Monday, December 11, 2017

Poetry Prompt: Chaos

This is a crazy time of year. With the holiday season upon us, we find ourselves busy with family obligations, gift shopping and wrapping, packing and traveling, and confronting often difficult emotions when loved ones are no longer around. Often, the self-care that comes with a daily writing practice or daily creative practice can get lost in the overwhelming lists of things to be done as we close out the year.

I want to encourage to embrace the chaos by channeling it into your writing. Morgan Dragonwillow reminded me of this just as NaNoWriMo began in November. She mentioned the website 750words, a digital tool for writing daily Morning Pages. (If you're unfamiliar with Morning Pages, check out Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way or visit her website HERE.) I returned to this daily writing practice online on November 5 and have been consistently writing there every day since.

One thing I have noticed in my own daily writing practice is how often the word "chaos" kept coming up for me. I took this as a sign that I need to lean into the chaos, to embrace it as part of my world right now, and to offer it to you for this week's prompt.

I with you words,
Amy McGrath

The Prompt:

Consider different ways that you experience or observe chaos. Did you know there's a hair care line called "Controlled Chaos"? I remember a house band from my undergraduate days called "Organized Confusion". 

How do you react/feel when there is chaos around you (excessive noise, clutter, crowds, etc.)? Do you ever experience internal chaos, those times when your mind is racing in many different directions and you can't seem to focus on any one task long enough to complete it? Lean into chaos in your writing. Describe it, tell us how you deal with it, illustrate it with your words. 

Synonyms (Word Prompts): 

disorder, disarray, disorganization, confusion, mayhem, bedlam, pandemonium, havoc, turmoil, tumult, commotion, disruption, upheaval, uproar, maelstrom, muddle, mess, shambles, free-for-all, anarchy, lawlessness, entropy, hullabaloo, hoopla, train wreck, all hell broke loose

Image Prompts:

Chaos in Green and Gold
Acrylic Monoprint
Amy McGrath

Neutral Chaos
Acrylic Monoprint
Amy McGrath

Spiraling Chaos
Acrylic Monoprint
Amy McGrath

Monday, December 4, 2017

Rekindling the Flame

Photo from the Public Domain

Every now and then, anyone can have a tough year—personally, professionally, or health-wise.  But, when friends and family rally around us with their support and love, the unbearable becomes tolerable. Our chances for recovery magnify.

And many of us have “been there” for others, whether it’s by phone, Skype, mail, or being physically present. We offer a kind or encouraging word, share useful information, help with necessary tasks, or just stay near. These actions give comfort and bolster feelings of well-being. They restore confidence and lift depression.

Humans are wired to help those in need. We look at our skills and abilities. Then we do what we can. We’ve all been there --encouraging, supporting, instilling hope, sometimes taking the situation in hand.

Everyone’s been on the receiving end at one time or another. Friends and family, colleagues, and sometimes strangers, extended a hand and rekindled our flames. The humanity comes out in every one of us, and we realize we’re all in this life together. For this we are grateful.

Photo by geralt (2016) via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain.

This Week’s Prompt
Free write about a time when another person stepped up to rekindle your flame. OR, when you were the person who helped revitalize a friend’s, family member’s, or an acquaintance’s spark. OR, maybe you reignited your own fire.

What was the situation? What were you feeling? Who else was involved? How did the renewal happen? What difference was made? How did you feel once the episode was over?
1)      Let your writing sit for a few hours or overnight.
2)      Read it over and highlight or circle words or phrases that strike you.
3)      Use some of those words to guide your poem. Your poem could turn out to be an ode. (See Shadow Poetry.)

Word Bank Prompt
down and out

Quote Prompt

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”  -- Albert Schweitzer

Share your website or your poem in the Comments section below and/or in the Facebook group Poets on the Page. On social media, use #PoetsOnThePage.

Poetry Book Highlight
            Counting Descent by Clint Smith


Winner, 2017 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award
Finalist, 2017 NAACP Image Awards
'One Book One New Orleans' 2017 Book Selection
Clint Smith's debut poetry collection, Counting Descent, is a coming of age story that seeks to complicate our conception of lineage and tradition. Smith explores the cognitive dissonance that results from belonging to a community that unapologetically celebrates black humanity while living in a world that often renders blackness a caricature of fear. His poems move fluidly across personal and political histories, all the while reflecting on the social construction of our lived experiences. Smith brings the reader on a powerful journey forcing us to reflect on all that we learn growing up, and all that we seek to unlearn moving forward.

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 and and her website at

Monday, November 27, 2017

Poetry Prompt: Comparison

It is easy in this day and age to focus on a continual state of comparison - someone's high gloss life as seen through Instagram filters and Facebook likes has become our basis for how we see ourselves, the gauge for how well we are doing or more likely not doing.  I am guilty of sleeping with my iPhone neatly tucked under my pillow.  Oh sure, I claim it is my alarm clock but honestly it was the first thing I looked at when I woke (either with the alarm or when the witching hour leaves me restless).  I counted likes as though they were the sheep who would lull me back into dreams.  

Early one morning while I sat sipping tea and skimming through photos on Instagram, I happened upon a post that was if my daydream self had posted it - this woman was following through on things she had desired, was changing her life and inspiring others in the process.  She was living the life she envisioned.
How was this possible?  Inquiring minds wanted to know... so I contacted her.

