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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 195

For this week’s prompt, write a sudden poem. The poem could be about something that suddenly happens. Or it could be just whatever words suddenly spring from you. Or… I’ll let you decide what a sudden poem means for you.

Here’s my attempt:


He digs his fingers deeper into his forehead
than they’ve ever dug before. He reclines until
he’s facing the ceiling. He stares at the ceiling,
exhales. Then, inhales. The world completely silent
waits. And waits. And waits until the engine ignites
and his fingers type faster and faster as if
the words (given the chance) might try sneaking away.


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123 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 195

  1. SapphireSkye

    Four minutes…
    Four minutes left.
    It’s okay,
    Take a breath,
    No one cares if you don’t finish,
    Just go on with their lives and
    Probably never notice
    You were here.

    Next line…

    Next line…

    Next line…

    Stop hyperventilating.
    You’re being silly.

    Two minutes left now
    Before the bell.
    Keep typing –
    You’re almost there.




    Revel in the feeling of creation.
    Write some more.

    Less than a minute now…
    I should hurry before the


    (written at school, in the last 4 minutes before my class ends)

  2. taylor graham


    A fist, no, a knee in my back, a hock-
    joint to the jaw. The puppy’s leaped on top
    of bed with us asleep. Knock and snuggle
    cold nose in the face. Mack truck of comfort.
    I grab and hold. No slack. But then, a sigh,
    she licks my finger, tries to creep inside
    the sheets, the heap of pillow; hide herself
    in a slim crack between my hands and voice.

    What nightmare had her frantic? Now lying
    on my feet, she breathes deeply, ribs a harp
    of dog-lullaby. Who’d guess such bad dreams
    in a pup – what mind-sight we think reserved
    for humans? What terror teethes there?
    I touch her chest. Her heart beats dream.

  3. Bruce Niedt


    I carry a pocket-sized notebook
    for the times when a sound or an image
    hits me over the head, when a snippet
    of conversation between two women
    waiting for the train amuses or intrigues me,
    when I startle a deer at the edge of the wood
    on my morning walk, and she startles me, and
    we stare at each other, her black eyes to my blue;
    when the morning is so crisp, the evening so serene,
    the sunset so full of clouds and creation,
    that I must get it all down. So many times
    I have witnessed something striking and thought,
    if I only had my camera. This pen, these small pages
    are my snapshots, doing their best to snatch
    a sudden moment out of the world, one that lasts
    only as a memory, or as words on a page.

  4. tunesmiff

    (c) 2012 – G. Smith (BMI)
    Like a shooting star across a velvet sky,
    Like the sparkle in a pair of pale green eyes;
    Like a lightning bolt from out of the blue;

    Like a smile across a crowded room,
    Like that first spring morning when the dogwoods bloom;
    Like a heart you discover is true;

    Day to day,
    The same old thing;
    Stumbling through,
    The same routine;
    Will I find
    Anyone new?
    Then suddenly;

    Like a baby’s laugh in the middle of the night;
    Like a touch that says everything’s alright;
    Like finding love makes one from two;

  5. cstewart


    The wind picked up and blew sandy dust and leaves
    Over the land that had been waiting for a storm.
    The trees swirled round in honor of the static emissions.
    The air changed to ozone and refreshed the lungs.

    The dark clouds pushed fast and rushed into the languid
    Heat of the previous climate,
    The wheat bent down in the field and the rain
    Began to pelt its curves with huge drops.

    Pushed by the wind, a late crow crossed the road’s gap,
    And fell into the poplar tree, giving up a feather.

  6. barbara_y

    The weather man is laughing. Montana 
    has snow.  After a dry tightwad summer, 
    a forty-fifty degree swoop, and Fall connects, 
    knocks the socks off of summer smashes that pinata all to hell.
    Snow falls like charms and candy. And we, manic oddities, applaud. 
    We mysteries; we crust-where-the-pan-met-the-lasagna lovers; 
    pent-up, penny-wise, pound-downright-silly 
    performers of nothing important, applaud.
    It doesn’t take much. Rain. A few red maples. In the breeze
    willows, hanging, wave; grasses, standing, rustle.
    Leaves. Sheaths. Chill. And Wham! the brittle, 
    unbearable, beautiful Fall is piercing 
    our summer-fever balloon, and we explode
    into mending, laughing like the weatherman.

  7. missab5

    It happened all of a sudden.
    He was a stranger
    just stumbling down the street.
    His bumping into me
    seemed avoidable on the mostly empty sidewalk.
    Yet somehow our collision occurred.
    That in and of itself wasn’t the strange
    part, but his teeth sinking into
    my shoulder seemed quite peculiar.
    As I attempted to stop the blood flow
    he continued on.
    It all happened so fast.
    My eyes began to fog over and
    I had the strangest craving for
    Of course that would mean he
    was a
    zombie and therefore
    I am now on my way to being
    a zombie.
    Since that is

  8. Michele Brenton


    I shout at you, you shout at me.
    If we had thought bubbles
    they would be black clouds
    with the wrong sort of pooh
    and no honey bees.
    I cannot believe how it is possible
    to hate you so much.
    My blood pressure is up
    and I am shaking with furious
    How dare you argue with me?
    But you are you and I am me.
    And then I say something
    so completely bonkers
    it makes the unspoken thought about
    the wrong sort of pooh clouds
    seem pedestrian.
    And we are laughing
    and I can’t remember why we were shouting
    and neither can you
    and the storm is over.

  9. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    A Poem Escapes
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    I’m sitting by a large window,
    reflections staring back
    through the reds and browns
    and golds fluttering
    just beyond melancholy,
    their outlines darkening
    in the cold fading light
    of an October moon,
    a sliver of which curls
    itself like a cat in my lap

    and suddenly, a poem escapes…

    © 2012 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  10. taylor graham

    on opening the prof’s own slim book of verse

    Each page is white space interrupted
    by brief dark lines of type –
    a trellis or a scaffold; thin frame
    for the eye to climb down, word by word.
    An iron grate of filigree abruptly
    closed. Inside, a sudden spill of light
    through leaves – Two kittens glimpsed –
    just an instant snapshot, without
    the ballet of their leaps – A snug tuffet
    of moss in a doorpost corner –
    whose door? – The sky blank polo-
    mallet white on foggy mornings
    without a horse’s sudden
    whinny from the paddock.
    What’s the poet’s role in all this?
    To keep the reader out?
    A mask pulled unexpectedly
    over the face? He never cast his
    shadow on the page.

  11. tjholt

    Take Your Time

    There is no need to hurry
    when you are marked,
    your name written in stone,
    no one’s going anywhere
    until you die
    and then only the mourners,
    the headstone remains
    the date to be engraved.

  12. Nancy Posey

    Let Go

    Suddenly life as he knew it had changed.
    After getting up before sunrise to roll
    his newspapers, riding his bike along the route
    before school and Saturdays and Sundays too,

    after graduating college on Saturday afternoon
    and reporting for work on Monday morning,
    after nearly forty years of showing up early
    and leaving late, suddenly it had all ended.

    He drove home, the contents of his desk drawers,
    shoved in his back seat, along with framed photos
    of family, two coffee cups, and at least five hundred
    business cards, worthless now. Exactly what he felt.

    Suddenly having no reason to set the alarm
    lost its joy; the newspapers, the novel
    he was halfway through, couldn’t hold his attention.
    Time on his hands weighed heavy–heavier
    than debt, than guilt, more like chains.

    Gradually, he reassessed his state, no worse
    than most, better than some. Lacking hope, she
    shared hers. She spoke aloud the prayers
    for which his heart could not find words,
    reminding him what someone had told her:
    Worry is praying for what you don’t want.

