Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 429

For today’s prompt, write a direction poem. Of course, there’s north, east, west, south; backward and forward; up and down. But direction could also equate to stage directions, parental directions, and any number of other interpretations. Let’s all take a poetic direction with this prompt.


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Here’s my attempt at a Direction Poem:

“Direction Sense”

I’ve got a pretty good sense of direction
when the lines are straight, when roads
meet and form myriad 90-degree angles,

which is why my good sense of direction
is better driving through the rural farm
lands of Ohio than the suburban labyrinth

of just-outside-Atlanta, where roads start
off going east and bend back to the west
for no logical reason at all, and street

names jump from one road to the next
(and half of them involve a Peachtree),
so I’m trying to say that I understand

Georgia drivers. Their sense of direction
is twisted up so that things are never
what they appear, and it appears to be

rubbing off on my sense of direction too.


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 long thought he had a good sense of direction, though that notion has been challenged often when navigating the roadways of the Atlanta suburbs.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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98 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 429

  1. Ann M


    the whirring in my ears
    is deafening–
    blood flow gone rogue,
    and tireless
    like the Jersey pike
    with exit ramps
    shut down
    and no u-turns allowed.
    i’d say i was lost
    but that’s impossible
    when the only way
    to go is north
    or south, following
    the car lights
    blinking wild and
    bright, as if they
    know something
    i don’t.

  2. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    poetic turn
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    took a left when should have taken a right
    straight into a monolith of frozen blue snow
    instead of the open arms of sun kissed fields
    ripening with flocks of ewes and lambs
    who, like my heart happy life
    cared not.

    blind luck gifted, curiosity notwithstanding
    one paralleling the other,
    right bows left
    and left shoulders right,
    serendipity doo-dah.

    © 2018 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. De Jackson

    Running Against the Wind

    Just gotta put one foot in front
    of the other,
    take another step
    pull another breath
    find another song.

    Just gotta listen to the trees,
    they know things
    feet can’t know
    lungs can’t swallow
    sky can’t tell.

    Just gotta know you’re whole
    within the struggle,
    know the wings
    are coming, and you’ve
    been in flight, all along.

  4. Jolly2

    by John Yeo

    The garden is looking wintery and tired
    We’re in the deep dark depths of Winter here
    The forecasters are frowning in anticipation
    A monster weather event is heading our way
    The beast from the East is on the horizon.

    We smile benignly complacent and calm
    The warnings bells have sounded before
    We’ve always survived in the recent past
    I really must get out in the garden soon
    The beast from the East is on the horizon.

    Morning dawns with a cold watery sun
    A light sprinkling of snow fell overnight
    Nothing to worry about the sun shines on
    The forecasters warn there is more to come
    The beast from the East is on the horizon.

    Dawn breaks darkly with blizzards raging
    Thick snow everywhere and trouble ahead
    Schools close down and transport is cut
    Overnight thick snow has solidly frozen
    The beast from the East is on the horizon.

    Chaos and breakdowns motorists stranded
    Schools shut down as the storms set in
    Neighbours and the emergency services
    Caring and charity race to the rescue
    The beast from the East has finally arrived.

    Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~All rights reserved.

  5. Daniel Paicopulos

    One Direction

    There is nothing I would change
    about my life, even if I could,
    because it all brought me to you.

    There is nothing else I would build,
    not from paper, stone or wood,
    except that which created me and you.

    There is nothing I could say,
    even if I should,
    that speaks louder than the me in you.

  6. Heather

    river choice

    What has me so lost?
    My rudder is in place,
    giving me choices
    and navigation.
    I have two solid oars,
    enough to propel me
    or around threats.
    I have a strong vessel,
    built by hands
    that won’t let me down.
    My honourable first mate,
    Captain of my heart,
    is steadier than
    the mountains flanking us.
    But I do not have a map
    and I cannot read the stars.
    They do not tell me
    which direction to go
    or river to choose.
    They bear no fortunes,
    good or bad,
    nor tell me
    what my soul longs to hear.
    I can only direct myself
    down to the river,
    and make a map
    of where I’ve been,
    trusting I have the answers
    to my own happiness.

    ~also published at

  7. Walter J Wojtanik


    Little girl,
    you’ve grown so soon.
    You’re moving on to be
    all that we’ve hoped you’d be.
    A young woman strong and focused
    with a direction to take you places.
    Your face is showing your determination,
    your expectations are met daily.
    What you want is at your command,
    fully grown and making your stand.
    Little girl no more, we have such pride
    as you have become a bride to your fine young man.
    He augments you and does not prevent you
    from being the you we all love.
    Above all the worldly tumult
    you’ve come to adult so well. We can tell you’ll
    go far. A brilliant star. Our daughter, Andrea.

  8. StoryMom

    Our Journey

    “I’ll ask,” I told him.
    “Ask what?” He replied.
    “For directions,” I told him.
    He let out a sigh.

    “I know where I’m going!”
    So onward we go.
    We travel in silence.
    To where? We don’t know.

  9. taylor graham


    It may look emerald as Oz in the photo
    but that’s just slant of spring light on the lens.
    This is July, different climate; different
    world. Park in front of the MiniMart. Intrepid
    stranger with nothing to buy, make your way
    among bags of CRV plastic to be poured
    in recycling bins; noisy report of cans dumped
    into the weighing basket. Look for a steep
    dirt path worn through wonderlands of litter.
    Don’t mind a dingy paper saucer scrawled
    with “STAN. This is and was the place.
    You might not recognize the ancient tree –
    gnarled shaman of the photo – with an empty
    beer can in the crotch of its branches.
    No sign of green. It’s July. Creek’s a grayish
    brown. Leaves summer-tattered, dusty
    with breath of traffic passing. Step back
    for a broader view; aim your camera, shoot.
    The old shaman with his grinning burl,
    misshapen arms and finger-roots, his countless
    eyes watching the water cut through rock,
    nourishing its trees as it creates its green way

  10. angieinspired

    you know

    something’s wrong
    at the crossroads
    when they roll out
    the inflatable
    pink tongue
    from the underside
    of the plane’s
    belly upon take-off:

    be still, buttercup
    this is therapy

    i mean, you have to
    kind of know it goes
    against all logic
    to fly east from LAX
    that one should speed
    out over the ocean
    and only then
    loop back home

    hey, this is the
    steepest incline yet
    daughters, oh hello,
    stranger to my left
    overhearing my God

    why didn’t i think of this
    growing before?

    ladies and germs,

    there’s a cruising altitude,
    and there’s this dream space
    where the tongue chaffs
    ,falls off, and all velocity
    is housed in my green eyes

    you won’t feel the G-force at all

    this is change, girls
    i unbuckle myself
    to dazzle the passengers
    on the galley way
    to the bathroom
    unknowing my brilliance

    in flight. in turbulence

  11. Walter J Wojtanik


    The walk of life.
    A rocky road full
    of potholes and pitfalls
    causing stumbles and pratfalls.

    The destination is clear.
    It can’t be seen from here,
    but at the end of that road
    lies the end of the road.

    Ask yourself: Did I love?
    Fully; unconditionally?
    There is no price on love,
    but its value is infinite.

    Yet, we tend to give love away.
    That is to say that what we dispatch,
    is as much as we receive, and do not believe
    the blessings you bestow on others

    do not flow back to you.
    It is true. Love is the compass
    of every journey. If you value love
    and give your love, you’re well on your way.

    Love leads to love.
    It gives you direction.
    Value love!

  12. JRSimmang

    (any more)?

    “Take one step forward and two steps back.”
    The Desert Rose Band

    Seems to be lately
    we’ve taken deliberately
    three gigantic steps back.

    So passionately,
    we complain greatly.
    Have we fallen off track?

    Used to be stately
    to state your position succinctly,
    now it’s just yakety- yak.

    Eyes forward but backward locomately,
    the future shrinks indeterminately
    to a point of definite invisibility.

    -JR Simmang

  13. Tracy Davidson


    I’ve lost direction –
    upside down and back to front
    are my new normal…
    with each new path, I either
    plunge ahead or fall behind

  14. grcran

    off the map

    “C’mon baby drive south with the one you love” John Hiatt

    true north went out set forth
    divested east from west
    followed the tuning forks
    put music in his steps
    he danced both far and near
    unstumbled to perfection
    in strangely heretofore
    unknown brand-new direction

    gpr crane

  15. Nancy Posey

    You Southerners

    you calls us, asking questions
    that make it clear you will never
    belong here—
    our cooking
    our speaking
    our way of thinking—
    as if we all share
    the same recipe for green beans,
    vote the same straight party ticket,
    meet in the cul-de-sac
    to decide what to call things:
    it’s not a soda or a pop
    but a cold drink.

