Poetry Writing Exercises 703: Monday 28th September

*** If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… just $1 or £1 ($2) until this Wednesday, 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.

703 number 2 909883Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: away, getting, profit, find, sign
  2. Random: strange footprints
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Monologue Monday: first-person poem about a feather

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that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).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.


One response to “Poetry Writing Exercises 703: Monday 28th September

    Getting away with profit
    Puts pennies in my pocket
    But when I saw the sign
    How quickly did I find
    That rules posted creates wealth
    Since authorities use stealth
    How quickly did pennies circulate?
    To all so often give them weight
    But somehow I still have clout
    Getting around each roundabout
    And as I turn to face me
    Here I am
    Getting away with profit again
    I’m such a prophetic muse
    Working on mysteries without clues
    And, as always, I stand accused
    Of ripping off Bob Seeger’s lyrics
    Please just be amused!
    Some strange footprints found
    In the sand or the mud so profound
    Warned me I’m not alone
    Nor shall I become a clone
    So mysterious as they were
    They could have danced a twirl
    Or slipped by in the dead of night
    To seek its prey to fright
    But whether friendly or evil
    They remind me of something medieval
    Is it a mythical creature or guide?
    To protect me from terrible slide?
    Just to know I am never alone
    Causes my mind to be blown
    Is it something to fear or a deer?
    I hear, ‘Follow your heart, dear!’
    Why then I am comforted to go forward
    I spring from the reigns bored
    Even so, the bit’s still in my mouth
    Steering me clear of filth
    That’s why I write & don’t speak much
    Charging invisible windmills and such
    The fear is all in our heads, you see
    Some real, but most just philosophy!
    3.TO, TWO, and TOO
    To whom it may concern:
    Two seems too much to endure
    One is bad enough to discern
    With two, though, the constant play
    Of many possibilities dismay
    And this is why that is true
    Pick simply one reason, then do
    Because life’s too short for discussion
    It may cause your head a concussion
    As many voices sound like percussion
    One forbidden tree, one curious little me
    If I said I was hungry, you’d have to agree
    To whom it may concern:
    Please start living & stop the concern
    Just one reason is all you need
    To stop the hunger and feed
    Yet one could say it’s merely greed
    Would you forfeit happiness?
    Or plant the seed of deliciousness?

    I spied a feather, it was for me
    I tucked it into my cap thoughtfully
    But then I had a thought of an earring
    And it passed quickly
    Since one would look so gay
    And I’m straight as an arrow
    (My mind is so narrow)
    Soon, I remembered the tickle
    I felt with somebody’s pickle
    And on I sped with my day
    Trying hard not to smile as I looked away
    From my irresistible urge
    To tickle a fancy anyways
    On I did prance in a trance
    And so plays the music
    As we continued to dance
    Feather in my cap as if I’m a chap
    Perhaps I’m just as gay anyways
    It’s all in the way you think
    And I’m not a heartless dink
    If it matters what we practice
    And not so much we preach
    Then everyone’s got their foot in their mouth
    Instead of in the door
    And we’re all cheap whores
    As we’d like everyone to adore!
    Sorry it’s not such an innocent feather
    That dirty bird dropped…(WHATEVER!)

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