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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 213

We figured out the Great Missing Comment Box Mystery of 2013 around the end of last week. So we should have a completely healthy commenting experience today (knocking on wood). In fact, let’s make that the prompt today.

For today’s prompt, write a knock on wood poem. This might be about a situation that should happen or hopefully will happen. Or I guess it could even involve someone (or something) actually knocking on wood–a table, a door, a window pane, etc. Per usual, feel free to get creative with it.

Here’s my attempt:


We will wake before light outlines form around trees

before birds start shouting each other above earth

We will shower dress our children leave earlier

dance at work school grocery stores & gas stations

We’ll embrace thankless tasks find incredible peace

know ourselves & understand everyone else

We’ll live our lives but with better homes & gardens

popular mechanics field & stream people wired


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


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124 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 213

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    knock on wood
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    “every day you wake up is a good day,”
    my scottish grandmother preached daily
    from behind her pulpit of schnapps,
    “so quit yer bitchen, belly up to the bar.”

    if tomorrow the good lord sees fit
    that i awaken, then take it a sign to
    pack a lunch and head for the woods
    to dine among the bracken fern
    and songbirds, sandwich those troubles
    ‘tween layers of manna and waxed paper,
    the memories of which should be
    poured out of a glass-lined thermos
    like sweet condensed milk,
    reminiscent of gentler days
    when god spent more time
    amongst thieves and whores.

    well, tomorrow anyways…
    (knock on wood)

    © 2013 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. SharoninDallas


    Knock on door number one?
    The first thing that life hands you.
    Knock on wood. Will it protect you?
    Door number two has the pretty girl.
    Will you take her for a whirl?
    Doors three and four might be great.
    Every decision affects your fate.
    Will you take door one or will you wait?
    Will you knock on heaven’s gate?
    Choices, choices, what to do?
    Be sure to open that door where He beckons you.

  3. PressOn


    The knock on Wood
    was that he would
    not quit for good
    his neighborhood
    to learn Talmud,
    although he could
    stand up for good,
    as well he should.
    But Wood would not.

  4. Marianv

    What are we knocking on?

    Sometimes, when I knock on wood
    I wonder if it’s really wood I’m knocking on
    Or some cheap imitation. It looks like real
    Wood and it makes a sound when my fists
    Lightly pound – but is it solid? A thin veneer
    Of wood might be spread over some manufactured
    Materiel and painted or dyed to match the
    Idiosyncrasies of the real thing – knotholes
    In a darker shade, the progression of rings.
    Smell is a good indicator of real wood. Even
    If it has been around for centuries there is
    Still that smell of must, the old forest with
    Its tangled webs of birth and death. But in
    Order to get that smell, you have to put
    Your face down almost touching the wood
    Itself and that is not always possible – or
    Desired. So there you are, you knock on
    Something handy, within reach and if it
    Isn’t real wood, it is a stand in for wood,
    Playing wood’s part in the grand drama of
    The lives of all of us, trees, man and the
    Earth itself.

  5. nikali222

    If everything goes as I intend

    the red faced owner of this glass house
    will drink an extra bottle of pinot noir
    and forget to close his windows.

    Then I, his parakeet, who craps on his leather
    couch, and you, the scrub jay who bullies
    squirrels from the dandelion garden,
    will get a chance to know the difference
    between thin air and glass.

    We will leave behind the flightless memory
    of bashed in bird brains and sit together
    on the branches of a dying apple tree
    squawking Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

    until just before sunrise when sleepy
    neighbors start throwing stones.

  6. nikali222

    If Everything Goes as I Intend

    The red faced owner of this glass house
    will drink an extra bottle of wine
    and forget to close his windows.

    Then I, his parakeet who craps on his leather
    couch, and you, the scrub jay who bullies
    squirrels from the dandelion garden,
    will get a chance to know the difference
    between thin air and glass.

    We will leave behind the flightless memory
    of bashed in bird brains and sit together
    on the branches of a dying apple tree
    squawking Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

    until just before sunrise when sleepy
    neighbors start throwing stones.

  7. OrionLyon


    I rise at the promise
    Of the knock at the door.
    Good solid wood resounds,
    Begging for attention.
    No matter my intent,
    It will not be denied.

