Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 016

Sometimes, it’s healthy to have a nice long rant about something. Ranting can become painful for those around you if it’s all you ever do. But taken in moderation, it’s a nice way to let off your own steam–and it can also open a window for others to let off their own steam (if they’ve experienced a similar situation). So why not apply the rant to poetry?

For this week’s prompt, I want you to write a “rant” poem. You can discuss politics, religion, global events, weather patterns, that guy who cut you off on your way into work (not speaking from experience, mind you), or whatever.

Important note: I expect everyone to act like civilized human beings in the comments below and not attack each other over what they decide to rant about. If you wish to point out a spelling error or line break suggestion, that’s one thing; but please, don’t attack someone’s political or religious views. On this blog, we are all poets.

With that said, here is my attempt for this prompt:

“It never fails”

It never fails: Always around eleven–
in the evening, mind you–there is a new
mother ushering her young children into
the laundromat, telling them to quit whining
and running around. Never fails, always a
different mother, around eleven. Now
I’m not one to stand on a pedestal or
pick up a nice stone for casting, but come on,
where are these mothers coming from, and where are
their husbands? But we all know the contents of
that Pandora’s Box, don’t we? Dad done run off
and left momma with the baby and mortgage
payment. Dad done run off and wash his greasy
hands. Always around eleven, a new mom
walks in and eyes me, wonders if I’m some Prince
Charming who’s good with kids–after all, I fold
my own clothes and even Dad could not do that.
But it never fails: By the time that mother
labors into the laundromat, I’m folding
my clothes and trying my best to just get out.


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91 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 016

  1. S.E. Ingraham

    Tyger Tyger burning bright
    you and your son haunt my dreams a night
    You know I love your "Levels" – putting the poor on top
    And "Irrelevant" although sad dwells within my teardrop
    Tyger Valverde I’m so glad you write
    Your son’s lucky to have such a strong white knight


  2. ann malaspina

    Sixty Children

    Sixty children died in
    in Afghanistan at midnight
    while they slept.
    American planes came and went,
    metal wings bright in the starlight,
    bombs loosened, targets exploding,
    like an ambush in the Wild West.

    It’s our Wild West now,
    this battered land of
    secret mountain caves, poppy fields,
    and the Taliban, rising.
    Afghani children, caught in the crosshairs,
    burn in the fire; we fly
    away, forgetting already.

  3. Terri

    Why do men feel the need to "hawk loogys?"
    You know what I’m talking about right?
    They call it "clearing their throat,"
    but it sounds more like they are
    coughing up their intestines.

    Before boys hit puberty, and full phlegm potential,
    they begin practicing.
    Soon they are projecting great, green gobs of
    spit and snot onto the church parking lot
    for all of the little old blue-haired ladies

    Alright, I’ll admit, I tried it. . .once.
    I was suffering from post nasal drip
    and had been re-swallowing the same
    hunk of gunk all afternoon.
    On my trip to Walmart to purchase some Mucinex
    I could stand it no longer.
    I rolled down the window and let one fly,
    only to have it change directions mid-spew
    and come back to hit me it the eye.

    Women cannot hawk loogys.
    So, ok, maybe I’m just jealous.

  4. Linda Whipple

    Tyger, wow, i can feel that frustration…
    it has been wonderful to read all of your work, the feelings come right through.

    If a person doesen’t get
    what we write without regret
    those things we say do not appeal
    to those who simply cannot feel?

    Hope to see yah on the next prompt guys!

  5. Tyger Valverde

    Try me again

    Try me again on a Monday
    when I’m not worn down
    by the week yet
    when I don’t beat my head
    against the wall
    in my quest to help
    my disabled son
    give me a few days to calm down
    after arguing with
    government officials
    after proving once again
    to a caseworker
    that I’m not trying to
    pilfer the system’s resources
    Let me breathe a day or two
    and figure out
    how in the world I’m going to work
    and pay my bills
    and not abandon
    my helpless child

  6. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    To All PoeticAsiders,

    I wish our entire community could go out for a beer (or in my case, a mochaccino (skim milk, extra chocolate, whipped cream, really REALLY hot. I’m not picky, am I?).

    There is so much to say about these posts – mostly from school-related professions, poets who are struggling to string together their thoughts, and political rants.

    This has been the most productive Prompt since the one about marriage. Thanks, Robert!! Amy

  7. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    As if.
    Not good enough
    My ass
    I’m so over
    This wanky crap
    Your poem will not
    Be used in this
    Why not?
    Not good enough
    My ass

  8. Iain D. Kemp

    Linda – What is & is’nt poetry we leave to the great unwashed (or god forbid! the intellectuals) I love both pieces! Me? I’ writing insane letters between two crazy baseball fans… I don’t know if it people think they are poems but as I’m a poet. well… they must be… Quid pro quo or as we say in Spain 1 quid = 0.8796 Euros!!


  9. Iain D. Kemp

    Well everybody is having their say & that’s how it should be… Sure as your born you just had to know that sooner or later dear sweet li’l’ ol’ Moosie gonna haul off & let rip at his long time antagonistic buddy….

    Dear Ringo,

    So where exactly do
    you get off bitchin’
    at me? Got my Mom
    moanin’, got my sister
    whinin’, hell even my
    slut whore thievin’ cuz
    is bustin’ my ass cos you
    can’t keep none of the above
    mentioned any where near but
    happy! Damn it all, you may
    be condemned to an eternity
    in hellfire but the least you
    could do is take these harpies
    wid ya! yeah, sure they’re my
    family but you wanted in so
    you gets what you pays for!
    Anyhoo… if the big D cuts
    you any slack I got tickets
    for the game Friday… pick ya
    up at seven ( bring girls & dog
    money… man I love those Yankee
    Chilli Dogs… )

    Yours right back atcha…

    (unexpectedly pissed!)


  10. Rodney C. Walmer

    I left out that my daughter inspired this last poem, while discussing how to deal with the A/P tomorrow, as she will be helping me set up my room.


  11. Rodney C. Walmer

    Assistant Principal from Hell

    I return to her floor
    She’ll be there
    as soon
    as I walk through the door

    She haunted me all last year
    not a day passed
    I would pray
    she was not there

    Often I was asked
    why take the long way ‘round
    I would only mask
    my feelings with but a frown
    but, there was little to hide
    most knew what was going down

    Very few day would pass
    when she would not create
    more problems for us all
    to most she was a true ass
    it turned out to be my fate
    to spend a year on her floor
    to make matters worse
    in a class
    without a locking door

    She would side
    with the parents
    and children alike
    though I’d abide
    by her rules
    just one complaint
    and she’d give me
    out of spite

    Well this is a new year
    thankfully, I won’t be up there
    I’ll be down here
    a floor away
    I will still
    have to hear what she has to say
    still have to pass her each and every day
    still have to smile
    although, I don’t feel that way
    but, like most
    I honestly hope and pray
    she will retire some day. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 8/24/08 a rant on the assistant principal from Hell.

  12. Linda Whipple

    Just to prove I’m not all Dr Suess:
    cut through time
    constantly through me
    within my soul
    torment from life
    away bad things
    they remind you
    to be victimized
    by those people
    to your shore
    river steals foundation
    the bad ones away
    (I don’t even know if this can be categorized as poetry sorry guys, I write for my own benefit.)

  13. Linda Whipple

    Just to prove I’m not all Dr Suess:
    cut through time
    constantly through me
    within my soul
    torment from life
    away bad things
    they remind you
    to be victimized
    by those people
    to your shore
    river steals foundation
    the bad ones away
    (I don’t even know if this can be categorized as poetry sorry guys, I write for my own benefit.)

  14. Linda Whipple

    Sharon-mine too!
    No problem Rod, stuff comes out like that sometimes and there’s not a darn thing i can do about it, I’m just really happy no one has pointed out the typo yet…(Well of course there u go…)
    I composed mine here in the Comment box, and missed it.

    Here little typo,
    come hither to me
    I’d like you to meet
    mrs spelling bee

    a quiet aquaintance
    but frank you should know
    a staple to writers
    she helps us all grow

    come say your greeting
    no more hiding for you
    I’ve a small, tiny detail
    I should be attending to

    (Yeah, yah Rod, I know)

  15. Sharon Ann

    It’s my first time posting to the Poetry Prompt. All the previous entries were so well thought out. Not given to rants very often I came up with this thought upon waking this morning.

    Rant about Rants

    Take your bad attitude home.
    Don’t give it to me.
    Keep it to yourself.
    Projecting your problems on the
    screen of my life?
    Making your problems my problems?
    Take them home.
    I don’t need them.

  16. Rodney C. Walmer

    here is something I wrote on writing in general, it applies to rants in that, we often write to release that negative energy in a rant.

    More is not always less

    He sat down
    to pen a line or two
    not quite certain
    what he planned to do

    He had always found
    writing relaxed him
    free’d his mind
    to sights and sounds

    within each thought
    his release was found
    a simple escape
    in a world fraught
    with means to bring him down

    Just a moment or two
    away from the daily stress
    it was not in lieu
    of doing his best
    just a means of proving
    more is not always less . . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 8/23/08 on writing.

  17. Rodney C. Walmer

    Linda, "The agents" was well written, and says so much, about how we are often just a number, and not treated like human beings. OTOH, I hope you are not offended by this, but for some reason, it seemed to read to me, like a Dr. Suess poem. 🙂


  18. Rodney C. Walmer

    In the heart of us all

    What he did was wrong
    there was no doubt
    but, for him
    that’s not what it was about

    Never once, not one time
    had he thought
    I’m committing a crime
    He’d simply had enough

    He did not bother with the clues
    He just did what he had to
    did not concern himself
    with the morning news

    He did not mind being caught
    though it was not part of his plan
    He just never thought
    he’d had enough, you understand

    What did he do
    does it matter
    if not to him,
    why should it to you

    Did he take a fall
    we shall never know
    But, sometimes,
    there are crimes
    in the hearts of us all

    Should he be prosecuted
    that’s not up to us to decide
    a good attorney
    might get any judge to sympathize

    Though sympathy was not sought
    neither was getting caught
    that he committed the crime
    there is no doubt
    now to avoid the jail time
    he can certainly do without. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 8/23/08, on thinking about the anger we all feel when we rant and rave
    about something, and the possibility of doing something anything, even breaking the law, about
    what we are ranting and raving about. The person in the poem is factitious and can be Joe
    Anybody. Doing something about the world, our lives, etc I believe is something we all consider
    at one time or another, but choose the wiser choice and do nothing but complain.

  19. Connie

    Thanks Michelle! (You don’t have to write a poem about family values, you already did!)
    Carla Cherry, great teacher’s lament
    Nancy, love it!
    Great poem, Lori, but of course I’m biased.
    Shirley, love it!
    Linda, the agents–great poem.
    Great stuff here, everyone.

  20. Rodney C. Walmer

    Ok this has nothing to do with the prompt, with the exception of, I wrote while thinking about the prompt. So, Robert and everyone else, I apologize if this is out of context.

    Common Dreams

    Common dreams
    we all have them
    though it seems
    most are unattainable
    Sometimes if we only try
    though it may all be uphill
    yes, that hill is high
    it’s amazing what one can do
    if they only try

    Common dreams
    some empty
    in which there are no means
    others can be done
    if only we reach out
    for a little help from someone

    Foolish pride
    can cause so much loss
    when we hide
    from our inabilities
    sometimes what might be
    and the fear of what others
    might see
    create more then disabilities

    Common dreams
    they are not easy to attain
    the fear of going to extremes
    can wage it’s own campaign
    all to often
    over and over again
    it’s easier to give up admit defeat
    then to fail and face the shame

    Common dreams
    why bother
    if nothing is as it seems
    easier to just dream
    and live with that low self-esteem

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 8/22/08 I have no idea why I wrote this.

  21. Monica Martin

    Oh, this damnable writer’s block
    Always comes at the wrong time-
    Right in the middle of a story
    Is the worst. Or after a poetry
    Prompt, my words escape me.
    My muse is too busy to concern
    Himself with me. But then how
    Do I explain this rant?

  22. patti williams

    Linda – that’s exactly right – I’ve just about had enough of them!!!

    Heather – I knew that was your poem after reading the first 2 lines – good work!

  23. patti williams

    Linda – that’s exactly right – I’ve just about had enough of them!!!

    Heather – I knew that was your poem after reading the first 2 lines – good work!

  24. Linda Whipple

    The Agents!

    these agents all live in some far away lands
    surrounded by labrynths made by their own hands

    you can’t send it this way they only want that
    it takes more than a year to get it all down pat

    when finally you’re sure you have it all done
    they’ve stopped reading queries from everyone

    your SASE returns all your words with a letter
    we’re sorry we’re busy but you can find better

    our hands are so full now good luck on your quest
    we didn’t see yours but we’re sure it’s your best

    a half sheet of paper was all that they used
    not even a signature accompanied their news

    must we be a mother or sister lost cousin or aunt
    to flag down an angent or write out a rant

    nice to get that off my chest!(Is there a charge for this kind of therapy???)

  25. Heather


    I could rant on and on
    About nothing
    About everything
    How he breathes too loud
    She tells the same story
    Over and over
    How I don’t give a shit about the election
    About history
    Especially not about geography

    I could rant on and on
    About the stock market
    The price of gas
    My electric bill
    About my roof needing to be replaced from the hail storm
    The waterfall still leaks
    Four years later
    (Not the builder’s fault)

    I could rant on and on
    About how negative people are
    When “the shit” hits the fan
    And how I can’t stand to be left in the wind
    On a whim
    That I’m constant and true
    And I should be appreciated for my beauty
    From the inside

    I could rant on and on
    About my mother
    And father
    About my abandonment issues
    About the loss I feel
    Because I have a tendency to get too close

    I could rant on and on
    About not having what I want
    When I need it
    Having to hide between the lines
    Of what’s appropriate
    And what’s real

    I could rant on and on
    About wanting a nose piercing
    More tattoos
    Crazier sex

    But I won’t

  26. Lori

    Rodney, my poem was not about my own personal life but just from observing mow many hearing impaired children get caught in the crossfire between the hearing and Deaf communities. The girl in my poem is not real but a composite of many children i have met or read about.

  27. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Not sure if this qualifies as a rant, but it’s all I’ve got:

    Dobbing in Hubby: senryu sequence

    Elbow in the back.
    Not my favourite waking.
    Accident, he says.

    New water bottle
    dribbles all over his face.
    He opened it wrong.

    How can I tell him,
    "In age, slowness is wisdom.
    Do things mindfully!" ?

    "Oh, poop to you too,"
    he says when I read him this.
    But he’s laughing hard.

    I rescue his plate
    parked on the bed and tilting,
    just before milk spills.

  28. Shirley Alexander

    Robert, I like the images you used in your poem.

    I like all kinds of poetry, and I don’t like rules. Maybe that makes me less of a "readable poet", but I still feel some satisfaction in that I have always allowed myself to write exactly the way I think.

    That said, traditional verse has always been the easiest for me to write. I had to struggle to keep rhyme out of my ink when it became obsolete in the late sixties. This poem is a reflection on that time.


    Nothing metered and nothing with rhyme;
    "We won’t print it! Anytime!"
    They want words that are free to flow
    from any unromantic soul.
    Lost art lovers need not apply.
    If you are a fan of Poe, don’t rely
    on these new markets to publish your guy.

    What they are saying, and I know it,
    is: "You don’t have to be a poet".
    But, I can’t always understand
    the hidden message they all demand.
    Something about it just doesn’t feel right;
    like cheap, quick sex that lasts one night.
    (I prefer a proposal in summer moonlight.)

    Just to show
    how easily it becomes me
    to satisfy their needs…
    I have given my soul
    to a dreamer called Poe

    My passions are fired by Poe
    and I have become user friendly
    with a spirit lost
    named Robert Frost.

    Shirley Alexander

  29. Rodney C. Walmer

    I may be gone for awhile, not by choice, but due to having to install a new router. Last time, I did this, it kept dropping the IP. It was a mess. I am switching to a phone service for the home that is only $10 a month plus tax, nationwide unlimited and Puerto Rico. Etc. I have the same service but for $35 a month. So, the switch should save me a few bucks. Unfortunately the switch requires I use their Router to get the service. So, my Netgear $150 router goes in the closet to collect mothballs. The same router that took me several hours to set up. Why not today, they are telling me it will take until tomorrow to port my number over. So, since I want to keep the same number, I have to wait.


  30. patti williams

    Rod – excellent poem and hats off to doing great things for the kids you teach. All is takes is one strong role model to change a life and you are certainly that. Big pat on the back.

  31. Rodney C. Walmer

    Lori, I feel your pain. I honestly, hope you find the answers you seek for both yourself and your daughter. I know that there are schools for the hearing impaired, they have done amazing things. Also, there is a community of the hearing impaired, who set themselves apart from the hearing able, by choice, not by segregation. The truth is, that in today’s world, being hearing impaired need not be as serious a disability as it once was. It is very difficult to be different, especially for children, However, children adapt, much better then adults do. I am sure my thoughts on the matter are not helping, but I sincerely do hope you find the answers you are looking for.


  32. S.E. Ingraham

    Thank you Rodney – what a sweet thing to say. I do hurt for my Katy for sure. Luckily, she and her groom are very much in love and will weather this and anything else life throws at them I believe. All I have to do, is learn to do the same…Sharon