*Image: The Universe Conspires Card by Julianne Kanzaki 

Over the course of many months we formed a friendship, a kindred spirit connection that helped me see that comparisons and envy (FOMO much?) were only making me feel that I was less than.  
A big thing we share in common is our mad passionate love of words - and with exactly that she gave me the perfect "antidote" to my paranoia.

Pronoia - it is the attitude or belief that the Universe is conspiring to help and assist you on your path.  It is the opposite of paranoia.

I still browse the interwebs, bare witness to other's stories.  But now when I am feeling a little more envious than inspired, I give it a place on the page and then let it go.


Describe a time when you compared yourself to someone else and felt "less than".  Now describe the same situation but as someone whom you found inspiring and supportive.  How would this shift your perspective? 

Word Prompts:


Poetry book highlight:

Description from Amazon:

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry.  A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

Review by Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review:
Kaur deftly sidesteps and then punts the stereotypical sophomore slump of bestselling authors, offering a subtle yet powerful volume of poetry to her readers who have clamored for more since the debut of Milk & Honey. Split into five movements—wilting, falling, rooting, rising, blooming—Kaur’s poems glide up from the depths of heartbreak and hurt to embrace the strength and joy that can flower on the other side of hardship. Kaur workshops many of her poems through live readings, and the dedication to her craft vibrates through every phrase. Those who pressed Milk & Honey into the hands of their friends will exult in The Sun and Her Flowers, and Kaur’s expanded wisdom and scope should reel in new readers who will find much that resonates. —Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review

Follow your words and share your link in the comments below:

Jenny Astramowicz resides in San Francisco where she works for the local university, trains for endurance events and writes.  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


    Monday, November 20, 2017

    What Inspires You to Keep Writing Poetry?

    Writing poetry is our life's blood; we eat, breathe, and sleep poetry. We share what we love about it, what inspires us, what turns our head, what captures our heart, and what motivates us to keep going, keep allowing our words to flow.

    Inspiration for Poetry, photo courtesy of PublicDomainPictures
    by CC0 Community
    I am a visual person, photos inspire me more than most things. When I am in the flow, I see something that inspires me, I take a photo, and then I write to that photo. It could be the color, the light, the object, the person, that captures my heart and translates to the page.

    What inspires you?

    What keeps me going, keeps me writing poetry? It is to understand life, to see it through the lens of my words, to see where they will lead.

    What keeps you going?


    What was the last photo you captured? Write for ten minutes about the photo. What emotion does it convey? What draws you in?

    Word Prompts:


    Indie poetry book highlight:

    Description from Amazon:

    inside my anxious mind is a collection of poems, pain i've felt, the horrors of the world i've seen in the past two decades. saving my mental sanity, and urging all readers to protect theirs.

    A Review by Eric M from Amazon:
    Raw, unedited, unfiltered emotions. A book that is about the realest thing I have read in a long time. If you don't know Ashley by the end of it you will get inside her head and heart. You will get a sense of her journey through life and how everything she had gone through has taken her from surviving to thriving. Sign me up for the next one. 

    Follow your words and share your link in the comments below and tell us, what inspires you to keep writing poetry? 

    Morgan Dragonwillow, author of Wild Woman Waking & Dancing within Shadow, is a Bodywork transformer, dancing poet, motivator of words, magical instigator and creatrix of #OctPoWriMo & #PoetsonthePage. Collaborate with your soul and get your words on the page. Wild Woman Writing Retreat.
    Yes, she is on Google+ too!

    Friday, November 3, 2017

    Poetry Prompts Coming Soon!

    We have decided to continue the journey over at Poets on the Page. I have several volunteers lined up to help with weekly prompts on Mondays to stir your inspiration and imagination. That will begin on Monday, November 20th. Hashtag for this will be, #PoetsonthePage. We hope to see you there.

    For those that would like more than a prompt once a week, I've decided to do a 365 photo prompt on my personal blog for a poem a day challenge beginning on Sunday, November 19th. I will be sharing thought provoking, odd, and inspiring photos either from or of my own photography/art. The hashtag for this will be, #365PhotoPrompts

    Odd but it stirs the imagination!
    Courtesy of PublicDomainPictures
    by Dawn Hudson

    This is also posted on OctPoWriMo to make sure everyone sees the new updates. 

    Play with your words until you breathe life into them!


    Friday, September 1, 2017

    OctPoWriMo 2017

    I know it has been a desert here on Poets on the Page this year, I've been reclusive and healing. I'm feeling much better and this year we will be having OctPoWriMo 2017 at it's original site. If you'd like to join us again this year, head over there and sign up, it's going to be a great poetry challenge!

    Monday, November 14, 2016

    Poetry Prompts - Picture's Worth A Thousand Words

    I'm keeping this one short.

    With everything that has been going on this last week here in the U.S., I thought today we could write a poem around the photo below, after all, they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

    Photo courtesy of
    by Petr Kratochvil
    If you write for this prompt, come back and share your link in the comments below and share on social media with the hashtag, #poetsonthepage

    Morgan Dragonwillow, author of Wild Woman Waking & Dancing within Shadow, is a writing rebel poet who plays with words to inspire writers to get off the couch and #dancewritecreate. Creatrix of #OctPoWriMo #PoetsonthePage. Find more inspiration on her blog.
    Yes she is on Google+ too!

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