Editors Blog

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 261

Whew! After poeming every day in April, it feels a little awkward going a whole week without a prompt and poem, doesn’t it? But that’s okay, we’ve still got Wednesdays!

For this week’s prompt, take the phrase “The Boy Who (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Feel free to replace the word “boy” with “girl.” Possible titles include: “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” “The Girl Who Knew Too Much,” “The Boy Who Walked Into a Bar,” and so on.


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Here’s my attempt at a The Boy Who Blanks poem:

“The Boy Who Wrote a Poem”

Wrote another poem and another
until he filled notebooks with them,
stuffed them into his mattress
and pasted them on his walls.
Everywhere he turned his words
surrounded him until he could
no longer find the words to keep
the poems coming, and then,
he bought a new notebook.


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He has a bad habit of writing poems about writing poems when he’s having trouble writing poems. Sooo…that pretty much explains today’s poem.

Learn more at www.robertleebrewer.com.


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222 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 261

  1. taylor graham


    His mother tries to make jokes.
    But it’s true: those fairytales meant to
    frighten children into good behavior –
    the saga of broken homes after tornado
    or meteor shower hits town; orphans
    stumbling thru the dark woods,
    where the only light at the end of the
    rabbit-run is an evil witch’s cottage –
    at bedtime her son begs for more.
    Her sweet daughter too. They love
    to hear of horrors that haven’t
    yet found their own front door.

  2. shellcook


    She always reminded me
    of August nights and harvest moons.
    The intensity of lucidity,
    struck her early.
    It stretched her
    tight like a bow.

    So she would bow up
    or blow up,
    I was never quite sure which,
    and let go.

    The bonfire
    when its arcs climb
    high over the pyre at night
    with ember wisps of smoke in your eyes,
    that’s when you’d find her in front of you.
    Ready to eat you alive.

    But when we were young,
    she was all spit and sizzle.
    A hometown girl who could take you right out.
    You’d be gone before you knew it.

    Blow out.

    But life didn’t quite live up
    to that heated expectation.
    So combustible she became.
    Her firewall swayed.

    Add a match.
    Light that fire.
    Give it fuel
    and let it blow.

    It was harder and harder
    to fuel that heat,
    too much fire and not enough wick.
    It wasn’t long until it ate her
    from the inside out.

    A beauty of a girl,
    best friend for life,
    had too much of it,
    and had to leave this fight

  3. Carole

    The Girl Who Came in from the Cold

    The dog’s toe nails click across the laminate.
    It is 5:00 a.m. She tries to outwalk her aching joints.

    Each Mother’s Day my sister and mother planted flowers,
    their own Druidic dance to spring. I was never with them,
    living somewhere out of state, hearing always later
    their pleasure in their atavistic chore.

    This year someone else will plant the flowers. I live abroad
    with strangers in a language I can only stumble through.
    Each exile takes me further from that never-home.

    Tonight I listen to Orbison crescendo “In Dreams” while I iron
    one of twenty white shirts. This purity cleanses though
    I wear it with discomfort. I think of fruit stalls that line the street,
    mangos, dragon fruit, pomegranate, the colors

    are knives against the aqua sky. The dog wobbles out
    for her morning walk, leashed to me like a sad convict.
    The salt air smells of marigold and phlox, the morning sun
    like August raspberries. We both are hobbling on our ancient legs.

    Carole Cole

  4. Cynthia Page

    The Boy Who Invented

    Last year a boy invented a toy
    and invited others to play.
    His inventing was done
    so kids could have fun
    without spending savings
    for pending school days.
    The boy used a box and a ball
    with cardboard to wall the ball in.
    The ball rolls through a maze-track.
    It goes around and comes back
    to start the fun over again.
    His entire arcade was made
    from spare bits, glued and taped into kits
    for spare-time playtime joy.
    The internet admired his toy inventions.
    The video became a viral sensation
    Inspired by his creation,
    hundreds of kids on their own
    have invented arcades right at home.

  5. tunesmiff


    Standing at his window watching the birds
    Soar above the tallest trees,
    He can look back down on his yard
    If he holds his arms out just so.

    Lying on his back studying the clouds Make their way before the breeze,
    He scales their mountainous shapes
    Through the sunset’s glow.

    Sitting on his porch some eighty years on,
    He follows shooting stars,
    And knows now it’s just too hard
    He’s about ready to go.

    And the thought of wings frees
    Him to finally let down his guard.
    Also submitted to the bref double challenge…

  6. tunesmiff

    George Smith
    She lies on the lawn and looks at the moon,
    Feeling the grass grow damp with dew.
    She counts the stars one by one,
    As the daylight fades to indigo.

    She waits on the planets patiently,
    Most nights there’s one or two,
    And joys in their seeming random motion,
    And steady, untwinkling glow.

    Shooting stars and comets and satellites,
    Asteroids and rings and the great spot;
    All around our own small sun;
    And still a universe of things to know.

    So manyvthings come into view
    Before the next day has begun.
    Submitted to the beef double challenge as well…

  7. cbwentworth

    Longing glances,
    day after day
    Her freckled cheeks,
    and deep green eyes
    He was spellbound,
    by auburn hair

    She walked past him,
    without looking
    Did she see him,
    or know his name?
    Too shy for hi,
    afraid to ask

    Caught in a stare,
    her eyes find his
    Flickering sparks,
    hope becomes real
    Scribbled question,
    check yes or no

  8. foodpoet

    The Boy who was absent

    The boy who was absent
    Never there
    A fragment of what once was
    Cannot be found

    In the cold lonely night drinking absinth
    Green long night of lost memories
    I cannot recall the face of youth
    Boisterous rowdy
    In the cold lonely night drinking absinth
    Retro drinks for a night of forgetting
    Of dancing with a threaded thought
    The boy who was absent

    Laughs as if he were here
    Large ready to rumble
    Dance with my wasted memory
    Of a time before lost recall
    I cannot cope with what is here now
    In the cold lonely night with cold green and cold air
    I look into a glass to see
    Only lost pasts
    Where there is only an unheard prayer
    Never there

    Memories of youth
    Marriage children
    All fade into the fog of mind warp
    I can watch your eyes blank out
    Even the rousting sound of Rud’s laughter
    Lost in the past, the present is a maze of cause
    And effect with no meaning.
    I cannot help only watch
    Nature making shreds of mind’s laws
    A fragment of what once was

    Can only be found in our holding hands
    And whispering truths
    That will never be understood
    The hand is only part
    of the vacancy time has left
    Now fragments are bound
    With the family that is left
    To weave time into the unknown familiar
    Trying to find a center a ground
    But past present cannot be found.

  9. Michelle Hed

    The Boy Who Knew

    He knew
    To wing an elbow in her direction
    He knew
    To hold the door for all the ladies
    He knew
    To be polite, say please and thank you
    He knew
    To value each woman for who she is
    He knew
    How to be a gentleman
    Because his Mama and Papa raised him right.

  10. Espen Stenersrod

    The Boy who tasted life

    On the sharp edges of a knifeblade
    Experience penetrates
    Blood on the verge of bursting
    Steps, careful
    Choices, few
    In seconds he has to make the right one
    Life dependent
    Jump off
    Or stay on this path
    Tomorrow he would have to do the same
    And repeat it again and again
    For the rest of the remaining journey
    That carries the name of Life
    Seen through the eyes of Will

  11. gmagrady

    The Girl Who Talked to Grandmas

    She came to me one night.
    The bags were evident under youthful eyes.
    She stood among rows of tobacco plants, lined up
    until they disappeared into a point on the horizon.
    “You don’t know tired until you’ve worked the fields from dawn to dusk,” she said.
    Smiling, she placed her fingers on my cheeks.
    “You reap the benefit of that hard work and exhaustion.”
    Thank you, great-great-Grandma Livia.

    She came to me one night.
    Twitching lids covered her worried eyes.
    The candles were lit as she knelt in prayer,
    never ending novenas for her boys.
    “You don’t know heartache until you’ve sent your only two sons to war,” she said.
    Smiling, she kissed each cheek.
    “You reap the benefit of that faith and devotion to God.”
    Thank you, great-Grandma Otelia.

    She came to me one night.
    Tears welled in her desperate eyes.
    Pennies sprawled atop the formica table,
    she touched them one at a time.
    “You don’t know poor until you cross an ocean, raise ten kids, misunderstood,” she said.
    Smiling, she pinched both cheeks.
    “You reap the benefit of that struggle and sacrifice.”
    Thank you, Grandma Amelia.

    She came to me one night.
    There was only silence in her stoic eyes.
    Her hands grabbed at the grass,
    at her toddler’s shared and unmarked grave.
    “You don’t know hardship until you’ve endured too many accidents to count,” she said.
    And then she smiled and stroked my cheeks.
    “You reap the benefit of that will to carry on.”
    Thank you, Grandma Veronica.

    She comes to me at night.
    And I am grateful.

  12. Andrea Heiberg

    The Girl Who Caught my Eye

    Flames everywhere in lanes
    and she’s there,
    this tiny, little girl
    and will she run?
    Her patterned blue dress
    is all I see
    and I wish,
    I wish so much,
    that she’ll make it
    because I know she has to
    go in there and make it through.
    No one says her name.

  13. taylor graham



    hunts sapphire dragonflies along the creek
    and searches for the turtle blue as sea.
    He knows a string of stories, azure beads
    be-speckled with the dust of every land;

    so many fables, all of them quite true
    in a young boy’s mind, vibrant as a week
    of Saturdays. Holes in pockets, he reads
    and memorizes, tries to understand

    the lessons taught at school. But every text
    denies that there’s a lamb with cobalt eyes
    who dares to walk among the wildest beasts.
    This boy still holds blue heaven in his hand,

    adventuring the way that larkspur leads
    and loving sky-blue wind upon his cheek.

  14. Misky

    The Boy Who Would Be A Pirate

    A boy set upon a voyage.
    A pirate he’d be, plunderage
    of his local sweet shop, of fudge
    so his stomach filled to a bulge,
    a blackened patch on his right eye, a long sword bound
    tightly to his belt, and his shallow pockets round

    with shiny pound coins, and his mind
    set on chocolates and red gum vines.
    That small boy crossed streets and swam ponds,
    dashed between parked cars to respond
    to his sweet-tooth’s cried demands and cravings. This boy,
    a swashbuckling pirate is our paperboy!

