Poetry Writing Exercises 721: Thursday 22nd October

*** If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… now half price (when using the coupon codes on my main blog’s online courses page). ***

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.

721 study 969282Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: change, life, blank, personal, simple
  2. Random: a current account
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Thursday Title: Products and Service

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that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).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 721: Thursday 22nd October

  1. 1.Erasing Hate
    He said he’d change my life with a blank check
    But it got to be so personal I wasn’t dealing with a full deck
    And my simple life became so complicated
    Even my bowels became cramped and constipated!
    So many choices of food, excitement, and action
    Stumped me with indecision, frozenness and distraction
    Nothing, it seemed, brought me happiness or joy
    Since I wasn’t producing it from my mind, my toy
    It occurred to me I had my own dream
    But was following the crowd in greed
    I wanted to crack my own whip
    Not to feel another’s dip
    And whether I chased or hunted for it
    Or whether it was provided by freak of nature
    I decided to accept whatever comes my way
    In a polite disruption as I sit on the bay
    As for changing my life, it seems I just morph
    Into many different beings like Mork
    And I’ not Mindy, although it’s windy
    Maybe I’m the spoiled Brady, Cindy!
    Nobody has ‘control’ or ‘power’
    It’s all up in the air, the current flows
    And no person, place, or thing can duplicate
    The kind of love erasing hate
    2. A Current Account
    A current account buys currants
    Because you can eat them (make jelly or sauce)
    And then you are square with the world
    Digestive track operates unfurled

    3. Porpoise
    Glasses, books, and reports
    Make my eyes want to abort
    All this keeping track
    Until my next heart attack
    Just doesn’t serve my purpose
    Of enjoying freedom like a porpoise
    And jumping about in the water
    Instead of keeping my head above it

    4. Products & Service
    Some of the products come without service
    And some of the service comes without products
    But whether physical or deliberate action
    We try our best to give it
    And serve so gleefully with grit
    But mostly the motions happen fast
    And we can’t always make it last
    That’s how we go about business as we cast
    Our next magical spell of happiness
    That brings an attitude shift
    To the most heavy to lift
    And off they go floating high
    But some want to keep it
    And try drugs to maintain endorphin
    Yet little do they realize how it fades
    Still, to them, it’s unacceptable and degrades
    Simply put, without the lows,
    How can we ever feel the highs?
    And trying to be skeptical or neutral
    Only causes others to sigh!
    So what is to be done?
    With all products & services under the sun?
    When the experience of humanity
    Is the only thing that saves our sanity.

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