Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 361

For today’s prompt, write an uplifting poem. This could be a poem that lifts the soul, but also, I’ll take any poems about physically lifting people and things as well (sky lifts, lifting weights, lifting children, etc). If you can do both (or find another interpretation), I you’ll share it below.


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Here’s my attempt at an Uplifting poem:

“call to arms”

There’s something to be said
for the arm that reaches
around another’s back
to give support or lift
that other person up,

as if to say this cup
of trouble will soon drift
off like the darkest black
night along the beaches
that shift where others tread.


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 is a big fan of beaches and uplifting moments.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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187 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 361

  1. taylor graham


    You’ve been considering the progress
    of history, from man’s first
    scrapings in soil, or the bark of a tree,
    mimicking the gnawings
    of hungry forest creatures, their
    disobedience to decorum and
    articled amendments; how the beasts
    live simply on the fruits of earth
    regardless of fashion, warm-skinned
    and hided, at intervals bringing forth more
    of their kind, and then disappearing.
    You been listening to mankind’s
    doings: so purposefully on purpose,
    his politics complicating all his futures.
    You close the book, turn off the TV, and
    open the door for no reason
    but to listen for wind in the leaves of grass.

  2. MatthewTM


    “I can see my house from here”
    she says as we lean out of the skylight.
    It’s a cliche.
    But so is my arm sliding around her waist
    to keep her warm in the night air.
    So is the candle placed strategically on the bookshelf.
    So are the Dylans and Cohens moved strategically to
    the front of the record rack
    while the Wham!s and Meat Loafs
    move to the back.
    So are the condoms under the mattress.
    It’s a cliché.
    Transforming this woodchip box into
    a mood-lit bedsit sanctuary.
    But so is the chicken and the potatoes I cooked her,
    instructions followed from a sauce packet.
    So is opening my cigarette packet with one hand
    so the other can linger on her hip,
    shuffling two smokes between my lips,
    lighting one each.
    Flicking ash out of the window,
    orange cartwheels down slates,
    off on the wind to join the street lamps.
    It’s a cliché.
    Listening to the traffic,
    sirens and music fogging the valleys.
    The smell of distant fires.
    Quickening heartbeats in a moment of calm.
    The giggles and whispers.
    The tingle and the rising courage.
    It’s a cliché,
    but we have the city,
    and the cigarettes
    and the suspension of disbelief.
    She’s heard all these lines before
    but not from me,
    and though I have practiced each one well,
    if fate makes this their last recital,
    the cliché never meant so much.

  3. woodpeckerduo

    Uplifted Nature-ally

    October. A cottage in town, slightly run down
    Not sure of the fit, until woodpecker lit
    Gifting you his song, sense of belong, eased your frown.

    November. A country cottage, wonderf’ly quaint
    Unsure to commit, until woodpecker lit
    Gifting me his trill, filled me with still, patron saint.

    December. A blustery day, walk through the trees
    Not sure of our fit, but the sycamore writ
    And gifting its seed, allowed us to see, what could be.

    October. And vows now exchanged, promises that we
    So sure of our fit, in our autumn commit
    To gift us our love, blessed by those above, bird and tree.

    DA Crane

  4. SarahLeaSales

    Runneth Over

    Bebe & CiCi Cupp
    were fraternal twins who
    fought for one man’s attention,
    which sometimes kept them apart.

    CiCi’s plumpness brought her down,
    & Bebe was the pert new star,
    that is, until DeeDee McCleavey,
    a pair of identical twins—
    almost Siamese in nature—
    came bouncing around.

    Bebe & CiCi were dumped,
    putting them in a slump,
    & crying all the way to A.A.,
    where they learned that letters
    were just a number.

  5. SheepCarrot

    Possibilities Rise

    An empty page
    A blank canvas
    Stares back, full of potential.

    Bit by bit
    Stained by lines…
    Forming into words,
    Marring the clean perfection
    But making it more.

    Giving it meaning.

    The lines blur,
    Run together
    Mingling, twirling
    Painting a picture
    Only imagination can see.

    Giving life,
    Giving flight
    To that which was nothing.

  6. PowerUnit

    I can’t lift four hundred pounds, with my bare hands
    I can pry them out of their holes with two-by-fours, a shovel and pitchfork
    I’m left with a hole big enough to plant a tree in
    Or bury a dead cat
    And a rock I need to roll
    The pounding, the beat, the feeling of accomplishment
    The removal of lawn-cancer
    Hope for the future of play
    The promise of cold beer
    At the end of a hard day
    Raise your glasses to home ownership

    1. MatthewTM

      I’ll raise a glass to that! I spent a ridiculously long time on Sunday stripping paint from an embarrassingly small section of door frame. I definitely felt the sense of self-torment mixed with accomplishment… Or perhaps I will when I finally finish it!

  7. MikeGill


    I have always found her beautiful.

    When I first met her it was her striking green eyes below her silky chestnut hair that grabbed me. Her skin pulled with just the right tension across her cheekbones, her smile breaking that tension pushing it back to little dimples fascinated me. Her athletic frame shaped perfectly—everything in proportion.

    I sat in awe of her and often told her so.

    I had no idea the effect my praise would have.

    The growth of her vanity was not one of ego. Instead it was a more destructive force that emerged first with baby weight and striving to return to lost toned youth. The gray hair of a life lived was battled with dye. Then sagging backside and bust fixed with surgeries over time.

    I sit next to her now with her face swollen, bruised, and bandaged in her latest effort and wonder if I had been wrong to lift her up so much when we were young and her self so fragile. I had tried with each evolution to praise her for the beauty she was. I tried to help her see that she remained the beauty she was even as she aged and changed. I tried to emphasize that she was as if not more beautiful with the marks of life on her.

    All I can do is continue to lift up who she is each day and hope to overcome her continuing to lift up who she was in the mirror each morning.

  8. qbit

    Swept up
    Wild rose bloom
    Of a body on fire
    Rushing to your face
    Desire feeding a
    Through your chest
    And arms
    You cry
    Reach up
    And touch
    My face

  9. grcran

    the uplift song

    here come the beans
    here come the wienies
    to kill off the cacti stuck deep in the brain
    some take it whole hog
    some go for tofu dog
    in memory of dogies now dead on the plain
    their uplifted spirits
    recycled or near it
    no one needs to eat them it won’t be a pain
    plant okra and black-eyes
    eat rice with a sunrise
    ease into right fiber repeat the refrain
    repeat the refrain
    wait… what’s the refrain?… and fade

    gpr crane

  10. Jane Shlensky

    Raising Baby Girl

    She runs to him. He lifts her up
    as if she is an empty cup
    raised joyfully to heaven’s will. She flies—
    her eyes with wonder fill,

    as Daddy holds her up for grace,
    and she beholds his smiling face.
    So fatherhood lifts up his heart and mind,
    to find love’s tender part.

  11. IrisD


    I prefer a hand up rather than a hand out
    A climb up is better than the climb down
    Definitely glass half full instead of half empty
    Words of hope, mercy, and grace,
    Rise like bubbles of joy within us
    Angels soon will beckon me
    Come up hither to spend eternity

  12. seingraham


    I’m not a religious sort, you can ask anyone
    and I don’t like to use the lame excuse
    of saying I’m spiritual; it might be true
    But there are days when I wish I still believed
    in God; things were simpler when I wasn’t
    such a questioner, but once I started
    there was no going back, no matter how hard
    I tried; I’m not saying I’m sure there’s no God
    Just that I don’t know
    Still – some days when things seem particularly
    bleak, I get in my car and hit the highway
    Open all the windows and crank up my
    music – all sorts of music – but especially:
    Ave Maria, Locomotive Breath, Hallelujah,
    Voodoo People – a mix of the ethereal and
    the hard-pounding
    I drive too fast, with my music too
    loud, but just having all those notes wash
    over me at the same time the wind whistles
    through the car
    Is like being lifted out of myself for as long
    as I’m out there
    I am a bird flying free and I don’t think of
    anything, just drive and soak up sound
    It’s heaven.

  13. grcran

    double yous

    when snuggling feels as good as this
    she’ll go with him no matter where
    she drives him to happy with kiss
    she’ll stay with him, won’t leave him there
    for this great a love, when is now
    this love keeps uplifting them higher
    in time every place anyhow
    and won’t be a what or a why-er

    gpr crane

  14. Nancy Posey

    I’m having trouble getting poems posted on Wednesday, but here I am:

    Face Lift Instruction Manual

    You can do it,
    just a little tug there,
    and then on the other side.

    It will take years
    off your face,
    improve your health,
    increase your overall appeal.

    See, if we lift just a bit
    here and hold it–
    Now look in the mirror.

    Don’t you like
    what you see?
    You look younger already.

    No needles,
    no blade,
    no scars.
    Now hold that smile.

