Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 457

For today’s prompt, write a disobedient poem. History is filled with acts of disobedience. Some disobedience brings about positive change. Some disobedience makes things worse. Disobedience happens everywhere–at work, home, and school. And yes, poetry too.


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Here’s my attempt at a Disobedient Poem:

“i prefer”

i prefer to do the right thing
but i have trouble with silence
as nothing turns to a violence
causing both of my ears to ring

i prefer to do the right thing
& i promise that i will try
but if i’m told music must die
then i’m afraid that i must sing


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 loves music to the point that he will sing and hum to himself if there’s no device around already playing it.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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109 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 457

  1. Glory


    No, I won’t do it
    Although you think I should
    Because you’ve always had your way
    You’ve believed you always would

    Not this time though
    You will not change my mind
    As I’m no longer willing to agree
    Disobedience in me you’ll find

  2. mayboy


    If you agree, there always
    A follower will be. You & me,
    like a cat and mice, we tend
    to play a game, wrapped in
    the world of rules prescribed,
    supposed to step in like a blind.

    & Contra

    A rebel in you & me will always
    disagree to break free with a key.
    Not to follow the rules is maybe
    what we feel & see. It is nothing
    wrong to pave the way on which
    you want to stay or a word to say.


    Hi, I may have posted this under the wrong prompt. I used to write here back in 2008, I have not written for many years, I doubt anyone would remember me. I wrote this today, and just felt it should be posted here. Enjoy. If I have double posted, I apologize. In a sense it is a very disobedient poem, so it also fits the prompt as well.

    America the Intolerant

    As a child
    I learned so many a racist rhyme
    As, I grew up in a racist time
    When I look back
    I realize it was a sin to be black

    Heaven forbid
    That anyone know
    Your desires where homo
    And, in our town
    We would look down
    Upon anyone whose skin were brown

    That was back then
    Way back when
    We did not know better
    America was growing
    But the hatred would not let her

    Now today,
    You’d think we’d be on our way
    But, racist views have returned
    There’s a revival of the KKK
    More crosses to be burned

    Shitler, is the new Hitler reborn
    And, we live in a country that’s torn
    Once again, leaders are saying
    What the people were praying
    They would never hear again
    That people of color are not really men

    It;’s 2018, homophobia is on the rise
    In tolerance Hatred no long wear a disguise
    Once there was a solution
    Within the highest court in the land
    Following the constitution
    We were led to understand

    Now the supreme court
    The highest in the land
    Will no longer support
    The basic rights of each and every man

    Human right and dignity has been given away
    Taken over by greed and the religious way
    Now under the guise of religion
    A woman’s body no longer her own
    She can no longer make any decision
    If it’s her’s alone

    One’s basic human right
    To be treated like any other
    Now means a fight
    Between you and religion brother
    We live in a land
    Where it’s a sin to be gay
    Where anyone can take a religious stand
    And all they have to say
    Is it’s my religious right
    So, I don’t have to serve you today

    What has happened to this once great nation
    The home of the proud and the free
    A nation where freedom was a guarantee
    A melting pot of difference
    Made up of many of different nationality
    A land of indifference toward who you love naturally

    America had become great
    Under one true president
    It’s not too late
    To evict the White House’s current resident
    If you want to Make America Great Again
    Evict the GOP
    America just does not need them
    What she needs is a true democracy.

    Rodney C Walmer


  4. grcran

    On Civil Disobedience

    “Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine.” Henry David Thoreau

    Thoreau pondered. Proposed. We disobeyed.
    We the hippies willingly non-complied.
    Keeping it kinda civil, we melee-d.
    And changing nothing, they brushed us aside.
    Stern elders they have always held, not swayed.
    I read Thoreau again and sighed. Retried
    the words. Sternness then changed me. Day-by-day-ed.
    I thought about my long-spent youth and cried
    out loudly. Oldsters should not be afraid
    to let the young ones know they’re bona fide.

    gpr crane

  5. Not-Only But-Also Riley


    heart pounding,
    his feeling
    moves. he
    stands still,
    but scared.
    is he
    police and dogs.
    the crowd shrinking,
    the faith shrinking. his
    mouth has blood,
    his hurt is being his

    entirety. but, although

    his being is hurt, his
    blood has mouth.
    his shrinking faith, the
    shrinking crowd, the
    dogs and police
    he is
    scared, but
    still stands.
    he moves,
    feeling his
    pounding heart.

