What are your favorite (or least favorite) aspects of summer? Try to think of sensual details, like the heat, or perhaps the cool of dipping into the water at the beach, or the flash of a yellow butterfly against pink petals. Write a poem about summer, but allow it to morph into something more. Perhaps you are also writing about your relationship with your son, how the two of you play baseball every summer. Take a look at Jessica Jacobs’ Stridulation Sonnet for an example of a summer poem that is also a love poem. How can the summer details add to the rich emotional life of the poem?
How does living or working in a city affect you? Where are the boundaries between you and another person’s space? How does it differ from the country? Are there shared experiences in the city that bring us closer together? How about further apart? Perhaps there is a particular city encounter you can think of when you had a realization. Read Tim Seibles’ (recently named the poet laureate of Virginia) poem Faith and think about how the city will inspire your poem.
Have you ever mistaken a word for another? Which words? Let both words have a presence in your poem. Check out Kristy Bowen’s poem House Strays for an example.