Monday, October 29, 2012

Stranger Story part I Response

Coffee shop, cat eyes, laptop reader
pupils dodging in full color
under unknown ideals

brown waistcoat,
paper cup dipped in caffeine beans

creating ekphrasis for
neurons to fire obliteratingly close
to the surface of the free type-wire,

only two eyes reflective,
retinas like glass over a bright pane
with pertinent thoughts

and no bilateral junctions,
I imagine my own reflection,
mind flutters,

noiseless reverberations
seeking sky out over
an iridescent screen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Thing


Distant waters cold and gray
I must go on, I can not stay
Just ahead around the bend
I follow you my trusted friend
A flash of light, one here, one there
The water leads I know not where
Familiar voices of yesterday
But the current has me, I am on my way

D. M.

Retracing Footsteps

Here we are in the place that meets the stream,
the flapjack bird whistles woe and speaks in a language of its own,

the mud is cold and deliberate under my feet,
my speech muted for the sake of breath, my corporeal embers caught in between
the teeth of the grass and the soles of the feet,

movement at the corner of the wide edged stream,
shadow of stolen moments suffering in walking distance,
I see you,
you are my memory,
small memory of this place in recognition that this is not who I’ve always been,
…coal burning in the atmospheric stove,
we are far and in between you and I, thought of things here and past,
I take your hand, deliberate memory, and let you lead me,
my lungs tight and my mind heaving of every conscious effort
to recognize you and where’ve I’ve been,
happens in a flash,

flood of energy that departs quietly into the stream,
meets the river nails and claw to steal moments
of minute river stones,
where I’ve seen it all before.

Recant of Stream Of Consciousness Exercise

Here's what we experienced this Monday, in case you'd like to come back to it again:

“Stream of Consciousness; Flow”
Writing using Stream of Consciousness means to put your pen down to paper and attempt to write without pause. You continue writing no matter what comes to mind, and you write it down regardless of whether it makes sense or not. You allow your mind to flow from thought to thought, and freely annotate where your mind wants to wander. It’s called stream, because of the variability of continual flow and what it allows you to do. Flow, connection, continuity are all important aspects of stream of consciousness, and it accesses all aspects of our attention. Our conscious attention, our subconscious attention, and allows something to come of it. It’s a great exercise because it lets us explore the creativity on the surface of our thoughts, and let’s spontaneity lead us. So when you begin, I’ll give you around 6 minutes to write without stopping. If your mind goes blank, write ellipses, or just write down whatever you might be wondering about.

You walk outside of your house and you see that the landscape stretches on to what seems like forever. The boundary of the place you are in is covered with a vibrant forest, colors of green, tall maples and various vegetation. In the background, you hear sounds of wildlife. You take a step forward and think you hear running water. You are compelled to move forward towards the sound and you walk until you meet a river. It begins small at first, but wavers on until you see it disappear in the brush. You continue to follow at the side of this river, what is it you see?


As you are walking, you pause. You see something flicker with movement at the edges of your vision. What do you do?


You hear a noise off in the distance and you somehow feel at peace. What does this sound remind you of, and do you follow it?


Do you reach a destination, or does the river go on forever? If it stops, what do you see at the end of it? Does someone take your hand and lead you somewhere?

The ending is up to you :)


The wind blows past my face. I hear the birds stop tweeting and an eerie calm takes hold. The light grows dim and the wind picks up. A slow growl is heard from the bushes. I stumble backwards and trip on a wet stone. My heart races as I pull myself up and run towards safety. I see something flicker and the growling picks up. All around me the low droning and now... a smell... It smells like acrid flesh. I feel a sudden surge of anxiety as I run. My heart feels as though it will burst from my chest. And there is it, this... thing. It stands on 2 feet with large hairy arms. It's face distorted with a snarl. Two large teeth jut from it's mouth. It runs towards me, but I hear a voice I recognize and I run towards it. It feels as though I'm running deeper into the forest, but the voice leads me on. I burst through the trees into a clearing as everything comes together. In the clearing is what seems to be a village of these things. The voice I know is there. And we are both the main course.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Thing

I walk and follow the sound of the river
many birds, small animals
and sounds I've never heard.
I paused,
something flashes.
I don't know what it was.
It looked like many animal
A frog, a fox, a seal, and a dragon.
That's where I heard the small animal sound.
I tried to follow it
but it was to fast.
All the sudden I saw my mom
help again.
I followed it
but again it was to fast.
Soon I got sleepy
I was in the Things cave.
In my bag I had a lock pick
I got my mom out
I ran.
We stayed in our house forever
The thing found us
and ate us.
No one saw the Thing or us again.

Erin Murphy-Age 10


Listen to the water
following down the path
where will it take you
Through the trees
to a meadow
winding back and forth
over rocks
Fish swim through the stream
leaves float on top
flowing with the water
to a place it does not know
Off in the distance
something stirs
hiding in the trees and brush
slowly stepping out
to find the stream
to wet its thirsty mouth
cautious as it moves
to step into the water
A deer, who's shy
like an old friend
almost forgotten
You wonder where she'll go
leaving behind the bubbling stream
you follow
to see where she calls home
both of us together
into the trees

Monday, October 22, 2012


The hardest part to remember
is that it never goes away.
Not really anyway.

Regardless we can't treat it wrong
make it dead
make it red


Monday, October 15, 2012

We all live here

Hands and feet
or drifting fins
or wings to soar

Creatures of the Earth

Ecopoetry handout #3

(We'll discuss this one Monday, October 22)

Eco-poetry & Ecological Awareness:Raising ecological consciousness through eco-sensitive poetry


The world does not need words, It articulates itself
in sunlight, leaves, and shadows. The stones on the path
are no less real for lying uncatalogued and uncounted.
The fluent leaves speak only the dialect of pure being.
The kiss is still fully itself though no words were spoken.

And one word transforms it into something less or other—
illicit, chaste, perfunctory, conjugal, covert.
Even calling it a kiss betrays the fluster of hands
glancing the skin or gripping a shoulder, the slow
arching of neck or knee, the silent touching of tongues.

Yet the stones remain less real to those who cannot
name them, or read the mute syllables graven in silica.
To see a red stone is less than seeing it as jasper—
metamorphic quartz, cousin to the flint in Kiowa
carved as arrowheads. To name is to know and remember.

The sunlight needs no praise piercing the rainclouds,
painting the rocks and leaves with light, then dissolving
each lucent droplet back into the clouds that engendered it.
The day light needs no praise; and so we praise it always—
greater than ourselves and all the airy words we summon.

Below Cyn Bachan

There was nothing to be said about
the sky or the clouds that drifted there;
the oaks were all that oaks should be:
sun splashed itself through foliage.

A stream ran on between rocks, clear,
water impelled by water, gushing,
bustling with the noise that water makes
when it is free.
Trout slit the glass of a deeper pool;
a dragonfly skimmed its clarity;
a waterboatman sculled between stones.

Birds conversed among branches, hidden,
and children’s cries range in the trees
remotely, caught and held as if
in a green and greener dream of leaves.


The flat land was a watery eye
Across it came the dribbled notes of curlews
Lamenting sunset. Occasional herons stood
Up to their knees in blue water
Hunched grey coats on their old men’s backs.
The reeds hissed in among the pools
And a quick curve of otter pattered over sand
Dissolved in a deep ring of nothing,
Stars shone weak as pearls and no moon
Climbed into silence.
Only a flagging line of geese in rags
Came down muttering Eskimo on thin water.

Barn Owl at Le Chai

Tonight, cooling off on the terrace,
glow-worms lighting the long grass,
we listen for crickets, nightingales, nightjars,
turning our palms to the first stars.
Little mists rise in the night garden,
then, a shriek of something taken,
and in the darkness under the trees, white
flowers, feathers, her cry in flight,
and the air is blood-flecked,
a grief in retrospect.

Here at the Tide’s Turning

You close your eyes and see
the stillness of
the mullet-nibbled arteries, samphire
on the mudflats almost underwater,
and on the saltmarsh whiskers of couch-grass
twitching, waders roosting, sea-lavender
faded to ashes.

In the dark or almost dark
shapes sit on the staithe muttering of plickpack,
and greenshanks, and zos beds;
a duck arrives
in a flap, late for a small pond party.

The small yard’s creak and groan and lazy rap,
muffled water music.

One sky-streamer,
pale and half-frayed, still dreaming of colour.

