Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 353

For today’s prompt, write a nothing important poem. Maybe it’s a poem about an unimportant tool, plant, animal, or even person. Of course, sometimes the unimportant things are revealed to be the most important of all. So leave no unimportant stone unturned in search of your poem.

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Here’s my attempt at a Nothing Important poem:

“importance of freedom”

i offered her nothing
when i offered my heart
i offered her nothing
when i offered a part

in this play of my life
that seemed so much to me
it all came to nothing
when she let me go free

to her it was nothing
to place me on this shelf
& now i’ve got nothing
but both me & myself

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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 started off writing love poems, and he’ll likely always turn to them when nothing more important catches his fancy (as if there is anything more important, right?). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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109 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 353

  1. ReathaThomasOakley

    The importance of names

    We see them listed too often now,
    in daily news reports, on the wall,
    and where the towers fell. In
    small town parks plaques list names
    of boys who once played there.
    They went to war, they went to church,
    to school, to work, or simply went to dance,
    to laugh, but today only the names remain.
    We name each name to honor
    who they were, we name
    each name so we don’t forget.

  2. Anthony94

    I’m in the Corner Grocery Store

    The morning after the Orlando
    massacre when John Lennon’s
    Imagine begins playing softly
    on the in store system. Reaching
    for the cottage cheese is some-
    how too mundane and tears
    come through the dam I’ve
    built over the years in order to
    remember some of my best
    friends, whose friends filled
    The Pulse to dance and sing
    away the prejudice that kept
    people from attending funerals
    even as I protested. Love is
    what we must bring to this,
    together with justice, but as
    the quail chant in the fence
    line, and I’m looking for an
    ease to what I can’t explain
    I pray that we put aside what’s
    not important and look to
    what is: the dignity of everyone.

  3. grcran

    Limb Mere Ick

    There’s naught of import written here.
    In one. Then straight out other ear.
    Trite phrases. Few verbs.
    Absurd silly blurbs.
    On a level of almost quite mere.

    gpr crane

  4. Nurit Israeli

    Summertime

    This summer,
    I slow down to savor
    the unimportant −

    like clouds
    that cruise above
    on their way to oblivion.

    This summer,
    I plant flowers
    that cease to exist by fall

    and sprinkle seeds
    to entice birds
    that don’t stay for long.

    I smile more often
    at strangers, as if
    all people are good

    and hold on longer
    to hands that touch mine,
    as if love can overcome.

    This summer,
    I don’t overlook nor delay
    till to-do lists deflate.

    In my one and only time,
    it is getting late
    and winters are rough.

    In my one and only time,
    there are still summers
    and I summon up the light.

    ~ Nurit Israeli

  5. taylor graham

    GOLD-RUSH SNAP-SHOTS

    What my iPad camera shows me is nothing
    real: disturbed reality of Monet’s streetlamp
    angels – his failing eyesight as discovery,
    shatter-vision. My eyes see two rough hands
    shaking a gold-pan of gravel in a water-trough –
    aboveboard How-To demo at the fairgrounds.
    My iPad transforms it to swirls of golden sun
    rippling rainbows peach-aqua-fleshtones.
    This morning I walk alone with my device,
    trusting its lens against the hard-rock truth
    of crystal seam mining on this hilltop – a heap
    of dug-out tailings – to illuminate one loaf
    of native stone glitter-smooth as an angel’s hand.
    As if a master artisan raised it by yeast of earth,
    a miracle I almost passed by, but for a click
    of that trickster lens which warps but never lies.

    1. ppfautsch24

      Important Days
      Birthday wishes
      Allure of the day
      Shines as the glow
      Of the sun wakes
      Me and your kiss
      Stirs me from the
      Morn that dawns
      On the day we were
      Born in the stars
      Your love quiets
      A noisy world
      Where I live to
      Sparkle to be a
      Splendor for you
      Just another day
      When we were born
      By Pamelap

  6. Jane Shlensky

    Full Circle

    The tiny unimportant things can take us down.
    The steady drip of water swells until we drown,
    erodes a stone it took a million years to make,
    eats at a unity we swore would never break.

    I conjure kindnesses enjoyed so long ago.
    I hardly recognize them now because I know
    a life beats in a gesture, word, inflection, tone,
    revealing love reduced to dust—I am alone.

    It makes me hypercritical, both sad and wise,
    to see my smallest failures featured in your eyes.
    And yet I’ve gained respect for unimportant things—
    a gentle hand, a breeze, the way a sparrow sings.

    Perhaps love is not gone, but has become like soil;
    a few seeds, sun, and tending—really minor toil—
    can resurrect a garden from what seems a waste,
    each single petal on each flower sun-light faced.

    I don’t remember how the big things grew so much,
    perhaps we let small good things go—a kiss, a touch—
    but if we could go back to basics, open hearts,
    we’d see those little things we loved back at the start.

  7. qbit

    Spirit Level

    When I promised you
    That the soul
    Was like the bubble
    In a spirit level
    From Home Depot
    You laughed
    But then I pulled it
    Out of my pocket to show you
    And there it was
    Wavering in amber off
    The bullseye center
    Until I looked at you that way
    And it set up true.

    Today though
    I could not find it
    I checked all my pants
    In the laundry
    And behind the dresser
    Where I leave my keys at night
    No luck
    You said
    That it was nothing much important
    And that they were cheap
    And I could get another one
    And stop being frantic
    And I shouldn’t be so careless
    But lord god this is my soul
    We are talking about
    And I think I only get
    Just this one.

  8. carollilly

    Some Thoughts on Nothing Important
    By Carolyn Lilly

    Everything seems over exaggerated as important today.
    How do I still my mind to nothingness, open to all possibilities?

    “What are you doing?” he asked.
    “Nothing important,” I replied,
    more times than I can remember.

    Are ashes, the dregs of what once was, important?
    That’s all he is here & now.

    Nothing important means
    Not although i
    one myself
    thought prefer
    have one
    I realistic
    now thought
    got anyone
    needs
    today

    When is nothing very important?
    When it’s all or nothing,
    not a half here, nor a half there.
    All in or don’t bother.
    Give it your all or nothing.

  9. taylor graham

    JUST ANOTHER ANTIQUE SHOP

    All objects are nothing
    But what we attach to them.
    -D.R. Wagner

    Artifacts of settlers who moved
    from drought to drought – their tools here –
    hammer, a stainless needle and darning egg
    bearing invisible imprint of fingers –
    wrenched from homes across continents, oceans,
    mourning what they left behind. Waves
    of immigrants, so many stories. A Queen Anne
    table with neatly carved club-feet, its finish
    polished over years. This dog-eared cookbook
    with broken spine, pages brittle but luminous
    with olive-oil thumbprints, a recipe for polenta,
    from a time and place where unlimed corn-
    meal didn’t mean death by pellagra. And this
    book, how did it find its way here? title
    faded into buckram binding, it falls open
    to an entry for cretin from French crétin through
    the Alps from Vulgar Latin christianus,
    ‘anyone in Christendom,’ or ‘a poor fellow.’
    How far we’ve migrated, and where
    are we going? Stories I’ll never know, for sale
    among the antiques of an everyday Tuesday.

  10. seingraham

    OH, IT’S NOTHING

    What was it I meant to say
    the last time we fought?
    Or is it fighting, I wonder
    if our voices stay low
    and neither of us becomes
    enraged?
    Not like the old days—
    days when it didn’t take
    much to spark my temper.

    Thinking back, I find it hard
    to believe now; outrage
    comes so gradually to me.
    As if I’m a kettle on a slow-boil,
    my blood-pressure begs
    to stay even.

    Given enough time, I’ll let
    most things go, leave
    them to dissolve or
    dissipate – whichever works;
    life’s short after all.
    Ask me what’s wrong, I’ll
    likely say, “oh, it’s nothing”
    and mean it.

  11. ReathaThomasOakley

    Send in the clowns

    Would that I could
    spill my pain
    out on the floor,
    with a broom
    sweep it, and other,
    unimportant, debris
    right out the door,
    like Emmett Kelly
    sweeping, sweeping,
    sweeping, sweeping
    that spot light away.

  12. Shennon

    Beauty is beheld
    differently by each,
    I tell myself
    while watering
    a patch of weeds.
    Poor things,
    I commiserate.
    They bathe and drink,
    growing stronger
    in the shower
    I provide.
    Unbeknown to them,
    I’m simply
    preparing the soil
    to more easily
    eradicate them.
    However, the daisies
    and forget-me-nots
    will remain exempt.
    Why would I
    extract these beauties?
    They’ll serve to
    compliment
    the perennials
    I’ll introduce
    to their domicile.

    –ShennonDoah

  13. SarahLeaSales

    25 Things of Little Importance that Make My Perfect Day

    1. Waking early, to everyone else still sleeping
    2. Recalling an old memory, & being able to hold onto it
    3. Remembering a new word I learned, for it is another color to add to my literary palette
    4. Writing a new piece that seemed to come from nothing
    5. Drinking a cuppa java while sharing my writing with new friends
    6. Reading a handwritten letter from an old friend
    7. Getting good news in the mail, & sharing it with whoever will listen
    8. Running into someone who remembers me from years past, for it meant I’d made an impression
    9. Realizing I accomplished a goal I’d never made, for it was inside me all along
    10. Parting with something that meant little to me, but means a great deal to someone else
    11. Discovering a Brady Bunch episode I haven’t seen
    12. Listening to old Christmas music while a fire on the television crackles
    13. Having all the ingredients for a new recipe, & deliciousness ensues
    14. Remembering to pull my Mexican Coca-Cola from the freezer at just the right time
    15. Enjoying dark chocolate with hazelnuts or marzipan
    16. Driving to the beach when it’s 82 degrees with a breeze
    17. Finding the perfect seashell—a tiny glimpse of the celestial kingdom
    18. Burning calories while playing outside in the shade—MOMents that Heaven are made of
    19. When twilight lasts as long as the day
    20. Stopping to breathe in the scent of the gardenias
    21. Capturing a butterfly with my camera
    22. Climbing into bed & falling asleep to the sound of rain
    23. When I see my husband as he sees me, & know, I chose the right one for me
    24. When I make my daughter laugh & know that yes, I was meant to be her mom
    25. When I see something old in a new way, & it’s like the first time I’ve seen it

    1. tripoet

      Is this like a resurrection of sorts that happens in 3 days such as in a religious context? I feel so much “hope” in this short piece. I appreciate the feeling of walking into my home after being away that this poem evokes. Thank you.

  14. tripoet

    Better That Nothing Happens at School Day

    I ask my son, “What is wrong?”
    “Nothing”
    “What did you learn today?”
    “Nothing”
    On the playground he sits
    on steps hiding
    his thoughts, opinions, talents
    trying to turn his fear into nothing
    before the bully’s jealous meter sniffs
    out that he’s something.

  15. deringer1

    IT’S TIME FOR THE NEWS!

    Choose your time, America—
    the news is on at five, at six,
    and ten, (or all the time)

    We are programmed,
    robots that we are,
    to want to hear “the news”.

    But wait! What am I hearing?
    Well, there’s disasters,
    there’s politics,

    then there are dire
    predictions of weather,
    and more politics.

    The next story up is of war
    and the next is politics.
    One day the light dawned!

    News on most media these days
    is simply not important to me.
    I’ll turn it off.

    Wait! It’s very quiet now.
    Hallelujah!
    I’ve found peace.

    1. Julieann

      Best thing to do with news is turn it off. It seems to only be getting more and more distressing and depressing as the days go by. Peace, sweet blessed peace. Turn that think off.

  16. tripoet

    How Not to Let Go

    It is important to her
    to let him know
    he is unimportant,

    that he doesn’t matter anymore
    to her or anyone for that matter.
    At least that’s the way she sees it

    these days as she stands in line
    waiting for her next chance
    at love or any facsimile there of.

  17. mjdills

    Saturday is Your Birthday

    Saturday is your birthday.
    How could you think it would be important to me?
    It is certain to me that there is nothing important about my celebrations
    that make you notice insignificant numbers that rotate on your calendar.
    Days, months, years pass and the vacuum grows.
    Someday it will be a cave for me to fall into.

    Saturday is your birthday.
    I will go to sleep Friday with
    birthday cakes, old photos, labor pains and
    the scent of vernix filling my dreams.
    Saturday night I will sleep with a different type of ache.
    I never lost you because we don’t lose some things;
    they simply develop a distance and
    then we mourn in a visceral way.
    Living, parting and dying
    all are part of the same path and
    though it is certain to me that there is nothing important
    about your celebration that I would be a part of,
    I can keen if I want to.

    Saturday is your birthday.

  18. Connie Peters

    Big Enough

    “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (I Peter 5:7) NIV.

