Poetry Writing Exercises 757: Friday 11th December

*** If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… currently £1  or $1-2 (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.

757 bikes 929480Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: step, grand, without, brilliant, breathe
  2. Random: him in front of her
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. One-word prompt: Not Quite OK

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that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).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 757: Friday 11th December

  1. 1. The Ripple Ruffles
    Watch your step
    In the grand scheme
    Without a brilliant plan
    You still may breathe
    As you wait in the clear blue yonder
    Be still with what you ponder
    Even as your plan unfolds
    Or backfires as you’re told
    Just feel the ripple of the wind
    As it ruffles your shirt to begin
    Yes, begin again and take your time
    And don’t always stop on a dime
    For the ripples contain electricity
    To draw from in your simplicity
    Seething in the constant struggle
    Is the deception of your trouble
    But breathing in the current events
    Brings the patience as you vent
    Just knowing this too will pass
    Gets everyone off your ass
    Just change your position & then you’ll know
    Exactly how Mary Quite Contrary’s flowers grow!

    2. Yearning Burn
    If it’s him in front of her
    How can anything occur?
    She cannot be so admired
    As they dance amongst the fire
    For if his eyes are always forward
    Where is she? Coward!
    Since she’s always got his back
    Who’s preventing her heart attack?
    But suppose if he’s in front of her
    Saves her from a wild animal or trap
    Then she’s not complaining
    ‘Bout her heart attack!
    And so he’s in front of her again
    Nevermind the meaning in Zen
    For there’s a purpose behind every event
    And how it unfolds – There she went!
    In other words, don’t make a big deal
    Out of every mixed emotion you feel
    For she will have her turn
    In this constant yearning burn
    At whatever they wait for
    In the line we all adore
    Because the last will be first
    As the first are last
    But doggone it, our life’s a blast!
    Once again, we throw our net to cast

    3. Churning
    As we are still, we are moving
    But it seems so hopeless grooving
    To a beat in the same damn space
    Instead of dancing & skipping all over the place
    Going nowhere on our hamster wheel
    Just churning and churning our deal
    Cycling in a circular rotation
    Yet getting nowhere with our contemplation
    Still, the energy produced by the motion
    Keeps heads above water
    In any choice of ocean
    And we feel both tired and rejuvenated
    As in our infancy or juvenile elation
    We solve our problems by action
    And relocate our thoughts with tact
    Our growing pains are numerous
    But the dangling carrot is tubular
    Even as a Calgon bath couldn’t ‘take you away’
    Neither can a stationary bike sitting on eBay
    Even so, it feels good to think so
    Maybe next time we could sing ‘Calypso’

    4. Whatchamacallit
    So I’m not quite okay
    Just a little mad
    But it doesn’t mean angry
    Over all that I had
    So I’m not quite okay
    In my struggle and doubt
    But each day I learn
    What it’s always about
    So I’m not quite okay
    And whoever is?
    Can’t get no satisfaction
    In the world as it is
    So I’m not quite okay
    With prejudice and hate
    But if they love themselves
    Somebody got ate
    So I’m not quite okay
    Say all the advertisers
    Who want to know what’s in my wallet
    If only I would buy a Whatchamacallit
    So I’m not quite okay
    With that one candy bar
    But if I want another one
    I don’t have to look far!

  2. Wow. You’ve been busy. Thank you, bognetta. I’ve let everyone on this blog’s Facebook group know that you’ve shared your poems. Hopefully they’ll come here and comments. https://www.facebook.com/groups/388850977875934

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