Poem Tryouts: Some Time With Vincent

27 May

9:35 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Cat Stevens singing Wild World

Let’s see, where are we? Ah. Hello. Tell you what, if a small jaunt to my brother’s in Florida throws me off, I hate to think what the rest of the summer is going to be like! Warning: don’t get old. There. My good deed. Hello, everyone. Today is our image prompt.

While wandering through images, I kept being pulled back to one that the I Require Art group on Facebook posted recently. It is a simple painting with an extraordinary pull.

Garlic Chives Vincent van Gogh

Flower Pot With Garlic Chives
Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Post-Impressionism, 1853-1890): Flower Pot with Garlic Chives, 1887. Oil on Canvas, 31.5 x 22 cm. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

I can imagine van Gogh sitting in his studio wondering what to paint next, his eyes passing over various things, idly, as he thinks. The eyes stop, come back to a pot of garlic chives he’s growing. He picks up his brush.

Our creative sparks can come from the damnedest things and we have little control over the stray sparks flying around the central fire. You can take today’s inspiration from the painting in a couple of ways.

1] Take the theme from the title and write about growing something, a specific memory.


2] Do the same thing I imagine van Gogh to have done and glance around you. Don’t look for something, just let your eyes move around the room. When your brain yells:Β  Go back! you’ll have what you want to paint into a poem.

3] The usual: anything that your mind says it wants to write when you look at this image.

I shall see you Thursday for the summer calendar; Friday for the prompt roundup; and then again in August. I KNOW. Sounds drastic, doesn’t it. You will still ‘see’ me on Tuesdays, in the form of a prompt. But you probably won’t hear from me.

Happy writing, all.

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Posted by on 27/05/2014 in exercises, poetry


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49 responses to “Poem Tryouts: Some Time With Vincent

  1. sonjajohanson10

    27/05/2014 at 10:57 am

    That’s funny, because I was just working on a growing poem when this popped into my inbox. Easy to guess what I am doing these days… πŸ™‚

    Thinning the Carrots

    I cannot do it.

    This is my secret
    and my truth. No
    matter the directions,

    not once have I been
    able to cull those
    feathery seedlings.

    Nor the lettuces, nor
    the little dills that
    assert themselves,

    nor the hoary-handed
    seed leaves of
    volunteer sunflowers.

    Instead, I transplant row on
    row of Scarlett Nantes – saved,
    but crooked in the roots.

    • margo roby

      27/05/2014 at 11:01 am

      Timing is all πŸ™‚

      I love the title and the idea. Growing vegetables is just another poem, as you show us!


      27/05/2014 at 11:35 am

      Oh I know that feeling – it seems criminal waste to throw away the thinnings. What I used to do is to thin by instalments, and use the washed thinnings in a salad. Now we no longer have a veggie (or anything else) garden, just a lot of pots on a concrete patio. I love the idea of voilunteer sunflowers.

      • margo roby

        27/05/2014 at 11:37 am

        I’ll remember that when we start our garden, ViV. One more year [god willing and the creek don’t rise].

      • sonjajohanson10

        27/05/2014 at 10:17 pm

        Plant them once and you should have volunteers every spring! I am always trying to adopt the little buggers out…

    • georgeplace2013

      27/05/2014 at 6:47 pm

      I cannot do it.
      This is my secret
      and my truth.

      I love how it feels like you are taking us into your confidence. You must be a wonderful gardener to lavish such care on your plants.

      • sonjajohanson10

        27/05/2014 at 10:16 pm

        oh, thanks George! i do believe the word used by my family to describe my gardening is “nuts”…

        • margo roby

          28/05/2014 at 7:52 am

          fyi Sonja: George = Debi

          Nutty gardening sounds like it might, possibly, be fun.

    • julespaige

      28/05/2014 at 9:43 am

      Very nice.


    27/05/2014 at 11:47 am


    Inspiration from many directions,
    paintings, pots and calm reflections,
    growing seedlings, words and thoughts:
    I harvest them, just as I ought
    to make a little poem from nought.

