January 09, 2016

Not A Poet!

Have you been to visit Imaginary Garden With Real Toads? Kerry O'Connor has put a wonderful blog together full of magic and imagination while providing a great environment for writers to practice their craft.

Today, Brendon, one of the creative writers at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads introduced a fun challenge. Actually it is called the Sunday Mini-Challenge, though I am not a poet and haven't written any poetry for at least 20 years. So, if this was a mini there is no way I will be able to rise to a maxi!

Following incredibly interesting history of the Emerald Island he suggests that we try our hand at a poem (of any style) and it must contain the word "Island" and be about any of the islands we have found ourselves on in this life's journey.

Forgive the lack of a regular rhythm and rhyme, please. Thank the great poets in heaven for the definition of free verse. I also ask the great poets in heaven for forgiveness. Please don't visit me in my dreams unless it is with creative criticism...punitive flogging is purely forbidden and my angels will be on guard! 


The Isle of Dreams: Lost and Found

For countless days, waves tossed the boat all about
Seizing the oars from our hands, the sea howls,
Scoffing at the impertinence of desperate swabbies.
Who are we to believe we could steer our own course?

Hope clambers aboard when a distant island appears.
Waves cease their rise and fall and the vessel
of insolents is pulled to the isle. We are saved,
our never-failing insolence cries out.

Is it destiny that threads  us through treacherous rocks
Fully onto the beach, free of the sea, we are delivered.
In silence, each  of us steps out of our scow
That once threatened to be our last earthly abode.

White sand blows aside and a pathway emerges.
While waves at our backs pull the boat back to sea .
We step onto the aisle the strand has provided
Walking towards a structure on a hill in the jungle.

I spied a small shop on the hillside and a sign on it’s door.
“Come Close, Dear Friends” the emporium beckons.
“What a sweet little cottage,” I exclaimed to my mates.
“Are you blind? It’s a castle!” our captain responded.

“It’s my grandmother’s house,” laughed the last of our crew.
“And she is inside with warm bread and beef stew.
We paused on the steps for only a moment
Are we dead, we all thought but dare not say out loud.

A heavy castle gate lifted for the captain to enter.
The top of a half door stood open and I reached for the latch
Pulling the bottom open, third mate walked before me
Yelling, “Seanmháthair,  where are you?

The room we each saw was exactly as expected.
But for the shelves that awkwardly hung on the walls.
Dusty bottles and vessels of all colors and shapes
lay before us, cobweb adorned, labels faded.

Assorted bottles lined a rack bearing my name.
What sorcery is this that knows who I am
And the names of my mates as I see them step forward
Is this magic or witchery that prevails.

Clearing the webs from a translucent vial
I saw myself inside, astride a great steed.
A thatched cottage, smoking chimney and
Green rolling hills in the background abound.

Another vessel from the shelf, shaped much like an urn,
Showed me a me, seated at a desk, pen in my hand.
I’m writing the book that I always imagined
Beyond doubt, I know what these bottles contain.

We let the fear of success waylay our ambitions.,  
Like cowards, we set them adrift in the ocean.
With mercy, the gods and the sea rescued our passions.
“Welcome, Shipmates, to the Isle of Lost and Found Dreams.


  1. What a wonderful place to find.. A place where all those possibilities can come true. And I see a bottle of a poet found among the bottles.

    1. It would be fun to discover all one's old dreams and passions. If there is a bottle of a poet it is way in the back and totally covered in cobwebs! Thank you.

  2. I so enjoyed your narrative.

    Is it destiny that threads us through treacherous rocks
    Fully onto the beach, free of the sea, we are delivered.

    This is a great metaphor for life.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had fun making it up!

  3. Well, I beg to differ, I think you must be a poet as you have written a wonderful poem which tells an intriguing tale. Smiles. This is quite an amazing write for the first poem in 20 years. I think you should write more. By the way, Kerry O'Connor is the admin at Real Toads, and there is a team of members who provide regular prompts. Brendan's today was quite wonderful, I think. Glad you found your way here.

    1. I'll have to fix the Bit on Real Toads and add Kerry O'Connor and team members. Thank you for your kind words....beginner's luck!

  4. For one who doesn't write poetry, there sure is a boatload of narrative craft here ... A wonder-tale needs both ocean and isle and time to stride through both, and it's finely measured here. There is a great sense of you-are-here-are-there as the narrative keeps us in the boat and perusing the shelves in the castle/cottage (named widely to accommodate all the personal imaginagive doors we might enter through). Yet it's a collective myth, we all know this place, and who wouldn't enjoy what is fine there. Great work, hope we hear from you again at Real Toads.

    1. Thank you for the prompt. I loved the history and couldn't pass up the challenge. I visit Real Toads all the time and will again.

  5. Um, I'm seeing poet up there!
    And loving it, too.

    1. Poet and don't know it....is that how the old saying goes?
      Thank you.

  6. you are really blessed with crafts of writing dear,each line of you took me to the place where all it happened in the beautiful world of imagination ,your picture looks like related to your amazing journey,you must continue this voyage for more adventure and explorations ,thank you for sharing it with us it is a lovely experience ,god bless you

  7. my goodness! I was expecting a haiku (about what I could manage...!) :-)

    1. If you can do haiku, you are way beyond me....I'm way too wordy!!!

  8. Awesome! And that's a MINI-challenge poem? Wow!

  9. "Who are we to believe we could steer our own course?
    Hope clambers aboard" ... No kidding!

  10. And you said you couldn't write a maxi? OMG..this is utterly beautiful. I'm truly in awe of your words and imagination.

    1. Thank you, Barb. Your comment makes me want to dance!

  11. Aye aye matey, could resits that one. There in the isles od dreams certainly creativity born its way through
    Enjoyed your response to the prompt

    Wishing you a brisk writing 2016

    much love...

    1. Ahoy Gillena! Thank you for visiting my little island.

  12. Incredible! That's a mini poem? HOLY MOLY! What would you come up with for a mega size challenge :)

    1. Most likely, I would say, No, thank you, to a mega challenge!

  13. Beautiful piece of work and so well crafted Toni.
    It throws up some recent ideas of mine - perhaps before our birth we were given certain tasks to do in life which many of us have laid aside or perhaps were swept away by the tide of other attractions?
    What do you think ?

    1. I agree with you. I do think we have some spiritual contracts for our life time. I'm not sure that they get swept away though. They may go out with the tide but the tug of the task remains in our subconscious and returns with the tides. May be other attractions (or distractions) are just our way of putting off the task. It would be fun to talk with you about it.

  14. I really like it. You did a fantastic job!

  15. Sounds pretty great--wonderful to have dreams realized. Thanks, Toni. k.

  16. Thanks for visiting Merrylandgirl. Your blog is really nice. :)


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