Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 308

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For today’s prompt, let’s try something a little different. First, I want you to think about the color of the shirt you’re currently wearing (if you’re not wearing a shirt, put one on before you catch a cold). Second, I want you to think about the most recent animal you’ve seen (either in the wild, online, on TV, or in your imagination–this isn’t rocket science). OK, with me so far?

Now I want you to do a little math problem with me: (color of shirt I’m wearing) + (last animal I’ve seen) = (title of my poem today)

So today is a title prompt. To get that title, combine the color of the shirt you’re wearing with the last animal you’ve seen. Possible titles might be: “Turquoise Rabbit,” “Crimson Blue Jay,” or “Rainbow Hamster.” If you prefer to change the color of your shirt or the selection of animal, go for it; I don’t know what you’re wearing today.


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Here’s my attempt at a Color Plus Animal Poem:

“Blue Squirrel”

He had a guitar, but he had no strings;
he had a guitar, but he had no strings;
he had a voice,
but he couldn’t sing.

He had a walnut, but he had no teeth;
he had a walnut, but he had no teeth;
sometimes a squirrel
can’t get no relief.


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 loves a little blues every once in a while. And he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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456 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 308

  1. taylor graham


    Gun-shy from too much heckling
    day-to-day reporting of the evening news,
    you let yourself be led
    not upward but down into dream:
    a sea-green turtle devolving into pterodactyl;
    extinction of butterflies and frogs
    accompanied by Zydeco accordion and spoons;
    troll with a politician’s face
    living under your desk; midnight trafficking
    in winsome small creatures
    taxiderm’d into ladies’ hats – whiskers,
    feathers, dew-claws and all.
    At last, the god of ghosts and dreams
    releases you to daylight. But
    where can you hide, camouflaged against
    monsters let loose in your mind?

  2. Walt Wojtanik


    A swan-like graceful span
    sweeping neck and wings,
    spring brings their numbers,
    in long lumbering flaps,
    their song, a distinctive honk.
    In formation, holding position
    a long glide to the reservoir pond.
    Homing instincts come to roost
    as summer draws nearer.

  3. geraldbarr

    Blue Raven
    Silently he circled the
    southbound lane,
    settling in for his breakfast du jour

    then scrambled skyward to
    safety as the sedan sped by and
    silently circled again,

    settled again, and
    scurried away from the
    semi and the suv.

    Silently he circled again.

  4. JRSimmang


    Often we like to think that we are oceans,
    that we may constantly revive and resuscitate ourselves,
    that our blue-green algae provides enough to others around us
    that we believe they cannot live without us.

    While that may be true for the oceans,
    it isn’t true for us. Billions of years from now,
    the oceans will not lament our loss.
    They will not fill themselves with sorrow.
    They will not stop churning for the moon.

    The blue is not sadness.
    It is the color of envy.
    Green is jealous.

    -JR Simmang

  5. idiaz

    Purple Elephants

    The purple elephants go dancing by
    Dancing by my wide open eyes
    Open eyes and jaw dropped down
    Dropped down because those purple elephants are so loud

    So loud they pirouette on toes
    On toes so pointed just like their nose
    Their nose (or trunks) point high in the air
    In the air they climb without a care

    Without a care I begin to fly
    To fly with them in the open sky
    The open sky begins to fade
    To fade into a hazy grade

    A hazy grade of a sun-filled room
    A sun-filled room wipes away my dream’s gloom
    My dream’s gloom of dancing purple elephants
    Purple elephants that don’t exist because they are irrelevant

  6. JRSimmang


    As unique as fingerprints,
    the spots on giraffes
    shift and sift the sunlight
    parting the savannah grasses.

    Except this one.

    Whose purple spots
    eagerly meet
    the hungry fangs of the lion.

    -JR Simmang

  7. Walt Wojtanik


    Men must go to the seas.
    Sailor and wayfarer share this desire.
    Mired in rich tradition, a mission
    of heart; determination.
    In ships and boats
    floats and dinghy and rafts.
    Any water-tight craft will serve.
    Grey cummulo-ominous clouds
    churning, yearning for release.
    A treacherous chop,
    the surging surf of a spiraling sea.
    A dangerous dilemma,
    way off shore and a combative oar.
    Wishing to not become debris,
    men must go to the seas.
    God help them all!

