Editors Blog

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 276

If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out my announcement of the 2015 Poet’s Market. (Click here.)

For this week’s prompt, write a news poem. When I’m really in a creative rut, there’s one constant source of new ideas for me: the news! There are the big headlines; there’s the sports page, the comics, and the advertisements. One of my former professors (James Cummins) would have us read the “News of the Weird” for ideas. There’s always plenty happening in the world to prompt a poem.

Note of caution: Remember that news is (or should be) impartial. The poems inspired by the news need not be. That said, please be respectful of each other’s views and opinions. Even when we don’t all agree on a topic, we should still listen with open minds and hearts.

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Here’s my attempt at a News Poem:

“5 Things to Start Your Day”

An American journalist
beheaded in a foreign land.

Water bottles provoked police
in demonstrations here at home.

A new Icelandic volcano
threatens to disrupt air travel.

Another patient is tested
for Ebola in the U.S.

Two cardinals and a goldfinch
have visited your bird feeder.

roberttwitterimage*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

A former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, Robert has been a featured poet at events across the country and is married to poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets. He’s written and shared more than 600 original poems on this blog over the years.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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204 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 276

  1. taylor graham

    TONIGHT’S NEWS

    The gray day darkened outside
    in spite of the gaudy lights of vending
    machines and, on the spot of dance-floor,
    a girl showing her partner a fandango
    while a trucker clapped along.
    If you walked out the swinging door
    and looked beyond the last lights
    of the outskirts, you might sense fields
    bedding down in the fragrance
    of alfalfa, with no one to witness
    but, above the clouds, the ever-waiting
    stars as gray day darkened into night.

  2. taylor graham

    IN THIS ROOM

    we’re all uncomfortable inside
    our skins. More like a deepening cry
    getting louder because we can’t
    hear it. As if one by one we lose a soul
    and still it doesn’t rain. All afternoon
    in the courtyard an old man has
    been whittling at a stick until a face
    emerges; maybe not pained, just
    broken down– no, displaced by surprise.
    Now he’s stringing the bow, content
    the sun is gone, the sky deep royal
    and every bright star a burned-out world.
    Inside that room was safe as some-
    thing that doesn’t know it’s breaking.
    Isn’t there a grace to letting go?

  3. BDP

    “Small Knots of Global News”

    A daughter tussles, luggage almost wins,
    while grandkid wearing knapsack half her height
    swings back with arm up, blind oma hooks in,
    the airport throngs, but three wade on, all’s right.

    The neighbor child’s leukemia still slights
    her thinning body, medicine’s skilled view
    redoubled when she smuggled (just last night)
    a redbud heartleaf for the aged prie-dieu.

    Her mom says this will jumpstart cure, a slew
    of shots plus hope. Which calls to mind a show:
    a boy untouchable transforms, is soothed,
    as Mercy’s Sister rubs his head, his soul,

    with water fingers, gutter urchin clean,
    his skin sparks through a pail and ladle sheen.

    –Barb Peters

  4. Bruce Niedt

    Slight editorial correction (i wish we could edit these entries!)

    Local News

    Somebody died in a fire.
    Somebody else died in a fire.
    Somebody died in a car crash.
    Somebody else died in a car crash.
    Somebody was shot dead on the street.
    Somebody’s missing child was found. She wasn’t alive.
    Some people died in an earthquake.
    Some more people died in a war.
    Some young celebrity died of an overdose.
    Some old celebrity died of natural causes.
    Somebody wants to sell you a car.

  5. Bruce Niedt

    Local News

    Somebody died in fire.
    Somebody else died in a fire.
    Somebody died in a car crash.
    Somebody else died in a car crash.
    Somebody was shot dead on the street.
    Somebody’s missing child was found. She wasn’t alive.
    Some people died in an earthquake.
    Some more people died in a war.
    Some young celebrity died of an overdose.
    Some old celebrity died of natural causes.
    Somebody wants to sell you a car.

  6. sjmcken

    NO NEWS
    My sum has little changed from then to now,
    undaunted by time’s wash or will’s avow;
    my trove of through-run traits still in ascend,
    in amber held as dewy fresh impend.
    This cache holds marks of earliest impress,
    embossings of this world’s deep first address,
    tracks laid through virgin fields of fertile soil
    that crowded elsewise from this mortal’s coil.
    My child yet young bent elderly perforce,
    she does still see and act without recourse;
    bespoken shapes arranged to her construes
    are holding forth the same through life; no news.
    The essence of the self is early wrought,
    the rest unreels the spool in afterthought.

  7. taylor graham

    SIX POINT ZERO

    I thought I had the day all prearranged. Except
    for my dream last night, garden-sprouts
    shooting from their beds so the ground quivered.
    Up before dawn, I dipped from the dark
    source for my first black cup of coffee,
    got set to check my calendar of obligations.
    Instead, the morning news came on: Earth had
    shaken herself seven miles underground,
    not so far from here. How could I have not felt
    it? On the TV screen, houses flaming, street-
    corners a scree of fallen bricks. And still,
    everyone got out alive. At the intersection of
    earthquake and angels, who knows what’s
    planned, what’s possible? How metaphor dances
    with what’s real, the everyday transformed
    to something utterly new.

    1. PressOn

      This resonates (no pun intended) with me; I recall California quakes. I esepcially love the associations that fly from “the intersection of / earthquake and angels.”

    2. shethra77

      My friend Gemma, who lives in Walnut Creek, said the earthquake wormed its way into her dreams without actually waking her, as well. I like “intersection of earthquake and angels” too.

  8. Jorc

    The news

    We paced, waiting

    Tension high, fear higher

    The accident had burned her

    Mom was hurt

    So many miles away

    We waited

    Would she lose it?

    Her arm?

    Would we lose her?

    When would we know?

    How many times

    Would we listen

    Just to make sure it worked

    That we didn’t miss this call

    Stare at it all day,

    But it would ring, when it did.

    And when it did, we got the news

    That my little brother

    Had passed away

    Jorc
    http://Www.emptygarden.wordpress.com

  9. MsGenuineLady

    We turn on the news and see the same thing,
    Playing over and over again,
    We get upset, yet, we cant erase past hate to elevate to place we have yet to create,
    We continuously mistake watching and talking about problems for finding solutions,
    Creating the illusion we are making a change,
    When in reality everything is still the same,
    We keep pointing fingers,
    Someone else is always to blame,
    We need to stop playing,
    Life is not a game,
    Hate can not fight hate,
    And war will never create peace,
    So please,
    If your looking for change,
    Turn of the tv,
    You wont find it in the news.

  10. TomNeal

    Newspeak

    It fell to my doctor to break the news
    About putting my affairs in order,
    Treatment options, hospice care, and the pain
    Management plan; the bureaucracy
    Of mortality- he reassured me
    That he would be with me at every step.
    He lied: I know he has no plans to cross
    The great divide with me; nor I with him.

    1. grcran

      wow, powerful… every doctor should be required to read this… I like: the way that pain and management are separated; “bureaucracy of mortality”; the last two lines… all of it… I’ve spread 5 ashes in 3 years… I think writers can help folks with this kind of pain better than doctors can…

    2. drnurit

      This “Newspeak” articulates, in words as matter-of-fact as the doctor’s “reassurance,” the painful “bureaucracy of mortality,” and the “great divide” between those struck by lightening and the ones in charge of healing or at least of bringing comfort. Thank you, Tom.

    3. BDP

      Nicely penned, TomNeal. The turning point of the poem: he lied. But not so for the narrator, whose turning point was discovery of mortal sickness (news broken to him). A doctor can only reassure so much (or newspeak so much), and by the poem’s end, the narrator seems accepting of that, but is he really? There’s something ominous about “nor I with him,” but perhaps that’s only me and what I bring to the reading.

  11. James Von Hendy

    strong>No News Is Good News

    For all I know it’s what his mother said
    To him, that, and back in the day
    When long distance was a premium
    You paid for, this must be costing you
    An arm and leg. But now it’s what
    He says to me when I tell him
    I have no news. An arm and a leg,
    And how many other body parts?

    He doesn’t say that, only that no news
    Is good news, as he always has,
    Tenuous relief palpable across
    The wire even in the face of live
    Streams half a nation and world away,
    Our daily dose of cruelty and harm.

    1. BDP

      James: the telephone and news go hand in hand, so linking the two in this poem brings to my mind so many images beyond what’s written. A phone call costing an arm and a leg–wow, that’s so right for way back when. And then, too, the news sometimes costs an arm and a leg, and many other body parts, literally. Cruelty and harm as a daily dose–no news is sometimes indeed good news. I enjoyed thinking about this poem.

    2. TomNeal

      When long distance was a premium
      You paid for, this must be costing you
      An arm and leg.

      I well remember the extortionate charges for calls I made to family in the States back in the day. It was so expensive that it was rarely used for more than delivering “bad news”- deaths and accidents. I must say I am pleased that calls made today are not limited to bad news.

      He doesn’t say that, only that no news
      Is good news, as he always has,
      Tenuous relief palpable across
      The wire

      Yes

  12. Arash

    Occupation of Palestine

    I heard of the occupation
    of Palestine for so many years
    and not know what it meant, thinking
    of gathering at my grandparents’ home,
    grownups laughing and drinking tea,
    us kids playing ball in the alley,
    and more relatives arriving with gifts
    of sweaters never the right size,
    plates of date, halva, oh and pies.
    We’d stop playing and drool a little
    at the sight of saffron pistachio brittle.

    More came and we always made room:
    we would bring in more chairs
    borrowed from the neighbors,
    we would bring in more food,
    we would bring with joy and grace,
    and sometimes later that night,
    when the stars shone bright
    down at me by the stairs,
    I would look up at the house
    full of voices and beating hearts
    thinking nothing could be worse
    of a house unoccupied,
    of the silence of deadness.

    Older now I realize
    there are things that could be worse:
    people fighting over homes
    lands housing angry eyes
    and people occupying Earth
    who seem to have forgotten
    we are here all as guests.
    But there’s no need for us to shop,
    our gifts pulsate deep inside.

    1. Arash

      sorry, the same poem I wrote ten minutes ago, had not edited it and forgot you can’t edit it once posted:

      Occupation of Palestine

      I heard of the occupation
      of Palestine for so many years,
      and not know what it meant, thinking
      of gathering at grandparents’ home,
      grownups laughing and drinking tea,
      us kids playing ball in the alley,
      and more relatives arriving with gifts
      of sweaters never the right size,
      plates of date, halva, oh and pies.

      We’d stop playing and drool a little
      at the sight of saffron pistachio brittle.

      More came and we always made room:
      we would bring in more chairs
      borrowed from the neighbors,
      we would bring in more food,
      always with grace and joy.

      And sometimes later that same night,
      when the stars shone bright
      down at me by the stairs,
      I would look up at the house
      full of voices and beating hearts,
      thinking nothing could be worse
      of a house unoccupied,
      of the silence of deadness.

      Older now I realize
      there are things that could be worse:
      people fighting over homes,
      lands housing angry eyes,
      and people occupying Earth
      who seem to have forgotten
      we are here all as guests.
      But there’s no need for us to shop,
      our gifts pulsate deep inside.

      1. shethra77

        I love your expression of hope, and the loving memories of visits of relatives normally distant. “our gifts pulse deep inside” –they are your heart. Wonderful.

  13. Jane Shlensky

    The Weight of News
    August 20, 2014

    A beloved yogi died at 95,
    a lovely man by all accounts,
    joined in death by a brave
    reporter, beheaded by terrorists
    who brazenly claimed barbarism
    as their handiwork, proudly
    covering their faces and names.
    Not even a fashion rage of China,
    the Facekini, can hide their
    shameless deeds from the world.

