The Writing Garden ~ Issue Six


Cover Image ~ Broken Promises
Brian Gaynor ~ Brian Gaynor Photography

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The Place

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What is the form is the gro-
tesquerie – the accident
of the moon’s light
on your face
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Oh love, an empty table!
An empty bottle also.
But no trick will go
so far but not further.
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The end of the year is a div-
ision, a drunken derision
of composition’s accident.
We both fell.
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I fell. You fell.
In hell we will tell of it.
Forms accidents, we move back-
wards to love. . .
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The movement of the
sentence tells me of you
as it was the bottle we drank?
No. It was no accident.
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Agh, form is what happens?
Form is an accompaniment.
I to love, you to love:
syntactic accident.
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It will all come true,
in a year.
The empty bottle, the empty table,
tell where we were.

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Robert Creeley
From: The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1945-1975, Volume 1

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Not One Or The Other
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ying_yang_by_kowelvain-d4so7op

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A love affair
Lives in my heart
I used to hate the battle they fought
Now I understand
That’s how it was meant to be
These two lovers
Have many names
Joy and pain
Good and evil
Sun and rain
It’s not really
A battle
They are equitable lovers
Taking their turn
Never out staying their welcome
I see the beauty of it all now
I appreciate them both
For what they show me
I had to accept them both
So that I could live with harmony
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RaquelL ~ rquideal.tumblr.com
Image ~ kowelvain

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Snow Queen Haibun

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HNCK4153-01

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I walk through my own personal cloud of crystalline breath. The nighttime is silent but for the thuds of snow falling from branches.  The modern world disappears, and even the family van is a slumbering dragon.  I pace the silent woods, twilight falling to full dark quickly.
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ice chokes the pond
water reflects the dark sky
even my breath stills
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I return to a long-ago winter.  Lacy snowflakes fall all night.  School is cancelled.  Frost stars seal the window glass.  I don three layers of clothes before pushing through drifts over my head.  I forge new pathways.  I enter an icy, secret world with caves, trolls, mountains and a snow queen.
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hiding from monsters
across alien frozen worlds
in the quiet, is me
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Brenda Davis Harsham ~ friendlyfairytales.com
ImageViktor Hanacek (picjumbo)

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Sprits

 

Suzanne Conboy-Hill ~ conboyhillfiction.com

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The Updates Are Being Installed

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hot-coffee-cinemagraph-collection-13

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The updates are being installed
I’m drinking my coffee
The rain is whirling
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The coffee is whirling
The rain is being installed
I’m drinking my updates
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I’m drinking my rain
The updates are whirling
The coffee is being installed
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I install my coffee
I update my rain
I whirl my drink

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shovingwords.wordpress.com
Image ~ annstreetstudio.com

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Foggy Morn

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d8e9141_by_struller-d6q1d7o

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The morning is starting
with a primordial panorama.
Warm fog hangs low,
stuffing the valleys
with cottony pillows.
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Scattered about,
rocky outcrops of the higher peaks,
protrude from under the blanket of vapors,
rendering the likeness of a Jurassic sea,
dotted with barren islands.
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Perched above the scene
on the third highest peak,
from my stone and mortar home,
I sip my coffee while imagining
an assortment of prehistoric creatures
that hide within the etheric white shroud.
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Fog is rare
in this arid climate.
In a short time,
the rising sun
will blow his hot breath
to vanquish these vagabond vapors.
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I will fantasize
about the hidden depths
until the last wisp of it
rises to ride the wind.
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Valormore De Plume ~ WitersCafe
Image ~ MartinAmm

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A Train Of Roses

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image.php
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orange roses
the aisle
full of song
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white roses
the bath
full of reverie
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petals crush
under our weight and i
smell like roses.

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holisticwayfarer.com
Image ~ John G Winner

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Rising Above Resistance
(The Writer Chronicles 3)

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the_writer_by_dosshaus-d64g4y3
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The Writer is down with a headache. Lying in bed, curtains drawn, cold pack on head, she grimaces in pain and frustration.

