There’s Grittle in My Grits

15 Jul

Good day! I couldn’t resist my post title and the early birders who were part of the great email round-about will understand. Also, that I used grittle, griddle, and brittle. Couldn’t get gristle to work; considered bristle. The poem was in rough draft when the emails started so the redraft focused more on getting the above words in, than making the poem work!

The wind, like grittle skimmed across the ocean surface,
triggers movement, swells the waves, relishes the water’s climb –
until gravity exerts its claim, a chain, pulling earthward –

Salt spray flicks the sand, like batter landing on a hot griddle,
the same refrain, the crack and sizzle ofΒ  small explosions.
I follow the receding water’s edge. I plant my feet, watch toes

lapped by foam, enveloped, swallowed by the sand, feel the sting
of brittle grains, thrown up by wind and water, a reminder
of humility due, when becoming part of air and sea and shore.

Brenda, thank you always, especially for this list and the conversation. Visit The Sunday Whirl and see if/how others managed to use some of the words I mention above.

Happy reading and writing.


Posted by on 15/07/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , ,

60 responses to “There’s Grittle in My Grits

  1. vivinfrance

    15/07/2012 at 12:31 pm

    This is wonderfully dramatic, and I applaud your determination in using all the derivaties. I love standing on the seashore, daring the waves.

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 12:33 pm

      My favourite past-time in the world, ViV. Put the ocean near me and I’m there at its edge. I never tire of it.

  2. Daydreamertoo

    15/07/2012 at 12:52 pm

    Oh, I couldn’t agree more on the pastime. Isn’t sand a lovely feeling slipping between your toes too πŸ™‚
    Great use of all those words Margo. Love how you put them all to good use in this. Really enjoyed the email round-a-bout yesterday too. Great fun πŸ™‚ I think we wordlers are inventing new words each week.. wordle just HAS to be added to a dictionary, some time in the future lol πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 1:49 pm

      Yes, Rebecca! Lovely, damp sand πŸ™‚ I’m hoping Brenda makes more typos that result in happy accidents, that we query. I so enjoyed the chat πŸ™‚

  3. Marianne

    15/07/2012 at 1:03 pm

    Love what you have created with the words this week, Margo! I think there’s a bit of grittle in all of us who write wordles!

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 1:51 pm

      I think you are right, Marianne, i like that image of us wordlers. Thank you!

  4. JulesPaige

    15/07/2012 at 1:14 pm

    Looking forward to our vacation and some sand and ocean time…
    Last stanza, last line… sums it up nicely. Becoming one with the ocean…Now if I could just figure out how to breath underwater… πŸ™‚

    Glad you enjoyed your sneak peek at my contribution. Cheers!

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 1:52 pm

      That’s right. It is about that time for you, Jules. When do you head for the coast?

  5. Annette Mickelson

    15/07/2012 at 1:44 pm

    I love the image of salt spray on hot sand being like batter on a griddle. I never thought of it that way, but it is exactly right. And that is what a great image does. You scored big time on that one!

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 1:54 pm

      Annette, Wanting to work in grittle alternatives did bring out the creative! Thank you. That is what I love about these wordles, that they stretch us in directions we might not normally go.

  6. wordsandthoughtspjs

    15/07/2012 at 2:02 pm

    Oh, Margo, this makes me long to be by the seashore. What a beautiful and image filled write.


    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 8:02 pm

      Pamela, I grew up with the South China Sea in my view every day and summers spent on the beaches or our junk [boat]. I miss the sea so much.


  7. 98dayjourney

    15/07/2012 at 2:36 pm

    The rhythm has the feel of a wave. I especially appreciate the images and movement of the first stanza. Seems a wonderful exercise, I’ll look it up.

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 8:10 pm

      98dj [because I think your name is Wanda but didn’t remember to bookmark your site], thank you for the comment.

      Besides having a great group to work within, I have found the wordles a terrific stretcher for the mind muscles. Fresh, vivid imagery, and anything metaphor are my weaknesses, but having to use twelve words forces my brain down paths it might not go.

