Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 258

A little later with the prompt today, but that’s only because I’m shaking off a poetry hangover from last night in Hickory, North Carolina. Happy to report that I met long-time Poetic Asides person, Alessa (or AC) Leming last night. Plus, a few other familiar names in Scott Owens and Helen Losse–and many, many others. Anyway, I didn’t get in until super early this morning. Ahem.

For today’s prompt, write a care poem. As with many of the prompts, a care poem can be handled (with care) in many different ways: write a poem in which you care about someone (or something); write a poem about a caregiver (or care receiver); write a poem about the Care Bears; or if you don’t care about anything, let that guide you.

Here’s my attempt at a Care Poem:

“In the news”

There are times when I care about the price
of tea in China, but sometimes I don’t.
I feel that only your love will suffice

when men wage war over the cost of rice
and oil, their blood a boiling font.
There are times when I care about the price,

in a way that keeps my checkbook looking nice,
but money will not rule me; it just won’t.
I feel that only your love will suffice,

as if your voice ignites my only vice.
Sure, I understand other people count;
there are times when I care about the price,

but I can’t chase every cause like mice
in a field. I must pick and choose my want,
and I feel only your love will suffice.

I’ll say it just once; okay, maybe twice:
I love you, I love you. It’s not a stunt.
There are times when I care about the price,
but tonight only your love will suffice.


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Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and a person who often struggles with whether he cares enough about the right things (and what the right things really are). He’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems, a collection of poems about things he cares about: for instance, global warming, faith, modern living, mental health, connectedness, and various connotations of love. Maybe you care about that stuff too; maybe you don’t. Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, and they both care for five wonderful children (four boys and one princess). If you care to follow him on Twitter, you can find him @robertleebrewer.


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126 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 258

  1. veronica_gurlie

    Another triolet poem about what I care about. One of the things I care about, is getting respect.

    No matter what, you will respect me,
    I win my battles, one by one,
    you will not approach me with insanity or speak to me with profanity!
    No matter what, you will respect me.

    I beat my enemies, easily, easily on land or sea,
    nor ever do I run or stand with my head hung,
    No matter what you will respect me,
    I win my battles, one by one.

  2. drnurit


    I shed my clothes
    Layer by layer,
    Putting a blue gown
    Over my broken body,
    Ready to be cut open
    To be repaired.

    I enter an operating room,
    Once again engulfed
    By the sterile chrome,
    Once again breathing
    The antiseptic air
    Of this other world.

    I am so cold.

    Then I see your smile.
    You reach out gently
    To hold my hand –
    Offering me a life line,
    And your touch is
    Wrapping my body
    Like a soft blanket,
    A soothing ointment
    On my open wounds.

    By: Dr. Nurit Israeli

  3. Cin5456

    News Weary

    I find it hard to care about people
    half a world away from where I sit.
    Their problems seem remote and sterile,
    Not a nightmare from Satan’s pit,
    which I’m sure it must resemble
    to the ones who endure that hell.
    I go on to the next worldly sample,
    but find it’s impossible to dwell
    too much on brewing trouble
    half a world away. What knell?

    (This isn’t true. I do care. I wrote this to reflect on the alarmist news headlines, and the non-reactions of most Americans.)

  4. Walt Wojtanik


    If I didn’t care more than words can say,
    I would leave you standing, just walk away.
    If I didn’t care would I feel this way?
    If I didn’t care, I’d not be here today.
    If this isn’t love then why do I thrill?
    It would leave me cold, give me a chill,
    And what makes my head go ’round and ’round,
    Could it be this love we’ve found
    while my heart stands still?

    If I didn’t care would it be the same?
    And if you didn’t care, it would be a shame.
    Would my ev’ry prayer begin and end with just your name?
    Without going answered, I would take the blame
    And would I be sure that this is love beyond compare?
    I would be sure if you were standing there,
    would all this be true if I didn’t care for you?</em.

  5. Heather

    very late this week, but here goes:


    I don’t care about networks
    bits and bytes of blinding
    mind-numbing data
    application license code
    far too many people accessing
    info at the same time.

    It’s not my job to navigate the web
    find answers by asking the right questions
    discover the 0 that should have been 1
    to make my problems go away.

    But I can’t do my job
    until the problem is solved
    so I learn something new
    focus through the fog of information
    until I ask the right question
    and do finally do my job.
    Which is all I really care about.

