On a blanket in the wildflowers counting shooting stars

First Kiss by Maria L. Berg 2023

Today’s Poetics prompt at dVerse Poets Pub is to write a poem about a kiss or kissing.

On a blanket in the wildflowers counting shooting stars

It’s a waiting game
once the thought begins
it grows and becomes all encompassing
a wish in the abyss
every look a question
every sigh a possible sign
every motion a suggestion
each inch an invitation

then the world-lens folds in
closed to this pin-point
all measurement abruptly halted waits
silence chews then swallows sound
as the pressure of anticipation—of heartbeats,
flushed cheeks, blood pumping irrationally
its uncomfortable commands — peaks to unbearable
there are only glistening pink curves, moving over
white, hard, blocking, teeth, trapping dreams
damming desires, making words of lost meaning
unspoken agreement, breaking codes of forgotten tongues
soon touched then entwined.

Written in the Stars

Starlight by Maria L. Berg 2023

Today’s prompt for Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub is “star.”

I’ve been playing around with creating found poetry from The Complete Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper (1653), one of the texts suggested for submissions to the next issue of Heron Tree.

Culpeper believed that the medicinal properties of herbs were connected to stars and planets, writing, “I knew those various affections in man, in respect of sickness and health, were caused naturally (though God may have other ends best known to himself) by the various operations of the Microcosm; and I could not be ignorant, that as the cause is, so must the cure be; and therefore he that would know the reason of the operation of the Herbs, must look up as high as the Stars, astrologically.”

The book is a really fun read, and the man was very poetic in his description of herbs and remedies, so I’m enjoying using the text for found poetry. I am also continuing my study of drumbeats in relation to poetry and this week I’m looking at 1, 2 &, 3, 4 &  and 1 &, 2, 3 &, 4. For fun, I decided to combine the two and attempt to tame some of Culpeper’s words into my drumbeats for today’s quadrille.

Let Her Be With a Fixed Star

Upper crust of the earth, shooting forth like a star,
the planet that governs, the stronger the better,
written fixed before the nature of planets, take notice
those houses, they delight star fashion, smell somewhat sweet
up as high as the Star under them.

The Review of Resolution

Despiness by Maria L. Berg 2023

Today’s Poetics prompt at dVerse Poets Pub is about resolutions. Every year about this time is when New Year’s resolutions fizzle and dissolve, then are forgotten. Last year, I was completely determined to change my behaviors: I read everything about habits, goals, and motivation; I attended an online conference on having my best year; I followed through and did the work; and it worked for a while. But, as usual, life happened, and it all went out the window.

This year, I did not make any resolutions, but I have made a couple significant changes, so is there a difference between making resolutions and actual resolve? Only time will tell.

The prompt for writing the poem is to weave one of five given pieces of advice into a resolution poem.

The Resolve of Despiness

This year there was no reason for a resolution.
I poured my mini-bottle of champagne
into a long-stemmed glass
took it out on the dock
into the strangely warm night
and truly enjoyed the fireworks reflecting on the water

Something had changed in my constitution
as I raised my glass to everyone and no one
and said aloud, “I am happy now!”
The neighbors came out with sparklers
and I yelled Happy New Year, and they yelled it back
I didn’t want anything to change, just stay the same

What a frightening thing to think; this dissolution
is the state I’ve waited for but it took
so long, so many failed attempts
so many previous examples
that happiness cannot last, the acknowledgment
itself dares the universe to take it away.

Memento Poetry Form

Color Explosion by Maria L. Berg 2023

The Meeting the Bar prompt at dVerse Poets Pub is a new to me poetry form called “Memento.” The Memento form “created by Emily Romano is a poem about a holiday or an anniversary, consisting of two stanzas as follows: the syllable count should be 8 beats for line one; 6 beats for line two; and two beats for line three. This is repeated twice for each stanza. The rhyme scheme is: a/b/c/a/b/c for each of the two stanzas.” Here’s my attempt at my first Memento:

sky lighting

we gather, heads tilted, eyes wide
as pyros, born of flame
each explosion elicits cries
of fright then quickly came

brilliant color blossoms fall wide
Boom! rockets rise again
free flight
when lights sparkle in hopeful eyes
we bathe in warm ash rain                                                                  


Light Explosion by Maria L. Berg 2023

Juxtaposing Last Year’s Lines

The Good in the Bad and the Bad in the Good by Maria L. Berg 2023

After We Said Goodnight

We have said goodnight but
buckle up and hold on as hearts buckle

The rope hangs from the reaching branch
Head held high, enjoying the sun on my shoulders,
I begin my journey

At my magical realism hotel where
the air is thick with it
agitation nags, it’s tickling

The fan whirs in the window
In the deep shadows under the metal erection
Funny how easy the monster comes out

A blinding fog over men’s senses, deceives about
you can’t be disappointed, if you have no expectations

Today’s Meeting the Bar prompt at dVerse Poets Pub is to create a poem from the first line of the first poem of each month that I posted in 2022.

Dream Imagery

The poetics prompt at dVerse Poets Pub is to “write a poem inspired by a vision, dream, or both.” I tried to do the spoon in the bowl trick to induce a dream state, but all I saw was a big orange square of color with a read shadow moving around, so I decided to sleep on it and I’m glad I did because I had very vivid dreams last night.

The Body of the Dream by Maria L. Berg 2023

I am a group of three women going to a writing retreat

but I was waffling, so I just followed
to enjoy the talk and be in the walk
but before we left, we needed relief
we arrived upstairs and entered the booths
but they crammed in mine, their laughter was bright
and throwing a card up in the thick air
it defied logic and surprise! froze there
she threw a whole pack of colored small cards
they tumbled then froze in patterned tableaux
I needed to go, I squeezed through the mess
to the booth next door glad for a rest, but
card woman followed, black straight hair shining
she revealed a new pack, and sent those cards fly-
ing into the air, creating structures
like bridges Venetian, cov’ring canals
eyes flashing from one amazing wonder
to land on the next joy to discover
but I could not stop my mind from worry
we needed to go and be in a hurry
because time moved so unlike the cards
and we would miss the bus to their ferry

Quadrille Monday: A Bold New Poem

Feeling Bold by Maria L. Berg 2023

Today at dVerse Poets Pub it’s quadrille Monday which means we are writing poems of exactly 44 words and today, De Jackson has offered the word “bold” to inspire and be included in the poem. “Bold” is also a great word to inspire today’s images.

Life of the Party

I want to be bold
a grand story told
if only it were so easy
along the fold
I rolled in gold
shimmering and breezy
never cold and never old
the whirl lost hold
fruit lost to mold
and I fell dizzy and queasy

Endings and Beginnings: THIS is a Great Day

Winter Wonderland by Maria L. Berg 2022

I woke up in a winter wonderland. It started snowing yesterday evening, and the snow stuck. There was about a half foot of snow when the sun came out. I was so excited to try my reflection balls in the snow. What a great way to celebrate finishing my draft.

I Did It! I wrote THE END on my novel draft. Over 100,000 words in one month. I’m so excited and happy: not only because I pushed through to the end, but because I get to put it away while I read books, and work on revising my poems for the Chapbook challenge, and then I get to come back to it to start the new year off right.

Contradictory Abstract Nouns

Last month I looked at a different combination of abstract nouns each day, however each of them was related to the big five: beauty, truth, wisdom, love, or happiness. So this month I’m going to sort them back into the big five and review what I’ve learned. It’ll be interesting to see if collecting the images back into their big five counterparts leads to different ideas for the what their contradictions are, and what their unification looks like.

Reflections in the Snow by Maria L. Berg 2022

dVerse Poets Pub

For today’s Meeting the Bar prompt Laura challenges us to look back over our recent poems and make a poem out of twelve of our last lines to celebrated the twelfth month. What a great way to start my review of the poems I wrote in November for the Poem a Day challenge.

Forgetting Every Ending Leads to No Beginnings

You can’t be disappointed, if you have no expectations
perhaps forgetfulness is the cleanse
so cross that bridge over and over
in the glow of morning

as serious as life and death
that sweet resolve
to defraud the people pretending to live
the blue bottle in the icebox waiting to warm the way down

I knew that my dream holiday repast had finally come and gone
when I was given a cup of cocoa, and told to go upstairs
on second thought I see it like it is
nothing promised, no regrets

So that’s it. November is over. It was an amazing month. I’m looking forward to reviewing everything I created, and polishing it in the future. For now, I am going to get lost in some reading, exercise, and cleaning the house. Have a great weekend! I’ll be back some time next week.

The Glow of Daring Disinterested Infatuation

Disinterest in infatuation and infatuation in disinterest by Maria L. Berg 2022

Contradictory Abstract Nouns (Photography Challenge)

Today I’m looking at finding the disinterest in infatuation and infatuation in disinterest. Today’s study of infatuation brought me to foolish passion and and another look at that great word “unreason,” which made me think of the obsessive works in Nonconformers: A New History of Self-Taught Artists by Lisa Slominski (and contributors).

For today’s images I changed my lighting preparing my palette for next month. And I cut a new detailed filter.

Infatuation in disinterest and disinterest in infatuation by Maria L. Berg 2022

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Today we get a two for Tuesday prompt:

  1. Write a truth poem, and/or…
  2. Write a dare poem.

dVerse Poets Pub

Today’s is an ekphrastic prompt. Of the four painting to choose from, I felt the most connection to “A November Morning” by John Atkinson Grimshaw.

What We Dare in the Glow of Morning

We dare the cold bite of winter chill
getting through sweaters and coats
mittens, scarves, and caps
to find purchase in our bones
We dare the slippery sidewalks
the threat of the hard meet of concrete
embarrassment of flailing
pain, bruises, and scrapes
We dare to dream of a different world
where all this courage has purpose
inspiring, changing, improving
every trek to a destination desired
We dare to imagine a future in which
our Novembers are paintings of the past
in which we dared to venture out
in the glow of morning

Excited to Realize Indifference is a Challenge

Indifference in excitement and excitement in indifference by Maria L. Berg 2022

Contradictory Abstract Nouns (Photography Challenge)

Today I’m looking at finding the indifference in excitement and excitement in indifference.Everything about my work is excitement to me, the lights the shapes, the discovery, so how do I show indifference in that excitement. A second person might be indifferent to the excitement. The  world might be indifferent to the excitement. What does indifference look like? I was thinking no filter at all. Only looking at circles. But even that is exciting. Maybe not looking through the lens finder at all.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Today’s prompt is to write a remix poem.”This could be a different take on the same subject, or retrofitting a free verse poem into a traditional form (or vice versa).”

dVerse Poets Pub

It is Quadrille Monday where today’s challenge is to write a forty-four word poem which includes the word “warm” in some form. It will be an interesting exercise to condense all the lines I collected from the poems I’ve written this month into only forty-four words as my remix poem.

Attempts at Indifference Went Down in Flames

Let’s pretend I found indifference—
was free of bias learned from experience
and could know vibrations of unfiltered perceptions
and nerves afire went for broke
Nothing is as incomprehensible as honest truth
—would I in my excitement be warmed by the fire
or burned?

Excitement in indifference and indifference in excitement by Maria L. Berg 2022


Last night I set up files for each of the scenes I need to get me through the end of this draft, and hopped from one to another writing about five hundred words into each. I still have a ways to go, but I think I can get to the end by the 30th. I’m excited.