Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

WEP Challenge - Spectacular Settings

As I have often said, I am a bookaholic.  I have always been awed by writers and those I have found and followed here in the blogosphere have increased that awe.

I am amazed at their imagination, their skill, the dedication and the immense amount of work involved.  My naive self has also learnt that the work is far from over when the work is published.

This month I have stepped out of my comfort zone and entered the WEP (Write, Edit, Publish) Spectacular Settings Challenge.  This challenge is the brain child of Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee and is fully explained here  on their shared blog.  

Please visit the blog and track down the work other people have submitted.  You won't be disappointed.  And the very generous hosts have opened up the challenge to writers, photographers, artists...



The challenge comes in two parts, both of which I will take on.  Mind you, while I am dipping my toes in the water, I do have my floaties on for protection.  I am mostly going down the photographic path (and regular readers of this blog will have seen the photos) with just a few words to go with them.

The first part is to share a photograph with a spectacular setting which has stopped my heart - and explain why.




Ok, so what is so spectacular about a hazy photo of a blackened beach?

This black beach is in Antarctica! The haze is heat rising from the ground.  Heat from a still active volcano.  Yes, there is snow on those hills, but I swam there - and have had cooler baths.

Antarctica was a dream come true for me, and this was a totally unexpected (but still cherished) part of that dream.

The photo was taken of the flooded caldera at Deception Island.  

***

In the second part of the challenge I am sharing another photo (not of Antarctica this time) and trying to make you share the magic of the night (or at least to make you wish you were there).



Fiers A Cheval
This was an amazing spectacle.  The flyer advertising it simply said 'Giant, inflatable illuminated horse puppets'.  It was brought to Australia from France for two performances only...



MEMORIES.  MAGIC.  MYSTERY
A steaming hot day, with nightfall bringing no relief.
Baited with the promise of novelty we could not stay away.
In ones and twos, family groups, clusters of friends, young, old, the fit, the fat and the infirm.  Jostling for position on a hill too small to hold us.
Standing room only, and still we came.
 
Flavoured with perfume, beer, and sweat the heavy air crackled with anticipation.
Dark shapes moving mysterious objects, orchestrated by a steady rumble of conversation.
Haunting music severed that rumble.  Silenced, we stared at the dark space beneath us.
Three men materialised out of the gloom.  Three men in strange costumes. 
Standing still, pinned under a spotlight and pinned under our gaze.

A blink and they were gone.  Replaced by twelve foot horses.  Majestic, beautiful horses.
Dancing horses, prancing horses.
Squinting we could see reality shake, blur, and twist.
The men were there, forming the horse's hind legs.  There, and gone again, swallowed by a magnificent new reality. 

Open-eyed and mouthed we no longer squinted.
Chameleon coloured.  First red, then blue, now bi-coloured with cream accents.
They cavorted, they danced, they pranced.  And all the people watched.
They leapt, they ran, they fought. 
Entrancing the silent watchers. 


Who can tell me?  Who will tell me? 
Which are the promised puppets?
The giant, illuminated horses doing their Lipizzaner routine, skilfully manipulated by shadowy men hidden in their legs,
or the silent, watching crowd  whose heads swivelled in unpractised but perfectly choreographed unison with each move ?


Word count 256.  Full Critique Acceptable.  I think.  I need to learn to grow.







 

175 comments:

  1. I believe the latter. After all the silent, watching crowd whose heads moved in unpracticed unison were entertained by a live performance while I enjoyed by your images. This is a lovely idea, and I shall pop over to their blog as well. Both of your photographs are exquisite!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen S.: There is a HEAP of talent playing the WEP game. Awe and wonder.
      And yes, well after the event I decided that we were the puppets. Skillfully played puppets.

      Delete
  2. WOW! That's about all I can say about both photos and your writing. So glad you dipped your feet in the water. BTW, I think you can take those floaties off, my friend. :) Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mason Canyon: Thank you - but I will be keeping my floaties on. And the goggles. And snorkel.

      Delete
  3. So beautiful, both the images and the writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Relatively Retiring: Thank you. Both are memories I hug very tightly to myself.

      Delete
  4. What a fun challenge! I had no idea that there was water that warm in Antarctica. I want to go and see it and experience it now. :)

    Also- I am a huge horse fan, so the second photo and description also had me jealous and wanting to be in that scene. Well done!!
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DMS: I swam the day before as well, dodging ice blocks and believe me, it wasn't warm. Only the volcano gave that water warmth. A volcano I hadn't known was there...
      The horse puppets were incredible. There are videos of the magic on you-tube.

