Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 356

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Getting (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 might include “Getting There,” “Getting Paid,” “Getting What I Want,” and so on. Of course, I won’t say anything if poets decide to cut the -ting off the word “getting.” Whatever gets you there.


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In the 48-minute tutorial video Re-creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will be inspired with several ways to re-create their poems with the help of seven revision filters that they can turn to again and again.

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Here’s my attempt at a Getting Blank poem:

“getting ready”

get out my paper
& set up my pens
read a new poem
& read it again

look out the window
think about the day
start to write a line
don’t know what to say

i shuffle paper
rearrange the pens
read a new poem
& read it again


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 believes in both preparation and spontaneity. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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105 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 356

  1. artifiswords


    Getting my head straight
    A larger task I’ve never had
    Years of going along
    To get along…uncertainty
    My constant companion
    Unwanted…but what to do?

    I guess I’m not the Alpha type
    Easygoing, if I can be…
    So someone with other plans
    Not worried about mine
    Could too easily prevail
    The cost…incalculable…
    And it didn’t bring a happy state
    So now in reconstruction…fixing me

    © 2016 Robert Mihaly

    Posted also to:

  2. writinglife16

    Getting Into Trouble

    The cop asked
    “What happened here?”
    The man said
    somewhat proudly,
    “I killed her.
    She was evil.”
    The cop made a note.
    He grinned and then said,
    “She was a vampire.
    Hope you know how to pray.”

  3. Shennon

    Getting Drunk

    There once was a girl from La Crosse
    Who fancied a fling with her boss
    She flirted a bit
    ‘Til he called it quits
    Now she spends all day on the sauce.


  4. ely the eel

    Getting Over Things

    We are all
    just passing through.
    What’s now so old
    was once quite new.
    Things rise and fall,
    they come and go.
    Such impermanence
    is just what’s so.
    This is a happy thing,
    not one of futility.
    It can bring joy to one
    practicing radical humility.
    So, please awaken,
    discover your Right Stuff,
    be content in learning
    how much is enough.

  5. Julieann

    Getting Home –
    the Long Way

    It should have taken
    10 hours, no more
    But then the adventure began
    9 quilt shops along the way
    To ooh and aah and buy — therefore
    14 hours along the coast
    Until we reach the door

  6. qbit

    Happy Fourth!

    Turning in upon itself slow
    Getting tighter and tighter
    Wound tight tight tight
    Until NOW.
    Nowhere else
    To go but

  7. angieinspired

    (With my regrets…)

    “Get golden…”

    Mom used to say,
    When women get older
    they’ll want a little sparkle.

    Now my skin grows thin.
    Now I’m turning gray
    in my bed.

    Nobody ever
    really bargains for this.

    Everyone’s eye goes
    to what sparkles.
    Buy jewelry. Get golden…

    because skin is shallow,
    because everything about
    box-spring beds
    scream slow death.

  8. grcran

    getting seniorish

    getting older bolder beholder
    witnessing the hidden truths
    getting wetter better forgetter
    finding lost forbidden muse
    ridding child of wild unbridled
    fleas & ticks bloodsucking bugs
    ridding rest clean breast repressed
    above the shtick between the hugs
    fitting molds enfolding golds
    plus grey blue silver on the path
    fitting fairly rarely barely
    dodging bullets age’s wrath

    gpr crane

  9. lsteadly

    Getting Fingerprinted

    at the county sheriff’s office
    posters of wanted men
    stare at the rest of us
    waiting to be seen

    the metal and plastic chairs
    are bolted together
    in a line along the wall
    impossible for the enraged
    to throw them

    I am intruding on a world
    of unsolved troubles
    my entry ticket a slip
    of paper
    necessary for employment

    allowing me also the chance to imagine
    what the others are here for
    which grievance needs airing
    where so and so may have
    disappeared to

    when it is my turn
    an officer separates
    my fingers purposefully
    plants them from ink pad
    to neat boxes squared up on the page
    the sagas buried in the delta of each digit
    sent off to join millions of others
    in some federal database

    will they find a duplicate, my prints stained
    on a slide more than twenty years ago
    for a job at that major city bank?

    did my whorls and loops
    stretch over time
    become bolder, more defined?

    or did they just get worn down
    somehow jaded by all that I’ve touched?

