Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 351

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Make (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Make a Difference,” “Make It or Break It,” “Make Believe,” “Make Up,” and whatever else you can make work.

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Here’s my attempt at a Make Blank poem:

“make no mistake”

i meant what i said
when i said what i

meant & i mean to
say what i mean when

i mean what i say
you know what i mean

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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). He doesn’t always say what he means, though he means to say what he says (whatever that means). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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155 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 351

  1. ReathaThomasOakley

    Make it work

    Dear, dear Tim Gunn, how lovely it would be if all young folk,
    not just a few, had such a kind, such a stern, mentor to guide
    them through Mood, through moods, when all hope for success
    seems lost, when despair, and last minute repairs, overwhelm,
    when what is needed more than anything else is a pat on the arm,
    a touch on the back, and those magic words, Now make it work.

  2. Jane Shlensky

    Make Music

    We don’t say perform,
    and we don’t flaunt our skills.
    We play, sing, and talk
    about songs from these hills.

    Ballads and love songs,
    hymns old and new,
    heart-breaks and done wrongs,
    some jazz and some blues.

    We play what emerges,
    we tinker and strum,
    until harmony surges
    and salvages some

    of the best we had in us,
    thoughts friendly and kind,
    now remade into music
    we’d play were we blind.

    It’s a gift we were given
    to make up for loss
    and those times unforgiven
    we bear as our cross.

    Come, sit down and join us—
    make music all day
    while the troubles that form us
    are fiddled away.

    1. ppfautsch24

      Make Me Cry
      The weariness of my sorrow pools the rim of my eyes.
      Writing shields my disguise and puts a smile on my lips, and in my eyes.
      Voice both tired and stumbling over words not spoken.
      Eyes weep a sad melody, searching for reasons to stay, when on the horizon they long to see you.
      Your voice; a kiss on my closed eye lids. My eyes will cry no more.
      By Pamelap

  3. reidmeister

    MAKE IT ALL COUNT

    Sitting at a desk with a tool in hand
    A flat, crippling surface beneath
    Each breath breathes a new word
    New phrases and sentences

    You write and you write
    Take it all in
    Each breath giving a new sign
    Writing with words

    Just writing
    Every sentence, every word
    You decide what to make of it
    But it’s all that counts

  4. Cynthia Page

    Make Up

    How I hated these two words when I was young.
    Frequently ill, I had make-up tests;
    missed classes meant make-up assignments.
    My awkward teens included ill-used makeup.

    Then my mother told me to
    make it up as you go.
    Rather than conform, I should
    make the best of a bad deal,
    and be myself anyway.

    Nowadays, it’s hard to just make do with
    what I have and let the rest take care of itself.
    But I keep reinventing myself and
    I let others make of it what they will.

  5. woodpeckerduo

    Make a Mountain

    Of a molehill
    One might say
    Moles’ll go or
    Else they’ll stay
    Kings of mountains
    Underground
    Somewhere in be
    Twixt we’re found
    Moles dig tunnels
    Eat good roots
    Hawks find juicy
    Mountain fruits
    Middle grounders
    Walk swim fly
    Go spelunking
    By & by
    Out we come we
    See the light
    Forge new fairness
    ‘scape the blight
    Resolute we
    Play and win
    Molehills & their
    Mountain kin

  6. trishwrites

    Make me a road back home

    We’re as broken down
    As that car on the road side
    And I’m no longer that girl
    who believes angels can fly

    You said the big city
    Held all our dreams
    Lights and desires
    Can go down in flames

    Tell me you love me
    Even as the street lamps dim
    on peeling paint and rusted sinks
    My eyes have grown old and this isn’t livin’

    There’s dead end jobs
    And dead end roads
    And I can no longer see
    That girl from long ago

    I’ve tossed the pretty dresses
    Paved broken streets
    With your pink slips
    And rose colored glasses

    It’s time for me to make my way back home

  7. Tracy Davidson

    Make mine a large one

    it’s been a long week
    full of dipsticks and dingbats
    making it longer
    a double scotch – hold the rocks –
    heck, just give me the bottle

  8. LCaramanna

    Make Over

    Make Over
    Me
    Blush my cheeks merlot
    Mascara my lashes full volume
    Shadow my eyes lavender lilac
    Gloss my lips
    Paint my nails
    Highlight my hair purple passion
    Style punked to rock the world
    Tattoo a free bird over my heart
    Release me
    In a crowded room
    Where no one recognizes
    Make over
    Me

    1. PressOn

      This piece intrigues me; it causes me to wonder whether the crowded room would recognize the narrator even without a makeover. I think the “release me” line does that. Marvellous work.