Water and earth and air quite integral:
all Waterslain one somber aquarelle.

From the beginning, and last year, this year,
you can think of no year when you have not sat on this stub of a salt-eaten stanchion.

Dumbfounded by such tracts of marsh and sky—
the void swirled round you and pressed against you—
you’ve found a mercy in small stones.

This year, next year, you cannot think
of not returning: not to perch in the blue
hour on this blunt jetty, not to wait, as of right,
for the iron hour and the turning of the tide.

You cross the shillying and the shallows
and, stepping on to the marsh, enter
a wilderness.

Quick wind works around you.

You are engulfed in a wave of blue flames.

No line that is not clear cut and severe,
nothing baroque or bogus. The voices
of young children rehearsing on the staithe
are lifted from another time.

This is
battleground. Dark tide fills the winking pulks,
floods the mud-canyons.

This flux, this anchorage.

Here you watch, you write, you tell the tides.
You walk clean into the possible.

Mysteries of Memory & You

Hello Everyone~

Hope the weekend was eventful, or in the least, rejuvinating; if it wasn't however, you can change that! Here in the blogisphere I've enclosed something that's a little vicarious, and if need be, you can totally re-experience something you've done or seen over the past few days. Read on & you'll see.
Mysteries of Memory
You've found yourself with, or in the memory of another person. Decide what this memory is, and what it might mean to you. You might know this person very well, or you might not have met them at all. This prompt urges the power of human perspective and self-identity. So, who are you?

If you need something to kick-start your week that sends you off into a wistful or kooky direction, I hope this prompt tailors to that at least a tiny bit. This week is still in the theme of Ecopoetry, so feel free to shape the poem to include something associated. It's totally up to you and your creative cavorting where this prompt takes you, so Happy Writing :)



flowing air around me.
I feel the wind rushing
and smell the pine below me.
rush of frigid air lifts me higher.




Monday, October 8, 2012

Ecopoetry handout #2

Eco-poetry & Ecological Awareness: Raising ecological consciousness through eco-sensitive poetry

Sleep and Spiders

It is too strange to kill,
The symmetry of its eyes,

its eight paired legs askew
on the lintel, exoskeletal

and tiger-striped, all digestion.
It looks sudden but is still

for hours, eyes on stalks,
awaiting news from hair-triggers

that might be legs or fingers
(the whole thing a claw)

come to touch me in sleep—
hammock from which

black shadows seep.
Stars go milky, then go out.

I wake at five to what five is—
A cold blue glow and a self

Trussed, barely breathing,
Paralytic with dreams.

Dreaming Birds

The eyes and feathers intermesh.
Descartes said birds were small machines.
A startles starling clattered off
And flew away at that, it screeched
That birds are loops in modern minds,
Weird flights, a mode, a fatal curve,
Of values in the air. The thrush

Is proto-sculpture on the lawn,
The SS crow patrolling down
A motorway’s hard shoulder struts
At sentry duty. From a pole
A blackbird soloist transmits
Its live performance and the cool
Woods pay to hear him, dark guitars

Are slung there and electric cries
Flash down the alleyways of spruce,
Afforestaiton’s gentlest crop.
The dreamer Kant thought of a dove
That found air fretful and conveived
Apurer flight in empty space.
I dream of swifts that soar asleep.

The Drive

The trees attend to the high wind
Laying back their heads
Sweeping low again.

The wind shakes loose their leaves
Which float down through the air
Becoming days.
If the Owl Calls Again

at dusk
from the island in the river,
and it’s not too cold,

I’ll wait for the moon
To rise,
And then take wing and glide
To meet him.

We will not speak,
but hooded against the frost
soar above
the alder flats, searching
with tawny eyes.

And then we’ll sit
in the shadow spruce
and pick the bones
of careless mice,

while the long moon drifts
toward Asia
and the river mutters
in its icy bed.

And when the morning climbs
the limbs
we’ll part without a sound,

fulfilled, floating
homeward as
the cold world awakens.

Lighting the First Fire of Autumn

Here they are, the quartered logs in their wicker
Basket woven of what I take to be
Birch and split willow plaited together,
The copse offering itself for the burning
Indoors, twig against twig, tree within tree.

