A poem-a-day for National Poetry Month

Prompt #07: Wrong Hands

Today’s prompt bought to us by Mike Ferguson.

Start by watching this video.

Mike says: I am recently obsessed with magic. Not just any magic. The top shelf stuff. Homer Liwag is an amazing slight of hand artist, and yet he is known for having “the worst hands in magic.” By some bad luck of the genetic draw, they are chronically as dry as the desert. This is one of the reasons I find Homer’s performance so poetic, the striking contrast between the beauty of the movement and his “retired” hands. They seem like the wrong hands…not to mention the fact that when you’re looking for the coins, you are almost always looking at the wrong hand.


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!

33 responses

  1. Pingback: NaPoWriMo Day 7 | Lusty Literati

  2. dorlamoorehouse

    I used the prompt! Sort of . . . I used the idea of “Wrong Hands,” but the phrase just made me think of poker rather than magic.


    April 7, 2011 at 3:23 am

  3. What a great prompt. I could write lots of poems on this subject, but luckily for any readers, I don’t have enough time … : )

    Here’s today’s hatchet-job:


    April 7, 2011 at 4:02 am

    • chloe

      That was really good; I liked the rhyming too. Great lines!

      April 7, 2011 at 10:40 am

  4. I wanna learn magic
    cause a Grandma otta be magic
    but I’m neither quick nor sharp
    and I have little coin to appear at my ear
    or your elbows but I do have love
    enough to wrap a grandkid in, warm
    a heart with silly jokes, poems and sillier stories
    that crawl from mouth when seriousness
    permeates our air when the children
    show me the magic I have shared with them.

    April 7, 2011 at 6:03 am

  5. Bill Noble


    He sang with a hand cupped to his ear,
    sitting backward on a rickety chair
    and insisted on recording every ballad

    in a single take. I sit on a squeaky chair,
    scratching out word after word,
    getting less of a poem every minute.

    Squeak. Scratch.

    April 7, 2011 at 7:38 am

    • Sounds pretty spot on, Bill. 🙂

      April 7, 2011 at 8:00 am

      • These replies need a ‘Oops, that doesn’t sound how I meant it’ button 😉

        April 7, 2011 at 8:02 am

    • Sounds pretty spot on for me too, Bill. 🙂

      April 7, 2011 at 8:00 am

  6. Jennifer P-W

    Well, this poem was lurking, waiting for the correct prompt.


    My kiss– it might
    have fallen there,
    but it asided,
    You looked away,
    pressed yours elsewhere,
    quick as
    tumbling coins spent
    in a wish’s

    April 7, 2011 at 9:48 am

    • chloe


      April 7, 2011 at 10:41 am

  7. Today’s effort, not to prompt and not really up to scratch either but, still plugging on:

    April 7, 2011 at 9:54 am

  8. Pingback: Poem-a-day #7 « Shanna Germain

  9. Hands and more hands today. And a little magic 🙂


    April 7, 2011 at 12:32 pm

  10. Flip o’ the Coin

    Make a choice,
    any choice;

    I dare you;

    It’s all good.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm

  11. Because this is how my brain works, today’s poem spun off of Bill’s amazing iris photos.

    A bit rough, but there might be a story in there. The question is would it be a children’s story or erotica*?


    *If I’m writing it, probably erotica.

    Keep writing, all!

    April 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm

  12. Robin Elizabeth Sampson

    this just came pouring out after watching that video.


    hope it isn’t too revealing, hahaha

    April 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm

  13. Hand-to-mouth? Actually, I didn’t use the prompt & ended up posting a re-write. Is that cheating?


    April 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm

  14. Mary Beth Frezon

    Still pondering but I just wanted to say what a fun day I had today while 4 friends and I passed around haikus over twitter and facebook. Most of them involved garden gnomes (as opposed to warcraft gnomes ick). Anyway hope to have something a little more substantial but it won’t be for lack of putting down words today.

    April 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm

  15. First this:

    With a sleight of hat
    the little gnome (never mine)
    went, came, had done what?


