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:
The main ingredient of W3 is a weekly poem written by a Poet of the Week (PoW), which participants respond to in verse.
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.
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:
‘Boots on the ground’ by Britta Benson
When that last leaf falls, when autumn becomes all, we hold on to sinuous fibres, bend, tangle, gnarl our anxious souls into awkward, bloodless knots, clumps of quiet devastation. When that last leaf falls, when autumn becomes all, we bind hope with old spider thread, collect conkers, seeds, fill pockets in our need to preserve futures, pasts, gone, long before we were ready. When that last leaf falls, when autumn becomes all, we gasp, watch warm breath disperse, then resist this most courteous invitation to traverse the air, forget destinations, let go of fear and regret, just because. Still, we stop and stare at cold stones. Amongst rust gold, burnt amber, moss, we applaud nature’s reckless self-sacrifice. Forever scared of change, we touch graves, waiting for signs, shelter, courage, home, as our weatherproof boots root deeper into loss.
II. Britta’s prompt guidelines
Love is the elephant in the room, when it comes to poetry. Cliché of clichés. Same goes that typical 'look' of a poem. So, let's approach this from a slightly different angle:
- Write a prose poem. All poetic devices allowed, as long as you don’t break that line!
- Theme: Love, not necessarily in the romantic sense, or: Elephants.
- If you do have romantic feelings for elephants, then please portray them in a civilized manner.
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 11, 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:
‘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, “Caffeine” - 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!