Earth Day Challenge

Earth Day Challenge

planet in palm

Welcome to The Earth Day Challenge for Artists, Poets, and Writers. You may post as many times as you like. Each post URL may be entered below in the comments section. Url only and your name, please. Visit others and repost their contributions if you like. Remember, we are giving voice to our Mother Earth.

Have a great day!



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Suggestions For Earth Day Posting


Artists, Poets, and Writers

Suggestions For Earth Day Postings

As promised, I have gathered a few suggestions for postings to meet the Earth Day challenge to speak for our Mother Earth.

Images: with or without accompanying words:


Poetry: Bits or whole pieces



Loves Nature in small and large
creatures, furred and four-legged,
feathered and winged, from hawks
to hummingbirds, rabbits to big cats
and bears. Shares that love with all
who care and are willing to lean in
and listen.

Prose Writings: Essays, Articles, personal encounters or experiences:


A Tiger Named Pain (personal experience essay)

I have recently discovered a new poem form, created by another online poet, Hannah Gosselin, and is called The Boomerang Poem. It is written completely in metaphor (no similes), and pushes the mind into new and even, adventurous places. And because I am a poet, as well as an essayist, it occurred to me that the form would work for both. You will find the form and a detailed explanation here:

Music: Songs and music that celebrate the beauty of our planet home.


It goes without saying, that you may have your own ideas. All are welcome. Please be aware that you are not limited to only one posting, or to one blog entry. Make sure to share the post/s to social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Each time you post, you are invited to share that URL here, in the comments section. As always, read some of those posts, and if you are inclined, share the post on either your own blog or social media. You may also want to introduce your post/s with the words: For the Earth Day Challenge and then put the URL of this blog below that. I will create a new entry here on Earth Day, April 22, 2015.


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Challenge To Artists, Poets, and Writers


This challenge is being addressed to all artists,musicians, poets, and writers.

          Partaking in our various artistic endeavors we are, of course, expressing ourselves. However, we often are giving voice to those who have none. Those who have been silenced; either by circumstances or by individuals. Many of those silenced are forced, or coerced, into mute resistance (if they are capable of resisting at all).

As a poet and writer, I take that responsibility with concern and care. Earth Day is April 22 and our world, planet, home, is slowly and systematically being destroyed. The earth has no voice, although there are many (like myself) who believe she cries and groans with each tree that is bulldozed, each meadow or field of wildflowers that is paved over, each rock formation that is pulverized, and every swampland that is sucked dry by the human need for more of whatever it thinks it needs. All such actions are underlined by a deliberate ignorance, or denial, of the life such actions destroy; the waste, or fouling, of essential elements for sustaining continued life such as air and water.

So, with that in mind, I ask you to give the earth a voice on April 22, in whatever means of expression you employ to make that expression as public as possible. I would encourage you to use whatever is available to you; be that a blog, social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, a personal online journal, etc. To that end, I will come back here on the 18th of April to offer a few suggestions, ideas, or (if you prefer) prompts. You are free to use them (or not) as you see fit. We have a great deal of technology at our fingertips. Let’s use it and let our world speak. To further encourage you to participate, I am offering just one example, today, of writing that I myself have done. And yes, that means you are not, in any way, limited to only one form or piece of expression. Go through your files. Find images, photos, poems, bits of mythos, and stories. Dust them off and let them speak. This is one of my old pieces that I intend to post on April 22.

Actually, that’s two pieces. The image is a digital painting I created.

So, are you up to the challenge? Do you dare?

Elizabeth  4/13/15

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Digital Doodling


Used this pen and ink “zen doodle” to decorate a poetry post yesterday. You may find the poem at

Went back later to play with it digitally, using the kaleidoscope app. Some very interesting things happened, even though it started out like a regular session with the app. There is some amount of deconstruction when I do the designs because many times the patterns get so busy they seem to lose their eye appeal and get too distracting. That happened with this image.


This started out very busy because the vine part of the image sort of took center stage. But all I wanted was this central part of the design. However, when I got that, the rest of the design was washed out by an all white background. Changed that to black and liked it much better. To give you a better idea of the steps in the process, here are three images that are all the same design. Just click on them to enlarge them for easier viewing.


As I added the number of petals (extensions) to the kaleidoscope image, I was really pleased with the outcomes.



And another set, using deconstruction.



doodle1k3But the best of all surprises came with this beauty. I think it is exquisite.


Notes: If you are interested in the creation of that first ‘doodle’, you may find the original Zentangle site, and instructions for drawing some of the patterns here:

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Laughing Out Loud and A Lesson



I did say I would write about that long ago entry that had me laughing out loud. Better yet, I think I’ll just copy the entry here:


This morning at 11:30, Joan was driving and started to laugh. She said,

“We got up at six am, got groceries, you unraveled my shorts, while I was wearing them, we laughed so hard we both peed in our pants, we changed clothes in the back of the van in a supermarket parking lot in Flagstaff, Arizona, then drove through the painted desert and the Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi reservation, around inside Marble Canyon, and across the Colorado River. If that’s not enough, now we are in dense forest lands thick with massive Ponderosa Pines, we’ve seen an entire herd of deer grazing in a green clearing, looked more closely at a bubbling clear running mountain stream, and marveled at three to four foot snow drifts in the roadside ditches. All of that in five hours time. What could be left?”

Just a canyon, Joan, the Grand Canyon.

What can I say, we were Wisconsin yokels, first time out and committing gluttony of the eye. And I didn’t unravel all of her shorts. Do you remember, several years back, when they started making shorts with two contrasting colors for hems? It made it appear like the wearer had put on two pairs of shorts, one longer than the other? That’s what she was wearing when she climbed into the back of the van to find a place for the groceries we had purchased and were both carrying. Behind her, I looked up to see a small white thread dangling from the bottom hem, reached up and yanked it to snap it off. It didn’t snap. The entire hem, except for two or three stitches at the front, promptly came undone and was now dangling behind her knee.

With a few very colored wisecracks, we convulsed into raucous laughter and yes, both wet ourselves and had to change clothes in the back of the van while the other stood guard outside, all while trying to quell bursts of laughter at the unexpected situation we found ourselves in. It was a good way to begin the day, but we both agreed that it was also good that no one else was around to view the antics.

Just after noon, we checked into the Lodge on the North Rim of the Canyon. We had been planning this trip for about three months, and each time we called to try to make reservations, we had been told there were no openings. In a last ditch effort, somewhere from an Oklahoma motel, I had once again called the Lodge and was told that yes,  there had been a cancellation and we could have one of the individual cabins for three days and nights. Synchronicity is a wonderful thing.

That evening, after roaming around and getting our bearings, we decided to have a picnic on the rim. We had a table no more that six feet from that ancient rift. Alongside the table was a huge tree. As we were setting up for a dinner of grilled hamburgers, a huge raven flew to the tree and perched in one of its branches. It talked to us throughout our dinner, and we took turns talking back. It obviously had no fear of our presence, and at one point flew down and perched on the edge of the trash receptacle very close to where we were sitting. We asked it if it would guide us through our visit. It rocked on the edge of the metal container, bobbing it’s head up and down, cawing in a deep gravelly voice, perhaps telling us, “tomorrow, tomorrow.”

As I write all of this, I can’t help but see the symbolism in that final image of the raven to one side of us and the deepening shadows of the stone rift to other side. But in that single moment, we simply knew ourselves to blessed and were grateful to be alive.

Note: Image is a digital painting done many years ago.


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A Side Step


My last post was about following the signs and symbols and included a pair of ravens. Before going further (like about what made me laugh out loud in the journal entry), I thought it might be best to explore the symbolism of the bird.

As a bird, it is seen as a spiritual messenger, passing messages between the occupants of the earth and that which dwells in the heavens. It has a rich mythology as companion to other mythological entities and a varied history in Universal, Cultural, and even Personal Myth.

The raven has often been depicted (in paintings and photos) as a scavenger of the battlefield. It is a scavenger that feeds on carrion, but that depiction has created a symbolism that views it as a harbinger of death (something to be feared), and associates it with death and dying, especially the more violent kind.

On the other hand, in many Native American Tribes and other cultures, the raven is revered as a symbol of the Shamanic experience of Life/Death and Rebirth to a higher state of consciousness, the ability to shift the shape of understanding and knowing, and even the ability to sometimes foretell the future. It often caws in a deep and rumbling voice. The caws sound like the Latin word cars, repeated over and over again. That Latin word means tomorrow.

Because of its intelligence the raven, on occasion, has been taught to speak. That, in turn, has altered the scavenger symbolism to one of the raven visiting the aftermath of battle to accompany and whisper to those valiant fallen, the directions to Valhalla.

Carl Jung saw the raven as a symbol of the shadow side of the human psyche and the darker parts of our personality. The parts we may have rejected, or would rather not know about. But Jung also thought that we might never find wholeness until we explore and get to know that aspect of our being. To do so, is once again, to raise the level of our consciousness, and also allows us to more readily know and accept others around us.

I told you the mythology and symbolism are rich and varied. So, how do I interpret the encounter we had with those two guardian guides? I see a bit of all of it in that one incident.

1. There were two ravens, one for each of us in that rented minivan. We were two very different individuals from very different backgrounds. She was younger than I by just over twenty years. Was an incest victim in need of a safe place, so I brought her home and she lived with myself and my two youngest daughters for almost ten years.

2. I had already created my own Personal Mythology, peopled with wild creatures that interacted with me, and represented pieces and parts of my own personality. In turn, that Mythology led us together, about a year and a half into our friendship, to discover that she suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder, now defined as DID: Dissociative Identity Disorder. It was the bond that allowed both of us to accept and trust one another in ways that were both new and constantly rich in growing knowledge for each of us.

3. Neither one of us had explored, in any depth, the shadow sides of our own psyches. When we did, it exploded the bond, and four years later, the friendship ended in deep personal pain (feeling much like death and loss) for both us and almost ten years of total silence between us.

4. Yes, the ravens showed us the way out of the place we were in, but the path they took us down was winding and led us through a very rocky hillside terrain before bringing us back to the Interstate.

5. A few years back, I answered the phone to hear a very familiar voice say, “Hey, Elizabeth, do you remember when we…” We have a long distance relationship now, but we never tire of the conversation, the memories, and the bond that outlived those ten years of utter silence.

All of which leads me to believe that we took part in all of the symbolism those two ravens had to offer.


Note: Both images came from the Internet.

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Following The Signs and Symbols 2

Zentangle Mandala #1  Breaking Free Separately Together  7-3-09

This seemingly empty space has been calling to me for several weeks now. Invariably, my fingers twitch a bit when it does, but I find excuses not to answer that call: I’m too busy working on my project, need to find those pages in my computer files, have to work on those images I want to use, need to fix myself something to eat, and so on and so on.

Although I have been writing, it is poetry and that has been only once a week for the wordle challenge at The Sunday Whirl. Those pieces appear on my poetry blog at Soul’s Music. So this space remains blank. Empty except for all those old posts that people still come here and read.

This morning I was doing a bit of research, so headed to my closet/library, but couldn’t locate the book for which I was seeking. Did find a part of a journal I kept during my first ever road trip out to Montana in 1993. Several of those entries made me smile in recollection, and one had me laughing out loud.

Throughout those pages, I found comments I had made about all the birds and wildlife we were encountering. One especially, had me sighing in deep satisfaction. We had taken a side trip to explore a park, led there by a small road sign. It turned out to be over twenty miles, much of it through flat barren landscape. The ‘park’ turned out to be a historical marker with a set of swings for kids to play on and possibly to allow it to be defined as a park. Disappointed, we headed back to the car where my partner in crime decided it was her turn to drive. The way out was a straight gravel road about two miles long that led to a paved two lane highway. Upon reaching that intersection, my friend stopped and said she couldn’t remember which way to turn to get us back to the Interstate. Shrugging my shoulders, I pointed right with my thumb and said, “Maybe?”

Two huge ravens swooped past, low to the ground and following the road to which I had just been pointing. They were the first living creatures we had seen since leaving the Interstate in what seemed like hours. We followed the ravens. I remember making a comment about how their wing spread seemed to be as wide, if not more, than the rented minivan we were driving. They stayed, soaring just above the pavement out in front of us, until five minutes later when we reconnected with the Interstate, well over twenty miles from where we had originally left it.

As we settled into more driving, I turned to her and said, “You asked for directions and you certainly got it, and two guardians guides to make sure we didn’t get lost.”

So, here I sit, all these years later, knowing I’ve been lost for a while. Not even aware that I have been seeking direction, and yet finding it once again in my own words, carried on the wings of two huge ravens. Maybe next time, I’ll tell you about that episode that had me laughing out loud.

Note: Image is one of a series of pen and ink doodles I did several years ago, simply titled Fantasies.

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