Experiment: 5-word Poem Prompts

I asked my friends to give me 5 words to write a poem around – it’s an ongoing experiment with prompts.

Here’s how it’s going – thanks to all who donated words to my cause ;)

** danny: journey, compassion, reflection, struggle, satisfaction

it’s all in the journey –
to steel your heart against the dark
and find the wellspring of compassion.
it’s only in our own reflection
mirrored or otherwise –
can we see that in the end,
we find satisfaction
not so much in the struggle,
but because of our reaction to it –
our resilience is always
one to surprise..
we are stronger, always stronger,
than we think.

** kat: how did i get here

variation 1:
how did i get here?
did i make one wrong decision a little too soon – or a little too late?
i own it – for better or worse, this is my journey, yet still i howl:
get to the point! i am tired of always waiting
here, longing for the next page to turn.

variation 2:
how did i get here? to bleary eyes and the strangest sadness.
did i wait too long, give up too soon?
i know it’s always all too true – the ones that got away
get swept up in the tide of life, and i realize each time the waves come in – i am
here, still here, without you.

** olivia: celery, dew, coattails, dandelion, avalanche

the crisp green snap of celery
that’s how it starts.
a memory to build upon, and on, and on.
you loved it like a little boy –
the way you loved most everything.
you had the spark – the promise of a brand new misty morning,
spectral and shining with dew.
.. riding on your coattails?
there’s no one who could –
you were orbiting in your own universe
yet somehow still connected, always, to love.
if i saw you now,
an avalanche of unclaimed emotion
would rumble down the mountain,
landing at your feet –
yet even then, you’d simply smile
and ask, in your childlike way –
how could something as beautiful as a dandelion
be called a weed?

** auburn: leopards, rainbows, stars, jungle, music

how does one escape?
in truth, it’s only the stars that know.
they’re so delighted they play music
all the time –
but we’re too far away to hear.
and me? i take my leave in a jungle in my mind,
every thought reduced to prisms on wet leaves –
tiny personal rainbows
shared only with the rest of my imaginary kind,
all those leopards who learned how to camouflage
just to keep all my fears at bay.

**wil: slide, cat, round, happy, pink

from the top of the slide
you could see it all.
happy, cheeks flushed with pink
those were the days, my days –
when climbing to the top
of the monkey bars
was of utmost concern,
or rolling in the grass
like a lazing cat,
pawing at the great
round ball of the sun.
my body has changed
but inside i’m still the same.
give me a patch of grass,
a stretch of monkey bars to climb
and i’ll show you how quickly
you can get your childhood back.

**mike: fear, child, phantom, sunlight, strain

it’s always on the darkest days
when a sliver
of phantom sunlight
hits my face –
that i am reminded.
of all you lose in the strain.
as a child you think: when you’re older
you won’t ever be afraid –
so next time you fear
remember that little boy or girl
and convince yourself, for them, to be brave.

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