Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 399

For today’s prompt, write a betrayal poem. Many people may be able to conjure up several moments when one person betrayed another–both in real life and fiction. But sometimes our bodies betray us, our words betray us, and well, sometimes we sabotage (or betray) ourselves.

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Here’s my attempt at a Betrayal Poem:

“Be Nice”

Be nice, sweetheart, be nice–
your lips betray a smile,
and a kiss will suffice:
Be nice, sweetie, be nice.
You know, I’ve no malice
for you or for your wiles.
Be nice, sweetheart, be nice–
your lips betray a smile.

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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). Be nice.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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58 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 399

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    judas
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    the funny thing about betrayal is
    sometimes, that one person
    you always swore would take a bullet for
    ends up being the one who actually
    pulled the trigger.
    how do you ever come back from that?

    this is not what faith looks like.

    who packs bullets with gunpowder
    and viper indifference?

    © 2017 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    1. ppfautsch24

      Deceptive Love
      You made me think we were going to be an adventured love story with a golden ending.
      Or was it my mind playing tricks?
      A mind set on that we were what we weren’t.
      A thinking mind’s crazy, untamed thoughts;
      when your smile and words belie the truth
      behind your eyes facade.
      What is this, “go with the flow”, but a rouge
      and disguise for a lie.
      A betrayal of a special place two lovers
      could be.
      By Pamelap

  2. grcran

    The Beat Goes On

    Beet red. Betrayed.
    Rays beat down. Raised deep frown.
    Friend bent truth. Pending proof.
    Proved. Burned. Gone. Moving on.

    gpr crane

  3. JRSimmang

    TO THE PAIN

    These are my eyes,
    once keen and sharp
    as the sunrise.
    Stewing, they sit now,
    in the holes of my head.

    These are my ears,
    once intent on bending,
    sifting your phrases as
    I sat upon your knee,
    dear Earth.
    Do you still work on your opus?

    These are my fingers,
    once justified in their limberness,
    embarking upon a journeyman’s voyage
    into the wilderness.
    This path is crowded.
    Can you feel it?

    This is my mouth,
    once filled with teeth for biting,
    once filled with incandescent words,
    once savoring the spice of
    life.

    This is my mind,
    once acutely aware of
    our hidden catacombs
    beneath each of our
    surfaces
    and puzzled by the ignominious
    finger twiddling and farce.
    Now, acutely aware that
    my body
    seeks its respite,

    eyes to no longer see

    ears to no longer hear

    mouth to no longer speak

    so that
    posterity may be kept
    for
    posterity’s sake.

    -JR Simmang

  4. Heather

    Betryal

    The moment it happened, I felt your eyes on mine
    Time after time, I couldn’t help the crime.
    I pulled the trigger, felt the recoil reaction
    holding myself, trying to get traction.
    If you only knew, the damage I’ve done
    to save you from the dangerous one
    Who knew in that moment of dark misery
    that the most dangerous person to you, was me.

    ~also published at heatherbutton.com

  5. Uma

    Ebony lashes hide
    flaming passion
    in demure eyes

    but the crimson
    of a setting sun
    blooms in ivory cheeks

    betraying hidden
    desires of an
    ardent heart

  6. Madaket

    Talons

    Worn leather soles grip
    Balanced on a tightrope,
    Like famished talons stronghold,
    Between Intuition and Trust.

    Visceral pangs and twinges
    Echo in a canyon,
    Reverberating, ignored,
    Unacknowledged.

    Concede a hope in humanity,
    Relegating trust
    To the carnivorous,
    Masked, charming menace.

    Yet, can it be
    Decried betrayal when,
    Willingly one ragged foot
    Assuredly steps forward,

    Well beyond certainty.

  7. Connie Peters

    Cell Phone Betrayal

    I hadn’t seen her for a year.
    We settled in to a Scrabble game,
    as our custom. Then her cell phone rang.
    She answered. A couple more turns.
    The cell phone rang and she answered.
    Mid game and guess what.
    Several more times the cell phone rang
    and she answered. We finished the game.
    and then the next. Talked little.
    As I listened to one-sided conversations,
    I felt betrayed.

