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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 270

For this week’s prompt, take the phrase “Blame (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include “Blame it on the Rain,” “Blame Yourself,” “Blame the Bad Guys,” and so on.

Simple as that. Or is it? I don’t want anyone blaming the prompt for being mean to each other in the comments. Agree to disagree if you must, but please be respectful of each other. I know everyone can do it!


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Here’s my attempt at a Blame Blank poem:

“blame nothing”

the wind might’ve carried it
to the river that pushed it
miles downstream & maybe it

was all dumb luck then that it
ended up with her & it
led her to call about it

but he can only blame it
on himself that he claimed it
was wrong (when he did mean it)


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and the author of Solving the World’s Problems. His collection has recently been named an Editor’s Pick by Crab Creek Review, and he has a new poem in the latest issue of Dressing Room Poetry Journal (click here to read).

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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340 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 270

  1. Christina9331

    I hope this isn’t too late of a post! But I really enjoyed the prompt and signed up just to post. First time sharing! Please – let me know what you think.

    Blame it on losing yourself

    Make another drink
    Take it down with ease
    Force yourself to the brink
    And prove you’re not a tease
    No need for regrets, because
    You can always blame it on the buzz

    Take another puff
    Score another blow
    Show him you’ll never get enough
    No matter how far he wants to go
    But there’s no need to sigh
    You can always blame it on the high

    Listen a little closer
    Try not to smile a little too wide
    He keeps swearing he doesn’t go to her
    So stop thinking he has something to hide
    Make it look easy, don’t let him hear your cries
    You can always lose yourself in his lies

    Press it under your tongue
    Try to say the things you’ve been unable to say
    Too bad your pretty song has already been sung
    And the diamonds won’t take your fears away
    But no matter how hard it seems
    You can always lose yourself in your dreams

  2. @save1star

    blame mother
    discretion or digression of whom
    thrust you into this lot
    let you sit, rotting
    on candy and commercial jingles
    held your hand a bit too tightly
    coaxed you, toddling toward failing
    future without her
    faulted sensitivities

  3. Julieann

    Blame Someone Else

    I live on food stamps
    And in government housing
    It’s not my fault I don’t
    Have a job and look for a handout

    My clothes come from salvage stores
    That don’t deal in classy labels
    It’s not my fault I don’t
    Dress like a million dollars

    I can barely write my name or read
    And math and science are beyond me
    It’s not my fault I failed school
    It didn’t mean a thing to me

    Mom and Dad, I didn’t know them
    Foster homes and the street were my family
    It’s not my fault I don’t know how to love
    No one loved me along the way

    And yet, others in the same situation
    Make what society calls a success of themselves
    It’s not my fault they think they are
    Better than the rest

    Why should I work, why improve my education
    I’m getting by just fine
    It’s not my fault the decisions I make
    The blame lies with someone else

  4. cakesbycarla

    Blame Me

    I suppose I deserve it,
    even your umbilical cord,
    came from me.
    Why not all your mistakes,
    heartaches and misfortunes?

    You think it’s easy?
    Pregnancy was the apex
    before the downward spiral.
    Even delivery was less difficult
    than raising you.

    Please, forget all those nights
    I stayed awake, holding your
    fever ridden body,
    worried and praying for you.

    Or all those times,
    I kissed a scrape
    or listened to you cry
    because of some
    playground injustice.

    Don’t worry about me,
    I have gotten over
    all the dreams
    that I will never live
    because I was too busy
    being your mother….mostly.

    By all means, carve out
    a big fat space in your precious
    so you can tell your therapist
    how your unsatisfactory life
    is my fault.

    Please, blame me.

    It will be just another thing
    to add to the long list
    of things you’ve wanted
    that I have given you…

    1. BDP

      There’s relentless sameness here. I like that you kept the anger steady and that the last stanza tops the anger off. Yet, we don’t give up easily, even while surrendering: the “nothing will change” feeling carries with it a smidgen of hope. “Please, blame me” (second to last stanza) means both “please, do” and “please, don’t.”

  5. PKP

    Just Leave Mame Out Of It

    You could blame it on weather
    You could blame it on dust
    You could blame it on whatever you must
    You could blame it on temperament or
    hormones or such
    You could blame it on apparitions
    oh you could blame all on so much
    It does not much matter the content
    of blame
    the fingers
    will point
    the intent
    to shame
    which is not a game-
    ender as too many proclaim
    this spinning blue marble
    that we all for a time share
    too lately sloughs off the
    shame that it must bear
    So forget the excuses the
    the rationales the evasive
    runs and the whining-on rants
    and if you are to blame
    pull up your big girl and big boy
    responsibility pants

  6. BDP

    “Blame It on the Wind, Grandmother”

    Your only brother was teen oarsman when your sister,
    five years his younger, stood and spread her coat, her sail.
    The boat, across the lake in sunlit humid shimmer,
    rocked gently, so it seemed at first, then faster, wild,
    time spilled, your father ran, if she’d just sit! Until
    over the hull tipped, thrashing, emptiness of water.
    Townspeople found him, arms stretched taut to break her hold,
    her drowning choke upon his neck, in hope to thrust her

    off but she killed them both. Your dad dove in and swam
    the white-capped waves—your mom and siblings up on shore,
    watching. They sank quick, though through the years slow—great aunt,
    great uncle. Clipped-out, yellowed news backs up the lore.
    “Wear your life vest!” you always warned us grandchildren.
    We yet wish that his swift strokes will save them.

    –Barb Peters

  7. TPN

    First post! I’ve been reading many of your poems for weeks now (enjoyed all of them!). Thought I’d finally submit one of my own.

    Family Tree

    I blame every sodden ancestor,
    Their improbable romance.
    Their fates decided by the stars, so
    Future set by circumstance.

    With an ‘n’ for their generation,
    Two raised to the ‘nth’ degree.
    So many are their ordered ranks, they’re
    Practically infinity.

    With their genes a muddled cocktail drink,
    Just a dash of this and that.
    Thinning hair at twenty-eight? Their fault!
    I guess I’ll just wear a hat.

  8. lionetravail

    Blame Entropy

    Monday mornings, chief province of armchair quarterbacks,
    offers me insights into Clausius’ equations,
    Boltzmann’s constants,
    Maxwell’s demons.

