Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 279

I’m on vacation this week, which means I’ve been trying to stay as far away from the computer as I can most of the time. Mostly, I’ve just been messing around in the garage, the yard, the basement, and trying to design a haunted house for the kids. Fun stuff!

For this week’s prompt, write a messing around poem. There are a number of ways to take the phrase “messing around,” and I expect y’all will explore that territory well. For me, I’m going to write my poem and get back to messing around. Happy poeming!

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Here’s my attempt at a Messing Around Poem:

“Haunted House”

It started with cleaning the garage and fixing a chair
that might look nice in the office. Before long, I found
some old folding doors and poles. I made a were-
wolf, inspired by a plastic chair and TV tray. The sound

of little ohs and ahs filled my ears like it was Halloween,
so I started to design a maze and find the big box of
costumes and decorations. With the garage clean,
I could see clearly a future of trick or treat love.

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert 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.

He has been designing a haunted house in his garage for Halloween and is still overwhelmed and excited that he even has a house that allows him to do such fun stuff. When he’s not messing around in the garage, he’s usually messing around with a pen and paper.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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175 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 279

  1. taylor graham

    UNDERTOW

    What’s she doing, messing around
    in water cold as January above her knees?
    In the creek’s silty basement
    she shifts her weight against how many
    cubic feet per second
    and with a yard-rake tries to dislodge
    the sodden clogging mess.
    One dead branch has caught a whole season’s
    leaf-fall litter to jam the culvert.
    Does no one come to help?
    The deepening black whirlpool rises,
    sprinkled and stirred with foam
    bitter as burnt almond but so much colder.

  2. taylor graham

    HORSE ECONOMIES

    The equestrians pass along the bridle trail.
    Are their minds on spreadsheets of stabling
    and stud-fees, the serious social business
    of leisure? The fine-breds under saddle
    lift elegant tails, leaving in their wake
    a sloven, a mess of what the old man calls
    horse apples. Mondays he comes with wheel-
    barrow and shovel, gathering the droppings.
    Hard labor, punishment, or simple class-
    submission? He’ll tell you, he lacks nothing.
    The dung of rich men’s horses fertilizes his
    garden. Just enough cabbages and beets
    to feed a poor man, along with potatoes,
    turnips, garlands of beans on the fence. And
    flowers! Search your database, you won’t
    find the vibrant fragrances, brilliant colors,
    elixir and tonic for an old man whose youth
    blossoms fresh for him every season, thanks
    to the passing of finely-bred horses who lift
    their tails without missing a hoofbeat,
    so their riders won’t notice an apple fall.

  3. BDP

    “Knowledge Messes With Ancient Myth”

    Fireflies craft lightning, legend states, give praise
    to their Creators: nightly skies awash
    with insect squadrons, clouds of streaky haze
    for centuries above the river marsh

    of Venezuela’s Maracaibo Bay,
    storms so high most don’t reach earth. Now the lore
    seems callow. Scientists confer, but they
    still ask why there? In that case I prefer

    the bolts—at times multitudes split the hour—
    persist as symbol. Yes, try to explain,
    but these are heaven’s hands, whatever our
    heaven might yet mean, think of spearing rain,

    high over, not touching us, touching just
    the same. Reminding us of fear, and trust.

    –Barb Peters

    1. grcran

      o wow, what a wonderful sonnet! science… legend… natural phenomenal phenomena… the questioning but also the underlying marveling in the poet’s voice… very very nice… you could perhaps spin this somewhere, or extend it, using the historical facts associated with Maracaibo, seeing as how the 1823 battle there was pretty much the culmination of the work of 50 years of new world revolution headed by Washington and Bolivar (revolution which in my opinion was “under God”)

      1. BDP

        Thanks, gpr crane. Perhaps I’ll find inspiration to extend the sonnet, perhaps with another sonnet. I was more interested in the meaning of legends, and their place in human thought, than the science and/or history of this area. I’ll have to do more research on the 1823 battle (I saw the wiki-reference when writing this, but didn’t dwell on it). I appreciate your comment!