    1. Not-Only But-Also Riley

      Sorry about posting twice, but I fixed it so it actually fits the form.


      heart pounding,
      his feeling
      moves. he
      stands still,
      but scared.
      is he
      police and dogs.
      the crowd shrinking,
      the faith shrinking. his
      mouth has blood. his
      fear killed hope.


      hope killed fear.
      his blood has mouth.
      his shrinking faith, the
      shrinking crowd, the
      dogs and police
      he is
      scared, but
      still stands.
      he moves,
      feeling his
      pounding heart.

  6. connielpeters


    The prophet Jonah heard God’s voice
    to preach to Ninevites one day.
    He thought, no way!
    He headed for Tarshish by ship.
    He made his choice.
    So God sent stormy, violent waves.
    Men tossed him out for God to save.
    In fish, he’d pray.
    The fish spit him out so Jonah did preach.
    And showed no sinner was out of Love’s reach.

  7. Eileen Sateriale

    Repairing the Past

    It was an act of disobedience
    by the young girl’s paternal grandmother
    to tear her away from the mother’s side of the family
    after she died.

    Being a child, she was not allowed to attend
    Her mother’s funeral.
    The little girl was only eight at the time
    and never saw her maternal grandmother ever again.
    She was told by the other grandmother
    that they wanted nothing to do with her.
    That was 1952 and for decades,
    she wondered about her mother’s family
    and the grandmother who loved her.
    It left a gaping hole in her.

    Today, she reconnected with her mother’s family.
    Together, they walked through the graveyard
    and found the grave of her mother and her mother’s mother.
    Her mother’s relatives told her that
    they often thought about her and the story
    told by the other side was not true.

    The lies that her father’s side of the family told
    were finally revealed.
    Tears were shed and photos were taken.
    She now has her family back.

    Note: This is based on a true story.

  8. Walter J Wojtanik


    “You never listen” she says,
    but I don’t want to hear it.
    I’ve had it up to here with
    your nit-picking. I’m sticking
    my two cents in whenever
    you begin your tirade.
    I’d trade a night of silence
    (without the violence and
    the sad violins) to not hear
    you spout. You’re a bit unstable.
    I ‘m not taking your orders.
    Sorry, this is not my table!

  9. fbxwriter


    A quick turn
    From the parking lot
    No one’s around
    Why bother to stop?

    Flashing lights
    I should pull to the side
    But something grabs me
    Deep inside

    I accelerate
    To my fate
    A quick turn
    A quick turn
    And wait
    And wait
    And wait

    Behind the building
    My blood is pounding
    I wait and wait
    My heart is bounding

    The cruiser is gone
    But my situation fraught
    Should I stay or go?
    Either way I’ll be caught

    Heart pounding, I go for home
    Eyes darting, I drive real slow
    Hands shaking, keys in the door
    Quoth the Raven

  10. Walter J Wojtanik


    Raise your voice,
    raise the roof,
    raise a ruckus
    but there’s no proof it solves
    any pressing problems.
    Your discourse is just background noise,
    or an ignorant violent display of dismay.
    It’s not to say, you shouldn’t care,
    it’s just that there are other ways
    to air your grievances. The chance is
    worth more and violent fighting against
    what you refuse to resolve peacefully
    is pure folly. It’s a no win situation
    It is easily done if you just try.
    It’s no pie-in-the-sky solution.
    Halt the noise pollution and quit the riot.
    For goodness sake, please be quiet.
    All that I’m saying is that Lennon was right.
    Give peace a chance if you fancy it!

