Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 009

I’m currently in the middle of a very nice vacation. And so, my mind is not too focused on work (the vacation is working). But we (my boys are with me) have had a lot of fun visiting with friends and family, playing outside, and reading (and writing) our own stories about bobcats.

Today’s prompt is to write a Vacation Poem. You can write the poem as if you’re going on vacation; someone else is going on vacation; or maybe you live in a tourist town that is currently swamped with vacationing crazies (like myself).

Here’s my attempt for the day:

“We get outta town”

We get outta town;
we lost & found;
we putter around;
we sound our sounds.

We get on a train;
we sun, we rain;
we still complain;
we lose our brains.

We get on a jet;
we sigh, we fret;
we hedge our bets;
we never forget.

We lost & found;
we get outta town.

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42 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 009

  1. Taylor Graham


    No second thoughts, you say,
    unfolding a full-color brochure
    on the oilcloth table. Paris
    with an overnight stay in Versailles.

    Down the street a jackhammer
    fractures the reality of gutter and curb.
    Its harmonics transform to French roast
    in the grinder, a sidewalk cafe.

    You’ve got that absent look
    again, gazing past
    the honeysuckle hedge
    to places you’ll never go.

  2. Iain D. Kemp

    Vacation: I don’t know if you can have a travelogue poem but, well, you can now!!

    What we did on our holidays (July 2008)

    Summer arrives
    bringing the sun,
    bringing my Son;
    ahead lays the road
    and over two weeks of adventure.
    The long haul up the
    Levante coast:
    first stage in a round trip
    of nearly 3500 klicks.

    Vultures for culture
    we hit Barcelona
    La Sagrada Familia and Las Ramblas
    welcome us with sweltering pavements
    and throbbing, sweating, bustling crowds.
    A cosmopolitan mêlée of cameras
    and tanning flesh.

    We linger not long
    and on we are bound
    to Figueres: home of Dalí.
    The restaurant at the Hotel President
    as ever does not disappoint
    and Salvador’s museum excites
    our senses to a whirl of confusion
    and wonder.

    Just for fun the Toy Museum
    has to be done.
    Playthings from long ago
    reminding us of better or
    at least, gentler times.

    Ah! The road beckons us on…
    Bound for France.
    Pretty Tarascon en Ariege
    welcomes us with summer flags
    and bunting.
    Camped by the lake
    the barbecue ready at last,
    we find a little peace.

    Day trips, canoe trips,
    spills, thrills and tax-free
    shopping in Andorra.
    A wolf park with no wolves
    (asleep? on holiday too?)
    A week hurtles past leaving us
    oblivious to the calendar:
    we are reminded kindly that
    tomorrow (a Friday?) we move on.
    Once more.

    The majesty of the Pyrenees can not hold us.
    We mount them with ease
    finally passing under them, arriving
    at last, once more in my
    beloved Spain.

    Beautiful Aragón!
    Once home of kings is laid
    before us and we rejoice in
    its glory: both former and in
    the here and now (putting up the tent
    in 30+ degrees: not so good!).

    Shock! Horror! Wind! Rain!
    A beast of a storm, locking
    all forms of camper into their
    little prisons.
    Caravans, RVs and tenters like us
    huddled and hounded,
    watching for leaks.
    24 hours confinement
    (with short heaven-sent respites for cooking!).

    But the Sun God is kind
    A day late but vengeful
    he retakes the stage
    setting our hearts and minds
    free once more.
    What day is it anyway?
    Do we really care?
    The calendar only counts to plan
    adventures fit for ancient kings.

    Horse riding and canyoning,
    whitewater rafting, a quad bike ride ‘cross rugged terrain
    and through the river.
    A good book under a tree (for me),
    hours by the pool (girl watching) for my lad.
    Frisbee and volleyball add to our fun.
    Good fare and cold beer. Our days end with
    cards and Rum.
    But how many days has it been?
    We measure them only by our ever-more
    aching muscles and our increasingly
    quieted souls.

    But the days must end and the time has come…
    Allowing as much as three days journey home
    we find ourselves over-eager for
    a hot bath and a good bed.
    Eleven hours later
    the warm night air of the Alborán sea:
    Almería’s own piece of the Med:
    joins with a large cold beer in welcoming
    the weary travelers

    …and so to bed…

    … to dream of what has been and of what
    next years adventure may yet hold.

  3. Rodney C. Walmer

    Sharon I loved "Bring it back empty." We did the same thing with our Avis car on our vacation to CA. But, we brought it back a 1/4 full. I know they got about $20 of gas from us, but we did want to make it back to the agency. I like what you did better, personally.


  4. Maureen Sexton

    My mind went on vacation
    the day you left.
    It just disappeared
    leaving only memories
    that flash before me
    like the view from a train
    with no destination –
    my hearbeat
    dates and times
    places and why
    did it have to end?
    My body on automatic
    somehow survives
    swallows the food
    I am given,
    sees the wall
    in front of me,
    hears them telling me:
    ‘it’ll be alright,
    this too will pass’
    but all I want
    and hope for
    is the terminal.


    I’m trying to catch up – I’m way behind. Been oh so busy!

  5. Paige

    I know I’m behind, but we have been on vacation so I have to play catch-up on this prompt and the one for #10. So as has been by style in the past, I have posted my poem titled
    Traveling Senses, over at the
    Writers Digest Forum in the Critique, Poetry Section.

  6. S.E. Ingraham

    Bring It Back Empty

    It was one of those itsy-bitsy
    foreign jobs;
    the car rental girl told us
    such a good deal –you pay for a full tank
    at the airport, at a greatly reduced rate,
    and then, you can return
    it empty, if you want.

    We drove it all over the Salt Spring Islands,
    Plus throughout Vancouver, Victoria, and back to Vancouver
    And never put an ounce of gas in her
    Heading back to the airport, with the needle
    Very much on “E”, we both laughed
    Remembering a comedian who joked that he thought,
    “the ‘E’ meant, enough to get home on” –
    We decided we’d risk our ‘E’ was, “enough to get to the airport on”
    Holding our breath driving through Vancouver’s rush-hour traffic,
    – especially every time we were stuck on a bridge –
    had us oxygen-deprived and giddy
    by the time we got to the airport parkade.
    We had just pulled into the place and could actually see “Budget’s”
    big orangey-red sign when the little car coughed once,
    then gave up the ghost, that is to say, she died completely.
    As if choreographed, I slid into the driver’s seat as my husband got out;
    I put the car in neutral and my husband, rolled up his sleeves, and pushed us to Budget
    Two rental agents, and a manager, came running out of the terminal, very upset looking
    “Omigod – what’s wrong – is it broken?” and variations of this theme, were expressed.
    My husband straightened, dusted off his hands, said dryly, as we handed over the keys,
    “You said bring it back empty – we’ve been driving around for hours…
    our estimation was just slightly off, and for that I do apologize…”

  7. Liza

    Vacations Abound

    Taking strolls along the beach
    seeing seashells buried in wet sand,
    wondering at the broken pieces,
    how they used to look before.

    Or looking out the car
    window on a road trip
    that seemed to take forever,
    wondering if Daddy was lost.

    These small treasures
    seem to be stolen away
    as you grow older
    and move on with life.

    So many memories abound
    of going to the beach or Orlando.
    Seeing the beauty and humor
    instead of the rush of adult life.

  8. Monica Martin

    We need a vacation,
    some rest and relaxation
    to calm the vexation
    of society’s creation.

    So pick the location
    for our celebration
    of our liberation
    from our current situation.

  9. Michelle H.

    “Bermuda Sand”

    As I sit
    upon the cool sand
    under the sun’s intense glare
    I listen to the waves
    coming in to meet the shore
    and the children’s delightful cries
    and I stare into the turquoise seas
    and breathe the salty air
    and I watch the Bermuda Long Tail
    fly gracefully overhead
    and I pause
    give thanks
    and breathe
    as I sit
    upon the cool sand.

  10. Sara McNulty

    Here I am reposting. Odd enough, this was one that I saved!

    Maine Blues
    You’re gonna love this
    place where I camped
    as a child in the wild, and
    canoed on the lake, he said

    Two towns with the
    same name? What are the
    odds we would find the
    right one? 0 of 0.

    Darkness draped the hill
    as the car climbed to our
    cabin which they swore would
    hold four, but barely fit two

    The bathroom door had a
    space on the bottom and
    oddly, a space at the top;
    I thought of a saloon

    in the old west but after
    resting surely the place would be
    magical. But the bees were real,
    the snakes in the lake slitheringly alive,

    the canoe overturned with my
    friends inside, and all you could
    see were trees to the left of us,
    trees to the right of us, trees

    all around the cabin pressing
    ever closer like a scene from
    Stephen King and after gulping
    pills to quash the claustrophobia

    I said, How many days are we
    staying here? What do we
    do if there’s a black out?
    Camping to me is a black and white TV.

  11. Patti Williams

    This is my fault – the server sniffed me out – and shut down. I have that effect on computers. Sucks, I know.

    Of course, this was the ONE poem I didn’t save. Go figure!

  12. Shirley T.


    Sun burned
    wind blown
    sea soaked
    and salted,
    they tumble
    from the car,
    from the coast
    washed up
    on the lawn.
    under the
    funny hats,
    decked in
    tee shirts,
    they proffer
    shore tokens,
    pay to one
    who took a
    stay- at- home
    with one plan:
    feed the cats.

    Hilltown Hiatus

    Sitting on the cabin steps,
    she thinks of the turquoise lake
    among the pines, just a mile
    round the bend over the hill.
    Twisty dirt road, arbored in
    oak and maple, offers its
    way to meadowbound river,
    river to the open sea.
    Balsam scent tickles the grass.
    Idly she counts butterflies,
    listens to bees drone; murmurs
    ‘Rustic paradise. Haven
    for all weary, smog-bound souls.
    This is my Eden on earth.’
    She sits, dreaming of the sea,
    longing to be the river.

    Way back when I was an editor I learned ACE: Always Copy Everything! Comes in handy with these new-fangled computer things.

    Shirley T.

  13. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Rodney, I could not find mine after it had shown up on the site either. Wasn’t sure if "bummer" poems were being deleted, but you know what a conspiracy theorist I am!

    My Dream Vacation

    No more Bush
    No more push to pay the bills
    To figure out how to pay
    for my daily pills
    Or losing friends to the downward trend
    of foreclosures that never seem to end

    Speculators are alligators at the pump
    Black market, dark market, what’s the difference
    When oilmen like Cheney hit ground running
    with abundant profits, good to the last drop

    No more war
    Sending packages for troops who may be gone
    By the time the packages spawn hope
    (but no dope – sorry ’bout that
    cause sniffing dogs will snuff that method of coping

    No more walking wounded
    No more prosthetic limbs
    disguised as miracles for him
    Miracles for her, while her husband wonders
    where she went
    as she sits in the kitchen, spent

    That would be a vacation for me
    Can you see it too?
    What will you do to get them home
    in pieces, but maybe at peace

  14. Bruce Niedt


    Off the red-and-blue shields of the interstate
    and onto a gray snaking line southward
    through several one-gas-station towns,
    under a long arbor of live oaks
    and tinseled Spanish moss,
    over the humpbacked bridge to the island
    (an island, only by virtue of the inlet),
    we arrive at this secluded shore town
    where folks get around on bikes and golf carts
    where golf clubs and fishing poles are tools of the trade,
    and shrimp-and-grits the cuisine of choice.

    We flip-flop under palmettos and crepe myrtle
    to a white-sanded beach, and bob like buoys
    in roly-poly waves. On hot afternoons, we laze
    like the gators who stick long faces out of the pond,
    and everything, even the sun and the water,
    moves a little slower,
    thank God.

  15. Nancy


    The poet has left town.
    Shades are drawn, and quiet
    and dark replace the click
    of keyboard and glow of the screen.

    Careful inventory of the house,
    however, reveals a few items
    missing from their usual places—
    half a dozen extra-sharp
    number two yellow pencils
    and a stack of fresh yellow
    legal pads, Webster, and Roget,
    telltale signs of a working vacation.

    Nancy Posey

  16. Kate F

    Here’s mine again.

    Family Break

    Mum’s job to book it
    Dad’s job to get us there.
    The night before he’d pore
    over AA road maps
    each page bookmarked
    each turn off listed.
    After my brother got too old
    to holiday with us
    I graduated to navigator
    Mum sat in the back
    with my little sister.
    On the way back from Wales
    she spewed, it put me off
    coffee for life.

  17. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    A series of Haikus on a teacher’s Holiday (how I’m feeling now that I’m also on holidays!)

    Teacher’s Holidays
    Marking, Planning, mark some more
    Even on the beach

    Always seeing more
    Opportunities for kids
    Lessons in the head

    Skiing down the slopes
    Everything they could be
    Another lesson

    No real break for them
    Stressing the whole time about
    Next term’s learning plan

  18. Connie

    This is what I posted before.

    Five Sisters

    Every other year five sisters meet
    All knitted together by memories
    Some sour or bitter, but mostly sweet
    Laughing and joking and shooting the breeze

    Doing this and that, and seeing the sights
    Careful to not step on each other’s toes
    Active, till it’s time to put out the lights
    Sharing time together, affection grows

    Smiling, posing for pictures by the ton
    Cooking and eating the best foods around
    Having the gift exchange and the bean auction
    On the move, until they’re run to the ground

    For two thousand ten, Nebraska again
    Then Louisiana, Ireland, or Australia
    Two more years to work on crafts and when
    they get together again, they’ll tell ya

    As they grow older, they all look the same
    Love and connection, the name of the game

  19. LKHarris-Kolp

    Well, I’m kind of glad that happened because I wasn’t real pleased with my first poem. This one is much more apropos.

    A Different Kind of Vacation

    "Our vacation this year
    is unlike any other.
    It is being spent at home
    helping Daddy recover,"

    is what I say for the millionth time,
    as I try to pick up the mess, clean the grime.
    All the while I am thinking to myself,
    ‘I can’t wait to put this chapter in our lives
    back on a shelf,’

    yet trying to keep a smile on my face,
    and make the most out of this situation;
    for we have never had so much family time,
    even on the best vacation.

  20. Emily Blakely

    A Day Away

    Hammock sways
    gently gliding the mind
    from everyday demands
    into dreamland.

    Wakened by birdsong
    I turn the page to
    the next poem
    while sipping iced chai.

    Clouds demand their
    attention, then a tree,
    a ripple, a flutter of

    Breathing deeply
    to savor the senses
    of a day at
    Loon Lake.

    Reposted by

  21. Lorraine Hart

    Keeping you in my thoughts Renee…must be hot…but the poem was chilling.

    Damn cyberspace trolls…thank goodness I can never break the notebook habit. It has to be finished in pen…then it can get typed-in…I know…a dinosaur…but Carla made me feel like I was ten again…thank you!

  22. Lori


    Plan the location
    Work out school schedule
    Work out work schedule
    Plan finances
    Buy Tickets
    Talk to family, “see you soon”
    Work extra. Wait. Plan.
    Fix car. Wash car.
    Talk to friends “I’ll be gone a while.”
    Pack. Clean house. Pack what I forgot.
    Drive to airport, security, wait, on plane, wait.
    Fly, sleep, fly.
    Hi everyone, catch up, plan tomorrow, goodnight.
    toursurfshopfamilypicnic, familytimesayhitoeveryone
    surfagainwalkbeachcookout, tourLA-PriceIsRight,
    sleep for thirty minutes
    Drive to airport, security, wait, on plane, wait.
    Fly, sleep, fly.
    I need a vacation.

  23. Sheryl Kay Oder

    Renee, I’m sorry your vacation is being spent watching those horrific fires. Thanks, however, for giving us a more personal look at the news.

    Robert, if you were to go backwards technically, you would then lose the poems for those of us who posted later. Maybe it would help to let people know either in the forum, on your blog, or both that they should check for their poem.

  24. Earl Parsons

    Something happened and a lot of poems went bye-bye. And I was thinking that there just weren’t that many of us left. But, then I noticed that the one I posted was gone. OOPS!!


