My Challenge: Poetry Writing

Smoke and Ashes
(a poem from the bottom up)

Drifting slowly around my broken heart.

Turn into shattered memory pieces,

I watched it sadly

Has died forever.

Our love


Drifting slowly out the blackened chimney.

Turn into burning gray ash,

I watched it angrily

Has been burned.

Your letter


Visual Poetry

This poem is part of the poetry challenge I gave myself. I hope you like it.

I also want to thank Ellis of desk49 for helping me see poetry in a more visual way. He often plays with the form of his poetry, leaving visual cues.

For example, he wrote a poem I really liked called Ashes. When you can, hop over to this poem and see if you can figure why I think it’s a visual poem.

Thank you, Ellis:~)

Can you guess

Now, I couldn’t just put this poem up without a challenge for you, could I:~)

Hopefully, you recognize the visual aspect of this poem, but there’s also something else that’s different about it. Can you guess what it is?

38 comments on “My Challenge: Poetry Writing

  1. desk49 says:

    Thank you for the nice feed back.

    I see you can read this from the bottom up or the top down.
    .-= desk49´s last blog ..Thought- =-.

  2. desk49 says:

    Forget the Challenge
    1. It looks like smoke
    2. two arrows pointing at the chimnely
    3. read from bottom to top and top to bottom

    Lost Hope:

    Dreams are for the young at heart
    Heart once young, but now aged
    Age walks us through lost years
    Years it has tried to lead us home
    Home to a reality of unspoken truth
    Truth of lying dreams and false hope
    Hope dies at the feet of lost dreams

    Copyright ยฉ2006 Ellis William Moore
    .-= desk49´s last blog ..Thought- =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ desk49/Ellis — You’re very close about the challenge, but this something more in the structure of the poem. I liked “Lost Hope.”

      As always, thanks for stopping by, Ellis:~)

  3. This is really great, Sara.
    I love it — so visual and engaging. And, I really enjoyed reading up and then down.
    OH, and
    6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 : 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (brilliant!)
    Thanks for the mind candy this morning. ๐Ÿ™‚
    P.S. Thanks for introducing me to Tony Single, Sara. He’s camping out with me over at JBN. Come say hello if you have time. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    .-= Lori (JaneBeNimble)´s last blog ..Front Porch- Dreams- Laughter- and Comic Inspiration =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Lori — I can take a breath…thank you, thank you!!! I was worried that people might not figure out how to read this one…so you’ve made me feel better today. The icing on the cake is that you also figured out the other challenge.

      I am so pleased about Tony. I will stop by today:~)

  4. Linda says:

    Hi Sara,

    Very creative! I read it from the top down first like normal, then from the bottom up, and I liked it better that way. It flowed like the smoke from the chimney. I caught on to the visual aspect, as well as the number of words in each line, like Lori said. Excellent!

    • Sara says:

      @ Linda — Thanks!!! I’m glad this poem made more sense when you read it “bottom up.” I think it’s probably pretty confusing to read it the other way. Good for you! I’m also pleased the figured out the challenge.

  5. Alien Ghost says:

    Hi Sara,

    It seems a combination of poetry and mechanical work ๐Ÿ™‚

    1-Smoke coming out of the chimney (the drawing)
    2-Ascendent numeric amount of words (the feeling of sadness and anger being spread)
    3-Two arrows pointing to the chimney (from where the sad cry comes from)
    4-Poem seems to be written from the bottom up since we are reading the smoke, but still can be read from the top (to find the origin of the sad cry)

    Thatโ€™s amazing!

    .-= Alien Ghost´s last blog ..Donโ€™t Say Sorry! =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Alien Ghost — Thank you, kind sir. You definitely make me feel better:~) As I said to Lori, I was a bit worried about this one. I had a lot of fun with it, but would it work? It’s nice to see that worked even better than I intended.

