Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 430

For today’s prompt, write an annoyance poem. It could be about a small annoyance (like the power shutting off here for a few hours this morning). Or it could be about an annoyance that is somewhat more significant. Maybe it’s hair that keeps falling in your eyes, a tickle in the back of your throat, or waiting to speak to a real human being when calling into customer service.

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Here’s my attempt at an Annoyance Poem:

“& then the power goes out”

&then the power goes out
which is the perfect time to unplug

& get some laundry done
only i can’t get any laundry done

but i could fix up some toast
only i can’t fix up some toast

so i sit in front of the television
with no way to turn on the television

& think how i could edit a manuscript
if only the printer could print it first

or listen to a vinyl record
except the record player won’t play

before finally i lace up my shoes
& go for a rejuvenating walk

*****

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 always forgets how much he needs electricity until the electricity goes out.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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100 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 430

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    truck tantrum
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    this truck is on its last legs,

    wiper blades work only part time
    air conditioner up and quit,
    the radiator hides water
    and don’t get me started on the gages,
    stereo only gets a single station
    and the tranny slips every now and then.
    she’s kind of fussy about what kind of gas she gets
    and pays me back by turning oil into coal.
    some mornings she likes to annoy me
    by barely turning over, or else
    poking new muffler holes in which to
    further announce her dissatisfaction with me,

    all cause i won’t put a new set of tires on it.

    © 2018 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. Walter J Wojtanik

    WE CANNOT PICK AND CHOOSE

    The right to free speech came at a cost
    to every woman and man through the centuries.
    The significance of that ideal seems to be lost,
    the right to free speech came at a cost.
    These must be protected and not indiscriminately tossed
    aside. The right to bear arms throughout history
    has protected the right to free speech. It came at a cost
    to every woman and man through the centuries.

  3. grcran

    annoying the weather

    with 60-odd degrees
    we nod we sweat we freeze
    we find ourselves at odds
    between beset because
    we even up, and then
    we lurk behind again
    twill be more heavenly
    when we reach seventy

    gpr crane

  4. De Jackson

    Aubade with Broken Fingers

    She’s doing some aching
    again, greeting the day with open
    hands and a moaning heart,

    starting a song on this sky piano
    with knuckles lost
    to greater fights.

    She’s right at the center of that
    rising sun, mourning
    loss of full
    moon, the way
    the ceiling
    of this world lights up
    just a little too soon.

    ::

  5. writinglife16

    MAD AT DEATH

    The worm was annoyed.
    How he got in the orange was
    beyond him.
    But he knew
    his death was imminent
    once the orange was cut.

  6. Jane Shlensky

    Cringe

    I fault what children are apt
    to hear from adults when
    we think they aren’t listening,
    and also nerve endings
    themselves like hoary-headed
    cilia sifting the air for something
    from which to recoil.

    Nails on a chalk board,
    high screech of a siren,
    scraping of voices like
    metal on metal, dentist
    drills, table saws, the pitch
    of small dogs barking,
    sickly sweet smells designed
    to cover rotted retching
    scents, things and people
    that cling, whining mosquitoes
    and voices begging for blood,
    sweat, stickiness, derision,
    dust carried on a wind…

    But I digress. Tiny things
    aggravate us exponentially
    more than they should.
    Thus, Stephie, annoyed
    at age two, can stand with her
    small fists on her hips
    and rage at a child hogging
    the swings, “That boy
    gets on my last nerve!”

  7. Poetjo

    Home

    Coffee cups,
    socks,
    empty
    glasses
    and wayward
    papers
    left out
    and about
    for the past
    forty years
    by the man
    I love.

    I clean them
    up because
    it’s easier
    to clean
    than it is to
    fight and
    it’s interesting
    how much you
    tolerate
    when
    you love
    someone.

    I may
    get
    annoyed
    with him
    at times
    but he
    is my
    home
    and home
    doesn’t stop
    being home,
    even when it’s
    messy.

