Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 446

For today’s prompt, write a cooking poem. After all, it’s Culinarians Day, and food is a good thing. If you’re anti-cooking, that’s fine; write about that. Only you know the proper ingredients for your cooking poem.


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Here’s my attempt at a Cooking Poem:

“spaghetti & meatballs”

anyone can boil spaghetti
& throw store-bought meatballs on top
(or heat up some Chef Boyardee)
yes, people can boil spaghetti
like some ramen noodles you see
though it won’t make your taste buds stop
anyone can boil spaghetti
& throw store-bought meatballs on top

but i break bread in small pieces
& season them meatballs just right
for all my nephews & nieces
for breaking bread in small pieces
offers that touch that appeases
in food that’s anything but light
so i break bread in small pieces
& season them meatballs just right


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 does have a pretty good meatball recipe that was passed down from his mom that his daughter requests each year for her birthday.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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65 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 446

  1. jwismann

    The Butter Churns

    The kitchen light glows warm and bright
    The oven holds pure delight
    The timer slows time to a tick, tick, tick
    And I finally sit down for a nice little drink

    The table is set for a romantic night
    My makeup on; Hair up tight
    It was the first time in a long, long while
    Alone, only us; still sitting, I smile

    The kids are all tucked in or away
    Tonight mommy and daddy will play
    Tongues our toys to talk and to mingle
    We finally touch and body’s a tingle

    The timer rings and is dinging
    But I cannot hear; my body is singing
    The burning dish goes on burning
    The butter we’re making goes on churning

  2. headintheclouds87

    The Anxious Chef

    I don’t do culinary innovation
    Or attempt any bold experimentation
    The idea of ‘chuck-whatever in’ creations
    Fills me with a large helping of hesitation…

    I’ll stick with rigid instruction,
    Recipes by those with the education
    Who I wouldn’t dare to question-
    The chefs qualified to serve criticism
    To trembling amateurs on television.

    Give me precise timings
    And fool-proof measurements,
    A list of what to do and when
    Or else I’ll be sweating and shaking
    In the stifling chaotic kitchen,
    Fussing over what I must be forgetting
    Or that I’m mixing and beating incorrectly,
    Confusing goop slithering in my hands;
    Mystery mixtures that I do not understand.

    So you may have to bear with
    My overly cautious approach
    To cooking and baking alike
    But you can be assured that
    My safer-than-sorry imitations
    Should at least be somewhere close
    To a competent chef’s creation.

  3. Cam Yee

    Life of a Prep Cook

    Water boils
    While I toil
    Over carrot slices,
    And broccoli florets,
    Hoping the knifework,
    That is my life’s work,
    Aids and abets
    The cuts and the dices
    And curls that coil
    Into hot oil.

  4. Rayn Epremian


    Janet is
    and she still calls her departed
    husband her sweetheart

    She stitched her own wedding dress
    and it almost outshines the two of them
    in the photo standing
    proudly on the bedside table
    in her room at assisted living

    She is losing
    her memory slowly
    but she’s still in love with him like
    she probably was when they
    could only write letters
    because they were both devout

    She’s still in love with him like
    she must have been
    when they went traveling
    and both fell in love with Budapest

    She’d like to go back but
    it’s not going to happen now
    the time for going places
    is over and
    the time for going back
    is as unreachable as
    going back in time

    She’s lost him already
    now she’s losing her memory
    still she’s in love with him like
    she has been her whole life

    But, she says, I don’t miss
    the cooking

  5. Sara McNulty

    Recipe For Success

    Creativeness, spontaneousness–
    my guides to cooking. Change
    the recipe, add or subtract
    ingredients. Never use a
    scanty amount of garlic.
    Spice it up. Use fresh herbs.
    Golden raisins are a nice
    touch in many dishes, a soupçon
    of surprising sweetness. Neatness?
    Not me. I do not clean up as
    I go. Mostly push used items
    to one side. Attention to what
    I am preparing is vital. Oh,
    and always add love to every dish.

