How I Write a Poem

When I write, it is as though a murmuration of swallows
has taken flight within my mind. I am stupefied and mesmerized
by words flying about in an almost geometric dance,
each word seemingly afraid to be the first to land upon my page.
It’s both a beautiful and frightening process,
but when the first letter of that first word finally alights,
something intense and magical happens:
the sky of my imagination opens up
like a storm cloud on a summer afternoon,
releasing a torrential rain of verse or rhyme.
My job is to run around with bucket in hand and catch what I can.
When the pail is full, I carefully pour it upon a page.
To approach this in any other way would drown me
in my own vain attempts at creativity.
When the pail is dry, I walk away, and the poem is born.

3 thoughts on “How I Write a Poem

  1. I very much like this — I think you’ve captured the metaphor splendidly. A couple of critiques… first, a murmuration is technically starlings and not swallows, but I suppose artistic license can be extended. 😉 Secondly, I feel that the last line would flow a little more cleanly with something like this:

    When the pail runs dry, I depart with a newborn poem.
    (or “a poem newly-born”)

    Just a suggestion. Excellent work 🙂


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