Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 461

Wow! It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve written a poem, but I guess it’s just been five days. So let’s do this!

For today’s prompt, write a picking up poem. There are so many possible things to pick up, aren’t there? Picking up where we left off; picking up the pieces; and picking up this mess. Some people use pick up lines at bars, while others pick up the slack. Let’s pick up where we left off with these Wednesday Poetry Prompts.


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Here’s my attempt at a Picking Up Poem:

“if i fall”

if i fall
please pick me up

or scoot me
in a corner

ask me how
i liked my trip

& that you’ll
see me next fall


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 is prone to falling at times.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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72 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 461

  1. writinglife16


    I pick my men
    as the crows fly.
    If they fly away from
    the pear tree
    in the front yard
    then I know to let him go.
    If they they sit and preen on
    the pear tree branches
    then I’ll start slow
    and share tea on the front porch.
    As the crows fly,
    I pick my men.

    and the chic

  2. Heather


    It lay dusty
    in a forgotten corner,
    hidden behind the dresser,
    tucked behind the edges.
    yellowed and wrinkled over time,
    Cracks like age rings
    mellowed, dulled the moment
    leaving a shadow of emotion,
    tickling the senses
    as I picked up the evidence
    of our broken life.

  3. Jane Shlensky

    Used to Be Blue

    When it was new, his grandpa was a lad
    intent on picking up and putting down.
    He started his own business of sorts,
    transporting, fetching, and delivering–
    old ladies to appointments, errands, church,
    groceries to shut-ins, crates of fruit
    and nuts to Christmas customers, flowers
    and shrubs to homes and cemeteries–
    little things, but necessary where there is need.

    “He babied it!” his grandmother declared,
    but he is glad for down it came to him,
    this pickup truck repainted now three times,
    three generations making it their own,
    but with the motor kept in pristine shape.
    “He taught your daddy motor maintenance,
    tinkering every Saturday for years.
    That’s how you’ll have to do, when it is yours.”
    And so he grew up dreaming of a time
    when he’d be picking up and putting down,
    delivering on promises long held,
    transported to when he would be a dad,
    fetching what needs fetching day by day.

  4. grcran

    Pickin’ and Grinnin’

    We went downhill we picked up speed
    Picked noses picked new clothes-es
    Lost ev’rything picked up the seed
    Picked beds for best reposes
    Perked up we then picked up the pace
    We tickled pink picked winners
    Pickled in brine picked outer space
    Went home picked chicken dinners

    gpr crane

  5. Not-Only But-Also Riley

    Pick Up Lines

    Are you an angel
    because I am
    a false prophet
    that believes my
    very presence
    on this earth
    is a blessing
    and my taking
    of you
    is destiny.

    If you were
    a library book
    I would rip the
    pages out and
    never return you.

    I’m no photographer
    but I will still
    trap you
    in a frame
    and hang you
    on my wall
    like a deer head
    a trophy.

    If I could
    rearrange the
    and make
    the way
    of the world
    in my image
    then you’d
    be mine

    I’m new
    in town
    but I’m not
    new to
    the world
    so I still
    know that
    you just
    pick up
    as if they’ve
    as if they
    need it.

  6. De Jackson

    where we left off

    they scoffed as us for
    swallowing that sun
    -flower dream, for holding
    our breaths in the snow.

    we’ve gathered so much
    more than loose-leaf scenes;
    we know these syllables might
    just stand on their own.

    and so we pick our phrases
    gently, from the breeze. we
    bouquet them into bundles
    with ribbon, time and twine.

    we hold ellipses loosely, fake
    a sneeze, and know that all
    these letters will flitter, flit
                                       and    f  l  y.


    1. Bushkill

      Your depth of prose is impressive. I like reading the whole thing together and even parts of it. For instance, the last line of each stanza, taken as a whole, creates an evocative image for me. And you are able to pin words together in incredible combinations.

  7. mcannon

    When we are given the choice
    we will pick up
    When we see the truth in front of us
    we will pick up
    pick up instead of down, as we have in the past
    we will learn; we have learned.
    we will pick to go up. going down served little to us.
    It is a simple choice, one we didn’t think through. Some of us
    backed away
    but we all pick up.

  8. Bushkill

    Restarting (picking back up)

    I’ve been gone awhile
    Missing in action
    While poets of style
    Built tall word-castles.