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It was going so well! A beginning had been made but then ‘Bop!’ went the world. She’d hit her head on the upper fridge door handle and now she had a headache, blurry eyes, stiff and sore neck and a generally painful spine.

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What is this, she wondered, some sort of karmic retribution for reaching for her dreams?  The darkness that comes after the silver lining?  Fate going, “Ha-ha, gotcha”?  Seriously, just when the writing starts, something like this happens. How can one do any worthwhile work in this state? Was this another stop to have to go back to the never-ending series of beginnings?  Was she always to be stuck in this beginning zone?

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It was an unbearable thought.

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Narrowing her eyes, gritting her teeth against the pain, the Writer sat up. ‘This can’t beat me, can’t push me back!’ she muttered.

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‘Can’t beat me, can’t push me…’

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‘Can’t beat, Can’t push!’

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Chanting a sort of mantra she made her groggy, painful way to her desk and sat down to steady her senses.  Sat still for a minute and then powered on her laptop.

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She started by typing out the handwritten scenes from the day before, ignoring her throbbing head, the glaze over her eyes and her complaining spinal column.  She stopped only for a few long breaths and a drink of water.  Soon, as she grew absorbed in her work, the pain and discomfort receded.

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The typing of the chapter was complete.

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The writer rested awhile. In stillness, feeling filled with calmness and even more determination.  Mellow afternoon heat, hinting at summer fullness, washed over her, streaming in from the window framing green and yellow.  She stared out at the richness of the world.  She nodded.

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Words beckoned.  Ideas danced.

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She picked up a pen and began a new chapter.

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Radhika Mukherjee ~ radhikamukherjee.com/Twitter
Image ~ Dosshaus

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Time Enough

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a315dbffc22fabe394b088974d4a276c.jpg

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& suddenly
a sadness consumes the air.

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We meet again
amongst
the blues of a babbling brook
—my hand, held out—
—an attempt to answer—

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our bodies caught
within empty movements.

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You exhale.

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Peter Barnfather ~ thedesertsighs.tumblr.com/Platypus Press/Twitter/Amazon

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Catpig

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catpig0998766

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I drew a cat for him,
at least that’s
what I thought.
He looked at me,
suspicious eyes
full of knowing,
wry smile.
Was I serious?
Yes, I was,
but two year olds
are smart.
That’s not a cat, he said,
it’s a pig.
He belly-laughed,
snuggled his tiny frame
against my eager warmth;
a moment shared,
intimate trust,
contentment.
I’m glad it looked like a pig.

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Chistine Moran ~ journeyintopoetry.wordpress.com

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The Dinosaur And The Butterfly

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The dinosaur watches the butterfly
Wishing he could float
Be lifted into the clouds
Dance in the air
As he breaks a tree
Scratching his ass

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The butterfly sees this
And wishes she were
Strong and powerful
A force to be reckoned with
As the gentlest breeze
Carries her from her home
Into another zip code

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The dinosaur watches
Jealous
At her freedom
Crying a tear
That drowns a vole

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The butterfly
Sees the tear fall
Seeing beauty in the brute

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The vole sputters and coughs
Glad to be alive
As it scampers away
Only to be crushed
As the dinosaur sits

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Their eyes meet
The dinosaur and butterfly
Locked in a moment
So brief
So still
And they wish…
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 alifeacoustic ~ (aka Lorry Mcgeown) ~ WritersCafe

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Lazy Love

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love___by_khomenko-d2croxh

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Sun sprinkles
drenching our skin
dripping on our souls
quenching our thirst
with golden hues and splashes of greens
we hide from the tempest
inside a fort designed by
our lips and tangled limbs
grabbing at my hip
drawing me close
all the while whispering
with a wolfish smile
I love this storm
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Crystal Overmeyer-Birmingham ~ WritersCafe
Image ~ Khomenko

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The Fire At Heywood House

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This sequence of shadormas is based on the garden at Heywood near the village of Ballinakill in Ireland. The grand house, built in 1773, burned down on January 31, 1950, the feast of educator St John Bosco (whose motto was “Reason, Religion, Kindness”), while it was being operated by the Salesian Order as a school for boys. The original garden, which stretched from the house to the village, was remodeled in 1906 by the famous garden duo of architect Edward Luytens and plant woman Gertrude Jekyll.

