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Writing Workshop Blog: Inside Stones and Juxtapositions

Inside Stones and Juxtapositions

November 13 & 20: We have continued to experiment with the power of word play in writing workshop over the past two weeks.  The results have been rich, celebrating a need for occasional over-the-topness in language.  Drawing from exercises in Rip the Page, we have created poems about the origins of punctuation marks and numbers, descriptions of what we would capture in lucky containers, and randomly generated juxtapositions.  We have also tried the poetic forms of tanka and acrostic.  We went outside to select stones for poems in which we imagined the world inside the stones.

For our juxtaposition generation, we followed an elaborate set of instructions to create two lists of words and phrases that we could link.  We then chose to title the linked images “Poetry is..,” “Creativity is…” or “My life is…”  This experiment yielded images such as:

white roses lying on the surface of a lake in June

rusty staircase clinging to a melancholy day

slurping noodles on my birthday in July

hearty pot roast with wrappings of gold and silver

My life is a slow dance of the past

Creativity is the downy wings of the future

Poetry is double rainbows stretching across the future

forced to eat angry noodles abandoned in February.


Our ruminations on a stone included these two drafts:

My two stones

One brown and dusty

From the Wild West

An ancient stone, a hard stone

Clever and yet it does not have

A brain. With a soft heart on

The inside yet no heart at all

The other a fine quartz lady

Who once must have served

In a rich woman's mansion

Misplaced by great folly

Out in the cold her once

Shimmering shining coat has

Lost its sheen. Years pass by. The

Clouds rain on her. People

Trample her. She grows

Muddy and torn.

How different these two are

Yet I found them both and

As they sit in the palm of

My hand their insides warm

But cold. I feel them vibrate.



A stone

Dirt speckling the surface of

What was once the most






The Crown Jewel


Is now but

A stone

The Emerald Heart


Down to

A stone




The last surviving token

Of the

Faerie Kingdom

Is now

Nothing more than

A stone

Only an echo

A shadow

Of its former


But it is now

Content as

A stone

We will spend the next two weeks reading through all of our drafts and selecting the pieces we want to revise, edit, and publish.  Some of the lines above may soon appear in our anthology.

(writing workshop blog summarizing November 13 and November 20)