Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 126

For today’s prompt, write a “turn around” poem. The poem could be about someone or something physically turning around. Or it could be about a movement that’s turning around. Or a feeling that’s shifting back the other way. Or any number of other creative interpretations. Your “turn around” poem can record the actual “turn around,” or it can be forecast or relay the effects of the “turn around.”

(Note: I can see the potential for this prompt “turning around” from a poetic exercise to a political argument. Please play and poem nice with this prompt.)

Here’s my attempt:

“After she turned around and walked back to me”

The petals of flowers regained their vibrant colors.
The bees remembered their sense of urgency.
Birds quit screaming and returned to their songs.
Cars driving on the street were a little more fuel efficient.
In the deepest reaches of space, whole solar systems
exploded into existence. And dogs befriended cats.
Children respected their mothers and fathers.
Even the rain stopped and waited for us both
to re-enter our home together and whatever came next.


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Use the best poetry reference around
My favorite poetic reference for poetic forms and terms, poetry-related history, and more is The Poetry Dictionary, by John Drury. It is filled with definitions, poetry examples, and great explanations.

Click here to learn more.

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83 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 126

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Returning Home
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Each time the sirens go off
    I am reminded how fragile
    our lives are,
    forced to leave our homes
    our pets, our lives
    with little more than
    threads upon our backs and
    forced smiles in the eyes of
    loved ones as you race
    the coffin of whitewater
    miraging itself towards shore.

    But each time we’re given
    the all’s clear sign
    to turn around and go home,
    pat one another’s back
    pretend it’s just a drill,
    return to previous spoils
    of clinking coffee cups,
    blinking traffic lights,
    manicured lawns,
    our mortality
    peeking over the seawall
    each time wondering
    "what if?"

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. Yoly


    Today the sun was a welcome sign on your face.
    Peter drove you to my workplace; you stepped
    out of the van with a paternal smile every girl
    should collect like a favorite accessory.

    Hospital gowns are for the sick: I appreciated
    your t-shirt with the Chicago decal, painter pants
    and wide strapped sandals. We embraced;
    the sandalwood in your aftershave treaded
    softly on my cheek. Wellness came upon me,

    a wellness that could have whispered: you
    were under some weather,clouded by his chest
    pain, a weakening kidney and diabetic seesaw.

    All along I thought only you were hooked to plastic
    veins transporting new blood in your arm. I saw you
    and felt liberated, like when you’re no longer fixed
    to hope that accomplishes a big assignment.

    There are rainy or luminous years waiting
    to see you walk through their breezeways,
    benches for your rest, senses to be set off
    like an alarm clock or the chirp of Spring.

  3. Sam Nielson

    I think I got blisters trying to fell this tree with a dull axe.

    Cyclic Living

    With some stop motion
    Filming of my chair,
    Over the passing of days
    It would seem that I
    Spend most of my time
    Motionless at a computer.

    Any motion of fluid
    Near a boundary interests us,
    Edge of desert, shore of ocean
    Theatre rivers of people
    When the movie ends.

    Directors run out of film
    If they capture all a character’s
    Hours of sleep or work, so
    Instead we see terrorists bomb,
    An heroic leap from a tower,
    But really. . .back to life.

    We all do things in their daily,
    Boring intensity. We eat, sleep,
    Breathe, work, wash dishes.
    The other time I can control.
    The crux, a bus driver,
    Verb heavy, writes a poem

    At his end-of-route break,
    Or a neighbor writes a novel
    Only between 5 and 6 am when
    Time spent does not take away
    From family. Around we go again.

    Summer, fall, winter, spring.
    Is this late spring memorable
    Compared to the melt of last year?
    Will this day run any better
    Than yesterday or the day before?
    The view on my mortal cage wavers.

  4. Dennis Wright

    Norwegian Folklore
    -In a nutshell-

    Mothers and step mothers
    connive with no forgiveness.
    Fathers sell their daughters
    for the family sustenance.