  15. acele

    The Girl Who Drank the Water

    Wondered at first
    Perhaps a premonition
    But she was thirsty

    Felt guilty somehow
    Perhaps this sinking feeling
    Was her fault

    Buried her head
    And slumped away
    When the migraines lasted days on end

    Wondered why her heart
    And mind raced
    Couldn’t sleep

    Turned skinny
    Felt nauseous
    Was at her wits end

    Lost much more than her hair
    When unknowingly
    She drank the water

  16. Julieann

    The Boy Who Was Fascinated With Fire

    The little boy by the counter stood
    And smartly struck that piece of wood

    The end did spark and grew the flame
    And now he was into his game

    He placed it on the counter’s edge
    To keep it burning he did pledge

    Quickly burning it fell to the floor
    Landing on papers, it began to roar

    He watched in fascination until
    The dying embers quenched his thrill

  17. RuthieShev

    The Girl Who Said “Yes” (My Mother’s Day Prayer)

    Although she was known to be meek and mild
    In many ways she was still a frightened child
    Chosen to bear the Savior of man
    If she said yes to God’s saving plan
    I wonder if she ever had second thoughts
    Of not doing God’s wishes as she’d been taught
    Since she was human with a will that was free
    She must have had doubts just like you and me.
    What can I say or what can I do
    To explain how I feel to about her to all of you
    My sister, my friend, my confident, my Mother
    She was a beautiful rose like no other
    A wonderful Mother and a devoted wife
    Inspiring us with her very holy but simple life
    By following her in loving her Son
    We shall attain Heaven when our life is done.
    I thank you with these inadequate words that I say
    I love you Blessed Virgin Mary, Happy Mother’s Day

  18. Yolee

    The Girl Who Tasted Both Sides of an Ache

    Like a glory-of-the-snow surviving its toil
    to encounter spring, she broke into
    the warming air of hope. And in 1999,
    she became a homeowner. Steam from
    pots and pans parted in the air like seeds

    submitting to an end, drawing a contractual
    harvest. Family and friends came and went
    for love’s ingathering. The atmosphere digested
    their warm roles. The house also saw the hem
    of bad times rise and fall. 15 years after

    the house mortgaged her meals, sleep
    and security she found herself on top
    of an old stepping stone
    where from the distance
    lights appeared
    extraordinarily blurred.

  19. Yolee

    The Girl Who Tasted Both Sides of an Ache

    Like a glory-of-the-snow surviving its toil
    to encounter spring, she broke into
    the warming air of hope. And in 1999,
    she became a homeowner. Steam from
    pots and pans parted in the air like seeds
    submitting to an end so that a harvest
    would draw a contractual harvest. Family
    and friends came and went for love’s
    ingathering. The atmosphere digested
    their warm roles. The house also saw
    the hem of bad times rise and fall.

    15 years after the house mortgaged
    her meals, sleep and security she
    found herself on top of an old
    stepping stone where from
    the distance the house lights
    were extraordinarily blurred.

  20. Nancy Posey

    The Boy Who Promised

    The boy who promised
    to love you forever,
    repeating the words
    a million others spoke
    before he did,
    the same ones
    you said back to him
    has grown into a man,
    and while the boy
    is hiding somewhere
    underneath the skin—
    remnants, at least–
    he’s shed every cell
    of the old self
    except perhaps
    the heart, not
    the one that pumps
    the blood,
    the one fueled
    by oxygen, slowed
    by buttered biscuits,
    but the other heart,
    the one where,
    stored inside for years,
    he’s kept his files,
    the permanent record
    of all the promises
    me made to you,
    every single one.
    He’s still keeping them.

  21. Jezzie


    She was trying on some new clothes in Next
    and suddenly she became quite perplexed
    as she tried to pull up the jeans again
    and found she was no longer a size ten.

    She looked at her reflection quite aghast
    yearning for the body of a gymnast
    that she used to have in earlier days
    before she had discovered bolognese.

  22. Walt Wojtanik


    Around the neighbourhood he would roam,
    saving civilisation close to home.
    A boy sized TARDIS was a great deal,
    (equipped with TARDIS training wheels).
    Just a lad, he was glad that righting wrongs
    was a noble fight, as long as it didn’t take all night!
    Even young time-lords were quite punctual
    as long as the street lamps were fully functional.
    Science fiction, nor science fact could not
    detract from the popularity of this
    bi-polarity. The young man, for certain no fool,
    light years away from medi-school.
    A dozen Doctors have transpired,
    the Who’s just a boy, too young to be hired.
    But let him play. He’ll grow someday
    to be the Who, in every way!
    From generation to re-generation,
    thanks are due to the BBC station
    for giving minds a chance to expand
    and travel with this time-travel man!

    © Copyright Walter J Wojtanik


  23. PressOn


    The fields were green clear to the lake,
    and still I see the old hay rake
    that braced the barn, as though to trace
    its own shadow in wisps of lace.
    And everywhere I looked, everything was so clean:
    the air was bright; the lake was blue; the fields were green.

    This was my home. Though many years
    have passed since I left there, and tears
    flow free as rain when I recall
    that sweet used-to-be, still and all,
    I always will be the child of haystacks and loam,
    where fields were green clear to the lake. This is my home.

  24. jasonlmartin

    “The Boy Who Peed and Became Water Fountain”
    – Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga, October 3, 2013

    Your list of crimes, for heaven’s sake, must be astounding.
    A copywriter’s jackpot, words spill off the newspaper pages.
    Much like your urinations there outside the surroundings
    Of this town’s foremost educational facility, outrageous
    As it’s sounding now, it was remarkably true, confounding
    Children and parents alike, you stood atop like on the stages
    Of off-Broadway productions, silence never quite sounding
    So loud as we held a collective breath, locked in our cages
    Of shock and awe, as you unzipped, forever wounding
    Us with your display, as you began this story of the ages,
    Your pee arcing in the air, then down to the draining
    Of the mixture of water and your waste,
    probably a day’s full of Kool-Aid and paste
    you ate in the crafts room inside the Aquarium,
    all preparation for your time inside a sanitarium.

