Prompt #215: Talk Back to a Poem

Greetings poets! This week, I challenge you to talk back to a poem.

Red Wolf Journal, Issue 2

For this prompt, I’d like you to choose a poem out of this quarter’s issue of Red Wolf Journal — any poem you like — and write your own poem as an answer to the original. You can answer the speaker by sharing your thoughts, imagine yourself in the poem and tell your version of the same story, compare notes…anything you like. It’s your poem.

So, go off a-poeming! I’m excited to see what you come up with.



We Wordle #20


Time flies. We’re at mid year. It’s hot as hell.

So I’m in a somewhat celebratory mood. But more of that later. Here are the words culled from the poems submitted to last week’s prompt.

Rosalyn: eternal, cycle, magic
Jules: grace, moon, celebratory
Barbara: wake, follows, usually
Irene: border, natives, incarnated
Rick1: clay, shape, planet
Rick2: memory, grandmother, bowl
Stimmyabby: wood, flame, glinting

I did a double take because “grandmother” cropped up in both Rick’s and Stimmy’s work.

Here’s Rick’s haiku:

I place a button
in her memory bowl

Pithy. So what’s inside your bowl this week? Is it empty, or full, or half half? There’s always a dichotomy when you ask that question. It’s a trick question. It’s meant to trick the mind or something. It’s a matter of stance. So your posture matters. Maybe life is meant to lead you to a certain posture. Or a certain persona. That becomes the summation of a quest.

Whether you like it or not, life comprises both failures and successes. You lose some, you win some. Here’s an interesting epiphany. When you come away empty, it could be a blessing in disguise. You’ve lost something. But you’ve gained something else. This is my son’s lesson for today. He had applied for a scholarship and lost. The reason he lost is so that he could qualify to win a far better scholarship today. Wow. Blessing in disguise. So there is a grand plan.

Now if that’s not something to celebrate, I don’t know what is. Celebrate God. Celebrate a stance. Celebrate your grandmother. Just go write something celebratory, won’t you? Then celebrate that you wrote a poem. Heh.

Prompt #214: Celebration and Ritual


First a shameless plug:  Red Wolf Journal Issue 2 is live.  Please follow the link and take a summer’s leisurely read down the “The River: Within Us and Without Us.”

Now with a smidgen more subtly, I bring you this week’s prompt.

What do you celebrate?  What are your rituals?  Family traditions, Christmas, cultural traditions–what traditions have touched your life.  If not larger traditions, then look at daily rituals.  Morning rituals, evening rituals, cooking rituals, writing rituals.  How did they come about?  What sustains them?  How do they sustain you?

You may find one that grabs you immediately.  Write down everything you can about it–origin, steps, impact, differences between you and others, sensory aspects, and so on.  If one does not claim your attention, brainstorm any you think of for.  Look at other people’s rituals and celebrations.

You don’t have to limit yourself to just one celebration/ritual.  You can braid associated rituals together or even patchwork quilt them into a poem.  For more ideas on celebrations and rituals and how our poetry might speak with them, read here.

Alright poets, show us how you rite.


We Wordle #19


I’m posting this early as I’ll be out karaoke-ing about the time the Northern hemisphere wakes up to Thursday.

This week’s wordle words comes from last Thursday’s Prompt #213 A Picture is Worth a Thousand (More or Less) Words. That’s our practice, our ritual. We pick three words from each poem submitted to prompt. Here’s the word list derived from the poems of poets who poemed with us last week. (note: can’t help noticing the plosives).

Barbara: docked, strip, used
Rick: brush, painter, palette
Misky: float, bricked, boat
Stimmyabby: hallucinations, crook, soda
Don: kill, edifice, dies
Jules: waterways, surface, otter
Irene: vision, art, foregrounding
Hannah: coil, spirals, ropes
Roslyn: roil, dissecting, truth
Sabra: murky, sparkling, curve
Bastet: Circe, wanton, wallow

There were 11 poems from which we created this list of 33 words. You don’t have to use all 33 words unless you’re an overachiever. You may change the form of the words at your will.

The thing about rituals is that they repeat. But then what happens after long repetition is that you kind of get bored so you want to change things up a little while keeping to the core. Otherwise it gets stale. On the other hand, who likes change? But, who likes staleness? Conundrum. Anyway, I’m harping on this angle because our sister journal, Red Wolf Journal Fall 2014 Issue 3’s theme is “Celebration and Ritual”.

Option: And so, here’s the Bonus part. Write a poem that talks about ritual. Maybe writing as a ritual. The words themselves kind of lend to this theme anyway, don’t they?

Poets, poem on. P..p..p…play!

Red Wolf Journal Issue 2: The River, Within Us and Without Us

Issue 2 of Red Wolf Journal is live!

We proudly present Issue 2, whose theme is “The River: Within Us and Without Us”. This issue features poetry by John Michael Flynn, Uma Gowrishankar, Dah Helmer, Ann Howells, Kristina Jensen, Joan Leotta, Christopher Oak Reiner, Marian Veverka, Robert Walton, Will Wells, Martin Willitts, Jr., and Barbara Young. We also feature cover art and poetry by Angela (Alex) Weddle.

Nicole Nicholson and Tawyna Smith
The Editors