Young woman dancing

Dancing on the Razor’s Edge

You speak in riddles because

You ache to speak.

You ache for space

To expand and contract.

You cast your words into the chasm,

To be caught by one

Whose breathing holds your breath.


When your foot finds the brink

You ask the air


© 2013 Katherine Grace Bond

Poetry is dangerous. The instructor urges extreme caution. Bring paper, pens and words (caged if necessary). Hear the work of young poets, published and unpublished and then let your own words out. Cut through the steel bars and let loose what you really want to say.

Teen Poets is part of the Bellevue College Summer Teen Program’s writing classes. I’d love to see you there!

Register for Teen Poets

Okay! Let’s play a game!

This is what poet Shane Guthrie calls an “infection set” of poems.

If you are the first commenter, write a poem that begins with the first line of the poem above: “You speak in riddles because”
If you are the second commenter, write a poem that begins with the second line: “You ache to speak”
…and so on.

Don’t worry if you finish your poem and someone has already commented ahead of you before you can post it. Life is made of such happy accidents. Ready, set, write!

Image by © Blue Jean Images/Corbis
Game of Poems
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11 thoughts on “Game of Poems

  • June 12, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    You speak in riddles because
    you doubt anyone would listen
    The language draws
    curiosity out
    from others, in a way
    that you never could yourself.
    Your tongue has become
    so accustomed
    to the twisting tangle of verbs,
    that you cannot
    what your own thoughts
    sound like on your tongue.

  • June 13, 2014 at 8:48 am

    You ache to speak
    But that is, of course, dangerous
    Silence let’s them assume you are like they are

    Speak and you will be denounced
    Roundly and terribly denounced
    By people you thought were your friends


    One can’t help it
    Being yourself, and needing to say
    To share
    Even when no one wants it

    So you will speak
    You will be denounced
    They will leave you in the dust

    And that is when you’ll finally meet your friends
    The brave and denounced like you
    And the cowards who are about to be

    • June 13, 2014 at 8:49 am

      As a clarification, when I do an infection set, I usually do all the lines myself, so a 40 line poem becomes 40 poems… This is more infection by committee, fun stuff.

      • June 13, 2014 at 1:12 pm

        I suppose that could make it an epidemic–if we’re lucky!

        Great poem, Emily! (And Shane, of course.)

  • June 14, 2014 at 11:44 am

    You ache for space
    feeling the emptiness inside
    fighting the bounds
    of public domain.

    Shouldering your path
    through the
    unforgiving throngs,
    your heart beats
    for room to

    Looking at the sky of
    blue, you think,


  • June 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    To expand and contract,
    You’ve spread yourself thin
    With a plan to enact
    A plan to win

    A swift turn of the key
    To start ignition
    A missile over sea
    Contains Fission

    A similar rocket
    Is coming right here
    The tower chimes zero
    Armageddon near

    Smoke is the fashion
    of the heat around
    Burning loyal passion
    Down to the ground

    Only one day has passed
    Not a life in sight
    The remainders dare ask
    “Why do we fight?”

    The best titles of lore
    can all answer this.
    “What do we fight for?”
    That answer’s amiss

    • July 3, 2014 at 2:00 am

      You cast your words into the chasm,
      No one takes you seriously after all–
      You’re a pretty face,
      A study in grace.
      Skin puppet with “impeccables,”
      Who cares for your ineffable
      Thoughts. plans, ideas, dreams,
      Ambitions, goals, hatreds, schemes.
      A statue in a gallery,
      An object of antiquity.
      So continue to cast your words into the chasm-
      Maybe an echo will find an ear.

  • June 17, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Connor, we’ve missed you. I hope you can sign up for poetry!
    That sounds like an EpicWrite poem.

  • June 17, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Nice, Emily K! I love the one-word lines. The rhythm really works. Room to roam. Yes. It’s your time, girl!

  • July 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks Katherine! I don’t know where I came up with the words…I suppose I was freestyling. I don’t do much poetry so it was a little hard.

    Connor, you are incredible. I couldn’t make mine stay that tight and focused. Your poem is truly astounding. And it rhymes!!!


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