Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 363

For today’s prompt, write a flight poem. So that could be a poem about flying, like riding on an airplane, hot air balloon, zeppelin, helicopter, umbrella, hippogriff, etc. Or there’s the whole “fight or flight” scenario. Or there’s the whole metaphor of “flying” through stuff. Fly through this poem however you see fit.


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Here’s my attempt at a Flight poem:

“Three Men”

Three men, two of them brothers, grew
out of Dayton, Ohio. One wrote poems
that moved millions while the other two
flew into the history books. One man

wore the mask that grinned and lied,
the son of two former Kentucky slaves.
The brothers made a machine that flied,
and we remember all three of their names.


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 grew up in the shadow of the Wright Brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and so many other great Daytonians.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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116 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 363

  1. Pwriter10

    Time flies,
    at least when you first notice
    that time exists.

    Studies show that, to a hand
    draped in a bucket of water,
    steady one degree changes
    over time are

    The same is true with time,
    at least before you first question
    if time exists.

    1. ppfautsch24

      Mind flying thoughts hover
      like a cloud of dust at day’s light.
      Bruised and tattered dreams
      fly on wings of disappointment at night.
      Moments of the year and the relationship
      we had hope would take flight.
      But, time flew by and ticking of
      the clock keeps time of mistakes
      and learned lessons of life.
      By Pamelap

  2. Jane Shlensky

    Sky Loop

    He dreams of flight, horizon’s slight
    of slowly rising into light
    until, aloft, awash in shades of blue
    made new, land’s trouble fades,

    but clouds like lambs at heaven’s gates
    turn surly dark and loud. He waits
    as tight fear grips his brain, flight’s worth disproved.
    For earth, he longs, reproved.

  3. Daniel Paicopulos

    tempus something or other

    Approaching sunset now, the dawn
    too many years behind. The night
    waits, lingering behind the evening star.
    It was noon a mere while ago,
    brightly shining with hope,
    plans made with future surety,
    more time than dreams to fill it.
    Time spent seems but trumpery
    when placed beside time remaining,
    too much wastage, squandered
    could haves, elusive promises.
    Five or seven friends remain, a thousand
    cronies gone the way of fumes, still
    time for eight or nine, likely no more.
    Poems have always seemed like
    words in flight, now more earthly,
    too often murky, poets in high dudgeon,
    even as they confuse sunset for the dawn.
    Still, there’s work to do,
    and time to do it.
    Living in the past yields little that is good,
    mostly excuses, redrafted memories and
    rust-pitted trophies.
    Future has a sense of promise, of mission,
    too many maybe’s as well.
    What’s left is now, today, this moment,
    sunset, dawn and dark of night the same
    gift of opportunity, like a poem, somewhere
    between a dream and a nightmare.

    1. Julieann

      Oh, so beautiful. Wonderfully said! May I use the last part beginning with “Living in the past” to the end in a letter to our local mayor? Thank you!!

  4. uvr

    I watch your
    slender fingers fly
    and as if by magic
    the screen fills
    with words

    It feels like
    when your fat
    little digits
    fumbled with
    square pegs
    you tried to shove
    into round holes

    Now you fly
    the days
    setting a pace
    I cannot match
    So I stay tethered
    content to see
    you soar

    For I know
    even birds
    come home
    when dusk falls

  5. artifiswords


    Ready to take off
    Hand on the burner
    The blast of propane
    Brings the balloon
    To equilibrium…
    Weighing off…just
    A precaution to avoid
    False lift and be sure
    The balloon will climb
    Once it leaves the ground
    Control of height is
    All he has…the direction
    Mostly that of the wind
    He knows what it should be…
    Will he be surprised?
    Not uncommon to find…
    But with skill from years
    Of practice…another
    Beautiful flight…don’t forget…
    Landings always equal take offs…
    Make it safe…and soft

    © 2016 Robert Mihaly

    NOTE: “Soft landings” is a greeting balloonists use with one another.

