Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Looking Up

I threw my back out a few weeks ago and have spent a lot of time on my back staring at the ceiling. It would have been so much nicer to recline in the grass and stare at the sky, but alas my immobility and the cold prevented that. Whether you're bird watching, star-gazing, cloud watching, plane spotting, or just plain enjoying the sun on your face, there's a lot to be said for looking up. While looking up literally can be a lot of fun, looking up figuratively has it's benefits too (you know the power of positive thinking and all).

So, let's write about looking up. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results later this week.


  1. Here I picture citizens of Metropolis looking up and shouting, "It's a's a's..." and then falling super-silent.

    After Superman’s Death
    By Steven Withrow

    Lex Luthor marries Lois Lane.
    They honeymoon on Mars.
    On Earth, an elevated train
    Goes plunging into cars.

    The Daily Planet’s put to bed
    When Perry White resigns,
    And Jimmy Olsen’s blog is read
    By dowagers online.

    Bizzaro, Zod, and Brainiac
    Take over City Hall,
    And chuckle when a gas attack
    Kills thousands at the mall.

    Far north, a crystal fortress stands
    As empty as a dent.
    Back east, the condo board demands
    Arrears from deadbeat Kent.

    Copyright 2011 by Steven Withrow. All rights reserved.

  2. “Things
    are looking up”—

    like needles, potatoes and
    lace-up shoes
    all turn their eyes to the


    Perhaps potatoes are content to gaze up
    out of the earth
    out of the darkness of root cellar or
    cupboard under the sink
    into ground-level daylight.

    Maybe needles push sharply up
    from the conundrum of their cushions
    (both rough and soft),
    They spin on their points, seeking a better view
    of the unstrung world,
    but something like a loose lash
    keeps getting in the way.

    The shoe has a better chance: looking up
    with eyes so small as to be eyelets,
    but many,
    laced together into one long
    compound eye. Do they get
    glimpses of the rest of the body,
    blurred motion of walking, streak of blue midnight?

    When things
    are looking up,
    what do we see?

    ~Heidi Mordhorst 2011
    ARR matey

  3. Hope you feel better soon! Thanks for inspiring this haiku:

    The economy's
    Either looking up or down.
    Depends on your stance.

    Mad Kane's Humor Blog

  4. Heidi, I like that very much, esp. the shoe view! (The needles remind me of Sylvia Plath's mushrooms.) Mine's autobiographical, I admit.

    Musings of a Young Philologist

    I look up words in the dictionary:
    each one gleams like a toy planet.

    Today I found "recalcitrant."
    Next time my little sister
    gets that thrust-chin look,
    I'm going to call her that.

    I've always liked 12-letter words
    better than 4-letter ones.

    --Kate Coombs, 2011, all rights reserved


    There is no certainty--
    much is contingent on
    the caprice of sun
    and showers.

    Yet, within its crinkling
    purple paper thin skin
    the heart of the bulb
    aligns itself.

    With a persistent push
    heavenly green rewards
    whatever gods exist
    in the firmament.

    Then, with a jubilation
    of pink, an acclamation
    of fragrance--hosanna,
    hosanna, hosanna


    © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

    I've been forcing a bulb this past month. I'll post a picture on Random Noodling on Friday.

  6. Hi Tricia ~ I started a poem last week about my poetry residency with a wonder-filled class of 4th graders and this challenge helped me to finish it. Thank you!


    I lie in bed
    staring at the idle
    ceiling fan   languishing
    through winter's long months
    now on vacation from its
    usual summer gig
    and I consider
    what kernel of
    wonder   dare I share
    with the fourth graders
    tomorrow    what new view
    of poetry can I plant
    into hearts of these
    fledgling poets
    these gleaners of
    fresh engaging words
    that scatter before them
    ready to be picked.

    © Carol Weis, all rights reserved

  7. I have decided to publish my first digital collection of poems, Crackles of Speech. Please email me at if you’d like to receive a free PDF of the book. Thanks!


  8. Late again, but... Here's a verse I wrote a long time ago that might fit this category:


    Then blinding white
    against pure blue;
    Now curtains,
    gunmetal grey.
    Once opening me
    to open you;
    Now shutting
    our dreary day.

    But I've pushed through
    the heavy drapes;
    The blue's still there,
    I've spied!
    You should see
    the brilliant shapes
    Just up there,
    on the sunny side!

    Copyright 1997 Terrell Shaw
    All rights reserved