01 Apr

And so the work of writing a poem a day begins…


Image: Pixabay


it starts with pen on paper
it’s scribbles and cross-outs and trying again
it’s squeezing eyes shut to focus
it’s herding cat-thoughts
into an orderly, logical line
it’s silence
no music, the door closed
no one dropping into my office to chat

it’s following arrows and numbers
to read through the mess
of what I’ve written to this point
to “hear” what’s next
it’s ideas finally snapping into place
it’s the moment I switch
from writing desk to computer
prop messy sheets on the stand
it’s beginning to type

it’s feeling this thing I’m making
—a sculpture with words—
under my fingers
it’s making keyboard adjustments
as surely as if I used a file on wood
it’s reading to check tautness of ideas
flow of words, it’s tinkering
adding a word here, taking one out there
with an eye on word count

it’s saving, printing
putting it in a folder to cool
it’s going downstairs
flicking on some frivolous TV show
and resting my brain
that is now exhausted and mellow

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)


Prompt or inspiration:

The poem above was inspired by this April 9, 2015 prompt at Poetic Asides:

For today’s prompt, write a work poem. For some folks, writing is work (great, huh?). For others, work is teaching, engineering, or delivering pizzas. Still others, dream of having work to help them pay the bills or go to all ages shows. Some don’t want work, don’t need work, and are glad to be free of the rat race. There are people who work out, work on problems, and well, I’ll let you work out how to handle your poem today.


VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some previously written but not-as-yet published poems out of storage. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to type it into comments and share your take on the subject with us. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!


Posted by on April 1, 2017 in Personal, Writing


Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 responses to “work

  1. Karen Eastlund

    April 1, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Violet: I really like this poem, the many small steps and adjustments that take place in the birth of a poem. I don’t know if I can write a poem a day, but you have challenged me!


    • Violet Nesdoly

      April 1, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Thanks, Karen! It’s interesting to break a job down into small steps. I’ve just baked a batch of cookies, trying out my Christmas food processor. I doubled the recipe and therefore gave myself more work than I needed to (as the bowl got too full and I had to dirty another bowl). Maybe there’s another poem there. 😉



  2. Karen Eastlund

    April 1, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Haha… Violet! I did that one time myself, doubled a recipe without considering that it was my mother’s recipe, and that there were 10 kids in our family. I also had to move to a larger bowl, and ended up with 8doz or so cookies. They were good… but … I had a mound of cookies.


  3. bookseedstudio/ jan

    April 1, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Yes! work is spot on, Violet!

    Every step of the way it feels as if I have wandered this same path, especially
    Thursday, before I sent some poems off, I was doing this:

    “it’s following arrows and numbers
    to read through the mess
    of what I’ve written to this point
    to “hear” what’s next”
    c. Violet Nesdoly 2017

    I hope to see this in print some day.

    In the meantime, would you kindly give me permission to share it in notes on paper
    with my critique group of three writers that meets in my home? I know Ann M. Debra K. & “M.R.”
    (she goes only by initial for her 1st name) for a long time & feel they would appreciate it like I do.


    • Violet Nesdoly

      April 1, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      Thank you so much, Jan! Yes, for sure share it with your group if you like. I’d be delighted if it resonates with them.




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