Some people can write poems that simply pour from the pen. I can’t. What really works for me is walking. Not trying to write while I walk, but walking and listening and waiting. And then I hear a line or two and I can start writing in both directions. Forward and back.
I can sit at my desk and stare, read, create a to-do list. But when I want to write a poem, getting up and walking out the door is a sure way to find one.
Walk It Out
I never write it out, I walk it out.
Walk for miles, listening for words
Circling in the air, showing off, not landing.
Waiting with a trapper’s skill
Walking on, this time with the patience of a nun
Waiting to hear the voice of God,
Walking on, this time with the thumb and pruners
Of a gardener, who has seen crops thrive and fail,
Who turns over leaves, plucks peas,
moves on to another row, a basket slowly filling.
—Quinn McDonald walks and writes poetry. When she is not running writing classes in businesses. Or coaching.