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.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

On Sunday evenings from 9-10 p.m. ET, chat poetry on Twitter with the #poetparty hashtag.


Find publication for your poetry!
Use the 2011 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer. It contains articles on the business and craft of poetry. Plus, the 2011 Poet’s Market includes hundreds of poetry publishing opportunities, including listings for book publishers, magazines, contests, and more!

Click here to learn more.

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

197 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 130

  1. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    The Pocket Hand

    Keep it there inside
    your sweater out of
    sight remember
    on this first day of
    school keep it there
    out of sight
    Let your other hold your
    lunch, your crayon
    whatever you might need
    to reach
    Keep that other there
    inside, though the
    stove-top burns
    stick to the wool
    keep it there
    unless you want
    a matching one
    Remember, home business stays
    at home
    Keep it out of sight

  2. Cameron Steele

    Rob Halpin – "Peter" so sharp, so good.

    Sara V – adored "The Eyes Have It"

    Joe – "Wrestling Match" I read several times, full of a feeling I know well, and Anders’ "Oh really"

    Thanks so much to De and SE Ingraham. Thanks to all of you, for the happy reading.

  3. S.E.Ingraham

    A few (very few) comments:
    "Plant Three Thousand Trees in the Desert" – Pam Redmer, I’ve been MIA lately and so your work is relatively new to me – now, I’ll be watching for it … this is, IMO, brilliant!
    Cameron Steele – "The other man" – "…letters sharp on my tongue along my throat rolling between teeth and lips the way bodies did …" – delicious words and phrases to turn over and over and I do, again and again.
    Dearest Pearl – what vat of prodigious-output pills did you dip into? So many and all of them so fine! You go girl …
    Nancy – yours is simply wonderful; as others have said (here and on that other site) the last stanza is a special surprise and gentle lesson wrapped into one …
    Patricia – "Angels" has me weeping every time I read it …

    There is so much good work here – hard to comment on everything – oh, one last I must mention – Sara V – "The Eyes Have It" – yessssss

  4. S.E.Ingraham

    On the Other Hand, What’s Left

    There are parts of the world, still
    Where the left hand is reviled
    Or used for things like wiping
    Your ass so don’t dare offer it

    To shake another’s; there are
    Parts of the Dark Continent where
    You might even suffer having
    It hacked clear off – the left

    Is considered that much evil
    In places there still and the history
    Is apparent in languages throughout
    The planet – some examples:

    “Gauche” in French, of course
    Has commonly come to mean
    Awkward, clumsy, or other things
    Of this ilk, even to many English
    Speaking folk – for what could

    Be cooler than to be cruel
    En francais? In Hindi, “Ulta Haanth”
    Literally translates to the opposite,
    Wrong, or bad hand …

    And the Indonesian’s “Kidal”
    While sounding cutesy with their
    “Lefty” actually means something
    Quite impolite …

    Mexican’s “Chueco” means
    Twisted or non-straight but
    That’s nothing compared
    To the Portuguese’s take

    “Canhoto” there is a popular
    Name for the devil and when
    Not being bandied about
    As a moniker for Satan

    Means simply clumsy or badly done
    Still nothing very nice;
    In Italian, the left-side is “sinistra”
    For – what else? Sinister

    And of course, Latin is right
    Out there with it – sinister
    The root of it all …
    The Italians will also use “Mancini”

    On occasion – meaning
    Crooked or maimed – giving
    A sinister meaning even unto
    The lame …

    The Irish say “Citog” for left,
    Or stupid – although how
    The two are synonymous
    Is beyond me …

    On the other hand
    Perhaps the lefties
    Of the world should unite
    And go to Argentina or Sweden

    To live, as both of
    these countries regard
    Left-handedness in a positive
    Light …

    The Argentineans with the “zurds”
    Who are seen as quite intelligent
    And the Swedish, who call
    Theirs “vansterhant”

    “Vanster” means the “favourable side”
    And is related to the word “friend”

    In fact, both of these countries
    Wonder if there might
    Be something about the right-handed
    That’s not quite – well, right.

  5. Daniel Ari

    "One possible answer"

    Beside and beneath the rows of wheels,
    the crow moves her crumb with a sound like “mine!”

    At last, I’m in short sleeves again, a Hawaiian print
    that attracts bees. The neglected sidewalk back
    to my desk, cars pass above and beside me.
    This is Marin and the world. Summer promises
    a tiredness, the urge to unplug while deadlines
    turn brittle; anyway, I’d just as soon get fired,

    drop to sand as warm as wintertime flannel or
    into grass to become the tomato in the salad,
    to penetrate the backyard, treasure map in hand,
    and stop there by the broken statue, twining
    cobwebs around my pinkie. Setting out to rake
    the leaves from the library of last autumn,
    I stay to the shaded stacks, then let the piles sit.
    They could melt away while I rest on a stucco wall,

    using the stillness to try to unknot this feeling,
    this urgency, this incessant incessantness
    that something must be done, now and always,
    faster, more efficiently, for the good, for me,
    for you, to make everything worthwhile.

