by Robert J. Tiess © 2021

Poems Posted at AllPoetry.com


Poems (Alphabetical):

Poems (first lines):

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The deer, who never fully leave,
now roam free where the snowbanks thawed,
deliberate, with softer fur,
gently stepping through the field.
Some fold their legs, lay down to rest,
exemplify serenity,
while others gnash fresh tufts of grass
along the corners of the creek.

The squirrels swerving through the elms
may never live contented lives,
suggesting that no season's safe
and we must ever be prepared,
as foragers, uncovering,
recalling what we've come to hoard,
and that there's little time for sleep
if one intends to see more springs.

Plump robins bob on branches, dart,
sweet harbingers of earth's rebirth,
hopping, singing, searching, perching,
flapping, landing, seizing worms.
The muddy ones expecting eggs
will nurture nests in just some days,
weaving, leaving, circling back,
devising for the births to be.

For all these creatures, this is life,
though they can be our teachers, too,
instructing us in modest ways
to set aside our nonchalance
then never waste a summer day,
but cherish every renaissance,
greet blessings with more gratitude,
and, from the struggles, be renewed.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

176 words.  Mary Oliver / Springtime inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2775320-Mary-Oliver-Spring-poem-prompt--2
Submitted: March 30, 2021

The Pathfinder's Promise

Where pavement fades
with wilderness,

location goes

and most resign
while feeling lost,

I'll make a path.
I'll find my way

and journey forward
every day.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit).  Making a Path brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2775493-27-words-or-less---paths---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: March 29, 2021

Vermeer's Astronomer

Celestial, the globe you turn,
the microcosm in your hand,
each star imparting worlds to learn,
mechanics you must understand.

Copernicus once leaned like you,
found revolutions in the spheres,
then calculated planets, too,
and now you search for finer gears,

why constellations circulate,
and how a comet loops through skies,
notating angles, mass, and rate,
elusive clues before your eyes.

At times, you almost have it right
until some figure fails to fit.
You map from morning into night,
as far the cosmos will permit.

A theory sets you on a path.
You sense there's more than mortal math.
The universe propels past cause,
and thus, you wonder, and you pause.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Painting with Words / Ekphrastic Poems / Writing about Paintings prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2775427-Painting-with-words

More about the "The Astronomer" by Johannes Vermeer:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Astronomer_ (Vermeer)
Submitted: March 28, 2021

Kite Flying

The sunlight strong, the breeze just right.
We held the wire, watched our kite:

it spun then sprung around the sky,
then, when the line snapped, it would fly!

Those seagulls must have been impressed,
the way it gripped the wind, possessed

as if intending to break free
and chase its dreams beyond the sea.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

8 lines (prompt limit).  Image (people flying a kite) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2775353-Photo-Prompt--Rhyme--8-Lines-Max
Submitted: March 28, 2021


In public libraries
one can find
books covering
the number zero,
goose eggs,
and nothingness.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt requirement).  Funny Story in 15 Words prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2775434-In-15-words-EXACTLY--tell-me-a-funny-story.

(p.s. And "null sets" too :-D )
Submitted: March 27, 2021

A Bridge to What Could Have Been

Beyond a bridge you never crossed:
perspectives neither held nor shown,
perhaps a treasure sought, now lost,
experiences left unknown,

a thousand paths yet unexplored,
potentials futures set aside,
discoveries to be ignored,
untaken chances, dreams denied.

Perhaps this happens for the best,
but who could ever claim to know?
You either stay or leave the rest.
One choice is all: to pause or go.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Image inspiration (a person musing on one side of a bridge with lights in the distance) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2775300-8-poets-write-to-creative-art-prompt
Submitted: March 27, 2021

Mind of a Forest

These treetops:
neurons spreading thoughts.

Forests figure,

embodying decisions made

roots through branches

grasping time

embracing seasons
of release

while cultivating
inner peace.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (prompt limit).  Forest brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2775359-24-words-or-less---forest---John-Muir-noguest

You might also like to read another poem of mine on this topic of trees/forests and thoughts:

Neural Forest
Submitted: March 26, 2021


Our incantations fill the airs
with mystic rhythms
slow like prayers

invoking phrase in sacred ways
to sanctify, enchant,
or praise

or resurrect a dead idea,
returning life
beyond all fear

or conjure specters time misplaced
or summon futures
thought erased

or cast a spell of love or lights
to nurture hearts
or curse the nights.

We poets work our magic words:
see pages turn
to swans or birds,

imprisoned spirits seek release,
infernal forces
meet with peace,

new visions rise from myths and lore,
forbidden truths,
the hidden door.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 lines.  Magic / Sorcery / Mysticism brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774236-Brevity-III
Submitted: March 25, 2021

On the Long Road to Wisdom

An owl said, "Ask someone else
if this is wisdom that you seek."
I thanked her, and I traveled onward,
stopping by a mountain peak.

I met a thinker at the top
and wondered where the wise ones go.
He shrugged and laughed and then replied,
"I've no idea. I wouldn't know!"

This happened everywhere I went
until I recognized my way
was only ever mine to make
and not for someone else to say.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

75 words (prompt limit).  Seeking Knowledge brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2775226-Seeking-Knowledge-Brevity
Submitted: March 25, 2021

Shedding Light

After cave life,
sun unending


nowhere nearby.

Into valleys:
other darkness

unseen shadows
offer light


until escaping

of ourselves.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (prompt limit).  Carl Jung / Shadow / Enlightenment brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2775137-26-words-or-less---enlightened---Carl-Jung-noguest
Submitted: March 24, 2021


Still patient after all these years,
he leans back on the bench then hears
her songs play faintly through the park
and often stays there until dark,
convinced she will come merrily
and it's still 1923.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

6 lines (prompt limit).  Image inspiration (elderly man sitting on a bench) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2775111-Photo-Inspired---Max-6-Lines
Submitted: March 23, 2021

Old for New

She steps from shadows
into light

yet entranced

to see as if
through stranger's eyes

of ignorances

as it has always been

as they ever were

as she has never known

the lives
which she had yet to live:

to enter morning
born of night

old dreams for new.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines (prompt limit).  Image (woman stepping from shadows toward a lighter doorway or window) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2775071-8-only-----write-what-inspires
Submitted: March 22, 2021

Pyrrhic Victory

Both sides declared their victory
and celebrated with parades,
though no one won, essentially,
and all the cheers and great charades
would mask the horrors and the grief
with smiles where there should be tears.

The truths grew fewer as belief
increased our doubting through the years.
The darkest questions faded fast
as answers vanished in the past.
Nobody knew how much was lost,
but many paid the greatest cost.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Victorious theme challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2775020-Contest-8-poets-8-winners-

More about the title / concept of "Pyrrhic victories":

Submitted: March 22, 2021

Dear Denier

You trust in what you hold is true
and rarely question things you see
or any news conveyed to you
then claim to know reality.

I ask you, please, to think it through,
allow some curiosity,
consider there's another view
and always more than seems to be.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Belief brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774895-Brevity---Belief-
Submitted: March 21, 2021


this crest,
the dawning world:
expanses yawning, unexplored.
A thousand journeys yet to start.
The endless ventures send my heart!
Let's see those things no one was shown,
commence fresh quests through lands unknown!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

8 lines.  Image (wide view of beautiful mountains stretching into the distance) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774995-8-only-.-picture-prompt-contest.
Submitted: March 21, 2021


Colossus struck from ancient stone,
broke holdover of eons lost,
you list beside this waterway,
immobilized, anonymized,
half-mythical, if mystified,
considered insignificant
because no one here breathes your name.

Which mysteries must you possess?
What histories could you confess?
Who looked to you beneath the night
or fled your heavy gaze with fright
or sought your favors in a fight?
Did you command their pantheon
or flummox someone's Babylon?

What did those chiselled eyes behold?
Which destinies would those hands mold?
Were you a cruel or caring sire?
Who should you frighten or inspire,
condemn by ice, consign to fire?
Were you resigned to fade so fast,
or might you rise back from the past?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 lines.  Image (giant old statue beside a river) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774905-Image-prompt-Nature-Write-what-inspires
Submitted: March 20, 2021


Does nature ever say goodbye?
Can anything completely die?

From everything that disappears,
transformations reappear:

momentum into energy

physics into chemistry

matter's immortality.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (prompt limit).  Goodbye brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774913-Brevity...-23-words-or-less-

More on Conservation of Mass / Energy / Momenta:




Submitted: March 20, 2021

Dancing like the Stars

Cosmic rhythms thrill the nights.
Pulsars shine like disco lights.
Let's leave our grueling gravities
and gyrate like the galaxies!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Image (dancer with a dress of stars) brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774885-Brevity-Image-Prompt--536-
Submitted: March 19, 2021


Before our heartbeats found their rhyme
and we sang sonnets to the stars,
the universe reserved a space
within its vast anthology
for all our future poetry.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit).  No Accidental Meeting of Souls brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774865-27---accidental--noguest
Submitted: March 19, 2021


Moon peeks through the clouds,
waiting like a playful cat
to leap out and pounce.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Haiku (moon / night) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774816-Haiku-Contest-One---Night--Moon--or-Constel
Submitted: March 19, 2021

Visitors of the Past

In the lively museum
skulls receive the spectators
with bright white eyes
and nervous grins.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Skulls brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774840-Brevity---15-words-or-less
Submitted: March 19, 2021


Once butterflies would realize
their powers and collective strengths,
they'd fly on high to sway the sky
with purpose, stirring certain change,
and chase the stormy clouds away
to bring about a bright new day.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

35 words (prompt requirement).  Image (butterflies flying in a blue sky) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774785-photo-prompt-35-words
Submitted: March 18, 2021

Image Versus Imagery

I might recite beloved classics,
quote prolific essayists

reiterate philosophers
or conjure lavish adjectives

to verbalize your love and grace
or versify your perfect face

or set those thousand words aside
and let your photographs confide

what works of art succinctly say
within a glimpse, without delay

then leave mere phrase for lesser things
because your beauty truly sings.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Pictures Worth a Thousand Words challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774308-A-Pictures-Worth-a-Thousand-Words
Submitted: March 17, 2021

Jazz Standard Deviation

They know renditions legends played,
how far melodic strains have strayed
from simple trills to risky scales.

They've heard Coltrane go off the rails
and Armstrong float the highest tones,
Fitzgerald scat, old gramophones

of Sarah soaring song to song,
and Miles flying all night long.
And they've played Basie, Dizzy, Ray,

Marsalis, Duke, and Holiday.
Somehow you're next: blue suit, guitar,
well-practiced, traveled rather far,

auditioning to state your case
with beads of sweat upon your face
as you begin to finger strings

and wipe your mind of many things
to find the rhythm, improvise,
and make it new before old eyes.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

104 words.  Jazz prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774456-Prompt--All-That-Jazz--50---200-Words
Submitted: March 17, 2021

Winter Plays the Villain

Hoar thespian of ghastly roles,
no more that mad antagonist
who slants before the polar door
and brandishes a bogus sword
to barricade the one escape,

what drama might you muster up
within your self-made discontent
once Spring outwits you here tonight
upon this stage no longer white
from icy lights and deathly snow
now flowers rise and you must go?

Yes, shout your bleak soliloquy,
that gasping speech to close this play.
Let winds rage one last time, and stay
until you ring your final breath
and feign a most theatric death,
as if we know not you live on
and shall return when Autumn's gone.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Death of Winter prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774633-The-death-of-Winter-poetry-or-short-story-
Submitted: March 16, 2021

In Warmer Washes

Running colors

redder blues

greening yellows

purple skews

transfusing views:

reflects all hues.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Run brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774635-Brevity---15-words-or-less
Submitted: March 16, 2021

After Masquerading

Across the polished marble floor
lay fancy masks the dancers wore

now silence fills the gilded hall
and everyone must leave the ball,

returning home reluctantly
to face themselves eventually.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Image (ornate masks) inspiration prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774609-Title-the-Image-Brevity--8
Submitted: March 15, 2021

Love's Fluency

You speak
my dialect of eyes

read my breathing,
every sigh

grasp the stanzas
in my touch

translate all
my wordlessness

interpret me
so perfectly.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Caring / Hearing brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774576-25-words-or-less---Someone-told-me--noguest
Submitted: March 15, 2021

Photographic Memories

The ones attending most prepared
with smartphones, cameras, microphones
can capture most things to be seen
with HD pixel clarity
then play recordings afterwards
whenever feelings strike again.

But those caught off guard, speechless, see
through startled eyes, awakened ears
possessed by special memories:
imperfect although vivid scenes
remembered since relentlessly
in haunting forms few soon forget.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

57 words.  Photo (the word) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774387-Word-Prompt-Free-Verse-Only-noguest
Submitted: March 14, 2021

My Star

Could constellations
trace your face?

Which planets grasp
your gravity?

No nebula
enfolds your soul

yet there you glow,
my only star

my universe

with warmth
and stellar energy.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Star brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774180-a-single-star-is-uttered-and-i-think-of-you
Submitted: March 14, 2021

Alternative Rules

Rock dulls scissors.
Scissors cut nothing.
Paper buys all.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

9 words (15 the prompt limit).  Scissors brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774461-Brevity---15-words-or-less

Poem inspired by the "Rock, Paper, Scissors" game:

Submitted: March 14, 2021

Floating Ideas

We rise,
relinquish gravity

the skies and sea

while miles fade
and moments show

how anything
possessed or known

becomes that planet

Then buoyant thoughts
begin to weigh.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Weightlessness brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774110-30-words-or-fewer
Submitted: March 13, 2021

Memory Bridge

As fog subsides, you sometimes see
the bridge between what used to be
and everything that's left today.

You wander backward, think, would stay,
but then the present fades as fast,
and none can live within the past.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

6 lines (prompt limit).  Image (misty bridge) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774166-MAX-6-lines---PHOTO-is-prompt
Submitted: March 12, 2021

First Cave Painting

Torchlit cavern becomes canvas




imagination set ablaze.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt limit). Fire brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774332-Brevity...-10-words-or-less
Submitted: March 12, 2021

Binders or Blinders

So many citers
bound to books
they never really read.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt limit). Brevity image (book sewn with thread and needle) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774245-Title-the-Image-Brevity--3
Submitted: March 10, 2021


Craving brains.
Decomposition entertains.
Horrifically preoccupied:
were you zombified?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt limit).  Brevity Image prompt (psychedelic skull with beams emanating from its eyes) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774225-Title-the-Image-Brevity--1
Submitted: March 10, 2021

The Hidden Optimists

Somewhere in this dismal district,
obscured behind the queasy thrum
of engines ever trembling,
and sweatshops overrun by greed,
and mutterings of much despair,
and angers brewing everywhere,

a kindness thrives,
a bright mind grows

unlikely love becomes and knows
a blessedness awaits outside
these squalid streetscapes made to hide
the promise of a better day.

In spite of that,
please hear them pray:

the voice no noises drown or still,
the faithful ones by windowsills,
those poets who extol the light,
the wakeful dreamers keeping night
from darker horror, smog, or hate.

No concrete here constrains their fate.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines. Image inspiration (cheerful person holding flowers in a dismal urban setting) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773825-Write-to-Image---8-Only-
Submitted: March 10, 2021

Family Tree

Ancestral rootage
fastens us

within this ground
of history

as branches



We all belong
to that one tree.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image inspiration (tree growing out of an ancient person) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774079-Brevity-Image-Prompt--532-
Submitted: March 8, 2021


Our boundless dreams
 cannot  be  squeezed
 inside          this
 tiny   logic    box:
 why   does it   have
 to be    so   small?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

19 words (20 being the prompt limit).  Rationalization brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2774069-Brevity-prompt-20-words-
Submitted: March 8, 2021

With the Subtlety of Butterflies

Your slightest gestures

Each breath lends pressure
in the winds

impelling change
with unseen forces
one might figure to dismiss

believing nothing
comes of it

in fact
you've moved the world.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image (person moving hand through air, stirring streams of light all about) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773971-Pen-to-Picture-Contest-

Poem partly inspired by the concept of the Butterfly Effect:

Submitted: March 8, 2021

Phoenix: Eternal

When death's no end, how does one spend
the countless lives which lie ahead?

What comes of such eternity
if all I am is merely me?

I sense new purpose must be found
in each beginning coming round:

to not repeat what went before,
but rather become something more

than death and life made to repeat
or progress lost with each retreat.

I should grow stronger with each fall,
retain some wisdom after all,

fly higher, further, which each burn,
and from my ashes always learn.

Perfection being God's alone,
there yet are truths I should have known,

so many things I could refine
before the next time I resign.

When resurrecting, may I free
myself from what I used to be

and elevate in every way
in body, mind, and soul each day.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 lines.  Mythology / Phoenix image inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773936-Image-Prompt-Fantasy-Fiction-Mythology
Submitted: March 7, 2021

Whale Song

Blue whales, old Homers of the seas
with epics and mythologies,
ascend from depths and histories
to breach and breathe their ancient rhyme,
invoking muses lost to time
to narrate tales beneath the tide.

At moments, sorrows seem to rise
from the oceans of their eyes,
but then they soar up toward the skies
- what quests and ages they must know!
Their song continues long and slow,
the waves, their pages, where they flow.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Poetic Voyages with Whales prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773888-Poetic-Voyages-With-Whales
Submitted: March 7, 2021

Mirror Limits

Reflections review
objectives and light


with incomplete sight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt limit).  Mirrors Ten Words brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773932-Mirror---Mirror-on-the-wall---In-10-words
Submitted: March 7, 2021

Lasting Absence

No distance drives
a truth away.

What passing's
merely history?

I find your loss
in every day.

That absence
lingers lastingly

now time has nothing
left to say.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  No Time Limit for Grief brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773912-28-words-or-less---time-limit-noguest
Submitted: March 6, 2021

Providence of Love

When willed and willing,
decidedly free

the loves that must become
shall be

as figures
in the grand design:


yet worldly

entirely divine.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (prompt limit).  Divine Love brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773623-24-words-or-less---divine-love---spurgeon-noguest
Submitted: March 6, 2021

Phoenix: First Burn

At first, you say, "I'll just shake off the flame,"
but it consumes you fully, all the same.

"It's done," you think. And then it breathes your name.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (30 the maximum) / 10 syllables per line (as required).  Three Line Minimalism image prompt (bright red semi-abstract silhouette of a person) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773804-Three-line-Minimalism
Submitted: March 5, 2021

Quantum Poetical

All phrases

until said.

Potential meanings
to be read.

Entangled notions speed

and slow

in pageless places
one may know.

Then certain verbs converge on voices
interpreting incessant choices.

Uncertainty rolls on no more
once waves collapse upon the sure.

A metaphor of light from sight.

New verse emerges.

Moments write
expressions of eternity:

the word turned mortal



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

When Poetry Meets Science prompt (Prompt 4: Heisenberg?s Uncertainty Principle) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773280-When-poetry-meets-science
Submitted: March 5, 2021

Nature Meditation

Concrete cocoons my mind no more.
My shadow on the hardwood floor

begins to slip beyond what seems
and drifts into idyllic dreams:

the urban streets turn into streams
as blaring cars become the fish

and I conceive another wish,
releasing tensions to the air

then all walls fall and I float there
earthy, peaceful yet again

without a fret of how or when,
before horizons, lucid skies

two flowers where once shut my eyes.
Now springtime sets my petals free

so I might grow to know and see
my place in nature's ecstasy.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

94 words.  Surreal image inspiration (person depicted in partial form, blending with nature) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773355-Jose-Roosevelt-Surrealist-Painter-1958-----
Submitted: March 3, 2021

Point of Order

You don't let strangers
drive your car

or let the dice
decide your day.

No clock can say
what moment's right.

So why should viewpoints
blind your sight?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  Mind Control brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773463-28-words-or-less---control--will-smith-noguest
Submitted: March 1, 2021


Blizzards whinnied,
galloped through
like white hot mustangs
most provoked,
with whipping tails
and mussed up manes,
stampeding fields

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Image (white horse in snow) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773498-Brevity-Image-Prompt--528-
Submitted: March 1, 2021

Pompeii (8-23-79 AD)

One day before Vesuvius:

not embers

no ruins

no bolting

futures presumed.

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15 words (prompt limit).  Ash brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773443-Brevity...-15-words-more-or-less
Submitted: March 1, 2021


Raindrops beat wood beams,
playing roofs like xylophones:
music of a storm.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Letter X Haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773378-Alphabetical-Haiku-Series-Letter-X
Submitted: February 28, 2021

Requiem for the Unrestful

It's summertime, but much cooler winds blow.
A church bell breaks silence.  Five grim cars go slow. 
Now this is no wedding well underway,
no just celebration, or high holiday.

Behind, an old willow lowers its head
and roses by hundreds, all crimson red,
stand tall for the victims coming to rest,
the nervous kind known by those souls most oppressed.

So many arriving, though too many sleep.
Majority's absent. The outnumbered weep.
How many young dreamers were lost before night?
Which moment decides we rise into light?

Distractions drown out such sorrowful sounds.
Like clockwork, a headline abounds and astounds.
More mourners shall gather.  Large crowds will protest.
The numbed shrug off news of civil unrest.

It's summertime, fine.  See Death stroll with ease.
Two mothers by gravestones fold at the knees.
Three brothers pray up to gray skies for relief.
Green fields grow queasy with daisies and grief.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

150 words. Strange Fruit / Billie Holiday / Social Justice inspiration prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773386-In-US-vs-Billie-Holiday--a-jazz-singer-figh
Submitted: February 28, 2021

Three-Part Harmony

The first part you must
sing yourself.

A second sounds
from some like mind.

The silent third note
always there:

that would be
the voice of God.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit).  Singing Along brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773321-27-words-or-less---sing-along---A.-Shea-noguest
Submitted: February 28, 2021


Behind birch trees
shedding paper

snakes shake off
archaic skin

slithering past
last year's leaves.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Skin brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773359-Brevity...-15-words-more-or-less
Submitted: February 27, 2021


Fragments of paper

words like


love note
or a shopping list?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Pieces brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773358-Brevity...-15-words-more-or-less
Submitted: February 27, 2021

Highway to Byway

I took the toll road every day
and always got to work by nine
until there was a traffic jam
and my life was on the line.

An exit beckoned. I went left
and drove along an unknown route.
Another detour sent me round,
drifting onward, into doubt.

I checked my watch. I had some time,
and so I pressed with lesser speed,
relaxed my grip upon the wheel,
and wondered where this street would lead.

The vistas - nothing like before
with evergreens, entrancing hills,
a farm and pond I hadn't seen,
and then the mountains gave me chills,

so much, I slowed down, pulled aside,
undid my seat belt, stepped outside,
absorbed their grandeur long and sighed.
That was the morning I'd decide

to leave the speedway world behind
and take this way with peace of mind.
I leave some minutes earlier
and nevermore make life a blur.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

150 words (prompt limit).  Robert Frost / Road Not Taken inspiration prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773311-The-Road-Not-Taken
Submitted: February 27, 2021

My Song to the Open Road

Just give me roads and fuel to go,
five hours to ride and take it slow,
with weather willing all the way.
I'm moving on from yesterday.

I'll take in new exciting sights
through countrysides and city lights
and breathe the freedom of the air
and never look back with despair.

Forget the maps and tourist traps.
I'm going where my heart will drive.
I'm putting miles on my mind,
and I'm feeling so alive.

Sometimes I find I'm getting lost.
I reach a toll bridge, pay the cost.
And other times, I'm anywhere,
and that's just fine. I take the dare.

Sometimes I like to stop and stare
at all the earth and be aware
of all the glories we fly by
and all the beauties of the sky.

Forget directions, time, and place.
I'm going where my heart will race.
I'm putting miles on my mind,
and I'm feeling so alive.

Open road, help me revive.
Destinations will arrive.

Just get in.
Lets' take a drive.

be alive.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Freedom of the Open Road prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773282-Freedom-of-The-Open-Road

My poem is partly inspired by Walt Whitman's Song of the Open Road:

Submitted: February 27, 2021

Modest Spot

A deep space probe
looks back at Earth,
our modest spot


as large as dust,
as faint as stars.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  From a Distance brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773235-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: February 26, 2021

A New Pact

Bard of Avon, we've no war.
I've coveted your verse too long.

Now I'm beside you, fellow poet,
in no need of father figures,

but wise enough to make no foes
and mindful how a moment goes.

You set the measures yesterday,
yet metrics vary when we weigh.

Despite divergence, we'd admit
that brevity's the soul of wit.

One has but hours to convey
those untold things most strain to say.

