(1) Always keep an open mind.
Thoughts can be poetry in motion. Often, bad, irrational poetry. But once in a while a half-baked starter will arise. Or a perfect conclusion will almost float out of your awareness. Your weary mind might be too tired to grab it, but you must. Grab the words, and stuff them in your memory as poetic scraps. Later, they will come back to you. Your whole body will surge with recognition of its own creation.
(2) Some thoughts will solidify into topics.
You will be able to weigh its potential in your palm. The thought was only a key, you will realise. Now, a world of interesting and experience awaits you.
(3) Sometimes, you must taste the subject.
You must treat it as clay; step within it and also inspect it from without. Shrink it, stretch it apart. Try to capture it in such detail that the poem almost falls apart. Almost.
(4) There are times when the words will rush to you because the poem was always complete. Always ready.
But other times, you must coax it out; offer it word after word; that your body will reject on behalf of the poem. Sometimes, you wait.
(5) You must recognise when the poem comes back to you.
In between your concentrated thoughts; your mind may signal the poem’s readiness. Do not curse the distraction, welcome it. It is what you were waiting for.
(6) Let the poem build up from below.
An increasingly twitching foot becomes a jiggling leg and to free yourself from the restlessness, you can only walk. You will carry yourself according to the poem. As the words hurtle into your mind so fast that they will collide into each other, your pace will increase until you are running for paper, for a pencil. Anything.
(7) Reread your first draft.
Let your finger feel every word before a scratch or replacement.
(8) Breathe a sigh of relief when the poem has finally left you.
Ask yourself who this poem is for. Yourself, a love, or the world? Do you want to share it with the world? Don’t be shy, go ahead.
You were waiting for the poem;
And now the world is waiting for you.