How I Write

How I Write—A Bit of Tickle for the Mind

by Melinda McIntosh    03/01/2014


I start with little bits

And the bits begin to grow

End to end

Hand in hand

The bits begin to flow


I never know which path they’ll take

Which twist and turn or loop they’ll make

I only know

For Heaven’s sake

I have to let them go


Not all of them are useable

Not all of them are grand

Most of them are mutter-clutter

And mutter-stutter sand


I keep the bits of mutter-clutter

And all the bits of mutter-stutter

Hoarded like a treasure trove

Of tangled golden bits I wove

Precious gems

Too good to pitch

Now junk plopped in a drawer


They’re bits of just-in-case-I-need-them

And someday I just might

In the middle of a poem

In the middle of the night


But today I’m moving on

With the poem now at hand

Trusting that my bits will wind




To something that is useful

A bit of tickle for the mind


The sound I want is rhythmic

The thought I want is pure

Some filler-bits

And in-betweens

Will round it out for sure


No I never know quite where they’ll go

Or where they’ll find their end

But when it works

It’s mutter-magic

Like finding an old friend


8 thoughts on “How I Write

  1. Melinda … even your name sounds poetic. Thank you for reading me this poem. I have read it to myself and have discovered my own meanings as I took a moment to relisten. I can hear what you are trying to say. I find it gentle and sweet with a touch of meloncholy for all those lost bits of mutter-clutter.

    • Thank you, Ann! I was so happy to see you and spend some time visiting. I’m glad you’re finding personal relevance in the poem. On the surface it’s about writing a poem, but you’re right, there is broader meaning to be discovered by the reader.

  2. Hi Melinda: I love this poem! You have a light, elfin touch with the rhythm and language. May I post a link on my facebook page?

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