Response to The Sunday Whirl Wordle: June 30, 2013

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Here’s an attempt at a poem in response to Brenda Warren’s weekly word challenge at The Sunday Whirl.

I like playing around with poetry; I believe writing poems sharpens my senses and, hopefully, enriches the language of my fiction.

Brenda’s words this week come from Glacier National Park signage:

bird, bridge, unstable, wild, bend, rock, retreat, bear, lane, fallen, meadow, island

Plus a bonus word: Heaven . . .


Suspended between earth and heaven

the swinging bridge bends in the wind.

You stand still and clutch the ropes

until your fingers numb. You’ve crossed  

here before: the rocking’s wildest

over the middle of the gorge, just

when you’ve come too far to retreat.

Breathe, breathe, don’t look down

to see who might have fallen before you.

How could you bear to know?

Listen to your pounding heart,

the roiling water below,

the flicker and call of birds,

the wind’s dying shush,

and fix your eyes on the far side: 

a single tall palm, a flash of red

in the meadow (bird? bloom?)

where the rutted lane leads out

to the main road, across the island, home.

It’s only one bridge, after all:

unstable, like a life.

To see other folks’ efforts, visit The Sunday Whirl!

Writers: do you enjoy stepping out of your genre occasionally? If so, what do you gain from it?

14 thoughts on “Response to The Sunday Whirl Wordle: June 30, 2013

  1. Loved the last line, Gerry! I was walking on bridges above gorges during my undergraduate years, so I really connected with the imagery. It’s also great that you’re breaking genres and delving into poetry. I used to write some in high school, but then stopped. I’ve been so intimidated by masters like Robert Lee Brewer (his poetry collection’s coming out soon) that I don’t even want to try.

    By the way, I’ve also tagged you in a blog hop, “Writers Tell All”:


    • Thanks, Jennifer! I love trying to write poems now and then. Writing poetry intimidates me, too, but there’s something about working with words in that way that opens up the possibilities of language in my other work, I think. And thanks for the tag! There’ll be a post shortly (and a visit to the other blogs). Great idea.


  2. Nicely done Gerry. I was just thinking of the feeling I have when walking across the Capilano Suspension Bridge. I know it can hold a jet plane but really that’s no assurance when it gently sways and rocks and undulates under your footstep. Completely feeling your poem. Love that you’re writing whirls again. Missed you. 🙂


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