    Perhaps I’ve the time
    To ignite the kiln,
    Stitch word fabric’d rhymes
    That tickle the mind
    Of mem’ry long faded.
    Picking up pieces
    All jaundiced and jaded
    Making mind-creases.

    I’ll submit, dear poets,
    Prose of questioned birth,
    Words strung with fogged focus
    For what it’s worth.

  9. rlk67

    ‘De Gluton Cafe’,
    Ahh, what a great meal.
    Delectable food,
    Ambience with appeal.

    My ‘estomac’ was so filled,
    Like a ‘porc’ I did grab,
    Because you said that you would
    pick up the tab!

  10. connielpeters

    The Old Blue Pickup

    He bought a shiny new Chevy pickup,
    but I missed the rattle trap blue one.
    Something about bouncing along
    with the squeak of landing on the seat,
    repeatedly, lent a sense of adventure.

    But over years, the Chevy’s shine faded
    and it bounced, squeaked and rattled,
    similar to our relationship and bodies,
    picking up a new type of adventure.

  11. fbxwriter


    My investments were down
    But now my stocks are
    Picking up

    My sister was sick
    But now she’s better and is
    Picking up the pieces

    A long lost friend contacted me
    And we are
    Picking up where we left off

    Working too much, I’ve let things go at home
    But my husband has been
    Picking up the slack

    The house was a mess
    But now my kids are
    Picking up the mess

    (Including, of course,
    pick-up sticks)

    I felt so good I had to play music
    And I found myself
    Picking up my pick

    I was just so darned happy
    That I could not downstroke
    So I sat there just
    Picking up

  12. Walter J Wojtanik


    There’s always something. The big game. The series finale. Finally the next episode that you hold your breath for. There’s a score of other must see T.V. that you gotta be planted in your seat for. There’s always something; always more. And it’s a bore when it’s a rerun or a load of info-bullcrap that’s being foisted upon your senses. Your neck tenses and your fists clench; the one time mensch is about to go ballistic. But wait, you hear the wind pick up and that precarious tree branch by chance took a header, just missing your car, but ripping the coaxial off the pole!

    a storm is brewing
    no sense stewing over it.
    nothing on cable

  13. Walter J Wojtanik


    Rubaiyat or not,
    I have got to remember to stop
    and pick up a few things on the way home.
    Sometimes it is easy to remember
    and I feel like a functioning member
    of the human race. And at times
    it’s a case of “I better write this stuff down”
    or this clown will be the louse in the dog house.
    My kingdom for a shopping list.
    The gist of this is a wish to be flea free!
    My bonus card has been swiped
    and I wipe my brow avoiding canine-ization!
    But as I pull into the drive it hits me and I beg,
    “Move it over, Rover”. I forgot the eggs!

  14. lsteadly

    Pick Up the Pace

    I must pick up the pace, my friends
    Can’t let a moment go to waste
    So much to do before life ends
    Got to get to it post haste

    It seems that with each passing year
    there’s less time to spend with you
    and with these creaking bones I fear
    limits set on what I do

    So I must wisely spend my days
    Create works of love, help all
    I can, so when time let’s me gaze
    back, I shall not fear the call

  15. SarahLeaSales

    Picking Up Toys

    Raggedy Anne is looking rather ragged.
    You’ve made a hat out of stickers for her;
    you’ve pulled her yarn hair apart
    so it looks like she has a bad perm.
    She is not yet missing an eye
    (only because it’s made of thread),
    but if you needled her to death
    like Mama used to do to her “friends,”
    she’d be real sorry.
    You’ve turned Baby Aimee into a double amputee.
    I thought only woodland creatures
    chewed off their own foot
    when it was caught in a trap.
    Mickey’s hands look like they were caught
    in a stump grinder;
    poor Frederick the Poet Mouse
    looks like he’s been on a starvation diet.
    And Quackers?
    Well, he’s hanging on (or together)
    by a thread,
    for mastication is your instantaneous gratification.

  16. Darlene Franklin

    Three miners went picking for Christmas gold
    Heading to the likely watering spots
    Lucky number one was first to behold
    So many riches he quit the others
    Children left with empty present pots
    Nieces and nephews from his two brothers

    They wandered till harvest, choosing to stop
    Midst apples and oranges, juicy sweet
    With food to feed his family, turned about
    The youngest one quested for something more
    And found it—a coal mine, plenty to heat
    Each family and school and even the store

    Three miners went picking for Christmas gold
    One found it, enough for even the store

    Darlene Franklin

  17. headintheclouds87

    Pieces of Mind

    I’m picking up the pieces,
    Things I’ve let slide
    Into the gaping cracks
    Of this fractured life –
    Faces I’ve foolishly cast aside,
    Allies I’ve coldly ignored –
    I attempt now to retrieve them
    From the shadows of time
    As well as the love for myself
    I thought I was unworthy of,
    I hunt on my hands and knees
    For each little scattered piece,
    The picture persisting in my head,
    That will only be whole again
    If I forgive my fretting mind
    For nearly leaving it behind.

  18. Troy DeFrates

    Between The Lines

    Picking up on hints so subtle we glean
    Sensing what is there despite being unseen
    The tone in the words sends a message to hear
    Effervescent as bubbles in a glass of beer

    Reading between the lines is fraught with timeless mistakes
    Not reading the queues, a tiny heart does break

    We always don’t know how to verbalize
    What we desire as seen through our eyes
    A cast reflection of the true meaning
    Words unspoken cast doubt with demeaning

    Not reading the queues, a tiny heart does break
    Longing for you to understand

    No double talk meant to confuse you
    Just implications for actions that should ensue
    Listen so closely with each passing moment
    Or else the truth will pass by remaining dormant

    Reading between the lines is fraught with timeless mistakes
    Not reading the queues, a tiny heart does break
    Longing for you to understand
    Hear what I need, please take my hand

  19. candy

    Gathering Words

    This poem is picking up all
    The discarded words it
    Stumbles over – blunders upon
    Adverbs hastily cast aside
    Nouns that have no name,
    No home –
    vagabonds wandering
    Across the page
    Searching for lost adjectives
    To give them color
    This poem is picking them up,
    Arranging them into a whisper
    Of love,
    Then giving them to you

  20. William

    Picking up trash
    on the side of the road.
    You threw it out
    now it’s nasty and old.
    Curse you in my head
    but truth be told,
    It’s my fault
    cause I shouldn’t have stoled.

  21. taylor graham


    He was a history hack, picking up
    bits of lore native to our wild-west days –
    hangings and stabbings, miners and jilted
    lovers. He’d embellish a chamber of haunts –
    ghosts in half the rooms of the old hotel,
    a spirit inhabiting the rickety elevator cage.
    Shadows passing by the bar, lace night-
    gown on the stair. He’d pick up small
    change from tourists wishing ghostly
    thrills. Don’t we all like a dash of fancy
    to perk up the history of our town?

  22. Anthony94


    Antennae out she learned to be
    good at picking up clues
    innuendo always easy
    to translate when she overheard
    the whispers so she learned
    to weave armor forged every piece
    of chain link shimmered and clinked
    as she went about her business

    but over the years the weight of it
    slowly dragged her down
    and even though she heard less
    through the tab coif her neck grew stiff
    and rust set in, protective glitter tarnished

    taking it off one day she discovered
    she’d grown her own skin into a layer
    sturdy and strong, reflecting now the
    soothing light of the sun, able to rebuff
    those venomous whispers so

    she picked up the suit of mail
    for the last time and draped it over
    an old chair, just a reminder she said
    of how medieval gossip really is.

  23. Jason L. Martin

    Peking Duck

    On occasion of your funeral
    I’ll be dressed in something fanciful,
    like a Beijing king, golden skin
    and sucking in my belly to be thin.

    Then the ceremony will conclude.
    I’ll undo my belt (how rude),
    and drink a bit of sake to observe
    the finest bird I ever will be served.

  24. tripoet


    It was the 70’s. We all
    felt safe. Until, one day
    I looked Into the driver’s
    eyes and heard my mother
    say, “Don’t get in.”
    I shouldn’t have
    gotten in.

  25. PressOn


    used to
    be good at
    picking pieces
    from the scattered pile
    before the rubber ball
    could fall and hit the floor twice.
    The hardest rolls were eights and nines
    because you had to use curved hand sweeps;
    after that, picking up ten was duck soup.


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