    1. Julieann

      So beautiful. Living in Jacksonville, FL, years ago we watched the balloons soaring through the sky. The most beautiful scenes, though, were when they flew over the St. Johns River. We could never watch them enough.

      1. artifiswords

        Glad you liked it. I flew balloons for 28 years before retiring from it. you might not know it, but when you fly over water, the balloon’s reflection can be seen as you look down. It makes a beautiful picture. It’s all more technical than most people would imagine…after all, it’s an aircraft…but there’s nothing more exhilarating than a flight over a varied landscape on a cool morning.

  6. qbit

    Flying is walking down the beach
    With a white knife for a dog.

    Flying is having
    Salt bones
    For wings.

    Flying is standing out in the mudflats
    Dressed like a bride
    Expecting kestrels for the groom.

    Flying is the wind
    Scouring the sea wall with sand
    Until It etches every word
    Of The Crab Manifesto.

    Flying is sunlight
    Tearing and tattering
    The surface of the sea.

    Flying is watching the afternoon
    Drift out from the sky
    On the careless tide.

    Flying is an angel
    Stepping from the waves
    Shivering the water from her wings
    Then looking up.

  7. mjdills

    A narrative poem about a

    Weather Balloon

    It was dusk and sure, we were tired. Just kids they said.
    We sat around the kitchen table weary
    after skiing all day and walking home in
    heavy boots, skis and poles hefted on shoulders and
    almost empty knapsacks slung over aching arms. Perhaps
    we were affected by some brandy we pretended
    we didn’t drink or possess but that was
    hours ago
    and our heads were clear. Clearer than those
    who had wisdom with age.
    Whatever it was, it flew. It hovered and
    Don’t cause trouble, we were told. We weren’t
    afraid, we said. It didn’t scare us, we said, and
    You don’t either.
    The back yard was lit up by a January full moon.
    Sheriff said It was a weather balloon.

    He smoked cigarette after cigarette and
    tapped the red formica with his pointer finger
    every time he talked. Our feet itched
    from woolen socks and our joints ached from
    all day up in the valley.
    It was a flash over our heads and then it
    like it was looking at us and then it shot away
    and held a space over the elementary school.
    Then it went straight up. Hot
    chocolate went cold and had an
    unappetizing scum on top, lifted off
    in one piece with a spoon.
    It must have been a weather balloon.

    The wash machine in the basement shook
    like it was walking to Port Mary. Sheriff said
    Can you turn that thing off, and
    shoved butts around in the
    ashtray. It was fast, faster
    than anything we’d seen. No,
    it was not a plane, sir.
    The phone rang it was Teddy’s mom saying
    There’s school tomorrow…
    Can you send him home soon?
    We must have seen a weather balloon.

    We were just kids and we could hardly
    know what we were talking about. Maybe
    we were making it all up and
    Plates with biscuits and gravy
    were sat in front of us. We picked
    and muddled. Why did they
    call this old man to question
    us? He was a buffoon.
    He just knew it was a weather balloon.

  8. grcran

    My cat Mister Nemo took flight
    He’d twisted his whiskers too tight
    Then as they unspun
    He hovered, had fun
    And the birds had no words for their plight

    gpr crane

  9. deringer1


    Immortal flights….like bumblebees,
    Hebrews from Egypt,
    Jews from the Nazis,
    first airplane,
    first rocket,
    and then,
    my first flight of fantasy.
    I’m still on it,
    always flying around
    in imagination,
    hoping for something
    special or better,
    putting it down on the page,
    like all poets,
    daring to put words
    to the murmurings of our minds,
    to the dreams of our hearts.

  10. PKP

    Neither fight nor flight

    There are times
    when neither fight
    nor flight will work
    when sideswiped
    blindsided – your
    gut aching from
    punch after punch
    from fists of a face
    that you love – then
    you hang in mid-air
    stuck on a gulf stream
    tween fight and flight
    waiting to soar or to
    fall – the paralytic
    place of the heart-
    broken all…

  11. MatthewTM


    A rumble, tearing through the firmanent
    at seven miles a second,
    propelled beyond childhood fantasy
    and toward history.
    Only a quarter of a million miles to go.

    A new world expands before us
    and everything we’ve ever known
    contracts to a single point.
    Trajectories and codes keep us on course
    but its light was always our guide.

    Home hears us but the farther we go,
    the longer the pause between replies.
    An invisible tether frays
    until we’re men of no worlds,
    alone in the crescent’s shadow.


    We fall as ancient mountains rise,
    swooping over waves of dust.
    Scouring for the point of contact
    where we can claim this as our domain.
    Finally, we come to a stop.

    This footprint on a windless world,
    may outlast our every other effort.

  12. taylor graham

    what Al told me

    Glad you liked my playing. It’s hard to hear
    myself, what with the bass and guitar and Annie
    flying over the top with her song, everybody
    blending and I don’t want to come across
    too loud with my harmonica, or like
    I think I know it all. I never did take lessons, just
    listened to Crazy Unk blowing into his harp
    so it sounded like no instrument at all,
    how it blended with himself – disappeared
    between mouth and fingers into pure song. Flight
    of music with no words to get in the way.
    See, I can almost do it. Once a man tried to teach
    me what they call the theory, sounded like
    blowing through my brains instead of my heart.
    I want to hear the noise I’m making, so
    I just slip into the spaces, rise a little in between
    the other voices. That’s how I play, thinking
    about Crazy Unk, who they always said was high
    on moonshine – don’t laugh! Only moon-
    shine he ever knew was full moon on the river,
    his harp being river flying under the moon.

  13. Julieann

    Through the Air

    One should fly in a plane
    A hot air balloon
    Heck fire
    Even a dirigible
    There are crop dusters,
    747s, and puddle jumpers
    Cross country flights
    Or just across the state
    So many ways to fly
    Private, commercial
    Pleasure, business
    But hydroplaning
    Flying through the air
    To land entangled
    In the guardrail
    Is NOT the proper
    Way to fly

  14. Nancy Posey

    Just a little nod to North Carolina, until recently my adopted home:

    First in Flight

    The irony isn’t lost on me,
    the only one who got away,
    moved far enough from home
    to require more than a day trip,
    and with no family in town
    beyond we two, new friends
    filled that hollow space.

    Thought we wouldn’t call it
    running away from home,
    we did, taking the Atlas Van Line
    right out of the Heart of Dixie
    all the way to the Great North State,
    new job, new house, new everything.

    Wielding the screwdriver
    putting on our new plates
    reading “First in Flight,”
    I knew that’s who we were,
    flying the coop, feathering
    our own nest, taking up
    residence in a place we soon
    called home.

    1. PressOn

      I have been in North Carolina and Alabama only briefly, yet I had the sense that the latter was the South and the former wasn’t. But then, how would a Yankee know?

  15. SarahLeaSales


    Once upon a time in Nantucket,
    there were two brothers—
    Joe, the Jacob,
    Brian, the Esau;
    borne of a mother
    who was like a distant star,
    and a father who was simply lost in space,
    careworn down by time.

    There were two goddesses,
    Helen with her cello
    and Cassandra called Casey—
    Helen, who found her way,
    Casey, losing herself along it.
    The day would come each would
    go the way of one of the brothers,
    but only Joe and Helen would endure.

    There was the artful Mechanic,
    the merry Widow,
    the unlucky Immigrant,
    the female Flyer—
    like little charms on an island necklace,
    but only two would stay,
    for two would go.

    In the fantasy world known as Tom Nevers field,
    there was the lone David,
    known as Sandpiper Air,
    and Aeromass—
    the seven air devils run by Goliath.

    And it was during that time,
    not so long before the towers fell,
    when airports were the first stop to fun times elsewhere—
    the last stop before that place that was like no other—
    that this fairy tale was encapsulated,
    so that nothing ugly could touch it.

    And it was in Nantucket
    that the Pilot and the Cellist,
    through loves won for a time,
    through others lost forever,
    lived happily ever after.

  16. headintheclouds87


    Each morning I find myself
    Held tight by humdrum days
    Dragging me further down
    My feet firmly on the ground
    And body helplessly confined,
    My mind takes the flight
    To the places I’d rather be
    The faces I should like to see
    And a series of futures
    That I see as fleeting splinters
    Shooting further up to the sky,
    That could one day disappear
    Unless my body joins the mind
    On these fanciful flights.

  17. Amaria

    It’s been a minute since I posted here. Thought I try this prompt out using dizain form:


    there are those who refuse to take the skies
    would rather drive than be stuck on a plane
    then there are those who simply love to fly
    where one is not bounded to concrete lanes
    some have no choice when money is the gain
    but there’s several ways to reach the heavens
    the power of the mind is a blessing
    with closed eyes – flying becomes mystical
    sunlight against those pillows will beckon
    you to join their dance that is lyrical

    by Arcadia Maria

  18. tripoet


    His mind is stuck
    going over and over
    the same old memories.
    I am stuck too
    in a chair by his bed,
    I daydream of ways
    to make the needle jump
    across the vinyl record
    in his brain, to scratch
    out a new story to gift him
    or at the very least
    to find some way that makes
    the repetition fly away.

  19. DanielR


    I was born there
    saw enough early on
    to know I couldn’t stay there
    so I cut grass when I was twelve
    thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen
    seventeen and eighteen
    They laughed at me
    waited tables
    hauled hay
    painted houses
    won scholarships
    went to college
    stayed away

    Daniel Roessler

  20. DanielR


    Like a broom sweeping the floor
    the wind whispers sometimes
    of a history I did not know
    when you were young
    like me
    long before I felt the breeze
    and your hands shake now
    while I listen to your story
    about when as a child
    you climbed atop the barn
    jumped off
    and for the briefest moment

    Daniel Roessler

  21. madeline40

    Higher Than the Sky

    The tiny gymnast
    with the huge smile
    flew through the air,
    twisting and turning,
    then landing on her two feet,
    back arched,
    arms outstretched
    to win her fourth gold medal
    of the 2016 Olympic games.
    That soaring, that flight of
    determination, attitude, and ability
    serves as a lesson for
    all little girls worldwide.

  22. carolemt87


    Rubber seat squeaks under denim
    metal chain slick and cool
    jump and push back
    finally free from the ground.

    Arms pull, legs pump
    forward and curl back
    toes pointed to clouds
    muscle bone breath
    sinew blood rising
    back and forth and
    back and forth and
    back and forth
    higher and
    higher and

    Stomach flutter and
    heart thumping
    until that single moment
    that pause at the top where
    flesh defies gravity
    without feathers
    without wings
    I know
    I can fly.

    Carol J Carpenter

  23. PressOn


    I assume that the poet referred to is Dunbar. I love the simple power of “grinned and lied,” and am delighted with the rhyme. This is wonderful.

  24. taylor graham


    Parents would shake their heads,
    wonder when we’d grow up and get serious
    about serious stuff.

    We loved dogs and anything with hooves,
    and words that rhymed or not, that made
    sense in a westwind sort of way.

    We rode our imaginations bareback.
    We never grew up. And now it’s come
    to this –

    no Cowboy Poetry
    for the old-west Wagon Train event.
    So we’ll meet on Main Street anyway,

    watch the teams come into town;
    stand on the corner, ears tuned
    for hooves on pavement drumming to the heart;

    reading horse poems to each other
    and anybody else who cares to listen.
    And when the first big black Percheron

    comes into view – a wagon-teamster’s Pegasus –
    we’ll be flying 17-hands-high on the horses
    of our never-grown-up dreams.


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