A poem-a-day for National Poetry Month

Prompt #08: Hope

Today’s prompt is kindly provided by Nikki Magennis:

A couple of summers ago I was pregnant and house-hunting frantically. We looked at a lot of places, including this really neglected old place. It seemed to have been left quite hurriedly. Riddled with damp and sagging walls and full of old, tired furniture and odd left-behind items. The only modern thing was a recently installed, state of the art video surveillance door answering thing, with a screen in the bedroom upstairs, so that the person could see who was at the front door without getting out of bed. There was a bare mattress and, on the cabinet, this pile of gilt-edged bibles. I couldn’t understand why someone needed so many bibles.

I took a lot of photos, ostensibly to consider buying the house, but really just because I’m nosy and I like to construct stories from the remnants of people’s lives. What I would like you to consider is lifelines – what we rely on when we’re incapacitated. What we use to comfort ourselves, to connect ourselves to the outside world. What do you hope will save you?


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!

31 responses

  1. Kam Leitner

    Save me?
    there is no save
    atoms spontaneously decomposing
    protons and electrons unstable
    cold neutrons spinning off
    into oblivion
    not in this world

    April 8, 2011 at 1:48 am

    • Robin Elizabeth Sampson

      Gonna say it publicly. Wow Kam. How dare you say you’re “not a poet.” This IS a poem! Wow.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:57 am

  2. Bill Noble

    It’s a few minutes after six, barely light, and I’m barely awake. I have what feels like dozens of things to do before I get my gentle, confused wife and myself out the door to stand in line to sit and wait at the Social Security office to ask one simple question that apparently can’t be answered any other way, all so, today, I can hopefully finish a four-month process of getting care for my sister, who also has dementia three thousand miles from here. But tonight, if I can stay awake, my beloved arrives — my *other* beloved — and when the sun rises tomorrow, we’ll begin the celebration of her birthday.

    This,last night’s poem, is about hope in the most fundamental sense. Thank you, Nikki.


    The Oxford English Dictionary Hearts ❤ as First Purely Symbolic Word
    Brian Barrett. The stuffy old OED—last word in what is and is not the English language—
    has decreed that ❤ is a word. It's the first time a symbol has been included as a word.


    The OED has declared,
    and I have been ready
    until tonight to accept
    that ❤ might be purely

    symbolic. But just now
    I caught you in my bed,
    my ❤ pressed against
    your <3, my ❤ rushing

    to propel blood & brain
    toward wordless joining.
    Each muscle, each bone
    in two solitary creatures

    seizes our sharp shared
    desire, our dearest prize:
    two mortal ¾ pound <3s
    stuttering a single song.

    April 8, 2011 at 5:43 am

    • dorlamoorehouse

      Love it, Bill. 🙂

      (And does a little happy dance over running into more poly people on the internet).

      April 8, 2011 at 6:26 am

    • Both so lovely, Bill. ❤

      April 8, 2011 at 8:32 am

    • Beautifully crafted piece, Bill. Love it.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm

  3. dorlamoorehouse

    Another day where I used the prompt, and took it in a totally different direction. It’s, well, just not a very hopeful time for someone very important to me. http://dorlamoorehouse.com/2011/04/08/napowrimo-day-8-4/

    April 8, 2011 at 6:39 am

  4. My Nemisis, My Admiration

    She torments me annually
    sharp Shinned
    she sees all and soars low
    she has come to my territory
    three years now
    sound of her wings makes the heart
    scream with excitement
    small animals disappear at her sight
    she has no fear
    scares small birds at my feeder
    slow ones are lunch carried away faster than they ever flew
    dove in aviary speared through the wire
    this human believed kept them safe
    I offer the remainder of its carcass
    As a peace offering
    On a fence post
    Eyes eight times sharper than mine
    see and take what is hers
    in a blink of my slow eye
    you will find me in awe

    April 8, 2011 at 6:56 am

  5. Kam, I love that! Hard and bold.

    And Bill, that’s so beautiful, if heartbreaking at the same time.

    Here’s my effort:


    April 8, 2011 at 8:01 am

  6. Only just home, so in case I don’t get around to writing something worthwhile, a couple of lines on falling:

    April 8, 2011 at 8:08 am

  7. Title is clunky, but you get the idea.

    Gratitude Brings Hope

    Spread out flat
    on the grass and duff,
    feeling the heartbeat
    that is shared with all,
    connected to the river
    running through the world,
    touch the earth,
    I am sustained,
    feel the wind,
    I am soothed,
    the water lightens
    my load,
    the stones support
    my weight,
    and the stars
    sing me home.