  9. De Jackson

    Make this Easy on Me

    My heart has perhaps
    one last millisecond beat
    for you,
    so go ahead, quick –

    smear her lipstick
    on your

                 collar,

    holler her name
    instead of mine,

    grind
    these thin-veiled vows
    down to dust.

    By all means,
    stay, if you must.

    But please,
    give me just
    one last good
    reason
             to leave.

    .

  10. Azma

    Make it there

    I’ve made a plan
    for all of us-
    something I used to
    be better at
    when our priorities
    were not varied and many.
    Now my skills
    of organizing
    fun meetings like these
    have to be unearthed
    from cobwebs of time
    and corrosive monotony.
    So let’s get together
    and celebrate,
    for I’ve made a plan
    for all of us.

    -Azma Sheikh

  11. Shennon

    Make me long
    for your touch.
    Make my body
    ache with yearning
    whenever any distance
    or physical barrier
    separates us.
    Make me desire
    your presence,
    your whispers,
    your caresses.
    Make me complete.

    –ShennonDoah

  12. Asha1000

    Make Me a Meme

    a badass nerd
    a pea garden
    sweet baby beet
    bare feet
    sandy sandals
    half-eaten pear
    beach-ball-game abs
    warm salty washes
    seaweed greens
    beams and dazzled faces
    meme me astray
    estranged by a rat’s tale

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  13. Shennon

    Make a difference in their lives
    Teach our children wrong from right
    Try to answers hows and whys
    Maybe they will realize

    School’s more than wasted time
    More than time to socialize
    Through a teacher’s tears and sighs
    Adults emerge, prepared for life.

    –ShennonDoah

  14. annell

    Make The Effort

    there are no guarantees    simply be willing    make a start

    you never know where it will take you    you want to be a writer     write

    you want to be a dancer    dance    you want to be a singer

    sing    anything you want is possible     just begin

    sometimes the beginning is slow    other times     you know it is what you were supposed to do

    i remember in the beginning    before a piece of white paper     breathtaking

    no…i didn’t know what to do    where i was going    or if i would get there

    but I did know    it was just important to begin    in this moment

    my kitty    pushes the studio door open    opening doors is new for him

    yet he is willing    to try    wants to find out what is on the other side

    May 26, 2016

  15. mschied

    make me whole again

    unwrap the layers
    peel back the onion
    for a glimpse at the
    turmoil underneath
    i’m not an ogre
    but i too have
    depths of desires
    that will leave you
    dangling from a precipice
    if you don’t watch
    your step
    so navigate them
    carefully, comfortingly
    cautiously fitting
    one piece of the puzzle
    with another
    watching breathlessly
    as a picture emerges
    my true self
    the one even I
    have never met
    waiting to be
    introduced to
    me, a new friend
    for my life
    ahead

  16. grcran

    make one

    make one song from nothing
    make one part for you
    make another just for me
    add them til they’re two
    make one verse for doing
    tote potables chop wood
    verse two comes from love &
    learning til they’re understood
    make one out of all of it
    music rest refrain
    strolling running stopping short
    make one to remain

    gpr crane

  17. MikeGill

    I found two haiku with this one…

    “Make Waves”

    Vacation looms near
    Long drive ahead of me—
    Week at the beach…ah!

    “Make Me Smile”

    Soft, gentle kisses
    Brush their cheeks in the morning:
    Waking my children

      1. MikeGill

        It would be more accurate to label them senryu since they don’t specifically talk about nature or a season of the year—I have fallen victim to the current cultural evil of applying the better known label to them.

  18. RJ Clarken

    Make a Venn Diagram

    First, make a circle. Then draw another one.
    Don’t forget: the circles must overlap or converge.
    And now comes the fun.
    The larger areas can be of unrelated topics, but zones
    where the overlaps occur are where the relationships are done.
    For example: make a circle that has a picture of a goat
    and one with a picture of a Sally Lunn.
    The intersected part will show a goat who likes to splurge
    on a sweet tea cake or a buttery scone.

