The Joy Of Creativity – Poetry Challenge!

Today, I want to reach out to you with a creative challenge. Before I share this, allow me to give you a little anecdotal context.

Although I am no expert, I find the process of writing rewarding. All kinds of writing. I am never happier than when I’m sitting, with a sense of purpose, waiting for the words to come. Although writing can seem daunting, freeing yourself from the burden of too many expectations can yield unexpected results.

It is the blankness of a page or a screen, which then changes and takes on life, once it is covered with your words, that is so uniquely satisfying.

I have spent many family Christmases and get-togethers, urging relatives to get involved in group stories, inventing mini speech competitions, and challenging them to write festive limericks and haiku. At times, admittedly, I have been met with reluctance. Invariably though, we have had fun.

My son and I shared an unexpected, lovely moment (among the many lovely moments we have had throughout our lives together) when we both had horrible sinus infections, the autumn before last.

In an effort to lesson our misery, as way lay on our respective sofas, I encouraged him to try writing with me.

I introduced him to a type of ‘Beat Poetry’ that I had the fortune to attempt writing myself in an English tutorial with the late poet, Kenneth Koch, of the New York School of Poetry, when he visited our university, around twenty years ago.

“I am a writer who likes to be influenced.”

Kenneth Koch

I still remember my sense of surprise at his approach. He asked each of us in the tutorial (we were eight, including our Professor) to randomly donate the first words that popped into our heads.I remember several of them yet- iridescent; chewing-gum; pigeon!

They were an arbitrary mix of words- some vividly descriptive, some mundane, yet all were incorporated into a scribbled chalkboard list, to function as the impetus for our writing.

We had to write poems- our only constraint (there were no dictates of rhyme or rhythm) was that the list of eight words had to appear, in order, in an eight line poem, one (anywhere) per line.

The process, when I first encountered it, was liberating. The strange list of words engendered their own story within the creative process of each writer there. The poems at the end of the session were fresh, original, and shared proudly.

My son also enjoyed the process when I recalled it for him. We had fun speed- brainstorming the random list of words. Initially lacking confidence in his ability to write, he quickly grew in belief and produced some powerful poetry that he felt proud of. I was so happy to share the process with him.

And, I would love to take part in this process again. I am reaching out to you, fellow bloggers, and much-appreciated followers of my fledging blog, to write, and post, some poetry!

I used to donate a list of eight words for this fun and freeing poetry process. Here they are:

  • Cooperate
  • Forget
  • Mosaic
  • Dinner
  • Dragon
  • Weave
  • Weakness
  • Bank

Have a go! Use them in your own piece of poetry (free verse or otherwise!) and post your poem in the comments. Let’s share the joy of writing, and of poetry, together!


  1. Rules of success

    The secret to success is to Cooperate,
    (However never Forget to instigate…)
    A rich Mosaic of ideas will make you a winner,
    (Driving fast cars and having lobster for Dinner).
    To get ahead you must become the Dragon,
    Weave your own destiny (and don’t get hitched to a wagon).
    Leave Weakness behind (it’s a feeling that’s rank),
    In no time at all you’ll be laughing all the way to the Bank.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for posting this! I love how you used the random words and have created a poem (with rhyme!!) and a very driven message about success!


  3. Jabbernackle says:

    The Dragon Mosaic

    Who will cooperate,
    Least we forget,
    To make the mosaic
    On the dinner table top.
    A picture of a dragon,
    That weaves through the night,
    Showing no weakness
    As he rests on the river bank.


    1. Thank you so much for sharing this poem. I love how you have incorporated the words to create such powerful imagery. Thank you for posting!


  4. I’ve been inspired to write a second effort…

    My heart just won’t Cooperate,
    How could he Forget our date?
    A mosaic of emotions runs through my brain,
    Did he skip Dinner because he thinks I’m insane?
    So maybe I told him I wanted a pet Dragon,
    And that I thought I could Weave a wicker flagon…
    I also said I was attracted to Weakness,
    His loss, he didn’t Bank on my uniqueness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this! Really funny. I love the idea of her, wanting a pet dragon, and going to ‘weave a wicker flagon’ Thanks so much for reading and posting today!


  5. Dave says:

    I cooperate, but am easily distracted
    I forget myself, chasing birds on the beach
    Life with me, a mosaic of colour
    Of hide and seek, and chicken dinner
    When danger is near, hear my dragon roar!
    Beware the red bag! Watch it weave
    My only weakness, is larger dogs
    But you can always bank on my love


    1. What a lovely dog-inspired poem! I love the way you have used the random list of words to bring that dog to life! Thank you so much for taking part and for posting!


  6. mariclare13 says:

    Cooperate for goodness sake,
    For goodness given or received is hard to forget.
    By revelling in the beautiful mosaic of life,
    We devour the simple things like a family dinner.
    Slaying our dragon with the goodness of every nourishing moment.
    Weave a brave net of hope and love,
    To catch our fall when weakness strikes,
    Remembering, it is the balance in our life, not the bank, that counts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for posting this! I love your message. I love how you used the words to convey such an important message. It certainly is ‘the balance in life, not the bank that counts’


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