    Of adventure?
    Of problems?
    Of friends?
    Of strife?

    I can’t ignore it.
    I rise at the promise,
    Drawn to the sound like
    A cat to a bug,
    A dog to his food,
    A child to mud and dirt.

    Girl Scout cookies?
    Helpful neighbor?
    Power outage?
    A noise complaint?
    Small child-peddled kittens?
    Door-to-door salvation?

    I rise at the promise
    Of the knock at the door.

    ©2013 Orion Lyonesse

  8. xMsNefetirix

    Hope its not to late to try this ^^;

    Four leaf clover,
    Shooting star,
    Horseshoe, rainbows,
    Rabbit’s paw,
    Fingers crossed for something good
    Hope I’m lucky
    Knock on wood

  9. PowerUnit

    I jotted down antoerh tonight …

    Illiterate crooks

    More stew please

    A smallmouth bass

    A pretty girl cries

    An outcome
    Knock on wood

  10. taylor graham


    Knock on wood, on pipe, on rebar, chunks
    of brick from a knocked-out wall
    ceiling between 2nd and 3rd floors between
    rows of sewing tables / knock and
    listen for a response between calls for silencio!
    and siren between collapsed corner and
    broken window as a dog goes scouting between
    so many dead and the chance someone’s
    still alive under jumbles of concrete scraps
    of fabric chicken-wire holding up what
    used to be standing wall / gray scum
    of concrete-dust on Friday’s cold coffee /
    knock on wood and listen for a prayer

  11. Yolee

    Varnish and Girth

    I always thought of it as a sign that would punctuate
    a better season. I saved up for the pinewood table
    with golden growth rings and brown knots.
    It looked so regal among the poor white
    patio chairs, wickered and repurposed for living
    room furniture, where the varnish, I then noticed,
    had slipped away from its legs and arm rest.

    I envisioned fancy dinners on royal blue plates
    from a discount palace my eyes fell in want with.
    Food with Martha Stewart’s fingerprint
    and my coming of wage were inevitable.

    I just knew days of digging in a coffee
    can for rainy day change would be
    archived in some memory with bare walls.

    I just knew I wouldn’t have to knock
    on my parent’s door, or precious wood.

    1. OrionLyon

      I love your images! ‘Martha Stewart’s fingerprint,’ ‘memory with bare walls,’ ‘royal blue plates…my eyes fell in want with,’ and ‘patio chairs, wickered and repurposed for living
      room furniture.’ ‘Coming of wage’ is a nice twist on the phrase. Nicely done!

  12. Walt Wojtanik

    (The Knock on Wood)

    Knotty pine, knotty pine,
    you give me a naughty time,
    bending nails, dulling blades,
    just look at the mess we’ve made!

    You make me nuts, I start to drool
    and measure twice (which was the rule).
    When I cut you down to size
    I get sawdust in my eyes.

    Soon I sneeze, choke and cough,
    surely I have had enough.
    I look at you and I see shelves,
    but you’ve loftier visions for yourselves.

    You chip, you split, you dent, and fail
    when my hammer misses a nail.
    My wits end has made me spastic.
    I wish that you were made of plastic.

    © Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik 2013

  13. Walt Wojtanik


    It was a great place to gestate and grow,
    knowing that the nuts never dwell
    where the trees no longer grew.
    A strain of Dutch Elm erased
    the classic overhang that once graced
    her curbs. Children played
    where their imaginations took them,
    and staying engaged until the street lamps
    flickered hello. And you knew you had to go
    when the symphony of parental
    whistles sounded. You were grounded
    to the people who resided there,
    never a care of destruction or death
    until age showed its tired head.
    The yards were mowed and trimmed,
    a shimmering emerald island
    surrounded on all sides by love.
    Above all else, it was the home
    for generations, felt the pains
    and elation of a familial bond,
    until we finally reached beyond
    her borders. Wood Street was home.
    But now it stands alone. The only
    knock on Wood was that no one had remained.
    Knock, knock? Who’s there?
    No one.

    © Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik 2013

  14. RJ Clarken

    Knock on Wood

    “Luck is believing you’re lucky.” ~Tennessee Williams

    We rub lamps to conjure genies.
    Some magic’s what we wish we had
    while we sip our dry martinis,
    while cursing out our luck turned bad.

    Some magic’s what we wish we had.
    We knock on cherry, maple, oak,
    while cursing out our luck turned bad.
    The gods of fortune, we invoke.

    We knock on cherry, maple, oak.
    We wish on four-leaf clovers, and
    the gods of fortune, we invoke.
    We pay our seers. Cash in hand.

    We wish on four-leaf clovers, and
    we rub lamps to conjure genies.
    We pay our seers. Cash in hand,
    while still sipping dry martinis.


    1. OrionLyon

      I recognize this as a certain type of poem but don’t know the name. What is this? I love the way the lines dance among themselves, changing partners and acquiring new meanings.

  15. Ber

    Uncovering the Past

    Looking out the window
    frosted tints covered it’s ware
    tiny spread out lines and shapes
    crispy feathered squares

    Wondering where she was right now
    wondering where she used to be
    nothing seemed to make sense anymore
    of the woman she used to see

    Flickering flashback moments
    sometimes forgotton closets in her mind
    keepsakes of the times gone by
    closing up her blinds

    Turning to see another
    the image on the wall
    who is this before me?
    i pray, i can not recall?

    Confusing takes over the body
    nothing makes sense anymore
    of who she used to be
    of who she is no more

  16. PKP

    At the tree door

    Knock gently
    In the woods
    bare knuckles
    brushing bark

    Knock gently
    as chestnut blossoms
    float in your hair

    Knock gently
    as the mother of
    all welcomes you
    into One

    knock wood

  17. PKP

    At the tree door

    Knock gently
    In the woods
    bark brushing
    bare knuckles
    Knock gently
    as chestnut
    blossoms float
    In your hair
    Knock gently
    and the mother
    of all will welcome
    you into her arms
    of all

    Knock wood

  18. priyajane

    Knocks on wood

    Knocking rays and dripping water
    Graphics on the graining wood
    Maple, birch, oak and cherry
    Hardening,— misunderstood
    Ash and beech are like brothers
    Hungry, thirsty for the sap
    Roasted, toasted, ripped from Mother
    Bleeding hearths with tearful wraps–
    And dressed up leaves just do not wonder
    Why the wood doth look so sad—-

    PriyA Jane

  19. Amy

    Monochromatic walls slowly
    regain their pigment in the
    early morning glow.
    You slumber still, a peaceful
    state unbroken by any worldly
    distractions. As the rising light
    illuminates the planes of
    your face, I glimpse a future
    as tranquil as the dream
    from which it spawns.
    Easy conversation, layered with
    laughter and likeness.
    Our limbs intertwined on
    a bed of forever.
    You entice authenticity from
    its road-weary resting place.
    I hold my breath, hopeful that
    this glimpse will become a
    dream of life rather than a
    life of dreaming.

    1. PressOn

      That got me to thinking; thanks for the inspiration:


      When a flicker goes knocking on wood
      and the wood is in my neighborhood,
      and he looks at my house
      with the look of a louse,
      then I’m sure that he’s up to no good.

  20. HandHeldWriter

    When I wish and want for things to come true and are good,
    I just knock on wood.


    that my kids would grow up in a nice and safe neighborhood;
    [knock on wood]

    that people would be kind and decent like I know they could;
    [knock on wood]

    that the rich would give to the poor like a modern day Robin Hood;
    [knock on wood]

    that people would respect one another like we know they should;
    [knock on wood]

    and that we would see that life is really simple,
    and we could go through it without being misunderstood…

    knock on wood.

  21. taylor graham


    I’m knocking at your door because
    you need me on your team.
    I’m a specialist in Difficulty Analysis.
    I’m a Polylemmist
    fluent in Hobson’s Choice and Buridan’s Ass.
    I’m ABD in Ennui, the balancing of alternatives
    without committing to any of them.
    I have no previous work experience –
    I could never find a job that seemed to offer
    the perfect fit for my skills, bad choices
    being more in my line than good ones.
    But I’ve come to see the value in a paycheck,
    and I’m willing to massage
    my principles. You’ll find me adept
    at ways to avoid taking action.
    I have the perfect polysyllabic word for any
    conundrum. Don’t just knock on wood
    and hope it turns out OK – I can give you
    whole dissertations
    that come to no conclusion.

  22. JWLaviguer

    She Gives Good

    She gave it to me
    gave it good
    the way she touched
    me like no one else
    woke up feelings
    in me
    that I didn’t know
    sure, as a boy
    just discovering
    how to use it
    by myself at first
    then with others
    but not like this
    and still
    after all these years
    she’s still got it
    she knocks on wood
    as no luck is involved
    she has me
    she has my heart

  23. PressOn


    Knock on
    wood and
    bruise your
    ain’t no
    way to
    Why not
    flick some
    brass belt
    Then the
    quits and

  24. elishevasmom

    The Meadow

    Walking in the woods
    I saw the doe,
    still, in the meadow
    like a magnificent
    sculpture and—then
    a blink.

    Now it was my turn
    to become planted
    to the ground,
    to stand watch
    as she rooted for some
    morsel untouched

    by the cold nights—some
    tidbit unswayed
    by the argument that
    soon, Cold would
    be the only
    language spoken.

    And then, as I
    blinked she was
    gone—there was an
    to the meadow,
    a hollowness.

    And as the wind
    pushed through the
    trees on the far side,
    the empty branches
    clacked together
    in such a way,

    that from where
    I stood, it sounded
    like bamboo
    wind chimes,
    sing a chorus
    all their own. Ellen Knight 3.6.13

    (write a “knock on wood” poem)

  25. laurie kolp

    Eviction Notice

    I heard the knock, knock, knock
    on my ceiling, which was your
    floor; our code, a neighborly
    agreement with no strings attached…
    we’d meet outside, flip a coin-
    your place or mine?

    Unless I didn’t want you, then I’d
    answer twice on the pipe. One,
    two, three. One two. Back and
    forth that night it seemed you
    wanted me more than I wanted
    you. Still, you persisted;
    you’re evicted.

    *Inspiration: Golden oldie~ “Knock Three Times”

  26. mapoet


    Knock on wood
    Maybe the dock
    of the bay
    You had no
    time to waste
    It was snatched
    by a crash
    Still, the music lasts
    From vinyl
    to CD
    to download
    Well past the time
    you had to
    knock, knock on wood

    Knock on Wood by Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper
    On the Dock of the Bay by Otis Reddng and Steve Cropper

  27. deringer1

    We walked the green fields,
    grandma Maeve and me,
    and as we passed the old May tree
    we touched its bark.
    “Absit omen”, said she,
    “perhaps its spirits will nah trouble thee.”

    And now I am far away over the sea
    and Maeve has traveled the Spirit way.
    But ever and always I’ll knock on wood,
    remembering Maeve, so Irish, so fey.

  28. seingraham

    Good Gift

    It’s small and simple
    and quite light
    I forget what
    you decided
    It should be made
    from finally

    I wish we
    had gone ahead
    and patented it;
    A really good idea
    and I wear mine often
    As it’s handy
    Just the way
    you said
    it would be
    When you gave
    it to me

    I remember
    how carefully
    you burned
    the message
    onto the surface
    Before stringing
    it on a leather thong
    and slipping
    it over my

    What could be
    more perfect?
    How often did people
    say, “knock on wood”
    Then spend the next few
    minutes looking
    around for some wood?
    With this pendant…
    I’d always have
    mine handy

  29. De Jackson

    The School of Hard

    Close counts
    in horseshoes; hand
    over your last
    penny and smile
    for the camera,

    We’re fresh out
    of rabbits, but
    this chicken foot
    might scratch
    the surface.

    If nothing
    rap your knuckles
    against this page
    stay away from the broken
    mirror and throw your own


  30. Domino

    Knock Wood

    Fire, plague or for common good
    or to prevent some calamity,
    and amend our misfourtune, knocking wood
    will help to preserve our sanity.

    In the event of calamity
    there’s only one thing we can do
    that helps to preserve our sanity,
    touch or knock wood (or bamboo).

    It is true, the one thing we can do
    if we do not want a catastrophe
    touch or knock wood (or bamboo)
    to stall pain or sorrow or bankruptcy.