  25. lina

    The Girl Who Ate the Bear

    From the tall pine tree
    the bear looked down
    at the fire,
    the blueberry bushes
    and the river.
    He wanted to come down
    but there were people
    at the fire
    and boats in the river.
    The blueberry bushes
    were almost bare.
    The moon rose,
    days passed.
    The storms came and went.
    By then it was too late
    to come down
    or eat
    or drink.
    When the girl arrived
    with her arrows
    the bear was ready.

  26. break_of_day

    The Girl Who Expected One Thing, and Got Something Else

    some days it is like that time
    I ordered spaghetti with meat sauce
    in Slovakia
    but what the menu really said was
    spaghetti with butter
    maslo, not mëso
    and I went to the bathroom and cried

    and other days
    it’s like having to fill in for my boss
    on the day they’re doing interviews
    at the police department
    and I dread finding a parking space,
    and finding the conference room,
    and knowing the answers
    to everyone’s questions,
    but then parking is OK, and someone
    walks me to the room, and
    I don’t get many questions
    and it is a good day

    and that is one of the best
    and hardest things
    about any given day:
    the unexpected,
    the not knowing, and
    the surprises that
    (at least)
    become stories to retell
    about days that were
    something else,
    something more than regular,
    not so easily forgotten,
    not so easy, but better that way

  27. JohnLY

    By John Yeo

    Our country is in for a fight
    Heroics are the order of the day.
    The enemy are powerful and strong,
    Killing and fighting and coming this way.

    I will join in this great adventure.
    I wont wait to travel and take up the fight
    My country needs me, I am patriotic
    I will stand with my fellows to do what is right.

    I know I am two years short of eighteen
    I am tall and strong and I look much older.
    Slim of the hip and broad of the shoulder
    I will fight for freedom, the ashes still smoulder.

    If I can proudly stand and fight in this war
    Flouting danger of death, to follow the plan
    We will win this glorious battle, that’s for sure.
    I will grow from a boy and return home a man

    1. PressOn

      Hmmmm. This makes me think of the Civil War (though it likely is universal) and the thoughts young men had at the outset, only to be cancelled out by the realities of battle and disease. So well written.

  28. seingraham


    I was more surprised than anyone
    Shocked is more like it, I suppose
    But I hadn’t seen him or his mother
    In well over a year and not talked
    to him either, in almost as long

    I know how it sounds but the situation
    was such that this was more normal
    than it sounds; I love him, sorry
    loved him…but after his mother and I
    split, we decided for his sake, it would
    be better if she was his main influence
    and I would only see him when she
    felt it was going to be good for him

    I don’t like to say he wasn’t normal
    In many ways, he functioned well
    But there was no getting away from
    some of the things that weren’t the norm
    He had these melt-downs sometimes
    and we took him to the doctor, had tests
    done, and the diagnosis was finally
    that he was autistic…mildly autistic

    Then…later, about the time his mother
    and I were not getting along much anymore
    After more doctors and more tests
    Because he had trouble concentrating
    and getting along with kids
    They changed the diagnosis, saying he had
    Asperbergers…another type of autism and that
    he was at the very mild end of that spectrum…
    and high functioning, all of which was very
    good news

    So, when his mother said she would be
    responsible for him, I have to admit, I was
    I was already seeing someone and much as I
    love…loved… that kid — he could be a real
    handful, there’s no getting around it
    But, I thought I’d have some kind of custody,
    like I did with his brother, you know
    See him a couple of times a month at least
    I guess you can get used to anything though…
    I didn’t even realize how much time had gone
    by until this happened, and the cops
    asked me the last time I’d seen him

    And they wanted to know if I knew how
    he might have got his hands on a gun
    On more than one gun perhaps…

    I felt sick then…I knew it was him
    that had done this terrible thing
    Shooting all those little kids at the school…

    His mother had thought taking him to the shooting
    range with her would be good
    An activity they could do together — I had agreed
    What could it hurt; it was something they could both
    enjoy and he wouldn’t have to interact with anyone else
    It seemed like a perfect idea.

    He was always such a gentle seeming kid,
    loved that damned school even
    And his Mom — he argued with her, like most kids,
    but never anything serious
    I can’t believe he shot her too, and first,
    if what they say is true
    Of course it’s true — I just can’t take it in yet… my son
    has killed his mother, a whole bunch of little kids, and himself
    My son! My son!

        1. seingraham

          Thank you both…it needs much more work. I read an interview with this father in the New Yorker and my heart just went out to him; he seemed so obviously flummoxed by what had happened. I found myself wondering how someone would cope after something like this happens, especially as it seemed like he really had no idea how ill his son was or why any of what took place had happened.

