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.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Like starry blooms on a new firmament in July ~

Stillness. There are so many ways to describe it. Something that stretches itself to the most distant mountain-top, where footsteps crunch in the snow or a phenomenon that can match blackness under the blindfold. But Neruda in his poem had a completely different and unique perspective:

I Like For You To Be Still 

I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not touch you
It seems as though your eyes had flown away
And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth
As all things are filled with my soul
You emerge from the things
Filled with my soul
You are like my soul
A butterfly of dream
And you are like the word: Melancholy

I like for you to be still
And you seem far away
It sounds as though you are lamenting
A butterfly cooing like a dove
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not reach you
Let me come to be still in your silence
And let me talk to you with your silence
That is bright as a lamp
Simple, as a ring
You are like the night
With its stillness and constellations
Your silence is that of a star
As remote and candid

I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
Distant and full of sorrow
So you would've died
One word then, One smile is enough
And I'm happy;
Happy that it's not true

Our frame of reference is the title of Neruda'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, July 23, 2019

The Tuesday Platform

I Wanted To Make Myself like the Ravine

 by Hannah Gamble

I wanted to make myself like the ravine
so that all good things
would flow into me.

Because the ravine is lowly,
it receives an abundance.

This sounds wonderful
to everyone
who suffers from lacking,
but consider, too, that a ravine
keeps nothing out:

in flows a peach
with only one bite taken out of it,
but in flows, too,
the body of a stiff mouse
half cooked by the heat of the stove
it was toughening under.

I have an easygoing way about me.
I’ve been an inviting host —
meaning to, not meaning to.
Oops — he’s approaching with his tongue
already out
and moving.

Analyze the risks
of becoming a ravine.

Compare those with the risks
of becoming a well
with a well-bolted lid.

Which I’d prefer
depends largely on which kinds
of animals were inside me
when the lid went on
and how likely they’d be
to enjoy the water,
vs. drown, freeze, or starve.

The lesson: close yourself off
at exactly the right time.

On the day that you wake up
under some yellow curtains
with a smile on your face,

lock the door.
Live out your days
untroubled like that.

There is something about the poems by Hannah Gamble that stir my soul and my muse from time to time. Greetings poets, wayfarers and friends, it's a beautiful day here and I am looking forward to reading poetry with a cup of coffee.

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 ahead.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Weekend Mini-Challenge: Pick 2 Prompts, Any Prompts! then Senryū or Elfchen or Cherita

If you’ve read me once or thrice, you probably already know that I love merging prompts and writing very short poetry. So, when the time came for me to say goodbye to my Imaginary Garden with Real Toads hosting days (for now, at least *cough*), a last prompt that merges two prompts to create a very short poem feels just right.

Keeping that wee bit in mind… for today’s prompt, I invite everyone to take two prompts, any prompts, and merge the two topics to create a new senryū, or elfchen, or cherita poem. Your chosen prompts can come from anywhere or any-when, just make sure to include the link to both prompts. Only one poem per poet.
Senryū: “three lines with 17 morae (or “on”, often translated as syllables…). Senryū tend to be about human foibles… and are often cynical or darkly humorous.” ~ Wikipedia

Elfchen: “a short poem with a given pattern. It contains eleven words which are arranged in a specified order over five rows. Each row has a requirement that can vary: 1st line (1 word), a thought, an object, a color, a smell or the like; 2nd line (2 words) what does the word from the first row do? 3rd line (3 words) where or how is the word of row 1? 4th line (4 words) what do you mean? 5th line (1 word) conclusion: What results from all this? What is the outcome?” ~ Wikipedia

Cherita: “the Malay word for story or tale… consists of a single stanza of a one-line verse, followed by a two-line verse, and then finishing with a three-line verse.” ~ CHERITA [1--2--3]

There you have it, dear Toads. Choose 2 prompts, any prompts! and birth a new poem out of them (a senryū, or elfchen, or cherita). Add the direct link to your new poem to Mr. Linky. Visit other poets.

Thanks a million for letting me host poetry prompts these last few years
You rocketh very mucho (and then some).
Really, I know these things.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Poetry begins with a lump in the throat...

Hello Toads!  If you have read any of my poetry (and granted, not a lot of you have) you know I always precede the poem with a quote. The above quote is from Robert Frost. Some of you think I  use the quote as a springboard, to write the poem.  Actually, the opposite is true.  I write the poem and then search out the quote.

Today, I am going to do the opposite.  I am going to give you all a quote and let you write a poem from the quote.  Oh, and make the poem brief - 24 lines at most.  Now are you ready?  Get set, go!  Write a poem that begins with a lump in the throat, or a belly laugh, or a tear springboarded from your quote. All of the below quotes I have used in a poem I have written.

"Maybe that's enlightenment enough: to know there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity,  Perhaps wisdom...is realizing how small I am and unwise, how far I have yet to go." Anthony Bourdain

"At any given moment in the middle of a city there's a million epiphanies occurring, in the blurring of the world beyond the curtain."  Kate Tempest, Let Them Eat Chaos

"I think of lovers as trees, growing to and from one another, searching for some light." Warsan Shire - The Unbearable Weight of Staying

"Condense, condense, condense."  Ezra Pound

"There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled.  Like, telling someone you love them. Or giving your money away, all of it."  - Mary Oliver - Moments

"Indeed - why should I not admit it? - in that moment, my heart was breaking." - Kazuo Ishiguro - The Remains of the Day

"...happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." Albus Dumbledore - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."  Oscar Wilde

“Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does.”  Allen Ginsberg

"The smallest feline is a masterpiece."  Leonardo da Vinci

"Garden as though you will live forever." William Kent

"One in four kids faces hunger." - Jeff Bridges

Or come up with a quote of your own.  There are millions of the out there - about cats, love, heartbreak, freedom, madness, corn, flowers...

