Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 167 (Risk Poems)

For this week’s prompt, write a risk poem. That is, write a poem in which either the narrator, a character, or whatever takes a risk, or in which risk is involved. For those who like board games, yes, you can finally write that game about Risk that you’ve always wanted to do.

Here’s my attempt at this risk poem prompt:

“Doe”

I found her waiting–
blood-mouthed and confused–
inside the fence. She
let me approach, though
I heard her breathing
increase with each step,
afraid as I was
she might turn on me.
In silence, we held
our own until I
could unclasp the latch.

*****

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*****

Publish your poems!

After writing (and revising) your poems, find an audience for them by using the updated 2012 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer. This book is filled with hundreds of publishing opportunities for poets, in addition to articles aimed at helping poets get published.

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163 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 167 (Risk Poems)

  1. taylor graham

    BENIGHTED’S NIGHT SONG

    I’ve walked out under Stars, until
    I’m quite lost in the Dark. Black sill
    behind me; Mountains scowling down
    with their forested primeval frown. They wish me ill.

    Be silent now, and wait.
    How would you master Fate?

    I see no Road, no Light to guide
    me home. No Meteor to ride
    over blind treetops. Where to go?
    The Sky has gathered, brooding snow. On every side….

    Sit still. Don’t move. Just wait.
    Trust Dawn to show the Gate.

  2. taylor graham

    FINDING THE WAY

    You never get back to where you started
    under the blue of thermal threads unraveling,
    dumbfounded with the words of angels.

    Will you see again that ring of fire,
    myth conceived of glacial-till and sparkle?
    Under the blue of thermal threads unraveling,

    wing-shadows of vultures. Updraft spirals
    a landscape tilted and spinning –
    myth conceived of glacial-till and sparkle.

    You never learned your basic sciences,
    and no trail leads back to yesterday.
    A landscape, tilted and spinning,

    grinds its heavy verbs against silence
    as you sit. The skies keep moving,
    and no trail leads back to Yesterday.

    Don’t follow the gravity-way water goes
    dumbfounded. With the words of angels
    as you sit, the skies keep moving.
    Can you get back to where you started?

  3. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    “G”
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Little Man,

    You’ve got some big shoes to fill. My last rotty really knew how to throw down and rock it, so I expect no less from you. Though you’re half his size with a graying goatee and missing tooth, know that I still picked you out because you share that same silly grin trait; the kind that punches you in arm like an old college buddy then retorts pretentiously, head cocked to the side, “whaaaaaaat?!”

    Know that I’ve taken on a big risk here with you, against advice at this late stage of my remaining life. As a stray without a back-story to accompany you, it’s scary having nothing to really hook a leash onto. No medical, no behavioral, no training records; I don’t even know if you like cats. You’re smaller, less confident, and most definitely less intimidating than my previous canine, so understand that while I still fought hard for you, I too have some legitimate concerns of my own. But when I love, it’s honest and long lasting. I would have easily taken a bullet for the other dog. I’m not sure yet if I’d run back inside a burning building for you. At this point all I have are ears that flap forward, and a pair of large pleading eyes, as gold-flecked brown as I remember my last furr-baby.

    I realize it’s unfair comparing two entirely different dogs with all your own individual quirks and psyches, traits, and even phobias. But know that smile, that same silly “I know something you don’t know” boyish grin you both share, is what kept me returning to the shelter all month long for you, ’til I finally got the guts to take that giant leap of faith. I don’t know how long I’ve got left, G, but all I ask is just don’t let me down in the end.

    © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  4. Zienna

    Rope Walk

    It stretches out above
    the empty space
    each swing to right
    to left
    each rise and fall
    echoes each step

    eyes trained on rope’s end
    each slide, lift, stride
    edging us closer
    the goal calls
    demanding perfection
    patience in each
    muscle’s fiber

    Seeking the outcome
    a life well-lived is
    much the same
    balanced precipitously on
    a slack rope above a
    circus of performers
    clowns and onlookers

  5. Michael Grove

    Roll the Dice

    Few would laugh while many cried.
    Some lived on though others died.
    “Have your fun.” the doorman said.
    Watch yourself, don’t loose your head.

    Step into the venomous pit.
    Find a knife. Cut a slit.
    Slash you deeply. Watch you bleed.
    Less to want. More to need.

    Dim the bright lights. Hear the sound.
    Step right up. Gather ‘round.
    Pull the lever. Spin the wheel.
    Seems too heavy. Is it real?

    Turn away from all the danger.
    Not a friend. More a stranger.
    Deal the cards. Roll the dice.
    Not too pretty. Not too nice.

    By Michael Grove

  6. Mike Bayles

    Apex

    I put my faith
    In glittering wings
    to overcome the gravity
    in my life,
    to travel cross-country,
    and leave those whom I know
    behind.
    At the apex of flight,
    I know we won’t go higher,
    but fear a fall.
    As I cast a wary gaze
    on the ground
    and passing sights below,
    I put my faith
    in hands of the pilot
    to whisk me to places
    I’ve never seen,
    with other lives and destinies
    left to claim,
    on the vacation
    I dare to take.

  7. Bruce Niedt

    Without a Net

    High-wire acrobat
    keeping my balance
    above the crowd,

    heel-toe, heel-toe,
    long pole stretching
    on either side of
    my sweaty grip –

    careful not to slip
    on the wet ink
    of fresh words

    inching to the platform
    on the other side
    I exhale to applause

    my new poem is a hit

  8. Bruce Niedt

    The Lovings

    He looked like the classic good ol’ boy –
    blond crew-cut hair, blue eyes,
    muscular sunburned neck.
    She was graceful, a soft-spoken woman,
    half-black, half-Indian. They were in love,
    not caring about a Virginia law that would
    throw them in jail for the heinous crime
    of being married to each other.

    He had nothing to lose – he could have
    just walked away, saying it wasn’t worth
    the trouble, but they vowed to fight
    an inhumane, senseless law that threatened
    to tear them apart. One judge said
    if God had intended for the races to mix,
    He wouldn’t have created them
    on different continents. This was in 1963.

    It took four more years for their fight
    to reach the highest court in the land,
    where nine white male judges voted
    unanimously to strike down the law.
    If you see their photographs, home movies
    and news interviews, you can feel
    the deep affection for which they fought
    so hard, for themselves and their children.

    How much would you risk for love?

  9. Mary Mansfield

    Fortified

    I assume a defensive posture
    Behind the stone walls
    Of this fortress,
    My labor of self-preservation.

    A nearly fatal injury
    Has left me wary and suspicious,
    Unsure if I can risk
    Exposing the weaknesses
    In my armor,
    The fragile heart
    Masked by bravado
    And deceptive confidence.

    My elastic memories
    Snap me back into the pain
    But can’t quite cancel
    The glowing embers of hope
    That tempt me to tempt fate again.

    I hear temptation at the door
    Encouraging me to gamble
    With my weakened emotions,
    While I still don’t know
    If the other side of that door
    Hides a savior or saboteur.

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