How to Write a Poem (and Why This Will Help You Become a Better Writer)

    Recently, I re-read a little book I created some years ago.

    It’s a book of poems.

    I collected my poems and then ‘published’ them in a book I handcrafted myself.

    It made a special gift for my loved ones.

    I’m not what people call ‘a poet,’ but I do tend to write poems now and then. Especially at key moments of my life.

    The poems I created some years ago trigger memories, emotions and sentiments.

    They are like condensed journal entries.

    Do you write poems?

    Not? Well, maybe you should.

    Writing a poem means paring down your experience to just a few words or phrases.

    This is great training for whatever else you write.

    I know that my own writing has been shaped and improved by writing poems.

    When you write a poem, the challenge is to capture a moment, a feeling or a fleeting thought. Here is one of my poems that invokes a moment when my son, Sebastian, went to visit his new-born half-sister.

    Little Red Car

    He waved to me

    As he got onto the plane

    Lifting his skateboard high

    In his luggage

    The little red car

    For his new sister.

    At the big old house

    He used to play with it

    In his room halfway up the landing,

    Pushing it over the blue vinyl

    With gold flecks

    He was little then

    And liked to crawl into my bed

    At night.

    When I pushed him out of my body

    And gathered him to my heart

    All wet and tiny

    No one told me

    He would become a man

    The very next day.

    Some simple suggestions on how to write a poem

    First of all, it’s important to let go of any ideas of writing a ‘good’ poem. Your poems are memories frozen in time. They don’t need to be important to anyone else.

    Here are a few pointers that make writing poems enjoyable:

    Focus on a particular moment

    Poems work best if you focus on a moment that expresses an emotion or is a metaphor for an idea.

    Such moments occur every day. We just need to notice them.

    Imagine you see a cicada shell on the ground. At that moment you might remember that cicadas emerge from years in the ground – and then only live and sing for a couple of weeks. Here is what Zen poet Basho made of such a moment:

    Shell of a cicada

    It sang itself away

    completely

    The more details you use, the more vivid your poem will be. Sensory details help your readers to identify emotionally with your poem.

    Here are some questions to elicit sensory details:

    If your poem is set in a location, what do you see?

    What colors are there?

    What do you hear?

    What do you taste or smell?

    If a person is the focus of your poem, what details are telling?

    What do they look like?

    What do they say?

    What do they see?

    Here is a short poem with rich details by William Carlos Williams

    This Is Just To Say

    I have eaten

    the plums

    that were in

    the icebox

    and which

    you were probably

    saving

    for breakfast

    Forgive me

    they were delicious

    so sweet

    and so cold

    The fun of found poems

    found poetry

    A found poem uses words from non-poetic contexts and turns them into poetry. It’s like a collage. You can find scraps of sentences in your everyday life and put them together to make a poem.

    Here is where you can find material for your language collage:

    • instruction books
    • recipes
    • scraps of conversations
    • horoscopes
    • textbooks
    • dictionaries
    • graffiti
    • phone messages, notes you’ve written to yourself
    • shopping lists
    • billboards

    Here are two examples of found poems. The first one is by William Whewell who found the following poem in a treatise of mechanics:

     An Elementary Treatise on Mechanics

    Hence no force,

    however great,

    can stretch a cord,

    however fine,

    
into a horizontal line

    which is accurately straight.

    The poet Hart Seely found poetry in the speeches and news briefings of Donald Rumsfeld. Here is one of his tongue-in-cheek poems:

     Unknown

     As we know,

    There are known knowns.

    There are things we know we know.

    We also know

    There are known unknowns.

    That is to say

    We know there are some things

    We do not know.

    But there are also unknown unknowns,

    The ones we don’t know

    We don’t know.

    If you want to create a ‘found poem,’ make sure you carry a notebook around with you. Jot down any interesting bits of language you find. You’ll find that your ordinary life turns into a treasure hunt!

     Editing: the crucial phase

    The most important part of writing a poem is to pare it down to the essential. When you edit your poem, you need to test every word to see if it can be left out.

    If you are lucky, you might end up with just a few words.

