Posted in authors, authos, books, consumers, Indie, poetry, publishing, short stories, writers

Professor and Indie Author, Gary McLouth talks about becoming a writer

Author Pics Gary Mc Louth

Welcome Gary.  When did you know you were a writer, and how did you develop your writing?

Tricky question, Joanne. From early childhood, I was drawn to stories told by my grandmother. She told stories about her youth, her music, her jobs, her family, her travels and her travails. She had a way of making drama out of the mundane. Her voice lilted in tones of suspension.  As I got older, my interest is listening grew into an interest in telling. Since the heavy-duty emphasis from my parents leaned on truth and honesty at all costs, I was forced to learn the ways of performance, projection, nuance.

I love to talk, and to entertain. Writing, however, is something else, and I’ve been challenged by it most of my life. How to tell a story on a page, when you, imagine the audience, hear the voice(s) fighting for a say, sit alone in a room and drum your fingers on the keyboard. It helps to take classes, attend workshops and conferences, read aloud to peers and read everything: newspapers, magazines, short story collections, novels, how-to manuals, bumper stickers and warning labels on prescription drug bottles. I appreciate the courses and workshops I’ve participated in, because they’ve provided what I need most. Focus and Deadlines.

Do you always write in the same genre?

I consider writing to be writing, so I write, and have written, in many genres. I guess poetry is my basic connection between my experience and imagination, and my writing. I don’t tend to think in sentences. Images, phrases, voices. I write a lot without the self-proclamation of “I’m writing.” Notes on student papers, poems, short stories, agendas for meetings, speeches for others as well as myself, and so on. But, yes, I have aspirations to write good literary fiction, and I do work that on paper and in my head. It’s ongoing.

Do you have a special time or place you like to write?

Now, that could lead to some pretty good story-telling! My favorite place to write: Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. My special time to write: Night Time.

Okay, the trouble with those conditions is time and place, and reality. I love being in the mountains, and I love staying up late. I have written a lot in those venues. The only problem is that the Adirondacks are a long way from wherever I might be, and late nights may stoke my memories but not much else. The solution, if that’s what takes, is adaptability and versatility. I practice writing any place, any time. I’ve trained myself to write scripts in my head as I walk. I remind myself that all time is usable, if I think it is.

I try to carry a few tools for writing at all times. You’d be surprised how many pieces of this and that swirl around us. Recycle litter into copy.

Why did you decide to become an Indie publisher, and would you recommend going the Indie route to other writers?

Hmm. Why, indeed. The traditional submission route worked for me when I had a full-time job that allowed me to hire a submission agency. The agency performed the market research and details of the copying, letter writing, mailing and archiving. All I had to do was supply the poems and stories. I started years ago, sending out poems and stories to magazines and journals that I wanted to appear in, and without any additional criteria, that made each submission a long shot. Now, I have no submission agent. I still have lots of manuscript copy lying around, and I feel even less desire to query editors and lick stamps than ever before. Get the drift here?

I studied/researched the self-publishing business for a long time before deciding to get involved. Founding West Main Productions, LLC, made me an official publisher, and I produced two collections of stories: Natural Causes (2008), and Do No Harm (2011). Working with The Troy Bookmakers of Troy, NY, I was able to make all production and marketing decisions for each book. The stories for the first book have been previously published in juried publications, as has one story in the second book. That assuages the “is this really acceptable work in the eyes of the gate keepers” worry.

Did I see that life was getting shorter, my publication time longer, and my dreams of literary stardom dimmer? Technology and confidence will lead you to Indie publishing.  Traditional publishing isn’t going away, but the Indie option is respected, and it’s really about the same thing as the traditional route: finding an audience for your work. Both avenues lead to the same place, and only a few of us pull up in front of the Pulitzer Prize stage, regardless of the route.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

A favorite author turns out to be one I trust to take me in and teach me, entertain me, show me light, swat me upside the head, nauseate me, love and respect me. A few favorites: William Kennedy, John Gardner, Denis Johnson, Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood, Louise Erdrich, Cormac McCarthy, Richard Ford, Ray Carver, Sue Miller, Philip Roth. Many poets—James Wright, Tony Hoagland, Anne Sexton, William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman, June Jordan, Jim Gustafson, et al.

Why do you write?