    ###

      1. RJ Clarken

        Not sure about the pronunciation. I’ve always heard it as sk-oh-n, but if you listen to Monty Python’s Lumberjack Song, Michael Palin pronounces it as scun. (…have buttered scones and tea…)

        But it is spelled the same – and I took a bit of literary license there. 😀

  19. seingraham

    MAKE ME A DO-OVER

    Because there’s no figuring this out
    Because I don’t see a resolve
    Because forgiving is not in the cards
    not the ones that you’re shuffling
    in any old case

    All I can think that might work
    is if I can get one of those things
    you get when you muff a golf-shot
    They’re called something quite
    like a stew – that’s it – you can
    get a Mulligan, see – which
    just means you get to take
    the shot over again

    So, that’s all I want – no big
    explanations, no I’m sorry’s,
    nor forgive me’s – none of
    that stuff – I’m too far gone
    for all that
    I just want my Mulligan,
    my do-over, okay?

    Just let me go back to the
    day it all crashed
    Help me figure out what it
    was that I said so I can just
    not say it, okay?
    That will be my do-over
    And life will be back the
    way I remember it was …

    1. MikeGill

      Nice job saying “I’m sorry” and asking for forgiveness while not doing so. There are so many times that I could have used just such a do over.

  20. mjdills

    make one promise you
    won’t ever break and stop
    trying to do the things you cannot
    do
    the bruises and welts you’ve
    left on your own back won’t
    alter the reality of
    who you are
    inside
    not enough blood on the ground will
    change the damage you have done
    repentance isn’t for the weak and
    fighting isn’t for the brave
    pass by those with shredded shirts
    and torn souls
    just one thing. you must do
    just one thing.
    make a difference.
    if only to
    you.

  21. Sara McNulty

    Make Me A Finch

    How lovely to be a finch of gold
    compact for flying, perching on limbs
    trilling a song, beautiful and bold.
    How lovely to be a finch of gold,
    with voice vibrant as a bell’s toll.
    I can flutter off on a sudden whim.
    How lovely to be a finch of gold
    compact for flying, perching on limbs.

  22. uvr

    When I Make It Up As I Go Along

    This great chicken recipe made a delicious dish
    I wonder if it will do just as well with fish

    The flavours went well with the meat
    No reason why the fish won’t be good to eat

    Well, I will never know until I try
    So I toss in the onions and watch them fry

    Then I stir in the dijon mustard, dilute the sauce
    In goes the fish, in the kitchen I’m the boss

    Curry leaves and coconut milk add an Asian twist
    I can deviate from the script, as long as I get the gist

    Top it all with some chopped cherry tomatoes
    When I make it up as I go along, anything goes

    1. Jilllyman

      Oh! We are kindred spirits! I have been known to create poetry out of the rhythm of cooking, too. And you have captured the beat of cooking so well with this; thank you for sharing 🙂

  23. SarahLeaSales

    Making a Life

    Make lists so you can focus on the big things,
    while not forgetting the little things.
    Make realistic goals, and a few that are
    what smoky pipe dreams are made of—
    for life can change in less than a second.
    Make wishes—you are not limited to three.
    Make plans as a guide,
    but not as a rule book.

    Make good decisions
    by living the kind of life
    that will lead you to do so.

    Make love without regrets—
    meaning with the right person.
    Love the one you’re with.
    Make babies and you will experience
    the magic of childhood all over again.
    Make spirituality a part of your life,
    for it tends to make more with less—
    it sees the glory in a million little things.
    It is, like the metaphor, the shimmer.

    Make friends, because even your One,
    cannot fulfill your every need.
    Make connections, for you will learn from others,
    as they, hopefully, will learn from you.

    Make peace with broken relationships;
    sometimes they were meant to be broken,
    and gave you what you needed
    in the time they were at their peak.

    Make conversation with the cashier
    every once in awhile.
    Make them feel like they matter.

    Make movies of your child’s laugh,
    but enjoy it outside the frame of the lens.
    Make memories through stories
    that engage all of the senses,
    through photos that capture the essence,
    and through being mindful,
    of living in the moment.

    Make something beautiful,
    even if it’s something consumable.
    That’s what cameras are for.

    Make time for nature,
    for it elevates the mood,
    and gets us away from the eyestrain
    of a screen.
    Make yourself put down your phone,
    because you will miss out on far more
    by not doing so.
    Make time for just being.

