Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 193

Sorry for the late prompt this week. I was judging the haibun competition–and yes, I know who won. But that announcement will have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime, let’s poem!

For this week’s prompt, write the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. Simple as that.

Here’s my attempt:

“Even now”

With the dull knife of memory
barely pressing the skin
like a dream almost forgotten
but still grows and changes
as a child trapped in a room
with no way out and no where
anyway to run


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202 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 193

  1. Brony

    A Memory Poem

    I sit in the big comfy chair
    (the one by the window)
    The sun might be out
    but I see and hear the rain
    My mind is somewhere special
    My mind has gone to the memory place

    I can see us holding hands
    (we dance together in the rain)
    The wind is singing
    I can hear the whispers even now
    My mind is somewhere special
    My mind has gone to the memory place

    I wonder where you are now
    (in a comfy chair like me)
    when did time slip away
    I don’t remember letting your hand go
    If only I could sat somewhere special
    If only I could live in the memory place

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Hey Mr. Gunman
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    A lot goes through your head when there’s a .38 pressed against it.

    Things like…is this minimum wage job really worth it?
    Was all that cramming’ for tomorrow’s history test
    really just a colossal waste of time now?
    Would I ever get the chance to apologize to my sister
    for the fight we had just before I left for work?

    Funny how a little brass casing can hit the
    big RESET button on priorities and belief systems,
    and suddenly wipe away years of decision making
    and absolute certainty. Suddenly, God doesn’t seem
    so far removed anymore. And does He still barter?

    And how ‘bout you, Mr. Gunman,
    what’s a 16 year old’s Life truly worth?

    © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. Bruce Niedt

    I’m stretching the parameters again here – I recently lost a close friend to cancer. It may not be the worst thing to ever happen to me, but for the moment it tops the list.


    I know it’s a misnomer
    because no one uses tape anymore,
    but you would know what I mean.
    Like me, you still remembered cassettes,
    record players, VCRs and dial phones.

    Of course I meant a CD I burned
    with some of your favorite tunes
    by artists we grew up with –
    The Beatles, Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel.

    I tried to make it a tasteful mix –
    uplifting songs, reflective ones –
    “Bridge over Troubled Water”,
    “Here Comes the Sun”, that kind of thing,

    stuff I knew you liked. I hope it consoled
    your friends and family when I played it
    at the viewing, but what matters to me most
    is that I know you’d approve, that these
    are the songs we’d listen to on your deck
    on a summer evening, beers in hand,
    watching the last reds fade from the sky.

  4. tunesmiff

    I had a tough time with this one, as I hope the following will explain…


    G. Smith (BMI)
    Looking back over most of my years,
    I’ve had my share of sorrow amd tears,
    But I’ve not had to face the worst of my fears,
    I guess I’ve been pretty lucky.

    ‘Cause I’ve known folks who’s lives have been shaken,
    Had loved ones hurt or tragically taken,
    Their hearts so broken and then left forsaken;
    Yeah, I guess I’ve been pretty lucky.

    The glass, I guess, I see half-filled,
    “Poor, poor me,” I think until,
    I realize, through another’s eyes,
    I look pretty lucky.

    I’ve lost jobs, and family and friends,
    And I’ve lost love, but in the end,
    Looking back, I know I’ve been,
    Pretty dog-gone lucky,

    ‘Cause the worst things that’ve happened to me,
    Are the same kinds of sadnesses everyone sees;
    I guess it’s all a matter of degrees;
    And I’ve been pretty lucky.

    Yeah, the glass, I guess, I see half-filled,
    “Poor, poor me,” I think until,
    I realize, through another’s eyes,
    I look pretty lucky.

    Yeah, I look pretty lucky.
    I’ve been really lucky.

    1. Susan Budig

      I love this one. This makes me think of those poems people like to carry around in their pocket and recite at Holiday parties or Toastmasters or receptions. I hope you do something with it to bring it into the public more.

  5. PKP

    what can one say? why share the “worst things?” I am not quite sure – to rip what is at best after all these years, a diaphanous veil, exposing to the air – those closed away and shuttered mementoes visceral soul piercing mementos that flow like a running river or beat like a pulsing heart beneath our words? Why? Certainly not for the acknowledgment of the awe inspiring capacity of humans to not only survive but to thrive – to continue to love when denigrated and abused to continue to hope having had hope cruelly snatched away – to simply continue? Why write of this? Certainly not simply to “know” one another deeper and more authentically? All of the foregoing are possible reasons for this prompt and for the pain that pours through “The Street,” all the offered embrace and the naked exposure evident of the trust formed over time among those eho have shared their words… The worst thing has not happened to sny of us yet – the worst thing would be the absence of compassion and the lack of either ability or desire to respond to a fellow sufferer – the worst thing to have no words , thought, remembered, expressed, shared, or the searing secondary pain felt, followed by the passionate desire to ease the pain of another. We, in my humble opinion have not experienced the worst thing, the inhumanity of unrelenting indifference to self and for each other, It is a privilege to live and a promise of possibility to continue to feel and to hope for peace of mind for oneself and others on this “Street” and on the spinning blue often crying in pain marble which we share,

  6. Mary Mansfield

    The Worst Thing

    The worst thing
    Was not the fire,
    The weeks in the hospital,
    Or the scars left behind.
    The worst thing
    Was not the secret
    I was forced to keep,
    The time spent without
    The most basic necessities,
    Or the bullying taunts
    About out of date clothes
    That reeked of kerosene.
    The worst thing
    Was not the betrayal of trust,
    The bruises on body and soul,
    The pain twisting through my life,
    Or the loss of my independence.

    The worst thing that ever happened to me…
    I stopped believing in myself.

  7. Kimiko Martinez

    I should write something new, but I think it’s already been said in “Put out” and “After burn.”

    Thanks to Marie Elena for pulling “Put out” out of the woodwork … so to speak. So these are recycled.

    There is nothing left here,
    just the shambles
    of our past life together

    heaps of blackened pictures and
    memories of a
    past that’s better off forgotten.

    We paint each other’s faces
    with the soot
    and no longer recognize ourselves.

    She breathes fire
    the smell of singed wood
    the subtle soot
    sitting on happy words

    It lingers
    in the corner of her eyes
    an insatiable heat
    burning into her thoughts

    The burdens
    The book
    The smiles
    The love


    You could see
    in the corner of her smile
    a wet sigh
    extinguishing the fire in her soul

    carried in the flames of her laugh

  8. DanielAri

    Twisted ankle

    Clearly, I will need to change plans tonight—
    and how far out in the future?
    Cancel weekend getaway?
    Drop out of improv troupe?
    Invest in titanium bones?
    I try to catch my breath.

    You know that experience when you’re in pain
    and you can remember just minutes before
    when you were not, and time just
    went its way with you—then here is this:
    a demarcation coming so clear, wondrous,
    strange fault line between just then and here now.

    I sit cringing behind a running car
    with the curb’s urine scent and rotate this
    in tiny, dented circles and try to catch my breath.
    The sidewalk is a blessing to us sitting dizzy,
    and to me it’s a blessing that I know how to sit
    and face the truth of this moment. Injured.

    Outside a café, I press ice around this and
    try to catch my breath and catch it again.
    Minutes ago, I was having a walk.
    Now I can’t figure how much is wrecked.
    Guzzle the soda water I bought,
    watch the minutes go, wonder when I’ll be missed.

  9. Ber

    Missing you

    Standing in the room
    as silence filled the air
    news that you were gone
    left me in despair

    As the smile that i once had
    moved the forms of my face
    everything that used to matter
    your life could not be replaced

    You were my gentle giant
    i stood on your feet
    you would walk me across the room
    with pain that made you grit your teeth

    I no linger hear your voice
    the void in our family is there
    for a brother who is gone
    but always loved to dear

    As your anniversary approaches
    we light a candle as we remember you
    our prayers and thoughts surround
    or memories of the things we used to do.

    We love you with all our heart
    our tears tare our face so worn
    heartache fills our hearts
    But our love will never depart

  10. Chuwchew123


    Made of ceramic
    Even with tears
    Shattering the paint.

    I cry for help,
    Help to stand,
    Help to make me whole.

    I’m scared I’ll lose you,
    To the lifelong battle,
    A battle that has taken many before you.

    You don’t know my pain,
    I hide it,
    You have enough to deal with.

    My insides are crumpling piece by piece,
    You have no idea,
    The battle within rages on,
    Our own battles we fight.

    I fight to be perfect,
    To be what you want,
    You fight for your life,
    To be there for me.

    No one knows our pain,
    No one knows our stories,
    We’re together in reality,
    But in different galaxy’s in our minds.

    The cancer came back,
    You fight and fight,
    To stay alive,
    I fight to keep my mask.

    We try to be strong for each other,
    But it crumples the walls around us.
    I love you,
    I do,
    But I’m becoming too distant.

  11. Susan Budig

    September 22, 1983

    I wasn’t going to write my story
    The tale is gruesome, but so are others
    Sometimes it seems too simply gory
    His hand grew larger as it tried to smother

    The tale is gruesome, but so are others
    His body, a steel plank, on top of mine
    His hand grew larger as it tried to smother
    He drove himself up toward my spine

    His body, a steel plank, on top of mine
    I prayed Hail Mary as his fingers gripped
    He drove himself up toward my spine
    With a cry to sweet Jesus, the scales then tipped
    prayed Hail Mary as his fingers gripped
    A man I loved did a Jekyll and Hyde
    With a cry to sweet Jesus, the scales then tipped
    Now a chasm betwixt, the great divide

    A man I loved did a Jekyll and Hyde
    Sometimes it seems too simply gory
    Now a chasm betwixt, the great divide
    I wasn’t going to write my story

  12. cstewart

    (two you’s)

    I thought that the pain of leaving you,
    Would have been the worst thing.

    But I was wrong.
    It came like another nightmare –

    My right arm numbed like ice,
    Ripped from a winter river.
    The unthinkable, the unknowable,
    Plumed far off like a tornado,
    Out of the red box of hell.
    Ripped through my body
    Like a raging animal,
    Trying to stay alive.

    And never seeing you again,
    My heart.

  13. BrittanyLFarris

    The Secret

    Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything.
    Maybe she was right about it breaking up the family.

    But I couldn’t stand keeping the secret any longer,
    it ate away at me everyday.

    I kept picturing her with him
    and it made me sick.

    I can never forgive her for what she did
    but maybe dad can.

  14. zevd2001

    No more than a pebble
    inside the edge of a sandal
    that refuses to leave. One more block
    and the next, nothing works. Finally

    stopping to sit on a bench, delayed . . . can’t tarry
    too long, removing the obstruction,
    still takes too much time, but who knows
    the upper limits of pain you suffer
    until you are paralyzed and cannot move
    better this way

    so you get there.
    What’s five minutes in a lifetime
    of all the years you get to spend
    you say expecting an amused smile
    but no

    a frown, looking at the clock above
    the desk reminds you punctuality
    is a virtue you cannot underestimate—
    excused for the meantime, marked down
    for future reference

    consider this a learning experience recall
    where you are going, look for the details
    that cross your path. The next time you
    set foot that nothing interferes to hold back
    your daily rounds.

    Zev Davis

  15. The Wired Journal

    I’ve not been spared the pains of life
    Nor denied happiness in paradise
    I’ve climbed with tenaciousness to summits on high
    Plummeted to depths of despair and distress

    I’ve loved and lived with euphoric joy
    been swallowed by poverty both body and soul
    I’ve laughed I’ve cried I’ve lived I’ve died
    Been blessed and be-dammed yet I still stand

    Whether it’s been good or bad happy or sad
    I would trade not a day for any richest of pay
    My path is my own, but to each their own
    It’s all just a test for in life there’s unrest

  16. mich

    (for those moments when we wonder what happened to our guardian angel)

    The unleashed demons
    slip evil into the space between
    beauty, honesty, love and peace

    We see. We hear. We speak. Once we live it
    torture scars grow thick on caring hearts
    scales blind the eyes to the soul

    IF we think. IF we fight back. We have hope.
    As long as one spark of empathy remains
    the inner-human is not lost.