Bare Bones Poem - Collaborative Poetry

Part V

Be a magician, arch your wand.
Let doors quickly open
around your feet and head.
At the end of your show,
bow deep, then savor,
letting silence, gasps, cheers, and applause
mingle like unholy ancient chants
of a sacrifice
before you dissapear into smoke
like a starman sent from the sky
getting breath from the anticipation
(or a collective scream).

In this ReadWritePoem Prompt #41, we posted a poem of ours missing most the nouns and verbs. Then we chose the "stripped down" poem of another poet, and filled in the words. Here is the bare-bones poem I had to work with posted by A~Lotus:

Part v.
Be a _____, arch your _____.
Let _____ quickly _____
around your _____ and _____
at the _____ of your _____.
_____ deep, then _____,
letting _____, _____, _____, and _____
mingle like _____ _____ _____
of a _____
before you _____ into _____
like a _____ _____ from the sky
and getting _____ by the _____
(or a _____ _____).

(This poem with all its original words may be found HERE.)


I orginally chose another longer poem, because I simply liked the shape. But I was stumbling a bit and not really having fun, so I chose this one, of which I immediately liked the tone. I ran right through it, filling in the words like I was reciting something learned. I only changed a couple small words in the 2nd to last line and the punctuation in one other line. It was easy (and fun)--until the end line.
Obviously, this line should somehow turn the poem around, but I couldn't do it. It is frustrating me. However, I really like the picture it paints.

Here is my original poem I posted as a bare bones model for others to choose:

I am not connected with nature
The trees don’t sing to me
The winds deny the pleasure
Of coming around to me
I have felt the sun on my face
But it has not set me free
I am not connected to nature
And she’ll have nothing to do with me.

It's a silly lil thing, but I was actually very desperate when I wrote it. It is simple and boring, because I just didn't care; I was so apathetic with my life at that moment. I would love to see it improved by another.

Well, I am off to read the REAL Part V.
Also, I want to thank Dana at ReadWritePoem for a surprising exercise and A~Lotus for a great model to play with!!


Technical Difficulties

Sorry for the absense. My internet has been sketchy at best. But as the problem does not seem to have an end in sight, I will try to catch up with all of you between getting thrown off, frozen up, and going depressingly slow.


Sibling Rivalry

Word on the street is
Abraham is your daddy too
but that doesn’t mean much to you
snarling and smashing
crashing and quick
with the tongue and fist.
That shit list of yours
is set in stone
and when you’re done
I’ll prop it on your grave
to remind us to save
some prayers for those
drug down with you
on fast-forward to the last scene
no time for plot or meaning
eyes fixed on the screen
for a climax.
And when the curtain falls
it brings an axe.
And you drug us all
down with you.

(ReadWritePoem Prompt #39)


Watchful Fruit

The other night, I cut a piece off of an avacado. Then I started fiddling about the kitchen. When I turned around, here was this scary eye looking up at me!
I don't know what made it red, but it made an excellent guacamole all the same.


Poetry Prompts

Happy Global Poetry Prompt Appreciation Day!

Take Part!

I love prompts. I don't think my best stuff comes from prompts, as usually I am rushing to meet the deadline, but they are very useful. I have learned new poetry forms and processes. They also give me a reason to write a lil more often and a lil more regularly. Yes, I am one of those people who needs a reason.

However, the best thing about prompts is reading other poet's work with the same prompt that I have been working with. I love to see the different ways people interpret one drawing or even one word! The poetry prompts that give you a handful of words to include are especially fun. It is like rune reading. One person takes the words, shakes them up, lays them out, and sees certain thoughts, emotions, and circumstances appear. Then I take them, and toss them out into a totally different story.

I see prompts as exercises for the poetic muscles, which need to stretch different ways to truly be healthy and strong. It is impossible for one person to come up with every which way on their own.


Jigsaw Poem


Heavy summer air plays tag
with thin cool ocean breezes
They chase carefree through trees tops
carrying shouts of beachgoers
who are just out of site

I inhale the scene
savoring it like the scent of a lover's hair
I taste the sea salt
spiced with the timber planks
layed before me in a twisted path

which decants me from woods to sand
while the wings of the evening
wrap around it all
turning the sky amber
and making the moment a dream

(Jigsaw Poem for Poets Who Blog)



So Nice To See You Again, How's The New Wife?

sweet scent
of you stinging
my nostrils, promises
are baked road kill, kisses are green
shiny pus filled wounds, acid coats my tongue,
memories are wet dogs begging
foaming at the mouth from
your sickening
sweet scent

(ReadWritePoem Promt #38)


Dark Matter

(Hubble Space Photo)

and now they,
scientists, say
we're not really moving together,
but farther away.
galexies have dreams of their own,
noses pointed on where to go.
well, then
we'll get
that space
we long for
and if I miss your face,
tears of doubt
won't turn back time
when all the stars go out
then my heart, cold third stone,
will know, we'll know
what it is to have space
and to be alone.

Dark energy:
BIG BANG pushed all the galaxies out, but gravity to eachother slows them. As they get farther from eachother, they are slowly speeding up, because gravity is having less impact in the larger spaces.

1995: Hubble discovered the galaxies are continuing to move farther from eachother at a faster rate by measuring LIGHT from supernovas.

1916: Einstein thought all this might be so, but rejected it because it was against what we thought we knew at the time. He was LOOKING for a way to prove the universe was STATIC.

SO eventually dark energy will push all the stars away from eachother SO FAR that they will no longer be visable from eachother.

(InspireMeThursday Prompt Shrink)

Poem of the Week

Happy one month aniversary to Drawings in the Sand!

The 4th weekly Proud Giraffe Award goes to Pamela Olson for her Monday Mural poem, Cycle of Sighs. The poem itself seems to breathe.



Child's Rhyme


The itsy bitsy spider
Climbed up wedding dress
Down came the veil
And made the spider blessed

Out came the priest
And damned again its soul
And the itsy bitsy spider laid poison in the role

No, I don't hate my husband. I do feel that you learn about dad/mom/wife/husband roles and what they mean to eachother as a child. You are taught them with the repetition and inconspicuousness of a nursery rhyme.


Excuse me, have you seen this poem?

I lost a poem.

I stayed up very late a couple nights ago working on a poem with rhyme and meter and all the trimmings, and now I have no idea where it is! I can't find it on my computer, in my notebooks, or saved in any web places. As soon as I decided I was done working on it, I felt so unburdened by it, that I just sighed happily and went to bed. I forgot I even wrote it the next day. When I remembered it, I went to look for it, and no can find.

Do you ever hear a hilarious joke in a dream and wake up laughing thinking, "Oh I have to remember that one," then when you wake up again, all you remember is that it was funny? That is what it feels like. I know I did not dream it though.

I am pulling my hair out!



Late Again Lavender


Mother Nature by alizarin
Monday Mural from Poefusion

Late again Lavender
lost your sense of time,
gone in the grisliest
robbery of rhyme

Duck and dodge Lavender
past nobility,
interceding costar:
slick civility

Pickax pricked Lavender
rework your last rhyme,
send overburdened tunes
through highways of time

*Random Inspiration: Chose 5 nouns, verbs, and adjectives from the dictionary, and build a poem with them*
I did not use them all. Odd how it was that all the M-words that did not make it.
Nouns: costar, highway, macrame, nobility, pickax
Verbs: duck, intercede, mate, overburden, rework
Adjectives: grisly, lavender, mod, past, slick

The kind of otherwordliness and sad/repulsed/determined look of the figure made me think of this poem. And her hand out-stretched as if she is doesn't think it will work, but she has to try. Her reaction is too human to see her as nature.


Slice of Paradise

Another piece for InspireMeThursday's beach challange.

Poem of the Week

A day late, the 3rd weekly Proud Giraffe Award goes to We are Astronauts or The Pornography of a Backrub by Robin Sontheimer found in qarrtsiluni for a string of thought provoking, retorical questions.



Beauty Treatment

Skin softened by sun
seeps in moisture from the air.
The ocean’s just show.

(InspireMeThursday Prompt)



Statue near Bishop's Castle, CO

Today's Quote

Chosen Randomly
About Quotes
When the longest- and the shortest- lived of us come to die, their loss is precisely equal. For the sole thing of which any man can be deprived is the present; since this is all he owns, and nobody can lose what is not his.
Marcus Auralius Meditations
This is by far one of my favorites.
I find it very comforting.


Standing in the Shadows

Standing in the Shadows By Rick Mobbs

I’m a superhero goddess, who am I?
I am the molder of your fate, who am I?

I’m the savior when your buildings are burning,
champion and tamer of beasts, who am I?

I can fly myself to the edge of the Earth;
I see unencumbered and know, who am I!

Here clarity rings long with lines and answers;
All pieces fit to reveal your who am I.

You believe you are too busy to listen;
It does not mean I’ve not disclosed, who am I.

I am you in hazy moments wavering
Sleep and awake, wandering with who am I.