    Make time for food—
    let it be an experience,
    not just a filler-up.

    Make time for books,
    for a book can take your outside yourself—
    the closest thing to an out-of-body experience
    most of us will ever know.

    Make time for singing whatever moves you.
    Make time for play—
    seek out work that feels like play;
    life is too short for bad food.

    Make music and art,
    just for the sake of doing so.
    Make poetry a part of your psyche,
    for poetry draws one deeper into oneself,
    to better understand oneself.
    Make up stories, but don’t sell them as truth.

    Make lifelong learning a part of your existence.
    Make exercise you enjoy part of your routine.
    It’s something free to do.

    Make things grow,
    even if it’s only money.
    Make your own destiny and realize
    that even if you had help,
    you still built that.
    We have all had help;
    some of us were simply
    given the tools.

    Make yourself get up at a reasonable time,
    and your days will be long upon the earth.
    Make hay during the day,
    and enjoy the bales at night.
    Make every day a holiday in spirit.
    Make happiness not a goal,
    but positivity a worldview
    that no one can take from you.

    Make the most of everything—
    draw something of value from every experience,
    and you will feel that not one minute of your life
    was wasted.

    Most of all, make it count.
    You will receive many second chances,
    but only one life.
    Make it happen.

    This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24)

    1. MikeGill

      I really enjoyed how this built on itself. I also liked how it included both the physical and mental aspects of living a meaningful life. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Connie Peters

    Make a Mess

    Mommy went to the store today.
    Daddy’s watching TV.
    What’s up there in the cupboard?
    I’ll climb up there and see.

    Sugar, flour, shortening, salt.
    I’m going to start baking.
    Peanut butter, syrup and jam
    Can you name what I’m making?

    I’ll stir it all together.
    And now it’s time to guess.
    What it is I’m making
    Is a big ‘ol glorious mess.

  25. Charley

    Make Do While Nature Makes Dew

    The night expands,
    a ramie sweater,
    knit from a giving
    material. And awake,
    I count bolls in lieu
    of sheep, and do
    math when I should
    sleep. Thus deprived,
    a lad such as I can
    make much of little,
    make grease of spittle,
    make great burdens small as I whittle
    away the wee hours,
    gathering cotton,
    not gathering wool.

  26. Jilllyman

    Make America Grape Again

    Alsace this for the blushing campaigns,
    Brayers and trumpeters alike
    Thy nose canst not breathe,
    No Syrah,
    For the talkin’ and tannin
    Doth blend from port unto vine
    Neither whites nor the reds
    Have the body nor plonk
    To a-peel me to drink of the wine
    For the late bottled vintage
    Doth yield up my reserve
    And my cup runneth over
    With Bacchus and nerve

  27. Anthony94

    Make Time

    She said to sit on the porch
    and I said I don’t have time. There
    are chores to be done, produce to
    pick, weeds to pull and pile for
    composting. She would go still then
    rock in the old swing and the both
    of us would listen to the tired chains
    creaking, one free, one bound.

  28. taylor graham

    MAKE IT CLEAR

    What he dreamed last night
    and couldn’t wake up from, sleepwalking
    through the mist, stumbling on
    thoughts for what he can’t explain,
    “the crosses, you know, that hold up shorts
    on the line, shore up a building,
    haul the truck out of a ditch…. they’ve
    got a crank for hoisting, they were
    a real good buy, never find a better,
    longjohn red or else maroon….”
    Old man marooned
    in the mists of his mind. Outside,
    a gush of rain off the gutter, small boat
    shoved off into the waves.

  29. writinglife16

    MAKE BELIEVE

    The husband said
    “Wife, our marriage
    is a novel.”
    She replied,
    “Well, I guess
    your affairs have
    been a collection of
    short stories
    and the quickies
    were poems.”

  30. writinglife16

    MAKE HASTE

    Every morning
    Mom would say “Make Haste.”
    I would groan
    and turn over.
    Then she’d ring this old copper
    Cow bell.

    Every morning,
    My alarm goes off.
    A recording of cow bells.
    I hear the echoes of her
    words in my mind.
    “Make Haste.”

  31. Beverly Deirocini

    Make Up

    Without warning, she was shot.
    Somewhere between plastic tiaras and name-brand cosmetics
    A fabled word had been whispered.
    People chose sides and the venomous artillery fired.
    It took her two days to remove the artificial fingernails from her skin
    And rinse the hairspray from her eyes.
    When the dust cleared, a stalemate ensued for another twenty-four.
    Beady eyes stared each other down during passing.
    In the end, neither of them took the blame, but they agreed.
    Yes, yes, surely this must have been a miscommunication.

