Editors Blog

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 240

For this week’s prompt, take the phrase “If You (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 include: “If You Dare,” “If You Read Poetry,” “If Your Friends Jump,” etc.

Here’s my attempt at an “If You (blank)” poem:

“If You’re Alone in the Woods With a Tree”

And it doesn’t make a sound,
will anyone believe you?

If you answer the phone
and only find silence,

there’s no way to say,
“I agree completely.”

Maybe it’s the tree
or a complacent bush.

Maybe it’s your self-doubt
coming back to haunt you.

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*****

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is an editor for the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53), a collection of poems. He’s married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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220 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 240

  1. veronica_gurlie

    If you want to keep my interest,
    you will need clear skies in your eyes,
    have music coming from your smile,
    a little movement in your mind.
    You’re will need to be flexible,
    so f’n hot, and not just when you made yourself proud.
    Not just when you’re taking a bow or just real high,
    like a daydream on a cloud.

    1. veronica_gurlie

      REWRITE. I trimmed it down a bit.

      If you want to keep my interest,
      you will need clear skies in your eyes,
      have music coming from your smile,
      a little movement in your mind.
      You will need to be fly and not just when you’re proud.
      Not just when you’re taking a bow, a little high,
      like a daydream on a cloud.

  2. Poet Ariel

    If You Want Silence

    Fill my heart with ketamine. Make the cut deliberate & deep;
    round the cusp of the scalpel between the true ribs

    the fourth and the fifth. Force the gap even
    if it means breaking cartilage on the side of the road.

    In the right atrium, take a slice and slide the tubing in.
    Drain it down a grate; let the dogs drink it.

    Then take spun cotton and stuff until no dent shows;
    don’t sew it close – I’ll need to repack it again.

    And while I lie there, machines performing my breathing,
    scalp my red hair, excavate the temporal lobe, occipital lobe.

    I won’t have any use for words.

    Ariel
    Oct 11, 2013

  3. Karen

    If you feel the wind upon your face
    don’t forget to kiss it back
    for a kiss on the cheek is like
    wildflowers caressing a field
    with colors and bloom, or
    geese taking flight
    in the moonlight
    where flapping wings
    resound in the air and
    water drips from feathered tails.

    If you taste the scent of
    clean cut grass don’t forget
    to sit upon its verdant lap
    and lean in to feel its caresses
    upon your back like a lover
    cuddling you in his bed, or
    taste the air around you,
    perpetual Summertime
    upon your lips, licking up
    the remnants of past tears
    and giving you the hopes
    of many tomorrows.

    If you hear the sound of
    Nature’s music
    don’t forget to dance
    to the dulcet allure
    of orchestral masterpieces,
    the sounds pulling you out
    to the center of euphonious cajolery,
    whispering sweet nothings
    in your ear whilst birds chirp
    around you, spirited away,
    and the night is filled with euphoria, or
    hold the hand of your partner
    while he swirls you around like
    a flower tossed into the waters
    of flora and fauna,
    leaving soft ripples of music in
    the bosom of your life.

  4. snuzcook

    IF YOU WERE HERE

    If you were here
    we could have tea together
    and laugh at the burnt rolls
    interred In the trash.

    If you were here
    we could walk at the beach
    and together inhale
    the last breath of daylight.

    If you were here
    we could talk of the future
    and whittle away at
    our private inertias.

    If you were here
    I would know that my life
    would be as I want it
    the length of a day.

    One day we will meet,
    and conjure the past
    that I’ve already drawn
    for our future together.

  5. taylor graham

    IF YOU HAVE A CLUE….

    My dog and I came searching for a man,
    a young adventurer they call Byronic.
    Somewhere in thundergust and scrubby can-
    yons, the weather-gods have turned ironic,
    scrubbing that lost man’s scent all spic-‘n-span.
    What dog could find him in such sky ionic?
    He meant to be an epic hero, meant
    to be iconic. Here, he left his tent….

    And where shall I begin to start my dog?
    The odds are all against us from the git-go.
    The so-called place-last-seen – a punky log –
    pure fiction. And the high-trail, where did IT go?
    His two buddies wandering in brain-fog;
    their versions have us running to and fro.
    I’d rather search for ghosts by whirlwinds tossed
    than weekend-woodsmen who don’t know they’re lost.

