Friday, April 24, 2020

Skinnys during "Stay At Home" orders

Spending so much time in my upper room, staring out the window musing over what work can be done from a distance, I have noticed a pair of crows hanging out in my weeping cherry tree. They are large, black birds, anyway, and I looked up all the different types of large black birds to try to distinguish between them. Pretty sure these are American Crows.

My Poetry Sisters and I are tackling Skinny Poems once again this month, since we enjoyed it so much last year. Skinny form was created by Truth Thomas in the Tony Medina Poetry Workshop at Howard University. The Skinny Blog explains the form this way:

"A Skinny is a short poem form that consists of eleven lines. The first and eleventh lines can be any length (although shorter lines are favored). The eleventh and last line must be repeated using the same words from the first and opening line (however, they can be rearranged). The second, sixth, and tenth lines must be identical. All the lines in this form, except for the first and last lines, must be comprised of ONLY one word. The point of the Skinny, or Skinnys, is to convey a vivid image with as few words as possible. Skinny poems can be about any subject, although the form generally reflects more serious concerns facing humankind. Also, Skinnys can be linked, much like Haiku, Senryu or Tanka. (Note: As a matter of aesthetics, the plural form of the Skinny should be “Skinnys.”)"

 I really like short poems, so I had fun with this one. I just happened to look out the window last week when the crescent moon was high in a brilliant blue sky and the crows were busy. In these days of social distancing, work from home, and "Stay At Home" orders, inside and outside contrasts are sharp. A poem came from that.

Quarantine Rooms

Inside, the room is dark.
a dark room.
   -Andromeda Jazmon

Please also enjoy the Skinnys at my Poetry Sisters' blogs:


And then make sure you visit the Friday Poetry Roundup at Wondering & Wandering. Happy Friday!


laurasalas said...

Oh, Andi, this is lovely. Great use of line breaks and word arrangement. I always love watching the little sparrows or whatever are on the roof outside my office window. I confess I've never felt so jealous of their daily parties until now! Glad you joined us. I really like the short forms, too.

tanita✿davis said...

I have three crows - I've named them (Hrafen, Bran, and Morrigan). They soak their bread (scavenged from where?!) in our backyard fountain (gumming up the works), and occasionally drown the odd lizard or vole there, after whacking it against the side.

I try to eat lunch outside. The crows... join me. Pulling the entrails out of something, usually. But, they occasionally leave me rocks... and bones. I leave them pretty rocks in the fountain, which they remove.

It's a friendship, of sorts.

Tricia said...

I love the economy of this, Andi. You've done a really nice revision. I love what we see when looking outside this room.

Sara said...

"inside and outside contrasts are sharp". Indeed! And your poem captures that.

P.S I have tons of crows who are always up to no good in my backyard...I try to give them more grace, thanks to you... :)

Karen Eastlund said...

Hey, I've been watching the crows in the trees near me also. And listening to them, and sometimes even answering them. I think they sound less like "Caw caw" and more like "quong quong." Anyway, I like skinny poems also, but I've never tried this form, so I will definitely give it a try. Thanks so much for this post. Fun!

Carol Varsalona said...

Andromeda, I have been thinking about trying a skinny during #QuarantineLife so yours is particularly appealing. While most poets I know are writing about birds looking at the crow is a unique character. Thank you for sharing. I am hoping that you would be interested in offering your image poem for my #NatureNurtures2020 Gallery. The invitation is at

Bridget Magee said...

Your contrast of outside/inside is stark and relatable in so. few. words. Well done! :)

Rose Cappelli said...

Thanks for introducing me to a new poetry form. I love the contrasts you created with inside and outside.

Kay said...

I love the sharp contrast you created in so few words. I find skinnys hard to write, but when they work, they wow like yours.