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.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bits Of Inspiration ~ Keep Dancing

Wow! We are swimming in negativity from Facebook posts to news outlets. We can't climb out of the pit if we're always feeding on reasons for walls. So today Toads and visitors we're going to dance.


"Every dance is a kind of fever chart, a graph of the heart". Martha Graham

I actually love to dance. I feel a sense of freedom, joy, courage when I lose myself in movement to a favorite song. It is not about whether I'm good or bad at it. It is about letting go and celebrating who I am without my thoughts pulsing with negativity.

"There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good." -   Edwin Denby

I enjoy watching dancers translate lyrics or story telling through their bodies. For instance Sia's videos are infused with dance. It may look like odd choreography, but no one can doubt the passion in the performance. 


And I won't let you get me down
I'll keep gettin' up when I hit the ground
Oh, never give up, no, never give up no, no, oh
I won't let you get me down
I'll keep gettin' up when I hit the ground
Oh, never give up, no, never give up no, no, oh

Photo by Saksham Gangwar on Unsplash
"Dancing is silent poetry." – Simonides

Today's challenge is to express dance through poetry. Pick a photo, a quote, video...Pick whatever inspires you.  Write a new poem...Post it on Mr. Linky and visit your fellow poets to read their poetic choreography. 




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

True North - In tandem with Karin and Björn


Hello Toads and Tadpoles,

Happy Wednesday, this is Karin and Björn writing a poem in tandem. We have sent drafts back and forth between us starting from the idea of North. We wanted to share something common between the two of us. and both having connection to Sweden we thought we should use that in the poem and write about what the North means for us. We found that slight differences but also lots in common. Then we are each sharing an image, Karin a wonderful piece of art, and Björn a photo from one of the many rivers of the north.

 
Copyright ManicDdaily aka Karin Gustafson

True North

My true north was summer, a place where time
melted, where grass grasped
ankles as if they were
best friends, as if grass had arms
and ankles waists, as if it weren’t too hot
to hold tight to anything but
what froze.

Like my tongue, when stuck on frigid steel, I went  
from silence into songs;
when thawed,
belonging with the woodwind, with anemones  
in that loss of night
when dusk made love to dawn
my true north was summer
with strawberries and milk.

And when life drove me past
chosen directions,
I would look for that north
in the spooling pools
of the rear view mirror,
finding again the surprise
of strawberries,
knowing then that a return to grass should hold
no terror.

In the sound of water
in the canvas pitter-patter,
in the thunder and the roar of waterfalls
behind the bending boughs of birches
with every bird
are cairns that lead me north.
Thus I find my footing,
knowing well
I have walked this path before.


Copyright Björn Rudberg

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Tuesday Platform

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden...

Book Quotes Pencils
Jane Austen


Greetings to all poets, wayfarers and friends. The floor is open; the platform is yours! Please share a poem of your choice and enjoy the company of your fellow scribes.

Remember to stop by tomorrow for our Toads in Tandem feature post. Karin and Björn have banded together to bring us a collaborative poem to celebrate the creativity of our Garden environment.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Weekend Mini-Challenge: Out of Your Own Words

Greetings, dear Toads. I hope your day is dancing with words and wonder. I have been doing a lot of editing these last few weeks. And as I reread my work, many lines have stayed with me… whispering to the muse, asking to be written into more.

Today’s prompt sprouted out of those thoughts. I invite you to write a new poem that begins with a line out of your own words. The line can come from a poem, a story, a blog entry, a social media post… Origin doesn’t matter, as long as the words belong to you, and you have published them on a public platform before today. Please add a link to the piece that birthed the line.  
  
detail from this painting, by Magic Love Crow

 Feed the link to your new poem to Mr. Linky.
Visit other Toads. Love words.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Writing Unseen




Greetings Garden Dwellers and welcome to the Out of Standard, where I set before you a challenge to defy the conventions of a particular theme and find new places in the everyday. 

Writing unseen
Today’s prompt is fairly simple.  

Write a poem about something you can’t see fully. Whether it’s the sea monster draped in darkness or just the silhouette of a lover blotted out by the sun, we are all intrigued with the details that exist but escape our sights. 

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.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Tuesday Platform

Welcome to The Imaginary Garden! 

Opinion is a flitting thing,
But Truth, outlasts the Sun -
If then we cannot own them both -
Possess the oldest one -

    -- Emily Dickinson
(copyright Emily Dickinson Museum, fair use)

 Share * Read * Comment * Enjoy


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Flash 55 PLUS!

Greetings to all poets and friends. It is time for the Flash 55 Challenge!
The rules of this prompt have not changed: Write a piece of poetry or prose on a subject of your choice in precisely 55 WORDS.

Alphabet by Erté
Fair Use


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

PLUS! 

For the OPTIONAL EXTRA part of this challenge, I invite you to consider the art of Romain de Tirtoff a.k.a. Erté . Follow THIS LINK to view examples of his works on WikiArt.
Feel free to post more than one 55-word piece to this prompt, which will remain first on the Home Page until Tuesday morning. Please return to enjoy the poetry of fellow poets.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Artistic Interpretations with Margaret - Quilt Me a Poem



Welcome to Artistic Interpretations.  Inspiration is found in nature, museums, and ... fabric stores.  It is true - fabric stores can become an addiction - and I have accumulated a lot of fabric since I have taken up quilting about a year ago.

The challenge is to write a poem using one of these fabric details OR if you have a special quilt (or memories of one) write about that instead.

I have been swamped this summer with family and "responsibility" and I want to extend the offer to link an old poem if you don't have time to write a new one - I don't usually do this, but I'd rather have you participate than not.  Sometimes going back and looking at an "old" poem, one finds the inclination to change it up a bit, however, please stick with the theme I have provided.

Link to Mr. Linky below and please visit the other poets.  I look forward to your artistic interpretation.


















Wednesday, August 2, 2017

In Tandem with Margaret Bednar & Gillena Cox



“Of Nymphs and Gods"  

Elephants effortlessly leap
as cougars crouch and giants sleep
and I upon Gaia’s ample breast
relinquish time to nymph’s mystique.

Now then in cool of morning rest
heat rays abide in sun’s digest
broad lays day as banana leaves
give succor thou wanton guest. 

Until westward wind sighs and heaves
Aura’s artistry aside and conceives
a cumulus sky of fearful might
'tis fair Iris's name to which I cleave.

Silhouettes court jasmine's white
orange hues bring lovers in sight
quiet passions to golden steep
guide the hush of twilight's flight.




When Margaret emailed me i quickly responded, for i was eager, after giving my yes to Kerry's invitation to Toads in Tandem. I linked Margaret to a few of my past collaborations, and mentioned to her that i liked a recently discovered form, with which i was experimenting - the rubaiyat .

#The Rubáiyát a Persian form of several quatrains. Its name derives from the Arabic plural of the word for "quatrain," Rubá'íyah. This, in turn, comes from the Arabic Rubá, meaning "four."
#In each quatrain, all lines rhyme except the third.

We decided on an Interlocking Rubaiyat,

#The 3 Stanza interlock is aaba.bbcb.ccac.
Slight adjustments had to be made in the rhyme scheme since we were writing a 4 Stanza interlock.
#Our rhyme scheme is aaba.bbcb.ccdc.ddad

Now we had to choose theme, "I luv clouds " i told Margaret and she echoed "look to the clouds for inspiration," and opted to write the first stanza. So now we were on our way to our collaborating adventure.

It was fun, writing, titling, (Margaret proposed the title), explaining thoughts, understanding, fine-tuning: all this via e-mail. I choose the accompanying nephelai-images from a google search.
#Nephelai - cloud nymphs of Greek Mythology

Thank you for reading Toads, hope you enjoyed our serving up of "Of nymphs and gods”

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Tuesday Platform

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden...


Greetings to all poets, wayfarers and friends. The floor is open; the platform is yours!
Please share a poem of your choice and enjoy the company of your fellow scribes.

Remember to stop by tomorrow for our Toads in Tandem feature post. Margaret and Gillena joined forces to bring us a collaborative poem to celebrate the creative space of the Garden we call home.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Glance at Narrative



        "Tell me a story” may have been how the literary arts began. 

Telling stories the job of much early poetry, whose “poetical” aspects--the refrains and the tropes (those “rosy fingers of dawn” and “wine dark seas”)-- served, in part, as mnemonic devices, so that the poet would either not forget what came next, or could fill in time until he remembered it. 

But Homer, I think, had some pretty great ideas.  Narrative--an underlying story or even a hint of story--can help to keep a reader engaged in a poem in ways that even beautiful language may not.  This seems to me to be especially true in longer pieces where narrative, even small fragments of narrative, can really help to keep a reader engaged.  (You thought, for example, that you wanted to tour the Wasteland on foot, but Eliot’s little bits of implied story sprinkled throughout the poem--”Marie/Marie, hold on tight,”-- serve as friends who repeatedly stop and give the reader a lift.)


Narrative can appear in many different ways in a poem--sometimes so slyly that one can't exactly find the story, but glimpse the mere silhouette of a story, sometimes even just a curve of a silhouette. Yet, even that little bit of story still always feels like a friend to me, as reader, helping to carry me along. 


So, here’s your task for the prompt.  Simply think of some story in writing your poem--it could be the story of a moment or of a lifetime--and it need not be fully detailed.  The poem may offer a bird’s eye view of the story or the small close-up of a magnifying glass, maybe just a sidelong glimpse.  (It does not have to be a story of human beings; it could be the story of a rock or a raindrop.)  



      And, I repeat!--the story does not need to be told in full (unless you really do have a ballad in mind!) 
Though, honestly, it would be great to distill your piece, keep it compressed, since we are writing poems or prose poems, and not full short stories.  (Keeping something short is very hard so I’m not setting a word or line limit--only posing the challenge.)



I put up some drawings I’ve done that could be used in conjunction with your poems if you like; I tried to pick pieces that have story-like elements.  NO REQUIREMENT TO USE ANY--but if you do use them, please give credit to me, Karin Gustafson.



Finally, an apology for not participating much of late--it’s been a very hard few months for me due to family illness, job, and country. I am so grateful to Kerry for letting me stay on with the group despite my inability to truly play along!  I will be in airport when this posts, but I will be on my way home and will comment as soon as I can.




 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Scribble It

Hello Toads

As I cast off on my maiden voyage as a host of the occasional 'Scribble It' prompt here in the garden ( I am honored by the way. Thank You Kerry for the invite) I came to pondering about your experiences of 'First Times'.

Were you Nervous? Excited? Full of anticipation.Unawares?

Where does that list of 'First Times' begin? Where might it end?

First steps, first teeth, first words, first flight, first kiss, first fall, first love, first....you get the drift.

Please pen me a poem that speaks in some way of a 'First Time,' one already met or perhaps to come.

Once penned please add your poem to the Mr Linky below.

Don't forget to visit each other to read and comment. It makes this community what it is.

Here's a little grist for the mill in both music and word. Enjoy.

The Scribbler ;)



Always For The First Time 

by Andre Breton

Always for the first time
Hardly do I know you by sight
You return at some hour of the night to a house at an angle to my window
A wholly imaginary house
It is there that from one second to the next
In the inviolate darkness
I anticipate once more the fascinating rift occurring
The one and only rift
In the facade and in my heart
The closer I come to you
In reality
The more the key sings at the door of the unknown room
Where you appear alone before me
At first you coalesce entirely with the brightness
The elusive angle of a curtain
It's a field of jasmine I gazed upon at dawn on a road in the vicinity of Grasse
With the diagonal slant of its girls picking
Behind them the dark falling wing of the plants stripped bare
Before them a T-square of dazzling light
The curtain invisibly raised
In a frenzy all the flowers swarm back in
It is you at grips with that too long hour never dim enough until sleep
You as though you could be
The same except that I shall perhaps never meet you
You pretend not to know I am watching you
Marvelously I am no longer sure you know
You idleness brings tears to my eyes
A swarm of interpretations surrounds each of your gestures
It's a honeydew hunt
There are rocking chairs on a deck there are branches that may well scratch you in the forest
There are in a shop window in the rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette
Two lovely crossed legs caught in long stockings
Flaring out in the center of a great white clover
There is a silken ladder rolled out over the ivy
There is
By my leaning over the precipice
Of your presence and your absence in hopeless fusion
My finding the secret
Of loving you
Always for the first time 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Tuesday Platform

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden!



Thought the Toads might enjoy this Barbie and Ken poem: KINKY by Denise Duhamel 

Welcome to the Tuesday Platform, your unprompted free-range day 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. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Weekend Mini Challenge: Buildings


Welcome to the Weekend Mini Challenge with Kim from writinginnorthnorfolk.com!

One of my favourite poems by Philip Larkin is ‘The Building’, which I cannot reproduce here due to copyright restrictions. However, I can provide a link to the poem HERE 

as well as a link to a YouTube recording of Larkin reading his poem: 



What I like about it is the way in which the poem conveys the physical appearance and atmosphere of a hospital without once using the term ‘hospital’, through the use of certain words and connotations.

Today’s challenge is to write about a building. It could be a specific building with a name that we would all know without directly naming it. It could be a church, a school or a building in which you have lived. It could be a department store, a government building or a concert hall. It is up to the reader to work out what the building is. Your poem does not have to consist of nine stanzas like Larkin’s and can be in any form you choose, but it should be a new poem.

Link up your new poem via Mr. Linky, visit other Toads, and leave some friendly graffiti on their buildings! It'll be fun trying to work out what those buildings are. Happy building!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Watch the Corners



Ahhhhh, the dulcet tones of guitar hero J. Mascis and his band Dinosaur Jr.! I figure any Toads who might be parents, and/or who know and love teenagers, and/or who were ever teenagers ourselves, can appreciate and find some fodder for writing in here. See if you can get to the end without feeling a little something in your eye. Love, love, enjoy!

WATCH * LISTEN * BE INSPIRED * WRITE

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Toads In Tandem: Poem Of A Silent Woman

Hey. Look up there. It's a bird! It's a plane! No! It's a Skywriter! But wait. What's that traveling alongside? It's...it's...that aerial curiosity called a Fireblossom!

For our collaboration, which I can safely say we both thoroughly enjoyed working on, we have written a cascade poem. Without further ado, here is our poem.





POEM OF A SILENT WOMAN


You think I am silent; truth is, I never hush.
I am flow as well as bung; either way, I offer much.
You concern yourself with rind; not much further is the fruit.
The climbing rose grows bare and shaded at the root.

I am a west-wind owl in open sky-- I create.
You are the saddle and boot, the bull at the gate;
Wild mane, tossing tail, I canter beyond the sagebrush.
You think I am silent; truth is, I never hush.

My gate is vined, and latched and tall
But opens, lockless, every Fall;
I am baskets hung with tendrils--fire--frost--and flush--
I am flow as well as bung; either way, I offer much.

You believe that you know all that I am,
Read my smile wrong, think me a lamb.
I am child of the moon, ebb and tide--no absolute.
You concern yourself with rind; not much further is the fruit.

Come by the moon--new, quarter, and full--
by degrees, shows its turned face--then shows all;
come through the gate--with the season slip through--
the climbing rose waits, shaded--for you.


 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Tuesday Platform

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden ...

Greetings to all poets, travelers and friends ....

JULY 18 :: MANDELA DAY





This is the perfect day for me to touch upon our theme for 2017: Being Human. Today is Mandela Day which is commemorated annually on the date of the late Nelson Mandela's birth. The clip is a short interview with South African poet, Nkateko Masinga who is participating in the annual 67 Poems for Freedom for Mandela Day, hosted by UNISA Poetry Society, in which she recites one of her poems

It is also coincidentally the anniversary of the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. Yes! Unbelievably, this site opened for business on July 18, 2011, which means we are officially 6 years old. Our origins were humble but we remained true to our concept of membership and became a support base for emerging poets as a place not only to showcase our writing but also to share ideas, encourage divergent thinking and make valuable connections within the online poetry community. These have stood the test of time. In celebration of our anniversary, we have relaunched our Toads in Tandem, in which members pair up and produce collaborative poetry. Please remember to stop by tomorrow to read the combine efforts of Fireblossom and Skylover.

And now, I open the floor to all who are here to participate in the open link. I suppose it would be too much for me to expect 67 poems, but feel free to dig into your archives, as far back as 2011, and share more than one post today.