Ideograms, I have mixed feelings about you.

But I wrote one anyway.

This week’s poetry stretch at The Miss Rumphius Effect involves writing a cardinal ideogram poem. I ditched the “cardinal” (numerical) aspect and used letters instead. This type of poem involves looking at the shape of numbers or letters and incorporating the evoked images into corresponding lines of poetry. For example, in my poem, “Thunderstorm,” below, the T brought to mind a lightning bolt, the H a window pane, etc.

The ideogram really did make me stretch. So I guess that’s good.

photo: Wikimedia commons

T     lightning slices
H     window flashes, rattles
U     gutters spill
N     sit up small in bed
D     wrap arms ‘round
E     wind whips, rages
R     run, run for shelter
S     sirens bay
T     trees sway and lean
O     cellar: damp black nothing
R     match touches candle, illuminates
M     huddle, wait
© 2013 Stephanie Parsley


After so many years

grief becomes a solitary
thing: you Google her
at work, the library 
air thick with late
Around you
swirls of students,
some the age

she would be,

flutter and throb,
as you click and click
the online family tree
to see her name
and image, a leaf
bud frozen.
© 2013 Stephanie Parsley
leaf bud, wiki commons