Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 408

For today’s prompt, write a second home poem. Most people have a first home–even if it’s just the place where you lay your head or stash your heart. But many people also have a second home–a place that is like a home away from home. Write a poem about such a place today.


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Here’s my attempt at a Second Home Poem:


& suddenly my home
is no longer my home.

& suddenly i’ve flown
to the place where i’ve flown.

& suddenly when i visit
i swing in only for a visit.

& suddenly my ohio
has become my georgia.


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 spent the first 30 years of his life a buckeye and the past 9 as a peach.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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87 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 408

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    second home
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    lately his life has become
    a series of rabbit holes
    that open and swallows,
    opens and swallows.

    two wives, two families
    two households, two mortgages
    he wonders how much longer he can keep
    one secret from the other.

    for duplicity can make a body
    disappear molecule by molecule,
    rub friends & loved ones the wrong way
    overwhelm, then emotionally disconnect.

    it can mess up dates, holidays
    birthdays, anniversaries
    transpose phone texts, and
    booby trap even the best laid plans.

    risk & intrigue over the years had
    slowly given way to aspirin & antacid days
    bourbon & myocardial issues,

    “when did second home surpass the first, again?”
    he wonders as he sneaks out of one bed
    and into the other, “and when did first
    circle back ’round and steal back the title?”

    two queens, two thrones.
    lilith and eve.
    language of the befallen
    elixir of fools.

    © 2017 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. thunk2much

    Our second home is
    this second-hand love,
    our matching failures,
    the lingering aroma
    of struggle and divorce.
    The costs are high,
    in dollars and children
    lost in the shuffle.
    But it’s shelter, still,
    for me, for him,
    for the second-hand dogs
    (because how could we
    do anything but rescue?).
    There’s no ocean view
    or peeks of mountains,
    only us, together,
    feeding the birds
    and unpacking our bags.

  3. Jane Shlensky

    Second Choice

    He calls it “home away from home,”
    his “summer place,” his “sometime crib,”
    where he is welcome any time,
    where beer is cold and dinner hot.
    She’ll hug him, ask him of his day,
    and feed him while he looks around
    for anything that needs a man—
    a leaky faucet, faulty lock,
    a stuck window, a blinking light—
    and then he makes it right again
    without her ever having asked.
    She needs someone for jobs like this,
    he reasons, as she sings and bakes.
    My very god, how sweet the smells
    that greet him from her kitchen stove.

    Soon he will say he has to go
    back to ‘the house,” but never home.
    She wonders at his choice of words
    or at his lack of words that fit.
    She’d like to ask him of his wife,
    of children he is sure to have.
    She’d like to know that he has love
    more than what he can glean from her,
    but he is mostly reticent
    to share details or stay overlong,
    And honestly, she likes a man
    who is of use, a man who leaves
    while everyone is happy still,
    who knows the value of good will
    and rest from expectations.

  4. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    I stay down on Bell Street,
    Underneath the overpass;
    A simple square of concrete,
    That I’ve cleared of broken glass.
    A backpack carries all I own,
    Cardboard makes my bed;
    Streetlights cast long shadows,
    Traffic rumbles overhead.

    I grew up a poor boy
    In a run-down neighborhood;
    Things were tough but I never knew,
    That I had it pretty good.
    But the wheels came off,
    And I spend my days,
    Sitting at this bus stop in
    An alcoholic haze.

    But I know where I’m going,
    By and by, by and by,
    I know where I’m going,
    By and by;
    I’m going to my true home,
    In the sky, in the sky;
    I’m going to my true home in the sky.

    A church van stops by once a week,
    Sandwiches and such;
    Sometimes blankets when it’s cold,
    Small things can mean so much.
    I’ll ask a stranger now and then,
    For a dollar, or just change;
    For a bite to eat or bus fare,
    It always leaves me feeling strange.

    But I know where I’m going,
    By and by, by and by,
    I know where I’m going,
    By and by;
    I’m going to my true home,
    In the sky, in the sky;
    I’m going to my true home in the sky.

    If home is where the heart is,
    Are the homeless also,

    But I know where I’m going,
    By and by, by and by,
    I know where I’m going,
    By and by;
    I’m going to my true home,
    In the sky, in the sky;
    I’m going to my true home in the sky.