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While searching the internet for information about the garden and the fire, I came across a Manchester Evening News article, dated October 11, 2011, about another Heywood House fire, this one a ten room mansion in England with pet victims and the successful resuscitation of a boy of four. I decided to incorporate it into my poem. The village of Ballinakill, it turns out, features a monument to those who lost their lives in the Irish rebellion of 1798 against British rule. Although it was a nonsectarian affair, it seems to me to have been the beginning of what would later be called “the troubles” that continued in Northern Ireland until recently (and could reignite at any time, I suppose).

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Tears are shed.
I grieve for the house;
the garden
grieves with me.
Onto the dormitory beds
burning rafters crashed.
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One hour
later and our grief
would have been
horror news,
the undamaged garden a
schoolboys memorial.
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January,
feast of John Bosco,
firemen
battle flames.
Reason, Religion, Kindness
freeze like icicles.
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Burnt rubble,
the garden unscathed:
stone staircase,
pavilion,
a place of quiet beauty
with reflective pool.
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Breathtaking
delight for the eye,
Jekyll’s style
not hidden.
Sunken garden replanted,
repose for the mind.
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Pleached and plashed
pollarded lime tree
avenue:
aged white trunks,
limestone steps, pillars, and path
dripping wisteria.
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In England,
smoke inhalation,
boy of four,
ambulance.
The Manchester Evening News:
another Heywood.
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Murderer!
Killed in Heywood House:
one puppy,
one budgie,
two dogs, one cat–a boy’s friends
ashes of arson.
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Ireland east.
Back to the garden:
moorhens and
kingfishers;
most exquisite romantic
landscape of the time.
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Surrounding
there’s a high stone wall,
moon windows.
On tiptoe
I see two Irish church spires:
Catholic, Protestant.
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Tears are shed.
I grieve for troubles;
the garden
grieves with me
from where the house used to be
to Ballinakill.
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Roland Petrov ~ Writers Cafe

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My Father Who Art

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66789000

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On a dark and cold November day,
In a city not so far away,
In 1968.

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I stood at the foot of his hospital bed
And said
Nothing.

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He lay there,
Eyes closed,
Grey hands on white bedsheets.

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His throat criss crossed
With brown lines
Like barbecued steak.

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The result of radiotherapy,
A guinea pig,
In a way.

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I could not shed a tear,
I feared
I would never stop.

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I turned and walked away,
I heard he died
Within a day.

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I did not attend his funeral,
My love for him was far too deep
For me to keep control.

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He was kind, and generous of heart,
I could find no reason
For him to leave so soon.

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So, when my judgement day arrives,
And I stand before my maker,
It will be me doing the judging!

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OwainGlynn (aka ~ Glyn Hockey) WattPad/Facebook/Twitter/Windswept

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The River Of Stars

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folded_dreams_by_p0rg

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Nobody understands the things we see in dreams,
or how the silence always wins the war, over
and over again.  Maybe we’re meant to forget the homes
we set sail from; like river gods, continuously carving
new paths through the deserted earth.  There’s always a
new destination.  And there’s always somewhere to arrive.

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Peter Barnfather ~ thedesertsighs.tumblr.com/Platypus Press/Twitter/Amazon
Image ~ P0RG

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Goth

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32fe9716539965.562ad7b936d68

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her lips the color of a bruise
she takes imaginary sky walks
has roadside conversations with
strangers about the things we lock
inside ourselves for too long
like how cemeteries are far more
sad in December and you hold
your breath a little deeper
when you walk by

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but pain is a good thing
she says
reminds you of who you were
who you never want to be
again
and the roses are dying

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she believes in every sky
she’s ever inhaled
every dream she ever dreamed
every prayer she took time to
pray
she’s not running away

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she can tell you
how to end up lonely
but she wouldn’t advise it

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Vanessa Peterson ~ vanesadawnpoetry.blogspot.co.uk/Twitter/G+
Image ~ Daria Khoroshavina
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The Lonely Hours

