Exercise in Poetry

Hello, dear friends,

Back in 2008, my friend, Brenda, and I took the challenge to participate in a poetry exercise, hosted by a local poetry organization.  Each week they posted a theme, and the writers had to write a poem or prose along that particular theme.

In the exercise we had 15 minutes to write something.  The point of the exercise was to spontaneously create.  Not too much time was given to mulling over – just allowing inspiration to flow through.  Of course the timing of the poem was on the honor system.  There was really no pressure.  It was meant to be fun, and it was.  Brenda and I sent each other our poems when we finished them, then sent them through email to the organization. We had a great time, and produced many wonderful poems and prose from it.

The following is one of those poems.

Remnants Of The Past

 I walk along the water’s edge.
I’m in the Present moment.  Isn’t that all there is – the NOW.
No past, no future; they aren’t here – only now.
The three are one; Past, Present, and Future are all in the NOW.


They say not to think of the past; the remnants of life.
Yet, as I slowly, purposefully walk along the shore,
I see remnants of past lives.  Footprints left before me.
Whose were they, I wonder.
Where did they come from?  Where were they going?
Are they happy, content? Safe,  fulfilled? 
They’ve moved on into the future, or should I say the present.
Only a part of their past remains.  Footprints; remnants
of a fleeting moment.

 I walk along.  Seaweed catches my attention; orderly,
neatly pushed by the water, foam caressing the limp
clumps.  I wonder how beautifully it must have flowed, deep
beneath the water, like a graceful dancer swaying to the rhythm
of the ocean’s heart beat; alive, vibrant.

I walk still.  Shells strewn about; little homes left behind by
some precious creature.  Now they are the past of that little one;
only a remnant of it’s former self.
Can we escape the past, or does it present itself to
us in the Present?

But, then I think, the past can be the NOW, for the waves will
wash away the prints, leaving the sand smooth again for new
imprints.  A bird may use the seaweed to line its nest, which
will receive new life into it.  And another little creature, just as
precious as the one before, may create for itself a home from a
discarded shell.

 So perhaps, the remnants of my life, worn, imperfect, and faded,
can be used to create a more perfect NOW.

copyright©2008 Marianne Coyne

Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope you had a leisurely visit.  Until next time, may happy days abound.


The above images are details from original oil paintings by Marianne Coyne


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lynn at Cottage and Creek
    May 06, 2011 @ 22:18:05

    I enjoyed my visit to the shore through your thoughtful words today, Marianne. I could almost smell the salt air and hear the cries of the gulls. I haven’t written much poetry lately but I love to … you’ve inspired me once again!
    God bless you today and always,



  2. Brenda
    May 05, 2011 @ 14:48:06

    I remember those wonderful days. I think we were able to reach deep within us to bring about beautiful words. I loved the feeling I had when I was being creative. I love this poem, Marianne! Even back then you were thinking in the NOW! Love ya, Brenda



  3. Yvette
    May 05, 2011 @ 07:04:06

    A wonderful poem,Marianne. Thoughts of wisdom…sometimes not only are there footprints of the past, but overlying shadows in our hearts!.
    A more perfect now, isn’t always easy to find, perhaps we need to give more gratitude that as we live each day we find the positives, happiness and contentment very every passing moment.A better Now! x



  4. Susan
    May 05, 2011 @ 06:29:08

    such a beautiful poem you created! love the words and its meaning, you’re so talented, marianne and you did it in 15 mins! Blessings, Susan.



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