Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 311

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For today’s prompt, think of something you might shout out loud (or hear others shout), make it the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles include: “Way to Go,” “Run for It,” and “Fire” (though it’s usually not good practice to scream, “fire,” without an actual fire).


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Here’s my attempt at a Something I Might Shout Out Loud Poem:

“Quit it!”

Quit it; just quit it.
There’s no reason

to keep doing it,
because you know it

is a little gross.
So seriously,

quit it; or if that
fails, just cut it out.


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.

Sometimes, he quits it; other times, he cuts it out; but usually, he’s knee-deep in it. And he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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363 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 311

  1. grcran

    it’s Outta Here

    that ball is OUTTA HERE don’t even try
    to catch it or request a replay re-
    view in new york or anywhere they ply
    their trade in rampant technologic spree
    you cannot catch it now that thing is GONE
    it’s left the yard it just keeps going up
    hit sweet spot headin’ outta here, his brawn
    won’t come down til tomorrow after supper

    by gpr crane

    1. PressOn

      I love this. It reminds me of a story about Josh Gibson, who hit a ball out of the park in Pittsburgh, and the next day, in Washington, it came down in foul territory, where the catcher caught it.

  2. PressOn


    No sight to be seen in this sprawling old land
    is so happy and gay as a kid in the sand
    who is building his castles for all to see;
    who enjoys the wind and despises the lee;
    who’s running and jumping and splashing about
    with giggles and jiggles and many a shout;
    who embraces the waves like a sister or brother
    and, when each passes, seeks out another.
    Whatever gods be, may they lend a strong hand
    to ensure a safe world for the kids in the sand.

  3. ReathaThomasOakley

    I now pronounce you…

    ready to walk side by side
    to live your lives as one,
    to share days
    both good and bad,
    to shoulder burdens,
    to reap rewards,
    to laugh, to cry, to rejoice,
    to mourn, to toil, to take your rest,

    I now pronounce you

  4. summersetsun


    Where do you think you are going.
    Do you have a map?
    Do you have a guide?
    I see you have no map.
    I see you without a guide.
    Who is your master?
    Everyone has a master.
    Did you not know we are all slaves to something.
    Is your master kind and wise?
    Is your master cruel and ignorant?
    There is no emancipation.
    Emancipation there is not.
    Has your master taught you to be cruel and ignorant?
    Has your master taught you to be kind and wise?
    Did you not know we are all slaves to something?
    Everyone has a master.
    Who is your master?
    I see you without a guide.
    I see you have no map.
    Do you have a guide?
    Do you have a map?
    Where do you think you are going?

  5. Shennon


    Oh yeah,
    I was surprised all right.
    The birthday party
    I begged for and wanted
    now coming to fruition.

    Aw crap,
    Everyone dressed in black.
    It would have been comical,
    Toasts made with prune juice
    when I never had to drink it.


  6. Tom Hayes


    Not now !!
    If not, then when ?
    This opportunity
    may not come again.

    Life can come at you,
    No schedule, no times.
    You learn to make do.
    Not every line rhymes.

    Can’t focus on plans.
    Got to live life today.
    Just do what you can
    to move things your way.

    Now open your eyes
    Embrace what is out there
    The way that time flies,
    your options may be rare.

    Make use of your time then
    to laugh, love, and dance
    You may never know when
    this one’s your last chance.

    — by Tom Hayes

  7. shellcook

    Don’t Move

    Don’t move an inch
    In any one direction.
    Don’t breathe,
    you’ll scare it away.

    God knows moving in any direction
    makes you wary of the recent past
    and wobbly about a possible future, thereby,
    destroying any peace you are trying to catch.

    So, Don’t move!
    I’ve been staring at this problem
    from every (dis)orientation and in seven years,
    I have been unable to move in any direction.

    Frozen between too little,
    and never enough, for so long,
    and trying not to wait for the other
    shoe to hit the fan.

    Don’t move and no one will notice…
    We never eat out, or take a break
    or update fabrics on our fading furniture
    with carpets worn through.

    Don’t move, don’t breathe, just pray
    that the roof can make it another year,
    and the doctors will be patient,
    but it seems they don’t play fair.

    Don’t move, or slip, or hope upon hope
    and they won’t notice, how I’ve aged,
    for feeling again the same old, old fears
    I felt when I was young.

    Don’t breathe a word,
    don’t move your lips,
    don’t pray for more,
    Not when you once had so much.

    The things of the past, that I swore that I needed
    deftly advertised to make those thoughts true,
    now just leave me shaken with deep agitation,
    at the masterful way, we were manipulated.

