Poem Channeled for The Sunday Whirl

29 Jul

Talk about not knowing where something came from. I was halfway through a poem that could not be more different from what is below. I wasn’t happy with the content, although I liked the idea, so I put it aside. I was minding my own business, watching the Olympics, when this started arriving in my brain. Don’t ask. I have no idea what subconscious cell decided to surface and present itself in vaguely poetic form.

Those who settle in the Channel Islands
discover a rough and wayward history, where islanders
long avoided falling prey to attack, by knowing who held the ball,
with a robust outlook on whom to swing their allegiance behind,
tilting back and forth in a sometime strange, sometime sublime, frenzy
to keep life as they knew it – channeled
between two countries.

Thank you, Brenda, for an ever delightful, always challenging, source and resource. The latest words can be found at The Whirl, along with links to what others have written.


Posted by on 29/07/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , , ,

59 responses to “Poem Channeled for The Sunday Whirl

  1. Annette Mickelson

    29/07/2012 at 1:23 pm

    The wordle results have been so much fun to read this week — we are all going in so many directions. The Channel Islands — perfect!!

    • margo roby

      29/07/2012 at 1:49 pm

      Thank you, Annette! I’m just beginning my read around. Coffee, Olympics, wordle poems… what can be better?

  2. barbara_

    29/07/2012 at 1:27 pm

    Funny, that bounce things can take. I like this.

    • margo roby

      29/07/2012 at 1:50 pm

      It’s one of the things I love about writing. I think my favourite poems come unexpectedly.

  3. Daydreamertoo

    29/07/2012 at 2:20 pm

    Isn’t that the truth too …Very nice wordle…wherever it came from Margo 🙂

  4. vivinfrance

    29/07/2012 at 2:46 pm

    Super, and a lovely surprise! From our nearest beach we can see the Iles Anglo-Normandes – which is what they call the Channel Islands here. Sadly, they did ultimately succumb to attack when the were occupied by the German army during the second world war, and the evidence is still there today.

    • margo roby

      29/07/2012 at 4:56 pm

      ViV, I saw a documentary recently [which may be why the Islands are in my head] which did a good job of giving a quick history with the reasons and motives behind different actions in their history. Fascinating. After surviving so long, it is sad that they finally succumbed.

  5. Marianne

    29/07/2012 at 2:57 pm

    I had to look this up just to be sure! 🙂
    The Channel Islands: archipelago of British Crown Dependencies, are of course in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. Not part of UK.

    Extremely clever use of the words, Margo!

    • margo roby

      29/07/2012 at 4:57 pm

      Thank you, Marianne 🙂 The Islands are worth looking up. They are, apparently, a wonderful place to live.

  6. julespaige

    29/07/2012 at 4:36 pm

    Your wordle led me to Wiki…Thank you for helping me to learn how New Jersey got its’ name. I lived there for a good many years and they didn’t teach in school where the name came from. Which would have made a fine history lesson. Unless I was out sick that day 🙂

    It’s still a bit confusing trying to keep straight who owns what and how the Queen is honored by the toast ‘To the Queen our Duke’ (or something like that). The Channel Islands are independent to a point. It was sad to read that during WWII after a five year separation from family that reuniting was not easy for those who left with those who stayed.

    Thanks for your visit. The wordles continue to fall into place in the unplanned scheme of my story verse.

    • margo roby

      29/07/2012 at 5:05 pm

      Jules, It is a fun bit of history, isn’t it!

      You have to love that the wordles carry your stories forward 🙂

      • julespaige

        29/07/2012 at 9:37 pm

        Yup, I think there are now 8 each in story verse A and B and that’s not even including the Mermaid verse stories.
        I ended up creating a page each for A and B though I think at some point in time they may meet up! At least that’s the plan…

  7. magicalmysticalteacher

    29/07/2012 at 4:49 pm

    I’d call the concept presented in the poem a delicate balance. Or maybe not so delicate…

    • margo roby

      29/07/2012 at 5:07 pm

      How funny, Bren. My original title was ‘Balance’.

  8. val dering rojas

    29/07/2012 at 4:56 pm

    Great poem, Margo. Love the last line.

    I saw these words and liked them too, so I’m working them into something…although I’m still working on your prompt from yesterday too…which was worked into a few lines I had already written…..Perhaps a combo-prompt poem?? Hmmm.

    Have a great Sunday!

    • val dering rojas

      29/07/2012 at 5:01 pm

      CORRECTION: that would be working on choosing a prompt from Friday. One of which I was trying to work into a few lines I had already written.

      *sigh* so many prompts, so little time. Sorry for the confusion.

