I present the poem, “You Begin” by Canadian poet and novelist, Margaret Atwood:

You Begin
Margaret Atwood

You begin this way:
this is your hand,
this is your eye,
that is a fish, blue and flat
on the paper, almost
the shape of an eye.
This is your mouth, this is an O
or a moon, whichever
you like. This is yellow.

Outside the window
is the rain, green
because it is summer, and beyond that
the trees and then the world,
which is round and has only
the colors of these nine crayons.

This is the world, which is fuller
and more difficult to learn than I have said.
You are right to smudge it that way
with the red and then
the orange: the world burns.

Once you have learned these words
you will learn that there are more
words than you can ever learn.
The word hand floats above your hand
like a small cloud over a lake.
The word hand anchors
your hand to this table,
your hand is a warm stone
I hold between two words.

This is your hand, these are my hands, this is the world,
which is round but not flat and has more colors
than we can see.

It begins, it has an end,
this is what you will
come back to, this is your hand.

From Selected Poems II (1976-1986) by Margaret Atwood, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1987. ()


Surely, you can find some snippet of inspired thought within this truly marvelous poem. Use that poemic molecule to create your own world within your poem (which will include summer somewhere within!)



    And so I continue!
    This is my poem.
    These are my words.
    This is the time of night
    where sleep beckons. I sit
    fingers to keyboard on a summer eve.
    This is my shirt; it has no sleeves.
    It is black as night,

    or a chalkboard if you erase it.
    Or blue if it’s really dark;
    sometimes black looks like blue
    when it’s really dark.
    This is me and that is you and together
    we are we, but never wee for hearts in love
    are so big as to hold it all.

    You are as short as I am tall
    and I continue to fall for you every time my rhyme
    has you in it. So I begin it,
    and then I continue. This is my poem.
    These are my words, you are my muse.
    I choose you to be, but that’s just me.
    It always comes back to that!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

    Before the Beginning

    Before it all began
    Before anything that is was
    Was there anything
    Or did everything just appear
    Did everything just show up
    Just suddenly materialize
    Like magic

    Or perhaps it was already here
    The building blocks of the universe
    Just waiting for the time when it
    Would make its initial move
    That sudden big bang
    But who put them here

    Before the beginning
    Before time itself
    Even before God
    What was

    And what will be
    When the end finally arrives

    © Earl Parsons

  3. John sleeps, so I shall write …

    It’s a New Beginning

    I heard a robin sing last night,
    to windswept leaves lost in dark,
    to the moon bright as skin,
    and ghostly clouds pressing light.

    There in new beginnings, where
    I left my scuffed days behind,
    left the remains of yesterday,
    to the rootless thunder.

    It’s a new beginning. A day
    for stopping clouds,
    for tying them into knots
    and anchoring them to loss.

    My father died ten years ago.
    I say goodbye every day. It’s
    how I start a new beginning.


    © Misky 2016

  4. Pingback: Before is after | Björn Rudbergs writings

    Begin the Day

    I begin this way
    on a summer day
    with the screen glowing
    while the birds chirp outside.

    Soon shapes will appear
    as the sun rises
    and wordless people call
    wanting up and breakfast.

    And I say, “Hi Lord,
    walk with me hand and hand.
    May I get outside today
    and enjoy the things You’ve created.

    “May I catch a glimpse of You.
    And may I live in such a way
    that others will get
    a glimpse of You, too.”

    Of Pleasantries and Present Tease…

    Outside the window the world is full of green and gold and blue
    Sometimes it seems time mocks us in its tick by tock ado
    I check the clock too many times a day, I say, do you?
    As windows frame a summer-world where winter-white ran through

    The garden leaps to shake our hands and kiss our dusty feet
    This Thing that weds then sheds its bands has bled to heads of wheat
    And soon high noon, like June, will fall where nothing can compete
    Save new day splayed where seasons trade the bitter with the sweet

    This way we pass but once wakens awareness of a place
    Where none, when they have gone to it returns to human race
    And therefore we can only guess what waits where gates embrace
    A violet-misted veil betwixt, of season-salted lace

    Come, wash your face, set cups and plates; don’t fret about the hour
    For all that time forgets it whets its grindstone with a flow’r
    For all it takes it grafts from our mistakes a keener pow’r
    To gaze with fresh amazement at Time’s daze of sun and show’r


    In summer
    most colors are greens,
    but in fall
    I use all
    the hues and tints that await
    in my crayon box.


    Begin with self-love. Let it grow. Learn to treasure
    Love, for I suspect magic is in the giving
    And receiving of this our life’s sweetest pleasure.
    Imagine the Lord molding clay into living
    Man and woman! What joy! The greatest measure
    Of His boundless love. This God so forgiving!
    Why when we stumble over stones we censure
    Ourselves? What woodland sprite can teach us bringing
    Mercy to our lives is part of love’s power?
    Begin with self-love. Let it grow. Avoid faking.
    Or treasuring love like gold or some flower
    Torn from gardens. Prevent your heart from breaking:
    Feed it kind words. Don’t let it see you cower
    When love’s magic stares you down. Don’t start shaking!



    Where did it go, the first poem
    before the keeping of things?
    Did it just evaporate in a summer’s sun,
    or incinerate in a winter’s fire?

    Where did they go, those poems
    created before the written word?
    Were they, like dreams, soon forgotten,
    fading in their fragility, simply fallen away?

    How did they begin, the first poets,
    walking side by side on a summer’s day,
    or sitting alone, staring at the flames
    in a cavern, free from cold?

    What happened to those poets,
    the beginners of the craft,
    did they simply die alone, in reverent solitude,
    a mere glimmer in a summer sky?

    A Beginning

    This is not the beginning of me,
    but it is a beginning.
    Just as seasons come and go, you see,
    this is not the beginning of me.
    Each summer, a new time to be free.
    Winds blow, suns rise, time’s a-spinning
    This is not the beginning of me,
    but it is one more beginning.

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  12. Another triolet, picking up on Atwood’s phrase, “Outside my window…”


    Outside my window
    lies a world of wonder.
    The sun, bright and yellow,
    outside my window.
    Shadows fade as clouds billow
    and the sun goes under.
    Outside my window
    lies a world of wonder.

    Colors Are Free

    Here’s a box of sixty-four crayons.
    Will you use shades of green for grass?
    Why not choose a midnight blue,
    pretend its grass at night.
    Yellow summer sun?
    See pink halos.
    your own

  14. Pingback: Poem: A Beginning – Wanna Get Published, Write!

  15. As poets, that’s exactly what we do, Sara! We imagine our own world and render it in all the expressiveness we possess in our expanding tote of tools! Well done, CH2!

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    To My Son

    You take my hand
    and follow me with
    unsteady steps and
    simple trust
    that I will lead you safely through
    the springtime of your life

    You run ahead
    I follow close to
    keep you safe from
    unknown threats
    as you skip playfully
    through the summer of your life

    Side by side
    we walk along
    companions in a life
    of shared memories
    your arm around my shoulder
    as we stroll through the autumn of my life

    You take my hand
    I follow you with
    unsteady steps and
    simple trust
    that you will lead me safely through
    the winter of my life


    Facebook has this thing they do recently
    Every day – they pop up memories
    for me – from last year, from five years ago,
    from whenever …
    It seems pretty random
    Today, up came your picture taken on that
    sweltering summer day, one day after
    you delivered baby number two.

    The site says no-one else can see this
    unless I elect to share the photo
    But I am caught in a time-warp as if
    I’ve found a shot of you on a milk carton
    You’ve been missing from my life for
    so long – this photo seems surreal.

    I study your Madonna-like demeanour
    as you smile down at your babe
    You are the quintessential mother,
    so calm, flushed – it was hellishly hot –
    but serene, as if overcome with love.
    I am back at that day remembering
    it was me that took the photo
    How grateful you were: no-one
    else had thought to photograph you
    with your son.

    I am tempted to re-share this posting
    but am worried Facebook might
    close my account; I no longer
    have your permission to post
    such photos, I learned one sad day.
    Still, if it jolted you out of the
    complacency within which you seem
    to be living … the one that has
    placed us all in such a void …
    The risk might be worth it.

  19. A jolting reality written with aplomb, Sharon. Those memories can be intrusions at times, as you have depicted. There are worst things than being banished from farcebook! Thank you for sharing this, Sharon.

    CRAYOLA AND ME, 1958

    I began as Flesh,
    But only because it was 1958,
    And they didn’t yet understand
    A white baby may have a tint
    Of Raw Sienna.

    No understanding that changing Indian Red
    To Chestnut is not only untrue,
    But negates a child’s ability to learn
    That Indian Red describes a pigment native
    To India,
    And not the skin of a Native American,

    Or for that matter, the ability to learn what it meant to be
    Was it easier to change Prussian to Midnight,
    Than to teach us the blues of history?

    And sixteen new colors were added that year, and
    When I turned four I was no longer Flesh,
    But Peach.
    Peach with still no tint,
    And no understanding that Peach is not white,
    And I am not white, and I am not Peach.

    But colors are sharp,
    And when the summer sun shines
    On sixty four colors left on Grandma’s porch,
    They can run together

    © Marie Elena Good

    Only One

    If I had to pick one color,
    for summer, it would be green
    but then, because it is summer
    and things grow this time of year
    my green would morph
    into shades of green and then…
    think of a tree…
    around the base is the green grass
    and the trunk would be shades of brown and gray
    and each branch would dip down
    and touch the petal of a flower,
    taking on the hue of what was touched
    until the tree, mainly green but sprinkled with color
    reached the blue of the sky.

  22. Pingback: there are more words–Poetic Bloomings, PAD Day 5 | Victoria C. Slotto, Author

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