Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 161

After getting bombarded with some unexpected projects at the end of 2011, I’m finally starting to catch up with 2012. It’s a pretty nice year so far, and I hope to start getting more Poetic Asides posts up through the rest of this month. As some of you may have noticed, I’ve ramped up my efforts on my personal My Name Is Not Bob blog, and one of our former interviewed poets (Collin Kelley) shared a life changing moment story today (click here to read).

For this week’s prompt, please write a life changing moment poem. The poem could be about an actual moment that changed your life (or someone you know), or it could be an imagined moment. It could even be a moment you wish would happen–and change your life.

Here’s my attempt:

“Under my thumb”

For more than two hundred miles, we drove
through heavy late-December rains hoping
to make good time to my grandmother’s house
before the tires lost touch of the road
and sent us spinning into a guardrail
not once or twice but three full times until
there we were blocking the slow lane facing
a ditch that dropped an easy thirty feet.
I often wonder what would have happened
had we spun out before or after it
caught us–or if we’d been in slightly more
congested traffic. I remember that
everyone was asleep but me, and
I was listening to the Rolling Stones,
my own singing, and the relentless rain.


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284 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 161

  1. Colette D

    ~ A Moment Generating Function ~

    A moment may be just a minute,
    but could change a life forever.
    The concept of a limit
    approaches such a matter:
    from zero to the infinite,
    mathematics did a number
    on my life within a minute,
    and in no minute manner!

  2. cstewart


    She was a smart girl,
    Who constantly undermined her success –
    With mind numbing, gang round ups in class,
    The structure of gangs –
    Engaging others to misbehave, a habit.

    She said it happened last year,
    The change that made her turn around,
    And look at her surroundings,
    And former friends.

    I always challenged her behavior, but
    She said – maestro, I’ve changed!
    I used to be a gang member –
    I was right beside my boyfriend
    When they shot him in the face.

    So, I made her my aide,
    Bought her manicures for her help,
    And we fought our way through
    The next two years together.

  3. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    (According to PoeWar, an Epistle is a poetic form dating back to ancient Rome written in the form of a letter and used to express love, philosophy, religion and morality. There are no meter or rhyme requirements as it’s more a form of voice or persona addressed to a real or imaginary person. The tone can be formal or very personalized, with stanzas that run for many pages in length or as short as a post card.)

    by juanita lewison-snyder


    i ran across a box of old poems and letters
    written when i was but young and naive
    brash and principled, ready to make
    my mark upon the world, a paper tiger.


    you always gave the minimal amount
    it took to keep me alive,
    a lion tamer with a first rate whip
    a chair forever between us.


    you swore i could tell you anything
    and yet i choose not to,
    partly out of fear, partly out of love,
    partly out of trust issues.
    but somewhere along the way
    the weather took a turn for the worse
    and vellum turned to rice,
    transparent, unable to stand on its own.


    i am still plagued by paper demons,
    only more discreet about it now, mindful
    who is watching, taking notes, keeping score,
    this painful lesson yet unfolding.


    my heart is failing, along with
    the rest of this onionskin forest.
    time perhaps to strike this match
    and let go of these paper tigers.

    © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  4. Ber

    My tiny surprise

    I could hardly believe
    The words from the doctors mouth
    Your having a baby
    My eyes filled with tears
    My head full of fears

    Me so young a life inside of me
    will i cope and be the best mummy as i could be
    The tongues starting whagging and the news travelled fast
    But nothing else mattered only my precious little baby
    Braking the news to my parents was no easy task

    They were very supportive
    They helped how they could
    But only i could do the job better
    as any mother would

    I remember that night
    when you came into our lives
    How everything changed
    At first it was all so strange

    The years flew by and i taught you what i knew
    You made me as proud as can be
    I loved to nurse you on my knee
    You huged and cuddled me
    You showed me this love back
    I always felt close to you i would never change a thing

    I have watched your different stages that you have gone through
    The skills you have developed the habits and the friendships too
    I watched you and nurtured you
    And now you moved away
    your living in your own house now
    But you wont be far away

    this is wrote for my son Daniel who is my 1st born child and has now reached the real age of independance love him and i am so proud of him

  5. Mike Bayles

    Moving into the Other Side of Town

    Putting pots and pans in cupboards,
    that’s just part of the settling.
    I carry boxes into the apartment
    that looks just like the one I had
    on a desolate part of town.
    Someone o the balcony above my new apartment
    calls out to me,
    and I can barely understand his palsied speech,
    but I make some time to listen.
    He asks me to get him some cigarettes,
    and I make the time, although I don’t smoke.
    I catch glimpses of others
    while I go in and out of the building.
    Inside the apartment I work alone.
    The sounds of people in the halls
    remind me there’s so much to learn
    while I claim a life of my own.

  6. Mike Bayles

    Moving into the Other Side of Town

    Putting pots and pans in cupboards
    that ‘s just the start of settling.
    I carry boxes into the apartment,
    That looks just like the one I had
    on a desolate side of town.
    Someone on the balcony above my new apartment,
    calls out to me,
    and I can barely understand him,
    and I make some time to listen.
    He asks me to get him some cigarettes,
    and I make the time, although I don’t smoke.
    I catch glimpses of others
    while I go in and out of the building,
    Inside the apartment I work alone.
    The sounds of people in the halls
    remind me there’s so much to learn
    while I claim a new life of my own.

  7. Ellie.C

    thinking thinking thinking
    bee wasp bee 
    flea itch itch 
    thinking butterfly thinking
    Ouch!  Wha..?
    There’s an apple on my head!
    Where’d that come from?
    What do I want with an apple?
    thinking thinking thinking
    bee fly butterfly itch
    what was I thinking?
    crunch toss flea itch

  8. Jolanta.Stephens

    When the lace dropped
    And our heads rested
    Ringed fingers intertwined
    We awoke bleary
    But contented
    Gazed sleepily and sighed
    The spotlight dimmed
    And wistfully shifted
    To the life we pined
    Engulf us whole
    Our paths are twisted
    Ever yours and ever mine

  9. foodpoet


    In the silence of departure,
    in the second before closing,
    waiting for the emptiness beside
    me to be crowded out to
    join with the hollow me
    sitting in a vacuum void despair
    I ride, the daily masses,
    a discordant chant to start
    the day, my brain stuffed
    work Velcro
    family fiber thorns
    inward scratching
    the skull.
    I bleed words on paper
    but no tears fall,
    torn between age – failing eyes
    and sister a flight away.
    I stand torn shorn.
    I wail into the empty night,
    put my day face on,
    pretending to cope.

  10. leatherdykeuk


    I harboured resentment over my past life,
    the way my ex screwed around
    and threw me out of the house (but kept my dog)
    until by chance the other day
    twenty years since we divorced
    they send a packet of photographs
    via my sister (a fixed point of reference)
    of my pre-university ceramics.

    That night I lay in bed and calculated the years
    between us, the years since my birth
    and realised they were seventy now
    while I was still a young woman,
    in the bloom of my career.

    I wondered why I still bore a grudge
    and let it go at last.

  11. Mary Mansfield

    Great prompt, Robert! Be warned, Mary’s been playing in the dark again…this is a bit harsh (disturbing? blunt? hard to pick the right descriptive word.) Definitely life-changing though.

    A Disturbing Memory

    I always liked my men edgy
    And he was no exception,
    Moody and sullen,
    With a smile that could erase
    Any misgivings from my mind.
    I can’t remember exactly
    What I did or what I said
    That turned his tender touch brutal,
    But in the space of a heartbeat
    His clenched right hand
    Left more than just my trust
    Bloodied on the floor.

      1. PSC in CT

        Thanks, Marie! It’s ancient history for me now — but was life changing none the less, and still stings at times. Hugs back at ya for the feedback. 🙂


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