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Poetry Freeforall: Write For Your Life

first photo 38:20 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Growing Up sung by Run River North

Hello, all. Can the weather get weirder? Our temperatures drop to freezing tonight and tomorrow. I keep telling the trees they’re too early. Do they listen? Here are a few writing possibilities to bring us into National Poetry Month, when we all go mad.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie  The prompt that caught my eye this week is Tale Weaver’s. You know those ghosts that show up in photographs? Go read the prompt. The photograph (in the photo challenge), like last week’s pink balloons, kept drawing my eye, as well. Check out their other prompts for the week.sunday whirl

At The Sunday Whirl, Brenda asks us to leave our Wordle links in the comments of her blog. If you join The Sunday Whirls Facebook page, you can get the week’s list a couple of days early.

pink girl ink

 Pink.Girl.Ink. Stacy is giving us a Wordle with a twist. She has divided the words up and assigned them to stanzas. It will be interesting to see how the brain plays differently with that.

The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog: Adele has a new book out: A Lightness, A Thirst, Or Nothing At All. If you are curious as to her poetry, there are a couple of sample poems. I realise this is not a prompt, but it is one of the ways we can support each other. Go on over and read about it.

Speaking of limericks, Madeleine is the Queen of limericks. Make tracks to Mad Kane’s Humor Blog. Read several. They are in the comments so you don’t even have to leave the page. One advantage to writing a limerick, or two, is they are short, so you can post them in comments on the blog, or on Mad Kane’s Facebook page. Go over and check it out, to read and laugh, and maybe write.magpie

Magpie Tales  This week, we have a colour photograph of a venerable tree and a path that I had the greatest urge to walk down. Go look. Remember that you do not have to write about the whole, or write about the image directly. Poetry Jam

At Poetry Jam, Gabriella wants to know: Are you coffee, or tea? Visit to read the case for each side.

FPR-200

Found Poetry Review Beth talks about the losing of words from our natural history lexicon. Even if you do not write found poetry, the post is well worth reading (I was horrified at the words chosen to remove from the Oxford Junior Dictionary), as is the article from The Guardian.

Poets & Writers gives us three prompts every week. One for non-fiction, one for fiction, and one for poetry. My contention is that all the prompts work for poetry. They also all work for prose. This week’s topics are vulnerability, new town, and equinox eclipse. A whole little poem right there. Visit to find out what the prompts are about.IGWRTButtonrsz

At imaginary garden with real toads Herotomost talks about spring days, hanging with friends, letting it all hang out. Go read what his idea is. Go play with the toads.

At Poets United Midweek Motif Susan gives us captivity as our motif. Intriguing word. Visit to read the quotations, facts, and poems Susan has chosen. sasha

At The Happy Amateur Sasha explains wikems. This week she gives us the sun. Head over to read.

dverseOver at dVerse Mary talks about beauty, what is or isn’t, should or shouldn’t be, considered. Visit to read what she says. Time to head for the bar.

I shall see you Tuesday for an image prompt. Then the blog goes dark for National Poetry Month. Ironic, you say? I know, but I can’t write a poem a day and this. I tried once. I will stop in and visit, with links to what I am writing, should you be curious.

Happy writing, everyone.

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 27/03/2015 in exercises, links, poetry

 

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Poetics Serendipity: National Poetry Month — It’s Almost Here

8:57 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Mandy Patinkin singing I’m Old Fashioned

Hello, all. I’m having a lazy morning. Skip is chaperoning a band trip for four days (I did not snicker), so my entire routine changes. Today, I’m going to list as many National Poetry Month links as I have found. The only one I can’t give you is the one in which I am participating, the Found Poetry Review’s. The link will stay private until April 1st, at which point I’ll put the link up, should you wish to follow some found poetry madness. Misky, the two Barbaras, Richard Walker, Pamela and Ros are all participating.

1] I love the first site (Poets.org) which offers 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month, running from ordering a free National Poetry Month poster to chalking a poem on a sidewalk to participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day. Don’t miss Ginsberg’s essay on Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’.

2] Robert Lee Brewer will run his annual April Poem a Day Challenge with guest judges.

3] NaPoWriMo is one of my favourites to follow. If you head their way now, you’ll find them in the midst of a countdown where they are giving us sources and resources.

4] Kelli Russell Agodon is hosting The Big Poetry Giveaway, which starts tomorrow. I have participated several times (both as giver and recipient) and have a wonderful library of chapbooks. Visit Kelli for an explanation of how you can participate. I loved the years when I gave away books and I loved winning books. This year I will only put my name down for the drawings and I look forward to wandering through the poetry blog world adding my name to the hopefuls.

5] At the Poetry Foundation, we are told: One week from today we kick off National Poetry Month with our annual blogging extravaganza. We know, dear reader, you’ve been waiting all year to see who the 20 poets will be for 2015. Wait no longer! Join these poets in April for conversation, insight, and a celebration of our favorite art.

I will see you tomorrow for the roundup of this week’s prompts; and next Tuesday for an image prompt. Then the blog goes dark for the month of April. I think. I know I can’t run the normal blog posts and participate in writing a poem every day. What I don’t know is whether I will appear occasionally with news from the Found Poetry front.

Happy writing, all.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 26/03/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poem Tryouts: Small Things

8:10 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Cyro Baptista, Yo Yo Ma and Dave Brubek play Concordia

Good day to you all. I hope all is well in your part of the world and with your world. Now that I think of it, this leads straight into our prompt — I like it when I am accidentally clever. We live in a big, complicated and complex world and sometimes that can grow overwhelming. I have found, at those times, that focusing on the tiny things gives me great pleasure and keeps me from being overcome by my world. Conversely, if my world isn’t going so well, it takes an equally tiny thing to be the last straw.

This prompt occurred to me a few days ago when I took a sip of my morning coffee. It was a particularly well-made cup and I felt pervaded by a sense of well-being. Other small moments that give me pleasure: the moment when the sun comes out from behind a cloud — I might not have been particularly aware of the day being grey and cloudy until that moment of bright light; going through the mail and coming across a real letter, or card — I invariably feel a rush of excitement; arriving at the stove the moment when the last sizzle of water is gone from the pot of rice — I am so good at this, we don’t bother with a rice cooker!

I am a pretty relaxed and laid back person, but I can get overwhelmed easily by events in my life. Then it takes only a small thing like running out of V-8 when I had been looking forward particularly to having my husband mix me a Bloody Mary, when he arrived home. Let me tell you, I was in the slumps for the entire evening.

Meditate for a while on the last few days. During that time what small things have caused you to smile, or have made you think: Ahhh… all is good and right in my world? List them and meditate some more before choosing one upon which to focus your poem.

You can keep the poem as short and simple as the item you think of. Pick one of the many short forms with which to structure it, or write a short free form poem. Or, you may wax lyrical about your topic. You can write about the item in general, or set us in a scene.

Or, you can write about the straws that break your day.

With either poem, consider a different point of view. If you have written in first person, try the poem in third and vice versa. This is one of the simpler, easier revisions, and I am always surprised at the difference it can make to the poem and the idea it is conveying.

I will see you Thursday for National Poetry Month stuff; Friday for the roundup of this week’s prompts; and Tuesday for an image prompt and the last of my prompts until after Poetry Month. I’ll talk more on that, Thursday.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
13 Comments

Posted by on 24/03/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry

 

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Poetry Freeforall: A Baker’s Dozen

first photo 38:20 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Humble sung by Audrey Assad

Hello, all. Oh yeh. Feel the caffeine… don’t mind me. I’m drinking my first cup of coffee. I do love coffee. It’s funny how little things can make our day. If you have been reading the WordPress contretemps in this blog, you know there is a mode war happening. This morning, I held my breath, clicked the bookmark I made, and here I am, Classic mode, baby!

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie  The prompt that caught my eye this week is Haiku with HA. Partly it is the interesting post that accompanies the prompt, and partly, the intriguing thought of capturing the idea of The Scream in a haiku. The photograph of pink balloons, also…Check out their other prompts for the week.sunday whirl

At The Sunday Whirl, Brenda asks us to leave our Wordle links in the comments of her blog. If you join The Sunday Whirls Facebook page, you can get the week’s list a couple of days early.

pink girl ink

 Pink.Girl.Ink. Stacy has designed another guided poem for us. This one is simpler, less hands on (on the guiding part). We are asked to include an item in each of four stanzas. Head on over to find out what the items are.

The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog: Adele asks for limericks, in honour of St. Patrick’s. The poems don’t have to have anything to do with him, or his holiday. It’s the form.

Speaking of limericks, Madeleine is the Queen of limericks. Make tracks to Mad Kane’s Humor Blog. Read several. They are in the comments so you don’t even have to leave the page. One advantage to writing a limerick, or two, is they are short, so you can post them in comments on the blog, or on Mad Kane’s Facebook page. Go over and check it out, to read and laugh, and maybe write.magpie

Magpie Tales  It was odd to have the post come up and know exactly where I was with regard to the scene. I have walked along this street. We have, Petergate, with a view of York Minster, York, UK, photo by Tess Kincaid. Remember that you do not have to write about the whole, or write about the image directly. Head over.Poetry Jam

At Poetry Jam, Peggy asks us to look back. Visit to find out what we are looking back at.

FPR-200

Found Poetry Review Beth talks about the losing of words from our natural history lexicon. Even if you do not write found poetry, the post is well worth reading (I was horrified at the words chosen to remove from the Oxford Junior Dictionary), as is the article from The Guardian.

Poets & Writers gives us three prompts every week. One for non-fiction, one for fiction, and one for poetry. My contention is that all the prompts work for poetry. They also all work for prose. This week’s topics are vulnerability, alternative words, and virtual friendship. A whole little poem right there. Visit to find out what the prompts are about.IGWRTButtonrsz

At imaginary garden with real toads Susie asks us to play with spam before we consign it to the delete forever button. Go read what her idea is. Go play with the toads.

At Poets United Midweek Motif Susan gives us sun as our motif. Visit to read the quotations, facts, and poems Susan has chosen. sasha

At The Happy Amateur Sasha explains wikems. This week we have two for the price of one. Head on over and see what she does with progress and pi.

dverseOver at dVerse we are losing another familiar voice. Victoria is withdrawing. She has one last topic for us, one particularly dear to my heart. She says: I tried to eliminate not only adverbs and adjectives, but also forms of the verb “to be” which goes hand-in-hand with passive voice and deadens the flow of the poem. Head to the bar to read her good-bye and final words of wisdom.

That should keep you busy. I shall see you Tuesday for my prompt; Thursday for poetry month links; and Friday for the roundup.

Happy writing, everyone.

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 20/03/2015 in exercises, links, poetry

 

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Poetics Serendipity

8:22 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Improvisation On Dona Nobis Pacem (Give Us Peace) — Hah! Ironic given my unpeaceful feelings towards WP

Well, hello, all. How are you? Before we get to links, a brief discussion of a workaround for WordPress’ decision not to offer us the Classic mode anymore. For those who aren’t WordPressers, or who like the new mode, head for #2.

1] Those of you who visited my blog Tuesday, will have seen I got rather hot under the collar because I had to write the post in new mode, which I despise, loathe even. So much so, that I headed to Google to find a Forum and when I did, I spoke — I never speak. Apparently there are many of us who feel the same about the new mode. I had an immediate response from Galois, who solved all my problems, once I found Doug’s clarification.

I made the determination to share the workaround today. Meanwhile, Jules had headed to the Net, as well, and had a whole bunch of things to tell me. I am going to stick to the most immediate, the workaround, but visit Tuesday’s discussion for more. (You can write a poem to the prompt while you’re there. People’s words, so far: boondoggle, flounce, simpatico, aether, evanesce, finally, vulcanism (inspired by), amber, destiny, and diaphanous — quite a list, and I’m loving the poems)

Workaround: go to the Stats page of the blog you are in (some of us have a few). Look at left sidebar. Click on WP Admin. You will be taken to your old Dashboard. Again, the sidebar on the left (DO NOT be tempted to click ‘new post’ anywhere else). Find Posts and hover your cursor over it to bring up the Posts menu. Click on ‘Add New’. You should arrive at the Classic mode post page. You should have to do the previous only once, if you bookmark the sucker. I have it on my tool bar. When I want a new post, I click and it opens to the Classic mode.

Jules found a great place to go for elucidation of this and other WP problems, Freed From Time’s Help With WordPress Changes.

#2] This year is the 100th anniversary of the publication of T.S.Eliot’s ‘The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock’.  Alan C. Fox, the founder of the poetry magazine Rattle, posted a short, thoughtful piece in honour of the anniversary. His essay answers the question with which he titles it, Prufrock’s:

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?

3] Do not be confused by the shopping basket you might see. The part of Pond5’s Public Domain Project we want is free. As far as I can tell, you neither have to join or sign in. To get an idea of the extent of their collection, hover your cursor over the bar that reads: Footage  Audio  After Effects  Images  3D Models. Now, you can play.

Alright, time for me to go do some more prep for April. Next week I will devote PS to all things National Poetry Month, unless there isn’t much. If you know of anyone who will be giving prompts for the month, let me know. I have Robert Lee Brewer, so far.

I’ll see you tomorrow for this week’s roundup of prompts; Tuesday for my prompt; and next Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 19/03/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poem Tryouts: What’s in Your Word?

8:44 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Up Around the Bend sung by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Hello, all. Well, unless someone knows where WordPress has hidden the classic mode for writing a post, they may finally lose me. I dislike the new format anyway, but to have the sidebar shifted to my left, drives me nuts. I keep wanting to shift the screen. Actually I did, a little. I am going to rush through this (I said it was driving me nuts) and then start Googling and getting into forums and generally yelling and hollering.

I love road trips, for themselves, but also because I do a lot of thinking on all things poetry. I often come up with prompts and then have to hope I remembered to put my notebook and pen at my feet. This time, on the way to San Antonio, for God knows what reason, the word windjammer popped into my head. From that the prompt was born.

Windjammer is an English word applied to large sailing ships because, well, the sails jam the wind. Nice, huh? But that’s not the etymology or meaning I grew up with. The meaning I grew up with and associate with the word is that of a Dutch and German word, similar to ‘jam,’ meaning to wail, thus the wind wailing through the sails. Many people thought this was the word’s origin.

I first came across the term in a book about Dutch twins (a series of novels based on twins from each country — a great way to learn about other places). The image I carry and see when I hear the word windjammer is of a sand skimmer, sail hoisted, whipping across the sand dunes. I find the word and the meaning I know, exotic. Another word, not so strongly exotic, but close, is igloo, which conjures up Eskimos, polar bears, kayaks, and ice bergs. Now that I consider it, I probably came across the word in the same series, as there was a book on the Eskimo twins.

Do you have a word that has always carried an exoticism for you? That has a far off ‘nother land, otherworldly, aspect for you? Consider what comes to mind, allowing the associated images to appear in your head. If you can tie a where and when to your meeting the word, you’ll have more details, although they don’t have to be in the poem.

Your mission is a poem that has the word in it. Straightforward.

Or, you can write the poem that arises from your thoughts when you see, or think about, the word.

I hope to see you Thursday for links and things; Friday for the week’s roundup of prompts; and next Tuesday for my prompt. If there is silence, I haven’t found the classic mode and I’m trying to decide what to do about the blog (yes, I dislike this that much).

Happy writing, all.

 
79 Comments

Posted by on 17/03/2015 in exercises, poetry

 

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Poetry Freeforall — Even On the Run, We Write

first photo 3What? It’s 10:20 a.m.? — Atlanta

listening to Another Saturday Night sung by Cat Stevens

Hello, all. The trouble with trying to do six things at once is that something gets pushed off. Possibly, I should have gone dark… excuse me a sec — I need to put the sheets in the dryer… today. Forgive any and all typos, mistakes, or wild statements (trying to cover any eventualities of my brain working on a half-dozen things). Let’s go:

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie  The prompt that caught my eye this week is Tale Weaver’s — Can you resist trying the word grezzle?. Check out their other prompts for the week.sunday whirl

You know how a group of words can catch at you. There’s something about this week’s collection. At The Sunday Whirl, Brenda asks us to leave our Wordle links in the comments of her blog. If you join The Sunday Whirls Facebook page, you can get the week’s list a couple of days early.

pink girl ink

 Pink.Girl.Ink. My first thought was, Oooh. Stacy has designed a guided poem for us. As she says, The idea is really very simple, you follow steps 1-9 (sometimes more or less) and by following those rules/steps, the rough draft of a poem falls into place. Head on over to find out what the steps are.

The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog: Adele gives us a two for one. She has a guest blogger, Basil Rouskas, who talks to us about what evolves through workshop experiences. If you don’t have time, bookmark it for later, and scroll straight to the end where there is a prompt, one of my favourite revision processes.

Madeleine is running her limerick words for a second week because of Time Warner and an outage. Feeling blue? Need a laugh? Need warming up? Make tracks to Mad Kane’s Humor Blog. Read several. They are in the comments so you don’t even have to leave the page. One advantage to writing a limerick, or two, is they are short, so you can post them in comments on the blog, or on Mad Kane’s Facebook page. Go over and check it out, to read and laugh, and maybe write.magpie

Magpie Tales  Lee Miller in Adolf Hitler’s Bathtub, Munich 1945, by David E. Scherman. Given the title alone, I would thing poems would start, but the items in the photograph: So much. So rich in detail. Remember that you do not have to write about the whole, or write about the image directly. Head over.Poetry Jam

At Poetry Jam, Brian (yes, that Brian!) has a fun idea to explore, that turns on the concept of a place’s local. To find out what he suggests, visit.

Ack, the sheets…okay… I do like to catch them before they are hopelessly wrinkled.

FPR-200

Found Poetry Review Beth gives us the New Age Bullshit Generator. I defy you not to check out the prompt and subsequent link.

Poets & Writers gives us three prompts every week. One for non-fiction, one for fiction, and one for poetry. My contention is that all the prompts work for poetry. They also all work for prose. This week’s topics are empowerment, complicate it, and see the light. A whole little poem right there. Visit to find out what the prompts are about.IGWRTButtonrsz

At imaginary garden with real toads Margaret offers the paintings of Toril Fisher. We have seen her work before when we met her here, last year. Go play with the toads.

At Poets United Midweek Motif Susan gives us woman as our motif. Visit to read the quotations Susan has chosen. sasha

I laughed when I read Sasha’s intro, this week. She and I are on the same page. Now let’s see what you come up with using the wikem as a resource. At The Happy Amateur Sasha explains wikems. Head on over and see what she does with flame.

dverseOver at dVerse Anna discusses refining our poems through experimentation. She talks to us about reduction, oulipo and surprising conceit. There is a lot to love about this prompt. Go see. Head to the bar. They love visitors.

That should keep you busy. I shall see you Tuesday week, the 17th for one of my prompts.

Happy writing, everyone.

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on 06/03/2015 in exercises, links, poetry

 

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