Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 191

For today’s prompt, write a memory poem. The poem could be about a personal memory, someone else’s memory, or even play with the fact that some people lose memories. Just remember to write a poem.

Here’s my attempt at a memory poem:


I can’t remember tomorrow
when I always lose yesterday
falling out an open window.
I can’t remember tomorrow,
not that I’m filled with great sorrow,
because I still have my today.
I can’t remember tomorrow
when I always lose yesterday.


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117 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 191

  1. po


    Every poem is a memory poem.
    Of hot summer days when the
    tar bursts into bubbles on country
    roads. The joy as it pops when
    your bicycle hits it just right.

    In college how the last warm
    days of fall spend themselves as
    the sun nourishes more than your
    back. Days so rare you will never falter
    in love. But every poem is a memory.

    How wild iris mingles
    with the new ducklings
    in spring for a splash
    of color near the pond.

    Some stones fade. My Mom gone
    now for four years and her stories
    begin to need to be retold. Every poem
    is a memory and a poem.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    by juanita lewison-snyder

    after katrina
    we were never quite the same again
    no matter how hard we tried.

    the house in which
    my mother was born in,
    sisters conceived,
    parents wedded,
    where beloved pet memorials
    held backyard court over the years,
    where melons and apples
    grew ripe for the picking,
    and frogs lulled us to
    sleep late in the evenings,
    the home altar where fireflies and
    lemonade glued us to the screen porch
    and dance recitals and watching old glory
    climb the pole made us cry every time,
    a hearth where barbecues and fall canning
    invited cousins to gather ’round
    clapboards and shutters and blossom
    like sprigs of wild roses.

    but then the waters came,
    and with it a mountain of mud and silt,
    uprooted trees, bobbing vehicles,
    bloated animal carcasses,
    occasional corpse.
    the winds were fierce at first,
    slammed window panes and rooftops
    leaned backs and shoulders
    against sills and foundations
    until only slabs of pitted
    concrete and rebar were left,
    the once picturesque orchard
    and garden areas vacuumed
    off the face of the earth
    as if we never existed.

    after katrina
    we were never quite the same again
    no matter how hard we tried to forget.

    © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. tunesmiff

    (c) 2012 – G. Smith
    Just the night before,
    I stood on the very top floor,
    Looking out the windows on the world.
    Below the city lights,
    Shone clear and crisp and diamond bright,
    Mirroring the stars out the windows on the world.

    Out the windows on the world,
    Looking out the windows on the world.
    Could we have been prepared,
    For those things that we’ve all shared,
    Looking out the windows on the world?

    Who would have thought,
    The dinner that I’d just bought,
    While looking out the windows on the world,
    Would be the one that I remember,
    Since that long ago September,
    Looking out the windows on the world?

    Out the windows on the world,
    Looking out the windows on the world;
    Could we have been prepared,
    For those things that we’ve all shared,
    Looking out the windows on the world?

    Now Yellowstone steams,
    And fog blankets Alcatraz,
    Mists drift through the bayou,
    Like Dixieland jazz;
    The Rockies stand proudly,
    And the Hudson River curls;
    You could see it all by looking,
    Out the windows on the world;
    You could feel it all by looking,
    Out the windows on the world.

    They keep on going without,
    The windows on the world.

  4. tunesmiff

    (c) 2012 – G. Smith
    Over and over, again and again,
    I see the smoke being blown by the wind.
    Over and over, it goes on and on;
    And then in an instant; everything’s gone;
    Then in an instant; everything’s gone.

    Clear, cloudless morning,
    Sunny and bright;
    The city wakes up
    And shrugs off the night.
    Another day dawning,
    New work to be done.
    Where there where two,
    Soon there will be none.

    Over and over, again and again,
    I see the smoke being blown by the wind.
    Over and over; it keeps running on;
    And then in an instant; everything’s gone.
    Then in an instant; everything’s gone.

    The same old routine.
    Punching the clock;
    Walk down the hallway,
    Put the key in the lock.
    Greeting the faces
    You pass every day;
    Without being ready
    To see them taken away.

    Over and over, again and again,
    I see the smoke being blown by the wind.
    Over and over, it runs on so long;
    And then in an instant; everything’s gone.
    Then in an instant; everything’s gone.

    Over and over;
    Again and again.

  5. Michele Brenton

    Tender memories.

    This is a tough one
    how to explain a life with someone
    who never remembers?
    Or more accurately sometimes does
    but in fits and starts
    and how that constantly breaks my heart.

    Because I’m like an elephant
    everything sticks.
    I remember a film from a line overheard
    a book from ten years ago,
    every moment we’ve shared
    each word and the way it was spoken
    but I live in a world where a promise is broken
    or rather it isn’t quite because can you call it a promise
    if the person who made it forgets its conception?
    Not in a way that can find recollection
    the data is gone ,its gone.

    Every day is a new day, a new beginning
    which sounds rather lovely and full of hope.
    I carry our history, treasure it carefully,
    curate our necessary frequent contracts,
    there has to be trust, because I am the only
    person who tells of the things that have been.

    And this is the way we have been forever,
    I tell you the story you follow directions,
    we laugh and we love and we have new adventures
    and I tell them to you so you don’t lose the moments.

    I sit in my bedroom and I travel in time
    and scents and sounds and feel of the air
    and sun on my skin and I’m there
    while I’m here
    and I cry for the you
    who will never be able
    to hold onto a moment and love it forever.
    So I’ll love it for both of us,
    I’ll love us for both of us,
    and that will have to be enough, forever.

    Michele Brenton 11th September 2012

  6. Walt Wojtanik


    A shawl; a shroud.
    Crocheted in hues
    of black and crimson yarns,
    the winsome tatter across her shoulders.
    A gift perhaps,
    or a remnant left at her disposal.
    No offer or proposal, just a spinster maybe,
    or a not-so-gay divorcee. She wouldn’t say.
    Her silence is her voice; her stare, vacant and dead.
    Around her head, a babushka cinched tightly
    beneath her chin, a lofty noose without a victim.
    The window opens the world to her disinterest,
    at best, she has random flashes of its existence.
    She clutches the cozy covering closer to her,
    a sanctuary of sort. A harbored port
    in this station of her life. Once someone’s wife
    she remembers. Or she doesn’t. It matters not.
    People did not find their comfort in her company.
    Hers was offered in chastisement and vitriol.
    This decrepit soul lost in the warmth of her frigidity.
    It’s a pity. She does not remember that she was evil.
    But, she knows that she feels cold.

    **Written in response to Polish poet Anna Swirszczynska’s “She Does Not Remember”.

  7. PowerUnit

    Back in the day I’d pick you up
    in my yellow Ford Pickup
    the tailgate rattling
    as I gunned it over your gravel driveway
    I’d bring your little brother sparklers
    a young boy’s vice
    and a book of matches
    so he wouldn’t have to steal your mother’s

    We’d drive all night
    with the other Friday Main Street rally drivers
    coolness on wheels
    beer cans at their feet
    and girls under the free arm
    drinking cheap wine from the cold, hard, green rim.

    And now we sit in our flowered room
    watching movies on our flat screen
    olde Butch sleeping at our feet
    We sip our wine from shaped, formal glass
    waiting for our child to come home

  8. Andra the Cheshire Cat


    What I once so tangibly remembered was your smell:
    it was so warm – you smelled of freshly minted life
    and nothing could distract me from weaving between peals of laughter,
    following its beckoning trace –
    not your ample hands,
    nor your furrowed brows before that very captivating book,
    not even your proudly-displayed chest,
    the subtle thief of my attention and affection.

    I allowed myself to take notice
    because there was no talk of life and death that afternoon:
    no bullets graced the sky,
    no news of the technocracy, nor of the fate of this Great War –
    yet whispers begged through glimpses and gestures for the promise
    that it would still be like this between us after the end,
    constant through each end within end within end.