  11. Walter J Wojtanik


    You know you shouldn’t, so don’t.
    Some things just aren’t right.
    There are commands to guide you,
    but they won’t hide you from
    doing the wrong thing.
    It rings of disobedience if your
    expedience gets you in dutch.
    It’s much to much to chance.
    So thou shalt not dance on the edge.
    And don’t hedge you bets.
    Go the straight and narrow,
    or for sure it’s hell you get!

  12. Darlene Franklin


    God gave us the keys to Pandora’s box
    By giving us free will
    To obey or not, our choice
    Thus creating the paradox
    From our first disobedience others grew
    Until sometimes to obey we must first disobey
    When Daniel’s kingg commanded he bow,
    He stood tall
    Peter and John chose to obey God
    Rather than men
    Colonials abstained from from tea and
    Rebelled against the world’s mightiest king
    Gandhi didn’t eat and
    Parks would not give up her seat
    Their disobedience made them heroes
    Give me courage if called to a
    Severe disobedience
    Darlene Franklin

  13. Anthony94

    When the 60’s came to Boarding School

    Trying to avoid wobbling
    on the beige leatherette sofa
    in the student lounge
    standing suddenly above

    assembled blonds, brunettes,
    ponytailed, bobbed, my voice
    ringing down the hall
    They go or no one goes!

    echoes sliding down the face
    of the grayed out TV on its metal stand
    the polka dotted card tables where
    we slammed hands of Mexican Canasta

    at issue the work-study girls of which
    I only counted for trumpet and piano
    the others scrubbing middle hall
    wrestling the heavy buffers

    until almost time for lunch no time
    to make it into town walking the five
    miles and back no furtive snacks
    between lunch and supper

    the proctor called my parents
    and to this day I have no idea
    what my horrified mother said
    but we went on and rolled up

    our sleeves shined and polished
    finished by ten and exited en masse
    to head toward the distant square
    splurged at the DQ passed cones

    all around almost giddy with power
    borne of our united voices
    the work-study girls grinning behind
    chocolate lips, strawberried smiles.

  14. Tracy Davidson

    Some Disobey

    Some stand their ground, some take a knee,
    showing respect takes many forms.
    Disobedience or liberty?
    Some stand their ground, some take a knee…
    this is what it means to be free,
    in spite of angry Twitter storms.
    Some stand their ground, some take a knee,
    showing respect takes many forms.

  15. Sara McNulty


    Children who disobey their parents
    eventually learn they have not
    truly won a victory,
    and become sad adolescents.

    Rebellion can nearly guarantee
    attention will be paid.
    When you seek gratification though,
    who will attend your party?

    To play Devil’s Advocate, I say,
    what if soldiers disobeyed
    Hitler’s orders to maim and kill?
    Would millions have seen another day?

    All comes down to knowing when you are
    disobeying for yourself,
    or is it a moral challenge
    that will promote change near and far?

  16. taylor graham


    We met early morning in the deserted park.
    On sunny weekends, kids throw balls by rules
    of the game. But not on a cold Thursday,
    wind pushing winter. This morning, no cars
    in the parking lot. No one to see our pups break
    the sit-down-stay. Still, I felt a presence –
    and there he was, speaking to a tree; bearded,
    garbed in a long brown hoodie. Peculiar,
    I thought. The tree called back to him
    in voice of crow, softened. Our rowdy pups
    went silent, sat without command;
    eyes fixed on his.
    How can I learn this language?

  17. De Jackson

    Bratty Moon

    She’s braying
    and saying
    that she doesn’t wanna
    wane today, doesn’t feel
    like fading away
    into nothing.

    She’s crying
    and sighing
    and holding nothing back
    at bay, causing a tempest
    -tantrum of whine
    and ocean waves.

