From Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.Set aside a half hour:
Settle yourself in to write. First take ten minutes to describe where you are. (I’m in my office and furious.) Try to capture your mood, the room, anything delightful or interesting that catches your attention. Number your paper from 1-5. Very quickly list five things that would be interesting to write about. Choose one topic. What would you write about it? Why would you write about it? Spend five or so minutes writing about that.Do not go for Art, capital A, or even writing, capital W. Think of this instead as word play. Do not worry about being deep or sensible or practical.
Think about a drive you often take. What is your favorite view/crossroads/mile-maker? Why? Are you going or coming back? Does it make a difference? I recommend mile markers 48 and 56 on westbound I- 94, sheep and orchards, respectively.
Sparely, create a setting that doesn’t exist. Make sure there’s earth, air, water and fire in some analogous form. (Fire: matchstick, candle, hot sauce, shame.) This is the moment after something has happened. Do NOT be explainy. Write the poem/prose poem. No “I” allowed.
Write a poem that celebrates some special occasion, whether it be an epithalamium for a marriage; an elegy for someone who has passed away; or an ode which can commemorate anything from a battle to a hangnail. From Writing Poetry by David Starkey (no relation to Ringo)
Write about a time you mistook something for something else. Once I thought a person was flagging my car down in the dark, but it was a garbage bag wrapped around a tree. Today a branch blows in such a way that it looks like someone is walking past.
I had a post up a couple of months ago having to do with writing about death. Someone complained that now was no time to do that. I disagree. Death is a fact of life and cannot be ignored. From In the Palm of Your Hand by Steve Kowit. Write a poem in which you are reminded that you too will one day die. It could be prompted by something you see (roadkill) or a song loved by someone who’s passed. Talk about the objects more than your feelings. They will come through.
From The Mind’s Eye by Kevin Clark: Journey Poem. Write a poem in which you take a trip and end up in a place totally unexpected, perhaps a foreign countryside or in the throes of an exciting and/or suspenseful discovery. Tell the story while focusing on graphic action verbs.
From Western Wind, an Introduction to Poetry by Mason and Nims.Make a list of your five favorite nouns, five favorite verbs, and three favorite modifiers. Try writing a poem using all of these words in any combination.
From Writing to Awaken by Mark Matousek. Write about your relationship with routine. Are you rigidly attached to your habits? If so, which ones and why? How does attachment to routine limit your ability to be spontaneous?