Sunday, March 8, 2015

Found Poem: Lost in woods on subzero night (#SOL15, Day 8)

2.18.15 newspaper from Portland, Maine

A few weeks ago I was in Maine and as I was sipping some coffee in a local place, the headline from a newspaper someone had left behind caught my eye: "Lost in woods on subzero night, two teens
survive on smarts."

I quickly read the story about the two teenagers, Tyler and Jonah. At the time I was uncertain as to why I was snapping pictures of the story--but it felt like a potential poem--a found poem. I wrote the poem from Jonah's point of view.

Lost in Woods On Subzero Night

9 p.m.
below zero
lost in the Maine woods
after the Arctic Cat quit.

Stay calm
keep moving.

Me & Tyler walked through knee-deep snow,


Lost in Woods (Reilly, 2015)

    I'd have gone a little crazy
             out there
             in the middle of the woods
             without him:
                 (I trust this kid
                 with my life
                             my life).

            Show me a sign.

            Come on.

            Show me a sign.

Find shelter
build a fire.

Tyler says:
A shooting star
goes down
and that's where the storage shed is.
We tore boards off,
broke the lock 
to get inside--used a fire starter:
                             Gasoline & a broken sign.

We spent the night





At dawn
we walked out.

We walked
                     across the ice
found that road
that led us here



  1. powerful poem....I think you should send it to him...xo nanc

  2. Your poem is a very unique way to capture the drama of the event. I would love to hear about how you created the picture to go with it! Very creative!

    1. I made a substrate with newspaper and gesso a d photographed it. Then layered images from newspaper with it. Thanks for asking:)

  3. I tend to only write stories from my perspective.
    You've inspired me to branch out and try writing from another's point of view.
    You've done it beautifully here in this piece. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Glad to know that. Hope you'll post your work:)

  4. Your use of white space and dialogue is especially powerful in this found poem. What a scary experience - you bring these emotions out in your writing.

  5. I love Nancie's idea...and the way your ever watchful eye led you to poetry and art and insight.