Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 439

For today’s prompt, write a heart poem. Getting to the heart of this prompt should be easy enough to do. Some folks wear their hearts on their sleeves, or they heart the things and people they love, or they show a lot of heart in spirited competitions. Of course, there are also heart attacks, open heart surgery, heart-shaped candies, the band Heart, and so much more. Search your heart for this week’s poem.

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Here’s my attempt at a Heart Poem:

“ohio”

ohio is a heart-shaped state
if you squint really hard

or maybe that’s just me
because it’s where i was born

& they say home is where
the heart is & license plates

claim ohio is in the heart
of it all & i want to follow

my heart even when it
makes no bloody sense

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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). He often follows his heart, whatever that means.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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81 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 439

  1. SarahLeaSales

    Party of Five

    In a three-bedroom house
    lived a gentleman and a lady,
    a boy and a girl,
    and a woman of The Sandwich Generation.
    This woman,
    fully-formed,
    hadn’t lost her other half,
    but a whole part of something greater
    they had built together.
    And while she cared for those who had treated her
    as a daughter,
    and cared for those as she had once been cared for
    by those whose daughter she had been,
    there was no one left to care for her.
    For one man came and left,
    and then another,
    and another.
    But never did she leave her father and mother in-laws,
    nor the children that had first belonged
    to the love of her life,
    to cleave unto one of these men.
    Rather,
    she lived her life,
    and when the right one came,
    she knew,
    for he stayed.

  2. Jane Shlensky

    Finally, I could change my password and get back in the door. Hello, PA friends!

    Heart History

    The heart carries a heavy load,
    this organ where loves and regrets
    crowd together, this muscular parlor
    of joys and losses, thrills and hurts.
    And still it pulses, does its job
    of squeezing like a trash compactor
    life’s flood and complications,
    making them small enough
    to move into brain’s storage.
    Then it cleanses its chambers
    while we sleep and weep,
    rejoice and pray. Whether sweet,
    hard, stone, broken, hearty,
    willing, happy, dear, fearful,
    brave, cheerful or attacked,
    heart carries a heavy load,
    for every heart loves,
    wants what it wants,
    needs some special care,
    and bears what it can
    until, sooner or later,
    it stops.

  3. Recklesslove

    Leash

    1 year 4 months and 5 days since you’ve been gone,
    1 day since I last cried but today just begun.
    1 year 354 days since I felt whole.
    1 Year 356 days since I knew I was losing you,
    1 min since I missed you and not one more second had past that i didnt wish I was with you.
    28 years 10 months 8 days spent with you everyone acting like what’s her issue.
    When it took them 5 mins to forget you.
    It’s been a week since I tried to reach you, pretend there’s no phones where you are or you quit the service you went thru,
    like you forgot the number or the area code it went to something so simple.
    No days go by that i wouldn’t go back in time just to have another moment with you.
    9 months of hell wish they could just fix you.
    But to have you again I’d relive every second with you.
    1 year 4 months 5 days since I trusted anyone,
    No 5 minute calls, no mom’s off the wall, no sister to count on, no home to run to.
    No knowing I’m truly loved since you.
    1 year 4 months 5 days since anyone’s known me.
    Not one minute more will any of us get you.
    1 year 4 month’s 5 days my soul left with you.
    28 years 10 months 8 days with my twin sister, and only a matter moment your life ended and im lost with you.
    1 year 4 months 5 days I’ve still been making them remember you, and every second I’ve gone im still missing you.

  4. grcran

    snare the love

    enheartened, he made three compartments to
    store all the new love she grew inside him
    her fam’ly brought a richness, did not dim
    their shared adventures thrilled him through and through
    but thirdly, best of all, her personhood
    her pride in who she is and what she’s done
    same time, she’s modest, won’t tell what she’s won
    she wins it all forever she’s that good
    and him, he reckons he’s her counterpart
    or maybe smart enough to snare her heart

    gpr crane

  5. taylor graham

    Where the Heart Is – a Waka Sampler
    c. 1870 photographs of the Wakamatsu colonists

    Whose face on the wall?
    No smiles for photos back then.

