COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 195 #EKPHRASTIC #PHOTOPROMPT

This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing inspired by visual art (photographs). Lisa Thompson, from last month’s challenge, has provided the photo for this month’s challenge.

Image credit: Unsplash, and the photographer is Wolfgang Hasselmann

The tea gossips begin. A line black marks my whereabouts

Acrostic poem- Toadstool

This is me, a maligned fruiting fungal fellow.

Ordinary? No siree! Not me, I’m no grotty grass.

A red cap and scales crown my slim white ring of partial veil.

Dying, for attention, I stand tall, and pretty proud.

Savage me worst, fairy ring, honey fungi, fungus root and stink horns.

Toad plus stool I’m named; ugliest frog-like creature plus tiniest stool.

On point am I. Fiddle. It ain’t fair. I’m not a warty broad, squat common fellow.

Or an inedible, poisonous, rickety bar stool chair.

Love and admire me spores, forget them mushy mushroom bores!

© M J Mallon

Well, that was a fun one! Lol Hope you enjoyed the giggle. xxx

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COLLEEN’S 2020 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 193, #POET’SCHOICE: #senryu #Photo #Meringue #Sweet #Tasty

This lovely dessert was one of the tastiest, most visually pleasing delights I have ever had the pleasure of eating!

But, it’s not for everyone… not if you are allergic to egg whites, or you don’t like meringue, or…

You love meringue but have put on a few pounds during lockdown… maybe I shouldn’t have another one…

Only joking, this was at a restaurant…

Sumptuous meringue

A tempting, strawberry high

My body shouts NO!

A strawberry crown

Crumbling meringue face

Dotted with delight!

Somehow I prefer the last one… oh dear I do have a problem. Even my poetry is saying eat the dessert… Such a sweet tooth!

Which poem do you prefer? Let me guess…

I love poetry!

I write poetry in all of my books (excluding some of the anthologies.) You’ll find poetry in Mr. Sagittarius, Poetry and Prose, in The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone, (short form poetry at the beginning of each chapter,) and there is also poetry in the anthology/compilation This Is Lockdown.

Check out my books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/

Thank you for stopping by and remember to leave a comment! xxx

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Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge no. 191 #Photoprompt

Aishwarya, aka, Kitty from Kitty’s Verses, was Colleen’s selection from last month’s challenge. She has provided the photo for this month’s challenge.

I’ve chosen to write a Stacked/Double Inverted Etheree

Twenty lines with a syllable count per line of 10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1, 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10 syllables per line, which looks like an hourglass when centered on the page.

The track meanders to nowhere special

I imagine places, people, dogs.

The train driver speeding through lunch

I hope he forgives me. If…

I step out, one last step.

Feet, a friend to air

Sigh. The track cries

Stay strong. Fight.

Crush it!

Live.

***

It

Isn’t

Who I am.

Brought to these tears

Lost. Anxious. Depressed.

Peering up there’s heaven

And down, the track is groaning

Pleading, don’t kiss death. Lucy, live.

I halt! I see them. And who I am.

Family, friends, my dog barking, come home.

© M J Mallon

This poem is inspired by a book I reviewed recently by Jackie Carreira: The Seventh Train. I’d recommend reading it. Here is the link to my review: https://mjmallon.com/2020/08/15/book-review-the-seventh-train-by-jackie-carriera-book-review/

The book touches upon the impact of suicides on train drivers. Hence, the mention in this poem.

A sad topic but an important one to address, particularly during these difficult times.

Remember, if you are ever feeling lost, low or depressed there is always a better day waiting for you in the future. Today might be hard but keep your family and friends close to your heart and always talk through your problems with a friend, family member or counsellor. A problem shared is always halved.

Sending love, hugs and hopes for happy days.

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Soliciting Syllabic Poetry Donations Part Two

Colleen Chesebro is looking for syllabic poetry donations for Part Two of her book:

It’s time for an update on the poetry I need for examples for my new book, Word Craft – The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry. I’ve been playing with book cover ideas. The book is divided into two group: Japanese forms and American forms. This book covers the eleven forms we use in the weekly…

Source: Soliciting Syllabic Poetry Donations Part Two

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Poetry Review – Poetry of The Heart and Soul by Sarah Northwood : #Review #Poetry

Synopsis via Amazon:

To all those who wear their hearts on their sleeve because I know sometimes that can get messy. 

