Phoenix Puzzle Poem Revealed

Well, the launch of Phoenix has finally happened. What a rush! Thanks to all for your support – knowing I have a cheer squad makes it so much easier to keep going.

If you watched the Facebook Launch you would have seen the poem, Puzzled, revealed. You can watch the video here. Below is the revealed poem in its pieces and in the final version.

If you’ve been following along, I have published a puzzle piece each day for the past 24 days and each piece was randomly selected from poems in the Phoenix collection. I have not spent any time putting the pieces into any cohesive form until yesterday and it has been a fascinating experiment.

Puzzle Pieces by Miriam E. Miles Collection part 1

Puzzle Pieces by Miriam E. Miles Collection part 1

I printed these out and cut them into individual pieces then started putting the ideas together. Knowing the poems they each come from provides context, of course, but it also makes it a challenge to think past those threads and consider these pieces as brand new ideas to compile. 

Puzzle Pieces collection stack by Miriam E. Miles

What was fascinating was that I decided to do this as quickly as possible and not spend time thinking about it too much.

I wanted it to come together quite instinctively and quite a few pieces actually stayed where they were or did not move from their page much at all!

What this shows me is that every word, every phrase, every idea we pen has significance and nothing is wasted. The 24 poems these snippets were taken from are from poems written in many different seasons of my life and over the course of about 10 years.

Puzzle Pieces collated by Miriam E. Miles

There is just no way it makes sense that they could potentially come together and form a cohesive poem but what I have discovered is that it is possible to create something from seemingly disparate things. Pretty cool, huh?

Now here’s the caveat: I would still consider this a very raw piece if I was to go further and would spend time unfolding whatever underlying meaning might be lying between the individual sections. I would work on the tense and the pace at which it moves and make sure that the ideas really do create a cohesive piece.

But for the purposes of this experiment I wanted to show how easy it is to gather what we have kept aside and find a new creative work hidden in it. Lesson: never discard a phrase, line, stanza or piece. You just never know when it might be reborn.

Here’s the finished product. Enjoy!


But I have fallen into the arms of Morpheus
my words call from another world;

I hear them but cannot reach them.

Time stand on tiptoe, unbalancing the moment,
and ideas slither around the house. Slip knots and reef knots had my words bound.

Some days my mind goes deep, deep into the depths, unafraid; I whisper false promises to myself,
soothing the panic that rises – I can’t go on like this.

I have fought for my freedom this far but my arms cannot thrust my sword again
and I have lost my shield. My wounds curse me and my mind is telling me stories.

And then I slip into my skin; it is a darkness that lurks in the space between chaos and order. Letters become words which stumble free from the dark, then write with quickened pen, awash with vigour and new frame.

I look beyond, see through the looking glass; my spirit hearkens, my heart quickens,
the scratch of my pen deepens, scarring the page – no longer torn between the pages of conformity and rebellion, I will find my place in between, pausing, I breathe in as the gold rises.

I’m dragging myself from the tangle inside my head.

His arms violently folding over my tearaway heart, I shut off from all but this moment, as that which has been awakened reveals all that I was, am and will be.

Sometimes fighting looks like a woman standing still, the blood dripping from her lip,

her fists opening
her spirit distilling the chaos until
she has learned to carry her quiver.

So I cotton-ball my ears and mud-slap my eyes as Her heart-song washes over me and I move, fighting for dominance, creating dissonance, expressed in a polymorphic harmony and now I pause. Quiet my mind. Listen and wait. Hold my feet steady, ready myself for Your arrow that flies ahead of me.

Feathers of old drop to the floor as I reach out my hand and open the door,
whisperings of water-life to bring into the dryness of my springs.

my fierceness rises, rises, rises – no longer to stay silent…

(c)2020 Miriam E. Miles


What do you think? Is this something you would enjoy doing with your own ideas? Have you done something like this before? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments.




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