Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 290

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For today’s prompt, write an excitement poem. Excitement can be a good thing, but excitement can often lead to very bad things. So whether you’re excitement leads to good results, bad results, or mixed results, I hope you’re excited to get writing today (and throughout the week).


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Here’s my attempt at an Excitement Poem:

“hands off”

when the boy gets excited, he starts to cough,
and it’s not long until the girl says, hands off.
but that boy don’t listen when he gets this way,
and it’s not long until the cops have their say,
because the girl was the light, the boy a moth.

when a person says, hands off, it means hands off,
whether you want to get frisky, sweet, or rough,
because it’s a person, not a toy to play
when the boy gets excited.

love if you will, though its restraint can be tough,
and listen when lovers say, that is enough.
a rebuke doesn’t mean your lover will stray,
only your hungry hands are too much today.
so listen: hands off means hands off means hands off
even when the boy gets excited.


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 newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He is excited that shopping and wrapping season is almost over. Happy holidays, everyone!

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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113 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 290

  1. winerf

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  2. Mag65

    One Damp Gray Day

    This is how I think:
    With paper and with ink,
    Preceded by a protein drink.

    I write some words,
    Then scratch some out,
    Search for a topic
    To be excited about.

    None I find appealing,
    None that stir a feeling.
    I lean back, stare at the ceiling.

    With words whirling
    ‘Round in my brain,
    I was the dishes,
    Muse as soap suds downward drain.

    My telephone rings
    And the barking dog sings
    Sounds of the day. I wish for wings

    To flee this place
    For sunny shore,
    Sand beneath my feet.
    I do long for ocean’s roar.

    This I find appealing,
    This that stirs my feeling.
    I lean back, watch seagulls reeling.

    Eyes bright again,
    Some words I’ll scrawl
    Of beach excitement:
    Life’s best moments I recall.

    That wax my poem of excitement, a poem of rising and falling spirits, like the waves at the seashore.

  3. grcran

    excitement to the nth

    ohyeah igetsarcasm graceofGod
    exclamationpoints kaleevenspinach pahd-
    nah dontwant lossofthis ecstatic
    newconnection wait didileave the attic
    lessthan fullyexamined asthefinal packing
    completes iwantyoupossiblysameamount tracking
    moreoften twelvemonths sixtyseconds times
    exponential explanationofvalues wehavethesame rhymes

    by gpr crane

  4. grcran


    before you were here after you are gone
    they will abide
    the excitement in their postures in their pastures
    it burns inside
    commitment to the calm gathering of grace
    this matters too
    health and worth is more than anything there is
    nature’s milieu

    by gpr crane

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  6. RuthieShev

    The Scanner
    By Ruth Crowell Shevock

    I knew I was getting an amazing gift
    By the excitement on my husband’s face
    He could hardly wait for Christmas to come
    Placing it under the tree in a special place

    Hi joy was contagious and before long
    Excitement was welling up inside of me
    Wondering what this wonderful gift
    From my husband could possibly be

    Though the days went by at a snail-like pace
    Pointing to the present under the tree
    he started to give clues for me to guess
    unable to contain his excitement and glee

    Christmas day came and we rushed to the room
    Early in the morning long before eight
    For by this time the excitement had grown
    And neither one of us could wait

    I opened it up not quite sure what it was
    When he excitedly said he knew it was right
    Because you said you wanted a scanner
    When we were in the bedroom one night.

    On my new computer, I had photos to scan
    But I smiled and hugged my thoughtful spouse
    That’s how we ended up thirty years ago
    With a police scanner in our excited house

  7. Julieann


    Christmas comes but once a year
    365 days between each coming
    Excitement mounts, anticipating grows
    Its flavor is most palatable
    It tastes of love and beauty
    It smells of cedar and apples
    Its colors light the sky with rainbows
    Leading the way to that pot of gold

    So whatever your pot of gold
    Be it toys and games, prosperity and success
    May each snowflake that lands on
    Your nose and eyelashes
    Bring you love and joy, family and friends,
    Peace and harmony, blessings aplenty,
    Not only on Christmas day
    But all through the New Year

    (I’ve been away for a while, but what a wonderful time to return – Christmas. I hope everyone’s had a wonderful Christmas, and my wish to all is a joyous, prosperous, and blessed New Year!)

