How To Create A Poem Walk

When I first thumbed through a copy of poemcrazy at the local library, I fell instantaneously and poemcrazyirrevocably head over heels.

It’s so much more than a book about writing poetry.

It’s a writer’s bible.

A creative’s passport to revolution.

A reader’s direct connect to nirvana.

The opening chapter introduces the concept of poem walks. Simply put, they are walks taken with the intention of making observations to capture on paper – while en route or after arriving home. A snapshot taken with words, if you will.

I like to call this Regular Jane and Joe Poetry because everyday people like you and I are perfectly suited to write this kind of poem!

We don’t need a literary degree. We don’t need to be familiar with the elements of poetry. We don’t even need to like poetry as we remember it from high school English!

The HOW TO Section

All you need is your five senses, a dash of emotion, and a bit of wordplay!

The Five Senses

  1. See
  2. Hear
  3. Smell
  4. Touch
  5. Taste

It’s easy to remember these by associating them with their corresponding body part

  1. See = eyes
  2. Hear = ears
  3. Smell = nose
  4. Touch = hands
  5. Taste = mouth

Once you have your five senses tuned in, add emotion and wordplay to create your poem walk!


How It Looks In Practice

Here are the notes I captured during a walk at my father’s house in Nevada.

  1. See: few streetlights, strange night sky, shadows,
  2. Hear: sand across the road, silence, rustling shrubs, wind whipping
  3. Smell: nothing of the desert
  4. Touch: cold, wind burnt,
  5. Taste: *doesn’t apply here*
  6. Feelings: tired after long weary drive, alone on twilight walk, scared by noises, glad to get back into house


How It Looks After I Put It All Together: 

Poem Walk: Desert Evening

Long drive. Need to stretch. Past sundown. No sidewalks. Asphalt or sand. Streetlights are sparse as trees here. Breeze nips my ankles. Feels good. The cool blue of the desert in spring is a beautiful thing. Sand skitters under my shoes. Inky clouds waltz overhead.

The streets are strangely scentless. No blooming trees like the valley at home. No traffic or voices or television noise either. Just the rustle of the quickening wind through shrubs and the far off cry of coyotes. Run fast little jack rabbits. Alone in the gathering night I move faster too.

The cold shadows of the desert evening have grown rife with ominous portent. Nature gathers her brute forces under a tattered skirt of murky skies. Rounding the last corner, the wind sinks its claws through my sweater and strikes bone. Under a malevolent moon, I scurry up the drive and into the light and warmth of home.


Bullish’s Simple Poem Walk Recipe

Five senses + emotion + wordplay = Poem Walk

Now, go get your Poem Walk on!!


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