Ten Questions With Granbee

Granbee, author of “granbee,” a delightful poetry blog has graciously answered ten questions I had. Go check out her blog and make sure you stay a while when you are there.

1) You use animals in your poetry regularly. How did that begin?

I have identified very closely with animals since my earliest childhood
memories. I always seemed to understand what they were telling me. It was quite
early in my elementary school years that I began to feel these animals were
wiser than humans in the ways necessary to support life on this earth in the purest
forms. Also, I always believed that animals accepted me just as I was and actually
LIKED me that way! As I grew older and began to tutor classmates with learning
disabilities, I came to believe that the same unquestioning acceptance of other
people just as they are was an essential ingredient in bringing success to our
common goals as we struggled along together. This belief has only grown stronger in
me over the decades and has provided insight into the Divine plan of love and

2) I have noticed that a lot of your poetry tells a story. Has this
always been a theme with your writing, or is it a newer theme for your

This current “critterly journey” that my poetry has been taking ever since late
November of 2011 on my blog IS a new adventure for me with my writing. I had
previously mainly written fiction and essays, with only occasional poetic testing of
the waters in my psyche.

3) Do you enjoy writing series of poems? If so, why?

I am finding that I enjoy writing this series very, very much. It is leading me
into new areas of creativity and exploration with my writing that I have never
thought possible before. I am finding that I become a dragonfly, a turtle, a
half-blind old dog, a wounded goat at various times and places in my “real” life!
What a marvelous adventure this critterly life is becoming!

4) Of all the things you have learned about poetry over the years is there
anything in particular that stands out to you?

I have recently learned that poetry does not need to rely on form so much as on
spirit, not on rhyme so much as on reasoning from the heart, not on rhythm so much
as on the pace of growth in wisdom. Form, rhyme, and rhythm ARE effective tools in
sending one’s message flying out into the world in such a way as to swirl into the
center of readers’ hearts and souls. But the form, that rhyme, that rhythm must
first abide deep within the poet. For me, that “abiding” is in the presence of the
Holy Spirit.

5) Do you have a favourite poet?

William Butler Yeats, because I share some Celtic-ness with him; and because of
his spiritual view of so much in life, presented without preaching, in the midst of
great contentions between religious groups in the British Isles.

6) Do you have a favourite poem?

Oddly enough, the poem that has stuck to the inside of my skull over the decades
has not been one of Yeats’, but is, instead, The Faerie Queene. I have always loved
reading allegorical meanings into poetry, even when it was not intended by the

7) What do you feel that blogging has added to your experience of writing

I readily admit to all my blogging friends that blogging has opened up an entire
universe of connections and resources for my writing. For example, two of my
characters on the critterly journey in my blog are Cuddles, provided by Lauren
Swalberg of lscotthoughts.com, and Mr. Jitters, provided by Greg, known as the
writinggomer online. These two blogging friends have graciously allowed me to
develop these two “critters” as we travel along on our journey of quest to enter
into The One True Light.

8) Do you feel that your faith plays a major role in your work, or is it
something that only makes an appearance occasionally for specific pieces?

I absolutely know that my present writing would not happen without my faith,
without the constant guidance of the Holy Spirit. Even when I occasionally write
something purely whimsical or purely didactic (or even technical), I know that
without my faith, I would not be able to complete the project at hand. And I cannot
enter into any writing project that would negate any of the basic tenets of my

9) Do you consider yourself a poet?

Yes, I do consider myself primarily a poet these days. Even my prose writing
(such as the answers here to your fine questions!) carries me along on a stream of

10) What do you consider to be the most difficult thing in writing poetry?

For me, the most difficult thing in writing poetry is to distill, distill,
distill, the substance until it contains only the very essential essence of the
message, the action, the inspiration. This is exactly why some periods between my
posts in sharing segments of the critterly journey are longer than others. Some
upcoming action sometimes seems to me much weightier in terms of influencing the
lives of the characters and the direction of the quest.

