Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 299

I’ve been a bit careless today. You see, I took the day off (the kids got a snow day today), and I didn’t get my poem-prompt written this morning. However, I’ve still got a solid 30 minutes of writing time left, soooooo…

For this week’s prompt, write a careless poem. That’s right, a careless poem. It’s funny; I actually had this prompt planned out weeks in advance. Somehow, I must’ve known life was going imitate art–or vice versa.


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Here’s my attempt at a Careless Poem:

I forgot to lock the car
which means my mixtapes
are at risk
only no one listens to tapes
anymore & anyway
I meant mixdiscs
which few people even
listen to because they
can download their music
& no one listens to the same
stuff anymore anyway
& while I’m at it
I forgot to lock the gate
which means my backyard
is at risk
only no one plays outside
anymore & anyway
I forgot
to lock the doors to my house
which means my stuff & me
are at risk
only no one wants a box tv
or dvd player without hdmi
& I’m not
as valuable as I used to be
because who wants a worn out
father of five
who forgets to lock things up

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.

After writing today’s poem, he’s suddenly paranoid that he really did leave everything unlocked, but he’s reassured that he has nothing much of value for folks to take anyway.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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198 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 299

    1. patipaw

      Michael had told me
      I would meet a Guide.

      I go with my youngest, Jon,
      a pow wow
      deep into the Land of Donuts

      Every face,
      looking into eyes,
      are you the One?

      We go up a hill.
      “Be your Eagle, Mommy!”

      Arms outspread
      the wind comes
      “Let it go”
      cringing corners
      “Let it go”
      as all else
      drops away into the clouds.

      Michael writes,
      a picture of a feather,
      “Every now and then,
      we are lucky enough to meet
      Spirit Guides,
      who teach us to tread the world lightly
      as a feather.”

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Careless Poet
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    I am a careless poet
    impetuous and brash,

    a kerosene of ballpoints
    at my fingertips,

    and words so flammable,
    too dangerous for print.

    Sometimes this apathy
    naps between wicked doings,

    dreaming up rash new flashpoints
    in which to explore and incite.

    Words or actions are there to exploit,
    sitting on hands is never an option.

    Come dear readers
    and open a vein with me.

    I am a careless poet
    impetuous and brash,

    a kerosene of ballpoints
    at my fingertips,

    and words so flammable,
    too dangerous for print.

    © 2015 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. James Von Hendy

    Gee, the last month or so I seem not to have any time for the Wednesday prompts until the Tuesday night before the next Wednesday prompt. Here’s a careless ditty I just tossed off. Yeah.

    Ode to a Careless Sonnet

    Oops. Is there almost a sonnet here?
    Oh yes, if only I could persevere,
    But you know how things are these days. Line end
    Before they should, and man, oh, man, we bend
    ‘em round the corner just to rhyme
    And screw the meter every time.
    Call it careless if you absolutely must,
    But writing sonnets is like eating rust:
    Not for the faint of heart, nor tigers too,
    Rather like starving on too much to do,
    Too much to twist into straitjacket form
    For a stilted effect that’s hardly warm.
    I’d rather run a ragged line across the page
    And avoid inversion the sonnet to engage.

  3. grcran

    moreover less

    less careless morethan ever tethered one
    sighed needed nurture far from abyss edge
    more careful lessthan never smoking gun
    side kneaded nature’s fire no sacrilege
    discarding dread of death yet loving life
    begets breath garden bed beyond all strife

    by gpr crane

  4. Michelle Hed


    She sways
    as the sea
    sends the ship sideways,
    starting a skirmish
    of seismic size
    between the
    scribbling scribe,
    the seasoned scientist
    and the sword swinging Samurai.

    She sabotages herself
    with her silly snickers –
    stifling the sound
    she submerges into
    the shadows,
    as all eyes swing straight
    to the shadows…
    she slips away.

  5. HoskingPoet

    Matching peppers, I begin to panic
    Are there enough moves to complete my task
    Moves start to dwindle making me manic
    Am I wasting time in a dewar flask

    Are there enough moves to complete my task
    Words escape me, I start gasping for air
    Am I wasting time in a dewar flask
    Where I inhale helium unaware

    Words escape me, I start gasping for air
    How did I get caught in this stupid game
    Where I inhale helium unaware
    Holding my breath this poem isn’t lame

    How did I get caught in this stupid game
    Moves start to dwindle making me manic
    Holding my breath this poem isn’t lame
    Matching peppers, I begin to panic

  6. AKetring

    Told to write a careless poem so that’s when my
    Control freak comes out and searches through experiences
    Cinquain? No-too much time and you’ve only got so much time
    Perhaps work on next month’s challenge or
    Elastic brings my thoughts and anxious fingers to a dead halt

    Perhaps a simple rhyme would please an invisible audience
    I can, if I squint real hard, find familiar eyes in the dark mass
    But they look awfully familiar. Could they be?
    See what I did! I now have brought punctuation in
    In an attempt at messy carelessness and I won’t even clean up after myself!

    What else could I do? But then that would mean order to the
    Disorder. I find myself lost here trying to write carelessly
    Funness and quiet shouting among paper tigers who hum Mozart
    Doctor Twiliker and his Thousand Fingers
    There! I am relaxing and it only took six minutes!!!!

    Breathe and exhale and chase possibilities for showing off my
    Amazing creativity out the door.
    Loosen the tie and unzip the pants just a little—but not like Al Bundy
    Listen or drown out the beeps and plinks and growls around here

    Just be careless and open
    No definitions or “what it means to me”
    No “cleverness” for a moment

    Check to see if the audience approve of my thoughts on electronic paper
    I see one way in the back paying attention
    Still dark and everyone is formless
    But I don’t continue to perform I can’t see the blind masses
    I can’t rely even on those familiar eyes

  7. catprincess16


    The wife did not care.
    As she explained to the cop
    while her house was burning,
    she left the cake in the oven
    all night to get back at her husband.
    It was their anniversary.
    He had called to tell her
    he was done hiding
    his affair and was going out
    with his girlfriend.
    So she decided not to
    Be concerned about
    the cake in the oven.
    Let it get crisp.
    Let it smoke.
    Let it burn.
    She asked him then,
    “Should I have left it out
    In the rain?”
    Startled, the cop looked up
    from his notes.

    1. Mag65

      The burning cake was sweet revenge! I like the way that in a few lines you told quite a story. This poem is in subject matter and method amazing!

  8. De Jackson

    Sub: Conscious

    I wrote 13 poems today.

    So what? Who reads them?

    (Sew what?) (Who reeds them?)

                         (Sew what? Who reaps them?)



  9. De Jackson

    I only want to write first lines.

    draw you in,
    then leave you

    set a stage,
    cast a phrase
    then hold
    my tired tongue.

    give me a quill,
    love. i’ll fill a fraction
    of the page, thrill
    you with

    a thousand
    of just
    a dozen
    or so
    words each.


    1. grcran

      beautifulpoem… also has just a slight edge of cold and blood, for me, considering the words carelessly and red… kinda sweet and a little savory, I think… rusty

  10. Arash

    Careless Sun

    This room is bare, I have
    nothing left inside.
    The sun shining carelessly
    through the blinds.
    Death is the sound
    of broken promises,
    the heart that shrinks
    before beating again
    by duty, habit, force,
    not by joy or zeal.
    There’s nothing left to feel.
    Across from me it sits
    the dust covered heart
    inside the broken mirror,
    set ablaze by sunlight,
    invasive sickness defiling
    my peaceful private misery.
    Sun, you are diseased,
    have no boundaries,
    let me be, please I beg
    of you, there’s nothing
    to illuminate,
    leave me alone with misery
    of my own.
    You, so careless,
    you, selfish fool,
    you don’t know me,
    let me alone with darkness,
    and the world I can’t change,
    let me do my time in peace,
    let the prison bars
    fade into darkness,
    let me forget.
    Let out the stars,
    my blanket of stars,
    let them tuck me in,
    and let me sleep
    the grief away.

  11. ReathaThomasOakley


    I am careless
    so many things,

    have lost rings and
    and memories.

    But, am loath to go
    and search in case

    I meant to lose
    all the time.

    I am care
    that way.

  12. Sara McNulty

    For Your Own Good

    I would be remiss
    in my position
    of neighborhood tactician
    if I did not tell what people are saying,
    relaying, about you and new beau.
    Show some sense, they say,
    way to soon, widowed too recent.
    Decent women wait.
    Dating after one
    month is rather callous,
    Alice. Whispers linger,
    fingers point at you
    two when you stroll arm in arm.
    Harm may befall you,
    do take care, my dear.
    Clearly, they disapprove;
    you’ve got to see that.
    At least you are hearing it from me.
    See, I would be remiss,
    if I did not tell you.