  6. Walt Wojtanik

    IF YOU HAVE SOMEWHERE ELSE TO BE

    Sometimes, love is not enough.
    And life is rough navigating
    with an anchor in the sand.
    Make your stand and go
    where you need to be.
    Don’t let it drag you down.
    Fool-hearted clowns
    can drown in their own tears.

  7. Walt Wojtanik

    IF YOU WAIT FOR UTOPIA

    Find a secluded spot
    near the lake,
    under the tree,
    and I’ll see you
    there soon. There is
    a full moon, for night
    has fallen deep and I
    am asleep dreaming
    of your face
    and that place,
    and our race through
    the long, cold night.
    Right there, spread
    your comfort and count
    the seconds until my
    arrival. It is for
    survival that I seek.
    I speak from the heart.
    We’ve started this flame
    and if it’s all the same to you,
    I will fan your fire,
    stoke your desire
    and we will burn unbridled.
    I have sidled up to you
    and I see you leaning towards me.
    Full and fine and fated,
    you have waited for me
    and this night to begin.
    And it is indeed what I need.
    Paradise and a nice night
    right where your light shines
    brightest. Who’d have guessed
    that we’d be so blessed in Utopia?

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

  8. Flamepoet78

    If You See Me From Heaven

    If you see me from heaven
    Please send me a sign.
    Something small will do…
    A hummingbird,
    To remind me that I’m not alone.
    Would be the best present of all.
    Because then I could pretend
    For just a moment, that you are here
    By my side,
    Hummingbird-watching from the deck,
    While you tell me stories of your life
    Before I came along.
    Talking to me about the lessons,
    Life will teach me as I grow.
    If you see me from heaven,
    Can you please help me remember?
    The fun we used to have
    Laughing about silly little things.
    Life has been so overwhelming
    Without you here to talk to,
    But I know you’ll send me a sign
    So I can get through the rough patches
    And build some more memories
    To tell you about,
    When I come to join you,
    People-watching from heaven.

    R. E. D. Voegele
    October 15, 2013

  9. BezBawni

    DON’T.

    If you could walk my way to school and then back home;
    If you could feel my mother’s arms around my shoulders;
    If you could sit alone on slippery boulders
    And think my thoughts, and watch the water turn to foam
    at my bare feet;

    If you could bleed
    my blood on scorching pavements from my scratched knees
    and shed my tears into my sheets and cuddled pillows;
    If you could rhyme unbridled words under my willows
    and lose the slips of paper to the time (And please,
    don’t get me wrong,

    I still was strong.);
    If you woke up in that same bed for ten long years
    and touch my floor with my bare feet and shuffle
    into my bathroom, wash my fading face and ruffle
    my tousled hair into a shape, avoiding stares
    of my green eyes

    aging and wise;
    If you could feel my pounding heart and know why
    it skips a beat, or drops, or weeps, or stops, or races;
    If you had known my friends, my pains, my chases,
    If you could hear my voice, my silent cry –

    then you could say,

    “If I,

    if I were you…”

  10. Flamepoet78

    Rumors…

    If you only knew
    the damage masquerading
    in
    a careless answer, a white lie,
    and
    the secrets shamelessly shared.

    If you only knew
    the penatly I’ve been paying
    for
    a deaf ear, a blind eye,
    and
    the medicines muting memories.

    If you only knew
    the message you’re conveying
    to
    a little girl, a little guy
    and
    the family forever fractured.

    If you only knew
    how much we’ve been praying
    for
    a sickness ended, a final goodbye,
    and
    the climactic circulation curtailed.

  11. Dan

    If you promise
    that this attraction is finite
    then I’ll go

    If you promise
    that what’s broken cannot be restored
    then I’ll leave

    If you promise
    that this bliss is vintage
    then I’ll pause

    If you promise
    that no matter how much we try
    this false passion will soon pass

  12. Glory

    If You Stay

    As if frozen
    in sorrow or pain,
    and sit, head bowed
    your thoughts hidden behind
    that inscrutable face, I
    ever vigilant will watch from afar
    with my heart at a steady beat
    wondering, waiting for you
    to lift your head
    and show to me
    your wondrous face.

