Tag Archives: post it note

Blackout Poetry – Another Questionable Attempt



Between us
the bond of
periods of separation
a box of dominoes
the anchor
we did not begin that game of
placid staring
The day 
was a benign unstained
Only the 
somber minute
angered by the
curved and imperceptible
a change
more profound
unruffled dignity
that comes and departs in the
abiding memories. Indeed nothing’s
than to evoke
its unceasing

After yesterday’s modicum of success with blackout poetry, I tried my hand at another (need to do something creative at the moment while I get my head back into shape to tackle some significant writing projects in January).

This page comes from Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness.” I studied this text in high school last century and thoroughly enjoyed it. Admitting at the time I didn’t quite understand the colonialism and inherent racism, it still holds as a powerful metaphor. Tie it with Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and you have a teenager’s existential orgasm. 

So, with that in mind, I wanted explored the idea of relationships through the text.

It’s a diversion from writing Post It Note Poetry (and a couple of other major works in progress) but I posit that flogging someone else’s idea to pursue something creative is better than nothing. Blackout, or erasure, poetry makes you look at words, their order and the meaning created. It opens your mind to see other possibilities, limited as it is by the choice of text, to create something new.

I encourage you to try it yourself. Or buy a colouring book and pencils. Do something to stimulate your brain. 

Where I Find My Poetry…

At band rehearsal this week (I play in a covers band for weddings and corporate functions) I scribbled this onto a scrap of paper between songs as the band rehearsed with a drummer who is filling in for me for an upcoming gig.

I’d had the title floating in my head for about a week and an idea of what I wanted to write. Originally I intended it to be a simple blog post about how I, as a writer and poet, find my inspiration and ideas. 

The idea was composting in my head and while I lounged behind the sound desk I scribbled this out.

Where I Find Poetry

Where I Find Poetry

while searching for loose change in my pocket
between the first splash of milk
when I make a cup of tea
and stir in the sugar
waiting for the hot water to come through
in the shower and I’m standing naked
getting cold
watching my indicator blink on/off on/off on/off
listening to the kitchen tap drip
no matter how often I change 
the washer
and touching your skin as the last thing
I do before I go to sleep.

What becomes more interesting is I took a photo and posted it to Facebook, rough and ready as it was. A good creative friend of mine made this comment: “This reminds my (in style) of Leunig, but I do that in praise of such an original piece. This needs to be a poster.” (Leunig is a well known and highly respected Australian cartoonist and writer)

Once it is published it is out of my hands. It is what it is to the reader and viewer. I see its faults and insecurities, the line breaks that don’t quite fit or the meter or rhythm of lines that are inconsistent, the ideas for improvement. 

But the reader and viewer engage with it as it is, seeing it as a finished product for him or her. It either resonates and connects or fails to spark and is ignored. And that’s fine.

It’s also, upon reflection, an accurate understanding of the focus of what I write about. I like the minutiae, ennui and detritus of the day-to-day because these actions, objects or circumstances have significance and meaning to a person. We are inspired and captivated by the videos flowing through social media of spectacular acts of heroism, generosity and compassion but it’s often the short videos of people doing simple, routine acts that bring us to tears because it reminds us we can make a difference. 

The seemingly insignificant has meaning and purpose to the individual and I want to explore what it means for the character and his or her life because it often reveals significant meaning and purpose.

I Found More Poetry Under The Lounge

 I find poetry in all kinds of places, often under the lounge and I found some more there recently.

Right now the end of winter is approaching here in the southern hemisphere (not that we had much of a winter where I live – what happened to those good old fashioned frosts we had as kids?) and with it the promise of hay fever, runny noses, itchy eyes and a cursing of all things frolicking. The first and last poems assembled here, Magnolias and Windy Days, are inspired by the wintery season.


As I drive past
The magnolia blooms
A thousand sunrises
Of pink to white and
A thousand sunsets
Of white to pink

Standing By

I stand in the longest corridor
possible, pretending I’m Red 5
barrelling down the trench
avoiding laser blasts
to my office door

The Last Page

When you close a book
Do you think it will be
The final time?
Never to peer
Between the pages and
Read the tongues of men

My Companion

I walked in darkness
But was never afraid
For I felt your hand
In mine, or around
my waist, looped over
my shoulder as my light


She watches
grandmother’s knitting
learns the art of rhythm
the pulse of long thin bones
curses the dropped stitch
like her grandmother

Windy Days

I imagine with each 
breath of wind
the trees ask
for our silence
a gentle ‘Shhhh’
simply to listen
to our own
Which poem resonates with you?

More Loose Scraps of Paper – Further Collected Micropoetry

Looking back through my posts I have collated more of the #micropoetry posted on twitter and posted here.

Stay tuned in the future for a book of micropoetry.


when did Outside
become an
undiscovered country?
whose unfenced boundaries
spark greater imagination
than the couch’s confines


She draws on the concrete
a chalk mandala
of wonky butterflies,
stick-figure people.
Tomorrow she will
draw another

Training Wheels

 I’m too old for these
she said
pointing to
the training wheels
He prays she will
never be too old
to trust
and hold
his hand


The gaining of knowledge
deteriorates with age
because we know
everything at 18
and realise
we know nothing
the older
we become

Toilet Seat

I deliberately
Use the bathroom
After you
And absorb the warmth
Of the toilet seat
To believe you
Still care

It Is Written

It is said,
“It is written”
The oral tradition
Of received wisdom
In a fortune cookie
Platitude while we
Forget to read
The written truth

Any favourites?

