The Writing Garden ~ Issue Four


Cover Image: Good Morning Heartache
Theodore Lewis/Pixels.com

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->Carol Ann Duffy  ->The Poetry Archive
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‘Warming Her Pearlsdirect link -> Audioboom

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And You Lay There

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Beautiful night

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And the evening breeze come
and it goes
the moon crosses the sky
with the stars and you lie there
and watch
through the window
Sleep never even touches
your eyes
and you lie awake
staring
gazing up into the dark sky
you contemplate
about things uncertain
questions and excuses running like rats
In the attic
In your head
You’re awake
among every creature of the night..
and they whisper to you
and you hear them laughing
Giggling as if they know
your not going to do
anything about it
and you lie still…
and let the moon
disappear
…with your dreams

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Tedibear1 -> tedibear1.tumblr.com

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Writing Pain

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if_not_you__who__by_kimded-d648kuo

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Many of the most beautiful things ever written had to to pass through pain.
Pain was like a filter for the writers.

A bittersweet companion to them.

A solitary thorny buoy which kept them afloat amidst an ocean of words.

Oftentimes authors had to squiggle in and out of it, just like a crazy driver might zig zag through a highway full of dead animals’ carcasses.

But little by little that pain became words. It became prose. It became poetry.

And although in some cases that pain almost killed the writer, reducing him to something of a wretched being, those pain filtered words filled the people with some of the most blissful feelings ever experienced.

A new breed of sensations felt through written words begotten by human beings in pain.

And this is how some of the most beautiful things were written.

Because…many of the most beautiful things ever written had to pass through pain.

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SANFORD79 (aka Daniel Latteo) -> Readwave/YouTube/LinkedIn
Image ~ kimded

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Relative Realities

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snowflake_by_chaoticmind75-d5nmn31

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A single snowflake,
two days before May,
whisked through the air
and disappeared.
On a quantum level, I thought,
It must be snowing elsewhere
in the multiverse.
This solitary frozen blink
slipped through
a split-second portal,
interdimensionally transported
to float itself undone.
As such,
The how’s and why’s
don’t matter much.
Its life and death
were witnessed here.
Magically surreal,
yet it made me feel
graciously alive
and wistfully…
real?

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Lindy Mailen -> eight01.wordpress.com/Twitter1/Twitter2
Image ~ ChaoticMind75

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SoundCloud Track
Madam Life’s A Piece In Bloom -> William Ernest Henley

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Shadows, Dust, Cats & Accordion Necks

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a0748987eddb116667881aff67335487

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I’m looking out my third-story window and there is a tree that I’ve seen a thousand times before but for some reason today it is beautiful.  Actually, the tree itself isn’t beautiful but the shadow it casts on the snow is beautiful.  The tree has no leaves and is actually quite ordinary.  The shadow is purple and all stretched out against a perfectly white background is wonderful and I wonder why I’ve suddenly stumbled upon this scene and appreciated it when it’s no doubt been there most of the winter.
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I could say that it has to do with the angle the sun is hitting the tree or the cloudless sky but the truth is I just never invested any energy into seeing beauty in it.
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I’d like to illustrate my point with a visual.
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Imagine for a minute that people had accordions where their necks are.  Now imagine how annoying it must be to be in a crowded car traveling along a bumpy road if everyone has accordions for necks.  Don’t stop at reading this, picture it in your head.  Imagine the noise of five heads bobbing up and down slightly as you travel over each bump in the road.  The noise it makes.
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People just don’t work hard enough to find whimsy in their lives.
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You will bust your ass to catch a plane or pay a bill but you won’t take ten seconds to picture something that might make you laugh.
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Now take another ten seconds and imagine how well weighted hats would sell in a universe where people had accordions for necks.
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I know, I know, the new job’s a hassle and the kids have the flu but don’t you owe it to yourself to take a little mental vacation?
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Would people just get used to the sound of heads going up and down as they walk and run and dance or would it drive everybody mad?  Would the world be filled with insane people jumping up and down for the sole purpose of making their accordion necks make noise?
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The deaf would be envied.
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Is that what you’re saying to yourself every time you miss the chance to feel whimsy?  That the days aren’t really passing and you can get them back and you’ll always have time later on to appreciate a witty observation.  That there won’t come a day when party time and potty time will elicit the same enthusiasm.
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Bullshit.
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Happiness takes effort.  I’m not talking about making money or repairing a relationship, I mean taking a breath and selfishly allowing yourself to keep your mental faculties sharp.  Are you even capable of appreciating beauty anymore?  Not nodding your head in time with the rest of the sheep at some painting but grabbing a poignant moment in your own life and drinking it and swishing it around your mouth and swallowing.  Laying in a tub of it.  When is the last time you laughed until you snorted or made some other obnoxious sound?
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Go to any comedy club and you will literally see people trying not to laugh.  They paid money to watch a comedian and yet there they sit trying not to laugh.  Are they afraid that if they laugh they will set off their accordion neck and everyone will turn to see what the ruckus is about?  Do they worry that laughing will leave lines around their mouth like an embarrassing stain on their shirt?
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So for the love of all that is holy take a full minute to imagine being in a car with people who have accordions for necks.  Follow that train of thought to all the silly places it leads.  Fight for the brief flicker of joy it will elicit when you think of something that only you could have come up with.  You owe it to yourself.
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Really.
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I’m just the tree.  Your imagination is the shadow … and it’s been sure nice
talking to you.

