I live at the edge of a woods and often hike the fields, hills, and woodlands of my surrounding countryside. One would think I live in a rural, bucolic place but I live in bustling New Jersey, not know for its pastoral qualities even though it’s called “The Garden State.” It seems a sort of joke, but New Jersey has varied beauty from its Atlantic coastline to its western hills and farmland. Most of my inspiration comes from this terrain that I know so well. And even though I know the woods, the hills, the coastline, the land often surprises me. There is always a gift to uncover. The woodland is where I find solitude, where my thoughts keep cadence with my footsteps, where I can go to unpuzzle the world and find peace.
My inspiration for “Every Bend” came from Verse-Love, Ethical ELA, which was created by Sarah J. Donovan. Today’s prompt was from Cara Fortey, who suggested to write in a modern Tanka-style as modeled by poet and UCLA professor, Harryette Mullen.
I also received inspiration for “The Only Proof” from NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month: 30 Poems in 30 Days, which was created by Maureen Thorson. Their 16th writing prompt was inspired by the curtal sonnet – “Pied Beauty” by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I did not write in the curtal sonnet form, but I endeavored to create the same tone in my poem as in Hopkins’. The ever-changing nature of the woods is something that comforts, astounds, and leads me towards acceptance.