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Poems for the Road My Gift To You. Poem 1. Close your eyes. Wrap your arms around you body. Take a deep breath. Imagine your newborn self. Now, describe your immediate, tactile world. What do you miss about the world in which you just spent your last nine months (or so)? .

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poem 1
Poem 1
  • Close your eyes.
  • Wrap your arms around you body.
  • Take a deep breath.

Imagine your newborn self.

Now, describe your immediate, tactile world.


Now, you are holding

  • your newborn self.
  • Tell tiny you the greatest mistake
  • s/he will make. Be honest.

Now, tell your tiny self about his/her greatest accomplishments.

  • First list the obvious,
  • and then dig more deeply…
poem 2
Poem 2
  • Select the creature that coincides with the first letter of your first name, and then free write about that creature. Consider the animal’s physical, spiritual and artistic existence, as well as your experience with it.
  • A-C: horse D-F: turtle
  • G-I: dragonfly J-M: pigeon
  • N-P: pit bull Q-Z: flamingo

Select the abstraction that matches with the first letter of your last name and free write on that abstraction—everything that comes to mind.

  • A-C: grace D-F: beauty
  • G-I: curiosity J-M: submission
  • N-P: sacrifice Q-Z: mercy

Working with what you have written about the creature and the abstraction, create a poem title that has both words in it (creature and abstraction), and then write a poem that does not mention the abstraction, but clearly invokes it through the creature.

poem 3
Poem 3
  • Listen:
  • Bolero: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urfjyj4FnUc
  • Slow Ride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIjZE4kcg_Q
  • I Believe (When I fall in love):
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRl0dJ1Pp1k

Create a soundtrack for your life—list all the songs (or as many as you can) and the occasions, people, moments they represent.


Now, choose one song from the list

  • and write lines about it until you are exhausted.
  • I mean really pooped.
  • Do not ignorethe senses (smell touch taste hear see), but do ignore ALL abstract nouns.

Now write a poem that begins:

  • When I hear “Song Title” by “Artist”…

Ask yourself:

How do I convey to the reader the importance of this song?

poem 4
Poem 4
  • Listen Some More…
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LgQhfusf_E


  • Verb
  • Be enough or adequate,
  • meet the needs of
  • Make two lists:
  • List the specific times in your life when you have not “been enough” or have been simply “adequate” (or did or did not meet the needs) for another human being--friend, family member, lover, co-worker, acquaintance, stranger,, etc.
  • Now list the times when you rose to the occasion for another person, in other words, you more than “sufficed” or were more than “adequate.”

Choose one occasion/person from your list and write a poem in second person utilizing that person’s perspective. In other words, imagine that person is speaking to you. Let me share one from my list…

  • Now, if I am writing from my neighbor’s perspective about the time I did nothing about the screaming, I might begin:
  • I shouldn’t blame you and your paralysis;
  • there’s so much screaming in the world
  • these days, and maybe for folks who live
  • in a house like ours—untrimmed trees,
  • old Chevy on blocks, rusted laundry sink
  • on the porch—the scream is easy to reason.