Word Vacuum

This was written years ago before I had ever heard of poetic prompts. 

I thought that poems 
were word vacuums—
not the other way around. 
Could I make a poem 
from the word “swish,” 
or would an idea 
suck in a needed word 
like a vacuum picking up 
	cat hairs, 
	or unidentified squiggly things? 
Perhaps it works both ways. 
Sheryl Kay Oder

Poetic Meld

This poem was written as a result of the Poetic Asides Wednesday prompt (7/16/2008) to write for a particular audience. Since I had just written a poetic parody, I chose the Poetic Asides poets as my audience. The extended metaphor in this poem is an attempt to describe the process of such a parody.

Poetic Meld

Seek your favorite poet
and place your foot upon his
to create a poetic dance.

The bigger his shoe size
the lighter will be your own
weight as you begin to follow.

The wallflower notices little
of his graceful gliding,
so put him on your dance card

and feel the pattern
of his steps.
He will romance you

with his rhythms.
Soon you cannot pull away
no matter how hard you try.

Sheryl Kay Oder

Words out of a Box

Reading Misky’s blog reminded me of a class exercise I did using a word picture to describe love. That sent me scurrying to find a few short poems I wrote for that Online poetry class. This is one of those poems.

Words out of a Box

Poetry is words out of a box
falling on the floor
I wonder where they will land.
Can I pick them up again?

Sheryl Kay Oder

The Gift of Words

Recently, I have been rereading many of my poems. I had always thought I preferred the poems not written from a prompt. However, it amazes me how the prompts have directed me to write about so many everyday things. I have written poems about family, local sites, my Lord Jesus, my childhood. people I know, etc.

This poem is one most poets would identify with. It is a thankful poem (written as a prayer) based on a Poetic Asides Poem A Day prompt for April 4, 2008

The Gift of Words

Thank you, Lord
for the gift of words:

to wrap our thoughts in,
to play with,
becoming a lens to our world.

You gave us poetry and song

to exercise our brains,
bring clarity to feelings,
and feed our creativity.

Please teach me to treasure
such a gift,

of course,
to mostly treasure You.

Sheryl Kay Oder

Poetic Romp

This was written for the Poetic Bloomings prompt, A Must-Read Poet (June 16, 2013). The poem is to be a blurb we would like to appear on the back of our book of poetry. Of course we all flattered ourselves because we could. 😉 I used Earl Parson’s newly-minted form, Appreciation.

Poetic Romp

plies her word tag
in a poetic romp
chasing words and ideas
as they flit across the page.

Sheryl Kay Oder

We Real?, a Cento

This is a Cento I wrote for Poetic Asides on July 30, 2008. I repeated it today for Poetic Bloomings. A Cento is a poem which uses lines from other poets in order to create a brand-new poem.

We Real?, a Cento

We real cool-zero at the bone,
bouncing from typewriter to piano.

Many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
encourages the writing of more poetry.

Brillig, and the slithy toves
to find out what it really means.

“Pipe a song about a lamb.”–
Fancy unto fancy, like shining into shook foil.

“Every Q needs a U,”
Quoth the Milwaukee-talkie.

Poetry fills me with joy,
and that has made all the difference.

Sheryl Kay Oder

The poets I used (in order) are Gwendolyn Brooks (We Real Cool), Emily Dickinson (A Narrow Fellow in the Grass), Billy Collins (The Lanyard), Edgar Allen Poe (The Raven), Billy Collins (The Trouble with Poetry), Lewis Carroll (Jabberwocky), Billy Collins (Introduction to Poetry), William Blake (Introduction [to Songs of Innocence]), Edgar Allen Poe (The Raven), Gerard Manley Hopkins (God’s Grandeur), Ogden Nash (limerick beginning with line,”An Exiled Iraqi went back”), Edgar Allen Poe (the Raven), Ogden Nash (limerick beginning with line,”There was a young girl of Milwaukee”), Billy Collins (The Trouble with Poetry), and Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken).

Poetry vs. Life: In This House

Anyone who enjoys writing has a battle between everyday life and writing poetry.

In This House

In this house the cobwebs
creep out the window
and meet the climbing ivy.
Books are piled so high
an avalanche could occur.

The poet sits in quiet contemplation
unaware of impending domestic doom
as he sweeps the extra words
from his page and cleans
the meter of his lines.

Sheryl Kay Oder

Word Tag

How they t 
                                      from my mind─
        these words─ 
Like unruly children
                                      quickly running to recess. 

I want them to play a game with rules. 
"No", they say, SPORTING on the page;
"Come be our playmate.
"Don't line us up in S 


I try so hard to tag them 
As they scurry  
Left                          and                                right                                                   
Before my eyes.

  Sheryl Kay Oder