Tuesday, September 14, 2010


A Writing Exercise:

Susan Buller in my writing group told us as an exercise, she had written down her idea as fast as she could write, without stopping. I am not sure if she wrote it in longhand, or on her computer. Following is the poem she wrote:



Sincerely startled by a sultry wind

gaping into two holes

frosted onto five loaves

of compressed sadness

Sorrow and longing

plastered into

every single note

I sing on a wing that belongs to someone else

I wonder will my time ever come

Can I ever discover

what has taken me this far

on such a stargazing expedition

on the winds of someone’s brother

or someone’s mother

or a preacher’s lost place

little ants eating away at the knowledge of tomorrow

Knowing there will be sorrow and sorrow and more sorrow

when we see into our lives yet one more time

We wreck havoc on our tempered steel bones

Wreck postures with

hunched backs and backs packed

full of bitter waste

bent on bars of steel to hard to manage

with out a brace of some kind to prop it up

a conflict of interest demands a little smile

of faltered ego

Tattered treasure of temples on hills

where no one lives or wants to live or will ever see

Sadness of sorrows spent in search of someone’s lost song

listening to nothing on a lead-filled wall

Tomorrow will gleam its own future

prepare for its own downfall

weep its own destruction

Another mourner weeps into a wind that is

flung out into the limits of silence

A cry no one hears, no one cares, no one mourns

A cry of desperation in proclamation of their own losses

Their own travels into nothingness

of sorrow and mourning

And what is left, dear friend

is the death of a dream life.

by Susan Buller


Susan’s poem is full of surprising imagery, and shows how the intuitive mind makes associations through a metaphoric process, so suited to poetry.

A variation on this exercise, given by John Rybicki in a class I took several years ago, was to write in your own handwriting, a one hundred fifty word sentence.

It may be that writing in long hand is another way to access your right brain, or intuitive mind. Judy Reeves in A Writer’s Book of Days, advises this way of recording thoughts in daily journaling which nourishes creative process because handwriting is more directly expressive of the right brain or intuitive mind and more connected to the senses.

I have also used The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron for at least 15 years, intermittently, journaling by hand.


The Artwork on this post is the Copyright © of Ruth Zachary.

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