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    Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 248

    Categories: Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

    Happy New Year! I stayed up late with Tammy watching the Twilight Zone marathon and a few of the ball dropping programs near midnight. And that’s where today’s prompt is coming from…

    For today’s prompt, write a weird poem. Maybe it’s a twist ending or a person on another planet (or another time). Maybe it’s a land in which weird people are those that look just like us. Or whatever floats your boat.

    Here’s my attempt at a weird poem:

    “Weird”

    I’m awake;
    the children are sleeping–
    explosions outside.

    *****

    2014_poets_marketPublish your poetry! Learn how.

    *****

    Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. Plus, he edits Poet’s Market. Make it a resolution to check out both of these books this year. And while you’re at it, follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

    *****

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    About Robert Lee Brewer

    Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

    84 Responses to Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 248

    1. veronica_gurlie says:

      Right now,
      I am turning into an alien, a slimy and grimy little thing,
      I sit with rotten soup simmering in my mouth.
      I am loose in my skin.
      I am being poisoned by my own blood.
      Nobody acknowledges that they see me.

      No one has the antidote for my sick mind,
      no one has a prayer for my damned soul.
      Humans whisper about me in slow motion,
      and try to rename me.
      I watch how they slave for their body,
      how they think they know, where they end
      and what time it is,
      I lean back in me and grin,
      my eyes cut into their eyes, like pieces of blown glass,
      and they speak,the only word, an enemies eyes know,
      DIE

    2. EfrainThePoetK1n9 says:

      Peculiar

      I believe that we can learn more from fish
      about ourselves, than from ourselves as we observe;
      It was not a normal fish which stretched out limbs and climbed up onto land.
      Courage unbeknown to heroes is still courage and often courage known to heroes is not.
      Truths reveal themselves when we let ourselves believe them; contingent is the hand that will conceal
      them.
      I am not as other fish I swam to school with; alas, I am not a fish at all.
      I believe that I might be as that peculiar fish which crawled.

    3. Polar Vortex

      Plunging temperatures,
      Otherworldly cold
      Layers itself
      Around our
      Realities

      Visiting us, lingering as
      Only an unwelcome guest can do.
      Realizing
      That weird can be our reality in
      Extreme cases. Dreaming of
      Xeroxing Summer.

    4. Dangerous

      beach
      tasty
      hotdogs
      walking
      across
      hot sand
      water
      is the
      danger

      http://wp.me/p2CQD-ao

    5. I could only think of a homage:

      Epilogue for R.S.

      Submitted for your approval:
      a chain-smoking, diminutive writer
      with heavy brows, a terminal case
      of five o’clock shadow, a voice laden
      with gravitas, and a penchant
      for the supernatural yarn, sits in his den
      one dark night, staring at his typewriter,
      battling the demon of writer’s block.
      Suddenly he has a vision – a vision of a TV series,
      an anthology, presenting weekly stories
      of the eerie, the unknown, extraordinary events
      that happen to ordinary people like you and me.
      He decides that he will personally narrate
      these paranormal tales, and somewhere,
      someone will be watching them come to life
      from a flickering box of black-and-white images
      in their living room. There’s only one place
      where such events could come together
      so fortuitously – a place we like to call
      The Twilight Zone.

    6. seingraham says:

      WEIRDLY, WHAT GOES AROUND…
      WEIRDLY, WHAT GOES AROUND…

      She was visiting the GTA, that’s what they
      called Toronto now
      And decided against driving down-town
      on just about everyone’s advice
      It was way busier than she had thought
      it would be, so she ended up
      Clinging to an overhead strap right from
      Warden, where she got on; her portfolio
      dangling from her other hand
      As she quickly found a stance on her stilettos
      that kept her steady, she was amazed at how
      quickly it came back to her
      This riding the subway thing–even dressed
      to kill, she smiled to herself