      Delete
  5. Beautifully written. The horse puppets must have been an awesome sight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra Cox: Oh they were. We didn't even talk on the way home - just sat and revelled in the memories.

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elephants Child:

      Your inspiration the Black Beach of Antarctica is beautiful. I envy you the opportunity to witness and experience such beauty! Thanks you for sharing that. There are only a few places I would add to my bucket list, but this is one. Lovely!

      Your contribution of the artistic horse and light show was excellent. Only a few things caught my eye. Add that last period after Mystery in your title, or delete them all.

      The spellings are different from ours so it makes it difficult to judge, which is probably good as I'm a lousy speller.

      I deleted my first comment as I didn't even recognize this as a poem. Dunce hat on! :)

      Otherwise, I love that you took a chance on the WEP and wrote of such a wonderful and delightful performance, sharing with us your delight in the magic of that moment!

      Thank you for your enlightening and intriguing contribution to the WEP Spectacular Settings Challenge! Well done!

      Delete
    2. Yolanda Renee: Thank you for your very generous critique. Take your dunce-hat off though. I strongly suspect that you not recognising my words as a poem says more about the style than about you.
      And Antartica is incredible. Pristine, beautiful, harsh, astonishing, spectacular. And rather a lot of other adjectives.

      Delete
    3. No, I think the other comments speak for the clarity of your writing. I deserve the cap! :) Thanks for being so sweet about it!

      Delete
  7. Love, love the horse puppets. The beach is cool too. Would not have guessed where it was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue in Italia/In the Land of Cancer: That beach was so very unexpected. It rocked my preconceptions on their heels. Which is never a bad thing.

      Delete
  8. You have done a spectacular job EC, much like the puppeteers. I remember your previous post, and your lyrical recount was much more powerful at taking the reader to that place you found so magical. Something we could all learn to do as writers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. carolincairns: Thank you so much. I am glad that you enjoyed the trip back with me.

      Delete
  9. This is a breathtaking post. So glad you got your feet wet! Such an evocative piece of poetry. Pulled me in. Was sad to leave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny Brigalow: Welcome and thank you. Saying that you were sad to leave is a wonderful compliment.

      Delete
  10. Hi,
    This is beautiful. I love the pictures you took and the poem you wrote fits the illuminated horse puppets perfectly.
    The first picture of the Antarctica surprised me. I've always pictured it as being the ice pole and so cold that no one could possibly live there.
    The second picture impressed me with the lighting and colours of the horses against the dark background.
    Your poetry caught my attention and especially the fourth verse. Loved it.
    You showed the fascination of the people watching the horse puppets. They were caught up in the show.
    Excellent job.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat Garcia: And a big welcome and an equally big thank you to you too. Antarctica is only open to tourists in summer - though scientists live there all year round. And I would happily more there in a heart beat.
      I am so grateful that you could feel the fascination with the puppets.

      Delete
  11. Wow! Now you have really done it, stepped out into the wide world of WEP, which I think I will now check out myself. I simply loved the entire idea of those magnificent horses. What an experience! Well done, EC. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DJan: Thank you. I am sure you will find lots to marvel at in this blog-hop.

      Delete
  12. Where to begin? I remember those horses, the magic you described in your post that time, the pictures. It was incredible. This time you added those beautiful words - it is as if they belong together, your words and the men-horses. What b beauty.
    Antarctica will always be a dream for me - well, I can't go everywhere, can I? But I can follow you and see your photos - I saw many, and I'm thankful for that.
    Of course I now need to check out WEP - it sounds so intriguing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carola Bartz: Another beautiful compliment. Thank you so very much. And WEP IS intriguing.

      Delete
  13. I'll certainly pop over and have a look at that website.
    I love the way you've described the horse puppets and the mesmerised crowd.
    I remember that photo from Antarctica, I hadn't known you'd swam in those waters, I had no idea that water could be warm. A study in contrasts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River: The water was surprisingly warm. As was the sand beneath our feet. A big change from my very chilly swim of the day before. And I am glad I did both.

      Delete
  14. OMG is all I can say. Your horsemenpuppets took my breath away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joanne Noragon: OMG was a constant (but silent) refrain in my head as we watched.

      Delete
  15. Wonderful writing and images indeed. Greetings!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for that link, EC. I definitely will peruse it in depth shortly. It looks very interesting.

    Your photos are wonderful...as are your words in "Memories. Magic. Mystery"

    I may have mentioned previously - one of my nephews worked down at Casey Base and Davis Base at Antarctica, at differing times over a period of five years or so.

    Again...thanks for your most informative and interesting post, EC. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee: You had told me about your nephew and I was, and am, consumed with jealousy.

      Delete
  17. yer a poet and your feet are Longfellows...who knew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She'll make a rhyme, for a dime, anytime?

      Delete
    2. Author R. Mac Wheeler: My feet are also Broadfellows...

      Delete
  18. Breathtaking.

    The photos, the words... all of it. I'm applauding you, can you hear it? Truly, I am impressed but not surprised; you've always had it within you. Jump in, you can most certainly tread these waters EC.

    Off to explore the link!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jacquelineand...: Thank you. Happy exploring.

      Delete
  19. Thank you so much for posting this! I enjoyed all of it and you can go ahead and jump into the deep end, no floaties needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne in the kitchen: Thank you. I am so grateful for the generosity of these comments.

      Delete
  20. Amazing, both photos. It would never have dawned on me that there are volcanos in Antartica.
    I'm a horse fanatic, so I will check out the YouTube. Thanks for broadening my horizons!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Li: Antarctica had been a long held dream of mine - and I still didn't know that there was an active volcano there.
      I hope you do find the YouTube link - it is amazing. Horses as you have never seen them.

      Delete
  21. Hi EC! Just a quick word to show I've been here. I'm blown away, absolutely by both your photos, but I've got to run off now. Will be back later to ponder your poem!

    Thanks so much for dipping your toes in the water. No need for floaties that's for sure!

    Denise :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Denise Covey: Thank you. I look forward to your return.

      Delete
  22. Replies
    1. John Gray: You would have to have a heart of stone not to adore them.

      Delete
  23. Both photos are breathtaking and your words enhanced the experience, taking me along in the telling to a magical place. My only regret is that you didn't take me along in a suitcase...
    No need for floaties, m'dear. Step onto the high dive and jump in. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I was there, EC! Right there with you on that darkened hilltop.
    Your description of Fiers A Cheval had me slack jawed I'm sure, as I drank in the beautiful image and absorbed every word.
    I was indeed, a puppet from afar.

    A volcano in Antarctica. This earth is truly a mysterious place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vicki: This earth is mysterious, beautiful and amazing.
      And thank you for coming with me to Fiers A Cheval.

      Delete
  25. That was absolutely beautiful! Guess what? You are a writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: This, from someone who IS a writer. Thank you. I don't agree - but thank you.

      Delete
  26. Here I am again! That poem's story was brilliant! What description! I could picture the Australian scene--the outdoors, sitting on the hill, the smell of beer, lol! But what captured my imagination mostly was the way your turned us to seeing the crowd also choreographed by the swivelling of heads as they followed the beautiful dancing. Your setting took us right there into the scene.

    Thanks so much for participating in the WEP challenge! Shake that water off your toes. Welcome!

    Denise :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Denise Covey: Thank you. So very much. The water was been much, much warmer than I expected for my paddling.

      Delete
  27. Fine choices for your photos ... and I'm one more person who never knew that there's a volcano in Antarctica ...

    Your poem is very good. I think Alex J. Cavanaugh said it all: You ARE a writer. Have you written much before? Your descriptions are marvellous. I remember your post about the horse puppets, and at that time I went on youtube to see the available video. Your poem took me back to that, added in the smells of the evening, and served up an intriguing finish. Mighty good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. jenny_o: No, not a writer. I love words, and I play with them, but I don't have the inspiration, the imagination or the dedication. A reader and an appreciator are much more accurate descriptions.

      Delete
  28. I have loved all of your Antarctic posts, and once again that beautiful place has produced some inspired, and inspiring, writing from you. Very well done indeed. The horses, too, are stunning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alexia: And there have been a LOT of Antarctica posts... Thank you.

      Delete
  29. Wow, that black beach! Amazing. And it's such a great photo.
    This is a really fun challenge, and I enjoyed reading it. Your writing truly does make me want to experience the fun of the day.
    I will definitely have to check out the challenge and see what it's all about. I know I won't have time to participate or visit very many others, as this is even my first visit to your lovely blog in quite some time. But still...Awesome challenge that you met with greatness! Love it. =0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2justByou: I hope you do get to read at least a few of the other participants. I have been blown away.
      And that black beach lingers in my dreams.

      Delete
  30. You were certainly up to the challenge. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Now, that is performance I'd have loved.
    And the Antarctica trip? You know how I feel about that!
    I will try to get around the participating bloggers...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dinahmow: I know you would have loved it. I thought so (briefly) as it unfolded before my eyes.

      Delete
  32. Now this post has blown me away. Both the photo and the poem are fabulous. Well done for getting your feet wet. Have more confidence in yourself adn your ability nad take the wings OFF.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret Adamson: Confidence is not something I possess. A work in progress. Thank you for your kind words.

      Delete
  33. I had no idea there was a speck of warmth in Antarctica.

    As for your poem...Alex is right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mshatch: I didn't know about the active volcano before I went. At all. It was a huge, and very welcome surprise.
      Thank you for your kindness about my poem.

      Delete
  34. Both magical stories. Well done, I enjoyed. Good luck with it all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. whiteangel: Thank you. I hope your trip continues to go well.

      Delete
  35. Oh wow...those horses are cool. I want them in my back yard!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephanie Faris: I loved them too - but you would need a BIG backyard. They stood twelve feet tall.

      Delete
  36. WOW. Those photos are gorgeous. Love the horses. I have horses (my favorite animal along with sharks). Your poetry is brilliant, eloquent, stirring. I LOVED this. Listen to me when I say, I didn't want to stop reading. You have grown. The only thing I would change is you have the word watched and then in my favorite lines you say, They leapt, they ran, they fought.
    Entrancing the silent watchers. Placed me right there. GORGEOUS imagery.
    Maybe your poem could do without the line, And all the people watched.(because you use watching close to it). Excellent job. I love your photographs. All poets love to take great photos. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robyn Campbell: Welcome and thank you. And you are right. Too many 'watched'.

      Delete
  37. Nicely done. Poetic prose description of the dancing horses incident, that is. You are a writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strayer: Nah, I am a watcher, an appreciator and a dabbler.

      Delete
  38. Both your photographs and prose leave me without words. Your imagery is evocative. Great entry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland D. Yeomans: Thank you. High praise coming from you.

      Delete
  39. LOVE LOVE LOVE

    Your poem is delightful. Not only the imagery and the phrasing and the beat but the twist at the end that leaves the reader with a question to ponder.

    I think you rocked this :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HBF: How are you doing today? Better? I do hope so.
      And thank you. The question at the end was one that only dawned on me after the event. And I do think we were puppets. Skillfully manipulated happy puppets.

      Delete
  40. You got more than your toes wet. It won't be long now till you are up to knees and then ........

    Really, really good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: There are lots and lots of stunning entries to this blog hop. I am enjoying paddling (more than I thought I would) but there are some very strong swimmers out there.

      Delete
  41. I haven't seen these photos before! You went to Antarctica, WOW! That's so cool and I love that picture. One of those once in a lifetime kind of things.
    This light horse show sounds amazing. You described it so well, I saw it and now I've got to find this thing.
    Take off the floaties! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madilyn Quinn: Antarctica was the culmination of a long held dream - and even better than I had hoped. I will hug the memories to myself forever.
      Thank you re my words.

      Delete
  42. I'm in awe! You took a picture in Antarctica! And your poem is brilliant! (I've run out of exclamation marks - no more than 3 per comment - so I'll stop using them.) As I read it, I felt as if I was there, almost, as if I could see those horses dance. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olga Godim: Welcome and thank you. I am so glad that I was able to take you with me.

      Delete
  43. Wonderful, giant horses and steam raising from hot earth under ice, they would be sights to remember.
    Merle...............

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merlesworld: They were sights to remember. And cherish. And I do.

      Delete
  44. Wow. This post is spectacular. How wonderful that you swam in those warm waters. The picture becomes so special when you explain the exciting location. And your poem...well, what can I say. Your choice of words is perfect, your descriptive skill is such that I felt like I was there with you and all those people. Please, write more. You have much to say, I know, and you do it beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Myrna R.: Thank you so much. I am seriously humbled reading these words from a poet of your calibre.

