Saturday, October 31, 2015


Greetings to all poets and friends!
It is time for this month's Flash 55 Challenge. The rules of this prompt have not changed: Write a piece of poetry or prose on a subject of your choice in precisely 55 WORDS.

This is Halloween by polish-girl
DeviantArt (2007)
No Infringement of Copyright intended



Samhain, All Saints' Eve, Halloween... Call it what you will, the night of 31 October has its own significant spot on the yearly calendar. Centuries before it became what it is today, Halloween served as a night of prophesy rather than partying. Samhain, the festival for the Celtic new year, marked the day when summer ended and winter began. Associating winter with human death, the Celts believed that the border between the living and the dead became blurred, and the dead would return in the form of ghosts. It was thought that in the presence of these spirits, the Druids, or priests, were better suited to form prophesies. People would build a bonfire as a sacrifice to the Celtic gods while wearing costumes comprised of animal heads and skins and attempt to predict each other’s futures. They would later light their own hearth fires with the bonfire’s flames for protection from winter’s devastation.

Though some scholars believe Allhallowtide developed from these rituals, others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots, as the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.

The optional extra prompt today, invites you to write to the theme of Halloween.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Artistic Interpretations with Margaret - Washington D.C.

Welcome to "Artistic Interpretations".  I have just spent five days in Washington D.C. (traveling home today) and daily added a few impressions that captured my attention.  This first image, iconic Marilyn Monroe, is from a previous trip to D.C.  The rest are impressions of the area around DC. The monuments we are seeing on a night tour tonight so I don't have them for this challenge.

Feel free to respond to these images in any way you like.

Please post an original poem to "Mr. Linky" below and feel free to write to more than one image.  Remember to be friendly and visit the other poets.   As always, I am looking forward to your artistic interpretation.

Colonial star beads 1552 Peru

Jones Point Lighthouse 

Khipu. Inka knotted strings for communication/recording.  Never had writing system

JFK and Jackie graves. Perpetual flame at Arlington National Cemetry below Robert E Lees home

Unique silhouette at Arlington Cemetery

Highlands Gorilla at Zoo

Bench in DC. Just because it's pretty

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Tuesday Platform

If the Imaginary Garden isn't a nice community, I don't know what is. Please spread the happiness by sharing a poem with us today, and reading the work of others. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Play It Again, Toads!

 Welcome to the 22nd Play it Again, Toads!  where archived challenges of this Imaginary Garden come to life again.  Have fun exploring the archived challenges from the sidebar (2011-2015) or choose one from three I've highlighted below.

Most of the photos were taken last weekend in North Carolina's Appalachian Mountain area - fairly close to the Virginia state border.    In a few months... my "backyard"

Please submit an original poem and link your specific post to Mr. Linky below and be sure to make it clear which challenge you are resurrecting by including a link. You may use my photos, but it is not required.

As always, please be neighborly and visit the other wonderful poets.

1)    Imagined by Kerry O'Connor "Paul Laurence Dunbar - 7 line stanza poem"

2)    Imagined by Grapling "Masks"

3)    Imagined by Herotomost "Its ma thing.... nostalgia"

Thursday, October 22, 2015


That this video by Sia has been viewed nearly a billion times doesn't make it any less fascinating or poetic. I just love this, truly. And hope you find some inspiration here.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Tuesday Platform

Welcome to The Imaginary Garden...

“Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged. Missing me one place, search another. I stop somewhere waiting for you.” ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Greetings to all poets, friends and followers. Tuesday is Open Link day here in the Garden. All are welcome to participate by sharing a poem of their own choice, something freshly ground or taken from storage. Please take the time to visit the links of your fellow poets.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Falling Into Lines - Weekend Mini Challenge

Fall is falling where I live.  Fall is even falling off (meaning that it is right now a wintry 33 degrees fahrenheit.)  I live, in short, in mountains.  Which people also sometimes fall off of.

And which are littered with apple trees that apples fall off of, and apples, come to think of it, are rumored to have generated a fall of their very own.

Masaccio's Expulsion From Eden
Before/After Restoration
(Wiki Commons)

Sure, In some places (I’m thinking of you, Kerry), Spring is springing, but spring too animates certain kinds of falls (as in Victoria). 

Which brings me to my prompt-- fall.  In whatever version you wish.  From grace.  Off the wagon.  Onto the ground.  Into the sea.  Or luck.  Or out of luck. Or love.  Or out of love. 

Of course, you can simply write of fall as Autumn.  Or something spooky that happens in Autumn (like October).  But do not feel required to!  I really want this to be very broad.

