Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 118

We’re on Day 3 of the Great Snow Event of 2011 here in the Atlanta area. Snow started to fall on Sunday evening, and there’s the possibility that schools will remain closed all week. It wasn’t a lot of snow, but the road crews just aren’t prepared for snow down here like they are in the north. Anyway, my family has been kind of trapped this week, so…

For this week’s prompt, write a trapped poem. Your poem could cover being physically, socially, psychologically or emotionally trapped. There are many ways to be (or at least feel) trapped. Free your trapped poem today!

Here is my attempt:

“We walk the planet earth”

Like small flowers we rise and greet the sun
though we’ve lost our ability to run.

Instead, we gather ourselves like flowers
and put ourselves in vases for hours.

Like flowers, most people are too busy
to smell us–too busy-busy-busy.

We walk the planet earth with our colors
like flowers that bend when the wind hollers.

*****

Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

*****

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84 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 118

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    mental illness
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    i am
    of the tribe
    "forgotten,"
    though words seep out
    these wrapped slit wrists
    like scarabs on their way
    to an embalming.

    words are
    insidious little creatures
    who ride the airwaves around us,
    searching for hosts
    to maroon upon,
    their nucleus fangs
    intent on chinking armor
    infecting blood with
    worry and self-doubt,
    a sleeper cell army
    awaiting the signal to draw swords
    and go door to door, inciting
    riots of insanity and dementia.

    trapped
    without speech
    neuroses have only their
    writings to speak for them,
    though dark and loathsome they may be,
    awaiting the chance to slip past
    these wrapped slit wrists
    like scarabs on their way
    to an embalming.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. Walt Wojtanik

    BETWEEN BIRTH AND DEATH

    The tender trap.
    Caught in this snare
    and aware of all that
    is required, for in every
    synapse fired and
    every heart beaten,
    there is no retreating from this
    confinement. The refinement
    of what this state is giving
    finds its proof in the living;
    this day-to-day journey to a singular
    destination. Amidst elation
    and despair, we will find there
    all that we need to feed our survival.
    It is an age old revival that we
    welcome and desire; an internal fire
    that smolders from our first breath,
    until our final gasp before death.
    And in between, we occupy this scene.
    We celebrate its every waking,
    for in it there is joy and happiness
    for the taking. Be in no hurry
    to escape from this strife.
    Squeeze every last drop from this life.

  3. Taylor Graham

    TRAPPED IN A KINGSHIP

    Romance, heroism, loyalty, and other noble qualities…
    will always command admiration even from those who
    condemn the cause in which such virtues are exercised.
    – Elihu Burritt, Walks in the Black Country

    What was it about a monarch in flight for his life,
    Elihu, that touched your New England fancy?
    As you walked the English countryside, there was

    the ghost of Charles II in “blood-stained insignia
    of royalty,” slipping from the great oak
    that sheltered him after the battle of Worcester;

    Charles beckoning from a cell designed for hiding
    Popish priests; Charles winking at you in Charmouth,
    where a simple blacksmith could betray him.

    Cavalier king – what was his attraction for a plain
    Connecticut champion of the common man? Charles
    who cut off his long, dark, sovereign locks and smutted

    his face with chimney-black; and dressed-down in coarse
    hemp, a noggen-shirt, and leather doublet; a king
    like any mortal, fleeing on foot with gravel in his shoes.

    “Over the Water to Charlie.” When such a king returns
    across the Channel to his throne, what will be
    his style? Manners and fashions of a French court

    before the guillotine; buckles and brass buttons
    gilt or washed with silver. No more shoes
    full of stones. Who’s trapped in ideas of kingship?

  4. Meg

    Trapped

    Help, I can’t breathe.
    I can’t seem to move.
    No matter what I do
    I have everything to lose.
    Everything I said
    Is not what I meant.
    The last thing I wanted
    Was to hide behind intent.
    I’ve built myself a cage
    And I just barely fit.
    Both hands clenched into fists.
    Closing walls, both fists hit.
    Iron bars of self-doubt,
    Steel chains of what-ifs,
    Giant boulders of fear
    Too heavy to lift.
    I frantically serach
    For an exit, a door.
    This is not what I wanted.
    I wanted much more.

  5. Megan

    Too bored to be anything but boredom.
    Not enough energy to be even world-weary or to have classy ennui – I have full fledged unmitigated boredom. Even monotony would be an improvement for that would indicate a return to repeated dull tasks not tasks
    that cannot be done. Only a blank unblinking non working computer link faces my screen. Dreamless inactivity lures
    me to a sluggish stupor
    unable to work without mouse or keyboard. The dreariness of the long hours of waiting
    for the database to work again only adds
    to the tedium of taskless time.
    I linger in languor unable to work
    and too bored to write
    my mind trapped
    in lassitude.

