Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 287

Time to get back into the swing of the Wednesday Poetry Prompts. I’m sorry for the late prompt this week; I ran into some technical difficulties, which actually influenced this week’s prompt.

For this week’s prompt, write a difficulties poem. The poem could be about technical difficulties, or perhaps, financial difficulties, health difficulties, or relationship difficulties. We all have our own demons and hardships. This week’s poems can draw from that well.

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Here’s my attempt at a Difficulties poem:

“I Admit It”

I get pretty bent out of shape
when things don’t work. Like

websites and relationships,
but especially technology.

It’s sad, I know. I know, there
are people starving in other

countries–people homeless
and hungry in my own city–

and here I am venting about
data that can’t be coaxed into

displaying on a computer screen.
All the injustice, the depravity,

and here I am pushing my blood
pressure to new limits. And then,

it works, and I realize I’ve been
a fool, and the world shakes

loose its sadness and anger
before the next click of my mouse.

*****

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.

For folks who have patiently been waiting for some next steps on the November Poetry Challenge, he wishes to let them know that a post is coming either later today or tomorrow morning–now that his technical difficulties are hopefully behind him.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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136 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 287

  1. taylor graham

    VACUUM

    Wheeling it from its closet, I can’t hide from the truth. This modern convenience – which cost nearly as much as death and taxes – will not work. It hums. I listen for a surge and suck of air. Instead, a black hole. Then with a buzz of ingratitude, it spews a crowning cloud of all I wished to be rid of – dust, hair, and scurf from the skins of two dogs, a cat, you, and me. No matter how I dismantle power-head and hose, probe and poke and put the canister back together, the carpet’s still dirty. The house looks abandoned. It’s hard to see a purpose to this rabbit-skinning drudgery. Blow-out of mucked air. Back in the closet sits the vacuum cleaner that doesn’t clean; and no one, not even its creator, seems able to fix it.

    something there is that
    doesn’t love a vacuumed floor –
    o strong wind blow through

  2. tunesmiff

    DIFFICULTIES
    G. Smith (BMI)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    She always seemed so happy,
    Her days seemed warm and bright;
    And we never knew a thing about,
    Her cold and empty nights;
    The echo in the hallway,
    The dinners all alone;
    Were not the dreams she followed,
    When she set out on her own.

    And we all bear our separate burdens,
    We all carry different loads;
    We all face our private trials,
    We all travel different roads.
    Not every day’s a good one,
    And while not every cloud brings rain;
    We have no way of knowing,
    Each other’s separate pain.

    He worked nights for twenty years,
    I always wondered why.
    He volunteered around the church,
    He was just that kind of guy.
    His wife served in the nursery,
    And worked days in the ICU;
    But I only saw them side by side,
    At church a time or two.

    We all bear our separate burdens,
    We all carry different loads;
    We all face our private trials,
    We all travel different roads.
    Not every day’s a good one,
    And while not every cloud brings rain;
    We have no way of knowing,
    Each other’s separate pain.

    I pass strangers on the street,
    Sometimes you can tell,
    Who’s worried and who’s labored,
    Who’s living in a hell.
    I wonder if they wonder,
    As they pass me on their way,
    If they stopped to ask me how I am,
    Exactly what I’d say.

    Because we all bear our separate burdens,
    We all carry different loads;
    We all face our private trials,
    We all travel different roads.
    Not every day’s a good one,
    And while not every cloud brings rain;
    We have no way of knowing,
    Each other’s separate pain.

  3. jshenita48

    Since I started with my online business I earn $42 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out.
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  4. BDP

    “Cousin-in-Law”

    All your adult life you’ve been—I hesitate to use sweet,
    for you are not, but your help’s an avatar
    of continuous circle-ripples, the best anti-lament
    our family could know, a lesson not in the nature of retreat
    but in spreading out. Nor would you like me to call you star.
    Not of sky, but earth, body solid, feet planted, and we are
    grounded in your farm-lake constellation, in your element
    of homestead, caretaking, generations, and not by accident,
    though gruff hides it, you work from and at a kind heart.
    A list of what you’ve done for us would fall far too short.
    Some people scroll through their deeds, a catalogue
    titled “I’ve Done, I Did, I’ll Do.” How we preen over the sum!
    But I remember the day you brought dinner out of the fog
    that had hung tedium at my elderly father’s door. Your resumé
    says nothing of these small things looming large as answered prayer.
    There are too many specifics to name, but each is a stone,
    pyramidal, to stack one on another, fitting with little air
    between, and whatever you think you need forgiven,
    think no longer, all we want is your cancer gone.

    Kindness is hearthstone:
    fires of missteps shriven,
    warmth by the windows.

    –Barb Peters

    * * *

    This poem uses the end words of Robert Penn Warren’s poem, “San Francisco Night Windows.” I suppose my poem’s not exactly a haibun, in that my big poem is not precisely a prose poem. But I wanted to finish like a haibun, namely, with a haiku.

    Also, I wrote this poem today for the November 17th poem a day challenge. The theme is “afflicted.” (I’m not sure if that’s all right, in that I didn’t write the poem in November, but I thought it okay to play catch-up. If not, please let me know.) The theme “afflicted” is the same in my mind as this particular Wednesday’s theme of “difficulties.” So I’m posting my poem in both places.

  5. taylor graham

    LOOK UP

    The stars shine down
    as they always do, when you’re hoping
    for a sign, a direction in the
    unmapped dark. Leaves quiver but not with your
    despond. They sigh the wind’s bearing.
    How long you’ve walked for this
    success: to come back to the place you started,
    a tall forked pine among so many
    in the forest. Some poet wrote, in his light
    of days, how praises should be sung to the here
    and now. Here you are, now,
    by this same rooted tree. It’s not
    going anywhere, under the speechless stars.

  6. grcran

    Christmas Difficulties

    feelin’ grinch-y
    scrooge-ish too
    he set up his charlie brown tree
    not many needles hung on the limbs
    one ornament only suspended-ily
    he could not heartwarm any Yule for the year
    too difficult with all the death that was here
    he brought out the santa on top of the bear
    chasing a fish on a line in the air
    friends fiddled over they sang silent night
    close as it maybe can get to alright
    threnody crysobbing all the way home
    might write it down but tis too sad a tome

    by gpr crane

  7. coopershelly31

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  8. Shennon

    Willing myself
    To find a way out
    Wielding forgotten memories
    To fuel the fire.
    First focusing on forgiveness,
    I misspeak and am misunderstood.
    Too many times I attempt and fail.
    I wish for more motive,
    And though sometimes I feel winsome,
    I will always fall miserably to mockery.

    –ShennonDoah

  9. De Jackson

    Petulant Poem

    I left her in her room
    to stew
    on her own syllables,

    but she’s still bent
    on bugging out
    instead of hugging
    it out, and no doubt

    any moment now
    she’ll run away
    and I’ll be putting
    up posters and milk
    carton faces of some
    -thing (-one) I haven’t
    yet seen.

    She’s mean, and mighty
    ticked off at the world
    and all swirled up in
    her own tornado of
    doubt. It’s about time
    I just moved on, but
    just when I think she’ll
    be gone for miles and
    miles, she peeks
    around the corner
    again and ever
    so slightly
                   smiles.

    .

    1. grcran

      I raised 4 kids, they are in their 30s now… they all did this at one time or another, still do it a little… and you nailed the way it goes down, with awesome rhyming too

  10. Meriadoc

    Shake

    Star-flung Skies, Wind-bourn Seas
    Don’t think much of insecurities
    Change inborn
    Life inbred
    Hold the Key, though left unsaid

    One thing sure to remain the same
    Only constant to Sacred Flame
    The one thing you can count upon

    All things change

    Creations Dawn

    1. PressOn

      For me, the first line captures the impersonality of nature, which strikes me as comforting: if change is constant, then difficulties are not. I admire this piece very much.

  11. shellcook

    Difficulties of the Page

    Page after page of emotions,
    have tumbled from my heart.

