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Posts tagged Poetry

Poetry – Write When Inspired and Enter Contests Inspite of Rejection

Poetry Inspiration

writing poetry, poetry contests, rejection

Poetry Inspiration
(photo from

What inspires you to write poetry? Have you ever written a poem, entered it in a contest, and received a rejection?

Writing Poems and Entering Contests Means Facing Rejection

The poem “I Am Odd, I Am New” by an autistic boy expresses how most of us feel at times. We all have traits, quirks, or some aspect of ourselves that we wish we didn’t have. Become the best that you can be by using your knowledge and strengths. Learn the knack READ MORE »

Gardening Inspiration and Poetry

Flowers in Sinks

Herb Sink Gardening

April has been an interesting month for me because of dealing with vertigo. It’s been a new experience. Extreme spinning happens at hearing acute noises, seeing movements, or just sitting in a chair. One thing that has helped, however, is simply watering the garden, planting seeds, or pulling weeds. Every chance, whether twenty to thirty minutes or an hour spent in the garden, is a wonderful relief from vertigo episodes that last for hours or a whole day.

Spending time in the garden is the thing I like most about spring. Planting flowers, herbs and vegetables inspires the soul. Not only is it therapeutic. It’s an excellent way to get physical exercise.

Basil, pepper, and tomato plants were planted early this month. Seeds I’ve planted so far include beets, broccoli, chives, cilantro, dill, carrots, okra, peas and nasturtiums. Herbs such as lavender, lemon balm, lovage, mint and rosemary are already growing fast in my garden. Kitchen gardens are handy to grow. When cooking up a vegetable or marinating chicken, you just step outside the kitchen door, snip off a handful of herbs, rinse them and add to whatever you’re cooking.

April is National Poetry Month, and is hosting a poetry contest on the theme of “Place”. Co-hosting this contest is Poet Mary Langer Thompson, author of “Poems in Water”.

Inspire us with your own garden poetry. Why not write a poem about your favorite flowers and herb or vegetable garden? Write about your memories of your mother’s or grandmother’s garden.

Tomorrow is the deadline for submitting poems. Poems submitted for the contest will be considered for publishing on The contest details are listed on our High Desert Events page. Find out more by reading Poet Mary Langer Thompson’s “April is Poetry Month” blog post published April 1, 2015.

Since I love gardens, I can’t wait to read any gardening poems that come in for the contest. Hurry and submit your poems. You have until 11:59 pm, Monday, April 20, 2015 to email us your contest submissions. Don’t forget to read the details listed on our site, then email the poems to

One more thing about the contest – it’s FREE to enter! Not only that, we’re giving prizes to the winners. It’s our way of saying thank you for the comments you give us and for reading our blog.


By Guest Blogger Mary Thompson



Poetry Contests

            The poetry you write and like will be viewed subjectively. For example, some people love only rhymed poetry, and some prefer modern or free verse that doesn’t rhyme. For either, what judges look for is a poem that is crafted and original. For instance, if you rhyme, are your ending words conventional or what you see and hear in music all the time (love, above, dove)? Remember, music can hide what is common, while plain words cannot. Do the lines flow naturally or does the rhyme seem forced?

            When I want to rhyme, I feel more comfortable with a traditional form, like the sonnet. Here’s the beginning of one I wrote after September 11th, “The Waste Land Revisited”:


Mr. Eliot, with all due respect,


April is no longer the cruelest month.


It’s September that we will recollect


As the time we created a new front,


Notice that “month” and “front” are not exact rhymes, but what is known as “slant” rhyme.


           How do we craft free verse, especially since it sometimes sounds like it came full blown out of the author’s head and so must be their first, inspired draft?  The best have been sculpted, returned to again and again after leaving the poem and coming back to it. Many have another poet read or critique their work. Here are five tips to consider:

  1. When I read it out loud, how does it sound? Does it flow?
  2. Do I use strong, concrete, unique images or do I have words that are too abstract, that one can’t touch or feel, words like “love,” “death,” “pain”?  The theme of a contest may be abstract, but your poem should not be.
  3. Does your poem say something about life in a new, condensed way, like a snapshot?
  4. Are the words at the end of each line strong words? Although some poets do it, try not to end lines with “a” or “the” with the thought carried to the next line.
  5. Have your last line be as strong as you can make it. Your reader has been waiting for it.In my poem, “Butterflies Alive,” the poet meets with a young girl, mid poem:“A girl with hairin simple cornrowsreads the sign that saysthey live for only a week or two.She confides, ‘I’m afraid of dying.’”

         There is a reason for ending each line where it ends. I describe the girl in concrete terms, but simply. The reader can read the sign along with the girl and poet, a sign that gets to the heart of the poem.


         Remember, from an image or concrete object, a beautiful, original poem can from you. Happy writing, and best wishes when you enter those contests.




See February 2014 poetry contest details at


Curled Up in Front of the Heater With Pen and Journal

My early memories of writing are based on cozy places.

I loved writing poetry and short descriptive paragraphs of the world I saw. My short stories were often decorated with little ink drawings.


Cozy writing places


In the winter, I would sit in the hallway in front of our forced-air heater. My desk was my knees bent in such a way that I could write for hours.

As I reached high school years, my “perch” as Dad called it, was at the kitchen table, on the couch, in the backyard under the walnut tree, or on the front porch. The porch held the sweet smells of Lantana and a lemon bush. If I brushed by the lemon branches a fragrance so clean and pure would linger with me until late in the day.


The Lantana would attract Monarch butterflies. I could point my finger in the air and a moment later a butterfly would perch on it. I was a quiet girl, and just sat and watched.



My favorite pen was a Bic Click with blue ink that wrote smoothly on newsprint, my writing surface of choice. Anyone could write on college-ruled paper. There was something in the feel of the ink gliding on newsprint that felt like satin. I still like it today.

When I got older and in college, my favorite spots to linger changed to the library and my car. I was a people watcher, and enjoyed gathering tidbits of people’s characteristics. That’s probably why I write with so much depth of description in my works. Not too much… just enough.

Today, I sometimes go to a busy mall or at the swap meet and listen intently to all of the conversations.

Those little pieces of dialog and accents become filed away for another story, a story with rich tones, and clear memories.

Source: via Elizabeth on Pinterest


Where do you write? And what made you begin?

Rusty LaGrange


High Desert Bloggers Meet at Adelanto Starbucks

Bloggers like to meet and network at coffee shops.

A latte or blended coffee drink helps the blogging mode to kick in. Our bloggers wouldn’t necessarily need that extra kick, though. All we need is to meet up and network, discuss what we’ve been blogging about or our blogging plans, and creativity starts flowing.


High Desert Bloggers, Adelanto Starbucks

High Desert Blogger Joan and I met at Starbucks in Adelanto Saturday, August 4th. Joan is a gifted poet with three published books and a new one, Strength of the Small, to be published in September 2012. Joan is a beautiful person and inspiring to blog and talk with. Besides writing poetry, Joan blogs to inspire. Take a moment to visit Joan’s blog and receive your inspiration from this talented lady.

The blogging meetups motivate us every time, and today is no exception. I have begun a book about southern hospitality and entertaining but have become so busy with the day job and necessary daily living responsibilities that the book has been put on the shelf. While listening to Joan sharing about publishing Strength of the Small through, I was reminded of my decision to publish through that website.

If you’re interested in learning how to publish a book, visit It’s easy to set up an account and publish. It helps to speak with someone who has already been through the publishing route. Have publishing questions? Ask them in the comment section here, or you may ask Joan in the comment section of her blog.


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