Medium UPDATE–Here’s what you may have missed

Fiddleheads & Floss Newsletter

Hi to all my WordPress followers!! This week on my Medium account I did ALL of my links with the “Friend Links” which means that YOU–even if you are NOT a Medium member, can enjoy this content. I thought I’d share the newsletter with you! Read below to see what you may have missed over at Medium. I promise, I will get some of these poems posted here as well 🙂 Have a GREAT weekend!! If you would like to follow Fiddleheads & Floss on Medium, here is the link:

https://medium.com/fiddleheads-floss

What a week — sucky for MPP but a lot of great writing! Fancy that?

Here are a few highlights — all friend links so you can share this with friends or other writers you think may enjoy it. Thanks guys!

First offDid you know I am related to an ax murderer?

Two writing prompts for you!

Emily Dickinson Poetry Prompt (Thank you Jenny Justice for your response to this one — I really enjoyed it!)
Haiku Prompt (This one is from House of Haiku — they have great prompts!)


Poetry is queen this week!

This Poetic Sea (Thank you to Heath ዟ and Anna Rozwadowska for all you do to support L.L. writers!! You guys are the best!)

A terrible uninvited guest — IN MY BATH!!

Ladder-back Chairs

I Grow Restless

Late Night Ladies

The little guy that sent my heart through the roof this week when I stepped on him!

Without this guy I can hardly walk.

Poor Icy — R.I.P (Dennett thank you for your condolences and understanding!)

On the Outskirts of the Blue Ridge


Don’t miss these writing articles!

Are you running on a hamster wheel for Medium?

For the sake of Great Story


Articles to inspire you — win at life!

You need to be doing this right now!

The worst boss I ever had.

That is all for this week — stay tuned for a great poem due to post any day now— Rivers Through the Wasteland.

Happy weekend everyone. My tribe. My people. You guys are the best.

I hope you have found something wonderful here to read and share. Delivering content that makes your life better or more meaningful in some way is remarkably rewarding — so let me know what you appreciate and I will do more like that 🙂

One poem this week I wrote in less than 2 minutes and gave it ZERO edits — hoping that this would make it feel more authentic, be more relatable, connect better with readers — it received 1.1K claps in 12 hours. I learned something here. About not leaving my reader behind with poetry so complex that it isn’t enjoyable — thanks you guys for teaching me!

One more thing: Zach J. Payne has started a pub for SONNETS!! Here’s the link: Sonnetry Be sure to give it a follow — and get to writing some sonnets!

~Christina

On the Outskirts of the Blue Ridge

a poem about an afternoon drive through the beautiful foothills of the N.C. mountains

Image by Christian B. from Pixabay

Hilltop mobile homes
parked in rows with
weary cars and tufts
of unruly grass.
They are weathered,
as am I.
Collections of scrap-metal,
small gardens boasting
late tomatoes, plump
red flashes on the vine.
Corn fields in thick
mounds that hug the earth.
Bovine fields gathered in fences.

Each blind bend in the road
is a new thing of some old things
to see, to let my eyes and soul
linger there in possibility.
Wouldn’t it be nice to
live here in this quiet
gathering of apple orchards
and tender rolling hills
that reach here and there
to the sky?—the way that mountains do.

The clouds move in thick
syrupy drifts over the peaks
rolling carelessly down each
curve, making a tender crawl
to the valleys before the trees
swallow their mists. Everything
moves slower here.

Christmas tree farms dot the steep
embankments, sloping up toward sky.
A mountain stream appears
and winds the same path as we—
it moves silently, adrift a stony path
alongside the road, carrying
inner-tubers, canoeists, brightly-colored
Saturday fun in the cool waters
of Blue Ridge. Everything
moves slower here, as do we.

Christina Ward is a nature writer and poet from North Carolina. Stay in touch!

Excavating a Poem

a free verse poem celebrating the process

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Excavating a Poem

Some, a breath
exhaled slowly
into life-giving words.

Some, an excavation
with bristles firm,
then soft and careful.

Some, roots
gnarled and half-buried
we trip over them
and follow them to trees.

Some, grains of sand
to be gathered and shaped
into delicate mounds
washed into the sea.

We gather. We excavate.
We dig and we build.

We are careful to use
the right tools, the right angles
the carved-out landscapes
of metaphor and dream.

We speak for them, but they
are our teachers.