    And as we Southerners
    celebrate this melting pot
    and put up with the traffic,
    all you transplants who choose
    to live here for
    our weather
    our job choices
    our music
    should feel free
    to bring your own covered dish
    to our potluck
    and pull up a chair
    and just talk
    and listen
    and observe.
    We’re all more alike
    than we are different.

    (a tongue in check offering for my favorite transplant who may not like the way we cook vegetables but loves our music and our friendship)

  16. Sara McNulty

    Complex Directions

    To raise the air conditioning,
    lower the number.

    People say, he is to the right of right.
    If he keeps going, he may end up left.

    You can right a wrong,
    but you cannot wrong a right.

    Did you ever go up the down staircase
    or down the up staircase
    on an escalator?

    If a product comes with directions
    of more than A and B, I am not interested.

    Cupid aims his arrow
    at the heart.

    I started writing at the top
    of this page; I have now come
    to the bottom.

  17. Louise


    sitting on the front porch
    listening to Dad’s wisdom of the stars
    safe from the seamier side of
    Taft and Scovel
    no numbers runners or
    plans for drug delivery here
    just the love of the star search
    “find the Big Dipper, honey”
    “see the gods in the sky”
    under the night sky
    no matter how cloudy was
    a safe place to be
    at his knee

    Dad and the porch never led me
    wrong, i could feel the current of
    others plotting and following
    the path to jail and beyond
    but here in the safety of
    Chinese Checkers and stories
    of Greek gods lay the passage
    to wholeness and mind challenges
    his love served up on
    the platter of his wisdom
    a treat for the mental palate
    and the starving heart of of a small girl
    and i am grateful

  18. SarahLeaSales

    Her Life, As She Lived It

    She bent, but did not snap.
    She was broke, but not broken.
    She felt herself
    in all directions–
    stretched thin,
    but not made thin.
    Her plate,
    already heaping,
    ran over,
    and she was
    with the thought that time
    was running out.
    And it was,
    but not for her.
    She’d just been too
    to notice.

  19. De Jackson


    We question, we doubt, we fume.
    Then perhaps head north, or south.
    A wrong turn at Albuquerque, we presume,
    as we question, we doubt and we fume.
    West is best, but we turned too soon.
    Why? Just ask my spouse!
    We question, we doubt, we fume.
    Then perhaps head north or south.

    1. Walter J Wojtanik


      Then perhaps she may head north and east,
      for that direction holds her future.
      Escaping from the belly of the beast,
      then perhaps she may head north and east.
      Not a move that I hate in the least,
      going up to her husband to nurture,
      Then perhaps she may head north and east,
      for that direction holds her future.

      1. De Jackson

        Head for the Sea…

        For that direction holds her future
        (or so she can dream, you see.)
        She’s a mermaid and a moon searcher,
        so that direction holds her future.
        It would be an excellent merger –
        Salt and sand, ocean and me.
        For that direction holds her future
        (or so she can dream, you see.)

        1. Walter J Wojtanik


          So much that she can dream. You see
          the potential she has always shown you,
          she’s outgrown her little girl, she’s free
          for there’s so much that she can dream. You see
          her stride is confident, she can truly be
          anything she sets her mind to; she’s thrown you!
          So much that she can dream, you see.
          Full in the potential she has always shown you,

          1. De Jackson

            Best wishes to your beautiful daughter, Walt. You have equipped her well for the journey.

            Moving Toward the Moon

            The potential she has always shown you
            is that she can hum, and help, and heal.
            She’s borrowed light, shine stolen, too –
            but the potential she has always shown you
            is that even her darker side calls to you.
            She whispers soft, with star appeal.
            The potential she has always shown you
            is that she can hum, and help, and heal.

          2. Walter J Wojtanik

            TO THE MOON AND BACK

            She can hum, and help, and heal,
            her melody is quite therapeutic.
            The heart behind it is real,
            she can hum, and help, and heal.
            That her song is the real deal
            gives power to her sweet music.
            She can hum, and help, and heal,
            her melody is quite therapeutic.

