Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Beginnings

Chicken egg 2009-06-04.jpg               
Joseph Crawhall - White Hen And Chickens.jpg

White Hen And Chickens by 
Joseph Crawhall III 

“Since when," he asked, "Are the first line and last line of any poem where the poem begins and ends?”  ― Seamus Heaney
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” 
― Lao Tzu                    

Not knowing when the Dawn will come,
I open every Door,
Or has it Feathers, like a Bird,
Or Billows, like a Shore—

Beautiful World - In The Beginning

Midweek Motif ~ Beginnings

The question of "how to begin" has generated books upon books in every game and every field, and the answers are still not exhausted.  Yet things begin, and often before the visible and public (or private) beginning.  Consider how a flower opens.  Would you count its beginning in the bud?  in the seed?  in the idea of  a flower?  

Your Challenge: In your new poem, trace a thing, event, or action back to its true or imagined beginnings.

Casting on

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 
In what distant deeps or skies. 
Burnt the fire of thine eyes? 
On what wings dare he aspire? 
What the hand, dare seize the fire? 
And what shoulder, & what art, 
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 
And when thy heart began to beat, 
What dread hand? & what dread feet? 
What the hammer? what the chain, 
In what furnace was thy brain? 
What the anvil? what dread grasp, 
Dare its deadly terrors clasp! 
When the stars threw down their spears 
And water'd heaven with their tears: 
Did he smile his work to see? 
Did he who made the Lamb make thee? 
Tyger Tyger burning bright, 
In the forests of the night: 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

excerpt  from Elegy in Joy  By Muriel Rukeyser

We tell beginnings: for the flesh and the answer,
or the look, the lake in the eye that knows,
for the despair that flows down in widest rivers,
cloud of home; and also the green tree of grace,
all in the leaf, in the love that gives us ourselves.

The word of nourishment passes through the women,
soldiers and orchards rooted in constellations,
white towers, eyes of children: 
saying in time of war What shall we feed?
I cannot say the end.

Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings.
Not all things are blest, but the
seeds of all things are blest.
The blessing is in the seed.

This moment, this seed, this wave of the sea, this look, this instant of love.
Years over wars and an imagining of peace.  Or the expiation journey
toward peace which is many wishes flaming together,
fierce pure life, the many-living home.
Love that gives us ourselves, in the world known to all
new techniques for the healing of the wound,
and the unknown world.  One life, or the faring stars.

Start Close In

by David Whyte
Start close in, don’t take the second step or the third, start with the first thing close in, the step you don’t want to take.

. . . . 
(Read the rest HERE.)

"Large streams from little fountains flow, 
Tall oaks from little acorns grow."
(D. Everett in The Columbian Orator, 1797)
Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—
(Next week Sumana’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Vision.)


  1. Cheers for an excellent prompt Susan - I have been busy with it last night and this morning.
    It is of course true...
    Anna :o]

  2. Good morning, Poets United! It's a NEW day, and a peaceful one, I hope. Global Poetry Month is moving briskly forward, and I'm expermenting a lot--including writing without comments. The form is gone for the month of April, but it will be back in May. Feel free to email me if you wish.

  3. PS Forget to mention I will be off wallpaper-stripping for a few hours and then will return to read others.

    Susan - I clicked on your email on 'About Me' and nothing happened. So I will say here: Your words are beautiful, beautifully serene. Faith is a very personal thing and yours must be the most wonderful thing.
    Anna :o]

    1. That's strange. It only works by right clicking and selecting "copy email." Thank you for your words.

  4. Another amazing prompt Susan! Happy Wednesday everyone!

  5. "when wooded acres
    offered pines and moss
    to wonder, offered
    dawn and
    spring.".....Aah...the first awakening to Mother Earth's beautiful, Susan.

  6. A good prompt which I combined with the Toads prompt. Hope it works! Susan, your poems are on fire this month. A feast, each one!

  7. A challenging prompt, Susan, and in the end I came up with a haiku!

  8. A wonderfully interesting prompt Susan - thank you! Infinite possibilities, and it just so happened to sort of subliminally slip into what I had/needed to write today, so I've linked it up here, as well as over at Toads. I think it's more than "right" thematically, but some may find the content a bit "hard." I make no apologies or disclaimers, for not being everyone's "cup of tea" but if you or any of the other moderators here feel it really has no business being here, please excise my link, I won't be upset.

    1. I'm delighted you brought such an intriguing poem to share. Visit the rest of us, yes?

    2. oh yes, I'm making my rounds as the day continues, and enjoying myself quite well :) always a pleasure to read along see the wealth of amazing happening :)

  9. Happy Wednesday, Poets! It feels wonderful to come back to PU again- … there’s no feeling quite like it, actually. :) Perfect timing for where I am right now. I had a small taste of stepping back when I didn’t do much of writing for months.... Hope the stresses ease up … and the fear too.And I start writing like before...Amen!
    Thank you, Susan. I begin with your wonderful prompt...

    1. It feels wonderful that you are here!!!!! Have no fear--we are gentle and loving. I join your hopes, as I've had--we've all had extraordinary stress lately. Thank you.

    2. Welcome back Panchali di. So lovely to see you here.

  10. Good Wednesday everyone

    much love...


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