Playback speed
Share post
Share post at current time

Poetry Prompt Journey: Earth Whispers

Poetry to inspire you + a sample Prompt Journey


Pause the video! Don’t let it play just yet…I want to set you up for the journey…

I am excited to share a Prompt Journey and some poems to inspire your creativity here.

It’s a taste of what will be posted regularly in the Creatives’ Circle.

This Prompt Journey comes from a recent Maker Monday. We gathered on Zoom for a live experience, and the Prompt Journey is excerpted from that.

The upcoming Maker Mondays Series begins on March 27th! I hope you will join us. If you subscribe to the Creatives’ Circle, you are automatically invited to the entire live series—it’s included free with your subscription.

You can also register with me directly. All the details are in this post.

For the entire Maker Mondays Series, poems and prompts from each weekly gathering will be posted here, so even if you miss the Zoom meeting, you can still partake. Also, you can share your resulting creations with one another by replying to posts, in a private group! I am so excited to see what emerges.

This post is public, but it can also be replied to by all paid subscribers, so feel free to share here as well.

I need to express some gratitude before we begin…

Thank you to Aura Chaya who has been encouraging me to find a way to share these Prompt Journeys with the world for months…going on a year now! It is because of your passion that I finally figured out a way to do this. Thank you.

Thank you to Adriana, who was at this Maker Monday, and encouraged me to record the prompt journey itself. She shared with me that simply reading the prompts on a screen was not the same as being guided through the journey. Thank you.

Thank you to Ketzirah who encouraged me to start a Substack, like, the day Substack came into existence! Years ago. She knows what is up. It took me a while, but you were so right. Thank you.

Two elements about the Prompt Journey experience in general that I want to mention:

+In the future, inspirational elements I provide you in the opening step of these posted Prompt Journeys have the potential to get more multigenre, multidisciplinary, multimedia…multidimensional. I am looking forward to that, and I hope you are too! What do you think about that? Love to hear in the comments.

+You’ll notice in the video, (when we get there, not yet…) this is definitely about as bare bones as it can get: it’s a screen share of a MS Word document. For multiple reasons, I am somewhat partial to this approach, not the the least of which being that it uses the same tool of creation that you, the participant, are likely to be using, and I like the mirroring element of that. BUT…it could just as easily be a simple Powerpoint/Google Slides-type presentation. I am curious your thoughts from the UX POV. Please let me know in the comments if you share my sentimentality for the Word doc approach, or if you would prefer the PP/GS approach. Especially people in the Maker Mondays Series and Spring Workshop Cohort…tell me what you think! TYIA.

Speaking of comments and sharing…one last mention that you really are so welcome to share what comes through for you in the comments, be it poetry or otherwise! Looking forward to that.

Feel free to ask questions about anything else in this post, and share thoughts on the poems we are being inspired by in the comments as well.

Alright…so, let’s go on a journey!

Oh…wait…one last thing before we start…so important…

Please support the artists shared in these Prompt Journeys. Next time you need to buy a gift for someone, consider purchasing a poetry book by a poet whose work rocked your world here, or an album from musicians who held your soul here. (And don’t forget…you are “someone” and you deserve gifts, too!)

In this Prompt Journey, we will be inspired by:
Adam Kirsch
Lucille Clifton
Joanna Klink

And we will be serenaded by:
Beautiful Chorus

I want to invite you to carve out some time and space for yourself to embark on this.

Maybe grab a cup of your favorite tea, or a glass of red wine, or sparkling water, or hot chocolate…whatever feels luxurious to you.

Maybe you want to close the door.

Maybe light a candle.

Gather to yourself whatever you might need to be creative. Perhaps it is your favorite journal and beloved fountain pen, to make the moment feel special. Perhaps a legal pad and pencil, so it doesn’t feel so permanent. Perhaps you’ll type right into a word processing program on your laptop. Maybe you’re on a phone and using a notes app. (I want to let you know that you can even use talk-to-text if getting words from your head to your hands feels on-the-edge for you. Yes, using talk-to-text still counts as writing!)

You might gather your oil paints, or watercolors, or Mr. Sketch scented markers. Or your guitar. Or your dancing shoes. Or your meditation cushion.

You get the idea!

There is no wrong way to explore this.

And know that in the prompt journey, you will receive the prompts visually and aurally, because we all have differing neurologies, and different ways of best receiving information. Receive it in the way that best serves you.

Ok, let’s get inspired.

My hope is that you will let these poems enter you as if by osmosis. We are not here to analyze or intellectualize, both of which are, indeed, worthy pursuits. We are just…doing something else in this moment.

**If you are reading this on a phone, please turn your phone to landscape mode to preserve the integrity of the poets’ enjambment (line breaks).

If it feels good in your body, you might want to read the poems aloud. Do what works for you.


Now that no one looking
By Adam Kirsch

Now that no one looking at the night—
Sky blanked by leakage from electric lamps
And headlights prowling through the parking lot
Could recognize the Babylonian dance
That once held every gazer; now that spoons
And scales, and swordsmen battling with beasts
Have decomposed into a few stars strewn
Illegibly across an empty space,
Maybe the old unfalsifiable
Predictions and extrapolated spheres
No longer need to be an obstacle
To hearing what it is the stars declare:
That there are things created of a size
We can't and weren't meant to understand,
As fish know nothing of the sun that writes
Its bright glyphs on the black waves overhead.


(Ok, I know I said "no analyzing or intellectualizing," but I have to testify…by getting technical for one moment. This is wonderful iambic pentameter."Unfalsifiable" holding six syllables: three iambic feet? The way that em-dash is holding a syllable? Can I get an amen?!

Alrighty, back to our regularly scheduled programming...)


the earth is a living thing
By Lucille Clifton

is a black shambling bear
ruffling its wild back and tossing
mountains into the sea

is a black hawk circling
the burying ground circling the bones
picked clean and discarded

is a fish black blind in the belly of water
is a diamond blind in the black belly of coal

is a black and living thing
is a favorite child
of the universe feel her rolling her hand
in its kinky hair feel her brushing it clean


(Thank you Lucille Clifton, ancestor poet queen. We sing your praise in humble gratitude.)


from "3 Bewildered Landscapes”
By Joanna Klink

STARS, SCATTERSTILL. Constellations of people and quiet.

Those nights when nothing catches, nothing also is artless.

I walked for hours in those forests, my legs a canvas of scratches,

trading on the old hopes—we were meant to be lost. But being lost

means not knowing what it means. Inside the meadow is the grass,

rich with darkness. Inside the grass is the wish to be rooted, inside the rain

the wish to dissolve. What you think you live for you may not live for.

One star goes out. One breath lifts inside a crow inside a field.


(Thank you for this poem of “scatterstill stars.” This poem of “being lost
means not knowing what it means.” Oof.)


Let these poems wash over you.

Then, feel your heart and mind fill with gratitude to the poets.

Thank you, poets, for these offerings.

Then…scroll alllllll the way back up to the top of this post…and take the prompt journey in the video.


Rachel Kann