    I see them now in front of me,
    and do not know where to start.

    The realm of love, they all provide,
    deeply wrought through mind and time

    a story, yours or mine, anxious and tender,
    a, not so secret, record of our lives.

    Visions or shadows, memories of thee and thine,
    raging or gentle, the chimera of this life,

    They wait for you to read and breathe
    Of majestic’s rise and malefic’s fall.

    Though I would leave a tender log
    of epic highs and monstrous troughs,

    I cannot decide.
    Can you?

    12/5/14

    1. PressOn

      It fascinates me that this poem speaks of both a “record” and a “chimera.” It certainly built up tension, and I love the phrase, “majestic’s rise and malefic’s fall.”

  12. seingraham

    THE MAIN DIFFICULTY WITH THAT IS…

    Winter has ripped into the region with its usual panache;
    all blustery arctic wind-chill and sideways snow stabbing
    skin like needles
    Autumn, that season of impressionistic colours, dancing
    leaves, filled with Indian Summer warmth – those were the
    days she loved the most
    But this year, this time – summer and winter colluded to
    do in autumn, to squish that season thinly as if it had
    never existed

    She kept going over it in her mind, wondering why it was
    so troublesome, why she couldn’t get by it
    Sure, autumn was the time of year she loved best, but it
    was only one year, yes?
    But what a year – when autumn was swallowed, it took
    with it, a chunk of her family…a huge chunk
    And that’s what she couldn’t get over…it was as if when
    the leaves fell all at once and blew away
    in double-quick time, so did her family, like death

    Oh the trouble with that, the big difficulty, she knew, was
    that they weren’t dead, just not in her life now
    That was still not believable and her grief knew no bounds
    How was she supposed to mourn them when they weren’t dead
    Sometimes, although she never thought it out loud, she toyed with
    the idea that it would have been better if…
    But no, she stopped short of thinking that, not wanting to make
    it so

  13. grcran

    difficulties: beware the grampus

    some things happent today… I went out to the hinterlands and spent three happy hours with daughter and grandbaby who, at less than ten months old is gallivanting not falling almost never… had great weather and took her outside where she no longer deigned to sprint around but rather to sit contentedly in the warm late autumn grasses, examining said grasses for bits of mower-sharpened beercan shards, the which were snatched in timely manner by her watchful mother, my dear beautiful daughter… then, as she got ready to depart for her gainful employment, I helped strap the toddler into a stroller for a ten-minute-walk whereupon several neighbors bid for daughter’s two red-furred dogs, the which had decided fortuitously to accompany us… I sold them, pocketed the money, returned the grandchild, and made my way to the local tavern… nuff said

    1. PressOn

      I wonder if that local tavern was McGreevey’s…. Your ending made me think of an old Boston place called the Third Base tavern, because it was the last stop on the way home and was run by “`Nuff said” McGreevey. Loved this edgy little piece.

      1. grcran

        cool! your comment adds to the piece, thanks! …no particular tavern in mind… most all the ones in texas woulda been suitable… and when I made the title, I looked up grampus and found it to be a dolphin-like mammal, which I didn’t know before, but let the title stand anyway because of the word’s similarity to the words gramps and grumpus (wait, is grumpus a word?)… rusty

  14. Natasa Bozic Grojic

    Sometimes we just need to vent.

    Why?

    I understand how it started.
    It was easy.
    The money was there.
    Money is always
    good to have.
    I understand
    why you couldn’t help it.
    You were born that way.
    We don’t get to choose
    who we are.
    I completely understand
    why you kept
    coming back for more.
    You can never have
    too much money.
    I am a poet
    and my job
    is to understand,
    but this is the part I don’t get:
    Why did you cry so easily
    when others suffered?
    And why did injustice
    make you so angry?

    1. PressOn

      I keep coming back to this poem. I get a “Robin Hood” feel from it, but there is something else there that I can’t put my finger on. Very compelling writing.

