The 10 Minute Poem

how to write a 10 minute poem

Between winter’s arrival and the volcanic eruptions that are American society, I am trying to get back into poetry. It’s hard though, because with the holidays (now over, thankfully) and the shorter days, I feel like I am in a creative famine. With current events settling into a lull and the roar of the media slowly being smothered, I hope to ease my way back into normal life. In the meantime though, I do 10 minute poems to re-establish and ground my creative work.

10 minute poems are creative exercises that allow you to get past writer’s block, cram some creativity into your day, and allow you express yourself without sacrificing too many “must dos”. Set your timer and let the words run until you hear that stinging little beep. Just a nice, cathartic little slice of time to start the creative flow.


Broken brown eggshells sitting on the speckled counter
A door slammed on the way to work
You are unhappy, but I am too.

As the kale sits by the sink with water droplets drizzling down
those ruffles
Can we just rewind?

In my dream the sun exudes from the western kitchen window
The yolks sizzle in a pan on top of melted butter
from the neighbors cow

There is always fresh, hot toast and scalding coffee
and cream, there is always cream.
And we are not poor and we do not have children
and you awake to the smells and infiltrate my world

We all have dreams. We all love our dreams. We are all in love with our dreams.

Your arm delicately winds along my waist
and as you set me on the counter to whisper in my face
I reach down to grab you and…

Everything is just as it was – sunflowers dancing on the windowsill
Cactus hanging in front of the window

And we love each other in a way that will never die
Only grow with the strength of that western sunrise.


By the way, dear ones, it is important not to let this become a worry. Don’t think about completion, just getting some words down. It’s as if you were just testing colors on a canvas to see if the melt into each other. Simply write and see if the words melt.

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  • This is beautiful, really. You’re a wonderful writer. Poetry is something I wish I could do myself, but I’ll settle for reading. I hope you feel more creatively grounded soon.

    Amber –

    • Elizabeth Hisle

      Thank you! If you ever want to try a poem, just journal a few lines. 🙂

  • This is lovely! I too feel like I’m in a bit of a “creative famine” so this seems like a really good idea. I used to write tons of poetry in my early teens (and post it on Figment, ahah) but these days I get stuck because I’m too preoccupied with trying to make it “good.” I suppose I’ll have to try again and not let my brain take over too much!
    Julia |

    • Elizabeth Hisle

      SAME. But I’m slowly learning art doesn’t have to be “good”. If we all wait for what we think is perfection, we’re failing art as a whole. Sometimes the process is the most important part because you learn HOW to both do and accept.

  • Amy

    Love this idea so much! I’ve strayed from poetry a bit with song writing. Although, they are very similar, I do miss just writing whatever comes to mind without melody or having to sing it.

    I think I will write a ten minute poem right now!

    • Elizabeth Hisle

      Oh I’m sure that’s a total challenge! Keeping your arts separate is always bound to be a bit of work. I hope you enjoyed your 10 minute poem process!