    Remembrance of an April

    A single crocus in the yard
    stands watching over
    the taller daffodils still
    pushing through the leaves.

    Years ago
    I told him to leave
    on the first of April:
    “It’s time for you
    to live somewhere else” I said
    leaving, for a moment,
    the doubt of a
    poorly played joke.
    And so it had spun out,
    those years, an
    all too long and private joke.

    He packed.
    I repeatedly took out
    the two things of that kept
    appearing in his cartons.
    A mug. A book.
    I finally let the book go.
    Why that book I had no idea.

    He seemed angry
    that I didn’t help him.
    I stayed in my room
    and listened to him toss
    things into the rented truck.
    That July morning at last
    the truck pulled away
    finishing the whole charade.

    Mary Beth Frezon 7 April 2011

    April 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm

  16. His life’s work
    made in three parts
    a creation of pure brilliance
    once shown, they said
    “But it wasn’t his hand that wrote it”

    His life’s love
    vowed for forever
    boasted upon, shone bright in his heart
    his wife told of her happiness,
    “But it wasn’t your hand that made it so”

    His life’s end
    a crime in a neighboring town
    thrashed in the public eye
    blamed, belittled, hanged
    but it wasn’t his hand that took a life.

    April 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm

  17. Today’s poem…a little off prompt:

    April 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm

  18. First, there’s lots of dry ice, with huge fans blowing the stuff across the stage, and then flash bombs here and there, small puffs of flame, short pillars of white smoke

    Then, rock music through the speakers, something from the 80s with a Latin beat and a sax solo, and he comes out through a series of pirouettes much too feminine for his frame set in a well-cut black suit and a crisp-starched shirt white as an onion and open at the collar

    But the expression on his face is not demure, but dark, challenging, ecstatic, and as he throws his jacket down suddenly the scarves appear, yellow, blue, now purple, then in an endless fountain of color while he’s dancing and waving, here behind his head, there under one leg

    And while he’s shuffling like a drunk uncle at a wedding who came with a woman much too young for him, playing cards shoot up and fan out through his hands under a wild grin, a large razor-sharp throwing knife clutched in his teeth

    A bit of blue flame flickers from an outstretched hand, follows a gracefully arcing stream of fluid, and ignites and singes the eyebrows and half the hair of a torpid spectator


    April 7, 2011 at 10:15 pm

  19. b_y

    Reminded me of something


    April 8, 2011 at 12:15 am

  20. Pingback: NaPoWriMo #8 « Scrambled, Not Fried

  21. I didn’t watch the video clip (QuickTime is heinous, sorry), but the prompt was a great leaping-off point nonetheless. A whole kaleidoscope of images spraying from that one little phrase.

    I hope you will find my offering of “Help Wanted, Just Not Yours” at http://feedingthegeek.tumblr.com/post/4437432213/help-wanted-just-not-yours

    April 8, 2011 at 12:44 am

  22. Kam Leitner

    Three of four
    scratchy scrag

    April 8, 2011 at 1:05 am

  23. This is probably my least favorite one I’ve written so far, but still, there’s a little something about it I like.


    April 8, 2011 at 6:12 am

  24. Of course late for my own prompt…

    Now you don’t

    If you understand the angle of my chin to mean
    The weather would improve

    If you choreograph your next three steps
    By the shape of my ears

    If you examine the wrinkled skin at my elbow
    To determine your age

    If you wound five enemies with five different knives
    Because of the scare on my knee

    If you study my hands for any reason at all you should know
    These hands are the wrong hands

    April 8, 2011 at 7:23 am

  25. Pingback: storm porch « The Gray Cat's Detour

  26. Kosuke Miyata

    My 7th, off the prompt (I’m half an earth late):


    While your ceiling wavers with infant glitters
    someone who just started a motorcycle
    lets the motor idle and murmur like a
    beehive precisely

    April 8, 2011 at 11:02 am

  27. Pingback: National Poetry Day #7

  28. So far behind on posting these but I am keeping up with writing them!


    Day Seven

    April 9, 2011 at 4:50 am