  13. Amaria

    I think back to the days
    of eating candy like apples
    not thinking of consequences
    way down the road
    but who does when at the time
    those chocolate flavors
    soothe your aching soul
    you only think of those days
    in sadness when you look
    at the number on the scale

  14. Amaria

    I was careless when I
    let you back inside
    my heart after the
    damage you left behind

    I suppose your smile
    blinded me temporarily
    to allow your cold hands
    to capture me again

  15. De Jackson


    I don’t want to poem
    or parent
    any more –
    pander or plead or
    push or police,

    so I shall pirate
    instead, sail the high
    seas, follow the breeze
    and plunder peace
    from the dawn.

    I’ll treasure map
    my own dark heart,
    pour a whole bottle
    of sweet rum
    over ice cream
    and watch the horizon
    melt into the sinking


    1. PressOn

      The transitions in sound from the first to last stanza carry this along for me, setting the mood along with the images. I think this is masterful stuff.

  16. De Jackson


    She is feeling rather

    , stressed


    too weathered by storm
    and strain
    and stain.

    She is feeling some
    -what less
    -on, more wan
    than won,
    a slight syllable
    still cared for
    but a little care


  17. Nancy Posey

    Be Careless

    When we left the house, Dad always said, “Be careless,”
    contrary advice, real world equivalent of “Break a leg!”
    He knew Mom always doled out good advice—Be good.
    Be sure to wear nice underwear—in case of accidents.

    Perhaps he knew we still trusted our own invincibility,
    certain if we joined everyone else jumping off the bridge,
    instead of falling to our deaths, we’d surely fly.
    Perhaps he knew we’d only tune him out, intent at sixteen,
    seventeen to make our own way, our own mistakes.

    Perhaps he remembered how it felt to be young once,
    all the range of miscalculations, errors, blunders
    at his beck and call, certain what he’d learn would
    compensate for any pain, embarrassment or broken bones

  18. Doakley

    Careless Results

    Christmas day morning
    at the cabin with 40 acres
    of room, it seemed a good
    time to sight in the new scope.

    My oldest son and his son
    go out the back door to the bench
    we have set up just for
    purposes such as this.

    About 30 seconds after
    the first shot stopped echoing
    two snowmen stumbled in with news,
    the snow is no longer piled high upon the roof!

  19. seingraham


    Under cover of a starless night
    she risks taking it down,
    remembers to be careful.
    Last time, she had been hasty,
    and pieces of her life
    escaped the pages and were
    gone in a beat.

    She spreads her hand loosely
    on the page,
    raises her eyes to peer at it;
    feels her heartbeat quicken
    at the eyes that meet hers.
    She knows intellectually, the
    eyes in the baby’s face aren’t
    really looking into hers,
    but her heart aches so, she
    can’t convince it otherwise.

    Afraid to turn the page, she
    sits unmoving,
    stroking the photo, remembering
    the last time she’d seen the babe—
    how knowing, his solemn expression.

    She ponders if she’ll see him again,
    feels worries gathering like
    a flock of ravens,
    wonders if closing the
    book will feel as careless
    as opening it did.

  20. LeeAnne Ellyett

    We try to impress,
    be at our best,
    in a wedding dress,
    We obsess,
    to express,
    our success,

    But, suppress
    and don’t address,
    or confess,
    and digress,
    into darkness,
    without a caress,

    Love left in distress,

  21. Shennon

    An unfortunate omission
    Please excuse our subtle way
    Of saying we don’t want you here
    On this, or any day.

    Your behavior is appalling
    How dare you show your face?
    For what you lack in manners
    You more than lack in grace.

    Now move your loathsome, awkward self
    Up to the door and through it
    You endeavored to assert yourself
    But have not the class to do it.

    Don’t bother coming back again
    We can’t be less opaque
    Your ignorance and arrogance
    Shall follow in your wake.

    How careless of our maître d’
    He should not have let you in
    Remove yourself at once, foul cad
    Let your mistress be chagrin.


  22. Connie Peters

    Lackadaisical Day

    O, give me a lackadaisical day
    One to while my time away
    One when nothing gets done
    Just a little rest and fun

    Let the dishes pile up high
    All those toys, let them lie
    May the computer and the phone
    Know what it’s like to be left alone

    The paperwork can gather dust
    It doesn’t matter about the must
    For I’ll be out in the fresh air
    Enjoying having not a care

  23. Marie Elena


    Dropping hints and out of sight
    Losing sleep and falling night
    Losing tempers; marbles too
    Cutting losses; cutting through
    Fall in love and fall apart
    Blown away and bleeding heart
    Fall to pieces; on deaf ears
    Get your kicks, and kicked in gears

    Jaw-dropping stuff, ain’t it? 😉

  24. Doakley

    Careless Pieces

    I have written of the time train
    where my life passes by
    as I ride this train
    never to pass this way again.

    I have written of the grief token,
    all of us are dealt some
    in our lifetime to
    endure and emerge anew.

    One of those grief tokens
    exploded my heart
    into little pieces
    that I carelessly let scatter.

    My children would gather
    up those pieces they found
    and bring them back to me
    but soon the pieces were gone again

    I had lost an angel,
    had little to care for,
    was not afraid to cry
    was not afraid to die.

    I met someone but
    I said “I can’t do this”
    It’s not for me,

    And as I left her
    I dropped bits of my heart
    like a trail in the wilderness
    to find your way home by.

    She followed that trail
    picking up those pieces
    and when she had a few
    she gave them back to me.

    This time it was different,
    Those careless pieces stuck
    together and became
    one with the rest of my heart

    Over the months she kept
    picking up my carelessly
    dropped pieces and cementing
    them back into my heart.

    Today my heart
    and her heart beat
    as one and I kiss her
    good morning every day.

  25. candy

    Nothing’s Forever

    He gave it to me when
    It was shiny and fresh
    As if it had just been
    Taken from its box
    He said it was mine forever
    And maybe I was careless
    I took it apart and left pieces
    Scattered – discarded
    I let others use it
    I abused it
    He said it was mine forever
    Then one night as I slept
    He gathered up the pieces
    And my brother took
    Back his Legos.

  26. Shennon

    Acidic words drip
    from my tongue.
    I am immune,
    but they scar
    my target

    Perhaps one day I’ll pay
    for countless acts of indifference.
    But today…
    I could care less.


  27. Jane Shlensky


    A careless snow sits on the world today,
    knuckling shrubs that flatten, break, or bend,
    big taunting bully weighing down tree limbs,
    toeing power lines, testing their tautness.

    A willing wind could shake this beauteous brute,
    lift limbs dipped low from cowering too long
    under snow’s muscle on this silent day.

    Instead, the least of these take on the tough,
    as songbirds flit about creating stir,
    each flutter loosing loads, doing their part
    to pry open snow’s fist—and there’s a breeze.

  28. Jane Shlensky

    Good Intentions

    He stands beneath snow swaddled trees
    and taps the limbs to lighten weight,
    forgetting what is up comes down
    upon the head. He hesitates
    as if some latent thought forewarned
    although, alas, it is too late—
    he’s buried briefly, gasping, snow adorned.

  29. strandedmoon

    Rainy “undercover”

    Rainy day again goes by
    Drinking coffee makes me fly
    Have a schedule, running wild
    Obligations makes me try
    Business, house –and- baby sitter
    Compatible with a sincere smile

    But umbrella is forgotten
    Now I truly have to dry
    Rainy drops go as a tail
    Corrupt make up and fall
    Wetness goes as “undercover”
    No more cares until tomorrow

  30. Walt Wojtanik


    ɪ ʙᴜʏ
    ғᴏᴏᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ᴄʟᴏᴛʜɪɴɢ
    ᴛʜᴀᴛ’s unbelievable
    ᴍᴏsᴛ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ
    ᴛʜᴇʏ ɢᴇᴛ ᴅᴇᴀʟs ᴏɴ
    ᴀʟᴍᴏsᴛ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴇxᴄᴇᴘᴛ
    jobs. Auctions can’t get that!

    ***Ridiculous and careless ad posted on a poetry site made more appropriate for perusal!

  31. taylor graham


    Loki leaves her closet full of warm
    puppies heavy with milk. She
    quick-searches the house room to room,
    corridors and corners, sniffing
    under pillows and blankets. She’s looking
    for lost puppies – the ones who got
    left carelessly behind, or stolen.
    Maybe in the garage; piles of boxes,
    the shelves of old camping gear
    we don’t use anymore but can’t bear
    to throw away. Nothing
    smells like week-old puppies.
    Her eight live pups hum contentment
    in the closet. That’s all she had,
    there aren’t any more –
    not in our little Honda, which she circles
    as if scanning for contraband,
    checking hubcabs, under-carriage.
    I open the hatchback, she leaps inside,
    inhaling scent from every
    crevice, under seats. Listening….
    So like us humans – can’t she be content
    with the living?
    Searching for the ghosts of puppies.

  32. candy

    Almost Forever

    He presented it to her
    Fresh and new
    It was hers forever
    But she was careless
    She broke it into pieces
    Lent it out without regard
    She used it, squeezed it,
    Left it lonely, discarded
    Among others similar
    He said it was hers forever
    Then one night, he picked
    Up the pieces of his heart
    And went away – forever

  33. Azma

    He wouldn’t care less

    His house was a weed in the garden of a street
    to preserve its appearance, he wouldn’t care less.
    Why help neighbors? Why give them a smile?
    they are strange beings for whom he wouldn’t care less
    Family events added to his discontents
    to offer his presence, he wouldn’t care less
    His resources never found donation boxes
    for helping the crippled, he wouldn’t care less
    His end came before his time
    when his honor was smothered in grime
    to be at his burial, his family wouldn’t care less

    -Azma Sheikh

  34. PressOn


    When Mandy proceeds to wear less,
    she certainly ought to bare less.
    Most folks would confess
    she looks best in a dress
    but Mandy, she couldn’t care less.

  35. Amy

    So carelessly, we are flung through
    the spinning tea cup universe;

    hurtled through selfish worm holes,
    our hearts tiny submarines without portholes.

    I wonder if it will take a hard thing-
    cement death or steel sorrow

    or if it will be as simple as
    the dimpled egg moon at night

    or the spindly limbs of a heron in flight,
    toes etching a runway on the glass,

    that makes us look up.

  36. holmesp26

    ɪ ʙᴜʏ ᴀʟᴍᴏsᴛ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴇxᴄᴇᴘᴛ ғᴏᴏᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ᴄʟᴏᴛʜɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ ᴀᴜᴄᴛɪᴏɴs ᴍᴏsᴛ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇɴ’ᴛ ᴀᴡᴀʀᴇ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴀʟᴍᴏsᴛ ɪ ᴜɴʙᴇʟɪᴇvᴀʙʟᴇ ᴅᴇᴀʟs ᴛʜᴀᴛ’s ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴄᴀɴ ɢᴇᴛ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ ᴀᴜᴄᴛɪᴏɴs sɪᴛᴇs ᴛʜᴇ sɪᴛᴇs ᴛʜᴀᴛ ʜᴀs ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴇsᴛ ᴅᴇᴀʟ ɪs
    ………….. w­w­­o­­m

  37. Jezzie

    It’s over! I’m free and without a care!
    I have been locked in a working nightmare.
    But at last the dreaded deed has been done.
    I now have leisure time to have some fun.
    I have handed in my resignation
    which will sure cause workmates consternation.
    I wish I could say I couldn’t care less
    but I am sad to leave, I must confess.

  38. bxpoetlover


    Ten poems submitted for publication
    and two rejections over seven days

    I keep re-reading them aloud looking for flaws
    in rhythm or theme or imagery
    but they sound good to me and
    most every person that listens to one of my poems
    in person
    but for the life of me
    I can’t figure out what editors want–
    more metaphorical whimsy
    or philosophical probing–
    and honestly
    I am beginning
    to care less,

    1. Arash

      bxpoetlover, sorry, posted my poem iin reply to your poem, talk about being careless!

      Also wanted to comment on your poem, assuming you’re speaking about yourself, don’t give up, what gets published is not necessarily what is a great poem. So many other factors come in to play. Write the poem you enjoy writing so that even if not published, it was not in vain. Good luck.

    2. Jane Shlensky

      Don’t despair, friend. Writing is one thing; publishing another. If you love to write, keep at it, savor it, learn, read others, enjoy. If you love to publish, send out one hundred lines. Some of them will snag a fish, I promise. Care less; send more. Good luck.

    3. Hannah

      I don’t even try…I enjoy writing too much to bother with that half of the process…that’s just me though…I’m not saying it’s right or wrong…just relating my pov. Your poem brings to light some great poetic qualities!

    4. bxpoetlover

      Thank you Arash, Press On, Jane, Shennon, Marie, and Hannah for your wise words of encouragement! I will NEVER stop writing poems! I will keep trying to get more work published though, but I won’t let rejections get me down anymore!


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