Stark, I illuminate future and wisdom.
Jenn, don’t wipe away sleep and ask who am I.

Thanks to Rick Mobbs for permission to use this image.
(ReadWritePoem Promp #36)


Polka Dots


Mixed Media Interpretation of Polka Dots
(InspireMeTursday Prompt)

Polka Dots! What a great excuse to do something silly and fun. When I have a car again, I will mount it.

And I was so happy that I found a good use for empty cat food cans. I thought they were so cute. I washed them and kept them for a while with no use in mind for them until now! I liked how they were gold on the outside and white on the inside.

Of course, the cats were very interested while I was putting this together.

A Set of Three

My Grandmother bought a house in the Colorado mountains, and I started on a set of three paintings of natural things for her. It is her wish to decorate it only in things found around the house or pictures of the area. The pinecone came 1st, the the leaf, so of course I have been dillydallying on finishing the 3rd installment. I have only a sketch of an out line of an Aspen branch with a couple leaves that will be in the beautiful Aspen gold. The background is done in bright flaming reds and yellows. Grandma has had that place for 2 winters now. *sigh*


A picture of the property taken by my mother.

It is a breathtaking place.



I stretch out each limb
Finding all they’re worth
After uncurling myself
Out and over the earth
How will you find me
I melt into the world
While it melts into me
Walk up to the mirror
For the world to see
How will you know me

How will you love me
After every road I’ve run
Will you be waiting at the end
And love me like you’ve done

Poem of the Week

The second weekly Proud Giraffe Award goes to Karen Crone's ghazal, Hold Hands. Each couplet is truly a poem in of itself; each image invokes an emotional response.




The world is in
the kitchen. Warm
scents in the swirling
chatter, sing-songs
drinking helps meld,
sorrows felled by
us held in shared
waiting, aired prob-
lems, snared by these
sympathies and
a “please.” Manners;
only dinners can
make persons from
killers. Come, eat
with some nations.

(Poefusion and The Miss Rumphius Effect )

Today's Quote

Chosen randomly.

About Quotes


The laws of nature are a description of how you act, not a prescription, not a power or force that determines your acts. [So] it is impossible for you to ever conflict with natural law...just where do you leave off and the rest of the universe begin?

-Raymond M. Smullyan

The Tao Is Silent


Uttanasana (Fowrard Bend)

High and straight she shines
deep and centered core
but not dense.
She radiates in all directions
pulsing and blending with the wavering sky.
One, two, three, four o’clock falling
five o’clock pausing.
Six o’clock.
The sun meets the earth;
she gently pets steady and solid ground.
Bright and powerful rays shoot for the sky before
time to




dogs wilting with mange
days heavy with sky
the deathly cheeks of a stranger
far off summer thunder
groans from a sleeping lover
the low hum of pub chatter
hotel smoking rooms
cold hamburger, burned last night
the very last sip of muddy tea
washing all those dishes
the last four hours of a sinus headache
Grey can steal your breath like a cat


One of my less edited poems, but I am trying to post more. I hate that old wives tale about cats stealing your breath at night, but I like to use it in poetry. It is like telling kids the Boogieman will come if they don't go to sleep. In this poem, I was trying to say that grey is on the scale between black and white, both and neither.


Farmer's Tan

He wears op’ra gloves
and a mask
eyes to collarbone
in color
so unbecoming.
He calls it
blurple, a mix of
blue'n purple.

When he is topless,
he still wears
a white t-shirt with
two nipples
blushing at their own

A white gold ring shines,
a mirror,
against browned finger.
I touch his
hand to see if he
can still feel.

White cigarettes burn
to grey ash.
He turns to brown dust.
Flake and peel,
layer and layer,
dust to dust
too soon for my taste.

(ReadWritePoem Prompt #35)


Today's Quote

Chosen randomly.
About quotes.


...living well is an art which can be developed.
Of course, you will need the basic talents to biuld upon:
They are a love of life
and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings,
an assurance the the world owes you nothing
and that every gift is exactly that, a gift.
That people different from you...can be founts of fun...

-Maya Angelou
Woudn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now

The lines were broken up by me. This baby is long (each line could be a meditation in itself), but it has to be read together.

Poem on the Week

Happy one week anniversary to me and my blog! To celebrate, I thought I would have a lil fun and chose a poem of the week.

I have read so many lovely things this week, but it was not hard to choose. The winner left me stunned.

What good is it to win anything unless you get a trophy, right? So is born: The Proud Giraffe Award. Majestic as he is, he wears a silly smile, because Hey, it's a party!


I am not so wrapped up in my own dreams of grandour that I cannot see that anyone who gets The Proud Giraffe will care much, but it is fun for me, and it keeps me looking harder all week long, judging and reading and rereading to be sure to pick the right one.

The winner does not have to have been posted this week, only found by me.

So without further ado,

The First Weekly Proud Giraffe Award goes to...
... "Mark" by Tall Girl + Nexus IX and Nexus X by Marja-Leena Rathje

A haunting mix of photos and words.


Maybe not even then

The crow shuts her beak
when the sun forgets to climb
and the waves are still.



Today, I went walking along the shore. My 2nd time in the ocean since moving to Spain. And I was looking for rocks and shells, when I saw a bee. High up in the low tide. Writhng in the sand. Why it was there I do not know.

Did it sting someone? Did it get too wet to fly? Was it the time for the bee to go? I don't know. But it was agonizing to watch it. And yet, I wondered if I had stepped on it, would it have stung me? Would I have been it's last victim? Bees can kill long after they are dead. That could have been me.

I don't know.

But I wrote some verses there before I left the beach. They are to come.

I will never know what happened to that bee.


Shuffled Words

I decided to try Shuffle Words.

This was my first attempt. It didn't feel right adding puncuation since there wasn't any in the blocks to use. (I actually wanted to keep working on it, but I pushed save too early, then I could not use new words.)

It is just an exercise, remember.


just know they which find prizes pay prices

over your blue black bed
among these sheep
I make many a furious repair
love taxi going high
a car
a dirty place

a clean woman
a good thing
outside be red pig brown dog yellow cow white goat
no man has remain
she sees into water
down long low

if we only hate her
can it be called right with you
without words would you
who will after all


Today's Quote

When I was young, my grandma had a tiny blue box full of little cards shaped like fortune cookie fortunes. They each held a bible quote, but they were not in any order. She said every morning, you were supposed to randomly choose a card from the box, and that was your meditation for the entire day.

I always thought there was something magical about that little box, the arbitrary way you were given something spiritual, and the wondering whether your quote was chance or guided to you by the hand of God Himself.

I began a journal of spiritual quotes for myself, one quote to each page. Although I am not against adding some, there are no bilble quotes in it yet. They are mostly from books, although some are from songs.

The idea is to flip through the book and randomly encounter YOUR quote for THAT day. It is not as magical as the cards, and as I get more quotes, I may put that them in that form.

Please feel free to add quotes that you believe qualify to the comments. Just be sure to tell me where they are from if you know.

Here is the 1st installment chosen randomly of course.


Don't take anything personally.

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world than we live in.

-Don Miguel Ruiz from

The Four Agreements

The real challenge in this quote to dwell on the word "nothing."


This is a painting I did last year in acrylic. I always use acrylic. Why? Because I always have.
It was not until last year that I started painting formless shapes and sometimes just colors. Really they are not much more than exercises that I have done in just a couple hours.
Because I expect less from them, I think I like them more.
All the colors are variations of blue. I like the crispness of the light blue at the top. It looks like a beam of light.
The colors are not as vivd as the original. I think my husband needs a new scanner. Or I need to finally learn how to use this Photoshop Elements program that has been gathering "dust" on my computer desktop.
I have painted very little over the last year, I am hoping that the Inspire Me Thurseday site will give me a reason to start again.



The air
startles my lungs
stunning me with health and life
The streets
stirred by light
dive from the seams and slip past me
The earth
breathes a melody just under
her children’s constant chiming
The hour
again finds me and flowing
back into my blood, displaces the day.

(ReadWritePoem, Get Your Poem On #34)

Driving The Nails In

Poetic Procrastination:

Ani Difranco said something about her songs being ever in evolution and never really finished. That is the same way I feel about my poetry. When I see a poem after a couple years, I think, "Brilliant. But this should be here and this line is gone!"

It is almost always pruning. I fear not having said enough, knowing with peotry, just a couple words can make the reader trip. I have to get braver with each review in order to take out what shouldn't have been there--like taking the training wheels off, so I can go faster, smoother.

My poetry has been in constant flux under my own eyes and no one else's for fear of having those words being nailed in place, but it is time to take those training wheels off as well.


Welcome to my new creative blog! I have had my other blog, Jenn in Spain, up for a while now, and I love it!

Jenn is Spain is supposed to be about Spain, my adventures living here, and a means to keep my family in the U.S. updated. It has required a lot of creativity, but it is not the place for my own creative creations: poetry, painting, and the occasional photo.

I love the creative blogging community, and I realized I was only visiting (commenting, reading) and not participating (sharing). So concider this blog my finally getting in on the conversation.

It may look new and small, but I am an avid blogger, so it will grow and change as I paint the walls, put up the curtains, and sweep the front porch. (For now, it still has the SOLD sign on the lawn.)

I welcome all comments on my posts, and I deeply appreciate specific, thoughtful, helpful ones--ones that make me a better artist.

Here we go...


A Halloween Fairytale

Most of you here know about fairies. You have chased, cursed, and laughed with them.

As much as we like those little flighty friends, many are unaware of the true story of Halloween. And like any story worth telling, it is a fairytale.

Among the many races of fairies are Nimlets, ranchers really. As with all fairies, they defy description, but to give you an idea: think of a grasshopper walking upright in patchwork robes, taller than a sprite, but shorter than a gnome, and with sturdy antennae to track their herds.

You probably have not had the pleasure of meeting a Nimlet, because they are usually homebodies tending to their Gurt herds. Wispy little things, the Gurts are very important to fairy folk who rent out herds for different purposes. Male Gurts give humans goose bumps and willies. Wherever a member of fairy hierarchy is resting for the night, for example a cool cave, moonlit forest, or large field on a still night, you can be sure there is a hired Nimlet ready to drive a herd into approaching humans turning them around and keeping the employer undisturbed. Female Gurts are usually employed in the daytime, because their effect on humans is the skips and giggles. Herds of female Gurts are driven into small children to entice them to come play with and entertain fairy villages.

Another curious fact about Gurts is that they are terribly attracted to orange light, and during the harvest moon of October, they blow up into the skies in droves to mate. The Nimlets could not stop this peculiar behavior if they tried. There are simply to many Gurts, and their desire is strong.

So come October, there is collective Nimlet sigh as they watch their beloved livelihood rush up into the night sky. They spend the rest of October fretting and worrying about their airy beasts and hoping for a safe return and a quick Halloween.

Halloween is the great gathering time for Nimlets and the end of breeding season for their Gurts. Once the Gurts finally float back down to the ground, they have been so turned around, jostled, mixed-up, and generally befuzzled by the fun, they have no idea how to get home. Even at the best of times, Gurt are directionally challenged. Hence, there is the need for excellent ranching Nimlets, but as talented as Nimlets are at herding, the gathering is such a chaotic time, that they solicit some help from some old friends.

Centuries ago, when humans still had excellent relations with fairies, a pact was struck. At the end of October, humans lit jack-o-lanterns and orange tinted lanterns to entice the Gurts to their doorstep. In these good ol’ days, when the Nimlets came around to collect them by the bunches, the humans would linger on their porches to gossip with the local Gurt ranchers and offer them sugary treats to help the Nimlets on their long night of Gurt gathering. Of course, if you are human, having swarms of Gurts of both sexes on your doorstep most of the night is not going to be without some effect. Nimlets noticed with much amusement, that in homes where mostly males had gathered, humans were bathed in a frightful but fun air, making them identify with scary figures out of legends. After many years, they even began dressing up as spirits and delighted in ghost stories. In other areas, where females were prevalent, the humans took the identities of more comical characters or childhood heroes and played silly games.

Of course after the Great Domain Disunion in 1852, when most human-fairy relations were severed for good, this age-old tradition was altered. Children, of course, have always had great fairy relations, so for the last century and a half, it has been up to them to help the Nimlets in the gathering.

Adults still put out the jack-o-lanterns, or even better, cover their porches in orange holiday lights, attracting the Gurt swarms. And out of centuries bred habit, they are easily persuaded to hand out candy to passing children dressed in scary and silly costumes. But, crouched in each child’s sack, plastic pumpkin, or pillowcase is an agile and eager Nimlet friend of the child. While the human adults are distracted by the children, candy giving, and costume judging, the Nimlets quickly hop out, round up the confused and exhausted Gurts and return into hiding for the next doorstep. Munching on a few candies along the way, of course.

In time, the different natures of human and fairy strike a wedge in the relationship. The child gets older and begins to mistake fairies for dreams, and Nimlets move on to smaller children when one believes oneself too old to trick-or-treat. It’s fine with the fairies, but it is the humans that miss out. However, on Halloween Night, if adults decorate with orange lights or jack-o-lanterns and give candy to children, then they are unwittingly helping their local fairy folk and even more surprising, fulfilling their end of a long ago agreement between old friends.