Saturday, August 17, 2019

Wordy Weekend Mini-Challege: Messages in Water

The world is full of wonder and amazement.  I am sure many of you have heard about Masaru Emoto, who, in 1994, froze drops of water from various sources, then examined them through a microscope. He noted that there were no good results from tap water, or water sources near cities. But he saw beautiful crystals, each one different, from pristine living water sources.

Investigating further, he noted changes in the crystals depending on what words, pictures, music or energy was directed at it. The crystals responded in beautiful designs when he showed them words such as "Thank You", "kindness", and "love". They reacted with  disgust and disfigurement when shown negative angry words or images.

"You disgust me"

Right now, we are bombarded by negative angry energy and discord every time we turn on the news. We see how rhetoric spreads like dark clouds. I can't help but wonder what would happen  if several billion of us projected light, positivity, kindness and appreciation out into the world? Surely, we would shift the global consciousness?

For your challenge, fellow Toads, write about water, in any way you wish


write about energy, good or bad, and how it affects everyone and everything around it. I look forward to reading your responses.

source: Masaru Emoto website

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Artistic Interpretations with Margaret - La Catrina & the Wall of Books

Welcome to Artistic Interpretations.  I recently visited Montclair, NJ and had lunch at Tacoria.  Brussel Sprout Tacos.  Golden Avocado Tacos.  Roasted Corn and Poblano Pepper Tacos.   Pulled Pork and Citrus Kissed Grilled Chicken are other options.   Hungry?

The food is a great deal for the price (think NYC and surrounding area $$$$) and the atmosphere very casual and unique.  I was intrigued by the wall of books painted with a portrait that seems ripe for poetic interpretation.   I snapped images of the book titles and they are posted below - I believe clicking on a photo will enlarge it for easier reading.  I will also randomly select titles and list them below, but not all of them (I will not be posting the authors)  You can peruse the titles as well.    There is one last image of this lady at the bottom of the post. You may use my images for your challenge. 

This prompt lends itself to the dark side, but it need not be dark.  You know me, I'll probably find a way to spin my poem towards the light :)

The painting is a version of La Catrina. HERE is a website that has other images (which we are NOT using for our prompt)  She is "deeply rooted in the Mexican psyche"... "originally Catrina was an elegant or well-dressed woman, so it refers to rich people... death brings this neutralizing force; everyone is equal in the end".  She symbolizes the Mexican willingness to laugh at death itself.   Another google search revealed:  According to urban legend, LaCatrina's roots come from Aztec death goddess Mictecacihuatl.  In the legend, the goddess served the same purpose as La Catrina does today: to honor and protect those who have passed and to symbolize the relationship Mexicans have with death.  These are just some of the things I found when I googled "La Catrina".   I hope you are inspired to delve further into her meaning and history.

The challenge is to use ten (yes, TEN) book titles in a new poem.   There are so many intriguing options I don't think this will be difficult.  The portrait in some way must be used as inspiration.  Maybe it is the legend itself, perhaps her makeup, perhaps her brown hair, or the red rose in her hair.  Maybe it is the subject of books that you take away from this image.   I give you permission to play fast and loose with the image. 

I hope this isn't too strange a challenge and one you enjoy.  Any poetic style is welcome and more than one poem is permissible.  Of course, sign up with Mr. Linky below, and do the neighborly thing and politely visit your fellow poets!  

Have fun, and I look forward to your Artistic Interpretation!

Dead in the Family
"J" is for Judgement
The Fire Dream
The Husband
See I told You So
Dream Makers, Dream Breakers
Crossing Boundaries
City of Bones
The Lottery
Judge & Jury
The Bear and the Dragon
Absolute Friends
The Sum of all Fears

Portrait of a Killer
Daddy's Little Girl
Wild Horses
After the Darkness
True Women
The Liar
Just as I am
The Lost Symbol
Tales of Enchantment
Eyewitness to Power
Brothers No More

The Naked Heart
Cold Case
Too Many Murders
Blind Alley
Wicked Business
Thumbs Up
The Day John Died
The Fifties
Love Smart
Survivor in Death
Along the Edge of America
Silent Honor