    Here is a celebrated poem by William Carlos Williams where most of the content is pared away, and only a few poignant words remain:

    The Red Wheelbarrow

    so much depends
    upon

    a red wheel
    barrow

    glazed with rain
    water

    beside the white
    chickens.

     

     

    What about you?

    Do you write poems? If so, please share your poem so we can all enjoy it.

    Or maybe you have a favorite poem someone else wrote?

    Please share your poems and thoughts in the comment section.

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com and for her cutting-edge book, Youthful Aging Secrets. In her “spare” time, Mary is also the brains behind GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • Sehaj bajwa says:

      She, who cloaks herself with the mist of unmasked whispers behind her back
      She, who at the epiphanic edge, hurls and descends into the sea of chaos
      To drag herself back up, bloodied and bruised with hands sooted in black
      She, who wears the mantle of punctuated uncertainty well
      And She, who quivers with her ache for heaven
      Only to shatter into a million shards whilst being dragged through hell
      Cursed to stay swathed in a shroud of concealment

      She, A mask
      She, A slave

      She, who secretly desires to be the moon to his wolf
      Yet is left ravaged in shadowed archways, under his snickering gaze
      To weep alone with scarred knees and fractured calves
      A mere conquest in the recesses of his mind
      She, whose heart is carved and gouged, sputtering in erratic beats
      And she, whose yearning to be craved as the ocean craves salt remains forsaken

      She, a whore
      She, a wench

      She, whose hiraeth is fated to be satiated ephemeral
      She, whose face is acclaimed ten times yet her soul remains to be spurned at every glance
      Oh, but her ecstasy would be incandescent in its manifestation
      The second she no longer bows her head, and see in the slivers of tomorrow and yesterday
      Her own worth, the measure of her strength, the weight of her wisdom and the luminescence of her eyes
      She, who will unveil her soul bare, and burn in breathless moments of elysian

      She, an inferno
      She, an ember

      She, whose whispers fade into the cruel silence of a raised hand
      But whose voice no longer will remain chocked, the chains will unravel, the thorns will part to reveal the rose
      She, who is the barren land where grew hope, wherein winds roared in fury, and her fire remains to be the thunder before the storm of her passion
      She, who will rise from the ashes of a chained heron, to unfurl her wings and weave the song of her soul
      To make the screams heard, the cries felt, and the blood sway to the rhythm of her scars
      And it will be her skies that reign, that will thrash and scream before sighing at the release of burdened dreams

      Oh, she will part her lips and open her eyes; therein they will see the fires of heaven and the majesty of wolves

      She, a warrior
      She, a queen

    • Nathan says:

      Hi thanks so much for this article. The thought of a “found poem” fascinates me. I never thought of such a thing.

      I have been reading poems lately and wanted to try my hand at my own. I am drawn toward Robert Frost I think because his stuff was required reading when I was in school. I really enjoyed Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Any suggestions on contemporary poets? I enjoy classics but I also would like poems where I don’t need a dictionary. There is place for both in my library.

      Also, for my first poem I chose a recent event that affected me emotionally and weighs on my mind. I think writing about it could have a therapeutic affect. I suppose writing about being in a coma seems like a silly idea because I was asleep but somehow I can still “feel” what it was like. The blackness of it if that makes sense. Or should it be approached from a third person point of view? I have a pretty good idea of what someone would look like and what goes on.

      Your thoughts would be very appreciated. It seems a little difficult to write about something like this when I can hardly describe it myself, but I feel compelled to. I’m 35 and even after all of these years I’ve never written poetry. How would you suggest I approach this?

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    • janice says:

      Hi Mary,
      Hope all’s well. I’ve been cyber-hibernating and haven’t visited for a while. Years, when I think about it. It made me smile to pop in and find a post about poetry that includes your favourite Basho poem.:) It sounds clichéd, but I had to be offline to get healthy and creative again, to re-engage with life so I’d actually have something to write about. I rediscovered notebooks, pencils, quote-hunting and carrying books to cafés. I learned to stand still again, to watch the bee on the jasmine instead of rushing indoors to get my camera to photogaph it for a post.