To all my fellow poets out there digging deep, finding the breath to breathe life into your poetry, or just listening to your poems until they speak themselves to you…it is a gift to be their voice.Embrace it. Be mindful. Always seek. Always listen.

Christina Ward
:::i paint with words:::

Tea and Memories

a free verse poem

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Hot tea, infused with sugar
white, granular, swallowed-up.
Powdered creamer swirls, 
slips inside, a marriage
of “Good Morning” 
and “Wake up”
to me, sleepy on the couch.

Pungent warmth to tongue, to throat,
to the insides…a dissipation
to soothe the memories
away. Some days they come.

survivor, me? 
The multi-syllabic mess of me?

You have so much to offer, 
she said, with a genuine smile.
She was a nice lady, put-together
well-dressed, dignified, attractive,
walking in heels up steps.
Grace on stilts with a syrupy lure,
to share myself…to share me?

My input, my experience
my story, my chrysalis
shed, to empower other
women who shift 
in bruised realities,
someone stealing their right
to just be without a 
price tag on their needs.

Those women are the me I used to be.

I don’t feel very empowered
Sitting here sipping tea.
The past rises, even if you
swallow it whole again and again.
Insufficient distance between us
for my Soul to rise up and fly free.


This poem was originally published by Blue Insights: Tea and Memories

Thank you for reading Tea and Memories. Be sure to sign up for my mail squad of supporters here: https://mailchi.mp/1023c412b1fb/fnf

Abysmal You

Free Verse poetry


Image by Jess Foami from Pixabay

I dream of things unspoken.
You shake me to the surface
sleepy-eyed, confused.

You might still be real.

There might still be one moment
that is mine.

My nakedness aches.
I don’t want
the gray
the shadow
the memory to absorb you.

Eyes wide and blind, I am a child,
abandoned, untethered.


Original publishing: Abysmal You

My name is Christina. I am a poet. 
:::i paint with words:::

Christina Ward is an accomplished poet, aspiring author, and columnist for the Observer News Enterprise newspaper. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Catawba College in Environmental Science which greatly influences her work. She also studied creative writing and English at Catawba. Her poetry has been published in the Cameo print literary magazine, the Arrowhead print literary magazine, Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine, and in Wolff Poetry Literary Magazine.

Circles and Stones

a free verse poem

Photo by Halanna Halila on Unsplash

You cast stones
lift your curses high,
chanting carried away,
to hide and wait for you…
its return three-fold?
I think no goddess hears you.
It is a barren place,
your circle.

It is my pleasure,
to wipe your sweet nectar from
proboscis and pen,
parts of your soul
digging into mine. (I use it!)
I abuse it, this loving that I must do.
After all, you hate the thing that feeds you.

I am Ophelia.
I will rise, collect wretched daisies
and pass them out one by one,
to gaping faces,
sterile-hearted creatures
that watch me drift downstream
and know not my spirit.

But you! Stone in hand
your anger rises, a fat red circle in the sky.
Your blacks and greys writhe
behind bulging, hollow eyes,
twist inside your vertebrae.
You light your candles fool!
You collect your symbols…
Idolatry! Curses! Hatred!

It is a barren place,
your circle.


I ran into a guy some years ago who professed to be Wiccan, but his “practice” of it was mingled with mental health issues and a gross distortion of what Wicca stands for. Please do NOT consider this poem as a blast of Wicca — it was most certainly not from that place. I am a practicing Christian — and I believe people have every right to believe and practice their faith as they wish. But any time a person is using their religion to do harm to other people — this is not ok with me.

This man heard me make a comment about missing someone I loved who had broken off a relationship with me. The individual I wrote this poem about was so angry at my comment — all I had said was that I missed someone who had meant a lot to me — and this guy lost his marbles. He began calling me all hours of the day and night (I think he thought I was interested in pursuing a relationship with him and I was NOT at all!) cursing me, cursing my name, cursing my children — saying that he had placed an actual curse on me. He then had his WIFE call me and do the same. It was terrifying. They claimed to be calling on all kinds of witchcraft to damn me. He said he was a Warlock with special powers to destroy me.

After this terrifying experience, I wrote this poem as a way to cleanse myself of the anger and fear. I wanted it to be clear that it was not a slamming of any religion or belief system — but more a fit of screaming anger at two seriously crazy people who tried to destroy my spirit. This poem was originally posted on MySpace if that tells you how long ago it was. I stumbled upon the poem today in my files and thought I’d share it. Hopefully, no one will take offense — as it was not intended to be offensive.

Interestingly — I only knew this person for TWO WEEKS!!

Thanks for reading Circles and Stones. I am grateful that poetry can be liberating and help us to heal.

Peace be with you!!

Experience “Gaerver Pond” an original, Free Verse Poem

poem by Christina Ward

Image by Kerttu Northman from Pixabay

Gaerver Pond

Evening descends, darkness crawling into
the spaces of my yard,
Leaves spin then settle into shadow.
Fall brings herself in quietly this year.

Gaerver Pond is still,
save the concentric circle
disruptions of insect and air.

Beneath a green veil
mayfly nymphs squirm and crawl.
They will be devoured, in time.

I await the same fate.

Shifting, I am tired. Memory
skips rocks across the pond.
I remember nights of skin and sweat
Loving you so completely,
I forgot to be afraid.
I remember you.

The bench steals a last grasp 
of warmth from me,
as I leave it to the chill,
the anguished memories
that live here still.


Originally published: Gaerver Pond in Literally Literary

Don’t Miss Updates on Christina’s Poetry and Book Releases!

A Pier No More

an original poem by Christina Ward
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

We were an old pier, standing in the sea,
pilings caked with barnacles, ravaged by the currents,
our foundation weak. We waited for the tides to displace us,
unplug us from our feeble grip on shifting sands…
for the sea to bring us to our knees.

The sandy currents burn with salt life
nibbling our shins and worming its way in,
the moon setting our time clock spinning,
one massive watery shift after another.
 
Age and weather befell us. Our wooden rot
compelled us to fall — can we be blamed for this?
I crawled upon the skin of sand to the edge 
where water ebbed, rose and smashed upon itself.

I could have buried our secrets, there in the sand.
The sand crabs scattered and danced sideways across
the rise and fall, into holes that swallowed them up.
They took no mind of me.

The ocean now digests that which was us.

I wrote my name there
— (on the beach where forgiveness was more vacant than the 
roar of a shell)
with scrapings and clawings on malleable sand
I am mere letters; a pier no more.
I walked away, salt stinging in my pores.


My name is Christina. I am a poet. 
:::i paint with words:::

Don’t Miss Updates on Christina’s Poetry and Book Releases!

The Poetry Paintbrush Can Write Your Life

it began for me with Sylvia Plath’s Edge

Soap Bubble, Color, Colorful, Iridescent, Kunterbunt
Pixabay, No attribution required

I am thinking of my favorite paintbrush — poetry 🖌

My first experience with loving the poetic word was in a high school literature class when my teacher assigned us to choose a poem and deliver a short speech about it to our class. The poem I chose was Sylvia Plath’s Edge.

…odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.

— Edge, Sylvia Plath

There was something so deeply disturbing, yet profoundly magical, in that poem. I was drawn inexorably to those words.

I began writing creatively in high school and poetry as early as 16. A Tale of Two Poems is an article I wrote featuring two of the poems I wrote in high school. And, I don’t think they are too terrible. 😉

Poetry is a living, breathing element of my being, the tool by which I choose to express parts of me I dare others to attempt to understand.

It is my favorite tool, and as I choose to paint, and I paint with words. What poetry means to another individual is completely unique and right in its own way as all of us are touched and moved by it in varying ways.

Despite my initial attraction to poetry, at times writing it has eluded me, the brushes remaining in a dusty cup on a shelf in the corner of life. As a child, I was compelled to pick up this brush and sit with it in my hand, yet no poem would pour out of its colorless brushes.

As I have grown into my adult skin I have both lived and consumed and observed the colors of life that fill my brush again and again.

This gives me means by which to splash myself onto paper, eternalizing that which could otherwise be washed away in time. I have learned through the years that sometimes I write the poem, and sometimes the poem writes me.

Poetry can breath itself into us, painting our souls with richness, emotion, clarity, and a whole range of other reactions, or it can be bled out of us, inviting others to grasp its music and its colors with canvases of their own waiting to be filled.

Consider the poetry in your life. Consider the paintbrushes with which you write. And always seek to fill those brushes with wondrous color.


Originally published here: Paintbrushes Article

Learn to Write Better Poetry

a lesson

Poetry, Poetry Album, Old, Font, Poem, Saying, Memory
Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay 

If there’s anything I’ve learned about writing poetry, it’s that you’re never done learning how to do it. Anytime I find a new angle, a new inspiration, or technique, it feels like my first day as a poet all over again. I pick up my imaginary feather quill, dip it in my imaginary pot of magical ink, and I write.

