Thursday, November 28, 2019

Weekend Mini Challenge: The Uncertainty of the Poet

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

I can't believe this is my last prompt as a Toad! I'm going to miss the Imaginary Garden and all who write in it. I'm so glad we have a while until we say goodbye - but we will undoubtedly see each other in the blogosphere.

At the last school where I was an English teacher, we had an annual festival, to which we invited writers, poets, rappers and artists to perform and host workshops. One year we included something for the adults: we invited the poet Wendy Cope for a reading. I had the pleasure of drinking coffee and chatting with her prior to the performance, as well as overseeing an interview by two students who worked with me on the school magazine.

I recently read one of her poems again and thought it was an excellent model for a weekend mini challenge. The poem is ‘The Uncertainty of the Poet’, which was written in response to a 1913 painting by Giorgio de Chirico.

Image result for the uncertainty of the poet by giorgio de chirico.
Image found on
I would like you to read the poem via the link above, study the structure and word patterns, and then write a similar poem, choosing your own words to noodle around with, restricting yourself to those words and trying them out in different combinations in couplets. It’s a good idea to choose words that you like the sound of, but not all to do with the same thing. This is a challenge with which you can have a lot of fun!

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.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bits of Inspiration ~ My Story

 I can't believe this is my last prompt in the Garden. I am so blessed to have been part of Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. Each poet I've read here, met here, has been a mentor and inspiration to explore my voice through poetry. Today I find it fitting to share an incredible art piece from artist, Karina Llergo, titled, My Story, which she has graciously given me permission to use for our prompt.

My Story by Karina llergo  (used with permission)

"Throughout her professional life, Karina painted and worked tirelessly to develop her unique style.  As a lifelong dancer, competitive swimmer and enthusiastic skydiver, she found herself drawn to depicting on canvas the palpable energy of the human body in motion.  Driven by these fascinations and armed with her talent for figurative painting , Karina found a way to translate her observations and creative imagination into thought-provoking paintings of breathtaking beauty.   

Today's challenge is to create a new poem inspired by Karina's vibrant, beautiful art piece. If you repost the image to your blog please credit Karina by using the following link:

Please feel free to visit and view more of Karina llergo's  amazing art at and on Instagram

If you post your poem on instagram using Karina's image, please tag @karinallergoart  and mention her as collaborative artist in your post. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Get Listed! with a Mystery Guest

Greetings to All Toads, Poets and Friends.

We are in the final season of this wonderful Imaginary Garden, as 2019 draws to its conclusion and, with this in mind, I asked a very special friend of the Toads to share one of her fabulous and famous Word Lists for the last Get Listed writing challenge.

Artist Unknown
Fair Use

This mystery guest wishes to retain her anonymity, but she has been a long-time blogger, who has her own special, magical way of appearing in many whimsical disguises, like Alice recreating her own unique Wonderland. I am most thankful for her support and artistic approach to poetry over the many years of my blogging experience and thrilled to share her eclectic selection of words with everyone today.

To participate in this challenge please select THREE or MORE words from the list and write an new poem inspired by the images they suggest.














Monday, November 18, 2019

November: Nothing is more memorable than scent

“Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.” – Diane Ackerman

“My garden, with its silence and pulses of fragrance that come and go on the airy undulations, affects me like sweet music. Care stops at the gates, and gazes at me wistfully through the bars.” – Alexander Smith

Scent so sweet it governs the senses. Greetings poets, wayfarers and friends. Welcome to another exciting Monday in the Imaginary Garden. This is Sanaa Rizvi stepping in for Isadora Gruye today.

I remember studying  John Steinbeck’s,”The Chrysanthemums.” After reading this particular piece of literature and understanding the author’s point of view; the mere idea of associating scent with good and bad memories seemed intriguing to me. Do you also associate scent with memory?