Sarah Northwood, award-winning author of multiple novels and multi fiction writer presents her fourth poetry collection, Poetry of the Heart and Soul. This moving collection is split into roughly three parts. Beginning with relatable pieces which delve into the mind of anxiety and feelings of inadequacy, then exploring what it is to love and feel loved. Ending with uplifting and inspirational pieces, each poem includes a footnote from the author.

My review:

I am part of Sarah Northwood’s advanced reader/beta reader group. It has been such a delight to discover a new author/poet via Kaleigh @(Cooking The Books) who invited me to beta read Sarah’s book.

I’m glad that she did as I thoroughly enjoyed Poetry of The Heart And Soul. It’s a beautiful collection of poetry – personal to the author in many ways and shared in a thoughtful, generous and accessible way.

There are considerate touches in this collection – the asterisked explanations of some of the poems enabling the reader to get a deeper insight into the author’s thought processes whilst writing Heart and Soul. For instance, in Fears, she explains that the poem was written at a time when she was fed up of giving life to her fears.

There are three lined poems like Minor Key, touching upon the subject of melancholy and Fly which manages to be magical in its brevity. Longer story type poems grace this collection too – such as Lost.

I loved all the poems but especially:

Falling (inspired by a visual cue)

Blue (which was originally a lyrical piece to put to music)

Cease and Desist – that made me smile – our British obsession with the weather!

Reach Out (suicide prevention)

Imagination

Everybody

Presently (about holding back the years.)

More than Once (on the subject of life and marriage.)

My Kind of Romance

A Mother’s Love

My rating 5 stars. Highly recommended for poetry enthusiasts.

Sarah Northwood is a multi-genre British fiction author.   She enjoys writing stories and poems for children, young adults and adults alike.

Author’s blog: https://www.sarahnorthwood-author.com/

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Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 180, #Poet’sChoice #Garland #Cinquain

This week I decided to share a garland cinquain. Colleen also shared a garland cinquain so I thought I’d use her example to help me write one too: https://colleenchesebro.com/2020/06/04/the-old-gods-garland-cinquain/

In Colleen’s words: ‘This poem is created with a 2/4/6/8/2 syllable count for each of the five stanzas. The last stanza is where it gets interesting. You take line one from the first stanza, line two from the second stanza, etc. until you’ve created the last refrain.

I especially like this form because it combines the brevity of syllabic poetry into a longer verse poem that tells a story.’

This is inspired by my photo of the copse of trees. My daughters and I were taking a walk during lockdown. We’d often taken this walk before but this time we stumbled upon a different pathway to the left.

It led us to:

A copse

Of trees past fields

I’ve never seen before

Like tiny balls of knitted wool

Airy

***

Blue Gaps

Vast space beyond

Quiet and still the grass

My mindful feet touching the earth

Six eyes

***

Wander

Ahead, one foot

Treads to infinity

Taking our feet somewhere special

Perhaps?

***

My girls

Daughters join me

Walking in the sunshine

As we move in sweet steps forward

In time

***

Waiting

For something new

A sight we haven’t seen

As we turn beyond the grasses  

New dreams

***

A copse

Vast space beyond

Treads to infinity

As we move in sweet steps forward

New dreams

© M J Mallon 2020

I hope you enjoyed the cinquain garland poem. I’ve never written one of those before. I liked how it told a story! When we drive everywhere we miss so much. It’s great to walk in nature and find little gems.

My new book is coming soon! It is currently with first draft beta readers. There may be some changes and a few more writers to add to the collection.

This Is Lockdown, is a compilation of my diaries during lockdown, plus short stories, flash fiction, and poetry.

The ‘Isolation writers’ who featured on my blog sharing their thoughts on isolation during COVID19Richard DeeAlice May, Jeannie WycherleyRitu BhathalJackie CarreiraFiona PhillipsAndrew Neary, Ceri William’sKatherine Mezzacappa, Peter Taylor-GoobyChantelle AtkinsSharon MarshiselloTracie Barton-BarrettCatherine Fearns, Lynn Fraser and Miriam V. Owen, plus poetry from Sally Cronin, Marion Wood, Debby Gies, (D G Kaye Writer,)

and Willow Willers.