Rough-cut block capitals of an alphabet
Older than writing: poplar, beech, pine,
Chainsawed joints of the wood bled and dried out
For a year, lodged in the season’s calendar,
Their rituals subordinate, now, to mine

As I build the pyre of oak twigs and newsprint
In the middle of the year’s first cold morning.
The TV news shows tropical forests on fire,
Drought in east England, and the Midlands flooded,
A crude mosaic of weather that looks like a warning.

St Columcille said he fears death and hell—
But worse, the sound of an ace in a sacred grove.
Now every grove is sacred, and still we burn
Wood at times, for the fire also is scared
And a house without it like a heart without love

When the world heads into darkness. The heat’s core
Will show you again lost faces and glittering forests,
Mountain passes, caverns, an archetypal world
Recited in the twinkling of a dark pupil
The epic buried inside us never rests:

Fire is the dark secret of the forest.
The green crowns drink sunlight until their dumb
Hearts are glutted with fire. Then, decaying or burning, 
Give up whatever they have. A match flares
And the paper ignites. What, and the poems will come.

Responding to Ecopoetic Themes & A Prompt

Hello Everyone, 

Since this week starts our exploration of Ecopoetry, I'd like the workshop to go in that direction as far as content & experimentation. On the introductory post for this week, I mentioned a challenge for you to write about ecological themes in your poetry, or content that is inspired by the natural world. Hopefully this will be fun and feasible, but if you find yourself off the beaten path of leaves and green thoughts or just feel you want some different inspiration, here's a prompt for you. It has a theme that considers environmental context (a creature's natural habitat for example), and might encourage some empathetic perspectives in thinking about the world around us and the organisms that inhabit it. Feel free to use it and make it your own!

Shapeshifting Dreams
In some of George R. R. Martin's books, his characters have the ability to “slip out of their own skins” and live and see momentarily through the eyes of another living being. Their experiences are similar to dreaming, therefore they never truly leave their own bodies. Pretend you are like these characters and that you now have the ability to do this. Your experience begins where you decide to “slip out of your skin” and see through the eyes of someone/something else. What is your experience? What emotions or sensations do you experience? How does it feel to live life through the eyes of a forest animal, or through the body of a deep sea creature? Who you temporarily become can be left as a mystery to the reader, or if it enhances the writing, feel free to let them know if your character is self-aware.
Happy writing as always, and I think this will be a great transition as we ourselves transition into Fall :]

I haven’t heard you in a while

They return from exile,
no longer singing their songs of
desire, frustration, sorrow, elation,
instead singing of
and shutting the fuck up.

I haven’t heard you in a while,
and I missed you.


Open land
Free breathing
Water flowing
Fishing and living
Trees to hold us
Light to feed us.
Nature abounding


Beer and Macaroni
After a day of work
It's the only thing that can bring life back
eat and drink

Sometimes Pie
Mostly beer.
But sometimes pie.
Sleeping while stressed

More Beer.

(This was my late post from last week. New one incoming.)

Seeds of Life

Small and insignificant
It's burrowed in the ground
covered with cool damp earth
It waits.
Water gives it life
to start it on the journey
Spreading out and searching
pushing through the soil
Reaching for the sun
to find the light above
that nourishes and helps it grow
Gaining strength.
Days turn into years
Every day it grows
Leaves and branches stretching out
Standing tall.
From a tiny seed, to the mighty tree
ever changing

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ecopoetry handout #1

Eco-poetry & Ecological Awareness: Raising ecological consciousness through eco-sensitive poetry

This handout is for Monday, Oct. 8th. Hope you enjoy the reading, it's a noticeable deviation from the poetry we've been reading from Indie authors. :)

What is Eco poetry? Eco-poetry can inspire a broad awareness for our environment by presenting different ecological perspectives. Eco-poetry is often marked by an appreciation for nature as self-regulating cyclic systems, separate from nature and environmental poetry. Eco-poetry is clear and somewhat minimalist; rather than experimenting with visual and textual design, eco-poets dedicate their efforts to the aesthetic flow of their work by creating a fluid message through organized stanzas.

Becoming a Redwood

Stand in a field long enough, and the sounds
start up again. The crickets, the invisible
toad who claims that change is possible,

And all the other life too small to name.
First one, then another, until innumerable
they merge into the single voice of a summer hill.

