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Free Verse: 'Across the Universe': Based on The Beatles' Title; a Response to a Challenge

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Ann loves to write stories and poems and is always eager to meet challenges issued by other writers or herself, to exceed her comfort zone.

What Can Change My World?

Looking out Across the Universe (my little girl)

Looking out Across the Universe (my little girl)

A Challenge

Billybuc challenged us to write a free verse based on music, specifically the Beatles’ ‘Across the Universe’. Great idea! I love a challenge and I love mulling over the possibilities of approach, mood, style and effect.

Basing writing on some kind of spur, be it photo, music or electric cattle prod, makes the imagination flow eventually, gives us a basis on which to build. It’s a great way to avoid floundering.

This universe of ours is a wondrous, ever-changing place that, even now, we know so little about. Can you imagine flying through the cosmos, looking down on Earth, seeing other planets, our minds filled with the enormity of it all? I started thinking about that.

Then, having overcome the flounder of not realising which song it was (here speaks the greatest Beatles fan of all time!), I had a good look at the words and from my feelings as I read came forth this offering.

'Words are Flowing like Endless Rain'

Words fly from the radio, from screen and pound into my brain until the cells whirl in confusion, grist to mill, end up floating round the cortex till they form a different entity, then exit to the page.

Words that tear, the tears flow on. Words that anger, pen scratches page. Words, that lift the soul to fly, leave a letter stamped to cry an idea which finds its own landing and twists sounds into its own story. Words that stab your pulses, bubble the veins, run until no breath remains.

Endless rain shimmers before the sun, exits as tumbling colours, colours of words which brighten, spread, infuse the joy or blacken hearts to storms of woe.

What explanation do we have? The divine controls it all.

Nothing can change my world, nothing unless I let it.

Images of Wonder

Above the World

Above the World

Amazing Glow-Worm

Amazing Glow-Worm

Wondrous Nature

Wondrous Nature

'Call me On and On Across the Universe'

A thousand images flash at me, reality or dreams of mind? Visions thrown down at my feet, tempting me beyond these shores, taunting me to grasp their shape, turn them into great creations. They scrutinise my thoughts as they snag on my mind in passing, planting a trail of clues, to where?

Do I know what’s best or worst? Do I know where this path leads? Pick and choose the weak and strong, weave them round to make the cloth. I choose the brightest, deepest, fondest. I stab at will my random pin. Is this illusion? Will I aim true? Does choosing turn me from my path? How can I know until I make that step beyond the world I see?

I step and float and whirl and sing. I travel far, I watch and fling my net across the universe. What will I catch, what will it bring? Will I watch stars burst forth to nova? Will I implode when meteors strike? Will I catch the shooting star, the one where wishes can catch me out? Where will I end?

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Across the universe? Will I grasp those clues and understand the story?

The divine controls it all.

Nothing will change my world, nothing unless I want it.

Laughter, Life, the Universe & Everything

Fun & Laughter

Fun & Laughter

Sea & Sunsets

Sea & Sunsets

Seeing the World

Seeing the World

'Sounds of Laughter, Shades of Life'

Laughter fills my head, my soul, surrounds me with a warmth I absorb with each pulsing pore. The children smile, jump, sing with joy, pervading my being and sending me floating to the clouds. The love they give, the love they imbibe, rays of hope, of joy, imparting sheer exhilaration, giving me life, telling me I can sail high and through this wondrous universe.

I can see the world, I can see the stars, I can see the galaxies, I can see heaven itself. Therefore I can create whatever I choose. I can travel through murk, through gas, through air, beyond the bonds of reality, travel surpassing all human parameters. I am part of the universe, part of its vast continuum.

All those words, those images, those people who wish to bend my path, who will deter, depress me; they are of nothing, they don’t exist. I wipe them off, they are a puff of smoke, they evaporate before me into oblivion, across the universe.

The divine controls it all.

Nothing will change my world, nothing unless I need it.

'Across the Universe'

I am called to follow that path which goes to the heavens. I am called to use my words, my images, my emotions. Nothing can change that, I won’t let it. I will look for the explanation. I will understand the story.

The divine controls it all.

Nothing’s gonna change the world; the world I see in my dreams, in my words, in my loved ones, in my life. There is wonder, glory and astounding beauty across the universe.

How do you Regard this Universe?