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Frank Prem #Poetry #Review – A Kiss For The Worthy

Goodreads synopsis

Houses and rooms are full of perfumes,
the shelves are crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also,
but I shall not let it.. . .

from Leaves of Grass

Drawing on the phrasing of Walt Whitman’s great late 19th century poem Leaves of Grass (above) Frank Prem has produced a collection of expansive and outward looking love poetry written, as always, in the unique style that allows every reader to relate.

Prem’s interpretations breathe new life into contemporary exploration of themes of love in poetry, and utilise Whitman’s original phrases to inspire a contemplation of the self in the context of landscape and the wider world:

and as they open
I realise
they are filled
with sweet perfumes

golden glory

wafted aroma

from a house filled (with the sensual)

a kiss for the worthy is the second of three collections that together comprise A Love Poetry Trilogy, with each revisiting outstanding work by stellar poets of the past to produce vibrant new collections. The first collection, walk away silver heart, draws on Amy Lowell’s deeply personal Madonna of the Evening Flowers, while the third, rescue and redemption, derives from T.S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

This is a new kind of poetry that tells stories, draws pictures and elicits emotional responses from readers. Just as the best poetry should.

My review

A Kiss For The Worthy is the second of three poetry collections in A Love Poetry Trilogy, drawing inspiration from Walk Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

It begins with an extract of leaves of Grass: Song of Myself.

Frank Prem’s free style poetry is always a delight to read. Freestyle or free verse poetry  frees the writer from the constraints of meter and rhyme.

Compared to Prem’s other works A Kiss For The Worthy focuses on the person within: the concept of self and an individual’s experience of and love of life. It awakens the readers appreciation on so many levels, from the sensory imagery of feet walking on sand, to the familiar battles of drinking too much coffee!

There is something for everyone – from the philosophical to light-hearted humour too.

My personal favourites are:

not until (I die), in blossom wild (a nature boy), a house filled (with the sensual), what I am (a lapwing’s call), every working man, not much left (of me), espresso (no and no)

Buying Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B084BWM755/

My rating: 5 stars.

Authors Website:
https://FrankPrem.com

I received a copy from the author and am pleased to share my unbiased views with you.

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Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 177 #SynonymsOnly

The prompt words this week are: transition & harmony but we have to find synonyms for our poetry. For transition I chose – metamorphosis and for harmony – peaceful.

Recently, I went on a walk with my two daughter to the nearby river. We crossed a bridge over the lock, looking down I noticed a stone frog hidden under the ramparts of the concrete bridge. I’ve walked over that bridge but have never noticed it before. Perhaps, being a writer and a poet has made me more observant than most people – particularly during Lockdown!

I took an ‘instant’ video of the frog. But it was so swift and almost impossible to see.

My daughters walked ahead and didn’t see the frog. Next time, we walk over that bridge I will point it out to them. Unless of course I imagined it!

A metamorphis

Is an extremely long word!

Peaceful writer’s eyes

Observe a hidden surprise.

A walk, a river, a frog!

https://colleenchesebro.com/2020/05/12/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-177-synonymsonly/

Hope you enjoyed the poem.

I am included amongst some wonderful poets in Colleen Chesebro’s poetry book store: https://colleenchesebro.com/poetry-books-for-sale/

I’m thrilled to share a new 5 star review for Mr Sagittarius from Miriam Hurdle: https://theshowersofblessings.com/2020/05/11/book-review-mr-sagittarius-poetry-and-prose-by-mj-mallon/

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

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Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 175, #ThemePrompt #Shadorma #COVID19 #Coronavirus

This month’s theme is:

“The Day After”

Elizabeth, from Tea and Paper, chose the theme.

My two Shadorma below are inspired by our current situation during this COVID19 crisis. They reflects my growing sense of sadness and unease at the magnitude of deaths throughout the world. It’s so sad and frightening. In the UK alone over 26,000 people have died to date.