  15. deloachlouise

    Since I started with my online business I earn $42 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out.
    BEST HOME BASE FAMILY DEAL CHECK FREELY ….. ­… ­W­W­W.W­O­R­K­4­H­O­U­R.C­O­M­

  16. Jane Shlensky

    Reduction

    Trouble that continues unabated
    exceeds our attention spans
    our misery memory
    challenged by fall colors
    or new shoes, a melody
    reminiscing of romance
    or happy times, a smell
    announcing food beyond
    compare or some lost love’s
    cologne. The misery
    continues on its own until
    we return as to an old friend,
    Hello, gigantic pain
    and how are you?

    Truth told, suffering bores us,
    reduces us to its lowest form,
    even pity shoved aside
    after a while. We want to say
    Yes, I hurt most all the time
    but surely there is more to me
    than that. Did I tell you of my cat,
    that I’m learning hip-hop harp
    and weaving baskets from leaves?

  17. Jane Shlensky

    Difficulty as a Bottomless Reward

    Some people hone a problem ‘til it’s sharp
    as jagged glass, fresh-broken, menacing,
    keen as a whetted scythe, a butcher knife.

    They love to blade-walk without drawing blood,
    to tout the saddest tale, the longest face,
    to win the pity party by a mile.

    They like survival’s thrill, count all their scars
    like stacks of coins and bills that make them rich;
    winning at losing is their art.

    Such everyday surprises can cleave men
    from lives of peace and joy—a wreck, a bomb—
    and leave them stunned with grief, imagineless

    and twisted around, confused on how to live,
    disease, heart-break, accident, grave loss
    that plunges them into wells of despair

    are chump change to professional losers.
    They court the accident with solemn smiles,
    know pity’s siblings are guilt and regret;

    disease and war are opportunities
    to garner pity and with it respect
    from those who think suffering has an end,

    a bottom that a person’s sure to reach.
    Recovery plans have steps up from the bottom
    humans have to reach before they rise.

    Good losers embrace fathomless difficulties,
    pain’s rungs on a ladder bottomless
    as possibility, several lifetimes’ work,

    and that’s the kind of hell they cultivate:
    the sordid saddest kind they love to hate.
    Adventures in misery are still adventures, no?

    1. PressOn

      This actually made me smile, especially “chump change to professional losers” and “pity’s siblings are guilt and regret.” The echoing sounds here and there drive the point home, in my opinion. This is impressive work.

  18. PressOn

    Robert, I admire how your poem draws me into it. For me, it says something profound about the virtual world of these screens and keyboards and cell phones and i-padded “realities.”

  19. Sara McNulty

    The Cable Call

    Transferring you to one of our techs.
    You are not getting a picture,
    just sound? You checked connections?
    Unplug your cable box.
    Green plug. Oh, color
    blind? We’ll send tech,
    say, two weeks?
    Please don’t
    curse.

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      I started a poem Wednesday on the difficulties of having all our technology “bundled”, as the technician went from room to room and we were unconnected from everything. You and Nancy Posey captured my thoughts perfectly.

  20. Susan Schoeffield

    SENIOR MOMENTS

    Muscles pull, knee joints pop.
    Memories sometimes fade.
    Age is a heartless thug.

    Simple tasks, putting on
    socks and shoes, pose a threat.
    Muscles pull, knee joints pop.

    I won’t go to the store
    without a list because
    memories sometimes fade.

    Sixty the new forty?
    Don’t believe what you read.
    Age is a heartless thug.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  21. Hannah

    I just want to lay a line here of gratitude for all of the prompts through November, Robert and also say that your poem today…I relate totally, wow.

    Happy poetry writing to everyone! 🙂

    Sheer Ice

    Each step’s a battle of slip-trip-skip –
    grip and balance becomes a challenge
    a learned talent of timing steps wisely…
    finding safe places to move forward on ice.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

    1. PressOn

      I’d slip to slip in an echo of your opening comment. I commented on the poem on Walt’s site, but it bears repeating: this is a wonderful use of sound to capture sensation, in my view.