  6. EllaT

    cooking dinner – three months old

    ‘this is called soup’ he tells her
    she coos as though she understands
    wiggling towards the smell
    of bacon
    and cream
    and fresh corn

    her perfect body
    slight against his
    once muscular but now soft
    like her skin after a bath
    smelling of lavender and vanilla

    ‘now we add the potato’ he tells her
    she coos approvingly
    our tiny chef
    with blueberry eyes
    and corn silk hair

    the mid-summer nights
    of her infancy
    slipping past like hot soup
    on our spoons
    so rich and yet painful

    these are our baby days
    and blissful
    and beautiful

  7. connielpeters

    Darlene’s having difficulty posting so I’m posting for her today.

    For cooking day at Poetic Asides, a Sicilian septet
    by Darlene Franklin

    I miss cooking in my kitchen, I sigh
    Cut tomato into chunks and simmer
    Toss greens, fruits and cheese for salad and sides
    Making dough from flour, oil and water
    Toast bread spread with garlic butter ‘til dry
    Spicy, tangy scents might make me whimper
    But on Italian food I’ve never dined

  8. deringer1


    It doesn’t take much to make a good meal.
    Start with good conversation and wine.
    Make pilaf of rice, well-seasoned,
    poached fish and vegetables,
    and perhaps a salad,
    ice cream for dessert.
    Then add to all
    a dollop
    of love.

  9. SarahLeaSales

    The Baker’s Manifesto

    Betty Botter was a lousy cook,
    but a swell baker,
    for working with butter, sugar, flour, & eggs
    was easy as pie,
    a piece of cake,
    a ginger snap even.
    Throw chocolate chips into the mix,
    & she was unstoppable.

    The feel of raw meat made her sick,
    & whoever referred to their kiddo
    as Bacon or Hamburger?
    It was always Cupcake or Sweetie Pie,
    just as wretched men were pigs,
    women, cows,
    & dumbasses of both sexes were sheep—
    mooing, oinking, bleating meat.

    What’s more,
    the smart cookies knew when
    to shut their pieholes & cakeholes,
    & stick a baguette in them,
    for it was better to eat carbs
    than to part your lips
    & say something stupid.

  10. Jrentler

    edited: upstate thickens

    like water when mixed
    with the brotein powders
    you spread across lands
    leaving on the countertops
    of louisana
    stashed in the brooklyn flat
    & stock piled in bovinia proper

    what does a sunday shake
    taste like from your lips
    in the parking lot
    of the only gym
    for counties and hillocks?

    vaping in the backseat
    belts unbuckled
    your hummer’s musk
    is leather & sweat
    candy painted
    princess up a tower

    words worth less
    than muscle casts
    shredded & cut
    barbie boy butts

    our moans are groans
    of continental shifts
    the ice cliffs breaking
    off to sea

  11. tripoet

    Home Cooking

    Monday meant meatloaf
    Tuesday — hotdogs
    Wednesdays – hamburgers
    Friday– Spaghetti
    Saturday– Leftovers
    Sunday– pot roast
    In my mother’s home
    tastebuds were kept
    on a fixed schedule.

  12. lsteadly

    Too Hot to Cook

    I dare not turn on
    the oven in this insidious heat
    Even the thought of steaming
    vegetables on the stove
    makes me wilt like a spent flower
    The porch shaded by the old birch
    offers the only respite until sundown
    sun-fried leaves flutter and twist,
    sauté the sticky air before
    releasing a breeze

    Robert, I loved your poem today! And happy very belated birthday!

  13. PowerUnit

    Cafe Tommy

    Winding through vieux Montreal
    Never touching, never staring
    tout en garde pour something.

    C’est chaud, it’s bloody hot
    I’m looking, out for a cafe
    my map cant find
    a cool little hole,
    hiding in stone.

    Let me in, I’m cooking
    Tommy can you hear me?
    My sweat drips like rain
    my head pounds with pain
    my tongue sticks to my lips
    I can barely use my hips.

