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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 145

For this week’s prompt, write an escape poem. The poem could about someone or something that is thinking of escape, has escaped, or has lost someone or something that has escaped. And remember: Escape can be a physical thing but also emotional, psychological, etc.

Here’s my attempt:

“Autumn escape”

The leaf releases itself from the tree
and falls into the creek water below
only to get caught by a fallen branch.


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251 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 145

  1. Aish

    Like a bird in the cage,
    i sit in the classroom bored with lessons
    Alas the teacher insists us to finish the lesson
    when the teacher will let us go home?
    when the bell will ring?

    atlast the school bell rings,
    i escape,
    running outside the classroom
    laughing and enjoying the moment
    into my waiting mother’s arms!

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    by juanita lewison-snyder

    a city girl
    in the middle of nowhere
    in a foreign land
    cut off from family, friends, civilization,
    grandma decided she could no longer take
    the long hours and solitude she’d been
    taking in like neighbor’s laundry
    and just left, pinning a note
    to the baby’s left shoulder for
    the man still working out in the
    fields to find that simply read,
    “sorry, but he’s better off with you.”

    she would no longer stifle the need
    to board a greyhound and escape
    this desperate landscape for the
    bright bustling sounds of a city,
    any city, just as long as it were
    far far away from the smell of
    john deeres and holstein manure.

    she escaped right into the arms
    of eleven other husbands,
    each time trading up,
    one of them a doctor
    another one a marquee
    until one day she decided she’d
    had enough of reinventment.

    now she drinks alone to just forget
    the ribbon of dark memories,
    the costly mistakes,
    the son and daughter left behind,
    the animosity busy spooling inside
    awaiting the next destination.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. taylor graham

    How does a free spirit end up here?
    Not on the island-rock itself, not inside
    stone and iron walls, but locked up
    in its own small tide-bound self, while
    the birds for which such a place
    is named – the pelicans – sail free.

    A sailor, marooned at last
    in his own body, life-sentenced
    to his bones;
    spirit inside the bars
    of his ribs – go sail away.

  4. Michelle Hed


    Escaping the heat of the day –
    Sipping ice cold lemonade on the front porch,
    Cruising through the memories of past
    August days, when we were filled with the
    Power of the invincibility of youth…
    Escaping into the past.

  5. AC Leming

    Right there with ya! I thought I was back in Christchurch NZ for a second yesterday when the post office started to shake. No one believed me when I said it was an earthquake.

  6. AC Leming

    Wrote this last thurs. Just now had the chance to post it…

    The Likes of You

    I wasn’t looking for an escape
    or a rescue from a marriage
    gone catatonic from years
    of miscommunication.

    I wasn’t looking for week-long
    text messages careening into sexting
    sessions evolving into phone stimulation
    all leading to a one night stand.

    I wasn’t looking for more in your smile
    or your brown eyes. I wasn’t looking
    for you to put the weight of my
    disintegrating marriage onto your well-built

    shoulders. I was looking for a human
    connection, some one who understood
    but all I got was a quick tumble
    in your hotel room. You hustled me

    out as quick as possible, the guilt
    had hit you then, fellow sinner, and what
    little connection we had was shown
    to be as tenuous as a drug addict’s

    promise to get clean.
    No escape wanted.
    No rescue needed.
    Not by the likes of you.

  7. Walt Wojtanik

    (Thoughts Escaping)

    Random phrases float effortlessly in my mind.
    Thoughts and ideas left from other mad fits of genius.
    (Or not). But, I’ve got all these things to say
    that in a way gives life to my minutia.
    I run each one up the flagpole and salute you
    for being interested enough to read my mind and worry.
    (Wouldn’t life be easier if spoken in cloud-like bubbles;
    all your troubles and emotions suspended
    in an unending tirade or titillation?) There is no greater
    frustration in speaking your mind only to find
    yourself looking like an ink drawing (in a four panel spread).
    I would dread the moment my eye wanders and
    the onlookers can read my lascivious letching.
    So, I’m left fetching my gum eraser and removing
    any trace of thoughts (in an effort to save face).
    But if you float it out there, your muse ever-hangs in mid-air.
    An animated existence in this surreal deal called life (punch line not included!)

  8. DBalliett

    Another day in the life

    Early morning constitution
    Brings her release and my frustration
    Open the door, she exits behind me
    Darts down the stairs, through a broken partition
    She is free, damn dog, she is free

    I’m late for work and cussing the K9
    Last time I dove to catch her and landed on my behind
    Take a deep breath, sip my coffee
    She trees a cat looking over at me with that too smart mind
    She is free, damn dog, she is free

    She’ll spend the morning harassing the walkers
    I’ll worry, I’ll bribe, beg, chase then finally give up on her
    Lounging in the front lawn, eyeing me as I drive off to work
    Surprise is on her, I work at a paper
    She is free, damn dog, she is free

  9. Bruce Niedt

    Late again:

    Beating the Weather

    It’s hard to outrun a storm
    on Nature’s flat playground,
    the Northern plains, but that’s what we’re doing,
    as we slip out from under a glowering deck
    of black clouds that threaten to do something drastic
    any minute. There’s nowhere to hide,
    nowhere to run but away.

    This is Tornado Alley, my brain reminds me,
    and every wisp of darkness that descends
    from this angry sky looks like a funnel cloud to me.
    Finally, we put some distance between the weather
    and us, thanks to the interstate, and we glance
    in rear-view mirrors at the land we left behind,
    a backdrop of leftover midnight.

    Miles and hours later, it catches up to us,
    and as we hear the hail clatter against
    our motel windows, we thank the vehicle
    that got us here, which is called,
    appropriately enough, an Escape.

  10. Walt Wojtanik


    She lures you forward,
    a lateral move in your mind.
    You find that the illusion
    is non-inclusive, an elusive
    dream called harmony.
    Your steps, once trepedatious
    are now care-free and careless.
    Inching toward a plunge head-first
    into the abyss of unwedded bliss,
    scouting for the landmines
    one foot at a time. The point
    of no return has been reached,
    you have breached the boundary.
    You have found yourself on the door
    hidden in the floor and you beg
    for the trigger to be pulled.
    You’ll not get fooled this time.
    Grabbing for the freedom your mind craves;
    the escape that saves.
    and leave just enough room at the end of my rope.
    What’s a man without hope?

  11. foodpoet


    Echoes of whisper memories
    Scrape the back of my mind
    Casting out doubt for the day
    Allowing for a moment to breathe free
    Pausing only to return to your
    Eternal erosion

  12. Colette D

    ~ Don’t You Hate People Who Say, “Excape”? ~

    Writer’s block is great
    it’s an escape
    from the drive
    from the force
    from the want
    from the need
    A drive to escape
    becomes the new greed
    Writer’s block is a great escape

    {well, i couldn’t think of a clever title today… and you know why! ;D}

  13. Sharp Little Pencil

    AND SO, HE GOES (George’s Escape)

    Can there be
    a better place
    than what’s around the bend?

    Goodbye once again,
    and cramming into
    his car, fairly brimming with

    all the necessities.
    A few luxuries:
    DVDs to play once there

    Sojourning toward Someday,
    Will it end,
    this road, this exquisite journey?

    Or will he
    touch down lightly
    where peace and love collide?

    Where he feels
    alive at last.
    At present, tense – but future…

    Don’t give up
    on these dreams
    of belonging in the world.

    © 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

    1. PKP

      Oh Amy how sweetly, incisively sensitive…great thoughts and lines ” can there be a better place than what’s around the bend”…” Sojourning toward Someday” and the close… Truly moving and lovely…

  14. leatherdykeuk


    Will you still love me when I am gone?
    Under the earth, away from mortal fears;
    no more the moonlight, nor the sun
    to caress my sunken cheeks. My tears
    no longer fall to salt the ground
    nor my blood seep, sodden, into earth.
    And will you save my books? The sound
    of my laughter echoes in them still though mirth
    has long departed the sullen land. Too long
    my poems lingered in pastoral charm,
    an undertone of fear belied the blackbird’s song
    and cemetery sigils kept me safe from harm.
    Leave, my love. Escape this dreary day
    where battles raged and live to love another if you may.

    1. Sharp Little Pencil

      Touching. The thoughts about what might be saved of her when she has departed, especially the books, make this so personal. “Leave, my love…and live to love another if you may.” That’s what I’d wish for my husband as well. A beautiful poem, Leatherdyke! Amy

  15. Willy


    That window
    was so hard to pry
    open, and squeaky, too.
    I was certain they’d hear me
    downstairs, and would come to my
    room to investigate. If they tied me up,
    all would be for naught. Now I must move quietly but swiftly down the escape before discovery…………..

  16. Mike Bayles

    Poeming between Calls at a Call Center

    After a barrage of phone calls
    my attention drifts
    to a scrap of paper
    left to the side of my cubicle.
    Thoughts wander
    to other worlds,
    and I grab a pen
    to jot down
    whatever daydream
    stirs inside me.
    Ramblings become words,
    and words become lines
    cascading down the page,
    and become something more
    than imagined.
    This cubicle is my place
    for now,
    but I’m also in other places
    in dreams and in memories.
    When another call comes,
    the paper flutters down to the floor.
    It is a butterfly,
    and I am free.

      1. Mike Bayles

        Thank you for your nice comment. If I start a poem at work, I leave some notes and lines, and finish the poem at home. Just as long as I answer the call promptly, I’m okay.

