Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 010

While I was on vacation last week, I had the opportunity to run the world’s largest 10K road race in Atlanta, Georgia: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race. Along with 55,000 other runners and cheered on by more than 150,000 spectators, I jogged 6.2 miles in around 61 minutes in complete awe and amazement. As a person who’s run in some pretty important and fast races, this event totally took my breath away.

It’s interesting to think about the kind of reactions people have to a huge mass of people like that. Also, it’s interesting to think about why that many people would gather in the first place. Walking up to the start line the morning of the race, I felt almost as if I were looking at an assembled army–one decked out in tank tops, shorts and running shoes.

So for this week’s prompt, I want you to write a poem that somehow involves a large crowd. You can be lost in that crowd, leading it, getting pumped up by it, or fearing it. You can leave the reasoning for the crowd ambiguous or make that the point of your poem. Just make sure you play around with it and have fun.

Here’s my attempt:

“We started under a flag”

Helicopters hovered overhead;
people shot water across the street
and urged us on to the next mile;
some of us ran, others jogged,
and many walked; many of us didn’t
even know where we were, where
we were headed; instead, we
followed those in front who followed
those in front of them; we weren’t
concerned with the time; we
worried only over the next hill–
and then the next; some of us
stopped for water and marked off
each mile; some of us quit along
the way; but most of us followed
those in front to the very end.


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41 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 010

  1. Iain D. Kemp

    Still playing catch-up… Hvan’t this sort of madness for a while so here goes…

    The Number of the Beast

    I’m rarely scared in the sort of crowd where everyone is sitting down, stadiums, theatres, airplanes though I sometimes wonder and find myself erring towards panic when I don’t know what would happen if I needed to get out fast and everyone has to move just for me and what if they don’t want to or they all too slow and I’m getting’ freakier and squeakier, a high pitched unravelling of nerves fraught with anxiety. Have to sit in the aisle on flights so it’s me that moves when someone needs to pee and don’t have to wake up the person (or two) next door. But big moving throngs of people in the street, on the stairs, anywheres scaring me now just to think “OHMIGOD” get outta here is all I hear in my head, throat to dry to scream or speak nor squeak just bustling hustling hurtling falling forwards backwards inwards outwards, outwards please god, outta the crowd I can’t control, the mass the mêlée controlling me instead: I wish I was in bed and safe and warm or on a beach just outta reach away from all of them away from all of you! And sometimes shyness overcomes when the crowd is small, I’m free to move and groove in the flow and go where I will but can’t ‘cos they all know each other much better and are full of news and blues and stuff to say I just sit and drift away not part of the in-crowd just outside looking in and wondering why (want to cry, to die?) Why oh Why don’t I fit in and so I go and breathe once more alone not lonely just free but empty too ‘cos their crowds not mine and sometimes two’s a crowd when I don’t know who you are and what you want from me, probably just my soul or least that I pay the check and I can’t hear you anymore for I have left and live only in my head ’til someone else doubles your crowd and at last I can escape to solitude…

    …sometimes I stay in bed all day cos I can’t face the crowded stifling mind-echoes of being me…

    ….alone again…

    Iain (all by myself)

  2. Rodney C. Walmer


    Crowd’s crowd’s everywhere are crowd’s
    Went to Disneyland,
    started out ok,
    for a Saturday
    then it began
    people, by the dozens
    Wall to wall people, streets were filled
    each, brought their friends,
    nephews and cousins
    my inner being chilled
    there was no escape
    It was then,
    I started wondering about being video taped
    in a strange way
    being claustrophobic
    certainly this was not my day
    I had to wonder
    what the attraction was
    Mickey, Pluto, Minnie
    because they were not around
    as a matter of fact
    for a Saturday
    Host’s and Hostess’s were certainly lacked
    and nowhere to be found
    I mean for what one has to pay
    at least a Micky would be nice
    if only to say,
    Welcome, enjoy your visit
    nope, for such a great price
    you get huge crowds
    long lines
    and a chance to go on very few rides
    I am sure Disneyland has
    seen better times
    and after those crowds
    next year, I hope the family decides
    anywhere but someplace with childrens rides. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 7/24/08 Crowds prompt. I do really suffer a form of claustrophobia, I get
    weird when people get to close to me, even one person. I start to shake, and my blood pressure
    goes up. And, I become very uncomfortable.