      Whenever I’m not writing, I realise it’s because I’m not open, not living deeply enough, with presence and awareness or I’m feeling something so powerful, so painful, it’s shut me down because I daren’t relive it through writing. I love the way Wordsworth distils the relationship between engaged living and zen writing:

      Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity. ~ Wordsworth

      • Thank you for sharing your experience of writing, Janice. I was especially struck by your sentence: “Whenever I’m not writing, I realise it’s because I’m not open, not living deeply enough.”

        As to the quote by Wordsworth, it’s a gem…

    • Felix says:

      DREAM WALKING

      The bright sun rises and shines;
      Death like a thief appears and kills,
      Even a lonely flower with joy blooms and smiles.
      They are always who they are.

      It is easier to be natural
      Than a cocktail of natural
      And super-natural.

      A flower is always itself because it has no choice.
      But for a man, O he has to choose to be himself.
      Shall then flowers be better than us?

      Not so if you realize
      That you are nothing but a dream.
      Your tears and fears are nothing but an illusion;
      But your cheers and faith are who you are.

      What yearnings do you hold deep inside your heart?
      What wishes?
      Those are the seed of thy life!
      Don’t hide them in a hive,
      But make them shine brightly like the sun;
      For a dream is not a private thing,
      But a light that must be put on the table.

      What shall I compare a dream to?
      A dream is like the moon:
      We see and feel it,
      But often seems out of reach.

      A dream is a lonely journey which only you
      Can travel.
      You could look all around
      And find no company,
      But you Must still continue moving forward.

      A dream is not what people say about you,
      But what your creator says about you.
      It often makes no sense to people
      Because they have no clue about
      The plans God has for your life.

      A dream is a hot thing,
      Which you either hold onto or drop.
      And you can only hold onto it:
      If you allow it
      To Burn and consume you;
      To refine you as gold is refined with fire.
      If you allow it
      To be a thing you could die for.

      A dream is more powerful than death;
      For even God in his dream to redeem mankind,
      Died on the cross!

      Are you a dreamer?
      What is standing in the way?
      Is it the lack of money?
      Is it people’s opinions?
      Is it doubt?
      Is it the habit of procrastination?
      Whatsoever it be;
      Thy dream like a sword
      Can cut through them all!

      Above is a special poem that I wrote. How well does it conform to the recommended standards for writing poems?

    • Anna says:

      I wrote this several years back when I was working as a wildland firefighter. The poem is a depiction of real life events that happened on night on the fire when we all had to move camp because someone thought the prairie dogs in the area we were camping were diseased.

      Oh those Prairie Dogs, how they do conspire
      to create panic and wreak havoc
      with all the folks
      On the Virgin fire

      Prairie dogs in fire camp
      are moving slow.
      Oh no! What to do
      because they just won’t go!

      Prairie dogs in camp,
      they have no fear
      They don’t run
      When humans are near.

      They must have the plague,
      or Monkey Pox!
      We MUST move camp before
      we all get knocked out of our socks.

      Hurry up! We have to move the camp!
      You’ll be taking down and
      setting up that tent again
      by headlamp.

      Oops! We forgot.
      names and numbers
      of those in camp
      we have not got.

      Now it’s hurry up and wait
      the lines grow long
      as our records
      we up date.

      At our new camp
      we finally arrive.
      At least to the fire
      we now have a shorter drive.

      The plague scare is now history
      No need to worry.
      The cause of the problem
      is no longer a mystery.

      Sorry we got you all pissed
      for a few little Prairie dogs
      that just got squished!