    When you love your child
    and their teddy bear is lost,
    you take time to help them find it.
    If they like green sippy cups,
    you get green sippy cups, not blue or red.
    If they’re grieving over their goldfish,
    you help them through it.
    Nothing seems too unimportant,
    if it’s important to one you love.
    God is big enough and loving enough
    to care for the unimportant things
    if they concern us.

  19. stargypsy

    NOTHING…

    I tried repeatedly to tell you how I felt
    I needed you to understand what was
    happening in my life
    What I was going through
    And …
    Why I was not myself

    As usual
    You were only concerned with
    yourself and what you thought
    was important in your life and
    continually ignored my pain
    My need to talk to you
    My need to tell you everything
    in hopes you would understand
    went unnoticed
    brushed off as unimportant

    Your actions and your words
    made me feel even more
    like what I was experiencing
    was …
    Nothing Important …

    Copyright © 2016 Annie Original Poetry
    Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
    As Ever, Annie

  20. taylor graham

    RELICS

    Chunks of quartz litter the ground
    outside the old mine, abandoned decades
    ago. Worthless rock, they say,
    on throwaway land – a wilderness
    of coyote bush and manzanita
    with a scruffy stand of low-altitude live-
    oak and digger-pine, game trails
    mazing deep into thickets that enclosed
    the vagabond camps
    before the homeless were evicted.
    Worthless land, they say,
    unless it’s logged and graded for houses
    with a hilltop view.
    These days, we like to denigrate the past –
    blame long-dead miners
    for the land’s scars, call the mined-out
    stone an eyesore. It’s our history.
    I stoop to pick up a piece of quartz.
    Not one fleck of gold in it.
    Nothing but the shine of crystal light.

  21. Anthony94

    Claiming It

    Her sentences often drifted
    like a wisp of smoke trying to
    lift from a field burn: it’s not
    important she’d whisper, just
    a hint of words, barely audible
    in the growing dusk. Or maybe
    it was over morning coffee which
    he never drank since the war, and
    she’d see an interesting piece on
    a new variety of roses, or the
    visit of a hummingbird by that
    garden columnist, only to finish
    with own her byline: it’s not important.
    Then one day she decided to collect
    her not importants, wrote them
    all down, from adding hard cooked
    eggs to the lettuce salad to matching
    up a new top with an old skirt, took
    them to her gray haired therapist and
    presented them on the steno page
    like a child with a perfect spelling list.
    No grade, but it made her feel important.

  22. writinglife16

    NOTHING STOPS DANDELIONS

    They are despised.
    Even reviled.
    Much money is spent on
    getting rid of them,
    but nothing ever works.
    Nothing.
    First, they bloom.
    Sunny and bright.
    Transform into fluffy
    clouds of white.
    Then disappear.
    I always wondered where they went.
    I finally got down and looked.
    Nestled between the blades of grass
    were tiny puffs
    burrowing in for next year.
    I sneezed and shook my head.

    1. tripoet

      This is an excellent description of ordinary life as each of us is surrounded with others with “eccentric” orbits that are harmless to us unless we get into the wrong situation with them after their path leads them to “intrude” into our space. Well done.

  23. Azma

    Momentary importance

    An invitation from you
    would never go unaccepted.
    You not just occupy priority lists,
    you surge through and dominate it.
    You throw the best party,
    indulging all senses,
    quite insignificant now
    to go and check on defenses.
    There’s no time too early
    nor a moment overdue,
    to be in your company
    and fashion joys anew.
    Dear chocolate cake,
    you leave me in grips,
    even though you stay
    forever on the hips.

    -Azma Sheikh

  24. Julieann

    Nothingness

    Lost love never found
    Is still lost
    A void of the heart
    Darkness, despair
    Leading to emptiness
    Emptiness creating
    A vacuum
    A void
    A nothingness
    Filled with —
    Nothing

    1. tripoet

      What I hear you saying, in effect, is that your loss created a perfect vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum so what will fill it? I would like to hear more. Thank you for touching on an important reality which my mind enjoyed experiencing and re-exploring through your poem.

  25. RJ Clarken

    Cipher

    “If you write a line of zeroes, it’s still nothing.” ~Ayn Rand, We the Living

    Zero, zilch, zip, nada, zed, nil.
    A cipher still.

    So, what’s the importance of this
    figure’s abyss?

    Nonentity? A secret code ?
    The mother-lode

    of arcanum that’s been bestowed
    on people who don’t even care
    that nothing is a naught affair.
    A cipher still figures. Abyss: the mother-lode.

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