    Stochastic statistics demonstrate clearly
    that the universe is rushing headlong
    to unexciting stasis.
    I’m already there, waiting to greet it.

    The week seems daunting from this Monday vantage,
    even the day itself insurmountable,
    as Sunday’s happy energy has dropped
    to a highly disappointing ground state.

    I blame entropy, while remaining ever hopeful
    that the first coffee will restore optimistic outlook.

    1. Marie Therese Knepper

      Interesting that Sunday’s energy dropped to a disappointing ground state, while Monday’s energy depends on a stimulating ground state.


      You should submit this for publication; a contest, perhaps?

      1. lionetravail

        Marie, that’s just brilliantly clever- I didn’t even think of it that way! I think you’ve given me more credit than I deserve, so thanks! Heh

  9. griff35

    Blame the one you see

    everyday you can see the one to blame

    yet everyday you play the game

    today will be different you say

    but remember you’ve said that a thousand times before

    how can I say it? when will I do it? these are your thoughts that linger on

    maybe tomorrow my courage will come?

    would it be better if tomorrow never came?

    to be released from this prison of knowing the truth

    if I could only blame the one I see

    look now in the mirror, your courage has finally come

    take your stand! go ahead and say it!

    I blame the one I see

  10. Clae

    If It Helps

    Blame me
    I don’t mind
    In one year
    no one will care
    what happened here
    Tomorrow I won’t care
    So if it makes
    you feel better
    go ahead and
    blame me

  11. shellcook

    Blame It On The Evening Sun

    Blame It On The Evening Sun
    whose rays must surely know
    the colors of such sweet landscape
    beneath the Super Moon,

    where dead men rest
    and hard men toil
    their dreams and still
    remembered ways
    twixt this heaven and
    weathered hell.

    Whisper, whisper
    in their ears
    those years were better

    Those bitter hard and lean years call
    their voices soft as silk
    live here, live here, they cry,
    to sweet evening breeze
    whose whispered answer wounds today
    taking yester’s starlit dreams.

    Regret, bedecked in evening wear,
    do not serenade to me.
    I will. take. each. day. I. have.
    I will live in just. each. now.
    while children watch the stars with joy
    I am with them there.

    Copyright 2014@Anne Michelle Cook

    1. PressOn

      This is a good example of what I mean by this site being a place to learn. The use of periods in the last stanza is a piece of creativity that startles me, yet it works so well.

    2. Marie Therese Knepper

      I’ve read your poem 3 or 4 times now, and each time glean something new and interesting. Would that more of us would listen to nature sounds.

  12. grcran

    Blame in on Death

    I been missing you before I even met you
    I am hurt by you before you even leave
    I’m your widower before you even die there
    I’m your earthquake victim right before you heave

    Wound won’t heal unless it gets fresh air
    Wound so tight it’s bound to make me sick
    Won’t you deign to visit just a smidgen
    Won’t pretend here I can do arithmetic

    None and one make zero in the loss of better half
    None of it adds up can’t go forward can’t go back
    Derailing part of learning leaning out of balance
    Continue. Hope. Avoidance of anxiety attack.

    Ending isn’t. Words convey some tinny part of this
    Struggle of return to where life has some little bliss.

    by gpr crane

    1. PressOn

      This whole poem gives me the feeling of “wound so tight.” Tension comes through to me it its almost-staccato lines. Very effective writing, in my view.

  13. Marie Therese Knepper

    Blame Who
    by Marie-Therese Knepper

    Who let the dog out.
    Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar.
    Who’s sorry now.
    Who cares.

  14. JohnLY


    I worked very hard to get over the blight,
    Then to fashion a quill that would actually write.
    Pick the feather up and begin to sharpen
    The end into a perfect nib.

    An inkwell full of Indian ink,
    Jet black and smooth almost velvet in texture,
    Next a parchment that was specially prepared
    To record the unfolding events.

    The seers and prophets had forecast the end
    Of the world as we know it is nigh,
    They say the information was revealed,
    From prophetic knowledge of old.

    The sands of time have passed by the mark,
    When we should be part of the past
    The star in the North is still burning
    The light is overcoming the dark.

    Why is the end of the world so late?
    I measured the sands and counted the days,
    The solar and lunar forecasters will state
    Scientific evidence will blame it on fate.

    Copyright © Written by John Yeo, All rights reserved.

  15. Marie Therese Knepper

    Blame My Ignorance
    by Marie-Therese Knepper

    A blue ribbon really
    not for me
    honorable mention perhaps
    I can’t see what they see

    The maven novice
    my empty reflection
    on the outside looking in
    two way mirrors.

    1. Marie Therese Knepper

      Perhaps it’s just me, but in reading over my poem I see that the subject could be taken completely opposite my original intention.
      I am not a seasoned writer/poet. I’m learning my craft. Sometimes I feel like I’m standing in an art gallery, only instead of artwork, poems and other writings are on display. I find myself lost in what others consider masterful. For instance, I don’t see the genius in most of Picasso’s art, and yet his works are highly coveted.
      I wrote this poem from the aspect of someone – me – walking through a gallery/art show, looking at paintings in wonder, feeling lost and alone, seeing beauty in many things that have no audience, while trying to see beauty in what does not please my eye, or soul. Hence, the feeling of being on the outside looking in.

      1. TomNeal

        The poetry posted on this board is of a varying quality.

        The poetry of a novice might justly receive praise that is withheld a more accomplished journeyman poet. I would not praise “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” in the same way that I praise “Hamlet”. The first is a work that shows promise, and the second is a work of promise realised. It would be mean spirited to damn the “Two Gentlemen” for not being “Hamlet”. It is far better to encourage the young Shakespeare (novice poet) to keep writing, than to find fault, and so it is on this board.

        More experienced poets (posting here) seem use prompts to experiment, and to generate first drafts. These poets may be seeking technical feedback, and though this feedback might seem light on praise (in comparison to that offered a novice), it is really praise of the highest order: their poetry is being read and taken seriously.

        What I find remarkable about this board is the goodwill that is expressed to all poets regardless of their level of achievement. (William deserves a round of applause for that.)