    He walloped the other boy.
    All was solved.

  32. De Jackson

    Make Me

    out of something more
    than tired skin and silence,

    into something less
    than list, and twisted brow.

    Origami me a swan
    -song smile, a last parchment
    mile to tattoo against my wrist.

    Christen me
    wordsway
    seaspirit
    wanderingone

    and
    whisper nothing less
    into this disappearing.

    You can’t.
    Or can you?

    Fashion me
    an ink-dipped sky;
    this place,
    a fallen star.

    (I know you are,
    but what am I?)

  33. deringer1

    MAKE OVER

    Dear Mother
    and Father God,
    come to where I live
    and make it over.

    Remove my walls
    of prejudice. Make room
    for love instead.

    Change the dim light
    that hides my flaws
    and give me the
    brightness of truth.

    Take out the fears
    I sit upon so that
    I may stand boldly
    for love.

    Take the locks
    from my door so that
    all those who need me
    may enter freely.

    Redecorate my life.
    Make it a place
    where you can live
    with me.

  34. Piddleville

    The Passing of Things That Matter

    I use to make sand castles
    on the beach in Southampton
    then sit back on the sand
    watching the waves
    take them away
    to wherever those things,
    that for a time
    mattered so much,
    go to so slowly
    when we are done
    with whatever they were
    and move on.

    William Wren

    (Southampton here refers to Southampton, Ontario, and the shore of Lake Huron.)

  35. PowerUnit

    What does it mean?
    Nobody offered words, even the smart kids
    Wallow in uncomfortable dissonance
    If straight A’s don’t know
    What chances do we middle C’s have?

    I love eating bacon in bed, on top of the quilt
    Magically turning skipping ropes into Hula Hoops
    More hay when you’ve lost a needle
    Common sense in a time of treaty

    My hand paved a way for her gaze
    Your question is confusing
    You should not be asking what it means
    You should ask what it should mean

    1. PowerUnit

      Notes: I typically circle the word make in red ink. It is abstract and often unclear. This is the teacher’s lesson.

      The poem also makes kids feel stupid, bacon, the bed, ends meet, magic, hay, sense, peace, and way.

  36. Nancy Posey

    Making Whoopie

    The kids are gone now, laughter seeping
    out of the house as they head to their cars,
    to their homes a couple of hours away.

    Like a conspiracy, we manage to schedule
    your birthday and Mother’s Day
    all in the same weekend, command performance.

    They had arrived just hours apart, bearing gifts,
    finding time to step outside, sharing assessments
    of our health and faculties, I’m sure.

    I can hear them now: Isn’t Mom getting forgetful?
    Dad told me that same story at least twice.
    Should we come more often to help them out?

    They forget how well we read lips, read minds,
    read between the lines. Still, we let them help us
    with heavy lifting, toting boxes into the attic.

    After the family photo on the front porch, the one
    we always take, despite complaints, they pack
    and start to head back to their homes, their lives.

    We stand on the porch until we know they’re gone,
    turn the front door lock, then race to the bedroom,
    where we’ll prove to ourselves we’re still young.

    1. Jilllyman

      Nancy, I absolutely screamed with laughter over the ending! There is something so univeral about this poem. We can all see ourselves at whatever life stage we are in. My daughter has always painted me ‘old’ when I repeat a story… until I caught her doing it, too. And she is quite young! HA!

  37. Julieann

    Make Me an Offer

    Blueberries by the gallon
    Blueberries swaying in the breeze
    Blueberries ripe on the bush
    Pick me, pick me please

    Blueberries in the morning
    Blueberries in the evenin’
    Blueberries at suppertime
    On and on they keep a streamin’

    Baskets, buckets, jars, and bags
    Why they’ve even filled my coffer
    These blueberries are for sale
    Wont’ you please make me an offer

  38. PressOn

    MAKE A WISH,

    then take my hand;
    give up the lie
    of times gone by;
    throughout the land,
    confront me and
    do not deny
    that you and I
    can yet command
    our lives to merge
    in sense and sound;
    our souls to be
    both storm and surge;
    spirits unbound
    by prophecy.

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