Monday, September 16, 2019

Out of Standard: Gimme (fallout) shelter

Greetings Garden Dwellers!

It's time for the Out of Standard, where you'll dig into the farthest reaches of your imagination to create something unexpected. 

Gimme (fallout) shelter
To level set, a fallout shelter is a building or other structure designed to protect people from radioactive fallout after a nuclear explosion. Here in the states, they were quite popular in the 50's-60's during our cold war with Russia. 

For this prompt, imagine you are living alone in a fallout shelter.  Write a poem that encompasses you daily routine. 

While this seems pretty specific, there is lots of room for you to play. A few considerations:

  • Why are you living in the shelter? Has there been a disaster, or are you just paranoid? 
  • How big is your shelter?  Did you build a huge, underground facility with plenty of space or did you dig a small hole in your backyard?
  • What sort of things have you taken care to stock? Do you have a room full of nutrient-rich canned goods, or did you decide to stock Twinkies and cakes?
  • What sort of routines have you decided to skip now that it is just you?

That's it. The platform is yours. The mic is warm.

Keep in mind
Like every challenge, your poem must by newly written and not one which you have previously written which conveniently fits the theme.

So go now, my muddy buddies, and bring us back something shiny and new.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Just One Word: Groovy

Photo Credit: <a href="">Background vector created by -</a>

Monday, September 9, 2019

Guest Listed! with Helen Dehner

It’s fitting Kerry invited this ‘old toad’ to guest in September, my birth month ~  Seventy-eight and still kicking!

I spent the majority of 2018 caring for my son Carl. Four emergency room visits, surviving sepsis, liver and colon abscesses, three hospitalizations, three surgeries. Seven months of terror, stress and finally celebrating his recovery. 

Helen and Carl

Poetry took a back seat to everything else in my life.  I joined a book club in January, back to volunteering in Community Theatre (props, costumes, backstage crew) and will join an acapella women’s singing group in October.  Oh! And I am learning to play the harmonica, channeling Bob Dylan (Okay, I am laughing out loud) who also celebrated seventy-eight in May.

Crater Lake
Bend, Oregon

Here is the list of words to choose from, which reflects much of our September Book Club choice “My Dear Hamilton” by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie. Eliza’s story is fascinating, as is learning more about the political climate and lives of our founding fathers.

I look forward to reading your poems, any form .. any length. I enjoy all of you immensely. Please use 3 or more words in a new poem written for this challenge.


Friday, September 6, 2019

Art FLASH / 55

For this weekend's art collaboration, I am introducing an illustrator in mixed media, Cat Schappach, who is a marvel of dark surrealism. She has kindly given permission for us to use her piece entitled Seamstress.


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

Feel free to pay her a visit on Instagram, where more of her artworks are to be viewed, but not used for this prompt, or follow this link to her Etsy page.

If you post your poem on Instagram, using Cat's image, please tag @catschappach and mention her as the collaborating artist in your post.

Let the image speak to you and respond in a poetic form of your choosing: Literal! Figurative! Reflective! Narrative! Symbolic!

As an alternative, you may write a Flash Fiction 55 inspired by the art, or on a subject of your choice, in memory of Galen, who first imagined this challenge. Prose is acceptable but must be within the limit of 55 words!

From September, the weekend challenge will post early on Friday. I wish to remind all participants that this linky does not expire and the post remains open and at the top of the page until Monday. If you link early, please return to read other poems linked up after your own.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Wordy Monday with Wild Woman: Castle Ruins, Lowering Skies........Tell us a Story!

The Moors, North Yorkshire

The Moors, the lowering skies, the ruins of a castle, 
the ghosts of times long past, the phantom tinkling of a piano, 
and ............. Go!

This prompt seems ideal for taking a page out of
Magaly's book. 
Tell us a story - in either poetry or prose - 
in 313 words or less.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

The unreliable narrator

Hello fellow amphibians of the pond. Today we shall explore the concept of the unreliable narrator, which is a concept defined first 1961 by Wayne C. Both in The Rhetoric of Fiction, and which means a story told from someone whose credibility is seriously compromised. 

The unreliable narrator is a concept that is one of the pillars of postmodern literature, and when reading about the concept I realize how many of my favorite books that uses this type of storytelling , but it’s not until very recently that I feel that the unreliable narrator now rules the world.

For simplicity let us say that only the first person perspective can be used for this prompt, even though it can probably be done in other perspectives as well.

There are different types of unreliable narrators, but both in literature and there are many classifications, but what is common is that we know, sooner or later, that the story is compromised. This is not necessarily the same as the narrator lying, we just realize that we cannot trust the person telling the story, but still he fascinates and we cannot turn away and  just continue to listen. 

If this has been a strong trend in fiction, the same cannot be said for poetry. Poetry always has to be honest, and even if the poet sometimes lies, we can always trust his or her honesty.

Maybe this is a good thing, truth is better than lies, but one of the things with writing to prompts is to leave your comfort zone, and after all we cannot avoid listening to the liar, the madman, the braggart or the clown.

Today I want you to become an unreliable narrator. Tell me a story that is not yours, exaggerate and lie, but think a bit on how to expose yourself. Should you make it apparent from the start, should you gradually let it seep in, or should you reveal it as a twist at the end.

Baron von Münchhausen was a definitely an unreliable narrator

Also remember there can be many truths hidden behind the unreliable narrator. I did for instance feel the horrors from the bombings of Dresden even if was shown through the voice Billy Pilgrim; I never believed young Alex in a Clockwork Orange, but his story exposed a dystopian society better than a truthful narrative would ever do.

A poem is not a novel, so I am very curious how you will meet this challenge in a fairly short poem. I know that a few of you will love this prompt while others will just hate it, but at least it’s not Physics this time.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Micro Poetry ~ Fill The Empty Parts

The object of this challenge is to write a poem in no more than 10 lines (but you may write in fewer than 10 lines all the way down to a single American sentence). Choose your own form or write in free verse, if preferred. We are taking inspiration today from Rupi Kaur, using the reference: 'fill the empty parts...'

Copyright Rupi Kaur
Fair Use Principles

More examples of the poet's work may be viewed on Instagram @rupikaur. I look forward to reading a number of short poems. The link does not expire, so please feel free to write more than one poem, and a return to comment on poems linked later would be appreciated.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Tuesday Platform

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 

by T.S Eliot 

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

One of the first true modernist poems, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is a shifting, repetitive monologue, the thoughts of a mature male as he searches for love and meaning in an uncertain, twilight world.

Eliot's poem caught the changes in consciousness perfectly. At the time of writing, class systems that had been in place for centuries were under pressure like never before. Society was changing, and a new order was forming. World War 1 was on the horizon and the struggles for power were beginning to alter the way people lived and thought and loved.

Greetings poets, wayfarers and friends. It's a beautiful day here and I am looking forward to reading some poetry with a lovely cup of mochaccino.

Before we begin there is an important announcement that I'd like to make, as of September 1, The Tuesday Open Link Platform will fall away. The Weekly prompts will shift to Monday and the Weekend prompts to Friday. See you on the poetry trail! 🍣