  29. Michelle Murrish

    The Boy who waited

    He thought that there would be more time
    For those who hadn’t gone
    He thought that they would wait for him
    Now he knows that he thought wrong

  30. priyajane

    The Girl Who Lived In The Sea

    Tides pulled her in
    with a powerful voice
    as they slashed on rocks
    and cancelled noise
    Her feet, eager
    to feel the butterfly waves
    fluttered around in circles.
    As the foam wrapped its bubble
    between her toes,
    something churned inside her.
    She sank deeper into
    its edgeless salty flow-
    the one that’s spins silver
    into red glorious gold.
    Hints of cotton
    helped her mould her wings
    Into an azury float,
    that took her
    to that special place
    the one I see, only in dreams-
    where, the sky meets the sea—

  31. Sara McNulty

    The Boy Who Dreamt In Blue

    Ground swirled in delft, darker than the sky
    that stretched out arms of baby blue.
    Sometimes he dreamt of the sea.
    Waves of aquamarine,
    splashed sapphire sands.
    Trees grew cobalt.
    When he woke
    all was

  32. Cin5456

    The Girl Who Said No

    Said it many times
    with clenched fists limp,
    irrelevant to her destiny.
    The boy who said yes
    ignored her weak protests
    and altered her fate.
    The police who called
    the poor girl delusional
    recalled their own youth.
    The district attorney who said
    she was complicit for drinking
    the spiked Kool Aid
    did not have daughters.
    The judge who dismissed
    all charges because she
    looked older than her years
    sleeps fine without a conscience.
    The parents who cried
    night after night found
    no comforted in each other
    after the girl who said no
    died a year later
    by her own hand.

    Dedicated to victims of despair.

  33. Hannah

    ☼ The Girl Who Stole the Sun ☼

    There was a girl who spun the sun into poems,
    she spiraled entire stories about the giant orange in the sky
    and painted portraits in ardent ochre of this golden globe;
    she dreamed she was a planet in incessant orbit
    cycling around and round like a hungry vulture.
    She stenciled rosy sol in red to the boards of her bed
    so that rays of light would be her first glimpse.
    She took quick blinding glances chancing her sight,
    scouring her thesaurus she sought new words –
    scraping her palette she mixed for more hues
    all so that she might describe it more accurately.
    Ironically, each day lived was to bring light to the sun,
    she was dedicated deeply to the giver of energy,
    devoted to the always rising forever setting;
    there was a girl who stole the sun
    but she returned it one hundred fold.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  34. Azma

    The boy who had two left feet

    My feet still hurt from that dance
    I shudnt have given him a chance
    The music was soft, the beats were slow
    But all he did was prance

    -Azma Sheikh

  35. Amaria

    “The Boy I Once Knew”

    You had rich brown eyes
    that made all the girls swoon
    and to my utter surprise
    lured me out of my cocoon.

    Your had a magical touch
    that I didn’t know exist
    and if I wasn’t careful
    I would get lost in your kiss.

    We were both young and naïve
    but our connection was true
    and one time I did believe
    that I belonged to you.

    I would have given my heart
    and placed it in your hands
    but life tore us apart –
    I guess it had other plans.

    Now we are on different spheres,
    never crossing each other’s trails –
    our moments are just memories
    and perhaps were only fairy tales.

    Some days I think of you
    and how far away we are –
    for the boy I once knew
    was always a far flung star.

  36. Jane Shlensky

    The Girl Who Remembered James

    She had mousy brown hair
    and little to say, not stand-offish
    but quiet like it was okay to keep
    to herself, like her voice was hers
    and she was her own possession.

    Not a single one of us remembers
    her name but it was quiet too, nothing
    showy demanding strange spelling,
    just a regular girl with a usual name
    who let James hold her hand sometimes,

    kidded around and made him laugh,
    smiled into his eyes, even when
    he was pale and bald with transparent
    skin, a sad sight after chemo, not sorry
    for him but like the moon to the sun.

    She smiled and he did too right into
    her, not shy like he usually was but
    like he’d met a friend he hadn’t seen
    in ages and had a lot to tell while they

    had the chance. That girl made James
    regular right up to the end, which
    helped us like him more, see him
    as just like us, but dying every day.
    Why don’t we remember her name

    when she was so kind to James?
    We had him in common, too dumb
    to see he changed us all, introduced
    us to mortality and girls who were
    better than we thought we deserved.

  37. Jane Shlensky

    The Boy Who Skipped Stones

    Every age has its rock stars;
    every sport, its raw talents
    who make the moves look easy,
    graceful, possible for everyman
    with a little learning, a good wrist,
    patience to practice, and
    enough daring and humility
    to give credit where it’s due.

    He had an eye for smooth stones
    that fit the hand flat as biscuit dough.
    His fingers and palm weighed
    each rock’s heft, considered its flight;
    his mind stretched across a lake,
    envisioning not one, but multiple
    skips before the inevitable plunge
    beneath the glassy surface.
    We watched the stone’s toes dip
    the splashes subtle as moist kisses
    hardly a sound to counter the loons.

    His calm face would register
    the number as something to beat
    in himself, always work to be done,
    improvements to make, his glance
    falling on us smaller kids, our mouths
    gaping in admiration, hero worship.
    He would nod, once twice, give us
    a shy smile, no showboat, just a guy.
    “That was a good rock,”
    he would say.

  38. De Jackson

    The Girl Who Breathes in Blue

    She of the ink and salt
             -water stained fingers,
      the Lake ache and the
         cobalt heart, stirred by
               fir breeze and shirred
      seas: she’s easily swayed.
    Give her a turquoise
         pool or an indigo sky and
        oh, my, she’s slayed.


    1. PressOn

      For me, this fits you, or at least the images you’ve used. Despite the lake, which connotes fresh water, I smell salt spray here. Thanks for this lovely piece.

  39. James Von Hendy

    Here’s a two-fer: yesterday’s bref double form challenge, and today’s prompt.

    The Boy Who Flew to the Moon

    Once when he was twelve, he could’ve named them all,
    Each numbered flight and astronaut, their dates
    And landing sites, who walked the moon, and who did not.
    A passion carried him on each Apollo flight,

    A cargo light, unseen, and free, the weight
    Of every adventure and boyhood dreams
    Before an adolescent crush, the first love-knot,
    When mooning over girls became his chief delight.

