Reach Out and Touch Something: Tuesday Tryouts

04 Dec

7:19 a.m. –Atlanta

listening to Gumboots with Paul Simon

Hello, all. I hope everyone is well, as we head into the particularly crazy month. Whether you do Christmas, or not, it’s hard to not be affected by it in some way. My inclination this year is to head for the hills and find a nice cave [no, I have not started ordering… I guess I need to get on the stick].


rusted chair

Today is an image prompt. I am sending you to one of my Pinterest boards. One of the senses that is often overlooked in writing is the sense of touch. I know it’s an area I want to work on as I am a tactile person [hands in my pocket when we go into a museum is a must]. As I looked over the board yesterday, I realised that every image is mostly tactile — how I know is when my fingertips feel an object’s surface, as I look at it. The coloured pencils? I want to touch their pointy ends. The C-clamp? Cold, iron, slightly rusty.

rusty, peeling door

rusty, peeling door

The challenge is to let one of these images spark a poem. Let your fingertips talk to you. As you look over these two images, run mental fingertips over their surfaces.

Possible modus operandi is to, as you look over the board, select a few you like and jot notes on each. Does a specific memory surface? Does the image remind you of something? Does the tactile sensation itself remind you of something? You do not have to have the image anywhere in the poem. Once the poem takes off, you can forget the original image, or you can make the image a focus.

The real challenge: incorporate texture into your poem in the way of imagery and, also, in the way of word choice. Words have texture. Joseph’s exercise, this week, is about the effect of a word’s sound. That sound is what gives a word texture. Not sure about that? Let me list a few words and as you read each, what texture do you assign it because of how it sounds?

Kyrgyzstan [prickly, right?]

So, pick an image, or two, or as many as you wish, and see what happens. Let us know which image sparked the poem. It’s always fun to see. If you have your own tactile photograph which you want to use, go for it. I look forward to reading the results.

I shall see you Friday for the roundup; and next Tuesday for a prompt about your road less traveled.

Happy writing, everyone.



Posted by on 04/12/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , ,

33 responses to “Reach Out and Touch Something: Tuesday Tryouts

  1. Misky

    04/12/2012 at 10:45 am

    A quick one for you, as we’re off to the hospital again.

  2. pmwanken

    04/12/2012 at 11:33 am

    I’m also responding with a quick offering…

    • margo roby

      06/12/2012 at 7:57 am

      So wonderful to see your smiling face ;-). I’ve missed you here. I shall be over in a sec.

  3. carolisle

    04/12/2012 at 11:37 am

  4. JulesPaige

    04/12/2012 at 12:16 pm

    Got one for you…Son of son is on the way – I might have more later.

  5. JulesPaige

    04/12/2012 at 12:59 pm

    Maybe not quite what you were looking for, but I like word lists…

    • margo roby

      06/12/2012 at 7:58 am

      Two for me! And, I love list poems, Jules.

  6. barbara_

    04/12/2012 at 1:36 pm

    I love that blue door, but wrote (more or less) about the chair.

    • margo roby

      06/12/2012 at 7:59 am

      That colour blue grabs me whenever I see it. I find it one of the more compelling colours. I’m coming.

    • margo roby

      06/12/2012 at 7:59 am

      Two! How lovely.

      • pmwanken

        06/12/2012 at 4:03 pm

        Yes…wasn’t satisfied that the first one truly met the prompt.

  7. markwindham

    05/12/2012 at 9:38 pm
    still very rough, more so than usual, very tired…

    Anyway, thinking there may be a couple of more niggling around…loving the chair and door above…and the snow bike… This one came from a couple of the Pinterest images.

    • margo roby

      06/12/2012 at 8:02 am

      I’ll be interested to see what your ‘very rough’ looks like, now. I suspect it’s way ahead of where it used to be. I love Pinterest for all the fabulous photographs I can collect and hoard and look over.

      Do remember to schedule in rest.

      • markwindham

        06/12/2012 at 8:17 am

        rest is scheduled, it is simply not happening, a pinched nerve in my neck or something, making left shoulder and arm miserable, hard to sleep. oh well.

        Curious as to your thoughts on the one before this one too. Both use longer lines than is typical for me. Too ‘prosey’?

        • margo roby

          06/12/2012 at 8:26 am

          I’ll go back and look with that in mind.

          Three aspirin, laddy, and then a mayo jar filled with hot water resting in the curve of neck and shoulder. Perhaps, at that point, alcohol.

          • markwindham

            06/12/2012 at 10:26 am

            mayo jar? Ok, have not tried that. Been mostly lots of ibuprofen and Tylenol and ice.

            • margo roby

              06/12/2012 at 10:30 am

              I had a REALLY bad bout once and the only thing Skip could find in the house to hold hot water was an empty mayo jar. It fits perfectly, if you aren’t planning on moving much. I do know what this is like. A heartfelt good luck.

  8. margo roby

    06/12/2012 at 7:55 am

    Sorry, y’all. I have been derelict. Wednesday disappeared.

  9. purplepeninportland

    06/12/2012 at 6:16 pm

    Funny how the rusty chair brought back memories, without being mentioned in my poem. Hmm.
    Mine is up at:

  10. vivinfrance

    07/12/2012 at 7:07 am

    I loved your images, and normally would have leapt at turning them into tactile poems – old is so much more textured than new, but somehow my contrary mind turned it upside down and I’ve started to write about something pristine. It’s not fully formed yet, but I shall come back with it later, if I can get myself into gear.

    • margo roby

      07/12/2012 at 7:25 am

      I hadn’t thought of it that way, ViV, but yes, old is textured, new is sleek. Huh. If you get yourself into gear I’ll be here!

  11. vivinfrance

    07/12/2012 at 7:47 am

    It didn’t take long (proof of something lacking somewhere? )

    • margo roby

      07/12/2012 at 7:49 am

      I’m laughing at you ViV. The time might, just possibly, be proof that you are behaving yourself.

  12. Hannah Gosselin

    09/12/2012 at 12:40 am

    What a great practice, post and board, Margo! Smiles…I’m super late and it’s super late at night or early A.M. really…phew…I wrote but will need to pretty and post on fresh eyes. I hope you’re having a good weekend. 🙂

    • margo roby

      09/12/2012 at 11:44 am

      I am, Hannah! Aside from being up far too late ;-), I hope yours is a good one, too.

  13. Hannah Gosselin

    10/12/2012 at 1:50 pm

    There…I lost a whole day!! 😉


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