  6. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    T here in the misted fields of
    R endevous to come
    A rmed only with poetry and Jane Eyre
    P roclaim boundless affection
    P roclaim forever love
    E ver resilient, ever sacredly faith full
    D amned in the shimmered reality of the later, lifting mist

  7. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    In the big cheese

    Higgly piggly my friend Jim
    Marched to the cheese though
    We all tried to stop him

    Higgly, piggly, my friend Jim was sure
    That he could safely eat, leave and return for more

    Higgly, piggly, my friend Jim
    Stuck, crushed, bleeding out onto that hunk of cheese
    As life drains from him

  8. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    In fear of and for you

    They’ ‘ve grown tired
    Of telling me to leave
    Of feeding me words only
    To watch my tongue to roof of mouth cleave

    They’ve grown tired and accustomed to see
    The yellow purpled fields of fists
    You leave on me

    They’ve somehow accepted that the light in my eyes is burnt out
    My voice unsustainable though it might infrequently shout

    I see their sympathy, fear, concern melt finally to steely disgust
    They do not understand that stay with you, for you are weak,
    I forever must

  9. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    In from the rain

    In came I at the end of the storm 
    Soaked through to the skin  with icy rain

    I six or seven weeks old
    Too young to believe in the eventual  spring
    Of which the elders told

    Too young to conceptualize the marsh grass
    dry, the blue skied sun ablaze in the sky

    Too young to believe in clouds of butterfly
    Driven forward by the simple  wish not to die 

    Came I to the door and mewling stood
    Until it opened and into gargantuan
    Heated arms lifted and folded
    Apparently for good

    Was I wise
    When in I came
    Warmed in flanneled arms
    Dried with a towel from icy rain

    I lie on floors polished to a shining glow
    warm, clean and fed I see myself grow
    Outside the glass the wind howls 
    The trees now iced and bare
    Would I have lived to test the spring
    I know not that, know only this one thing

    That should the time actually come when
    All outside transforms to warm, scented green
    It will through ‘pain’ of clean impenetrable
    Glass by me, safe, ensconced, separated,
    Looking out from within – be not ever felt, yet ever seen 

  10. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Snap Crackle Pop

    In the box
    Waiting among the jumbled masses
    Yearning to snap, to crackle and
    Ultimately to pop
    Needed only the catalyst of milk…

  11. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Within the skin

    Here within the skin
    Runs the wild blood
    Of endless pampas passion
    Pounding toward the outside
    From the held depths of within

  12. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Not too much time to comment – agree wonderful selection of poems – Walt this prompt seemed to really "prime the pump" I do believe some of your best.

    Nancy J. very much enjoyed the lovely lyrical mixture of melancholy and hope (oh watch the pun that was unintentional but now that I’m going with it…….) hope that springs eternal. Truly delightful

    RJ – your voice is immediately, delightfully, recognizable. A collection of smiles to come soon?

    Daniel – very much enjoyed the two line version of your conversation with dad and the four line as well…

    Ingraham… vivid image of those clunking doors – trapped on both sides – bravo

    Iain, always a joy, only positive thoughts for the optimum resolution for your "family situation"

    No more time to comment – again, so much wonderful work a joy to take this quick walk down this street of words.

  13. Bruce Niedt

    Seeing
    (for Mark Doty)

    When I complain about losing my vision,
    I’m talking metaphorically about how hard
    it is for me these days to find things
    with a poetic eye, even though it’s the same
    old world I’ve observed for years. Maybe
    I mean it physically, and what holds me back
    is a milky haze that washes colors to pastel,
    or lights at night that form halos on their heads,
    incandescent angels trumpeting a warning.

    But then I think of you, flat on your belly
    for weeks, doctor’s orders for a torn retina,
    and how you still can find something lyrical
    in this setback, prone and housebound
    but still seeing beauty in half-blindness,
    how the swirls you experienced when the eye
    blew out resembled an abstract painting
    of a frozen pond, how one rides on the surface
    of those patterns, how they move us through the day.

    You see more with one eye than I can with two.
    But somewhere in this world there must be a poet
    who never witnessed such imperfect patterns,
    who never lost what he never had, but who,
    with a guided pen, tells us how he envisions
    more than our three good eyes together.

