Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 417

After a month of daily poeming, welcome back to the Wednesday Poetry Prompts! Recently, Dictionary.com dubbed “complicit” the word of the year for 2017. And sometimes, that’s all it takes to prompt a poetry prompt.

For today’s prompt, write a complicit poem. For those who are unsure, complicit is an adjective that basically defines a person who helps commit a crime or some other form of bad activity.

Also, I know I probably don’t need to say it, but here it goes: Let’s all try our best to poem nicely.

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Here’s my attempt at a Complicit Poem:

“Glossing”

Of all the times I let it slide,
the final glossing was the worst.
With each false move, you know, I tried
to say, “This time, I’ll let it slide,
but only once,” because my side,
I felt, needed to finish first.
And every time I let it slide,
the final glossing was the worst.

The other side was after us;
this much each and everyone knew–
so, of course, there was little trust,
with the other side after us,
and their lies were superfluous,
because they failed to trust us too.
The other side was after us;
this much each and everyone knew!

And so we took each other’s eyes
before removing all our teeth–
for we grew tired of hearing lies.
And so we took each other’s eyes
when unable to feign surprise
or find a rock to hide beneath.
And so we took each other’s eyes
before removing all our teeth

for all the times I let it slide–
the final glossing was the worst.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Over the years, he’s discovered that for every “side” there is one or more other “sides,” and that they often get along nicely when they leave their “sides” at home and act like human beings with each other.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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104 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 417

  1. Bobabob

    They say the truth they will elicit
    But in their lies they are complicit
    The talking heads do spin their web
    The stories change like tides that ebb

    They try so hard to sound so smart
    To tell the truth would be a start
    Who to believe I just don’t know
    To different channels I will go

    It’s more like theater than the news
    Upheaving lives while they amuse
    They claim the truth they do elicit
    It’s just more bull they’re all complicit

  2. Jane Shlensky

    The Other Half

    In pain and gain, in love and loss,
    in everything that has a cost,
    in every moment that won’t fit
    my heart’s deep need to bear its cross,
    I am complicit.

    When stifled, mocked, provoked, dismissed,
    embarrassed, angered, clenching fists,
    counting to ten, heart in a pit,
    when silence helps bullies persist,
    I am complicit.

    I’d like to blame, to curse, to bray,
    name names of victimizers, say
    “It’s not my fault,” but I can’t forget
    how oft I gave my power away.
    I am complicit.

  3. Walter J Wojtanik

    WALNUTS

    We like ’em like we like our language – salty.
    Words, words, words, *@&#$ words!
    Some words are to the point, some words – faulty
    We like ’em like we like our language – salty.
    But finding a way around these words is Walt, he
    uses words both sublime and absurd!
    We like ’em like we like our language – salty.
    Words, words, words, *@&#$ words!

  4. Bruce Niedt

    Another poem using the Sunday Whirl word bank – this week’s words are assault, last, puppet, sail, run, fall, deep, case, afford, nudge, seat, and bar.

    Complicity

    The year has assaulted our senses
    and sensibility. Men are falling
    like dominoes to charges they can ill afford;
    an idiot king sits in a white house,
    puppet to another despot;
    catastrophes spell deep trouble
    for the planet. Our species could
    set sail for oblivion, and if all
    we wish to do is nudge the next guy
    out to get a seat at the bar,
    then it will be last call, a good run
    come to a disappointing end.
    Sedentary silence is complicity.
    Resist, resist – make a case
    for action, and maybe the world
    won’t collapse around our ears after all.

  5. Mariya Koleva

    Complicit
    While whiling away the dullest of days
    I stopped to consider why I never stop.

    The clouds above hid behind curtains of rain,
    the ceilings committed numerous crimes:
    the sun was all blocked
    and stifled – the air,
    a sickening yellow was all I could see.

    So, that’s how the soul goes –
    no drama or loudness,
    but simply complicit
    to its own self loss.
    ~~~###

    1. tripoet

      Which one? Sady, it seems like a few might fit as inspiration for this poem.

      I think that you did a nice job in describing complicit without using the technical name. Good job.

