How to Write a Poem

  1. Lay on the bed/couch/floor/earth.
  2. Stare out the window.
  3. Look at the sky.
  4. If you can see trees out of the window, stare at the trees.
  5. If there is any wind or breeze, watch the wind moving through the trees.
  6. If there are any clouds in the sky, watch the clouds moving across the sky.
  7. Clear the mind and concentrate on the scene outside the window.
  8. Quieten the mind.  Particularly let go of worries, judgement of self and others, thoughts of the past, thoughts of the future.
  9. Let step 8 take as long as it needs.
  10. If you are tired and feel yourself falling asleep, that’s ok.  Let yourself fall asleep.
  11. If you don’t fall asleep, connect with the scene outside the window.  Watch the clouds move across the sky and become the clouds, become the sky.  Watch the wind move through the trees and become the trees, become the wind.
  12. Feel the outside moving through your inside.
  13. Ride whatever comes with the feelings that emerge without trying to suppress anything.  If you feel sad like you are going to cry; let yourself cry.  Cry for as long as you need.  Quiet crying or loud crying doesn’t matter.  Don’t judge the crying because then the tears will stop.  No need to stop them.
  14. If you feel anxious or restless, take as long you need to settle with some gentle deep breathing.
  15. If you feel overwhelmed by the feelings that surface; remind yourself that it’s ok.  Ride the overwhelm and move to inhabit the emotions, observing the feelings without judgement.  Let the feelings move through your body until they dissipate and lessen in intensity.  Give yourself as long as you need.
  16. You don’t need all the answers to everything right now.  Make peace with uncertainty and not knowing, for this is creativity’s greatest ally.
  17. Take some more slow deep breaths to centre and calm yourself.
  18. Listen to that small inner urging.  The small voice that speaks to us all the time.
  19. What is it saying?  What voice does it use?  What words are coming through?
  20. Be gentle with yourself and what bubbles up from within.
  21. Listen, and keep listening.  Sometimes the words arrive in disconnected fragments; like wisps on the wind that you can’t quite hear.  Hold these fragments lightly in your mind without trying to understand what they mean right now.
  22. Gently weave the threads of your half-thoughts together as you begin the tentative journey towards sensing the shape of your own longing.
  23. Now: write a poem.
  24. Have a cup of tea.  You deserve it.

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