  8. Shennon

    Please do not tease
    Or try to regulate
    You might usurp my excitement
    That just will not abate

    For this night is the height
    Of excitement for me
    I cannot wait, so don’t be late
    In placing those gifts by the tree

    As a child, my dreams are wild
    Frivolous and greedy
    Still know, that to curb them would slow
    My heart down and make me more needy

    For though I look grown, I’m slow
    My IQ indicates that I’m seven
    So let me enjoy all of my toys
    On Christmas Eve I am in Heaven!


  9. De Jackson

    The Uncontainable Spill of Delight

    There’s nothing
    like the silent-smug
    -gled smile
    of a morning
    trying to contain her glee.

    That sun rose right up again.
    Watch her basking in its glow,
    wearing her heart
    on petaled sleeve,
    knowing a bartered bevy
    of new, exciting things.

    Today is full of the imp
    -ossible, and when
    that borrowed light
    holds her face just right,


    1. grcran

      I agree w William, regarding this creative and thoughtful poem. The rhymes and the cleverly broken words serve to heighten the insights into how a plant perceives, and is perceived. Even though I prefer the sunflower, I get new appreciation for the morning glory here. rusty

  10. MatthewTM

    Hold it in! Don’t let it out!
    It struggles to be heard.
    Have it’s right to reply.
    But make it wait.
    Don’t risk the ridicule,
    Or worse.
    Don’t let it scare her.
    It will have its time.
    The right time.
    Or perhaps there will never be a time.
    But don’t let it out.
    Even if it wants to climb to the giddiest heights and scream it out,
    Don’t let it out.
    When it catches you by surprise,
    When she rests her head on your shoulder
    And it jumps to the tip of your tongue
    Don’t let it out.
    And especially when you lay down beside her,
    Your armour is scattered across the bedroom floor
    And you’ve never been closer,
    Don’t let it out.
    Freedom fighter.
    Stopper of clocks.
    Beating both fists on your chest.
    When your are weakest,
    When you least expect it,
    It will shatter your heart to have its audience
    And then leave the rest to you.

  11. catprincess16


    has two sides.
    The cat stalked the moth
    focus in every silent,
    measured step.
    The moth floated above him,
    It had never seen a four-legged in the air.
    Then the gaping
    jaws of the feline
    were right in front of him.
    The terror of the moment
    was short lived for the moth.

  12. tunesmiff

    In ANTICIPATION of New Year’s Eve, here’s something I wrote a couple of years ago in response to a story on NPR’s Weekend Editiot~ Hope it speaks to the EXCITEMENT prompt…

    G. Smith & H. Ford
    New Year’s Eve in western Carolina,
    We’re down at Clay’s Garage on Broad at Main.
    Folks have come to town for celebratin’,
    ‘Cause it’s possum droppin’ time here once again.

    They drop the big ball up in New York City,
    They say a million folks are in Times Square;
    We’ll be lucky if we get two hundred fifty,
    But chances are you’ll know most people there.

    It’s possum droppin’ time here once again,
    Time to gather ’round wit family and friends.
    It’s how we ring the bold year out, and bring the new one is,
    It’s possum droppin’ time here once again.

    Tomorrow we’ll eat black-eyed peas and collards,
    To bring us luck and money all next year.
    But tonight we’re gonna hoopt and howl and holler,
    ‘Cause possum droppin’ time is finally here!

    It’s possum droppin’ time here once again,
    Time to gather ’round wit family and friends.
    It’s how we ring the bold year out, and bring the new one is,
    It’s possum droppin’ time here once again.

    Yes, it’s possum droppin’ time here once again.

    1. Julieann

      For a number of years my son lived near a town with a possum dropping. Everyone for miles around came to see the possum dropping. You’ve captured it well. Congratulations!

  13. grcran

    trending upward

    already excited alrighty alrighty whoopee
    ignited recharged by advances not unrequited. you see,
    i’ve been slightedblightedindicted for years
    incited most insanely til I choked on my own tears
    most unsightly situation now is righted from its wrong
    and going forth delighted joy alighted on this song

    by gpr crane

  14. fleety

    Hopeful Crusader

    Snuffed the smiles out of my face,
    When silence cuts deep.
    Fragile sighs like
    Roses with petals plucked.
    Turrets of fateless dreams,
    Lost in sunless breaths.
    Raising my glass to hope,
    The only excitement
    In this waterfall of memories
    That leaves me thirsty for you
    In the land of merciless eternities.

