Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Wordy Wednesday With Wild Woman: Natural Wonders

A wax rubbing of tree rings and a human fingerprint.
This astounds me.

Our respiratory system, the bronchial tree, 
looks like an upside down tree inside us. 
And trees are the lungs of the planet.

Nature constantly astonishes me. Everything is interconnected in a grand  design that I believe cannot be random. These images show us we are part of a very large system, bigger than we realize, with patterns that are repeated in nature and in our bodies. 

Scientists have discovered a whole universe inside the cell. They tell us that the genetic structure inside our tiny cells - our DNA - stores information about all the species on earth equivalent to 12 sets of Encyclopedia Britannica!* This blows me away.

For today's prompt, the sky's the limit. Write a poem about one of nature's wonders, anything that especially amazes you, big or small. 


Go bigger: tell us how all of its breathtaking design makes you catch your breath in awe. Amaze us with the wonders all around us. Help us see them with new eyes.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Tuesday Platform: Gather around for some ghost stories (Poems in April ~ Day 23)

I Felt A Funeral In My Brain
 by Emily Dickinson

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through -

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum -
Kept beating - beating - till I thought
My mind was going numb -

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space - began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here -

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down -
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing - then -

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.

If you are participating in the poem-a-day challenge and looking for inspiration then here is an optional prompt for you. Write a horror poem that makes one taste the dark in broad daylight. Follow this link to a list on Goodreads for further inspiration.

Choose your own form or write in free verse, if preferred. I look forward to reading what you guys come up with on Day 23 of the month-long adventure. Happy Poeming!🥀


Monday, April 22, 2019

Beware of Poor Substitutions !

No, you can't use THIS one. Because I said so.
You remember. I know you do! The bestie running up to you while you're at your locker and with a mixture of glee and horror, she says. "We've got a sub today!" (Visions of mayhem and slaughter ensue.)'ve got a sub today. My name is Fireblossom and I'll be substituting for Anmol. No I don't know why. Yes, he will be back. 

This one's nice.
My ride is in the teacher's lot. With an armed guard, so don't get any ideas.
Okay then. You in the third seat, what is your name? Kerry? Well Kerry, I'd like you to hand me that note, please. Kerry, I saw Marian pass it to you. Uh, I wouldn't swallow it if I were you. You could--well, too late. Let me know if you need to go see the nurse. Now, you there in the back, your name please? Bjorn? Bjorn, please put away that physics book. This is poetry class. Okay, you by the window, that's enough about the man from Nantucket. 

You will have 10 mins to complete this assignment. Oh all right, take as long as you need.
Sliding low in your seat won't get you out of this.
All right. Over many years, I-- that will be enough eye rolling and fake snoring, thank you very much. Now then. As I was saying, over many years I have used a host of images to go with my poems and OW! My eye! No more spitballs! My goodness you are a band of hellions if I ever saw one. 

Oh how nice! A little birdy at our window!
Has someone been fooling with my coffee? Very funny.

You can write to the song, too, if you want.
I think I had better just get to your assignment. Excuse me,'s Toni, right?...excuse me, but I am not a "witless old biddy." Please go to the principal's office. NOW. *sigh* All right. Your assignment is to choose one of the images provided--taken from my Word Garden blog--and write your own poem about whatever the image says to you. No, Izy, it does NOT say, "split and go have a smoke." My word. Just write. PLEASE. Then link. Then visit. Then someone PLEASE put out the fire in the waste basket. Thank you, Brendan. Lucky you had water handy. ;-)
For you sensitives, in case you come out from the coat closet!
PS--Thank you for being such a fine group. You are, one and all, the best.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Poems in April: Tree Mythology

Welcome to the Poems in April Challenge for Sunday 21st March 2019 with Kim from Writing in North Norfolk.

I have been reading The Overstory by Richard Powers, an amazing novel of intricately woven roots and branches: tree stories that bring together a group of strangers, each summoned in different ways by trees to save a few remaining acres of virgin forest.

Related image
Daphne and Apollo - found on Wikipedia
As a lover of trees – they are my favourite plant of all – I have been mesmerised by this novel and it has inspired my prompt for today, which is based on myths and legends, stories in which people change into trees, such as Daphne, who becomes a bay laurel before Apollo can catch her; the Maenads who murdered Orpheus and have to watch their own toes turn into roots and their legs into trunks; Cyparissus, transformed into a cypress tree by Apollo; Myrrha, who is changed into a myrtle after creeping into her father’s bed; and Baucis and Philemon who spend centuries together as oak and linden as a reward for taking in strangers who are actually gods. There are too many tree myths and legends to list them all here.

The challenge is to pick a tree story, from the list above or any other you know and love, and write a poem about it. You can write it in the classical way as a ballad or narrative poem, or you can update it, riff with it or play around with the idea in any form of your choice. You can even make up your own story about a human who is changed into a tree.

Here are a few links to help you:

Image result for baucis and philemon Pinterest
Baucis and Philemon by Arthur Racham - image found on Pinterest

I also found this wonderful poem by Katherine Gallagher, 'The Year of the Tree':

Using your knotty tree finger, 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 – let’s see if we can create a living forest of mythological poems!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Weekend Mini-Challenge, in April: Three Spring Shorts

Do you ever do like a bee? Are you lured by the scent and colors and the wild loveliness of flowers? Do you talk to the green that grows in your yard or the park or the street or (if you’re very lucky) the nearby woods?

I hope you’ve answered “Yes” to at least one of the questions above. Because for today’s prompt, I invite you to write 3 micro-poems (in 3 lines or fewer) inspired by flowers.

Here are some examples from my very own doing like a (human)bee moments:

spring births bright
purple crocuses
 through dead leaves

Falling can be a chance
to appreciate familiar beauty
from a different angle.

when it rains,
tulips blow kisses 
 at the clouds

You don’t have to include pictures with your responses. But… if you have them, I hope you share them. Also, feel free to use the pictures I just shared as inspiration for this prompt.

Add the direct link to your poem (the 20th! if you are participating in 30/30 in April) to Mr. Linky. Do visit other Toads. And as always, share your thoughts on the ink-flowers blooming in their Imaginary Garden.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Micro Poetry ~ "I am my own muse ..."

"I am my own muse, the subject I know best."
Frida Kahlo 

Greetings to all poets on Day 19 of Poetry Writing Month. By this time, I am sure that many a muse is feeling torn between exhilaration and exhaustion. For our challenge today, I am returning to one of my favourite prompts, the Micro Poem of between one and twelve lines in a form of your choice.

By way of inspiration, I have chosen the poem, aptly entitled, April, by Pulitzer Prize winner and U.S. Poet Laureate, the late W.S. Merwin.

W.S. Merwin
(1927 - 2019)

Writing in the Guardian, Jay Parini described Merwin’s mature style as “his own kind of free verse, [where] he layered image upon bright image, allowing the lines to hang in space, largely without punctuation, without rhymes ... with a kind of graceful urgency.” Although Merwin’s writing has undergone stylistic changes through the course of his career, a recurring theme is man’s separation from nature.

Do you have a recurring theme which continues to inspire you to write poetry? I believe that poetry is at its most authentic when the poet becomes, as Frida Kahlo puts it so eloquently, his/her own muse.

I do hope that your own muse will speak to you today as you return to your unique theme. In addition, as this is FRIDAY, a poem in 55 words would be welcomed.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Bits of Inspiration ~ Poems in April ~ Bell

We are more than half way through the challenge of thirty poems in thirty days. What a wonderful month of poetry it has been thus far. Today I would like to offer a quote and photos as inspiration for your poetic offerings.

The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers. Matsuo Basho

Today's challenge is to simply allow the quote and images to bring poetry from you. Place your link on Mr. Linky and then visit your fellow poets to read their journey into bells and flowers.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Poems in April ~ Somewhere in the midst of stirring April

Originally meant to astound the Puritanical sensibilities of the 1920s, Cummings's poems of romantic and sexual love remain just as provocative, thrilling and fresh today. For today's prompt I have selected one which completely blew my mind:

The Mind Is Its Own Beautiful Prisoner

the mind is its own beautiful prisoner.
Mine looked long at the sticky moon
opening in dusk her new wings

then decently hanged himself, one afternoon.

The last thing he saw was you
naked amid unnaked things,

your flesh, a succinct wand-like animal,
a little strolling with the futile purr
of blood; your sex squeaked like a billiard-cue
chalking itself, as not to make an error,
with twists spontaneously methodical.
He suddenly tasted worms windows and roses

he laughed, and closed his eyes as a girl closes
her left hand upon a mirror.

Cummings exhibited an ongoing interest in both love and the erotic as a subject in both his writing and his painting. As a painter, he dedicated a separate series of paintings each to nudes, burlesques, and to lovers. 

As a poet, he was a sensitive and supple writer who ferreted out distinguishing nuances in relation to love and its complements unlove and lust. The poem speaks of a man who has lost his lover and covers various themes such as loss, betrayal, paradoxical dichotomy and mental self-imprisonment.

Our frame of reference is the title of Cummings's poem. Choose your own form or write in free verse, if preferred. I look forward to reading what you guys come up with. Please do visit others and remember to comment on their poems. Have fun!🍓

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Tuesday Platform: You are a Poet! (Poems in April ~ Day 16)

This is Not a Man, 1993–1994, oil and acrylic on canvas, 68 x 36 in, by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Poetry as Insurgent Art [I am signaling you through the flames]

I am signaling you through the flames.