  14. Iain D. Kemp

    Thanks Nancy J

    A bit late with a newy…first week of term…

    I have a family situation…

    bars of love

    caged
    fenced in
    double locked and chained
    by bonds so deep
    so lasting
    that Armageddon
    could not tear them asunder
    the heart
    the soul
    lie bleeding
    torn and tattered
    ripped to shreds
    by the cold cruelty
    of words
    the words of a boy
    become a man
    and turning his back
    in haste
    in spite
    leaving the father
    crippled and caged
    in bars of love

    Iain

  15. Richard-Merlin Atwater

    A Crown of Sonnets, consisting of seven sonnets on the crowning subject of LOVE
    (C) Richard-Merlin Atwater January 15, 2011

    It happened once upon a time, love befell my soul,
    It snatched my spirit from within, took me by surprise,
    Surrounded all my feelings and emotions, like a surreal bowl,
    Rounded all about, but without any set in place sides.
    ‘Twas quick to come and settle down upon my frame,
    To envelope my inner being by disguise of romance designed,
    To conjure up the thoughts of love by thought controlled,
    All happened in this emotional stance began within my mind,
    And thus I swooned, and sighed a breath that rolled
    From out my chest and lungs of sweetness like perfume.
    How could such feelings overcome, put me in a trance,
    My mind, my spirit and my body, all within consumed,
    By such and such an envelope of rapture to dance,
    My only thought for action, seems my soul was doomed.

    My ONLY thought of action, seems my soul was doomed
    To repeat this "wonder of delight" that held me hostage,
    It gripped my entire being with excitement of eternity groomed
    To be an everlasting realization that love lasts as nostalgage,
    A seeming homesickness for that of long ago, far away,
    Yes, it took control of every measure of my being,
    Thus I say: "How wonderful is love, Oh how wonderful!"
    For that which is felt is far above just seeing.
    For to see can be deceived, but to know–thunderful!
    Like lightning in a storm that flashes ‘cross the sky,
    Love comes so quick and sudden that I would surmise
    It is the essence of faith, and hope, with rapture,
    Faith of it to be reality, and hope as surprise!
    Surprise of that which is to come and stay,capture.

    Surprise of that which is to come and stay, capture
    My heart, my thoughts, my soul in wonderment of forever,
    For LOVE is a forever thing to know about, enrapture,
    To feel eternity has meaning now beyond mere thought, endeavor
    That when it comes you seek to bid it stay,
    Sing, dance with laureled wreath of flowers ‘cross the brow,
    In meadowed fields of pastoral glance that carry you away
    To a dream-like vision of peace, and joy, and how
    One might enjoy and feel and see heaven each day.
    And this because of LOVE of God, and all mankind,
    But more than this, exotic truth of sweet romance aright,
    Of man for woman, and woman for man in love.
    A conjugal embrace of mating, two as one entwined delight,
    And all of this sent to you from heaven above.

    And all of this sent to you from heaven above,
    As angels seek to do the bidding of the Father,
    To spread, as dew drops, all along the way, LOVE,
    Which distilled upon the soul of those who seek, gather
    In by self-control "the positive of life" and ban the negative,
    Thus shall we not embrace the moment to give love,
    Receive love, be in love, promote love, and live
    In joy and happiness among relations and all friends, above
    The fray of "ills of life", tear the soul, give
    Way towards doom of circumstance with hate, heaven yet forbid,
    No war, no quarrel, no backbiting retribution from the soul
    Of he, or she, who would be agents of peace,
    And goodwill for all within our everyday circumference of goal
    That leads to harmony of life as meant to be.

    That leads to harmony of life as meant to be,
    For those who LOVE in earnest truth of God’s desire,
    HE hath said: "LOVE, as I have loved you."–See
    By this shall all men know that ye do conspire
    As disciples indeed, if ye have LOVE one for another.
    Therefore my good friend of life in time among us
    Go forth with love within your heart, make it true
    That what was said of old become reality of fuss
    About the things of life for truth and righteousness, You
    Can make a difference within the fold, change the world.
    It all begins at home among the ones we love,
    A father, mother, children, betwixt emotion of a FAMILY, Yes,
    I do confess: love begins at home, hand-in-glove.
    Why not start anew, give affection to your kin, Bless

    Why not start anew, give affection to your kin, Bless
    Their lives with love from the heart, show it forth
    All you do and say by action, by words, dress
    Your emotions with "the spirit of love", all in worth
    Of the individual you see, first your self, then me.
    And others whom you chance to have within your life,
    Husband, wife, kids around your hearth that seek to play,
    Each day, show forth LOVE as divine, and banish strife,
    If you do, love will come back to you, stay!
    Stay within your home, and in your heart, forevermore,
    And when you go out the door among your friends,
    Keep a loving heart as if in brotherhood of truth,
    Within the booth of time and circumstance, and make amends
    Of rifts that might keep you aloof, be like Ruth.