        One last thought regarding your Picasso comparison: it may be apocryphal, but Picasso reportedly said, “When I was three I painted like Rembrandt, and now I paint like this.” Picasso mastered his craft before he (knowingly) broke its rules. The parallel with poetry: there is a difference between deliberately leaving a poem unpunctuated, and not knowing how to punctuate a poem.

        Your own poetry is quite accomplished. I always read it, and I am always instructed by it. I think you are more seasoned than you admit. :-)

        1. Marie Therese Knepper

          I had never enjoyed reading Shakespeare’s work until I started taking my own writing seriously.
          What I take away from your words is that I need to see as well as feel.

  16. drnurit

    Don’t Blame the Ways of the World…

    By: Dr. Nurit Israeli

    Don’t blame the distance.
    With your eyes closed,
    move inward. Summon the
    image of the place we loved
    and meet me there.

    Don’t blame the passing years.
    Rewind. Hold on to the part
    of us that was magic.
    Weave threads of good
    memories into your tapestry.
    Feel Earth move again.

    Don’t flee the empty rooms.
    Stay. Let the emptiness linger
    beside you like a shadow.
    The way out is
    through the longings.
    Learn to love them too.

    Don’t let the rough winds
    blow you here and there
    over seas of despair.
    Dive beneath the ashes
    to recover the beauty
    you still remember.

    Don’t blame the silence.
    Or me. Or you.
    Or the ways of the world.
    Go past the blame
    to what is still pure and
    untouched in yourself.

    Summon up memories and
    arrange them like a curator.
    Crop. Enhance. Retouch.
    Let the images move you.
    Replay. Revisit. Relive.
    Sense the wonder. Savor
    the offerings of the past.

    1. TomNeal

      Dive beneath the ashes
      to recover the beauty
      you still remember.

      As I have mentioned before, there is a healthy minded quality to all of the poetry you have posted- it’s a Wordsworthian quality I admire.

      This poem has something to offer both the occasional and the critical reader. The lines above illustrate my point. The surface reading is easily understood (and satisfying), but there is more. The reader is urged to “recover” “the beauty”. To “recover” is to return to a normal state [of mind]. Ashes are often linked to death and destruction. One need only consider “ashes to ashes” in the funeral service, or the horror of WW2. These lines challenge the reader to reject these seeming realities as the ultimate reality. However to do this one needs to reject despair and “still” “remember” (to become mindful/aware once again of past). The memory is still there, but it must be brought to mind (“summon up memories”. This is a poem that will richly repay the one who puts a little extra effort into its reading it.

      Well done!

      1. TomNeal

        The memory is still there, but it must be brought to mind (“summon up memories”). This is a poem that will richly repay the one who puts a little extra effort into its reading.

      2. PressOn

        As I have been doing. This poem invites re-reading, I think; and yet its most memorable lines, so to speak, are the one-word sentences (or commands) interspersed throughout. I think it’s excellent.

        1. drnurit

          Thank you very much, William, for taking the time to not only read but re-read, and for your interesting comment regarding the one-word sentences: I just re-read the poem myself and noticed the passionate intensity of my gentle “commands”.

      3. drnurit

        Once again, Tom, thank you very much for taking the time to illuminate my words for me. True, I am pulled by a duality of simplicity and complexity in poetry: a surface reading of person-to-person messages − using simply words to portray recognizable human experiences, combined with more compound and more subtle levels of meanings. Personally, you summarized my life philosophy more eloquently than I could: continually moving in the direction of the light – while embracing all that was, and while remembering that the way out has to pass through the dark rooms… I am truly grateful for your support and for your very wise interpretations.

      4. PKP

        Tom – Beautiful and insightful commentary… I agree whole-heartedly. Nurit is slowly beginning to acknowledge what a truly magnificent talent she does possess – absolutely Wordsworthian quality. :)

  17. PressOn


    I think that the process of blaming
    is sort of a process of gaming:
    if all can suspect me
    no god can protect me
    from foul and persnickety naming.

  18. Marie Therese Knepper

    Blame It On The Bossa Nova II
    credit to RuthieShev

    I read a poem the other day
    a poem that took on a life of its own
    and squatted in my subconsciousness

    Ruthie said Blame It On The Bossa Nova
    so that’s what I did, and still do,
    as even now I hear the refrain over and over and over again –
    Blame it on the Bossa Nova.

    I’m distraught and distracted
    wondering if Weil and Mann foresaw
    their Bossa on the Poet’s Top 40

    I do thank you, Ruthie,
    for helping me recall precious memories and
    pleasing rhythms. If you’d chosen a Beiber song
    I’d be singing a far different tune

  19. taylor graham

    for Elihu Burritt, 1863

    You walked seven hundred miles
    to the northern shore at Caithness to find – what?
    a common granary built of sacred stone;
    the House of John O’Groats demolished to create
    a storehouse for threshed grain.

    Imagine a family of eight grown men bickering
    like baby-twins in bibs over who sits where
    at the table. It almost turned celebration
    into feud. John’s solution: an octagonal house
    with a door on each side, octagonal table
    where eight could equally eat, drink, be merry.

    Mythic walls dismantled now for a granary.
    You walked so far to get here, and you won’t be
    disheartened. In your mind, you pencil-in
    the old foundation, all that’s left of a house
    dedicated to peace and good sense.
    You fill your pockets with “Groatie buckies” –
    discarded cowry-shells that once held life.

  20. lionetravail

    Blame Sex

    I find that I look with distaste,
    at the fat which is bulging my waist.
    And my two kissing thighs
    have near doubled in size-
    Why? ‘Cause I only run when I’m chaste!

  21. TPN

    Been reading all your great poems for a while. Thanks for those! This is my first post.

    Family Tree

    I blame every sodden ancestor,
    Their improbable romance.
    Their fates decided by the stars and,
    Future set by circumstance

    With an ‘n’ for their generation,
    Two raised to the nth degree.
    So many are their ordered ranks, they’re
    Practically infinity.

    With their genes a muddled cocktail drink,
    Just a dash of this and that.
    Thinning hair at twenty-eight? Their fault!
    I guess I’ll just wear a hat.


  22. Bruce Niedt

    Blame Game
    (after “The Name Game” by Shirley Ellis)

    The Blame Game!

    Obama, bama, bo-ama,
    bonana fana fo-fama,
    fee fy mo-mama,

    Boehner, Boehner, bo-aner,
    bonana fana fo-feigner
    fee fy mo-maner,

    Come on everybody, let’s play a game!
    It doesn’t really matter who you blame,
    as long as you sit around wasting time
    calling names to this silly rhyme!

    Mitch, Mitch, bo-bitch,
    bonana fana fo-fitch
    fee fy – mo-itch,

    Nancy Nancy, bo-bancy,
    bonana fana fo-fancy,
    fee fy mo-mancy,

    Now it really shouldn’t come to you as a shock
    when your government shuts down in gridlock,
    It shouldn’t be a really big surprise
    ‘cos everyone’s forgotten how to compromise!

    Now let’s do Liberals!
    Liberals, liberals, bo-biberals,
    bonana fana fo-fiberals,
    fee fy, mo-miberals,

    How about Fox News!
    Fox, Fox, bo-box,
    bonana fana, fo-ox,
    fee fy, mo-mox,

    Now let’s try Congress!
    Congress, Congress, bo-bongress,
    bonana fana fo-fongress,
    fee fy mo-mongress,

    The Blame…Game!

  23. James Von Hendy

    Blame Subscription Dept.

    Dear Subscriber,
    Don’t blame us for subscribing to Blame.
    You have only yourself to blame.

    Dear Subscriber,
    Your free, introductory issue
    Is not “free.” You didn’t read
    The fine print, did you? It’s not our fault
    Your eyesight is failing.
    We clearly state that once
    You take on blame, it costs
    Your life savings, as if you had any,
    And whose fault is that?

    Dear Subscriber,
    Our collection agency is not
    “Hounding” you. Who is it
    That hasn’t paid up
    For that lifetime subscription?
    We suggest you use our “free” gift
    To find out.

    Dear Subscriber,
    You blame us for misprinting
    Your name on a letter to the editor? Look
    At the signature of the letter
    We printed. Is it your name? No.
    You think you’re the only one
    Who blames Congress even though
    Your own representative
    Is flawless? So do the voters
    In the other 434 congressional districts,
    So who’s to blame now?

    Dear Subscriber,
    You say we sent you the wrong
    Free introductory gift? You’re telling us this now?
    You’re getting forgetful, aren’t you?
    You already own the Blame Game.

    Dear Subscriber,
    Blame our third-party vendor
    All you want for shipping you
    Your free gift in several broken pieces.
    From the blurry photos you sent
    They blame you for incompetence.
    You have all the pieces.
    Pick one up. Do you see yourself
    In the fragment of mirror? Good,
    Blame is a shattering experience,
    And now you know who’s to blame.

  24. Brett_MeaninglessExtension

    Blame is a road I live on.

    Blame is a road I live on, right next to Easy Street,
    My building built on shaky foundations
    and not of good concrete.

    For years I had the address, ‘Strong man in Comfort Zone’
    I ignored the signs, ‘This Area Condemned!’
    woke one day alone.

    I light one more cigarette, knock back a toast to Blame,
    Remembering when life was good and I played a winning game.


  25. Benjamin Thomas


    Blame it on the countenance
    Of the cloud…
    Inflated greyness,
    Spat it’s rain,
    In cold hard chains
    Garden beds
    Makes steady
    At the wish
    Of mother nature.

    Benjamin Thomas

  26. LCaramanna

    Blame Video Games

    Not one book read cover to cover,
    not one essay written intro to conclusion,
    not one homework assignment handed in complete.
    Not one bike ride pedaled in the wind,
    not one lawn mowed in the sunshine,
    not one dog walked in the evening twilight.
    With one unmade bed,
    one stack of dirty dishes in the sink,
    one can of soda and a bag of chips on the coffee table,
    eyes focused on the graphics,
    hands engaged in combat,
    this child has not one moment to spare.
    Blame video games for things left undone

    Lorraine Caramanna

    1. Clae

      I managed to play video games as well as succeed in school and work. Still play video games, and still read many books and write many poems and work hard. I know some people are like this poem, though, and it’s well written, but- I’d blame the gamer not the games.

  27. Amaria

    “Blame Beauty”

    I blame beauty
    for my demise
    as I tried to
    reach its lofty goals

    I so wanted
    to claim that prize
    I threw caution
    away like a fool

    And now I lay
    in this state of
    beauty that will
    all decay in time

  28. Nancy Posey

    Blame the Moon

    Go on and blame the moon signs,
    sun spots, star dust..
    Something made me
    take that particular turn
    at that particular time,
    look your way, catch your eye.

    Blame Fate with a capital F
    or that devious Cupid,
    so innocent on Valentine cards,
    chubby baby all cheeks, all pink,
    intent on mischief,
    unlikely pairings,
    unexpected consequences.

    Blame nature or nurture,
    brain or brawn,
    call it destiny, genetics,
    cold calculation
    that just when my heart
    needed mending,
    and your life needed meaning

    I remembered
    that I forgot my phone,
    turned on my heels
    and ran into you,
    no metaphor involved,
    and you stopped
    and stooped
    to pick up my bags
    and papers,
    chased a few caught
    in wind gusts
    blowing like ghosts
    down Mobile Street.

    There’s a man,
    I said to myself,
    who knows
    how to clean up a mess,
    how to fix broken things.
    What’s the chance
    he might like to work
    on me?

  29. lionetravail

    Blame Time

    not the great leveler but a henchman
    inplacable, inexorable
    midwife to every grain of sand
    and Kevorkian to every relevance

    the curator of history
    and mute witness to every story
    taken for granted
    its passing only noted when it doesn’t fly

    without physical form
    but integral to physics forms
    it can weigh heavily on the hands
    or but lightly upon the mind

    slippery it evades grasp by winding ahead like a river
    trailing ravages behind which flutter on the wind of its passing

  30. taylor graham


    who appeared suddenly
    in your head. Why are you staring?
    he asked. Have you never
    seen a sable shadow pause between
    dry creek and fence line,
    under the overhead human roar
    of traffic on the bridge?
    You think you can capture my mind
    with your brain, force me into
    your cumbersome language.
    Shall I laugh, as when I saw your
    sister dancing with horses in the moon-
    light? She stopped to listen
    to me laugh, so she could put me in a
    poem. But I’m the shadow
    of the ink running across the page.