© 2014 Ann Carr


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on October 17, 2020:

Dolores: huge apologies! I have only just seen your comment, after 2 years! No idea how I missed it.

I'm glad you enjoyed this and I appreciate your kind and wise words.

It's the first time I've come back to this hub for years, just doing a check on some to see if updating is required. I'm glad I did, or I could've left your comment unacknowledged for ever! So sorry.

I hope all is well with you. Keep safe.


Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on March 05, 2018:

Hi Ann - I love that song and really enjoy listening to the David Bowie version. Songs can mean so much to us, how we interpret them usually depends on where we were when we heard them, or what's going on in our lives. I loved your take on this wonderful song. It runs through my mind in bad times when I need to remind myself to keep up the faith, and not to allow negative emotions to cloud my soul. Thanks for your trip through Across the Universe.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 10, 2015:

Thanks, Vellur, for your visit and your kind comments.


Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 10, 2015:

Beautifully penned, the beauty of the universe truly reflected in your words. Divine controls it all, how true. Voted up.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 27, 2014:

Thank you, Nell. I'm so glad you liked it.

I like to have a base to work with, so picking up bits of each of the original verses suited me well for this. Then my imagination just went mad!

I probably enjoyed writing this hub more than any others yet.

I appreciate your visit and your kind words.


Nell Rose from England on September 26, 2014:

Hi Ann, this was amazing! I love your free flow of words, and the way you put it together with the song, which, I hate to admit I have never heard of before, lol! nice one!

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 24, 2014:

Thank you, Colleen. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm lucky to have a load of photos to plunge into - some taken by me but also many by my partner and a huge archive from my father's passion for photography (hence the baby pics of me!).

I appreciate you visiting and commenting.


Colleen Swan from County Durham on September 24, 2014:

A lovely read and nicely presented. I love the photos you find.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 23, 2014:

Thank you, Jamie, for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed it; I certainly had a ball writing it!


Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on September 23, 2014:

Beautifully expressive and a joy to read. Jamie

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 12, 2014:

Well, thank you, Nadine! I'm so glad you liked this and your comment is really kind. Thanks too for the votes. I greatly appreciate your visit.


Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on September 12, 2014:

Wow indeed. You are truly very good, no... excellent at expressing with words your uptake on; Across the Universe. Your words are truly flowing like endless rain. Voted up ..awesome

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 12, 2014:

Thank you so much, R.Q. Praise indeed. I'm so glad you liked it. I loved the challenge and had fun writing it.

Great to see you as always. All the best,


Romeos Quill from Lincolnshire, England on September 12, 2014:

What a trip Ann! Great free-forming at its best and my favourite interpretation, for it reflects the woman behind the words in the universe which you see. Beautiful.

Best Wishes;


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 12, 2014:

Thank you, Cynthia. I love your comment. Yes it did transport me rather and left me breathless!


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 12, 2014:

Thank you, MsDora. 'The Divine controls it all' is a lose translation of the words in the chorus which are in one of the Indian languages I believe; it's open to interpretation so that one fitted my feelings the best.

I'm glad you enjoyed it and I appreciate your lovely comment.

Wishing you a great weekend!


Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 11, 2014:

Wow Ann, are you shaking just a little from that experience? What an unleashing of wordy energy and divine flow! Love it! ~Cynthia

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 11, 2014:

I love how all your questions, all your beautiful images, all your reflections dovetail into the magnificent theme: "The divine controls it all." Beautiful poetry!

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 11, 2014:

Shyron: thanks for your visit and for the votes. I didn't recognise the title but when I looked it up I realised I knew the song!

Looking forward to your interpretation of a song.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 11, 2014:

DDE: I'm glad you enjoyed this and thank you so much for your comments.


Shyron E Shenko from Texas on September 11, 2014:

Ann, I like John (Jodah), just read of Bill's challenge a couple of minutes ago, actually in your hub. I don't know the Beetle's song, I thought I knew them all.

Voted up, UABI, and shared.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 11, 2014:

Hi Ann you are so good to have accomplished this hub in such a short period. I love the photos and you certainly did a fine job here.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 11, 2014:

Thank you so much teaches. I'm glad you liked this and it's great to see you today. You're very kind.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 11, 2014:

carrie Lee Night: Thank you for reading and commenting. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Ann

Dianna Mendez on September 10, 2014:

You did an amazing write on this challenge. Your poetry is beautiful and inspires beauty.