  8. Tracy Davidson

    Betrayal

    Bruised and battered, my heart betrayed,
    how did it ever come to this?
    I don’t know why so long I stayed,
    bruised and battered, my heart betrayed.
    I never used to be afraid,
    this brute once had a gentle kiss.
    Bruised and battered, my heart betrayed,
    how did it ever come to this?

  9. deringer1

    BETRAYAL

    She was placed in a position of trust;
    she had a high security clearance.

    One day she leaked a sensitive secret;
    she was a traitor and charged with treason.

    He was placed in a position of trust,
    elected to the Senate or the House

    in order to protect the people’s rights,
    to make sure government was “by the people”.

    But he was swayed by privilege and power;
    lies became the path to re-election.

    Those who elected him have been betrayed
    and yet no one can charge him with treason.

  10. masonusher@gmail.com

    Tripping Over My Own Two Feet

    The sweat pools around my eyebrows and I know it will
    Fall into my eyes
    At any moment. I run and run and
    Count the breaths I take and think about how I can
    Do this, I can
    Do this for another minute, breath in and
    Out and stretch and it does not feel so bad
    There is only 30 seconds left when I
    Trip over my
    Own two feet.

    I did this to myself.

    I stumble forward, catch the bar with my
    Chin and feel my ankle bend in a way that it is
    Not supposed to bend. I hit the wall and jump
    Up, looking around, smiling with
    Blood in my teeth, pretending like
    This didn’t just happen, i’m not hurt, but
    I fall again immediately. My ankle won’t
    Hold my weight.

    I sit and wait for the paramedics and
    Think about how I was going to keep running and
    Eating right and
    Writing and
    Keeping the house clean and
    The laundry folded, and how
    A broken foot and
    Busted chin were going to mess
    Some of those things up, and how for me
    All of these things are so
    Delicately balanced, and this
    One thing might be the tipping point to where
    My life goes to shit again and I do
    None of the things I am supposed to do.

    I am spinning on a merry go round
    That is going too fast and all of the things
    That are important to me are flying off and
    The only thing that is going to be left is
    Me, fucking things up and
    Tripping over my own two feet,
    barely hanging on.

  11. Jane Shlensky

    After his Funeral

    Late rain makes summer heat malign,
    humidity I call Trespass,
    as expectation can design
    reversals glistening on grass.

    A different kind of swelter grows.
    Humility might be its name,
    for it lays low heart’s ease and shows
    me nothing ever is the same—

    although I’ve known such days before,
    death like betrayal’s only friend.
    A pair of doves create a door
    of mourning coos I know as End.

    Steam rises foggy from the earth,
    horizons blurry after rain,
    of sultry southern summer’s birth
    seizing in me, heady as Pain.

    Emptiness fills me, fans my lack
    of his sweet face, now dimmed to sight.
    O breeze of feelings, call him back,
    or bring cool reason in the night.

  12. Lynn Burton

    Words Betray Me

    Sunlight blinds me of my muse
    she’s a night owl in disguise
    echoes of the day suffocate, refuse –
    sunlight blinds me of my muse
    bring the darkness, the stars, the moon
    where the words won’t be denied;
    sunlight blinds me of my muse
    she’s a night owl in disguise.

  13. grcran

    Coming of Age

    The imp ate all the eggs
    He simply gave no second thought
    Betrayal
    Cried his sibling
    And mom’s not bringing food
    Now that we turned eighteen
    Mom came home to loud screaming fight
    And after the weary threesome
    Slept away the day
    Nocturnal
    They rose and greeted the night
    Mom walked off and just kept walking
    Betrayal
    Cried the imp
    I’m only eighteen
    Months old
    Mom never looked back

    Note: I wrote this after watching a documentary about young Tasmanian Devils, aka imps

    gpr crane

  14. tripoet

    Looking Past Betrayal

    So used to the hiccups,
    the miscues, the wrong
    directions, the promises that go
    nowhere, the betrayals, that I almost
    didn’t see you standing on my corner
    waiting for me to take you home.
    Now wouldn’t that have been a pity?

