Poem Response to A Sunday Whirl # 9

19 Jun

Hello readers, regular and visitors. This is Brenda’s Wordle #9. Click the image to read the words.

Those of you who have not given wordles a whirl, hurry over. They are fun. Even if you don’t write one, it’s fascinating to see both the diversity and the commonality of the poems written to the wordles. Here is mine:

Sky Serpents

Black night and only the fire’s light sparks
the face of the storyteller as he looks at the people
seated around him, nods his head, and tells
them of stories etched in stone and bone, no
gossamer creations, but ancient truths of temples
where their ancestors worshipped sky serpents, no
stardust creatures, but fearsome dragons sliding
through slits in the sky’s fabric to tangle tooth
and claw the threads of their ancestors’ lives.

Sometimes there are no process notes. Sometimes the poem is there, full born from the moment the words meet the brain. Those fascinate me the most, as I want to know from what subterranean cell they came from.

I shall see you Tuesday for an open prompt — that’s right, you don’t have to use a form, but you can; Thursday we discuss poetic inversions; and Friday I shall see you for the roundup.




Posted by on 19/06/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

39 responses to “Poem Response to A Sunday Whirl # 9

  1. brenda w

    19/06/2011 at 11:33 am

    Slits keep appearing in the sky today. 🙂 The image of dragons slipping through to tangle tooth and claw… wowza! I love this. I love your notes about no notes…ha ha. That’s how my piece came this week, too….it flowed. Love that.

  2. margo roby

    19/06/2011 at 11:37 am

    That was quick, Brenda! I was saying to Paula that she and I used a couple of words in the exact same way in two totally different poems.

    I am a dragon fan [born in the year of…] so enjoyed being able to write a piece about them. And yes, when poems appear instantly it is a happy thing 🙂

  3. pmwanken

    19/06/2011 at 11:38 am

    Yes, we did have some commonality this week! I, too, enjoy the diversity of the poems that whirl about from the wordles. 🙂
    Question: does this piece fall into the category of prose poem??

    • margo roby

      19/06/2011 at 11:45 am

      Paula, I don’t think so. Not prose-y enough. Although, now that I reread it, it’s close.
      For those of you who like to read through comments and see this question, if you can answer why/how this poem is or isn’t a prose poem, Paula and I will be appreciative!

  4. Donna Kiser

    19/06/2011 at 11:38 am

    Don’t you find the ones that just come without process or thought are by far the best? I do and this one proves it once again.

  5. margo roby

    19/06/2011 at 11:50 am

    Why, thank you, Donna. They are certainly easier on the brain and the whole process of writing. I think I would place mine close to the top because they come out coherent and whole, but I’m not sure I have one that I would put with my best. You have made me curious though and I may stroll through my collection and see how the “instant” poems fare as a group.

  6. wordsandthoughtspjs

    19/06/2011 at 1:47 pm

    A beautifully woven tale, Margo. It gives one the feel of being right in the scene. I had to go back to find the wordle words. imho, the sign of a well wordled poem.


  7. margo roby

    19/06/2011 at 1:59 pm

    High praise! Thank you, Pamela. And I love using wordle as a verb. It is such a fun word: well wordled. It’s fun to say.

  8. anjum wasim dar

    19/06/2011 at 7:07 pm

    An intensely dramatic piece of poetic prose, filled with suspense horror and terror, a great opening to a ‘magical casement’ novel’ M great work once again-lead on -write on – waiting for the next chapter-
    ‘wordle it up M’ In the story of Eden’ the serpent has the supreme art of the rhetoric-maybe The Opening further can be ‘The Great Wordler of the Sky’ appeared and the people bowed in fear’……

    • margo roby

      19/06/2011 at 9:43 pm

      Love your entire comment, Anjum!

      • anjum wasim dar

        20/06/2011 at 12:36 am

        Dear M I’m so glad, this is the real feeling and effects I got when I read the writeup, its beautifully captivating-in fact to honestly share another view I feel like writing a story myself…I love horror and mystery stories and the element of suspense is the feature of a great story- I thoroughly enjoyed your response to a readers comment-specially the part where you say’ comes like Venus fully adult straight from Zeus head(made me laugh)
        We learnt in our Urdu poetry study that there are two types of poetic talents=one when the poet writes ‘naturally, the poem comes by itself easily, the words flow’-the other-when one has to work up with the lines for some time till they are complete in form and rhyme or any other form.The first one is called ‘aamad’ and the second one is ”aawurd”These are Urdu terms.; ”aamad ‘ means ‘coming ‘ and ”aawurd’ deliberate or conscious composition”
        so you have both the skills and the talent.

