Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 125

Believe it or not, we’re less than a month from starting the 4th annual April PAD (Poem-a-Day) Challenge. I’m very excited! Here are the guidelines. Please share with anyone you think may be interested in the challenge.


For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Better Off (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles might include “Better Off Dead,” “Better Off Alive,” “Better Off Playing Video Games,” “Better Off Minding My Own Business,” etc. I know I’ll be better off poeming.

Here’s my attempt:

“Better Off Upside Down”

Even in the dark I’m hanging on by a thread
enveloped in my sheets and waiting for sleep
to take me like a cow in a field waits for other
cows to move or the way a bird sits on a branch
and rests long enough to hop to the next one
while keeping an eye (an ever wandering eye)
out for predators or prey or whatever it is
that I should be searching for though maybe
the problem isn’t that I’m waiting but that I’m
searching when I should be more like a bat
hanging from the roof of a cave or attic and
wrapped up in my comfortable sleep devoid
of any stray thoughts or worries or dreams.


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66 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 125

  1. Justine Hemmestad

    I’m better off believing the show,
    And though I wear no tattoos
    To publically state
    My selfish demise,
    I did carry a ring of hope,
    Lost forever to the ashes of silence
    Now and forever a shadow of the past.
    Because I wear no tattoo to show you,
    I am unarmored against your show,
    Your lecture and your guidance –
    Too rude to be admirable.
    I’m better off believing the show,
    Revealed to be a lie or at
    The very least not heartfelt.
    But the show is all I can see
    You drill it into me indirectly,
    Until the show – not revealed by you
    But by God –
    Becomes my reality.
    Beat that.

  2. Justine Hemmestad

    Would I be better off with no strife,
    No struggle and no plight?
    Would I be better off with
    Crowds and yet be free?
    No, I would be better off with
    The turmoil that more than
    Leads me to the door,
    More than points the way,
    I am better off with the conflict that pursues me in my sleep,
    And wakes me up with a slap of truth,
    But resuscitates with the joy of evergreen.
    I am better off with the pain,
    Never having missed a moment of relief.
    I am better off loving you,
    Than never loving you at all.

  3. Walt Wojtanik


    Secrets were kept,
    swept away with your remains.
    One of the stains on my heart
    started when we were young.
    We had sung that song many times;
    many rhymes under the bridge of reason.
    It seems like treason that one so fair,
    of Auburn hair, could have been so violated.
    But, I am over the pain. And again you have
    invaded my nightly mystic visions. Dreams remain a
    derision of heart and mind, left soulful but lacking.
    I cherished your backing to resurrected my muse.
    But I refuse to blame my ambition for being unaware
    of your condition. These poems became the seeds of you
    that I continue sowing. As far as the extent of your anguish went,
    I can’t believe I was better off not knowing.

  4. Taylor Graham


    I’m ten thousand miles from Tuesday
    and its trembling trees, temple of seasons.
    How I miss the touch of tendrils, teasing
    tramp of trails. This town’s a technologic
    trap of term-limits, triggers, trying to turn
    truth to tabulation. I’m tired of topics
    and turn-arounds, too much traffic
    exhausting throat and lungs; tired of taxis,
    tourists thumbing through slick tour-books,
    traipsing to every trite attraction. To
    each his own, they say. To me, time
    turns thick, a tedium of trickling gutters.
    I’m a trick turtle, trampled to asphalt.
    Tomorrow I’ll take a ticket home.

  5. Taylor Graham

    (a Welsh Englyn Cyrch)

    What cuts deeper, first or last?
    You left us five seasons past –
    August golden in the field,
    rich yield against New Year’s blast.

    I taste for words on wind, I’d
    read them with my lips and hide
    the promises you’d never
    write. If ever you would bide.

    You never once looked behind
    with eye indifferent or kind.
    Fields are gone to stubble, cut.
    Where you went, what did you find?

    We trim, scrimp, hunger. Your smile
    must sunny somewhere awhile,
    then move beyond horizon.
    Our brief sun across scrubbed tile.

  6. MiskMask


    A pillow wedged against my neck and ear
    conjuring dreams of crushed walnuts tossed in fresh
    spring greens and golden honey glistening clear.

    Thought I’d be better off asleep; why’s fasting
    never fast. A tapestry of dreams with amber chipped potatoes,
    bejewelled with salt and dripping molten duck fat down my thumb.

    Tomorrow’s my annual fasting blood cholesterol test.

  7. Walt Wojtanik


    So, a few less dollars grace my pockets,
    and no sky rocket celebrations in the offing.
    And maybe my offspring don’t inherit any more
    than their mother’s good looks
    and their father’s well turned phrases.
    At this phase in my life, my wife and I,
    though preferring a lifestyle upgrade,
    have decided that our pride and upbringing,
    could have us singing in the rain,
    instead of preying on that rainy day pittance.
    Our daughters have learned well, and it tells
    in the way they carry their grace and name,
    and although they are not the same by any stretch
    of my over-active imagination, they know their staion.
    It might seem that we have no ambition to position
    ourselves on the ladder of success, but I guess
    raising these beauties with an eye towards
    bettering themselves and the world around them,
    is worth its weight in a life well lived.
    We’re not well off, but are much better off in the long run.

  8. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Better Off This Way
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    I am terrified
    of giving in to it,
    afraid that
    if I dare hold hands
    it will step off the ledge
    and simply take me with it,
    a murder-suicide
    despite my objections,
    even if all I wanted
    in the first place was to
    simply save its life.

    This is why
    I can be friends with you
    no longer.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  9. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    Better off Them

    Clouded head parts way
    For rays of clarity
    To bite the edge of my vision
    For it is better now
    To be off them
    Than be someone I am not

  10. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Better Off

    Was walking the boardwalk
    Just out for a stroll
    When approached in the sun
    By a creature uncannily much like a troll
    A dismal troll creature who pulled at my coat
    A bleary eyed gray guy aromatic  of goat
    Right there in the sun 
    at the edge of the sea, with dirt crusted hands that were rather slippery
    That were rather slippery right there out in the sun
    He wheedled on about whether I was coming inside, was my betting begun
    As he wheedled, and groped, his red eyes glittered, above teeth of a yellowish green
    As an emissary of the open mouthed casinos 
    He was quite a turn upside done stomach sight to be seen 
    Never was ever a  bettor never once tempted to play
    And walking the boardwalk, stopped as virginal prey
    The dismal, foul creature, convinced me not at all of the " charms" of his way
    Turning I on my heel letting the sea breeze offer an arm
    Led away from the slippery slope that would lead only harm
    Walked again on the boardwalk again free in the sun and fresh air of the sea
    Better off, not betting, at least for a troll sensitive sort such as me

    ( with apologies and honor for the great "Doctor Seuss")  


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