And all the while here in Cambridge the sun has shone practically every single day of Lockdown. A couple days ago, we had some rain and even a short burst of thunder and lightning. And yet, immediately the sun returned.

How strange.

Life goes on, sunshine, showers and thunderstorms but such tragedy remains.

The sun shone

Enticing us all

To play out

With old friends

The rain cried behind the sun

Days after Lockdown

***

Life goes on

Sunshine, and showers

Cloudbursts weep

Death toll peaks

My heart screams behind thunder

I hate you virus.

© M J Mallon

To join in with Colleen’s poetry challenge follow the link: https://colleenchesebro.com/2020/04/28/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-175-themeprompt/

Sorry this week’s poem is a sad one. Sometimes emotions are better released than locked away.

My latest release, an uplifting collection of poetry, prose and photography to cheer you up during Lockdown.

Some good news – I have a new 5 star review – for Mr. Sagittarius via author Adele Marie Park:

Adele Park 5.0 out of 5 stars A poetic journey through life Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2020 Verified Purchase Shaped with poems and beautiful pictures this book is a must-read and keep. This novel is the kind you will go back to again and again to dip into and read your favourites. A fantastic book, the author has delivered with engaging characters and beautiful prose. Well done.

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Also, don’t forget my debut novel – A YA fantasy – The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone (Which is recommended for those who like a great story combined with poetry – this novel begins each chapter with a Tanka poem.) If you’ve haven’t read it yet, do check it out, before book two comes out!

I am currently in the throes of editing!

My Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

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Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 174 #PhotoPrompt #Haiga #Haiku #Tree #Nature

This week’s photo prompt from Colleen is an excellent one. It’s so evocative. Who can this young girl be? And what might her plight be? She looks desperately sad, so I decided to write a poetic haiga in her honour.


Image Credit: Unknown

Abandoned, she slumps down

A blade of grass caresses skin

Her pregnant bump hides.

***

The tree waits

Nature together

Babe in utero.

***

Daughter

Accepted

By tree.

The haiku poem was inspired by the photo of the girl resting by a tree, looking melancholy, a blade of grass reaches upwards towards her chin. It made me wonder what was making the woman so sad.

As it’s a haiku with a tight syllabic count there’s an immediate need to express her plight, so I decided upon an unwanted pregnancy – a girl sitting in nature – leaning against a tree – a symbol of life giving. The tree and nature (the grass,) will not judge her as others might – Daughter accepted by tree. Is the baby the daughter, or is the pregnant woman? Or are all females daughters of nature?

Yes, my mind does work in strange ways and this is only heightened during lockdown.

Via Colleen’s Blog: The HAIGA IN ENGLISH: 5/7/5, 3/5/3, 2/3/2 syllable structure. Haiga is called observational poetry because it contains an image with either a Haiku or Senryu written on it or near it. There are a few hard and fast rules for creating Haiga. The Haiku is the most important part and must standalone.

To join in with Colleen’s weekly prompts: https://colleenchesebro.com/2020/04/21/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-174-photoprompt/

And might I suggest some poetic reading? A lovely, heart-warming and magical read suitable for lockdown…

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the beautiful botanical gardens in Cambridge.

It’s a light-hearted, magical story about two fictional characters, twin brothers Harold and William, their sister Annette and the sibling’s connection to the beautiful botanical gardens in Cambridge.

Moreover, it celebrates many aspects of day to day life including: humour, sibling relationships, beauty, nature, the seasons of the year, love and ultimately magic.

I love spending time in nature taking photos – my favourite photos in this collection are the robin, trees and the dragonfly that grace this little book.

Photography is in my genes – Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties. Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press. When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct. After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at three successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The photographic images in the book are all my own, apart from two images kindly given by Alex Marlowe – a talented photographer.

To buy this book, please visit Amazon, click on the link below:

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

I’m thrilled to announce I am included amongst some wonderful poets in Colleen Chesebro’s poetry book store: https://colleenchesebro.com/poetry-books-for-sale/

Thank you for entering my worlds. I hope they bring you a touch of magic. And thank you to all the kind people who read and review my work. I appreciate you.

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/

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