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Cyndi MacMillan is a well-rounded writer who embraces many genres and forms. Her work has been published in local newspapers and has won contests. She enjoys reading literary journals, and she is actively pursuing publication within their glossy covers.

Verse is both magnetic and kinetic. She attempts - madly- to give equal attention to her poetry, short stories, and a novel-in-progress, the Trim of Wicks.  Regardless of genre, she focuses on language. One word has the power to repel or pull. She never forgets the reader and does her best to make their ride interesting.

Poetry soup is a good forum which enables people from around the world to share poetry. It has some great resources and provides a nice space for friends to meet.

Cyndi lives in a small town in Ontario with her husband, young daughter and far too many books.



Blog Posted:3/27/2014 9:09:00 PM

As soon as I read Charlotte’s challenge to create a cut-up or collage poem, I knew I wanted to give it a try.


Found poetry is interesting. It reminds me of my father, who loved both jigsaw puzzles and crossword puzzles.


Found poetry is a composition made by combining fragments of such printed material as newspapers, signs, or menus, and rearranging them into the form of a poem. Found poetry is collage poetry, more or less


Some years ago many stores sold magnetic words to create fridge poetry.  I used to write fridge poetry to my husband, who worked night shift, knowing he’d grab himself some breakfast before going to bed. Ah, the time one has before having children! LOL!


soft bruise on concrete/purple lace shadow of what/blossomed long ago


The above poem is from this site, written by Van Waffle, and is included in this blog for teaching purposes only




I’d read somewhere that found poetry, collage poetry and cut-up poetry allows the subconscious an easier portal to release creative energy.


So, for Charlotte’s contest, I decided I wanted to use an Edna St Vincent Millay poem... The Exiled is one of my favourite rhyming poems and its length provided a lot of material for a found poem.


Right away, I saw the word WINTER... and it came to me. Could I turn a poem written about the joys of summer at the  seaside and pen a poem about an unbearable winter? Most of the words seemed beach-based.


The Poem:



By Edna St Vincent Millay






SEARCHING my heart for its true sorrow, 


  This is the thing I find to be: 


That I am weary of words and people, 


  Sick of the city, wanting the sea; 


Wanting the sticky, salty sweetness        


  Of the strong wind and shattered spray, 


Wanting the loud sound and the soft sound 


  Of the big surf that breaks all day. 




Always before about my dooryard, 


  Marking the reach of the winter sea,        


Rooted in sand and dragging driftwood, 


  Straggled the purple wild sweet pea. 


Always I climbed the wave at morning, 


  Shook the sand from my shoes at night, 


That now am caught beneath big buildings,        


  Stricken with noise, confused with light. 




If I could hear the green piles groaning. 


  Under the windy, wooden piers, 


See once again the bobbing barrels, 


  And the black sticks that fence the weirs;        


If I could see the weedy mussels 


  Crusting the wrecked and rotting hulls, 


Hear once again the hungry crying 


  Overhead, of the wheeling gulls; 




Feel once again the shanty straining        


  Under the turning of the tide, 


Fear once again the rising freshet, 


  Dread the bell in the fog outside, 


I should be happy!—that was happy 


  All day long on the coast of Maine.        


I have a need to hold and handle 


  Shells and anchors and ships again. 




I should be happy, that am happy. 


  Never at all since I came here. 


I am too long away from water,


  I have a need of water near.







So, I found Exiled on line, copy/pasted it into word and enlarged the font considerably. Then I went to work with a pair of scissors.


I was creating a collage and not a “true cut-up” poem, which (to me)  is like a Lucy in the sky with diamonds free fall on steroids, so I did the following:


  1. I categorized the words... nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, conjunction. prepositions . etc separated the mass of paper. Just like a quilter may organize patches of patterned fabric into colour groupings.

  2. I found a piece of blue paper to arrange the words.. I wanted each word to stand out for me. GLARE AT ME. It just let me see cause and effect easier.

  3. I started with the subject of the poem as this seemed simplest.

  4. I chose a verb that fit my theme.

  5. I added modifiers...

  6. I continued to do this.. noun .. verb... modifiers...

  7. I’d look it over

  8. I’d shift things around

My work, in progress:




And I kept going... moving this and that, adding, subtracting.


When I finally stopped, I began to shake... realized what I did.


 You see, the day after Christmas a sweet little boy named Robbie  wandered  from his fenced yard, through a gate, and onto the ice of the Nith River, here in town. His body has not yet been found. Locals spent weeks searching for him, and the search has been called off- officially- until spring, But his father walks the riverside every night, looking for a trace. And many here do the same. Come spring, the divers will return. Right now, the ice makes the search near impossible.  


There are blue ribbons tied throughout the town, to trees, to car antennas, to fences and lampposts... blue was Robbie’s favourite colour. This is a small town. The loss is felt by everyone.   



My poem can be read and understood many ways. Unless I had shared this with you, you would only have seen it being about a long winter.. it was what I had intended to write. But now that you know what has been going on in town, perhaps you will read it differently, too. I’d meant to create a  simple rant... instead, I believe my hands chose words based on a deeper need to convey a stronger message...


Doug Coxson, Independent staff



Winter shattered the city,

marking buildings with sorrow.


I dread the wooden morning:

my black and salty shoes, crusting,

and the wind straining the fence,

again and again,

the shells of confused people, wheeling,

sick of wanting light, wanting green.


All day, I see the weary, searching,

hear the noise of my soft heart,

a stricken sound that breaks overhead

with wild need, loud and true.


If I could reach the dooryard to the day,

turning the handle to a happy-here,

have that sweetpea sweetness once again,

I long for purple rooted near...


Outside, the shook bell is groaning, Maine!



Poetry is such a strange thing. It is begun by the mind but finished by the heart


A special thank you to Charlotte. I haven’t played with word arrangement like this in over six years... thanks for reminding me that it isn’t only about finding the perfect word, but how the word is used in context.


Hugs and love to all,



And I pray that Robbie is found as his family is unable to find closure to this hell that no parent should ever experience


The poem should truly end:

Outside, the shook bell is moaning, Gone


Sites for those who may want to know more about Found poetry:


And here is a lovely site for playing with words


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  1. Date: 4/1/2014 12:10:00 AM
    You really found something so meaningful in the process.

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  1. Date: 3/30/2014 10:31:00 AM
    Very educative, profound and a real poetic write, Cindy. I agree with Craig that let there be many more like you on the PS

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  1. Date: 3/28/2014 7:39:00 PM
    Yup I did it like that TOO! TWINS!

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  1. Date: 3/28/2014 5:59:00 PM
    I wish there were a lot more Cyndi's around. Interesting blog.

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  1. Date: 3/28/2014 3:42:00 PM
    Hi, Cyndi! I was missing you. Very interesting blog, a great poem (love the ending) and ... such a terrible tragedy. I'll check the websites. PS: don't be a stranger!!

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  1. Date: 3/28/2014 12:46:00 PM
    This is a cool blog, Cyndi, although the tribute is very sad....I feel for the family and community. There is a message in this blog which obviously transcends the cut-up/found technique, and is applicable to all modes of artistic expression. Yeah, the cut-up technique can be an almost shocking catharsis for the subconscious mind. When I read your poem, I chose it as a 1st place. Charlotte's contest inspired me to attempt another one of my 'polished cut-up' poems, even if I figured it couldn't be entered into the contest. So I thank Charlotte for that. Did you notice how my comment that was left on your poem, included sections of the cut-up I was experimenting with(before it was completed)?

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  1. Date: 3/28/2014 11:46:00 AM
    I should add a PS Cyndi.Even better to W C Williams 'just to say' was the poem he created 'Dear Bill' from the reply note thereto Perhaps the perfect example of 'found poetry' from a 'name' poet'.Have a good weekend.Rgds Brian

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  1. Date: 3/28/2014 9:30:00 AM
    Ps.....I pray for that little boy, and to all those who are lost, and for the grieving parents, loved ones, who must live with such pain and agony while they wait for news. I can't imagine such heartache.

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  1. Date: 3/28/2014 9:28:00 AM
    In many ways, Cyndi, I found myself doing something quite similar as you, while writing my cut-up version for Charlotte's contest. I loved this challenge so much, but I think the secret lies in finding a source that moves you deeply. Instead (as you did) of using words from one magnificent poem, I went through pages and pages of many poems by the same author (WS Merwin), and found phrases that held meaning for me. Laying them all out, suddenly I was taken back to a few times in my life when I was called to carefully sort through a loved one's belongings. The poem just sprang to life.

