Fae Corps Party Room, Interview with Ivor

Today I had a live interview with Kat from Fae Corps Publishing to help promote my new book “Tullawalla”. The show was mostly a Question & Answer interview, and me reading a couple of poems. Below I have attached the video Link for you to click onto … I hope you enjoy the show 😄🌏




Ivor Steven (c) March 2021


“Who Hears Me”

I am thrilled to announce the publication of my poem ‘Who Hears Me’ at Spillwords Press today, and would like to thank the team at Spillwords for their continued support of my poems. Please go and visit their fabulous magazine, by clicking on this link >> https://spillwords.com/who-hears-me/ and maybe click-on the like button 🤍 for me.

WHO HEARS ME

My ears are funnels
But I do not want to hear
The voices

My lips do part
But I do not speak
The words

My knees do bend
But I cannot sit
While I can still stand

My eyes are open
But I do not want to see
My shadow falling



Ivor Steven (c) March 2021

EIF Childhood Poetry Challenge: The Results!

Congratulations, Ivor! https://experimentsinfiction.com/2020/12/23/eif-childhood-poetry-challenge-the-results/

The results are in! Judge Nick Reeves, had a hard job arriving at his decision. But decide he did, and so I hand over to Nick to bring you the results of the final EIF Poetry Challenge of 2020:
Season’s greetings one and all! It has been an honour (and a challenge!) to be able to judge the 12th EIF Poetry Challenge of 2020. The subject being The Poetry of Childhood. The response has been so overwhelming that picking an overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd place from all of the poems struck me (as the week progressed and my inbox buckled) as an impossible task!
The young poets, of whom there were many, who deserve a special mention are as follows…

Rollercoasters‘ by Benji, 8 years old

Around the loop the loop…

Rollercoasters go so fast.
Around the loop the loop around you go
very fast yes very fast.
And you go so high like a bird in the sky.
Yes yes yes you’re the best fun ride of all!

Rollercoasters is a wonderfully visual, frenetic piece of work that can barely contain its joy and excitement! It sparks with a surprisingly bright energy for such a compact poem. What draws the eye immediately is the skilful wordplay and movement of the second line – Around the loop/the loop around. This skilful play is continued in the 3rd line where the affirmative ‘yes’ is balanced at the centre of the blurring and repeated ‘very fast’! Quite dizzying!

‘Sprinkle and Twinkle’ by Mason, 8 years old

Sprinkl
Santa’s almost ready…

Sprinkle and Twinkle
Glitter and Gold
On Christmas Eve
I’m not going to get cold.
On Christmas day
I’m going to rush down
So lively and quick
Hoping for presents from St. Nick.

Such immediacy again! I have particularly enjoyed the entries from our younger writers this challenge. Sprinkle and Twinkle is a visual poem of place and sensation. It also captures, quite brilliantly, the notion of the passage of time – in itself a very tricky concept to write about.  It is a piece that balances the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve/ Christmas Day at home. The youthfulness shines through in almost every line and the reader cannot help but be drawn into the excitement

‘I’m going to rush down
So lively and quick’

I adore the hope evoked in this lovely little poem. Congratulations! Do keep writing! And I hope that Saint Nick delivers!

Christmas is in the air‘ (Winter Wonders: Joy)’ by Rishika, 13 years old

The fire burns with a bright light
In the darkest of nights, the stars shine
I open my heart, unveil it with care
Everything falls into place, layer by layer
Christmas is in the air!
I realize, being happy is not too hard
As a feeling of joy tingles my heart.

My favorite thing about Christmas?
The joy, the vibe, the sense of being alive
A merry cheer from someone near
A smile from the homeless man sitting by the canal
Looking at me with sparkling eyes
Are just enough to make my heart smile.

The way my family gets together
Making pacts, sticking by one another forever
Inhaling the aroma of freshly brewed love
Experiencing the warmth of humanity, it holds my heart like a glove.
Protecting me from the harsh world,
Keeping me safe when I feel lost and alone.

Give without sparing, love without hating
Hug without withholding, dance without over-thinking
Open your heart, fill it with love
There’s darkness, but you are the light that can shine like the sun.

