Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 415

For today’s prompt, write an I Believe You poem. This could be a poem about someone’s vision for the future or someone’s story of the past. It could be a poem about a real person, a fictional character, or even yourself (written in the first person by someone else–or a “staring in the mirror” poem).

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Here’s my attempt at an I Believe You Poem:

“The Incident”

From across the house, I hear it–
the kicking, slapping, and screaming.
Then, I listen to the feet pound
my way with warnings of “Daddy!”

The youngest says, “Daddy! He called
me names!” The name-caller says, “She
hit me real hard, and he punched me,”
referring to the teenager,

who makes his way slow down the stairs
while making little grunts before
laying out his tale of woe, “They both
teamed up on me, and were hitting

“and kicking and assaulting me.”
Then, they all begin lobbying
in unison before breaking
down into punches, kicks, and screams,

before I say, “I believe you
and you and you; I believe you
all, and there’s just one thing to do:
Apologize to who isn’t you.”

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). As the oldest of three brothers, he’s had to say his fair share of apologies on this planet.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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172 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 415

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Longmire
    By Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    I believe we could be so good together.

    I love hard and true,
    and ask only in return three things:
    “Don’t Lie.”
    “Don’t Cheat.”
    “And no Chains.”

    If you can’t do that,
    then get the hell out of Dodge
    ’cause you don’t deserve me.

    I’m small, but I’m fierce.
    I’d pick up a gun and
    follow you to Hell and back
    ’cause I’m as loyal as a Dog
    and believe in protectin’ my own.
    And yes, I’d even take a bullet for you.

    I could be such a catch for you, Darlin’
    Too bad you can’t see that right now.
    It’s an honor the way you still pine away
    for your dead wife. We should all be so lucky.

    But I don’t compete, nor should I have to.
    I also can’t afford to sit around and wait.
    It’s a big country out there
    and we’re all still on the Clock.
    There’s only so many sunrises left to see.

    If you ever change your mind, Cowboy
    you know where to find me.

    ‘Cause I believe we could be so good together.

    © 2017 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. Walter J Wojtanik

    I BELIEVE YOU

    You’ve been as good as gold all year,
    but that’s not what I see or hear,
    I don’t believe you.

    You’ve tried to be good all year,
    but someone always got you into trouble.
    I double doubt I believe you.

    The things I saw you do
    you said you didn’t do.
    You say it’s true, but I don’t believe you.

    So look ol’ Santa in the eye,
    tell the truth, please don’t lie
    and I will try to believe you.

    You had a pretty bad year, I get the gist,
    but I think I’ll still keep you on my list.
    since you promise to be better next year,
    I have no fear you will. I believe you.

  3. Walter J Wojtanik

    STILL BELIEVE

    You call it magic.
    I call it faith; a belief that says
    no matter what, you’re on board.
    You can afford to extend your hand,
    for in the grand scheme of things
    the feeling this season brings
    soothes your soul. The main goal
    of every man, woman and child
    is to hold the love in their hearts.
    It always starts with love. A love of life,
    a love of fellow man, a love unconditional
    that positions you to do great things.
    Peace on earth in goodwill and love;
    the Magic of Christmas, a treasure trove.
    You call it magic. I call it faith.
    I am Santa Claus, if you still believe.
    I hope you do, because I believe in you!

  4. qbit

    Last week and this week combined…

    Psalm 1:23 PM

    Every afternoon now
    I walk to the corner
    Of 59th and Madison Avenue
    In New York City.
    Which is neither
    Here
    Nor there.

    Each time
    I ask.

    I ask the kebab guy,
    The Uber driver,
    The delivery man unloading
    His truck,
    This or that
    Woman or man
    Waiting for the light.

    Although they can’t hear me.
    I ask myself too I guess.

    Except I don’t really know
    What my question is.
    I want the world –
    All the kebabs, cars, subway grates –
    To make sense somehow.
    I want to believe
    That maybe one piece
    Of life hangs together
    With another.

    “Everything is connected!”
    You, my reader, just replied
    In your head.
    Of course. I say that too
    Every day
    In my head.

    Why would you accept
    Such an easy answer
    That means so little?

    I’m not interested in Truth.
    Really just the kebab guy
    And me,
    And whoever walks by.
    The light on sidewalk
    Outside the shoe store.

    Sure, OK,
    I believe in kababs. I
    Probably believe in you
    Too.