      I say this because you and Ellis saw something that even I didn’t see — the arrows pointing to the chimney. In addition, I didn’t intentionally write it so that the feelings of sadness and anger were spread, but you’re right about that, too. Thanks.

      I also found out that visual poetry really exists!!! I’m sort on the periphery on the true meaning of this poetry style, but it IS fun and I get to use photographs! Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts about this:~)

  6. I love this, Sara! It’s a very creative piece and not just because I read the observations of the previous commenters. Thanks for the inspiration today!

    • Sara says:

      @ Belinda — You are welcome. I appreciate your comments. This was FUN to do and it amazes me that people see things in the form of the poem that I did intentionally put it…kind of cool!

      Thanks for sharing and welcome back from your vacation:~)

  7. Keith Davis says:

    Hi Sara
    I thougtht initially that the words of the poem formed a shape, but no.
    Then… the penny dropped.
    You can read it from the bottom up!
    I was going to try and do the same with my comment… but it’s been a long hard day.

    Clever poem, very clever.
    .-= Keith Davis´s last blog ..A splash of colour =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Keith — I am pleased you liked the poem and understand very well why you decided not to make your comment “bottom up!”

      I also appreciate your visit:~)

  8. Talon says:

    Very clever, Sara! And, as it’s coming from the chimney bottom’s up, seems like the perfect choice! Puffs of smoke, building up line by line. But a sad poem! I can only imagine what was in that letter~!

    And Ellis is a wonderfully creative man and always sees beyond the obvious which makes his poetry very special.
    .-= Talon´s last blog ..Thunder and Moonlight =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Talon — This was fun to do. It helps me write poetry this way, I think because I am so visual. I’m one of those people who’s absolutely terrible at regular crossword puzzles, but give me a “find the word” puzzle and I soar. I’m doing reading about right and left brain dominance, which is fascinating. It really has an impact on how one learns and adapts to the world.

      Thanks for the visit. I loved “Thunder and Moonlight” :~)

  9. Mandy Allen says:

    Hi Sara, I immediately read the poem from the bottom up, as that is what it says, then tried it the other way, wondered if it read as well both ways, but it didn’t work for me top to bottom. Splendid visual, really great verse.

    Enjoy the journey.

    .-= Mandy Allen´s last blog ..How do you relax =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Mandy — YEAH. I really happy you got from the get-go:~) Yes, I agree, I can’t read the other way either. Although, some of the people who commented remarked that they could.

      Thanks for the visit. BTW Your avatar looks like you are with a horse and dressed in show gear. Do you ride? My youngest daughter competed in show jumping until she went to college. We still have her horse:~)

  10. Tony Single says:

    Sara, y’know all the stuff that everyone else has been saying here about your fine poem? I thought that stuff too, and before they did. Even before you wrote the poem. I’m that good! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Seriously though, I do like the structure and word count of this very much, and I do like how you can read it either way. Reading it from top to bottom messes with the tense quite a bit, which feels right because it speaks to me of all the “only if” games we play with ourselves as we reflect on a relationship gone wrong… wanting to rewind and fix it is a normal, understandable thing to want to do.

    Brilliant! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sara says:

      @ Tony — I’m impressed with you psychic abilities:~) I like your “take” on reading top to bottom and how it reminds you of the “only if” games of a failed relationship…it’s neat that people are seeing such different things in this poem!

  11. Davina says:

    Hi Sara.
    I love this poem! What a great idea this was. You’ve reminded me of the left-brain and right-brain aspect of creativity. You’ve found a creative way to give structure to the flow.

    It’s so cool how you can read this up and down and how it visually simulates smoke rising from a chimney. I read it a third way too… from the bottom up after the line: “Drifting slowly out the blackened chimney” I moved to the line “Drifting slowly around my broken heart.” to segue the two mentions of drifting. So neat!
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..Where Iโ€™m from is Elementary =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Davina — WOW. Instead of a Picture Story….I sort of made a “poem story” because I am of what you and others are seeing in this poem. I wish I could take credit for the clever ideas that have mentioned, but I really just wrote the poem with the number in mind and the idea of it being smoke.

      I guess this goes to show me AGAIN…that people see things in their own unique way.

      BTW I loved the poem YOU wrote in your post, “Where I’m from is Elementary.” It was really lovely:~)

  12. Colleen says:

    The poem can be read from the bottom up, or from the top down. Very creative!
    .-= Colleen´s last blog ..Barnard Griffin Wineryโ€™s 5 for 5 at 5-00pm =-.

  13. Meredith says:

    Beautiful poem, Sara. I preferred the rhythm and meaning when read from the bottom up, as intended. And you also built a structure with the number of words. Very clever!

    By the way, I wasn’t able to get on your site, though I tried, on two different occasions, two different days. I got an error message telling me you’d used all your bandwidth — and I was worried something had gone terribly awry. Glad it’s all okay. ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Meredith´s last blog ..a tiny truth =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Meredith — Thanks about the poem. I know you couldn’t access my site. It was down for most of the weekend. Hopefully, the problem is fixed:~)

  14. I thought the challenge was to write a poem on here sorry. I see I missed it up again.
    .-= desk49/Ellis Moore´s last blog ..Off to War and Back Again- =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Ellis — You didn’t mess up. Your poetry is welcome any time. Beginning in July, I gave myself a challenge to write more poetry as it’s not a very comfortable style of writing for me. However, I have been inspired by people like you:~)

  15. Hilary says:

    Hi Sara .. too much brain power required just now! Love the poem – upside down or otherwise .. probably sideways too – though not sure what we’d do with the chimney ..

    Happy days .. Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Could this be a sitcom โ€“ or a break out sitcom Ever had a one word – at a time – conversation Fish and Chips โ€“ how do you spell it =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Hilary — the chimney is sort of floating in space, isn’t it. It was only illustrate the “smoking words.” I’m pleased you liked the poem:~)

  16. Hi Sara,

    Now neat. We can read your poem either way. I remember seeing something similar in the past, but didn’t know of anyone else who tried it. You accomplished that to a “t”.
    .-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..One Blog Title โ€“ 52 Ways =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Barbara — Thanks for your comment! What’s really an accomplishment is that I did this without knowing you could read the poem either way:~) I simply wrote a poem so you started at the bottom and made it look like smoke. The rest…well, maybe my muse decided to play:~)

      Thanks for the visit:~)

  17. Lovely challenge two verses word numbered 654321 – 123456. Except your poem really starts at the bottom going up i.e bottom verse (last word -up). Sad though with lost hopes and dreams ๐Ÿ™‚

    Wild Rose~
    .-= Julliette O (LarvK)´s last blog ..Gold on Film =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Wild Rose — Poetry is a challenge for me and I probably will never write poetry as beautifully as you do, but it’s been fun to just try to write it. I find it interesting that I wrote this poem as a visual poem, something I’ve never done before. Yet, it fits me as I am a very visual person.

      I agree that it’s a bit sad, but letting go can be that way:~(

      Thanks for your thoughts about this poem:~)

  18. Sara here’re a couple of more stories i wanted to share with you before i post my next poem and hope you enjoy them as well since you love stories. Will be giving you a piece here and there and feel free to share your thoughts which i love too ๐Ÿ™‚


    Have a lovely Wednesday~
    .-= Julliette O (LarvK)´s last blog ..Gold on Film =-.

  19. Kelvin Kao says:

    This reminded me of lantern poems, where the five lines have one, two, three, four, one word(s), respectively. When you stack them up (and make sure it’s center justified), it looks like a lantern!
    .-= Kelvin Kao´s last blog ..A Little of Everything =-.

    • Sara says:

      @ Kelvin — That’s cool. Ellis of desk49 did a really cool visual poem recently. It’s of a cup and saucer. I was very impressed. I’ll have to try your lantern:~)

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