Friday, December 13, 2019

Weekend Mini-Challenge: 13 Poetic Bits of Kerry

I haven’t always cared for poetry. In fact, a handful of years ago, those of you who have known me for a bit probably had the displeasure of reading my rants about how much I hated poetry (and how Shakespeare was very likely a frilly ruff-wearing sadist). Then illness (and the fact that the idea of not writing on a regular basis was rather painful) not-so-gently nudged me to give poetry writing a try. That’s how I stumbled into the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, how I ended up falling in love with Kerry O’Connor’s poetry (and with the delight of poetry writing).

So, for my last prompt, before our Garden closes its active doors, I wish you to celebrate Kerry’s poetry with me. Joining the celebration is easy, just select 1 of the 13 lines below (which I harvested out of 13 of Kerry’s poems), and write a new poem. The words in your chosen line must remain exactly as they are—consecutive and unaltered (other than capitalization)—and you must use every word in the line you choose. Line breaks are fine. For example, if you choose the first line, “A nightmare is mere fodder” can be line 1, as long as “for poetry” is (or starts) line 2.

13 poetic bits of Kerry, for today’s prompt (somewhere in your post, maybe at the end, show us the Kerry Bit you chose and give Kerry credit. And if you are feeling extra giving, also let us know why you chose that particular line):  

1. A nightmare is mere fodder for poetry
2. But, oh, how high you fly on the trapeze. No nets
3. Crushing fragments of yesterday
4. Does it burn, my dear? Does it trouble you
5. This flesh is mine, it has bled, and shed
6. The future arrives just as water
7. The nights are not dark enough
8. I am the embodiment of smoke
9. I have been halved and cored
10. I will love you in the darkness of soul
11. Our hearts are naked
12. Permit yourself to pause
13. The (right) words to undo the wrong
* To read the poem a line belongs to, just click the number.

Visit @skyloverpoetry, Skywriter, and Skylover to enjoy more of Kerry’s words.

My sweetest Kerry, thank you so much for letting me offer your poetry as inspiration, and for allowing me some growing space in the Imaginary Garden. You rocketh very mucho… and you are sooo loved.

Dear Toads, add the direct link to your new poem to Mr. Linky. Do visit other pond dwellers. As always, share your thoughts on the ink-flowers blooming in their Imaginary Garden. And please, please, please… be kind.


  1. Thank you so much, Magaly. Your final prompt, reading your words, has really choked me up. My time spent in the Garden has been such a period of personal growth for me, both as a writer and as a human being, whose life path has crossed with so many individuals. I am so much richer for the experience, in real and abstract terms. Thank you for choosing lines from my poems. I look forward to seeing them repurposed.

  2. Kerry, I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that your management of the Garden has been inspiring, and that your poetry sticks to the heart and makes it grow stronger. I'm beyond excited to see what everyone brews out of your words. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

  3. Thank you, Magaly, for such an inspirational challenge. Kerry's words are and have always been magic. Hope I do not cross an invisible 'no-no' line, I am considering three of Kerry's lines that absolutely spoke to me. Please advise if this not my finest idea. Happy to revise and Happy Holidays everyone.

    1. Helen, go for it! If Kerry’s is cool with i, then I’m cool with it. 😘😘😘

  4. Speaking for myself, Helen, I don't mind but it is Magaly's post so she can decide if a deviation from the rules is alright. I hope that we can be a bit flexible for our final challenges in the Garden.

  5. What a perfect prompt. Thank you Magaly. There were two or three lines that spoke to me as well.

  6. Magaly, I am so grateful you found poetry. Kerry I will be forever grateful you asked me to become a Toad and for the beauty of your poetry and friendship. Ok, I am trying not to cry.

  7. You meant, 'other than capitalisation AND PUNCTUATION,' didn't you? There's a wee comma – which I could remove, but it's better in than out (in a line I couldn't fail to use, for reasons which will be obvious).

    Many thanks, Magaly and Kerry, for this excellent prompt!

    I'm packing today, travelling the next two days with limited internet access – forgive me if I don't respond to all other poems immediately.

  8. @Toni, I know what you mean. These lines keep on singing and singing and singing...

    @Susie, the gratefulness is mutual!

    @Rosemary, you are such a rebel!

  9. I am so humbled and proud to read all these poems. Hard to describe how happy I feel to see my words combined with those of other poets whom I love and admire. My sincere thanks to all who joined in, and most of all, my thanks to Magaly for being so generous to me in her final post.

  10. These are great lines to work with and it is absolutely right to salute Kerry in this way in the Pond's final month. Bravo. I am hosting over at Sunday Muse this weekend but I think I can manage to write for both. :-)

    Btw, I had to read all the way to the bottom before i figured out who wrote this post (who was talking, in other words.)

  11. @Kerry, when it comes to generosity, my friend, you are at the top of the list. And I love that you've always found a way to share that spot with us. Thank you so much for being you.

  12. @Fireblossom, it will be fantastic to see how Kerry's words dance between your lines!

    And yes, I've always found Blogger's author line to be rather informative. ;-)

  13. This is so wonderful, what a tribute!
    I'm realizing that the last hurrah for our Garden in December is challenging, such a busy, busy time. I'm already behind.
    But will find some words to piece together for this, thank you and xoxox Magaly

  14. Thank you, Marian. And I totally get it. I promised myself that I would write for every prompt, since the Garden is closing and the struggle is real! But only a couple of weeks to go, so we will make it!

  15. Magaly, what an inspired and inspiring post. I hope the lines that came to me fulfil the prompt. It is a WONDERFUL idea to celebrate Kerry, who so deserves to be celebrated.

  16. I will definitely write to this... but it's getting late here, and I want to be able to read as much as possible as well... hope to add something very late (tomorrow(

  17. @Sherry, you are so right. Our Kerry deserves so much.

    @Bjorn, I hope you are getting some rest! Read you when you get back.

  18. Such a well thought out challenge - I LOVE that we are able to use Kerry's brilliant words. I hope I can do them a little bit of justice. I have been so honored sharing a pond with all you Toads (and the ones who have come before you. I KNOW I would not be writing poetry today if it wasn't for this garden. You have helped me grow and keep me inspired.

  19. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I'm late with my poem and comments. I've so enjoyed reading Kerry's lines (and poems) again, and the poems that have been inspired by her writing. Thank you, Magaly, for a great prompt.

    Shay, for some reason I'm having problems commenting on your poem, so I'm commenting here.
    Your poem is so delicate but chilling, especially accompanied by the photograph, which I investigated, and it made the hairs stand up on my forearms. The suitcases left in a New York insane asylum by patients who were locked away for the rest of their lives reminded me of the second series of American Horror Story, and you’ve captured that horror in the disappearing walls, ‘hollow as bird bones or violins / stacked each upon each like the worst regrets’.

  20. @Margaret, I'm write with you. I'm not sure I would've started to care for poetry without the Garden. We do have so much to be thankful for.

    @Kim, Reading through Kerry's collected works, in search of lines for this prompt, was a delight. It was so good to reread pieces I had read in the past, and it was a gift to read poems I hadn't read before.

  21. I've had another full advent weekend with the next birthday in the family. Thanks for this wonderful prompt, and thank you Kerry for your poetry.❤️

  22. Hello Everyone- I am a bit late here, but posting this morning. I've recently had some health issues, of which are occupying a lot of my mind. Kerry, your words are always inspirational and I thank you for your dedication to Toads, and helping other writers to grow.

  23. @RedCat, I hope the celebrations were lovely.

    @Linda, you can never be late when you come home. I hope the health issues are better now. I shall keep you in my thoughts.


Much time and effort went into this post! Your feedback is appreciated.