Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 310

I’m in a mood today, I guess. A slap happy mood, so today’s prompt might be as fun as I think it is, or it might be a great big fail. Here’s hoping everyone else is in a mood today too.

For today’s prompt, write a poem using three of the following six words:

  1. premium
  2. fertile
  3. translucence
  4. whirligig
  5. astronomical
  6. doublespeak

How did I come up with this list? Easy: I flipped through my big old dictionary at random and chose the first word that I saw on each page. Well, with one exception: I removed immunosorbent from the list, so folks who want a real challenge can incorporate that word (but I’m not).

Speaking of challenges: Why not write a poem with all six words (and/or seven)? Or hey, why not write a sestina with the six words as your end words? I told you I was in a mood.


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Here’s my attempt at a Three Out Of Six Words Poem:

“fertile doublespeak”

there’s no other way to relay it
the whole affair was a spectacle
& spun me ’round like a whirligig

so that before i could bicycle
outta there i was caught in a fence
that bent without astronomical

assistance as if my translucence
blocked out the light’s premium on switch
or as if ’twere immunosorbent


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, his daughter turned four, so everyone in the house was in a bit of silly mood. And he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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332 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 310

  1. Julieann

    The Professor

    His astronomical vocabulary
    Often leads the mind through
    A whirligig of doublespeak
    Fueling a fertile imagination
    Of translucence thoughts
    And premium confusion

  2. grcran

    saved from our shelves

    slight course correction astronomically
    comically small comet translucent
    icing its sway icily comment-
    ing nothing to say something and
    everything whirligig twirled
    remorse full confection saved from our
    shelves of half doublespeak her half from my
    middle as we muddle fiddle-faddle cuddle
    in premium post-fertile
    light force connection

    by gpr crane

  3. carolecole66


    In spring we watched whirligigs
    spin from maples, tiny helicopters
    twirling through the air, suggestions
    of fertility, our own continuance.
    Our pagan revelry ran us through
    translucent dusk, air silk on skin
    released from bulk and itch of wool. We
    sped in sweet awareness toward such
    astronomical love on offer there. The
    world extended as we shouted through
    the doublespeak of mothers calling to us,
    dim in doorways standing guard, offering
    defense against approaching night.

  4. Salisbury

    I recently read an article on IFL Science titled “Methane Found in Martian Meteorites” and have been playing around with it to no avail. This prompt helped me, although I’m still not entirely satisfied.

    Methane found in Martian meteorites
    Gaseous translucence
    The whirligig universe flinging itself
    Astronomical light units through space
    Invading everything known and unknown
    As the hydrogen and oxygen plaster my hair
    To my forehead and drip from my nose
    My arms raised, my face tilted up
    The reverberating thunder of the Big Bang
    The star stuff constructing me atom by molecule
    I am made of star stuff

  5. Sarah Metzler

    In a Mood

    The ground is fertile where I stand tonight
    It is a premium plot of humus beneath this moon
    This is where I will twist and push down my words
    Right here where my shadow is being pulled like taffy across the furrows
    They will be immunosorbent words that draw up through my toes
    Like translucent damselfly wings from this antibody of soil
    It is from this spot that I will join the west wind’s efforts
    And blow these wings into a fluttering and a clacking whirligig
    Of shuddering doublespeak the likes of which will witch the wind away
    And leave nothing standing in the field but a tousled scarecrow
    Still and glowing under an astronomical straw hat of stars

  6. Amaria

    their fertile imagination
    was premium entertainment
    as I waited for laundry to dry
    I observed children play
    their whirligig exciting,
    their carefree nature
    so translucent,
    to be a child again –
    I’d cherish every moment
    before growing up into harsh
    worlds where doublespeak
    consumes you

  7. seingraham


    In parts of Italy, they are everywhere,
    marching right up to the edge of the road,
    like giant bladed soldiers
    Back home in Canada we call them windmills
    and I learned in a discussion filled with
    miscues and words lost in translation
    That there’s a double-meaning for the word
    here — as if it’s not already confusing enough

    Someone gave me directions to meet them
    at such and such a whirligig
    I thought it must be astronomical if it was
    going to be just one windmill
    GPS was no help on this one – I drove under
    a sky so pale blue it was almost translucent,
    and through endless fertile fields,
    bursting alive with vineyards and olive groves.
    I might’ve been lost, but it was a heady drive.

    Stopping at a cafe for directions, I had yet
    another cup of premium espresso.
    I’m not much of a drinker, but coffee?
    I can never have too much – Italy is my
    soul-mate country.
    After some lengthy double-speak with
    the barista,
    I discovered I wasn’t searching for a
    giant windmill but actually a specific
    traffic circle, a whirligig as it happened.
    And after driving around for what seemed
    forever, now I was right where I need to be.

  8. G.Wood

    A plea to my birth state—

    To S.C. June 2015

    Was there some class he didn’t attend?
    Was there a traumatic event?
    Was there a genetic abnormality
    or something his parents couldn’t see
    that could make him evil, crazy,
    a homegrown travesty?
    Doesn’t matter.
    It’s not about him, or them, or the public school system.
    You’re not from around here, are ya?
    Where the street signs bear confederate names
    and the churchyards have segregated graves
    and Robert E. Lee hangs in the living room
    over the nativity scene at Christmas.
    You can’t dismiss this. Doctrine of heritage
    forever entwined with hate. Each generation tumbling
    toward more mistakes, realizing too late
    that if we can’t cut it out—we must cut it off.
    We lose the gains when we don’t take the loss.
    Extract the nostalgia and super-soldier symbolism—
    always septicemic with slavery
    and masochism—
    a self-righteous racism
    that we keep thinking Time and Death
    will erase from our tally of sins.
    It’s not gonna happen. We need a cleanse.
    We need a razing, we need a come-to-Jesus talk.
    Time to stop claiming the wound has fully healed,
    stop piling on the balm.
    Treat the infection,
    even if it burns.
    Bite the bullet like a soldier—
    sever what hurts,
    staunch the bleeding with a rag—
    start with the flag.

    1. seingraham

      How well you’ve penned this … I have a brother-in-law up here in Canada who is all things Confederate and he loves to travel in the southern states, especially if he’s in a restaurant or bar and they spot his confederate flag belt buckle or some such, and they get to talking about “the good old days”. He is what I’d call a “lip-service” democrat (small d) – you know the type … “some of my best friends are_____”(fill in the blank as to race, or any disenfranchised or marginalized group here). He tut-tuts when something like this happens, never seeming to draw the connection between perpetuating the myth of the good old southern ways with some of what goes on today. Again, I think you have made the case with your poem with what needs to be done.

  9. RJ Clarken

    The Whirligig

    The Whirligig does doublespeak
    which only adds to his mystique.
    Imagination? Fertile, but
    I can’t explain. I know not what.
    He places premiums on quirks.
    This Whirligig says, “Yep. That works.”
    He’s got charisma in his strut.
    I can’t explain. I know not what.
    He’s notably quite comical
    with ego astronomical.
    Bright plumage fills his sinciput.*
    I can’t explain. I know not what.
    There’s no translucence, one might note,
    with Whirligigs, ‘cause, quote/unquote,
    he’ll mimic but he won’t rebut.
    I can’t explain. I know not what.


    * The front of the skull from the forehead to the crown. Cool word, right?

    Ah – my first poem in a while! Since I went from grad to work immediately, I’ve had very little time to do anything. For what it’s worth, this feels good. 😀

  10. taylor graham


    Eight healthy pups in their small oubliette
    of a whelping box. But “health”
    is double-speak. Minds opening like eyes,
    almost five weeks old;
    no toys, no whirligigs above their heads
    like shadow of the hawk – tribal fear,
    or a wish for wings.
    These babies crawl on week-old news-
    print with no clue to a world
    knocking at their walls.
    Who calls their names in human voice,
    or reaches out to touch?
    Their keepers put no premium on a heart
    beyond its functional four chambers.
    Awakening of fertile ground –
    their curiosity should be astronomical
    as a shepherd gazing at the stars.
    Where is their sun? A dim translucence
    through 6 square inches of plastic window.
    Might I find the key –
    a sum to ransom just one of the eight –
    to carry him from a castle with neither
    moat nor dragon, guarded
    only by the caution of age-old reasons.

  11. carollilly

    I just wanted to thank everyone who commented on my poem Chemotherapy. As you might imagine, my husband’s cancer fight takes most of my energy and all of his, but it helps to keep writing & poeming, even if the poem is about his fight. Happy poeming to you.
    Carolyn Lilly

  12. Jezzie


    Doublespeak is the way that my mum talks
    when she says we’re SOON going on our walks.
    It could be an hour or more before she
    is actually ready to go out with me.

    I think she tells astronomical lies
    when she looks directly into my eyes
    and says that she adores me such a lot
    cos the way she acts I think she does not.

    I only want to spend MY time with her.
    Most of HER time’s spent with her computer.
    Clear in translucence is MY love for Mum
    but HER love for me’s at a premium.

    One minute she tells me off cos I call for attention
    Next minute she offers fertile showers of affection
    This whirligig romance is hard for me to understand
    but I’ll still always be there waiting for her next command.

    Phew! This prompt was difficult to apply to a Doggy Ditty

  13. grcran

    inTheVicinity of fertilePorcinity

    feed astronomical figs
    to your quasi-comical pigs
    you’ll have premium pork
    as you measure the torque
    on the stork with the white whirligigs

    by gpr crane


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