Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 124

Sorry for the late post today. I was on the road all morning traveling up I-75 N. If you saw someone like me at a gas station right off the Interstate in Tennessee or Kentucky, that very well may have been me.


For this week’s prompt, take the title of a song (whether you enjoy the song or not is optional) and make that the title of your poem; then, write the poem. The fun thing about this prompt is that you can go through your iPod, CD collection, record collection, 8-track collection, etc., and listen to a few fun tunes before figuring out which poem to write.

One more note: Your poem does not have to echo or pay homage to the original song. It’s totally fine if you want to write an ode to “Jailhouse Rock” or “Material Girl” or whatever Justin Bieber’s song titles are, but it’s not mandatory.

Here’s my attempt:

“California Girls” (by the Beach Boys)

All these parties, these tide-swept beaches
lifting and dropping buoys like gulls
drifting in the breeze. She seized my cool
fall–my heart covered in sweet peaches.

Everyday fool
every where teaches.


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87 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 124

  1. Taylor Graham


    Lightning flash, almost instant
    sends you down an unknown alley
    into the nearest open door –
    an eatery known to locals, gnats,
    and flies. Who could explain
    what’s on the menu?
    Who could direct you to find
    your hotel,
    or the famous minaret?
    Travel, they say, is an empty
    room where you might
    see your fate without its mask.
    Or maybe it’s the face
    of a stranger in a foreign
    land where no one
    speaks your language.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Beauty & the Beast
    (by Stevie Nicks)

    I never doubted your Beauty…

    There were little moments
    of Truth
    of Light
    of Clarity
    where you simply let go
    and let your true inner reaches
    bleed through the fibers
    of your skin
    your clothes
    the void surrounding you.

    I would fall in your shadow…

    is empowering
    if you simply let it,
    a piano soliloquy
    against the darkness
    to guide you back
    to safe melodic harbor
    and me.

    There is no Beauty without the Beast…

    You must embrace
    the ugliness of man
    out of fear
    out of habit
    out of love
    in order to survive,
    lest you die of grieving
    when I leave.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    A Daisy Through Concrete (the Eels)

    Look through those ill fitting
    Rose coloured spectacles
    And find what you were
    Meant to find
    Reach out my darling
    And fingers will brush
    Pushing on through
    The cement
    Unfurl your petals
    And guide me away
    Bring in the cool
    Light of day
    Dancing upon
    The yellowing marsh
    Push out and
    Take us away
    Nestled in the rubble
    Of daisy like buds
    And curl your hands
    ‘Round my legs
    Move on and peel back
    The flaking excuse
    Push on through
    The cracking concrete
    Reach up for
    The rain
    Looking through those ill fitting
    Rose coloured spectacles
    And find what you were
    Meant to find.

  4. Dennis Wright


    PAD is where is submit poetry and comment. I haven’t the time to keep up a blog. Maybe after I retire I will have the time.

    Lots poems written to songs I remember that I am enjoying reading. I choose a traditional song. Maybe I could have attributed the Gene Autrey version. His was the best known. He was an extraordinary musician and song writer, even though he did not write Red River Valley.

    Guy Clark, one of my favorite song writers, wrote many references to the Red River in his songs. There is a Red River that runs along the Texas/Oklahoma border. I don’t think it goes all the way from Texarkana to Baton Rouge as it says in the song "Baton Rouge" Clark wrote with Rodney Crowell. That song was one of the songs subject to hints in the poem.

    So I’m not sure I exactly followed the rules…

  5. Taylor Graham


    for Elihu Burritt

    On the best days of our lives, we push beyond
    the world we know – Norse adventurers –
    you translated their sagas, deeds
    of daring that showed them a New World.

    Here you at the very tip of Scotland, Pentland
    Firth, the fierce Norse Sea. 700 miles
    by foot to get here. Late September:
    Winter’s knocking, your umbrella worn out

    with storms. That old life calls your name,
    lists its obligations. Tomorrow,
    you’ll board the coach for London.
    Would you change the end of this story?

