Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 336

Last week, I mentioned three of my poems that were published in issue two of By&By Poetry on January 1 (click to read the poems). This week, I had a poem published on page eight of the debut issue of Englyn, a journal of 4-line poems. There are a few familiar names there. So be sure to check it out.

For today’s prompt, write a unique poem. But aren’t all poems unique? Like snowflakes, maybe they are. Use this prompt as you will, but I was thinking more along the lines of unique situations, unique people, or unique (fill-in-the-blank). So while your poem may be unique, maybe it could cover something or someone unique. Feel free to put your unique spin on it.


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Here’s my attempt at a Unique poem:

“the man who sold the universe”

don’t look down from the capsule in space
and shut your mouth you have a pretty face
view the world through the prism of change
it’s time to dance on the galactic train

don’t look down as the others spit their hate
believe now there’s a reason to be great
own the past but venture through the night
will yourself to stand up and try to fight

i won’t be on this plane for long you see
eternal change is stronger than bowie


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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127 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 336

  1. taylor graham

    a translitic from the Serbian

    I, Madame, conjugate, conjugate in my stirring noggin a gramophone, a gramophone that spins a brat, me the brat, a jeopardy. I, Madame, plash, plash Madame, give me no rash.
    I do not rust, do not rust Madame, that’s the jive, so-be-it salamander.
    I, Marusko Marusko, Madame, carry the jolly juba, I manage vis-à-vis the vis-à-vis of so prizeworthy cigarettes. I, Madame, tell by tellesis some delible lapses, variable cargo, gypped pockets. I manage destruction, deconstruct my poverty-rich cup of tea-salve.
    I, Madame, knock, knock my pride, excuse me, oh no, so beau!
    I manage vessels of automotive dirt as a vessel, yes, does automotive dirt, dirty names
    to the automobile. I, Madame, deny the denier of gems so copper-gem crude, Madame. I set resets, do brio pesante upon the G-bomb, naphtha-vague.
    I, Madame, set your mind vague-set, let the visa take letters to slow-coat bliss.
    I manage relative precepts of pogo-ma, so temporary, gum so boring proto-cloves new and nasty. I manage, godsend me mega marks, vessels, my boat, sea-boat mega-marks leap, dance! I, Madam, eat no privileged bread. Serve up cold joy, day-joy of the postal race, salmon in zappy.

  2. Rasia J. Nole

    It Will Rain

    When the wind blows
    And the sky fogs
    Up my picture in the mirror

    When the river roars
    And the birds soar
    Above the woods we roamed

    When the cliffs spike
    And the rocks fall
    From the mountains we once climbed

    When the memories fade
    And only ashes are left
    From the campfire we once built

    When the smiles leave
    And the frowns replace
    All the faces of the town

    When the money’s gone
    And the hearts are desperate
    To feed the mouths of children

    When the storms are coming
    And the people run
    It will rain.

    When the clouds thunder
    And the lightning strikes
    It will rain

    When it rains upon the lonesome town
    And the floods come back again
    I will come home

    When I come home to my people
    And see your face once more
    It must rain.

  3. taylor graham

    (for Smith)

    I found you on my morning screen, a hand
    reaching through water composed of cyber-
    space. Your hand. We’re friends as poets –
    artists – all are friends and fellow-travelers.
    We’ve never met. But here’s your hand
    extended, hand of the ancient sea-man, trident
    fingers furrowing a stream, a trail through
    the fluid plane mirage’d as tundra. Tiny
    humans trudge across its horizon like a text
    in script, lines tiding above permafrost,
    bedrock, or is it dream? I take your cyber-
    hand, offering the screen I saw last night by
    TV satellite: a city sitting atop a septic
    river subterrane, offal screening through dark
    soil to wash it clean. As I gloss the image,
    we are fellow-travelers of earth air water
    and all the spaces in between.

  4. stepstep

    A Diamond in the Rough

    No two are identical
    Each sparkle offers a different perspective.
    Some are even rough around the edges
    Generally each one will satisfy.

    No two offer the same dimension
    The brightness is the body of the soul,
    To be molded, groomed and shaped into many facets
    Coming of age.


