Saturday, July 29, 2006

Ringing of The Bards VI - Into Cybernia

Hello fellow adventurers, I bid you welcome. If you are reading this Sixth Ringing of The Bards then you too have sought your own glowing portal and willingly entered the wondrous world of Cybernia, a place where, through the magic of words, anything is possible. Forget your preconceptions and problems as the awesome power of imagination meets the artistic ability of expression to transport your mind to new areas, and don’t forget – where the head goes the body follows.

The sky is preternaturally blue and clean as we approach the demesnes of our first and foremost Wordsmith – Billy the Blogging Poet. An artist, philanthropist, and an inventor of some renown whose latest contraption, a flying machine that doesn’t fly, helps him spread his words of wit and wisdom across the dimensions. As chairs slide on the floor and desks softly creak in the barely air-conditioned classroom we find ourselves raptly transfixed by a mild yet confident voice sharing a love of words that almost defies explanation. Listen now as he reads some verse on Day 3 In Mister Billy's Poetry Class:

Mister Billy said, "Write a poem
no more than five lines long,"

Now travel with me over granite gorges studded with dense clumps of lush evergreens that cradle nature’s mystery. We come upon a rustic home tucked among the sighing trees. Close by a beautifully tended garden is alive with vibrant colors and glorious scents which remind us of the beauty in this world. Here it is that we find our next cultivator of words – Shirley Whiting Allard of Housemouse. This lovely lady shares a tale of awakening, which will hopefully have a happy ending, sporting a title that applies to all of us at one time or another, Guilty of Innocence:

A troubled child in a grown up mask
so sad, your fate is sealed
burdened with a lifelong task
the sword, is now your shield.

Speaking of gardens brings us to another fertile mind, Rohn from rohnbayes journey, an elusive secret agent on a mission to share his unique point of view with the world. Of course escapism is possible in Cybernia, but social revolution – only time will tell. At the moment we find him on some distant beach, hot sand between his toes, and a blank notebook in his hand. Surveying the glistening bodies of sun worshipping vacationers he begins to jot, perhaps more clues to his intentions? Either way it’s bound to be a great read just like Soliloquy in the Garden:

it's over
the turning turns
we are building the new world my friends
right here hooked up on the internet talking
about it and demonstrating at least one simple fact
that we work well together when we're connected

Once more we zoom off; now approaching what appears to be a relatively isolated but bustling island community. Tangy salt breezes enliven our senses while the skies seem to sparkle with mystical energies as we near the fabled Aotearoa and one can hear a thrumming, as though millions of hearts are beating in unison. Here we find our next practitioner of wily wordplay Glenn of Crunchy Weta. With a style all his own and a lively mind attuned to the infinite, he mesmerizes us with the beat of Heart String Theory:

Dimension 0: From the void, the point of my existence.

Dimension 1: The line - the big I. I am.
Dimension 2: Fragments of being. My mind is split, my heart is broken. Continents drifting apart on a map

Before departing this remote place we are drawn to our next stop. This person proves just how powerful these words can be as hers were inspired by those of her fellow islander Glenn. Prepare yourself for another journey within and without, as our next vivacious versifier Leigh from Sleight of Mind responds to the pulse of creativity with some rumination that is anything but slight offering Ad Infinitum - In response to Heart String Theory:
move backwards
into the future

I don’t know about you but I am tingling with anticipation as we cruise up to another destination. Hmmmm seems like another academic setting. The musty smell of old books wafts through the air as the murmur of passing students gently lulls our next purveyor of prosody, Russell from Yuckelbel’s Canon, into a meditative trance where deep thoughts percolate. Pull up a chair and have a waking dream as ethereal language takes us along for a ride into the subconscious with Ruined Choir Exit:

This is that day we’ve been dreaming of
This is the day when all words rhyme
And are such sweet music,

Listen, do you hear that faint ringing? It echoes across the quaint streets packed with people of all shapes and sizes. The tantalizing smell of food from street vendors is intoxicating, and everywhere metropolitan commerce is in full swing. The former hostess of the dramatic ROTB V, Cecilia from clearcandy daily, sits on a balcony watching the commotion, taking a much deserved break. The smell of vinegar stings the nose as she digs into some yummy tocino, and remembers things that transpire on certain breezy evenings with Try Me:

on some nights,
your gargoyled chants emerge from the grounds,
riding the breeze that enters my room

And speaking of former hostesses we find ourselves headed over a rocky coastline, enchanted by the winsome Katy of somethingkaty, a dynamo of poetic inspiration and fellowship. This hostess of ROTB II gave us all a bit of fun at the fair earlier this summer. The glow from her portal is almost blinding as she is constantly heading into Cybernia checking on Poetship, Pilot Eye, and Wet Poems, some of the other sites she dedicates her boundless energy to. Here we get a chance to see her playful side as we are asked to consider the meaning of value with $9.80:

we took the kitten to the produce department
of the local grocery store to weigh him

Now on to a future hostess, as a matter of fact she is on deck for ROTB VII. Cruising over rolling hills we come upon a pleasantly rural setting. A lazy river is winding its way slowly onward, the muddy water deep and silent. There is a small trail that runs parallel to the river and it’s here that we find Erin of Poetic Acceptance, taking a leisurely stroll, thoroughly at peace with herself and the world around her. Take a deep breath and a long look at the journey with Fully:

I've learned to be comfortable
with my inner idiosyncrasies,
come to appreciate the peace
found in a patch of toadstools
and the sadness in spring.

There’s smoke on the horizon mixed with the smell of cordite and fear. Even in Cybernia the darker side of humanity finds a way to make itself known. As we celebrate our artistic inspiration others choose to harness their creativity to increase pain. If there is one thing that will always be universal, it is human suffering, and at this point in our existence it just doesn’t make sense to fight wars. Over the last couple of weeks Ashraf from arch.memory has shared his pain with us and many people have responded. Here we are asked to contemplate which does more damage, bombs, helplessness, or cold detachment as Ashraf pours his heart out to his Mama:

_____my anger has eaten the best of me;
now I am farther from who you are
_____or you'd like me to be.

This time we go from the heat of battle to the fire of passion, descending through the clouds to touch down at a tropical locale. Palm trees wave as warm gusts carry the scent of coconut and ocean mist. We find our next essayer of eloquence, Danny Sillada from Anatomy of Despair, with his easel up capturing the perfect sunset on canvas. Here Danny paints a picture of the darker side of love with Upon Waking Up:

Your sweet-scented breath has turned
into a rotten rose, thorns growing on my chest,
poisoned blood decomposing…

We now approach someone so enigmatic that I don’t even have a clue what type of environment he may live in, but in Cybernia he is inviolate. With this tag line from his blog - MIXING HYPOCRISY AND PROCRASTINATION WITH SEVERAL SELECT VICES, I leave you to make your own determinations. All I know is that he is one of my favorite writers/people I have met, and from what I can tell a really nice guy. Displaying his usual flair, Ozymandiaz of Paper Tigers gives all new meaning to the term ‘all wet’ with his Immersion:

My body attempts buoyancy
To no avail
Follicle after follicle
I am consumed

And finally we find ourselves slowly coming to a stop outside a brightly lit window to visit our last, but certainly not least, bell swinging bard. The staccato tapping of a well-used keyboard greets us intermingled with the soft strains of soulful jazz. I would like everyone to say hello to Nadia from It’s Clever, But Is It Art? I believe she is a newcomer to our festivities and a very talented one. I chose this poem to close because it is exquisitely beautiful, and the title is one of the main reasons I like to enter Cybernia, Escape:

At night on the fairground
hanging upside down from
the monkey bars, clothes
falling from me, you
would kiss me in secret places,

Well that’s it, I hope this little virtual tour of one of my favorite places helped you escape, even if only for a little while. I can’t believe how many people responded and I thank you all. Next week we are fortunate to have Erin of Poetic Acceptance hosting so head over to her site and see what’s up. I’m off to an all day gig and probably won’t be back in Cybernia again until tomorrow. If anyone has any problems just let me know and I will address them asap. Now get reading these great poets!!


Anonymous said...