  4. grcran

    Shrewd Messing Around

    I thought I felt my thinking hit a skid, with attitude
    And so began a plan for messin’ ‘round with rhymes for “shrewd”
    The words I viewed, they brewed a brood which often aahed and oohed
    With some rude prude dude knockin’, clockin’ lewdsters in the nude
    You’d not’ve thought the project was poo-pooed or ballyhooed
    Messing around continued when cats mooed, fat cattle mewed
    Two feuding hullabalooed crude things sangsong tried and trued
    Thus well-strewed seeds freed mood food, words as swords, and not eschewed,
    yah-hooed! Who’d exude iglooed brick shtick as verse? Worse? Not sued!

    by gpr crane

    1. BDP

      The use of the unusual contraction (for me, at least) in “not’ve thought” goes well with the rhyming fun of the poem. My favorite line is “Messing around continued when cats mooed, fat cattle mewed”–that made me laugh out loud.

  5. Cameron Steele

    Kitchen Mess

    The rice boiled over then black,
    meaning: Set it aside until next week.
    Instead of cleaning he wanted
    to dig out the large-format polaroid.
    But patterns, no matter how burned,
    are finite, so he settled for the quick grab
    of a graphite pencil, tipped its point to
    my watermarked napkin, and traced
    the ruins of another Friday night stuck
    to the bottom of a pot I beat
    like a syncopated drum as a child.

    1. BDP

      I like the starting with a pot and ending with the pot. This is a message we all know: someone else keeps pushing (or we ourselves do) when the matter should be left alone and perhaps (just perhaps) tried again some other time. It’s fitting to hear a child’s syncopated drum beat at the frustrated end, leaving the feeling there’s history of kitchen messes here.

  6. jhowe

    Workplace Messin’
    Dragging ones feet unofficially,
    trifling away the time,
    Dabbling superficially,
    dawdling is no crime.
    Goofing off just to pass the time,
    entertain and play the fool.
    When the boss says, ‘your ass is mine.’
    not the time for majority rule.

  7. Cynthia Page

    Crisis Mitigation

    The time for fooling around came and went
    a long time ago. When friends were young and our
    grandmothers still baked angel food cake from scratch,
    we knew our streets were safe, the cops were the good guys,
    and congress had our best interests at heart.
    Sometime between then and now we lost our focus.
    Our inattention to detail, our idyllic trust
    in the goodness of men left us vulnerable.
    The wool came down over our eyes as we dreamed
    of tomorrow, as we stared at stars that only
    exist in our eyes. According to Stephen King,
    “The trust of the innocent is the liars
    most useful tool.” We should have kept in mind
    the words of Albert Einstein. “Whoever
    is careless with the truth in small matters
    cannot be trusted with important matters.”

  8. Misky

    Messing About in Drawers

    I’m messing about today, putzin’ with autumn.
    Der putz de bull with mitz summerwear. Mostly
    Little vests. Sleeveless. Tight as a butcher’s knot.
    It’s that sort of vest, so read-between-the-lines.
    I don’t wear it outside. Too skimpy. Just to bed.
    Those vests rotate in my underwear drawer
    With other read-between-the-lines-wear, but
    My pretty stuff never rotates, just sitting, bored
    And ignored, staring at my big granny pants.

    .

    (c) Misky 2014

  9. shellcook

    Unexpected Muse

    Messing around
    unfilled time
    without structure
    without task

    Time available for a little meandering
    a little rambling
    Time to take the key from the ignition
    to let go of ambition

    Time when great ideas
    and great healing
    go hand and hand
    and we give ourselves

    A break of sorts
    permission
    where unconscious actions
    yield an unexpected Muse,

    Joy.

    9/13/14

    1. PressOn

      I love the easygoing feel of this, captured best, I think, in “a little meandering / a little rambling.” The syllables carry the up-and-down feel of a leisurely walk.

  10. drnurit

    September 11

    By: Nurit Israeli

    Everything fell with the towers.
    On the flatland, only the void stood tall.
    Madness struck, and charred remains
    were saturated with anguish.

    Once again, Cain attacked.
    The twins vanished into infinite
    darkness, and the voice of blood
    cried onto us from the ground.

    It keeps happening, this falling down.
    Things. People. Spirits. So what are
    we to do, but pull hope from under
    the ashes and start over from zero?

  11. millet israeli

    waiting

    the truck was late, you knew
    because the little boys gazed
    down the road, teeth chattering
    and sea water drip dripping
    into puddles at their feet.

    the truck was late, if not
    each would already have chosen
    and changed his mind twice,
    would already be lick licking
    his swirly sprinkled cone, his popsicle.

    the truck was late, it always
    came at 3 o’clock, it’s sing song
    bell announcing its arrival –
    but now only the buzz buzzing
    of the late summer cicadas.

    the truck was late, he could
    almost taste the cool, creamy
    goodness, the face messing, hand
    stickying, icy drip dripping
    slowly down his bare chest.

    and just when his world felt
    inside out, when he could not wait
    even one moment longer, then
    there was the bell ring ringing
    and the kids shouting “ICE CREAM!”

    1. BDP

      Fun! This poem makes me smile even before I’ve finished my morning coffee–and that’s quite a feat. I like the way you repeated the end words on line 4 of each stanza, like little feet shuffling and waiting for the truck.

    2. drnurit

      You enter the world of children so authentically, Millet. Love the way you build the narrative, and the way you paint the arrival scene in the last stanza. I can see, hear, touch and taste — all senses evoked simultaneously here.

  12. fayina

    Borderline

    You’d never had to speak English
    to a lover before
    you admitted after dinner

    and the neighbors in the village talked.
    As they should.
    As if characters in play we co-directed
    but you hated it.
    Also the curtains your wife picked
    (too red)

    I was just happy
    we could both be foreign for once
    so I barely noticed leaving Palencia
    until you joked that we’d trouble at the border
    thinking we needed a metaphor,
    a tragedy to leave behind

    but I was already
    happily enough
    suspended

  13. taylor graham

    MESSING AROUND IN THE GARDEN

    I’m running my hands through clover past its
    bloom, my fingers clogged with dirt. Yesterday
    I harvested five tomatoes not quite ripe, before
    the critters got them. This year, tomatoes are
    our only crop. Ground squirrels nipped off every
    blossom of cucumber and squash, and most
    of the tender leaves. We tried poison, traps,
    gassing their burrows with exhaust. Nothing
    worked. At last the stripped vines shut down,
    gave up on sprouting. The volunteer clover
    that bloomed for butterflies and bees is done
    with flowering, but it still holds up green leaves
    on runners tough as rope. I believe this is what
    my garden’s for – not table-harvest in this season
    of drought and traps and poisoning – it’s for
    believing something living can still survive.

  14. Amaria

    we messed around
    then fell in love
    and now we’re stuck

    love brought us down
    from clouds above
    we messed around
    then fell in love

    now we are bound
    in chains, sort of
    so much for luck
    we messed around
    then fell in love
    and now we’re stuck

  15. Jane Shlensky

    Geezer Blues

    The songs of his youth involved sex
    and sadness, cold rain without a jacket,
    homeless disharmony, belated
    realizations that he could have been
    happy years ago with this or that
    good woman who may or may not
    have done him wrong messing ‘round
    and with, being messed over
    by best friends, making tangled
    messes, one night stands, and
    sticky wickets profitable.

    Now well past aching middle age,
    his blues involve messing around with
    fresh fruit, long nights, stairs, visual
    weakness, and younger women
    with remarkably high expectations.
    His choices done done him wrong,
    messed over by aging and reflections
    in the mirror, betrayed by his hair
    follicles, messed over by yams
    and peaches, a body sprouting
    skin tags, nose hairs, and dark spots.

    He messes with chords and slides
    of despair, musical discord riffing
    to unbalance his wailing words.
    He has become J. Alfred Prufrock
    singing the beach and flannel blues
    to disinterested mermaids, riding
    swells of undulating waves,
    “Go on you fishy bitches,
    give me rest!
    Don’t sing to me
    (and cover up your breasts).”

  16. LeeAnne Ellyett

    Messed Up

    Who’s messing with my life?

    I don’t think it’s God, for he guides us all,
    The Universe, every morning tweets me verse,
    All the stars shine as my Horiscope aligns,

    Then, why I ask, is everything messed up?

    To describe the situation, is with hesitation,
    For I’m not a young person trying to find my path in life,
    On the contrary, I have enjoyed many hills and valleys traveling thus far in life,

    Maybe, I should ask, am I messed up?

    Perhaps therapy is my next realization,
    Baring triumph and failure to a complete stranger,
    On a cold couch reliving family dysfunction, a broken marriage,

    Now, the therapist called, the diagnosis is….