  5. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    by juanita lewison-snyder

    be different, they said
    be unique
    stand out from the rest
    but in a good way,
    take care to distance yourself
    from the rest of the pack

    don’t take no for an answer.
    but first, tuck in those flaws just a little bit please

    rise like a phoenix from the very ashes
    they used to roast you with,
    yeah, they’ll never see that coming.

    not once did anyone simply say,
    just be yourself.
    weren’t you were born an original?
    so why then would you want to die a copy?

    © 2016 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  6. Stephanie H.


    She was everything I wasn’t
    And irreparably flawed
    Her foul-mouthed remarks
    Made my skin crawl

    She had a bad side
    A mile wide
    Always looking for a fight
    If you talked to her man
    Or mentioned her mamma
    She’d show you who was right

    But she made me laugh
    And blush
    And shush her to be polite
    I knew that she couldn’t
    I loved that she wouldn’t
    And I thank her
    For changing my life

  7. woodpeckerduo


    There once was a eunuch
    Who, under his tunic,
    Hid a delightful surprise

    The others who glimpsed it
    Went into a pimp’s fit
    They couldn’t believe their eyes

    No, eunuchs are not geeks
    Oh yes, they possess deeks
    Despite sundry fables and lies

    What makes eunuchs unique?
    Let’s dispel all mystique…

    It’s easy to womanize
    With no need to rubberize

  8. grcran

    (read “oysters slash hands”)

    My fall upon oysters
    Twas rather unique
    I lucked out and cut
    neither right nor left cheek
    I cut neither nether one
    Just both of my hands
    My blood mingled freely
    With water and sands
    I cut up my t-shirt
    My friend tied the strips
    My wife did the butterfly
    Plus love from her lips
    So now I’m all healed I’ll
    Go fishing once more
    I might be more careful
    To find the firm shore

    by gpr crane

  9. Amaria


    though I try not
    to treat every guy
    like he was the last one
    it’s hard sometimes
    so I remind myself
    each one is as unique
    as a snowflake in winter,
    a falling leaf in autumn
    or a blossoming flower
    in spring

    – Arcadia Maria

  10. trishwrites

    Robert, congratulations and I loved your Bowie tribute. You’ve all inspired me this week so here’s my Unique poem.


    Give her a chance
    She might be a freak
    Maybe she can dance
    No one knows what’s hiding in her closet
    spilling from her sorrowed song
    She has a wand, she’ll paint the sky her own
    shade of cobalt and chartreuse
    She sings, she’s a little twisty
    a mystery, her laugh off-key
    Everyone goes right and she goes left
    a little out of step
    She’s the scribbles that don’t make sense
    Tilt your head to appreciate her art
    the slender arc, of different

    1. ppfautsch24

      Absolutely, beautiful! This poem embodies the essence of me and I believe so many others! I love so many lines in your lovely poem, but, “slender arc of different”, is perfection!
      Thank you!

    2. ppfautsch24

      Uniquely Done
      Unique in how he thinks;
      She believes his is a beautiful mind.
      Not filtering what he feels; though his passion is strong and real.
      Wanting to honor my virtue, heart, and home.
      But, uniquely I desire to be found.
      Grindiing in learning who I am meant to be, grounded in who I am.
      Losing myself in him, but taking Me along is my ultimate ideal.
      In a unique quandary; wanting to be with him and lose myself in his folds and be revealed.
      By Pamelap

  11. Arash

    Hard to conceptualize uniqueness but this is one I just wrote:

    “Unreal as Flakes Glaringly Lit”

    by Arash

    I stole the cool moon and the stars.
    They sobbed but still I packed them tight
    and squeezed the moon to make her fit;
    then I shuffled away in dark.
    Unknown to me the silent moon
    had thawed and soon, as streams of white,
    was trickling out of my trunk
    and forming myriad moons behind—
    unreal as flakes glaringly lit,
    a line of lunar infants laid
    as though Hansel and Gretel’s crumbs
    for parts of her to find their way
    back home to blanket of the night
    that needs the moon as she the dark.

  12. Tmgrl6


    Eyes open
    And in a moment
    I remember

    You lie in a bed not ours
    Blind and alone
    I wonder

    Are you seeing
    Ladies in blue that are not there
    I pray

    Today passes in peace
    Bathe, diaper, feed,
    Roll, dress, transport
    I dread

    What rests behind closed eyes
    As tubes suck out the waste
    I watch

    A single tear roll down your face
    Yet not a word is spoken
    I weep

    In silence by your side
    As months of sadness
    Move us through
    Managed pain
    Delusions too
    I ask

    Who is left
    Of Me and You

    1. Tmgrl6

      Can we remove a poem we posted here? It is one I have submitted, not that it will be published, but if it is, I don’t want it to be “published” here in Poetry Prompts. New to this at 73 years old!!

  13. Connie Biltz


    “If everyone else jumped off a bridge,
    would you jump too?
    You need to be yourself, be unique.
    To your own self, be true.”

    “Why do you have that wild purple hair?
    Don’t you want to fit in?
    People are laughing at you.
    Don’t you care?”

    It seems to me there’s a fine line
    between fitting in and standing out.
    Sometimes it takes a lifetime
    to know what life’s about.

    We struggle to make our mark;
    to be our own best selves,
    because we all want to be special,
    just like everyone else.

    Connie Biltz
    author of Rainbow Chaser

  14. ReathaThomasOakley

    One of a kind

    She was the Lutheran minister’s wife and Home Economics instructor,
    a perfect combination for that small Montana town.
    We became friends after she gave a demonstration of how
    to use a microwave at the local hardware store.
    I never made cupcakes in my new appliance but
    learned a lot about her when once she said, with great sincerity,
    I’ve never been pretty, then quickly continued to save me from a lie,
    but I think when I’m really old I’ll go to New York City or
    maybe Hollywood and become a character actor.
    I suspect beautiful stars, even in later years, will never want
    to take roles for ugly, old crones and witches. I should get lots of work.
    Now I think of her as I watch programs with aged, time-worn
    women, but haven’t recognized her yet, and scanning the
    credits is useless, because I just can’t remember her name.

  15. Kasey

    Helicopter parents hover around
    their extraordinary, brilliant offspring
    whose praises are the only songs they sing.

    “My special snowflake is Ivy League bound!”
    “My unique starfish is going to be king!”
    Helicopter parents hover around.
    Their extraordinary, brilliant offspring,

    genetically modified to astound,
    are dependent on them for everything.
    Oblivious to what is happening,
    helicopter parents hover around
    their extraordinary, brilliant offspring
    whose praises are the only songs they sing.

  16. Stephanie H.

    Fruit Fly

    I hoped he would stay forever
    I liked the part of me I was with him
    The me I don’t get to be
    At church
    Or home
    The me that only he could see
    Even when I didn’t

    I hoped he would stay forever
    As if he could shrink himself
    To my size
    And be content
    With white wine conversations
    And inside jokes
    Platonic hand-holds
    And entrusted secrets

    But nothing lasts forever
    And he needed room to grow
    So I buzzed off

    The apple drops
    And fades away
    Until only the seeds remain
    And that, I’ll keep

  17. Amaria


    they made fun of the way she spoke
    and her goth clothes – not posh
    enough for their snobbish palettes
    yet still everyday she walked
    fiercely down the hallway
    to the beat of her own drum
    it was that unique spirit
    that drew me to her side
    that day in the cafeteria

    – Arcadia Maria

  18. Jane Shlensky


    pique the interest
    of those who speak
    cliquey, cheeky
    who are sleek,
    colorful, joyous,
    their mystique
    oblique but
    Your technique
    bespeaks what
    it means
    to reek of the


  19. SarahLeaSales

    Their Stories

    Two women,
    one story,
    each unique
    and wonderfully written.

    Two women,
    the story of one Man
    whose life and love
    helped write their own.

    Two women,
    who loved the same Man–
    one as a mother,
    another, a lover,
    both as a Savior.

    Two women,
    happiness in their names;
    one well-behaved, the other, not so much,
    but cherished all the same.

    Two women:
    One knew a man,
    one knew many;
    one was a giver of life,
    the other, a witness of the afterlife.
    Both made herstory.

  20. AmyLGeorge


    Though you’re but air now,
    your face is everywhere.

    The news reels
    reel out the shock

    the finest kind
    for you.

