Poetry can be direct and achingly real, full of painful confessions and powerful moments of pride. But it can also be wild and magical. In the following poem, see how Star Bowers, a beloved Toledo poet who passed away earlier this year, has used simple language in a small space to create a magical statement of self.

Fish-Bone Moon

I can turn a full moon into a crescent moon
and back into a full moon
you will never notice

I have powers
I have weaknesses as well you seem to know them all feed yourself with the results but always remember — when you eat fish once you will get a bone caught in your throat

you will choke unto death never even noticing the moon changing

(Originally published by Star Bowers in Some Women Howl, 2010 by The University of Toledo Urban Affairs Center Press)


Imagine yourself as a superhero or with a superhuman ability. What would you do?

List some specific scenarios. How would you use your powers? To help mankind? To seize power and crush your enemies? Add little moments, grand gestures, but keep your language simple and visceral.

If you want a bigger challenge, write a short story about a situation using your powers. Then write a short poem, less than a page in length, to tell the same tale. Think about how poetry focuses your language.

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