          3. De Jackson

            Navigating the Siren

            Her melody is quite therapeutic,
            but her fins are sharp, and looks can kill.
            There’s no reason to argue or dispute it –
            her melody is quite therapeutic.
            She offers the most lovely and lulling of music,
            but she won’t let go until she’s had her fill.
            Her melody is quite therapeutic,
            but her fins are sharp, and looks can kill.

  20. PressOn


    When springtime gilds the skies,
    my heart, rejoicing, cries:
    magnetic north be praised!

    The birds will soon be back
    along the ancient track;
    magnetic north be praised;

    and then they’ll build their nests,
    disdaining halts or rests;
    magnetic north be praised;

    and then the young will fledge
    and take to grass and sedge;
    magnetic north be praised.

    Till then, auroras dance
    this winter’s last romance.
    Magnetic north be praised!

  21. PowerUnit

    Aimless Wanderer

    Some think me an addled
    meanderer in a turbid world
    whose vision is distorted
    if not a tinge sordid
    or even downright morbid.

    But I assure you I’m quite lucid
    my flaws misreported
    and my skills quite assorted
    some even highly regarded
    though I’ve never been rewarded.

  22. deringer1


    we believed the sign
    what choice did we have?

    we were in the Land of the Leprechauns
    but forgot to expect the leprechaun tricks

    “Connemara” said the sign
    and pointed to the left

    for fifty miles we wandered
    before we knew we were lost again

    a kindly young lady at a roadside store
    explained the local sense of humor

    “Oh yes,” she chuckled, “they don’t like tourists here
    and often turn the signs so you’ll get lost

    we drove back the way we came, laughing,
    our Irish hearts accepting Irish humor

  23. Jrentler

    flight begins

    when you see
    beyond the bars
    of gold

    no use pecking
    for your beaks
    gone weak
    with drink

    your wings
    molted bare

    so sing & swing
    but know
    melodies aren’t
    freedom keys

    & seed dries crusty
    on red breast

    the pool
    too shallow
    for a plunge

  24. JRSimmang


    A man began his journey
    into the brightest sun.
    He wore a hat of starlight
    and socks that were homespun.

    He stepped into the open,
    he walked out on the sea,
    he skipped through fields of cotton,
    wondering where he could be.

    He slipped into the mountains
    and slept on desert sand.
    He pulled the moon behind him,
    and never found where he could stand

    to be a monolith,
    for that’s what he truly dreamed.
    He wished he could be permanent,
    fixed, where e’erything seemed

    perfect and translucent,
    people here for his amusement,
    never openly truculent,
    and all life would be conscientient.

    As he walked the world revolved.
    His feet began to tire.
    The scenery began to look the same,
    whether lower or even higher.

    His last step, a step on solid ground,
    he found a shoe imprint.
    This place he stood was, he realized,
    the place from whence he sent

    himself so many days ago.
    From side to side, his eyes now cried,
    a step in one direction,

    another step he sure did go,
    led to his circumflection.

    -JR Simmang

  25. Anthony94

    First Killdeers

    Yesterday at the transfer station
    they skimmed the closed field
    gone to dry grass above the
    acres of covered over trash

    how is it that they know
    which direction to take
    when they fly north and
    how do they even know
    that north is?

    their shrill scree-scree split
    winter so that the warm
    wind brought spring if only
    for a moment on a February day.

  26. thunk2much

    New normal

    I am wandering
    confused and lost
    in unfamiliar terrain,
    desperate for a map.
    I see a stranger
    who sees me too,
    and I whisper-ask
    “How do I find my way
    back to before,
    back where I felt
    back where I knew
    I belonged?”
    And his head moves
    slowly down and away
    toward the street
    and he whispers back
    “You can’t get there
    from here.”

  27. Connie Peters

    Directionally Challenged

    Directions always stay the same.
    You’d think it wouldn’t be so hard.
    But I forget from whence I came.
    Directions always stay the same.
    It should be easy as my name.
    But I get lost outside my yard.
    Directions always stay the same.
    You’d think it wouldn’t be so hard.

  28. rlk67

    My GPS is such a mess.
    I just go round and round.
    I want to climb the stratosphere,
    But now I’m underground.

    The Little Dipper’s upside down,
    and north is really south?
    Should I still try to navigate?
    Some groans come from my mouth.

    My compass I must calibrate,
    I will defeat this beast!
    The sun will come, I’ll feel its warmth!
    My hope is in the east!