A poem-a-day for National Poetry Month

Prompt #04: Book + Picture

Today’s prompt is brought to us by Robin Sampson.

Grab a book of poetry. Try not to be too picky. From the last line of the first poem, take a word or phrase and write it down. Now, from the first line of the last poem, take a word or phrase and write it down. Now, from a random line from a random poem somewhere in between the first and the last poems, take a word or phrase and write it down. With those three words or phrases, and this picture, write.


Reminders for Participants: You can post your poem below in the comments, offer a link back to your site where the poem is posted, or comment about the experience of writing the poem (without actually posting the poem). If you’re going to comment on other participant’s poems, please remember that this is not a critique space — comments should be kept thoughtful and supportive. Lastly, remember you don’t have to use the prompt to write your poem — they’re here for your inspiration but they’re certainly not a requirement.

Let the Wild Poeming Being!

41 responses

  1. easylifestyles

    Excellent job. Thanks for sharing. Sharing poems is something I truly enjoy doing. I enjoy reading your blog very much.

    A Day at the Park

    April 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm

  2. I’m loving the ferment and variety of the prompts — thanks, everyone — but haven’t yet used one. So far, the first five poems (two today) have been of the “had-to” flavor. That’s especially true of yesterday’s and today’s, embodying the two complex poles of my life with two very different and profoundly beloved life partners.

    I’m also ignoring the twenty-minute rule. I have few and unpredictable times to write, and I seize those minutes whenever and however I can. Yesterday’s Alzheimer’s poem was written not much more than an hour after the event that triggered it, the day before it posted, and today’s got pecked out last night after I should have been asleep, about two nights before. That sense of limited time, along with the great gift committing to this month represents for me, also means that I DO revise; not always, but whenever I can aim for a more-or-less finished poem, I damn well will. 🙂


    Too tired, too wound up, too perimenopausal, too decrepit
    for sex. Agreed? But okay for coppery beer and easy music.

    Too brain-dead for anything but full-screen lesbian climaxes
    till it’s too late for loving. Too damn late. Both of us admitting it.

    Too full of yearning for each other, and maybe for lesbian
    whatchamacallits to close our eyes. So why don’t we try licking?

    Too many bristles in the beard, too many raggedy nerve ends.
    So what the hell, it’s after midnight. Let’s just default to PIV.

    And there it is — an endless muscled howling fuck that arrives
    like giant gorillas. And right after catapults us straight at sleep.


    your nipple begins to say.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:55 am

    • Kosuke Miyata

      Hello! I’ll try that tonight. Thanks.

      April 6, 2011 at 7:29 am

  3. http://nikkimagennis.blogspot.com/2011/04/shut-in-rain.html

    This is veering off a little from the prompt, but I’m thankful you made me open some old poetry books to find good words, Robin!

    April 4, 2011 at 6:38 am

  4. Robin Elizabeth Sampson

    Use the prompt or not! And if you don’t have any books of poetry, just use the picture. Fuck the “rules”, because they’re not rules. Just write a poem!

    April 4, 2011 at 9:02 am

    • Yes, ma’am! About to post mine!

      April 4, 2011 at 9:12 am

  5. Pingback: Shanna Germain

  6. Marathon effort this time around: longest poem I have written for a long time. And I managed to follow the prompt exactly. See it at http://wp.me/pbg4K-2T.

    April 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

  7. dlmoore

    poppin this cherry…here goes nothing. picked my lines from Dean Young’s new book, Fall Higher – I just got it in the mail today.

    me in the rain

    kneeling in the rain
    picking through pieces
    scattered amongst
    oil rainbows
    seeking the lost
    piece of me you
    left behind

    i want to feel it
    the naked wetness
    as you pull away
    pink cotton candy fading

    rain only falls in clumps
    of molecules clutching each other
    blurring my vision
    glazing my mind

    i want to feel it
    the me that is
    without you
    the me that is
    my darling any more

    who will i become
    who will i be
    without you
    without your pink
    your red, your blue, your black

    i will be me
    without you
    in the rain

    April 4, 2011 at 11:55 am

  8. dorlamoorehouse

    I just don’t think I’m a prompt kind of girl. http://dorlamoorehouse.com/2011/04/04/napowrimo-day-4-4/

    April 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm

  9. Once Was

    This is the flower
    That once was a chariot
    That once was a sacrifice
    That once was a table
    Where soldiers surrendered
    A table shaped like a pear
    Not a tear but a pear
    The table accepted their swords
    Weapons without hands are

    Even from here I recognize her path

    This is the sword
    That once was a lion
    That once was a snowstorm
    That once was a bed
    Where women surrendered
    A bed shaped like a tear
    Not a pear but a tear
    The bed accepted their bodies
    Women without words are

    Without a trace without a sound

    These are the words
    And once they were tombs
    And once they were tombs
    And once they were tombs

    April 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm

  10. Done and done: Thin Line


    April 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm

  11. Today’s effort. Not written to the prompt, but sort of continuing my Twilight Zone them.


    April 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm

  12. Jennifer Pratt-Walter

    I actually wrote this before I saw the prompt–J.

    Spring Night

    Tonight, while the east wind
    haunts my window
    and the purring rain
    yields itself to soft ground,
    I wear my hope like a scarf
    skirling about me in warm shrug.

    Tonight as maple leaves
    first unpleat outward,
    I stream aloft in
    bold textured chords,
    yearning to reach beyond
    my crumpled words.

    April 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    • Really like that. chords/words ending really chimes and makes it memorable.

      April 5, 2011 at 12:02 am

      • Jennifer Pratt-Walter

        Thank you.

        April 6, 2011 at 8:58 pm

  13. Pingback: Poem#4 – The Waiting Room « Black Satin

  14. Thank you for the prompt, Robin. Here is my offering for today:

    April 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm

  15. This ended up being kind of an exercise in narrator-invention.


    There you are.
    That must be you.
    And I wasn’t even looking.

    It has been at least ten years,
    but I’d spot you anywhere,
    even through the fragmented prism of the rainshield.
    I was zoning out
    I do that a lot these days

    (It’s such a weird thing,
    winning the lottery.
    I’m so bored.)

    but Shit, there You are, and I am nothing if not pleased to see you,
    Joel, the insect slayer.
    Joel, the one who’d say “fucken grow a pair,” often and without irony.
    Neckbeard Joel,
    Joel of the XXL Metallica T-shirt.
    Joel, who I observed with fascination during study hall.
    Joel, the object of study.
    Joel, who didn’t know we were always making fun of you.
    Joel, the last link
    to the last time
    I remember being happy.

    You drive a pink convertible now.

    April 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm

  16. Going

    From the bus
    Through the rain
    This prom queen, drag queen
    pink float of a car.
    The upside down
    car droplets were
    just as surreal as the distant
    rain-blurred vision.

    We spoke in the rain
    before I boarded.
    “You come too” I asked.
    The rising wind took the thought
    and my tears were rain
    as you turned to go.
    I wish I’d not be gone long.
    I wish you’d come too.
    But, the bus is pulling away.
    I’m going too.

    Mary Beth Frezon — 4 April 2011

    April 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm

  17. Robin Elizabeth Sampson

    Wow, that was hard. Writing poetry from the exhausted brain place results in strange stuff. Can be found here:


    Tomorrow I’m going to have to go back and catch up on reading all the other wonderful poems that folks have posted!

    April 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm

  18. Shaking hands grip a lens
    in attempts to conceal regret for
    ever even trying
    In a sense, not happening.
    Standing in the rain
    framing an illusion
    This is another poem about 2 a.m.
    Clutching an irreversible desire
    to make something of nothing
    Jesus Christ, will this be
    every night?

    April 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm

  19. Robin Elizabeth Sampson

    Okay, so, my own prompt and I had quite a time with it because I’m so exhausted. Brain is about to hop in that pink car and hit the road.

    Here’s my effort:


    April 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm

  20. Loved the photo for the prompt, but by the time I saw it, a poem had already grabbed me.


    The way my brain works, the prompt may surface three days from now.

    Some great stuff here.

    April 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm

  21. http://lanijo.com/poetry/distracted

    The book of poetry I grabbed was “The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief & Healing” edited by Kevin Young. Poem 1 was “Musée de Beaux Arts” by W. H. Auden, and the last line is “Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.” Poem 2, the last in the book was “Train Ride” by Ruth Stone, and the first line is “All things come to an end.” I randomly picked the third poem “Luke and the Duct Tape” by Coleman Barks, and the line is “He was killed instantly last Thursday.”

    April 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm

  22. Sorry, too much going on in the brain today to follow this prompt. Here is the poem that came up from a different prompt posted elsewhere.