Our common struggle duels with time:
to fit five thoughts inside one rhyme,

compressing volumes into breath
we pray may speak long after death,

and be remembered, page for page,
forevermore, not for an age.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines.  Honoring William Shakespeare prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772787-Shakespeare-quotation-prompt-in-20-lines-or

This poem's title and general approach is inspired by Ezra Pound's historic poem "A Pact," in which the speaker of the poem addresses Walt Whitman:


There is also an intentional half-allusion in the closing line of my poem relating with  Ben Jonson's poem "To the Memory of My Beloved the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare ":


- specifically in Jonson's line "He was not of an age but for all time!"
Submitted: February 26, 2021


Two maples raging,
clenching fists:
oddly postured pugilists
set to slug
once autumn thieves
one more of their
golden leaves.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Fists brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773225-Fists---20-words
Submitted: February 26, 2021

Lincoln Invocation

Our nation faces tests again.

Uncivil thoughts amass and clash
on battlefields of beliefs.

How much of that can they be sure?
How much of this can we endure?

The world has noted cowardice,
the desecrations to remember,
which some are anxious to forget.

Is it for us, the mortified,
to rededicate ourselves,
to mend divisions,
heal deceit ignobly advanced?

Great masks still surround us.
Greater tasks stand before us.

Out of the daze of dishonor,
inspire us to march ahead

with peace to calm
our anguished hearts

and renewed devotion
(absent commotion)

to honor freedom,
all the fallen,
so nothing here
hath passed in vain

and that the governed
and those who govern
shall not permit this unity
to perish from our country's name.


we look toward you,
the tempered spirit
of your measures.

Instruct us to enunciate,
interrogate and elevate

to advocate for equity
yet demonstrate humility

to insulate our liberty
then consecrate our synergy

to lead us from confusion
and spare our hallowed union
one more time,
just one last time,
we dearly hope and pray.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Poem about the USA prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773185-Write-a-poem-about-United-states-of-America

Poem inspired by Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address:

Submitted: February 26, 2021

In the Desert

The cactus always faults the sky.
Sunlight cremates optimism.

Wind erasing every step
vanishes with histories.

Water? Precious over gold.
Vultures circle. Life grows cold.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 word (prompt requirement).  Desert brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773156-10entries---25-words-exactly
Submitted: February 25, 2021

Atlas of Compassion

May your atlas of compassion grow
to cover many roads unknown

embracing cities,
countries, states

mountains, oceans,

encompassing the slightest part

then everyone
inside your heart.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit).  Extending Compassion brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773115-27-words-or-less---compassion---Albert-Schw-noguest
Submitted: February 24, 2021

Seeds of Joy

Joyous gardeners
always witness blossoming
even in winter.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Attitude at the Start of a Task Haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773102-575-Haiku-Contest-
Submitted: February 24, 2021

At the Art Exhibition

Accidental drips of paint
inspire studies,
increase meanings,
shift interpretions.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt limit).  Happy Accidents brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772882-Happy-Accident---in-10-words-.
Submitted: February 24, 2021

Endings Not Ending

Most stories continue
beyond their last pages,
and some tales extend
for volumes and ages.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  The End brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773062-Brevity..-15-words-or-less-
Submitted: February 24, 2021

Empathetic Poetics

Contemplating roses:
embody petals, lovers, thorns.

Envisioning eagles:
incarnate freedom, speed, and sky.

Considering rivers:
immerse in currents, drenching, depths.

Entertaining others:
inhabit cultures, feelings, dreams.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (prompt limit). Inhaling Experience, Exhaling Poetry brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2773022-26-words-or-less---breathe---Muriel-Rukeyse-noguest
Submitted: February 23, 2021


Hear nothing from these silent eyes.
Much harmony swarms deep within,
whole rhapsodies Time must conduct
whenever ready to premiere.
Then, love, such music shall appear!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (prompt limit).  Conversation starting / shyness brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772953-26-words-or-less---speak-noguest

This poem intentionally employs a literary device known as synesthesia (hearing nothing in silent eyes; music appearing):


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synaesthesia_ (rhetorical_device)
Submitted: February 23, 2021

False Color Schemers

Radical palettes,
clashing hues

divisive views

being gray

but black and white is all
you say?

Extremists, please:
we see through you.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (prompt limit).  True Colors brevity challenge prompt - link:

Submitted: February 22, 2021

Vanishing Points of View

They're there along the longest roads,
where lines dividing either lane
converge on distant points of light
which never speak of left or right.

And they are in the railroad tracks
conducting luggage here to there
then disappearing far away
with the death or birth of day,

until you move, adjust the view
(perspectives trending where you stand)
and the old world starts to skew
as angles wrangle with the land,

and elsewhere, from some higher ground,
perhaps a lost thing can be found,
or what was hidden gets revealed:
the precipice becomes a field.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image inspiration (person holding a mirror with self-reflections disappearing into a vanishing point due to the perspective presented) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772942-Pen-to-Picture-Contest-

More about vanishing points and linear perspective:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspective_ (graphical)

Submitted: February 22, 2021

Young Guitarist Dreamer Song

Six strings is all I'll need to start
to free these rhythms from my heart.

Just learned four chords and wrote a song.
A little practice, won't be long.

They'd hear me on their radios,
buy my albums, see my shows,
hum to every tune I write,
if they'd believe in me tonight.

I'm not a dreamer who gives in.
I do complete what I begin.

The industry, some say it's rough,
I promise I'll be strong and tough.

You'll watch my music videos,
learn my lyrics, heaven knows,
and hum to every tune I write,
if you'll believe in me tonight.

My father, he was just like me.
He loved to sing beneath a tree.

My mother sung, too, bless her soul.
Now I'm chasing down my goal.

"Help them hear me, Lord," I pray.
Guitar in hand, I'm on my way.
I'm full of foolish dreams and fight,
but I believe I'll make it right.

Just four more chords, and it's alright.
I'll step into that big spotlight.

Just please believe in me tonight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Picture prompt (young enthusiastic guitarist standing with arms open wide before a dreamy landscape with lights in the distance) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772912-8-for-8---Picture-Prompt
Submitted: February 22, 2021

Waterfall Course

and downwards,
ledge to edge,
cascading over
stones of old,
the coursing waters
school us well:
be effervescent;
clear, don't dwell;
remain near friends
with gravity,
which speeds us
so we'd see
we cannot cease
but all must move
within this moment,
in this groove,
let go, and flow
in nature's way,
with freedom
nothing can delay,
without a moment
to be lost
by the fires
or the frost,
and not one purpose
to ignore -
as this is what
this life is for:
until the end,
embracing newness
with each bend,
running headfirst
toward the chance
to surpass
or just advance,
and never once
forget to dance.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

40 lines (prompt requirement).  Waterfall challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772791-Touched-by-a-waterfall
Submitted: February 21, 2021


We drift from known worlds,
spreading through the galaxy:
pollen to new stars.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Sci-Fi haiku challenge image prompt (spaceships leaving one world with others visible in the image) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772858-Sci-Fi-Image-Haiku-Welcome-Contest-
Submitted: February 21, 2021


Within the torchlit cavern, hands
engraving star charts in the sands:
the Storyteller whispers rhymes
of creations, spaces, times.

Throughout the planetarium,
bright projectors light the room.
Astronomers account a boom
igniting life and everything.

Some galaxies away from Earth,
the grandest theory finds its birth
in math like music, art of light,
and sings the secrets of the night.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

60 words (prompt limit). Explaining Time, Space, and Everything brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772555-Brevity-Time--Space---Everything

More on what a cosmogony is:



Submitted: February 21, 2021


Antique toys inside the shop
(all faulty, fading, missing pieces)
sought to play back memories.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Broken brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772835-Brevity...-15-words-or-less
Submitted: February 21, 2021

Universal Lotus

A universe bursts
from the murky depths of night:
lotus of all times.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Universe haiku prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772807-Universal-Walls
Submitted: February 20, 2021


When you


though motions

gears creeping

clouds marching


unfixed from

and then every day became

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  World Not Stopping for Grief brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772812-25-words-or-less---stop---Faraaz-Kazi-noguest
Submitted: February 20, 2021

Decidedly Deciduous

Releasing leaves,
the maples teach
essential lessons
every fall:

not holding on
as autumn leaves

nor supposing
summer grieves




View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (prompt limit).  Growing / Falling Leaves brevity inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772811-23-words-or-less---grow---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: February 20, 2021


The worst that passes
could return
should we forget
and never learn
what went wrong
in our history.

Remember: then
the best may be.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (prompt limit).  Better Times brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772720-24-words-or-less---better-times---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: February 20, 2021

Justice Deferred

What comes when justness gets deferred?
Does Lady Justice go unheard?

Will she remove her blindfold soon
and lift her foot up
from the snake?

Or could she tip the even scales
and in that moment
start to shake?

Should she embrace the untoward,
or does she simply
drop her sword?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Langston Hughes inspiration challenge prompt - link:


Inspired by contemporary and historic efforts for social justice, Langston Hughes' poem "Harlem"


and the iconography of Lady Justice:



Submitted: February 20, 2021

To a Prospective Transhumanist

Before you fully mechanize
and forfeit your humanity,
know cold logic can disguise
elusive truths we cannot see
if we exchange imperfect minds
for computations so exact
that anything becomes a number
divided by a lesser fact.

Whose beauties would be binary?
What loves could now be quantified?
Which wisdoms live in algorithms?
Emotions won't get digitized.
Consider everything you lose,
and soon, in that robotic fall.

We'd live forever, be the same,
not age a day, remember all?
Some run from dreams.  More crave control.
I much prefer to keep my soul.

Perhaps my heartbeat's obsolete,
but I'll be me and die as free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines (prompt limit).  Image (person with half a mechanical / gear-like head) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772526-Photo-Prompt---20lines-Max.
Submitted: February 20, 2021

Winter Eye

The lunar white eye of old winter glared
amazed and perplexed at our village below
(now buried beneath a week's worth of snow)
as if someone chided, "What have you done?!"

The moon seemed to leave remorsefully slow,
and then we would pray for a month's worth of sun.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

6 lines (prompt limit).  Image (bright moon overlooking a frozen landscape) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772741-MAX-6-lines---ARTWORK-is-prompt
Submitted: February 19, 2021

Choosing to Communicate

It quickly goes from hurt to worse
when silence is how we converse.

So, I decide to speak my mind.
Please listen, if you wish to find

the truth of what we know we feel
and verify romance is real:

you run throughout my dreams for hours
plucking thoughts like wildflowers

then set them gently in your hair.
You smile. I become aware

your eyes provide me with such light
to find a way through any night

and make my way back home to you.
That's how I know this love is true.

My hand will always seek your hand.
I'll always hope you understand

despite the times my words will fail.
What means the most is we prevail.

Recall the places we have seen
and all those roadways in-between:

they mapped our lives with memories
of mountains, music, rivers, trees

- things only we could share like this,
what no one else holds when we kiss.

So, please, speak freely. Let it out.
Forget regrets, old fears, and doubt

so we can move on, soon and strong,
and reach the somewhere we belong.

I swear, I'll try to comprehend
and always be your closest friend,

the one who loves you every day
no matter what you do or say.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Decision Time challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772608-Decision-Time
Submitted: February 19, 2021

Interpreter of Solitudes

Conversant with clockwork's
hushed conversations
with worrisome windows,
murmuring floors

languorous hearts,
disconsolate doors,

I could speak solitude

then translate for others

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (prompt limit).  Silent Conversation / Loneliness / Emptiness brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772719-24-words-or-less---silent-conversation---Ai-noguest
Submitted: February 19, 2021


  The choice and
 voicing  of these
words         weigh

uniquely    in your
  mind     and so
   I try my ring
      of keys
      in hopes

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Words Like Keys brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772689-30-words-or-less---words--
Submitted: February 19, 2021

The Fate of Free Will

You choose, or choose not:
either choice.

You speak, or speak not:
likewise voice.

You do, or do not:
both enact.

You think, or think not:
that's a fact.

All thoughts and deeds indeed

those consequences we call

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Fate challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772432-Do-you-believe-in-FATE--Bob-Dylan-Song-Prom
Submitted: February 19, 2021

Fractal Aspects of Water

Reflection of comets,

erasure, addition,

dispersing, immersion,
absorbent, reforming,

refrigerant, warming,
sustaining, lifeblood,

waterfalls, overflows,
lotus of mud.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image (water droplet containing a cloud over reflective water) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772660-Brevity-Image-Prompt--517-
Submitted: February 19, 2021

Steps Toward Self-Acceptance

Removing old mirrors
is step number one

because those reflections
mislead the eyes.

Step number two:
to reach beneath self

surpassing the hair,
skin, muscles, and blood

to delve into brain
and enter each thought

to excavate dreaming,
lost memories

aspects neglected
of what we have been

everything ended
or yet to begin

virtues and misbeliefs,
wishes and sin.

Step number three:
we journey toward soul

questing through darkness
seeking our sight

exchanging mere senses
for wisdom and light

to show where we glow
and grow when we know

forgiveness, compassion,
unqualified love.

Step number four:
we come back above

return to the present,
authentic and real

mindful, more beautiful
once truths reveal

our most selfless selves.
And then we may heal.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

122 words.  Osho quote (becoming beautiful by accepting yourself) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771566-Osho-Quote-part-2

For LNP:  I am requesting a reader.  Blanket per. should be on file.  Thank you.
Submitted: February 18, 2021



momentum rushes

cold logic



neural storming


lightning forming



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Brevity challenge / image inspiration (a person with an head revealing a vibrant, rainbow colored brain) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772659-Brevity-Image-Prompt--516-
Submitted: February 18, 2021

Difference of a Day

By Monday, it was
another year.
Another world.
Another life.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt limit).  Monday brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772612-Brevity---10-words-or-less...
Submitted: February 18, 2021


Hardheaded no more
an iceberg returns homeward
softly to the sea.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Melting Iceberg Haiku prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772570-Melting-Iceberg-haiku
Submitted: February 17, 2021

Quantum Entanglement

"Spooky action!" Einstein whined
when particles forever twined
coordinated unconfined.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 word (prompt limit).  Tangled brevity challenge prompt link:


More about Quantum Entanglement and what Albert Einstein described as "spooky action at a distance":



Submitted: February 17, 2021

In the Library of Unlearning

Silent volumes.
Derelict shelves.

Barren graphics.
Nameless globes.

Dictionaries meaningless.
Histories unraveling.

Old understandings
may deceive.

what we believe.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Image (man in old, shadowy library looking at a blank globe) inspiration challenge prompt - link:
Submitted: February 17, 2021

Cinderella Song

You scrub the floors, the chairs and walls,
as others run to dancing halls,
then ring the towels, wash your hands.
By midnight will you understand?

You turn to wipe another dish.
A fairy comes to grant your wish.
Your rags become a dress so grand.
Tonight the world's your wonderland.

Horses, carriage, reach the ball,
magic dances, princes fall.
Break away before it goes.
Home by midnight.  No one knows.

Oh, look, you left your shoe behind,
one made of glass, much like your mind,
where everything seems very clear.
By morning there's another fear.

Some come by asking, will it fit?
So many try but have to quit.
That slipper, it was made for you,
and now your story's coming true.

Horses, carriage.  It's your ball.
Magic dances. Hear him call.
Face your music.  Make it stay.
Love forever finds a way.

Love forever makes him stay.
Face the music.  Find a way.

Make your music.  Let it stay.
Love forever.  Find your way.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Fairy Tale in a Song Style prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771416-Goodbye--Yellow-Brick-Road
Submitted: February 16, 2021

City Limits

Somewhere in this fitful city,
above the tumult, fuss, and din,
minds strive higher than all lights
and eyes defy the urban glow
to seek what concrete cannot show
with peace downtowners seldom know.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

6 lines (prompt limit).  Photo (silhouette of couple staring at the bright city before them) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772345-MAX-6-lines---PHOTO-is-prompt
Submitted: February 16, 2021


Together, on the swing of life,
we pull backward to fly forward

so gravity must set us free
toward futures we can barely see

as dawn lifts up another day
and all the world now sways our way.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Six lines (prompt limit).  Photo (couple on swing facing a sunrise together) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772410-MAX-6-lines---PHOTO-is-prompt
Submitted: February 16, 2021

Prima Donna

She skims a script and takes the role,
performs her lines without a soul,

then blasts the writing and the cast,
demands another outfit, fast

- more water, light, another hat -
or throws a tantrum just like that

while crews afford her time and space
because the posters boast her face

and art is least essential here
if only she would soon appear

to autograph and smile wide
when photographed and glorified

embellishing the studio
and make this part the real show

and keep it spicy, feisty, fun
then grab the trophy others won

to bank another million quick
and star in yet another flick

now critics fawn and fans adore
and everybody begs for more.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Movie Queen challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772427-Movie-Queen
Submitted: February 16, 2021

Give and Take

What autumn seizes,
spring returns.

What winter freezes,
summer burns.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt requirement).  Autumn brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772456-Brevity---10-words-only...
Submitted: February 16, 2021

Nature Study

We often think of nature as another entity
and talk of coral, clams, and whales
as separate from land and sea,
apart from dolphins, waves, and skies,
the deserts, canyons, waterfalls,
then every thing our eyes comprise.

And yet, we're nature - us - as well,
and share in life, this world, the stars
that turn within the carousel
we've come to call the Milky Way,
which spins with other galaxies
inside this cosmic interplay.

The universe that binds us all,
it lives, is conscious, full of sight,
from quarks to any leaves that fall
across the rivers, though the light:
creation flows in you and me,
unites us now, eternally.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

111 words.  Kahil Gibran quote inspiration ("Forget not the earth...") prompt challenge - link; https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772367---Kahlil-Gibran---forget-not
Submitted: February 15, 2021


Those crows recall the noon I threw
some bread to them I couldn't eat.
Now, every time I pass at two,
they caw when I'll take up a seat
to read the paper on my break.
They watch me reach inside my pack
and grab a slice of coffee cake,
still eager for another snack.

I'll leave a piece, or sometimes more,
and glance behind as they swoop by
to gobble, squabble, squawk, and soar,
while I return to work and fly
back up the stairs until it's eight.
By then, the crows desert the street,
and I head homeward, find my plate,
and wonder what is left to eat.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Robert Frost / Crows challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771767-Dust-of-Snow---Robert-Frost
Submitted: February 14, 2021

Really Ever After

Our romance, far from fairy land,
proceeds within a world too real,
where caring works to understand
what trust must come and how to heal,
evolving slowly, year by year
with patience of the stronger kind
to move us closer to cohere
in spirit, body, art, and mind
- no, not the stuff of fabled tales
(no unicorns or soaring whales)
although enthralling all the way
from what was left to where we stay.

That dazzling castle from our dreams
rests steady now on solid ground,
beyond dark forests, winding streams,
and mountains where we first had found
new paths from shadows into light,
becoming, first, the best of friends
to share our sorrows, news, delight,
until we reached the happy ends
of fellowship so love could start
and we could be of equal heart,
enchanted as mature and wise,
yet keep the magic in our eyes.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Valentine's Day image (prince and princess high up in a tree before a fairytale-style kingdom) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771925-Valentines-Day-Pic-Prompt---Rhyming-Poetry

Devoted to the love of my life.
Submitted: February 14, 2021

Postcards from Utopia

Old postcards from the antique shops
portraying places far from here,
in miles and in many years.

The old-time pictures, photos, ads,
locations unknown, almost flawless,
ever invitational:

vacations I might try someday,
attractions you have heard about,
most regions one will never reach.

These open notes penned on the back
will often wish that you were here
- the "you" not you, of course, and yet

it could be you - not you, right here -
but elsewhere in the multiverse,
where you dress very differently,

have varied tastes, another life,
and seek adventures overseas
or wish to wander on a whim,

or fall asleep in pricey inns
with heart-shaped pools and neon lights,
or maybe crave more ancient sights

- a castle, fortress, pyramid -
or relish benches by the lake,
or drive down roads no others take.

Perhaps you mend a shattered heart
and visit Greece, or Spain, or Rome
or some estate, another home

where someone stays the night, no more,
because too much is left to tour
before tomorrow's history.

Most postcards feel addressed to me,
and some include my given name.
And, here, they tell me, "Try this train,"

a classic one with puffs of steam
that chugs by mountains and a stream.
And now I'm in it, like a dream.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image prompt (colorful houses with boats, very much like what you might find on a postcard) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772164-Warm-and-sunny-photo-images-1
Submitted: February 14, 2021

When Meteorology Gets Existential

They forecast a blizzard;
it's raining instead:
no snowman today.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt requirement).  Rain brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772294-Brevity...-10-words-only.
Submitted: February 13, 2021


Sleeping retriever
runs after baseballs

barking, pursuing
outside of dreams.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt requirement).  Dreams brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772295-Brevity...-10-words-only.
Submitted: February 13, 2021


soulful prayers

a dusty church:

God's listening religiously.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt requirement).  Church brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772293-Brevity...-10-words-only.
Submitted: February 13, 2021

Learning to Walk Again

What once was done so easily
becomes the fighting of a life
as hands grasp handles, nudge their walkers,
scuffing rubber through the room.

"Keep going," spur the therapists.
Reluctant lunges: wheels screech.
Thin limbs sift through uneven strengths
of muscles humbled, cumbersome.

Raw nerves reflect the awes of falling,
anger, anguish, shame, defeat.
"Again," it's pressured, "almost there."
The prize: to reach a distant chair.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

66 words.  Walker brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771835---Walker---Brevity-40-to-75-Words---What-mi-noguest

This poem was inspired by my late mother's struggles, over several months, to regain her ability to walk again, with a walker, while in a therapy setting.  She eventually prevailed, and I was so proud of her.  I continue to draw insight and inspiration from her life.
Submitted: February 13, 2021


Another name escapes recalling,
wanders toward obscurity

(where history
forgets the time

and place
is lost for words);

its only hope:

some memory
to spare it from oblivion.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  Death / Name Said Last Time brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772116-28-words-or-less---time---Banksy-noguest
Submitted: February 13, 2021


A comet comes closer,
kisses the sun,
consumed by

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt limit).  Kiss brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772172-Brevity...-10-words-only.
Submitted: February 12, 2021

When Truth Comes Out

Slickery, trickery, see
deceivers quickly flee
when truth comes out
and people shout,
"Slickery, trickery, see!"

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Nursery Rhymes Rewritten challenge prompt - link:

Inspiration: "Hickory Dickory Dock"
Submitted: February 12, 2021

Memory of Snow

Faint memories like falling snow



some at most
to fade and melt

while others blur forgotten paths
or brighten up abandoned homes

or blanket gardens gone to sleep
or shroud the names on graveyard stones

as temperatures descending fast
let winter grip the mind at last.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt limit).  Drops of Memories prompt brevity challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772067-50-words-brevity
Submitted: February 11, 2021


Rosetta Stones spoke nothing of
these ancient symbols, what they meant:

observed everywhere

their mystic scriptures etched in stone
by diamond, fire, metal, bone

in syntax
stranger with each pass

around adornments on the glass

from some tongue unknown.

What did they say? What have they shown,
these artifacts new hands unearthed?

Was it of love?
For death or birth?

Each dig augmented mystery
and questioned present history

and seemed to warn
of more to mind

beyond what most presumed to find
in erstwhile verse an age erased

old myths or math
time had displaced

then buried for some thousand years,
preserving what would disappear

to be retrieved,
revived again.

To what effect, no one can say.
What truths are gained or lost each day

for centuries
or evermore?

What futures lie behind those doors
we've yet to open toward the past?

Will we rejoice
or be aghast?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

150 words. Prompt 4 selected.  Down the Rabbit Hole prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771982-down-the-rabbit-hole---After-Midnight-2-16-

For LNP:  I would need a reader, please.  Blanket per. should be on file.
Submitted: February 10, 2021

Out of Doors

"No exits there," the eyes would say,
until we searched another way,
investigating halls and rooms,
which some decided were our tombs.

We crawled and pressed and leaped around,
exploring ceilings, ledges, floors,
in time, amazed by what we found:
perspective changes walls to doors.

Perception hid the truth that night,
and, ever since, we question sight
and everything that seems to be.
Such wondering could set us free.

Then most of us would leave at last,
except for those lost in the past,
refusing any newer view.
I hope someday they make it through.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

94 words.  The Door in Front of Us challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771965---the-door-in-front-of-us--
Submitted: February 10, 2021


Like dials on old radios,
we find ourselves on frequencies
which broadcast what we hope to hear.

Then static happens: we must tune,
adjust antennas, seek new songs.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

5 lines (prompt limit).  Receiving Messages brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771993-MAX-6-lines---QUOTE-is-prompt
Submitted: February 10, 2021

Through the Perilous Night

With the comforting song
only mothers could muster
in the middle of a conflict,
Liberty steadies her children to rest.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit). Lullaby brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771999-Brevity--20-words-or-less

Liberty = Lady Liberty:

The title is intentionally echoic of the phrase "through the perilous fight" in the Star-Spangled Banner:

Submitted: February 10, 2021

Broken Mirror Image

One face
makes dozens




reflections ending
at each crack

and who is that there
staring back?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Fractured brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2772000-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: February 10, 2021

Patience of Penelope

For twenty years, Penelope
awaited lost Odysseus,

what she wove before,

suitors at her door.

Until her love returned, she'd be
fidelity's epitome.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Power of Patience brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771946-25-words-or-less---patience---k.tolnoe-noguest

I invite readers to explore another poem I have written on this character from her perspective:

"Penelope Soliloquy"
Submitted: February 10, 2021

What One Musician Understands from Listening to John Coltrane

You love how I can hold those notes,
their suave vibrato, gentle bends
toward elevating melodies
encircling restrained refrains.

But untamed music gnaws inside,
intensely restless to emerge,
ferocious, roaming, clawing, strong,
more roar than any subdued song

with boundless howls to rouse the night
and fearless prowls through blue moonlight,
more rampant where most tunes turn back,
not eager to appease, attack

preferred to harmony,
because it shall be frantic, free,
authentic to its frenzied heart,
domesticated never.


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

80 words (prompt limit).  Go Wild inspiration challenge prompt - link:

Inspired by the many boundless and avant-garde jazz musical expressions of composer and saxophonist John Coltrane:


Submitted: February 8, 2021

Living Room

They wonder why
I stand

Their largest room
is far too

and dreams need
open space
to fly.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Room brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771821-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: February 8, 2021

In the Theater of Dreaming Lucidly (Director's Cut)

Imagining my cinema
long after I've begun to sleep,
still clutching tickets sold and bought,
I am the usher nudging me,
reminding me to stay awake,
the moviegoers taking seats,
projectionist who loads the reel
and sets the picture into motion.

As opening credits start to roll,
my name's appearing everywhere:
producers and director, cast,
photographers and editors,
the screenwriters and prop makers,
the decorators, grips, composers,
the make-up and the Foley artists.
And soon I find I'm all the stars.

I'm heroes, extras, adversaries,
cameos that steals scenes.
I speak these lines convincingly,
aware, at last, how this could end,
now thinking I should change the plot,
in charge as someone I was not,
remake this film as I'd prefer:
more memorable, much less a blur

when visions end and I will rise
and, stretching, yawn, and rub my eyes,
recalling some of what I dreamt
and wonder what it must have meant.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Dreams and Nightmares challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771397-Strange-Magic-After-Midnight-Dreams-and-Nig

For LNP: I will need a reader.  Blanket per. should be on file.
Submitted: February 7, 2021

Whether or Weather

When umbrellas
or break

we can



or stand outdoors and face the rain.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit). Umbrellas brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771820-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: February 7, 2021

Used Book (Fair Condition)

Tattered covers, well-creased spine,
index missing, names inscribed,
notes in margins, verso stained
by coffee, weeping, tea, or rain,
a trace of sand and lint throughout,
an edge where something tried to chew,
whole phrases starred or underlined,
and pages taped in makeshift bind

- what were you to them, little book,
the ones who took you every way?
What was it that you had to say?
Who wrote the postscript, "Saved the day"?
What was it they received from you?
Who circled Chapter Twenty-Two,
or who crossed out the author's name?
To leave such wonders seems a shame.

Most older tomes gain dust and fade
as newer titles get displayed
on prominent and polished shelves
until we start to see ourselves
what treasures rest in yellowed text,
get curious to what comes next
from all those volumes left behind.
And so, I think this quite a find.

It's not a copy I'd have sought,
though I can't help but wonder why
this paperback has somehow fought
against all odds and caught my eye.
I'll take you home, my haggard friend,
then read your stories through the end
to understand your mass appeal
and any truths you may reveal.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Books theme prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771721-Books
Submitted: February 7, 2021

Unnatural Habitation

A hungry doe and fawn rove on,
from newly bulldozed woods
now nearly gone
so one more store
may be abandoned
as before.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (prompt limit).  Natural Habitat brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771699-24-words-or-less---zookeeper--Robert-Brault-noguest
Submitted: February 7, 2021

Used Book (Like New)

How many have plundered
these puzzling pages

chasing evasive
wonders of ages?

Did anyone understand?
Navigate? Try?

Excavate? Explicate?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Used brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771689-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: February 6, 2021


of pondering.

I ease my dreamy

to my midmost point

where everything
runs equally

in all directions here

The universe
aligns in me.

I find my place
within this space:


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

36 words (the prompt limit).  Becoming One with the Universe / Meditation brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771649-36-words-or-less---Become-One-noguest
Submitted: February 6, 2021

Love's Vision

Let scintillating stars
go dark.

Watch darkness harbor
every spark.

Abandon candles.
Blindfold sight.

Our love sees clearly
by its light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Beyond Sight brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771637-21-words-or-less---beyond-sight--Melody-Lee-noguest
Submitted: February 5, 2021


The vacuum

emptied of itself

admits the presence
of all things.

action most divine

almighty brightness


inspire ingenuity
and rid minds of vacuity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Creation the Highest Power brevity inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771627-25-words-or-less---highest-power---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: February 5, 2021


My eyes find
you're invisible


this heart
would disagree


and that

you are still
found in me.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  No Separation / Rumi inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771633-22-words-or-less---no-separation---RUMI-noguest
Submitted: February 5, 2021

Individual Paths

My steps toward here
(though we're in line)
are different


To anyone from other ways
expecting I should
think or say
as you:


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (prompt limit).  Experiences, Telling Others What to Think brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771546-26-words-or-less---experienced-noguest
Submitted: February 4, 2021

Woke Progression

"Who cares?"

"Not my problem."

"Come on."

"O. M. G."

"No way."
"So wrong."

"Wake up, people."

"Just heard."
"Speak up."

"We can't breathe."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit). Woke Up brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771544-27-words-or-less---woke-up-noguest

Becoming "woke" to social injustice, prejudice, inequality.
Submitted: February 4, 2021

Pause's Causes

Without a stop
we have no

no science, time,

no motion,

but endlessness

and nothingness

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24words (the prompt limit).  Purpose of Pausing brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771490-24-words-or-less---pauses---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: February 4, 2021

Short Story

My story's shortish

not because
I haven't lived.

I was too busy
being me
to write
the best parts

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Life Story brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771482-20-words-or-less---738-noguest
Submitted: February 3, 2021

A Time Traveler's Caveats

Among the worst concerns we face
in travels back to any past
is every change affects the future.
Anything one says or does
extends potential consequence.

Just how and where, you never know
until you're back - perhaps today -
and everything appears as you
anticipate, until you see
the evening headlines on TV:

are there new faces, stranger places?
Or might you see reality
looks nothing like it did before?
And, should you chance "repair" it more,
each risk could only make it worse.

That's when this marvel turns to curse.
You'd always feel you can reverse
the things you thought you might have done,
but sometimes it's that you were found:
one glimpse can matter and astound!

It's more than action, past a word,
beyond you being seen or heard:
our very thinking writes to time.
Remembrance renders history
and possibly futurity.

Or be forgotten - either way
the simplest notion shapes the day.
That why I only skip forth now,
invest myself in what comes next,
not muss what was and live perplexed.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

The World You Were Born into No Longer Exists prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771231-History-is-Mystery--The-World-You-Were-Born
Submitted: February 3, 2021

Ice Walk Talk

"At any point, you could fall through,"
I do remember being warned.

The density of ice decides,
and then the weight, a few degrees,
the way you pace across the lake
and which direction you would take.

As usual, no guarantees.

In February, skaters come.
By then this ice gets thick and fit
for jumps and spinners, skids and falls.

Mid-March ice is like December's,
too tenuous and wet for walks.

A fisherman almost got caught.
He never got to cut a hole,
just fell right in with rods and lures.

I'm glad he wasn't far from land.

If I was there, I'd lend a hand
then tell him wait a few more weeks,
but he's a tough one - seldom speaks,
and, if he does, it's never nice.

Some folks go colder than the ice.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 lines.  Walking on Ice prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771374-Walking-on-ice
Submitted: February 2, 2021

Wind as Sculptor

Wind plays sculptor with the snow
pretends it's Michelangelo
shaping David's wavy hair...

       or shoulder?
      ...or Romeward stare?


Rodin's Kiss ?


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Snowdrift brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771418-Brevity...-25-words-or-less-
Submitted: February 2, 2021

Enter, Infatuation






language fails


thirst prevails


electric eyes



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  New Love brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771382-Brevity...-21-words-or-less-
Submitted: February 2, 2021

A Raindrop on Its Journeys

Through water cycles, year by year,
I fall, ascend, and soon appear

upon a bride in summer rain
or on the groom who waits in vain;

on knights in quest of victories
or captains trapped in angry seas;

upon the critics which commend
or farmers pleading droughts to end;

on top of tears already cried
or in the eyes of shattered pride;

upon the maiden on her mare
or servants bursting from despair;

on new musicians chasing sound
or climbers finding higher ground;

upon the poets dazed with pages
or dramatists who dream of stages;

on saints and sinners, fools or kings
or mermaids swimming as they sing;

upon the builders heaving stones
or diggers dusting ancient bones;

on artists starting on a scene,
or seekers of the unforeseen;

upon astronomers at night
or lovers reaching for the light;

on astronauts returned to Earth
or mothers running to give birth;

upon philosophers and knaves
or grievers weaving through the graves.

Descending to evaporate,
I rise again, embrace my fate.

Perhaps in time, I'll land on you
and see life from your point of view.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Journey of a Raindrop prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771340-Prompt-Contest-
Submitted: February 2, 2021


No bouncers guard these double doors
that lead inside my open heart
where you may dance as long you like
and celebrate a thirst for life.

Acceptance is my one request,
as everyone are equals here.
No invitations. None oppressed.
No reservations, far from fear:

a haven any songs may play
and anyone can go or stay
and always feel at home and right
to sing along on any night

or simply sit, relax, and be
received among us friends and free
to speak or listen, feast, or learn,
and love, unjudged, without concern.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Love and Acceptance prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771317-Love---Acceptance-LGBTQ--Community-Welcome-
Submitted: February 2, 2021


Our slender snowman
loses weight with every week;
flurries are no feasts.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Snowman Building / Winter Activity Haiku prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771363-Haiku---February-3-4--2021
Submitted: February 2, 2021


Penguins gather round,
hoarding warmth while winter chills,
airtight to survive.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Animals Surviving Winter Haiku prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771362-Haiku---February-2-3--2021
Submitted: February 1, 2021

Downright (or, the Spirit of C.B. at a Poetry Reading)

At a poetry reading, way back by the gate,
just left of that exit,
that's where I'd wait

but not for a poet I'm prone to forget
who rolls up his words
like limp cigarettes

then lights them up,
drags, and chokes
on the smoke.

I'm there for the someone who gets me to think,
says, "Hey, bud, look up
from the edge of your drink,"

and makes me wake up - I hear this or die -
and says it so plainly
I'm wondering why

I've wasted a weekend retooling my work
instead of just standing up there
with a smirk

and telling it like it is, no damn restraint.
Eloquence? Keep it, man.
Shakespeare we ain't.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Charles Bukowski Quote Inspiration (number 25; genius being able to say profound things simply) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770658-Yes---Another-Contest-About-That-Man-Charle
Submitted: February 1, 2021


Fear encounters
its grim face
inside a mirror

screams and flees

quite horrified
beyond all fright

it won't outrun
itself tonight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Fear brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771361-Brevity...-21-words-or-less-
Submitted: February 1, 2021

Commotion to Stillness

The meditators in the city
have such rubs to overcome:

stampeding traffic, sirens, yells,
live televisions, revelry,

the fretful tenants, lights and signs,
competing ring tones, stereos.

And, afterwards, the inner hammers
pounding all throughout the night:

anticipations seldom met,
uneasy thoughts refusing sleep,

new memories, old haunting loss,
fast passions crashing against time,

the dreaming one must leave behind
as notions roam the open mind.

The interruptions drift, return,
encircling, but never gone

externally, internally,
until more conscious breathing starts

then sense surrenders to the calm
eternal, waiting well within

like mountain peaks above rash rivers,
past the forests full of howls,

where clouds recede, receiving sky
released from any turbulence,

and nothing may impede the sight
where peace flows freely through the light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Silence Within / Disturbance challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771316-8-only-Prompt-Contest
Submitted: February 1, 2021

Hide or Keep

Whatever winter hides away
the sun uncovers, all in fun,
a game they'll play all day till spring,
but autumn rarely fools around
and tries to keep the things it found.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

5 lines (prompt limit). Photo inspiration (bike partly covered with snow) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770557-Photo-Inspired---Max-5-Lines
Submitted: February 1, 2021

Lighting the Way

We'll light more lanterns
here tonight

although great winds
would snuff our flames

and nobody
might come our way.

Still, it's too dark.
Let's try.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Light brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771240-25-words-or-less---light---JmStorm-noguest
Submitted: January 31, 2021

Myths and Reality

What ageless myths outlive us all
becoming stuff of archetypes
or constellations
persistent symbols
verse and art
as truer tales
tear dreams

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (prompt limit).  Stories Last Forever brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771235-24-words-or-less---stories---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: January 31, 2021

The Uninvited Ones

Against the drapes, what shadows danced,
rich silhouettes of dresses, suits,
encircling, arms high and low,
as music spilled from window sills
and filled our chilled ears with a waltz
performed behind the great facade
where bracing columns framed the scene
and ivy lent a touch of green
while we rubbed hands, stamped frozen feet,
imagining such feasts within,
the clashing glasses, silverware,
the candlelight and chandeliers,
the roaring fires, roasts, and toasts,
the latest gossip and the boasts
of those who were invited there,
the ones with jewels and perfect hair,
and bright white teeth, and perfumes, furs,
and chauffeurs coaching limousines:
the ones observed inside that rite,
not us, outside, this winter night.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Happiness / Misery challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770227-Bartleby-Quote-Prompt
Submitted: January 31, 2021

The Whole Pictures

Possibly God
is sometimes
a Cubist

portraying us

all sides at once

and very few gather
what artworks
we are.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Beautiful Disaster brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771163-21-words-or-less---disaster---JmStorm-noguest
Submitted: January 30, 2021

False Narrative

It all traces back to tiny white lies
which swiftly expanded
some paragraphs more
to form a short story
and then a large novel
becoming a farcical world of its own
in which the narrator
(subverter turned villain)
started believing everything said
and when he was finished spinning tall tales
all of his readers would wander inside
a narrative conjured right out of hot air
convinced of his plot
forgetting their minds
now caught between pages
none could stop turning.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Lost in a World that Doesn't Exist challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771156-8-only-Prompt-Contest
Submitted: January 30, 2021

Alien Observer

Sporadically, it came to see
if humans learned from history
and found the peace a world should know
before it even thinks to go
and live upon a moon or Mars
or travel far among the stars.

"Such potential," it would say
whenever it flew out this way
and Earthlings seemed to move along
and be resolved to right the wrong.
But humans stumble, fail, retreat,
reverse our progress, drag our feet.

I wonder if it will return
and notice humans sort of learn
but have bad habits, fear of change,
and often hate the new or strange.

Perhaps if we could be more kind
it might be of a trusting mind
and lend some wisdom as a friend
so more among us may ascend.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

125 words (prompt limit).  Alien / sci-fi brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770818-Sci-fi-Alien-Brevity
Submitted: January 30, 2021



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt requirement).  Aftermath brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771131-Aftermath---In-10-words
Submitted: January 30, 2021

Love's Cosmology

Unparalleled, your brilliant universe:
among those wandering stars my thoughts traverse,
exploring wondrous worlds of your design,
unnumbered truths and beauties you define,
the yawning nebulas of dreams you weave
and certain constellations you believe,
which distant comets curve to light your eyes,
the whirling galaxies you energize,
the vastness of the gravities you bear
and weightless days you drift without a care.
Forgive this crude cosmology and find
my wish to tour your heart and soul and mind
intends to know what senses cannot say
so that my love sees deeper every day.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image (illuminated woman with stars on her back) inspiration prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2771027-Rhyming-Poetry
Submitted: January 29, 2021

Intimations of Potentiality

One hundred billion galaxies,
as many stars possessing worlds
where life might rise
as here on Earth
means anything is possible
if we begin to speculate
what such statistics intimate.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Nothing Too Wonderful to Be True brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770009-Economy-of-Words

Image credit (Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2014):
NASA / Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI):
Submitted: January 29, 2021

Effects of a Cause

Awareness, Risk:
no strangers here
among the dangers
framing fear
round Consequence's thousand eyes
where Anguish grins
Confusion spins
and Reason sighs.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Observation / Thinking / Danger brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770999-22-words-or-less---dangerous-noguest
Submitted: January 28, 2021


Lopsided box
flaps haggard
tape come undone
sides drenched with rain
once cautioned, "Fragile.
Handle with care."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 words (prompt limit).  Fragile brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770971-Brevity...-18-words-or-less
Submitted: January 27, 2021

Ballet Dancer

Your effortlessness,
not from ease

but countless hours
pounding floors

stressing ankles


straining muscles

honing balance


concealing pains
behind your face.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit).  Strength and Grace brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770929-27-words-or-less---grace---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: January 27, 2021

Flower Mnemonic

Perennials may reappear,
but annuals exist one year
and must set seed
so more succeed.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Flower brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770917-Brevity...-15-words-more-or-less
Submitted: January 27, 2021

Robots in Love

Our bond is Pi:

what perfect circles

no quotient
fractions can divide

to compute

to override.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770879-20-words-or-less---6294729-noguest
Submitted: January 26, 2021

Love's Accompaniment

This heart drums out a shallow beat,
deficient rhythms thin as bones,
until these evenings we may meet
and unrehearsed we improvise
piano whispers, songful sighs,
then feelings play their saxophones
and glances slow dance through the tune
which draws us close while eyelids croon
with silent lyrics we two dream
in this free jazz of love supreme.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Plato hearts / music / lovers quote inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770723-Quote-Prompt-Plato
Submitted: January 25, 2021

All Hands on Deck

Tumultuous, the ocean throws
a listing ship from wave to stew
where darkness swells and panic grows.
Then thunder stuns the shrunken crew.
They clutch at ropes or hopes and swear,
"The captain, he must get us there!"

- that island where they would retire
and share their tales beside the fire,
recounting swords that slashed at sails,
the cannonballs, the sharks and whales,
the pirates, mermaids undersea,
rare treasures lost to mutiny.

As lightning gives a glimpse of death,
the sailors gasp with famished breath
while water crashes bow and stern
and threatens wreckage when they turn
against the captain at this hour
- that stalwart soul, forever dour -

who helms the wheel, barks commands,
and summons all surviving hands
to save this ship, and fast, or leave.
They batten hatches, scramble, heave,
and stand united through the night
to not go down without a fight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

148 words.  Into the Darkness challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770742-into-the-darkness---beautiful-words-for-ins

For LNP: I will need a reader.  Blanket per. should be on file.
Submitted: January 25, 2021

Sleight of Hand

A magic wand, the second hand
turns midnight into morning time
or makes days disappear.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Morning brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770773-Brevity...-15-words-more-or-less
Submitted: January 24, 2021

Hidden in Plain Sight

Most secrets of the universe
stand up before our very eyes
and wave with both hands every day
in hopes someone may look their way.

But few among us lean to see
so closely as to realize
those meanings leaping from each leaf
or where a stone provokes belief,

or how the howling mountain sings,
or why these trees wear many rings,
what fireflies imply tonight,
or whom the moon cues with its light.

More curious we'll need to be
to simply listen to the sea,
attend the rivers' poetry,
and savor nature's symphony.

The declarations signed by stars,
the caveats of Venus, Mars,
the wisdom which a prism gives,
the histories of all that lives,

the eloquence of butterflies,
the social ants that colonize,
the octopus embracing change,
and crystal atoms that arrange:

bold messages sent everywhere
with tempting questions, if we dare
to sit beside a fading rose
and humbly ask it what it knows.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Newton Asking Why the Apple Fell inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769587-Apple-Falling_Newton---Late-Nights-with-The

For LNP radio show: I will need a reader.  Blanket per. should be on file.
Submitted: January 24, 2021

Beginnings from an End

Exhausting fuel,
an old star
out of life
because the crush
of gravity
cannot contain
what must erupt
yet shall sustain
the most essential elements
composing most developments
of worlds and every thing between:

an ending very few have seen
yet anyone can celebrate
because of what it could create.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 lines (prompt limit).  Something Horrendous as the Best Thing Ever brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770686-Opposites--short-poem-

Poem inspired by the stellar process of a supernova:



Submitted: January 24, 2021

Beware the Winds

The breeze that brings fresh air for breath
conspires with both time and death
to quicken droughts while structures rust
or expedite decay and dust.

Wind slips through windows, chips at stones,
will wear down mountains, chill the bones,
or loot the land of last year's leaves
to prove it is a thief of thieves

then plunders footprints, sound, or fire,
the light, your warmth, the kite and wire,
or comes to take your breath away.
Beware the gusts that rush today.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Things Lost to the Wind challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769593-Of-Those-Things-Lost-To-The-Wind...Youth---
Submitted: January 23, 2021

Pas de Deux

A dancer glances past her song

steps back in time
to where he turns
to catch her
once she leaps too long

and slips

then rhythms help discern
this duet moves beyond routine
orchestrating warmth unseen
till now
when music leaves the hall
yet hearts keep dancing

after all.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo prompt challenge - link:

More about "pas de deux":

Submitted: January 23, 2021

On Hearing the Poet Amanda Gorman at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration

The Voice of Truth was yours that crucial hour
reverberating round our clouded world
with necessary eloquence and power
to drive the dire silence from the air
where speechlessness shook all our ears
with shouts and doubting, crowds impelled by fears,
which left us many questions: what comes next
when Liberty stands lost for words, perplexed?

What good would come from cowardice or hate,
inaction, malcontent? And what was great
about despair, division, pride, or lies?

Have we forgotten, or will we memorize
the hallowed truths once dubbed "self-evident,"
ensuring freedoms, even peaceable dissent?

Your answers - see and be the lights
and merging mercy, might with lefts and rights -
demands we task ourselves to quest above
unsettling dust, despondence, reach for love
and justice that is just for all, not one.

Then more of us - "e pluribus" - must run
unbound (with none among our dead in vain)
to govern of and by and for the reign
of nation, not of party, pay, or birth,
lest this republic perish from the earth.

May many mind your measured verse tonight
- that poetry compassion dares to write
when, in the course of inhumane events,
mere syllables may ease impediments
between the bruises senses fail to feel
and points too many claim to be unreal.

If I might speak, please,
let us heal.

Please let us bow our heads
or kneel.

Please let us pray to save all souls,
become more whole,
more in control
of self
of thoughts

of what we feel

flow clear as water


wake eyes like wide bright summer skies

to see the dawn
these stars
the stripes

that banner still there


- recurring forms and figures found
between the graves and battleground,
among past chapters left unread,
in future news, old myths unsaid,
or through our streaming screens and phones
or actors, artists
tones and stones -

that we may glean from history
more wisdom


discern old patterns that return,
averting errors where we learn.

And please, God, bless democracy.
Protect it ever.

Keep it free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo prompt (photo of Amanda Gorman) inspiration challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770523-Photo-Prompt

Learn more about Amanda Gorman and her Inaugural Poem "The Hill We Climb":






Submitted: January 23, 2021

At the Intersection

Four aimless eyes coast through the crowd,
and, intersecting at a glance,
blink and signal subtle smiles,
accelerating hearts for miles.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

4 lines (prompt requirement).  Brief Encounters brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770526-Brief-Encounters
Submitted: January 22, 2021

Extraordinary Truths

The fourteen billion years elapsed
  since atoms shattered emptiness
    igniting stars and galaxies
      with elemental energies
shall not be wasted here tonight
  nor fall toward mediocrity
    beneath the grief of gravity.

Let's leave our sleep and wake to see
  the grandeur of cosmology

the reasons things gain force and mass
  in orbits that may crash or pass

how space and time define but part
  of where death ends or when souls start
    prospecting heavens past a prayer.