  13. Hannalania Muscharia

    “If I could give my breath to you”
    By Hannah E. Reed (H. E. Riddleton, one day)

    If I could give my breath to you
    Would you breathe it back to me?
    Exhaling it, returning half into my corpse,
    Keeping half for your making, my Love?
    And then would you kneel so deep, leaning so steep,
    kissing my lips so I wouldn’t be alone?
    Would I wake in the dream, the effervescent dream
    Of your love or of your coitus?
    Oh, the Kiss of Life! Or… The Kiss of Death?
    My Devlish Duke, would you leave me alone to rot?
    Would you wake me or would you leave me dead?
    Would you chuckle as I scream, losing air, losing me…
    Wasting my breath on your laughter?
    Would you nod in my take, in my reap, in my wake?
    A lie in your hands, a wooden stake for your kill;
    Would you hex me, my Darling Dark
    If I could give my breath to you?

    1. Hannalania Muscharia

      Well, I sort of forgot the second word of the prompt when I started writing in Microsoft Word; but nonetheless, here it is, all distraught and forgotten and rebellious against the rules. I’m sorry! I guess the Pen is more of a nonconformist than I am, at least sometimes, sigh something I thought I would never encounter… I’m definitely going to read this to my boyfriend on Tuesday; gosh, I hope he understands because this poem is about him…

  14. Cin5456

    Your Plan B

    If you
    could achieve
    your fondest wish,
    would you take a chance?
    Would you reach for the stars?
    If you need help letting go
    of doubts, the ones holding you back,

    I will
    cheer you on.
    If you let me,
    I’ll teach you boldness.
    I could be your backup,
    your plan B, if you stumble.
    I’ll keep you steady on your path.

    If you
    want the stars
    in your pocket,
    I will do my best
    to coax them down to earth
    and wrap them in ribbons, but
    the stars can’t compete with your shine.

      1. Cin5456

        Thank you. It’s a nonce form I came up with, 7 lines per stanza, each line has progressively one more syllable from 2 in line one to 8 in line seven. Total 21 lines and it has 35 syllables per stanza = 105 syllables for the poem. Kind of strict, but it worked.

    1. Hannalania Muscharia

      Beautiful, sigh, a truly rolling and ruling love poem. :). You should read this to them, whoever the ‘you’ you are speaking of. With these words, you are sure to win them over. :).

      1. Hannalania Muscharia

        Adorable and absolutely positutely true. We have all been there and some of us are still there (like me). But you’re right, today this poem is good, but one day it will be great. :). I think you speak for all of us and a thousand more Poets still mingling around for Muses, and prodding in a puddle of newfound despair. :).

  15. Cin5456

    Advice from an Author

    If you look around
    at faces, the old man said,
    at people you pass—don’t
    avert your eyes, and
    don’t stare, either—notice
    one thing in each face—
    Remember to keep smiling.
    You don’t want to offend,
    or seem hostile, so
    don’t frown. The feature,
    expression, even the shape
    or color of flesh, whatever
    single item you notice,
    assign to that thing a value.
    Not worth, or degree, but
    assign it a word, a thought,
    an emotion, or even
    a weather. Look at that woman
    crossing there. Her hair hangs
    like rain falling, and her tattered
    purse weeps for its emptiness.
    Or consider that young lad’s
    ear, rounded at the tip like
    the curve of a baseball glove.
    That businessman’s shined shoe
    is black, but I see the flank of
    a chestnut thoroughbred
    dark with sweat as it passes
    the three-quarter mile marker,
    rounding the final turn for
    the finish. Do you see
    what I mean? Look at
    everything you see,
    Then look again.

      1. Cin5456

        The advice led into my first writing assignment from my writing coach. I sat in a coffee shop and wrote about the other people I could see, the waitress, and other customers. Not their words, or gestures, just their features.

        1. Hannalania Muscharia

          Hmmm… Startling, it teaches us to never take things for surface value. In the world of the writer, there is a story to be made behind everything. :). Beautiful poem, even more beautiful a lesson. Thanks for reminding me. :).

      1. Hannalania Muscharia

        Grrr… I’m sorry, my wifis being wonky. It told me that this didn’t post so I tried posting a shorter message, but apparently the longer one decided to appear. I’m sorry. Hmph, I blame the Sun, its being rather temperamental with its solar flares lately. Damn aliens!

