Silver Lining June Round-Up

At the beginning of June I invitated all of you poets (or potential poets, which is all of you) out there to join me in Silver Lining June. This has been a collaborative project for the blogging and writing community to create together. Today I’m sharing all the wonderful creations – mine and yours.

What is the Silver Lining form, you ask? It’s a miner variation on the Golden Shovel form that I “invented” earlier this year. It offers a little more flexibility. Here are the “rules”.

Special thanks to the contributors to Silver Lining June:


Silver Lining June Poems (Prompt 1):

June Prompt No. 1

A molten gold flows away from the sun.”

from “Evening Sea Wind” by Carl Sandburg

A Different Sun

Flesh and bones molten;

Borrowed life, paid for with gold,

Flows

Away

From

His silenced heart, to see a different sun.

by Monty Vern

Once the heart becomes molten,

Carefully cup the blistering gold

In your hands and…[more]

by Serendippity

Desire bubbles up like lava, molten

Fantasies of rings of gold

The way the conversation…[more]

by No Love For Fatties

The hammer raised falls, slag shoots a

Gray heat no so removed from molten

Iron once a bright glowing gold

Now dulled as heat…[more]

by A Different Perspective

Silver Lining June Poems (Prompt 2):

June Prompt No. 2

“It is in the smell of an avocado blossom, and in the true passion of a kiss.”

from “The Unnamable River” by Arthur Sze

Avocado Toast

Feeding each other breakfast in bed, we lay in our smell;

Supple eggs on toast with buttery rich avocado

Sipping tea of steeped blossom

The blush of your naked cheeks true

A fading memory of passion

Reignited by the gentlest kiss

by Monty Vern

The Senselessness of Long Covid

Now you must accentuate sight, having lost smell.

Though slices of tomato, yellow pepper and avocado

Masquerade on a blue plate as a festive blossom,

Artistry is a…[more]

by Serendippity

Silver Lining June Poems (Prompt 3):

June Prompt No. 3

The day is done, and the darkness

Falls from the wings of night,

As a feather is wafted downward

From an eagle in his flight.“

from “The Day is Done” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This Day Undone

This day

Undone

Darkness

Lifts me high above the falls

With heavy wings

Sculpted in the image of night

Each iron feather

Forged from wafted

Despair turning upward downward

And the false eagle

Drops me from it’s hellish flight.

by Monty Vern

Something New Under the Sun

Again a demoralizing day:

Dear heart will you never be done

Fraternizing with darkness,

Letting stumbles lapse into falls,

“Forgetting” you have…[more]

by Serendippity

If you missed the Golden Shovels created by the community in the April challenge, check out all the contributions in the Golden Shovel April Round-Up. Feel free to give these prompts a try as well. They were great poem line prompts with lots of creative potential.


Be well,

Monty

Watch Me (Sunday Scribblings)

Peckapalooza over at The Confusing Middle runs a weekly prompt called Sunday Scribblings. Check out his post and join in the creativity!

Sunday Scribblings #110 – Watch

Warning: this post contains content related to self-harm.


Watch Me

Watch me slice my flesh, through the tendons to the bone.
Watch me bleed brightly across the white sheets in patterns of pain.
Watch me cry out tears of relief, for a final peace.
Watch me close my eyes, so you don’t have to.
Watch me exhale desperate for it to be my last.

Don’t watch me suddenly inhale with fear.
Don’t watch me open my eyes, unnaturally dilated with pills of courage.
Don’t watch me cry tears, cold with the realization of failure.
Don’t watch me stop bleeding, congealed and clotted by regret.
Please, God, stop watching me.


Be well,

Monty

Welcome to Silver Lining June (an invitation)

Here’s an invitation to all of you poets (or potential poets, which is all of you) out there to join me in Silver Lining June. This is a collaborative project for the blogging and writing community to create together.

Back in April I ran a challenge called “Golden Shovel April”, which called upon the community to create a Golden Shovel poem based on the prompts provided. It was a fabulous success and a number of the participants asked me to continue. However, I want to provide a little variety and so I’m going to run a new challenge based on the “Silver Lining” form — which is a variation on the Golden Shovel that I came up with earlier this year.

