Hey Toads Herotomost here! Hope this finds everyone having had an awesome Christmas and getting ready for an even better New Year. Sooo... I am here because Izzy gave me her last challenge. She graciously asked if I would accept...are you kidding! As most of you know I have been around the blogosphere for a while and have camped out with some outstanding writers and individuals. The only reason I found my way to this site was because of Kerry and once here, people like the incomparable Isadora Gruye just sealed the deal for hanging in the garden. Its been love at first read since our Writers Café days. I came a hairs breadth from meeting her last summer (yay for me, probably not as much for her) but alas, it was not to be.
For this challenge, she gave me a list of You Tube links of songs from local artists in her neck of the woods and asked me to write about one of them. The list was really cool and I found myself listening again and again and tracking down other works by each of the artists. I chose to write about the band Actual Wolf. First off its a cool name, second she described them as "folk meets asphalt"...gotta love that and third the song and the video were just too cool for school. Not sure I did this justice, I am a little rusty as of late, but it was fun pulling something together.
IG, it has been a pleasure knowing you and a pleasure being asked to play in one of your challenges. Thanks for the friendship and I hope your 2015 is the best ever!
It's Where Songs Come From....
I wrote this after
seeing an actual wolf
I was searching for
treasure in Alberta Like it’s the dragon’s
lair, I beg to differ honey But I did realize
there are things scarier than you leaving me And this song isn’t so
much about anything It just represents a
point of disembarkation And you don’t have to
We Interrupt this
drivel for station identification…
“Where do you get your Song’s?”
“That’s the sort of question a third grader might ask?”
“I think your fan’s would like to know.”
“Let me tell you something David……my fan’s don’t ask me
stupid questions. All they really want is to hang out, be a part, get a little
close, OK man.”
“Listen, if you really want to know where I get my songs
then open your damned ears, I’m only gonna say this once. Count this down,
“Its Maggie’s dingy thong showing every time she sits down.
It’s my grandmother blowing smoke rings with her pipe.It’s Eddie Vedder in the mother fucking
rafters.It’s Dolly Parton and her
shitty coat.It’s mom making heart for
us kids because she’s making liver for dad and we hate liver.The only thing is David, heart is no damned
consolation to a kid. It’s thinking about how cool it would be to walk on the
moon.It’s smoking a cigarette after the
show with Justin Furstenfeld.It’s
shelling out your last hundred bucks to go see the Avett Brothers. Do you see
what I’m saying David?It’s that stupid
look on your face right now.”
“Of course you don’t get what I’m saying David.You are not an actual wolf.All you got to do is sit down and fucking
listen man…just listen.”
We now return you to
your regularly scheduled programming…
She wrote that after
lying with an actual wolf
After the proselytizing
was done, she was convincing One word can be a savior, a salve, a poultice
for the soul Which word depends on
how far down that road she’s been
You can take her out
and sniff your territory together
But when the snow starts
blowing and the wind cuts It will be nothing compared
to the bite she takes out of your ass
Greetings to all poets and friends on the last Open Link Monday of 2014, and the last presentation of our open forum for sharing poetry in this weekly slot. As of the new year, our Open Link will become The Tuesday Platform, alternately hosted by Marian Kent and Kerry O'Connor. Please remember to visit us on Tuesday, January 6.
This is one of several changes to our line-up in 2015. The Wednesday and Friday Challenges will give way to a once weekly challenge, which will be posted at 12 noon on Thursdays for Friday. This will afford us all extra time for preparation, and allow two days for posting and feedback. This does not mean that any of your favourite hosts or prompts have been lost; they will simply appear at longer intervals, with an 11 week turn-around. For a sneak peek at the line-up January - March, please visit the "New Schedule 2015" Tab at the top of the Home page. The weekend Mini-Challenge will remain unchanged.
The final week of the year brings, for me, a sense of relief, as well as anticipation. It is a good time for retrospection, but also forward planning. With that in mind, please select a poem of your own choice to share with us today.
I take this opportunity to thank all contributors and participants who have made the Imaginary Garden their own. It is indeed a great privilege to read and interact with the high calibre of writers, poets and people who share their gifts so freely.
