Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 294

For this week’s prompt, take the phrase “State of (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write your poem. Possible titles include: “State of the Union,” “State of Ohio,” “State of Grace,” “State of Mind,” and so on.


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Here’s my attempt at a State of Blank poem:

“state of mints”

a man knocked on my door today
& asked if i was aware of the state
of mints “of course,” i said, “i have
no clue” “which is why,” he said,

“it is fortuitous that i arrived today
because i have a prepared state-
ment on the state of mints” “have
at it,” i said “here we go,” he said

& even though it happened today
i must have been in some state
of not listening because i have
forgotten everything that he said

but my breath smells minty fresh


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 has a small tin of ShakeSpearmints on his desk, and he’s caught a little of the state of the union, and he wrote a poem today. Now, it’s your turn.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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296 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 294

  1. taylor graham


    Another celebrity TV show
    to analyze the latest prickly humors,
    the split-ups, the pressurized
    smiles. Is there really a market for all those
    famous eyes behind designer shades?
    Fast, fast they plunge amid the flashing
    flashbulb waves, the canned applause
    one after another on the speeding
    interstate of fame.
    But oh, the off-ramps.

  2. Cynthia Page

    The State of Unity is Gone

    This union is not unified; It’s rights are all wrong.
    Our founders did their best to prevent
    domination of the weak by the strong,
    with only each other to balance greed.
    They did not foresee this unity’s ugly breed.

    We once were a nation that valued our worth,
    We valued our words; we loved our world.
    We made plans toward our future.
    Now, petty political disputes leave us
    with political scars needing suture
    We have no sustainable Earth.

    But some say they still fight for our right.
    to carry and shoot upon sight.
    We have the right to kill in fright,
    but with no mandate to think first.
    Life and happiness seem less important
    than our guns, and civil codes enforced.

    Life holds less value than fear;
    Happiness forgotten;
    firepower’s bartered like beer.
    With cops turned rotten,
    we just hope to see morning’s light.

    Health care embattled and fractious;
    school children suffering hunger.
    A rich man whines about taxes;
    his money reigns freely in D.C.
    A child complains of emptiness,
    her mother’s tears fall dearly in privacy,
    (while farming corporations
    collect millions in gub’mint subsidy.)

    Five decades ago people worried a president
    would let the pope control him.
    Now five Catholic judges set legal precedent,
    according to outdated papacy.
    Money and power are hoarded
    by elitists, whose hunger
    takes precedence over
    simple human sensibility.

  3. James Von Hendy

    State of Rain

    Tell me about the rain
    that’s coming, tell me about the rain,

    how much (and not how little) it could be,

    it’s all that Robin asks,
    how much (and not how little) it could be

    in California, rain
    that’s coming down the coast, and rain that’s out

    to sea, I’ll tell you, Robin, rain’s about

    the mountains north of here,
    how much (and not how little) it could be,

    the rain that whispers “dream”
    is coming down in sheets, it’s drumming down

    the roofs of sleep, it fills
    the buckets of desire and rains down still,

    how much (and not how little) it could be.

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  5. grcran

    state of disrepair

    deaths had left him
    in a dingy state of disrepair
    could not care for himself
    or whoever else
    landed on a shifty dusty shelf not
    that far from the abyss
    healing not healing
    edging not falling not rising not falling
    not edging
    began to climb
    still wounded still damaged still healing
    congealing his hopes
    she peered there


    saw what he might become
    saw what he might already be

    by gpr crane

  6. Salvwi Prasad

    State of Confusion
    I could be so much more than ‘me’,
    Only if I take a firm step and not wee,
    So what if I try and fail,
    Atleast I will have a story to tell,
    To those in the same state of confusion,
    Lead life with your own reason.

    #Hexoem (Hexa+Poem)

  7. Cameron Steele


    I brushed my teeth three days ago
    bloodied my gums a bit, staring
    at the orchid he gave me a fight
    or two ago, wondering if it would die:
    some people say they never do,
    just curl up inside their slender green
    selves, waiting for night to turn back
    into angels.

    You brushed my cheeks when I slept
    dreaming of the kind of summer day
    you throw your whole body into, burn
    with the humidity it takes to turn
    into a flower or a cleaner person,
    let the ashes fall away.

    For my birthday last week, I wore
    dirty teeth beneath my smile while
    everyone told me I looked beautiful.
    I poked tender gums with my tongue,
    avoided the petals in your gaze,
    kept the flowers behind the metal
    in my mouth.

    1. PressOn

      For me, this poem was work to read, but very rewarding. The stretching of language here is so impressive, and the images have a dovetailing effect. Wonderful.

  8. Shennon

    State of Relaxation

    I want to be in a state
    of relaxation
    Throughout my entire
    summer vacation

    To slip away from the madness
    the pure insanity
    the gridlock, the deadbolts
    to live wild and run free

    So I’m packing my bags
    heading west from this town
    to the state of Nebraska
    the only place that I’ve found

    With wind-swept prairies
    the hills of Scottsbluff
    Canoeing the Niobrara
    I’ll never get enough

    Of the livestock, the cornstalks
    the infinite night sky
    of breathtaking sunrises
    when one can’t deny

    That such beauty is cast
    by a true Master of Art
    No matter where my life takes me
    Nebraska always fills my heart.


  9. shellcook

    State of Time

    Sliding through the cracks in time,
    I watch the worlds go by
    from here, from there
    from everywhere,

    I am the state of time.
    Matter relevant to moving parts
    creates the world divine.
    Where all things in

    and, too, without, live,
    each life, refined.
    The unknown twists,
    that binds the hands,

    the clock, within us, stilled.
    Without the clock, in working form,
    so stands the the state of time.
    Still, so still, time stops, and we

    our depth dissolved,
    slip through the crack in time.



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