    Of rifts that might keep you aloof, be like Ruth.
    Be like Ruth of Bible days of yore who loved,
    Who set example, how it was meant to be, truth
    Prevail and conquer unjust acts of wrong in thought, doved
    By the Holy Ghost who distills upon thy soul– peace,
    Love of life, and all within thy sphere of influence,
    To be loved by you and me, meant to be,
    That love should prevail, even as "the Master" did, confluence
    Of one another into the river of life, to be,
    Or not to be, one in thought, in harmony, Yes,
    Go forth as one who knows the feeling of love,
    "He who loves, it will be well with him." You’ll
    Learn to love by doing what love doth require above:
    It happened once upon a time, love befell my soul.

  16. Nancy J

    So many wonderful poems this week.
    lain – I love your trapped version of ‘based on a famous poem’
    Taylor – Roadkill Fox, vivid and touching – Trapped in the Evening News compact and thought provoking – Trapped in the Telephone Survey, I truly hate those surveys, never answer a call from an 800 number.

  17. Nancy J

    Ooops…forgot the title.

    Trapped by the Calendar (or not)

    Frigid days and endless nights add melancholy
    to a world already too dreary to venture into. I reach
    out one hand for the morning paper and slam the door.

    More bad news, until, at the bottom of page five,
    a small advertisement – ‘Spring Seeds Are In.’
    Salvation has arrived at the hardware store.

    Wind and blowing snow are no match for rekindled
    joy. I bundle up, throw open the garage door, turn
    over the startled engine. Life begins to flow through
    both our veins.

    A small display, just an early start, paper packets bearing
    photos of bright flowers and fat vegetables. I fill my sack
    with potential miracles.

    There is a kind of strength in fertile soil, even if it comes
    in a plastic bag. Poking seeds into tiny fiber pots, I catch
    the fragrance of marigold and summer squash, a pleasure
    banked like embers in my memory.

    Nestled in a grow frame on top of the refrigerator and
    nurtured by the artificial warmth of my house, my seeds
    begin the task of germination. And here, in lifeless
    January, I begin to think of winter in the past tense.

  18. Nancy J

    Frigid days and endless nights add melancholy
    to a world already too dreary to venture into. I reach
    out one hand for the morning paper and slam the door.

    More bad news, until, at the bottom of page five,
    a small advertisement – ‘Spring Seeds Are In.’
    Salvation has arrived at the hardware store.

    Wind and blowing snow are no match for rekindled
    joy. I bundle up, throw open the garage door, turn
    over the startled engine. Life begins to flow through
    both our veins.

    A small display, just an early start, paper packets bearing
    photos of bright flowers and fat vegetables. I fill my sack
    with potential miracles.

    There is a kind of strength in fertile soil, even if it comes
    in a plastic bag. Poking seeds into tiny fiber pots, I catch
    the fragrance of marigold and summer squash, a pleasure
    banked like embers in my memory.

    Nestled in a grow frame on top of the refrigerator and
    nurtured by the artificial warmth of my house, my seeds
    begin the task of germination. And here, in lifeless
    January, I begin to think of winter in the past tense.

  19. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    In the need for teacher’s approval

    I loved Mrs K. with a fifth grade girl’s single minded devotion
    She wore dangling turquoise earrings and spoke of traveling each ocean
    She said that I was special and let me write away at will
    I loved her for the lacquered chopsticks in her hair, but more for how she saw me still

    A child, she called me an artiste and flattered a young adoring hungry mind
    So when her good graces threatened should not surprise anyone that I became unkind
    Because I loved Mrs K. and she a little bit loved me
    I overlooked the many ways, in fact I’m sure I loved her for her eccentricity

    On the day  she did a random search of book bags and picked me
    Emptied it out onto her desk for all the class to see
    A pencil with a chewed off tip, a crumpled paper, an orange rolled off to the side
    Nothing yet embarrassing, nothing necessarily would I hide

    As she went around the room and asked my classmates for any feeling
    She stopped and found a side pocket drew out a comb stuck with hair and sent the class off reeling

    Because I loved Mrs K and wilted at her disappointed stare
    A lie slipped loudly from my lips, "It is not mine, not mine, that disgusting comb right there
    It is my little brother’s I’m carrying it for him today
    And to my shame she told me to go get my brother and bring him there that day

    My brother was so happy when his big sister appeared at his first grade classroom door with a note from Mrs. K.
    He skipped down the hallways holding my hand softly singing all the way

