His, being in it, knows every vein
They call to each other like mothers
The tongues of flame lick the brittle grasses
The ducks and geese hover around lovers’crumbs
This late afternoon, the winter grass, ice-glazed
(a)Read through each one and write one additional line to make the pair of lines a couplet, whether rhymed or unrhymed. You can then follow-up with more lines for any pair that inspires you to return and add to.
(b)Read through each one and write four additional lines of anything that emerges – you may feel impelled to return to one or more of these later and work it/them into a poem.
(c)Read through each one and when you feel the urge, add to the line that stimulated a flow, whatever comes to mind for however long you want to write (it may be a rough poem or a piece of prose. Then go back and prune, re-arrange, add and shape it. You might find it’s “done,” or you might find it just needs to be left in peace for however long that might be.
If you wish, you can do all three of these in the above sequence or start with the third and work backwards. Again, the goal is not to write your perfect poem – it is, rather, to “exercise” the poetic mental muscles, to engage with some dissonance that will dislodge habitual thinking and ways of “doing” the practice of writing poetry. Anything that becomes habitual, ultimately becomes stale and rigid and doesn’t help us grow as poets/writers. Have fun. Anna O.