    Now each written contact
    elicits a fear, that they know me better
    than I ever will.
    They know me better, than I know myself.

    Don’t move, don’t breathe
    else this house of cards
    gets knocked flat down,
    reminding me

    that it isn’t really mine.
    Don’t move and the fear might miss you
    as you unravel toward your grave.
    In this vampire culture,

    where enough is never enough,
    while ads scream at you, nonstop,
    to buy something better, or bigger.
    I should have asked what that might be,

    a long time ago, when I could breathe
    the air, that was still free.
    Now, I just don’t move and let the constant worry
    take the years from me.

    So I don’t move
    and I know I am not alone.
    I am at the waiting point
    when I can go home.

    I know there’s a purpose.
    I believe in the plan.
    Just needed a breather
    from my line in the sand.


    1. Thedeb

      Wow ,,, powerful poem,,, very real.
      But had to laugh at the “shoe” hitting the fan!
      Was that meant as a mixed metaphor or just good manners?

      1. shellcook

        A little bit of both. Lol. It’s a pretty serious subjec, and I thought a little giggle might make it more palatable. Thanks for your comment. It means the world to me.

  8. Kaulmer

    Stop … listen

    Would you, could you
    Just for an instant

    Stop pulling
    Stop pushing
    Stop nattering
    Stop crying
    Stop whining
    Stop –

    Stop arguing
    Stop comparing
    Stop judging
    Stop making excuses
    And stop stalling
    Stop –

    Listen –
    I need a minute,
    I need to breath,
    I need to be still,
    I need to stop
    listening to my lies,
    And to start
    being free.

    -Krina Ulmer

  9. lsteadly

    Shut the Door!

    Shut it now, before the cat gets out
    or the cold gets in
    or the noise from the city wood chipper sends me over the edge
    or the salesman sees that we are home
    or the dust chokes us
    or the skunk sprays again
    or the flies come in
    or the wind blusters through
    or the campaigners ask for our vote.
    Shut it quick!
    But don’t mistake it for the one that brings
    love to your heart
    or hope to your soul
    or me to your life.

  10. taylor graham


    He calls but the pup keeps
    chasing a butterfly across the field
    as other pups have done. Poetic justice,
    he thinks, how they pause, at last,
    tongues lolling, out of breath, to hear
    him. And then the flutterby
    of puppyhood is gone. They come
    to his call. They learn to stay. And then,
    old dogs, they’re gone.

  11. deringer1

    LISTEN TO ME ! June 2015

    Listen to me all you who think you know what I need.
    Listen to me all you who want to choose my way for me,
    for I have a right to be heard
    and I do not choose your way.

    Listen to me all you purveyors of worthless possessions.
    I do not want you in my face,
    I do not want your ceaseless huckstering
    for I will purchase only what I need.

    Listen to me all you who have the power,
    you who hold the fate of people in your hands.
    Have done with greed and lure of worthless wealth,
    for in the end you will be ashes too.

    Listen to me all you who hate and want to kill.
    There is a better way and this I know
    for I walk within it
    and I will show you love.

  12. G.Wood

    The British Are Coming!

    Nope. No, they’re not.
    And even if they were,
    I’m guessing it would be an air strike.
    No need for your arsenal of weapons,
    your AK 47,
    you grenade launcher.
    My hunch is
    the zombies aren’t coming either.
    And even if they were,
    by definition, they already defeated
    death once.
    I’m thinking they’ll keep charging,
    albeit sloppily,
    toward your guns.
    Not even the neighbors are coming.
    They’re bored with your rants
    about top heavy government,
    and immigrants,
    and birth certificates for presidents.
    Your family, though, they’re on their way.
    They feel indebted to you,
    and bear the things you say,
    and stock your fridge with cheap, but American, beer.
    The grandkids never fear the militia-man stash
    you have hanging like trophies in the basement.
    They turn from the Legos and climb to the casement,
    reaching from tippy-toes at the bar,
    playing with your prized possessions,
    inheriting your right to bear arms.
    The British aren’t coming.
    Nor the zombies, or the neighbors,
    Not even invaders from afar.
    The British aren’t coming!
    The British aren’t coming!
    The British aren’t coming!
    But, your grandchildren are.

  13. josephdaniel

    I Can’t Hear You!

    My wife makes a mean mumbled-word jambalaya
    A concoction of warbled, garbled ingredients
    that take on the sound of a thrashing dishwasher
    “I Can’t Hear you!” I yell, from the top of the stairs
    Like a flying machine circling the airport,
    waiting for the right time to land, she tries again
    This time, at a jet engine decibel level
    But the sound doesn’t round corners in the house
    we call a home, complete with “No Hear” zones
    and I find myself muttering incomprehensible things
    that maybe we could cure with two cans and a string

  14. Hiba Gardezi

    Thank you!
    Oh,Wonderful Lord!
    Only one!
    Merciful God!
    May you come here listen to me as I sing to you… Thank you
    Thank you
    Thank you for this wonder, everlasting mystery, life
    Thank you for the ability Dear Allah,
    To breath, to see and wonder, work and strive
    Thank you for these eyes that look upon the world
    That see these merry people as the go about their odds
    Might I just say
    Thank God , Thank God, Thank God
    Thank You for this love
    For this eternal warm cloak of care
    It holds me…more, I hold it
    You have given me a compulsion
    To stop and
    Then I look and see these kids dancing on the streets
    Torn clothes
    Yet happy playful smiles
    They are not
    Yet… I envy their smiles
    With not a reason to shed a tear
    I go leaking seas of grief
    To analyze my blessings surely I should find relief
    Thank you
    Thank God
    Oh, Thank you! Compassionate, loving God!

  15. annell

    Go Away

    go away    i scream at the magpies      when they come close

    a pair of flycatchers      have made a nest      outside my door

    the flycatchers      come every year     for many years

    although probably not the same flycatchers     probably parents & grandparents

    we have seen     at least 10 to 14 tiny birds    fly from the nests

    they like it here      but the magpies torment them      don’t want them here

    the politics of the avian world      is not always understandable to me

    the magpies seem such rowdy neighbors      strutting in their black & white tuxedos

    chattering loudly     i appear    and scream    go away

    June 25, 2015

  16. Walt Wojtanik


    I filled in all the low spots,
    I graded, sloped and leveled.
    I spread the seed and fertilized,
    but forgot about those devils.

    I would not say I’m meticulous,
    I am so far from anal,
    I work my ass off to get my grass up,
    but they’re driving me insane!

    I plant the flower beds every year,
    I choose the brightest blooms,
    I cultivate, I cannot wait…
    but those bastards spell my doom.

    I realize it’s only grass,
    I know it could be worse.
    I just want to enjoy my space
    instead of sit and curse.

    So I will wage my battle
    as long as I am willing,
    I’ll try like heck to keep in check,
    instead of think of killing….

    I’m turning into my “old man”
    I feel it in my bones,
    I get annoyed by those girls and boys
    who won’t leave me alone.

    I guess there’s bigger problems
    than dealing with my yard,
    So I’ll re-think these things I think,
    before I’m dead and hard

  17. strandedmoon

    Turn the page
    Listened to Metallica’s “Turn the page”

    Greedy words for higher prizes
    Stop them already and reborn
    Turn the page and just move on

    Silent promises and hearty torn
    See the reality you have yet come
    Turn the page forward and go on

    Spoken mighty about innovation
    Stop the talk and grotesque show
    Turn the page and just act on

    Felt in trap inside from graves
    Of illusions that you’ve made
    Turn the page and find your breathe

    Heard the people talking laud
    For your disappointment’s rights
    Turn the page and cut them straight

    Broken shadows of your life vision
    Cut the draw of fallen seasons
    Turn the page and create your mirror

    Once again
    Start anew and
    Just turn the page

  18. Jezzie


    Here she comes again
    spoiling my fun
    but I’ll have one more chew
    then I will run.

    Only if your hand
    has a treat in it.

    But I’m not tired.
    Why do you frown?

    But I want to come
    with you and play.

    But I’m sniffing this.
    Don’t pull me Mum.

    DROP IT!
    But if I do then
    the frog will hop it.

    But you threw it,
    I fetched it.
    It’s my retrieve.

    But why? I’m hungry
    and my dinner is late.

    But if you want silence
    why do you shout?

    So many orders
    from my bossy Mum.
    Can a pup never
    have any fun?

  19. uvr

    I Love You

    No tears, you told me
    so I dam them behind smiling eyes
    as I hold you a touch too tight
    and feel you pull away

    No speeches, you said
    so I bite back the words
    threatening to spill out
    hoping my silence will
    tell you what I want to say

    No theatrics, you warned
    so I keep my fears trapped
    under a calm demeanour
    wishing I could keep you safe
    from all of life’s dangers

    But once you are out of sight
    and I see your plane soar into the sky
    I scream, I love you,
    hoping the words
    will wing their way
    to you

  20. ppfautsch24

    The breeze you feel when there is no wind;
    The air you breathe when you feel you can’t.
    The strength you have when you think you don’t;
    The belief you have when others won’t.
    It is all around you; the love you feel, see, and have; just because your Father said.
    I breathe and know that You are there…
    By: Pamelap

  21. ReathaThomasOakley

    Don’t look

    into that dark place
    under the sweet smelling
    where foul things hide
    where worms writhe
    where the stench of decay
    warns the unwary away.

    Don’t look
    into that dark place
    in some hearts
    where foul things
    are kept alive by
    hate and fear and
    misplaced pride.

    If you look
    don’t look away
    don’t pretend
    dark places don’t exist
    under sweet smelling flowers
    and in some folks’ hearts.

    1. ppfautsch24

      Love this poem, especially the last line, “don’t pretend dark places don’t exist under sweet smelling flowers and in some folk’s hearts.”

  22. Sara McNulty

    Get Out!

    He is nibbling branches once again
    from a Japanese maple tree.
    Get out! I yell; he does not listen,
    but when I start walking, he flees.

    He munches grass and weeds alike,
    from behind shrubs, crouching low.
    Get out! I shriek with all my might,
    he prances ‘cross the yard, slo-mo.

    He catches a snake and swirls it ’round.
    Drop it! Drop it! I panic and scream.
    He looks at me puzzled, just a hound
    who is hurt to have his gift demeaned.

    I try to put myself in his place,
    a dachshund by nature, that is his breed.
    They love to dig, chew, and chase.
    Who am I to tell him what he needs.

  23. Thedeb

    Just Say It!

    Say it,
    say it now.

    No I can’t.

    Yes you can,
    and you must.

    But I’m afraid.

    Why are you afraid?

    I’m afraid I’m wrong .

    Maybe you’re
    afraid to be right.

  24. Nancy Posey

    Because. . .

    It’s official. I am a cliché.
    I have turned into my parents,
    invoking the oldest primal
    non-answer to the ubiquitous
    question: Why?

    The first couple of dozen times,
    I kept my voice calm and level,
    tried reason and logic, until
    at last, I pulled rank, exasperated
    by the barrage of why, why, why?

    Making it clear I expected
    no response, that my word
    was final, that fragment emerged
    that I had sworn I’d never
    say to my children:

  25. taylor graham


    someone yelled, and the gas-powered saw
    stopped cutting blocks of concrete from what
    had been floor and ceiling, and a jack-hammer
    shut down, and the men with hacksaw blades
    in bare hands paused, letting free air wash their
    palms torn and blistered from trying to untangle
    twisted rebar. 23 hours after the earth began to
    shake, each one quit what he was doing, however
    feverishly hopeless, and listened for a human
    sound from under, inside the depths of smashed
    highrise building. A sweaty, sweet silence of
    listening, and the man with a pry-bar stood
    motionless, prying at rubble with nothing but
    an unspoken prayer to hear a stranger’s living
    answer rise from within the tumbledown dark.

  26. MutherBear

    Oh what a lovely place to be!
    The sand! The sun! The playful sea!
    Went out as far as I could go,
    But could not see what was below.
    Alas! He had a better view,
    Now on his list of “good to chew!”

  27. Azma

    Heave ho!

    You can’t ignore
    the commands I throw
    nor can you dodge
    my bouldering blows
    I’m your boss
    I’m mean and cold
    here come my demands
    so heave ho!

    -Azma Sheikh

  28. PKP

    Take It Down

    It don’t symbolize
    sarsaparilla or mint
    julip or magnolia
    blossoms floating
    in soft summer sun
    It don’t symbolize
    sweet sugar sounds
    moving slow-sliding
    like strap-molasses
    no more than than
    a swastika symbolize
    -sweet apple strudel
    It sure don’t symbolize
    Southern – Dig –
    nity – Nothing
    dignified about
    hauling up hatred
    up on mast….
    So stand up and –
    Take it down …

  29. Jean Kay


    Cats are natural prowlers
    who don’t care much for rules
    about tables being off limits
    or kitchen counter tops,
    or why they can’t lie
    on freshly folded clothing
    that is warm and smells good.
    “Down!” gets her head raised
    but not necessarily any other action.
    She is not convinced just by one word.
    She waits for my interaction.
    As soon as I move, as if getting up,
    and shout “Down” again,
    she’ll move slowly towards the edge,
    look at me, wait for me to sternly say “Down” again
    and then jump down, walk away,
    uttering two cat-swearing sounds.
    “And don’t talk back.” I say, as my husband laughs.

    Jean Kay

  30. sppeac1987

    Come Here a Minute

    Come here a minute
    I hear you cry
    But do you want
    Exactly a minute
    Of my precious time?

    Or do you mean
    You want me to come
    After one minute passes?

    Your tone tells me that
    It may not be good news
    So should I come at all?

