Editors Blog

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 265

Sorry for the late prompt. It’s just “that time of the year,” I guess. Putting books together, reading through poems, getting ready for week-long camps with the kiddos–oh yeah, and buying a house! No braking for summer over here, but it’s been fun–and I hope you’re having a good summer too.

For this week’s prompt, write a tribute poem, whether it’s to someone living or deceased. Also, I suppose it’s fine to write a tribute poem to non-humans and inanimate objects (why not?), but it should be a tribute of some sort. Some poets call these odes, I guess, but you do what you want and call it what you like.

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Here’s my attempt at a Tribute Poem:

“angelou”

what goes up
must come down
unless it’s filled
with helium
or propelled
by a rocket
or held aloft
by a jet stream

what goes down
doesn’t have to
stay down
forever and you
clever understood
that so well
with your mines
and your wells

i’m not sad
to see you leave
because i truly
do believe
what i read
with my own eyes
you will rise
still you rise

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Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is the author of Solving the World’s Problems and Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community. This week’s prompt was inspired by the recent loss of poet Maya Angelou, and this tribute poem pays respect to her and her fabulous poem, “Still I Rise.”

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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274 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 265

  1. taylor graham

    MOTHER-PLANET IN JUNE

    The meadow’s a cakewalk
    of blooming colors,
    two creeks shouting bravos
    of snowmelt down rocks
    and through thickets of willow
    a-light with little birds,
    and one eagle
    soaring our expectations aloft.

  2. tz2328

    A Tribute To Brandy

    Night comes late.
    Time for bed.
    I dream of Brandy;
    Things left unsaid.

    My childhood mare
    Both night and day.
    When will Brandy
    Come out to play?

    Honey perfection
    In every sense.
    Passionate kisses
    Spark sweet cadence.

    Never aging.
    Always true.
    Stepford women
    Based on you.

    Time for change,
    Time to grow.
    Mourning comes
    On twilights glow.

    Fond remembrance.
    My faithful friend
    Slipped into the sea
    At youth’s end.

  3. BDP

    “My Potato Masher”

    You, Mom, bequeathed me these: New Testament,
    dog-eared and thumbed through. Plus another gift—
    a fat-hipped, antique, far-from-heaven-sent
    potato masher. Solid oak. I lift

    both. Why not the rainbow pearly shells
    your mother brought with her from Germany,
    why not the multi-generational
    white leather bible (gilt-edged heft) that she

    gave you? I get a Worship Channel tome
    instead. Thin paper … paired with nicked hard wood.
    For what? To bonk a thief who robs my home
    then pray for him? Yet even if I could

    choose other than your one-in-each-hand mysteries,
    what I’d want wouldn’t mean as much to me.

    –Barb Peters

    1. TomNeal

      Things take on meaning when mixed with life. I like the way this sonnet contrasts desirable objects with ordinary objects that have a meaning bestowed on them by life and love. I also like the way you have disguised the sonnet much as the meaning of the objects would be opaque to an outside observer.

      Well done.

  4. Michelle Hed

    Warriors

    You’ve seen them,
    without knowing it.

    You’ve sat next to them,
    without knowing it.

    You might even know one
    but not realize it.

    They are the strangers,
    the neighbors, the friends
    fighting a battle…

    where the swords, the guns,
    the bombs have been replaced
    by a weapon so strong and yet so small…

    all wrapped in a blanket of courage and perseverance.

    They fight cancer.

  5. DamonZ

    “Thru the Window”

    Thru the window I see.
    See what has come to be.
    A house filled
    Filled with all I could build.
    I can see all I hold.
    Hold dear behind the curtain’s fold.
    All I ever need,
    Need to live indeed.
    It is certain,
    Certain behind that curtain.
    In the light there,
    There sitting in the chair.
    My wife,
    Wifeー love of my life.
    Without her,
    Her long red hair.
    Brown eyes,
    Eyes of heaven in disguise,
    That window,
    Window wouldn’t have that glow.
    And I wouldn’t feel,
    Feel that I heal.
    After the real,
    Real day of having to deal.
    A moment fleeting,
    Fleeting though it is my greeting.
    Up the drive,
    Drive up at five.
    Home,
    Home from work,
    Work to see her, my job’s best perk.