    1. TomNeal

      She stopped to listen
      to me laugh, so she could put me in a
      poem. But I’m the shadow
      of the ink running across the page.

      The whole of the poem is superb but its ending lines are the best.

  31. Debi Swim

    Blame it on the Poets

    Many voices
    many stories
    many hurts
    many truths
    all common to
    and specific
    to individuals
    speaking of
    ordinary things
    in extraordinary ways
    giving conscience
    and soul
    a kick in the pants
    a reason to live
    a reason to love
    shouts, whispers, harangues,
    pleads, bleeds,
    across the page
    that we are all human.

  32. TomNeal

    Blame it on the plebes*

    My spirit falls like a dead wasp when I behold
    Foul plebes at work and how
    They chase after money without pride-
    Unashamed of enterprise and
    Profit- these low born cheese eaters invite the ruin
    Of our social order: they will
    Destroy all social deference- evil will befall.

    Inspired by a line found in Ezra Pound’s sonnet “Rome”
    Behold how pride and ruin can befall

    *Dedicated to all who chase money in order
    to provide for those they love, and to the privileged few
    who sanctimoniously reject the “money metric”.

    . . . much of what is called charity contains so much vanity,
    self-applause, and veiled contempt that it cannot help but be resented.
    C.S. Lewis

    1. PressOn

      Your “dead wasp” caught and held my attention right away. I love how you took “plebe” back to its older use. The thoughtfulness here belies its appearance as a rant, or so it seems to me.

    2. dhaivid3

      The end “- evil will befall” reminds me of the movie ‘Julius Caesar’ which I first saw decades ago as a child. The characters in the film were so emphatic and authoritative in the way they expressed themselves.

      Nice poem, serious message.

  33. Cyrelia J

    This got a touch weird…

    Blame Me, Abel

    I can never go home-
    doomed to walk the world alone,
    and When in Rome
    I Promise every plundered
    sick senate sundered
    gold glistened fever
    to become a believer.

    I say
    “Way hey,
    If you pray-
    blow the false idols away-
    if you cast aside skeptical scrutiny
    for candy Cain mutiny
    and blame sin
    when you cannot win
    then my little pigs will let you in.”

    And I watch the night’s certain
    closed casket funeral curtain
    cloak kings and queens
    and shadow us in dreams’
    infinite tsukiyomi
    where at last no one knows me
    stripping my bitter bacteriophage
    from every Alexandrian page.

    I don’t want to wake up
    I don’t want reason
    like every exposed season
    to turn an unclean
    Petrarchian jelly bean green
    and bring forth from the dark
    the true covenant ark
    -the lucid nightmares
    of gummi light bears.

  34. Kuheli.S

    Blame the knowledge

    knew well Who i was, when
    Proud mother cheering with the Crowd
    it’s Done as was anticipated, but
    still felt the hollow-heart


    crowd gone, mother gone, days and years gone with
    and i
    Blame the knowledge
    for not knowing Why ‘m Here

    1. PressOn

      This poem displays a lot more creativity than I possess, but for me the lack of punctuation, the shifting use of case, and the varied line lengths all accentuate “not knowing Why ‘m Here.”

  35. Jane Shlensky

    Blame is at Fault
    (after William Carlos Williams)

    Stuff happens, though we do our best.
    We yawn or sneeze and fail a test.
    A buzzing fly annoys, distracts
    until we compromise, relax.

    A fellow to the fridge might come
    not looking for a chilly plum.
    But there it is, fat, purple, smiling.
    Is it my fault if it’s beguiling?

    Perfection is unlikely kin.
    We’ve screwed up everywhere we’ve been.
    And who’s to say an errant itch
    is not a case of bait and switch?

    Does someone really need be blamed?
    Is life improved if I’ve been shamed?
    I’ll tell you what brings us to naught:
    our need to blame! Blame is at fault!

    I say this knowing well that crime
    so often lacks reason or rhyme.
    Plum theft was not malicious
    but my, they were delicious.

  36. icandootoo

    Not my best, but it’s exactly what came to me for this prompt, so here you go:

    Blame Game

    I lose, you lose
    when I choose –
    and I choose —
    to blame
    ‘Theys’ and ‘You’s,
    and anyone –
    except Myself.
    for anything —
    For lack of wealth,
    For lack of sun,
    For lack of fun.
    I blow my fuse,
    In this lame game,
    And heap abuse –
    I heap abuse—
    And we all lose.

    1. Marie Therese Knepper

      I feel that many writers and poets get caught up in using a plethora of flourishing words to the detriment of their written work. There is beauty in simplicity. Your words perfectly represented the foolishness of playing the blame game. Simple words; complex ideas.
      Well done :)

  37. shethra77

    Blame Some Prehistoric Butterfly

    It seems
    some evil lurks in my genes.
    It’s not my fault
    my oldest child has asthma. But…
    The twins’ severe gluten allergy is
    not my fault. But …

    What if
    some bits of me,
    combined with his,
    produced their problems?
    This blood so safe to donate
    makes poison in my children’s veins.

    Then there are
    our middle daughter’s seizures.
    Not my fault, nor his, nor anybody’s.
    But Lord! How I wish I had
    besides myself and evil genes
    to blame.

    1. James Von Hendy

      Great comments all on a poem that so strongly conveys the sense of pain, guilt, and inner turmoil. Also the twist that “logic” says it’s not your fault, but you can’t let go of self-blame. How painfully true.

  38. usedname

    First poem entry, please critique is welcome, leave comments if you wish.

    Blame (noun)/bleim/

    responsibility for a fault or wrong,
    the melancholy of my hearts song,
    the start of tears, as your strained
    voice fills my ears,
    a stagnant memory that cannot be displaced,

    “How could you!”

    hot nights slick with sweat,
    out of deep slumber comes regret,
    I churn inside as I face the wall,
    my home cannot be mine
    my bed to large
    my heart too empty
    without you there,

    Child services called,

    It is my sin to remember,
    itchy skin, numb fingers,
    wrong number,
    god damn it wrong number,
    cold coffee,
    quiet table.