    Ebola claimed over 1350 victims
    in an epidemic working its way
    through Africa. A Monrovian slum
    closed to contain the disease
    has erupted in riots, as in
    Ferguson, where irate Americans
    are told change is coming (glacially),
    a day will dawn when no other
    young man will be executed
    by police, that one day race will
    refer to motorcars and athletes—
    just you wait.

    One expert who has testified
    in numerous lethal injection
    cases quit today, just when
    states are running out of drugs
    used in executions, albeit true
    that these cocktails stirred
    debate about cruel and unusual
    treatments. News agencies
    suggest that states will have
    trouble finding alternative drugs
    to carry out death sentences
    in capital cases. There was no mention
    as to whether this would be a bad
    or good turn of events, forcing
    citizens to form opinions of their own.

    But for the Hasanuddins of Indonesia,
    all news pales to the birth of their
    19.2 pound baby boy Akbar, born
    today, healthy as a sumo wrestler
    and hungry. On a day when news
    has come every shade of bad,
    at their house, it’s all about life,
    great big beautiful life.

  14. Sara McNulty

    Murder At Local Resort

    Famous local beach resort, bustling
    in the final month of summer,
    filled with regulars, tourists,
    and families with small children.

    Hotel room door is opened.
    Blood on walls ad bed.
    Older child tenuously clings
    to life; younger child is dead.

    Whose horror scene is this?
    Mother is missing, main suspect.
    She is quickly apprehended,
    with no expression on her face.

    1. TomNeal

      Blood on walls and bed.
      Older child tenuously clings
      to life; younger child is dead.

      Your judicious use of rhyme makes this a powerful expression of the horror.

      Well done.

  15. grcran

    Things Considered

    Consider the dawn tis the start of the on-
    Going struggle to subdue the thing
    Which is rearing its head from the surf to seabed
    While the sun is pulled up by nose ring
    Flood of orange and pink bad blood poured down the sink
    Good blood boiling but later this day
    Today in the news all the homies did schmooze
    While the zombies rose up from the clay

    Tom and Ted Crews
    Notoriety news
    Celebrity screws
    How you can lose
    Consider the dawn

    by gpr crane

      1. grcran

        thankee kindly, Mr. Poet Laureate, and the comment “superb” means a lot to me, coming from you! The disturbing imagery is my attempt to convey how disturbing the news is to me…

  16. grcran

    foxy foolishness

    lickety snicket rat a tat tat
    who woulda thought it could change like that
    american culture drop o’ the hat
    bullies and lazies and cats who got fat

    back in the day serious work
    people would dance never would twerk
    news on tv objective and true
    then integrity quietly withdrew

    sensationalism sprung some new sprouts
    suddenly news is all whistles and shouts
    silly and mindless celebrity shtick
    news as a symptom amerika’s sick

    this is the country put men on the moon
    healthy and worthy for back to earth soon
    subtle with heroes and fullup with fun
    news getting better blues on the run

    by gpr crane

    1. TomNeal

      sensationalism sprung some new sprouts
      suddenly news is all whistles and shouts
      silly and mindless celebrity shtick
      news as a symptom amerika’s sick

      The conflation of entertainment with news has a lot to answer for. It is the Roman “bread and circus” at its worst. The rhythms and rhymes of this poem compliment its content. Well done.

      1. grcran

        thanks Tom! and William and Sara too! I believe the current foolishness of America’s news airers (note homophone “errors”) is a big reason why our nation is so dysfunctional here in 2014.

  17. LauraALord

    WAKE UP CALL

    The crawl out of bed
    Legs twisting and kicking
    Of sheets and blankets
    Into the chill forced air
    Biting

    The hum of the computer
    Bright flash of TV screens
    An eruption of sound
    And footsteps running
    Beeping

    The bright orange of his suit
    And the forced slice
    Of each word tumbling
    From lips that did not know
    They were already dead
    Black masked man is
    A scene from nightmares
    Knowing he’ll be reoccurring
    While a world away
    There is rioting in the streets
    A call to arms
    Over the whisper of blood
    A collapse of the systems
    Set in place to guide
    Peaceful protection
    Back firing, spiraling out of control
    The bombs are setting
    Over the horizon in Gaza
    And the ache is shaking
    Tribal mourning
    Immeasurable loss
    The colossus on the mountain
    Stamping out the flames
    Eternal sacrifice

