Response to The Sunday Whirl Wordle: June 30, 2013

The Sunday Whirl Banner
The Sunday Whirl Banner

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 . . .

Crossing

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?

Small Stones: Days Two and Three

The best intentions often . . . Well, you know about that.

On January 10, I committed to a Mindful Writing Challenge, posted that day, and immediately fell behind. But I had one more scene of the novel to re-visit, I’m revising the synopsis, I’m reading manuscripts for a workshop coming up in a little more than a week, I—

All these excuses, this busyness. All the more reason to take a moment and focus on something small or ordinary or extraordinary, like a sleeping cat on Day Two:

Old cat sleeping behind my head on the back of the couch, mewing in his sleep like a kitten, moving his mouth like he’s smacking his lips. What does he dream?

Oliver, awake
Oliver, awake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And for Day Three, another haiku:

After today’s storms,

blue sky and wind-driven clouds.

Radiant sunset.

Variation, winter sunset
Variation, winter sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Kaspa and Fiona at Writing Our Way Home for this challenge. I shall try to do better!

 

“Small Stones”: Meditative Writing to Start the New Year

A New Year discovery this morning—and yes, I know it’s not Monday Discovery day, and it’s already the tenth of January:

jan13largeKaspa & Fiona at Writing Our Way Home have launched their third Mindful Writing Challenge (previously known as the River of Stones) during January 2013. It seems a fine opportunity to quiet the mind at the beginning of each day, before the writing work or the housework or the errands or the other distractions of the day take over.

Kaspa and Fiona call these bits of writing small stones, which they define as “a very short piece of writing that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment.”

What a lovely idea, to stop and capture a moment, observe it for all it’s worth, and write about it. So I’ll try writing a small stone a day for the rest of January and post them here.

For January 10, there’s this:

Distant thunder. Rain sheens the deck, scattered with the last brown leaves.

Maybe this could be a haiku? That’s what “small stones” remind me of.

Distant thunder rolls.

Water sheens the deck, scattered

With the last brown leaves.

So here’s to mindfulness, always good for the writer’s eye.

How do you enter writing mode? A cup of good strong coffee? A few minutes of meditation? Tell me how you prepare your mind for the task at hand.