Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 135

In case you missed it earlier, I’m soliciting feedback from the Poetic Asides community. So far, I’ve received more than 20 responses, and I hope to make my first Poetic Asides Round Up post tomorrow. Click here to learn more.


For this week’s prompt, write a “don’t start that again” poem. There are many ways to take this. A person may have an annoying habit. A lover may try to steal one more kiss. A dreamer may try one more half-baked idea (that’s surely doomed to failure). Of course, the act of poeming itself may be the subject for such a poem.

Here’s my attempt:


There you go again,
getting me all nervous
that I ain’t gonna have
another good thought
drop out of my head.

It’s been a whole week
since you’ve been around,
rolling around town
with some other guy
who don’t even revise.

Please come back to me,
or at least call me,
tell me it’s gonna be
just like old times when
you came again and again.

This here stanza is
big enough for the two
of us, plus I found
us a rhyme or three
under the poet tree.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


Want to get metrical?
My poem above isn’t perfectly metered, but you can learn how (and why) to write metrical poetry with Writing Metrical Poetry, by William Baer (currently available for less than $7). This book includes step-by-step instruction, actual poetic examples, and non-intimidating guidance.

Click here to learn more.

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138 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 135

  1. Kitty Witty

    kitty cat loves big dog
    but sometimes he can become enraged
    if the full moon is out or there are bats about
    he can become aggressive and strange

    now Buddha Moscowitz,dog’s old friend
    he is not like that
    he writes kitty beautiful love poetry
    and buys her lots of hats

    his humour is great
    up there with first rate
    makes kitty sizzle
    like chestnuts on a fire grate

  2. Michael Grove

    Scaredy Cat

    Scaredy cat, you scaredy cat.
    Come outside and play.
    The big dog in the front yard
    has gone away today.

    He went into the back yard
    to bury his new bone.
    Scaredy cat, you scaredy cat
    why do you play alone?

    The big dog loves the kitty
    and he does not bite
    Oh, you little scaredy cat
    you cower in your fright.

    Step out to the back yard.
    Let him be your friend.
    The scaredy cat and big dog
    Can be friends ‘till the end.

    By Michael Grove

  3. Michael Grove

    Thank You with bunches of love and fresh daisies Amy and Sara…

    Woman’s Penitentiary

    She was never charged.
    There was no trial.
    She has neither been
    nor sentenced.

    She exits the green bus
    with no driver
    thru the rear
    emergency door
    as it stops at the gate
    of the stone penitentiary.

    The warden shakes his head
    in utter disbelief
    as she stumbles
    thru the gate

    He hands her the key
    to her own cell.
    She enters
    and the cold steel bars
    slam shut behind her.
    She throws the key
    thru the bars.

    The warden picks up the key
    Which he had always held.

    He stands in front of her cell
    holding on to the key
    the endless possibilities.

    He does not put the key
    in his pocket
    or on a chain.
    he inserts it in the lock
    of her cell and steps back
    but never away.

    She closes her eyes
    and steps away
    from the bars
    from the warden
    from her freedom.
    refusing to consider the key.

    Her bunk
    so neatly made.
    Her unruffled sheets
    so tightly stretched.
    Her blanket
    so full of holes.

    She rests while standing
    next to the bunk
    with the unruffled
    tightly stretched sheets
    and the blanket
    so full of holes.

    The warden watches, waits and weeps.

    By Michael Grove

  4. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    A child stands face tipped to darkening sky
    Baseball mitted hand heavy at his side
    Thunder rolls across the lost horizon
    Mist obliterates the demarked bases
    Air scented desperation – calls game OUT
    Yet there somewhere beyond cold wetted cheeks
    Sunshine smiles spread ear to ear on this field
    Dappled with clear light, in early morn
    Day dawns on the simple sense of baseball
    Batter up! he hears as raindrops fast fall

    Do not start that again! child’s toughened lip shouts to his fist raised railing toward an always ambiguous future,

  5. Walt Wojtanik


    Well, there we go again!
    Circular and cyclical
    goes our typical banter.
    I can’t recall giving
    any other impression
    than a secession from the fray.
    These days are crazy
    and I have a hazy recollection
    of what happened last.
    It’s fast becoming a habit
    I’d soon not repeat.
    Don’t read into it,
    it is, what is. There we go.

  6. Clauette Young

    So many beautiful and inspiring poems. I have only one for this prompt so far. Enjoy, please.

