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4/22 Weekly Creativity Challenge and New Prompt

I was breathless with anticipation (sorry, couldn’t resist) to see this week’s challenge entries. Congrats go out to Nina Newton for her lovely poem. Welcome back, Nina!


I don’t know if
Is a good thing or
            A bad thing
While rushing here
            And there
Late for work or
            Picking up the kids . . . .
I’m breathless.

Late at night I worry
            about money, family, time, work
And all day long I worry
            about money, family, time, work
Always searching for a place
            of peace and tranquility
Where life is simply slower,
            and in my quest for tranquility
I’m breathless.

But then I wake and see
            the face of my sleeping child
Or the reflection of the rising sun
            on the placid lake
And gaze into the loving eyes
            of the man who sleeps beside me
I silently pray that this will be
            forever our sacred place . . . .
I’m breathless –

At the wonder of life,
           the heartache and the moments
Of amazing, joyous, miraculous love
           and there I choose to stay
Remembering every breath and every touch,
          the gift of love, family, and life . . . .
I seek this place of peace while enduring the
          pain of brokenness that sometimes makes me

From Cathy Coley:


Tough cutting through the thicket of
Bermuda and Centipede grass tangles
that have invaded my lawn.
I switch shovels from the
square blade to the pointed,
point the tip in, stand on the back edge
and wiggle the tall handle side to side.
Strange pogo stick
slowly breaks the blade’s passage through
illegitimate immigrants taking over my lawn
of fescu and Kentucky blue
having not the strength
I must use my weight for leverage.

Clumps eventually separate,
I grab with both hands and pull
with all my might to break
the last stubborn runners and roots.
I turn the lawn and weed clumps roots up
earth brown, delicate, vulnerable in the sun
Surround the beginnings of the hole
Create a ring of clay with wispy tendrils.
The hole widens, rounds, reveals
the new home for the magnolia.

Switch shovels back to square,
which scoops the loose wads of clay
left from my struggle.
Pile to one side within the ring.
Step, hop out, stand back to survey,
Straighten my bad back briefly.
Remove a glove, the sweatshirt,
readjust my bra,
squint into the sun
before moving on.

Glove back on, sweatshirt tied
around my waist,
I grab hold of the tree by its base,
turn it on its side.
Give the thin plastic pot
a few punishing kicks and swats
before yanking it from the root ball
of my new tree.

She’s heavier than I thought,
but I can handle her.
Roll her in, stand her up, thump her in.
Forego the shovels,
spread by hand the looser dirt
before flipping the clumps of lawn,
place strategically around the young trunk
puzzling them back into place
where place has changed.

I straighten up, stand back,
survey if she stands straight.
Straight enough is good enough for me.
Breathless, squinting
I see the first pink to white buds
readying to bloom.
They look unsure,
but change is good.

From me (Kelly): I captured this shot Sunday evening, and it was the actual capturing of it that made me “breathless”.  I’ll have more details on my blog today. 


This week’s prompt: “April showers”
Use the prompt however you like – literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, April 28, 2009.  Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly challenge, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 24 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Cathy #

    lovely poem, nina, congrats! i think we can all relate, and the first lines of the last stanza really give pause.

    kelly – lovely, brushy seed heads. and the kinda make me want to rub my eyes and sneeze! looking forward to your blog.

    April 22, 2009
  2. Nice work, you guys! Keep ’em coming…..

    April 22, 2009
  3. really beautiful poem, nina! and cathy, i felt like i was right there with you.

    April 23, 2009
  4. Cathy #

    thanks for the compliments!

    April 23, 2009
  5. Well, what a delightful surprise! I was out of town for two days this week (I absolutely HATE to be away from home!) and so I had to send in my thoughts on “Breathless” from a remote computer. I couldn’t access my pictures that I wanted to send along with the little poem, so hopefully I can use them another time. I’m so glad to be back with you all . . . . I need this inspiration and motivation to take time for my creative life. Thanks so much! I’ll be thinking about April Showers in the next couple of days for next weeks challenge submission.

    April 24, 2009
  6. I love the submissions that were here for this week! The photo was so beautifully still.

    I am sending in my entry to this week’s challenge of April Showers. I created a necklace along the theme.

    April 26, 2009

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