    1. PressOn

      “Crusader” caught my attention, and found the poem especially fascinating in that context. Despite the hopeful insertion, this poem left me with a heavy feeling.

  15. LeeAnne Ellyett

    I’m tired, restless,
    tossing and turning over,
    the voices in my head,

    They tell me, we’re dead…
    But…I keep replaying,
    the moments and memories,

    Can they be still…
    like a silent movie, no voice,

    A choice, to forget, let go,
    and I will grow,

    tiny and small at first,
    somehow, excited to burst,
    shining…like a star.

  16. grcran

    Wish It Were Now

    What if you were present at some unknown time
    In the potential future and the world leaders began
    To work together and the people began to be
    More confident that they would always have
    Enough and they started thinking that they need not
    Covet the possessions of other peoples and other
    Nations and folks truly began believing that
    Harmony is the most important thing of all? This would be the
    Beginning of the time beyond all wars. What if
    You were there? I would be excited.

    by gpr crane

  17. grcran

    When It Happens

    Imagining the excitement, he asked her out
    A second time
    It was better than he hoped it would be
    They connected on so many levels
    Outside on the river in the cold wind
    Excited, both of them
    They went to eat afterwards
    Savory the food and the conversation
    And he knew…
    She’s the one, he knew
    And he told her, a little
    Polepole, she said
    What? He replied, continuing to know,
    Because she was the one
    Swahili for go slowly, she told him
    Right, he said, I get it
    I’m just excited because, well,
    You know, too

    by gpr crane

  18. Doakley

    (In response the cute excited dog poem)

    The Cat’s Excitement

    Returning home from a two week cruise,
    we found the cat taking a snooze,
    laying on the sofa back, maybe she’s dead,
    as I set down the last suitcase, she raises her head.
    Not a sign of emotion did she even display,
    from her bed on the sofa, where she continued to lay.
    We sat down at the table to go through the mail,
    finally the cat stretches and twitches her tail,
    we read all the letters and the holiday card,
    the cat strolls in like we were just in the yard,
    a little meow like “have you fed me yet”
    that’s all the excitement we are likely to get.

  19. Connie Peters


    A hundred race cars revving
    up their engines in my heart.
    A thousand little artists
    painting images in my mind.
    Five hundred horsemen
    trotting though my veins.
    Joy, hope, anticipation
    twirling around like ballerinas.

  20. sjmcken

    (Imagine “Excitement” in very large to very small type, letter by letter, left to right….Ho Ho Ho) Happy Holidays!

    Another admonition about gifts,
    the how to have success with an off-chance
    of staunching giftees’ frequent petulance,
    and saving you embarrassing short shrifts.
    Again I’m given cultural whiplash,
    (as I lie gasping, gobsmacked, by the road)
    advised to chuck the personal’s old mode
    and seek perfection by just giving cash.
    The charm of this escapes me either side
    a cold transaction in its warmest view
    as if the point were asset transfers due,
    seasonal brotherhood’s sad fratricide.
    … The point long lost, we double down our bet,
    … reducing every turn to what-we-get.

  21. taylor graham

    DEC 25

    So far science brings me,
    by daily revolutions of my self
    in and out of shadow, past
    the equinox, and lo
    here’s the morning sun incarnadine
    through clouds. My self
    twisted inside my sheets, my night-
    skin according to laws
    of nature beyond my understanding.
    Am I hearing bells, or tinnitus
    of the ear? In all this
    contortioning of matter and mind,
    this messy manger
    of my body suddenly alight
    with hope, dawn’s
    excitement for the moment
    I’m alive! Let wiser men
    delve to find causes. I’ll walk out
    and marvel at the Sun.

    1. grcran

      oh I do like this… as I like it when my cat trusts me so much that he walks atop my foot as I stand in the kitchen… and you may possibly be wrong about this, but you acknowledge that, and say what you say anyway, which is fine… it’s only the passion play, as foretold… yep, I like it…

  22. Nancy Posey


    After years of playing Santa,
    we now wait upstairs
    in our daughter’s guest room
    with the children,
    going on nine, seven and four,
    perched in our bed,
    waiting for the signal
    to come downstairs
    and see the treasure
    beneath the tree.

