I am participating in National Poetry Writing Month, where the goal is to write one poem a day for 30 days. During the month of April, I will be using the writing prompts at ReadWritePoem.org and posting the results.
Day twenty-nine prompt (i don't think i can)
Wednesdays this month, weve been trying to give you list-based prompts. Today, Id like you to do a quick 5-minute free-write on this subject: I dont think I can. Start every sentence in the free-write with I dont think I can. Then, you have a couple of choices for writing your poem. The first option is to cross out all the I dont think I cans and see what list of actions you end up with. Do they tell an interesting story? Do they create a small character study? Are they shoulds? Are they things you want to do but havent? Are they things youre afraid to try? What if you tried them? You can title your piece I dont think I can or give it a new title that twists the meaning of your list somehow.
The second option is to choose one of the things your list says you cant do and write an instruction poem describing how to do that thing.
I Don't Think I Can
deal with more rain
sort through the clutter before Dad's visit
make up for sleeping in
garden this week, especially with the rain
replace the things that are lost
exist solely in the present
forgive myself for all my mistakes
squeeze time for the spiritual into the mundane
keep it up like this
understand what that man is saying (gravelly and slurred)
see through the raindrops on my glasses
resist such a sweet dog, peering from a passing car
walk by Great Danes without them barking
figure out how a broom could get so flattened
remember the proper way to care for a flag (mud seems bad)
find all the pieces of a torn-up love note
smell anything more lilting than a lilac
stop laughing at signs that faded in the rain
Again, I dictated a list into my Sony digital voice recorder while taking my dog for her morning walk. Then I transcribed them and whittled down the list. I noticed that, as I kept walking, more and more of the musings were positive, centered on the things I was noticing. I decided to structure the poem that way, with the first stanza more negative and the second more positive.
Appreciating the world around you makes everything seem more positive.