    And moon he did beneath the silvered trees,
    Imaging love and heartbreak, or so it seems,
    For it was years before he learned the truth of love,
    How it takes courage, faith, and work to make it right.

    That wasn’t so different, the man now deems,
    For his boyhood heroes, the moon-men he forgot.

    1. Linda Goin

      When I saw the bref double, I thought it might make a great form for “found poetry.” I’m going to give it a shot, after reading your poem. You did a great job — I like how you brought love and astronomy together, especially with “mooning” and with the young man’s journey into love.I like.

  40. grcran

    The boy who was not the boy (he was el niño)

    El cinco de mayo it was.
    The boy asked his friend, he said “Cuz.
    Am I boy or niño?
    I’m all jalapeño,
    frijoles and corn tortillas.”
    His friend replied, “Vato, you are
    Latino plus Anglo, a star!
    Don’t give up your Spanish.
    Your culture will vanish.
    Keep it; you’ll be hombre divino,
    going rapidamente and far!

    by gpr crane

  41. PressOn


    Though some
    thought she was dumb
    to hum to a bass drum,
    they were amazed when she made her
    drum thrum.

  42. taylor graham


    hunts sapphire dragonflies along the creek
    and searches for the turtle blue as sea.
    He knows a string of stories, azure beads
    be-speckled with the dust of every land;
    so many fables, all of them quite true
    in a young boy’s mind, vibrant as a week
    of Saturdays. He weighs each one against
    the facts he learns and tries to understand
    at school. But every lesson that he reads
    denies that there’s a lamb with cobalt eyes
    who dares to walk among the wildest beasts.
    This boy would hold blue heaven in his hand,
    adventuring the way that larkspur leads
    and loving sky-blue wind upon his cheek.

  43. JRSimmang


    to drunken, kerosene breaths
    died in his arms a thousand deaths
    while his home in wat’ry wasteland burned,
    his neighbors’ whispers, ashes churned,
    ringing in collective unconsciousness.

    around the corner, policemen gathered
    to ward off warriors, blades all scattered.
    a home to him was once claimed quiet
    though he was never one to buy it,
    but then he believe none of this mattered.

    Though they came, black bands, blank stares,
    grinning devil-red while the siren blares,
    satin-white veneer concealed soul-wrenching manner;
    in one hand the sickle, the other the hammer,
    to slice and to sunder the mouths who dare.

    He wanders the street signs until he finds
    a quiet little town where the nose doesn’t grind.
    He’ll meet a girl with thick, luscious lips,
    where the gloved hand relinquished its grips,
    and sleep forever with one eye blind.

    -JR Simmang

  44. RobHalpin

    The Boy Who Got Happy

    “Clap along if you know what happiness is to you”
    — ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams

    I’m clapping
    because happiness
    is this grand
    torrid love
    affair that I’ve been living
    sine I met my wife.

  45. lionetravail

    “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”

    To old to be a Peter Pan,
    he’s younger in his spirit than
    most monuments. Within his shell,
    encouragement of Tinkerbell
    does help him with his life’s game plan.

    His gray at temples first began
    to show amid the youthful tan
    ere Harry Potter cast a spell:
    his looks don’t make him Peter Pan.

    But if enthusiasm can
    account more than attention span,
    he’s young at heart, and will excel
    at games and joy which will impel
    his buying Porsche rather than van.
    (You win: he IS like Peter Pan!)

  46. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    The Boy Who Climbs My Branches

    He is seven. Or is he ten?
    Every weekend he arrives
    when the morning is still early
    and comes up to nest like a bird.

    Like others before him, he strives
    to go higher each time, so high
    that one day he couldn’t get down.
    But he cried out, and he was heard.

    His father came with a ladder.
    And I remembered when the man
    was a boy climbing to the sky
    through my branches. But not a word!

    I keep the secrets of their lives —
    all those young boys who long to fly.

    Combined with a dVerse prompt to write a poem from the pov of a tree. Also I couldn’t wait to try a bref double.

    1. grcran

      very nice poem! reminds me of myself now age 61, and my son now 34, both of us quite excitable about tree-climbing… reminds also of the giving tree by Shel Silverstein… and remember, what happens in las branches stays in las branches!

  47. Walt Wojtanik


    He loved the attention,
    not to mention the accolades
    as he played upon their sensibilities.
    He had the ability to reach into souls
    and take control of their emotions.
    The sheer notion of that gave great power.
    They would shower him with awe,
    they never saw the clothing he wore.
    They screamed, “LOOK AT ME!”
    They would run to see that nothing had
    really changed, he was still deranged
    in his thinking and they had a stinking
    feeling, a sinking feeling that they
    were all duped by his beckon call!
    You can only cry “WOLF!” for just so long before
    all your friends are gone and you’re on your own!

  48. candy

    The Girl Who Started It All

    I’d like to thank that girl for
    putting me on this path of
    Because of her I have become
    an expert on old clocks and
    moss covered mansions
    I overlook reality and
    find comfort in fantasy
    Meals must be planned
    to be eaten with one hand
    and exercise is eschewed
    in favor of mind games
    My wanderlust is illusionary
    I clutch a crooked banister as
    I climb 99 steps
    I’d like to thank that girl who
    started it all
    For clues and secrets and
    hidden rooms
    Thank you Nancy Drew

  49. dhaivid3

    Hello!! I am so happy to have more opportunities to write! Yeah!! Wherever you are PKP, thanks for informing me about the Wednesday prompts! I might not take part regularly but man am I glad glad to know that there is a forum available for whenever I wish to write.

