Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry


Charley at Life in Portofino posed a Challenge for the November edition of Casting Bricks that is indeed a very great challenge.  To complete his poem I went with an assumption that is not in the text of John where this story is told, but is a plausible reason why the woman at the well had been married numerous times.  Charley’s words are in bold and mine follow.  (Everyone is welcome to join us in the Casting Bricks Challenge!)

[Here comes she, bearing her plight.]

 (A man!  Will his words carry sugar
as does all the rest?)

 [She suffers more than she needs.
Her exclusion from the throng
is her own guilt.]

 (A Jew!  Why is he waiting here,
and at this hour?)

[Her heart remains open – Thank
you, Father!]

 (I cannot face him.  He must know
that I am an outcast.  Perhaps
if I ignore him.)

 [She cannot know that I am here
to bring her back into the world
of the living.]

 (Maybe he will ignore me.)
“Will you give me some water?”
Oh, my child!
Whom never I bore
in my persistent barrenness
you shall hear the story
of the quorum
of husbands who took me
to the gates,
each in his turn
for my empty
womb, setting me
to scavenge,
to beg the shelter
due a woman without

until that one —
who wanted naught
but water–
to fill up,
not my infertile margins,
but my desolate soul.

It makes my feet itch
for I have none to inherit
my satisfaction.

© Life in Portofino / Jilly 

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Scra(m)bling for Words

A week ago I took up the Challenge from my good friend and poet, NoSaintAugustine, and played a game a Scrabble for words to complete his intriguing poem.  It has moldered in the editing process all this time.  This morning I realized that it was unfinished because I had insulted my internal Editor with my words.  Once realised, I told her to get over it and get back to work.  Here is the outcome 😉    (N.S. Augustine’s words are in bold; mine follow.)

Harsh poet, exact your daily fee
Of dew and pity
Work as a tofu waiter
To earn medicine you borer bee
With your waxy yoke

Make a pile of wood dust

Your boots cooled in the queue
Waiting for those pills that help you
Dance for them
You dance for them with haughty eye
You wear your tutu like a mane

Gentle editor, kite your daily bread
Of ax and quotes
Toil as a charlatan
To find that shadow you ripened roach
With your two-noded ire

Make a pile of wood dust

Your lungs jabbed with postpone
Waiting for those apes that kill you
Dance with them
You dance with them for taxi fare
You wear your mane like a tutu

© Collaborative Poetry of NoSaintAugustine & Jilly

Everyone is welcome to join us at Casting Bricks to Attract Jade, a Collaborative Poetry project filled with friendly, fun and zany poets!  This one was a ton of fun!  If you don’t have a Scrabble board, give the Words With Friends app a whirl.


Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

It’s Never about Birds

Five days have slipped by since the November edition of Casting Bricks to Attract Jade rolled out and I am finally managing to slow down enough to put a Challenge Poem out for anyone who would care to give it a whirl.  I was discussing clichés with my students recently and that sparked this challenge poem.  There is no form, so do as you will, my fellow poets!  Full details about Casting Bricks are here or click on my perma-link on the side bar.

It’s never about birds in poetry;
it is about our inadequate,
marrow-filled bones that
weigh us down
reminding us of the immediacy
of the dust.

It’s never about stars in poetry;

Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry

Casting Bricks – Jilly’s November Challenge

Casting Bricks to Attract Jade

Jilly’s November Challenge! 

Welcome, again, my Poetic Friends, to another round of Collaborative Poetry; I’m thrilled to have you here!  November marks our fifth month of Jilly’s Challenge and I am eagerly looking forward to a new month of Casting Bricks to Attract Jade. Let’s get November going; 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 November 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.
  2. 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.

4.  Spread the word. Extend the invitation to your other poet friends to join us. We are creative, friendly and more than a little zany!  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 a couple of months ago by Qbit at The Quantumverse and has been load of 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, Poetry

On the Cusp of November

Every year on the 14th of February, Dad would buy a large heart-shaped box of assorted chocolate candy for Mom.  He would also buy a smaller version each for my brother and me.  I remember how Mom would use her thumb to find the vanilla crèmes and rule out the chewy caramels, rendering her box unappealing to everyone else.  Clever woman!

Like April, poets undertake the challenge of November to be writing daily.  For the most part, I do write daily throughout the year, but intentionality is an energizing delight.  There are multiple places for a poet to find inspiration and a few extra ones during this coming month and I intend to press a thumb into the various sources to find the dark chocolate mocha (my personal favorite) of inspiration and then write and post here at Jilly’s.  Here is a list of some of the places I will be sampling.  I hope you will all find your favorites and celebrate the deliciousness of poetry in November!


  • Jilly’s November Challenge of Casting Bricks to Attract Jade (Posting on Friday, 11/3) A perma-link will be on my sidebar, as usual. Everyone is welcome!
  • Jane Dougherty meets W.B. Yeats with daily quotes from her favorite poet.
  • Poetic Asides; Robert Lee Brewer’s PAD Chapbook Challenge
  • Weekly Haikai challenges from Frank J. Tassone (every Saturday)
  • dVerse, of course, with the usual line-up of great prompts on Monday, Tuesday & Thursdays.


~Cheers!  Jilly