    You said you can never forgive me,
    and neither can I,
    For the blame is mine.

    1. Marie Therese Knepper

      You’ve taken a serious subject matter and made it eerily beautiful. Your choice of words leapt from my computer screen, compelling me to fellow feeling. I’m finding it a challenge to pull away.
      Very well done, imo. :)

  39. Sara McNulty

    Blame Fame

    Innocence of a young girl,

    clear-eyed, red-cheeked,

    with vocal cords that fill

    the sky, melt hearts,

    evoke tears. She is steered

    in the right direction

    by an agent whose intention is

    to make her famous. And he does.

    She becomes a teenage temptress,

    idol to young girls everywhere.

    Stared at and fantasized by boys

    and men. Within a year, she has

    it all–fifteen, and she is

    a rock ‘n roll queen with no where

    to go but up. And she does.

    Higher and higher for new thrills. Drop

    alcohol for pills. Snort here, shoot up

    there, until she spirals out of control–

    out of life. No one taught her how

    to handle fame.

      1. lionetravail

        Love the ‘vocal cords can fill the sky’…. and the message. Personal talent is no substitute for good parenting or the development of discipline, after all. Wonderful.

  40. restless1

    Blame is Easy

    A word
    A way to think

    We use it
    Love it sometimes
    to save ourselves
    from reality

    A savior, perhaps
    A scapegoat, likely
    What use does it have

    If there’s no one to blame
    or nothing to do
    except feel
    Then why do we blame at all?

  41. taylor graham


    His hands shook as he held the cup.
    Café con leche seemed to warm him, took him
    back someplace he’d never mentioned
    before. Dark woods above the river, unnatural
    glow through oak, cottonwood and willow.
    Past nightfall, tricky walking. He should have
    been home by now. Exhausted, unlucky,
    ready to vacate the place, as his hunting buddies
    had. What kept him? Some wish to redeem
    the day. And now, to reconcile those mystery
    lights that drew him. No one here –
    no flashlight beam, no flare of butane
    lighter. He crept closer,
    the phosphorescence – if that’s what it
    was – faded when he moved,
    illumined when he lay still. He fired
    a shot. Rush of wings. Near shore,
    the wounded heron. Its glow was gone.

  42. lionetravail

    Blame Game

    They rub and chafe, rocks in a sack,
    and stab with words; they have the knack
    to make them hurt each other bad.
    They know just what to say to add
    more pain on top; it’s ruin’s wrack

    they seek to cause. They don’t hold back,
    they’re keeping score and keeping track
    of every slight which made them mad:
    they inflict pain for ruin’s wrack.

    They never feel empathy’s lack,
    as, screaming, they will each attack.
    It is the game which makes me sad
    to know the wasted lives they’ve had.
    But blame’s the blade with which they hack
    their way to pain and ruin’s wrack.

  43. Zebulon

    Blame Gravity

    Of all the forces in the universe
    gravity would be the weakest, they say.
    Said, of course, while spinning
    pinned to surfaces despite
    earth’s centrifugal notion
    of throwing us all deep into space
    like billions of tiny hail mary’s.
    Yet we still struggle against gravity.
    We battle its pull with fabrication
    and again we’re a collective,
    or so it always seems to be,
    devilishly ambiguous, dangling
    from the end of the poem like comma

  44. Evelyn Philipp

    It wasn’t his fault
    he was angry
    and afraid,
    and it was too much
    to bear, losing his friend.

    Hot tears running, running

    And then he took a short step
    that took him away, far enough
    that he won’t be found.

    Blame slides off
    teflon hearts.
    We didn’t know
    they said.

    1. Evelyn Philipp

      Blame Global Warming

      It wasn’t his fault
      he was angry
      and afraid,
      and it was too much
      to bear, losing his friend.

      Hot tears running, running

      And then he took a short step
      that took him away, far enough
      that he won’t be found.

      Blame slides off
      teflon hearts.
      We didn’t know,
      they said, moving on
      to the next hot spot.

      1. Zebulon

        I really really liked the idea of linking (poetically) global warming as a metaphor for increasing depression/suicide, but I just wanted to get more climate terminology in there. There’s room to expand this a little to really hit that idea home too. Just, you know, don’t go overboard or turn it into a pun poem, only another maybe two nods to climate. (note, styrofoam hearts might fit in with the climate change metaphor? maybe? just an idea) But also, do whatever you want to with the poem. :) Of course that’s always first and foremost.

      2. Evelyn Philipp

        Blame Global Warming

        It wasn’t his fault
        he was angry
        and afraid,
        and it was too much
        to bear, losing his friend.

        Hot tears running, running

        And then he took a short step
        that took him away, far enough
        that he won’t be found

        Even after the storm passes.

        Blame slides off
        styrofoam hearts.
        We didn’t know,
        they said, moving on
        to the next hot spot.

  45. Domino

    Blame the Dark

    The hours when thoughts grow deeper;
    wayward, sometimes whimsical.
    They wander into fantasy
    and invention, conceiving possible
    nightmares and delusions and fancies.
    Long nights when sleep is elusive
    and illogical visions seem persuasive and real.
    Thoughts like empty rooms
    echoing with thunder.
    Lost memories come to roost:
    blaming, scorching, bleeding,
    mangling, crippling, shattering.
    Resistant hearts struggle
    quail, agonize, quiver, weep,
    wait, longing for some release:
    sleep or day
    or death.

  46. RuthieShev

    Blame It On The Bossa Nova

    Blame it on the Bossa Nova
    The monkey, swim and Stroll
    On top of that the Mashed Potatoes
    So much fun to lose control

    Chubby Checkers gave us the twist
    Moving hips from side to side
    The Limbo Rock and then the pony
    But I took them all in stride

    Blame it on the jitterbug
    Rockin’ when Elvis was the king
    Turning and then dipping
    Like the moving cha cha swing

    Blame it on the Chicken Dance
    Watusi and Electric Slide
    How about do the Freddy
    Moving arms from side to side

    Everybody try the locomotion
    You should give it a chance
    Fell in love with my husband
    Dirty Dancing to romance

    YMCA shake and Shimmy
    Hokey Pokey and the Jerk
    Running man and the Hustle
    I’ve been known to go berserk

    Blame it on those silly dances
    From the years of solid gold
    Could they be the reason
    Golden years aren’t really gold

    All that movin’ and a groovin’
    Kicking heels and doing dips
    Caused the pain and the achin’
    In these old and worn out hips

    But if I had it to do over
    I wouldn’t change a thing
    Because nothing can replace
    The memories that a dance can bring.

