Writer’s Block: Falling into Free Verse

My sisters and I started a tradition long ago, which we call “gift of the day.” Since we live in different states, we pick up small gifts (a pair of socks, a dishtowel, etc.) for no reason and mail them at random times. They are little surprise reminders that say, “I’m thinking about you, and I love you.”

One day, years ago, I received a padded envelope from my sister Laurie. Inside was a small piece of wood, sanded and beautifully stained. I was perplexed! When I called and asked why she sent a piece of wood in the mail, she laughed and said, “It’s a Writer’s Block!”

We got a good chuckle out of it, and it still sits on my desk to this day. I like to think it has magical powers and wards off writer’s block as I work on my children’s books and poetry.

So, today, in the spirit of my sister’s gift of the day and the beautiful fall morning outside my window, I’m sharing my free verse poem aptly titled Writer’s Block.


A sheet
of notebook paper
lies on my desk.

With pen in hand,
I look out my window
at the crisp fall morning.

Snails scribble messages
in iridescent ink
on stone pavers.

A flock of scrub jays
line up like a sentence
on the fence rail.

A woodpecker
types out a poem
with its beak on birch.

If only words
came to me as easily.
Instead my pen hovers,

like a bumblebee
stung by the snap of cold.

©Danna Smith at poetrypop.com


Next week we will be exploring the Triversen (also called Verset) poetry form. It’s an easy form for my readers out there who are a bit apprehensive about writing poetry. I hope you’ll want to give it a try!


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