Loud and Clear

The afternoon of my day with Rose Cappelli and Lynne Dorfman was devoted to poetry. They highlighted three types of poems:

  • Walk around in the author’s syntax. Here you are immersed in the writer’s world. Here is an example they shared.
February by Charlotte Otten
February turns everything to gray:
gray lakes, gray fog, gray sun.
Gray squirrels lose their bearings
hunting for acorns buried 
beneath thick gray snow.
  • List poems, these are so fun to create. Think of a topic and create a list. One of my favorites is below.

Bad Beds    by Doug Florian

Bench in a park

Mouth of a shark

Garbage pails

Bed of nails

Elephant’s trunk

In range of a skunk

Underneath birds

Near stampeding herds

Of course there is a poem called Good Beds too, but I will let you discover that one.

  • Narrative poem was the third type Rose and Lynne presented. These poems tell a story. Usually they are a slice of life caught in the poetic web.

The challenge was to create a poem that fits one of the types we’d been studying.

I’ve had a story rolling around in my head for several years, just waiting for the right format to tell it. I found it with the narrative poem.

Loud and Clear

“The only place

to stop

is McDonald’s,”

my husband announced.

With a I’d-rather-eat-nothing attitude

I stroll into

the crowded eatery.

Joining an endless line

we snaked our way 

to the register.

Glancing around reveals 

a boisterous bunch in a booth.

Kids shove, smack, shout.

Dad’s last nerve frazzled,

he lashes out,

“Sit down!


We are in a restaurant

for goodness sake!”

Bodies stilled,

startled eyes with

what-are-you-talking-about looks

turn to dad.

A hush falls over the dining room,

a small voice pipes up,

loud and clear,

“No we’re not,

we are at McDonald’s”