        • margo roby

          20/06/2011 at 7:49 am

          Thank you for this, Anjum. I shall write the words down.


  9. irene

    19/06/2011 at 8:16 pm

    The words are very evocative in the story you weave of the storyteller and I think your ending was strong. Yay, Margo, you’re wordling.

    • margo roby

      19/06/2011 at 9:44 pm

      And loving every minute of it, Irene. Thank you!

  10. 1sojournal

    19/06/2011 at 9:35 pm

    Margo, I like the picture you created. I especially like storytellers and even more so, dragons. Although I understand the question about prose poetry versus other, I think your use of strategic line breaks and the rhythms they create are far more poem form. As far as I know, prose poetry is written from left to right across the page and only breaks at the edge of that space. It appears more like a solid concrete paragraph of written substance. This piece as a definite poem shape and form on the page.

    As far as when poems come easily, almost dictated as realized, I have often had a problem with that. Guess I was raised to think that anything of really enduring value takes time and lots of effort. But, reality is, the ones that do come direct from the subconscious seem to me to be the most powerful and enduring of all of my poetry. I wrote one of the most wonderful poems for my fiftieth birthday and it was completed in under ten minutes. It’s titled “At Fifty” and can be found at I am always amazed when I read it and know how easy it came to the page. On that same site is another titled “8pm Cat” and it is far more a prose poem than anything else I have ever written.

    And after all of that, I still love your poem and the wonderful ageless image you have created.


    • margo roby

      19/06/2011 at 10:07 pm

      I rather thought it comes under poem than prose, Elizabeth, and your reasons make sense. It’s what I told my students: If it goes across the page it’s prose.

      That’s interesting what you say about the instant versus crafted poems. My poetry usually takes a while before I let it out in public, partly because I mull it around for days and then the revision process, as much as I enjoy it, often involves struggle. And I do think those are my strongest poems. But, there is something about some of the ones that come like Venus, fully adult from Zeus’ head, that feel whole and right and satisfying. And it’s good for me, I think, to write in both ways.

      I whipped over to your site to read “At Fifty”. Your link takes me to present day. Have mercy and tell me what year and month I need to look for it under. I love your poetry and happily wander through reading it, but don’t want to discover that the poem is back at the beginning when I am curious to read it now.

      Thank you for your words about my poem. I was born in the year of the dragon and have always been fascinated by them. And there is a magic that accompanies the storyteller in all cultures and times. That is something I would like to revisit as a topic.


      • anjum wasim dar

        20/06/2011 at 6:17 am

        m-geminians are said to be ‘great story tellers’
        – and…er…here’s a story…
        Once upon a dream,in the year of the Drone…er…no…the..the… Dragon …the great fiery , restless, moody, hungry , ready to throw flares, Eastern Gigantic , with a long dashing tale,.er..tail…destructive, but rather secretly, to share a dragonleak , info’classified’ a bit cowardly ‘, in a square room..on the first floor , of a duplex house, built in the Year of the Cavers…Cavers??? .YES CAVERS, where the Eastern cleaners normally keep the instrument used in times of peace to demolish the labors of the industrious spiders…how can a dragon fit in a room? well, there was ‘Honey I have shrunk the Kids’ guy-
        OH Gemini Enough! Off with…the ..broom…
        You are supposed to write poetry ….
        OH Shake …Shakesss ppeaarrrreee….. Save meeeeeee……Fire!!!

        • margo roby

          20/06/2011 at 7:48 am

          All I can say, Anjum, is I’ll bet you are a wonderful storyteller.


  11. Heather M

    19/06/2011 at 10:53 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog from Grammar Monkeys. The imagery and sensory impact of your poem really moved me, and I like the idea of writing from Wordles. I clicked your RSS link to follow you, but I think the link may be broken. Are you on FB? I look forward to reading more of your work.