      • margo roby

        29/07/2012 at 5:12 pm

        No problem, Val. I managed to understand what was written.. it was a different outcome from this, but hey! I know exactly what you mean about the prompts. My file gets longer and longer…

        • val dering rojas

          29/07/2012 at 6:04 pm

          Mine too. I keep jotting things down in my notebook, or cut and paste to a file. So much is intriguing but lately I’ve been scattered and not writing much, so I just keep on collecting……lol

          • margo roby

            29/07/2012 at 6:46 pm

            Val, I have twenty years of collecting! I try to go back through my notebooks and tab the poems I want to bring forward. I find it helps, as I always write by hand, to keep everything in notebooks that look the same and are dated. Of course, there are the files of clippings from newspapers and magazines…

            • val dering rojas

              29/07/2012 at 6:56 pm

              Wow. I’m impressed. I go through periods of purging where I throw lots of stuff away. This freaks some people out, but to me it’s cleansing. That said, I do have a rather large collection of this and that too. Being an “artist” (I also draw & such) I am always saving little inspirations. 🙂

              • margo roby

                29/07/2012 at 6:59 pm

                I am trying not to freak out [;-)]. You throw things away? [Aggghhhhh!] Deep breath. Okay. I am glad you feel cleansed afterwards. I do know what you mean [aggggghhhhhhh…].

                • val dering rojas

                  29/07/2012 at 7:50 pm

                  I know, it freaks people out, lol! I posted about it a few weeks ago. I had all of these old poems that I didn’t like. Like from another life old, but not old enough to be the least bit nostalgic about them. I TRIED to keep them, I cut out (literally–with scissors) the lines I liked and was gonna keep those, but that didn’t feel right either. For whatever reason it was something that had to be done.

                  Now, I try to keep as many copies as I can, and am terrified something will happen to my computer and I will lose everything. (gods of irony: please ignore this comment).

                • margo roby

                  29/07/2012 at 9:02 pm

                  Good heavens, woman, do you have your stuff saved in the cloud, among other things?

                • val dering rojas

                  29/07/2012 at 10:04 pm

                  No…I should check in to that though. I have been using flash drives and have been printing hard copies…though my printer will not function from my laptop (which I use) unless my desktop is functioning, which it isn’t at the moment. Wait–now I’m freaking myself out. I need to go back up some stuff….

                • margo roby

                  29/07/2012 at 10:09 pm

                  Val: Dropbox. It’s brilliant. Download and put all your stuff on it. The amount you will need is free. I like it both for its ease, but also because it syncs on every computer I download it on, instantly. Also, you can share a folder easily with someone, should you wish.

  9. Misky

    29/07/2012 at 5:23 pm

    I really must stop reading your poems as a How-To lesson, and just read them for enjoyment. I certainly enjoyed this one.

    • margo roby

      29/07/2012 at 6:47 pm

      Thank you, Misky and, I am laughing. I have so many poems from this group bookmarked as examples I want to come back to.

  10. Irene

    29/07/2012 at 6:25 pm

    Great unexpected poem, Margo. We just have to be ready as you were, and know where to swing our allegiance to as you put it so well. Strange thing sports and national allegiance, especially when the sportsperson is not even from the country and is bought by dollars.

    • margo roby

      29/07/2012 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks, Irene. Great point on sports. It’s always weird to watch, say, Kazakhstan’s bike team, made up mostly of non-Kazakhstanis!

  11. 1sojournal

    29/07/2012 at 7:21 pm

    I have files going back over thirty years, both in large filing cabinets, memory sticks, outside modem, and now my blogs. And I do paw through them fairly regularly. That often seems to create the experience you speak of today. And I love it when that happens. Those poems are like surprise gifts, to be treasured.

    Your poem today, reminded me of something. In college, I did a History and an English major. And the two departments sort of fought over which hat I should wear, until a philosphy prof. told them they should be happy to be a part of the making of a historical poet, lol. I didn’t argue, nor did I tell them that my intention was to only write personal poetry. We all ended up happy, I think.


    • margo roby

      29/07/2012 at 9:20 pm

      Elizabeth, I figured you would have much the same as I, only more. I have managed to channel things so I have a current and updated continuing notebook [more or less]. I am backed up everywhere, although the cloud has become my main place. I enjoy so much the times I comb back through, as if visiting old friends, or flames!

      I doubled in the same subjects. I just never told each department…


  12. rosross

    30/07/2012 at 4:03 am

    Perhaps Margo, an ancestor lived there. I do believe we have cellular memory. And perhaps there is a book in it. Ros

    • margo roby

      30/07/2012 at 12:12 pm

      What a fun book it would be to research, Ros. I agree with you. I have long felt that I can see things in our living family that I read about in ancestors as I researched them.

  13. seingraham

    30/07/2012 at 7:28 am

    Cool poem Margo and a very cool topic – the comments have been almost as interesting as your poem, I hope you’ll forgive me for saying – it’s always great when something you write engenders so much discussion, yes? Thanks for posting this – oh, and thanks for stopping by my blog earlier as well; I do appreciate it.

    • margo roby

      30/07/2012 at 12:14 pm

      Thank you, Sharon. It is great and of course you may comment! The thing I may love most about this place is that we have so many and such varied discussions.

  14. markwindham

    30/07/2012 at 8:21 am

    🙂 just follow the bouncing ball. I guess freedom is found in being a fickle friend.

    • margo roby

      30/07/2012 at 12:16 pm

      Too early in the morning, Mark, for a clever remark… oh, wait… okay, my brain sorted it in time. I really shouldn’t do stuff before I have been awake awhile! You alliterated beautifully, too. I shall wander over your way when we get back. Today is Napa day 🙂

      • markwindham

        30/07/2012 at 12:50 pm

        dont rush for me, enjoy the wine. (I like red btw) 😉

        • margo roby

          30/07/2012 at 8:54 pm

          Oh baby… oops… wine talking. I did you proud, Mark. Reds all the way. You would have loved the cave, with crystal chandeliers down its length and tastings straight from the barrel, twelve barrels that is. I’m doing just fine, thank you.

          • markwindham

            30/07/2012 at 10:45 pm

            Envious I am, very much so. Sounds like a good time.

  15. Mama Zen

    30/07/2012 at 8:28 am

    Incredibly clever take on the words! I wish that I’d thought of it.

  16. flipside records

    30/07/2012 at 9:58 pm

    “I was minding my own business” … And this is exactly when the best poetry decides to present itself.

    to keep life as they knew it” … This is a common goal. Many of us do not care much for change. 🙂

    (You may remember me as rosemary mint. Although now, I never end up in spam.)

    • margo roby

      30/07/2012 at 10:06 pm

      Shawna! I am so glad to ‘see’ you. What do you suppose it was about either rosemary or mint that sent the spam filters into a frenzy?! I faithfully check, now and enjoy the different attempts to get me to click.

      • flipside records

        30/07/2012 at 10:09 pm

        I changed my e-mail address at some point, and nothing worked properly from then on. No problems with the new site, though. Thank goodness!

        • margo roby

          30/07/2012 at 10:13 pm

          The new site is pretty and clean looking. Very nice. I shall wander around for a bit.

          • flipside records

            30/07/2012 at 10:14 pm

            Groovy! As you have time, of course. I know you are a busy woman.

            • margo roby

              30/07/2012 at 10:16 pm

              Hey! does this mean you are back on the prompt list?

              • flipside records

                30/07/2012 at 10:17 pm

                If you desire to add me. I ditched a formal title. But I’m still posting a list every Monday.

                • margo roby

                  30/07/2012 at 10:21 pm

                  A lot of people will be happy about that but it does mean reading poems and commenting, so think about it. You know I’m happy to put you back in.

          • flipside records

            30/07/2012 at 10:16 pm

            My very first poem on the site was actually written for a Sunday Whirl prompt. But I didn’t link it. I was trying to take a break from linking (and therefore reading) quite so much. It can all become rather overwhelming, you know.

            • margo roby

              30/07/2012 at 10:18 pm

              I do know. I’ll keep quiet and let you unfold as you will. I love So You Think You Can Dance… love, love, love.

  17. purplepeninportland

    30/07/2012 at 11:08 pm

    Brilliant idea and poem. Maybe I should watch more of the Olympics.

    • margo roby

      31/07/2012 at 11:59 am

      Thank you so much, Sara. Having the brain running on another track while writing, can be interesting!

  18. pamela

    31/07/2012 at 1:15 pm

    Hi Margo, well after reading all these comments, I almost forgot what I was going to say about your poem 🙂 Oh, yeah I remember:

    I find it quite intriguing you chose “the Channel Islands” as a backdrop for the poem. It does work perfectly. Nice work!

    On another note; I not much on talking about politics with people over the blogosphere, I find it can be a dangerous business. You get my meaning, right? But, what did you think of Romney’s bludderous (I think I just made that word up) remarks?

    I almost fell off the sofa, which would’ve been torturous for my back. Have a safe trip back to Atlanta, my friend.


  19. Hannah Gosselin

    04/08/2012 at 1:02 am

    to keep life as they knew it – channeled
    between two countries.”

    Love this close Margo!! I never wordled this week so you don’t need to look for me 😉 I just was happy to find your lovely inbox gift!! 🙂

    • margo roby

      07/08/2012 at 12:03 pm

      Thank you, Hannah 🙂 That was an inspired pop in my brain, as I worked on the rest.


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