Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 107

For this week’s prompt, write a cycle poem. I think my initial thought on this prompt was to write a poem that involves a cyclical process, such as a life cycle, election cycle, etc., but I suppose there are other interpretations out there too. Poems could be written on the re-cycle process or riding a bi-cycle or uni-cycle. I hope you have fun with the cyclical process of writing and revising this week!

Here’s my attempt:

“Going for cycle”

First, a triple followed by a double
in the third inning. Held to a single
when he reached in the fifth, we hold our breath
as he steps into the box in the eighth. He
likely won’t get another chance to do
this again. Two balls before taking strike
one. Foul. Ball outside making a full count,
and everyone knows the payoff pitch
is on the way. The pitcher winds and deals.
The bat connects and sends the ball over
the wall. The batter runs the circuit home.


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162 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 107

  1. A.C. Leming

    Tonga Island Marine Reserve, Able Tasman National Park, New Zealand

    We need to time our strokes for maximum efficiency, our guide tells us, as we practice making figure eights in the air with our paddles, standing on the golden sands of Onetahuti Beach.  Eight inexpert kayakers follow instructions to seal ourselves into low slung crafts, then get pushed out, two by two, into the Tasman Sea.  We follow our Dutch guide, four funny ducklings sprouting two heads and four wings as we dip our paddles into the water, taste the sea spray on wind-chapped lips. Watch your buddy in front of you to time the paddle stroke — left side, then right, left, right then sweep the paddle to match the rudder to turn three degrees off Tonga Island, to correct for the wind roughing the sea.  Watch the waves, listen to the birds, the slap of sea against your hull, feel the cold rush of sea spill over your hips as your skirt pulls loose when you reach for your camera to immortalize your experience in pixels — the sea, the sky, sea lions basking on a rocky shoreline in a marine reserve named for the island they inhabit.   

  2. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Sam, never ask forgiveness for an attack of whimsy. I enjoyed it, although I confess to getting a little dizzy! ;^)
    Dennis, Barbara, I’m a musician, too. My website (has a free cut on the upper left hand corner) is:
    I choose to keep "Sharp Little Pencil" as a separate project, but I’m also using to hawk chapbooks. What the heck? A girl needs groceries, know what I mean? Also plan to put some of my poetry mp3s on there as well – they are up at, courtesy of Buddah Moskowitz.

  3. Barbara Ehrentreu

    Dennis, I’d love to hear you and if you have a way to play over the phone, I would love to have you come on my show and read your poetry to the music.:) Or maybe, I need a theme song for my show and you could play something on an MP3 and send it to me.:)

    Sam, your Round and Round examines anything that is round and isn’t that a cycle? Go ahead and repost it as you want it. We all do it.:) I like it the way it is, but you are the poet.

  4. Sam Nielson

    Sorry for my weird little poem. I am experimenting with broken cadences. But even the format didn’t end up as I wanted. The "Round and round" repeated lines should have been indented.

  5. Sam Nielson

    Round and Round

    All those things go
    Round and round
    Since ages began
    They’ve turned or ran
    Round and round
    Wheels on carts
    And my little Dodge Dart
    Round and round
    Trains and planes, even watches
    Stars and planets with their blotches
    Round and round
    Engineered cams in careful squash
    Ripples, falling drops that mosh
    Round and round
    Songs in rounds
    And coins I’ve found
    Round and round
    Roundabouts in autos
    Numbered balls in lottos
    Round and round
    All those whirling dervish
    Oh, my stomach does the squirmish
    Round and round
    Time that flows in ages
    Tigers pace in lonely cages
    Round and round
    Spots in times of deja vu
    Powdered donuts as you chew
    Round and round
    My little poem goes
    Stop me now! I know, I know.

  6. Dennis Wright


    "Freebird" has that easy gait in the lyrics and the slide into the lead. Made the song very popular. If I were to put "Change" to music, I might borrow from Paul Simon as it could work better with it’s brisker pace.

    Simon had a song that had the lyric "If I could… /I surely would". I remembered that lyric after writting "I Surely Would". I didn’t consciously borrow from him when wrote it. I considered changing then and might still. A better line did not present itself. It can be a homage of some sort for now. At any rate, I’d be happy to play music for you.

  7. Barbara Ehrentreu

    Amy, thank you so much!! Obviously I miss my mom a lot too. it’s funny that when I wrote the poem the parts about her didn’t make me cry, but when I read it back I had tears. Though we had a volatile relationship for my whole 20s and into my 30s we made up and of course I wrote a poem about that.:) Then we were like BFFs most of the time. She told me everything and sometimes I wanted to shut my ears.:)

    Amy, your With Us or Against/Cycle of Degradation brought back all the times I was in the street and marching and saying the same things you said here.I like the Flash Forward Ten Years since it completes the cycle. There is truth and courage in this and I really like how you showed both sides in a way that shows the truth. Your work is a cycle in itself. The haikus so personal and sweet in between the last one cycles us back to the first poem. I love how you did this!!

    Dennis could you play "Free Bird" to your Change is a Bird? I’d love to hear that.:)

  8. Dennis Wright

    I Surely Would

    A cycle always means –
    the begin will begin
    until the end, the end,
    once again. Once again.

    I would rather travel
    the trail to the time,
    that time, when the
    future lagged behind.

    I surely would.

    So cycle, no matter what –
    you mean to mean
    with no end, no end,
    once again. Once again.

    I would rather travel
    the trail to the time,
    that time, when our
    dispair is far behind.

    I surely would.

  9. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Oops, the last two were both HAIKU, not HAIDU!
    Barbara, in the midst of chaos, beauty. What memories. Amazing how something as simple as buttons can capture the attention of a child for hours… and bring back all those images in the mature woman. This made me cry for happy. I miss my mom, I guess… Thank you.

  10. Amy Barlow Liberatore


    Ten years ago after the Towers fell
    and all hell broke loose,
    the Powers told Americans:
    “You’re either with us or against us”

    Pondering the “us” in U.S.
    and the guns a-blazing before diplomacy was broached
    I made the painful decision:

    I believe in the First Amendment; our country is not about
    (true, I was naïve and not yet inured to the New World Order)

    It cost me the love of my sisters
    who called me a traitor and un-American
    “When you speak at peace rallies,
    you endanger our troops.” Oops, didn’t quite get that logic

    “He’s YOUR president, too.” Rubbing it in like salt in a wound,
    but it was true. I respect the office but hold fast to the fact
    that respectful dissent is a core American value
    I didn’t support the war; anti-war rhetoric was treason in their eyes


    Shoe changes from right foot to left
    Those same sisters who called me out for betraying “my president”
    now call their president Traitor, Socialist, Communist, Muslim
    (That last one is not an insult. Hello?!)

    Now they’re against the very war that Bush started
    because Obama is Commander-in-Chief
    They decry stimulus that was signed by Obama but
    formulated by the past administration

    And as long as their husbands stay employed
    and they have health care and Beck’s on the tube
    everyone else can go to hell, you betcha!
    Especially if they support our president.

    © 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


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