Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 380

For today’s prompt, write a nothing better poem. Now, there are at least a couple ways to take this, but probably more. First, the poem could be about a moment that’s so amazing that nothing could ever be better–kind of like a high moment poem. But taking the same prompt, someone could spin it the complete other way as a “nothing will ever be better again” poem.

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Here’s my attempt at a Nothing Better poem:

“fried taters”

when i was small i had trouble
following what older folks said
sometimes thinking they meant one thing
when they meant something else instead

both potatoes and tomatoes
transformed to “taters” and “maters”
with some things “whatchamacallits”
grannie would remember later

but cloudy communication
never stopped me from having fun
whether catching fireflies at night
or running barefoot in the sun

there was nothing better to me
and there were no moments greater
than lounging with the older folks
and eating grandma’s fried taters.

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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 loves his grandma and her fried taters.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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127 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 380

  1. taylor graham

    The vacuum’s useless
    after the puppy took off with
    the goosedown pillow, scattering
    fluff as white as flown egrets
    all over the carpet. Shall we mourn
    the lost contours of sleep
    under quilted earth tones? Why
    has the pup no appetite for
    things indestructible as clam shell?
    Look out, he’s on a detour
    to the kitchen, the manuscript
    you left on the table,
    a poem rejoicing in dog.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Nothing Better
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    There’s nothing better than a steaming shower
    pulsing water as hot as you can stand
    raining down a benediction
    to wash away troubles and grime firsthand.

    There’s nothing better than a steaming shower
    to clear a sinus so you can breathe again
    soothe sore muscles and inflamed tendons
    open pores, cleanse the toxin dens.

    There’s nothing better than a steaming shower
    to help with migraines, and anxiety
    an liquid NSAID for aches and pains
    a safe haven for hangover bailees.

    There’s nothing better than a steaming shower
    to jumpstart anti-depression hormones
    clear the mindset to remember
    “better days ahead” familiar touchstones.

    © 2017 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    1. ppfautsch24

      Nothing Better…
      When you look at him and he smiles,
      and walks your way.
      Words flow, conversations deep, eyes on you,
      and he hears everything you have to say.
      Nothing better.
      By Pamelap

  3. qbit

    Nothing Better

    I run my finger along
    That one rib
    Right under your heart.
    I think it is my lost one, no?
    If I gently kiss it,
    Will it open
    Like a secret?

    I would pray then that I find
    I am not a Midas,
    My desire leaving you gold,
    That you are no Pandora,
    Your nightmares swarming
    While holding out hope.

    If I were enough of a hero
    I would enter into the mystery
    Blindfolded through the maze,
    Learn you by touch
    Turn by turn.

    I would have to swear
    Never look at you directly
    Unless I would spend eternity
    Without you.
    Because how would we live
    If there was nothing to separate us?

    If both our better and worse selves
    Stuttered light and dark before us,
    We would be as moths
    Trapped in a streetlight,
    Trying at once to find
    A way in and a way out.

  4. RuthieShev

    The Broadway Show
    By Ruth Crowell Shevock

    One special night
    Oh, maybe several years ago
    I went to my first Broadway show

    I saw “Beauty and the Beast”
    Found myself clapping with delight
    It was such an amazing sight

    Although I was an adult
    I was a kid in a candy store
    Nothing could have pleased me more

    I knew from that very moment
    I had been very blessed
    This was the best of the best

  5. grcran

    the right place

    for years we tried for something better than
    but not sure what it was we could not grasp

    a feeling that we’re worse off than before
    weird sliding partway into the abyss

    a bit of this of that we could not tell
    and time was slipping moments passing by

    expiring… then we found each other free
    found joy compassion real shared values here

    from sad defeat we’ve reached the wonderland
    we wound up where it’s nothing but the best

    gpr crane

  6. Bushkill

    Life’s Passion

    The sun’s warm kiss upon my face
    With water splashing around my shins
    With rod held high above the waves
    I feel the bite and the battle begins.

    With rod bent over and reel screaming
    I hold on while my catch runs
    Through surf and sand and sunbeams gleaming
    The power the strength the intensity stuns.

    With willful arm and practiced eye
    I draw the silver sided beast to me
    And as I surf him on waves to beach
    I appreciated my heart’s thundering beat.

    With gentle hands I unhook my catch
    And wade in water to a greater depth
    With catch submerged and slowly revived
    With a flick of tail, free and current swept.

  7. uvr

    I lie in a steaming cloud of fragrance
    wispy tendrils aiming for the heaven
    they say is above us
    dissipating instead
    against the peeling paint on the ceiling

    I trace the cracks with my eyes
    A similar pattern etched on my wrinkled palms
    with all the time in the world
    to contemplate my fissured life

    which will end in these confines
    Enough wine in my veins, dilated by the heat,
    to dull the pain when I slice a line
    — along, not across —
    advice stowed away in a dark corner
    of a despairing mind

    sunk to a low when
    there’s nothing better
    than the aesthetic pleasure
    of deathly swirls in pale pink
    on foamy white

  8. seingraham

    WHAT COULD BE BETTER?

    We’re taking another trip
    and there’s nothing better
    than making the plans
    Booking the flights,
    renting the car
    Pouring over maps
    – each of us tracing
    roads that crawl like
    veins all over one
    state, then another
    Should we take this route?
    How about this one – it goes
    all the way down the coast?

    What about the Keys?
    We’ve both always
    wanted to see where
    Hemingworth lived
    and we love Florida,
    so let’s drive over that
    big causeway – seven miles,
    we heard – to Key West

    Yes – there’s nothing
    better when you live
    on the lip
    of the Arctic Circle
    and the temperature
    often dips below -30C,
    than planning a trip
    to somewhere warm

    Florida awaits, and
    this time – let’s try
    and hit Savannah too
    Georgia’s right next
    to Florida, right?
    Haven’t we always
    wanted to see that
    city? Yes – we have.
    There’s nothing better
    than anticipating and
    planning a trip
    Except maybe …
    the trip.

  9. De Jackson

    Befriending the Dragon

    Nothing better than discovering her (s)word,
    her own strength and song. Realizing the fire

    was coming from her own center and just
    needed a spark to give it flight. Whispering

    her wings to life, her heart to breeze, her
    embered breath to something more than

    scattered skin and wayward sky. Give her
    a quiet cave, some sequined scales, a small

    stone place to call her own. A home more calm
    than castle. A wrestled wish; a claw-caught star.

    ::

  10. Sara McNulty

    This Poem Is A Drifter

    This poem has nothing better
    to do, than drift through
    your mind, stopping along
    the way for an ice cream
    cone, or a slice
    of pizza. If you are reading
    this poem, you might be feeling
    hungry or thirsty. Dealing
    with your urges–whether splurges
    on goodies, or stolen peeks
    at the moon–is vital to
    becoming acquainted with
    yourself. This poem wants
    you to be happy.

  11. De Jackson

    Five tiny stories in poem pockets

    Nothing bitter. No coffee, no cold
    -heart stare, no chairs without
    comfort. No root. No soot.

    Nothing batter. No waffles. No pan
    -cakes, no average. No pitch
    black night with softball stars.

    Nothing bit her. Not the love bug
    or the mosquito moon or the
    quiet cold. Nor the sun.

    Nothing bets her. No double-down,
    no quiet frown poker-faced goon.
    No flush. No hush.

    Nothing better. Than the way the
    sea rushes against the shore; fills
    her, stills her soul.

    ::

  12. Walter J Wojtanik

    NOTHING BETTER

    What do you want?
    What do you want to do?
    The clock is ticking,
    flicking second off as if
    stuck to the fingers
    on their precise hands.
    Time is fleeting. It is
    meeting your deadline before
    your time is through.
    Enjoy your life, real
    or imagined. Planned
    or unscripted, uplifted to
    the heavens, an offering.
    Speak the words you were meant
    to say. Love the ones who mean
    the most to your existence.
    Do not put distance between
    any (wo)man and yourself.
    Love your (grand)children.
    Give of your time, of yourself.
    Celebrate your every day!
    Do all you can to enhance your life.
    And realize there’s nothing better!

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2017

  13. tripoet

    Nothing Better

    I would like nothing better than to bop
    you on the head every time you tossed
    a snarky remark at your hard-working father.
    Nothing would suit me more than to conspire
    with the principal, put you in detention and force
    you to complete your homework assignments.
    And as for when you tease your little brother,
    unmercifully, nothing could make me happier
    than to make you walk in his shoes a few extra miles.
    I wish the dragoon painting covering your entire back
    was non-permanent. Nothing would make me happier
    than to erase it off you. But to be fair,
    I notice your kind sides too- the way you offered
    to mow the lawn for Mrs Smith when her husband
    fell ill. The roses you bought to ask forgiveness
    for breaking curfew– a nice touch. The poem
    you wrote for your mother’s birthday.
    Nothing would make me happier than if addressed to me.
    But then again, you aren’t my child. Just my neighbor’s.

  14. deringer1

    THERE’S NOTHING BETTER
    On many mundane tasks my mind must linger
    as life goes plodding on from day to day.
    But I can go explore another world
    and I can learn of cultures old and new
    while curled up in an easy chair.

    I meet some folks who challenge what I think
    and some who entertain and make me laugh.
    So when I feel the need to get away
    I know there’s nothing better than a book.

  15. Nancy Posey

    Nothing Better

    She’d like nothing better than to stay at home,
    studying her grocery lists as if they were poems
    or pirate maps of hidden treasure. She’d love
    to spend the morning at the spa, a foot massage,
    a facial, a rose petal scrub before lounging
    poolside, sipping a mimosa, turning pages
    in the latest Cosmopolitan ,
    People,
    or Vogue.

    She’d like nothing better than to stay up late,
    to sleep in after watching every episode
    of any show she’s never seen, ready to show
    the girls at the gym she knows pop culture
    too. In fact, she’d like nothing better
    than to belong to a gym,
    a study group,
    a book club.

    But these days she stays up late, not
    binge-watching or pleasure reading. Math
    baffles her. She takes twice as long to read
    anything the young kids in her class just skim.
    College might have been easier at eighteen
    but at forty, she’ll accept nothing less than A’s
    knowing there’s nothing better for her children,
    grumbling about homework and boring books
    to see her struggle
    to write
    to read
    to learn.

