Poetry chain: Early Spring

Early Spring

Cooking hot dogs when I wanted ribs
Drinking pink Chablis from a screw-top
Damn kids left me with just the nibs
Too much wine, can’t go back to the U-Shop.

Getting late, call it quits, corner bar for a pop.
Barman says, "Where you been? You look down."
I says, "That whole barbecue was a flop.
Made me look like an ass fooling ‘round.”


Back in April, Linda Wastila invited me to have lunch with the cool kids (metaphorically speaking). What she proposed was that a collection of writers and poets - Linda, Mark Kerstetter, Michael Solender, Laurita Miller, Robin Stratton, Doug Mathewson, Paige Von Liber and myself - would write a set of collective poems.

Each of us were to come up with the first line or stanza of a poem, then pass it along. Each person would in turn add a line or stanza (or couplet or quatrain or whatever), and pass it down the chain. By the time it came back around, it would be a complete poem. What you see up above is a slightly edited version of what came back to me. I tried to stay true to the intent of the other poets who helped created this, while nudging it into a smoother flowing shape.

After it was all done, Linda asked me for my thoughts on the process, and about poetry and writing in general. I have to say, it was a fascinating exercise; it made me think about poetry more deeply than I think I ever have.

I take away two big things from this experience:

1) I can now say things like "the other poets", including myself in their company of lyricism and insight with a reasonably straight face.

2) My poetry is not meant to drape itself over a cup of sorrows and passion. Either my soul isn't deep enough to achieve that kind of verse or I play my cards too close to the vest for it.

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.


  1. This was one of the poems I enjoyed most. It was simple and fun. Poetry needs to be like that sometimes.

  2. oh I simply long for for this day, repeated endlessly all summer long. you (and all the gang) nailed the summer vibe with this one perfectly. Cheers to summer.

  3. Who says poems always have to be about baring your soul? I thought this was a wonderful nostalgic scene.

  4. I thought your poem had a slice of life sadness and honsty about it. It resonated, which is all we can hope for any piece of our writing.

    I especially loved the screw-top Pink Chablis. So much said about the narrator with that one description. Thanks for playing Tony! Peace...

  5. Nice job, Tony. I also liked the screw top a lot. And the first line... terrific starter.

  6. Thanks, guys! Some of the poems in this Daisy Chain asked for several stanzas from each contributor. I'm glad I asked for just a single line. It forces a condensation of scene that poetry is so well suited to.

    And I loved the screw-top Pink Chablis, too!

  7. It's great that you approached this as a learning experience and took so much out of it. I enjoyed playing with you.

  8. I agree that poetry isn't only about deep feelings and thoughts.

    Great project you have there, and cool result!

  9. fun poems are great and this one was fun to read out loud


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