    Now, I apologise in advance, but I will not follow today’s prompt; this is because I can hardly concentrate on anything beyond the subject of my poem. Apologies again (I’ll try to keep these deviations to a minimum on this forum) but here goes…

    Poem Title: A force for good

    An educated woman is a force

    A force to be reckoned with

    One that cannot be messed with

    An educated woman has a mind

    A mind that changes things

    One that cannot be easily swayed

    An education girl is a glittering gem

    A gem bright as a thousand diamonds

    One that cannot be dulled

    And educated woman is a free mind

    A mind that cannot be held down

    One that is a FORCE for good!

    They touched one, they touched all!

  50. Linda Goin

    the woman who went grassroots

    “Dearest comrades, It is because of you that I will walk into that courtroom with my head held high; I am truly honored to stand beside you. Occupy.” ~ Cecily McMillan

    one day in may
    a woman went
    an independent
    vital force
    and conventional
    set in motion
    since written records
    mistold us so
    now long waits
    from Zuccotti Park
    to hospital
    to Rikers Island
    where fertile soil
    will serve
    seven years
    for reactions
    to an officer’s
    sexual assault

    1. TomNeal

      I missed this story on the 5th, but fortunately it has been covered here. Your austere verse, it seems from what I have just now read, mirrors the austerity of the judge. Well done.

      1. Linda Goin

        Hey Tom — I don’t know how I feel about this issue. I just know that most cops wouldn’t try to grab a man’s breast. I’m sorry for what she’s going through. Seems severe, and that’s what I was going for. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

    2. PressOn

      I wanted to read about this before replying. I had forgotten the name, but your poem is so powerful, it almost doesn’t matter. This poem’s short, clipped lines fit what looks to have been summary justice, or lack thereof in the sentencing phase, and probably the verdict.. Excellent, passionate writing.

      1. Linda Goin

        Thanks, William — As I told Tom above, it all seems so very severe. Plus, I took a cue from Robert’s book and lost the caps and punctuation in most of the piece. I just wish I could format the way I wanted to — it was so much more luscious with my tabs. ha. But, I think this works. Thanks for reading!

  51. eekwrite

    The Girl Who Knew Too Much

    There is a young girl
    Who knew too much
    and loved too much
    She opened her heart
    Only to see it burn
    She opened her soul
    Only to see it thrown away
    She opened her mouth
    Only to learn the loudness of Silence
    She opened her ears
    Only to learn silence burns
    She open her eyes
    Only to seen the Silence
    Was her screams of burning
    Within the darkness.

    Ellenelizabeth Cernek-Kashk

  52. writinglife16


    They took most of his teeth
    and left him with four.

    Talked about genetics being to blame
    and better eating afterwards.

    If the cat were to admit they were
    right, he would have to thank them.

    If anything will wreck silent stalking,
    it is the advance notice of bad breath.

  53. DanielR

    Laying in green clover fields
    draped in the comforting warmth
    of a blanket sewn by the sun
    the blue sky above shrinks away
    fades to black in peaceful rest
    until he sees himself transformed
    on eagles wings he soars higher
    catching the wind to glide free
    dipping and darting at will
    searching out new perspectives
    with fresh eyes and a wide smile
    he grasps at the clarity
    but it disappears when he hears
    his mother’s voice calling him home.

    Daniel Roessler

  54. Anitrak

    The Boy Who Laughs

    The Boy who laughs
    is still there
    inside his center
    At the end of a day of meetings
    and memos
    and emails
    and reports
    and phone calls
    and hidden messages in friendly jokes

    The boy who laughs relaxes on the long bus ride home
    and notices how the light shifts texture when the sun nears the horizon the first night after time shift
    how the bike rider bounces her head, just a little bit, waiting for the light to change
    How every other passenger buries their heads in their handhelds

    On the walk home
    an errant soccer ball flies toward the laughing boy
    who takes a quick few steps to ensure its return

  55. Poeeop

    Okay, just a minute please
    Busy I am now
    I’m not ignoring your plead.

    Emails to send, bills I must pay
    All day long I toil
    You stay home and just lay.

    Kitty retract your claws, there’s no need to hiss
    Company will arrive soon
    A feast to prepare, no detail can be missed.

    I set the table and then uncork the wine
    Kitty your cries sound weak now
    I will feed you in short time.

    The timer rings out, don’t want to burn
    Tonight must be perfect
    A promotion I’ll surely earn.

    Kitty please don’t rip the bag, you’ll create a terrible mess
    I’ll quickly feed you
    Oops doorbell is ringing now, I must go address.

    A deep moan from you as I slither away
    Guests are waiting
    Kitty what can I say.

    Much wine has been poured, guests leave in a frizzy
    Kitty has gone quiet
    I lay down for the night, head swimmingly dizzy

    Dawn has arrived with my senses unwitty
    I shuffle about the house
    There you are, wake up….wake up Kitty

  56. candy

    There Was A Girl Who Dreamed

    she dreamed about
    a bright yellow sun
    a golden circle in the
    sky like a child’s construction
    paper art project
    a warm and friendly sun
    whose rays reach out and
    gave her hope for a better day
    there was a girl who pressed
    her nose against the rain
    streaked glass and dreamed

  57. Connie Peters

    The Girl Who Worried

    The rapping sound, knuckles on wood.
    Her heart skipped beats from where she stood.
    Though weary, she rushed to the door.
    At least, she would worry no more.
    Not a sober faced policeman making his round!
    Her tingling flesh, her heart, the door, the rapping sound.

    Seared in her mind from that day hence,
    Like old paintings of great expense,
    A dream come true, him bearing gifts.
    She smiled as her perspective shifts.
    Bright bouquet, box of chocolates, him being kind.
    His apologetic look now seared in her mind.

  58. Walt Wojtanik


    There was this boy who read a lot.
    He devoured every book he got and flipped
    dogeared pages as his reading rage
    took center stage and he would read
    and read all day; he never went outside to play.

    “Go outside!” his mother said.
    “Go outside!” his father said.
    “Go outside!’ said Uncle Ned,
    but, the little boy stayed in instead.
    He couldn’t get it through his head.

    His books and tomes that he obsessed on,
    had left him in a deep depression,
    He was guessing that if he read all he had
    his head would hold every truth untold,
    and he’s be really smart when he got old.

    “Go and play!” his sister moaned.
    “Go and play!” his Nana intoned.
    “Go and play!” said Uncle Ned.
    But, the bright young man stayed in instead,
    there was so much more he hadn’t read.

    All the books there in his house were fodder
    for his reading frenzy. Fictional people
    became his friends, historical figures
    were the men he would surely like to be.
    (The boy… he even read… POETRY?)

    “Come and meet me” the neighbor girl said.
    “Come and meet me, behind the tool shed”
    “Come and meet me?” He asked Uncle Ned
    what it meant, the words she said.
    “Should I meet this girl, or read instead?”

    For there was no book to steer his feet, for she
    had waited all these years, heart full of love
    and eyes full of tears longing for him
    to get a clue. “Those books can’t do a thing for you!”
    Uncle Ned said. Uncle Ned knew!

    “Put the book down” Ned had said.
    “Meet the girl behind the shed!
    Or you’ll find your heart is dead!
    It was a decision he would dread.
    The young boy stayed inside and read.

    Uncle Ned knew. Ned remembered he was once
    that reading boy who hardly played, he stayed
    sequestered and it pestered his father.
    But his folks were really coy. His parent came upon a ploy indeed
    and had left an issue of Playboy for their “Neddie-boy” to read.

    “Read this, boy!” said Uncle Ned.
    “It’s a joy!” his father said.
    “He’s just a boy!” his mother said.
    Cover-to-cover, the boy had read,
    (but t’was the pictures that turned his head).

    The young boy put his books aside
    he said “I’m gonna be outside”. And to the neighbor
    girl he did go. “I’m glad you came, I want to show
    you something behind the shed.” Who knows
    the thoughts that filled his head there behind the old tool shed.

    “Here’s my garden”, the neighbor said.
    “I thought that we would kiss” he said.
    “Get those lude thoughts out of your head!”
    and she handed him a hoe instead.
    “I should have stayed inside and read”

    All that time he thought he’d get her,
    but she’d make him crazy if he let her.
    Lesson learned. The boy knew better.

  59. PowerUnit

    The Boy Who Drank Coffee

    Four milk and six sugar please
    Yes, in addition to what you have already added
    I cannot stomach the taste of this black gruel
    But my daddy drinks it
    And he smacks his lips every morning after that first big gulp
    And he remarks what a glorious day it is
    Even if it is raining or snowing
    Or the sun is not yet up
    Or the birds are not singing
    And the only sound we hear from the cold kitchen is turnpike whining
    So load it up with sugar and milk
    I want to experience this fabulous world, for the life of me
    I can otherwise not see.

  60. kenia_cris


    When I was eight,
    the boy who lived on the second floor
    and I were not good friends.

    He would pull my hair,
    run after me around the block
    holding a caterpillar on a stick,
    and call me stupid.

    I would bite his arm,
    spit on his head whenever he
    walked under my window
    and call him stupid.

    We would throw spiny seed capsules
    of the castor oil plants around
    at each other all the time.

    Until one Sunday morning
    getting back from church,
    he left a note under my door

    which read (in horrible handwriting):
    Will you be my girlfriend?
    and I crossed the box under yes.

  61. barbara_y

    the girl who rested overnight

    the girl who rested overnight,
    covered loosely in the refrigerator,
    rose slowly and evenly.
    No gaping maws below her collarbones
    urgently cheeped for justice. No
    glassy- walled vesicles
    proclaimed her godless.
    She would come out of the fire,
    as always, dense, with a fine crumb.
    What else could she do?

  62. Walt Wojtanik


    The boy who sang love songs for her,
    sang from a place that was so pure.
    Heartfelt pangs sung in passion’s key,
    as true a love as there could be.
    His soulful sounds would fill the air and they would hang
    around her heart and fill her soul, the boy who sang.

    Songs from his heart. Not knowing love,
    he reached his depths to rise above,
    the people questioned what he knew,
    to be so young yet love so true.
    His wisdom showed in spite of his age, he would start
    to reach her soul with tender words, songs from his heart.

    1. PressOn

      Another comment: despite the “boy” in this poem and image, I keep thinking of Jimmy Durante. I seem to recall him singing a song akin to this.

  63. PressOn


    Curiosity made him try
    to espy what his eyes could spy:
    he maneuvered under the trunk,
    avoiding the swish and the plunk;
    he saw that the eyes were crinkled
    and the skin, thoroughly wrinkled.
    But then the elephant tinkled:
    the poor fellow slipped in the mud
    and was washed away in the flood.