    “A Mid-Life Crisis”
    Prescription – lose 20 pounds, dye my hair blonde,
    Buy a red corvette and life will be Perfect.

  17. JohnLY

    LIFE IN GENERAL

    Life is always unpredictable, prone to exaggeration,
    Sometimes life is inexplicable, twisting and turning,
    Always in motion.
    Life is ever an adventure,
    As we traverse through the seasons.

    Cleo was in tune with the changes, in popular impression
    Prone to misunderstanding, jumping to wrong conclusions.
    Sometimes totally inexplicable,
    Twisting life for all the wrong reasons.
    A lady for all seasons.

    Life can be a total mass, of mistaken exaggerated confusion,
    The only way to face up to life, is to stop this mass
    Becoming a mess, then turn your life around.
    Never run away or go to ground, face up to your life,
    Stop and think, value your friends~~

    Then do stop messing around!

    Copyright © Written by John Yeo~~ All rights reserved

  18. Jane Shlensky

    A Little Distraction

    He’s told to bring the melons in
    from the late garden on the hill.
    Just drive the tractor with the sled,
    put on the crates, then pull it up
    under the trees beside the shed.

    He takes the long path past the pond,
    checks up on every polliwog,
    takes off his shoes and cools his feet,
    skips a few stones and sails a boat
    made from a nut shell, old and dry.

    He’d like to swim but that would draw
    a load of trouble on his head.
    Enchanted by kingfishers’ calls,
    he picks mulberries for a snack,
    and watches bees head to their hive.

    He visits kittens in the barn,
    scratches the ears of two new calves,
    and whistles collies to his side—
    they like to ride things going slow
    and bark like show-offs at a fair.

    The seat is sun-warmed as a nap;
    he cranks the tractor, sits atop
    and guides them past the pastures
    to the garden spot and melon crates.
    So many of them, he sees now.

    He feels a thirst squeeze sudden, sere,
    before he’s loaded half the crates.
    Who will miss a cantaloupe
    or watermelon in this mass?
    His pocketknife’s a pleasing weight

    the way it lies curled in his hand.
    He thumbs its blade to test the task
    of slicing out the melon’s heart.
    He’s in no mood to spit black seeds.
    Instead, he’ll slice a cantaloupe.

    The dogs believe they like such fruits
    and play at eating what he eats
    and soon he’s tossing bits of rind
    for them to fetch. What is the harm?
    Soon all wear sticky melon guilt.

    He walks them to the upper pond
    to wash away visual proof
    he’s messed around, rather than worked.
    That pond has catfish fat and deep
    mud-dwelling, ugly as old trolls.

    He sees his old cane fishing pole
    winking among the cattail blooms.
    What harm to see if fish will bite?
    He hears the tractor start and go.
    He feels his stomach knot with dread.

    How to explain where he went wrong?
    What tempted him and turned his head?
    He’s unsure how much time has passed,
    a minute here a minute there.
    The road back home is hard to bear.

  19. Hannah

    What in the World, (were you thinking)?

    This afternoon just after Daddy left
    I was in the laundry room
    and you were playing…I could hear you.
    Maybe if I hadn’t been busy thinking
    about what hat I’d need for the mountain
    I’d have noticed that it was suddenly quiet,
    I would have felt a shift in the house –
    I’d have known that you opened the door.
    Seeing it open – words can’t describe the feeling
    and then the painstaking seconds before looking,
    thank God, seeing you in your three year-old-body
    so alone out in the yard next to the street.
    My heart sunk and soared and I screamed at you
    Come here, NOW.
    You know not to go out alone.
    So, maybe I should have lied more and better?
    Perhaps, rather than explaining
    that someone could take you
    or that you could get hit by a car or lost,
    instead I should’ve told you
    that for little boys who mess around
    and don’t listen to their mothers rules
    that a giant-horrible-hairy-red-eyed-green-monster
    with multiple rows of razor sharp teeth
    would appear out of nowhere and eat them for a tasty snack.
    Maybe that would’ve kept you,
    my precious son, from opening the portal to our home
    and risking, simultaneously, your life and my sanity.
    Maybe I should have lied a little better.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  20. Sara McNulty

    Messing With Dogs

    Where’s your ball?
    Where’s your doggie?
    Where’s your bone?

    Dogs run back and forth
    bringing whatever they want,
    of course. When I cannot get
    a toy away from them,
    I throw another. Now they
    are in a quandary.

    I am messing with them,
    but they hang on to both toys,
    just in case.

  21. James Von Hendy

    No Foolin’

    Now I gotta tell you, “messing around,”
    That’s one way of looking at it, but not mine.

    Subscribing my little liberal bro
    To “Guns & Ammo,” that was a lesson

    In cultural differences, good, it’s true
    For a laugh or two. And switching out

    That liter of Diet Coke for cold coffee,
    I swear it was sociological,

    An experiment in expectation
    That went horribly wrong. Or not. It all

    Depends. But this much I can tell you,
    No messing around. If that Williams guy

    Ate all my cold, juicy plums, and left me
    That sappy non-apology poem

    On the kitchen table, that’s messing with fire.
    I’d kick him in the peanuts, believe you me.

  22. icandootoo

    The first time I have ever attempted a Ghazal (and not the best attempt):

    Messing Around
    naomi poe

    Mama said, “You should play,” so we messed around.
    Found Ben Vaughan by the pond. We three messed around.

    Summer heat, sweat-soaked shirts. We slipped in the mud,
    Found a boat, Ben set sail, and he messed around.

    Caught five fish, built a fire, roasted them on sticks
    One fish was full of eggs. (Guess she messed around).

    Built a hut from sticks. I was Pan, you were Hook.
    Lost our best marbles when Ben (Smee) messed around.

    Sun dipped, streetlamps came on, and Mama called us
    “What you do today, Naomi?” “Messed around.”

  23. candy

    Accomplishments

    you think I’m just messing
    around – that I’m not going
    to accomplish anything

    because I don’t have a
    check list – a to do list –
    a prioritized list of chores

    because I’m sitting with
    a note pad and a pencil
    because I’m staring off

    into space you think I’m
    just messing around but
    my little gray cells are spinning

    and twirling – laughing and
    crying – digging and dreaming
    and accomplishing great feats

    1. BDP

      The champion of brain power and gray cells, Hercule Poirot, would agree with you. Much can be accomplished by letting “staring off into space” do the digging and dreaming–crimes solved, poems written!

        1. Dorothy's Daughter

          It’s so funny to hear this. I wasn’t thinking country at all. But now that you guys mention it I can hear it being done that way too. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  24. Azma

    His first mess

    He squatted grinning
    on the kitchen floor
    bathed in 100 grams cocoa
    and 200 grams flour
    I shouldn’t have left the kitchen
    I should’ve closed the door
    Now your first birthday cake
    will have to wait some more

  25. HoskingPoet

    Counting one’s fortune
    On a cootie catcher
    Open, close twenty
    Times, take a peek
    Inside and read an
    Epigram for a smile

    ###

    The #somum chat on twitter today is about origami fortune tellers. We used to call them cootie catchers. I wrote an acrostic about messing around with one.

  26. PowerUnit

    I hate sitting all day
    Swatting at keys and wishing they were fleas
    Death is such an interruption
    Killing, even a miniscule annoyance, is a shakeup
    A wakeup
    A distraction from head down solution finding
    But I need a bigger target, a ball of paper
    Bombed into the adjoining crowd
    The peas in the pod cringing in terror, the invading worm
    Incites a whelp, a dying breath, and a promise
    My life will be ended, if I don’t get back to work
    If I don’t stop messing around

  27. De Jackson

    The Play of Words

    She’s been known
    to loiter with letters, tear words
    limb from limb, trim
    them down to their small
    -est
    syll
    a
    bles.

    She’s been accused
    of messing with mean
    -ings, gleaning new
    readings from hum
    -bled spill, bending
    words at her will,
    sometimes leading them to
    (s)laughter.

    She can make an ar
    -dent Pharisee of phrase,
    pay a sent
    -ence its due, barter pen
    -ance for praise, bid words
    bump and grind
    and dance.

    She’s decided
    (with a devious laugh)
    that life is a paragraph,
    and a well-placed parent
    -hetical phrase can keep
    her high for days.

    She’s guilty of dang
    -ling a participle,
    trashing a trochee,
    tossing feet to the wind.
    She’ll giggle and guffaw
    and unflinch at the jaws
    of pro
    cras
    tination.
    (It’s really only funny
    if you get her.)