  8. daphnepurpus

    15/07/2012 at 3:14 pm

    I love the images here and yes, I too now long for the seashore! Beautifully wordled!

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you, Daphne. Clearly we’ll have to include the seashore on the list of places we all would like to meet!

  9. magicalmysticalteacher

    15/07/2012 at 3:56 pm

    You managed to use “grittle,” “griddle” and “brittle” with elegant finesse! I salute you!

    Gardener Grittle

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 8:13 pm

      Bren, thank you. I admit, I am grinning with complacency.

  10. 4joy

    15/07/2012 at 4:02 pm

    absolutely lovely….so many great lines, too numerous to reiterate… the simile of ‘sand, like batter landing on a hot griddle’ – wonderful wordle..

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 8:13 pm

      4joy, I was happy when my brain kicked that one up! Thank you.

  11. Mary

    15/07/2012 at 4:55 pm

    Love that you used both ‘grittle’ and ‘griddle.’ I loved the ocean view from your perspective.

    (FYI- I got a security notification at your website today, letting me know that Internet Explorer has blocked this website from displaying content with security certificate errors. )

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 8:16 pm

      I was determined, Mary and it gave me the kick I needed.

      Thank for the warning. That means, as far as I can tell, that someone visiting has errors. I ran a scan to make sure it isn’t me and I appear clear. You are wonderful for telling me.

  12. markwindham

    15/07/2012 at 6:00 pm

    love the sound and imagery. Nice capture of image and mood

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 8:18 pm

      Thanks, Mark. This must mean you have yours in. I’ll be over in a bit to check!

  13. 1sojournal

    15/07/2012 at 6:23 pm

    Love that place where land meets water, be it rocks, sand, or tall marsh grasses. Might mean I’m just an ‘in-between’ kinda gal, but it always holds surprises and life being lived at the edge. Which says I love your poem and all the wordplay you used to describe that space. You had fun with the add-ons and get extra points for all of that. The email exchange was great, filled with laughter and giggles that seemed to make the poems come much easier this week. Community can be so very inspiring, yes?


    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 8:25 pm

      I agree, Elizabeth. That particular meeting of edges is magic. When I read your comment, I sat for a while and my memories of the many times I have been at that edge are some of my strongest and most vivid memories. I lived so many years where I could indulge my love for water and where it meets land. The email exchange… I could almost hear us talking. Community, besides being inspiring, can be a peg to hold onto. This cyber one we have is the closest I have been to a community. I wouldn’t trade it, despite being a loner at heart.


  14. Gerry Wilson

    15/07/2012 at 9:07 pm

    Margo, I love the way you took our *extra* playing with the words even further–grittle, griddle, brittle, and many more of those short “i” sounds. Nice to juxtapose claim and chain . . . Many other good things going on here besides the sounds, but they are outstanding.

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 9:20 pm

      Gerry, I thank you especially for noting the other short ‘i’ sounds as well as ‘claim’ and ‘chain’. As my ear for my own work develops, I am getting better with sound.

  15. Laurie Kolp

    15/07/2012 at 9:07 pm

    So beautiful, vivid… lovely textures… makes me want to go to the beach.

    • margo roby

      15/07/2012 at 9:20 pm

      Laurie, I think we may have to schedule a meet there!

  16. tmhHoover

    15/07/2012 at 9:53 pm

    The ocean has a way of helping us move through the grittle of life….smoothing down the edges. Thanks for a trip to the beach.

    • margo roby

      16/07/2012 at 2:59 pm

      Teri, just as it tumbles rocks and shells until smooth; you’re right. Lovely!

      • tmhHoover

        16/07/2012 at 8:34 pm


  17. Hannah Gosselin

    15/07/2012 at 9:55 pm

    I follow the receding water’s edge. I plant my feet, watch toes

    lapped by foam, enveloped, swallowed by the sand, feel the sting
    of brittle grains, thrown up by wind and water, a reminder
    of humility due, when becoming part of air and sea and shore.

    I just love it, Margo!! Especially this…I stood there toes planted and watched as the sand began to cover, too!! Excellent poem!! πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      16/07/2012 at 3:00 pm

      Thank you, Hannah! The toes and sand happened to me so often I still see and feel it happening.

