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.
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 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!
The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love …
In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature and Life through a free-verse poetry memoir.
During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.
Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow.
The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens.
What a joy it is to read this gem of a poetry book. Full of beautiful free-verse, a memoir about friends, family, relationships and the love of the nature. This is for you if you enjoy the natural world, (as I do,) if you appreciate poetry that delves into the heart and doesn’t hold back. In many ways it is an intimate and brave expression of the author – Camilla Down’s – thoughts and feelings.
I highly recommend.
I had the pleasure of an engaging author interview with Camilla on my blog:
“Words of Alchemy, a heartfelt new collection by Camilla Downs, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen
“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.”
“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’s thoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.”
“Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. These poems are an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.”
– Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid
About Camilla: Camilla Downs is a bestselling author, indie publisher, mentor, and mom. Nature and life experiences are a constant source of inspiration for her writing. She enjoys living a minimalist lifestyle, practicing meditation and mindfulness, reading, going for walks, and capturing nature’s essence with photographs. Camilla is the founder of MeetingtheAuthors.com and lives in Northern Nevada, USA with her two kids.
Words of Alchemy: If you’re in the U.S. and would like a personalized, signed book – free shipping! (I will ship internationally, if the reader would like to pay the international shipping fee): https://camilladowns.com/books/words-of-alchemy/
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.
Abandoned, she slumps down
A blade of grass caresses skin
Her pregnant bump hides.
The tree waits
Babe in utero.
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: TheHAIGA 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.
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:
I will be writing about the magic of trees on my blog as part of our group The Spiritual Sisters, originally known as The Sisters of The Fey.
I discovered this magnificent tree, (which you can see in my photographs above and below,) on my lunchtime walks in Cambridge Botanical Gardens. It inspired me so much that it is featured in the first short story (and photographs,) in my new release – Mr. Sagittarius – a magical collection of poetry, prose and photography.
This particular tree is a Golden Willow Tree and a very stunning one at that. You can see how it bends as if yearning to sink into the water below it.
The Willow tree is known for its wondrous connection to the moon, water, the Goddess and all that is feminine.
Its association with dreaming, intuition and the deepest held emotions makes it a wonderful tree to commune with.
It has an affinity with the season of Spring. When life begins to awaken after its slumbers, making it a truly remarkable tree full of energy and potential.
The Willow tree has a magical link with creativity, fertility, female rights of passage, inspiration, emotion, love, protection and the healing arts.
Many say that it is the tree of immortality, growth and healing because of its powerful ability to grow from a fallen branch if it finds the right conditions: moist ground – water and soil to sustain it.
A wand made from the wood of a Willow tree has many uses:
Perhaps you might be inclined to sleep with it, to release vivid dreams, use it to draw the moon down from afar, or use its powers of protection to keep you safe.
Magical witch’s brooms are traditionally bound with a willow’s branch but before you take a piece of branch remember to respect the tree and ask for permission to cut!
The Willow’s weeping posture reflects its association with grief, allowing the person who connects with it to gain healing and inner strength.
The Weeping Willow is without a doubt a beautiful, soulful tree.
Her branches often bend toward’s the water’s edge whilst her roots journey below its surface. She has a great wisdom, so spend time with her (preferably with a source of water nearby) and let the sounds of flowing water and wind rustling leaves soothe your mind, body and soul.
This is the perfect way to reconnect with the intuitive part of you.
If you struggle to sleep at night take a piece of willow (preferably one that has already fallen) and place it under your pillow.
In the Bach Flower Remedies, Willow Flower Essence is a helpful remedy for bitterness and resentment.
On that particular date in May 2018 I was at a creative writing course in Cambridge run by artist Lyndell Phelps and poet, writer, producer Dan Simpson. It was a very warm day, perhaps too warm to be cooped inside writing. Luckily, we were able to sit out in the warm sunshine for the second half of the writing day.
On my way home I decided to have a wander in the sun. I stumbled upon a gate which I’d never seen before. This was odd as I often walk down this particular road and have NEVER noticed it before. Being curious by nature I decided to venture inside even though it was deserted and there were abundant eerie shadows at the entrance.
I discovered a tiny park with lots of pretty trees, a fabulous blue sky up above and the added bonus of some shadows! Yes, I do like shadows!