    But she’ll mosey-mosaic
               the sky
    with word stars,
           if you’ll only let her.

    .

  28. Meriadoc

    Bellwether

    Meandering my way about a wondrous pleasant day
    Enjoying each second as I watch it fade away
    Sensuous enraptured at the wonder of a flower
    Slowly sipped and savoured, every passing of the hour
    I take it in, the beauty of the sacred singing time
    No rushing no ignoring, ringing secret inner chime
    Gratitude surrounds me, enfolds me in this cosmic rhyme

    All pleasure is before me
    Replete the bread and wine
    Of inner source unmeasured
    Utterly divine
    No words there are to capture, the blessing of the day
    Divested of the bonded chain of “I must do today.”

  29. grcran

    Updownallaround Mess

    Breast cancer came. She died. He messed around.
    He quit his job. Free time for farther down.
    Messing around with closets drawers and stuff.
    No time for fun with friends. This thing was tough.

    He hunkered in a funk and let them fall.
    Big salty drops upon the shirt she’d worn.
    He messed around and put it on. Too small.
    No room for two at once. Heartsleeve too torn.

    He heard her then. “You’re messing up,” she frowned,
    “and soon among the missing you’ll be found.”
    He sang a sad goodbye-ing to his friend
    as mess came ‘round full circle to its end.

    by gpr crane

  30. writinglife16

    Two different takes on the concept of messing around.

    Psychopaths

    Psychopaths
    Cross sanity’s line
    Stomp it down
    Mess around
    The masks they wear are opaque
    Their souls are empty.

    Temptation

    Underage.
    She’s jailbait, brother.
    She’ll tempt you.
    Tease and smile.
    But the sweetness is not worth it.
    I know.
    I’m serving time for it.
    So don’t mess around.

  31. jasonlmartin

    A Boy Racer

    A young boy’s mind races
    faster than any Hot Wheel
    you can buy him, but slower
    than the cars on the highway
    who he yells at to slow down
    from his car seat in the mini-van.

    He is happy because you are
    greeting him with chocolate milk
    outside his school, and he races
    toward you a little faster than normal
    than if your hands were empty,
    but not as fast as you are to embrace him.

    Fast-forward eleven years, the boy
    is racing too fast to be a young man,
    his long strides reach at least two paces
    more than when he was a boy, and when
    he runs, he runs faster than any thief to grab
    my keys to drive off with my nerves all a wreck.

    I try to keep my composure, reminding myself
    boy racers like him always grow into good men,
    relentless men, dreamers, yet they slow down,
    on occasion, to check in with their good ol’ dads.
    It’s the way it goes. Sons always outrun their dads,
    eventually, and we remain here to wave the flag.

  32. priyajane

    Messy Play
    Wind, in a testy mood today
    messing around, no work all play
    unrolling its rolling rippling spindle
    making sideway twirling pimples
    whipping through the weeping trees
    shuffling fallen crimson leaves
    ruffling testy feathered frills
    rattling at my window sill
    howling at the new cat’s whiskers
    floating butterflies in twisters
    lifting flowery silken skirts
    shaking off the built up dirt
    loosening some entangled girths
    changing tunes of season’s mirth

    Messy play is so much work
    you never know what gets unearthed !

  33. Shennon

    jk
    Just kidding
    Just messing around.

    lol
    It was funny
    No harm, no foul.

    idk
    Why I said that
    It made everybody laugh.

    omg
    I’m so sorry
    Please say that you’re not mad.

    –ShennonDoah

  34. Poeeop

    Messing With Jenny

    Come closer to me now
    Something you must hear

    What’s behind my back?
    Don’t worry ’bout it dear

    Honestly, I’m not angry anymore
    I’ve had a change of heart and I think you are right

    Let me whisper my lament so that you understand
    “If you won’t have me, than no one shall.” Your eyes now look a fright

    Paralyzed by fear you look on in horror
    I’ve rehearsed this moment for years, I am well prepared

    There has never been anyone else
    You are the only one who’s cared

  35. Connie Peters

    The Monsters

    The monsters messed around with me
    They leered and grinned and sang a song
    The tune was off, the words were wrong
    They danced about too clumsily

    They stomped upon my self esteem
    And shattered feelings like a gong
    The monsters messed around with me
    They leered and grinned and sang a song

    They told me lies convincingly
    They said the storms would last too long
    I looked to whom I do belong
    And in the end they had to flee
    The monsters messed around with me

  36. Michelle Hed

    A Fork in the Road

    They were just messing around…
    splattering paint,
    didn’t know
    they were being watched
    until the police arrived.