R is for Ricochet
Blow Fly
The Road Ahead
Hot Money
Brothers in Blood
The Dark Half
Dark Child
Near Perfect
High Profile
The Eyes of Darkness
As the Crow Flies

15 Seconds
Child 44
Day of the Cheetah
The Harlequin
Going Rogue
No Greater Love
New Choices in Natural Healing
We are Water
The Innocent Man
Husbands and Wives
Fair Game
Next Man Up

Family First
Growing Up
The Confession
Angels Flight
Mama Rock's Rules
Play Dead
Lady Boss
The Collectors
Ghost Wars
Make it Last
My Life
Cloud Chamber
Rough Country

Dead to Rights
The Baker's Wife
Zoo Break
Seize the Night
The Palace Guard
Heads or Tails
Amazing Grace
Lone Eagle
Case of Lies
Code to Zero
The Presence
The Purpose Driven
Save the Date
The Good Times

A Darkness More Than Night
2nd Chance
The Hot Zone
Easy Money
Bee Season
Mirror Image
Pursuit of Honor
Her Own Rules
Blood Sport
Achievement Matters
Atlantis Found
Rainbow Six
Long After Midnight
Angels Fall

Love and Survival
Almost a Revolution
Gap Creek
What Do You Care What Other People Think?
Don't Blink
Operation Homecoming
Waltzing in Your Own Shoes
A Tribe Apart
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Half Moon Street
Hour Game

Cold Mountain
Clear and Present Danger
Dare to Discipline
That Used to Be Us
The Secrets Men Keep
The Long Road Home
Step on a Crack
The Greatest Generation
Beating the Street
3rd Degree
True Evil
Original Sin
Lady in Red

Going Home to Glory
The Tenderness of Wolves
The Lighthouse
Tabloid City
Labrador Retriever
Winter Solstice
Make it Last
The Quickie
Flight of the Intruder
Home Remedies for Women
The Eagle Has Flown

The King of Torts
Tuxedo Park
Financial Self-Defense
A Reporter's Life
Hour Game
No Place to Hide
The Other Side and Back
No Place Like Home
Cross Country
Black Wind
Fighting Back
The Day Before Midnight


Off Camera
Heads or Tails - The Politics of Money
Double Cross
Edge of Danger
A Good Life
How to Make it Big as a Consultant
The World is Play
The Narrows
Handle with Care
The Loyal Physician
Woman in Red
The Fire Dream
The Corrections
The Commanders

The Brethren
Mortal Prey
Skin Trade
The Divide
The Testament
Lake Wobegon Days
The Last Templar
The Runaway Jury
Home Remedies
My Story
The Malice Box
Double Cross
The Other Side of the Story
Blind Faith

The Long Road Home
Truth and Salsa
The Magic Circle
A Most Wanted Man
The Secret Pilgrim
Self Matters
Tough as They Come
The Purpose Driven Life
The Kiss
Total Control
The Kitchen God's Wife
The Broker
Remember Me

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Tuesday Platform

Hello Poets and Poetry Lovers! Maybe I just really enjoyed reading Nos4a2 by Joe Hill earlier this summer (or maybe I'm trying to get over my disappointment about the way the TV series differs from the book), but my mind has been on covered bridges lately. I'm lucky to live in Bucks County PA where we have no shortage of them. I think I may have to take a road trip, just like the gentleman in this ad video did, so I can see some of them for myself. The haunted one especially intrigues me.

For today's Tuesday platform I invite you to riff off of any of the ideas found in this video--bridges, rivers, history, classic cars--and create a poem. Of course, it's open mic here on Tuesdays, so feel free to travel wherever your muse leads you. Also, do the neighborly thing and show your fellow poets a little love by visiting their lily pads. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Thursday, August 8, 2019


if I’m shining
everybody gonna shine

For more sheer incredibleness from Queen Lizzo,
She will blow your hair back for sure!


