Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 262

I apologize for the tardiness of today’s prompt; I had some unexpected news last night that I’m still trying to process. That said, it did inspire this week’s prompt…

For this week’s prompt, write a poem in which the unexpected happens. Could be a good unexpected–like receiving a gift from an anonymous person; could be a bad unexpected–like having someone break into your house; could be a confusing unexpected–like having a complete stranger propose marriage. Whatever you’re unexpected, have fun poeming!

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Here’s my attempt at an Unexpected Poem:

“universal features”

if something amazing is about to happen
expect your fiance to dabble in science
specifically the science of reanimation
& expect his experiment to go wrong

or if you’re trying to work your way up
by being diligent & being open to travel
expect your foreign client to suck blood
& have a thing for your own fiancee

or say you return to your homeland
because you’re practical & peaceful
& you just want to fall in love well
expect to be attacked by a werewolf

& then to become one yourself

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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 author of Solving the World’s Problems. He loves the old Universal horror films and would check out little books devoted to them from his local library when he was a boy. While Godzilla and King Kong are cool, he was really fascinated by Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolf Man, and The Mummy.

Learn more at www.robertleebrewer.com.

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263 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 262

  1. taylor graham

    MOONRISE

    Afternoon slippery-clingy as sweat
    in an airtight room. We waited
    like jumpers at the edge.
    At last, at sundown
    came a breeze from the west,
    a hundred miles away
    but it tasted like ocean. It caught
    the brittling oak leaves
    by surprise. They shivered
    with news. And then a flail of white
    clouds like wingbeats
    as the moon lifted her rim over
    the mountain, slowly
    till we could see her entire, cool
    as a silver spoon and,
    for whatever it portended, filled
    with praise.

  2. missdusters

    I am a high school English teacher; my everyday life is full of unexpected surprises at every turn, but my favorite unexpected surprise is the look on a student’s face when the light bulb finally clicks. Here is my teaching-inspired unexpected-surprise-poem:
    ~~~~~~~~

    Teaching –
    What a challenge!
    Day after day
    Apathetic faces
    Greet me in the doorway.
    Find an awesome
    Story –
    Poem –
    Novel –
    Project Idea –
    Enthusiastically begin the day
    With arms wide open
    Let the flocks of sheep in the door!!!

    “This sucks.”
    “Do we really have to do this?”
    “What time does the bell ring?”
    “UGH Really, Miss?”
    Just knock me down.
    “Yes, you have to do this.”
    Deflate my balloon.
    “If you start out with a bad attitude…”

    Well, I thought it was awesome.
    Wave them out
    Shoo them away
    Why must they (clichés aside)
    rain on my parade?
    Does anything I say or do
    Make an impact?
    Was I just
    Blowing hot air?

    “Miss, this is really awesome.”
    “This is the first time I’ve read a book –
    And enjoyed it.”
    “Do you remember that book
    We read in your class 4 years ago?
    I’ll never forget it.”

    “Miss, do you know why everyone likes you?
    “When someone gives you sass,
    “You sass them back
    “Ten times worse.
    “That’s awesome.”

    Teaching.
    What a challenge!
    Maybe those faces
    Aren’t all that
    Apathetic.
    They greet in the doorway
    Hiding great minds –
    Beautiful thoughts –
    They’re not just sheep.
    They’re my students.

  3. BDP

    “Blue Bolt”

    Expect the unexpected—yes and no.
    That’s fine if you’re a super spy like Bond.
    Most people want stability and go
    about routines each day, same chug-along:

    a young tot’s words remain fresh effortless,
    the rain-sopped cloth wipes clean a musty lane,
    good habits stay the wobble from our course,
    we thank a trust held fast to manage pain.

    And yet, there’s no denying in my ache
    I seek one wish: surprise would happen once
    again, catastrophe held high to smash and break
    carved stone. I’d gather pieces up, renounce

    the extra chromosome—forgive me wrong—
    and seam together you with no Down syndrome.

    –Barb Peters

    1. whatevertheyaint

      I’m trying to think of a list of reasons why I like this but am left speechless. Everyone has a unique writing style and voice; yours is both effortless and poignant at the same time. The last two lines take us on an unexpected turn from the mundane “same chug-along” referred to in the opening stanza. The last line haunts us, sort of lingers on in our heart and mind. Great writing.

  4. Countrygirl_97

    The Call

    It was early morning
    just after breakfast
    the phone rang
    and the name
    gave me a surprise
    It was unexpected
    you only called
    on Sundays

    Then you spoke
    a tried, painful voice
    and I knew
    something was wrong

    ‘There’s been an accident’
    tears flooded my face
    my heart beating fast
    like I’ve just ran a race
    ‘It doesn’t look good’
    I said it would be ok
    but you disagreed

    ‘I won’t make it much longer,
    I wanted to call,
    to say goodbye.’
    you grew short of breath
    as you murmured your last words
    before your death

    ‘I love you’
    ‘I love you too’
    My heart was breaking
    ‘Always and forever?’
    ‘Always and forever.’
    Those were my last words
    to you
    before the line clicked dead.

    Sinking to the ground
    grasping my head,
    remembering,
    something wasn’t said.
    I looked at my rounded belly
    and whispered,
    ‘I’ll name you after him.’

  5. Connie Peters

    Word Boxing

    I met rudeness
    where I thought
    I’d meet kindness.
    Sneers instead of smiles.

    Where communication
    should have thrived,
    our words circled each other
    like boxers in the ring.

    We punched and jabbed
    until no one was on the floor,
    but we touched gloves,
    coming to a draw.

  6. tunesmiff

    AFTER THE EVENING NEWS
    George Smith
    ———————–
    He walks in the door like he does every night,
    She’s on the phone or the laptop like she is every night.
    She has to hear his unspoken pleading,
    Though how who can say?

    He feels his heart is bleeding
    As he goes through the nightly rituals:
    Washing dishes, checking laundry, walking the dog for a minute or two;
    It’s the same thing day after day.

    He wonders if this means they’re through,
    Or just in such a rut that ground level
    Is eye level and so what’s to notice.
    How did things work out to be this way?

    Then she looks from what she’s reading
    And simply says, “I love you.”

  7. veronica_gurlie

    I been away writing a poetry chapbook and dealing with family emergencies.
    Here is my poem for this challenge:

    When I Dated Him

    After all those long sweet rides, and all those blue hugs away,
    when I finally kissed him, til he could feel my love,
    he just went pale, as if he couldn’t breath,
    as if my love, felt like death, trying to pull him closer.

      1. veronica_gurlie

        Yes, and that is exactly what it feels to one of the people, when things seem to go perfectly in a relationship and the relationship ends with the other person scared to continue.

        I wrote this poem just now as a reply to your reply to my poem: lol.

        My Response to A Reply to My Unexpected Poem

        I wrote this note,
        “It’s strange, and it doesn’t make sense,
        being afraid, to keep doing something, that makes you happy,
        like being involved in some way, with someone, who is just like you,
        or at least, almost like you, and knowing, it doesn’t deserve, any real apology, ”
        then I sent the note to someone, I don’t know, and waited for a response,
        I nibbled on my longest fingernail, but didn’t bite it off,
        I heard the conversation, of the different birds in my yard, almost come to a pause,
        and then as I looked around my house, at all the fragile, expensive things,
        being nothing, that’s just him, or just me anymore,
        a little thought came to me, one almost spoken in my gut,
        “Oh please, don’t tell me I’m wrong.”

        1. veronica_gurlie

          I’m consideration splitting this up to two different poems like this.
          seems like I got two poems as reply to your reply to my poem.

          POEM 1

          I wrote this note,
          “It’s strange, and it doesn’t make sense,
          being afraid, to keep doing something, that makes you happy,
          like being involved in some way, with someone, who is just like you,
          or at least, almost like you, and knowing, it doesn’t deserve, any real apology, ”
          then I sent the note to someone, I don’t know personally,
          and as I waited for a response, I nibbled on my longest fingernail, (but never bit it off), and listened to the chatter of the different type of birds, involved, in my yard, almost come to a pause.

          POEM 2

          I thought this moments, after I spoke to him about our relationship,
          “Life is mostly about, building a life with someone who you fits you.”
          and then as I looked around our house,
          at all the fragile, expensive things,
          that in 20 years, that have not been really touched.
          being nothing, that’s just him, or just me anymore,
          a little thought came to me, one almost spoken in my gut,
          “Oh please, don’t tell me I’m wrong.”

          1. veronica_gurlie

            POEM 2
            edited:0). during edited, I was interrupted by someone banging on the door. lol. Here is the new edited version.

            I thought this, moments after, I spoke to him about our relationship,
            “Life is mostly about, building a life, with someone who you know, fits you,”
            and then as I went inside, and looked around our house,
            at all the fragile expensive things,
            that in 20 years, have not been really touched.
            being nothing, that’s just him, or just me anymore,
            a little thought came to me, one almost spoken in my gut,
            “Oh please, don’t tell me I’m wrong.”

      2. veronica_gurlie

        both the news poems inspired from my original poem in here, have been edited again and finalized. they are not posted in here but they have been. They will be in my book though:0)

  8. Michele Brenton

    When.

    When people are kind
    and the world stays on course
    when I dream something nice
    and sleep through the night
    when I get through a day
    without being afraid
    and the sun shines
    nobody cries, nobody dies
    and pain stays within
    its boundaries
    when you are content
    and my child is fulfilled
    and I see myself in a mirror
    without feeling disgust –
    that’s unexpected.

    Michele Brenton 19th May 2014

  9. Julieann

    Surprise

    The week went all wrong
    There was no mirth or song

    The boss was cross
    We’d all hit the sauce

    People were being let go
    All answers ended in “no”

    I stepped gingerly into the room
    It was my turn to face the doom

    I was waved into the chair
    I knew I didn’t have a prayer

    But instead, she smiled and said
    A charmed life you’ve led

    Do not fear, do not fret
    We are not finished with you yet

    We’ve created a new position
    It is yours along with the recognition

  10. carolecole66

    Four Days of Prayer

    i.

    A woodpecker hammers on a metal drain.
    The dog groans in her sleep. The sounds
    that start my day remind me to be awake
    to what is me and not me.

    ii.

    It’s an unexpected joy to sit quiescent,
    watch the wind play through the palms,
    the sun brighten the red hibiscus. This
    is my hand, but not quite.

    iii.

    Eighty years pass but my mother is still ten,
    still holding her cat, still living with her dreams
    on a Depression-era farm. Will she recognize
    the child in old photos? My face looks back at her.

    iv.

    I have walked into these rooms and lived
    and breathed, not freely, not because I chose,
    but only through the momentary grace
    of the god who holds the door.

  11. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    How I wish for Delete and Edit buttons here! The tilus is more powerful if set out as its inventor (Kelvin S. M.) intended:

    The Unconscious Comes Up

    Half asleep, I recall
    that teacher

    who

    tormented us children
    long ago.

    Then

    I drift into a thought
    of murder—

    what! —

    pushing her down a cliff …
    gentle me.

    Shock.

    (Written as a series
    of tilus-
    es.)

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