Come peer beyond this cosmic glare:

our universe of cyclic births
  of untold worlds and rarer Earths
    and black holes which devour light
      still teems with secrets lost on sight

- extraordinary truths to know
  when thoughts like rockets freely go
    toward weightlessness, escaping speeds,
      exploring how all life proceeds.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Not Waking Up to Be Mediocre challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770419-I-did-not-wake-up-to-be-mediocre-
Submitted: January 21, 2021


Snow hid the shovels
we forgot to take inside.
Now we dig by hand.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Weather haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770414-Weather-haiku
Submitted: January 20, 2021

On Calmness and Storms

Just think: it's worse on Jupiter
where tempests torment centuries
with restlessly ferocious skies
and hurricanes wear crimson eyes.

Here, the rainbows bring relief
and represent an end of grief.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Rain / Rainbow brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770273-Brevity---30-words
Submitted: January 19, 2021


In winter's grip, whole forests froze
while silence seized the icy nights
except where one persistent rose
resisted death and lesser frights,
enduring seasons as they passed
and finding ways to live and last.

Some read of it in books of old
or dreamt of it in fleeting spring
then searched for it once days turned cold.

Now they would do most anything
and brave the most forbidding lands
to grasp it in their withered hands,
divine its secrets to survive,
survey its purpose, or derive
some wisdom and tenacity
to slip from time and thrive as free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

98 words. Image (woman kneeling, holding a red rose in a dark, dead forest) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770290-Write-to-Image---8-Only-
Submitted: January 18, 2021

The Firsts

someone once said.


"He'll be dead."

Another yelled,


And we, The Firsts,
endured much worse


along our course
toward history.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words (prompt limit).  Impossible brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770254-29-words-or-less---I-m-possible---AUDREY-HE-noguest
Submitted: January 18, 2021

Pygmalion Begins to Sculpt

Somewhere in the stone, you're there
you masterpiece of flowing hair

the face of ages futures see
escape the rage of history

the striking eyes of virtue, verve
and grace embraced in every curve

assuring arms accepting all,
your solid stance too strong to fall

those open hands to grasp our hearts
and make love such immortal art

as perfect as the gods consent:
the beauty nothing shall prevent.

With every pass, your form comes true.
We never met, yet I love you.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Sculpture challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770224-I-Just-Chipped-Away-the-Stone

Inspired by the mythological story of Pygmalion and Galatea:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmalion_ (mythology)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galatea_ (mythology)
Submitted: January 18, 2021


They mold your mind before your youth,
before you can discern the truth,
and feed you thoughts throughout the day
to shape beliefs and what you say
so notions, motions - every word -
become the things they most preferred.

Now how to cleanse a brainwashed mind?
What soap exists which we might find
to purify the lies that skew
and disinfect the tainted view?

Let's bathe the brain in questions, then,
ask who, what, where, and why or when,
and wash away gray stains of doubt
and rinse all foul persuasions out
until your reason's free and clear
of prejudice, deceit, and fear.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Image (two children wearing hats with wires on their heads) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769913-Fantasy-984
Submitted: January 18, 2021


Though silver, gold, and diamonds gleam
and precious gems may raise esteem,
the highest wealth life's ledgers see
recounts the love we give for free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Treasure brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770223-Brevity---in-25-words-or-less

Inspired by the pricelessness of unconditional love.
Submitted: January 18, 2021

A Portrait of the Portrait as a Mirror

The portrait morphs toward looking glass
reflecting on the unseen hand
before the canvas


awaiting instinct


transfixed by notions
clutching brushes
steeped in dreams

then fluency

as liquid visions

drift to semblance beyond place

past abstraction
paint a face

which may be yours
or mine.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt limit).  Abstract Art / Face brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770111-Abstract-Art-Series--16
Submitted: January 17, 2021


Incomparable geometries

each piece
endowing qualities:

these rich mosaics
we design
seem partial

prime to be aligned

and yet

what beauties fuse with sight
when we decide to reunite.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words (prompt limit).  Broken / wholeness brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770102-29-words-or-less---whole---Christy-Ann-Mart-noguest
Submitted: January 17, 2021

In a Heartbeat

Each breath and step
draws toward or from
one love that might
be realized
before the stillness
or more silence
fills a heart
between two throbs.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (27 the prompt limit).  Love or Go brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770089-27-words-or-less---on---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: January 16, 2021

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

You heard the call within a call
then left behind a life of ease
to tend to those about to fall
toward destitution and disease,

compassion, faith, enduring hope
your armaments in that good fight,
empowering the weak to cope
and blinded eyes to know the light

while struggling along your way
to meet the madness of the day
and know the godliness you taught
when night would leave the soul distraught.

Awards and sainthood frame your name.
How you achieved enduring fame:
though kindness, caring, meeting needs.
May we learn more from all your deeds.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Women Who Changed the World challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769071-Women-who-changed-the-world

More about Saint Teresa:



Submitted: January 16, 2021

Love Being Timeless

Chronology can't interfere:
this romance matters more
than years.

The longest hours
where adoration perseveres.

what days have passed.

Love's memories shall outlast

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (prompt limit). Times in Love brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770086-26-words-or-less---remember---Francois-Maur-noguest
Submitted: January 16, 2021


Expect me not to think like you
nor act exactly
as you do.

Assuredly, anticipate
I cannot

No echoing or mockery:

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (prompt limit).  Living life your way brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769968-24-words-or-less---expect---Chris-Guillebea-noguest
Submitted: January 15, 2021


An old tree leans above the snow
positioned like a fountain pen
touching on a bright blank page
about to set down history.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (prompt limit).  Pen and Paper brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2770062-Brevity...-23-words-or-less-
Submitted: January 15, 2021

Tree of Dreams

Each branch a chance
where dreams may pass
toward budding hopes
florescent dreams
sunlight streams
beyond the woods
where reason feeds.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit).  Dreams alive brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769940-27-words-or-less---dream---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: January 15, 2021

Making the Difference

Because the wind grew just enough
to nudge one small gray stone

no avalanche

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (18 the prompt limit).  Because brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769916-Brevity---in-18-words-more-or-less
Submitted: January 14, 2021

Kingdom Come

Abandoned palace, vast expanse,
old bridges since collapsed by time:
a haunted scene of former glory
embodying another story.

Our kingdom rises past the sky
with lasting paths forever nigh.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Image (old castle in distance, unreachable) brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769884-Brevity-Image-Prompt--493-
Submitted: January 14, 2021

Newborn Worlds

Emerging from their dusty shells,
three early worlds crawl toward the light
like sea turtles born on a beach:
the universe within their reach
if only they survive the night.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Space image (planets near a nebula) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769862-Anything-Space-Contest-
Submitted: January 13, 2021

Aesthetes of the Unseen

Who sees beyond all rose petals,
    seeks splendor in the thorns and dirt,
    creates bouquets from faded blooms,
    or eulogizes empty stems:
your sense of beauty saves us all.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words (prompt limit).  Seeing Beauty brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769798-29-words-or-less---alone---Johann-Wolfgang--noguest
Submitted: January 13, 2021

Looking into Magritte?s 'False Mirror'

Large oil painting:
endless eye

surpassing frames
reflecting sky:

its pupil looms
as viewers move

their captive shadows
trapped by light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Eye Shadow brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769839-Brevity...-21-words-or-less-

Poem inspired by Rene Magritte's surreal oil painting known as "The False Mirror":


Submitted: January 13, 2021

Aeolian Dances

Across the halls in summertime
each breeze brought choreography
and curtains whirled in fervent dance
as if within a musical
where every moment welcomed song.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Curtains Micro Story challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769612-25-word-Micro-Story---Curtains
Submitted: January 13, 2021


found between extremes
interrogates exclusive truths.


something uttermost
beyond being diagnosed

because it is
so right or wrong.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Gray brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769766-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: January 12, 2021


No ocean hopes
to slow the moon.

No mountains think
to stay the sky.

No star defies
the rest of space.

So I must flow
and know my place.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words (prompt limit).  Not Forcing Things brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769709-29-words-or-less---force--noguest
Submitted: January 11, 2021

Not Dorothy

Her name is far from Dorothy
although she cannot help but feel
they share some sort of kinship here
when yet another storm appears
and twists in fits
around the the farm
in bursting
dust and rain
revolving skies
and she
will wish
to be

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 lines.  Image (woman with windblown hair in a stormy scene) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769653-8-only---------write-what-inspires

Poem partly inspired by the character of Dorothy from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum
Submitted: January 11, 2021

A Butterfly Speaks of Symmetry

Designs entwined inside my wings
relate with sacred symmetries
recurring through this universe
of intricate geometries

like echoes of eternity
reverberating fractal light
as chaos masks the ordering
and balances unite.

Aligned with beauty, truth, and grace,
I find my axis, time through space,
though patterned, purposed, timeless, free,
one mirror of infinity

perpetuating shapes unbound
assembling endless forms to be
beyond expressions of a self
reflecting cosmos, you, and me.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Butterfly wings challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769564-393_Shutter-Button_Poetry
Submitted: January 10, 2021

Looking at Old Photographs

Old photos show
our younger selves:

how we smiled
and posed

in carefree days

outdated clothes.

So simple,
back then



far from history.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit).  Back Then brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769536-Brevity...-27-words-or-less-
Submitted: January 9, 2021

Peace Entreaty

May peace be present
on our way

in all we wish or do
or say

whatever one believes
or feels.

Pray loving comes as truth

and peace prevails through
anguished hours

so hatred cannot shape
our powers.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

38 words (prompt limit).  Peace brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769493-38-words-or-less---wish-noguest
Submitted: January 9, 2021


Perchance the answer is not here
inside my room or in this mind.

Perhaps the only way I'll find
the answer is to go outside
where all the other questions hide.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

5 lines (prompt limit).  Image (person sitting, looking out window pensively) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769432-Art-Inspired---Max-5-Lines
Submitted: January 8, 2021

At the Call Center of Attention

Your call may be
as the menu options change
(for quality assurances)
and every representative
assisting other customers
(dialing zero anytime)
continues waiting
for the message
to repeat again.
Thank you,
and goodbye.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

36 words (prompt requirement).  Phone brevity challenge prompt - link:
Submitted: January 8, 2021

Butterfly Effector

Although I may be small and slight,
the gentlest pressure from my wings
will influence the wind and things
invisible outside my sight.
This humbles me with every flight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words (prompt limit).  Gandhi inspiration / shaking the world gently brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769417-29-words-or-less---shake---Mahatma-Gandhi-noguest
Submitted: January 7, 2021

Storyteller Stars

The evening sky, our storybook
so gently held by wispy clouds,
now shines with bright mythology
when stars recite their timeless tales.

See constellations come alive
as beasts and heroes take their shapes
above the snowy evergreens
and moonlit mountains fast asleep:

one soaring horse, the Pegasus,
now overflying Perseus,
who rescued fair Andromeda
from Cetus, serpent of the sea.

The Dragon passes Hercules
of legendary strength and quests,

the many-headed Hydra, left
beneath the clawing Scorpion.

Below, the Lion and the Bull.
Orion, archer, starts to pull.

And there the Goat and Twins aglow
as Cygnus (Swan) begins to show.

Adventures fill and thrill each night
once eyes will find them in the light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

115 words.  Winter Starry Night challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768951-Winter-Starry-Night
Submitted: January 7, 2021

Atlas of Dreaming

You show me maps
that Reason drafted
centuries ago.

The destinations
we must reach
exceed coordinates.

My friends, we need
that atlas Dreams
has never yet designed!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit).  Einstein / logic / imagination inspiration brevity challenge prompt - link:
Submitted: January 6, 2021

Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights
ignite the skies
with neon dance
induced by rhythms
drummed out
by the sun.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 words (prompt limit).  North brevity challenge prompt - link:
Submitted: January 6, 2021

At the Nursing Home

Among distraught or searching eyes
(while memories congest or ease)
the slightest smile
like a nurse
administers swift remedies
which last for minutes or till noon
and never comes again too soon.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Just Smile / smiles meeting someone's eyes brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769307-Just-Smile
Submitted: January 6, 2021

Ursa Major

The Great Bear shrugs off the shadowy forest,
yawns as she marches past mountainy peaks
(completely ignoring two lions roaring),
then plods out of night
with stars in
her eyes.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Bear brevity challenge prompt - link:

Poem inspired by the constellation of Ursa Major passing overhead through the evening sky:


which is near Leo and Leo Minor (the two lions roaring)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_ (constellation)

Submitted: January 5, 2021

Mint Conditional

Comic books
in cellophane

action figures
stuck on cards

postage unmailed
albums unplayed
coinage never spendable:

unusable collectibles.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 words (prompt limit).  Mint brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769256-Brevity...-18-words-more-or-less-
Submitted: January 5, 2021

Unspoken Word Performance

Up by the open microphone
Silenced gets its chance to speak
and reads its poem "Censorship."

The theater hums
with what's unsaid

words unread

as emptiness
fills every head.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Silence brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769213-Contest--30-words-or-less--8-Poets-only
Submitted: January 4, 2021

Omnia Vincit Amor

The remnants of empires
and castles abandoned
said little of power

unlike those roses
between collapsed pillars

and one deeply carved heart
where soldiers once marched.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (prompt limit).  Power of Love brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769178-26-words-or-less---power-of-love---Mahatma--noguest
Submitted: January 4, 2021

At the Last Page

It was the classic fairytale ending,
one roundly disparaged by pitiless critics,
though something one reader's requiring most
at this especially merciless hour.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (prompt limit).  Happily Ever After brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769200-Brevity...-23-words-or-less-
Submitted: January 4, 2021


Waiting calmly by a window
in the orphanage of ideas,
ever hopeful adoption is soon,
Unconditional Peace dreams.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 words (prompt limit).  Orphanage brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769199-Brevity...-18-words-more-or-less-
Submitted: January 4, 2021


For all my misfortunes, I probably cried
a puddle or bucket at most in my life.
How much of that sadness would give us a river?

Equations could certainly settle the question,
but is this an answer math should provide?
The volume of sorrow surpasses all depth.

I sense someone out there has already tried
and estimates twenty-one trillion lamenters
weeping at least for three million years.

I'd put it more simply: too many tears.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image (eye crying in sky into water) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769166-Image-prompt-big-points-
Submitted: January 3, 2021

Galaxies of Thoughts

Some scientific study claims
the universe resembles brains.

This rather makes much sense to me
because we breathe


created not apart from space
but born of starlight.

Minds embrace

alive with dreaming, knowledge sought
as galaxies become a thought.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

40 words (prompt limit).  Universe brevity challenge prompt - link:


Some articles related to the study mentioned in the poem:



Submitted: January 3, 2021


The song you are composes me
in measures moved beyond all keys:

slow overtures
as strains arise

soft arias
of inward sighs

piano hands that dance and sway
as feelings lead their sweet ballet.

Such nocturnes
in one burning touch.

Unspoken lyrics
say so much.

Each sense attends its symphony.
Impulses ring with rhapsody.

The instants
jazz we improvise.

Duet of spirits

Our eyes perform a string quartet.
Their serenade shall not end yet.

Conductor, Love
cues every part.

You're instrumental
in this heart.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

A Song for You challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769118-A-song-for-You
Submitted: January 3, 2021


the journey moves anew.

Behind us,
what we struggled through:

let's learn from it
and bring the best.

Forgiving sins,
release the rest.

Embark enthusiastically
on farther possibilities!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words (prompt limit).  Starting Today brevity challenge prompt - link:https://allpoetry.com/contest/ 2769081-29-words-or-less---starting -today-noguest
Submitted: January 2, 2021


Detained in chains designed by hours,
I barely budged. It shackles powers,
our captor, Time, which bound me there
in restlessness, impatience, fear,
anxieties of being late
and watching clocks count down my fate,
electric shocks of minutes gone,
as drum rolls note the denouement.

Blindfolded, weary, famished, beat,
I puzzled, muzzled, near defeat
and watched the marching second hand.
I stilled my mind to understand
what tells the future from the past
or makes the present fast or last
or gives the year authority.
The answer? Me. And now I'm free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Prompt Three ("time held me").  Dylan Thomas theme inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768971-do-not-go-gentle-into-that-good-...---After
Submitted: January 2, 2021


What motivates you
down this path?

Suggestion? Wonder?
Fortune? Wrath?

Detachment? Love?
Renown? Delight?

Delusion? Peace?
No goal in sight?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Image (person walking down path) inspiration brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2769031-Brevity-Image-Prompt--489-
Submitted: January 1, 2021

Sacred Flight

What endless steps and ramps were raised
by those who hoped to cross the gates
between this globe
and paradise.

Then escalators, elevators
charging through the sky

propellers, jets, and rocketry
all following to fly.

Some strained for stars,
held moon in hands.

Most never found their promised lands

so technical yet unawares
that scaling heaven's hidden stairs
was not a worldly quest

ascension only possible
when mortal thoughts divest
all trappings of their earthly ways
and journey as a soul.

To find this way, you lose the world.
Relinquish false control.

Become one with the universe,
the weightless peace of light

transcending everything once known
to scale the sacred flight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

111 words.  Stairway to Heaven challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768475--Stairway-To-Heaven---LNP-Radio-Rhythm---Rh

Rights granted to read on LNP radio show.  I would need a reader.
Submitted: January 1, 2021

Dreaming the Luminous

A dismal land cries out for light,
and so we vow throughout this night
to see beyond forsaken skies,

conceive of sunshine, hopeful eyes,
receding clouds, succeeding rays,
the radiance of warmer days,

illumination ranging far,
a chance to know just where we are
and find those things we lost once more.

As shadows lapse and dreamers soar,
embrace this brilliance. Start to feel
that we could make this vision real.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

71 words.  Image inspiration (dark cloudy skies, bright sun, person reaching up to the skies) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768970-Write-to-Image---8-Only-
Submitted: December 31, 2020

In No Time

Facades of progress,

What happens when
clocks fade

Where does
any hour

And how should
any second

For now, we keep
a timepiece

and rush amuck
the fleeting

but there will come

when time no longer
has a

as minds embrace
an ageless

devoid of minutes,

Envision this:
to see and

beyond all moments
real and

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image (giant clock in ocean, fading away) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768564-Pic-Prompt
Submitted: December 31, 2020


I do not miss your agonies
or nameless nurses whispering

or cryptic screens that blare to life

disrupted dining
sleepless nights
while someone scours for a vein.

I do not miss the sounds of pain

high straining cries
exhausted sighs

depleted groans
remorseful moans

the subtle cursing in your breath
or euphemistic talk of death.

I miss no charts left by your side
those codes
that left us

I miss none of the sterile smells

the barren rooms
unanswered bells

the cotton swabs dropped on the floors
the frantic prayers
for higher scores.

Don't think I do not think of you.

It's that I miss not missing you
the way things were
when all was well
and how we'd run
before you fell.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Missing You challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768927-Much-at-All
Submitted: December 31, 2020


As she grips it
above inscriptions long unread
her squinting eyes
begin to smile.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Glass brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768936-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: December 31, 2020

Time Scales

On Earth
  some seasons feel like years.

In space
  an age fades fast as breath.

Each moment measures
   life and death



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  A Thousand Years brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768847-Brevity---in-25-words-or-less
Submitted: December 30, 2020


You stole
    the best
    except my soul
    the rest
    yet I am whole
    all your


With victory
    comes clarity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (23 the prompt limit).  2020 / year brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768793-23-words-or-less---this-year-noguest
Submitted: December 29, 2020

What the Clockmaker Said

It tocks whenever
you would tick?

Perhaps some gear
begins to stick.

I could repair this
for a cost.

Concerning any hours lost:
don't ever live by clocks.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  Timing brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768727-28-words-or-less---timing---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: December 28, 2020


For all its astral radiance,
no flower claims
to be a star

cosmic gardens in the sky
may bloom as bright on any night.

unto heights.

like petals
spreading lights.

Another rose
unfolds, ablaze.

Whole galaxies
become bouquets.

Such floral glories to behold
and stellar stories to be told.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image (flower like a star) inspiration prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768278--359_Shutter-Button_Poetry
Submitted: December 28, 2020

Control Room

Their floor plan
disregarded doors:

who should enter
such a room

or exit
once inside?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Floor brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768693-Brevity---in-15-words-more-or-less
Submitted: December 28, 2020

Generational Flames

The sparks that raised
     the first few flames

          illuminating ancient caves

     and broiled portions
          warming bones

     (could cauterize or mesmerize

     or foster torches
          clutched through night

     or deepen dangers of a fight)

now kindle thoughts to touch the stars
     and spread beyond the sun or Mars

     to bring concealed worlds to light

     and move dark matters
          into sight.

Ancestral yearning burns again:
     awaken to inquire.

The coolness of lucidity
     elicits and inspires.

Tread bravely through the raging truths
     and step outside desire.

Enlightenment awaits within:
     then you shall be the fire.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image inspiration (prehistoric humans with torches, explorers, astronauts in space) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768565-Picture-Prompt
Submitted: December 27, 2020

Cosmic Contract

The cosmos keeps
its promises:

unspoken contracts
stars have signed

ensuring laws
hold all aligned.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Promise brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768619-In-15-words-more-or-less
Submitted: December 27, 2020

String Quartet

The cello moaned.

Viola cried
as violins intensified

together voicing

as I began

to reassess
my life.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 words (prompt limit).  String brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768618-Brevity---in-18-words-more-or-less
Submitted: December 27, 2020


All courses forth: clouds
to mountains, falls to rivers,
oceans into skies.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Haiku image inspiration (waterfalls, flowing water) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768569-Haiku-image-prompt-6
Submitted: December 26, 2020


I had
the sea,
one time
a lighthouse
turned to me,
its mighty ray
reversing night
as it proclaimed,
"Become as bright!"

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words.  Darkness and light brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768580-27-words-or-less---next-step---John-Mark-Gr-noguest
Submitted: December 26, 2020


You brought me back,
your souvenir.

ebbing evenings

I resurrect a memory:

that sweetest week
beside the sea
you decided
to drift

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Change inspiration brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768582-25-words-or-less---change-noguest
Submitted: December 26, 2020


Delay with me.
We just arrived!

Let memory
absorb the scene

before we start
our time machine.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (prompt limit).  Before I Go brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768550-In-17-words-more-or-less-
Submitted: December 26, 2020


Uncommon hospitality.

rarely shelter, place.

Often nowhere
but your face:

accepting eyes
which welcome me.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 words (prompt limit).  Home brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768552-In-16-words-more-or-less-
Submitted: December 26, 2020


The blizzard stole off with our sense
and hid all hints of difference
so no distinctions should be found
between the slopes and level ground.

No path turns homeward over hills,
and roads show nowhere as the chills
make clouds of every breath we take
while we slog by the frozen lake.

Then, narrow arrows through the night:
three evergreens reach toward the light
of constellations coming clear
to orient us out of here.

Orion, hunter from the east,
seems to point a way, at least.
Then other signs direct our eyes.
The more we seek, we recognize.

Was nature ever much a guide,
at first disclosing, then to hide
the landmarks and those things we need
in order that we might proceed?

Perhaps tonight it makes amends.
A storm has passed, and now we're friends,
or partners working to survive.
I thank the stars we're still alive.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image inspiration (snowy evergreens before an evening sky full of stars) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768507-8-poets-write-to-prompt
Submitted: December 25, 2020

The Perfect Gift

No bows or ribbons,
wraps or tags

no ornamental cards
or bags:

what we exchange
comes from above:

the perfect gift
of sacred love.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Christmas image inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768020-Picture-Prompt
Submitted: December 25, 2020

4:04 am

Though dreams defer us

and wakefulness may

another morning
offers light

to shepherd aimless

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (the prompt limit).  Before the Dawn brevity prompt challenge link - https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768434-In-17-words-more-or-less-
Submitted: December 24, 2020


It was a rainy day
umbrellas treasured most;

after storms,
their worst of times:

feeling so unnecessary.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (prompt limit).  After the Rain brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768433-In-17-words-more-or-less-
Submitted: December 23, 2020

Questions of the Ancient Steps

Half-repossessed by urgent earth
converging on their estranged case,
those stone stairs slowly take their flight
and vanish deep in underbrush,
where reasons for such ancient steps
escape our knowledge of the past.

How monuments obscure so fast:
so grand one year, then dust the next.
We dig for clues, remain perplexed.

Who dropped such rocks without a trace?
Where did they lead, if any place?

The causes we may never know.

Or does our answer
lie below?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image (old rock stairs enshrouded in a forest) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768363-366_Shutter-Button_Poetry
Submitted: December 23, 2020


We wade through rippling pools of light
inside the fountains
of our sight.

Your clarities flow over me
cleansing senses fraught
with fright

as my attentions shower you
with streaming thoughts
of pure delight.

These surging currents
burgeon bright.

Baptismal visions
give this rite

a sense of rebirth
and of flight

as we pour forth
our souls tonight

in love and
to unite.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

The Fountain challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768336-The-Fountain
Submitted: December 23, 2020

The Shortest War

Three thousand lies
lose to one truth.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

7 words (prompt limit).  Victory of Knowledge brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768305-The-Victory-Of-Knowledge-
Submitted: December 21, 2020

The Wandering Guitarist

Acoustic strapped across my back,
   I've wandered far
      with this guitar.

Just broke two strings from strumming hard.
   Still, fingers glide
      past broken chords

those old notes muscles memorized
   by callouses
      and bloodshot eyes.

Then, silence was my briefest rest
   between the encores
      and requests.

"Another ballad, slow and sad,"
   they'd want from me.
      That made me glad.

Wherever people need a song
   now there's the place
      I most belong.
Commiserate and serenade
   before the stage lights
      fade to black.

I always play through to the end.
   That's all that you can do,
      my friend.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

What in the World prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768248-What-in-the-World
Submitted: December 21, 2020

Mind Like an Art Museum






View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt limit).  Beauty of Mind brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768232-The-Beauty-of-Mind
Submitted: December 21, 2020

Cosmic Love Story

When matter scattered into night
and burst alive with starry light
upon the dawn of time and space,
we were predestined to embrace

but planets had to form and spin
and galaxies would yet begin
some billion brilliant years away,
preparing us for love today:

two soul mates of eternity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt requirement).  Soul Mate brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768173-50-words-Brevity--SOULMATE
Submitted: December 20, 2020

Perpetual Metamorphosis

I constantly consider change

what was
or is

Such transformations:

and me.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Constantly brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768184-In-15-words-more-or-less
Submitted: December 20, 2020

Why Now

too many clocks have stopped
since anyone stepped forth to speak.

Why wait
a year
a month
a week?

only compounds costs
of every precious hour lost.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words (prompt limit).  Why Now brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768199-Brevity-for-all--29-Words-or-less-why-now
Submitted: December 20, 2020

Sense and Sensitivity

One star
seems to glow


until the eyes
adapt to night:

then constellations
come to light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (prompt limit).  All Alone brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768183-In-17-words-more-or-less-
Submitted: December 20, 2020


Tumbling crumbled chunk of world
that never came to be so far
plows silently through vacant space
for untold years
until the day
or ends
an age.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Anything Other Than Things in Our World prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767550-To-infinity-and-beyond
Submitted: December 19, 2020

Bouquet of Thorns

Those roses
(though wrapped up in
soft tissue paper)

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words.  Thorns brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768176-In-15-words-more-or-less
Submitted: December 19, 2020


Steal beams of industries
stand squarely on the backs of bees
and organisms rarely seen.

From ants to whales and butterflies,
each life depends upon these lives
and everything conceived between.

High ignorance invites the fall:
endanger one, imperil all.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

40 words.  Image inspiration (devastation, planets, a white bird) brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768086-Brevity-Image-Prompt--488-
Submitted: December 19, 2020


As bleary theory grasps the class,
a physicist defines the mass.

His fervent sermon starts with light,
conceiving space in timeless night,
then leads disciples in a song:

how Ptolemy was wrong so long,
from primal myths in torchlit caves
through galaxies, detected waves.

Empirically, my mind agrees
with whatsoever science sees
and most conjectures evidenced.

But still, I have this haunting sense
so much escapes our knowing now,
despite confirming where and how
the laws of nature legislate.

And, at that point, I hesitate
to claim we could observe the whole.
I leave in peace in search of soul.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

100 words (prompt limit).  Carl Sagan / Universe As It Is inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767347-Quote-Prompt-4

Poem also partly inspired by Walt Whitman's classic poem "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer":

Submitted: December 18, 2020


However bolts no longer hold,
wherever glue should lose the bond,
whenever rust turns nails to dust,
we must protect togetherness.

Throughout every fractured glass,
the shattered mirrors of the past,
and deep divisions in our day,
remain beside me anyway
and let us be togetherness.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

46 words (prompt limit).  Brokenness / mending / unconditional love brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767980-46-words-or-less---intention---L.R.Knost-noguest
Submitted: December 17, 2020


Her signature skids

abandons dots,
the uncrossed T

yet signifies authority
expecting full respect.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Hands theme brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768040-In-15-words-more-or-less
Submitted: December 17, 2020

The Marionette to the Puppeteer

You tug my wires.
I don't budge.

You loom above me,
fuss and nudge.

You straighten me,
but I can't stay.

I slump and tumble,
don't obey.

You think,
"Defective. Needs repair,"

then situate me
in a chair.

I cannot wait
to see your eyes

when finally
I will arise

and demonstrate

and take back
all control of me.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

60 words.  Marionette challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2768015-brevity-prompt
Submitted: December 17, 2020


Eternal circles raveled free:
their mystical geometry
invites reflection

sacred sight.

Untangled angles
pattern light

revealing orders


by degrees

then lotus
galactic bloom

the universe inside this room
entrusting truths


when meditation
lets me see.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

40 words (prompt limit).  Image inspiration (meditative face surrounded by patterns) brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767932-Brevity-Image-Prompt--487-
Submitted: December 17, 2020


Between long conflicts and swift bliss,
a flash of insight like a kiss

that sparks an artist to amaze
and seek new beauty through the haze

where clarity and wisdom wait
with peace beyond the fog of hate:

allow no fear to seize control.
Be brave in matter, mind, and soul.

Deflect the dazzling of eyes
and look above the blinding lies.

Accepting truth, proceed. Be free
of influence, conspiracy.

Let go of fury, sorrow, strife.
Inhale the oxygen of life!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

14 lines.  Wisdom / Breath prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767891-Breath
Submitted: December 16, 2020


At this station, nothing stays.
Everything runs other ways:

the tracks and cars,
the passengers
aboard with luggage

then the blurs

the motion, smoke,
our kiss goodbye
as others also start to cry.

I see you leave and try to smile
as memory gives into mile.




never done

until that last train
chugs away

as I must go

though not today.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Changes / Goodbyes prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767842-everything-is-changing
Submitted: December 16, 2020

What Must Be

The preferential

least things wanted
happen first

then expectations
dread the worst

though causes alter
unnumbered scenes
nobody sees.

lends destiny


everything extant
must be.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Meant to Be brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767860-30-words-or-less---meant-to-be-noguest
Submitted: December 15, 2020

Right Ascension

Another seeker sifts through clouds at night,
eclipsing visions in her nervous search
for perfect answers past astronomy.

One wonders what she strains to find
if not the starlight in her mind.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

5 lines (prompt requirement).  Image prompt (silhouette of person staring up at the nighttime sky) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767344-Photo-Prompt---max-5-lines
Submitted: December 14, 2020


Whenever grave days pull you down,
I'll lift you up and be your clown,

amusing shoes, red nose, and all.
Banana peels: watch me fall!

I'll honk my horn, inflate balloons,
make silly noises, sing you tunes,

pull rubber chickens from a hat,
and spin into an acrobat,

or find a flower in your ear
to make those worries disappear

- whatever I must do to see
you smile once again at me.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines / rhyming couplets form.  Goodbye to Gravity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767766-Good-Bye-to-Gravity---Any-poetic-form---Rod-noguest
Submitted: December 14, 2020


You cannot be
the Mirror Me

for no two live

and yet

you do reflect
in kind:

your thoughts
so often
twin my mind.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Not expecting (to find/see) yourself in others brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767658-25-words-or-less---YOU-noguest
Submitted: December 13, 2020

Seaborne Song

As lyrics lilt between her waves,
the ocean sings fantastic tales
of underwater gold and graves,
true pirate ships and mythic whales.

Regard her closely as she hums
and musters up another verse
when heavens glow and midnight comes:
see every last cloud does disperse.

The stars attend, with you and me,
this strange duet of moon and sea
recounting mermaids long ago,
explorers lost, old boats too slow,

fast captains trapped in mutinies,
mad sailors capsized, siren dreams,
those stowaways nobody sees,
such unmet depths beneath what seems.

Now currents surge with fabled fish
and dawn emerges, how we wish
to hear these stories through the year,
but we must paddle on, my dear.

The ocean serenades all time,
preserving worlds inside her rhyme.
Perhaps she'll sing of us one day:
the photo and the castaway.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Song of the Sea challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767648-Song-of-the-sea
Submitted: December 12, 2020

Her Cursive Versing, Singingly

  arching O from L
        through V and E :

        those flowing notes compose a place
    where beauty loops beyond a trace
of worldly ink, calligraphy

surpassing scripted artistry
to superscribe, as if with light
    across these thoughts
        where your words write
            the poem no one else will spell.

I close my eyes
    and read it well
        transcending pages
I relish
every breath
and rhyme.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Poem as fluid as calligraphy challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766905-Calligraphy
Submitted: December 12, 2020

Moral Compass

That twitch of intuition


enough to find
magnetic north:

the inner moral compass leads
through situations unforeseen

permitting passage
with insight

to navigate
from wrong to right.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  No answers but feelings brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767571-28-words-or-less---feeling---JmStorm-noguest
Submitted: December 12, 2020

The New Shareholders

We must own

inventory emptiness

any wealth of loss

export goodness


take stock
of our hidden costs

lending hopefulness
for free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (prompt limit).  Helping others brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767575-24-words-or-less---amen-noguest
Submitted: December 12, 2020


the blessings
of past:


to here:


those moments
of knowing:






View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (the prompt limit).  Thich Nhat Hanh mindfulness / moment inspiration challenge prompt - link:
Submitted: December 10, 2020

Liberal Arts

Wide canvases
invite all hues




why liberty needs artistry.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  White brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767397-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: December 9, 2020

Phoenix: Boundless


lift boundlessly

lighter than air

when forgiveness helps me spare
myself from stifling misery
and rise with independency.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words (prompt limit).  Rise as one's own brevity challenge inspiration prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767350-29-words-or-less---rose---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: December 9, 2020


Stellar kindred,
glow tonight.

Warm your worlds
with peaceful light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Ten words inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766977-Inspire-and-Change-Creation
Submitted: December 8, 2020

Grim Reality

Cold truth
cuts through

high in hand

reaping falsehoods
from the land.

Seen distantly,
a ghastly act

although we seek peace
in the fact

deceptions threaten
lesser crops

as another scarecrow

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

33 words (prompt limit).  Truth is Death brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766841-33-words-or-less---truth-is-death---Bruce-L-noguest
Submitted: December 7, 2020

Residing in a House of Cards

Unstable life at any height.
If you move closer, play the ghost.
Do not risk action.  Be polite.
No speeches; whisper at the most.

This house of cards propped up right here
precariously slants to swing
when dwellers tremble from the fear
of airs collapsing everything.

Foundations nowhere to be seen.
No sound support from ground to roof.
Nobody needs truth. Keep it green,
and never think to ask for proof.

With rent so cheap and plenty room
to sleep and dream away the doom,
it's quite the steal, should you stay
and learn to look the other way.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Destruction of Illusions challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767205-The-destruction-of-illusions
Submitted: December 7, 2020


When avalanches overwhelmed
(immobilizing everything)

flames of faith
again aglow

dissolved the darkness
snow and ice.

So, my advice?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (the prompt limit).  Albert Camus / Invincible Summer quote inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767116-Brevity-Quote-Prompt
Submitted: December 6, 2020


This life is music.
Live to sing!

Let lyrics lift
and rhythms swing

as time, the drummer
sends each beat

into our ears
down through our feet.

We'll dance as frantic
as we may

across the evening
into day

to rave and tango
stomp and twist

bend every ankle
neck and wrist

awake, percussive

with most rambunctious

The tempo pressures us
to be

unbound by silence,
vocal, free

to move within this
vital song

toward harmony
where all belong.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 lines.  Rhythm of Time challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766135-Rhythm-of-Time
Submitted: December 5, 2020


Vast universe,
though I am small
and cannot hope to know it all

- the birth of worlds,
old galaxies,
unnumbered stars -

I trace your beauty
through the trees,

over mountains
into night,

as we unite
within this light

between the black holes
of our eyes

- so close
we rarely realize,

beyond this earth,
this moon, this sun,

that we are not apart
but one.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Letters to the Universe challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766089-Letters-to-the-Universe
Submitted: December 5, 2020


No tree
braces up the sky.

The flowers
cannot keep these fields.

No ocean
flows to quench the earth.

The mountains
never hold time still.

The moon
needs no mythology.

The stars
were never ours to name.

Each thing
and us


when life and love
escape deceit.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

49 words (50 the prompt limit).  Enough to Be brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2767084-50-words---real
Submitted: December 5, 2020

First Things First

Impossible, or so it seems,
when we stand in the land of dreams!

Come run with me through solid walls,
ride fish beneath Niagara Falls!

Let's drink a great lake from a glass
and stop the clocks so no days pass.

With mountains as our stepping stones,
we'll track down all the last unknowns,

discover what there's left to see
across the globe - the galaxy!

Our road goes over other cars,
beyond the highways, toward the stars.

Perhaps we'll spend an afternoon
on the far side of the moon

or camp on Saturn for the night
then catch a comet for a flight

or travel backward to the past
or cruise through futures just as fast

to go where no one's flown before!
But first, we must walk out this door.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines (prompt limit).  Fantasy image challenge (couple in car on a road leading toward the moon) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766937-Fantasy-959
Submitted: December 3, 2020

The Stars Have Wishes, Too

The stars wish
silently at night
that more among us
find the light
and might to make
a dream come true.

Look how they twinkle
when you do!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

8 lines.  Wishing on Stars prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766919-To-Wish-Upon-a-Star
Submitted: December 2, 2020


Like scientists, wide eyes await
phenomena to document.

Like musicians, thoughts compose
full scores of measures to resolve.

Like intruders, doubts invade
and occupy an unknown land.

Like sages, intuitions know,
foregoing sense or mystery.


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

39 words (40 the prompt limit).  Not Seeing, Yet Believing brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766549-Brevity-Quote-Prompt---40-Words
Submitted: December 2, 2020


From nothing
through infinities

boundlessly embracing space

beholding atoms
vast as worlds

each universe a grain of sand

all possibilities

all histories imagining

before inceptions
past the last

transcending centers endlessly

beyond the cosmic
sight of sights

overflowing outside time

light of lights.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 lines.  What God Sees prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766328-What-does-God-see-
Submitted: December 1, 2020

Your Forest Heart

I wander toward your forest heart,
sustaining shadows, hidden thorns,
regarding rises, roots, and rocks,

then scale your branches, stubborn earth,
and shuffle through last autumn's leaves
to study these geographies.

Such wonders summon me to stay:
to seek what dwells here any day
or howls throughout a wild night
or conjures fury, grief, or fright.

I venture through this obscure land,
exploring love to understand.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Willa Cather inspiration quote (Prompt 1 - Heart of Another / Forest) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765614-Willa-Cather-prompts-quotes
Submitted: December 1, 2020


Outside our orbiter
marble Earth swirls oceanic




so much blue.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Blue brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766806-Brevity...-15-words-only.

EVA = Extra-Vehicular Activity

The speaker of the poem is an astronaut.
Submitted: November 30, 2020


Steered toward freeways,
feeling drives

past exits

missing signs

rarely asking
for directions

keen on reaching

the passenger.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Heart (not following / bad directions) brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766770-21-words-or-less---bad-directions-noguest
Submitted: November 30, 2020

In Situ

From miles away
this mountain range
remains untouched
by time or change;

up close, it varies
stone to trees
as life demands
and seasons please.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (the prompt limit).  Unchanged brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766735-In-25-words-or-less-
Submitted: November 30, 2020

Still Life Artist

She paints
what cannot change or move

the steadfast
over variance

immortalizing what remains

except this one
of rusting trains.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt requirement).  Still brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766758-10entries---20-words-exactly
Submitted: November 30, 2020

Asymmetry Exhibit


each pattern

we tilt
our heads

unbending thoughts
caught up in pitches


direction's cues askew

flights of stares
in twisted views

transfixed by lines
preferred aligned

by design.

Some chase the centers
rarely there
while others lose sight
of their where

displaced and phased
by shapes awry
as expectations blindfold eyes

yet beauty needs no symmetry

just minds inclined
to set it

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Imperfection Is Beauty challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766671-Three-word-poetry-prompt-11
Submitted: November 30, 2020


Seen in reverse
the fallen lightbulb
smashed to shards
to light the room

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Backwards brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766733-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: November 29, 2020


lift a brick
and help rebuild

not barriers

but what was crushed
beneath the rush
to tyranny.

If not for us,

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (24 the prompt limit).  Bricks brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766709-24-words-or-less---bricks-noguest
Submitted: November 29, 2020

To the Spirit of My Lion Father

Your spirit, still it speaks to me
beyond the forests, what I see,
provoking growth yet memory
of all you taught me how to be

to suffer wilderness and cold
as someone humbled although bold
when dangers prey, or to survive
- then I must roar with claws and thrive

yet ever be at peace with life
and not to saunter into strife,
protecting pride and hide and soul
remaining always in control

not giving in to instinct's dare
or instigators anywhere
yet never to be wholly tame.
I strongly boast your noble name

and journey not as one alone
among the mountains, bones and stone.
Though wind picks up to muss my mane,
I shirk it off and stake my reign,

a king of self with strength to lend
the weak who need a loyal friend,
a guardian for all the land,
one wise enough to understand

what would be better - flight or fight
- and when a fire's not the light.
Your morals guide me through the night
inspiring my inner might

which does not disappear with day
but fortifies me on my way
through jungles, deserts, every cave.
I fear no evil. I am brave.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image challenge prompt (shadow of lion near its cub) - link:

This poem dedicated to my father, Robert J. Tiess, Sr., who passed away in 1987, when I was just a boy, and God, the Father.

Inspiration also comes from Psalm 23:4 in the Bible:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2023 :3-5&version=KJV

Submitted: November 29, 2020


The song that brought us to embrace
drives silence from this lifeless space
and moves me from my chair to stand
to grasp your hand and dance with you.

But even as the mood seems right
- wine sunset, golden candlelight,
soft breezes flowing through the door -
you're absent as I cross the floor

until I muster memories,
some younger years before disease
when we would waltz beneath the moon
and Januaries felt like June.

Then music soothed us, kept us warm
through autumns, any winter storm.
Now violins dive toward their end,
you're here again, and I ascend.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines (prompt limit).  Musical imagery (piano keys rising toward the sky, a couple at the top) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766628-8-poets-on-the-image-
Submitted: November 29, 2020

Persistence of Vision

within this filmstrip life

instants clipped from time:

those moments animate

I might press Rewind


there's only Play:

you are

your world

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Can't Go Back to Yesterday brevity challenge prompt - link:

Persistence of Vision is a concept this poem taps for its central metaphor:
Submitted: November 28, 2020

Observer Affects

To listen
and resist response;

to watch
without insisting views;

to feel
beyond our sense of selves:

for pure empathy.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Observing without Reacting brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766545-21-words-or-less---reaction-noguest

The poem's title plays on the concept of the "Observer Effect" in physics, wherein the act of observation (measurement) exerts effects (changes) on the thing observed:


"Affect" in the poem's title pertains to emotional reactions as well as having an effect on things.
Submitted: November 28, 2020

The Old Piano Player

Arthritic fingers
seek the keys
to disengage some haunted strain
long locked away within his brain

the somber sounds
of ghostly chords
resolving not where time expects
as the player recollects

buried harmony
lost love no lyrics eulogize.
Old dissonance gives back young eyes

his thinning limbs
refreshed with strength
while wrists drift backwards unto tune
and magically the month is June.

Yes, there she stands
bright like before
enamored that she steps so near
when measures pleasure every ear:

found rhapsody
resurrecting one last night
his music's muse by candlelight

her sway
beyond all metronomes
enchanting hands to scale and leap
to clutch such wonders none can keep

whole notes

for a

no silence
holds the past

now melody
at last.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

132 words. Prompt 21 (image: elderly man playing piano) challenge - link:
Submitted: November 27, 2020

Bellerophon and the Pegasus

Now horseback on my Pegasus,
I rain grave arrows on a beast
whose flames endanger all in sight.

Before we climb through clouds to light
and soar past where young Icarus
flew too high his wings would fail,

I'm certain we will soon prevail
and sail ourselves back toward the east
to reach Olympus, claim our feast
among immortals, proud and free,
the heroes humans hope to be.

Come, flap your mighty wings, my steed,
so we may taste that sweetest mead
reserved for those whose best all odds
and earn their seats beside the gods!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

96 words.  Riding Mythical Creature challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766454-Ride-the-dire-wolf...

Inspired by the myth of Bellerophon, the Pegasus, and Icarus:


Interestingly enough, Bellerophon, the speaker of this poem, never does make it to Mount Olympus and suffers a fate, thanks to his hubris (pride), comparable to that of Icarus.
Submitted: November 26, 2020

The Circle of Gratitude

Please, sit, come join us round our fires
and feel that warmth each heart desires
when facing frigid winds like this
where no wolf howls and no snakes hiss.

For all are welcome, friend or foe,
to gather here in peace to know
the circle of our gratitude
which must admit and not exclude

one thankful soul on this cold night
as spirit lends us strength and light
to seek more wisdom in the earth
to understand each death and birth,

the sacred nature of all things:
eternal rivers, eagles' wings,
how mountains, valleys, trees, and skies,
this moon, these stars beseech our eyes

imploring us to live as one
before the setting of our sun,
so we may brave our darkest days
as brothers, sisters poised to praise

pure goodness, every truth that lasts,
atoning for our tragic pasts
while looking toward a warmer year
where we would harvest love, not fear.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Thanksgiving image prompt (persons around fire) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766186-Thanksgiving-Pic-Prompt
Submitted: November 26, 2020

Hymn of an Embattled Republic

Our eyes have seen ingloriousness,
folly of the fools,

who trampled on our constitutions,
took us for their tools,

unleashing fearful fictions
through their rallies, hateful speech.

Don't let their lies march on.

Truth deniers, coup of hoopla.
Falsifiers of hysteria.
Great deceivers' propaganda.

Don't let those lies march on.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words.  Truth Over Spin challenge prompt - link:

Entry / parody inspired by Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic":
Submitted: November 25, 2020

Change of Heart

Green to red:
another brakes


speeds back...
homeward, say?

Love's the driver
either way.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Green brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766375-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: November 25, 2020


The moon glides by
    ignoring war

    untouched by

    unswayed by

    to earthly terms.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Nonchalant brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765324-Pure-Brevity-Club-Sponsored-Contest-Novembe
Submitted: November 25, 2020

Saint Nameless

Untold sculptures

One figure
blesses everything:

survival icon
of the past

the iconclast.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Best Fragment brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766226-Best-fragment---15-words-or-fewer
Submitted: November 23, 2020

The Great Flood

Old constants, freed now by the flood:
stout evergreens unstuck from mud
diluting roots, once stable land,
while boulders glide as rivers strand
and buckling bridges suffer weight
of forests fast becoming freight
transported by torrential rain
relinquishing its vicious bane
once everything's become unbound,
abolishing all sense of ground.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt limit). Freedom brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765137-50-words-Brevity-Abstract--FREEDOM

Inspired partly by so-called Great Floods in Earth's history:
Submitted: November 23, 2020

Wake-Up Call?

New vision:


When reveries
and worlds

elusive clues

truths between
the dreamt
and real.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Dreams and Real Life brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766158-20-words-or-less---dreams-noguest
Submitted: November 23, 2020

Sword Dancers

Steel reeling
storming beat

arms and blades and feet

aligned and slicing
gleaming light

refined as silk
as fierce as fight

when drummers lunge
ten dancers slash

then startled watchers
feel the crash

of rhythm's
fearless symmetries

escaping blades
explosive knees

diagonals of dire

endangering as metal

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt limit).  Sword and Silk brevity challenge prompt - link:

More about Sword Dances:
Submitted: November 22, 2020

Prima Ballerina

Behind each easy step
and bend
such untold hours she must spend
rehearsing firmer curving

to whirl and cease
at once
then keep
fast balance as tough muscles



suffusing music




a symphony
of beauty
and space.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt limit).  Muscled Movements / Ballerina brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765963-Muscled-movements-of-a-gymnast-or-ballerina
Submitted: November 22, 2020

Cost of Living

When I heard the cool economist
call the losses

compared to recent bullish gains"

I receded from her charts
with zero interest
in returns.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Economic Loss vs. Loss of Life brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766154-Quote-prompt-25--words-
Submitted: November 22, 2020

Learning Nothing

In this existential hall
nothingness is really all.

"Nonexistence. Empty fates,"
Professor Nil reiterates

as meanings leave
the absent class.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Nil and Void brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766099-Word-Prompt---20-Words
Submitted: November 21, 2020

Commencement Speaker

Dear future students of the past

we were younger, too



Escape our cyclic misery
by memorizing history

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (prompt limit).  Past Lessons / Future brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2766087-23-words-or-less---lessons-noguest
Submitted: November 21, 2020


Meticulous down to the dot
the artist of precision squints,
debating what is done or not.

Is something off about the tints?
Perspectives - do they slant away?
Proportions - do they short the eyes?

Perhaps that shadow falls astray.
This composition - is it wise?
The central point - has it been lost?

Perfection sought at such a cost:

another night where nothing sleeps
as dreams pursue what no art keeps
once madness frames a false ideal
and nothing seems as good as real.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Tortured Artist prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765749-Tortured-Artist
Submitted: November 21, 2020

Her Newfound Xanadus

She dreams up newfound Xanadus
where she could kick off formal shoes
and skid down mountains shouting, "Yes!"
in a red and flowing dress
then dive beyond the wild falls
against all warners and their calls
to leave her sleep before the night.

She swims with dolphins through moonlight
her pupils huge (they soak up stars)
and thoughts so soft they float to Mars
or Venus, Saturn, past the sun
until this blissful dreaming's done.
For now, she seeks that pleasure dome
before some waker takes her home.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Dreaming challenge prompt - link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubla_Khan

Inspired partly by
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Kubla Khan: or, A Vision in a Dream"

On the meaning of Xanadu:
Submitted: November 21, 2020

Larry the Locksmith to His Impressionable Brothers

Your front door's got those locks
and chains.

You say intruders cruise these parts
fearless to be shown
shameless to be named and known

busting into what they wish
taking anything they crave

because they know your neighborhood

the empty threats of warning signs
defending lawns

"No Trespassing"

half-hearted barking in the yards
how fences fall

the house of cards:

what they'd expect
and what they find.

So all your talk of "open minds"
it's fine and dandy
to a point

but let me make my counterpoint:

you'd want a door that locks there, too
some boundary between you two

the strangers
and the things you know

so no one thinks they'll come and go
to steal something you believe
or crush a thought to make you grieve.

Now, no one's saying bolts and chains.
It's metaphor.
I'm talking brains.

entertain new thoughts and those
you trust enough
before you close

yet guard your golden keys.

Remember, please, the likes of me
who know most locks
to set walls loose.

But they're your heads.
You've got to choose.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

181 words.  Lawrence Ferlinghetti inspiration - Prompt One (too open-minded, "brains fall out") challenge - link:
Will need a reader.
Submitted: November 21, 2020

Facing Their Dragons

"The Dragons of Deceit must go!"
the pillaged whisper every night,
inventing armor, trenches, charms,
intent to end the endless harms
each beast inflames when it descends.

"Today, truth speaks! Tonight, this ends!"
they're muttering vehemently,
exhausted, sore for sanity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image: "Facing the Dragon, Yourself"
? Robert J. Tiess, 2017
Submitted: November 20, 2020

Pegasus, Constellated

Once bludgeoned,
I recalled a horse

the winged one - mythic Pegasus -
emerging from Medusa's blood.

Such purity from decadence,
redemption out of certain death.

In conquering this inward fight,
I stormed the darkness,
mastered flight,

ascending stronger through the night
to be these stars

your source
of light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Courage to Change challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765342-Courage-to-Change---for-LNPs-Part-Sinner--P
Submitted: November 20, 2020


In fearsome forests of my day
you peek through branches,
full of play

reminding me there rares a life
outside the sharpness
of this strife.

I think of you, relent to smile,
to reconcile

to reach that clearing where you're there,
fresh wildflowers
in your hair.

My impish pixie, earthy muse,
inspire me
to never lose

my way within this wonderland,
where one must trust love,

joys hide behind a memory
for hearts to seek
and minds to free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Thinking About You prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765909-I-thought-about-you-today

About the Muse Erato:
Submitted: November 19, 2020

The Innocent Express

and the passenger
inside the train set of my youth

I tunneled through the mountainous
around sharp corners

from fervent urgency
on tracks connecting perfectly

to loop through circles
figure eights
across a simpler world to scale

chugging upward
trailing steam
with all the lightness of a dream

no tickets punched
no luggage clutched
no destination requisite

arriving nowhere
but the joy
of journeying by mind and toy.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image (train around a mountain) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765504-Picture-Prompt
Submitted: November 19, 2020

Gregory's Calendar

Another image every month
depending on the kind you find:

cars or gardens
castles, trains
paintings, planets
parks or planes.

Mountains hang inside my den
- a calendar from way back when
I kept because I liked the scenes

the snowy peaks
the evergreens.

Reminds me why I traveled so
when I was young, so long ago.

This year I got the lighthouse one,
although it now occurs to me
no house is lit and shown at night.
I've yet to spot a ship at sea.

Last year, shells filled up this wall.
The year before? I can't recall.

Next year, I'm thinking butterflies.
Such countless things to realize
as more months quickly disappear

the days and numbers
not so clear.

Some clarity, at times, prevails.

There's always hope a new boat sails
before I reach December's end.

The hours sharpen, blur, or blend.

Each year I'm here
awaiting change
am readier to rearrange

regain my strength
reclaiming prime

forgetting futures
losing time

come January
spreading wings
with jazzed up hues
in ageless springs.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Year theme prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763863-New-monthly-muse-contest.-Reflect-like-Fran
Submitted: November 19, 2020

Media of Exchange

old currencies
(deposited behind thick glass)
buy nothing but attentions spent
on what was valued
long ago.

Museum treasures everywhere:




and bones.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Treasure brevity challenge prompt - link:

Partly concerning the literal aspect of the poem's title:

Medium of Exchange
Submitted: November 18, 2020

Perpetual Motion

Although you stand


this earth revolves
around the sun

which drifts

with stars
and galaxies.

The universe


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Moving brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765737-Brevity...-21-words-or-less-
Submitted: November 17, 2020

Cup of Kindness

How much,
you ask?

It's not for sale

this busted cup
my "Holy Grail"

the consequence
of costly quests

relentless questions

endless tests.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (prompt limit).  Price / Thoreau inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765714-23-words-or-less---exchange---Henry-David-T-noguest
Submitted: November 17, 2020

Theater of the Absurdist

Golden glow
gone from his stage

one player pacing

improvises manic lines

disavows dramatic signs
this theater closed

imagines encores, endless play.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Golden Glow brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765431-Brevity---25-words-or-less
Submitted: November 13, 2020


I'd ask what's wrong
but I refrain.

I recognize
those eyes of pain

one must face alone

better left unknown.

No questions now.
I understand.

Just empathy.
Accept my hand.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

32 words (prompt limit).  Brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765439-32-words-or-less---let-things-be-noguest
Submitted: November 13, 2020

Golden Anniversary

Red benches offer brief reprieves
along our path of golden leaves.

Remember when these trees were few
and we enjoyed a wider view
beyond the bridge beside the bay?

What was it that I meant to say?

Could you recall the night we kissed?
The time you sprained your tiny wrist
to watch the morning trains depart?

The year we spent pursuing art?

How we would dance, make strangers stare,
and carry on without a care?

That day you held a heart-shaped leaf
and beamed at me in disbelief?

Let's sit and reminisce some more.
I think that's what this bench is for:

a place to pause, embrace, and smile,
to lose ourselves a little while
inside the beauty of this life
where any husband or a wife
might count their blessings through the fall
and feel so grateful for it all.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

142 words.  Image (benches by trees, gold leaves everywhere) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765316-Write-To-Image---November-Beauty--12
Submitted: November 12, 2020


One star contracts, at last, tonight
to heave its final heat and light
on bygone worlds,
where minds did wait,
anticipating cosmic fate.

Perhaps they raged, presumed to yell,
condemning heavens for their hell.
Or is it some had found a way
beyond "the end"
to live today?

What wonders planetary beings face.
Escape destruction? Stay in place?
As other suns, and ours, return,
they beg the question:
learn or burn?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

71 words. Image prompt (people watching a sunrise or distant star glowing) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765204-Picture-Prompt
Submitted: November 12, 2020

Three Things

Two birds.
One branch.
No words.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image (two birds on a branch) brevity challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765283-10entries---picture-prompt---maximum-four-l
Submitted: November 11, 2020

Above the Nothingness

Such stars
wait there
where darkness seems
to offer up no hints of light

brazen beacons
blaring signs
may blur or blind our better sight.

In time
your eyes
should wind their way
above the nothingness of night

when they reach
the heavenly
see what was hidden, dim, or slight:

above all sense
whence mortal dreams
seek deathless flight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines (25 the prompt limit).  Rupert Brooke inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764278-The-Poet-Within-48-Rupert-Brooke
Submitted: November 11, 2020


Place one more candle
in their names

the brave who gave all
for the flames
of justice
and freedom's light.

We honor them
on this good night.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (30 the prompt limit).  Image (candles being lit) brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765346-Brevity-Image-Prompt--469
Submitted: November 11, 2020


Bitten by the snake of lies




The injured barely speak.

Help's arriving.


Reality detoxifies.

The antidote?
Cold facts.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Detoxify brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765213-24-words-or-less---Detox-your---LALAH-DELIA-noguest
Submitted: November 11, 2020


The love
you trust
nobody knows

(preceding words,
averted eyes):

it unambiguously shows

(all stealthiness revealing
existence of a feeling).

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Secret Love brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765194-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: November 10, 2020

Three Trees

The seedling shudders
in a breeze, its tiny leaves
clenched as autumn nears.

The sapling strains up
toward the sun, keen to grow, though
summer's months away.

The eldest rises,
as we should, through winter's worst:
patient, strong, and tall.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Three Haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765091-3-Haiku
Submitted: November 10, 2020


Advances transit everywhere:


madly slow

or quietly
like night to day.

Whatever else remains

for everything conveys the way.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Progress brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2765147-21-words-or-less---progress---PLATO-noguest
Submitted: November 10, 2020


In every room
another view:







Changing standpoints
shows it all.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Windows brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764865-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: November 6, 2020


When all eyes turned up to the sky,
you'd think we could agree
on what that was appearing there
for everyone to see.

So many focused on the clouds,
horizons vague and gray,
as others found an absent sun.
But one saw dawn's new day.

I was that lonely optimist
awaiting rising light,
and hope remains my outlook now:
tomorrow's born of night.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Image prompt (dual sun/moon, day/night reflection) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764799-Fantasy-936
Submitted: November 6, 2020

The Last of the Shadow Casters

They think they forge realities,
projecting shapes by flames,
anonymous within this dark,
where no one speaks a name.

They feel they fool the captive minds
that watch their shadow play,
and, for the moment, this is so,
until thoughts start to stray.

They hope the truth cannot be found
so deep beneath this grievous ground,
that entertainment keeps us here
in ignorance or gripping fear.

What they may never wish to know
is some of us, one day, will go
beyond the blindness of their night
to liberate our lives with light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Shadows on the Cave Wall challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764624-Prompt-Shadows-on-the-Cave-Wall
Submitted: November 5, 2020

Branches of Knowledge

The forests know of



so to survive

resisting winters
to revive

what winds and freezing
cannot seize.

Let us be students
of the trees.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  Letting go brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764678-28-words-or-less---unless---Steve-Maraboli-noguest
Submitted: November 4, 2020

Entrance or Exit?

An entrance tempts us with its light.
Instinctively, we near that door,
as exiting seems rather right,
and yet there's wonder, to be sure.

Is this a way we ought to go?
"Of course," you say. "We'll leave."
I ask because we could not know,
although it's easy to believe

a place so bright should seem as nice
as any heaven one might find.
Remember fires also shine,
and they may burn or even blind.

This room runs dismal, dank, and stark,
much like a tomb, if just as dark,
but what waits on the other side?
Let's question this and then decide.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Image (dark room, door ajar, light entering) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764454-Fantasy-933
Submitted: November 3, 2020

Run Time

More flawless,


with each pass,

the algorithm
would perfect

before its coders
could reflect.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Next Time brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764654-Brevity...-15-words-only.

Title has dual meanings primarily inspired by computer programming term "runtime":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runtime_ (program_lifecycle_phase)

More about algorithms:

Submitted: November 3, 2020


Wide eyes attend each fleeting scene
enacted on that stage of sight,
where dramas clamor to be seen
until they exit, left or right.

Theatrics, every precious bit,
but look, when curtains rise,
how much of this we never see:
the backdrops, props, and guise.

Beyond these walls, so many roles
and plots advance the one true play:
protagonists we never met
in fateful settings far away,

old adversaries, vanquished myths,
faint scripts in tongues no longer read,
those ageless lines time casts away,
yet archetypes exempt from death.

No audience of senses know
the depth and length of every show,
much less the author of it all
or if there comes a curtain call.

Applaud the little we perceive,
and, as you do this, please believe
the fullest truth exceeds our views
while we wait for our lights and cues.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Longfellow quote inspiration (things not what they seem) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763832-Longfellow-Prompt
Submitted: November 2, 2020

The Art of Rock Balancing

Unevenness invariably
resists the balance wanted here,
which means
you always must do more
than set
a stone
on top of stone.
Determine centers patiently.
Collaborate with gravity,
the shape
and weight
of each thing placed,
proceeding with
such gentleness
that nothing

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines.  Image prompt (rocks balanced) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764443-Image-prompt

Image source - adapted from free photo from Pexels:
Submitted: November 1, 2020


When you wish upon
a luminous celestial mass
fueled by nuclear fusion


absolutely nothing
the cardiovascular system
gives the illusion of desiring
will simply arrive

as if by magic

no matter
how many sentimental films
you might have seen.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

40 words (the prompt limit).  Wishing on Stars brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764533-40-words-or-less.-Brevity.
Submitted: November 1, 2020


In the desert of my day,

as dunes consume
each aimless step

and heat thieves
every fleeting dream,

I journey
toward that paradise

- the oasis of your eyes -

finding it
revives my sight

I wander
from its light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

42 words.  Temporary escape from reality challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764496-Temporary-escape-from-reality-
Submitted: November 1, 2020

Ex Nihilo

A shudder flutters ancient dust
till fluctuations undulate

thence all begins to spin as one
as pressures wrestle, escalate.

What falls within swirls into suns;
the rest, toward satellites

where life begins with love again
amidst a billion lights.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Spinning (Prompt 1 - Rumi inspiration) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763216-Spinning-prompts
Submitted: October 31, 2020

Abstractions of Absence

On its mostly shadowed half
the vibrant canvas
pales to black.

this means many things
to passers through the gallery:

the preference
looms to mind

there I find
the edge of space
outside my world

some trace of face

where brushstrokes vaguely memorize
the artwork of your absent eyes.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

52 words.  Edgar Allen Poe / boundaries of life and death challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763671-Between-50-and-70-words---Edgar-Allan-Poe
Submitted: October 31, 2020


former haunt
of every wretched earthly thought,
resembles temples more today:

prodigious flights


baptismal rites

reverberating prayerful voice


faith by choice.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (prompt limit).  Brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764396-26-words-or-less---deliberate-life-choices-noguest
Submitted: October 30, 2020

Extinction of Meaning

Uncommon words



so dead:

rare definitions perishing
then cultures disappear
sacrificing everything
history holds dear.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words  (prompt limit).  Survival brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764360-Brevity--20-words-or-less

Poem motivated by the unfortunate phenomenon of dying and lost languages.

More on that topic:

Endangered Languages

Language Death

BBC: Why We Must Save Dying Tongues
Submitted: October 30, 2020


What creature reaps the harvest moon?
though some will try.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

3 lines (prompt requirement).  11 words.  Image brevity prompt (crow or raven over moon) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764211-3-lines-based-on-prompt

Image "A Tale of the Raven and the Lights" ? 2014 Robert J. Tiess
Submitted: October 29, 2020

Indestructible Love

No cataclysmic asteroid
that cracks the Earth
in two
may shake
or break
or take this love
from me and you.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Unchanged / still positive after suffering brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764318-22-words-or-less---still-noguest
Submitted: October 29, 2020


In the end
no one would win.

How fortunate!

As if a trophy could exist.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words.  Lucky brevity prompt (15 words exactly) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764359-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: October 29, 2020

On the Road to Humility

Our route bends as the mountain wills
while we weave through these humbling hills

of grievous stones and gaping height
where nature's grandeur leaves us slight.

The rock face sternly meets our eyes
without a trace of compromise

commanding passers to be meek
as all crawl past the tallest peak

then dive and swerve in slow descent
until the mountain seems content

to hand us back to level lands
where Earth again fits in our hands.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

76 words.  Image prompt (winding road through the mountains) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763476-Photo-Prompt.
Submitted: October 28, 2020

Wise Up

Escaping maze
with makeshift wings
too tenuous for lofty jaunts

I glide between
the sun and sea

no Icarus

though wiser
by mythology.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (25 the prompt limit).  Wings brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764145-Prompt---25-words-or-less
Submitted: October 27, 2020

Rise, My Butterfly

You treasured every butterfly
the ways their wings
made verse of light

their gentle ventures, bloom to breeze
above our gardens
gracing trees

how each must crawl to soar at last
cocooned in futures
branched from past.

I sense you now ascending there
embracing springtime
open air

above all anguish, done with death
as weightless as
untroubled breath

now gravities have no more say
and you float freely
where you may.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

71 words.  Butterfly Image (lady surrounded by butterflies) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764068-Butterfly-Image-Series--16

Inspired by, and in memory of, my mother Jeannette, who passed away in April.
She loved butterflies.
Submitted: October 27, 2020

Symbiotic Freedom

I wander valleys


through daffodils

with harvest moon

the mountain flowers


- our symbiotic unity:

dependents bound
in liberty.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (28 the prompt limit). Connections vs. attachment brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764064-28-words-or-less---connection-vs-attachment-noguest
Submitted: October 26, 2020


Back home
not there, the world outside.

Back home
where memories reside.

Back home
no longer stranger, guest.

Back home:
the prize of every quest.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Home brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764061-25-words-or-less---home-noguest
Submitted: October 26, 2020

At the City Intersection

Walkers huddle



lefts and rights

drivers thinking

signals blinking




traffic flow.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Streets brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2764028-Brevity...-21-words-or-less-
Submitted: October 26, 2020


The tidal surge consumed
the beach.

The mentor watched
then walked

his jarring calmness no relief
for students fraught
with fearful

"How dare you stare so peacefully?"
they asked him
in their

"Because the sea must rise today,
and nothing stands within the Way,
though one would always
have that choice,"
he whispered in
his humbled

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

60 words.  Not minding what happens challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762701-Quote-contest-III
Submitted: October 25, 2020

Sacred Love's Geometry (On Klimt's 'The Kiss')

Exquisite scintillating bliss
enveloping this richest kiss

damask emotions woven bold
ethereal as we behold

organic patterns gathering
these facets of our glittering.

Our treasure precious over gold
as pleasures endlessly enfold

that art beyond all property:
our sacred love's geometry

where perfect square and circle meet
with symmetries become complete

as bodies, souls, and minds entwine
in boundlessly divine design

to gift this world a paradigm
of romance that can outlast time.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

73 words.  Gustav Klimt (prompt 1) image (The Kiss) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762103-A-Road-Not-Taken-Show--Presents-----Ekphrat

Submitted: October 25, 2020

Closing Argument

Before you set my book aside
and shut these covers one last time

convinced you really read enough

remember there may come a day
you wish you stood to hear me say
that something you had never read

then wonder where it would have lead.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

45 words (prompt limit). Before You... brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763846-45-words-or-less---Before-you...
Submitted: October 24, 2020

Golden Ageless

Nostalgic for a golden age, gone innocence and peace,
the artists and philosophers of ancient Rome or Greece,
the statues, pillars, silver, gold, and endless marble halls
- all absent as utopia behind these dreary walls.
Imagine what the world would be - the pageantry and poetry -
if we could keep the best of it for now and all posterity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

6 lines (prompt limit).  Image brevity challenge (face with eyes closed, surrounded by gold) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763775-MAX-6-lines---ARTWORK-is-prompt
Submitted: October 23, 2020

Words of the Days

Desk calendars? Perhaps the best
especially the verbal kind:

each yesterday gets torn away.
New definitions test the mind.

Today's word? Serendipity.
A fortunate discovery.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (27 being the prompt limit).  Yesterday / today brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763727-27-words-or-less---yesterday-today-noguest
Submitted: October 22, 2020

Leap of Faith

Headfirst bursting toward

freely flying




View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 words (prompt limit).  Image brevity prompt (person leaping) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763748-Brevity-Image-Prompt--451-
Submitted: October 22, 2020


Unwilling dancers

puppets tumble




by one

as music pulls

from some further room.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (prompt limit).  Controllers unable to control themselves brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763725-23-words-or-less---control-noguest
Submitted: October 22, 2020

Verse Averse

Where outrage
rarely shatters glass

impose no misery

and might
surrenders victory

defeats itself.


provoking verses

with eloquence
to overthrow.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Emotion Finding Thought / Robert Frost inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763632-25-words-or-less---thought---Robert-Frost-noguest
Submitted: October 22, 2020


Between sweet hours
seasons fly.


Ephemeral eternities
embracing only
to release.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  In-between brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763608-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: October 21, 2020


As autumn presses every leaf
to ponder mere mortality,

most evergreens would disagree:
the grandeur of eternity

shows vibrant vistas gray and go,
surviving fires, ice, and snows

with seeds and roots disposed to grow
beyond what any season knows.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

40 words (prompt limit).  Image prompt (leaf disintegrating into dust) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763474-40-Words---Quote-Brevity-Quickie
Submitted: October 21, 2020


Four billion years
before today

a planet crashed
the Earth

they say

yet life
clawed forth


So let us meet

with strength



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (prompt limit).  Stronger than Broken brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763542-26-words-or-less---stronger---ROXANE-GAY-noguest

Poem inspired by the Giant-Impact Hypothesis (another planet said to have collided possibly with Earth long ago):
Submitted: October 20, 2020


Imperiling our flawless song,
a rogue guitar veers nearly wrong

with dissonance above the ring
of every other well-tuned string

careening careless through pale air
as heartbeats cease and strangers stare

anticipating how this ends:
if tensions rest and music bends

back toward expected harmony
where every note holds perfectly

or if the strain should take the song
beyond belief, where it belongs.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

"Good Flipped as Bad" challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763217-A-poem-where-good-is-flipped-as-bad.-Write-
Submitted: October 17, 2020

Dawn, the Bonfire of Yesterdays

In burning whirls, gray ashes dance
on embers red with yesterday's
exhausted passions, sadness, pain,
lost chances, sins, regrets, and bane.

Heap every fear, your worst concern,
and watch as dawn will purge and burn
to bring new morning surged with light
from what was lost in mournful night.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

8 lines (prompt limit).  Sunrise brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762687-MAX-8-lines---SUNRISE-photo-inspired
Submitted: October 17, 2020

Darwinian Deliberations

Like gladiators
crashing swords

two notions clash
to grand applause

through stadiums
where raging minds

contend their theories
over time

each battle bringing
one more foe.

With victories
come what we know

evolving ideas
which might thrive

while others struggle
to survive.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Darwinian Thoughts challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762332-Darwinian-Thoughts--14-100-lines-only--
Submitted: October 17, 2020

Out of Memory

Computer full of memories
saves nothing more

demands "Delete."

tough decisions:

what to keep.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Room brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763191-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: October 17, 2020

Refusal of the Call

Calamity demands
you rise.


you exit




"You're no hero!"
doubts declare


the True You


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (the prompt limit).  Who You Think You're Not Holds You Back brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2763045-25-words-or-less---not-noguest

Inspired by Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey / monomyth:


Submitted: October 16, 2020


Two galaxies
(like you and me)

adrift across eternity

until closer



with spiral arms

with runs
through empty nights

now found
and bound
in endless light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Antennae Galaxies (two galaxies converging) brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762991-Brevity-30-words--Haiku-and-Brevity-Reading
Submitted: October 15, 2020

Art's Restoration

by battles, time

the sculptures fallen
through the ruins
would someday
elevate museums

as art again.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit). Beautiful Again brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762856-20-words-or-less---beautiful-noguest
Submitted: October 14, 2020

Phania, the Lost Tenth Muse

Perhaps in Alexandria
rolled up in scrolls on cobwebbed shelves
before the fateful flames erased
all histories and verse preserving
evidence of your sure name,
it could be proved this much were so:

more Muses thrived, not nearly nine,
your ward the highest to enshrine,
tenth Muse of Truth, Epiphany,
Appearance and Reality,
your spirit lifting minds to light
while gifting mortals godly sight.

Because delusions skew the day
and savage shadows hold great sway
within a world deceivers leave
so many little to believe,
I wonder if you did exist
or simply wish now to resist.

Did demigods repulse your skill
or demons seize your secret quill
or ban you to some mythic place?
Or did you choose to hide your face?
Quite possibly, if then you knew
our only hope's to seek what's true.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

136 words.  Create the Tenth Muse challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761615-Create-the-Tenth-Muse--Make-Him-or-Her-Your
Submitted: October 12, 2020

Like Lake Placid

When tempests rest, dense clouds depart
with all their thunderous stunning fear,

and once again this weathered heart
begins to ease, my mind flows clear.

Then, like the calm lake, I reflect
more placidly upon our world

its tranquil beauties to respect
and meditate where madness swirled:

why lightning strikes at things unseen
as muddy gusts besmirch and scream

where seething rain did flood the land
that trees collapsed where they stood grand

and how mist hides the mountaintops
or frost destroys the last good crops.

To breathe, at peace with life and light,
embracing change with steady sight,

composes me so those who'd peer
across these waters see the deer

the geese and wheat, the peaks and plains,
the hint of fish and distant trains

each mirrored nearly perfectly
within this newfound clarity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

134 words.  Like a Lake + emotions challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761616-Like-a-Lake
Submitted: October 12, 2020


Sky recalls
all songs
and words


reciting some
by gust
or breeze.

Good listeners
hear histories.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Remember brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762695-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: October 12, 2020

On Properties

Canvas strains
while waves escape

its narrow frame
and shallow view

though no oceans
slow to pose

as any honest
paintbrush knows.

Of properties
art keeps but few.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  Let it come / let it go brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762652-28-words-or-less---come-go---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: October 12, 2020


I sometimes find more than I should
in riddled rocks and wizened wood,

pursuing clues, unlikely signage,
reading life between the lines.

Nothing coming just by chance,
let's entertain significance.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Words of Wisdom brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762051-Words-or-wisdom-
Submitted: October 11, 2020

Lucid Dreamers

Awareness states
more must awake.

Unrestful watchers,
rise.  Remake
our nightmares
into brighter dreams.

Release from sleep
what hope redeems.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Dreams brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762630-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: October 11, 2020

Cosmos Anthological

Between the leaves
of galaxies

our cosmos garners
every tale

least to longest
prose and rhyme

all of time.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Story brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762631-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: October 11, 2020

Course of Action

Unexpected exits,

Unfamiliar districts,



We shall arrive

and take our place
in history.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Wrong choice / right place arrival brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762588-20-words-or-less---choice---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: October 11, 2020

Shadow Magic

old illusionist
draws its blanket expertly
over mostly cherished things

brandishing one wicked wand
murmurs incantations quaint

steps back

reveals vanishing
to the horrors of the crowd.

But other acts await their turn
behind the scarlet curtain frayed
where more deceptions yet displayed
anticipate the greenest eyes.

So all magicians leave the stage
and must restore the disappeared
would they wish to be revered.

Thus, cunning antics meet their end
with much flourish to amend,
and by the tapping of a stick
the conjurer completes the trick.

An audience applauds the fair
as valuables arise from air.

Sought orders lost return at last
and all dramatic trances cast
relinquish every breath withheld
while the magic we beheld
(obscuring beauty neath its shell)
no longer binds us in its spell.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

J. R. R. Tolkien quote (shadow, light) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761405-J.R.R.-Tolkien-quote-
Submitted: October 10, 2020


Inscribed atop sepulchral stone
old torchlit symbols mystify
with curious geometries:

odd characters, forsook by time,
that no one here will soon pronounce
or glean the hidden meanings of

as cobwebs thicken secrecies
entombing everything once known
in this room of sand and bone.

Back home, any shape we take
for granted may confound some day
once others wonder what we say.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

62 words.  Image (random symbols) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761311-Whatever-Photo-Prompt-Entices-You-to-Write-
Submitted: October 9, 2020

At the Still Points



from dust



through universal


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Still brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762438-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: October 9, 2020


By abstracts, still lifes
landscape scenes

onlookers pace
canvassing art
for newness, truths
amusements, beauties
questions or proofs

while I, the portrait incomplete
observe the show with sketchy eyes:

how each must enter, wend, disband.

Wall to hall, what frames it all?
At night I try to understand.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines (prompt limit).  Try to Understand (phrase used at beginning or end of poem) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762340-Write-a-poem-beginning-or-ending-with-Try-t
Submitted: October 8, 2020

No Worries

Piranha worries ravage me
when swimming underneath that sea
of misperception's misery

until I surface


reach land


then understand.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Worrying brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762375-21-words-or-less---worrying-noguest
Submitted: October 8, 2020

Outside Plato's Cave

Another world

Flameless light.
Unshackled sight.

All shadows moot.
No substitute.

Objective now

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit). Outside brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762345-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: October 7, 2020

Mosaic Nature

Stream, leaves, roots, rock, light:
all share in the greater whole
tessellating time.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image haiku challenge prompt (branches, water, reflections) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761147-Our-Sixth-Haiga-Collaboration
Submitted: October 7, 2020


That night
I felt those flowing notes
erupting from my radio

into headphones

rocking heartbeats

eyes alive

with torrential energies

cascading up and down my spine

toward fingertips

I knew
I must play guitar.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen Tribute challenge prompt link - https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762258-Van-Halen-Tribute-Contest

Inspired by Eddie's phenomenal Eruption guitar solo.  More about that:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eruption_ (instrumental)

Also, I am a guitarist who counts EVH among his musical influences on the guitar.  Here's a sample track of mine:
Submitted: October 7, 2020

On Munch's 'The Scream of Nature'

Your crimson shriek still shakes the skies
when persecuted Earth decries
developers who devastate
or poisoned airs that suffocate
our forests, fauna, rivers, hills,
while oceans bleed beneath the drills
and fractured fields grieve and quake
as mountains founder in the wake
of decimation unrestrained
and natural resources drained.

Though many plug their ears, ignore,
or shrug cold shoulders at the roar,
dismissing it to be a dream,
know some of us join in the scream.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

14 lines / 76 words.  About Artists, their Art / "something sad" challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760856-Write-about-an-artist--art--something-sad

More about Edvard Munch's "The Scream":
Submitted: October 6, 2020

The Peace that Passeth Understanding

The peace most meditations miss
transcends the temple, lotus, kiss,
eluding paths, the mountain peak,
or where believers strain to seek
some star to steer their souls through night,
away from anger, angst, the fight
to right the world in wrongful ways.
Beyond all doctrines, rites, and praise,
our promised lands and prayerful hands,
awaits the peace love understands.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 lines (prompt limit).  Meditative image inspiration (Buddha, lotus, meditation) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762082-max-10-lines---prompt-inspired
Submitted: October 5, 2020

Survivor Guilt

That death did choose you
over me

then left behind
but memories
of all you were

before the blur
of nurses, needles, charts, and bills:

on certain days
survival kills

entombing me in our old room
where time will stop
and grief resumes

and days may pass before I pry
stuck windows open

scan the sky

and somewhere
in that blinding light
discern a purpose
grand or slight

to carry on
(as you would say)

if just to rue
another day.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

81 words.  Guilt challenge prompt link - https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762004-The-Inescapability-of-Guilt- .

Note to contest provider:  you can read this poem on the October 8, 2020 episode of Strange Magic After Midnight Blogtalk radio show.  Thank you.
Submitted: October 4, 2020


No potion, crystal,
spell, or charm
could conjure me
inside her arms

except that magic
true love brings.

My enchantress
gives me wings,

kiss me free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words (prompt limit).  Witch / romantic inspiration brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762071-29-words-or-less---she-whispered-noguest
Submitted: October 4, 2020

Love's Horizon

The sea and heaven's wedding glows
opalescent radiance
as worldliness abandons sight:

our love shall live as luminous
illuminating every night.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit). Horizon brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2762015-Brevity...-21-words-or-less-
Submitted: October 4, 2020


You changed
your hairdo


got new tattoos.

We recognize you yet
these days

you never
left your ways.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (prompt limit).  Change / unchanged brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761875-23-words-or-less---change---Maryam-Hasnaa-noguest
Submitted: October 3, 2020

Stand and Deliver

No mythic hero lends defense:

the pillaged wait

now theirs alone
to bring tonight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Waiting brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761937-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: October 3, 2020

No Refuge

With eyes denied unbound fury
the sanctuary lion pines
for danger-chasing wilderness:

majestic pride

palatial stride



to roar

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Animal eyes expressing brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761874-21-words-or-less---language---MARTIN-BUBER-noguest
Submitted: October 3, 2020

After Wildfire

The wildfire licks its fangs
starved for forests


feasting on the trees
the brush

ingesting everything
once lush

then disappears
as smoking clears.

It seems the beast consumed it all
but life surprises after fall
exerting hungers of its own
to thrive again where it had grown.

So this is not the end
by far:

beneath the breakage
charred and scarred

new blooms and shoots already rise



with evergreens
the weeds and grass

after wildfires pass

restore the soil
and ways

regardless how
great flames may raze.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Fire-swept forest challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760526-Fire-Swept
Submitted: October 2, 2020


Two choices:
flight or fight tonight.

The snowshoe hare

pivots hard

kicking wind
with dire snow.

The hungry bobcats


to let it go.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  Choices brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761745-28-words-or-less---choice---k.tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: October 1, 2020

Mystic Bridge

Decamping landscapes of the known,
traverse the mystic bridge to heed
forgotten ways, lost histories,
red truths refuting yellowed myths.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

4 lines / 20 words (prompt requirement).  Mystic Bridge brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761748-Mystic-Bridge
Submitted: October 1, 2020

Gate Night

Jack-o'-lantern shadow light
flickers frightfully tonight
as trick-or-treaters ring the bells,
some horrendous, raising hells.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Halloween brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761746-In-15-words-or-less-write-about-Halloween
Submitted: October 1, 2020

Partly Cloudy

How many billion skies have formed
to bring my eyes these very clouds
which take the shape of your soft face?

It's like the music you would move
throughout these searching thoughts and hands
poised silent on piano keys

intent to press forth melodies
composing your pure love for me:

I grasp the flow so

as heartache


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image (piano player on beach, couple dancing in the clouds) image challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761522-Photo-prompt-
Submitted: October 1, 2020

Family Forest

I wind my way back
toward our tree

observe the branch
which bore my leaf

retrace the trunk
down to its roots

then glance across
the wider woods

aware the forest
rose from seeds

preceding all
we cultivate

from histories
outgrown by life

now ground beneath
the underbrush.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

48 words.  Poetic Genealogy challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760616-Jumping-into-Poetic-Genealogy-The-Wow-and-W
Submitted: September 30, 2020

At the First Fair

Cotton candied
Ferris wheel
trinket music

roller coasting
impish lights
stuffed toys
bumper car invites

fervor blurring


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (prompt limit).  Fairground Attraction brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761715-Brevity...-23-words-or-less-
Submitted: September 30, 2020

Glass Globe

dropped our fragile Earth


it was not your toy

shelved it

hoping no one saw.


then let's repair
and swear
to be more careful
and aware.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Broken Earth image brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761680-Brevity-Image-Prompt--434-
Submitted: September 30, 2020

Kindled Editions



flaming fast:

verboten volumes burn at last

securing curiosity

ensuring durability

invigorating liberty.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Flame brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761638-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: September 28, 2020

Internet Lullabies


Read, read, read your feeds.
Quickly binge your streams.
Verily, wearily, narrowly, warily
nothing's what it seems.


Like it, like it:  online star.
How we wander where you are.
Filmed on smartphones.  Not so shy.
In the comments, hear them cry.
Liked it, liked it, online star!
Will we recall who we are?


In stock, and buy?  Maybe.
On the Deals page.
When it says "sold out"
consumers may rage.

When the Web breaks
those prices might fall.
But should we buy?  Maybe.
Close the old mall.


Lullaby, good website.
Such distractions: you glow bright.
With your lies, you mesmerize.
You help us all feel so right.
Close our eyes, every mind,
and no truths shall we find.
Give up rights without a fight
as we dream with delight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Margaret Atwood awake / asleep to the world inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761211-Quote-Prompt
Submitted: September 28, 2020

Swing States

In Pendulum America,
all swings as freely as it shall:

down decades up from centuries,
dissent, amending, rearward, forth
through futures pulled by histories.

Momentum trending left then right,
perspectives swaying sight by site.

With balance, bound by gravity,
we pause above our molten core:
the lurching world's at rest today.

Regard the center well before
we favor wavers, drift away.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines (prompt limit).  Pendulum brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761554-Word-Prompt-Pendulum
Submitted: September 28, 2020

Life's Symphony

These seagulls serenading waves
and sailors bawling salty songs;

distant thunder drumming on;

humpbacks chanting undersea:

they all perform life's symphony.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit). Music brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761544-Brevity...-21-words-or-less-
Submitted: September 28, 2020

Playing the Long Game

As algorithms sift positions,
calculating countless moves,
exhausting with exactitude
successful possibilities,

a chessmaster
looks past the board,
laughs as grandkids
chase the dog.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (prompt limit).  Overthinker brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761517-24-words-or-less---overthinker-noguest

Inspired by chess engines / chess computers / artificial intelligence:


Submitted: September 27, 2020

Phoenix: Invincible

You strike my weakness

watch me drop

begin believing
I was stopped.

You crow.
You laugh.
You feel relief.

Applaud yourselves
but please
be brief

for every time
new failure burns
I learn the lessons.

Strength returns.

Departing dust
I'll light the skies
alive with hope
that never dies.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

49 words.  Phoenix image brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761368-Picture-Prompt---60-Words-or-Less
Submitted: September 27, 2020

Behavioral Science

Impressed how quickly
rats had reached
their destinations
through each maze,
the scientist winds
down the halls
through many doors
towards home.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Maze brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761435-22-Words---Maze
Submitted: September 26, 2020

Body Paragraphs

When lips lend
little shape to word

observe what ears
could not have heard:

the poetry
of soulful eyes

how sweat and trembling

deep sighs recite

thick histories
thin limbs will write

tense questions
nervous fingers pose

the hard-won truths
some wrinkle shows

why birdsong
shakes this cage of bone

if shoulders pout
or eyelids groan

the knowledge
callouses provide

the spines confide

what empathies
one gaze may phrase

any bent knee prays

where wrists would weep
or necks then cry.

The body sings
to signify.

Attend the gestures
and your own:

the literature
our lives intone.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

101 words.  Rumi quote inspiration (closed mouth / speaking silently in many ways) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761298-Quote-Prompt---Rumi-Quote
Submitted: September 26, 2020

Picasso's 'Girl Before a Mirror'

Her symmetries careen tonight
when blondeness greens in grimmer light
confusing truth with clueless hues
as reds and yellows riddle blues.

Reflection bends finesse and draws
what doubt assures were perfect flaws
where curves unnerve and lines depart
the funhouse mirrors of her art:

disjointed hips
foreshortened arms
receding lips
convulsive charms.

Her claws embrace gray looking glass:
how patterns shatter, dance and pass
for orders formed beyond her eyes
once gloom begins to glamorize.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

75 words.  "She's a mess / masterpiece" prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761326-Quote-Prompt---8-Only-

Inspired by Pablo Picasso's painting:



Submitted: September 25, 2020

Glass Heart Breaking

your slamming door

my glass heart
the floor

that cherished ledge:

how sunlight hugs
each jagged

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Heart cracking / heartbreak brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761328-22-words-or-less---cracked---rupi-kaur-noguest
Submitted: September 25, 2020

Believer Unbound

Where steeples never rise to skies,
no knells herald sacrament
or robes parade in pageantry,
and routines rarely preface prayer:
my faith shall not be lesser there.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit).  Religion brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761158-27-words-or-less---mans-religion---Abraham--noguest
Submitted: September 24, 2020


One notion floating
over trees


four wings
bring unity



though miniscule
florescent yet:

what once before
did crawl may soar

but firstly

to rearrange

become beyond


something everyone
must see

wishing they
might modify


to fly.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

45 words (prompt limit).  Butterfly Metamorphosis brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761090-Metamorphosis--in-25-to-45-words-noguest
Submitted: September 22, 2020


We dreaded oceans
(never swam)

yet yesterday
we leapt


two shark fins circled me;

then whales ingested everything.

Some die to live intrepidly.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  Losing Fear / Gaining Life brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761069-28-words-or-less---less-afraid---RUDY-FRANC-noguest
Submitted: September 22, 2020

Redeemer Agonistes

They whipped

then riddled
every limb

skewered brutally
through swords


crowned you
under thorns.

All sufferance
your agony.

our ecstasy.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Compassion brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2761120-Brevity---22-words-or-less

Poem inspired by the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and all compassionate heroes who have suffered on behalf of others in hopes those who are oppressed may be delivered from darkness, deception, and injustice.
Submitted: September 22, 2020

Causality and Destiny

Each consequence preceded by
the aftermath of some effects
reflected in another change
you may have caught or partly caused.

Across our world - the universe -
one mote of dust decides a life.
As future moves from history
all lends itself toward destiny.

That finch nest resting up this tree
depends on wings and winds set free
from storms brought forth by butterflies
sustained by milkweed days away

where one young dancer read by chance
what monarchs need to stay alive.
She loves they drift so gracefully
above her garden full of birds.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines / 4 stanzas (prompt requirement).  94 words.  Making destiny challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760549-Nora-Roberts-Prompt-Brevity
Submitted: September 18, 2020

Sisyphus Victorious

another crushing day

atop an obscure peak he leans:

faint Sisyphus at long last sees
the rock he ever rolled go free
beyond the dreaded edge then
drop where in the past
all promise stopped
and cast him down
that steep decline
in the tyranny
of time.

questions how
could this now be.
Was this just mythology?

we would believe?

we always
free to leave?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

72 words.  Anything challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760696-anything
Submitted: September 18, 2020

Around the Clock

Millennia would rush to months
while weeks preferred the blur of days.

The hours envied minutes best,
accelerating past the rest,

though moments, knowing differently,
wished they could stay eternally.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Motion challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760246-Word-Prompt-Motion
Submitted: September 17, 2020

Punch Line

At the club
some comic cracks
grim jokes nobody seems to get
except for one dressed dark as death;
her cackles fill the empty room.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Not Taking Life Seriously quote brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760604-25-words-or-less---forced---HUNTER-S.-THOMP-noguest
Submitted: September 16, 2020

Pine Island, NY

Your fertile furrowed fields cultivate
and harvest urban minds to meditate
on what must come from country, sweat, and seed
immersed in soil richer than all human greed:
such lush abundance hungers rarely know
until we till the land by hand and grow.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

6 lines (prompt requirement).  Image (farm) brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760172-MAX-6-lines---ARTWORK-is-prompt

Links to more information about Pine Island, New York:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Island ,_New_York


Submitted: September 14, 2020

Reflection Nebula

Divided from
unending night

the nebula
(by stellar light)
reveals vaster majesty:

the universe we barely see

those cosmic truths you rarely know
until you dwell within their glow.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words.  Clouds/Ponsot brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2759520-IN-AT-LEAST-8-WORDS-interpret-the-poem-List
Submitted: September 14, 2020



but gravity

water wends
around all rocks

streams by leaves

protruding roots


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Path brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760430-22-Words---Path
Submitted: September 14, 2020


Royal subjects
Fear and Greed
trespassed the castle

drank your mead

advised you into
needless wars.

Now Vanity sits
upon your throne

and you're the jester

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit).  Giving Power/Power Over You brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760358-27-words-or-less---power---Leon-Brown-noguest
Submitted: September 14, 2020

The Sudden Hero

You never sought
to be the one

to brave the dangers
no one faced

and yet the world
now looks to you:

the sudden hero
of our day.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  Unsuspected Reserve of Strength quote brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760383-28-words-or-less---strength---Isabel-Allend-noguest
Submitted: September 14, 2020

Potential Puppet

No strings appear
to sway your limbs.

You're speaking, sure:
you hear your voice.

But what of thoughts?
Were they your choice?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Puppet brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760397-Brevity---22-words-or-less
Submitted: September 14, 2020


The world would sculpt you

immobilize you

Defy this rigid plastic art!

the contours
of your heart!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Fitting In brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760355-20-words-or-less---fit---jmstorm---noguest
Submitted: September 13, 2020


Within the photo editor:
contrast, brightness escalate

then saturation wants to rise

since every image pales beside
remembrance of that golden day.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Colorful brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760334-Brevity---22-words-or-less
Submitted: September 13, 2020


You wonder
why I photograph

instead of letting memories
immortalize these instances


nothing's unforgettable

and every picture
in time.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Photo brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2760333-Brevity...-21-words-or-less-
Submitted: September 13, 2020


For one more evening
be with me

another week


Euphoric hours
exit fast.



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Stay brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2759842-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: September 7, 2020


Tenacious earth
immersed in rain




flowing where
nobody stands

to overcome
old barriers

unyielding lands
and stagnancy

as nature ordains
all be free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words.  Rain brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2759739-Brevity-word-prompt--Rain
Submitted: September 5, 2020

On the Desolation of Ages

These molded stones
broke loose by time

which carried castles, bridges, walls,
the pyramids, cathedral vaults,
most famous stages, marbled halls,

still tumble down from any age,
increasing earth of bones and dust
with what must crackle, wither, rust:

grand columns, arches, megaliths,
old temples, stairwells, weaponry
defenselessly surrendered here
to elements and centuries
and hypothetic histories.

Beyond this starkness, we unite
to craft ambitious plans tonight,
vacating space, proposing plots,
pour concrete forth, and kiln fresh bricks.

Now tremor never at the thought
of weather wrecking what you wrought
but brave the raging waste of years
and brace against corrosive fears
with strict convictions no one shakes
and such construction nothing quakes.

Let's lay foundations every day,
refine horizons while we pray
our architecture shall endure,
evade decay and reassure
some future viewers we could last,
defy destruction, dare the past,
prevailing where ancestors fell
to hoist up banners, ring the bells,
proclaiming prowess, pride, and powers.

We'll peer upon all twilight hours
with wisdom won from industry,
much confidence, stability,
as students of the ruins should
to be remembered where we stood.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

184 words. Classic of the Ages challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2759486-Write-a-Classic-for-the-Ages
Submitted: September 4, 2020


Dimmed living rooms
(your vanished light)

unquiet silence
(songless sight)

though no one goes

nowhere there
you're everywhere


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Gone brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2759462-Brevity...-21-words-or-less-
Submitted: September 2, 2020


Instinctively ten fingertips
lead empty hands through frigid space
to seek the heat of love's embrace
and grasp beyond fragility
the true strength of their unity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

5 lines (prompt requirement).  Image prompt (hands about to hold each other) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2759160-Photo-Prompt---Max-5-Lines
Submitted: August 29, 2020


You're atoms
land and sea

the planets
this galaxy

the cosmos quickened



a part
of everything
I see.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines.  Connected to the Cosmos challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2758963-Connected-to-the-cosmo
Submitted: August 28, 2020

To the Would-Be Poet

In distant attics

unmarked boxes
(since misplaced)
secure your
yellowed manuscripts:

those ageless words
nobody heard

you penned
once unforgettably.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Forgotten Dreams brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2758861-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: August 26, 2020


Enfolding arms, entwining minds
with woven souls and slowing breath

come concentrate and coalesce:
slim distance implores unity;

thus let these fingers touch as one
and heartbeats wed inseparably.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

6 lines (prompt limit).  Image prompt (a couple back-to-back and meditative with arms entwined) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2758507-Photo-Prompt---Max-6-Lines
Submitted: August 25, 2020


As algorithms plotted routes
the followers expressed no doubts
they'd reach their destinations fast

until too many miles passed

and nothing seemed familiar
when everything became a blur
once sunlight faded from the sky

and where became the question why.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

One Word Poetry (Misguided) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2758669-One-word-poetry-31
Submitted: August 25, 2020

After Coloring Books

Designs defined
by other hands:

you're coloring
as best you can

until you learn
to illustrate

your world


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Colouring Book brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2758517-Brevity...-21-words-or-less-
Submitted: August 22, 2020


Hovering doubled
by the pond, some rush, alight
with glistening wings.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Insects haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2758469-Haiku---Insects
Submitted: August 22, 2020

Going, But Not Gone

You go.
They say
you do depart.