    Is there something
    You need to tell me,
    Or is it just an excuse
    To tell me what to do?

    Will you praise me now
    For a job well done
    Or else expose an error
    I have yet again made.

    I’ll just stay put here
    Pretend I have not heard
    So that I do not know
    The threat behind your words.

  31. candy

    Wait For Me!

    If time would slow down
    – just a little
    I might be able to catch
    up, to make my bed, get
    the laundry done, buy some
    groceries, even cook a meal
    Instead I’m running
    behind, late, feeling like
    Alice down the rabbit
    hole – into the looking
    glass – always one
    step behind the latest
    trend, slang, fashion
    If time would slow down
    – for just a second maybe
    I wouldn’t have lost you

  32. idiaz


    I yell to the bright eyed boy
    Whose outstretched hands
    Are within danger’s ploy
    His small, anxious fingers
    Wriggle, writhe & want
    All the things he wants but can not

    I scream to the curly head
    Who runs around my bed
    Trying to jump & climb
    & just have fun
    But whose mom is too uptight
    To allow him to run

    I beg to the chubby feet I chase
    Who just had chocolate ice cream to taste
    His lit up eyes open wide in wonder
    At his mom’s yell that sounds like thunder
    All he wanted to do with his sticky mouth
    Is to rub it clean all over her white couch

    I whisper to his sleeping angelic face
    Wondering where the day went; why it felt like such a waste
    Yelling, screaming & begging tiny little hands
    To stop touching everything within his grasp
    His boyish ways will soon come to an end
    His small chubby hands grow large with abandon
    His tiny feet won’t run across the floor
    They will soon be gone & out the door
    Why do I realize at the end of the day
    I don’t have much longer to cuddle him this way
    And all that frustration will be gone in memory wisps
    And I will miss his boyish antics & this tiny face I kiss.

  33. carollilly

    Help Me, Help Me, HELP ME
    (words of wisdom from an old man)
    By Carolyn Lilly

    It’s a crying shame in these days & times
    that you have to shout out “Help Me!”
    over all the noises that you hear.
    Instead of receiving needed help,
    you are ignored by people
    who don’t want to get involved,
    who know to answer a shout for help
    is to get involved,
    or who just don’t have time to help
    others in their selfish lives.
    It’s me, me, me,
    rather than see
    the other person.
    So listen to the cries.
    Someday it may be your voice.

  34. Heather

    Fingers wrapped
    stifle the cry.
    Alone I was shy,
    until he came.
    He called my name,
    and I was done.
    Come join the fun;
    we partied all night.
    I couldn’t fight
    and fell asleep.
    Into the deep,
    I burned cold, hot.
    Held in the spot,
    by a monster instead.
    Filled with dread
    panic snapped.
    Finers wrapped
    stifle the cry.
    Caught in the mire
    I finally yell fire!

    ~ I took the other advice when women are told to yell ‘Fire!’ – also published at:

  35. Connie Peters


    H urrah! Bravo! I am afraid I
    U nderestimated you. Congratulations! You
    R eached for the stars. You kept on going,
    R adically insistent on pressing forward,
    A lways pushing for the prize.
    H urrah! Bravo! Good for you!

  36. De Jackson

    Look Out Below

    And above, and everywhere
    in between. There’s really no
    where to hide when the sky
                           is falling.

    We’re calling ourselves
    sane under significant stars,
    bright spots of wanting. We’re
    haunting every inch of this
    space, embracing the way
    the stones fall,
                       once thrown.

    We’ve known our own broken,
    traced the scars, etched the moon’s
    crescent into our own un
    -quiet skin.

    I’ve got a penny in my pocket
    that just might buy your thoughts,
    or make a tiny wish,
    or keep my hungry thumb busy
    enough to stay home.

    You’ve got a bit of change
    to share with me. I can feel it,
    jangling. Matching the thump
    of my fortune
    -telling heart
    with a message to bestow:

    Look out.
                   Be low.


  37. Connie Peters

    Good Job!

    While others gathered ‘round you,
    shaking their heads with disbelief.
    Asking, “Why? How could you?”
    And there was no relief.

    You smiled and said, “I must, that’s why.”
    And they felt put upon.
    They waited for you to quit.
    But you just carried on.

    Despite discouragement and protests,
    the grousing and the frowns.
    You went at it by the spoonful
    and got that elephant down.

  38. Connie Peters

    Praise the Lord!

    You’re designed to be a praiser
    a worshiper and pray-er,
    Not a grumbler, or scowler
    a grouser or complainer.

    To acknowledge how great He is
    how good, loving, and kind.
    This is what is good for you,
    your body, soul, and mind.


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