Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 339

It’s a day late, but happy Groundhog Day! The marmots in PA and GA both agree this year that we’re in for an early spring. Let’s hope they’re right.

For this week’s prompt, write an anticipation poem. A person could anticipate an early spring or a lover’s fling; a person could anticipate any old thing. Not sure why I just broke into rhyme, but some folks even anticipate crimes (that may or may not happen from time to time). So whether it’s wrong or whether it’s right, I anticipate the poems people are going to write.


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Here’s my attempt at an Anticipation poem:

“flashes in the sky”

we saw the flashes in the sky
before we heard any thunder
it was enough to catch the eye
we saw the flashes in the sky
clutching our kids to say o my
both sound & light ripped asunder
we saw the flashes in the sky
before we heard any thunder


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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119 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 339

  1. taylor graham


    Past timberline I found an ancient tree
    storm-struck, half hollow, waiting to be filled.
    So high, a world-beyond begged eyes to see
    past timberline. I found an ancient tree
    and climbed inside its bark, and yet felt free
    in thin air rooted, breathing not quite stilled.
    Past timberline I found an ancient tree
    storm-struck, half hollow. Waiting to be filled.

  2. grcran

    wait not weight not

    unzip the closed gate in your mind.
    anticipate nothing refined.
    raw riches rush in.
    enlightenment. gin.
    no early late frontwards behind.

    gpr crane

  3. taylor graham


    Morning coffee’s long gone, its grounds
    deepening the rose’s promised bloom. At least
    that’s what some teacher said with the tad
    of a grin before he passed out the test. Such is
    the hollow of years. Now, flame to embers
    when the western sun withdraws our day (how
    it leapt in the east this morning!),
    we can almost taste the coffee of tomorrow.

  4. Jezzie


    I was planning in anticipation
    of our group’s annual vacation
    in a Cornish coastal location,
    with the obvious expectation,
    of getting some precipitation.

    We had in our imagination
    our perfect accommodation:
    not too far from civilization,
    with internet communication
    and the right configuration
    for our group’s habitation.

    I searched with frustration,
    with dogged determination
    and eventual exasperation
    but found little inspiration.

    After in depth investigation
    I emailed my recommendation
    to others in my organisation
    hoping it met their specification.
    It did not win their appreciation.

    So, after some deliberation
    and a lot of their hesitation
    and even more procrastination,
    I abandoned the aggravation
    and inevitable humiliation
    in trying to please my generation.

    I made the defeated decision
    to go in independent isolation
    on holiday alone with my Alsation.

    1. ppfautsch24

      What is it; the waiting for you to come home?
      The wanting for it now; time passes slow like yesterday’s tomorrow. The panting of my mind, not fixating on the here and now. The anticipation of no where to go; won’t leave you alone. The trepidation of waiting, your lingering scent my total temptation. Having the notion to be brazen, and to give in to the passion of my waiting anticipation.
      By Pamelap

  5. Arash

    What I Want

    by Arash

    I want the leaves to never turn
    I want the anger fully gone
    I want the limbs of sadness axed
    I want to watch the terror burn

    I want the leaves to never fall
    I want this love to never fail
    I want this love to come and stay
    I want this love to be my all

    I want those leaves to never break
    I want that tenderness immune
    I want this softness always safe
    I want our hearts to never ache

    I want my life to never bend
    I want my trees to never age
    I want my time to never pass
    I want my poem to never end

  6. G.Wood

    Teachable Moment

    With no breeze and the air thick with boredom,
    it was no wonder when Little Will and I
    heard the croaking three backyards away:
    Polly want a cracker. Hello! Hello!

    We started walking toward the sound,
    dropping our digging sticks and turning our backs
    on Big Wheels and blown up GI Joes:
    Polly want a cracker. Hello! Hello!

    In minutes we found him
    through the slats of a fence,
    perched on a branch just outside the Haddads’ back porch,
    aimlessly calling and swinging his head in 180 turns.

    Mr Haddad ducked through the door
    and pushed a seed into the beak.
    Then, he saw us peaking through the fence slats.
    “Imagine,”he said, “You can teach this bird a word to say
    if you have patience and repeat it every day.
    And look at this!
    The tree on which he perches is a fig –a tree of Christ–
    for even Jesus would delight
    in a tasty fig. He plucked the fruit
    and held it over our heads.
    Do you want one?

    We took off running,
    and spent the rest of summer
    sneaking behind the fence
    and shouting curse words to the macaw.
    Once a day, every day,
    in the hopes we would teach him something—
    even something small—
    in our short time together.

    But he never said shit.
    Just kept swinging his beak,
    and calling for a cracker
    while he sat amidst the figs.

  7. Amy


    sliver of a moon
    you wither too soon
    there is nothing but
    the sheen of her hair
    and the slender fingers
    she runs through
    as if you could preclude
    the severe knot she ties
    each morning
    never mourning her old
    flames but cooling in
    the combing through
    like coming to
    from these lunar phases
    umbilical traces
    she is still the same
    sliver of a girl

  8. cosi van tutte

    He said that he’d come home
    So, I sit on my porch swing
    and wait.

    The sun shines bright in the sky
    And he will come.
    And so I will wait.

    He promised that he’d bring me flowers
    He promised that he would come.
    And so I wait.

    I wait.
    I sit in my porch swing.
    A scrap of newspaper crinkles in my hand.

    Plain, sad words were typed on that paper.
    I read them once and twice.
    But never again.
    I sit in my porch swing and I wait.

    He said that he’d come home
    So, he will come home

    I will sit on my porch swing
    and wait.
    And he will come home.

  9. Amaria

    “Anticipating Spring”

    I sit and
    anticipate the
    coming of Spring to warm my heart
    but all I see is white snowflakes
    covering the grass
    still my heart
    holds out

    by Arcadia Maria

  10. woodpeckerduo

    Baited Breath

    Carefully tied tight an improved
    Clinch knot on light tackle line

    Chose sharpest J-hook and attached
    Lively mullet from bucket of brine

    Cast to the jetty adjacent the rocks where
    Gulls and gullets had gathered to dine

    Settled back in kayak, empty water
    Bottle newly filled with red wine

    Hook and breath baited, I anticipated
    Dinner. Watched the sun set, biding my time.

  11. uvr

    Heart set aflutter
    thumping frantically
    Sheen of shine
    on flaming skin

    Damp palms
    dry lips
    Breath tripping
    in the throat

    Sick with
    Butterflies riot
    in the stomach

    Smooth the
    dress down
    tuck errant
    strands away

    Hide emotions
    behind dark glasses
    Pretend not to
    notice his wave

    Mask’s in place
    Smile calmly
    Inside, a
    volcano erupts

      1. uvr

        Thank you.. I always look forward to your response. And may I add how kind you are to take the time to respond to the efforts of so many people. It is very encouraging, and a superlative example to emulate.

  12. taylor graham


    This meadow wonderland is past its prime,
    each flower stalk a barren rod –
    not much of a reward for such a climb.
    When meadow wonderland is past its prime,
    surrounding lava cliffs still stand sublime.
    And look, the lupine’s gone to seeding-pod.
    Though meadow wonderland is past its prime,
    no flower stalk’s a barren rod.

  13. Nancy Posey

    I’ve been (conspicuously?) absent the last month because, as some of you know, we’ve sold our house in NC and moved to Nashville. We’re still planning the second annual Fall Face-to-Face in the Foothills in Hickory in October (details to follow), but I’m looking for “my people” here in Middle Tennessee. Y’all touch base and let me know where poetry happens here!

    Hurry up and Wait

    Thirty days,
    one moving van,
    countless cardboard boxes,
    packing tape,
    turning off the utilities,
    forwarding the mail,
    agonizing over
    what to keep,
    what to throw away.

    After thirty days,
    four hundred miles
    west on I-40
    to a new home
    with old friends,
    just waiting
    for another closing,
    power, water, lights,

    for that same van
    packed with all
    we own,
    to arrive,
    to mark the start
    of this new life.

  14. grcran

    the look ahead

    wild wondering when the happening thing will happen
    sledge’s edge hard hammer fall small nerves go glitchy snappin’
    anticipate won’t wait careening on the bridge’s shoulder
    cannot see or smell the better path beneath the bolder
    through the humdrum ennuis hellish hotspots gelid colds
    we think about the future wonder what the heck it holds

    gpr crane

  15. Al

    “Misplaced Expectations”

    Waiting in expectation,
    for peace among nations,
    to be brought about by men,
    with the ink from their pens,
    a wait of futility.
    Cause it’s the Almighty,
    by his Son and His Kingdom,
    that’ll end Satan’s fiefdom,
    o’er the world since Eden’s couple,
    trusted the fiction,
    that things would be way better
    without their Creator.

  16. Tracy Davidson

    I’m anticipating Valentine’s Day in a triolet…

    A bottle of champagne on ice,
    Silk lingerie will soon be shed,
    That naughtiness you mix with nice.
    A bottle of champagne on ice,
    These nights with you my only vice,
    In your arms thoughts desert my head.
    A bottle of champagne on ice
    Silk lingerie will soon be shed.

  17. Stuart Peacock

    The Sleepwalkers

    We live each day waiting
    For those electrifying feelings
    That will make us feel alive again
    After weeks of barely being awake.

    We treasure every tingle
    And tremble at the very thought
    Of the great release to come,
    All over in one fiery instant.

    All of that pain and weight
    Of waiting for so long
    Is gone in but one flash,
    But deeper burdens still burn.

    All of the days and hours
    We await for something more
    Without stopping to savour
    The small pleasures already there.

  18. ReathaThomasOakley

    For Don

    It was not so long ago
    that I’d wait for you to
    appear, for me to hear
    footsteps on the stairs
    and know you had again
    arrived safely at my door,
    and another adventure
    could begin.

    Now my mornings start with
    coffee lovingly brought
    fresh and hot to our bed,
    with a few words about
    the weather or some other
    trifle, as our day begins and
    as we plan the next great
    adventure, together.

  19. Thedeb

    Spirit’s Flight
    By Debbie Cerrito

    A gossamer kite
    begins its graceful dance.
    Only a fine silky twine
    binds it to the earth.

    As the line unravels, faith wavers.
    “Help me healer. I’m afraid to fall.”

    Blessed are hands of the physician,
    with gifts ordained.
    But the path of kites is not his to decide,
    and a lesson is learned.

    The string does not guide the kite,
    the wind does.

    Hallowed breezes chart a course.
    The kite dips first, then rises
    and the heavens weep with joy,
    as a new spirit is freed.

  20. Sara McNulty

    Turbulent Thoughts

    trays slide.
    heightens, I’m frightened.
    What if this is end of line?
    Steady, I am not ready. Thoughts tangle, death dangles
    like a mocking skeleton finger. What memories do I treasure. Take measure
    of all my past pleasures. Okay. Breathe. If we do not crash, what do I
    want to do more than anything else? Simple–girls just wanna have fun.

  21. deringer1


    the phone call I’ve been waiting for,
    the warm days that follow January’s chill,
    the lovely aroma of fresh brewed coffee,
    a visit from a dear friend,
    planning a trip to see someone I love,
    coming home after being on a long trip,
    reading a new book by my favorite author,
    knowing I’ll get lots of birthday cards,
    better things in the year ahead,
    Anticipation !

  22. SarahLeaSales

    A Life of Days

    Sunday, September 13, 1981,
    I was born at Lucy Lee,
    wrapped in a quilt of many colors,
    blessed with the ancestral name of Sarah Lea.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013,
    I was married at Grace Lutheran,
    my ring a simple band of rose gold,
    as uncomplicated as I am not.

    Tuesday, August 6, 2013,
    my daughter was born at Sacred Heart—
    a little copy weight of me,
    but as light as I am dark.

    So many other dates I anticipate—
    lovely memories yet to be made—
    and faith tells me they will be wonderful.
    I hold out my arms with my eyes closed,
    like a child expecting a present
    too large to hold for long,
    knowing the best has yet to come
    and will come again.

    So many dates I anticipate,
    save the last on the timeline of my life,
    for there will be stories that could’ve been,
    but will have to remain untold;
    for these stories are mine,
    and no one else can tell them in the way
    I could have done.

  23. writinglife16

    Dreams of Heaven

    The slave dreamed
    of freedom
    in her life.

    The slave ran
    and she drowned
    in a stream.

    She woke up
    she was free
    in heaven.

    **About anticipation

  24. PowerUnit

    I have watched all forty-nine, in living rooms
    Beer and chilli, sausage and chips, thick aromas
    Wafting through rabbit ears and fibre optic glass
    Early week laments for the green and gold
    Relegated to the golf course, thankful
    The black and yellow waiting on the tee behind, both laughing
    The blue and silver pansies bobbing in the wind

    In later years commercial discussions have superseded gamesmanship
    Wardrobe mishaps distracted the eye from the game
    The almighty dollar a blocked kick never recovered
    And you cannot buy a perfect spiral anyway, nor the leap of faith
    That watching fifty will be another raised arm event

  25. seamuscorleone


    Money’s coming
    between the 3rd and 23rd
    so get ready

    Money’s coming
    buy something nice
    we’ll pay it off later

    Money’s coming
    we’ll fix up the place
    maybe a new door

    Money’s coming
    and just in time
    we all need new clothes

    Money’s coming
    we can finally pay down
    some of our debt

    Money’s coming
    don’t forget to put some aside
    for the coming rainy day

    Money came
    money went
    I have no idea where it was all spent


  26. Anthony94

    In Stillness

    Against the French doors
    become windows, after a
    dormant year, the orchid
    puts up a bloom stalk above
    the Italian pottery.

    In slowest time lapse
    sequence appear the tiny
    nodules that have become
    buds and over months,

    they swell to the size of
    fat hazelnuts. Waiting is
    everything: to water or
    to dry out, to turn or to

    prop the stalk against
    its own pendulous arc.
    Daily: anticipation.
    Silent lesson in the art
    of orchid Zen.

  27. De Jackson

    {poem ignoring a marmot}

    this poem cannot wait
    for spring, early
    or otherwise.

    it has winter things
    to spill. snow and what
    -not, from its icy quill.

    no flake the same, they
    say, but they
    have not met her
    frozen side. how much would

    would a woodchuck
    chuck, if he passed the buck,
    shucked wood
    (paper covers rock, after all)
    and called it a day?

    give the varmint
    a pen, an unclouded sky,
    let her shed her shoulds
    from heavy shoulders,
    let the day spill by.

    it’s cold inside this Feb
    skin, and she doesn’t know
    where to be


  28. taylor graham


    Smell of leaf-mold, a stiff breeze
    to air out the imperial parlor
    of the mind, its ticking clocks and
    worries about overpopulation,
    filled-up landfills, climate change.

    Let’s take a walk along
    this little creek running reckless
    over rocks,
    babbling wildly of its lovely
    daughters – eddies, pools, and spills –

    as if heedless of all our
    arguments and commentaries
    on the weather, the state
    of the world. This brief moment,
    this walk in the woods.

  29. De Jackson

    Waiting Rooms & Measuring Spoons

    I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. – T.S. Eliot

    Holding quiet breath and pouring another
    cuppa. Hear the clock? It’s mocking us.

    Tick tick ticks me off, really, all these little
    boxes awaiting checks. All these unbalances

    breathing down our necks. All.this.weight
    -ing. Emergency! (Oh, no, not really. Just

    triage, a little spilling of skin.)Recovery: two
    steps forward, three cups back. A lack. A tea

    spoon. An angry moon. Nothing more than
    one more click of silence. A spoonful of sugar,

    a swirled black sting. Just the thing: a band
    -aid and a smile. To itchy inky fingers of rum

    -bled phrase. A vein. Perhaps a smallish gather
    -ing of crows, or prose. I suppose limbo is just

    another place we pause, gather ourselves back
    into puddles, from rain. Stop. Spill me, again.


  30. De Jackson

    upon waiting

    she’s (de)bating
    her breath and skating
    on thin, and icing her skin
    with ink.

    she’s stating
    the facts, and then taking
    them back, and aching for lack
    of drink.

    she’s dating
    her days, and fating
    a phrase to breathing beyond
    the brink.

    she’s hating
    her skin, hesitating
    within, and willing her soul
    to sink.


  31. writinglife16


    He had always called
    me cute nicknames.
    Cherie, mi amor, paloma.
    Lately, he had added in others.
    Bella, querida, marmot.
    I didn’t know what he was saying,
    but he crooned them into
    my ears so lovingly.
    I couldn’t wait to find out
    what they meant.
    Then I looked them up.
    Pigeon? Ground hog?

  32. Connie Peters


    Anticipation is
    time giving birth
    to a darling.
    But sometimes it’s squalling,
    ruddy and, dare say, ugly.
    Yet whatever is born
    from that anticipation
    you feed it, bathe it,
    and change its diapers.
    Then you watch it grow
    into something lovely.

  33. annell

    Writers Digest Prompt: Prompt and anticipation poem

    The End of Waiting

    it seems so much of life is waiting    often i don’t know     for what i wait

    still i wait     it is good when we know    have something to look forward to

    but more often than not    there is nothing     life seems to stretch on

    into what seems infinity     of course this isn’t true      life is finite

    but it is up to us to remember     there are only a number of days      months

    years     and then it comes to a screeching halt     one day it is over

    as surely as we are born     life will run its’ course      then dead

    truly dead     no waking up    no return

    no more waiting     this is it   &nbps;what we were all waiting for

    February 3, 2016

  34. candy

    To A Sibling

    you’ve gone and
    left me
    with no guidance
    the other half
    of our collective
    the weaker half
    I step into the
    swirling shadows
    of aging
    with no one to
    no footsteps
    in which to place
    my stumbling feet
    no way to anticipate
    where this path
    will lead me
    so I will tread
    as you would have

  35. Walt Wojtanik


    I knew it was approaching.
    I’ve been waiting, anticipating
    the passage of time goes
    into a sprint and we get older.
    I remember as a kid,
    wanting that special toy,
    the one that would make a boy
    dream. It seems that memory lingers.
    I couldn’t wait to get my fingers
    on tickets for the big game waiting
    at the will call window in my name.
    That first kiss. And third, and hundredth.
    Meeting “THE ONE” and one true love.
    I didn’t anticipate my parents’ deaths,
    Or hers. They came anyway.
    Now, I wait for this day every year.
    And as long as I’m here, I’ll anticipate.
    And celebrate. Happy Birthday to me!


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