Road Trip Abecedarian

NaPoWriMo, April 19, 2019: “…Today, I’d like to challenge you to write an abecedarian poem – a poem in which the word choice follows the words/order of the alphabet. You could write a very strict abecedarian poem, in which there are twenty-six words in alphabetical order, or you could write one in which each line begins with a word that follows the order of the alphabet…”  The names of the animals for this poem came from a list written by my family – JF, Olivia and Alex — to pass the time on a road trip years ago.

This may sound strange — but what would you do
if you came back home and discovered a zoo?
We sat in the driveway – all were tongue-tied.
The house sure looked different — but no one knew why.

I climbed on the bench for a peek inside….
You. can’t. imagine. but you can give it a try!
I’ll try to describe it, one sight at a time,
in alphabetic order — but not rhyme:

Actual anteaters aspirating alfalfa sprouts
Bouncing baboons buttering bananas
Crocodiles chewing caramels — continuously
Dehydrated donkeys drinking daiquiris
Egalitarian eagles egging everyone
Flamingos flouring flopping fish
Greedy gorillas gobbling grapes
Happy hyenas heaving honey
Iconic iguanas icing ice cream
Jaguars juggling jellies
Keen kangaroos kicking kiwis
Leopards licking liquorice ladders
Mad monkeys munching maggoty mangos
Nifty newts nibbling nuts
Orang-utans overtly opening Oreos
Proper porcupines picking pickles
Quivering quail quacking-up quinoa
Roman rhinos revelling in ravioli
Sleepy sloths supping sushi
Tigers teething on t-bones
Uakari unsettling upside-down-cake
Vultures eviscerating vanilla beans
Walruses watering waffles with wine
X-ray tetras exhaling xeres
Yaks yodelling “Yummy yam yogurt, yoo—hoo!”
Zebras zapping zucchini ziti

Now you believe me? Just what would you do
if you came home and discovered a zoo?

 

Possible Thoughts of a Notre Dame Security Guard, April 17, 2019

NaPoWriMo Prompt 17 April 2019:  “…Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that presents a scene from an unusual point of view …”  The Forest is the nickname for the wooden frame of Notre Dame’s roof — an immense intricate lattice of ancient wood. More info on it in this NYT article here.

Possible Thoughts of a Notre Dame Security Guard, April 17, 2019

Maybe, if we hadn’t searched so hard
all morning for evil: lined everyone up,
first searched their eyes, then checked
their pockets, sacks, and backpacks

for means of destruction, signs of meanness,
maybe, just maybe, we could have felt
that elemental fear — our ancestors’ fear
of fire — instead of our fear of the other.

Maybe we would have wondered if we might
be looking in all the wrong places and checked
into the Forest, like those who stood guard
up there, for hundreds of years, with their fear.

Elegy for the Prisoners in My Study

Much fun to have this poem published by California’s Las Positas College in their anthology, Havik: The Las Positas College Journal of Arts and Literature (Spring 2019)

Elegy for the Prisoners in My Study

To get to my desk, I shuffle across parquet
made of pine trees who once swayed their days away
in faraway forests before they were stripped
naked, sliced up and slapped with varnish.

To sit at my desk, I plunk into a wicker chair
whose reeds once shilly-shallied in the breeze
somewhere balmy before they were ripped up and
water-boarded until they’d conform into appropriate shape.

To write on my desk, my glass desk, sand stretched
some sunny expanse tickled by wild waves before
it was kidnapped and cremated into transparent flatness
on which I put pencil to paper. Paper. Pencil. More trees…

I’ve taken many prisoners to create poetry.
May the trees, and reeds, and sand forgive me.
May I honor them each time I forge my way through
this forest to sit by the shore in the reeds and write.

Reverse Musical Chairs

“Reverse Musical Chairs” was published by Stoneboat Literary Journal (April 2019)

Sundays at noon
for years
at my mother’s table with eight chairs
the seven of us sat.
We’d take our usual seats
and there was always room
for another.

That winter
the six of us struggled
to find our spots at the same table
among the eight original chairs
despite my father’s permanent absence
leaving room for two.

This afternoon
the eight chairs remain
waiting round the same table.
There are only five of us left.
We search in desperation
but my mother took the music with her;
no one can find a seat.

NaPoWriMo 2019

Long live NaPoWriMo days! Callooh! Callay!

But before I get all mimsy, here’s the thing: NaPoWriMo’s prompts have inspired some of my best poems — ten of last year’s have been published (or are forthcoming) and three others tempted some slithy toves but, because I had left “an electronic trail by publishing them” on my blog, were ultimately refused. ‘Twas brillig. So, this year, I shall shun this frumious Bandersnatch and take my vorpal sword in hand off screen.

In the meantime, thank you for visiting my blog. I look forward to hopping around other participants’ sites and I promise to come galumphing back and post my published poems here, as soon as the rights return to me upon publication. If you choose to follow this blog, you can receive them automatically in your email.

Until then, see you by the Tumtum tree,
tee-hee tee-hee,
Elizabeth

In memoriam of my dad, Lawrence C. Hornor, April 28, 1929 – Febrary 12, 2019, who would recite the original “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll — even when impaled by a lilac bush he was trimming by the sea — and with thanks to NaPoWriMo for prompting me “to rewrite a famous poem” so I could give him this little something back.

Dadderwhacky
by Lewiz Carroll Hornor Boquet

Dad took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the lilaxome foe sought —
So rested he by the purplish tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in doofish thought he stood,
The Dadderwhack, with eyes of flame,
Came whippling through the bugley wood
And sworbled as he came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
His sharpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it flib, and with his rib
Made one final attack.

And thus did slay, my Dadderwhack,
That rottish lilaxsome-annoy!
O frabjous day! Callouh! Callay!
He chortled in his joy.

Birthright

“Birthright” was first published in Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing (March 2019). 

 

Back then, back there — as a child in the summer
on month-long sails with my mother
down the coast of Maine, we’d gaze east,
as far as our eyes could see, across the Atlantic.

Hey, Mom! I think I see France! or maybe…Portugal?
Oh my! Pass the binoculars! Let’s see!

She’d let me believe each island from Kittery Point
to Penobscot Bay might be uninhabited, just waiting
for exploration — or the discovery of a new welcoming land.
She let me practice possibilities.

What do you suppose they do for fun there?
I wonder what they’ll have for supper tonight?

So, in my teens, when I finally made it all the way
across the Atlantic to study in France, it was a matter of course
to fit right in with a new world and its inhabitants —
who, after all, had just been waiting for me to come and join them.

Bonjour, Mademoiselle. Comment allez-vous?
Très, très bien, Monsieur. Merci. Et vous?

Unsure where I am most foreign in the eyes of others —
there, back home — or here, in this life abroad without birthright,
I know I belong because of summer mornings
along Portuguese and French shorelines.

I still connect by looking as far west as my eyes can see
towards those Atlantic islands, grateful liquid bridges never burn.

Leçons d’Anglais * English Lessons

(Please scroll down for English.)

Let’s Talk! Conversation pour Adultes

Vous pouvez vous débrouiller en Anglais dans la plupart des situations mais vous voudriez communiquer plus couramment et de manière différenciée?  Vous allez voyager ou déménager vers un pays anglophone?  Alors, Let’s Talk!  Venez vous préparer avec plaisir et discuter, individuellement, ou en petit groupe (max 3 personnes), des sujets courants qui vous intéressent.  Leçons faites sur mesure.

Consulting

Si vous — ou votre personnel — souhaitez  bénéficier de séances en anglais sur-mesure en fonction de vos besoins linguistiques spécifiques, alors vous avez frappé à la bonne porte.      

Je suis une professionnelle attentionnée et qualifiée qui peut déterminer exactement où vous pouvez vous améliorer (vocabulaire, prononciation, grammaire, registre) créer un programme adapté et vous guider dans la réalisation de vos objectifs.

J’ai eu le plaisir de travailler avec des personnes issues de différents secteurs professionnels (banquier, coiffeur, CEO, guide touristique, directeur de la communication, directeur général, directeur informatique, horlogers, serveur-barman, directeur R&D, courtiers d’assurance ou encore réceptionniste).

Nous nous concentrerons uniquement sur vos besoins en anglais sans nous éparpiller dans des leçons d’ordre général.

Expérience

Enseignante de langue maternelle anglaise, avec plus de vingt ans d’expérience de l’enseignement d’une langue étrangère dans quatre environnements culturels différents – les Etats-Unis, la Chine, la France et la Suisse – et une compétence acquise au cours de 6 années d’études académiques et pédagogiques.

Formation spécialisée dans l’enseignement de l’Anglais langue étrangère. Mémoire: “L’enseignement précoce des langues vivantes” M.A. Middlebury College, USA / B.A. Goucher College USA / Certificat d’enseignement secondaire – Etat du Maryland, diplôme Northfield Mount Hermon School, TOEFL du British Council.

Ancien professeur de L’Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, Hong Kong International School et Roland Park Country School à Baltimore.

English Lessons

Which of the following two options suits you best? Or would you prefer a bit of both?

Let’s Talk!

You can get by in English wherever you go, but you would like to speak more accurately.  This conversation course focuses on pronunciation and vocabulary building through discussion of topics that interest you.  Ideal for individuals or small groups (3 maximum).  You give me the topic – or we find one together – and I create a lesson around it. This course is also ideal for people traveling/moving to  English-speaking countries.

Business English

Come to my office to identify and address your specific linguistic needs concerning your profession. We will discover and focus on your unique needs (vocabulary, register, grammar, pronunciation), and create a plan to achieve your goals within your schedule; your precious time will not be wasted on systematic reviews or standardized tests.  Your unique learning style and preferences are my priority.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with professionals from a variety of businesses including bankers, a director of public relations, a head of R&D, several CEOs, a tour guide, a CFO, an IT manager, a hairdresser, a watchmaker, several insurance brokers, a receptionist, five chefs and a director of communications — among many others.

Experience

I am a native English-speaking teacher with over twenty years experience in foreign language teaching and translation in four distinct cultures – USA, China, France and Switzerland – as well as six years of university studies specializing in foreign language teaching.

M.A. Middlebury College, USA  Thesis: Ideal age for second language learning. B.A. Goucher College, USA  Secondary teaching certificate from the State of Maryland, Northfield Mount Hermon School, British Council TOEFL Hong Kong

In addition to my independent work, my former teaching positions include: Business English Professor at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, French teacher at Hong Kong International School and at the Roland Park Country School in Baltimore.