Digging for poems

Above, below and in between

I trace familiar features with my

Fumbling, feathery finger.

Up, down, under and

Over, I feel well-worn skin with my

Tentative thumb

Memorising the

Tensions before I squat

Over the ink pot, filling a pen

That rarely rests

Knowing that I’ll


Under your skin with



© Kim M. Russell, 2016

Images found on Pinterest and www.bbc.co.uk

The Golden Shovel is a poetic formwhereby you take a line (or lines) from a poem you admire and use each word in the line(s) as an END word in your poem, keeping the words from the original line(s) in order. When finished, you can read down the right margin, and have the original chosen line(s) intact.

One of my favourite poets, and I have so many, is the late Seamus Heaney. My husband gave me a copy of Heaney’s New Selected Poems for Christmas, so I have scanned through it for inspiration and came to the conclusion that I could be writing golden shovels all day. But then I had a light bulb moment – why don’t I start with ‘Digging’, one of Heaney’s most famous poems, and take it from there!  The original lines are:

 Between my finger and my thumb

The squat pen rests.

I’ll dig with it.