    By Ruth Crowell Shevock

  47. JRSimmang


    On the stone outcropping (overlooking the divergent rivers),
    my memory and stubbornness grappled. “You’ve got it all wrong!”
    said Stubbornness willfully. “You can’t move on,” said sad Memory.

    -JR Simmang

  48. De Jackson

    Blame the Blue

    This hue that bleeds
    into both vein and bone,
    this indigo tone that goes
    deep, seeps and stays.

    Blame the sapphire
    for this burning, yearning
    heart, all its violent stops
    and starts.

    Blame the cobalt ink
    for the way it spills, the
    edges it fills and fools
    and frays.

    Blame the turquoise time,
    the way it ticks and
    sandy-sticks between
    your toes.

    Blame the blatant sky,
    the wandered why
    and azured suppose
    of all things tamed.

    Blame the sea,
    the Lake and me
    for every long last
    violet ache.


  49. JRSimmang


    The window broke itself right near me,
    implicating me, allegedly.
    Now, I tell you true; I’ll not lie to you.
    Wait! What’s that over there? Look! Quickly!

    -JR Simmang

  50. Cynthia Page

    Blame it on the Heart

    It’s a shame
    the way blame
    is passed around

    like a sound
    in the night
    causing fright.

    We run away
    call it a day
    and disassociate

    proliferated hate
    from its sources
    running like horses

    through our discourses
    usually civil.
    Insane drivel

    seems to target
    the heart. It
    digs in deep

    where envy sleeps
    beside the needs
    a person heeds

    more than logic
    when life turns tragic.

    1. PressOn

      The use of short lines gives me the feeling of short breaths, as might occur in tightly controlled rage or sadness. The logic/tragic off-rhyme gives me the sense of “enough already.” Marvellous poem.

  51. dhaivid3

    Poem Title: No title yet for this one

    It’s Friday night and nothing’s done
    The Moon has chased away the Sun
    My empty room’s a prison cell
    My pillow’s where all my dreams fell

    My wall clock tick-tocks on its way
    While my own day just fades away
    I sit and stare and wait for morn
    And wonder how I’d missed my dawns

    Oh what a wasted life I’ve led
    Inside my flat and in my head
    These walls of four surround my space
    The cranium wall that forms my face

    I sit and stare as Monday comes
    It skips o’er cities and o’er slums
    I lock my door to join the throng
    And wonder where it all went wrong

    1. TomNeal

      I lock my door to join the throng
      And wonder where it all went wrong

      I think this is in the spirit, but not the style of some of Eliot’s early work.

      For instance:

      One thinks of all the hands
      That are raising dingy shades
      In a thousand furnished rooms.

  52. Marie Therese Knepper

    Blame It On My Imaginary Friend

    Starving children good for little else than
    fly rests
    when Supersize Me is the go to
    it cause
    And landfills ooze pustules of greed’s
    left overs
    Blame it on my imaginary friend.

    Land barons old and new detest
    the poor
    Better to have them on the streets than
    reduce rent
    or dare I say take a loss in your
    profit margin
    Just blame my imaginary friend.

    Murder capitals of the world
    make news
    Terrorists concoct busy plans to
    fuse bombs
    while politicians shake hands behind
    closed doors
    It’s all my friend’s fault.

    There’s more than enough food for all
    to eat
    Greed and vice two things easily
    shut down
    along with murder, all begin in
    the heart
    of people who are not my friend.

    A little introspection goes a
    long way
    and is contagious when the public
    catches on
    the remodeled consciousness gets
    to work
    on becoming better friends.

    When that day comes there’ll be no one
    to blame
    except the nonconformists who
    stand alone
    isolated in some remote
    rusty cell
    Would you care to have lunch?

  53. priyajane

    Pointy Fingers
    In that tiny space between vertebrae
    old words, swollen and damp
    have found a hiding place
    They ooze a dull ache
    pointing fingers at me
    I twist and turn
    trying to apologize
    in mindful poses
    It’s not working-
    they are digging a tunnel
    into that cave
    beneath my sternum !

  54. barbara_y


    Blame is the barest flag
    of toilet paper. Blame is
    that bridge to nowhere;
    the glare preceding; fire
    in the kitchen and none
    in the bed. Blame is a
    prig, and self-righteous;
    wishes you sour milk,
    moths in your Cheerios.
    Crusades, feuds, wars
    are blame’s partheno-
    genetic foreplay. Let it
    in, it will bludgeon you
    with an ugly ash tray.

  55. Nancy Posey

    Blame Anyone but Me
    (A Parent Passes the Buck)

    It’s not my fault, I blame TV,
    those awful books they made them read,
    those other people’s children who
    made mine think what they did was right.
    It’s not my fault.

    It’s not my fault, I did my best.
    Don’t blame me if I took the time
    to do my thing, to have my fun.
    No one can parent all day long.
    It’s not my fault.

    It’s not my fault, Society’s to blame
    for making wrong seem right,
    for glorifying Powerball
    and beer, for legalizing pot.
    It’s not my fault.

    It’s not my fault. I’ve heard debates
    of nature’s, nuture’s influence.
    My own good genes contribute, sure,
    but in the outside world, who knows?
    It’s not my fault.

    It’s not my fault. The media,
    celebrities, rock bands and such
    contribute to the decadence,
    make crime seem cool, make
    wealth the goal. I did my best.
    It’s not my fault.