  13. MonicaSharman


    After the first serve I rush
    the net, attack like a tiger already

    pouncing on prey. My graphite racquet
    raised at the ready, I punch each volley

    and make her run, sideline to sideline
    until, instead of a curving forehand

    trying to pass me down the line, she tries
    a short lob. Grinning, I turn, confident

    with an impending overhead bullet
    but hear the pop of my ankle, rolled over,

    and I roll in no-man’s land holding
    an ankle already starting to swell.

  14. creativemetaphor

    Watch That Last Step

    Welcoming winter with bare arms,
    The trees at once drop their coats
    As we don ours against the frost.
    Wind echoes the coyotes in the hills
    And all turns from green to red to brown.
    Yesterday was too warm, today too cold;
    Autumn comes not in a season
    But in a single day.

  15. julie e.

    and Fall drags on, saluting death
    a morbid gala for what was lost
    one day last Winter’s end.
    and I, holding on with my fingernails,
    hope to last another season,
    waiting for my soul’s sudden Spring.

  16. JWLaviguer

    It happened
    When I wasn’t looking
    Living life
    Loving life

    No responsibilities
    Running in the streets
    Kicking that can
    Laughing “Safe!”

    Grown now
    Job and family
    Hair thinner
    Belly isn’t

    And still
    In spite of it all
    Living life
    Loving life

  17. Maxie

    Sudden Awareness
    Everything’s the same:
    unkempt rooms behind closed doors
    call to your sparkling foyer, as they do;

    undone assignments marking a strewn timeline
    call to your sense of order, as they do;

    untouched books from abandoned shelves
    call to your diverted eyes, as they do;

    Yet today, you hear their urgency.
    Today, you know their worth.
    Today, you note the distance from your last breath to your first.
    Today, you find value in carefully wasted time.
    Today, you learn “repent” simply means to change your mind.

    Everything’s the same:
    unchanged hearts beat, as they do,
    but today’s sudden awareness changes everything for you.

  18. Miss R.


    Everything was the same.
    So quivering and vibrant,
    Died valiantly.
    The peak, once reached,
    Fell away.
    Perhaps we’ll make it
    Back there
    One of these days,
    But not
    If we keep on trying.
    Your ceaseless striving;
    Returns ever and only

  19. J_Hemmestad

    I suddenly see the new part of me,
    A grand design of truth, hidden gold mine,
    Streaming through darkness, striking through duty,
    Who am I, but one who seeks inner prime.

    When weight of doubt rushes over my eyes,
    In those gone before me I find my might,
    Ancient wisdom bids me believe no lies,
    Such truth casts defining rings of pure light.

    There is no calmness in worlds colliding,
    No patience gliding through knowledge supreme,
    Wisdom streams upon ink, clear in writing,
    Open a book, words cut through a sunbeam.

    Answers ride on waves, knowledge suddenly,
    Minds shall open – indifference, risky.

  20. SharoninDallas

    Everyone is so good today! I haven’t had time to ponder this subject, but I want to keep up
    with this weekly challenge. This is an admittedly strange and perhaps too lenientt take on the
    topic. I was eating lunch with a friend recently and we both agreed that we love cheese, and
    “suddenly” the words, “Oh Cheese, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways,” popped into my head.
    And later in the day I finished the thought. Admittedly light, but perhaps a bit of fun, and actually
    regarding me, going into the depths a bit at the end.

    Oh, Cheese, how do I love thee?
    Let me count the ways.
    You layer my lasagne and cover my nachos.
    You bring absolute joy to my days.
    You boost me up at trying day’s end
    When my heart is crying out for a treat.
    It’s you, you, that I want to see when I get home;
    You that I want to meet
    When I open my frig and take a bite and sigh
    And relax and crackers grab. And sip merlot
    And let frustrations go and forget all that’s drab.
    It’s your hearty cheddar and delicate mozzarella
    And especially your brie
    Which carries me off to thoughts of France,
    To the inner, real me.
    A poem by Sharon Cooper

  21. seingraham

    Sun Caught

    Outside the sun is stuttering on the side-walk
    Caught between summer and fall, it pales
    Becomes a shadow of itself and backs behind
    Low roofed clouds the colour of nothing
    A non-negotiable breeze puffs just south of Arctic
    Air across small ponds begging for early icing
    Their bull-rushes cackle like brood hens
    As the wind picks up and pushes their dryness
    Hard, forcing them to be more familiar than
    They like or are used to; their suede heads bob
    And sway, bob and sway – brown as wieners
    On a stick, roasting over a bonfire, the geese
    Regard all with a sense of the absurd before
    Making a chuffing, chuckling noise, then paddle
    Into wide circles as they make formations in the water
    Then suddenly, no warning, they rise in rows; dozens –
    Vee upon vee upon perfect vee, wings in synch, and go

  22. Ber

    Running Pathways

    Gasping holding out
    talk and chat
    let out a shout
    suddenly it all became clear

    Running down pathways
    of running water
    chasing her ghosts of the past
    never ever thinking this would last

    Cracks waiting
    to catch her
    trying to trip her up
    trying to make her fall

    Suddenly out of no where
    a shadow of his body
    catches her fall
    he is so dear

    Hold on tight
    do not be scared
    trust me
    i wont let you go

    This he assures her
    deep down inside
    she does really know
    he is her knight in flight
    Mystery figure of the night

  23. elishevasmom


    I sat on the cottage porch with my flute.
    Playing out in the wild, it was if
    I could see the notes

    rising, twisting, wending their way
    upward through the forest
    canopy. But, before

    I could begin, there was a blitzing clap
    of thunder (which took me
    quite by surprise) as

    there had been no distant rumblings,
    no previews of coming
    attractions. And as

    though the thunder had been a zipper
    in the darkening clouds, rain
    fell like seeds, fighting

    with each other to be first to fill a silo.
    And so inspired, I raised
    the flute to my

    lips, and let my soul push its way upward
    as the raindrops crowded
    down—all part of

    the same symmetry—thunder and music,
    rain and soul—all threads in
    the same tapestry.

  24. RJ Clarken


    “Suddenly playing the charming bad guy was my thing.” ~Ray Liotta

    O evil villain. You’re so cute.
    The silver screen? I’m in pursuit.
    Or TV’s weekly episodes?
    My fangirl’s heart (oh no!) explodes.

    I doubt that suddenly you’d play
    a scene where Icould be your prey.
    But I can dream. By tons and loads.
    My fangirl’s heart (oh no!) explodes.

    Just what is it about you, dude?
    Oh! Flash your charm. I am so screwed.
    So bad guy, what’s your secret codes?
    My fangirl’s heart (oh no!) explodes.

    O evil villain. You’re so cute.
    My fangirl’s heart (oh no!) explodes.


  25. RJ Clarken

    An Example of a Poetic Moon

    “You moon the wrong person at an office party and suddenly you’re not ‘professional’ any more.” ~Jeff Foxworthy

    I swear it’s really not my fault.
    (Perhaps I’ll blame Marie. Or Walt.)
    Poetic mooning’s silly. Right?
    But rhyming’s trite. What should I write?

    Well then…just take a Kyrielle.
    Imbue it with word play. Oy. Kvell.
    Clichés will never get stage fright
    but rhyming’s trite. What should I write?

    Perhaps some long unmetered song
    about love’s labour’s lost. Right? Wrong.
    I’d rather not be too polite
    but rhyming’s trite. What should I write?

    I swear it’s really not my fault
    but rhyming’s trite. What should I write?


  26. De Jackson

    Fair Warning

                 Don’t make any
                         sudden moves
              drastic changes
                               or over
                enthusiastic promises.
                      Her fight
                          has unfurled
                                    in mid


  27. RJ Clarken


    “Suddenly I’ve got an overwhelming desire to surround myself with the aura of classical and Romantic art.” ~Sylvester Stallone

    Pedestrian: what I once chose
    to brand myself, but heaven knows
    as I go on, penchant must change.
    To salve, I now must rearrange

    my ordinary life, which ran
    chaotic loops without a plan.
    So, suddenly, this grand exchange:
    to salve, I now must rearrange

    that aura. Graced, romantic art
    sheds colors I once learned by heart
    whose spectrum’s past my vision’s range.
    To salve, I now must rearrange.

    Pedestrian: what I once chose.
    To salve, I now must rearrange.


  28. PowerUnit

    My feet slide over the paved walkway
    Covered in sand and gravel from the tourship passengers’ boots
    Invading our precious city market
    They don’t know it doesn’t snow in Canada, in October, not the populated parts, not when it’s hot and sunny out
    Mr. Lee
    A friend of mom’s
    He’s going to tear up, I know it, I feel it
    She worked for him, and he loved her so, her soul
    We all did
    He minds his store one day a week now
    Fully trusting that grown kid of his, finally
    What will I think
    When it’s his turn to cash out
    Will someone miss Mr. Lee like he misses my mother?
    When it comes, will it happen fast?
    A sudden downturn, a merciful off switch?
    Or will he too sufffer long and hard too?

  29. taylor graham


    Here we’ve all come together,
    poets with words to change the world
    for good. And here you are

    suddenly yelling at that girl –
    for what? Her words. Were they too
    soft or subtle for you?

    Not enough spark, or fire? No
    explosion, riot, blowing
    the old bad world to smithereens?

    She’s walking away now,
    her words packed carefully back
    into the satchel of her mind,

    ready for the winds of change
    to carry beyond
    anywhere your yelling could reach.

  30. Mike Bayles

    Skies Fall

    skies fall
    sudden rain
    cover of clouds
    winds swirl
    whirlwind dash
    I seek
    dash whirlwind
    swirl winds
    clouds of cover
    rain sudden
    fall skies

  31. Mike Bayles


    It’s sudden
    even if predicted
    this cold, drenching rain
    as it permeates my senses
    and sends me scurrying
    to the nearest shelter
    in winds of tempest
    as clouds shadow the sun.
    Inside, I look out the window
    for clear skies
    and the horizon,
    of what is yet to come.

  32. Marianv

    On Some Lonely Afternoon

    It doesn’t have to be sudden
    Like the snapping of a guitar string
    When you are lost, in the mood, groovin’
    Having good times
    Laid back, mellow…

    Did they sneak away one by one?
    Until that moment you realized
    The good times all had gone away
    And you, like the cheese
    Were left standing alone?

    If you strolled out on the sidewalk
    In this town you’ve lived in all your life –
    Who would there be to suddenly
    Touch your arm and ask you
    “Where are you going?”
    “:Where have you been?”

  33. Jane Shlensky

    So Happy

    That giggle
    of delight burrowed
    into a chuckle, deep-throated
    and full that made your eyes shine.
    In a single breath, a feeling twisted,
    pirouetted, turned on its toes,
    and the sobs came
    out of nowhere.

  34. Michelle Hed


    If I could change you,
    I wouldn’t change a thing –
    but I would change the weather
    and take away the snow,
    melt away the ice
    so you wouldn’t have to go.

    If I could change you,
    I wouldn’t change a thing –
    but I would give a few more hugs
    and spend more time with you,
    share some silly laughs
    and marvel at all you can do.

    If I could change you,
    I wouldn’t change a thing –
    but I would change the time
    so you stayed a bit more,
    or maybe even left
    the day before.

    If I could change you,
    I wouldn’t change a thing –
    you were perfect
    the way you were,
    I just wish you were here
    that’s what I’d prefer.

    In a second, you were gone
    on a road covered in snow and ice,
    no longer here to hold
    you paid the ultimate price.
    I would change anything
    to have you.

    {Note: This is based on a true event but not directly related to me. I just put myself in the parent’s shoes.}

  35. PKP

    Rising from the rank
    fetid muck n mire
    blinking innocent stands


    rising from the sea
    flung upon the sandy shore
    separate sentient


    from the sparkling
    myriad mass of creatures swimming
    one stands on the shore

    mhmmm you get the idea
    the words are not quite there
    and I am out of here

    back later to read
    enjoy the day

  36. PKP

    These hands

    One night as dawn neared
    At the keyboard a single vein
    Popped in stark relief.
    I feared
    What was this? what could it be?
    Silent shouting I rushed to the lavatory

    Held that hand above my head
    Heart pounding with catastrophic dread
    Watched the blood drain
    From that pounding prominent vein
    Sighed in relief that I might just
    Be late-night writing insane

    Returned to keyboard, calm, to type again
    And watched the vein pop hit with chagrin
    No dread curable disease was with I struck
    Just fallen into aging symptomatic muck

  37. Yolee

    Maybe it’s a Cover-up like Veneers over Unflattering Teeth

    As autumn prunes summer,
    poetries, like gold-plated leaves,
    pirouette in my head. Ordinarily
    this happens when daylight is still

    a stranger or night is a little black
    dress, and a half glass of some
    good dream spilled on it.

    I don’t always strive to catch
    and release, as if there’ll always be
    a great supply of creativity flowing
    to be fleshed out. I know this.
    I know this. I know.

    I hear a faint voice, sometimes
    piteous, sometimes snappy beneath
    cluttered sills of my mind:
    “esteem the rash break-ins;
    don’t bury me alive.”

    1. Marie Elena

      Like Andrew’s, this is so excellently penned, Yolee. WOW. “when daylight is still a stranger or night is a little black dress, and a half glass of some good dream spilled on it” is especially lovely and haunting. Wow.

  38. PKP

    Suddenly it comes and not on little cat feet

    It won’t
    I can’t
    It probably
    Was something
    Skin on skin
    Skin in skin
    Ceiling staring
    Pillow face breathing
    Skin slapping
    Slap , Slap,

    A little warm
    A little odd


  39. Andrew Kreider

    the beginning

    it comes unannounced
    with a childproof lid
    you can scarcely open
    on mornings that are hard

    you know old men retiring
    looking younger than you
    happy couples who barely
    show their scars, children all

    you turn away and keep
    churning words like butter
    words about life and hope
    and stupid things no one

    even cares about – firing them
    into some vast echo chamber
    listening a bit too hard
    pathetic for acclamation

    then one Wednesday at 9am
    everything stops. And you are
    a fool with a moleskin notebook
    and nothing left to say

  40. nitapita


    Grasping for truth, living out of contol
    Dreams giving clues, from a damaged soul
    Riding lifes waves, like a crashing river
    Never see the whole picture, only a sliver
    Suddenly, you realize you’ve known all along
    Sometimes the truth can feel so wrong

  41. Marie Elena

    her trek
    from healthy
    happy owner
    of her own business
    to wholly disabled,
    Tardive Dyskinesia-wrought,
    terror besieged, anxiety plagued
    schizophrenic, mood disorder patient
    has filched her life for too many years and must

  42. Connie Peters

    Night Terror

    S uddenly a high shriek pierces the night.
    U nder slumber I fumble for the light.
    D eadly still, I listen for the sound,
    D arting fearful eyes all around.
    E choing voices fill the halls,
    N oting the scream which appalls.
    L aughing the farmer points out,
    “Y ou’ve heard a peacock, no doubt.”

      1. Connie Peters

        Andrew, I wasn’t sure if it was the peacock or peahen so I played the sounds on my computer and forgot to warn my husband. He came running out thinking someone was hurt. It turns out they make similar sounds. They both sound like a lady screaming.

  43. Walt Wojtanik


    You’re sailing along like a melody,
    a song you’ve hummed hundreds of times.
    But the words escape you, blinded.
    Headlights from the car crossing
    the median meant to separate.
    It’s too late to steer clear.
    Suddenly mangled metal
    becomes your playlist.