    When war drives you out,
    across the sea becomes home.
    May the roots take hold –
    woman’s hand on man’s shoulder,
    man’s hand around sleeping child.

    Three men together –
    whom did they each leave behind? –
    and this man apart.
    Eyes and mouth set to endure
    what comes of new world’s weather.

    Like bees they scatter
    into new fields in flower.
    Honeybees fly home.

  6. Bushkill

    Firsts
    (been away from poetry for a little while but I find it sharpens the mind so I want to try it again.)

    You
    Knocked.
    I know you did.
    My pulse quickened
    At the thought of you.

    I
    Blew it.
    I know I did
    Indecision blooming
    At the thought of you.

    You
    Understood.
    I know you did
    Forgiveness present
    In the smile on your lips.

    I
    Held you.
    We both agreed,
    Hearts thundering at
    My first kiss upon your lips.

  7. Heather

    not the way I wanted to go with this one:

    poisonous perspective

    I have seen your heart.
    Spoken in words and images,
    callous memes meant
    to support your
    selfish attitude,
    regardless of the truth.
    I held out hope for so long
    that you simply
    stirred things up.
    But you have spread lies
    and inaccuracies,
    using false facts
    and fake news
    to justify
    hatred, bigotry,
    stereotypes
    and fear.
    You fear losing control.
    losing your identity,
    one wrapped in
    being better than
    everyone else,
    no matter the cost.
    Your poisonous perspective
    pierces my heart.
    And though you are deaf
    to my pleas for equity,
    equality,
    human rights.
    I choose to believe
    that after my grief,
    my sense of loss
    over the person
    I thought I knew,
    I still have a voice
    for those you push under your feet.

    ~also published at heatherbutton.com

  8. taylor graham

    HEART OF THE MEADOW

    Always the road seems to go nowhere,
    scant 2-lane winding down past the last dirt drive
    to a hidden outpost home. I always wonder
    if we missed the turn. Finally, a kink
    in pavement, a locked gate. We park and
    shimmy around the post, take a trail that cuts
    halves of a pecker-riddled pine – hanging snag
    that fell, hugely, in storm. The trail finds
    meadow – Kanaka Valley. Hawaiians settled
    here in the Gold Rush. Where’s the river
    they’d dive into for nuggets? Where’s
    a trace of human survival? This morning,
    green brittles into end of spring. You point out
    native grasses (non-descript) and correct me
    when I call a flower “brodiaea” –
    nomenclature’s changed, it’s “triteleia” now.
    Blue-purple blossoms like a royal candelabrum.
    Human sentiment and settlement keep
    changing. The meadow moves from spring
    to summer. The Kanakans are gone,
    taking the secrets of their hearts; leaving
    a common flower that seems the light
    and heart of meadow.

  9. deringer1

    THE HEART

    he was a cliché
    at best.
    she was his secretary.
    Why?

    why did she love
    this man
    who wasn’t hers
    to love?

    I never asked and
    she could not explain
    the curious beatings
    of the heart.

    1. Bushkill

      Interesting collection of ideas. I find layers of meaning in each line. ‘Don’t know if that’s your intention, or my coffee-fueled zen-like state this morning. I’ll take either. I had a friend back in college who would always say it was the “L” word.

      …Lust. But there is drive and passion (and an unfettered primal state) wrapped up in that word too.

  10. Jason L. Martin

    Can I ask you all for advice? How do you get a comment out of “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” I had to re-register because the site wouldn’t sent me a password reset link. I posted my first poem/comment under my new login and that moderation note, I think, is keeping it from being viewable by you all. Help!

  11. Anthony94

    For Russ

    I’ll play
    your funeral
    on Friday
    even though
    I had to look up
    your face
    in the roster
    of the tiny church
    on the edge of town
    to find your name

    knowing you
    only by
    your lighting
    a candle
    at the feet
    of the blue Madonna
    every Sunday
    after service

    you always
    taking time
    to tell me thanks
    saying how
    you wished
    you could sing
    better

    your face
    with its cherubic smile
    like some
    aging leprechaun
    grown large
    in spirit
    and transplanted
    to these Flint Hills

    where I’ll hike
    in your memory
    retracing the footprints
    you left on my heart

    1. Bushkill

      Well said. I like the “Cherubic smile” and “footprints you left on my heart” the best, but the whole piece is nicely orchestrated.

  12. SarahLeaSales

    The Storyteller

    Her heart was neither in the mathematics nor the sciences;
    she didn’t need to know how things worked,
    for it was enough that they did–
    to experience the magic without knowing the tricks.
    Her heart was in the histories and in the literature–
    the truths and the untruths.
    Her heart was in the languages,
    in the communications that drew
    or withdrew
    people from one another.
    But it was into the words she wrote–
    words that bridged these three–
    that she poured her heart.

    1. Anthony94

      I really liked this because it seems to encapsulate what so often is the lot of writers and especially poets “trapped” in the have tos versus the want/need tos. Great cadence leading up to last three lines in my opinion.

  13. candy

    A Necessary Adjustment

    Her heart had become twisted
    Out of shape
    A little skeptical
    A touch cynical
    Had reached its limit
    Of tolerance and it
    Was becoming a blue
    Pump of sorrow
    Then kindness stepped in
    To give her a ‘heartitude’ adjustment

  14. Sara McNulty

    Heartburn

    I should have known my heart would burn,
    but oh, that garlic bread was tasty.
    By now you’d think I would have learned.
    I should have known my heart would burn,
    and following, a stomach churn
    though that might be from custard pastry.
    I should have known my heart would burn,
    but oh, that garlic bread was tasty.

  15. EllaT

    heart to heart

    This morning I dress her
    in a 0-3 month sleeper
    that zips bottom to top
    white with red ribbing
    and little red hearts all over it

    her big blue eyes
    studying me intently
    her round face
    and tiny pouty lips
    that almost
    but not quite
    crack a smile

    I study her in return
    the softness of her skin
    as my hand runs across her tummy
    peach fuzz hair falling out on top
    a bit of dried milk
    on the corner of her mouth

    no longer my bunched up newborn
    of only a few short weeks ago
    but not yet my babbling, giggling
    drooling doll
    of only a few short weeks from now

    I pick her up
    hold her close to my chest
    and pause
    as the world passes around us

  16. MET

    Healing

    The shattering of my heart
    Came with each bell tolling.
    I heard the tears as they hit my soul,
    But
    I went on.
    Rebuilt my life
    From the rubble
    It had become.
    My heart healed
    With love
    The only true gold…
    Tennyson said so…
    I like Tennyson.
    But
    My heart did not sing…
    That came sitting with friends
    Remembering
    And telling silly stories
    Laughing until
    It shattered
    The remains
    Of broken lost days
    Filled with grief,
    And like a whisper
    Of the wind on a spring day,
    I heard the ancient song
    From ancient hearts
    “Live in joy!”
    Was the words it sang.
    I sang the words back, and
    There I found my cracked heart
    Mended with the gold of love.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 6, 2018

      1. MET

        Thank you… sometimes they flow….. I was thinking of how the Japanese mend broken pottery with gold and then I thought the Tennyson quote…

  17. headintheclouds87

    The Lost Light

    My heart is hardened
    To endure the worst
    And ignore the light
    As it tries to catch my eye
    In vain, to a face down
    Staring at the floor
    Unable to see hope anymore.

    The soul wills me to stand,
    Remove my head from the sand
    Of sorrow and self-pity,
    But the mind coldly resists,
    Lost in a murky logic
    That rejects true feeling.

    My body yearns to fight,
    To see these elements reunite,
    To remake the real me;
    The one sensitive yet strong
    With an unclouded soul,
    Trusting but still cautious,
    The mind knowing the way
    Once black fog is cleared away.

    Heart, mind and soul may divide,
    But my essence is still somewhere inside.

  18. jasonlmartin74

    Heart of America (an anaphora, after Walt Whitman)

    I hear our heart beating, though it is now so very quiet and distressed, we remember…
    We are America, with every welcoming hand comes a prouder, stronger beat to measure.

    The soldier calming the wounded with his arms, protecting our freedom with steady hands.
    The teacher rearing the minds of future leaders, connecting dreams to realities.
    The inventors making better the old ways while innovating the ways we connect to each other.
    The mother singing to her child a tune that resonates from her childhood and of her mother’s before.
    The father lifting up his child to reach a branch he climbed in his childhood and of his father’s before.
    The priest defining a faith that will shepherd his flock through all of our heartbreaks and heart-tests.
    The doctor mending our mortal skin and bones and organs, so we can love as long as possible.
    Each of us breathes to a pulse, a beat we can hear if we listen close.
    It sounds like a drum, not a ticking or a tapping, and it echoes above the din.
    We can sing louder and more harmonious to quell the voices that pull us down.

    We are America, with every welcoming hand comes a prouder, stronger beat to measure.
    I hear our heart beating. Can you?

  19. k weber

    I don’t go out of town much

    When I’m out of town
    I’m really just a few
    steps across the county
    line. I used to tiptoe over
    there and leave my heart
    on his back doorstep
    or inside his mailbox. Days
    passed with no response,
    but I caught him holding on
    to it after dinner. The organ
    was still pulsing feverishly
    at sunset, ringing my ears.
    My gaping chest felt
    dizzy. He placed my heart
    straight in front of him,
    looked it in the eye. Then he
    dropped my bleeding
    valentine until it met his foot
    and gasped. He kicked my
    heart back over the county line.

  20. MET

    Just wanted to let everyone know… I am to have another iron infusion really soon… iron levels low… blood count was good but blood cells are very small which happens when iron levels are low. Just got home from the blood doctor… will have to think a bit on a heart poem

      1. MET

        I have a low iron count meaning under 20….I get the iron infusion on Friday and it will take six weeks to totally kick in… so he is seeing me in two months.

  21. jasonlmartin74

    Heart of America (an anaphora, after Walt Whitman)

    I hear our heart beating, though it is now so very quiet and distressed, we remember…
    We are America, with every welcoming hand comes a prouder, stronger beat to measure.

    The soldier calming the wounded with his arms, protecting our freedom with steady hands.
    The teacher rearing the minds of future leaders, connecting dreams to realities.
    The inventors making better the old ways while innovating the ways we connect to each other.
    The mother singing to her child a tune that resonates from her childhood and of her mother’s before.
    The father lifting up his child to reach a branch he climbed in his childhood and of his father’s before.
    The priest defining a faith that will shepherd his flock through all of our heartbreaks and heart-tests.
    The doctor mending our mortal skin and bones and organs, so we can love as long as possible.
    Each of us breathes to a pulse, a beat we can hear if we listen close.
    It sounds like a drum, not a ticking or a tapping, and it echoes above the din.
    We can sing louder and more harmonious to quell the voices that pull us down.

    We are America, with every welcoming hand comes a prouder, stronger beat to measure.
    I hear our heart beating. Can you?

  22. Daniel Paicopulos

    Heartfelt Prayers

    The world is less simple
    than I once thought it,
    with good and evil,
    I must admit,
    in everything, in everyone,
    devils and angels,
    a part of all of us.

    My devils have ruled me before,
    even as I sought peace and joy,
    but now I’m choosing happiness,
    ecstasy if I can find some,
    knowing my heart is not a toy.
    I’m taking time to
    celebrate what’s going right
    in my quite ordinary life,
    shining my simple light
    on a sense of welcome,
    open-armed, without a fight.

    Most yearning souls ask,
    can we still talk to God?
    Can all the hurt, all the worry
    be swallowed up there?
    I would answer,
    when seeking magic or miracles,
    any form of legerdemain, to be fair,
    maybe first peak into your heart,
    then pray with abandon,
    without holding back,
    it’s a good place to start.

    There Grace awaits.

  23. tripoet

    Broken Heart

    She was the type of girl
    who wouldn’t even cheat
    on her two ex-boyfriends, long
    gone. You might even wonder
    if they ever existed at all.
    A photocopy
    of one of Tennessee
    Williams’ spinster characters
    melded to Caron McCullers,
    her heart was lonely like
    a hunter with no prey.
    Dutifully she dropped
    to her knees each night,
    not to pray, this she refused
    to do, but to search
    for the pieces
    of her broken fallen heart.

  24. Cam Yee

    Heavy Lies the Heart

    I wake to a weight that sits on my chest
    like a troll on a bridge
    I kick with my legs to rise
    but the troll holds on,
    he hugs
    my heart
    hard
    with implacable arms –
    like he will never
    let go –
    he hugs
    my heart
    like you
    once did.

  25. connielpeters

    I Left My Heart

    Tony Bennett crooned
    I left my heart in San Francisco
    and maybe I should sing
    I left my heart in Inverness.
    I don’t know what it was about the place
    that made me want to unpack and stay.

    The river, the bridges, the old buildings,
    the castles, the churches, the ancient places,
    the greenery, the friendliness, the lochs,
    the history, the cleanliness, the shopping,
    the closeness to Loch Ness, the Highlands,
    the Culloden Battlefield, the Clava Cairns.

    I didn’t visit long enough
    to make the decision to move there,
    but I wanted to just the same.

  26. AsWritten

    TRANSPLANT by Ken Bentz

    If I gave you my heart, I’d die
    because I need it.

    You need it too,
    which is the hardest part.

    Because I know yours is broken.
    It’s going to stop.

    Any moment.

    And there’s nothing I can do
    but watch you curl up

    Unconscious but kicking.
    They have to change

    the bedsheets that you’ve soiled.

  27. PowerUnit

    Marian
    1928-2018

    She was the rock
    they built their life on
    a patch in the forest
    set away from trouble
    a place to put your feet up

    She was the sun
    the children rotated around
    swinging farther and farther afield
    testing gravity
    but never losing sight of her light

    She was the heart
    the background beat
    loudly and proudly watching
    others make a life of their own
    even as hers stripped away

  28. Poetjo

    Peach Heart

    I think
    we have
    a golden
    heart
    when
    we’re
    born.

    It is
    perfect,
    untarnished,
    unblemished,
    a perfect
    peach
    if you
    will.

    As we
    grow
    and are
    bullied,
    rejected,
    abandoned
    and hurt, the
    sandpaper
    of these
    pains
    mars
    and
    scratches
    our
    perfect
    hearts.

    Even
    though
    it is now
    blemished
    and pitted
    like
    a bruised
    peach,
    peaches
    are
    sweeter
    when
    bruised,
    much
    like
    our
    heart
    can
    be.

    All
    we have
    to do is
    choose
    to love
    and
    share
    our
    bruises
    instead of
    pretending/
    lying
    that our
    hearts
    remain
    untouched
    by what life
    slings
    our
    way.

    Seeing
    beauty
    in our
    pain
    means
    we’ve
    finally
    blossomed,
    bruises and
    all and
    isn’t that
    what
    life is
    really
    all
    about?

    1. tripoet

      A peach heart, I LOVE this image. I always like so much how your work looks on the page. It is sorta like a journey I take and each word that drops down to the next is like a step.

    2. Bushkill

      Good job. I was hoping you were going for something other than a heart of stone with the peach connection and you did not disappoint. Brilliant.

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