Words Dance Writing Prompt #1 : Between the Lines by Susan Lawson

Choose a poem you like. I used “Fire” by Joy Harjo from her book What Moon Drove Me to This? Cross out every other line (it doesn’t matter whether you start with the first or second line) and write lines of your own to fit with the remaining original lines. Then, cross out the remaining lines of the original poem and write more lines of your own to go with those you already wrote so that what you end up with is a poem that’s wholly yours.

Here’s what I wrote…

Between the Lines

No one hears
a voice unspoken.

Each person must walk into
the timbre of her own breath.

Every One must dance into
the beauty of her own resonance—

flirting, flitting from word to word to word
like lovers wrestling in the damp night.

A body must journey into its deepest throat
no matter what the cost. See—

the cancer cut from my neck was not the end but
a new beginning. My voice goes on and on

even as I sleep like
lake water rippling in moonlight.

My dreams, my pen become a tongue
for those weary of talk. I am become

a breeze that bristles dry autumn leaves
to ground. I mulch the earth’s madness

with whatever laughter or tears
I launch into the darkness.

                                   – Susan Lawson

For comparison, here is Harjo’s poem…


a woman can’t survive
by her own breath
she must know
the voices of mountains
she must recognize
the foreverness of blue sky
she must flow
with the elusive
of night winds
who will take her
into herself

look at me
i am not a separate woman
i am the continuance
of blue sky
i am the throat
of the mountains
a night wind
who burns
with every breath
she takes

                                   – Joy Harjo

Share a link to the poem you penned using this prompt. The links can be from your blog, website, on Facebook in a note or status update (but make sure it is set to public so folks can view it), Tumblr or Flickr, anywhere with a URL! One submission per person please. To be included on the list below submit your links before 5/16/13.

In the “Name” field use this format: POEM NAME by YOUR NAME

Susan Lawson shares desk space with a tabby kitten named Maisie and leads writing workshops using the Amherst Writers & Artists method in the central Indiana area. Enjoy more of her writing at SusanLawson.net.