I discovered Visual Verse while I was meant to be writing this July. This journal releases a visual prompt on the first of each calendar month. Writers set themselves a challenge to respond in an hour and in 50-500 words. One or two writers provide leading pieces to get the ball rolling and the issue is live. The editors invite you to submit your pieces and publish these throughout the month. There follows a rich and by its nature, imperfect, exploration of the image.
I submitted 'Turning Point' in July in response to this image by Oscar Keys.
What is the sea’s invitation?
Come see blue, it says, Come and I’ll show you grey.
These changing skies are the wind’s gift,
each passing hour a flickering slideshow.
Seabirds glitter, tilt and soar
are ruckus, tear, uproar
until eyes, ears, heart, soul of me answer:
Step back, they say, slip this blindfold.
Is is perfect? No. In an hour you really only have a good draft of a work in progress, not a finished piece. I wonder if my insistence on keeping ruckus was a good idea as a reader may think I spelled raucous incorrectly. Incidentally, I don't like what they did with the layout upon publishing, losing my 8 line, 4 stanza structure. Still, I valued the exercise, and there are occasions when a good shove in a direction we weren't heading is just what we need.
It's the first week of December, have a look, take an hour out from the seasonal preparations and see where this image from Julien Menier takes you. I might meet you there.