I took some photos which you can see and even though the park was tiny these images seem to make it look enormous!
I lingered a while and then left the park via a different gate. To my surprise I ended up coming out on an entirely different road. This was so odd and somewhat disorientating. How could I have started on Shaftesbury Road and ended up on Aberdeen Avenue? Is that even possible? Perhaps I had too much sun? Or maybe, could this be…
The tiny park had its gates wide open just as if it intended to say:
Who knows? It would be wonderful to imagine that magic played a part in this.
I shall investigate again who knows I might find a fairy or two, or maybe even a unicorn next time!
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xxx
The Spiritual Sisters are:
Adele Marie Park Author & Personal Blog: Firefly465
Who am I? Which spiritual sister am I? I have never had a sister, sigh, but now I have Colleen, Debby, Adele Marie, myself, and Annette. Isn’t that wonderful? We are the Spiritual Sisters.
I’ve always had a fascination with the alternative, a curiosity about the paranormal, an interest in the zodiac and the like. For a time I worked as an alternative therapist specialising in Aromatherapy and Reflexology. I even did a short course in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT.) It fascinated me, but in truth, I didn’t have a lot of clients. I hadn’t discovered the power of blogging or social media yet. Perhaps, if I had it might have been a different story.
During my time as a therapist, I became quite intuitive and I developed an interest in crystals, auras, and chakras. My first crystal purchase was a malachite.
I believe the malachite marked the beginning of my transformation!
In this new feature – Spiritual Sisters – which was originally posted on our collaborative blog The Sisters of The Fey, I hope to explore crystals and their properties, the paranormal, and perhaps drop in a few zodiac posts too (I have a particular interest in the Chinese zodiac.) I’ve partially written an MG story set in Edinburgh about a girl and a dragon at Chinese New Year, which I hope to publish in the future. I also hope to share with you my magical connection posts about the wonder of nature, trees and spirit animals.
For the moment I would also like to share with you a focus on protective stones as I believe there is an unexplained presence in our house. There have been some very strange happenings that the female members of our household have noticed. My husband seems to be oblivious!
A disturbing strange vision we saw in the garden.
A force (a powerful air draft) pressing against the front door when I leave or enter the house. This is even apparent on a still day with no wind.
When I am alone in the house I tend to hear loud noises such as doors slamming, or objects falling which can be very creepy. My daughters and other visitors to our house have noticed this too.
My daughter saw a strange ghostly image crouching on the stairs leading to the attic and heard whisperings.
There have been unexplained fingerprints on the windows and more disturbing, two bird wingspan marks an equal distance from each other on the back patio doors. I took this photo of one of the sides. Ok, I added some Instagram effects to show you how it made me feel…
The other day at work I noticed this black shadowed bird-like apparition on a tree… which a friend of mine said is a BOOBRIE – ‘a shape-shifting bird from the mythology and folklore of the Scottish Highlands’. I’m not sure if this is the case as I work far away from the Scottish Highlands and there are no lochs nearby, but…
First of all, a big thank you to Colleen for encouraging me to write poetry with her Tanka Tuesday prompts.
Without this encouragement I doubt I would be producing a poetry/prose book.
Also, if I hadn’t joined my current employ who offer free Botanical Gardens passes I doubt I would be either!
A combination of influences and prompts: writing, poetry and photography have helped me create Mr. Sagittarius – Poetry and Prose. This collection celebrates the wonder and the magic of the natural world and the circle of life represented by the enigma of twin brothers Harold and William. Who are they really?
The book is a mix of poetry, short stories and my photography plus I hope to add a couple of images generously donated via friend and blogger: Samantha Murdoch’s son Alex Marlowe.
I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Rachael Ritchey for producing such a wonderful ebook cover so quickly. I’m thrilled with the result and look forward to working with her to produce the paperback in due course.
So here is my Tanka:
Hey, what’s happening?
My new book project that’s what!
Poetry and Prose
So loves the natural world.
I will be releasing the book as soon. It is my intention to donate my royalties from the first month’s sale of the ebook to the Australian bush crisis.
So with that in mind, please let me know below if you’d like to part of my blog tour. The more the merrier!
If you could reblog and share this post widely I would be so grateful!
