Category Archives: Prompts

Of journals….

I’ve been reading a bit about journaling …..incidentally a diary is a journal is a diary. The two words are interchangeable. While googling, I discovered that there are many misconceptions about the diary and the journal being two very different things. Would really like your feedback on this.

I’m also a big fan of published diaries- it is ironic that what you write for yourself can become an object of some other’s scrutiny.

Here’s an excerpt of the article I wrote @ Indireads:

“I like the idea of a journal because I write it for me, meaning am my Target Audience—this gives my imagination a lot of free rein.

Take a look at some of poet Bernadette Mayer’s journal concepts: Dreams, food, finances, ideas, love, ideas for architects, city designs…even telephone conversations. There are six pages of journaling ideas and concepts that Bernadette lists. It is a landmine of prompts and I’m thinking of posting it in my room. You should too.”

Please do visit the site to read more and do comment.


neelthemuse@ 2013





Posted by on December 4, 2013 in Indireads, Prompts


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Claudia Schoenfeld: The dVerse Poet


I talked to Claudia Schoenfeld, co-founder of Dverse Poets and blogger @ Jaywalkin the moon. This is how she describes herself: “ When I’m  not jaywalking the moon, I may ride on my street bike to my workplace, cook Spaghetti for the family or just sit in the dark on a sun-warm boardwalk in a small German town, close to the borders to France and Switzerland, and sip a glass of red wine…”


Why ‘Jaywalking the Moon’? What’s the concept that is central to your poetry blog?

The concept is that I have no concept.

No really, it’s a simple poetry blog where I’m leaving crumbs of my journey, nothing else..and jaywalking..probably because I’m not very organized where and how I write my poems…often I write on my phone while on walks, in hotel lobbies, airports, pubs and lost in writing, pay not much attention to what surrounds me (almost missed a flight once because of this..)

This is why I immediately loved the word when I heard it first and the moon maybe stands for a place a bit away from the normal cause. Writing poetry is always also a little escape from everyday life for me.


What started you writing poetry- what was the impetus?

 Actually it was the poets I met on blogworld. My blog was not a poetry blog from the start. I was writing about this and that, browsed the net, met some people, through them connected with others, and the first poet I met on the internet was Ed Pilolla when he was guesting on a blog I was visiting back then. Reading his poem “Bribing the fireflies” lit a first poetic spark. Through Ed I met Brian Miller who was just about to start OneStopPoetry with a few people – and this made the spark a wildfire…


  How did the idea dVerse poets come about? Tell us about your vision for the pub.

dVerse was Brian Miller’s idea when he saw that OneStopPoetry would come to an end. He asked me if I’d like to join him and I happily did. Our vision is to provide a place for people to meet, exchange, learn and connect in a relaxed, stress-free and non-sophisticated atmosphere.


How has hosting a blog pub changed your approach to poetry?


 Through dVerse I read a lot of contemporary poetry but as my poetic journey is directly connected with my blog journey, they developed together… and still do.

 I didn’t read much poetry before I started writing poetry myself about two years ago. Thinking back now, I always liked poetry but it wasn’t a part of my life. So maybe I can say that interacting in a poet’s community and reading contemporary poetry also made the connection to poets like Rilke.

(This is interesting- for the blog to become the muse.)


 What pointers do blog hosts need to need to know, especially when it comes to dealing with comments (which you get in the hundreds?)

OK – first – I really value every single comment I get and I love to hear what people think about my poems. I also return every comment. The reason for this is that I want to connect to other poets and travel, reading-wise, beyond my borders – there’s so much to discover and for me the interaction with other poets is the big advantage in the online world compared to books which are more or less one way.


How do you use social networking to promote the poetry cause?

I use twitter and facebook to tweet and promote my and also other people’s poetry, as well as to interact with people. I met some awesome talented artists on both platforms and I find that twitter(especially) is a data highway full of surprises and inspiration.


 What do you advise poets who write for prompts?

Writing for a prompt always implicates a certain time pressure. Nevertheless I would recommend to read the prompt carefully, let the theme sink, carry it around for a bit, let the poem have time to develop, edit carefully and only post when you feel it’s ready.

