A photograph to inspire poetry: flying bird

flying bird

Above is a photograph of a bird flying above trees.  It may be a hawk.  This photograph can inspire poetry.  Here are some ideas:

  • This photograph required timing. It required being there when the bird was flying and getting the shot as the bird flew and was in range.  The idea of timing could be applied to poetry.  A poet could write about timing in different situations.  A poet could also use timing in their poetry (for example with line breaks and indentions) to increase effects.

  • Obviously, a poet could write about flying. A poet could write about birds flying, flying in planes or flying as if with super powers.

  • This bird may be hunting. A poet could write about an animal hunting for prey.

  • This bird, at the time of the photograph, was flying away from the camera. The idea of going away could be used in poetry.  For example, a poet could write about one person leaving another under different circumstances.

Here is a poem inspired by the photograph:

in the dream
trying so hard
could only jump
and have the sense
of the roller coaster
until the moment
of realization
and then with freedom


Poem: do not believe the mirage

do not believe the mirage
the daydream of sunshine and flowers
the cooling pool of peaceful tranquility

behind the shimmer
behind the soft light
behind the calm sound
a darkened pit awaits

with a depth so deep
and sides polished smooth
and a darkness that seems unending

do not believe the mirage


P. S. Happy tenth day of Christmas.

Poetry topic idea: flying

Today’s poetry topic idea is flying.  There are lots of ways to use the idea of flying in poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • birds flying

  • insects flying

  • flying on planes

  • flying in dreams

  • flying objects

  • unidentified flying objects

  • flying as a metaphor for feelings


Here is an example poem that uses flying:

trying to fly,
in the dream,
can’t do more,
than leap high

Poetry topic idea: dream

Today’s poetry topic idea is dream.  A dream can be different things.  It could be an aspiration (e.g. a person dreams of owning their own business), it could be a fantasy (e.g. a person dreams of living on another planet), it could be a story imagined during the day (i.e. a daydream) and it could be something a person subconsciously imagines at night.

Some poetry ideas using dream might be where a poet writes a poem:

  • About a dream (as in the kind at night) that they had.

  • In the style of a night dream, using imagery and symbolism.

  • About their dream (as in aspiration).

  • About an unrealistic dream (a fantasy aspiration).

  • About a daydream. They could connect it or contrast it to reality.

Poem with an explanation: Out in the ocean

Below is a poem with an explanation.  Before reading it, please check out M. Sakran’s self-published collection of poems with explanations, Understanding: poems with explanations.  After you read the poem and explanation below, if you like the idea of a poet explaining their poem so that you know exactly what it means (such that you could learn more about poetry by reading what one means – which is the general idea of the eBook), then consider purchasing a copy of M. Sakran’s eBook.  The eBook has twenty poems that have in depth explanations.  The idea, is that by reading what some poems really mean, the reader can hopefully better understand poetry and improve their reading and writing of it.  Thank you very much, enjoy the poem and explanation, and hopefully you’ll check out the book.


Out in the ocean,
holding on,
to a piece of the wreckage.

There’s floating,
trying to strain plankton from the water,
hoping it will rain,
and the sun won’t be too hot.

In the delirium,
there’s a sight,
far away,
a mountain,
and there,
in the valley,
in the cool air,
and greenness,

In the moments,
as eyes look out,
there are plans,
plans about the hut,
and its expansion,
plans about fishing,
and setting up traps,
plants and fruits,
and planting bushes,
plans of tools,
plans of ropes,

But there,
out in the ocean,
the leg kicks are in vain,
the arm reaching out grabs nothing,
in the back,
things float by,
but they aren’t seen.

The mind flows,
to thoughts of drift wood,
to finding a plastic sheet,
to finding a floating drum.

It all mixes,
but then again,
there’s the beach,
and the hut,
and there again,
there’s the mountain,
and the valley.

Out in the ocean,
holding on,
to a piece of the wreckage.


This poem is about the state of a person’s life.  It exams three ideas: where they are, where they want to be in the near future and what their dream is.  As an analogy, the reader might think of a person in a state of unemployment (where they are), the next job they hope to get (where they want to be in the near future) and the business they hope to own (what their dream is).  The idea though, could be applied to many other situations.  The poem contrasts the person’s dreams with their actions and reality.

In the first stanza, the person is in a state of despair.  Life is not going well.  They are out in the ocean, holding on to a piece of the wreckage.  They aren’t drowning, but they are just holding on.  The wreckage is part of what was keeping the person afloat before.  It was whatever helped them not be in the situation they are in.  Using the job analogy, it might be some sort of side work that relates to what they used to do, that the person is getting so that they can just barely make it, at least for a while.

In the second stanza, the person is doing little things to get by (strain plankton from the water) and hoping something good will happen (it will rain) and that something bad won’t happen (the sun won’t be too hot).

In their condition, they dream of what they wish for.  It is something that gives them a sense of peace and comfort.  It is as different from where they are as things can be.  In the poem, the peaceful place is in the mountains, which is as far a departure from the sea as a person can be, in a sense.  Using the job analogy, this is the person’s dream of owning their own business.

In the following stanza, the person dreams two steps ahead.  Using the job analogy, it would be like a person dreaming about what the promotion they would get after they get an entry level job, would be like.  They dream of the improvements it will bring in their life.  They skip over the entry level job in their thoughts.

In the next stanza, the person has a moment of reality.  They try to improve their situation but nothing works.  They also miss opportunities.

When these moments of reality hit, the person stops thinking of the far away goal, and even the near term goal, and starts to think about their present.  They think of small things, that in any other situation, wouldn’t be seen as achievements, but in their current situation do.

The reality is unpleasant for the person though.  Thinking of inches, when there are dreams of miles is disheartening to them.  They again start to dream about the near term goal and the future wish.

In the end, the person is still in their reality.

This poem contrasts a person’s reality with their aspirations.  The person in the poem is a dreamer, but they don’t seem to be able to move forward to their dreams.  They get ahead of themselves.  They dream of improving life on the beach and living in the mountains, while they are floating on a piece of a shipwreck in the ocean.  They are focused on tomorrow, but not paying enough attention to today.

Although the poem was described using the idea of a person’s employment condition, it could be extended to many other ideas.  For example, a person who isn’t in shape might be dreaming about running a 5K and a marathon.  It could also be applied a person who has trouble getting a date, thinking about what it would be like to date someone and be married.  It also might be used to talk about a person with an addiction, thinking about what it would be like to be six months sober and two years sober.  In all the ideas, the person is getting ahead of themselves.  They aren’t able to improve their current situation, but they dream of the situation being changed.

In terms of form, the poem is divided into eight stanzas. The number of lines per stanza varies between three and twelve.  With exception of the second four line stanza, the number of lines per stanza increases to a point and then decreases to a point.  Had that idea been more important, the second four line stanza could have been increased to seven lines long, and the seven line stanza could have been decreased to six lines long, to maintain the idea.

In the poem, the first and last stanzas are the same.  The idea was to provide circularity.  Despite all the thought and dreaming, the condition of the person is the same at the end of the poem as at the start.

In the third stanza, the phrase “in the” is repeated three times.  In the first use, it is negative, in the second two uses, it is meant to take the reader into the person’s dream.

The fourth stanza starts with “in the”.  In the third stanza, the situation was “In the delirium”.  In the fourth stanza, it is “In the moments”.  The two “in the” phrases from the third stanza, transitioned the person’s state of mind so that they are fully dreaming.

In the fifth stanza, the word “plans” is repeated six times.  The idea was show how much the person in the poem was dreaming.  They had detailed ideas about what they wanted.  They were planning.  This is contrasted with doing.

In the second to last stanza, “to finding a” is repeated twice.  The idea was to emphasize the person grasping for scraps in their situation.  The state of the person is bad to a point, that things that are seen as debris, are useful to them.


If you liked this poem with an explanation and like the idea of explained poems as way to hopefully better understand poetry, then please consider purchasing a copy of Understanding: poems with explanations.

Post Series: Poems with Explanations: Reality and Dream

In the stillness,
there is movement,
in the darkness,
there is light.

In the silence,
there is clatter,
in the blindness,
there is sight.

