Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Sunday Challenge ~ Featuring Gemma Wiseman

I am sure that Gemma, of Gemma's Greyscale, needs no formal introduction to those of us who are a part of the on-line blogging community, and it is my pleasure to feature her work both as poet and photographer on Real Toads this weekend.

Portrait of the Artist

From Sydney in New South Wales, to the hamlet of Liffey in northern Tasmania, to the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria I have swirled the changing environments of my life into my poetry. Those environments include my world of a high school teacher. Along the way, my passion for photography has grown, probably an inheritance from my father. It seemed inevitable that my love of photography and poetry became two halves of my writer’s dream, my writer’s reality.

Misty Morning, Arthur's Seat
© Gemma Wiseman

by Gemma Wiseman (2008)

Love mystic mornings
Shrouded in tiers of grey lights
Waiting for voices
Like a hushed moment in time
Like life living a first breath
I am mystic wells
Laced in ancient grey questions
Waiting for voices
Like strange haunting memories
Like new risings of old realms


Gemma 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.

Outdoor Chess
© Gemma Wiseman

Any subject, any moment can become a poetic treat. At times – usually over school holidays - my curiosity likes to dabble in, experiment with poetic forms. Shadorma, gogyohka, kyrielle, pantoum, pleiades, tau, monostich and sevenling have been interesting experiences. And sometimes I have tried the occasional sonnet. But when time is pushed, there is nothing like the neat haiku to relieve the creative spirit.

Outdoor Wanderers
© Gemma Wiseman

I am passionate about photography, always seeking the unusual perspective. This photograph captures my interest in the circumstantial mixture of textures and patterns. Sometimes I see an unexpected, quirky moment that is bound to stir a smile! Why not imagine a poetic dialogue. Sometimes poetry needs a healthy injection of humour.

Musician outside shopping centre
© Gemma Wiseman

People! What a treasure trove for writing when the time of highs and lows, the tones and metaphors are waiting in free verse. For some reason, I always feel a pinch of sadness when I see and hear a street musician. This guy in particular played the most haunting musical pulses. I spent about an hour leaning on a pole, just listening, enchanted. I still don't even know his name.

Windchimes in a rainy window
© Gemma Wiseman

My latest ventures involve writing poetry to lesser known paintings on my AuraGem’s Painterly Songlines and writing poetic review of books on Songlines on the Winds. I feel reviews can become narrow glimpses, sometimes cold and calculating overviews of their subjects. So I am trying to capture the spirit of the painting or book without casting judgment or blurring the freedom of another’s response. I am always looking for new ways of giving poetry a voice in the 21st century.


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.  Management reserves the right to remove unrelated links but invites you to share a poem of your choice on Open Link Monday.


Laurie Kolp said...

Great pictures, Gemma... I especially like the dog!

Maude Lynn said...

I love those windchimes!

hedgewitch said...

Thanks for sharing your words and images, Gemma. I also especially love the windchimes, and the first photo, also.

Peggy said...

I loved getting a glimpse into the life and art of Gemma. Thanks for putting these together! I will give a poetic try to one of the photos.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

The Misty Morning photo is spectacular! And I LOVE your elephant wind chimes, Gemma!!!!! Identity is such a beautiful poem. So lovely to see Gemma featured. Will be back, kids!

Hannah said...

"I am mystic wells
Laced in ancient grey questions
Waiting for voice"

Such an excellent poem Gemma!! love those ancient grey questions!

I love elephants and wind-chimes so the two paired!!

Such spectacular images, Gemma, thank you for inspiring us with them!


Gemma Wiseman said...

Thanks ever so much Kerry for this feature! I am so thrilled! And thanks everyone for the great comments!

Anonymous said...

"I am mystic wells
Laced in ancient grey questions"

This is incredible writing, Gemma.


Ella said...

I, too love your wind chimes. Very cool photos... People are always a great subject :D

Gorgeous writing, it transports you like music. I love these lines:
"I am mystic wells
Laced in ancient grey questions"


Margaret said...

I love this! Your wind chimes added a nice dimension to a poem I was working on... one I would never have thought up on my own.

Your poetry blends so well with your photography... Photography is a favorite prompt of mine as well!

Vaishali Jain said...

This is the first time I wrote a poem through a picture. How awesome is that! I'm glad I joined this site. It's a boost to my creativity.

Loved all the pictures. Thought to go with Outdoor Chess. :)

Hannah said...

My day escaped me in the commenting dept. I promise I'll hop on by fellow toads pads in the new day!! Thank you everyone for your time and thoughts!! :)

BenjaminThomas said...

Posted late but here it is...


Kerry O'Connor said...

@ Benjamin: Your post did not have the work of Gemma Wiseman, so your link has been removed.

Susan said...

Hi Kerry,
Thank you for bringing us Gemma Wiseman again. I attempted a love poem, based on the elephants walking in opposite directions. Then added some rhyme and line count. I am a bit shy about it.