  6. TomNeal

    A Tribute to Inner Circles

    Welcome to the Circle:
    Please go round and round
    In well intentioned circles
    That keep discussion down
    And people in a mind
    To accept soft censorship.

    These correct circles
    Are polite circles
    That censor circles
    That are not nice circles.

    Welcome to the Circle:

    1. TomNeal

      A Tribute to Inner Circles

      Welcome to the Circle:
      Please go round and round
      In well intentioned circles
      That keep discussion down.

      These correct circles
      Are polite circles
      That censor circles
      That are not nice circles.

      Welcome to the Circle:

      1. BDP

        I definitely feel like I’m on a circle-go-round, TomNeal. And that nicely brings home your point. I note the change from the first poem to the second. I like the removal of those lines.

  7. imofftoheaven

    In the basement
    Of my brain
    Is where you’ll stay

    In the attic
    Of my heart
    Is where you are

    I don’t go there often
    Those places hurt the most
    I would love to come and visit
    But I don’t want to be your ghost

  8. lgallardo

    Savages

    Savages, were they called
    They who loved and cared
    For the land we know
    Now as our home, America

    Brave, were they called
    Who slaughtered and marred
    Children, Women and Men
    Not savages were they

    Progress, this they called
    Clearing the way
    Making it safe
    For the fair people

    Justice, this they called
    Displacing the old and young
    From where the rivers flow
    And the buffalo roamed free

    Civilized, were they called
    Who cut the unborn out
    From their dying mothers
    To parade back home

    Heathens, were they called
    Who fought for life
    As it had been
    Generations upon generations

    Heroes, were they called
    Whose blood-stained hands
    Fought crying children
    And tired old women

    If only the savages
    Would not fight
    Religious oppression
    As we had

    Alas, if only they
    Were good Christians
    Taught not to kill
    Nor steal

    If like Christ
    They would give
    Everything
    For our salvation

    Then
    And only then
    Would there be
    Peace

    Copyrighted @ Laura Gallardo 1993

  9. lgallardo

    The Heavens

    Only in heaven
    Do souls shine
    Each in a haven
    Much like a shrine

    Each body of light
    Representing a departed
    Illuminating the night
    Rewarding the invited

    Left to dream
    Perhaps someday
    Float on a stream
    To a star faraway

    To someday reach
    Down to another
    And beseech
    “Come visit your brother.”

    Copyright @ Laura Gallardo 1991

  10. grcran

    How Can I Keep from Singing?

    Folksinger, how’d ya do? You say you had
    A time. I’d say a time and hammer time.
    Plus flowers gone away. Where have they gone?
    You friended Woody, Jackson, Bruce, and Bob
    And taught ‘em. You were best of eversong.
    Loved people. Causes, great ones. Overcame.
    Dear Pete, you get my vote for finest man.
    I saw and heard you, Austin, eighty-four
    it was, so glad, your spirit gave bright clear:
    the emanations of the truth and love.
    America’s most wondrous voice, and hands
    upon the banjo and guitar and pulse.

    Fought fascists with a forceful music, then
    Charmed children. Oh, I miss you, old sage beard!

    *Pete Seeger wrote many great songs, but not “How Can I Keep from Singing?” Still, like many other songs he picked up, he made it his own, then gave it to the world. I’m singing. Thank you, Pete.

    By gpr crane

      1. grcran

        thanks, Rosemary! I sure wanted to go see him once more but I failed to get it done… at least we have youtube, the Weavers reunion 1980 is fantastic, check out “my get up and go has got up and went”

        1. PressOn

          Amen to that. I never tire of watching that old documentary. Lee Hayes was a poet himself, I think, and Pete was a giant. thanks for your loving tribute.

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