  16. Linda Hatton

    If You Forget Me, Read This

    Let this pen warm your finger-
    tips with energy
    of the living, your eyes,
    gazing down upon blank
    poems waiting to be filled
    with lines of longing
    and left behind. Let the air
    I breathe in recycle
    from your lungs to pop-
    lar trees swaying their way
    through to my love-
    less forest. Let the blue(s)
    played by my skies
    accompany jazzy sunset lover’s
    embrace beside
    while sealing away dripping
    kisses in envelopes
    of perfumed droplets, blood-
    shot tears shed at the loss
    of something I only
    ever had in my mind.
    Let yourself take
    it all in and know you
    have never been.
    Let yourself know
    you will never be
    forgotten.

    http://whatnotshop.blogspot.com/2013/10/if-you-forget-me-read-this.html#.UlkHdFBQGSo

    1. Hannalania Muscharia

      Wow, this is the written dream, oh so lucid you have written. I felt like I was falling from a cloud as my eyes drifted through it, my lips whispering it! Haha, you leave me feeling so poetic after just one read, maybe there is need for a second round. :). Beautiful!

  17. Cin5456

    Uitwaaien

    If you feel the wind,
    walk into it and breathe deep.
    If your week has been a trial,
    sink your toes into wet sand
    on a windy shoreline.
    If your head is addled
    by too much knowledge,
    listen to the ocean in a seashell.
    If you feel defeated, with
    too many tasks yet unfinished,
    breathe deeply and say Ohms.
    If too many questions and
    all the possible answers
    fill your head to overflowing,
    hold your arms out wide enough
    to encompass the star-filled sky.
    If you need solace and peace,
    walk in a field and touch
    the petals of delicate wildflowers.
    If you are troubled,
    Walk in the wind.

    The Dutch call this uitwaaien,
    but it does not translate.

      1. Cin5456

        Since I am already your fan, I am flattered. Thank you. I’m going to post one more in the fishy weekly prompt. I used kennings that you might like. I think it’s prompt 241.

  18. Walt Wojtanik

    IF YOU ONLY KNEW

    If you search your soul, you would know
    that the existence of you makes my life better,
    thoughts would be unfettered and you would dominate,
    I would nominate you to permanently preside over my heart.
    I would start by telling you that the brilliance you beam
    is a dream come true; it is you that shines
    where darkness invades. You persuade me to be
    the man who could see your beauty over a distance,
    and at the insistence of my beholding eyes,
    I cherish the prize that is the vision of you.
    If you only knew, you’d know it’s true it is you
    that makes my heart beat and directs my feet
    to where you are. Your heart is the home to which
    I keep returning. I come again and again
    to spent time and write the rhyme you inspire.
    You are my one desire. If you only knew.

    1. Susan Schoeffield

      I keep going back and forth between “If You Go Away” and this one, “If You Only Knew”. They are both beautiful, but the pain from unrequited love is so strong in this piece I can almost feel the empty ache. Truly touching.

  19. JRSimmang

    IF YOU TRY TO POKE A DRAGON

    If you try to poke a dragon,
    you have to understand,
    a dragon is most ticklish,
    the most ticklish in the land.

    He’ll laugh and spit up fire,
    bellow smoke and steam.
    He’ll roll o’er and over,
    until his tears doth stream.

    His gold will glimmer brightly,
    his cheeks will become red.
    He’ll ask you to stay over,
    and laugh all the way to bed.

    He’ll ask you, so politely,
    “A joke, since that’s our deal.”
    Of course, you must oblige,
    or else become his meal.

    So, when you come across a dragon,
    be careful where you poke.
    Take your sword, a trusty steed,
    and a book of funny jokes.

    -JR Simmang

  20. pmwanken

    IF YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES

    you will find
    I
    have gone nowhere

    if you close your eyes

    my smiling
    face
    will meet you there

    if you close your eyes

    you will feel
    my
    love and my care

    if you close your eyes

    I’m closer
    than
    a breath of air

    2013-10-10
    P. Wanken

  21. Misky

    If I Were That Sharp

    I’d die happy, if I were sharp as scissors.
    I’d be quick-witted at flick-flinging rhymes
    all about. I’d be flash as steel, a peal
    of laughter, a slash through the air,
    laisser-faire, and I’d finish each sentence
    with a jab of ink, a dot, a full-stop,
    yes, that’s right, I would,
    if I were that sharp.

  22. PressOn

    IF YOU MEET ME IN DIVORCE COURT,

    please look away, your liquid gaze
    reminds me of the early days
    when we were sure that all our ways
    would be compatible forever.
    But now has come the time to sever
    the once and future jubilation
    of universal gravitation.

  23. Susan Schoeffield

    IF YOU COULD BE PART OF A MOUNTAIN

    If you could be part of a mountain,
    which piece would you choose to be?
    The tallest peak touching the heavens
    or a towering, sheltering tree?
    Maybe you’d be an often hiked trail
    of many determined footprints,
    or wildflowers springing up freely
    in distinctly vibrant tints.
    As boulders that cling to the hillside
    or blankets of green in the glen,
    you would fuse with its stunning splendor
    if you could be part of a mountain.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  24. Walt Wojtanik

    IF YOU GO AWAY

    Life as I know it would cease
    and there will be no peace in the valley
    of thought that says you ought to stay.

    This sad and aching heart will miss
    the best part of our time together
    (whether you believe it or not)

    and I’ve got a feeling that although
    we are stealing moments of time,
    this rhyme would tether you to my soul

    lest we lose control of passion.
    It is of a fashion which I’ve come to depend.
    It sends me to verdant pastures, meadows

    where time and tide await our arrival.
    But, if you go away, the days will drag out,
    they would be about loss and that is a cost

    I cannot afford. Love is a double-edged sword.
    I will fall on it time and again, just to send a message.
    This passage of life would be unbearable, if you go away!

    1. PressOn

      This is wonderful, like a song sung in a small cafe under warm lights. The imagery of falling on the sword of love “time and time again” is heart-rending. Thanks for sharing this.

  25. Cin5456

    Would You?

    If you were me and I were you…
    but that’s a cliché, fit only
    for Hollywood screenwriters.
    Instead, let’s try to know each other,
    deeply, completely,
    without bars and chains
    holding us together.
    Would you like to try?

  26. Sara McNulty

    If You Feel

    If you feel
    about me
    the way I feel
    about you,
    now would be the time to say so.
    If you do not know how
    I feel,
    you should ask me.
    Of course, if I do not know how
    you feel,
    I might be reluctant to tell you how
    I feel.
    Fear of rejection, with no protection
    can result in us taking no direction.
    (If you know what I mean)

  27. Connie Peters

    If You Skipped Like a Child

    If you skipped like a child,
    you’d smile more.
    If you chirped like a bird,
    your mood would lighten.
    If you slithered like a snake,
    you’d wriggle till you’d giggle.
    If you purred like a cat,
    you’d take a restful nap.
    If you’d bark like a dog,
    you’d feel bold.
    If you were thankful, even in trials,
    your heart would catch up.

  28. Cameron Steele

    If you walk down some dirt lane

    If you walk down some dirt lane
    next to cornfields in the wind,
    go slowly and close your eyes. Has air against
    silks and stalks always sounded like an ocean?

    Sometimes I feel trapped by land
    and planted fields and my parents’
    dreams of a girl raised on sweet corn and prayer;
    equal parts tender and tough.

    And I have always dreaded the harvest.
    Bounty, it seems, matters more than
    the small dreams of a woman who creates
    the ocean with a breeze and a leaf.

    When I walk on these uneven fields I want to run.
    The only way to go through life
    – whether its rocky soil or waves at the other end of someone
    else’s day – is fast. Let your shocks do your work, they say.

    Most of the time I do.
    But on the windiest of noons, I remember to knead my toes
    in the mud and raise my face to the sky.
    Even a girl born against cornfields can feel free.

    1. PressOn

      I read this several times, being drawn in more and more each time. The connection between the mud and the wind, getting back to elements, and thus freedom, is strong. Love this.

  29. taylor graham

    IF YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN HER

    While police patrol the streets, her sister
    has been looking in the places
    Ashley used to go – back edge of the park,
    a little bridge over reeds and a some-
    times trickle of stream, up a path
    that climbs bare hills, to an oak knoll –
    there, sisters can tell each other
    secrets they wouldn’t dare say at home.

    But that was years ago.
    Ashley’s not the same girl
    anymore. The walls of her room
    bare, but for a poster
    of a place called Saint-
    Annabos across the ocean,
    a solitary path
    through leafless woods.

    Her sister climbs the hill above the park,
    closes her eyes; in her mind, sees
    Ashley walking that lonely, narrow path.
    Autumn light turns the white-barked
    birch trees ghostly-glowing
    on forest edges against the deep
    blue gloom of October, spirits
    of the missing whispering their secrets.

  30. De Jackson

    If You Surrender Silence

    I will break
    the sound, bury her with my tears;
    hold all these years on tired tongue,
            spent
       un
               sung and
                             -spun.

    If you wave ivory banners
    high, I will weave their color
    -less bleed into my skin, save the scar
              -let shine another day
         fall
              and burn,
                            as star.

    If we speak
    only in the Braille of trembles, mum
    -bled fingers tracing stories to the breeze,
         I will count
                much more
                            than leaves.

    .

    1. BezBawni

      De, I’m officially your fan now. You know there’s a Russian poet called Mayakovsky – the greatest master ever of word coinage, forming poems in steps, discovering truths inside words. I thought there can never be anyone to match him, but with this piece you’ve gotten very close to him, very close indeed.

  31. PressOn

    IF YOU WERE A FROZEN LOGGER,

    she’d chip away at you.
    She would, without ado
    until her hands turned blue;
    until her thumbs were numb.
    She loves you, after all,
    despite your grime and gall.
    Some gals are just born dumb.

  32. Mariya Koleva

    I read some wonderful poetry today, and, Robert, let me say yours is truly a gem. Here is my offering:
    ***
    If You Simply Walk Away

    If you simply walk away
    without any explanations or
    tearful and hysterical conversations
    over a hectic cup of coffee
    shamelessly early in the morning,

    no one would recognize you –
    the boy with soft approach
    and gentle sway,
    the one who looks people
    always in the eyes
    and likes to talk things out.

    So, I guess, you are not going to
    simply walk away
    in such a crazy manner.
    ***

  33. PowerUnit

    If you don’t know America is broken
    Get off your iPhone
    And pay attention.
    Our country is divided,
    insular.
    Myopia from the days of slaves
    has never been cured.
    America the beautiful
    is a song, a dream.
    It is a wisp of money.
    A new hundred dollar bill
    with fifty embedded trademarks.
    You cannot enter a public building
    or a famous building
    or a famous city
    without being scanned, searched,
    and background checked.
    There is no point calling someone
    to complain.
    The already know
    your every thought
    from the taps on the line
    the snakes in the vine.
    America is broken, I say
    and don’t blame Obama
    or your neighbor
    or your Congressional fool.
    The only person you should blame
    is you.

  34. ewdupler

    If You Think About Me

    If you think about me, son,
    don’t forget to smile.
    Forever is my love for you,
    it is the longest while.

    You know my choice would be to stay
    If only that I could.
    It’s cruel how life can have a way
    so different than we would.

    Forgive my anger when I failed
    to help you see your track.
    My greatest wish was that you sailed
    through life without a lack.

    You’ll be the man I couldn’t be,
    you’re greater than you think.
    I always wanted you to see,
    you’ve greatness on the brink.

    When you recall, don’t shed a tear
    of sadness from your eye.
    We’ll meet again, so don’t you fear,
    you know I would not lie.

  35. Michelle Hed

    If You Choose

    If you choose
    to light the fuse
    you might bruise
    more than your pride,
    maybe your bride
    and she would have cried
    to see you
    as you flew
    into a rage
    that leapt off the page
    of that new thriller,
    her blood now chiller
    then the polar caps
    at your lapse
    and perhaps
    she has doubts,
    sees no outs
    thinking the fault is hers
    and this just spurs
    a lifetime of abuse
    there really is no use
    for living…
    Unless instead of forgiving
    she chooses to fight
    to correct her plight
    and take a stand
    beat back that fisted hand
    and walk away
    from all that went astray
    live another day
    if you choose
    to disabuse
    the stigma of abuse
    to fight the blues
    if you choose.

      1. elishevasmom

        I wasn’t familiar with the form, but it got your message across very well. Now I will go read up on Skeltonic Verse. It worked so well for you…

    1. Mariya Koleva

      The form feels comic, and the content feels frightening. And I know how poem just flow and then – Bam, and the outcome has a totally different feel to your innocent initial intention of a light reading… And it is a very interesting and quite thought-provoking poem.

  36. elishevasmom

    A Definition of “If”

    If I hadn’t eaten so much, I wouldn’t be sick.
    If I had taken that plane, I might
    not be in this traffic jam.
    If I could control my temper, I wouldn’t have
    hurt you so, by throwing heavy
    words around.
    If the world weren’t round, I might have seen the edge of it.
    If I hadn’t worried about my hair
    being uneven, I wouldn’t have ended
    up with a crew cut.
    If he hadn’t loved her so much, he might not have killed her.
    To ” if ” is to regret.
    And today, I counted how many “ifs” I said.
    And it scared the hell out me that I regretted so much of life.

    And if I hadn’t counted, I wouldn’t have been scared.

    Ellen Knight 10.9.13
    write an ”if” poem for PA

  37. Michelle Hed

    If You Get There Before Me

    I hope you will be waiting for me,
    ready to welcome me home
    with a fresh cup of tea.
    (Please do your best
    to be the first face I see.)

    You know I’ll be scared without you
    but you know that fear will crumble
    when I see your smiling face.
    (I hope I have the strength
    to finish the remaining tasks left to me.)

    It will be easier to remain,
    knowing you are waiting
    for me.
    (I’ll see you soon,
    as soon as I am free.)

    I’ll meet you on the other side of death
    where spirits reunite,
    if you get there before me.

  38. PKP

    If You Stand on Tip-toe With One Squinched Eye

    If you stand on tip-toe with one squinched eye
    You can block out ugliness or beauty depending
    On your personal penchant for your editorial lie

  39. Amy

    If You Poem, You Identify

    I used to think
    it was just for me
    these words that
    opened up a seam
    inside
    pried it apart and
    let it die
    upon the page
    drowned in ink
    and clichés
    but now I’m all
    the wiser
    and I put pen
    to paper
    in hopes that
    maybe
    just maybe
    my heart will find
    its twin
    a counterpoint
    recognized in
    pain and in joy
    and sometimes,
    in clichés, too

  40. PKP

    If You Could See Me Now

    Your hair would have turned
    To platinum
    Gleaming
    Your eyes would still
    Be filled with that special
    Light held in reserve just
    For me
    You would be neither
    Cloud, nor wind nor ethereal
    Half- imagined -anything
    If you could see me now
    You would be
    Alive

      1. PKP

        Oh my! Thank you – I am taaking your “oh wow” and putting in its own memory box with my first reported “gasp” Deeply, truly, absolutely thank you for stopping to comment. I will get to you when my eyes are open :) Now on to sweet dreams given your delightful response :)

  41. Michelle Hed

    If You Walk

    If you walk in the middle of the forest
    during autumn,
    nature will rain rubies and gold
    gently upon your head.

    If you walk down the street
    during winter,
    nature will hide you
    in a white caress.

    If you walk around the park
    in spring,
    nature will take turns
    blowing blossoms against your cheeks
    and splashing mud against your knees.

    If you walk on the beach
    in summer,
    nature will warm you with every touch –
    from the sand beneath your feet
    to the sun kissing your parted hair.

    If you walk from here to there
    you’ve made progress
    and nature walks with you.

  42. Nancy Posey

    If I’m late

    If I’m running late, start without me,
    have someone pass around a sheet
    so I can update the attendance
    when I finally arrive. Never mind
    that urban tale, that mistaken belief
    that you must wait twenty minutes
    for a doctor, fifteen for a professor.
    Sit there and read; let discussion
    spontaneously erupt. Perhaps someone
    saw the nuances in the sonnets you read—
    You did read, didn’t you—for today.
    Open up that doorstop of a book
    and work your way through the skewed
    syntax, ,make sense of the metaphors,
    pay tribute to the beauty of the words.
    Never mind me. If I run late,
    you can rest assured I’ve stopped
    somewhere along to road to gaze
    at the last lingering flare of sunrise,
    fire painted in the eastern sky.
    I know it might happen again,
    but never quite like this. Monet,
    after all, saw fit to paint his haystack
    every time he saw the light just so.

    1. PressOn

      I am so touched and thrilled with this work. It is full of wonder, not only for the sunrise, but the sonnets too. This whole piece has the feel of a sonnet, in my mind.

    2. Julieann

      This has taken “stop and smell the roses” to a whole new height. It will take numerous readings to absorb the full meaning. Lovely, very, very lovely!

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