  8. Daniel Paicopulos

    Urban Enjoyance

    I hear the screaming sirens call,
    with their capacity to annoy,
    but then I think of the EMT’s,
    close at hand, ready to help, and all
    petty pique quickly turns to joy.
    Small village life is nice,
    has benefits of its own,
    but I’d need to think more than twice
    before the metro life I’d disown.
    It’s perhaps more neighborly
    in soft suburban climes,
    and rural areas offer, by
    their nature, much quieter times.
    Yet, I prefer a citified life,
    less steamed, more fried,
    and yes, with a little strife.
    You see, I like a movie
    more foreign than tame,
    need music and plays, art a tad groovy,
    a more diverse and stimulating game.
    I like immigrants, with their
    cultures from across the sea,
    their foods, language, dress and hair
    are teachably invaluable to me.
    So I opt for the energy of civic action,
    sometimes annoying, it can’t come as news,
    allowing others their bland serenity,
    it’s an urban life I choose.

  9. writinglife16

    Feline Annoyance

    The cat was annoyed.
    It was nothing he meowed.
    And he didn’t hiss.
    It was when he hit my arm
    I finally chose his food.

  10. Louise

    niggling voice of pessimism
    triess to overide
    the boundaries i set
    to remain up

    annoying voice of fear
    floating that message
    of worry into
    my pool of optimism

    get thee behind me
    voice of doubt
    your sneak attack
    shall not overcome

  11. Walter J Wojtanik

    ALL BAD AUBADE

    Darn if that alarm clock isn’t annoying me,
    toying with me to get the hell up!
    The beams of light seem too God-blessed bright
    and I’d be right to lower the blinds.
    Morning comes too soon in my nightly swoon,
    and this ribald tune in my head to this dread-
    ed rise stays internal. Another infernal taunt
    flaunting the daunting day ahead.
    It makes me wish I were dead
    to the world for another five minutes!
    Carpe Diem? My posterior!
    I’m not seizing anything until I’m ready!
    I’m going back to bed!
    Darn if that snooze alarm isn’t annoying me…

  12. Anthony94

    What I Can’t Let You Know

    When you drove away from that
    failed relationship you told me
    you got most of it but the kitchen
    stuff and so I haven’t asked
    about the cookbook, the first
    I’d ever had that I sent with you
    as some talisman. You’d wanted
    to bake bread and so we’d
    assembled loaf pans, the beater
    with the dough hooks, and I’d
    asked you if I should leave in
    all the sheets torn from magazines,
    newspapers, those 3 x 5’s never
    filed away and you’d said
    Of course, Ma, and so I’d left
    them in, clippings of a life

    and now although the loss
    of it is more than an annoyance
    I hope she pitches the cracked orange
    volume with its brown box-taped
    spine into the bin outside
    the apartment marked for
    Good Will, frees doughy pages
    stuck together with lost dreams
    to warm a new kitchen where
    cookbooks don’t lean across
    dusty gaps and the ragged recipe
    for Christmas stollen gets baked again.

  13. De Jackson

    Cadaver Palaver

    There’s a spirit in my sunroom,
    and he’s got a lot to say.
    I think he’s rather bothering;
    I wish he’d go away.

    He’s a specter wearing spectacles,
    who thinks he’s rather wise.
    He’s a wraith with wrath to spare,
    trying mumbling on for size.

    I’m spooked, annoyed
    and phantom-fatigued. I wish
    he’d go away. Or at least exhaust
    his useless prattle, and have nothing
    left to say.

    I don’t know what kind of ghostie-ghouls
    have haunted my nerves
    in the past,

    but this one sure is
    getting on my
                            last.

  14. deringer1

    PET PEEVE

    I write poems
    I love poems
    I love words!

    I love words
    well-spoken, and
    carefully chosen.

    I am therefore annoyed
    at people who speak
    without words,

    their minds having no
    rich lode of verbs.
    And so they speak

    in a strange tongue
    consisting mostly of “like”
    or “kinda” or “sort of”.

    Worse yet the “uh”
    of speakers impatient of
    waiting on words to arrive.

      1. Misky

        Our repairman said appliances only have a 10-year max lifespan, so buying up-market brands probably won’t guarantee longevity because they’re all made in the same factories, just different name plates and energy consumption. Sending you lots of luck and good thoughts!

  15. woodpeckerduo

    Meh, Annoyance

    I came up with something witty to write
    But by the time I reached the top of the stairs, I forgot it
    Here, drink more wine
    It’ll make the bottle lighter
    When I carry it back
    Down the stairs
    In the dark

    da and gpr crane

  16. woodpeckerduo

    possessed of celestial clairvoyance
    he thought of it as an annoyance
    he kept himself sane
    by striving for plain
    and it took the edge off his flamboyance

    gpr and da crane, co-authors

  17. seingraham

    OH BOTHER, NOT REALLY

    I used to say, the older I get, the less I know
    And, the more I learn – likewise – that is,
    The more I learn, the more I need to know
    I’ve also found of late that the older I get
    the fewer things annoy me – in fact, in a version
    of “don’t sweat the small stuff” – I really try not to
    I try to pick the hills to die on and not let little
    aggravations get to me – life’s way too short
    and the older I get, the more I realize this.

