Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 130

It feels like forever since we’ve assembled to poem with a new prompt. However, I’m pretty sure it’s only been four days. I’ve been catching up on deadlines that passed last week while I was sick, but I still managed to sneak in some lines here and there.

For this week’s prompt, write an “on the other hand” poem. This kind of poem already supposes there is a certain view and then goes about exploring the other (or another) angle. For instance, maybe it seems like crossing the street without looking is a bad idea; on the other hand, it may (or may not) be advisable to take your chances if you’re being chased by a masked guy holding a knife. Anyway, have fun thinking on this one.

Here’s my attempt:

“Stood up”

Maybe she was detained at work
and forgot my cell phone number
and couldn’t look up the number
for this restaurant, because her
Internet access crashed and then
when she finally decided
to leave the elevator stopped
between floors and since the other
employees had left she was stuck
there until a janitor heard
her cries for help, and then he called
maintenance, which sent someone in,
though it took a while, and once she
was finally freed she realized
she needed to call a new cab
and just went home, because she knew
a cool guy like me wouldn’t wait
all night–until even the bar
closed–before heading home alone.


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197 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 130

  1. Megan

    oops just saw the bottom line did not go through


    You lose the smile
    the fraction of a smile that shines
    behind the fog of the daily immersion
    in lostness in a solitary break
    you miss the flash
    the streak
    of mind shorn free of blankness
    and it is gone and again
    the glass eyes of frosted thought
    greets you

  2. Julieann S Powell

    But I’m Not

    I’d quit playing cards
    and my poetry would be avant-garde

    I’d quit being a flirt
    and stop wearing my mini-skirt

    I’d quit dancing the Latin style
    and we’d walk down the aisle

    If I were the kind of girl, you think I am.

  3. Taylor Graham


    But I’m bringing Yankee pudding.
    Two quarts of milk from Millie, our red cow.
    A quart of Indian-corn from the garden,
    hand-ground to meal, scattered like seed
    into boiling water, lest it clump.
    A pinch of salt, dainty or brazen, to taste.
    A cup of sugar. At the very last, nutmeg
    (don’t ask how much – there’s stories
    about nutmeg!). Hot oven, three hours.
    Partway through, a gill (again, don’t ask)
    of Millie’s sweet milk
    to soften the crust and form a yummy whey.

    I’ve heard some folks cheat with skimmed
    (what would Millie say?), molasses
    and other stuff, and eggs beaten
    till they stand alone. But mine is the real
    thing. Genuine Revolutionary.
    Plain, home-grown, hand-made.
    Nothing like it, to stir a potluck up.

  4. Salvatore Buttaci


    On the back of his right hand
    he sports a bright-red tattoo
    of a woman walking towards him
    to represent all the lovers
    he has known in his lothario life

    on the other hand
    the obverse of the right
    he demonstrates a goodbye tattoo
    the walking-away back of that same woman
    now dressed in a wake’s black dress

  5. Pam Redmer

    On the eve of the next Wednesday, just want to add a big thank you for all poetical expressions. Thank you Robert. Walt, I will explore Poetic Bloomings as well. I remain delightedly yours,
    Pam Redmer
    P.S. Just found "How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love With Poetry" by Edward Hirsch. There was the message in the bottle, the postcard!

  6. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    john doe
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    he was frozen when they found him,
    a glacial christ with arms outstretched
    cuts and welts, well past healing
    underneath the stubble, the dirty nails
    the mites trailing flesh to new fallen snow.

    he’d been there for some time
    by the look of his gaunt corpse,
    taking in sin and the best barbarism
    the city could ever hope to muster up
    in the projects.

    on the other hand,
    in a land far far away
    a woman and her son would go on
    picturing him on an exotic beach,
    palm trees, white sand, shades
    umbrella drink in each hand
    celebrating his new found freedom.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  7. Sam Nielson

    (Methinks he is a bit teechy about it!)

    On the Left Hand

    Sinestra, a mano nero,
    The less holy one,
    That appendage on the
    End of my left arm,
    Does its duty there.

    So far it has not
    Failed me in writing
    My name, waving like
    Or unlike the queen
    (Hand-hand, elbow-elbow).

    Somehow socially it has
    A cast, something out-
    Cast-ishness to it,
    Don’t know where that comes
    From, but like Popeye

    I yam what I yam, and
    I still roam at large
    In public with it freely
    Uncovered and I offer no
    Apology for it.

  8. MiskMask

    … and of course I understood that, Pearl. Thank you for your heartwarming comment. Emma is my joy, and even though we live on opposite sides of this planet, I always feel she’s close by in my heart. But better yet, she and her baby brother and her parents are coming here to see us in 3 weeks. I can hardly wait! Sometimes life can be very, very good.