    He arrives covered with a hide.
    Looks just like a polar bear.
    He demands of her keep his secret.
    They live together in his lair.

    Then she is weak and fears.
    She cannot keep herself mum.
    And now the curse is enacted.
    Everyone takes off in a run.

    She waits in the evening,
    Just this side of her heart.
    She knows not who he is.
    Felt passion from the start.

    He dreams of her each morn
    In this side of his mind.
    He knows he cannot trust her,
    But her memory is kind.

    And so fortunately,
    All shackles can be broken.
    The sun lifts this one curse,
    The rest of the tale unspoken.

  5. Dennis Wright

    Turn Around My Child,

    Yesterday gives to Today,
    as if Today were his child.
    Today sorts it like mail,
    and maybe it will spin wild.

    Is tradition misspent?
    Is youth too freely given?
    Is there genius in form?
    Or brillance in free stepping?

    There is danger in staying.
    There is risk in changing.
    There is pain in losing
    and balance in winning.

    So turn around child we say,
    Although we hope not always.
    In the now we glimpse a smile.
    That alone will carry the day.

  6. Colette D

    ~ Lamentations on Limitations ~

    [ A {~Mathematical} Poem (found)
    On Things that Turn Around ]

    A curve that turns around on itself
    is called a lemniscate.

    A heart-shaped curve called a cardioid
    is a special case of a curve called a limaçon.

    An idealized flat, thin, two-dimensional-yet-solid object
    is called a lamina.

    A quantity bounded above by infinity
    is still considered limited.

    A thought or feeling that turns around on itself
    is called liminal.

    A heart that turns around on itself
    is called limitation.

    But when infinity turns upon itself,
    it’s still a lemniscate.

  7. Kinga Sanford

    Thank you for the warm welcome, here goes another try…

    360 Degrees

    She turned to the past
    In search of answers.
    Everything was there,
    The amber fields stretched
    To the skyline,
    The dry toasted leaves
    Crunching under her feet,
    The flushed up-rooted trees,
    The shimmering river
    Where she searched for stones,
    Even the balmy afternoon breeze.
    It was all there.
    She was told not to go back
    To the place where she was happy,
    But after years of nursing memories,
    The threshold disappeared.
    It wasn’t clear anymore
    Where it all began.
    Doubt turned accuracy into a figment.
    Now she was there,
    At the sill of remembrance
    And the palpable truth was evident;
    A person is impermanent,
    But everything else remains unchanged.
    She recaptured her memories
    And regained her childhood,
    But the afternoon walks with her father
    Were irretrievable.
    Everything was there,
    But he wasn’t there.
    She turned back to the future
    For a life without him.

  8. Walt Wojtanik


    Inquisitive and questioning,
    the whys and what fors
    come to the fore to satify
    a muddled soul. All control
    once thought to be ours,
    becomes clearer the nearer
    we come to believing.
    Not as decieving as expected,
    for it has been perfected
    since the world was new.
    And you, seekers of a truth
    you can accept, expect it
    to fall into you laps like manna.
    But, to everything under heaven,
    there is purpose, and the worst
    we can do is think in terms of now.
    In its time and season, everything
    for a reason. A time to live and die.
    A time to laugh and cry.
    A time to reap and sow, don’t you know?
    When the time is right, you will.

  9. MiskMask


    I’m watching a flood of debris sweeping us all away
    but there’s a flaw in my nature that I can’t bear
    to watch yet I can’t tear myself away.

  10. MiskMask

    Welcome, Kinga, and I hope that you find this group as inspiring as I have when I joined it a few months ago. It’s a good group of people.

    I enjoyed reading your poem, and look forward to enjoying more from you in the future.

  11. Walt Wojtanik

    Great start Kinga! You’ll find this a very inspiring and supportive group! Robert will evoke some strong thoughts from your muse, and you’ll be the better for it. Welcome and hope to see much more from you.

