6 responses

27 05 2009
Laurie Boykin

Dear Mike,

You visited our creative writing class taught by Aaron Crippen earlier this year.
Dr. Crippen mentioned you might be interested in our class sending some of our poems to you…examples of poems created using Structure & Surprise.
It was great to have you visit our class and I have found this website very useful. I hope others will enjoy my poems.


Laurie Boykin

Proverbs of Chaos

Wisdom precedes experience, knowledge follows the experiment.
Truth is independent, lies need a base to waver from.
God may be silent, nature is loud.
Shame falls for the opinion of others, pride for its own.
Man breaks horses, God breaks man.
Poverty breaks the spirit of man, so does wealth.

Entwined, the soul follows life, life follows the soul, into the body.
Entwined, the soul follows life, life follows the soul, out of the body.
The soul chases deathe into an unborn body
Awareness not yet developed, no self.

The jaws of the shark have no need for wisdom.
Happiness relies on nothing.
Love will unthaw if you turn the temperature up.
Grace goes unnoticed until death occurs.

Fear will keep you alive until
Courage shows up.
Fools have wisdom
Because they dare to make mistakes.
A little folly will keep you sane.
Helping someone else relieves boredom.
Evil is merely the discipline to do harm.

Caught in the Night

Sudden blackness slide
Across my windshield
Squashing the full moon
As stars fall back
And dark clouds march.

I want to hear you roar.
I want to see you run across the sky.
I want to see your tears pound against my car.
I want you to show yourself.

When on the sideline I see a deer turn
Her head, I follow her gaze to the
Whites of a fawn’s eyes beaming bright,
Its yellow coat gleaming in my headlights.

I think I should brake, I think not,
Too much thought, yet I squeeze through
A flash of blinding rain and deafening thunder.
Lightning strikes from behind freezing mother and fawn.

The Sound of Footsteps

Moving closer
Take me back in time.

Outside the screaming cat
Sounds like a crying baby.

The storm rages,
Noises invade the house.

I tell myself, it is nothing.
Relax, go back to sleep.

Then I heard my baby cry.
I felt uneasy, foolish.

In his room I held my baby
Close to my heart.

Shut the door, turned the lock
Just before I heard the sound

Of footsteps pacing.
My heart pounding,
My breaths too loud.

I wait in silence until I can no longer hear
The sound of footsteps.

We See the Past

In the night sky
Deceptive sun, what we see–
We know not
If its light is gone.
If it still burns hot.

Starlight travels
Across space,
Through time
To show its face.

For some space is a waste,
But for others,
Seeking who, seeking why

They look to the sky
Searching for the mind of God.


29 05 2009
Mike Theune

How good to hear from you, Laurie! And thank you so much for sending along these poems–wow!–some great stuff here. I really like your Proverbs of Chaos (Blake would be proud!), and as I’m a huge fan of Charles Wright’s “Clear Night,” I really like “Caught in the Night,” which (I believe) uses Wright’s poem as a model (at least for the opening two stanzas, which you then turn from in your own way)–terrific! And I love the suspense in “The Sound of Footsteps” and the amazing arrival (the final “I”) of “We See the Past.”

Thank you for your kind words about Structure & Surprise, the blog, and my visit. I had a great time with your class, Laurie.

All my best to you, and with my sincere wish that poetry continue to engage and inspire you–

29 05 2009
Laurie Boykin

Thank you for your encouragement. The “I” was an accident but I think I’ll keep it. I know Structure & Surprise ( book and site) will continue to be valuable to me (and many others) as a writer. I am really glad you created them. Thanks again. Laurie Boykin

29 05 2009
Mike Theune

It works well either way, Laurie, but perhaps that “I” is a happy accident…

All my best,

1 03 2013

Mike, I met you at Winter Wheat. I love visiting this site. Great stuff. Yours, Mike Hackney

1 03 2013
Mike Theune

Great to hear from you, Mike! So glad you’re finding this site useful/interesting. Keep coming back–!

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