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Tag Archives: Poetry

A Suggestion for Struggling Writers

Back in the 2012-2014 period, I was blogging and writing a lot more. There was a very active community of writers, bloggers, and poets that were doing a lot back then. Most of those people have seemed to step away from blogging and a lot of the activity dried up with their departure.

One of the things I did back then that I never thought I’d do is dabble in poetry. Primarily through prompts provided by other bloggers, I wrote short poems of various types. Some were political, some were whimsical, some were heartfelt. But none of them I took very seriously because I’m simply not a poet.

The thing is that writing poetry, even if you’re not good at it, can help your fiction writing. You learn how many words simply are not necessary to make a point, to draw a picture. You experiment with flow and rhythm and imagery and all of that can only improve your storytelling ability.

As I’ve struggled with writing over the last few years, I’ve tried different ways to get going again and very few things have worked. But two things have helped me in the last couple of months.

One of those things I’ve blogged about recently. Being invited to contribute a short story to Utopia … Pending and then being able to write and complete the story felt pretty good.

The second thing came along as I was writing and finishing Two Turtles, my contribution to Utopia … Pending. One of the most inspirational poets who contributed to all of that activity back in 2013 and 2014, but who then disappeared, is back and blogging again. Back then she was Kirsten Interrupted. Today she is Kira at eat Create repeat

Several times a week, Kira posts a poem or quick piece of flash fiction and then explains the poetry form, idea, or picture that inspired the piece. I’ve written something in response to just about everything she has posted and here’s what is happening. I don’t have any delusions about my poetry skills, so I just do my best. In other words, my internal editor apparently is not an expert on the poetic form and I’m generally able to write something relatively quickly and freely.

Most important, this is all quieting my internal editor when I sit down and try to write fiction now. Although I’m not writing as often as I’d like (there are still all those pesty distractions), when I do write I’m getting things done. For the first time in years I have hope of completing The Irrepairable Past and if I do that, I can’t wait to get back to Northville Five & Dime or K Street Stories or maybe something completely new.

For the first time in years, I’m starting to feel like a writer again and it’s thanks to Fallacious Rose’s invitation to write a short story and Kira’s return. I can’t say enough about how Kira’s prompts and ideas have opened a creative window for me again.

So, if you’re a writer and you’re struggling (and, yes, I know there are a few of you out there), give poetry a try. Head over to Kira’s blog and see if anything lights something in you. Don’t worry about what it is or how it comes out, just give it a try. Make a practice of it. And then go back to your fiction and see what happens.


I Am

I am not black, white, yellow or brown

I belong in this place

I am a member of the human race


My politics are not blue, red or green

Equality for all is my case

I am a member of the human race


I am not disabled, stupid, a geek, or “normal”

Look at my face

I am a member of the human race


My beliefs are not Christian, Muslim or Jew

I am full of grace

I am a member of the human race


I am not gay, straight, transgender or a freak

But because love is my base

I am a member of the human race



This poem is written in response to the victims of discrimination, sexism, racism, and all of the other horrors targeted at people for what makes them unique.  Please stop identifying yourself as entitled to rights, entitled to protection, entitled to something because of your skin color, your sexual orientation, your gender, or your faith.  Instead, remove the label and demand those things because you are nothing other than a member of the human race.  It is not your color that matters.  It is not your politics that define you.  It is not your faith that identifies you.  You are a human.  Beginning, middle and end.

The outpouring about the Santa Barbara shooter’s misogynistic views (which, by the way, turns out he pretty much hated everybody, not just women) and how we all — generally meaning men — must stop … oh, hell, I’m not sure what it is we’re supposed to stop doing.  All I know is that there is this outcry about how we must do more to protect women, that men must stop being so … much like men.  All things that I completely agree with.  But…

OK, I’m not doing this very well.  Let me try it this way.  A friend tweeted that she was appreciating the opportunity to talk to her daughter and sons about how they should all take seriously the need to protect women.  I responded to her tweet that I thought it more important to teach our kids to protect all humans.

What’s my point … it’s probably obvious by now, but let’s please just stop focusing on the labels.  It is horrible when any human being is shot and killed in cold blood.  It shouldn’t be more serious if it is a hate-filled young man who “hates” women.  It is horrible when a human being is deprived of a core human right.  It shouldn’t be more serious because of their gender or their race or some other irrelevant characteristic.

So, please, if you are hurt by unfairness, discrimination, hate or intolerance.  Stand up and say “I am a human being and I have rights.”  Leave the labels behind.


Hope and Love

In the cold and dark

We wait for a spark

Hope may be all that remains

No matter the cost

Never to be lost

For it is love, always reigns


Symbi:  Is a poetry form where a poem is written within a poem in which there is a symbiotic relationship…hence the name Symbi.  It is a six line (sestet) with syllable counts of 5/5/7/5/5/7.  There is a haiku, senryu, or katauta written in the 1st line, 3rd line, and 5 line.  (It can be written in italics to draw the readers eye)  The rhyming scheme is aabccb.


Springtime wind and sun

Warmth spreads, flowers bloom, colors

And nothing changes

Studying Beauty

Inspired by a friend’s FB message today:

Where do you study beauty

Is it in the sight of a child’s smile

Or an old man laughing at the smallest of things

Is it in a single flower about to open in a riot of color

Or a meadow ablaze with multi-colored wildflowers

Is it in those moments when quiet surrounds you

Or the uproar of a celebration filled with happiness

Where do you study beauty

Is it in the touch of another

Or words of love whispered quietly

Is it in one of those looks that make you shudder

Or a hand draped gently on your hip

Is it in your child’s arms around your neck

Or her quiet slumber in dark of night

Where do you study beauty

In you

In me

In words

In art

In nature

In architecture

In the simple

In the complex

Where do you study beauty


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