Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 454

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “I Get (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “I Get Knocked Down,” “I Get Around,” “I Get a Little Bit Genghis Khan,” and/or “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends.” And yeah, I get it if you feel like these titles are all song lyrics (because they are), but there’s a lot of potential here for you to get a new poem at the end of this exercise.

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Here’s my attempt at an I Get Blank Poem:

“i get a little distracted”

i get a little distracted
whenever you are close
& even more attracted
when you haunt me like a ghost,

because the language we speak
isn’t captured in our words
but the twitter of our beaks
as if we are two love birds.

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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 gets distracted more than a little bit a lot of the time.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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151 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 454

  1. t.z.jones

    The Shower

    I get to thinkin’ sometimes ‘bout that shower the kids say I should take.
    They might have a point. Can’t hardly stand myself.
    But they just kids. They don’t know. It just ain’t right.
    Rather have the comfort of this bed right now.
    The coughin’ fits do give me a fright though.
    Last night, I thought I was a gonner.
    I got through the wailin’ spittin’ grit – don’t know how.
    Rested my head and drifted off.

    Lyin’ here, I get to thinkin’ ‘bout my sweet Rose Anne.
    Her smile lightin’ up my days since we were 15.
    ‘bout touchin’ her soft lips,
    her tender sweet skin
    in that Laguna Woods cabin in ’74.
    When Lynda turned me out,
    I found my childhood sweetheart waiting’
    right there for me
    in the cool western hills.

    I get to wonderin’ when these days gonna end.
    My boy says I’m gettin’ better. I want to believe him.
    My daughter tells me the truth – I don’t want to believe her
    but I do.
    Goddamnit.

    I get to lookin’ out that big picture window – neighbors passin’ by with a wave.
    Chickadees peekin’ in at the feeder and I wonder,
    do they see me?
    Who sees me?
    I get to wonderin’.

    I get to thinkin’ bout that shower again
    and how that warm sudsy bliss would coax the bedridden sweat off a me,
    would bash up my locked lungs
    and clear the sweat of the night from my pores.
    I get to hopin’ the kids won’t notice my pedigree and pride
    layin’ flat and discarded
    like my drawers on the floor.

  2. Not-Only But-Also Riley

    i get a phone call

    freedom rang, last night,
    and said she won’t put up much fight,
    if this is right, this
    apple pie and glass of (geno)cider
    you left cooling on the windowsill
    of those social studies textbooks
    where you’re living, still,
    that overlooked, false life.

    but, in the voicemail,
    her words were slurred,
    and lost behind that
    mindless wave of chat and
    lack of chance,
    and gave that grave sense
    of misbehaving,
    with rabble-rousing on her breath.

    and she was mumbling
    something, maybe, about
    when you were only blooming,
    how you had this voice,
    this soothing something, this
    grooving, dancing, flame unmoving
    that now, abusing, still you claim,
    but was only ever her in name.

  3. Walter J Wojtanik

    I GET SAD WHEN POETIC VOICES GO SILENT, Walter J Wojtanik

    A poet’s voice is well expressed,
    made to profess and obsess upon words.
    And when those words are heard,
    all other voices rejoice to excess.

    A poet’s voice brings joy,
    an instrument of their piece
    where their thoughts refuse to cease
    and their muses are enjoyed.

    But there will come a day
    when a poet’s voice expires
    through age, disease or lost desire,
    leaving with still so much to say.

    And it truly saddens a poet’s heart
    that through it’s eyes it has seen,
    the wonder wordsmiths they had been.
    Prolific right from the very start.

    Salvatore Buttacci had great conviction
    and wrote much of his Lord and Savior.
    He, of exemplary behavior
    quiet now, missed with affection.

    Vivienne Blake, a gentle soul
    wrote in terms that we had wished
    we had written. From her “Bistro” she had dished
    her poetry which in passing we extol.

    Andrea Heiberg’s words astounded
    she wrote in English, not her tongue,
    and her work was always top rung,
    Sadly, her loss has us confounded.

    Now we hear Penny Henderson has passed.
    And sadness fills our hearts again,
    it’s hard to lose poetic friends
    and all the brilliance they had amassed.

    I get sad when poetic voices fade.
    There much I wished I would have said.
    so I’ll have to write these words instead
    about lost friends that I had made.

    1. seingraham

      Thank you for this eloquent and timely message, Walt. I only just heard about Penny and came here to see if it had been noted. She was one of the famous (more likely infamous) Baker’s Dozen – that group of thirteen of us that formed after the first Poetic Asides challenge so that we could keep writing and in touch ongoing. Many of us still touch base from time to time. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Sal, Viv, Andrea – and now Penny – too many by far and too soon gone.

