Writing from Raspberries

Earlier I explained you could start with the word kumquats and if you let it, the writing would take you where it really wants to go. Below is a poem of mine that came from starting with the word raspberries and having no idea what I was going to write. This is the final draft of a poem that ended up being about my father.


Sweetness tinged tart, rising
from root stock my father planted
in the fog haunted garden,

hands plunged into black earth
gritty beneath fingernails, on his knees
seeking the salvation nurturing
seeds can bring a burdened soul.

Vines dripped red berries
sprinkled on vanilla ice cream
in the dark kitchen, on the long nights
when dreams would not let him sleep.

The War in the Pacific, an ambush
in a Philippine jungle, flickering
through his mind for fifty years.

This luscious flavor now on my tongue
pulling out thoughts of him,
tossed in the bowl of memories

heavy in my hands
now that he has been released
to the earth, he so carefully tended.

-Suzanne Murray

WRITING EXERCISE TO PLAY WITH: Use different fruit for your writing prompt: oranges, lemon, watermelon, figs, blackberries, . . .or whatever one pops into your head. Have fun.

One Response »

  1. This poem is a waterfall of gushing life. I like the generational family story it pours out and the “heavy in my hands” line, which set me drifting in the last stanza to a peaceful conclusion.

    I’ll share this link with writer friends on Facebook and Twitter.


Leave a Reply