Yes, it’s hard to stand still, hour after hour,
fixed as a fencepost, hearing the steers
snort in the dark pasture, smelling the manure.

And paralyzed by the mystery of how a stone
can bear to be a stone, the pain
the grass endures breaking through the earth’s crust.

Unimaginable the redwoods on the far hill,
rooted for centuries, the living wood grown tall
and thickened with a hundred thousand days of  light.

The old windmill creaks in perfect time
to the wind shaking the miles of pasture grass,
and the last farmhouse light goes off.

Something moves nearby. Coyotes hunt
these hills and packs of feral dogs.
But standing here at night accepts all that.

You are your own pale shadow in the quarter moon,
moving more slowly than the crippled stars,
part of the moonlight as the moonlight falls,

Part of the grass that answers the wind,
part of the midnight’s watchfulness that knows
there is no silence but when danger comes.

Piute Creek

One granite ridge
A tree, would be enough
Or even a rock, a small creek,
A bark shred in a pool.
Hill beyond hill, folded and twisted
Tough trees crammed
In thin stone fractures
A huge moon on it all, is too much.
The mind wanders. A million
Summers, night air still and the rocks
Warm. Sky over endless mountains.
All the junk that goes with being human
Drops away, hard rock wavers
Even the heavy present seems to fail
This bubble of a heart.
Words and books
Like a small creek off a high ledge
Gone in the dry air.
A clear, attentive mind
Has no meaning but that
Which sees is truly seen.
No one loves rock, yet we are here.
Night chills. A flick
In the moonlight
Slips into Juniper shadow:
Back there unseen
Cold proud eyes
Of Cougar or Coyote
Watch me rise and go.



As if retrieving pebbles
             Filmed with shine
from the curbed spine of a beach,
              waves lisping
our faces stung with salt, our
              talk fresh with
discovery, we carried
              each season
to our door: catskins, first snow
              of blossom,
the flotsam of our journeys,
              sweet chestnuts’
porcupines, pectorals of
             cones. Turning
varied textures in our hands,
touched by their strangeness, subtly
             changed. Bringing
the outside in, so the house
             swam in its
wider rhythms, the flow of
             storm,-clouds, hills,
moraine, the shuttling arc
             of the sun. 

Of Grass

It was the shade of grass—no, something greener
We touched on shortly before sleep, so soft, so bright,
No metaphor could touch or scumble it,
I cannot speak it though my mouth is green.

In a dream following a cobra nestled
Against my chest- we wrestled as in play
Then I lay poisoned in the open air,
I was nothing and the grass was nothing,

Only my fingers were aware and moved
In search of feeling, but they found
Nothing except a tongue and it was yours

Speaking of something in a foreign language
And I being your tongue’s interpreter
Understood the word you spoke as grass.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Introduction to Ecopoetry

Hello Everyone,

This week harkens our step into the boundaries of Eco-poetics! Cheers to you for being awesome participants and making it half-way through the workshop :). This post covers an introduction to Eco poetry, and what we will be considering this upcoming Monday. We can go over the presentation and other variables that really make Eco poetry what it is. I listed a challenge down at the bottom of this post, but feel free to look through the writing prompt link and the ones I've recently posted for inspiration.

What is Eco poetry?
Eco-poetry can inspire a broad awareness for our environment by presenting different ecological perspectives. Eco-poetry is often marked by an appreciation for nature as self-regulating cyclic systems, separate from nature and environmental poetry. Eco-poetry is clear and somewhat minimalist; rather than experimenting with visual and textual design, eco-poets dedicate their efforts to the aesthetic flow of their work by creating a fluid message through organized stanzas.

Introduction to Eco poetry Presentation

This presentation covers some defining characteristics of Ecopoetry, it's implied message and structural attributes.

Eco poetry & ecological awareness from CreativeWritingWorkshop

Challenge: write poetry that is inspired by the natural world or some associated issues & post your work on the blog :]

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Thing About Living With Roses

is that they really smell.  Not
"Good," like the humans think they do
(as if flowers exist to cater
to the paltry nasal senses of beings
just as subject to Darwinism
as the other flora
and fauna that share this Earth --

which might be the only planet that sustains human life,
but I've got a cousin over on Pluto
who's been around for the past thousand light years and he loves it there),

but they're really rather