Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 438

For today’s prompt, write a pool poem. It’s swimming pool season in our neck of the woods, but there are car pools, gambling pools, pool sticks, and other ways to get to a pool poem. Hopefully, everyone can pool their resources to find a fun poem or three.


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Here’s my attempt at a Pool Poem:


the people climb up
& dive in one after

another & nobody
bothers to wonder

about the parents
lounging poolside

some of them lost
in conversations

some ready to save
every last swimmer


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 likes watching his children swim.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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80 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 438

  1. LCaramanna

    Deep Eroded Depression

    That first dive into the pool at the base of a waterfall
    Shivers the spine
    Tingles the senses
    Numbs the mind
    Takes the breath away
    Freezes the moment
    When rush of air
    Meets force of plunge
    Splashes white water skyward
    Diver descends into the deep eroded depression
    Danger thrills
    Panic swells in underwater darkness
    Lungs scream for air
    Threaten to explode
    Until arms power a swift ascent
    Head first breaks the surface
    Mouth opens to gulp sun-warmed air
    Between whoops of laughter
    Generate enough courage to take another
    Plunge into the deep eroded depression

    Lorraine Caramanna

  2. Fanny Pad

    Those silver gleaming little fishes
    wriggling under my bare feet as I waved my yellow bucket under the babbling surface of the stream
    I had seen them before by the side of the path
    So easy to catch some for tea I thought
    But they eluded me.

  3. Bushkill

    First Date

    I wait here, forgotten, alone
    Time pooling at my feet.
    Shadows dance a macabre jig
    Torturing me and embedding

    Demons in my head.
    They rail at me, drawing their
    Chilling claws across my damp
    And paling skin. Time drips

    By, making the pool larger
    Drowning me in its darkness
    Suffocating my life one minute,
    One pool of seconds at a

    Time. Until she answers the
    Door dressed like a princess.
    And I, in my chariot, will
    have her home by midnight.

  4. Fanny Pad

    At first the water strikes cold so you move around a bit until the instructor comes, arms waving above shouting
    Hello. Are you ready?
    YES HOO HOO! we all cry and she turns on the music.
    We’ll be together with the roof rack over our heads, in my lonely bed. he says
    We copy her movements
    one arm forward, leg back then turn around.
    HOO! HOO!
    twist and shout ’til it’s time to come out, feeling nice and warm and bubbly.

  5. connielpeters


    Not a lot of swimming
    going on in Ireland.
    Few pools. Many beaches,
    but water’s too cold.
    When my niece and I went kayaking,
    the tour guide
    insisted we wear wet suits
    in case we fell in the bay.

    So we changed
    in the nearby castle restroom.
    I squirmed and squiggled
    and pulled and tugged.
    If it wasn’t for her
    pulling and tugging, too,
    while I jumped around,
    I would have never gotten into it.

    I didn’t fall in the ocean,
    so all that work was for naught.
    After kayaking, it took some doing
    till I finally freed myself of the thing,
    like a caterpillar shedding its cocoon.
    Now, at least, when I swim at the city pool
    I won’t feel so self-conscious
    after seeing what I look like in a wet suit.

  6. Hiba Gardezi

    Facing some real writer’s block but really had to get back to it. Forgive me for this:

    There is no way to end

    This pool of confusion
    There is no pen to draw away
    Your pool of disarmament
    There may not be a source of escape from your pool of tears
    But remember if you forget
    That the sky is a pool of blue light
    And my arms are a pool of constant warmth
    And your mother will love you always and forever like he did the little baby who played in the pool on the first summer evening.

  7. Hiba Gardezi

    Facing some real writer’s block but just had to get back to it. Forgive me for this:

    There is no way to end

    This pool of confusion
    There is no pen to draw away
    Your pool of disarmament
    There may not be a source of escape from your pool of tears
    But remember if you forget
    That the sky is a pool of blue light
    And my arms are a pool of constant warmth
    And your mother will love you always and forever like he did the little baby who played in the pool on the first summer evening.

  8. grcran

    swimming class

    too cool woo hoo the pool
    they schooled us in the pool
    we learned to churn the legs
    protein fuel beans and eggs
    we schooled then swishy fishes
    we dueled with splashy dashes
    no drool on these toadstools
    we swim nobody’s fools

    gpr crane

  9. headintheclouds87


    Only by the side of the pool
    Can I make sense of it all
    The calming little bubble
    That real life can’t break through
    Innocent days I faintly recall
    Return after I leap in the blue
    My fading spirit born anew
    In the water soothingly cool.

  10. Darlene Franklin


    Blood spills
    Thin film spreading
    Oozing Sticking Soaking
    Cleans away sin’s darkest blottingsc
    No spots
    Free from mankind’s mortal domain
    Covered by blood divine
    Dazzling in white
    New Heart

  11. Nancy Posey

    Above Ground

    Every summer we rode past the city pool
    hearing the squeals and splashes,
    smelling corndogs and funnel cakes.
    Mama drove, eyes on the road ahead,
    taking us to town, stopping first
    at the library, then taking us along
    with her as she shopped McClellands’
    notion counter, touching bolts of fabric
    at Sears and Roebuck, promising them
    a stop at the candy counter, but only
    if they behaved while she shopped.

    We fingered the rack of swimsuits
    in our size when she wasn’t looking,
    dreaming of hot days stretching out
    on beach towels, rubbing in baby
    oil and iodine for a rich dark tan,
    knowing full well how our fair skin
    burned to a crisp. People like us,
    she’s say, didn’t go to public pools.
    She’d shudder imagining the noise,
    the heat, all that skin slathered
    with Hawaiian Tropic and sweat.

    When we came home one day to find
    Daddy and his brothers setting up
    an above ground pool in our backyard,
    we didn’t have the heart to tell them
    the noise, the smells, all those bodies
    were the point. This was just water.

  12. Darlene Franklin


    Blood spills
    Thin film spreading
    Oozing Sticking Soaking
    Cleans away sin’s darkest blottings
    No spots
    Free from mankind’s mortal domain
    Covered by blood divine
    Dazzling in white
    New Heart

  13. Heather


    Does it encourage
    solace or sociability?

    Is it preheated with mechanical means,
    limited and lined in blue plastic,
    chemically clean,
    clear as day
    except for the children at play?

    Does it deceive you
    with it’s infinite edge,
    creating a sterile
    yet “organic” place
    to connect you with the landscape,
    but keep itself private,
    mimicking the natural surroundings<
    at your front door?

    Or do you venture into nature,
    step into waters
    curated by the locals,
    pristine beaches, still occupied
    by more than people,
    where seagulls and insects
    compete for your crumbs?

    Do you embrace the natural world fully,
    where organic “cess” pools
    teem with life of all kinds,
    cleansing our environment
    from the very chemicals
    we use to protect ourselves from?

    Tell me, where do you swim?

    ~ also posted at

  14. PressOn


    He claimed he’d never played the game;
    didn’t know a cue from a Chevy’s frame;
    “I’m just a beginner,” he’d exclaim.

    And then I saw that he was able
    to make his shots and run the table;
    I never should’ve believed his fable.

    As an old hustler used to say, that’s dirty pool.

  15. Tracy Davidson


    he lost their savings
    in pool halls and gambling dens
    she breaks his pool cue
    over his regretful head…
    his losing streak continues

  16. SarahLeaSales

    Ned’s Folly
    (based on the short story, “The Swimmer,” by John Cheever)

    For Neddy Merrill,
    swimming the Lucinda River
    ages him in dog-years,
    while his four little women at home
    remain nameless.

    Yes, they had all gathered at the river
    that flowed by the throne of inebriated suburbia,
    the adults committing merry debauchery in the cabanas—
    adultery and drunkenness mostly—
    while their Wonderbread-complexioned children splashed
    in chlorinated summer bathtubs.

    In and out of Lucinda,
    Neddy only comes up for air to find Shirley above him,
    giving him CPR from drowning in the depths
    of marital servitude,
    until he breaks away to chase
    that next body of water,
    each one becoming colder and less welcoming than the last.

    When he comes to the river’s end,
    the seasons have made haste,
    and there is no petrichor to cheer him,
    but rather, the dank odor of clothes
    left in the washer too long.
    Did he jump into the deep end,
    or did he fall in,
    only to find himself in an empty pool?

      1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

        (according to the online Noun ~ a distinctive scent, usually described as earthy, pleasant, or sweet, produced by rainfall on very dry ground.

  17. Eileen Sateriale

    Opening Day

    Summer’s here, off to the pool.
    Kick off your shoes, no school.
    Spandex bathing suits so very new.
    Jump in the water so blue.

    The pool manager is seen everywhere.
    Lifeguards watch from the high chair.
    Wearing red bathing suits so bright.
    Trying to see everything goes right.

    A lanyard whistle around their neck.
    Neon colored towels adorn the deck.
    Everyone’s safety is their biggest concern
    and not the money they’ll earn.

    Everyone is told not to run.
    All the neighbors seem to have fun.
    Babies play with their water toys.
    Blowing bubbles, little girls and boys.

    Everyone’s waited all year for today.
    Sunscreen helps swimmers enjoy the stay.
    Umbrellas protect sunbathers from the sun.
    Who will burn when day’s done.

  18. Cam Yee

    The Rock I Am

    I am the rock,
    Into the middle of your placid pool,
    disrupting your dark waters, where
    skeletons of fallen leaves float lightly,
    and diminutive dives of dragonflies
    just barely pock
    your silk-smooth surface.

    I did not want to be that rock,
    but some unfriendly force
    lifted me above its burly shoulders,
    hurled my weight unwilling
    into your pure water where I sank,
    like the rock I am,
    leaving my deep ripples to forever lap
    the sureness of your shores.