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2015

  8. MutherBear

    Cerulean Lab

    When, yesterday, I went to pet
    My waggy-tailed furry friend
    He greeted me as a brunette
    From sniffing nose to waggly end

    But, when I went to sleep last night
    A wink or two, I hoped to grab
    Became, instead, a scape of fright
    My pup, now cerulean lab

    He chased me through the twisted maze
    With snarled demands of treats of blue
    And as we loped through inward gaze
    No other colored treats would do

    This morning, rolling out of bed
    Quite cautiously, I went to see
    My chocolate lab, as born and bred
    Was smiling, looking up at me.

      1. MutherBear

        Thank you, and I’m glad you liked it. I looked down, said, “Blue.” And then, me being…well…me, I immediately followed it up with, “Which one?” 🙂

  9. carolecole66

    The Fat Gray Cat Covered with Coffee Stains

    We savor the afterglow as though
    the end were the goal and not
    the consolation prize we’re loathe to show.
    It’s all about loss when the counting is done.
    I can spend as much time asleep,
    cat near my head, as the human body
    can tolerate, before I rise to chase
    the next rush some time in the late afternoon.
    The sun sets in reds and pinks over the gulf
    left when you packed your books and shoes
    and I can only speculate about how this
    might end. When were you going to tell me?
    The bed doesn’t seem so empty mornings
    when the cat curls near the coffee balanced
    on my chest. We doze together, the cup
    tilting gently over us both.

  10. strandedmoon

    Stray black dog

    He walks alone
    And barks in the night
    Lonely as always
    But he has inner light
    And nobody sees it
    Nor his deep wounds

    He walks alone
    On the streets straight
    Knight of all sides
    Misunderstood feelings
    That bite in his eyes
    Unseen remains

    He walks alone
    Fighter for ruins
    That made him mislaid
    Soldier of fortune
    Still not recognized
    Called just stray black dog

        1. strandedmoon

          Thank you, friends. I like to put another point of view. I am happy I found people like you all gathered here. I feel it’s like my place. 🙂

  11. Salisbury

    Gray with Green Gorilla

    Grayback gorilla
    Green emerald forest
    Stars puncturing the black night sky
    Silver moonlight falling
    Grayback gorilla
    In the green emerald forest

  12. grcran

    pale ape

    sparse-haired ape made water
    he proceeded to the sink
    cooked him up a coffee then he
    teetered on the brink
    newfound revelation staring starkly
    made him shrink
    why do humans do the things they do

    fossil record written they’re the animals
    that think
    making tools earthshaking fools
    greed gluttons slothful stink
    armored with the alphabet
    driving selves to drink
    how do humans do the things they do

    why and how a mystery retwisted
    missing link
    caveman no sophisticate cannot
    nudge nudge wink wink
    basic healthy living there will keep him
    in the pink
    and this pale ape won’t do what humans do

    by gpr crane

  13. Julieann

    Purple Dachshund

    I wish I were a purple dachshund
    With a collar colored gold
    Not my normal black and tan
    So run of the mill, y’know

    I’d hold my head up high
    For one and all to see
    A golden collar of yellow
    Made especially for me

    Some might say I am a sight
    While others think I am a fright
    But that is not my intent
    I’m proud of who I am

    Whether a purple colored dachshund
    Or a plain old black and tan
    I’ll wear my colors proudly
    Because – I am – an LSU Tiger fan

  14. Doakley

    White Cat

    She lay stretched out about three
    feet long across the top of the sofa back,
    insuring ample exposure to the afternoon
    sun as it fluttered between the blinds.

    Out of the corner of my eye I see
    one ear suddenly swivel,
    the head comes up, the long flat
    cat changes into a bundle of tension.
    A quick leap to the arm of the
    overstuffed chair,
    another takes her to the thick rug
    in front of the glass patio doors.

    Frantic pacing back and forth
    in front of the doors, then she’s off,
    full bore, skidding across the hardwood
    kitchen floor, into the dining room,
    onto a dining room chair,
    and onto the buffet in front
    of the tall dining room windows,
    bunching the runner up and
    demolishing the candlestick arrangement.
    (I thought felines were the epitome of
    stealth, not a thundering herd.)
    She leaps from the buffet, further destroying
    the arrangement of adorning decorations,
    bolts into the bedroom, out of sight
    but her growls of displeasure tell me
    she is on the window sill behind the sheers
    of the floor level windows by the bed.

    A few minutes later she comes
    strolling back through the
    family room, as normal as she gets,
    jumps onto the back of the sofa,
    grooms every square inch of herself,
    lays down and prepares to go back
    to sleep as if nothing has happened.
    I guess the rabbit is out of her yard.

  15. Walt Wojtanik


    You’ve heard about the purple cow;
    you’d rather see than be one.
    But I can tell you here and now,
    there’s nothing like a purple cow.

    It’s utterly the cat’s meow,
    traipsing through the dairy,
    Not so scary, I avow
    there’s nothing like a purple cow.

    So, c’mon Bossy, take a bow,
    and get your credit due,
    you’re something else you bet, and how,
    there’s nothing like a purple cow.

    A purple cow should not lay lough,
    or mough the grazing grass,
    you bet your ass and she would knough,
    there’s nothing like a purple cough!

    There’s no such thing as purple sow,
    ’cause pigs aren’t fond of purple,
    So to their ilk I won’t cow-tow,
    I’d rather milk a purple cow!

    I’ve never seen a purple cow,
    I hope to someday see one!
    And I can tell you here and now,
    I wish I were a purple cow!

  16. carolemt87

    I spotted the first fawn of the year yesterday.

    Gray fawn

    A little fawn
    the color of fog
    stepped out of the trees
    behind her mother.

    Across the flooded field
    on untrustworthy legs
    she watched her mother’s
    whitetail dance.

    Leopard frogs exploded
    from the water and
    a snapping turtle
    sauntered slowly
    in front of them.

    The doe stopped
    at the edge of the trees
    rotating her ears
    like a satellite dish.

    The gray fawn followed
    her mother and quietly
    disappeared against
    the bark of the forest.

      1. carolemt87

        Thank you. I was trying to capture a series of images, one in each stanza. I’m a photographer as well as a writer, so that’s the well from which I draw. Glad to know it worked!

  17. Walt Wojtanik


    Up here near the arctic sea,
    a bit afraid to be here, see?
    But, we are out here, don’t ignore us!
    We are sort of herbivorous,
    scoring mostly leaves and shoots,
    grasses, sedges, sometimes roots.
    There are times, we will eat grubs.
    They’re kinda slimy, thus the snub!
    When we go to sea, the tide’ll take us.
    The myth we’re suicidal makes us
    kinda nuts, but we’ve got gut!
    A kind of vole, a kind of mouse,
    we can see Russia from our house.

  18. Walt Wojtanik


    As a mate, this primate might
    stand right out, without a doubt.
    An orange ape would not escape
    as would a grape, (that is not an ape).
    So, take a stand orangetan,
    to claim your berth
    on God’s green earth.
    Beside each moose and gander goose.
    Any place, any time. Any where. Any day!
    Any which way but loose!

  19. trishwrites

    Black Dog

    Me, in my summer dress
    shiny new shoes
    skipping, singing
    the way four year olds do

    That black dog
    teeth bared
    scared the
    living daylights
    right out of me

    but in reality
    poor little guy
    just wanted to play
    to this day
    I still run away
    from dogs

      1. trishwrites

        thanks and to be honest, he wasn’t really that scary at all I’m told, but in a child’s mind – simply terrifying. And now you all know my phobia.

  20. uvr

    Silver fish

    On a bed of ice it lies
    with unseeing eyes
    its scales turning grey
    Prodded with sharp fingers
    flipped with uncaring hands
    Seen as a potential main course
    for somebody’s plate
    But just yesterday it was full of life
    Splashing in sparkling waters
    Far from sterile lights and artificial cold
    Until it was abducted from its home
    Trapped in a net, gasping for breath
    I hope it died with a smile on its face

  21. ReathaThomasOakley

    Was Paisley Cat

    the name of that coffee house
    on St. George Street
    where Diane and I went
    back in ’62 or 3 that day
    we thought it’d be cool
    to slink in like we knew
    what a coffee house
    was all about?

    We knew about being hep and hip
    and jazz from Peter Gunn and,
    well, Peter Gunn, and didn’t
    the Westbrook boys have a trio
    with a gut bucket,
    wasn’t that jazz, or
    something close enough?

    And, didn’t we write poetry about
    death and love like we knew what
    that was all about?

    But no body told us how dark it would be
    even on a Saturday afternoon and how two
    men, really old, maybe thirty, would look
    at us through the smoke and lick their lips,
    at least that’s what I think they did, and a whole
    dollar just for a tiny cup of coffee I swear
    nearly pulled the fillings right out of my teeth.

    No, I don’t think it was
    called Paisley Cat, but
    maybe it should have been.

  22. Arash

    The Gray Lion

    by Arash

    The gray lion lingers.
    Luring him a gazelle,
    grazing on open plains.

    You taste the golden grass;
    you devour the flesh;
    pacing behind the bars.

  23. seingraham


    Oh sweet snuffler,
    Prince of the snort
    How I adore your
    flat face, your
    stature, your style
    of comport

    When I awaken
    from deeply asleep,
    it’s your buzz-saw
    snoring that
    makes me
    count sheep

    But a return
    to sweet dreams,
    an unlikely restart
    Cause along
    with your snores
    You’ve added
    Pug farts.

  24. RJ Clarken

    Blue and Green Plaid Dog

    They say that dogs can see no green.
    There is no ‘cone.’ Each lacks the gene.
    However, when it comes to blue,
    all dogs are privy to the hue.
    Which brings up an essential note:
    So, what about a shaggy coat
    of forest plaid with navy blue?
    My dog is privy to the hue.
    The reason here? It’s no surprise.
    Corrective lenses for his eyes,
    until those glasses he will chew
    and then it’s iffy, re the hue.
    My terrier’s the one you’ll find
    who’s green/blue plaid. (He doesn’t mind.)
    And here I’ll add, my cat’s plaid too.
    They match my privy in that hue.


  25. Jane Shlensky

    Robert, I’m pretty fond of that bluesy squirrel who can’t get no relief. 🙂

    Naked Purple Cardinal

    beneath his feathers
    a naked blue shines through
    a primary complication
    that makes him

  26. Jane Shlensky

    Floral Cat

    Pink nose and toe buds stir at my feet
    blooming into toothy yawns
    feline genuflection to dawn
    as he stretches and claims the day,
    sees it’s rainy,
    circles himself
    and collapses in a purring lump,
    his petal perfect dreams
    still warm.

  27. drnurit

    Red Cardinal

    By: Nurit Israeli

    It was going to be an utterly beautiful day
    ten years ago today when, shivering
    in a pink paper gown in a cold dark room,
    I was trying to focus as a doctor, pointing out
    a white spot on a gray x-ray image, told me
    in no uncertain terms that it doesn’t look good.

    No, she didn’t think this lump would kill me:
    the probabilities were in my favor, although
    she couldn’t promise. So I held onto her
    words that assured, yet I prayed too −
    just in case. And even though there were
    no guarantees, perhaps my plea helped,

    or maybe it was sheer luck, but I won that
    war. I have been counting blessings since,
    adjusting to the new contours of my world;
    and though I can’t forecast what will be,
    or discern what is best, I am better at not
    knowing, readier to revel in the unforeseen.

    Like right now − a red cardinal alighted on
    my windowsill and is staring at me, wondering
    whether this landing was the right move,
    pondering when to take flight or where to go.
    And I, grateful, embrace the vibrancy of its fiery red.
    Yes. Fully embrace. Without knowing what is next.

    1. BDP

      I love this, Nurit. Uplifting, and yet the sense of fear comes through. Fear and subsequent triumph highlight blessings, and the last line is perfect: “Fully embrace. Without knowing what is next.”

      1. drnurit

        Hi Barb, so glad to “see” you and read your comment. Grateful for your feedback! Can you, please, message me on my FB page or e-mail me (

  28. grcran

    purple purple martin

    not that purple after all
    not the color of my shirt
    friendly graceful insect haul
    faster than a man can blurt
    sentence phrases court reprieve
    phases you are going through
    facts of flight with nest reprieve
    happiness out of the blue

    by gpr crane

  29. Shennon

    White Blue Cow

    There once was a cow of white hues
    Who sulked as he battled the blues
    Then he increased in size
    Though he tried to disguise
    His fondness for pizza and booze.


  30. josephdaniel

    Green-Striped Cat

    A green-striped cat?
    Please give it back.
    For it, I have no use.
    Did it climb out of a hat?
    Or from under a mat?
    There’s a feline zebra
    on the loose.
    What’s coming next?
    A polka-dot moose?
    Please return it
    to Dr. Seuss.


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