What Poetry Teaches Us about Writing Prose

by Melissa Tydell | 71 comments

I took a poetry class to fulfill one of my workshop requirements for my master’s in Writing and Publishing. Although I didn’t have much prior experience with poetry beyond some teenage scribbles, I discovered a new way of playing with language.

And in the process, I also realized that writing poetry helped me to create better, stronger prose. Here are four things I learned about poetry that also apply to writing prose:

bookshelf

Photo by Saltygal

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue

1. Focus on one moment.

My professor encouraged us to be specific and concrete when writing our poems—none of that abstract what-does-this-mean? stuff. We narrowed the scope of each poem to one moment and took care to describe it so the setting, action, characters, and emotions were crystal-clear.

2. Choose the best words.

Because most of the poems we wrote were fairly short, we wrote concisely. Each word had to carry meaning and work hard. No fluff allowed.

3. Work with structure.

Some of our assignments dictated the structure of our poems. In those cases, I only had so many lines or syllables to work with or I had to make sure certain lines rhymed, but establishing parameters made my writing stronger. I had to think and revise and move parts around. While we have a lot of freedom in writing, adding the constraint of a structure forces us to have a goal in mind and be creative in a new way.

4. Play with lyrical language.

Even concise writing is allowed to sound pretty. Poetry is rhythm and sound. It’s a form of writing that’s especially wonderful when read aloud. When the language is musical, the poem itself comes into focus and creates a song, one note at a time. It conveys more than just the words.

What other aspects of poetry writing also apply to prose?

PRACTICE

Write a short piece of prose for fifteen minutes, applying the four lessons of poetry listed above to your writing.

When you’re finished, please share your practice in the comments section. And if you post, please respond to some of the other comments too!

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Melissa Tydell is a freelance writer, content consultant, and blogger who enjoys sharing her love of the written word with others. You can connect with Melissa through her website, blog, or Twitter.

71 Comments

  1. Steve Stretton

    Getting there, not very lyrical.

    He listened to the screams
    Coming from above him.
    They sounded real, not fake
    As on a TV show.
    Should he call the police?
    Should he intrude on them
    And find the truth himself?
    He hesitated long
    In his uncertainty.
    Finally it ended
    And he went back to bed.
    Sirens sounded outside
    His window. I was wrong
    Again, he thought and wept
    For her suffering and
    His own indecision.
    Why had he not saved her?
    Guilt overwhelmed him
    And he turned to the wall
    Alone, devastated
    By remorse and his own
    Culpable inaction.

    Reply
  2. Christine

    Slow time at the donut shop; I glance out the drive – through window and see these kids–three of them–trucking across the lot. The biggest totes a huge bag of donuts, fished out of our dumpster.

    I scoot out the door to confront them. “Hey, kids, what’re you doing?”

    “We’re hungry.” the oldest one, a girl about ten, glares defiantly.

    I must admit, it was a stupid question. Why else would you dive in somebody’s dumpster?

    I want to say, “Where are your parents?” In fact I want to scream it. Maybe somebody will hear?

    Did their parents send them to dig in our dumpster? Or do they hide from their parents, sit in garages or back alleys and listen for the sounds coming out the window, wondering if it’s safe to risk going in to use the bathroom.

    “People, these are your kids! Don’t you care?” If only I could make my words echo through this whole down-and-out district and pull someone back from their addiction-induced fog long enough to feel some responsibility.

    They’d likely say, “We don’t have money for food. Welfare doesn’t pay enough. Give us more money.”

    And I’d say, “Yea, and you’ll drink it, smoke it, shoot it up.”

    My mind goes back to my own mother’s fridge, the day I looked inside and saw a bottle of Coke, a pail of jam and a loaf of white bread. And my twelve-year-old sister still at home.

    Food wasn’t important to my mother. Friends were important. And friends were found down at the bar. Children were only a bi-product of marriages, friends, parties – whatever. They could shift for themselves. One evening my sister sat at my place phoning the bars, asking if mom was there and not finding her.

    Yeah, I’ve seen it. Give Mom ten bucks and she was merrily out on the town.

