The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum is a memorial and museum in Oświęcim (German: Auschwitz), Poland, which includes the German concentration camps Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. It is devoted to the memory of the murders in both camps during World War II. The museum performs several tasks, among them research into the Holocaust.

From 1955 to 1990 the museum was directed by one of its founders and former inmates, Kazimierz Smoleń.

The areas of remembrance are Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the train ramp between Auschwitz and Birkenau, which was used as a “debarkation-stop” between 1942–1944. The three kilometres between Auschwitz and Birkenau are within walking distance. The museum is situated in several original buildings.

This location tells us that there is more than amusement in our worldwide trek. There is education and memorialization on some of our stops. No clearer message than here in Poland and the Museum in Oświęcim. Write a memorial, an elegy, a depiction of the past atrocities or the current state of a reformed area.



Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is a neighborhood and popular tourist attraction in San Francisco, California. It roughly encompasses the northern waterfront area of San Francisco from Ghirardelli Square or Van Ness Avenue east to Pier 35 or Kearny Street.

One of the busiest and well known tourist attractions in the western United States, Fisherman’s Wharf is best known for being the location of Pier 39, the Cannery Shopping Center, Ghirardelli Square, a Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum, the Musée Mécanique, Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf, and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

Other attractions in Fisherman’s Wharf area are the Hyde Street Pier (part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park), the USS Pampanito, a decommissioned World War II era submarine, and the Balclutha, a 19th-century cargo ship. Nearby Pier 45 has a chapel in memory of the “Lost Fishermen” of San Francisco and Northern California.



The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County, bridging both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

A city of hills, cable cars and “Rice-A-Roni”, use one of the above “sparks” to enflame your poetry.



The Parthenon

The Parthenon

The Parthenon is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron.  It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered the zenith of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy and western civilization, and one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments. The Greek Ministry of Culture is currently carrying out a program of selective restoration and reconstruction to ensure the stability of the partially ruined structure.

Although the Parthenon is architecturally a temple and is usually called so, it is not really one in the conventional sense of the word. A small shrine has been excavated within the building, on the site of an older sanctuary probably dedicated to Athena as a way to get closer to the goddess, but that is all that can be claimed.

In many writings of the Greeks assertions have been made that there were many treasures stored inside the temple, such as Persian swords and small statue figures made of precious metals.

Since the Greeks contributed much of the following to Western Civilization, make a point of one such item and use it as your focus for your poem:

1. Democracy.
2. Tragedy, Comedy, Drama, and Theater.
3. Logic. The science of logic was first formulated by Aristotle.
4. Science.
5. Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting.

6. Philosophy. The word literally means, Love of Wisdom
7. Poetry


Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum is a Netherlands national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Concertgebouw.

The Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague in 1800 and moved to Amsterdam in 1808, where it was first located in the Royal Palace. The current main building was designed by Pierre Cuypers and first opened its doors in 1885. On 13 April 2013, after a ten-year renovation which cost € 375 million, the main building was reopened by Queen Beatrix. 

The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, among which are some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer.

Write a museum piece, or an Ekphrasis poem on one of these master works:


VanGogh’s “The Potato Eaters” Van Gogh Museum


Girl in a Blue Dress (1641) by Johannes Cornelisz Verspronck


The Milkmaid (c. 1657–58) by Johannes Vermeer


Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem (1630) by Rembrandt


Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century bc; these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built 220–206 BC by Qin Shihuang, the first Emperor of China. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty.

When China opened its borders to foreign merchants and visitors after its defeat in the First and Second Opium Wars, the Great Wall became a main attraction for tourists. The travelogues of the later 19th century further enhanced the reputation and the mythology of the Great Wall, such that in the 20th century, a persistent misconception exists about the Great Wall of China being visible from the Moon or even Mars.

But it is visible in many images and depictions. Think of being “walled” in, going over the wall, walking on top of the wall, anything that the Great Wall of China inspires should be written and shared.




Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California. It is notable for its place as the home of the entertainment industry, including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a metonym for the motion picture industry of the United States. Hollywood is also a highly ethnically diverse, densely populated, economically diverse neighborhood and retail business district.

Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period. While the French Lumière Brothers are generally credited with the birth of modern cinema, it is American cinema that soon became the most dominant force in an emerging industry. Since the 1920s, the American film industry has grossed more money every year than that of any other country.

Think of a movie that had left an impression on you, or a star of the cinema who you enjoy(ed) watching. Maybe the “HOLLYWOOD” (Originally, “HOLLYWOODLAND”) sign illicit a poem. The “Walk of Fame”, Gruaman’s Chinese Theater or memories of the “Brown Derby” could qualify your muse. We’re ready for our close-up, Mr. deMille!


Elephant Safari in Africa

Elephant Safari in Africa

A safari holiday should be on everyone’s wish list of life’s greatest adventures. In Swahili, the euphonious everyday language of East Africa, the word itself translates to “going on a journey”. In the age of Hemingway this meant going upcountry, setting off with a tent and a rifle into the back of beyond where the wild things are. But the “hunt” has changed dramatically! Guns are not the “weapon” of choice. A camera and a keen eye and your adventure in the bush takes on a whole new feel, offering a gentler but no less thrilling introduction to the last place on earth where wildlife exists in its old abundance. 

The purpose for going on safari has not changed. The desire to reach out and touch the wild, to spend time in the sun and under the stars and come face to face with Africa’s storybook animals, not behind bars but moving free as the wind across the savannah – these are what make this a holiday like no other.

So, don your pith helmets and break out your words using them to capture the beasties of the African wild, or the sights and sounds of safari country.


The Alamo

The Alamo

The Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the state’s most iconic landmarks. It draws 2.5 million visitors every year. People tour the grounds of this cultural museum to learn about the pivotal role it played in Texas’ struggle for independence. Not only does it have a compelling fundamental story, but research yields many little-known pieces of information.

In the early 1700s, the Spanish military built the Alamo to serve as a mission. Mexico gained independence from Spain. The Alamo was the scene of a pivotal battle in the fight for the independence of Texas from Mexico. In the early 1800s, Texas belonged to Mexico. During the Texas war for independence from Mexico, Spanish troops occupied the abandoned building, now used as a fortress, calling it Alamo. The word álamo is Spanish for cottonwood (a type of tree that grows in the area).

Your mission is to write a “Remember the Alamo” type of poem.  You certainly can use the actual Alamo, or San Antonio or Texas or revolution or… you get my drift. And when in San Antonio, tell Paula Wanken “Howdy!”



The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the facility is adjacent to the Sydney central business district and the Royal Botanic Gardens, between Sydney and Farm Coves.

Identified as one of the 20th century’s most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world, the facility is managed by the Sydney Opera House Trust, under the auspices of the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts.

Though its name suggests a single venue, the project comprises multiple performance venues which together are among the busiest performing arts centres in the world—hosting over 1,500 performances each year.

Koala Bears, Kangaroos and didgeridoos – anything “down-under” is your goal!


The Colosseum

The Colosseum

The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheater  or Colosseo, is an elliptical amphitheatre in the center of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of concrete and stone, it is the largest amphitheater ever built and is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering.

The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. 

Of course, you can explore the neighborhood around the Coliseum, Rome itself and use that as your spark.The architecture, the people, the food, the history, the food…