So get out your imaginary quill and take a few notes. Perhaps there are a few poems waiting for you to birth them. Here are a few ideas that do not come from any book I’ve read or class I’ve taken, but from my quill, and the bend my mind takes while rounding new corners to find poetry.

Let’s talk syzygy.

(Ok so I learned a new word today and couldn’t resist adding it in…)

noun, plural syz·y·gies.

1. Astronomy . an alignment of three celestial objects, as the sun, the earth, and either the moon or a planet: Syzygy in the sun-earth-moon system occurs at the time of full moon and new moon.

2. Classical Prosody . a group or combination of two feet, sometimes restricted to a combination of two feet of different kinds.

3. any two related things, either alike or opposite.

We will consider the third definition of syzygy. Two examples will help to explain.

Parallel Syzygy Poem

The first example, I call parallel poetry writing. In this technique you will follow this equation:

Equation: an object, a living being, or a train of thought + an action = new poem

Rule: The first item, being, or thought will be the actual topic of your poem but you will borrow imagery and descriptive words from the action you have chosen. The two will be similar in some way so that the comparison isn’t too forced, uncomfortable, confusing, or stark.

Here is an example of a poem that I wrote using this method:

thoughts of a child + swinging on a swing = Yesterdays

As you can see, there are easy similarities to be drawn between a child and the action of swinging and the two are easily pictured in the same scene.

Here is the poem for quick reference:

Yesterdays

Why don’t you climb inside
my braids and sing
me a song?

swinging
out over the grasses
our feet stretched so high
the chain-link grinds
as we rise
toward
sun

Why don’t you open up your
freckles and let
me inside?

I need
to know where
the June bugs hide in the winter
when swings don’t swing
and the night
stands
still

Consider the first stanza; these are the silly things you’d find bouncing around inside of the head of a happy child, lost in imaginative play. This theme carries throughout the poem as this child contemplates freckles and friendship, June bugs and their wanderings.

The action of swinging is evident as expressed in stanza two. Listen to the sound of the chain link grinding on the pole as this child swings. There’s also an interesting twist to this poem with regards to the structure…swinging out and back in with the line lengths, to mimic the pattern of swinging.

Juxtaposed Syzygy Poem

Now for the second example, I call juxtaposed poetry writing. You will, again, follow this equation:

Equation: an object, a living being, or a train of thought + an action = new poem

Rule: The first item, being, or thought will be the actual topic of your poem but you will borrow imagery and descriptive words from the action you have chosen. The two things will have very little, if anything, in common.

Here is an example of a poem I wrote using this method:

thoughts on being a poet + the cleaning of a fish (butchering) =The Poet Cleaning

Here is the poem for quick reference:

The Poet Cleaning

Ripped from the belly of the sea
pregnant with vowels
our tails slap hard
pendulous swings,
our eyes are benign, panicked moons,
fibroadenomas
sitting inside our heads.

They must be plucked out.

We climb outside ourselves,
hold the knife steady,
scrape against the grain,
shedding our silvers
until we are clean,
carve a canoe-slice across our necks
another, neck to belly,
our insides slide free.

This poem is about the vulnerability of being a poet. The poet must open up parts of themselves, sometimes very personal, with raw honesty. Now consider the action. Have you ever seen the cleaning of a fish? If you have not it is a violent really kind of gross thing to see. The knife scraping the scales away (called the “silvers” in this poem), and slicing off the head, cutting the length of the belly the fishes guts spill out in a slippery glub. The panicked eyes are wide.

I described the writer process using the terminology, visual images, and description of a fish cleaning process to show that opening process the poet does while writing. We dig pretty deep when writing poetry — our insides slide free.

One would not normally think of these two things at the same time, but the metaphor sits well in this poem, giving it richness, depth, and provokes an emotional reaction in the reader.

Now, anyone want to give it a try?

Choose either of the above methods and write your poem. Link back here so I can see what you create!

“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

― Anaïs Nin


Christina Ward is a poet and aspiring author working on her first book, a piece of literary, mainstream fiction, and is a columnist for the Observer News Enterprise newspaper. Her poetry has been published in the Cameo literary magazine, the Arrowhead literary magazine, Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine, and in Wolff Poetry Literary Magazine.

Don’t Miss Updates on Christina’s Poetry and Book Releases!