Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT September 30th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver , posted below. 

Our prompt was: In a few words, name what is difficult to put into words.

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday October 3rd at 6 pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
everything
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go

© Back Bay Books, 1983.

Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT September 21st 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read an excerpt from “Man Camp” by Claire Boyles, from her book of short stories titled Site Fidelity, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about cocky absolute certainty.

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Friday September 30th at 12 pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


An excerpt from “Man Camp” by Claire Boyles


Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT September 19th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem A Green Crab’s Shell by Mark Doty , posted below. 

Our prompt was:  Write about your shell.

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Wednesday September 21st at 12 pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


A Green Crab’s Shell by Mark Doty

Not, exactly, green:
closer to bronze
preserved in kind brine,

something retrieved
from a Greco-Roman wreck,
patinated and oddly

muscular. We cannot
know what his fantastic
legs were like—

though evidence
suggests eight
complexly folded

scuttling works
of armament, crowned
by the foreclaws'

gesture of menace
and power. A gull's
gobbled the center,

leaving this chamber
—size of a demitasse—
open to reveal

a shocking, Giotto blue.
Though it smells
of seaweed and ruin,

this little traveling case
comes with such lavish lining!
Imagine breathing

surrounded by
the brilliant rinse
of summer's firmament.

What color is
the underside of skin?
Not so bad, to die,

if we could be opened
into this—
if the smallest chambers

of ourselves,
similarly,
revealed some sky.

Credit: poets.org

Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT September 16th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we look a close look at the painting See You On the Other Side by  Matthew Wong (2019), posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about where you stand.

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday September 19th at 6 pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


See You On the Other Side by  Matthew Wong (2019)

Copyright © Momus 2022

Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT September 12th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem Wildflowers by H.E. Fisher, posted below. 

Our prompt was:  When I was little….

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Friday September 16th at 12 pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


Wildflowers by H.E. Fisher

ⓒ Free Lines Press, 2022.

Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT August 26th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem Cicadas at the End of Summer by Martin Walls, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about something forgotten and remembered.

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday September 12th at 6 pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


Cicadas at the End of Summer by Martin Walls

Whine as though a pine tree is bowing a broken violin,
As though a bandsaw cleaves a thousand thin sheets of
titanium;
They chime like freight wheels on a Norfolk Southern
slowing into town.

But all you ever see is the silence.
Husks, glued to the underside of maple leaves.
With their nineteen fifties Bakelite lines they'd do
just as well hanging from the ceiling of a space
museum —

What cicadas leave behind is a kind of crystallized memory;
The stubborn detail of, the shape around a life turned

The color of forgotten things: a cold broth of tea & milk
in the bottom of a mug.
Or skin on an old tin of varnish you have to lift with
lineman's pliers.
A fly paper that hung thirty years in Bird Cooper's pantry
in Brighton.

Credit: www.poetryfoundation.org

Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT August 22nd 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem SOMETIMES by David Whyte, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about a question that is waiting for you.

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Friday August 26th at 12pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


SOMETIMES by David Whyte

Sometimes
if you move carefully
through the forest,
breathing
like the ones
in the old stories,
who could cross
a shimmering bed of leaves
without a sound,
you come to a place
whose only task
is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests,
conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.
Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
and
to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,
questions
that can make
or unmake
a life,
questions
that have patiently
waited for you,
questions
that have no right
to go away.

Credit: themarginalian.org

Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT August 17th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem August 12 in the Nebraska Sand Hills Watching the Perseids Meteor Shower by Twyla Hansen, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Begin with:  “We floated up to the stars…

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday August 22nd at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


August 12 in the Nebraska Sand Hills Watching the Perseids Meteor Shower by Twyla Hansen

In the middle of rolling grasslands, away from lights,
a moonless night untethers its wild polka-dots,
the formations we can name competing for attention
in a twinkling and crowded sky-bowl.
 
Out from the corners, our eyes detect a maverick meteor,
a transient streak, and lying back toward midnight
on the heft of car hood, all conversation blunted,
we are at once unnerved and somehow restored.
 
Out here, a furrow of spring-fed river threads
through ranches in the tens of thousands of acres.
Like cattle, we are powerless, by instinct can see
why early people trembled and deliberated the heavens.
 
Off in the distance those cattle make themselves known,
a bird song moves singular across the horizon.
Not yet 2:00, and bits of comet dust, the Perseids,
startle and skim the atmosphere like skipping stones.
 
In the leaden dark, we are utterly alone. As I rub the ridges
on the back of your hand, our love for all things warm
and pulsing crescendos toward dawn: this timeless awe,
your breath floating with mine upward into the stars.

Credit: Twyla Hansen, "August 12 in the Nebraska Sand Hills Watching the Perseids Meteor Shower" from Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet. Copyright © 2011 by Twyla Hansen.  poetryfoundation.org.


Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT August 15th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem Deep Lane [June 23rd, evening of the first fireflies] by Mark Doty, posted below. 

Our prompt was: “Write about an evening—real or imagined–with fireflies.”

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Wednesday August 17th at 12pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


Deep Lane [June 23rd, evening of the first fireflies] by Mark Doty

June 23rd, evening of the first fireflies,we're walking in the cemetery down the road,and I look up from my distracted study of whatever,

an unfocused gaze somewhere a few feet in front of my shoes,

and see that Ned has run on aheadwith the champagne plume of his tail held especially high,his head erect,

which is often a sign that he has something he believes he is not allowed 
to have,

and in the gathering twilight (what is it that is gathered,who is doing the harvesting?) I can make out that the long horizontalbetween his lovely jaws is one of the four stakes planted on the slope

to indicate where the backhoe will dig a new grave.

Of course my impulse is to run after him, to replace the marker,out of respect for the rule that we won't desecrate the tombs,or at least for those who knew the womanwhose name inks a placard in the rectangle claimed by the four poles

of vanishing—three poles now—and how it's within their recollection,their gathering, she'll live. Evening of memory. Sparklamps in the grass.I stand and watch him go in his wild figure eights,I say, You run, darling, you tear up that hill.

Credit: Copyright © by Mark Doty. poets.org

Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT August 8th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we took a close look at the painting A Tower Of Blue Horses by Franz Marc, and read the poem Franz Marc’s Blue Horses by Mary Oliver, posted below. 

Our prompt was: “Write about something beautiful.”

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday August 15th at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.


A Tower Of Blue Horses by Franz Marc

Copyright © 2009-Present http://www.FranzMarc.org. All Rights Reserved

 Franz Marc’s Blue Horses by Mary Oliver

I step into the painting of the four blue horses.
I am not even surprised that I can do this. 
 
One of the horses walks toward me. 
His blue nose noses me lightly.  I put my arm 
Over his blue mane, not holding on, just
   commingling. 
He allows me my pleasure. 
 
Franz Marc died a young man, shrapnel in his brain. 
 
I would rather die than try to explain to the blue horses
   what war is. 
They would either faint in horror, or simply 
   find it impossible to believe. 
 
I do not know how to thank you Franz Marc. 
 
Maybe our world will grow kinder eventually. 
Maybe the desire to make something beautiful
   is the piece of God that is inside each of us. 
 
Now all four horses have come closer, 
   are bending their faces towards me
      as if they have secrets to tell. 
I don’t expect them to speak, and they don’t.
If being so beautiful isn’t enough, what
   could they possibly say?

Credit: On Being Studios SoundCloud