Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 196

For this week’s poetry prompt, I want you to take one of the following lines and make it the first line of your poem. All these lines are taken from my personal notebooks, so they’re not especially wonderful–just some random places to start. Feel free to take liberties with these openings (the important part is the poeming).

  • She’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking
  • I’m not sure who I am or what I want
  • The world, a helicopter seed spinning
  • Burn the want out of every moment
  • My bed is a planet
  • Trees hide the better views

 

Here’s my attempt:

“Dang-blasted”

She’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking
about anymore. She’s been skating figure 8s
around the old lake. The ice is thin. She can’t think
forever. He never looked back is the problem,
she says. And she can’t turn her head the other way.

*****

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*****

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164 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 196

  1. taylor graham

    IS SUMMER NEVER ENOUGH?

    Burn the want out of every moment,
    said the Sun.
    But here’s one friendless tomato left
    on October’s vine,
    not nearly fist-size; muscling in
    among drooping withered leaves,
    determined
    to endure to ripeness.
    Chicken-wire squeaks
    against a corner post in wind
    that feels like fall. One jay, worthless,
    noisy creature, will not
    give up searching for a peanut.
    Everything persists
    in wanting. Shouldn’t life be noisy
    in a falling season?

  2. arthur_rider

    trees hide the better views
    the forest fields the foraging fauna
    hunters hidden in huts
    birds biding away while biting bugs
    lovers longing
    bless the trees!

  3. Walt Wojtanik

    AS THE WORLD TURNS

    The world, a helicopter seed spinning.
    A counter-centrifugal confluence
    of uncontrolled revolutions.
    The momentum is there, the masses
    have reached velocity, en force.
    The course we are on will toss us
    into chaos unless we slow down;
    move forward. In child-like wonder
    we are under its spell. Watching
    the helicopter spin in seeds of thought.

  4. Jane Shlensky

    The Second Coming

    Burn the want.
    Out of every moment,
    stretch beyond reaching,
    make a sky to glide in,
    a wing to rise up,
    a word to abide.

    Burn the need.
    Ashes will fertilize
    possibility.

  5. Jane Shlensky

    The Better Views

    Trees hide the better views
    From our window across the pasture
    To where the horses graze
    And nicker to one another.

    Autumn changes all that as trees
    Drop their leafy obstructions
    Like ladies dropping their fiery robes,
    A subtle burlesque.

    Between the naked limbs
    We watch land laid by turn green,
    Migrating flocks of birds settling on the field,
    The October sky tucking itself into soil.

    We will watch snow smooth that landscape
    A hand on cat fur, watch the deer wade
    Through drifts, hear the ice crack,
    The trickle of melted winter feeding spring.

  6. Walt Wojtanik

    KILMER’S LAMENT

    Trees hide the better views.
    People choose their perspective
    with the objective of seeing the forest.
    The bigger the picture, the more the
    need to take it all in; memory
    becomes what is perceived as
    a good life lived well. But it’s hard to tell
    when our myopic mind only sees
    what our hearts will allow. Poets offer
    words that prefer to lull and placate,
    and that’s great… but, looking just past
    our noses closes us off from
    the world at large. And a large world it is.
    Think deeply, live lovely… see clearly;
    never let the trees hide the better views.

  7. Michael Grove

    Mysterious Life

    My bed is a planet
    in a distant galaxy
    where a mysterious life
    is lived so vividly
    behind the rapid
    eye movements while
    semi conscious logic
    cannot discern which is
    better or when the other
    will continue or end.

    By Michael Grove

  8. cstewart

    Camping in the Stratosphere

    My whitest bed is a speeding planet,
    With memory and expanding space.

    The sheets are layers of impermanence,
    Peeled off, replaced by new, temporary
    meanings.
    The structure of the Hawaiiana, pineapple posts
    Add the comedic element to the contemplative
    Nature of the lightening way.

    Though the space does not stop at the edge
    of the softness,
    It hovers in the emptiness of its own time,
    With a specific permanence that transcends itself.

  9. PowerUnit

    Creed of a Procrastinating Writer

    Burn the want out of every moment
    Maximize the effectiveness of your awareness
    Strike not the tamborine of discontent
    Nor beat the drum of insolence
    Sit strongly in your seat and scream at the sinners
    Drive the little darlings out of your temple

  10. Bruce Niedt

    Taking some liberties with the prompt:

    Dizzy
    (a semi-cento after Robert Lee Brewer)

    I’m not sure who I am or what I want,
    but she’s been thinking about things
    that don’t need thinking. I know how
    to burn the want out of every moment,
    but she knows how to measure the flashpoint.
    Our bed is a planet of misunderstandings,
    our room is full of windows,
    but trees hide the better views.
    Our world is a helicopter seed spinning,
    and we hang on, dizzy, corkscrewing
    toward the ground, wondering what
    may grow when we get there.

  11. taratyler

    i’m not sure who i am
    or what i want
    i serve and provide
    always there for others

    i am undefined
    yet labeled and expected
    depended upon
    always there for others

    if i ran away
    to find my lost self
    then i might be noticed
    always there for others

  12. seingraham

    Set Yourself Afire

    Burn the want out of every moment
    We’re all only allotted so many …
    Nobody knows just when they’ll run out
    No-one wants to reach the end, still wishing,
    Still wistful for things left undone – instead
    Of fire in the belly – you’re left with ashes
    On the tongue…

  13. my hearts love songs

    fabulous prompt, Robert! loved it!
    and some amazing poetry!
    here’s mine ~

    BURNING

    “Burn the want out of every moment”

    I remember her saying those words
    back when we were young
    but I can’t remember
    what it was to want like that

    I knew she had to be mine
    I had to possess her
    but I don’t remember
    why

    One day she said she had to go
    that she wanted more out of life
    but I can’t remember
    what I lacked

    It was as though her desire for me
    had gone out like a candle
    but I don’t remember
    her leaving

    She was gone
    as if never here
    but I can’t remember
    where I put her

  14. SharoninDallas

    Robert and everyone — really good poems today.

    I’m Not Sure Who I Am Or What I Want

    I’m not sure who I am or what I want.
    I’m not who I used to be.
    So many changes, slowly creeping over me.
    And over everyone I see.
    I see loss, I see pain, I see death, I see grief.
    I don’t care anymore for what used to bring relief.
    I want to rush, I want to go, I want to be in the know.
    But I ask “Why?” Sigh. What is it all for? I want a door
    To a clear path that will never be.
    I want calm. I want peace. I want the old me.

  15. creativemetaphor

    Medicine Cabinet

    Burn desire out of every moment;
    The essential oil of life
    Distilled and extracted
    Then drip-fed through an IV
    To burn the veins and singe the heart.

    Apothecary jars of experience
    Arranged, corked and labeled
    On the spice rack of daily doses –
    A pinch of fear, a dash of wonder –
    The aroma of fresh brewed excitement.

    Hold you breath until your lungs
    Remember what it is to ache for air
    Then break the surface and shout
    ‘Leave the casts to the broken bones,
    These medicines shall mend your soul.’

  16. Jane Shlensky

    Tangle

    I’m not sure who I am or what I want–
    the world I know, a helicopter seed
    spinning my bed into a planet,
    twirling at restless heights,
    the lump in the pit of my stomach
    inviting me to look down,
    view my life from a high place,
    see what’s what,
    but trees hide the better views
    and everything is a wash of blue
    that burns the want out of every moment.

    Wanting nothing more than to want more,
    desire is my conundrum, not hers.
    She’s been thinking about things
    that don’t need thinking,
    maybe about who she is
    and what she wants,
    maybe about me,
    maybe about her,
    maybe about me and her,
    and I’m not sure.

  17. Jane Shlensky

    Robert, really love yours today.

    The Letting Go

    She’s been thinking
    about things that don’t
    need thinking, about
    how his ankles swelled
    and he complained,
    about whether she
    fed the chickens,
    cats, dog, him,
    wondering did she eat
    anything today, about
    where her children are
    and then if those young people
    that came and stayed so long
    were hers or someone else’s.

    She’s been watching and listening
    for hints toward where and who,
    clues to unravel the mystery of her being.
    Where did she put her glasses?
    Did she wear glasses?
    Is the car outside for her
    to drive or for the lady that comes?
    Is that lady one of hers, she wonders.

    She’s been thinking about things
    that run through the underbrush
    of her mind, rustling fallen leaves
    of memory, her thoughts chasing
    movement just so far and then watching
    ripples in the wake of the unseen.
    She thinks of telling him what tangles
    in her mind, but he will worry.

    He dreams whole stories
    while she sees snaps
    of color and movement, an eye
    here, a reaching hand there,
    a cat purring, the steam rising
    from her coffee, a single line
    from a Christmas carol that she hums
    all day. He won’t want to think
    about what she’s been thinking about
    that doesn’t need thinking.
    He’ll wonder why she can’t relax,
    let it all go, listen to the ticking
    of the clock.

  18. Linda Hatton

    So many good poems here!
    *****

    Slip-Ups

    She’s been thinking about things
    that don’t need thinking
    about. She’s been climbing tree
    houses in her mind, slipping
    down one rung at a time, slipping
    down into limbs that couldn’t
    hold her, slipping down into the ground
    even colder, slipping down
    she falls even harder. Trees
    hide the better views, the way
    she wants life to be. Climbing, she slips
    back into comfort of swayed thinking
    about things that don’t need thinking
    about.

  19. taylor graham

    JACK’S RIDGE

    Trees hide the better views, he said.

    This slope where for time out of mind
    the oak trees grew, hawk-nests in their highest
    branches, tall cedars for a raven to survey
    the view. Earthworms wound among roots
    that held the hill together – roots
    that sang for rain.

    Uprooted now, and heaped with branches
    in a pile. The whole slope
    bulldozed clean. Humans always think
    they have time to fix what they’ve done.
    Pine and cedar uprooted in a pile
    on this brown hill. Just dust.

    Do they have time? Here comes
    the rain, before anyone can say, to pour
    down on their slash-
    piles and sign its name in gulleys
    gouging out the dust; to take it all away.

  20. Willy

    WITHOUT A THOUGHT

    She’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking;
    about how can she make her great escape; break out
    through the automatic sliding door by wheelchair;
    turn left; hold up her feet; roll downhill gathering
    speed on the decline; turn right to merge quickly with
    cross-traffic; ride the backdraft of the cars and keep
    on a-going because no one back there is yet
    aware that, thoughtlessly, she has left the building.

  21. sjmcken

    My bed is a planetary system
    with me providing the center
    of gravity to hold the planets
    – books, magazines, writing
    tablet, laptop, TV remote – and
    planetesimals – newspaper,
    water bottle, crumpled socks –
    in orbit.

  22. De Jackson

    Caught
    (a somewhat-Cento)

    She’s been thinking about things
    that don’t need thinking:
    the world, a helicopter seed
    spinning,
    burning the want
    out of every moment
    through trees
    that hide better views.
    Unsure
    of who she is
    what she wants,
    her bed is a planet;
    solid core singe
    -ing its way through the frozen
    crust of things unthought.

    .

  23. Karlie

    She’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking
    And lately he’s been staying out all night drinking
    So she sits alone and stares out the window at the stars
    Wondering where it all went wrong
    She’s been thinking about leaving
    He’s been thinking about drinking
    All night long
    He’s a fool, but he don’t know it
    She’s falling out of love,
    But she won’t show it
    Until one day he wakes to find her gone.

  24. Nancy Posey

    Bad Luck in the Rearview

    She’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking,
    focusing on forgetting her surefire path to failure.
    She’d heard Satan’s other name, the Accuser, and believed
    based on her experience, hearing his nasal twang
    whispering in her ear, I know what you did. We all know.

    As an act of defiance, she broke off her rearview mirror,
    tossing it out the window, not even turning to see it land,
    not worrying about the seven years’ bad luck she might
    have earned, deciding to apply the curse to the last seven.

  25. Domino

    Bed Planet

    My bed is a planet,
    (Planet Sleep)
    and I visit it
    regularly,
    (rapturously,
    rosily,
    cozily)
    for my nightly infusion
    of relaxation
    and rest
    and all the best
    dressed
    (for bed)
    slumberers.