  19. k weber


    the bird
    bath visitors quietly
    preen in their concrete
    pond. one eyes
    his pinkish beauty
    from the red
    gazing ball. another
    splashes the ground
    cover, waters our hostas
    and their lilac
    lily-shoots for free.

    at mom’s pool
    party, we dunk our uncle
    and scream for fun. beach
    balls bounce heads; become soft
    volleyballs. two drunk
    neighbors can’t stop
    flirting loudly. the largest raft
    capsizes. it blows over
    the deck fence, lands
    in the bird bath then falls
    heavily into the hostas.

  20. De Jackson


    sometimes they spark
    if you hit them just right,
    let them bump and grind,
    find their way along felt.

    we talk and chalk
    a few things up
    to strong drinks
    and weakness,

    the way the tables
    have turned, the way
    we’ve learned each other’s
    English, angles, calls.

    i tuck the one
    ball in to a pocket,
    a flash of color
    in all this dark.

    the black one’s got
    an infinity sign side
    -ways, and a way of
    rolling on ’til the end,

           and you, my friend
                   are the shark.


    1. k weber

      your wordplay is always so spot-on. you have a natural knack for finding relationships or humor in and among words that adds so many layers to your poetry. really enjoying the direction your poem took for this prompt!

    2. Poetjo

      As always, this is a beautiful write!

      I especially liked the phrasing here:
      “we talk and chalk
      a few things up
      to strong drinks
      and weaknesses”

    3. Bushkill

      Wow. Your Use of language, enjoinment, and raw talent create such beautiful poems. You write in layers, and it’s such a challenge to see if I can keep up. A race I am losing, too,

  21. MET

    Pool of Tears

    My eyes have pools of tears.
    I got news
    Maybe more is wrong
    With my blood.
    As my tears
    Have yet to break
    The dam, I thought.
    There are times
    In our lives
    When the storms
    Are upon us
    That we are alone
    In the waiting
    For an answer we dread.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    May 30, 2018

      1. MET

        thanks… me too… I see the blood doctor next week… maybe it will be good because they will find out what is keeping me so very tired all the time.

      1. MET

        thanks and it did as did weirdly… writing about a former client I worked with whom I saw her the day she vanished… I wrote out my memory of it and that it had been about 24 years and I can still see her…. and I wrote a poem also…

  22. Anthony94


    I toe the still pool
    break my reflection

    circles rippling washing
    up on pond’s edge

    lapping at sedges cattails
    blind eyes splitting into

    opposite directions
    small infinities

    lips twisting
    above those of a bass

    ears ripping apart on shale
    so that I hear nothing

    cheeks sinking nose
    clotted with flowing algae

    my hair green
    eyebrows small

    apostrophes cupping
    snails on a blade of grass

    how quickly we disappear
    impossible to seine

    pieces to reassemble
    from the shattering

    the only reassurance
    my toe, wet

  23. tripoet

    Family Tree

    forested branches
    holding dirty
    dark secrets

    even bats on
    quiet nights
    avoid passing through.

    Their gene pool
    mirky, salty,
    disturbing, saturated

    leaves daughter
    alone devising
    logarithms aimed
    at reinventing herself.

  24. taylor graham


    The moon’s last stolen light,
    wrung out of the west to pool on pocked
    pavement in front of the church.
    The church that was robbed last month.
    Across the way, a dog howling
    at the gate. That bookishly inquisitive boy
    in the corner house, was he watching
    through binoculars? or was
    whoever-did-it already out of sight?
    At dawn a peculiar glow,
    a pool of inner light from atop the church’s
    street-front wall. A statue of St. Francis
    cradling a dove – bonanza
    for the parish, as if dropped not by flying
    carpet but by angel from on-high.
    But how did it get there? Who delivered it?
    and why?

  25. PowerUnit


    He hides in his underground room
    Half bottle of rum and a deck of cards
    A gun with no blame in a shoebox
    Cannot even write his own name
    The dark corner of the closet, with spiders
    The last guardians of freedom
    Like a salmon lurking in a pool
    Waiting to lay down its life
    For the next generation of buried
    Hollow souls, picked off one by one
    Sometimes in twos, by men at the top
    Casting flies and drinking cold beer
    Laughing at how it’s all just a game

  26. Poetjo

    Business Meeting

    he said,
    as we
    at some
    13th St.

    I asked.

    with a
    and a

    but I

    He had
    and I
    was no
    did that

    in some
    with no

  27. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    Wandering up Wildcat Creek,
    just below the mountain peak,
    listen’g to the waters speak,
    looking for what we all seek–
    outlined shadows, wet and sleek.
    Ev’ry rainbow color streak,
    flashes in the sunlit pool.
    Therein lies trout’s cool mystique.

    (For the Cyrch a Chwta challenge, too.)


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