PROMPT #327 – “I’LL BE OUT OF THE OFFICE…”

You’re writing your poetry. You’re in your bedroom, at the kitchen table, a comfy living room chair, in your workshop, or you’re actually in an office… wherever you write becomes your office. And your “office” is well equipped. Choose an item in your “office” and wax poetic about its purpose. Could be a pair of slippers, a soup ladle, the remote control, a hand saw or… Whatever you find interesting in the space you occupy, be inspired and poeticize.

MARIE’S APPLIANCE:

MY WRITING SPACE IN THIS MOMENT

scattered furniture
what used to be here, now there
drop cloths and paint fumes

jazz notes billowing
rollers, brushes, straight edges –
that man God gave me

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

WALT’S TOOL:

OLD SCHOOL CUT AND PASTE

Stacked back-to-back, a pile
not quite a mile high of newsprint
from our liberal rag. A bag of pages
featuring poetic thought that ought
be bound and stitched and to which
I have yet to contribute. Sundays
spend with gusto and a scissor, clipping,
snipping snippets of other poets rambles,
paper shards and the room a shambles.
Glue pot at the ready and a steady
flow of fodder to secure in scrapbook,
tomes of local poets combined, of a like mind.
I find their words stimulating, celebrating
what we are all about. Words with clout,
exhilarating and titillating, waiting
to sit and read the lot. I’ve got some catching up to do.
Life is never a waste when I cut and paste!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2021

186 thoughts on “PROMPT #327 – “I’LL BE OUT OF THE OFFICE…”

  1. Marie, your poems says a lot with only few words. It gives the sense of the past and the present. What used to be, in its history, as well as putting us in the present, with good use of words. Awesome.

  2. Walt, your poem gives an impression of reminisce of the past, but also gives an expectation of what will be, in the future. Awesome! Good imagery. I pictured you working in newsroom.

  3. THE GOOD WORD

    What good is a poet
    without words?

    For he would be—
    most absurd

    like a tree
    without limb

    exposed, naked,
    —fruitless

    just—
    him

    without
    a crown.

    Shame,
    his only covering.

    Like a mighty English oak,
    without root

    Fallen—amongst
    its peers

    they steer clear,
    of the spectacle

    peering,
    —down at him

    Unable
    to halt,

    the slow bleed
    —of decay

    of the once
    mighty oak,

    of its
    day

    but observe,
    it lie still—

    Soak,
    with rain

    yet—
    unable to drink,

    or
    maintain,

    Its bountiful
    supply

    peering,
    —down at him

    they watch it
    die.

    Benjamin Thomas

  4. THE INHERITANCE

    We are born
    without words

    yet we depart
    with a rich inheritance

    the words we gain
    become us

    worlds we have built
    over the years

    the words we have spilled
    through our tears

    All the grimy
    filthy words

    The words aligned with
    malicious intent

    The words
    bent to infect
    or sicken

    The many words
    we have sent

    to destroy
    and not quicken

    The many many words
    we have spent

    Over
    time

    inducing harm
    or to maim

    the
    many
    words

    without
    purpose

    or
    without
    aim

    the many
    words

    we have
    gained

    through
    love

    through
    pain

    the
    unfettered
    unspoken words

    All
    the
    words

    are
    heard

    from
    above

    The
    words
    sown

    the
    words
    reaped

    All
    the
    words

    that we
    will keep

    when we
    depart

    BENJAMIN THOMAS

  5. To Fill the Void

    I sing not carapace or plastron
    but the space hovering between
    their arches carved out by fire

    in its devouring of turtle rabbit vole
    life gone to death in roaring flame
    leaving what was too hard to consume

    shell keratin bone teeth one hundred
    year old cedar scorched strands
    of rusting wire the odd post

    how many words needed then
    to fill the void chart the many paths
    taken by disappeared clawed feet

    once leathery legs immune to briars
    passed through blackberry thickets
    tangled smilax spiked by horse nettles

    now through tunneled space birds flit
    away into the distance riding red grasses
    dried to February sibilance shouting

    as I sight through scalloped scoots
    hoping for a kaleidoscope of ideas
    to fill this paper blank as cloudless sky

    see again his slowly blinking red
    eye as I held him in the field placed
    his carcass on the stacks of skids

    knew his spirit long fled to the sun
    and yet it’s here in this room as I honor
    carapace and plastron fill the void.