Double Bravo!!! And, in record time at that. I need to read the poems but I can't stop rereading your adventure. You sure make traveling interesting! Thanks for all the extra effort and time you have invested in promoting the rest of us with that style and grace I knew you would make use of.


ozymandiaz said...

Tres' bien!
What? Wonderbar?
Any how, great job. Fun adventure and escape (one of my favorite old time radio shows). And thanks for the great compliment, I am supremely flattered. And with me, flattery will get you everywhere...

Russell Ragsdale said...

Great job Bob! A spectacular tour done with grace and flair!

katy said...

wow, done early in the am's of saturday. you get a gold star just for that!

i am diggin the whole cybernia trek. and like shirley, i found it very difficult to tear myself away from the adventure to go read the poets featured ^__^


rohn bayes said...

brilliantly done bob
and i learned 3 new words
on your tour
prosody being my favorite
followed closely by demesnes and Aotearoa

and the festival !!
was so fun i forgot
that will now be remedeyed

Crunchy Weta said...

Bravo, Wonderbra, (is a theme emergimg here??)( I blame katy.....KATY!!!). I'm so glad I had ROTBIV, I would be a nervous wee writer if I had to follow this and last weeks enormous efforts! Now if I could just get the time machine working properly so I can visit all these destinations before the kiddies wake....

Unknown said...

Hi Bob,
Your words are like sweet liquid dripping on computer screen, finding their trails to the poets' pages. A tour de force of poetic conversations about poets and their poetry. Well done!

Erin said...

Great post! Way to set us up for each piece... you know, I have to match this sort of quality. Would have been very kind of you to have lowered the bar a bit! Haha, seriously, excellent job, can't wait to read each poem in full.

(c) sleight of mind 2006 said...

Bob, this is great - thank you for being the host with the most. Leigh :)

Crunchy Weta said...

Kia Ora Bob, Thanks for taking time to discover Aotearoa. Also I had to laugh about your description of Billy and his latest 'invention'..priceless.

Cecilia said...

Fabulous job and exquisitely executed, Bob! I'm reeling with giddy laughs from the "cybernia" ride with the theme true to its form (feels like floating through the surface of a clicking/switching rubik cube). Not only are you successful with this "illusion" but you are also right on target with the description of each of the poet's writing style/character/emerging personalities. :) Congratulations on this job well done!!!

rch said...

Hey Everybody! I had a spectacular time with the band yesterday but couldn't stop thinking about the ringings and all the positive energy circulating through Cybernia. Now as I axiously enter my portal I am elated that everyone seems to have enjoyed the trip. It was actually very fun to do and gave me a new perspective, not to mention a growing appreciation for the level of talent out there. I hope my imagination did not offend anyone and please feel free to Email me about any issues, I have nothing but respect and good will towards my fellow Cybernians ;D Looking forward to next week Erin, thanks again to everyone involved.

ps- Glenn it sounds like a fantastic place, maybe someday I'll make it over there and we can rock out \||/

Anonymous said...

I've read a couple carnavals now. I think I'm getting it.

Is the idea that people sent a poem ahead of time (on no pre-set theme) to whoever hosts and then that poet-host extracts a bit from each and makes a linear story line connecting the nodes?

Sort of a verbal collage done cooperatively but coordinated by one person and all see how it turns out?

(Forgive me if that is an obvious question.)

Anonymous said...

Creative hosting!
I wasn't able to submit a link of my poetry in time to Cecilia when she hosted and I'm still reading those poems. I shall return to feast my eyes on this carnival.
Wonderful way to meet other poets. Love the variety.
Hope your gig is going well. Music reverberates through my soul (as a dancer, artist, and poet) but not in my untalented singing voice nor via an instrument.

rch said...

Hello pearl, yes that about sums it up. There is a link to the home page in my sidebar - 'Ringing of The Bards'. This week the host is Erin of poetic acceptance, give it a try.

Hello silvermoon, thank you and I hope you enjoy all these awesome writers. The band is going great, check the link for 'Borderline' in my sidebar. Music is part of me as well 8^D Take care and I hope to read both of you in a future carnival!