You can start writing right now, and read NO MORE (other than your friends/co-poets).  Or, if you want further inspiration, you can read a couple of my favorite examples of poems involving falls.

I’m giving you an escape hatch because the first selection is from Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, published in 1590, where, towards the end of Book I, the Redcrosse Knight, fighting a terrible dragon, is burnt (in part because his armor has been poisoned), beaten and falls into a pit, which seems the absolute end of him, but which turns out to be a Well of Life, i.e. renewal,  

Healed, the knight fights pretty well the next day but then is again wounded, and the second time happens to fall smack into a creek of Balm.  Spenser seems to have loved this device and I too have always loved it because it reminds me how one can literally stumble onto a good thing (even if it seems pretty awful at first hit.)  

XXVIII  (From Book One of The Faerie Queene - describing wounded, poisoned,Redcrosse Knight) 

Faint, wearie, sore, emboyled, grieved, brent
 With heat, toyle, wounds, armes, smart, and inward fire,         
  That never man such mischiefes did torment;
  Death better were, death did he oft desire,
  But death will never come, when needes require.
  Whom so dismayd when that his foe beheld,
 He cast to suffer him no more respire,                     
But gan his sturdy sterne about to weld,
And him so strongly stroke, that to the ground him feld.


It fortuned, (as faire it then befell,)
  Behind his backe unweeting, where he stood,
  Of auncient time there was a springing well,                     
  From which fast trickled forth a silver flood,
  Full of great vertues, and for med'cine good.
  Whylome, before that cursed Dragon got
  That happy land, and all with innocent blood
  Defyld those sacred waves, it rightly hot                        
_The well of life_, ne yet his vertues had forgot.


For unto life the dead it could restore,
  And guilt of sinfull crimes cleane wash away,
  Those that with sicknesse were infected sore
  It could recure, and aged long decay                            
  Renew, as one were borne that very day.
  Both Silo  this, and Jordan did excell,
  And th' English Bath, and eke the German Spau;
  Ne can Cephise, nor Hebrus match this well:
Into the same the knight back overthrowen, fell.                  

Another poet that I would direct you too is Rainer Maria Rilke.  He has written a few beautiful poems about Autumn--one called Autumn Day -about ripening, and another even more beautiful (I think) poem called Autumn, about everything falling, and Someone holding that falling in their hands.  (I cannot find a good link for that one.)   But here's another Rilke poem that uses the idea of a fall in a non-autumnal way (writing more, perhaps, of the fall of night): 


The sky puts on the darkening blue coat
held for it by a row of ancient trees;
you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,
one journeying to heavens, one that falls:

and leave you, not at home in either one,
not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,
not calling to eternity with the passion
of what becomes a star each night, and rises:

and leave you (inexpressibly to unravel)
your life, with its immensity and fear,
so that, now bounded, now immeasurable,
it is alternately stone in you and star.

by Rainer Maria Rilke, Stephen Mitchell (best translator of Rilke ever in my view) from The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, edited and translated by Stephen Mitchell, Vintage International.  (I hope this is not copyright infringement and urge you to all buy Mitchell's translations of Rilke or of anyone.)  

Speaking of copyright--other than the Masaccio (ha!), all the pics and drawings here are mine, Karin Gustafson, Manicddaily (also known as Outlawyer on Blogger.)  Anyone is free to use a pic for their poem, but please give proper attribution. 

Anyway, poets, may some poem falls into lines for you today.  Please do visit your friends. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fireblossom Friday: BEechwood-4-5789

Fireblossom here with another challenge for you. If you're old enough, you remember rotary phones. If you're even older than that, you remember telephone exchanges, the random words that contributed the two letters at the beginning of a telephone number. But here at Toads, our words aren't random, right poets?

Here is your challenge, and I give fair warning, it includes a little twist. The first part of the challenge is to write a poem which includes an old-fashioned rotary phone. (Yegods, report me to the Department of Redundancy Department; ALL rotary phones are old fashioned!) 

Now here's the twist. You aren't required to have anyone call or be called, but if you do, the caller (or person called) can NOT be someone who actually might have used a rotary phone! In other words, nobody from the early part of the 20th century through at least the 1960s. They must either be someone who lived before that time, or someone from the present, who would obviously have a newer device. 

What I'm looking for is a little bit of surrealism, or poetic magic. Go ahead and bend reality a bit. Your phone can be either a household phone, a business line, or a public phone booth. It can be in a museum, or a trash bin. Your phone can defy the laws of time. It can be an agent of good or evil; it can be haunted, cursed or lucky. You can have Henry VIII take a call, or have a modern text-happy teenager be relegated to the dial phone Twilight Zone. Have fun with this, and let your imagination roam. 

Please write a NEW poem for this, and because this is Fireblossom Friday, no Oriental short forms like haiku. If you have any questions, dial "O" for the operator!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Tuesday Platform

For inspiration, please enjoy Light's Interrupted Amplitude by Jay Wright

Welcome to the open stage in the Imaginary Garden. Please share with us a poem of your choice today, and the visit the offerings of others. Shine a light with your words. We thank you for sharing.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Up Close & Personal ~ Micro Poetry

Since Grace's wonderful Sunday series of featured poets has come to an end, I will be providing a challenge on the second weekend of the month until the end of the year.

Source: Pinterest

I have returned to the MINI angle of the prompt and combined it with the FORM challenges we enjoyed in the past.

The object of this challenge is to write a poem in no more than 10 lines. You may choose your own form (or go with free verse, if preferred).

For those who would like a bit of guidance, or further choice, I have provided a link to The Poet's Garret page, showing a variety of 10-lined form poems.

The subject matter for your poem is wide open, but bear in mind the 'Up Close & Personal' angle. I look forward to reading a variety of short poems, from Saturday through to Monday. The link does not expire, so please feel free to write more than one poem.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Get Listed for October

from National Geographic - Camel Thorn Trees, Namibia, photo by Frans Lanting

Space has taken up residence where Muse used to pose, so I'm left to compare words: does this one taste like pebble? Because it's said, when in the desert without water, suck on a pebble to soothe your thirst.

Most taste only of sand.

So back to comparing: bumping down the street these seemingly unrelated words have been popping into mind, staying only long enough to leave an impression.

The challenge for this month's Get Listed is to use at least 2 *sets* of words in a new poem. Please, no mixing and matching - when you choose one of the pair, use the other as well.

As a reminder: write your poem and post it to your blog; link that *specific* pen to Mr. Linky below; then return to the garden to visit and comment on your fellow poets' contributions - the link will remain open.

The List:

Illumination / nation
Grim / grin
Pair / despair
Naught / naughty
Ever / every
Thrift / rift
Wonder / wander
Pander / ponder



As always, thanks for participating.

M ~

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Tuesday Platform

Welcome to The Imaginary Garden...

It is never the wrong day to share a word in favour of peace in our time. Dame Helen Mirren reads Attack by Siegfried Sassoon, in support of the Peace One Day campaign (2009).

Greetings to all poets. Tuesday is Open Link day here in the Garden. All are welcome to participate by sharing a poem of their own choice, something freshly ground or taken from storage. Please take the time to visit the links of your fellow poets.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Greetings to all poets and friends!
It is time for this month's Flash 55 Challenge. The rules of this prompt have not changed: Write a piece of poetry or prose on a subject of your choice in precisely 55 WORDS.



The optional extra for this challenge comes in the form of a song:
O Fortuna, composed by Carl Orff (1935 - 1936) and featured in the iconic 1981 movie, Excalibur, directed by John Boorman.
I suggest you pump up the volume and let the words and song inspire your poetic thoughts!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Transforming with Nature's Wonders

Hello, it's Hannah here, suggesting...let’s muse on Mount Roraima,Venezuela/Brazil/Guyana…

Image credits: | Uwe George

The tabletop mountains of the park are considered some of the oldest geological formations on Earth, dating back to some two billion years ago in the Precambrian.
Vegetation on Mount Roraima wiki
Many of the species found on Roraima are unique to the plateau. Plants such as pitcher plants (Heliamphora), Campanula (a bellflower), and the rare Rapatea heather are commonly found on the escarpment and summit. It rains almost every day of the year. Almost the entire surface of the summit is bare sandstone, with only a few bushes (Bonnetia roraimœ) and algae present.

Maverick Rock, the highest point of Mount Roraima wiki
Since long before the arrival of European explorers, the mountain has held a special significance for the indigenous people of the region, and it is central to many of their myths and legends. The Pemon and Kapon natives of the Gran Sabana see Mount Roraima as the stump of a mighty tree that once held all the fruits and tuberous vegetables in the world. Felled by Makunaima, their mythical trickster, the tree crashed to the ground, unleashing a terrible flood. Roroi in the Pemon language means blue-green and ma means great.

Explore and be inspired! Please, add your link to your new poem and share in reading others as well. Thank you, for joining the challenge...this will be open until Saturday...I look forward to your words!

P.S. I apologize for the strange all caps print...I couldn't get it to switch out of this for some reason...I'm really not shouting!! :)'s