Go for it.  And remember any style poem, just make it brief. If you do a haibun, make it no more than 150 words including the closing seasonal haiku.  No need to wander willy nilly down  the twisting paths of poetry.  I give you an example, an American Sentence of 17 syllables:  "Poetry isn't about wandering down a twisty garden path."

Visit the other poets and comment on their poem.  If they pay you a visit, be courteous and return the favor.  Enjoy yourselves.  Get to know the other poets, don't just drop and run.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Tuesday Platform: Tired!

This fucked up world by Cassie Kerns

You Too Got Tired

You too got tired of being an advertisement
for our world, so that angels could see: yes it's pretty, earth.
Relax. Take a rest from smiling. And without complaint
allow the sea-breeze to lift the corners of your mouth.

You won't object; your eyes too, like flying paper,
are flying. The fruit has fallen from the sycamore tree.
How do you say to love in the dialect of water?
In the language of earth, what part of speech are we?

Here is the street. What sense does it finally make:
any mound, a last wind. What prophet would sing . . . .
And at night, from out of my sleep, you begin to talk.
And how shall I answer you. And what shall I bring.

“You Too Got Tired.” The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, Univ. of California Press, 2013.

Good day, poets! I hope that you are all doing wonderfully well. Since the last time that I had hosted, I have moved to a new city and I am trying to measure the length of these days to verify if they are of the right fit. Sometimes, we have to make do with what we have and fit into certain molds, even if the end goal is to break free from them. It may sound morbid but the idea gives me comfort. Ha!

Let's move on from the silly rant. I have been reading Amichai lately and therefore, I thought of sharing this particular poem which I had to read many times before I could wear it and feel it on and through my skin. Please share your favourite Amichai titles in the comments.

This is Anmol (alias HA) and I welcome you all to The Tuesday Platform here at With Real Toads. As most of you would know, this is an open link platform, which means that you do not have to follow any particular theme or subject matter for your penmanship. Just pick any poem you would like to share with us and add its link in the widget down below. Once you have done that, do visit and cherish the words of other poets and share your words or comments on their posts. I look forward to reading all your word-wonders. That's a wrap!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Just One Word: Trinket


This beautiful trinket quilt was made by Garden visitor Cosmos Cami!
Check out her Instagram for more amazing homemade quilts:  CosmosCami

P.S. I will be away for most of the weekend but can't wait to read your poems when I return!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Bits of Inspiration ~ You Write the Color

Today I am making it simple. I'm providing the images for inspiration and you my dear poet friends will write the color. Choose one or more of the images and bring at least two colors into your poem. You have complete charge over poetic style. If you don't share the image in your post, please indicate which image/images you have chosen to poetically paint. All the photos other than my own came from pexels.com and are free to use as you wish (as are mine.)

So get out your poetic paint palettes and bring some color to these images, place your link in Mr. Linky, and visit your fellow poets to read the art of their words.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Tuesday Platform: Toads Just Wanna Have Fun

Hello Poets and Poetry Lovers! I am enjoying my summer so far, going to my favorite spot in Maine and visiting family. How about you? Have you been making time for a little fun?

Feel free to shape your words around the idea of fun, but as always the Tuesday Platform is open for your muse to have fun with any way they'd like. Just drop your link below, and remember to show your fellow toads some love by stopping by their place and leaving a comment or two.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Art FLASH / 55

For this weekend's art collaboration, I am introducing an illustrator in ink and watercolour, known as Anarh1a, from Novorossiysk, Russia. She has kindly given permission for us to use her beautiful piece, 'Chernobog and Belobog', for our poetic inspiration. This picture is part of a series the artist completed on Slavic gods, depicting The Myth of Creation.

There flew across the sky, above the Infinite Ocean-Sea, three birds: an Eagle in a front and two bright Falcons behind. The first chose the path, and directed the course. The two others followed him. One flew behind the right wing of the Eagle and looked up, into the sky. The other, who flew behind the left wing of the Eagle, looked down. Eagle was a Great God himself. One falcon was Belobog (White God), the other was Chernobog (Black God).
For more background on the role of these gods in Slavic culture, please follow this LINK.

Chernobog & Belobog
Used With Permission

If you repost the image on your blog, please give attribution to Anarh1a, using the following link: https://www.instagram.com/anarh1a.

Feel free to pay her a visit on Instagram, where more of her amazing pieces are to be viewed, but not used for this prompt.

If you post your poem on Instagram, using Anarh1a's image, please tag @anarh1a and mention her as the collaborative 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 photograph, or on a subject of your choice, in memory of Galen, who first imagined this challenge.

I also strongly encourage all those who choose to participate in this challenge to visit and comment on the work of the poets who have linked up alongside you. This poetry community has always been a place to share and support the creative responses to the prompts we provide. The linky does not expire and this 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. The longevity of the Real Toads is reliant on active participation.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Out of Standard - This is the end????

Hiya Garden Dwellers,

Welcome back to the out of standard where I lay at your feet a challenge to shake you out of the ordinary. And today, I’ve thrown in some extra fun.  

This is the end????
From time to time we fall in love with a great story, but the ending just doesn’t satisfy us. 

Your challenge: create a poem that rewrites an ending that let you down. It could be from a book, song, video game, TV show, movie, or any other medium. Just give us the ending you would have wanted.   

That's it. The platform is yours. The mic is warm.

Keep in mind
Like every challenge, your poem must by newly written 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.