Sunday, August 22, 2010

Toad in Hibernation

Hello fellow toads,

Just a note to let all of you know this toad will be in hibernation for awhile. The work load has become overwhelming and instead of driving myself crazy trying to fit everything in I've decided I need to concentrate on my work until we get through all we need to get through since the accident. I hope you continue to meet whenever and wherever you can and that you will send me poems you write as a result of the meetings. I would really appreciate being able to sit down at my work desk and open an email that contains one of your wonderful poems. I can't think of anything that would brighten my day more than that!

I won't apologize for my absence as life does twist and turn, and often in ways you don't expect and this is one of those twists. I will miss you all for the time being, and hopefully you'll still be lurking at the edge of the poetry garden, waiting to connect again when my life turns back to normal!

In poetry peace,


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Next meeting: TBA (to be announced!) Hopefully mid July

Prompts include:
On that July day...
The voice of my late grandmother...

I'll let you know the exact date of the next meeting as soon as I know! :o)

We had a great time at the last meeting going over our favorite poems and telling why they were some of our favorites, and of course we drank a little too much wine!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Poetry Contest

New Poetry Contest
Cash Prizes
Closing Date July 30, 2010
The Poetry Institute of Canada announces its seventeenth annual open poetry contest, for Fall 2010. Following its successful 2009 contest, it will again award cash and other prizes to poets.
Any poet, previously published or not, may enter this contest and be a winner. The contest is open to all poets of any age. Any subject or style of poetry or prose poetry is acceptable and there is no entry fee. New and unpublished poets are encouraged to send in their work.
The poem should be original and consist of 24 lines or less. As well as the opportunity to win a cash prize, the best poems received will be published in a beautiful hard cover Anthology of Verse.
To enter, please send one original poem only to: Poetry Institute of Canada, P.O. Box 5577U, Victoria, BC V8R 6S4. Or email to:
Name and address should be included on the same page as the poem. Typed or neatly written poems please. Entries should be marked no later than July 30, 2010.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Next Toad's meeting sometime after March 13. Details to follow.

Click here just for fun to check out this poem by Billy Collins! 

Feb. 15, 2010. The Toads met at Julie's house and only Barb C. and Nan worked on the actual prompt of "I had to drop out of school you know..." which resulted in two wonderful poems. Julie shared a poem she had written for the One Single Impression prompt 'single.' Ken was still working on the poem about being alone in his son's house and that invoked a lively discussion about how the reader views a poem no matter what the author intends. Barbara FV brought along a book of erotic poems that she ordered by accident. We had fun with that. Barbara FV scored big with her one liner, "Poetry is not a one night stand!"

As per a vow to start submitting more poems, Ken, Barb C, and Julie all were notified that poems they sent in to the WFOP calendar were accepted, and Ken had a poem accepted by the Wisconsin Poet Laureate, Marilyn Talyor, for the WFOP museletter. Congratulations to all and we toasted (more than once) to each poet's success!

Next month's prompt is this: From your own collection of poems that you've written, choose your favorite and tell us why it's your favorite.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Time to meet again...

I checked my schedule and at this time I have an opening on Feb. 15th (Monday) and was wondering if anyone would like to get together for a poet's meeting from 12:30-2:30. I'll keep the slot open unless someone absolutely HAS to make an appt. during that time. In that event, you would be on your own. Note: bring your own lunch, and something to drink. Hope to see you then.

 Also, we forgot to pick a prompt so I decided to use something Lauretta shared with me on FaceBook - pick the book nearest to you at the moment, turn to page 56 and read the 5th sentence... so your prompt (From The Bridge Across Forever) is: I had to drop out of school, you understand. Or pick the book nearest you, turn to page 56 and read the 5th sentence to come up with your own prompt!


Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm not exactly sure when the next meeting will be, but as soon as I know when I have a 2 hour slot open in my schedule maybe we can meet at my house again. Otherwise, you'll have to pick another time and place to meet, and I'll catch up the best I can!
I'll email you and hopefully remember to update this blog with the new information, so check in here every once in awhile just to see if there have been any changes! And feel free to leave a comment on the comment link below if you have any news to share with the poets!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 2010

We're going to try it again, impromptu meeting on Thursday, January 14 at Julie's house 12:30-2:30 pm. Bring your own lunch and drinks. Prompt is: Had he only stopped... Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Toads in December!