      She was still half-smiling when her eyes met those
      of a red-headed, freckle-faced man, seated almost
      directly in front of her
      They both stared at each other for long moments
      before he spoke, “Sharon?”
      “Uh, yes…Bob?” she vaguely recognized this guy
      and raised her eyebrow as she watched him give
      her the once over
      “Wow…” he breathed out long and slow. “You look…
      you look great!”
      She almost said, “I know Bob.” but bit her tongue,
      was gracious, “Thanks — how’ve you been?”
      “Never mind me,” he was blushing, for God’s sake. “What
      are you doing now?”
      “Oh,” She smiled. “I work in fashion these days…”

      Oddly, even with people who had bullied her as a kid, she was
      reluctant to tell them how well she was doing
      “Wait a minute!” Bob was almost apoplectic . “I’ve seen your
      picture! You’re on that billboard all over the place, for that new
      perfume…and don’t you do some TV things too?”
      That was about ten percent of what she did, but she just nodded.

      Right about then, she noticed her stop was coming up…
      It turned out it was Bob’s stop too…he got up and they both
      made their way to the doors; she couldn’t help noticing, he hadn’t
      grown an inch since high-school, still only reached her shoulder—
      with her heels, it was more like her armpit—
      As they parted at the platform he said, “Wow – you sure have changed…
      I mean just look at you…I remember back…”
      He seemed to think better of what he was going to say but she
      was tired of biting her tongue…
      As she swung off to go to the escalator,
      she smiled sweetly and remarked,
      “And you haven’t changed one bit Bob, not one bit.”

    7. PromptPrincess13 says:

      UFO

      There’s a storm brewing,
      As there always is,
      But in the clouds I see something different,
      Peculiar, isn’t it?
      So shiny and round,
      With the green glow below it,
      Faster and faster it spins,
      Like a record too far broken,
      And though we all see it,
      Not a word is spoken.

    8. DanielAri says:

      “Game geeks at 50″

      Looking back, I don’t see why nerds
      and the margins we occupied
      could ever have been considered
      taunt-worthy. We should have shown pride
      in our weird enthusiasms—

      and how our souls sanctified them
      through hours rich with attentive play.
      When did nerds start hiding our loves
      from the school’s majority ways?
      Why did we wear their words when all

      our sweet songs of self were saying:
      we just loved loving what we loved—
      and now after years of praying—
      Ranger Dundane, can we have lived
      to see Alaroth’s Tide return?

      We build the world we always liked
      with our laughing faces gone lined.

    9. Cin5456 says:

      Summer Day on a Hillside

      One summer Saturday my husband and I
      attended a party in the country where
      our host rented ten acres of hillside
      shaded by trees at the top and sides.
      The grassy slope slanted down
      to a well-traveled thoroughfare,
      a county road in rural Illinois.
      At the top and center of the hill stood a
      ten foot tall, white statue of Jesus
      wearing robes with His arms raised,
      overlooking the tilted green lawn.
      This was the only remaining reminder
      that the hill was once the site of a church
      that had burned down decades ago.
      Our host lived in the old, neglected parsonage.
      The people attending were musicians
      or related to one in some way.
      Everyone brought instruments or food
      and plenty of enthusiasm for the party.
      There must have been twenty-five musicians
      and fifty or more invited friends
      sitting on blankets on a grassy hillside,
      or forming song groups all over the slope.
      We spent the day eating, playing music, singing,
      and getting as high as kites in March.
      They played blue grass on balalaikas,
      country music on banjos and fiddles,
      rock and roll, and heavy metal on
      guitars, zithers, tambourines, mouth harps,
      and any handy noisemakers they could find.
      Most of the women had babies in their laps.
      A passel of toddlers tumbled down the hillside
      with adult spotters guarding the road down below.
      This happy milieu went on for hours, and
      by sunset we were suntanned, hot, and tired,
      so we all started packing up instruments.
      For some unfathomable reason,
      everyone still on the hillside looked
      at the statue of Jesus at the same time.
      In a strange moment of clarity
      the setting sun struck the statue just right.
      Everyone saw it, that much I know.
      His face lit up like He stood in a spotlight
      center stage in a Broadway musical.
      He smiled when the light hit Him and
      His face glowed with divine radiance.
      It lasted for five or so seconds,
      long enough that everyone gasped.
      I will swear to this day I heard Him speak.
      He said, Thank you for the music
      and for bringing the children to see me.
      I get chills when I recall that day.

    10. writinglife16 says:

      MOVIE NIGHT

      A “scare ourselves to death” night.
      As kids, we thought it was genius.
      Lots of sugar and salt.
      Darkness and fright.
      We started it out by watching
      old television shows.
      The Outer Limits, Night Gallery and
      Alfred Hitchcock.
      Then the movies.
      Psycho, The Exorcist and the Omen.
      Halloween and the Alien.
      On and on.
      Sugar, salt and scary movies.
      We had gotten groggy when the t.v. cut off.
      W

    11. bjzeimer says:

      “Weird”

      wind reaches for tree
      grabs handfuls of frozen snow
      smacks arborvitae

    12. swatchcat says:

      Last is first and first is last
      Turn 180 but 360’s a blast
      Upside down and right side up
      Which way to go to Getty up

      I’m twisted at every turn
      All I do is sit and churn
      My gears are on slow burn

      Lights are too bright
      The noise I cannot fight
      My ends are turned in
      My minds in a blend
      I’m so confused
      Break this trend

      Blast it
      Trash it
      Mix it up
      Crumple it
      Toss it
      Deep in a drum
      Seal it
      Loose it
      Burry it
      Six feet deep

    13. Jane Shlensky says:

      Spaced

      When they see sparks blink
      across the cosmos, diminutive
      fireworks displays at such a distance,
      do our galactic friends, those
      pastel bulbous-headed
      intellects far superior to our own
      who gave up eating and sex
      several eons ago, squint
      through space dust
      and comment about how
      weird human beings’ regular
      celebration of completing
      a loop ‘round our calendars is?

      What would they think of us
      if they were fed a steady diet
      of reality TV and fast food?
      We must be like roaches
      to them, eating radioactive
      waste and making babies,
      always fearful of alien probes.

    14. When Time Stopped

      Mother Earth had ruled
      for millions of years,
      faithfully accounted for
      by Father Time. Then came
      a parting of minds.
      Mother Earth changed
      the length of seasons,
      and Father Time stopped
      counting. A period of great
      confusion ascended.
      No one knew or cared
      about time. Mother Earth’s
      charges grew and blossomed.
      Soon, there was only one
      season–Sprumfalwint,
      and peace prevailed.

    15. THE TRUTH ABOUT TUCKER

      Our beautiful, black Labrador
      is full of neuroses galore.
      The dishwasher scares him,
      the vacuum impairs him,
      the doorbell nails him to the floor.

      His bravery instantly sags
      when he’s faced with brown paper bags.
      And a plain cardboard box
      sends his heart into shocks,
      with whimpers replacing his wags.

      I can’t say his presence is feared,
      which could be from how he was reared.
      We love him to pieces
      but he seldom ceases
      to prove he’s incredibly weird.

      © Susan Schoeffield

    16. De Jackson says:

      Persnickety Antiquities

      This poem
      is an old, old man
      with w r i n k l e d
      elephant skin, a fountain
      of youth worth diving in, but
      somehow emptied of sea and salt.
      This poem is a penny from 1969,
      still full of copper and promise and
      ardent shine. These lines are
      veins on roadmapped hands,
      follow them and find your
      -self lost and found, an
      alien in a foreign land.
      And as if that wasn’t
      strange enough, here’s
      something else that’s weird:
                                      this crotchety
                                                         old
                                                            poem
                                                                    has
                                                                          a
                                                                             great
                                                                                   big
                                                                                       beard.
                                                                                       |||||||||||

      .