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Tuesday Platform

What Was Told, That

by Jalal ul-din Rumi 

What was said to the rose that made it open was said
to me here in my chest.
What was told the cypress that made it strong
and straight, what was
whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made
sugarcane sweet, whatever
was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in
Turkestan that makes them
so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush
like a human face, that is
being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in
language, that's happening here.
The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,
chewing a piece of sugarcane,
in love with the one to whom every that belongs!

Greetings poets, wayfarers and friends. Welcome to the Tuesday Platform, the weekly open stage for sharing poems in the Imaginary Garden.  Please link up a poem, old or new, and spend some time this week visiting the offerings of our fellow writers.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Art FLASH / 55

For this weekend's art collaboration, I am introducing an illustrator in mixed media ink, Quincy Washington, from Portland, Oregon, USA. He has kindly given permission for us to use his gold-embellished, 'Emperor of the Dawn', for our poetic inspiration. This picture is part of a his Zodiac Series: Royal Talens Collection - Leo.

Emperor of the Dawn
Quincy Washington
Used with Permission
If you repost the image on your blog, please give attribution to Quincy, using the following link:

Feel free to pay him a visit on Instagram, where more of his Dark Art pieces are to be viewed, but not used for this prompt.

If you post your poem on Instagram, using Quincy's image, please tag @albanusdesign and mention him as the collaborating artist in your post.

There are no restrictions placed on this challenge: Let the image speak to you and respond in a poetic or prose form of your choosing: Literal! Figurative! Reflective! Narrative! Symbolic!

As an alternative, you may write a Flash 55 inspired by the art, or on a subject of your choice, in memory of Galen, who first imagined this challenge.

I wish to remind all participants that this linky does not expire and the post remains open and at the top of the page all weekend. If you link early, please return to read other poems linked up after your own.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Wordy Thursday with Wild Woman: the Art of Emily Carr

Today, my Toadly friends, we are immersing ourselves in the art of Canadian artist Emily Carr, a visionary artist ahead of her time, whose paintings celebrate the wild beauty of Vancouver Island.

Ms Carr, born in Victoria, B.C., in 1871, is a national treasure. Her work was inspired by the spectacular landscapes surrounding her, as well as by her interest in the Northwest Coast First Nations.  A single woman who struggled to get by, she was outspoken and considered eccentric, as all the best poets and artists are, in my humble opinion.

Orphaned in her early teens, she persuaded her guardians to send her to the California School of Design when she turned eighteen. After a long illness, in 1910, she went to France to break free of conventional painting and to explore the new modernist art. There, she developed her own colourful post-impressionist style and brought it back to Victoria in 1912.

At a time when aboriginal culture was thought to be dying,  Carr had a strong interest in documenting the culture, their houses, totems and masks. She made a trip to what is now Haida Gwaii in 1912. The material she gathered there was source material for one of the two great themes of her painting career: the material presence of Aboriginal culture, and the wild landscape of the west coast of Canada.

Her life as a single woman, and an artist, was difficult. She could not support herself with her painting, so she ran a boarding house for financial survival, and did little painting during the next fifteen years.

But at 57, her work was finally recognized, and she returned to her art with renewed vigor. With deepening vision, she began to focus on nature themes.

She was one of the only recognized female painters of that era, and is one of the Group of Seven, the famous group of artists whose work is still revered today. 

A heart attack in 1937 began a decline in the artist's health. She died in Victoria in 1945.

Her Victorian house in James Bay, Victoria, has been restored and  is now a national and provincial historic site.

Emily Carr House

Her work is in the B.C. Archives and the B.C. Museum. The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria  has some of her work on display, as does the Vancouver Art Gallery.  In her lifetime, she produced one hundred paintings, one thousand sketches, a book of short stories and four autobiographical works, two published posthumously. The book of stories, about her experiences with First Nations, was titled Klee Wyck; it won a Governor General’s award.

Emily Carr is now appreciated as an important twentieth century artist and a Canadian icon. In 2001-2002, she was included alongside Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kalo in a critically acclaimed touring exhibition titled Places of Their Own, organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

Here are some of her major painted works:

Totem Forest

Totem and Forest


Mountain Forest

Blue Sky

Red Cedar


For your prompt, choose whichever of her paintings appeals to you and write your poem (or choose your own at Emily Carr Artworks, including the painting and its source with your poem)


Imagine yourself as an artist in the late 1800’s,  with a passion for art but struggling to make a living, and speak to us with that voice. Have fun! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Tuesday Platform: Moon Moments!

