November–Monday Meanderings


The month of November witnesses the transition from brilliant color splashes of autumn to the stark barrenness of winter. As I walk by the Truckee River or sit in my sacred space, looking out the window at the ornamental pear tree and the birds who drop by for a snack, nature offers inspiration, often only as an opening line to a poem. This morning, while walking the dogs, I discovered the body of a woodpecker laying on a boulder. In its stillness I was able to observe it in detail, the perfection of patterns in its feathers, the play of color, the blend of beauty and fragility. Later in the day, or possibly tomorrow, I expect a poem to write itself. A clear theme of dying, the reality of loss, reflects the change of seasons and my years of work with death and dying.

What influences your writing? How do your poems most often present themselves to you? Is it, perhaps, in the unfolding of your daily life, the prompts that are offered at dVerse and other poetry communities? Or is it always something unexpected, surprising?

I’m pleased to announce that print copies of Jacaranda Rain, Collected Poems, 2012 are now available through and are offered through all of their distribution sources. There are revisions and additions in this copy.

Cover Art: V. Slotto Photo: D. Slotto

Cover Art: V. Slotto
Photo: D. Slotto

I will revise the Kindle edition as well, as soon as I recover from an elbow tendonitis. In the meantime, I’m having to limit my use of the computer though, as always, I will visit those who comment, post (I hope) on Open Link Night and host Saturday’s Poetics. In the meantime, have a happy, productive week.

Wordsmith Wednesday–12 Sources of Poetic Inspiration

Illustration from the cover of Christina Rosse...

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Today I’ve been considering the sources we poets turn to for poetic inspiration–so today’s Wordsmith Wednesday is for poets although I’m sure that it can be useful to prose writers as well. I’m going to short-list some of the sources I turn to to be inspired in my writing. I’m hoping that you will add to it in the comments section.

  • Nature–look for details, metaphors, lessons that are present all around us. When stuck, it often helps me to take a walk. I’m blessed to live in a place that is replete with nature’s offerings.
  • Reading–read other poets. Their work often tickles my creative muse. I’ve mentioned some of my favorites in my list of recommended reading.
  • News sources–look for the seeds of story-poems hidden in the newspaper, on the Internet or on TV news broadcast.
  • Poetic Forms–do an Internet search and check out poetic forms. For me, the discipline of a form can jump-start and idea.
  • Spirituality–look to metaphysical/religious ideas and writings such as the Bible or holy books of other spiritual traditions. Look within at your own spiritual experience.
  • Relationships–these evoke emotional reactions that are often begging to be expressed.
  • History–check out historical events as well as your own history. There are stories to tell.
  • Mythology–although this is not an area of expertise for me, I’ve read much poetry that draws on the classical myths, stories that transcend time.
  • Science–a wonderful well-spring of poetic inspiration.
  • Art–Use painting, sculpture, photography and translate your experience into words.
  • Writing Prompts–those of us who participate in writing communities have a wealth of material tossed out at us on a daily or weekly basis. Check out some of the sites on my blogroll. I’d love to see you link up to my own Monday Morning Writing Prompt.
  • Political issues–need I say more? My personal viewpoint is to stay away from personal attacks and stick to the issues.

I hope these will be helpful to you, especially if you are feeling stuck right now. There are more–help me expand the list if you will!