    New worlds – just across the Firth, the Orkneys
    beckon, and beyond. Make of your skin
    a sail, your hand a rudder. With God’s wind,
    isles to be discovered. Best of a life.

  6. Walt Wojtanik

    THE AIR THAT I BREATHE (The Hollies)

    Inhale and hold it in,
    close your eyes and exhale
    letting your angst and fear sail
    to another plane. Relax and begin again.
    It’s like a friend once said
    (and it’s stuck in my head)
    that breathing is a sure sign
    that life possesses you;
    it caresses you with the wonder
    of being under it’s spell.
    It works out well. Each expansion
    of a weary chest is the best potion
    for keeping you in motion.
    Life giving indeed. It’s all I need.

  7. Miskmask

    Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart

    A flute, but no, the wind whistles
    through the window frame
    A viola, but no, the rose bush brushes
    against the window pane
    A drum, but no, rain drops dripping a
    tap in free flow flooding my ears
    with a little night music

  8. Walt Wojtanik

    FREEDOM FOR THE STALLION (By The Hues Corporation)

    Liberated. An open romp
    devoid of pomp, the circumstances
    leave you wanting more.
    It’s an open door that beckons,
    a reckoning that has escaped
    your thinking. In every inkling
    you feel the urge; a surge of
    excitement entices. It would be nice
    to kick up your heels and reel into
    a full gallop, windblown mane
    and tail sailing. But fences are restrictive,
    a vindictive confinement. Toss your head
    and trot instead. You were bred to run.
    Any hurdle is yours to clear,
    release your fear and be free.

  9. Walt Wojtanik

    THIS MASQUERADE (by George Benson)

    Incognito; lost in anonimity.
    The road map to your heart
    remains unfolded. I’ve been holding
    it for far too long.
    Streets no longer lead to you.
    Detours and dead ends for friends
    who had gone further than an atlas
    could direct safely, leaving us unprotected,
    a bloody wreck at the intersection
    of heartache and despair.
    We’ve put on aires for far too long;
    it was wrong and we can blame ourselves.
    Hearts are returned to the shelves
    along with every broken dream. It seems
    these masks hindered our view.
    I truly wish you happiness and joy.
    Just don’t toy with the next poor slob.
    These head-on collisions could kill you.

  10. Mariya Koleva

    This one was difficult, for each time I picked a song title, I would not come up with any words of my own, but just the lyrics! Finally, I stopped thinking, which, sometimes, is very beneficial, you all know, I’m sure. And here is what came to my blank mind:
    CALIFORNIA DREAMING (The Mamas and the Papas, 1965)
    Is it possible I dream of California?
    Never seen it, never will.
    And that’s, in fact,
    what’s in a dream.
    And a link to my post:

  11. Dennis Wright


    Great poem. Vonnegut seems to say the problem with violence is it is a simple weapon against oppression. To this thought we might add violence can be fickle and take up with anything, including oppression. Most often it goes to the impatient.

  12. Dennis Wright


    I hear tell an iPad will do you like that. Me, I rely my fingers to provide typos. It’s less technical and more organic that way. I think Frank Lloyd Wright might be proud of my adherence to the organic. Then again, he might buy an iPad if he were here today. Gotta think of all possibilities as Yamada would say.


    Substance explodes into essence. The intense colors are too much and not our taste. What remains is connection by similar fate. I agree, hate and destruction live in the same skin. He who visits has the advantage over he who stays.

    Limbo? Not heaven, but not quite hell. One has to know too little to qualify. Oh, I see. Neither here nor there. Well, she can be gone if we let her go. Ah, but we want only part of her to go: the part that plays the fox to our prince.

  13. Taylor Graham

    for Elihu Burritt

    London, 1851. Prince Albert’s Crystal
    Palace, temple of industry and brotherhood.
    Peace congress in Exeter Hall.
    But Elihu, your own government wages
    Indian Wars. People say, it isn’t time
    yet, Mankind’s not ready for peace.

