Prompt 224 Reprise

Hey poets,

It’s Halloween week and I thought I’d give the theme a spin.

You’ve all heard of Jonah who was swallowed by a whale but got out after three days. It’s as if he came back from the dead. And well, Jesus’s prophesy of Jonah’s resurrection to the Pharisees prefigures his own resurrection upon which the whole concept of Christianity is based.

So this week’s poem shall be about “coming back from the dead”, or if you think that’s slightly morbid, then the idea of reprise. Like how in music, the chorus keeps repeating. Or how in this Korean drama serial I was watching, the hero was thought dead, but turned out he survived a traffic accident, got amnesia and got a whole new identity with some contrivance from his mother. The point isn’t so much coming back from the dead, though it is too, if you choose to write about metaphorical death. I’m interested in how the story played out the theme of repetition. His first love fell in love with him again while believing he was just another person but a lookalike. So she fell in love with the same guy twice. The path of true love is pretty thwarted but you get the idea. Happy ending or not? You get to decide.

In your poem, you need to use this line somewhere, “I won’t ever come back”.

Ironic huh?

Happy writing, and happy Halloween.


We Wordle 29


We Wordle prompt 29

Welcome to old friends and new friends, poets all. This wordley prompt is sourced from Barbara’s Gilligan Island prompt of last week. We have seven words extracted like gems from your poems. Use one, use two, use all – it’s your call. And here’s Twist 1 …

We are all poets here, but we are also people with other interests. I hope. If you have no other interests, make one up. Maybe quilting, sewing, cooking, baking, painting, drawing, knitting, gardening, animals, bird watching, sports, golf, football, skiing, carpentry, travel, photography, puzzles, hiking, crafts, … write a poem in which one of your interests (other than writing) becomes the secondary subject in your poem, a prop, a brief mention, as if it’s just a fleeting image in your peripheral thought. Like you’re taking your dog for a walk along stream, autumn leaves falling, musty smells, the dog is soaking wet, smelling like a soaked beaver and jumping in the water …. and somewhere in your poem (if you’re a bird watcher) you notice seagulls circling in the sky.

Twist 2: Then we’ll all try to guess what your interest/hobby is. So don’t make it totally obvious. Don’t just blurt out “I love bird watching!”

And of course, use a few/all of these sweet jammy words below. Happy writing, and leave a link here so we can find your poem posted on your blog.

And lastly, please take note: Red Wolf Journal is still looking for poetry and flashfiction submissions for the Winter Issue. Submissions are open until mid-December. Please send us your work! Details are at


Jules’s clean
Misky’s waves
Hannah’s origami
Irene’s rock
Barbara’s blurred
Fred Herring’s pajamas
Sara’s painted

Prompt 223 A Three-Hour Tour

Hey, All.
Barbara here again.

I had a prompt all ready to go, but it was depressing, and I want you all in a playful mood because Wolfie’s pup, Red Wolf Journal, is looking for submissions and the theme is “Play”. Think about that when you finish cooking up your goodies for today.

…Now. What to do. Hmmm. (Did you know that one time through the Jeopardy theme takes 15 seconds? Imagine that going on in the background.)


You remember Gilligan’s Island. An unlikely group of individuals, stranded on an island. The characters were stereotypes, the sets were cheesy, the plots were transparent. The series lasted for years. Why? How? Maybe it’s love. Maybe it was the Howells.

How about taking on the Island?
Describe the setting, or make up your own island with–miraculously–everything you’d need for a comfortable survival.
Or: pick some people (maybe just one) to be shipwrecked with
Or: write about having nothing in common
Or just
Write a Gilligan poem

The original prompt was about disappointment. 😦 That can stay on the table if all else fails for you.

We Wordle #28


October is a transformative month.

It’s harvest season. It is said “to bend with apples”. Said of course, in eternal reference to Keats’s “Ode to Autumn”. It harkens toward winter, and that, my friends, is the great harbinger that engenders a great mellowing. An internal transformation that mere mortals are forced to undergo. If only we never grow up.

It’s as if we’re still standing in a land of fruitfulness while looking across a wide river to the other side.

So much gloriousness. So much to lose.

Fat to lean.

If you had to write a story, I want that story to include these elements:

1) passage of time – perhaps have the character speaking in childhood or youth in part one; and then speaking as an older person in part two.

2) an ending that has so little and so much to do with the earlier parts of your story. Digression becomes the core of the story.

3) yet it is an ending that lightens the load.

Since this is a wordle prompt, you need to use these words in whatever form, culled from the five poems submitted last week.

Jules: illuminations
Hannah: October
Irene: stranger
Barbara: mud-streaked
Debi: library

I am addicted to Alice Munro’s stories because the endings are so surprising. October is about pondering about endings, or well, reaping what we sowed. Oh, her endings always kill me.

Prompt 222 Hi, Technology

Recently a fellow went through every episode of the series Law & Order and documented every computer visible on screen. That’s twenty years of change from a box in the background–as often off as it was turned on–to something casually ubiquitous as light bulbs and cars. There’s a piece in The Atlantic if you’re curious.

What You Learn About Tech…

Also at The Atlantic, a series of snapshots of famous writers and their bicycles. Tolstoy with a bike. Arthur Conan Doyle and his wife on a big-wheel tandem. Thomas Hardy.

I was surprised, re-reading Dracula, to note that Jonathan Harker’s journal was “Kept in shorthand” while Dr. Steward’s diary was “Kept in phonograph.” The lawyer and the scientist. Technology at work in the background.

Our technology, our artifacts, our tools and creations are part of the world. They are an expression of human nature, and no less “natural” than the artifacts of time and tide. While technology can overshadow art (how many–other–characters do you remember from 2001, A Space Odyssey?), and gadget-centered works don’t always wear well, avoid the props and scenery of daily life and we miss a lot of its poetry.

Today, write something that includes–but does not center on–artifact, technology, gizmo, gadget, instrument. Let it be a telling detail that would “date” your piece if you weren’t also telling us something important and universal (or otherwise entertaining us).

Bring on the drones and corkscrew lightbulbs, the tweet, the text and the Tesla–like robins and clouds.

(If you want an example of a master, check your preconceptions at the door and spend some time with Norman Rockwell.)