Monday, March 31, 2014

Open Link Monday

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden ...

photo credit: yui.kubo via photopin cc

Greetings to all friends, poets and passersby! I am especially excited about the upcoming week because toads have committed to providing a prompt a day in April, in support of all bloggers who are attempting to complete the NaPoWriMo Challenge. This blogsite does not intend to set itself up in competition with any other site in this regard. Our motivation is to provide support and a platform for sharing the poems written by our members and followers. Our links are open to anyone, regardless of whether he or she may be a regular contributor or not. I see it as a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the love of poetry and personal commitment to writing with others who feel the same way.

Back to this week's Open Link: please link up a poem of your choice - if you missed an earlier challenge this week, OLM is the perfect opportunity to catch up. You are welcome to share pieces written for other memes, or to delve into your archives for an older poem. Anything goes... so long as it is poetry. I reiterate that posts with no poetry will be removed from the list below.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Month of Five Sundays ~ Mini-Challenge

Today’s mini-challenge is simple. Complete the following line and use it at any point in your poem.

There are things we kept secret after … 

photo credit: DerrickT via photopin cc 

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” 
― Roald Dahl

photo credit: Toni Blay via photopin cc 

“People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts.” 
― Veronica RothInsurgent

photo credit: liquidnight via photopin cc

“I thought about how there are two types of secrets: the kind you want to keep in, and the kind you don't dare to let out.” 
― Ally CarterDon't Judge a Girl by Her Cover

Write something new, fiction, fact or fancy and link it up below.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Artistic Interpretations with Margaret - Flowers

Welcome to "Artistic Interpretations" with Margaret.   For March's challenge, I ask you to contemplate the hidden and obvious nature of flowers.  Delve into the mystery, mythology, astrology, symbols, and distinct personality of your favorite flower.   Think about why it holds meaning for you.  What would it be like to traverse inside of its petals, what does it say to you in those quiet, contemplative moments…

The Secret Language of Flowers

What's Your Sign - Zodiac Flower signs & Flower Astrology Meanings

And below is a You Tube video I found of "A Bloom a Day" - A Fortune-Telling Birthday Book.  I have it on my bookshelf and really enjoy it.

Did you know that in the Victorian era, flowers held hidden meanings, also knows as "floriograpy"?  Even in medieval times, flowers had specific moral meanings.  Believe it or not, there is a specific flower for every day of the year.

I adore the purple iris.  I was thrilled no end the first time I saw them in their natural habitat - it was a gift of beauty and joy to see them beside a bog garden; dappled with light, huge trees hovering over them,  quite defiant, something so delicate surrounded by the rough and tumble of thick weeds and tall grass.   

The iris was named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow.  Iris was the messenger of the gods and rode the rainbow to and from the Earth in her multi-colored robes.  The iris stands for many things: honesty, devotion, sophistication, sensitivity, loyalty, a bit of passion, and more.  The flour-de-lis is a stylized iris and is the symbol for royalty and a symbol of France. 


Faith I found
by the ol' bog garden
wrapped in a lavender gown.
A show-stopper she,
draped across trail's path,
nature's fleur-de-lis, displayed.

Sword-like guards
warned "Just admire",
so I sat and listened
to secrets softly shared
of truth-filled beauty,
promises of love
and spirituals gently sung.

Wisdom comes in many forms
and grateful I'll always be
to have happened upon
this rainbow's drop
beside still waters
of the ol' garden bog.

by Margaret Bednar, originally written June 15, 2013

The garden shed's window is wide open for interpretation.   It is not required it be an entirely new poem - if you would like to take an older poem and rework it to meet this theme, please feel free to do so.  You may use my images, but I encourage you to do so only if you have a connection to the type of flower it is.

Please link your specific post to "Mr. Linky" below and feel free to write to more than one image or about one flower.  As we know, Friday is often a hectic day, so please feel free to submit late and remember, Monday is "Open Link" here in the Garden.   I look forward to your artistic interpretations.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Get Listed with hedgewitch: Mind and Symbol

The Sun fighting the Moon: "The "conjunction of opposites", or meeting of opposites represents the conjunction of the conscious and the unconscious (alchemical engraving from Aurora consurgens Treaty, 1500)." Public domain via

"Our soul, as our body, is composed of all elements that have existed in the lineage of our ancestors. The "new" in the individual soul is a recombination, infinitely varied, of extremely old components "
- C. G. Jung

Greetings, Toads, Toadettes and Garden aficionados, hedgewitch here. Those who've paid attention to my various ramblings over the years know I've had a certain resistance to working from word lists, so it may seem odd to see me in charge today of our Get Listed challenge. Gradually, however, the creative persistence of our various Garden dwellers and followers has drawn me into an exercise I've come to find very productive and rewarding. I hope you will find it the same. 

Note: I do tend to go on and on, people, so if you'd like to skip all the verbiage and cut to the chase, feel free to scroll down at any time to the bold text below titled The Challenge, where all the nuts and bolts are located.

So today it's my turn to present a list, and my source material is the world of dreams and symbols, the unconscious mind, and its role in our creative process and indeed our lives, as explored in the works of analytical psychologist and spiritual explorer, Carl Gustav Jung.

C.G. Jung, frontispiece, 1964 edition, Man and His Symbols

From wikipedia link above:

"Carl Gustav Jung (/26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961), often referred to as C. G. Jung, was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology... the central concept of ...[which] individuation—the psychological process of integrating opposites, including the conscious with the unconscious, while still maintaining their relative autonomy.... Jung proposed and developed [among others,] the concepts of extraversion and introversion; archetypes, and the collective unconscious...

His work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion, philosophy, archeology, anthropology, literature, and related fields. He was a prolific writer, many of whose works were not published until after his death." ~wikipedia

 “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
― C.G. Jung

Cover of 1964 edition  The mandala is a frequently used spiritual symbol in many cultures.

“One book opens another.”
― C.G. Jung

I've always been fond of picture books, books that tell their narrative with illustrations as much as words, especially those that deal with myth, magic and history, so it's no surprise that one of my favorites is Jung's enormous word-and-picture book Man and His Symbols. Our word list today is drawn from the first chapter of this literary project Jung worked on shortly before his death in 1961: a presentation of his theories of psychological analysis, dreams, and components of the unconscious mind using extensive imagery. It was intended for a general audience rather than the psychoanalytic specialist, and  I recommend it to all who'd like to take a visual and verbal trip down below our mental floorboards, where so much of the material for our poetry and for art is found.

Below you will find some pictures and concepts drawn from the book to get us going:

This painting by Paul Gauguin (Two Tahitian Women, 1899) is used in Man and his Symbols to illustrate one stage of the anima, or female inside the male: the primal woman. Public domain via
Saint Michael fighting the dragon, Hours of Etienne Chevalier, illuminated by Jean Fouquet. Innumerable symbols here: "The scene is inspired by chapter 12 of the Apocalypse which describes the combat of St. Michael against the dragon, symbol of the forces of Evil. Assisted by the angels, one of whom holds his helmet and lance, Michael raises his  sword against a monster of seven heads in front of a mountainous and fantastic landscape. Below, the caves of  hell open where Satan oversees the torture of hearts. On the right, one sees in the flames the dragon  defeated  by the archangel." Public domain via

Rock Garden After Rain, by ECP on Flick'r,Creative Commons
"Stones are frequent images of the Self (because they are complete--ie; 'unchanging'--and lasting)" ~quoted from Man & His Symbols, p. 207

Another illustration used in Man and His Symbols, George De La Tour's Repenting Magdalene, 1630, contains many universal symbols, including the skull, the candle flame, the book, the mirror and Mary Magdealene herself. Public Domain via

The Challenge: 

“Words are animals, alive with a will of their own”
―C.G. Jung
Now, without any further incursions into the world of psychoanalysis and its complexities and jargon on my part, I'd like us to attempt to dig into the world of mind and symbol, and write about something that comes from 'under the hood' of our conscious thought process. The piece should deal with the world of dreams, the mind,  symbols or the unconscious. It may retell an archetypal myth. It may be about a specific dream. It may be about sanity or madness, or it may explore and focus on any one or more of the symbols shown in these pictures or on a personally meaningful one. 

I have included thirty-two words (below) so that our poems may take different directions. There is no maximum number limit, but also no requirement to use them all, either. 

However you must use at least five of the words from this list drawn from Chapter One of Man & His Symbols, in your choice of either a poem utilizing a form, in a prose-poem,  or in free verse.  
So without further ado, here is the word list.  
Have at it, pond dwellers, and show us what is hidden beneath those mental floorboards


As always new work is preferred, but if by utilizing a significant number of words (10 or more) from the list above, an older work can be given a new voice that fits in with the theme, that is also welcome. If you choose to revamp an older work, feel free to include both versions. 

If using any of the images I've included, please include attribution, as always.

C.G. Jung quotes via Goodreads