Happy May Day

collage of photos of flowers in a woven-paper basket
Flower Basket (2020) multi-media collage by Maria L. Berg

I did it! I made it through April with over thirty new poems posted, inspired by NaPoWriMo and the Poem-a-Day Challenge. Congratulations to everyone who met these challenges. It was very fun to see the winners posted for last November’s Poem-a-Day Chapbook challenge. Congratulations De Jackson!

A to Z challenge winner badge

At the A to Z Challenge there’s an after-challenge survey. I enjoyed using the challenge to explore Janus words and phrases in my poetry.

I also enjoyed discovering art, craft and design sites I hadn’t visited before along with other writing sites.

This challenge isn’t quite finished. There will be a reflections post sign-up on May 3 and a blog road trip starting May 10th.

It’s time to get back to revision. This week I’ll be posting about my poetry revision process. I hope you’ll join me and share your tips and tricks for poetry revision.

#NaPoWriMo Day 11: Exploring Floriography

collage of photos of flowers in a woven-paper basket

Flower Basket (2020)                                                    multi-media collage by Maria L. Berg

A to Z Challenge

jam – improvisation

jubiloso – play in a jubilant or exulted manner

jentele – play in a pleasing, graceful or elegant manner


Prompt: write a poem in which one or more flowers take on specific meanings

Floriography is the language of flowers, a coded language used in Victorian times to communicate feelings. Language of Flowers by Kate Greenaway is a glossary of the flowers and their meanings.

You might also enjoy Name that Plant where you can drop in a picture of a flower or plant to discover its identity.

I had a lot of fun with this prompt. I looked through pictures of flowers I have taken in my yard, then went out and took some more. I put those photographs in Name that Plant and learned about the plants that grow here, then I looked them up in the Language of Flowers to learn the secret code of my surroundings. I was happily surprised by the results. I printed the pictures I took and made a collage.

The flowers:

Azalea – temperance
Magnolia – love of nature
Hellebore – scandal, calumny
Heath – solitude
Dandelion – rustic oracle
Rhododendron – Danger, Beware
Camellia Japonica, Red – Unpretending excellence
Camellia Japonica, White – Perfected loveliness

PAD Challenge

Prompt: write a control poem

The poem

The Code of Controlled Emotions

In a time when a crush or a blush
Was met with a frown or a scowl
Flowers told of emotions controlled
A secret code now renowned

Today, I set out to discover the utter-
ances that my plants chant
but I rudely ignored as they implored
on the wind with their innovative jams

Camellia frills and trills at my door
Ignores the dead shed in the flowerbed
You swirl in perfected loveliness
But once unfurled beware the Hellebore

“Rhododendrons many here be, you see”
predicts the ever-present dandelion, a scion
of those pulled but a moment ago
“Best be lulled in the heath and ignore the siren”

Jentele Azalea, you calm the psalm
your secret may clear the fear while
Wild Magnolias sneak through the bushes
and surprise like beautifully died eggs