    Death wears a dark cloak
    and the world

    is a bit less today.

  21. Stuart Peacock

    Turn and Face the Strange

    What the world calls strange
    And casts aside as ‘odd’,
    Are beautiful sights to behold.
    Those who live in a straight line
    May never experience them.

    It takes a slightly twisted mind
    To open oneself to the odd
    To embrace life’s eccentricities
    And dare to be the different one
    In a world soaked with ‘same old’.

  22. Bushkill

    Prompt 336:

    I stood upon a stair with you
    ‘Neath a blanket of night.
    We stood and stared and spoke some to
    And pondered deep our plight.

    It seems we moved from friendship strong
    And now must soon decide,
    If being a couple was right or wrong
    But who would care beside?

    We hemmed and hawed in playful bliss
    As time moved by for man,
    When I leaned in to place a kiss
    And coerce you in my plan.

    The years have fled and children too
    Yet here we both remain,
    In love as much ten dash two
    With each other to sustain.

  23. grcran

    Who Scared Who

    Uniquely she proposed a new critique
    On mousies and their tendency to squeak
    Research who scared who first
    Some mice were cute, some cursed
    And through it all resounded cries of “eek”

    by gpr crane

  24. charmuse

    (I penned this on Tuesday, and then saw your prompt and wonderful poem, Robert. But we can’t have too much of Bowie, can we?)

    Let’s Dance with Bowie

    the me,
    the popular
    for a palette,
    politely steal
    a motif
    stuck on repeat
    for a grand entrance.
    Become an opera.
    the red shoes
    that could exhaust you.
    Swirl like a black star
    skirting the earth.
    Unsettle your dust.
    Fall without failing
    to expand.

    ~ Charise M. Hoge

      1. charmuse

        Thank you! He was an artist, theatrical in music, film and persona. I recently learned that he studied mime. If I’ve conveyed his creative spirit – as you say, a sense of controlled wilderness – then I’m honored.

  25. uvr

    It broke
    shards strewn
    about my feet

    l stepped softly
    on what was left
    of my heart
    once you were done

    the ache
    like stars

    sparkling with
    my pain

  26. PressOn


    They used to hit homers in tandem;
    the frequency hardly was random.
    Though Lou hit them far,
    old Jidge was the star:
    the Bambino excited the fandom.

  27. Shennon

    My Nieces

    I have a niece.
    A typical spoiled brat.
    Rich child.
    Forgettable girl.
    Everyone caters to
    appease her each and
    every whim.
    Pouty face.
    Demanding attention.
    It’s hard to tolerate
    coexisting in her space.

    My other niece
    happily exists in
    her own mind
    part of the time.
    Inherently unique,
    her hugs are exuberant,
    her laughter infectious,
    her smiles breathtaking.
    Such a lovely girl,
    we give her space
    when her autism
    demands a break.


  28. Sara McNulty

    The Unique Tom Robbins*

    Even cowgirls get the blues,
    skinny legs and all. A little
    Jitterbug perfume goes a long
    way. If you stay with me,
    together we can look for
    another roadside attraction.
    What is your reaction to wild ducks
    flying backward? If you stare
    at a still life with woodpecker,
    you might find a plate
    of Tibetan peach pie, a favorite
    of fierce invalids home
    from hot climates.

    *(a favorite author of mine)

  29. Beth Henary Watson

    “Jesus Loves the Children”

    Our shabby revival children’s chorus
    Turned out Monday at the old-timey church,
    Belted “Deep and Wide” for the guest preacher
    Under fluorescent lights in mid-August,
    Opaque glass windows revealing nothing
    Of what we were missing at that moment,
    World masterfully darkened, neglected–
    Shallow theology’s conscious choice.
    The first shaky number over (relief),
    We awaited the next cue: Would it be
    “Father Abraham” or “This Little Light of Mine”?
    No. He declared it would be of God’s love,
    As our Father adores us uniquely.
    Tan finger choosing me, the preacher asked,
    “Did you know there’s no one just like you
    in the whole world?” And the chuckles stunned him,
    For he had never been wrong about that.
    My twin sister was just playing hookey.

  30. seamuscorleone

    They say that every snowflake is unique but
    doesn’t unique lose its meaning when there is
    nothing ordinary to make it special?

    For two to be the same, to share a
    crystalline structure, each frozen drop of water
    forming into identical geometrical structures as
    they fall from the sky, sharing a moment together before
    they fall to the earth and melt or are crushed underfoot
    would be far more special than duplicitous uniqueness.

    I would like to find a person whose fingertips share
    the same whorls as my own, the loops identical so
    that when they touched each each ridge would fit
    into the other, our fingers puzzles that are complete
    only when pressed together.

    But so far
    I have found only
    unique but
    cold individuality.

  31. De Jackson

    Persephone Puts on Pants

    Before she has a chance
    to doubt the day, she paints
    her poem pomegranate
    lips and plays herself
           a little tune
    on spiderweb strings;

    clothes the earth
        in the under
    garments of spring.


  32. taylor graham


    Willy Wing walked to the square,
    He and his dog alone
    Where roofless men were tented
    On lawn kept like a stone.

    City statutes stood graven
    On courthouse steps they owned
    Declaring no man could tent there
    Not if he had no home.

    Unique in the way of multitudes
    Willy sang his songs.
    And in tattered lines of voices
    The others sang along.

    The city laid the law down,
    There were open doors it said.
    A homeless man with nothing
    Could sleep on a single bed.

    No cat no puppy no kitten,
    No dog on a floor of stone.
    Willy said such a friendless life
    Kills a single man alone.

    Willy sat down beside his dog,
    Said the city had heart outgrown.
    He sat beside his dog there
    And said that his dog was home.

    He stayed with his olden dog there
    On green grass for his bed
    And let the city do as it would
    He wouldn’t give up his friend.

  33. Jean Kay


    I write a poem every day
    in my own poetic way.
    I never know until I start
    what my words will portray.

    To begin I may sketch a heart
    or something else resembling art.
    It’s how I start creativity
    of which we are all a part.

    I write “I am..” what it says to me
    then I write my poetry.
    My goal is to get it out there
    for worldwide readers to see.

    Reciting is one way I share,
    I also teach poetry to those in care.
    I always strive to do my best
    and get poems anywhere.

    I’m unique, I do attest.
    Life’s a journey, not a test.
    There’s no one exactly like me,
    I am different from all the rest.

    1. PressOn

      This sounds autobiographical to me, hence:

      A smile that softens right angles
      and cuts through all anger and wrangles
      means more than mere pleasure;
      its unique, and a treasure
      that lives through life’s brambles and tangles.

  34. PowerUnit

    The uptown rebelled today
    Evicted its tenants and filled their hovels with shovels, full
    A frosty beer morning, lined with stir-sticks and hooded hunchbacks
    The cleaners, plowers, and snow-removal experts on their coffee breaks
    The season a marathon, not a sprint
    A long haul race, not a shunted hit and run
    Nothing new or strange in the air, unless you are a new refugee in this city of cast-offs
    Loyal to the bone, the striplings at home
    Their curiosity and wonder not crushed by ice but by Steam


  35. Anthony94


    Like a fingertip or iris, every zebra
    wears uniquely patterned stripes
    over their black skin. Intricate
    weavings forged by jungle years
    and genes, the rugged brush and
    the need to survive beyond the herd
    on African plain and mountain.

    A study in simplicity with their single
    hooves, their kin are horse and donkey,
    the plainness of black and white their
    protection, the positive and negative,
    the reciprocal and inverse never once
    repeated across their broad backs.
    To roam yet by the thousands, there
    is an advantage to being the only.

  36. Al

    “What Is it?”

    No other like it you’ll find,
    only one of it’s kind,
    yet it’s abundantly found
    and it’s advice is sound.

    But men are into themselves,
    so they leave it on shelves
    and ignore the best advice,
    for a roll of the dice.

  37. Misky

    Uniquely Bowie

    He died a few days ago,
    although you might not
    know who he was.
    It’s possible no one did.
    But I keep his changes
    with my other skeletons.
    Sing along with the wireless.
    His voice changed the moon,
    spilled space into a song, and
    he’s still in my head. Still
    stepping in the present.
    I’ll remember that he smiled
    with the whites of his eyes.


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