Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 111

What a numerical day! 10-20-20-10. Of course, the numerical splendor only lasts a day, because the date is always changing. Also, this time of year is filled with several other changes. The temperatures are changing; birds are migrating; crops are being harvested (or perhaps planted in the Southern Hemisphere); and so on. Things are always changing!

For today’s prompt, write a changes poem. Your poem could deal with seasonal changes, developmental changes, or even changes in plans. There are many possible change-related poems out there. For a change of pace (and an added challenge), you could even try writing your poem in an unfamiliar form.

Here’s my attempt:

“October Rising”

First, there’s a bite
or a scratch, perhaps
late at night, usually
while walking home
on an unfamiliar path
after visiting a friend
or person you’d like
to be more than friends.

The bite–or scratch–
happens fast. You are
attacked by a large dog
or wolf. In fact, you’re
unsure what attacks,
even though the moon
is bright and full on
that particular evening.

In the end, you are
just happy to be alive–
or so you think. Then,
you notice things:
improved smell and
hearing, extra hair
where it doesn’t belong,
an increased appetite.

At first, you just
chalk it up to aging
and/or hormones. But
then, you find yourself
naked in the woods,
mouth covered in blood.
Your neighbor’s dog
barks at you incessantly.

Then, there is another
full moon, and you know,
you really do. As those
shivers run up your spine
and you feel your body
stretch painfully, you
finally know what you’re
going to be for Halloween.


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131 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 111

  1. Monica Martin

    I have lived with Richie
    four days now. Our first time
    living together, my first time
    away from home.

    My home is large, quiet,
    bright, and warm.
    I share the authority,
    and my home is full of love.

  2. Taylor Graham


    Be driven by my mother to the beauty parlor for a stinky perm.
    Pick up the phone at 1:47 a.m. and go search all day for somebody lost.
    Lie around on beaches because it’s supposed to be relaxing.
    Keep receipts from 1966.
    Look in the mirror before I walk out the door.
    Keep notes and memorize everything because there’s going to be a test.
    Think all those old dead dogs won’t go to heaven.
    Play CDs when the music’s in my head.
    Believe all the old dichotomies and dialectics and….
    Try to be perfect.

  3. Taylor Graham


    God of chimneys, ports, and windows,
    bless these openings,
    bless the dawn,

    gather the rose,
    sharpen its thorn.
    Pierce his eye to make it whole.

  4. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    and Congratulations to Sara as well (on the acceptance of her poem)! Do let us all know when & where (online availability) when the time comes as I’m sure we’d all love the chance to go read it. High five girlfriend.


  5. Sam Nielson

    Change To Winter

    A clear, wet sky after
    The bright has yet
    To burn into red on this
    Morning as the change to winter
    Advertises in the sharp cold.

    It is a cold to look forward to?
    Perhaps it needs desperately
    Another jolt of cold before the
    Threshold of Earth ranges into
    Temperatures where snow will stay

    And not melt into the thirsty lips
    Beneath these idle feet.
    These grey eyes on the grey
    Morning fade. The cirrus
    To the west, frostbite slowly.

    It builds intensity until
    You can stare into fire-hot coals,
    Clouds, ember-style shifted,
    Shifted and again as
    Pink goes orange then red

    Then white as the color gravitates
    Down, dripping off those clouds
    Onto brown fields stripped bare
    Of their fertile shell. It is here
    Again, this long wet dark.

  6. Barbara Ehrentreu

    Pearl I love that you have imagined my novel as a five year old girl! Thank you so much and she is happy to be getting ready to join the world.:)

    Yes, the prompt is change this week and this was a big change for me. I believe it is the result of being in the right place with the right people and having something they loved.:) Networking definitely pays off. I’ve been walking on air all day and getting drunk on virtual champagne. I’ll have the real stuff tomorrow might, I hope.:)

  7. Willy


    Time will tell
    Time heals all
    All the world’s a stage
    All chaos yields order
    Order in the court
    Order needs challenge
    Challenge the norm
    Challenge the means
    Means and extremes
    Means to an end
    End of the line
    End war now
    Now or never
    Now we know
    Know thyself
    Know the mix
    Mix and match
    Mix it up
    Up yours
    Up up and away
    Away with thee
    Away we go
    Go get ‘em
    Go in reverse
    Reverse the decision
    Reverse then refine
    Refine and resize
    Refine your ways
    Ways to please your lover
    Ways to a man’s heart
    Heart throbs
    Heart monitor
    Monitor lizard
    Monitor move and mirror
    Mirror images
    Mirror mirror on the wall
    Wall of flames
    Wall of shame
    Shame without blame
    Shame on you
    You made me do it
    You like it like that
    That is not what I heard
    That is another subject
    Subject to interrogation
    Subject to change
    Change the music
    Change my mind


  8. A.C. Leming


    Calculate the cost on your family.
    Halve your paycheck.
    Agonize over lies told.
    Negotiate for time with your children.
    Genuflect to the perverse god of marriage.
    Explain, excuse execrable past behavior.
    Search your soul and ask, "Can I change?"

  9. Barbara Ehrentreu

    This is not poetry, but I thought everyone should know that my YA novel, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor is going to be published!!!! I just found out and will give more details when I sign the contract. it will be in e-book form at first. Meanwhile, I’m so excited, since it’s been 5 years of trying to get it published. Please raise a glass of virtual champagne with me!!! Or if you have the real stuff drink that too.:)

  10. sara gwen

    Barbara, Pearl, Walt, Sheila, Colette, & all, thanks for making me feel back at home. You don’t know how much I needed that. Too easy to feel dislocated . . .