  6. No Reason

    An old story tells of a woman
    who cut off the edges of her ham
    because that’s what her mother did.
    After years, she finally asked her mom why,
    and she replied, “so it would fit into the pan.”

    Sometimes the practice outlasts the reason
    and so it is with my office.
    I had to give up my office when we hosted
    an adult with developmental disabilities
    so my living room recliner became the substitute.

    I have an end table on each side.
    One holds my reading material
    and a basket full of markers and paper,
    because I like to doodle while
    watching shows in the evening.

    On the left is my laptop, when not on my lap,
    my head phones, a back scratcher,
    a timeline I’m working on, my cell phone
    and a quilted leaf “mug rug” which holds a mug
    of tea with cream and sugar and a glass of ice water.

    And there’s the rolling ball thingy.
    It looks like a green hard rubber cup
    with an 8 ball without out the 8 inside.
    It helps relieve the pain of carpal tunnel
    while its coolness rolls around on my hand.

    I no longer have host home and I have my office back.
    I could clear off the miscellaneous from my desk
    and leave the living room for relaxation.
    Though the practice outlasted the reason,
    as they say, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

  7. Books

    One should first be a follower
    to learn to be a leader,
    and if one would be a good writer,
    they must too be a great reader.
    I like my house with books,
    not too neatly piled, please,
    some on desks, others shelved,
    a few scattered here and there, at ease.
    My life requires a physical touch, 
    a few hundred books, magazines, 
    really not all that much.

    Home is where my heart is,
    also where my books are,
    an address book the most important,
    absolutely, certainly, yes, by far.
    I can’t imagine
    a life without friends,
    absent them there’d be no me.
    My profile, certainly,
    would be nothing to see.
    Much of me reflects them,
    of this I am sure.
    Solo, I might go on, but
    in no way as pure.

    I have phone numbers and I have books.
    Who needs anything more?

  8. Daily To-do List

    1. Shop for dinner
    2. Pay bills
    3. Write birthday friends
    4. Vacuum and dust
    5. Moisturize feet
    6. Develop awesome personality
    7. Write and post poems
    8. Record on my YouTube channel

  9. VAGRANT ART STATION

    My office, may be a bit underwhelming.
    Nothing of note, or compelling, to write home about.
    It has no set place—necessarily.

    A bit nomadic, always—
    or temporarily, roaming about
    like a true vagabond in the wilderness.

    It has no sense of “place”
    but free, wandering like a bird
    without grace, common sense, or direction.

    It rides, valiantly, on the wings of discretion
    In defiance, or semblance
    of steady structure

    It bucks the trend of the stationary,
    like a meandering mobile home, vagrant art station—
    roving to and fro

    roving to and fro
    roving to and fro

    Benjamin Thomas

  10. It’s My Office

    There is one chair in my office
    Or my sanctuary if you will
    Maybe even my escape from it all

    That chair suspiciously has
    An imprint of my buttocks
    And even a few crumbs from
    The trail mix that often slips
    Through my not-so-nimble fingers

    There may be a few peanuts or
    Raisins ground into the carpet
    But no one seems to care because
    This is my office after all
    My shelter from reality

    My office is where I think
    Or at least I think I think
    Or do I just pretend to think
    I’ll have to think about that

    My office is where I create
    Or do I just put together words
    That were already created
    Just in a different order

    My office is where I practice
    On my black and white Strat
    Or I grab a camera or two
    And experiment just for fun
    Or just throw darts and think

    I have a “Love Me” wall
    With all of my military plaques
    Lined up in an orderly fashion
    Something I do because I’m OCD