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Lance Manion -> Readwave
Image ~ Amanda Oerlemans Gonzalez

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Church

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5be49d29aa01d7c1d3e4c8ad870de34e-d4ooqjj

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I smelled spearmint again today
I got lost in my mind waves
It was Saturday night way back when
Outside sat the old burgundy Lincoln
You dragged me from the house glaring
Kimmy giggled in the backseat
Mrs.Robinson played on the radio
The journey for church boring
We arrive half an hour early
I pouted and rolled my eyes round and
round,
You pulled spearmint gum from each
pocket,
You would blow silent bubbles winking
We would mock the preacher grinning
I love the scent of spearmint coating the
air,
It reminds me of you
It reminds me of who I once was

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Ashley Salazar -> WattPad
Imagezhuzhu

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Do I Inspire

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as_words_take_flight_by_thefoxandtheraven-d7lfrm2

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As I invade this sheet with ink full ball point pen
Setting these lines on fire as I scribble flames
Read and witness these words fly off the page like birds
Only to be captured by your imagination
Your thoughts generate opinions called perceptions
Your mind brings to cognition prior experiences
And those contemplated reactions you laid back
The emotions you expressed when you felt likewise
Have lightened up your mood and you’re fulfilled like a circle
To be happy in a circle, just be in the centre
Satisfaction has many positions like Karma Sutra
As for these compositions I upload onto the cyber
Which are the inspiration you download as the surfer
I’m blogging my mind away into the cyberspace
Globe-trotting precariously on this World Wide Web
There’s no post a search engine wouldn’t find
Drink deep from this on-line well of wisdom
Raw and uncensored, I scribe with freedom
I express, impress and distress angels and demons
It’s the art of painting pictures with words
I don’t live by the book, I write my own books
Be inspired by this poet and others
Change your dress-code according to the weather
And appreciate Da-Valz-Code like Sandra

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DaValz Code -> valzcognition.wordpress.com/Twitter
Image ~ TheFoxAndTheRaven

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Epiphany

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in_the_spotlight_by_noize_b

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Some epiphanies take a lifetime to form
Moving slowly, but inextricably from darkness
Through shades of grey, to full-blown sun
While others take you unawares like a sudden
Spotlight you find yourself standing in
Where all that was once hidden by shadows
Is revealed with an unassailable clarity
Embrace enlightenment, allow your soul
To ascend to a higher plane

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Paris -> parispoems.wordpress.com
ImageNoiZe-B

