Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sunday Feature Artist ~ Kelly Letky

I am thrilled to introduce a blogger, with whom we must all be familiar, as our feature artist this weekend.

Portrait of the Artist
Kelly Letky

Kelly Letky is a freelance graphic artist, poet, gardener, photographer, writer, jewelry designer, wife, mother, sister, daughter, crazy cat lady, friend, runner, and knitter, not necessarily in that order. She lives with her husband, three cats and one dog in the rural countryside of Farmington, NY, beneath a big blue bowl of sky, and enjoys not-nearly-often-enough visits from their three grown children. You can find her writing at Mrs Mediocrity & The Blue Muse.

If you have ever enjoyed a visit to one of Kelly's blogs, you may have come across her amazing fine art photography, as I did, and seen for yourself how poetic vision can be transformed into visual imagery. I asked Kelly if she would be prepared to share a few of her images with us in The Imaginary Garden, and she has generously obliged. More of her outstanding photography can be viewed at Etsy: Blue Muse Fine Art.

November Sky
© Kelly Letky

"I am always, always seeking out the beauty that life holds. These images are just a little of what I have found."

Dance with the Ghosts of Tomorrow
© Kelly Letky

Through the Looking Glass
© Kelly Letky

The Road to Somewhere
© Kelly Letky

Riptide
© Kelly Letky


Straight Down Rain Falling ...
© Kelly Letky
All images are used with permission. 

Our challenge today is entirely open-ended in terms of execution. Simply select an image which inspires you and write a new poem! You may also choose a different image from those shown here, by following the Etsy link above.

Please remember to acknowledge the name of the artist and provide a link back to her Blue Muse blog or Etsy page.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Transforming Friday with Nature's Wonders

Hi there Garden Peeps!!

We're making a special trip this time around...I hope you're not tired of mountains or afraid of heights!

This one holds a special place in my heart and it's on my mind - my sister, a few girlfriends and I are planning a hiking trip to occur in two weeks. It will be my third time up...I'm very excited!

Let's visit Mount Katahdin at Baxter State Park - the highest peak in Maine, U.S.A.!




Forgive me for the copy/paste here for a moment with some background info. but wiki states it well, I think. :)

Mount Katahdin (pronounced /kəˈtɑːdən/, "kə-tah-dən") is the highest mountain in Maine at 5,269 feet (1,606 m). NamedKatahdin by the Penobscot Indians, the term means "The Greatest Mountain".[3] Katahdin is the centerpiece of Baxter State Park: a steep, tall mountain formed from a granite intrusion weathered to the surface.

The flora and fauna on the mountain are typical of those found in northern New England. Katahdin was known to the Native Americans in the region, and was known to Europeans at least since 1689. It has inspired hikes, climbs, journal narratives, paintings, and a piano sonata.[4] The area around the peak was protected by Governor Percival Baxter starting in the 1930s. Katahdin is the northern terminus of theAppalachian Trail, and is located near a stretch known as the Hundred-Mile Wilderness.



In the 1840s Henry David Thoreau climbed Katahdin, which he spelled "Ktaadn"; his ascent is recorded in a well-known chapter of The Maine Woods.[12] A few years later Theodore Winthrop wrote about his visit in Life in the Open Air. Painters Frederic Edwin Church and Marsden Hartley are well-known artists who created landscapes of Katahdin. On Nov. 30 2011, Christie's auctioned Church's 1860 painting Twilight(Katahdin) for $3.1 million.

In the 1930s Governor Percival Baxter began to acquire land and finally deeded more than 200,000 acres (809 km²) to the State of Maine for a park, named Baxter State Parkafter him. The summit was officially recognized by the US Board on Geographic Names as "Baxter Peak" in 1931.

Then there's the famous, "Knife Edge."

The most famous hike to the summit goes along Knife Edge, which traverses the ridge between Pamola Peak and Baxter Peak. The mountain has claimed 19 lives since 1963, mostly from exposure in bad weather and falls from the Knife Edge. For about 3/10 of a mile the trail is 3 feet wide, with a drop off on either side. The Knife Edge is closed during periods of high wind.




Here's a short clip if you'd like to vicariously experience a little taste of this beautiful mountain and the challenging but fun hike!