    She’s taxing
    and waxing
    forth in expletive-al phrase,
    holding her white-bone breath
    for days, as we watch her stew
    this sky.


  18. SarahLeaSales

    No Voice But Her Own

    Because she would not listen,
    she did not learn.
    Because she would not read what others had done,
    she did not know how to do it.
    Because she fancied herself a maverick a la Hemingway,
    she could not see that she could become better.
    Because she did not know the rules,
    she did not know how or when to break them.
    Because she wanted to tell her story,
    she did not tell their stories.

  19. grcran


    why can’t the world just be harmonious
    follow the rules of sunshine, rain, seasons
    … except… could we allow one sunflower to bloom
    amidst the darkness of december

    gpr crane

  20. Wathi


    It was like a clap of thunder; a coup de foudre
    my attraction to you grew instantly the moment you talked to me. You seemed so ordinary, yet here you were, suddenly extraordinary.

    You reminded me of my favorite ex, though he stood me up at the library. I longed to have a conversation with you and when we did, you told me you were separated but not divorced. But I knew better, because I’m a lawyer and that meant you were married.

    But here I am, carried away by thoughts of you and yielding to the temptation of phoning you knowing very well that you are not for me!

    1. thunk2much

      “You reminded me of my favorite ex” – yes. Lovely. I wasn’t fully divorced when I met my now-second-husband, but I’d been alone for a long time just waiting for the relocation laws to catch up.

  21. De Jackson

    ’Dis Obedient Poem

    ’Dis poem ain’t in line
    or just in time. She’s got one
    black eye and bruised feet
    and a pen
    -chant for running out
    in the street before she’s
    fully dressed.

    She don’t listen, or glisten,
    or wrap a decent rhyme
    around her inelegant should
    -ers. She don’t know how
    to say please, or how to
    appease, or how to give
    peace a chance.

    ’Dis poem don’t know much
    about anything. Not
    how to ring the moon, nor
    celebrate the sea. She’s on
    the wrong side of the tracks,
    and she can’t get back
    into her own bright skin.

    In fact, she’s in time out.

    ’Dis poem refuses to do
    what anyone else says
    is right. She’ll fight you
    in both think and
    ink. She drinks.
    -bled phrases
    and weak turme(t)ric tea.}

    But if you ask her
    to just

    she’ll fold her un
    -iambic hands
    and say,

                            Yes, ma’am.


  22. headintheclouds87

    A Declaration by Disobedient Dreamers

    We live to defy
    The irksome rules that confine
    Dreams of the creative mind,
    Those pesky standards and protocols
    Which coldly dictate our lives
    And denounce dreamers as fools
    For daring to see another side.

    A side of life lighter and free
    Of heavy want and demand
    And ultimately pointless worries
    Where the rule breakers take a stand.

    We don’t wish to take control
    Merely make mischievious plans
    That poke fun at the dreary and dull,
    Pull down the metaphorical pants
    Of these wearisome beige men
    Who might just make amends
    By cracking a smile once again.

  23. PowerUnit


    I only gave orders for your safety
    Keep your hands away from the stove, it’s hot
    You only listened when you felt my fear
    Doubts about Dad shoved to the backburner
    It hurt me when you pushed your limits, and
    the scars on your heart etched in your finger

  24. k weber

    mother nature will have her revenge

    i double-crossed
    the street, running
    with shears. i only
    looked one way: up.

    frothy smog sprayed
    the neighborhood
    as the sky cracked.
    an enormous hand

    emerged. once-
    now sour-grey
    liberty’s statue’s

    cousin was seen
    pumping aerosol
    in our mouths
    and choked the eyes.

    burn our memories.
    the world turns
    backwards, inverted.

    karma. this lady
    of the breathing trees
    aims to smother me
    and you. we did this

    ourselves. we have
    no bounds in our
    last weak whiffs
    of self-respect.

  25. Daniel Paicopulos


    My monkey mind’s been busy,
    thinking about revolution,
    or maybe the idea of it,
    the impulse to rebel now and then,
    to disobey the naysayers.
    Not the youthful cries
    for freedom,
    not political demands
    for change.
    Been thinking more about
    being happy all the time,
    doing something radical,
    like being nice to everyone.
    Every day, my body gets closer
    to its expiration date.
    Sooner or later,
    this physical self won’t exist.
    There are only so many sunsets,
    so few full moons to enjoy,
    yet so many other people
    to enjoy them with along the way.
    This body’s a bit of a wreck,
    definitely well-used,
    but it’s still good fortune
    to not die young.
    I have no fear of dying,
    but death waits for all of us.
    The body might be bruised,
    but there need not be
    collateral damage to the soul.

  26. Daniel Paicopulos

    Situational Ethics

    It’s not really
    to refuse normalcy,
    which is a boring
    societal delusion,
    not even
    a proper ideal,
    merely an illusion.
    (an overrated one, I feel.)
    Then again, rather than
    starve until you’re dead,
    tuna salad tastes good
    on white bread.
    (when you’re hungry)

  27. Ann M

    My father ran through
    the streets of Athens
    with his friends. Ten-year-olds
    on a mission. To splash
    anti-Nazi slogans on
    the ancient city walls
    as soldiers turned the Acropolis
    into a war zone
    and his own uncle
    was marched to the mountains.
    Wasn’t he afraid?
    He shakes his head.
    Fear isn’t what he remembers.
    Only the white paint
    and the wild glee of

  28. taylor graham

    an unruly sonnet

    Ornery is the word for ground-squirrels.
    They consume our garden, under-
    mine our fields and pebble-deck. Famished
    and ornery, skittering across landscape
    then zip! down a tunnel, gone into labyrinths
    of g-squirrel metropolis underground,
    thumbing their rodent noses at us.
    My dog, generally obedient, goes berserk.
    Deaf to my call, blind to the upper-world of
    light. Look, she’s stuck her nose
    in a burrow, she’s excavating, buried
    head-to-shoulders, digging ever deeper.
    Small chance she’ll catch a critter.
    Might she at last become one of Them?

  29. Jane Shlensky

    A Stand

    Nobody the boss of me
    Nobody. I decide myself
    what will or won’t
    is or ain’t
    cause nobody but me
    is the boss of me
    except maybe
    when you smile in my eyes
    and nod like we just spoke
    then I reckon you can
    make some suggestions
    and I’ll do them
    every one

  30. Not-Only But-Also Riley

    What Should I Call You?

    You call me bad,
    and call yourself good.

    I call me sad
    and misunderstood.

    But, with all of this,
    I have just one issue.

    What I don’t understand
    is what should I call you?

    ‘Cause you aren’t my hero,
    to me you’re no winner.

    You clearly aren’t bad,
    aren’t a villain or sinner.

    So you see the predicament,
    from my point of view?

    The problem I have,
    is what should I call you?

    I think you’ll agree,
    that there’s more to us two.

    Maybe truth is subjective,
    and yours misconstrued.

    I don’t mean to make trouble,
    (although that is what I do),

    I just need to know,
    what should I call you?

  31. PressOn


    A Ford and Cord and Deusenberg are here
    amongst the Auburn and the Packard cars,
    and Studebakers too, their time-worn scars
    still borne; a Marmon adds an atmosphere
    of grace, and out in front there stands a mere
    DeSoto, needing paint and torsion bars,
    and over there a Stanley Steamer stars
    alongside Mercers and a stray John Deere.
    We old men wind our way amongst them all
    and, in spite of warnings, touch them now and then
    and gaze beneath each long and narrow hood.
    We hear again the open-throated call
    of open roads, and we remember when
    the cars, and we, were nimble, swift, and good.