    Also posted at

  6. taylor graham

    at the Basque Hotel

    It runs half the length of the room
    and seats forty men plus you and me.
    Along the walls, private tables a step above
    the common floor, where couples
    speak in low voices. Here at boarders’ table,
    not much conversation among these men
    mostly old and weathered, passing
    soup tureens and shepherd’s bread, plates
    of pickled tongue; house red wine
    decanted in clear bottles. Much more
    to come. You and I love this food,
    in spite of the reach-and-grabbing, as if
    these men came close to starving,
    herding a band of sheep from hunger-
    range to hunger. That man across
    from me, who takes less than the others,
    chews slowly and looks beyond
    his plate – at what? Did he make the high-
    Sierra circuit, caring for his sheep
    and partner-dog; maybe carving
    his initials in aspen-bark, or the name
    of a sweetheart in the Basque
    Country he left behind?
    Here comes the lamb-shank stew,
    my favorite. So many hungers.

  7. DanielR

    I care about the starving children
    The diseased and famine covered
    faces on TV in sweltering heat
    with flies buzzing around them

    I care about dogs
    The abused and neglected, looking
    at me from behind sad eyes on TV,
    while Sarah’s melody lingers

    I care about the elderly
    The isolated and forgotten, fallen,
    gazing up in desperation on TV
    calling out for help

    I don’t care about Hollywood stars
    Or cameras capturing private moments
    Or media distorting innocent lives
    Or TV.

    Daniel Roessler

  8. DanielR

    Your empty words and
    vacant smile
    imply you care
    behind sparkling eyes
    that stare into the distance,
    distracted by someone else
    But I am not deceived by
    your well-conceived façade,
    for the falseness of it all
    I see with clarity
    It should have been evident
    long ago
    Words are only shells,
    vessels of nothingness
    simple and thoughtful,
    kind and considerate
    revealing your insight
    into who I am
    That is my proof
    you care,
    or don’t

    Daniel Roessler

    1. Jane Shlensky

      Do you know how cold that water around the berg is? 😉 It actually hurts to go deep but is oddly exhilarating and philosophically stimulating. I like the image here of caring for what we see and not caring much for what lies beneath it or causes it.

  9. seingraham


    “I don’t care, I hate him, hate, hate, hate…”
    The two year old’s face grows redder by the second
    and he is breathless with what at first appears
    to be genuine anger but all too soon gives way
    to sobbing…
    I hold out my arms and am a little surprised to
    find them filled with both he and his brother,
    the four year old, his eyes too, suddenly
    awash in tears

    For long moments I rock them both as if they are
    infants, just like the object of so much of their angst
    Finally, the sobbing slows to the occasional hiccups,
    the littlest boy whispers, “He’s okay, that baby —
    he just cries too much — and Mama –”
    He chokes on the word…

    I know, I know; the single most important person
    in his life has suddenly had all her time usurped
    by a tiny interloper
    Not only that, he has gone from being the baby in
    the family to being a big brother at two
    and, a middle child at that…
    Even his older brother senses that things are not
    nearly the same, that everything they possess
    –parents, toys, even space–is at a premium
    and will never be just his, or his little brother’s again.

    What a scary proposition for children, I find myself
    thinking, as I watch them regarding their
    new sibling
    All the excitement and attention generated by that
    small bundle of smelly noise
    And they are told over and over how lucky they are
    to have him join their family
    Mommy and Daddy try hard to let them know how
    loved they are, how love is an elastic thing
    that expands to encompass all of them
    But sleep deprivation and the need to fuss over a
    newborn versus the trials of the terrible two’s, the
    fearsome four’s
    It’s easy to see how some feelings get forgotten in
    the frazzled forever after.

  10. taylor graham


    A young ewe-mother stands guard
    over her newborn, as fields of March grass
    green without a care. What can a lamb know,
    on his first cold morning? Neither cat-owl
    nor coyote broke the birthing dark

    but a new mother fears even the light.
    Take care! Does she know by instinct, that
    wild north angle – where stunty oaks hold on
    by their roots to rimrock bones –
    that’s where lambs disappear in the dark.

    And daylight – even then, is a young life
    safe? Look, overhead in easy circles
    the Red-tail soars, appraising a new lamb
    against the lift of wings, the loft of air.
    Take care. Hawk casts a hunger-shadow’s dark.

