Of Reveries and Wordles

05 Feb

Happy Sunday, everyone. Hey. I gave you a day off, and I’ll post two poems in one so you have another day off tomorrow.

The first poem is a response to Brenda’s Wordle #42 and a response to Joseph Harker’s Reverie #5. No title as yet.

Another staccato rebellion,
abrupt — she cries for dubious
reasons — disconnected — ones
he can’t always figure out —
detached — breaks in an other-
wise peaceful marriage.

Long ago, he learned not to meddle
with the rhythm of her turmoils, to measure
the value of their love in her laughter.

When her angry, petulant face sends him
to the exile of his workroom, he sits
a while and contemplates the scar tissue
he has built up. Billows of metallic bile
dart into his mouth, as he puts the latch
to his thoughts and walks back out to stamp
on the fuses, to hug the ruins away.

Notes: It was the definitions of staccato that gave me the idea and, once started, the poem came fairly quickly. I had been working on another poem [see below] for Reverie #5, a silly one, because I wasn’t sure I could write a serious one that encompassed all the phonetic sounds, not in one week. Because I had been working on it, my brain must have been more open to hearing phonetic sounds and I noticed that the wordle poem had all the sounds but six. I tweaked.

I have all the sounds [I think] except ‘dark’ l, [x], and a glottal stop.

2nd poem in response to Reverie #5:


It’s a riddle. An enigma. An engma —


Engma provokes a squiggly red line.
The computer dictionary suggests enema
engram engage England engrave encamp
enchant encomium, is not happy with engma.

Engmas not allowed, not aloud. Maybe,

if I tap dance: I got rhythm, I got music,
I got… toe heel shuffle tap… a little bob
and weave,ย  a little Muhammad Ali,
float like a butterfly…

Red line still there.

Engmas must be hidden treasure
waiting for an Open Sesame.
Joseph would not lead us astray.

You, me, let’s have a think and,
after toiling and venting, the good
Lord willing, meet back here.

Zany, huh?


Notes: I think I have all sounds except [x], and I had that, but didn’t like the word in this poem, even if the poem is a silly one. I had fun with this and that helped me get over fear of phonetics.

During the week, visit both The Sunday Whirl and naming constellations ‘Reveries’ to read other’s poems. With these sites, people tend to drop off poetry all week.

Happy writing.



Posted by on 05/02/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , ,

40 responses to “Of Reveries and Wordles

  1. wordsandthoughtspjs

    05/02/2012 at 1:23 pm

    Margo, I just saw this in my inbox. Where to start… I love your wordled poem. It has a sadness throughout until the surprise resolve ending, a reconciliation? And your poem for Joseph’s prompt is delicious fun. You have the sounds dancing round and round. Good stuff here!


    • margo roby

      05/02/2012 at 2:47 pm

      Pamela, I’m thinking more a built-in way of accepting her vagaries [lovely old-fashioned word] and helping her to climb down from the emotional ledge she puts herself and them on.

      I enjoyed the phonetic treasure hunt once I had a direction I knew I could handle!


  2. b_y

    05/02/2012 at 1:35 pm

    I like the story in your wordle poem. The breaking thoughts in the first stanza. That is, I suspect, one of the ways relationships last long enough to have a “long ago”.

    Still haven’t gathered up my nerve to try Joseph’s prompt for the week. But I hate those squiggle things.

    • margo roby

      05/02/2012 at 2:51 pm

      I agree, Barb. I figure long relationships have to involve some of this sort of thing.

      Joseph’s exercise isn’t as difficult as it might look. Take an existing poem of yours that you have languishing somewhere because you’re not quite sure what to do with it and see how many of the sounds you already have. Start tweaking.

      One thing I did that helped me a lot was to isolate the words into a list which I kept on the same page as the poem, while I worked. Every time I had a sound I highlighted the word so I knew it was done. Then it was easy to see what was left.

  3. annell

    05/02/2012 at 1:52 pm

    I love them both, I do!

    • margo roby

      05/02/2012 at 3:00 pm

      Thank you, annell. You made me smile!

  4. siggiofmaine

    05/02/2012 at 2:24 pm

    I enjoyed reading this post…in the middle of starting my reading it, I went and deciphered
    Joseph Harker’s post for the prompt…
    and can’t figure out how to go about it. Will have to think on it a bit more. Seems so complicated,
    it’s probably simple.

    Thanks for the excellent example of the Harker prompt… and love the wordle too. Creative use of the words.
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

    • margo roby

      05/02/2012 at 2:59 pm

      Hey Siggi! Joseph’s prompt looks more overwhelming than it is. Hang on while I go copy paste what I wrote in another comment…Take an existing poem of yours that you have somewhere because youโ€™re not quite sure what to do with it and see how many of the sounds you already have. Start tweaking.

