Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 158

For this week’s prompt, write a box poem. This poem is either about a box or includes a box somewhere in the poem (or title). Don’t be afraid to poem outside the box this week (sorry, I had to say it).

“Box Turtle”

We found it beside the road
taking one methodical step
after another. Its eyes focused
on something in the distance,
a finish line only it could see,
and it paid us no mind as we
tried to predict what might
happen to it down the road.


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135 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 158

  1. Buddah Moskowitz

    (Since the prompt isn’t here yet for today, I am submitting this poem – finally written. Thanks!)

    “Box of Dreams”

    I used to keep a
    box of memories
    and over time
    I kept shifting the contents
    from smaller
    to larger box.

    Once when I was
    switching boxes,
    I lost my grip
    and it fell and broke,
    scattering my memories
    across the floor,
    like beads
    from a busted necklace.

    Seeing them all there
    the pearls mixed in with the dross,
    the voice spoke:
    “why are you keeping

    You can’t even remember why
    you wanted to keep it

    So, I picked out
    a proper display case
    to honor the pearls
    and threw out
    everything else.

    A box of memories
    can weight you down,
    so now I have a smaller,
    lighter box of dreams,
    which helps me fly.

  2. PSC in CT

    Hmmm… just came in to post a comment and see if the most recent change I made to my profile will cause my profile pic to appear here…? (But I’m betting against it… techno-idiot that I am.) :-]

  3. madeline40

    Things in Boxes

    He left a black cloth box
    of his musical recordings
    next to his bed,
    all the tapes neatly packed
    in order of performance.
    And on his closet shelf
    we found a cardboard box
    of little games, cars, and toys,
    souvenir Olympic pins,
    and Russian buttons and buckles
    his uncle brought back for him.
    He fit these favorite things
    together like an intricate puzzle
    all before he left his body
    for us to put in a box
    in the ground.

  4. RJ Clarken

    How to Label a Box When You are Four Years Old

    He told me it was a project for school.
    He needed markers, colored pencils, glue,
    construction paper and a straight-edge tool.
    He arranged those things neatly for review.
    He boxed them up, saying, “There! That should do.”

    Phonetically he listed all his art
    supplies for school on a sweet little chart.
    Then, in big letters, he titled his gear:
    the label on the box was now totally clear…
    as I saw he had written, “BOX o fART.”


    (Form: Dizain)

  5. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    cigar box
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    i keep old letters from my lover
    in a special cigar box, lined with
    the crush of blue velvet and
    the sweet milk of ceramic roses,
    to keep us bound to one another
    and true to the secret language
    puddled within, a fly
    immortalized in amber.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  6. taylor graham


    No dolls now, no clowns or hopscotch –
    too soon! – no brooch or bloom, no orb,
    crown, coq d’or, no stocks no bonds,
    lock-box hollow, no crops, plots, lots –
    sold, lost now – no hooks, bolts, knots or
    knocks, no control, no boots,
    frowns, boos, hoots – so wrong – no
    clock, no room, no fork or spoon,
    no books – torn –not moonglow nor
    morn tomorrow, no world of joy-songs
    or forlorn, no words now – Flo’s flown
    out-yon, long gone.

  7. Walt Wojtanik


    It is just about finished,
    the day for which I work all year,
    and the end is near.
    Tired and sore,
    and what’s more, I have one
    last package to deliver.
    I shiver at the thought,
    and I probably ought to have
    given it sooner. My eyes burn
    and I yearn to give them rest.
    But, the best sight for these sore eyes,
    is the surprise on her face
    when I place this final package
    in her hands. It only stands to reason,
    every year during this season,
    she waits; the patience of a saint
    is hers. This gift is always the last one given.
    As long as I’m living, I’ll be giving it.
    She wraps her arms around me
    and I see the smile it brings.
    And my heart sings when Mrs. “C”
    unwraps her gift. Me. I am Santa Claus.
    My journey is complete. “Honey, Rub my feet?”

  8. taylor graham


    For twelve days I
    gazed at possibility –
    angels, rainbow wrap.
    On the blessed morning is
    it all just more store-bought stuff?

    Large empty boxes,
    some gifts to return – beyond
    the reality
    of holiday hopes is the
    ancient holy day present.

  9. DanielAri

    – – “Roots without Ruts” – – A thousand sweaty days went like wonder summer, and before I knew it, I was inside a shoebox on a shelf in an inner closet within a closet in the back bedroom back corner of the house in our neighborhood and its reputations and realities, inside our state with its fruits and livestock and government and there in the back corner of this country with its ping-pong game of nowhere score—in a typecast of marriage within this relationship of friendness and loverness that I found in a dance of kisses and intimacy shared to the good of improvisation—who knew where we would emerge? – – and with a child who emerged from egg sperm intention improvisation passion to be to be to emerge—so why am I considering me to be inside anything at all? My sweat leaves me like tickertape parade; thus, I must be the hero returning from the inside-outside war of fear and wonderment – – if I can just sweat, simply sweat simple syrup and remove the walls for the surprise, as though I never saw the team magic in a fingernail, as though I never heard Godvoice in the whisper between saxophone notes, as though awe weren’t as common and beautiful as rain—but first I must be forgiven like a fish, forgiven as a tadpole dancing in a red disco dress – – Love, you’ll get to set me loose, Love, you’ll see me lost, for my own love there is nothing left to escape but escape itself. Love, I’ll put escape itself in the box, in the sweat basket, shake myself to confirm: here I am, ready to leave the body earth self out of the gift wrap sigh scream laugh crazy and roll – –

  10. Walt Wojtanik

    LUGGING BOXES (All Night Long)

    All year long just for this moment,
    across the sky my reindeer fly
    leaps and bounds and the sounds
    of Jingle Bells swell my chest with pride.
    It’s this yuletide that drives me.
    I derive my joy from the excitement
    every girl and boy displays on days
    such as this Christmas morning.
    Every package carrying the warning
    “Do Not Open Until,,,” will be torn
    from stem to stern as they yearn
    for the magic this day brings.
    And the thing that makes my heart sing,
    is that I’ve been lugging those boxes all night
    and I’m not tired; I feel alright. I am Santa Claus,
    Merry Christmas to all, and to all..a Good Night!

  11. The Happy Amateur

    I am so happy I have discovered this wonderful writing community. Thank you very much for the warm welcome. I love to write, but my self doubts were holding me back. Thank you for helping me to come out of the box. You have been very supportive of my little achievements, and very tolerant of my less successful writing attempts. Merry Christmas! Happy holidays! Peace and love to everyone.

    Alexandra (aka The Happy Amateur)

  12. MiskMask


    Grasp and a gentle shake:
    it’s the sound of air cushioned
    between my shoe and fallen leaves.

    Grasp and a gentle shake:
    it’s the sound of feathers against
    my ear as I rest my head.

    Grasp and a gentle shake:
    it’s the sound of skates
    running fast on ice.

    Grasp and a gentle shake:
    it’s the sound of a book cover closing
    after the last page is read.

    Grasp and a gentle shake:
    it’s the sound of suspense and memories
    wrapped and tied in red satin ribbons.

    Grasp and a gentle shake;
    I hear boxes.

  13. Walt Wojtanik


    Beneath the tree it sits,
    festively in disguise.
    All eyes behold the beauty
    of a simple cube. Such wonders
    to be beheld. Crisply folded,
    tucked and taped; draped
    with the trappings of
    Holiday cheer. Shiny foil
    embossed here with Christmas.
    The last gift to be had.
    Too bad the package remains sealed,
    not to be opened until the
    Christmas bells peal. Pretty paper
    soon to be shredded in holocaust,
    Lost in unbridled enthusiasm.

  14. barbara_y

    a fat old woman begins to reconsider

    the body
    we’ve been led to think
    is nothing but a box

    all that counts is the candy
    we are the jacks and jills inside, coiled
    to spring out of the mortal

    surprise.  (says my wet, gray brain)
    wherever the jump-start came from,
    when it’s gone, 

    it doesn’t have any need for
    The Beatles Abbey Road album
    or the smell of fresh-ground coffee

    wet dogs, The Screwtape Letters,
    George Carlin, tinted postcards: lolling
    on the beach these bathing beauties, yowza!

    my weird grew in this flabby shell
    and shaped the shell, interdependent as
    root hairs and dirt

    and if my back hurts, sitting
    for hours over a hot poem, I should
    take it for a walk, not give it a cookie.

  15. Colette D

        ~ Surprise Box ~

    1) Start with a box

    2) Place specially-selected,
        super-fun toy in box

    3) Beautifully wrap box

    4) Carefully tie bow around box

    5) Watch child tear open box

    6) Watch child do the unexpected
        and ignore toy and play with box

    7) Next time, stop with box.

  16. Bruce Niedt

    First Flight

    You never forget your first box
    from the publisher, that excitement
    as you slit the shipping tape,
    part the flaps like wings –

    and there it is, your new book,
    many times over, ready to disseminate
    into the unsuspecting world,
    your words cloned dozens of times
    between the covers, your verse
    about to leap into the annals of literature.

    You thumb through a copy,
    just to make sure your poems are all there,
    some of which you know by heart,
    and you plot your strategy –
    where to unleash your beautiful children,
    watch them spread their paper wings
    and fly into the hands of those
    who you hope will love them.

    [I got this same feeling yesterday opening my order of the new anthology “Prompted”, put together by members of this very blog. It’s now available on Amazon and it’s awesome!]

  17. barbara_y

    a box
    contains the promise of return,
    and the chance of abandonment

    a box
    is patient, or seems patient

    a box
    is a sort of covenant,
    but a recognition of reality

    a box
    is a denial of chaos,
    or an acknowledgment of chaos

    a box
    is by its nature an idealist:
    things are not given to boxes
    when there are no expectations

  18. Mike Bayles

    Gift Box and Dreams

    A gift box is a child’s dream.
    Wrapped in glistening foil
    and lying under the Christmas tree
    for endless days,
    it captures an eager child’s imagination.
    It could be anything
    in realities of magical world,
    a train or a game
    or something yet to be known.
    It stirs when shaken
    when the parents are away,
    as something rattles inside
    the confines of cardboard walls.
    When finished,
    the child places the box
    in the same place
    so the parents won’t know.
    On Christmas Eve,
    it is opened to reveal
    its contents like a secret shared,
    a toy mentioned in passing,
    a new reality finding its way.
    Just this one box is opened,
    the rest left for Christmas day,
    so dreams left to find,
    a child’s thoughts within
    and outside the box.


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