  15. thunk2much

    exoskeleton

    Oh my ex, oh
    my exoskeleton,
    I owe it to you
    who untrue showed
    me the cracks but
    if you’d had my back
    jack if you’d only
    had my back I’d still
    believe in safety
    unsafely dismissing
    not even missing
    my shell I’d be
    unaware of hell.

  16. masonusher@gmail.com

    Tripping Over My Own Two Feet

    The sweat pools around my eyebrows and I know it will
    Fall into my eyes
    At any moment. I run and run and
    Count the breaths I take and think about how I can
    Do this, I can
    Do this for another minute, breath in and
    Out and stretch and it does not feel so bad
    There is only 30 seconds left when I
    Trip over my
    Own two feet.

    I did this to myself.

    I stumble forward, catch the bar with my
    Chin and feel my ankle bend in a way that it is
    Not supposed to bend. I hit the wall and jump
    Up, looking around, smiling with
    Blood in my teeth, pretending like
    This didn’t just happen, but I
    Fall again immediately. My ankle won’t
    Hold my weight.

    I sit and wait for the paramedics and
    Think about how I was going to keep running and
    Eating right and
    Writing and
    Keeping the house clean and
    The laundry folded, and how
    A broken foot and
    Busted chin were going to mess
    Some of those things up, and how for me
    All of these things are so
    Delicately balanced, and this
    One thing might be the tipping point to where
    My life goes to shit again and I do
    None of the things I am supposed to do.

    I am spinning on a merry go round
    That is going too fast and all of the things
    That are important to me are flying off and
    The only thing that is going to be left is
    Me, fucking things up and
    Tripping over my own two feet,
    barely hanging on.

  17. Daniel Paicopulos

    Me and My Knee

    It is far too soon for this night,
    the one before the surgery
    to mend my damaged knee.
    It is nothing, really, to fear,
    at least say my friends and doctor
    alike, though friends have no need of his skill.

    Rather than good luck, I’d prefer good skill
    as their best wish on this too-soon night,
    and also good night, sleep tight to my doctor,
    who’s traits magical must become surgical
    in early morning’s light. In truth, I fear
    the thirst and hunger of the fast more than the swollen knee.

    I’ve lived so long with this wounded knee,
    still mine because of a corpsman’s skill,
    decades ago, amidst battlefield fears,
    in a screaming black night,
    swept by chopper to surgery,
    surrounded by fatigued nurses and doctors.

    Over forty years, so many doctors,
    all amazed at the state of my knee,
    few believing that field surgery
    could be performed with such skill,
    while rockets rained down in the din of night,
    all of the medics containing their fear.

    It’s tangible and real, the matter of fear,
    mastered by the wills of both patient and doctor.
    No point in allowing the sounds of the night
    to betray the focus on arms, feet and knee.
    What mattered was using all available skill
    in dim-lit, earth-trembling surgery.

    I knew it was only a first step, this surgery.
    There’d be plenty of rehab and pain yet to fear.
    I had to rely on the nerve and the skill
    of the nurses and corpsmen and doctors
    now near, as they thought perhaps I’d lose the knee
    as I drifted at last into sleep’s unseen night.

    I awoke with both legs after that night of surgery.
    Feeling both knees took most of the fear.
    Tomorrow, another doctor’s skill will take the rest of it.

  18. PowerUnit

    The great beginnings and endings,
    a child’s dreams,
    an old man’s reflections,
    congratulations,
    and well dones
    make life’s transgressions
    endurable.

    The great simplicities of life,
    birdsong,
    a crying baby,
    laughter,
    and cheers
    will never betray
    the heart.

  19. Eileen S

    Arctic Technology

    Scientists and engineers came
    to Alaska, the forty-ninth state.
    They built the Trans-Alaska pipeline
    to heat homes in the lower forty eight.
    In the name of progress, the pristine
    environment started to deteriorate.
    Indian villages, wild game and
    animal habitats faced a similar fate.
    The native Athabascan Indians
    now live how the white man dictates.

  20. taylor graham

    BETRAYAL OF THE BIKE TRAIL

    I wanted to get photos of our town’s
    creek. It runs under a rock bridge between bike
    path and courthouse, cutting deeper each year
    into depths of bedrock, outliers of the flow
    from super-volcanoes millions of years ago,
    and an ancient river whose auriferous
    gravel yielded millions of dollars, creating
    our Gold Rush town. I wanted to catch morning
    light on riffles of water through ridged
    and polished ashen-gray rock. Willow and alder
    shadowed the banks, and morning sun
    patchworked the bike path with light and shade
    and a pale-blue blanket heaped on
    pavement. Relic of our town’s homeless, driven
    from here to there? As I passed, it moved.
    Tousled blonde hair pushed up, awakening;
    a hand outstretched for balance, ring
    on the wedding finger; face averted. The lens
    of my iPad turned alder-tinged water
    a toxic shade of emerald in the creek that cuts
    a little deeper through town each year.

  21. headintheclouds87

    A Body Betrays

    Despite the mind’s best intent
    The body often betrays
    The desires of within
    And aching pleas of the heart.

    It will bind and trap minds
    In a rigid cell of inaction,
    The madness of four walls
    Sealing of all distraction.

    In these confines, it strikes
    With vexingly illogical pains
    Until the body surely defeats
    A fatigued and weary brain.

    There is no rhyme or reason
    To this brutal bodily revolt
    But upon the sweet kiss of sleep
    The mind might just rise again.

  22. Anthony94

    The Phone Call

    I called late at night to say
    they’re going to get you
    in the morning, how the
    group of them backed me
    into a corner at the
    restaurant so that it
    looked like an in person
    conference call and how
    I didn’t make any effort
    to commit one way or
    another told them I’d have to
    think on it a bit being the new
    kid and all, but the wrong of
    it could not make it right to
    go along when an examination
    of the evidence made their
    decision one based on greed
    and power and so I called
    late at night to say hey,
    you don’t really know me,
    but I think it’s only fair
    to give you a heads up.

  23. SarahLeaSales

    How I Knew My Mother
    (based on the novel, “Because of Mindy Wiley”)

    When she told me my father wasn’t dead,
    but alive,
    then told me he wasn’t my father
    after all,
    I realized the only people I could ever know
    for sure—
    that they were who they said they were—
    were my children.

    Yet, the first would leave me for the faith I had left behind,
    the last, for the faith of the mother I had simply left,
    so that I lost them both to God—
    that same God who had labored for me,
    rescuing me from the rubble and ruin
    my mother had made of my life,
    and all because of one lie.

  24. Walter J Wojtanik

    WORTH OVER BETRAYAL

    All during the interview, she remained one of the cool customers,
    keeping her thoughts private. Confidential.
    The memories of that moment were a blur, but clarity
    unmercifully came to lift her fog. Emotions washed over her
    in waves; once again she felt violated, ransacked –
    leaving her again to feel broken and isolated.
    She sits weeping inconsolably, his hideous face revisits
    her with all the charms of a tire iron to her purity.
    Wishing she could trade that visage for a vision
    of one more caring and compassionate, offering
    a healing touch, a sensitive ear; a glue to mend her fractured self.
    She felt the fool to think there was a man whose love could make her feel
    whole and clean and mended. But there she was, cinched by his caring
    arms wrapped around her heart like a belt holding up her psyche.
    It made her feel brand new, like a sticker declaring her “Improved!”
    Love heals!

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