Caution: Poetry at Work

June 8

The first year of Caution" Poetry at Work is now available for download as a PDF! In order to let people use these poems and prompts in classes, reading groups and more we've created the Caution: Poetry at Work workbook which can be downloaded and used by anyone interested in exploring the vital work of poetry. So please, download the workbook and work through the writing prompts alone, with friends, or with total strangers! We'd love to hear how you use this or what you think of it so please let us know on our Facebook group. Thank-you! If you use this workbook please make sure to cite it:

Erickson, Karen and Mara Faulkner, OSB. Caution: Poetry at Work workbook. 2017,

April 12

backpacking in the mountains

As we move into spring, many students have begun thinking about travel, either studying abroad or traveling in the summer with friends and family. While some are excited by the prospect of living somewhere new, others are a bit hesitant. Spring is a time of growth, and traveling or studying abroad allows us to grow in our perspectives, friendships, and experiences. Whether you are traveling far from home, or just out of state, try to enjoy spending time somewhere new.

Traveling to new and exciting places often elicits a creative streak within. Many people document their journeys with journals, others with pictures, and some with poems. In the spirit of travel, here is a poem that evokes the feeling of adventure.

Through the Glen

The earth resounds of silenced songs
Old stories etched in stone,
Moss gathers on forgotten ruins,
Follow me on home.

Along those blissful rolling greens
The cry of tribesmen sound,
And echo on the craggy moors,
Follow me on home.

And for the weary visitor
A beaten path he roams.
It speaks to him through roots and weeds,
Follow me on home.

Through thistle glades and murky woods
The Highland chant resounds.
Imploring rueful traveler,
Follow me on home.

-Post and poem by Holly Ossanna, CSB 2020

Write your own: Write a poem about your experience with travel, or about somewhere you have always wanted to go. Or let your imagination run wild and write about how you would imagine traveling somewhere from a novel or a movie.

March 15

Musings on Music and Poetryjazz concert

Spring semester is in full swing and things are getting busy at the CSB/SJU Writing Centers. Even as our lives get more and more full of work and activities, we must not forget to relax once and a while and enjoy the little things in life. One of those things that I particularly enjoy is music. Music can inspire great emotions and temporarily relieve the stress of daily life.

This poem tries to encompass that feeling of music and the almost magical nature of sound as it seemingly appears from nowhere. The poem has three stanzas all reflecting a different feeling that a person experiences from listening to music and after it is gone.

The note sings
As if appearing from nowhere
Sudden yet not harsh.
As if
You became aware of something
That was always there
Just beyond your perception.

The song fades
As fast as it came
Returning once again to the ether.
You know
No matter how hard you try
You cannot let it go
For you now understand that true bliss.

Memory remains
Constantly haunting your thoughts
Of a paradise once lost.
That which is missing
Can still be found
The sound you love lives once again.

Write your own: Create you own poem about something that you love to do or be around. Let your writing be a way to increase your calm and decrease your stress throughout the day.

-blog post and poem by Anna Norris, CSB 2019

Previous Entries