Posted in Poetry

The Neglected Lives of Poets

Forgetting breakfast for tea and last night’s scrawled
lines over wine and a midnight muse,
we finally break eggs, butter toast, call it brunch.
The pan, long-cooled, ignored on the stove —
coffee is poured, the landscaper’s bill
pushed behind the sugar bowl —
a laundry marathon spins out at the top of the stair,
wringing thread-bare towels of their last hope.

We are picking peaches with Li-Young Lee

© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved


Two poems by Li-Young Lee: The Weight of Sweetness and From Blossoms


Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry



Here is a half-poem challenge for January’s Casting Bricks to Attract Jade.  Everyone is welcome to stop by the challenge and join us for collaborative poetry!


When the duckweed scums
The edge of the battered pond
He sees eyes that flint, her
Hands peeling two ripe plums,
All traces of holding back, gone.

Brush snow from the garden thyme,
See how green it loiters there



Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry


Completing Sarah Connor’s Challenge poem for January’s edition of Casting Bricks.  (It went a little dark;  perhaps I have been reading too much Ahkmatova of late?)  Sarah is such a gifted poet and this was a delight to complete!  Everyone is welcome to join in and Cast Bricks to Attract Jade, a collaborative poetry challenge.  C’mon and give it a whirl!

Sarah’s words are in bold and mine follow.  (Also went out on a limb & created a Sound Cloud, in spite of being sick for a week. I felt Sarah’s words come alive with the audio.)


It seemed like we were always dancing,
though the music was sometimes too fast,
and sometimes a little too slow,
and sometimes we hardly heard it at all

Frantic though the band played long
through black ruptured days of pitch,
and sometimes we heard our arteries thrum,
and sometimes we hardly heard their call

Until caesura broke the chest voice
and I let you leave without your hat and gloves.

Posted in Uncategorized

How to Create an Audio Link

Creating an Audio Recording through Sound Cloud

Disclaimer:  I work from my laptop and it is Windows based.  Also, I have not upgraded to Windows 10 out of sheer stubbornness, so some things may be different.  If you work from a Mac, all bets are off.

  1. You need an app for recording your voice. I use Sound Recorder and it was already on my computer as part of the Windows package. The Google Voice Recorder is also popular.  After I opened Sound Recorder and told it to go ahead and use my microphone, I ended up with this little microphone that I could pin to my taskbar.  Pretty easy – I just click on the ‘Start Recording’ button.Sound Cloud 1

You also need a microphone. Perhaps you work from a computer (desktop) that doesn’t have a built-in microphone.  (My laptop does, but my PC doesn’t.)  No worries!  You can purchase earbuds that have a tiny microphone built into the cord.  Or you may have something like that already that you use for your cellphone.  It’s a pretty cheap little thing and it actually gives a better quality recording than my laptop microphone.  Just plug it into your computer and then get that Sound Recorder or Voice Recorder and move on to step 2.       UPDATE:  If you look at the comments below from Frank & Bjorn, you will see that they both use Audacity, which is a free upload.  Much appreciation to both for this essential bit of information!

2. Practice/Record/Save If you are not used to the sound of your own voice, no worries!  Most of us are a bit put off by our recorded voice.  No, that is not exactly what you sound like – your real voice is much better than that! The Delete button is a wonderful thing.  Speaking of which, once you Stop Recording, your file goes into the Save / Save As process.  NOTE: Pay close attention to where it saves the file once you name it.  Mine defaults to OneDrive, which I don’t use often.  It took me a few minutes to locate my file the first time.  Because I work in a Windows environment, my files save as a .wma (Windows Media Audio).  You may also find that your file is an MP3 file or M4A, depending on your computer.

  1. Sound Cloud! So now you have this file on your computer. How do I put it on my blog? Sound Cloud works with your Gmail / Google account, so be sure you are logged into your Google account and they will like each other and work happily together!  Setting up a Sound Cloud account takes a few minutes. The hard part is it wants to be sure you are not a robot.  You have to verify some visual figures & etc.  It is a PAIN, to say the least.  It will test your patience; hang in there and keep trying.  Once your account is set up, I recommend you log out.  Now, Google ‘Sound Cloud’ and one of the options will be  This means it now knows you – hooray!  Almost there!
  1. Upload to Sound Cloud. Once you are in your sound cloud account, you will need to upload your file (the one with your awesome voice!) The taskbar across the top has an Upload button next to your name. Go ahead… click that baby!  Then click the orange ‘Choose a File To Upload’ button and find your file.  Whoop!  Sorry, but I get excited when we have victories!  A screen will pop up like this one: Sound Cloud 2

You can update the image (not necessary at the moment, but nice once you get comfortable with Sound Cloud).  You can also assign a genre.  I go with Custom & Poetry or sometimes just use Story Telling or Entertainment.  You can describe your track.  You can do none of these things; it’s all optional.

Click SAVE.  Now click on Go To Your Track. Click the Share button.  Now click Embed.  Three images come up.  Choose the one in the middle – Classic Embed.  (The one on the left will give you this HUGE sound cloud image on your blog.)  A little box is there that says CODE:  Sound Cloud 3

Click it and it will highlight like you see in this image.

  1. Put my file on my blog. Head on over to your blog post. Find the spot where you are going to put your Sound Cloud audio link and paste (Ctrl V) that link.  In Word Press, you need to go to the top of your post page and click HTML before you paste the code.  It will know what to do with it!  After you paste the code, go back and click Visual:Sound Cloud 4
  2. Now do your End Zone dance… or just run around the house yelling, “Goal! Goal!”
Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Sweet Peas Renga – Jilly/qbit

qbit has taken up my Renga Challenge – it is bound to be…interesting; stick around!   Jilly’s January Challenge of Casting Bricks to Attract Jade is in full swing.  Join us; everyone is welcome!

