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Poetry Workshop January 2017

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holiday Season from all of us at The Literary Nest. We are working hard on creating the winter issue. Look for it online on January 15.

As we enter the fourth year of the publication, we are putting the lessons we learned along the way to some significant actions. We are pleased to announce our first online poetry workshop.

Poetry Workshop
January 8-Feb 12

Technical Requirements: A computer, email account, and internet access.

Every Monday, you will receive a warmup activity to prepare you for the week.
Every Tuesday, you will receive the lesson and a writing prompt.
You can send your poem for the week by Friday of the week.
On Monday beginning the second week, you will receive feedback on your poem along with the new warmup activity.

Fee: $30.00 Donation to The Literary Nest. PayPal link or mailing address provided upon registration.

Sounds good?
Sign up by sending an email to with “Poetry Workshop Signup” in the subject line.

Feature of the Week – 7

Henrietta M. Dahlstrom
The Hibiscus
To observe summer’s extravagance
I bought a big potted hibiscus
for my empty front  porcha single blossom, dark pink coral,
and five overlapping petals that swirl
like a Flamenco skirt encircling

the stalk of a bright bold stamen
that thrusts up to flaunt five red stigmata
and lemon-yellow anthers heavy with pollen.

The flower lasts only a day.  It folds itself up
and falls off but by then another has burst open
and every day there is a new bloom

passionate and urgent, relishing
its short sumptuous existence

as I in my old age relish each day
as if I might fold up and drop off
this tender earth at any moment.

Feature of the Week – 6

Linda Dickman

Scoured by the Wind
For Amelia

We made it. You and I.
Oh, and Fred.
Our wings worse for the wear,
Felled far from our goal.
Rescued from the sauce.
Hope floats.

That little girl looked
Curious. Was it the pants?
The short hair? She looked
From me to her mother, questioning.

But we’re rescued, Electra,
Drawn out of the salt
Into the spray.

Who could have guessed
On this rock solid pier
That we’d end up walking the planks
Into the rising sun.


Feature of the Week – 5

Since there was no winner for this week’s feature, I bring to you a public domain poem by H.D. She is considered as an Imagist poet by many. See how deftly she describes the evening as it slowly turns into the night.
Next week, I hope to bring you the feature from the winner of the week 6.


by H.D. (1886 – 1961)
The light passes
from ridge to ridge,
from flower to flower—
the hepaticas, wide-spread
under the light
grow faint—
the petals reach inward,
the blue tips bend
toward the bluer heart
and the flowers are lost.

The cornel-buds are still white,
but shadows dart
from the cornel-roots—
black creeps from root to root,
each leaf
cuts another leaf on the grass,
shadow seeks shadow,
then both leaf
and leaf-shadow are lost.

Weekly Feature Prompt – Week 5

Write a poem (40 or fewer lines) or a flash fiction story ( < 1000 words) on any theme. see the complete guidelines here.

Send in your entries by Thursday, July 6, 2017 – 7 PM PDT.

The lines here are just for inspiration. You are not required to use the lines.

The shadow I had carried lightly has
Been forced upon me now and heavy since
Bulky since now and since unwieldy as
A corpse the shadow I was born from in
— Shane McCrae (“America Gives Its Blackness Back To Me“)

Feature of the Week – 4

I chose Marsha Owen’s prose poem “Ugly Times” for this week’s feature. A heart-breaking rant. I loved the sounds. The images are vivid and rooted in reality. The juxtaposition of harsh reality and continuity of nature makes this poem effective.

Ugly Times

Hung a new fan on the outside porch today. Blades sliced the humidity, brought flutters of relief, but I coulda’ sworn I heard one whisper, Why bother? He’s just gonna’ start a war, you know, pack his suitcases with green roots of evil, play golf on our graves.

So I sat down with my new friends, squatters who swarm in my head now, drop by uninvited, keep me awake every night. I tried to send them away, but they stay—then sunshine drops its snarky self onto my grass as it has for eons, and just then in the oak tree, birds all lemony and apple-red catch my eye. Audacious, I thought, while warships circle each other somewhere, but I hear mothers still birth babies, brown babies, white babies, less than right babies, destined to be children (let us pray) but the rich bitch says now all must pay to play at school, lunch canceled, so I wonder if I should get a refund on the fan, get a little money, a few dollars maybe, enough for a bottle of filtered water because a child I don’t know drinks poison, or enough to fill your grandma’s prescription, maybe enough to buy a wheel for his chair and then I remember those pussy hats waving from crowds, a sea of pink sails bobbing along almost like they were sewn together and all the feet moved as one river of blood.

I watched the fan circle. I coulda’ sworn I saw a noose hanging there, the oak tree out back blackened against my scorched earth.