  17. Benjamin Thomas


    Escape, elude
    that’s my attitude
    in conflict or feud
    or a hairy dude

    retreat, withdrawn
    like a scrawny fawn
    be strong, be bold
    tis’ what I’ve been told

    but sometimes
    you just can’t stand
    on your own two feet
    bitin’ your lip
    sufferin’ defeat

    or maybe not defeat
    but you use your feet
    not to fight but flight
    and fly I say

    out of mind, out of sight
    and out of harms way
    kinda safe and sound
    half way outta town

    keep going , escape
    like a Ford I say
    hit the gas, don’t look
    and don’t delay

    click the turbo
    set the jet boosters
    zippin’ past farms,
    horses, roosters

    Yes sometimes escape
    is the only way

    1. PKP

      Agree with Shannon’s comment…great flow and pace feel as though I’m running beside you…a positive run free of fear…perhaps even with some giggles and guffaws :)

  18. Jane Shlensky

    I’ve been having what my mother called “blue days” while I’m sick, but it’s amazing how the simplest of natural wonders can buoy me up. This was one for today, provided by the orphaned hawk who makes our woods and yard his home. I love that guy. I first called it Natural Rhythms, but changed my mind, realizing I’m invested in his well-being in ways that he wouldn’t credit much.


    The juvenal hawk sits in the oak
    near the pasture fence, calling repeatedly
    to his own kind, plaintive in his loneliness.

    His shrill keening echoes in me,
    feathering the edges of my own closeted
    otherness, my own losses and sorrows,

    as I go about my day, forgetting
    him as the source of my ennui,
    until I hear his call aloft,

    and look up into the morning light to watch
    him riding the air currents, circling,
    dipping, gliding, befriending the wind,
    offering succor, my heart lifted on his wings.

  19. Justine Hemmestad

    A Tear

    A tear escaped my eyes when I heard the news –
    Of a betrayal so unfathomable to be true,
    And yet I found within myself no bitterness,
    No anger for preconditioned clothes though I stood in bareness –
    A broken commandment crumbled like stone,
    For in bearing false witness you also stole.
    People are cheerleaders to you but I see the light they cast –
    Separate from the lies you have amassed.
    A light exudes from truth and yet the fire cannot be put out,
    The sacrifice made not for the prolonging of my drought.
    My tear is for the beauty of love that I see,
    Even within the realm of darkness that is applied so badly.

  20. Walt Wojtanik


    There’s no escaping this life.
    Despite the strife that this life will provide,
    you can’t hide the fact that
    the lives you touch, touch so many others.
    You’ll have enough sisters and brothers
    to populate this burg, and any urge you have
    to roam from your roots will have you
    shaking in your boots. You carry home with you,
    and it carries you in its heart. When we start
    in this life we are required one thing:
    bring joy and comfort to your fellow man.
    And if you can, you will never falter.
    You may go far on dollars and cents,
    but your recompense comes from the sense
    of community; an eternal unity that is clear
    in the end. No man fails who has friends.
    Welcome home, George Bailey.
    You own this town!

  21. Dyson McIllwain

    I always thought I could be someone,
    a voice that fills the night with
    all the right rythyms and words.
    Never to aspire to the bottle like
    my old man and others; uncles
    and brothers. That’s the way it is.
    Driving to the limits of each village
    and town down the road
    and in the dump for our status.
    We had harmony at one time,
    but the rhyme had gone most sour.
    There is power in knowing
    when the beaten horse is bereft of vitality.
    Save your energy and your breath.
    A solution is within. Walk away,
    or live and die this way.

    1. Dyson McIllwain

      The title escaped. “We’ve Got to Make a Decision: Leave Tonight or Live and Die This Way”, a lyric from FAST CAR by Tracey Chapman. Written for Marie and Walt’s Poetic Bloomings Sunday prompt. Fitting the escape clause here!

  22. Ellie.C

    car in the other lane, passenger:
    a big blonde dog, cartoon of goofy pleasure
    taking in the universe, at speed. I know.
    I walk on cadenced words for hours,
    page turning over page, and emerge
    without plot or dialog to recall, but
    set me in that world and ask me
    for a spoon–it’s in your hand.

  23. Walt Wojtanik


    The ties that bind have released,
    a piece of your past floats
    mindlessly, aimlessly into
    the atmosphere. Your decisions
    are as vacuous as air of late,
    but the great thing about it,
    is once your set things free,
    you are able to start fresh.
    Step free of the mess you had
    a hand in and begin again.
    The first step is admitting
    you were a part of the problem.
    The umbilical has been cut;
    Major Tom is a satellite on this
    star-filled night. Freedom is just
    another word for not giving a flying starship!
    No anchor will hold once the tether
    has been snipped. Release your grip and drift.
    You have been jetisoned.

    1. Joseph Harker

      We used to do a meditation in yoga where the instructor would have us visualize everything outside that hour of practice, put it into a balloon, and push it out the window. “For the next hour, nothing outside this room exists.” Reminds me of that. :)

  24. PKP

    Apple biting cuspids delight
    Ever freshly grinning happily
    In jocular kindled lightened morning
    Night over pouring quiet rain
    Slipping timorously under
    Valorous wondrous xylophone

    Good day

  25. PKP

    First come the shoes

    First come the shoes tossed aside
    Atop flung damp socks worm limpy
    Trousers, underwear pushed down and away
    Kicked barefooted against a girder 
    Arms raised high and crossed pull shirt over head
    Stand bare toes delight in cold steel’s touch –  in that 
    Navied night, sea salted wind cools  
    Scorched skin separated free from
    Parched shackled spirit –  sailing –  slipped
    Into ever solace with a  single simple two stepped
    Irrevocable dive  

  26. barbara_y

    the escape hatch

    the swampy vamps on HBO
    exsanguinate eviscerate
    and decorate the screen

    the comedy central news
    views not the news, but
    views views of the news

    ominous sky? watch radar
    red/green overhead right
    now. camera crew follows

    blank is looking for home
    in blank. granite kitchen
    oh! moldings-but no pool.

  27. seingraham

    Houdini and Shadow

    Both black as chimney soot
    And quicker than blinks
    The kittens were different
    In every other way

    One. the tinier one
    Stuck to me as if velcroed
    Onto my clothes, or skin;
    Wrapped itself round an ankle
    My neck, or shoulder

    The other, the male
    Was here, then not —
    Just gone. Disappeared.
    I thought escaped
    Somehow. Although
    The door was locked
    And windows closed tight
    The cat had evaporated

    Two days passed
    Then another — then
    That night
    From under a radiator
    Slid a darkness
    Furred, it was
    With slitted gold
    Eyes blinking against
    The light — mewing
    The tiniest sound;
    Not making any promises
    This, I knew.

    1. barbara_y

      I had one make its home under the refrigerator for about a week, slipping out at night for munchies and the liter box. Woke up in the middle of the night to eyes looking down from the shelf of my bookcase bed

      1. PKP

        So sweet Barbara….Had a little feral fluff adopted me during November NaNo…was 2 lbs let me pick him up …was shocked…thought finally I could rescue a kitten…find him a good home… Mhmm never imagined his good home would be with me! Now 12 lb big beautiful boy at 11 mo this with his own room…a red collar and a gold heart ID, bathed each morning, very much his one person, but no aggression… Little black fluff now powerfully majestic …. Written about Oliver ( ala Twist) and pictures on my site

  28. SaraV

    Unfortunately, this is inspired by my beautiful strong 79 years young mother tripping and breaking her hip. Thankfully, she is strong and on the mend. Still, we’ve all been brought to our knees at the alter of mortality. Yikes.

    A Step Away

    One brick step
    Is all it takes to
    Break a hip
    And there’s no
    Mortality is only
    A step away

    1. Jane Shlensky

      I hate that I’m getting this more and more. Best to your mom. Isn’t it interesting the sturdiness of the spirit housed in those fragile little bodies?

    2. SaraV

      PKP, Marie Elena, Sara, Barbara and Jane–thank you so much for all your kind words! Means a lot going through this painful time. Jane, sturdiness of spirit–perfect words! Thanks again everyone :-)

  29. Michael Grove

    Disappearing Act

    A Magician is an expert
    at the slight of hand.
    Your eyes will fool your senses
    You will not understand.

    Here today, gone tomorrow.
    Who’s behind the cape?
    So much careful planning
    for the great escape.

    Curtains shield the mystery.
    Boxes have false sides.
    Mirrors change the truth,
    when you try to hide.

    Locks and chains do bind you
    Or blind you in a sense.
    The disappearing act
    will leave you in suspense.

    By Michael Grove

  30. pmwanken


    record heat
    a long, hot summer
    calls for desperate measures
    antsy 5-year-old boys
    mom at wits’ end
    sends them in search of treasures

    the trio of boys
    head for their bikes
    superheroes minus their capes
    TV is muted
    apartment is empty
    viable for a mental escape

    moments later
    glancing out the door
    first a gasp and then a smile
    her three boys
    rode along in single file

    summer heat
    was to blame
    for what they decided to wear:
    helmets on heads
    pads on knees and elbows
    and favorite superhero underwear

    P. Wanken


      1. pmwanken

        Yes, Viv…that “escape” was three-fold…(1) for the mom to have the boys out of her hair; (2) I think those boys must have escaped their mom’s attention, otherwise they’d probably have had more clothes on; and (3) after a long day for me, seeing those three was a great “escape into laughter” for me, indeed!

      1. pmwanken

        No…they were neighbor kids (triplets) in the apartment complex…and they were close enough to see, but not close enough to get a good picture (didn’t have my camera–just my phone, which does not have the best zoom capabilities).

  31. Michael Grove

    I’ll Reflect Light

    Where there is darkness
    I’ll make it bright.
    I will hold hope.
    I’ll reflect light.

