Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 497

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a practice poem.


For today’s prompt, write a practice poem. As someone who used to be a three-sport athlete, practice was an integral part of my young life. But people can practice their craft outside of sports too in a variety of hobbies, tasks, and professions. In fact, I consider these weekly poetry prompts an opportunity for me to practice my poeming in an otherwise hectic week. Let’s practice together.

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Here’s my attempt at an Practice Poem:

“Perfect”

They say practice makes perfect,
but that never works for me,
because as hard as I try,
perfection stays out of reach.

So now I practice trying
to be content with my life
that’s perfectly imperfect
like a jagged, rusty knife.

36 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 497

  1. AvatarHeather

    Start. Fail.
    Restart, get a little further.
    Fail.
    Restart. Fail.
    Restart, get a little further.
    Fail.
    Restart, get all the way through.
    Deep breath.
    Restart. Fail.
    Restart, get halfway.
    Fail. Laugh.
    Restart, get almost to the end.
    Fail. Get frustrated.
    Restart. Get all the way through.
    Restart. Get all the way through.
    Restart. Get all the way through.
    Deep breath.
    Smile.
    Start all over again tomorrow.

  2. AvatarWalter J Wojtanik

    PRAKTISS, by Walter J Wojtanik

    The old saying goes praktiss makes purfekt,
    and I strive to praktise my craft to be more pirfikt.
    But, somretime fat and swollen fingles makes
    the practise of poetry less than such.
    As much time as I can put into it,
    I will rhyme to make this practice more precise,
    more perfect. Many thanks to spell check!

  3. AvatarNot-Only But-Also Riley

    practice poem

    this poem is only practice.

    yes i took the time to put it to
    gether. i carefully arranged the lines
    and thoughts that fill the gaps
    between each word and statement.
    and point of punctuation.

    yes it was a labor of love.
    because my professor asked us once
    what makes a poem a poem?
    and we had answered that it’s
    the flow, the emotion, the love.

    yes i pulled apart my chest
    and let entire unsaid sentiments
    scatter across the page like
    thousands of starved carpenter ants.
    (which, did you know, do not eat the wood?)

    but even after all of that.

    this poem is still just practice.

    because i can put the words together,
    sprinkle them with all of the essentials
    for writing comprehensible poetry.

    but i can not take ownership
    of my own hard work.

    this poem is only practice.

    because i don’t know
    what else to call it.

  4. AvatarRadiantrose

    To Reach
    I write my words down and read them as I go
    Practice, practice, practice, to make sure the words flow
    My audience listened tentatively as I say the words on paper
    Each word comes naturally from me, who is their creator
    I want my words to reach their soul
    One would say I should be so bold
    So I practice reading the words as much as I can
    To reach an audience of millions, while reading where I stand.

  5. AvatarSara McNulty

    Drumming

    He practiced drumming day and night
    with no ear for music at all.
    Neighbors wished he would see the light.
    He practiced drumming day and night;
    his music furnished no delight.
    Parents prayed he’d take up baseball.
    He practiced drumming day and night
    with no ear for music at all.

  6. Avatarmadeline40

    I practice Pilates
    Three times most weeks
    Yet I find myself moving slower
    Less confident, and with pain
    As I advance in age.
    It should be the other
    Way around. Shouldn’t it
    Get easier with practice?
    Not for me.
    Yet I keep going to classes
    Practicing the pushing
    and pulling moves, in hopes
    My body will bounce back
    One of these days.

  7. AvatarDe Jackson

    scribbling her scales

    she tries these wayward voices
    on for size, pens up and down
    the ivories to see the light
    and seize the dawn. she

    cries when the words won’t
    come, when they flit and fray
    and tease her from the
    shadows. she’s gone

    the way of dragon skin and
    longing, calling herself sane.
    calling herself torn. small
    -ing her self. she’s

    trained and rained and tamed
    her own veins to spill with ink
    and smoke. she’s flat broke,
    but tilted toward sky.

    ::

  8. Avatarheadintheclouds87

    A Life in Nervous Rehearsal

    Every day is a practice run
    For the final performance
    That never seems to come;
    The hallowed, awaited time
    When all of the pieces fit
    Into a confident and assured image…

    Instead, I trip over my lines,
    Slip into a stuttering mess
    As I miss all the cues and signs,
    All of the script’s best laid plans
    Become a blurred rush to the head
    And a frantic song to anxiety’s dance…

    I tell myself tomorrow will be better
    That I’ll leave my awkward ways
    Well and truly behind me,
    But I’ll likely still fumble through-
    Say the right thing in a wrong tone
    Or just the wrong thing altogether…

    Practice makes perfect, so they say,
    But I find it merely intensifies
    The bouncy, nervous energy
    Burning apologetically within me,
    So I push through with a smile
    That hopefully hides a sheer terror…

  9. AvatarSarahLeaSales

    How Grammerleigh Got Good at her Game 

    She practiced her periods every month,
    her commas whenever she needed to take a breath,
    & her semicolons during those times 
    when she felt like a nut 
    & didn’t feel like a nut
    at the same time.

  10. AvatarPowerUnit

    untitled

    The passing of farms
    on the green roads of freedom,
    breadbaskets ploughed under
    Old World practices on the uptick.

    The way things were
    no longer, where we want to be,
    the path forward unclear
    the future never so dear.