  9. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    MiskMask…… Emma Discovered the Telephone……! Frame it …keep it for her! You melted if course, but I melting? Great poetry! Kudos and happiness to you….wonderful encapsulation of an ephemerally beautiful moment. I still feel like I can hear her. " sweet voice so petite floating" AWWWWWW melting………

  10. Chimnese

    On the other hand of both sides

    There are always two sides to every story,
    It’s always the other hand compare to the other
    So it goes in relationships
    The one always blaming the other for their
    mistakes for what went wrong.
    You give them one hand and they want to take the other.
    To be on the other side of the hand
    Is never a good thing when you know
    There is no turning back.


  11. Walt Wojtanik


    The crossroad ends at this juncture,
    a puncture to you psyche; a stab to
    the heart and soul. Toes straddle
    the point of no return, it is up
    to you to discern your next best move.
    Not long ago, you held your groove
    slotted for success. But lest you forget,
    you are now in a rut and your voice
    cannot hoist you out of every predicament
    you encounter. The pressure mounts
    and you can count on one hand every stand
    you had ever taken; shaken to your core
    and wanting more. The chasm is wide.
    Can you afford to ford its expanse?
    Then again, can you afford not too?

  12. MiskMask

    Thanks to Amy and Autumn for your kind and supportive comments. 🙂

    The following doesn’t come across entirely clear as to the thought perking in my head, that a little girl’s first phone call to her nana is a very special milestone … but …. on the other hand she’s apt to want her own phone soon. 🙂


    A first for me
    perhaps not for her.
    Perhaps for her
    the first of more.

    "Hi, Nana," her sweet
    voice so petite floating
    through the telephone line.
    Down and under the sea

    kisses in my ear.
    I melted. Our first
    phone conversation, long
    distance, short but sweet.

    A first for me, for us.
    Confidently speaking
    to my voice against her ear.
    A first, I think, of
    many more to come.

    Emma discovered the telephone.

  13. Joy Cagil


    Pliers, wrench,
    chisel, screwdriver,
    hammer, nails,
    nuts and bolts,
    Such useful tools
    to repair kitchen cabinets.
    On the other hand,
    none of them
    can fix a life
    when it goes awry.

  14. Kim King

    Still reeling from April and trying to catch up. Some really great poems here this week. I am impressed with the vigor that PAD poets have shown.

    I wrote a poem, but now I don’t think that it fits the prompt. I’m too tired to create another one, but it’s my take, "on the other hand"…

    The Astronaut

    He shouldn’t look, he knows, or meet her gaze,
    but eyes that blue are cosmic dusty stars
    that draw him near. The vortex spins, he’s weak
    again, those lips, that skin, her body taunts
    his vow to keep away. She pulls, he steps
    outside the ship, immersed in deepest space,
    to touch the planets, Milky Way and moon.

    His breath condenses–– vacuum icy void.
    The pressure aches, auroras tease, the Earth
    so far, so small. But tethered lines are hooked
    to ship and home, so orbits soon must end.
    The gravity releases cosmos, dark
    and endless universes. Cold, he floats
    and shuns those eyes that burn his empty soul.

  15. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    This will appear on my blog later, but I’m on a community ‘puter that won’t "download" WordPress.

    Cat of Nine

    In a cafe on a blissful Madison spring morning.
    I sip coffee and poem peacefully,
    A harpist sets up his hand-crafted instrument,
    intricately carved, and he plays with his heart on his sleeve.

    Spying his technique from the side,
    I see calluses, thick pads on his finers
    as he deftly navigates the strings
    to bring forth delicate melody.

    His other hand surely must bear the same scars
    of practice, of pursuit of that elusive
    perfection – real musicians know
    it’s ever out of reach, but the muse still coaxes us on.

    I look again at that other hand;
    he has only four fingers. He’s a vet
    who lost his ring finger in combat but
    chose beauty over bitterness on his long road home.

    See nine strumming fingers thrumming Celtic chords.
    Watch the strings continue to vibrate as sound reverberates.
    Feel his joy, throw a few bucks in the tip jar,
    and take that love with you as you leave.

    (With a nod to Phil Keaggy as well, a guitarist who lost a finger in his youth and is a master at acoustic playing.)