In the coldness,
there is warmness,
in the weakness,
there is might.


This poem is about someone sleeping and dreaming.  There are three stanzas.  The odd lines of the stanzas describe the reality and the even lines describe the dream.

In the first stanza, the person is still, sleeping in a still room (In the stillness).  In their dream however, there is a lot happening (there is movement).  The room is dark (in the darkness), but there is light in the dream (there is light).

In the second stanza, the room is silent (In the silence), but there is noise in the dream (there is clatter).  While the person is sleeping, they can’t see (in the blindness), but in the dream, they are seeing things (there is sight).

In the third stanza, the room is cold (In the coldness), but the dream is warm (there is warmness).  The person is physically weak in reality (in the weakness), but they are strong in their dream (there is might).

The poem focuses on the contrast between the reality and the dream.

This poem is a form poem.  The general form of the stanzas are:

In the A,  (4 syllables)
there is B (antonym of A),  (4 syllables)
in the C-ness,  (4 syllables)
there is D (antonym of C (rhyme with other Ds)).  (3 syllables)

The odd lines all start with in the and the even lines all start with there is.  The last word of each line two, is an antonym of the last word of the corresponding line one.  Similarly, the last word of each line four, is an antonym of the corresponding line three.  Each third line, at least, ends with a word that ends in –ness.  All the fourth lines rhyme.  The stanzas have a syllable count of 4443.

In writing the poem, there was some intention to impart more form elements to the end words of lines (for example having each last word of each second line end in –ent).  However, given the notion of finding something relevant to the scene described, as well as the form elements of antonyms and rhyming, it proved to be a bit too much.  There is some thought though, that adding additional form elements would have added to the expression of the poem.


Do you like poems with explanations?

M. Sakran’s self-published book of poems with explanations called Understanding: poems with explanations is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. Buy your copy today!

To help celebrate the self-publication of this book, there is a post series of poems with explanations on the blog.  Above is a poem with an explanation for the series.  This poem with an explanation (as well as the rest in the series) is not from the book.  It is a different one that is part of this post series for readers to read and enjoy.

Post Series: Artworks to inspire poetry: Dog Related: Dream


Asleep in the shade,
of full gardenia bushes,
a breeze blows tree leaves,
the morning sun enlightens,
a faraway place nearby.

This artwork was made using acrylic paint followed by computer alteration

This is the last post in the Artworks to inspire poetry: Dog Related series.  The series has consisted of ten posts that have had artworks and poems in them.  Each of the artworks was made in a different way.  The ways were: colored pencils, markers, charcoal, computer, ink, crayons, chalk, tea and sugar, wood and glue, and acrylic paint.  In addition, various levels of computer alteration were applied to the different artworks.

Poem Series: Experimental Poetry Forms: Starting Rhyme: The dream

The dream, the hope, that’s in the mind,
does seem to be so far away,

and yet the scene of it is clear,
like set within a wooden frame.

The paint is thick on canvas cloth,
no faint design on it is seen,

but still the dream is far away,
though fill the frame it surely does.


(14/40) Experimental Poetry Form: Starting Rhyme

Poem with an explanation: Walking inside

It was very strange walking outside,
it wasn’t hot,
the mosquitos weren’t around,
and the man and dogs seemed content,
as they walked about,
that morning.

 In the soft light of the morning,
 that came from the sun outside,
 the nurse moved about,
 and checked if his forehead was hot,
 and saw that he seemed content,
 as she moved around.

As they walked around,
breathing the air of the morning,
they all felt content,
as they were outside,
where it wasn’t hot,
as they moved about.

 As the doctor walked about,
 she turned around,
 because she thought he might be hot,
 although it was morning,
 and there were clouds beyond the window outside,
 she wanted him to be content.

He smiled and felt content,
as he and the dogs walked about,
in the breeze outside,
and they felt it blow around,
in the morning,
when it wasn’t hot.

 She thought he might be hot,
 although he looked content,
 and although it was morning,
 she moved about,
 and turned the handle around,
 to block the sun from outside.

The morning started to feel hot,
and outside he did not feel content,
as he walked about and moved around.