 What I like most when reading prompt- related poetry is the big diversity, the different takes and multiple ways a theme is interpreted. I think that’s awesome.

 What I don’t like is when people link up poems unrelated to the prompt or/and don’t comment on others that have taken the challenge. I think it should always be a giving and taking.


Can blogging poetry lead to commercial success?

 I think blogging poetry can help you meet people who are responsible for online or print magazines. But so far, I know no one who has earned money just by blogging poetry nor by running poetry communities like dVerse or Critique- and craft groups like that of Luke Prater. I think it’s hard to make a living from writing poetry, even if you’re a good poet, even if you’re published. Poetry is a niche market and there are very few that make it to the top and really earn money with their poetry.


Great talking with you Claudia. You got many poets to reminisce in a poetry pub and poets, lonely creatures that they are, appreciate what the dVerse poets has on offer. Thank you!


© neelthemuse,2012


Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Interviews with Poets, Prompts


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How the Poem comes


Here is Canon’s challenge over at the dverse poets….I love minimalist verse….

Not worrying about the written form too much, try to write a poem using mainly tangible images to convey your thoughts, using as little abstract vocabulary as possible. If you find it difficult, focus on a single image and try to convey a lot of meaning in as small a space as you can.



Blue skies for some,

For others, cumulus assemble

(Drought begins before we know.)

Cast shadows,

Forward march,

Bring rain




© neelthemuse, 2012


Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Nature, Prompts


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Last Dance

Have you ever wondered about the tapestry of images that a peaceful death can evoke? When I saw this picture

Sunday Picture Press

I thought about the sweetness of one’s last moments. It is a time of saturation when all of life’s characters do the last dance right before your eyes.


Once upon a time- it comes to me now in a rush

It isn’t so bad to be leaving. I know what you think.

Tears well up in your eyes when you see I have packed.

Journeys! what marks they make on memory. It isn’t that way at all

The sea swell in your throat is for you. Not me. I see that now, so clearly


As I lie down- there is a rush with the past, time ticks again and I see us dance

Yesterday, a song? replayed.  Thoughts suspended- the he and the she becoming

That elusive thing- the Self? The One? The only?


Enacts once more and in my mind two shadows kiss.

I will not share this joy with you- My mystery,  My going- see my pallor

In fear.  In wonder.


© neelthemuse, 2012



Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Death, Love, Prompts


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I’ve mentioned in one of my posts how you never really know what could come out of a picture. I keep getting surprised about how one image can make you connect the dots with a totally different issue. So when I saw this picture on Indigo Spiders Sunday Picture Press….

Recession Hits:Michelle Orai

I was thinking of writing an ode to something…though I wasn’t really sure to what. So I sat in front of my com for maybe forty five minutes( yes I have been told that writing poetry is nothing but staring at the com for a good half hour and doing nothing, which is actually true if you are honest about the exterior aspect of writing, quite the opposite of the internal hum of connect the dots). And then this came up…a conversation between two people who obviously did not like each other for various reasons- age, race, attitude….


Text fingered Android you,

Then we were adapting ourselves to technicolour, shades of grey acclimatized to

The grey  in our heads.


I’ve been down colour alley.


Colour is something we take for granted.

Rods and cones. Skies are not that blue, little black dots of salt and pepper

Like astigmatism- everything  contaminated with holes.


Even the seeing are blind- holes in the head, in the weather they spread.


See how you walk the other way on an empty street with boards that remind

Of a time.  Gizmos lie, don’t they? The colours are fading like the money drains

Down bills, down mortgages, down taxes, down education for the better life, down hospital fees.


Splat! Crack! Predictions dire. How come I’m walking toward rainbows?

How come you say the world is coming to an end when things couldn’t have been better

for the have nots? knotted no longer in their painful silences, awful doubt. I’m walking away alright

on a quiet road where

the sign boards say out of business; and I hear fix! Not the fix you’re in. So fade

fade away cynic, forecaster of doom. The picture is coloured, always was

You chose to see winter,

always did, even when colour discovered you on some leafy continent.


© neelthemuse, 2012


Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Challenge, Inspiration, Prompts


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