Dance of the Quivering Digits

by Leland Jamieson

(For Savannah and her Fifth Grade friends. April, 2005)

When thought and feeling don’t pan out,
does your heart throb with aching doubt?
You fear that you will never write
another line that feels quite right?
Then drum your fingers, and find “feet”
to dance the line your digits beat!

Next, find a rhyme word that can pull
a second line — one trim but full —
from heart and mind and quivering hand,
whether or not it’s what you “planned.”
When once you’ve got two lines that dance,
across your lips quick smiles will prance.

Where do these two lines want to go?
How step aside and let them flow?
If you’ll rely on line and rhyme,
they’ll find you more lines, every time.
Acknowledge their uncanny smarts,
well known for warming poet’s hearts!

They’ll often lead you to express
a thought or feeling with finesse
you did not know you had in you,
until the rhyme pulled it in view.
Thus, you may open inner eyes
to see what’s true, for you. Surprise!

© 2006 by Leland Jamieson


About the Author

Leland Jamieson, a performing arts center manager for most of his working life, is retired and lives in East Hampton, Connecticut, USA. His recent and forthcoming work appears in Bellowing Ark, Blue Unicorn, Noneuclidean Café, Raintown Review, and 3rd Muse. He has gathered a number of published formal poems, some with streaming audio, under the title Needles in a Pinewood at He is hawking a 60-page book manuscript by the same name.


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