    1. Marie Therese Knepper

      The burdens that a parent bears are most often overlooked. Your poem expresses some of these burdens in a very powerful way. Of course, if you addressed every parental burden we’d have no room for other posts!
      Well done. :)

  56. candy

    Blame It On The Cows

    I traded in my gas guzzler
    for something compact and
    efficient with no room to
    haul anything except a few
    grocery bags.
    I recycle and compost and
    have switched to biodegradable
    I strung a rope between two
    poles in the backyard to dry
    my laundry – just like grandma.
    I buy local and carry reusable
    totes for my spinach and rutabaga.
    But the cows, oh the cows,
    with their placid faces and ambling
    gait have done nothing to reduce their carbon footprint.
    They munch on grasses and then
    with seeming innocence with toots
    and belches expel methane.
    I’m doing my part.
    You can just blame it on the cows.

  57. creativedreamer_

    Blame the pain

    i hurt
    so i make them hurt
    to hide the pain
    or maybe i just blame it
    for the way that i am
    but really, if i wanted i could change,
    if i just put away the blame.

  58. bigbluemug

    Blame Me

    Blame me,
    If you must,
    For burnt toast days,
    For wrinkled shirts,
    For lazy ways,
    For spoilt milk,
    For unmowed grass,
    For dusty shelves,
    For tarnished brass,
    For restless nights,
    For morning breath —
    For all life’s miseries…

    But not for death.

  59. RJ Clarken

    Blame It On Someone Else

    “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you place the blame.” ~Oscar Wilde

    My favorite miscreants, you see,
    are I Don’t Know and Wasn’t Me!
    They never take the blame for stuff
    like breaking things, and other guff.
    How nice to live life so guilt-free.

    So if I take a page from them,
    I’m not to blame – at least, pro tem.
    It’s no fun (culpability) –
    just fills me with hostility.
    I’ll pass the buck. And then…ahem…

    …if dinner’s burnt or things are not
    quite right, I won’t say, “I forgot.”
    Instead, I’ll point a finger and
    blame someone else, you understand.
    The essence here is: don’t get caught.

    See, winning? Losing? Eh, who cares,
    when someone else might do repairs.
    I think that quote by Oscar Wilde
    defines how I should be self-styled:
    It’s not my fault! It’s really theirs!


    1. PressOn

      Thanks for this, and the Wilde quote. I didn’t know it existed, but it’s a lot more serviceable than the other one. I love the “so there” tone that runs through your poem.

    2. writinglife16

      Fabulous! The Wilde quote surprised me and love the line about winning, losing who cares. It is profound on many levels. Certainly explains my aversion to competition. :)

  60. DanielR

    I stand at the one-lane bridge
    floating above five mile creek
    in the jumping off place
    where I watched you become a memory
    melting into the wind
    and fluttering away like a butterfly.
    And there isn’t enough blame to go around.

    Daniel Roessler

    1. drnurit

      where I watched you become a memory
      melting into the wind
      and fluttering away like a butterfly.

      Powerful image. Sad but beautifully captured…

  61. Connie Peters

    Blame the Cat

    I know I’m supposed to be
    painting with words,
    making music with meter,
    providing silky images
    or those prodding like a poker,
    but my cat chirps for attention,
    dancing around my computer,
    brushing against me
    until at last she nestles on my belly,
    purring contentedly,
    allowing my fingers
    to wiggle out from underneath her,
    like little crabs scurrying to the ocean
    to write this bit of poem.

  62. Azma


    Been living with it for years-
    blames of yours
    Been dealing with your nuisances
    and your want to be cross
    Part of your routine it is
    not bothered by the way you scoff
    Like dust settled on our pictures
    which you can just blow off
    I’ve seen your finger point before
    stop wagging it already
    You say you’d be happier
    if I’d let you be free
    But You’d never have gotten so far
    if it wasn’t for me

    -Azma Sheikh

    1. BDP

      Blame and scoffs becoming “dust settled on our pictures”–a good image. Furthered by the line “which you can just blow off.” An insight into a certain kind of relationship.

  63. annell

    If Only
    The morning wakes
    The colors blue
    Pink and lavender
    Promises of a summer morn
    Again all is still

    In the beginning
    I felt guilt about everything
    What I should have done
    Could have done
    If only things had been different
    With your help
    I realized guilt was a waste
    Of time… and energy
    A wasteland where I didn’t
    Want to dwell

    I had to forgive myself
    I did what I could
    As best I could
    There is no blame
    I loved you
    And you loved me
    Both the same
    You were my only child
    And I gave you all my love
    You awoke and were surprised
    To see me there
    Surprised I had come
    I knew you were sick
    But did not see with ‘real’ eyes
    That it would be the last time
    You stepped gracefully
    From the scene
    Left me there all alone
    Each day I grieve your absence
    There is no blame
    For you and me

    July 9, 2014

  64. PressOn


    The Brooklyn Dodgers used to play
    at Ebbets Field, back in the day
    before L.A., before the lights,
    with lots of fun and lots of fights
    when baseball was the American way.

    Their victories were held at bay
    by daffiness and many a fray
    that gave their fans so many frights.
    The Brooklyn Dodgers

    often lost, but what the hey,
    they still had Frenchie Bordagaray;
    and even when they reached the heights,
    they’d lose at last, and need last rites.
    How I miss that old cliche:
    the Brooklyn Dodgers.

    1. BDP

      A rondeau about the Brooklyn Dodgers–how fun! And from what I’ve read elsewhere, accurate. You managed to use Bordagaray! Love “and even when they reached the heights, / they’d lose at last, and need last rites.” :)

  65. PowerUnit

    Dear Neighbours

    They raise their hands and plead innocence
    Our neighbor’s kid did it
    Or one of his so called friends
    Maybe it was that man who throws bundles of junk advertisement
    Into our driveways, at four in the morning
    Could it be those door to door evangelists?
    I wouldn’t put it past them
    Never trust a man in a suit
    Walking a suburban street, with no sidewalks
    To keep one on the straight and narrow
    In our topsy-curvy suburban zoo
    It can’t be the milkman
    Do they even exist anymore?
    Or the mailman
    Our group drop boxes killed that acquaintance

    His eyes greet mine as I raise my hands
    The responsible culprit
    The unpicked lettuce eater
    The muncher of green and yellow beans
    The stomper of unripe potatoes
    The ignorer of hanging bags of Irish Spring
    His nostrils flare
    His demon eyes glare
    His devilish stumps tell me all I need to know
    He is young, strong, and hungry
    He needs the food more than me
    His survival in my jungle depends on it