Editors Blog

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 205

Before we get into the prompt, I just want to share my big news: My debut full-length poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems, is going to be published by Press 53! Click here to read an overly excited post about it.

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “If I Were (Blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles might be: “If I Were Dreaming,” “If I Were Upset,” or “If I Were-wolf.” (Kinda stretching the boundaries a bit on that last one.) :)

Here’s my attempt:

“If I Were Happy”

You’d know by the stars shooting around my head,
my toes skimming the earth. I might smile an inch
wider, maybe hum a song to myself. In fact, I might
hop, skip, and jump–especially in puddles, because
I find there’s nothing that bothers me (not public
humiliation or wet socks) when I’m completely so.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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110 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 205

  1. Sara McNulty

    Congrats, Robert!

    If I Were Bitter

    If I were bitter
    as you are
    a pill stuck
    in throat and no water,
    my words would speak gray

    choked smoke, broken spurts
    fits and starts,
    an old coal-stoked train winding
    down in exhaustion.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    if i were but a violin
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    if i were but a violin
    i would streak my smoky notes across a darkening sky,
    stain the hearts of victims the color of blue algae
    flat against the vellum of earth’s musical script,
    then boomerang the romance back across this chin rest
    the same way maple first seduced acoustical catgut.

    © 2013 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. taylor graham


    I’d be like the ladies at Fitness
    class at the Senior Center
    on this gray, raw, scowling morning.
    There was Milly in a blouse of yellow
    roses, and Louise wearing swirls
    of bright orange-red-yellow fishes
    on her trousers, and Lenore with sun-
    flowers embroidered on her sweat-
    suit. Darleen came in a yellow-
    striped vest, bringing a bag of lemons
    from her front-yard tree. For warm-
    ups, they opened wide
    the venetian blinds and lo! last week’s
    sunshine leaped out and jumping-
    jacked around the room, and skipping
    across linoleum.
    And there was I in my army-
    surplus drab – as drab as the day
    I drove here, and not a smile
    about me, puckery
    without a zest of lemon.
    Could those old ladies teach
    me how to live?

  4. JRSimmang

    If I Were a Rich Man

    He had it right,
    his life built on the tops of roofs,
    hands holding golden fiddles,
    and tradition.
    to be a rich man is to stare down the
    open maw of hungry vultures,
    to lick our wounds in a salt storm,
    to plunge into the icy depths
    and wait for the sun to rise.
    So, we change our definition.
    Rich to
    Wealthy to
    Middle Class to
    Smiling to
    To say that I am happy to truly
    say that I am rich.
    But, I’m not fooling anyone.
    And neither are you.
    I may be happy, but
    thanks to this new definition
    I can barely feed my family.
    I may be happy,
    but thanks to this new definition
    I can barely afford to smile.
    Does this make me rich?
    Does a smile purchase a gallon of milk
    and a loaf of bread?
    I work.
    And because I work
    I am rich.
    We have reached that point where
    just breathing costs us money.
    But, I’m still smiling.
    That should account for something, right?

  5. HuffmanHanni

    I brainstormed a few just for fun.

    If I Were a Pillow

    Your head is a baby
    Cradled gently.

    Goose down,
    Memory foam,
    Or ‘other’ stuffing.

    I capture your fright,
    Your lust,
    Your happiness,
    Your bizarre thoughts in the night.

    Trapped in my fill,
    You go about your day
    And feel
    Refreshed or tired,
    Energized or tried.

    Night after night you return
    Like a monogamous lover.

    Slip between the bed covers
    And let me cradle your head.

    If I Were a Cat

    Grasp and pull at the carpet till my nails are just right.
    Knead, purr, bump, and nuzzle you just right.
    Meow, whine until you feed me just right.
    Growl, hiss, swipe at the dog cuz he just isn’t right.

    If I Were a Tree

    My roots, shallow or deep,
    hold their ground.
    My branches and leaves keep
    you safe and sound.

    I bend like a stick of gum
    when the wind blows.
    But sometimes I’m not strong,
    and I vacate my hole.

  6. rustydude

    Congrats Robert!

    If I Were Able

    By David De Jong
    January 12, 2013

    If I were able, I would build a house
    Hewn logs and local quarry stone
    Warm with character to espouse
    Full beauty, reflected in you alone

    The sun would rise over the ocean
    Waves and sand would lick your toes
    The sun would set over the mountain
    Chasing bucks and frolicking does

    If I were able, I would build a rocket
    Take to the skies some afternoon
    Telescope camera in my pocket
    I’d fly up to a full summer moon

    I would look down and focus on you
    Snap a picture, surely quite-a-few
    You would be centered every view
    Because my world revolves around you

  7. JRSimmang

    Robert, excellent news, sir. Congratulations!

    If I Were Laughing
    I would still not make a sound.
    I know how much that angers you.
    But, you’re so cute when you’re angry.
    Your tired eyes.
    Your flush’ed cheek.
    Your trembling hands and lips.
    They remind me of a time long before our time
    where you used to raze me for being a slob.
    You used to scare me into the pit of a bubbling sauna.
    You used to grab me by the waist and squeeze so hard
    my spirit would transgress into the ether of the end of time.
    That was love, pure and simple, amazing and
    Where did your humor go?
    Your smile?
    Your laughter?
    Your belly that used to tighten and your
    nostrils that used to flare?
    It’s still funny,
    you and me,
    and it’s okay to laugh.

  8. tjholt

    Great work on new book.

    If I Were Rain

    I’d let my mood swing
    with distant thunder
    rumbling through the air,
    I’d pummel humanity below
    flaunting my ire,
    or with a gentle touch
    beneath a rainbow
    kiss the ground.

    If I were rain
    I would understand
    why lands are flooded
    or dearth of a parched earth.
    My goldilocks hair would fall
    perfectly across the land
    not too little, not too much,
    the right touch each time.

  9. sashagladb

    If I Were A Love Bug.

    If I were a Love Bug
    I’d spend my life looking for cuddle in the dark.
    I’d watch the stars that shine up bright
    And live my dreams in their light.
    I’d crawl so close to you, but off your sight,
    Would drink the smell of yours and fly…
    You’d never see me and only feel the warmth in dark
    And I’d be always there by your side
    If I were a Love Bug.

  10. shaykwiat


    If I were beloved
    by the very sands of time
    If I were a goddess free
    and all the world were mine
    If I could love forever
    and abundance were my dueIf I could offer just one heart
    I’d offer it to you.
    –Shayla kwiatkowski, 2013

  11. PSC in CT

    Woo hoo! Congrats on the upcoming publication, Robert! Best of luck!

    And here’s my response to the Wed prompt… a little late (appropriately).

    If I Were a Clock

    I were a clock
    I’d run slow-
    ly, often arriving
    late to the party,
    ticking off Time.
    I’d chime in-
    termittently, miss-
    ing some of those
    quarters & halves.
    At times, I’d
    skip running
    altogether &
    it’s just possible
    (perhaps even likely)
    if I were a clock
    I’d just

  12. cstewart


    If I were a medicine,
    I would move like light to mend your wounds,
    The ones that have made your muscles knot
    And your forehead furrow.
    Wounds of love and disillusionment,
    Those fires half extinguished,
    Calling on you to make up scenarios and lies.

    If I could hold your head and hand
    Without you knowing,
    I would make all the pain and sorrow disappear,
    Like the small child that gets a kiss and it is better
    So simple and pleasurable –
    With soft tears brushed away,
    And a return to forgetfulness.


  13. JWLaviguer

    If I Were to Forgive You

    If I were to forgive you
    would all the pain go away
    or would it fester like a bed sore
    itchy and red
    until it burst
    oozing pus
    stinking of death

    If I were to forgive you
    would you change
    or would you still be
    that same hurtful bitch
    for your own actions

    If I were to forgive you
    would I be able to move on
    never to think of you again
    live my life anew
    and for once be happy
    yes, I will choose wisely
    and forgive you.

  14. Misky


    Unhinged I’d be.
    Off centre, off kilter, listing
    a bit to the left, a bit screwy,
    toppling forward,
    swaying backward,
    tippy on my nose, and then
    slacky on my back.
    I’d see dragons in clouds,
    and galaxies in grass….And I’d
    hear shipping news in bird chirps,
    and grey static in your tears.
    If I were a door,
    I’d unquestionably be unhinged.

