Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 101

For this week’s prompt, I want you to use the phrase “As I was saying” as a springboard into your poem. You can use it as the title of your poem or within your poem, but neither is mandatory. You could use it as motivation to write a poem about someone who’s telling a story, or you could even write a poem in which the narrator cuts off the person who says, “As I was saying.” Have fun with it.

Here’s my attempt:

“As I was saying”

I’m not sure what to do when I see bees
suffering on the sidewalk. Should I step
on them, or let nature do its thing? These
are the things we’re not taught in school. No pep
talks on the etiquette of life and death,
it’s much easier to focus on x
plus y equals z. My own fragile breath
bends out of my body to what is next:
This bee buzzing on the sidewalk, it waits
for me to solve the equation: pain or
death? I suppose it takes a leap of faith
to arrive with all the correct answers.
Even then there is a buzzing ignored,
a rearranging of the integers.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


Want to write metrical poetry?

Learn how with Writing Metrical Poetry, by William Baer.


You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

135 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 101

  1. Dennis Wright

    I like Kimiko’s poem. Her poem stands well by the street lamp while other poems walk through the light and dark.

    It’s about a spot called regret. This spot is like one of those places we enter because in some way our presence is required. We stay only as long as necessary. A brief poem is ideal.

  2. Jason Riedy

    Still playing with this, but here’s a draft (not sure if coComment will munge the lines):

    I wonder how this conversation’s parts
    separated themselves into these chunks,
    forgetting the together it starts
    as. I was saying everything at once.

    And all these words still sat asleep, not heard
    but curled beneath weighty, familiar stings.
    A prickly blanket holds them as unstirred
    as I. Was saying different disturbing?

    Or perhaps that was the talk-splitting maul.
    Different begats separate ways, each their own
    path leading everyone to ends as small
    as I was. Saying this stands alone.

    But once alone, discovery begins.
    As I was saying: take care fitting in.

  3. A.C. Leming


    sounds feeble when no one responds
    to the conversation stopper, "I
    almost died that way too!" We
    just heard the reports of Senator
    Ted Stevens’ plane crash right
    into the side of a mountain. I

    can’t remember if the bald eagle
    attacked my Dad’s plane before
    our initial landing or on our
    flight out — when he flew into
    a down draft and tried everything
    he could to climb over the remote

    Alaskan mountain before us. Finally,
    he turned the plane’s yoke and set us
    "on wing", belly to the jagged earth
    reaching toward our fragile aluminum
    shell as my sister and I blessed

    the camping gear with our acid bile.

  4. Kim Yvonne King

    Wonderful prompt! The poems are all great and I love the diverse images of all. I’m having difficulty getting anything written within the week- before the next prompt. Yikes! Maybe this will explain it:) Love to all.

    The Absent Editor

    As I was saying yesterday, he would know
    the answer to those questions of verse and meter,
    rhyme and theme, but now my words are untamed
    mustangs, snorting and throwing their heads back,
    eyes wild and ears flickering at a sudden sound
    before galloping off, dust flying into brown clouds
    behind them, their hoof prints visible for miles.

  5. annie mcwilliams

    "As I was saying"

    …it’s early in the morning
    he leaves on every light in his path
    it’s dark out, the paper just arrived
    coffee urn is percolating, toaster pops
    chair scrapes, feet shuffle, nose blows
    a myopic snail crawling about the house
    nothing ever changes, 100,000 miles of mornings
    exactly like this

  6. Anonymous

    "As I was saying"

    If by default I sign my name,
    Am I not in a way praying
    To garner some portion of fame
    From my words—and so behaving
    According to some common game?
    Might words like night birds assaying
    find gaps in the liturgy, free
    From the synagogue’s echoing,
    A velvet-mask autonomy
    Unidentified, thus untamed?
    Might a rogue voice invisibly
    Convey richer, undamped fervor,
    Anonymously, violently,
    Animate velociraptor
    Unabashedly gnashing
    At the social pachyderm’s door,
    Zorro, giving force to what for?

  7. Theresa Cavicchio

    A Case of Senioritis

    "As I was saying"
    has become
    more and more frequently
    "Now what was I saying?"

    (If the shoe fits, folks…..Better post late than never. Busy times!)

  8. Janet Rice Carnahan

    Sweet Hannah, Gracious Pearl and Marvelous Marie Elena . . . how you three sing such beautiful words that flow right to the heart! Smiles, hugs and joy resonate so effortlessly with your sincerity of meaning and kind intentions. Yes, Happy Sunday . . . and may the great abundance of appreciation coninue on in the spirit of love and inspiration! Yes, onward and UP word to us all 🙂 <3 <3 <3

  9. Hannah Gosselin

    My dear Marie, thank you for your very presence, your heart shines! Happy Sunday to you and BIG ((hugs)) and smiles going your way!

    I really enjoyed your PA and micro crossing as well!


  10. Sara Gwen

    As I Was Saying

      Sadly funny how our smallest gestures get tied in a knot
      wasting more than time fretting over what might get lost.
      we’ve got such wild imaginations wary of getting caught
      that to avoid such an end we’ll go to any lengths at all cost.
      When, how and why did that become what we cared for most?
      But if that’s what love’s become to us, your illusions in mine,
      then let’s at least delude ourselves one more foolish time.
      So I’ll believe whatever you say as though it were all true
      tonight into tomorrow, and then we can call it through.

  11. Marie Elena

    Janet Willis: Your tribute to your parents is so endearing!

    Janet Carnahan! Onward and upword! Missed your dear voice; your fun phrase; and your singular, final lines. Welcome home!

    Sweet Hannah, your words are always an inspiration for me. Warm smiles to you, Hon.

    Michelle: Loudmouth is just simply the truth, eh? Nice take, and nice twist.

    Happy Sunday, All!

  12. Michelle Hed

    The Loudmouth

    You’ve met them before
    at a dinner party,
    those who love the sound
    of their own voice.
    Who talk as if they
    know it all,
    and often
    tell you twice.
    So sometimes if
    you wish to join,
    or deflect the line of speak,
    you take a breath,
    assume the stance,
    and without uttering a squeak,
    you dive right in.

  13. Pkp

    Welcome back Janet I’m a little out of breath having run up the street… see you! Ah " natural stillness"… There it is … That simple grace filled elegant turn of a phrase so it lands perfectly in another’s heart 🙂

  14. Hannah Gosselin


    As I was saying…
    words elude me
    leaving me in silence.
    A muse rebellion,
    inspiration departs
    upon the realization
    error affecting the flow.
    Time to repent
    fix my faulty ways.
    Let grace fill,
    an everlasting love.
    With loving kindness
    we’re drawn in faithfulness.

  15. Janet Rice Carnahan

    As I Was Saying . . .

    How wonderful to be back! I have genuinely missed the energy and beautiful words in this oh, so creative community of wonderful, wise, warm and witty poets and, of course, our fearless editor, Robert! YEAH, hop, skip and joy running through each step back to PA Street to meet, greet and feel complete to write again with such talented observers and awesome voices of the poetic platform. Onward and Up Word to us all! 🙂


    I can’t find my voice,
    No echo can I hear,
    It is as if there is no choice.
    Or attunement in my ear!

    When I listened in the wind,
    Only a hint found in the trees,
    Softly listening in the canyon,
    Silence is the breeze.

    I bent down by the stream,
    Only the water trickle was heard.
    I can’t even hear a scream,
    Rocks more peaceful than a bird!

    I asked quietly in the meadow,
    No answer came my way.
    I actually asked a shadow.
    Of course, it wouldn’t say!

    Crashing waves were attracting me,
    I assumed there would be a shout.
    Only the water reflected the sea,
    Sound of my voice was out.

    Each desert only rippled heat,
    I couldn’t feel me there at all.
    It unkindly burnt my feet.
    No voice would answer that call.

    Climbed a nearby mountain,
    To hear the sound of the air,
    Saw the magic and majesty,
    No familiar sound was there!

    Yet, in the search to hear my voice,
    Something became quite clear!
    In the peace and gentle beauty so moist,
    It was natural stillness . . .

    My heart wanted to hear.

  16. Janet Willis

    With much respect and love to my parents
    who are celebrating 54 years together

    As I was saying
    The hairclub for men
    is no place for you
    Never mind the toupee
    and all of the superglue
    The waistband, sure
    it’s added an inch
    But honey my eyes
    see what else I can pinch
    Crowsfeet and laugh lines
    are part of the plan
    I won’t trade you in
    for a muscular man
    I’m right beside you
    my hairs turning gray
    And part of my backside
    is slipping away
    Tight pants belong
    to the curvier chicks
    I’m not so sure,
    do I have any hips?
    Dentures and Ben Gay,
    heating pads and more
    backrubs on muscles
    from age, that are sore
    The years have been good
    but what’s special you see
    Are the years I’ve been blessed
    to have you spend them with me

  17. Walt Wojtanik


    As I was saying trashed, I was thinking recyclable.
    In the passing of time and long-time friends,
    the ends justify the means. I mean, if any lessons
    were worth learning, they were born and bred
    in those memories. Let us review, because
    between me and you, I’m a smarter man
    than when I began. It started with a smile.
    And that smile spanned the miles and years
    to dispel any fears I may have had of being alone.
    It was about a love that stays with you,
    completing the circle and making you whole.
    Starting from there, I found a smoldering in my soul.

    As I was saying, we made our mistakes,
    and one of the biggest breaks, came a bit late,
    but we found the words to communicate. Our stubbornness
    and our foolish pride had buried old feelings deep
    inside two battered hearts that forgot how to love.
    That thing about absence helped fondness grow,
    feeding our need to get caught in the throes
    of passion again without the insanity. A tribute
    to faith in her humanity; for a wife who only needed
    to trust in the ever-lasting concept of us.
    And now my words have taken great strides,
    in every meaning of what lies here inside.

    As I was saying "Let’s make this life strong"
    I found the place where I truly belong,
    a home where my heart is, a love-spark re-kindled.
    Not feeling cheated, or defeated , or swindled;
    a family tie tighter than I ever could hope for,
    finding this happiness exists through these doors.
    It started with a smile, and it lead me to home,
    and I truly believe I am never alone.
    For in one love’s passing, it strengthened this man;
    one death showed me life, from her end, I began.
    A union recovered; committed and caring
    all based on the love and this life we are sharing.

    And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

  18. Dennis Wright

    Circles In The Road
    (As I Was Saying)

    When we are way over above,
    no one knows down there below,
    where they stand or where they go,
    seem to turn circles in the road.

    Those there far down there, below
    never really ever know,
    who they are up there above,
    one lone question that misery loves.

    As you are here with words to say,
    I in urge to say what to say,
    what to say I urge to now say,
    in my important, lonely way.

  19. Elizabeth Johnson

    So I sat down to respond to this prompt, and ended up with something completely different from what I had in mind. I call it "Excuses":

    My brother stole my homework,
    My sister stained my shirt,
    My puppy ate my shoelaces,
    I didn’t do anything wrong!

    My alarm clock didn’t go off.
    My printer ran out of ink,
    My computer lost my work,
    I didn’t do anything wrong!

    My neighbor kept me talking,
    My street was filled with traffic,
    My headache made me late,
    I didn’t do anything wrong!

    My gym membership expired,
    My cake just had to be eaten,
    My cholesterol was inherited,
    I didn’t do anything wrong!

    My paycheck was never enough,
    My clothes weren’t fancy enough,
    My lifestyle needed more credit cards,
    I didn’t do anything wrong!

    My problems aren’t my fault,
    My innocence is clear,
    My stories are the truth.
    I didn’t do anything wrong!

  20. DrPKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Thank you Sheila,

    Dear Walt, you do have your standing ovation… however we are all standing in a puddle of our tears… as Alice found herself swimming in a sea of her own making in Wonderland… we find ourselves beginning in Wonder Years and melting in Golden Slumbers.. a passionate release of tears of love, and ultimately the tears are in honor of that auburn tressed love….and that cruel taunting cut of time after such a long wait. I’m sure others have told you that some never regain their Wonder Years…. I am delighted and as others my heart hurts with joy and pain that you did regain yours only to have it slip away again… so it is with wonder years …. Again a sloshing WOWEE! BRAVO! ovation.

    And now.. back to some reading… (I stayed up until 5:30 this morning…have to call it an early night tonight and get some sleep!)