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Imaginary Gardens

Musing… "Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads." ~ Marianne Moore
Charise’s Turn: It’s National Poetry Month, cause for celebration! People who pursue the writing of poetry are…well, that’s the topic of a poem itself. What strikes me is how many are writing, name after name after name after name. Whether or not you are reading them, the work they are doing is shaping things, not least of all, themselves. In this way, poetry is like meditation. A quiet, awake, aware human phenomenon. Here is an ode (with real toads) to this phenomenon. 

Rampant Writing
no one will read…for poets
are cropping up like a luxury

of weeds: sagebrush, mugwort, nettle;
not the sort of plant anyone chooses
for plots aiming to be garden beds,

but the kind that catches by

causes sneezing
that creates a seismic shift
along cranial synarthroses,

refocusing the eyes, and somewhere
someone will say “bless you”
~ Charise M. Hoge
Get Fired Up: Find poetry to spark your imagination. It’s every…
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Spring Flowering

"Creativity takes courage."  Henri Matisse
Kate’s Turn: Poet David Whyte has a beautiful line in one of his poems where he asks, “Why are we the one terrible part of creation privileged to refuse our own flowering?” The animals and the elements live their fullness without holding back and in them we can discover what it truly means to become our true self…as in One with our true nature.  They teach us how to live out our own Spirit’s authenticity by no longer refusing our true nature.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  ~ Mark Twain
Get Fired Up: Allow your true nature to spring forth, flowering the expression of your true Self.

Bask in the Blur

Musing... "Can we bask in a blurring of lines to refine our sharp divisions and definitions? This is the edge that creativity brings us to." ~ Charise M. Hoge  [Art by Gy├Ângy Laky, "Thinking Clearly"] Charise's Turn: For five days in January, I wrote for The Best American Poetry blog as guest author. My topic throughout was the interface of dance and poetry, as well as the importance of our relationship with our embodied selves. The quote above is lifted from my final post that week, and here is the initial post which begins a discussion of the blur:
Dancer and Poet Meet at the Barre

How does a poet know how to phrase writing? How does a dancer know how to phrase movement?  In a turning point of enjambment the phrase hangs in mid-air…this sounds like dance, and this is poetry.  The poetic term enjambment comes from the French “jambe” for “leg”. Lines have legs.  They reach and extend.
If you’re beginning to experience a blurring of poetry and dance, this is my intenti…

New Year Intention

"There is a voice that doesn't use words."~Rumi Kate’s Turn: The New Year typically has us pondering resolutions, goals for the upcoming year.I listened, wrote, painted, and pondered until my intention crystallized within me: Embody light or “embo-delight”.Not so much a ‘doing’ intention but more of a ‘being’ focus.
Get Fired Up: Now it’s your turn!
Allow this blessing by Kayleen Asbo to inspire you…and write your own!

A Blessing for the New Year
As the hours of darkness begin to slowly wane from the winter sky,
so too may the fearful places of your heart unclench their grasp on your life.
As the presence of light begins to grow with greater sureness with each passing day
may your own courage blossom to open more brightly to truth and love.

Let this be the year that you turn off the television and silence the talk radio chatter
in order to pick up the writing pen, the paintbrush,
and watch the candle slowly burn.

May this be the year that you delight
in seeing how much jo…

Muse Mess(ages)

Musing... “The muse is the mystic force, but you are the master.”   ― A.D. Posey
Charise’s Turn: This is the last blog post for 2017, and for Kate and me, a second year of collaborating on a book based on inquiry into the nature of creativity. When we began, we didn’t determine a deadline, but rather a timeline (monthly phone calls and individual assignments). We knew we had an unwieldy task that would require a great deal of listening―to each other and to muse messages. 
Sometimes, in the midst of such a process, you have to tolerate the “mess” in “messages”. It’s as if there’s a translation going on, from the nudge of the muse into language you can grasp. And this process can hit rough spots… overwhelm…and then breakthroughs! For the mastery to happen, stick to it―whatever your current creative mess is―you will feel blessed in the end.
"Men talk as if victory were something fortunate. Work is victory."―Ralph Waldo Emerson
Get Fired Up: What is your current mess(age) of inspiratio…

Winter Fire

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” - Albert Schweitzer
Kate’s Turn: Autumn, closing in on winter, is typically a time to slow down, reflect and harvest the fruits of our year’s labor, and to ready ourselves to rest and restore through the seemingly dead of winter.The non-activity of winter is really about dormancy; the life cycle has a period of rest and restoration before the new blossoming season.
This is the natural life cycle of creativity as well.When we feel flat, uninspired, and lethargic about our creative manifestations, it may just be a time of dormancy and a call to rest.When we don’t feel our fire internally, it also calls for faith and trust that its dormancy will be rekindled when conditions support our creative spirit to outpour once more. And those conditions just might be an invitation or…

Fierce Art

Musing… “Whenever I read a poem that moves me, I know I'm not alone in the world. I feel a connection to the person who wrote it, knowing that he or she has gone through something similar to what I've experienced, or felt something like what I have felt. And their poem gives me hope and courage, because I know that they survived, that their life force was strong enough to turn experience into words and shape it into meaning and then bring it toward me to share. The gift of their poem enters deeply into me and helps me live and believe in living.”- Gregory Orr, author of Poetry as Survival
Charise’s Turn: Poet Irina Ratushinskaya, who passed away on July 5, was imprisoned for three years in a Soviet labor camp during the 80s. She continued to write secretly while confined––by writing poems in soap (with the burned tip of a matchstick). She would memorize these poems, and then wash them away to avoid discovery. Her remarkable story is testament to the unstoppable power of creativit…