  22. Nancy Posey

    Worry Knot

    She worried at the problem
    like a knot in a fine gold chain,
    her light touch feeling
    for a loosening, any sign
    of release, her troubles
    floating away, a log jam
    breaking apart, drifting
    out of sight, out of mind.

  23. Cynthia Page

    Simply Absurd

    There are some things that are
    difficult to comprehend, such as
    dog booties, and cat costumes.
    Some things make no sense, such as
    corporations that depend on God’s grace
    to escape the everlasting flames of hell.
    Other things are so absurd I have to laugh,
    such as shutting down the government,
    at an economic cost of 24 billion dollars,
    to save us from the evils of health insurance.
    What I have the most difficulty understanding
    is the death penalty summarily dealt out
    on the street, without a trial or jury, and a killer
    walking free because of the badge he wore.

  24. grcran

    Turn Around in Thunder

    Most difficult it was oh yes it killed the buzz
    I’m disappointed Dad this thing turned out so bad
    Or not nearly as good as you said you thought it would
    Well I’m unhappy too my daughter through and through
    We fix our fields with mines put paint outside the lines
    Then turn around in wonder that we’re struck by all this thunder
    Enlightening the sky improving us and I
    Still don’t think heaven sent such disappointment

    by gpr crane

  25. Poeeop

    Shelter

    The snow drifts
    pile higher and make it
    difficult to walk.

    The winds grow
    colder with the untimely
    setting of the sun.

    The pain of freezing
    limbs is easily dwarfed
    by her hunger.

    The man said come
    back tomorrow for
    the food is all gone.

    No beds were left
    either and now the
    search began

    Finding shelter at
    this hour would prove
    difficult.

  26. Doakley

    Difficulties of Being a Lizard

    Creeping my way,
    tiny and green,
    making the climb to
    get on the lanai screen.

    Here it comes now
    my heart skips a beat,
    that stupid cat hits the screen
    with both its front feet.

    I fly through the air
    to land in the flowers and such
    head back and climb up again,
    the cat loves this so much.

  27. Nancy Posey

    Technical Difficulty

    If my call is important to you,
    why am I holding—again—
    listening to canned music,
    infomercials, looping time
    after time after time?
    And yes, I do know I can
    reach you online—which
    I would have done if
    I weren’t calling because
    my internet is down. Again.
    I do not want to answer
    a brief survey later. You
    do not want to hear what
    I might have to say by then.
    With my technical difficulty
    compounded by impatience,
    ear numb, shoulder cramped,
    please don’t you dare tell me
    to Have a Nice Day!

  28. Nancy Posey

    Lessons

    I never knew some of their names—
    men who came to see Daddy
    coming in through the carport door—
    down-and-outers, horse traders,
    anybody with a money-making scheme
    too good to be true.

    He laughed with them all,
    cried with a few,
    prayed with most.
    They got into arguments
    that nearly came to blows—
    then they’d stop, change sides,
    and yell some more.

    He helped bury their dead,
    married their children,
    loaned them one of his old clunkers
    parked in the driveway out back.
    He held their post-dated checks they both
    knew he’d never take to the bank.

    One rolled his wheelchair
    around our garage, rifled through boxes
    of Mama’s good china,
    Daddy’s books, tools,
    not meant for yard sales,
    and asked, “You still need that?”

    Another regular took pride
    in rolling up his trousers,
    showing off his wooden leg,
    hopping back and forth
    on the good leg across our big mutt,
    a trick he perfected decades before
    to win his wife’s heart.

    No one uttered the words
    handicapped, disabled,
    underprivileged. We learned
    empathy,
    gratitude,
    humanity.
    We never even knew
    that we were learning.

  29. bxpoetlover

    Difficulty

    “Hold the elevator,”.
    He sounded slightly
    rude. Still smoldering
    about Eric Garner
    I almost pressed the Close Door
    button.

    He walked in with his little sister,
    a young black man,
    my son’s light brown complexion.
    I see him often.
    He always smiles, says
    Good Morning.

    I looked at him,
    serious face
    framed by locs,
    wondering how old he is.
    As I got out on my
    floor, I almost blurted out,
    “I love you. Be careful out there.”