A much tougher question than it first appears to be. It’s like ‘fooling around and falling in love’. The more I do, the more I do. As I’ve grown older, I’ve lost people, places, jobs, sports and things, but reading and writing, not. Instead of limiting my idea of myself as a writer by genre, I’ve continued an early tendency to try new writing challenges while maintaining solid connections with my secret sharer, my conscience. Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes help me stay the course. I need the help. Thank you, Joanne, for this opportunity to think about these things.

Thanks so much Gary.  Here is a little about his life as an author.

Gary McLouth has published short stories in The Red Rock Review, The Cimarron Review, ELM, Studio One, Limestone, Minnetonka Review, The Baltimore Review and others. Poetry has appeared in Adirondack Life, Blueline, Emerson of Harvard, The International Poetry Review, Buckle &, and others.

http://www.amazon.com/Gary-McLouth/e/B00JGC7AII/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1427644836&sr=1-3

Do No Harm book cover  Natural Causes

Natural Causes and other stories published by West Main Productions, and Gary’s second collection of short fiction, Do No Harm are available on Amazon.com in standard print or eBook format. Gary has co-authored Men and Abortion with Arthur B. Shostak, edited A Man Named Nebraska, Guilty Without Trial, and a number of other book-length manuscripts. TV scripts supporting shows on Culture TV, “Media Matters” on the Ion TV network. Gary co-founded Todays Authors, a studio talk show recorded for broadcast on its own You Tube channel as well as TV aired as a public affairs offering in Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo, NY.

Gary is the President of the Gulf Coast Writers Association, a member of the Sanibel Writers Group #3, a participant in the Poetry Alliance, a featured poet in the Art Poems Project and a reader in programs sponsored by Big Arts on Sanibel Island. Other associations have included: The New York State Writers Institute; The Foundation for Mental Health; Poets & Writers; the Association of (college) Writing Programs.

Gary earned a Doctor of Arts in English at SUNY Albany where he won the President’s Distinguished Dissertation Award for Death and Other Frustrations. A Professor Emeritus at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. He has been an adjunct English professor at Florida Southwestern State College (formerly Edison State College) in Fort Myers since January, 2011.

Professional experience as an arts administrator, college administrator, speech writer, MC for non-profits, writing consultant and independent video producer contribute to Gary’s ability to serve the various needs of potential clients.

Posted in authors, books, poetry, purpose, readers, support, writers, writing

The Life of a Poet – Thomas Noel Smith

Thomas Noel ,

Joanne:  Welcome Tom Noel Smith to Author Interview Friday.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Tom:  I am interested in promoting my book anywhere I can. I am a local Florida writer—Arcadia—I have written three books of poetry.  “’Dust’ and Other Poems,” “Words of the Times,” and “Impressions and Memories.”  “Impressions and Memories” has just recently been published.  I have also written several short stores,  not yet  published.  I am currently working on my fourth book of poetry as  well as two short stories.

Dust  Words of TimesImpressions and Memories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joanne: It is a pleasure to have you with us today. Do you have a background in writing or did you take any special writing courses that helped you along the way?

Tom:  I have a degree in English and a degree in Theatre.  Speaking strictly as an English major, I found myself fascinated by literary works of all genres.  In poetry I was fascinated by the works of such writers as Andrew Marvel, Matthew Arnold,  Longfellow, Emily Dickinson.  Of course I was enthralled by the master, Shakespeare.  I studied their words and listened to the rhythms of each piece.  It was like a grand symphony—words and rhythm, all working together to weave a wondrous spell on the mind, the heart, and the spirit. Yes, poetry touched me in that way and I wanted to be able to write with command of words and rhythm and music.

In terms of writing I was swept away by such writers as Dickens and Conrad.  I was fascinated by the works of Twain and Cooper, and even contemporary writers such as Pat Conroy fired my imagination.

But my background…I suppose life’s experiences demanded that I listen and hear and feel.  I spent the early years of my childhood in France, Germany, and England.  I lived in a number of states and I guess that the knowledge that we would be moving about every 18 months (or every 3 years, if we were lucky) taught me about the instability of the world around me, and that in itself must have sparked  the creative demon that came to live within me.  I suppose all of that guided my steps toward writing.

Joanne:  I think life’s experience can sometimes be our biggest inspiration.  You know the old saying, that truth is stranger than fiction. What other work have you done and how has it impacted your writing career?

Tom:  I began my experiences as a magician.  I did stage shows, close-up magic, mentalism.  I have worked in professional theatre.  I went to Ringling Brothers Clown College and travelled with a small, one ring circus for two years. I was a professional clown, I also did magic in the show.  I taught Theatre in the public schools, but I gave up teaching and went back to my first love—acting.  I now work as a film actor in Florida.

How has this impacted my writing?  I think that it is rare that any individual gets to experience so many different phases and faces; smiling faces, young faces, old faces, care-worn faces.  How can all these work experiences not impact my writing?  Just being an active part of life and all its experiences—all this must impact the manner in which one writes and the subjects about which he writes.

Joanne:  A magician, that is interesting.  Do you have any special time or place you like to write?

Tom:  Yes. I do have a special time.  I like to write late at night when all the world is sleeping.  The air is still.  There is a quiet that I may not find during the earlier hours.  I go into my office and I write for hours.

Joanne:  What does “finding your Voice” mean to you and how did you find yours?

Tom:  I think that our “voice” is always within us, just begging for the chance to free itself and find its way onto our pages.  Finding a voice, for me, is akin to listening to a melodic sound and then humming what’s within one’s head.  For me, it means casting away one’s inhibitions and allowing the passion that burns inside to have a vent, a way to express itself.  It means to me, that one must give himself permission to be himself.

I went to a poetry conference not too long ago, and there were poets who were telling me that I did not write in the modern style or the style that was accepted by the contemporary world.  At first I felt dejected. I felt as if I didn’t have any talent.  However, there was something within that telling me that if I heeded all those voices, I would not be true to myself. I would not be an individual poet.  I remember they kept asking me rather contemptuously if I just wanted to write for myself.  I took this as a rebuke.  Then I found myself.  Yes, I want to write for myself. If I am not pleased with my words how can I expect any reader to be pleased?  But I am writing with my own voice not someone else’s.  The key to finding one’s voice is to remember the words: “And this above all: to think own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Joanne:  I can’t agree with you more. First, we must write for ourselves, before our voice can be heard by the masses.  What inspires you to write when you’re feeling down or less confident than usual?

Tom:  This is the time the I do my best writing.  I don’t know why but when I close myself off and I begin to write and the words seem to come more easily, and I often surprise myself at what happens in those dark hours when I am down or upset.

Joanne: Why do you write?

Tom:  Why does the sun rise each morning? Why do we pursue dreams that could easily be deemed foolish.  I write because there is that within me that I cannot explain. The words must come out.  They aren’t always intelligent words, sometimes the words weave nonsensical tales, but all those words are a part of me and they beg for release.  I would be miserable if I did not write.  Isn’t acting enough?  Acting is a very concentrated art form, like writing.  But each art form is different, and while acting satisfies one aspect of fulfillment, I also need writing to make me complete.

Joanne:  Spoken like a true poet. Thank you Tom. You are not alone in your feeling. I have heard it said “Writer’s write because we have no other choice.”  We walk around with these characters or thoughts in our heads all the time. We are never really alone.

Readers, if you enjoy poetry, click here to buy Tom’s books on Amazon.

Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Noel-Smith/e/B004MIE73C/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

 

 

 

Posted in authors, books, children, favorite books, fiction, literary fiction, non-fiction, poetry, writers

Thank you to 50 authors

My journey into blogging has hit the one year mark. To date, I have had fifty (count’ em 50) authors interviewed on  Author Interview Friday. And over THREE THOUSAND  views. I have learned so much from each and everyone of you and want to shout out a huge THANK YOU.

Every author has something different to bring to the table. Whether it is their experiences in publishing, struggles with writing or offering a book I can’t put down, it has been a wonderful journey. I am going to try to post more of my own personal journey as this new year begins. But fear not – we have lots of other authors to interview and join us here at Writing Under Fire.

If you have a new book being released (or an old one that needs a fresh promotion) and would like to be on my Author Interview Friday, please leave a comment here with your contact information and I will get back with you. I welcome authors from both fiction and non-fiction, local or global. Let’s mix it up a bit.

photo 2

Couldn’t resist – didn’t have any cute picture to post that had anything to with writing, but how can you not smile at this beautiful face of my grand-daughter, Amber?