    I sympathize with these kids and their heavy load of life. “Do you have to take the whole bag,” I ask, thinking of her carting that heavy bag. Then I sigh, turn around and go back into the shop. What can I do?

    The kids dump the bag out on the asphalt, grab handfuls of doughnuts and run, leaving me to clean up the mess.

    I shake my head. Poverty is a mess nobody can clean up.

    Reply
    • Claudia Mundell

      Well done picture of desperation that is only too real…powerful last sentence.

  3. Marina Sofia

    Poetry also teaches us to slow down, observe closely, not be content with the first draft, edit, delete, murder your darlings, and don’t be too direct.

    Reply
  4. Marla4

    We are bracing for Snow-mageddon for the second time this
    week. I am starting to hate the former
    beauty-queen weathergirl, who cuts in to programming every fifteen minutes to
    forecast our demise, though she seems to be happy about it. Already, someone
    has posted her photo on Facebook and written underneath, The boobs are real,
    the smile is not.

    At the grocery, fidgety shoppers grab white bread, black
    coffee, orange candies sold in bulk. At home, my old neighbor comes over with
    this advice. Dress in layers, he says.
    Then feel up and down your torso. If you can still tell you’re a woman,
    you don’t have enough on.

    Three days ago there was also lightning shooting through the
    snow, a phenomenon of the South, where last summer we sulked through weeks of
    115 degree weather. Back then, the same weathergirl showed a picture of a happy
    squirrel in Oklahoma spread eagle over a bowl of ice someone had put out for
    the dogs.

    The snow is starting to fall, flakes big as chicken
    feathers. A pot of chili bubbles on the
    stove. Cornbread in the oven. My neighbor stands in the slice of ground that
    separates his house from mine and pats his chest. He cannot tell, the way he’s dressed, whether
    he is man or woman.

    Reply
    • Claudia Mundell

      This certainly captures where I sit in the Midwest! Love those chicken feather snowflakes!

    • Jessica

      at first I thought you were just writing a comment. it wasn’t until about half-way through that I realized this was your story. Excellent job!

    • New

      You made me laugh out loud three times! VERY entertaining writing.

      Kudos.

    • Kate Hewson

      Great, as usual Marla! Loved the last line, made me chuckle.
      Also why is it that weather forecasters always look so happy when they tell us we are in for some bad weather? makes me crazy!

  5. Missaralee

    Sometimes I forget to read the practice instructions and get a little overexcited about poetry, so…..

    I asked for my space,
    Because the light of your face,
    Tends to fade out the stars,
    Leaving me without my navigational charts.
    I can’t find my way to visions of someday,
    And the shore I’ve been searching for
    Without the wide open air
    And the night wind in my hair.
    I’m a creature of open places,
    And solitary traces.
    I’m still looking for the one,
    but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you.
    And that’s the part that’s confusing me, dude.
    Can I say I love your face
    Wrapped up tight in your embrace
    And not have it sound a lie
    Cause I’m staring out at starry skies,
    Waiting for an unknown variable correlation,
    That one statistically significant other,
    Solution to my equation?
    I asked for my space
    But there is no definitive answer to the mystery of chemistry
    When dreams of distant supernova leave me blind
    All I see is the light in your eyes,
    Fading out the starry skies.

    Reply
    • New

      You had me at “hello.”

      But, if I were to edit, this is what I’d do (and please please excuse me if this is not how you all do it here -I am New- and know that my comments are only meant as one opinion on how to more fine tune an already nice piece.

      I asked for my space,
      Because the light of your face,
      Tends to fade out the stars,
      Leaving me without my navigational charts.
      I can’t find my way to visions of someday,
      And the shore I’ve been searching for
      Without the wide open air
      And the night wind in my hair.
      I’m a creature of open places,
      { And leave out } solitary traces.
      I’m still looking for the one,
      but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you.
      { And leave out or replace with: which is } that’s the part that’s confusing me, { dude. leave out/changes the voice }
      Can I say I love your face
      Wrapped up tight in your embrace
      And not have it sound a lie
      ‘Cause I’m searching { the starry skies, leave out }
      For an unknown variable correlation,
      Solution to my equation,
      That one { statistically leave out } significant other?
      I asked for my space
      But there is no definitive answer to the mystery of chemistry
      When dreams of distant supernova leave me blind,
      You are solar flare interference in my duelling mind.
      All I see is the light in your eyes,
      Fading out the starry skies.

      (BTW, don’t know if I am using the code right.)

      Another thought is that poetry that rhymes can be seductive and so hard to write. Sometimes, breaking the rules of rhyming by not rhyming all the wayis so interesting too, especially if it refines the meaning of the poem and causes the reader to linger about the change without, necessarily losing the flow.

      Hope this is helpful feedback. Either way, very nice.(

    • Missaralee

      I have to agree with you on “dude.” It went in there because of who I was talking to, but it’s a little jarring for general consumption (unless it captures my zeitgeist? Sure, let’s go with that…)
      I think I would change that line to:
      “But that doesn’t mean I don’t love you.
      That’s the part that’s confusing and has got me musing,
      Whether I can say I love your face
      Wrapped up tight in your embrace
      And not have it sound a lie”
      Thanks, friend 🙂

    • New

      (unless it captures my zeitgeist? Sure, let’s go with that…)
      You so made me laugh with that!

    • New

      Also: I find poetry so hard because it makes me fudge on every single word. On the other hand, it is sometimes a language that, like visual art is a language, that can express, say something more truthful and there is where it’s mystery and beauty just lifts and communicates so strongly.

    • New

      2 “that”‘s and an it’s instead on an its. Why why does online writing do that to me… ??? One of the most mis-understandable mysteries of the internet world.

    • Missaralee

      If you register for a Disqus account – which will follow you all over the internets – you can actually go back and edit your comments. You can erase the shame of the dreaded homonym switch, which is a power akin to cleanliness AND godliness.

    • Giulia Esposito

      I also thought we’d be writing poetry in this practice and was wondering why everyone was writing prose till I double checked the instructions! I have to say, I love your poem. It sounds wonderful read aloud.

    • themagicviolinist

      This was beautiful. I loved your choice of words and the rhyming. The only part I had a problem with was this line: “And that’s the part that’s confusing me, dude.” When you used the word “dude” I was a little startled. It just seemed so out of place. The flow of the poem was so smooth that the “dude” had me stumbling over it. Just an idea!

    • Missaralee

      Thanks MV. It seems the muse of this poem blinded me to the stars AND to the scarring use of slang words, like “dude.”

  6. Claudia Mundell

    The silence had been louder than Ringo Starr’s drums for months. I had tiptoed around the man, sulky face and pouty lips since spring. He would sit on the porch, rocking his wicker throne, rehashing the forced retirement during a bad economy. I had soothed and supported and been sensitive, but I could see no subtle changes transpiring. My own endurance was succumbing to depression too.

    The day I knocked down the robin’s nest from the porch post for the third time, I heard him laugh. “The bird isn’t getting the message. She won’t give up building her nest there.”

    I wheeled and snapped. “Then the two of you can hold down this porch together. I am done with the bird and with you.”

    Shock spread on his somber face… awareness flew in on wings of comprehension. My old man saw his own nest at risk for the first time, knew he had better supply some needed changes.

    Reply
    • Giulia Esposito

      Very nice. I especially like the symbolism of the nest and how the husband realizes his marriage is in trouble.

    • New

      Present and back story in one scene! Well done!

    • sejones

      Your dialogue is superb. Although, what would you think about changing “I am” to “I’m”? The last few lines are a bit repetitive, perhaps you could focus more on the “shock” that comes over his face, letting the reader interpret the implications of her snap?

    • Claudia Mundell

      Thank you…all good recommendations. I have trouble with NOT using contractions…must come from grade school somewhere, but I always write out full without realizing it.

  7. New

    I posted this over at head-hopping (older thread) as i just found this site. Melissa invited me to re-post my exercise there here. It really was an exercise in head hopping, but, well, now it is here too (with one telling sentence removed as she suggested):

    The coffee shop, that afternoon, was quiet and sparsely populated. The old
    man who sat by the window hadn’t touched his coffee for most of an hour.
    He didn’t notice or care that it was cold. It was a prop. He looked up through the smog at the grey sky overhead and remembered how, once, he could break through that seemingly endless stretch of dirty haze, and burst through into the crystal blue above it and how the sun would glint like silver over his plane’s wings.

    The woman, two tables away, slowly stirred her tea, watching the steam rising up and out of it. She was so lonely; she could hardly bear it. Maury had been dead for two months now and she had no way forward. She couldn’t understand the couple at the table against the wall. They were obviously well dressed in business suits, the man in a brown tweed,complemented by a green and silver tie with a pearl tie clip. Tie clips had gone out of fashion. Maury had worn them. The woman across from the man with the tie clip flicked her first and second fingers in an agitated manner against a set of papers she was studying. This couple acted like they were complete strangers. The woman with the tea would have given anything to have had Maury to talk to again about anything and everything, really anything at all.

    The business man and women were a couple, but they didn’t talk. They didn’t look up at each other. They existed like parallel players in an act with an invisible wall between them. The woman, in her exquisitely tailored designer suit and skirt,
    shifted her crossed legs from left over right to right over left and took a short sip of her coffee and went back to her reading. Bob annoyed her. But that was the least of her concerns. There was nothing left to discuss.

    The minute hand on the old clock, a lone ornament on the wall that separated the kitchen from the table area, pulled back and then shuddered ahead to one minute after the hour. It seemed the most animated object in the room next to the businesswoman’s twitching fingers, when the dark blue Chevy rammed the plate glass window shattering glass, overturning tables and chairs, but miraculously hitting no one as it skidded to a stop in the middle of the room. The
    businesswoman dropped her papers and spilled her coffee on the floor and,
    for the first time, the people in the coffee shop looked up at one another.

    My notes:

    Boy, that was painful. I tried to begin by establishing the narrator
    position. And I was struggling with a scene of my own where two people
    were sizing each other up and wondering if I could get away with just
    that. I actually think it works in little increments, but too many heads
    is dizzying.

    Reply
    • New

      Above: I meant Missaralee, not Melissa.

    • Claudia Mundell

      Enjoyed reading this…so nicely done. Can’t help but wonder “where” these people went when the dust settled.

  8. Jessica

    I don’t know how “poetry-like” this is, but here goes…

    Four minutes. That’s all the time in the world I had. If I didn’t
    do this right in four minutes, I was done. Over with. Finished. I had to do
    this right.

    Sweat trickled down my neck, and as my timer echoed its
    countdown, I considered wiping the sweat away. At least I could go out
    semi-comfortably. I glanced down at my arm and realized comfortable had fled
    about ten minutes ago.

    Tick, tick, tick. Three minutes and ten seconds. I could
    feel the weight of defeat clamping down around my throat already. My grip on
    the plastic handles loosened, and I hoisted myself a little higher. Up, down,
    in, out. Repeat. Then spin around and hold. The hold part was what was killing
    me.

    I was almost finished, and I let my mind wander for a split
    second. The image of victory flashed into my mind, and if my face wasn’t
    strained from the work I was doing, I would have smiled. In those short, several
    milliseconds, my focus wavered and my spin spun out of control. My eyes darted
    to the time. I was going to fail with forty-five seconds left. I panicked and
    the sweat from my palms clashed with the sweat running down my arms. All that
    sweat made me lose my hold and I dropped. Five feet of air, and my feet plowed
    into the mat. My body crumbled into a pile and I laid there, unable to move.

    “Jackson, are you alright?” I could feel my coach breathing
    fire of anger even as he spoke softly. I moaned in embarrassment. “Get up.” His
    command wasn’t helping matters any. I just wanted to go home.

    “Coach, I’m sorry.” He helped me stand, but one step proved
    my landing had been anything but graceful. “Ow. My foot—” We both look down at
    the mat and see my toes pointed in the wrong direction. I felt relief all at
    once. With a broken foot, I wouldn’t be able to compete anymore. If I played it
    right, maybe Dad would think pursuing my own dream was his idea and he would
    stop trying to compete through me.

    “Son, let’s get you to the doctor. You’ll be okay. You might
    not get to compete anymore, but we’ll find a new dream for you.”

    Reply
    • New

      Very impressed by how you get in a whole story in a moment -one scene!

    • Paul Owen

      This was great reading, Jessica. You set up the tension right away – I was hooked!

  9. themagicviolinist

    I’m not very good with poetry. I like stories better. It gives you more room to breathe and mess with the rules. I really like the poems that are included in the “Matched” series. Here’s a poem I included in my most recent NaNoWriMo story. The poem was actually part of a song.

    Let there be peace
    And no more hurt.
    Bless the children,
    Bless the Earth.
    We’re all connected
    In one way or another.
    We’re all sisters,
    We’re all brothers.
    We are family,
    You and me.

    Reply
    • Missaralee

      I find the most beautiful poetry starts with wide open spaces and no rules. Let yourself splash colour on the page, put rhymes where they don’t belong and sneak assonance and consonance into every line like a trickster. Once you know what you’ve got, you can rearrange the pieces until it sings.
      You’ve done a nice job with rhythm. I don’t know if you intended it, but you’ve got a nice 4,4,4,3 beat pattern in the first four and the last four lines which flows really nicely. Your rhyme pattern in the first four lines has the second line rhyming with the fourth which sounds really lovely. May I suggest playing with the last four lines to repeat that pattern? Songs like a bit of structure 🙂

    • themagicviolinist

      Thanks, Missaralee! I hadn’t noticed that about the rhythm. Thanks for the advice! 😀

    • Missaralee

      Ah, so your inner poetess has got some rhythm, MV! Let her out to play and she’ll pay you back.

    • Giulia Esposito

      I love the theme of connectedness 🙂

    • themagicviolinist

      Thank you! 😀 That’s something I really feel strongly about.

    • Church

      Cool

  10. randall031

    The hall clock ticked.

    The dog whined and nosed the back of her neck.

    Sighing her way back to vertical, Janie locked the deadbolt with a click. She pulled a crumpled tissue from her pocket and blew. There would be no more racing to the rescue today. More urgent tasks demanded her attention.

    “Here dog.”

    Her voice was barely a whisper, too weak to be obeyed. But when she patted her leg and commanded again, the fawn boxer responded. Holding its collar tightly, they began a tour of the small house.

    Janie dragged her feet through the kitchen and down the stairs to the musty cellar. This dank room must be checked first if she hoped to finish the task. No strangers lurked among the canned peaches and sprouting potatoes. Letting out the breath she hadn’t known she was holding, she returned to the light and air of the main floor.

    There was no space in the tiny half bath off the kitchen for an attacker to hide, so the pair made their way through the dining room, guest room and mud room in the back.

    Standing straighter and relaxing her hold on its collar, Janie led the bitch up the stairs where they toured her bedroom, office and main bathroom.

    One space remained. While one voice in her head knew no one had climbed the stairs to the attic while she had been crossing the lawn, the other insisted she check. When she tugged the cord that hung in the hallway, the attic stairs crashed down. Dust motes danced in the faint sunlight from the unwashed window. Spiders were the room’s only occupants and today even they were scarce. There were no boxes or trunks to hide an intruder, so a quick glance around reassured Janie that she was alone.

    Climbing back down to the second floor, she pushed the stairs back up into their hideaway and rubbed the dog’s ears in thanks. Remembering the click of the deadbolt, Janie allowed herself to wander into the bedroom and collapse onto the bed. She pulled the faded quilt over her head and willed herself back into oblivion.

    Reply
    • New

      So loved this. Quite a moment! And then I expect the intruder to show up.
      (Yikes!)

    • Claudia Mundell

      Sharp and engrossing…I have read a couple of times over and amazed at scene you created….

    • Jessica

      Poor Janie! I can identify with her even though I’ve never felt like that before. Such clear images! After just this little bit, I want to find her and tell her it will be okay.

  11. Giulia Esposito

    I watch her playing with the
    bubbles. She blows a long, hard into the ring sometimes and the soap splatters
    to the ground. Other times she blows gently, experimenting it seems, with
    breath. But the gentle breaths don’t always work either. She scrunches up her
    button nose, and I want to laugh out loud. She’s trying so hard, my little
    girl. She wants to make the bubbles. “Pretty,” she says and I smile at the sound
    of her lisp, “pretty bubbles Mama.” Now she’s twirling in a circle, trying it
    seems, to force the wind to catch the bubbles. She gets a few going, and they
    drift up, perfect circles of rainbow light and her delighted laugh tugs at my
    heart. And now, she’s found the rhythm of bubble blowing. She blows in that one
    perfect breath, and dozens of bubbles emerge like butterflies from cocoons and
    they’re floating up and away. Her laughter ignites my own this time. That’s my
    little girl, I think, and I couldn’t be more proud.

    Reply
    • Kate Hewson

      This is BEAUTIFUL!!! What lovely writing. i love the bit about her wrinkling up her button nose with the effort of it, and then the image of her twirling round. Really enjoyed this piece!

    • Giulia Esposito

      Thanks Kate! So glad you liked it 😀

    • Paul Owen

      Nicely done, Giulia! “Like butterflies from cocoons” – clever simile

    • Claudia Mundell

      I agree with all others…so beautifully done…love comparing bubbles to butterflies poetic!

    • sejones

      The repetition of b’s and s’s really makes the prose slow and savory. Nicely done!

    • Giulia Esposito

      Heh, didn’t even notice that I did that. Glad you liked it.

    • themagicviolinist

      You have such beautiful detail yet you tell a story so simply.

    • Steve Stretton

      A really appealing subject, beautifully expressed.

    • Giulia Esposito

      Thanks Steven! I’m so glad it’s resonating with everyone.

    • Church

      I like this

  12. sejones

    Hey everyone. I’ve just recently found this blog and I’m loving it. This is my first time sharing which is like being at the top of a roster coaster. I love poetry, but I spend most of my time working prose. So, here goes nothing!

    Oh the pain, Love.
    The depth of the hurt,
    bottomless.
    More tears than can be gathered
    in two hands, more.

    Heart pulled out your chest
    by two hands!
    I opened my arms to the knife
    of revenge.
    But you covered me!
    Threw your arms around me,
    and wept!
    I die for shame, my Love.
    Cry out over the memories!
    Cry out over the children —
    over you, my Love!
    Oh Creator!
    My Love, to rip from Heaven
    your hopes to Hell.
    Oh sweet, sweet face.
    Your mercy breaks my heart —
    follows me like smoke,
    my eyes burn.
    I’m sorry, my Love.
    The scent is on my hair,
    it’s on my clothes,
    it’s on my heart.

    Lean into me again, my Love.
    Rest again in me.
    Shhh, I am here —
    oh my sweet, sweet Love.

    Reply
    • Claudia Mundell

      So full of emotion….knife of revenge, pardon the pun, but it is very cutting image!

    • Kate Hewson

      very passionate piece of writing!

  13. Kate Hewson

    This is a description of a character from my WIP. She is a glutton, a hedonist, and I have tried to describe what it looks like when she eats. i made myself hungry writing it…hopefully I have applied at least a couple of your 4 rules, Melissa!

    Gula slowly sucked the juices from each finger of her fleshy hands, wanting to savour every last taste. Before her lay a table groaning under the weight of her feast – succulent roast chicken, crisp-crunchy salted roast potatoes, light fluffy yorkshire puddings and bowls of bright vegetables glistening with butter. There was a blue china sauce boat too, filled with a rich winy gravy that Gula used as a dip, dunking the meat and potatoes and stuffing them into her cavernous mouth, the juices dribbling down her chin. She stretched her tongue to lick at the rivulets and caught the rest with the back of her hand.

    Reply
    • Missaralee

      Ooh, this just drips with delicious imagery, Kate. You hit it right on.

  14. Nicholas Kelly

    First and foremost I am not a poet and this is one of my first forays into attempting poetry. Secondly it is not my intent to offend anybody although this poem carries quite a negative connotation towards religion. You’ve been warned.

    Fear the unknown, and so worship the scripture

    For a life lived in sin will end with god’s wrath

    So trust in religion and listen on Sunday

    For this is the Only righteous and true path

    But what’s under the cover, written in ink

    Was penned by the hand of a man

    And however insightful or worthy of praise

    Was not written by God’s hand

    Could it not be that we were misled

    And the herder has become the sheep

    For all this books brought us in all its existence

    Are bodies stacked high at God’s feet

    Clearly we’ve been fooled and have you considered

    That Satan may have had a hand

    Tricked into believing, all while deceiving,

    Religion was his master plan

    Spread ‘round the world, devised as a method

    To control the realm of men

    And how could you doubt it, just open your eyes

    To the mindless religious bloodshed

    So worship your prophets and gods up above

    While on earth you judge and condemn

    For religion’s true nature as history’s proven

    Is to imprison the free minds of men

    Reply
  15. Paul Owen

    Not much to show for 15 minutes, but the exercise was fun:

    This is one of the best places in my little world. I breathe deeply, enjoying the
    familiar scents. My mind starts to relax. I can’t wait to spend time with my
    latest favorite book.

    She hands me coffee, and I sit down at the table. The brown liquid is just below
    boiling, sending up curls of steam. I love how some it hovers right above the
    surface, separated in form but not wanting to leave. I notice my lips are
    starting to purse, ready for a sip. Waiting for the coffee to cool is a
    painfully learned lesson. I force myself to wait, knowing I’ll be able to taste
    more than the first splash.

    Opening the book, I fall back into the story. Everything around me physically recedes
    as characters and plot take over. Even sipping coffee becomes automatic. I’m in
    a new world now, excited for this latest adventure yet fearing my companions
    may not survive.

    Ah, Starbucks.

    Reply
  16. Eyrline

    Why did you leave?

    I loved you as a mother always does.

    I carried you.

    I nursed you.

    I raised you to live a Christian life.

    You had two beautiful children.

    You had a good job and wife.

    Why did you let them go.

    All of us love you and miss you/

    Why did you leave?

    Reply
  17. Church

    Take a Trip with Me

    I can’t help but to imagine that after this Moon goes down you won’t be mine.

    I cover up these feelings with nicknames only to throw you off this one-way track of love.

    I would love for you to sit down and listen to my words for a few. I prepare lunch for us two.

    The menu reads, steamed hugs with two sides of compliments and for dessert I will serve you some chocolate kisses.

    I won’t always promise you happiness, but I will try to continue to use it as our dressing for life.

    Imagine for a little bit and all of these items will be larger than life because it’s all in your mind.

    Let us be dreamers, believing all things are possible.

    Let us be lovers, believing that we are dreamers first.

    Reply
  18. Gail Murray

    Love what you said about poetry’s musicality. Some of our greatest poets are songwriters too – Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen to name two, then there’s Bob Dylan of the early days.

    Reply
  19. Sammy Hatch

    The sun doesn’t shine in the window but
    I know it’s time to wake up, though I feel
    so tired, so weak, and outside it’s darkness.
    The sun is cunning but I have a way
    to catch it in its trickery, a clock.
    A modern girl’s constant companion, it
    stays always vigilant. A tool, watching
    over me, telling me to wake, I’m late.
    As Winter comes closer, and the sun stays
    lower, closer to the horizon, I
    struggle to wake, my internal clock looks to
    the sun, a life long friend of light and the
    keeper of time. But Winter corrupts it
    so I found a new friend. The clock, for now.

    Reply
  20. timi tunji

    Okay, I just came across this and I was convinced to write.. You guys write beautifully. I’m dropping a poem, because I don’t how to do prose.. I need your comment, here it goes..

    You say you love me, I never asked,
    My feet got cold but my heart was on fire
    You made so much promises but i never said a word
    You lied to the temple, now you’ve come to worship

    You fought with so much emotions,my head wasn’t convinced
    I was my last defence but you had a drone of lies
    How could you have acted innocent so perfectly?
    You built a castle of decit. Long hail the king

    I was loosing myself but i kept my head
    The lion I loved was out to catch games
    I feel like a predator being preyed upon
    That’s how I felt, when I saw your lips hug hers and a surge of emotions
    Now. I’m gone

    Thank you for reading, please, I’m open to your corrections, I need help with my loop holes . thanks

    Reply

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