Since today was my first “official” day of summer vacation, I decided to do a free write of sorts. I combed through my notes, I read poetry, I scoured some essays, and I made lists of solitary words that sounded good to my ear. As I did that, I began to group random words together to form phrases that I thought sounded pleasing when read aloud. This process took some time, but it was worth the effort because at the end, I had a pretty lengthy list of words and phrases from which to choose.
Then I let the Poetry Faerie take over my imagination. I arbitrarily chose words and phrases from my list and started writing my poem. While this seems so very random, something magical always seems to happen.
As the poem emerged, a pattern of eight syllable lines and quatrains began to take shape. I stood, slack jawed as always, in wonder as to the poem that emerged. Somehow, in the writing process, an idea unfolds and a poem takes shape out of nowhere.
I can honestly say, this process always amazes me. I can also honestly recommend this crazy method to anyone who thinks they cannot write.
Trust me. You won’t regret trying it. Let me know if you do. 🙂
Unthinkable suffering happens
in spurts—seasons turn and shadows
sustain the night like mourning songs
bellowing sorrows to the stars.
Come morning, fresh-washed and brilliant,
I no longer believe in babes
or bathtubs or the heady hum
of brass bugles rousing the sun.
I play in the dry dust behind
the barn and near the water jar
and wash my soul clean as a voice
whispers: You no longer believe.
My wandering soul has found rest
under the distant black gum tree,
who flashes fiery and fulgent
in the humid heat of summer.
--Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan