LEADERS - not followers

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Poems hang out where life is.

For Big Tent Poetry

This week’s prompt
Poems hang out where life is. – Susan Wooldridge
So you’ve spent most of the summer at the pool (or the lake or the beach) and you’ve hardly written any poems. (Or maybe that’s just me). Maybe you’ve been working too hard at your day job and you’re just not feeling the poetry. Whatever the cause, if you are feeling your well is dry (or even if you’re not), it’s high time to make a word pool!
For this week’s prompt you’re going to need a little notebook, something you can carry with you in your pocket. And you’re going to need to, as I say to my young art students, open your artist eyes and ears. Because before you write your poem this week, you’re going to look and listen and gather all the words and phrases your world has to offer.
“Pick me, pick me!” you hear the neighbor kid shouting. Write it down. “… no reading required,” you spy on your child’s Memory game. Write it down. Step outside your door and write down the first five things you see: cracked stair, beach towel, empty bird bath, overgrown garden, green plastic watering can. Go back inside and raid the pantry: cumin, ground pepper, canned spinach, lazy susan.
The idea of a word pool is one I originally learned from
Susan Wooldridge in her wonderful book, Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. As she describes the process in her second book, Foolsgold,“Gather words at random, sloppily, aslant, in circles, even upside down on a page.” Once I started really opening my eyes and being in tune to all the amazing words and phrases just waiting to be used in a poem, I couldn’t stop writing them down.
This week, give yourself permission to eavesdrop and steal. Take words in the name of poetry and call them yours. Then weave your favorite words into a poem. It’s like a Wordle, but more personal!
Then come back, starting Friday, and share* your poem!
*When posting, it might be nice to tell everyone a little bit about where and how you collected your words!


Hopes seemed dashed at breakfast time
What to do? Four souls to feed
Fridge is empty, shelves are bare
No frozen, processed, powdered
Conveniently pre-packed
Early signs suggest a need
For vital kitchen upgrade
Improvement for little room

A fresh approach is required
Open window raises hopes
Outdoor edible menu
Organic, free-range produce
Vegetables, spices, herbs
Bounty hunter's net result

But what’s on today’s menu?
Fresh fruit salad for starters
Main course cock-a-doodle doo
Sticky staple; just dessert

Bill of fare, no price to pay
Bob’s your uncle; problem solved

Notes: Kitchen, bare shelves, empty fridge, window
‘Edible menu’ lifted from this post
Sights: banana, papaya, mango, coconut, tamarind, men fishing, rice fields, chickens, sugar cane, honey
Life: vital signs; walking, crawling, swimming, flying, growing all around
Hope: dashed, raised, Bob ‘your uncle’ Hope
Improvement for little room; twist on room for improvement
Bounty hunters net result = fish
Sticky staple = rice
And it’s all free!