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Invocation Poems

May 12, 2016

This week I used an exercise from Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s magical book poemcrazy: freeing your life with words:


“I suggested we each go outside alone and wander until we noticed an object to bring back to class that might have a quality we needed or with something to tell us… Name it, I suggested, a real or made-up name. Next, describe [the object].What does it look like? Compare it to something else. Then ask it, Bring me a quality it has that I need.”

Invocation_Bark Poem_Shirl

Students brought back objects from inside and outside the Span building: a lime from a basket of home-grown fruit in the foyer; a flower, a piece of bark, a shard of concrete. One person wrote about the ‘death sticks’ in her cigarette packet, another about his gold pen full of ‘tales untold’.


What I love about this exercise is the way it makes us closely examine mundane objects and see their extraordinary qualities.

Here are mine (somewhat revised):

Invocation_Mileta_Paper Clip.JPG


Silver, shiny paper clip

Bendy but hard to break

Give me your flexibility

and your ability

to hold things together.


Invocation_Playing Cards_Mileta.JPG

Box of playing cards

Black and gold, white and red

Dangerous as cigarettes

Containing multiplicities

Heavy with gems and organs,

blunt instruments

and digging implements

Give me your sense

of endless potential

and elegant menace


Invocation_Mileta_Plastic Cup.JPG

Plastic drinking cup, luminous fuchsia

Dishwasher safe, microwave safe, recyclable

Give me your decorative usefulness, your

responsibility and possibility

for transformation.

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