  30. PKP

    Difficulties

    There are shoes that come untied
    As you are crossing the finish line
    Tumbles and mishaps falls and spills
    Jealousies, envies,cries of this is mine
    There are word problems with letters
    Or numbers jumbled whirling all about
    There are sureties that with an eyebrow raised
    Turn a stomach flip-flopped with sudden doubt
    There are grim faced doctors opening doors
    As you sit chilled with fright in a paper gown
    There are those you thought you trusted who
    Cavalierly- just as you need them – let you down
    Knots that tie your mind, start your head to ache
    Betrayals personal and streaming to the Universal
    Chests pressed with boulders until hearts begin to break
    There are those that scamper by catastrophe without a single pause
    Until they are effected personally and then take up screeching cause
    From shoe laces tripping at an awkward time, to the dying of the planet
    Difficulties on parade in all shapes, sizes, consequence and fame. Humans
    rise, fall, overcome, ignore, pray, reframe, laugh, repress, stumble persevere
    around, up, over, and through, – The wise ones knowing it is all a simple game

  31. taylor graham

    LIFT-OFF

    Up the mountain, still a long way
    below crystal peaks and slopes of dark
    fir trellised with snow, the winter-wonder-
    land they’d been dreaming –
    driving up through the zone
    where weather just makes mud. He pulled
    the car off pavement, and got stuck.
    No cellphone, miles from anything.
    They shoved and shoveled, got stucker.
    Bungled the job. How she
    missed the surefooted old VW they used
    to have. More than enough what-ifs –
    they’d be mired forever in the if-only
    game. One more shove – and
    lift-off!

    On the road again
    wipes out so much blame.

  32. IrisD

    waiting in sterile environment except for copious magazines
    hear the click of nurse’s heels as she walks down corridor
    my name finally called and I walk to exam room standing open
    weight, vitals, and details noted on my chart by unsmiling nurse
    EKG indicates heart still in atril fib
    time to make an appointment for procedure at heart hospital
    at least I get to walk out today and go for Christmas

  33. PKP

    From womb to world

    Rocketed from womb into the world
    Eyes bright, deep and warm – seeing
    already a future ribboning like satin
    Unspooling into aquamarine frangipani
    Air
    Nursed and nuzzled, rolled, stood, walked
    and ran on strong legs browned in the sun
    Shining
    Days tumbled into monthed years –
    Joyous
    Rocketed on two-wheelers and Jeeps
    Picture books to legal tomes –
    Eyes bright, deep and warm seeing
    Sharing, loving, leaving, skipping
    Across campuses and country
    Writing his own name for himself
    In a firm hand with a dimpled wink
    Rocketed with steady sureness of step
    Into love – whirling – eyes bright, deep
    Warm and seeing – his child to come as he
    Loved, held, and released unfettered by any
    Difficulties
    Soaring

  34. Walt Wojtanik

    IN-LAWS AND OUTLAWS

    A father near death and dying,
    and a daughter (one of four) trying
    to ford the chasm. It gives me spasms
    to watch as an outsider. Merely an in-law,
    portrayed as an outlaw. Infighting and
    back-biting between siblings hard to swallow
    and the ache in the hollow of my gut
    tells me more difficult times ahead.
    Instead of forgetting petty stubbornness
    and bithright and doing the right thing,
    the sting is unbearable. It feels terrible.
    One against the onslaught of a
    congestive heart in failure and the tale
    does not end until he does.
    Heading down the home stretch
    I fear I’ll need to fetch my funeral clothes
    Another Christmas with the specter of death.
    I can’t help these pains in my chest,
    This outlaw feels under arrest.

