Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 501

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 body of water poem.

For today’s prompt, pick a body of water, make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: “Mississippi River,” “Pacific Ocean,” or “Dead Sea.” Those are well-known bodies of water, but you could also pick something local or so small that’s it’s only been named by you (to your knowledge anyway). The world is covered in water, so there should be plenty of poeming options this week.


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Here’s my attempt at a Body of Water Poem:

“Mad River”

When I was a young boy,
we’d fish along Mad River
for bluegill and catfish,
and if we caught anything
else, it was a gift.

We’d hike along trails
to find our spots and cast
our lines and let them bob
while we found sticks
to prop them up
and rocks to hold and toss
across the surface.

I was always so
focused on whether
we caught anything
and how much and how big
when I should’ve just
enjoyed the shade
and the sound of water
lapping against the bank
while time stretched from
there to infinity.

24 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 501

  1. Avatarreginariddle

    Cattail Creek

    Sitting beside the grumbling creek in the quiet
    Reverberations of humble peace create a riot
    Whirling across the smooth stones in gentle whispers
    In white rapids that appease me with their whimpers

    Sticking my bare feet into the rumble of liquid
    Wandering what might be leering from the thicket
    Laurels, fern and pine grasp at the silent clearing
    Awaiting deer, opossum and squirrels appearing

    My mind is lulled into a place of dreamy quiet
    I think of this tender moment, growing compliant
    There must be a place this beautiful in silence
    Where I know I will recognize no reason for crying

    This charming spot beside the flowing waters
    Is filled with grace that voices all that it fathers

  2. AvatarPressOn


    The stream has come about again:
    its flows refresh the marshy land
    and leave a sheen where dun had been.
    The stream has come about again;
    it brings the sea and scents within,
    and bids me pause and understand:
    the stream has come about again.
    Its flows refresh the marshy land.

  3. Avatarwritinglife16


    Her parents never
    allowed her to go outside.
    So, she watched the sea.
    Dawn to dusk and in between.
    The endless waves never stopped.

    The waves beckoned her
    as if they were old playmates.
    They crashed on the sands
    as she had her morning juice.
    She decided to go play.

  4. Avatargrcran

    coyote bay

    old cowboy he sighed craved wide water
    his plasma his blood all that salt
    he harbored a tug knew he oughtter
    go visit the sea but he’d halt
    he’d hear a hoot owl see the sunrise
    hard mountains thin soil all that clay
    mesquites abloom buzz of the deerflies
    and he sailed out on coyote bay

    gpr crane

  5. AvatarNot-Only But-Also Riley

    atlantic or i want to be a little beach town

    little beach
    town sitting
    pretty in

    the rolling,

    with simple
    pastel homes
    and people

    or local
    with good fish.

    i would sit
    there calmly
    waiting for

    the tide to
    come and take
    me away.

    gift me that

  6. AvatarWalter J Wojtanik

    MEMORY LAKE, by Walter J Wojtanik

    Pigeons flutter high above the north end of the lake.
    It was reported that these birds put a rare smile on Mr. Kendall’s face.
    This was the meeting place where his mate and he would come
    to spend their days gazing at the reflected beauty of this aerial dance.
    Now as he surveys the scene, he gets stuck in memories,
    each coo and squeak reminded him of his wife’s soft voice.
    It was a real treat to hear again; it made him laugh and he sure did need it.

  7. AvatarTracy Davidson


    lungs pierced by the chill
    a selfish woman watches
    her late lover sink…
    but how she could have saved him
    by shifting her bum a bit

  8. AvatarWalter J Wojtanik

    CAMP LAKE, by Walter J Wojtanik

    Calm & tranquil,
    soft breezes,
    cool and rustling,
    fish flicker below
    and the flow
    is smooth and still.
    Ripples radiate
    as the “vessel” floats.
    Boats travel lightly
    but this mattress
    is less buoyant.
    He snores and kicks.
    I hope he can swim.

  9. AvatarDe Jackson

    Dry Spell

    The moon’s got a river
    of promise running through
    her milky skin, a vein of
    waning soul. I’ve got a
    fallen-scar wish that
    says she’s willing
    to die for that ocean.

    And really,
    aren’t we all
    just bodies of water
    and bone?


  10. AvatarSara McNulty


    I would love to go steamboatin’
    on the Mississippi River.
    A cruise with some blues,
    and a jazz group playing.
    Eat some southern cooking,
    then stand outside and watch
    the paddlewheel turn, but
    not take a swim. The Big
    Muddy has currents too strong
    within. I will have a southern
    cocktail–Mint Julep, Sazerac.
    Two would likely land me
    on my back. My stateroom
    awaits for a quick snooze.
    Then I hear the blues band
    tuning up. Oh, how I would
    love to go steamboatin’
    the the Mississippi.

  11. Avatartripoet

    Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum -a Found Poem

    This is the little museum
    with all the history
    of the Wakarusa Valley communities
    that disappeared when Clinton Lake was built.

    See the platter that was used
    to serve escaped slaves
    In the Underground Railroad

    On their way to Canada,
    in covered wagons
    thirsting for freedom.

