A poem-a-day for National Poetry Month

Prompt #14: Poem in Your Pocket

Today’s poetry prompt brought to you by Shanna Germain.


Today is National Poem in your Pocket day! To celebrate today, readers are encouraged to find a poem they love and carry it in their pocket to share with friends, family and loved ones.

For your prompt, imagine that the poem you love has spent all day riding around in your pocket, being folded and unfolded, creased and straightened, shown off to people who got it and people who didn’t… Now, write your poem from the poem’s point of view. What did it see? What did it hate or love or fear? What did it feel like in your pocket, in your hands, when you accidentally dropped it on the street?

Alternatively, write a poem about pockets. You might try reading “Pockets,” by Howard Nemerov for inspiration.


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!


26 responses

  1. Fun prompt! Folding fave poem into the shape of a sea star, tucking into pocket and dashing off to work.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:13 am

  2. Bill Noble

    Does this qualify as my pocket poem? I’ve been literally carrying it around on the envelope I scribbled it down on (while sipping a perfect mocha) ever since the prompt several days ago . . .


    Three can keep a secret
    if two of them are dead.
    –Poor Richard’s Almanac

    I intend
    to die
    a single

    do you

    April 14, 2011 at 6:59 am

    • Bill, that is wonderful.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:45 am

  3. Robin Elizabeth Sampson

    I wrote a poem that I’m carrying in the pocket that is my heart, but I’m not going to post it. Not yet anyway.

    April 14, 2011 at 8:47 am

  4. Yep, Bill that’s great. And Robin, I think that itself qualifies as a poem, at least to me.

    I’m so squeezed today, here’s the shortest dash of a poem, sorry no pockets:


    Black ash buds
    acid yellow on the willow
    forces colour to the surface

    April 14, 2011 at 8:58 am

  5. Pingback: A poem in my pocket « Tony Linde

  6. To balance Nikki out, mine is the longest I’ve ever written, certainly in one day. It is a take on the Janet and Alan Ahlberg poems I used to read my daughter when she was young. Hope you enjoy it: http://wp.me/pbg4K-40.

    April 14, 2011 at 10:33 am

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  8. dorlamoorehouse

    Used the prompt today. So not in a poem-ing mood . . . focused on finishing a fiction piece. But I did it anyway! http://dorlamoorehouse.com/2011/04/14/napowrimo-day-14-3/

    April 14, 2011 at 1:37 pm

  9. Short and sweet today.

    One Can Only Hope

    Feathered wings are meant to fly,
    to share with every passerby,
    but when it comes to tell and show,
    would Emily have let me go?

    April 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm

  10. She told me she would take me to the Centre of the Earth
    We wound up in Gresham
    Son of a bitch

    April 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

  11. Jennifer P-W

    Any poem in my pocket would be by William Stafford. I’m thinking of “Sometimes,” in his Who are You Really, Wanderer? collection.


    That small low
    word pouch
    he wrote just for me,
    (all downward-wings)
    but he didn’t know…

    I can only chop words
    like vegetables,
    slip them into the silent pocket
    that holds the soil
    that secretly sprouts
    who I might
    really be,
    even if I am

    J. Pratt-Walter

    April 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm

  12. I love this prompt & carried Robert Bly’s “Wanting Sumptuous Heavens” around in my pocket & purse all day. But when it came to write. Maybe it’s the endless grey sky here and the wet and the slop…..not feeling particularly inspired. Today I’d really rather be a heron on one leg in the bog.

    “Just Another Day”

    A harp-playing heron snickered
    outside the office window
    while the money plant trapped
    in a glazed jade green pot begged
    for attention on the desk. A sea
    turtle blew bubbles on the harmonica,
    ignoring chaos and clattering keys
    from his vantage point on the
    file drawer shelf. The lobsters,
    they never stop strumming. At last
    the hours finally stopped ticking
    when the door opened just a crack,
    the river met up with her
    hair, and the last wave from the
    warming, rising sea swept her far,
    far away from there.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm

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  15. I’m trying to learn this poem.
    I copied it out of a book
    It’s been traveling with me
    like an old friend with secrets.
    The paper grows softer.
    It seems less sharp-edged.
    But the words when I’m
    reciting still have some
    spots that are missing.
    When I go back and read them
    the words fit perfectly. Perfectly.
    I carry the poem in my pocket.
    I hold the poem in my hands. I love it.
    Will I ever be able to recite it by heart?


    April 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    • Mary Beth – I love it. Very ingenious.

      April 15, 2011 at 6:29 am

  16. Great prompt. 15 minutes of work. I’ll probably come back and clean it up, someday, but that day is not this day.


    April 14, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    • Jason – I fear if I use words to describe how much I love this piece, they would be too weak to convey the feelings.

      So I’ll keep it to one – SIGH.

      April 15, 2011 at 6:26 am

  17. Love that, Mary Beth!

    April 15, 2011 at 12:20 am

  18. So close to being on time with this…SO close.


    April 15, 2011 at 4:25 am

    • Oh Paul – that’s a wonderful poem.

      April 15, 2011 at 6:16 am

  19. SO SORRY I’m late in posting the links…


    Didn’t use the prompt exactly, but it was inspiring. Not my best work…

    April 15, 2011 at 6:15 am

  20. Eeps. Day late on my own prompt.


    April 15, 2011 at 12:49 pm

  21. Robin Elizabeth Sampson

    Here is the post with the poem I carried (in my heart).


    April 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm