Tuesday, March 27, 2018

...On Poetry and Fiction - Just "One Word" Away (Loneliness)


Poetry and Fiction – Just “One Word” Away (Loneliness)
                                                                                                

            One word becomes one idea, becomes one sentence, becomes one poem, becomes one story. It must start from just “one word”. Today my one word is “Loneliness”.

LONELINESS

            Last night I heard a knock at my door. I looked through the peephole, but no one was there. I slowly opened the door and looked around, but still no one was there. I walked over to the mailbox to see if it was, perhaps, the mailman who might have dropped off a package. Still, no one. Nothing. Suddenly, I heard a soft voice call out to me. It said, “Hello there. My name is ‘Loneliness’. I stopped by because you are in need of a friend. You feel as though everyone close to you has disappeared, moved away, passed on, and now you are on your own. Nonsense! Go back into the house, put on your best casual outfit, and meet me out front here.”  I did just that. Someone or something was speaking to me, and it was magical. I had to listen.

            Well I couldn’t see “loneliness”, but I sure felt its presence. I followed it to the Brooklyn Pier. I looked out over the river towards the glow of the City lights, and I smiled. “Loneliness” led, and I followed. I followed it to a park bench not far from the water. I sat alone for awhile until a stranger approached. The stranger turned out to be a friend from the past. Actually, an “old flame” as they say. We talked, we laughed, we reminisced. Then we headed for the water taxi, which took us across the river to the Big City. I heard “loneliness” whisper in my ear, “My job is done. Move on my friend, be happy, and start tonight. Best Wishes and God Bless…Until we meet again…”

            If it weren’t for my encounter with “Loneliness” on this very night, I would never have stepped out of my shell, gone to the pier, met an “old flame”, or headed to the City. I joined life once again. I learned “Loneliness” may be the only friend we have left at any given moment. We’ve all been there. Embrace it. It just may take you places you may not have been able to go on your own. It will move you forward, not backward.

LONELINESS

When “Loneliness” comes knocking,
You must answer that door
It will speak softly, in a whisper,
It will shake you to the core
It may ask you to follow,
as it leads you to a place
That teaches you a lesson
which you will soon embrace
It will take you from your place of pity
And back to life in your “Big City”
 There will be lights and smiles and love galore
An old friend or flame will come once more
And off you’ll go, in true delight
While “Loneliness” leaves you on this magical night.






Saturday, March 10, 2018

"Our Lady of the Snow" Society - 130th Anniversary (2018)

The below poem is a poem I have written dedicated to "Our Lady of the Snow" Society - an Italian/Catholic Society which was founded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 130 years ago, by Italian immigrants from Sanza, Italy. The Society was started in order to help those who had left their loved ones back in Sanza, Italy, start a new life here in America. This was a new world for them, and this Society became their lifeline as they adapted to life in a new country. Their dedication to "Our Lady of the Snow" helped them focus, helped them cope, as they honored her in love, hope and prayer. The generations who have followed have vowed to keep the Society alive and well. To this day, they continue to take on the role of their ancestors as they remain dedicated members of "Our Lady of the Snow" Society. Happy 130th Anniversary! God Bless!

http://ilregno2s.blogspot.com/2013/08/feast-of-madonna-della-neve.html





“OUR LADY OF THE SNOW”
written by: Phyllis P. Colucci
(March 3, 2018)

‘Twas 130 years ago when “they” settled in this town
They came from Sanza, Italy
And placed their roots down
They started this Society
Called “Our Lady of the Snow”
For all their friends and family
Who needed somewhere to go
A place to meet, a place to greet, a place to call home
A place that offered love and warmth
So “they” were ne’er alone
They left their hearts and loved ones
Back in Sanza Italy
To start a new life here in Brooklyn
And raise a family
Their patronage to “Our Lady”
became the focus of their life
In prayer, in honor, in hope, in love
In good times and in strife
New generations have joined the cause
And vowed to do the same
To pay tribute to “Our Lady”
And forever speak her name
In memory of our beloved deceased
Former members of this group
We will proudly carry on your role
With respect from whence it came


Dedicated to our Grandparents, Felice and Fortunata Marotta, early members of "Our Lady of the Snow" Society.
All our Love
Phyllis and Son Ralph (Colucci)
(Society Members)

Ode to the "Garden Grill"


Below is a poem I have written regarding the closing (after 20 great years) of a neighborhood diner that became family to many of its customers, including my son and I. It was a sad day in "Old Williamsburg", Brooklyn, New York, when the GARDEN GRILL was forced to close (February, 2018) due to issues with their landlord. This was a family-owned business, owned and operated by a wonderful family. They knew our names, we knew theirs. The Garden Grill came at a time when Williamsburg began to change, due to gentrification and real estate developers. This diner helped keep the neighborhood quaint in its own special way. We still had a sense of family and community when we entered its doors. Parting was difficult for all.


