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Poems and Prompts

High, I am Naida, and I am excited to announce that we are going to try something new:

Poems and Prompts Meet Ups

Meeting on alternate Sundays from the usual Poems and Coffee Meet Up, the Poems and Prompts Meet Up will be structured similar to the Write Around Portland writing workshops, focusing on both generating new writing and developing the writing and revision.

It will consist of a series of Meet ups with timed free-writes (8 to 20 minutes, probably 2 per meeting), each with a suggested prompt, which could be anything from a picture, a line from a poem, or even borrowing a line from another member’s writing. Group members are encouraged to write stories, poems, memoirs, letters, essays while experimenting with imagery, writing in different voices, dialogue and early-draft revision, and from there refine selected pieces to a finished poem.

Group members will have the opportunity to share their writing and give and receive positive feedback (as requested) to help each other grow as poets and build respectful community.

If the group feels like it, we can each choose one or two pieces then put together a little chap book collection of the finished pieces.

Following are a few of the pieces I did in the Write Around Portland workshops I attended:

Example #1

A stack of photos and sketches were passed around and we each chose one to write about. I chose a sketch of a woman sitting on a counter, feet in a laundry sink, writing in a journal


“It doesn’t seem possible….”


“From the farthest point…”

20 minute free write

Private Laundry Room (two separate poems)


I didn’t know he was anywhere near.

How could he have snapped the photo without my knowing?

I thought I had found a secret place

Where my deepest feelings were kept from showing.


Has he known all along of my private little nook?

Has he found where I keep myself stashed?

Doesn’t he understand how this changes things?

How my trust in him has been slashed?



It’s like walking into a Star Trek episode

Every time I lock myself into this room.

Opening the pages of my journal transports me,

Where it is safe to list my joy or gloom.


My little space here in the laundry room

Turns into a method of transportation.

I can beam myself down or beam myself up.

I can relive my sadness or days of celebration.


Example #2

Original 10-min free-write.

Prompt: “When I write…



Sometimes I fear

Others will hear

The gears

Going round and round


As my mind grinds on

And completes the song

With the best

Words that can be found.


There are times that I close

My eyes, (not my nose

Though the results

May smell like a skunk),


While with ink black or blue,

I doggedly trudge through

Internal sounds,

To sort out the junk.


Final draft:

WHEN I WRITE ---Or De-fuming the Skunk



Sometimes I fear

Others will hear

The gears

Going round and round


As my mind grinds on

To complete the song

With the best

Words to be found.


There are moments I close

My eyes, (not my nose

Though the results

May smell like a skunk)


While with ink black or blue,

I doggedly trudge through

Noises within,

To sort out the junk.


But with some time

And rewritten lines

The story

Takes shape bit by bit


For the skunk is de-fumed

As I clear out the room

Of my mind

And find words that will fit

Example #3

8 minute free write. Prompts were: “I come from…”  or  “In my pocket…”


I Come From Somewhere In The East


Closed, sealed off and put away

The secrets of what went before

Will have to wait for someone else,

Another time to be explored.


They’re nothing so unusual,

The same as any family

But non-the-less they are

Secret as any secret ought to be.


I come from somewhere in the east

Maybe Pennsylvania, or Georgia or Maine.

That is just one of those secrets which

Until uncovered, can’t be explained.


Why the stories of the journeys

Were kept unspoken and hidden,

Can only be speculated upon,

Maybe finally revealed when bidden.


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