  6. Kiri

    PARAPRAXIS

    Is it obvious, I wonder, that when I greet her
    I don’t remember indifference
    as part of my being, or my hardened surrender
    to the morose and melancholic angels of my better nature?

    
Does she feel her capillaries drain

    at the touch of our intact glances,
    and the rush of blood
    to paint them warm again when we break?

    Surely we are aware of our brokenness, 
this breaking,
    prodigal aching returning in solecism
 and selfish diversion,
    yes, but I would not want to die believing
    that clear answers were the best I could have hoped for.

  7. PowerUnit

    The store fronts commit to his sense of place.
    The grocery, its large fixed sign. Red and white.
    The record store and shoe shop complicit.
    A map of his life, wandering to his needs.
    Blue-legged men and shiny-legged women
    no offers for a man head down,
    file separately, sit in safe groups.
    A lone man is a target. Everyone sees
    a lone woman has something for sale.
    A lone child, an escapee, needs no help.

  8. tripoet

    Happy Meal

    The young child holds her breath and screams.
    The young mother holds her breath and prays.
    The tiles on the McDonald’s floor seem rattled
    as the four-year-old’ legs beat and berate
    the shine off the shine. The little voice, swells into clouds
    of hysteria, “I want a Happy Meal.” Next up
    to the counter, Common Sense wrestles with complicity.

  9. Eileen S

    Were They Complicit?

    On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan attacked a naval base in the territory of Hawaii. The attack destroyed much of Pearl Harbor and many lives were lost so war was declared on Japan.
    In response, the United States Government corralled many Japanese Americans, some who had been living in the United States for generations, and sent them to internment camps because they were thought to be complicit. But were they?

    evil attack
    convicted without trial
    loyalty in doubt

  10. grcran

    bisquick disgust

    north wind complicit in this gust.
    discussed his wish to gig for fish.
    composite picture, winter fist,
    and thus the bisquick end. capishe.

    gpr crane
    (contrary to the poem above, as far as i know, bisquick is neither complicit nor composite in any conspiracy… plus, i actually like them, as they make a great gluten-free version… i merely used them in my poem for their short i’s… eyes?)

  11. Sara McNulty

    Forty Years

    Forty years crept
    by, as seasons flowed
    one into the other,
    his body once taut
    now wrought with time’s
    cruelty. Young man
    of Spring promise
    now old man of Winter’s
    white wear. He despairs
    of ever being a free man.
    Who can he blame
    for his shame
    of imprisonment? Not
    his partner in crime
    to whom time was kinder.
    What purpose would it
    have served to turn
    in his accomplice
    and best friend. At least
    in the end, one of them
    had a life.

  12. De Jackson

    In Cahoots

    I can’t remember the last thing that you said as you were leavin’
    Now the days go by so fast
    – Counting Crows, Long December

    I absolve you of all
    wrong
    -doing.

    See?

    Because the one
    who robbed me
    of me

                was me.

    ::

  13. Jrentler

    how many sheeple does it take?

    count the hungry eyes
    the quick pic captures
    by the wheat grass grazers

    & what should one do
    but howl at the moon

    till man offers his crook
    to rest your neck

    & a place beyond pastures
    for those born
    golden-fleeced

    a buzz & a whirl
    as your jaw’s wretched
    back, flank by flank
    till shorn

  14. PressOn

    CONFESSION

    As a youth I was often complicit
    in sundry adventures illicit
    but failed as a crook
    and wound up as a schnook:
    when the main chance would come, I would miss it.

  15. SarahLeaSales

    Family Tie Breaker
    They’d each been complicit
    in the depression of one man:
    one sister,
    her lack of understanding,
    the other,
    her lack of empathy;
    an uncle,
    a lack of respect,
    and three cousins,
    who wore grotesque
    carnival masks of
    indifference,
    the two people
    who he hoped were the
    best parts of him
    having long since
    crumbled
    into
    ash.
    He had a wife who,
    because of this,
    tried to understand,
    and a daughter who was
    special
    but not needy.
    Her parents accepted him,
    her grandmother loved him.
    They were his family now.