Lessons Learned From Post It Note Poetry

A month of #postitnotepoetry has elapsed and 28 poems have been written and posted.

It started in 2013 when Jodi Cleghorn and I threw out some whimsical ideas with definite boundaries: write a poem to fit on a Post It Note.

It was permission to write; write dreadfully, write with abandon, write without caring what the poetry sounded like. It was permission to be creative and spontaneous; limited and restrictive in a positive way.

And we did it. We gathered adherents and spawned a community. We wrote poems and posted them. And some of them were quite good.

And we did it again this year.

I wrote 28 poems in 29 days (the last week of February was a cracker for me so I missed a day or two, posted late, crammed a few into one day and wrote the last on March 1 after half writing it the night before).

Time to reflect, look into the Navel of Introspection and see if I can find a gem to inspire you. At the very least you’ll have some blue-grey lint to take home.

1. I can write every day (but it wears me down)

Some writers pursue the notion that they must write every day. It is an adage recounted by many writers via social media, and it has validity. I like the Jerry Seinfeld approach of ticking off each day I write or meet a quota, forming an unbroken chain.

But it doesn’t work for me. My day job and other commitments do not allow an unbroken chain. I prefer to work in short bursts rather than long periods of focused attention.

Every creative person has their own cycles of inspiration, creation, recreation, restoration, production. Rinse and repeat.

Find your own rhythm and know your cycles.

2. I can think of a new idea every day (but some need more time to develop)

Finding a new idea each day was in turns easy and difficult. It was in the news, something I read, an emotional response to a situation, daily chores or activities.

The execution of the idea was also in turns easy and difficult. The easy idea was sometimes difficult to write while the difficult idea sometimes can easy in the writing.

No method, often madness; always an idea.

Exhaustion, physical and mental, made developing an idea hard. Some ideas needed more time for composting (what I mean when an ideas sits in the back of your head for a while). For example, the last poem, Frankenstein’s Classroom, needed more time for refinement.

However, that runs contrary to the spirit of Post It Note Poetry.

Pushing an idea that is not fully formed may result in a piece of work that is substandard and editing will only highlight its weaknesses. Letting an idea form over time may mean the editing is easier. Your mileage may vary.

There are plenty of ideas out there for you to catch. Know your methods for trapping them in the pages of your notebook (physical or digital).

3. It’s a whole lot of fun to do (but it detracts from my main purpose)

Creativity is meant to be fun; that was the point initially. There is fun in the hunting down of ideas, capturing the thoughts and emotional response in words, and satisfaction in the completion.

And in doing something fun, I have found a new appreciation for poetry and I like writing it. I like the framework and boundaries a Post It Note provides, similar to the framework and limitations on twitter where I also post short poetry.

However, focused for a month on writing poetry has taken me away from my main purpose of writing my novella. The timing of #postitnotepoetry coincides with the beginning of the school year (I am a high school English teacher) and it is something short I can do during the busyness of the opening of the school year.

I want to return to my novella, which is happily composting in the back of my head while I make updated notes in my notebook. I’m also in the last stages of edits for my collaborative novel.

The brevity of Post It Note Poetry is something I will continue to do throughout the year because I believe in developing my creativity; I am undecided if I will return in 2015 for the trifecta.

Have fun with your creative acts.

That’s it from me for #postitnotepoetry 2014.

Time to buy shares in the company that makes Post It Notes or see if I can get a sponsorship from them and turn it all into a book deal.

Post It Note Poetry #28 – Frankenstein’s Classroom


Frankenstein’s Classroom

We created it in the 
school yard and the classroom
through faux sincerity
and tokenistic friendship
then snide commentary
whispered behind text books
followed by silence.
We mourned the death 
of what we created
not because we were wrong
but because we hadn’t 
attained perfection

Post It Note Poetry #27 – Lists


PINP 27Lists

I make lists
of Things to Do Today
or Before I Die
(whichever comes first)
Best Films to Watch
Albums to Buy
Best One-Liners as Comebacks
Girls I Wished I Kissed
Activities I Will Never Do
Reasons to Stay Home
Reasons to Go Out
Why Doughnuts Are the Ultimate
and why I can never
follow my heart

Post It Note Poetry #26 – Vocabulary



You have heard me speak
with articulate arguments
and clumsy utterances
stuttered, stammered sentences
whispered desires and fantasies
paraphrases of quotes
I think are funny
and lengthy diatribes
about the insignificant
yet I have not 
spoken a single

Post It Note Poetry #25 – Paper Aeroplanes


Paper Aeroplanes

he folds his words
into formations for flight
released into the void
to catch the nearest wind
some fall to the ground
as lifeless birds
others catch the draft
and drift over the horizon
an albatross with no land
he folds his words
and sends them
forth in flight

Post It Note Poetry #24 – Tethered



Tethered to the eternal
beyond the darkness
the rope bears my weight.
It is frayed
wispy tendrils floating.
A rope of three cords
is not easily broken
but it is easily picked apart.
I return to tying knots
to tether me
for one more day