  18. sonofwalt

    15/07/2012 at 10:59 pm

    Oh, I love this. I adore playing with word sounds, meanings this way.

    • margo roby

      16/07/2012 at 3:02 pm

      Walt, Thank you. Playing with sound may be my favourite thing to tinker with when I write.

      • sonofwalt

        16/07/2012 at 3:08 pm

        The only thing more fun is when multiple meanings, and implications get woven in with the sounds. That’s what I like best.

        • margo roby

          16/07/2012 at 3:17 pm

          I agree. I am learning to do that more naturally, or to recognise the possibilities more easily. I feel like I am being paid to… oh, wait, we’re poets; we don’t get paid. That’s how much we love what we do!

          • sonofwalt

            16/07/2012 at 10:39 pm

            Sadly that is true. I had a poet tell me today, “Wait, you mean you record people’s poems for free? You make their poems into videos, just for fun? Heck, I’d pay you to do that!” I think I need to expand into another part time job. . .

  19. R.Ross

    16/07/2012 at 4:22 am

    Wonderful word work. You have inspired me.

    • margo roby

      16/07/2012 at 3:03 pm

      Hello, Ros. I love seeing your face smiling at me. Thank you, and I shall see you below with the poem.

  20. R.Ross

    16/07/2012 at 4:31 am

    The hand of pain did grittle hard,

    and work its way with me,

    reducing self and gristled hurt,

    to brittle grains of thought.

    In bristled fear I fought my way,

    upon life’s burning griddle,

    to know that in the sear of grief,

    my heart was born anew.

    • margo roby

      16/07/2012 at 3:06 pm

      Hello again. Ros, I have missed your cleverness with words. Each of the short ‘i’ words we were playing with sound right, as you use them, even ‘gristle’ which I have never liked as a sound, although I am fine with ‘bristle’. ‘Life’s burning griddle’ — too right.

  21. Veronica Roth

    16/07/2012 at 8:41 am

    That’s brilliant to challenge yourself to use the other possible words. Well done; you’re braver than I am! I felt the ocean with these words too.

    • margo roby

      16/07/2012 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks, Veronica. Those words gave me a kickstart when my poem reached a sticking point.

      • Veronica Roth

        17/07/2012 at 3:42 am

        If you have a chance, have a quickie look back at my post , I think you’ll like the edit at the bottom. My partner Robert, an engineer who designs race car engines, just spontaneously dictated a positive spin on the words for me in 20 seconds flat! Some people…eh?

  22. brenda w

    16/07/2012 at 8:58 am

    You are a true delight, Margo. Your playful spirit runs circles through the whirl crew, and I love it! Again, the ocean is coming to life…I agree with you and with Elizabeth…those magic edges make me want to walk along them. When oh when, will I visit the sea again. Over and over in poetry, thank goodness for that, and for poets like you. My world is almost complete. πŸ˜‰

    • margo roby

      16/07/2012 at 3:11 pm

      Brenda, thank you. So many lovely compliments.

      Clearly the retirement home we are all going to meet at, will have to be on a hillside overlooking the sea, or ocean. Wide porches, rocking chairs, wifi…

      • tmhHoover

        19/07/2012 at 1:43 pm

        I hope the committee in charge of this includes me on their memo…

        • margo roby

          19/07/2012 at 2:34 pm

          Teri, you’re on the list, already πŸ™‚

  23. gautami tripathy

    16/07/2012 at 12:15 pm

    You grittled it well….


    planted ruminations

    • margo roby

      16/07/2012 at 3:12 pm

      Yes, Gautami, I am laughing!

  24. Irene

    16/07/2012 at 7:47 pm

    Love the long lines that seem to be waves of an ocean lapping and the ending is fantastic, Margo.

  25. Misky

    17/07/2012 at 3:28 am

    Lovely. It had me pulled toward the sea, Margo. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as icy waves between your toes.


    • margo roby

      17/07/2012 at 12:21 pm

      The Atlantic, Misky. I love the Atlantic. Ice cold!


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