Writing Poetry

It catches me at times like a sparkling
swirl of glass uncorked in the cellar,
engaging now my hands and now
the filtered light that brims in
down the stairs.

Sometimes it's just one word;
and sometimes it just doesn't stop,
like some business gotten out of hand,
a bicycle sent rolling down a hill,
soap frothing from the laundry room,

or a chiffon concoction spilling out
of the oven while the cook flings up
her spatula in dismay. Anything for a reason:
a familiar face, a bird, a sudden
jangling on the telephone –

And then, like a sword raised by a brash
young barbarian coming upon battlements,
I raise my pen and snarl,
and swear to raze today this blank
piece of paper, tomorrow Asia!

It just can't be helped: I have to
remind myself at least five times a day
to be philosophical, calm, studied,
observant. Sometimes it works:
in the laboratory aquarium,

the snail's walk on water raises in me
a scientific objectivity, engenders
hypothetical discourse on the equations
of fluid dynamics, ripples, and
molluscan propulsion.

And then it takes over –
in an expulsion, a convulsion, a compulsion
of rhyme, an elation of creation,
a celebration of oration – my rhetorical,
metaphorical, semaphorical muse.


  1. Gren-Hilda2:07:00 AM

    Great great great!!! I really get it! You're on fire!

  2. Anonymous8:39:00 AM

    Fantastic!! Congratulations!

  3. This is the 100th poem on the blog. Whew.

  4. Anonymous8:19:00 PM

    Burning words for a heart on fire -love it

  5. Astonishing poem! And congrats on the 100th poem on the blog!!!

  6. Words are the portal to your soul...Thank you for sharing so intimately with the world. We are richer for it indeed!

  7. I'm touched and honored that Nancy has dedicated a poem to this milestone on her own blog - and here it is:


  8. Certainly a fitting 100th, and the last stanza totally lit up my rather dreary afternoon. Many thanks!

  9. Yay, so glad you could join the party!

  10. Anonymous4:56:00 PM

    This poem is absolutely beautiful. I would love to be able to write as well as you do.

  11. A beautiful and evocative description of the grip of diction that consumes us and sometimes at the most inopportune moments. I know that feeling so well Sam.

  12. Anonymous6:27:00 PM

    gorgeous account of how the words pop!

  13. Short link - http://bit.ly/s4writing

  14. Very beautiful and just how it is. Thank you for sharing your words with us.

  15. elegant word flow.
    Thanks for sharing.

  16. I know what you mean. Sometimes EVERYTHING begs to be written about. Nice write!

  17. Love, love, love that last stanza! Happy 100th!

  18. Wow! Amazing poem. Come on me now my muse!

  19. Anonymous8:54:00 PM

    This is astonishing, especially the last stanza!

  20. Anonymous5:23:00 AM

    I really enjoyed this piece. I love the line about razing this page, tomorrow Asia! - it's so evocative of determination to just get this out, and of the ambition of the writer. Great stuff!


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