Please Bear With Us – Under Construction (well, sort of!)

under-construction-signHi everybody! I just wanted to let you all know what’s going on here at The Poetic Fool. The vast majority of my poems I’ve published on HubPages. I’d place a short excerpt here with a link to take you to HubPages to read the entire poem. Recent changes at HubPages have convinced me that it’s time to move on to another platform. I’ve not decided what that platform is but for now I’ll be moving them either to this blog or to Bubblews. At least at Bubblews I feel they will get some views.

What does that mean to you? Well, if you click on one of the “read more …” links on a poem you find here, there’s a chance it will be a dead link. I do apologize for that. The task of moving poems between sites is tedious and time-consuming. I do hope to get all the broken links repaired or simply move the poem in question here. I do ask for your patience during this time this site is “Under Construction”. I’ll try to keep the disruption to a minimum. Thank you for your support!

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Recorded Poems – a new feature on The Poetic Fool blog!

microphoneA few weeks ago I added to my blog a link to the “Audio Poem of the Day” on the Poetry Foundation web site. Prior to that, on April 9th of this year I posted a link to a post entitled “Poets in Performance” on Bill Moyers’ blog. There he’s collected a number of videos of poets reciting their own poetry and that of others. It’s truly engrossing.

These were ways of encouraging enjoyment of the spoken word. If you’ve not listened to spoken word performances, you’re in for a treat. It’s an entirely different experience from reading them to yourself. Along those lines, I recorded a few of my own poems and posted them here on my blog. They can be found by clicking on “Recorded Poems” on the menu bar above or by clicking here. This was an entirely new experience for me and a bit of a stretch so I am particularly interested in your feedback. I hope you’ll take the time to listen to one or two and leave your comments. As always, they are very much welcome and appreciated.

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William Safire’s Rules for Writers

William Safire

William Safire

The passive voice should never be used.

Do not put statements in the negative form.

Verbs have to agree with their subjects.

Proofread carefully to see if you words out.

If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

A writer must not shift your point of view. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
(Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)

Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!

Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.

Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.

If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.

Always pick on the correct idiom.

The adverb always follows the verb.

Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague; seek viable alternatives.

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New Blog Photo Gallery Finally Implemented!


A protracted search to find just the right WordPress plugin to redo my photo gallery has finally come up with a winner! OK, it really wasn’t so much protracted as I was just too lazy to get around to it! But I got it done. I did resort to buying a premium plugin but it was affordable and had all the features I required. Not that you care about any of that. My old photo gallery had become unwieldly and fragmented making the task of browsing more trouble than it was worth. The new gallery, I trust, will be much easier and quicker to navigate.

I also took the opportunity to add additional photos to the main gallery and to add a separate gallery for my panoramic photos. I hope you will enjoy browsing my work in this much easier format. I am looking for feedback, i.e. do the photos take too long to load, should I break the photos into smaller themed galleries, any problems you may experience, etc. Like any project, it will evolve and hopefully your feedback will help that evolution occur more quickly.

A few quick tips:

  • enlarge your browser to full screen in order to enjoy larger images
  • you may click on any image to enlarge it or your may browse through them all
  • you can navigate forward or backward by clicking the arrow buttons (< or >) but it’s easier to use the left and right arrow keys
  • you can share a photo on social media sites by clicking on the “+ share” button in the upper right corner
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    A New Haiga by Sannel Larson

    Almyrida Beach

    Almyrida Beach, Crete
    Click to enlarge image
    Photo: Sannel Larson - 3-Aug-2013

    My dear friend, Sannel Larson, is currently vacationing on the beautiful Greek island of Crete. The island’s beauty and charm have conspired to inspire her to create a new haiga which you can read on her blog, “Sannel’s World of Poetry“.

    I was quite tempted to post her lovely haiga here but she is deserving of the traffic. It is her haiga, after all! But I have decided to tempt you to visit her blog by using her very own gorgeous photograph here. It seems Sannel is also quite a talented photographer as well. Hopefully, she will bless us in the future with more of her lovely haiga like this one. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.



    Now Comes the Hardest Part of Self-publishing

    frontcover_webI’m pleased to announce that my first book of poetry, “The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool” is now available on Amazon, Amazon Europe and CreateSpace eStore. It’s actually been available for a few days but the busyness of life has kept me from telling you all about it.

    For me, this is the most difficult part of writing. When I finally finished this project I realized that I wasn’t truly finished. In fact, the real work had just begun. If you’ve self-published, you know exactly what I speaking of; promoting and publicizing your book. This is the difficult me because I’m not comfortable tooting my own horn. Unfortunately, being self-published means that task falls squarely and firmly on my own shoulders. If I don’t do it, no one will. There is no publishing house behind me with a team of professionals crafting a marketing campaign for my little book. No, without any experience in promotion and marketing, I have to do that myself.

