Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 304

It’s been a month since our last Wednesday Poetry Prompt thanks to a super fun April! For those new to the Wednesday Poetry Prompts, the prompts are posted on Wednesday, but folks share poems, comments, and more throughout the week. It’s a much more laid back version of the poem-a-day challenge. (Also, for screening readers who have not received their poems yet, those are on the way.)

For today’s prompt, write a crafty poem. My kids have been running around the house with pipe cleaners, tape, and scissors (ok, they don’t run with the scissors–at least when I’m watching them). There are any number of ways to be crafty, including little arts and crafts, but also writing, painting, quilting, and more. So get crafty with your poeming this week!

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Here’s my attempt at a Crafty Poem:

“ode to a painted rock”

i find you in a friend’s garden
nearly hidden behind tulips

your piercing stare alarming me
at first before i realized you

had no intention of moving
in fact had no intent at all

how many creatures catch themselves
i wonder wondering at your

eyes & beak & each stroked feather
talons concealed but very much

a predator or the spitting
image of one who haunts the skies

& barns & i tip my ball cap
to you & then smell the flowers

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roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he maintains this blog, edits a couple Market Books (Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market), writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, leads online education, speaks around the country on publishing and poetry, and a lot of other fun writing-related stuff.

He’s a big fan of painting and photography. He’s also the author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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682 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 304

  1. Bruce Niedt

    I’ve been working on and off all month on a poetic theme of sorts, based on the “My…” poems that lead off Jane Hirshfield’s new book, The Beauty. So I wrote a series of poems with that same title conceit, using Robert’s key word from each weekly prompt. Here is the first one:

    My Craft

    I shatter language into jagged little pieces
    then re-assemble them, letter to letter,
    word to word, phrase to multicolored phrase,
    then glue them in place and hang my creation
    where the sun will glint against it in the afternoon.

    I bring my skeins to the loom, pump the treadle
    so warp and woof intersect, where dyed threads
    slowly weave a pattern, a tapestry of what
    I perceive to be the fabric of my world.

    I sail my craft against the tide of the everyday.
    I wield my craft from the tip of a wand,
    A spell to move you, to satisfy the witch in me.

    I can make a prince a frog and back again.
    I can make a seaworthy boat from paper.
    I can warm you in a rainbow cloak,
    or dazzle your eye with cold mosaics.

  2. strandedmoon

    Crafty words

    To build a world with crafty words
    Is it so easy to be a piece of break?
    But still it’s mastery of human’s art
    Convincing that everything’s forgotten
    Even if isn’t, it’s the loving of beliefs
    That all will be never-ending anecdotes
    The crafty words are made of glasses
    Which also are the clay and marble crafts
    Of different thoughts to go out of clashes

  3. torigw

    Pottery Class

    The clay was tortured.
    Our instructor apologized.
    The wheel bumped when it turned
    like a deadend road.
    Water streamed through my fingers.
    I sat hunched, clammy.
    The trapped air grew slippery in my hands.
    A shape mounded,
    bulging, malformed.
    I had in mind something taller,
    with shoulders.
    The lump refused, stubborn.
    Surrounded by an armory
    of plate I tried again.
    I couldn’t keep up the finesse.
    I developed a tick.
    Moments of snake-
    dancing charm between
    my palms cut short.
    I wrung its neck.

  4. Tom Hayes

    Craft Envy

    Oh to have a crafty skill.
    Where do they come from ?
    Are they left in a will ?
    I envy the artists
    the builders, the cooks.
    I know that their secrets
    were not found in books.

    They put in their hours
    and practice their crafts.
    Chefs cooking up
    and Builders constructing
    Designers innovating
    and Musicians conducting.

    These talents are scarce.
    When confronted by
    an anti-artisan ,
    How does a crafter
    Stifle his laughter?
    For the craft-less class
    to avoid ego disaster,
    Do we just keep on looking
    for a craft we can master?

    I fear that my search
    for which craft
    may require witchcraft.

    -by
    Tom Hayes 2015

  5. Daniel Paicopulos

    Smarter Than Me

    There’s a cunning little mouse
    living on my tomato plant,
    and I try so hard to catch that louse,
    but it seems I simply can’t.
    I’ve tried all kinds of traps and bait,
    but he tells the others to go ahead, please.
    he tells them he’s inclined to wait,
    knows it’s the second mouse who gets the cheese.

  6. moonskittles

    an ice tale craft

    my lost smiles
    fragmented ice-blocks.
    glue them
    with your teary water.
    build me a palace.
    I – Anna Ivanovna,
    you – the jester.
    and I death,
    won’t be able to cheat.
    by next summer,
    my palace and i
    will drown in your heat.

  7. De Jackson

    artists, waiting

    we were the quiet ones,
                 un
    -spun of long yarns
    and tender need
    -les, miserable
    in our small brushings.

    blushing, we
    spin our own
    threads and spells
    and webs and swells
          and
                  (color)
    wheels.

    .

  8. grcran

    Crafty Isn’t Crafty Does

    crafty is and crafty does-
    n’t stop the creating
    crafty isn’t; crafty does
    it swaps for thee I sing
    quilt impetuous inGodwetrust
    and sew it goes
    so it ever went sequins and
    glue ribbons and bows
    dozing off we cough we craft
    another line or two
    tintinnabulating threads which
    ring the yonder blue
    wrong the blunder crossstitching sky
    thundered lightninged laughed
    remedied rewritten into
    artisanal craft

    by gpr crane

  9. tunesmiff

    CRAFTY
    G. Smith
    ————
    She sits on the sofa, silent;
    cat-like, fox-like, contemplating
    the knitting in her lap and her
    choice of words, all the while waiting
    for the time to say what she knows
    could turn into the argument
    she fears losing, and she rarely
    loses, getting her way, her wish,
    all the while making him think it
    was his idea the whole time.

  10. Shennon

    I am a master
    At my craft
    said she.

    You’re a disaster
    And you’re daft
    said he.

    Just mind your Ps and Qs
    Or a spell I’ll cast on you
    cried she.

    I’ve nothing left to lose
    Our breakup is overdue
    sighed he.

    Be careful what you wish
    You ungrateful fool
    she sneered.

    He shook in sheer anguish
    Shocked that she was cruel
    he feared.

    Triumphantly she sees
    How her powers have grown.
    Her plan.

    He knelt down on his knees
    Too weak to stand alone.
    Poor man.

    –ShennonDoah

  11. mmarie

    Jigsaw
    by M. Marie

    Meeting an old friend
    long after
    parting ways,
    is like discovering
    an old puzzle
    in the attic.

    I remember,
    fondly,
    what it should look like,
    complete
    but the pieces don’t quite
    fit together
    the way I expect them too.

    There are too many
    hard edges,
    and not enough
    expanses
    of solid color.

    Where is all the green?

    Pieces seem to be missing,
    and the final image
    I’m revealing is
    unfamiliar
    to me.

    The image I remember
    proves impossible
    to recreate.
    My cherished
    childhood toy
    rendered unusable
    by the
    unsympathetic
    passage of

    Time.

    1. mmarie

      (Hmm… completely off topic, but can anyone please tell me how to make my avatar display on my posts and comments here? It’s working on the forum, but I’m still a generic blank face here. lol Thanks!)

  12. Kyusu

    Gifts

    We are not products
    but creations
    not manufactured
    but lovingly shaped
    by a craftsman’s hands
    none of us perfect
    but all uniquely flawed
    we can never be sold
    but, if we care to, we can
    give ourselves as gifts.

  13. hannahmarie

    It’s not Wednesday (nor is this crafty) but in the spirit of Mother’s Day I wanted to share what I wrote for the moms today. Hope that’s ok! Love to all the mommas.

    “the stars watch”

    when her knees collide with
    tile squares again
    frozen in tears
    pleading with body

    and soul and God and her man
    to give her mother’s
    heart someone to
    mother, she shakes her head

    no, -t this time; or the last time
    she will pretend she
    doesn’t point blame
    in all the wrong faces

    the stars watch

    when imperceptible parts
    are stitched together
    out of heart beats
    to form a beating heart

    dropping salt beads onto
    starchy music sheets
    scribbled with notes
    of the first battle cries

    and kisses dot every
    perfect blackened curl
    and tiny toe
    with purest gratitude

    the stars watch

    when she writes him one more long
    letter from her knees
    breathing moments
    of life-prayer in black and

    white pictures, tall boots to
    play in the snowstorm
    to fight a war
    keeps willing him closer

    to safety and to dream
    bigger than her fears
    of having him
    torn far from her fingers

    the stars watch

    when she settles a red rose
    against molded gray
    stiff and cold as
    her baby’s bones beneath

    the sunken stony words
    that bear his name are
    the only two
    dates that could matter now

    that his voice belongs to
    the wind and the call
    of trumpets and
    every new sound she’ll hear

  14. hannahmarie

    “weekend project”

    i could
    spend my Saturdays
    with you

    rub your roughest planks raw
    with fine specks of sand
    and whispered words

    no one whispered
    where you came from

    let’s white-wash your
    stained and knotted spaces
    lay soft brush strokes on the grain

    brace your broken pieces
    with pipe cleaners and (heart) felt
    pardon; heal you, make you new

  15. ReathaThomasOakley

    The Craft

    Because twenty years ago
    my son danced
    with Neve Campbell
    at a club in South Beach
    we had to rent The Craft
    when it went to video.

    I thought of that movie when I saw
    this prompt went to Google
    to remind myself what
    the film was all about on
    the way to plot checked out
    recent photos of Ms. Campbell

    was amazed at how matronly
    she now looks was reminded
    of how shocked I was at my son’s
    gray hair when I saw him in a recent
    concert streaming from Brazil.

    Strange how those young
    folks look so old
    when I haven’t aged a bit.

  16. De Jackson

    First of all, SO much fun to see such a great turnout for a weekly Wednesday prompt! Happy to see so many stick around after PAD. 🙂

    The Craft of Poeming

    See, here’s the thing:

    we’re free

    to
    line
    the
    words
    up
    all
    just
    so,

    or to

    s
             p

                 i

            l

                   l

    them wherever they
    want to go (they’ve got legs
    of their own, you know.)

    We may
    leave them
    INTACT
    or
    c r a c k
    them open like tiny word eggs.

    We can enjoy them
    scram
       -bled, over
    easy, or hard –
    scribblescribe them in bro
                -ken shards.

    We can swallow some
           whole
    and spit some out, fill in the
    spaces with new verb grout,
    hold our nounbreath and then

    let

    it

    out.

    We can use the ones from other’s
    songs, or just mush-make them up,
                  as we go along.

    We’re all breathing
    in ink. We’re all
    sinking in time. We’re all
    blinking by inches
    and thinking in rhyme.

    We’re all here to gather
       the notes
             of our song.

    Sing, pen
    -sive;
    sing silly,
    sing true
        and
    sing strong.

    .

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      De, I am so glad I came back and found this delightful poem. So many fantastic things included, but my favorite is new verb grout. You are more than amazing–I need a new word!

  17. G.Wood

    I wrote this today–it has no connection to the prompt, sorry!

    Tadpole Catastrophe

    Today the tadpoles attacked each other
    while eleven toddlers peered through the jar.
    They just up and went hostile,
    chewed one fat fin to shreds—
    tadpole bloodshed—
    like an episode of Big Brother
    gone wrong,
    just too many tadpoles in one jar.
    And now one’s gone,
    laid out on the romaine lettuce
    floating at the top for their sustenance.
    (The website said they like it boiled,
    but I can’t say how that preference
    came about.)
    Doesn’t matter now.
    They’ve all gone pond.
    Gone south.
    Gone sadistically crazy
    chewing on each other

    while the toddlers
    play with plastic frogs from the dollar store—
    a whirl of relentless ribbitting one can’t ignore—
    until the air gets thick with the hopping and croaking
    and then the disputations begin—
    a torrent of groping and scolding and coping
    while the tadpoles swim-chase-swim.

  18. Julieann

    The Crafty Serpent

    Adam alone in the garden did grieve
    And thought Eden desert without Eve

    Then entered the serpent who wouldn’t leave
    The forbidden fruit he used to deceive

    With craft and cunning their future he did thieve
    God’s words and warnings they did not believe

    When they ate of the fruit, God they did peeve
    They were cast out of Eden, with no reprieve

  19. taylor graham

    SONNET PASTORAL

    After the sheep went grazing down
    the current, the way
    leaves and twigs herd together
    at the culvert in a whirlpool of winter run-
    off, not chaos but held by its own
    dynamic strict as the boiling in a cast-
    iron pot, I considered how that
    crafty alter ego the poet
    might fit this into a sonnet, its rigorous
    14 lines Petrarchan or otherwise.
    But when I noticed how sheep
    like people disappeared
    in the stream of time and weather,
    I couldn’t stomach the rhyme.

