Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 316

For today’s prompt, write an open poem. The poem could be about physically opening something: a garage door, a bottle of soda, or your mouth. The poem could also go the metaphorical route of opening a can of worms or Pandora’s box. Or if you’re into golf or tennis, writing about the U.S., French, or British Opens is permitted fine. It’s all open to interpretation, I guess.


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Here’s my attempt at an Open Poem:

“we never close”

the lights are always on
in both the night & day.
our doors will stay open
if you’re willing to pay.


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.

That said, Robert is also an introvert, which means he often has to think out what he’s going to say before he says it–so he struggles in small talk situations with strangers. And he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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377 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 316

  1. hannahmarie

    finding you is
    chasing shadows
    straight into the sidewalk

    your chalky features
    blurring in black
    and blue secret cracks

    i thought a breath
    slipped from your silhouette
    to beg my dreams to stay

    till dawn, maybe
    it was just a windy wish I heard
    also out of reach

  2. Hiraeth


    Here is who I am:
    Fragile and broken,
    Open, exposed,
    Shredded at my seams.
    My soul is blood soaked,
    Sidetracked, shipwrecked
    By my dreams.
    It is not who I intend to be
    (For long –
    Just a temporary respite)
    It is not who I was
    (Forgotten –
    A transparent light)
    Here then is my truth:
    Delicate, a porcelain cup
    Please hold it, preserve it
    I will need it, as I climb
    Step by step,

    Copyright Hiraeth 2015

  3. ppfautsch24

    Thank you, to everyone for your amazing poems, encouraging words, and inspiration! I am playing catch up; as I just returning from teaching in China for three weeks! Great to be home and reading such great writing!

  4. ppfautsch24

    Love’s Open Door
    What life brings can be a surprise.
    A treat to be opened and developed before our eyes.
    Love finds us or do we discover it? He knows that my love is opening for him; I know the falling has begun. The feeling of flying high in the air, suspended above ground on wings of an apparatus like an airplane.
    Lifting in air, guiding by the wind; its direction on course, but will it run into turbulence? Yet, the feeling of gliding over seas of open waters and peaks of mountains high above; to a new world of possibilities of being in love.
    And the opening of doors to what life brings.
    By Pamelap

  5. Doakley

    The Cat’s Open Bravery

    The Garbage truck roars around the corner,
    and she runs from her spot by the screen,
    from across the room, she meows to me,
    I’m not afraid, I just didn’t want to be seen.

    So I compliment her on how brave she is,
    and ask “but what if it was thunder instead?”
    She let me know, she wouldn’t be afraid,
    just need to check what’s under the bed.

  6. creech444

    The Myth of Mussels

    It was once said the ones
    that refused to open
    should be thrown away.
    The bad ones.
    But not so much now
    just an old wives tale.
    Safer to throw away
    the ones that open too soon,
    that don’t close up when tapped.
    Such vulnerability, that one
    must live one’s life in a dark shell,
    never to open, holding the way tight
    with vise-like grip, until death.

    Cleo Creech

  7. James Von Hendy

    “Hey, Bud”

      If you’re going to San Francisco
      Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
    –Scott McKenzie

    He whispered to me as a lover might,
    a stranger brushing past, the station’s light

    a feeble stand-in for the sun, his face
    a passing cloud that I mistook for grace.

    At 2 a.m. I sat as tightly coiled
    as a fiddlehead, the bench and floor as soiled

    as any garden bed. He must have said
    another word or two, and then he fled.

    I trembled, touched as when a flower’s bud
    that’s kissed by rain opens to the sun, blood

    a pounding in my ears, desire a blush
    that rose in me from the depot’s dirty hush.

    I watched him flit among us, strangers all,
    a dealer selling us with his siren’s call.

  8. carolecole66

    Open All Night

    and then the power fails; all goes dark,
    shoppers stop wheeling carts and children
    are stunned to silence. In the dim half light
    I find dairy and grope through cartons, six kinds
    of almond milk and in this half life I don’t care,
    throw them all in and glide past gray humps
    of something I might want. Parents pick
    through cereal; children cling to carts and coats,
    something solid in this sudden fluid place where everything
    changes shape and they cannot trust the world
    they thought they knew. But I am happy in
    the oddly hushed space among people careful
    not to touch blurred-edged boxes that could topple
    into heaps around them leaving them to flounder
    toward the exit in the panic they have so far contained.
    Children cheer when lights flash on and old sharp edges
    are revealed. The world is safe. But I slump by my
    overflowing cart and mourn the darkness as it slides away.

  9. taylor graham


    “…no gorgeous east window of coloured glass
    pictured over with olden saints in fantastic robes.”
    – Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith

    Connoisseur of glass, Elihu, you walked
    the length of Britain noting – among so many
    other things – Man’s idea of worship.
    How sacred windows could stain God’s daylight
    or let it shine purely through.

    When you returned at last to New Britain, CT,
    you built a common place of worship
    on your farm. Plain uncolored panes of glass
    you chose, fitting your townsfolk who
    couldn’t afford Sunday go-to-meeting clothes.

    Why do I think of this now, on a hot summer
    evening, our front door open to let
    a bit of breeze come through the iron-
    filigree grille chosen by the man who built
    this house. On either side the door,

    two tall slender windows of gold-smoked
    glass – windows that don’t see in or out.
    And at the grille-gate, our indoors cat Blink
    sits gazing out at two curious sheep –
    Sophie and Freckles. They sniff communal

    noses. Blink reaches a black paw through
    the grate to touch a white sheep-face. Elihu,
    did your non-denominational “barn chapel”
    welcome all God’s creatures like these,
    across borders, seeking each other unstained?

  10. Doakley

    Camping in the Open

    On the first week out of school
    and already bored with my bike,
    my father suggested “how about you and I
    go fishing, take a little hike.”

    He said he wanted to tell me,
    things a young man should know,
    about the real world coming up,
    no matter where you may go.

    Now I worried as to what this may mean,
    as we traversed the well-worn route,
    but under a canopy of rustling summer leaves,
    my thoughts meandered to catching trout.

    My father speaking, broke the spell,
    renewing my worries of the birds and bees,
    but he was telling me my why, the moss
    grows on the northerly side of the trees.

    We padded along that sun dappled walk,
    and he showed me plants you could eat,
    wild green onions, asparagus too,
    grew from the that compost under my feet.

    I remember when we broke from the trees,
    the soft grassy lake shore, a wonderful sight,
    fish jumping, as we unpacked our things
    in the warmth of the sun’s waning light.

    We sat side by side on the shore, my father and I
    watching as the trees tucked the sun in for the night,
    the nighthawks and bats with their own crazy ways,
    chased the bugs over the water in the pale twilight.

    We turned in early, putting out the fire
    and were sleeping like we might die,
    when dad gently touches my arm,
    “see the stars twinkling overhead and the clear sky?”

    “Do you understand what that means?”
    well after today’s lessons I was eager to show
    I knew some things too, so I answered,
    “I see the big dipper, which I know.”

    “The two outer stars of the dipper point to Polaris,
    I know the moonlight is silhouetting the trees
    on the far side of the lake, and is casting
    a golden path across the water for us to see.”

    “The clear skies means great weather
    tomorrow so our time will be well spent,
    is that what you’re talking about Dad?”
    “No son, it means someone has stolen our tent.”

  11. lsteadly

    Open Waters

    There was mention today
    during a melancholy moment
    of what we were to do
    when it came time to say
    goodbye to your parents
    the consensus being
    all ashes to the sea

    Later, we sat on the rocks
    salt air settling thick
    on our tongues, brining our words
    as the waves slurped
    before us
    lulling the fish and our thoughts
    with their pulse of the sea

    You said you’d like that too
    your ashes spread on the water
    and I imagined your spirit
    swirling in sea foam
    kissing the waves as they
    broke me open
    upon the shore

  12. AHReader

    you just can’t fake it anymore,
    your insides start showing.
    no matter how much you try to stop it,
    your shell starts to crack.

    but you don’t even know which one is the real you:
    the happy-ish, successful facade,
    or the bleak, breath-sucking fog of the black dog,
    or the sharp, trapped, eye-darting panic,
    or the throbbing, ruminating, endless anxiety?

    all you want to do is close in on yourself, but your insides have gotten too big.
    and the more your insides seep out, the more pain you feel.
    but the more real you feel, too.
    your fragile body cannot contain all that is you.
    there must be release.

  13. Connie Peters


    Welcoming arms
    An honest friend
    A restaurant
    A store at ten

    A patient’s mouth
    Eyes wide awake
    A gapped circuit
    Ground in a quake

    A meeting’s topic
    A progressive mind
    An opportunity
    A Venetian blind

  14. grcran

    open to interpretopin’

    “not all those who wander are lost” JRR Tolkien
    “stoking the star maker machinery” Joni Mitchell
    “from the ashes a fire shall be woken” JRR Tolkien

    smokin’ while we’re open
    no strokin’ it ain’t broken
    hopin’ copin’ mopin’ is the pope in?
    folksy jokin’ at the oaken Tope Inn
    token taken? go lopin’ & ropin’ & gropin’
    bro chokin’ up brokerin’ & vocalizin’
    cloakin’ hides his croakin’
    quite likely awaken awoken
    but never nope-in’

    by gpr crane

  15. MutherBear

    Open to Debate

    I’ll fear all the things that you fear,
    hate all the things you hate,
    I’ll know the things we should destroy,
    but not what to create,
    I’ll check off all the boxes
    for the selling points I need,
    if pitch be Reaganesque enough,
    I’m likely to succeed,
    but if all that I’m selling you
    is fixless fear and hate
    the value of my leader skills
    is open to debate.

    1. grcran

      but wait… isn’t he the decider? and then, the other thing is, during debate this candidate often is seen by the media to have “won” the debate, and then gets elected by the “popularity-contest” voters whose defining characteristic is that they hope to have voted for the winner when the tally is done… anyway, I like your poem, and thinks for posting! rusty

      1. MutherBear

        From “South Pacific”…ahh, yes, I see what you mean. But, being the political junkie that I am, in, “To hate all the people your relatives hate” I was more geared toward ‘constituents.’

    1. Thedeb

      Both are very lovely on their own, but
      I think you could put the second one first and then make it a two stanza poem,,, an escape from comfortable conformity to freedom?


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