Looks like there won't be many Toads at the Tues. Dec. 8 noon-2:00 meeting, Ken has to take his van to Oshkosh, Nan is babysitting, Lauretta is leaving for Minneapolis a day early, which leaves Carl, Barb C., and Barbara FV, and me. It's up to you guys what you want to do. I know at this point after having just come home from Stevens Point late Monday night where we went to look at a truck, that Hwy 0 is not good at all. It is snow packed and slick. No matter what, I'll be here, and will certainly understand if you decide to stay home. I will work on my poem for the prompt even if no one comes! :o)

Monday, November 30, 2009

After a quick email chat with Lauretta...

We thought it might work to meet at my house for the next Toad's meeting. Dec. 8, (second Tues.) Noon - 2:00 over the lunch hour. Bring your own lunch and drinks. Even if I have to work, you can still meet here, as you'll be in another part of the house and not in the office area. Hopefully we can get together and discuss some good poetry. As far as I know there is no new prompt so I'm going to throw one out there from Robert Brewer's Poem - A -Day website and suggest we write a poem to include this as your title: We went through ________ (fill in the blank).
We could also take a few minutes to address meeting times and places as that always seems to be an issue. I look forward to seeing you.


My address: N4484 17th Drive, Wautoma, West of Hwy 22 N as you, or just south of Hwy O on 17th. My home phone number is 920-787-7663 but it's best to email me as I'm able to check emails more often than voice mail.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Second Chance!

Just an update on our group’s status at this time. There was a miscommunication as far as using the Coloma Hotel as a meeting place for our last meeting but since then I spoke to Dennis and he assured me the hotel is open every evening, and can’t for the life of him remember why he would have been closed on Tues. Oct. 20. All he asked this time is that we make a decision and let him know for sure so he can plan accordingly on his end. He said it would be no problem for a small group to meet in the lounge where it would be quieter than the bar area.
There has also been some discussion about everyone emailing each other (instead of just me) to let the other members know if you’ll be attending the meeting or not so the other members can plan accordingly on their end so you might want to send out your thoughts on that.
The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 17 (third Tuesday) 7-9 PM at the Coloma Hotel. As far as I know, because there wasn’t a meeting last time, all of the prompts and suggestions from the September meeting still stand. The prompt is: Spoiled brat. Nan will choose a poet to report on. Ken will provide a timed assignment. If any part of this appears incorrect, please let me know.
Here are some suggestions members have brought to my attention:
1. Possibly hold the meetings at someone’s house instead of at a public place.
2. Change the meetings back to the way they were and have them during the day at a different place every time. It was fun exploring places in our county.
3. Don’t keep changing times and days as it’s too confusing to keep track of.
4. Have the group meet every other month instead of every month.
You can let me know your thoughts and I’ll tally them up and send out the results of the majority or you can email each other with your thoughts too.
I can honestly say that I won’t be able to attend meetings every month the way I used to, which grieves me to no end, but life took a turn in that direction, and maybe soon it will take a turn in another direction and I can once again attend meetings to my heart’s content.
Personally, I think the group is strong, which is amazing for our small area. I have also noticed that the group has changed. We no longer write during our meetings. Upon looking back at the blog, the last time we worked on timed writings was June 2008, at the covered bridge in Saxeville. That was one of my favorite meetings and I for one miss the writing part of the meeting. I believe it helps to eliminate the editor in our head and helps to get to core ideas quicker. I like the idea of getting into the discussion of poetry right away at the meetings, and think the 10 minute timer to keep the group on track is a good idea. I also think that if one person shows up, that person can still have a good meeting! I say that, because there have been times I have been the only one to show up for Toads, Scribblers, and also at the Waupaca Writers meeting. I personally don’t think it’s necessary for everyone to contact each other about who might show up, but I will go along with the consensus. I like the element of surprise, but then I will write if no one else is there just because I like to write!
There is an option you might think about utilizing if you want to know who will be attending. On the blog there is a section for comments at the bottom of each entry. Instead of emailing me or sending out emails to each other, you could write your information in the comment section and then just before the meeting (or before you leave for the meeting) you could check the most current entry in the blog to see if anyone left any information that is pertinent for you in the comment section. I went in and left a comment there so you can see how that works. It’s just a thought. And it’s easy to do, at least I think it is so you might want to give it a test drive first just to make sure.
I look forward to hearing from all of you, and certainly hope the next meeting goes much smoother than the last one!
Happy Writing!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sorry, we're closed....

I'm sorry to report that The Coloma Hotel was closed on Tuesday night, Oct. 20, for the Toad's gathering. I hadn't checked to make sure it was open and Carl, Nan, and Barb C. found the doors locked when they got there. I cannot apologize enough for that over-sight on my part. I will talk to the owners and please stay tuned for further information regarding the next meeting. Again, my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience to the members who showed up!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

photo by Ken Tennessen

The next meeting of the Toads is planned for Oct. 20 (third Tuesday) at 7:00 PM at the Coloma Hotel. The prompt is: Spoiled brat. Nan will choose a poet to report on. Ken will provide a timed assignment. Carl will check with the hotel to make sure we can meet there on Tues. nights.

We met at Ken's house, around his new pond, ordered pizzas from Christiano's, rotated our chairs to follow the shade. Carl gave a report on Basho. We discussed different ways to keep the meetings geared toward poetry, decided to use a timer to help regulate time spent on topics.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Drifted through our August meeting on Fish Lake...

John boat photo by Julie Eger
(I know we rode on the pontoon - but I forgot the camera that day!)

The next meeting of the Toads will be Sept. 8, 2009 (second Tues.) 12-2 at Ken's house (125 N. Oxford). We are planning to have pizza delivered from Christiano's. Bring your own drinks. Prompt is: "A warrior's tears... or Skipping stones..." Carl will give a report on Basho.

Ken, Carl, Barb C., Julie, Lauretta and Barb F.V. met at Carl's house and then went around the lake to get on the pontoon boat. Another windy day! We read our poems about 'Rivers.' There was much discussion about 'ly' words, many poems were shortened, and changes were made. We are becoming very prolific!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Submission Accepted!

Every once in awhile it happens. Someone submits a poem and it gets accepted. See for Julie Eger's poem 'Grandfather."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lake Alpine Meeting

Eagle River photo by Julie Eger

The next meeting of the Toads will be Aug. 11 (second Tues.) 12-2 on Carl's pontoon boat. Meet at his house at a quarter to noon. Bring your own lunch. Prompt is: Rivers or "She opened the wrapper and stared." Barb Cranford will give a presentation on a poet of her choice.

Ken, Carl, Barb C., Julie, and Barb F.V. met at Lake Alpine Park. Another windy day! We read our poems about 'object.' Most of us wrote about objecting vs writing about an object.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Toads meet when the crab apples bloom...

photo by Julie Eger
Our next meeting will be Tuesday, July 14th 12-2PM at the Alpine Lake County Park. (see previous assignment for directions.) The assignment for July is to write a poem, your choice of style, using this prompt: object. Also, bring along your revisions of Nan's poem (see previous assignment.) Bring your lunch and dress for the weather. It's Nan's turn to give a report on a poet of her choice.

Due to inclement weather, we changed our plans and met at A&W Restaurant instead of Alpine Lake Park and took turns reading our poems about, "The problem with _______." Lauretta wrote about problems with her muse. Nan wrote about a fun problem with wine. Julie wrote about the problem with husbands and another poem about exes involving bran. Carl wrote about the problem with 'being.' Barb shared a Han shan type poem about May that prompted much discussion on whether she should keep the word 'calmly' in her poem. Ken was still recovering and adjusting to life back here in the states after being gone to Ecuador and didn't have time to put together a poem relating to the prompt, but he has an idea in mind.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

WOW! Contest

flowers in winter photo by Julie Eger

I entered this contest. Check out the results for my "Mama's Wish Comes True" entry in the Women on Writing website link below! Have fun browsing the site.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Toad Poets reach new heights...

photos by Julie Eger
The next Toad Hollow II Poet's meeting will be held at the Alpine Lake Park (north off of Hwy 21 east of Wautoma) on Tuesday, June 9, 2009 12-2 PM. Bring your own bag lunch and something to drink. Dress for the weather. The suggested assignment(s): Rewrite Nan's poem the way you would want to write it or write a poem using this prompt as the title and fill in the blank. "The problem with ______..."

