Posted in Poetry

Be Here

In her book Poem Crazy, Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge shares a writing activity that I have implemented in my classroom for years.  Using admission tickets, I have cut words from magazines and created a poetry word box. (I keep mine in fancy chocolate boxes – it makes the words smell wonderful!).  It is a magical moment when I walk around the classroom and drizzle a handful of word tickets on each student’s desk.  “Use these words to write a poem.”  There are no rules.  Trade with someone else?  Sure!  Get more tickets?  Yep!  Do I have to use them all?  Can I add other words?  Does it have to rhyme?  “No rules,” I say, again.  It’s a bit like magnetic poetry but I love the tactile part of the activity and the fact that the tickets give a sense of admission into the world of word play. 

During the summer, my boxes come home and my husband and I play with the word tickets.  This poem is the result of a brief moment late one night after a glass of wine and too much yawning.  I love the message of it.


‘Be Here’

A spoonful of extravagant Now

unleashes Home

where nobody has time for tears


© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved

It’s Open Link Night over at dVerse Poet’s Pub.  Join us!

I will be writing and posting often during the summer break and have been musing over a July Challenge that came from an ongoing conversation with a fellow Pub Dweller. Look for that challenge in the next few days if you have an interest in some collaborative poeming.  Cheers!  Jilly


A wild soul writing poetry & fiction while teaching high school literature, all with a camera in tow.

49 thoughts on “Be Here

  1. extravagant now – what a great pairing of words. And then I thought about it, and thought “yes – being in the now is a luxury, an extravagance, a treat” – but something I could treat myself with ALL THE TIME.

    Sorry. Over-excited.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! Over-excited is a grand thing! I can’t really take credit for this poem, it was those word tickets, but I love how they fell and then I just added a couple of things. I was thinking about how we neglect one another by not being present, but I love your take on it!


    1. Bjorn! It is an “admission” in more ways than one. Tickets — like her word tickets — are ways of gaining admission… to the show, the train, whatever. Sorry! I just love how words lend themselves to multiple meanings. …at least in English.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice creation! Being completely present for someone is a great gift. I think a lot of people are starved for anyone to give them their undivided attention even for a few glorious minutes. My library did a game like this with cut out words from magazines which gave us lots of great food words to play with and a lot of optimistic words like “adventure.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Food words – a great choice! Did you study cuisine? We are currently reading the Spring edition of Poetry East (journal) published by DePaul. The entire edition is about food in one form or another; poems, artwork, a few recipes. I highly recommend it!


    1. Thank you! I can’t take the credit for the Word Ticket idea; that is straight out of Poem Crazy by Susan Wooldridge. If you have never read it, I consider it to be the pinnacle text on poetry. It’s my desert island book 🙂


  3. I’ve always thought of the now as having a somewhat simple and pure ascetic ( just my mind) so this extravagance is an interesting concept to consider. Extravagant now…a bit like chocolate itself right? 😉 Loved the poem and it’s creative form.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I teach 12th graders but have used it with all levles of high school. I would certainly use it with the younger studednts, but be selective about the words I cut & tape. I go for adjectives and verbs that have a positive bent; colors work well. Love nouns that are ideas, like peace, love, joy… It’s a fun project to have kids help cut and tape, too. Let me know if they use it! My experience is that the child who is ‘troubled’ is the one who latches on and writes something profound and when they are praised for it there is a change.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Didn’t realize you taught high school lit, Jilly, until today. I will subscribe so I can see your challenge. (I can’t subscribe to too many due to time issues, and energy). Love, love, love what you are doing with that writing prompt for the kids. When I was a docent at our art museum here in Reno, I used to have the kids study a painting, come up with a group list of adjectives and choose a one or a few to write a haiku. Great for middle/high school students, even younger ones. It taught them to spend some time with the work of art instead of just strolling through.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great idea! I was at the Orlando Museum of Art a few days ago and it is fertile ground for writing. I would be honored if you joined in on the challenge; it is born of a conversation with Colin Lee and I’ll probably run it out here in the next few days.


      1. Hope all is well in your world, Victoria! Even if you don’t find time to join in, I would love for you to pop by and see what we are doing; there is a bit a cross-cultural poety history involved that I think you’ll find interesting. I’m hoping to have it ready to go by Sunday evening.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. How enchanting. This strategy makes me homesick for teaching. I taught English along with other things, but never got to teach poetry..the thing I most wanted to. At my writer’s workshop, we sometimes came up with end of the night times when we’d throw a word in a hat with five or six others and challenge each other for the following week to come up with a poem using the words. It was fun — like this. Your own poem pulls us to center. “Home” where we can be ourselves. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m trying to convince our school admin to roll out that Creative Writing class soon. I currently sponsor the club, but lots of kiddos want the class and I want to teach it! I agree about poetry – I could run a year-long class and not have enough time to do it all. Thanks for sharing!


  6. I wish I had an inspiring teacher like you, Jilly. Will definitely try that with my kids in a few years.

    Very thought-provoking piece. I found the odd capitalisation quite clever — opening up 3 or 4 different ways to read this micropoem. The creative and unexpected word pairings have opened up new avenues to our sense of belonging and of the presence. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

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