Vive la difference!…Merci, Carol V. & Entire PF Community!

Poetry Friday Tag

Donna is this week’s hostess at Mainely Write


The same weekend that the NFL Super Bowl celebrated its 50th anniversary, WordPress notified me that I had accomplished my 50th posting. That same weekend, I responded to Michelle Barnes’ invitation to participate in David Harrison’s WOM (LEAVES) challenge.

Remembering that I had created a Haiku about leaving, I searched back among the fifty posts. Yes! On October 2nd, I posted a Haiku (not in conjunction with Poetry Friday) that I was happy to rework, accommodating the changes necessitated by going from “leave” to “leaves.”

More than revisiting the words, I was happy to rework the visual context. And that’s when I realized I have a HUGE debt of gratitude/thanks to offer one Carol Varsalona whose exquisite photo-poems and “Autumn’s Palette” gallery invitation challenged me to push some personal photo-poetry limits.

Since a picture really is worth a thousand words, please take a look at the first rendition (pre-Carol’s influence) and the second one (post-Carol’s influence). …Then, please tell me what you think! …Amazing difference between the two, isn’t there?


storm cropped (2)

DOM leave2 (2)


As much as Carol single-handedly influenced me with her “Autumn’s Palette” gallery challenge and modeling, I must also give credit and wholehearted thanks to all the other members of the Poetry Friday community  whose highly visual posts and photo-poems spurred me on to do my best, gaining inspiration and tactical tips from their talented weekly postings.

Since I made my first Poetry Friday post on September 11, 2015, I have looked forward each week to participating in the Round-ups, and have greatly appreciated the time that members have spent reading my posts, and especially sharing their encouraging comments.

Please know that as much as I very much look forward to affirmation, I seek and value every suggestion and criticism that will help me become a better artist-practitioner, and thus, a more worthy contributing member of the PF community, a giver, instead of just a “taker.”

Heart-beatThank you and God bless you!


28 responses to “Vive la difference!…Merci, Carol V. & Entire PF Community!

  1. We all learn so much from each other in this community! I’m so glad you joined in the fun! It wouldn’t be the same without you… Congratulations on passing the 50 yard line!

    • Thanks for taking time to check out and to respond to the post. Thank you, too, for your kind congratulations, set in football talk. If this response had been on the game clock, I would have gotten a delay of game penalty; it took the passage of time (30 + minutes on the treadmill and some breakfast) for me to realize how apropos your analogy was in terms of when the WordPress notification came. (I had appreciated the analogy on its own merits! Now, I’m even more appreciative, given your clever allusion!) Most special thanks for your very affirming words about my participating in the weekly festivities. I appreciate your kindness–your welcoming is better than winning the Lombardi Trophy. Thank you; God bless you!

  2. As Donna said, congratulations on number 50! And I think it’s wonderful that you’re looking for change, finding ways to improve what you are creating. Your second “act” certainly holds more impact.

    • Thank you! Your posts, which I look forward to enjoying each week, provide much modeling and inspiration for my growth as a person, as well as a poet-writer. I learn so much, too, from your kindness in giving insightful feedback to my poems. And, truthfully, your going out of your way to share the hospice-related poems made me feel like a “real” and welcomed PF community member. God bless you; thank you!

  3. cb, 50 and counting beyond-congratulations. Our writing community is full of support and creativity. We are all here to hone our craft and help each other strive to unlock the talents of the written word, digital composition, and let voice fly (as I always say). The second rendition of your digital inspiration is delightful (word of the day) and engages the reader immediately. The placement of the words flow very nicely with the background that you chose. Thanks for the shoutout.

    • Thank YOU for everything! The shoutout was more than well-deserved, as the before/after photo-poems–on their very own shout out! I like the freeing, empowering image of voice flying– like birds soaring, fireworks exploding, or the combination of melody and lyrics unfolding. Thank you for taking time to read and to share your in-depth encouraging comments. God bless you! Thank you!

  4. Hi, I like your stormy words and the note of hope at the end, with waters receding. The second version had more doubt about the hope with that question mark. I like the photo, it enhanced it, especially with the red you use for enraged. I can relate to the gist, having gone through storms in my marriage. I agree that Carol Vasalona’s galleries are an inspiration and a standard to aspire toward. Congrats on your 50! Happy Writing! (And editing!)

    • Thank you so much for taking time to read the post and to add value with your many pointed insights that I have come to look forward to learning from. I questioned the physical question mark in the second rendition; next time I edit, I’ll force myself to come up with another solution, despite the self-imposed constraints of wanting to keep the poem a Haiku. Thank you, too, for the Congrats and for your well wishes. I appreciate your participation in this writing/editing PF adventure. God bless you! Thanks!

  5. cb, you are very much a giver! No need to worry about that 🙂 The difference between your two poem versions reminds me of myself after I took a poetry revision class. I felt much freer to “play” with my poems. It seems evident that you have a lot more latitude than you did before. Excellent!

    • You are the giver! Always giving your time to read reflectively and to share insights that help me expand those self-imposed bands of latitude. I’d never thought of playful self-permission in those terms. Having taught geography and world history, I like the ideas your use of the word “latitude” has just inspired: exploration, pushing limits, going to places previously unvisited. See what I mean! You give me so much to grow on every time you comment. Thank you for investing your time and sharing your talents with me. It’s humbling, and empowering; makes me want to go farther–and further! God bless you, and many, many thanks!