Like sweet peas in water colors
echoes cross the river

Our dung, our beetled life, our turvey sleep,
we fall into carapaces and disjointed limbs

Guttering wings
grid of prophecies emeralding mold

Divined by eyes upon our backs
that see us once, see us twice

Skittering wake caroms,
threatens our sight; our sight

Our slight, slightest, lightest
saucy flight our taste of heaven

Indigo’s bitter blue
crushes, crunches veins of penicillin

Skewered through the helix,
twinned and twined to origins

Euphrates yellows our canvas
diminished chords return unanswered

Tigris Tigris burning bright
our garden silenced by such fire.

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Sweet Peas – Renga Challenge

Here is my first Renga Challenge for the January Edition of Casting Bricks.  Care to take up this challenge?  Just drop me a note in the comments section below and I’ll set up a post for us. Renga is normally a total of ten couplets completed by two poets.  January is going to be a great month!  ~Jilly


“Like sweet peas in water colors
Echoes cross the river…”



Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Sweet Peas Renga – Jilly/Maureen

Maureen Sudlow has accepted my Renga Challenge!  We will complete our ten-couplets here. If you have not stopped by Maureen’s beautiful blog,  kiwissoar,  I highly recommend it!  She shares poetry and photos and her quest with painting.  Her New Zealand photographs are a highlight of my days. My opening couplet is inspired by one of her posts.


Like sweet peas in water colors
echoes cross the river

evening cloud
a rainbow bleeds into the sea

tinting the sun in primary hues
drying too quickly to deny the ache

ripples on the water
the emptiness of space

reverberating in time
with the heron’s solitary call

beyond the path of the whale
footprints of seabirds along the sands

breach from my throat in warbled tones
a solo song of love’s unrest

until, like love
the echoes fade, and die

to rupture again, and again
in clouds of ash and iron and mud

and the darkness falls
but the song goes on, forever.


Join us at Jilly’s January Challenge of Casting Bricks to Attract Jade for some collaborative poetry; everyone is welcome!

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Jilly’s January Challenge – Casting Bricks to Attract Jade

Casting Bricks to Attract Jade

Jilly’s January Challenge! 

We begin a new year and we begin a fresh month of Collaborative Poetry.  Looking back, December was a bit sluggish to start, but then, celebrations and vacations fill up our lives in that most festive month of the year.  As we approached Christmastime, the December Challenge gained momentum and we caroled our way into New Year’s Eve.

Again, it my pleasure and honor to be your host for Casting Bricks to Attract Jade.  The Chinese tradition and idiom that sparked Jilly’s monthly challenges holds the spirit of collaboration and of working within the realm of the genius of our fellow poets and writers.  I ‘cast a brick’ – a challenge poem, hoping that you will come forward with something far more valuable than the brick – that what you write will be as jade.  During the past six months we have seen many half-poem challenges presented and completed by poets from all around the world.  We also delve into the Renga format; more about that below.  I hope you will present a Challenge poem for others to complete and also find a challenge that you would like to turn into purest jade! 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Write a half poem and post it to your blog with a link or tag back to this page (Jilly’s January Challenge). If your Challenge poem is a form (sonnet, quadrille, etc.) please state as such and give a quick review of the form or a link to a site that does that for you.
  1. Stop by here and add your Challenge link to our Mr. Linky.
  1. Find other Challenges that you would like to complete.

Write the 2nd half of their poem and post the entire poem to your blog.

Return here to our Mr. Linky again and post the link to that completed poem.

You may also want to put a comment on the other person’s original Challenge post to let them know you have accepted their challenge. Also, take some time during the month to stop back here and read some of the other completed challenges.  You will be amazed at what is built by bricks.

  1. Spread the word. Extend the invitation to your other poet friends to join us. We are creative, friendly and quite often, a madcap group of poets!  Everyone is welcome here!

NOTE:  In order to keep the links for Challenges (your half poem) different from the links for the Completed Poems, I suggest the following:  When posting your Challenge half poem, post the name you would normally use along with the word ‘Challenge’ behind it.  ex: Jilly Challenge.

When posting the link for a Completed Challenge, post your user name & the name of the person whose Challenge you completed.  Ex: Jilly / Colin (if I am completing a challenge put out there by our good friend Colin Lee.)

There is no expiration on our Mr. Linky, so feel free to post new challenges and complete challenges throughout the month.  Complete as many or as few challenges as you feel comfortable with.   Most importantly, have fun & flex your poetic muscles!

RENGA Challenges:  Renga is a Japanese collaborative poem that involves two or more participants. The idea was suggested last fall by qbit at The Quantumverse and has been great fun!  If you choose to kick off a Renga, include the word ‘Renga’ after your name (qbit – Renga Challenge).  It will be up to you to assign volunteers to work on a Renga Challenge.  I am linking you back to qbit’s explanation from September on this for guidance.

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know through the Comments or Contact me directly.  Cheers!  ~ Jilly

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Lasting Magic – a Collaboration

I promised myself to complete Revived Writer’s December Challenge poem during my Christmas Break.  Perhaps to convince myself that these days would last forever, I have only just completed her charming magic nine poem on the cusp of Epiphany and of returning to work.  Looking back at Christmases gone by, it is the memories that tie them all together.  Jenna’s words are in bold.

Family gathers ’round the Christmas tree,
Laden with ornaments and many gifts,
Children lean in close, excitedly,
Wondering what Santa’s workshop brought,
Creating a childhood of normalcy,
Every year, tinsel carefully placed,
Every moment a snapshot in efficacy,
Every smile darts as a chimney swift,
Lasting forever upon sweet snows of memory.