Early Inspiration, Current Inspiration

I spent the spring of 1983 working my way through Gabriele Rico’s Writing the Natural Way: Using Right Brain Techniques to Release Your Expressive Powers. When first published by Tarcher it had a typewriter on the cover. A second edition, revised and expanded, was published in 2000. It has a computer on the cover and includes useful updates. It was a big help for me. Here are two poems that came from work with the book.



White teacup, half-full of tea,

does your close kept clay,

long held from earth,

yearn for that time when tea

could penetrate and dissolve it?



The Question

Comes an emptiness in this world,

a silent ringing,

a bright shadow,

that enters, fizzes in the blood,

boils clean the mind,

mirrors infinity,

opens me, quivering,

to ceaseless energy.

What shelter beyond this little house of bone,

soon dust?

What I beyond this question?


Gabrielle Rico’s website has loads of information and resources. She introduced the process of “clustering” which I still use. It’s also something that’s now a regular part of many writing classes.

Current Inspiration

Last July I took a one-day workshop, Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem Making, with John Fox organized by Ray McGinnis, author of Writing the Sacred: A Psalm-Inspired Path to Appreciating and Writing Sacred Poetry. Here are two poems from that day.

John’s website

Ray’s website

You’ll find good resources on both websites.


These Days

What you know keeps changing.

the sea of information floods toward you.

Learn to swim.

Loosen your hold and jump in.

Dive deep into yourself, deep into the sea,

find the pearl,

hidden by irritation,

by surface storms,

by the tumbled debris of old containers.

These days are the beginning of something new.

These days call for the pearl you’ve found.


Not Listening

Her news of chores completed, everyday encounters,

stay words; a recorded message with no response needed.

I am not listening; I am only on the phone.

I don’t hear the pleasure in her voice as she tells me about

her grandson’s request for advice,

the sadness when she mentions a call from an ill friend,

the pleasure in successfully reaching out to a new neighbor.

Her wish for my well-being isn’t felt, I am away somewhere

so unimportant I can’t remember where I’ve gone.

My heart contracts.

I realize what I’ve missed; what I’ve done.


Join the conversation: What was your early creative inspiration and what’s inspiring you now?


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