  16. headintheclouds87

    War of Secret Words

    As I spout the words of a cynic,
    And would hardly call my contempt cryptic
    For those who push us both to the limit,
    I end up making you complicit
    In my secret war against it;
    The power that provides for us
    But does not speak for us;
    So we choose to rebel in covert words,
    Careful to avoid loyal ears
    Who would not hesitate to throw us
    To the claws of their precious rulers.
    And so we both silently fight
    Knowing if we were ever discovered,
    We’d take the final fall together.

  17. Daniel Paicopulos

    Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There

    Every morning, the same cars drive by,
    thousands of them, headed somewhere,
    critical books to read,
    important people to meet.,
    serious work to do.

    Every morning, the same cars drive by,
    some with evil intention,
    others in an opposite direction,
    people and things to harm, or to save,
    people and things requiring work.

    Every morning, the same cars drive by,
    many filled with dread, but some hope as well,
    sometimes anger, sometimes joy.
    Always, there’s work to do.
    There’s work to do, always.

    Every morning, the same cars drive by,
    and one person sits, alone, with just one candle.
    Sitting quietly seems hardly enough.
    One light feels scarcely sufficient.
    More must be done, more movement, more work.

    Every morning, the same cars drive by,
    alarmingly aimed at themselves, while
    one person with one candle, sits in one practice,
    trusting that the sum of the lights earth-wide
    will work this time.

  18. G.Wood

    forgive me for the off-topic poem–
    After Ellie’s Last Bath
    With sudsy hands and wet jeans, I overlook the deck.
    The neighbors are running their pointers again—
    a picture of athleticism so perfect
    no human being could ever expect to match it—
    their downhill violent rush through leafless trees and brush
    or the hurtling roll of their hips and shoulders,
    bouldering uphill, brilliant and primal in their will
    to feel the air upend their ears,
    to stretch and breathe.

    I hope it pleases Ellie to be clean,
    and that in her happy dreams
    she sheds her wrinkled sack,
    races uphill, velvet ears flipped back,
    jowls plastered open, drool strings swinging in the wind,
    muscles flexing and burning beneath her skin,
    strides long and airborne,
    fading famously into the sunset,
    an unpredictable and inevitable victory,
    an upset.

  19. Daniel Paicopulos

    Complicit in My Rage

    Recalling 30,000 past lives,
    the Buddha sat under a bodhi tree,
    at one with all things.

    My laptop crashed,
    the smart phone drops calls,
    technology drives me crazy.

    In this short drive, will I choose light or madness?

  20. Kasey

    “I Mean, She Didn’t Say No…”

    Well, hey there Mr. Camera Man-
    behind the scenes during the “fun.”
    I cannot say that I’m a fan,

    and I’m repulsed by those who can.
    She could not scream or try to run.
    Well, hey there Mr. Camera Man

    were you the brains behind the plan,
    unrivaled politician’s son?
    I cannot say that I’m a fan.

    Who drug her cosmopolitan?
    Discarded her when you were done?
    Well, hey there Mr. Camera Man

    with your popped collar and bronze tan,
    something tells me you’re the one.
    I cannot say that I’m a fan

    of yours or of your dude-bro clan.
    You’re lucky I don’t own a gun.
    Well, hey there Mr. Camera Man-
    I cannot say that I’m a fan.

  21. taylor graham

    RAPTURE

    They’re at it again, assaulting
    the sliding glass door, two German
    Shepherds – outlined dark-against-daylight
    deaf to my “stop it!” Loki the elder
    ever the huntress. Her disciple Trek grown
    from complicit to fanatic. Leaping trigger-
    ready to burst through double-pane
    glass, to do battle with marauders. Rodent
    raiders with bird-seed stuffed
    in their cheeks. Seeds that careless birds
    kicked out of their feeder. Ground squirrels
    scurrying the deck for seed, always
    famished for more. If I opened the door
    they’d be gone in an instant, safe
    in their burrows. The dogs can’t catch
    them – my dogs equally obsessed,
    in a wild rapture to rout the foe.

  22. ReathaThomasOakley

    mesmerized by his eyes
    she agreed to his request
    too naive to know the price
    she’d pay for a yes

    acceptance doesn’t
    mean consent complicity
    wasn’t what she meant
    when she whispered yes

  23. tunesmiff

    WE ALL SHARE A PART
    G. Smith
    *:*:*:*:*:*:
    We all share a part of,
    The problems we all face;
    Each little push and shove.
    We all share a part of,
    The lack of care and love,
    Is only found through grace.
    We all share a part of
    The problems we all face.

  24. Anthony94

    Now and Now

    Hard to say I was complicit
    in the bad times, egging on
    the blind who only saw
    through narrowed lens

    that black circle adjusted
    by the astute optometrist
    whose only questions are
    now or now. Why didn’t I

    tamp it down and take it
    in I cannot say except that
    I wanted justice and to be
    heard above the din

    felt the pressure of your
    whims to be too much
    but couldn’t leave although
    I tried I seemed too stuck

    until something broke
    inside and died so that I
    stopped the search and
    just complied, complicit.

  25. Walter J Wojtanik

    MASTERMINDS

    (We fought over it, every time.)
    Who was the brains; who was the muscle.
    But surely we excelled in rhyme,
    (We fought over it, every time.)
    Our evil plan was never rooted in high crime,
    we abetted each other in this tussle.
    (We fought over it, every time.)
    Who was the brains; who was the muscle.

    1. De Jackson

      Minding our Masters

      Who was the brains; who was the muscle?
      And was there beauty there within?
      Poeming can be a beastly tussle –
      who was the brains, and who the muscle?
      We depend on the muses we trust, well,
      and sometimes it’s hard to begin.
      Who was the brains; who was the muscle,
      and was there beauty there within?

      1. Walter J Wojtanik

        NEVER MINDING WHAT MATTERED

        And there was beauty there within,
        but larceny in her heart from the start.
        To steal his love was a total sin,
        yet there was beauty there within?
        But her intentions made him grin,
        he was a glad and willing cohort.
        And there was beauty there within,
        but larceny in her heart from the start.

        1. De Jackson

          Larceny? Grand.

          There was larceny in her heart from the start
          (he didn’t agree, but he obeyed.)
          Even when they were briefly apart,
          there was larceny in her heart from the start.
          She caught his eye, and stole his heart –
          but when things were good, they had it made.
          There was larceny in her heart from the start
          (he didn’t agree, but he obeyed.)

          1. Walter J Wojtanik

            WRITING CORPUS DELECTABLE

            (He didn’t always agree, but he obeyed.)
            He was a sucker for her devious smile.
            Although their best plans were often waylaid,
            (he didn’t always agree, but he obeyed.)
            “I have a plan, trust me!” she said,
            and she knew her wink would hold him a while.
            (He didn’t always agree, but he obeyed.)
            He was a sucker for her devious smile.

          2. De Jackson

            Smile Sucker

            He was a sucker for her devious smile,
            even though that smile sucked the life outta him.
            With all her wooing, whim and while,
            he was a sucker for her devious smile.
            With all her gall, and grin, and guile,
            she’d say “Jump!” and he’d jump. Again.
            He was a sucker for her devious smile,
            even though that smile sucked the life out of him.

          3. Walter J Wojtanik

            ALL-DAY SUCKER

            Even though that smile sucked the life out of him,
            he insisted on coming back for more.
            Especially as the lights would slowly start to dim,
            it is certain that smile sucked the life out of him.
            Just be glad she didn’t rip his lungs out, Jim.
            Because not every accomplice is a bore.
            Even though that smile sucked the life out of him,
            he insisted on coming back for more.

          4. De Jackson

            It Was the Red Lipstick That Did It.

            He insisted on coming back for more
            (does that make him complicit in the heist?)
            Even with his very freedom in store,
            he insisted on coming back for more.
            His heart in throat, his worth on the floor –
            but when she called, he didn’t think twice.
            He insisted on coming back for more
            (does that make him complicit in the heist?)