      Delete
  45. I wouldn't change a thing, I love it. AND you know I would not blow smoke up your ass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Riot Kitty: Are you sure? You have always been so supportive that I assumed that smoke blowing was one of your skills. And thank you.

      Delete
  46. I've never heard of a black beach before. Interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra Cox: Lava will do that. In the most beautiful way.

      Delete
  47. I am lost for words which you obviously were not. Wonderful themes and your description of the horse puppets was so good I definitely shared the experience with you.
    I do so admire people, like yourself, who can use words as you do.
    All the best in the competition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mimsie: I am a dabbler and paddler, and there are some serious swimmers participating in WEP. It has been a joy and an education to read them.

      Delete
  48. Oh wow! Brilliant picture. How I wish I get to visit Antartica! Your poem is lovely.Your words captured the atmosphere, and brought it to life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kiran Acharya: Welcome and thank you. Antarctica is heaven on a stick.

      Delete
  49. That black beach in Antarctica must have been a wonderful experience and one that will stay with your forever.

    Those horse puppets are also wonderful and your descriptive writing conjures up the mood and awe of the spectators. Lovely, I hope I get the chance to watch that puppet show sometime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sally: Welcome and thank you. Both Antarctica and those dancing horses ARE tucked in my forever memories. And cherished.

      Delete
  50. Your posts never fail to entertain and inform. I've been to a few black beaches, including Wanganui in NZ. They are amazing and to have the added drama of the heat haze, volcano and snow must have been incredible. I've just watched a video on the horses and can understand how mesmerising they must have been. Congratulations on your entry EC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kim: You always leave the nicest, most generous comments. This was the only black beach I have seen - and it was beautiful. Love that there are others.

      Delete
  51. I definitely have Antarctica on my bucket list - it would be a dream come true for me to go there, too. Maybe I'll get to do a cruise there in retirement or something.

    Thank you for sharing the gorgeous photos and the poem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trish F: Welcome and thank you. If you get the chance, I would strongly recommend an Antarctic trip. One of the last frontiers. Pristine and beautiful.

      Delete
  52. While the Antarctica bit was cool, I really enjoyed your writing piece. Basic but to the point. Very descriptive imagery that paints a picture of everything going on. Loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  53. I'm in agreement with Robert, EC. Your imagery was wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra Cox: It was a wonderful experience. Both of them were wonderful experiences...

      Delete
  54. amazing photos, love the antarctic description

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda Starr: I LOVED Antarctica. If money or health would allow it, I would be back in a heart-beat.

      Delete
  55. I don't think I know of anyone else who has been to Antarctica aside from scientists and explorers, so very cool. (although it seems that area isn't). The writing piece along with that 'lit-from-within' image of the horse forms helps me visualize in part what the onlookers saw. I think the imagery and your choice of words enhanced that experience. Sometimes the basic impressions are the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. D.G. Hudson: Basic, and simple usually works for me. Thank you. And thank you for nudging me towards playing in the WEP bloghop. I don't think I would have without your encouragement.

      Delete
  56. Hey EC. Loved your photos. Your poem captured the atmosphere of the show perfectly. Don't be shy. Keep posting to share on WEP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raeline Purtill: Welcome and thank you.

      Delete
  57. I'm a book lover too. I don't take near enough time out to read anymore though. I love your pictures. The horses puppets are very cool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mail4rosey: I make time to read. And happily neglect other things to do so.

      Delete
  58. Lovely photo (fig 2 and 3). It's hard to read english, beacause I cannot it soooo well, that's why I look usually only the photos, don't mind.
    But I wish you a happy weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. orvokki: Thank you. Of course I don't mind - you manage English MUCH better than I do your language.

      Delete
  59. Both shots are magical in their own way.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I loved writing my first book. I had no plans for it other than to get it published so my sister could have something of ME in her hands. A sequel was requested, but it still remains "in the cloud" somewhere, partly written and abandoned. Good writing on a steady basis is something I can't do. I have to be in the zone, and that zone is long gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lotta joy: You never do anything by halves. I suspect that your sequel/prequel isn't as gone as you think. My selfish self hopes not anyway.

      Delete
  61. Oh, Sue, you've gotta take those floaties off right NOW, because you don't need them. I think people who do a lot of reading, and who, in general, have a love for language, also have a natural affinity for writing, and are more attuned to its cadence and lyrical qualities than non-readers. And your description of the horses, and the people watching them, proves it.

    Want a critique? You used some nice alliteration, like "the fit, the fat, and the infirm," and successfully tapped into writing's proverbial "power of three," (i.e. "perfume, beer, and sweat"... "they cavorted, they danced, they pranced"... "they leapt, they ran, they fought") and employed evocative words like "jostling" and "crackled".You have a nice balance of rhyme and rhythm, and managed to engage readers' senses with your delightful descriptions of sights, sounds, and smells. When put all together, you painted a picture that took us right there to the scene with you, and best of all? I love how you posed the question at the end about who, exactly, were the puppets. Beautiful job. Like I said, you don't need those floaties. You are an accomplished "swimmer".

    Happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan: Blushing,and shuffling my feet. Thank you. Floaties, flippers and goggles will stay though.

      Delete
  62. Lovely images & words.
    You are a woman of many gifts..
    appreciated by me.

    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Inner Chick: Thank you so much. Another compliment from yet another person who fills me with awe.

      Delete
  63. Both are definitely spectacular!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynn: Thank you. Have a great family filled weekend away.

      Delete
  64. Hi human, Sue,

    My dear human friend, your words resonate with the stories you have told. The pictures, a gateway to your passion that exudes in with every word crafted from your heart and soul

    I have and my human has never been in awe of writers, as such. Respect for the resilience and determination is a big yes. Sue, my amazing human friend, you are writer. It has nothing to do with being pawblished, um, published.

    Have a peaceful weekend.

    Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

    Penny xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!: Thank you dear Penny. I am going to disagree with you though. I am a dabbler not a writer - and they will continue to awe me.

      Delete
  65. Hola... Espero que estés bien... Buena imagen y fría... Un abrazo desde Murcia....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. alp: Thank you so much. Have a lovely weekend.

      Delete
  66. BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS...

    Now wonder you are in awe and were affected by them. Who would't be?

    You prose was equally as lovely. Nicely written and very engaging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael Di Gesu: Welcome - and thank you. On both counts.

      Delete
  67. Love the pictures, but the writing is the star here. Great stuff, you must do more! I've yet to be brave enough to post any of my writing on blogger, though I have done on an anonymous platform. Well done that woman!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All Consuming: I would LOVE to see your writing. Please pretty please.

      Delete
  68. It is amazing you have been to Antartica. But then you are close than I am in Missouri! Your writing is fantastic...keep putting words down!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bookie: Since I flew to Argentina to start the trip I am not sure I was closer. Worth it though. And thank you. I suspect I will continue to be a reader and an appreciator - and an occasional dabbler.

      Delete
  69. What a wonderful, whimsical post! Loved the photo and story about Antarctica; would loooooove to follow in your footsteps one day. Yes, weird about the temperature of the water!

    Your rendition of the horse puppet show is brilliant. The awe comes across, as does the magic. This is my favorite line: "pinned under a spotlight and pinned under our gaze." My only suggestion has to do with dashes: I'd go for "twelve-foot horses", just for clarity. And I'd prefer "Open-eyed and -mouthed", too... But that's probably a matter of preference :) Great piece. You had me right there with you.
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Guilie Castillo: Thank you so much. It really was an amazing show. Beautiful, mystical, magical...

      Delete
  70. Absolutely stunning--images and your description of the horse puppets. I could see their Lipizzaner prances and sense the excitement of the show as I read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cleemckenzie: Welcome and thank you. It really was exciting, and I so wish I could capture more than a hint of it.

      Delete
  71. Hi again EC. Coming by for the third time for judging! Enjoyed your rhythm all over again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Denise Covey: Thank you. What a lovely thing to say to a rank amateur.

      Delete
  72. Both your photographs are stunning. And the poem is brilliant. I enjoyed the in-the-moment imagery, and the metaphor, the audience becoming the puppets. Magnificent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nilanjana Bose: Welcome and thank you. I have been amazed at how supportive people have been in this challenge.

      Delete
  73. Delighted to visit your blog because both parts of the challenge have been made so fascinating by you. One, the volcano in Antarctica and that you actually swam there. I'm very impressed. Two - those full of imagination and creativity light puppets with your fabulously descriptive poem. What a pleasure.
    Also - love the cat photos :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kalpanaa M: Welcome and thank you too. The cats are an important part of my life. Very important. And I am so grateful that you enjoyed my attempt at the challenge.

