Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 184

I don’t know if my birthday has ever fallen on a Wednesday Poetry Prompt previously, but it has this year. It’s kind of nice to write a poem first thing on your birthday.

For this week’s prompt, write a poem about something unexpected. Birthdays are usually expected affairs, but what happens on them could be anyone’s guess. Plus, something unexpected could be a good thing or a bad thing or a thing that seems bad at first but is ultimately good or a thing that seems good at first but is ultimately bad or, well, you get the idea. Have fun poeming as I turn 34!

Here’s my attempt:

“Behind the other door”

There is always something hiding
that we’ll never know for sure was
better or worse. Maybe tickets
to a play or ride in a Hearse,
so don’t curse if the day doesn’t
go according to your plans. Be
glad you’re vertical and able
to say you had a good or bad
or even mediocre day.


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162 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 184

  1. tunesmiff

    (c) 2012 – G. Smith (BMI)
    It was an idea…
    The never should’ve worked out;
    A dream that never…
    Should’ve seen the light of day;
    But it stuck…
    Like a shirt on a Georgia July afternoon,
    And we grabbed it when we saw it,
    ‘Cause it we knew it right away.

    Miracles are often made of little things;
    And sometimes the biggest ones
    Will pass in the blink of an eye.
    But knowing what to look for
    Can make… of all the difference,
    Between the tears of laughter and the sorrowed tears we cry.

    It was an idea…
    The never should’ve worked out;
    A dream that never…
    Should’ve seen the light of day;
    But it stuck…
    Like a shirt on a Georgia July afternoon,
    And we grabbed it when we saw it,
    ‘Cause it we knew it right away.

    Chemistry’s not always in a laboratory,
    Sometimes it’s as simple
    As walking hand in hand.
    You can’t always calculate the reactions,
    Since the formula for some things,
    We’ll never understand.

    It was an idea…
    The never should’ve worked out;
    A dream that never…
    Should’ve seen the light of day;
    But it stuck…
    Like a shirt on a Georgia July afternoon,
    And we grabbed it when we saw it,
    ‘Cause it we knew it right away.

    Yeah, we grabbed it when we saw it,
    ‘Cause we knew it right away…

    We knew it right… away.

  2. zevd2001

    Round and round and
    round it goes and when
    it stops you know

    it’s time to look back
    at the days that passed
    that promised you something
    you wanted and almost found . . .

    beyond you. Just over the rainbow,
    you picked up the coins that fell
    along the way, enough
    for the time being, wondering

    how much more there was
    if you waited. If you were able
    to find the pot of gold. Maybe
    it’s somewhere else. Anyway
    this is the day that starts with one.

    Everything before it is a footnote
    in a file, all the years before
    a mulch pile full of experience . . . if you are patient
    you will recognize what grows

    what needs pruning, the things that need replacing
    starting from one,
    gleaning through . . . ever thankful
    that it’s possible to start over again.

  3. tunesmiff

    I ran by my grand-dad’s house;
    He’s been gone for years.
    I knew the neighborhood had changed,
    It wasn’t as bad as I had feared.

    A few new houses up the street,
    One where his roses had grown;
    Time barely touches our memories,
    Still, I guess I should’ve known.

    He always took his Saturdays,
    And spent them in the yard;
    Cutting and trimming and edging just so,
    He never thought the work was hard.

    Sometimes I’d spend the weekend there,
    And I came to understand,
    Raking leaves and gathering sticks,
    Meant I would lend a hand,

    We’d weed the walk,
    We’d work and talk,
    About the things that mattered
    To a boy just ten years old.
    Baseball scores;
    A quick trip to the store,
    A Coke in a short green bottle,
    Wet and frosty cold…
    Then back to work…
    Weeding the walk…

    My folks live down on the coast,
    About five hours away,
    My kids don’t see ’em all that much,
    Least of all each Saturday.

    Neither knows what they’re missing,
    Though I just came to see,
    The past will become the future,
    When my kids’ kids come to visit me…

    ’cause we’ll weed the walk,
    We’ll work and talk,
    About the things that matter…
    About the things that matter…
    About the things that matter,
    In their world…
    ’cause their world is all that will matter…
    Weeding the walk.
    Their world will be all that matters;
    Weeding the walk.

  4. Connie Peters

    Unexpected Trip

    Passport goes missing before the big trip.
    We search the house, in and out, upside down.
    Retrace son’s steps, and follow every tip,
    but looks like he’ll miss out on London town.