  12. AvatarBer

    Summer Havana

    Water rippling
    Muddy unclear to see
    Fish come up for flies
    We dive in
    Last in the boys

    Swimming up and down
    Diving off rocks
    Brushing mud on
    Making our fair skin brown

    Protecting delicate
    Fragile minds
    Our sanctuary
    Place to call
    Our Summer home

    Roasting food on the fire
    Looking up at the night sky
    Tiny particles of dust
    Guide our path home
    We are tired

    Another day walking to the river
    Diving and the daring begins
    Cycling our bikes
    Into the river too
    Finding an old emerald green rope
    We use it as a net
    For volley ball
    In the water

    Reflection as the race begins
    I am been sucked
    Into the hole underneath
    No one hears my struggle
    Then as I am been pulled down
    My brother’s hand
    Reaches saving me
    From the do or die

    Walking across this river shoes in
    My mouth clothing held tight
    This is my bridge of freedom
    My playground

    Tinted green tall grass
    Yellow buttercups dance around
    Laughter fun is all that can be heard
    What a beautiful sound

  13. Avatarrebwood

    Road’s End Beach

    approaches shore
    welcomed and held

    gently echo
    a fingertip’s caress

    softens edges
    merging into one

    sculpts forms
    shifting and moving

    colors adorn
    wet glistening shoulders

    by tide’s
    ebb and flow

  14. Avatarconnielpeters

    Pappap’s Well
    (a cyrch a chwta)

    Papap’s water in a well
    An old-fashioned pump could tell
    Of children many a tale
    How they loved to hear it wail
    And screech water into pail
    How one boy ran, slipped and fell
    When my sis painted the pump
    Up he jumped with navy tail

  15. Avatartimphilippart

    Water Borne No More

    Born of water,
    cast on sinuous river,
    swept ever seaward,
    into tempestuous waters,
    tossed by monstrous waves,
    parched in salty doldrums,
    refreshed by rain,
    typhoon driven,
    wrecked on the shoals of life,
    the wind has brought me here,
    where I burn my tattered sails and,
    walk into the desert.

  16. Avatarheadintheclouds87

    Bathe the Day Away

    The world makes more sense
    When one’s body is engulfed
    In those soapy decadent bubbles,
    A bath becomes blessed refuge
    From the tainted life outside
    And all of its rough edges;
    Here you may be cleansed,
    The water making you whole again…

    This is your own, unstolen time
    A warming comfort to tired bones
    And a return to the naked prime
    Where you are yourself alone,
    Free of assumption or expectation;
    Soak in the precious serenity
    And forget life’s tedious demands
    Just for now, while you still can.

  17. AvatarPressOn


    Northward, northward to the lake
    it hurries. In the glacier’s wake
    it dredges buried cobblestone
    and leaves it bare for men to make

    their houses, leaves the last moraine
    and teardrop drumlin split in twain,
    and joins with Lake Ontario
    and thence with ocean waves, a plain

    and steady stream that knows its place;
    that funnels tears of clouds with grace
    from spring to sea; that nurtures hope
    that Earth may not forsake the human race.

  18. Avatarbarbara_y

    Big Turnbull

    Turnbull Creek, Big Turnbull
    polishes its bed stones.
    Glossy earth tones, washed
    already rounded from the hoard
    of some prehistoric stream,
    turned and tumbled small
    to smaller until some are beads
    of sand. There is no luxury
    like being cold in summer, wading
    in the frigid, sunny, clear-as-daylight
    creek, pocketing translucent pebbles,
    red, cream, brown, amber. As if
    some how to take home more
    than stones from Turnbull Creek.

  19. AvatarPowerUnit

    Bay of Fundy

    It just hangs out there
    doing its everyday thing;
    old jeans on the clothesline,
    its underwear shaking,
    blowing salt in my hair.

    Whales think its food is cool
    an ichthyic smorgasbord
    a giant swimming pool;
    the kids jump overboard,
    they’re nobody’s fool.

    Its gullet is four miles wide;
    each day more water flows through
    than all the rivers combined;
    more maritime danger you won’t find;
    it’s enough to gag you.

    It warms me in winter;
    its steaming surface a degree
    of cooling in the summer,
    and people pay money for sunscreens
    while all Fundy’s fog is free.

    I’ve stepped in it twice
    one time up to my knees
    don’t expect beach fun vice
    only miles and miles and miles
    of endless boreal trees.

  20. AvatarAnthony94

    Irish Creek

    On the 2100 Road creeks form
    from runoff, temporary streams gone
    to raging torrents sweeping away half the road
    flattening cornfields and coating soybeans
    in liquid mud that hardens into
    a deadly choking coating

    I take pictures of all of them
    their floaty days of dappled sun
    their hurtling hours swamping ditches
    their stillness broken only by minnows
    after roiling currents have subsided

    I ask after their names and shoulders
    only shrug below eyes intent
    on towering siloes and grain elevator
    the numbers on the scales and the price
    per bushel on the farm new and grain exchange

    I want to tell them what I found
    on the backroads this morning filling
    the lens and how I waited for the sun
    to center mid-creek as it rose lighting
    the rocks and turning the moss into Ireland.