April is National Poetry Month (NaPoMo!). This fact alone is one of the reasons that makes April one of my favorite months of the year. A month honoring verbal art that coincides with the creativity blossoming in the natural world around us.

I love my collection of poems–literary journals and books, chapbooks and anthologies–I’ve gathered over the years from literary festivals, readings, small presses and friends. There are poems that speak to me so deeply that I leave the white space surrounding them alone, the words’ weight heavy enough to lie on the page without added company. But others inspire me to engage–maybe a single word or phrase is the spark–and I fall into them, these rabbit holes, my own writing taking over. In a creative frenzy of annotations, I connect, converse, relate to, and orchestrate my own stories (see below).

Poems are spellbinding jumping off points. Poets defy rules, they invent their own, they warp and play with language until it is all together something new with movement and breath and impact.

Poems are another’s creation that feed my own. And, sometimes all I need is someone else’s art. Someone else’s connection to the page and to this world through words. Someone else’s bravery or need or obsession to put pen to paper. And that is just enough nudge, when I need it, to create. For those that write, there is nothing like the non-thinking, ink over paper, just being kind of writing that happens when you’re inspired. Today, I wish you that.

Writing Prompt: Interact with a poem. Find a poem to engage with–open a book, or do a google search. Either make a copy (if it’s a book you don’t want to write in) or print it. What speaks to you? What sparks conversation? What words stand out? What emotions or felt experiences do they produce? Do any memories surface? Are there links to something you’ve written, are writing, or want to write? Dive in. Don’t be afraid to just doodle. Keep pen to paper. Cover the page with your thoughts, images, word sketches.

Don’t have a poem to start with? – here are a few to try (and there are so many – just go to https://www.poetryfoundation.org/ if these don’t strike you):

The Place Where Clouds Are Formed, by Ofelia Zepeda

Bats, by Douglas Haynes

New Writing, by Thalia Field

Connect With Our Writing Community: On the Om & Ink Facebook page share a poem or comment with a poem on Om & Ink’s Instagram — something you’ve written, something you’ve just encountered, or something you love, to inspire all of us this month!

To poetry, and pens to paper, and wild, illustrious thoughts–follow them,

Courtney Amber