whiteout: letting your poetic words breathe freely


Poetry writing can become a bit stale if we fail to vary our method of execution. Yesterday, I brought an offering of magnetic poetry to the table. Sometimes it’s a haiku or three, maybe other forms of micropoetry or an ode, or sonnet, can be seen.

Today I am joining in with a bit of whiteout poetry where words emerge from shaded darkness whited out, looking to escape their confines and fly like birds, freed from a cage of conformity.

My first attempt has been inspired by a post on my adventurous poet friend, Kat Myrman’s site. The link up is available here if you also fancy some poetic fun, whereby we draw words out from a given poem, creating one of our own in the process. Here’s this week’s poem to work with….

February Elegy by Mary Jo Bang
© Mary Jo Bang

This bald year, frozen now in February.
This cold day winging over the ugly
Imperfect horizon line,

So often a teeth line of ten buildings.
A red flag
In the wind. An orange curtain is noon.
It all hurts her eyes. This curtain is so bright.
Here is what is noticeably true: sight.
The face that looks back from the side

Of the butter knife.
A torn-bread awkwardness.

The mind makes its daily pilgrimage
Through riff-raff moments. Then,
Back into the caprice case to dream
In a circle, a pony goes round.

The circle’s association: There’s a center
To almost everything but never
Any certainty. Nothing is
More malleable than a moment. We were
Only yesterday breathing in a sea.
Some summer sun
Asked us over and over we went. The sand was hot.

We were only yesterday tender hearted
Waiting. To be something.
A spring. And then someone says, Sit down,
We have a heart for you to forget.
A mind to suffer
With. So, experience. So, the circus tent.
You, over there, you be the girl
In red sequins on the front of a card selling love.
You, over there, you, in black satin.
You be the Maiden’s Mister Death.


Frozen February

Frozen now in February—this cold day

flapping in the wind—it all hurts her eyes

so bright…

Here is what is noticeably true:

the mind makes its daily pilgrimage

through riff-raff moments

There’s a centre to almost everything

but never any certainty

We were only yesterday tender-hearted

waiting to be something:

a spring, a mind to suffer with

You, over there, you be the girl

selling love

You, over there, you…

be the Maiden’s Mister Death


poetry for all seasons: introducing magnetic monday


In this wintry season my soul leans more toward penning poetry than prose. Strangely, I tend to think more poetically when plagued by fatigue. Though I firmly believe that writing, poetic or otherwise, is fired and inspired by and transcends all seasons.

Sometimes it pays to keep things brief, because being concise can still speak volumes as it concentrates the thoughts. And trying something new can energise a weary woman (or a flagging poet), reigniting the writer’s fire within as we take a fresh stance or have a different spin on things.

I’ve been inspired to try my hand at magnetic poetry. It’s relaxing and fun to do, even if trying to compile it into an image can be a bit tricky! You don’t have to strive for a rhyme or worry about flow, just choose words you love the sound or shape of, as I have done here.

My lovely creative friend, Kat Myrman, is a past master (mistress?) of the art. Her sweet ‘Winter Song’ post here led me to the creation of the poems below. Here’s my first attempt using the Nature set of Magnetic Poetry…

Forest Frost

Cold river breeze

bright flowers blanketed

by thick frost

dark moist green

& wet forest moss

breathes soft beneath

sacred night path



And here’s the next one…

Summer Dusk

earth is dusk as I

watch light summer cloud

dark wild rose flower

bee breathing out between

her bright fertile color (colour)

shades of verdant

lichen tendrils rustle

like leaves in

a breezy lake



You can find the Magnetic Poetry Nature set online here. Other sets are also available to try out.  Do check out Kat’s beautiful blog. She is seriously talented in many creative ways.

This is the start of what I will call Magnetic Monday. If all goes well, a poem or more will find its way into your inbox on a regular, if not weekly basis. Hopefully, these short poetic missives will help to dispel the blues and bring some light relief, especially if you have a go yourself. Happy writing!

“The beauty of this world is Christ’s tender smile coming to us through matter” ~ Simone Weil