I offer a jumping point here...it's meant to inspire just how it inspires and allow authors poetic-wiggle-room. Anything in this post is fair game...a small list of possibilities? How about the Hundred-Mile WildernessHenry David Thoreau, the Appalachian Trail, the Penobscot Indians or even the makings of the very mountain itself... the granite intrusion. Or if you have a mountain that's grown a granite stone-shape in your heart, by all means, share! 

Enjoy the stroll in the peaks my pond friends, link up a new poem below and visit your neighbors. Thank you! 

(All images and info. via wiki creative commons.) 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Words Count With Mama Zen

Greetings, Toads!

The older I get, the easier it is for me to admit that I'm a little weird. Yes, I can pick up a quarter using only my toes. Yes, I'm a water sign that hates the water. And, yes, I do watch Fox News just to piss myself off.  See?  A little weird.

What about you?  Are you a little weird, too?  Do tell . . . in 46 words or less.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Open Link Monday

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden ...

Source
Copyright belongs to photographer (Unknown)

Greetings Toads! Today we are entering a unique garden, as I share a few thoughts from a book I recently completed. It is a work of non-fiction by author, Paul Rosolie, called Mother of God, documenting Paul's journeys to the Madre de Dios, the steaming tropical jungle at the head of the Amazon River.

Copyright belongs to photographer (Unknown)
Fair Use Principles


"As I stared at the stars hung at random in billions upon billions of miles of outer space, it suddenly meant something altogether different to be in the jungle. The Amazon, with its vast matrix of interconnected, interdependent organisms as seen from one of those points of light, a star billions of miles from earth, is something unfathomably unique. The Amazon, viewed from space, has been described as the Tree of Rivers: the trunk rising from the Atlantic Ocean and reaching across the continent in ever-diverging branches of tributaries. It is the tree of life, the single greatest example of life to exist, perhaps, in the universe - the miraculous antithesis to the trillions of miles of barren, frigid space."
Read more about Paul Rosolie HERE on Ecology.com

These words made me consider the world we live in from the perspective of everything else in the known universe: what a unique miracle of life we own. As poets we seem to be on a quest to uncover the secrets of human existence, in all its glory and degradation. We try to figure exactly how we fit into a pattern of existence we have barely grasped over the mere 5.5 thousand years of so-called civilization, since we entered the Bronze Age. A reading of Walt Whitman's poem, Miracles, gives some voice to the perspective of which I speak:

Why, who makes much of a miracle? 
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles...


If you have a poem to share today, consider that the very act of writing, recording, creating art through the use of small marks upon a page may be a singularly unique enterprise, unknown in any other part of the Universe. We see, we believe, we preserve, we communicate.



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Play it Again, Toads! #8


Welcome to the eighth "Play it Again, Toads!" where one may select a challenge from the three I highlight below OR choose any challenge the Imaginary Garden has ever offered. The archive is on the sidebar - 2011 - 2014.

I've just returned from a week long oceanside vacation and have scrambled these past few days getting ready for a new school year.  It's hard to believe these days of idyl are almost over.  These images of "idyl" I share with you - please feel free to use them, they are an OPTION and do NOT have to be used in this challenge.  If you do use one, please combine it with an archived challenge.


1)  Jorge Luis Borges - become lost in the maze of language, magic & endless possibilities - Kerry

2)  The Fib(onacci) - imagined by Hedgewitch

3)  "The book within the story within the poem" - imagined by Fireblossom


Original poems only and link your specific post to Mr. Linky below.  Make it clear which challenge you are resurrecting by including a link.  I look forward to reading your poems.



Friday, August 22, 2014

Fireblossom Friday: Lists

Fireblossom here. Today, let's make a list. Not a word list. Let's write a poem with a list in it, or a list that IS a poem. 

Grover Lewis, in his collection "I'll Be There In The Morning If I Live" (Straight Arrow Books, 1973), includes a poem entitled "Poem Found On The Dais After The President's Declaration of War On Poetry". If not for copyright concerns, I would reproduce the whole thing here, but suffice to say, the poem is simply a list of 21 study questions, beginning with asking about the speaker and what sort of man he is, moving through all the usual high school English quiz questions, and concluding with a directive to criticize and evaluate the poem. Genius, if you ask me.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Ten things I hate about you. To-do lists. Shopping lists. Lists of possible suspects. A list of reasons why lists never work. Bucket list. Listing to starboard. Passenger list. List of ingredients. Your kiss is on my list. Blacklisted, unlisted, "A" list, shit list.

