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“Too much sensible really isn’t good for one.”

I wrote this phrase in another recent piece of writing, so maybe that’s where the inspiration for this prompt came from. It is also a nod to my background as an English Language teacher, and the concept of false friends. Sensible in English is one thing, but the same word in French, pronounced sensible…means something entirely different – sensitive!

So, we began by writing sensible is… and then completing that with whatever word or phrase came, passing sheets of paper around the circle, until we’d collected some ideas. For example:

…thinking before you leap

…not putting your head in a lion’s mouth

…always carry an umbrella, just in case

etc etc


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Then we turned the page, and began sensitive is…, and the circle became quieter and more earnest, while writing things like:

…what it must feel like when a bee lands on a flower and tickles its way to the pollen

…allowing joy and grief – all of it

…really being able to listen deeply

etc etc


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The invitation was then to take that inspiration in whatever direction you wished, and write a poem in ten minutes! This is what I wrote:



Comfortable shoes

eight hours a night

eating less cakeย 

when my jeans get too tight

putting my wellies on

when the rain falls

answering the phone

when my mother calls

paying my bills

and being on time

live life like this

and you’ll see how the time

ticks by with the monotony

of my grandfather’s clock

on a shelf out of reach

so it doesn’t get knocked

or damaged in any way

but it’s clockwork

so when I don’t wind it up…


I don’t know the time

so I look at the sky

and pretend I can feel

each moment fly by

I linger to chat

to a snail on the path

tell it “don’t be so slow!

The bikes go pretty fast!”


I’ve forgotten my water

so I follow a sign

I’ve seen for a cafe

but I never had time


now I have a black coffee

though I know I won’t sleep

and it’s hard to keep

in the laughter that creeps

into cells that have known

my routine for so long

they’re confused and excited –

what on earth has gone wrong?!


the heartbeat, the smiling

the caffeine, the song

I do hope she won’t

keep this up for too long!


I pay and I leave

with a bounce in my step

now where’s that next promise to me

I’ve not kept…


I had a lot of fun writing that, and thoroughly enjoyed all the other poems that came out of that gathering of thoughts and ideas. Such variety! Care to try this yourself? You’re welcome to share or link in the comments below.


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


and here: