Try writing a poem if you’ve never written one. It can be daunting to try to write a poem if it’s something you’ve never tried.

The following lines are from the poem “Poetry”, by Pablo Neruda (included in the book “Saved By A Poem”, by Kim Rosen).

…and I wrote the first faint line,

faint, without substance, pure


pure wisdom

of someone who knows nothing, ….


Someone in the group suggested, “You start by starting.”

Just put something on paper and see if a poem can grow from it.



The prompt this week is a poem by Mary Oliver from her book of poems titled, A Thousand Mornings.

THE MOCKINGBIRD, by Mary Oliver.


All summer

the mockingbird

in his pearl-gray coat

and his white-windowed wings



from the hedge to the top of the pine

and begins to sing, but it’s neither

lilting nor lovely,


for he is the thief of other sounds-

whistles and truck brakes and dry hinges

plus all the songs

of other birds in his neighborhood;


mimicking and elaborating,

he sings with humor and bravado,

so I have to wait a long time

for the softer voice of his own life


to come through. He begins

by giving up all his usual flutter

and settling down on the pine’s forelock

then looking around


as though to make sure he’s alone;

then he slaps each wing against his breast,

where his heart is,

and, copying nothing, begins


easing into it

as though it was not half so easy

as rollicking,

as though his subject now


was his true self,

which of course was as dark and secret

as anyone else’s,

and it was too hard-


perhaps you understand-

to speak or to sing it

to anything or anyone

but the sky.


Take any inspiration you find in the poem and write in whatever direction you wish to take it.


Sketches of Anticipation

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Bunny Hansen.

A letter arrives.
A price is paid.
A lover returns.
Anticipation rises.
Sometimes a morning sun
Warming new beginnings
Sometimes a midnight moon
Cooling dark endings.

Spring sap, anticipations pulse
Surges through sleeping branches
Inciting covert riots, among
Winter started roots.
Dormant blossoms provoked
Into multi-hued revolutions
Overthrow cold suns and short days.

A stalking tiger watches, waits in ambush
Frozen in stealth, muscles twitching
Stripes screened by sun-streaked grass
Saliva drips from emblematic fangs.
Hunt’s end, foreseen from the beginning.

Anticipation, gallant, armored knight
Charges onto epic battlefields
Reclaims golden fleeces of the heart
Slays doubt breathing Dragons
Plundering priceless dreams.

A dazzling gold vein exposed in white quartz
Detonates a miner’s expectations: “Mother Lode.”
A silver candelabra, darkened, tarnish-shrouded
Is rubbed and polished until purity appears.
A trickling brook meanders, swallowed by
A desert flash-flood, it carves a grand canyon.

Expectant prisoners, tenacious caterpillars
Anticipation etched on their hearts
Push against restriction’s limit
Struggle with confinement’s boundary
Natures mutate, time tempered
Finally, sentence served,
They catch the wind.

Opening nighters are seated
Orchestra, mezzanine, balcony
Critics view, review and preview
Backstage nerves infiltrate anticipation
Costumed in repetitious rehearsals
An actor reruns his lines
A tenor re-trills his scales
A dancer perfects a last leap
The theater strains, tension taunt
Listening for the call: Curtain up!

Never Give Up

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond.

When you feel like
You are beaten down,
Maybe you are.
Never give up!

You get bad news
Feel like you can’t go on.
Yes, you can.
Never give up!

Given a life-threatening health crisis.
Feel like life will not get better.
Yes, it will.
Never give up!

Berry picker, babysitter, nursing assistant.
Feel like you are
Overworked and underpaid?
Yes, you are.
Never give up!

Wherever life takes you
Remember to never give up
For you never know
What is waiting for you
Around the corner.
Never give up!

I met a man at the dumpster

The following is from Writers in the Grove member, Susan Schmidlin, and based upon the Prompt: Dumpster Diving.

I met a man at the dumpster
Or rather, our garbage met at the dumpster

His in his left hand
Mine in my right

We each swung our bags above shoulders
and arced them toward the square metal bin
The bags bumped together above the opening
Each bag refused to give an inch
and bounced unceremoniously outside the desired location
before hitting the ground

Mine on his left
His on my right

Busting open and spewing remnants of the last few days
Apologetically and with eyes down
we each traded sides
To clean up the mess that was created

Both of us unwilling and ashamed to have someone else
see the discards of our life
and know exactly who we really are

Sun Flowers and Bananas

According to the author, Bunny Hansen, the following was inspired by the wearing of a sunflower costume “hat” by Susan Schmidlin and Lorelle VanFossen during the meeting.

Today I saw a golden array,
A yellow wreath, an ocher garland
Surrounding a brown berry face.
It is of no matter and little importance
If its rays are brilliant, bold sunflowers
Or luscious, life giving, ripe bananas.
Today I saw generosity’s tiara and comfort’s crown.