    17. RJ Clarken says:

      Frankly Speaking

      “It’s weird when people start sentences with ‘frankly’ – as if their other sentences don’t count.” Douglas Coupland

      Frankly, I think I do give a damn but
      what’s weird, literally (not using this
      word correctly) is that what counts is what
      is meant by it. After all, to dismiss
      all life’s scarlet prose? To not reminisce?
      Frankly, that would make me royally sore:
      frankly, anything less would be bore.

      ###

    18. NoBlock says:

      Insert and twist, twist, twist
      gaiety awaits the non-silent arrival
      but wait, something’s amiss
      I look around and begin to sweat
      Countenances are fair, I’m not in danger
      twist, twist, twist
      Somewhere a laugh and inaudible mumblings
      I pry with might, sweaty palms battle the instrument
      I sense the crowd closing in, hot; it’s getting hotter
      How much longer?!
      Alas, movement! Then,
      POP!

      Happy New Year!

    19. PowerUnit says:

      Treetops kiss the ground
      A ballet troupe, pointed hands
      Unable to stand tall, break free
      Locked cold by Loki’s staff

    20. priyajane says:

      Uninvited

      Like an uninvited guest
      from an alien world
      Love showed up
      unannounced
      on polka dotted clouds
      Spinning her in a world
      of invisible petals
      and glass slippers
      And she drifts, tippy toed
      on this yellow brick road
      Reflecting in its waters
      Unsure of where to go—

    21. PressOn says:

      VISITOR

      When Lincoln came,
      I thought he was some other bloke;
      when Lincoln came,
      I thought my dreams had played a game
      but then he smiled and told a joke.
      So, then I knew whereof he spoke
      when Lincoln came.

      • Julieann says:

        I must be missing something here. I keep coming back and reading – actually, I love it; but something is tugging at my mind and I just don’t seem to be able to grasp it. President Lincoln and his joke telling? Yea, I think I got it.

    22. Cin5456 says:

      The Weird World Welcome

      The weird one invited them
      into his weird world, his fantasy.
      The trick, I think, is to pay no
      attention to the witch in the kitchen.
      Without her, his world would
      be perfectly safe and normal.

      He gives all adventurers this litany:
      We have a few rules to keep the peace,
      but every world does. Please don’t stare
      at my butler. Yes, I know he’s a goblin.
      They make the best servants
      once their trained. Now, listen.

      Here are the rules you must remember,
      as decreed by our insane Fisher King.
      You must never steal unicorn horns,
      and mermaids are strictly off limits.
      Warlocks take the lead in any games.
      Why? Because they can. Pay attention.

      The fairies will help you, but don’t
      expect smiles, and the nymphs help no one,
      but themselves, so don’t ask. Naiads will
      lead you to water, but won’t lead you back.
      Sirens will lead you astray, no matter
      your destination, so wear protective
      ear plugs if you brought them.
      No, I don’t have any to spare.

      We have many races of men, elves
      and dwarves, and every tribe is fierce,
      so keep any bigotry bottled up. Never
      comment on a dwarf’s size, or a
      giant’s appetite if you value your life.

      Steer clear of necromancers. Their egos
      will get you into trouble. If you call
      for a griffin, you get one free ride
      out of trouble. After that, you pay
      the going rate. How much?
      You don’t want to know.

      Orcs play with their food.
      Hell hounds travel in packs.
      Both will tear you to pieces on sight,
      so if you hear barking, climb a tree,
      and I mean fast.
      They’re wicked quick on their feet.
      Dragons eat anything that moves when hungry.
      What? No, can’t help you there, sorry.
      Dragons give no warning before they attack.

      Heroes are few and scattered. Damsels –
      we have far too many. Ignore both or they’ll
      pull you into an impossible quest
      in which only they can survive.
      No potions allowed; that’s cheating.
      Any questions? No?
      Then have fun, and
      keep your swords sharpened.