    The world is in fits this morning
    And you’re telling me I’m racist
    Because I write about being
    A white woman
    Like I should know how to
    Express myself as anything
    Other than myself
    As you

    I’m going to give my children breakfast now
    And play outside in the last of summer’s sun
    Six days until school and new fears
    Of gun shots and bulletproof book bags

    It’s time to shut down
    Turn off
    Tune out
    Go home

  18. foodpoet

    Have Options?

    The ladder rises up to the haves
    Leaving the rest in the ladder leg rubble.
    Apartments new gleaming show off their wares,
    Grocery store, concierge service, pool exercise
    While the older rooms are full to brimming here
    Renters lock away trouble hang on to money
    And hope for no more gentrification.
    Developers kick out lower wage earners
    Reclass as new
    Improved
    And wait for greed to
    Win.

  19. PKP

    Fontanelles

    It is likely that the new mother
    would have stroked and kissed
    the down covered fontanelle
    cradled the incomparable
    softness that would
    harden in time
    Both mothers
    long ago holding
    newborn sons
    down covered fontanelles
    meeting in an unimagined
    future in the harsh light
    of this incomprehensible
    yet to be
    One bare headed
    face open to the Universe
    the other cloaked in darkness
    As new mothers continue
    to caress and kiss the softness
    of their down covered sons’ head
    perhaps it must be the mothers
    after all that call as one mother has
    for peace
    after all
    forever
    protecting
    the softness

  20. annell

    Broken Hearts
    Since your death
    I have found my world
    Has grown smaller
    Closer to the heart

    I touch the tiny blue egg
    I wear around my neck
    That holds a lock of your hair

    I think of you
    Of other days
    When you were small
    I open my arms
    You come to me

    I remember that night
    You were moved to that hospital
    She was showing me around
    Near the elevators
    Were chairs
    She said, we keep the doors locked
    The homeless used to come
    To sit in the chairs
    The winters are cold
    I told her not long ago
    You were homeless

    I take my temperature
    Yes I still miss you

    I pray for the Mother’s
    Who have also lost Sons
    Micheal’s Mother
    And the journalist’s Mother
    The Mother of the boy
    Who stole two energy drinks

    Pieces of broken hearts
    Litter the streets

  21. icandootoo

    Ice Bucket Challenge
    naomi poe

    Gonna throw cold water on you:
    22 million gallons poured
    (raise funds for 30,000 folk)
    While 3.4 million die who
    Can’t get clean water to drink. You
    Think it’s fun. I call it a joke.

      1. icandootoo

        Wow – that’s deep. I may have to grab that as a quote: “Suffering comes in all forms, everywhere.” just…..wow. Thank you for putting my feelings into better words than I.

  22. icandootoo

    This poem got me thinking about American’s general engagement with the news.

    Headlines
    naomi poe

    Google says these are important to me:
    Air Strike in Israel: Hamas Leaders Dead
    Millions demanded for James Foley’s Head
    Ebola Doc Is Released From The Med

    I ponder these headlines and read instead:
    Fallon Shaves Off Part of J. Leto’s Head.

  23. LeeAnne Ellyett

    News Today

    We heard the news today,
    that you had passed away,
    We’re so sad, but also glad,

    Your last lease on life,
    wasn’t without strife,
    You fought a hard battle,

    We’re so proud to have known you,
    that you were one with us,
    part of our family, sisters,

    Today, we say good-bye,
    farewell good friend,
    our memories will last until the end,
    when we meet again.

    Dedicated to Miriam Smith

  24. TomNeal

    If the shoe fits the fashionista

    I don’t know the “truth” about what happened,
    Though many people seem to think they do,
    But I do know something about fashion
    And the lines of Hugo Boss run untrue.

