Poetry Monday Valentine’s Day Contest: “Pencil and Pen – A Composed Love Story”

"Hearts" by Deborah Ciolli

Hi there! Hope I didn’t spook anyone by showing up in your mailbox a whole day early, but it’s a special occasion!

I’m not much for entering contests, and writing contests in particular usually make me shudder. There’s nothing like a story starter or writing prompt or rigid set of rules to make by brain seize up and all creativity flow directly out of my socks.

"Hearts" by Deborah Ciolli
"Hearts" by Deborah Ciolli

But today I am making an exception, because Susanna Leonard Hill wants me to. She’s gone and put up a contest that piqued my interest, darn it! I had no choice but to rise to the challenge. To whit:

Write a children’s story, poetry or prose, about unlikely Valentines.
Maximum 200 words.

That’s it! I can handle that!


And on February 14: GO HERE TO VOTE

Now gather ’round, get cozy with your teddy bears, and enjoy my little ditty of 187 words: “Pencil and Pen: A Composed Love Story.”

[column size=”1-2″]

Pencil and Pen: A Composed Love Story

Said Pen to Pencil, casually:
What do you think of you and me?

Said Pencil, in a righteous huff:

You? You’re too indelible!
I really couldn’t deal.
You put things down on paper
that then you can’t repeal!

I find that irresponsible!
Take heed of this one phrase:
You’ll never, ever win me
till you mend your inky ways.

Said Pen to Pencil, low and gruff:

And you, my dear? Irresolute!
You clearly can’t commit.
You hem and haw, then turn around
and rub out what you writ!

You can’t be trusted, fickle one,
your word is a disgrace,
so any thoughts you had of love
you might as well erase.

Imperious! You cad!

Precarious! You’re mad!


Said Pen:
I find you irresistible,
you gorgeous graphite girl.
He drew a heart around her
in an everlasting swirl.

Said Pencil:
I think you might be lovable;
I think it’s you I choose.
Then she colored in his heart
with a million subtle hues.

They’ve been together ever since,
their lives one long embrace,
and raised eight little scribbles
in their blissful, cozy case.[/column] [column size=”1-2″ last=”1″]

"Warriors of Love" by Deborah Ciolli
"Warriors of Love" by Deborah Ciolli

Valentine’s Day + Pencil and Pen Activities

[divider=”1″]Video Location: Baratti, Italy.

See more poems in my poetry video library.
“Pencil and Pen: A Composed Love Story” Copyright © 2012 Renée LaTulippe
Ceramics by Deborah Ciolli. I’ll be interviewing Deborah and her crazy cats next week! 

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  1. Wow! I didn’t realize you were going to video this one too! Now you’re making us all look like slackers! THANKS, Lady! 🙂 You know I love the poem! Smart, sophisticated and clever as always!

  2. A video AND activities? Heaven help us Renee! Love your inky graphite pair and their tempestuous courtship! Fabulous how you used the text to indicate the speaker.

    You are so like me – we cannot resist Susanna’s siren submissions call no matter how difficult a challenge she poses!

  3. LOL! I love it, and your reading was great fun. Oh, I know I shouldn’t have started going through my reader until I posted my own poem. But I couldn’t help myself and I’m glad I did. My favorite line is “you gorgeous graphite girl!”

  4. Oh, this is so clever,
    I don’t think I’d ever, ever
    write with pens.
    The pencil always wins!
    (Sorry, you inspired me to respond in kind.) I will keep this for writing workshop and my students. I hope you don’t mind my sharing. And, the video is also such a great example of staging drama. Thanks for a happy post to read on Sunday night.

  5. Hi Renee,
    I guess I’m not surprised…even though I don’t know you…I kind of knew yours would be FANTASTIC!
    Love the words, love the rhyme, love the story from beginning to end.
    And the activities and resources are GREAT!
    I couldn’t get the sound to work on the video…obviously a problem on my end…but I will keep at it…doing video clips for YouTube is something I know I need to learn to do. 🙂

  6. THIS IS SO COOL! I actually was thinking about doing my poem about a pencil and paper but I couldn’t it figure out . I really like how they are fighting back and forth then have a happy ending!

  7. Great poem, Renee! So clever! I think my favorite line is “You hem and haw then turn around and rub out what you writ!”… but it’s pretty hard to choose! It’s especially fun to get to hear you read it – brings it to life so much! Thanks so much for bending you contest rules and joining the fun! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Susanna! That line is thanks to Natalie Fischer, who didn’t like the original line I had there — this was my second attempt. She MADE me change it, and I’m so glad I did. That’s what’s so great about having fabulous critique partners.

  8. You better win the damn contest! I hate Valentine’s Day but loved it anyway. I am most definitely a pen and do the NY Times crossword in pen every day!

    1. I’m not much for Vday either, David. And I’m a pen too! In fact, to introduce the poem, I was going to write about how I always did the NYT crosswords in pen, too — great minds and all that! 🙂

  9. Another fantastic entry! It’s going to be hard for Susanna to pick a winner. You should be proud of yourself for doing such a great job. Well done, Renee. I’m so glad you posted early. I did a special post, too. 🙂

  10. Loved the whole poem — and I chuckled out loud at the line “I find you irresistible, you gorgeous graphite girl.” You are very talented!
    So — glad you read the poem too.

    What else can I say — It was fabulous!

  11. I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day, Renée. Thanks for the poem– I <3 it of course. I wondered how'd you'd manage to bring them together in the end and you did–perfectly!

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