Tossed Salad – Writing Assignment #17

Walking by Inner Vision Journal – Writing Assignment #17

“The Tossed Salad Poem”


“The 20 Word Poem”

1._Make a list of 20 words. I chose words that relate to Spring Break in Puerto Rico.

Write them FAST before your brain begins to categorize or order them.

Use your inner feelings, your intuition, not your logical brain.

2._Add a proper name and a color to your list of 20  words – Now you have 22 words.

3._Look at your 22 words, and write  some very loose rhyming words to go with those 22 words.  They should not be exact rhyming words but  they should be the same syllable or beat count.

Example:  bird and song;  pie and cake; etc.

4._You will have 44 words. 

Are you ready to begin now?

5._Pretend you are making a TOSSED SALAD…

6._Start writing and just dump in the words randomly, without giving  them a lot of thought.  You will be amazed at the magic that begins to happen when you do this. Do it quickly!

Stay RELAXED, allow the words to arrange themselves as you write.

Stay relaxed and do not stress over any words or lines. This poem is a FUN poem. Keep it fun.

Pretend  you would plop a big spoon full of SALAD FIXINGS  in an empty bowl.  Each of your words will be a different ingredient that will be used to create your Tossed Salad.

Try to take as many ingredients (words)  from the list you wrote. If you cannot use them all, no problem. Just keep going into the BIG BOWL OF TOSSED SALAD. Take words from the  list and mingle them with additional words as you write.


Here is MY LIST of 20 words:






Mountains…..el bano




rain forest…..waterfall











Below, my example using the list of words:


Caribbean mornings

earthy paradise

dark island coffee with sugar

tiny  homegrown yellow pla’tanos

sunrise breeze with honey buns

rental cars spiral up the mountains

seeking abandoned plantations

hacienda tourists in a group

I wore  my new green hat

afternoon rum delivered by boat

sandy beaches never closed

coconut drinks every day

coral reefs and rusty piers

sun burned skin

soothed with aloe vera

steep mountain paths

bridges with missing planks

immersed in chilly  streams

I scream for pleasure

moan beneath a  throbbing waterfall

Caribbean nights under the stars

I danced in the streets with strangers

held lucid dreams in my hands

Tony sings Puerto Rican songs

whispers phrases  in my ear

“Cuando termina el receso de Primavara”

always in Spanish

if a volcano erupts

there may be some delays

island flights are seldom on time

when spring break is over


 PS, I just LOVE the word, “PRIMAVERA, don’t you?

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright May 5, 2015. All rights reserved.


Lynda and several colleagues from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA  taught the course, “Purto Rico Culture.” Students in this spring semester course were required to spend 10 days on the island with the course instructors, learning from the primary sources.  She wrote this poem from her memories.   Lynda and her husband,Bob,  continued to visit Puerto Rico annually in the spring time after she retired from teaching.

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