    1. ppfautsch24

      Getting Kissed
      Your kiss eluded me,
      but the morning goodness shone
      through my window casting hope
      upon my heart and room.
      Your kiss and touch will be welcomed
      when you return home and we bask
      in the good of night…
      By Pamelap

  10. Tracy Davidson

    Getting lost…

    like you told me to
    but not in so many words
    for yours were crueller
    they crushed all my wide-eyed dreams
    of love that lasts forever

  11. Stephanie H.

    Getting Real

    I say it
    But don’t mean it
    Think it
    Only dream it

    A cross to bear
    A road to hoe
    With eyes held down
    No one knows

    Despite the
    Inward resistance
    Gaining graces

    Except for this
    For this I risk

  12. madeline40

    Get Up

    I’ve sat at this table
    much too long.
    I’ve already finished
    two cups of tea,
    all my breakfast –
    the usual berries
    topped with peanut butter.
    And I know it’s time
    to take my shower,
    get dressed and
    go downstairs to my office.
    I have poems to write,
    contests to enter.
    So enough lollygagging,
    enough playing with
    my iPhone, looking at all my friends’
    status updates, tweeting,
    checking emails and deleting
    ones I don’t want,
    and googling dress sales
    over at Neiman Marcus.
    It’s time to get up
    right now.
    Get up, get up, get up
    right now.

    1. Julieann

      Some mornings in the life of a writer – or the retired! I love this. I can feel the indecision; knowing the need to get moving and have a dickens of a time doing it!!!!

  13. Asha1000

    Getting Through

    does not work.
    Smoke signals?

    no data

    Getting through
    seems harder.
    Birds twitter.

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  14. Jilllyman

    Getting to the Point

    Where the broken
    Wall sharpener
    No longer spews
    Shavings at you
    When zerrring round
    And we all stop
    Longing for an
    Electric deal

    Where the broken
    No longer spew
    Guilt at you
    When zizzzzing round
    And we all stop
    Longing for a
    Forgiven spiel

    Where the broken
    Hearts right next door
    No longer spew
    Intrude on you
    When zlinnnnging round
    And we all stop
    Longing for a
    Jones-esque appeal

    ‘Tain’t that the point, after all?

  15. Anthony94

    Getting Summer

    Not like it comes in a package
    or anything, but it can be
    detected along the backroads,
    like the neighbor’s barbecue
    on a Friday night. But this is
    more subtle, some blend to
    make the Fifth Avenue ladies
    tilt their noses and try to
    identify the essence, stroll
    back and pump the atomizers
    and wave their delicate fingers
    in misted air.

    Here the blend
    is more complex: wildflowers
    of questionable lineage marching
    unchallenged down the roadsides,
    hot air above the drying creek
    carrying daylily and monarda,
    air passed through corn tassels,
    the shivered fling from a pig’s
    back. Impossible to bottle or box,
    it must be discovered wafting
    through the coneflowers and
    the single bluebird feather that
    settles beside the fading daisies.

  16. Carolyn Lilly

    Getting Somewhere
    By Carolyn Lilly

    Joy comes as a bird alights on my window ledge,
    sings a song in the sun, and moves on.
    I have come close to the very edge
    of the abyss, nearly undone, as I sorrow for him
    I miss. Time heals, or so I thought, but how much
    must pass before I feel good at last
    and do what I ought?
    Joy glides in while I’m in pain,
    and surprised, I laugh again.

  17. Azma

    Getting Dinner

    One of life’s arduous feat
    is deciding where to eat.
    It takes all of our weekend time
    and an upset fun blames us for this crime
    We discuss the food of every country
    but we’re too spoilt and deny all bluntly
    It becomes tougher to choose
    when each of us have our own views
    Fast food is instantly abhorred
    as having it too often has gotten us bored
    And so this poem has come to an end
    but to a conclusion, we are still to descend.

    -Azma Sheikh

  18. PressOn


    is similar to trying on a shoe
    with gluey hands; or making lobster stew
    in chamber pots entrapped within a flue;

    or losing weight while eating airport food;
    or claiming that relating all I’ve rued
    will ease my heart and elevate my mood.

    Might as well build a railway to the moon.

  19. mjdills

    Getting Edward

    No one really knew Ed. He was an oddball
    and the more you tried to talk to him
    the more he clammed up. Some kids would
    follow him and throw rocks at his back. Not big rocks,
    mind you….just pebbles. They couldn’t have
    hurt. Unless his shirt was thin and maybe the
    rock was just a little bigger than a pebble. But
    mostly they were small and
    He wore a thick quilted parka. They were just
    little rocks; nobody
    was trying to hurt him. Why would anybody
    try to hurt him anyway? They called Ed names sometimes
    but he didn’t really pay any attention, so probably
    not such a big deal, you know?
    He ignored them.
    Teachers put Ed in back of the
    room; Ed was tall. Some girls and
    a couple boys didn’t like to sit behind Ed. He
    smelled a little. Like cows. Or cow manure. Sour milk,
    maybe… a bitter smell. He milked those cows
    every morning. There were hundreds of them. That
    made him late sometimes and being late,
    of course,
    made a spectacle of Ed because he would
    pass by the windows, down the long
    row of classrooms and everybody watched and
    laughed and Ed would
    hang his head. We just didn’t
    get Ed. No one would ever expect
    to see him at Prom. Or a
    football game. He didn’t ride around in
    cars or hang out at The Round-Up.
    He was a nice guy,
    I guess.
    I guess he was
    You know what I mean?

  20. Pwriter10


    A leprechaun asks me
    for my pot of gold.

    You see, there’s been a rainbow drought –
    plenty of rain though.

    And he’s got to put his kids through college.
    It says so on his cardboard sign.
    Unfortunately, he’s illiterate
    and can’t even read what he wrote.

    “Just got lucky,” he says, “if anything I wrote
    has meaning.

    “Me too,” I say, offering him a poem.

    “What’s this,” he asks.
    “My pot of gold,” I reply.

    He forces a frown. “You got any rainbows?”

  21. seingraham


    Back then I took so much for granted,
    the day to day of things, sun came up
    moon did likewise.
    Biggest worries concerned weather, or
    whose name I’d draw for Christmas
    Maybe the odd falling out between
    our daughters – an aggravation but
    nothing too serious
    And I always knew it would eventually
    sort itself out – they’re sisters after all.

    Back then I measured happiness without
    knowing I was doing it
    By the hugs collected from grandsons
    laughing as they sat upon my lap.
    I treasured those children like the wealth
    I had, but without realizing it
    Until it was suddenly ripped away from me.

    Back then I was happier than I could ever
    have appreciated until I lost what I had
    Maybe that’s how it works, maybe that’s
    how it has to be before the value of what
    one has
    Sinks in, becomes truly apparent.

    Sadly, it wasn’t until all that was gone
    that I started to mourn the loss
    Comprehend that I needed to get back
    what I had back then
    Sadder still as time goes on and it becomes
    steadily more apparent that there is no
    going back there; no getting back to then.

  22. Sara McNulty

    Getting A Get

    In order to get a get, an orthodox
    Jewish husband must present
    a written divorce document. He does
    not need a reason–burned dinner, sinner
    in an adulterous affair, bad hair day–
    and his wife is sent away. Does he
    pay? Oh yes. If he should have
    a change of heart, wish to remarry
    his ex, there is a hex on his doing so
    if she has been married to another
    during the time hubby had second thoughts.
    Confused? Consult a rabbi.

  23. Charley

    Getting Real

    “Are you for real?”
    Earnest eight grade
    girl’s face quizzical.

    “Nope, hologram.”

    Pause. “Wait. What?”

    Wait for it…

    “Oh, you’re funny!”
    Laughter as she
    returns to her seat.

    English class resumes.

  24. PowerUnit

    Getting over unrequited love
    Getting as wet as a lost mourning dove
    Getting hungry thinking of you
    Getting stoned like a flowered fool
    Getting drunk on political beer
    Getting over a childhood of fear

  25. candy

    Getting Through to Customer Service

    I punched in the 800 number
    and waited
    the smooth voice on the other
    end assured me that my call
    was important to them
    I waited
    fuzzy music of an unknown
    genre blaring through the lines
    more waiting
    once again assured that
    my call was important
    made a cup of tea
    music, music, music
    started a crossword puzzle
    ah,at last, a real person
    asked my name,
    account number,
    date of birth,
    ….. and “how may I help you?”
    my mind was numbed by
    endless tunes
    I mumbled something vague
    I was not getting through

  26. taylor graham


    Crunch of footsteps up the alley
    where once a giant tomcat attacked – leaped
    from his lair atop a propane tank
    onto my unsuspecting dog just walking by.

    This morning, I see no one up the alley.
    Just that sound of passing feet. Dead leaves
    have blown onto cobbles – so soon our summer
    turns brittle brown.

    I walk past the Cary House
    with its rumored ghost of a wagoner,

    kitty-corner from the old Bell Tower, the town’s
    fire-alarm and, the other direction,
    the Hangman’s Tree, both binding landmarks
    of our vivid history.

    So much, they say, of the downtown is ghosted.

    Up Main Street to what used to be Hidden
    Passage, a haunt of poets years ago. An open pit
    where we held our readings; in the pit as a joke,
    a plastic skeleton raising a folio in bone-fingers.

    “Our best customer,” the owner said.
    That bookstore changed hands twice again
    before becoming a tourist shop. Bookstores fail
    when the living don’t buy books.

    This town is full of ghosts.
    The old bookstore is one of them.

  27. De Jackson

    Getting Blank

    Reset your face. Erase all traces
    of the you that’s been you for way

    too long. Forget your song: the words,
    the refrain, that last strain that kept

    you sane through the tumbled storm.
    Wish yourself strange, a stranger in

    your own skin, a place to center your
    self new, map of veins leading some

    -where soon, somewhere wonder-
    wandered loose from thought, un

    -caught and clouded only by indigo
    blue. Stain yourself in ink and bright

    bold open sky. Swallow rain. Bundle
    moon into bite-sized bones. Be known.

  28. Nancy Posey

    Getting the Details Right

    Adrift amid pages set in faraway lands,
    I envy the music of the flowers, the trees,
    wishing I too could landscape my world
    with kikuyu, frangipane, bougainvillea—
    names that roll off the tongue, colors
    found only in the bigger crayon box.

    Instead, my lawn, my woods, my world
    pop with greens of clover, kudzu,
    crab grass, and ivy. Pansies turn leggy
    in the summer heat, and dandelions
    lose their gold and turn to fluff, blowing
    away on invisible breezes.

    But aromas so commonplace to me
    I scarcely take the time to note them
    can evoke magic. Honeysuckle detected
    by scent before sight offers up one drop,
    sweet Southern nectar on the tongues
    of children. Passionflowers entwine
    mailbox posts until small girls with
    a pinch here and there, turn them
    into purple-skirted ballet dancers.

    Such names as crepe myrtle and begonia
    sound more like spinster aunts
    than flowers. Talcum-scented rose
    still thinks she reins as summer’s queen.

  29. tripoet

    Getting to the Bottom of Things

    I look in her face
    and ache
    because I know
    she is lying

    I see years
    of friendship
    and love,

    I dig
    deep and fast
    trying to get
    to the bottom

    trying to right
    a ship that no
    longer floats-
    the Titanic

    but all she has
    for me
    is an icy stare.


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