    23. PKP says:

      Ode to a lost weird poem…

      I tried to write a weird poem
      Tried as hard as I could try
      Thought of shivery twilight zones
      and yet all thoughts came to nigh
      on this first day of this fourteen
      when a new year steps freshly born
      I can only think only of soft baby skin
      And so my weird poem I must mourn

    24. danceswithhorses says:

      It’s odd. A strange
      And sudden dilemma
      I find myself in.
      It’s painful.
      This nightmare, that
      Makes no sense at all.
      It must be a nightmare,
      But this pain is all too real.
      It hurts. Oh, God,
      Make it stop.
      Please.
      It’s so strange,
      This sudden loneliness,
      This emptiness,
      The crack across the surface
      Of my heart – no,
      Your heart, for I gave it to you
      For safekeeping.
      I didn’t intend for you to ever
      Give it back.
      But you did.
      It might hurt less if I knew
      You meant to,
      But I know you didn’t.
      They blamed it on the fog,
      The pouring rain.
      The other driver had had
      A drop or two to drink.
      Only a drop, mind,
      But it was enough.
      And now I’m in possession
      Of two lonely hearts –
      Yours and mine.

    25. WHAT FEAR

      Today I dare to pet the cat
      in the dog’s presence – sure to spark
      a chase, while I just cry “stop that!” –
      cat leaping in a neat black arc

      past the dog’s presence, sure to spark
      cat’s claws as dog snaps at thin air;
      cat leaping in a neat black arc.
      I long to see them cuddled where

      cat’s claws and dog-snaps are thin air
      between friends and disaster. Peace.
      I long to see them cuddled where
      my own better-judgments will cease.

      Between friends and disaster, peace.
      I’ll speak out loud the things I dread;
      my scowling premonitions cease.
      I’ll dive in deep, look for the dead

      and speak out loud the things I dread.
      I’ll walk the cliff-edge and not fall.
      I’ll dive in deep, seek my own dead
      down any dark, forbidden hall.

      I’ll dance the cliff-edge and not fall;
      admit that weirdness has its sense
      in any dark, forbidden hall.
      I’ll unlatch gates, cut down a fence,

      admit that weirdness has its sense.
      My skeptic mind won’t cry “stop that!”
      as I unlatch gates, cut down fence.
      The dog and I will pet the cat.

    26. annell says:

      A Memory of a Better Time
      A blue-eyed jaguar
      Crouched
      At the forest’s edge
      A warm wind
      Carried the scent
      Whispered secrets
      From long ago
      She heard
      Their cries

      She was dressed
      In lace trimmed
      White cotton dress
      Followed the
      Winding path
      Through the forest
      The soft ground
      Swallowed the
      Sounds of her steps

      She knew
      Life was better then
      Her people
      Had fallen
      From grace
      The transition
      Had happened
      Gradually

      Note: A found poem from Barbara Kingsolver’s, Small Wonder, Essays.

    27. Julieann says:

      Just Plain Weird

      Her dad was killed three weeks
      Before she was born
      They said it was just an accident at sea
      But time and perseverance
      Proved them wrong

      Her birth came in a house on stilts
      Just feet above the high-tide water mark
      And the water always tugged on her soul
      Like a magnet’s power reaching out to metal
      Drawing it to itself

      When she was upset or problems arose
      She walked the shore, finding peace
      And solace and situation’s solutions
      When she was happy and good times abounded
      She rejoiced at water’s edge

      She loved the water but never became
      A good swimmer and as life neared its end
      She spent more and more time on the shore
      Until that final day when she waded out
      Never to return

    28. deringer1 says:

      Weird.

      I’m old.
      I’m old fashioned too.
      I find the world of 2014
      totally weird.

      Boys don’t wear pants
      that fit.
      Girls don’t wear much
      of anything,
      except for the make-up
      which makes them look
      like it’s Hallowe’en.