Your list may be the entire poem (and if so, you'll need to be clever about it, as Mr. Lewis was with his title), or just a part of it. Maybe you won't even include an actual list, but merely reference one. 

Next on the list? Sign the link list. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bits Of Inspiration ~ Spirit Nature

Hello everyone. We have all been bombarded with negativity lately. It takes a toll on mind, body, and spirit. I thought this would be a good time to stop, breathe, and focus on things that are positive. In my quest for direction I found it led me to the voices of Native Americans. They have a profound connection to earth, nature, spirit, and wisdom. So today I want us to spend a few moments and center ourselves on something other than the frantic, electronic world that surrounds us.



The following are quotes I have chosen for inspiration. Choose as many as you like, but choose at least one that helps you find your poetic voice. Don't rush. Listen to the music. Open yourself to peace. (Please write a new poem for the challenge, add it to Mr. Linky, and then visit your fellow poets to read their work.)

"Walk lightly in the spring; Mother Earth is pregnant." – Kiowa

"To touch the earth is to have harmony with nature." - Oglala Sioux

"We are all one child spinning through Mother Sky." – Shawnee

"The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives." – Sioux

"The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears." - Tribe Unknown

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Tribe Unknown

"All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them." – Arapaho
  
"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset." - Blackfoot

This is the link for the source of my quotes:
Native American Proverbs & Wisdom

dream catcher photo:  tumblr_lnhvhaNsks1qha9aao1_500.jpg
Image: Photobucket

Monday, August 18, 2014

Open Link Monday with Magaly

Welcome to the Garden, Word Lovers…

I’m in an extra-sharing mood, today. So let me share a bit about me.

 The Haunting, by SunshineShelle
via

My poetry writing journey didn’t start very long ago. Go ahead; this is the time when you say things like, “Really? Wow! But you are so good.” I’ll wait… Okay, you’re so kind. *giggles*

I wrote my first poem in 2010. It wasn’t very good. The second one wasn’t much better. “Sexy, Dark and Bloody”, my third, felt different. Perhaps because its words were birthed out of hot frustration, rage and an intense desire not to punch a certain someone in the mouth.

You see, I had just submitted a short story for a fiction contest. The story won first place, but one of five judges said that “letting [me] win” the contest had been a mistake. He said this to my face, while waving a copy of my work in front of others. He was a poet. And he got very upset because I chose to paraphrase a quote from a poem he held very close to his heart. According to him, I insulted the author of the original work. Mind you, the main motif of my story had to do with the way in which time and experience can change the meaning of a word for an individual.

I wrote “Sexy, Dark and Bloody” the afternoon before the award ceremony. As the first place winner, I was given the choice to read an excerpt from my story or from any short work that fitted the allotted time. I drafted the poem a couple of hours before the reading. I was terrified because my poetry experience was nonexistent. But I was full of passion. I finished reading for the 40 or so people sitting in front of me—literature professors and students and their guests—and no one made a sound. The rib-crushing silence lasted about 30 seconds. Then someone stood up and began to applaud. Soon after that the room was as thunderous as the inside of my chest.   

I read my poem facing the poet who said I had no respect for someone else’s work, and that I shouldn’t waste my time writing about “things that weren’t real and that weren’t [mine].”

When this happened, I had no idea why I chose poetry instead of fiction to make my point. Or why the opinion of someone I didn’t particularly care about affected me so deeply. Today, I understand: I needed personal words; lines that left the lips raw and the heart sore; stanzas that told this man that I would not allow anyone—especially not a stranger—to limit my voice or the way in which I used my words. I love short fiction. Storytelling will always be my first and forever love, but in my soul poetry serves a purpose that can’t be replaced by other forms. I’m not quite sure how to explain exactly what I mean by this; not yet… maybe in another year or three.


Open Link Monday is for sharing a poetic work of your choosing, regardless of theme or format. Have fun and be free; that’s what we are here for, isn’t it? And if you have a poem that you wrote while bursting with hot emotions, I would love to read it. 

Do visit other word lovers. Read their words and leave words in kind, for “Silence is not a natural environment for stories [or for poetry]. They need words. Without them they grow pale, sicken and die. And then they haunt you.” ~ The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sunday Mini-Challenge - Triquain

In my search for an interesting form for us to try this weekend, I came across the Triquain, created by Shelley A. Cephas, which seems to me to  be filled with possibility. Source




What I like about this form is that it leaves a lot of the decision-making up to the poet. For example, there is no set rhyme scheme so if you want to include rhyme, you can decide on your own scheme. Also, the basic pattern offers several variances in application, with no parameters as to length.

In its simplest form, the Triquain consists of seven lines, with syllables counted in multiples of 3.

3 - 6 - 9 - 12 - 9 - 6 - 3

The trick thereafter is in deciding how many of these stanzas you want to use. Rather like the Cinquain (from which it is undoubtedly derived), several options are presented.




Triquain Chain

This is a string of 2 - 4 stanzas with lines left between each one.

3 - 6 - 9 - 12 - 9 - 6 - 3  /  3 - 6 - 9 - 12 - 9 - 6 - 3 (and so on)

Crown Triquain

This is a string of 5 stanzas, as above. 

Triquain Swirl

The swirl is created by joining the stanzas together on the seventh line, eliminating the second 3 syllable line and the space between stanzas. The finished stanza will stand at 13 lines and may be repeated thereafter.

3 - 6 - 9 - 12 - 9 - 6 - 3 - 6 - 9 - 12 - 9 - 6 - 3 

Furthermore, you may like to include an element of repetition in either the Crown or Swirl, by taking a 3 syllable word or phrase from one of the longer lines and using it as the final 3 syllable line of the stanza or at the bridge of the swirl. I hope I have not made this sound more complicated than it should be!

Once you have experimented to your heart's content, link up your poems below and have fun visiting the blogs of others to see what they have made of this neat form.

Sheet Music photo credit: Heartlover1717 via photopin cc

Zebra photo credit: catlovers via photopin cc


Thursday, August 14, 2014

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb.....



Well, its Friday my dear Toads. This is Herotomost and I find myself surrounded by Leos.  Not sure what my penchant is for surrounding myself with Leos, but it has happened and I find myself floating on a see of golden manes, unrivaled prowess and spirited beauty on a daily basis. Friends, family and co-workers. Its not a bad thing, I just wonder why.  If you believe in all that astrological mojo, there doesn't seem to be a specific reason for it I don't think.  But, for as long as I can remember I am a magnet to lions.

So, my Friday challenge will incorporate the "In like a lion, out like a lamb" theme, I am pretty sure with the way this swamp festers with talent, bubbles with inspiration and gurgles with beauty, I should get a more than just a few wonderful pieces of writing. Here's the rules....more for the rule breakers than for the rule followers:

Write me a poem, story, love song, check, excel spread sheet (you know I have no use for form, only content) whatever your heart desires.  I want you to come out of the gates writing with a ferocity or rage that is unbridled, larger than life, too hot to touch, intimidating, filled with sharp teeth, eating small children, overwhelming entire villages....you know....Roarrrrrr!!!!!


I want you to end the piece in a fashion that tapers to a point, burns out, fizzles, lands on faerie feet, gets caught on the current like dandelion fuzz, falls flat, peters out or sweetly disappears....heavy sigh.


Subject matter can be anything, excepts scorpions...I hate scorpions.

So have fun or not, write or not. Just remember I am not the boss of you. Have a great weekend and I can't wait to see what might come of this little safari!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Get Listed - August - Carpe Diem

Robin Williams passed on August 11th, evidently a suicide.

Some people intensely disliked Williams, or grew tired of his mania. Perhaps he did, too. I, for one, have never laughed quite so hard as his HBO Specials - here is the 2009 show in its entirety, Weapons of Self Destruction.

I'll leave it to others to parse the relationship between genius or artists, and depression, and instead focus on the movie that links him to us. Of course, this is Dead Poets Society.

