Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 376

I guess today’s prompt is pretty predictable between today being the winter solstice (in the northern hemisphere) and last week’s best winter poems post.

For today’s prompt, write a winter poem. For folks in the northern hemisphere, this should be easy enough to do. And for poets south of the equator, remember that Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was composed on a summer morning.

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Here’s my attempt at a Winter poem:

“winter reflection”

on the longest nights of the year,
we work our best to feel some cheer
manufactured by food or drink,
whether eggnog or frothy beer.

in the city or snowy wood,
we know there’s reason to feel good
& so we try our very best
to feel merry the way we should.

but hark! the city sirens cry
like brilliant stars across the sky
as one by one some fail to feel
any reason to even try.

these nights are lovely, long and dark,
but leave the world both cold and stark,
& we must work to make a spark,
& we must work to make a spark.

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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). And yes, he took liberties with Frost’s poem in the one he just wrote–and it felt good to do so.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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89 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 376

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Pagan Winter
    (No matter our faith, we all pay homage to the same Divine)

    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Far above where even reindeer hooves fly
    the northern lights banter and flirt
    with meteors that cat call and whistle
    as they pass by the burlesque cosmic show.

    Below, Ley lines left behind by the ancients
    giggle and jostle under the snow,
    awaiting the chance to turn loose magnetic
    fields that help pigeons, whales, and bees
    both heal and find their way home.

    Snow, the goddess of frozen water
    delights in obscuring the labyrinth of
    subterranean passages reserved for
    rabbits and field mice holed up in the dark.

    I am but a servant to Earth,
    the great giver and taker of life.
    She blesses and molds us, gently pushing
    her children out the great door to play
    then later, collect us
    into the folds of her skirt,
    the northern lights slumbering
    heavy in our eyes.

    © 2016 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. idealisting

    There is no snow here yet

    It is December and there is no snow yet.
    People at work look out the windows
    saying how they can not believe the year is almost over.
    Almost as if they’re searching for evidence
    that it is actually December.
    It’s cold but where is the stillness?
    Right before it snows, there is always this stillness.
    As if the earth says whatever was is now over.
    There is nothing left to say or do
    but to quietly wait for the sky to have had enough
    with another season’s exasperation,
    to drop crystallized disentangling sentiment
    And let it fall like an unfolding shroud on the stiffened ground

    I do not mention how my favorite feeling in the winter
    is the thin icy atmosphere stinging my lunges as I inhale,
    and it feels as though even the atmosphere is practically empty.
    I don’t need more from it.
    Just the imposing cold to combat against as I expand my lunges
    For when I exhale, I’ll have 360 some-odd reflections released
    like a string of steel ornaments to decorate the skeletal trees
    I want the air to know, as it cuts through the bare trees,
    as it brushes against the shining memories,
    the year was good to me, whatever was is now over.
    So give me stillness in return.

  3. qbit

    Winter Tail
    Winter are the wolf months
    Of hungry yellow sunsets.
    The cold bares its teeth
    As light shies from the sky.

    December wanes
    To slivered eyes.
    January hungers
    For the newborn year ahead.
    February howls ingratitude
    Under cracks in the front door.

    Our days are hunted
    From a distance,
    We imagine we have time.
    Our nights we wake surrounded
    By the footprints of the pack.

  4. De Jackson

    Waking Up Older

    Winter floats in soft,
    with the scent of pine
    and rain

    and I long
    to shed this aching
    skin, learn
    stillness.

             silence.

    you came down
    to hold these storms
    (all is calm)
    in tiny hands,
    light of the world
          (all is bright)
    begun;
    a spark
                       (hark)
    in a stable,
    a song to be sung.

    The trees know
    how to let go,
    give wings to leaves,
    bare all
          and fall
    in love with sky.

    I
    wish for stars,
    some tangible beam
    to balance my heart,
    to follow to find
          the You
    I already know
    is at my center.

    :: Merry Merry Christmas, my amazing poetical friends. I am so blessed by you.

      1. ppfautsch24

        Solstice Heart
        with the longest night of the season,
        day filled with many reasons
        of lost love to endure
        on the longest night of the year.
        a love I thought was winter snow pure;
        was instead a blanket frost untouched
        and winter’s solitude quiet assured
        and the realization I am not yours.
        memories my heart still pulses
        a duration of a winter’s night solstice
        and beats to go before it’s healed
        and beats to go before it’s healed.
        By Pamelap

  5. Arash

    In the Snow
    by Arash

    It must be against the law
    to die.
    I think
    we were made
    out of snow.
    Ticking flakes.
    Memories melt.
    Insensitive sun.
    We sink in the slush.
    Oh who is who
    in the ocean?
    I’m palpable me
    A frozen time
    in the snow.

  6. Hiba Gardezi

    Shhhhhhhhhhh…
    Quiet. Watch.
    As a silver orb on a sheet of black gives light to a sheet of white
    As darkest nights fight lightest snows.
    And we watch through the window.
    Shhhhhhhhhhhh…
    Look.
    At the girl in her knee socks
    Lying in a blanket with a book and a cup.
    As she curls by a furnace in a big chair.
    Shhhhhhhhhhhhh…
    Listen.
    To the silence of the snow
    And the groan of the wind that carries it.
    Listen to the clamor of children running in boots and scarves up to your door with naughty smiles.
    Shhhhhhhhhhhh…
    Think.
    About the lake
    Caked with ice.
    Solid. Beautiful.
    There.
    Shhhhhhhhhhhhh…
    Taste.
    The icy flakes
    On your four year old tongue
    As they freeze and melt and disappear.
    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh…
    Smell.
    The burning of wood at the fireplace.
    And the wafting scent of coffee.
    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…
    Touch.
    Daddy’s fuzzy sweater and
    Mummy’s big warm shawl.
    Touch the snows that melts in your palms.
    And Mr. Snowman’s long nose.
    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…
    Feel.
    Feel the thrill of the moment
    Yet the utter satisfaction
    Of being surrounded by something so
    Beautiful.
    Shhhhhhhhhh…
    That’s enough for the day.
    Off to bed.
    Here’s the blanket.
    And who turned on the fan?

  7. Terri Miller

    Winter Activities North Vs South

    Build a snowman/woman
    vs stickman/woman

    Make a snow angel
    vs mud angel

    Go sledding
    vs go-carting

    Ice fishing for perch
    vs line and hook for catfish

    Catch a snowflake on your tongue
    vs raindrops

    Collect pinecones
    vs deer antlers

    Doesn’t matter where you’re from
    paper snowflake cutouts work

    Copyright © TMC 2016

  8. MikeGill

    A WINTER LAMENT

    Jack Frost nipping at my nose
    Nipping at my toes
    At my fingertips & elbows

    The kids all love snow on the lawn
    All I see is shoveling before dawn,
    Wishing for a warm fire while stifling a yawn

    I’ve grown tired of the cold
    It seeps into my bones making me feel old
    Offer me a trip to Florida & I’m sold

  9. PressOn

    SOLSTICES

    As low as it will go,
    the sun now starts to turn,
    and in six months its flow
    will cause its glow to burn,

    and then I’ll praise the fact
    that it must turn again
    and bring long shadows back
    to all within this glen.

    I gaze at the setting sun
    and wonder, by and by,
    what makes it turn and run
    yet never leave the sky.

    Above the atmosphere
    it renders vital blue,
    perhaps, twice in the year,
    it stops and wonders too.

    1. grcran

      beautiful, the structure and rhyming of this poem help convey the vastness of astronomical procession, somehow… imo, you really captured a large part of the essence of solstice-time… wow!!

  10. seingraham

    LIVING IN A SPACE TIMELESS

    Outside the family room window, winter wails,
    covers the landscape with blankets
    of quartz-coloured flakes and ice.
    Arctic-scented wind whistles down the chimney,
    whines for a way in, but we’re ready to beat it back.
    Birch logs stacked and eager for the flame, wait
    in the fireplace grate.

    If you choose to live here in this place older than time,
    you accept that summers are fleeting;
    spring and autumn, mere brackets
    for the concise warm one.
    Spring is also the muddy release from the grip
    of short dark days, extended nights.
    Autumn, the most colourful time, the brilliant overture
    of kindness gentling us into the grip of our heritage—
    Winter—in Edmonton, it’s timeless.