    Bag Lady

    Pinched fingers fumble
    through coins in a can
    that are placed, one by one,
    on the counter,
    brow furrowed in concentration,
    the calculations seem immense,
    and keep her from noticing
    the impatient shuffles and dagger stares,
    from the well-dressed line,
    all eager to be off to jobs and schools,
    irritated by the ragged woman
    with dirty fingers and greasy hair,
    plastic bags around her feet.

    Warm cup of coffee in shaking hand,
    the other clutching tightly the string
    carrying all her world,
    she does not even look up
    as she brushes past
    the young woman who holds
    the door for her.

    April 4, 2011 at 7:57 pm

  23. Kam

    Igneous rocks are formed by cooling and solidification of magma
    Much selenite is deposited in organic shales by groundwaters, and it also forms in sands, where it may poikilitically enclose innumerable detrital grains
    Parent rock controls to a large degree the composition of detrital sediment derived from it
    such as it always was
    pink, wet, poikilitically selenitic detrital grains
    don’t eat too much

    April 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm

  24. Here’s # 4: City Haiku:

    April 4, 2011 at 10:14 pm

  25. The turn in the road
    And I’m here

    Among a latticework of overhanging power lines
    Crowded brown neon signs
    Stacked like one shabby valise atop another
    Towering over a sloping sea of parking lots
    Small wounded shrubs fending off side-streets
    Leading out and away from this motel
    Bent and dented like old chewing gum
    As pink as a rain-spotted Cadillac
    As pink as her fingernails as she turns
    Upsweeps her hair
    And smiles

    It’s not a childish act

    8 min 37 sec

    April 4, 2011 at 10:28 pm

  26. chloe

    Three sentences taken from Sage Cohen’s book of poetry ‘Like the Heart, the World’

    Last line of first poem:…that you have not yet learned to tap
    First line of last poem….Let this moment be enough
    Middle line of a poem….We walk into the wind…(Like the Heart, the World)


    I wanted connections
    you wanted explanations
    I, silence
    you, words–so many words

    Let this moment be enough
    you wanted more

    I learned to sit
    dreaming of new rhythm You
    have not yet learned to tap

    I left
    never forgave
    We walk into the wind

    I sit in a car watching
    your garden heavily breathing rain

    April 4, 2011 at 10:32 pm

  27. I skipped the “haul out a book of poetry” because, frankly, I couldn’t find one close at hand. So I just used the photo.

    Apparently, tonight’s muses were Eros and Erato, and yes, the three-way was pretty good for me, too. Honestly, this is *not* my usual writing style; I have no idea what’s gotten into me. Not that it’s a bad thing; it’s just a different thing.


    April 5, 2011 at 12:42 am

    • Mary Beth Frezon

      Loved this. Thank you.

      April 5, 2011 at 8:47 am

  28. Love reading all of this luscious poetry!


    April 5, 2011 at 5:27 am

    • chloe

      Great to see you here!

      April 5, 2011 at 7:54 am

  29. Kosuke Miyata

    My 4th, words and phrases borrowed from The Poems of Edward Thomas (New York: Handsel, 2003).

    When You’re Lost

    For a friend of mine who’s going to the disaster-struck areas

    When you’re lost and discouraged, stop and look ahead,
    and imagine yourself as one of those trees by the road.
    The sunbeam feels so precious since it snowed
    in the morning, and the breeze propels you to shed

    clear drops of water. I know you’ve got a hole
    in the middle of your chest, where a squirrel sleeps
    at night, among a hundred nuts he keeps
    for cold and difficult times. A few of them roll

    out every day, to be awakened in spring
    by earth’s breath. At the moment, a local jay
    alights to pick one up and flies away
    in the direction of sorrow and love. Now sing

    in her voice and listen to the trees and snow,
    and in a minute you’ll be good to go.

    April 5, 2011 at 9:16 am

  30. b_y

    Great prompt. Thanks
    I went a little lateral with it


    April 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm

  31. Robin Elizabeth Sampson

    I love all these! So great to see folks going wherever, with or without the prompt! Yay!

    LOLOL. I was so fucking tired I double posted my own poem!

    April 5, 2011 at 5:15 pm

  32. Pingback: Poem#5 – dysfunctional « Black Satin

  33. Scott

    Already knew what this one would be….too obvious, yes?

    Under the tin rafters across the street from Graceland

    Wondering what my brother thinks about it

    “Look it is Solomons’ carriage”

    “Nope, Elvis’ Caddy”

    April 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm