Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 291

Today is the final day of 2014, and tomorrow is 2015. At least, that’s how it is in Atlanta, Georgia.

As such, this week’s prompt is to write a party poem. A lot of stuff happens at parties. There are people who are the life of the party, who crash the party, and who feel left out of the party.

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Here’s my attempt at a Party Poem:

“the three-year-old dance”

she says she wants to party,
but i don’t know how. i don’t
dance or drink or feel relaxed
around strangers, but she says

she wants to party. she says
she needs to party right now
& i realize she doesn’t need
to party; she means potty.

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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.

Happy New Year, everyone! Make a wish, steal a kiss, do whatever makes you feel good.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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137 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 291

  1. JWLaviguer

    When the Music’s Over

    Oh, it’s a constant party around here.
    Everyone is invited
    and nobody ever leaves.
    More voices means less choices.
    Shut up and listen.
    Wake up and go to sleep.
    I have visions.
    The door to the window
    is lost to me now.
    Another injection
    strapped down and gagged
    trapped in my own mind
    praying for Death
    to release me from
    these chains of misery.

    JW Laviguer

  2. taylor graham

    SLUMBER PARTY

    They’re giggling behind the door,
    scarfing up ambrosia fizzed
    with root beer, giggling over the
    latest celebrity witch;
    a centerfold on the French Riviera
    tanned and tape-
    worm thin, languidly wanton
    sunkiss-highlight tresses
    alluring one blue eye. But mostly
    they’re giggling because
    it’s their night away from home,
    they’re playing grown-up;
    they’ll never be twelve years old
    again.

  3. De Jackson

    Party People

    They lead vigorous half-lives,
    like pink algae and fun
    -gi adopted by moonlight.

    They call many shots
    and circle lots
    looking for their
    cars, even though
    they walked.

    They’re distinctively poor
    and strangely silent, wear
    -resistant to the deep blue

                heart of morning.

    .

  4. Mag65

    Wasted

    I used to go out to party
    With some people I knew,
    With their friends, too.

    We’d buy a case of apple wine
    And distribute the swill.
    A void we tried to fill

    And compensate with alcohol.
    I’d wake up, not recall
    The loss of clothes at all.

    No future in a life like this.
    I wrenched myself away.
    Not so, one: gone today.

    With damaged liver and sick heart,
    This meteor flamed out.
    “Such wasted life!” I shout.

  5. Walt Wojtanik

    WE GATHER TOGETHER

    Not so much of a party,
    not as much as you would think.
    There was no hard drink or cake,
    make no mistake, it was a cause
    to celebrate. We came to
    congregate and share kind words
    for a man who loved to raise a glass
    when the occasion called for it.
    Somber and solemn did not enter
    into our minds. We found time
    to have a laugh, recalling fondly
    the moments in the presence
    of the head of the roost.
    Here’s a toast to one good man
    as we bid goodbye! A new year
    with out him near, and a single tear
    finds its way down the cheek.
    The comfort and peace he did seek,
    we cheer for John in his passing.

  6. shellcook

    The Party

    Party of One,
    not alone,
    but still dancing
    in the moonlight.

    Welcome
    to the Party,
    where everything
    has changed.

    For the better,
    for the worse,
    who is to say,
    the wounded or the wise~

    This Party
    is it over, over there
    or over here
    for the blessed or the dear~

    I’m just asking questions,
    As you can clearly see.
    Should I question the party
    or just let it be~

    Come and gone
    with a hoot and a yell,
    this party continued on
    long past the bell

    when moving into life
    it all might have changed
    the way teenage angst
    becomes the lesson, not the role.

    It’s been a good party,
    but it’s over now,
    It’s time to grow up
    right about now.

    I’m rambling, I know,
    but bear with me please
    I have a right to live,
    my life, if I please.

    So get it together,
    because I’m pretty tired
    of attending the party
    that lives in your head.

    1/4/15

  7. MatthewTM

    A quick one…

    OUR TIME

    Hearts beat four to the floor.
    We circle then fall.
    Wait.
    Count.
    Then rise again,
    lifted higher on the wave.
    This is our time
    and we command it to stop.