  3. Maureen Sexton

    A large crowd had gathered
    at the local park
    and now they were marching
    on and on
    pressing forward
    determined –
    the workers united
    in a common goal.

    Carrying food back to the nest
    for worker ants there is no rest.

  4. Bruce Niedt

    The Wave

    In the sixth inning, either out of boredom
    or a spirit of fun, someone in the left field bleachers
    starts The Wave. It begins modestly enough,
    with a small bunch of friends who stand,

    stretch their arms over their heads simultaneously,
    then abruptly sit down. But quickly it ripples
    around the outfield, and by the time it gets to us
    on the first-base side, I join my section-mates,

    as we synchronize a second-long stretch and send it around.
    Then the roar begins to grow – a sea of voices
    like crashing surf as left field picks up the crest again.
    This gathering tsunami of flesh and throats

    rolls through the stands, again and again. For a few moments
    we are one organism, a being of forty-thousand cells
    or souls who bob in a tidal swell of purpose,
    as our collective mind keeps the momentum alive.

  5. Paige

    And here at last is my attempt at a “crowd” poem. I’m playing catch-up on this prompt and the one for #9 (Traveling Senses). So as has been by style in the past, I have posted my poem titled Fireworks of Faith, over at the
    Writers Digest Forum in the Critique, Poetry Section.

  6. Earl Parsons

    Under the City

    Under the city the crowds gather
    Another ride, another day, same routine
    Humanity spread from one track to the other
    Waiting, watching, for the next to arrive
    Here they come from both directions
    Everyone tense and they come to a stop
    The doors open, some out, many in
    Standing room only
    Grab something quick
    These things move out right on time
    No time to be slow
    No time to be shy
    Each car filled to the max
    Body to body
    No where to escape
    Until your station comes around
    And you arrive at work
    Or at home
    Or wherever you were headed
    Only to do it again
    Fighting the crowds
    On another ride
    Another day
    Same routine

  7. Joe



    I stand alone
    in a crowded room
    I hear the voices
    speak of doom
    The faces staring
    back at me
    are lined with desperation

    I set sail on
    the crowded sea
    Now drained of
    all prosperity
    Creatures born
    below the waves
    by every nation

    I fly into
    the crowded skies
    When will we
    start to realize?
    There’s nowhere left
    for us to hide
    Tis the fate
    of all creation

  8. Joe

    SaraV…liked your poem.


    I stand alone
    in a crowded room
    I hear the voices
    speak of doom
    The faces staring
    back at me
    are filled with desperation

    I set sail on
    the crowded sea
    Now drained of
    all prosperity
    Creatures born
    below the waves
    Now destroyed
    by every nation

    I fly into
    the crowded skies
    When will we
    start to realize
    There’s nowhere left
    for us to hide
    Tis the fate
    of all creation

  9. Monica Martin

    Being in a crowd of people
    so unlike myself is
    cause for panic.

    I don’t know what to say,
    how to stand,
    or how to act.

    It causes panic, distress,
    shallow breathing,
    shaky hands.

    But, alas,
    you have found me
    before I can flee.

    With your arm wrapped around me,
    you squeez me tight,
    "I’m here now – it’ll all be alright."

    With you by my side,
    I can face any crowd
    with my head held – a little higher.

  10. S.E. Ingraham

    Back in the Day

    Remember how every time I made the trip
    I would return to you, fair bubbling over
    With exotic tales of things that had happened
    that time; every time more unbelievable than the last.
    I saw James Taylor and Carol King in Central Park,
    Sing to over one hundred thousand folks, for free…
    “No!” I remember how your face suffused with envy
    And joy and disbelief, a look which turned to worry when I
    added that on this trip the hard-hats had also hung off
    half-built buildings on Wall Street and yelled down
    At the draft dodgers marching in the name of peace,
    “Kill the commie pinko bums! Get a haircut hippie scum!”
    A Canadian, I’d huddled in the backseat of my ride – a limo
    And wondered if I’d become entangled in a performance art bit
    For surely, or surreally, this was not actually happening?
    But, it was the Vietnam era, and yes, it was occurring
    I remember my boss trying to pull me back into the car as,
    Full of idealism and Canadian naivite, I joined the protest
    When I got home, you were livid, “You’ll get arrested!”
    I remember wondering who you were – did I not know you at all?
    Two weeks later, I was back in New York, Washington Square;
    There were so many people there, all in tie-dyed tees, beads,
    And long hair; peace symbols proliferated, soap and shampoo –
    Not so much. That trip, on the taxi ride in from La Guardia,
    we were passing the Spanish Women’s prison during a riot
    in the street. For over an hour, surrounded by angry brown-
    skinned women who would not let us pass; they screamed
    incomprehensible things at us as they rocked our cab so hard
    I was sure we were going to be rolled. Not knowing Spanish,
    I asked my driver if he knew any; he shook his head no,
    but his eyes in the mirror spoke a different story.
    His relief was tangible when the SWAT team finally arrived
    and we were on our way. I remember looking out the window
    as we drove off – one squat woman turned to look right at me;
    she mouthed an English obscenity and grinned. I laughed then.
    Was it after that trip you made your famous speech
    forbidding my return to the Big Rotten Apple, as you liked
    to call it? The trips were often and memories blur…
    Or was it after Kent State? That had even me wondering…
    There was so much pain associated with that awful event;
    I remember the Canadian in me so puzzled that students
    Had been shot down by members of the American armed forces,
    Or at least by some of comparable stature…and why?
    However, if anything could have convinced me to return
    It was you saying I couldn’t, actually forbidding me to go
    You might just as well have told me to stop breathing
    Forbid me? Especially at a time when women were just beginning
    To burn their bras, to get loud, to talk back, speak up
    And all the rest of it; I had never been one to obey, besides
    You knew the fashion circuit; Montreal, Toronto, New York City
    There was no way I was going to cut out the only Yankee town
    in my triumvirate – it was after all, the jewel in my crown.
    Ironically, on the very next trip, my American boss loaned me
    his Cadillac convertible – he had plates that allowed it to be
    parked anywhere – like a doctor’s car! Pretty heady stuff…
    I came out of a fitting at Neiman Marcus and to my dismay
    found the top of his gorgeous chariot, slashed stem to stern.
    I was a wreck, as I dialled him with shaking fingers from
    a phone inside the store – forget about finding
    a pay-phone that worked, and cell phones? They didn’t exist
    He was so blasé, I thought maybe he was doing drugs –
    everyone did, back then, but it was early so I hoped not –
    No – it was just that it was at least the fifth time
    his vehicle had been vandalized – no biggie, he’d send a car
    I remember as I waited, standing before a floor to ceiling
    window on the third floor of the posh store, crowd-watching
    the New Yorkers bustling at their business down below me,
    I felt a curious calmness come over me, thinking – wow
    What a place – to be so nonchalant about carnage and riots and
    just about anything I could think of – being Canadian seemed
    damned dull by comparison. However, as I stood there,
    Watching for my ride, I was also half-watching for the
    tow-truck that was coming to take the Caddie off for repairs
    Before my ride arrived, before the tow-truck arrived, right
    Before my eyes, I saw four youths sidle up to the car
    Each of whom dropped to one knee, then as if choreographed,
    and in what looked like one smooth motion, they removed
    all four hubcaps, rose up and melted into the crowds.
    I remember pointing out the window and saying to no-one,
    “Well – would you look at that – I cannot believe that…”
    and yet, I could, oh yes I could.

  11. Monica Martin

    Iris -your poem was beautiful and haunting.

    It’s amusing that the subject is "crowd". I don’t do well at all in crowds of people I don’t know, and tomorrow my boyfriend is having a cd release party. Tons of his friends who drink and smoke and I don’t – it’s always an exercise in not running away, and trying not to panic. All of the poems are amazing.

  12. Renee Goularte


    In this sudden motel shelter, we
    are crowded together in one small room,
    two adults and five cats escaping

    the fire that rages up the canyon
    just beyond our range of sight. The cats
    have staked out their spaces:

    three under the bed, one behind a dresser,
    one sprawled lazily, a vacationer
    draped over a garish blue bedspread.

    We humans take our space where we can get it.

  13. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    My Crowded Solitude

    The veil wears thin.
    Last night a man I didn’t know
    walked past me through the living room.
    Just visible against the air,
    he gave no sign of seeing me.

    Short and squat and slightly hunched,
    he was wearing a camel shirt
    under a red wool vest.
    Was he perhaps a gnome or leprechaun?
    He looked purposeful, busy.

    The night before, as I wrote
    a poem for my dead friend Anna,
    gone these sixteen years,
    I felt her draw close to my side.
    I had the impression she was still dazzling.

    Most days, the cats have spates
    of chasing invisible somethings
    all around the house – between the chairs,
    up over the boxes in the garage –
    whatever-it-is staying, obviously, just out of reach.

    Sometimes a group of lights
    dances and swoops across my vision,
    bright, white-blue, zig-zagging
    in unison like connected lightning bolts.
    I believe they’re sylphs. I tell no-one.

  14. Emily Blakely

    “Any Excuse”

    My cup of tea
    It spins my wheels
    Under the bright lights
    An opening night
    New book release
    Star Wars period piece
    Fabled best buys
    Savvy shoppers cry–
    “Midnight Madness”

  15. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    Over Crowd

    Unable to move
    Without bruises
    Without scrapings
    Bumping, hurting
    Screaming out for air
    Shuffling in close quaters
    Outside it’s so clear
    But the house devours
    My mind and body
    No light in sight
    As I plunge my hand up
    For rescue
    ‘Neath the trinkets
    ‘Neath the boxes
    With nowhere to go
    Cupboards stuffed
    Pairs succumbing
    Salvos loving me.

    I wrote this as I have just moved in with my partner and the house is overcrowded with the furniture, trinkets and boxes of two people. Finding space for things to go is the worst job!

  16. Sheryl Kay Oder

    During the 1968 Democratic convention I had seen my mother off to the Greyhound bus after her visit. I was not part of the demonstration, but I saw the enormous gathering of people coming toward me. This poem describes that experience for me.

    Leave Now

    I saw them a couple of blocks away.
    Peace Now.
    Peace Now.
    Peace Now.

    There were rows and rows of them.
    Peace Now.
    Peace Now.
    Peace Now.

    They strode purposely ahead.
    Peace Now.
    Peace Now.
    Peace Now.

    There were more than I could count.
    Peace Now.
    Peace Now.
    Peace Now.

    Their voices were clear to me.
    Peace Now
    Peace Now.
    Peace Now.

    They were loud enough to hear:
    Peace Now
    Peace Now.
    Peace Now.

    Their attitude did not seem peaceful to me.
    Peace Now.
    Peace Now.
    Peace Now.

    My mind ordered me to:
    Leave Now.
    Leave Now.
    Leave Now.

    So I did.

  17. SaraV

    Split Coconut

    I didn’t know him
    The man in the white suit
    Who glowed onstage
    But his music flowed
    Through me
    And the pulsating crowd
    Around me
    The guitar crescendoed
    The bass echoed low and sweet
    My chest vibrated with each beat
    And suddenly we rose
    The entire crowd as one
    A common energy lifted us
    Like musical marionettes
    Now swaying, now clapping,
    now singing, jumping
    Somehow each in our insular space
    Yet joined in spirit and joy
    Our seats stayed empty
    The floor stayed full
    No concert since has
    Managed to eclipse
    The intense sense of
    Being linked to thousands
    In the communion of rock and roll

  18. Tyger Valverde

    Las Vegas Piracy

    We thought we’d be early
    to crowd against the fence
    Dark had just fallen
    But already, I had to tippy-toe
    to see the pirates swing
    from mast to boom to deck
    cannonballs, flashes of light
    and daring swashbucklers
    faded in and out of view
    Why are there children here?
    The city of sin is no place
    for innocent bystanders
    Once I elbowed my way to the front
    I no longer cared
    who rubbernecked behind me
    and when the English sank
    and all the sailors jumped
    to escape the pirates’ swords
    I was the first to taste
    the murky water

  19. Patti Williams

    Iris – I cried. Excellent.

    mjdills – I’m sorry I don’t know you’re name, but I thought the poem was greatness!

    Connie – I felt the sweetness …

  20. Patti Williams

    The room
    Holds chatter,
    Drinks clink,
    Hands tease,
    Shoulders rub,
    Laughter dances
    Across the ceiling,
    Smiles turn into winks,
    Lips touch,
    And all is well
    Because each guest’s
    Was carefully
    Wrapped up
    And left behind
    At home,

    Lest it love and
    Be broken by
    Evening’s end.

    Robert – congrats! I’m allergic to running but can walk really, really fast! Cheers! Hopefully my posting won’t cause the server to crash this week. I’m convinced it’s my karma that brought all that on … sorry about that!

  21. mjdills

    ’57 Fair

    We lose each other
    Several times
    In the stinky sweaty mass of people.
    I look up to see the
    Big Ferris wheel
    So I can find my way back to that meeting point.
    The small Ferris wheel, lost from sight
    Too far away
    Too much in the way.
    I cling to the desperate feeling…
    The thrill….
    Lost in the crowd.
    Free of you.
    The cacophony of machines
    Silly music
    4-H barns
    Cows mooing
    Horses of all sizes
    Shetlands and Percherons.
    Roosters frantic crowing, confused by more than daylight.
    The zipper and the hammer
    Screams of laughter, of real fear.
    The blast of air from the Fun-house.
    I wander looking for you,
    Not really wanting to find you.
    The thrill of being alone
    As the sun begins to disappear in the hazy smoke.
    The onion burgers
    Corn on the cob
    Spun cotton candy
    Too sweet coca-cola that’s forbidden
    Even here.
    Horse manure.
    Pig shit.
    All mixed together in a sensory pudding.
    My fingers digging in my pockets,
    One with quarters and half dollars
    Little stuff in the other, pennies, nickels and dimes
    All sticky
    Never enough.
    Picking the sawdust out of my dusty anklets
    Leaning against the corner of some ticket hut.
    Head bent
    Distracted, careless.
    A leering face barges in on my repose.
    Scaly red lips stretched across
    Yellow teeth too large for his mouth
    Pimples on his forehead and
    Greasy hair tickling his eyes.
    He waggles dirty, calloused fingers at me.
    I see you coming towards me
    Just after my shriek.
    Your thumbs in your pockets.
    A grin on your face.
    “Don’t get lost again.”
    You hang your arm around my shoulders and we start the game once more.

  22. Iris Deurmyer

    Number in a Crowd

    We each had a number.
    All my family was there
    Our neighbors, our friends
    We all were crammed together.

    So we walked for miles and miles
    Then we were put in wagons and rode
    For miles and miles and miles
    But at least we were together.

    It is so hot in that building
    Where we are going now
    Just follow those in front
    Hold onto your brother’s hand.

    Oh no, I hear screams of pain
    People are pushing back against me
    The crowd is so large, there is
    Nowhere to go but together

    Together we are going in
    To the fire, to the heat
    Of Auschwitz we will go
    Silently as one people.

  23. Sara McNulty

    The answer is not clear
    I fear, as I try to
    think it through
    If one feel lonely in
    the midst of a crowd with
    smiling faces
    is it solely for the
    duration of time spent
    at home without another?

    Or is it simply the fact
    that a multitude, a pack
    of jostling,
    pushing humanity leaves
    no way for one to see any
    possible escape?

    Robert, Congrats on race; I’m impressed!

  24. Glanda Widger

    The Vigil

    We are all here,in this waiting room.
    Milling about, speaking of nothing
    and everything, in soft whispers.
    We all wait, hold hands, cry,
    but somehow cannot connect.

    In this mass of family members,
    each one is alone and yet not.
    Wrapped in our own thoughts,
    memories, fears.
    Waiting, praying for some word
    that is not bad. Some sign of hope.

    The door opens and we surge forward,
    hearts pounding,to hear the words.
    Suddenly we are all one again.
    One mind, one heart, one family.
    He will survive…
    Hearts that were wrenched with pain,
    are now filled with joy.
    Eyes that were dry now flood with
    tears of relief.
    We are happy in our blessed release
    from the week long vigil.

    This may be just a little different than what was suggested. But It certainly fits how I felt during that time.

  25. Connie

    Fourth of July

    Shuffling to City Park
    Holding the child-like man’s hand
    Wondering if he’ll make a scene at the loud noises and bright lights
    Wondering how the crowd will respond to his strangeness.
    Most give him sideways, curious glances.
    One little girl looks afraid till I reassure her that he’s okay.
    He smiles at the colorful lights, and booms, and people,
    but mostly he just wants to walk like he does any other time.
    Shuffling back to the car hand in hand
    The dispersing crowd gently gives us room as they pass.
    I’m grateful.

  26. jane penland hoover

    Just wanted to say thanks for all these prompts. Will write later – My daughter ran in that race every year from the time she was ten till she left for college – and her Dad and I watched from the comfort of our sofa – somehow as thrilling as if we were one of the unified body going for what each one could do that day – great memory

  27. cmh

    We stand here, behind this crispy, dead tree
    Whispy charcoal crisped branches seem to hide us.
    We are amazingly protected, somehow.
    As we hide, there is joy in our hearts,
    Yet, also horror and sadness for what is playing out on the smooth plane below us.
    A mass of humanity treads the barren wasteland.
    There is a grayness all about them.
    They are grey!
    We hear moaning and sadness, and it seems that there are thousands of them,
    Maybe millions, wailing for themselves and for the predicament that they have found themselves in.
    We both suddenly begin to weep in utter loss and sorrow
    For these suffering sojourners.
    We search the barren landscape, and there is a never-ending wailing mass of humanity.
    Miles and miles of grey, crying people.
    We start to sweat and wonder how these people came to walk on the dead plain below us.
    A realization enters our minds:
    We are here to witness this.
    We are here to observe this.
    We are here to do something about this.

  28. S.E. Ingraham

    Why is it that crowds provoke the loneliest of feelings?

    Why is it that crowds provoke the loneliest of feelings
    In one’s deepest soul, where one’s spirit resides
    Holding court and laying bets with all that’s real
    That life is just a joke, a trial
    to be endured and then it’s gone
    That each day is but a game of sorts – not won or lost
    But played on and on, hour upon hour
    As surely as night follows day follows night
    And so on until one thinks they’ll go mad with the sheer
    Repetitiveness of their inability to distinguish why such
    Things are so, why things must be so, and so, and so, and so
    But there is no getting around it, or away from it
    And in the way of circular things, it always comes back
    To the loneliest of feelings once again that one is utterly
    Hopelessly, helplessly, bereft of knowledge of all
    Manner of reason and reasonableness, all sense
    And sensibility – nothing bears any rationality as to why
    It is that crowds provoke the loneliest of feelings.


    Robert – I apologize if this is not quite what you had in mind; oddly enough, it’s something I was just playing around with and seemed, especially in view of the title, to fit the prompt. I will try to do a more upbeat crowd piece later today if time permits.SEI

  29. Amy Barlow Liberatore


    You have captured the essence of Mardi Gras and reminded me why I only used to visit New Orleans in the heat of July.

    Still don’t understand how women can objectify themselves just to get those crappy beads!!!

    Good work, evocative.

    Amy (poetmomskas)

  30. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    New York City Summer Subway Blues

    Stifling, steaming, skanky
    subway crammed full
    of stinky Manhattanites

    From Brooklyn to Queens
    We’re sweaty sardines
    Spoiling each others’ appetites

    We’re all soaked and cranky
    And the hotter it gets
    the worse the profanity

    As we say in the City,
    It ain’t the heat
    It’s the humanity!

  31. LKHarris-Kolp

    Mardi Gras

    The small child stands in the big crowd
    next to her mother and father,
    trying to catch a quick glimpse
    of the passing parade, but only seeing
    the backs of the crazy crowd.
    Sweating in the stillness of the air,
    feeling like a wee little ant
    in a swarming ant pile, the young girl
    tries to quickly grab a dabloon or a bead
    as it is tossed out into the fanatic mob,
    only to get her delicate fingers
    smashed by the crazy person’s feet
    in front of her.
    Oh, how she hates Mardi Gras!

    Twenty years have passed since that
    unpleasant experience at Mardi Gras,
    and the grown lady stands in the crowd
    anxiously awaiting for the parade to begin;
    feeling like the queen bee in the ant pile,
    glistening with sweat and not even minding.
    The lady quickly pulls up her tight t-shirt,
    revealing her five thousand dollar twins
    as she catches the beads and dabloons
    that are tossed by the handfuls
    into her open bag.
    Oh, how she loves Mardi Gras!

  32. Salvatore Buttaci


    The crowds are angry;
    they march in the streets
    and the signs they all carry
    say "Bush must be impeached."

    "He promised us victory,"
    says a mother of three
    who gave their young lives
    to make the rest of us free.

    "When will it end?
    The outlook is poor.
    Why can’t we pull out
    of this senseless war?"

    But Bush is quite stubborn;
    he believes himself right.
    If we walk away now
    there’ll be no peace in sight.

    If we are to defeat
    the terrorist threat,
    Bush says we need time
    to settle the debt.

    If we walk away now,
    we’ll show we don’t care
    if the enemy decides
    to attack everywhere.

    But the crowds are weary
    of sons dying in war,
    they don’t like the terrorists,
    but they can’t take anymore.

    The crowds carry signs
    That read, "Down with Bush!"
    They say we must pull out;
    the President says, "Push!"

    © 2008 Salvatore Buttaci

  33. Michelle H.

    Hey Robert! Thanks for the last two prompts!! I went on vacation right after prompt #8 and was completely out of touch for two weeks!!! I highly recommend leaving all technology behind you once a year!! We were in PA, Bermuda and NYC. So I did my vacation prompt on Bermuda and the crowd prompt on NYC. I’m not a city girl!! So glad to be back in MN!! However if anyone is heading to NYC (especially with kids) go see Mary Poppins on Broadway – it was amazing!! Great to be back and looking forward to reading all the great poems!

  34. Michelle H.

    “New York City”

    We walk along with hands clenched
    upon our bags and children
    bumping shoulders with our fellow man

    My daughter holds her nose
    complaining of the smell
    My daughter claps her ears
    complaining of the noise

    Then we enter Central Park
    the children may laugh and play
    no longer hands clenched tightly
    We explore and listen
    to the many sights and sounds
    we even find the time
    to hula hoop near the fountain

    We return to Times Square
    with our hands clenched
    upon our bags and children
    bumping shoulders
    holding noses
    and plugging ears
    and longing for

  35. Carla Cherry

    Aftermath of the Great American Celebration

    The 6 train screeched into the station. I spread my arms
    like a mother eagle, to keep the anxious tourists and drunken fools behind my family.

    The doors opened, my wall broken by shoving.
    I eased into a seat, pulling my arms to my chest
    to avoid foreign touch.

    Tears trickled down my niece’s cheeks like raindrops
    on a window pane. What’s wrong, I cooed.

    Somebody pushed me into a pole!

    I scanned the crowd for supplicant faces. Finding none
    I announced:I wish I had seen the person who pushed you. I’d have smacked them in the face.

    The bass in my voice, mocked by
    laughter, casual conversation, and the roar
    of wheels against tracks.

  36. Katie Darby

    Hey Robert! (This is Katie Darby, last summer’s intern.) I just wanted to say, I always appreciate your poetry prompts. Thanks for kick-starting things!


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