Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Invisibility

Image result for The poet ranks far below the painter in the representation of visible things, and far below the musician in that of invisible things. Leonardo da Vinci

“It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. 
The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” 
― Oscar WildeThe Picture of Dorian Gray

“All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others.” 

“I don't know why people are so keen to put the details
of their private life in public; they forget 
that invisibility is a superpower.” 
― Banksy

“Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible; 
and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands.” 

“ I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in a circus sideshow, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination- indeed, everything and anything except me.” 

“The people stared through her as though she were invisible until she thought she was, and walked more easily then, just a cloud reflected in a stream.” 

Midweek Motif ~ Invisibility

(The motif you suggested.)

Your Challenge:    [             ] 
in a new poem, please.


by Carl Sandburg

IN the newspaper office—who are the spooks?
Who wears the mythic coat invisible?

Who pussyfoots from desk to desk
 with a speaking forefinger?
Who gumshoes amid the copy paper
 with a whispering thumb?

Speak softly—the sacred cows may hear.

Speak easy—the sacred cows must be fed.


by Alicia Ostriker, 1937
Do you remember our earnestness our sincerity in first grade when we learned to sing America
The Beautiful along with the Star-Spangled Banner and say the Pledge of Allegiance to America
We put our hands over our first grade hearts we felt proud to be citizens of America
I said One Nation Invisible until corrected maybe I was right about America
School days school days dear old Golden Rule Days when we learned how to behave in America
What to wear, how to smoke, how to despise our parents who didn’t understand us or America
Only later learning the Banner and the Beautiful live on opposite sides of the street in America
. . . .
(Read the rest HERE. From Poems for After the Election by
Excerpt from All the Women Caught in Flaring Light

Related Poem Content Details

Imagine a big room of women doing anything, 
playing cards, having a meeting, the rattle 
of paper or coffee cups or chairs pushed back, 
the loud and quiet murmur of their voices, 
women leaning their heads together. If we 
leaned in at the door and I said, Those women 
are mothers, you wouldn’t be surprised, except 
at me for pointing out the obvious fact. 
Women are mothers, aren’t they? So obvious. 
Say we walked around to 8th or 11th Street 
to drop in on a roomful of women, smiling, intense, 
playing pool, the green baize like moss. One 
lights another’s cigarette, oblique glance. 
Others dance by twos under twirling silver moons 
that rain light down in glittering drops. 
If I said in your ear, through metallic guitars, 
These women are mothers, you wouldn’t believe me, 
would you? Not really, not even if you had come 
to be one of the women in that room. You’d say: 
Well, maybe, one or two, a few. It’s what we say. 
Here, we hardly call our children’s names out loud. 
We’ve lost them once, or fear we may. We’re careful 
what we say. In the clanging silence, pain falls 
on our hearts, year in and out, like water cutting 
a groove in stone, seeking a channel, a way out, 
pain running like water through the glittering room. 
I often think of a poem as a door that opens 
into a room where I want to go. But to go in 
here is to enter where my own suffering exists
. . . . 
(Read the rest HERE.)
Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others  in the spirit of the community.  AND: please put a link to this prompt with your poem.  (Next week Sumana's Midweek Motif will be ~ Hyperbole ~ Stretch the Truth)


  1. Thank goodness for poems that make the invisible, visible...

  2. Good morning, dear Poets. I'm feeling joyful today--as if even the US election didn't matter, as if hanging out with Poets United is a tonic for the heart after which temporal reality is easier to face. Have a great day and week and end of year!

  3. Cheers for the prompt Susan - I have been working on it for days. It is one of those poems thats theme changed as I wrote it, ended being totally different that that I had set out to do.
    The quote you provided by Ralph Ellison is superb, entirely appropriate.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

    1. Thank you, Anna. I love how you bring justice to a prompt. It's good to see you here.

  4. Hey everyone,

    Hope you guys are having an amazing day so far❤️sharing my poem "Divulge" thank you Susan as ever for lovely prompt and opportunity; this one's for you❤️

    Lots of love,

    1. Thank you, Sanaa! I claimed it even before I ead this comment!

    2. and thank you❤️ for your lovely comment! xo

  5. Love the way you put 'Your Challenge' Susan and enjoying the lovely poems by our dear poets...

    1. HaHa! I can't wait until yours! After that, gosh, maybe I have to deal with the World DAY of AIDs. Sigh, or at least lean toward it so the choice to focus there is up to each writer.

  6. Happy its Wednesday, i get to gather with you all here in the Pantry

    much love...

    1. I whole-heartedly agree. I hope you've been dancing in the full moon.

  7. Oh, the pain in the poem "All the Women......" Thanks for the prompt, Susan, and the inspiration. I have just remembered some very invisible souls.

    1. Apparently, there's some problem with your link, Sherry. Somehow could access the poem ... :(
      Can you please check?

  8. A haiku this time, Susan!! I just hope it makes sense...the prompt is absolutely thrilling.Thank you...

  9. What a lovely prompt! It reminded me of my own favourite quote about invisibility, which I used as the basis for my poem – but the poem took me in unexpected directions!

  10. Really appreciated this prompt, Susan!!

  11. I had an unplanned nap for 6 hours! Starting my day over at 8 pm. So sorry. But I am refreshed and glad this feast awaits!

  12. Thank you for another midweek - we apologise for our invisibility

  13. Susan I am late getting here, but wanted to share my poem.


    to see or not to see    perhaps that is the question    the woman named brenda

    with her little girl     waiting at the er     hours into long hours

    no one comes    or the young man    who seemed so lost

    no one came for him    or the young woman     beautifully black

    disabled/hurting    with tears sparkling on her cheeks     like diamonds

    if i don't see them    do they become invisible    go away

    disappear    how inconvenient     people who are poor

    people who are hurting    people who have no other place to go     people who are old

    people who are sick     the er is the only place for them    the nurses tired

    overworked     help/help     send someone to help

    November 16, 2016


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