©Rishika Jain 2020. All rights reserved.

The third piece of work in the young poets section that deserves a special credit is Christmas is in the air (Winter Wonders : Joy). It is surprising and a delight. Immediately, the reader senses the rapid advance of the years (though there is only 5 years difference between this and the earlier selected winning poems). Here we find a young poet pushing against the boundaries of childhood into a mature and thoughtful arena: and triumphs! It is a longer form free-verse piece that succeeds in addressing both childlike and adult qualities. Indeed, there is something old and wise (Dickensian?) in the opening lines that set the scene wonderfully –

The streets are quiet, the weather is cold
There’s a tale in my heart, waiting to be told.
The fire burns with a bright light

There is a maturity tempered with youthfulness at work/play here in lines such as –

‘The joy, the vibe, the sense of being alive’

and –

‘Hug without withholding, dance without over-thinking’

that I find to be very telling of a young mind discovering its poetic skills: the subtle wordplay, the extended metaphors (‘I open my heart, unveil it with care/Everything falls into place, layer by layer’) and the awareness of those less fortunate. This is an excellent piece of work and I hope to see more from this poet – as I hope to from the writers of Rollercoasters and Sprinkle and Twinkle and, indeed, everyone of our young writers who took up this EIF challenge! Many, many thanks and please, keep writing!

***

The ‘adult’ section again brought its own difficulties and I realised that my decisions could only be subjective. Bearing this in mind here are my favourite entries…

3rd Place: ‘The Old Child In Me‘ by Ivor Steven

Ho Ho, there is a child in me
splashing in the cool summer sea
dreaming of distant alpine trees
fluttering like a pretty butterfly in the breeze
laughing under moss covered circus marquees
and there is that day I sat on Santa’s knee
asking for my red-head to be set free
wishing her a life of peace and tranquility

2nd Place: ‘Incomplete memories of childhood’ by Valdis Stakle

Lost memories of my early childhood
Are far now from being too clear
Wanderings as though through a wild wood
blinking back many a tear

Then waking up soon with the sunrise
A morning so brave and so bold
I gazed slowly upon those bright skies
And watched as the day did unfold

I remember some scrapes in the back yard
Wild flowers beside a brick wall
I fell on some stones they were too hard
I picked myself up from my fall

i remember a dog that scared me
Almost it seemed near to death
I stared and felt helpless and lonely
I struggled with shortness of breath

I screamed and I cried
But the dog didn’t bite
Then I ran back inside
And shivered with fright

That’s all that I fear I have left
Of the first few years of my life
Alone now and feeling bereft
Of a time filled with joy and with strife

The streets are quiet, the weather is cold
There’s a tale in my heart, waiting to be told.

1st Place: Children Singing in Latin by Elizabeth Gauffreau

When was the last time
You heard children
Singing in Latin,

Every note clear and sweet,
Every vowel in its proper place,

Your gaze transfixed
By the unwavering flame
Of brass-tipped beeswax?

If you ever again
Hear children
Singing in Latin,

Will you dare
Turn around
To see their faces?

What chimed with this piece is the sense of ‘looking back’ and so, ‘returning’ to childhood. It is a skilful and considered poem that evokes the past (Latin!), tradition (the service) without being melancholy. I admire the stillness and the final dare. Bravo!

Wishing you all a magical Christmas!

Once again, many thanks to everyone who got involved. And much love to Ingrid from Experiments In Fiction for her extraordinary effort this year!

Much love from Reeves Towers!



Ivor Steven (c) December 2020

Storms and Old Bogeymen

A special thank you to Derrick Knight for allowing me to use his photograph from yesterday’s article “Wind Swept”, as my Feature Image…. https://derrickjknight.com/2020/08/25/windswept/


Storms and Old Bogeymen



Nature’s winds blew and blew

Erasing blue sky and sun from view

Our fears rattling inside her typhoon



Her storms ferocious howlings

Were foreboding furious growlings

But our gardens survived her violent prowlings



Was nature’s sky beginning to cave-in?

Beneath the pale bones of old bogeymen

Will our collective strength eventually win?