  4. MicMag

    – I get to –

    I don’t have to wake up too early
    I get to

    I don’t have to go to work
    I get to

    I don’t have to deal with my neighbors
    I get to

    I don’t have to eat a healthy dinner
    I get to

    I don’t have to call my parents
    I get to

    I don’t have to wash the dishes
    sweep the floors
    feed the pets
    hang the laundry
    scrub the toilet
    I get to

    I don’t have to pack her lunch
    with a smile
    and a lovely note
    I get to

    I don’t have to do
    the things I dread
    or the things I love
    I get to

    I don’t have to keep on living

    I get to!

  5. MicMag

    I get started

    Just tell myself
    First step’s the hardest
    First mile’s the farthest

    Just tell myself
    You got this
    You can’t miss

    Just tell myself
    One step at a time
    It’ll all be fine

    Just tell myself
    You can make it
    All the way
    Gotta take it
    Day by day

    Just tell myself
    I’m with you friend

    Until
    I get
    To the end

  6. tripoet

    I Get You

    I get you
    coffee, mild, smooth and hot,
    but you don’t see me or look up.
    But I get you.
    I get you
    paperwork, neatly assembled
    paperclipped, florescent tipped,
    Like your tight words and silver hair.
    I take your calls. I stay late.
    Supply your happiness
    more than a job, my fate.
    I get you.

  7. connielpeters

    I Get Thankful

    I get thankful
    when I fill out forms
    for new doctor visits
    and follow the instructions
    to check those that apply
    to you now or in the past.

    Cancer No
    AIDS No
    Heart defects No
    Arthritis No
    Meningitis No
    Diverticulitis No
    Ebola No
    Asthma No
    Fibromyalgia No
    Cerebral Palsy No
    Epilepsy No
    Kidney Disease NO
    Stroke No
    COPD No
    Hearing loss No

    On and on it goes.
    It makes my actual ailments
    seem not so bad.

  8. fbxwriter

    I Get (blank)

    I get blank
    When I try
    To thank
    Of a subject or word
    My mind gets blurred
    My rhyming scheme ain’t
    My poems ain’t quaint
    It’s a muddle
    I’m a puddle
    But I can’t let it go
    Rain, wind or snow
    I’m a damn postman
    I’m a damn lostman
    Oh, hell
    I Get…
    I Get…
    Somehow
    I Get…to the end.

  9. Not-Only But-Also Riley

    i get to get it too

    language would be proud to call this home,
    with those winding walks through nature and nothingness.

    and with every step all i think is that this is mine,
    as much if not more than it will ever be yours.

    because, i get to get it too, and so many others
    have spoke the speak of the pompous intellectual

    that i can’t help to wonder if maybe getting it means
    too much, in a world where not everyone can.

  10. Jane Shlensky

    I Get a Hankering

    It ain’t every day, mind,
    but just once in a while
    I feel it sharp as a toothache,
    bone deep and lonely,
    this missing of old Jim.
    I’ll wake up with it,
    go about my day as if
    he’s beside me talking
    his nonsense, singing
    his songs of whippoorwills
    and open up the screen door
    come on in. The emptiness
    of missing most bends
    me over and my eyes fill,
    but I can hear him complain,
    “Can’t you do that when
    I’m not here?” so I laugh
    instead and visit with him,
    just as if he was flesh
    walking with me. I point out
    my projects—my garden,
    my new calf, my muscadine wine,
    my reading—and he nods
    and comments just as he would.

    We share a meal or two, a beer,
    lots of memories and laughs
    and then he goes, and the ache
    is gone like the space where
    something solid was. I tell him
    I get a hankering to see him
    like in the old days when
    he’d show up every time I thought
    of him, like my own genie.

    “I know,” he says. “I get hankerings.”
    “You do?” Who knew ghosts got hankerings?
    “Sure. Mama’s mince pie, a sweet song,
    October leaves red and peach. Why do
    you think I’m here?” he asks.
    “I thought you were my guardian angel,”
    and we laugh.
    “Maybe. Or you’re my guardian–”
    but then he’s gone again.

  11. grcran

    i get one

    went through hell
    liked it well
    enough i guess
    took my leave
    bob and weave
    much more than less
    on rough road
    to-and-fro-ed
    finding clues
    those who teach
    could not bleach
    my nerdly blues
    go build a bridge
    walk the ridge
    more give less take
    achieve the blend
    comprehend
    i get a break

    gpr crane

  12. Tracy Davidson

    I Get A Hot Date

    “Burning passion guaranteed”
    his dating profile said.

    In a way, he delivered.

    But I’ve had hotter
    demons in my bed.

    I sweep away his ashes.

  13. belovedfranklin

    I (Can’t) Get (No) Satisfaction
    I can’t get no satisfaction, doing
    The same old thing in the same tired way
    Not tried and not true, but worn to nothing
    Chewed ‘til the good taste goes away to stay
    Bitten until the wood is pulp not logs
    Without taste, without purpose, meaningless
    Though I live with pups, I’ve gone to the dogs
    Downward I tumble, the journey joyless
    Stopping at the pit that is bottomless

    Heed the warnings pointing to the bottom
    I can get satisfaction when life lived
    To the full, refueled, no need for crumbs
    No blanks found in bag of joy for gifts giv’n
    Tomorrow’s story, different path, same end
    Never run out if on God I rely
    Of His delights I can always depend
    Walking with Him leaves me young, wise and spry
    Follow God, leave the bottom, soon you’ll fly

    Darlene Franklin

  14. De Jackson

    I get the last piece of forever, now.

    Got me a man
    who says it as a verb,
    disturbs the earth
    to make me spin.

    Got me 20+ years
    of giggle-guffaw-tears,
    and a way with words
    he steeps me in.

    Got me a thousand
    little things that make
    this new heart sing;
    can handle anything

    so long as he’s here,
    too. Got you, and every
    -thing fell into place, traced
    deep in ink and sand and snow.

    ::

  15. julie e.

    I GET AHEAD OF MYSELF

    I think my skin should be
    calloused and tougher now
    since the rawness
    of being scraped–
    I think my heart should be
    stronger now
    since being beat
    over the years–
    I think my soul should be
    wholly whole by now
    since the acid burns
    it once sustained
    from the pain of all
    those unkind words,
    those unkind deeds

    Yet I keep falling down
    op’ning tender skin
    finding I still bleed
    more than I wish
    Yet I keep feeling bruised
    when my heart is pushed
    in those old fam-
    iliar ways
    And I keep finding holes
    in the soul of me
    I was sure would be
    quite gone–
    I’m moving on–
    that’s just me
    getting ahead of myself.

      1. julie e.

        Thank you so much–I’m finally getting better at putting something down and editing it in a shorter time, usually it takes multiple days. It’s good practice writing and rewriting in the same day. You all are my poetry heroes.

    1. De Jackson

      Julie, I relate to this, so so much. My first marriage was not ANYTHING like my current one is. I still feel those scars, bruises and holes, so often. Hard to leave them all behind, even after all these years. I cling to this verse a whole lot, which was the one my now-Love and I featured at our wedding:

      “And I will give you a new heart…I will put a new spirit within you.” – Ezekiel 36:26

  16. writinglife16

    I GET WORRIED

    I get worried
    when I see you raking leaves
    in the snow.

    I get worried
    when you cut the grass in a lightning
    storm with an electric mower.

    I get worried
    when you plant plastic flowers every year
    and say they are annuals.

    I get worried
    when I see you on the roof with a shovel
    to remove the snow.

    I don’t worry anymore.
    The men in the white coats removed me
    when I reported you had a cauldron bubbling in the backyard.

    They say I worried too much.

  17. brokenlens

    I get to eat King Cake down in New Orleans

    She sang a hollow tune from the soul, as the trumpets blared with every step. She brushed along the Big Easy, waving and smiling at all the vibrant exotic flair. Dancing to the parades jive and jazz. Her heart was festive. Majestic. Celebration.

  18. Jane Shlensky

    I Get Thankful in Hospital Waiting Rooms

    Some of us wait for our procedures
    to get underway, anxious as to outcomes;
    some of us wait on loved ones having
    their own personal probes today.
    Every one of us knows a waiting room
    is a good place to read, prepare our
    thoughts and minds for new information,
    but this young man holds a prosthetic leg
    with a shoe attached and grins
    into each face that enters. He’s handsome
    in a lonesome country boy way,
    and he wants to talk to someone.

    When someone’s beeper goes off,
    I remark that no one gave me a beeper.
    Only the waiters get a beeper, he says,
    I’m waiting on my father. Bladder cancer,
    he says as if it’s a sad joke. We laugh
    and tutt and express our sorrow; he tells
    us that he once believed in nothing
    at all, but caring for his father has made
    him grow up—grow up and believe—he says.

