Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 317

Yes, I’ve started releasing winners from the 2015 April PAD Challenge, and yes, we still have a long way to go, but you got to start somewhere, right? Check here every so often to see the results as they become available. Also, a new poetic form: the decima.

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Remember the (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Of course, “Remember the Alamo” immediately springs to mind, but there are any number of things people can forget and need to remember. A few examples include: “Remember the Kids,” “Remember the Dentist Appointment,” and “Remember the One Time You Did That One Thing.” Have fun remembering this week!

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In addition to the listings, there are articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry–so that poets can learn the ins and outs of writing poetry and seeking publication. Plus, it includes a one-year subscription to the poetry-related information on WritersMarket.com. All in all, it’s the best resource for poets looking to secure publication.

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Remember the Blank Poem:

“Remember the Moment”

Remember the moment you first fell for line breaks
and metaphors, for rhymes and meaning, and avoid
trying to recapture that moment. Instead, make
that moment a fire that powers your future joys
and reminds you that taking a new risk often
leads to new rewards even if a stumble or
three. Use that moment in the difficult times when
all seems lost to feel the power of simple words.
Here they are breaking like waves against the shoreline
always present with new depths of meaning to find.

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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 still has his early notebooks of poems from more than 20 years ago and re-visits them any time he realizes he’s in a rut. There’s a fire that burns in them to this very day. And he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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193 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 317

  1. LokiTrek

    REMEMBER THE OWL

    The cat is gone into indivisible night, to the confused moaning and groaning of an ancient cedar on the dark side of the house, dark even to chiming of the Sunday bells. You’re preparing Swiss coffee in the olden way, prescription for sweetening into evening cozy as an alpine hut in a storm. But the cat is gone, creature of hyphenated whims. No matter how you call, he’s gone – unwilling or unable to come back home on this October eve. The black cat who would lap cream as you stroked the proudflesh of so many midnight openings of the door.

    listen – you won’t hear
    the cat-owl, invisible
    and silent as night

  2. stepstep

    REMEMBER THE LETTER

    Remember the letter you wrote to me
    When we were sixteen years old;
    Full of stone cold fun, vibrant and carefree
    We knew nothing, but we knew we loved one another.

    Remember the letter was full of misspelled words
    I gently and sweetly corrected it,
    Though I held each word
    So close to my heart that I nearly choked.

    You were shy and tucked the letter in your back pocket
    Your friends made a dare with you,
    You called their bluff
    And dropped the letter close to my locker.

    Remember the letter you wrote to me at age fifteen
    We had the whole world ahead of us,
    Now the whole world belongs to us
    As we meet and greet the sunset
    Holding hands.

    LaSteph

  3. Tom Hayes

    REMEMBER THE SWEET SMELL

    Remember the sweet smell
    of grass mowed in rows,
    the fragrance of clover
    when tickling your nose.
    Soak in the aroma
    of summer’s great food,
    of sweet corn and hot dogs
    freshly barbecued.

    Remember the sweet smell
    It’s there in the air
    of jellies and baked goods
    made just for the Fair,
    the pungent wet spray of
    salt air at the beach,
    the over ripe odor
    of sugared sliced peach.

    Remember the sweet smell
    the scent of perfume
    from jasmine and lilacs
    just after they bloom.
    Seducing your nostrils
    something not to miss
    exciting your passion
    like Summer’s first kiss.

    Remember the sweet smell
    long after it’s gone,
    a memory to warm you
    at Winter’s cold dawn.
    Reminders of Summer,
    the fragrance of truth,
    recalling fond memories
    from days of your youth.

    — by Tom Hayes

  4. seingraham

    REMEMBER WHEN

    You were just our brilliant girl and love
    was the light that limned the days
    Life unfolded gracefully like a well-worn fan
    And memories made seemed pressed easily
    in our book of runes
    To be treasured, saved for future times
    but not to be lingered over til then

    Remember? Do you? I cannot believe
    you do … or if you did … you would
    not keep hiding from me
    Have you been carted off somewhere
    by someone evil, and can’t hear
    me calling you?
    All day and every night, my voice filled
    with tears and heartbreak
    Blankets the city and half the country
    where we live – and still, there’s no
    answer from you

    Part of me suspects you no longer
    breathe but I know in my soul that
    can’t be true
    I would feel a part of me ripped out
    if you died, I know it
    But mothers are Machiavellian
    in their ability to tell themselves
    lies – especially when it comes
    to daughters
    So … knowing that…I’ll just ask again,
    remember?
    Remember when?

  5. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

    Remember The Moments

    For so long the golden light died
    In the middle of woefully grey days,
    And dark and lurid nightmares
    Replaced once charming dreams

    But I couldn’t better be,
    When you said hello to me

    In days past when rooms sat vacant,
    Stale with echoes of my fading shadows,
    I’d sit alone with wicked thoughts
    Silence a friend, not only of the dark.

    But I couldn’t better be,
    When you laughed with me

    Anyplace mirrored desolate islands
    With deep water eating the shores.
    Beasts hunted through murky cobwebs
    Where trees whispered only to their leaves.

    I couldn’t better be
    When I’m with you,
    And you’re with me

  6. drnurit

    Remember the First Dance

    By: Nurit Israeli

    Remember the first dance
    Way back when
    before our story began?

    Oh yes, I know:
    Things went wrong,
    and it’s late in the day,

    but can you replay
    that tender first dance
    and remember?

    Let it bounce back
    from embers
    of blame?

    Dive beneath?
    Retrieve the image?
    Let it linger?

    Sense the music
    in your veins again?
    let pleasure rein?

    No, I can’t proclaim
    it’ll be the same
    but still, I ask:

    can you bask
    in the glow
    of an old flame?

    Even so…

    1. Jane Shlensky

      I so like that this is largely made of questions and yet is a sort of conversation about memory, lost things reclaimed, and some that may not ever be. That final “even so” is just so perfect.

  7. Jane Shlensky

    Remember Lessons Learned

    That the same storms that raze the earth
    can quench it

    That pain signals growth in unused muscles

    That drought drives roots deep but sears
    the leaves you see

    That patience is the step-mother of dreams deferred

    That hope is choked by long neglect

    That quiet is not the same as peace

    That I must not expect love where
    there is no consideration

    That joy comes like a chickadee on your finger
    the instant you’ve given up trying

    That cycles will always bring opportunities to see anew
    sunrise and sunset streaking the skies
    like blood in the water

  8. Jane Shlensky

    Remember Home

    On any given drive away,
    her grip loosens on what is home.
    “This is not where I live,” she says.
    “Don’t leave me here with strangers.”

    It takes a while to talk her home,
    show her the roses she put in,
    the trees she planted, vineyards full.
    Her fear gives way to doubt, then hope.

    “You seem to know just where we are,
    but who are you and where is Ma?”
    It always takes me by surprise
    when she regresses to a child.

    We’ve traded places, she and I,
    her eyes bright buttons, innocent
    of letting slip some eighty years.
    Small wonder she can’t recognize

    a house built with my dad, her kids.
    That means I am not born as yet,
    but still I’m care-giving her ghost.
    Time spins us, bends us, wondrous webbed,

    how once she told me, still a child,
    to be mindful of what is home,
    to nurture it inside myself
    so I would never see it gone.

    She is my origin, so lost
    she cannot make her way back home.
    “People live only as long as they’re remembered,”
    she says, seemingly present with me now.

    “That’s the truth,” I tell her,
    my throat twisted with tears unshed.
    I know there will come a time
    when home has no geography,

    the place I grew up only in my head
    and nowhere else in all the world.
    I know memory’s fickle, flighty, strange,
    as slippery as tadpoles in a pond.

    I know one chemical more or less
    can erase me, chasten me as I lose myself.
    I know now, in some future dream,
    I’ll be a child loosed from her hand,

    wandering frightened, craving home—
    a green well-tended dream farm where
    I’ll swear I saw her just a snap ago
    with biscuits buttered just the way I like.

    1. Thedeb

      Jane, this is one of the most moving poems I’ve read. I don’t usually go long on my comments, however I’m just so taken in with the honesty, the imagery, and the language in general. Excellent work, thank you for sharing 🙂

  9. Bruce Niedt

    Remember the Night We Had Breakfast at 3 A.M.

    in that seedy diner on Route 206, all red and chrome,
    and I asked you if you were going to finish your bacon,
    and we flipped the cards on the tabletop jukebox,
    playing songs at random, and when
    “Can’t Take My Off of You” came on,
    we sang along together, loudly and out of tune,
    and that trucker in the next booth turned around
    and glared at us, and we left a cheap tip
    because we were poor, and we skipped out
    into the soupy night and went back to your place
    to make sweaty love in your lumpy bed,
    then talked until the sun cut through your blinds,
    striping us like prisoners of love?
    Remember that diner?
    I passed it yesterday, some forty years after
    I last heard from you, and all its eyes were poked out,
    and a yellow monster was taking a bite
    out of its side. No one ever asked us
    if we wanted to finish it ourselves.

    1. Jane Shlensky

      I so like that this is largely made of questions and yet is a sort of conversation about memory, lost things reclaimed, and some that may not ever be. That final “even so” is just so perfect.

  10. Amy

    remember the way

    he used to look at you
    fluid light swimming in his eyes
    in blues and greens

    just a couple of kids
    wearing holes in your jeans
    you waited

    for directions, wandered
    without asking a path
    chasing that last violet light

    remember how it found you
    raw as mending wounds
    wrapped you in clear blue

    rueful river hues
    that recall the way
    he used to look at you

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