Poetry: Poem Walk Sampler

Poetry: Poem Walk Sampler

When I first thumbed through a copy of poemcrazy at the local library, I fell instantaneously and poemcrazyirrevocably head over heels.

It’s so much more than a book about writing poetry.

It’s a writer’s bible.

A creative’s passport to revolution.

A reader’s direct connect to nirvana.

The opening chapter introduces the concept of poem walks. Simply put, they are walks taken with the intention of making observations to capture on paper – while en route or after arriving home. A snapshot taken with words, if you will.

I like to call this Regular Jane and Joe Poetry because everyday people like you and I are perfectly suited to write this kind of poem!

We don’t need a literary degree. We don’t need to be familiar with the elements of poetry. We don’t even need to like poetry as we know it from high school English!


The Poem Walk Recipe:

All you need is your five senses, a dash of emotion, and a bit of wordplay!

The Five Senses

  1. See
  2. Hear
  3. Smell
  4. Touch
  5. Taste

It’s easy to remember these by associating them with their corresponding body part

  1. See = eyes
  2. Hear = ears
  3. Smell = nose
  4. Touch = hands
  5. Taste = mouth

Once you have your five senses tuned in, add emotion and wordplay to create your poem walk!


How It Looks In Practice

Here are the notes I captured for my poem walk Desert Evening.

  1. See: few streetlights, strange night sky, shadows,
  2. Hear: sand across the road, silence, rustling shrubs, wind whipping
  3. Smell: nothing of the desert
  4. Touch: cold, wind burnt,
  5. Taste: *doesn’t apply here*
  6. Feelings: tired after long weary drive, alone on twilight walk, scared by noises, glad to get back into house


How it looks once I put it all together:

Poem Walk: Desert Evening

Long drive. Need to stretch. Past sundown. No sidewalks. Asphalt or sand. Streetlights are sparse as trees here. Breeze nips my ankles. Feels good. The cool blue of the desert in spring is a beautiful thing. Sand skitters under my shoes. Inky clouds waltz overhead.

The streets are strangely scentless. No blooming trees like the valley at home. No traffic or voices or television noise. Just the rustle of the quickening wind through shrubs and the far off cry of coyotes. Run fast little jack rabbits. Alone in the gathering night I move faster too.

The cold shadows of the desert evening have grown rife with ominous portent. Nature gathers her brute forces under a tattered skirt of murky skies. Rounding the last corner, the wind sinks its claws through my sweater and strikes bone. Under a malevolent moon, I scurry up the drive and into the light and warmth of home.


The Simple Equation

Five senses + emotion + wordplay = Poem Walk


The Bullish Ink Poem Walk Sampler


Poem Walk: Canine Perspective

Prancing in the warm sun. Everything smells good. Vegetation. Trash. Food wafting from houses. A man stands in our way. I growl a warning to my lady. She clucks reassurance and we walk on by. He doesn’t smell so good. Ruins my scent vibe for a moment. But then we come to the hydrant. It’s the only one on our route. It’s my Mecca. My newspaper. My information station. All the neighborhood gossip ripe for the reading. I know she hates standing here so long but I take my time. Swooping pigeons interrupt my concentration, little feathered fools. Where the sidewalk ends, a goathead lodges between my toes. I hobble two steps before my lady lifts me, removes the sticker, and carries me a block. A natty dog rushes me at the park. I bark him a piece of my mind. My lady stops to gather dandelions for the reptile upstairs. I demonstrate my disapproval by flopping in the grass and refusing to move. She carries me the rest of the way home. I growl at the crows on the fence, putting them on notice. I am canine. Hear my bark and scatter, rapscallions. It is a good day.