Monday, November 11, 2019

Different Perspectives!

Constellations, 1940 by Joan Miro


From behind my eyes
hermetic song breaks open
song of the seedling that
did not ever flower.

Each one dreams about an
unreal, quirky end.
(The wheat dreams it's got
enormous yellow flowers.)

All of them dreaming strange
adventures in the shade.

Fruits hanging out of reach
& domesticated winds.

None of them know each other,
blind & gone astray,
their perfumes paining them
but cloistered now forever.

Each seed thinks up
a genealogical tree—
covers the whole sky
with its stalks & roots.

The air's smeared over with
improbable vegetations.
Black & heavy branches.
Cinder-colored roses.

The moon nearly smothered
with flowers & with branches
flights them off with moonbeams
like an octopus in silver.

From behind my eyes
hermetic song breaks open—
song of the seedlings that
did not ever flower.

© Federico García Lorca (tr. Jerome Rothernberg)

Dear, poets! I hope you all are doing well. As this is my last ever post/prompt for With Real Toads, I would like to thank all of you for your support and for participating in the open link platforms and the prompts that I have hosted here during my brief stint. It's been a delightful experience to write and share with each one of you and I look forward to a continuing connection in the blogosphere.

The best thing about an online poetry space like With Real Toads is its acknowledgment and promotion of the many different perspectives to a prompt as well as believes and individual ideas of different poets. At times, we come up with different or contrasting views and interpretations. Now that we are living in a world marred with divisiveness and hatred, I think it is more important than ever to be open to healthy discussions about them.

In that purview, I would like you all to write a poem about perspectives — your perspective, your definition or understanding of the word, your views on an issue that requires probing and prodding today, et al. You can also play around with the form, metaphors, and imagery of the poem, by offering a fresh perspective. You can interpret it in any way you want.

Once you have written and published your poem, add the link in the widget down below. Do not forget to visit others and share your words/comments with them. I look forward to reading you all throughout this week. Happy Writing!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Just One Word: Burnished


By Jean-Jacques MILAN 00:27, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Monday, November 4, 2019

Wordy Monday with Wild Woman: The Wolf Mother

"The loss of the wolf is like the loss of the mother. Somewhere she roams in memory, in darkness. Our bond with her is inexplicable, before the beginning of time. She is fierce love; she is sorrow. She is a howling in the wilderness we can never see, calling us home. She is what we fear – and what we long to return to – the heat of the cave and animal closeness, before all civilization and reason.…The wolf is the dark heart of winter. She is the hot breath of life, red eyes searching for her child at twilight in the snow.”

-from The Memory Palace, by Mira Bartók

The Memory Palace  is one of the best memoirs I have ever read. It is the story of the author and her sister growing up with a paranoid schizophrenic mother, and the lives they managed to forge after, of necessity, they disappeared and changed their names as adults.

The passage above really spoke to me, needless to say. Where does it take you? To a wolf den in a Siberian winter? To wolf families vanishing across the North American landscape, falling to loss of habitat, to starvation, to the hunter's gun? Maybe it takes you to a fireside, and a mother fierce with love? Or to the mothers we have lost, whose pull is still strongly felt in our hearts.

Answer the wolf’s call with your poems about wildness and wolves, domesticity and mothers, daughters and sons, or your own fierce love for your child. Allow the passage quoted to take you where it pleases. Bring us back whatever you find.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Art FLASH / 55 in November

For this month's art collaboration, Jason Limberg, an artist from Michigan, USA, has returned to the Imaginary Garden to share his graphite sketch, entitled 'Autumn Breath'.

Autumn Breath
Jason Limberg
Used With Permission

 Jason describes his imagery thus: "A drawing that makes me think about crisp fall mornings & colorful leaves." He also asks his audience what they think the reindeer is whispering to his companion.

If you repost the image on your blog, please give attribution to Jason, using the following link:

Feel free to pay a visit to @jasonlimberg on Instagram or the Jason Limberg website where more of his amazing pieces are to be viewed, but not used for this prompt.

If you post your poem on Instagram, using Jason's image, please tag @jasonlimberg and mention him as the collaborative artist in your post.

There are no restrictions placed on this challenge: Let the image speak to you and respond in a poetic or prose form of your choosing: Literal! Figurative! Reflective! Narrative! Symbolic!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Kerry Says ~ What is Metamodernism?

I recently read a most informative essay by Seth Abramson, an assistant professor of English at University of New Hampshire on The Huffington Post, which I am referencing in today's prompt.

Fair Use Principles
I recommend you check out this site...

"Metamodernism, a term first coined in 1975 by Mas’ud Zavarzadeh (as an alternative to the term Post Postmodernism), has been in the news a lot lately. It’s a word academics periodically used throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, but it’s only lately become the sort of thing regularly discussed on popular websites like 4chan, Reddit, and Twitter... So what is metamodernism?
Well, first and most importantly, you should understand that it’s a 'cultural philosophy'. This means that it’s a system for understanding the world. Sometimes the sort of understanding metamodernism offers us is a logical understanding of how and why things happen during this particular period in human history."

Shia LaBeouf's Art Performance, 'I am not famous anymore' is considered to be a cutting-edge example of Metamodernism

"In this sense, we can see metamodernism as a “system of logic” that helps us better navigate the digital age. At other times, metamodernism helps us understand our emotional reactions to things that are happening now—both our reaction as individuals, and the reactions of whole communities and even nations—at which point we can see metamodernism as a 'structure of feeling'."

Fair Use Principles
The Hampton Institute
An enlightening article: 'Black Metamodernism'

"Metamodernism is likely to take something you’re certain is bad and show you that it’s an opportunity to do something you never imagined before... It’s likely to say crazy things like the fact that we live in a 'post-truth' culture gives us an opportunity to instrumentalize that very culture in the service of—you guessed it—Truth."

'This Is America' by Childish Gambino is a great example of Metamodernism in music.

"Digital culture is really important to the spread of metamodernism.... The internet lets us quickly overlap and combine things to create new things in a way we never could before..."

In a sense, I believe we poets of the blogosphere have been forerunners and mainstream proponents of metamodernism, perpetuating it in our collective efforts to reach a wider audience and creating our own cultural philosophy about poetry as an art form. Thus, anything we write is already part of the movement. Seth Abramson mentions the following:

"Key terms in metamodernism are dialogue, reconstruction, collaboration, interdisciplinary and transmedia work (collaborations across academic disciplines or creative genres/modes), inter- and hyper-textuality (the creation of new texts through the interaction of existing texts), generative paradox, generative ambiguity, simultaneity, engagement rather than exhibitionism, and, more broadly, the collapsing of artificial distances between concepts and people."

In the decade in which we, as a collective of 'toads' have been writing and inspiring one another to write, have we not fulfilled all the criteria? So the prompt for today is to write a poem. That is it. Write a poem. And while writing it, be cognizant of the fact that you are the voice of a new culture of literature/art/communication and that your voice, your point of view and your philosophy of human relations, here and now, is part of something much bigger than yourself which, paradoxically, cannot exist without you.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Weekend Mini-Challenge: Take a chance and step into the mythical realm ~

Mythical goddesses by Katrina Taule, Pinterest
Werewolves, sirens, mermaids and creatures who devour blood, for centuries these myths and tales have continued to fascinate us. They have filled folklore, songs, poetry and works of art. 

But what is it about them that draws our interest? Is it their beauty? Is it because they have magical powers? 


by Clark Ashton Smith

Her lethal beauty crowned with twining snakes
That mingle with her hair, the Gorgon reigns.
Her eyes are clouds wherein black lightnings lurk,

Yet, even as men that seek the glance of Life,
The gazers come, where, coiled and serpent-swift,
Those levins wait. As round an altar-base
Her victims lie, distorted, blackened forms
Of postured horror smitten into stone— (Click here to read the rest of the poem)

How the Raven Became Black

by John Godfrey Saxe 

Shall I tell you how it happened
That the change was brought about?
List the story of CORONIS,
And you'll find the secret out.

Young CORONIS, fairest maiden
Of Thessalia's girlish train,
Whom Apollo loved and courted,
Loved and courted not in vain... (Click here to read the rest of the poem)

Mythical creatures have been a subject of popular culture for thousands of years. Whether Greek or Celtic, Hindu or European, every culture has its own creations and myths. 

For instance: The Crocotta, a Greek beast, featured a strange array of different animal parts. It had the haunches of a stag, the neck, tail, and breast of a lion, the head of a badger, cloven hooves, and a mouth which opened as far back as its ears. On top of this terrifying description, it was said to mimic the voices of men.
Crocotta. (donnaquinn)
Your challenge today is to find a piece of art (a painting, sculpture, etc.) and create your own poetic mythology around it. 

Choose your own form or write in free verse, if preferred. I look forward to reading what you guys come up with. Please do visit others and remember to comment on their poems. Have fun!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Artistic Interpretations with Margaret - Alcohol Inks Part II

Welcome to Artistic Interpretations.  Here I have the last of the Alcohol Inks from an exhibit of local talent in the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Boone, NC.  I love the vibrancy and freedom of movement this type of art has.  I am thinking of signing up for a class myself.  HERE is the link to the first Alcohol Inks challenge.

Please interpret the images in any way you please.  I have included the artist titles below each image for a frame of reference, but do not feel bound by it.  I was given a thumbs up when I asked if I could photograph these images.  

You may select as many as you wish to write to, but please have an original poem for each.  Link your specific post below to Mr. Linky and visit the other poets.  I look forward to your artistic interpretations.

At the Seashore by S. Anderson

Beescape by P. D. Laine

No Title by O. Bentor

Fire & Ice by S. Anderson

Green Paradise by B. Grimes

Flower Impression by S. Edwards

Sunrise by G. Hill

Bee Tree by P. D. Laine

Through the Looking Glass by C. Grimes

Wooly Worm Festival by O. Bentor

Friday, October 18, 2019


On the mountain tonight the full moon
faces the full sun. Now could be the moment
when we fall apart or we become whole.
Our time seems to be up—I think I even hear it stopping.
Then why have we kept up the singing for so long?
Because that’s the sort of determined creature we are.
Before us, our first task is to astonish,
and then, harder by far, to be astonished.

              - from the poem “Astonishment”,  by Galway Kinnell

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

― Albert Einstein

Humpbacks breeching in Alaska
source @Scott Methvin

In Galway Kinnell’s wonderful poem, Astonishment,  time slows as we grasp the concept of how - big! - this life really is. For me, it is not hard at all to be astonished – I am constantly amazed by the wonders of nature. There isn’t a day when I am not astonished by something large or small.

Every day reminds us of the goodness of humans. We are bathed in sunrises and sunsets beautiful enough to break your heart. How trees hold hands under the forest floor, that male seahorses give birth, how many colourful starfish cling to the rocky cliffs at the shore – the fact that we wake up in the morning, able to see, to stand, to walk – all of it is an amazement to me. Life’s beauty can bring me to my knees, with the ache of how transient and fleeting it all is, this beautiful  life.

For our challenge, let’s contemplate these topics : awe, amazement, astonishment, wonder. 

Give us a moment, small or large, full of wonder.  Employ whatever form you wish, and use as many or few lines as you need to take us there. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Prairie in the Sky

Prairie in the Sky by Mary McCaslin

I ride a big blue roan, I carry all I own
In the pouches of my saddlebag with my bedroll tied behind
There's a prairie in the sky, I'll find it by and by
Hues of brown and yellow to make a soul unwind

Let the music take me home where a heart may roam
I'll fly across the meadows, touch the tall grass as I g
Let the gentle western wind stay with me till the end
Beside me till the day is done and the sun is settled low

Leave the ponies to run free, far as the eye can see
I'd ride the range forever to see them once again
Let the wild flying things soar above me on their wings
And the stars fill up the night sky and the moon light up the plains

I ride a big blue roan, I carry all I own
In the pouches of my saddlebag with my bedroll tied behind


Monday, October 7, 2019

October: When Poets Dream, Lament and Sing

Impulses by Loui Jover ~ Pinterest
It was October again... a glorious October, all red and gold, with mellow mornings when the valleys were filled with delicate mists as if the spirit of autumn had poured them in for the sun to drain — amethyst, pearl, silver, rose, and smoke-blue. The dews were so heavy that the fields glistened like cloth of silver and there were such heaps of rustling leaves in the hollows of many-stemmed woods to run crisply through. ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery 

October is my favorite time of the year as Autumn takes us away from the externally-focused energies of exuberant summertime and asks us to pause and consider how we feel, who we are, and to reminisce. We revisit the past during this time to integrate, grieve, reflect, and heal.

A playlist (compiled for the Poet) in us:

For today's challenge, I want you all to draw inspiration from the YouTube playlist above. Pick a song that speaks to you poetically and write a poem.

You could be inspired by the title, the lyrics or just the emotions that the song evokes. Please do mention your choice somewhere in your post and remember to give credit.

Choose your own form or write in free verse, if preferred. I look forward to reading what you guys come up with. Please do visit others and remember to comment on their poems. Have fun!🍁