Today's Inspiration & Writing Prompt


Lisel Mueller

Doctor, you say there are no haloes

around the streetlights in Paris

and what I see is an aberration

caused by old age, an affliction.

I tell you it has taken me all of my life

to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as


to soften and blur and finally banish

the edges you regret I don't see,

to learn that the line I called the horizon

does not exist and sky and water,

so long apart, are the same state of


Fifty-four years before I could see

Rouen cathedral is built

of parallel shafts of sun,

and now you want to restore

my youthful errors; fixed

notions of top and bottom,

the illusion of three-dimensional space,

wisteria separate from the bridge it


What can I say to convince you

the Houses of Parliament become

the fluid dreams of the Thames?

I will not return to a universe

of objects that don't know each other

as if islands were not the lost children

of one great continent. The world

is flux, and light becomes what it


becomes water, lilies on water,

above and below water,

becomes lilac and mauve and yellow

and white and cerulean lamps,

small fists passing sunlight so quickly to

one another

that it would take long, streaming hair

inside my brush to catch it.

To paint the speed of light!

Our weighted shapes, these verticals,

burn to mix with air

and change our bones, skin, clothes

to gases. Doctor

if only you could see

how heaven pulls earth into its arms

and how infinitely the heart expands

to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

WRITING PROMPT: Describe the quality of the light that is around you right now. What actions does the light take upon the objects it touches? What colors can you see? Describe the shapes the light takes; describe its "personality."

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