Thirteen Ways

Every once in a while, I share something inspired by a prompt from one of my writing groups. Recently, we were challenged to compose a poem using the title of the Wallace Stevens poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Crow,” but inserting a noun other than crow (and writing in our own style). As usual, we were given five or ten minutes to complete the task. I composed a list poem using an image which has been close to my heart from my earliest days. (Sorry, I seem unable to set the poem to single space.)

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Mountain Brook

rushing water splashing over fallen boulders

minnows in shallows, trout in deeper water

salmon jumping upstream

sunbathers wading to a rocky slab

picnickers eating Vienna sausage and saltines midstream

mica-sprinkled sand under still, clear pools

glinting sunbeams

liquid life

sticks floating like tiny kayaks

soggy sneakers

frogs, algae, and water bugs

miniature lacy waterfalls

quiet water flowing over moss-covered stones

7 thoughts on “Thirteen Ways

  1. /Users/maryrosecarroll/Desktop/B10,F2(11).png

    It could take a lifetime
    To get to know these trees
    In the patch of park across from the Zoo rookery
    The way one knows one’s family
    This towering one infront of you for instance
    Its roots like weather-beaten tusks of some
    bull elephant
    Half way to the top trunk splits in two
    Like Siamese twins
    Then zigzags into a cavalcade of summer green
    Or take that other right behind it The trunk
    Split open by lightening or by age
    Looks like an open book
    Maybe some ancient parchment by Avarroes
    Eramus comes upon
    400 years after it was written
    This third tree is the last
    Least I turn into a tree myself
    It’s tan and slender as an adolescent
    Who’s dancing for the pleasure of the Khan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Jan, mountain brooks have always been a favorite of mine since regular childhood trips from the SC flatlands to our grandparents’ home in the NC mountains. We often stopped for a creekside or mid–creek picnic along the way.


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