Poetry Tuesday: 100,000 Words

The most significant writing I did in 2012?  Hard to say yet, but here’s one contender: over one hundred thousand words in lines of free verse tetrameter.

100,000 words in sessions of 15-20 minutes a day 5-6 times a week.  Had no idea until I transferred all of it into Word files.

Is it any of any good?  Oh, I don’t know…but there are some pieces I like.  I’ve posted a few over on a poetry page, so you can go read if you’d like.   And I’d love to hear some feedback if you’ve got any.  If not, enjoy and slip silently into the night.

Why tetrameter?

I have no idea.

My first thought was to emulate Czeslaw Milosz (as if), whose poetry kept me going for about eighteen months in daily, early morning readings.   His ability to capture the fleeting moment, especially on behalf of some unknown person that he found captivating, spoke to me of the worth of each man and woman, every day of their lives, regardless of what they were doing, or what was happening to them.

After writing a bit of verse with Milosz in mind, I decided I needed a frame, a boundary that was a bit stricter.  So I looked at the ceiling and thought, “Pentameter.”  Then I thought, “No, too many syllables.”   Why?  Just an intuition, so I pulled it back to eight syllables, and wondered about rhyme, and thought, “Nope.”  So free verse tetrameter, it is.

And I began.

I’ve written about family, about love, about God, about religion, about coffee (lots about coffee), and all manner of art, beauty, and questions.  And sex.   (I often wondered if I was allowed to be writing about sex, but hey, there you go.  Curious now, aren’t you?)

Those lines are in the lock box for now.

Anyway, I learned one more time that boundaries and frames are good things, allowing for connections and ideas that you would otherwise never find, never see coming.

If you’re interested, here’s a piece to get you started:



Stamen wet with pollen glitter
Thrust from red centers of soft yellow,
Inspiring the middle aged man
Wandering the hills looking for light.

White roots reach over sloping ground
Like arms sinewy and strong,
Gripping earth, holding place for good,
Come hell or tsunami or dark night.

Yellow-bright leaves, big with old life
Nestle against these arteries,
These tree branches skimming the earth,
Sighing a last time, thankful for wind.

They fill with morning light’s best glow,
And shine as best they can at Heaven,
Knowing God catches those who fall
In proper season, hearts effort-weary,
Done with trying, done with longing.

Stillness settles, and breath eases
Away, slows as if at ease, and closes
Out its long, long run of living.
Who knew leaves sometime fall in Spring?

3 Replies to “Poetry Tuesday: 100,000 Words”

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