Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Weekly Scribblings #67: Liminal Space

Hello, Word Artists and Admirers! Even before I knew there was a phrase for it, I loved the idea of liminal space. Those are times and places where things are not strictly one thing or another. Merriam-Webster defines it as 1: of, relating to, or situated at a sensory threshold : barely perceptible or capable of eliciting a response 2: of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition : in-between, transitional. And this fandom wiki expands on the idea with several examples. 

As for me, I remember first encounter the idea of it as the time that Bert the Chimneysweep sang about in Mary Poppins ('ardly no day an' 'ardly no night) and how that description filled me with delightful shudders. 

So for today's prompt, I'd like you to dive into the idea of liminal space. You don't need to use the words "liminal space" anywhere in your piece, but the idea of liminal space should be clearly conveyed. I'll take poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction. I'll also take any substantially re-worked pieces. Just please keep your prose pieces to 369 words or fewer. Thanks!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Writers’ Pantry# 67: Ecolinguistics

Ecolinguistics explores the role of language in the life-sustaining interactions of humans, other species and the physical environment. The first aim is to develop linguistic theories which see humans not only as part of society, but also as part of the larger ecosystems that life depends on. The second aim is to show how linguistics can be used to address key ecological issues, from climate change and biodiversity loss to environmental justice.”

When I finished reading the introductory quote, the first thought that came to mind was, I love language. I feel that, as writers, we are beyond lucky to have a medium that allows us to explore pretty much everything. And through our exploration we can affect the way the world and its creatures work and evolve. Doesn’t that sound like a superpower?

I spent most of Earth Day reading about the relationship between language and the environment. While searching around the Web, I ran into a list of weather words that are both poetic and terrifying: bombogenesis, frazil, haboob (I really like the way this one sounds, and it is not just because it includes the word ‘boob’), crepuscular ray, sastruga, williwaw, gloriole, moonbroch… the list goes on and on. One day, I will put all those words in a story or a poem or both. And deep in my heart, I hope that said story or poem won’t be about how terribly we are still treating our home. 

Do you have a favorite weather word? My favorite is petrichor—a bit predictable, I know, but still lovely… And it always makes me smile.  😊       

Now, the Writers’ Pantry is open! We welcome poetry or prose that is old or new, fiction or nonfiction about rainbows or thunder. Let your contributions be short or longish (if choosing prose, the word count be 369 words or fewer). One link per participant. This prompt will stay open for a week. Write. Share. Read. Rain clear comments!

- for our next Weekly Scribblings, our Rommy would like us “to dive into the idea of liminal space.” It’s not necessary to use the actual words (unless we want to) “but the idea of liminal space should be clearly conveyed.”

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Weekly Scribblings #66: All About April

Hello, dear Wordsmiths. How has your April been, so far? Mine has been mostly wet – in a way that does NOT make me share Langston Hughes’s sentiments, below.

We know that Eliot said this was the cruellest month – so memorably that the notion has been widely accepted. I thought it might be interesting to look at what others have said. It turns out that lots of people have said plenty! I chose for your delectation some poems which have for me, and I hope for you, a touch of the unexpected. (Sometimes more than a touch. The connection of Louise Gluck's piece to the month of April seems tenuous at best – but there's something rather paradoxically enjoyable about its irascible tone. And then, the point slowly registers....)

April Rain Song

Let the rain kiss you

Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops

Let the rain sing you a lullaby

The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk

The rain makes running pools in the gutter

The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night

And I love the rain.

– Langston Hughes

Wet Evening in April

The birds sang in the wet trees

And I listened to them it was a hundred years from now

And I was dead and someone else was listening to them.

But I was glad I had recorded for him

The melancholy.

– Patrick Kavanagh


No one's despair is like my despair--

You have no place in this garden

thinking such things, producing

the tiresome outward signs; the man

pointedly weeding an entire forest,

the woman limping, refusing to change clothes

or wash her hair.

Do you suppose I care

if you speak to one another?

But I mean you to know

I expected better of two creatures

who were given minds: if not

that you would actually care for each other

at least that you would understand

grief is distributed

between you, among all your kind, for me

to know you, as deep blue

marks the wild scilla, white

the wood violet.

– Louise Gluck

April Fools

Spring. A great yellow stain.

Forsythias burst and daffodils explode.

Swallows hurry back from Mexico

and are bitten by

the laughing snows of April.

Spring, the smile

of a ninety-year old man

who can't hear a thing you say

yet keeps talking to you nonetheless.

Spring and dreams

have that in common.

– David Kowalczyk

In April

This I saw on an April day:

Warm rain spilt from a sun-lined cloud,

A sky-flung wave of gold at evening,

And a cock pheasant treading a dusty path

Shy and proud.

And this I found in an April field:

A new white calf in the sun at noon,

A flash of blue in a cool moss bank,

And tips of tulips promising flowers

To a blue-winged loon.

And this I tried to understand

As I scrubbed the rust from my brightening plow:

The movement of seed in furrowed earth,

And a blackbird whistling sweet and clear

From a green-sprayed bough.

– James Hearst

I invite you to be inspired by any or all of these: a line or phrase, an idea, a mood, a whole poem … I’ve given you a variety to choose from.  

And there's the song, sad yet achingly beautiful, which you may also (or instead) use as  inspiration.

You may take issue with something said, if you like.

Or if you’d rather, ignore them all and scribble for us your own story about April

Some of us have girded up our loins (yet again!) to write a poem a day in April, using one or more of various online prompts. If you would like to share one of those pieces here (from this April, 2021) rather than write yet another new one, that's sufficient connection to April to be acceptable to me, whatever the topic. (I might even do that myself; we'll see.*)  

Please tell us somewhere in your post which option you are responding to.

As you know, we welcome poetry and prose. If you choose prose, please keep to 369 words maximum (excluding title).

Then please link, below, to your post on your blog; one entry per person. We love it when you link back to this post from your blog, too. The prompt will stay open all week.  Happy scribbling!

*Later: Yes I did select from my April prompt poems, at the last minute, having not found time to write something specially. I have chosen a piece which seems to me suitable for this day in this April, immediately following the verdict in the George Floyd murder case.

Material shared here is presented for study and review. Poems, photos, and other writings and images remain the property of the copyright owners, usually the authors. (Older material may be out of copyright).

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Writers’ Pantry #66: A Bat and a Haiku Walk into a Bar…

I’ve no idea how the statement (joke?) in the subtitle should end. But yesterday was the International Haiku Poetry Day and Bat Appreciation Day, so said subtitle just felt right. If you can think of how to finish that joke, dear Poets and Storytellers, by all means bring it on. I would love to read it (I’m always up for a batty laugh *cough*).

On a more serious note, I was searching the Web for bat haiku (yes, I said, “bat haiku”), when I ran into nightpoetry: poetry, prose, perspective, photography, archaeology and music. I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read of the poet, including the haiku below:

Now, to the Writers’ Pantry! Share your poetry or prose. Let your contribution be old or new, fiction or nonfiction, short or longish (if you choose prose, then your word count should be 369 words or fewer). One link per participant, por favor. This prompt will remain open for a week. Let us write. Let us share. Let us read. Let us discuss and such…

- for our next Weekly Scribblings, our Rosemary invites us to scribble poetry or prose about April. Those who are writing one poem-a-day should feel free to share one of those pieces here (from April, 2021) rather than write a new one. Or, if you can wait until Wednesday, she’ll share a number of writings about April which you may use to inspire your own.

And happiest (belated) International Haiku Poetry Day and Bat Appreciation Day!
🦇 😁 🦇