          5. Walter J Wojtanik

            IT WASN’T HIS SHADE

            (Does that make him complicit in the heist,
            he doesn’t even know the shade of her lipstick?)
            A ravishing gun moll lost in 4o’s zeitgeist,
            but does that make him complicit in the heist?
            Yet, leaving her on her own would be a waste,
            it would make him an unabashed dipstick!
            (Does that make him complicit in the heist,
            he doesn’t even know the shade of her lipstick?)

          6. De Jackson

            A Dear John Letter in Red, Left on the Bathroom Mirror

            He doesn’t even know her shade of lipstick
            (it’s Candy Apple Ready, by the way.)
            She robbed him blind, and left him quick –
            and he doesn’t even know her shade of lipstick.
            He fell, again (and again) for her schtick,
            and now she’s left him redhanded, no pay.
            He doesn’t even know her shade of lipstick
            (it’s Candy Apple Ready, by the way.)

          7. Walter J Wojtanik

            QUICK GETAWAY

            It’s Candy Apple Red, by the way.
            The getaway car that gets us far
            away from the scene; out of the fray.
            It’s Candy Apple Red, by the way.
            Which is a silly choice for that car, people say
            since the cops can easily spot our car.
            It’s Candy Apple Red, by the way.
            The getaway car that gets us far.

            **I snuck one in…

          8. De Jackson

            Horse Power

            The getaway car that gets us far
            is a Mustang, fast as lightning.
            We’re in this now, you bet we are,
            but there’s a getaway car that gets us far.
            We’d soar outta here fast as a shooting star,
            ’cept a left front lug nut needs tightening.
            The getaway car that gets us far
            is a Mustang, fast as lightning.

          9. Walter J Wojtanik

            THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE COMPLICIT

            A Mustang, fast as lightning, and a six-gun
            at your side; a truly trusted friend.
            Billy the Kid should know what we dun
            with a Mustang, fast as lightning, and a six-gun.
            Crime in the Ol’ West sure is fun
            But there’s always that Boot Hill end!
            A Mustang, fast as lightning, and a six-gun
            at your side; a truly trusted friend.

          10. De Jackson

            And the Ugly

            At your side, a truly trusted friend:
            Old Joe, that grizzled, ugly mug.
            He shoots to kill, some havoc he will rend –
            and he’s at your side, a truly trusted friend.
            He’ll be there always, even ’round the bend,
            and he’ll squash the Sherriff like a bug.
            At your side, a truly trusted friend:
            Old Joe, that grizzled, ugly mug.

          11. Walter J Wojtanik

            STOLEN LIL’ BROWN JUG

            Old Joe, that grizzled, ugly mug,
            a moonshiner from way back when.
            He used to carry his his ‘shine in a jug,
            Old Joe, that grizzled, ugly mug.
            That stuff would get his tight as a bug
            (I knows cuz he shared wit his fren’s)
            Old Joe, that grizzled, ugly mug,
            a moonshiner from way back when.

          12. De Jackson

            Complicit Moon Shine

            I’m a Moonshiner from way back when
            (she stole my heart, and I let her.)
            Her borrowed light’s my own heart’s trend,
            so I’m a Moonshiner from way back when.
            She’s a loyal (though waning) friend,
            gibbous and grateful, I really do ‘get’ her.
            I’m a Moonshiner from way back when
            (she stole my heart, and I let her.)

          13. Walter J Wojtanik

            COMPLIANT MOON PINE

            She stole off with my heart, and I let her,
            some kind of memento to remind her of me.
            It’s sure as shootin’ I won’t forget her,
            (she stole off with my heart, and I let her.)
            But we had lasted longer than I had bet her
            we would. She took my heart as her fee!
            She stole off with my heart, and I let her,
            some kind of memento to remind her of me.

          14. De Jackson

            A Jewelry Thief’s Last Will & Testament

            Some kind of memento to remind her of me?
            Sure, I’ll leave behind a gem or two.
            She shines like the moon, the sky, the sea,
            so some kind of memento to remind her of me
            is the least I can do to help her believe
            her old partner’s still got a scheme that’s new.
            Some kind of memento to remind her of me?
            Sure, I’ll leave behind a gem or two.