    In my room he stood crew cutted smiling at Mrs. K’s desk alone in front the room as did she in a booming voice to him say
    "You are a dirty little man" waving my comb in his face and never once, then or since, did this little boy, his big sister betray 

    My blood beat thick and hard from my heart up to my throat to pound into my ears
    As I sat silent in blatant betrayal’s shame in the name of misplaced love trapped freshly squirming through the years       
     

  20. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    In the hourglass

    I used to look at hourglasses with a passion and a joy
    Peeking back from time to time it was a favorite toy
    The lovely way white sand gently dropped grain by grain to
    Intrigue me with crystal curving wasp waisted rushing through
    I used to look at hourglasses joyfully from the outside in
    Bewildered I am unclear when it began that I started to see them from within

  21. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    In tract housing

    My parents drove
    Each sunday
    To look at houses
    I walked with them
    The good child
    While my brother
    Waited in the car
    Walked through other
    People’s lives
    Found the bedroom that
    Would be mine
    Peered at their trees outside
    Left with their cooking
    Smells in my hair lingering
    As I slept in the room
    I shared in our apartment
    Each Sunday my parents
    Drove to look at houses
    Fragments of other lives
    Clinging to my shoulders
    Inhaled into my lungs
    Houses large and lovely
    Streets where oak trees reached
    To meet each other
    Until one Sunday
    My parents drove
    And stopped at acres of
    Plowed overturned land
    Separated by plywood sticks
    Numbered close and
    Anonymous as soldier’s graves
    We walked all of us through
    The mud until my father stopped
    And pointed at the stick in
    Which we would live our future
    In that cemetery of surrendered
    Imagination I held close the collected
    Flotsam of floating memories
    Of all those other houses
    Held close the keys to my
    Eventual release from
    Mediocrity of the stifled soul
    Trapped within the pride of my parent’s
    Achievement

  22. Colette ;D

    ~ Nightmare Trap ~

    Drowning before falling in,
    running on a slippery dock,
    sitting on a time bomb
    in a room without a clock;

    stumbling with scissors,
    staring contest with the sun,
    standing on hot concrete
    with nowhere left to run;

    gasping in outer space
    with no tether to the shores,
    the one way back is laden with
    all the trappings of trap doors;

    with cement shoes underwater,
    feet get out of hand–
    don’t wake up on the
    wrong side of the quicksand!

    Tightroping on a power line,
    expecting a deadly zap,
    don’t fool around with a dreamcatcher—
    it’s time for a nightmare trap!

  23. Dennis Wright

    I especially like "arguing with Dad" and "Trapper John". I favor those short poems, but mean not to slight the longer ones. Good work Daniel and RJ!

    Robert talks about expectations a reader might bring to a poem. When I saw the title "Trapper John" I thought of MASH. My expectation was pleasantly disturbed.

    Atlanta in snow on the ground for sometime … That’s an image that’s unusual. I was there for a conference a number of years ago in June. Such pleasant weather. Took the Underground everywhere and had a bite or two to eat. Even went to Turner Field and the Coke Museum. All in all a good trip. But Atlanta under snow for a long while, now that’s something!

  24. PSC in CT

    Getting a late start, beginning a new year.

    Some of my favorites for this prompt: Nancy P, Connie, Joe H, Sam N, De J, Sharon I. Nice job folks!

    Salvatore, looks like you & I are on the same page. 🙂

    Fearless
    (she thinks them)
    running barefoot on the lawn
    spinning in the rain
    open arms & eyes & hearts
    unafraid to
    test their wings
    trying to fly
    certain of success
    while she
    frozen at the portal
    umbrella in hand
    watches
    wistfully

  25. Selma Cobb Dean

    To A Hatemonger

    With eyes that can not see light
    because of the dimness of your heart,
    you may never discover the pleasure
    of loving someone different from yourself.
    In a small and forlorn world,
    how lonesome you must feel.

  26. Taylor Graham

    TRAPPED IN THE TELEPHONE SURVEY

    This is where the wild, toothed and taloned
    words submit to somebody’s agenda.
    Questions with non-negotiable answers
    (always/sometimes/never) about Exercise

    and Diet (blessings on our garden’s chard
    lasting well beyond its summer promise,
    but slumping with another frost as we
    do, aging humans in this winter – months

    of swiss-chard boiled, sautéd with garlic,
    chile-stirfried, comfort-soup, or slivered
    into salad – all this, our luscious bounty
    lumped statistically into Leafy Greens).

    And you and I, in this survey, remain
    anonymous (never/sometimes/always).

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