"Today I think
Only with scents, - scents dead leaves yield,
And bracken, and wild carrot's seed,
An the square mustard field;
Odours that rise
When the spade wounds the root of tree,
Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed,
Rhubarb or celery ..."
-  Edward Thomas, Digging

"Sweetly breathing, vernal air,
That with kind warmth doth repair
Winter's ruins; from whose breast
All the gums and spice of the East
Borrow their perfumes; whose eye
Gilds the morn, and clears the sky."
- Thomas Carew, 1595 - 1645

Your challenge today is to write a poem revolving around scent. You may draw inspiration from the quotes and poems above. Feel free to explore the various possibilities and pour your heart out.

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!🌷

Friday, November 15, 2019

Timetravel - Flashbacks with Björn

Hello fellow toads and tadpoles, as this is my last prompts for toad I wanted us all to remember and
looking back. But not only remembering but the harsh reality of flashbacks. 

Copyright Björn Rudberg

A flashback is a memory that is so strong that it pulls you back in time to another moment, maybe
more pleasant than present or more horrific. That means that you stay in the same tense as the
rest of your poem (often present tense) 

To be able to pull you back you need to add a magic time-turner, a sensation that creates such a
vivid memory that you actually have traveled in time. 

For instance the scent of your grandmother’s cologne might pull you back into a childhood memory,
or a song on the radio might place you in the time you fell in love on the dance-floor. 

A soldier with PTSD can be back in the trenches again at the snap of a twig. 

It is crucial for flashbacks to define that trigger, What would pull you back in time?

To travel back into today I imagine you are pulled back with the same sense.

As you well know flashbacks are something we all experience from time to time. So also question
yourself… how did it change your present state of mind? Did it help you make a difficult decision?
Did it make you happier, sadder or angry?

When I took a class in creative writing I remember a fellow attendant remarking that a flashback
relates to a mere memory in the same way as a metaphor relates to a simile.

Your poem (or flash-prose) could be fiction or real. Any perspective as long as it's new for the

Swim with care, the pond is deeper than you think.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Different Perspectives!

Constellations, 1940 by Joan Miro


From behind my eyes
hermetic song breaks open
song of the seedling that
did not ever flower.

Each one dreams about an
unreal, quirky end.
(The wheat dreams it's got
enormous yellow flowers.)

All of them dreaming strange
adventures in the shade.

Fruits hanging out of reach
& domesticated winds.

None of them know each other,
blind & gone astray,
their perfumes paining them
but cloistered now forever.

Each seed thinks up
a genealogical tree—
covers the whole sky
with its stalks & roots.

The air's smeared over with
improbable vegetations.
Black & heavy branches.
Cinder-colored roses.

The moon nearly smothered
with flowers & with branches
flights them off with moonbeams
like an octopus in silver.

From behind my eyes
hermetic song breaks open—
song of the seedlings that
did not ever flower.

© Federico García Lorca (tr. Jerome Rothernberg)

Dear, poets! I hope you all are doing well. As this is my last ever post/prompt for With Real Toads, I would like to thank all of you for your support and for participating in the open link platforms and the prompts that I have hosted here during my brief stint. It's been a delightful experience to write and share with each one of you and I look forward to a continuing connection in the blogosphere.

The best thing about an online poetry space like With Real Toads is its acknowledgment and promotion of the many different perspectives to a prompt as well as believes and individual ideas of different poets. At times, we come up with different or contrasting views and interpretations. Now that we are living in a world marred with divisiveness and hatred, I think it is more important than ever to be open to healthy discussions about them.

In that purview, I would like you all to write a poem about perspectives — your perspective, your definition or understanding of the word, your views on an issue that requires probing and prodding today, et al. You can also play around with the form, metaphors, and imagery of the poem, by offering a fresh perspective. You can interpret it in any way you want.

Once you have written and published your poem, add the link in the widget down below. Do not forget to visit others and share your words/comments with them. I look forward to reading you all throughout this week. Happy Writing!