  6. I’m so glad you’ve joined the PF community. It’s always interesting to see what people post each week. Enjoyed seeing your first and second versions of the same poem. You picked an evocative photo to amplify the emotions of your poem, played around with the formatting, and it had greater impact. Good job and congratulations on 50 posts!

    • Thank you so very much for taking time to read and to respond to the two versions; I appreciate your point-specific affirmation of the revision’s best elements. Thank you, too, for your congratulations, and especially for your kinds words about my having joined the PF community. Though I wish I had more to offer, I am humbled and grateful that others so much more talented reach down to uplift me and my efforts! God bless you, and thank you!

  7. Congrats on meeting and exceeding your 50th post, cb! I remember patting myself on the back nearly three years ago when I continued my posting trend for three consecutive weeks. Now look at me! It’s not hard to grow and blossom with such a supportive PF community. And like Tabatha said, you are most definitely a giver, so no worries there!

    • Thank you so very much for your ongoing encouragement and support–right from the very beginning of my PF involvement, provided on your site through your modeling and here through your comments! I appreciate your vote of confidence, as well as the acceptance shown and extended by you and other members of the PF community. It is a great blessing to be able to learn and to grow in such expert, nurturing company! Thank you for all the ways you have entered into my continuing to have the humility (and sometimes, I think, the audacity) to post in the PF community. It’s hard to believe you’ve been posting “only” about three years; thank you for sharing that information in this context (and I think on your post). It’s a reason for me to hope…God bless you, and thanks again very much!

  8. I too found the red ‘enraged’ powerful and fitting with the image. The question mark, placed as it is between the ellipsis, gave me pause. It gives uncertainty – thought I think I prefer the first version of that line, with less punctuation. A cleaner, stark read in keeping with the rest of the poem. IF that makes sense?

    Congrats on your 50 posts, CB!

    • Thank you so much for your honest critique; I’m with you! That blessed question mark has been troubling me since I put it there. On the one hand, I wanted to clarify that calm was temporary and tentative. In the first version, I didn’t think I had accomplished that. (Too Polyanna-ish to imply that there can be instantaneous, total calm; a modicum of tentative/comparative calm–yes.) In the second version, the ellipsis and the question mark did what I intended, based on your reaction. But what troubles me is applying the old “show, don’t tell” rule. Show with ellipsis and question mark, or leave it to the reader to experientially understand that calm is not conclusive, that it is tentative and likely temporary? Am I robbing the reader/insulting the reader by spelling it out? Would it be better to replace “waters recede” with “uncertainty” and reverse the order: Uncertainty. Calm. ….These are the things I pondered. And, finally, how worthwhile is it to keep as a Haiku as I try to solve the last line?…Oh, and one more thing: Although it seemed improbable that the second person voice of the fist rendition would occur in real life, I think second person added to the punch more than the mixed first and third person of the second rendition. Heaven help me. Just 3 lines, 17 syllables, and I could go on & on with questions….Sorry to question-dump on you. Thank you for taking so much time sharing your reactions and analysis of the two poems. I really appreciate your viewpoint! ..Thanks, too, for the congratulations. God bless you! …Maybe a third rendition will do the trick:)

      • The thought that goes into every single skerrick of poetry… 😀 I did wonder about breaking that last line, so that ‘Calm?’ stood alone – then the step-down for ‘Waters recede.’ – if that gave the same hesitancy you’re chasing? (Or whether it just gets visually messy.)

                 Waters recede.

        Or even;

                      Waters recede.

        (This will be a test, to see if it keeps the formatting in the comment.)

      • Thank you for caring enough to play with options…Having needed to give some distance, I think I see clearly now that your last option accomplishes what I was after. God bless you, and thank you!!!!!

  9. I’m with you, CB, I have gained so much from this community in the inspiration and information department. I’ve been introduced to new poets and new forms, fabulous books, and fun challenges. And best of all, I get to sharing my poems with a warm and receptive community. Your second poem sizzles in its graphic rendition.. There’s just no comparison between the two. I love the “enraged” in red. Well done! Keep pushing the envelope.

    • Thank you! I’m smiling: “Your second poem sizzles in its graphic rendition.” (…I think the graphic rendition is a million times better; I’m not sure I’m liking the voice and the ..?…in the second one.) What I am liking is everything else that you said about the gift that the PF community is. Thank you for your encouragement, and–of course–your modeling. I’ll do what you said–I’ll keep pushing the envelope, and to do that I’ll fill the envelope with examples like yours that I can look at to keep me motivated and inspired. God bless you!

  10. Thanks for your most specific comments on my old poem this week, cb. With others I’m very glad to know that the PF community is working its magic on you as it has so many of us!

    • Thank YOU for taking time to read and to share your affirmation of the PF community. It is an amazing blessing to be a part–even with my baby steps entry…God bless you!

  11. Your poem is powerful unto itself, cb! I agree with you about Carol – she is a wonder! She has helped me with a photo poem – wow! Love your insight and encouragement every week. Thank YOU! =)

    • Thank you very much for taking time to read and to share your much appreciated comment. Truthfully, I’m always concerned that I take up too much digital comment space with my feedback on others’ sites. It is a relief to know, at least in your case, that I’m not overstepping or outwearing my welcome. Truthfully, I am trying to more emulate your powerful yet pithy posts and comments…God bless you; thank you!

  12. Congratulations. Keep those posts coming. It is a great community.

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