Friday, February 25, 2022

Friday Writings #15: "After" Another

This month I'm doing NaHaiWriMo (writing the shortest genre of poetry every day during the shortest month). The admin of the facebook group, Michael Dylan Welch, recently posted this, which feeds nicely into my theme for this week's prompt:



I’m sure we’ve all seen, and perhaps wondered about, poems with the subtitle ‘After [name of another poet]’.  Google explains:

When you write a poem heavily influenced by another poem you always acknowledge it with the word ‘after’ and the original poet’s name.

One also sometimes sees, ‘After Reading [name of a specific poem or book] by [poet’s name].' This seems to be when the new poem is a response to the original but not so ‘heavily influenced’ – or when the material read is not just one particular poem.

A recent email in's poem-a-day series showed me this delightful piece by Dobby Gibson: After Reading Kobayashi Issa’s The Spring of My Life on My 49th Birthday. It’s quite short; do have a quick look

In this case The Spring of My Life is a whole book. 

In the series, poets are also asked to record an ‘About This Poem’. Gibson says of his:

After a snowstorm, there’s a stillness that hints at a grace we can’t quite access. It becomes possible to imagine the unburdening of the self. Hence my debt here to Issa, and also to Milosz’s poem written after Issa, who wrote his haibun after Basho’s. Which is to say that poems, like birthdays, are intensely serial. I’ll never know all the voices speaking through me. 

(The mention of Basho’s haibun also refers to a whole book, his famous The Narrow Road to the Deep North.)

I love both Basho and Issa, and also greatly admire Czeslaw Milosz, so it was no hardship to me to read the Milosz poem and grab the Issa book. (I already had Basho’s.) Dobby Gibson, whom I hadn’t encountered before, seems worth exploring further too.

I also love the idea of poems being ‘intensely serial’ and that we’ll never know all the voices speaking through us – especially true if you were brought up on poetry from an early age, as I was lucky enough to be.

If you would like to try a prompt this week, I invite you to re-read a favourite piece of writing, which may be poetry or prose, allow yourself to be inspired by it and share the results with us. We would also like to know, please, ‘after’ whom, or ‘after reading’ what – even if you are working in prose. (You may tell us in a subtitle or a note.)


Free choice: You don’t have to write to a prompt; only to share with us whatever you would like to – old or new, prose or verse.

Our only rules are one post per person, and that prose pieces must be within 369 words, excluding title.

The prompt will stay open all week. Link to your post, below, and don’t forget to come back to find those treasures linked later in the week.



For our next Friday Writings, Magaly will invite us to spend  a few moments considering the word "Peace"... then write poetry or prose inspired by the thoughts that come to mind.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Friday Writings #14: Monster Madness!

Hello, Word Artists and Admirers! While October might seem a more appropriate time to consider things that go bump in the night, my Valentine's Day usually includes a monster movie or two. This year my husband and I decided to switch things up a bit. We spent Valentine’s weekend facing monsters together and playing Dungeons & Dragons. It’s been the first time I’ve played in a while, and one of the rare times my husband wasn’t running a game but enjoying it with me as a fellow player. I had a blast! Have you had the chance to do something fun recently (V-day related or not)?

In honor of my return to the gaming table, I am suggesting working with the idea of monsters, either a specific one or monsters in general for those who want a prompt to play with. But as always, you’re free to follow your muse and submit a piece with any theme that speaks to you. I’m taking prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Just remember, one entry per person and please keep your prose pieces to 369 words or fewer.

For those interested in working with a prompt next week, Rosemary will ask you to re-read a favourite piece of writing and then write something inspired by it. Let the word wizardry commence!

Friday, February 11, 2022

Friday Writings #13: 13 Words on the 13th

Greetings, dearest poets and storytellers. I love the number 13. I was 13 when I figured out that refusing to try to fit in with everyone around me didn’t make me a bad human, just a different kind of human. I was born on a full moon in a year of 13 moons. 13 was the age when my grandmother and the other women who raised me began treating me like a woman, and teaching woman things. 13 is awesome.

So, for our 13th Friday Writings post, it feels right to offer those who wish for a prompt the chance to share poetry or prose which includes at least 3 of the following 13 words: bone, night, tell-tale, rhyme, tongue, storm, dirt, moon, chaos, winter, echo, howl, forest. If the prompt doesn’t speak to your ink, feel free to share a piece of your choosing. Let your contribution be new or old, short or longish (prose pieces should be 369 words or fewer). Share the direct link to your post. One link per participant. After you add your words, remember to visit other writers and delight in their words.

next week, if you want a prompt, Rommy will suggest working with the idea of monsters, either a specific one or monsters in general.


Friday, February 4, 2022

Friday Writings #12: Colour – or the Absence of Colour

Hello, dear wordsmiths!

How many of you, I wonder, are visual artists as well? We already know this about some, who kindly share the results with us, e.g. Gina's sketches, and dsnake1's, and MMT's photos. 

Speaking of the visual arts –

I wrote recently, at my blog, about my (this) book of paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe, with her own notes about creating them – which turn out to be part memoir. Several of you asked me to share what I get from those notes, so here are some of her personal discoveries about colour.

Describing her childhood, she says:

 The color of the dust was bright in the sunlight. It looked so soft I wanted to get down into it quickly. … It was the same feeling I have had when I’ve wanted to eat a fine pile of paint just squeezed out of the tube.

I loved the color in the brass and copper pots and pans, peppers, onions….

This is not surprising, coming from an artist renowned for her wondrous use of colour.  You can see many examples at this link.

Then, after a section on the various painting lessons and art schools she found her way into while growing up, she says:

It was in the fall of 1915 [the year she turned 28] that I first had the idea that what I had been taught was of little value to me except for the use of my materials as a language — charcoal, pastel, pen and ink, watercolor, pastel, and oil. I had become fluent with them when I was so young that they were simply another language that I handled easily. But what to say with them? I had been taught to work like others and after careful thinking I decided that I wasn’t going to spend my life doing what had already been done.

I hung on the wall the work I had been doing for several months. Then I sat down and looked at it. I could see how each painting or drawing has been done according to one teacher or another, and I said to myself, “I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me — shapes and ideas so near to me — so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down.” I decided to start anew — to strip away what I had been taught — to accept as true my own thinking. 

This period of ‘being alone and singularly free, working into my own, unknown’ she describes as ‘one of the best times of my life,’ and goes on:

I began with charcoal and paper and decided not to use any color until it was impossible to do what I wanted to in black and white. …

“Blue Lines” was first done with charcoal. Then there were probably five or six paintings of it with black watercolor before I got to this painting with blue watercolor that seemed right.

Fascinating stuff! (I love to discover people's artistic processes.)

If you would like to use a prompt this week, please write about colour – or the absence of colour.

Or you're welcome to ignore the prompt and share anything you like, old or new.   

Perhaps you'd like to take inspiration from one of O'Keeffe's paintings? (See link above.) In that case, please supply your own link to the painting concerned. We're not allowed to download them.

As always, you may choose poetry or prose. If it's prose, please keep to 369 words max (excluding title). Please link to one post only at your blog, then enjoy reading what others decide to share, and perhaps say hello to us in the comments below. You have until next Thursday. Enjoy!

Next Friday, Magaly will invite us to share poetry or prose which includes at least 3 of the following 13 words: bone, night, tell-tale, rhyme, tongue, storm, forest, moon, chaos, winter, echo, howl, dirt.


Post Script / Heads-up / Reminder: 
It's February. For some of us, that means NaHaiWriMo!
For those who want to write the shortest poetic form (haiku/senryu) every day during the shortest month, find the NaHaiWriMo group on facebook and take it from there.
I do it myself (nearly) every year. It's not too late to catch up, or just jump in where you are. (NaHaiWriMo is not in any way affiliated with P&SU – but no reason not to share the results with us too, if you decide to play.)