Thursday, June 30, 2016

Weeds in the Garden

Summer’s arrival in my hometown brings some glorious blooms. My Casablanca lilies could be doing better, but I’m thrilled that my careful tending of a black hollyhock seed a couple of years ago has finally yielded results.

Isn't she regal?

Of course there are gatecrashers in the garden. I am again fighting back the bindweed that winds itself around everything that gets near it (and I'm fairly sure it's not helping my poor lilies at all).  But it looks like there are some lovely wild violets about to debut in the backyard. I hope they spread out a bit more.

Today’s prompt is inspired by my labors in my garden. Use weeds as a motif in crafting your poetry. Feel free to play with the prompt any way that inspires you as long as weeds are woven into them. As always, the poem you link up needs a new one and remember to stop by the other poets to see what’s growing in their yards.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Tuesday Platform

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden!

(From Charles M. Schulz Museum Archives, originally published June 7, 1958.)

The Tuesday Platform is a place for sharing poetry. Link up a poem from your blog, old or new. Then visit, read, and comment on the offerings of others. Simple! Enjoy, and we look forward to reading your work.

Share * Read * Comment * Enjoy

Saturday, June 25, 2016

FASHION ME YOUR WORDS ~ a sailing we will go

“I can't control the wind but I can adjust the sail.”
-- Ricky Skaggs

"Give me of your bark, O Birch-tree!
Of your yellow bark, O Birch-tree!
Growing by the rushing river,
Tall and stately in the valley!
I a light canoe will build me,
Build a swift Cheemaun for sailing,
That shall float on the river,
Like a yellow leaf in Autumn,
Like a yellow water-lily!
"Lay aside your cloak, O Birch-tree!
Lay aside your white-skin wrapper,
For the Summer-time is coming,
And the sun is warm in heaven,
And you need no white-skin wrapper!"
Thus aloud cried Hiawatha
Read the rest here
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

To the waters Toads! A sailing we go It’s time to pull up anchor and write me, no more than 100 words of your best sailing stuff. And should you choose to shy away from the water; let it be still, a sailing experience, in dream or fantasy. Should you choose to tap into your inner child, that’s Okay too. Remember the days of folded paper planes flown around the classroom?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bits Of Inspiration ~ Amber Rose Tamblyn

Happy Thursday poets. I have found a very talented celebrity poet I feel will bring inspiration to the garden. Her name is Amber Tamblyn.

Related image

Amber Rose Tamblyn (born May 14, 1983) is an American actress, author, poet, and film director. She first came to national attention in her role on the soap opera General Hospital as Emily Quartermaine, followed by a starring role on the prime-time series Joan of Arcadia, portraying the title character. Her feature film work includes roles in The Sisterhood of the Traveling PantsThe Grudge 2The Ring, and 127 Hours; she had an extended arc as Martha M. Masters on the main cast of the medical drama series House. She also had a starring role on season eleven of the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. (You can read more about Amber Tamblyn here.)

Amber is quite an accomplished young lady. I knew of her from different acting rolls, but never knew she was a poet until I googled her name. Her poetry is uniquely descriptive. Here are some excerpts from her poem Laurel Gene.


Shave off the sheets of my songless childhood success,
expose the rotted age of me now―
My toothless breasts, my hips like a cracked Texas cow skull
hanging crooked on the butcher’s wall.

I was his dark sparkler. A tarantula on fire.
An innocent with apple juice eyes and a brain
full of famished birds.

Here is an excerpt from Amber's poem Thelma Todd.

In the background Debby Harry croons
for a terrace of people titillated for the songs
of incoming messages.
I’m in some charcoal hallway, cornered
by an actress in a bandaged dress,
burned one too many times,
whose cocktail is doing all the healing.

Both poems can be found in her poetry book Dark Sparkler

Amber has the ability to create visuals by using unexpected descriptions, a tarantula on fire, apple juice eyes, a brain full of famished birds. For this challenge I want you to experiment with description. It may be a yellow moon night, but a heroine tweaked, piss stained moon takes it to a whole new place.

Please write, share a new poem on Mr Linky, and visit you fellow poets to "see" what their imaginations have created.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Tuesday Platform

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden...

Muhammad Ali
(1942 - 2016)
On this final Tuesday of June 2016, I wish to draw the curtain on a month of loss and mourning with these positive words of a man who was an icon of the Twentieth Century, and beyond. His challenge to overcome the impossible becomes our own.

Do you have any words written on the passing of Muhammad Ali, which you would like to share today? It has been a heart-breaking month in many respects, and you may have further commentary to make on lessons learnt. However, the platform is yours, and anything goes. Please select a poem of your choice and link it up below.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

the sisters Death and Night ~ Micro Poetry

Death and Life ~ Gustav Klimt


WORD over all, beautiful as the sky!  
Beautiful that war, and all its deeds of carnage, must in time be utterly lost;  
That the hands of the sisters Death and Night, incessantly softly wash again, 
        and ever again, this soil’d world:  
For my enemy is dead—a man divine as myself is dead;  
I look where he lies, white-faced and still, in the coffin—I draw near;          
I bend down, and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.

Walt Whitman

Today is the day we put the "mini' back into the Sunday Mini-Challenge, and return to the option of form poetry. The object of this challenge is to write a poem in no more than 10 lines (but you may write in fewer than 10 lines all the way down to a single American sentence). You may choose your own form or stick to 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, showing a variety of sestets.

 The subject matter for your poem is wide open, but bear in mind 'the sisters Death and Night' angle. I look forward to reading a number of short poems, from Saturday through to Monday. The link does not expire, so please feel free to write more than one poem, and a return to comment on poems linked later would be appreciated.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

From the Black Mirror

Charlie Brooker used the powered down screen of his cell phone
to inspire his award-winning Sci-Fi series "Black Mirror." What will you find in yours?

Greetings Garden Dwellers!

Welcome back to Out of Standard, where I will set before you a challenge to defy the conventions of a particular theme.  I will call upon you to write out of the standard and find new places in the everyday and even share a small part of yourself with the Real Toads community.  It is in that spirit in which I present June’s challenge...


Cell phones can some times steal too much of our attention, their darkened monitors beckoning us to their black mirror surface. Today, we take some of that time and creative energy back. I am calling all toads to pick up their cell phones for some inspirado.  

Take the last text message you received and use it in a poem.  Good luck on handling emojis!!!

For any muddy buddies without a cell phone or who abstain from text messaging, use the first line from last email you received instead. 


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. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Tuesday Platform

Welcome to The Tuesday Platform, the open stage for sharing poetry here in the Imaginary Garden. In the spirit of peace, please share your words with us today. Much love to everyone who visits this space.

Share * Read * Comment * Enjoy

Monday, June 13, 2016

Special Delivery - Nice Cage for You

Greetings Garden Dwellers....

Over a year ago, I quietly began work on a new venture with my good friend and fellow poet, Stacey Gruver.  It started with a simple want, a hunger even, to create a space that would be a platform for writers to challenge and explore but that would also deliver to its readers a new perspective on their own humanness.  

After many long nights of business planning and mission statement-ing, Nice Cage magazine took shape. 

Our mission - very simply: 

Writing matters. That’s it. That’s our deal. Writing matters to us and to you. Nice Cage is a collaborative literary project which seeks out diverse voices and provides a platform to experimenters and risk takers. Nice Cage delivers writing that has something to say and says it in new and unexpected ways. 

And today, my muddy buddies is the launch of our inaugural issue which explores the themes of Predator/Prey.  We're an online magazine that is available for free. You're formally invited to visit us, to stop by and take a few moments to enjoy being human - you'll even find some Garden Dwellers in the pages of issue 001. 

If you like what you see and experience, we'll be publishing four times a year on specific themes. I hope you come back for more!  You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter for the weekly inspirado and other social media bonuses.

If you want to part of the Nice Cage writing family, we'll be seeking submissions for our second issue with a theme of scarcity/decadence very soon.  

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Eerie Nursery Rhymes

Greetings, dearest Toads! Welcome to another Sunday Mini-Challenge. Grab your muse and let’s explore uncanny poetry… with youngsters in it. Children can be delightfully creepy. The same can be said of some of the lullabies we sing to them, and of many of the nursery rhymes they like to sing amongst themselves. Remember the cute:

Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.

What’s sweeter than a rosie and a bunch of posies in spring? Very few things, I’m sure. But that double shot of ashes is just eerie. One of my favorites—and a much (much!) darker bone chiller—appears in Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle:

“Merricat, said Constance, would you like a cup of tea?
Oh no, said Merricat, you’ll poison me.
Merricat, said Constance, would you like me to go to sleep?
Down in the boneyard ten feet deep!”