    Another lady and I talk with him,
    admitting our own shortcomings,
    our own needs, stories of parents and siblings,
    personal things we haven’t told our friends
    or owned to our families, but we tell him
    and one another. We own our disabilities
    and misunderstandings, we laugh at ourselves,
    we nurture one another in a waiting room
    as others ignore us the best they can
    until one by one, we are called in.
    We don’t know names, just anonymous people
    waiting, being human together, but
    I have cared for them today, and I have
    recalled each of us talking of physical
    problems that assaulted us and our loves
    and still remarking how grateful we are
    to be alive, how fortunate that—though late—
    we have learned to be thankful, even
    for random encounters in waiting rooms.

  19. Jane Shlensky

    I Get to Help

    She assembles the pans,
    fills the pot with water,
    side-eyes me where I stand
    waiting with helping eyes.
    She picks easy tasks,
    greasing the pans, washing
    potatoes, churning butter,
    easy knifeless things,
    no measuring required
    yet, no possibility of ruining
    a meal when we have
    so many mouths, so little
    to work with. Little by little,
    she lets me measure,
    stir, cream sugar and butter,
    crack eggs without dropping
    shells in the batter.

    I’m too small still, but
    I can carry water for big people,
    I can pull weeds holding a sample
    weed in my left hand, I can bring
    snacks from the kitchen in a basket,
    I can rub sunscreen over their arms
    and backs, I can watch the oven
    until the bread is browned
    just right, I can watch and watch,
    then I can feed the cows in their
    stanchions, their rough tongues
    thanking me, I can dust low places
    and sing and play “Work for
    the Night is Coming” on piano
    just like Mama does on Sundays.

    My great aunt says I’m too little
    to be worth anything as a worker,
    I hear her plain, but my mama
    tells her I’m learning. I can’t do
    much on my own yet, but I watch
    and hear everything and
    I’m not worthless—I get to help.

  20. taylor graham

    I GET REQUESTS:

    A poem for the girl who loves lupine,
    or the mother and son mutually admiring
    art prints in the gallery where I sit, recalling
    the headaches of all-nighters at this same
    old manual typewriter – a Royal I inherited
    from my mother. How did I get roped into
    Typewriter Improv Poetry – a notion
    brought here from street poets in New Orleans,
    I believe. Reading a poem typed in elite-face
    (tiny) of an old portable is difficult
    in any circumstance, and my ribbon is starting
    to fade badly. But the girl with her poem
    on mountain lupine, look at her eyes light!

  21. headintheclouds87

    I Get Flustered

    I get flustered
    A little hot and bothered
    When I turn to gaze
    Your ravishing face
    And that seductive stare
    Melting me to a babbling puddle
    My words all in a muddle

    You feign confusion and innocence
    Asking exactly what I’ve meant
    About what ‘that’ face does to me
    Claiming you only know purity

    When I know the power in those eyes
    To mesmerise and magnetise
    A timid soul like me closer
    To you, my dark-hearted lover
    But I know this love is true
    Honest through and through
    For this dance of touch and skin
    Is expressing feelings within;
    Such is the spell you have cast on me.

  22. thunk2much

    I get it

    I get it, I get it
    it’s best if I forget it
    never name names or
    give breath to the shame
    just give up my voice and
    my freedom of choice
    as if, as if, AS IF
    it was ever really mine
    no, it’s nothing, I’m fine

  23. Not-Only But-Also Riley

    i get the groceries.

    i get the groceries.
    i spend my hard-earned
    my big bucks, my green.
    i give it all to you,
    for you, (from you),

    and still, you sit
    in that big throne of yours,
    and give me what?
    life, but that was
    many years ago,

    and your part was
    only half the job.
    i spend money, while
    you spend words on
    going-away gifts for

    people who will
    never go away.
    so give me the cash,
    give me the house, and
    i’ll get the groceries.

  24. Walter J Wojtanik

    I GET WHERE YOU’VE BEEN, by Walter J Wojtanik

    It doesn’t matter where you were.
    The further you go from there,
    the less it matters. Don’t
    flatter yourself because
    your trophy shelf is full
    of awards and honorariums.
    Do not construct your museum!
    I get it, you’ve been everywhere, man!
    Forget all that. For in the end,
    they will only ask one question.
    Were you a good person?
    Were you a mensch?
    Did I mention, if you chose to serve
    humanity? Did your brand of insanity
    translate well in the Great scheme of things?
    Be the you that you need to be
    from this point through eternity!
    Free yourself from the shackles
    and pay no attention to the cackles
    from the salacious depths of despair.
    Return to always remain here, not there.
    Live for today. Live for this moment.
    I get it, you’ve been everywhere, man!
    But forget where you’ve been.
    Be here now. That is surely
    how your life will matter!

  25. brokenlens

    I get to time travel

    Reminiscing of a time where love whispered a tune so defined

    The tears rolled off her pillow, trails of milk and honey are left behind

    Lyrics of the heart dance to the sweet ballad of a love lost in time

    my lips kiss her softly, caressing the moon in a star filled sky

  26. Anthony94

    I Get Holes

    in my fingers from the poke
    of the needle the in and out
    of pushing through a thread
    of cotton or a thought trailing
    into round vacuums needing
    to be filled

    I “get” holes
    relate to those spaces
    capricious accidents between
    in and on
    bored gnawed gouged
    carpenter bees and rodents
    flinging sawdust from beam
    and baseboard the beetle
    making lace of leaves
    the single hole
    in the apple a home for the worm

    I get holes
    engineered in wheels
    waiting for bolts
    or punched in the bottom
    of the pot on the porch
    water filtering out seining dirt
    errant roots wagging like white tails

    I get holes in fences
    around the garden
    but not around the world
    not around our heads and hearts
    holes needing to be mended
    before something slips in
    slithers out
    the rabbit in Australia
    the cow in Kansas
    holes made by prejudice
    holes filled with
    righteousness

    I live for holes in storm clouds
    promising blue skies
    but

    I don’t get holes
    gouged by the carefully honed
    blades plunged again and again
    into bodies that fell last night
    in the Jazz District

    bullet holes pocking
    bedrooms of houses
    on South Benton, Troost

    black holes left
    in the universe
    once upon a time
    stolen by
    anger’s spilled emotion

    we’ve got holes
    wet with tears
    calling to be
    filled with so much
    more
    than silence

  27. k weber

    i get upset

    in the stomach
    like an enlarged heart-
    ache communicating
    with the pulse
    of arrhythmia

    in the brain
    like the back-
    ache in my hand
    when i’ve got
    no nerve

    in the heart
    like an enlarged stomach-
    ache communicating
    with the pulse
    of nausea

  28. Walter J Wojtanik

    I GET KNOCKED DOWN (BUT I GET UP AGAIN), by Walter J Wojtanik

    Chumbawumba has my numba
    and I wonder if I still have what it takes
    to make words dance on my pages.
    Past poets and sages have remained
    in the hearts and minds of like kinds
    and I find myself looking up at them
    in awe. My flaw has always been
    a bout of self-doubt when it’s been proven
    my words are behoovin’ to everyone
    but me. Yet, I don’t see it. Be it poem
    or prose, no one knows what’s in my head.
    Instead, I come around to feeling my oats
    and write boat loads of verse and curse
    the “dying of the light.” It may be alright
    if I fight the urge to stay on the ground.
    If I cast my shackles by the wayside
    and hide all fear of failure, be a sailor
    of good fortune and soar unbound
    circling around. I get knocked down,
    but I get up again, time and again.

  29. Walter J Wojtanik

    I GET IT, Walter J Wojtanik

    We start with “I Get…”
    and with it we could change the world.
    Or at least a small part of our poetic existence.
    And with persistence, we could improve
    and move others to emotional highs
    and low, and it goes without saying
    we’re playing with dynamite.
    We get to write what we feel and the deal
    is that we begin with “I get…”
    Don’t over think or try to outwit it,
    forget it. Just write it and submit it.
    I get it.

  30. Poetjo

    I Get Talky

    I used
    to be
    a
    silent
    girl.

    I didn’t
    know
    the words
    for
    abuse,
    violence,
    terror,
    fear.

    I grew
    into a
    mute
    teen
    and
    a very
    quiet
    woman.

    I only
    used
    my
    authentic,
    real
    voice
    when
    I
    wrote
    in my
    journal,
    my
    trusty
    little
    life-saver
    with
    blue-lined
    pages.

    I’ve
    evolved
    since
    then.

    Now,
    I speak,
    no,
    now I
    roar
    about
    child abuse,
    domestic
    violence,
    and the
    terror
    that
    so many
    people
    live with
    in their
    own
    homes.

    I use
    my
    voice
    to
    poke
    holes
    in
    our
    culture’s
    pervasive
    silence
    about
    these
    horrifically
    common
    events.

    Now that
    I’ve
    found
    my voice,
    I’ll
    never
    shut up
    so get
    used
    to it,
    world.

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