Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 309

For this week’s prompt, write a poem just as something changes or is about to change. I guess this could mean big sweeping political or social changes, but what initially prompted this prompt (for me) was thinking about that moment when a candle is lit (or blown out), a room is entered, or an unexpected touch. Change can be exciting, scary, and, well, different.


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Here’s my attempt at a Just As Something Changes Poem:

“empty house”

it hung from the front porch
& swung with summer winds
but it held high its torch
with no birds coming in

i’d watch the empty hole
for hours at a time
like an expectant troll
or a metronome mime

seated in rocking chair
& hearing all the tweets
but lo no birds were there
inside above beneath

until this morn i saw
a beak peak from the hole
holding a piece of straw
& its song strummed my soul


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.

Yesterday, he was excited to see a new occupant in the bird house his uncle makes from Kentucky license plates. And he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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392 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 309

  1. carolecole66

    Right Then

    The living conch pressed its foot into my palm,
    moved itself a ponderous quarter inch, no intent,
    no subject to its own verb, pure authenticity,
    a powerful unknowing. Here Christ is found.
    As the sea washes around my knees I am blinded.
    I am at last undone.

  2. Julieann

    Winds of Change

    Seasons come
    Seasons go
    Years marked
    By time’s
    Ebb and flow
    Everything is
    Status quo

    When blows
    The winds
    Of change
    Seasons come
    Seasons go
    No more
    Status quo

  3. Daniel Paicopulos


    I wonder when it happened,
    that boxes got so heavy,
    and weeds made such strong roots,
    while bananas lost their flavor.
    I wonder when it happened,
    that shoelaces got so complicated,
    and lunch specials became enormous,
    while doctors became children.
    I wonder when it happened,
    that all my friends got old,
    while movie sound went bad,
    and funerals came so often.
    I wonder when it happened.

  4. grcran

    twinge music

    arranging the twinges
    managing for change
    deranged by derision
    moments of strange
    wincing at wide-range
    orange-ish flame
    this is the real thing
    will not exchange

    by gpr crane

      1. grcran

        i appreciate (and find helpful) your comments, William, on my poems and also on the other poems posted here! i enjoy the poems you post, as well… i’ve thanked you before, and now thank you again… ciao, rusty

  5. brimsalvador

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  6. JRSimmang


    When we simply, lazily float down the stagnant river,
    watching only the sky blue clouds of sublime acceptance,
    we are always surprised when the stream turns to white-capped rapids.

    -JR Simmang

    1. PressOn

      I love this cinquain. It is a calming piece, especially, for me, the image of rifles on the ground. It reminds me of Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream.

  7. Hiba Gardezi

    You are little.
    Look at that smile!
    Those delicate fingers that hold to me so tight
    Look at that
    Darling, do you see the light?
    Look how it falls from a single silvery archers bow to make us grateful of the night
    Now as the arrows hit…
    As the light splits,
    As I see the moon take flight,
    The morning comes.
    To you this sums up
    Just right
    Oh Lord! What is this?
    Look at you now!
    In all the bliss
    For years did I miss
    No longer are you now my little child
    Look at those fingers. Not delicate
    Not closed around my little one
    Free and grown and not ready to reconcile
    But… that smile
    Where is my child?

  8. Hiba Gardezi

    This is my first time posting a poem to the poetry prompts. Not very good but I hope to improve. Please comment and criticize 🙂

    I sat there
    Just as I would have
    Any other day
    You stood there
    Just as you would have
    Any other day
    I spoke
    You spoke
    Just as we would have
    Any other day
    You said you were leaving
    You were going away

    1. JRSimmang

      Hiba, it’s great to see you on this side of WD!
      I agree with Bill; this is an effective piece. Poetry, as you know, shares aspects with short stories. You’ve certainly created an atmosphere. Don’t forget, punctuation can add tension and suspense, as I know you’re prone to from reading your fictions!

      1. trishwrites

        and do not second guess yourself! I was new too during PAD. you have joined a wonderful community. Just write. This and the ones above – lovely. you set a mood and I loved the imagery.

    2. SestinaNia

      Hiba–welcome! Congrats on your first posting 🙂

      You have a good poem here–my only suggestion (since you asked!) would be to modify the last line. The sudden rhyme was a bit jarring, and, in my opinion, weakened the impact. And I think you could use that final line to twist the turn just a bit more. You have this lovely build up of “any other day”, so maybe give us a contrast to how this new revelation means there won’t be any more of the same old sorts of days in the future. Just a suggestion 🙂

      Again, welcome, we are so glad you are posting and writing!!


      1. Hiba Gardezi

        Thank you, Sara! You are actually very right, I think it could be made stronger if the last line had something to do with “Any other day”. You are right when you say that it would have relevance to the rest of the poem if I did this. It would tie everything up. Very helpful. Just what I need. Thanks again 😀

  9. Kaulmer

    Losing the battle

    She cries doggedly,
    Determined to fight
    The sleep she quakes for.
    Upon my chest, her
    Breath, a stuttering
    Low lament – waning
    Now against my neck.

    Weighty, her eyes stamp
    Out, the beat of her
    Displeasure slowing.
    Eyes stretched up open,
    Fall heavy closed,
    Counting down until
    Ah – sweet sleep’s release.

    -Krina Ulmer

  10. strandedmoon

    I drive the car

    I drive the car
    On empty streets
    Of broken dreams
    And bucket illusions
    After false star
    That led me far away
    In unknown place
    With fake arrows
    Of words for love
    That sure exists
    On movies and the books
    For autumn’s leaves
    Of holy martyrs
    That stay idealized
    Against the all
    I drive the car
    On uncertain paths
    And shallow goals
    Toward the mask
    Of future nonexistent
    With someone else
    Who I should change
    Between delusion
    And the real
    Of my empty hole
    That I used to call
    My heart till now
    I drive the car
    On endless road
    It seems same
    But sure it changed
    Into a deeper mesh
    That made me other
    Into my eyes of truth
    I made mutation
    Of myself under
    The burden of a hollow
    That seems to be
    My current life
    Yet continuous
    I drive the car

  11. Cynthia Page

    Bubbly Marvel

    Everyone should see a bubble burst
    in slow motion. Perceived in an instant,
    but the micro scale reveals
    the beauty of our universe.
    A swirling globe floats randomly,
    and then a rainbow unfolds
    like the opening of a sunflower
    accelerated a million times,
    and disappears like the dome
    of an observatory folding open.
    I will never see bubbles the same,
    as mundane flighty things,
    too common to marvel over.
    Bubbles are a marvelous mystery.

  12. De Jackson

    Epiphany upon walking through the woods on a sunny Tuesday

    The nose hole on a skeleton forms a perfect upside-down heart.

    This is not something she knew before,
    or ever hopes to know again, but
    standing here ankle deep in
    shed leaves and waiting
    for sirens, she sees it.


  13. shellcook

    She Is Not Here

    She is here, is she not?
    Four legs on the hardwood floor,
    The clickety clickety of puppy nails
    in contact with the hollow swell of this and then.

    But she resides in a yesterday of bright promise
    and languished youth,
    where troubles refuse to gather
    when the rain pours down.

    Where one ends the beginning
    and the other begins the end.

    June 11, 2015

  14. charmuse


    Sorting the all at once-ness
    …lifting the covers for a yet to be known lover
    …tugging at last season’s pants, button hole evaded
    …folding up one thought to air another
    …eyeing a secretly passed note pocketed
    in shorts − saying it’s time for a willowy
    daughter to do her own laundry.

    ~ Charise Hoge

  15. idiaz


    Standing here
    In the middle of the floor
    Door opens
    Don’t know what’s in store
    Mouth glued shut
    White walls
    White floors
    Blind me
    Trap me within
    Too scared to fly
    Stomach twists inside
    Fear in me like bile rise
    The door lays open wide
    I can only stare
    The empty beyond rides by
    Rides by
    Rides by

  16. grcran

    Cue Change

    waiting in queue, nothing to do,
    looking at faces, put through the paces,
    roped in and restless, hopes ride on best guess…
    Stop. Stars align. Yo! Next in line!

    gpr crane

    1. PressOn

      Adelaide Crapsey’s version of the cinquain is one of my favorite poetry forms, and here you have written one so exquisite, I think Adelaide herself is smiling the grass at Mt. Hope.

  17. drnurit


    By: Nurit Israeli

    Little by little,
    I slide
    the shower handle
    right to left,
    then left to right,
    back and forth,
    until a perfect spot
    too hot and too cold
    is discovered.

    The temperature
    Is just right!
    The pressure −
    just perfect!

    swirling droplets
    cascade along my skin
    on their way
    down the drain.

    I breathe in
    the soft steam,
    as I sing
    at full volume
    Gene Kelly’s
    Singin’ in the Rain
    and, like him,
    I’m happy again.

    sleepiness dissipates.
    I peer through
    the foggy glass door
    at a glistening
    morning sun
    and watch
    a new day
    gently taking over.

    1. drnurit

      Being a bird lover, I love “empty house” too! I was patiently waiting with you, delighted to see a beak peak finally arriving, delighted to hear its song (love the softness of the alliterations).

  18. Stephanie H.

    Looking Up

    The girl in red
    Feeling fat
    But looking fine
    Caught a glimpse of the boy
    At the end
    Of the line
    He was shorter
    Than normal
    And his nose overgrown
    But she stopped with the flutter
    Of her heart finding home
    So rarely the courage
    To look up does she get
    But it changed in an instant
    When their eyes met

    By Stephanie H

    Find me on twitter @Anna_Machova_

  19. Cynthia Page

    That moment

    when the light changes
    from red to green
    fraught with indecision and danger.
    Should I go? Should I stay?
    What is the purpose of hesitation?
    Stop honking at me.

  20. Jane Shlensky

    a grim little sonnet form for you–whether you read this as argument or storm…

    Just Before

    There is a stillness in the air,
    a subtle shift we can’t ignore.
    Cicadas quiet, tree frogs hush
    as nature choked, awaits the roar

    of whirling tendrils dropping down
    like spiral ringlets, toddlers’ curls,
    like climbers on a sweet pea’s vine,
    like piglet tails, their spins and twirls.

    A yellow temper’s greenish glow,
    sky bruised by heavy-handed weights,
    bears down with pastel innocence
    as pressure builds up and abates.

    So worlds are born and then undone
    by twisted breath like a loaded gun.

    1. idiaz

      This was breath-taking to read. I read it 1 time as a storm brewing and could picture it vividly. Then read it again as an argument brewing and pictured it just as vivid. Amazingly written!

  21. Thedeb


    Still water in muddy ruts,
    liquid windows to the soul.
    Lambs stare into the reflection
    and see the faces of lions.
    They laugh and swell
    with boastful pride.
    “Look upon me,
    see the king of the beasts.
    Beautiful and beneficent yet
    cunning and cruel.”
    Reaching out to touch
    the visage of their ego,
    the water ripples.
    The image changes
    revealing only a bloated
    and frightened fluff
    of cottony ignorance,
    floating atop a puddle of illusion.
    All along, they were no more
    than prime fodder before
    the slaughter.

    1. idiaz

      I love the metaphor of this whole poem. My favorite lines were “liquid windows to the soul” (ah such imagery!) and “All along, they were no more than prime fodder before the slaughter” (it just leaves such an impact).

        1. ReathaThomasOakley

          A few days ago we passed a huge sheep pasture and Don said, wonder if they are looking at their reflections. You wrote a memorable poem!


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