  16. PowerUnit

    A poem found in Alice Munro’s short story Gravel.

    I congratulated him on his interesting lifestyle.
    He couldn’t figure out how it happened,
    how to speak clearly while stoned.
    He swam and could have drowned,
    but many swimmers became the third person
    The counsellor we couldn’t know.

    He only wanted attention.
    She meant to drown herself, and
    he wanted to make her smarten up.
    Go back to your father, she said.
    It’s better than swimming in heavy winter clothes.

    There wasn’t anybody
    In a position to help.

  17. Mark Windham

    The End of the (Seven Bridges) Road

    I think we all (of a certain age) dreamed of deciding
    to go,
    of following the stars
    in the southern sky,
    of being loved tame and being
    loved wild,
    of standing beneath the trees
    in moss filtered moonlight.

    I find trepidation in the hints of what
    might lie beneath the shadows on that road.
    Perhaps it is my tendency to
    over think,

    but what if we were to go,
    what if we were to cross
    the seventh bridge
    and reach the end of the road
    with the taste of honey
    sweet on our tongues?

    What if we never find it again,
    or some other road
    which calls the soul,
    or another taste so sweet,
    or stars so warm?

    What if there was never
    anything better,
    or, perhaps more,
    what if there was?

  18. seamuscorleone

    Nothing’s Better

    Nothing is better than
    Nothing to do;
    Nowhere to go;
    No one you have to talk to;
    No lists of
    Chores
    Errands
    Appointments.

    No homework;
    No grading;
    No emails;
    No phone;
    No one dropping by
    Just to say hello.

    A day to yourself,
    Like a glass you can
    Fill however you’d like.
    Fill it to overflowing or
    Smash it empty to the ground;
    Who’s to judge?

    So when someone asks,
    “What’d you do yesterday,”
    You can smile and say,
    “Nothing,”
    And be satisfied.

  19. Connie Peters

    Nothing Like

    Riding electric bikes through Victoria,
    Canada, zipping and pedaling along past
    a park full of peacocks, posies and
    totem poles, and by horse-drawn carriages
    full of tourists not as adventurous as me.

  20. taylor graham

    A SLIPPERY SLOPE, MEMORY

    At bedtime your son called to ask,
    where was that big lake and I was out alone
    in the canoe when that huge storm struck?
    Decades ago. But he wasn’t there. That
    was a different lake on a different portage.
    We only told him
    about the storm and it became his
    memory. Like the fireline
    you woke me with past midnight, we had to
    put out the last of the flames.
    Your years of fighting
    wildland conflagrations still wake you
    in the dark, and you’re there,
    a different mountain. We keep nothing
    better than our memory – fire
    that burned to the ground a house
    next door from my grandmother (long
    dead), but when I asked an uncle, he said
    that never happened. The uncle’s
    dead now too, the fire is mine.
    Past midnight, our wood-stove’s down
    to embers soon gray as stone.
    What pasts we relive, only some of them
    our own.

  21. headintheclouds87

    Catching the Sunset

    In those times far simpler
    When my years did not yet exceed
    The innocence of single digits,
    There was no greater pleasure
    Than the annual family adventure
    To the land of sun, sand and sea.

    We’d scamper the entire length
    Of a pebble-laden paradise
    As those grand cliffs watched over
    And left their chalky debris below,
    Stopping at sporadic intervals
    To investigate each and every rock pool.

    Then would come the rite of passage
    Into the inviting blue of the sea,
    A path most chilling at first,
    But soon the water became one
    With our tiny, trembling bodies
    Beckoning us to explore its mysteries.

    And so we’d spend each magical day,
    Until the sun began its majestic slumber,
    Painting the sky orange and purple
    With sodden sand as an unlikely mirror,
    There was rarely a sight seen better
    In our wide and unassuming eyes.

    And yet as I close them now
    Supposedly older and wiser
    I can still see this precious sunset of childhood.

  22. MiMiOHearn

    Sliding Down

    There is nothing better than
    sitting in front of 12 oysters.
    Opening the crackers carefully,
    selecting one for ingestion.

    Place oyster on center of edible
    vessel, with a touch of
    horseradish and cocktail
    sauce.

    Carefully transport to the
    mouth without a drip,
    take in the whole present,
    feel the flavors fuse.

    There is nothing better.
    Follow up with Bloody Mary,
    but skip the olive.

  23. Anthony94

    Nothing Better

    Sunday mornings in that place
    were made palatable only
    by the smell of homemade raisin bread
    the risings clinging to walls, ceilings,
    the bakings emanating from the
    industrial sized ovens, hovering
    at your knees, swirling upwards
    around the Hanging pots to reach the air
    Vents, almost sifting westward into the dorms.

    There was margarine and bacon
    so crisped it was black, crumbling
    in our fingers, but stuck to the yellow
    spread and folded like the best
    tortillas, we could imagine home.

    1. tripoet

      I like how your title worked with your poem. In addition I enjoyed how you connected the two geographically, “Down there and Up There” and psychologically.

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