Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 447

For today’s prompt, write a release poem. At first, this prompt might seem a little odd, but there are several ways to come at it. For instance, fishers often catch and then release fish. Or people may release their grip on a coffee cup, steering wheel, or book of poems. Of course, these are all physical versions of release. There are also emotional and psychological forms of release. Feel free to release your poems into the world today.

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Here’s my attempt at a Release Poem:

“release me”

& if you find me walking the streets at night
& if you catch me singing when others fight
please don’t hold me or force me to go your way
instead release me so that i will want to stay

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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 finds the best way to keep people close is to give them space to do their thing.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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86 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 447

  1. LCaramanna

    Nightlife

    The sun lingered only a moment,
    a great ball of fire on the western horizon,
    then slid through puffs of cotton candy clouds
    stained pink in the last light of day.
    In the afterglow, first starlight twinkled
    as darkness rose to command the brigade
    of nocturnal creatures
    released from daytime seclusion
    to revel in nightlife.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  2. connielpeters

    Stubborn Pain

    Pain has sunk its teeth in
    My shoulder, fingers, wrist
    A bulldog determined to win
    Pain has sunk its teeth in
    Down to the bone within
    Let go! Release! Desist!
    Pain has sunk its teeth in
    My shoulder, fingers, wrist

  3. Walter J Wojtanik

    CONQUEROR

    She walks along within his heart,
    surrender to her name and she declares her victory.
    She, a young beauty a distance apart.
    wielding the weapons of love. Her artillery:
    blonde hair, chocolate eyes, her smile spells your captivity.

    A tug of war in the tug of hearts,
    no strings attached, you were matched
    by your play of words. Soaring like birds
    released, a reprieve of freedom granted,
    she walks along within his heart.

    She carries him with her as well,
    his tender words become her shield,
    protected by his expressive heart,
    no surrender does she yield. His soul beckons.
    Surrender to her name and she declares her victory.

    His journey begins and ends
    wherever she reside and he hides
    in the rushes until she flushes him out.
    Without a doubt, he is her target,
    she, the young beauty a distance apart.

    Hand-to-hand they take their stand,
    vying eye-to-eye. Determined and delighted,
    he fights for her honor, a prize secured
    and her response is swift and accurate.
    She wields the weapons of love. Her artillery

    is not pervasive, she releases animus
    to replaces it with amour. It is sure you will be
    the willing prisoner of her heart right from the start.
    Her beauty is your proclivity:
    blonde hair, chocolate eyes, her smile / your captivity.

  4. Christopher Allen

    Indigo Pedal

    You are that luminous spirit

    One omnipotent

    Vibration through an indigo lens

    Realigning the collective conscience

    Patiently awaiting that moment

    When light penetrates

    The shadows so that we

    May see a higher way.

  5. grcran

    holiday release

    feliz la Navidad but please release
    the Holiday from bad Christmas police
    Have Happy Holidays disturbs no peace
    beneath the grease lurks nasty flock of geese
    who want wide open thoughtfulness to cease
    and like to have folks bow to their caprice
    this is inane so says my wife Denise
    and i agree tis not my masterpiece
    release me instead ciao ta-ta capiche?

    gpr crane

  6. headintheclouds87

    The Next Place

    I thought last days were events –
    Full of nostalgic cheer
    And vague wishes for future years,
    But instead there is a cloudy haze
    Confused emotion in the air,
    As the relief of leaving
    A certain place
    Is fused with the feeling
    Of fearing the next one –
    That tricky state in between.

    I ponder this as I peruse the cards
    With thoughtfully-penned thank you’s
    And pourings of heartfelt praise
    Which I’m not convinced I deserve
    But smile warmly at regardless,
    Pleased I was doing something right
    Or at least, appeared to be
    In the eyes of those holding me
    In a far higher esteem
    Than my own cynical view of me.

    One might question why I’d flee
    From somewhere so accepting
    Of my uniquely awkward approach
    To the trials of adult reality,
    But perhaps it this very ability
    Which gives me the sheer temerity
    To test it at another location,
    To see if my unwitting trickery
    Works on other ‘ordinaries’
    And solidifies my camouflage completely.

    The final awaited release
    From this first place
    Still fills me with hesitancy,
    But I know the next will awake
    A new potential within me
    To truly stand up and believe
    The self-worth always evading me,
    And escape the doubt encircling me,
    Leaving is the sacrifice I make
    For my own stability’s sake.

  7. Troy DeFrates

    The Hunt

    Anxious to begin the day’s hunt
    Each dog striving to be in front
    Lining them up, all adjacent
    Release the hounds! Release the hounds!

    A fox is our quarry today
    The horses run without delay
    Keeping to the highest causeway
    Through the forest, through the forest

    The prize has been had, the dogs howl
    Raindrops drip from the hunter’s cowl
    A clean hunt it was, with no foul
    Sound out the mort, sound out the mort

  8. PowerUnit

    I knew when I pushed you
    you would never return.
    Once that diploma landed in your hands
    you took off like a rocket.
    You might not want to hear this
    but you are so much like me.
    Roots should be cut away.
    Break away, somewhere down the road.
    I’m not angry and I’m not sad.
    I’ve hacked my own roots away too,
    as I’ve willingly let go of you.
    I hope you can release me too.

  9. Darlene Franklin

    I’m sealocked by an ocean of paper
    My only hope to scoop out the junk
    Inch by inch and foot by foot
    Today is release day
    Unused supplies and old Christmas cards
    An unidentified photograph
    Ruthlessly discarded ‘til I reach
    The shore where space is plentiful

  10. Anthony94

    Sweet Release

    Inside the weatherbeaten birdhouse
    the one stained in faded redwood
    the bluebird sets on her four eggs
    while inside each a tiny body grows

    absorbing egg yolk, white albumen
    breathing air from the tiny sac
    between shell and body
    eggshell’s thousand pores releasing

    toxic CO2 as more air filters in
    until time for the birds’ release
    from palest blue shells dropped
    beside the fence post, one on the trail

    slipping underneath the house, I let their
    cheeping swirl about me even as I reassure
    the scolding mother dancing on a hedge limb
    talking with her mouth full of insects

    from the garden to be ferried in relays
    to waiting mouths above tiny heads
    that wait and wobble. Soon awkward fledglings
    will rim the birdbath, teeter on wires

    prepare for the change in seasons, faithful
    parents almost released from babysitting duties
    to migrate away from snow and ice only
    to return come spring, their song sweet release.

  11. De Jackson

    Dandelion Kites in the Storm

    let all go – the
    big small middling
    tall bigger really
    the biggest and all
    things – let all go
    dear

    so comes love

    – E.E. Cummings

    There’s a little girl twirling
    in the park over there; see her?
    She’s got a stray daisy chain
    left in her hair and a saffron dress
    that swirls just right. She’s blowing
    fluff into the sky like a tiny dragon
    puffing smoke clouds high
    into all this crazy blue.

    She is intricately un
    -concerned about deadlines or
    repairs or how many stairs she
    has climbed this day or any other.
    She’s not bothered by the ticking
    and the tocking and the clocking
    of hours. She only knows these
    wishes have a million places to be,
    and she hopes they’ll get there soon.

    ::

    1. Poetjo

      This is lovely! I like the sweet nostalgia of a girl in the park blowing fluff and then the second stanza brings the reader into the adult world of ‘…the tocking and clocking of hours’ Wonderful writing, De!

    2. Anthony94

      I share a bday with E.E. Cummings and love him, so this is spectacular. Your quote sets the stage for this little girl …/not bothered by ticking and tocking and the clocking of hours/ the whole is a WOW!

  12. Nancy Posey

    Letting Go

    The first one to go to kindergarten,
    to college, the first to marry, Laura
    eased us into the greatest challenge
    of parenthood, letting go.

    How could we be sad when she ran
    to the school bus, no looking back
    until she slid into her window seat
    by a neighbor she knew.

    Moving her into the dorm, we read
    her eagerness for us to leave,
    no hard feelings, just the heady feel
    of newfound freedom.

    Walking her down the aisle, her dad
    tells me, he felt her grip on his arm
    loosen as she met the eyes of the man,
    the only man we could imagine loving
    her more than we ever could.

  13. LeeAnne Ellyett

    Zoo Release

    People come day after day,
    to watch us frolic and play,
    Audiences applaud our shows,
    but they don’t know…

    We are trapped, can’t adapt
    to an unnatural habitat,
    of small pools, cages and fences,
    People, come to your senses.

    For I am the Orka,
    swimming in the ocean,
    For I am the Lion,
    hunting her prey,
    For I am the Giraffe,
    standing tall, a tower,
    For I am the Elephant,
    leading the parade,

    To escape our confinement, BE FREE.

  14. Cam Yee

    I opened the door today
    to Daddy’s ashes
    in a small square plain white box.
    The driver fumbled her scanner, fingers missing the necessary buttons,
    as she cradled my father
    in her other arm.
    Sign, she said,
    but the stylus skipped,
    as I tried to form the letters of the name my father gave me.
    She settled the box in my hands.
    Heavy.
    I didn’t know dust
    could be so heavy.

  15. tripoet

    The Ex

    The problem for him
    was the one who
    didn’t wanted
    to be released.
    The cluttered in-box,
    the late night calls,
    the unexpected
    visits to his work.
    It was enough to make him
    beg to be placed
    in witness protection.

  16. taylor graham

    WHERE PONDS RELEASE THE CREEK

    An aged coyote hunts the field released
    to daylight by the death of trees. Bark beetles
    killed the tall pines along the ponds
    and our people couldn’t save them, but
    reconstructed the old village
    in image of where the tribes met in woods
    and meadow, tepees and lean-to,
    a circle for sitting, for dancing and drumming.
    Hear the beat in your pulse, your footstep
    or is that the wind? The people lived
    until they passed, and then there was a burning
    to release the spirit, a long cry.
    No burial a bear might plunder,
    as miners plundered rock till it bled.
    You touched a broken rock still standing,
    and the split stone fell away
    in your hand. A healing. Grizzly is gone
    from the land, Raven stays to tell the stories.
    And old Coyote hunts the edges
    that we’ve left him, space between pages
    of history and myth,
    unwritten spaces to release
    the question, the story in song, the poem.

  17. taylor graham

    WHERE PONDS RELEASE THE CREEK

    An aged coyote hunts the field released
    to daylight by the death of trees. Bark beetles
    killed the tall pines along the ponds
    and our people couldn’t save them, but
    reconstructed the old village
    in image of where the tribes met in woods
    and meadow, tepees and lean-to,
    a circle for sitting, for dancing and drumming.
    Hear the beat in your pulse, your footstep
    or is that the wind? The people lived
    until they passed, and then there was a burning
    to release the spirit, a long cry.
    No burial a bear might plunder,
    as miners plundered rock till it bled.
    You touched a broken rock still standing,
    and the split stone fell away
    in your hand. A healing. Grizzly is gone
    from the land, Raven stays to tell the stories.
    And old Coyote hunts the edges
    that we’ve left him, space between pages
    of history and myth,
    unwritten spaces to release
    the question, the story in song, the poem.

    1. Marie Elena

      As always, perfectly penned excellence.

      “And old Coyote hunts the edges
      that we’ve left him, space between pages
      of history and myth,
      unwritten spaces to release
      the question, the story in song, the poem.”

      Just, wow…

    2. Poetjo

      This is beautiful! I especially liked these lines:

      “An aged coyote hunts the field released
      to daylight by the death of trees.”

      and

      “No burial a bear might plunder
      as miners plundered rock till it bled.”

  18. Daniel Paicopulos

    Tentative Release Date

    At a certain age,
    it all becomes provisional,
    the big things,
    the small stuff,
    the certain, the conditional,
    everything contingent on
    the mystery of
    one’s remaining time.

    No matter the years,
    the many or the few,
    it is also true
    that we’re just passing through,
    temporarily positioned between
    two eternities, so
    what is one to do?

    Perhaps choose this life,
    release future strife,
    without fretting about
    tentative schedules,
    possible arrival times,
    tentative deals,
    possible meals,
    tentative release dates,
    or possible mates.

    Maybe it’s best to not stew
    about outcomes which you
    can’t control,
    nor hold tight to those you do.
    Better to be as free
    an 80-year old man,
    a bearded hero who
    buys two saplings.
    And a hammock.
    He doesn’t concern himself with
    future change for today’s dollar.

    1. Marie Elena

      WOW. Wisdom, creatively spilled. This? Oh my … “Better to be as free an 80-year old man, a bearded hero who buys two saplings. And a hammock.” And oh my, this: “He doesn’t concern himself with future change for today’s dollar.” This should be in a book of quotes.

      Daniel, you’ve gained so much wisdom in your life. So much love. So much of what is important. Simply honored to do life with you, even though not face-to-face.

  19. Marie Elena

    FUNNY …

    Grief is a peculiar beast,
    prowling when
    and where
    and how we least expect –
    often at inopportune moments
    when there is no fitting release
    and nothing to do but cram it down,
    thinking it will recede
    and let us be,
    but no
    it lingers about,
    then slinks in
    at the next inopportune moment,
    chafing,
    never ending,
    like a run-on thought
    or a spinning yarn
    with no end in sight
    and no

    … funny,
    how relief,
    though brief,
    comes conversely
    through
    tears,
    and laughter.

  20. SarahLeaSales

    Max Hollywood

    He liked his own posts—
    his favorite subject being himself—
    even going so far as to
    put sticky notes all over his mirror,
    reminding himself of how awesome he was.
    But when that face in the mirror went all Dorian Gray on him—
    the mirror cracking when he smiled at it—
    he was rewarded with 7 years of bad luck.
    Then he had to rely on a world
    that became blind to his male beauty,
    but not to his bullshit.
    His face,
    his lucky charm,
    was no longer a goldmine.
    The women he’d collected like dolls,
    or charms for a bracelet,
    were released from his magnetic charm,
    for the value of his sperm bank
    had depreciated,
    & so, like an aging movie star,
    there were no new releases,
    save the ones that he did himself.

    1. k weber

      this is one of your strongest pieces! all that gut-punching wordplay but you make it sound so effortless and subtle. i often have to read through again just to catch all of your sly jabs! fantastic!

  21. Poetjo

    The Answer After Tea

    The heart
    slows
    and
    then
    stops.

    The
    breath
    becomes
    ragged
    and
    then
    stops.

    They
    say
    when the
    body
    stops,
    the
    soul
    is
    released
    and
    floats
    away,
    like
    a
    balloon
    whose
    string
    has
    been
    cut.

    I’ve
    lost
    so
    many
    souls
    in
    my
    life
    and
    yet
    I
    remain.

    But where
    do all
    our
    soul
    balloons
    go?

    My kettle
    is
    boiling.

    I’ll give
    you
    all
    the
    secret
    answer
    after
    I’ve
    had
    my
    cup
    of
    mourning
    tea.

    1. Anthony94

      Getting ready to play a funeral this morning, and I’ll undoubtedly think of your wonderful image of /soul balloons/ floating away… and your poem slender like a string unfisted. Gorgeous and delicate. Needed this!

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