  5. mayboy

    Thoughts and notes, just take place

    Thoughts and notes of an imaginary shelter
    use to be my secondary comfort zone between
    the dreams and reality of the warmness of the
    fireplace, home in the home elsewhere the smoke
    of the sanctuary is an everlasting flame of things
    you want to do or say as a traveler among the strings
    of line in the universal game, restrained in display
    in a hope to gain the perfect spell of the play, feeling
    the comfort zone wherever you go or stay, all in the
    name of the exit to the bridge you build for the genes
    on the same timeless waves somewhere in our space.
    Just take place.

  6. tunesmiff

    G. Smith (BMI)
    I may hang my hat on Elm Street,
    One block past the school;
    But when I’m not there you’ll find me,
    Perched here on this stool;
    With a frosted mug and a long-neck,
    Poured without much foam;
    Where everybody knows my name,
    In my home away from home.

    Our little house feels bigger,
    Since you packed and moved away;
    So I come down where the lights are low,
    At the end of every day.
    With a frosted mug and a long-neck,
    Poured without much foam;
    I spend my nights till closing time,
    In my home away from home.

    My home away from home,
    My home away from home;
    No need to wander, no need to roam,
    With my home away from home.

    I may hang my hat on Elm Street,
    One block past the school;
    When I’m not there you’ll find me,
    Perched here on this stool;
    With a frosted mug and a long-neck,
    Poured without much foam;
    Where someone will say my name,
    In my home away from home.

    My home away from home,
    My home away from home;
    No need to wander, no need to roam,
    With my home away from home.

  7. Connie Peters

    Second Home

    My home is where my toothbrush is.
    That’s what I always say
    I love to travel far and wide
    As I go on my way

    My home may be in Florida
    Along a sunny beach
    Or in the Pennsylvania hills
    With gobs within my reach

    My home may be Wisconsin Dells
    Where I can swim and fish
    Or in the North Dakota plains
    To try a hot beef dish

    My home may be in Hawaii
    To watch for seals and whales
    Or ‘neath the Arizona sun
    To hike the desert trails

    My home may be in Nebraska
    Among the stocks of corn
    Or maybe in New Mexico
    Where many sheep are shorn

    My home is where my toothbrush is.
    That’s what I always say
    I love to travel far and wide
    As I go on my way

  8. deringer1

    Second Home

    I live here now,
    in my second home.
    I’m comfortable here,
    I’ve even learned to love it.
    It is my adopted culture,
    historical and fascinating,
    but my roots do not go deep.

    My first home, far from here,
    I left too soon, to wander
    and taste what other places offered.
    Only one place beckons me back,
    one place I want to stay.
    I take a flight of fancy there
    to be in the sun and sand,
    to watch lazy ripples on the lake
    sparkle like a wealth of diamonds
    below pine-salted hills
    and leave my heart there.

  9. RJ Clarken

    Another Word for Home

    “For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” ― Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss

    You are my home away from home. My home.
    We’re not a place, and yet we are. Post code
    is in symbols; always in polychrome.
    You are my home away from home. My home.
    A porch, a lawn, bright blooms, a garden gnome,
    and with you, all roads are my access road.
    You are my home away from home. My home.
    We’re not a place, and yet we are. Abode.


  10. grcran

    First Responders

    Second hand goes marching on
    No end no blend in sight
    Around the bend flash-flooded flow
    Whips up one’s appetite
    So crave the future Save the past
    Time tingles Seeks a womb
    As pigeons nestward come straight in
    Life calls the seconds home

    gpr crane

    (btw, Robert, i kinda knew that about you and Ohio and Georgia, maybe before you really knew it… and very nice poem, you… )

  11. shethra77

    Mom, the Hospital, and Home

    Mom talks about a place near a river.
    Susquehanna River? Conestoga?
    She doesn’t know. But she knows her
    furniture is there, and her extra clothes,
    and it’s near two banks she has money in.
    Today the banks are in Reading, and
    then in Harrisburg.

    (She never had very much money. And
    Tom says she never lived in either city,
    never lived near a river.)

    Her assisted living place is awful, she says:
    a room she has to share, the single recliner
    we lugged over from her last apartment her only
    bought furniture–nothing else is hers.
    The people there bother her with food, with pills.
    They force her into the shower.

    (She does not recall that
    they needed to wash her every day
    with medicated soap
    to prepare for the new pacemaker battery.

    And half an hour after leaving the hospital,
    she will not remember any of her
    eight hours there.)

    Our conversation, laborious
    due to deafness and lingering anesthesia, is the usual.
    She won’t stay where she’s living. She’s not going to die there.
    No. Gotta get a job. Gotta
    make some money.

    (She is 94 years old. Diabetes, dementia, poor kidney and
    thyroid function, high blood pressure, high
    cholesterol, the pacemaker…)

    Sometimes she says she’ll room with her mom, and
    we say umm hmm.
    Her mom would be around 114 years old
    if she had not died 28 years ago.

    Today she says she’ll hunt for a little room to live in
    on her own, maybe get a car again.

    I tell her, “Go for it.”

    But you have to wait until your incision heals, I say.
    Tom agrees. “You have to heal first.”

    Back at the facility, Tom and I show her all her pictures and clothes
    over and over again
    to convince her it is really her own room.
    That takes forty minutes.

    We suspect she is still unsure when we leave.

    Only in dreams can she reach
    her home away from the home,
    a secure rock in the flowing landscapes of her mind.


    1. Marie Elena

      Oh my. I’m so sorry. And I can so relate. My own mom has Alzheimer’s, as does her twin sister who lives in the apartment just 4-doors down. My poor dad is with them 24/7, and not in good health himself. Mom recently began the “whose furniture is this?” a few months ago. When she and her sister move into their own place together, they will have to replace all this furniture. Their brother (on the other side of the state, and 89 years old himself) set fire to their home. He chopped up all their furniture and set fire to it. There is no convincing her otherwise. A nurse helped Dad and I realize something: Mom’s “reasoner” is broken. Having it put that way was educational and somehow freeing for me. God bless you as you care for your mom. Dementia is no fun. 🙁

      1. shethra77

        It is an evil thing to have any form of dementia, and I am very sorry for what you and your family are going through as well.
        Not only does it rob the sufferer of all their immediate memories (this is the really bad part of living in the moment), but a great many memories one might have believed were secure go away as well. And then there are the fill-in fantasies (Harrisburg, the burnt furniture).
        It is very hard to deal with, but I have to keep reminding myself that this is not really Mom–this is Mom filtered through a three-year-old girl.
        Good luck to you with all of this. The sooner you all can get your dad some help with your mom and her sister, the better. It sounds far past his ability at this point. In Pennsylvania you can get help through government programs–I hope you can where you are.
        love, Sheffe

    2. grcran

      yep, my mom died of this, age 83 and had onset of dementia probably about age 55, long tough years for her and for her children… your poem is powerful and well-expressed, thank you

  12. Sara McNulty

    At My Sister’s House

    For eight years we traveled coast
    to coast, nerves like burnt
    toast–airport, and dog
    separation anxiety.

    In heat or cold, we felt
    at home staying with my sister,
    nephew, and two cool cats
    with distinctly different

    Slept in my niece’s old
    bedroom, hints of Pepto-
    Bismol pink, still framing
    closet doors, and a charcoal
    sketch of my father hanging
    on the wall.

    Sprawled on couches, we’d catch
    up on happenings east and west,
    always keeping abreast of which new
    gadgets had won a home
    on the kitchen counters
    of my sister, the QVC queen.

    Though eight years of traveling
    coast to coast have ended,
    I still find her home
    conducive to relaxation
    bathed in warmth.

  13. SarahLeaSales

    She Comes in Dreams

    For even as the kingdom of God was inside her,
    so was her second home:
    that world she built in her mind,
    a world of poetry, stories, fantasies, and dreams—
    a world that was an escape from her first;
    and she prayed that so it was written,
    so it was true—
    that the first shall be last,
    and the last shall be first.

  14. taylor graham


    I should have been in Fitness Class
    at the Senior Center. But after surgery, I was
    only allowed to walk. So I walked
    up the steep trail pounded out by uncounted
    homeless feet; past the Gold Rush ditch,
    dry now; past an abandoned quartz mine;
    beyond a junction where trails took off
    in all directions up the ridge through thickets
    of manzanita, coyotebush, chamise
    and birdsong, to an open path looking out east
    toward higher mountains. That morning
    I’d have the hill to myself, I thought,
    with all its history, its ghosts, its natural
    growing green. But that morning, coming at me, two tall, hefty men in black
    with a silver star on each shoulder. “Good
    morning,” I said. “Where do you live?”
    they answered. I felt like saying, “Right here,”
    but I’d left my ID in the car; I like to
    travel light. “Down Green Valley.” “Seen
    anything suspicious?” I mentioned
    old homeless camps – gone now, evicted
    by the city. “Show us.” I pointed
    up a trail that disappeared in brush. Then
    I hiked down to the Senior Center; came back
    after they left my private hill in peace.

  15. JRSimmang


    When people say

    “I love you”

    they should mean it, right?

    Here, sitting,
    -that is, chewing it over and over and over and over-
    over the lies of your vows
    and your infidelity against the sacred cow of union

    I wondered when it will be
    that my hammock sack of nightly dreams

    will be a four-post bed of family once again.

    -JR Simmang

  16. Daniel Paicopulos

    On the Sedona to San Diego Lifeway

    As easy as a five-dollar hooker,
    we signed , we packed, we left.
    Six years of second home,
    not long enough for regrets.
    Neighbors, yes,
    pals, a few,
    friends, none.
    It was a lovely scene,
    still is,
    but no longer
    for our eyes.

    We’re older now,
    sooner than we’d thought.
    Time for urban life,
    noisy, yet fresh and new,
    dusty tails used up.
    New parks,
    museums and theaters,
    canyon maps
    replaced by GPS,
    leading us
    who knows where.

    San Diego
    here we come,
    ready or not.
    We’re not those
    hometown sailors
    of your past,
    the ones who
    never leave,
    more like Marines,
    home from their wars
    money to burn,
    itches to scratch.

    We’re thirsty,
    parched even,
    desperate for
    a drink of alive,
    eager for
    new sounds and smells
    so bring on the sirens,
    let the trucks roar,
    we’re taking
    the freeway to
    what’s next.

  17. Walter J Wojtanik


    I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky ~John Masefield from “Sea Fever”

    I am drawn to the water,
    a sanctuary dank and deep,
    where Neptune’s sleep is unsullied
    and tranquil. I will go there

    where a sailor’s son should roam,
    a second home for a weary traveler,
    a reveler in life’s safe harbour.
    Looking towards horizons and distant

    places, of foreign faces that grace these places
    and dreams of adventure of which there are many.
    Anyone who is so drawn is a son of the sea,
    a welcomed one who is asked but one thing,

    “What will you bring to the sea?”
    for treasures that abound are found deep within,
    and in their discovery we find ourselves.
    I am ever-drawn to the water

    a sanctuary dank and deep,
    where the son of a sailor finds eternal sleep.

    John Masefield’s “Sea Fever”

      1. Walter J Wojtanik

        You are most welcome, Sara. I always find myself drawn to the water, Lake Erie in particular. It’s been around me all my life. But the reminders from Houston and Galveston and all points Texas of the destructive nature of water are not lost on me.

  18. Jrentler

    guy’s paradise

    shiva danced & existence began
    chaos found love

    & when yin met yang
    pangu hatched

    viracocha surfacing with first light
    as buga burned away the sea
    mangala scattering hibicus seeds

    cheonjiwang fashioned dawn for his roosters

    and you,
    a barzilay with northward gaze
    command a fleet of bovinians
    pastures splayed & marble cliffs poured
    forever mountains forged

    a sky stretched wide
    for winged things to sail

  19. headintheclouds87

    The Song of the Sea

    By rippling waves
    And under gleaming sun,
    My other little home
    Away from endless bustle
    Of cold brick and mortar,
    Built instead of calming sand
    Beside serenity of water,
    This is the place I go
    To drown out modern noise
    And hear the song of the sea.

  20. Anthony94

    Second Home

    No walls, nor bricks nor
    hoisted beam,
    no timbers notched
    but just some dream

    of them framed in
    whatever glade I find
    myself when wandering
    or where I’ve dined

    sandwich in hand
    tree at my back
    creek at my feet
    nothing I lack

    here where the world
    is second home
    I need no mat
    to know I’ve come

    to where I’m welcome
    day, night or season
    I drop by on a hiker’s whim
    I’ve yet to need a reason.

  21. Eileen S

    Seashore Panorama

    Azure ripples sparkle
    laced by white cream
    creeping on caramel sandy shore.
    The tall grass dances in a zephyr
    cooling nesting areas for piper plovers.
    As the tiny shellfish
    burrow back into the sand,
    avoiding the creeping water
    which recedes,
    becoming invisible.

    On a neon terrycloth carpet,
    Seagoers in colorful
    bathing suits digest
    what lies underfoot,
    over head
    and on the horizon.
    A sun screened bather
    picks up a shell,
    inches from her beach towel and
    sheepishly holds it to her ear
    listening for the waves and
    admiring the polished interior abode.

    While the sun beats down,
    overwhelming olfactory and tactile senses,
    nature’s headset orchestrates
    the sound of the waves crescendo.
    A pelican plunges,
    as a seagull dives in ocean’s direction,
    and a skimmer skims;
    while white, puffy clouds splotch the sky.

    A dolphin swims close to shore.
    breaking the ocean’s surface
    then gently receding,
    barely causing
    a ruffle or ripple.
    darting in and out,
    lazily graceful,
    ignoring pocket handkerchief
    triangular sailboats
    that survey the coast.

  22. PressOn


    As sunset soothes the sand with golden light,
    the pinks and purples parse the evening air;
    the glare of day accepts the gifts of night
    and quiet comes, to settle everywhere.

    The pinks and purples parse the evening air,
    caressing roses on the upper beach,
    and quiet comes, to settle everywhere
    like ancient dreams forever out of reach.

    Caressing roses on the upper beach,
    I scan the sea as sunshine fades away
    like ancient dreams, forever out of reach,
    that sigh and turn to face another day.

    I scan the sea as sunshine fades away;
    the glare of day accepts the gifts of night
    that sigh and turn to face another day,
    as sunset soothes the sand with golden light.

  23. Walter J Wojtanik

    (Sapphic Stanza In Polish Poetry)

    Through my heritage I’ve come to find myself.
    There is no book here that sits upon my shelf,
    it was tradition through which I have been found.
    It’s been handed down.

    Many customs come from our Old Country home,
    brought to bear here where my grandparents had come.
    Assimilated and fated to be free
    in their new country.

    ** I’ve been searching for a poetic form that could be considered “Polish” in nature. Apparently many classic Polish poets have adopted the Sapphic Stanza which contains four lines with syllabic counts of 11(5+6), 11(5+6), 11(5+6), 5 and a rhyme scheme of a, a, b, b.

  24. Walter J Wojtanik


    He felt the weight of life’s chain,
    each link forged from his misdeeds.
    It was a sure sign of his humility
    as the gravity of his actions
    mirrored the draw it had upon
    each metal link, pulling both downward.

    The constant refrain in his life repeated,
    it greeted his ears and heart
    whenever he would start to forget
    where it was both belonged. Home had a claim
    upon his presence; a place to plant his roots to grow
    tall and strong, invariably to stand alone.

    But the weight of his despair played heavily
    on each tenuous branch; every creak and crack
    triggers a spray of memory to reign down.
    He relishes the opportunity to make a new home,
    feeling how her love swells within him
    to grittle his passion; to flick his stubbornness.

    1. Marie Elena

      Walt this is truly wonderful writing.

      “He felt the weight of life’s chain
      each link forged from his misdeeds.”

      “as the gravity of his actions
      mirrored the draw it had upon
      each metal link”

      “The constant refrain in his life repeated,
      it greeted his ears and heart
      whenever he would start to forget
      where it was both belonged.”

      “But the weight of his despair played heavily
      on each tenuous branch”

      “to grittle his passion; to flick his stubbornness.”

      My goodness, Walt. Every single line is a “wish I’d written this.”


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