Poetry challenge 11: Sayings

For this last challenge of 2015, I thought we could do a theme poem rather than one in a particular form. Up to you to choose how you do it, but the challenge is to write a poem using a familiar saying. The one I chose was ‘as the crow flies’.

Here are some examples:

Keep the wolf from the door

One swallow does not a summer make

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings

Straight from the horseโ€™s mouth

A cat has nine lives

A cat can look at a king

Curiosity killed the cat

Burning the midnight oil

Cross that bridge when we come to it

Let sleeping dogs lie

Kill two birds with one stone

Once in a blue moon

Method in my madness

Steal someoneโ€™s thunder

Every cloud has a silver lining.


And this is my crow flies poem.

Photo ยฉPlismo


As the crow flies,

Light dies,

Ragged wingbeats slow,

Steady as the oceanโ€™s flow.

Wingbeats, oarstrokes, funeral barque,

Carrying some soul into the dark.


As the crow flies,

Light dies,

Funeral barque,

Rows into the dark.


Have fun writing, keep sane over the New Year festivities, and see you in 2016.




Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

38 thoughts on “Poetry challenge 11: Sayings”

  1. Wonderful challenge. Working on it, hoping to get it down before the new year, as a way to look at the ending of one and beginning of another. Looking into the origins of idioms is fascinating in itself.

    Love your offering for this challenge. The tone and flow of the words melding with the notions involved, dark yet underneath there is a lightness, as in the acceptance of the natural course of things.

    1. Thank you! I think you’ve put your finger on it. Nothing in the natural cycle is totally dark. Once we accept that certain things must be, it’s up to us to make sure that their coming to be has something positive about it.
      I’m sure you’ll come up with something interesting. Your last poem was brilliant.

  2. This is a nice way to close out the year. (And a fine example.)
    Here’s mine, titled “The Time of Our Lives”:

    Hours spent filling a need
    erasing distance
    with face time
    caught in a net

    Embracing at the station
    prelude to jazz in the park
    and a rendezvous on the lake
    Chicago, our special place

    Nine hundred miles
    driven to you, then back
    a December weekend
    far too short

    A winter retreat
    with bed and breakfast
    served with a flair amongst
    Finger Lakes and wine

    Mile after mile
    counting the miles
    erasing the miles
    the final nine hundred miles

    Finding a home
    making a home
    no longer alone
    our home together

    Each but a moment
    in the time of our lives


  3. I liked the idea of weaving a saying into a poem but my imagination stayed close to the ground– I had one small idea though, which I went with–based on life with our two little dogs. I’ll be posting it January 3 morning. Thanks for the challenge!

  4. Does this work?

    Mum’s cup was half full
    Never one to moan
    Make do and mend
    A mantra driven home
    By constant repetition
    In every little way
    Forget about tomorrow
    Live your life today
    She smiled through frustration
    And turned her back on pain
    Every time she fell far short
    She’d stand and start again.
    But of all the cliched lessons
    She taught me without words
    It was her lack of judging
    Other people’s deeds
    It’s all about the choices
    That each of us can make
    You may want to smile
    But allow him his grimace
    Her personal philosophy
    Might be summarised thus:
    Let each be as they want to be
    And never make a fuss.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s