Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 089

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For this week’s prompt, write a lightbulb poem. By lightbulb, I mean the kind of lightbulb that pops over a cartoon character’s head when it has a “Eureka!” moment. So a poem with some sort of epiphany. And yes, it’s fine to write a poem about an actual lightbulb too if you’ve always wanted to wax poetic about an incandescent lamp.

Here’s my attempt:

“Our health”

Every morning, we rise and
shine slow wondering where our sleep
has gone, wondering how we’ll reach
our two destinations on time.

Every morning, we rush and
worry; every morning, we
rub our eyes and wonder how; but
every morning, we make it.

This morning, I drum the steering
wheel and beg the light to change green
just as a cat pounces a bird
reminding me what’s important.


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160 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 089

  1. Sara Gwen


            You’ll not be seen again.
            You knew so then, tried
            to say, denied it meant
            your real intent from day
            one slipped away as clean.

            That quick I ache too much
            without your touch to guide
            me to that side alone
            where on my own this dream
            at least won’t seem to break.

            Yeah silly me to think
            diluted ink might do
            to challenge you to turn
            as though concerned to keep
            my thoughts from sleeping free.

            I’ll not sleep free tonight
            nor get it right enough
            for careless love to win
            an edge on skin so mad
            as what you’d had in me.

  2. Juanita Snyder

    Ella Mental
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    They avoid her like the plague,
    an epidemic to control from afar
    atop a fledgling kingdom
    through conquest, alliances
    and bold adventuring,
    until Death is finally ready
    to intercede on their behalf.

    Both family and friends
    take turns parading their sorrows
    in front of a live audience in
    exchange for enough floral
    arrangements and food baskets
    to line the hallowed marble
    of their own taj mahals.

    She was simply born weak
    begins the rumor, and
    stigmatized the poor family
    with her odd behavior
    sexual escapades
    suitcase of medications
    and run-ins with the law,
    all of which attached themselves
    like fleas to a drowning rat.

    "Shame and humiliation
    trumps ignorance and abandonment,"
    or so quote the tribal elders
    while a younger generation
    lick their lips reconfiguring
    the new pie chart
    now that she’s suddenly
    out of the picture ~
    fire, earth, air, and water.

    © 2010 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. Walt Wojtanik


    "Why are you crying, boy? Are you lost?"
    In a manner of speaking, yes!
    Who’d have guessed I’d find myself here,
    a lost boy in the world of learned men.
    Nothing but a moral compass always
    pointing due North, giving forth all
    my heart desires, leaving little in reserve.
    My sole existence seems to have swerved
    into an unfamiliar place as I face
    my aging with as much ambivalance
    as that little spark remaining can ignite.
    And I declare to "stand up and fight"
    as I soar past the second star on the right
    and straight on until morning, without warning.
    I will take you as my Wendy, a friend
    who knows me as well as can be imagined,
    a solitary figure at the window living dreams
    only read in stories and fables. You are able
    to provide the urge to stick to my muse,
    and my shadow and everything else that slips away.
    No Nana barking in the night, for it just seems right
    that the vigilance of such protection is
    taken to heart as I start to feel the tingle
    of youth long forgotten, slightly rotten
    but never totally elusive, or exclusive to my survival.
    I feel my spirit lift. A light and airy faerie that
    refuses to die since I truly believe, and am relieved
    that I am not the only fool clapping; slapping hands
    together, whether you can hear me or not.
    I can claim my place along with the other lost boys,
    the Michael’s and John’s and others, brothers all,
    never to fall far from the tree, fulfilling this need,
    I know, I have to crow and let my voice be heard,
    every word of this fantastic voyage of life,
    looking to find a place to land in this Neverland!
    When it feels life is giving me the hook
    and I’m up to my knees in Smees, it’s a crock
    to think that time is ticking away from me.
    I’ll find my "Happy Thought" and go do what I ought to,
    making as much noise along the way. The second star
    to the right is the way to go. And don’t forget to crow!

  4. Colette ;D

    ~ Flash Flood ~

    flashing back
    and forth

    strobing over
    and over

    pulsing through
    and through

    bleeding on
    and on

    flooding forth
    and back

  5. Sam Nielson


    You poem made me slow down to read. It made me think. You had good control of the flow. Well done. A nice epiphany inside the poem and one for me to read into to understand. Thanks for sharing the poem.


  6. Walt Wojtanik


    Not so much a light bulb,
    more or less an inner flame; a spark,
    sending one to embark
    on a journey of discovery.
    No one moment stands out
    as the driving force
    for a notion left languishing.
    Emotion and knowledge join hands
    to take the correct route; the right path.
    The instance will be clear;
    timing is everything, and you’ll wing it
    until that happens. The juncture
    where a heart and head conjoin
    will indicate the point of no return,
    and you discern the proper opportunity
    is found in that unity; the moment of truth.
    In the days of our youth, it was a flash;
    a catching of lightning in a bottle.
    But wisdom pours from the cask of experience;
    well aged and potent; notable and potable.
    We hold the key; we know when the time is right.
    The truth of the moment rules.

  7. Linda Goin

    Pearl — was just sending you a heart! <3 (see it?)
    Theresa — thank you for posting your poetry so I can read it! This really is a fantastic group, and many, many very good poets, so I’m the one who feels blessed.
    Sam — yep, takes some time to read everything, but — while I get frustrated at times for the amount of time it takes — it hits me that it’s time well spent.

  8. FangO


    And when we met, it was me in biker leathers
    and her in her F-me getup from pumps to perm,
    so it’s no surprise that certain manners of the bed
    sprung spontaneously between us and stuck fast.
    Habits of womanly swagger and manly swagger
    still fit even as the tunic and miniskirt grew tight.
    Comfort always felt best offset by the private
    language of the pack, the give-and-take game
    of position and dibs, first-crack and last laugh.

    Then what a revelation to discover, on a night
    like any other, a deep, underground reservoir.
    Once I would have looked away from the names
    that come to mind: tenderness, vulnerability,
    surrender—all that crap. Now look how soft
    this poem is getting, like a soufflé that’s sunk—
    or a soufflé that’s come out right. What’s tough
    is steering back to the conclusion, to this new
    carefree direction. The phase change between us
    doesn’t care what I sass in my embarrassment.
    So turn on the music and light the candle, and
    I’ll end the poem admitting what I’m here to find.

  9. M.S. H.

    Introducing myself. Hope it’s not to late to post for this week.


    X-ray Ted came home with an x-ray of a
    lightbulb up a cavity he called sphincter,
    held it up to light for the poor small children;
    dark radiation

    Zapped through like cold x-rated fingers scratching
    gouging new holes where there’d been only sweet dreams,
    painful rotting cavities smarting young minds –
    dark penetration.

    Leaden-plated cavities punctured cleanly
    probing through their innocence like an unclean
    scalpel carving recesses, making recess
    dark education;

    Playless indoor afternoons pierced by wavelengths:
    Rays of this sort enter by skinless methods.
    Sunblock can’t stop x-rated burns in young minds –
    dark lumination.

    X-ray Ted then beamed at his tungsten trauma,
    sociopathic cruelty gushing out his
    shredded sphincter cavity he called smile –
    dark menstruation.

  10. Sam Nielson

    With apologies Pearl,
    You asked for it, and here it is.

    The poem is from either 1990 or 1991, so it is quite old.(Man that makes me feel quite old also!)


    Morning opens.
    The clouds hang beyond reach.
    Someone painted them in the wrong white.
    The washed air sits
    Still on the lawn.
    The lately fallen rain
    Dies, darkening the walk.

    The weather feels thick,
    Yet it can be felt.

    I see a winged ant,
    Unable to fly,
    Crawl to a moist spot
    And with tiny jaws suck
    Molecule and molecule of water.
    Each breathing oxygen hulk,
    With bulky hydrogen arms,
    Gurgles in a tiny throat.

    A robin bounces on the grass
    Listening for the wet soaking in.
    Listening for the scratchy barbules of
    A blade of grass
    Where a worm might be rubbing itself
    Like a cow.

    High in the jetstream
    A wide-eyed
    Bit of sand floats
    Adrenalin saturated, exhausted.
    He sails on, too long past
    His expected fall back
    To earths’ fat grip,
    Not knowing.

    Higher still
    In the comforting galactic black
    Of space
    Where whole worlds pinpoint white,
    Sitting just there
    Needing someone to reach out and touch
    I feel Saturn move.


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