      One thing I did that helped me a lot was to isolate Joseph’s phonetic words into a list which I kept on the same page as the poem, while I worked. Every time I had a sound I highlighted the word in the list, so I knew it was done. Then it was easy to see what was left. As I already have the list I shall be happy to send it, if you think you’ll tackle the prompt.

      • wordsandthoughtspjs

        05/02/2012 at 3:52 pm

        Hi Margo, what a great idea! The list, please ๐Ÿ˜‰


      • siggiofmaine

        05/02/2012 at 5:42 pm

        I’ll tackle the prompt…like a wordle…I see what you mean about making the list and checking off the sounds.
        It has been said of me, if there’s a hard way to do something, I’ll try those ways first ! I’d appreciate any help you can give me.

        Siggi in Downeast Maine

  5. Joseph Harker

    05/02/2012 at 2:42 pm

    You bring up a good point, which is that Wordles contain a wide variety of sounds for the purposes of covering the phonetic inventory. And to get within six of the total, that’s pretty excellent. On top of that, I liked the meta-silliness of the second one, and its lyrical quality; I promise though, it’s a real word. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • margo roby

      05/02/2012 at 2:53 pm

      I had fun, Joseph. And, I am rather fond of the meta-silliness myself. I did look up the word, when I knew Word was unhappy. See, I knew you wouldn’t lead us astray ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. brenda w

    05/02/2012 at 3:24 pm

    Margo…(and Joseph), I just plain love the idea of “meta-silliness.” The first piece is not silly. It paints the portrait of lives lived together. Realistic, poignant, knowing when to give each other space is an art form.

    And the silly piece made me smile with its cleverness.

    • margo roby

      05/02/2012 at 3:53 pm

      We need more meta-silliness in our lives, don’t we, Bren? And, I agree with your description of a relationship: an art form. Nice.

      Heck, the silly piece makes me smile. Those engmas!

  7. viv blake

    05/02/2012 at 4:08 pm

    Margo, I bow before your skill! Your first poem aroused pity, wry understanding and empathy, made me a little sad. I hardly noticed the wordle words. Then you have to go and make me laugh out loud.

    I haven’t had time this week to give Joseph’s prompt the attention it deserves, but I hope to get around to it soon.

    • margo roby

      05/02/2012 at 5:09 pm

      ViV, I suspect I shall be kneeling at your altar soon. I saw the alacrity, heard the cries of delight, as you fell on Joseph’s exercise, while I was thinking: What the hell? But, I am glad I made you laugh.

  8. Marianne

    05/02/2012 at 4:42 pm

    This is absolutely brilliant writing, Margo: “Billows of metallic bile dart into his mouth, as he puts the latch to his thoughts and walks back out to stamp on the fuses, to hug the ruins away.” Your use of the wordle words is stunningly clever!

  9. margo roby

    05/02/2012 at 5:10 pm

    Marianne, Thank you so much.

  10. siggiofmaine

    05/02/2012 at 5:38 pm

    I realize when I don’t understand, I am dense…really dense, as permanently set concrete…
    what you wrote to describe your process on the poem for Reverie 5…I loved and took in with delight what you wrote.

    What I THOUGHT was the prompt is:
    “a poem, as short as possible, using every sound in the language”.
    and I was searching your comments for how to approach that…but you took a different take on what was the prompt than I did. You mention Joseph Harker’s prompt, but I can’t see how it showed in your post. Dense. I’m Dense. Sorry.

    I don’t know how I got so far away from what you described. Sigh. I am still less than a year into this writing from prompts….I guess it’s on to the wordle for me.

    Thank you for the information from Reverie 5 from Joseph Harker…a very good review of much that I’ve forgotten since my graduation fifty years ago !

    Siggi in Downeast Maine

    • margo roby

      05/02/2012 at 5:54 pm


      You bring a smile to me. You are correct about the prompt. What you said. That means the disconnect is with me, not you. I am not good at articulating what I know. [I know, and I an English lit teacher]

      Now, my poems are not short, neither of them. I don’t know phonetics well enough to manage that. But both poems have every sound, except a couple. Where do you think you went off-track. It may not be as far off as you think. I suspect not.

      Hope you are having more fun in wordle land.

      • siggiofmaine

        05/02/2012 at 6:36 pm

        Thanks for the reply…
        I love a challenge…and the grammar one is a challenge.

        The wordles, once I get the first sentence usually are fun to do…I have a “wordle brain I guess !