  11. JWLaviguer

    The Care Package

    The day after
    they lost four
    in a bloody battle
    and a road side bomb
    care packages
    left unopened
    Jim got cookies
    Dave got CDs
    Sandy got stationary
    Eric’s contained one picture
    a sonogram of
    his first child
    who will never know his father.

    JW Laviguer

  12. Azma


    I remember smiling at a math exam
    as if apple pie was served to me
    my confidence cast a shadow so blinding
    that I wrote a two in place of three.

    For school my folks would never buy
    gear- anything different from thrifty
    the pen today, the lunch box tomorrow
    forgetting things in school- almost like my hobby

    For your safety don’t ever ask me
    to shop for crockery
    because when i walk down the store aisle
    the ceramics curtsy at my feet

    A master at this art I am
    even simple things I can turn to a mess
    so get an alternative, look for someone else
    and forgive me I am careless

  13. Jane Shlensky

    (for Barbara)

    I visit her because I care:
    her husband’s dead, and she’s alone
    with memories as hard as stone
    and pain that she can hardly bear.

    Her heart is weak, and everywhere
    she goes she fights the urge to moan.
    Her husband’s dead, and she’s alone.
    I visit her because I care.

    Friendship won’t save a life, repair
    a body that’s worn down to bone,
    but friends can help us to atone
    and love us through the worst despair.
    I visit her because I care.

  14. Sara McNulty

    Have A Care

    Have a care
    not to scare
    those children over there.
    Your screaming fills the air
    with violence, and curses laid bare.
    Do not show them your hateful glare.
    Childhood should be a peaceful affair.
    Perhaps you should beware
    of causing a tear
    that cannot be repaired.
    Do not let your temper flare
    around children. Have a care.

  15. PowerUnit

    I put in extra hours
    I work my butt off
    Not because I have to
    Not because I need the money
    I do not swear at them
    God it’s hard not to swear at them
    They are such idiots, sometimes
    Fumbling through my assignments and tests
    While fingers tap at gaming consoles
    And social media distractions
    They will realize all of this, someday
    If they ever find themselves in a position
    Where they think of me
    I hope it is because something I taught them
    Helped them find their solution
    I hope they will understand
    I really did care about them

  16. Clae


    Careless we drift
    sometimes catch a thought
    lodged along the bank
    or swaying below
    Linger awhile then release and continue
    reclaimed by the current

    drift to the end- to the clear spring-pools
    Another thought floats near
    curiosity appeased soon swims away

    Woken, what was seen is lost
    to light to noise to life
    hints remain details forgot
    but springs of thought
    still linger
    in the sun

  17. lionetravail

    “The Only Ones Who Can Change The World”

    Time inflicts a wondrous change!
    Strange it is to know
    though, since travel back is difficult to arrange,
    estranged by the many years, to my sorrow.

    How different I feel, from what I recall,
    small! Now, all that I know, adult,
    result of those years which endearingly fall
    free-for-all, is life, in which to exult.

    Never introspective when I was young,
    far-flung thoughts raced to answer “why” and “how”.
    Now, I wonder sometimes if I should hold my tongue,
    unsung, and if it makes a difference, anyhow.

    For I know now the way to hurt-
    curt, callous, blasé, uncaring-
    preparing cruelly what to blurt,
    a quirt which strikes unerring

    at that most vulnerable of all our places.
    Basis of our interactions,
    abstractions all, like when we ‘get down to cases’,
    traces, merely, of our heartless subtractions.

    Over the years, I have grown from reckless child-
    wild, once, with other’s feelings, but no longer-
    stronger, more thoughtful, none reviled,
    beguiled, as I realize- finally- more ‘righter’ than ‘wronger’.

    (With a thank you to Margaret Mead for inspiring the title. This is also the original piece which I had been struggling with, but abstracted out some of the language for a Sijo- if anyone recognizes, of course.)

  18. Connie Peters

    Care Giving

    I’m not a saint or insane
    I make a living giving care
    My job’s a blessing and a bane

    They now live in my domain
    Occasionally it feels unfair
    I’m not a saint or insane

    Like a family with its strain
    Calling for a lot of prayer
    My job’s a blessing and a bane

    Relentless, like a ball and chain
    24/7, I’m always there
    I’m not a saint or insane

    But still there is much to gain
    They have hugs and smiles to spare
    My job’s a blessing and a bane

    Yes, it’s worth it in the main
    I receive and I share
    I’m not a saint or insane
    My job’s a blessing and a bane

    1. PressOn

      For me, this is a superb use of this form; the repeating lines give me the feeling of steadfastness, which, I imagine, is the heart of caregiving.