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on September 10, 2014:

Interesting :). Great work. Enjoyed the read :)

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 10, 2014:

Thank you, Rachael. I'm honoured that you think so. I'm sure you could pull it off too, your writing is certainly good enough. Thanks for the votes. Lovely to see you this morning!


Rachael O'Halloran from United States on September 10, 2014:

Ann, you certainly rose to the challenge and pulled it off splendidly. This is free form at its best, an art I am not able to accomplish and so few can with such aplomb as you did. This is excellent. Voted up, awesome and beautiful!

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 10, 2014:

Thank you, John. Good to see you this morning Glad you liked this and thanks for the vote. I'm looking forward to reading your interpretation. Hope you're having a good week


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 10, 2014:

Thank you, Frank. All these people whizzing around the universe; what an awesome image!! I'm so glad you liked it and thank you for the votes.

I'll let you into a secret - the baby photos are of little 'ol me. I was cute once!

Cheers! Ann

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 10, 2014:

Thank you for such a compliment, Faith. I love it that you were swept across the universe! I'm on such a high at the moment as my last two hubs have been received so well. Trouble is, now I have to keep that standard all the time - scary!

Great to see you here this morning and I'm so grateful for your support and your votes.

Have a wonderful Wednesday and a super week!


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 10, 2014:

Audrey, thank you for reading and commenting. It's amazing how many different emotions come from something like this; varied interpretations from each individual. It's exciting for me to see the response.

Good to see you today!


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 10, 2014:

always exploring: It's great to know that you were transported along the journey. I appreciate your visit and thank you for your support.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 10, 2014:

Iris: Good morning! Thank you for your lovely comment. I thoroughly enjoyed responding to this fun challenge and I'm so glad you enjoyed it.


John Hansen from Gondwana Land on September 10, 2014:

Wow Ann, amazing! I only just read of Bill's challenge a couple of hours ago. I could never have written a poem like this so quickly. I still have to check out the Beetle's song so I can appreciate this fully, so I'm off to do that now. Voted up.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on September 09, 2014:

Ann.. fantastic..i feel my spirit stretched across the universe..LOL i love the baby photos.. dreams..reality.. it just wraps around me voted awesome

Faith Reaper from southern USA on September 09, 2014:

My goodness, dear Ann! This is such an exhilarating read and I do feel as though I have been swept across the universe. Your words evoke all of the five senses. You should write free-form style more often. You have exceeded the challenge in my book.

Up +++ and away

Thank you for this wonderful ride this night.


Audrey Howitt from California on September 09, 2014:

There is a real sense of poignancy here for me--beautifully done!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 09, 2014:

You write with such beauty I felt the universe as you took me on your journey. Wonderful!

Cristen Iris from Boise, Idaho on September 09, 2014:

Ann, so lovely. I found myself swept away on gentle waves like your first picture after being dashed on rocks by your second set and the strength of your prose. It was powerful and poignant. Bill really set the bar high but you met the challenge.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 09, 2014:

tobusiness: Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm so privileged to have so many lovely friends here. All my best to you.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 09, 2014:

Thank you, manatita. I'm glad you like it. I enjoyed writing it.


Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on September 09, 2014:

Wow...impressive indeed! This is spectacular poetry, beautifully done. I have to agree with Mr Bill, you are so darn good! :)

manatita44 from london on September 09, 2014:

I agree, Bill. Quick and yet written extremely beautifully. Great Hub Ann. Peace.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on September 09, 2014:

I'm overwhelmed by that response. Thank you, bill.

I read the original words and what inspired them, then just went with the feelings it inspired in me. I don't usually write anything anywhere near that quickly. It came out of nowhere so I just let it go. The power of The Beatles I guess! I did enjoy the process.

Five stars from the teach, eh? They'll look good in my book.

Thank you a million for sharing it too. You're too kind and I'm so lucky to have a supportive friend like you.

All the best to you and Bev. Hope you have a great Tuesday evening, bill.


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 09, 2014:

Wow! Ann, you wrote this quickly, and it is so damned good. I am seriously impressed with this, and I mean that sincerely. How did you do this so quickly? This is stunningly beautiful my friend. Sharing it across Facebook and the is that good.

In fact, I would call this five-star splendid.

You outdid yourself here. I think free-form verse is your true calling.


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