    Where there is suffering
    I’ll hold you tight,
    ‘till no more pain,
    I’ll reflect light.

    Where there is blindness
    I’ll be your sight,
    for clearer vision.
    I’ll reflect light.

    Where there is turmoil
    I’ll make things right,
    find resolution,
    I’ll reflect light.

    By Michael Grove

  32. Sara McNulty

    S Cape

    Desperately seeking someone to fix
    the mess this country
    has piled up sky high.
    No way out, no escape
    unless he steps in,
    our hero, the brave man
    who can reach the mess
    and clean it up,
    doing his best,
    all while wearing an “S”
    on his cape, and blue
    tights made for long flights.

        1. PKP

          Haha I am not sure about great “mimes” although I think they might by the very nature of their small vocational numbers, think alike …but I meant….of course… great ” minds”. Lol

          1. Sara McNulty

            Dr.P, I was stunned to read yours because I never read until I post. Truly, what are the odds? Indeed, I loved yours as well.

        1. PKP

          Great “mimes” and all that….mhmm perhaps IPAD had it right we “mime”. here with soundless words. See Walt’s Marcel today…(BTW I never read before I begin to write either) :). Would like you over at a group have no way of reaching you! Find me on my blog.

  33. cstewart


    Oh – Americans!
    In sex, food, automobiles,
    In work, movies, television,
    In books, family, sports,
    In alcohol, drugs, pornography,
    In exercise, expresso drinks, traveling,
    Lets, make a list…

  34. laurie kolp

    Shackled Memory

    These rusty shackles chain my memory,
    pinch and squeeze the life right out of me
    like labor pains, I writhe in binding fear;
    the words you said I can’t erase from there.

    And now I’m standing by the hotel door
    I’m gasping from the race lost freedom won.
    “She’s just a slut,” floats through the chilly air.
    Will I escape? These chains can’t be undone.

    @laurie kolp

  35. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    On a billboard on Route 3

    Next time you put me down
    and turn my smile into a frown…
    Divorce for $399

    Next time you’re loathsome and irate
    or bum around and don’t pull your weight…
    Divorce for $399

    Next time you abuse me physically
    or forget your vows and cheat on me…
    Divorce for $399

    We’ve only one life, we are not cats
    Change now, or end up with nothing but
    Divorce for $399

    (c) jh 8/17/11

  36. Jane Shlensky

    Lesser Evils

    With toothy monsters
    under the bed, wintry
    coldness creeping up the sheets,
    and a blue wind tormenting
    the curtains,
    his best escape was
    the in closet
    with the wild animals.

    One Better

    While we puzzled over the perfect
    Birthday gift for our father,
    He packed up his fishing gear and
    A few clothes and bid us farewell.

  37. Jane Shlensky

    A few before choir practice.


    Watching cross country runners
    Sweating in long circles,
    The coaches paced in the sun,
    Fiddling with their stop watches,
    Bored and listless.

    Rick, the young coach, turned to
    His gourd-shaped companion,
    Tidy in his shorts and knee brace,
    Pointed to a plane he’d been watching,
    High above the practice field,

    Making white trails across
    The deep autumn sky.
    “I’d like to be on that plane right now,
    Going wherever it’s going,” longing
    Almost breaking his voice.

    The old coach squinted upward in
    A silence almost like reverence and nodded.
    “Yep, it’s probably headed to our airport,
    just 20 minutes away.”

    1. PKP

      as usual trademark vibrant images….the notion of the sweating young running in circles….one young coach a,ready slightly hobbled and the dream of escape wryly dashed is somehow powerfully chilling…

  38. Shannon Lockard

    I don’t remember the
    last time we talked
    but your nervous laughter
    and the awkward silence
    I do remember the
    last time I thought of you
    wondering if I should call,
    contemplating meeting you again.
    But the past, a sheet of rain,
    made the air too moist to rekindle anything.
    Rekindle what, I wasn’t sure.
    Our early days haunting my memories
    but I know I loved you once.
    And, I hope you loved me, too.
    I think you did,
    but you were unavailable
    so I became unavailable.
    I tried to escape the life I was born into
    and reinvent myself, become the norm.
    And it worked, at least on the surface.
    And then you died
    and I cried,
    remembering our love again.

    1. PKP

      “the past as a “sheet of rain” is only one of the unique images….along with air “being too moist to rekindle anything”. that makes this poem wet with tears sprung from the page. Heart-wrenchingly beautiful.

  39. Iain Douglas Kemp

    The End In Sight

    working four terms to pay the bills
    the summer school adventure is coming to an end
    the long awaited holiday looms large
    raising spirits
    but parting is such sweet sorrow
    as I leave the day after tomorrow
    the end in sight
    the light at the end of the tunnel beckoning
    and when the weekend comes
    I shall escape


  40. Joseph Harker

    A bit loopy from pain pills right now, and still at work. But here is an offering: it was a twofold escape, both from my usual choice of form (I never do rondeaux!), and from the dreariness of the office (I just trotted down to the Starbucks… don’t know how I made it this long without charging up).

    The Fix

    More coffee, please, I ask politely:
    don’t take my drug withdrawal too lightly.
    I’ll start to chew the scenery,
    disrupt this quiet beanery.
    They’ll ask: is he deranged? I might be.

    For mornings that start out so brightly
    all seem to collapse around me nightly.
    I cling to my caffeinery:
    more coffee, please.

    It helps survive the office, slightly
    lifts up my step. I call it (rightly)
    my lifeblood, my machinery.
    Keep all your booze and venery:
    give me cafes to keep me sprightly.
    More coffee, please.

          1. Joseph Harker

            Ely: yes indeed!
            Barbara: I’ll let you know when I think of it :)
            Pearl: nothing major, just threw out something in my back/neck/shoulder area. Probably a slipped disc… hurts like hell, more than any other similar injury I’ve had. Slowly getting better, I think/hope. (And I just finished off my morning caffeine, so that helps too…)

  41. Walt Wojtanik


    You stand alone,
    palms forward, feeling
    for the faint traces of these
    wall of your own devising.
    It isn’t surprising that your cries
    for assistance fall on the deafness
    of the maddening crowd. For crying out loud,
    won’t anyone help this man?
    It is apparent that this transparent box
    has him perplexed. Every exit is sealed
    in his mind. If he can only find the door.
    He stands, silent tears streaming
    for this seemingly simple mute.
    Maybe it’s time to speak his mind;
    A bitchin’ time saves mime!

  42. PKP

    Return to Ever-sun * 

    Slipping the bonds
    Of feared hum-drum
    The weighty chains of
    Mediocrity, breathe
    Deeply, eyes loosely
    Shut against the
    Here and drift
    To the there of that
    Turquoised island
    Of that never setting
    ribboned horizon free
    Youth sparkled ever sun

    *one of a few originally posted at Big Tent more at my blog….

  43. Tracy Davidson

    At last I have escaped the purgatory
    of not being able to access
    this wonderful blog!

    My old computer flatly refused
    to talk to the new-look website
    and kept throwing me out.

    Lost and bewildered I was
    without Poetic Asides
    to keep me sane(ish).

    Oh how I’ve missed all
    you wonderful poets
    and the weekly prompts.

    But at last I’m here,
    even if it’s taken me 2 days
    to set my new computer up.

    I guess I’d better go away
    and write a proper poem now!

  44. Caren

    The Magic

    Show me the magic,
    Give me reasons to believe
    In the illusions.
    Tip the hat and wave the wand;
    Maybe make me disappear.

    Show me the magic,
    And say “Abracadabra!”
    I’ll pretend it’s real.
    Please don’t tell me your secrets;
    I really don’t want to know.

    Show me the magic,
    Let glitter float in the air.
    Take me far away
    From this ordinary life,
    And into an endless dream.

    Caren E. Salas

  45. barbara_y

    The Box

    you say I can close my eyes and listen
    and there are wind chimes,
    mares nickering to their thundering foals,
    a tiny stream splashing down rockfall.
    And you might, there, where you are.
    But you are likely cupped by mountains
    like a nice ambrosia salad cool
    on frilly lettuce in the cafeteria.
    Or maybe you can just kick off your
    flip flops and wade where the breakers
    pack sand like a bar cookie, coconut
    on top like froth.  But I’m stuck here
    in this cubicle until 4:30, 
    and all I really want to hear
    is china clinked by silverware.

  46. phawkenson


    It started small
    just one dish left on the counter
    one suitcase sitting by the sofa
    one newspaper strewn on the carpet
    when eyelids were down
    from the depression
    of their loss
    that started the pile
    overwhelming their soul
    leaving the hoarder buried
    in their possessions
    till only a path
    through the mountain of stuff
    allowed a sliver of hope
    to escape
    until the hoarder
    closed their door.

    1. Marie Elena

      So sad. I have a neighbor who is a hoarder. I watch her dog on occasion when she is away. She lets very few into her home, so I feel strangely privileged as I make my way through the slim path in her living room to take Lilly out the back door. So very sad. Well-written piece, Patricia.

  47. taylor graham

    STRANGE TOWN (a Semi-Gloss)

    At the end, an open door;
    Squares of sunlight on the floor
    Light the long and dusky lane;
    And the whirring of a wheel….
    – H.W. Longfellow, “The Ropewalk”

    How did I come here? Factory side of town
    deserted; asphalt, concrete, brick, and steel –
    a place I’ve surely never been before
    unless in dream. What workers spend their lives
    here on intricacies of gauge and bore?
    At the end, an open door

    inviting landscape…. Only mortared wall;
    a boarded entrance, shop-front window
    like a stage; mannequins as metaphor
    for life: a mother, a child in sick-bed,
    and a hanging bulb in mockery for
    squares of sunlight on the floor.

    The child is dying. There’s an empty chair,
    straight-back, and a braided rug; half-filled glass
    of water to be drained. No word of pain;
    they’re mannequins; they’re riveted and hinged –
    not held like us to hopes, their links of chain.
    Light the long and dusky lane

    that leads me out of here. Dolls don’t die. This
    dumb-show is meant for human passers-by.
    What message does it bear, what truth reveal?
    The day’s grown later. No breeze except
    my breath. My shadow, tar-black under heel,
    and the whirring of a wheel.

  48. Domino


    High-tech life
    Pressure rife
    Filled with strife

    Need a break
    My escape:
    Cooper’s Lake

    Back in time
    Past sublime
    Temperate clime

    Minstrels sing
    Armor rings
    Heart takes wing

    Day’s bazaars
    Battle scars
    Night with stars


    What I miss:
    Pennsic bliss

    (For those of you unfamiliar with Pennsic War, it is the largest event of the year in the Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA, which is held every year in late July/early August at Cooper’s Lake, Pennsylvania. For more information about the SCA, go to http://www.sca.org. For more information on Pennsic, go to http://www.pennsicwar.org) ^_^

  49. SalvatoreButtaci


    haunt me
    gray shades
    and voices
    scenes unknown
    in my real world
    I accept
    as true.
    is that?
    I escape
    when day
    my arm


  50. Andrew Kreider


    I promise – this time will be different.
    I left my cell phone in the car, along with
    My pager and walkie-talkie. Bill said
    he’d phone someone else if he ends up
    In the ER, honest. I took the prophylactic
    Tylenol like you asked. Grandma’s got the
    Kids, so no need to bother her, heaven knows.
    And yes, my pockets are empty, no red pen,
    No talcum powder, no lentils or ball bearings.
    There’s no way I’m leaving this time. Let’s go
    Enjoy ourselves. You know how I love babies.

  51. RJ Clarken

    How to Get Unlost

    How shall a man escape from that which is written; How shall he flee from his destiny? –Ferdowski

    are here.”
    -The mall map


    (Yep…still in a Hay[Na]Ku frame of mind!)

          1. cara.holman

            Thank you, Marie Elena. :) Actually, it is a word. Also “haiku poet” or “haijin”. I learned that at the conference!

  52. PKP

    Robert….always enjoy one of your dangling leaf poems….this one no exception….they have a life of their own reminiscent, in the best of posdible ways, of a Peanuts’ or perhaps Silverstein leaf…

  53. Nancy Posey

    A story I’d never heard until right before my grandfather died–his own grandfather, forced to fight in the Civil War:


    How different could two men be,
    fighting on opposite sides,
    but both separated from home,
    from those they loved?
    Little wonder then that one,
    conscripted to fight, forced
    to leave his wife so ill,
    captured in the first skirmish,
    moped so that the guard,
    a Yank about his age, had to ask.

    Who wouldn’t seem mournful,
    taken so soon, his shoes still unworn?
    But his sorrow had a depth beyond
    that of other men who’d suffered
    the same fate, and pressed,
    he’d unburdened his soul, wiping
    tears unashamed as he told the man,
    his enemy, his captor, how he’d left
    under duress, despite his wife’s decline.

    The man listened in silence, then staring
    up at the clouds obscuring the moon,
    mused, It’s a wonder no more men
    escape than do, the conditions
    of the prison camp so shoddy,
    lacking proper fencing, light. I’ll bet,
    he said right out loud, a man
    could run away, be miles from here
    before anyone even noticed he was gone.

    And then he’d turned his back.

    No need for second thoughts, he’d run
    fast and low, darting through the trees,
    his inner compass set for home,
    not so far he told himself, running
    all night long. First light found him
    near his neighbors’ gate, and spotting
    him, they’d waved him in, offering
    a sparse breakfast, but a damned sight
    more than he’d eaten in days.
    They waited til he’d finished to tell
    what his eyes told them he feared.
    Late in the night, they’d gotten the word.
    She had passed.

    He packed the children, leaving the house
    just as she’d left it, the door ajar,
    and escaped Mississippi this time.

  54. Walt Wojtanik


    What’s the difference?
    Running to or running from,
    the shortest distance between two points
    is an escape in any book.
    Seperating oneself from the fray
    plays upon your angst and ire.
    The poetic fire in your belly
    leaves a smelly taste in your mouth
    and there’s no way out except up.
    Corsica has sent her eviction notice;
    malcontents are not welcomed!
    So remove your hand from your waist-coat
    and smoat the day you decided
    your muse was more important than the process.
    A beg of forgiveness and a sharp wrist slap,
    every mishap screams for release.
    Exile is as purile as you may not have imagined.
    Standing on the perifery serves no purpose.
    Escape from your ego.
    Escape to your refuge.
    The textbook “No Lose” scenario
    written for a poetic lothario!

  55. Dyson McIllwain

    Shaking the Shackles

    Bound to the life we’ve created
    and not necessarily the one planned,
    each woman and man has a choice.
    We can use our voices to call out the
    unfairness that abounds, or remain
    the prisoners we have prescribed to be.
    Our enslavement can be nothing
    from which good can be extricated.
    Chained to these walls of self-doubt
    and indecision, our mission is clear.
    Shout out for all to hear and cheer
    for the hero who escapes from the
    tretchery of the villianous and destructive.
    The only way to be productive
    is to set yourself free and flee.

      1. PKP

        Second reading….yes…shake the shackles, shout, set yourself free….:). ( I think the flee threw me for some reason… Apologies you did not ask for critique… powerful poem….

  56. ely the eel

    Getting Older, For Real Now

    Life now is not so much a riptide,
    more like those little rushes of waves,
    you know, those sneaky ones,
    when you are strolling on the sand,
    looking at those silly, flitting birds,
    and you forget the water
    until it laps at your shoes,
    and you become a bird yourself,
    jumping stupidly, awkwardly back,
    as if you could somehow escape what’s coming.

  57. Fidoic

    that silent scream…
    woke me up
    from my noisy dream…

    that helpless child…
    shook me out
    from my gratification so wild…

    that voiceless rabbit…
    solaced me within
    for my vulgar habit…

    that lifeless flower..
    pinched me hard
    for my arrogant behaviour…

    that open sky…
    pushed me back
    in my natural sly…

    that night so careworn…
    deprived me off
    my mighty brawn…


    that myself…
    escaped from this
    this myself…

  58. Connie Peters

    A Sweeter Life

    Like a prisoner
    digging a tunnel
    with only a spoon,
    I carefully plot time out.
    Motel down the street?
    At last I make my escape,
    pamper myself
    enjoy the moment.
    I return to a sweeter life.

  59. PKP

    The S Cape

    Once before thought in this way of this same cape
    of shimmered cobalt blue and crimson S
    as a man enlivened flew from cartooned page
    to draw hoards confined in childhood with him to escape

  60. PKP


    For four months he watched the door
    from his crocheted hearthed rug on the floor
    listened as they cooed at how unferal he
    “no need to run or the world outside to see”
    watched carefully them close and open that door
    and one day flashed through into the light – hearthed no more

  61. mikeMaher


    The new Poetic Asides site
    offers a newer, fresher approach
    to our community of writers,
    complete with an embargo on all mike Maher. posts,
    floating comment clouds,
    and more advertising opportunities.
    Ah, to dream of escaping off this island
    and swimming back to the old one!

      1. Sharp Little Pencil

        The individual comments are a distinct advantage. I wrote Robert an email asking him to investigate different “themes”; for example, mine is Koi, which has a nice parchment feel. Hey, times are changing, and if poets cannot adapt, who can? mike, sorry, buddy, but stick with it. Don’t be a stick in the mud!!! Stay and make mudcakes with us! Amy

    1. Walt Wojtanik

      Paraphrasing Lennon, “I don’t believe in any ‘ism’, I just believe in chi!” Chi being the life force that flows through everything including poetry. I’m understanding that more and more lately. This place is fine. It’s not the ‘home’ we remember, but is still where all our good, old stuff is. Change for the sake of change is what we have to deal with. But the whole WordPress platform is more conducive for such a forum. There’s a balance to be found; a yin-yang to achieve. In my mind, it’s just great to read all of this worded wonder amongst friends again. Explore our new world here. There has to be good things you like about it. Embrace those and move ahead. We’ve always gotten through it together.

      1. Sharp Little Pencil

        Also, remember when you moved out of your folks’ house and came back and found your bedroom had been turned into the ironing room or whatever? Change is inevitable. And yes, Walt, sticking together is what matters. Paraphrasing Sister Sledge: “We are family/I got all my poets with me!” Amy

        1. PKP

          Appreciate sentiments of all above…I think for me the request for “pull-no-punches ” comments and Robert’s initial statement that he was as “surprised ” as we by the changes contributed a sense of unease and a feeling of to the protectiveness for Robert, ( and as Walt puts it our “old home”). Amy great metaphors, I think however, the troubling sense I have is that the ” parents” have been replaced….A faceless, non-responsive WD, has it would appear, replaced a man (RLB) who created this community and saw it through life-threatening illness and great joys alike…. Enough….we can continue more appropriately off the site and keep poeming here. :)

    2. mikeMaher

      My main frustration with the new site was that it would not allow me to post anything. At least now that aspect has been lifted. Viva la mike Maher.! Haha. Just kidding. I planned on writing a more “real” poem for this prompt, but I was frustrated by my poems no appearing here. Now, at least, I can move forward and embrace our new home here. :)