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This is part 2 of the 5th anniversary celebration. If you missed Brian Miller’s interview, its here. For today, we are chatting with the lovely Claudia Schoenfeld of Jaywalkingthemoon and painterindahouse. As you know, if you’ve been around long enough, Claudia, along with Brian Miller, was the co-founder of our poetry community here at dVerse.

Claudia, it’s so good to see you again. Those of us who know you (and I’ve had the joy of dining with you a few years ago) and those who are meeting you for the first time are in for a treat. What can I say–I, for one, have missed your brilliant, creative presence. But I know this is an important time in your life for other reasons.

What are you currently preoccupied with? (e.g. books currently reading, music, hobbies, etc.)

I had a lot of work in my office job lately and just back from a big conference that I was organizing – that kept me busy – smiles.

I also did quite some painting – had my first show in a local gallery in November last year and went to a painting workshop at the Lake of Constance in May this year.

Photo: Claudia Schoenfeld Archives

Photo: Claudia Schoenfeld Archives

Most importantly though – hubs and I work hard on our marriage that was about to fall apart – and I really gave priority to this those last months. We’re attending a marriage course which helps a lot and things are changing and blossoming again – which is awesome.

That is so important. Family first. Any other memorable events or milestones that you would like to share with us?

There were a lot of small things but nothing really big – ha – one thing maybe – about 3 months ago (after doing quite some research) I decided to go vegan – for environmental reasons. That was a big step – not always easy but quite rewarding actually. I feel much better, some health problems just disappeared and as a side effect I lost 4 kilos of weight – just so – ha – not bad at all.

Do you still write poetry? If yes, would you care to share a poem with us?

I do write poetry – every once in awhile – I even planned to publish a small poetry book – but at the moment there’s just not enough time to finish it. Here’s a poem that I wrote back in March on a business trip to Berlin:

someone stole the view they say

i wanna take the view and tuck it in my pocket
like you do with a frog, a hairband, greenish shining stone
&touch a million times throughout the day

“i have the cheapest hotel room” i text to my fam,
half awake in bed
“but see the fernsehturm from here
and first shy sunrays pinned unto his chest”

there’s no warm water in the shower
“plumbers working on it” says a note next to the lift

in a restaurant across the street
i eat vietnamese spring rolls
“have you heard about the war?” i ask them
tactfully, before the first bite
as the girls across the table sing a happy birthday for their friend

“no” they shake their heads
“that was before our time”

i tell them about berlin,
about carrying the history// of history, the load
and responsibility it brings
even without knowing
“you can see it in the people’s eyes” i say

& fumble for the fernsehturm view in my pocket
“every time the sun shines on its silvery womb, there is a cross” i tell them
“now imagine anti-christian DDR
trying to get rid of it— and never managed”

later in the rooftop bar
a brazilian girl tells me about her first new years night in switzerland,
the land of punctuality and watches,

how the firework was 15 minutes late
and how their feet froze to the bridge’s windy chest
and how the bridge apologized, licking their soles,
saying that this never ever happened in a hundred years,
in all the years she spreads across the river

and the girl says it’s ok

& i say things like that can happen
& give her my last voucher for a drink

the fernsehturm puts on its nightdress,
sparkles like an aging femme with silver-glistening lips

and no one checks my pockets

as i leave.

Find Me

Now I remember why I miss you, Claudia. To a new poet or writer, what lessons or insights would you like to share?

There’s a lot of magic in poetry – and a lot of work
A poem that has this effortless feel to it most probably cost the writer a lot of work and sweat and editing
Editing is important
Find someone you trust and whose poetry you admire who gives you honest feedback on your poetry

Such wise advice. Do you have any new projects coming up?

I will attend the Urban Sketchers symposium in Manchester in July – really looking forward to this cause sketching for me has a lot in common with poetry as well as both is about capturing moments and people and atmosphere.

So, are we ready to write some poetry? I thought today I would offer three of Claudia’s paintings for our inspiration. In addition to poetry and painting, this talented lady is also a musician. Let’s write a poem using the SEVENLING form with a theme of music. If you use on of her paintings, please don’t forget to give her credit as the artist, along with the phrase, “Used with Permission.”

Here’s a brief review of the form:

A 7-line poem (two tercets and a one-liner as the final stanza) with these parameters:–

_Three lines that contain an element of three. This could be three connected or contrasting statements, a list of three names or details, etc. The three things can take up all three lines, or be contained anywhere in the stanza.

– Three more lines that contain an element of three (can relate to stanza one directly, as a juxtaposition, or have no connection whatsoever).

– Final line: a punchline, strange twist, narrative summary, or punctuation mark, of sorts.

Thank you so much, Claudia. You are, as always, an inspiration and a friend.

Artist: Claudia Schoenfeld Used with Permission

Artist: Claudia Schoenfeld
Used with Permission

Artist: Claudia Schoenfeld Used with Permission

Artist: Claudia Schoenfeld
Used with Permission

Artist: Claudia Schoenfeld Used with Permission

Artist: Claudia Schoenfeld
Used with Permission

In case you are new, here’s how we play:

*Write your poem and post it on your website or blog *Cut and post the direct URL to your poem into Mr. Linky that follows this post *Read and comment on the work of other poets * Invite others to join in by linking dVerse to your post and through social media *Now, cozy up to the bar and let’s have fun.