      Delete
  74. Oh, I loved this so much. It set my imaginations dancing with horses and all. While I was commenting my cat Sid nosed at the cat pics and I was surprised that he would actually react that way. Lovely cats indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rasma Raisters: Welcome and thank you. Both of these cats recognise other cat's images too. Dumb animals is often completely absurd.

      Delete
  75. The Antarctica photo is amazing!

    I love the dancing horses...
    I was transported by your magical words which matched the magical image.
    A well written piece... and now I'm wondering if you need the floaties...
    Thank you for the exciting ride!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was SO right! You can put the floaties away...
      Congratulations on your WEP success!
      A well-deserved win!

      Delete
    2. Michelle Wallace: Thank you so much. I am still in shock. A totally unexpected outcome. And I am hanging on to my floaties. I may relinquish either the snorkel OR the flippers.

      Delete
  76. Michelle Wallace: Antarctica WAS amazing. Really amazing.
    Thank you so much for your kind words but reading the other WEP entries (yours included) I know that I do need my floaties.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I imagine Antarctica has fueled your inspiration for years to come! What an incredible place to have experienced! I believe, in the end, the readers have become the puppets, as we followed every word in the visually rich journey!

    The Weight of Wonder

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Samantha Redstreake Geary: Welcome and thank you. Antarctica is inspirational - and healing magic. And I hug it to myself on dark days and nights.
      Thank you so much for adding a different perspective to my poem. It hadn't occured to me that I could also be a puppeteer.

      Delete
  78. This really set the mood of the neon puppets. Awesome imagery, perfectly paced. I enjoyed this very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dolorah: Welcome and thank you. I have been so touched by the kindness and generosity of WEP participants.

      Delete
  79. Such detailed, compelling imagery. I loved it, but especially the end. Which are the puppets, indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  80. You've been to Antarctica-- color me jealous already! That's an awesome experience to have had and you described it so well.

    Loved the rhythm and color in your poem, and particularly this part:

    The giant, illuminated horses doing their Lipizzaner routine, skilfully manipulated by shadowy men hidden in their legs,
    or the silent, watching crowd

    Sorry to be so late to the party, I'm catching up on some vists this week, because the last two have been quite challenging for me.

    I'm right on time to congratulate you, though!! Well-deserved!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. damyantiwrites: Thank you so much. If you get the chance to go to Antarctica do it. It was a lifelong dream for me, and surpassed all my expectations.

      Delete
  81. I read this piece before, but remembered that I had been interrupted before I could leave a comment.
    Coming back today, I visited the WEP challenge post. I saw that you WON - and I am not a bit surprised!
    Ever since I discovered Elephant's Child, I have been in awe of both your writing and your photos. Even the comments you leave on my blog are so eloquent, I am astounded. Well deserved EC- congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan F.: You may not have been surprised but I was. Gob smacked and flabber ghasted.

      Delete
  82. Dear EC, your writing is always a delight so I'm not surprised you're a winner. Your poem brought the puppet horses to life and your photo of them is wonderful! Congratulations! Your Antarctica photo and words are magical, and as is obvious from the comments, everyone wishes they could visit that amazing place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carol: Thank you so very much. Humbled and grateful. Off topic. Tulip Tops opens this weekend...

      Delete
  83. Hi EC - just got here - thanks for your comment on my return to blogging.

    Swimming in that setting must be amazing - it always staggers that a frozen landscape can be warmed from the earth. Looks positively freezing!

    The horses are extraordinary and I love your description of the eerie show - looks quite stunning ... and brilliant. Such a clever creative idea - but creative too for you to bring it to us ... Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: I swam the day before as well. No volcano to warm the water - and it could charitably be described as brisk. Very brisk.
      The horses were magic. Eighteen months down the track I still smile when I remember them.

      Delete
  84. I'm so excited that you won! And we - your blog friends - always knew you were talented, if if you thought you weren't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynn: Thank you so much. It seems that people know more about me than I do...

      Delete
  85. I am finally catching up with you my friend and look at you.....a butterfly emerging from your cocoon! I wish I was there to give you a hug and say...'see you did it and we all knew you could!' You are an immensely talented person and this poem proves that! Congrats and well, well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna@LivingFromHappiness: Thank you so much. Hugs and congratulations gratefully received. Mind you, I am still in shock.

      Delete