Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 002

I had to drive into work in a steady rain this morning. Those who know me very well know that I loathe driving on the Interstate in the rain, because of a hydroplaning experience I had several years ago in southern Kentucky. Ever since that crash (no one was seriously injured), I’ve had this phobia when it comes to driving in inclement weather.

Which leads me to today’s prompt, I want you to write a poem that deals with one or more of your own phobias. Or–if you are truly without fear–write about someone else’s phobias. Or–if you and everyone you know is without fear–write about an imagined phobia (or write about my phobia of driving in inclement weather).

Here’s my attempt, which actually deals with one of my other phobias (yes, I’m suddenly feeling like Charlie Brown, who carries around the fear of everything): heights.


Rollercoasters, elevators,
unenclosed stair cases,
railings, cliffs, airplanes–
I’m afraid of how I have
no control over gravity.
If I fall, I can only fall
and let myself be caught
by the earth below. It’s
simple really, but I worry
about the “what if”s when
I should just enjoy the ride.


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112 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 002

  1. Rodney C. Walmer


    As a manic depressive
    fear comes naturally
    for me a deep fear of failure
    is so obsessive
    it interferes with things
    I might have done successfully
    every little criticism
    strikes deep,
    like an arrow
    creating imagined failures
    down a hopeless path ever so narrow
    certainly unreal,
    but to me, it’s what I feel at the time
    often wondering if I’m simply losing my mind

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 6/21/08 Poetry prompt #2 write about a fear.

  2. Monica

    Clowns hide behind makeup,
    Funny hair and costumes.
    I wonder what is under it all,
    But I am too frightened to guess.
    Perhaps another John Wayne Gacey,
    Or Pennywise lurks,
    Waiting to wreak havoc.

  3. Lori

    It amazes me that I used to walk to work
    at 10pm in a poorly lit neighborhood
    when now walking from my car to my house creeps me out.
    A cat in the bushes makes me forget which key opens my door.

    I remember I once walked 2 miles home at 3 am
    not the slightest bit afraid.
    With no car I had no option.
    Now I am afraid because I can afford to be.
    Does having a car make me afraid of the dark?

    What could I do if I had to?
    Am I afraid because I am not forced to take risks?
    Maybe walking across town at 3 am is not the smartest thing.
    But why be scared of every cat in the bushes?

  4. Maureen

    I’m very late posting this, but I guess better late then never.


    Have you ever stood on the edge of a cliff
    and felt the urge to jump?
    Or when you see a skyscraper
    do you imagine falling from the top?

    I hate it when those TV shows
    Begin with views from above the city
    looking down on all those tall buildings
    and the cameras spin.
    Hands sweat
    stomach knots
    heart thumps
    head sways
    I can feel my self falling.

    It happens on the plane too
    as the plane leaves the ground
    your body falls and your stomach rises.

    They say it’s fear of heights
    but it’s not the height I fear
    it’s the urge –
    the urge to jump
    or just step off the edge.

    And it’s not that I want to die –
    it’s like something switches in my head
    as if I’ve been hypnotized.
    I have no control.
    I need to jump.
    Someone click their fingers please.

    Maureen Sexton

  5. Joannie Stangeland

    Finally (late), here goes:


    My knuckles grip white
    and my breath gets short
    as the light turns yellow,
    switch lanes, head left–
    no, go right,
    a city bus on one side,
    a Yukon on my ass.
    I’m braking, I’m looking
    to see the signs,
    spot the open spaces,
    get through the traffic
    no fender bender,
    mind bender,
    signal sender,
    trying not to sweat,
    and just forget about parking.

  6. Marin

    I just returned from vacation and finally had the chance to check out the Wed. prompt — I’m sorry I was not able to read any of the poems above.

    300 Tons of Metal

    I sit in a thinly cushioned chair
    on top of 300 tons of metal, my
    fingernails digging deep into the
    underside of the armrests. If I think
    too hard, I may run for the door; but
    I sit on top of 300 tons of metal, sweat
    dripping down my back. Whirring
    engines funnel the air and the ground
    competes with semi truck-sized wings
    in a race to an imagined finish line. Faster
    and faster the metal sprints, and my head
    is pushed against the back of my seat. In
    20 seconds, that 300 tons of metal will
    fly; but, I sit in my seat on top of 300
    tons of metal, waiting to fall.

  7. Lorraine Hart

    Thank you…for both prayers and kind words on the poem Connie.

    Thank goodness for the other 311 personalities…that either slap or tickle me back from the edge! Here’s my bumper sticker..


    I’m a little surprised that I’m telling you guys so much…is this a rhythmic therapy group…or whut!

  8. Lorraine Hart

    When this prompt was put up, I was in the middle of some rough days…had to take my adult daughter (who suffers from chronic Lyme disease) to the ER with some dangerous complications. I couldn’t talk about it then…just trying to deal and put one foot in front of the other, very tired foot…so it was easier to talk about another fear…that I don’t usually share with too many people either.

    Bag o’ guts…you get me as I am…merci bien, mes amies…Lox

    I Realized

    I realized I held
    the same fear even
    after two years of
    proper treatment and
    watching breathless
    as my daughter came back
    from chronic Lyme hell.

    I realized the fear
    on Mother’s Day this year
    as I waited with her in
    the E.R.’s ugly light
    surrounded by cubicled cases
    for the first time in
    over thirteen months.

    It slammed me in
    the hall of day two
    fears and tears where
    she couldn’t see

    I realized I held
    the same fear of
    treatment stopped
    of watching her slip
    away again.

    It waits with the other
    sealed and sterile supplies
    in any emergency room.

  9. Renee Goularte

    I’m so late with this, but at least I’m still in the same week.


    Having lived a relatively
    ordinary life
    I didn’t notice until I became
    a grown adult
    standing next to the window
    in the Space Needle
    where I imagined my jewelry
    rings and necklaces
    flying from by body, my body
    in free fall, my bones
    smashed against the concrete below.

    Since then I stay
    at least one healthy step back
    from floor to ceiling windows
    on 17th floors.

  10. S.E. Ingraham

    I know I posted one here already but then it occurred to me that I wasn’t anywhere near finished being afraid…

    Fear Not This life

    I always thought that when I reached a certain point
    In my life, some magical age, some mythical plateau of maturity
    I would have out-lived most of my fears
    Instead, like wrinkled skin and gray hairs
    Fears seem to have accumulated faster than I can count them
    And some that I’ve had all along, have just intensified with age
    I still fear success, I can admit to that now
    And yet I fear that no one will ever read my writing
    As contrary as those two fears might seem
    I dread receiving that phone-call in the middle of the night
    But even more, I fear my daughter receiving it; she’s married to a cop
    I’ve always been terrified of either of my children dying
    Ever since I had them
    I still fear being found out
    Just as I fear never really being known
    I fear being all alone
    And I fear never being alone
    I’m afraid that someday the world will explode
    I fear not living long enough
    I fear living too long
    I fear not standing up for what I believe in
    when it matters
    And I fear finding out that what I believe in
    doesn’t matter at all
    I fear being involved in a natural disaster and being the only one of my family that survives
    I fear appearing stupid
    I fear appearing ridiculous
    I fear the love of my life dying before I do
    I’m afraid of being buried alive
    I fear getting dementia
    I fear getting some debilitating disease like ALS and not being able to live with it graciously
    I am afraid of not being able to help a friend die if they ask me to
    I fear stepping off the curb accidentally and being locked away forever
    I fear forgetting how to feel things profoundly, being able to weep and being able to laugh
    I am so afraid that I’ll get to the end of it and still not be any closer to understanding any of it.



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