    Quaking in their shoes,
    heads hung
    they waited for the handcuffs…
    then the officers offered them a job…
    painting the jail.

  37. DanielR

    A FATHER’S VOICE

    His voice soared through the air
    like an arrow from a bow
    landing on its intended targets,
    “Hey, what are you kids doing?”
    Red-faced and red-handed
    through guilty lips we answered,
    “Nothing, we’re just messing around.”

    Daniel Roessler

  38. barbara_y

    change on the wind

    the weather app
    on my iPad
    declares it to be
    amazing out there
    and then displays
    a monster
    stretched from north
    of Thunder Bay
    down to the Ozarks.
    summer is about
    to be sent packing.
    green as jealousy
    the rainclouds come
    flying east, not
    messing around

  39. annell

    Messing Around
    A phrase I probably wouldn’t use
    If I did would I be talking about
    Wasting time
    Killing time
    Behaving without thought
    Hanging out
    Having no real purpose in mind
    Going nowhere
    Chatting on the phone
    Sending a text while driving

    It seems every minute of every day
    Is so important
    I don’t feel I have the luxury of
    Messing around
    The time I have left is precious
    What I do is important
    If only to me
    Perhaps it is something you do
    When you are young
    And you have a whole lifetime ahead
    You can afford to waste time
    By messing around

    August 10, 2014

  40. Nancy Posey

    So many of my first person poems are fiction–or out and out lies, but this, I swear, is true:

    The Art of Self-Distraction

    An expert in the art of self-distraction,
    I find myself bouncing from one project
    to the next, that load of laundry I mean
    to move from washer to dryer forgotten
    when I notice a paintbrush in the sink
    in need of cleaning, bringing to mind
    that folder somewhere of photographs
    perfect for portraiture. Finding it, I see
    beneath, buried in the same cardboard box
    a stack of letters tied with a faded bow,
    all handwritten, chronicling those whose
    lives moved once within the Venn diagram
    of mine. Crinkled, yellowed clippings
    show girls my age—girls once, now women—
    in polyester jumpers, satin blouses, hair
    pulled back in tortoise shell barrettes,
    vying for homecoming queen or campus
    beauty, at least class secretary—back
    when only boys ran for president. Beneath,
    in an envelope more official than others
    I had saved all these decades, typed
    on heavy stock paper, an application
    for membership in the Procrastination
    Society of America, neatly completed
    in my girlhood hand, but—alas—never sent.

  41. DanielR

    THIRTY YEARS AGO

    Kids today
    have too much organized play
    that steals the innocence of youth away.

    Gotta be at the soccer game at ten
    kick Shelly off the team if she’s late again
    do whatever it takes to get the win?

    Doesn’t matter that they’re seven years old
    need to learn early that life is cold
    forget the silver it’s all about gold.

    I wish for their sakes it was thirty years ago
    when playing meant playing instead of a sideshow
    now imaginations are snuffed out before they can grow.

    When I was a boy I roamed and ran free
    a cowboy, an astronaut, whatever I wanted to be
    time wasn’t my master and I could be me.

    Because we were just messing around.

    Daniel Roessler

  42. Jerry Walraven

    “You can call it messing around”

    Detours
         along
        the
    p
      a
        t
          h
    I

    s
    h
    o
    u
    l
    d

    b
    e

    t
    a
    k
    i
    n
    g

    often times
    find me
    \          /
     \        /
       staring
      /       \
     /         \
    at answers
    that the proper path
    ignores.

    1. drnurit

      But, William, then you know what the mess is all about… Reminds me of T. S. Eliot (one of my favorite quotes): We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

  43. grcran

    Not Again, Perhaps

    Not something I do, he told her
    When I’m with a partner, I’m with her
    I won’t mess around on you
    Good, she told him, I like that in a man
    I need that
    And I won’t mess around on you either

    Wait a minute, she thought
    How did he and I
    first get together?

    by gpr crane

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