The prompt for NaPoWriMo.net Day 30 is to write a minimalist poem. I probably write more haiku than anything else, but I’m going to take a different route with this. I’ve taken a poem that I wrote 18 years ago, “The Love You Share,” and changed it, first by rewriting it, then reducing it in stages, until it’s a senryū, and then just one word.

The Love You Share

The moonlight, seen through your lovers eyes,
While holding hands under starry skies.

A gentle whisper that none will hear,
Except the lover that you hold near.

A tear that lies just above your cheek
And dries when you hear your lover speak.

A smile on your lips each time you take
A moment to watch your lover wake.

All this will be yours, for this I know:
The love that you share will make it so.


Born of a Whisper

Looking upon the moon reflected in her eyes,
he is overwhelmed by a flood of emotions.

Leaning closer as he holds her hand,
he strokes her soul with a gentle whisper.

A tear at the corner of her eye is poised
to fall, slowly drying as he speaks.

Born of a whisper, the bond that joins
their hearts is stronger than any word.

Lying beside him now, she smiles softly
as he stirs, reliving that first whisper.

Every time he wakes, her smile and gaze
assure him of the love they share.



a bond is born of a gentle whisper
that strokes her soul

a flood of emotion brings tears
soon dried by the words

echoes stir her emotions
each time she sees him wake

remembering that first whisper



a gentle whisper
strokes her soul,
echoes forever
as a bond is born


gentle whisper
echoes forever
bonding souls



Image source: giphy.com (edited here)


30 thoughts on “Whispering

  1. Amazing – each of the versions seems perfect, yet the progression (reduction) is equally satisfying. I do have my favorite stages – 1st and 5th – after multiple reads.
    Now I have the itch to go try this on some of my older poems.
    I’ve heard many poets/instructors counsel “keep all versions of your poems” – I don’t and probably won’t start, but WOW your post shows a value in hanging onto interim versions. The sequential reading of these is very effective. And your finale about as minimalist as one can get – you get gold stars for this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 Thank you, Jazz.
      I tend to write and move on. I don’t look back often enough, unless I know something is unfinished, but I do rewrite old poems, occasionally. However, I’ll save drafts each time I revise something I’m working on, even if that’s just over the course of the day. It helps me understand the process – I have a memory like a sieve.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hard to pick a favorite. You are so good at teasing out essences.
    I’ve been reading a book about Chinese reversible poems, and I could see you mastering the form, which I find both beautiful and mysterious. I was drawn at first to the images which are complicated arrangements of Chinese characters, but I’ve really enjoyed the translations of the various poems formed from the characters too. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

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