One Year

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of this blog. I think there are already more than three hundred sixty-five poems up and posted… but tomorrow will be the anniversary. I wish I had something profound to say but…

I have learned a lot more about blogging and bloggers in the last year. I have made plenty of mistakes and have my share of regrets. However, it has been an interesting experience. Posting rough drafts every day is a strange thing. Usually the impulse is to only share finished work that you are at least somewhat proud of. This is something entirely different. I really just wanted to have a place where I had a space to work with the potential for feedback and a minimal vague sense that I had to write for someone every day.

I think that there are a some interesting possibilities if I continue this blog. I really enjoyed the Desert Abbey but I feel I need to manage it better. I would love to do another interview… maybe even as a regular feature. And of course, I have been considering editing some of the poems already posted as another exercise.

I have to say though, that I really miss Planaquarium. I hate that he deleted his blog instead of just ceasing to post. He was like a master among a sea of sometimes really good poets. He posted things that had form and polish and meaning and cadence. He often shook me to the bone. His words made me weep. I hate that I did not copy and paste every one of his poems onto my hard drive. I would pay good money to have some of his work. If I had done nothing else this year… this blog was worth it just because I got to read some of his poems. Wherever you are sir… I pray that you are well. I am not ashamed to say: live long and prosper.

I have met quite a few people through the blog (far more than I imagined I would). Some of you e-mail me. Some of you text me. Some of you call me. And of course there are the comments. I appreciate the anonymity and what it allows me to write and I know that there is a time for everything. It is unlikely I would write much in this way with my own name. Does that make me a coward, smart, or a realist? Maybe a little of all three.

Granbee, you have written more comments than anyone. But you do not settle for volume. You surprise me with your consistent thoughtfulness. Thank you.

Caddo, your empathy and kindness is astounding. I hope that I am not too crass and insensitive. Oh, and I really do think your writing is getting even better.

Nicole, oh Miss Story… what can I even say? You make me laugh. You have impeccable taste in many things. You are honest in a way that I rarely am. You speak from the heart often about the heart. Your poem in the Desert Abbey was fabulous. I hope you write some more. Also, your dog is adorable and you look great in that dress.

Kharma, you may have been the first person in my whole life to actually write me a poem. Your writing often makes me uncomfortable. It is filled with passion and angst. It conveys feeling in a very powerful way. Your poems in response to my poems will always remain a landmark in the history of my life. Be well.

David, we don’t do a lot of chatting– just the occasional comment or two on each other’s blog. But none the less, you are a blogging inspiration to me. You consistently publish beautiful and poignant poetry. You find amazing pictures to go with them. You have some of the best quotes of the day on the whole internet. You write short stories as well. And I love your style. I wish you well and look forward to more of your work.

Authored Angioplasty, you really write interesting poems. Your pacing and content that go together in ways I would have not realized possible… it is exquisite. You don’t always publish all that often. But when you do it is so good… that I still check your blog almost every day.

Que, I don’t even know how to pronounce your screen name. Your poetry, however… words cannot express… You say things in verse that I think and feel. Your poetry doesn’t just challenge or inspire me (as do other’s), it resonates with me. You say things that I would say and it shocks me. I love what you do. I pray that you keep doing it. I feel like I should say more… but words fail…

Frisky Bunny, I don’t know if you go by that any more but I have enjoyed your writing from the beginning. May your secret burrow not remain so secret. I wish you would publish more. You really are quite good.

Mr. Bergh, your blog is one of the one’s I have followed the longest. You write about love and life and things you feel in a way that makes it real for others. Thank you. I hope you are well.

There are other’s of course, newer ones. Clown On Fire, Madame Weebles, Sunlit Rain, and on and on and on. I keep finding new bloggers. Some are poets, some are humourists, some are photographers, some are a combination of many things. I could not begin to mention them all. But I think the point is that over this year it is other writers that have really stood out to me. That is what has made this experience worthwhile. In the end, after all, it is other people who really matter.

I do not know what will happen in the next year– not in life, nor in this blog. This, however, I know, other people will be important. Let us not forget.


Kitten on lap rumbling

      like the thunder tumbling;

Connecting the currents above

      with the currents of bonding love

Between the caregiver

      and the supplicant shiver.

   Purrs and rumbles barge

      to connect the small and large.

Strokes of care

      to bind dependency to sustaining dare.

  Copyright 2012, Rose C. Byrd "granbee"