Ode to the “GARDEN GRILL”
- written by: Phyllis P. Colucci (March 1, 2018)



‘Twas twenty years ago
 When you settled into town
Bringing comfort to Old Williamsburg
Placing “doting” roots down
You brought a sense of family
to a changing neighborhood
With subtle hints of love and joy
which we all understood
You knew our names, we knew yours too
As we built our family tree
Our lives became the branches
That would soar majestically
We laughed, we cried, we talked, we ate
We drank, we shared a special date
Whether breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack
We found a home; our destined fate
We learned some “diner lingo” too
That always brought a smile…
It was “Whiskey Down” or “Cowboy with Cheese”
In Garden Grill style
Then we heard the saddest news, one day
That shook us to the core
We had to say good-bye to you
The “ones” whom we adored
Our tears rolled, our hearts shattered
We prayed it wasn’t true
Because Williamsburg won’t be the same
Without the essence of “YOU”
We hope our paths may cross again
If you roll back into town
Now that would be a special treat
To ever come around
So if we ever “meet and greet”
in Old Williamsburg  -  Oh so sweet   -
There will be warmth, there will be love
There will be dancing in the street!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

...On Poetry and Fiction - Just "One Word" Away (Music)


                              Poetry and Fiction – Just “One Word” Away  (Music)                                                                                               

            Creating Poetry and/or Fiction is just “one word” away. One word becomes one idea, becomes one sentence, becomes one poem, becomes one story. You get to choose one special word, and allow the magic to happen. The power behind “one word” will prove magnificent. Just “one word” will breathe life into your poetry and place your fiction on the wondrous road of make believe. Just “one word” will lead your poetry and fiction into the hearts and minds of readers around the world. Remember, however, that it all must start from just “one word”. Today my one word is “Music”.


MUSIC

            One day I saw an elderly gentleman with a long grey beard, wearing a black woolen hat and a long black coat, standing on a cold New York street corner in the dead of winter. He was holding up a sign that read, “Learn a New Language in One Minute.” I watched as children and adults alike, gathered around him, and braved the wicked weather out of curiosity. The man was a musician, and he began to play his accordion. People hummed along, listened to his melodies, and danced to the rhythm. When someone finally asked him about his sign, he replied, “You have just learned a new language…the Universal Language of ‘Music’. When you hummed along, you spoke the Language of ‘Music’. When you listened, you heard the Language of ‘Music’, and when you danced to the rhythm, you felt the Language of ‘Music’. You have just learned a new language in one minute, as I promised. So spread the word to one and all and invite them to this street corner; and simply enjoy knowing that you can now speak a new language. The best part of it all is that you and the rest of the world were born, already knowing this language. Today you learned how to use it.”

 - A little fiction that started from just “one word” – MUSIC!


MUSIC

I learned a new Language on this special day
A Universal Language that brightened the way
It came in the form of Sounds and Music
It developed into the Grandest Melodies
It grew into the Greatest Harmonies
And treated the World to the Sweetest Symphonies

The people spoke it with a hum and a song
The people heard it with listening ears
The people felt it through rhythm and dance
The people understood it through a shared romance

From the US to Europe
From the East to the West
From the North to the South
From the Seas to the Seas
From Continent to Continent
From City to City
From Country to Country…

And every child born, had the Language within
The adults made the Sounds play outward and spin
While the world spoke the language of the Nations’ kin…
-           Let The Universal Language of Music begin!

Monday, January 29, 2018

...On Poetry and Fiction - Just "One Word" Away (Nature)


Poetry and Fiction – Just “One Word” Away (Nature)
           
            Creating Poetry and/or Fiction is just “one word” away. One word becomes one idea, becomes one sentence, becomes one poem, becomes one story. You get to choose one special word, and allow the magic to happen. The power behind “one word” will prove magnificent. Just “one word” will breathe life into your poetry and place your fiction on the wondrous road of make believe. Just “one word” will lead your poetry and fiction into the hearts and minds of readers around the world. Remember, however, that it all must start from just “one word”. Today my one word is “Nature”.


NATURE

                “Nature” introduced itself to me this morning, as I was making my way to the park. It spoke to me with a sprinkle of rain from its lips and a hint of sunshine from its eyes. I opened my raincoat and let it in, then wrapped my arms around it like a good friend. We continued to walk. We continued to talk. We smiled, we laughed, we skipped over puddles. Then we strolled through the park as “Nature” continued to speak. The trees swayed, lightning hit, thunder roared, and we ran for shelter. Once we made it safely under a brick enclosure, “Nature” left me standing there with a last sprinkle of rain from its lips. It touched me and kissed me, then said “good-bye”. I sadly watched as “Nature” took off and went about its business. I patiently waited until all calmed down, in hopes “Nature” would be back to walk me home.


