W3 Prompt #18: Wea’ve Written Weekly


Dear friends,

Welcome to our W3 Poetry Prompt, which goes live on Wednesdays at The Skeptic’s Kaddish.

You may click here for a fuller explanation of W3; but here’s the ‘tldr’ version:

Part I

The main ingredient of W3 is a weekly poem written by a Poet of the Week (PoW), which participants respond to in verse.

Part II

The second ingredient is a writing guideline (or two) provided by the PoW. Guidelines may include, but are not limited to: word counts, poetic forms, inclusion of specific words, and use of particular poetic devices.

Part III

After four days, when the prompt closes, the PoW shall select one participant’s poem as the W3 prompt for the following week, and its author becomes the next PoW.

Simple enough, right?

Okie dokie ~ Let’s do this thing!

I. The prompt poem:

‘It’s a Stretch’ by Steven S. Wallace

Just to keep from being eaten, I struggle. 
It’s August in New York every day!
From the darker ends of streets - to make ends meet -
On the avenues robber’s anxieties pummel me
Until my face bleeds and my skull fractures into broken gravel. 

Sweating profusely and worn ragged—
Eighteen holes?  It’s a stretch!
But true with a gin and tonic. To say I'm free
Reminds me of 1945!  But over 18 holes pressure grinds!!
On the green the fairway or from the rough,
The putt breaks left at soul.

“That’s right, not just peeled… skinned raw!”
“Haw haw!!”  So the conversation goes … “Buses?”
“Never on time - haw haw — and neither are clocks!”
“It’s quite a racket you got there Bub, cuz jobs mean jobs!”
Try explaining any of that to a child
Who already has too many chores. 

“You need a drink!  Sue, fix my friend a Rickey! I go back and forth…”
“On that score - also - I struggle.”
“Two outs and two on every day!”
“He don’t get paid enough to make ends meet!”

In a whisper “Pump me full” 
Like a sponge soaked of alcohol, 
- haw haw - takes a forthright soldier’s courage.
Dipped and soaked in liquid channels 
Which - in that vein — winds through foggy stupor.

Like my bedroom intimidator - anxieties pummel me 
And my courageous rock crumbles into broken gravel -
On its last word - teetering 
On the shelf ‘tween survival and destruction.

Love is the thing with feathers - 
Whirling vertigo in wind gusts -  
On the flat Earth’s austere frontier - ‘til sucked into abyss

All this love and life and work has me worn ragged, 
At base camp, I slept like an angel.  It’s a stretch,
Even with all my expensive gear, to say I'm free!

II. This week’s prompt guideline

  • Write an ekphrastic poem inspired by the photograph below, which Steven has shared with us. Ekphrasis is a rhetorical device in which one medium of art tries to relate to another medium by defining and describing its essence and form.
    • Steven took this photograph in September ’21, and he has given us permission to use it.
Photo Credit: Steven S. Wallace
(click on photo for full size)

III. Submit: Click on ‘Mr. Linky’ below

In order to participate and share a poem, open up this blog post, outside of the WordPress reader. At the bottom, just below these words, you will see a small rectangular graphic with the words ‘Mr Linky’. Click on that to submit.

Submissions are open for 4 days, until Sunday, September 4, 10:00 AM (GMT+3)

Last week’s W3 poem

This week’s W3 prompt poem (above), composed by Steven S. Wallace, was written in response to last week’s W3 prompt poem, which I wrote:

‘Straits, or: Expanses’ by ben Alexander

I struggle every day to make ends meet
Anxieties pummel me into broken gravel 
Worn ragged, it's a stretch to say I'm free

Pressure grinds rough at soul skinned raw
Buses; clocks; jobs; child; chores; back|forth
I struggle every day to make ends meet

Pump me full of alcohol, caffeine, courage
Liquid channels wind through foggy stupor
Anxieties pummel me into broken gravel 

Teetering 'tween survival and destruction
Feathers in wind gusts sucked into abyss
Worn ragged, it's a stretch to say I'm free

41 thoughts on “W3 Prompt #18: Wea’ve Written Weekly”

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