  35. candy

    Response Difficulties

    Disappointment no longer
    Arrives by post, a creamy
    Envelope with my name and
    Address neatly typed

    A clever logo on the upper
    Left hand corner
    No suspense as the parcel
    Holding my delight or my

    Despair is slit open
    No pounding heart as the
    Missive is unfolded
    Now my computer rudely

    Beeps at me and an electronic
    Message appears in my box
    “……… your submission is not
    what we’re looking for ……”

    No satisfaction of balling up
    A sheet of paper and
    Tossing it across
    The room

  36. annell

    A Difficult Poem

    anything can be difficult just facing the day

    when you know who you are what you have done
    or haven’t done

    you are the one you hang out with your most difficult friend

    then again maybe it isn’t so difficult

    since you know underneath you are still a small child

    in old people’s clothing your sad eyes tell me it’s true

    you disappear when I come close to you

    even though you are difficult i like you best of all
    & can think of no other
    with whom I would rather be

    December 3, 2014

  37. ReathaThomasOakley

    The difficulties of memories

    Miami 1968

    We thought the talk–
    coups, invasions, betrayals–
    might just be talk to impress naïve Anglo girls.

    “Were you really there, at the Bay of Pigs?”
    Juan would smile his slow, Che smile,
    “We all were there.”

    Juan and Hector and Oscar covered our floors
    with textbooks, blueprints, projects,
    drank rough, red wine, planned a different revolution.
    “We will change–with steel, glass, bricks–
    the face of Miami.”

    They took us to clubs in hotels not there any more
    never to the frontons, never to Little Havana,
    never to where their uncles or fathers might be.
    I wanted more.

    Juan’s betrothed was a child protected by
    the Sisters of St. Joseph in St. Augustine
    where for a hundred years brown eyed virgins had been sent
    to grow up enough to marry well.

    Under the vigilant eyes of black-habited nuns
    they walked the bayfront in groups of eight or ten
    practicing French–local boys swooning in their wake.

    Slim, shy, dark girls dressed alike–
    navy skirts and blazers, black shoes,
    and blouses white as the whites of Juan’s eyes
    as he looked into my eyes
    and lied..

      1. ReathaThomasOakley

        Thank you, Sara. I appreciate the time so many of you take to comment and encourage each other. One of my New Year’s resolutions will be to do more of that.

  38. PressOn

    A HARD DAY AT THE TRACK

    When I bet, I drop cash through a sieve
    but this horse had so little to give:
    didn’t place; didn’t show;
    in God’s truth, didn’t go.
    I should’ve just bet him to live.

  39. catprincess16

    BE STILL

    It was hard
    to believe her words.
    Harder still
    to not fear for her life.
    My heart would not
    be still.
    It was racing.
    Every beat was a prayer.
    Running,
    running.
    Every beat was a prayer.

    **This was based on a recent event. And this persona used to be writinglife16 who got tangled up technologically. 🙂

  40. PowerUnit

    Sorry I couldn’t make it, last month
    Things got rather hectic
    Fifty thousand prosaic hen scratches
    Do not leave one’s fingers able to write much poetry

    I discovered some new people, though
    Characters apparently living in my mind
    Who made their wishes known
    And who in no uncertain terms, wanted me to fulfill them

    I could not capitulate
    My pen does not aim, to please
    The slightest whims of fictional beings
    One must devote complete and unfettered attention

    So I abstained from other forms of creative outlet
    And crafted as it came, slowly
    A world was created
    And almost everybody lived

  41. LaraEckener

    Relationship difficulties indeed. Thought I’d try my hand at a villanelle.

    . . .

    When as boys we played at soldiers rough,
    Facing off across a barricade bed,
    Wanting that to be enough.

    Drew on sweat and blood to burn us tough,
    Warm chest heaving under resting head,
    When as boys we played at soldiers rough.

    Snatched at your cigarette in mischief,
    Trembling fingers found your lips instead,
    Wanting that to be enough.

    At sea for the queen you wrote to me, “Seraph
    Isn’t it a wonder not to be dead?
    When as boys we played at soldiers rough.”

    Returned to me, shoulders wide and gruff,
    Showed off pale scars puckered permanent red,
    Wanting that to be enough.

    In the dark, used my tongue to divine your bluff,
    Your skin used to not taste of unleavened bread,
    When as boys we played at soldiers rough,
    Wanting that to be enough.

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