    On that cursed day, after it was all over,
    they took me home and covered me
    in mounds of dry fragments of perception
    the inheritors of the Phoenicians sold them
    inside a tiny velvet bag,
    while the spices that once underscored your smell
    were not afforded the benefit of a potted keepsake.
    As the men with doll-like hands cast you aside,
    my others bathed me in coconut oils and rinsed me with pomegranate juice
    until my skin was tight and flayed
    and my mouth was swollen with the taste of
    not three,
    nor six,
    nor six thousand crimson gems,
    but of all the ever-invented gems
    (including the stray one, drifting through that oddly baptized galaxy –
    the one you, with your stargazing heritage,
    have probably become intimately acquainted with by now –
    that one must have been from you).
    All these dainty drops fought tooth and nail
    to cram into the nook
    reserved for the slithering taste of your smell.
    I allowed it from a distance, remembering your voice
    as it laid out before me the heathen tale it captured when you were a boy,
    the one whose steps we used to trace without meaning to – WHAT A FRAUD!
    What kind of people would promise a woman such a thing,
    who could have it in them
    to come up with such a filthy lie,
    to tell me that the more I taste the food of the Underworld,
    the closer I shall bind myself to you …

    So that is the story of how I lost your smell for a while …
    A slice of time later,
    when the last torrent of unconsciousness had finally dripped out of me,
    I went out and I sought it in our city,
    I sought it in the books you used to love,
    in the people long-ago branded by a shake of your hand, even
    in the sky scattered through with your ashes
    and in the still-wanton soil.
    It was gone,
    lost at the bottom of the mighty waters
    the crimson seeds had borne inside me.

    I looked so hard, yet
    I could not find it in your coat,
    your large pressed suits,
    your stray poetry –
    only serendipitous wisps
    that somehow swim against the current in tiny bursts
    and magnetize my secrets
    and draw them out through the corners of my eyes
    like tiny cockroaches which crawl out of the upper corners of my walls
    at the most unfortunate of times.

    Perhaps this is the way the mighty waters shall rid themselves of me –
    constant through end within end within end.

  9. Bruce Niedt

    For a dying friend:


    You walk down the long hall for the last time.
    Framed photographs hang on both walls –
    your memories lined up as a gallery.
    When you reach the other end,
    Your picture will hang there too.

  10. sjmcken


    Like celluloid stills in a row,
    flashbulb moments held in tow,
    life’s history culled from freeze-framed stops
    knit akimbo in memory swaps,
    like celluloid.

    Spliced and spiced, only apropos
    scenes to match old things we know,
    our knowns the cozy comfort props
    in celluloid.

    We see what we expect, blind to
    the true, our self-talk quid-pro-quo.
    The conscious mind, late guest, up-pops
    selecting stills, then photo-shops
    and catalogs those snaps just so,
    to have a tale to tell, a flow
    like celluloid.

  11. Mary Mansfield

    The Number

    As the dusk faded away
    And the moon rose high
    In the midsummer night,
    His thoughts wandered
    To the faded phone number
    Scrawled in pencil
    On the back of a recipe card,
    Buried with the essentials
    In his rucksack
    But never far from his mind,
    A ten digit link
    To the life he could have had,
    The one within his grasp
    Until anger built a fence
    They could never climb.
    He could call that number,
    Beg to be forgiven,
    But after all these years
    He knows that number
    Only connects
    To an empty phone booth,
    No operator assistance available
    To trace love’s last call.

  12. dezeree3387

    If I Had One More Moment

    If I had one more moment to say all the things I needed to say,
    I’d tell you how much I’ve loved loving you this way…
    Thank you for being my shoulder,
    Thank you for being there for me.
    In case you ever questioned,
    I couldn’t have left more happily.
    If I could open my eyes one last time,
    I’d open them to see your face.
    To have your image engraved in my mind,
    Would make eternity such a better place.
    For every second that I’ve spent with you,
    For all the beauty that we’ve shared,
    I’d give anything to go back in time
    Just to prove that I’ve always cared.
    With all my heart and all my soul,
    I need you to know how wonderful you are.
    You’ve given me everything I’ve ever asked for,
    You’ve always been my shining star.
    I hope you know that I never meant to take you for granted…
    Never once did I not believe in you.
    You were the greatest thing to come into my life.
    Since the day we met I’ve been in love with you…
    I just want to say thank you for making my life worth living,
    And for fulfilling my every day.
    If I had one more moment left in this world
    I’d simply tell you how much I’ve loved loving you this way…


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