    • margo roby

      20/06/2011 at 7:57 am

      Welcome, Heather. So glad you found me. I’m not sure how to check my RSS feed but will scour the wordpress help section. Odd noone else has mentioned it. You can subscribe by email. I only arrive in your box three times a week, unless I have a poem response. Let me tell you what I do and you decide. Tuesdays, I have exercises for writing poetry; Thursdays, are thoughts on language and writing [hence Grammar Monkeys]; and Fridays, I have a roundup of prompts from around the blogosphere.
      Otherwise I am on FB but not with a poetry page, just my regular FB. I am happy to have you friend me, but warn you, you would have block a few apps [my polar escape from the energy of writing]. But you would also be able to see when I have published a post.
      Let me give you the link to Brenda’s wordle which comes out every Sunday:,
      Let me know if you have a question about any of this.
      PS My husband just tried the feed and says it is working and that maybe the browser was acting up.

      • Heather M

        20/06/2011 at 12:00 pm

        Thanks Margo. Yes, perhaps it was just Chrome, as the link worked in Safari. I signed up to receive your feed and will look forward to your prompts, exercises, etc. Best, Heather

    • margo roby

      20/06/2011 at 12:24 pm

      Wonderful. Then I shall see you, so to speak, tomorrow, Heather [or when you check your feed reader :)]..


  12. vivenne blake

    20/06/2011 at 2:50 am

    Wonder-ful wordling, Margo. I don’t usually read others’ poems before writing my own, but no time this week. Mine may or may not appear later in the week. At the moment, I’m feeling punch-drunk. I like Anjum’s Urdu words, too.

    • margo roby

      20/06/2011 at 7:47 am

      Anjum’s comments are always fun, Vivienne. So, are you going to be able to share with us your week in some way? You have inspired me to find something for myself next year.


  13. Susannah

    20/06/2011 at 7:26 am

    That is wonderful! Every word flowed so well and vividly told the story. I could see it all!

    I really like this one! Nice writing. 🙂

    • margo roby

      20/06/2011 at 7:44 am

      Thank you so much, Susannah!

    • margo roby

      20/06/2011 at 8:03 am

      Odd. I replied to your comment, but now see your comment multiplied. Hmmm. At any rate, thank you, Susannah!

  14. Tilly Bud

    20/06/2011 at 8:40 am

    ‘sky serpents’ – a lovely turn of phrase.

    • margo roby

      20/06/2011 at 8:47 am

      Thank you, Tilly Bud. The Chinese believe in air dragons and sea dragons.

  15. Mary

    20/06/2011 at 9:35 am

    Well crafted wordle, Margo. I think that good poems can arise spontaneously from a set of words such as this, and yours is such a poem. Wordles generally take me to unexpected places, and sometimes I don’t know where they come from either…but that’s the ‘fun’ of them for me. The unexpected!

    • margo roby

      20/06/2011 at 9:43 am

      Thank you, Mary. And, I agree. Because the poems that I write which come from wordles arrive so differently from my deliberately crafted work, I have been taken to places I don’t think I would normally go and that’s my favourite thing about my wordle poems.


  16. Mike Patrick

    20/06/2011 at 1:58 pm

    I call these spontaneous poems ‘organic.,’ Margo. They spring from little seeds and grow so fast they spread to unexpected areas. Sometimes they shed new seeds which demand new poems. They are a blessing.

    • margo roby

      20/06/2011 at 5:03 pm

      I like that, Mike. I shall carry that image with me when these poems fruit. Thank you.

  17. Marianne

    20/06/2011 at 3:24 pm

    Love your title … it adds a hint of the adventure before I started reading the poem! And “fearsome dragons sliding
    through slits in the sky’s fabric to tangle tooth and claw the threads of their ancestors’ lives” is brilliant! This is a grand poem!!!

  18. margo roby

    20/06/2011 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you so much, Marianne. I look forward to every Sunday and the poem Brenda’s wordle will bring.

  19. Henry Clemmons

    21/06/2011 at 11:41 pm

    Sounds like some entertaining strytelling going on. I liked, A LOT!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the visit to my page!

    • margo roby

      22/06/2011 at 8:31 am

      I admit, I would enjoy being part of the group sitting around the storyteller, Henry. Thank you for your comment and I enjoy my visits to your page!

  20. Mr. Walker

    30/06/2011 at 5:48 pm

    Margo, many (if not all) of the poems from these wordle words did deal with stories in some way or another; I don’t think there was a way to avoid it. I like how you told a story about a storyteller; I liked the directness of it. I love “etched in stone and bone, no / gossamer creations”.


    • margo roby

      30/06/2011 at 7:08 pm

      Thank you, Richard. Those are my favourite lines. I love the sounds of the words. The wordles are fascinating as we either all write with the same focus or we polarise.



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