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  1. Date: 3/28/2014 8:07:00 AM
    had been used, meter had been incorporated, and words had been changed at a later date; I just felt all these things were getting a bit too far away from a true cut-up...but I'm planning on hosting another contest for surrealist poetry at a later date, which will allow for a broader range and style of poems...once again, thank YOU for entering such a great piece :)

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  1. Date: 3/28/2014 8:03:00 AM
    and what impressed me with jack jordan's poem was that he managed to convey a real mood and create something fairly coherent, whilst at the same time preserving the rawness of the cut-up...reading suzette's comment below, I feel I perhaps didn't make my intentions for this contest terribly clear: I added 'word collage' to the contest title, but probably should've left it at 'cut-up', because really I was after more of the 'lucy in the sky' effect, but I said I would include pieces that had been arranged more coherently, though I did exclude a cento because I felt that was a little too ordered in that it used whole intact lines...I also excluded pieces where repetition of the words

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  1. Date: 3/28/2014 7:56:00 AM
    where to start with this subject, cyndi, we could be here all day! but I'll try to make it brief...knowing the back story to your poem certainly gives it an extra dimension, and makes it all the more incredible, at least for me; now I know why I homed in on that line 'shells of confused people' I said to someone, the end result with these cut-ups does depend largely on where the words come from e.g. if they are taken from poems it will tend to produce a much more poetical piece than, say, words taken from junk mail, newspapers, etc.; both you and carrie took your words from other poems and it produced stunning results

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  1. Date: 3/28/2014 2:43:00 AM
    Cyndi,W C Williams imagist poem 'This is just to say' is perhaps the most famous example of 'a message poem' this was a short message to his wife.My phrasis structured prose is a variation of your interesting topic on the 'collage' approach to creativity ,it has been an inspiring stimulation to my endeavours over the past year and there are many examples in my anthology here for those interested.Trust the book is going well?Rgds Brian

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  1. Date: 3/28/2014 2:23:00 AM
    Love your blog, Cyndi - interesting. It is a pitty that Charlotte did not name requirements for her contest FOUND POETRY. It would have been clearer. CENTO is akin to FOUND. Love, Su