    A hot latte so smooth
    l’eau froid to soothe
    Tommy you’re so cool
    to put up with this fool
    but it would be nice
    if you could throw in some ice.

  14. connielpeters


    Cooking is one of my least favorite activities.
    The longer it takes, the faster it goes.
    There’s nothing left to save or freeze.
    Cooking is one of my least favorite activities.
    A lot of effort is gone with ease.
    In our middles is where it shows.
    Cooking is one of my least favorite activities.
    The longer it takes, the faster it goes.

  15. taylor graham


    Only room enough for one cook?
    Oh, these chefs are sneaky – call ‘em poets,
    always improvising for the spice and substance
    of a dish. They slip into the kitchen at odd
    hours, midnight or dark-four-thirty,
    whenever inspiration strikes. This one adds
    a dash of something to the gleaming pot – maybe
    just a word, adventuring the marginalia-
    marked recipe in a new direction. That one hums
    a jitter-ditty while simmering the stew, a taste,
    a sniff, then plucking a phrase, a line, a rhythm
    as if from rising steam. The next chef adds
    some new ingredient, maybe a foot of wild game
    – isn’t this a game, as nourishing as any
    to the spirit? a dash of blackberry, ripe
    off a puncture-bramble on the trail; a riff on
    French piano to jazz the flavor, as our combo
    mixes metaphor. On exiting the kitchen,
    a moment’s bragging rights. Then, where
    will the next chef take it? This is how they share,
    each spoon in the pot, a voice in never-finished
    conversation. This stew could last forever.

  16. Fidel M. Love

    Temperature’s rising
    Don’t stop; we’re cuddling
    Rubbing your stomach
    Wondering, what we got in the oven
    Honored to be a husband
    And I’m about to have another title
    From our late nights in the kitchen
    Kissing; nobody serves loving like you
    Cheers to what our grubbing might do
    Yum! I love the taste
    Me and you break bread
    And leave little crumbs on the plate

  17. k weber


    sometimes it’s a casserole
    of emotions. i’ve turned
    the temperature down

    but left the light on for now.
    i feel like we might need
    sour cream and lettuce:

    let us cool down. sit. we
    can water ourselves wet
    by the glass. you taste this

    meal. too hot and your burnt
    mouth remains silent. pass
    the salt. pepper me

    with apology. if we make it
    through dinner, there’s
    a desert for dessert.

  18. carolemt87


    The latest trend in dark green cuisine
    sturdy and allegedly nutritious kale
    Tuscan, curly or black
    throw it in a smoothie
    soup or stew
    bake it into crispy chips.

    But why?
    Are we being punished?

    But I will eat cooked broccoli
    without the obligatory cheese sauce,
    spinach either cooked or raw,
    asparagus in various forms and
    even a few brussel sprouts
    roasted with balsamic vinegar.

    Just please, I beg of you
    do not attempt to make me eat kale
    however I may use it as lovely decoration
    for a salad or on serving platter
    and then toss it into the pasture
    for the cows next door.

  19. grcran

    just want to agree with William Preston (aka presson) that i have to login twice to get logged in… not that difficult to do but may cause some users to decide not to post… solutions? rusty (aka gpr crane)

  20. Daniel Paicopulos

    Cooking Bliss

    I love to cook
    especially for friends.
    There’s the food, of course,
    the stories we tell,
    and before an evening ends,
    I simply feel satisfied,
    where in the past,
    I’d feel stress.
    There’s a simple reason
    for this emotion,
    my gustatory happiness.
    I’ve learned to take my time,
    the secrets of mis en place,
    a sip of the cooking wine,
    well, maybe an entire glass.
    But mostly what it is,
    the core of my cooking bliss:
    when I peel the potatoes,
    I peel the potatoes.
    When I cut the tomatoes,
    I cut the tomatoes.
    When I stir the soup,
    I stir the soup.
    When I chop the greens,
    I chop the greens.
    That’s all it takes,
    so it seems.

  21. Anthony94

    After We Work the Free
    Lunch at the Swan Room

    clear the tables, wipe down the books
    mentors read aloud as kids eat

    I asked the chef about the yellow
    squash slices dusted in brown
    crumbs, baked crispy tender

    recalled abundance spilling
    from sprawling garden vines
    in the upper pasture the rows
    on a kitchen counter

    she described how she dipped it
    into an egg wash dropped slices in
    a bag of breadcrumbs and parmesan
    shook it to coat and then roasted it

    we thought the kids must’ve believed
    the tray to be filled with a new kind
    of chips, fragrant, hot and golden
    the baking sheet empty, just crumbs.

  22. grcran

    and add ground comino

    invented dish used corn polenta egg-
    plant and homegrown tomato onion with
    hot jalapeno layered lotsa cheese

    a sorta Mexican lasagna taste
    of heat and then it’s on ya burn but good
    with wine or beer can i get seconds please

    creation of new recipe’s hard work
    then if delicious gets demolished fast
    we will not have leftovers for to freeze

    therefore just as with verse i write it down
    may lose it in the juices of the food
    can’t file it though, ain’t any one of these

    gpr crane

    1. k weber

      “therefore just as with verse i write it down
      may lose it in the juices of the food”

      what great lines! i absolutely love the language of your poem with the casual words like “sorta” and “ya” and “lotsa” because it goes so well with the spur-of-the-moment experiment of this recipe being created. so much personality in this piece!

      1. grcran

        thanks for your kind words, k! and thanks for your time, in giving me some details! i once took a poetry class in which we were told that the one word which should never be used in a poem is “therefore”… there fore, i set out to use the word effectively, fairly often… and actually, it usually doesn’t work well in a verse of poetry, but maybe sometimes it does… rusty

      1. grcran

        and i haven’t tried it yet, but i believe that cornbread slices, or possibly crumbled tortilla chips might be used in place of the polenta… thanks Sara!

  23. Walter J Wojtanik


    His legs were swollen; his edema had run amok,
    and he had no more luck in getting around
    like he had been used to doing.
    Dad was given an eighteen month sentence,
    (of which he had served only four,) and what’s more,
    the prodigal Sonny boy had returned to take charge.
    He had the run of his mother’s kitchen,
    he, then tending to the man of her dreams
    (and nightmares.) Sustenance in the creamy
    broths and tattered recipes my father had
    missed in those twenty years of exile.
    I could sense my mother’s love
    in each page of hand written instruction;
    a culinary connection through Epicurean quarters,
    her silent support was always at my wavering shoulder
    and her warming smile filled both of our hearts, deliciously.

  24. Walter J Wojtanik


    There are days
    (We all have those days)
    where this crazy,
    c0ck-a-mamie world comes
    down hard, and every card
    in your hand has a joker’s head
    instead of the aces it replaces.
    A quick shuffle and a stir
    of the pot and you’ve got a mess,
    you’d guess you could be strong
    but you’d be wrong. The lid
    is clamped down hard on you
    and stew would require less
    pressure than you’ve been under.
    You wonder if this stress
    is in your best interest
    and again you guess it’s best to
    just let off some steam. You could
    scream and shout and let it out,
    but all that comes forth is that incessant
    whistle. Going off like a missile,
    you blow your top off. Others may scoff,
    but simmering in your own juices
    is quite akin to self-abuse. Can you
    smell what Walt’s been cooking?

  25. Poetjo

    Apple Pie

    After my
    my mother
    came home
    from the
    and stayed
    up all

    She woke
    me in
    the morning
    and I
    the smell
    of apples
    was doing.

    My mother
    she just
    her head
    and cried
    and that’s
    how I knew
    Grandma was

    I had pie
    for breakfast

    of apple
    easier to
    at least
    in that

    the pie
    I wanted
    to smash
    my plate
    into small,
    and wail

    But I

    I just
    my plate,
    got ready
    for school
    and left my
    to her


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