William's character, John Keating, has his students rip out the forward to a poetry book that claims there exists a mathematical formula to determine if a poem is great. He then tells them:


We don't read and write poetry because it's cute - we read and write poetry because we're members of the human race.

The scene ends with Keating reciting Walt Whitman's O Me! O Life!, part of Leaves of Grass - recently re-introduced to the public eye with William's recitation the voice-over in the Apple's iPad TV advertisement. With eerie prescience, Chief Toad Kerry O'Connor posted O Me! O Life! in this week's Open Link Monday:
The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse; what will your verse be? 

Later in the film, Keating exhorts his students to Seize the Day - Carpe Diem, in the Latin.

And he is finally honored by several students despite being railroaded out of the school, as they climb on top of their desks, proclaiming him, O Captain! My Captain! - another famous Whitman pen.

It is ironic, then, the final couplet:
Walk the deck my captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

The film had no reference to beat poets, which irked some critics as it was set in 1959. However, Whitman was prominently featured, along with Frost, Thoreau, Byron - lots of dead poets in that society. If there are other Hollywood films about poets, none come to mind.

Originally, I had a different word list prepared, but William's suicide reminded me of other word-smiths who chose the same path, like Plath and Bukowski and Sexton, and so I hurriedly composed this not-quite-honorarium, in the hopes of reminding each of us to reach out for help when even the moon is dark.

So for your inspiration today, consider spending a little time with your own demons, or your own favorite poets, dead or living. Then, choose at least 3 words of the following list - taken from dialog in the film - compose a *new* pen, and post it to Mr. Linky.

worm, verse, dreams, suck, rout, daring, caution, seize, dead, desperation, barbaric, noble

We ask that you return frequently to visit the other poets links - and please comment, if so inspired - I suspect that we all could use the feedback.

Carpe Diem



Monday, August 11, 2014

Open Link Monday

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden...

photo credit: lord_yomismo via photopin cc
Greetings to all-comers on another Monday in the Land of Blog. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Magaly Guerrero who has agreed to shared the hosting responsibilities of Open Link Monday. Look out for her vivacious presence fortnightly.

As a poetic thought for today, I offer this extract from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman:

O Me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d;
Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

Answer.

That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

We are here today for that contribution, your verses, your thoughts freely shared. Please link up a poem of your choice, and enjoy whatever time you have to spare for the Imaginary Garden.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sunday's Mini-challenge: Gabriela Mistral



Hi toads and friends of the garden.   I am excited to introduce to you the work by Gabriela Mistral.   


Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957), pseudonym for Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga, was born in Vicuña, Chile. She taught elementary and secondary school for many years until her poetry made her famous. She played an important role in the educational systems of Mexico and Chile, was active in cultural committees of the League of Nations, and was Chilean consul in Naples, Madrid, and Lisbon. She held honorary degrees from the Universities of Florence and Guatemala and was an honorary member of various cultural societies in Chile as well as in the United States, Spain, and Cuba. She taught Spanish literature in the United States at Columbia University, Middlebury College, Vassar College, and at the University of Puerto Rico.

Dusk

I feel my heart melting
in the mildness like candles:
my veins are slow oil
and not wine,
and I feel my life fleeing
hushed and gentle like the gazelle. 

She was the first Spanish American author to receive the Nobel Prize in literature in 1945; as such, she will always be seen as a representative figure in the cultural history of the continent. "It is to render homage to the riches of Spanish American literature that we address ourselves today especially to its queen, the poet of Desolación, who has become the great singer of mercy and motherhood," concludes the Nobel Prize citation read by Hjalmar Gullberg at the Nobel ceremony. Mistral's works, both in verse and prose, deal with the basic passion of love as seen in the various relationships of mother and offspring, man and woman, individual and humankind, soul and God. 

Pine Forest

Let us go now into the forest.
Trees will pass by your face,
and I will stop and offer you to them,
but they cannot bend down.
The night watches over its creatures,
except for the pine trees that never change:
the old wounded springs that spring
blessed gum, eternal afternoons.
If they could, the trees would lift you
and carry you from valley to valley,
and you would pass from arm to arm,
a child running
from father to father. 


Although she mostly uses regular meter and rhyme, her verses are sometimes difficult to recite because of their harshness, resulting from intentional breaks of the prosodic rules. This apparent deficiency is purposely used by the poet to produce an intended effect—the reader's uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty and harshness that corresponds to the tormented attitude of the lyrical voice and to the passionate character of the poet's worldview. Even when Mistral's verses have the simple musicality of a cradlesong, they vibrate with controlled emotion and hidden tension. In her prose writing Mistral also twists and entangles the language in unusual expressive ways as if the common, direct style were not appropriate to her subject matter and her intensely emotive interpretation of it. 

The Stranger (La Extranjera)

She speaks in her way of her savage seas
With unknown algae and unknown sands;
She prays to a formless, weightless God,
Aged, as if dying.
In our garden now so strange,
She has planted cactus and alien grass.
The desert zephyr fills her with its breath
And she has loved with a fierce, white passion
She never speaks of, for if she were to tell
It would be like the face of unknown stars.
Among us she may live for eighty years,
Yet always as if newly come,
Speaking a tongue that plants and whines
Only by tiny creatures understood.
And she will die here in our midst
One night of utmost suffering,
With only her fate as a pillow,
And death, silent and strange. 


Woman:  The Mad One (In part, please click to read the entire poem)

As soon as nighttime thickens
And all that was erect must rest
And all that was most secret stirs,
I hear him climb up the stairs.
No matter that he comes unheard,
That I am the only one aware.
Why should his step resound
in another sleeplessness?

In one breath of mine he's climbing
And I suffer till he comes-
Mad cataract his destiny
One time rejects, uplifts another
And thornbranch, feverish mad
That grates against my door.
I dare not rise, my eyes are closed,
But I see his form entire-
That instant, like a small quarry,
We have truce beneath the night.
But I hear him climb back down
Like an eternal tide.

You can read more about Gabriela Mistral's life here.


Our challenge is to write a new poem or prose poem in response to Gabriela Mistral's words.   Some examples of responses include affirming what the speaker said or using her title or line of verse as a jumping board for your own writing.   The prompt is wide open so feel free to explore where your muse takes you.   I look forward to reading your work ~   Happy weekend to all ~ Grace



Friday, August 8, 2014

Artistic Interpretations - Skeleton Poetry

Galapagos Turtle - Geochelone elephantopus
I am happy to host once again "Artistic Interpretations with Margaret".  I struggled with what to call this month's theme - and ended up coming up with the obvious:  "Skeleton Poetry".  But I leave it up to you to interpret what that means.

Recently I visited Washington DC and visited numerous museums and photographed numerous exhibits and famous artwork - (collecting months of images for future challenges)  The images posted here were taken from the Natural History Museum's exhibit "Bones & Mummies".

Black Caiman - Melanosuchus niger

Following are a few poems  that deal with skeletons - however, please do not let this limit or define your response…

All Poetry - Poems about Skeletons

On the Skeleton of a Hound

The Skeleton in Armor

My Skeleton and below is a YouTube video of Jane Hirshfield exploring an ode… a poem which talks directly to the object of the poem - here she speaks to her skeleton.



For this challenge I do require a new poem or a greatly re-worked one.  Please link your specific post to "Mr. Linky" below.  As we know, Friday is often a hectic day, so please feel free to submit late and remember - Monday is "Open Link" here in the Garden.  Thank you, and I look forward to your artistic  interpretations.

If this challenge is a success and "The Garden" willing, I can resurrect this challenge in the future and post different images - I took over 50 black & white skeleton photographs!   My artist daughter has expressed a wish to draw some of my images, so maybe that will be another route in which we can explore this theme.  


Tiger - Panthera tigris
Kingfisher - Mergaceryle torquata
Common Bullfrog - Rana catesbeiana
Bighorn Sheep - Ovis canadensis
Flying Lemur - Order Dermoptera





Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Poems in Progress

Belly-down on McCamus Road--image copyrighted, Isadora Gruye Photography.





Greetings Garden Dwellers!
Welcome back to Out of Standard, where I will call upon you to write out of the standard and find new places in the everyday.  It is in that spirit in which I present August’s challenge...