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The Never-Ending Journey

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if_i_by_in_ink

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I have come to understand that writing is a journey . . . I have even begun to wonder if there ever is a destination.  I know the destination I am trying to reach – a completed book.  And yet, there are days when this epic journey of fictional writing feels out of reach.  It is as if my fingers are grasping and reaching toward something only my heart can see.
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I am a fledging novelist – a seeker, learner, novice, and apprentice in the craft of writing.  These thoughts overwhelm me and I want to give up (and sometimes I do).  In fact, I went a month without writing so much as a word. Then, I began to miss my Miranda and her story.  However, I still could not write, because there was the danger of letting my character (the one I created) down.  I desire to give Miranda only my very best writing and there are times when this feels like a challenge and other times it feels like a burden.  A burden this novice was not sure she could carry . . . and then doubt began to set in.
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What am I doing?  Am I crazy?  Is my writing ‘good’?  What makes me think I can succeed where so many others have failed?  I began to think that I was just a silly dreamer, one of the many people who would have to hang their head and say in a low voice, “No, I never finished my book.”  These thoughts began to torment me and I began to understand why Hemmingway became depressed and drank so much – anything to numb the searing pain of self-doubt.
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And then, it happened . . . someone I love more than my own life said, “Write, because you love to write.  Make the love of writing your only motivation – forget all other goals.  Just write.”  So, here I am today – writing just because I love it.  I will not be an expert today or even tomorrow, but this fledgling writer will again take on the never-ending journey of finishing my novel.  Perhaps, I will reach my destination of a completed book . . .

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Lisa Korthals -> lisakorthalsblog.com
Image ~ In-Ink

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What are you looking at?

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our_true_selves_by_shveal-d751nen

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The truth of me is not beautiful at all
It’s the story of so much blood, tears and mud
Seeping into crevices, drying out and cracking
Under a relentless radiant gaze
Rendering my skin transparent to the sun.
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Look! You won’t find anything inside
It’s all out here in front of me. All of it.
The debris of inspecting and judging
And downcast eyes while turning away.
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I’m too modest and too proud
For the mechanics and toil of beauty
Too tired of endless repetition
Stripping down to perfection
Carving and threshing and tweaking
Until we’re all wearing the same face
And my eyes have turned opaque.
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Once I saw a young boy dance his vision.
Another time, you and I sat for hours together
Contemplating unity and the nature of water.
In that moment your life took form
As the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
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Against a decoupage landscape of highlights and spotlights
Permanent looks of mild surprise and unfathomable ideals
Candid poses and so much inhumanly-toned skin;
Those magazine-TV-advertising-marketing
Members of the Brotherhood-of-Lies
Have arrived at an entirely different truth than mine.
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Robyn -> jamborobyn.wordpress.com
Image ~ shveal

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You Wouldn’t Like Her House Much

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situazione_disordinaria_by_amblu

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You wouldn’t like her house much
I spent a year there one day
not a thing out of place in the living room
every candle and knick-knack and magazine
perfectly placed on the coffee table
a kitchen that looked unused
and bathrooms so bright
my eyes started to water
then she asked me to sit down
on a couch that felt so new
I expected the salesman to appear
and tell us it’s marked down this month
I kept looking around
trying to find the soul of this house
but it seemed I was too late
and only here to visit its remains
already missing my cluttered rooms
with their piles of books and end tables
dripping with pens and notebooks
the kitchen counter with its surface crack
I keep meaning to replace
but then I always wonder
what I’d be taking away
by steaming out the wrinkles
I’ve spent years creating
until each room fits me like a favorite shoe
a chapel devoted to the way my head worships
little things out of place and slightly askew
a place no magazine would ever wish to feature
but that I sit down in on my dent in the couch
and gladly most fondly call home
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thissometimepoet -> thissometimepoet.tumblr.com
Image ~ amblu

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SoundCloud Track

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For The Love Of Sand

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tumblr_myzejpKFDa1shsw6uo1_500

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your laughter is the cradle of my africa
it flows like a river of sand from the dunes at sea
smooth and very dry and leads to my joy, from you,
makes my throat laugh back at you, perchance cry for you
your voice a colourful sun-sash
dipped in romantic tongue,
wide ribbons loyally tied, royally adorn my day.
chords form sounds i know –
i finger them like beads of many
and they belong to me,
that and the sounds of the hills that
fill up my ears at sunset when you are far away.
i hear the love when your tongue turns loose;
from what you say i know your thoughts, they
circle through the workings of my mind.
your talk is a colour i love, its hue is cream and rust
and desert sand, falls on my virgin eardrums
and its sound slips notes that want to linger with me into the night
to stay till sunrise.
it is what i have
and belongs with me
it is mine.
like you.
your love is a traveller
meets my love halfway up the dry
and red-brown copses
or down in the middle of a breaking wave beside the dunes.
your words are square like a good box,
they slide over my jewels and keep watch over my precious.
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i wear them like a dress. like a thong they slip between my lips

and stay there like an eye under its lid a blink away and saline safe.
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your touch is a breeze stirring my leaves,

moving my branches,
loving the blossoms you make to bloom.
i think of your voice while you are gone.
it is a wrap i weave from memory and sand
it lays lightly on my feet
and when you are gone
i cover my lonely thoughts gently with your warmth
and wait.
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seasofme -> Wattpad

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Does Being A Night Owl Make You More Creative?

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night_owl_by_delun-d4hxz5t

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I have never been a morning person; the harrowing sunlight, the distant sound of traffic (be that of the human or vehicular varieties), the groggy stretching of limbs longing for their next opportunity to return to a prostrate pose.  It is simply not for me.  The night, however, well the night is for me a prime opportunity for creativity, facilitating my mind to wander in a manner with which the day is unaccustomed.  While I have tried time and again to write, to read, to blog soon after my feet have left the mattress and fallen to their carpeted surrounding, it is unceasingly to no avail.
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I am inclined to believe that I am here in good company in professing such a nocturnal affinity, a taste for the night.  Or, perhaps more accurately, the period before one’s weary head is laid at last to its ephemeral rest.
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So, why for so many of us is the night such a peculiarly creative period?
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Neuroscience (a layman’s walkthrough):  It begins with your Circadian Rhythm: your biological behaviour, coordinated around a cyclical process responsive to your environmental conditions.  The predominant schema being working in the day, sleeping by the night, this is typically a 24 hour rotation of day-night, light-dark, wherein your body clock regulates when you are most attentive and alert, and when the waking day ought to culminate.  This varies between individuals (night workers, kindly adjust accordingly), but generally melatonin is secreted in the evening to facilitate a good night’s rest.
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As you grow tired (as your biochemical clock nears bedtime and that caffeine rush is fading quickly) certain neurochemicals are released, blocking your dopamine receptors.  Now, your frontal cortex – the area of the brain principally responsible for handling and transmitting information represented to you – is the primary dopamine processor, hence this decreased input results in it all but closing down for the day.  With the section of the brain which, roughly, acts as a filing cabinet for the world predominantly out of business, you are less attentive to details and filter out less information.
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What does that mean?  That means you become less meticulous and fastidious.  It means your susceptibility to distractions increases (evening readers: I imagine this isn’t your only tab open?), and the upshot of largely unanalysed and unfiltered distractions is that you receive snapshots of information.  Exactly what you need for creativity.  Small, nebulous ideas acting as building blocks for complex creations.
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Psychology: Creative and intellectual persons are often more sorrowful, and I am hardly alone in saying the night can herald a reflective melancholy.  Darwin, Mill, and Woolf all suffered depressive bouts, and they were also all innovative thinkers.  A recent study of over a million subjects at the Karolinska Institute found that writers are almost twice as likely as the general population to commit suicide, while also harbouring a higher probability for experiencing mood disorders.
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See, creative people generally ruminate more intensely than others, reflecting on past experiences, while appreciating the world’s ambiguity.  The problem is experiences of pain often entrench themselves on the memory deeper than fleeting joy (it’s easier to remember those you miss than a happy summer’s afternoon)  The melancholy is the price you pay for your contemplative activities.
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Importantly, emotional anguish does not necessarily make you creative – rather, being creative (i.e. reflective) renders you more susceptible to emotional anguish.  That said, emotional anguish commonly derives from nightly downbeat meditation, hence your nocturnal lamentations may prove the seeds of greatness.
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Cultural: Long has the night had connotations of debauchery and iniquity; just the thing for waking your inner demiurge.  When do crime rates peak?  When are the majority of unsavoury substances consumed?  When does that monster under your bed come out to play?
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The significance of this is that it inspires both fear and excitement.  Fear of what could be outside your window, and excitement for the same – after all, most of us have experienced a ‘creative flourish’ post horror movie – such that fear and excitement evidently rouse the imagination.
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The night also generally brings with it a world at rest – living in cities, I cannot say I have fully experienced this, though there is a marked difference.  The nighttime silence is a time for relaxation and relief from your daily occupations.  A time to think, and therefore fertile ground for the innovative mind or a good book.
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So, there you have it, my fellow night owls:  some reasons for your nocturnal creativity.  Now, I may need to check my door’s definitely locked…
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Tom Payne -> Readwave
Image ~ Delun

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SoundCloud Track

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Don’t Think I Could Put My Tongue On It

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grapevine_leaves_by_bridesign

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don’t think i could put my tongue on it
not even in the taste of a new year
still new to me, still in the fresh petals
freshly unfolded, but displaced and the sun
is golder the older it gets, glistening
through the leaves that listen for a song
that they’ll only hear when they come to fall.
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sweet summertime will taste of salt

sea froth and look like blossoming coasts
above blue water, washing green on marble
youth eternal in spirit; could lose track of time
could cross paths from time to time, smile
forever while, like psychotropic island
where the birds are blue and i’m thinking of you —
just like a dream in the golden gleam.
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RedHare (aka Eleanor) -> Wattpad
Image ~ BrightArrow

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I’ll Wait

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Punk_Love_by_2dforever

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I’ll wait for you forever
till stars forget to shine,
and oceans become puddles,
words no longer rhyme
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Till deserts turn to gardens
where flowers go to bloom,
the grass is red, the skies are green,
the dawn brings out the moon
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Till rain is something very dry
and butterflies drive trucks,
when every pond is chocolate sauce
with candy coated ducks
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Till basements have a penthouse view

with windows three floors high
and stairways are a place to swim
no matter how you fly
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Till mountains are a level path

that you will go to walk
and silence now becomes a way
for every one to talk
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Till everything we’ve ever known

is gone and disappeared
The world does end, there’s nothing more
just like we always feared
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Till broken hearts are happy,

tears a welcome site
Night comes at the break of day
and daytime looks like night
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I’ll wait for you forever

until the end of time
It matters not how long it takes
if I can call you mine
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Chris Green -> Hello Poetry
Image2dforever

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Empty Restaurants

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tumblr_mwqo2wq89V1sj1yofo1_500

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listening to
the ticking
of clocks
in empty restaurants
and thinking of
old lovers
long buried
in memory
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Leonard Durso -> leonarddurso.com/Amazon

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Fisherman

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giphy

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She sits at the scrubbed table,
telling me too much.
I think,
she’s a seashell –
but it’s just the pearly green
of her scarf.
I think
she’s a ghost –
in three hundred years
when I have gone to dust
she will still be here
telling this story
of how there was love
and how she might lose it,
but it’s only the blue
of the fading light.
I think
she’s an island woman
treading bare boards
of a house by the sea
in a single
red petticoat
speaking a name
over and over
to keep him from drowning
in the coming storm.
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Marinca -> quaintobsessions.tumblr.com

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Eight-Line Lament

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tumblr_n4hgo8lbJv1tsao3uo1_500

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Come, sit,
Let’s watch the sky swell,
and burst its sac
of ripened stars
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For once upon an August

We lived every night this way
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O, my strange friend!  You friendly stranger…
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How fast you forget.
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Yusra Gulab Jamman -> gulabjammanwrites.wordpress.com

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So good to read such talent!  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading through and listening again to each creative piece in the process of compiling this fourth issue.  Thank you so much for all the creativity!  And also grateful thanks to Theodore Lewis for the stunning cover image.  What a wonderful vintage lady!!  Do check out his website to see more of his impressive photography.
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For anyone who submitted a link to their work last time, please be assured I have noted you all, and will be getting back to those writers as soon as I can – apologies for the delay!
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If you’d like the possibility of your poetry, spoken word, short story or essay included in the next issue published in September, please see Submit A Link.

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27 comments on “The Writing Garden ~ Issue Four

    • It always amazes me how much great talent there is out there, pretty much endless, and a lot of the writing I find far more interesting than I can find in traditionally published books. It would be exciting to see a book available in bookshops with a collection of writers like these. Thanks so much for passing by Melissa! 🙂

  1. From mocking a preacher with spearmint gum, and making noise with your accordion neck, to sitting in an empty restaurant listening to the ticking clock, you’ve presided over an enjoyable read once again, Suzy.

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