    April 8, 2011 at 8:49 am

  8. In response to the NaPoWriMo prompt #8 (trying to keep my cohorts writing on the gnome theme LOL) while pondering the hope theme here:

    Once on an April day in May
As I was travel’ing home
I chanced upon a garden gay

    And in it sat a gnome.

    His bright red cap stood high above

    the flowers all about

    His face shone bright with gardener’s love

    Dear gnome, so cheer and stout.

    Mary Beth Frezon 8 April 2011

    April 8, 2011 at 10:04 am

  9. Pingback: National Poetry Day #8

  10. Here she is. Great prompt today, Nikki. I feel little gems in this one that I hope to polish someday 🙂


    April 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    • That is the great thing about this poem-a-day challenge, Shanna. Even if we’re not happy with all we produce, we’re building the writing muscles, getting into the habit and putting up a store of useful lines/phrases for the future. Thanks so much for organising this.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm

  11. Longer entry this time, and more in line (but not completely so) with the prompt:

    April 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    • My pleasure! The poems and the conversations make it SOOO worth it!

      April 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm

  12. Robin Elizabeth Sampson

    Here’s today’s rather dark take on “hope.”


    April 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm

  13. b_y

    Interesting. All those bibles, eh?
    Mine is The Emergency

    April 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm

  14. Pingback: National Poetry Month #8b

  15. Many nights in my driveway

    I stand. Look up.

    Feel small under the stars.
Quiet but for wind or snow
or peepers or crickets.
Feet from the car
and the front door.

    Peaceful isn’t the pull.

    Even if I live just outside of normal
this is my place in the world.

    Mary Beth Frezon 8 April 2011

    April 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm

  16. Dear Gideon…

    We do not know each other but I am familiar with your elfin work, like your cousin (I suppose) the tooth fairy, leaving stories in drawers in temporary rooms.

    Hardbound Rorschach tests absorbing desperation and celebration at the same deliberate pace.

    I steal every single copy I find and I experience such great delight in doing so I feel certain I will end up inside the fire I do not believe exists.

    April 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm

  17. i’m not much of a
    god guy
    not into the
    religious ultimatums
    but i do know kindness

    i know the force of
    a smile
    a consideration
    a gesture

    notions aren’t always what they seem to be
    but intentions often are

    i may not see an afterlife
    but i sure love the life i’m in

    no saviours
    no delusions
    just kindness
    trying to be given
    with no reward

    April 8, 2011 at 6:27 pm

  18. Jesus Fish shining silver in a pool of gun-metal blue
    Idle and idyllic, Pleistocene
    He swims unaware of the cold chisel slowly, stealthily prying

    Now fixed atop a motorcycle gas tank with horns and tail
    He swims once again amid orange-licked flames


    April 8, 2011 at 10:09 pm

  19. Rough day today; buried a too-young man, then watched his family’s fracture lines slip drastically, in dramatic fashion, resulting in what I’m sure the Sheriff’s Department is logging as a “domestic dispute”. Too damn much to process yet, so I worked the prompt instead. Funny, that.


    April 9, 2011 at 12:48 am

  20. Day Eight’s offering


    April 9, 2011 at 4:51 am

  21. Pingback: Poem#8 – Revelations at Junaluska « Black Satin

  22. Jennifer P-W.

    Poem-A-Day, this being day 8, though not posted until day 9.

    Waiting for Faith

    Is there an open place
    waiting inside me
    for Faith?
    Is a table-setting laid
    for Love?
    Is there a fire to kindle
    on a grate of Hope?
    A smile bides in the
    creases of my face,

    April 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm

  23. Kosuke Miyata

    Mine for day 8:

    Eclosion (lines of life)

    I used to walk around encapsulated in tunes
    injected through cheap earphones into my hedgehog heart,
    observing many others in their own cocoons,

    addicted to the feeling that I was the one to start
    and stop the pulse of the world whenever I desired.
    It never was the machine or songs that kept us apart

    but our own defensive pride that hated to act as required
    like an extra in a film when you could shoot it. I chose
    to throw it all away when the fantasy seemed expired,

    and found the mortal melodies and beats that arose
    from every corner: an airplane passing, a baby crying
    indoors, a cigarette vendor woman blowing her nose –

    the resonant presence of self-determined others replying
    to the moth attacking the streetlight, so alive and dying.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:27 pm

  24. WAY late on this one, but it was a busy weekend. Good busy, thankfully. Here is my take:


    April 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm