Conversation 20: Getting in Touch With your Feelings – Writing Workshop


Getting into poetry without thinking too much.

Choose an abstract ‘feeling’ word:  LOVE, ANGER, SADNESS, THOUGHTFULNESS, GUILT, DISAPPOINTMENT, JOY… etc. If you cannot choose put a bundle of words into a ‘hat’ and pull one out.


The beauty of abstract words is that they mean something different to everybody. The following questions are a way of teasing out a unique and individual response to that word, (whilst avoiding clichés) and encouraging strong and original descriptions.


However sometimes unexpected similarities appear. One particularly moving occasion was in my role as a Creative Practitioner working with a consultant in a hospital and a long-term terminally ill patient. Their responses to this workshop produced surprisingly similar ways of expressing pain which allowed them to bond in a way that went beyond their doctor/patient interactions and cemented a deeper connection.


Respond to the following questions once you have made your abstract word choice:

Where does your word live (this may be a specific place or an impression)

What does it feel like if you touched it?

What does it smell like?

What does it look like? Size….

What does it sound like?

How does it move?

What colour is it?

What does it taste like?

Where does it go if anywhere?

Does it have any friends?

If it was a season what would it be and why?

If it was an animal what would it be and why?

What does it dislike and why?

What is its greatest desire?

What would make it cry?

What is its perfect moment?

If your word could say something what would that be?


Explore your answers, edit, play, change….  then create haiku, one or different versions, or a sequence… As always use 3 lines, 5/7/5 syllables if that helps but remember this is only a guide, anything below 17 syllables overall is good.  Japanese haiku are often 3/5/3.

Then try exploring another emotion that contrasts with your first choice.


5 Comments on “Conversation 20: Getting in Touch With your Feelings – Writing Workshop”

  1. Covid

    Covid on your street
    Bipeds walking support it

    Sniffing out your fear
    Desirous of your contact
    A red ball with black hooks

    Loves nasal passages
    Changing the pace of your breath
    Mucus multiplying

    Trachea transports
    By windpipe inhalation
    To the bronchial

    phlegm, malign green friend
    already resident there
    welcomes the jackal

    who knocks in winter
    more so even than summer
    adores the harsh frost

    eats the flesh remains
    of obese diabetics
    this spectre at feast

    disdaining mocking
    conspiracy theorists

    lost politicians
    who deny its existence
    or its goodbye bell

    tolling silently
    delighting in blood curdling
    nibbles on organs

    laughing at doctors
    medicines, inhalors, nurses
    doing its worse

    listens for ceasing
    of the beating of your heart
    Ecstatic. Dead. Done.

  2. Palpable and visceral. Captures how relentless and unforgiving this virus can be. As a visual thinker and asthmatic I dont wish to meet it again once was enough Richard. Well done

  3. Forgiveness

    who is forgiveness
    for – victim perpetrator;
    why do we forgive?

    as a victim I
    forgive for myself; to feel
    better, not for him.

    I don’t need to tell
    him I forgive him, I write
    it down and burn it.

    fire transforms, makes it
    feel better, clean, fresh, the end;
    life can now move on.

    victim no longer
    like my spirit rising from
    ashes – survivor.

    Carolyn Crossley
    ©🦊VixenOfVerse, 2021

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