      1. TomNeal

        Boss used an estimated 30 to 40 prisoners of war and 150 forced labourers, from the Baltic States, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union.[2] According to German historian Henning Kober, the company managers were avowed Nazis who were all great admirers of Adolf Hitler. In 1945 Hugo Boss had a photograph in his apartment of himself with Hitler taken at Hitler’s Obersalzberg retreat.[3]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Boss

  25. Azma

    Laments of the lamenting society
    What good
    does waking up cheerful bring
    when the morning news
    brings so much despair
    Frightening stories of cities bombed
    disturbing images of scattered bodies
    a father weeping for his raped daughter
    families wailing over crash victims
    My breakfast ceases to be delicious
    when reading articles of the destitute
    fan the flames of remorse
    So I frantically search for corner headlines
    of an eradicated disease
    a peace treaty
    a new orphanage
    or atleast
    a teen talked out of addiction

  26. priyajane

    Life
    A living breathing community thrives
    2000 ft under water’s ice
    frosty food chains drawing tunes
    expanding lines towards new moons
    Life may be digging, spreading wings
    From Antarctica to Saturn’s ring

  27. Connie Peters

    Come Deliverer

    In years gone past I wondered why
    The world watched six million Jews die.
    We would stop it, yes, you and I.
    At least we’d try, at least we’d try.

    Today’s news reads like Stephen King.
    To some life doesn’t mean a thing.
    We grieve with little hope to cling.
    What can we bring? What can we bring?

    The landscape’s littered with the dead.
    The innocents to deserts fled.
    The evil plans fill us with dread.
    The cancer’s spread, the cancer’s spread.

    Oh, we can’t look the other way—
    allow this horror here to stay.
    So we must stop them now. Today!
    Come let us pray, come let us pray.

  28. shethra77

    Revision

    Arms raised, hands empty—
    we’ve fought this fight,
    shined the light.
    It was done before,
    been done before.

    Young man walking,
    a kid in the street,
    an American the
    bullets tore—
    been done before.

    Condemnation
    for every place
    where “protect and serve”
    has worked no more;
    been done before.

    Again people sing, march and
    fight, like anything
    like this had not been
    fought before, not battled, done
    and won before.

    Nothing is new under the sun,
    earthly battles are never done.

    1. shethra77

      When I was little, and saw all this happening–saw the people who died so that equality before the law was encoded in law–I really thought we were going to have a society of equals. I did not know that it needed to be worked for always.

      Thanks for your comments, millet israeli, William, and Sara.

  29. taylor graham

    CORPORATE HORSE

    You’ve been watching too much TV
    news. This morning you tried to explain
    what you dreamed last night. There’s a horse
    you need to sell. You have no horse,
    it’s just a dream. But you must observe
    the protocol. You know the corporate world –
    strict rules laid down by nebulous,
    amorphous conglomerates, the sort that can
    come before the Court as a regular
    human being. Your dream made no more
    sense than that. But you know how dreams
    are, they take a thread of reality and
    weave it into night-mare. This one was
    complex, inscrutable, without an ending.
    You never saw the horse.

    1. shethra77

      I like how you translated dream to poem, and the kicker ending, “You never saw the horse.”
      (Of course not, you were >inside< the night mare. :) )

  30. drnurit

    Is This Too Much to Ask?

    By: Nurit Israeli

    For one day,
    just one single day,
    let the bad news
    stop breaking.

    For one day,
    the 7th or any other,
    let man cease using his
    dominion to resurrect chaos.

    Let the news dazzle
    and astonish for one day.
    Let alarms stop sounding.
    Let the questions rest.

    No, not forever. I’m not greedy.
    Just for one single day
    let the beauty be untainted,
    and let me land, head over heels,

    where life can be, if only.
    Is this too much to ask?
    For one day. Just one long day.
    Now.

    1. TomNeal

      For one day,
      the 7th or any other

      Here is a plea for a sabbath rest expressed in the only way our world can/will hear it. Technology has bequeathed us a world where one must do not only without a rest every seven days, but one in which it can be difficult to find even an hour of rest. “The world” is truly “too much with us.”

      let me land, head over heels,

      where life can be, if only.