  18. Sara McNulty

    Go With Your Gut

    Always smarter to go with your gut.
    I did not; my taxes sit undone
    in a CPA firm, seemingly stuck.
    Always smarter to go with your gut.
    They are ill-prepared to deserve a cut.
    Hope I don’t end up back at square one.
    Always smarter to go with your gut.
    I did not; my taxes sit undone.

  19. Ann M

    Thundersnow in March
    is like a kick after
    a fall. Winter has run
    dry. The girl is gone.

    It can’t hurt more,
    but it does.
    Lightning in the schoolyard.
    Floods at the shore.
    G’s car is ruined.
    K can’t fly home.

    I shovel the sidewalk
    careful not
    to die of a heart attack.
    Snow falls on me
    like fairy dust.

  20. Poetjo

    I’ll Spell My Annoyance Out For You

    ‘A’,
    a more
    crucial
    letter
    you’ll never
    find.

    Never have I
    been able
    to write
    a poem
    without
    an
    ‘A’.

    Never!

    Of course,
    I haven’t
    really tried,
    either.

    You would
    think I
    would give
    it a try
    but no,
    I haven’t.

    A moment
    goes by
    when I
    think I
    might
    attempt it
    but I change
    my mind
    and don’t
    try at
    all.

    Now I get
    to call
    myself
    lazy,
    on top
    of every
    other bad
    thing I
    call
    myself.

    Cookies
    taste good
    when I have
    moments
    of doubt.

    Edict; no more
    cookies when
    I feel self
    doubt.
    There aren’t
    enough
    cookies
    in the world
    to fill
    the pit
    where my
    self doubt
    lives.

  21. Kateland

    TEMPER

    The piercing cry becomes a chorus
    Angry shrieks break on the air
    What small form produced such ruckus
    And was not silenced by an angry stare

  22. Nancy Posey

    That Voice

    Nothing more annoying than that voice,
    whining, wheedling, coaxing, accusing,
    laced with self pity
    and a large dose of condemnation.

    My better angel begs me to ignore it,
    reminds me that we all share weaknesses
    and we all have worth.

    But I can’t shut it out, can’t turn it off
    or tune it out. I’d go somewhere far away
    out of its reach if only
    it weren’t coming
    from inside my head.

  23. Jrentler

    lemon trees be thirsty

    so careful
    where you stand

    deep roots mean nothing
    soiled in a mimicry of land

    folly & mites mangle
    tips easily splay

    for the rip-roar
    of windy days

    let poison
    fruit rot
    before lemonade

    the secret is this:

    their branches raise
    not towards light

    but skyward still
    for mother’s
    sappy swill

  24. taylor graham

    ASSIGNMENT: BIG CUT

    Ekphrastic on that photo: geologic
    remnants of treasure; riverbed cobbles
    exposed on a ridgetop

    above our Gold Rush town.
    Wanting to see for yourself, you
    set out in your little subcompact

    front-wheel-drive stick-shift
    up the steep hill. Lost
    momentum; rolled back into a muddy

    bank. No traction. There
    you sat. A switch, hitch in your poetic
    plans. Going nowhere fast

    on the road to Big Cut.
    The moral? Never trust poetic license
    to get you out of the ditch.

  25. candy

    All Hail the Queen

    It annoys me –
    Just a little –
    That my gripes are
    Never as gripey as yours
    My woes, not as
    Woeful
    My worries can’t compare
    My annoyances not
    Annoying enough
    You win
    You are the queen of whining
    You get to wear the crown
    Which you, no doubt,
    Will complain about

  26. headintheclouds87

    Please Hold

    Waiting to be connected
    While placid, inoffensive music
    Does little to soothe
    Your increasingly impatient mood,
    As they likely intended
    But have failed miserably
    In their attempts at placation,
    For this comes after a vexing maze
    Of obtuse and confusing options
    Where one tongue-slip or stutter
    (Or simply an incompatible accent)
    Can send you back to square one again.
    Seething through gritted teeth,
    You finally hear a human voice (hurrah!)
    And launch into an angry explanation
    Only to be answered in soft condescension
    And swiftly transferred to another cog
    In this maddening machine,
    Your ears pierced while you wait,
    The sad and haunting soundtrack
    Of slowly losing the will to live.

  27. Heather

    no time

    It finally arrived,
    everything I hoped.
    Except I don’t have time
    to enjoy it.
    I will stare at it longingly,
    while I go about my day,
    until my schedule agrees
    that I can set aside my time
    to play.

    ~also published at heatherbutton.com

  28. Walter J Wojtanik

    ETHEL MERMAID

    Her fins are sharp, and her looks can kill.
    Her voice won’t charm your pants off.
    A seagull screech would have less trill,
    but her fins are sharp, and her looks can kill.
    You think her song will annoy you still
    if you were in a marathon dance off.
    Her fins are sharp, and her looks can kill.
    Her voice won’t charm your pants off.

    1. De Jackson

      The Cost of Sweet Silence

      Her voice won’t charm your pants off
      (but you’ll pay an arm or leg to stop it.)
      Nails on chalkboard, ogre cough –
      no, that voice won’t charm your pants off.
      I wouldn’t serve it in a trough.
      In fact, I’d rather drop it.
      Her voice won’t charm your pants off
      (but you’ll pay an arm or leg to stop it.)

      1. Walter J Wojtanik

        THE RANCID SMELL OF DECAY

        You’ll pay an arm or leg and half a foot to stop it.
        like the festering boil of deep despair,
        you’d be best to leave it be, don’t pop it
        or you’ll pay an arm or leg and half a foot to stop it.
        I wouldn’t even think to “flip-flop” it,
        it could get infected if you take that dare!
        You’ll pay an arm or leg and half a foot to stop it.
        Like the festering boil of deep despair,

        1. De Jackson

          P.U.

          Like a festering boil of deep despair
          that pops at the slightest touch
          is the stench of smoky, smoldering air –
          like a festering boil of deep despair.
          Please, take your cigarettes over there;
          my lungs can only take so much.
          Like a festering boil of deep despair
          that pops at the slightest touch.

          1. Walter J Wojtanik

            THANKSTAKING

            Balloons that pop at the slightest touch
            rain on your Thanksgiving Day Parade.
            Lopsided floats, not so much
            like balloons that pop at the slightest touch.
            Even balloons that escape from your clutch
            are watched until their images fade.
            Balloons that pop at the slightest touch
            rain on your Thanksgiving Day Parade.

          2. De Jackson

            Broken Shoelaces

            They rain on your Thanksgiving Day Parade
            when you trip over your own two feet.
            Just when you think you’ve got it made,
            they rain on your Thanksgiving Day Parade.
            You’re fit to be (un)tied. Disappointed. Dismayed.
            And your holiday, incomplete.
            They rain on your Thanksgiving Day Parade
            when you trip over your own two feet.

          3. Walter J Wojtanik

            TAKING THE FALL

            It’s annoying when you trip over your own two feet.
            It’s so much worse when they are both left.
            Taking the fall will put you right on your seat,
            it’s annoying when you trip over your own two feet.
            And it hurts when the ground and your kiester meet
            it’s surely true when you’re not that deft.
            It’s annoying when you trip over your own two feet.
            It’s so much worse when they are both left.

          4. De Jackson

            Mismatched Mittens

            It’s so much worse when they’re both left
            (where do all the rights hide?)
            It leaves me just a bit bereft;
            it’s so much worse when they’re both left.
            My hand is cold; my heart is cleft.
            I guess I’ll simply stay inside.
            It’s so much worse when they’re both left
            (where do all the rights hide?)

          5. Walter J Wojtanik

            RIGHTS ARE ALWAYS RIGHT

            (Where do all the rights hide?)
            The first ten amendments fit the bill,
            you’ll be strong if your constitution is in stride.
            (that’s where all the rights hide!)
            It used to be a source of true pride,
            it annoys that some don’t agree, (but I do still!)
            (Where do all the rights hide?)
            The first ten amendments fit the bill.

          6. De Jackson

            (There are ten commandments, too.)

            The first ten amendments fit the bill
            (and the right to free speech is in there, yep.)
            You can say whatever you will,
            cuz the first ten amendments fit the bill.
            But sometimes the things said can make you ill.
            “Be kind” should be a mantra, but we’re not there yet.
            The first ten amendments fit the bill
            (and the right to free speech is in there, yep.)

          7. Walter J Wojtanik

            WE CANNOT PICK AND CHOOSE

            The right to free speech came at a cost
            to every woman and man through the centuries.
            The significance of that ideal seems to be lost,
            the right to free speech came at a cost.
            These must be protected and not indiscriminately tossed
            aside. The right to bear arms throughout history
            has protected the right to free speech. It came at a cost
            to every woman and man through the centuries.

          8. De Jackson

            Dear History,
            {Getting Test-y}

            To every woman and man through the centuries,
            thank you for being you.
            Thanks for the progress and the memories,
            oh, every woman and man through the centuries.
            But I wish I didn’t have to put all my energies
            into knowing you by heart – by tomorrow at two!
            To every woman and man through the centuries,
            thank you for being you.

          9. Walter J Wojtanik

            HEAR HER STORY
            (She’s Your Best-y)

            Thank you for being you,
            even though you drive me crazy sometimes.
            To hear you tell it, it must be true.
            Thank you for being you.
            For all you do, I’ll give you your due,
            your place in my life is sublime.
            Thank you for being you,
            even though you drive me crazy sometimes.

          10. De Jackson

            What I Like About You
            (And all the rest-y)

            Even though you drive me crazy sometimes,
            I love you from your head to your toes.
            You’re a wonder, a whim and a paradigm,
            and even though you drive me crazy sometimes,
            I can always read between the lines
            and I’ll say it again; here it goes:
            Even though you drive me crazy sometimes,
            I love you from your head to your toes.

          11. Walter J Wojtanik

            WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?
            {Getting it off my chest-y!}

            I love you from your head to your toes.
            (Even though your second toe is longer than the rest.)
            But that’s the way our story goes,
            I love you from your head to your toes.
            And all your highs outweigh the lows,
            so let me get this off my chest.
            I love you from your head to your toes.
            (Even though your second toe is longer than the rest.)

          12. De Jackson

            Toeing the Line
            {MAN, that’s pesty!}

            Your second toe is longer than the rest,
            and it makes it nigh impossible to walk the tightrope.
            You’re agile, and able, abundantly blessed,
            but your second toe is longer than the rest.
            If it was a finger, we’d put you to the test,
            but you’re somewhat unbalanced. This “feat’s” a big NOPE!
            Your second toe is longer than the rest,
            and it makes it nigh impossible to walk the tightrope.

          13. Walter J Wojtanik

            OWNING WHAT’S MINE
            {I’m on this quest, see?}

            It makes it nigh impossible to walk the tightrope,
            since I am not a great Walenda!
            I wouldn’t try it against all hope,
            it makes it nigh impossible to walk the tightrope.
            I’m not the one to try this rope-a-dope,
            one small slip would be a life ender!
            It makes it nigh impossible to walk the tightrope,
            since I am not a great Walenda!

          14. De Jackson

            All Annoyances Aside
            {We’re all quite blessed, see?}

            Since I am not a great Wallenda,
            balance isn’t exactly my forte.
            I’ll take the joy, sorrow befriend, yeah,
            but since I am not a great Wallenda,
            I may need a moment to rememba’
            that tomorrow’s not promised, the gift’s today.
            Since I am not a great Wallenda,
            balance isn’t exactly my forte.

          15. Walter J Wojtanik

            ALL ANNOYANCES UPSIDE DOWN
            {Better you than me}

            Balance isn’t exactly my forte.
            I’m as clumsy as the day is long.
            Gracefulness I must abort,
            balance isn’t exactly my forte.
            I’m more of a lumbering fool of a sort,
            but guess I’m singing the same old song.
            Balance isn’t exactly my forte.
            I’m as clumsy as the day is long.

          16. De Jackson

            Some Days, Rightside’s Up – and Vice-Verse-a
            {Bitter you, then me}

            I’m as clumsy as the day is long
            (and we’re talking a Monday, not a Friday.)
            That one day comes on just a little too strong
            and we’re as clumsy as the day is long.
            It comes in all cattywampus, like a clanging gong
            (we called it a bummer, back in my day.)
            I’m as clumsy as the day is long
            (and we’re talking a Monday, not a Friday.)

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