Nan’s practice poem is at the end of this post.

Nan, Maxine, Barb C., Carl, Lauretta, Barbara FV, and Julie met at the Mt. Morris park on May 12, 2009. We brought our own lunches and sat for awhile getting acclimated to the spectacular view from the top of the 'mountain' and the wind. We continued with our new format of standing to read our work and then handing out copies for comments and critque. Carl read 2 haiku and then a cute, clever poem about the pleasures of dirt. Barb C. read a poem that didn't have anything to do with the assignment, but had to do with what she would like to achieve or accomplish in life. Nan read a poem about getting ready to go camping. Maxine read a poem about 'the other side' of Mother's Day when the children don't behave. Julie read a poem about spilling things on her shirt and then a poem about someone who had lost their job, watching the people who still had jobs. Barbara FV shared a poem about the ‘dirty things that get stuck on us.’ Lauretta wrote 3 poems to cover each prompt; a poem about opening night of a play, then 2 haiku.

And even though Ken couldn't be with us while we read our poems, somehow we knew, even though he was like a million miles away dodging the death grip of the Anacondas lurking nearby on the banks of the mighty Amazon as he stalked the ever elusive dragonflies, we knew he heard us, and that he approved.

Friday 1958
by Nan Gellings

into the wayback,
of the wood paneled Ford,
canvas duffel bag
with seesucker shorts,
Mickey Mouse sweatshirts,
lots of bathing suits.
Don’t need underwear.

toss in twice patched tent,
Zenith transistor,
Coleman popup stove,
faded striped beach towels,
cots for ma and pa,
five blue sleeping bags.
Don’t need umbrellas.

tartan plaid cooler,
filled with Oscar Mayers
Wonder bread, fresh eggs,
bags of marshmallows,
giant Hershey bars,
case of Dad’s rootbeer.
Don’t need milk or fruit.

the tailgate three times,
Oops, forgot the dog.
Hit the brakes, back up,
I yell, “Sparky, come!”
Ma grabs Purina.
Don’t need leash or chain.

for window space,
oldest always win.
I’m squished in between.
Everything’s ok
down the Friday road.
Don’t need the highway map.
Don’t need second call.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Busy Toads are happy Toads!

photo by Nan Gellings

The next meeting for the Toads is scheduled for May 12, 2009 (second Tuesday of the month) from 12-2 at the Mt. Morris Park. Bring your own lunch.

The assignment includes these prompts: Friday and/or a clean poem or dirty poem.

Ken, Carl, Lauretta, and Julie carpooled to Nan's house. Ken drove and the van was filled with the wonderful aroma of Ken's famous chili. Julie brought cheese and crackers (that Carl was certain she stayed up all night preparing, making sure each piece of cheese would fit perfectly on the crackers) and Lauretta surprised us by bringing two bottles of Toad Hollow wine! Nan made dinner rolls, and served a wonderful dessert of pie.

After lunch we read our poems about 'basking in the sun' or 'unreasoning fury.' Carl read a haiku about basking in the sun, and another poem he cleverly misinterpreted as furry instead of fury. Julie read a poem about letting the waves wash away thoughts of cleaning the house while basking on a rock. Nan's poem was about their dog who kept running away, and finally ran away for good. Lauretta shared a poem about a snake basking on a rock and a poem about being frustrated with 'a few' things in life that brought on 'unreasoning fury'. Ken read a poem about iguanas and, upon close observation, how much man and iguana are alike.

Hope to see you at the next gathering!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Great Poems Get Accepted!

Barbara Fitz Vroman, member of Toad Hollow II Poet's Society and Sand County Scribblers, has written a poem, Ode to November, that appears in the eleventh anniversary expanded issue of Free Verse Issue #99/100 - 2009, page 29.