                              NATURE

Nature is Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall
     The whispering wind and echoing bird call
     The colored leaves that fall from trees
     And the thunder that brings us to our knees

It’s the sun that brightens the world with love
     It’s the audubon flight of an innocent dove
     It’s the rain that spills from a crying cloud
     And the kiss from a breeze so soft and proud

It’s the snow that blankets the world in white
    As we watch it fall with sheer delight
    It’s the song of the heavens; one great melody
    It’s the sound of Nature; in full harmony


Thursday, January 4, 2018

...On Poetry and Fiction - The "Snowflakes" That Live Among Us


            Have you ever noticed a snowflake after it has fallen onto your winter coat, or your woolen glove? Some are strange looking, others messy looking – yet there is always that one and only which stands out.  There is always that one and only that becomes your special friend for the day. The one that makes you smile, the one that speaks to you, the one that pays you a short visit as you walk along the streets. There is always that one and only that you hope would stay put on your coat or your glove, so that you could show it off to the next person you run into. You beg it to stay with a stare from your eyes. Unfortunately, it melts away as quickly as it appears. It’s beautiful. It’s regal. It’s enchanting. It’s a work of art, it’s a gift of nature, and it’s a message from God. It is perfectly formed, and is magically cut out as if it were created in an arts and crafts class. It resembles a piece of exquisite lace, or a miniature crocheted stitch from one of grandma’s doilies. Remember those?

            Children adore snow. However, what they see is “the sum of all of its parts” in one big snowfall, as they patiently wait to go out and play in it. They jump in it, talk to it, sing to it, laugh with it. They make snow angels, throw snowballs, build snowmen…and just enjoy the mystery of snow in the simplest ways, without question. If they listen closely, the snow speaks into their innocent ears in the form of a cold and tingly snowflake. Yes, snowflakes live among us through the whispers of nature.

            Adults adore snow too. Only before they see the beauty of it, they also recognize “the sum of all of its parts” in one big snowfall, as they wait to go out and shovel it. They walk in it, slip in it, drive in it, skid in it, and often times argue with it. They clear their properties so people can walk by, they dig out their cars so they can get to work or run errands, and they continue to watch those awful inches grow higher and nastier by the hour…But yes, adults too may enjoy the mystery of snow in the simplest ways; but most times miss its loveliness by wondering only about the effects of “the sum of all of its parts”.

            Sometimes in life, we are told to stop and smell the coffee – or stop and smell the roses. Well, while that is good advice, let’s add one more idiom to the mix. That is, “Stop and appreciate the snowflakes”. Their message is bright and clear. When the perfect one falls on top of you, take notice and befriend it. Let it walk with you, let it talk with you, let it teach you about life before it quickly disappears. The conversation between you will be subtle, yet perfect. Its perfection will tell you that there is something much greater than ourselves who is in control of our universe. What a gift it is to receive such a message through the beauty of a snowflake.

           
            SNOWFLAKES

A gift of nature, a message from God
     They are a work of art - regal beauty
            So enchanting as they fall to earth

So white, so pure, and heaven-sent
     Exquisite lace – grand perfection
            Amazing to the naked eye

Kissed by angels upon descent
     Crocheted by hands of celestial pride
            So wondrous, so divine, the astral cousin

Stellar and glorious in magic and mystery
     Formation born of unrivaled magnificence
            Its pattern perfectly aligned – so picturesque

So reverent and saintly in its lone state
     Adored by its creator, viewed from up above
            One snowflake - then two, three, maybe four

A beautiful snowfall brings more and more
     The sum of all of its parts
            – yet one snowflake will roar!





Monday, November 27, 2017

…On Poetry and Fiction – “Voices” and “Rosalie and Michael (One Special Day)”



The following is an excerpt from my second novel (ebook), titled “Voices” – a work of contemporary fiction (mystery, suspense, romance); with an accompanying love poem, titled and connected to two main characters,  “Rosalie and Michael (One Special Day)”. (Creating a relatable poem directly connected to your work of fiction, is simply a summarization of your work with a twist of emotion through a symphony of words.)                                              

…Michael, sensing a deep mournfulness in the air by the heaviness of his conversation with Rosalie, chose to change the subject.  So he blurted out, “Well open your mail!  Edgar and I went out of our way to get it for you.”  Rosalie smiled and proceeded to open the white envelope… she took a look at the return address and noticed that it was from one of her publishers.  As she read in silence, Michael studied her face for the smallest clue as to what was in that letter.  After another minute of silence, Rosalie jumped to her feet and said, “They want to meet with me Michael!  They like the manuscript on my last submission – the mystery novel!  The one about the two friends who lived in the Victorian mansion!  My God, they want to discuss the manuscript with me!”  Michael responded, “You go girl!”  Then he lifted Rosalie up in his arms and twirled her around the living room as if they were dancing.  They were laughing like children, overjoyed at Rosalie’s success.   Edgar joined in too by jumping up and down, circling around and in between Rosalie and Michael, wagging his tail uncontrollably.  Edgar had no idea what they were so happy about, but he was thrilled to share this moment with them.  When they decided it was time to settle down, they breathlessly plopped themselves on the sofa and wallowed in Rosalie’s newfound bliss.  Rosalie was ecstatic, Michael was proud, and sweet Edgar ran off to sleep…Michael went into the kitchen and grabbed two champagne glasses, then walked over to the pantry and took out a bottle of sparkling wine.  He popped the cork, poured the wine, and shared this moment of love and success with Rosalie.  Their eyes were beaming and their hearts were pounding as they tapped their glasses together, sipping their wine in merriment. 

While sharing this moment, Rosalie suggested to Michael that if her book sells, maybe they should consider moving into a larger apartment in the city.  They both adored Greenwich Village…Michael loved the idea.  He commented that with her success on mystery novels and his success with children’s books, he can’t imagine them not taking the opportunity to start a new life with Edgar in the Village.  The city is just waiting for them, and they would fit in so well with the “artsy” types; and Edgar would make friends with all the “artsy” dogs.  They both shared a laugh.  Then Michael grabbed Rosalie’s hand and said, “Seriously though Rosalie, let’s not get ahead of ourselves now.  One step at a time.  I love the idea, but we have to take this one step at a time.”  Rosalie jumped into Michael’s lap and said, “We can dream and we can plan, can’t we Michael?”  Michael responded, “Of course we can.  That will be our dream and that will be our plan Rosalie.”  So again they tapped their glasses and sipped more wine in merriment.

…Then Rosalie had another brainstorm to share with Michael.  She suggested that they both put their heads together, share their thoughts and write a novel.  Michael listened curiously as Rosalie continued.  Rosalie thought they should turn their ordeal about Maria and the cellar into a mystery novel and call it “Voices”.   She added that it would be fiction based on real life events, which they experienced during this tragic episode in their lives.  She went on to say that it would be their project, and their story, and they could tell it honestly and respectfully. 

At first Michael thought that reliving those horrible events that Rosalie had to endure, all over again in order to write this novel, might not be the best thing for Rosalie.  Rosalie responded that it would be the best thing ever.  It would be the best therapy ever.  She explained that writing is her passion, and what better way to heal than to put it all down on paper – with Michael by her side.   She said, “You’re a writer Michael.  You should understand that better than anyone.  We write from experience.”   Michael just shook his head and said, “You’re a brave woman Rosalie, and an awesome writer.  Yes, we can do this together.  It will be my honor…Now let’s seal this perfect plan, together, in the comfort of ‘our’ room before little Edgar wakes up.” 

Rosalie wrapped her legs around Michael, as he carried her off to his bedroom, where they would define their dreams, plan their future, and create new and wonderful memories while frolicking under the pale blue bed sheets on Michael’s bed.  They would find themselves making passionate love in an endless tale that would soon become their life story. 

Rosalie and Michael (One Special Day)

As Winter snow settles upon my windowsill
and Spring showers caress my face        
As Summer sun ignites my spirit
and Autumn breezes whisper tales of love
As swaying trees whisper to the winds
and frolic in the clear, crisp air
I will hear Mother Nature’s voice,
as she wisely speaks to me
(It is then that I will listen
and forever think of you)

I’ll know God placed you on this earth
            so our paths may cross but once
And the birds and butterflies will dance for us
            in sunshine and in clouds
The children will laugh with innocence
The elders will stroll with joy
I will hear God’s voice in the shadows,
            as he wisely speaks to me
(It is then that I will listen
           and forever think of you)

Since all will be well within my world
           Where peace and love wear smiles
I will accept the gift allowed me
            and embrace the signs of you
Because today we will get to share
one gift that has a voice
A gift that wisely speaks to us,
So elegantly wrapped for two -
Hidden in a blessing, on this “One Special Day”  –
(It is then that I will listen
            and forever think of you)


Authors Note (For Spillwords) – Fiction and Poetry go hand in hand. Any work of fiction can be connected/accentuated by a poem of similar theme and emotion. Hopefully, that is what this piece has accomplished.