  15. Madaket


    Pearlescent white,
    With flame-tipped ears.
    She’s the one described as

    Affectionate, loyal, playful
    But, always on her terms.
    Make no mistake,
    She is fiercely independent.

    Her magnificent stance,
    From ancient bloodlines,
    Fit only for the Emperor.

    Her double-coated glory,
    Of sugar-spun softness,
    Gently hints at the depth of
    Her spirited reserve.

    She lounges on the warm,
    Sun-streaked piece of flooring,
    Curled beside yesterday’s discarded socks,
    Awaiting your return.

    At the first trace,
    Barely audible,
    Of metallic jangling,
    She scrambles to attention.

    Bolting to the door,
    Her glittering black eyes,
    Alive with anticipation,
    She explodes.

    Spinning, popping in the air,
    She smothers you in delight,
    Like a jack-in-the-box
    Unable to contain its surprise.

    All reserve abandoned,
    In her blissful reunion.

    Until tomorrow!

  16. Tracy Davidson


    she’s had a boob job
    either that or she’s wearing
    an uplifting bra…
    my husband’s bamboozled eyes
    when my mother comes to stay

  17. ReathaThomasOakley

    At the Campbell County Fair

    Molly, teeth newly braced,
    long hair pulled into twin bouncing tails,
    freckles sprinkled across that clear, lovely face,
    goats can’t be cared for in the shade,
    Molly, granddaughter courtesy of marriage to Don,
    white jeans and shirt, silver State Fair belt buckle
    won when she was nine, four Nubians she’s brought,
    purple ribbon in every event, including grand champion
    this night at the Fair.

    Molly, I say as we leave, my pride in you has no bounds,
    not just for the ribbons, but for the young woman you are,
    my pride has no bounds,
    it soars.

  18. headintheclouds87

    The Gift of the Wind

    Even the coolest, gentlest of breezes
    Can still lift weary bodies, heavy with
    Excessive demand and expectation.
    Once up in the air, these become
    Simply immaterial, pieces scattered
    In the calming wind, and no longer matter.
    They escape from inside ourselves,
    So we watch them float harmlessly by,
    Free from our relentless minds,
    And yet freedom becomes ours as well.

  19. De Jackson

    The sailing of her heart into a wide winged sky

    Home again, and even here
    the sky’s a song, a rhythm and
    blues tango-tangle of cloud
    -stitched cobalt quilt. She’s built
    of this, this indigo swirl, this
    lake sky curl that reminds her
    to remain liquid even here in
    the desert. Look up,

    you’ll see. Heaven smiles in
    turquoise shimmer, the steady
    thrum of birdwings and hum
    -bled breeze. She’s sees it all
    in the still small silence of
    post-Lake bliss, the kiss of
    cooler places still on her lips
    against all this bright bleak sun.
                                       Lift limbs,

    there’s a distant hymn
    waiting to be sung.


  20. Connie Peters


    U nderneath a canopy of clouds
    P uffing with a dragon’s breath, a hot-air balloon,
    L ifts us high
    I n a large wicker basket
    F loating quietly, peacefully
    T raveling along over the town
    I look up
    N odding to the
    G od of Heaven with a wink and a smile.

  21. PKP

    no matter what

    you can never
    utter a single
    other syllable
    though I was
    there to hear
    your first – you
    can decide to
    never walk my
    way again – though
    I still feel your tiny
    hand in mine at
    first teeter- you can
    decide to never touch
    this skin that once
    cradled you within
    its cover – you can
    erase me from your
    present – but always
    you are my past and
    the promise of the
    future – no matter
    what – soul bonded

  22. PKP

    walk on…

    as a child she sang
    walk on – through
    the night – walk
    on through the
    storm – sang
    about darkness
    at the sweet
    silver song
    of a lark and
    really thought
    it was all about
    the rain – though
    for some inexplicable
    reason – tears always
    filled her eyes on the
    high notes

    1. carolemt87

      Pearl, this song can make even the strong ones weep. I recently participated in a choral event directed by Craig Jessop, former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, in which we performed this song. He told a story of how this song touches people and gives them hope. Nice piece!

  23. PKP

    A walk in the park

    There was a time
    not all that long
    ago when a simple
    walk in the park
    hands swinging
    black and white
    was cause for
    stares – even
    a call to arms
    that time now
    fallen mostly
    into the anus
    of history – and
    now as summer
    breezes blow
    chiffon scarves
    softly on the
    heads of mothers
    walking their
    sorrow – comfort
    follows – from those
    who see breaking
    hearts and whisper
    we are with you –
    we are here …

  24. Shennon

    Pine needle dust rises
    Its scent infuses with shafts of sunlight
    Disturbed and uplifted
    By each step I take
    Under the regal canopy of pines.


