Monday, August 6, 2018

Strength


A writer friend once said, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself." At the time I laughed. But as the years have gone by, her statement has come back to me many times.

Now that I’m in the last few days of celebrating my 75th “Birthday Season,” I’ve thought even more about maintaining self-care. The central, recurring thought: strength.

Physical strength is good and necessary so we can keep going. Equally important is having strong convictions and passions.

I recently met up with a childhood friend who’s about my age. During our conversation, I often heard, "I'm too old." and "I don't care about..." She seemed to have given up on life, even though she has a track record of being a strong woman in her younger days. This is a woman who gathered the strength to flee an oppressive relationship in a foreign country and get her five-year-old son back to the United States. She worked hard and made a comfortable life for them.

We’ve all had to muster strength to get through life’s challenges, small and large. Think back years, or even days, to when you had to be strong and resilient. Write your “strength poem.”

Word Bank
Fragile
Intense
Powerful
Tough
Weak

Photo Prompt
Washington, D.C. Photo by Annis Cassells

Quote Prompt

"It doesn't take a lot of strength to hang on. It takes a lot of strength to let go." J. C. Watts


We'd love to read your work. Please share your poem in the comments below, or provide a link to your website.




Annis Cassells is a writer, poet, life coach, and teacher.  She divides her time between Bakersfield, California and Coos Bay, Oregon, where she conducts memoir writing classes for senior adults. She is a member of Writers of Kern, a branch of the California Writers Club. See Annis’s blogs at www.thedaymaker.blogspot.com and www.poemsbyannis.blogspot.com and her website at www.connectionsandconversations.com

Monday, July 2, 2018

Early Bird or Night Owl


“The Early Bird catches the worm.” This 17th century Proverb our mothers and grandmothers quoted still rings true today. Being early brings a person numerous benefits.

Some movie theaters and restaurants offer discounts in the form of “Early Bird Specials.” Throughout my career years, I’ve been lucky enough to have prices knocked down for early registration at conferences and hotels.

Athletes, artists, writers, CEOs, and many folks considered to be successful take advantage of the early morning hours. It gives them more time during the day when their energy, motivation, and creative levels are high. They’re able to complete projects and tasks, which leads to feelings of accomplishment and greater success.

For me, early morning is often when a solution to a problem or an answer to a question appears. In that drowsing time, my eyes may snap open and I have to get to my computer or grab a paper and pencil and jot down my ideas. Sometimes a poem or a story comes to me—or even a blog post. 

Then there are those folks whose bodies and brains don't kick into high gear until late evening. That's when they become most productive and do their best work. I have friends and family members in the "night owl" category. They accomplish just as much in their peak time as early folks do. One is not better than the other, just different.
 


Poetry Prompt:   "Early Bird" or "Night Owl" Which are you? How has being one or the other made an impact on your life or work? What are the advantages or disadvantages of punctuality, earliness, or tardiness?
 

Word Bank: 
Advantage
Creativity 
Distraction
Opportune
Peak
Tardy
Unexpected

Photo Prompt:
Photo by Annis Cassells 2017  

We would love to read your work, so please share your poem or provide a link to your website or blog in the comments below. Thank you, and happy writing.





 
Annis Cassells is a writer, poet, life coach, and teacher.  She divides her time between Bakersfield, California and Coos Bay, Oregon, where she conducts memoir writing classes for senior adults. She is a member of Writers of Kern, a branch of the California Writers Club. See Annis’s blogs at www.thedaymaker.blogspot.com and www.poemsbyannis.blogspot.com and her website at www.connectionsandconversations.com

Monday, June 11, 2018

Poetry Prompt - Commencement

Photo by Amy McGrath

Yesterday, like many parents, I sat in an auditorium and bore witness to a rite of passage. My older son donned his cap and gown, processed to "Pomp and Circumstance", and walked across the stage to receive his high school diploma. It was the most bittersweet feeling I have ever experienced. I was simultaneously yearning to hang on to my little boy and bursting with pride at the kind, caring, talented man that he has become. 

I remember watching him take his first steps when he was a toddler. I encouraged him, helped steady his balance, and cheered him on. When he stumbled or fell, I was there to help him back onto his feet. Now I am in awe as I watch him take his first steps into adulthood and my task as his mother is the same now as it was before. Encourage him, steady him, cheer for him, and be there to assist when he stumbles or falls. 

The Prompt:

Free write about beginnings or first steps. Use what comes up for you to create a poem.

Word Prompts:

Graduation
Commencement
First Steps
Beginnings
Getting started

Please share the link to your poem (or post your poem) in the comments below. If you're on Facebook, you can share your poem in the Poets on the Page group. 



 Amy McGrath is a mixed media artist and writer in Virginia Beach. She is a regular contributor here and volunteers at The Muse Writer's Center in Norfolk. Her current writing project is a memoir about her experiences as an adoptee and about the journey to find her birth parents. 


Monday, June 4, 2018

Poetry Prompt: What does it mean to be a socially responsible member of American Society?


Photo from the Public Domain
Writers of Kern, the writing organization of which I am a member, seeks to encourage writing among youth through an annual essay competition for middle and high school students. The 2018 topic for the Young Writers of Kern Writing Competition was "What does it mean to be a socially responsible member of American Society?"

“Socially responsible” and “socially responsible member of American Society” hold many possibilities for thought and expression these days. 

Using these ideas for this week’s Poets on the Page prompt, we are invited to investigate our feelings and thoughts: About social responsibility. About being a socially responsible member of our society. About whatever comes to mind when you see these words.

Do poets have a social responsibility for illuminating society’s interests, ailments, accomplishments, wrongs? What do you see or think that needs to be said?

