After constructing Life-Built Poems for a number of years, I noticed something:  You can use the discipline of writing these kinds of poems to look at the world and tell yourself what you see.  Like Joan Didion, you can “write to find out what you think.”

You can also use Life-Built poems to tell metaphoric tales about what you are doing.  At the time I wrote this poem, I was devouring the books that populated the self-help and spiritual sections of every library and bookstore I could find.  I even did the dumb exercises and stuff in those books.

A lot of what I was encountering was more than a little foreign to me.  Making my poems helped me to figure out what I thought and felt about those strange and wondrous worlds I was exploring.  (I figured that had to be better than ingesting odd substances that make your head all wonky.)


It was an exercise in one of those books that tell you how to take
your head into your own hands and wash and scrub it, inside and out,
letting the old stuff dribble out of your ears and down your neck.
I threw my heart and belly in there and scrubbed them up as well.
I figured since I had the scrub brush out, why not?
Maybe I overdid it.

I watch the flames lick at the lies I’ve told myself,
the ones I was conned into eating up whole when I was too young to know better,
the ones I grew myself as I got older,
the ones that kept replicating themselves and crowding in my head,
all of them running full-tilt around and around,
like mad hamsters stuck inside a squeaky mobius treadwheel.

I’d written them all down on bits of paper and stuck them in an old metal bucket.
I threw incense and fragrant oils on them,
honoring the power the lies once held over my head, my heart, my gut.
Then I touched them with fire
And I watched the bits of paper burn away,
making a line of smoke, rising high in the early morning sky.
There they go…all gone now.

I am free.
It says so, right there in that book.
The lies have flown away.
They were wrapped around in that smoke that lifted them up and away,
releasing them from the bondage they had been serving in my head,
so they can return to wherever they began.
(I hope they like their freedom.
They’ve been good servants, after all, and I do wish them well.)

It’s a strange thing, though.
Probably it’s ’cause I’m obtuse and just a little bit dense.
Maybe I’m just not doing it right.
All I know is, I am feeling hollow.
There’s an echoing empty inside me now
where once lies thronged like a multi-colored crowd caught up in
busy hurry-scurry — on a mission — every one.

This has started me wondering:
So, what do I do now?
Where do I go next?
Now that I’ve lost the lies that used to guide me and advise me,
the gates of the old castle they defended stands wide-open and
I can see the Forest Perilous stretching before, wide and wild.

I’ve gotta tell ya,
This is REALLY scary!       

by Netta Kanoho

The whole point of this, I think, is that you can explore ideas and concepts as easily as feelings with your poems.  It’s even more meaningful if you can do them both together.  Go on…try it!  Maybe you’ll like it.

Picture credit:  by theilr via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]



(Click on each of the post titles below and see where it takes you…)


Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a comment or note below.


  1. I love poetry and I love this poem. Some of the imagery is very interesting, at least to me. How many poems have you written on your site? Does each one of the posts contain a poem? I haven’t had a chance to take a look at your other posts, but will bookmark this for later.
    Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks, Ian….

      So far, all of the posts I’ve done has included a poem. One of them is from a guest poet. (I’ve been browbeating friends to contribute.) I am so glad you liked it. Please come visit when you can….



  2. The graphics on your website really suit your niche. I love how you introduced your article. I must say that this is one of the best poem sites that I have come across with so far. Keep the good work up. Your creative and the poems are practical also. It is an interesting poem and I love it

    1. Thanks, Tommy, for the encouragement. Don’t know where it is going yet, but it sure has been an interesting learning experience!

  3. Hello,

    I think that becoming more self aware in any form can help a person to live their best lives. This poem was in the theme of that same belief and further my thoughts with the idea that we can “look at the world and tell yourself what you see.”

    It isn’t always about what happens to you that’s important, its how you perceive it that really matters the most.This poem tackles the idea that we can alter our own perception of things to make them what we want for the better.

    great read, I’m happy I stumbled upon this post!

    All the best,

    1. Thank you for the visit Anthony! Come again!



  4. I really love your poetry. You are poet, the creator, maker of thoughts put into abstract form. I love not one but all of your creation, thoughts and passion that went into this, I will call ‘ Life Book”

    1. Thank you for visiting and for your encouragement, Louisa. I do appreciate it….

  5. Wow, it’s interesting. 

    What beautiful thoughts, which you have expressed through your poetry and I love it.   I feel you have learned the intellect through your poetry.   It would be nice to convert these thoughts into reality.

    Now I am going to share this with my friends, I think they will be very surprised after reading this. Thank you so much for writing this.

    1. I do appreciate your visit and your comment, Rjpollob.

      Thank you.

  6. I really love poetry,
    because it improves articulation
    and makes you want to meet new people every day,
    to share and exchange thoughts. 
    There is nothing more beautiful really,
    because it can for some individuals help
    improve self-confidence, and improve bonding
    with other people that are close to you.

    And what you wrote is definitely wrote is right.
    Writing poetry is not about being precise or being the best
    it is all about experimenting and making the poetry
    that is for you or someone you hold dear.

    I wish you good luck on writing future content! 🙂

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  They do make a cool poem, Leon.

      Please do come again.

  7. Hi Netta:

    The power of words that spill off a pen can really make the world turn, every thought is an illusion of our minds unveiling the most inner privacy of our soul. You may travel as far as light  and be as bright as the sun. We are only prisoners of our minds capable of reaching our utmost wishes and desires. There is magic in every word of your poem, a really inspiring post.

    I look forward to reading more of your poems, thanks for sharing , keep up this beautiful work.

    Cesar M

    1. Cesar, your poetry’s beautiful.  Thank you.

      Please do come again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *