April 30, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Tresha Haefner

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Tresha Haefner:

Reverse Attitude

  1. Pick a poem you have been struggling with for a while. What is the dominant emotion in the poem? How does the speaker of the poem feel towards the subject matter? In a word, what is their attitude towards what they see?
  2. What is the opposite attitude as the one you listed in part A? Name five things that you associate with that opposite attitude. For example, if you’re writing a poem that makes you feel sad, the opposite feeling is glad. When I’m glad about something I think of birthday balloons, ripe peaches, daffodils and cake!

Gulf of Mexico

My father liked being on a boat
in the Gulf of Mexico,
anchored near one of the oil rigs,
pulling up spade fish and red snapper
and swigging from a bottle
of Jim Beam.

Fried chicken, ham sandwiches,
burgers from Bud’s Broiler,
the bagels and lox my father brought
and who knows what else
he and the men ate with their beers.

The boat was slimy with fish
blood, the men bare-chested,
yelling out instructions
as the fish dangled from their lines.

The one time I went with him,
I was ten-years old,
and all I could think about was
would he be able to drive the car
all the way home, would he end up
falling down drunk as we walked
to the car carrying the ice-chest
full of the day’s catch.

But now, when I think back on it –
God, he musta had a good time!
I’m so glad my father had a good time.
These men were not Jewish –
his drinking buddies from AA –
they had all that gentile good-ole boy
razzmatazz, red-necks for sure
slapping their hands together
and howling at the midday sun.

My father, who never finished 8th grade,
who read Kant and Hegel and Lenin and Marx –
God, he musta had a good time!
I’m so glad my father had a good time.
Maybe it brought back the days of summer
on the lower east side,
during the Great Depression,
when he was in his early 30s,
without a job, without a home, a man
riding the rails like Jack Dempsey,
and like Dempsey, he fought
in the ring for chump change
so he could rent a room for the night.

I want my father to have a good time.
I want my father to taste the salt of this life,
to carouse with the men and spend the night
with a woman he met in a bar,
to come home with no money in his pockets,
just the matchbooks we found
from Gentillich’s Bar on Rampart Street
or the Econo Lodge Motel
a mile from the airport.
Live it up, Dad. Hook those fish,
spray that Jim Beam all over your face,
guzzle it down and stagger back
to the shed where the fish are gutted
and puke your guts out in the parking lot
and drive down the Airline Highway,
turn right on Carrollton Avenue,
past Borden’s Ice Cream Parlor,
past Jim’s Fried Chicken,
past Ping Pang Pong’s Chinese Restaurant,
then a left on Fontainebleau Drive,
then slam into the driveway of that two-story brick
colonial home you bought
selling eye-glasses to the country folk
from Houma and Gretna and Bogalusa,
then fling open the front door and charge
up the stairs to the bathroom
and slam the medicine chest cabinet
to smithereens,
to this life,
to this fishing trip
on the Gulf of Mexico
where you’re finally
and irrevocably free.

Prompt: Rewrite the poem with the opposite attitude as the one you initially had. Maybe you start with a totally different attitude, or maybe you shift your attitude half-way through the poem. Maybe you shift it only at the end. See where this leads. Try to use all of the things you listed in part B, above as you rewrite the poem.

This Prompt Appears in The Poetry Salon’s latest book, Method and Mystery: The Psychology of Teaching Creative Writing Classes + 50 Poetry Prompts to Take Your Students to Unexpected Places. You can purchase this book at www.thepoetrysalon.com in April.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

#napowrimo #poetry

April 29, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Tara King

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Tara King:

Take a sheet of lined paper and number the lines down the left side.

Describe your favorite outfit on every third line (lines 1, 4, 7, 10, etc. Leave two empty lines between each line you write.)

Describe how you feel when you are looked at on next lines (2, 5, 8, 11, etc.)

On the remaining lines, copy a random entry from the dictionary (lines 3, 6, 9, 12, etc.)

You can leave the poem as is, or do some work to smooth the edges off.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 28, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Prasanna Surakanti

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Prasanna Surakanti:

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee.

What is something that you can do 10,000 times? Write about how it makes you feel.

An easy one is walking. You put your foot after foot forward.

Another one. Breathing. How many of your breaths can you count. This will take you to mindful breathing.

I am hoping to find an exercise move that I can do 10000 times. Whats yours?

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 27, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Bob Zaslow

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Bob Zaslow:

Write a poem of apologies, as in Szymborska’s “Under One Small Star”:

“My apologies to chance for calling it necessity. / My apologies to necessity if I’m mistaken, after all. / Please, don’t be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due…”

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 26, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – D.L. Lang

This poetry writing prompt submitted by D.L. Lang:

Solve a crossword puzzle or play a game of scrabble. Then using the answers as vocabulary, write a poem.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 25, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Nancy Shiffrin

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Nancy Shiffrin:

My concept of nature was formed at Rockaway Beach after a hurricane.

How was your concept of nature formed? What natural lands or geological features attracted you as a child? Do they inhabit your dreams? Use your senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, taste, kinaesthetic feeling to respond — perhaps as a free-write. What associations come to you?

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 24, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Maggie Westland

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Maggie Westland:

Write a poem about the weather where you are today and tell us how this makes you feel.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 23, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Michelle Angelini

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Michelle Angelini

Have you ever heard a sound and it brings back a very good memory? Something like wind chimes, taiko drums, a bird singing or gentle, rolling thunder at night? Pick a sound, then relate it in a poem to  something in nature or to a memory completely unrelated to the sound heard. It could be in nature, children, an event, like a concert or cultural one. Even though using sound for the prompt, the poem can also include any of the five senses.

Example:

The Stream

Breezes ruffle the wind chimes;

it is water over rocks – the stream where she stopped

over forty years ago driving into the mountains<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>

from San Bernardino.

The tree leaves speak to her.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 22, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Robert Wynne

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Robert Wynne:

Choose to be (insert emotion here)

How do you feel right now?  Write down 3 words describing your current emotional state.  Now select one of those words, and look it up on the internet (or in a reference book, if you happen to have one handy).  From the list of antonyms of that word, choose 5 and use all of them in a poem no longer than 14 lines.  Read it out loud.  How do you feel now?

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 21, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Michael Griffith

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Michael Griffith:

Take a dozen or so Crayola crayons from a large box at random.

Now swap the descriptive words in their names with colors. Robin Egg goes with White now, not Blue. Unmellow now goes with Red, not Yellow.

In cases where you have a fair number of one-word names, combine these. Shadow-Gold. Aquamarine Copper.

(If you don’t have these crayons on-hand, Google search their names.)

Write a poem using at least three of these newly combined colors. Some may not seem to make perfect matches at first, like robin egg white or aquamarine copper, but let these stretch your descriptive muscles and grow your landscapes (the aquamarine clouds in my coppery sky, for instance).

Further, can you create a neon grey flavor or smell? An apricot textured blazer or scarf? Unmellow red could be how a phone ringtone sounds. Appeal to several senses in your poem.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 20, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Mary Sayler

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Mary Sayler:

Write a “how-to” poem. Focus on something you feel good about doing and find a poetic way to lead others through the process.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 19, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Carol Williams

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Carol Williams:

This is the first full moon since you were attacked by a werewolf. Describe your emotional and physical response to your transformation.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 18, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – LB Sedlacek

This poetry writing prompt submitted by LB Sedlacek:

A Poetry Walkabout – take a walk around a certain favorite spot of yours.  It can be local, it can be out of town, it can be a cherished vacation spot, etc.  I personally like to walk in my own downtown where I live, around the lakes or rivers, or around the gardens at Biltmore in Asheville. What do you see, smell, hear, think or feel during your poetry walk?

