Twitter Poetry: Of Shells, Fireworks, and Novellas

twitter poetry shells

It was some Tweetspeak Twitter Poetry party.

On October 9, 17 people (and a few retweeters) came together for a Twitter poetry jam, with the prompts coming from lines in The Novelist, the new novella by L.L. Barkat. We set off fireworks, we went to the beach, we roamed through the forests and probably would still be tweeting if we hadn’t stopped at our one-hour deadline. (There’s a thought—a poetry jam on Twitter to last long enough to make the Guinness Book of World Records! But I digress.)

We tweeted, we responded, we counter-tweeted, we had side jams going on, we had occasional retweeters come swooping in and swooping out, we had direct messages flying around. But in the end, it all got collected.

And became poetry.

Here are the first five poems from our Twitter poetry jam.

Of Shells, Fireworks, and Novellas

By @Doallas, @BrighterSideBlg, @sethhaines, @matthewkreider, @llbarkat, @lwlindquist, @ericswalberg, @gyoung9751, @chrisyokel, @GBrodhurstDavis, @jen_rose, @SoniaJoie, @weesparrowleae, @littlebirdmarie, @jrobertswi, @ifyouseeagun, and @YahiaLababidi. Edited by @gyoung9751.

Waiting for words

In words are my beginning;
I am born in syllable and song
to speak, to find an end.

I’ve been waiting for words,
some words, a beginning,
happy as the glitter-grin
on my lips, glitter the words
so I can taste finality on yours.

The words begin, knocking against glass.
The words are knocking, nose pressed
against the glass, not just any glass,
mind you, but empty champagne flutes
and beer steins, anxious words,
worried words,
knocking, shattering
glass to enter in
a quiet room.


Within the finality, she turned the page
to being anew. She typed finality
as if the end weren’t the beginning
of a white tea set out in afternoon,
or an amber tea for evening.
And began again, with a white tea,
an amber tea, upon the page.

And for the morning? What then?
A cold tea for midnight’s flight
and a silver dawn. Dried murmurings
of adventure press against these pages.
The end was in the tea leaves,
the reading of them, and I reached
for white and red to slow
the new beginning.

Lace and oak

Cheek to the cool oak floor
its wear-lines tracing
the story she wanted
to leave behind. Lace
to the cheek, then drifting
to the cool oak floor. Lace
and cream, but not a dream,
the designs in the lace twisting
into the dream. And will the floor
kiss, like a baby’s mouth?
I want that story. Please, the story
of shattered pages floating, to lay
pasted on my cheek to the cool
oak floor.

The perfect cup

The tea leaves fly on the wind,
searching for the perfect cup,
the perfect cup to catch my love,
the perfect cup to find among
autumn leaves, cracked and chipped,
tea stained perfect as a human,
The end was in the tea leaves,
the reading of them.

Ivory Rust

Do you dream your lace in ivory-rust?
Patterns of ivory-rust patterns, traced
with calloused fingertips and for once
I am thankful for freckles.
You see the message carved in rust
in the ivory, the patterns outlining
the story.

I dream my lace in plum.
The beginning tasted like a fresh plum,
its purple skin torn.

Plum. Ivory-rust. Does it matter?
No matter, she said. Never matter.
Why matter. What matters.
Lace, she said. Only lace.

Ivory-rust stains with
creation’s beautiful corrosion.

Photograph by mindwhisperings. Sourced via Flickr. Post by Glynn Young, author of Dancing Priest.


Buy a year of happy mornings today, just $2.99. Read a poem a day, become a better writer. In October we’re exploring the theme Wine and Beer.

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