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My Past Blog Posts

Apologies and thanks !
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My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
12/15/2014 A POEM FOR CRAIG -- SHORT Versefamily,grief,
12/12/2014 SANCTUARY Free versefear,poets,world,
12/9/2014 PROTEST of PEACE Verseanti bullying,conflict,em
12/9/2014 CHEF KILLED BY OFFICER FOR JAYWALKING Proseparody,truth,
11/10/2014 CHAN Free versefriend,goodbye,
10/15/2014 DARK ANGELS OF HIGHGATE Sestinafuneral,psychological,sad
9/4/2014 I COMES Free versesexy,
9/2/2014 cummings and i Versepoetry,word play,
8/25/2014 LIFE WILL BE A HONEYMOON Lyricparadise,passion,romantic
8/25/2014 HOSTEL, QUEBEC CITY, 1978 Free versehistory,places,
8/21/2014 DEGREES Sonnetbooks,sensual,words,
7/17/2014 CRADLED Trioletbaby,love,
6/7/2014 TORRENT Sonnetcelebration,life,women,
4/21/2014 LA MARQUISE Free versepsychological,
4/8/2014 ROOTS Free versemoving on,power,teenage,
4/4/2014 GINGHAM AND LACE, A BLITZ POEM Versedaughter,love,
4/4/2014 NUDE, THIRTY DOLLARS, A BLITZ Verseart,imagination,lost love
3/24/2014 50 GODS Free versegod,peace,philosophy,
3/15/2014 WINTER IN PORTLAND Free versedepression,winter,
2/25/2014 PITY THE PIRANHA Free verseintrospection,people,
2/13/2014 DOUBLE OH Crown of Sonnetsfilm,sexy,
2/10/2014 TARTANS Sonnetfriend,patriotic,places,p
2/9/2014 TESTIMONIALS Sonnetfaith,friend,nature,
2/5/2014 ON THE FRINGE Sonnetafrica,allegory,culture,f
2/3/2014 SUMMERLAND Sonnetfriend,music,places,poetr
2/2/2014 WORD ON THE STREET, 2009 Sonnetbooks,friend,places,poetr
1/31/2014 HEROES Sonnetfriend,hero,places,poetry
1/29/2014 DIVINE STEEPLES Sonnetfriend,love,places,poetry
1/28/2014 SNIPPETS Sonnetfilm,friend,poetry,
1/27/2014 NEW-DALI Sonnetart,friend,poetry,time,
1/26/2014 MUSE Sonnetfriend,love,places,poetry
1/24/2014 ONE TWO ONE Sonnetfriend,love,places,poetry
1/23/2014 FIREWORKS Sonnetfriend,heaven,life,metaph
1/22/2014 UNREHEARSED Sonnetart,friend,love,
1/21/2014 THE WIT OF ROSE Sonnetfantasy,friend,places,
1/20/2014 CHANTRY Sonnetlight,memory,places,
1/20/2014 SUNCATCHER Sonnet 
1/17/2014 HAT MAN Sonnetfriendship,poetry,
1/14/2014 FANFARE Sonnetbooks,friend,imagination,
1/14/2014 MY HEART BELONGS TO MONTREAL Iambic Pentameterheart,places,
1/13/2014 AN EDUCATED MAN Free verseeducation,life,truth,wisd
1/9/2014 SPICY Sonnetfood,passion,
1/6/2014 THE STAND Prosetruth,
1/4/2014 WOMAN, I BE I do not know?life,
12/19/2013 EXPLORING THE BASEMENT Free verseabuse,childhood,courage,
12/12/2013 LET ME INFLAME: A POET'S PRAYER Versepassion,poetry,
12/11/2013 PARDON ME, DID YOU JUST BAN CHRIS AECHTNER FROM SOUP Prosefeelings,freedom,friend,
12/10/2013 UNHOLY Versewinter,
12/3/2013 LA VIE EN ROSE Light Poetrycharacter,imagination,
12/2/2013 OPENING A POET'S VEIN, WORDS, Versewriting,
11/29/2013 RIPPLES Free versesad,writing,
9/28/2013 EMILY DICKINSON Sonnetpoetess,
9/27/2013 HEY WAITER, THERE'S A HITLER IN MY SOUP Free verseparody,poetry,
9/26/2013 THE VIRGIN AND CHILD Sonnetfaith,jesus,mother,
9/12/2013 LAST WISHES Free versedeath,niece,sad,
9/10/2013 SAFEWORD Sonnetlove,lust,
8/23/2013 UNMASKED Pantoumdance,desire,fantasy,
8/6/2013 THE OTHER-WISE Free verseart,introspection,
7/24/2013 PIMPED Free versechildren,lust,society,
7/17/2013 MARGINS Free versedaughter,summer,
7/15/2013 SPINNING WHEEL Free versechange,home,moving on,
6/5/2013 COME, ARION Sonnetfantasy,horse,mythology,
6/5/2013 BAIT, 1986 Free versegrowing up,lust,men,
6/3/2013 COME AND PLAY ME Lyricmuse,music,passion,romant
5/31/2013 haiku 6 Haikuchildren,summer,
5/28/2013 HER FIRST PLACE Sonnetart,imagination,
5/28/2013 BLAMELESS Personificationrain,
5/27/2013 THE SHINING Sestinaevil,film,horror,
5/22/2013 ALL FALL DOWN Sestinadeath,history,london,
5/18/2013 POETRY Free versepoetry,
5/13/2013 MADE IN BANGLADESH Ghazalchange,clothes,death,
5/5/2013 SUNDAY SOJOURN Haibungarden,morning,time,
4/28/2013 WOMEN Free versefriendship,gender,
4/26/2013 SYLVIA Crown of Sonnetslife,poets,writing,
4/20/2013 THE POET'S CREED Free versepoetry,world,writing,
4/18/2013 TYPEWRITER Free verselust,writing,
4/17/2013 IT Free versepoetry,writing,
4/10/2013 TWELVE DOLLARS, UNLESS PRICED DIFFERENTLY Free versenostalgia,women,
4/8/2013 THE ADJECTIVE IMPERATIVE Coupleton writing and words,word
4/1/2013 MY JANE Sonnetromantic,
3/21/2013 PALADIN Free versepeople,sympathy,
3/18/2013 SWEET SOLITUDE Haibunfaith,imagination,sister,
3/14/2013 WHAT LURKS WITHIN Free versechild,death,dedication,lo
3/12/2013 ALLUSIVE PEARL Free verseart,imagination,
3/11/2013 ELIZABETH'S DIARY Prose Poetryimagination,love,
3/6/2013 HIS-STORY Free verseimagination,night,night,
3/5/2013 THE LANGUAGE OF ASH ley Smith Free versechange,mystery,social,sui
2/22/2013 haiku 3 Haikufunny,seasons,
2/17/2013 BIDALSANA Free versepassion,me,me,
2/12/2013 GURO, MAHAL KITA Sonnetfriendship,on writing and
2/7/2013 haiku 2 Haikubaby,
2/7/2013 haiku 1 Haikuchild,seasons,metaphor,
2/6/2013 WILD ROSE Sonnetart,passion,
2/3/2013 ALCHEMY Versefood,seasons,time,februar
1/31/2013 SMAAK STUKKEND Carpe Diemimagination,introspection
1/8/2013 HIGHWAY OF TEARS Rhymemystery,women,women,
12/20/2012 THIS BLEAK HEREAFTER Terzanellechild,death,grief,night,m
12/10/2012 A PRETTY DRESS Rondeaupassion,romantic,women,lo
12/6/2012 CASTING HIS LINE Rondeaudad,nostalgia,sports,
11/20/2012 HOMER'S HUES Free verseart,introspection,

