Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 281

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For this week’s prompt, write a “next in line” poem. This could be a poem about somebody waiting in a line at the DMV or the grocery store obviously. But it could also be about a line of lovers, a line of errors, or a line of poetry. What is coming up? What is around the corner? These could be topics for a “next in line” poem.

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Here’s my attempt at a Next in Line Poem:

“next”

always searching, always looking, always finding, always buying,
always tweeting, always booking, always linking, always buying,
always gaming, always playing, always talking, always buying,
always driving, always flying, always riding, always buying,
always buying, always buying, always buying, always buying…

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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 likes to buy things, sure, but there’s more to life than commerce. Just saying. Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets and the toys with which they play.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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186 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 281

  1. stepstep

    What’s Next?

    I’ve lived for over half a century
    Witness, privy to various things,
    How this world has truly evolved
    All encumbering, all embracing of experiences it brings;
    But, what’s next?

    Young children run extremely wild
    Manners slip through meany a finger,
    Nap time, a bed time, cruise away
    What we teach, sometimes, hardly linger;
    So, what’s next?

    A generation which hates school
    Good work ethics are gone to pot;
    Ambition rides in the back seat
    Technology takes over a lot;
    And I say, what’s next?

    What’s next for a great future
    Does more time have to pass?
    Do we go back to the beginning
    To see which things last?
    To see, what’s next?

    LaSteph

  2. Jolly2

    NEXT IN LINE

    Next please! The White-coat called,
    A man stood up to answer,
    A lady left the surgery.
    “I’ve had my jab! You are next in line.
    A dizzy spell, I feel quite well.

    The over-sixties and the vulnerable
    Lining up in an orderly queue
    For the annual Winter injection,
    A jab in the arm, no pain, no gain.
    A dizzy spell, I feel quite well.

    Next please, came the call again,
    I take my place in the queue.
    It is soon done, you will feel no pain,
    Take your time, you are next in line.
    A dizzy spell, I feel quite well

    I answer the call, my time has come,
    I get the needle, the job is done.
    I ask for a glass of water,
    The nurse smiles, “Do you feel OK?”
    A dizzy spell, I feel quite well.

    Copyright © Written by John Yeo, All rights reserved.

  3. BDP

    “Diamond Lines”

    Baseball’s poetry, a rockin’ sound,
    just listen to announcers of the game:
    “a fastball with some hair growls off the mound,
    but ends up in the batter’s wheelhouse, tame,

    swung on and belted…center fielder sprints,
    lays horizontal out to snatch the drive,
    we call him Death to Flying Things, such hits
    don’t stand an insect’s chance, land sakes alive!”

    The way each inning’s authored, field of play
    part action and part heart, both ground and flight,
    “three men on”–nice!–but we still lean toward may
    transpire: ”their ace’s stretch…it’s deli night!

    Our slugger’s serving grand salami rye
    with tangy mustard, four runs, my, oh my!”

    –Barb Peters

    NOTE: During a game with the Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners sportscaster Dave Niehaus (1977-2010 seasons) tantalized fans with “Get out the rye bread and the mustard, Grandma, it’s grand salami time!” The line inspired fans to tie and dangle jars of mustard from the upper deck of the now-defunct King Dome to the broadcast booth. Seattle’s Oberto sausage company sent him salamis. After the first call, the line flew out of his mouth in various permutations over the years. Other lines in this poem that are vintage Niehaus: “swung on and belted,” “Death to Flying Things,” and “my, oh my.” My husband and I lived in the Pac NW for 12 years, and I often gardened to Niehaus and Mariners games.

  4. grcran

    The Kill of the Thrill

    She’ll thrill, perhaps she’ll kill you when she’s through
    Into the whatever you’ll go, not shy
    No one knows what the next in line will do

    Three years ago, that death did maim you too
    Crippled, you knew your own death might be nigh
    She’d thrill, perhaps she’d kill you getting through

    You win a few, she’s gone, you lose a slew
    In consequence of this, you lose your aye
    You negate what the next in line will do

    Imploring, she says I will complete you
    You beg for guarantee, please, sanctify
    She’ll thrill, perhaps, and kill you when she’s through

    Wrongheaded, you continue in the queue
    You wait for weeks for watering, for free
    No one knows what the next in line will do

    Wasting away, you feel the déjà vu
    Its falsehoods and its truths, you wonder why
    She’ll thrill, perhaps she’ll kill you when she’s through
    No one knows what the next in line will do

    by gpr crane

  5. ianchandler

    sharpie

    i know there is a backspace key
    but like a spoken word or sin
    i get the feeling that i can’t take back these words
    once they’re charred onto the digital vellum
    (if only cows knew they consisted of pixels)
    an errancy that drags on
    like the soaked mop behind the drowsy janitor
    as i pave my way through fog and thorns
    without looking back
    because i tore the rearview off
    and tossed it in the back
    with old fast food bags and papers
    i also didn’t look at
    with each syllable
    the redrawing of a red wing
    billows, blooms like ink
    running down the page
    allured by gravity
    as my words spill out in the form of squash-hued bile
    smacking the touchscreen like hail ping-ponging
    wishing it could be a stylus
    watermarked viscosity or sinking further into myself
    i still count my utterances
    hoping that once in a while
    i bleed a haiku

  6. Bruce Niedt

    I combined Robert’s prompt with this weeks “Wordle” word bank from the Sunday Whirl blog. Parker Posey sneaked in here because “posey” was one of the words.

    Express Line

    I’m next in the line for fifteen items or less, that arbitrary queue
    that polarizes those of us with not a lot of things from those
    whose teetering carts spill over the top. There’s a certain joy,
    a camaraderie of peers who don’t hoard thirty-eight cans of corn
    or buy for a family of seventeen. We have an identity –
    a clique of individuals who live for the moment, who buy only
    what we can see to our horizon of immediate needs.
    There are no three-figure totals here – we are selfless
    in our desire not to hold up our fellow man. Yet the old lady
    in front of me buying flour and cinnamon sticks is counting out
    her order in pennies, thus giving me time to review the tabloid rack,
    and in my discernment, none are worthy of my money or attention,
    although I am mildly curious about Chelsea Clinton’s shocking secret.
    The cashier, a pretty brunette, reminds me of Parker Posey,
    because I watch a lot of indie films. She is a little impatient
    with the elderly customer, but dutifully collects every coin
    of her four dollars and thirty-nine cents. Then it’s my turn –
    I begin to load my acquisitions onto the conveyer,
    and with a sinking heart I realize I have eighteen –
    three over the limit. Cold fear runs down my spine;
    my brow beads with sweat. Will the six people behind me
    glare in judgment as they count along with the checker
    to be sure I am worthy of my place in this exclusive queue?
    Will she rebuff my entire order and exile me to the bursting-cart line?
    Will I go up in flames right here, and will they call for clean-up
    in Checkout Number 1 to sweep away my ashes?
    But Parker Posey doesn’t say a word, takes my money,
    hands me a receipt, and with a smile says, “Have a good day.”
    I think I am in love.

    1. BDP

      Really nice. An express line full of anxiety, making it not so fast after all. I’d never heard of the Wordle word bank or the Sunday Whirl blog, so thanks for mentioning them.

  7. grcran

    the poet takes his kid to the bar

    I don’t live all my poetry but I try.
    Or not. Plus, I’m indifferent if I die.
    Let next in line to me write villanelles.
    He’ll have his only heaven, many hells.
    He’ll find the going most times sodden, smooth.
    He’ll choose his seat. A table? No… a booth.
    The singular good place has wine and beer.
    They give him and his friends good gallant cheer.
    Needless to say tis lovely beer and wine.
    Achieving with his friends an auld lang syne,
    the lines penned in the tavern end up wet.
    The next ones penned at home are better yet.
    And thus the next in line gets fully fledged.
    Droll droppings from the decadence are dredged.

    by gpr crane

  8. Sam Nielson

    Having troubles with a title. They always say if you have trouble with a title, you haven’t finished the poem! Sorry to be drive-by poeming. But. . .

    Windy

    It is that taste of wind
    Different than yesterday,
    Raw-er and cold-er.
    Or the way that it blows
    Across the shivering hairs
    On my arm that shakes loose
    The fruit into my sense of
    Something.

    Fruit that might be still whole,
    Crisp, snapping under a
    Red paring knife,
    With enough wet aroma
    To fill the whole kitchen.

