Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 024

Recently, I’ve been receiving an excessive amount of spam in my e-mail inbox. It’s a problem I’ve had to confront, and I admit it’s a problem that’s been driving me a bit batty. But this daily confrontation (me vs. my excessive spam) is a minor example of conflicts that go on every day in every part of the planet. Whether it’s getting your boys to brush their teeth in the morning (been there) or trying to wrap your head around a mathematical problem (been there, too), confrontations and conflict make for good reading, whether you’re writing poetry, fiction or nonfiction.

So for today’s prompt, I want you to write a confrontation poem. The narrative voice can be 1st, 2nd or 3rd person; that’s unimportant. The main thing is that you set up some kind of confrontation between one person or thing and another. You can provide a resolution, or leave the ending open-ended.

Here’s my attempt for the day:

“As I wander the empty streets”

I hear an owl hoot; I see it
descend to a STOP sign. We watch
each other at the witching hour
beneath a full moon: predator
and editor. And as neither
of us dare move, I think of you.


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75 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 024

  1. Taylor Graham


    Each obligatory occasion, a rock in the rapids.
    This Saturday wipes a week of Wednesdays
    off the calendar. A long wordless drive to get here,
    February hills bare as an in-law’s greeting.
    There’s double-chocolate cake to fatten the clan.
    Everyone lives bigger every birthday. The clacking
    pool-table of family ties has everyone squinting
    at numbers. How old is he now? How many millions
    are they worth?
    She knows you’re cozy here
    as a cornered mouse. How many hours-minutes-
    seconds till you can walk with her wordless
    out the door and drive down winding lanes
    from these estates with a view, where people live
    scared as a locked gate. Every street sign
    leading away will sing like a solitary bird.
    The freeway will beckon green pasture.
    You’ll dance with your steering wheel,
    the rear-view blinding with late sun and leaving.

  2. Monica Martin

    I feel an itch on my hind leg,
    and I gnaw on my leg to make it stop.
    I spot my tail, and give chase. I
    catch a strange scent, and pause.
    It smells like a dog, but different.
    There is also the scent of… blood.
    I look straight ahead and see him:
    a coyote. A mangy predator, low to the
    ground, licking his lips. I growl low in
    my throat. He creeps closer, but I know
    that fence will keep him out. It’s too
    strong for him to knock over, too tall
    for him to scale. He moves closer. I
    think of my mistress inside the house
    and begin to bark. I bark to warn her,
    and to scare the coyote off. He doesn’t
    budge. Coyotes don’t usually fear
    yorkies. But I sound my warning just
    the same. I hear my mistress call,
    and run to her. She picks me up, and
    we move into safety.

  3. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    HI guys,
    I swear I wrote one for this prompt, but I guess not!


    Confronting your fears
    Your worst nightmares
    The hurt you feel
    The betrayal you perceive
    After years of love
    And nuturing
    Dismissed for one
    Dismissed for a
    Quick temper
    Dismissed for honesty
    For fighting for your
    Truths and beliefs
    Dismissed from ones life
    To nurse that open wound
    That you so cruelly
    Poke and prod
    Confronting your worst
    Fears and nightmares
    Never thought the thing
    You most treaure
    Would be just that.

  4. Karen H. Phillips

    I Feel the Sting from the Screen

    Like nettles, his words gather in clusters
    in the red comment boxes.
    The piece bleeds red across the monitor.
    I want to lash out, to defend myself.
    But I know the critique is honest,
    what I need, what I paid for.
    Then why do the words burn my soul?
    In places they seem sarcastic,
    Why won’t he answer my questions,
    until we meet face to face?
    I want to confront him,
    to say, "Why did you have to be hurtful?
    Why couldn’t you tell me what you meant,
    so I even have a clue how to fix what
    I wrote?"
    But I simmer silently, knowing the mentee
    does not defend against
    the mentor,
    knowing the edited speaks not to defy
    the editor.
    When we meet, will he make it right?
    Do I have the vaguest notion what to write
    to right things,
    till then?

  5. ekennedy

    Writer’s Block

    my heart is bleeding letters
    and forcing fastens of mundane words
    the I connects to an L
    but YOU are missing
    the proverbial phrase of pornography
    cheap and cheated and exposed in a fluorescent trailer where everyone is critiquing
    the sucking and thrusting and moaning
    pulsating and throbbing
    used words fuck each other without meaning
    disconnect from my heart and
    slide from my frigid fingers
    collecting in the sweat of routine
    for the paycheck
    for the dollar
    i lean on the thesaurus like it’s my Bible
    imitating orgasms like Pablo Picasso
    working midway down a cubist assembly line
    where my intent is dissected and analyzed,
    constructed into abstract words
    that have lost all significance

  6. Terri French

    Love "Long Shiny Barrel" Iain! Reminds me a little of this one I wrote a while back and about a woman and a cast iron fryin’ pan. Didn’t want mess with her either!

  7. Terri French

    You chose to live with your dad
    and it broke my heart
    but I understood
    my arms would have held you
    too tightly
    and dad thought 12-year old boys
    were hree-quarters grown
    I knew better

    I saw you when you let me
    for lunch or sneaker shopping
    You were silent
    and my words stuck in my throat
    like a big chunk of meat

    "Are you upset with me?"
    I finally blurted
    "No" you replied looking at me
    like you would something squashed
    on the bottom of those $100 shoes
    I just bought you

    "I feel I’ve done something wrong
    and I don’t know what"
    "You think too much"
    You say between bites of burger

    You may be right
    I love too much too

  8. Heather


    We talked about food,
    Our likes,
    And the likes
    Except we weren’t really
    Talking about food
    Were we?
    We were talking about life,
    How we blend
    As people,
    If we blend at all

    You ate my squash soup
    Managed to get it down your
    Politely taking in
    Each painful mouthful
    To please
    To be exactly what I need

    We talked about food,
    Our likes,
    Fried cheese,
    Potato chips,
    And the likes

    You choked down my squash soup,
    A smile upon your face
    Claiming your love for all things
    But we weren’t really talking about food
    Were we?
    We were talking about life,
    How we blend
    As people,
    If we blend at all

  9. Connie

    Thanks Michelle. I’m sure I’ll have a blast.
    Thanks Rachel. Yes, poetry is great therapy and amen to praising God for bringing us through rough times.

  10. Tyger


    You come here
    with a big ‘L’ on your forehead
    Loser that you are
    demanding that I pay for the divorce
    demanding the car, MY car
    and tell me that you will
    abandon my child now
    You think because
    you now have a DWI
    that I’ll pick up the tab
    You demand I let you off easy
    because the one you think you love
    carries your child
    You can screw me over
    but you don’t get to screw over
    that little boy in there!
    Look into his sweet helpless face
    and remember that you once were
    a decent guy!
    You shake your head
    There you go, spiraling ever downward
    until you drown
    in your bad choices
    and I wipe your name
    off the blackboard
    in his room

  11. Rachel

    Hi Connie

    Yes I’m ok – that was a poem I wrote in the past when I was suffering from depression and had a hard time coping. Poetry is therapeutic to me, as I’m sure it is to many others here. I praise God for bringing me through hard times.

    Also I tend to write poetry (like it just flows fast and furious) when I am down or upset. Hmm. 🙂

    THanks for commenting! This is a neat site.

  12. Paige

    Finally I got this one done and have posted it over at the Writer’s Digest Forum, Critique, Poetry. And the title is…

    Confrontation in Action

    Thank you and enjoy the rest of your weekend

    Oh Nancy glad your’s made it here even though I read it there 🙂

  13. Connie

    Great poems everyone. I especially liked Michelle’s and Sara’s. I really liked yours too, Rachel, but it makes me wonder if you are okay.

    I’ll be out of town next week. I may or may not be able to post. Anyone going to Glorieta Christian Writers Conference in New Mexico?

  14. Nancy Posey

    Luddite Confrontations

    Never adverse to progress,
    I embraced the cellphone,
    then email, text messages,
    and Facebook, anything
    to keep me connected to
    my children now grown
    and gone. I learned to post
    homework on Blackboard
    and to blog with the best
    of ‘em; I’ll be wiki savvy
    by winter. Yet every now
    and then, in the classic
    man versus the machine,
    I fear the machine is winning.
    Please hold. Your call
    is important to us, is important
    to us, is important to us.
    What classic irony that
    communication companies
    are the worst communicators.
    But I hold, screaming in
    my mouthpiece, Yes, I know
    I could reach you via internet—
    but my internet doesn’t work.
    That’s why I’m calling,
    you lunkhead. Pick up the phone.
    And I’ll never figure out why
    one time I connect right to the
    site, and the next time, I get
    the dreaded 404 error message,
    the six-six-six of cyberspace.
    Who would have thought, though,
    that a simple colon, just the right
    flick of a button on the keyboard,
    punctuation by the discerning
    grammarian, would send me
    straight into cyber purgatory?

    Nancy Posey

  15. patti williams


    Michelle – thank you – I have had ‘the block’ lately and I’m kind of getting tired of it. I enjoyed the beetle poem … and I agree … bugs in the house must die … it is nature’s way.

    Connie – for me the morning is the most miserable part of the day – because that is when the list begins every single time …

    Nancy – good job – I’m glad it finally got posted!

  16. Michelle H.

    Patti – enjoyed your muse poem and the ensuing conversation between you and heather. 😉

    Nancy – loved your poem as well – what a weird thing that it wouldn’t post with the colon – very good Connie – Colonoscopy! Ha ha ha!

  17. Iain D. Kemp

    Patti – you can stop cursing me under your breath now! This one is all yours…

    Rock and a Hard Place

    Twelve years old is way too young
    to find out that life is an up-hill battle.
    The battle ahead of her now was steep, almost sheer,
    gritty and rough, fraught with danger, her face gritty and tough.
    She knows she is watched, knowing her class-mates
    will never let her forget failure, she strives on.
    On and ever upwards, relying only a little
    on the safety line that holds her life in balance like
    her mother’s loving embrace.
    Fingers clutch, legs stretch and slowly, inch by inch
    sometimes holding her breath, the rock face gives way
    to determination and strength as the youngster
    scales the cliff and reaches the summit.
    She is proud, elated. Her class-mates applaud but
    her mother knows that the pinnacle of success will
    always be Payton’s Place.