    Our promise to never change
    and our lie in knowing we will.
    Every song,
    every drink,
    every word,
    secretly our last.
    We will spend our youth
    but we will never let it expire.

  8. shethra77

    New Year’s Party 2015

    Arbitrary
    time zone tick-tock party—
    a wild concentration of celebration
    hooked to cosmic rotation.
    People go on vacation to stand in the cold,
    see the last of year old stop and drop
    and greet year new.
    ’23 skidoo will be back, got it’s place in the stack.
    Have you heard this millenium
    tock? a ducky bird.
    Bird, rock, dip your beak into water,
    fill it up—love and slaughter.
    (People: run.
    Save your son and your daughter.)

    Right now laughter is the highest pursuit. Wait
    on the next business day to run after loot.
    New is great. We celebrate—
    kisses, “auld lang syne”,
    and we all feel fine, kick back with our wine,
    watch fireworks explode star-sparkly,
    afterimages rerunning darkly
    across insides of our sleepy eyes.
    What prize
    or sorrow comes tomorrow?
    Might be good not to know
    what winds of change blow,
    though
    earth isn’t made for those who dream slow.

    1. shethra77

      Thanks to you both, William and Julieann. I was feeling the contrast between these huge happy gatherings and the shopping crowds and protest marches I’d seen on the TV these last months.

  9. Cameron Steele

    Eve’s Teeth

    Ashes to ashes, she said, moments
    before the ball dropped, clicking the
    TV’s sound up over her coughs,
    sliding her tongue along the red rind
    of her old gums, as if she might find
    her girlhood along the roots of
    her missing teeth, as if she might
    trade the silver dollars in the secretary
    for a new skeleton in her mouth, as if
    a lifetime of coins could mean less
    than a moment of salt and more than
    biting through the rough skin of the fruit
    to find the star, however rotten it may be.
    The New Year flipped through the channels
    and whispered out her nose like a myth.

  10. Julieann

    New Year’s Eve

    The waxed and shiny
    Dance floor beckoned
    As friends and dancers
    Gathered ‘round the
    Room’s perimeter
    Anticipating the evening’s festivities

    The music begins
    Husbands and wives
    Friends and lovers
    Glide onto the dance floor
    To the rhythm of the Waltz
    With its slow, gracefully executed steps
    And fluid turns to sounds of rustling skirts

    The music changes
    And the dance floor cleared
    To make way for Bill and Lottie
    He tall, young, energetic
    She tiny, older, a medical miracle
    They executed the high kicks, twists
    And turns of the Schottische with precision
    Grace and fluidity
    Watching them, not a dry eye could be found

    The night’s festivities progressed,
    Dancing and drinking and smoking
    From cigarettes and pipes to stinky old stogies
    But no one cared back then
    It was a time of friendship
    Of coming together
    Of well wishes for the new year at midnight

    The lights clicked off, then back on
    Kisses and hugs exchanged
    Slaps on the back and many, many
    Happy New Year greetings
    Between friends
    At the German American Club – 1949

  11. catprincess16

    PARTY FLOWER

    She told me
    she liked going to parties.
    The atmosphere,
    the excitement
    she loved it.

    She told me
    she was there to
    hold up the walls.
    As I rested my feet from dancing,
    she giggled.

    She told me
    she had come with her boyfriend.
    And then, she grabbed my arm.
    “I saw you dancing with him
    while I held up the wall.”

    I shook my arm loose,
    left the party and
    went home.
    Decided she had told me
    more than she intended.

  12. Doakley

    Birthday Party

    It was a dark and stormy night,
    the temperature was twenty below,
    I was born at midnight plus ten minutes,
    so my father left for home, told to drive very slow.

    The roads ahead of him were
    twelve miles of dark and slippery doom,
    the cars radiator had frozen solid,
    so he decided to rent a room.

    By noon the storm had broken,
    the car thawed by mornings sun,
    my dad returned to town,
    to see his wife and newborn son.

    He had brought them to the hospital,
    his wife, the mom to be,
    in the storms wee early hours,
    on New Years eve you see.

    And what a special day, it turns out to be,
    the crowds gather to party and cheer,
    I believe to celebrate my birthday,
    but maybe to welcome in the brand new year!

  13. winerf

    Great way to share your thoughts infortunatly it’s a little bit confusing ….. however i would like to share my own simple tips to be more productive
    Vɪsɪᴛ Wᴇʙsɪᴛᴇ…………………………. w­w­w.Moneykin.C­o­­m

  14. JRSimmang

    HUNGOVER

    Sitting in
    amidst the scuffled
    headlines of the recently
    retired year,
    paper cups and napkins,
    cone-shaped hats and
    horns,

    our hero
    clutches his head
    and asks:

    When does the New Year
    become the Old Year?

    -JR Simmang

  15. Doakley

    THE GUILTY PARTY

    It’s time to come clean
    to cleanse my soul,
    to air out those things
    done that tarnish my whole.

    I abhor awakening from
    where I have tread,
    finding myself
    far from your bed.

    What in my mind makes
    me behave such as this,
    the horrible thing I do,
    a threat, to our wedded bliss.

    I know it beforehand,
    yet still have no voice,
    I can’t seem to stop myself,
    from making this choice.

    Preparing your coffee
    to present you in bed,
    this horrible thing,
    takes over my head.

    Though I pour mine first,
    to cleanse dust from the pot,
    stir it up next
    to make the spoon hot.

    So your coffee is perfect
    as you wake from your dream,
    sweetened just right,
    not too much cream.

    But try as I might,
    and I don’t know what’s up,
    I always give you
    the ugliest cup!

  16. Jane Shlensky

    S Novim Godom (С Новым Годом)

    jewelry and crystal sparkle
    glittered cardboard hats, crowns,
    and tinsel boas dress down their dignity

    she holds her grand-daughter’s hand,
    both of them shy among so many adults
    the little girl wanting to open new year gifts

    waiting until she has no patience
    grandmother smiles and toasts
    nods and passes foods she usually avoids

    thinking, hurry midnight, father time
    dragging his old legs, minutes frozen
    like her tired party smile

    nice people, people of good will, speak
    Russian so rapidly and joyously
    she cannot join in, guessing meanings

    granddaughter’s angst is a party battery
    she dances until diapered time appears
    a friendly ghost nearby, a tired shadow

    grandmother understands father time’s
    fumbling toward deserved rest
    in sweats with feet up and quiet

    ready to drop like a new year’s ball
    or acorn or pine cone or possum
    like fireworks just after the sparkle fizzles

  17. usedname

    3…2…1
    Snap and crackle across the sky,
    Tear away the remnants of yesterday.
    A speckled black canvas ripples now with streams of light,
    Our future is here, let them know our jubilation

    This year’s first seconds are doused in wine and heavy cologne,
    Held up by feathery lips, warm hands and bliss
    We are cheerful and giddy,
    Innocent once more,
    Joyous and keen,
    This our first January 2015

  18. LeeAnne Ellyett

    Party of One

    The whispering in the halls,
    the quiet exchange,
    among the known ones,
    there’s a party, about to change,

    The word is, it starts at nine,
    friend or foe,
    the nights aglow,
    welcome to the party,

    The music loud, couples dancing,
    the beer flows into dixie cups,
    I see you glancing,

    My hearts prancing, I’m all yours,
    hold me tight, kiss me light,
    Oh, that’s right,

    I didn’t get an invite.

  19. PKP

    Wishing all –

    A Happy Healthy Peaceful New Year filled with love and light and of course many a wonderful write 🙂

    Will be back to read later on….
    Enjoy the beginning of the new year 🙂

      1. cbwentworth

        Thank you! I’ve been reading a lot of Richard Wright’s haiku of late and I guess he’s influencing me. His haiku plays with both nature and humanity, (but he doesn’t always include enough of humanity to be true senryu). I love the blurred line he created in his work.

  20. taylor graham

    NEW YEAR IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE

    Tentacles of highway reached south past yester-
    day, and north – where/how far to the next filling
    station? The gas gauge, arbiter of our future –
    would the tank run dry? We pulled off on a dirt
    road without a signature. Spurious trespassers
    we might be, but we saw no signs. Just a sandbar
    on a river with no name by the map. Unloaded
    contents of our truck, our scanty camping gear,
    one can of supper. Let our dogs free to roam
    the scrub. I lay down body-deep in flowing
    water, let it wash the miles away. Waited
    for the old year to run out. No fireworks
    to electrify that incredibly starry night. One
    gunshot straight to heaven from somewhere
    on the hills so high above us, marking midnight,
    advent of a fresh new year.

  21. sjmcken

    Inhere
    Not understanding, not a bit
    to “party” in its lately fit
    of drugged out revelry excess
    designed amnesia’s blanked-out mess
    and those who say its this or cry
    for all the woes of this life’s lie
    I say your expectations skew
    is set awry to center you
    amid a fantasy’s false spin
    of happy found beyond your skin
    and that will ever disappoint
    you are your own true needs’ endpoint
    and when you’ve made that truth inhere
    you’ll party moderately dear,
    to keep the clarity you hold
    nearby as shield, as warm enfold.

  22. sjmcken

    One Party
    A charming date, interests alike,
    who comes and goes at times I like,
    who seems to know my every sigh
    who finds the world much as do I;
    compatible companion for
    a lovely day or evening’s tour
    of highs or lows or barely knows,
    of racy, spacey, purpled glows;
    always assured of having fun,
    arriving as: “Party of One”.

  23. grcran

    newyears eve mildly

    light roguery continued and the party did wind down
    no tux was worn no scoff was borne no fancy evening gown
    small party just the two of them not making midnight smooch
    bold banter shushed a hush was heard with no intent to mooch
    where money does not matter where friends ain’t fiends nor foes
    they end the evening early on a course to banish woes
    she calls his name inside his brain how did she think of that
    best party yet he smiles beguiled a human Cheshire cat

    by gpr crane

  24. IrisD

    It takes two to party
    One cannot party alone
    And yet I sit here online
    To party with everyone
    I laughed at Robert’s miscue
    Partied with Paula and Pearl
    Cried at closing gates of “Blooming”
    Regretting to say farewell
    Made resolutions with Doakley
    Smelled liquor that Shannon poured
    Took a walk with Taylor
    And yet managed to stay warm
    Here in my snug recliner
    Alone but with the world

  25. Sara McNulty

    My Own Idea

    Never liked the word, party
    Images of overcrowded room,
    many unfamiliar faces,
    people all talking
    at the same time.

    A few intimate friends,
    plenty of laughter,
    delicious dinner–in
    or out–ample supply
    of wine, and a sinful
    dessert.

    Would not be a party
    of the first part,
    yet would love to be
    a party of the
    second part.

  26. Shennon

    Just a moment on the lips, he quipped
    Will do a body well.
    Such a small taste, I know you hate
    Living in this hell.

    Just get your lips wet, it’ll help you forget
    All the anger, all the pain.
    Do not hesitate to seal your fate
    I may not come again.

    Do not deny, your need to hide
    You long to get away.
    Forget all your cares, for I come prepared
    Your fears I will allay.

    I’m one you can trust, quite simply, you must
    There’s a good girl, now take a drink.
    Just a sip from my cup, drink it all up
    Then feel yourself on the brink

    Of leaving this lie, this hollowed out life
    Every day will be a party now.
    Of each future disaster, you’ll now be the master,
    Let the devil show you how.

    –ShennonDoah

  27. PKP

    Happy New Year

    Party so hard that your legs fall off
    Party so hard that sweat pours down
    your back and between your breasts
    and your breath comes in gasps as
    the room spins and the music pounds
    and you dance banging your heels into
    the ground. Party so hard that your
    skin flames onto bone as your features
    slide into melt. Party through the dark
    night under strobe lights of the mind
    Party – so that tears will not fall into this
    New Year

  28. Arash

    An advanced “Happy New Year” to everyone who celebrates it.
    On to the poem:

    “Party LIfe”

    by Arash

    To party life
    you must
    be present.
    Born alone, we
    die alone.
    But parties
    call for people.
    Join our party:
    Door is open.

