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how to write a poem in ten easy steps

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find a subject. it can be





nature, emotion, love, pain—

pick something.



get out your paints. your

alizarin red


yellow ochre


ultramarine blue



paint me a sunset.

paint me your pain, your love—

paint me a sensation.



realize your subject changed.

it's fine.

perhaps this was intended.



write on parchment with old black quill.

scritch-scratch of metal end of paper, words forming in loops and lines—

condense your canvas onto the end of a pencil and place your sunset in the alphabet.

twenty-six letters to paint a universe.



name it.

name it 'my heart is here' or 'the sun is bright' or 'the world is burning'.

or, perhaps—

do not name it at all.

leave the outside of the envelope blank.

let it be a surprise.



press your lips to the seal.

this will mark it yours for eternity.

even without your name, it will hold your essence—

and your essence goes beyond your dna.



nail it to a tree. tie it to the leg of a bird. make a deal with the fairy queen.

'this is my heart,' you will cry from the hilltops, or from the barstool, or from the lonely tree trunk.

and though you may think you are alone—

someone is listening.



'i don't think it's very good,' you will say. 'perhaps i should not be a bard.'

'ah,' the old beggar will respond, for all old beggars carry wisdom immeasurable:

'but it is yours. of course it is good.'



breathe out your essence from the tree stump, the hilltop, the corner of the inn—

bid the old beggar goodbye.

your mark is made—

immortality is at your fingertips.

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This is awesome.  I love how you used imagery and figurative language. The part about te scritch scratch of the quill really got to me. A suggestion would be to add more sensory detail (other than visual).


I love this.



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