    The natives call it Vacationland
    It’s written on their license plates
    And it certainly is Vacationland
    If you’re smart and pick the right dates
    For instance…..
    Summer is sometimes hot as can be
    With mosquitoes as big as your head
    But the beauty is undeniable
    And the sun will turn your skin red
    Fall is the prettiest time of the year
    With every color adorning their trees
    But the nights can get a little bit nippy
    Jack Frost often hides in the breeze
    Winter is best for the kid in us all
    Giant sheets of white cover the land
    So pack up your parkas and bunny boots
    And some gloves so you don’t freeze your hands
    But, then……
    Spring is the time when life returns boldly
    New flowers, new grass, and green leaves
    The weather warms up and the snow melts
    Out come the shorts and short sleeves
    You see……
    Vacationland has four definite seasons
    So choose wisely when you make your plans
    Pack the right duds and have a lot of fun
    And enjoy your time in Vacationland
    I did…..

  25. Lorraine Hart

    A Holiday From Dying

    We scooped her from that bed,
    from reality and the life
    she was already vacating,
    so light, like a suitcase empty
    for gifts and souvenirs.

    No, Beanie wasn’t going out like that,
    not after mad Manhattan nights
    and painting dawns with drunks
    down on Bleeker Street.

    We were taking a holiday from dying.
    Three amigas in a van outta Queens,
    Little Feat and Four Ninety-Five,
    then north on One Ten.

    West Neck Beach,
    where wind would be gentler
    on Beanie’s kite-spare frame,
    where she could still outrun
    one wave with hands to hold
    and pocket enough wampum to waddle.

    We sank to the sand and sound
    of our laughter amid seagull’s cries.
    Beanie’s eyes were beach-glass
    lit-up with the sun,
    lit-up like the doob passed,
    like the moment we climbed in.

    We gathered Beanie and treasures
    found on a holiday from dying.

  26. Renee Goularte

    This Vacation

    We sit on the deck among smoke-choked trees
    watching helicopters, black, red, gray,
    fly back and forth over our small piece of sky

    from lake to fire; their water-filled buckets
    seem small and useless against the spreading black.
    We are ready to vacate at a moment’s notice.

  27. Robert Lee Brewer

    Oh no! It figures this would happen while I’m out of state. I’ll see if I can find out anything when I return next week. I’m guessing there was probably some kind of server crash or something–but I don’t know that for sure. So, I’m not sure if the data for a certain block of time will be recoverable or not. Ugh! Blah! Etc.! Technology has not been an ally of mine recently.

  28. Rodney C. Walmer

    Ok, I lied, and for me that is not a good thing. We value honor and honesty very much in my culture. But, I have written another poem for this prompt. At first I almost did not post it, as it is kind of personal, but here it is. Like I said back in April. I have always written for myself, as an outlet. Some drink, do drugs, beat their spouse, I write instead. Right now, I am feeling trepidatious (spelled that wrong) about my return home, so I wrote about it. Enjoy. By the way, I do like to drink for fun, just not to deal with problems. And, not very often. Well, except for beer on my vacations.

    Fears and Tribulations

    Something’s wrong
    I should be ecstatic
    singing joyful song
    not feeling so bad it
    just seems wrong

    Here I am going home
    first time in 34 years
    yet, I feel so alone
    almost driven to tears

    I just don’t understand
    is it my fear of flying
    I can beat that, I know I can
    or is it what awaits there
    is my memory lying
    perhaps that’s it
    what I remember is
    no more
    What I’ve missed
    is on the other side
    of a different door

    Something’s wrong
    is it no longer my home
    is that gone
    or am I about to enter
    the twilight zone. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 7/5/08 Poetry Prompt #9 on vacations.

  29. Rodney C. Walmer

    Well there they are all re posted, I am sorry if Robert is able to retrieve the others and we end up with a double post. Robert, I am sorry for talking about you in the third person.


  30. Rodney C. Walmer

     Goin’ To California

    In a few days, I’m going home
    first time in 34 years
    Though I’ve been to many a place
    none has been as sweet as the one
    I had once known

    I will see the tree’s in land of Redwood
    I will see the farm we grew up on
    not sure if I should, but,
    I’ll visit the reservation
    I just hope it’s not gone
    Like so many
    who once inhabited this once great nation

    Once there,
    I will have so much to share
    I don’t know where to start first
    After all there’s a lifetime past
    needs to be covered in two weeks
    have to cover it fast
    but, the history is there
    if one truly seeks it

    Does that four room schoolhouse still stand
    If I were to trespass
    would anyone truly understand
    what would they say if I were to ask

    In a few days, I am going home
    the only true home, I’ve ever known
    to my questions
    answers I’ll find
    though, being part of my past
    the answers like the questions
    are all mine. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 7/2/08 Poetry Prompt #9, on vacations. I am leaving for California soon.
    This is just part of what I plan for the trip.

  31. Rodney C. Walmer

     First Day of Vacation the truth

    I go through that excitement
    no more work for 60 days
    I should be happy and content
    or so the story says

    The truth is
    the lawn needs to be mowed
    Need to get the car tended
    before it needs to be towed
    Wife left a list
    just a few favors she says
    Not sure what class she missed
    but, there’s a months work
    she expects done in two days

    This list is a mile long
    go here
    stop there
    Oh, Man something’s wrong
    pick this up
    clean that,
    don’t forget to make supper
    think I’m feeling like a doormat

    If I ever survive the chores
    I might get a chance to go online
    browse the stores
    after all, it’s my vacation
    some of this time should be mine
    Though, I’m certain that
    someone sat in great deliberation
    digging up, all the work they might find
    just to use up my little vacation. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 7/2/08 Poetry prompt #9 on vacations. Actually my wife is very
    understanding, and most of the above is made up. Most, not all. 🙂 More coming just hang tight.

  32. Rodney C. Walmer

     First Day of Vacation

    I woke up
    no alarm
    no kids
    doing themselves harm

    Wow, free time
    to do what
    well, it’s all mine
    I’d go, but
    I don’t know where
    I’m already here
    so I can’t be there

    Fishing sounds good
    better yet
    sitting in the front yard
    If only I could
    Think it Can’t be that hard
    Wanna bet
    Rest is not for those like me
    who should
    Then theres’ that disaster
    I’d like to forget

    Well, the days’ ahead
    What to do
    why not just stay in bed. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 7/02/08 vacation poem #1, many more to follow.

  33. Carla Cherry

    Thank goodness I saved this poem on my blog,! This is so sad because people wrote some really great poems for this prompt, especially S.E. Ingraham!

    My Staycation

    My Stay-cation

    Skipping through the grass
    like a 10 year old
    with a 10 year old
    peering at the birds
    pointing out ladybugs crawling down leaves
    hair blowing in the breeze
    fingering bluebells and dandelions
    climbing the big rock
    skirting dragonflies and bees
    racing down the road
    to see
    who gets home first.

  34. S.E. Ingraham

    Uh oh – Robert’s away and so are our poems…I kept getting an error message on this site last night so guess the ether’s got ’em now…guess I’ll wait ’til we hear from R.B. about what he’d like done. Thanks for checking in Rodney, I thought I was losing it! Sharon Ingraham

  35. Sheryl Kay Oder


    The family fans out on the farm.
    Kids zoom by on four wheelers.
    Adults sit in lawn chairs
    exercising their right to rest.

    Hammocks stretch from tree to tree
    inviting naps and nature gazing.

    The pond entices some
    to stroll its circumference.
    Luckily the nearly muddy path
    does not snatch their shoes.

  36. Rodney C. Walmer

    Where did all of our poems go? They were here earlier.
    It’s ok for me, I have mine all saved on my puter, but what about everyone else?


  37. Anahbird

    A June Without a Trip

    June and February
    Or sometimes December or January
    But never September.
    June is always there though.
    The long drive
    Thoughts undone
    Tied up in little knots
    And strewn about the roadside
    The uncertainty
    The greatest troubles
    Mixed with the greatest pleasures
    Looked forward to
    Pushed away
    How can something so happy
    Also make you so sad?

    But June has come and gone
    And July stands in the doorway.
    No June trips come my way.
    Some trips
    Harder and harder
    To endure.


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