    Money and power dictate,
    but even the wealthy need the basics,
    even the rich , need to eat
    before it’s all too late.

  11. Avatargrcran

    practice lesson

    learnt that habanero is halluc’nogen.
    looked it up on interweb. tis true.
    took a largish portion eating leftovers.
    thought it was bell pepper. gave the chew.

    swallowed. then i re-a-lized i might have goofed.
    biggish gaffe for sure. it was the worst.
    felt that demon up and down esophagus.
    eyes bugged out i spat i reeled i cursed.

    mouth and throat did sizzle. brain incredulous.
    so much burn from one small piece of plant.
    roaring fire in belly searing mega-pain.
    might imagine more pain but i can’t.

    after ‘bout an hour things settled down a bit.
    started thinking of my love for heat.
    knew if i resumed and practiced skillfully
    i’d have…
    all the habaneros i could eat.

    gpr crane

  12. Avatarkhoward

    No sweat

    We came to play, they showed
    Practice was now the game
    The ball was passed & passed
    Toward our goal they came

    Our goalie threw it down field
    Then the kick to our offense
    To their goal we peeled
    Our goal from their defense

    To our practice their losing
    What a yin and yang day
    Our waxing to their waning
    Practice makes the play

  13. AvatarAnthony94

    Strategies for Survival

    She tells her beads on her fingers
    practices those ancient meditations
    repeats her blesses as if she were still
    a child beside the old trundle bed

    She imagines she’s forged a chain
    not quite long enough to circle
    the world but at least Wyoming
    lassoing mountains before dipping

    into the lakes full of dancing
    white clouds holding decades of
    these gossamer threads that tie
    it all together as she refills the vase

    with yesterday’s wildflowers
    memorizes each of the five types
    of goldenrod she found in the field
    chants their names solidago virguarea

    solidago nemoralis solidago ulmifolia
    wraps herself in their mysterious mantras
    chanting theirs and more ‘til moon fills sky
    when she’ll switch to coyote song ‘til dawn.

  14. AvatarPressOn

    DOC

    My doctor is a gentle soul
    of mien serene and light
    who minds his practice every day
    from break of dawn till night.
    His work begins with simple things
    like checking weight and height,
    but then goes on, from nose to toes
    and taste and sound and sight,
    backed up by tests of blood and pee
    and prescriptions he might write.
    I think of him as one who cares
    and tries with all his might
    to treat each patient with concern
    and ease their every plight,
    but nonetheless, I think this thought
    that often leads to fright:
    how long will he be practicing
    before he gets it right?

  15. Avatarwritinglife16

    ASSUMPTIONS ARE DANGEROUS

    The woman baked the chicken
    then left it to cool.
    She went to set the table,
    excited like the first day of school.
    The tablecloth linen fine.
    The glass for the wine.
    The silver shiny and bright,
    it would be a glorious night.
    Back into the kitchen she went
    and screamed at the top of her lungs.
    Where was the chicken, where was the chicken?
    Did it take off and run?
    She looked at the floor
    and there was a trail.
    Down the hall,
    up the stairs and
    under the bed.
    She lifted the spread
    and was greeted with a hiss
    She tried to grab the chicken
    and that was a miss.
    She had thought the cats were sleep,
    they had proven her wrong.
    She went back down and grabbed the wine.
    She sipped and smiled all night long.

  16. Avatartimphilippart

    Just Practicing

    We were six but,
    we could print and draw.
    I drew dogs for her and captioned them with backward letters.
    She’d ask, “is that a ‘d’?” It looks more like a ‘b’.”
    She sent me pictures of cats and dollies and, her whole family and, her and me.
    On the portrait of us, she printed my first name and last name to neatest perfection.
    Behind her first name, with the same exquisite print-girl-ship, my last name appeared again.
    I asked her, “Why.”
    She replied, “Just practicing.”

    At seventeen we could print and
    the Palmer Method taught us to write so we could be read.
    We often read things that should have not been written like,
    in the red, spiral tablet she forgot on my car seat when,
    I chauffeured her home from school on a rainy April afternoon.
    I asked her why all 48 pages had nothing but her first name and my last,
    printed, written, crayoned and markered in tiny writing or,
    splashed like John Hancock, in every vacant space in the notebook.
    She replied, “Just practicing.”

    At 87, in the nursing home, when we could only print,
    silent Etta whose illness stilled her voice and stole her smiles,
    was wheeled down with the rest of us for supper.
    On her good days, she pulled a crayon from a box of eight and,
    scribbled her barely discernible first name on the paper table cloth.
    Bob, the guy from the steel mill, always rolled himself in to snatch her crayon and,
    turn good days bad, when he etched his surname next to hers.
    I wished that I could write, be what never was and,
    hear her say, “Just practicing.”

  17. Avatartaylor graham

    PRACTICES

    When will we see the Harvest Moon
    perfectly full on a Friday
    the 13th again? an unspilled globe
    of light balancing-
    out the dark supposed by superstition.
    Strange practices
    of mortal mind in the presence
    of mysteries of the heavens,
    our physical world,
    our awkward attempts at pinning
    cycles of seasons to recorded calendar.
    This flip-chart
    of weeks and months on my desk,
    so many days of September
    already crossed out.
    Out the window, this wonderland
    of fairylight illuminating
    our summer fields already stubble.

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