Category Archives: poems

my poems in response to various prompts

Poetics Serendipity

9:54 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to the sound of tape and paper (Skip is packing in the next room)

Hello, all. I hope everything goes well. This will be my final post from Atlanta, so let’s see what we can find to occupy ourselves with.

1] This won’t help you with your writing, but for the amusement and interest factor, I had to share: 1871 Treaty hinged on Americans agreeing not to split infinitives. And, you thought the Oxford comma was a contentious point.

2] Almost all of us deal with a painful memory in our writing, at some point. At She Writes, Bella Mahaya Carter gives us 8 Tips for Taking Care of Yourself While Writing Painful Memories.

3] This last I found interesting despite the unlikelihood of my going into the digital realm. Many of us do use technology as part and parcel of the poetry, or prose, we write. Shae Killey gives us: Digital poet Jason Nelson urges others to forge new frontiers in electronic literature.

We have one announcement. Sasha, the Happy Amateur, is putting her blog and wikems on hold for the near, and possibly far, future, while she works on building an official site.

Now, when will I reappear? We will be on the road to San Antonio, next Tuesday. I suspect we will collapse in little heaps for a couple of days. Let us pencil in Tuesday the 21st as my reappearance and, hopefully, a return to uninterrupted wordgatherings.

Happy writing, everyone.



Posted by on 09/07/2015 in links, poems, poetry


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Poem Tryouts: Dream the Day Away

9: 01a.m. — Atlanta

listening to the Tour de France

Hello, all. Heat is building around the world. It’s hotter in England than the US! We spent a wonderful week up in DC and Vermont, where the temperatures were unseasonably autumn like. With our kids visited and my Florida brother seen several times, we turn to packing out.

During one section of our trip, DC to Charlotte, NC, I was ruminating about nothing in particular. My brain was in free float mode and I wasn’t guiding it. When this happens, I find that (even more than night-time dreaming) my brain will often drift into dark areas, or problems I don’t want to deal with, at which point, I have to shut down the day-dreaming. My free dreaming tends to go way back in my past and drag things out that I have long left behind. Free float mode is also where I work on a poem.

My free-floating almost always happens when we are on a car trip. Think about your own free float times. Where are you? Go there. If possible to physically go there, do. You know this post is open for as long as needed. Let your brain go; let your mind wander. No censoring, no thinking deliberately, no worrying about notes. Float.

At some point, either stop the day dreaming, or bring it to an end and jot notes, without thinking about a poem, yet. Now you need to decide how to approach your thoughts. Dreams do not have to come into the poem. You can take your content and use it to tell a story, convey a universal truth, or to dig further into the topic and your life.

Consider the technique of repetition, of some sort, whether it be a word, a sentence structure, or one of the repetitive forms, such as the cascade.

I am going to go pack a box, but I will see you Thursday for a couple of links.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 07/07/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry


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Poetics Serendipity

9:22 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins, Strings and Continuo in G Minor

Hi, everyone. I notice the heat is spreading across the US’s weather map, except for New England, where it will be in the 70s today. I hope they can keep that until our visit, next week! As it will be too hot to go outside, for many of you, let me see what I have found for your education and entertainment.

1] The first article, ‘5 ways writers can steel against online haters’ written by Brooke Warner for She Writes, touches on a topic that some of us have encountered and some of us might. While the article focuses on fiction writers, it pertains to any writing that the public has access to, and can comment on.

2] How about a lecture? It’s a long lecture, mind. You will need 45 minutes, or you can break up the lecture into bits and get something done every 15 minutes. Professor Geoff Ward (see credentials on site) lectures exquisitely, on the question, Why is Modern Poetry Difficult? I forgot the blog, I forgot you, I forgot there was anything around me. There is something mesmerising about his voice.

3] Because it is summer and you might have more listening time, I am also including an interview with poet Edward Hirsch: How to Read a Poem & Fall in Love with Poetry. I realise we already know, but I found a lot to learn from Hirsch. This one requires an hour and twenty minutes but you can slide the slider to 7m 50 s, if you want, as that is all introduction. If you don’t quite have the time, the interview works fine with the volume cranked up, so that you can multi-task.

If you know you can listen to only one, listen to each for five minutes and decide which you are going to enjoy the most.

I will see you again Tuesday, July 7, with a prompt.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 25/06/2015 in links, poems, poetry, writing


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Poem Tryouts: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

10:52 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to sirens wailing past on Peachtree (I’ll be glad to get settled and back to my music)

Hello, everyone. I hope you are well. I learned a couple of things about traveling and computers. I learned there is no signal approaching, in, and leaving West Plains, Missouri (except the local McDonald’s). I discovered that no matter how much I want something to be, the tech gods really don’t care (Miz Q: I had such fun. I wanted to post those poems, truly I did). And, I learned that learning a new operating system, while wanting something to be and traveling, is not a good idea.

Thus, our image prompt will be a week early, I’ll be here for Thursday’s blog and then the blog will go dark until Tuesday, July 7, for our next prompt. During that time, we will be in DC and Vermont, visiting our kids. If I find (now that I have taken the pressure off) that I am sitting around and the computer works, I may appear. I have found that having the blog and keeping in touch with you all, even on the fly, helps me in this summer of uprooting.

To the images. In keeping with the theme of dreaming, the image that started my thinking on the topic is The Poet Sleeps, by Chang Houg Ahn, which I first saw on The Mag a couple of years ago. I thought the subject of a poet sleeping and then having visions, or being visited by a muse, or dreaming, something my mind will not let go of. I will present two images here and save some for next month if I think they will allow you a different direction on the topic.


The Poet's Sleep by Chang Houg Ahn

The Poet’s Sleep by Chang Houg Ahn

The Kiss of the Muse by Cezanne

The Kiss of the Muse by Cezanne

In case you are tired of dreaming (:-)), you can strike out in the direction of a poet’s inspiration. You can write about where ideas come from — yours, specifically, or in general. You might write about a specific time when a specific poem came to you while sleeping. Or, you can be caught by the sight of the skulls outside of the window and want to write about them. Not a problem. I took care of the dreaming part with the images. You go where your mind wants. You do not have to reference the paintings, in any way, unless you wish to.

See you Thursday for a couple of links.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 23/06/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry


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Poem Tryouts: Nightmare(s)

5:35 p.m. — San Antonio

listening to my husband and my uncle talk about what came before DBase 3

Hi, all. I’m a bit late, as today turned out to be a travel day. Surprise! I don’t have time to chat, although I’d love to. It’s hard to focus with people talking!

Remaining with our theme, let’s contemplate the dark side: nightmares. Head to the dictionary and look through the definitions to start the mind, ruminate a while and decide whether you want this to be personal, or some distance from you. Some nightmares we might not want to return to.

You can give us a nightmare, all imagery with a bare story framework, neutral speaker.

Or, you can use a nightmare you had, as the seed.

Or, you can imagine a nightmare situation.

Or… What? Supper? Okay, we’re leaving my aunt and uncle to their own devices and heading over to Skip’s brother’s to celebrate his birthday. I’ll try to be here Thursday. Friday is a travel day. Otherwise, I KNOW next Tuesday is not a travel day and I’ll be here with a prompt.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 16/06/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry


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Poem Tryouts: Dream Symbols

8:18 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to the rustle of the newspaper as my brother reads it… standing up(?!)

Hello, all. I’m tossing a quick one at you. Well, I’ll be quick. You might be a bit longer. I have found a nifty site that lists thirty of the main dream symbols and writes a brief bit with each. Head over to the site, read through the list, and when one resonates, do something with it. Too vague? Nah. I have faith in you. You’ll know it when you see it. Trust me.

See you Thursday for links; Friday is dark, as I will be on the road; and Tuesday for our next prompt.

I’ll try to get back to read, but it might be spotty. I have relatives, and museums to see. Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 09/06/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry


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Place and Hold for Next

One thing I have found about trying a daily prompt: I pretty much have to go with what comes out of my mind, even if that hadn’t been my plan on starting. Miz Q has given us three word lists, from which we are to use one, two, and three words in a poem about place (then save the words because there will be more).

I forgot the place part, happily chose my six words and whipped them into a short poem of sorts. Then the part of the brain that lies in wait for this sort of thing, said: Place? I kept the six words I had chosen, originally — that was my challenge to myself. The poem is metaphorical because that was the only way I could work place in.

When You’re Not in Kansas Anymore

When life is no longer a sprint
to the finish line. When you
look down your lane — marked
with its measured white —
and the tape is fuzzed. When
the track’s surface is no longer
smooth, you have a choice.
You can limp, or crawl, your way
to the end, or you can flatten death
with respect and a sledgehammer.



Posted by on 06/06/2015 in poems


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