Images carry our stories. Even a blind man can cup one in his mind and blink. This is the work of a poem—to string us along until our stories become one.
But it sure is hard to write one sometimes.
When I really get stuck, I play a little game that I like to call “floating eyeball”. It is, at its heart, an exercise in observation, but with a WYSIWYG twist. You must enter an environment, whether urban or rural, and attempt to catalog it exactly as you see it.
We had such lovely weather here today that I decided to spend much of it out of doors. Of course, I had a notebook along (love those min-composition books Walmart had on sale during back-to-school). Here’s a sample of the poem that I “roped” from the sky:
bird in treetop
slice of moon in
he mocks two doves
on lowest branches
but for me
he has a smile—
See, that’s easy enough. And fun to play in over-familiar settings (places you know like the back of your hand) because it forces you into close examination.
Sometimes, a panorama view can work out as well, as along is it is a powerful image. I don’t have any of those panorama type poems on hand at the moment, but perhaps one of you dear readers will share???
Anyway, try it in your own little corner of the world. And for the zealous, try setting yourself down in a “foreign” landscape, such as Mars or Wonderland. This type of visit takes a bit more work, but can yield some surprising results.
If you have your own special technique for “roping” poems, I invite you to share it here as a guest blogger. Email interest to email@example.com, and I will get you set up ASAP.