Always Standing at the Edge: new poem to dVerse poetics prompt

Yesterday at dVerse Poets Pub, Lisa presented an inspiring prompt for poetics. I figured I would rush out a few poems with the prompt “Edges and fringes,” but when I sat down to write, all I came up with were lists of words I wanted to use, nothing more. Today, after some journaling, it came together.

With One Toe Pushing

Ego drowns in the campfire at the edge of fascination
at the brink of sanity with one toe pushing
Who then maintains the role of oversight?
An oversight of Ego’s; I am certain

When honesty eclipses opinion in the jelly shower of imagination
its sharp bite creating borders verging on volatile
Is it raising tempers to breaking
or tempering passions to advantage?

Artistry crosses the hangnail edge of complete hurt
I want to lose myself, to stay in the fire
But I must strike while imagination is hot
and yet my very being is on strike

Humility returns with the hitchhiker cobwebs of wisdom
Between sane and mad is such a fine, fine line
like a hummingbird feather’s quill
an eyelash fallen from a field mouse
a sand flea trail on a Northwest beach
but the sand invites my toes to sink
and waves crash to keep my attention
the sand fleas irritate my body alive
I am safely back from the edge
I refrain–only peer at the beyond
at what can and will be–singing the refrain: not today

Using paint names in poetry: Being Green

Bokeh shape photography of flowers on the lake behind a rosemary plant using a green filter

Just yesterday, I was exploring online paint chip collections–specifically Sherwin-Williams and Dunn-Edwards–in response to a paint chip poetry prompt. Then this morning, I took a look at the dVerse Poets Pub Poetics prompt from yesterday and it is to write a poem from the point of view of a color. It feels meant to be, so here’s my poem:

Being Green

What am I to you
when you admire my hue

The cool spring grass where
you lay your picnic blanket or
the grasshopper leaping
from the blades
to escape your hand
The gleeful spritz of electric lime
you add to your julep while
a lark tickles a breeze

And is the light true
when you see my value

As crisp as Romaine
or kale in your salad or
the luck in the clover
you pluck as you chew, feeling
the grip of envy tightening your chest
as you admire the parakeet flying

My value changes with the passing hours
like the roller-coaster dreams of day traders
I arise the delicate and dutiful lacewing
but may grow flat like Espalier against the wall
And somewhere in between
I sizzle with chroma,
letting my additive primary show
in the neon glow.

After night falls and I am no longer seen
I am the eerie call of the cricket
the chirp of the tiny tree frog
the needles falling
from the firs
in the wind
coating the driveways
carpeting the forest floors.


Fungi poetry: such a great prompt!

A circle of mushrooms on the end of a felled tree
photo by Maria L. Berg

Today’s Tuesday Poetics prompt at the dVerse Poets Pub is all about fungi. Mushroom poems–and I was just looking at Alice in Wonderland images. I had so many ideas while reading the prompt poems. Here goes:

Fungous Circle

My Swedish Mom took me mushroom hunting
specifically for chanterelles, small orange ruffles hiding
among the stones and birch one would think obvious
but for a tween too elusive.

I thought fungus was gross as was all food
but she caught my attention as she pointed out
the important signs of poison.

Like the beautiful little wild flowers that
sprung through the forest floor after the winter waned
I had been kept ignorant, though a curious child.

Now, it is understandable that I hadn’t been guided
to see, to hunt, to appreciate
each unique cap, each frill of a delicate gill,
each stalk and ring.

When our mushrooms grow from septic or near run-off
my wild palate wasn’t encouraged
free food can be dangerous
I was already known to eat flowers.

Taught the circle of life, I saw
the little trees growing from the fallen as
I traipsed across the canyon.

I told my parents I would be buried there.
They denied me. Said it couldn’t be done.
But now, it’s clear, I was not the only one.

To be put in a sack, made of mushroom spores
And planted, it’s happening, possible.
Then I read people are making mushroom sneakers.
Do I want to be stinky feet? That run comfortably and well.

I want to be a tree.


Pondering Possibilities

I felt inspired by dVerse poets pub’s Quadrille prompt today to ponder possibilities. My quadrille came to me almost complete (short one word) in the shower.

Imagination’s Playground

The imaginative life
is a playground of possibilities

until all the door and windows
are locked and the bed
is on fire

then there are only two possibilities:
to dance or to cower

and soon there is one:
to face all the unimagined possibilities

October 31: Happy Halloween!! #OctPoWriMo #Writober and #NanoPrep

OctPoWriMo

It’s the last day of OctPoWriMo. Thank you, Morgan Dragonwillow, for hosting and for your inspiring prompts. Thank you to everyone who participated for your camaraderie and sharing your poetry.

It was a productive and creative month. I’m very excited about finally making the step in my exploration of klecksography to draw on my inkblots and write my poems on the inkblot page. I’ve wanted to get to that point for a long time. I’m also excited to continue exploring my new poetry form Tappswave and see where it takes me.

Read for inspiration and craft

Recommended poem: Two poems by Ocean Vuong

Online journal: the Paris American

Poetry prompt The final OctPoWriMo prompt this year is light, dark, and shadow–pretty much my favorite topic.

Forms Parallelogram de Crystalline or Florette #2

For my final poem, I’m going to try an idea I had over a year ago. When I read (amazon associate link) Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong, I was intrigued by his numbered poems in which the top half of the page had numbers typed in space as if notes or labels to the unseen and then those numbers were footnoted. The spacing of the numbers made me think of markers at a crime scene which led me to create my own crime scene photos with the intent to make poems that go with. I hope you will see what I mean below.

Into the Night by Maria L. Berg 2019

Into the Night
1. howling and yowling pull me from my bed into the moonlight
2. tufts of fur, ripped and torn bring worries of death
3. Don’t look up. I hold my breath as my ankle painfully turns
4. rustling leaves bare nerves aware I am not alone
5. on high alert, I do not turn around, but hurry, limping into the shadows

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose this apocalyptic image

micro-story : When TV preacher Pat Robertson made his prediction I laughed and laughed. Watching Cthulhu rise from the waves in the light of a nuclear explosion, I have to ask myself: Whose laughing now?

NaNo Prep

Here we are. The insanity begins tomorrow. The time has flown by and though I am probably more prepared than I have ever been, I still don’t feel ready at all.

Tonight, my region is doing a costumed countdown to midnight. Since I doubt I’ll have any trick-or-treaters, and I’m not going anywhere, it’ll be nice to have an online Halloween with fellow writers.

For my final prep, I mowed the lawns and went to the Grocery Outlet where I stocked up on Amy’s frozen meals and a huge bag of coffee beans. This evening I plan to clean the bathrooms and vacuum, so I can start with a cleaner house.

One thing I learned throughout Nano Prep this month is putting my plans in these posts really helps me get things done, so here are my goals for the first week of NaNoWrimo:

  • Wake up early and go straight to my notebook for morning pages
  • meditate
  • butt in seat in office by 9:30 a.m.
  • take daily walks
  • read

I still haven’t decided what I’ll do here on this site during NaNoWriMo. I don’t plan on doing intensive daily posts like I have in the past. I want to get to my draft and write, but I also want to check in here.

What would you like to see on Experience Writing during NaNoWriMo?

I was thinking a daily photograph and something I find inspiring, motivational, or surprising while I’m writing. Other ideas?

Here’s hoping we all write great novels and have a lot of fun doing it.

October 30: I am . . . #OctPoWriMo #Writober

In One Ear and Out the Other by Maria L. Berg 2020

Last night, I framed one of my fabricglass pieces. It was so nice to wake up to the sun shining through it.

OctPoWriMo

Spotlight Poem from OctPoWriMo Day 29

I enjoyed the imagery in Rallentanda’s poem

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is I am . . .

Layered

I am a filter
a sponge, a sea cucumber
transforming the discarded

I am a creator
a silkworm, an orb weaver
stitching new dimensions

I am a canvas
a cuttlefish, a chameleon
changing hues and patterns with each discovery

I am a seer
an eagle, a hawk
watching patiently for movement

I am a tome
an elephant, a whale
heavy with memory and wonder


My fabricglass piece from outside

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose this image by Jakub Rozalski

micro-story : When the war ended, the meka warriors were left wandering the toxic borderlands. Always on alert, they were avoided by all but the suicidal and insane.

October 29: Exploring the Tracks #OctPoWriMo #Writober

Along the Tracks on a Bright Sunny Day by Maria L. Berg 2020

Today’s prompt inspired a new bokeh filter and photography project. I used wire and tape to create “tracks” on a square-cut bokeh filter. Then I put lights over paintings in my office to put those tracks into and through spaces where no tracks had been before.

OctPoWriMo

The New North/South Line by Maria L. Berg 2020

Spotlight Poem from OctPoWriMo Day 28

Sci-Fi Fable by Mark Jones

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is Exploring the Tracks

Forms Puente or Octain Refrain

When Concept Comes to Form

straight to work
her hands hurry
with nervous impatience
each step clear
she feels the possibilities

~when concept comes to form~

she sees the intolerable
specks of dust inside the lens
glaring in the light
but they are her signature
they are evidence of honesty

Out of the Blue by Maria L. Berg 2020

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose Critical Mass by Photocosma

micro-story : When he began his experiments with black holes, the excitement of small discoveries, publishing and proving his theories, may have blinded him to the big picture. Now, staring into the powerful void of his creation, he knew the heart-wrenching horror of playing God.

October 28: Choices Along the Journey #OctPoWriMo #Writober

The Golden Path by Maria L. Berg 2020

OctPoWriMo

Read for inspiration and craft

Today I received my copy of Emporium by Aditi Machado (amazon associate link) Winner of the 2019 James Laughlin Award, so I thought I would recommend reading some of her poems.

Recommended poem: Four poems by Aditi Machado

Online journal: Conjunctions

Spotlight Poem from OctPoWriMo Day 27

Magic Spells by M.K. Vecchitto

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is choices or journey

Forms Fable or Lannet

Choices Along the Journey

She faces threats with effort and courage
defends creative space from distraction
two choices arrive of equal value

Wishing balance, she refuses to act
until a unique solution guides her
as waters rise, she leaves comfort behind

Instinct, an ally, leads toward challenges
this new world is not as she imagined
unpredictable and tempestuous

but pushing through rewards with abundance
the journey back is restful and quiet
resurrected the fool, wide-eyed, renewed

beginning fresh, energized with passion
facing hope with a lucky, shiny coin

The Greener Path by Maria L. Berg 2020

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose this image of a woman on a cliff by a mausoleum

micro-story : When I had insomnia, I would often climb the hill just before sunrise. I enjoyed the creepy lone mausoleum on the outcropping, slowly emerging from the morning mist, otherworldly, full of mystery. These chilly daybreaks had become my ritual, so her first appearance was jarring, a trespass. At first, I believed my sleeplessness and the slanted light played tricks on me, but she lingered and I realized the trespass was mine.

Read for inspiration and craft

Horror fiction story The Voice Within by Steven K. Beattie

Online magazine Aphelion

October 27: A Magical Night #OctPoWriMo #Writober

OctPoWriMo

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is Magical Halloween

Forms Terzanelle or Decuain

When the veil is thinnest

yearning for power
over fear of the unknown
chant into the night

ancient recipes
to command earth’s forces
and fight the unseen

something from nothing
symbols of knowledge reveal
the boundary torn

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose this image by Anton Semenov

micro-story : Mikey had tricked the guardian into opening the portal to the depths of nightmares. He was starting to regret trapping his little brother down there. If he couldn’t bring him back, Mom was going to kill him.

Read for inspiration and craft

Horror flash fiction story An Advocate for Nearly Any Situation by Hayley Ilso

Speculative online magazine Asymmetry

October 26: Tappswave Poetry Form #OctPoWriMo #Writober

Tappswave by Maria L. Berg 2020

OctPoWriMo

Read for inspiration and craft

Recommended poem: Five Poems by Carolyn Forché

Online journal: World Literature Today

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is What makes me different?

Forms Yesterday, we were challenged to create our own form. I got a start on it, but needed more time to play around with my ideas. I knew I wanted to incorporate internal rhyme and repetition with slight variation.

I wanted the form to reflect my daily interaction with my environment, so here it is, the Tappswave form:

The Tappswave is made of one or more eight line stanzas. The eight lines are couplets of sensation then reaction that repeat with variation. Each couplet has its own rules of rhyme and rhythm.

Lines one and two: Observation and attention like light shining on the water.

Line one: specifically describe a sensory experience
my example An odd sharp chirp came from my plum tree
Line two: memory or emotional response
my example making me think of children shooting laser-guns

Lines three and four: Choppy, all one and two syllable words, like a cluster of small waves.

Line three: Expand on the sensory experience of line one, include internal perfect and familial rhyme to the last word of line one.
I believed the tease or plea was a bird high on a branch unseen
Line four: memory or emotional response to line three with internal perfect and familial rhyme to the last word of line two.
the alarm bell rung, damage done when I was young

Lines five and six: Show what’s underneath the surface. Use words that rhyme with fish or types of fish for the internal rhymes.

Line five: Reveal a revelation about the sensory detail in line one.
At last my search reveals the perp on his perch
Line six: memory or emotional response to line five.
and I’ll pass on the sass of this non-bird’s wrath

Lines seven and eight: Reflection and refraction/ ebb and flow

Line seven: Line two slightly changed to show reflection
That laser-gun battle rages on
Line eight: Line one with a slight change
An odd sharp chirp from my plum tree

If I chose to write another stanza, I would start with a related but different specific sensory detail and explore it through the pattern of the eight lines.

My first Tappswave poem

Searching Out the New Sound

An odd sharp chirp came from my plum tree
making me think of children shooting laser-guns
I believed the tease or plea was a bird on a high branch unseen
but the sound an alarm bell rung, damage done when I was young
At last my search reveals the perp on his perch
and I’ll pass on the sass of this non-bird’s wrath
The nerve-shredding laser-gun battle rages on
as an odd sharp chirp from my plum tree

Plum Tree Laser-guns by Maria L. Berg 2020

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose this image that was hanging on my friend’s wall.

micro-story : She had always been told she had statuesque beauty. Once she had a fully integrated neural implant, she spent all of her time in the virtual world. Feeling no attachment to her gangly limbs any longer, she decided to fully embrace that beauty.

Read for inspiration and craft

Horror flash fiction story “Shedding” by Deborah Sheldon

Horror online magazine AntipodeanSF