desert droughts and dirty laundry aka mixed metaphors




like a drought-stricken desert

crevassed, cracked, parched

lie in piles,

crumpled at my feet

between loads of dirty clothes

i toss them here and there

furtively seeking

for an opening line,

an idea

they cascade slowly,

streak like bubbles

down the washing machine’s glass door

and disappear,

like so much dirt,

down the drain.


Tediously written for Tony’s prompt over at dVerse Meeting the Bar, where we’re invited to revisit any prompt from the last 6 months. I’ve chosen Brian’s–write a 55 word poem a la G-Man.


30 thoughts on “desert droughts and dirty laundry aka mixed metaphors

  1. […] desert droughts and dirty laundry aka mixed metaphors […]


  2. margaret says:

    Very clever! …and some words we so over-use, we need to hang them out to dry! 🙂


  3. Akila says:

    They disappear to flow in here for us! many of us with whom your verses resonate!


  4. Brendan says:

    I think it was Wallace Stevens who said poetry was speech made dirtier. I get a certain ambivalence about writing here were we’re left wondering which cleans the other, silence or song.


  5. ds says:

    Words are always finding ways to disappear on me, too. Next time I’ll check the laundry basket ; ) Thank you.


  6. Finding the words is no small feat, much harder than doing laundry. As, I think it was Benjamin Franklin, said, “The difference between a good word and the perfect word is like the difiference between lightning and the lighting bug.”

    Enjoyed your soapy 55!


  7. Bryan Ens says:

    love the comparison of words and laundry. Great poem!


  8. G-Man says:

    Very creative and clever!
    I really enjoyed your play on words…Literally!
    Loved your metaphorical 55
    Thanks for sharing this little Gem with us
    Have a Kick Ass Week-End


  9. Mary says:

    I can identify with furtively seeking an opening line. I find the opening line to be the hardest. My words often disappear as well, especially if I think of some good lines in the middle of the night and plan to remember them for morning. Sigh. A cool ’55.’


  10. naramalone says:

    Words aren’t giving you too much trouble. I thought this was incredibly creative, the kind of metaphor you find in dreams. When I am blocked I dream deserts and when overwhelmed I dream floods.


  11. nico says:

    Oh yeah, I know just what you’re saying. Words and ideas are sometimes so jumbled up that the only way to express it is to mix metaphors! Great poem, as always.


  12. kkkkaty says:

    I like the idea of them churning in the machine…tossed around in the mind…writer’s block described like never before..never heard this before…it fits a little with the ‘listing’ category too…


  13. Abhra Pal says:

    It’s an unique thought – so many thoughts, however precious they may be, just goes away like dirt.

    Loved your poem. However, what I wanted to tell you is that I was reading one of the Old Meeting the Bar posts from you and really liked it. I ordered the book (The Poet’s Companion: a Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry) even and waiting for it to come.


  14. kaykuala says:

    Words likened to the slow trickling on the washing machine glass is just classic! It appears clear and moving with bubbles! Very like how words form in one’s mind. Beautiful take Victoria!



  15. Words and the lines they bring, sometimes begrudgingly, where would we be without them? I like what you have done with your 55 words very much.


  16. Anna :o] says:

    Brilliantly composed Victoria.
    I love the (possible) beauty of words – would never let them near my dirty laundry – I think…
    Happy New Year!
    Anna :o]


  17. Grace says:

    Love the creative approach Victoria ~ Have to catch them before they disappear 🙂


  18. I’m a word hoarder…no throw outs at my house:)


  19. Ah love this .. But I tend to collect old words.. Maybe I should just clean away.


  20. Laurie Kolp says:

    So vivid and I can definitely relate to feeling that way.


  21. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Inspiration can often come to each of us on mundane wings; nice 55, both lovely & blistering honesty.


  22. coalkissed says:

    Great job with the metaphor and imagery! Hope the upcoming days are filled with an overflow of opening lines for you.


  23. Bodhirose says:

    Wow…you describe that drought so well. I chose the 55 word route too. I figured surely I could come up with a short something…and I did. Hope to see more of you this year, Victoria…Happy New Year!


  24. Therin Knite says:

    What a great piece! I did 55 words too. 🙂


  25. Tony Maude says:

    Ah yes, the old mountain of laundry/absence of words problem. It sounds oh-so-familiar. First lines are often difficult … I feel your pain.


  26. wolfsrosebud says:

    Victoria… this was a fun read and a little eye opening


  27. claudia says:

    haha that is cool… sometimes the opening lines just don’t wanna come – but the good thing is – maybe you find some clean ones once the laundry comes out of the machine again…. the metaphors work well victoria


  28. brian miller says:

    hopefully they left a ring around the tub you can read for your opening…some days though they are ellusive, for sure…slippery suckers too….smiles.


  29. The imagery and metaphor work brilliantly in this poem. I love it (but not drought of words nor dirty laundry).


  30. The photo works so well with this poem. Words are a funny thing, until we clean them up and put them into neatly ordered creative expressions. 🙂


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