Posted in authors, conflict, parents, poetry, political injustice, support, writers

Local Poet visits Writing Under Fire

It is with with great pleasure that I have my first poet on Author Interview Friday. Dr. Nick Kalvin has an interesting story and his unconventional poetry is thought provoking and sure to elicit an opinion – although every one’s may not be the same. He is a deep soul. Nick, please tell us a little about yourself.

Dr. Nick Kalvin

Nick : I was a Depression baby, June 1933. Mom was Mary Kasarda, US born daughter of coal miner-tenant farmer Slavic-Rus immigrant. She left school in 7th grade to help her family. She met Dad, Nicholas Kalvin, in Lakewood Ohio St. Gregory choir. Both loved books, music, were multilingual. Dad was born here also, but raised from infancy in Eastern Czechoslovakia, educated with degrees in teaching and music, came back to the US in his twenties, where he met Mom. Maternal Grandmother Ann wrote and Dad did the songs for musical plays performed on the church basement stage.

Raised in Lakewood Ohio, went to Medical school at Ohio State in Columbus, 1955-59. Active duty at the Naval School of Aviation Medicine in Pensacola Florida, was a Flight Surgeon,’60-’63, served aboard two aircraft carriers. I served last, with VFP-62, Navy Recon Photo Squadron which won the Presidential Unit Citation for work done in the Cuban Missile Crisis. I did eye surgery residency at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, was also a pilot examiner for the FAA, non-commercial pilots for 20-30 years. I have 5 kids sons, 1 daughter and have 9 grandkids plus.one on the way. My wife, Judy C.(Greene) Kalvin of Lockhaven PA., is an ophthalmic technician. I was Collier County’s first eye surgeon, practised 34 years, 1966-2000, also a past president of NCH Staff, CC Medical Society and Florida Society of Ophthalmology.

My hobbies inlclude writing, tropical fruit trees, tennis. I used to sail, scuba dive, snow ski, travel when in practice.

Joanne: When did you begin to write?

Nick: Before I could, according to Mom, She said at 3-5, I’d use a book-rack footstool as a desk, scribble and sketch with a pencil. When she’d call, she said I usually refused to come, saying “I busy!” Actually, I did some poems in high school, a few Edgar Allen Poe like short stories. Was an editor for my high school paper, wrote and presented medical papers on my research.

Joanne: What got you started writing again?

Nick: I found it a release during the terrible years 2002 to 2005, when we had some serious issues with our children. Residential rehab, bills, legal, that broke our financial back. We lost our Naples home in 2009. . . Lots of suffering, regrets, betrayal. Judy and I went to parental support groups, learned a lot about each other, got closer despite taxing times. Suffering served as motivation. Suffering makes fictional characters find wisdom, endure and develop, just as in real life.

Joanne: That is more trauma than any family should have to go through .As writers, we have the ability to create illusions or to tell stories. What makes you want to create?

Nick: To express awe and thanks for life, to be useful, express feelings and to think. I praise and recall good human beings and to bring attention to those that are not . . .the controllers, dividers, the liars those churning envy into jealousy, then into class/racial hatred to elevate themselves into positions of controlling elite. There they make decisions based on their own desires for vengeance and imagined wrongs. Dad’s observations of pre-war Europe ring true today. Back in the 40’s and 50’s, he predicted, quite accurately, the current American political and financial quagmire brought about by Socialists and Collectivists, racial and religous fanatics. Dad was not alone. For example:

PHILOSPHER HEGEL: “History teaches that people and government never learn anything from history.”

ONE OF OUR FOUNDERS said, “Government is like fire, a necessary servant to be controlled, uncontrolled, becomes a cruel and fatal master” I think it was Jefferson.

Joanne: I know your preferred genre is poetry. Tell us a little about that.

NIck: Poetry is a distillation, concentration in rhyming brevity. Almost all mine are based on facts, history, current events, political trends, my physician experiences. Most are wake-up calls. With a few lines or a page, observations, events can be compressed in the same memorable fashion used since the Stone age. One poem, VITIMOLOGY,IRONIC IMMORTALITY, in a page and a quarter is the gist of almost 2 pages of newsprint.

