Last Poem for the Big Tent

13 May

For its last prompt Big Tent asked us to:

Look over your recently written poem pile with the idea that giving is both noble & fruitful. Find a line or two from a poem and hand them over to the Big Tent community. Give us your favorites. Give us the wonderful lines that just didn’t fit your poem. Give us lines that seemed to come from some strange planet and plopped in your backyard.

Yes. Copy and paste a line or two and leave them in the comments (of this post). Don’t dilly-dally. Get them planted in the comments so folks have lines to pull from!

Then pick a line or two for yourself (from this lovely fecund pile) and write yourself a poem using this/these line(s) as your springboard. (Do give credit to your benefactor in your poem post.)

We used to do this in creative writing and it works well to kickstart something fresh. Here, with a little tweaking for the coherence of the poem, is my response:

Midnight Caught Me

Once I was folded up
and left to collect dust.
Bound in an imperfect form
I can’t recall the content
of those days, until

roots burst forth, fields
of red and yellow rooted
flowers contained
no longer by a shell;
not so silently from

the valley, a blue updraft
of dust and seeds and wings.
Grey bird turns yellow
when its wings open
and I come to the sound

of my soul singing.

With thanks to Big Tent, Cathy, Mr. Walker, gautami, Dick Jones, Elizabeth J, Henry Clemmons, Julie Jordan Scott, and Elizabeth C. The title is part of one of Joseph Harker’s lines.

Go on over for one last visit to the tent and read others’ efforts.


Posted by on 13/05/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , , ,

24 responses to “Last Poem for the Big Tent

  1. pamelasayers

    13/05/2011 at 11:36 am

    Margo, that is so darn good. I love every bit of it.


  2. margo roby

    13/05/2011 at 11:37 am

    Thank you, Pamela!

  3. 1sojournal

    13/05/2011 at 1:06 pm

    Ah, you caught that same drift, didn’t you? Love the manner in which you wove it all together, even that grey bird. I particularly like that last line, lol. This is a fun exercise and I used it in my classes as well. It does spark some different avenues and side glances to follow. Thanks Margo,


  4. margo roby

    13/05/2011 at 1:13 pm

    That last line is something, isn’t it Elizabeth 😉 Thank you! I think I will come back and tinker with this poem, hoping that the same thing applies as in the creative writing classes, that the lines are now ours to make what we will with them.


    • Deb

      14/05/2011 at 10:12 am

      Yes, yes! That’s the intent, to use these lines as your own.

      I love what you’ve done with these fabulous lines. Those are particularly gorgeous together. So glad you used the bird one!

      • margo roby

        14/05/2011 at 10:55 am

        Thank you, Deb. I was hoping it was, as I want to continue reworking this poem. I love the lines and want to make it a little more mine. Thank you again for all you and Carolee and Jill have given us. Enjoy your new [ad]venture.

  5. Brenda

    13/05/2011 at 1:30 pm

    Damn good writing, Margo. You put together an interesting piece for this ending. I love it. thanks

  6. Joseph Harker

    13/05/2011 at 2:10 pm

    Very cool… optimistic overall, and I love how suddenly the colors just explode out after the first verse.

  7. Mary

    13/05/2011 at 6:19 pm

    Margo, I really like what you did with these lines! The ending awes me!

  8. margo roby

    13/05/2011 at 7:11 pm

    Thank you, Mary. That is Elizabeth’s line and I am so glad to have been able to use it.

  9. Henry Clemmons (Effects of Light)

    13/05/2011 at 8:08 pm

    I come to the sound of my soul singing. Simply beautiful, and waaay talented using all of those lines and knitting them together to create such a patchwork of inspiring art. I loved this.

    • margo roby

      13/05/2011 at 8:18 pm

      Why, thank you, sir, especially as one of those lines is yours! This is one of my favourite ways to write poetry. I wish we could all trade lines more often. We all have a lot of unused lines kicking around.

  10. Cathy

    13/05/2011 at 9:05 pm


  11. vivinfrance

    14/05/2011 at 1:51 am

    This prompt has drawn some of the best poetry to be seen under the bug top. Yours is lovely, and the last line sends me off singing, too.

  12. vivinfrance

    14/05/2011 at 2:10 am

    You know I didn’t mean bug!: BIG top!

  13. margo roby

    14/05/2011 at 8:49 am

    I know, Viv, but anything than garners a laugh is good! I agree with you about the poetry. As an exercise with students I always loved this and wish a group of us now could do it occasionally: give away lines that don’t work for us…but really give them away, so we no longer have any claim to them. The last line is my favourite too, but it would be. It’s Elizabeth’s.

  14. Mr. Walker

    14/05/2011 at 9:38 am

    Margo, this is beautifully constructed. I love how you leave us hanging with “until” and “from” at the ends of those stanzas, pulling us into the next, and then that great last line. You did an amazing job weaving together those lines; thanks for using one of mine.


  15. margo roby

    14/05/2011 at 10:00 am

    Thank you for giving it, Mr. Walker. I mentioned in other comments how I wish we could set up line trades every now and then…giving away lines freely that haven’t worked for us. I love what can come from that and I loved your line.

  16. Dick

    15/05/2011 at 6:36 am

    Proud to be sitting at the top of the third stanza. This really works!

    • margo roby

      15/05/2011 at 8:43 am

      Please! I am thrilled to be using your lines, Dick. Thank you!

  17. nan

    15/05/2011 at 9:42 am


  18. margo roby

    15/05/2011 at 9:46 am

    Thank you, Nan.


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