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20037996008_93abbed196_z

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We have purged wonder, sitting alone with the silent furniture
in our dressing gowns
with our firewalls and collecting of Friends
like gold medallions
crafting big words in a Godless code, but saying nothing
spilling our souls from virtual thrones, but no one’s listening

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There’s a loneliness that beats like a second heart
wireless illusions leave us uninspired, so very tired
at the break of dawn, sleeping with the TV on
playing pretend with our stories
exporting our seeming, deleting our being,
queuing up our sticks and stones to throw

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The doves with tender eyes have gone blind, and
we don’t seem to mind
communion with the stars has gone, and we with
our cyber wiles, our encrypted smiles and faux glories
reveling in this hum on the earth, this
“you show me your ego and I’ll trump yours with mine”

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The trees still know everything, outside our curtained windows
offering up their holy treasures to ears gone deaf
to their lessons…and their hearts must break, as they wait
in every wood, lonely for us listening souls
with our closed off minds, our tightly closed blinds,
our numbing escape from the sacred flow.

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Sherri Brannon ~ softlypiquedlens.blogspot.se
ImageJordan Sanchez (Unsplash)

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“Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekhov

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Can you believe it’s November already?!!

This is the final issue for the year, completing all six of the intended issues for 2015.  January will be the first anniversary of The Writing Garden, it’s lovely to see there’s still so much talent out there to be included and each issue has gained a lot more attention throughout the year than I would have expected for such a new magazine, that’s a great encouragement to keep this project going!

Although I’m a little dismayed to see recently the WordPress share count seems to have erased the evidence of interest in this magazine beyond WordPress with the disappearance of the shares/likes count for Facebook and Twitter on all issues, only Pinterest shares are showing now.  Something dysfunctional going on in WordPress no doubt, it appears to have effected my other websites too.  Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this on their WordPress website recently?  But thanks to those who have clicked those share buttons and spread the word a little further, it means a great deal that readers enjoy viewing this magazine to share it elsewhere.

Thank you very much to Brian Gaynor for the main cover image. His beautiful moody photo/art of the empty table Broken Promises was perfect for the Robert Creeley poem.  You can find him on WordPress creating some fantastic art with his photography and also discover more of his appealing creations for sale on RedBubble too.  Please do check his websites out.

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If you’d like your poetry, spoken word, short story or essay included in the next issue published in January 2016, please see Submissions.

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35 comments on “The Writing Garden ~ Issue Six

  1. belatedly just realised that there is a comments section at the bottom, so better late than never just wanted to say what a great job you done and look forward to more issues soon. Just going to check out issue seven.

    • I really wanted to get that perfect picture of the dinosaur and the butterfly – couldn’t find one!! Glad you like the finished result – thanks so much for your lovely poetry and taking the time to pass by too! 🙂

  2. Dear Suzy, this was a pleasurable read yet again! I especially loved “The Updates Are Being Installed.” That pretty much sums up the life in the age of technology nowadays. Coffee, computer, the rain all gets jumbled together, you don’t know what’s what anymore! And of course “The Lonely Hours” is very revealing about the disconnect of people today with themselves, with one another, with the world. It is truly disheartening.

    • Also, WordPress does get buggy once your site expands. We had similar issues at Luna Luna Magazine, we had no choice but to move with squarespace.

      • Updates Are Being Installed really struck me funny when I first read it! 😀 It sounds like one of my moments when I get so tired, everything merges into a kind of a dream state!

        The Lonely Hours I feel is true of so many. The internet is an exciting and entertaining place, but it does seem to have a habit of taking away large chunks of ‘real’ living, kind of sad, and very difficult to get a balance.