This poem is a sestina.  There are two scenes in the poem.  The first scene is outside where a man is walking his dogs.  This scene is in the first, third, fifth, and seventh stanzas.  The second scene is in a hospital.  This scene is in the second, fourth and sixth stanzas.  The first scene is in the dream of a man in a hospital bed.  The second scene is in a hospital, where the man actually is.

In the first stanza, the man almost notices the unreality of his situation.  Things are not as he expected.  It wasn’t hot and there were no mosquitoes.  Things feel strange.  He doesn’t realize he is dreaming though.

In the second stanza, the nurse notices that the man seems content.  His outward look, reflects how he feels in his dream.

In the third stanza, the man continues his pleasant morning with his dogs.  In this stanza, there is only one part where the man notices a lack of something negative – where he notices it wasn’t hot.  This is the only indication he has that he is dreaming.  He realizes it less than he did in the first stanza.

The fourth stanza shows an action that is about to happen.  In the second stanza, the nurse thought the man was content, and so she did nothing.  In this stanza, the doctor wants the man to be content, and so she has the impetus to do something.  The doctor has less understanding than the nurse of how the man feels.  She also ignores the idea that it was morning and there were clouds outside.

In the fifth stanza, the man still feels content, and now has the additional positive of the breeze.  The breeze is focused on in two of the six lines of the stanza.  In the last line, there is the same slight sense that something negative is missing, when the man notices that it wasn’t hot.

The sixth stanza starts with a line that is somewhat of the opposite of the last line of the fifth stanza.  In the last line of the fifth stanza, the man noticed it wasn’t hot.  In the first line of the sixth stanza, the doctor thinks the man might be hot.  She goes two additional steps, and ignores the fact that he seemed content and that it was morning.  She ignored two things before, when she ignored that it was morning, and that there were clouds outside.  She then does something, and blocks the outside.  The doctor’s action was negative, although she intended something well.

In the last stanza, there is almost a contradictory image.  The stanza before ended with an effort to make the man cool.  In this stanza, for the first time, the man now feels hot in his dream.  The negativity goes further and he no longer feels content.  Additionally, the dogs are not mentioned in this stanza.  It is almost as if they have disappeared and the man is alone.

In this poem, there is a man in a hospital bed.  Because there is morning sunshine coming in through his window, he is having a pleasant feeling dream.  When the light is blocked, the man starts to feel bad.

Poem with an explanation: Eyes and a wolf

Eyes closed,

A wolf follows,
and at the moment,
     falling off a cliff.


Eyes open,

A wolf follows,
and at the edge of the cliff,
     a bridge appears,
     and then a glen.



This poem is surreal in nature.  It expresses an idea through imagery that has an imaginative quality.

The literal explanation of the poem, is that someone is having a dream.  The dream has a very bad situation, that is not just bad in the short term, but bad in the long term.  Then in the poem, the person wakes up, still fells the negative long term feeling from the dream, but then realizes it wasn’t real, and relaxes.

The first stanza, is a contradiction.  The first line says “Eyes closed” the second line says “seeing”.  This is meant to set the tone of the surreal poem.  In a literal sense, it describes the person dreaming: their eyes are closed, but they see the dream.

The second stanza describes the bad situation in the dream.  The bad thing in some way hounds the person (a wolf follows), gets to the person and increases the dread (growls, snarls), and when the bad thing happens there is a short term negative impact (at the moment) and also a long term negative impact (falling off a cliff).  The bad feeling comes from something that does not end when it first happens, but it continues.

The second half of the poem, is separated from the first half.  It starts with a mirror stanza of “Eyes open, darkness.”  This stanza mirrors the first stanza, but in this case, it describes the person being awake.  Their eyes open, but because it is night, they see darkness.

The next stanza has the same first three lines as the second stanza (A wolf follows, growls, snarls).  This is meant to show, that when the person first wakes up, they feel as if the dream was real, and the bad thing is still there.

The next line in the stanza shows a change.  It keeps the cliff image, but instead of falling off, as in the dream, the person starts to come to a realization that the dream was not real (a bridge appears), and then they are in a place where they feel better (a glen).

The person realizes the dream was not real and that they are alright, and so they feel peace.