    It’s a challenging and scary process. How do you promote your own book without sounding self-serving? How much promotion is too much promotion? How do I promote my book in the first place? When? Where? How and how often? Questions fill this newbie writer’s head. I’ve found I have far more questions than answers. Fortunately, there are answers out there. Google will help me find some. There are online guides, blogs and books with oodles of suggestions. I can ask fellow writers for their experiences and what worked for them. With time and experience I’ll learn the ropes and the how and why of it will become easier.

    Unfortunately, the core problem still remains for me and that’s being inherently shy. Yes, shy! As I mentioned before, I’m very uncomfortable tooting my own horn. Self-publishing requires it, however. The truth is that promoting and publicizing my book isn’t technically difficult. Sure, I need to learn how and where and when but I know I can learn that. Anyone can. It just requires time, effort and willingness. Willingness. The hard part is willingness and overcoming my shyness and the fear of appearing self-serving and self-absorbed by doing it.

    The reality is that it is self-serving to promote your own book. Those who choose to self-publish need to come to that conclusion and realize that it’s OK. I wrote a book. If I want people to read that book, it’s up to me to show it to them. No one else will do it for me. For some this isn’t an issue. Indeed, many enjoy it as much as the writing. That’s not me and likely never will be. It is a skill I am willing to learn, however. So please bear with me as I learn the ropes. Hopefully, I won’t be too obnoxious in the process. If I learn anything worth sharing along the way, I’ll post about it here. Maybe it will save some other soul a little time, effort or embarrassment.

    So, about promoting my book …

    “The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool” is a collection of 44 poems, including some of my personal favorites, on a variety of topics. Through them runs a theme of the uncertainty in life and love. Life doesn’t come with guarantees, my poems reflect that. Life has highs and lows and they reflect that too. I hope you will be able to relate to my poetry and enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them. So take pity on this poor, shy Poetic Fool and check out my poems. Be sure to let me know what you think, especially if you feel you connect to any of them. That is, after all, why I wrote them in the first place. I’d love your comments here or in an Amazon review (subtle hint). Your thoughts and, yes, criticisms are always welcome. Thank you so much!



    Snowy Egret

    Snowy Egret

    Snowy Egret
    Click to enlarge image
    Photo: Richard Stephen 30-July-2013

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    A Bee About His Business

    Busy Bee

    A Bee About His Business
    Click to enlarge image
    Photo: Richard Stephen 30-July-2013

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    Shasta Daisies

    Shasta Daisies

    Shasta Daises
    Click to enlarge image
    Photo: Richard Stephen - 1-April-2013

    The Daisy – On Finding one in Bloom on Christmas-day
    by James Montgomery

    There is a flower, a little flower
    With silver crest and golden eye,
    That welcomes every changing hour,
    And weathers every sky.

    The prouder beauties of the field
    In gay but quick succession shine;
    Race after race their honors yield,
    They flourish and decline.

    But this small flower, to Nature dear,
    While moons and stars their courses run,
    Wreathes the whole circle of the year,
    Companion of the Sun.

    It smiles upon the lap of May,
    To sultry August spreads its charms,
    Lights pale October on his way,
    And twines December’s arms.

    The purple heath and golden broom
    On moory mountains catch the gale;
    O’er lawns the lily sheds perfume,
    The violet in the vale.

    But this bold floweret climbs the hill,
    Hides in the forest, haunts the glen,
    Plays on the margin of the rill,
    Peeps round the fox’s den.

    Within the garden’s cultured round
    It shares the sweet carnation’s bed;
    And blooms on consecrated ground
    In honor of the dead.

    The lambkin crops its crimson gem;
    The wild bee murmurs on its breast;
    The blue-fly bends its pensile stem
    Light o’er the skylark’s nest.

    ‘Tis Flora’s page, – in every place,
    In every season, fresh and fair;
    It opens with perennial grace,
    And blossoms everywhere.

    On waste and woodland, rock and plain,
    Its humble buds unheeded rise;
    The Rose has but a summer reign;
    The Daisy never dies!

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    New Feature! The Audio Poem of the Day.

    poetryfoundationIf you haven’t noticed, I’ve added a new feature to my blog; the “Audio Poem of the Day”. As you know, I love reading and writing poetry. As I’ve gotten into it more I’ve developed a greater appreciation for the spoken word especially poetry read aloud. It can be an entirely different experience from simply reading a poem to yourself. Poetry comes alive when spoken and can take on a myriad of meanings and emotions depending upon the mood and inflections provided by the speaker’s voice. Indeed, the same poem voiced by two different speakers can almost seem like two different poems.

    So, I’ve decided to add the “Audio Poem of the Day” feed from the Poetry Foundation to my blog. I enjoy listening to them each day and I hope you will too. You can listen to each day’s poem as well as the previous two day’s by clicking on the “Audio Poem of the Day” links on the menu to the right. Enjoy!

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