Writing Prompt #10 Examples


Entering the Woods at Dusk

by Norbert Krapf

I love coming into the woods
at dusk when darkness
is about to settle and I want

to keep going deeper
inside where the water
takes on depth. I want

to let myself go down
as far as I can
and merge with the fish

and other creatures who
are my ancestors and rejoice
in rejoining them and forget

about who and what I
became and just be
what I was and feel

attached to my origins
and swim away with my
former self into the dark.

Tree Thing Poem

 by Norbert Krapf

“No words in these woods,” the sign said!
How very sad. How could I write a poem?
I’ll pretend each word is really a thing,”
I told myself, “and make a poem of things,

especially noun things.” “No poems but
in things” became my new literary mantra.
I could make a list of things, especially
noun things! Each line could be a branch

of leaves fluttering in the breeze. But to have
leaves you must have a tree and give it a name.
Mine was a sycamore, the Indiana state tree.
Its leaves were large enough to catch the air.

Each tree must have a trunk with a color
and mine was white and/or ivory, depending
on where you looked. Every tree must also have
moisture to survive, so I put my sycamore

near a creek. “This is a creek tree,” I said
to myself, but that sounded redundant,
since anyone who knows trees realizes
that sycamores all live near water,

a great noun thing that flows, like the rhythm
of a poem, also a thing, but more abstract.
So I already had lots of things in my poem
before anything happened, but that only meant

that my poem was not a narrative. I would allow
no story in it. This was a stationary tree thing poem
that went nowhere. It stayed at home, you might say,
in Indiana. It’s only moment was the dance of leaves

way up in the air, which only goes to prove
that some poems are happy doing nothing while
staying put and alive to grow where they were born.
They take delight in the mere movement

of any part of their thingness, aware that their
roots suck up what gives them nourishment.
This type of tree and poem refuse to tell a story
that yearns to be set elsewhere and say, “Amen!”


The Heart of the Heart of the Forest

by Liza Hyatt

Once I was sea and once
I was glacier and now
I am old oak and I am
acorn sprouting
in fossil strewn shade
eating dirt which remembers
being animal.

I have more leaves, more lives
than sky has stars,
and more had died in me
than is now alive
and still I make seeds.

I am the question –
Is soil the color of grief,
leaf the color of joy?

And the answer –
Grief is joy deepened,
deepened to the roots and deeper –
and I am that joy,
burrowing into you
like a fungus which makes,
from dead wood,
new earth.


Middle of March

By Eric Williams

On the hills above Fall Creek
The wind asks a question
As it runs through the ravine
And answers itself
As it rushes past the bare sycamores.

No, not yet.

In the middle of March
A woodpecker drills a leafless tree
But pauses to listen.

Even the rocks are waiting
For the little frogs to sing.

Ten Degrees

By Eric Williams

Remembering a humid July Day
Running a sun-wise circuit
On the ridgeline above Lawrence Creek

Entering a shady section
Where the wet limestone pokes out of the ground
And the temperature is ten degrees cooler.

Returning to my on call shift
Walking between the hospitals
Reading the trauma pager.

Asking the Ancient Ones
May my presence for these people
Be that cool and gentle place.


By Eric Williams

How long this summer
And so hot the days
That even the amorous cicadas
Have paused their love buzzing.

© 2016 by Eric Williams. All rights reserved.




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