  25. uvr

    Venus Rising

    ​It was a sign
    Venus and the Moon
    a match made in heaven

    My naive heart believed
    in the power of stars

    But your Moon waxed
    and waned
    never constant

    And my Venus never rose

    Now my heart is stronger
    It waits for neither moon nor sun
    Nor all the planets in the skies

    Lit by the fires of

    My Venus rises
    every day
    never again
    to set

  26. Arash


    by Arash

    True happiness is shy.
    You need to be gentle and soft,
    sincere and kind,
    because happiness can always tell
    when people demand its presence
    only for selfish pleasures,
    and when they genuinely wish
    to welcome happiness home,
    and honor their dignified guest,
    with care, at home inside their heart.

    Happiness is pure and simple,
    requires only that you meet
    its soft presence with yours.
    Happiness will silently sit,
    caress your arms that long
    have held heaps of hurt within.
    Happiness will sing,
    perfume the glory of your being,
    cool the treacherous loathing within
    with every flap of each wing.

    But only if you care enough
    to invite happiness home.
    Then open your windows at night,
    so this shy presence can glide in,
    unseen by the glaring daylight.
    Listen for the soothing sound
    of it preening its feathers,
    consistent as breathing,
    or the calm regular beats
    of peaceful open hearts.

  27. writinglife16


    The maintenance operator
    asked me to repeat myself.
    I coughed and choked
    because of the dust drifting down.
    I cleared my throat and said,
    “Barbells crashed through the ceiling.”
    She was silent at first, but then asked
    “How did that happen?”
    I sighed and answered,
    “I guess my neighbor was working out
    and dropped them and they fell
    through the ceiling.”
    More silence and then,
    “Maybe he should be careful
    what he lifts.”
    I sighed again and asked her to send
    Somebody to check it out.

  28. mjdills

    You Were Born

    My body was stretched beyond limits
    and still bears the scars,
    even though age has consumed
    most of the folds and
    wrinkles that hide the evidence
    of your long ago arrival. Covered
    in vernix you carried the scent
    of heaven, having arrived
    duly as scheduled. Unable
    to hold you in my arms, it was
    my heart that
    embraced you; I called to you
    from across the room. Don’t
    cry, I said, I’m here. I’m still here
    as I have always been
    waving to you
    from across the room.

  29. carolemt87

    Ready to Wear

    After swirling suds of her long marriage
    spin down the final drain of divorce,
    a woman on the edge of fifty
    gathers bright laundry
    like a single load of hope.

    Her mother says, “Go ahead,
    show off. Wash that red underwear.
    Men love red,” she says.

    Her friends tells her to advertise,
    to wash that new stuff she has never worn.
    She pulls out pins, unwraps tissue paper,
    cuts the kites of price tags
    from their hard plastic tails.

    Woven in the nest of clothes
    new lingerie takes a breath and
    jostles around for a better view.
    Huddled under scratchy satin
    and tossled silk,
    two pairs of lacey boy shorts
    swim to the surface,
    purchased from a catalog,
    one black
    one red,
    butterflies unfolding their wings
    in the warm summer sun.

    Drums of washers gently churn,
    softening silk and lace
    in cool, bubbling foam.
    Her hands glide beneath
    damp silk as she remembers
    the warmth of hands
    under her clothes.

    On a warm Sunday afternoon,
    in front of the tumbling tick of dryers,
    she hangs her dreams to dry,
    blue silk tank top, red lace panties
    black negligee blooming
    with antique roses.
    She puts on reading glasses,
    opens her book and
    waits alone.

    A large red bullnosed pickup
    pulls up and chariot doors glide open.
    In a haze of sunshine and shimmering dust
    two young men enter.
    The spring on the screen door
    stretches taut and groans.

    The young men barely past twenty
    one dark
    one light
    creased with the scent of alfalfa
    and warm leather
    carefully glimpse the woman
    drying her dreams in public.
    The room ripples.

    Over the rim of reading glasses,
    her shape nicely beveled,
    the woman smiles at the young men
    and says hello.
    For a split second, they freeze
    like frightened rabbits
    caught in the harsh glare of an
    unfamiliar power.

    The dark boy slowly turns his back,
    sweat beads glistening the
    black bristles on his tan neck.
    The light boys pivots around
    a large green suitcase while
    staring only at the gold flecked linoleum
    and the silver tips of his cowboy boots.

    Blue jeans and rumpled shirts
    arc and avalanche
    in a single stream of motion .
    Taking wing from pockets
    like startled birds, quarters glint
    in a plank of sunlight.
    Silver coins shoved into washers
    their mouths gaping, impatient.

    She watches muscle and tendon,
    flowing like sheets of rain on glass
    beneath cotton T-shirts
    and tight Wrangler jeans.
    A breath tightens in her chest.

    The screen door smacks hard
    behind a cloud of lust and summer,
    and the young men are gone.
    She closes her book, puts away her glasses
    and fluffs her damp long hair.
    The young man’s detergent bottle
    teeters on the edge of the washer.

    On the battered door,
    the old spring chimes softly as
    the shining woman elbows
    her way out the door
    cradling her bright basket,
    all freshly folded
    and ready to wear.

    (I know this is long…but a hopeful, detailed story sometimes is. Carol Carpenter)

      1. carolemt87

        Thanks, Julieann. This poem almost wrote itself. Father’s Day, a woman whose father died many years ago, and some young men working far from home… is mostly true.

    1. PKP

      Oh Carol – this is just simply wonder-full!! Love each detail – so vivid I can feel and smell the hope of that bright basket and the sweat of those young tight fellows. Delicious!

  30. Julieann

    Reaching Out

    The heady scent of apples
    And cinnamon
    Fill the air as a
    Fresh, home-baked
    Apple pie
    Cools slightly
    On the window sill
    Before carrying it
    Next door

    A soft knock –
    Concerned I’m intruding –

    She barely opens the door
    Afraid her sorrow will escape

    Involuntarily she breathes
    In the intoxicating aroma

    A gentle smile
    Breaks through the sadness

    Stepping back
    She widely opens the door

    1. PressOn

      For me, the contrast between “Afraid her sorrow will escape” and “She widely opens the door” is so powerful. I think this is a superb poem.

  31. deringer1


    the summer evening was clear beside the lakeshore
    where a tall building rose into the sky,
    a startling silver exclamation point,
    as we, like tiny mice, looked up in awe.

    The elevator took us like a rocket
    so high above the city we were angels
    who scorned the ordinary world below.

    The fearful mind looked down and thought of falling.
    The hopeful mind looked up and was inspired.
    Why do we long to rise but fear to fall?

    1. Julieann

      Oh, I so relate. A bridge will do it every time, for me. I going up, seeing the expanse of water, and am terrified of going over the side. You captured the feeling exquisitely well!

  32. Anthony94

    Red Maple on Highway 7

    Rusted sheet metal slides
    to the side of what was the roof
    while vines become window panes
    and curtains, snaking up the corner
    timbers, tenacious fingers clinging
    where paint has long ago disappeared.

    Hedges gone to trumpet vine rim the
    road ditch and there is the air of
    general decay except for the puzzle
    in what was the front yard: the red
    maple maybe fifteen years old, shaped
    like some giant heart, lifting up the

    shabbiness with its many hand
    shaped leaves cupped to hold the
    morning sun, the fog, the sudden beauty
    amidst the constant shades of green.
    I want to know who planted it, who tried
    to interject the unexpected mid scrub oak,

    the ubiquitous cedars edging into fields.
    Did she, for I envision a lithe woman who
    left the clotheslines studded with pins,
    hair twisted up against the morning heat,
    think if she planted the burlapped root ball
    from the Growing Dreams Nursery in town,

    the tree would hold him to promises,
    anchoring that front corner like some
    survey marker to hold them together even
    as the house slipped its moorings and
    the ropes holding them together frayed.
    How many years before its uplift failed?

  33. tripoet

    The Slow Path to Getting Fit

    I’m sitting here in a gym on a bench
    up-lifting. But at heart I’m a wuss
    as my trainer brings me the weights
    places them into my delicate hands,
    counts, and encourages me
    through a short repetition. When I finish
    I carefully walk around the athletes who
    slam weights, make spitting sounds
    and don’t look at all like me.

    1. MikeGill

      I found this very interesting. I like how you are discussing “lifting” yourself up by becoming more fit and at the end seem to be torn back down by yourself as you compare yourself to the others in the gym. Powerful.

  34. Daniel Paicopulos

    Fall of ’67

    It’s o-dark-thirty, I’m flying,
    death surely on its way,
    I see my mother,
    dead nine years.
    I am no longer matter.
    Go back, you can’t stay,
    still work for you,
    important matters.
    Easy now to understand,
    the work is peace,
    all that really matters.


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