    We don’t want some kind of catastrophe
    fire, plague or something not good.
    So stop pain or sorrow or bankruptcy;
    to amend all misfortune: knock wood.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  31. Nancy Posey

    I decided to post first and then check to see if anyone else has been humming this oldie but goodie all day after reading the prompt:

    Knock on Wood

    “It’s like thunder, lightning,
    the way you love me is frightening.
    You better knock(knock knock knock knock) on wood. . . ”
    –Eddie Floyd

    Third of May, they called the band,
    maybe somebody’s birthday,
    maybe the day they started it up,
    practicing in David’s basement
    until his mom or maybe a neighbor
    complained, then hauling the drums,
    the guitars, amps, over to the garage
    out back of Ricky’s house.

    The play list was edgy then—Louie, Louie,
    We Gotta Get Out of This Place,
    Ninety-Six Tears. When they played
    at the annual high school talent show,
    the girls all scream, and no small number
    of the teachers sat glumly, fingers
    plugging their ears, complaining later
    that they expected something more
    along the lines of Mitch Miller,
    Lawrence Welk, nice music, none
    of this wild stuff—no talent, no dignity—

    which only made them play louder
    and the drum solos last longer,
    which made them push the limits
    sometimes, just to see if anyone
    really listened to the words. Hell,
    they didn’t even know the words
    to Louie, Louie, and they sang it
    at least once or twice at every gig.

    Gary hovered over the drum kit,
    all angles, arms and legs, ready to solo
    on Wild Thing, Born to Be Wild,
    begging to try In a Gadda Davida.
    His favorite, though, was always
    Knock on Wood, his drum sticks ready
    for that knock knock knock knock,
    knowing all the crowd sang along.
    Late at night he dreamed of finding
    that frightening kind of love one day,
    like thunder, like lightning. Luck
    like that was enough to make anyone,
    superstitious or not, knock on wood.

  32. Jane Shlensky


    Beethoven’s Fifth can fill our head
    with pounding death and mortal flight.
    Imagining night streaked with dread,
    a wolf outside, we wait for light.

    And if indeed the morning comes
    bringing a store of hope and good,
    our psyches still retain the drums
    as death at our door knocks on wood.

  33. Michelle Hed

    When You Need a Bit of Luck (A Pantoum)

    Knock on wood
    when you wish for luck,
    be good,
    don’t be a schmuck.

    When you wish for luck
    find a four leaf clover,
    don’t be a schmuck,
    don’t roll over.

    Find a four leaf clover,
    a lucky penny will do,
    don’t roll over
    wear something blue!

    A lucky penny will do
    when you are in a pinch
    wear something blue
    never give an inch.

    When you are in a pinch
    be good,
    never give an inch
    knock on wood.

  34. Jane Shlensky

    Wind Song

    We thought the rain was gone today
    leaving a slice of heavy gray
    along the horizon atop
    a darkened forest, a winter crop.
    The weary fields soggy with rain
    wait for the storms to come again.

    A muffled cloud-mass hovers now
    as gust of wind shakes barren bough.
    How their limbs knock a neighbor tree’s,
    such clacking bark on bark, like knees
    that shake against the winter cold
    or creak and pop as we grow old.

    So wind on wood on wood on wind
    determine sounds that must attend
    the swaying prelude to a storm,
    that lets the wind decide the form
    of music it will make today—
    flute or drum, wind has a way.

  35. Connie Peters

    That’s Why

    I got up this sunny morning
    With a to-do list ten miles long:
    Wash the car, mow the yard
    Write a children’s song

    Clean the kitchen, mop the floor
    Feed the kitty, clean its box
    Do the laundry, vacuum up
    Match the single socks

    Run the errands, pay the bills
    Crock chicken in the pot
    Read a book, exercise
    Study how to plot.

    So why didn’t I
    do the things I should?
    Of course it’s all because
    I didn’t knock on wood.

  36. Penny Henderson

    Yew branches bow and twist.
    Rain pelts screens and storms–
    meant to keep out bugs and cold.
    A stink bug dive bombs
    the light above my list–
    not one thing done.
    Shivers ski down my spine.
    Maple stretches to the door
    and knocks on wood

  37. Misky

    A Feral Itch

    It is the start of March.
    Bare branches fan screed grey sky
    over snowdrops that hang their heads
    and melt winter’s heart. We drive the last howls
    of winter into spring, a growling feral itch
    scratched, and we look on faint green
    that hangs like veiled ghosts through birches,
    and we knock on the white of birch,
    and beg entry into spring.

  38. herjurni

    Shattered I suffered what a release
    Escapism thought to have consoled
    Bitterly pulled me back into a realm
    How could I not explode…………….

    Into excitement hearing the good news
    Anticipation hinders my actions at their best
    Confused but not disappointed
    My lack of understanding

    Maybe one day I’ll see the logic
    Boggled down in my mind
    Until then I’ll hope for best
    And continue to ‘knock on wood’

  39. Andrew Kreider

    Blue Moon

    I washed your clothes last night
    sat up listening to you fumbling
    with your keys at the kitchen table

    trying not to blame myself too much
    that all you are able to cook is
    tosted cheese and beefaroni

    I think about how the grass
    survives a herd of buffaloes
    and how buffalo survive bad grammar

    When I tell you this, you
    do not laugh, but reply instead
    in Sweedish, arms punctuating every phrase

    and I think My God, this is me I am seeing
    poor soul, except that it is not, and it’s beautiful
    like dormitory food slipped under a neighbor’s door

  40. De Jackson

    Arboreal Aubade

    I’ll live in a tree.
    For here, you see
    my roots will go deep.

    I’ll rock to sleep
    to the sway of this leafy new day
    and etch poems
    into umber bark.

    A lark
    will be my muse
    and this sun
    -rise my song.

    I’ve known all
    along that I was made
    for breeze
    and seaside limbs
    blown loose to sky. I
    breathe best here,
    and I plan to inspire
    my fill.

    If you’re still
    and quiet,
    and bring in
    -digo pens,
    you can stretch in
    and quench your own

                         Knock first.


  41. CherVi

    Kneeling in praise

    Light from sun rays
    Infiltrate the curtains
    Dance on my eyelids
    Birdsong flickers
    Across my consciousness.
    Golden warmth envelops me
    It is tomorrow
    And I rise up
    To let my knees hit the floor
    In praise.

  42. Marie Elena


    Superstitious? Not a chance – that’s my stance. Don’t mind thirteen, and won’t intervene if you open that umbrella, fella (inside implied). Cross my fingers, hope to die?? Just LET that black cat pass me by. That rabbit’s foot can just stay put. An open purse beneath full moon won’t make me richer anytime soon.

    So, superstitious? No, not me. And see, I won’t be misunderstood,
    knock wood.

  43. pmwanken


    I’d watch and wonder.

    He would mutter
    under his breath
    and reach for the nearest
    surface and rap his knuckles

    the knuckles of the hand
    that was wrapped
    a little white furry foot;

    she would sigh, roll her eyes
    and yell
    (not words, really,
    more like a growl).

    I asked Grammy once
    (I think I was five)
    she said it wasn’t right
    that Pops had super stitches.

    I didn’t know
    what that meant…
    I just crossed my fingers
    and hoped they would stop yelling.

  44. PressOn


    A thousand blows dispersed the snow
    as the woodpeckers hammered the oak tree.
    Five thousand blows diffused the snow,
    making of it a smoke tree,

    and as they pecked, they parroted so;
    by sun-up it gave me a headache.
    Ten thousand blows defeated snow
    and even made my bed ache.

  45. CherVi

    Light from sun rays
    Infiltrate the curtains
    Dance on my eyelids
    Birdsong flickers
    Across my consciousness.
    Golden warmth envelops me
    It is tomorrow
    And I rise up
    To let my knees hit the floor
    In praise.

  46. PowerUnit

    Uncalled, unplanned, but hopefully not unwelcomed
    I walk her path, her tree lined, inviting approach
    sensing her eyes watching me through her curtained, dark windows
    the pane of rejection lingers on my mind, in my chest
    her door beckons and barricades
    the warm grains invite, yet repel
    I stop, halt, hesitate. I wait
    I knock on wood, she’s home