Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 335

Happy New Year! Believe it or not, this is the first Wednesday Poetry Prompt of 2016! Before we look at the prompt though, I wanted to share three poems that were published in issue two of By&By Poetry on January 1 (click to read the poems). They’re all quickies; that is, all three combine for a total of 10 lines. And that inspired this week’s prompt.

For today’s prompt, write a poem consisting of 10 lines or fewer. I’ve had poets tell me they have trouble getting under 32-line length requirements. But it can be done. Heck, I wrote three poems with 10 lines. Remember: The first draft can be as long as you wish, but then, pare it down to the essentials–if only for this week.

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Here’s my attempt at a Ten Lines or Fewer poem:

“economics”

she says i should watch how i spend my economy of words
but i’ve never been too fantastic with money i reply
& she sighs without saying a word
before batting her efficient eyes

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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169 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 335

  1. Rasia J. Nole

    Hi

    hello miss,
    how are you?
    can I help you?
    is there something wrong?
    they all ask taunting me again,
    I turn and stare blankly at them.
    My eyes blink, once, twice, then over again.
    I add on to the list in my head
    and keep ignoring the questions that keep repeating over again.
    I am hiding in my mind and keep my walls up.

  2. Fabelhaft

    Alive

    A zephyr grazed my shoulder
    Light nibbles on my neck
    I was static
    Yet
    Colors grazed the earth
    Dust fragments brushed
    Themselves
    I took a step
    Life swirled around my feet
    Definitely not dead

    -K.G.

  3. taylor graham

    OLDER SISTER

    Step-child, foundling, or adopted, she inherited
    strange genes. Afraid of vistas with a guardrail.
    Wrenched her spine through fear, they say, of
    falling. But she got high on the back of a horse,
    feeling the beast breathe between her knees,
    shaking out misalignments, letting go of what-
    ever it was about herself that hurt; mind and
    body ridden almost to bone. Step-sister without
    fairy godmother, she’s gone riding the rising
    currents filling the sky’s blue lungs.

  4. taylor graham

    LIFE EXPECTANCY

    Planned obsolescence. The phone calls come
    from India, the fine print of your policy
    is an arcanum. TV explodes in special-effects
    that burn your eyes. Why can’t Life obey
    the laws you learned as a child? It keeps on
    updating ever faster layer on layer of security
    and shine. Life expectancy? to feel at ease
    in your same old calloused, living-polished skin.

  5. writinglife16

    GIVE THEM FREEDOM

    You gave me your
    weary and your worn.
    I wiped the tears of
    the weary and forlorn.
    I wiped brows
    and soothed hearts
    and yet I grieve.
    Still.
    For I know.
    I know.
    Some who crossed my shores
    were not free.

  6. taylor graham

    PERSIMMON

    I said yes, I’d tasted persimmons
    before. But the one you offered was
    so ripe it cracked open in my hand,
    opened to October sun of its own
    accord, so sweet, it nearly melted.
    Had I always been too impatient
    of the gift of persimmon?

  7. taylor graham

    HER BIWEEKLY SALON

    She sails a mystery sea of arcane trivia, discrete
    comments with little point of reference. She’ll
    purse her lips – unfavorable winds, not a full-
    blown sermon, but just to note, “the plural of
    stamen is stamina, as carmen becomes carmina
    for more than a single song; accent on the first
    syllable.” Otherwise she sits wordless as a cat
    with lacy whiskers. In purr-less interim, she
    waits to correct another mispronunciation
    on the island of her private sea.

  8. taylor graham

    HAILSTONES ON FAIRY-RINGS

    Making allowance for the delicate stage
    of the season – a montage of storm
    cloud and sun sparkling the mesh of stock-
    wire fence, of hailstones on fairy-ring
    mushrooms – we bundle layers of warmth
    and peel them off again. We’re never
    right, shirtsleeves or parka, and we speak
    of weather as the inscrutable wizard
    whose magic is surprise.

  9. tunesmiff

    BLACK SEQUINED DRESS
    G. Smith
    —–///—–
    Why did I dream you in a black sequined dress,
    in the lobby of an office tower, no less?
    It all tall and twilight;
    your face the lone light,
    above a shower of sparks
    in the gathering dark.
    Then I awoke and
    the spell, not quite broken;
    I see you still, I must confess,
    in that black sequined dress.

  10. Connie Peters

    Cords

    I watched her walk on the ocean floor,
    like an astronaut with white helmet
    connected to an oxygen hose
    enabling her to breathe.

    I thought about the time
    she lived in the liquid world inside of me,
    receiving life from an umbilical chord.
    We’ll always be connected by unseen cords.

  11. victoriahunter

    Bringing the Message

    Sitting on the cold dirt
    silently cool, in the soul of my white hood
    like a white country home,
    when it’s in the mouth, of fresh blizzard snow.

    balanced against my chest, with my right arm,
    the lord words, for those, who wish, to live forever,
    stuffed inside—- a thick red sleeve

  12. grcran

    bringing in one six

    one six
    won sicks
    once icks
    one too many
    three kings
    free inklings
    clean streakings
    epiphany
    ye pip funny thirteen twelves
    twenty one six five two elves

    (and to explain a bit: one six is January 6, also sixteen, 2016; three kings are the magi, also the 12th or 13th ordinals in a deck of 52 cards; a pip is a spot on a playing card)

    by gpr crane

  13. ReathaThomasOakley

    Coffee at 5AM

    When I think of my mortality,
    I do that a lot these days,
    I focus on the tiny things that prove
    I’m still alive,
    the roar in my ears inherited from
    my mother, the beating of my heart,
    the ticking of the kitchen clock,
    the pattern in the paper towel I use
    to wipe my tears.

  14. Beverly Finney

    Perfect Union

    Over eggs, gravy biscuits and coffee
    one Saturday morning at Granny’s,
    he spoke of Einstein’s theory of relativity,
    of a billion galaxies with billions of stars.
    She, the structure of a sonnet and her longing
    to insight this breathless cosmic wonder in verse.

  15. taylor graham

    LIFE, DEATH, & TAXES

    Lost in that gorgon’s tangle-head
    of calculations, exceptions, withholdings,
    all those blooming questions,
    I missed the wild plum dancing in white boas
    of her blossom-boughs,
    and rosemary’s skyblue remembrance,
    and buzzards cleaning up old death,
    while Spring passed on a wildwood breeze.

  16. uvr

    Your day my night
    you don’t give me a thought
    I dream about you

    Your night my day
    you sleep dreamlessly
    I think about you

    Our paths don’t cross
    Our thoughts don’t merge
    Our lives don’t touch

    I still can’t let go

  17. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    needle less trees
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    another year of needle less trees
    above and below me
    more white muzzled soup line
    dogs here beside me,
    breathing same toxic cold air
    that landed our bones
    here in the first place
    brother, pardon my pain
    but it’s just that it’s another
    year of needle less trees…

    © 2016 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  18. PressOn

    LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT

    The rondelet
    is something like a nervous tic;
    the rondelet
    keeps coming back, like waves at play;.
    meandrous, yet it has its schtick.
    And so, to make a point, I pick
    the rondelet.

  19. victoriahunter

    Untitled. Poem written
    from an exercise from my poetry learning book.

    Dogs, barking at dogs.
    Doors slowly shutting, like the eyes of a dying legend.
    lights of the living room, of homes, suddenly flipping on,
    like a smile of someone—– who wants something more
    Dogs barking at dogs
    Strangers— sitting, across from us— reading books on better living.
    a snow truck plowing the thick ice— on the sidewalk— in front of our home.
    Dogs barking at dogs
    An old train blowing its horn—-and blowing its horn— and blowing its horn.
    Dogs—silent, as a winter tree—- staring through holes, in blue fences.

  20. RJ Clarken

    10 Lines of Poetic Contention

    “O, I want to be a sonnet.”
    cried the couplet, “Awwww, doggonit!”

    “I wish I were an octave, dude.
    Eight lines are cool. Don’t think me rude
    but I’ve got rockin’ rhyme-a-tude,”
    the quatrain sighed, “I thus conclude.”

    Then free verse laughed. “You think that size
    is what I’ve got? Oh no! I can put lots of syllables or enjambments or literary devices
    or whatever in my stanzas – but still no money or Pushcart – only exposure.
    Want my advice? Just stay true to form.”

    ###

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