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    Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 249

    Categories: Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

    I hope everyone sent in there November PAD Chapbook Challenge submissions. If you happened to “forget” the deadline or your dog ate your manuscript, I’ll accept late submissions for today and today only. Click here for the guidelines. (And thank you to everyone who’s already sent in their manuscripts; I can’t wait to start reading them this weekend!)

    For today’s prompt, take the phrase “This Is (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. So possible poem titles include: “This Is My Happy Face,” “This Is the End of the Line,” “This Is the Last Straw,” and so on.

    Here’s my attempt at a This Is Blank poem:

    “This Is Only a Test”

    I’m the ancient rune
    you found in a cave
    hidden by the sea.

    I’m the Higgs boson,
    the unfathomable bosom,
    finally unclasped.

    You burn for I burn
    for we both yearn
    and yearn to unlock

    why the planets turn.
    Our particles collide
    and the rest is theory.

    *****

    Take your poetry to a new level. Click here to learn how.

    *****

    Robert Lee Brewer

    Robert Lee Brewer

    Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and a casual lover of scientific advancement. By that, he means that he listens to Science Friday occasionally and reads biographies of living and deceased scientists from time to time. Brewer is the author of Solving the World’s Problems. He’s also married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poet-scientists (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

    *****

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    About Robert Lee Brewer

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    171 Responses to Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 249

    1. veronica_gurlie says:

      THIS IS MY LAST WISH

      This is my last wish,
      keep thinking of me, so you stay dizzy
      and hold on to nothing as I still move you,
      be with no one else– forever.
      take your heart to the bridge, and throw it over,
      lock it up in the attic or shove it under your bed,
      pretend you do not not have a heart,
      but if you can’t, tell nobody you still have it,
      If I was able to steal it, by lifting you up,
      somebody else will, by pulling you from the edge.

    2. veronica_gurlie says:

      THIS IS MY INTRODUCTION

      This is my introduction,
      my big embarrassment,
      as if I’m caught with my finger up my nose.
      I’m your obvious rejection,
      your imitation of me now,
      with a face like a blow fish
      and a distinctive smell of a loser.
      I laugh with you,
      and the hyenas besides you,
      cause what else an can do I.
      Nobody said a damn thing,
      nobody can stop you, you’re like rain,
      you’re like the boss,
      you’re welcomed,
      in some strange way.

      • veronica_gurlie says:

        sorry guys, fixing a mistake:

        THIS IS MY INTRODUCTION

        This is my introduction,
        my big embarrassment,
        as if I’m caught with my finger up my nose.
        I’m your obvious rejection,
        your imitation of me now,
        with a face like a blow fish
        and a distinctive smell of a loser.
        I laugh with you,
        and the hyenas besides you,
        cause what else can do I.
        Nobody said a damn thing,
        nobody can stop you, you’re like rain,
        you’re like the boss,
        you’re welcomed,
        in some strange way.

        • veronica_gurlie says:

          Decided to fix it up a typo.

          This is My Introduction.

          This is my introduction,
          and big embarrassment,
          as if I’m caught with my finger up my nose.
          I’m your obvious rejection,
          your imitation of me now,
          with a face like a blow fish
          and a the foul smell of a loser.
          I laugh with you,
          and the hyenas besides you,
          (cause what else can I do)
          nobody said a damn thing,
          nobody can stop you,
          you’re like rain,
          you’re like the boss,
          you’re welcomed,
          in some strange way.

          • veronica_gurlie says:

            REWRITE: I decided to trim the poem down some more and move things around. Satisfied now:0)

            THIS IS MY INTRODUCTION.

            This is my introduction,
            your imitation of me now,
            with a face like a blow fish
            and the foul smell of a loser.
            This is my introduction,
            it’s my big embarrassment.
            it’s your shinning moment,
            and I just laugh with you,
            and the hyenas besides you,
            (cause what else can I do)
            It’s as if I’m caught with my finger up my nose,
            nobody can stop you,
            you’re just like rain,
            you’re just like the boss,
            you’re welcomed,
            in some strange way.

    3. PromptPrincess13 says:

      This is the Day He Smiled

      I saw him every day, at the same time each morning,
      He looked to never age, the scars were visible always,
      Not just on the skin,
      No, they went deeper than that, through flesh to the soul,
      I see that now.

      He would raise a hand to me when I passed him, a hand gnarled and filthy,
      His eyes were always bright and intrigued, amused by a world I could not see,
      I often wondered how he could stand it,
      A man strong in his prime,
      Living on steps of granite,
      Always shifting on them for comfort, on slabs of cardboard,
      Yet never climbing them into the warmth that lay above him,
      It must’ve hurt, I think, to have slept in the cold,
      Watching the hotel lobby so pristine and bright,
      So close, yet never close enough.

      I’ve never been overly self-less but I tried to help, I did,
      I took him some blankets and a coffee sometimes,
      When the frost was too sharp and my worries small.

      When I didn’t find him on the hotel steps one day,
      I won’t deny I was bemused, and scared a little,
      For the man who had been a constant in my world,
      Defying the temptations of a life so far gone,
      Seemed to have disappeared, like he never existed,
      I asked around and walked through the block,
      But no one had seen the man, not then and not ever,
      I tried to call his name but I did not know it,
      We’d never spoken farther than a nod,
      Not deeper than a holiday wish that seemed to mock,
      Even though I didn’t mean it to.

      When I saw him the next day, it wasn’t by his face that I knew him,
      I’d never seen him without a layer of grime on his skin,
      Or without his hair mangled and his movements small and achy,
      I’d never seen him as he was now,
      Dressed in a suit with a tie and polished shoes,
      Hair cut short and strides long, confident.

      I didn’t know him by any of this, how could I?
      No, I knew him by the look in his eyes,
      So bright and fierce with a hunger that gave me hope,
      Hope for him and hope for me,
      And hope for human-kind.

      For on that day, a man with no education taught me a lesson,
      On how life is fast and ever-changing,
      Doors opening after they’ve closed,
      A lesson on second chances and will.

      I think that man knew this always,
      I’m sure of it, in fact,
      But I didn’t know it, couldn’t feel it the same as him,
      Not until the day he smiled at me,
      Coming off of his shift as a manager,
      At the hotel he’d lived on the step of,
      For twelve years,
      Yes, I didn’t know it,
      Not until,
      The day he smiled.

    4. JRSimmang says:

      This is the Land Where Few Dream to Tread

      This is the land where few dream to tread,
      ‘neath their suits of gold-laden lead,
      they shake, they sweat, they cower and burn,
      and wish for the days they lay safe in bed.

      This is the land where fires rage white,
      where your eyes will burn from hallowed light,
      where bone and sinew and all that you are
      withers away to spirited spite.

      Oh ye, brave trav’ler, protect your heart well,
      for this land will turn your heaven to hell.
      Wear your iron wisdom upon your sword,
      and tie your knowledge with a silver bell.

      Sit straight in your saddle while riding on,
      and don’t look back until you’ve gone.
      Grip tightly to your courageousness,
      and live to die in days impending, days anon.

      Make good your journey, young man,
      for the other side you find will be grand.
      The arrow pierces your bosom first,
      and bleeds your heart upon the land.

      But if you survive this land unforgiving,
      you’ll be a god among the living.
      This land, the land few have dreamed tread,
      is furthermore a land of souls receiving.

      -JR Simmang

      This is a rough draft to an epic poem I began sometime last year.
      It’ll be periodically updated at my blog: http://www.letitmarinade.blogspot.com

    5. JRSimmang says:

      This is not the World We Imagined

      We belong down there,
      my dear,
      in the mired loam
      above our knees
      and gloating, floating, frothing, golden refuse.
      We belong down there,
      my dear.

      We, the huddled masses,
      the malnourished sighing corpses
      drifting in between
      coherent towers and
      blast furnaces,
      cover our faces,
      fingers peaking,
      for the glimpse of their oil-soaked hems.

      We belong where the
      dogs seldom sleep,
      where the itches from
      the iceberg-swallows
      beckons us to the cold,
      cold fingers curled around
      our necks, necklaces of
      entrapment.

      Double Jeopardy!
      (we belong)
      leaks and leaks and leaks
      and leads
      pooling around the heads
      the dirty
      heads
      ,
      and we belong down there with them

      for
      we
      are
      consanguineous,
      we are lovers,
      we are affairs and sea-sick
      children
      reaching our hands to be held,
      seeking to
      hold them up
      above us,

      above the boiling stench
      of eyes like saucers.

      We belong to them.

      -JR Simmang

      • PressOn says:

        For me, this is an absorbing, fascinating piece, compelling and yet repelling at the same time. The “huddled masses” made me think of immigrants, and thus the poem led me to think of a land, or a dream of same, gone horribly wrong. More than that, however, is the sheer power in your writing that holds me to your words. Wow.

    6. This is the poem

      This is the poem I wrote last week.
      It wasn’t ready then, I reckon
      but it IS now. Go on… critique.
      This is the poem I wrote last week.
      I ran it by Gertrude and Nick.
      Oh, wait… not yet… just give me a second.
      This is the poem I wrote last week.
      It wasn’t ready then, I reckon.

    7. Cin5456 says:

      This is the Time

      This is the time of night
      when poetry falls heaven
      carried by muses with
      dream dust in pouches.

      This is the hour of evening
      when poets find inspiration
      in the curve of a thigh
      or the color of a rose

      This is the turn of the second hand
      when chairs have personality
      when stars wink with sarcasm
      when fish scales flash like diamonds.

      These are the creeping minutes
      when a name is a peopled place
      where memory glows neon bright
      and feelings take control of the pen.

      This is the moment when
      I taste the flavor of words
      hear music in fleeting aromas
      and light evades definition.

    8. Cin5456 says:

      This is Where You Get Off.

      I’ve had enough;
      the novelty is over.
      Your tirades and demands are done.
      Deadline is the end of the day.
      I packed a bag of clothes.
      Anything you leave, send friends over
      Anything of value will be sold.
      Be quick about it. I posted my furniture
      on craigslist this morning. The ad says,
      my lover is leaving me; indoor yard sale.
      Paul Simon said it’s easy.
      He said “there must be 50 ways…”
      Choose from the song
      Or invent another.
      While you’re packing
      I’ll play the CD
      to refresh your memory
      and for motivation.
      This is you changing plans.
      If you disagree, I have
      friends standing by
      to carry your things, or to
      carry you anywhere but here.

    9. Hannah says:

      This is What I’ll Leave for Them

      In an antique tin
      I will place the following:
      A yellow number two pencil,
      a wooden handled pocket knife,
      a fair amount of recycled paper,
      a glass swirled marble,
      a brass greening key
      and a gray striped stone
      for inspiration.
      I’ll label this container
      with a magic marker on masking tape
      with these words:
      Writing is a craft of the mind and hand
      for the betterment of the heart;
      practice daily.

      Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

    10. tunesmiff says:

      THIS IS RIDICULOUS
      =================
      Wait;
      you mean
      it’s warmer
      in Yellowstone
      than in Atlanta?
      Wind chill or no wind chill
      I don’t quite know what
      to make of all
      this global
      warming
      talk.

    11. THIS IS LOVE

      Love has
      multiple sides,
      some complex or transparent,
      others real and firmly planted,
      and always confusing.

      Love is
      not the movies,
      happily ever afters,
      riding off into the sunset
      with fairy tale endings.

      Love is
      sometimes broken
      into tiny shards of glass
      cutting deeply, bleeding freely,
      leaving open wounds.

      But love
      can be healing,
      taking all of the pieces
      and gluing them back together
      in one seamless unit.

      Love can
      last a moment,
      unveil itself then wither,
      or can be with you a lifetime
      with rewards worth the risk.

      © Susan Schoeffield

    12. cholder says:

      This Is My Truth

      I’m not allowed to freely speak
      I bite my bleeding tongue in cheek
      My teeth grate from the weight of it
      My jaw aches from the pain of it
      Hang my head from the shame of it
      The truth will not set me free today

    13. learsonrx says:

      THIS IS HER CROWN, OUR CROWN.

      There is a stillness in the air
      An electric pause holding the
      World at bay, as the land’s green
      Hairs rise at attention, guarding,

      Waiting for the thunderous call
      The order to kneel before the
      Deafening release of the skies’
      Assault on the sun-baked lips
      And leathred red skin,
      Of soil cracked and abused
      By desire and malicious greed

      So the light of the world turns,
      Hides his aged face and listens
      To the thundrous exertion,
      Waiting
      For the exhale, the release,
      The moment the collision
      Ceases and his beauty can
      Intercede with hope and promise.

      For this is her coronation day
      The end of a darkness,
      the rain of heaven overhead
      Ends and he adorns her
      With a crown of effervescent colors
      Placed high above the beaten
      Blades and wetted lands so as
      To cast his light on a world reborn

    14. This is Never All There Is

      (Six word poem and title – in one)

      • writinglife16 says:

        I like this. It strikes me as being the answer to that old song, “Is That All There Is.” :) Even the song said, let’s keep dancing. So you are right.

    15. This is Thursday

      Not a bad day –
      almost the end of the week,
      almost Friday,
      which is almost the weekend.
      Thursday,
      not a bad day to have hanging around.

      • PressOn says:

        Especially since it’s after Wednesday. Wednesday’s a starling day; Thursday is for sparrows.

        • Cin5456 says:

          William, I’d kind of like to save your line about Wed., and Thurs., too. I would like to think of others like these. Or even a collaborative poem by several poets expressing the days of the week in short descriptive phrases. Wouldn’t that be fun?

      • Cin5456 says:

        I love this. Its truth didn’t occur to me till you said it. It made me smile at the start and laugh at the end. I want to keep a copy of this. May I have permission to print it out fully attributed to you? I’d kind of like to share it on Facebook too, but not without your permission, especially the last two lines.

      • Unique poem for the prompt; I love it!

    16. priyajane says:

      This is my pulse

      Sometimes I feel it
      pounding like rain
      racing for sun
      at the thought of his name
      And sometimes, its muffled
      drowning with ache
      gasping for air
      In a self imposed game.
      Either way,-
      Imprisoned in shackles
      ticking away—-

    17. This Is What It Is

      No side-stepping,
      second guessing,
      going back, but
      face it head on,
      deal with it,
      get over it,
      get real.
      But there’s
      always plan B.

    18. THIS IS WHERE I CAME IN

      From across the room, I wondered -
      pondered what this festering was that was pestering
      my muse. If I choose to embrace it and face it
      with aplomb and respect, I would expect it to carry me.
      A chamber full of poets, purveyors of verse
      cursed with the same need to succeed. Not out
      of greed but for love of the process. It grips us…
      possesses us (it stresses us at times) that rhymes
      can become come and extension of our expression.
      It was April and full of the fire and the desire to pen it
      I opened the door and stood amongst other writers
      of worded wonder. Pondering and wandering around the room.
      I found a space and let my face become known.
      Oh how we’ve all grown. How now i grin!
      This is where I came in!

    19. priyajane says:

      This is a January Sunset

      How to, translate this play by play
      Gazing through my kitchen gray
      Blue got pink and gold caught fire
      Purple clouds filled in desire

      Silent sunset spoke in hues
      Highlighting the evening’s news
      Flowers blooming in the sky
      Lotus slivers gleaming high
      Wings that shimmered,merged in point
      Then diverged through scattered joints
      Open arms with brushes grew
      Painting shades we never knew
      What music must that place withhold?!
      That lies beyond this open mould
      A glimpse into an unknown realm
      And I, SO yearned to hold its helm
      And then I blinked, and lo it seemed !
      It’s swallowed, in an ink filled breeze!
      A blotting paper sanded through
      A charcoal smudge with deeper grooves

      Those flashes now are memories
      As time just breathes and flows with ease
      A cradle glows inside my heart
      Stirring reds through hidden paths

      Each day the same sun comes to bat
      And yet a different game it chants
      Each moment marks and plays its part
      So stop, encrypt some wonder art—

    20. Seventy two hours at O’Hare

      This is the final boarding call
      for flight number twenty twenty two.
      Seriously, you low-lifes sprawled against the wall,
      this is the final boarding call
      I mean it this time, you’re clogging up the departure hall.
      Now get up before I call the cops on you!
      This is the final boarding call (really!)
      for flight number twenty twenty two.

    21. This is the end

      of the word, ‘awesome.’
      I declare its death
      along with that of ‘huge’,
      ‘geek’, ‘so not’, ‘as if’,
      and ‘man cave.’ Come on
      all you innovators, think
      of new words to replace
      these passé platitudes.

    22. This is, or could be, Poetry

      Sounds,
      smells, fear,
      emotions.
      A sense of place,
      or lack of substance,
      feelings of belonging,
      difference of opinion.
      Whether you found it in the words,
      or simply felt a tug at your soul.

    23. snuzcook says:

      THIS IS YOUR MOTHER

      “This is your mother,” she said in familiar rhythm.
      It is the same rhythm I use when I call my son.
      “I know, Ma. What’s wrong?”
      “Does something have to be wrong?
      I just called to say hi.”
      “Great. How are you? How’s Dad?”
      “Your father’s just fine, like me.
      Getting older. Getting forgetful.
      You know what they say:
      Getting old’s not for wimps.”
      “I know Ma. But you’re not old.”
      She ignores me; it’s her dime.
      “I was sitting here watching the rain,
      thinking of my little girl.”
      Her voice comes from far away.
      “My little girl’s going to be a grandmother soon.”
      “That’s right, Ma, the end of March.”
      “Hard to believe.” She is quiet.
      It is my turn to retreat from emotion.
      “Guess you can’t call me your little girl anymore,” I joke.
      Sharply her voice comes back without humor,
      the cuff of a paw, the touch of a maternal tooth,
      to chastise me for challenging the way things are.
      “I will always be your mother,” she avers,
      “And you will always be my little girl.”
      “I know, Ma.” I sigh. “I know.”
      Some things can never change.

    24. Jane Shlensky says:

      This is Delicious

      And no calories—
      no fats, carbs, sugars—just
      imagination.

    25. Jane Shlensky says:

      This is Wonderful

      You tell students all kinds of things
      to get them to read, build them
      a vision of a pastime they can love,
      them sprawled on a couch,
      the TV off, no music blaring,
      just them, silence, and a story
      playing off the pages and into
      their minds casting them like
      film directors might as the main
      character, sensible and bright,
      troubled but deserving,
      kind and good natured,
      and heart-breakingly beautiful,
      them rising to every challenge,
      coming away from those pages
      changed, their adventures
      as real in their heads as they
      can be in real space—better even.

      You tell them, read one page
      and return the book. No more
      for you, m’dear, until they crave
      a chapter, taste the honey of
      story unfolding, of characters
      developing, of twists turning,
      while you smile and read, like
      eating ice cream in front of them,
      tell them this is too rich for you.
      Let writing break their hearts
      and mend them. Then ask,
      Isn’t this wonderful?

    26. This Is My Life

      What I thought was just a dress rehearsal
      turned out to be the main attraction,
      opening night and final curtains played out
      on the same stage. Maybe if I’d known,
      I would have considered my lines
      more closely, even the asides; I might
      have blocked my movements, taken the time
      to know the crew, the stagehands, lighting,
      not just those who shared my stage, tossing
      clever banter back and forth. I might
      have picked my roles giving thought
      to the legacy I might leave behind. Instead,
      I waltzed through my life, as if I’d have
      another chance to do it better, get it right,
      finding the part that suits me best,
      not content to stick with the script,
      scribbling notes and changes to my lines,
      weighing each gesture. I might have seen
      the turning point as I approaches, instead
      of looking back as my plot unraveled
      quickly to its resolution, to its denouement.

    27. This Is The First Time

      “And I said I wouldn’t get sucked in
      I … ” – The National lyrics from “This Is The Last Time”

      I want to know why
      when I fall in love
      I always find the words
      to some sad goodbye
      caught in my mind
      along with the letter
      he wrote – It’s not
      like I don’t know
      they aren’t the same
      a paper full of
      what we might do
      and what we could
      dream and the lyrics
      a map of where someone
      else’s been and god tell
      me how do I find a way
      to fill my own addiction
      to emptiness because
      even though I’ll pretend
      it’s not true, this is no
      first time, honey, and
      there will never be a last.

    28. writinglife16 says:

      THIS IS WRONG

      Sis, wake up.
      It’s a new year.
      He’s gone.
      You can leave now.
      Start a brand new life.
      Sis, please.
      Wake up.

    29. Julieann says:

      This Is It

      The cars steady rhythm
      Lulled her into a comfortable sleep
      Until her husband’s booming voice
      Excitedly exclaimed “This is it!”

      Disconcerted she jerked bolt upright
      And stared around at the trees
      And grass, and railroad tracks
      Then asked, “This is what?”

