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Take one of your poems that you’ve not fully appreciated and devote as much time as you have today to show it how great it can be—someday, if not today. Tidy it up. Cut out the unnecessary stuff and add to it what’s missing. Shape it. Read it out loud to yourself to see if the right words are in the right order. Call it a Real Poem, even if deep down you think it’s not a real poem. Feel astonished with yourself for writing poems, and for having been so brave and so creative and so willing to take risks. Thank yourself, as I think you, for sharing this time, and yourself, with us. Rest afterward, for a week or so, and then give the same honor to all of your freewrites. Come back to them and be surprised at all the things you’ve written that you didn’t know you could write. Linger as long as you like over your freewrites. Eventually you’ll recognize in them the poem they’ve prepared you to write. Then rip them to pieces or dip them in liquid gold. You’ve got this. You don’t need prompts now. Now you need to call yourself a poet and write poems.

Out the Window
By MP

The cedar and the birch stand framed in the windowpane;
The sun dances upon wet needles
And paints the paper curls;
See our color,
Feel our texture --
There is good within your reach.

Floral inspiration: An example of persevering in the face of adversity v. 1
By Renée Szostek


The brave crocus grows
even when it snows. Steadfast,
it knows spring will come.

Floral inspiration: An example of persevering in the face of adversity v. 2
By Renée Szostek


The brave crocus grows
even when it snows. Steadfast,
it knows winter goes.

Ash Tray Lies
By Deborah Rebeck Ash

I didn’t know they were lies when told we were expected to take them
Even though no one in our family smoked, that I knew of.
Grandmother acquired a collection of little dishes with tri-cut edges.
I remember their acquisition, presence, smoky aroma though washed.
Restaurants gave us “doggie” bags to take our uneaten food home
Even though we did not have a dog in our family.
You can understand why I took the interesting check-out counter item.
Age three in my parent’s arms, no one noticed until we got in the car.
Back inside we went to return my trinket. I did not get to buy it.
That’s when I learned not to take things. Even ash trays.

Time-Wounds
By Deborah Rebeck Ash

Time heals wounds and hurts.
It cannot comfort or soothe my aching spirit.
Overlooked, lost wounds pile in distant heaps
Locked. Tightly secured in my memory vault.
Does time do anything but continually pass?
Merely marching moment by moment
Immeasurable minutes memento mori.
Time wounds. Healing hurts.
Muscle memories stand guard.
Soul shields raise ready
Shutting out harm.
These are my time-wounds.
Closed. Sealed not healed.
Days, weeks, months, years pass
Distancing my pain from secret settled scars.
The body rebuilds and rectifies past damages.
Revealed, reckoned and released injuries repair.
Healing happens when we allow it.