    Except sometimes
    when my bed
    seems to be
    (Planet Insomnia)
    no longer
    a bed of dreams
    but one of
    rest
    -less
    tumbling
    grumbling
    wakeful
    inactivity
    and no longer
    my happy friend,
    but a cruel
    task-
    master,
    (disaster)
    disallowing
    any rest
    (or not much)
    at all.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  26. julie e.

    TO DO OR NOT TO BE (THAT IS THE QUESTION)

    she’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking
    when what she should be is things that need doing
    and her thoughts keep leaving when they should be staying
    causing daydreams that leave her distracted and wandering
    while biscuits are burning and sinks overflowing
    and laundry needs washing and mending needs sewing
    and yet she keeps pondering the hills that need roving
    because trees hide
    the better views.

  27. Misky

    Spin Me One More Time

    My world
    is a helicopter seed spinning
    and caught in a double twirl,
    a ribbonous helixed curl
    of my inherent imperfections.
    I can but only hope
    that the seed after next
    takes hold and sets anchor
    to my feet, but not quite yet
    as my heart is set
    to spin a bit more.

  28. PKP

    Ooooh ROBERT – use the word “love” sparingly with regard to poetry… For what it’s worth (mhmm what “is” it worth??? … not much currency there) nevertheless, I did “love” your poem this morning.

  29. susan budig

    What’s Reverend Wesley Doing in My Bed?

    My bed is a planetary nebula
    I am, but a speck of cosmic dust
    My pillow cradles all of my medulla
    Under covers, the rest of me is thrust

    I am, but a speck of cosmic dust
    My alarm clock, here in space, rings noiselessly
    Under covers, the rest of me is thrust
    Today is Sunday so my thoughts are with John Wesley

    My alarm clock, here in space, rings noiselessly
    “Catch on fire with enthusiasm…” John says in turn,
    Today is Sunday so my thoughts are with John Wesley
    “and people will come for miles to watch you burn.”

    “Catch on fire with enthusiasm…” John says in turn,
    Furthermore, “When I have money, I get rid of it quickly…”
    “and people will come for miles to watch you burn.”
    “…lest it find a way into my heart,” he sums up richly.

    Furthermore, “When I have money, I get rid of it quickly…”
    My pillow cradles all of my medulla
    “…lest it find a way into my heart,” he sums up richly.
    My bed is a planetary nebula

  30. Michelle Hed

    Robert – I find your ‘not especially wonderful’ lines quite inspiring! Thanks for sharing your randomness! 🙂
    Michelle

    Sick and Tired

    My bed is a planet
    made just for me,
    for when I’m sick
    this is the place to be.

    I have my books
    extra blankets too,
    a cup of tea
    is a required brew.

    Could you grab me a cracker
    perhaps more tea,
    turn up the heat
    yes, you can pity me.

    Time to sleep
    too tired to read,
    cough, cough, cough
    ao glad they no longer bleed.

    My bed is a planet
    I snuggle down deep,
    wake me when I’m better
    for now, everything else can keep.

  31. Michelle Hed

    On Repeat

    The world, a helicopter seed spinning
    crazy, dysfunctional
    but with a pattern –
    an ebb and flow of destruction and healing.
    Will we ever learn from our past?

    Last Burn

    Burn the want out of every moment
    So all that is left is need
    a
    n
    d
    giving.

  32. Michelle Hed

    What’s Next (Triolet)

    The world, a helicopter seed spinning –
    wondering where we will fall,
    Will we be grinning?
    The world, a helicopter seed spinning –
    Or will we be pinning?
    I am held in thrall.
    The world, a helicopter seed spinning –
    wondering where we will fall.

  33. Imaginalchemy

    “Where Will the World Land”

    The world: a helicopter seed spinning
    Not knowing where it’s going
    Helpless against the wind, skimming
    The river, the current wildly flowing
    Ready to pull us under, whisk us away
    Or maybe some bird intent to devour
    Will catch it in its claws and prey
    Upon us in one swift gulp as we cower
    Or do we hope maybe we’ll softly alight
    Upon some fresh patch of unsalted earth
    And while this world is swallowed by night
    A new one springs forth of greater worth.

  34. Walt Wojtanik

    MY BED IS A PLANET

    My bed is a planet.
    Population two.
    Their is peace where love lays.
    No battles are waged
    when the Planet Serta
    is inhabited. Gravity
    has its pull, but we become
    weightless when the excessive
    bounce lifts every ounce of us
    off of the sheets. It is sweet
    that the air is rarefied when
    clarified with love. Warmth
    and security lives upon the purity
    of its cushy surface.
    My bed is a planet.
    I am your leader. Take me.

  35. JWLaviguer

    She’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking
    And smelling things that shouldn’t be stinking
    She can’t remember yesterday
    Dreaming of times so far away
    The future holds so much in store
    Her life today is such a bore
    “One day I’ll leave and never come back”
    But she can never get on track
    Stuck in this time and place
    Where no one can recall her face
    This isn’t here and it isn’t there
    In fact, she isn’t anywhere
    Acknowledge her, if you can
    She’s not a woman, but not a man
    It has lived a generation
    A figment of your imagination.

  36. Andrew Kreider

    Love your poem, Robert. Wow.

    Thinking

    She’s been thinking
    about things that don’t need,
    thinking about things that don’t want,
    or cling, or hate, after
    six months or six years

    thinking about how far
    she has driven in this
    stupid dark blue Windstar
    with its half-demolished bumper
    and overflowing bag of trash

    thinking about him, and the other her,
    and why he won’t be on time,
    and the smell of his cologne,
    thinking about red wine and promises
    about anything at all

    because sometimes it’s easier that way.

    1. De Jackson

      Oh, Andrew. I LOVE this twist on the prompt, with some simple punctuation play:
      “She’s been thinking
      about things that don’t need,
      thinking about things that don’t want,
      or cling, or hate”

      Fantastic.

  37. Walt Wojtanik

    SHE’S BEEN THINKING

    She’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking;
    thinking about years I had spent drinking that were wasted
    on swill often tasted with ill effects. It reflects on my will

    and still, she’s been thinking about things.
    Things don’t need thinking when that sinking feeling sets in
    and she grins to hide her pain that again, I am afflicted.

    Inebriate with the trappings of this fleeting life. And my wife,
    has been thinking our time has been too short, time spent
    cavorting with my mistress muse, words are like women

    always just out of reach, but teaching lessons best served
    to strengthen a resolve once solvent but very repetitious of late.
    But words when needed, never let you down and I’ve found

    that she’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking.
    Why does life need to change when once estranged souls reignite,
    only to put you in the fight for your life? And I’ve been thinking

    the best thing I could be thinking. The gift of this life that has given
    two extraordinary daughters and an outstanding wife, is cherished
    more as it slips from grip, wanting to reclaim its embrace.

    It is in the face of mortality that our vision clears, and one hears things
    such as “Live for today”, “One Day at a Time” and “Seize the Day!”.
    It’s not to say that we ignore these in the goodness of times,

    but, she’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking,
    and she has me thinking she’s right. I might not live forever,
    but whatever time we have is best spent in pursuits that touch

    as many hearts as we can. And touch each other. I’ve been thinking
    how much I love my life. My Daughters. My wife, even though
    she’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking.

  38. Ber

    Carved View

    Trees hide the better views
    they give us answers
    they give us clues
    listening from within
    like a gentle muse

    Sitting on the branch
    with all going on down below
    traffic of people
    wonderful fast and slow

    Stories are unfolding
    right before my eyes
    some that i am glad to hear
    some that bring on disguise

    With every tiny twig
    that grasps the story teller
    of every sentance formation
    of the first tree feller

    lying back looking up to the clouds
    passing by volumes of the crowds
    As i have the better views
    of the passing by hidden clues
    in a tree of rustling muse

  39. PowerUnit

    I’m not sure who I am or what I want
    Whom to tease or whom to taunt
    I stayed up late again last night
    Thinking myself into a fright

    Our world is changing
    Our paradigm hanging
    Slow, slow, slow
    Is the new grow, grow, grow

    Someone’s knocking on my front door
    Now they want something more
    I have nothing else to give
    All I want to do is … live

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