Slice of Life – #Writeout

October 10, 2023

It’s time for the #Writeout, an annual time to go outside and write! Thank you, NWP, for sponsoring so many opportunities for all to write. Yesterday I got lost viewing and reading prompts and ideas for writing out. Here is one I watched by a NE Ohio high school teacher, Amy Hirzel. She is a poet and gifter of beautiful writing inspiration.

I thought of her idea when I went for a walk today. I looked for artifacts–both manmade and natural. Then I chose one of each and tried to find the connections. Of course, the horrific bad news in Israel and Palestine was on my mind today too.

Here’s today’s poem.


uncompromising message
ramrod straight ahead
No detours
stay the course
do it my way

fringed amaranth
cries out
there are other ways
today she waves to travelers
arms beckon us to follow a new path

signs of sureness are needed at times
but flowing signs of wonder can
forge new directions of hope and home
rather than war

Here are my Poemtober poems from this week and last week.

8 thoughts on “Slice of Life – #Writeout

  1. Denise, this is so beautiful. I am mesmerized by “there are other ways” – and seeing these words in italics gave me the sense that nature was talking aloud to me, as I read your poetry. This idea of paying attention to the “flowing signs of wonder” is truly a message of hope. Thank you for this!

  2. Thanks for sharing your inspiration and the links from the NWP.
    I’m so glad oyu added the photos too!
    Your landscape is so different than mine in Virginia!
    Your poetry says so much with a few words. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Denise,
    I’d hoped to listen to the video before commenting, but alas I failed at that. Perhaps later. Anyway, your photos make me long for the desert, and your poem is timely. Israel sure missed the signposts. You amaze me w/ your ability to find all these varied writing challenges.

  4. I like the turn to signs of wonder. We can look at the horrors and see no hope, but nature always offers hope.

  5. This is so beautiful and poignant. “There are other ways” says so much, and the comparison of the ramrod straight sign versus the bending flowing plant makes an impressive visual.

  6. I love Amy’s complete process description of the poem capturing the relationship between the natural and human worlds—and that she starts with Rita Dove. Then you juxtapose nature and war “ramrod straight” summons images of soldiers, and the plaintive voice of the “fringed amaranth:” “There are other ways.” You have made me think about sand toys I’ve collected, left on the wide expanse of beach after tourists have returned home, toys outgrown, and why haven’t we yet reached that maturity where war is concerned. Thanks, Denise, for your words.

  7. Hope and home… people everywhere need the signposts that lead here when it seems the world has lost its way in the midst of war and hate.

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