          15. Walter J Wojtanik

            SAFECRACKER’S SUITE

            Sure, He’ll leave behind a gem or two,
            a little treasure for your pleasure.
            Larry Tsiakovsky the safecracker dude,
            He’ll leave behind a gem or two.
            But crime does not pay, the devil is due.
            Too much time on your hands for your leisure.
            Sure, He’ll leave behind a gem or two,
            a little treasure for your pleasure.

          16. De Jackson

            (Sugar)Plum Crazy

            A little treasure for your pleasure?
            We’re all crackers here, man!
            There is no vault we cannot measure.
            A little treasure for your pleasure?
            We’re here at your hopeful holiday leisure
            to help you with your ‘safest’ plan.
            A little treasure for your pleasure?
            We’re all crackers here, man!

          17. Walter J Wojtanik

            SNACK WHACKERS

            We’re all crackers here, man!
            & nuts we are (filberts and walnuts; cashews.)
            We come vacuum packed in a can,
            we’re all crackers here, man!
            If it’s crunchy, I’m a fan,
            I surely am, are you?
            We’re all crackers here, man!
            & nuts we are (filberts and walnuts; cashews.)

          18. De Jackson

            Mixed Nuts

            Nuts we are (filberts and walnuts; cashews.)
            We like ’em like we like our language – salty.
            We’ll run any con or heist or sting you choose.
            Nuts we are (filberts and walnuts; cashews.)
            Watch out, world, when we’re in cahoots,
            cuz our hearts are wild, and our consciences faulty.
            Nuts we are (filberts and walnuts; cashews.)
            We like ’em like we like our language – salty.

          19. Walter J Wojtanik

            WALNUTS

            We like ’em like we like our language – salty.
            Words, words, words, *@&#$ words!
            Some words are to the point, some words – faulty
            We like ’em like we like our language – salty.
            But finding a way around these words is Walt, he
            uses words both sublime and absurd!
            We like ’em like we like our language – salty.
            Words, words, words, *@&#$ words!

          20. De Jackson

            Complicity Coerced

            Words, words, words, *@&#$ words!
            I let them steal my heart a time or two.
            The way they woo me is just absurd,
            those words, words, words, *@&#$ words!
            Those crazy cusses! I go for seconds! Thirds!
            I swear, somehow they fly right out of the blue.
            Words, words, words, *@&#$ words!
            I let them steal my heart a time or two.

          21. Walter J Wojtanik

            COMPLICIT COMPLEXITY

            I let them steal my heart a time or two.
            I leave it out there and see who bites.
            I never expected it to be you.
            I let them steal my heart a time or two.
            I guess as hearts go, I’ve stolen a few,
            turn about is fair play, isn’t that right?
            I let them steal my heart a time or two.
            I leave it out there and see who bites.

          22. De Jackson

            The Guard Dog Did It {Or at least he ‘steaked’ a claim.)

            I’ll leave it out there and see who bites,
            I said to myself as I cased the joint.
            I’ll buy a steak of a size just right,
            and I’ll leave it out there and see who bites.
            The meat will shut his jaws nice and tight.
            Then I’ll run in, free – cuz that’s the point!
            I’ll leave it out there and see who bites,
            I said to myself as I cased the joint.

  26. Walter J Wojtanik

    PARTNERS IN RHYME 2

    There she stands,
    the feign of innocence,
    hiding her insolence
    with her well hone competence.
    She goads me to commit
    a triolet; she’s complicit
    in her prompting, but
    of course that’s not to say
    I wasn’t either in responding.
    I rue the day when we don’t play
    with words of our own making,
    for no time soon will this buffoon
    and De be word forsaking.

    1. Walter J Wojtanik

      Thanks for the banter with poems, De. Time may be at a premium with my daughter’s wedding fast approaching and triolet time may be dwindling. So, I’ll participate when I can and hope you and your family have a great Christmas. I know my wife and I (and our daughters) will!

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