Over the past few months I’ve been writing poetry on a more regular basis. I’ve no idea why. Usually I’m gripped with a compulsion to write a poem about a specific subject, and I submit to the urge since I try to go with the strongest creative push at any one time. It results in faster work.

In poems every word is essential, and how they all fit together is vital. If you change one word you have to re-examine the entire poem again. Towards the end it can become frustrating, but I love the challenge it presents.

I usually try to get some lines down so I can figure out the shape the poem wants: length of verses, rhyming scheme, etc. Sometimes the original phrases disappear entirely as the body of the poem appears under my fingers. It’s a mysterious process.

I could set myself a task in the future, I suppose, to write sestinas, sonnets, or haikus. But at the moment I like not knowing how it’s going to evolve. It’s an imaginative break from other forms of writing.

Like skipping stones across a mirror pool.

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