Tag Archives: creative process

The Dogs Are Barking

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The dVerse Poets prompt requires that we write a quadrille–a poem of 44 words––making use of the word “steep.”  To do so, I rewrote an earlier poem so it became a 5 stanza poem, each stanza forming a quadrille. I wonder how many other poets share this experience as they are awakened from dreams by one means or another:

The Dogs Are Barking

They break the morning––a daily rite.
It’s just a warning. The dogs won’t bite.
Two strangers talk but pass unseen.
I doze, they walk, with a wall between.
I lie here posed between thought and sleep.
My eyes still closed. I’m swimming deep.

I try to sink back into sleep,
once more to drink of waters deep;
but the dogs still bark. They leap and pace.
My dreams, not ready for this morning place,
lie dark and deep and intertwined,
wanting to creep back up my mind.

But its steep slope is much inclined
and provides small hope that I will find
once more that world well out of sight
where truth lies curled, still holding tight––
as an oyster cleaving, loath to unfurl
and reveal to light the priceless pearl

of that mind of dreams that slips the knife
beneath the rind of our daily life.
Time is a brew of present, past
and future, too—all tenses cast
to bring to light those grains of sand
made pearls of wisdom by nature’s hand.

Dreams are stories we tell ourselves
and share, perhaps, on bookstore shelves.
Pinned to pages, they reach their height
and bring our sage self to the light.
But the dogs are barking. They’re hungry, cross.
When I rise feed them, the poem is lost

dVerse Poets Quadrille prompt is steep.

First to the Gate

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First to the Gate

If you were born to innovate,
your one desire to create,
take care you don’t equivocate,
for if you do, I fear your fate
will be that you react too late.
Someone will beat you to the plate!
So if you don’t desire this fate,
Act boldly, friend, and do not wait!!!

The Daily Addictions prompt is innovate.

Overworked or Labor Shirked?


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Overworked or Labor Shirked?

It’s hard for me to find the middle
between hard labor and the fiddle.
Work? I either overdo it
or endeavor to eschew it.
Work all day and then all night,
being very erudite—
putting words down on the page,
imprisoned in my muse’s cage.

Perhaps I fear my distant past
when good work habits didn’t last
and days were spent in dreaming or
novels read behind closed door—
midnight radio a chance
for fantasies to spin romance.
Whole days stretched as though to catch
an errant dream of true love’s match.

I feared such days were sloth, and yet
perhaps they were just roads to get
to the place where I would tell
the stories that I knew so well
because I’d lived them first in dreams
or days just bursting at the seams
with doing nothing but living life—
its pleasures, problems, romance, strife.

First the doing at my leisure,
then the writing, and the seizure
of all the details of the past
that, once down on paper, are made to last.
Overworked or over-lived,
life first collected, then finely sieved.
Panned like gold to find the treasure—
leisure and work in even measure.

Overworked” is the prompt word today.

Sand Castles

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Sand Castles

Under the sand are palaces, I’ve seen them in my dreams.
Vast halls and empty chambers smooth rounded at their seams.
Every wall is made of sand. Each ceiling, archway, floor
carved by master craftsmen–each digging at its core–
so magnificent, you’d think they were the stuff of lore.
You, too, are free to see them, but you must provide the door.

For the chambers are filled in, though they are there without a doubt.
You are the one creating them by what you will scoop out.
The beauty’s hidden in the sand, waiting in your sleep
for you to dig the castles out from where they’re buried deep.
All your day’s exhaustion your dream labor will abort,
for what you build in slumber is work of a different sort.

Sand brought to the surface is what you get to keep
of subterranean palaces dug out in your sleep.
As you build above ground castles in the world that we all know
you reveal the outward structure of the inner rooms below,
furnishing the magic that the world will see through you,
showing what’s inside of you by what you choose to do.

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The Prompt:  Just a Dream

See also: This!!!  (This video may be one of the most remarkable things you’ve ever seen in your life.  Don’t miss it!)

The War of the Words (Love and War)

 The War of the Words

The words packed tight within my mind
seek the empty page.
They fly like hummingbirds and hawks
escaping from their cage.
But when all my empty places
I seek to fill again,
too many words rush in at once,
creating such a din
that nothing can be made of them.
I cannot restore order
in these alien syllables
that flood across my border.

I did not think these previous lines.
They just crept up on me.
I place them here upon the page
and thereby set them free.
They have no place within my head
where I had plans to write
a valentine or love poem.
Instead, they spar and fight.
One trying to beat the others
to the front line of my mind.
Love words elbowing their way
through “sensitive” and “kind.”

So shyness steps on anger’s toes
and sloth runs out of steam
trying to reclaim the place
where words like it must dream.
I no longer know the purpose
that I set out upon
I fear the mood is broken–
my concentration gone.
The thought that any love poem
will come is now absurd.
Ten minutes ago I was in love,
but now I have been cured!!

The Prompt: Write an Ode to something or someone you love. Bonus points for poetry.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!