Last month, January, I gave myself the challenge of writing a poem a day. At first I thought I would have a clear plan of what to write, have some ideas, notions...but after a few days I tended to go off on tangents. At the end I had over 30 rough ideas- some to keep, to work on.

This month I gave the challenge a new twist. I had discovered that there are prompts for a photo a day (some are for a week) and so I thought I would try one of these lists of prompts, take a photo a day and then write a poem. In that order. Photo first, then poem. It was a very interesting exercise.

Some of the prompts (Febphotoaday) were clear cut - your view today - or a self portrait- others really forced me to think out of the box - blue - something you hate to do. So after I thought about what photo to take, forcing myself to be creative -and more importantly to think, really think-  I took the photo then discovered where the poems would take me.

10 am.
My poem for that prompt was about death.
I wrote about being alone even when in a relationship.
That became a nostalgic dip into my mother's sewing box.

Front door.
And even though my front door is glass and there is often a cat yearning to be on the other side....I wrote about my grandmother's house....the sights and sounds and smells of her kitchen. Even when she hadn't been cooking it always smelt as though something had just come out of the oven.

Inside your closet.
Photo of empty hangers.
Poem about a fur coat.

As I said before it was a very interesting exercise. I had thought my poems would be very attached to what the photograph ended up being- but it seemed that while I pondered what aspect to take, how should I angle the camera, will the cat stay still for a few moments...my subconscious was already working on an inkling for a poem.

The prompts were very useful.
Hearts (as above)

A stranger.

Something new.



Your shoes. My poem became - not an ode to these heels- but a rant about why do I have such a pair, complete with price tags - never worn (apart from around home, but they were such a bargain...we're talking less than $15) etc etc.

I think for another month, not March - too busy with life intruding- but a list of prompts such as this would be very good to get me writing. Not taking a photograph, but to use as a writing tool.

This prompt was - a fave photo of you. And this is it, well a fave photo of the two of us. I remember clearly where it was taken, so the poem ended up with me trying to recreate the landscape of when.

Prompts I find are useful at times- when I am busy with something bigger and more time intensive (a novel) yet I still want to keep working at smaller pieces.  When I find that I'm struggling to think of what to write about. Even as an exercise - to flex some poetic muscles before the real work begins.

I have three more prompts, three more photos and poems to do for the month of February.

Something you ate.


Something you're listening to.

Hmmm already I'm thinking of how to capture the sound of the wind rustling the leaves of the claret ash...how to describe the deep bong of the wooden chimes - the shrill call of the cockatoo as it demands seed....


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