Flugelhorn Solo and Winter Wood, two poems authored by Toad Hollow II Poet's Society and Sand Country Scribbler member Ken Tennessen, can be found in the eleventh anniversary expanded issue of Free Verse Issue #99/100 - 2009, page 23.

photo by Julie Eger

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

until next time

Check last month's post for the April assignment. What it says is what we'll do for the April 14th meeting, 12-2 at Nan's house, meet in the Wautoma Library parking lot, etc....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Submission Accepted!

"Thaw," a poem written by Toad Hollow II Poet, Ken Tennessen, has been accepted and will appear in an upcoming edition of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets museletter!

Yay Ken!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another Serving of Good Poetry

digitally altered photo by Ken Tennessen

The next Toad's meeting will be at Nan's house 12:00 -2:00 (meet at the Wautoma Library parking lot at 11:45 and we can ride together). The suggested assignment is: "basking on a rock," and/or "unreasoning fury." Choose a poem style of your choice.

On Feb. 10, 2009 the Toad's met at A&W Restaurant in Wautoma. Ken gave us a little history lesson on Rudyard Kipling which was very informative. We shared poems from last month's prompt(s): 'honest poverty or I trembled like some guilty thing surprised.' Maxine shared a poem about how scary it was when she drove a tractor up a fence post. Julie shared a poem about two people having an affair and how dangerous it could be. Lauretta shared a touching poem about poverty in Ireland. Barbara did her own thing and wrote a prose poem about dancing under the table. Nan wrote about playing hide and seek in the dark. Ken wrote about a strict rich woman gone poor. Carl made a surprise appearance, and seemed to have a hard time keeping his mind on what we were doing. He didn't bring a poem to share, but we forgave him.

Take a moment to check out the new word chain at or click on the Haikai-no-renga link to the right under Leap To These Links and add a few lines of your own!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ordering Up Some Good Poetry

A & W Poetry Crew Photo by Julie Eger

Feb. 10, 2009 Suggested Poetry Assignment: Write a poem, any style, using one or both of the following prompts: "I did tremble like a guilty thing surprised," or honest poverty.

We will meet on Tues. Feb. 10 - noon to 2:00 at A&W Restaurant in Wautoma.

Jan. 13, 2009

The poets, Barbara, Nan, Lauretta, Julie, Ken, and Carl met at A & W. We read our poems about unforgettable characters. Lauretta wrote 2 poems about characters in her town, Ken wrote about a character he remembered from his past comparing him to a great cave bear and one about an Elvis impersonator. Julie wrote about Round Lake Mary, Carl wrote about himself, and Nan wrote about a minister/Nascar enthusiast. Barbara spoke about her new novel.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Unforgettable Characters

Toad Hollow Poets at Blader's Dakota Inn: photo by Julie Eger

Dec. 9th, 2008 assignment: Write any style poem about an 'unforgettable' character you have come across in Waushara County.

On Nov. 11th, the Toad Hollow Poets met at Blader's Dakota Inn. In attendance were: Ken, Lauretta, Carl, Maxine, Barbara, and Julie. We took a few minutes to go over the Dragonfly poems that Ken will submit to ARGIA. We signed Tracks in Toad Hollow chapbooks. We read our coffee poems starting with Barbara who wrote about 'the last' cup of coffee. Julie wrote about not knowing which kind of coffee to choose, and how to make coffee when visiting Grampa's cabin. Ken wrote about how he doesn't like coffee, and a few other things. Lauretta wrote about her love/hate relationship with coffee. Carl wrote about his dad and how he used to have cornflakes in coffee for breakfast, and Maxine wrote about how she doesn't like coffee and it's stimulating effects. Nan wrote a poem but I couldn't open it on my computer so I was unable to share it with the group.

Maxine shared her poem from last time relating to a popular song: She chose the song 'Don't Fence Me In.'

We discussed being serious about putting together a Toad Hollow Chapbook - for real.

Lauretta gave an awesome presentation about William Blake, even handing out little buttons for us. She wore a T-shirt with a William Blake quote on it. Very informative and educational.