Poetry Writing Exercises 702: Friday 25th September

*** If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… just $1 or £1 ($2) until 30th September! ***

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

702 radio 4621Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: relax, feet, chair, garden, my
  2. Random: a chase
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. One-word prompt: box

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!


  • Don’t forget your five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell
  • Show don’t tell: if your character is angry, don’t tell us he is, have him thumping his fist on the table.
  • Colours: Include at least one colour in your story. It does add depth.
  • Use strong verbs and avoid adverbs: Have a character striding instead of walking confidently.
  • Only use repetition to emphasise.
  • When you’ve finished the first draft, read the story out loud. It’s surprising how many ‘mistakes’ leap out at you when you read out loud… assuming you have any of course!

Pictures courtesy of morguefile.com

I love to talk about writing so feel free to email me. I’ll be pasting these prompts in this blog’s Facebook Group so you may find some other comments there.

If you’d like to submit a poem for critique on this site, see Submissions. The other critique writing groups are:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group

Thank you for reading this and we look forward to your comments.


2 responses to “Poetry Writing Exercises 702: Friday 25th September

  1. Pingback: Poetry Writing Exercises 702: Friday 25th September | Recommended book and blog reviews, poetry and tarot inspiration

  2. 1. They Have Brains
    As I put my feet up on a chair
    To relax my blood flow-not a care
    I see so much opportunity there
    Out in the garden-Thoughts take as I stare
    I could water, pick rocks, or weeds
    I could dig holes to plant seeds
    Maybe there are plants to harvest
    Berries to pick not to starvest
    Or maybe all my toiling is over
    I think, as the bee collects pollen from clover
    Therefore, the only work that remains
    Is to talk to the plants as if they have brains!

    2. The Chase
    As I chase after happiness
    I’m in hot pursuit of its meaning
    Constantly striving and achieving
    Sometimes I’m up against a wall
    Other times, I enjoy a great Fall
    But the most important decision
    Has to be trying for the derision
    Because its involvement in the process
    That keeps us from our recess
    But our free time involves work
    So don’t be a blue-collar jerk
    Chasing to drive or to stay in a home
    Isn’t living your dream when you’re alone
    But if it is, then just run with it
    Yet, I know happiness is in the chase
    Not gathering to win an invisible rat race
    Just play with what is possible
    Even if it means living ‘Mission Impossible’
    Just pretend you’re a spy
    Action-packed, living the lie
    Because if you’re not having fun
    What on earth have you done?

    3. Radio Box
    That old wooden radio box
    Is another confinement or refinement
    Seems so perfect to hear
    All the confounded information, so dear
    Listening for facts or fiction
    Entertained by the various diction
    Music is another lovely delight
    To engage our beautiful insight
    I’ve always been so moved
    By the tempo and sounds that groove
    Our invisible friends just a wavelength away
    Are such comfort to our ears so gay
    As we live out our lives day after day
    Within stillness, there’s movement inside
    Hearing there’s a world outside
    Helps us carry on & that’s what’s hidden inside
    So even as we’re caught up in ourselves
    It helps to know we’re not alone
    Insecurity remains, but our hearts are not stone

    4. The Box
    The box is square or rectangle
    It puts us in such a tangle
    Because it’s confinement at best
    We try to get out of the next
    Not much life happens there
    Only still pictures & objects fair
    We are constantly bombarded by stillness
    What we really feel is livid
    Our world’s aren’t vivid
    That we’re so caught up in our world
    We can’t explore, jump, or twirl
    Staring at the four walls has us cornered
    As a captured animal so lured
    This is the end of this shape
    If we learn to live as an ape or with a cape
    Perhaps we’ll escape this comfort zone
    As we pick our own grapes
    Even this poem is a box
    Now I shall end it & live like a FOX!

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