writing prompts: from moon to moon


Spring 2022

documenting the moon has not worked


sight scythe sigh,
the cut reframed,
explained to a t.
a lee from your name
filling my skin.
an exoskeleton
dance of #sign
ature defeat
bows to the wind,
spins and sheds
its memories


I wrote that the morning of May 16, 2022 on the prompt #sign. Big time gap, right? I’ve done many prompts now. Things have gotten so busy for me that I almost have to choose between prompts and other projects during my morning writing time. And I needed space to know what daily prompt writing is accomplishing. Am I learning enough from presenting to this group in lieu of research? And is my writing style being influenced by an exchange of Likes? Or by the short nature of prompts?

I’m working on some new training in addition to adjusting to new work. Will find a balance and pop back in from time to time. I do love many of the people on there–hearts and souls of poetry. I am around many “brand” writers and often wonder what kind of spell people are under that the realm of poetry too has to be reduced to slogans. I like checking back in on Twitter and seeing growth in people’s writing and love that there seem to be deeper themes and bigger words explored. Of course, anyone can write what they please. I am not judging; I am looking for my arena.

My personal site has been filled with spammers who would like me to mark my own emails as spam or buy their product. I have shown myself that I can keep a consistent schedule and will probably move to a new platform while keeping this one as a type of backup to the backup.

3/22/22
The horse and the elephant and the monkey and me, listen to the forest for the trees. To #taboo, meaning sacred, and came to mean unclean. We #mew about while the falcon molts. Our missions, in a widening gyre, receive and emit.
#vssdaily #prompt #vss365


3/21/22
The Prompt Master this week is @LesleyAnnFogle

This was an honor. I wish it came before I took my hiatus. I’ve done hundreds of these, mostly under vss365, and earned the respect of the community, but they did not respond to my request. I almost wonder if it was a matter of followers, judging by some of the prompt masters. I did get turned off from vss365 by the political right-wing ranting of a prompt master who put their association in their profile name, so that it appeared that the political opinions could have been ties to the group. Or at least been a platform for divisive cocoa puffs. Write a poem about it, faboo flashneck.

The Prompt Master this week is @LesleyAnnFogle
The #vssdaily#prompt for March 22, 2022 is #mew


noun:
1-a gull
2-meow
3-an enclosure for trained hawks—usually used in plural
4-a place for hiding or retirement
verb:
1-to utter a mew; to meow
2-to shut up; confine (used with up)


I’ve done many prompts now. Things have gotten so busy for me that I almost have to choose between prompts and other projects during my morning writing time. And I needed space to know what daily prompt writing is accomplishing. Am I learning enough from presenting to this group in lieu of research? And is my writing style being influenced by an exchange of Likes? Or by the short nature of prompts?

I’m working on some new training in addition to adjusting to new work. Will find a balance and pop back in from time to time. I do love many of the people on there–hearts and souls of poetry. I am around many “brand” writers and often wonder what kind of spell people are under that the realm of poetry too has to be reduced to slogans.


2/19/22
Jon was starting to feel hangry. “What a stupid word. Do we all just pull up language by the roots and salt the earth? It’s like a destructive child making mud castles while lightening #larrups a tower and all comes crumbling down. The child can’t be bothered to look up.” #vss365


2/14/22

It was a war of attrition. Zno babies were raised as slaves. Sae could feel her child #tremble and awaken at the magic age of 7. In harmonia, she absorbed the tacit vibrations, then #thrust, from her bones and throat, dominant waves of calm resolve back to her child.


2/3/22
Lorn and forlorn are words I can get behind. Forlorn is more common nowadays: to lose, forlost to the point of completion; lost or left behind.


2/2/22

The godforsaken creature reeked of deadly sin or revelation—black sun, blood moon, and starlight stripped from the sky.

Aza, she #breathed. I will find you and set you free.

Benevolent Battle: Move Me Poetry and From One Line

Last Friday night after work, my husband was cooking dinner and I was checking out the writers on Twitter. Our big plans were to have a nice meal, curl up with the pups, and watch Nobody on HBO Max. It was snowing hard and we were homebound on yet another Friday night, trying not to catch the Omnicron strain of Covid, that every third person we know has caught lately in Columbus, Ohio.

I scrolled Twitter, sorted by vss hashtags, and saw a writer I respect, Helen Laycock, post about a poetry battle, a collaboration between From One Line and the Move Me Poetry groups. Then I saw Arliden The Bard was involved, another very good poet I know of from Twitter. I hadn’t done any battles in years, but had fond memories of hitting various clubs in Chicago like the Green Mill. Problem is that I’m no slam poet and slam poets get people’s adrenaline going on the stage, which, often, makes for livelier entertainment and engagement. I always thought of slam as the air guitar of poetry–hey, I agree that we all need to write, creatively vent, express, rent our garments like suppressed maenads ritually releasing oppression in a bloodthirsty frenzy; this is not dissimilar to endless accounts in folk culture, right up to modern needs to cast out demons, connect with source and spirit, and shake the almost biocentric vent of every person/soul’s emanating tension. But slam is not my way. I never connected to the inner voice that way.

The crowd-pleasing nightlife effect of rant poetry is not too different, to me, from market research showing that enraged social media posts get the most engagement while posts with excitement run second place. This trope may have lessoned now that we understand the extent of interference from a world that understands psychological control. This understanding is required learning for powers of governance and marketing. People hate being manipulated. But just watch an Adam Curtis documentary to understand that this has been driving the world for a long time, and it works. This understanding was the basis for the first public relations firms and the first commercial firm marketing strategies and has only increased in acuity over the last hundred years. Ignoring it and contributing to a prescribed fantasy of give-a-fockless stardom might make for a better socialized day, but doesn’t do much for awareness, breakthrough, and change. Riding the status quo was never the drive of our young idealized hearts. My generation, the groups I grew from anyway, shared active experience—better than reactive—to connect. TO CONNECT.

Shrugging off new contemplative art to gush over trend ignores the profitable machine of art, with its statistical understanding of what moves human hearts, or better, drives human hearts to spend in the search for divine connection. Corporate brands struggle to appear genuinely interested in humanity instead of in their bottom line of profit. With this understanding of what spirit seeks, it is so encouraging to see the younger generations hold brands accountable for standards and sustainability. The youth that do it anyway.

I talk about this with youth I mentor. There is a very natural bucking against parental authority that is often needed to move on to independence, especially when there has been a caretaker with unhugged and untreated mental disability, mood disorder, or a deep unembraced shadow. This can translate to offspring feeling confused. And, notably, in cases where protective parents have not released containment of their child’s free will and individual soul. These understandings happen incrementally and are challenging to reframe, but greatness leads to greatness and it goes both ways. I have explained to my few mentees that understanding the intentions of your elder’s guidance means seeing their soul and forgiving human error, which can set you free to be a forgiving, grateful adult.

One brilliant young mind I mentored railed on about the boomer distraction. Ie, “Ok, boomer.” I get it. Did the same thing at their age, believing that the world would evolve if new voices were to rail against or wait out the outdated mindset and influence of former generations. But a scapegoat is a scapegoat, and early family controls nothing but a seem/seam shadow haunting our independence. Most people are not born with modern idealism. Modern ideas evolve, so there is important history/belonging in acknowledging the struggles of former generations that led to your own enlightenment. Saying “boomer” flippantly can erase past equality efforts, such as the suffragist movement, the civil rights movement, and many others. Not that everyone does this, but my point is that respect is an evolving contagion. As a united humanity, we have to figure out how to be motivated by positive emotions that are stronger and vivider than spite.

I regularly digress, but my tangential point is that life is about minimizing regrets. And while there are many cases where abuse is about a criminal level of sickness, many others are about tracing threads of subtler abuse to free themselves from the knots. See the human faults of caretakers but try to understand and forgive souls.

Wow, what is this post about again? Right, From One Line and Move Me Poetry poetry battles. I got off on the other stuff, but hope it relates a bit of why I love the freeform expression of poetry. And music. These are powerful expressive processors of primal conflict that, for all, may not be covered by the logic of western psychology, the exorcism of religion, nor the slogans of art.

Gosh, back to the poetry post. I was moved by their line: “I have a hunger” and riffed on their one line prompt, noticing that others posted documents and images unlimited by character limits. Character limits have been the biggest twitter challenge and here was a chance to stretch out. I was in. I flowed, uploaded my piece, and went to sleep.

I didn’t understand the difference between quoting a tweet and retweeting, so it wasn’t until the next day that I saw this response video. It was stunning to wake up, in the low light of the morning, to this dose of grace:

This is JD Greyson from Move Me Poetry. She is unbelievably open, unblocked, supportive, and like a rejuvenating springthrough breeze. I have been so tired of tension and the void, in this territorial, non-inclusive arena I landed in, so this was a breath of much-needed oxygen, reminding me of who I want to be despite the Covid- heightened isolation. I want to build here and move others like this…extend lifelines to isolated poetic minds.


A few days later, my husband and I are enjoying the evening in our living room, each with a dog and an instrument on our lap, talking about changing the lead counter melody on a song and wondering what instruments would work best. I checked to see what the Twitter writers wrote that day and stumbled on this poetry battle highlights link, Poetry Battle Highlights: A Special Edition, Medium post by JD Grayson:

https://medium.com/move-me-poetry/poetry-battle-highlights-a-special-edition-aa3086d9264b

I can’t seem to embed it, but will try again. Anyway, my boo and I gaped at each other with big WOW faces. What she wrote about my words was more than I needed to keep going. For years I’ve been telling myself that I only need a few people whose work I respect to respect mine. But everything got so heavy the past couple of years, so it nice to be seen. I took a screenshot of what she said to put in my “Keep Going” folder.

I still have a wow on my face. Then the YouTube audio on the page started playing automatically. It was a narrator reading his entry choices to sound design. The first one he read I’d seen and noted, as it mentioned “ambrosial cup.” My piece mentioned the red-winged blackbird’s first flight being a search for ambrosia, the food of the gods, in that the bird flew. I imagined a great mystical cause evolved into wings and thought of the storytellers who penned the myths that formed our words (I’ve been studying Proto-Indo-European words lately to understand even earlier communication). So I noted this poet’s synchronous use of the word ambrosial to describe a cup and questioned what was in that cup.

The narrator, Ethan McCaffrey, kept reading on and I kept wondering on. On his fourth and final read, he read my piece! My husband and I both did a Home Alone gesture, clapping the sides of our wowed faces. And then? The narrator used an effect on the side line voicing of the piece; it sounded almost like a vocoder speaking the imprint words like one might in the counterpoint of song. We were stunned. It was this interpretation of the kind of reference we use with lyrics on songs! Here was someone we had never met understanding the lyric notes. What?!

This writing group is great. Conductive. I am wanting to sing again, to rosin up my bow, write, and see if I can grow. This is something good to be a part of. And I want to encourage others the way they encouraged me.

witches and midnight with their adders and newts

I wrote this poem on a prompt of the word midnight and wanted to share some insights on the word choices. Without getting too deeply into it at this time (though I wish this was my job), I’d like to share a short key.

At midnight,
the witches gather
and abdicate their veils,
revel by the sconce
of fearless perception
on the winged misdivision
of the adder and the newt;
sing basilisk elegies and play,
then fly away when lore
gives way to darker hours.

The Witching Hour is from midnight to 1am, and the Devil’s Hour, the darker lore, is from 3am to first light. The 3am time is thought to be an inversion of the 3pm time that Christ was crucified.

Veil refers to both veiled feminine insight, personified by the goddess, and the veil of perception between worlds, most notably the mortal world and the preternatural world. Veil of perception also refers to mystical insight, studied and learned on the quest for transmutation. Females were long kept from study, science, sacral roles, healer roles; and the female alchemist was moreoften referred to as a witch. They don’t explain this well on the CW channel. Popular culture puts a lot of more work to put into fetishizing the feminine and nurturing generations to assume gender roles.


[I hope this explains to a certain friend of mine why I trailed off when he referred to my work as “witchy shit.” I study all kinds of things and have been writing a long time, so it is annoying to hear my efforts dismissed as being some kind of misunderstood mystical lunacy. Many have hemmed me into self-doubt over the years, by implying or directly saying that my work is too opaque–Dense! Confusing! Baffling! Weird for the sake of being weird! Perplexing! Cryptic! A word spell striptease! You have to slooowly arrive at a plain, relatable idea: the arrival!]

It took me many years to realize the gift of outer critics and how their energy frees up my inner critic.

Okay, it feels like a weight is lifted every time I post about the slights that have chipped away at my energy, enthusiasm, and motivation. I will get back to the short & sweet key. … And not go on about how gender is weaponized, consciously or unconsciously (please do wake the fock up), to reduce competition. The gloves fit differently but they are on.


Sconce refers to light, illumination, discovery, revelation. From Abscondere! Abracadabra!

Hello, Los 😉

Regarding nadder and ewt, the misdivision reference is about bracketing, or metanalysis. Nadder lost the ‘n’ from spoken ref to ‘an adder’ and ewt gained an ‘n’ from ref to “an ewt.” Spelling mistakenly recorded. I liked how the imagery conjures the idea of treacherous witches stirring their cauldrons and adding eye of newt or tongue of asp. There’s more on why misdivision is winged, but it is work to clarify, and basilisk is next.

Basilisk, adjective, means spellbinding, and as a noun is a lizard; and as noun in lore, a lizard known for its lethal stare.

Kinda cool, right? Cool to reflect and consider language and poetic reference. I do understand the need to give some context and always read the Norton Anthology notes, etc, especially with James Joyce. How cool! But I don’t have a whipsmart publisher. Yet. I’m standing between critics and breakthroughs to new levels. And I am hungry to spill gold.

Time still for gold to spill: the fleece, the bough, and the ratio
All those mysteries alive at your fingertips
Above as so below

(from a song I lyricized and sang years ago with a talented artist who hasn’t released it yet, probably due to the pandemic. It refers to the golden fleece, the golden bough, and the golden ratio. Did I need to say that? We’ll never know.)




writing prompts: new to full moon in Capricorn 2022

prompts: infinity tranquil solar perspicacity pop yawn hugs crisper dollops midnight

January 2, 2022 to January 17, 2022

from the new moon to the full moon in Capricorn


You soar from sky
to infinity in Blake’s
grain, glisten like snowflake
prisms, vapor altered
states: ruby bronze
azure chartreuse
copper violet-rouge;
Ephemeral bloodroot
mulls on leaf mold
and dew—Listen
for the tap
of bones when
the fertile earth
is ready for you.




For each harsh word,
I gained another tranquil
ruffle on the lake, a solar
marvel raring from a grayer day.
I am the end intended, take in
infrared, hug back the rays,
appreciate the symbiotic
interplay. You are the link
that breaks these atoms
into different shapes,
my blood picks up the relics
takes them to the places
where they ionate to give
my heart and marrow all
the strength you could not
spare to spare me. Take.
Your best aim.



“It’s called perspicacity. You explore, learn, reflect, and create with a comparably divergent drive. You’ll starve there. Actualize who you are and step into the light.” Maena crisply pierced the apple’s skin, tearing into its pulp before eyeing me. “Hungry?”



Honesty grabs one hand, loyalty the other. Vertebral seams pop, the serpentine column dances toward a new center, landing in perse moments of exchange: phosphene stories of love and pain ignite the mind.

The next words are butterflies.




She yawned and threw the message into the icebox. Yowls, crackles, and hisses flooded the moment before she slammed the door. The icebox kept words chilled and sentiments on ice. Hugs from the crisper were non-existent. She cupped her hands under the faucet and splashed water over her eyes. From what she’d seen, this one could take some time to cool off.



He felt the dollops of ink release and flow from some great telepathy of the sky; heard the phonological claps of thunder and mortal shock rain fractal words of the weary and fallen onto the page, like tears washing particles from a collective mind’s eye.




At midnight,
the witches gather
and abdicate their veils,
revel by the sconce
of fearless perception
on the winged misdivision
of the adder and the newt;
sing basilisk elegies and play,
then fly away when lore
gives way to darker hours.

Sing Along

Image pictured: The King of Hearts was recopied by hand over time until his battle ax turned into an uncanny sword in the skull, from the fascinating article on the Suicide King by Simon Wintle on The World of Playing Cards website.

I keep coming back to the same melody, like the one in this piece that just poured out. So today, armed with what are now eight verses, I will work on the song and whittle it down to two or three verses once the music bed is laid. I haven’t had a song knock this hard on my brain door in some time. Then again, I’ve never gone this long without singing. What a strange few years this has been, navigating the pandemic and trying to come to terms with who I am, what I want out of life, and what no longer fits my self-actualization as an independent thinker and artist.

Sing Along

I searched epochs for a muse
like you, the pen sequences
from this hand. Fits.
Natural patterns move,
send nurturance along a thread,
rebuild the scaffold skeletonic
comprehension.
I love you, too.

We’ve no control. Intolerance is
worry fortified by stress, we
targets show resilience; our childly
needs were never met.
Encouragement spurred
from bereavement, celebrated
those achievements acted on
behalf of their own neglect.

My heartstrings tighten, tune
the songs that mourn rejection,
search the faults for reassurance
from the past, scrolling ghosts,
and casting shadows
on the places where love reigned,
cut off the arms that shouldered
blame. You fills the pages
where your mark is honored
in a future song.
I hope you’ll sing along
I hope you’ll sing along
I hope you’ll sing along

writing prompts: from full to new moon in Sagittarius & Capricorn 2022

prompts: barrage charm disguise quiet flashbacks reasonable spotlight passengers becoming renewals

December 18, 2021 to January 1, 2022

from the full moon to the new moon in Sagittarius & Capricorn



The salesman used a barrage of charm to disguise his goal of extracting as much money as he could from her. She stood abruptly and announced she would return after lunch. “Wait!” He cried, “$100 off!” But she’d been advised beforehand: Don’t rush, read the fine print, and always be prepared to walk away.



It’s a quiet connection now.
Some nights, flashbacks blare
and cough, their clamant yawps
muffled by a stuffed shift.
The redress alters me
into a reasonable
block of ice;
thaw will come,
internal, with hope
renewed.


The Ram

A spotlight glances across the land,
like twinkling stars to passengers
headed east; The beast, it flies
and reasons o’er the Black Sea.

Ambassador Spectacular,
hold on tight, don’t handle her;
This chauffeur-alien won’t be fleeced.

Backward, in the nick of sky,
in dark absence of moonlight;
it scans the clusters
searching for its kind.


“Das Zeichen des Bundes” from Genesis section of Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch (ca. 1552)

Words
like tangerine spray glint,
peel back a summer day when
sunlight filtered longer
through the pied air,
becoming rainbows.

But he never wants
what he has,
so he never gets
what he wants;
then you realize
the circle disappears
beyond the undying horizon.


I’m proud of us: Strong
and conscientious,
hard-working;
Our love renewals,
delight for life,
through growth, detach
suspicion as we do from
feeling what is good
about a friend.

We truly are
each other’s people
Agreed to expect
our loyal best;
To cast away
sorrow.

Think Highly

Its prickly thoughts drop
pointed like tears,
at times landing
round and soft,
pooling as a placid lake,
lulling as summer rain
Should all land in chance
of familiar modal harmony,
I’ll think highly of myself
as often as possible—mantras,
maxims, motivations taped;
post-it notes on the window:

Lay out the facts.
Do your work.
Trust your intelligence.

Taped to my sun visor in my car:
I love all of me, even
my suffering and uncertainty.

On a lunch sack in Sharpie:
Love yourself & hold steady;

if time, I’d written:
Don’t get knocked off your love game.

I eek around corners to add to mirrors
double reminders. But none could keep
me where I needed to be or keep
you from getting angry.

“Who do I think I am?” You asked.

Yell echoes
its sonic spell
flicks an avalanche;
the delicate enchant-
ments buried in snow
Search parties
dig for the bones
of our crumpled body

On the long journey back
to sense of self and confidence,
slowly grows my clone—this one
tattooed in reminders—to think
highly of herself as often as possible.

Regrets on the eve

I regret my angered broken
heart, the warp on its record,
and the times I tried to heal
someone who’d understand.

I regret the rip of loneliness
into my solitude, that a few
good friends weren’t enough
at times. I regret trying
to resurrect my lost family
in reminders of connections.
I regret my mind wasn’t strong
enough to keep you with me.
I regret love’s affectation on
my gaping train of thoughts,
too scared to tell you what
I cannot confide to keep
outside of my mind.

There’s not a lot left to take
into this new year now. I am
content with who needs me,
with the learning curve
of each new sensation,
in chats with the air
and essence of minds
before me. And even us
before trust lost to fear.