The North Pole is not where it used to be.

Manifest Destiny is no longer manifest.

Civilization self-destructs.

Nemesis is knocking at the door.

What are poets for, in such an age?
What is the use of poetry?

The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it.

If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of apocalyptic times, even if this meaning sounds apocalyptic.

You are Whitman, you are Poe, you are Mark Twain, you are Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay, you are Neruda and Mayakovsky and Pasolini, you are an American or a non-American, you can conquer the conquerors with words....

Poetry as Insurgent Art by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Copyright © 2007 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. All rights reserved.

Happy Tuesday! This is Anmol (alias HA) and I thought that it is prudent that we celebrate the poetics of Lawrence Ferlinghetti (who recently turned 100 on 24th March) when many of us are participating in the 30-day writing challenge this month. In his long career, he has been a poet, a translator, a painter, an activist, a publisher, an art critic, and a lot more (not forgetting him as one of the founders of the Beat movement). He has made the literary avenues and arts richer through his many contributions.

For The Tuesday Platform, add one link to a poem, old or new, in the linking widget down below. If you are participating in the writing challenge/seeking inspiration, here is an optional challenge for today (the 16th day — you are half way through. Yay!):

Write a poem titled, "Poetry as...," perhaps in the style of Ferlinghetti who speaks of poetry as an insurgent art while exhorting the poets to use their language and expression to save the world by answering/heeding all the challenges that we face today. Let your imagination soar and think of the many things that poetry can be. Here are some titles that I can think of (you can choose one of these as well) — Poetry as Poison, Poetry as World Annihilation, Poetry as a Criticism of Poets, Poetry as a Lonely Endeavour, et al.

After you have added your link, do not forget to visit others and share your thoughts with them on their linked verses. I wish you all a great week ahead.

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Touch of Snow

Today is the 15th day of our poetry journey! I was re-reading Basho's Oku no Hosomichi, or The Narrow Road to the Deep North. In this momentous work, he creates the haibun - a prosimetric form. It consists of a brief, biographical part ended with a haiku. I was struck again by his spare yet deeply moving prose and the haiku at the end.  This haibun beautifully illustrates the Japanese concept of Mono no Aware - sadness or wistfulness at the passing of "things".

In the west, we tend to add much flowery description of the prose portion, making a very long poem to read. In its original form, the haibun is brief. His haibun run between 98 to 150 words. Each is complete and descriptive, humorous, wistful, sad. These are basically the first poet becoming a journalist! The haibun below shows his loneliness on the road, towards the end, his feeling his age, his offering of a poem - all he had at this point.

Write a haibun of 44 - to 150 words of some event in your life - a love gone wrong, birth of a child, a daily walk, a day out of a vacation...anything will work! Remember: haibun are based on a true experience in your life; it is NOT flash fiction.

"Wherever I travel, wherever I happen to find myself, I am not from there. In fact, the whole world is just such a place to me. I have spent the past six or seven months on the road, a nocturnal traveler who has survived, so far, many devastating illnesses as I made my way onward. I found the more alien I came to see myself, the more I missed beloved faces, lifelong friends and aging students, until my steps were drawn irresistibly back toward the outskirts of Edo. And sure enough, day after day they appeared, coming to sit in the small hut of a poor man and talk to me. I had nothing to offer in return except my poem,
I am still alive
but why silvery grass that
withers at the touch of the snow"

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Streets (of Brooklyn)

Congrats on Day 14 if you are participating in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo).  Here is a prompt I hope inspires you today.

The streets of Brooklyn are so interesting to me.  I was recently there for my son's wedding and we had a couple of days to walk around... these are a few photos I snapped and I hope you find one that inspires a poem.

Where is your favorite town or city to take a stroll in?  If you like, please use that as a springboard instead of these photos.  I'd prefer it NOT be nature or the beach.  If you live in the country or rural area, try and recall a visit to a city or town as a child, or have visited as an adult.  Give it your best shot, please write a new poem, post to Mr. Linky below, and visit your fellow poets.

(Chelsea district, NYC)
(Chelsea district, NYC)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Weekend Mini-Challenge, in April: 1 Poem, 3 Titles

Greetings, ink-kissed Toads and visitors. If you’re participating on 30/30 in April, you have my respect. I did it once. And when the thought of doing it again reached my mind, my sweet muse threatened to dropkick my skull until the thought of 30 poems in 30 days spilled out screaming.

For the 13th day of Poems in April, I invite you to write a new poem that includes 3 book titles (each title must contain at least 3 words, and you must not rearrange or delete any of the words).

Choose titles from your favorite books. Or, follow this link to Goodreads. Please, list your chosen titles.

Add the direct link to your poem to Mr. Linky. Visit other Toads. Keep enjoying 30/30 in April.