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


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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.