Posted in Life, Writing

Trying for a thing of beauty

I string words together on the clothesline of this blog. Sometimes these strings of words mean something … other times, I’m not so sure. 

Number Six presented us with a tin of magnetic words as part of her Christmas present; magnetic words to make poems with.

I made some poems. Strings of words that don’t mean anything but that make interesting associations, or that I like the sound of when they’re together. I also like the freedom these magnetic words give me to play with language, to not have to make literal sense, or figurative sense either for that matter. I like the randomness of the words on the fridge door – the unexpected nature of what emerges from my imagination in response to the words at my disposal.

Let me back up just a moment though. When I say ‘I made some poems’ I don’t know that ‘poem’ is the right word. What is a poem? Well, people with more knowledge of the art-form of which poems are a part have argued over a definition for more years than I’ve been alive … so I’m not going to try to define it. But I do like this, written by Mark Yakich: When we come across a poem—any poem—our first assumption should not be to prejudice it as a thing of beauty, but simply as a thing. 

So, here is the first thing I made on my fridge with my new magnetic words:

Goddess chant,
Luscious whisper.
Languid through forest cool.
Achingly sweet crush,
Head over life.
We sing these dream music shadows.

The magnetic word feedback I received was:

Gorgeous language,
Enormous peach friend.

As you can see, the magnetic words on my fridge door allowed me to write a ‘thing’, but not necessarily a thing of beauty. 

Since then I’ve written more poems, some using the magnetic words on my fridge door, others using words from the fridge door of my imagination. 

I’m going to share one with you, but first, some context. 

As Tim and I emerged from the cinema last Saturday we noted, with some alarm, the blackness of the clouds speeding towards the city. Weatherzone was consulted and we discovered that a severe thunderstorm was heading our way. We decided not to dawdle. Number Six had asked about the film we’d been to see and I responded that we were rushing home before the storm hit. She texted back: Run Sharon.

Two words. Enough to make a poem with. Here it is. 

“Run Sharon!”
She shouts through her fingers.
The sky darkens, the air cools,
The clouds bunch up
In metaphoric glee.
We run, giggling like schoolgirls,
Rain nipping at our heels.
Light zigs up the sky,
Its roar stops our breath.
The air stills.
We wait.



The one poem started a string of others. Here’s one more, titled ‘Domesticated’.

A dead saucepan litters the sink.
Mugs of mostly drunk tea,
Spoons from Tim’s coffee.
A glass, a plate, a knife
That earlier today
Spilled the blood of the rhubarb.

Rhubarb juice pools on the stove,
The smell of burning stronger here.
The purple pulpy mass glowers
From the bottom of the saucepan.
Sardonic. Resentful.
I was expecting remorseful,
Or perhaps even apologetic.
I’m not entirely sure why.


Words strung together on the clothesline of this blog. Some make more sense than others…

… the ending is open to allow for possibilities.


I like to travel and take photographs. I like to blog about both.

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