Take a walk in your neighborhood and while walking observe the houses in your neighborhood. Choose a house whose occupants you do not know. Now, imagine who lives there. Freewrite about this imaginary family. Who are they? What are their conflicts? What do they do for a living? Do they have children? Pets? Create your imaginary neighbor.
There are many poems written with an animal as the subject of the poem. These poems usually use the animal in order to address some larger life theme or a connection between the nature of the animal compared to the human condition. Some wonderful examples are D.H. Lawrence’s “Tortoise Gallantry”, “Tortoise Shout”, and my favorite “Snake”. I have recently written two poems with an animal as the subject: “The Frog at Tinker Creek”, and “Bugling” (better known as the elk mating call).
Challenge: Try your hand at writing a poem with an animal as your subject.