  11. grcran

    broken pipes

    splinterin’ winter our hinterlands are chillin’
    bold cold strolled down pipes damn now water’s spillin’
    bummer numb thumber call the plumber he’ll be billin’
    three degrees freeze we sure hope that he’s still willin’
    or mean latrine machine in tundra we’ll soon be drillin’

    gpr crane

  12. uvr

    Oh, how I long to look
    at an unbroken sheet of white
    and wish for the glow
    of the gentle winter light

    But I can only dream
    of such a lovely sight
    Where I live, the sun
    always shines so bright

    In the sweaty heat, tempers fray
    starting unpleasant fights
    Until the day yields to night
    to give us a temporary respite

  13. angieinspired

    Winter Solstice

    before the unfolding of any words
    could have put you in a different
    light,
    you pressed the shine of day
    beneath my eyelids
    when the world was at its most tilted
    and real
    making me feel i could hold you
    a little while longer
    like a preschooler squeezing momma’s knees

    but your image went down too fast –
    dreary into evening’s woeful partings

  14. Amaria

    “under winter stars”

    under winter stars
    will you hold me in your arms
    until the Spring sun returns?

    I will keep you close
    through the long winter season
    until the Spring flowers bloom

    by Arcadia Maria 12/21/16

  15. Nancy Posey

    Maternity Ward: Full Moon at Winter Solstice
    (for John on his 35th birthday)

    The nurses in Labor and Delivery can tell
    the phases of the moon without a glance
    at the night sky. So when Winter Solstice
    coincides with a full moon, as snow clouds
    roll in, the tidal pull works its magic,
    breaking my bag of waters, sending us
    and dozens others like us, contracting,
    sliding on familiar roads, strangely empty
    at three a.m. toward your eminent birth.

    Oh no, it’s another one, they announce
    as we make our awkward entrance
    at the ER door, turning down the offered
    ride, preferring to stay upright in motion
    as long as possible despite the urgency.

    Never one to hurry, already two weeks
    past your due date, suddenly your push
    your way toward light, red, wrinkled,
    skin peeling from too much time inside
    my watery womb. Shivering against cold,
    I welcome your wet warmth, curled
    on my belly, a familiar stranger at home
    in these arms that wait to greet you.

  16. SarahLeaSales

    Winter’s Dirge

    W atery sunlight filters through cloudy cover
    I cy winds freeze the scleras and nasal cavities
    N ight comes quickly to steal away the day
    T ea and pewter gulf shimmers in the light of pallid moon
    E merald coast ages into the gray of Eastern Europe
    R estless for spring’s thaw and summer’s melt

  17. taylor graham

    TRANSFORMED BY WINTER

    The mountain’s winter-silent
    but for one raven commenting on landscape
    turned black & white, snow-grainy in low light.

    I stood here in summer studying
    my map. County lines change faster than
    landscape and hardly matter on the trail.
    Trails, too, disappear without notice.

    I was a rookie hauling trash
    out of the wilderness; my cronies off
    fighting lightning fires. I had the mountain
    to myself, a devil’s rockpile invisible
    from the scenic highway. Keeping my balance
    perpendicularly, one foothold to the next.

    Today, no mellifluous flow of summer creek
    through aspen meadow, no June
    caterwaul of boulders force-fed by snowmelt
    rushing for river.

    Highway’s a black line between plowed
    berms. No sound of traffic. One raven breaks
    silence with his living “Evermore.”

  18. Walter J Wojtanik

    IMAGINING SANTA CLAUS

    This little charade I’ve played
    for a few years now, shows how
    connected I am to the man.
    I can affect his laugh at every
    gaff and faux pas I can muster.
    I’m used to winter’s bluster
    and know the way snow goes.
    My belly is round and rounder still
    and I am working on my goodwill
    to my fellow (wo)man. The music
    amuses from October until it’s over,
    but I am a rover who will listen
    until I’m good and ready to put
    Christmas away. There is not a day
    where I do not think in terms
    of a yuletide (although I hide it
    well when July rings her knell!)
    The gifts I end up making
    end up taking me a while to get done.
    But one by one, I get them done.
    I’m jolly when the spirit moves me,
    and it behooves me to spread it
    all around. I’ve found it feels good
    to be in this mood. I hope it will linger
    as I raise a finger alongside of my nose,
    and let out a string of hearty Ho, Ho, Hos.
    As far as I know, I’m breaking no laws
    when I imagine that I am Santa Claus!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  19. MMC

    Solstice Anthem

    Light
    Will someday split you open
    Even if your life is a cage. Hafiz

    I pledge allegiance to the light
    and to the darkness
    from which it comes
    to living in the slip-stream
    of abbreviated days and nights
    in the soft belly of known
    pleasures and the nipple-edge
    of unexpected ones.
    I pledge allegiance to the way
    you stand, hammering nails
    in your offhand way, unaware
    that you hammer fire into my
    heart with each blow.
    This Solstice is warm like no
    other. Snow nothing but a distant
    dream, we bathe in the glow
    of those electric icicles you’ve hung,
    our breaths mingling, circling
    the night. These times call for clinging
    together like shingles of that
    roof you caress with rough hands:
    one body, incandescent,
    with heat and light for all.

  20. headintheclouds87

    Thawing of a Winter Heart

    Walking home in dark winter’s night
    I find comfort in the festive glow
    Of those guardian fairy-lights
    That burn a path through the snow.

    It warms a near-frozen heart
    Weathered and cold from a trying year
    And kindles the flame of a new start
    That melts piling worries and fears.

    The seasonal songs and jingles
    Can’t help but force a slight smile,
    As in my feet I feel a sharp tingle
    That I have not known for a while.

    All these lights and lively streets
    Remind me of those simple things
    That keep us hopeful and upbeat
    And ready for whatever warmer months bring.

  21. PressOn

    STOPPING BY THE WINTER WOOD

    In cobalt-blue skies
    a passing jay cries
    and snowflakes on spruces shine;
    the sun casts a glow
    on new snow below
    and begs sweet scents from the pine.

    I love to stand here
    where distance is near
    and feel once again the joy
    that came with the thrall
    of the first snowfall
    when I was but a mere boy.

  22. deringer1

    SEASONS

    In the spring of childhood there are
    such hopeful dreams of life ahead—
    breezes blow through minds as yet
    unspoiled by the cynicism of reality.

    With growth comes knowledge,
    shattering optimism but bringing
    some wisdom as young lives warm
    in the heat of passions awakened.

    Then the fig leaves of youth fall away and are raked
    into responsibilities of job and family and burned
    along with old dreams and lingering regrets,
    the smoke signaling change in the air.

    Inevitable winter arrives, bringing
    grey skies of failing health and the cold of loss.
    As snowflakes melt, so memories fade
    and life becomes only a dream again.

  23. Anthony94

    Predator’s Gift

    In barely there twilight
    shrouded in freezing drizzle

    a sharp-shinned hawk plucks
    its kill, beak twitching feathers

    into air until finally rewarded
    with red meat, warm sustenance

    against these plunging temperatures
    breaking bodies, records

    as swiftly as it seized its prey,
    it lifts off, meal secured by sharp talons

    night closing in black as the single feather
    that floats soundlessly down.

  24. tripoet

    TAN

    Carrying our bibles
    good cheer and some home
    grown poetry,
    we return every year
    (37 years and still going strong)
    to the exact spot
    under an evergreen tree
    to link the short days with
    the longing in our hearts.
    We praise all in nature and
    jumpstart our souls for the
    coming new year. It’s dark.
    The neighbors sleep. The cold
    bites at our intrusion. But our words
    lift us up, and our shivering
    keeps us awake, alert and ready
    to share. We remember our ancestors.
    We commemorate and emulate
    the times when people crossing
    the Santa Fe Trails of our lives
    were as “Tough as Nails”.

  25. PowerUnit

    Trapped

    It’s a problematic proposition, when it’s tickling your chin
    not a question of making it out of the house
    but a question of even bothering to try.

    The closed stores and schools,
    the driveway geysers all set off,
    routines at the mercy of union men.

    The lump in the driveway
    isn’t going anywhere soon, and the beer-powered,
    environmentally friendly snow-blower has a sore back.

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