Friday, June 25, 2021

Poetry Sisters Tackle the Zentangle

This month's challenge was to compose a zentangle poem.  Kat Apel does a really nice job describing them on her site. This is similar to blackout poetry, though doodles and lines are used to block and frame the words. 

All of these poems come from pages found in Maugham's Choice of Kipling's Best, published by Doubleday & Company in 1953. I found this at a thrift shop, so even though it sets my teeth on edge to destroy a book, I've committed to using this one for experimenting with this form.

When we met on Sunday I chose a page and wrote all the words that looked promising for a poem, in order, on a large sheet of paper. I underlined words that I thought might work together, and wrote a poem. Then I went back with another color and tried again.

When I felt like I had something, I boxed the words on the page. Sara suggested connecting the words, so I did, hoping for some organic shape to appear.

Here's the poem. 

smoke and shadow lay long
woods full of scents and sounds
pretty things lark about
sit still

Of course, after I boxed them, I realized I didn't like the ending and should have done something different after "lark about," so I abandoned this one.

Before we met, I experimented with a page and a poem, but it's too busy and the words got lost, though I liked where the poem was going.
The hearts and flower are a bit much. Here's the untitled poem.

lovingly connected
without a word
caught in his eyes
hearts beating slowly
hands dropped
good enough to 
fill the silence

I wish that had been hearts beating quickly, but you can't change the words or the order in a poem like this, so it can be very frustrating. Perhaps this is a good way to generate a first draft of a poem.

The poem I landed on doesn't feel very zentangle-ish, but it's what I've got. Here is the page, some closeups, and the poem.

summer day
simple things
grass, sweet smelling
wind, light
friends together

My poetry sisters know that this last week has been hard. I've been struggling with some health issues, but in the midst of it all, my mother fell, had surgery, then suffered a stroke. She declined rapidly and was placed in hospice care on Tuesday. She has not woken since Wednesday. I can't be with her and am heartbroken about it. I'm finding it hard to write poems now, but I did manage this zentangle for her.

For June
I remember lots of things
the sea
your life
I have loved you
every minute
mother mine

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 
Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing villanelles on the topic of dichotomy - or, true opposites, if you will. Bifurcations. Incongruities. Paradoxes. Contradictions. We're talking Luke/Darth (or is that a false dichotomy, and they're two sides of the same coin??? Discuss), real/imagined, civilized/savage, winter/summer, function/dysfunction. Interested? Good! You've got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering (or someone else's) with the rest of us on July 30th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! (Thanks to Tanita for writing this bit!)

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise. Happy poetry Friday friends.


  1. Dear Tricia, I hope this time taken to create has given you some solace. i am sorry to hear about your mother, wish it weren't so as I'm sure you do, too. Words feel empty to replace your sadness, but I send my positive thoughts your way, hoping my care helps a little. Your final zentangle is enough.

  2. Tears. Your words carry so much. Love your smiles together, what a pair of bright stars you are.

  3. Oh my goodness, that June poem. LOVE. What a sweet sweet picture and poem. Great use of color in these other designs, and also I love the musical notes. xo

  4. The page from which you took your first one has so many good words, I'm sure something fun could be done with them - but oh, the permanence of this form! I really enjoy how you kept coming at things from a different angle. But the June poem is lovely - I was remarking just the other day to someone how fortunate we are to bear our mothers within our bodies. Even absent, they are present. ♥

  5. Oh, Tricia. My heart is breaking for you. My mom also had a fall, a surgery, and a swift decline. But I got to be with her. Your Zentangle for her is beautiful (words AND images/colors). Sending love and hugs (for your health, too).

  6. You have had such a difficult month after a difficult year! I am sorry you can't be with your mom. My mom died last April and I couldn't be there with her. I love all the poems you've done here but my favorite is the last one. Your poem "June" is so precious - speaking the truth of the love we hold, and how our mothers are always with us. So much love and hugs to you!!

  7. Tricia, I am so sorry about your mother. The zentangle is such a tribute to her, a beautiful poem for a loving mother. I lift your family up. May peace surround you.

  8. Love your process and several tries...the music notes on the page are so pretty. I'm terribly sorry you've been in the midst of this difficult time. What a lovely poem of remembrance. Be gentle with yourself. The words will come later. Thank you for posting this week.

  9. Tricia, wow, your Zentangles are beautiful. You did so many, and I liked each one. By the time I got to the end of your post, I was surprised to see the sad news of your mom's illness and transition to hospice. I'm so very sorry. That last poem and the photo are gorgeous..."I have loved you / every minute / mother mine" Beautiful. Peace to you and her.