• 101
    Best Websites
    for Writers

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the 101 Best Websites for Writers download.

  • Poetic Asides

Day 5 Highlights

Categories: Poetry Challenge 2008, Poets.

Day 5’s prompt was sent via a cranky PC in an arcade in a little mall in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It cost me $3 for 30 minutes of access. So, I pounded out my prompt and poem in record time–and a bit later in the day than I would’ve preferred. However, everyone came together and posted some really great “worry” poems. In fact, I have a few new phobias as a result. :)

Here are some of the poems that stood out for me with this prompt.

***** 

Spiders

 

Spiders hide themselves

in silent spots deep

within the closet,

beneath the bed,

between the window

and the screen.

 

Spiders know

when you are asleep:

They are drawn

from their nests

by the sweet sound of a

little boy’s gentle breath.

 

They’re in the light

fixture above your head.

They guard the bathroom,

waiting for that midnight

visit made on your soft

bare feet in the dark.

 

Good little boys have

rooms free of spiders

and midnight venom.

Were you a good

little boy today?

I think not.

 

 

Elizabeth Keggi |lilyclarissaAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

 

*****

 

Decade

 

My ten-year-old Weimeraner,

the one whose leg may be broken,

who sports yet another set of stitches,

I fear the day I will have to hold her

 

muzzel close as she struggles

for air. I shy from the day I will see

her deep keel still, her eyes haze, her

tail cease to move, her paws lie still.

 

I avoid the thought of where she

will lay down for the last time, or

where I will spread her ashes, or upon

which mantle I will keep her urn. I look

 

into her yellow eyes and vow to spend

more time tossing the ball, scratching her

ears, rubbing her near hairless belly. I know

that I will forget that silent promise until the

 

next medical emergency will remind

me that she was 69 on her last birthday.

 

 

A.C. Leming |fackorfAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

 

*****

 

Always a Mom

 

They’ve been grown

and on their own

for nearly a decade.

From two hundred miles away

I wonder whether they’re

eating right, sleeping well,

getting designated drivers

on party nights.

On the phone I ask

do they have enough money,

are their jobs going well,

have they been to

the dentist lately?

I imagine they roll their eyes

the way I did at thirty

at the same questions.

 

 

Renee Goularte |share2learnAT NOSPAMsbcglobal dot net

 

*****

 

Worry

 

A song.

An overheard word or two.

When my wife is late from the store.

A late snow storm.

Frostburned flowers.

Arriving late.

My father.

Being chosen last.

Being chosen first.

Reading my poems out loud.

My peers, whoever they may be.

A burning smell when I’m driving.

All three of my sons.

 

 

Justin Evans |evjustinAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

At One With Nature

 

Back home, on the farm,

I clean mouse droppings

out of the cupboards.

 

The following day,

after a drenching rain,

I find the first ant.

 

Long ago, barefooted

on the way to the toilet

one night, I crushed a fat roach.

 

The moths are in the closet,

caterpillars on the curtains,

spiders in every corner.

 

In bed, at night,

I hear the scratchings

rustlings in the walls.

 

Only a matter of time

and mother nature will

take this place back

she, its rightful owner.

 

 

Beth |womenswritesAT NOSPAMinbox dot com

 

*****

 

Monday morning before the garbage truck comes

 

and the mockingbird sings,

I lay in the too-warm room,

your breath a steady,

irritating reminder

of nirvanic slumber

that eludes me.

 

Instead, my head

waltzes, thoughts

baraging my brain

like so much clutter

the whirring truck

will soon pick up –

the library books,

 

no bread for lunches,

and what’s for dinner anyway?

The client meeting,

and calls for freezing rain

to snarl the overlong commute.

Forgotten birthdays

 

and unpaid bills,

the perfume on his collar

(not mine) slide into static,

white noise to accompany

tomorrow’s appointment

with the radiologist.

 

 

Linda |drwasyAT NOSPAMgmail dot com

 

*****

 

I’m worried

 

that talentless American directors

will be permitted to keep producing

rotten remakes of Japanese horror movies,

 

that someday the religious right

will succeed in sending a man

to the White House,

 

that society won’t collapse

before I have to join “the work force,”

 

that the West Coast will be as dead

and depressing as this state’s always been,

 

that a random psychopath

might see me riding on Route 5

and decide to hunt me down in his pickup

then rape, kill, and discard me

before rolling off with my precious bike,

 

that the fluorescent stars I taped to my ceiling

won’t come off when it’s time to move out,

 

that I complain too much

or dream or drive too much

or eat too much suspicious slime

at all these Chinese buffets –

 

but above all that I’m worried

I’ll just run out of things to say.

 

 

Callan Bignoli-Zale |shehadausernameAT NOSPAMgmail dot com

 

*****

 

Lump

 

The doctor said there’s nothing to worry about

“But let’s keep an eye on it.”

 

How do you keep an eye on something

that cannot be seen but is felt

fingertips probing gently so as not to awaken

the beast that may lie within?

 

How do you not worry when every shower

reminds fingers soaped and slippery

of a presence that is not meant to be there

and may someday stir to be removed?

 

How do you not check more than monthly

for any changes that might occur

until one day the mirror shows you what

fingertips already saw and now eyes see?

 

How do you keep the fingers from

overshaking onto the wrong digit

as you dial to make an appointment

with a person who told you not to worry.

 

 

satia |satia62AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

The Progression

 

I cannot leave the house today,

for if I do, I might trip

over the welcome mat

and break my foot.

That would require a visit

to the emergency room

and probably a cast,

not to mention a needle

for the I.V., (I’m breaking out

in hives just thinking about it!)

and I won’t make it to work.

The eventual ramification

of my fall

will be the loss of my job,

followed closely by car,

house and sanity.

How much safer to remain

in the pillow-topped kingdom—

warm, settled and moments

from dreamland—than to risk

stepping out the front door.

 

Call my boss,

tell her I’m sick

with worry.

 

 

Sara Diane Doyle |saras dot sojournsAT NOSPAMgmail dot com

 

*****

 

To Sleep, Perchance to Worry

 

I just know the salmon

I ate for dinner

Had gone bad.

But I ate it anyway.

And if I go to sleep now,

I’ll be up in two hours

Singing Technicolor lullabies

Into the commode.

If I survive the salmon,

And manage to get to sleep,

The phone will ring

At 11:22 p.m. again.

It will be that brusque guy

Calling from India,

Offering to wave the fee

On my monthly VISA bill

If I pay now.

I keep telling him,

The fee I can afford.

It’s the payment

I’m a little short on.

Really, it doesn’t matter.

If I sleep, I’ll just have

That dream again:

The one where the

Chimpanzee wearing

A red and yellow swimsuit

Chases me through my

Home trying to feed

Me a pepperoni pizza.

Maybe I should eat

Something before

I try to sleep.

I wonder if there’s

Any salmon left?

 

 

Mike Barzacchini |mjbarzAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

Animal Anxiety Dreams

 

I worry in my dreams. Some people have anxiety dreams about being naked in front of the class, or performing in a play having forgotten the lines, but I have anxiety dreams about pets. I’ve dreamed disaster for every dog I’ve ever had. My Pembroke Welsh Corgi falls off a cliff, runs out into traffic, is lost in the neighborhood after dark (she’s small enough to make some coyote a tasty meal). I bet the queen never has dreams like this. My Siberian husky broke her chain and it is now wrapped around a tree deep in the woods where she will probably starve to death before I can find her. It is always my fault. When I got myself two fish tanks filled with tropical fish I thought my animal anxiety dream days were over…who can feel guilty about fish? Oh no, even Steven King couldn’t do better than my fish tank dreams. I’ve dreamed about that third tank I forgot I had, the one I never remembered to clean, the fish I neglected to feed. What is growing in the algae at the bottom of the tank? What is floating in the water when I take the lid off? And what about that tank so big it filled the whole wall, the one that I kept a walk-in freezer just for fish food? What kind of fish grows that big and what might it eat? And when the tank shatters, what kind of fishy dream monster flaps around in the glass shards, gasping for air?

 

 

Kate |kberne50AT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

 

*****

 

Make Your Worries Count

 

Some folks worry night and day.

I hear them rant and yelp.

But after all is said and done,

Their worries rarely help.

 

As for me, I’ve only two:

Not finding words that rhyme.

And, yes, I’d like to rid the world

Of Daylight Savings Time.

 

 

Bill Kirk |RnBKirkAT NOSPAMaol dot com

 

*****

 

My Grandmother’s Worries

 

My grandmother

worried about

going barefoot

in months without r’s,

whether grandfather

approved her

new hat,

children without

sweaters,

men without

suspenders,

people without

humor,

plates without

gravy,

hair without

ribbons,

plants without

water,

children without

sweets.

 

I worry

about becoming

my

grandmother.

 

 

Lori Jackson |ljacksonAT NOSPAMtcsdk12 dot org

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts
  • Print Circulation Form

    Did you love this article? Subscribe Today & Save 58%

About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

One Response to Day 5 Highlights

  1. Linda Hofke says:

    Really good stuff. Wish I could write like that!

    Lori, I love your grandmother poem. I think we all have that fear of turning into on of our parents or grandparents.

    Satia, Lump was also powerful and Elizabeth, spiders….well, I’m not so sure I can sleep easily tonight!

Leave a Reply