  16. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Pearl Girl, loved your simply delightful "Left Hand," and your tribute to your mom was amazing. Rough road produced a wonderful child.
    Brenda, "Maybe," touching.
    Mike Bayles, reflecting on clapping, great. All musicians and actors LOVE YOU!!
    Stacy, sorry for your loss, but what a beautiful poem was brought forth from the ashes of grief.
    Sharon, my sister is a southpaw; teachers tried to force her to use her right. My mom was in the classroom THAT afternoon to set them straight. Great thought about "the other hand."
    Sally J., I’ve had a lot of those, but I hope I’m not one.
    Walt I was self-taught as well and know how much pleasure that brought my folks… and gave me a career for many years. Great, and thanks for that one.
    Sara V., loads of Muslim women in my new apt building, and they can’t wait to unveil their faces when they get home, no matter the wrinkles, but I get where you’re coming from! We should talk sometime, by email…
    Michael G., your meditation on money and values is well done.
    Benjamin T., first time reading you. God, I thought I was the only one who wrote that way! Literally…
    Arielle, your take on truisms is biting and funny as hell.
    Nikki, I always remind myself I don’t have one two cheeks to turn, but four, and the mooning is the best part, LOL.
    Misk, the painting is vivid, compact, and moving. Thank you.
    Buddah, "and it’s OK to let the sun catch you crying…" Loved this, bruddah, even with its bittersweet – make that truly sad – end.
    Randi, I know what you’re talking about, in detail. Glad we spoke…
    J. Harker, the End Times as "a moveable feast, always next year," is so true. I’d copy my Fundie sister on it, but it would just make her mad, and that would be mean… You nailed it!
    De, too many moments of loveliness (and conquered regret) to count today. Glad I had time to do some reading…
    Peace to all, Amy

  17. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Bruce – only have a second here, because I’m going off to church, but wondered why you don’t post your PA poems to your blog. I clicked on the red name and found only a few. Your poetry about the hysterics over bin Laden’s death was spot on and deserves a wide viewing.

    Will come back and read more later, even if I don’t post. Peace to all, and yeah, I’m with Bruce about not high-fiving over the death of bin Laden. Spilling blood won’t avenge anything or bring back a single soldier – or limb, or mind ravaged by PTSD. Peace, Amy

  18. Brenda Olmsted


    I saw him once at the supermarket
    Buying baby formula and diapers,
    A child tucked under one arm, another
    In the cart securely strapped to a car seat.
    The ring on his finger proclaimed he was still married
    or maybe he dreamed of a life that would never be.
    He looked so harassed and forlorn
    I smiled as I passed, but I did not speak,
    Too caught up in my own list of needs.
    Later though, after the market was closed
    And I was driving home from work, I
    Remembered his weak smile and the dirty
    Faces on those two bundles.
    Maybe it was the color of their eyes,
    One brown, the other gray.
    They reminded me of my own sweet babies
    tucked away in bed the last night I saw their shining faces.
    The next morning I was half way across the state.

    Maybe one day, when I am old enough
    To be brave, strong enough to be someone’s mom—
    Maybe that day—I will walk back into their lives.


  19. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    An On The Other Hand Mothers’ Dsy

    To the girl who had every understandable reason to open her hands and let me go
    Or perhaps to lock me in a prison of resentment for her foreshortened horizons
    For that girl who instead, held on and, with wide flung arms – opened
    a door onto limitless tomorrows, brightly lit by her competence and her dazzling smile…
    For my mother, singer and believer in the sanctity of "Que Sera, Sera"
    Thank you, for being assumimg the mantle of mother when not more than a girl, and in turn raising a girl who always fervently believed that no matter what else she might achieve, her greatest joy would be creating life and being a mother. It is nice to know we were both right!
    Thank you for being there on both ends of this journey of love fantastic.

    a few seconds ago · Like

  20. Taylor Graham


    A hilltop fort –
    earthworks entrenched
    in British history’s dawn.
    Who dug them? Why?
    We speculate
    as sun moves history on

    and on. Romans,
    Saxons, Danes? I’m
    dizzy with thought. A swan
    passes over
    battle trenches.
    The men who dug them? Gone.

  21. Lori Thatcher

    Walt, I have to admit that I started reading comments from the bottom up and was really curious to see the poems "Designer Watch" and "Tiffany Jewelry," after your comments. Duh.
    You are so funny.

  22. LBC

    137th Kentucky Derby Day Luck

    Months, Weeks, Days, Hours of
    Decided in the two minute Run for the Roses
    Fortune, Fame, Future
    On the grace and beauty
    Of horses bred to run
    Study past performances
    Handicappers pick the odds on favorite
    Claiming to know who will win
    Ticket in hand
    For the horse of favorite color
    Has the luck to win.

  23. Mike Bayles

    To Clap

    One’s not enough,
    this futile swing of one hand
    stirring empty air.
    It takes two
    to make the sound
    like thunder
    to draw attention
    to my thoughts and intentions,
    or to create the rhythm
    for The Beatles’ song
    I Want To Hold Your Hand.

    One’s not enough,
    this futile grasp
    to complete the embrace,
    no, not one,
    but two.
    Two is the number
    of two hands
    clasped together
    around a loved one,
    and the oneness of me
    is never enough
    to satisfy the longing
    of one soul
    seeking unity,
    and when alone
    it falls silent
    like one hand
    stirring the air,
    never enough
    to clap.

  24. Heiberg


    I sing the song of blues.
    I sing it while I
    watch you
    catching my eyes
    and now
    I sing it
    for you.

    Oh, little baby,
    I’d sing whatever tune soothes your
    I’ll have your right leg
    the rhythm
    ever so

    I sing the song of blues.
    Just on
    the other hand,
    my poems
    sound better.

    Oh, listen

  25. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik


    " an iced nail on which her dreams would hang"
    her mythical" smile
    the image of this great, genteel lady with the strength to hold up the sky!

    Thank you Stacy for opening my tightened chest, with your love….
    You have done your grandmother beyond proud…. Please submit this somewhere…
    I am melted with tears
    Perfect for Mothers’ Day….my sympathy for your profound loss that you have transformed into a thing of immortal beauty!

  26. Stacy L. Kersten

    This poem was written in memory of my beautiful grandmother who passed away just last week. Though my words probably don’t suffice to the light she brought into so many lives, this poem is my honor to her.

    On The Other Hand

    Her smile was as bright
    as the most piercing
    of sun-stretched day light,
    an overhead screen
    for which one’s worries
    could display before the fade.

    She was a southern belle
    so beautiful that even
    the sky would wonder
    if each birth of star
    weren’t just an iced nail
    for which her dreams would hang.

    The gentle enlightenment
    of an old lady’s stare
    where you’d debate what
    rumination lay behind tired eyes,
    sagging at the corners
    though still dancing
    as forward was the only step she knew.

    Even amidst the throws
    of anger, as she sometimes was
    over fried potatoes
    or the moonshine smell
    of her third husband,
    her smile was as mythical
    and broad as a moon stream.
    And the sky used to wonder
    the strength she had to hold it up.

  27. Walt Wojtanik

    Great to see that Pearl is keeping pace. Some good work flowing even after the PAD (no lull in quality).

    And I see some new names here as well:

    Designer watch and Tiffany Jewelry, both decent efforts, albeit rather rambling. I suppose poetry is an acquired taste. Keep working at it. And remember, not everyone can be poetic. Maybe your calling lies somewhere else.

    christian louboutin – just too many syllables in your monoku for my liking. I know we all take advantage of our poetic license from time to time, but yours sir should be revoked!

    Coach – Everyone double clutches on the prompt from time to time. A little lighter touch on the "Save Comment" button might prevent this in the future. I do like the repetition within the poem itself. Is that a French form?

    Great job poets!

  28. CJillFriend

    The House of Vera The Mouse

    Nan once told me to practice 111111
    Pause the One
    A poinsettia about patience

    The Art of the Cross Sticth….something of
    Practical Practicality, patience born upon a women
    Of everlasting spelling moths and
    An age of Living. Garden sisters calling out
    To the wanted Sister…

    In pure mice holes, had could you had seen that at one time you did see that you
    Cared for me?

  29. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    The Two-Handed Princess

    There once was a princess in Faraway -A princess who had every intention forever and more single to stay
    She would not give her hand -to any man in the land, nor yield to her father or the demands of her mother
    Instead taking to emerald hills she escaped with her young stallioned muscle ripped lover
    Riding him bareback, bare-legged, pumping air with one hand and then the forever free other
    In unbridled joy, head back in free-hair blowing wind, she shouted skywards " Forever Free and Away"

  30. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    It would have been nice

    It would have been nice
    if they both had been there
    former and current
    standing in the bright
    sunshined blue sky
    So reminiscent of the indelible day
    It would have been nice
    For all, family members, rescue heroes,
    bystanders, those gone and those here
    and viewing the scene in faraway lands
    It would have been nice if
    they both had been there
    Completing an arc from
    threat through horror to
    this ultimate halt
    it would have been nice

    On the other other hand
    there were those that would
    say that the former was not
    giving the current his one single day
    Others viewed the declined invitation
    as a not subtle rebuke

    Finally, on reflection of this other hand
    squandering a second opportunity for
    a moment of authentic unity against hatred is truly
    more than enough to make any rational
    empathic lover of possible peace
    quite simply, quite basically, quite despairingly


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