What is the Silver Lining form, you ask? It’s a miner variation on the Golden Shovel form that I “invented” earlier this year. It offers a little more flexibility. Here are the “rules”:


Silver Lining “Rules”

1) Take a line (or lines) from an existing poem (I provide this in the prompt section below)

2) Use each KEY word in the line (or lines) as an end word in your poem. You can skip words like “the”, “and”, “or” etc. that are less core to the meaning of the line. This is the key difference between the Silver Lining vs. the Golden Shovel.

3) Keep the end words in order.

4) The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.

5) Make sure to credit the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines) and link to my prompt post.

6. Have fun! If the rules are too rigid for what your muse is calling for then break them!


Silver Lining Example:

Prompt: “Cursing the winter solstice sun” (from Under the Solstice Sun by Monty Vern)

New Silver Lining poem (note that it excludes the “the” from the prompt line)

Fallen Sun

She cursing
Anger burning through cold winter
Sharp winds whipping away solstice
Me, her fallen sun.


Silver Lining June Prompts

Choose one, two, or all three and create your own Silver Lining poem for each prompt you select.

June Prompt No. 1

A molten gold flows away from the sun.”

from “Evening Sea Wind” by Carl Sandburg

June Prompt No. 2

“It is in the smell of an avocado blossom, and in the true passion of a kiss.”

from “The Unnamable River” by Arthur Sze

June Prompt No. 3

The day is done, and the darkness

Falls from the wings of Night,

As a feather is wafted downward

From an eagle in his flight.“

from “The Day is Done” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Additional Guidelines

(1) You can either post on your own blog and link to this prompt post so that we can all see it and further share, include it in this post’s comments section, or post on twitter and tag me (@montyvern).

(2) While there is not any hard deadline, the intention is to share your poem(s) during the prompt month (feel free to post each poem separately if you decide to do more then one). If you post prior to the end of the month, then I will try to include your submission (along with mine) in a monthly round-up post for us all to enjoy. If you’ve posted on your own site then I will include an excerpt with link. If you post either in the comments or twitter I will include the entire poem with credit to the author.

(3) While there is absolutely no requirement, I highly encourage you to tag one or two potential poets in your post and invite them to join. Let’s grow our creative community!


If you missed the Golden Shovels created by the community in the April challenge, check out all the contributions in the Golden Shovel April Round-Up. Feel free to give these prompts a try as well. They were great poem line prompts with lots of creative potential.

That’s it. Time to get poetic! Enjoy!



Be well,

Monty

Gem (Sunday Scribblings)

Peckapalooza over at The Confusing Middle runs a weekly prompt called Sunday Scribblings. Check out his post and join in the creativity!

Sunday Scribblings #107 – Paperclip

At first blush there isn’t too much to say about paperclips. I don’t use them anymore. I barely use paper anymore. Several years ago I went paperless and I’ve enjoyed the lack of clutter from the move. I’m guessing there are still some paperclips around the house. Certainly some of the bigger varieties that can double as closures for chip bags and such. The traditional “gem” version of the paperclip made by a simple bent wire is exceptionally good at holding several leafs of paper, but I’m trying to think of any other reasons to have them around now? I guess the little slot door on the SIM card holder for the iPhone still needs a paperclip to open. What was a smart design at one point due to the ubiquitous presence of paperclips has become a bit inconvenient. They are now providing special “push pins” with the SIM cards to overcome this issue, but I assume this design will be replaced soon.

Regardless of the lack of utility of the paperclip in my modern life, I can still appreciate the simple functionality of the original invention. Just a bit of bending transformed a small segment of wire into a perfect problem solver for over a century. I think of the times when I needed a paperclip and didn’t have one back when I was in school. I had to revert to folding over the corner of my papers and create a small tear tab to hold them together. It was a sad replacement of the sturdy and dependable paperclip. The last resort when handing in school papers as I was always worried my pages would be separated and I’d lose credit for work done.

I guess the major competition for the paperclip were staples. But staples required installation equipment (the stapler) and removal tools (the staple remover). Certainly the staple had the edge for a permanent binding, but how annoying was it to deal with all the staples when needing to copy documents? They even used to have staple removers attached to the paper copier machines. The paperclip was certainly a much more elegant solution and ideal for impermanent binding.

Look at that. I ended up writing a whole thesis on the paperclip. Life continues to offer up surprises.


Be well,

Monty

Vanilla (Sunday Scribblings)

Peckapalooza over at The Confusing Middle runs a weekly prompt called Sunday Scribblings. Check out his post and join in the creativity!

Sunday Scribblings #106 — Vanilla

I once received a ‘fresh’ vanilla bean (not exactly sure how fresh it was but it was a whole vanilla bean provided to me directly from a flavor house before processing so it was much fresher than the extracts I was used to in the kitchen). It was from Madagascar and super expensive (I was told). It’s aroma and later it’s flavor when baking totally transformed my understanding of what vanilla really is. The highly processed extracts are made to uniform taste specifications, but the real bean is dynamic with complex notes of flavor. One could easily become a student of the vanilla bean much the same way some are of cocoa and coffee beans. I liken it to the difference between a supermarket tomato versus one fresh from the garden. They are distant relatives of each other sharing a name but little else. The supermarket tomato is tasteless and slightly moist at best. The garden tomato is a burst of flavor and dripping with juices. I grew up with the garden variety and have gotten to the point where I avoid the supermarket variety at all costs unless it’s to be cooked down into a red pasta sauce or something.

Sex. “Vanilla sex” to be specific. What? Too abrupt of a change in gears for you? Do you prefer a more subtle and smooth transition from the introduction into the main event. Sorry, I should have asked first.

Have you been accused (or perhaps labeled yourself) as a “vanilla sex” type of person? Well consider this. When kept fresh, vanilla can be a very rich experience. It’s only when it’s processed and becomes uniform does it become monotonous and boring. So don’t be shy to introduce some fresh vanilla into your life. If your not into all the other types of beans available there is absolutely nothing lacking in vanilla. If you pay attention to each of nuances and notice all of the complexities, every vanilla bean is unique and beautifully delicious.

Of course, if you enjoy cocoa, coffee, or any other beans, they are wonderful as well.


Be well,

Monty

Golden Shovel April Round-Up

About a month ago, I posted three Golden Shovel prompts for April as a collaborative project for our writing community. In this round-up, I share my golden shovel poem as well as those that were contributed by the community.

What is the Golden Shovel form, you ask? The Golden Shovel form was created by the poet Terrance Hayes, whose poem “Golden Shovel” (from his 2010 collection Lighthead) is based on Gwendolyn Brooks’ “We Real Cool” which references the phrase “Golden Shovel”. Check out the “rules” here.

I want to give a big thanks to each of you that were willing to give this months challenge a try:

No Love for Fatties

A Different Perspective

Serendippity


Golden Shovel April Prompts

April Prompt No. 1

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep”

from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost

April Prompt No. 2

…feel the wet maples leaves flicker in the rain”

from “The Leaves of a Dream are the Leaves of an Onion” by Arthur Sze

April Prompt No. 3

Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun or fester like a sore – and then run?”

from “Dream Deferred” (Harlem) by Langston Hughes

Golden Shovel Poems for

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep”:

Dear Brother

Dear brother, the

Days we spent trekking through the woods

Are

My brightest childhood memories, lovely

Moments of joy and laughter interrupting the dark

And

Instilling a love, to this day, so deep.

by Monty Vern

Starlight reflecting against the

Leaves lush and green in the woods

Dancing shadows among the branches are

Creating moving pictures so lovely

Tapestry of… [read more]

No Love for Fatties (gigglingfattie)

You tricked me into the

Moon lit night and led me into woods

Asking me what my intentions are

Not waiting for an answer saying lovely

Words and… [read more]

by A Different Perspective (murisopsis)

Hunting the Stag

In the

hart’s woods

there are

long lovely

passages, dark-

leaved and

shadow-deep.

In the

leafy woods

hunters are

biding [read more]

by serendippity

Golden Shovel Poems for

“…feel the wet maples leaves flicker in the rain”:

Amber Rain

Feel

The

Sticky wet

syrup harvested from the local maples.

It leaves

A flicker

Of joy on the lips; Tastebuds dance in

Delight with the

Sweet taste of amber rain.

by Monty Vern

The Tables Complaint

No one considers how I feel,

covered with bits of breakfast: the scrambled egg scraps, the

itch Pop-Tart crumbs, the wet

orange juice spill (bad for my complexion), the maple

syrup smear. Everyone… [read more]

by serendippity

Golden Shovel Poems for

“Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun or fester like a sore – and then run?”