      Life is something more than a technical problem to be managed. Your text brings this to the fore.

  31. millet israeli

    photo

    the photo in this morning’s paper
    of you, head shaved, eyes ablaze
    kneeling in the hot, brutal terrain
    chin held high, fate decided
    doesn’t tell the whole story.

    the photo in this morning’s paper
    of you, the end of your story written
    hand of death on your shoulder
    then at your throat, inevitable
    we see everything, but nothing.

    nothing of your fear
    nothing of your heartbeat
    nothing of your love
    nothing of your hope
    nothing of your last thought

    the photo in this morning’s paper
    of you, only moments away
    of you, alone and suffering
    of you, a proxy, a symbol
    of you, just moments away.

    yes, everyone’s talking about
    the photo in this morning’s paper
    of you, but no one is talking
    about what it is like to know
    you are about to die.

    –millet israeli
    august 20, 2014

    1. PKP

      Absolutely exquisite in the all the ways that a poem can be so… my heart is touched my mind provoked my eyes wet and a smile plays on my lips of hope because there is a heart such as yours that can write such horror with compassion foremost ! Kudos to you! :)

  32. De Jackson

    I heard the news today

    oh, boy, are we in a terrible fix. The world
    isn’t black and white, my love, all this false
    print. It’s blue and green and sky and sea

    and everything golden and fought for in be
    -tween. I don’t want another headline, love;
    etch me a lifeline, something I can hang my

    hat from, hang my heart on, like the corner
    of your smile. Sensationalize hope for once,
    place the propaganda of promise right in my

    lap. Trap all these fragile winged things just
    long enough to feel their stir, then whir them
    back out into this black spill softer, stronger

    still. We’re broken, but we’re a whole lot more
    solid than all this. This world is starving for
    some smaller silence. You can quote me on this.

    .

  33. candy

    Hidden Assets

    Searching the daily news
    for a dose of hope seems
    futile on this Wednesday
    I’m often frightened for
    this fragile world of ours
    Wars, homicides, suicides,
    deadly viruses, beheadings,
    protests turned violent
    I can’t bear to read more
    Then I come to the obituaries
    where lives are celebrated for
    the grand and simple things
    they’ve done and our world is
    better because of them
    And there I find hope

  34. Tracy Davidson

    Yes, this is a real headline

    ‘I’m going on holiday
    but my husband has to work.
    Can I borrow yours?’

    By all means.
    Just promise me
    you won’t bring him back.

  35. Tracy Davidson

    (I’m borrowing – OK, nicking – Robert’s idea. All these are headlines from today’s Telegraph)

    5 Things to End Your Day

    Tickling an ear
    may improve your heart.

    Judge tried to bite policemen
    who refused him a lift.

    Keep your nose out of our issues,
    English tell Scottish MPs.

    French chocolatiers see red
    over health warnings.

    Nurses on home visits ask elderly:
    Do you want to die?

  36. Marie Therese Knepper

    HEADLINES

    Heroin bust nets (stopped counting)
    Ebola coming to a town near you (hope not)
    Another restless night in Ferguson (please stop)
    Don’t shoot (enough already)
    Landslides roll downhill (so does – )
    ISIS has no place in the 21st Century (get real)
    No faith teaches this (what faith?)
    E-News: Justin and Selena are back together (seriously)
    Spin it – you’re in it (get it?)

    Marie-Therese Knepper

  37. Tracy Davidson

    The News Today

    Headline:
    ‘The law cannot force us
    to be nice to each other.’

    It shouldn’t need to.
    Common sense and decency
    should see to that.

    We shouldn’t live in a world
    where one man beheads another
    and films it.

    We shouldn’t live in a world
    where perverted teachers
    blame pupils for sexual encounters.

    We shouldn’t live in a world
    where a mother is fined for keeping
    her cancer stricken daughter off school.

    We shouldn’t live in a world
    where pub workers admit
    ‘we water down beer’.

    Law or no law –
    we should be nicer
    to each other.

  38. usedname

    -Hands up-

    Palms up, awaiting the sky,
    Empty hands belie the crime,
    here is the verdict,
    meted out fast,
    the judgment is quick,
    but not painless,

    But can justice be wrong six times?

    Behind the glass
    Projecting media’s chants and rants,
    Gasps and furtive smiles stay hidden,
    for it is not the red of blood
    that paints this tale,
    but the gray of the black and white divide.

  39. Mark Windham

    Hate Has Overcome

    Much like the ideal of a family
    taking in their elders,

    or politicians being concerned
    with the common good,

    or neighbors taking the time to know
    and care for each other,

    the idea of love triumphing over hate
    no longer seems applicable.

    Love cannot surmount using the life
    of a child to protect weapons,

    love will not intervene between machetes
    and the necks of innocents,

    love does not riot, loot and burn,
    nor does it fog thought and reason

    like tear gas on a hot, Missouri night.
    Hate and indifference rule the day,

    I fear love has become too weak,
    too uncommon, to overcome.

  40. writinglife16

    Thankful

    The woman told him
    she couldn’t date him because
    His name was Vaughn.
    He was confused.

    She asked had he seen the list?
    She told him she had to protect herself.
    He was confused.

    She handed him a list that had the
    names of men who had murdered someone.
    They were all named Vaughn.
    First, middle or last.
    He shook her hand and left.

    He was still confused,
    but he was thankful.

    p.s. The News of the Weird has a link to a list that has killers that all have the same name. I did a riff on that idea.

  41. RJ Clarken

    No one wants to smell like Eau de Brat…

    “Perfume giant Elizabeth Arden blamed pop singers Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift for stinking up financial results in the latest quarter.” ~ New York Post Headline

    Celeb-pop scents are in decline
    ‘cause no one thinks they smell divine.
    Parfun de Bieber? Minus sign.
    It isn’t mine; it isn’t mine.

    Cologne de Taylor Swift? Malign
    ‘cause sales are off. There’s no cloud nine.
    The news is simply not benign.
    This does define, this does define

    the current trend, I do opine,
    ‘cause heaven should not realign
    for famous names. And by design,
    that is just fine, that is just fine.

    I think I’d rather smell like swine
    or moldy cheese or cleaning pine,
    than Eau Kardashian. Oh whine.
    I would not shine, I would not shine.

    You see, I think it’s asinine
    to choose PopStink. Ungenuine!
    We aren’t sheep, we’re non-bovine.
    A good headline, a good headline.

    ###

  42. DanielR

    THE GRAY
    Not everything is black
    and white
    print newspapers still are
    but not their headlines.

    Some of us are still intelligent
    enough to read between the lines
    to take the time to get the facts
    and then draw our conclusions
    without being distracted
    by the accusations and confusions
    being touted as the truth.

    I wasn’t there, were you?
    He said, she said—
    everybody has a point of view
    shaped and distorted by our own
    biases and hypocrisy
    and free speech was meant for everyone
    in a democracy, but that has changed.

    You hold me hostage to share
    your thought alone. And if I don’t
    well then I guess I am on my own,
    you will unfriend me,
    act like you don’t know my name.

    What can I say—
    our world is full of gray.

    Daniel Roessler

    1. drnurit

      Very interesting use of colors here, Daniel. You start this poem with “black” and “white” and conclude with “our world is full of gray”…

  43. DanielR

    WHO CARES?
    Did you see it?
    The important news that all
    the stars are flocking to
    Ibiza—A place most of us
    commoners have never heard of
    before—for vacation.
    And Johnny Football flipped
    off the opposing bench, which
    is definitely noteworthy.
    William Hung is finally
    banging somebody,
    good to know there
    is life after
    American Idol.
    Now that I’m informed,
    I can move forward with my day.

    Daniel Roessler

    1. PKP

      I agree with Laurie RLB… I refrained from responding to this prompt and yet you have done so beautifully expressing the full range of the human and news continuum moving from the global to the personal – Wonderful poem. I second Laurie’s Wow!

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