        Haven’t given up on the other…sometimes I need a bit of a rest…or a lot of rest, but seldom does something I’ve started leave my thoughts once I get into it.

        Thanks again.
        Siggi in Downeast Maine

  11. Magical Mystical Teacher

    05/02/2012 at 6:11 pm

    “the rhythm of her turmoils”

    Uncanny how you have described someone I know in real life!

    Whirling Haiku and Senryu

    • margo roby

      06/02/2012 at 8:11 am

      MMT, I suspect we all know someone like this. That is why I love the wordles, the way we are brought to use words differently.

  12. Irene

    05/02/2012 at 6:24 pm

    “hug the ruins away” is a great line. Very true-to-life portrait of the cracking lines in a marriage.

    I love your phonetics piece. It’s rollicking and inspiring fun.

    • margo roby

      06/02/2012 at 8:11 am

      Thank you, Irene. We need more hugs. They can work magic.

  13. Mr. Walker

    05/02/2012 at 8:32 pm

    Margo, an excellent take on those wordle words. I like how you explored the meaning of “staccato” and used it thematically. It worked especially well with “exile” as your story unfolded. I really like “the rhythm of her turmoils”.


    • margo roby

      06/02/2012 at 8:14 am

      You know English teachers, Richard, always looking up words. It’s one of my favourite past-times. Thank you for your kind words.


  14. Mary

    05/02/2012 at 9:08 pm

    Margo, I appreciated your serious take on the wordle words. Many relationships like that, I think, with people understanding one another’s failings but being there to ‘ hug the ruins away.’ Hopefully there are enough good times and hugs for positive reasons to make of for the difficult times! Always enjoy seeing YOUR take on a particular writing challenge!

    • margo roby

      06/02/2012 at 8:17 am

      Thank you, Mary. These word lists are something of an adventure, one with no map. I also enjoy seeing what my take is going to be! I never know, on first reading the words. More hugs, while simplistic, I do think would solve a lot of problems faster. To hugs.

  15. markwindham

    05/02/2012 at 10:51 pm

    Reverie and a wordle – in the same day? Thats almost like showing off. ๐Ÿ™‚ Liked them both, related well to the first, sometimes just have to get out of the way then come back. Lots of fun in the second. I will have visions of phonetic flash cards in my dreams tonight….

    • margo roby

      06/02/2012 at 8:20 am

      I know. In my defense, Mark… Oh, I don’t have a defense. However, it was not in the plans. Funny how things work out.

      Wait til you write the phonetic piece; you really will have flash cards. I may never forget that [x] is a glottal stop.

  16. Connie

    06/02/2012 at 1:03 pm

    Both were amazing!!! I especially liked the last bit of the first poem=

    Billows of metallic bile
    dart into his mouth, as he puts the latch
    to his thoughts and walks back out to stamp
    on the fuses, to hug the ruins away.

    couldn’t get away from that!! You conjured up feelings- senses- pictures with these few short lines!

    • margo roby

      06/02/2012 at 1:24 pm

      Thank you, Connie. Couldn’t do it without Brenda’s words!

  17. pmwanken

    06/02/2012 at 9:05 pm

    Loved your wordle, margo…the words blended in. I especially liked the contemplation of scar tissue. Thought provoking, indeed.

    xop ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • margo roby

      07/02/2012 at 11:41 am

      Somehow, I lost this string of comments. I think I archived the emails.

      If I revise, the scar tissue stays in. I like it, too ๐Ÿ™‚

      xom [xop is fun, or if you are feeling whoo hoo: xow]

  18. tmhHoover

    07/02/2012 at 1:26 am

    Love your writing Margo- Such insights in the first and a grateful smile and giggle in the second; especially “You, me, letโ€™s have a think”. I fear that would be a long wait- I am with Siggi…. just very dense. Slow to grasp directions. So I go in afterwords and try to decipher what things people have done with the prompt. I will get there eventually. Until then I have “wordle brain” too.

    • margo roby

      07/02/2012 at 11:49 am

      Ah, found the comment, Teri. I knew I had seen this in my email.

      It’s not an easy exercise, but I promise you, if I can do it… I have only a partially trained ear and thought I would have to ignore it. I was startled when I was able to do it. A couple of secrets are what I said to Barb [near the beginning of the comments]. And I have the words handy if you decide to give this a try, even if just for yourself. The exercise’s value for me, is that it has made me more aware.


  19. Tilly Bud

    07/02/2012 at 4:52 am

    Two strong poems. I like the way you used the wordle words.

    • margo roby

      07/02/2012 at 11:50 am

      Tilly! How lovely to see you. I have missed seeing your smiling face. Thank you for your comments.



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