  20. Alaina Dawson

    There Was No Art Class That Year

    there are many ways to stop expression
    to stop the spread of ideas
    of those that different from your own
    of those whose colors run red instead of green

    there are many ways to crush the dreams
    of the little girl who grew up wanting to be a princess
    by telling her they only exist in fairy tales
    and that hers will never come true

    for two many years the oppressors have stopped
    have crushed, have downgraded, have scrutinized
    the way those below them have painted their own canvas
    with up strokes instead of down

    only 82 years ago
    on a day much like today
    the sun was still shining
    but they took something away

    they burned the books
    they burned them all
    and perhaps their fear of art
    was the greatest crime of all

  21. Jane Shlensky

    Rainy Day

    I fault him for a hoarder,
    a mound of materials on his desk,
    his books and magazines strewn
    in piles that slide, tectonic plates
    of paper, clips, and bands.
    It’s his stuff.

    I am reminded of the cache
    I’ve kept—buttons and threads,
    embroidery hoops, corks and glue,
    bits of lace and ribbon, a wax gun,
    a bag of paints and brushes,
    canvases and inks, bags of gourds
    and drill bits, used stencils
    and folded material, aprons
    flash through my mind, a project
    that never made the offing,
    my sewing machine lent
    to a neighbor years ago.

    I’m chilled to think I’m much like him,
    and so I sort mine by their type
    and put them in a cabinet,
    well ordered, labeled, waiting
    for when a blizzard shuts me in,
    for when I’m broken, home and drugged,
    for when I’ve read all the best books,
    for when I’ve no more left to say,
    for when all instruments lose tunes,
    for when days linger like a fog,
    for when I wake on a rainy day
    with strange energy and a conviction
    to complete any of those crafty projects
    started long ago when I imagined
    I would ever be bored.

  22. drnurit

    Critical Crafts

    Senryus

    By: Nurit Israeli

    Still an apprentice,
    new learning every day:
    the craft of living.

    Not a beginner
    but set on getting better:
    the craft of loving.

    Close to finish line,
    must master fast just one more:
    craft of letting go.

    1. Julieann

      I don’t know if you were referencing mothers (or even fathers), but this is very beautiful. A very beautiful, graphic picture of precious moments in life.

  23. Jenifer Tull-Gauger

    It was fun meeting you all in the PAD challenge. I’m happy to see you again!

    Crafty Mother
    by Jenifer Tull-Gauger

    Crafty mother:
    Took an act of love
    And made a baby.
    Fixed the toddler’s wounds
    By kissing softly.

    Put the child to sleep
    In a rocking chair.
    Cast a healing spell
    With song and smoothed hair.

    Crafty mother:
    Nurtured her young one
    And watched her child grow.
    Full of wrenching love,
    She let her child go.

    Bravely forged her path,
    Gave her life meaning.
    Creating from naught,
    of her child dreaming.

  24. shellcook

    Shivering Paintbrushes

    The white face of the canvas stares blankly in my direction.
    The rainbow of paints watch from their place on my shelf.
    The brushes and knives shiver with anticipation,
    while I, the artist, decide, sans elation,

    where in the world I will make the first mark.
    So many times, inspiration does come,
    when I’m out and about, or on a dead run,
    or drained to exhaustion from regular stuff.

    When I think to myself, that’s what I’ll paint,
    only to find that my mind’s a blank slate.
    So for all the first times and all the fresh starts,
    I think of myself, a slave to my art,

    let’s put judgement aside, shut out the damn voice,
    that constantly whines like a drone in my head.
    I have nothing to fear of that blank canvas square,
    the one that I hold with a stark deadly stare.

    The muse, she is waiting, I’m not sure for what,
    but the paints, they are whispering,
    in excited low tones, I know they believe,
    I can see that they must.

    So here goes nothing, or here it goes bust,
    as my paintbrush finds purpose
    on that white wall I trust.

    Anna Michelle Cook
    5/8/15

  25. Maeflower

    Sew the Weather

    That night summer was lying on us like a duvet,
    thickly warm, too few seams, our bodies weighed down by feathers.
    I needed a common thread to touch both you and I as we lay atop the bed,
    preventing me from kicking the covers to a heap on the floor.

    In the morning I feverishly set to work,
    drudging up the cotton fabrics
    before a storm of cutting blew in over the kitchen table,
    with the dappled light from the blinds
    falling in lines on the newly shaped squares.
    I guided the budding quilt below the pulsating air,
    and beneath the light hum of the sewing machine.
    A warmth in the hollow of my palms swelled,
    as little clipped threads hung to me,
    captured by the dewiness of my skin.

    I tired day after day after day
    until the night came

    when I thundered upstairs
    pulling off all the sheets
    letting the stark whiteness of the mattress
    glow in the shadows.
    I let the quilt
    billow out over the bed and you,
    as I curled into your side.
    I could feel the soft pitter patter
    of rain come pouring down
    from the airiness of that quilt,
    but it was only a matter of time
    before the showers turned to steam.

  26. carollilly

    Since April PAD ended I’ve missed you all. Some days are better for crafting poems than others. This is not a good one. Nevertheless to honor my commitment to poem & SUBMIT, here’s my crafty poem (which probably needs more revision.)
    Crafty One
    By
    Carolyn Lilly

    Jim was a crafty young man, sly as a fox,
    the way he angled for my heart.
    He dipped his paw into the stream
    and caught me on the sly.
    I was another’s until he came by
    with his rugged good looks,
    black hair & piercing blue eyes.
    He looked into my soul,
    and I was his from the get go.

  27. josephdaniel

    Sweating It Out

    Sweat pours from a mind
    overtaxed with worry
    He wrangles the words
    from his thoughts,
    spilling them onto the page
    Crumpled attempts
    lay strewn about
    Indignant toward his critics,
    he presses on
    He’s perfecting his craft

    1. josephdaniel

      A rewrite…the first one’s ‘a crumpled attempt’ 🙂

      Sweating It Out

      Sweat pours from a mind
      overtaxed with worry
      He wrangles the words
      from his thoughts,
      spilling them onto the page
      Crumpled attempts
      lay strewn about
      Indignant toward the inner voice
      waiving the white flag,
      he presses on
      He’s perfecting his craft

  28. Caitix

    Crafty Fellows

    My father when he was 22 or 3
    Spent four years in company in Germany
    Learning trades that would somehow inspire
    A young man watching his life fly by

    They fixed the boards
    They dug the holes
    They wrote documents as they did in days of old
    Joined cans so they could quietly breathe
    30 feet under in Germany

    Fashioning tools and making maps
    Bribing guards as they were charming chaps
    They dyed their clothes with boot polish and coffee
    In preparation for their waltz through Germany

    Crafty
    Yes, they were crafty men
    As they worked they knew they would get out in the end
    And disrupt all those who were sent to see
    They behaved themselves whilst they were in Germany

    When the day came along
    76 ran free
    Set Germany on fire, metaphorically
    Hitler fuming so, he could hardly breathe
    With the Great Escapers running around in Germany

    Crafty men
    They were crafty boys
    Got themselves out using talents they employed
    They learned whilst in prison at Stalag Luft 3
    RAF boys stuck in Germany

  29. uvr

    Portrait Of Pain

    I paint my pain
    in bold strokes
    on a blank canvas
    Aching swirls
    indelibly stain
    the pure white

    A splintered
    portrait
    bleeding emotions
    empty words
    cannot express

    What price
    should I put
    on this
    unabashed
    display
    of a
    wounded heart

    Agony stripped
    of all artifice
    hangs unnoticed
    on a bare wall
    No takers for
    so worthless
    a masterpiece

    ~ Uma Venkatraman

  30. ppfautsch24

    CRAFTED COLORS
    As a child of five, I tried to stay inside the lines, making the pictures come alive.
    Tiny dimpled hands chunked along the bold
    lined shapes.
    Head bent in wonderment as my masterpiece
    provided childhood escape.
    Giving pride to my young heart’s coloring book
    contentment.

    Older now a child of fifty; done with staying inside
    the lines of colored pages and minds of others.
    Granted dreams, hopes, and wishes at my fingertips. Guide me to endure life’s colorful
    predicaments.
    Heart shaded in all the colors of a Crayola box.
    Going outside the lines, blending and not to be
    smothered.
    ~Pamelap

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