Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST March 3rd 2023

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem A Horse Named Never” by Jennifer Chang, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about Never with bitterness.

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday March 6th at 6pm EST, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.

A Horse Named Never” by Jennifer Chang

At the stables, each stall was labeled with a name.

Biscuit stood aloof — I faced, always, invariably, his clockwork tail.

Crab knew the salt lick too well.

Trapezoid mastered stillness: a midnight mare, she was sternest and tallest, her chest stretched against the edges of her stall.

I was not afraid of Never, the chestnut gelding, so rode his iron haunches as far as Panther Gap.

Never and I lived in Virginia then.

We could neither flee nor be kept.

Seldom did I reach the little mountain without him, the easy crests making valleys of indifferent grasses.

What was that low sound I heard, alone with Never?

A lone horse, a lodestar, a habit of fear.

We think of a horse less as the history of one man and his sorrows than as the history of a whole evil time.

Why I chose Never I’ll never know.

I fed him odd lettuce, abundant bitterness.

Who wore the bit and harness, who was the ready steed.

Never took the carrot, words by my own reckoning, an account of creeks and oystercatchers.

Our hoof-house rested at the foot of the mountain, on which rested another house more brazen than statuary.

Let it be known: I first mistook gelding for gilding.

I am the fool that has faith in Never.

Somewhere, a gold door burdened with apology refuses all mint from the yard.

Credit: Poetry (October 201).

14 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EST March 3rd 2023

  1. Andre Lijoi

    Never With Bitterness

    It can be very tough
    but living life with Never With Bitterness,
    a faithful friend,
    keeps the detritus of life from
    festering within the soul
    a vinegar that taints the
    flavor of one day after one day after one day
    like a trial
    hearing so many bad things said
    that were tramped down by
    a cloak of compassion
    Never With Bitterness at one’s side.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Andre Lijoi

        Thus the opening line. I was thinking of Dr. Kelekian talking to Vivian Bearing in the opening scene of WIT when I wrote it.
        “The treatment can be very tough. Can you be very tough, Ms. Bearing?” The trial referenced was very tough…

        Thanks, Elizabeth.


    • michele348

      In the end, bitterness is the caustic chemical that erodes the body and the soul. In the short term, it may serve a questionable purpose, but in the long term, it may prove deadly.


    • al3793

      Elizabeth such and economy of words that say so much. I like how the words build and the rhyme scheme. I am reminded that life delivers important lessons in all different flavors. Andre


  2. rehavia6

    Write About Never With Bitterness

    Never underestimate me. I am capable of more than you think.
    Never call me names or mock me. I catalogue every nasty comment.
    Never disrespect or treat me unfairly. I recall every grievance and will hold it against you.
    One of these days the volcano of my fury will erupt and the lava of my wrath will engulf you,.
    You will never know what hit you!


  3. About Never with bitterness~~~

    I remember a time when the earth shook,
    and my world shook…
    when pain surrounded me and laid me flat on the earth…
    when fear coursed through my veins and courage seemed so distant.

    I will NEVER remember this time with bitterness,
    since it formed me, it made me resolute,
    it allowed me to believe in myself and in my Creator.

    That which does not obliterate us
    but leaves us with strength and determination
    is to be respected and honored.


    • al3793

      Michele, This poem really took me into the world of Franz Marc’s Blue Horses. I see the strength and courage of his horses coming through as your speaker share this narrative. The difference is that Marc did express mistrust of humanity whereas your speaker attests to what can happen when we engage with humanity with respect and honor. Andre

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth

      Michele— isn’t it interesting how our emotions are not predictable. I especially like your last paragraph, which gives us hope during hardship.


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