The Sun Melts

The sun melts
Crimson pools spill across the horizon
staining clouds
oranges, pinks, purples
A beacon?
Welcome, Night
The moon
waxing, waning,
in a perpetual dance with an ever-jumping cow
A harbinger?
So long, Day
Sands
through the hourglass
falling, passing
“hush-a-bye baby on the treetop” time
A promise
Living art
rendered in warmest hues
broad strokes across the cool sky
Time
passes by

~

©2020 Tanya Cliff

~

Writer’s Workshop

Exciting News!
I am going to be hosting a weekly Writer’s Workshop over at the Go Dog Go Café on Saturdays, beginning March 7th. Please join me there for a fun, challenging opportunity to stretch your writing skills in the Café’s warm, friendly environment. I love the group at GDG! I’m thrilled to be joining them, especially in a format that explores the power of language in storytelling.

The Writer’s Workshop will stick with a single prompt response each month, limited to 150-300 words, and involve several editing challenges to the same response designed to sharpen prose. The schedule is as follows:

Week 1: The Fastball
This week, I will introduce some element of good prose and/or share encouraging words from favorite authors. Then, I will pitch the Fastball prompt. Participants can link their responses in the comments section, and I will share them the following week.

Week 2: Batting Practice
This week, I will continue the discussion and share the responses from Week 1’s Fastball.
The challenge to participants this week will be to cut at least 10% of words from their response in week 1, tighten their prose. The 10% cut comes from Stephen King’s On Writing, one of several writing books that you will hear me refer to on occasion. The cut might seem arbitrary, but it forces concision and encourages the use of powerful language.

Week 3: Curveball Challenge
And just when you think you mastered it…
This week, I will throw a curveball, a specific challenge designed to improve prose, some element to be added to the response from the Batting Practice in Week 2. We will use this challenge to explore some of the grammatical tools that can be used to create tension and drama on the sentence level in our writing.
I will also show how I handled the 10% cut from Week 2 (including my word counts) and provide links to the Week 2 responses of participants.

Week 4: Players at the Plate
I will sum up the month’s activities, show how I handled Week 3’s Curveball Challenge, and link to all the other participants’ rewrites. Writing is hard work. You can expect a lot of encouragement and praise from me along the way.

I hope you will pull up a chair in the Go Dog Go Café and join me for the Writer’s Workshop. Visit the Go Dog Go Café to learn more.

Tanya

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A Warm Haiku

his strong, ursine hug
gives her dangerous thoughts, dreams
pulse quickens, cheeks blush

img_6341

~

©2020 Tanya Cliff

~

My response to Stephen’s weekly Level UP Challenge at GoDogGo. Please visit the following creative souls for the promts:

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge–February 18, 2020

Eugi's Weekly Prompt – Blush – February 17, 2020

https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/category/what-do-you-see/

Haiku: Angry North Winds

The complete challenge is available here:

Wednesday’s Level UP Challenge, 2/19/20 and Tuesday’ Writing Prompt Challenge Round UP

 

 

 

 

Cardinals

The sun travels along the arch of a low horizon—the short path
of a winter day
when cold air aches
pressing into our bones
Later, ice-glazed tree limbs crackle
in the midnight winds
heard outside our shut-tight glass
Snow falls, covering
paths, dead leaves, and seeds
In the frigid morning, the birds seek
a meal to sustain them
They gather on our deck
where the filled feeder hangs like a beacon
juncos, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice
jostle with their larger brethren
the hairy woodpeckers with their zebra-striped backs
and the hungry cardinals,
their flaming feathers, a florescent highlighter against the snow,
marking the places where the seed falls
They write their stories in footprints as we watch them:
the male cardinals wait while their partners eat their fill,
then battle with each other for the choicest remains
Chivalrous? or cavalier?
Crimson heroes to their girls
Red villains to each other
Can a man be both things?
Do the history books tell?
For the cardinals, the chronicle of this winter journey
will melt, the empty seed shells scattered
will dissolve
into fresh earth and green grass
But we will remember both hero and villain,
their footprints transcribed in letters
of our poems and prose

~

©2020 Tanya Cliff

~

Cherita #17

the cat prowls the midnight garden

discovers scarlet rosebuds, sweet basil,
the flowers of chives, tempting catnip

as she explores
the moonlit Eden, grateful,
her senses come alive

kitten

~

©2020 Tanya Cliff

~

Written in response to Stephen’s Level Up Writing Challenge, using prompts from the following awesome humans:

Beth – https://godoggocafe.com/2020/02/04/tuesday-writing-prompt-challenge-february-4-2020/

Eugi – https://amanpan.com/2020/02/03/eugis-weekly-prompt-alive-february-3-2020/

Sadje – https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2020/02/03/what-do-you-see-15-february-3rd-2020/

Stephen – https://fullbeardlit.org/2020/02/06/level-up-writing-challenge-week-of-2-3/

The Glen

Impenetrable
or so it seemed
‘till the creek
by persistent motion
carved a path through hard rock
Now, the waterfalls
pool far below the ridge
light pierces the narrow gap above
and dances
in reflected ribbons
mingling like threads
that weave hope in ripples
illuminating the cool, moss-filled shade
highlighting the brook
no longer trapped
as it flows gently
down the valley’s earthen bed
filling soft crevices
completely–
a thorough lover,
penetrating
in currents
deep in the glen

~

Words and Photography ©2019 Tanya Cliff

Posted in poetry & free verse.