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)
It’s been a while… I’ve missed writing poetry but I’ve been very busy trying to finish editing the second book in my series The Curse of Time and to be honest I’ve been struggling with it as it is a very ambitious project, especially as I work full-time. I’m getting there but still lots to do. My beta readers have been an enormous help and I’ve had lots of feedback after attending the SCBWI conference in November.
The robin was very tame and stayed with me for some time. I was feeling sad, (it was the day after the terror attack on London Bridge, in which two young Cambridge University graduates died,) so his visit was very welcome and his gentle, unobtrusive time with me lifted my ailing spirits.
It is my great pleasure to welcome artist Carolina Russo to my blog. I consider her to not only be a talented artist but also a dear, sweet friend with whom I have a lot in common. We both share a great love of the beauty of nature, art, crystals, jewellery and music.
Tell us about your artistic journey. Where did it all begin and what defines you as an artist?
First of all, I want to thank Marje for inviting me to this interview and for preparing these great questions. I appreciate this very much. What a nice opportunity to be featured on her Blog. Now about the beginning of my artistic journey… well it all happened the day I was born 😉 I am very thankful for the gift of my artistic talent. I realized that I was very creative as a child. I loved drawing and creating things, and by the time I was a teenager I knew this was my calling. Creating art was what I wanted to do. My father is an Artist and I learned a lot just by watching his creative methods and observing him working on his beautiful oil paintings. I was born in Italy, raised in a beautiful country which is bursting with Italian art, creativity, and history. I studied Art & Design and Jewelry design in Italy. I also have experience in Fashion, Graphic and Illustration Design. I always wanted to be an Independent Artist with the ability to create freely – which is what I am focused on right now. I have just redesigned my Blog yesterdayafter.com and included my own Carolina Russo Shop where I sell all my Art. This allows me to have direct contact with those who reach out to me. I also offer art on a commission basis and I love to collaborate with other inspiring people. If you like you can read more about my creative journey on a guest post I wrote a while ago here: https://yesterdayafter.com/the-designer/creative-journeys/
You create jewellery as well. I know your collections are ‘nature finds.’ What is it about nature, salvaging, recycling, restoration, and transforming things that attracts you? Pure Nature is one of the most beautiful things on our planet and needs to be preserved and not to take it for granted! I love nature and I love animals. I find it to be fascinating when I come across some wild nature finds of any kind, but especially fossil seashells, beautiful unique stones and other interesting little pieces of nature. I like to think when I find fossil seashells that they have been smoothed and shaped by the ocean waves with the helping hand of sand and rocks and that they are here on this planet for millions of years and saw it all! I love to create unique pieces of jewelry with natural gemstones and crystals combined with my nature findings. Sometimes I also like to draw directly on stones or seashells adding my art to their surfaces – to bring these discovered objects back to live a life in a different dimension – where they can still shine, bringing the magical vibes of nature to us.
What is your favourite crystal? And why?
Well this is not a easy question! I love so many crystals. I like to find out about their meanings and the energy of their healing powers! I love Blue Quartz because is a soothing and calming crystal. It brings a relaxing and peaceful vibe to any kind of situation. Rose Quartz is known as the ” Love Stone.” This beautiful crystal emits strong vibrations and energy that clear and purifies, opening the heart to promote love in any situations. And of course I like Sapphire which is my September birthstone. I like that it symbolizes purity and wisdom.
You live in California. Is this the perfect location for your art or do you miss your birthplace – Italy?
Well I love California. It is a beautiful place, but of course I miss Italy as it is the place where I was born and grow up. I have been in Italy most of my life. My parents, brother and family are all there and it doesn’t often happen that we get a chance to see each other. Life events happen and the long distance makes it more difficult. About the location of my art I honestly don’t need a specific place to be able to create, this is one of the beautiful sides of being an independent artist. I can be artistic and create anywhere, and I love that! I mostly sell my creations online via my shop on my website. I actually just redesigned my Blog and included another section which is my Carolina Russo Shop https://yesterdayafter.com/shop/ where I have direct contact with customers anywhere in the world who are interested to my Art. All of my latest collaborations were overseas in Europe. I am so happy about this, because I can work anywhere as long I have my supplies and an Internet connection. I paint at home in my little bunny hole studio. I like to do everything by myself and I print all my Limited Edition Fine Art Prints of my paintings on my own. I want to give a 100% service to those who choose my art. I love to prepare my prints personally by adding final touches when I sign and pack them. I like to work on my pieces from the beginning of creation to the end to make sure that my customers have the most beautiful experience when they purchase from me. My watercolor paintings and Limited Edition Prints are sold around the world – Europe especially England, Scotland, Germany, Norway, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and more. I believe you create music album covers too. I’d love to find out more about this. And your favourite musical artists. This is a great question! Yes I do create music album covers. It has always been a dream of mine to create art for music artists and to collaborate with them. Recently I collaborated with UK music composer Nu-San and created the cover for his soon to be released new Album “Nu Nostalgia” and I am so looking forward to seeing my art on Vinyl and CD.
I love music and of course I have my iconic bands that have accompanied me my whole life. On my Blog I often post about the music I like and follow, or mention new artists that capture my attention. Of course I have my favorites and right now I listen to Independent music artists like the Scottish band The Twilight Sad . They supported The Cure in their latest 2016 Tour and they are blossoming in the music world. There are a few more music artists that I really like: I’d like to mention a band called Frightened Rabbit, sadly they lost their front man Scott Hutchison who recently died. If you follow me you will remember my watercolor painting Tribute of him, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of my Limited Edition prints, is going to Charity and donated to SAMH Scottish Association for Mental Health, to help raise awareness for suicide prevention.
I also had the opportunity to Interview Ewian and James Radcliffe. I came across some of these great artists through my Blog and amazingly we have become friends, and through this friendship I had the opportunity to interview some of them. I have a specific music taste, and maybe what I like doesn’t suit everyone, but I like to share what I find interesting. One of my Projects is a Collection named “ART FOR MUSIC” a series of artworks inspired and dedicated to music artists. In this project and series, I have created artworks and portraits using several media, traditional watercolor paintings, ink drawings, digital art, photo manipulation. This art series is featured on my Blog for the music artists that I have the fortune to collaborate with.
Like me you love to write poetry as well. Your poetry has been published in Spillwords, Visual Verse and Praxis Magazine. Have you a favourite poem that you’ve written that you’d like to share with us?
Thank you for your mention about my poetry, yes I love to write poems, Haiku, 50 words stories and short stories, I also like to illustrate them with my own photography or watercolor paintings. One of the future projects on my bucket list, is to create an illustrated book that includes my art and writings. I started writing poems when I was a teenager. I don’t write every day, I only write when something inspire me, or when words comes whispering to my mind and soul, silently and suddenly. Then I let the words flow from me. I am pretty pleased with my creative writings, I had some great feedback and I am very happy that some of my poetry is now published in nice Anthologies. It feels great to have my name listed amongst author contributors. I love all of my poems – there is a lot of my own emotional experiences and deep feelings in each of them. Thank you for asking to share a favorite poem, I like to share : Emotions https://yesterdayafter.com/2015/11/09/emotions/
It was brilliant collaborating with you. I love the portraits of two of my characters: Esme and The Creature that you created. Do you have a favourite character from the Curse of Time that you’d love to paint in the future?
We had a great experience during the making of your book! I loved to collaborate with you and see two of your characters coming to life. You gave me some pretty good descriptions, precious details and information that helped me to visualize the characters. I loved to paint both of them especially as they represent two completely opposite looks. Esme is sweet and delicate and so is the painting, while The Creature Eruterac is a pretty creepy creature.. I am not sure if my painting is creepy enough as your description of him was…LOL I love both characters designs and in my opinion it is beautiful to have some illustrations in a book. They sure add a special touch, also if they are only two images like you did it helps the reader to visualize the story more, sometimes art can reach out where words cannot. And now to answer your last question, I love Esme but I already painted her, so my next favorite character to paint would be Amelina, I am so looking forward to see what happens next. I want to thank Marje again and everyone that has taken their precious time to read this interview. If you would like to see more of my work and discover more about me and my creative world please visit my Blog at yesterdayafter.com. Carolina xxx
Before Carolina goes I’d like to say how lovely this interview is and I’d love to share with you this gorgeous portrait that I had the good fortune to win via a blog post competition on Carolina’s blog. She chose the perfect portrait to send a fantasy enthusiast – Alice in Wonderland which is lovingly crafted in coffee and watercolour!
Thank you so much to Carolina for sharing her fascinating artistic life with us.