        After three years on WordPress, I’ve discovered it generally gets buggy as and when it likes – so annoying at times. 😦 This theme has a lot of spacing gremlins (adds extra spacing where it’s not wanted.) I recently visited a forum page about the Facebook and Twitter count disappearing, a member of the WordPress staff gave me some links, one of them to Twitter, which shed some light on what was happening. https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/twitter-widget-and-share-counter-dysfunction?replies=5#post-2501220

        It seems Twitter have made some changes and this has resulted in the count no longer being shown. https://blog.twitter.com/2015/hard-decisions-for-a-sustainable-platform In fact, if I use the official share button style neither Twitter or Facebook share button even show. I have now began to notice a few other (non-WordPress) blogs that no longer have the Twitter or Facebook share buttons showing. In some cases the only button showing is G+. I’m guessing Facebook may have followed Twitter in some changes. Seems a bit crazy to me to do that, but it looks like it may be permanent.

        Thank you so much for returning to read another issue Nadia, your kindness, support and enthusiasm for this magazine is greatly appreciated!!♥

  3. An almost perfect collection of poetry! Snow Queen Haibun was particularly lovely, though as a practitioner of the form, I may be a bit biased. Foggy Morn was nostalgic, perhaps because where I live now, fog is very rare indeed. Then there’s Catpig; it’s just so sweet.

    • I like to find the best!! 🙂 Yes, Brenda is a good blog friend of mine on WordPress and she often reminds me of you in the fact that she writes in a lot of poetry styles that you do too. I thought it was really lovely one for winter.

      Foggy Morn struck me as such a stunning scene to look at when you wake in the morning, it didn’t really need a picture, it was beautifully descriptive by itself. I can’t say we get a lot of fog where I am either, it’s a rare event. Maybe it’s because it’s a city. I certainly remember a lot of foggy mornings growing up in the country.

      Catpig will always get me smiling! 😀 It’s told so well, those unforgettable profound and honest statements that little ones boldly say.

      Thank you so much for your poetry for this issue Roland, always a pleasure to share your writing on here, and I appreciate your support! 🙂

    • Very good to hear it creates inspiration, that’s something I was hoping it would be good for, and not just a surface read. The reading of good writing is a must for me, the need to break out of my little writing world and drop into another writers world is essential – thank you so much for your enthusiasm Linda! 🙂

    • Loved your wonderful poem ‘Lonely Hours’ Sherri, such good points you raised and all so elegantly too. Thanks for contacting me here, so pleased to include your thoughtful writing! 🙂

  4. Suzy! What a wonderful issue! So great to see Rising Above Resistance is such amazing company! Thank you so much for including it and for putting together such a great compilation. Sharing this everywhere I can! 😀

    • Oh yes, this magazine has taught me a lot of things about layout and also on how much talent is out there. Finding new famous poets and spoken word has been great fun. I couldn’t possibly share all this on my own blog. It’s lovely to have place to highlight what’s out there. Thank you for the encouraging support Chris! 🙂

  5. Another wonderful issue, Suzy! I love the image you put with my haibun. I loved reading the work. I really resonated with the one by Owain Glynn. I know just how that feels. I will put a link up on my site to this. XOXO

    • Thank you Brenda! Very pleased you like that image too. I had so many winter ice pictures to choose from I was like a child in sweetshop, wanting them all!! 😀 I thought that one looked very young and vibrant. I like to create an ageless feel to this magazine, young, older and very old are all very relevant. The image is from a website where you can use images free from copyright for your website, it’s a very lovely site and soooo useful! https://picjumbo.com/

      I thought that too when I read Glyn’s poem about his father, so reminded me of my own experience and also my dad’s experience with his father was very like that. Death and hospitals are still to this day a grim part of life. I think it’s great he was able to write about it. Sharing feelings like this helps to make us realise we all suffer in similar ways, we are not as alone as we think.

      Thank you for the link, that will great, thanks dear poetry friend!! 🙂

    • Ah, hello Christine, it’s a pleasure to include your amusing poem, and such a sweet story too!!! It’s lovely to hear from you, I hope your break is doing you good and the work on your bathroom is not too stressful? I’m going to take a winter break myself soon, so looking forward to not having much to think about, I’ve had one silly health problem after another in recent months. Now got a head cold, so this issue has taken me twice as long as it would normally….my brain has gone on holiday and boxes of tissues have taken over my living room!!

      I hope you are okay, and you have a lovely Christmas with your family…maybe even do some more of those drawings and get your grandson to name it!! 😀

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