One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Awhape me!

Hello all...tis The Scibbler here for a second edition of 'Scribble It.'

What better beginning for a plethora of poets than a multitude of wordageables?

Experts at the University of York have complied a list of 30 words from the English language that have fallen out of our consciousness and conversation that might conceivably make a comeback.

What better place to put that to the test than The Imaginary Garden? Here are those very words and their meaning.

Ambodexter: One who takes bribes from both sides.
Betrump: To deceive, cheat; to elude, slip from ( I know right?)
Coney-catch: To swindle, cheat, to trick, dup, deceive
Hugger-mugger: Concealment, secrecy
Nickum:  A cheating or dishonest person
Quacksalver: A person who dishonestly claims knowledge of or skill in medicine, a pedlar of false cures.
Rouker: A person who whipers or murmurs, who spreads tales or rumours
Man-millinery: Suggestive of male vanity or pomposity
Parget: To daub or plaster the face or body with powder or paint
Snout-fair:Having a fair countenance; fair-faced, comely, handsome
Slug-a-bed: One who lies long in bed through laziness
Losenger: A false flatterer, a lying rascal, a deceiver
Momist: A person who habitually finds fault. a harsh critic
Peacockize: To behave like a peacock; esp. to pose or strut ostentatiously
Percher: A person who aspires to a higher rank or status; an ambitious or self-assertive person
Rouzy-bouzy: Boisterously drunk
Ruff: To swagger, bluster, domineer. To ruff it out/ to brag or boast of a thing
Sillytonian: A silly or gullible person, esp. one considered as belonging to a notional sect of such people
Wlonk: Proud, haughty/Rich, splendid, fine, magnificent: in later use esp. as a conventional epithet in alliterative verse ( N. A fair or beautiful one)
Fumish: Inclined to fume, hot-tempered, irascible, passionate; also charectorised by or exhibiting anger or irascibility
Awhape: To amaze, stupefy with fear, confound utterly
Hugge: To shudder, shrink, shiver, or shake with fear or with cold
Merry-go-sorry: A mixture of joy and sorrow
Stomaching: Full of maalignity; given to cherish anger or resentment
Swerk: To be or become dark; in Old English often, to become gloomy, troubled or sad
Teen: To vex, irritate, annoy, anger, enrage/ To inflict suffering upon; to afflict, harass; to injure, harm
Tremblable: Causing dread or horror; dreadful
Wasteheart: Used to express grief, pity, regret, disappointment or concern: 'alas!' 'woe is me!' Also a wasteheart-a day, wasteheart of me
Dowsable: Applied generically to a sweetheart, 'lady-love'
Ear-rent: The figurative cost to a person of listening to trivial or incessant talk

So the task ahead is clear. Pick one or two or a dozen of those words and pen a poem. Not inspired by them? OK! Do your own research and find words that we do not currently employ in conversation and put them into a poem instead. Link the words to their meaning if you would.

I look forward to reading your revivalist tomes. Link up below and please visit each other and comment. We all love a visit.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Tuesday Platform

Hello poets and poetry lovers. I am slowly getting into the Halloween mood now that the weather in the Northeast USA has taken on a decided crispness. In that spirit, I'd like to share one of my favorite ghost stories in musical form.

  The Highwayman sang by Loreena McKennit, original poem/ lyrics by Alfred Noyes

You all know the drill. Share a piece of poetry as the spirit moves you, new or an old favorite. Take a little time to hop around the pond and see how the poetic spirit moves through the rest of our denizens. If you like something, don't keep it to yourself. Conversation and constructive feedback in the comments section is always welcome.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fussy Little Forms: Shadorma

Greetings, Friends. Marian here, excited to host a weekend mini-challenge (which I have not done before!) and give thanks to Magaly and Kerry for the opportunity to step in. 

I was thinking about how I’ve been a bit stuck lately, not very productive, finding it challenging to write for many reasons--some of which I am certain are affecting other Toads as well. And I know that sometimes trying to write in tight verse or constrained lines can help get me going when I’m stuck. So, you are invited to join me in a monthly exercise focused on short and/or fussy form poems. I’ll try to find new (to me, anyway) forms and we’ll also revisit some that have been presented in the Garden previously.

Let’s start off easy! No rhyming today, just a simple six-line poem with a syllable count: the SHADORMA. Kerry introduced the shadorma back in 2012 and I find it very rewarding and fun to play with. The rules are simple:

  • A six-line poem (or series of six-line stanzas)
  • Syllable count by line: 3-5-3-3-7-5
  • Not rhymed

Check out Kerry’s shadorma post for examples and ideas (plus lovely photos). I’ve written a bunch which you can view here if you like. I don’t know why some of mine have more than six lines, but what the heck. And, apologies in advance to you-know-who, as the shadorma is really a glorified/extended haiku.

Okay, ready? Shadorma away! If you are like me, this little form might get addictive, so please feel free to link up as many shadormas as you like. I can’t wait to read them all.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Toads! Presented for your inspiration is guitar hero Annie Clark, aka

“Bodies, can’t you see what everybody wants from you?”


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Toads in Tandem: Creature Comforts

Image copyrighted Isadora Gruye Photography
Greetings Toads,

Kim and Izy are here to unleash our Toads in Tandem piece for 2017.  We can’t wait for you to read it. But first, a few words of introduction.

Kim says - The only signs I was aware of, regarding distance in miles and culture between Izy and me, were one or two phrases or spellings. Not knowing much about her, I decided to look up Izy on the Internet and was impressed by her poetic activity, which was somewhat daunting. However, once we got going, it was more like working with a version of myself in a different universe and we riffed on each others’ ideas and fragments with ease.

