Creative Writing Etudes

After the intensity of the past six months of work and workshops, I am taking it easy on the poetry practice for the next few days. Five finger exercises. In five lines. Back to the etudes that began this nine and a half month poem a day Poetry Daily. Which has been an adventure! I have considered keeping on, but not posting. Then a friend in the North said she looked forward to these posts and sometimes they even helped her that day. (Stroke writer’s ego. Make them feel useful. Surefire strategy to keep them on task! ) So I have doggedly perservered.  On days of when I woke with a migraine, through death bed watches, a funeral, visitations, workshop days,  and just feeling ‘meh.’ But once I make the year mark on 14th September I will have a hefty decision to make. And it will probably boil down to pulling a tarot card, asking the pendulum or flipping a coin to advise me on the blog’s fate.

Any road…I really like that five line poetry form that Ange Peita introduced this past weekend at Willowbrook’s Creative Writing Weekend Retreat.  To recap how the lines flow:

  1. A quote
  2. Something about the past
  3. An action
  4. The theme
  5. The future

I know some people pose the question “What would Jane Austen Do?” as a kind of moral code or agony aunt advice. For me it is Mary Oliver.

“What will you do with your one wild and precious life?”

If you cannot procreate…then create.

Take life to your bosom. Nurse it. Re-wild it.

Know the bones of your precious nature are true.

Defend its rights. Pledge allegiance to its renewal.

Copyright 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.


More Poetry Etudes

If I had practiced more, maybe Miss Mildred would have whipped me into some sort of pianist. So with poetry. More practice. More five finger exercises on a daily basis.

My laptop is going to be out for a while. They need to order  a new keyboard fom Germany. And I Really hate this app and how I can never format the line breaks  and paragraph spacing the way I wrote them.  I figured out a work around yesterday, but it is not playing with at all today. (Cue emoticon for irritation and frustration . Ah these first world problems.) It’s taken an hour to figure out how to correct some spelling mistakes. And the iPad keyboard is a nightmare for someone who used totouch type  70+ words a minute.  (Yes, I find it cramping to use only two fingers….verrrry slowwwwly.

Intangible Assetts


What could we bequeath?

What? That which could not be

held in the hand in a leather pouch,

or made with brick, mortar, sweat?

What could we bequeath?

Thoughts and speech

to last beyond the memory of their breath

on some withered cheek

What could we bequeath?

Let the record speak.

Cosset your goodwill and all

that cannot be locked into a federal vault.

It cannot be bought or sold

or delivered. Take care not to fritter

your intangible capital.

Watch as it dissolves.

You see it in their faces

their incredulity

when integrity is not just broken

but lost forever.


Copyright Bee Smith 2018

Photo by Julius Drost from