    I can’t list everything in my office
    It’s a packed-up, cluttered mess
    At least that’s what my wife thinks
    But I know how to find things
    Whenever I need to find things
    Although sometimes it may take a while

    Wanna see a movie? I got plenty.
    Nearly 600 at the last count
    And nearly all worth repeating
    Better have lots of popcorn

    Wanna read a book? Got them, too
    I got some written by famous people
    Christians and Presidents and the like
    But my Bible collection is my favorite

    And then there’s the overwhelming proof
    That I am indeed a true, lifelong Pentaxian
    Some will understand what that means
    To the rest, you don’t know what you’re missing

    But my office isn’t just for me, you see
    My granddaughter knows where I keep
    My secret stash of Jelly Bellies and
    She loves being spun around in my chair

    When the boys are here we all crowd in
    And play darts while the ladies do their thing
    And then there’s my wife with the vacuum
    Gotta get those ground peanuts out of the carpet

    In truth, I like my office
    I can set in my chair and spin around
    I can look at all the things hanging on the walls
    Or the many objects in my bookcases
    Each one has a meaning or a memory
    At least to me

    The only sad reality is
    That one of these days
    When I’m no longer around
    Someone else will set in my office
    Play my Strat or throw some darts
    Watch my movies or read my books
    Or experiment with my cameras

    One of these days
    When I’m no longer around
    I hope that all of my office treasures
    Find their way into my children’s lives
    And will be joyful reminders of me

    In the end, of course
    This is all just stuff
    But it’s my stuff
    At least temporarily
    Until it is not

    This is my office
    My sanctuary

  11. WALT: Your poem made me smile. I can totally picture you! And, I LOVE this: “Sundays
    spend with gusto and a scissor, clipping, snipping snippets of other poets rambles, paper shards and the room a shambles” So pleasing to read and even vocalize, and so sweet to envision!

  12. The Write Space

    I don’t need a special place
    alone
    or a certain chair to sit in for
    my words
    to slip onto a page or screen
    spill forth
    from somewhere deep inside with
    feelings
    I will share (or not) even ones that I’ve
    denied

    #waltmarie

  13. Everywhere and Nowhere

    My writing desk is with the wind
    And the fluctuations in my daily schedule
    Squeezed between senior classes
    Phrases churning frantically in my head
    At work until I get a chance to sneak away
    And pour them into motion
    Some days it means pulling into a parking lot somewhere
    Because something is pushing on my brain
    Or procrastinating sleep with notes on my phone
    Tonight it is on the balcony in a sports bra and shorts
    After a nightly workout with my partner
    Drinking in the chill February air and Seattle sounds
    In the dark while my body welcomes the cold
    There are always planes overhead here
    And somewhere inside my love is singing

  14. Okay, so I read the Guidelines and hope the poem I wrote lands fairly close to the prompt…I’ll post it on my blog, as it has my photos included. Since the poem is on the longish side, I’d rather not type it all in the Comment Box. Perhaps if I do this again, I’ll aim for a shorter poem 🙂 We’ll see how this goes–I appreciate the warm welcome, as I’m not terribly confident 🙂 Thanks for inviting me to participate.

  15. Oh goodness…the more I look at my poem, the more it seems more about the Muse living among the described items in the “office”, than about any one item. That isn’t really what the prompt asks, so I’d best just post it on my blog without connecting it to your prompt and lovely group of participants. I’m so sorry. Best regard to you all 🙂 “Z”

    • As I understand it, the prompt is not a prescription, but a launching point. You’re welcome to post here anything that the prompt inspires, whether it “fits” or not.

    • Here’s a secret hidden in the details, Zelda. Even tap dancing around the prompt, hits the prompt. The key is that we get you to write something and you enjoy doing it. As we prescribe, there are no age limits, or restrictions to the level of your poetic acumen. Yes, the prompt was to choose an item close at hand in your writing place, But the muse living among them is just as key.

    • Zelda Rene, we are extremely casual here. The prompts are just exactly that: prompts prompting us to write “something,” whatever that something may be. There are plenty of times in which I feel like I should be saying, “I don’t know why it made me think of this, but it did, so here it is.” 😉

      You are welcome to put a link to your poem in a comment box, or type the poem in, or simply paste the poem in. I generally write in Word on my computer, and then copy my poem and paste it here. Some folks don’t paste their poems here, but provide a link to the poem in their blog. However you wish to do it is A-okay with us!

    • Yes, the prompt is to get us writing. I always find the prompts very helpful in that regard. I don’t have a set office with any particular items in it. So that forces me to be creative, which I LOVE. It makes writing poetry that much more exciting. 🤓😁

      • Thanks much 🙂 I come from a very rigid rules-bound background, thus my fears and reluctance about some of the better prompt sites. Although I was an English Major and learned all the classic poetry forms, I tend to shun the more strict prompts now–they require more brain strain than an ancient woman can manage 😁 I’m taken back by all of you at PB who didn’t want me to slip away–thanks muchly for the encouragement, I look forward to the next prompt. Blessings to you!

  16. Explanation:
    I know a good poem needs no explanation, but alas, I’m not a good poet. When I read Marie’s suggestion that we think of our writing space, it was before sunrise on Sunday morning, and my mind went to what God’s “writing space” might be like.

    It is not often that we learn of God actually writing anything himself, at least not in the way we think of writing. Normally God inspires men who write what they hear and experience, and we read it as the Word of God. As God’s thoughts are far above ours, and His ways far above our ways, so is His writing method far above anything we could consider. We write in a “writing place”, for a period of time, and with writing tools of our choosing, like pen and paper, or on a word processor. We know of only one time God wrote with His own finger, and that was on stone tablets:

    “And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.” Exodus 31:18

    But in every other case we learn God expresses Himself by writing directly on the hearts of men. i.e.

    But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Jeremiah 31:33

    You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

    Words themselves, as we know them, were also new with creation. Finite words that conjure up images and ideas in the minds of finite men also had a beginning, a Genesis of their own, for creation itself began with a word. But what was the first word? Who was The Word before the first word was spoken? What was the first expression of God into a new world being created by spoken words?

    I pondered how God condescended to speak into being something with a word; how eternity had to slow to become recordable time, the limitless heaven had to coalesce into measurable space, and how the infinite had to undergo reduction to become finite. Men speak of creation being “ex nihilo” out of nothing, but I think it is more correct to speak of creation as being “ex omnibus” out of everything, for surely everything measurable came from everything immeasurable.

    This is my poem that tries to express the screeching sound of eternity slowing into finiteness with a single condescending word.

    The First Word.

    An idea coalesces where it had always been
    into something other, perfection arranged;
    Now lower, slower, holiness expressing,
    coming together, suddenly unchanged.

    Emerging from lightness, a voice “Let there be…”
    immeasurable vastness is measured and plumbed
    Time-space created, the stillness of speed
    stalls heavenly ecstasy, euphoria numbed

    Spirit is brooding, void birthed from the deep
    Manna! What is it? Bread from above
    The Holy One stands, divine orchestra shushes
    The first word is written…. (wait) “LOVE”

    There is yet a writing by God Himself to take place at the end of finiteness. A mark, a signature if you will, God signing His name on each He calls His own. A new name from a new place, Not Kevin of Haskins, but ######### of God’s Holy Heaven.

    Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God.
    And I will write on him My new name. Revelation 3:11-12

  17. I often don’t think at all before
    I write
    I just listen to the voices in my head
    And write
    What the loudest voice whispers in my ear
    Hoping
    The loudest, clearest voice is the One voice
    That God
    Wants me to hear. If so then I know He
    Is pleased

  18. Pingback: Office of Muse | A Once & Future Recluse

  19. I really enjoyed both Marie’s and Walt’s poems–Walt’s offers a marvelous visual…I see all the pages, can almost read the lines of poems! And the closing line is delightful. What a wonderful team you make! 🙂

  20. THE OFFICE OF THE MIND

    I set up shop
    within the office of the mind;
    stop, consider, find,
    the magnanimity of every room.

