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.

*****

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*****

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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
    sputtering
    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

    IF I WERE DARING

    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

    Tovald.
    He had it right,
    his life built on the tops of roofs,
    hands holding golden fiddles,
    and tradition.
    Tra-di-tion.
    Now,
    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
    Happy.
    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
    deadly.
    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

    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

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