Both the motif and tone of these lines make me blink a few extra times. For today’s challenge, I’m looking for seemingly sweet lullaby-like poems, which ooze this sort of creepiness. Craft them fun, write them dark, make my inner-giggling-child want to run far, far, far.
 Detail from the cover of We Have Always Lived in the Castle

 Please, feed Mr. Linky (below) with the direct link to your poem.
Visit other Toads. Their poems want to sing to you, really. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Artistic Interpretations with Margaret - Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth - Wind from the Sea (1947)
Welcome to Artistic Interpretations.  I recently traveled (again) to Washington D.C.  -  I love this city and its free art museums - and this time I spent a lot of time in the National Gallery of Art.  I have a lot of material for future posts, but today I am sharing with you an artist I greatly admire.

I have a huge coffee table book of Andrew Wyeth's paintings - I share some below, however, I stood in front of the original "Wind from the Sea" (NGoA) and truly think I felt the breeze.  I was so tempted to reach out and touch what looked like real lace!   I find his paintings to be very intimate, and therefore, poetic.   This first paragraph below is one of many in an article that can be found in it's entirety HERE.  (Winter Fields is the fifth image below)

Andrew Wyeth is known for his use of realism and a subdued color palate. “Winter Fields” is a masterful example of the artist’s style, with its emphasis on exacting detail and muted colors. At first glance, the painting seems almost hyper-realistic in its detailed rendering of, for example, the feathers on the dead crow and the blades of dry grass in which it lies. Upon closer inspection, this heightened detail seems to push the painting into a territory that lies beyond simple representation of reality. Where objects in the distance would normally appear less distinct, the distant farm remains as crisply detailed as the nearby grass. Wyeth further alters the scene by using different vantage points. In the painting’s foreground, he offers a ground-level view of the crow; however, the landscape beyond is depicted as if from the viewpoint of a person standing in the field. Wyeth’s subtle alterations of reality contribute to the magic realism of his art. 

I am moving next week - to the mountains of North Carolina - and the reason I've been absent from this garden for a few weeks.  Packing, purging, etc.  Before I could write all the titles of the paintings below, I packed the book away.  So some do not have titles. 

For today's challenge, you may write in any poetic form you wish.  Choose one or more paintings for inspiration for an original poem.   Please link below with "Mr. Linky".  Thank you for playing!  I look forward to your artistic interpretation!


Due to concerns regarding copyright, the images of Wyeth's paintings have been removed from this prompt. Below, please find links to his official website and to specific paintings which can be viewed at the Andrew Wyeth Online Gallery. His work is not available on and may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Please be cautious about displaying pieces on your blogs. 
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and urge that you continue to write for this prompt, because the art is merely the spur for our poetry, and it is very fine inspiration indeed. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Tuesday Platform

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden...

Greetings to all poets, friends, and wanderers. Today, I am sharing this wonderful message, speech, poem about the importance of education and the power of the spoken word.

Please share your voice and vision with us today.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Flash 55 PLUS!

Greetings to all poets and friends!
It is time for the Flash 55 Challenge in the month of June. 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.



For the OPTIONAL EXTRA part of this challenge, I invite you to choose a line or two of one of the saddest songs ever written as inspiration for your piece. The quotation itself will not fall within the parameters of the 55 words. Feel free to select words from a song featured in the clip, or from a personal favourite of your own which did not make the list.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Community of Hope

Here’s the Hope Six Demolition Project
stretching down to Benning Road
a well-known pathway of death,
(at least, that’s what I’m told).
Here’s the one sit-down restaurant
in Ward Seven. Nice.
Okay, now this is just drug town,
just zombies, but that’s just life.
The Community of Hope.
Here’s the highway to death and destruction,
South Capitol is its name.
The school looks like a shit hole –
does that look like a nice place?
Here’s the old mental institution
now the Homeland Security base.
Here’s God’s Deliverance Centre,
a deli called M.L.K.
The Community of Hope.
They’re gonna’ put a Walmart here.
Click here for a brief interview with PJ Harvey on the inspiration for the song and album.

Toads! Your challenge today is to be inspired by PJ Harvey and write a new poem about community, hope, housing demolition, Washington DC, poverty, drugtown, homeland security, Walmart, protest music, photojournalism, or whatever-else-have-you.