Plump Plumb or Puckered Raisin?

Does

It

Feel like this to you? Not wet or dry.

Neither right nor down, Nor left or up.

Not like

A

Plump plumb or puckered raisin?

Neither out nor in,

No warmth of a shining sun

Or

Coolness of a full moon? Do you feel whole? Or, as me, like a hole?

Do you feel dead inside or

Do you feel joy or perhaps pain and fester

Like

A

Sore?

Or, like me, just empty and numb? And,

Deaf and dumb? If not, then

Please teach me how to feel. To love. To dance. To run.

by Monty Vern

Talking to Myself

Yes, it’s a long line and includes the word fester, but does

that mean it’s impossible? I can do it. I want to do it.

I did the other two. My creative juices haven’t run dry

yet; in fact, with all I’ve been posting, I’d say my cup

is overflowing. I just need a sip to start. And it’s not like

I need to write another “Iliad” or “Odyssey,” just a

simple 18-liner. You know, if my brain were a raisin,

I could put it in a bowl and let it soak up the waters of in-

spiration till it was nice and plump. And then squeeze the

poem out drop by drop. Better yet, what if I made the sun

my muse? [read more]

by serendippity

If you missed the original Golden Shovels created by the community in the February challenge, check out all the contributions in the Week 1 Round-Up, Week 2 Round-Up, Week 3 Round-Up, and Week 4 Round-Up. Feel free to give these prompts a try as well. They were great poem line prompts with lots of creative potential.

Thanks again to all of your poetic efforts. Stay tuned for more opportunities to get creative together in the future.



Be well,

Monty

The Sculptor (Sunday Scribblings)

Peckapalooza over at The Confusing Middle runs a weekly prompt called Sunday Scribblings. This weeks’ theme is sculpture. Check out his post and join in the creativity!

Sunday Scribblings #102 — Sculpture

The Sculptor

I’ve always dreamed of being a sculptor. To work with my hands. I imagine drawing out and twisting metal into a tall figure — impossibly lean and long with arms stretched into the sky. Blowing glass baubles that catch the light and installing them anywhere but in the figure’s eye sockets. Torching the figure to its softening point where it begins to flow under the weight of gravity — like a metallic candle stick. Then freezing it in motion with a bucket of ice water. Placing the wrought figure in the garden among the flowers. Then as the moon rises in the night, I see my creation walk away.


Be well,

Monty

Haiku (Sunday Scribblings)

Peckapalooza over at The Confusing Middle runs a weekly prompt called Sunday Scribblings. This weeks’ theme is haiku. Check out his post and join in the creativity!

Sunday Scribblings #101 — Haiku

“Haiku” was originally published in Monty’s Very Short Shorts

Be well,

Monty

The Farmhouse (Sunday Scribblings)

Peckapalooza over at The Confusing Middle runs a weekly prompt called Sunday Scribblings. This weeks’ theme is storytelling. Check out his post and join in the creativity!

Sunday Scribblings #100 — Farm

We called it “The Farmhouse” when we moved in. In contrast to “The Cottage” where we had moved from. We could have named it “The Crazy House” but it had barns and we didn’t have the foresight. So “The Farmhouse” it was.

We moved in my early elementary school years, but the move was within the same village (Putney, Vermont) so while it involved a new bus route, there was no change in schools. In a village population of around a thousand one school was more than enough. I’d end up being with the essentially the same 20 or so classmates from 1st to 8th grade.

I still remember the day we moved. I was so scared of taking the strange bus (with a different driver and different kids) and not knowing where to get off. My older brother was with me so there wasn’t much chance of getting lost, but that didn’t reassure me. I wasn’t fully confident that my brother wouldn’t send me to the wrong house!

The farmhouse was HUGE. It had twenty plus rooms (including more than one bathroom!) and multiple barns and so many things to explore. I’d later discover an attic rich with cool finds such as a 1909 National Geographic magazine and a huge glass bottle that I used to store coins (when I could find some).

