Poetry Friday: March Swagger Challenge

It’s the first Friday of March. Time for another Sunday Swagger Challenge. Each month, one member of my critique group poses a challenge for us all to respond to. This month, Margaret Simon posed a very flexible prompt: “Using any book, choose three page numbers. On the chosen pages, find one word to use. Write a poem.”

This seemed very manageable. One of my students has been reading Kate DiCamillo’s books, and Kate’s exquisite use of language has always inspired me, so I pulled a copy of Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures off the shelf and found these three words: variations, floating, glowing

An image of clouds came into my head as I considered these words. Here is the draft I came up with:


Tenuous ideas cling together,
like water droplets fusing
into wisps of clouds floating
in an azure sky.

Slowly, word by word,
a line forms.
Line follows line
until they coalesce 
into a poemling,
glowing with promise.

Maybe this baby poem,
fragile as it is,
is a variation on an old theme.

No matter.
Just as clouds come in all
shapes and sizes,
possibilities for poems
are infinite.

And so we keep on

Draft, © 2021, Catherine Flynn

Photo by Brett Jordan via Unsplash

Please be sure to visit my fellow Swaggers to read their responses to Margaret’s challenge:

Heidi Mordhorst @ My Juicy Little Universe
Linda Mitchell @ A Word Edgewise
Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche
Molly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort Zone

Then be sure to head to Kat Apel’s blog for the Poetry Friday Roundup.


13 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: March Swagger Challenge

  1. I really like this! It’s true that we’re so often writing variations on the same themes, but that doesn’t mean that what we write doesn’t have value. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this “a poemling,
    glowing with promise.”
    It makes me feel like our poems are babies to be nurtured and cared for. Ah, yes, sweet poem, come to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am definitely going to try this strategy for finding poem ideas! Thanks, Swaggers, for inspiring! Your poem resonates with me. I like how it “demonstrates” the way ideas start wispy and gradually (hopefully) coalesce.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love that you captured the essence of a poem, love “poemling” & the connection to cloud droplets. The idea of the three words has helped you all create some beautiful poems!

    Liked by 1 person

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