My works vary . . .inspirational, expository, fiction, entertainment, history, news, opinion, personal or family history. I prefer rhyme and rhythm, going against obvious academic and editorial faddish prejudice against such as this time. I’ve been criticized, locally for Limerick form used with serious topics. Some of the critics in my old group seemed to enjoy serious topics in rap “music.”

I have several unfinished short stories based on my own experiences and two started novels, one based on my only malpractice experience . . .later dismissed. It was from a man who quite likely murdered his wife and got away with it, right here in Collier County, back in the 80’s. I talked with you about it once.

Joanne: I am really unfamiliar with the process of writing poetry. Does it stay in a particular point of view as in fiction writing?

Nick: No, point of view depends on the character and the story told. Some are first person, as in mine. Most fictional ones are from a narrative or observer viewpoint. I make use of dialogue, quotes, even quotes within quotes. Stimulating topics, bit of poems, pop out from newspaper articles, TV news, memories, rarely dreams. I enjoy browsing through my medical library. Occasionally I re-read my old med school, Navy or surgical training textbooks to be sure the facts, concepts are correct in poems or stories.

Joanne: Do you have a particular time of day or place that your inspiration comes to you best?

Nick: I use some of most mornings after chores on a 2 acre rural county home. I care for our own lawn and trees with hand tools and a push gasoline lawn mower. Ideas come, as I work or drive. Once in a while, I will read and write in bed if I can’t sleep. Rarely, I’ll wake up from a dream to jot down an idea or scene.

As for places and techniques, I start writing on the patio, mostly mornings, with dog at my side, untamed woods beyond the fence, a small cigar and black coffee. I begin with longhand in a notebook or tablet….revising until the work gels, several times, shifting stanzas. I try for a dramatic ending. Later, I type it into my Documents, usually edit several times. Years later I redo some published, that I once thought perfect. I date revisions, to avoid confusion with older versions. It appears wise to set work aside, let it sit or cool, go back later for a fresh look.

Joanne: How do you handle rejections to your submissions?

Nick: It is frustrating to have a good piece turned down. One medical journal has a poetry section. Most of the poems published are just unconnected phrases, free association, without rhythm and rhyme . . . some are hard to understand the message and sound awkward when read aloud, just awful. Today there’s a faddish prejudice against rhyme. (I sent in some poems on misogyny, for a special edition on torture, genocide, victims of fanaticism and war that fit right into the issue’s theme. I read some of those to our local writer’s group, Marco Island Writers. One was THE WITNESS, about a girl who sees her drug crazed father beat and kill her Mom, and testifying in court. The last line reads, “Please Judge, can you send my father to the electric chair?” I saw the reaction at MIW, and heard a few gasps. Of course, it and the others were not published in that issue of my medical journal, despite appreciation from “submissions” people, who unfortunately, did not edit the poetry section.)

I had a former English professor and poet read about 50 of my poems several years ago. He was not impressed. He said, “You haven’t found your voice, was too choppy, compressed, and struggled with word order to achieve rhyme, was old fashioned. I followed his suggestions. I had three poems published in Florida Weekly during two contests shortly afterward. One poem was the runner-up in Fall 2012 Florida Weekly’s contest of prose or poetry, done from a FW picture prompt.

Joanne: Are there particular books that you have read lately that inspired you?

Nick: FAR EAST OF THE SUN by Janina Chung hit nerves in me. Her family and mine were from the same area. My Dad saw much of what she wrote . . .political control, persecution, prison-labor camps, violence by Communists, Quislings, Nazi Socialists and cruel bureaucrats.

THE TRUTH ABOUT MUHAMMAD (Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion) by Robert Spencer. It’s a terrifying, truthful account. Muslim extremists will, no doubt, case WWIII.

LUCY, a story about a girl who was half ape, her tribulations, the hate, threats she inspired, the implications for social norms and beliefs.

Joanne: Tell our readers a little about your poems and your style of writing.

Nick: I’m like the little boy who, unlike the “politically correct” crowd, tells the Emperor he is, in fact, naked. Like that child, many of my poems focus on things that are unjust, stupid, cruel, selfish, dangerous to life and freedom. Some are family history, memorable experiences and teachings.

Joanne: We know that the writing process can be a lonely and sometimes discouraging process if you are looking from motivation from outside sources. What are your motivations?