    Or looking perhaps, part
    The worse but still sharp,
    Delicious, the freed juice
    That threatens jumping
    Overlip seeking air.

    Or simply, something spotted,
    Breathing harder, watching
    More and more spots melt
    Away skin, growing green hair
    And dessicating.

    Might it hold off a bit?
    Just until my leaves fall,
    Or the fading green parslane
    With yellow eyes gives up
    And sinks into the brown.

    Oh wind, oh, wind!
    Blow, blow, blow hard,
    Blow that sky away,
    Further where I cannot see.
    S.N.

  9. grcran

    (this first one sorta segues into the second, so I’ll post them both in one posting… and while I am not certain what they are about, perhaps the two poems together might be called “The Stumble-On: a new type of waltz configured for online daters”)

    the next breath

    for minutes at a time the lungs do stop
    resuscitation order paper’s mute
    digestive system lets it go to waste
    the heart does barely pump his will is still
    stays hungry half the time he hates his food
    forgets to breathe he seethes no air inside
    he sweats and then he’s cold beyond the ice
    he reaches out with love and gets it slapped
    this can’t be right she’s breaking up with him
    who’s next? dating website is still turned on

    by gpr crane

    the texture of nexture

    she left him behind and groped for the texture
    the nexture of man she might find for a new
    one to know feel the glow of the match its

    ignition to flame with conditional glee
    as he listens in glistens his lips moves her hips
    then dares sharing consideration with poise

    bids her join him in quiet tete a tete could
    this be the one she envisions delicious
    collisions well maybe she’ll see

    by gpr crane

  10. Shennon

    Mary, Queen of Scots
    Next in line for the throne
    Acquired her position
    Before she’d even grown.

    Just six days old,
    A country in her hands,
    Miss Mary, for her safety,
    Was moved to foreign lands.

    At just five years,
    Her marriage set in place,
    She awed the whole of France
    With beauty, wit, and grace.

    Queen of Scotland
    And Queen Consort of France,
    Ev’ry single marriage fraught
    With grief and happenstance.

    Imprisoned oft
    Despite her denial
    Of treason and conspiracy,
    Yet never a fair trial.

    Her death ensued,
    Elizabeth had her head.
    Her spirit impacted all
    Even after she was dead.

    –ShennonDoah

  11. Cynthia Page

    Poetic Formatting

    This line goes after that line,
    but that phrase does not hit
    home. The words seemed fine
    until my refrains would not fit.
    I can’t use this word at the end,
    though its meaning is perfection.
    That slant rhyme needs to blend
    with the grammatical inflection.
    My precious trope unraveled.
    With all the changes I made,
    the sense of my poem traveled
    too far out of bounds to trade
    mere words, and still make sense.
    Maybe if I change the verb tense…

  12. James Von Hendy

    A Visit from My Muse

    He came and told me there were budget cuts
    And layoffs. Apology or excuse,
    It hardly mattered, his business something else.

    You might say I was discomfited, the way
    He stooped over me, blocking light, his lips
    Perilously close to my ear, nothing

    Of honey in his sidelong smirk. Instead,
    Thick eyebrows, dark and menacing, the work
    I’d set to lost in the shadow of his frame.

    Had I imagined a visitation,
    This wasn’t it. He shrugged and offered that it
    Never was, tradition a four-letter word:

    Loss, the unacceptable bottom line.
    He licked his lips around disruption,
    Called it innovation’s better twin,

    And draped a tepid hand across my back.
    I’m your brother, don’t you see? Your angel
    Investor. He rubbed a thumb and index

    Finger together, age old sign for scratch,
    Spit into his palm, and might have said more,
    Except he had to go, his caseload grown

    Tenfold. He was due in Peoria
    At dawn. Besides, he claimed, he’d done enough
    For me, his whiskey words the only breath

    I’d need. As for the Goth girl next in line—
    His lips grazed my neck—he expected her
    To be less trouble. Did I understand

    He’s been so helpful here, and all I wished
    Was his good riddance and better light?
    You wanted poetry, and here it is,

    He whispered obsequiously, the tip
    Of his tongue, his warm breath, tickling my skin,
    And then he left as he’d come. Unwelcome.

    1. BDP

      James, I see that your muse has gone south of me, and is now in Illinois. But no matter, you yourself have inspired MY muse, and made me laugh. Love “draped a tepid hand across my back,” because that’s so not like how we poets think of a muse. Much else about him is “off,” as well. Enjoyed this! Barb

    2. drnurit

      Love the metaphors, allusions, contrasts — the business manner (budget cuts, layoffs, caseload, bottom line) versus muse; the darkness (eye brows, shadow, goth girls) versus light (blocking light, better light). The ways you use the terms help, innovation, loss… No, nothing of honey here, but enjoyable nonetheless…

  13. drnurit

    LINES

    By: Nurit Israeli

    Have you noticed how often
    we bring up the good old days?
    How we go down memory lane

    to back then, long ago,
    when things used to be,
    but are now water under the bridge?

    Have you noticed how often
    we ask where time has gone?
    How fast our ranks dwindle?

    Remember how we deferred to
    “someday”, back when we expected
    a line of somedays awaiting their turn?

    How impatiently we tried to get
    to the front of a good many lines,
    before time picked up speed?

    Notice how now the line that moves
    out is largely behind us. How the
    head of the line is swiftly approaching .

    Truth is, nowadays I prefer to wait.
    What can I say, wouldn’t you,
    if you could, go to the back of line?

    1. BDP

      Nurit: I’d like to join the back of the line with you and James! I like that you’ve used questions to get me to really think about these lines–both those of your verse and those in the world beyond. And especially like the 4th stanza. Good job. Barb

        1. BDP

          Oops, a clarification: I just realized that my use of “world beyond” in my comment above might read as “after life,” but I just meant the world beyond your poem, namely everyday life.

  14. Meriadoc

    Here was my first, but I got stuck.

    Refraction

    Savour each moment as it were your last
    Time as a river doth wind its way past
    making its way, bend and sway, to the Sea
    Not looking to source nor yet what next will be
    So savour each drop let it not fade away
    Take it in, hold it close, lachrymose while in sway.

      1. Meriadoc

        That part came, but the rest didn’t want to finish.

        Until I was in the reply box…

        Played with it a bit more:

        Refract

        Savour each moment as it were your last
        Time as a river doth wind its way past
        making its way, bend and sway, to the Sea
        Not looking to source nor yet what next will be
        So savour each drop let it not fade away
        Take it in, hold it close, lachrymose light in sway.

        As Neil would say, “Just another line in the field of time…”

  15. Meriadoc

    Logos

    When next we meet, what will be then?
    Will we be lovers, will we be Friends?
    To sit and to drink all in with our eye
    United as one with Time on our side?

    How will it be then
    I just cannot say
    I hope and I pray
    God will show me the Way.

  16. Connie Peters

    The Grandma Line

    Where do you go
    to stand in the Grandma line?
    I should be next.
    All my friends are posting
    their little cherubs’
    pictures on Facebook,
    buying toys at Wal-Mart
    and browsing through
    those cute little onesies.
    I’d be standing there
    tapping my toes,
    reading magazines,
    and all those things
    you do waiting in line.
    Hoping someone will say,
    “Next!”

    1. BDP

      Excellent, the way you ask the question, follow with well-chosen detail, and then end exactly-right: the way I read it, waiting, toes tapping, both in a check out line and in the family line for “Next!”

  17. shellcook

    next

    next

    in line
    number
    person

    next
    love
    loss
    life

    waiting for the next
    anything

    will show you who you are

    the bare nuts
    the bones
    the breaks

    who you are
    who you were
    who you will be

    is all wrapped up in
    next

    Anne Michelle Cook

  18. JRSimmang

    GREEN THUMBS

    Grandmothers tell us
    that the fall vegetables
    go in
    in the summer,
    letting the warm soil
    tickle a little
    green from the seed.

    It was too late for us,
    but the winter vegetables
    go in
    in the fall.

    Perhaps we’ll make it this time.

    -JR Simmang

  19. PowerUnit

    I wrote this Wednesday afternoon but never posted it.

    Starbucks

    dirty blonde and clutching her bags
    she can’t get there soon enough
    escape the slipstream of fear
    join the easy, lazy lane
    the red cushy chair row
    where she can hide her bags in the corner
    and drown her world with sweet coffee

  20. fayina

    Regarding the Future

    “Forgive me,”
    you say.
    “I am not a native speaker after all
    but I do not like this English word
    “tense” with its double meanings

    and it seems,
    I am sorry to say, almost barbaric
    to speak of what will come
    without inflecting-
    You say inflecting?
    the verb at all, but leaving it,
    carelessly, untouched.”

    And I want to laugh
    or reassure
    but I can only think
    of the petals that will fall into your hair next year
    at the Summer Palace

    and how we shall walk home after lunch,
    discussing the possiblity of rain.

  21. LeeAnne Ellyett

    Next in line,
    to serve time,
    She’s been sentenced,
    to public penance,

    At Town Square,
    with a flair,
    Townsfolk cheer,
    peer, leer, sneer,

    Next in line,
    with blind-
    fold on,

    The rope awaits,
    signalling the fates,
    the crowd hushes,
    her blood rushes,

    A Prayer said,
    life stopped dead,
    the crowd misled,
    The Queen fled,

    Next in line,
    She’s on time.

  22. victoriahunter

    my poem didn’t post. Here it is again.

    While Waiting to Be Freed

    There was a large black gun,
    slowly lifted, and held in the air,
    then it was directly aimed at someone
    and quickly pressed against their head, through her hair.
    Suddenly they heard a pop,
    and then they heard something drop
    and then they felt dread,
    there was nothing to forgive,
    She was dead,
    she was better of dead,
    for she was a slave,
    she had been taken and whipped away,
    the other slaves say,
    the ones that will live.

    1. victoriahunter

      fixed a typo

      While Waiting to Be Freed

      There was a large black gun,
      slowly lifted, and held in the air,
      then it was directly aimed at someone
      and quickly pressed against their head, through their hair.
      Suddenly they heard a pop,
      and then they heard something drop
      and then they felt dread,
      there was nothing to forgive,
      She was dead,
      she was better of dead,
      for she was a slave,
      she had been taken and whipped away,
      the other slaves say,
      the ones that will live.

      1. victoriahunter

        I decided to make it even tighter.

        There was a large black gun,
        slowly lifted, and held in the air,
        then it was directly aimed at someone
        and quickly pressed against their head, through their hair.
        Suddenly they heard a pop,
        and then they heard something drop
        and then they felt dread,
        She was dead,
        she was better off dead,
        she had been taken and whipped away,
        the other slaves say,
        the ones that will live.

        1. victoriahunter

          I decided to make this poem even tighter and more how I want it to feel.

          The slaves said,
          they saw him lift a large gun, and move it pass everyone.
          Then they saw him stop it at someones head.
          They say they suddenly heard a pop,
          and saw someone drop, and then turn red.
          They say they knew the person was dead, better off dead,
          They knew they should some how be forgot, than remembered in dread.
          They knew that boss man only thought,
          they was just another whipped away slave,
          just another broken down kicked around slave,
          just another, no good cotton picking slave,
          like all the rest of the slaves,
          like them, like the ones that will live, just to dig the graves.

          1. BDP

            Victoria: I’m perhaps going to confuse matters here for you, and vote for this version. For me, this version has an atmosphere to it, and I don’t think tightness serves that atmosphere as well as repetition does. The repetition here of “they saw…they say…and saw…They say…They knew…They knew…” and so on reads and feels to me like a dirge, a long slow slog to the place to dig the grave, a grave no slave wants to dig. The tighter versions tell this story, but this version embeds emotion into the story via the repetition. Hope this helps rather than confuses. Barb

        2. victoriahunter

          BDP, I wanted to convey the feeling what you are speaking of. Thank you very much for your suggestion. I was originally going to do it the way I ended up editing it to. That is how it came to my mind but I changed it when I wrote it and then felt like it wasn’t right and went back to what I was thinking to do it. Thank you very much!!!

        1. victoriahunter

          I found where Id like it to be tighter.

          While Waiting to Be Freed

          There was a large black gun,
          slowly lifted, and held in the air,
          then it was directly aimed at someone
          and quickly pressed against their head, through their hair.
          Suddenly they heard a pop,
          and then they heard something drop
          and then they felt dread,
          they would never forgive,
          She was dead,
          she was better off dead,
          because she was a slave,
          the other slaves say,
          the ones that will live.

