Editors Blog

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 248

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.

*****

Here are a few other poetry-related posts:

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

84 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 248

  1. veronica_gurlie

    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

    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. Michelle Hed

    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. Bruce Niedt

    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.

  5. seingraham

    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.”

  6. PromptPrincess13

    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.

  7. DanielAri

    “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.

    1. Julieann

      Weird, hu? Why can’t any of us accept and project who we are and what we love and not worry if our “weirdness” is accepted by others! If we accepted ourselves, much of the bullying would stop! Good work.

  8. Cin5456

    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.

  9. writinglife16

    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

  10. swatchcat

    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

  11. Jane Shlensky

    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.

  12. Sara McNulty

    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.

  13. Susan Schoeffield

    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

  14. De Jackson

    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.
                                                                                     |||||||||||

    .

  15. RJ Clarken

    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.

    ###

  16. NoBlock

    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!

  17. priyajane

    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—

  18. PressOn

    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.

    1. Julieann

      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.

  19. Cin5456

    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.

  20. PKP

    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

  21. danceswithhorses

    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.

  22. taylor graham

    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.

  23. annell

    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.

  24. Julieann

    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

  25. deringer1

    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.

  26. Nancy Posey

    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.

    1. Julieann

      WOW – so true. What a way to start the New Year! The rules are there for a purpose – and way too many times we find creative and effective ways to break them. Way to go!

  27. elishevasmom

    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

  28. Cameron Steele

    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.

COMMENT