Nick: My motivations are to create something, to discover or to expose the truths. Several artists in various fields have said that the art of creation is really an innate need to worship by imitating the Creator. One example is “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. I’m driven to write about the things that I see or find out about that disturb me. A visiting poet at FGCU (Florida Gulf Coast University) who came to give a reading, said if his poems disturb the reader or stir up critical thought, he has done his jobWe all seek attention, appreciation, want to show off our works . . .from the first sketches or attempts to write until we die. I guess I want to leave some of me behind when I’m gone. Our gift of imagination has to be used, encouraged or it withers.

Joanne: What kind of training or formal education have you received in writing?

Nick: I have attended several writing/author seminars put on by the Naples Press Club I belonged to Crossed Quills…a critique group, now defunct, met weekly for two years or so.

I do get help and background from the following books:

The Art of Readable Writing by Rudolph Flesch, which contains a graphic scheme to measure such depending on “personal words,” syllables per 100 words, words per sentence.

Complete Rhyming Dictionary by Clement Wood

Elements of Style by Strunk and White

History’s Timeline by Cooke, Kramer et al

Lure of the Limerick by Wm. Baring-Gould

The Student Bible with notations and references by Yancy and Stafford

Beyond Star Trek by LM Krauss

Joanne: How has your publishing experience been?

Nick: I’d love to publish an entire book or two of my own poetry, but find that to be difficult. Poetry books are not profitable for publisher or author. I might submit an E-book of poems to Amazon. Publications containing my poems include:

FLORIDA WEEKLY, 3 poems in 2 contests last two years. got second place overall in 3012.

INTERNATIONAL WHO’S WHO IN POETRY, 2012, Judy Lynn Editor, Los Angeles

BEST POEMS AND POETS OF 2012 ,World Poetry Movement, Suzanne Hillary, Utah

GREAT POETS ACROSS AMERICA, National poetry month, 2012, Brooke Alexander Ed.

STARS IN OUR HEARTS,. World Poetry Movement 2011 Suzanne Hillary Editor, Utah

Joanne: Nick, please share with us a couple of your poems and tell the readers where they can go to read or purchase more.

Nick: You can go to my website or any of the books above to read some of my work. http://www.PoetryPoliticallyIncorrect.com.

all 4 books

VICTIMOLOGY, CORRUPTION

(this is one of a series of poems)

“You look like you were always tough, well-built and tall,

Heck, I bet, in school, no one ever bothered you at all,

Shoved you into lockers down at the far end of the hall,

Or tripped you, when teachers were too far away to call.

You can’t know how much I’ve been pushed around and abused.

Outside school, I was teased, became a punching bag they used.

They chased me, hid my violin, threw mud and pulled my hair,

Then, they’d all laugh, when I said, ‘Guys, you’re neither nice nor fair.’

The Principal asked me if I had any proof which I could produce?

Unlucky me, they didn’t hit hard enough to leave much bruise.

Mom went to school, complained again, in the office just last week.

Grandpa said, ‘Stand your ground…you can’t always turn the other cheek.’

In class they frowned when I’d raise my and to provide an answer,

In gym, their teams quit choosing me, like I had some disease or cancer.

They stole my lunch money, even though I noticed they got theirs for free.

They sure loved making life one long misery, for the kids like me.

Well, Sheriff, guess I should say I’m so sorry, but I’m really not.

Truthfully, it felt good, to see them kneel, cry like babies, while I shot.”

OUR LADY CARDINAL’S OBSESSION

For several days now, pecking at our panes,

A scruffy, lady Cardinal just can’t abstain,

Nor her compulsive, odd behavior somehow explain.

Is she darkly obsessed, or simply featherbrained?

Perhaps, like us, poor creature can’t, or will not restrain,

Choosing acts that logic surely deems insane,

Over duties, likely, even life itself sustain,

And wastes divine gifts on weird urges unrestrained.

Does this bird perceive a rival in her domain?

Love, kiss her glassy image? Is a bird that vain?

All day long, this poor one ignores water and grain,

Like us, her compulsions not all ever ascertained.

Why choose destructive pathways in life’s vast terrain,

Ignore the safe, productive ones, with obvious disdain,

Blindly passing so much good our lives do contain,

Hung-up, side-tracked, (ordained?) to provide her own pain?