    Gazing, with intent,
    out of its casement windows,
    through the broad
    panes of awesome glass.

    Peering into
    the great landscape of imagination,
    like an extravagant chasm,
    yet to be fathomed.

    Searching the grand sea
    of the unknown,
    ascend unto its own—heights
    scale the unknowable.

    Plumb abysmal depths
    of the deep,
    examine the wealth of its breadth,
    attempt to keep—its magnificence.

    Yearning to endure
    its treacherous length,
    happily, grant it access—strength
    to seep into my consciousness.

    Benjamin Thomas

  21. I’ve been playing around with a few things and inadvertently might be a form of sorts. Let me know you think.

    THAT OFFICE SPACE

    They say
    the office space
    is a very special place
    among items and things
    but it could be anywhere

    They say
    a very special place
    is the office space
    with items and things
    but I dare say where

    They say
    the office space
    is a very special place
    for items and things
    but I still say it’s rare

    They say
    a very special place
    is the office space
    like items and things
    maybe a spot with a chair

    They say
    the office space
    is a very special place
    full of items and things
    but it’s really your derriere

    Benjamin Thomas

  22. THE CREATIVITY SUITE

    “I dream my painting, and
    then I paint my dream” says
    Vincent Van Gogh. Although,
    a dream seems disjointed, full of
    conflicting odds and ends.

    The only question is then—exactly
    where do you begin?
    What do you leave out?
    Or better yet, what do you leave in?
    Herein lies the art.

    “The painter has the universe
    in his mind and hands” says Da Vinci.
    And I say, summon inspiration at will;
    make it your slave, submit to your
    callous demands.

    Be the channel of its potent streams,
    then sculpt it, fervently—until
    the passerby can see your dreams,
    through the beast of creativity,
    and by your own hand.

    Benjamin Thomas

  23. JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE

    Just another day at the office,
    with a ultra hot cup of coffee,
    slathered with milk, and a generous wave of crystalline-winter sugar
    sprinkles splashed in.

    Just another day at the office,
    with an army of BIC ballpoint pens galore; flavored precious ruby red,
    deep plum purple, Egyptian blues, and midnight black.

    Just another day at the office,
    to go on the attack—hear that screaming blank screen, and manage to paint elusive dreams in hopes that it may come true.

    Just another day at the office
    with a daily dose of the essence of the orange, juice, pulped to a tea—but
    served in a faithful cherry red coffee cup.

    Just another day at the office
    with a transparent Coca-Cola cup,
    sporting one part golden apple juice, three parts water, filled with artic ice cubes, and equal parts deliciousness.

    Just another day at the office
    with a big-boy bowl, full of old-style oats, braids of bumblebee honey, a handful of walnuts, dash of blueberries, and one luscious banana.

    Just another day at the office….

    Benjamin Thomas

  24. THE TUMBLING BUMBLEBEE

    I came upon slumbering garden
    before the awakening of the day
    within the stillness of the morn
    greeting a tepid silence blanketing
    the flower bed and plush green grass
    and there he was not bumbling about
    but tumbling asleep in the curled bosom of butterscotch squash blossom.

    Benjamin Thomas

  25. THE BUMBLEBEE: ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE

    There she blows,
    in a spat with the wind,
    there to land—
    drink, well-brewed nectar
    again;
    from autumn joy sedum
    in hot summer day,
    refreshed—
    all in a day’s work,
    hoisting
    heavy pollen baskets,
    on her hind legs.
    No time to think,
    off—
    she goes again,
    in a spat with the wind…

    Benjamin Thomas

  26. Ok. This has nothing to do with office items.

    THE BUMBLED BEE

    Has anyone seen
    the California poppies?
    Must’ve been turned
    around—again.

    All I see,
    is a sea of pavement.
    Um, anyone?

    Wings fluttering.
    Wings sputtering.

    Stands aghast.
    I must be—
    Out of gas.

    Rats!
    Guess, I’m walking.
    *Whistling*

    Benjamin Thomas

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