Liminal Imagery

image from Liminal Spaces @SpaceLiminalBot

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to choose an image from @SpaceLiminalBot to inspire a poem.

PAD Challenge: Write an active poem

Self-fulfilling

All of the shelves are empty
the end is near

nothing left to read here
the end is near

the light blotches in the blue carpet
lead the eye to the liner left in the trash can

under those letters had there
been apocalyptic fiction

escapist fantasies of survival
in a world after cataclysmic catastrophes

or catastrophic cataclysms
the end is near

the pink and yellow sale signs
taped to the columns remain

forever a testament
to a once bustling environment

but there is no one left
the end has come

Shuffling my deck

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt includes some arts and crafts. We are challenged to create a “Personal Universal Deck” of words, then use some in a poem. I also listened to an audio recording of Michael McClure giving a lecture explaining the deck. Sadly, it ends right before he’s going to discuss things that can be done with the deck. Some aspects of creating the deck that I found interesting are the words are to represent both your good and bad side in concrete basic grammatical units, and come from a meditative state. He describes the deck as creating an arranged derangement which echoes day one’s prompt.

Over at Blogging from A to Z C is for Card trick. After I create my Personal Universal Deck, I’ll have to teach it some tricks. My Janus word for today is critical which can mean vital to success (a critical component), or disparaging (a critical comment).

The April Poem-a-Day prompt is to write a communication poem. So I guess my card trick will be opening a dialogue with myself through the Personal Universal Deck without being too critical, or perhaps I will find the Deck a critical component of personal communication.

My Personal Universal Deck in Progress

Not trusting myself to truly choose the words from the list at random for the cards, I typed them up, printed them, cut them out and put them in a vase. I selected two out of the vase without looking, then pasted them to a card, one right-side-up at the top, and one upside-down near the bottom.

This aspect of the deck–having a word upside down–made me think of tarot cards in reverse direction. I thought about the “reverse position” of the words and what that might mean.

I’ve previously talked about Plotting with Tarot. Since there weren’t really instructions for how to use this new deck once I made it, I thought I would try applying some similar ideas. I was inspired by Michael McClure’s instructions to meditate on the past, present, and future to find the words, to use Arwen Lynch’s card draw in Mapping the Hero’s Journey With Tarot: 33 Days To Finish Your Book. The first card represents the present, the second card drawn represents what happened directly before the first, and the third is what happens directly after.

A Familiar Laugh

Her laugh, cut off when you entered the room,
continued to ring in your ears.
You would know that critical cackle anywhere.
So many tears shed
because that laugh was infectious
when at your expense.

Moments before you entered the room,
you had stared at your rain-soaked self
in the odd, corroding mirror in the hall,
and recognized not a dampened mess,
but a sparkling creation.

She is but a grain of sand
in your boot
as you climb.

#NaPoWriMo Day 2: A Different Choice

White bell flowers in front of over-lapping bokey squares of a segment of traintracks. A few stick out with yellow backgrounds.
The Golden Trail – bokeh photograph by Maria L. Berg 2021

The NaPoWriMo prompt this morning is to explore a road not taken. What would have happened if I made a different choice.

The PAD Challenge prompt is “What will the future hold?”

Over at A to Z they’re challenging writers to make bets with ourselves. I bet I can read and leave comments on five A to Z blogs today.

Today’s Janus word is buckle (1) To secure, tighten, hold (by fastening with a buckle); (2) to collapse after being acted upon by an external force, as in “to buckle under the strain.”

The Future Holds a Multitude of Choices

Choice swung a bat
at mailboxes
full of parasites
during the full worm moon
of Regret

While Regret visited
the ghost zoo
to stare through
the glass of
Free Will’s enclosure

While Free Will stalked the boundary,
Destiny twisted
in an office chair
at an enormous oak desk,
waiting for Will
to buckle

While Destiny swiveled,
Choice dropped the bat
and snatched a ruler
from Education
to measure
the distance
to Yes.

The NaPoWriMo prompt inspired me to grab my “tracks” bokeh filter that I created during OctPoWriMo last year and head outside. Since it is a cloudy morning, I took a selection of light strings and some extension cords along. Yesterday was the first time I strung my lights from the curtain rod to hang in front of the window and today is the first time I’ve taken them to shoot outside. I don’t know why it took me so long to try these things, but it looks like this NaPoWriMo is expanding my world of bokeh photography. Woohoo!

Yellow background bokeh train tracks and a few leaves in a an oblong globe of grey.
A Future Golden Trail – by Maria L. Berg 2021

I love how this path looks like it’s inside a crystal ball.

As I mentioned in another post from OctPoWriMo, Change of Perspectives, my camera has a cool built-in art feature that lets me filter for a primary color, leaving everything else grey scale. I mentioned playing with it yesterday, but it didn’t work with those pictures, so I gave it a try today and had some great results.

Black and white train track bokeh, a few with striking red backgrounds/
A Perilous Path – Maria L. Berg 2021

And this photograph made me think of the Lil Nas X vs. Nike controversy–Who the heck wants human blood in their shoes?

April First: And so it begins

The View Out My Window – bokeh photograph by Maria L. Berg 2021

It’s the very first day of National Poetry Writing Month and the prompt is to “derange” myself, make the world strange and see it as a stranger.

This could tie in nicely with the April PAD Challenge prompt: write an introduction poem. As part of my poem, I could introduce a stranger: create a persona and see the world through his or her eyes.

Over on the A to Z Challenge blog they came up with a Scavenger Hunt for the month. What a fun idea. For the A to Z challenge my Janus word is adumbrate which can mean both to disclose and to obscure.

This prompt may call for some new bokeh filters.

Reflection from the Outside In – Maria L. Berg 2021

Breeding Fruit Flies with Two Different Eyes

An impression arrests the fruit flies in kitchen sinks full of ideas
frozen in mid-irritation, fleeting yet multiplying before your eyes
what indelible marks will topple to the tongue
and adumbrate the growing clutch

Contentment empties the glue of flavor and steals the scissors of artistry
the constant irritation and insatiable hunger
–of those fruit flies, feeding in the sinks–
sketch an impression of furious flight

Refreshment wriggles among the moles under the tent of solitude
having vacated the house with the ideas, but left the kitchen sink to the fruit flies
the dark, fresh-earth tunnels adumbrate new and curious spaces for contemplation
where crawling, not seeing, may nourish new understanding


An Explosion of Color – Maria L. Berg 2021

It’s open link night at dVerse Poets Pub, so head over to share and read some poetry.

April’s Blogging A to Z challenge: contronyms, antagonyms, or auto-antonyms. Oh, my!

April is almost here! My days are flying by too quickly.

Yesterday, I signed up for the blogging A to Z challenge. This will be my fourth year combining National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) with the blogging A to Z challenge. I enjoy how the poetry prompts and the words I choose for the challenge influence each other to inform my poetry. Robert Lee Brewer of Writer’s Digest will also have daily prompts for his April Poem-A-Day (PAD) Challenge that will probably make their way into my posts.

So far I have explored the A to Z of:

2018: Words that were new to me
2019: More new words
2020: Music terms

This year I have been playing with Janus words, exploring how words that can mean their opposite might be used to “turn” a poem. For the A to Z challenge I will look at Janus words and phrases–also known as contronyms, antagonyms, or auto-antonyms–from A to Z and attempt to employ them in my daily poems.

I hope you’ll come by each day to read my new poems, see my new photographs and hear about what I learn along the way.

Hears to a creative and fun April!

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