  19. lionetravail

    “The Woman I Care About”

    She is the one:
    In golden light, I see her in my dreams.
    She is, to me, exactly what she seems-
    she is the one.

    Like solstice rain, her heady scent is fresh.
    Her eyes are clear,
    her lips are dear,
    her blush is pristine fire banked in flesh.

    She is the one
    who melts the lump of ice inside my soul,
    whose heart is hearth stoked full of warming coal-
    she is the one.

      1. lionetravail

        Hmm, I guess without my name posted, my gender isn’t clear. Lionetravail is my email/nom de plum, but my name is David- and this poem was about my wife of nearly 20 years. (Who happens to be the one :))

  20. Jae Finn

    Outside Me

    Sometimes poetry screams to me of real life,
    of the stuff outside my windows —
    Societal issues and things
    of far more importance than the
    depths of despair
    denigrating my heart,
    this ticking, thumping thing that
    cares so very strongly for you.

    Current events?
    Who cares when a war is being waged within me,
    one side fighting
    to be loved
    for my own sake,
    one side
    for selflessness,
    faithfully focused on biting back
    words and tears while
    feeding distastefully on patience and
    for you.

    It’s hard enough
    to see past my own face
    in the mirror —
    a constant conscious clawing to love you
    on your terms —
    let alone to care about
    the health of humanity or
    the strength of this great nation.

    Strange, to be so shallow
    yet feel so full.

  21. elishevasmom

    Affliction (a palindrome)

    where everything is
    jammed and crammed
    in the brain
    massive pain
    in my head
    the dread
    in my head
    massive pain
    in the brain
    jammed and crammed
    where everything is

    Ellen Evans (c) Copyright – 2014
    [3.12.14 a palindrome for CB]

  22. RJ Clarken

    It’s All in How You Spell It

    “I don’t care what you say about me. Just be sure to spell my name wrong.” ~Barbra Streisand

    When in the course of human events,
    the long view is that it makes no sense
    to care or worry about the din:
    just misspell my name and there’s no sin.


  23. elishevasmom

    What Was the Question?

    The decision to care
    Or the decision
    Not to care.
    Not caring enough to decide
    Is itself a decision.

    Ellen Evans (c) Copyright – 2014
    [a “care” poem 3.12.14 for PA

  24. Mike Bayles


    Snow like silent memories falls
    on a windswept spring day.
    The sidewalk I sweep
    leaves a pathway clear
    for those who may pass.
    Neighbors go into a diner seeking warmth
    and talk of weather is at hand,
    but they reminisce
    seasons of the past coalesce
    desires and dreams on a passing day.
    Snow like silent memories falls.

    1. Jane Shlensky

      weather is often the catch-all small talk topic, something light no one really cares about. This winter, clearing a sidewalk is proof positive that you care for others. I love the detail of this.

  25. De Jackson


    Name yourself
    something you can live with long
    -term, wrap it strong in brown paper,
    string and song. Take full custody
    of your own syllables, shout
    them soft but oft
    -en to falling trees, silent for
    -ests, indifferent breeze.

    Hold some promises
    in both
    hands, walk away
    from others and leave
    them where they stand,
    bartered, bald and bleeding.

    Take hope by the
    hilt and plunge it deep
    to center. We’re
    measured by the things
           we keep.


  26. writinglife16


    Climbing over snow banks
    Are not my idea of fun or safe.
    Rocky mountains of diamond hard ice are
    Engaged in guarding the sidewalks.

    Decided to handle this a little differently. “Ten cuidado”, is have a care or take care in Spanish. This winter has made me want to have a flashing neon sign of it.

  27. foodpoet

    Care Giving

    Care day
    After day,
    Reaching for the dreamline
    Evenings are scrambled egg tasks
    Giving a little more each day
    I search for center a poetic balance, words fill the
    Void left by falling memories.
    I go on who cannot face away, dreams on hold.
    Nights are retreads of the day behind the day ahead,
    Giving a little more each day….


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