      Nothing is what I find
      normal. Even this screen
      upon which I attempt to
      create a poem
      is strange to me.

      I never had to figure out
      how to use a pen to
      write on paper.
      I had that figured out
      when I was three.

      At least the paper never
      suddenly disappeared,
      never to be seen again.
      And it did not try to
      correct my spelling.

      I’m sure by now you all know
      that I am the one who is weird.
      Oh, yes, I suppose I am.
      And you know what?
      That’s OK by me!
      I’m old.
      I’m weird.
      I’m retro,
      which I guess in a way
      is OK too.

    29. Strange Spell

      “I before E except after C
      or when sounding like A
      as in NEIGHBOR and WEIGH.”

      They slipped them in on us,
      the buts and excepts—
      so we were not surprised
      to learn that the word WEIRD
      broke the rule—and we learned
      the list of irregular verbs,
      assured these were all
      we needed to know.
      They’d make no more.

      By junior high, we grew wary,
      suspicious of every rule
      set in stone, knowing
      that in a year or two,
      we’d learn the exceptions,
      just as we’d learned
      the rules by heart.

      Commas and period
      go inside the quotation marks—
      unless you move to England.
      Never begin a sentence
      with BUT; until you’re old
      enough, wise enough—
      like Faulkner—to know when
      and how to break the rules
      or old enough, cranky
      and crotchedy enough
      not to care.

      We learned to mistrust
      test questions that offered
      ALL OF THE ABOVE or
      NONE OF THE ABOVE
      as options. We saw them
      for the traps they were.

      Our vocabulary grew not
      from mandated lists, but
      from our own desire to avoid
      the pitfall of potential
      misspellings.

    30. elishevasmom says:

      Apology

      We were designed
      to be different
      from each other.
      Even identical twins
      are different
      from each other.

      Yet here we are,
      spending what seems
      like half our time
      apologizing for not
      being like someone
      else, and the other half
      trying to be someone else.

      And while we’re at it
      stop apologizing for
      being you.
      Let somebody else
      try being you for
      ten minutes and see
      if they do it any better.

      If any apology is in order,
      it is to ourselves,
      by ourselves,
      for even thinking
      about being someone else.

      I grew up sooo not like
      anyone else. I’ll admit it,
      I was a weird kid.
      Fitting in became
      so important that
      I nearly wasted my
      entire life trying
      to do it.

      Now, I am still weird,
      but in a self-knowing
      kind of way. I don’t dress
      in the latest styles,
      but in a way that
      makes me feel good
      about my self.

      I am the only
      expert on being me.
      As such, I am the only
      one that can judge
      who I am.
      I give myself permission
      to be me—no apology
      necessary.

      Ellen Evans 1.1.14
      a “weird” poem for PA

    31. Weird

      W hacky and wonderful
      E xplosive and calm
      I nsane and creative
      R idiculous and sensible
      D isturbing and peaceful

    32. Weird Years

      We spend mornings counting prayer flags,
      tired scraps of colored cloth strung across our porch,
      tied like flimsy kisses, fated to dry and fade in the wind,

      sometimes beating thinly against the banister,
      begging to be let go like you do when bills come and
      we spend the morning counting prayer flags.

      Otherwise drooping, wet and runny above broken stairs,
      red and green and brilliant yellow after a summer rain
      tied like flimsy kisses, fated to dry and fade in the wind.

      When did we decide we needed squares of cotton
      to remind us of our fortunes in life, to float our dreams on
      every morning we spend counting the damn flags

      instead of pulling on our boots and marching through snow
      to Main Street to try our hands at living instead of huddling
      tied up like flimsy kisses, fated to dry and fade in the wind?

      We’re broke now but we broke down long ago.
      That first New Years Day — we scoffed at resolutions,
      spent the morning counting those new prayers. But they were only flags —
      tied like flimsy kisses, fated to dry and fade in the wind.

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