PROMPT: (1)When Winter Stage Becomes Nature’s Performance (2)CARAMEL/CARMEL

January 6, 2020

There were two options for the prompt at today’s meeting.

  • Prompt #1: The following poem, When Winter Stage Becomes Nature’s Performance, was written by Writers in the Grove member Lowell Greathouse. It was published in the Winter 2020 issue of the Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poems.

When Winter Stage Becomes Nature’s Performance

The curtain descends, as Fall’s Festive Finale completes its months’ long run.
Autumn’s rich drama, in all its splendor, is over.
The last lingering leaf has touched nature’s majestic stage,
and the players,
who just a short time ago were dressed in elegant costumes
of red and yellow, brown and orange vanish from the limelight.

Only the stark barrenness of the theater itself remains.
It is an imposing spectacle in which the props
reveal a theatrical dimension all their own.
The headline cast of sparrows, cranes, and geese,
ducks, bears, and beavers have returned to their dressing rooms,
preparing for performances and production numbers yet to come.

What remains is nature’s landscape —
sparse, dark, cold,
appearing bleak and vacant,
as trees and shrubs cast long shadows upon this earthly grandstand.
The crispness of the evening air
conspires with the silence of the night to add a drama all their own.

Winter has become the play,
full of subtle life and rich beauty, plotlines and scene changes.
It is a new episode in creation’s drama…cast in simplicity.
More poetry than prose
it has a transcendent elegance,
composed of abandoned tree nests and distant stars,
frozen landscapes and glistening snow.

Occasionally, a creature will make a cameo appearance,
seeking sustenance between productions,
while longing for winter to end.
There would be no host for nature’s colorful community of artists without these desolate days.
All the actors depend on this grand dais to display their own eloquence.

Winter is a time of solemn soliloquies.
Only discerning ears and eyes perceive the hidden wonder involved.
The playwright’s hand is at work here too, reminding us that everything has a role to play.
Eventually, a new season will come and reveal anew the ongoing grace of nature’s living drama.


  • Prompt #2:  Caramel / Carmel



Prompt-a-Month: Looking Down

Writers in the Grove Prompt-a-Month badge.The September prompt-a-month for our Writers in the Grove members is:

Sitting high in a tree looking down on the world below where machinery threatened his green canopy…

Writers in the Grove members may hand in their submissions during the workshops or use our members only submission form. Check out the guidelines and instructions for submissions in the announcement.

Prompt-a-Month: Windows

Writers in the Grove Prompt-a-Month badge.The May prompt-a-month for our Writers in the Grove members is:

What do you see out the window you look out of most often?

Writers in the Grove members may hand in their submissions during the workshops or use our members only submission form. Check out the guidelines and instructions for submissions in the announcement.

The Humanity of Flowers

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, William Stafford, and was inspired by the prompt, Coming Over the Rise I Saw.

That humans could be as compatible as flowers. Flowers do nt seem to care what kind is planted next to them or about their color or fragrance, if any. Some need space of their own but still do not attack their neighbors.

Oh that we could share our space in the world as gracefully.

Prompt: Coming Over the Rise I Saw

The prompt this week was inspired by a trip taken by MJ Nordgren. She described covering over a rise in her car and seeing before her a wide sweep of brightly colored flowers, a field of bright red poppies alongside a field of vivid blue Bachelor’s Buttons. It was so lovely, she had to stop and reflect upon it. Thus our prompt this week is:

As I was coming over the rise I saw…

The Garden

The following is inspired by our Prompt-a-Month program. The prompt for this past month was “garden.” This deadline for this month’s prompt, “dance,” is July 31, 2016.

This is contributed by our Writers in the Grove member Gretchen Keefer.

Garden Vegetables out of focus.Allie groaned as she rolled over to shut off the alarm. Through her slitted eyes the gray light of early dawn filtered in. “Why did the alarm go off so early?” she wondered. This was too early for a summer morning. Yet there was something about today….

As she stretched and tried to open her eyes more fully, she heard movement in the kitchen; then the back door closed. “Grandmom.” Allie jumped out of bed. Today was the day she was supposed to help Grandmom take her produce to the farmers’ market. The vegetables had been packed last night, but Grandmom wanted to pick the flowers fresh this morning. Hastily pulling her shorts, shirt and sandals on, Allie hurried out to the garden.

Grandmom greeted her with a warm smile. “Good morning. I’m glad you could join me today. Isn’t it a lovely morning!”

Allie wondered how Grandmom could know this was a lovely morning when the day hadn’t even begun yet. Grandmom was always cheerful, which was one of the special things about Grandmom that Allie liked so much. Yawning, she took the scissors Grandmom offered and tried to pay attention to her instructions. Pick the blooms that are just opening, cut the stems at an angle and put them directly into the ready bucket of water. As they worked, Grandmom hummed familiar tunes or told Allie interesting facts about some of the flowers. Occasionally she would remind Allie to cut the stems a bit longer, so people could arrange the flowers as they wanted to, or to leave some of a particular plant for the bees, which were already starting to buzz around the fragrant blossom. (more…)

Dancing in Water

The following was written by Writers in the Grove member, Lorelle VanFossen, inspired from the Prompt: Palindrome Meets Pantoum.

Giggles and grins
Droplets tinkle and fall
Sun flashes gold
Hands windmill
Droplets tinkle and fall
Splashing diamonds
Hands windmill
Dancing in water
Sun flashes gold
Dancing in water
Giggles and grins

Have No Fear and Watch Out

The following is from Writer in the Grove member, Patti Bond.

As I was walking to a nearby Plaid Pantry to get a coffee and some other things I heard something to my left. It was a squirrel it was moving at a fast pace.

It quickly went up the utility pole, but as I came closer the squirrel came back down, and stayed there looking at me. I said hi and it just stayed there not moving, just staring at me for five minutes. I was thinking and he was thinking that I wasn’t going to be mean to it.

The squirrel finally turned around and went up the pole, and I resumed my walk. After visiting the Plaid Pantry, I cut through a park and I saw quite a few squirrels. One gray squirrel ran up the tree and a brown one quickly came running down.

The grey one said to the brown one, “You are in my territory!” and forced him to leave. I looked up the tree grinning and saying ha ha I won while he was sitting glued to the branch just watching the brown one. The brown one ran across the path. He tried to go up another tree, but the same thing happened. He ran into another grey squirrel. He was thinking how this can be what luck I’m having. I spotted another squirrel in the tree watching the others, then all of sudden they all disappeared.

I spotted the dog roaming around under the trees. What bad luck for the squirrels.

What an adventure seeing five squirrels. One of these days I will have a camera with me, so I can take a picture of the squirrels. I will sit at a picnic table quietly like a cat waiting for a mouse and click the camera when I see a squirrel. Instead of eating it, I’ll just click the camera. Then I’ll think to myself I finally accomplished my goal to be closer to nature.