A thing is what it is.

[If you believe every thing in the universe—air current, dust mote, life, death, slow cooker, apple tree—is in its singular place for a reason: stop here and write.]

A tree exists. How it came to be planted–by man, squirrel or gravity–is irrelevant. Anything about it that doesn’t present to the senses right now, is irrelevant. It has no past or future. History is human, is in the human mind, it isn’t HERE. The layers of meaning that charge a rose don’t belong to the rose—they are human. The thing is the thing.

Emotion. Personal History. Cultural history. Art. Music. Politics. Pain.

None of those belong to the thing. They are ours.

Write about an object. As you do, peel away layers. Symbolism, history, intention, possibility. Try to see both the thing and the “added value.” Your poem might be in the thing itself, it might be in the layers. It might be in the process of peeling away.


Choose your own something, or use one of these to give you ideas.


Next week’s prompt will be our last for a while. Celebrating National Poetry Month with a little inspiration-gathering.


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