Welcome to the 12th "Play it Again, Toads!" where we revisit the archived challenges of the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. Choose your own from the archives on the sidebar 2011-2014) or select from three I highlight below.
You may use the images I offer here - if so, please use the photos with an archived challenge. The images are from last year's December trip through the Appalachian Mountains of rural Tennessee. The day was drizzling rain off and on and I was taking the images through the passenger window while my husband was driving.
Original poems only and link your specific post to Mr. Linky below. Make it clear which challenge you are resurrecting by including a link. Also remember to visit the other poets as this is what makes sharing poetry so fun. Thank you and I look forward to reading your poems.
2. A Gift of Wisdom from Maya Angelou - Kerry O'Connor posted this on Christmas day, 2012. I thought it so beautiful, I decided to include it here and offer it as a jumping off point as poetic inspiration.
Artists and poets often consider at least one of the following: light, composition, moment, time, palette, wonder. The Holiday season is often a time to reflect upon love, peace, grace - a time to step away from the hard realities that often besiege us daily (whether it be personal or through the ever present 24/7 news) and find inspiration and solace in that which is simply beautiful.
For this month's Artistic Interpretations challenge, you may use one of my images or link an image from the above book (we do not have permission to use the photos) I have also selected a few quotes scattered throughout the above mentioned book and offered them for poetic inspiration as well. (My accompanying photographs I in no way think do justice to the words but are humbly offered.)
Mr. Linky is provided at the bottom of this page. Friday is often a hectic day, so feel free to submit late and remember Monday is "Open Link" here in the Garden.
"From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all." Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Beauty if not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart." Kahlil Gibran
Photo: M. Bednar
"Beauty is a form of genius - is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation." Oscar Wilde
"Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame." G. K. Chesterson
Photo: M. Bednar
"Of which beauty will you speak? There are many…" Eugene Delacroix
"Wisdom is the abstract of the past, but beauty is the promise of the future." Oliver Wendell Holmes
Photo: M. Bednar
"What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself - life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose." Willa Cather
"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself." Henry Miller
"I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." Winston Churchill
"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought." Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"Spring comes: the flowers learn their colored shapes." Maria Konopnicka
Photo: M. Bednar
"There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect." G. K. Chesterton
"I think the world really boils down to two types of people - those who see shapes in cloud formations, and those who just see clouds." Danzae Pace
Welcome back to Out of Standard, where I will call upon you to write out of the standard and find new places in the everyday. It is in that spirit in which I present today's challenge...
Humbug: Origins Ebenezer Scrooge made "Bah Humbug" famous in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carroll. But the phrase existed before Dickens' time. According to the1911 Classic Encyclopedia, Humbug dates back to the mid-1700s andis synonymous with a hoax or a sham. When Scrooge used it in A Christmas Carol, he was commenting that Christmas was a hoax or deception. In fact, this is not the only literary use of the phrase, as the venerable Wizard of Oz declares himself to be “just a humbug.” And through time, many have forgotten that the phrase meant anything at all, simply associating it was a bad attitude about Christmas. The Prompt Use "humbug" in poem not related to winter, christmas, or holidays. Extra points for adding the "Bah" to it!
KEEP IN MIND
Like every challenge, your poem must by newly written for this challenge 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.
This is such a wonderful
community; full of writers who find the best words to inspire each other. I love
adding my bits to all the prompts, and get a tad anxious when my time runs too
short. Starting January, my days will be even fuller with hospitals, doctors
and (I hope) with healing.
I shall continue to participate
on Open Link Monday. This is not goodbye… I’m just hopping to the side, so someone
else can have the lily pad full-time. Now share a poem of your choosing. Visit
other word lovers. And have a merry Monday, dear Toads!
I took this picture some time before I
knew about The Garden… But every time I see the wee frog, I think of this blog.
Our word substitution mini-challenge for the month of December, must inevitably turn to the titles of well-loved Christmas tales. However, this would not be the Imaginary Garden if there were not a dash of the unconventional. The object of this exercise is to consider the role of words in titles and how nuance and meaning can be changed by the slightest adjustments.
John Updike and Tim Burton are way ahead of us in substituting words into the titles of favourite carols.
Although I am not familiar with the following title, Christopher Moore seems to have been rather innovative in his approach to the traditional Christmas Tale.
If you prefer the quirky and humorous or would like to explore the underside of the festive season, then choose from the titles above and substitute your own nouns and adjectives, or select your own Christmas title (something well-known) and work your magic on it.
The Twelve _________ of Christmas
The ________ Before Christmas
The ________ Angel
However, if your would like something more traditional, then use the title of O. Henry's beloved tale.
The Gift of the _________
The _________ of the Magi
These titles were sourced HERE, and there are more to choose from on that site.
For those who are celebrating Hanukkah, here is a range of titles from Goodreads.
If the spirit moves you to participate in this challenge, I hope you will have a lot of fun with it.
Special greetings, Toads! Today we are following Kevn Kinney on a tour of the American South.
Kevn Kinney is a songwriter and troubadour hailing from Atlanta, Georgia (by way of Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he grew up). He is best known as the lead singer and guitarist for the band Drivin N Cryin. Kevn Kinney writes poignant story-songs about life and love, often sharing the stage with a cast of other musician characters you might know.
It’s worth listening to this version of "Broken Hearts and Auto Parts" all the way through, as Kevn gets a truly classic story in at the end. This song is the title track from his 2002 album; the studio version is great, as it (and the whole record) features harmony vocals from Sarah Lee Guthrie. But I love this capture of Kevn’s live performance.
Toads, your challenge is to look back over the past twelve months and write a poem completing this sentence: “It’s [blank] and [blank] this year.” You don’t have to use that line in your poem, but please channel its spirit and bring on a story(-ies). Write about heartbreak, automobiles, expensive dates, advice from your father, or whatever else comes to mind as you reflect on this year that is coming to a close. As always, please link up something new for this prompt, and I look forward to reading!
As we near the end of 2014, I realize with some dismay what an Annus Horribilis it has been in terms of threats to global peace, local and international tragedies relating to disease and deaths: accidental, criminal and suicidal. Terms such as ISIS and Boko Haram have taken their places in our vocabularies along with others, such as Ebola, Flights Mh370 and M17. Places, such as Gaza, Ukraine and Ferguson, Missouri, have gained in notoriety. In a year which commemorated the centenary of World War 1 and 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, we may wonder how far we have advanced socially in the last century.
All Images sourced from
various online news publications.
Copyright belongs to individual photographers.
It often falls to the poets, novelists, playwrights - the writers - to become the voice of their times, to describe the untenable, and highlight what is most uncomfortable, even unforgivable, in the historical present. The words of Mephistopheles, a character in The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, a play by Christopher Marlowe (published post-humously in 1604), based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge, ring true today:
"Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed In one self place, for where we are is hell, And where hell is must we ever be."
— Christopher Marlowe
Title page of 1620 Edition
Some scholars believe that Marlowe developed the story of the Faust legend from a popular 1592 translation, commonly called The English Faust Book. There is thought to have been an earlier, lost, German edition of 1587, which itself may have been influenced by even earlier, equally unpreserved pamphlets in Latin. Suffice it to say, that the tale itself speaks not of any one author, but of human experience, hubris and downfall, with themes hearkening back to the myth of the Fall: a source of hidden knowledge, a temptation, a price to be paid, a world of sin. OUR CHALLENGE: Mix these ideas together, with your own knowledge and experience of the year 2014, and see what poetry may be the result.
Where possible, the sources of images have been acknowledged. If a photo or picture appears on this post, which you own, and want to have removed, please contact the blog editor.
Good Monday morning, poets and poetry lovers. Please link up and share a poem with us, and visit to read the writing of others. Monday's open link is the bedrock of our garden, and we are pleased to welcome you here.
Have a great week, everyone. Hope you all have the chance to slow down and reflect in a busy time.
Hi everyone ! I am happy to introduce you to James Wright. He is frequently referred to as one of America's finest contemporary poets. He was admired by critics and fellow poets alike for his willingness and ability to experiment with language and style, as well as for his thematic concerns.
On December 13, 1927, James was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio. His father worked for fifty years at a glass factory, and his mother left school at fourteen to work in a laundry; neither attended school beyond the eighth grade. While in high school in 1943 Wright suffered a nervous breakdown and missed a year of school. When he graduated in 1946, a year late, he joined the army and was stationed in Japan during the American occupation. He then attended Kenyon College on the G.I. Bill, and studied under John Crowe Ransom. He graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1952, then married another Martins Ferry native, Liberty Kardules. The two traveled to Austria, where, on a Fulbright Fellowship, Wright studied the works of Theodor Storm and Georg Trakl at the University of Vienna. He returned to the U.S. and earned master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Washington, studying with Theodore Roethkeand Stanley Kunitz. He went on to teach at The University of Minnesota, Macalester College, and New York City’s Hunter College.
The poverty and human suffering Wright witnessed as a child profoundly influenced his writing and he used his poetry as a mode to discuss his political and social concerns. He modeled his work after Thomas Hardy and Robert Frost, whose engagement with profound human issues and emotions he admired. The subjects of Wright’s earlier books, The Green Wall (winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets award, 1957) and Saint Judas (1959), include men and women who have lost love or have been marginalized from society for such reasons as poverty and sexual orientation, and they invite the reader to step in and experience the pain of their isolation. Wright possessed the ability to reinvent his writing style at will, moving easily from stage to stage. His earlier work adheres to conventional systems of meter and stanza, while his later work exhibits more open, looser forms, as with The Branch Will Not Break (1963). James Wright was elected a fellow of the Academy of American Poets in 1971, and the following year his Collected Poems received the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He died in New York City on Martch 25, 1980.
You can read more of his works here. Our challenge is to write a new poem or prose poem in response to James Wright's words. Some examples of responses include affirming what the speaker said or using his title or line of verse as a jumping board for your own writing. The prompt is wide open so feel free to explore where your muse takes you. I look forward to reading your work ~ Happy weekend to all ~ Grace (aka Heaven)
You guessed its intriguing draw...the remarkable pink color is cause for pause!
Lake Hillier is a bubble-gum-pink and it's literally just a few steps away from a “normal” colored Southern Ocean.
Scientists speculate that it’s color is caused by a reaction of sea salt and sodium bicarbonate (which you know as baking soda), and/or caused by red halophilic bacteria in the salt crusts.
This clip, (while slightly on the obnoxious side), is mildly entertaining in its dry-humor and highly informative in its scientific explanation about the phenomenon of this natural wonder. If you can tolerate it - its worth the three minutes...I think. :)
Explore this location and allow your poetic heart to swim in rosy water awhile...submerge and surface with any aspect of this place that inspires you.
It could be as far-fetched as a giant's discarded glob of chewing gum, one could employ metaphor or delve into the microscopic realm of the red halophilic bacteria...point being, the challenge is open for the poet's choosing.
Please, write something new and specifically for this post, link up and visit the others listed and feel free to join late...we'll be sure to check back for new links to read!
Thank you so much for writing and I hope everyone has a wonderful and peaceful weekend.
Images featured are borrowed from web, "free images."
A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning, and may differ in spelling. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of "rise"), or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or to, two, and too. ---Wikipedia
Today, we're playing with homophones. Any topic, any form, but your piece must include at least one pair of homophones . . . and, be 75 words or less.
I love cultural holidays that are based on living and
merriment. When the snow falls thickly on the land, the Winter Solstice is my
favorite. This year, my family and I will celebrate by cooking and eating yummy
foods, and watching classic cartoons (I chose The ThunderCats!).
We have many traditions attached to the Winter Solstice. My
husband and I wake up before the sun comes up, and go to the nearest
woods—preferable near water—to wait for the Baby Sun to smile on us. We also
eat fresh oranges for first breakfast.
After we welcome the sun, I make a candle; most
often from recycled wax from the previous months. One of my favorite bits
is to make a candle holder from an orange peel, and decorate it with other
leftover yumminess: peels from pomegranates I ate on All Hallow’s Eve, used
cinnamon from hot chocolate, star of anise from tea…
Then at night, we light a small fire, to which we feed the fruit peels and sweet herbs I’ve been gathering for weeks. Yes, the scent is
Do you partake on any winter holiday celebrations that are
personal to you and yours?
May your Monday be glorious, dear Toads. Stay warm, if you
dwell in areas currently kissed by winter’s cold. If not, I’ll try not
to envy your warm weather. Please share a poem. You choose the
theme, publication date and everything else. As always, do visit other lovers