    Who would hold back the dawn?

    1851. War in Schleswig-Holstein.
    The First Sikh War has ended,
    with the Punjab bathed in blood.
    Anglo-Burmese War about to start,
    Crimean War just two years off.
    The Mexican-American War is over,
    but your homeland
    moves toward Civil War.

    Who would hold back the dawn?

    Hasn’t Mankind spent ages enough,
    you ask, oppressed, at war, benighted?
    1907: Exeter Hall torn down.
    The Crystal Palace became
    a landmark for German bombers;
    in 1936, destroyed by fire.

    Who would hold back the dawn?

  14. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Dennis…thank you! I had no idea of this history! I did love to watch Perry Comoro at my grandparent’s house…. Music and the poetry of the lyric takes us do many places, thank you so much for adding these comments. The " beat" of a song’s lasting magic…certainly does go on!

    Thanks to all who have awakened songs sleeping and now singing … enjoy the weekend!

    A note to Sara V. Your first poem was of my favorite song…it is a wonderful world. " soul sistah"

  15. Dennis Wright

    I remember watching the Perry Como show celebrate the year ____. Perry said one could "stand on any street corner in any city that summer and hear this song…". The song was Good Night Irene sung by Perry’s chorus of singers. It was, of course, a big hit for the Weavers.

    The next day I went to school and told a friend. He said he watched the Dick Van Dyke Show and I should too. I tried out Dick Van Dyke the next week and never went back to Perry Como. Even so, I remembered this song and now play it as part of my song list.

    It has the rare quality Pearl describes. That quality is a feeling of belonging to the listener. When I sing that song I get a clear picture of the story.

    Interestingly, it comes from the 1890s. Huddie Ledbetter(Leadbelly)learned it from his uncle, but often gets credited for writting it. Arlo Guthrie tells a funny story of Leadbelly selling the song to several record companies one day in Chicago. It was a counter against his getting paid less than a white man.

    At one point Alan Lomax shared the credit with him. The first appearance I find is in a musical in the 1890s. When I found this information I heard another aspect of this song, one that sounds a bit like boardwalk music.

    Great poem Pearl. You see all the places it took me…

  16. Dennis Wright

    This poem belongs with this prompt

    The Red River Valley

    “I’m gonna follow that ol’ Red River down,
    ‘til I see the lights of town…”
    Guy Clark/Rodney Crowell – Baton Rouge

    A blind man stood on the road and cried.
    The old song said he got lost and died.
    I heard he cried in pain, "show me the way".
    I wondered what made him blind, ‘til today.

    For an old grey man stood on his last legs.
    Said he’d tell me the tale if he could beg,
    A meal at some diner that he liked to eat.
    It weren’t too bad, had plenty open seats.

    So we sat right down, ordered us a meal.
    He had coffee and toast. I had oatmeal.
    It was half into the third cup he began,
    Said he knew the pain of the ol’ blind man.

    “Well, what pain was that?” I asked of him.
    He just ran a finger over his coffee cup rim.
    Then he looked out the window at the street,
    And he spoke right out in a steady ¾ beat.

    “Someone told him the one and only truth.
    Then he had to pull out his last eye tooth,
    When he found the truth was not the truth.
    For he got to Texas and no one said adieu.”

    You can believe what you want to believe.
    You can buy alligator shoes to help you grieve.
    You can stand alone there on your last legs.
    Just to tell a tale to find a meal to beg.

    But if someone sells you the only truth,
    Hold on fast to your one last eye tooth.
    For truth may be just some waiting dream,
    That seeks fewer tales with more steam.

    And who cares if the Red River found,
    Was so way up north, and not Baton Town.
    It’s only details we find around the rim,
    Of a larger day out there for you to win.

    Dennis Wright

  17. Walt Wojtanik

    WRAP MY WORDS AROUND YOU (by Daniel Bedingfield)

    In the night, you approach.
    A wafting wind to warm me,
    a gentle hand to soothe my anguish.
    I am inspired by your beauty,
    a vision to feast upon,
    a voice to quell an angel’s sigh.
    And I, merely a mortal man,
    a word monger striving;
    surviving this life through verse.
    Sometimes this blessing is a curse,
    a perverse ability to seduce
    the mind and heart. I am an upstart
    in search of the phrase that will
    open you, longing for the rhyme that will
    infect your spirit with an unending love.
    Find solace in my wile;
    take comfort in my words.
    Warmth and security emenate
    from within my verbose blanket.
    To you, I offer the rendings of my heart.
    Wrap my words around you.

  18. AC Leming

    Super Nova (Eminem)

    I shouldn’t like him
    but his twisted words
    speak to me.  

    He sings his hate, 
    his fear.  He echos 
    in my head.

    Misogynistic lyrics 
    spew from lips, 
    soft in my ears.

    His fate, my own.  
    Stuck in limbo, 
    shall I stay?

    Murder all feeling 
    in explosive heat?

    Or leave, let us go our
    separate ways and let 
    empty space save me?

  19. Sara V

    Robert loved the line "heart covered in sweet peaches" Nice!

    Hey Soul Sister

    Sister of my soul
    Borrow these eyes
    Of mine
    And see your
    Shed the past
    The fears
    They are not yours
    Adventure and love
    Are your right
    Your destiny

  20. Tracy Davidson

    The Final Countdown (by Europe)

    20…The adrenaline kicks in.
    Months of waiting for this day,
    the training, practise, preparation,
    all leading up to this moment,
    the most important of my life.

    15…Final checks are being made
    at mission control, we pray
    there’s no last minute glitch
    to force an abort mission
    and delay our long-held dreams.

    10…I think of my wife, watching
    from the observation platform.
    She’ll be more nervous than me.
    I feel a sharp pang of regret
    at leaving her for so long.

    5…Oh my God, this is it.
    4…No turning back now.
    3…Our long journey begins…
    2…to seek out intelligent life…
    1…on a strange blue world called Earth.

  21. S.E.Ingraham

    Wow – you guys knocked my socks off today – I’m tempted to do Locomotive Breath (Jethro Tull) or Rocky Raccoon (Beatles White Album) but I’m cowed by the foregoing – nicely done fellow poets …

  22. Daniel Ari

    Dragostea Din Tei
    (Love Beneath the Linden)
    (AKA “The Numa Numa Song”)
    (by O Zone)
    (Link Below)


    At first hear, I imagine carefree gypsies.
    European earth-bums, worshiping the Mayans,
    Buddha-mother Maya. A tribe of laughter yoginis,
    led by an olive-voiced Fabio Depp saying
    “Come and dance now! Be free! Be here now!”

    I hear “Hello! Hello!” I hear “Yay! Numa-numa yay!”
    A melody to earth, all invitation and joy.
    The overweight man at his computer—
    grouper mouth opening to usher in their cries—
    what else can he or anyone else do, but dance

    and sing the world into being?


    Maya hee. Maya hoo. Maya ho. Maya ha-ha!

    Sent you a “Hi, Duke.”

    She’s a terror?
    Oh, you be a man,
    a mess there.



    Sent you a pic.
    Ah, so…

    Send a beep.

    She’s so unique.

    There’s no such thing.

    Nu. Share my drink.

    Friend, I pledge thus:
    Numa, numa yay! Numa, numa yay! Numa, numa, numa yay!

    Keep her there.
    She dragged your static day.
    Now my desk,

    Day soon.
    Said, “spoon.”
    Yes, seat
    a coon.


    You be a man.
    Seen taro fettuccini?


    Sent her to a show:

    Picasso’s sunhat—

    She’s so unique.
    There’s no such thing.

    Nu. Share my drink.

    Friend, I pledge thus:
    Numa, numa yay! Numa, numa yay! Numa, numa, numa yay!

    Keep her there
    She dragged your static day.
    Now my desk.



    Google points out the phone,
    the song’s “beep,” discovered and instantly

    out-of-date, a seven-year old
    Romanian model. Videos

    of glam young men. One says he’s Picasso,
    an outlaw, and that she wants to leave—

    without him. All seems hopeless
    for the pop singer and crew, there

    on the airplane wing. What can they do
    but dance in the limited space of

    the plane’s fuselage?
    But the linden trees—what are linden trees?

    That’s the only gypsy—
    I mean mystery—that remains:

    the linden trees.


  23. Bruce Niedt

    Walt: Found it!


    He thought, he thought
    to himself:
    “I’m as welcome as the taxman.
    I’m only sleeping through
    this love-life,
    I’d love you to
    tackle me, kiss me
    here, there and everywhere.
    But I’m a coward with
    submerged emotions –
    a yellow submarine.
    I wish I was a doctor – Robert Young
    type, gray, authoritative –
    then you’d notice me.”

    She said, she said
    to herself:
    “I’m lonely as Eleanor Rigby.
    I want to tell you
    I’ve got to get you into my life.
    I imagine us on a good day – sunshine
    streams through windows –
    there’s a canary in your kitchen
    and your bird can sing
    for no one but me.”

    Will they keep revolving
    around each other
    like beetles to a bulb?
    Or will they make contact?
    Tomorrow never knows.

  24. Sam Nielson

    Close Your Eyes (James Taylor & Carly Simon)

    Door’s open. Come in and sit
    Some time for me. Don’t know where
    I put the book, maybe the counter
    Over there or next to the chair.
    I don’t read no more.

    I think I’ve read nearly everything
    That’s out there, it’s just more words
    And words still say the same thing,
    Anyway. No matter it. No matter.
    They don’t go nowhere.

    "you can close your eyes, it’s all right
    I don’t know no love songs,
    and I can’t sing the blues any more.
    But I can sing this song,
    and you can sing this song
    when I’m gone."

    You see this here bones don’t behave
    Anymore. They complain at everything.
    I didn’t used to worry about bones.
    I knew they was there somewhere
    But I’ve nearly named them all, now.

    Listen for the phone, if you would.
    It’ll likely ring in a short spell.
    You can hear it into your bones
    Just let me rest here awhile first.
    "You can stay as long as you like."

  25. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    A Woman Is A Sometime Thing – Porgy and Bess

    Freud was rumored "what do women want? to ask
    DaVinci painted one with a simple smiling mask
    Boticelli had another glorious in an open sea shell bare
    and in the shower my father would sing in a loud baritone there
    "..A woman is a sometime thing…Yeah…A woman is a sometime thing…"
    sang he strong with happiness and unrestrained, and unknown tone of glee
    that confused the small girl child that was then listening me
    Were women fixed, displayed for all to question and see?
    or were women cloaked in joyful, respectable, invisibility?
    And why sometime and why a thing?
    What for me as a woman would the future bring?

  26. Sara McNulty

    Robert, I love this prompt! Here’s another:

    Love In An Elevator (Aerosmith)

    Did you ever go down
    in an elevator, face flushed
    sudden rush of adrenalin,
    high flying, perfect timing?
    As the doors slide
    open, you wonder
    if they are buying
    the looks of two
    innocent smiles.

  27. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Hatikvah (Israel’s National Anthem)

    I didn’t know what the word meant
    Knew only the up my spine song chill that was sent
    Tiny girl singing of something related to a country new
    Superimposed on mountained brutalized bodies in documentary view
    A happy song in a language that she did not know
    Filled with the feet of dancing in a far off land’s glow
    Around her old people sung with tears in creases streaming
    Younger people sung louder with misty eyes gleaming
    Youngest adults, linked arms and sometimes danced circles in the aisles
    their faces turned forward, laughter bursting life from uncontained smiles
    I didn’t know what the word meant
    I knew only the up my spine song chill that was sent