    • Frank says:

      I feel a poem is a way of expressing your inner feelings and thoughts. I find it easier to pass a message to politicians, citizens and worshippers. It like a song only that anyone can recite. I do love poems, its my passion

    • Fly
      There are moments in life
      That’s full of mist and darkness
      You can’t see a way out
      No road to lead you to light.
      Sometimes you get trapped
      Trapped inside yearnings
      When you see no way
      To earn it.
      When dreams go farther
      And you feel lost more than ever
      When it’s hard to find hope,
      Just keep on living
      Breath and relaxing
      Once you get your wings
      You can fly
      You can fly and chase the dreams
      You can fly to the light,
      No road in need
      Not lost when you ride the wind.
      Don’t let anything stop you
      Or get in your way and hold you
      You are one in a million I know you
      So fly to your dreams

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    • JL Olsen says:

      Daddy’s Girl
      By
      J L Olsen

      We were sitting next to each other,
      Chatting after church.
      His daughter came in and stood over him.
      Leaning against his broad shoulders,
      She began to rub the palm of her hand
      Over his buzz-cut hair.
      He didn’t stop talking with me,
      Just put his arm around her hips
      And submitted, willingly, to her charming petting.
      I watched, enviously. T
      The beloved daughter adorably disrespectful;
      And, I, the daughter of a different man– never really in my life;
      Who was locked away by emotional pain and alcohol,
      And I sighed with regret and deep longing.

    • P V Ramanujam says:

      Mind is a minefield
      Set it off, reap weed
      Set it right, feel untroubled.

    • Sue says:

      I like writing tetractys, a 20 syllable poem with 5 lines, arranged as 1,2,3,4,10 syllables. An example:

      small
      perfect
      dimpled sphere
      fulfil my goal,
      avoid getting lost, go into the hole

      They are usually written centred but I don’t know how to do that here.

    • vmakel says:

      great guys

    • Patrick says:

      Always be a poet, even in prose. ~Charles Baudelaire

    • vmakel says:

      like i was born out of
      misery, my heart and soul
      have found blasphemy as reality,seeking fortunes beyond
      the blue heavens
      dear lord the hand you gave me.
      The hand you gifted me
      has betrayed me.
      Guys tell me if i have an idea,is there any chance i can make it.

      • Riana Inger says:

        vmakel, Iam certain your poem of melancholy resonates with many. Therefore it’s a resounding yes, you can make it.

    • George says:

      I have never written poetry, but this post clearly showed how it can make me a better writer.

      The fact that poetry makes you look at every single word and it’s value really changes the way I look at the value of words in blog posts.

      This was an unexpected but very beneficial lesson! Thank you!

    • Beth Havey says:

      So glad that you used William Carlos Williams as an example of a great poet.

      Mary Oliver is fantastic too and Billy Collins is one of my favorites. Beth Havey

    • Joy Acey says:

      The thing that makes William Carlos Williams’ RED WHEELBARROW such an elegant poem is that each stanza is a wheelbarrow shape–a concrete poem.

    • Mary Meyer says:

      I really needed this today Mary! Thank you. After years of writing B2B articles in the healthcare industry, I was feeling like a needed something to keep me interested in freelance writing. I was so inspired by your post that I wrote my first ever poem in 15 minutes. Your guidance was so incredibly practical, I’m going to keep it up. I think it will really help me wade through the daily grind of colonoscopies, Obamacare and heart valve surgical techniques. Bless you!

    • vmakel says:

      hi this is great,with this i will mold my self into the poet i want to be.thank you.

    • Thanks for your poem, David. I’m impressed that you managed to pull off a love poem.

      • David says:

        Merci!!

    • Riana Inger says:

      Finding myself in a contemplative mood last week, while watching the sun go down, these thoughts came to my mind.

      REFLECTIONS

      Is the sun merely an orb suspended from above exuding warmth and light?
      Or is it a reflection of God’s magnificence and LOVE? – A powerful sight.

      Does the wind blow in every direction essentially for the planting of seeds?
      Or is it a reflection of God’s Holy Spirit stirring our soul? – Feeding our needs.

      Do showers of rain simply fall from the clouds to quench parched ground?
      Or is it a reflection of Jesus Christ cleansing our sins? – Maintaining us sound.

      Is the fertile soil purely a place for plants that have sprouted and grown?
      Or is it a reflection of eternity when we yield to the dust? – Reap what we’ve sown.

      Riana Inger

    • David says:

      This is how I know You

      To watch as the sun rises in the morning
      in its travels across the great expanse
      of the heavens, giving up it’s warmth and light
      to a cold and lonely, destitute world.
      This is how I see you.