Ivor Steven (c) August 2020

Arctic Winds

Hello dear readers, I’m taking a much needed rest and recharge break from writing….. and today I’m presenting this older poem… as a wintry blast rattled my door last night

Today’s poem is one I wrote three years ago, and I was fortunate enough to have the piece published by, ‘Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine’, back in January 2018,  a literary magazine for poets, and to all my readers/followers, I sincerely recommend that you visit/follow the Vita Brevis site,
https://vitabrevisliterature.com.

Artwork:  By Kerri Costello, Graphic Design Artist, my beautiful niece/second cousin, who lives in Philadelphia, she’s so very talented, and a very special person in my life, thank you Kerri.

 

Arctic Winds

 

I’m winter hibernating

Inside an Eskimo’s hut

Feeding only on fish oil

And frozen blue blood

My heart’s cold and dormant

Cowering under a dampened vestment

Wind-swept by a blizzard’s dust

Covered in icicles of my rust

My eyes are swollen rocks

Amidst polarised sockets

Terrorising all that’s passed

Like forgotten arctic icebergs

My veins are hollow crevasses

Inside a glaciers ice-flow

Sheering and groaning chasms

Like my memories deepest fjord

 

 

Ivor Steven (c)  May  2020

 

My Easter Poem Lands In Mainz

My Easter poem “An Old Book Closes, a New Door Opens” , has grown wings, and landed in Germany (Mainz), via a website platform calledCulture-Y >> https://www.culture-y.com/das-format/

CULTURE-Y is an initiative of the Mainz band Hanne Kah. “Now, at a time when we face restrictions in everyday life, we feel all the more that cohesion is the most important formula for living together. Therefore, we decided to show all the wonderful actions and projects that impress and motivate across generations.”

“With this initiative we want to offer a platform for everything that is created “out there” in Mainz and the world so that it can move into your living room.”

“Everything should be possible on our portal. We think across generations and will unconditionally show everything that seems important and right to us. We will not be able to guarantee that every image is produced in high gloss, that technology always plays along. It remains handmade and that’s a good thing. We can already assure one thing: We believe in our platform and would be very happy if you would like to be part of our community.”

“Show us your creativity and send us your contributions. Let’s make CULTURE-Y great!..”

 

img644 (2)

 

Ivor Steven (c)  April 2020 .

The Good, The Bad & The Poetry, by Joshua Maxwell de Hoog

Please note, that in the poem below , the words are not mine, but those of, ‘Joshua Maxwell de Hoog’, who has kindly given me permission to reproduce this excerpt from his book “The Good, The Bad & The Poetry”. Joshua is the convener, of the ‘lowercase poetry’ recital events here in Geelong. I’m honoured to be able to present his words on my site, and this piece below, is an excellent example of the style of his writings. For more information and stories about Joshua you may Google his link >>  joshuamaxwell de hoog.com

*

There is no word greater than another,

 

No word that only sleeps with the

king or is only spoken by the servant,

Or written on walls in the city by

rebellious teens

 

There is no word that fights in a war

with only fists,

 

Or sails the sea for love, or with love,

There is no word greater than the

mouth that speaks it.

 

There is no word more beautiful than

another,

 

There is no word that is paid to be

listened to, nor begs for attention, or

only cries, or only sleeps, or cries

itself to sleep.

 

There is no word more beautiful than

the mouth that speaks it.

 

There are merely words, and every

one of them as important as both the

next and the last, as pressing as

future, present and past, as human as

you, me or us.

 

And we too,

Are like words,

Sometimes we are together and seem

as if we’ve always been,

As inseparable as to-do or have-been

joined by the dash,

But other times we are distant, we

appear only in the beginning or the

end, or something in between, but

that means no less of us, for we are

still a part of the story, as essential as

any word that has already been

written or the ones that are still in

writing.

 

There is no word that goes unspoken,

that needs to be.

 

All things will happen in time, and to

force them, is to skip the most exciting

chapter.

There is no word that runs faster than

another, none that overtake or jump

the queue, all words honour the mind

in which they are from.

 

There is no word greater than another,

yet I will follow “you”.

*

*  Printed with permission from, Joshua Maxwell de Hoog…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ivor Steven (c)  Feb 2020