Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Sunday Challenge ~ Featuring Mary Ann Potter

Mary Ann is certainly no stranger to the imaginary garden, in fact she is one of our very own toads!  I'm sure we have all admired her unique photographic talent when visiting her blog, From the Starcatcher, and thought how great it would be to write to such an image.  You may have read the little note I left for Mary Ann, after her recent interview on RT, promising that I would be knocking on her door shortly to ask permission to feature her work for the Sunday Challenge.

For those who are not familiar with this Indie poet and photographer, she answers the query: Who Am I?

Artist. Photographer. Writer. Reader. Dreamer. Farmer.
Mary Ann Potter, Windy Hollow Farm, Oxford, NC
To get here you have to drive through Stem
and go just a little way past Shoofly.

Mary Ann often uses her photos as inspiration, or visual realization of her own writing.
This poem was written about an abandoned house, much like the one in the photograph, that called back a memory of her grandmother's old house in Michigan.

Old Houses in Summer

They speak eloquently, these old places:
Gram's had a cottonwood tree,
bright white blooms against the sky
now ghostly in memory,
stairs worn smooth by footsteps
     we deemed endless
now hushed by time.
Wood frames creak in the wind,
absently musing to multiplied flowers,
ancestral blooms planted long ago.

Stand on the porch and look over me.
Look beyond me, a trespasser
who sees one bright tiger lily
     against peeling paint,
pink mimosa blossoms on a long-neglected
and magnolias opening their
     white breasts to the sun.

Mary Ann is particularly drawn to old and abandoned homes, and has made several photographic studies of lighthouses, seeming to capture the haunting presence of historic events and human consciousness now fading into the past.

Mary Ann Potter

Mary Ann has generously offered these beautiful photos for our poetic inspiration.  If you add an image to your post, please acknowledge the name of the artist.  

Please note that you may not select another photograph more to your liking directly from Mary Ann's blog or Flickr stream without first asking her permission.  

The Sunday Challenge is posted on Saturday at noon CST to allow extra time for the creative process, so please do not link up old work which kind of fits the image.  Members will only respond to poetry written specifically for this prompt: this is in the spirit of our Real Toads project to create opportunities for poets to be newly inspired.


Kerry O'Connor said...

I love these pics, Mary Ann, so hard to choose... I shall let my thoughts wonder and see which one pops!

Thank you for your generosity in making them available on RT.

Anonymous said...

Inspiring images, Mary Ann, and what a beautiful poem! - I love old houses too...

Cathy Feaster said...

beautiful photos, Mary Ann. I love the haunting and/or antique feel of all of them. I wish I wasn't heading to work for the weekend...leaves me no time to write.

Mary said...

I will try to work on this over the weekend. Beautiful photos indeed. But I would just like to suggest that anyone who uses Blogger stops using 'word verification,' as in its new form it makes it really discouraging to try to comment. For someone's poem I was just trying to comment on (no one here) I had to attempt it four times before I finally got the words right. Spread the word with others you know. Some may not even know they have it turned on. It is definitely a chore to have to keep proving I am 'not a robot' over and over.

Kay L. Davies said...

I love Mary Ann's photos and it will be difficult enough to choose one of these, never mind cruising her blog for more, so I'm glad that is being discouraged somewhat.
I agree about the word verification. I've had cataract surgery in both eyes and the new verification style is very difficult for me to make out. I'd happily enter two words if they weren't (a) blurry and (b) blurrier.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Haha! You have aptly described these dreadful glyphs, Kay. I have noticed though that they seem never to be rejected. I kind of punch in what I think they are... and viola. So I'm not quite sure what the point is. It will just discourage their use and the robots will take over anyway.

Janet Martin said...

Gorgeous photos! Oh, I hope to carve out a few moments somewhere to absorb them fully and let them 'talk':) Thank-you so much!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

These are SUCH beautiful photos, Mary Ann. I love old houses too - they hold so much history within their walls. You are very talented.

I, too, am having a terrible time trying to guess the verification totally defeats the purpose when "They" make it this difficult. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

These photographs are beautiful! I just linked up a little haiku magic.


Marian said...

wow, Mary Ann. these are gorgeous. the last one is so dreamlike! love them.

Tina´s PicStory said...

great pics!

Grace said...

My post is up ~ Thanks for the wonderful pictures ~

Mimi Foxmorton said...

It is so magical here.......

My sincere thanks for allowing me to share my words in your wonderful garden........

Collage Pirate

Margaret said...

Well, I think the IGWRT's know she is now a personal favorite of mine. I hastily responded as this is a very busy weekend for me, but I will be back on Monday morning, relaxed, drinking coffee and filling up on the past post's talents! You guys are awesome! :)

Herotomost said...

These photos are incredible and it was very hard to choose. Even though they were super inspirational I still had a hard time shaking my Sunday Morning haze....not sure I really did shake it but its a try.

Fireblossom said...

Mercy I struggled with my little prose poem, but I finally got it posted. :-)

Daydreamertoo said...

Lovely pictures, they all tell their own stories, but, I liked the forest scene most of all.
Thanks for the prompt. Glad to take part in it.

Susie Clevenger said...

What beautiful photography Mary Ann. So nice of you to lend it for our inspiration.

Mary B. Mansfield said...

Normally I struggle a bit when it comes to photo prompts, but these photos were so inspiring! Thanks for sharing them with us.

Marian said...

Mary Ann, your photos are incredible. I almost always pass on the photo prompts, for some reason they are difficult for me. Thank you so much for sharing these and waking something up in me :)

Anonymous said...

gorgeous photographs!

i'll be back Monday to visit others.

Laurie Kolp said...

I know I'm late... will also post to Open Link Monday.

I love all the photos here!

Ella said...

Mary Ann your photos evoke words, whispers from the past.
I love your photos, so stunning. Your poem remins me of a home I loved.

Claire MW said...

It was my first time joining in here, but I'm sure not my last. :)