  12. Kinga Sanford

    I just recently came across this page, I have been reading everyone’s poems and I’m really excited to keep coming back. I just wanted to let you all know that this is great work right here! I’ve never tried to write poems based on a prompt but I have to say it sounded appealing so I decided to give it a try. I need a bit more practice but here goes my humble entry:

    There’s an elated apparition who mocks you,
    Always standing in your way…

    On the other side, obscure like a shadow,
    A ghost darkens your aftertime…

    Posterity comes, eclipsed.
    Let the darkness swallow you
    So you can dream.
    What is this ghost
    Enveloped in mourning?
    A has-been
    Who brings to your eyes
    Unrequited bliss.
    Move past this holocaust of the soul,
    Turn around and break free from your shadow,
    You shall not stand in your own way.

  13. Walt Wojtanik


    The milk of human kindness pours
    freely; clearly. Nearly everyone
    aspires to a higher calling,
    but ends up falling flat on their
    best intentions. Conventional wisdom
    is a conscienable nudge to action.
    But, only a fraction of the folk
    respond. It is beyond comprehension,
    not to mention beyond reason.
    Those who want stand in legion are
    pleading, needing to just sustain;
    a respite from the torrential rain
    life pours down. Sounds simple,
    but pride becomes the pimple
    that blemishes the clear complexion
    of a complex humanity. Such insanity
    is treated in a fashion, a mix
    of compassion and ignorance. And all
    that is required is an effort,
    a sort of determination to improve
    the station of those who had lost their way.
    Do it because you want to; do it
    because you can. Take a stand;
    you’ll be better for it. Don’t ignore it,
    we’re all deserving of one good turn.

  14. S.E.Ingraham

    Some very kind words and thoughts for me thanks … much appreciated; I will wrap them around me and be nice and warm here in the arctic chill that seems determined to stay on into Spring…again, thanks so much.

  15. Karen H. Phillips

    Wednesday Prompt 126

    "Turn around and you’re two
    Turn around and you’re four
    Turn around and you’re a young girl
    Going out the door."–from the song, "Turn Around,"
    made famous by a Kodak commercial.

    I watched, unbelieving, my acceptance lagging behind
    your eager steps.
    Every time I looked again,
    you seemed to grow taller, surer, brighter.
    So I embraced you often,
    I memorized moments,
    because too soon, I knew, the day would come,
    and you’d be the child in the "Turn Around" song,
    the face in the Kodak photos,
    the wave bidding me farewell
    as you turned and crossed the threshold of the world.

  16. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Turn Around
    On the street and see
    all the images that
    can be

    Such a wonder of vibrant images from so many talented and always poetic perspectives… Just one of life’s delights to be able to visit and take in some of the wonders that keep appearing with stunning, magical frequency. Thanks to all and to those who I know will contribute other stunning images to my life…

    Robert’s “rain” …stopping and waiting for them….
    MiskMask’s “different door next time”
    Walt’s specters..and all the other wonders elsewhere
    Connie’s “My Way going nowhere”
    Andrew’s renegade princess “hula hoop” images of smoky dives and princesses
    Holly’s “turn around.. so I can tell you goodbye” …
    Katreyla “Swirling Veils” shimmers
    Daniel a “you” replaced “on a shelf”
    Rinkley … “Widdershins” a wonderful word!
    J. Martin “to face the world without me”
    Ina “giggling as you fall”
    Barbara “manga”
    Laurie “blitzing” … “rejoice”
    De Jackson “to smolder away… answers turned to ash”
    Earl “back to the drawing board”
    Taylor’s “flush faced little girl”
    Sara M’s “youthful face in the mirror’
    Ann’s story “fall and stutter and fall down”
    Joseph … Ah… “today the Phoenix came to nestle in my hair” and every other image!
    Brian’s “explosive belt” what a thought!
    Nancy P. wondering how she could not turn to the “little ones waving from the window”
    Lani’s impossible “rope of sand”
    Rachel “pouring out her heart to the Old Oak”
    Meagan “flipping like an undone pancake”
    Tracy’s “never ending..thrill ride”
    RJ Clarken’s “spoonerisms” “belly jeans” and all
    Michelle “ people and laughter every day”
    Mike Bayles running “toward visions”
    J. Walraven “flooding past hope…strangely “left dry”
    Billie’s she “never meant to be kind”
    Rob H. “redeeming light”
    Debra “face no longer on the ground”
    Justine “a turn of grace”
    Elizabeth J. “unexpected flowers burst into bloom” Happy Birthday
    S.E. Ingraham .. “…There You Aren’t” ahhhhh…..

  17. Colette ;D

    ~ Turning It All Around ~

    Turn around and sleep the other way,
    because you’re snoring again tonight.
    Turn around and let me make sure you
    didn’t skip any loops with your belt this time.
    Turn around and let me fix
    your hair that’s sticking up again.
    Now turn around and kiss me
    because you turned my life around
    and whatever your idiosyncrasies are,
    if I had to,
    I’d turn around and do it all over again,
    with you.

  18. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    S.E. …you are so very often the incarnation of pure poetry playing the entire human keyboard

    Sara M thanks … Noticed we were on same wavelength several times

  19. Mike Bayles

    After the Turn Around

    The winds blew with me
    and aided my way
    while I faced the light
    the sign of a new day.
    The way along the path
    became clear
    while I ran toward visions
    of memories dear.
    Early in the day I had run
    in heart and soul
    back to the precious place
    where I had begun.

  20. Walt Wojtanik


    Rising and falling,
    sea birds calling
    a trill, shrill
    and resounding.
    Surrounding the shore,
    seaweed tossed and sands
    of lost childhood, decay.
    On a good day, you can see
    clear across to Canada,
    a cyclical sonata awash
    in rushes and retreats.
    Beneath the feet
    of beachcombers, the warmth
    of a million suns baking,
    taking shells and driftwood;
    a good haul for an early spring.
    Still, the gulls sing
    a redundant song, strong and shreiking.
    Another wave rises, then beats
    a hasty withdrawal. Through it all
    you breathe the freshness abounding,
    Rising and falling, your chest
    duplicates the lunar lambada
    of the Great Lake. Waters rake
    the moistened sand on its departure.
    Sunsets and crashes leaving colorful dashes
    across the glinted surf. Tides return
    to where they had come as the night descends.
    Another day ends in the swell of tides.

  21. MiskMask

    Aaah, thank you, Sara! I enjoyed this prompt.

    RJ, thank you for mentioning the spoonerisms. Sometimes I’m astonished by how utterly dense as a brick I can be. Didn’t see it until I read your note.

  22. Michelle Hed


    Turn around and count to ten,
    playing hide and seek in the glen.

    Put the blindfold on and spin around
    quick be quiet and crawl on the ground.

    Turn around and shout green or red,
    spin back fast they’re moving ahead.

    No toys are needed to play,
    just people and laughter every day.

  23. RJ Clarken

    *Turned ‘Round Words*

    Fighting a liar,
    a blushing crow
    are just a few
    Spoonerisms I know.

    A half-warmed fish,
    nicking your pose –
    these things are fun
    in poem or prose.

    Soul of ballad,
    a lack of pies…
    Turned ‘round words
    cannot disguise

    those belly jeans.
    Go help me sod.
    The list goes on,
    despite how odd

    it beams to sea,
    that’s *the* pun fart
    ‘cause Spoonerisms
    are linguistic art.

    (* The Spoonerisms are: Lighting a fire, a crushing blow, a half-formed wish, picking your nose, bowl of salad, a pack of lies, those jelly beans, so help me God, it seems to be, that’s the fun part. )