Write about: 1) smells from a restaurant, maybe from a lake, in the air 2) scenery such as streets, highways, bridges 3) images such as a broken bottle, a sculpture 4) nature such as birds, flowers, the sky and 5) your actual walk

While your trek may not be specifically exciting, your goal is to form a poem or the inspiration for a poem from your walk, your admiration of nature – this walk in the middle of nowhere or maybe in the middle of a place everyone knows.  Take your walking poem and make it alive, exaggerate it to add excitement or vice versa.  Your walk itself may be low key, but your words, lines, and ultimate poem will be alive!

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 17, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Elizabeth Iannaci

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Elizabeth Iannaci

The Game of Thrones Biography – GoT Bio

Daenerys Targaryen was born in the midst of a great gale, only living offspring of the “Mad King” Aerys Targaryen who ruled seven realms on the continent of Westeros which are inhabited by the Westerosi and the Andals. She emerged unscathed from her husband’s funeral pyre, the burning of which allowed three petrified dragon eggs to hatch and become her “children”. This “miracle” solidified her position as Khaleesi of the Dothraki Horde. She then freed the slaves of Astapor, Mereen, and Yunkai, enlisting them as her soldiers and loyal followers.

And this is how she is described:

Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne, rightful queen of the Andals and the First Men, protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains.

Prompt

Write two short bios of yourself using first, the language of the first paragraph above, then the second, italicized paragraph.

Example:

Elizabeth Iannaci was born shortly after sunrise to a single mom who was attending Yale Art School in New Haven, CT.   After traveling the Pacific Northwest as a singer, she worked in the music business in 1970s for bands such as Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, before embarking on  a career as an award-winning theater actor. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and her poetry has been widely published and anthologized. She has two chapbooks: Passion’s Casualties and The Virgin Turtle Light Show: Spring 1968, recently published by Latitude 34 Press.  She has one extraordinary son and three remarkable grandchildren.

 

Elizabeth Dawningborn of House Iannaci, Bastard of The Bulldog (Rah, Rah, Rah), chantiste and tripper of the bright fantastic, jungle-clearer for those touched by starlight, face-changer and board treador, Thesaurian, lexicographer and master of  the word-hoard, purveyor of wonder, witness to impossible beauty,  Mother of the Incredible, and ancestor to Those Who Smile at the Moon.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

#napowrimo #poetry

April 16, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Kathy Lundy Derengowski

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Kathy Lundy Derengowski:

Write us a poem of rescue, from climate change, corrupt politicians, or things that “go bump in the night”. Give us hope, help, or find us a hero.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

#napowrimo #poetry

April 15, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Kimberly Cunningham

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Kimberly Cunningham:

Defined what you think undefined living means.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 14, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Jess Vaughn

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Jess Vaughn:

Remember the first day of school? Your preschooler begins kindergarten full of more confidence than you anticipated. She doesn’t even wave goodbye. You sit in your car and stare at the school. What are you thinking?

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 13, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Cindy Tebo

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Cindy Tebo:

Write a descriptive poem about the first car you ever owned or rode in. What did it feel like? What do you remember? Try to incorporate all the senses.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 12, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Richard Widerkehr

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Richard Widerkehr:

Instead of starting a poem with A is like B, start it with how A is not like B,  See where that takes you.  Maybe B is really like A.  Or not.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 11, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Suzanne Lummis

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Suzanne Lummis:

Begin a poem with Please. Beseech someone. Make it interesting. Make it so convincing and necessary and vivid that the person, thing, you’re addressing, will have to comply.  

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 10, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Emily Vieweg

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Emily Vieweg:

Find your purse or bag, rummage around and pick something out. A pen, pencil, keys, credit card, personal massager, whatever…

Write a diary entry in that item’s voice.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 9, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – R Soos

This poetry writing prompt submitted by R Soos:

I’ve been using the same prompt since 1965 every single day. Amazingly, it works – because every day is new.

Prompt: “pay attention and write a poem today”.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 8, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Maria DePaul

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Maria DePaul:

While making the trip to work one morning,  notice signs along the commute. The possibilities are endless: bumper stickers: lawn signs for political campaigns or causes;  advertisements on billboards, buses, or trains, etc. Observe interactions that morning. Then, have lunch outside and observe interactions in the neighborhood. During the commute home, write a poem about those observations that incorporates at least three found phrases collected during the morning commute.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

#napowrimo #poetry

April 7, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Cindy Bousquet Harris

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Cindy Bousquet Harris:

Respond to this beginning, “If I cry for you…”

1. Ideas to consider: If I cry for you what does it, or would it, mean? What else does it mean? What doesn’t it mean?

2. Other thoughts: What effect will it have? On whom? What will happen? Will it change anything?

3. More ideas: Who will hear me? What will it sound like / look like / feel like? Do to my body? Harm me? Do me good? And what if I don’t?

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 6, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Brendan Constantine

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Brendan Constantine:

What makes the night? Is it the absence of the sun, or is it just a quantity of darkness? If it’s either of these, then it may be fair to say that it never leaves us. Don’t you carry some of it with you, even now? In your pockets? Your mouth? Under the bed? Compose a poem for the night you keep with you.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 5, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Carol Carpenter

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Carol Carpenter:

Think about your favorite book you read as a child and work some phrases from the text into an event you recall as an adult

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 4, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Milton Ehrlich

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Milton Ehrlich:

Write a poem describing what you see when you are having a visual hallucination.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 3, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Jake Aller

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Jake Aller:

Write a poem about a dream that changed your life. Many of us have had dreams that changed the direction of our life. The dream could be a prophetic dream that came true, or it could be a dream that warned you about something, or a powerful image that haunted your life. Dreams are powerful and I am a big proponent of listening to one’s dreams.

In my case, I had a recurring dream from 1974 to 1982 – in the dream which started in high school, a beautiful Asian woman was standing next to me talking to me in an Asian language.  She then disappears and I wake up.  First time I had the dream was in a high school physics class where I nodded and saw the woman. I yelled out who are you? and fell to the ground- the class broke up in laughter.  Then I started having the dream.  When I had to go decide where to go in the Peace Corps I had the dream and knew she was in Korea.  I met her a year after I finished the Peace Corps. She walked off a bus and into my life. We have been married for 37 years.

So my prompt is this: Write about a dream that changed your life or a dream that changed someone else’s life. You can read the rest of my story on my blog https://theworldaccordingtocosmos.com or in the book, “Dreams and the Unexplainable,” published by the Chicken Soup for the Soul publishers.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 2, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Mary Eastham

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Mary Eastham:

I’m giving you a poem title – Aftershock. Keep it short, around 14 lines. Make it noisy and maybe include a surprise. Mine is gonna be about a first kiss on a diving board.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

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April 1, 2019: Poetry Writing Prompt – Taylor Mali

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Taylor Mali:

The secret things we never tell the world are often the very same things the world most needs to hear. But we stay silent for one of two reasons: Either we think no one will be interested because our experience is so common, universal, and boring, or else we think no one will be able to relate to it because it’s singular, unique, and only makes sense to us. However, usually we are dead wrong and have it completely backwards! That which you think no one else in the world has ever felt . . . is actually quite common! There’s a whole family of folks just waiting to hear your story and say, “That happened to me, too!” Meanwhile, those things that you always thought were a part of everyone’s life? They weren’t! That was just you! And the world is dying to hear what it was like!

Write a poem in which every sentence makes two statements, one that’s likely true for everyone, and another that’s only true for you. Then start switching it up by talking about what ISN’T true for you, but likely IS true for others. It’s okay if all your sentences have a similar structure. It’s okay to make some outrageous claims, especially if an intelligent reader will be able to tell that you aren’t entirely serious. Take a risk. Tell us something important.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.

#napowrimo #poetry