Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Skyflower Friday: Goodbye

Greetings to all in the Imaginary Garden!

Farewell ~ Ivan Aivazovsky (1895)

As another year comes to its natural conclusion, it may be time for some goodbyes - some important part of yourself may have to be left behind in 2017 or perhaps there is cause for a pruning of old, dead weight to make way for new growth and opportunities which lie ahead. Very few of us can say goodbye without regret or some measure of pain. I would like you to use these ideas as a springboard for your poem today.

I leave you with the famous quote from Romeo and Juliet:

'Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.'

And a music video

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Tuesday Platform

Greetings, dear Toads. If winter is dancing towards your bit of the world, I hope you are making plans to stay warm. If you live where is toasty, I’m jealous of your luck. I truly dislike New York City winters. All right, I hate cold weather wherever I happen to be (while it tries to freeze me). But I love the transition from autumn to winter, when the forest changes her dress, when coffee and tea warm the soul, when I get to wear my favorite crazy socks, when I can spend more time indoors reading your poetry…

So, let me read your words. Share a poem, any poem. Warm other Toads with your heartfelt comments about their poetic words. And if you have crazy socks, wear them wildly.

as always, feel free to use my photo, with proper accreditation
(you wouldn't want anyone to think these HUGE things belong to you, do you?) 

Add the direct link to your poem to Mr. Linky. Direct links make him happy.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

November Themes!

Hello, dear Toads! Marian here, standing in for Kim in the Garden this weekend. Some of you might have noticed that I’m writing #30PoemsInNovember to benefit new immigrants to the USA via the Center for New Americans, a nonprofit here in western Massachusetts. I have done this challenge as a fund raiser for several years but took last year off. This year, I’m back in the game and totally inspired by my two kids, who are ALL IN, each creating 30 drawings in November! Amazing.

The kids created 30 themes for November and we 3 have been dutifully following along each day, writing and drawing to the themes. I thought I’d share the whole month’s worth of themes here so that my fellow Toads might pick one (or more!) and write along. Enjoy!

Anne Meuse, #7 Lies "I'm BrOKen"
Autumn leaves
Jack Meuse, #17 Drama "Comedy and Tragedy"
Shopping/Not shopping

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Creature Comforts

With the advent of the colder weather where I live, my children have taken to donning fleecy onsies, called kigurumi, when they are staying home and relaxing.

Not actually my children, but you get the idea.

Once I got done giggling at teenagers wearing the same pjs I bought for them a decade ago, I had to admit maybe they were on to something. Full body fleece is pretty darn sensible for the Philly 'burbs in November. And what's wrong in indulging in some creature comforts that make your inner child smile?

For today's Toad's prompt, I invite you to write about something simple that gives you comfort. It could be a favorite little ritual, like an afternoon cup of tea. It could be about your favorite comfy jeans or sneakers. It could be about just being able to sleep in. Remember, the poems should be new, created to fit this prompt. Be sure to check out your fellow poet's work as well, and don't be shy about starting some discussions in the form of thoughtful, constructive commentary. 

In the meanwhile, I think I'll browse kirugumi websites and see if I can find a fun onesie for myself. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Tuesday Platform

Greetings to all poets, wayfarers and friends. I came across this wonderful reading of 'Ode to Broken Things' by Pablo Neruda and couldn't resist sharing it with you guys. Sigh.. living near the equator is a different experience altogether as the weather here is hot and humid; apart from the average rainfall which is two hundred and fifty centimeters in a year. I often long for winter as the days go by, and find myself missing the tingling sensation of cold weather, warmth of coffee and woolen socks.

On a lighter note, it's Thanksgiving on Thursday! Wishing you all a blessed day, full of joy and light! I am thankful this year, for the company of good friends, and to be part of this incredibly creative and gracious blogosphere. 

If you have any thoughts to share, ideas you wish to release into the wild or a world view to express, then you have come to the right place. Please share a poem of your choice and enjoy the company of your fellow scribes. We look forward to reading you and hope you have a wonderful day.

Share * Read * Comment * Enjoy

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Weekend Mini-Challenge: Doors

Doors mark our coming in and going through and out of this life. Big doors, little doors, stone doors, blue doors.

“If one were to give an account of all the doors one has closed and opened, of all the doors one would like to re-open, one would have to tell the story of one’s entire life,” writes Gaston Bachelard in The Poetics of Space.  

The Romans had a deity for doors: Janus, the two-faced god. January ends one year and begins another, and Janus sanctifies all passages and transitions with a gate that swings both ways. He was associated with Portunus, another gateway god who presided over harbors, travel, and shores.

Because doors have two sides to them, our relation to them is always duple. Albert the Great wrote, “In Germany there once lived twins, one of whom opened doors by touching them with his right arm, and the other who closed them by touching them with his left arm.” Our brain is halved by left and right hemispheres, each with their own realm of functioning—one analyzing, reducing, the other synthesizing, adding up. Is there a door between them which keeps us fiddling with its lock at the same time keeping its bolts in place?

Doors font inspiration. What creative impulse in us can resist opening them?  A shepherd on a remote Hebrides island in the early nineteenth century accounts that at night, “a woman often came out of the sea and said strange foreign words at the back of his door, and these, he added, in a whinnying voice like that of a foal ; came, white as foam ; and went away grey as rain. And then, he added, ‘she would go to that stroked rock yonder, and put songs against me, till my heart shook like a tallow-flaucht in the wind.’" (Fiona MacLeod, “Sea Magic”)

There’s always a danger in doors; they secure our world but also knock loudly with the Other. According to the old Irish dinshenchas, the hero Riach places into a well the severed heads of warriors slain in battle. The presence of the heads seems to magically affect the water and it becomes highly dangerous. In order to prevent it from rising up against him, Riach constructs a building over it in which it can be contained. But one night he forgets to place the capstone “door” back over the well one night and it rises up and drowns him.

Today our theme is Doors: Portals in, passage out. Find a door and try it.  Will it open or is it barred? Half-open, almost-closed? What freedom flows in as you go out? And what is the melancholy click of a door closing forever? Is there one door representative of the whole, a page which emblems the bestiary? Or is there a poem which resembles a house-shaped Advent calendar, with a door or window to peer into along every step of its way? You choose.

Write a poem about one door (or many) and bring it back here to share with your fellow portalettes. (Hmm.) What will we open on our separate lily pads? What singing skulls and water wonders we will find! What an Advent calendar we will house!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Bits of Inspiration ~ Dragonfly

First of all I must brag about my daughter, Carrie. She is Artist Relations Director at Art Colony Association Inc. and they are the producers of the Bayou City Art Festival. It is an important event in Houston. We are so proud of her. It would take pages to write all the work she puts in along with staff to bring all this talent together in our city. 

At the this year's Bayou City Arts Festival I discovered the beautiful art of Ann Byrd and purchased two prints.  One print is a dragonfly.

I really love how she describes her art. "My pieces tell a story, but not the whole story. They are windows into certain glimpses in a narrative that is already in play. Visions of things you catch out of the corner of your eye, but cannot be sure are real or merely ghosts of your imagination."  Ann Byrd

I'd like to share the totem meaning of the dragonfly and quotes with you.

The dragonfly totem carries the wisdom of transformation and adaptability in life. As spirit animal, the dragonfly is connected to the symbolism of change and light. When the dragonfly shows up in your life, it may remind you to bring a bit more lightness and joy into your life. Those who have this animal as totem may be inclined to delve deep into their emotions and shine their true colors.

"Time is for dragonflies and angels. The former live too little and the latter live too long."  ~  James Thurber

"It's very far away/It takes about a half a day to get there/ If we travel by-dragonfly." ~  Jimi Hendrix
Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva, the iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant? ...We are all shape-shifters and magical reinventors. Life is really a plural noun, a caravan of selves." ~ Diane Ackerman

Also the painting is titled "Tipping Point." 
tip·ping point
1. the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.

So for today's challenge I would like you to write an original poem about a  dragonfly/dragonflies. It can be in any form you choose. Please post it on Mr. Linky and visit your fellow poets to read where their wings took them.

Note: I've contacted Ann and have been given permission to use and share her  dragonfly print. If you use the dragonfly art print on your page, please credit Ann Byrd and link it to one of her art sites. The first link I used is to her Facebook page. The second is her website. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Tuesday Platform

Hello poets and poetry lovers. We're in the second week of November here in the USA and I'm thanking the universe for warm slippers and good cups of tea. I am also currently warming my spirits with this sweet song I heard recently in a fitness class of all places. Just goes to show you can find magical little delights anywhere, as long as you are paying attention.

Please share some of the magic of your pen with the rest of us at the garden. Submit a poem, old or new, down below and splash into other pages to see what your fellow poets have created this week. If you like something, don't keep it to yourself. Conversation and constructive feedback in the comments section is always welcome.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Fussy Little Forms: Rondelet

Happy Weekend, Toads! Today I offer to you the very definition of a Fussy Little Form, the RONDELET. The rondelet is a short French poetry form featuring a strict rhyme and meter pattern plus a lovely repeated refrain. It looks like this:

Line 1 :: A—four syllables
Line 2 :: b—eight syllables
Line 3 :: A—repeat of line one
Line 4 :: a—eight syllables
Line 5 :: b—eight syllables
Line 6 :: b—eight syllables
Line 7 :: A—repeat of line one

Of course, mapping it out that way does not allow for the beauty of this form, which is in part due to the refrain (lines 1, 3, and 7). The refrained lines should contain the same words, but substitution or different use of punctuation on the lines is accepted. For example, here is a rondelet about the rondelet, by Charles Henry Luders (1889):

Is just seven verses rhymed on two.
A rondelet
Is an old jewel quaintly set
In poesy--a drop of dew
Caught in a roseleaf. Lo! For you,
A rondelet.

Here is one of my rondelet attempts, called "Mount to the Sky"
You looked like rain
before the wild hurricane flew.
You looked like rain.
Clamoring down tin eaves, the pain
rollicked like thunder. Meanwhile, you
colored outside the lines. All blue.
You looked like rain.
(from my book Responsive Pleading)
And here is a more detailed explanation from a format challenge handed down in earlier times by former Toad, Pirate Grace O’Malley in earlier Garden times: SHORTENING THE SAILS

I hope you all will be inspired and try it. Rondelet, rondelet!

from Libri de piscibus marinis in quibus verae piscium effigies expressae sunt by Guillaume Rondelet (1554)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

(in)Famous and possibly fictional

 Image from White House public archives.

Greetings Garden Dwellers!

Welcome back to the Out of Standard, where I will call upon you to break out of the every day box and explore new territories. So get those ink wells refilled and a fresh sheet of parchment. Your challenge lies ahead.

(in)Famous and possibly fictional encounters
Write about a relative's encounter with a famous person. That's all. The encounter doesn't have to have actually happened. And the famous person does not need to be living or even from the same era.  Uncle Bob could have met Wilma Flintstone at the Grand Canyon, or your niece could have gone to the future and met BeeBop, the only robot in the world to be elected earth president. If you prefer the more traditional route, perhaps your mom did actually meet David Bowie at a laundromat and now is your time to commit that to paper.

So go now, my muddy buddies.  Brig us us back something new and unexpected.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Tuesday Platform

Greetings to all poets, wayfarers and friends. I am loving the month of November, which is the last stretch of autumn but the beginning of new endeavors; and the time to explore new possibilities that lead through to accomplishing our goals and dreams. I came across this wonderful reading of 'The Waste Land' by T.S. Eliot on YouTube and knew that I just had to share it. It has been narrated by Alec Guinness. Hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did. 

If you have any thoughts to share, ideas you wish to release into the wild or a world view to express, then you have come to the right place. Please share a poem of your choice and enjoy the company of your fellow scribes. We look forward to reading you and hope you have a wonderful day.

Share * Read * Comment * Enjoy

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Camera FLASH!

Are you ready for the flashbulbs to go off?

Here is our photographic challenge for November.

Woman with Long Hair
Man Ray (1929)

The challenge is wide open to any angle or interpretation.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Get Listed: November Edition

A few years ago, I stumbled upon a gem of a book by Sandford Lyne titled, "Writing Poetry from the Inside Out:  Finding Your Voice Through the Craft of Poetry." The Poem sketching technique Lyne suggests gives wide enough girth for both birthing and growing poems. I copied 10-12 pages of his word list groups from the back of the book to get me through a few years of writing.

For this Get Listed edition I ask you to create your own brief creation. Keep it to under 100 words (I have a short attention span). Choose one of the word groups (using all 4 words) I've listed below to insert into your brain child, being mindful to choose the word list that fits the best with your mood/theme/personality of your unique poem on the topic of your choice.

pencil                  Creator                  desires                November                 nightmare
orphan                 pity                       night                   layers                         frost
book bag             tomorrows            flesh                    stone                          ruts
tank                     winds                    poems                 throat                         awoke

And, if this seems backwards... try reversing the sequence by first choosing one of the word groups, and then letting a fresh poem spring forth from...  well, from a metaphorical loin-place.

I can only suggest that there's no right or wrong way to poem. I can however, offer limited guidance and encouragement in sharing what's worked for me, while reiterating that no two poems are alike in personality or voice.

Good luck sketching, honing, and naming your beauties. Can't wait to meet/read them. And please do check in on all your fellow poets.