  29. DanielR

    PART E

    Some Christmas presents come assembled
    others don’t
    the box said minimum assembly required
    I was confident I was qualified
    she waited with anticipation
    watched with eager eyes
    a screwdriver and crescent wrench
    Part A goes into B
    C attaches to D
    Where is Part E?
    Her face sinks with disappointment
    and the party is over.

    Daniel Roessler

  30. taylor graham

    NEW YEAR’S EVE

    Time to party. Fireworks at midnight.
    I’ll climb the hill that overshades the town –
    a tease, a wondering. What’s up there?
    I’ve lived so long not knowing. Up, through
    winter-dead grass, what’s left of an old season.
    A look behind me. Then ahead. Here’s a game-
    trail – deer and fox, coyote, rabbit, they know
    where they’re going, better than I do. I follow,
    meandering, already above the roofs of town.
    Here’s sign of man, a concrete lip, a flume
    from the old mining days. It’s dry and broken.
    So much I’ve tried to do, and failed. Keep
    walking up. Here’s a chunk of quartz – it might
    hold miner’s gold, or just the natural light
    of stone. Fire-works of ages. And here, wild
    growth blocks my way. I could wait for flaming
    balls shot in the air, exploding blossoms
    instantly gone. Or I could leave, go down and
    home. But first, I could take my fill of stars
    that stay past New Year’s Eve.

    1. grcran

      evocative beautiful stuff… newyears eve incorporated creatively and well… and you’ve captured the transitory nature of the holiday too… excellent! rusty

  31. ReathaThomasOakley

    The injured party speaks

    Yes, I do admit
    it’s partly my fault,
    it will be fun, I said,
    you’ll do just fine, I said,
    and after all you’ve bragged
    that in your youth
    you were quite the poet.

    So, on day one, November
    last, we both viewed the prompt
    and vowed to write
    one poem each day,
    thirty-one times.

    But, somewhere along the way,
    I seem to recall about day sixteen,
    I began to suspect some new prompt
    had entered his life
    when in the wee hours of the night
    he’d abandon our marital bed,
    slip right past the bathroom,
    a usual stop,
    and tiptoe on down the hall
    to the office.

    I tried not to worry,
    perhaps he remembered a bill
    not paid, or perhaps one of his
    sons had posted a Facebook photo
    of a grand child
    he wanted to look at again.

    But, then in just a few days
    as he moved away in
    the night, I heard him mutter,
    as if in a prayer,
    Erato, Erato,
    why must you tempt me so!

    That’s when I knew that the wily,
    seductive poetry muse had gotten my man.

    How could he, weak and untested in the ways
    of that temptress, refuse her advances
    and promises of greatness.
    Millions of men, and just as many women,
    have succumbed to the siren’s call, and left other beloveds
    behind, weeping and lonely, as they pursue
    the perfect rhythm or rhyme.

    Even I, hard shelled as I am.
    have heard that voice in the night,
    calling, calling, in the sweetest of tones.
    How strange, I even hear it now.
    What’s that, what did I do?
    I mixed my metaphors, you’re
    not a siren, that’s some other creature?

    Oh, please excuse me for now,
    my testimony can wait,
    but my next poem cannot.

  32. Doakley

    THE NEW YEARS EVE PARTY RESOLUTION

    It just dawned on me,
    it’s time for my new year resolution,
    you know, a way to be better
    with a feasible solution.

    Dessert is my downfall,
    causes me great pain
    not only in quantity
    but with the weight that I gain.

    Think of a slice of
    coconut crème pie,
    could I even do it
    and not have to lie?

    Or a big piece of
    German chocolate cake,
    speaking of that,
    I don’t know what it would take.

    It is a daunting task I face,
    my commitment devout,
    I firmly resolve,
    It is coconut I will do without!

    From my resolve
    this will not defray,
    I don’t care for
    coconut anyway.

  33. PressOn

    THIS IS THE LIFE

    Paulie, no pooper of parties,
    Assenting to hearkens of hearties,
    Released a balloon
    That cast him as buffoon
    Yet outsmarted those hearty old smarties.

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