  15. Mystical-Poet

    If I Were A Musical Note

    I’d be trembling, soaring,
    quivering pulses to savor
    pleasing and alluring

    sometimes I’d be flat
    sometimes I’d be sharp
    sometimes I’d be quarter-toned
    played on sacred harp

    I might be triad, or could be dyad
    perhaps now microtonal
    maybe even wish I had
    clef’d crown to look coronal

    sometimes I’d be tied and slurred
    continuous and unbroken
    sometimes lurking ‘neath the lines
    dawdling till I’m awoken

    sometimes I’d be fine-tuned
    a Bartók pizzicato
    double-plus ambiguous
    a bouncing bowed spiccato

    sometimes I might transgress
    some ornamental hiss
    modify with finesse
    dynamic emphasis

    In the end I think you’ll find
    we transcend our hidden flaws
    after gathering in bars
    take my breath in silent pause

    © ~ Randy Bell ~ 2013

  16. PKP

    If I were not waiting for construction to be done

    If I were not waiting for construction to be done
    Then I might not be writing aimless poems one
    after another – to quiet uneasiness – just for fun

  17. PKP

    If I whirr

    If I whirr
    then I would
    be lifting
    on the rise
    of perfumed
    If I whirr
    my velvet
    wings would
    spread and
    graze your cheek
    as you lied in
    perfumed grass writing

  18. PKP

    If I were my own mother

    I would live in silk
    slim and sure
    draped in confidence
    on saloned settees
    speaking with
    rounded vowels
    laughing with
    head tossed
    back and neck
    long and unlined
    eyes sparkling
    in the give and
    take of artist
    types of all
    sorts scattered
    about as satin
    pillows as sunslanted
    light danced
    through mullioned

  19. PKP

    If I were a woman worth rubies

    If I were a woman worth rubies
    I would scrub the floors until
    my knuckles bled and smile
    If I were a woman worth rubies
    I would listen to each syllable
    with rapt attention never drifting
    If I were a woman worth rubies
    I would use each scintilla of
    my intellect to further peace
    and compassion and under-
    standing among and between
    all on this spinning cerulean
    marble which we all share

    If I were a woman worth rubies
    I would scrub the floor of detritus
    until all was smooth and
    cool beneath my grounded
    feet and my knuckled blood
    fed the shimmer of rubies
    floating in sunlight

    If I were

  20. Domino


    If I were alone
    I would laugh aloud
    and fling my arms out
    and dance down he hall.

    If I were alone
    I would sing silly songs
    as loud as I wanted
    and make up new lyrics
    as I went.

    If I were alone
    I would run outside in my bare feet
    and play in the grass
    and make daisy chains with
    the clover.

    If I were alone
    I would watch the sun cross
    the blue sky, or watch
    the clouds scamper by
    or watch the moon rise.

    But I’m not alone.

    And if you see my eyes
    every now and then
    maybe now you

    Diana Terrill Clark

  21. Ber

    If i were alone

    Would i hit my head against the wall
    would i walk and stand tall
    would i run and scream and hide
    where would i go

    Wishing those times we once had
    were still here
    wishing that you never crushed me
    to the bone
    once wishing those times away

    Waking up to yet another day
    waking up alone
    where have those happy days gone
    where have the memories slipped off to
    where has the laughter disappeared off to

    Once there was us
    only me and you
    now there is only a emptyness
    a gap that can never be filled
    knowing you can never return

    A stairway
    would bring me to you
    as i would climb each step
    happiness would fill me
    the kind i once knew

    So gather me up
    hold me strong
    teach me to understand
    just where i belong

    Hold me up
    don’t tie me down
    wishing you were here
    knowing deep inside
    your everywhere around

  22. Linda Hatton

    So very happy for you, Robert!! Congratulations!

    If I Were My Child

    I would hold my own hand,
    mosey along lily-pad pond, skip
    a day or two of (pre)occupation
    about being right, rock
    the boat, dab at my own
    fears, dabble in anything
    that pushed me away, listen
    for a dollar, then listen for nothing
    more than warmth
    of knowing love is the means,
    but not guaranteed.

    1. PKP

      This is a love-ly piece, on as Marie has pointed out many levels.. it is delightful to reach within and embrace the child that is ourself :)…. The last 2 lines are a knock-out finale. :)

  23. stepstep


    If I were a singer
    I’d sing you a love song
    Express my gratitude in such a
    Melodious manner, raise my vocals
    To become a beautiful symphony.

    I’d offer my voice to you
    With a message so true
    With a song day and night
    My voice crisp and light
    Singing love to you.

    If I were a singer
    I’d connect each note fluidly
    With love so pure you would see
    It manifested deep within my soul
    And shone mightier than any stone
    Singing love to you.


    Congrats to you, Robert on your success for your poetry manuscript.

  24. BDP

    Congrats on the book! I posted a rondel, but it didn’t go through. Thought I’d try to type a message here to see if it posts. I’m new to your blog, and look forward to reading your poetry.

  25. Andrew Kreider

    Congratulations, Robert! Keep us up to date…

    The better part of valor

    If I were you, I’d turn around –
    you’re crazy to ignore that sign
    emblazoned with the bold outline
    of a cow with horns. That faint sound

    of pounding hoofs should not astound
    you – but you better pay it mind,
    you’re crazy to ignore that sign!
    If I were you, I’d turn around

    and run for home before you’re found
    like a squirrel chased up a pine
    tree, yelling for help! Please don’t whine,
    this field could be a killing ground…
    If I were you, I’d turn around.

  26. PowerUnit

    If I were you
    I’d stick to sports
    Football is too risky
    Injury too sure
    Baseball is safest
    For an average person

    How about that Nixon?
    Running the country
    Into the dirt
    Look at his jowl vibrate
    In tune to the television static
    What is one to do?

    And if you don’t make it
    To the big leagues
    Whatever you do
    Don’t fall back on pool
    Sign up for business school
    That’s where the big money is
    If I were you

    A writer?
    Are you insane?
    The streets of New York
    Are full of them
    They wash dishes
    And sweep floors
    That’s all they can do
    Nixon doesn’t care
    About writers

    That’s what I would do
    If I were you

  27. RJ Clarken

    If I Were an Origami Artist

    “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” ~Mark Twain

    I make a fold or two, then bend
    this square of paper at a crease.
    This form of art is a release:
    creating helps me comprehend

    beginning, middle and the end,
    a gentle way of finding peace.
    This square of paper at a crease
    I make a fold or two, then bend.

    A simple act. It can transcend
    bright colors, patterns. This small piece
    of fiber is more than caprice…
    a paper swan’s what I intend.
    I make a fold or two, then bend.


  28. Connie Peters

    Congrats Robert! Very cool.

    If I Were Retired From Being a Caregiver

    I’d still care and I’d still give.
    I’d still work hard and I’d still be so busy
    I’d complain that I didn’t have enough
    time to do whatever I’d wanted to do.
    Like one of those little toys
    with spinning wheels set on a flat surface,
    off I go, no matter what direction.

  29. claudsy

    Robert, I can well understand your pride and enthusiasm. Congratulations!

    If I Were a Stone

    Laid bard
    To see stars
    Lighting night’s sky dark,
    With creation spread before me,
    I could see home and
    Know peace now

  30. bluerabbit47

    Congratulations on your new book, Robert!

    If I Were an Eagle

    If I were an eagle,
    I’d angle my wings
    and slowly circle
    over the frozen lake,
    watching for an unwary
    rabbit venturing out
    across an unmarked
    patch of snow. I’d
    pass the cottonwood
    aerie where I was raised
    with my brother
    and not wonder where
    he had gone. I’d own
    the brittle blue winter
    sky and a bare branch
    with a hungry view.

  31. Brad Bricktower

    If I were a woman…

    …I know that I’d be
    miserable, thin,
    and perpetually hungry.

    Were I a girl,
    Then, every fourth week,
    I’d murder a whore
    and dump her in the creek.

    Should I call myself “lady”,
    I’d get a degree,
    then earn minimum wage
    as a secretary.

    Hypothetically female,
    I’d shop at the mall
    from open to close, for–

    If fate gave me Xs,
    I’d unwind at a bar,
    while the guys insist that
    I blow them in their car.

    As a feminine specimen,
    I’d wear a nice dress,
    and get tons of free drinks.
    …okay, that’s nice I guess.

    Were I a missus,
    I’d turn them away,
    I’d be a hard bitch,
    I’d care not what they say.

    The fairest of sexes,
    I’d see her walk in,
    a gal with long red hair and
    porcelain skin.

    If I didn’t dangle,
    I’d offer a stool,
    I’d tell her she’s gorgeous
    and try to act cool.

    If I were a woman,
    I’d kiss her and then,
    I’d take her and–
    Huh. I’m a lesbian.

    1. PKP

      Brad a wonderful poem revealing an absolute lover of and empathic soul mate to women.

      Especially tickled me since my own father used to joke along much the same lines – that he was a closet lesbian, I have never heard any other man use this take on being a lover of women :) You poemed this beautifully and gave me a good laugh along the way :)

  32. SharoninDallas

    Congratulations, Robert! That is such spectacular news!

    If I Were The Real Me

    If I were the real me. . .
    Would I see?
    Would the path be clear?
    Would the doubt disappear?
    Would I still be here?

    What would really change?
    What would I regain?

    Some days she’s here.
    If only she would remain.

  33. DestinySerene

    If I were in-love

    Id deny every heart flutter
    and hide every word stutter
    Id tell my self it isnt so
    But with every smile know it shows
    Id feel the lightness in my heart and head
    and the warmth in my cheecks as they grow red.
    If i were in-love id…

  34. De Jackson

    I know I said so on Facebook already, but CONGRATULATIONS, Robert! So awesome! :)


    If I Were Really Here

    I would breathe this
    fire and blame
    the rain and
    soak the sunrise
    in by tiny sips,
    cast a smile with
    knowing lips and stand
    in one place long
    enough to listen.

    If I were bound
    by more than this
    fragile bark
    these broken limbs
    some quiet
    spark I would un
    and watch the sky

    And I would sell you
    all these secrets,
    half price,
    one by tumbled one.
    If I were really


  35. Nancy Posey


    If I were twenty years younger
    by the ties that bind me now

    I might take different paths,
    the road not taken,
    backpack across Europe
    study French, Italian
    take a class on gourmet cooking
    grow my hair out
    learn to plan a fiddle
    but despite the many times I’ve said,
    If only I could go back,
    knowing what I know now,

    I’d choose this life. I’d choose your love.

  36. JWLaviguer

    If I Were Like Everyone Else

    If I were like everyone else
    you couldn’t tell us apart
    you’d miss my sense of humor
    my shy smile

    If I were like everyone else
    You wouldn’t know me
    because I wouldn’t be unique
    the man you fell in love with

    If I were like everyone else
    life would be boring
    we wouldn’t get the same jokes
    or the puns we toss at each other

    If I were like everyone else
    maybe I’d still be there
    but I am my own person
    And I cannot be who I am not.

  37. Misky

    If I Were A Door –

    Unhinged I’d be. Every breeze
    and leaf and stranger that wandered
    by given free leave and entrance
    to my rooms and halls. I’d invite
    rainbows to enter through my bevelled
    glass, to dance on walls and polished floors,
    colours to marvel and adore. And I’d welcome
    in sunlight, bright as a summer noon,
    and stretch shadows long as mid-June days.
    If I were a door, I’d surely be unhinged.

    (c) 2013 ~ Misky

  38. Misky

    If I Were A Door –

    Unhinged I’d be. Every breeze
    and leaf and stranger that wandered
    by given free leave and entrance
    to my rooms and halls. I’d invite
    rainbows to enter through my bevelled
    glass, to dance on walls and polished floors,
    colours to marvel and adore. And I’d welcome
    in sunlight, bright as a summer noon,
    and stretch shadows long as mid-June days.
    If I were a door, I’d surely be unhinged.

    (c) 2013 ~ Misky

  39. PKP

    If I were younger still

    If I were younger still
    I would not fear the
    gray the silver in my
    hair – the peaks of
    delight and valleys
    of despair

    If I were younger still
    I would not fear the
    coming of the days when
    I would no longer be here
    or there

    If I were younger still
    I would savor each
    nectared drop
    not looking to the future
    but soaking in the present
    if I could – I would –
    I will

    For I am younger still
    than I will be get to be
    and vow to mindfully
    enjoy all that is now
    this younger than-ever
    I will be again be
    This youngest version
    of this day’s me…

  40. PKP

    If I were RLB

    If I were RLB
    I would be on a rooftop
    shouting lyrically
    to the wind, the sea
    and up to the stars above
    that the poetry that has filled
    me is now about to be shared
    in a published book with all my love….


  41. Walt Wojtanik


    If I were me,
    I’d be happy in my station
    this close to publication I could taste it,
    I wouldn’t waste it… the opportunity that is!
    Just the way it is…if I were me.

    If I were me,
    I’d be less afraid to sing my songs,
    you could all hum along if you don’t know
    the words. You know how it goes, you’ve heard
    it before. We’d do an encore… if I were me.

    If I were me,
    I’d be the man Mom and Dad had hoped,
    I would have coped better with illness and death,
    I’d save my breath as far as some people were concerned.
    And I’d have learned… if I were me.

    If I were me,
    my poems would be recited,
    I’d still love unrequited and hide it well,
    and I’d tell my daughters, they oughta be happy
    and steer clear of crappy situations… If I were me,

    I’d feel blessed by the friends I’ve made,
    have a poet parade and invite the masses,
    we’d hold classes on form and encouragement
    and take nourishment from our collective muse,
    That’s what I’d choose, if I were me!

  42. PKP

    As i wrote elsewhere -Congratulations – sweet paver of “The Street” …. Soooo well deserved – enjoy every pulse of excitement -will think of ways to publicize! Back later to post :)

  43. RJ Clarken

    Congrats, Robert! What awesome news!

    If I Were A Dude

    If I were male, and not a girl,
    let’s put it this way: I might ‘get’
    a nickname or a sobriquet
    like Killer, Butch or Duke of Earl.

    Might be fun to give it a whirl…
    …but as a guy, I’d suck, I bet.
    Let’s put it this way: I might ‘get’,
    (if I were male, and not a girl,)

    the chance to burp and fart and hurl
    and never ever get upset.
    See, as a ‘Ms.’ I’m not there yet.
    I think my brain would go a-dirl*
    if I were male, and not a girl.

    *Dirl means tremble or quiver. Sorry for goofiness, but the rhyme just started and I had to go with it.

  44. Jane Shlensky

    Robert, I’m happy for you and looking forward to solving a reading problem (winkwink).

    If I Had a Dollar

    For every time
    You’ve looked
    At me like that
    Kind warm eyes
    Knowing things
    Laughing some
    Loving anyway…
    Well, who’s
    Counting on
    More wealth
    Than that?

  45. JWLaviguer

    Congrats, Robert!

    If I Were Granted Three Wishes

    Could I wish for more wishes?
    That would be my first question
    If that wasn’t possible
    then what’s the point?
    Or would the first wish be
    to have anything I want
    the ability to travel through time
    as an observer
    neither seen nor heard
    or perhaps I could fly
    but not so high
    because I’m afraid of heights
    okay how about this
    I wish I wasn’t afraid of heights
    that’s a good one
    and yet just a tad selfish
    so I wish for you
    to be happy
    for all of us
    to live in peace
    no more hate
    no more hunger
    no more senseless violence
    I lost track
    of how many wishes I’ve used
    I hope I didn’t waste any
    I wish I could count

  46. Billie

    IF I were Stronger

    If I were an artist, I would paint you a picture.
    for you to understand
    You were like lemon drops
    you tasted so sweet. Yet, became so sour.

    If I had tissue I would stuff it in the holes of my broken heart.
    then I would tie shoe string around it.
    and If that didn’t work I would use the duck tape around my mouth.

    then I could speak. of it.
    I could if I were stronger.

    1. PKP

      This is my “wow” poem for the day …. it is simple and profound and lovely .. each image from lemon drops to tissues stuffed in the holes of a broken heart… just wonderful wonderful wonderful….:)