Writing Prompt #3: Combining the Outer Eye with the Inner Eye

Pam Downing supplied the following prompt:

  1. Think of something that pleases you, something that you have a deep feeling about.
  2. Use the outer eye to make observations about this thing, using all 5 senses. Write without stopping for a while–I’d guess 5 minutes or so.
  3. Next, write for the same amount of time using the inner eye to address 1 or more of these questions: What is the significance of the thing you’ve chosen to write about? What is its emotional impact? What memories do you associate with it?
  4. Now spend the last five minutes combining both sets of observations into a single piece.

In typical Pam fashion,… she allowed us to wander from the prompt as we felt the urge, which was important for some people. I decided to stick to it. This poem about books was the result:


Ideas in fact weigh something,

are fragrant in their newness,

their aging,

their becoming old.

Rolled into cigarette papers,

cupped in coffee filters,

they say something, stained.

They wash over,

carve caves with sound,

report like oracles from worlds unseen—

rabbit holes, prairies

donut shops and parlors.

Their wrinkles

enfold you,

seal you thinly

with gold.


One thought on “Writing Prompt #3: Combining the Outer Eye with the Inner Eye

  1. Cre8tvCottage says:

    I think this poem is my favorite that you have posted here because it speaks to me. Ideas are indeed stained at times and golden at other times. I really like the images you used to describe the life of an idea.


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