"Big Moon" by Alicia Dunn, 2017
The Moon Moments

The faint starlight rolls restlessly on the mat.
Those women talking outside have clouds passing across their eyes.
Always there is a moon that is taking me somewhere.
Why does one room invariably lead into other rooms?

We, opening in time our vague doors,
convinced that our minds lead to something never allowed before,
sit down hurt under the trees, feeding it simply because
it is there, as the wind does, blowing against the tree.

Yet time is not clairvoyant,
and if it has the answer to our lives, proud
in its possession of that potential which can change our natures,
beating the visions of childhood out of us,

the socialism and the love,
until we remain awkwardly swung to the great north of honour.
What humility is that which will not let me reveal the real?
What shameful secret lies hidden in the shadows of my moon?

All these years; our demands no longer hurt our eyes.
How can I stop the life I lead within myself-
The startled, pleading question in my hands lying in my lap
while the gods go by, triumphant, in the sacked city at midnight?

© Jayanta Mahapatra. Published in Poetry, September 1975. All Rights Reserved.

Good day, poets! I hope you all are doing well. As we move towards the eighth month of the year, I hope that it has been a pleasant journey for all of you thus far. I thought of choosing this Jayanta Mahapatra poem this week for inspiration, as I have been languishing in a similar frame of mind while asking such questions of myself and the moon. You can read about the poet here.

This is Anmol (alias HA) and I welcome you all to The Tuesday Platform. For those who are new here, we have an open link platform today. So, add a link to any one poem, old or new, from your blog in the widget down below. Once you have done that, do visit other poets who have linked with us and share your words and comments on their posts. It's this blogging camaraderie which makes this community so enriching after all. I will see you on the reading trail and I wish you all a wonderful week ahead!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Weekend Mini Challenge: Let Evening Come

Welcome to the Weekend Mini Challenge with Kim from Writing in North Norfolk.

I own a copy of the Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms, entitled The Making of a Poem, to which I sometimes refer. In the third section, it devotes a chapter to the elegy, the pastoral and the ode, each with an overview and a great range of examples. I was flicking through to find a poem that would spark a prompt and came across a beautiful poem in the pastoral section.

The pastoral became popular in the sixteenth century. “On the surface, it appeared to be about an ornamental and sometimes fictional view of the rural and bucolic life. But huge questions lurked below that clear surface. In the pastoral mode poets could experiment with these questions.Was man made for nature or nature for man? Was the natural world to enter the poem as a realistic object or as a fictive projection of inner feelings?”

The pastoral poem developed from “shepherdesses and tidy rural constructs… both an escape and an idea” through the unrest of the Industrial Revolution into the “wounded pastoral”, which became a place to “mourn for and celebrate rural life”.  In the twentieth century, it lamented urban intrusion, celebrated urban hubris, speculated the future and developed into eco-poetry.

Related image
Image found on Goodreads
I have chosen a poem by Jane Kenyon, ‘Let Evening Come’, to inspire your pastoral poems this weekend:

What I love about this poem is that, on the surface, it is indeed a pastoral poem with imagery taken from a typical rural scene: the light in the barn, the cricket, the fox and the woman getting ready to knit, all moving towards evening and then night, gently and quietly. But when you discover that the poem alludes to the creeping cancer that took the life of the poet’s friend, and find out also that the poet was bipolar, it takes on new meanings.

Image result for light through slats in a barn
Image found on Shutterstock
This weekend, I would like you to write a new pastoral poem about evening, the shift from late afternoon through twilight to the black shed of night, following the format of Jane Kenyon’s poem, but no more than six tercets.

N.B. All quotations in this prompt come from The Making of a Poem.

Join in by clicking on Mister Linky and filling in your name and url – not forgetting to tick the small ‘data’ box. And please remember to read and comment on other toads’ poems.