Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Photo and a Poem

Guest Blog

This week I'm delighted to present a guest blog by poet, avid gardener, mother of four, and prolific reader Elizabeth Guy. Impressed by the power of photographs to inspire writing, Guy often uses them to trigger ideas that lead to the creation of poems and other forms of writing. 

Every Photo Tells a Story 

More and more often in my travels here and abroad, I see young couples entangled in a romantic embrace, lip-locked like barnacles to the hull of a ship.  It’s sometimes quite bemusing.  Often I wonder, “What does she see in him?”

My co-author, Hank Kellner,  loves to do street photography and has amassed albums of his work.  I enjoy leafing through those images and choosing one or another to inspire a poem or a story.

Take for example this couple, caught by Kellner’s lens exchanging a kiss along one of the river walks that edges the shores of New York City.  The following photo and poem combination was first published in our book, Reflect & Write:300 Poems and Photographs to Inspire Writing  (Prufrock Press 2013). 

For anyone not familiar with the name Zac Efron, feel free to substitute the name of any man whose mere physical countenance makes women sigh with longing and get all starry-eyed.

Anyone who’s a kisser I’m always interested in.”  - Cher

No Zac Efron

He’s no Zac Efron
I’m sure you’d agree,
But he’s kind of cute I think.
With a slow easy smile
That’s part of his style
And a little “come here” wink.

His tattoos cover much that’s not seen
But at least there’s no ring in his nose.
‘Though his brain’s not too keen,
If you know what I mean,
And he favors the oddest of clothes,
Yet, he’s the one I chose.

I don’t understand it myself.

I guess the answer is this—
‘Though he belches and scratches and snores,                                                  
Often sucks his teeth with a hiss,
When he takes me in his arms
I simply cannot resist,
As he lowers his lips to mine—
Oh my!  He can certainly kiss!

                        ~Elizabeth Guy
Ah yes, when Spring is in the air, the pheromones fly everywhere!  Even old codgers are not immune.  

I remember several years ago when a widowed friend became romantically involved with a gentleman and their relationship turned serious.  Her son asked her, “Why him, Mom?”  She told me afterwards in confidence, “I really couldn’t explain it at the time.  I mean, you can’t tell your son something like, ‘Well, when he kisses me I melt like an ice cream pop in a steam room!’”

Do you have any photos that inspire you to write?

          Coming to                 

What is this boy thinking?

Also, visit my co-author's blog at  See his ten-part series on photo prompts to inspire writing at 

And Don’t Miss… 
            English teacher Mara Dukats and writer-photographer Cynthia Staples’ poems “White and White” and “The Absence of Color.” They’re in Part Four of Hank Kellner’s  twelve-part series THE POWER OF PHOTOS TO INSPIRE WRITING at the Creativity Portal  website,  as well as Anna J. Small’s writing assignment in "Viewing and Writing about Photos from Around the World"
            Also, read more about Reflect and Write in the SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

A Helpful Source for Inspiration
For more photos and information not included in this blog, please visit Reflect and Write contains more than 300 poems and photos; keywords; quotations; either “Inspiration” or “Challenge” prompts; a “Themes to Explore” section; a “Twelve Ways to Inspire Your Students” section; a special “Internet Resources” section, and more. Includes CD with photos and poems from the book. Reflect and Write: 300 Poems and Photos to Inspire Writing by Hank Kellner and Elizabeth Guy (Prufrock Press, 2013), 153 pages, $24.95.

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