      To know when spring arrives with all of its blessings.
      Its gentle breeze carries with it the fragrance
      and perfumes contained in the flowers
      of the field to delight and soothe.
      This is how I smell you.

      To be still and listen to the heartbeat of the world.
      From the sweet laughter of an innocent child,
      to hearing the majestic roar of the ocean
      as it crashes its waves against a rocky shoreline.
      This is how I hear you.

      To be close as a mother holds her newborn child,
      her fingers spread wide like a net, caressing and comforting.
      Nothing else in the world matters to her as she completes
      that mysterious bond of life with tender embrace.
      This is how I feel you.

      To become delirious in the pleasures of knowing
      the sensuous flavors and delicate textures of the fruits of life.
      To become enraptured in all of God’s creation and
      to kiss your tender lips and feel the passions returned.
      This is how I taste you.

      When the feelings of pain and anguish envelope me
      in the depths of my darkest hour.
      All I have to do is close my weary eyes and dream.
      All of the torments of life disappear.

      To be replaced by the gentle warmth of your light,
      the soothing fragrance of your body.
      the sweet music of your laughter,
      the sensual feelings of your touch,
      and the delicate taste of your heart’s desire.
      This is how I know you.

    • It surprised me when I began writing poems seven months ago. Truthfully, words just came to me (particularly during stressful times) and I jotted them down, revised them to take out redundant words, etc.

      Since then I’ve been reading much more poetry.

      Your article has provided me with some steps to improve as writing poems isn’t easy and isn’t only about rhyming.

      Thank you for sharing your techniques.

      • Yes, it’s quite weird how it can happen that we start writing poems, Mona

    • Dan Frost says:

      Anyone can string words together, most often prose in illogical or strange format, and they call it a poem. Okay, call it a poem, but that does not make it poetry. Many do not understand that poetry is far greater. Yes, anyone can write a poem. Anyone can spread paint from Homeless Depot, but that does not make them an artist.

      Dan Frost

      • Vic Vosen says:

        Poetry: a delightful deviance of the senses

      • Please do share one of your ‘real’ poems, Dan.

      • george says:

        Should “poetry” be so constrained, sit in a box
        replete with rhyming couplets and pentameter?
        To answer, when the Muse of inspiration knocks:
        “Depart – you’ve brought the wrong parameter!”

        From caves of Lascaux to the Louvre’s exhibits,
        “Artistic Merit” is forever seen by individual eyes.
        What moves the artist’s hand – and what inhibits?
        Those who can, will do – who can’t, will criticize.

    • Riana Inger says:

      An African village, birthed from water and soil,
      Patterned earthenware vessels, bubble and boil.
      Flaming logs flickering high,
      Crackling forth into the midnight sky.

      Somber men, taut in face and sinew,
      Gather in a circle, dim in view.
      Discussions are held in deep low tones,
      Occasionally interrupted by the throwing of bones.

      They speak of their day, the hunt and kill,
      Out doing one another in power and skill.
      They speak of the woman, the young and old,
      Placing them in ranks – frail, naïve and the bold.

      They speak of the young ones, knowing each ones name,
      Making those accountable, who’re to blame.
      They seek sage men for counsel, when they’re not clear,
      What path to follow? Which direction to steer?

      This village birthed from water and soil,
      Held together by hands of men, woman and children, who toil.
      Reveals many clues to where we’ve gone wrong,
      Losing sense of our purpose and where we belong.

      Riana Inger

      • Riana Inger says:

        I wanted to add that this poem of An African Village, was written after the Sandy Hook School (USA) shootings.

    • Fiyin says:

      Great stuff. I used to fancy myself as a poet once upon a time. I really appreciate your breakdown of the poetry writing art. It’s very insightful and it certainly made me more aware of the finer aspects. Keep doing what you’re doing, you’ve inspired me to want more.

      • Hi Flyin, I hope this post has nudged you to start writing more poems!

    • What beautiful way to teach us how to write. I love writing poetry and have been now for awhile. I posted you on facebook and tweeted this too. You are the best! Thanks for sharing your heart with us and especially me. I will come back and post a poem. Got to run now.

      • Thanks for your kind words, Beverley! I look forward to reading your poem 🙂

    • Marcy McKay says:

      Your poems are lovely, Mary. I’m curious…what are the key moments in your life that drive you to poetry? I rarely write poems, but love it when I do. It’s always more challenging to write less, but then many times, less is more. Thanks for the great post!

      • My key moments? Maybe they are turning points. You know, the moments when you feel your life is about to take a new direction. It’s hard to say exactly, Marcy.

        • Marcy McKay says:

          Thanks for responding, Mary. I do understand TURNING POINTS. My life is taking a new direction this very moment. I’m both equal parts of thrilled and terrified (which usually means I’m on the right track)! 🙂

    • Dawn says:

      A novel ending

      This twist that bends my
      Muse inwards, reaches
      An aching dead end.
      Thrilling beginning lost
      Now She writhes
      In unfinished sentence
      Mid arc and climax.
      I hurt for her, but
      Darkness takes my ink away
      I cannot breathe her
      Another line. Nor
      String her a scene
      To emerge elsewhere.

      • Thanks for this writer’s poem, Dawn. What a good idea to write about ending a novel.

    • Vic Vosen says:

      Congealed Effervescence

      wiggidy wump the frigid corpse
      hits the floor. “too many sins,”
      claim wrens pecking near
      “No dear, ’twas the fear,”
      ravens state peering at fate
      with a dinner leer gleaming
      upon their faces pacing adjacent.
      pacing closer to view the boon
      to the forest folks’ resources.
      “Tear the hair,” declare the wrens.
      “peck the flesh,” stress the ravens.
      “But it’s only a poem spun from rainbows,”
      declaims an owl down to the ground,
      “and that my folk feeds the soul.
      So dine friends with minds divine,
      with christs’ cup from magic height
      and rejoice the gift given present
      for life is to live and be loved today
      with vigil and intellect
      for tomorrow won’t harmonize by its own.

      • Hi Vic, could you please tell us more about your thoughts behind this poem?

    • Cynthia Pearson says:

      Here is one that I wrote about the character of creativity :

      Creativity

      Creativity…

      Inside is darkly obscure,
      Plunging you deeper
      Into the abyss.

      And when you clutch
      At air there’s nothing
      To stop your

      Fall…

      You’re awake
      And then,
      It’s gone.

      Cynthia Pearson

    • I’m not much of a poet, but here’s one I’ve had kicking around for years. I still like it, although I think it probably isn’t very good. Comments welcome!

      TOMBOY

      Knees and elbows, bloody and rough
      From countless harsh encounters
      With the concrete constituting the playing field.
      Legs and arms forever scarred
      By repeated adeptly avoided visits
      To the emergency room for stitches.
      Tangled hair and holey clothes
      Laugh down from the higher branches
      Or splash delightedly from the deeper waters.
      And the requisite disgusted spit
      Issues each time one of the boys
      Surprises her with a kiss on the lips.

      • Cynthia Pearson says:

        I am tempted to say “Eewww!” after reading it. This piece is vivid enough, appealing to sight, feelings and touch to elicit that response. It is a good poem, Lori. Keep writing.

      • I must admit, I was once a Tomboy. This poem brought back the memories or climbing trees and running wild…

      • Vern says:

        TOMBOY
        Tomboy
        Tomboy
        Who am I ?
        -Knees and elbows, bloody and rough
        -From countless harsh encounters-
        -With the concrete constituting the playing field.
        -Legs and arms forever scarred
        -By repeated adeptly avoided visits
        -To the emergency room for stitches.
        -Tangled hair and holey clothes
        -Laugh down from the higher branches-
        -Or splash delightedly from the deeper waters.
        -And the requisite disgusted spit
        -Issues each time one of the boys
        -Surprises her with a kiss on the lips.
        Tomboy
        Tomboy
        Tomboy
        who am I?
        Someones beautiful wife.

    • I am always writing snippets of poetry, but nothing too lengthy (mostly just word-play experiments).

      Here is a piece about the wonder that is the London travel system:

      Three Come At Once

      Tasting waning patience on the tip of my tongue;
      Thumb out, I inhale the last exhausted minute of the rush hour;
      A bile of frustration builds at the back of my throat;
      As a triad of red, caravans towards me.

      • Ah! This really brings back my memories of the London rush-hour traffic, Katherine!

    • Thanks for the post. I write both literary and popular poetry in all different styles. Here is a poem from my book, A Friend in the Storm, written from God’s point of view.

      In Tune

      When you call me I will answer.
      I will calm you to the quick.
      I feel deep inside each flattening ache
      that leaves your insides sick.

      Since I made you in my power,
      not one cell, synapse, or nerve,
      not one groaning of your spirit
      ever passes me unheard.

      • Thanks, Cheryl – congratulations on getting your poems published.

    • Patricia says:

      I’m a blogger and this is only my second or third try at writing poems. I wrote this one describing how I felt after an incident that changed me. That changed who I thought I was.

      Words Say What My Heart Conceal by Patricia Storbeck (me)

      i lost track of myself
      sun filled sky
      warm blue water
      white sails
      truly lost all trace of me
      he fleetingly owned my heart
      caught in a dream
      delicious fragile transparent unreal
      the girl i’ve been
      became a woman
      the one i searched for
      created
      destiny shuffled the cards
      grey suffocating sky
      cold pewter sea
      empty foot prints
      lost lonely
      images of the past
      came in dreams
      never left
      my voice begged to be heard
      slowly
      as my skin absorbed sunshine
      the yearning
      for something i couldn’t yet name
      unfurled
      became real and
      guided by the stars
      the exhilarating ripple
      of your voice
      a wild tonic in the rain
      your presence smiled
      around me
      all my life i’ve waited
      for a moment
      perfect enough
      to confess it to you

      • Hey Patricia, well done! I hope you write more poems.

        • Patricia says:

          Thank you, Mary. It’s always encouraging to hear someone say ‘well done’. I’ll follow your advice.

    • Mani says:

      I’ve been writing poetry for decades. Here’s one from the vault.

      Time Traveling

      Guardians and gatekeepers
      watchmen and bell towers
      travelers and talismans
      town squares and lattes
      bartering for forebearance
      morning light and falling stars
      trepidation and continuance
      mysticism and myopia
      deliverance and domination
      the vessel and the open road
      abstinence and absolution
      rising tide and receding shore
      the truth and the telling
      the soul and the deathbed
      birthing the hours slowly
      in the blinking dawn
      of something else entirely

    • Amandah says:

      I write poems and have entered poetry contests. A few years ago, one of my poems, “Welcome to Hell,” was published in the Ohio Writer Newsletter. Click here to read it. The poem is based on a cover of the Ohio Writer Newsletter.

      Cat lovers will enjoy “A Cat’s Prayer

      Have a great day and week ahead!

    • george says:

      My Pictures and Words

      This is a little book I published via Blurb last year. It’s a collection of verse and pictures inspired by each other. You can preview it – or even buy it, if it grabs you! No, it’s not a sales pitch – just an offer to look. (The book is in square format – I don’t know why it’s changed to a 4×6 landscape on the preview page!)

      If anyone wishes to comment on the “pictures and words” concept, I’d be interested in any feedback.

      Thanks,

      🙂 george

      • I had a look George. I love the way you use evocative images and then short poems underneath!

        • george says:

          Thanks for taking the time for a look, Mary. Can you see what I’m trying to achieve? Would the words stand on their own, without the pictures, able to create their own imagery?

          An example from my book, without the accompanying picture -.does it evoke the same emotions?

          “River Roses”

          An Autumn afternoon.
          Beside the languid river,
          a gentle breeze stirs russet leaves.
          Sweet, tinkling songs of Bellbirds
          ring through the fragrant air.

          How strange then, was it to discover
          four disembodied roses
          floating forlornly midst the reeds.
          Still fresh and in full bloom.
          Alone. Abandoned. Thrown away.

          Perhaps they float here “In Memorium”
          to mark the passing of a friend.
          Or cast away after a merry feast.
          A melancholic possibility exists:
          Detritus of an unrequited love.


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