use here, but I am happy with the finished piece




About Contemporary Sonnets


Contemporary sonnets are free to use whatever rhyme scheme they choose or the poets can invent their own. Rhyme are not necessarily ?perfect? rhyme but can use a wide variation of rhyme styles. Actually, rhyme is not even required. Also, there is no RIGID syllable count, but most counts do remain within the 9-11 range. A sentence may end mid line or even just one word into a line for effect and weight. Meter is not usually considered in contemporary sonnets..


Many contemporary sonneteers WORSHIP the classic sonnets (I know I do) so most prefer to KEEP the volta, though some may leave that magic spin for the last lines, as opposed to the traditional 9th line in an Shakespearian sonnet, per say. Contemporary sonnets SEEM to be liked by the editors of literary/academic journals. Many of today?s sonneteers are being lauded for releasing the sonnet from its captivity  in archives, libraries and musty tomes  and modernizing it enough that FRESH ones would appeal to the modern tastes of today?s readers.  


Some photos of St Jacobs




St. Jacobs


St. Jacobs Country Mill



Old barn silo have actually been turned into cool shops, inside floors seem to "wind" reminiscent of old spiral staircases


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  1. Date: 1/22/2014 5:14:00 PM
    rereading..I love the word silvered Cyndi..Sheen is I looove silvered.Somehow makes me think of fairies and magic..Something I love B-) B-).Sorry now i saw the question whilst rereading dear : )

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  1. Date: 1/22/2014 1:27:00 PM
    You might not have seen this comment buried in the pile as I replied to myself instead of you, so I'll risk it again: One more suggestion. Tugging buggies instead of pulling carts? Just a thought, don't shoot me!

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  1. Date: 1/22/2014 8:25:00 AM
    Tnks again dear Cyndi and all my friends who commented below..I love you all.Wish I could come to thankyou earlier but hubby is home ..and in need of some tlc : ) Hugs to all

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  1. Date: 1/22/2014 7:50:00 AM
    Your mind is a wonder Cyndi!

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  1. Date: 1/21/2014 6:05:00 PM
    wow Dee how refreshing! Keep um coming!

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  1. Date: 1/21/2014 5:23:00 PM
    i like this form, soul sis; it is not too restricted and yet holds a firm grip on the basic dynamics of a sonnet... what will the purists sya?.. lol... awesome tribute to our sweet charms!... bow!

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    Guzzi Avatar Debbie Guzzi Date: 1/21/2014 6:06:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    you stealing my sis LOL, if you want her you have to sis me too! and since I'm the elder you can call me BIG sis LOL
  1. Date: 1/21/2014 4:41:00 PM
    Very lovely sonnet, Cyndi. of course Charmaine will love it! How could she not? LOL I especially like the first sun catcher, and it is appropriate in it's soft colors to complement the soft ways of our dear Charmaine. Loved this blog. hugs, catie :)

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  1. Date: 1/21/2014 12:08:00 PM
    Im a little puzzled with the contemporary sonnet definition; enlighten me, please. If rhyme and meter are not required ... Question: Which is the difference between a short free verse poem and a contemporary sonnet?

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/21/2014 1:43:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    It's fairly new, this concept... so very much like a newborn. I want to CODDLE it, seriously. I know. Not normal, right? Now, there's a blog... which form is the one most PRECIOUS to you, feels the most natural, mirrors your voice and style? Damn, I blather.. holy fricking mini comments, Batman. Ill shut up now. no. FOR now. ha <3
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/21/2014 1:40:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I am sloppy in love with this form. Goo goo, lol, ga ga. I want to pinch its cheeks, smell its hair, hold it close. If I live another twenty years, my guess is they'll find a thousand of these under my mattress.
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/21/2014 1:38:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    So, in essence, the "little song" is about the unfolding. A metaphor comes into play, near the beginning, then that imagery is further developed. MOST contemporary sonneteers love the twist/volta. Then the summary with its one-two punch... the summary should pull it all together.
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/21/2014 1:35:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Ron Padgett, in The Handbook of Poetic Forms points out that ?the sonnet involves acertain way of thinking: the setting up or development of a thought or idea which is brought to a conclusion at the end of the poem?. The sonnet’s hallmarks are really this ?way of thinking? and its dialectical nature, not a particular rhyme scheme. In fact, manycontemporary sonnets depart from rhyme and meter altogether, although they are stillrestricted to 14 lines.
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/21/2014 1:23:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    LOL... Ruben? What is the difference between a short free verse poem and contemporary sonnet. I'd say the difference is... the poet. ;) Now, what is a traditional English sonnet? We could just call it rhyme, right? Light poetry? Quatrains with a couplet chaser? I'll put up another blog with some cool links, later or hmmm....
  1. Date: 1/21/2014 12:03:00 PM
    A wonderful tribute that highlights Charmaine's spirit, talent, and social graces. Love it!

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/21/2014 1:49:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thank you, chum. I will perhaps put up a blog about contemporary sonnet with many links, samples, definitions by some notables etc. All I can say, this form has me, tooth and nail
  1. Date: 1/21/2014 10:14:00 AM
    Yes........a beautiful the most beautiful of souls. What a wonderful choice, to dedicate to our lovely Charmaine!!

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/21/2014 1:54:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks, Gurl! And you'll be getting one, too! I'm sitting, almost meditating, finding the right place to take my friends on soup, figuratively, a place that mirrors their personality and writing style. Not so easy. LOL.. then it just pours out of me.
  1. Date: 1/21/2014 8:42:00 AM
    This captured her essence, Cyndi. Even the message was lucid and she is a lucid writer, so I appreciated that in your sonnet. Charma is such a sweetie!!

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/21/2014 1:56:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Exactly what I was trying to do! Thanks, chum. Don't think you're escaping my scrutiny and cyber hugging either... oh there is a sonnet 'stewing' for you, too. It is natural for me to write in a form I love, for those I love. CHEERS
  1. Date: 1/21/2014 7:27:00 AM
    Beautiful, Cyndi. And I think you captured Charma very well...she's a sweetheart. Those pics are too cool...the silos look like home..;)

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/21/2014 1:51:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Glad you liked, chum! Thanks.
  1. Date: 1/21/2014 6:53:00 AM
    I like it very much. Learned a new word, figolli. I find deconstruction very interesting. I might do a contest. In terms of "silvered coats", how about "burnished backs" instead. Renders the idea with a bit of alliteration. Cheers, Roy

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    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden Date: 1/21/2014 4:15:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    One more. Tugging buggies instead of pulling carts? Just a thought, don't shoot me!
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/21/2014 8:50:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I LOVE the suggestion and will use it...the Mennonites do put their BACKS into all they do, literally and figuratively. AND I like the echo... of BAAAck, SunCAAAthers, pAAAth... Thank you!
  1. Date: 1/21/2014 1:24:00 AM
    and tnks for the added info re contemporary sonnets ,dear : )

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  1. Date: 1/21/2014 1:22:00 AM
    I was speechless when I read this beauty in the poem area .Yes dear..So so beautiful is this sonnet.I love the explanation re the figolli and stained glass-Yes I can see that in a haiku..Aha!!!: ).You pronounced figolli correctly as well :.)..By the way ,they are yummy delicious: ).Re St.Jacob's land-I imagine me living there..It seems very beautiful,and blissed with tranquility.Yes I imagine me roaming freely ,with no make up on..or in a buggy driven by a horse far from the hussle and buzzle of cities.I do believe God should have an important role in our life,and could even feel a spirutual feeling in your sonnet.I love love this poem and I'm going to print it..It stays close to my heart <3

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    Chircop Avatar Charmaine Chircop Date: 1/22/2014 9:02:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    : )
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 1/21/2014 11:47:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    It's official: your Nom de Plume is "Suncatcher" : D
    Richards Avatar Carrie Richards Date: 1/21/2014 10:11:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Suncatcher is the most beautiful way to describe our lovely Charmaine. Truly, she is!! This lady brings her own color of the sun to our day!
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/21/2014 8:57:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    SOOOO glad you enjoyed this! someone may end up calling you Soup's Suncatcher down the road... I'm just about to post Mystic Rose's sonnet... lol... she is very excited! Thank you for all you bring Soup! You're awesome!
    Dietrich Avatar Andrea Dietrich Date: 1/21/2014 8:42:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    good to read your reaction here, charma!

My Past Blog Posts

How I judge Contests by Cyndi MacMillan
Date Posted: 9/10/2014 9:58:00 PM
Date Posted: 9/8/2014 8:54:00 PM
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Grammar and poetry: a Fiction Writer’s Oddball View
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Date Posted: 5/27/2014 3:20:00 PM
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Date Posted: 3/27/2014 9:09:00 PM
Date Posted: 3/6/2014 10:20:00 PM
Date Posted: 3/4/2014 9:29:00 PM
Date Posted: 2/26/2014 8:29:00 PM

My Poems

Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
9/4/2014I COMESFree versesexy,
9/2/2014cummings and iVersepoetry,word play,
8/25/2014LIFE WILL BE A HONEYMOONLyricparadise,passion,romantic
8/25/2014HOSTEL, QUEBEC CITY, 1978Free versehistory,places,
6/9/2014THE RETURNSonnetdepression,giving,life,lo
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,
2/13/2014DOUBLE OH, A BOND CROWN, EXAMPLE FOR CONTESTCrown of Sonnetsfilm,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,
2/5/2014ON THE FRINGE, A SONNET FOR MARLONSonnetafrica,allegory,culture,f
2/3/2014SUMMERLAND, A SONNET FOR CARRIE RICHARDSSonnetfriend,music,places,poetr
2/2/2014WORD ON THE STREET, 2009, A SONNET FOR DAVIDSonnetbooks,friend,places,poetr

My Photos

Fav Poems

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,
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
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,

Fav Poets

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