  32. Walter J Wojtanik


    I couldn’t get it through my head
    that Dad’s tools were his trade and it made him mad
    when I had used his implements.
    He’d get bent out of shape and went ape
    sure as I tell you. But he knew…

    As sure as I tell you, he knew
    that I had an affinity for fixing things
    just as he had all his life. So the new rule became this:
    If you use it, put it where you found it!
    A lesson ground into my head from the start.

    A lesson ground into my head from the start.
    It didn’t take me long to take it to heart.
    Leaving a hammer out didn’t bring the wrath of Thor.
    He was more disappointed than mad.
    He had a way of teaching me his trade.

    Dad had a way of teaching me his trade,
    and it made me more well equipped to handle
    any problem that came along.
    Put your tools where they belong.
    That message has always resonated loud and clear.

  33. Walter J Wojtanik


    Respect came in various lessons,
    and messin’ with Ma was one learned early.
    The old man went squirrelly when we dissed
    his missus. He truly went nuts,
    no ifs, ands or buts.

    No ifs, ands or butt
    would not be spared if we dared sass back.
    A swift smack on the behind
    would find you and remind you,
    “Don’t talk back to your Mother!”

    Don’t talk back to your Mother.
    But giving Dad the lip with a slip of the tongue
    would have also “brung” the wrath of Dad.
    He wasn’t bad, but he had a fuse you needed not light.
    We had to fight the urge disobey.

    We had to fight the urge to disobey.
    We’d say what he wanted to hear,
    and wait until we were clear of earshot
    before we got our frustrations out.
    It wasn’t about what we said.

    It wasn’t about what we said.
    Instead, it was how we said it.
    I’d live to regret it that my last words to mom
    came from a dark place. The hurt on her face.
    stays with me to this day.
    It’s too late to watch what I say.

  34. Walter J Wojtanik


    Every child learns the rule,
    and at least once by painful hands on
    experience. So un-cool.
    But yes, we came to know that hot
    was extremely un-cool. I still have a scar to prove it!

    I still have the scars to prove it.
    I can still move it fairly well,
    but I can tell that if I listened to my Dad
    it wouldn’t have been half bad.
    That man knew his stuff.

    That man knew his stuff.
    He wasn’t too tough of full of fluff.
    He was stern, but we would learn
    all that he would teach if we’d each
    take my father’s words to heart.

    Take my fathers words to heart.
    Touching a hot something was the first thing
    we learned. We all got burned by disobeying.
    I’m not saying we were neglected.
    We were protected and we learned.
    If you play with fire, you’re gonna get burned.

  35. Not-Only But-Also Riley

    they tell me things (but i don’t want to listen)

    rules exist for a reason, they tell me
    a time for every season, they tell me
    and what you do is treason, they tell me.

    and what i do, to that, is do not care.

    instead i look them in their eyes, i stare
    i tell them, i hope all things fare
    well for you, but i want your anywhere
    to be somewhere else,

    i want my anywhere to be nowhere
    (where yours is not
    where thoughts aren’t bought

    electric chair.

    what i want more than anything
    is to overthrow a king.

    i know i’m shocking

    but what i really want
    is that they stop talking.

  36. Walter J Wojtanik


    “What did I tell you?” my father said.
    Swimming in the creek was dangerous.
    He made a fuss about how the steel mill
    would dump slag and waste (you could taste it
    in the water.) “I ought let you suffer.”
    He continued his tirade as he swabbed
    my left eye. I’d cry if it didn’t hurt so much
    to his gentle, but angry touch. I swam
    in the creek with some friends.
    It is all fun and games until someone
    throws a handful of creek bed silt
    in someone’s eye. My eye. Disobedience
    is a teachable moment. It sent me to bed
    early, eye patched and irritated.
    I was elated that I hadn’t lost sight in it.
    It had more fight in it than I’d have thought.
    I ought not swim in the creek again.
    I didn’t. A great decision!


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