But this was a shared space and some of the areas were off limits. There was one barn that was closed up tight (we of course went in anyway later when nobody was paying attention and discovered a huge stash of drying “herbs”).

originally published in Monty’s Very Short Shorts

Many of the barn stalls were filled with the owners’ storage. But even with these off limit spaces the place felt gigantic compared to the cottage which was basically a carriage house that had been converted to small living space (with an attached bedroom that was sinking in the swamp no less!).

It wasn’t just my mom, my brother, and I that moved in. Her new partner moved in too. And later another family moved in as well. And they were all crazy people. But that’s a story for another time.

The farm was originally a horse farm but no more. The fields attached were leased to the nearby dairy farmer for their dry cows to graze. At one point we had a pig (name Bacon, which you can read about in Monty’s Almanac 202x if your interested), and there were the dogs and cats and rats that are a staple of such places.

One of the barns had been converted into a music studio. After one band almost burned the place down and was kicked out, I got a chance to explore. It was my first time to see Playboy and Hustler magazine which was eye opening. It was the second time finding a huge stash of “herb”.

Well, perhaps a bit random, but these are my thoughts when I think of “farm”. Thanks for stopping by The Farmhouse for a visit.


Be well,

Monty

Welcome to Golden Shovel April (an invitation)

Here’s an invitation to all of you poets (or potential poets, which is all of you) out there to join me in Golden Shovel April. This is a collaborative project for the blogging and writing community to create together.

Back in February I ran a weekly prompt challenge called “Get Your Golden Shovel”, which called upon the community to create a Golden Shovel poem based on the prompt line provided. It was a fabulous success and a number of the participants asked me to continue with the challenge. However, I wanted to provide a little more flexibility (both in terms of prompt and in terms of time), so I’m making an adjustment as and launching this as a monthly collaborative project with up to three prompts to choose from. And since April is #PoetryMonth, when better to launch than now?

What is the Golden Shovel form, you ask? The Golden Shovel form was created by the poet Terrance Hayes, whose poem “Golden Shovel” (from his 2010 collection Lighthead) is based on Gwendolyn Brooks’ “We Real Cool” which references the phrase “Golden Shovel”. Here are the “rules”:


Golden Shovel “Rules”

1) Take a line (or lines) from an existing poem (I provide this in the prompt section below)

2) Use each word in the line (or lines) as an end word in your poem.

3) Keep the end words in order.

4) The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.

5) Make sure to credit the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines) and link to my prompt post.

6. Have fun! If the rules are too rigid for what your muse is calling for then break them!


Golden Shovel Example:

Prompt: “Cursing the winter solstice sun” (from Under the Solstice Sun by Monty Vern)

New Golden Shovel poem:

Winter’s Curse

Honey sweet lips cursing;

Stoking flames, melting the

Frozen timepieces of winter;

Summoning summer’s solstice;

Accelerating earth ‘round the sun.


Golden Shovel April Prompts

Choose one, two, or all three and create your own Golden Shovel poem for each prompt you select.

April Prompt No. 1

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep”

from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost

April Prompt No. 2

…feel the wet maples leaves flicker in the rain”

from “The Leaves of a Dream are the Leaves of an Onion” by Arthur Sze

April Prompt No. 3

Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun or fester like a sore – and then run?.”

from “Dream Deferred” (Harlem) by Langston Hughes

Additional Guidelines

(1) You can either post on your own blog and link to this prompt post so that we can all see it and further share, include it in this post’s comments section, or post on twitter and tag me (@montyvern).

(2) While there is not any hard deadline, the intention is to share your Golden Shovel poem(s) during the prompt month (feel free to post each poem separately if you decide to do more then one). If you post prior to the 25th of the month, then I will try to include your submission (along with mine) in a monthly round-up post for us all to enjoy. If you’ve posted on your own site then I will include an excerpt with link. If you post either in the comments or twitter I will include the entire poem with credit to the author.

(3) While there is absolutely no requirement, I highly encourage you to tag one or two potential poets in your post and invite them to join. Let’s grow our creative community!


If you missed the original Golden Shovels created by the community in the February challenge, check out all the contributions in the Week 1 Round-Up, Week 2 Round-Up, Week 3 Round-Up, and Week 4 Round-Up. Feel free to give these prompts a try as well. They were great poem line prompts with lots of creative potential.

That’s it. Time to get poetic! Enjoy!



Be well,

Monty