    And not getting run over
    In the crosswalk.
    That’s good.

  5. grcran

    light at the end

    you believe me then retrieve me
    from deepest places down below
    i fulfill you then uphill you
    to steep embraces overflow
    ending right-side trending bright-eyed
    we emerge whole tunneled through
    you fulfill me then uphill me
    and reprieved, i believe you

    gpr crane

  6. rlk67

    You say that life’s worth living?
    Convince me some more.
    I try to be giving.
    I fight every war.

    The pain is immense,
    Relief doesn’t come.
    Emotions so tense,
    My neurons are numb.

    The world is so dark,
    The news pessimistic,
    I feel winter’s bark,
    It’s all fatalistic.

    You say there’s a spring?
    A bright light will shine?
    I don’t see anything.
    The same storyline.

    “Let’s try something new,” you say, “and let’s try to reframe.
    Stop talking in short phrases, and we’ll make a daring claim!
    You have so much to offer, and the good stuff will outweigh,
    Any of your problems, your despair and disarray!”

    I try to protest strongly but you don’t give up your stance.
    “You must keep giving! Do what’s yours!” You have me in a trance.
    “Give up the news! Just dump those blues! The world was made so great!”
    I’m still not sure, just like before, your words don’t permeate.

    “All right it’s time to kick in gear, I really want that you should hear! Let’s make our lines be longer!
    Let’s weigh our life! We’ll take a scale, and list past times to make a trail, of things which make us stronger!
    The beauty in the world! Our friends! Our family, it never ends! Let’s put them on one side,
    The smiles we have helped to make, the good deeds which we undertake, don’t brush them all aside!

    Now put the pain, the stress, the tears, even from a hundred years, and hang them on the beam.
    And watch…let’s see which side wins out!” It’s just not close! I start to shout. At least that’s what would seem.
    “So do you think you feel new hope?” Perhaps it’s time to stop to mope. I’m thankful for your time.
    I certainly believe you now, I’ll start again and then somehow, I’ll make it summertime.

  7. Nurit Israeli

    I BELIEVE YOU CAN

    I do believe you can
    pick yourself up and try again.

    Yes, you made a mistake.
    You suspected it would be,
    but made it anyhow
    and, like a chess player,
    the minute your piece touched
    the board, you knew.

    Yes, you made a wrong move,
    and your mistake
    holds itself against you –
    glaring with fiery eyes,
    waving a failure flag
    wherever you turn.

    But I believe you can
    move beyond:
    Take along your regrets
    and, on this dazzling fall day,
    let yourself fall
    for the beauty like then.

    Yes, I do believe you can.

    ~ Nurit Israeli

    1. Marie Elena

      … and you make ME believe, Nurit. I have a feeling this is written about a loved one. How realistic-yet-hopeful and loving you are. This loved one is blessed to have you in his/her life. Beautiful piece.

  8. RJ Clarken

    These Four Words

    “I bring you the gift of these four words: I believe in you.” ~Blaise Pascal

    I wish I could take your words and make a pie
    of self-esteem, ‘til doubt would disqualify

    its ugly self. But would that wish be enough?
    Or am I too enmeshed in all that…that…stuff?

    And yet, it takes no effort for me to say
    these four words to you. Why’s that always the way?

    It’s not that I am not listening to you,
    but your gift diverges from my point of view.

    So, bring me a mirror and let me rehearse.
    Repetition might help this indulgent verse

    and make some sense of that which does not make sense.
    “I believe in you.” Words for a future tense…

    ###

  9. Walter J Wojtanik

    I BELIEVE. YOU?

    I believe that rain will fill the clouds
    and will fall to make everything look new.
    I believe that flowers will grow
    because that rain came to nourish their thirst,
    I believe in the promise of every new day
    and the way my heart starts with the sunrise.
    I believe in the darkest night and the brilliant
    show of a candle’s warm glow,
    I believe in everyone who becomes lost
    will find their own right way someday.
    I believe in the power of lighting,
    it is not so frightening if you respect it.
    and it is reflected in the power of love.
    I believe in the strength of a baby’s laugh
    and it is true I believe you and in you.
    I believe in the magnitude of the smallest prayer
    and that it is heard somewhere out there,
    I believe that He who always was and will be
    will see and hear it through a thought, or a sigh,
    or a whisper of sheer hopelessness.
    I guess I believe in everything
    there is to believe in for that is where I begin.
    I believe. You?

    1. Marie Elena

      Love, love, LOVE! Especially “the strength of a baby’s laugh,” and “I believe in the promise of every new day
      and the way my heart starts with the sunrise.” WOW!! And totally love the whole feel of this. Just, WOW…

  10. Alphabet Architect

    When you said, “I love you.”
    So many years ago
    Before the story of us
    Had begun to unfold
    Some thought it foolish of me
    To believe you.
    But for that look in your eyes
    I might have hesitated.

    And now, after all these years
    When I catch you
    Gazing across the table
    With those same
    Lovesick puppy eyes,
    My heart swells
    With the numerous ways
    You have loved me well and…

    I believe you still.

    (Happy 43rd anniversary to us today!)

  11. AsWritten

    STRANGE BELIEF by Ken Bentz

    The etch of time
    forgot you.
    Huddled, waddling.

    Your clothes are rags.
    Your skin a contradiction of sag and scruff.

    But this crosswalk is for you
    as much as anyone.

    Pedestrians have the right, you see
    even if the light is green and
    horns are setting the sky afire.

    Your pace projects your thoughts.
    You are alone, meandering through a life
    that embraces slowness

    like a cool drink on a warm day.

    1. Marie Elena

      Part of what I love about this venue is the extraordinarily wide range of takes on any given prompt, and style of writing. This poem is so different from anything I could ever think of writing … and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to enjoy it. Brilliant, this, and exudes its own mood. Love it.

  12. lsteadly

    Believing

    when I look at
    the news at the end
    of a long day I find
    hope for human kind

    dwindles like a creek
    shrinking in drought-
    so much fall
    out from hate-filled

    speech so many hit
    men by stray bull
    -ets, too much greed
    pushing away those in

    need- less and less
    for more and more and
    yet I still believe
    you when you say

    it will get better

  13. PKP

    I believe you …

    when you repeat in the
    odd moments when we
    meet – that yes, of course
    you still love me – as that
    mother who adored you
    from first mystic breath –
    I believe you…
    that love can
    exist in an
    airless dark
    inexplicable
    apparently
    intractable
    vacuum of
    sodden
    sudden
    silence
    I believe you-
    for belief offers
    no proof nor
    consolation
    simply an act
    of faith – and
    hope ever-
    lasting-for
    your return
    my precious
    prodigal son
    cradling your
    child into my
    open arms…
    waiting….
    I believe

    1. Marie Elena

      Oh, Pearl … this is something I needed to hear. Thank you for this touching, timely, wise outlook on a very difficult-to-handle and understand issue.

      And thank you for your very kind thoughts on my “Why I Write.” So, so kind.

  14. MET

    Do you Believe me now?

    When my Grannie told me,
    “We would give you away if we could.”
    I believed her words, for
    When my five-year-old self
    Went to the other adults in our home
    And they were too busy…
    “They would not be too busy for your brothers,”
    Grannie would say,
    “they would not be too busy
    For your brothers.”
    I believed her because they were
    Too busy for me…

    Those words wormed their way
    Into my soul making me doubt me,
    Making me see myself as someone cast away.
    She lived with us seven months out of the year:
    Those months she was with my aunts,
    I felt free and could believe the words
    I told myself were true
    That I was loved, but she came back…
    The freedom was gone…
    She died when my childhood ended, and
    Try as I might I don’t carry good memories of her
    Except once she told me I was born singing…

    But what was left from those years
    Was a broken soul and an empty vessel…
    Except for the hate.
    Hate clung to the insides
    Like grease on an old pot.

    Then I met a man,
    Who was more than man.
    He spoke to me of forgiveness;
    He told me I need to let go,
    But I did not believe him…
    Not at first, but he kept
    Knocking on my door and
    Saying open the door…
    I have a new way to live…
    I will change that broken soul
    Into a new one which can use
    That brokenness for others…
    I can clean that dirty vessel
    That it will shine like the sun…
    Do you believe me?
    I was not sure,
    And ran away.

    But he would not let me go too far,
    And called me back again.
    “Come,“ he said,
    I have grape vines to make ready
    To grow.
    He taught me how the vines had to be pruned hard
    To make them grow the best grapes.
    He told me that the branches
    Depend on the vine.
    We spent the day in the sunshine
    Although it was winter and cold,
    Talking of the grapes that would ripen
    In the heat of the summer sun.
    He said, “To follow me,
    You have to be like these branches
    Abiding in me.
    Do you understand?”
    I did, but said nothing.
    He continued,
    “There will come a time for pruning.
    Just like we did today.
    So, do you believe me now?”
    I trembled in my soul
    Like something long dead
    Was waking up.
    I looked up at him, and
    Said softly,
    “I believe you now.”

    It has been over forty years since that day
    I laid all my brokenness down
    At his feet, and
    All these years later.
    I say to him,
    “I believe you.”

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    October 18, 2017

    on October 17, 1971, I accepted Christ into my heart… this poem is to honor my second birthday…

      1. MET

        It took time to heal a very broken heart…. and I have written a poem on forgiveness about her and one of my brothers….I hate to think the kind of person I would have been if Jesus did not constantly knock on the door to my heart… and that I finally opened the door to let Him in….

  15. candy

    Moving On

    I believe that you can
    not drive my car,
    choose my direction,
    determine my destination
    I will plot my own course
    follow my own star
    and when I look in
    my rearview mirror
    I will see you standing
    in the receding past

  16. SarahLeaSales

    Asking Alice

    Looking into that wonderland
    where everything is a bit curious,
    I say to the girl on the other side—
    the only way I’ve ever seen myself—
    that I don’t believe her when she tells me
    she will not fail;
    I can only say
    that I believe in her still.

  17. Sara McNulty

    Speak Up!

    “You say you want a revolution”
    and I believe that you do.
    Organize, protest, do something
    to honor this country. We need
    a leader that cares for all
    people. We need a leader
    without a trigger finger
    or an immense ego to be coddled.
    We need a leader who understands
    science, without constant whining
    about it. We need a leader
    with thicker skin, able to keep
    at least some thoughts in.
    “You say you need a revolution”
    and I believe that you do.
    It may be the only solution.

    (my thanks to John Lennon, and The Beatles)

  18. De Jackson

    I Believe You, Poem.

    When you say that you are
    strong, and beautiful and wise
    and sure. When you say that you are
    not. When you fill the snow
    with silence.

    I believe
             (in)
    you, poem. I know
    you can heal
    the world with your
    sylla
    -bled breath, with your
    long slow deaths, with your
    clicks
    and clacks.

    I believe you
    believe in me.

    In my heart. In my stuttered
    starts and slanted skew. In my too
    too strong heart thrum,
    in the scumbled mess of
    all I am. I be

    leave you
    with these words:
    spill.
    refill.
              be free.

    ::

  19. Marie Elena

    JESUS, I BELIEVE YOU (Sonnet for the Son of Man)

    Conceived of virgin, launching life of strife.
    In unpretentious setting, You were born.
    You claimed to be The Way. The Truth. The Life.
    Judged blasphemous, then kinged with crown of thorns.

    They say a prophet goes unrecognized
    In his or her own town … and this was You.
    For there you were, distrusted and despised –
    Not warranting the hatred that You drew.

    Could they not see Your Father in Your face?
    Were they not there to witness healing hands?
    Were they not awed by one so full of grace?
    Yet all was in accordance with Your plans.

    My Jesus, I believe Your every word,
    Which, only by Your grace, my ears have heard.

    © Marie Elena Good, 2017

  20. taylor graham

    I BELIEVE YOU,

    Missy; you never knew me. I died
    before you were born, 3000 miles away.
    Your father didn’t tell you about me. A man
    of few words, he learned early to keep
    his griefs and joys to himself. He left the farm,
    to be a doctor. Public Health doesn’t pay much
    but it helps a lot of people. Still, you don’t
    take the farm out of a boy. Even as a healer,
    he’d need a plot of ground to settle him;
    a garden for greens, a few chickens in the yard.
    And yes, he’d know a good pony when he
    found one for you. He was always good
    with horses. I stayed rooted on the farm. He
    found his own place to put down roots. As you
    have, in your own place. Know where you
    belong, when you find it. Take what you get
    and make the best of it. And it makes you.

  21. Jrentler

    mow us down

    or try
    for your towers of power
    are just quaking stocks
    on land of the filched
    & paved

    & our crowns
    lie close to the ground
    fingers rooting deep
    grasping till clasping
    one & all
    in the unseen below

    for we know
    who really holds earth
    in their hands

  22. annell

    I Believe You

    Yes, it happened some time ago we were in the same town the same day on the calendar

    you seem to have experienced something different I believe you

    I am not saying it is true simply I believe you your perspective was your own

    we stepped through a veil I made an inquiry you explained

    I accepted what you said I believe you perhaps I loved you too much

    Put you on a pedestal thought you could do no wrong your behavior

    Was eye opening and you know people say, actions speak

    louder than words later I tried to find common ground no luck

    then, I realized you can’t change what people think I believe you

    our stories are different I believe you I believe me

    it is strange two people can have the same experience their stores different

    October 18, 2017

  23. headintheclouds87

    Plea to a Hesitant Poet

    I still believe your words
    Even if you question their worth
    And dismiss them so easily,
    Crossing through lines carelessly.

    They reveal the raw poet inside,
    With verses uncooked, undecided,
    Yet at their most naked and honest,
    Still not dressed in haiku or sonnet.

    So even if you lack faith
    In your work in this state,
    Know that I believe each unspoken breath
    And would drown in their unknown depths.

  24. Bruce Niedt

    “Me Too”
    (for H.S.)

    I believe you all
    who kept it so long under cover,
    the dark quilt of shame and fear.
    I believe you all, coming forward
    on your pages, testifying
    to the malaise that we must all address.

    But I believe you especially, friend,
    raped, knifed, bound and left for dead,
    who somehow managed to heal,
    and to whom a detective said,
    “You’re alive; you did everything right.”
    I am happy that you are alive,
    and that you still do everything right.

  25. Anthony94

    Upon Examination of the Evidence

    I believe you, south wending geese,
    cats curled on the mat in late
    afternoon sun away from chilling
    rain. I believe you, maples dipped in
    pumpkin spice, sumac dripping
    magenta, tawny spikes of zebra
    grass gone to seed heavy with
    heralded messages for the doubting.

    I believe you, last splash of coneflower,
    pink behind the dead sunflower
    skeletons, heads of sedum gone
    chocolate. I believe you, yucca pods
    rattling a dirge proclaiming winter is
    coming, behind them a straggling
    procession of last players marching

    into earlier and earlier sunsets.
    Mockingbirds test out departure
    requiems and owls chant in the dusk
    that truth is here for the seeing, hearing,
    licking from wind dried lips these
    affirmations of autumn stripped bare
    below a single curl of okra, a faded morning
    glory’s banner asking do you believe?

  26. Daniel Paicopulos

    Foundations                                                                                               

    I so want to believe,
    to realize and achieve
    that one goal, just the one thing
    that allows my heart to sing.
    I am only here for God.

    I am only here for God,
    affirming my presence in the flow.
    I live in Grace, so blessed, so awed.
    God is all there is, I know.
    I send love into the world, to all.
    My gifts are pure, unflawed.
    I let my generosity stand tall.
    I am one with God.
    I let thoughts of death slip away.
    My life abounds with joy, each delightful day.

  27. PowerUnit

    You keep pushing at doors
    But don’t we all?
    Isn’t everybody locked in a room?
    It might feel like a prison
    like you’re lost in corridors with only turns
    and dead ends
    wandering, wondering
    if the lost can find peace.
    Most doors look sturdy, but the facade swings
    hinging on the clarity of faith and purity of the soul
    so just lean into it, give it a go.

  28. thunk2much

    Three words

    I believe you, she said,
    and in that moment
    the universe stretched,
    atoms rearranging,
    exhaling open
    spaces just for me,
    breathing room.
    It’s amazing just
    how long I went
    without speaking
    a word of this
    to anyone, and how
    those three simple
    words began
    urgently to heal
    my unseen bruises
    and stitch laces
    across the lacerations
    I’d sheltered
    like children
    for so long.

    1. tripoet

      That Look of Disbelief

      When your words say one thing
      but “that look” says another,
      it’s like a broken key
      in the lock to your mind;
      there’s no getting through to you.

  29. Eileen S

    Memory Loss

    Memory has deteriorated in a brain
    that was once as sharp as a tack.
    You asked why Dad was not with us.
    Dad died.

    We reminded you of the funeral.
    The priest gave a eulogy.
    Then we attended the graveside service
    with a two-gun salute
    and a flag presentation.
    Who forgets a two-gun salute?

    I believe you that you don’t remember.

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