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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!


  1. Good advice for those 'Old Mother Hubbard' moments...

  2. Thanks Jinksy; It's a way of life for many.

  3. Some days all I think how to plan the next meal. If only it was that easy!

    pavement musings

  4. This was great fun, Stan

  5. Natural - the way to go! Many people here strive for this, but have to settle for stores.

  6. I know I would at least like the choice of having this 'fresh approach.' Would be nice to have it right outside one's window.

  7. Papaya: my favourite fruit. Loved the poem and the appropriate pictures. My daughter is a great scavenger, she has a terrific cookbook called "Food for Free".

  8. Oh viv, I like the sounds of that cookbook. Stan I like your poem and presentation. Loved the words mingling with photo images and good advice.


  9. Stan, I love this! Natural is the only way. Much of this is very common in Mexico. After living in the USA with all of its commercial food industries, I have gotten a bit spoilt.

  10. Americans are a bit spoiled with the food industries, and easily processed box-meals. It's a bit easier for me to grow a few vegetables than to pay the store for them. The man who lives across the street from me, raises chickens, it's always a funny site to see them walk in a line up and down the street, picking at the grass and asphalt (country street to be honest). Wonderfully written post! =)


  11. Sticky rice with mango, please

  12. I'd so love to breakfast with you four when you 'menu' this way - wonderful images and truth make a delightful read!

  13. Fun and interesting piece...
    Faced with these choices, many would starve!

  14. Love your key at the end -- it's a poem all on its own. :-)

  15. Hello, friend, how are you?

    I invite you to our Monday Poetry Potluck Party,
    We have other features such as poem of the week, poetry blog of the week, and poet of the week, plus Sunday poetry news dispatch, if you attend our Monday Party, there is a chance that you poetry or you as a promising poet are represented by one of our officials, and your talent will be highlighted or exposed to wider audience,

    No specific rules, simply linking in 1 to 3 poems, it could be an old poem, let us read and comment for you. Feel free tasting other poetry treats, all enjoyable experience…


    Click on the link, you will see a blue button, click on the blue button, you will see three boxes, your specific poem link to be placed in first, then your name or blog name, then your email connected to your blog….

    Happy Belated Monday!
    Let the fun begin!