    Again It Begins

    Ever do I abandon hope
    That cooperation will triumph.
    I give my all to perform to standard
    Only to feel the lash of the erroneous whip
    That strikes across my screen, throwing me to
    Wolves of unfamiliar kind, pages no yet seen, and
    Operations unintended or wanted in the moment of keystroke.
    Anger erupts to glaze the eye and spew forth heated words
    Before logic contains the fire of discontent and lowers
    The likelihood of destruction of machine or work.
    Only such calming effort brings about an end
    To what might be workable prose or verse.
    Even its creator cannot find solution
    For its jumps, twirls, and leaps
    Across space and time.

    Dare I say it. "Please! Don’t start that again."

  7. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    the neighbor’s peacocks
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    for months they hounded me,
    iridescing swirls of avian color,
    holding court in my yard despite my objections,
    screeching calls to one another
    that peeled paint off the rows of mailboxes
    aligning the front of my house,
    and stunting even the crabbiest of crab grass.
    sociopaths that ruthlessly picked on my cats
    punched holes in my composite roofing with their talons,
    broke birdbaths and feeders and flowerpots,
    graffitied their messy bottoms all over my deck.
    the last straw was the hit and run in the driveway
    as i unloaded groceries from the car.
    a little game of trial & error but i
    managed to sway them back to the neighbors
    with the sting of little green plastic beebees.
    summer becomes tolerable once again.
    then, as pumpkins begin ripening on the vine
    they are back, posturing and namecalling
    and i am loathed as ever before.
    not again.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  8. Marie Elena

    Austen Tayshus: Giggling over your name, and finding your poem and resulting conversation fascinating. 😉
    MaryGrace: Yours is a new voice to me. BEAUTIFUL work. Hoping to hear more from you.

  9. Austen

    @ Dennis
    Real love is altruistic and can never turn to hate.When one loves genuinely and deeply so many allowances are made for a beloved and usually to one’s own detriment .It is impossible to bring one’s self to destroy or wound a beloved, regardless of the circumstances.On a personal note I would choose to suffer the pain myself rather than inflict it on a beloved. That is why in the past,I have tried to avoid being in love with anyone.The ideal situation of course is mutual love..

  10. Dennis Wright

    Austen – Dingos do always know. Hatred drives an escaping animal to places unknown. Hatred and don’t do that again. Yes that’s a path of an outlaw.

    Sometimes hatred may wear a mask. What do you think? Could it be a bandana covering the eyes of love. Love placed in the golden hills rather than the softness of anothers eyes.

    Thanks for the poem.

  11. Dennis Wright

    Don’t Start That Again

    Don’t you start thinking that
    you’ve taken off my clothes.
    I tell you I walk as I walk
    as naked as I ever will be.
    And if you start again thinking
    you see me as I really look,
    flat open, real, and just me,
    you’ll start all that stuff
    over again that I left behind.

  12. Austen Tayshus

    Don’t Do That Anymore Either

    Dingo was feral hated
    an outlaw unwanted

    smart as a rattle snake
    he could sniff the wind
    and hear a fox a mile away

    they starved him
    to lure him out
    with poison bait

    fumes of fresh meat
    almost overpowered him
    but the song of survival
    danced in his head
    again and again

    ‘Don’t Do That Anymore Either’

    Dingoes always know

  13. Dennis Wright

    Don’t Do That Anymore

    You led me like a sheep to a valley,
    many, so many, times before.
    You said there was grass so green and free there
    I could sleep with no floor.
    The tone of your voice to me sweetly
    said believe evermore.
    As a child I saw ribbons on your chest.
    Don’t do that anymore.

  14. Sara McNulty

    De, Eve, Autumn, Hannah, Shannon, MIchael Grove (too many to choose just one), Walt (ditto Michael Grove), MaryGrace, and I’m sure there are more I haven’t read yet. Bravo!

  15. MaryGrace

    A buzz across the cemetery stirs my hearing
    Its familiar frequency seems to be calling
    To the present, to this moment I return
    I feel my aching feet pound the sidewalk
    Just as quickly, the quartz-topped cemetery wall draws me
    It’s apparent there were stones where there are none now
    How has this wall changed? I wander away
    The brick is dull and chipping, fading to match the sidewalk
    What did it look like the day it was built?
    Perhaps each brick a uniform shade of rich red
    Slathered together with sandy white cement
    I circle the city-block cemetery
    Bringing myself back to the moment
    My hips joints swaying like pendulums to move my legs
    Here the possibilities rest; I surrender my mind to my body
    The pavement draws all the sun’s warmth and radiates it up my legs
    I feel the sweat on the backs of my knees
    I feel wrapped in the humidity of the afternoon
    The large weeping trees whisper as they rustle
    They say to me “you’re in Dixie”, dreams of the old South call me
    I grab reality by the string it sent me away on
    Pull myself back to the present once again

  16. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Thank you, Andrew!
    Michael, that was dreamy and romantic.
    Nancy, been there, honey! You captured labor perfectly. And you kindly left out the barf bucket, LOL.
    Taylor, I do believe the new OED included the word "google" as a verb. Perhaps Google hasn’t caught on to that yet. The English/American language is quite fluid, isn’t it? Good writing!
    Finally, MELISSA HAGAR MADE ME CRY. Brought back stuff, and the crying was all good. Truly wonderful. Thank you. Amy

  17. Pomes

    Hiding behind the lies
    Running from the truth,
    Silence broken from the cries
    Of the troubled youth;
    Being independent
    “I can do it myself”,
    Beginning to feel neglected
    Now asking for some help;
    Still trying to bury the pain
    And turn away from the trouble,
    Life’s pleasures never aimed
    Now buried within the struggle;
    Air filled with regret
    Wanting to turn back time,
    Stricken with every breath
    Just about to cross the line;
    No one will remember
    The tears of the fallen youth,
    Forgotten they are, forever
    Because they never chanced the truth
    – J a R –

    Look for more at Pomes!!

  18. Sally Jadlow



    I say, in response to your whine.
    I’ve already heard all the “he saids”
    and “she saids.”
    Restating it doesn’t solve squat.

    Let’s get on with how
    you’re going to enjoy
    a new life without him.
    How you’ll discover life
    in the new lane
    you’ve been given.

  19. Michael Grove


    Absence really makes the heart grow fonder.
    It fills the void with hopes and dreams and wonder.
    When love is in your heart it just grows stronger.
    You can’t wait to be together any longer.

    But if there happens to be fear and doubt.
    Communication has to work things out.
    Absence only serves to cloud it all.
    And starve the heart that’s set up for the fall.

    Absence truly makes the gut feel ill.
    You can’t eat or drink at all. You just sit still.
    Waiting for someone to see your face,
    And grow in love touched gently by the Grace.

    Patience solves so many different things.
    Absence tugs strongly at your heart strings.
    Sit back, relax and search the skies above.
    Wait patiently for them when you’re in love.

    By Michael Grove

  20. Nancy Posey


    After all these hours of wave upon wave,
    I barely remember the thrill when I felt
    the first, low, dull cramp, that sudden
    splash as the rupture released the waters,
    signalling that most anticipating onset.

    Now I focus on a picture taped
    to the wall when we first arrive, ripped
    from a magazine in the lobby;
    unbearably bland, it long ago
    took on meaning beyond itself.

    I should instead focus on this life
    pushing to leave me, to enter the world
    we hope to reshape for her, to make
    it safe, prime soil for her growing, but
    for now all I want is rest, however brief.

    They say I will forget the pain, my body’s
    mutiny to tackle the task before me, but
    I’ve caught them in so many lies before.
    For now, as I register before the needle
    on the monitor marks its ascent, pain
    will pulse through my tired bones.

    Against logic, I imagine this child
    plotting her exit, intrinsically sure
    that first sight, that first warm, wet
    touch, skin to skin, will erase all memories
    of my panicked pleas: please stop.

  21. Rosie Black

    late night
    late start
    busy bee

    blathering about
    on a blustery winter’s day
    in coat scarf and gloves

    leaves swirl in whirlpools
    of gust crackling
    through the gutters

    a grey cold sky makes
    for a good change
    snow forecast for slopes
    for this holiday weekend

    I’m spending mine
    under a fur rug
    with my cat Mr.Cole

  22. Taylor Graham


    You keep on asking me. So I
    checked (what else?) the Internet.
    I got on Google. I googled it.

    There’s no verb for that, insists
    a lady in French. I checked other
    languages. Speech is sacred

    to its speakers, generations
    of words learned at mother’s knee,
    by lips, heart and memory.

    That’s the rub: such a new-
    coined word, we have no history
    for it. Our mothers never crooned

    lullabies to its soothing gurgle.
    “The prince set out to google
    the world and find his love.”

    But don’t we use it all day long?”
    you keep on asking. “Don’t we
    trust it to answer every question?”

  23. Autumn N. Hall

    M.A. Dobson, Andrew Kreider, and Domino-I can’t tell you how much your kudos are appreciated this week, a much needed balance to the rejections reaped! Many thanks!

    Hannah Gosselin-loved your last line, "Words spread on dry toast" an apt metaphor for a parched poet!

    Walt-(Do Not Pass Go) you took my least favorite game in the whole world and turned it into one of my most favorite poems this week!

    Daniel Ari (Contraction Reaction)-A clever, if a mind-bending/tongue twisting take on the apostrophe. It’s and its are my lifelong nemeses!

    Rachel Green (Bedclothes Buzzing)–I hope you will not be offended by a small critique: your title coupled with that third stanza lend some oddly out-of-place sexual overtones to this piece. Was that intentional? As it seems to be about a child (perhaps your daughter), I’m guessing not. Unless you were being deliberately suggestive in hopes of surprising us with the innocent ending? Just thought you might like to know this may not have come across as intended!

  24. M.A. Dobson

    With apologies for the inevitable omissions, while flitting about tonight, I got caught on these lines:
    Andrew Kreider, “Cheating”: “There were matches on the dash, and Big Red / for afterwards”
    Joseph Harker, “Trikonasana”: “From hero pose, I’m feeling pessimistic”
    Domino, “O You Flower!”: “food for bees / and sexual juice / (such that it is)”
    Lori, “Voices in My Head”: “The ceaseless gnawing on the bone of confidence”
    Ann, “just as the red lights flash / and when gates come down”
    Salvatore, “Enough Already”: “The way I fly wingless / through my life”
    Autumn Hall: “Rejection Dejection, without Question”: “Our winner recently published a translation of Icelandic poetry”; “why is that blue so damn sky?”
    Sam Niel: “Don’t Start That Again”/ “Do Start That Again”: “from the chair/ From the bed / from the all”
    Linda Rhinehart-Neas, “For Every Time”: “The garden is lush with life”
    Nancy Poesy, “Replay (for Jan)”: “the residents of those drab beige halls / encroached on one another”
    Rachel Green, “Bedclothes Buzzing”: what a brilliant naughty girl!
    Daniel Ari: “The Contraction Reaction”: “the apostrophes / swarm like fleas.” Here too.
    Mariel Dumas, “Depression (I wink)”; "Until you club me on the head / Drag me back for keeps” (glad you wink)
    De J, “Cease and Desist”: “The Sin still drips / from your lips like / a warning song, long / unheeded”
    Eve, “Yes, I’ll sleep with all those extra adjectives / struck down while they were still young” Nice.

  25. Melissa Hager

    “Don’t Start That Again”

    Baby boy throws blocks on the floor
    Momma picks them up
    On the floor they go
    Don’t start that again

    Toddler boy bestowed with baby sister
    He is already potty trained
    Jealously opens the flood gates
    Don’t start that again

    The whine of a little boy gets louder
    As he mopes over math homework
    Grumbling “I hate math” for the thousandth time
    Don’t start that again

    Older boy conquers the perfect bike ramp
    Hollering that he made another level
    It’s supper time
    Don’t start that again

    Electric guitar wails from teen boy’s room
    While talking to exasperated math teacher
    Jimi Hendrix comes alive!
    Don’t start that again

    Young man devastated over a girl
    Who broke his heart for another
    He calls and begs and pleads
    Don’t start that again

    Wedding day, birth
    Wedding day
    Wedding day, birth, birth
    Don’t start that again

    “I love you, Momma,” says a gray haired man
    By the bed, gently stroking my hand
    Tears well up in his eyes
    Don’t start that again

  26. Walt Wojtanik


    You seem to be forgetting things
    so I repeat them. It’s as is
    you delete them from your screen.
    I’m not being mean, but can you hear me?
    Or am I not making sense? What?
    In your defense, you seem a bit distant.
    It’s like your memory is resistant
    to save the important things. Your thoughts
    sprout wings and head south to ruminate.
    I sit and wait for the question to come
    again. I repeated the answer. Did you forget?

  27. Daniel Ari

    “Contraction reaction”

    You can
    or can’t.
    You won
    or you won’t.
    You don
    the medal, or you don’t.

    The apostrophes
    swarm like fleas,
    itching tiny t’s

    like legalese
    undercutting guarantees
    with hidden fees,

    or decrees
    to freeze
    our liberties
    by degrees,

    or apologies
    to appease
    the jealousies
    of anyone who disagrees.

    Or, among these maybes,
    maybe apostrophes
    guard the keys
    to test our expertise,

    making do’s into detainees
    to force us from the lees.
    She or he who foresees
    the absence of apostrophes

    Can’t be
    and won’t
    be won
    over by donning
    any don’t.



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