    So off we go, a seven hour drive,
    thinking he left it at his sister’s house.
    A check in the mailbox when we arrive,
    but, “There’s no passport here,” I phone my spouse.

    So back on the road, it doesn’t feel real;
    neon double rainbow extremely bright,
    and then we see thick red dust, Mars-like feel,
    then lightning storm, like fireworks, but white.

    The trip’s a dry run—no reason or rhyme,
    but wonderful surprises worth our time.

  5. taylor graham


    The other pups sold for eight hundred,
    a thousand. She was bought, returned.
    Too bright, too hard. A diamond.
    We got her for a prayer,
    and now we’re paying.
    Choke-chains and pinch-
    collars. “No!”
    She pulls
    the door,
    over the hill –
    look, it’s morning!
    Have you ever seen
    a dawn like this, how it
    gleams gold-amber in a pup’s
    thousand-carat eyes? Here’s purple
    thistle and a dragonfly – priceless.

  6. taylor graham


    He sat on the puppy just to prove
    how strong. He couldn’t hold
    her. He grabbed, she squirmed away.
    Both out of breath. Clippers useless in his
    hands, the room around them
    darkening to bedtime. Bad dreams.

    At last dawn’s deep, silent breath.
    Almost without thinking, he
    reached out his hand and took her
    paw, spoke softly. Clipped
    unexpectedly the very tip of claw.

    Good dog. Breathing hard;
    he too held his breath. A second toenail,
    a third. Four clips, dew-claw. Leave
    the rest for another day.

    Listen how her breath has quieted,
    her eyes half-closed.
    Good dog, good master.

  7. Michael Grove

    No Victimless Crimes

    Respect the victims for their innocence.
    These are mysterious times.
    Direct our focus on compassion.
    There are no victimless crimes.

    We should turn our heads away,
    forget about the guilty name.
    We can’t live in fear of insanity,
    or glorify it to fame.

    We have witnessed bad examples
    of how things can turn on a dime.
    We must treasure every day
    of our finite lifetime.

    We shall see our way through this
    with the grace of a dancer.
    We will not ask the question,
    so, we’ll never know the answer.

    By Michael Grove
    Copyright 7/20/2012

  8. Bruce Niedt

    The Dark Night

    At the midnight premiere, no one expected
    a real villain to be inside. It must have taken
    months of planning to orchestrate the massacre.
    First a gas canister, then his guns,
    randomly up and down each aisle,
    while the villain on the screen
    went about his own dirty work.

    Art imitates life, they say,
    or is it that life imitates art?
    One more measure of carnage,
    so many innocents dead.
    Like the mythical snake,
    a culture steeped in violence
    feeds on itself.

  9. uneven steven

    climbing the
    rocking steps
    of the chain clanking, rickety Ferris
    music and greasy wooden
    wonder stalls
    you crest the dotted sky
    tumbling away backwards
    a stomach dropping, hands reaching
    falling with your girl
    carnival cacophony of
    seasick houses
    tv screen
    aquarium windows
    to the world –
    inside – laughing crying confused
    your awkward
    one small step
    which is land, which is sea
    and what is this unexpected,
    lunging breath –
    the same air you just

  10. MiskMask

    A Frugal Life

    I like to take life day by day
    thinking it the best way to live
    I say

    Live modestly, live a no-frills
    frugal way, a quiet life, like

    That turn like clocks, slowly tying
    knots and bows, into clicks of time,

    Like sparrows come autumn, slipping
    from spring into winter, the sun

    And drowning in moonbeams, bright as
    stars singing as they fall to earth
    at night

    These quiet times, these simple things,
    the warmth of soil, and cool rain

    cherished moments, bedtime stories,
    apples, cherries, buttered fresh bread,
    I said,

    I see life in new light each day,
    and live frugally feasting on

    [Poetic Form: Synchronicity

  11. uneven steven

    The surprise preemie

    when her seal broke
    only hinted at
    what was to come –
    months in the hospital
    being trained to
    troubleshoot equipment –
    knowing when the gasket
    in the suction machine
    wasn’t quite catching,
    dropping O2 sats – the fault
    of a probe or a hidden leak
    in the ventilator,
    dirty filters, trach cuffs, g tubes
    to be constantly monitored,
    their little boy, the fighter, the miracle,
    the beater of all the doctors odds,
    so fragile their hope
    under the weight
    of the work,
    the pressure of the years
    to come,
    the little leaks
    of doubt
    always needing to be
    retaped each night
    with quiet sobs
    under the covers
    while the other watches the
    heart beat
    of the machines
    sitting alone
    in the

    Unexpectedly no new poem came out – reposting this one which seems appropriate…

    please visit-
    to see more

  12. De Jackson

    Something Old, Something Blue
    (upon learning something entirely new)

    She knew
    she bled blue
    pined for these trees
    breathed best in breeze
    but who knew a soul could be
    restored whole by a mere
    glance into this


    1. uneven steven

      “but who knew a soul could be
      restored whole by a mere
      glance into this
      very nice sentiment – guess i assume a lake in a wild / semi wild area? good flow and rhythm as usual 🙂

  13. MiskMask

    (for Walt)

    Santa Surprise

    Shhhhhhhhhh …
    a rattle, a shake, a snore
    and then I was awake. Noises
    at night un-nerve, alarm and swerve
    my steely bravado into fright.
    So fancy my shock,
    my surprise mingled with sleep,
    when I saw him snoozing
    in my big overstuffed chair.
    He wore big fuzzy slippers
    snug on his feet, and under a fleecy
    plaid blanket he was wearing
    sweet lambie jammies.
    Santa was here sleeping it off,
    6-months too early, and dreaming
    of sugar plum fairies
    and red-nose reindeer
    right here, right there,
    sleeping it off
    in my overstuffed chair.

    1. Walt Wojtanik

      Thanks Marilyn. That bit of sweetness does put a smile on my face. I’ve let the “Santa” Project rest a while as I searched for a new illustrator, but coming to the conclusion it isn’t super critical to have the sketches enhance the work. We’ll see what plays out.

  14. mikeMaher

    The Unexpectedly Scattered Remains of mike Maher….and Some Other Random Truths

    As for the adverb, my apologies to Stephen King.
    It sounded more awkward the other ways.
    The dog park is always empty this time of night.
    Almost always.
    All the red wine and cigar smoke you want. No complaints. Promise.
    Even ice if you want it.
    I am tired of starting over,
    tired of reminding myself today is today and not yesterday,
    and when the fuck did everything become so much less profound?

    When I look up Young Money has the gleam from the streetlight
    by the shoulders, pinning it on its back in the mulch.
    There are no other dogs this time of night.
    He knows I am his home
    but does he know he is an anchor?
    in all the pro-anchor ways and none of the
    symbolically anti-anchor ways,
    permanence but not hindrance.

    How do you describe the sounds of different silences?
    Some empty, some peaceful, some downright frightening.
    Flip to page 191 and you get a hallway full of snow.
    Back to your dreams and you get cats who meow “Heminway”
    until you roll over and look at the red digits that
    still don’t let you get out of bed.
    A new book, page 33, things you can only say to Sarah.
    Better find more imagery less you fall short of the quota you learned in college
    and have yet to convince yourself of unlearning.
    Imagery – the art of making others see things you can’t stop seeing,
    of showing and not telling, saying, hearing, or any other sensing.
    See: olde city right before dawn, on the phone with an old friend.

    Every day, more of me is in the past,
    the same amount in the present, less in the future.
    Will you one day realize that when we pick up all the jigsawed pieces
    of my remains
    they fit perfectly into your timeline?
    No matter who comes into the room, of course.
    Stay asleep and I will monitor the ceiling.
    When it comes time to wake I’ll tell only your shoulder.
    How is that for unexpected?

    1. Marie Elena

      “He knows I am his home
      but does he know he is an anchor?
      in all the pro-anchor ways and none of the
      symbolically anti-anchor ways,
      permanence but not hindrance.”

      “red digits that
      still don’t let you get out of bed.”

      “Stay asleep and I will monitor the ceiling.
      When it comes time to wake I’ll tell only your shoulder.”

      Okay, so there were other thoughts/lines I could highlight, but then that equates to not highlighting at all. As always with you work, mike, this is soooo intriguing! Love it!

  15. Sara McNulty


    Unexpected Choices

    Married in the 1940’s,
    women like my mom, knew
    in advance, steps of the dance.

    If you were not moneyed, working
    was indicated, perhaps part-time
    when children arrived.

    Captured by Katherine
    Hepburn’s flair, independent
    stance–she wore pants–and Joan
    Crawford’s aloofness and poise,

    women began making noise,
    speaking their minds, separating
    their choices from knowing

    voices of men who handled
    finances, and decided which
    candidate deserved a vote,

    while preserving their rights–no
    cooking, cleaning or child care
    leanings. Then the dance changed.

    Life for women and men was
    rearranged. Women realized they could
    choose not to have children.


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