    Today brings me a piece of news I guess you could say I wanted to hear, else I would not have made the effort, but I’ll believe it when I see it: one of my poems has been accepted for publication. When it hits the streets, I’ll run back home here to break open a bottle of wine over it.

  11. Taylor Graham


    The trees fell down around us –
    too much snow for foothill oaks
    to bear. In the night they rifle-cracked
    splitting the air
    that just kept snowing. Great limbs
    hung by seams of wood-
    grain, oak-slash heaped at hazard
    on the ground. What’s
    the fall of tree or sparrow, you
    or me? Dawn came dim,
    white-hushed. And then, the sun.
    A chip and flitter – towhees,
    juncos in and out of sky-
    dropped bounty, split bark
    plump with insects. Gray squirrel
    launched from fresh-snapped
    snag to snag, remapped
    his world’s perspectives, as
    the trees fell down around us.

  12. sheila harris

    The End of a Family

    the phone rang
    i woke up
    and you were dead
    a voice
    with remorse
    moaned and keened
    you were dead
    died in sleep
    ‘what ever should be done
    what will become
    of me and our lovely
    little family’
    but that was the first
    a true ,certified
    paper mache
    diorama fairytale
    constructed and contrived
    for all the world to view and nod
    their collective heads
    all’s well with this wonderful ,average content
    all american family
    a story that was as thin as the old
    hunter’s herringbone weave blanket
    you were wrapped in
    as you lay on the sofa ,
    maybe at peace
    for the first time
    in a long time
    head resting on the
    chintz bolster
    coffee mug in hand
    as natural as any other daybreak breakfast cuppa joe
    only this coffee stone cold as you

  13. sara gwen

    Walt! Hey, you know those movie scenes where the con with all his time finally served walks out the front gate into the waiting car of a friend who already has the next caper lined up? That’s what the deja vu that just hit me reminded me of! (Just pretend this comment to be a prose poem on the prompt: it’s me changing back into my street clothes.) So thanks, I’m sure I’ll be in trouble again before too very long, and it feels good to be induging myself reading yours here again, you and all the others here, all of our partners in . . . (c)rhyme.

  14. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Barbara-thanks for the mention… the poem is not "autobiographical" although "evocative" (mhmm ‘evocative’ seems to be my word of the morning) Always delighted to "talk" to you, and yes very much enjoy the synergy of collective enjoyment in a shared work. Thanks again for the link you posted.

  15. Walt Wojtanik

    Sara G., Been fighting that battle myself recently. Your muse is still there, trust me. You’re good. Trust is yourself as well. Even a trickle without change for a nickel can get your fickle muse out of your pickle. Hope I didn’t make you sick…er, el!

  16. Walt Wojtanik


    Some things never change,
    but when they do, will we notice?
    Nowadays, rising from a more restful slumber,
    not under the "death sentence" once feared.
    Still in this life, with a partner/wife
    and daughters who have become
    the better part of me I had wished for in myself.
    Still a spritely elf of Christmases past,
    and fast becoming a replication of my Dad.
    Not a bad state in which to live, but sure
    to give myself every benefit of doubt.
    Coming out of my exile, with a smile
    and not as frantic as my muse had made me.
    You see, my poetry is finding its quality
    with less the quantity and belligerance,
    just a preponderance of saying my heart,
    not to offend or defend. Just to release
    the me I have come to know and like.
    Not worried about how many read me anymore,
    I have my core group of followers, no longer
    wallowers in the angst of their lives, just people
    who are appreciated of their appreciation of me.
    The more things change, the more things stay.
    Believe it or not, I like it that way.
    And I still have a lot to say.

  17. sara gwen

      For me, the flow’s down to a trickle
      since my muse tends to be rather fickle.
          To win back control
          I would sell her my soul,
      ’xcept I can’t give her change for her nickel.

  18. Barbara Ehrentreu

    You’re welcome Pearl!!! I liked the last poem you posted:They Mean Well. We need to talk about it, though.:)

    Glad you were able to read that poem. I love when something I wrote brings me to the work of another poet and how wonderful it was to find this poem. I love the synergy of life when things like this happen!

  19. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Dear Barbara and Arash … thank you both for directing me to the wonderful poem… Alas, in keeping with the prompt for this week change… this plea for peace is a plea that not changed since the publication of this poem in 1944… It is a beautiful peice that could, unfortunately have still, been written this morning. I do think that last stanza especially the conversion of the comment about "dust to dust" exchanging "beauty" as everlasting "and dust for a time" is at once beautifully written and a wonderful ideal for which we all can continue to strive.

  20. Barbara Ehrentreu

    Arash, I felt the same way. The power and beauty of those words had exactly that same impression on me too. I think that we could post the link to the poem here. That way people can read the poem if they want and it won’t be confused with anyone’s writing here. I can go back and find the link and put it here now:

    Here is an annotated version:

    I think the last stanza is so beautiful!!! Hope all read this.

  21. CJillFriend

    SALUTE! The stupidest instructions
    I ever heard
    Was “Do not play the piano if you don’t
    Know how to play the piano.” HUH?
    Or write down ten words, then tell me what you
    Want for dinner tonight.
    Well, my 77-year-old grandpa told me on his
    Birthday yesterday, that he would have a wiener
    For me because I missed the family wiener roast.
    Happy Birthday!
    But then people say that it’s their party and they
    Will cry if they want to.
    So, sit your ass in your seat and blow out your candles,

  22. Arash

    Thanks for looking into that Barbara and providing further info. I found a copy of that poem online and wow, I love love love it! Though I certainly appreciate the anti-war sentiments, it was the beauty of the writing that took my breath away. I don’t know if I am permitted to do so, but I would love to paste a copy here so others can read it if they have not already.


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