I was always a bit confused when asking students to write a poem and getting an “about what” response.  From the moment you open your eyes in the morning, till the minute you drift off to sleep at night, you are being bombarded with an array of amazing poem possibilities.

There is the abrupt clatter of the alarm clock in the morning, rousing you from sleep.  There are traffic sounds and horns bleating if you are city dwellers.  There is the song of birds or, the wind through the trees or perhaps, rattling the windowpane, if you are a country dweller.  The possibility for poetry is in the very air we breathe, the sounds that we only need to stop and listen to, the sights (so simple we forget to see them) and, of course, the taste of morning coffee or the feel of the hot water in our morning shower.  “What about?”  That’s not a question I think even worth asking.

I always start my poem by trying to capture, whatever inspired me, in an image.  For example:  The windowpane / assaulted by chill winds / had the ominous sound of a rattle snake’s warning.  Let yourself be guided by your feelings and go with the moment.  Birdsong may be happy or sad.  Wind may be ominous or, bringing opportunity – spreading seeds in spring.  The sent of roses are either happy or sad, depending on your memories and experiences.

Don’t ever drift into the writing doldrums because you are unable to find inspiration.  Open yourself to the endless possibilities, even in intense silence, that are happening around you.  Let yourself drift into the moment, using all your senses, your emotional commitment, as well, and find the poem that is waiting to burst forth.  Write and then, write some more – fill the page with words and images and then, go back and find the poem hidden there.

Embrace the moment, be open to it, let it fill you with the endless possibility of poetry.

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