POEMS IN PROGRESS 
Today, my muddy buddies, we are defying the norms of our very own Garden.  We are going to break all the rules....by focusing on the work we never post in the Garden:  those which aren’t done.  And I am not talking about ones which are basically done but just needs a few flourishes to give it that zing.  No.  Not those.  And I am not taking about the ones you’ve written but don’t feel are the absolute best you’ve done.  No not those.

I am talking about poems that end mid sentence.  Perhaps the ones you started with a wowza first stanza, but then it just unraveled and fell flat.  The poems you think about once in a while with a twinge of guilt for leaving them to unfinished

Those poems.
I want them.  Posted to today’s Mr. Linky.


AND NOW FOR YOUR CHALLENGE--
When posting your poem in progress, leave very specific instructions about where you are stuck, and let us know what you want feedback on.  Maybe even why you stopped writing or what you don’t like about what you have so far.

We toads will respond in kind with our feedback and thoughts to help you finish the poem (huzzah!).


NOTE:
Your linked poem doesn’t have to be new, or written specifically for this challenge. They only need to be unfinished (not a first draft...they must not even completed yet) and you need to share where’d you’d like some feedback. 


SECOND NOTE:
Those who visit the poems in progress, make certain to read each poet’s request for feedback and  give them the support they were so brave to ask for.  

So go now, my muddy buddies, bring us back your broken and lackluster.  Together, we’ll make them shiny and new!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Open Link Monday with Magaly

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden…

Greetings word lovers. This is my first fly over the garden, and I can’t stop grinning at the view. I almost messaged Kerry to let her know that I was too ill to post on my first week—conjunctivitis and a horrid summer cold. I even wrote a haiku inspired by my troubles. Yes, I was that delirious. But I changed my mind at the last minute, strolled through old photos I took at some of my favorite woody parts, and made myself feel better. Here is a glimpse of what soothed me:

My Piano Man and I ran into this beauty while we were hiking in Breakheart Reservation, Boston.


I was stuffing my face with blackberries in Friday Harbor, Washington, when I noticed this wee fellow staring at me.


Can you see this one? I almost crushed it. I was climb-crawling a rock face, in Yosemite National Park, and my hand almost landed on it. As you can see, it was nice enough to pose for a picture.


I hope you enjoyed the natural eye delight. Now let’s do what we do best: share a poem, visit other word lovers, and let your heart dance and sparkle (or weep, if necessary) with the miracle that is reading poetry that emanates from the soul.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Flash Fiction 55

Once there was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children, she didn't know what to do. In fact, she had precisely fifty-five children! There was Susie and Judy and....well, have you ever tried to keep fifty-five names straight, fix dinner for fifty-five every night, AND find time to write?!? 

It's that time, everybody. Time to write a poem or a piece of flash fiction in exactly fifty-five words, no more, no less. Any subject; children, shoes, nervous breakdowns, whatever floats your boat! 
 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Jerusalem

Steve Earle: “I’m so optimistic that I wrote this song, and people think this is hopelessly optimistic but I’m just gonna keep singing it until either I die or it comes true, whichever one happens first.”

(Scroll forward to 5:50 if you want to skip the interview with Steve Earle and just hear the song.)




Jerusalem

I woke up this mornin' and none of the news was good
And death machines were rumblin' 'cross the ground where Jesus stood
And the man on my TV told me that it had always been that way
And there was nothin' anyone could do or say

And I almost listened to him
Yeah, I almost lost my mind
Then I regained my senses again
And looked into my heart to find

That I believe that one fine day all the children of Abraham
Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem

Well maybe I'm only dreamin' and maybe I'm just a fool
But I don't remember learnin' how to hate in Sunday school
But somewhere along the way I strayed and I never looked back again
But I still find some comfort now and then

Then the storm comes rumblin' in
And I can't lay me down
And the drums are drummin' again
And I can't stand the sound

But I believe there'll come a day when the lion and the lamb
Will lie down in peace together in Jerusalem

And there'll be no barricades then
There'll be no wire or walls
And we can wash all this blood from our hands
And all this hatred from our souls

And I believe that on that day all the children of Abraham
Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem


Steve Earle, “Jerusalem,” from I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive