The Poetry of Inanimate Objects

DSCN6527Over at dVerse Poets Pub I’m urging fellow poets to let go of abstract concepts and describe things as concretely as possible in a poem combining household objects and adjectives describing emotions or feelings.

The Brave Garden Furniture 

Grime-filled white plastic piled in rotting corpses

turning hepatic yellow –

no money for wicker with its creaks close to breaking –

squish of inherited flowery cushions with plump squeezed out

alongside faded stripes and polka-dots.

We remove the slugs with squeamish squealing

we pile up the chairs.

Stronger winds will still scatter them across the lawn,

no matter how they hunker down together.

Into the garage they go: that black hole from which few return…

I wish I could hear their gossip.


All winter the long table will groan under layers of snow

without its playmates.


Another summer over.

39 thoughts on “The Poetry of Inanimate Objects”

  1. oh that would def. be interesting to listen to their gossip a bit… and i feel sad for the table without its playmates in the snow… maybe he makes some new friends though… a cat…or birds..
    very cool prompt marina…

  2. Marina Sofia – This is really both concrete and evocative! I’d love to know what the furniture talks about, too…

  3. A perfect illustration of your prompt, M., & a wonderful stand alone poem. I often smile with amazement how we poets find poetics within all that is; hugs.

  4. Which reminds me our summer furniture are still outside in the cold ~ Thanks for the reminder to keep our words close to the ground or the garden ~ Have a good week Marina ~

  5. I enjoyed this garden scene. There was a time when we had wooden garden furniture. They were supposed to be stored away very quickly lest they might get damaged by the rains and frosts. Of course, they did several times. Then we switched to more user-friendly material and things got easier.

    1. Yes, we tried with the wooden furniture too, the kind you have to varnish every year to maintain its colour…? Not suitable for forgetful poets, is all I can say…

    1. No snow here yet, this is from last year, but incessant rains which have reminded me it’s time to get cracking with preparing the garden and patio for winter.

    1. That’s what we used to do when we lived in England, but sometimes strong winds would blow the furniture all over the garden (in those days we had the really cheap, lightweight plastic chairs too). So that kind of inspired the poem.

  6. Great prompt Marina and a fine example of how to bring it to fruition. I’m tucking this challenge away to try another day when there is more energy and creativity brewing…it’s a winner. Thanks 🙂

  7. I am sorry, Marina, but this does not ignite any feeling in me. I cannot see how those garden chairs can be images of human beings, or of any aspect of human being. I do not understand all the words, though, far from. Maybe I would feel differently if I did. But I think garden chairs must be doing something human for them to symbolize anything human.

    1. That’s OK, Anders, we can’t expect all poems to speak to us equally. To me, those garden chairs huddling together silently feel like a group of people with not much to say to each other, perhaps, just thrown together by chance…

  8. This was such a unique prompt! Enjoyed it…
    I like the description of ordinary furniture and the way you have colored them. I could actually visualize it.

  9. Now this is how it should be written. When I first saw the photo, I thought it was of my backyard a couple of years ago (before the drought). You’ve described it so perfectly. Loved it.

    Sorry I misread the prompt. That’s what happens when I think I can speed read.

  10. Aother summer’s over, and how beautifully you write of it. The table will surely miss its chairs, but wait patiently for another summer to return. I really enjoyed this poem.

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