Write Hard


Things have been…difficult lately. Maybe not the first time humanity’s been in a mess, probably not the last. It’s hard to write.

But hard’s not impossible.


Each of the following lines from The New York Times is likely to provoke an emotional response of some kind. Choose one of these or write a VERY BRIEF simplification of some topic you feel intensely. Write for yourself. Just a line, long or short. But something you are pretty sure you will still understand in ten years. Maybe (in some cases, hopefully) the context will have been forgotten. You want something that will stir your emotions. You may choose to write something opposing in theme or subject, something hopeful or joyful. That’s okay, but it should be specific.


North Korean Nuclear Test Draws U.S. Warning of ‘Massive Military Response’

Trump Seriously Considering Ending DACA, With 6-Month Delay

Eager to Create Blue-Collar Jobs, a Small Business Struggles

Since statues tell us whom society deems important, more female figures are in order.

After Harvey, a Return to High Water


Write your line a little bit above the center fold of a full sheet of paper.

Turn it over.

Now, with that in your mind, write a poem for, to, or about someone you love. (If you decided to write a joyful, hopeful line, write a poem about something you hate. Yes. Hate. And not like “I hate sticky zippers”. If you don’t hate anything or anyone, lie.)

Include two of the following words. Do not try to use them all for this exercise.

beg, knife, leak, expecting, warning, red, exhaust, airy, break, hill


If you feel, afterward, like writing a current events poem, do.





11 thoughts on “Write Hard

  1. “After Harvey, a return to high water.” Posting my final poem from the latest Iowa course. Maybe I’ll write something more later>


    Immersed in images
    Drowning in data
    Inundated with inanities,
    thoughts and prayers.

    A deluge of decisions.
    (Can we stay?)
    Walls of water, where
    we walked, waited, willed
    the storm to cease.

    Daily life engulfed,
    What? When? Why?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. PS. I need a new website — just tired of the old one on WordPress. Any advice? I probably will just created another one on WP, but I’d like it not to be so clunky.


    1. I know what you mean. The alternatives–Tumblr? Wix? They don’t do much for me. If you want a more streamlined look, go for one of the WP themes that are designed more for mobile devices. Or start an image-heavy blog. One alternative is to not bother, and use the simplest theme that will hold your longest lines.


    2. If you have Gmail you can create a Blogger blog, but WP and Blogger don’t get along well with commenting on each others sites. That’s why I also have a private Blogger account – just for ease of commenting. I’m looking to do the same. Create a new start. Get rid of the folks who follow anything just to advertise their business. That’s one reason I don’t have ‘likes’ at any of my blogs. I don’t need folks who are interested in writing popping in on some pyramid scheme.


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