My Photos

Fav Poems

The Sowing Free versedevotion,
Ten Little Toes Rhymedaughter,lifeold,old,,gra
Woodland Rhapsody Quatraininspirational
Contradicting Keats Sonnetintrospection,life
Surrender to Love Rhymeloveme,
A Totum Pole Ode Concretenative american,people,
MORE DREAMS TO ROW Rhyme royalinspirational,life,
When the Tab Comes Due Free verseinspirational,introspecti
Lighting My Candle From Within Quintain (English)caregiving,introspection,
The Kirk by the Sea Coupletnostalgia,religion,love,
Moonlight On The Ward Chokahealth,life,
Nocturnal Poetry Rhymeimagination,life,poetry,
Slumber Epicdedication,epic,slam,
FROSTY NIGHT STROLL Coupletinspirational,seasons,
Our Thanksgiving Light Poetryholiday,
Tomorrow's Grace Ethereepeace,
A New Star Shines Above Hawaii Rhymededication,music,
Jesus, Our Savior Shapereligion,life,
Monarch of Summer Haibunanimals,devotion,inspirat
Untouched Rhymeforgiveness,me,me,
Midnight Pearls Than-Baukintrospection,love,
Beaucoup Blooms Terza Rimanature,spring,spring,
On Heaven's Doorway Narrativeinspirational,life,care,c
WALKING ON FAITH Versefaith,for children,
Beachworld Free verseplaces,sea,sun,
Sleepless Nights Narrativeangst,imagination,mystery
Another Face Rhymelost love,
What Dreams are Made Of - LGT Blank versefear,life,mystery,
Paired Parings Balladchildhood,
AUTUMN'S SPLENDOROUS BEAUTY Quatrainnature,autumn,autumn,
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis Epicabuse,analogy,corruption,
Anticipation Free verseautumn,death,life,
friend to friend Haikupeople,philosophy,
Calligraphy Verseon writing and words,
Cyndi Sonnetdedication,
Night Comes Rhymetime,
Without Hope's Gleam Terzanellehope,flower,flower,joy,pa
When Your Dead YOUR Dead Rhymefriendship,love,wife,
after my prayer Haikuinspirational,
Chamber Music Chopped Blank versemusic,
Money-God Free versededication,hope,love,reco
Down Fall Italian Sonnetbeautiful,miracle,nature,
God Forbid Coupletangst,devotion,write,life
To Kashinath and Cyndi Rhymededication,devotion,frien
Edinburgh Free versededication,
CHERISHED Sonnetlove,peace,
Shield Walls Lyricimagination,love,
Live The Cliches Free versedream,hope,love,poetry,
Bliss State Quatrainfaith,
A Reminder: To Be Free versetruth,writing,
She Came In and Changed Everything Dramatic Versedeath,deep,epic,evil,sorr
IN THE MOOD Light Poetryadventure,woman,
Edinburgh Free versededication,hope,life,love
The Byway Rhymecare,
To Love Myself Sonnetlove,new year,self,
Westward Movement Free versedevotion,love,peace,
The Rocking Chair Rhymechild,christmas,sister,
To the Rescue Rhymesnow,
A Perfect Storm Rhyme royallife,
Onward Christian Soldiers Rhyme 
BEYOND TEARS Rhymechild,encouraging,hope,
Dewberry Cobbler Haibungrowing up,
Release Free verseencouraging,grief,hope,st
IN STILLNESS Free versechange,life,
Return of the Stork--Stillborn Tribulation Versebaby,death,
Within Reason- Maurice Yvonne and Seren Roberts Verselife,

Fav Poets

Debbie Guzzi United States Flag United States Read
Caryl Muzzey United States Flag United States Read
Andrea Dietrich United States Flag United States Read
Joe Flach United States Flag United States Read
nette onclaud Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Drake Eszes United States Flag United States Read
Mystic Rose Canada Flag Canada Read
mourning mist France Flag France Read
elizabeth wesley Canada Flag Canada Read
Rhonda Johnson-Saunders United States Flag United States Read
Ruben O. Argentina Flag Argentina Read
Carrie Richards United States Flag United States Read
kathryn collins United States Flag United States Read
Catie Lindsey United States Flag United States Read
craig cornish United States Flag United States Read
David Williams United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Charmaine Chircop Malta Flag Malta Read
Francine Roberts Canada Flag Canada Read
Eileen Manassian Lebanon Flag Lebanon Read
Poet Destroyer A United States Flag United States Read
Faye Gibson United States Flag United States Read