This Empty House, or “To Really Write a Poem, Climb Up into a Tree Fort”
This week’s prompt
A friend called recently to see how I was doing now that both of my children are in school full-time. “I’m bored. I can’t write anything,” I confessed. “Put your shoes on the minute you get out of bed,” she advised me. “This will make you feel motivated.” Minutes earlier — barefoot — I had sent another friend a message practically begging for stimulation: “Tell me something…anything! How are you?”
This empty house was what I’d been craving for years. I should be churning out poems at least every hour with all this free time. I should be reading a poetry book a day and writing thoughtful, intelligent reviews.
Turns out, this empty house was exactly the problem. It took my dog and my 4th grader to show me that all you really need to fix a broken poem-er is to step outside.
The dog wanted to go out. The 4th grader had rigged an elaborate pulley system on his tree fort using a 10-foot rope, the dog’s lead and his bike as leverage. To get the dog’s lead, I had to climb up into the tree fort. What a view! Next, I had to twist and turn, not just my body but the various ropes and leads, too. I had to stand up in the tree fort.
You get the picture, right? Childhood memories, king (queen) of the mountain, Tarzan and Jane fantasies, fear of heights … Yes, folks, the poems began to arrive—in earnest!
Your task this week? Step outside your house. Of course, that’s a bit of a metaphor. It may take more than literally stepping out the door. You may have to take a few steps and actually move outside your comfort zone. Do something different. Do something you haven’t done in awhile.
Whatever you choose to do, be aware of all that arises in your poetic mind. Then write it down, and craft your adventure into a poem. If the poem winds up being about something besides your adventure, that’s OK. You know how we feel about rules! Just be sure to tell us, if you’re so inclined, how you came to write this week’s poem.
How prompts work under the Big Tent
We post prompts on Mondays, and you have all week to write your poems, based on our fabulous prompt or any other inspiration. Come back on Friday when you will find a “Come One, Come All” post where you can use the comments section to 1) leave a link to your poem or 2) leave the poem in its entirety.
You’ll have all day Friday (and all weekend!) to post your work and read each others’ work. Take your time. Enjoy all the poems that are new to the world.
Hint: We’ve set Big Tent Poetry to Central Time.
Hint: An easy way to check on new post comments is with RSS reader, if you use one. Here’s the address: https://bigtentpoetry.org/comments/feed.
Hint: Since we’re a new site, and you’re new to it, your comment(s) will be held for moderation for your first few posts. We’re checking the filters often, so don’t despair! That said, if it takes more than a half a day to see it come live on the site, do email us at info (at) bigtentpoetry.org. (But be patient, okay?)
We figure you know how to play in the poetry community, but here are the basics:
Be nice. Have fun. Remember we aren’t a critique forum. We want to support each other as we bring more poetry into our lives. Only provide critique if someone specifically asks for it.
Although we love seeing our badge in the sidebar of your blog, we would appreciate it if you would also link back to the site in each of your poem posts. Linking within your post helps people travel back and forth from your site to the Big Tent Poetry site, and it helps perpetuate Big Tent Poetry “findability” in Google searches — and that helps us all.