    It’s a special grace we offer,
    this willingness to wait,
    to grant a little extra sleep
    to the very child who woke us
    all those many years,
    impatient to see for herself
    that the jolly old man
    have once again made magic.

    For now, we all discuss
    the sounds we heard at night,
    what might have been prancing
    overhead, a swoosh and thump
    down the chimney. The waiting,
    we know from years of practice,
    is where the magic lies.

  23. PressOn


    When cardinals sing on Christmas day,
    the gasp of red seems like a ray
    of sunlight sifting scarlet hue
    to ease the cold with warmth anew.

    I must confess, I feel quite gay
    when cardinals sing on Christmas day;
    I feel a burst of certain joy
    and know great pleasure, like a boy

    who has discovered some new toy.
    That is the feeling I deploy
    when cardinals sing on Christmas day,
    despite the frights of winter’s way.

    No cloak of cold, no ice-bound blue
    can yield a winter day I rue,
    so long as I can counter grey
    when cardinals sing on Christmas day.

    1. grcran

      downright beautiful, William! the images and colors are painted marvelously! the rhyming is somewhat repetitive and predictable but to me, in this case and in the great setting you’ve created, that makes it even better… I’ve read a book-full of your words since april, but these are the best… thank you for the gift of posting them here! rusty

  24. ReathaThomasOakley


    Christmas used to be
    a long time coming,
    but we had more time
    to make the lists, to plan the food,
    to learn our parts
    in the big church play.

    My brother, he was really busy
    right on down
    to Christmas Eve
    trying to sell more issues of
    the Grit than any other boy
    in town.

    But, he was hampered by the lack
    of a brand new bike to take
    him out of our neighborhood
    to find new customers for
    that ten-cent paper filled
    with stories and recipes and poems
    to make our lives complete.

    That one Christmas morning,
    after all the gifts were opened
    and we were sitting on the floor,
    my daddy said, from his big chair,
    Son, would you go to the kitchen
    and get me a cup of nice,
    hot coffee from the pot on the stove?

    My brother did what we both always
    did, obeyed our father’s wishes, and
    dutifully headed to the back of the house
    while our parents smiled.

    I was busy with my new book
    when I heard my brother scream.
    Oh, no, I thought,
    he spilled the coffee pot
    and now he’s burned himself.
    I ran as fast as I could,
    didn’t even wonder why my folks
    just sat.

    In the kitchen my brother stood
    and cried, looking at his brand new bike.
    I was so happy for him,
    his Christmas wishes had come true,
    but even now I think
    it might have been better if he
    had visited the bathroom

    1. sjmcken

      Wonderful pull along in the poem’s narrative…Norman Rockwell-ian in its pictures. I love the simplicity and homeliness of it…time gone long by. I don’t know for sure, but I hear silence in the home that Christmas morning, lovely soft resonant silence surrounding all the happy talk and paper tearing.

  25. Sara McNulty

    Oh Boy!

    It’s six o’clock, It’s six o’clock!
    Here he comes, down the block.
    I can’t wait to see him, I can’t wait to see him!
    Key is turning in the lock.

    You’re home, your home!
    I race to his side, I see a bone
    My tail goes wild, my tail goes wild!
    Oh no, I peed. So happy I’m no longer alone.

  26. Nancy Posey

    All Is Calm

    Reaching that age when playing Santa
    happens at other houses, not ours, this year
    I pack our car with gifts and goodies,
    fruit we know won’t last ‘til we get home
    and fight the crowds heading west,
    watching white lights of others heading east,

    fighting the urge to turn around, to stay
    at home where all is peace, all is calm.
    Instead, I turn up the radio, a little bit
    of Christmas, a little rock and roll, and sing
    until we’re hoarse, laughing at stories
    from the years of Christmases we’ve shared.

    The tug of blood kin, our children and theirs,
    parents getting older without our witness,
    nieces and nephews we want to know us,
    pulls us homeward—to that other home.

    Arriving—before we have a chance to sit,
    to catch our breath—we’re bundled up again,
    herded out, feigning excitement, wishing
    for rest. And then as we slide into place,
    crowded into wooden pews, holding candles,
    watching wide-eyed children, the music begins. . .

    Mary, did you know. . . O Holy Night. . .
    Gloria in Excelsis Deo. . . Beautiful Star. . .

    and my heart quickens, as light passes
    from hand to hand, the room aglow
    with tiny flames. You reach for my hand
    and squeeze. All is calm. All is bright.

    (I guess excitement comes in all frequencies! Merry Christmas, poeming friends.)

    1. Julieann

      We had plans this year of this sort, but to unfortunate circumstances we were unable to complete them. Thanks for sharing a beautiful and exciting poem of Christmas, family, and friends. Wonderfully expressed !!

  27. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    I can’t sit still,
    Can’t wait until,
    The morning light,
    After the Silent Night.

    Hark, the herald Angels sing,
    Was that the doorbell I heard ring?
    Aunts and uncles, and to my surprise,
    Cousins bearing cakes and pies.

    Of course the presents,
    Why wouldn’t they be,
    Wrapped and ready
    Under the tree?

    The joy, the wonder,
    The stockings and such;
    I don’t think I’ll ever,
    Enjoy this too much.

    But first things first:
    The season’s because,
    Is not to employ
    Old Santa Claus.

    It’s not the eggnog
    It’s not the Yule log;
    It’s not the sleigh rides in the snow;
    It’s none of those, I think you know.

    Instead it’s the Gift
    We could never afford;
    Delivered with love
    From our heavenly Lord.

    Guess I’m still a kid,
    But then, don’t you see?
    All of my kids are,
    Older than me.
    With tip of the Santa hat to Dr. Suess and Ogden Nash…

    Merry Christmas, y’all;


  28. Doakley

    Teenage Excitement

    The junior high boys stand
    in a line against the old gymnasium
    wall, like the pipes
    in a carnival shooting gallery,
    hands in their pockets, not the
    least bit aware
    of the junior high girls sitting
    like kewpie dolls on folding chairs
    on the opposite wall.

    Shoes lined up or in heaps, by the door
    they came in, only socks on their feet.
    Sideways glances,
    don’t let them catch you looking and
    figuring out your best chances.
    heart pounding, vision blurry,
    palms sweaty, you shuffle across
    the floor,
    being careful not to look up
    or make eye contact too soon,
    you can
    always chicken out and head
    for the hallway restroom,
    but you
    make it across and are standing
    right in front of the pretty dark haired
    girl looking
    up at you, “would, um, you like to dance?”
    “Yes, thank you,” holding up her hand
    to you
    and all is right in your world.

  29. Marie Therese Knepper

    You Didn’t

    Is it my fault
    You took my excitement;
    drop-kicking it like a pro-
    baller needing field advantage?

    Is it my fault I
    came to You with great
    exuberance, to be crushed
    under your need-to-be Alpha?

    Is it my fault I let my
    joy froth unseemingly,
    bubbling uncontrollably,
    frothing hysterical glibness?

    Is it my fault I need
    a choir, a cheer squad,
    a circus troupe and
    a half-time show?

    I did.
    You didn’t.
    I needed.
    You needled.

  30. JRSimmang

    They say, in March,
    my life will
    be a tidal wave.

    But, I don’t know
    if they know
    how tidal waves behave.

    The water recedes from the shoreline,
    laying bare the ghost of its silence,
    showing us the upset coral of thousands of
    stranded souls who never quite made it.

    Then, off in the distance,
    the penitent potentiality
    rises up to the sky in prayer,
    and hurtles itself,
    with all abandon,
    against the
    rocks and muck and grime
    as if shouting will never work the same way it had in the past.
    Its hammer-fist renders the cliffs to melting metronomes,
    the beach becomes an avalanche.
    Floundering, staccato becomes the life,
    and the line between earth and salt and water
    is erased by the hands of an angry toddler,
    who, incidentally, is crying to be held
    only to be shushed by a spinning, lighted mobile
    (the one with the soothing sound effects that
    could never replace, nor should ever replace,
    the beauty in the lullaby).
    If there were people,
    there aren’t now,
    for they’ve cradled each other with such
    force as to be
    transcended into another world.

    All is calm after the ensuing storm, and
    cast onto the sand
    its breath remains,
    soft and pulsing,
    and if you’re lucky
    you’ll find what you’re looking for.

    In March,
    I believe I will know
    what the tidal wave is,
    it won’t be a tidal wave.
    It will be a blessing,
    it will be a devotion,
    it will be a girl.

    -JR Simmang


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