I am Jerusalem, or: Nothing

‘Beyond Meaning or The Resolution of Opposites’

– a d’Verse poetics prompt


For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

-Wallace Stevens, ‘The Snow Man’
Harkened through the snows of New Jersey,
Heeded through the storms of Cleveland,
Purest nothing, on nothing, absorbed me,

Sheerest nothing, on nothing, I am
Upon nothing, nothing I, one/dering
About nothing, not touched much by snow,

Where nothings, together, not nothing,
Where something within ached to go,
Nothing, listened, through blustery blizzards,

Whispering, nothing, nothing, here I am
Through cold nothing, I heard, I shivered,
Something, mine, called [from] Jerusalem.

The prompt

The above poem is my take on d’Verse’s ‘Beyond Meaning or The Resolution of Opposites’ prompt.

The writing challenge: We were to focus on the theme of ‘paradox’ and select one of the following to build poems around, of which I selected #2:

1. Here are some lines from Paul Dunbar’s The Paradox:  – select ONE and build your poem around it.

  • I am thy fool in the morning, thou art my slave in the night.
  • I am the mother of sorrows; I am the ender of grief;
  • I am the bud and the blossom, I am the late-falling leaf


2. Take the last lines of Wallace Stevens’ The Snow Man and write a poem that is imbued with the existential paradox implied there. [the meaning of which is the ridding of our usual human observation and viewing winter as a ‘man of snow’ not a snowman! (more HERE)]

  • For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Lonely, or: Full

My 2nd ‘Magnetic Poem’ haiku

Wanna try? Click here.

lonely stroll about
the soul's full rustling colors
could seed poetry


  • I am sticking with the ‘Nature Poet’ virtual magnet set for now because it’s the least comfortable for me to use;
  • Yesterday, I wrote my first ‘Magnetic Poem’ haiku, using this same set;
  • To be honest, I am not usually much for haikus, but this exercise feels very productive; and I am deliberately sticking with the haiku form;
  • I find myself especially pleased with this particular poem.

Fertile animal, or: Wild berry

My fourth ‘Magnetic Poem’

Wanna try? Click here.

moist path between boughs 
fertile animal eating
wild berry gently


  • This particular ‘Magnetic Poem’ takes the form of a haiku;
  • I opted for the ‘Nature Poet’ magnet set for the first time.
    • Flora and fauna are not in my poetry wheelhouse at all;
    • Therefore, I now intend to regularly make use of the ‘Nature Poet’ virtual magnet set to challenge myself again and further broaden my repertoire.

Zombie, or: Brainchild

‘Let’s have fun, guys!’ – a d’Verse poetics prompt

Think, think
Lost in thought I
Distractedly pluck
A button

From my mind
Pop it into my mouth
Chew it pensively
As more sprout

From my brain
Pushing out of
My twisting sulci
They spread

Above my gyri
King oysters proliferate
I gather them all with

Through my cranium
Noticing orange

Of the woods
And shaggy lion's manes
Pushing through my ear

As puffballs
Balloon out across
My scalp and forehead
My beard

Full of black
Trumpets and wood
Blewits spreading up
My tender cheeks

My eyeballs
Bursting with huge
Portobellos extending
Over my face

Frustrated I
Sigh shiitake! Well, 
At least they are all


At d’Verse, we were asked to have some fun with fungi, as the starting point for our poems.

And… I can honestly say that I had fun… and I am a guy.

Met, or: Four

sound mallet through thick skull
splatters mind upon cranium
on the inside
you are 
eyes rolling back 
along with other vowels
flipping images back right 
side up on your retinas
flutter eyelids 
ascend from your 
stomach uneasily queasily
through shuddering esophagus
choking back your tears
streaming camera
at your face
it - you can't handle
such explosive rush of metaphor

The above poem is my take on d’Verse’s ‘Opening lines…beginnings’ prompt.

d’Verse prompted us to think about find that “best first line” –

  • see if you can hook yourself a new reader with upfront vivid images and unusual word use;
  • maybe stick with tradition (starting top left) or forge out in a new direction, maybe even a one line, or even a one-word poem;
  • perhaps try your hand at some found poetry, make something shapely or striking or something off the fridge;
  • or perhaps a poem beginning with a line by a poet who’s provoked or enthralled or charmed or annoyed you (don’t forget to link to the original poem in your post).

Seedling, or: Watering can

My first tanka

Sprouting eagerly;
Stretching, absorbing learning,
Seedling roots search deep
Humble grey watering can;
Though I get refilled daily

EIF Poetry Challenge #14: Tanka

The above poem is my entry for Ingrid’s most recent poetry challenge. She provides a very thorough explanation of tanka poems for those who are curious to know more. But ~

In short:

  • The first three lines (following the haiku format) are the ‘upper poem’ (kami-no-ku) and the final two lines are the ‘lower poem’ (shimo-no-ku);
  • To write tanka in English, we normally divide the poem into five lines with the following syllable pattern: 5/7/5/7/7.