  3. markwindham

    27/05/2014 at 12:33 pm

    a bit of fun..but it IS what I saw when looking around. πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      27/05/2014 at 12:35 pm

      Fun is good. I’m heading over.

  4. Hannah Gosselin

    27/05/2014 at 12:53 pm

    Hi, Margo…It’s gray, gray, gray here and I’m in such a blah mood. Thinking on too many things…too many bothersome things. How’s that for honesty…whatta downer-debi I am. Attempting a better smile πŸ™‚ there…Hope your day is more smiley than mine.

    • margo roby

      27/05/2014 at 1:04 pm

      Oh dear, oh dear — I can’t even cheer you up, I’m feeling so throw myself off a cliff-ish. Hang on while I find a smile… okay, check your inbox in about five minutes. Meanwhile hang in there.

      • b_young

        27/05/2014 at 1:15 pm

        Ugh, I do hate being out of sync. Feel better, Margo. Is it something that a little pineapple juice etc on the rocks will cure? This is my last day of pelican-watching, then it’s back to ransom the cats from the vet.
        Poem is in the works. Been reading Dracula–in Florida–so no telling what’s coming up.

        • margo roby

          27/05/2014 at 1:54 pm

          Bloody Marys, Barbara, Bloody Marys. Although the pineapple would be good with vodka… after five o’ clock… somewhere.

          Pelican watching is to be highly thought of as a relaxant. I watched Alan, the anhingga.

          Can’t wait to see what Dracula produces. Magnificent novel.

      • Hannah Gosselin

        27/05/2014 at 1:16 pm

        That helped immensely…there’s a smile growing there in the core…thank you!

    • georgeplace2013

      27/05/2014 at 1:15 pm

      make that a downer-betty ; )

      • georgeplace2013

        27/05/2014 at 1:16 pm

        That was supposed to be under Hannah’s post. Sorry

      • Hannah Gosselin

        27/05/2014 at 1:18 pm

        Oh, yes…sorry Debi…Yes, Betty…there aren’t any bettys here… pretty safe I’d say. πŸ˜‰

  5. Carol Carlisle

    27/05/2014 at 2:07 pm

    I worked almost as hard on creating a Van Gogh-ish photo as the poem…But it was so much fun I should be ashamed but I’m not πŸ˜‰

    • margo roby

      27/05/2014 at 2:12 pm

      I’m glad you’re not ashamed, Carol. You are giving us a double dose of pleasure!

      • barbcrary

        27/05/2014 at 5:24 pm

        I agree with Margo! Double doses are always good.

  6. julespaige

    28/05/2014 at 6:56 am

    I missed this somehow yesterday and have and early start with the little folks this morning. I hope to get to this …eventually. I’m counting the days until I venture to the east coast – about 14 days.

    And then I’m more or less free for the summer… Not sure what the fall (school start) schedule will be – Son might have a new job… I might have early starts every week day then. But let’s get through the summer that hasn’t started (officially) yet. πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      28/05/2014 at 7:54 am

      That’s right, Jules, your perennial coastal jaunt! Have fun!

      • julespaige

        28/05/2014 at 8:22 am

        And no relatives..!
        I haven’t been to California in a few years. Not sure how close to the beaches I’ll be. But hopefully in a nice enough hotel …

  7. julespaige

    28/05/2014 at 7:41 am

  8. julespaige

    28/05/2014 at 1:16 pm

    A second piece with inspirational thanks to Carol C:

  9. b_young

    29/05/2014 at 8:13 am

    Ha! I did it! Took me a while, what with stuffing myself with seafood and wading in the sand, admiring pelicans, and packing, but I did it.

    • margo roby

      29/05/2014 at 8:16 am

      On my way. I need to rest my brain which is trying to remember how to post the calendar so it does the neat slide show thing you had.

  10. purplepeninportland

    29/05/2014 at 11:27 pm


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