      Years later they settled on property
      Not more than five miles
      From that fateful spot
      Where he shouted “This is it!”

      And now after nearly 80 years
      There’s still trees, and grass
      And railroad tracks, and we
      Still want to know, “This is what?”

    30. seingraham says:

      THIS IS NEW

      She looked the new year right in the face
      Shouted loud, “Bring It!”, make it novel, unused
      Give me excitement and pick up the pace

      Then threw back her head, laughed deep and long
      Felt instinctively this time she’d not be refused
      This year she’d write new words to that tired old song

    31. This is Surfing

      My car is tired and needed
      gas or something. It was driving like a mule.
      The beach, the waves, were down hill.
      I planned for it, but now—
      I’m feeling thirsty. Back to the fucking bar.

      http://wp.me/p2CQD-an

    32. THIS IS WHAT I DO

      I have this devotion
      to poetry and motion.
      Words that move and cajole
      and control what you feel
      when you feel it. No need
      to reel it in since I choose
      to let loose with verse and meter,
      a rhyme eater spitting out
      poems. Mow ‘em down
      and wait to be prompted.
      When the spirit moves me,
      it behooves me to write it.
      I can fight it if it’s in me.
      This is what I do. Do you?

    33. THIS IS HOW IT HAPPENS

      You trudged under the weight of your pack,
      following what had been
      a jeep road washed out long ago;
      fallen logs across the path. Loose rocks.
      No footprints. Wondering if this
      could be the way that hiker came,
      aiming for the grandeur of Pyramid Peak.
      Nothing but the foundation
      of a cabin with old country stove
      white as ash; even the chimney was gone.
      No sign of the missing man.
      Your dog said no one had been there
      in a long time. You kept climbing.
      From the top of a lodgepole, a raven
      said you were crazy. Clouds
      massed over the summit, promising storm.
      Then you saw it – peregrine falcon –
      just as search base called you
      back: lost hiker found safe, at home;
      never got near the mountain.
      You debriefed with only this to report:
      a stove with no chimney;
      no road anymore. First time you’d
      seen a peregrine. It was worth the climb.

      • seingraham says:

        Love this! We have a pair of peregrines that return to the city and nest every Spring, atop one of our skyscrapers (now in a protected and videographed space…feels vaguely invasive but they don’t seem to mind)…what magnificent birds they are…

      • Julieann says:

        Our feet so often take up to places unknown, we just need to look around to see the beauty, and will surely find something new. Wonderful!

    34. THIS IS SPINAL TAP

      What I lack in style
      I make up in volume!
      From Collum to Sonnet
      I’m on it like White on Strunk.
      Punk rock mocks me,
      and heavy metal rusts
      in comparison to this garrison
      of words. This light hearted farce
      is a pain just above the arse.
      As funny as a Lumbar Puncture
      (this is a Spinal Tap). Turn it to
      E-le-ven. It’s one more than ten,
      isn’t it?

    35. elishevasmom says:

      This is the Exit Strategy

      As any spy story will tell you,
      every operation must have
      an exit strategy,
      a Plan B, maybe a Plan C even.

      Almost nothing
      goes according to plan,
      runs on schedule
      or works like it’s supposed to.

      An exit strategy
      is what saves the day,
      recoups your energy,
      renews your focus.

      Without one you
      get stuck
      doing damage control,
      only what if you

      don’t have enough fingers
      to fix the dike?
      An exit strategy is
      preventive maintenance,

      the way a Master
      sees the chess board,
      always calculating
      several moves ahead.

      At the end of the day,
      you need whatever works
      for you. The important thing
      is too have one.

      Ellen Evans 1.8.14
      a ‘This is_________’ poem for PA

    36. De Jackson says:

      This is a Whole Lot of Nothing Scooped into a Pile

      Nothing speaks today, de
      -spite blue skies, slight
      rifled breeze, 51 degrees.

      Somehow I am buried
      under my own static un
      -snow. Ink moves slow
      through worn veins, and
      the day trods on, tried
      and tired and all but true.

      If you
      know where I might borrow
      the crunch of autumn leaves
      or the rustle of pine trees or
      the crumble of sand in hungry
      hand, a small map will suffice.
      I shall crease it twice and wish
      upon its many folds. I know
      the future holds more than this
      moment longing, this shallow
      swallowed song, but today it
      is possible to choke on my own
      breath.

      Knock twice outside
      this frozen shell. Knock again
      and wait. Maybe I am hibernating;
      maybe I am making wings. Even I
      am not on the list of need-to-knows,
      so I suppose the line forms to the
      right. What’s left is either fight
      or flight.

      .

    37. Domino says:

      I’ve been absent for weeks, so I’ve submitted two today. ^_^ Happy New Year!

      This is How a Fear of Needles is Born

      This is me, the future me,
      talking to the trembling child
      hiding under the gurney in
      the vast warren of the ER.
      You can come out.
      The shot will hurt, but
      not as much as it would
      if you hadn’t fled, frightened,
      forcing them to find you,
      angered by your anxiety,
      and “I thought you said
      she has asthma,” so six
      people (giants) chasing you
      around the room, clever and
      stealthy once you’ve gone to ground
      in a further chamber in the labyrinth
      of passages and treatment rooms.
      Then: “I see her” “Get her!”
      an “Ooof,” an “Ouch!” A muffled curse,
      and then the shrill wail of
      the creature, caught,
      ringing through the room,
      as though she were prey,
      not victim after all.
      The shot when it comes
      will be more vicious and cruel
      than it need be,
      but don’t brace yourself,
      try to relax so it doesn’t
      hurt as much.
      It will be over soon, hush.
      Hush.

      This is How to Cure a Fear of Needles

      The insistent buzz, the flickering
      light. The artist is a trusted friend.
      He has agreed to do this
      complex design of mine,
      and warns it will take hours.
      He puts on a silly movie,
      “Love at First Bite,”
      ironically, one I will can
      never enjoy again,
      laced as it is with the
      sharp memory of pain,
      of the needles,
      the sweat,
      the blood.

      Two sessions is what it takes.
      Two or three hours each,
      to build the design and
      erase the fear the needles
      (used to) bring by making something
      indelible and beautiful
      a part of who I am now.

      The memory of facing the fear
      is as permanent as the ink,
      forcing the fear to be subservient
      to the somehow-necessary
      needling pain.
      It has changed my point of view forever.
      Neither prey,
      nor creature caught,
      but willful victim
      nettled by design
      and mended internally
      of the stains a captive wears.

    38. Misky says:

      This is the Storm

      Water choked the bridge below,
      Arches stopped, nowhere to go,
      A boat to float,
      To sink or sail,
      A keel, a wheel,
      Fell knees to rail,
      Our oars are held but tight
      This mud, this storm does swell,
      This night of hell.

      (c) Misky 2014

    39. Clae says:

      This is a Letter

      I still write them
      I still read them
      I still send and
      Still receive them
      A dying art
      Museum pieces
      Forgotten skill
      No one still teaches
      While many see it as no loss
      It’s a preference I can’t relent
      Impersonal impatient scraps
      Of thought are not an improvement

    40. This Is Not What It Looks Like

      This is not what it looks like
      you don’t understand
      I’m not passing you over, not one who would stand
      on your pulse, on your hope
      I’m only a man.

      This is not what it looks like,
      it’s just not for you–
      some others fit better.
      Surely you see, surely it’s true.

      Come on, be a sport, it’s not about you–
      don’t make it a race thing,
      don’t cry out those words.
      This is not about you, you’ve already heard.

      Someone else, I’m sure, will give you a shot
      This is not what it looks like,
      but we want a man, and as you’re aware,
      clearly, you’re not.

      Straighter teeth, smaller ass,
      tighter arms, tits are fine.
      (But you’re too brown) it’s just not the right time.
      No, no, no, not keeping you back,
      not pushing you down.
      It’s just, here, see the line?
      I didn’t draw it, I didn’t decide.
      It’s not about you, just swallow your pride

      Can we just forget it? It’s already done.
      Just move on, no big deal.
      You’ve got so much to offer–trust me on this one.

      This is not about you, and this is not what it looks like.

    41. annell says:

      This is It
      And so it is
      Hard to define
      Sitting in the corner
      Waiting to see
      What it will be
      The it of it
      Sometimes even
      Hard to see
      Hard to know
      Hard to say
      And so it is
      This is it

    42. Amy says:

      This Is Dawn

      I feel it in my bones
      before the birds
      before the sloshing of tires
      on snow
      It stretches in the
      infinite peace of indigo
      soft as down
      and hoary white
      It sings in front of
      closed eyelids, bidding
      as twiggy fingers
      point the way
      Before it paints the sky
      I watch it paint
      my skin
      a willing hue

    43. This Is Not What It Looks Like

      This is not what it looks like
      you don’t understand
      I’m not passing you over,
      I’m not one who would stand
      on your pulse–
      I’m only a man.

      This is not what it looks like,
      it’s just not for you–
      there are others who fit better.
      Surely you see,
      surely it’s true.

      Come on, be a sport, it’s not about you–
      don’t make it a race thing,
      don’t cry out those words.
      This is not about you, you’ve already heard.

      Someone else, I’m sure will give you a shot
      This is not what it looks like,
      but we want a man, and as you’re aware,
      clearly, you’re not.

      Straighter teeth, smaller ass,
      tighter arms, tits are fine.
      But you’re too brown
      No, no, no, not keeping you back,
      not pushing you down.
      It’s just, here, see the line?
      I didn’t draw it, I didn’t decide.

      It’s not about you,
      and it’s not what it looks like.

    44. NoBlock says:

      This is An Escape Route

      Some invisible bondage
      Nameless, faceless, soulless
      Tethers to fear, hopelessness, silent madness

      Attempt upon attempt
      Neither wet, dry, or burned
      Supply a permenant reprieve

      I stretch out feeling liberated
      Oh the freedom!
      Only to be yanked back to my former position

      Despair, it seems will dominate
      For every avenue has failed me
      This cage is a shapeshifter

      Maybe this is a lifeline?
      Who knew something so simple
      Could expel the arrestor

      We’ll see
      To be continued…..

    45. RJ Clarken says:

      This is what is in My Pocketbook

      A five, a twenty. Singles (two.)
      Some photos of my kids (not new.)
      A leaky pen, old shopping lists…
      my stuff inside just co-exists.

      A tweezers, scissors, lip balm, mail
      to be delivered. Broken nail.
      My earbuds, which are in a twist…
      my stuff inside just co-exists.

      A lucky penny, sans the luck,
      a small toy Tardis, hockey puck,
      lost bracelet (it fell off my wrist?)…
      my stuff inside just co-exists.

      A five, a twenty. Singles (two.)
      My stuff inside just co-exists.

      ###

    46. RJ Clarken says:

      This is a Fine Kettle of Fish

      “This is a fine kettle of fish,”
      I say to my big empty dish.
      Too sleepy to fix a whole meal:
      night- munchy is such a bad deal.

      With that, I get up off my chair.
      Into my sad cupboars, I stare.
      Not even a ‘nana to peel.
      Night- munchy is such a bad deal.

      The time? It is two in the morn.
      But…wait! Here’s an old can of corn.
      Lid popped, I scarf. Quite ungenteel.
      Night- munchy is such a bad deal.

      “This is a fine kettle of fish.”
      Night- munchy is such a bad deal.

      ###

    47. barbara_y says:

      This Is No Obstacle

      The membrane of the joyful soul
      is permeable.
      Osmotic forces swell interstitial spaces with kettle drums,
      skipping pebbles, belly-spasm laughs,
      Smoky Mountain rhodedendrum hillsides pink
      as a thigh warm from the shower
      and waiting to be kissed.
      A full field
      of rising starlings ripples through its beaded curtain
      like bubbles in a Coke,
      the smell of breakfast coffee
      entering a dream. Basketballs don’t touch its rim.
      Gothic churches slide in, gargoyles, spires and all.
      It uses music, moths, tornadoes. Mayflies
      and tragedy filter through. Anguish
      nourishes the joyful soul, and long aching sorrow
      is mineral. Nothing stalls,
      outside, for longer than a breeze catches
      in a screen door.

    48. PressOn says:

      THIS IS LONDON

      Years ago, that square
      wasn’t even there,
      it was a wide, deep crater;
      there were fiery coals
      and various holes,
      some great, and some much greater.

      Herr Hitler had thought
      that Londoners ought
      to cringe, and vacate this place
      but our rank and file
      as one, all said Heil
      with glee, in der Fuehrer’s face!

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