Izy says - I was so excited when Kim was announced as my toad in Tandem. I  loved the idea of working with a poet whose style is different than my own. Where I tend to be stark and obscure, Kim is color and concrete. When I want to burn the page down, Kim brings beautiful form and word architecture. I gotta say, I was so impressed with how fearless Kim is in her writing.Thanks so much for the tango, Kim!!!!

Toads in Tandem bonus: we’ve included audio files of each of us reading the poem in full. If you have a few moments, you can listen to how each of us chose into interpret and read each line a little differently! Also....our accents!!!!

Creature Comforts
Your lover drapes me on your shoulders,
sunlight strays through crinkled linen,
tickles your unblemished skin.
I protect your sensitivity,
remind you of marmalade
and flyover territory:
fat ants marching on clothes lines
hung tight between windows uncleaned
and chipped by gossip houndstooth.
I am imbued with pepper scent of grass cut
before the heat,
before the thick of summer
leaned over the typewriter
to ash its cigar across the whole of July.

You had me on loan
the day autumn mist rolled in,
shrouded everything,
left cold droplets in your hair
and smeared its sheen on bare skin.
Now you touch my woollen fibres
to your nose, inhale the scent
and I’m matted with tears.
There is a silence so quiet,
it cuts sharply.
The cables are knit so tightly
breathing becomes labored
in the lemon dusk.
Have the signals got crossed?
Is there no one poised and ready
to decipher these dashes and pauses?
Tomorrow, newspaper ink will be thin
and wash away in street puddles.
And here, the coffee stains on my cuff
will sing boldly on their own.

Winter rattles dust
from window panes,
and you still bring me to bed,
despite my jersey stretched nine years thin
and twisted torn at the hem.
The flat scent of last night’s fire
falls on cold sheets,
falls on your cold, freckled knees.
You sweat through the night,
happily cocooned
in your empty bed,
dreaming of a lover’s gift
infused with perfume, the bottle lit
by flames and fairy lights.
Faces merge in shadow,
bask in afterglow,
buffeted by music -
an old long-playing record
by a favourite band
crackles on the deck.

When the spring breeze coaxes
leaves to bud and rain
lifts worms to the sidewalk
to bake on the concrete,
you pull me over your feet.
You stomp proudly through mud
and dropped blossoms,
each step a drum beat
louder than you ever imagined.
Your toes curl and flex against the solidity
of our rubber-soled security,
a comfortable pairing against puddles
and slippery situations –
galoshes for all seasons.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Tuesday Platform

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden...

Greetings to all poets, wayfarers and friends. I have been thinking a lot about the world lately, and how hatred and indifference seem to have spread its wings. The other day, there was a girl whom I passed by on the street, who looked forlorn and down in the dumps. I flashed her a smile and felt a sense of contentment as her face lit up. The world needs love and kindness and we should try to contribute in whichever way that we can. 

If you have any thoughts to share, ideas you wish to release into the wild or a world view to express, then you have come to the right place. Please share a poem of your choice and enjoy the company of your fellow scribes. 

Remember to stop by tomorrow for our Toads in Tandem feature post. Isadora and Kim have banded together to bring us a collaborative poem to celebrate the creativity of our Garden environment.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Camera FLASH!

Greetings to all poets!
Last month, the wonderful poet whom we all know as Hedgewitch, started a weekly Friday 55 at Verse Escape, in honour of its creator, Galen Hayes. We kept up the tradition here at the Imaginary Garden, but I feel it has moved to its rightful home.

In its place, I will now be offering a single image prompt on the first weekend of every month. The challenge is wide open.

by Thomas Eakins (1910)
Fair Use

Here is our first photograph: What could they possibly be hauling out of the ocean?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fireblossom Friday : I Put A Spell On You

Happy Halloween season, dear Pond dwellers and visitors. Fireblossom here with a spooky Fireblossom Friday for you. This will be my last FBF for 2017 as I will be taking a break from hosting. Gosh, what has come over me?

Painting by John William Waterhouse
Maybe somebody put a spell on me. Do you believe in that? Do you think incantations, objects, fire, pins and the like can alter actual events and, more to the point, people?  

There is all kinds of literature concerning people being influenced or even taken over by something outside of themselves. Gypsy curses. Love spells. Possessions. Altered states. 

Sometimes, a duplicate of a living person takes form, called a Doppelganger. The double does things the original person is unaware of, but others see. 

"I didn't know what I was doing." "I didn't know what my double was doing." (!) "I don't know what came over me." Maybe these are more than just common expressions. Maybe our wills are not always our own. What do you think? Let's write about it. 

Please write a NEW poem for this challenge. No haiku--haiku gives me the nervous shakes. Then link up so that we can come see what you--or someone who seems like you--has written. Bwahahaha.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Tuesday Platform

Greetings, dear Toads. The world has been a bit of a mess lately. Nature has been upset for quite some time. And if that wasn’t enough, the ignorance and hatred-fueled recklessness of people continue to steal lives and maim living. We can’t deny the fact that things seem to be going from bleak to scream-worthy, but we can write and share. Words are no panacea, but some words can do wonders. Today, I invite you to “Howl your poetry into my bones.” I promise to howl back.

Feel free to use this image. The magnetic poetry and photography are mine. The background is a page from Vampiros, an anthology illustrated by Meritxell Ribas Puigmal.

Share a poem, any poem. Visit other Toads. Let’s find joy in words.