Stop Wishing for Me! [Poetry Friday with the Poetry Princesses]

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

So, this month, our Poetry Princess challenge was an ekphrastic poem to Sara’s choice of image. Here’s a picture she took while at a Highlights Foundation retreat (so jealous…someday!).

word rocks
Photo: Sara Lewis Holmes

On the way home from a Five for Fighting concert last week, I had the idea for this poem. Five for Fighting sang “World,” a song I just love, which is about building the world you want. (Lyrics here or watch/listen to this gorgeous song here.) I thought about how we might wish for peace, pray for peace, etc. But bottom line is we have to CREATE peace.

So on Saturday morning, I sat down to write my poem. I spent about an hour writing the poem and another hour creating the image poem and processing the video. Such a pain. (Some of you guys have asked about how long it takes to do these things.)

Here’s what I came up with:

Stop Wishing for Me!

Here’s a time lapse video of me writing the poem and then creating the graphic. It’s at 6 times normal speed:>)

Now, I can’t wait to see what my Poetry Sisters came up with! Edited: Wow. I do hope you’ll click on all the links below. This might be my favorite collection of Poetry Princesses poems ever. They all spoke to me this month. I feel so lucky to be part of this group.


Andi (See? Promised she’d be back!)

Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

Our lovely Aussie poet friend Kathryn Apel has the Poetry Friday Roundup today!

















40 Responses

    1. Thanks, Jan. Yes on swooning. I so want to go to a Highlights Foundation workshop or retreat someday.

  1. Oh. My. Goodness. I love the video that shows your process. I don’t know that I could perform under that kind of pressure, though. 😛

    Your poem is exquisite. Such a perfect response to the stimulus — and the needs of the world. #peace

    1. Thank you, Kat! Knowing that I’m going to do a time-lapse version does help take the pressure off.

  2. That video is SOOOO COOL!!! You are very generous to share. Love the message & voice of the poem and how you interpreted the terrific prompt. Thanks for sharing all.

  3. I really like the tough love from a word called Peace. It’s about time Peace got it’s back up and told us that wishing is for fools. Peace is earned and kept with that sweaty building. I loved watching the time lapse of you writing. I could never do that.….because you would see Amazon and facebook and twitter and my work e‑mails as I pop in and out of writing far too much. But, what a great accountability practice. I just might have to try that!
    Thanks for the beautiful photo of the word rocks, Sara. I have a piggy bank just for my next trip to Highlights. I need a poetry workshop that works with my teaching life.….someday, someday. Maybe I’ll buy that word for the rock garden, someday. Better yet, “now”.

    1. A highlights Workshop is on my someday list too, Linda! Glad you enjoyed the video. You should try one. You might like it. Plastic keeps you focused when you know you’re being watched 🙂

  4. This is beautiful, and so, so true. I loved the sneak peek into your writing process! Like Linda M. I wouldn’t want to share mine, there would be far too much non-writing going on at the same time! 😉

  5. I thought “you” were writing at first, so love that surprise at the end, and love seeing your writing process, going to find some great vocabulary that fits, working, thinking, writing! You’ve put something I “imagine” all of us feel, Laura. “Let’s start at the start.”

  6. Peace comes to us through your spirited voice, Laura. I found your process fascinating, especially in fast track mode. Your poem is definitely what the world needs to hear!

    1. Thanks, Carol! At some point, I’ll have to watch one of my own videos. I’m afraid to, so I haven’t watched them yet!

  7. Yes! I love this poem (and the song)! I think we forget how much power we have to influence our surroundings. Here’s to creating peace! Thank you for sharing, Laura!

  8. I love the way you put us off-guard with humor (like a cat to a can opener!) And then…firmly convict us with your plea. Peace is a plan, a long-term project, and many life-times’ work. Brava.

    1. Thanks, Sara–it rambled even more in earlier drafts. Humor, conviction, plea, insult? I couldn’t decide:>)

  9. First of all — I LOVE that line “I don’t exist until you build me” — yes, yes, yes — this beautiful, moving call-to-action. ALSO — this video!!! This would be an amazing teaching tool. I’m so impressed and inspired and want to talk to you about how you made it.…

    1. Thanks, Liz! And I think I explained my process in reply to a question on an earlier post with a video. Maybe our last poetry princess one. Someone asked — maybe you?

  10. …I am also not, in fact, flowing like a river
    rolling easily downhill.

    Hahahah! No, no peace is not flowing downhill. That’s justice, and righteousness, I hear. And it tends to roll over you. Peace seems to be a lot more stubborn, from the sound of things.

    I love when Minnesota Nice gets the Laura Snark treatment. You make me smile every time.

    1. Thanks, Tanita. I so rarely get to use my snark in my children’s writing, and it’s nice to pull it out of the bag every so often!

  11. Amazing poem–and oh I loved watching your video! So cool to see your process unfold. (Nice to know that I am not the only one who ends up searching sources mid-stream!)

    1. Thanks, Buffy. I always laugh at the advice to not have the internet on while you’re writing for greater productivity. Even my fiction and poetry has me constantly looking up things online.

  12. I do love it when the Poetry Princesses show up! This is a very interesting poem for lots of reasons, but what I’m most interested in is your video of process. I was just saying to my son, who lately watches lots of videos of music producers using digital tools to build EDM songs, that it would be cool for a poet to record their composition process for others to watch. And (as usual, early to the game) you’re on it!

    I like the “churches, forests, river” stanza–because indeed we must channel it to flow in all those places.

  13. Yes. You’ve found the perfect voice for peace. Now we need to listen…and ACT.

  14. There is so much to hold onto in this poem. The letter format adds such an intimate feel to your words. But I really love the video! What a learning experience for us to watch your thinking and writing process come to life. Thank you for sharing and may we all continue to build.

    1. Thanks, Leigh Anne–Good to hear from folks that they like the video, as they’re a bit of a pain. But worth doing occasionally if people enjoy them.

  15. First off, how much do we love Five for Fighting. That voice! Those messages! 🙂 Amazing poem, Laura, and to see your process is fascinating. Thank you for that window into your creative world.

  16. Such a great poem, Laura. I especially love that opening stanza that startles and engages the reader. And leave it to Peace to apologize for sounding bossy. Just like a woman—patiently waiting for her turn. :o/

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