to my muse

I can see you there, restless,
like a ghost. You dance a shadowy
tarantella through the nether regions of thought.
A delicate balance – a tightrope act.

Any time my sores seep you turn in my direction
and urge my fingers over letters,
dancing scorched landscapes through
spider-blackened memories.
You whistle in minor keys.
And now you hide from me
nestled in a smudgy cloud
of nothingness.

read more feed me ,
you whisper.

I read books to feed you.
I read poems to feed you.
I open my dictionary to random pages
and read.
All to feed you.

It’s bizarre, I know, but without you
I am strangely empty.

Like a dog I want to call you in,
and strap you to my side
but when I set you free and read more
you show up in these lines.

Brenda Warren 2012

Process Notes: My muse disappeared, so I decided to write to her. It is reading that oils her magic.

This piece was written for The Sunday Whirl using the words in the underlying image.

34 thoughts on “to my muse

  1. Loved this poem, Brenda, totally relatable for most writers I think. I tend to have a love-hate relationship with my muse…she tends to be a bit of a diva sometimes and asks for more attention. But what would I do without her?


  2. The muse sounds like a small child playing hide and seek- long after you are done with the game they keep hiding and calling. I may have been a bad mother but I remember just letting my children stay hid every once in a while. Thanks again for the prompt. teri


  3. Brilliant, simply excellent and on the point too.

    Maybe you should get a male Muse. When they misbehave, you just threaten a certain part of his anatomy and the Muse becomes a choir boy. Also he does a good job of keeping you warm on a winter’s night 😉


  4. It worked really well, Brenda, when you write about the muse like that. I like to strap her by my side as well, but what you say is true, set her free. I like the line ” nestled in a smudgy cloud
    of nothingness.” As if nothingness will smudge us like a blob and writing will make us sharp and clearly defined if nothing else. It’s much like that as well.


  5. I thought it was delightful that you in the midst of your MIA muse manage to maneuver these wonderful wordle words into a windsong the uplifts. So apparently you were a-mused … and in the feeding we were charmed … as usual 🙂


  6. Brenda, I love “read more feed me”. I didn’t get it at first, but then it hit me. It’s perfect for a muse; so simple, and yet so loaded with meaning. And I completely relate to the second to last stanza. Thanks.



  7. She is a fickle lass. Now she knows you will talk to her she may want more conversations! I love most the dance metaphor. I enjoyed a pause while imagining our muses in various dances with us. Congratulations on conquering.



  8. Thank you all sharing your thoughts. I just read through them—it feels good to have readers, and like minded writers who feel similar joys and frustrations. Thanks for being here. You make my day.


  9. I like your last comment in particular Brenda – I’m forever saying, “the muse wants what the muse wants” but I too, find her hiding or MIA at times and it’s extremely frustrating … this response was excellent and quite right, perhaps that’s what is needed – attention!


  10. Brilliant, Brenda! I love, love love this poem! It’s so true! I feed my muse the same way and sometimes she smiles on me and sometimes she … doesn’t. She’s a fickle girl, this muse of mine!

    Your first stanza is especially wonderful: “I can see you there, restless, like a ghost. You dance a shadowy tarantella through the nether regions of thought. A delicate balance – a tightrope act.” Restless like a ghost and shadowy tarantella and delicate balance are all perfect. I personally loved the words this week!


  11. Hi Brenda, I am glad that your muse showed up. You used a good technique to summon her. Mine did not show up today. I think she is now dancing in the field you mentioned on Friday. That’s okay. She can rest just this one Sunday…and she did have quite a workout earlier this week. LOL.


    • Thank you, Mary. Yes, it worked for me. I’m worrying about April. I want to join in the poem a day, but worry about the time. I did it last year. That’s where the Whirl was born. hmmmm…. poem a day in April….


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