          1. victoriahunter

            even tighter:

            A large black gun,
            was lifted, and held in the air,
            then it was aimed at someone without care,
            moments later,
            they were brought in and they saw red,
            they felt dread,
            they would never forgive.
            She was dead,
            she was better off dead,
            because she was a slave,
            the other slaves say,
            the ones that will live.

          2. victoriahunter

            here it is edited once more.

            A black gun was lifted,
            and pressed against her head,
            moments later they heard a pop
            and saw her drop, and her head turn red.
            They knew right away she was dead,
            she was better off dead,
            because she was a slave,
            the other slaves say,
            the ones that will live.
            live just to dig her grave.

  23. bxpoetlover

    When I Was Next in Line

    I did not think once about
    being 43.

    Every muscle in my inner thighs
    behind my knees
    is tight.

    All I could think about yesterday
    as I waited for my turn to kick the ball
    is high it would rise
    how far it would fly
    and how fast I could run to first
    or steal to second.

  24. grcran

    Cat Hairs Apparent

    The cats stood next in line
    to see
    What their owned human declared
    I didn’t do anything wrong
    He cried, tears running down his face
    Ok, he said, I’ll change my will
    She’s dead, you guys can have it all
    The cats cleaned themselves
    They groomed and they
    Licked themselves and then when his daughter
    Found him like that
    And they read the will
    Then they had to take care of those cats, because, well
    the cats stood next in line

    by gpr crane

  25. Sara McNulty

    Next!

    Woman of steely curled hair
    and billowing flowered dress,
    Mrs. S. could knock you out
    with her sneeze-provoking,
    powdery perfume. Judgmental
    and fear-inducing in front
    of the class, she was also
    in charge of the glee club.
    We all stood in line, trembling,
    to try out for this honor.
    As Mrs. S. pounded the piano keys
    with aplomb, each child had
    to sing, America, the Beautiful.
    Ruthless, she would cut you off
    with two bars, if you did not
    have, “the voice.” Mine shook
    as I attempted to sing. After
    a couple of lines, she said,
    “No, too many altos already.
    Next!”

  26. icandootoo

    Next in Line on Black Friday, a Gwawdodyn
    naomi poe

    I am standing with sore back, full hands,
    Behind a bored teen, who also stands
    Idly and glares at the old lady that
    Stares at the cashier, ringing up brands.

  27. Amaria

    I refuse to be
    the girl next in line
    for you to dismiss
    so easily as if
    I am nothing more
    than a whore you seek
    for brief encounters
    I am more than that
    I am as strong as the sun
    and as vast as the sea
    I am the twinkling stars
    that you can never reach
    so please don’t look at me
    as some silly little girl
    to be placed so neatly
    in your trophy case
    I am not simply
    just a pretty face
    I more woman than
    you could ever imagine

    1. Amaria

      Ok why I didn’t see this typo the first time:

      The last two lines should read: ” I am more woman than/you could ever imagine”

      But I think you guys got that 🙂

  28. Marie Therese Knepper

    reeled in

    topping academic fleets
    gave way for grandiose waxing

    and finding my self
    gliding through id-indulgent waters

    care less to scavenger snipers
    hunting for bragging rights

    i swam eagerly gliding toward
    carrot faceted delights

    secured in affluential depths populated
    by only lonely recluses

    after gulping your covert pride
    i prayed for reincarnation

    by Marie-Therese Knepper

  29. taylor graham

    THE HAUNTED CELLAR

    One ghost can sabotage a whole
    assembly of folks cozied inside this stone-
    faced cellar, under the funky hanging lamp.
    A white-haired gentleman consults
    his pocket watch, stands up and, as if
    in spite of himself, begins reciting an ode
    to over-the-top applause. What’s gotten into
    these people? Above their heads,
    a rumble-thunk as if the spirits of the place
    were moving furniture. Why not?
    This ancient house has welcomed so many
    receptions, memorials, tragicomedies,
    all the pains and common joys of life –
    how could there not be ghosts called back
    to remember, and remind?
    Nary a crumb forgotten under the deepening
    of starless nights and full-moon hauntings.
    And now a fashionable young lady
    sets down her glass of Sangiovese;
    threads her way to the front of the room,
    knocks her head on that lethal hanging lamp,
    and bursts into song. An old man
    breaks out in a jig. Who’s next in line?
    Just check your clipboard. The ghost
    has signed up for the open mic, and all this
    is his poem.

  30. Hannah

    Nature of Waiting

    .

    Death waits like one standing in line for popcorn at the theatre

    as one waiting for bacon’s slow sizzle and impatient for the flipside

    we’re never able to get enough cooking into the pan at once.

    Dirt-nap-time arrives unnoticed while we’re entranced with youth’s skin

    flesh’s suddenly become raisinesque before our very eyes

    all the while we believed we were adorned with emperor’s new clothes

    indeed, we’ll leave these invisible threads behind – retreating in our Birthday suits.

    We’re bedazzled by death’s fast approach we rode coach thinking we’d relax…psshaw.

    Anyway, this train’s on a one way track traipsing us toward an inevitable finish line

    Hang on – slow down – speed up – smile – laugh, love often and awkwardly

    Death’s not gonna wait for you to get it right so just go for it – worrying is for suckers.

    .

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin

    .

  31. Jane Shlensky

    Followers

    That generation took abuse,
    waged wars, raised kids,
    raised hell, made do.
    They answered calls to sacrifice
    and carried ghostly memories.

    They drank too much
    and drove too fast.
    I guess they thought
    they couldn’t last as long
    as finally they did.

    And they were unprepared
    to age, accept, give up, apologize,
    unskilled at dying
    cancer slow. I guess
    they banked on falling trees.

    The uncles, aunts,
    and parents go,
    one at a time, outliving theirs
    and soon we gather
    for the last of them

    looking surprised he lived so long.
    He’s in his coffin, tidy suit,
    his hair still reddish,
    winter pounds, his chin
    stuck out, his mouth

    turned down, as if he takes
    death on the chin. End of
    an era, I tell Mike,
    and he nods and replies,
    We’re next.

  32. writinglife16

    LOVERS

    Lovers.
    Will we be lovers?
    We were never friends.
    We grew up together.
    Argued through the years.
    Laughed and shared our tears.
    But the question remains:
    Will we be lovers?
    Temptation has always swirled around us.
    Like raindrops in the mist.
    And yet,
    we’ve…
    never…
    kissed.
    Lovers.
    Will we be lovers?

  33. DanielR

    BENDING

    The line curves
    and bends
    from where it starts
    to where it ends
    and though I thought
    I was walking the straight
    and narrow,
    a line with a clear arrow
    pointing me toward
    my future me,
    now I find
    it was a circle all along.

    Daniel Roessler

  34. DanielR

    ALMOST

    I stand on the edge
    of promise,
    on the brink of breaking
    through, alone
    with my potential
    eager to shine,
    stretching my arms out
    anxious to grasp the brass ring,
    the cusp is here beside me,
    but I never quite get over
    the emptiness that comes
    from always being
    next in line.

    Daniel Roessler

        1. victoriahunter

          Waiting To Die

          There was a large black gun,
          slowly lifted, and held in the air,
          then it was directly aimed at someone
          and quickly pressed against their head, through her hair.
          Suddenly they heard a pop,
          and then they heard something drop
          and then they felt dread,
          there was was nothing to forgive,
          She was dead,
          she was better of dead,
          for she was a slave,
          she had been taken and whipped away,
          the other slaves say.
          the ones that will live.

  35. De Jackson

    Stage Whispers

    I am held together by a fray
          -ing string, a rip
    -cord waiting, a puppet playing
    shadows on the curtain backstage.

    Queued by lines and killing
    time before our cue, we’ve aged
    a million years or more, watched
    stars shoot, soar,
              sway
    and scatter dust.

    Along the way, I may
            (or may not)
    have learned a few things.

    The spotlight’s over
         -rated.

    When it comes to flying,
    the waiting’s
    in the
               wings.

    .

    1. DanielR

      Beautiful! I love the way you weaved the words together in such a thoughtful way, creating such emphasis by bleeding over between lines and then arranging the layout to add to the imagery.

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