The Writing Garden ~ Issue One


Cover Image ~ Susan Licht
->WordPress/Flickr/GettyImages

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->The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

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I Celebrate Myself

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High_School_Lovers_by_ImYourZero


Lying here amidst the sighing leaves of grass

I remember, I don’t want to be happy in another place
—Lets be happy right here, right now!
Let’s turn and watch each other’s eyes watching each other’s eyes,
let’s touch and hear thunder in wide-open summer skies,
let’s whisper as softly as the shading leaves of trees
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above, only heaven knows and sees this truth:
Touching, believing in the caress of skin, I gently brush
tousled hair from off your face, I find your smile and kiss it
with a pleasure that curls toes and raises startled birds from trees!
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I am unfettered; even the weight of you upon me defies gravity—
Where we roll, frictionless upon a wild calm, I am unencumbered
except by your taste and scent, which unravels my senses and spins me
into delirium—freed from myself, finally, free of the whirling world in which
we love.

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Data -> Jottify/SoundCloud
Image ~ ImYourZero

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The Postman’s Dead

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brake_me_in_pieces_by_bittersweetvenom-d5epi52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I can’t post this poem to you or the postman, for it will be a dead letter.

Today I learnt of our postman’s death.

I sink into the sofa, as I repeatedly read the paper,
And am jolted by the memory of days when he would deliver your papers.
His face, though painful to see, is a sweet reminiscence of genuineness.
This was when our lives were widget-free and selfie was not a word.
Yes, that romantic period of true love–at least we like to think so!
When time’s best use was to express love in unadorned squibbles in four-page letters.
Not lecherous pursuits of dating with fake IDs in numbers that Einstein would forget.
With his demise, I feel that we’ve lost the only witness of how fervent our love was.
He was the only camera that captured my ecstasy on reading that familiar hand.
The only friend, who assured me that the letter might come in the next batch.
The only confidant, who knew that the letter must land in no other palm, but mine.
I wish I could have told him back then,
What comfort and joy his sight did bring.
I wish I could share this news with you.
I don’t know where you live.
I don’t know why I left.
But I remember it was not bitter.
And a sweet memory lives fresh as ever,
Of your love letters,
Brought by the kindly postman,
Who is now dead.

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Blossom -> Jottify
Image ~ bittersweetvenom

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The Cry Of The Starling

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scratchartstarlingsm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on this night of nights a lost
starling sings his lonely song
as a pale moon chases
venus high above the tallest trees
and faint stars transit the unknown
on this night of nights a natural
flame flickers and streams
chain reacting and traveling swiftly
to the four corners of the world
sparked by the cry of the lonely starling
ushering in a brand new light

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J Matthew Waters -> jdubqca.com/Twitter
Image ~ Sue Kroll

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Desert Trees

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05c633bded4a65a6f3f158cdb2ba0d5e

 

He fought for Hitler in the war, but after that he was a farmer, growing food for people and animals.  He farmed in England, where he’d been a prisoner of war, and then in Ethiopia,
California, and Bolivia.  He always said that what he’d like to do when he retires is to travel, but by the time he retired the wind had gone out of that sail.  Now, at ninety, he potters around his home like a general in his labyrinth.

When my father feels well, he invariably cuts one or more branches off our few trees.  We live in the desert and need the shade these branches provide. When my father cuts branches, the black cloud descends on me and I feel agitated and nervous.  When my father is depressed and spends all day in bed, I feel relieved for the garden and myself.  The black cloud lifts and takes my anger and panic with it.  My father and I are in this situation where one of us has to suffer for the other to feel well.

Touched by the black cloud

I feel sadness and panic:

Another branch falls

I came home yesterday from work to find that my father had thrown down the gauntlet: one of the largest branches on any of our trees lay on the ground.  He cries with back pain, he can barely walk, but when I’m not around he can cut through thick branches with his rusty saw like they were butter.  I need the garden; it breaks my heart to see it being destroyed. I went for a long walk, but it did no good; when I got home I was still angry.  We exchanged words.

Before I went to bed, he came out of his bedroom in his pajamas, accompanied by his trusty flashlight, to tell me that our Hispanic neighbors were outside singing Christmas carols in German again.

This afternoon I spoke with our neighbor, and she told me that she saw my father cutting the tree, and she thought that something wasn’t right.  She stopped and asked him what he was doing.

“Cutting a tree,” he said.
“I can see that,” she responded, “but why?”
“Because I’m bored.”

Last year I took a photo of an impressive cactus blossom that I featured in my poem “Jasmine Tempered with Cucumber”.  On the same day that he cut off the big branch, my father slashed the upper half of that cactus to bits.

Parts of me are gone

Cut and sawn and slashed and trashed:

Gone with the garden

My mother confided that my father had told her that he’d seen devil worshippers singing with our neighbors last night.

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Roland Petrov -> Jottify
Image ~ KhalllodY

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November Sunshine

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bf28a932db0197b43e0d0690a82a032c-d7j7bsl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


rain falls down

a sad goodbye sound
i’m lying on your bed
in the quiet now
in thread of silence, goodbye unsaid
black and white the past
heavy in my head
little brother spins his top
in raindrops by the door
sister counts her days of grief
with marbles in a jar
rocking chair blue
mama’s in another world
and it’s raining on the preacher man
he’s down on the floor praying
dripping on his face the sky falls down
but there’s no grace in this place
and his faith won’t drown
he thinks i’m worth saving
beneath a sky that just caved in
god is it ever gonna stop raining
no november sunshine, no butterfly high
just broken dreams, broken door, broken sky
butterfly don’t you wanna fly
butterfly don’t you wanna fly
now snow’s stealing in my window like a thief
when all i wanna do is sleep away my grief
in your snow covered bed three blankets deep
but if i close just close my eyes
i can still hear mama cry
butterfly don’t you wanna fly
butterfly don’t you wanna fly

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Vanessa Peterson -> vanesadawnpoetry.blogspot.co.uk/Twitter
Image ~ vanillapearl

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Beautiful Remains

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after_the_storm_by_eugeniea-d6lxxcz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

when storms hit
the petals get wet
and the flower takes
a severe punishment
… but look,
see how it stands
see how it shakes them off
see how it’s still so beautiful…
so cry my love,
cry as you may
cry as you need to
cry as you have to
let storms roll through,
you too shall stand
and shake them off,
so beautiful… still

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Michael A Petrow -> mapetrow-from-allofit.tumblr.com
Image ~ EugenieA
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Just Write Dear Heart

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Pen____by_minm01

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Pen to hand,
Pen to paper,
Breathe,
Trust me,
Write to me,
Tell me,
What soothes or disturbs the soul,
Tell me anything or nothing at all,
I pick up the pen,
And the trembling from my hand,
Can’t stand,
The tip of this ball point pen.
Hands shaking terribly,
Liking unto a junkie,
In desperate need of a fix,
Who has paced here and there,
But still can’t find it,
And I needed to write,
My mind won’t cease to draw images,
Drawing conclusions to scenarios,
In the treasure chest,
Of my cast away.
The weight to write laid upon me,
Like a blanket of drenching desire,
Wrapped in anguish,
And passion to expel,
Exhale,
All the happiness or hell,
I’ve been through,
Exhale, laughter, Joy, Love, Life,
For fear of what is inside of me,
Will spill out all over these pages,
Hold it in, or let it go,
Cartharis of grey cumulus clouds,
Of the soul,
Are broken through by,
Constant pen loops,
Is what I tell myself,
Pen to hand,
Pen to paper,
Breathe,
Trust me,
Write to me,
Tell me,
What soothes or disrupts the soul,
Tell me anything or nothing at all,
Just write,
Dear Heart,
Just write.

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Alisha Williams -> poemotherapishoppe.com/Twitter
Image ~ minm01

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The House With Persimmon Trees

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persimmon_tree_by_abyss1956-d7bx9wv

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I close my eyes and soon
I have travelled back
to my childhood home.
The view from my room:
Two persimmon trees
that each fall would bloom
housing the birds and bees.
A glimpse of the street
on a silent snowy night
when I as a child
hourly checked the height
of the snow so deep
and saw the little flakes
visible underneath
the streetlamp’s fading light.
A girly diary by
the pink princess bed,
in which on the sly
I would at midnight
scribble the thoughts my head
found it hard to hide.
All my precious toys
loved by girls and boys
Barbies, cars, Legos
Neatly sat in rows,
where at night I thought
would secretly come to life
to protect me from ghosts.
A chip on the window seal
allowed me to peek
when I not so tall
eagerly hoped to see
the stray cat’s longing eyes
looking up at me
in time for every meal.
A dining room adorned
with mirrors on the walls
and Persian rugs galore,
each fortnight came to life
with music so loud
and feet from dancing sore,
which only came to stop
as the clatter of knives
told of a feast in store.
The clank of the gate,
which would indicate
Dad was back from work
as the dog would run
clumsily down the stairs
wagging her shabby tail
with a love only topped
by the joy I’d feel
when I heard his key
unlock the garden chain.
Though that house is gone
and one with the ground,
the memories I’ll keep
and when solace I seek
in thoughts I visit
that house by the street
with two persimmon trees.

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Lilika -> Jottify/Twitter/lilika49.wordpress.com
Image ~ abyss1956

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Loves

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milkywayb_by_framedbynature-d6h3zkt

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I am holding together
until I see their faces
we soak our shoulders in tears
for you
I see you everywhere
your smile dances in the clouds
above the stars
in my ears
I miss you
so much
and so does the world

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lilrowboat -> lilrowboat.tumblr.com
Image ~ FramedByNature
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Real

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077-fine-art-nude

 

 

 

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Peeling back the layers,
Everyone gasped in shock.
This is not what they expected to see.
Well, this is me,
And I finally like walking bare.

 

 

 

 

Marnie -> creativemum42.wordpress.com
Image ~ Willyam Bradberry

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Crow Catcher

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limited_edition_crow_feathers_by_kdeuce_by_design_by_humans-d6o4vd3

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Infestation is an unusual word to be used in connection with birds.  Unusual, yes, yet most definitely the word to be used when the involvement of Taras Morovic was required.  A more general and accepted usage of the word would be in relation to animals more often considered to be pests, animals such as cockroaches, wasps, locusts or rats, but on this particular occasion the word ‘infestation’ most definitely referred to birds.  This was not just a random collection of birds either, nor was it an over-inflated influx of migratory animals which had discovered it to be lost and was taking stock of its surroundings and therefore its options before moving on.  No this was an infestation of a more serious, permanent and menacing variety, for, over the course of many preceding months, months which themselves may have swollen into years, the village had, without notification or warning, become overrun by crows.  Even the crows that now filled the skies and lined the streets did not appear to conform to the expected dimensions of their breed: they were larger, blacker, bore more sturdy grey beaks and brandished more ferocious and deadly talons than any crows that any human could recall.
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No one who resided in the village could accurately put a time scale as to when the birds had begun to appear.  Some argued that the birds had steadily been building in numbers over the course of many years; others protested that they had all appeared at the same moment, flooding the sky like a thunder storm.  What everyone did agree upon, however, was that one day it was a lonely murder that sat atop a tree adjacent to the road which led people to and from their houses, and then the next the flock had swollen to proportions that were barely conceivable, let alone numberable.  At first, although somewhat perplexed, the majority of the villagers accepted the situation, after all the birds seemed content to live off carrion and scraps, and, apart from the occasional cawing in-fights, caused no-one any undue alarm.  Things, however, had rapidly begun to change.  People had started to notice that the crows had become bolder and more invasive in their behaviour.  Now they no longer seemed content to live off the scraps and hand outs from their human neighbours – now they had taken to flying, at first individually, and later in twos and threes, directly into houses and shops.  Here they casually and confidently took what ever they felt that they wanted or needed, regardless of any human intervention.  Once again many of the villagers, at least at first, thought this behaviour charming if, at times, a little intimidating, but when the novelty began to wear off they found it impossible to deter the birds.  In fact the crows now deemed it their right to take what ever they wanted and at a time which suited them and their attitude shifted from one of confidence to one of pure aggression.  Within days reports from across the village of vicious bird attacks began to circulate: people had received cuts and scratches, bruises and lacerations which had reached the bone. Everyone spoke with one voice – the time for action had come.
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By the end of the week the village leaders had gathered themselves together and formulated their plan of action.  Every form of discouragement from scarecrows to rattling tin, from cats to guns had been tried, and all to no avail.  There were no further options open to them: the message was sent out, and the mysterious Taras was summoned.
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Taras Morovic was by no means a large figure.  His small, squat frame, almost cunningly designed to disguise his strength, gave him the look of a strangely deformed and stunted man. His head was somewhat square, surmounted by a thick, unkempt shock of black hair, loose curled and dense.  Barely visible beneath its cover his eyes were deep-set, intense and dark; his mouth, small and thin.  No-one who had ever met him could remember his smile.  Taras spoke rarely, and when he did he kept his words brief, succinct and to the point – he was not a man to waste his breath unnecessarily.  The one and only thing that he liked, it seemed, was his work, and at this he was expert.  No infestation had ever managed to defeat the skills that Taras Morovic possessed and the crows he now faced would prove no exception.
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When Taras arrived in the village he was greeted with both warmth and courtesy.  Many of the villagers lined the streets which led to the centre of the village and the Council Hall.  Some villagers shouted their welcome whilst others displayed a more restrained reverence – but the stranger in their midst was ambivalent to everything around him.  Behind closed doors discussions were held between concerned and worried villagers as to whether or not this odd character who had descended upon them was up to the job, and whether or not they would be freed from the plague that blighted them.  As the villager elders stepped out of their hall the crowd hushed in excited anticipation.  Without a word they led Taras through the open doors.  Once inside the councillors talked, outlining their requirements and expectations.  Taras listened attentively, occasionally scribbling something into the small, black notebook which was his constant companion.  Only when they had completely finished did he speak. He told them of his fee, and, without hesitation, the councillors agreed.  Money exchanged hands, and the deal was done.  Taras stipulated only one more thing and that was that the streets of the village be empty by midnight.  The councillors acceded to such a simple request.
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Had anyone been watching as the hands of the town clock swept past twelve they would have seen a small, squat figure, clad entirely in a black hooded cloak drift soundlessly through the streets.  They would have seen the figure’s arms make gentle, undulating motions as he passed each house, and the most sensitive of ears might just have heard the strange mutterings that he made.  Had anyone been watching they would have caught the last glimpse of the strange, ethereal figure as it floated out of the village and away from their lives forever.  But, of course, no-one was.
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Nobody knew exactly how it had happened, what weird and mysterious events had unfolded during the course of the night, but, as one by one they awoke, each person in the village became aware of the change that had taken place.  The crows had gone, most certainly, disappearing as dramatically as they had once arrived.  The only sign that they had ever dominated the village lay in the nests, already, it appeared, crumbling in the tops of the trees which surrounded the village.  No-one understood what had happened, and no-one asked for explanation – they were merely content in the fact that their problems had vanished.  As the days became clearer people started to wonder what kind of magic or slaughter had taken place – but the man who had come and gone within a day had left no trace of his presence, and not even a feather remained of the crows.  As days passed into weeks and weeks into months all talk of the crows and mystery faded, vanishing into the sky as once their troubles had.  The village returned to a life which it once had known as if nothing had ever changed.
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Deep in the forest, hidden from even the most curious and perceptive of eyes, Taras Morovic sat, rocking rhythmically backwards and forwards in his chair.  He sat outside his compact, wooden cottage, which itself was nestled in the safety of a well guarded clearing, eyes closed, lost in thought.  Around him a large number of enormous black birds pecked calmly at the many carcasses which lay on the ground.  Occasionally they would stop, raise their heads, and talk to one another, their language strange and unfathomable, but soft and succinct.  Taras opened his eyes and surveyed his kingdom: the trees were lined with paper-like nests, filled the harmonious hum of a million wasps; around their trunks countless cockroaches rummaged, re-organising the undergrowth like a well rehearsed army.  In the bushes a large colony of rats worked tirelessly, designing and redesigning their living quarters, searching for perfection.  In which ever direction Taras looked his eyes were met with the rewards of his labours; in every direction he saw harmony.  He closed his eyes once more, and pondered his next collection.
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Chris Nelson -> chrisnelson61.wordpress.com
Image ~ Design-By-Humans

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Phoebe and Me

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kitten_by_esplosione_creativa-d68s8o0

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As you nestle cosily,
your contented purr
a soothing massage on my lap,
I recall the day I brought you home.
I had driven, over the limit,
to see a friend after her desperate
call for help; we were two of a kind,
lost in a foreign hostile land
of drunken despair.
I found her lying on a bed
surrounded by a swarm of
furry squeaking babies
like confused bees
who had lost their map.
You stumbled over to me at the
edge of the bed, so small and vulnerable,
eyes like tiny fallen stars
as though pleading
but you didn’t know why.
I held you in one cupped hand,
stroked your innocent head with the other
and in a dolorous drunken daze
I fell in love.
Twelve years of contented sobriety later,
I am still in love with you.
My friend died.

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Christine -> journeyintopoetry.com/Amazon
Image ~ Esplosione-Creativa

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Poem-less!

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keys_to_life_by_raines951-d4qq3c0

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Would it be terrible
if I did not write
a poem on this dark
and rainy night?
Tired, very tired,
and the my feeling is that
naught good will
be done in such a state,
but even so the words
do appear to appear
to be flowing
even arriving on
the screen in the shape
and form of a poem.
Perhaps it is the house hunting
the busy day at work,
or even the fact that
I have listened to
no music tonight,
but there it is:
Tonight is poem-less!

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Charles -> charles1958.wordpress.com
Image ~ Raines951

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Shedding Innocence

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A_Muted_Breeze_by_Jay_Cougar_Prints

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The trees are dying
she cries
scampering through
the shadowed wood
sun scraping
outstretched limbs
leaves fluttering
innocently
to a crisp carpet
The trees are dying
she cries
catching leaves
of liquid gold
in the day’s last light
and I watch her cry
for the lost season
in shadowed pools
of autumn’s demise
The trees aren’t dying
I tell her
just preparing to sleep
through the winter long
to wake
greenly anew
come Spring’s gentle kiss
The leaves are dying
I tell her
shedding old
to make new
I tuck her small hand
in mine
crossing the tender dark
small steps matching mine
ghost whispers
in our wake

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Kim Talon -> talonted.blogspot.co.uk/Twitter
Image ~ McKenzie-James

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Hard Flowers

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15738759045_c33bff689c_b

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Hard flowers try to bloom and grow
(but cannot tell what soft ones know
of how to live and how to die)
plugged in a tower’s moat gone dry,
a pretentious, gaudy memento.
The tourists come, the tourists go
to see the pottery poppy show.
What causes them to want to buy
hard flowers?
Because they’re cooked-up in a studio?
And virtuous? (The quid pro quo
will go to charity). But who can justify,
however sentimental, hope to pacify
a bloody horrible hard woe
with hard flowers?

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(On Viewing Ceramic Poppies to Commemorate World War I, for sale, at the Tower of London)

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Cynthia Jobin -> littleoldladywho.net
Image ~
xxKnuckles

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Image02302-07“Thank you so much to all the writers who contributed their amazing work to make this first issue such a good read.  And also special thanks to Susan Licht for allowing me to use her stunning photography for the front cover.  The second issue of The Writing Garden will be published in early March.”

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If you would like to have your poetry, short story, or essay considered for future issues please see Submissions.

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11 comments on “The Writing Garden ~ Issue One

    • Hello Brenda, so lovely to see you here and thanks for following!! 😀 I hope you do enjoy it whenever you’re in mood to read. Next one is not until March, so lots of time to view it all. Have been so tied up arranging writing for the next issue I’m now behind on friends blogs, I’m on my way through the list and will be making my way to you as as I can – see you soon! 🙂 xx

    • Oh yes, it does take a while to get through all of these, they’re all worthy of a second read!! Thank you very much for compliment Geo, encouraging to hear you approve, thanks for dropping by with your support! 🙂

  1. Hi Suzy, thanks for including me in this wonderful new magazine, the the lay out and standard are very good indeed, already looking forward to the next issue, and I will submit some poems, unless you would like to choose another, as you did for this issue. I have not read it all yet, but it is my weekend off, so you can guess what i will be doing! This was a great start for the year, and I hope it will carry on being really good for you. Best wishes and blessings, Charles.

    • Thank you so much Charles, and you’re very welcome on that brilliant poem – I’ve had those poem-less nights too, I’m sure many will relate to that! 😀

      In regard to submitting – you don’t really need to Charles, because I already know of your website, that suggestion was really for writers I’m not aware of. But I will definitely get back to you at some point for the possibility of publishing more of your work as I intend to with other writers too. It may be a while though, as I want to have a good variety of writers throughout the year.

      I hope you enjoy the rest of the magazine, when you have some time (next issue won’t be out until March so lots of time to get through it all!) And the best wishes to you Charles for the New Year! 🙂

      • I have also shared the mag on Facebook, G+ and pinster, to get the mag out to still more people. The narration of The Profit over the string quartet was great, it seemed far better than the one narrate by actor Richard Harris, that came out in the early ’70’s, just before his huge hit with MacArthur park, I tried to find a way to like or leave a comment about this and the next poem, but could not seem to do it on either. You must have taken hours looking for all this material and getting it into this format, well done and thanks, best wishes and blessings, Charles. 🙂

        • Thank you very much Charles for helping to spread the word! 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Facebook or Twitter shares and likes. I’m quite shocked and also thrilled at the excitement this little website has created, I really wasn’t expecting all of that!

          I know of Richard Harris very well but have not heard of him reading The Prophet, I shall have to research that, might be interesting to see it.

          You can’t leave individual comments and likes on the posts as they are all part of one post. The bold red headings are links to where the piece can be found elsewhere. Pity about that, but I can’t do it any other way.

          Oh yes, probably too many hours, although all done a little bit at a time – it comes together in the end! 🙂

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