Friday, November 11, 2005


What must life look like to a toaster, the dishwasher, an iron? Choose an inanimate object you use on a daily basis and see if you can create a life for it. Who does it see, what does it like, how does it feel? (I once wrote a poem entitled "Ode to a Vacuum Cleaner.") Have fun with this one!!


  1. I think I'll try this with my third graders, great idea!

  2. Very fresh, raw draft of a poem below. Thank you for the exercise. I found a poem that I didn't know was there!

    Oak Desk Ode

    At home with hand-me-down furniture,
    discount couch aerated by scissors
    and spotted with dog-drool.

    Hulking compared to grandma’s
    barber table, mirror frame for
    girl’s play and a tiny key

    to open a secret garden
    of napkin rings, stale smelling
    linen napkins, and ivory tapers.

    Hand-rubbed with lemon oil
    until now, now neglected
    in a house running on clutter control.

    The oak desk homecoming from
    the used furniture store, assembled
    three parts stacked heavy into place.

    Mismatched nobs, missing handle,
    16 slots revealed by lifted roll top
    pre-labeled: glasses, keys, bills.

    Colored beads roll in file drawer
    when opened, scars of burns
    and scratches welcome more.

    A poem calls to create the man
    who sat here, along a life of layered
    strata, granddaughter dropping

    treasure between his important
    files, but no, this is my desk now
    dark in the corner I a descend

    the stairs each morning
    paper layers accumulating
    slots filled with moments

    reclaimed as I open the blinds.


Your thoughts?