Apart But Part

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

You guys, this has been a rough writing week. Last weekend, I wrote live with my Poetry Sisters, and it was great. Although our challenge, a villanelle around some kind of dichotomy, was tough, I thought I had at least a start on it. I was wrong. The week has been cram-packed with business tasks, and every thing I’ve worked on has taken longer than I anticipated. I tried several different approaches and topics for this villanelle. They all failed.


By Wednesday night, I had just decided that I was going to post that I had given it a try and just couldn’t do it. Then last night, we got an amazing lightning storm.


And it made me think about how our little deck is one of the things I most love about our new townhome. So this morning, Thursday morning, I decided to try one more time. And I came up with at least a first draft. No pretty graphic this week. I was lucky just to spit something out.


Apart But Part


Perched two stories high,

on my simple wooden deck,

I melt into the world. As I spy,


the aspens quiver, breezy, shy.

I’m nothing but a speck

perched two stories high.


Squawking fledglings—time to fly?

Down below, their parents peck.

I melt into the world as I spy.


At dusk, the bullfrogs honk. I sigh,

and tension leaves my back and neck.

Perched two stories high,


I’m lit by a flash in the twilight sky

as lighting strobes with flash and check.

I melt into the world as I spy.


The moment, hour, day—the world!—floats by.

My deck’s a webcam, simply lower tech.

Perched two stories high,

I melt into the world as I spy.

–draft ©Laura Purdie Salas 2021, all rights reserved

Can’t wait to see what my sisters did with this challenge!


Mary Lee

Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

Becky at Sloth Reads is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup this week! Make sure to stop by:>)




20 Responses

  1. Even when you have a rough week of writing, you compose beautiful poetry. I did the villanelle challenge, but worked really hard on it and I’m still…well…challenged. One thing I have learned, though, is the topic must be one you care about. The passion for your “simple wooden deck” comes through. “The moment, hour, day– the world!–floats by.”

    1. Aw, thank you, Margaret. Looking forward to reading yours. I’m out of town today/tomorrow but will be traveling around to visit posts :>)

  2. Wow, Laura, this is beautiful and excellent! I agree with Margaret that your passion shows for your “deck” and “I melt into the world the world as I spy.” It is such a great feeling to be at a bird’s level and a tree’s level isn’t it? I love and see this image so clearly “I’m lit by a flash in the twilight sky/as lightning strobes with flash and check.” I love the personification in this image “the aspens quiver, breezy, shy.” I love this great metaphor because it gave me a chuckle “My deck’s a webcam, simply lower tech. 🙂 Yes, to frogs’ sounds relieving tension.

    1. Thank you, Gail! Yes, the most wonderful thing about our deck is that it overlooks a tiny retention pond ringed by trees. I feel like I’m in a treehouse!

  3. Laura, bravo on your draft! I enjoyed it, and look forward to seeing if it pops up somewhere in a more finished form (and I say that based on you identifying it as unfinished {smile}). I applaud your ability to “spit something out” after the last few months you’ve been through. If I’m not mistaken, you’ve updated your social media (Twitter, at least) to reflect your flexible hiatus, which I applaud as well. I’m in a number of major transitions, and it’s definitely affected my writing life.

    I love the subject of your poem. Decks, porches, and the like are oftentimes my favorite rooms in some people’s homes, including mine. My wife jokes (sort of) that we decided on our house after I saw the porch — that was all it took. Your details are so nice, and I like the idea of your deck being a webcam. It’s a perch with what appears to be a nice view; I don’t doubt many a word will be written there!

    1. Thanks, Tim! That’s funny about choosing your house by the porch! It’s funny how the ourdoor space of a home can be so important. And yep, I’m officially on hiatus to take some of the pressure off. Transitions (aka upheavals)–oi. I’m hoping you’re getting your routines back (or creating new ones) faster than I’ve been able to this summer!

  4. Laura, I’m so glad you stuck with it. Isn’t that such a gift that poems come to us in moments. And there you were to pay attention, listen, and record. “I melt into the world as I spy.” Beautiful!

    1. I’m more one to grab the poem than have it come to me. This was a rare thing, and I’m grateful for it! Thanks for reading…

  5. I was SO right there with you, on your deck. And kudos to you for sticking with it…I find that form poetry is far more intimidating than free verse, but it often offers a deeper reward, too. This poem is just lovely, and holds so much quiet emotion. I feel refreshed reading it. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Sara! Usually, I find poetic forms easier than free verse–I love the cage…the structure. But this week, I just had nothing :>)

  6. I’m so glad the poem came to you — I know you’ve had LOTS going on, so I hope it, and the storm — both felt like a gift. ♥

  7. Isn’t it amazing how, once we’ve thrown up our hands in near defeat that the spark FINALLY arrives? This is fantastic–even in first draft form. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone’s villanelles today. It sure does seem like a challenge. Thanks for sharing, Laura!

  8. Oh, i can so relate, Laura! Your description reminds me very much of our patio, also a “webcam, simply lower tech.” You really rose to the challenge! I’ve never tried a villanelle, but y’all have me thinking about it.

  9. Nature came to the rescue and you were there welcoming her in on your lovely deck, “Perched two stories high,”
    with your feel good poem for us all to unwind with. Love your diamond turquoise colored deck too! Thanks for inviting me in Laura!

  10. Laura, even with all that has been going on, you created a lovely poem.I am so glad that it was nature that inspired you in your perch two stories high. Enjoy your new home. Thanks for sharing your work.

  11. Look at you, struggling but surviving! I think the dichotomy idea made lots of us want to write–many successfully–about big giant philosophical or social issues, which is hard to pull off in a villanelle. I think maybe villanelle works better for more intimate ideas such as this: the deck, one night, the miracles within your personal view–and then see how it *becomes* a more giant idea–possibly the biggest most important of all right now, which you capture in your title: each of us is Apart, But Part of this world.

  12. I also abandoned my Sunday draft for a storm poem! I love that you started with your second repeating line punctuated before the rhyme, then took that punctuation out in the third stanza. I love reading villanelles that play around with those repeating lines!

  13. If this is what you can pull off mid-week in the wake of a storm, well then! I just love this and am so right there with the bullfrogs, lightning strikes and fledglings.

  14. This is lovely! I love “My deck’s a webcam, simply lower tech.” and “I melt into the world as I spy.”

    I love it when persistence and inspiration come together!

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