Posts Tagged 'poetry'

Turn Chaos Into Creativity

I’ve been having a couple of challenging weeks, as workers rip up and replace the roof of my building. My landlady seems to have hired semi-competent roofers for this job, resulting in many complications and damages. Not to mention the headache-inducing pounding and hammering!

The worst was last week, when it was literally raining inside my apartment for a couple of days. This happened after the roofers ripped off the old roof of my quirky, 100-year-old building and didn’t put down tarps—during a rainy, drizzly week! Since I both live and work at home, this situation impacted all aspects of my life. It even affected my relationship harmony, with both my husband and I becoming very cranky under these circumstances.

So, after a day of anger as I dealt with my difficult landlady and the non-English-speaking roofers, continually mopped up water, and put down pots under the worst leaks (including waterfalls coming through the kitchen and bathroom overhead lights!), I decided to go to my creative, silly place to defuse the negative emotions that were only hurting me.

I started writing haikus, metaphors and silly poems about my experience. I’m not going to claim that doing this gave me complete peace as it continued to rain inside my apartment while I tried to meet a deadline. But it did take the edge off my anger. It allowed me to go to a creative place. It offered me a few moments of silliness in the midst of my challenges.

I found the silly poems to be the most helpful at lightening my mood. When I write silly poems, I have no rules except they must rhyme. And I give myself permission to write very, very bad poetry! Here’s one I wrote last week:

It’s raining in the kitchen now.
I can only wonder how
The memo about Backwards Day
Somehow didn’t come my way.

How long will the rain keep falling
While the landlady won’t stop calling
Her tenants idiots for complaining
About all the indoor raining?

So next time things get rough for you, try a silly poem and see if it puts a smile on your face—even for just a few moments!

I’d love to hear about ways you use creativity to defuse challenging situations and negative emotions. Share in the comments section!

Emily Dickinson Mad Lib

April is National Poetry Month in the United States — and to celebrate, I’m offering an exercise that can be as silly or as profound as you want.

Fill the blanks in this Emily Dickinson poem. Try to use vivid, unusual, absurd or unexpected language, and see what you come up with! Then share your poems in the comments section.

There is no ________ like a book
To take ________ away,
Nor any ________ like a page
Of ________ poetry.
This ________ may the ________ take
Without ________;
How frugal is the ________
That ________s a human ________!

Rebellious Action

When I read this poem about creative resistance by fabulous creativity guru Jill Badonsky, I could totally relate — I bet you will too!

Rebellious Action

The Muse hovers with yellowy pink taffeta wings …

fluttering dangerously close to the chandelier
holding a BIG red and black sign that says


The poet sees the sign and sighs.

The Muse waves the sign dramatically,
pressing her teeth together in a large forced
smile.  the sign says ACTION!!

Sigh x 2.

The Muse flings a few nimble adjectives deftly onto the blank sheet of paper– “cooperative”, “accommodating,” “attentive”.

The poet swats them with a fly swatter and places them in the garbage with the trout and pilaf leftovers from Tuesday night.

The Muse drops five getcha-going verbs on the poet’s blank paper.

The poet pushes the verbs around with her pen, pausing when she sees the word “go,”
and then collects them all in a Mason Jar,
holes in the lid, and places them next to the cinnamon and the thyme.
The thyme, by the way, expired in ‘05.

The Muse, exquisitely perturbed,
Pulls out her secret stash of NOUNS…
“potion”, “enchantment”,
and “rubber chicken”.

Nose up, head over shoulder she hands them  to the poet.

The poet begins to write…
…………A grocery list.

The Muse takes the red and black sign and bonks herself on the head with it,
flies out the window to visit the gardener who is planting seeds of
good intentions in the rich, fertile soil next door.

The poet smiles and writes this poem.

Copyright © Jill Badonsky. Posted here with permission from the author.

* * *
Jill Badonsky is an internationally recognized workshop leader, keynote speaker, creativity-coaching pioneer, illustrator, and humorist. She is author of The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard): 10 Guides to Creative Inspiration for Artists, Poets, Lovers, and Other Mortals Wanting to Live a Dazzling Existence and the award-winning, The Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder.

You can find all kinds of fun creative resources at Jill’s website. I highly recommend subscribing to her newsletter, which always inspires me when it lands in my inbox!

Sandbox Challenge #17: Write a Poem of Elimination

Also called Sharpie poems and blackout poems, these can be created by ripping a page from a newspaper or magazine and blacking out the words you don’t need. I used an old Vanity Fair interview with Johnny Depp for this one.

Her Birth Song

The colors of the sea,
serenity and golden love,
sliding toward a swirl
of deep blue words.

I crafted a few of these poems and had a lot of fun with this technique! I hope you do too. Feel free to share your creations in the comments or in the Wax Poetic section of the Readers’ Sandbox.

Source: Lisa Romeo’s blog via Drew Myron’s blog via Austin Kleon’s blog. (Check out the last two for more examples of elimination poems.)

Copyright © Sandy Ackers, Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World,

Poetic Inspiration

On her inspiring new site, A Bowl of Random Words, Mother Sparrow pulls words from a bowl and posts them, inviting readers to create poems from five seemingly unconnected things. Give it a whirl—I tried it and was pleased with the poem that resulted!

Download a Free E-Book! Click on the Cover Below for your Creative Bursts Workbook

And get fun 15-minute creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week

About Sandy Ackers


Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and Writer.

To learn more about Sandy, click here: About Sandy

Connect With Me On Facebook:

Meet My Muse

Click here to read the post discussing my relationship with my somewhat pesky male muse.

Inspiration in your inbox:

Blog Archive

Total Hits:

wordpress analytics
wordpress analytics

Share This Blog

Bookmark and Share
Add to Technorati Favorites
Writing Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory


Copyright © 2009-2017 Sandy Ackers. All rights reserved, with the following exceptions:

Writers retain all rights to any comments, stories or other original work posted on this blog in the comments sections or the Readers' Sandbox.

Many of the photos on this blog are in the public domain. If you'd like to reproduce a photo, contact Sandy Ackers at the email address listed in the ABOUT section of this blog for information on whether the image is under copyright.

Reproducing, copying or distributing the writing on this blog without the express permission of the author is strictly forbidden.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

%d bloggers like this: