Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 345

Remember that “under the weather” I was experiencing last week? Well, that ended up being the flu and pneumonia in my left lung. Oh well. It’s going to take a lot more than pneumonia to stop us from poeming. Soo…

For today’s prompt, write a lingering poem. Could be a lingering lover or a lingering cough (speaking from experience at the moment). Could be someone lingering on the periphery or, well, linger as you wish. Get creative.


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Here’s my attempt at a Lingering Poem:


i will wait until the day is done
& wave goodbye to everyone
& i’ll salute the setting sun
& celebrate our time for fun


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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97 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 345

  1. JamesJ

    I twisted the lid off the shaker
    To pick out the broken grains of rice
    Since the beer already tasted too much of that already.
    Pinched a few crystals from my palm
    Just like my grandfather showed me.
    Dropped them into the brew.

    The bartender had decided
    There wasn’t going to be another round from me
    Not til Thursday anyway
    And was far down the bar talking to her relief
    Trying to get off shift
    To meet her kids getting off the school bus.
    By the time I looked down
    The foaming head was nothing more
    Than a pale lace
    Across the sun filled glass.

    1. ppfautsch24

      Lingering Love
      Like smoke in the air, tough to get over.
      Gets under my skin, its cloud seems to hover.
      Devours me and I am left uncovered.
      My resolve dissolves and dissipates.
      When it’s your heart hoping to evolve.
      To one that’s lingering kisses and lasting love…
      By Pamelap

  2. Lowin

    Pale Flower

    You are near
    Soft as the light breeze
    We had on dreams

    You linger there
    In golden memories of
    Golden Gate Park

    You remain
    Forever with
    Celadon eyes

    You stay in
    the trickle of
    Strawberry Creek

    You live now
    My last life

  3. Azma

    The Dream

    At a time never happened
    but could have been
    In a world that’s not our’s
    but so much like it
    With the best of friends
    having the best conversation
    And then he shows up-
    the charming infatuation
    wanting to share the conversation
    My cheeks flush
    and smile broadens
    The emotion suddenly drowns
    and I get back to the real world
    False alarm, not meant for the weekend
    I frown, trying to get back
    to the world I was enjoying
    concentrating, yearning
    to recreate the scene
    But sand doesn’t stay in clenched fists
    Who was there?
    Where there any people at all?
    All gone! Mind is a clean slate.
    All I know is- I smiled.

  4. grcran

    lingering break

    once i was a teacher knowledge preacher
    memories do linger scars congealing
    seeing these springbreakers late awakers
    students tore my heart apart unfeeling
    did not want to learn enforced attendance
    bodies present not the minds so wasted
    tasted naught of culture, math, or science
    made decisions biased, selfish, pasted
    now that i’m retired that battle’s faded
    can’t be jaded love my mate we’re spry still
    lingering does nothing let the bygone
    fish to catch and bigger ones to fry

    by gpr crane

  5. SarahLeaSales

    Still There

    Though doubts lingered in her mind,
    littering her consciousness,
    she loved him for the man he would be
    when he repented of his
    great, misplaced, confused love for their children,
    who remain silent as lambs.

    The marriage comes first,
    their little white church says,
    even as the mending of the marriage,
    the constant tearing and re-stitching,
    rend the children like rag dolls
    at the feet of a hungry dog.

  6. Jane Shlensky


    Like listening to a screechy singer
    whose piercing notes pinch and malinger,
    this speaker bruises speech to say
    how he maintains his golden finger.

    He loves the poor, so quaint are they,
    but serves the rich—someone must pay—
    and manages full time to boast
    undefined greatness, thoughts that fray.

    I watch amazed, though I know most
    hate speech can linger like a ghost
    whose repetition makes us small
    ‘til great things cannot live at all.

  7. seingraham


    If you don’t drink, imbibe, take in alcohol—
    chances are excellent that waking
    will be a pleasant event—that is, you
    should never experience what is
    commonly referred to as, a hangover.
    Why then, she wondered, was every
    dawn stained with something so like
    what she imagined a hangover?

    Her eyelashes stuck together as if during
    the night someone had snuck in with Elmer’s©
    glue and applied it liberally. While waiting for it
    to dry, that same someone had pulled each clump
    of hair, not hard enough to waken her – but enough
    to bruise her scalp. Enough so that the bruising
    extended into her brain in the form of tiny
    in-exhaustible hammers – she pictured the type
    rail workers used to drive spikes into metal ties.
    She imagined the same phantom jumping
    on her as she slept, twisting her arms and legs,
    but never waking her? It was beyond her ken.

    Still – all these mornings, she was waking
    and not remembering a dream.
    But – something, something was lingering …
    she couldn’t put her mind on what it was;
    she was just aware of a feeling of loss,
    a sensation of intense grief and illness
    that manifested in an aching that stayed
    with her all day and night;
    an awful lingering, she just couldn’t shake.

  8. MikeGill


    I had French onion soup with
    garlic toast as well
    for lunch

    It was tasty as could be
    still all day it
    lingered with

    With each breath I took and
    belch I made, it
    came forth

    It may be here to stay
    brush my teeth and
    gargle too

    My wife refused to kiss me
    instead she said to
    me, “You

    My lunch choice had been
    unwise—today it’ll be
    burgers and

  9. Walter J Wojtanik


               all your thoughts

            hearts will remember
      everything they have known
    leaving joy where love has trod

    “Love is never lost. It lives on!”

  10. charmuse


    What if we linger
    as if we’re not strangers
    in an evening’s rush?
    Drive the flush
    to wan cheeks by lure
    of a slow brush
    of our wanton fingers?
    Wade into the lush
    as sure as a languid river?
    Idle in a shush…
    long enough to feel a quiver?

    ~ Charise M Hoge

  11. Walter J Wojtanik


    Her kisses leave an aftertaste.
    Even chaste pecks linger on my lips
    for longer than should be legal.
    Her regal ranking in my heart
    starts to fester and pester me
    into reciprocating in kind. I’d be
    out of my mind to rebuff her buss.
    I’d spit and cuss and rail and rant,
    before I’d recant her advances.
    I’ll take my chances,
    but I can’t deny that I’ll get lost
    in her kisses sweet. She sweeps
    me off my feet to this day.
    I will not dismiss her in haste,
    her kisses leave an aftertaste!

  12. uvr

    Tinkling spoons
    clinking glasses
    puncture the silence
    in which we are cocooned
    the air around us, still,
    the calm before a storm

    I see the seasons
    race across your face
    the hope of spring
    evaporates in the summer heat
    before autumn’s resignation
    settles into the chill of winter

    But I could linger here
    for a lifetime
    while you search for the words
    that will let me down lightly
    like a leaf falling from the tree

  13. SarahLeaSales

    Still There

    Though doubts lingered in her mind,
    littering her consciousness,
    she loved him for the man he would be
    when he repented of his
    great, misplaced, confused love for their children,
    who remain silent as lambs.

    The marriage comes first,
    their little white church says,
    even as the mending of the marriage,
    the constant tearing and re-stitching,
    rend the children like rag dolls
    at the feet of a hungry dog.

    “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” Luke 17:2

  14. G.Wood

    Before the nurse can even answer my question
    (What does low platelets mean?)
    I WebMD myself.
    Now I have leukemia and an autoimmune disease and somethingerother coagulation.

    Her voice on the line
    worms its way back into my ear.
    Could be nothing . . . . We’ll check again in a month . . . .Nothing to fear . . . .

    But I have a lingering feeling
    sticking like gum on my shoes,
    tugging at me with a cling and snap,
    persuading me that every step
    is over an invisible puddle of blood
    pooling and sloshing
    towards my sloppy ending.

  15. taylor graham

    a Welsh Clogyrnach
    This alley gold-mined into hills
    where spring sun lingers last light, spills
    golden into twilight,
    periwinkle night.
    By mind’s sleight, gold-dust fills

    the dark stone hollows delved between
    wishing and getting. Living green
    overgrows silence
    to entwine each sense,
    immanence still unseen.

    And still, the sun flecks everything
    with dust – gold dust – till shadows fling
    ghost shapes in the dark,
    each a question-mark,
    a small spark glittering.

  16. deringer1


    I stop to linger over memories now
    and hurry past the memories that bring pain.
    I turn my head when grieving grasps my heart
    for I must visit happy times again.

    I linger over coffee now with you
    for this today will soon become tomorrow
    and then again that day may never come,
    and memories of you bring only sorrow.

    And goodbyes often cause me long to linger,
    for love and friendships do not always last.
    But in that long forever that awaits me
    all sad and painful memories will be past.

  17. candy

    Sensory Love

    I love the illusion of you
    that lingers on your
    favorite chair and in
    the rumpled sheets
    I love the scent of you
    that hangs in the air
    after you pass by
    I love the sound of you
    that echoes through
    these empty rooms
    when you are gone
    I love the feel of you
    at the end of a day
    when there is just us

  18. annell

    Thoughts of You Linger

    what lingers    after you have gone     the feel of your skin

    silk under my fingertips     the sound of your voice      i hear in memory

    the smell of your hair     your tears     your smiles

    again your smell      lingers in the covers      where you slept

    the anxiety and worry     of the growing up years      if only i could have known

    it would all work out      maybe not the way      i wanted

    but it would all work out      i wonder      did it have anything to do with me

    so unprepared      no way to know      it is only after you have gone

    i begin to have some idea      still learning to let go      even after all these years

    March 2016

  19. taylor graham


    In dream, photographs as if by magic
    from memory of the machine. How did they
    get there?
    Archives – yours, my own, old snapshots
    scanned, downloaded at random…. They flow
    across the monitor, water down the stream. This
    sepia man frowning from horseback– who,
    where? A creekbank water-cut through rimrock –
    the neighbor claimed they used to
    pan for gold here. That sluice-box of a channel
    between properties, eroding like
    memory; bends and eddies of sand
    flashflooded down-mountain. They found
    nuggets, gold so heavy, it stayed
    as water washed
    everything else away. He keeps one
    in his pocket as I’d hold onto a rusting iron shoe.
    I clean that creek out after storms – broken
    limbs snagged in the strainer of an oak
    hanging low over rocks; dead leaves plastered
    against the sieve of stockwire fence
    stretched across to keep the sheep in.
    Everything from upstream carried down
    like photos clogging the culvert of the
    mind, caught against a fence till it breaks. Photos
    of dead people I don’t recognize
    blocking the flow this morning,
    forgotten stories using up memory flowing
    down and off-screen, lingering invisible
    in the cybercloud. What a mess downstream.

  20. Jerry Walraven

    “I Need to Steal a Song Title for this Poem”

    These clouds,
        I suspect,
    passed through Kalamazoo
        on their way
    down to Ohio,
    picking up its essence
    and raining it down
    on what were familiar facades,
    stripping away truth
    and replacing it,
        drop by drop
    with this illusion
    which I can clear
    easily enough
    with a shake of the head
    but instead
    I allow my eyes
        to lose focus
    on this time
    and enjoy
    one more moment
    in another.

  21. Sara McNulty

    Lion of March

    The lion that roars
    in the mad month
    of March leaves
    a scent of cold,
    a mist of rain,
    and a drape of dark
    clouds biding their time.

    April arrives with a spring
    of bunny footsteps,
    and gentle greens easing
    from earth, after the Mad
    Hatter of March switches
    to a straw boater,
    and the lion’s voice
    softens to a whisper.

  22. Amaria

    “Lingering heart strings”

    her mind says to just let go
    but the heart wishes to stay
    though his betrayal was a blow
    her mind says to just let go
    and when he pleads just say no
    but the heart still gets its way
    her mind says to just let go
    but the heart wishes to stay

    by Arcadia Maria

  23. taylor graham


    He earned these walls, this one-lane track
    in and out. Neighbors, they don’t know
    what’s safe. Solid oak doors that lock.
    Whoever knocks wants something. Load
    sandbags, you won’t get flooded. Heck,
    they all tell him, go with the flow.
    Whoever got ahead that way?
    There’s solid wall between, a moat
    around his castle, and he paid
    cold cash to gate it with a block.
    Don’t leave your calling card. Don’t stay
    to waste his time with wonderings
    about the weather – too much rain?
    The creek won’t rise, it never did,
    to wash his road out. He should go?
    Come taxes or high water, home
    is what you make it. He can float.

  24. seamuscorleone


    to remain or
    stay on in a place
    longer than is usual or
    expected, as if from
    reluctance to leave:
    We lingered awhile after the party.

    I lingered in a relationship for months past
    What was usual or expected
    I was not eager to stay but
    I was reluctant to leave.

    2. to remain alive;
    continue or persist, although
    gradually dying,
    She lingered a few months after the heart attack.

    Thus far we are
    We are undying
    We may never see each other again
    As long as we linger we

    3. to dwell in
    thought, or
    to linger over the beauty of a painting.

    I linger over your
    Turn of cheek
    Wisp of hair
    Golden eyes
    Small indents when you smile

    4. to be tardy in
    to linger in discharging one’s duties.

    I lingered and
    You were swept up
    I said “I’m not ready”
    You found a man that was
    Like Hamlet I was tardy
    I did not act
    I delayed
    I dawdled
    And in doing so
    I lost my love

  25. Nancy Posey


    Gone for days, then weeks, you linger
    in the house, first your scent, strong
    on the pillows, your shirt I lift
    from the laundry basket. Sometimes
    at night, I hear a cough like yours,
    footfalls in the hall. A letter appears
    on the nightstand I’d swear
    wasn’t there before. Your bookmark
    seems to edge forward by your chair.
    Lacking what I wish for most,
    I hoard the little lingering signs,
    incorporeal, heighten all my senses,
    wanting more of what I cannot have.

  26. Stuart Peacock

    The Taste of a Toxic Kiss

    It may have lost its true form
    But the lies linger there still,
    Deceit hanging in the dust,
    The anguish filling the air,
    Still scratching the throats
    Of those bewitched by its spell.

    They may thirst for truth now
    But only a trail of tales remains,
    Spewed from its toxic mouth
    That dealt all of its damage
    Before disappearing in a flicker
    Burning trust to blackened twigs.

    It’s a scourge that’s lost its shape
    Yet still thrives in bad dreams
    And pollutes precious memories,
    Possessing each drop of perception.
    Break free before your old self is gone
    And there is no more of you to take.

  27. ReathaThomasOakley

    Family reunion

    Sunday last we gathered again to laugh,
    to eat, to pull lingering memories
    from our hearts, to smile at photographs
    of how we looked as children when
    cousins were our best friends,
    when mamas prepared the food and daddies
    moved tables to the shade under giant live oak trees.

    Sunday last we gathered in air conditioned comfort,
    with microwave and refrigerator, no need for shade
    or tubs of ice. We gathered to compare wrinkles
    and gray hair, to share anecdotes of latest operations,
    to admire photographs of grandchildren,
    to make new memories to last until next year.

  28. Anthony94


    What lingered was the smell–
    the I can’t quite identify it– of
    laundry hung across the kitchen
    or was it laundry fresh from the
    clotheslines, each creased towel
    like a pinched sachet, loosing sun
    and wind, flowers of the moment?

    It came on the wind yesterday,
    while I was bending over blue
    berries and pulling aside the brown
    mounds of last season’s grasses to
    find each budding shoot and re-
    arrange the coffee cans to shield
    them from browsing deer in this

    predicted chill. I stopped to breathe,
    but couldn’t be sure if it was the scent
    of soil clinging to my boots or crab
    apples’ bloom from the next farm over
    or someone’s laundry hanging on a
    thread of memory, freshly gathered,
    creased into billets-doux, lingering.

    1. Sasha A. Palmer

      I can relate to this so well. Scents are such powerful memory triggers. I’m often overcome by memories, or hints of memories, when working in the garden. And I can rarely tell what that particular scent was. It’s almost like magic.

      Wonderful poem.

  29. PowerUnit

    Vitrectomy, vitrectomy, I’d rather have a hysterectomy
    I’m reminded daily of my chronic ailey
    A fragile male who experiences hot flashes, under the lashes
    When my vision lies I swat at the flies
    My hands wave at the fog
    Surgery not a final solution for vision refusing absolution
    Someday the lights will burn out
    And while swatting those pesky flies
    I will strike out


  30. De Jackson

    So sorry you’re still under the weather, Robert. Take care of yourself.

    Fetid Phrase

    This poem is a houseguest
    who won’t leave. A cleaver
    of phrase, a raised rash
    that makes you wanna
    scratch off your own face.

    It’s a persistent pertussis,
    a whoop and a cough and
    a violent violet sneeze. It’s
    naggling and niggling and
    loitering in the eaves.

    This poem has a bent scent
    that won’t rinse, a strange
    dyspeptic odiferous gist
    that brings a grimace,
    nostrils grieved.

    This poem needs kicked
    out on the street, needs
    to meet a fresh friend or
    two, get used to the new
    car smell of tomorrow.

    Tell it
    it can no longer linger;
    give it saltwater, inky fingers,
    and send it on its way
    through sky and sorrow.


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