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Each week, I share on this blog one of the writing prompts used in my workshops, along with an example of what was written in response. This week I’d like to share a simple prompt that brought a powerful visceral response; there was a knowing laughter and a frantic scribbling, followed by a gentle sigh and an atmosphere of ‘knowing’. I personally found it fascinating to observe this, and though I share my own poem here, I intend to ask all those who were there last week to send me their poems to share on this blog if they wish. The wisdom and playfulness and profundity was quite stunning. And, well, it was really very simple…

  • Β Take a blank sheet
  • Write at the top ‘To Do’
  • Add one item to start off that list
  • Pass to your right/receive on your left and add another item
  • Stop when you receive your original sheet back.

Now, turn over…

Write ‘To Be’ as a heading, and complete as before, though perhaps not quite as before, for now you find yourself allowing your shoulders to relax, smiling knowingly, and closing your eyes to dream into what it means…to be…

Now take all of that and mix it and call it and craft it and cajole it into a poem! See – simple! πŸ˜‰

So, here’s what I wrote because that’s all I have to hand right now, but I’ll hopefully share some other examples soon. I loved each and every one of them…

What am I

if I throw

all that I do away?

What would be left

of the me

others see?

And is that why

I hide behind

all that I have

and do,

built up like a wall

that keeps my real self

from showing through,

because what’s true

doesn’t fit neatly

into a world of ticks and lists

it just exists,

naked and unadorned

until we clothe it in tasks

that matter far less

that simply being –

in spite of the mess…


So dear friends, over to you! How’s your balance of Be and Do πŸ™‚Β 


If you enjoyed this prompt, then you can find more here:


and here: