Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 357

For today’s prompt, write a bigger poem. I’ve been reading Dahl’s BFG (Big Friendly Giant) to the kids at night in anticipation of the movie; on the 4th, we watched Jaws (“gonna need a bigger boat”); and I’ve been to Texas a few times (everything’s supposed to be bigger in Texas, right?). Anyway, sometimes even smaller things (like our sun compared to other suns) are also bigger things (like our sun compared to the planets in our solar system). Write bigger this week!

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Here’s my attempt at a Bigger poem:

“big”

They say, “The bigger they are
the harder they fall,” but I’m not
sure who “they” are–both with
the saying & the falling & I tend

to resist generalizations even
when “they” are also “experts,”
because last time I checked,
we’re all just “human beings,”

which is no small thing, but
we’ve shown we’re prone to
hyperbole & to demonizing
people who “we” consider

“they” & that “we” make a
big deal over the stuff that
“they” do that “we” do too
& well we all fall pretty hard.

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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’s been told he has big hands and tries to have a big heart. Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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120 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 357

  1. Beth Henary Watson

    His world was bigger once

    His once-big world contracted over time,
    Shrinking from infinite possibility
    After he thought through what was reasonable,
    Then narrowing to what seemed practical
    Before he decided what would be manageable
    While he remained comfortable.
    When that failed,
    He chose the tolerable path, veering with experience
    A way which proved bearable.

    This was his world at 90:
    Small slights were big deals.
    Little nicks that once healed with no attention
    Now stretched into gaping wounds festering out of proportion,
    Like how they wouldn’t let him have chocolate cake,
    Or any cake, the nurses, his purees-only daughter
    Who told him that odious shake was chocolate,
    That it, too, was sweet. No, cake did not used
    To be the only thing, his furtive objective at funerals
    And the daily lunch, an end in itself–sometimes, he thought, the end–
    Rather than one of life’s many sweetnesses.

  2. LCaramanna

    Worrisome
    The bigger the problem, the more I worry.
    The more I worry, the bigger the wine bottle.
    The bigger the wine bottle, the more I drink.
    The more I drink, the bigger the headache.
    And in the morning, that big headache
    demands a bigger solution
    than worry.
    Lorraine Caramanna

  3. Jane Shlensky

    Worry

    A stone is eroded under a relentless drip,
    its colors deepened, its surface smoothed,

    its center sanded round as a bowl
    to hold water, to quench thirst.
    A single seed finds cracks in pavement,

    wedges its roots into hard earth below,
    spreads its foliage reaching for light,
    its blooming life widening the hole
    at its hips for two seeds, then three.

    The tightest mind opens like a locked box
    to ideas—niggling truths like tadpole
    thoughts growing legs, as the brain
    becomes as froggy with ideas
    as a fecund pond where once

    was barren waste too big to fathom.
    You see each challenge as too big,
    too much to bear, too hard. Break
    hardship down to paving stones,

    rearrange them for symmetry, let them
    lead you down this path, one small step
    at a time. Big things are made of small

    pieces conjoined, as worries are made
    of sighs multiplied. A note is not a song,

    but it is still round as sound and full.

  4. Arash

    I used “bigger” in the first line, not title.

    Past Flames
    by Arash
    Bigger than The Big Bang
    its glib tongue still garbled
    through history and sense
    The cryptic cry of clang

    So seemed to me their flame
    parents who bore us first:
    Was it of love or lust?
    Designless or with aim?

  5. melinengo

    Chew The Cud

    Im afraid to love again
    Everything can all be so sudden
    Falling in love is no problem
    But failing to be love is such a pain

    Loving someone is such a privilege
    But loving the wrong person
    Is worst than a venom
    There is no escape unless a sacrilege

    Let them be gone
    Like the demon
    Let them drink thy own poison
    And begone

    I would rather be on my own
    With peace and serenity
    Together with the nature alone
    I’ll find my security

  6. taylor graham

    THE ROAD TO TRAINING

    I’m second-gearing up the Kelsey grade,
    a winding two-lane hundreds of feet above
    river. No guardrail. Big dropoff. We’re
    on our way to obedience class. My dog
    needs it. Sun’s almost blinding. And there
    are the black snakes. A friend told how
    her seasoned mountain horse shied, started
    sashaying across blacktop, would not step
    on the black snakes – tar patched into
    pavement cracks, glittering and skittering
    in morning light. He needs more training,
    my friend said. Just as my dog – skittish,
    nearly as big and strong as a horse – needs
    training. And so I drive this road. Meet
    your biggest fears head-on, they say, or
    you’ll be dancing away from them,
    right over the edge.

  7. Karen

    There once was a matador from Spain
    that drove the big bull insane
    he could see nothing but red
    and with a toss of his head
    He shish-kebabbed the guy’s rectal vein

  8. grcran

    bighead lines

    we start with a monday
    by friday it’s bigger
    not greater not grander
    hyperbole tweaker
    no vastness involved
    las vegas invoker
    size fits the news cycle
    round numbers no squeaker

    wide margins go marching
    down into deep canyon
    we’ll stop on a dime for
    sensationalistics
    oh whimsical factoid
    you do not excite me
    so bring on the blood and
    begin the ballistics

    gpr crane

  9. Kasey

    The Harder They Fall

    Fitzgerald could be quite a pig.
    Both ego and appetite big.
    He liked his drinks stout
    “Timber!” they would shout,
    ‘Fore he crushed some poor fool like a twig

  10. Deva Dube

    The bigger your hatred
    The bigger our resolve
    The bigger our pain
    The bigger our call

    Our blood cries out
    From the earth on which we lie
    In earnest prayer that
    No more will have to die

    Your abhorrence will be met
    With the same intensity you give
    And you too someday
    May find yourself begging someone to live

    An eye for an eye
    Should not be our slogan
    But the law of sowing and reaping
    Will bring justice for the lives you’ve stolen

    1. ppfautsch24

      Big Dreams
      Have a thought
      In my head
      Make me see

      In dreamscapes
      Seek advice
      Search for it

      Knowing a
      Decision
      Has to be

      Made as to
      Where do we
      Go from here

      The thoughts
      In our minds
      Of where we

      Should be now
      Got lost in
      Our dreams

      By Pamelap

  11. taylor graham

    WHAT MAGNITUDE

    A parrot walked the parapet as if he were a tipsy
    pigeon but with the gift of speech. Silence!

    he cried in echo of workers breaking cinderblock
    with hammers, and sawing twisted rebar

    with hacksaw blades in bare hands; then abruptly
    still as someone cried Silence! listening for

    a sound of life from gaps in marble floors and
    acoustic-tile ceilings heaped atop each other

    leaving scant space for a living breath to rise
    between. The parrot tilted his head over toppled

    city, to watch a great cloud shaped like a gondola
    or Viking ship of the dead sailing the huge sky.

  12. deringer1

    BIGGER

    Bigger is always better
    if you’re writing up some sales.
    But it may not be better
    when you step upon the scales.

    Don’t want a bigger number
    when you’re takin’ my blood pressure
    and big is not so good, for sure,
    when round my waist you measure.

    Bigger houses are passe
    and small is all the rage.
    And now I think it good to see
    bigger print upon the page.

    In Canada I saw a welcome sign
    that caused me quite a snigger.
    “Chicago they say is a very big place,
    but our town here is Bigger !”

  13. Carolyn Lilly

    (Written while still grieving the death of my husband on 4-22-16 & approaching what would have been our 44th anniversary)

    Bigger

    God is
    bigger than my heart
    breaking apart
    though it burst into
    a 1000 pieces scattered
    over all my landscape.
    Stars of heaven
    still outnumber.
    God overawes.

  14. Karen

    Spits Spurts and Dribbles

    a steady stream
    a babbling brook
    a waterfall cascading
    an ocean’s worth
    of ripples and waves
    a gushing geyser
    a glorious rainfall
    and a bucket big enough
    To catch it all.

  15. grcran

    The Big One

    “This is The Big One, Elizabeth! I’m coming to join ya honey.” Fred Sanford, character of Redd Foxx, comedian

    Bigger ain’t better
    It might not be more
    Restored by a letter
    Let down from before
    Be for the best causes
    They won’t always win
    When taller is smaller
    Tall tales from false twin
    When bigger is better
    It often is not
    Those things once thought cool
    Turn out not so hot
    They largely and languidly
    Go down the drains
    Big-mouthing the others
    Revealing small brains

    gpr crane

  16. Sara McNulty

    Bigwig

    Top man in his field
    wielded a mighty scalpel.
    Ungraciously accepted
    a new patient–big deal.
    Big cheese had a wretched
    personality, with a specialty
    in oncology. Pursuant
    to operation, radiation
    was a requirement. After
    moving to another state,
    patient was seen in a new
    hospital to start treatment.
    New x-rays were needed.
    Imagine the shock, when patient
    found out his doctor–still standing
    out in his field–had not removed
    enough surrounding tissue.
    Second operation was performed–in
    a smaller facility, lesser known
    name–successfully.

  17. Amaria

    “the bigger person”

    I suppose I should be the bigger person
    and extend an olive branch to mend
    those limbs snapped by harsh words
    but pride gets in the way each time
    so the flowers wither in the garden
    allowing our connection to fade

    by Arcadia Maria

  18. Stephanie H.

    Loved your poem, Robert!!

    What’s in a Word

    They didn’t call it the Big Canyon
    For a reason
    In comparison to what
    You ask
    is big
    But no one second-guesses
    Grand

  19. Joyce

    My
    Poem
    My writing
    My summer
    Holiday travel
    Crowded beaches
    Closed due to overflow
    Of people who thought to
    move early to get their spot
    Near the water, at the beach,
    in the sun. Not me, watching cars
    get stopped for attempting to get near
    water, at the beach in the sun, by parking
    in restricted areas. I’ll stay home and read
    a good book under a tree
    Alone
    Where
    it is
    quiet

  20. mjdills

    The Big of Small

    The smallest things
    happen in a short
    period of time and
    suddenly
    we find our lives changed in
    a big way.
    The human blink is a
    fraction of a second.
    The trajectory of a bullet
    can’t be changed once it’s released
    but it takes almost no time at all to
    pull a trigger.
    A germ can float around forever
    and land in a healthy system
    with less time than it takes a
    hummingbird to
    sneeze.
    The word
    “no”
    is one of the shortest in any language,
    yet it can create the longest sentence,
    as can a
    “yes.”
    The biggest things that happen in life
    are often committed by the most
    minimal acts.
    We are all created in
    less than a minute,
    less than a second,
    just a wink of an eye.

  21. SarahLeaSales

    Her Sidney Summer

    Karsen Wood drove from the Sunshine State to the Big Sky Country—
    to the land that was bigger than her small, childish dreams.
    She wasn’t running away, but to something she couldn’t yet see—
    to something greater than the life she’d left and richly lived,
    and would live again.

  22. De Jackson

    Bigger than Blue

    You sit at the edge
    – right there, see?
    and breathe it all
    in, begin to know
    the secrets of the
    breeze and the way
    the earth flows,
    spills, stands still.

    You steep yourself
    in indigo and cobalt
    glass, a shimmer of
    sky and the watchful
    eye of all this bigger
    -than-you Blue, feel
    it seep into your skin
    and through your soul.

    You roll your tongue
    with a mighty blue roar,
    the soaring hope of
    feather and wave, the
    way that water saves,
    changes, follows the
    moon’s fragmented whim
    through starspun sky.

    You try it on for size,
    immerse yourself in aqua;
    drink your fill and know
    you’ll never get enough
    but this one small moment
    is enough to last until
    the next time you breathe
    in full again. Again.

    1. reeree307

      Word of a World

      ME
      on my own
      such a small little word
      lost in a sea of humanitee

      There’s a circle to join
      or a quest or protest
      link back to a history
      or the future still a mystery

      Tis plain enough to see
      A far bigger word
      would be
      WE

  23. writinglife16

    TO THE NTH DEGREE

    Everything was
    Superlative in his world.
    Not bigger, biggest.
    Not great, excellent and more.
    Greatest fisherman ever.

    Everything was
    just fantastic in his world.
    Fishing by the stream.
    His catch and ego growing,
    ‘Til the bear appeared
    And ran him off.

  24. PowerUnit

    I can’t understand, American politics
    It’s divided houses and temples of freedom
    Limestone justice, irrefutable
    Solid bur weary
    Vulnerable to time, if not cared for
    Principles, rights, and freedoms
    Liberty to speak one’s mind
    Liberties to close one’s ears

    And the heads bobble and nod
    Agreeing we can’t agree
    Disagreeing how to agree
    Your family, your neighbour, your foe

    It’s bigger than you or me
    But it’s only us
    It’s only our insatiable need to be right
    Our patriotic belief in the red, white, and blue
    Our propaganda shield
    Our superior way of life
    Dead in the road

  25. Connie Peters

    Charlie’s Pride

    Charlie the oak by our house
    was the biggest tree in the yard
    until the pine trees grew bigger.
    Now Charlie stands among peers.
    So remember, a reason to be proud
    may not remain when others grow.
    Let’s just stand tall in gratefulness.

  26. Kasey

    Her Big Break

    She won’t wait her whole life for that Big Break,
    but giving up now feels like a mistake.
    She’ll give it six months, then try something new.
    Or maybe a year, but no more than two.
    Then again, with a lifelong dream at stake

    two years is hardly enough time to make
    that choice. Still, finding a new road to take
    seems like the most logical thing to do.
    She won’t wait her whole life for that Big Break.

    Just five more years- for posterity’s sake!
    Anything less and she’d feel like a flake.
    Plagued by a compelling drive to pursue,
    she knows it could be a while ‘fore she’s through.
    But one thing is certain, make no mistake-
    She won’t wait her whole life for that Big Break.

  27. Anthony94

    Study in Perspective

    At the food pantry this morning
    a 24” zucchini dwarfs our box
    of yellow summer squash that we
    nest next to the Yukon Gold potatoes.

    Fresh food is paltry compared to
    boxed and canned, waiting along
    with the ashen faced gentleman
    that held the door, expectantly.

    There’s so much big among the
    smaller, deprivation’s dent in a sea
    plenty, the pantry being opposite the
    local grocery. Cars as big as boats floating

    on bald tires for another week, mine with
    four new ones. Is the legend of the starfish
    (making a difference for just one) enough?
    Sunday morning was a pair of bald eagles

    hunkered in the fog on their favorite dead
    tree. Back home, one tiny goldfinch dropped
    yellow and black onto the birdbath’s surface,
    big to the hummingbird, perspective everything.

  28. tripoet

                   Big Smiles

    Her limbs dangled – useless appendages
    her voice, garbled, unintelligible.
    We drifted in and out of her room
    spasmodic young siblings to an alien life contortion
    who our parents sought to 
    endear to us by their example, 
    “See how dad gently bathes her” , while
    explaining her to us, “ She’s crying because
    she can’t see you. Move to her right side.”

    We placed her on the back of our circle 
    we formed at night 
    when we fell to our knees, 
    rosaries notched through our fingers, pushing each bead
    on its way to becoming a prayer for miracles
    or at least some stronger muscle to carry her through her days. 

    I can still hear my mother’s anguished 
    cries that seemed to meld with the baby’s stress.
    Were those the times she pleaded with God to
     “Get my child out of that body!” Was this a test of her
    faith and if it was, did she pass? 

    But though a tragic form was forced on my younger sister
    like leftover portions of smashed potatoes soaked 
    with cold gravy to late comers, we were gifted too with a 
    sister who reached out to us, though not with arms, 
    but rather, with big smiles. Her big smiles touched us each day
    never questioning why things were the way they were 
    as we always questioned, but smiles that reminded us that
    she was happy just to be connected to us.

  29. Pwriter10

    LOGORRHEA

    If you read between the lines,
    then what I say has meaning.

    But if you just listen, all you may hear
    is pomposity, sputtering, and spewing.

    I promise you it’s not an attempt
    to appear bigger than I am (quite a difficult feat).

    Like a giant who doesn’t appreciate
    the view from the clouds or the whale who only

    compares his waistline to other whales.
    I only hope to educate you on the soul-wise ways

    of the world – or at least let you know
    you’re not alone. You have me and my voice

    to multiply your own. There’s so much
    that can be accomplished. Stop dawdling.

  30. taylor graham

    THE BIG STRIKE

    What a notion, to graze the river
    as if we were animals gone wild back
    in evolution, hungry for the raw elements,
    a need so acute that today we grovel
    in sand and gravel, drenched to the knees,
    grubbed and scraped, swirling a bit
    of silt and water in a shallow
    pan like washing dirty dishes – whatever
    the river brought down since the last
    big storm, since the last upheaval of rock
    from the belly of earth.
    Hoping for the big strike?
    There are others with their counters
    and minimum profit levels,
    their bottom lines.
    I woke up this morning
    out of a dream I can barely remember –
    terrestrial big-bang that reverberates
    in the blood. It came downriver
    like desire arriving on a midnight train;
    knocking the heart awake
    like adrenalin. A light so beautiful
    it’s almost blinding. Not metallic gold,
    but bright and precious as pure love.

  31. Nancy J

    Pegasus

    He was one of many, no different from the rest.
    Yet, there was something in his eyes.
    He seemed lit from within, a true believer.
    He had heard the story somewhere,
    when he was young, a tale of a horse
    that could fly, and it was then he knew.
    Secretariat didn’t run with other horses,
    he ran through them,
    an eager pup scattering sparrows.
    To him, running was all. Rain, mud,
    grass or dirt, it made no difference.
    He had a goal, Secretariat did.
    With a heart twice the normal size,
    he knew if he tried hard enough,
    ran fast enough, one day he would fly.
    To those who loved him,
    he did.

  32. vjohnso1

    ‘The bigger person’

    Whose the bigger person here
    Me or you
    The cop with the gun or the black person screaming don’t shoot
    Lost another black life due to police violence
    His only crime was selling CDs and his cries were silenced
    By multiple gun shoot wounds that left him deceased
    The amount of police violence has most definitely increased
    Due to the lack of caring the lack of understanding
    The racism presented to us as if we’re not human
    The color of our skin stands from within and they hate it
    They hate us
    The bigger question is what do we do
    To remain true….To ourselves and to our community
    How do we stand up without being shot down
    Trying to be the bigger person when there’s no bigger person around
    Time will only tell at this point we can’t fail
    We have to be the bigger person and stand up for our rights
    It’s only right and to be the bigger person we must stand up and fight!

    1. tripoet

      I think that this is a hard topic to write on because we still need to know all the facts in order to be fair. But I commend you for not being afraid to write from your heart and raise important questions – questions that need to be raised expeditiously as you have done. Also you have a gift in that you can see a current event and recognize that it needs to be addressed sooner rather than later and I commend you. My best and Blessings.

  33. Julieann

    A Pot of Soup

    I stand in the kitchen
    Looking over my domain
    At all the pots and pans
    Hanging by their chain

    I select my favorite one
    And set it on the stove
    Then bring the broth to simmer
    Soon it will be a treasure trove

    Of veggies, all kinds
    Turnips, beans, and ‘taters
    Peas, cabbage,
    Carrots, kale, and ‘maters

    They all blend together
    In that little pot
    Too crowded to bubble
    When they got hot

    No choice but to reevaluate
    That pot was too small
    I take down the biggest pot
    The little one met its recall

  34. tripoet

    On Robert’s I enjoyed how “they” spun in the Circle going from the judge to just you and me where everyone was part of the “we”. Nicely done.

    On yours, I live in Kansas and I felt as though I was back in Dodge City in the “Shoot ’em Up” times. I like this poem and the rhyming was fun. Big 🙂

  35. PressOn

    SEEN ON A BOOT HILL TOMBSTONE

    Here lies the body of Jonathan Bigger;
    he met a man with a faster trigger;
    he was loose in life, lacking in rigor.
    Where is he now? Go figure.

      1. Julieann

        What I was trying to reference, forgive please, the brain lapse, was Edgar Lee Master’s “Spoon River Anthology.” Again, your poem is right on!

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