    Such is the knot. Such is the shady spot.
    The smell of jasmine will move me
    when we are ready. There is no energy crisis.


  6. Joe

    Wrestling Match

    I wrestle with demons
    in my exorcise routine.

    I pin them to the mat,
    but they always bounce back.

    It bothers me to see we’re so evenly matched.
    Maybe it’s a good thing, I don’t know.

    I should write a mental fitness guide
    to help people get rid of their own;

    on the other hand, the devil you know…

  7. Mike Bayles

    Some Day

    She said she left the painting at home
    I said I was glad to see her again.

    She said she had been working hard on it
    from the red and blue splotches on her hands
    I could tell.

    She said she’d bring me a poem
    and I was sure
    it would be as good as the others.

    We spent the night holding hands
    and talking about plans and promises
    some kept and some not.
    While I was under the spell
    of the music that played
    I thought of a dance
    if not now
    maybe some day.

  8. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    The Hand

    Not always did she understand
    Not always did she, in support squeeze your hand
    Yet on the other hand
    Hers was the first you felt
    From inside out
    I’m just saying
    On the other hand….

    Happy Mothers’ Day


  9. Melissa Hager

    Thank you, Autumn! And Corinne, you remind me so much of my sister-in-law. She would be having a hernia if one of her nieces or nephews was doing what your niece is doing.:) It is great to have an aunt that loves you that much!

  10. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Thank you MiskMask, Andrew, and Mike G.

    Walt good fun today….

    Mike …of course I’m still on a roll can’t help it …in the nature of round objects…lol

    Night to all:). ( or Night " tonsil" if IPAD had its way.)

  11. Autumn N. Hall

    So funny, which poems strike home; many thanks to Nancy Posey, Andrew Kreider, Ivanius, Melissa Hager, de jackson, Connie Peters, Jane Schlensky, and Miskmask for the kudos and support re. my daughter’s messy room!

    Melissa Hager (Devil’s Advocacy) what a great way to spell out a call for compassion (the literal definition of which is "suffering with" another).

    Laurie Kolp (Dictatorship on the Other Hand) loved the opening "Gypsies spin colorful yarns;" very lyric expression of some tough ideas.

    Catherine Lee- What about "Earning Your Stripes" for a title with dual meanings? You have the stars of the flag represented in the poem, so the stripes might make a good counterpart.

    Walt-so THIS is the Hotel California; I always wondered what it would be like to stay there…

  12. Jane Shlensky

    Hiho, Friends. Sorry it took me so long to get back to read, but I must say it was worth the wait, with wonderful poems here. I especially liked the poems of Rachel, Autumn, Nancy, MiskMask, Michael G (God’s Left Hand), Joseph H, de Jackson (she’s got 3 more cheeks to go, but who’s counting?), Bruce and Joseph B (good use of quotations as launches), Catherine Lee (love your images), WyomingD, Buddah, RJ (I’m also a revisionist), and PKP (good job getting us going). Walt, your comment about a month-long family reunion deserves a poem of its own. I’ll get back to you, ha!

    Also thanks so much for mentions from Nancy, Joseph H, de J, MiskMask, Andrew K, Melissa H, PKP, and Ivanius (you’re so right about travel filling blanks while it introduces others). And yes, friends, I took that swim many times over, in the nicest possible way;-D.

  13. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    No Off Switch

    Could stay awake
    And see where this might take
    You and I, to see where we might land

    Whether in rhyme or no
    Hold my hand and go

    Or, let go, for on the other hand
    The sleep man has arrived sprinkling sand

  14. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Through the sounds of silence

    At the end of the street
    Where the park starts to green
    The tip of a thrown baton can be seen

    The poets writing on pads, pcs, and Blackberries
    Stilled for a moment at the approaching pleasant cacophony
    At first some miffed to have this intrusion stop their collective hand

    Until one to the other
    Recognized the joyous strands of the PA marching band

  15. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    She believed the messiah had already lived, died and been resurrected
    He believed in a legacy born of history not faith

    They both believed in each other
    On the other hand

  16. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Then there’s that

    You are too stout
    your breath often far from sweet

    Well you are the lumpiest
    woman that did I ever meet

    Yet both would remark on the self same feat
    When eyes lock, and hands move, and stout meets lumpy
    There is only pure symphonic under cover elegance, each breath matched
    In wild love, beat for beat

    So on the other hand
    then there’s that

  17. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Counting on fingers and toes

    Decided to count by hand as they say
    Poems written this month for PA ONE A DAY
    one a day did I say?
    was that what I said?
    Then how wind up did I with over 250 from this mushed head

    On the other hand, to a quick conclusion I came
    The PAD challenge is not a cumulative numbers game
    ONE A DAY that is written both stylistic and emotionally terrific
    Beats hands and feet down thrown words empty of all but prolific

  18. Sally Jadlow

    The Friend


    You’re the best friend ever.
    Always there, attentive.
    Within earshot at ever need.
    Loving, kind, sympathetic.
    A sterling example
    if there ever was one.

    On the other hand,
    maybe not.

  19. Walt Wojtanik


    Live by your choices.
    Your voice is clear and concise,
    a device to express all
    that beats within your chest.
    The best case scenario is scary,
    but oh, what an adventure it presents.
    Take your pick and stick with it.
    This or that, the choice is yours.
    Live by it.

  20. Walt Wojtanik


    Self-taught at an age
    that said I should not know.
    But I’d go to the keyboard
    poking and prodding, with my father
    nodding his approval.
    There was never a removal
    when I finally left home.
    Mom requested I leave it
    for my father to hone his skills.
    It was a thrill to play for them
    and to know I had a hand…two hands
    in bringing pleasure to their ears.
    Over the years, I still play the
    songs that touched their hearts.
    It’s where I got my start,
    poking and prodding, still
    holding the hands that played.

  21. Sara V

    The Eyes Have It

    The eyes are windows
    To the soul
    Not the nose, not
    The mouth, or the chin
    Features that age a face
    Than the eyes
    So, perhaps a veil
    Just below, the low-
    Er lashes
    May be better
    Than Botox

  22. Hannah Gosselin

    Laurie and Andrew! Thank you both so much! I’m glad I have all week to read and think about some more poem writing @ here.Everyone have a great night!


  23. Cameron Steele

    The other man

    Yes, I will name you.
    Each morning I feel your
    letters sharp on my tongue along
    my throat rolling
    between teeth and lips
    the way bodies did.

    I am sounding it all out:
    When I threw Vodka-tumbled
    bones into you first
    and the other night we wound
    ourselves around something not
    entirely sweet
    but good and sweaty –
    also the evening flight along
    roads I didn’t know
    my head against you – we are
    breathing, aren’t we?

    On silted, rainy noons
    I will call out to you or
    Feeling is carried by names
    wiped upon my lips like a kiss.

  24. Pam Redmer

    Plant Three Thousand Trees in the Desert

    Nine one one is the national call for help
    Now that anger, shock and horror
    Have begun to be mitigated with a big death

    What was it all about, really?
    What hurt so deeply felt promised
    Acting out so spectacularly?

    The atomic bomb ended a world war
    and also let mankind know
    at last he had the power

    to annihilate himself
    his unborn children, his pets
    his borrowed world.

    Is it too soon?
    How many years must pass
    Before humanity asks and

    responds beyond reacting,
    with spectacular acts
    in lively lovely ways?

  25. Mike Bayles

    Some Day

    She said she left the painting at home
    I said I was glad to see her again.

    She said had been working hard on it
    from the red and blue splotches on her hands
    I could tell.

    She said that she’d bring a poem,
    and I was sure
    it would be as good as the others.

    We spent the night and holding hand
    and talking about plans and promises
    some kept and some not
    while I was under the spell
    of the music that played.
    I thought of a dance,
    if not now,
    maybe some day.

  26. Michael Grove

    Thanks de jackson and Melissa Hager.
    Pearl, you are still on quite a roll…


    A penny saved
    is a penny earned.
    Time that’s wasted
    is a lesson learned.

    But you can’t take it with you.
    Nor neither then can I.
    I’ll give it all away,
    before the day I die.

    It’s wise to plan ahead
    and have a will,
    Your change of heart
    prepares the codicil.

    Good fortunes of the past
    were planned for two.
    Now only one remains
    here thru and thru.

    It’s me who will decide
    where it will go.
    All cautions to the wind
    about to throw.

    Happiness it’s clear
    can’t buy you money.
    Not happy here my dear?
    Now, that is funny.

    Money isn’t everything.
    Desires are not needs.
    It can’t buy you love.
    It can buy me seeds.

    Just look inside your soul
    as I most certainly will,
    and hold my head up high
    as I prepare the codicil.

    By Michael Grove

  27. Walt Wojtanik


    One hand washes the other,
    and this truly makes sense.
    Because one hand washing itself
    is awkward and contorts,
    you resort to rubbing your hand
    against something else
    and in the process you are washing
    that which you rub with your dirty hand.
    One hand can wash everything else,
    but one hand can not wash itself.
    On the other hand…

  28. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    To work now…reaching for balance between heart wrenching of Rachel and smiling Walt’s chiding of begatting… Remember this is an on the other hand poem… not all are in the valley of crash and not all have no kill switch….on the other hand….. 🙂

  29. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Oh Rachel… Started just a few moments of bottom up reading… You stopped me on my tracks. Riveting wonderful writing…the. child ‘s innocence and the holding of the trsy…truly stunning.moved to tears.

  30. Rachel Green

    She’s Just Sleeping, Aye?

    Perhaps she’s sleeping – taking a nap in the afternoon isn’t uncommon
    and my sister is white-faced and calm-voiced for no reason at all.
    “I’ve phoned for an ambulance,” she says but there was no need –
    not if mum was just sleeping on the floor of the sitting room
    with her head resting on one crooked arm.

    “Go to the bottom of the drive and wait for them.”

    perhaps the ambulance men have something to wake her up and tell her
    “Your kid’s home from school love. Time to get up.”

    I stand on the roadside, waiting, looking down the hill for the ambulance.
    It’d come from Redditch, wouldn’t it? So up the hill from the village,
    not over the canal bridge from Longbridge or King’s Norton.
    We have a long drive with an obscured entrance so I stand opposite
    and point when the van comes into sight, then run after them back to the house.

    “She’s just having a little sleepy, no?”

    The two men are jovial, friendly; careful to make light of everything.
    “Someone’s been doing a bit a first aid, aye?” One smiles at my siter.
    Probably he’s flirting with her, not trying to put her at ease. Not
    forestalling the hysterics that will come when he can’t wake our mum up.

    “We’ll pop her to the hospital, aye?”

    They load her onto a gurney and down the front steps into the van. My sister goes too
    and as the head down the drive my dad turns into it from the bottom
    and has to back out again to let them past, then waits and follows them away.

    I’m left alone, still holding the wooden tray I’d spent all term time making for her
    as the house falls silent around me and the dogs wag their tails at me.

    I never saw her again.

  31. Tracy Davidson


    On one hand
    I’ve never believed
    in God or
    the Bible
    or in the existence of
    any afterlife.

    Then again,
    on the other hand,
    I’d be glad
    to be wrong
    if it meant I’ll see my mum
    again when I die.

  32. Joe

    Mind You

    I know where I’m going.
    I’ve been there before.
    I could give a lecture
    on taking the best route possible.
    I know sometimes I seem
    a little lost, like a hunter
    in the woods without a compass.
    But, you gotta have faith
    and a lot of persistence
    to reach your destination.
    Mind you, a map would be
    so much quicker.

    Don’t Mind Me

    Don’t mind me, I’m just getting
    your bearings straight
    Mind you, it’d help if you just
    learned to focus
    Don’t mind me, I’m just collecting
    your thoughts
    Mind you, I haven’t perfected the art
    of mind reading
    Don’t mind me, I’ll figure it out
    for myself
    Mind you, it’d be so much easier
    if you just helped me

  33. Walt Wojtanik

    Pearly, Looks like there’s a whole lot of begattin’ goin’ on! When is this let down supposed to happen? I’ve been revving since ’09 and this "energy" has fried something for sure, but not my kill switch. Someone stop me before I rhyme again!

  34. Kris K

    On The Other Hand
    She was sent to the streets to beg
    Children in tow
    Signs poised, scarves in place
    Lowly dog aside her family
    They sat as statues
    Downward facial features
    No joy, frivolity, fun
    Their job was to work the streets
    Dropped off, sent out
    Observed and protected from a distance
    Later to be retrieved, a job
    A ploy, a scam
    Regardless, the sculpture of their faces
    Couldn’t hide the pain
    On one hand, they were being groomed, groomed
    To work the streets, a system
    Part of their way of doing business
    On the other hand, women
    Children, people with needs
    Seekers of love
    Chasm-ed between the demands of their culture
    And a world with needs just like you and I

  35. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Annie ….wow…. Kudos to you
    De… Looks like you are doing it.. great image threads from sweat socks
    Jane…Ah that trip…a vacation in more ways than one….thank you for taking us along….will I ever forget snaked German frisbee players… What a wonderful image of complete comfort in one’s skin and could feel the water calling you…

    A note on being burned out…. Think it is interesting that we functioned as a group…..high energy days begat high energy …. Some individuals difficulty poem selection begat others indecision….now the sense of as I believe Robert put it and well, the " marathon" ending has begat some self reflection and a bit of general malaise….
    On the other hand…..think we’re all in the valley of the after crash….which follows intense periods of collective energy….

    Or on the other hand……


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.