How has American society changed? Developed? Presented itself?

Word Bank Prompt:
Accountability
Citizen(ship)
Civic
Community
Culture
Patriotism
Rights
Social Justice

Poetic Prompt:
From “What Would Gwendolyn Brooks Do?” by Parneshia Jones

                    “Hold On, she says, two million light years away.

She’s right.
Hold On everybody.
Hold On because the poets are still alive—and writing.”
Read and hear the full poem at Poets.org

Share your poem or provide the link to your blog in the comments below. We'd love to read your ideas. Thank you. xoA



Annis Cassells is a writer, poet, life coach, and teacher.  She divides her time between Bakersfield, California and Coos Bay, Oregon, where she conducts memoir writing classes for senior adults. She is a member of Writers of Kern, a branch of the California Writers Club. See Annis’s blogs at www.thedaymaker.blogspot.com and www.poemsbyannis.blogspot.com and her website at www.connectionsandconversations.com

Monday, May 7, 2018

Mom


 
Kaitlyn Stanford, "50 Best Mom Memes"

When we grew up in Detroit in the 1950s, our friends thought the Cassells kids had “the coolest” mom. My buddy Saundra and I have reminisced about the times my mother took us to the frenzied Rock & Roll shows that were popular in those days.  Mom was right beside us as we found our thrill on Blueberry Hill with Fats Domino, did the twist with Chubby Checker, and were all shook up with Elvis.  Saundra said, “We all wanted your mother.”  
 
Of course, to her own three kids, she was just “Mom”. We knew without a doubt that she would be at home when we came running in after school. She often had a plate of cookies or a cake sitting on the yellow Formica kitchen table, and the television was always tuned to the channel for Mickey Mouse Club. 

Think about your mother. How did your perception of her change over the years? What about your relationship? How are you like, or unlike, her? Write about it. Discover your poem.

Or, take out a photo of your mom, study it and free write about the photo. From this piece, find your poem. Will it be in tribute? An explanation? A description? A rebuke?

Word Bank Prompt
Unconditional love
Teachings
Forgiveness
Home
Estrangement

Photo Prompt

"Ms. Ruthie Rides" photo by Annis Cassells


Reading Prompt 

In Ellen Bass's Mules of Love "For My Daughter on her Twenty-first Birthday"




Annis Cassells is a writer, poet, life coach, and teacher.  She divides her time between Bakersfield, California and Coos Bay, Oregon. She is a member of Writers of Kern, a branch of the California Writers Club. See Annis’s blogs at www.thedaymaker.blogspot.com and www.poemsbyannis.blogspot.com and her website at www.connectionsandconversations.com


Monday, April 30, 2018

Poetry Prompt - The Finish Line





The NaPoWriMo finish line is in sight - It has been a rough go this time around.  I have struggled with the metaphorical equivalent of bonking (running out of steam) and also after taking a few wrong turns (too many obligations) I have spent half the month feeling lost and wondering if I would ever cross the line.  Would I end up with that dreaded acronym by my name in the race roster - D.N.F.?

So I dig deep, pull my soul inside out and give it all I got.  I can hear my triathlete friend yelling - "if you are not spitting blood, you can push harder".  That's the thing though.  I need to see the crimson flowing from my creative veins onto the page.


Cheering zone (prompts)

Did you participate in the NaPoWriMo?  If you did - write a poem based on the overall experience.  Was it easy?  Did you stay focused and write a poem a day or did you end up with poetry debt?  

Write for 5 minutes about a time you decided to give up on a goal before finishing it - did you feel guilty? Relieved?  Now write a poem explaining your decision (good or bad).  Perhaps write a poem describing how you saved the world by  making the decision (you are granted permission to embrace the absurd). 

WORD/topic Prompts


Racing
Determination
Perseverance
Quitting
Sprint
Victory
Bragging





Please share the link to your poem (or post your poem) in the comments below. And, if you're on Facebook, post it to Poets on the Page. 




Jenny Astramowicz is a writer, poet and aspiring wellness coach.  She resides in San Francisco where she works at the local university and trains for endurance events.  Her long term dream is to live in France with her two cats.
Not all who wander are lost...
#OctPoWriMo  #NaPoWriMo #NaNoWriMo #Poetsonthepage

Find her on  Google +  Twitter Instagram
You can read her poetry at h

Monday, April 16, 2018

NaPoWriMo - Time


We are halfway through NaPoWriMo, are you reading and writing poetry everyday or periodically like I am? I get so caught up in day to day life that I let things get in the way of my poetry. I was hoping I'd be better at it this time but I never seem to be able to do it every single day. Not berating myself though, just noticing.

Be kind to yourself on this journey of life.

NaPoWriMo - Time
Photo by MDragonwillow

diving into the depths
words flow
gently and
explosively
onto the page

***

broken questions
between whispers
begin a dance
of a universal language
exploring magic
in a rainbow sky
naked desire
in a blazing heart
soul prisoner
love's searching
time



~~~~~~~~~~~~




If you write a poem on your blog for NaPoWriMo and would like to share it with us, place your link in the comments below. We look forward to reading your poems.


Peace,
Morgan Dragonwillow
Read, Dance, Write, Repeat.


Morgan Dragonwillow, author of Wild Woman Waking & Dancing within Shadow, is a writing rebel, foodie, urban gardener, recovering perfectionist, facilitator of magical circles and poet who (mostly) doesn't let her fears get in the way of her passion for writing and creating. When she isn't working with clients, writing or dancing, you can find her encouraging and supporting her writing community at @StoryDam, #OctPoWriMo#PoetsonthePage, and  Playing with Words on her blog.
Yes she is on Google+ too!




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