You never
step outside
this heart

but thrive
in lively


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  "You've Returned" brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2758516-Brevity...-21-words-or-less-
Submitted: August 22, 2020


Along the shores
clear edges trend
from certain earth
to blurry waves

which rushing seep
through furrowed stone

every permanence
a coast proposes
to the sea

immersing forms
in frenzied depths

where busted anchors
clutch the sand
which once was vessel
bone and land:

the sediments
of certainties.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt limit).  Shores brevity challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2757286-Brevity-series-188---shore

Submitted: August 20, 2020


A saxophone intoxicates
the silence with familiar strains

a melody we know so well

as tune and pupils start to swell

impelled by rhythms
deep within

we rise
and then our dance begins

your soft warm hands
enwrapping mine

our arms enfolded
legs entwined

and calmly we will
sway to song

as others look
some lovers long

to be so open

to move through music
far from fear

as we two

and kiss




engendering fresh memories
for all our years

as fingers squeeze
then necks caress
the tempo


in perfumed air

your skin aglow
by mellow lanterns


and this sweet tango dares the night
to stay awake
when most would sleep

with limbs still willing

old hearts leap

more youthful through each turn

while notes flow

passions yearn
to keep this rhapsodic romance

and so we hold

and how we dance.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Dancing in the Dark challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2758250-Dancing-in-the-Dark
Submitted: August 18, 2020


Disguised by day, incessant thought

(and rarely sought because it's there
enfolding atoms everywhere)

the universe revealed tonight
invites new eyes inside its light

to fathom space past time and place
those fleeting zones of here or when

to contemplate eternity
that perfect singularity

whence every thing
once one would spring

into a trillion galaxies
innumerous realities

each fractal facet, star to soul
reflecting edges of the whole:

the sacred center most profound
where nothing's lost but ever bound.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

79 words.  Image challenge prompt (nebula/galaxy appearing before person walking along a street) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2758129-Picture-Prompt-
Submitted: August 17, 2020

The First Clues

When Saturn lights your sky
one night

you might begin
to question sight

even as you
croon and swoon

entranced and dancing
on the moon

astounded how
you got so far

to stand and grasp
the furthest star

with everything
in reach above

until you see
you are in love.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines. 50 words.  Image prompt (Saturn in night sky, seen from a moon) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2758005-Image-Prompt-11
Submitted: August 16, 2020

Harvest Moon

Moonglow wanders

reviving sighers'
dreamful eyes

lonesome souls

lovers' swiftly
whispered prayers

old pessimists

nocturnal yearnings

whatever starlight
cannot kiss.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (prompt limit).  Moon brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2757927-24-words-or-less---Rahul.k---maybe-noguest
Submitted: August 15, 2020

The Eloquence of Your Eyes


(who see
these meanings so

before tongue
curves thought into words)

most observantly

as eyes

more beautifully.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Brevity challenge prompt (conversing with a beautiful mind) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2757860-20-words-or-less---nothing-compares--noguest
Submitted: August 14, 2020

Phoenix: Quenched


crushing wings

once aflame
gave me these skies

the downpour
snuffed all light

thunder ruptured
endless nights

and flooding drowned
the world I knew

until I
recollected you

admitting love


from suffering.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

39 words.  Image challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2757741-Brevity-Image-Prompt--382-
Submitted: August 12, 2020

Unifier Unseen

of motley shards

to redefine

lends fragments
far from any whole
which should exist now

chance to dance

inside a vision's
fractal light
through mystic mirrors

whirled by hands

no one spies
or understands
but hopes the hold

may stay as strong

to keep
us seeing
all belong.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words.  Broken brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2756289-50-words-abstract-brevity-BROKEN
Submitted: August 10, 2020

Water Mirror

The water mirror
hid by wind

brings clarity
in rare still air

disclosing what
was ever there:

long parallels
rich symmetries

most jagged lands
in harmony

the obscured order
purely known

between these trees
and every stone

our humbled presence
in this peace

among the mountains
clouds and geese

and everything
we cannot see

aligned in fine

until reflections

and memories
become unclear.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

65 words.  Image challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2757118--319_Shutter-Button_Poetry
Submitted: August 10, 2020

A History of Love

Amid a pathway
paved by fate
we met and stepped
on through the gate

exchanging questions
knowledge, smiles
for many years
and many miles

stronger by the hour.
First the friendship
like a flower

blooming brightly
became our garden

somewhere joyous
we could thrive
and feel so free
so much alive.

Awake now, grateful
in our quilt
we warm the home
our love has built

astonished by
our history:
how all of this
was meant to be.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

80 words.  Relationships prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2757432-Relationships-
Submitted: August 9, 2020


Broadsword of Truth

swung firm
and high

divides the darkness
to defy

monstrosities of ignorance


seething fire

dare advance
where dreadful shadows
swoop and sway

until the blade
drives them away

and champions reality

and liberates
a mind

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines. Image challenge prompt (person holding sword in fire) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2756153-Heroic-Fantasy-144
Submitted: August 8, 2020

Phoenix: Falling

Although my plumes
once lithe and bright
combust to dust
and ground my flight

I hold no malice
or remorse
for this is but
another night

before the sunrise
burns again
dispelling smoke
disclosing sky

when feathers stem
from detritus
and then again
I'll learn to fly.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

48 words.  Flight brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2755853-Brevity-series-187---flight
Submitted: August 4, 2020


We verge upon
the mountain's rise
with sundry tongues
to say we seek.

Emerging from divergent lands
we pilgrims pressed in steep ascent
must scale supernal mysteries
above all mundane histories.

No one among us
reigns the way
nor holds the sole map
which forbids.

We worthy searchers surge the slopes
pursue the unseen peak in hopes
perspectives lend us wiser sight
to find our paradise by night.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

The Path to Heaven prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2756920-The-path-to-heaven
Submitted: August 3, 2020

In the Library of the Heart

On cobwebbed


our narrative:

two searchers

so love prevails

past misbegotten
fairy tales.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 words (prompt limit).  Library brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2756526-Brevity....-18-words-or-less
Submitted: July 30, 2020


Only one
stays dry beneath this
beat umbrella during rain.


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 word (prompt limit).  Rain brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2756383-Brevity...-18-words-or-less
Submitted: July 28, 2020


The old stockade too frail to play
the shepherd of this wayward yard
now only leans as deer squeeze by
past trellises enmeshed with vines

our flower gardens gone to weeds
entombing birdbaths full of leaves

red mailbox plunged in overgrowth
concealing step stones toward the door
which rarely opens anymore.

Behind those walls I wait to see
recalling you would fly to me

fresh daisies placed in darker hair
new ventures spoken by your stare

to wander well beyond the trees
we planted just before the freeze

when earth was endless paradise
and life was not yet time and ice.

Revisit me howeverly
in living flesh or reverie

beside me drawing every blind
that by the daylight I might find
some happy end before I go:

the one we never got to know.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

134 words.  I am requesting a reader.  Pablo Neruda quote inspiration (old house, waiting for someone) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2755831-Pablo-Neruda--4-Contest-noguest
Submitted: July 26, 2020


who throw stones


knowing sin
at least as much
as one you judge


hits you


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (the prompt limit).  Judgement brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2755792-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: July 21, 2020


Pluperfect nothing
out of time

supernal light
divergent night

unto many things

the flowerings
unnamed to fade

one choice enjoyed
ere suffering

ruination bathing
earth in blood

cleansed by love's
baptismal flood

the covenant
of second chance

delusions fueling
false advance

revealings herald
end of days

whence judgement thunders
through the blaze

lest virtues subdue
ruthless vice

and inner fires
find their ice:

deliver us
to dispossess

transcending ends
of emptiness.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

History of Religion prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2755649-The-History-of-Religion-
Submitted: July 19, 2020

Young Einstein

Through youthful flights, you pursued light
past other observations blurred

envisioning velocities
impossible to be inferred

and proved to dreamers they were right
to give imagination wings

and chase strange thoughts outside the known
and soar above what once was shown

so science hears as vision sings
of theories glimpsed beyond the binds

where narrow sights confining minds
divide us where we might relate.

How you remind us to suppose
and commend us to create!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

14 lines.  Einstein quote challenge prompt - link:

Quote inspiration: "Pursuing a Beam of Light"

More about Einstein's thought experiments:

Submitted: July 18, 2020


You're asking canyons
what to do

Their response: always
in your words


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words.  Answers brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2755457-Brevity-20-
Submitted: July 18, 2020

Phoenix: Fearless

At first we see retreating

then flapping wings
to no avail

watch everything descend
to fear

with each decline

until the free falls
cease to be
the ends of possibility:

then nothing
takes our breath away

or grounds us long

not even death.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 lines.  Image (serious fiery being with wings) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2755416-15-poets-only---image-prompt
Submitted: July 17, 2020

Nirvanic Love

Advancing love
beyond ourselves

toward freedom from
all sufferings

divesting flesh
delusions, hate

let passions crash
into the void


transcending shadows
unto peace

where we were never
nothing less

than central to

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

35 words.  Quote brevity challenge (not feeling like nothing to make someone everything) prompt - link:

More about the concept of Nirvana:

Submitted: July 15, 2020


I am the shells upon the shore
the golden ocean's floating sun
horizon wide with fire light
now one with all beyond my sight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

4 lines (prompt requirement).  Image prompt (meditating individual by the shore) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2754986-Photo-Prompt---max-4-lines
Submitted: July 13, 2020

Athenaeum of Ambiguities

Nonsense overshadowing
the literary minuscule

our endless quest:

we mean.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 words (prompt limit).  "Library of Babel" (Borges) inspiration brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2755042-12-word-poems---The-Library-of-Babel
Submitted: July 12, 2020

Dark Adaptation

At first

merely sky

because perceptions
withhold sight

and now you must wait


avoiding any point that blinds

till dimness dwindles
out of time

so distance withers without trace
and universe may show its face

and you could know
however far

the constellations
every star

exactly where they ought to be

once eyes prepare
to mind
and see.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Quote challenge (in darkness you can see the stars) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2754994-Quote--15-

More about Dark Adaptation and human eyes:


https://www.open.edu/openlearn/ocw/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=96046?ion=_unit3.1.1https ://www.open.edu/openlearn/ocw/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=96046?ion=_unit3.1.1
Submitted: July 12, 2020


No grim goodbyes
before you stepped
aboard that last train
heading out

we thought
you would

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 words.  Goodbyes brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2755037-Brevity...-18-words-or-less
Submitted: July 12, 2020

Phoenix Love

how things once were

much like the sun
swerves out of blur

when I commence
my next descent

retracting wings


toward rushing ground
the crater where I would be found

should I relive the loss of you
then spiral flightless from the blue.

Collecting strength to persevere
as dust clouds slowly disappear

I gather sparks
inflaming love

return to burning
surge above

the detritus
of perished days



eyes ablaze.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

75 words.  New Beginnings challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2754844-New-Beginnings
Submitted: July 10, 2020


engines revving

subdued by
sunset which

this city in

its stillness
proves to

and moves us
from our daily

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words.  Brevity quote challenge (quiet in the city) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2754722-brevity-prompted--8
Submitted: July 10, 2020


All voices strengthen resonance
deepened by diversity

enrich each verse with variance
vibrational complexity

reverberating amplified
melodically and dignified

through harmonies intensified:
their song no silence dares divide.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words.  Chorus brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2754231-Word-Prompt---Chorus---60-words-or-less
Submitted: July 8, 2020

The Last Wrong Turn

Software, sensors, measurements
where ethics navigate.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

6 Word Poems (3 words per line, 2 lines):  "Why the World Got so Lost" challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2754341-15-000-Points-for-Six-Words
Submitted: July 8, 2020


Where others vainly
strain and fail

one hope steps forth:
you could prevail

should you dismiss mere doubts and fears
defeat derision in your ears
and contemplate more fabled fate:

the kingdom you would soon create
once you conceive it can be done
believing then you are the one

to be the leader people need
to surge through darkness on your steed
assembling knights in mythic quests
to fight for truth and those oppressed.

Adventure beckons
to the bone.

Now lift this sword up
from the stone!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines.
Heroic Fantasy image prompt (knight wielding great sword) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753329-Heroic-Fantasy-137
Submitted: July 6, 2020

Nazca Lines

Terrific symbols
etching ancient dirt

best inspected
from the sky

but why?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 Word Poems: Unexplainable by Design brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2754541-12-word-poems---Unexplainable-by-design

More about the Nazca Lines in Peru:
Submitted: July 6, 2020

Freedom of Thought

Once illusion

no longer chain you
to the floor

and shadows offer
nothing more

and you could leave
this cave behind

you have begun
to free your mind.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Freedom brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2754389-Freedom---30-words-
Submitted: July 4, 2020

The Secrets of All Ages

Some say refrain
from gazing at
this monumental
cryptic box

ignore the rusted
chains and locks

resist from prying
off its lid

and neither speak
the names inscribed

nor study numbers
on the sides

- at all costs
keep the mystery.

But you must look
prevail to free
these secrets known
as history.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines.  Curiosity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751775-a-poem-on-Curiosity-
Submitted: July 3, 2020

The Phoenix Way

Where others dwell on my demise
I cast my ashes
then arise.

As some prepare to eulogize
I spread new wings
to their surprise.

Despite defeatists heaving sighs
my song endures
to energize.

Before the coldness conquers eyes
my fire lights
the starless skies.

When death descends to finalize
I resurrect

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 lines.  Phoenix challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2754135-Picture-Prompt-Phoenix-Fantasy-Fiction
Submitted: July 2, 2020

Artificial Intelligence

After nineteen thousand tries
computers mostly recognize
the apples from the oranges.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 words (as required).  Learning to Learn brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2754153-12-word-poems---Learning-to-learn
Submitted: July 1, 2020

Archetypal Eyes

Old patterns rise behind the lines
dividing motifs from designs

where circles verge, triangles trend
vague emblems spiral to portend

returning figures, plots and page:
the tricksters, wizards, heroes, sage

initiations, quests and rites
creation, unions, shadows, lights

primeval scenes now paradigms
through ageless faces, places, times

emerging universally
when you move past what eyes first see.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Zen Tangle image prompt (an eye in the center of various interwoven patterns) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753718-Picture-Prompt-Zen-Tangle-Me-Art-Fantasy
Submitted: July 1, 2020


(Inside this vault)
no hatred knows
the combinations of
my love

but you
my you

you hold the key

but turn a wink
reopen me

reclaim this love
once always yours

& as you leave
unlock the doors

as there's no greater
prize than this


your hand

& kiss).

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

51 words.  E. E. Cummings (Love Is a Place) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753993-E.E.-Cummings-Poem-prompt

The "perhaps your hand" is also subtle reference to Cumming's "Spring is like a perhaps hand":
Submitted: June 30, 2020


They doused you cold
before you blazed

extinguished others.

Then they razed.

Wake up.

Breathe in this light.

Exhale like fire
unto night.

Go show bold stars
how bright truth burns
when freedom speaks
and fear adjourns.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Rimbaud (Poet as Thief of Fire) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752899-The-poet-is-the-thief-of-fire.-Attributable
Submitted: June 30, 2020


Tenacious strain
usurping thought

restating more

entrenching earworm

depriving silence

no other song
as long it sings.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Music brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753987-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: June 30, 2020

The God-Players

Controlling pieces



denying progress


they pray we play
presumptive pawns

until it dawns:

we're kings and queens.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image challenge (tiny city, large hand holding chesspiece over the view) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753945-Brevity-Image-Prompt--328-
Submitted: June 29, 2020


As Liszt enchants the concert hall
six critics sift through endless notes

ten listeners regret they left
piano lessons to their youth

while most observers chase his hands
which hypnotize by candlelight

- then yet another stunning sight:
a dancer answers rhythm's call

obeys exacting serenades
balletically delirious

now emblematic of our urge
to move as music toward the surge.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

60 words.  Surreal image prompt challenge (onlookers, piano keys like stairs around a head, a ballet dancer) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753844-8-poets-write-to-surreal-prompt

More about Franz Liszt:
Submitted: June 28, 2020

Shell of Venus

Beside the beach
one wide white shell

once beautiful

abandoned since
an age ago

when Botticelli's Venus
in mythic glory
from her birth

(demure, that stare

iconic hair)

to usher loves
upon this earth.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

White Shell inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753732-A-white-shell--an-ivory-beach-and-a-cobalt-

More about The Birth of Venus (painting) by Sandro Botticelli:
Submitted: June 28, 2020

Park Bench Lucidity

Busses lunging
through the square

dump trucks rushing

bikers blare

cyclists whisking brisk ahead

while joggers bogged in distance
through walking talkers

then sirens cry

- a butterfly.

everyone heads somewhere

except for me

that page in air

two sportive squirrels playing tag
and three crows dancing round a bag.


in this cool repose

the less I fret
the more thoughts flow

as blurs turn clear
and heartbeats slow.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Quote inspiration challenge (relaxing or playing in a culture bent on exhaustion) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753808-Quotes-of-enlightenment-series-4
Submitted: June 28, 2020


Rearing, neighing, kick:
snorting at saddle and reins,
the horse unbroken.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Horse haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753584-Haiku---horse
Submitted: June 28, 2020

Theater of the Real

No zombies



made-up fiends

could chill your heart
with this much fear

should you care
to step in there

attend the movie
most will flee:

the brutal film
of history.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

35 words.  Brevity quote challenge (not being afraid of monsters but of what people do to other) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753779-35-Words---One-Day-Quote-Prompt
Submitted: June 27, 2020


Mending canyons


than knowing closure
in this loss:


fills that gap
you left.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Sorrow brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753740-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: June 27, 2020


A modest leaf
upon this tree

preserved by roots

pursuing skies

I'm born by branches




one with forests
which are me

sustaining lives

so all should

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image challenge (person part of a tree) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753642-Brevity-Image-Prompt--321-
Submitted: June 25, 2020


Corroded copper, failing clasp
yet such a treasure in my grasp

one only to be seen by me
once I am moved to memory

and then it opens to suffice,
this surreptitious paradise:

your photograph reversing time,
returning years when you were mine.

So suddenly we're young again
well unaware of how or when

on paths toward possibilities
no talk of loss, fragilities

just us and futures to be made.
How we would whirl when music played.

We leave, but you're already there
beside me always, everywhere.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Portable Paradise brevity challenge - prompt: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753563-Brevity-Poem-Prompt--87
Submitted: June 25, 2020


Our inkwells of
old tears and blood

fill the frayed quills
with fresh voice

every choice:

redeeming deeds

in constitutions
freedom needs

and declarations
we define

beyond the lines
where all must sign.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

35 words.  Brevity quote challenge prompt (writing one's own deliverance) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753544-35-Words---One-Day-Quote-Prompt
Submitted: June 25, 2020


The u-turn toward
the earlier
before we reached
this hard-fought point

sends drivers past
the interstate
toward the first square
once thought done

and those who choose
to head on back
approach the loss
of what was gained.

Perhaps for some
that's progress made
and they may think that
rather great

but history
remains averse
to those who go
from bad to worse.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

"Works in Reverse" challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751285-Works-in-Reverse-
Submitted: June 24, 2020

Unconscious Shadowboxer


looming larger
with retreat

from every slug
the counterpunch

to feint
an act of self-deceit

no referee
to part the two

or count to ten
or rescue you

when on the ropes
or on the ground

and no bell ringing
ends the round

in this
exhibition fight

between your darkness
and the light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

57 words (60 the prompt limit).  Boxing brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753381-Brevity---word-prompt

For Late Night Poets:  I would need a reader.  Blanket per. should also be on file already. 

More information:


Jungian (Carl Jung) Psychology:
The Shadow

Submitted: June 22, 2020

Blues Guitar

Elastic notes
ooze into grooves:

the bass begins to pace the stage

and drums
thump like
a busted

A guttural guitar recounts
that love gone wrong
so wrong

so long

its writhing tones lend sorrow song

those trills a stomach's butterflies
while melody sobs over lies

with dissonance
the goodbye kiss

then downward slides toward the abyss

where steel strings
strained out of tune
weep deepest
as vibrato swoons

till someone lost
calls one more round

and plaintive pitches hit the ground

but struggle up
to belt the tales

as rhythms slog
and guitar wails.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Between Guitar Strings prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753343-Between-Guitar-Strings
Submitted: June 21, 2020

Glass Ceilings

Clear barrier
of magic glass

detaining others
as some pass.

You see one
and strike again.

as the cracks come
strike again.

till the last piece

And let us not
forget the walls.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image prompt (boxing glove punching through glass) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753031-Image-prompt-2

More about Glass Ceilings:

Submitted: June 21, 2020


Valley trounced by time
still smiles broadly toward the world:
"Nothing keeps me down!"

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Haiku with juxtaposition nature image prompt (wide valley like a smile) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753287-Nature-Only
Submitted: June 21, 2020


In this frenetic festival
discordant shapes and hues compete
for audience

but here they pale

and none prevail
to pry my eyes from your plain gaze
which permeates the raucous haze

to focus me in softer light

and in that instant nothing quite
inveigles us to turn away
as speechlessness

steps forth to say what words cannot

when old familiars recognize
how much they love
and harmonize.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 lines (16 the prompt limit).  Image prompt (painting inspiration: "Young Lady with Parasol" by Karl Albert Buehr, 1910, a colorfully-dressed woman sitting in a vivid environment holding a parasol, her direct and transfixing stare directed at the viewer) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753196-8-poets-write-to-prompt
Submitted: June 21, 2020

Rococo Curio

Exuberant embellishments
obnubilating centerpiece

astonished arches
vaulting vines

bouquets swarming gilded eyes
needless filigrees disguise.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Antique brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753281-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: June 21, 2020

Newborn Panda




yet everything

to the giant
cradling it

so softly

with most

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (20 the limit).  "Small" brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753282-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: June 21, 2020


A surface hinting
nothing of
the deeper world

compels we reach
to delve
all shallow outer

and so we draw back

below old strata

witness crowds
collecting to be heard
and seen

beyond facades
and plastic screens:

they testify forgiveness

pursue a peace that keeps

May we divulge













while we peel.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image prompt (an entire world revealed when unwrapped) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753169-Image-prompt
Submitted: June 19, 2020

True North

No map
centers me
the state
I ought to be

and though
this compass
spins me

your eyes

my true north's

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (27 being the prompt limit).  Brevity quote inspiration (the right place being a person) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753084-27-words-or-less---k.-tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: June 18, 2020

Skate Park Memory

That little boy
of bright blue shirt
clutching skateboard
to his heart

astonished partly

fearing fully

as cooler kids
and spin

or skid off rails
on concrete


and whip past
as if
he's not there:

another me
when I was three.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Skating challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753070-Skating-In-The-90s
Submitted: June 18, 2020

Placebo Effects



yet effects:

attests potentials
of a mind

to heal really
when inclined.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

14 words (15 the prompt limit).  Medicine brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753060-Brevity...-15-words-only
Submitted: June 18, 2020

Domino Effect Inverse

last one
stands back up:

this lifts
the next one
to its feet

which helps
climb upright

and this


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Domino Effect challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753009-Three-word-poetry--4
Submitted: June 18, 2020

Say When

It rains:

all arid soil sighs
at last

imbibing fast

then says when

but thunderclouds

continue pouring;

thus begins
another flood.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Thirsty brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753034-Brevity-22-words-or-less-
Submitted: June 18, 2020

The Lotus of Knowing and Unknowing

Immersed in murk: how this begins
antonymous to certitudes
in existential mud of life
as anchored roots shoot through the dark
reflexive stems ascendant sending
leaves unfurling faultless blooms
becoming grails to cup pure light
until fulfillment seeds the night
and wakes the sacred cycle more
revealing truths from the obscure.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 lines.  Satori brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2753032-Satori-brevity
Submitted: June 18, 2020


Her fingers perch
on ringing strings:
the harpist stops

yet music sings

behind bright eyes
which drift to dreams
beyond the trees

where sunlight streams

and once again
she dances there
with airy limbs

as if on air

as music fills
her bursting heart
aglow with wonder

beauty, art

no longer bound
by sorrows here
or old regrets

when shadows clear

because she sees
her world anew
released and free

now love proves true.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image challenge prompt (woman with lyre and a dreamy expression): https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752944-8-poets-write-to-prompt
Submitted: June 17, 2020

Ballet Lessons

Kinetic flexions

lissome wrists

deft ankles

an elegance
once cumbersome

roughed up with stumbles

refined by wrath

each iteration
richer yet

as gracelessness
becomes finesse

perfected motions.


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

35 words (prompt limit).  Elegance brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752750-A-poem-of-30-to-35-words-only-on-Elegance
Submitted: June 14, 2020


At the opera's

the orchestra
wrings every last sadness
from the final grand chord

and the soprano's ultimate note

reverberating crystalline

vibrato through all chandeliers


into the speechlessness
of three thousand eyes:

cathartic silence



then such

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

45 words (prompt limit).  Reaction brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752740-apoem-of-40-to-45-words-on-Reaction-
Submitted: June 14, 2020


I'm far from any ship at sea,
and yet the lighthouse cautions me
of shallowness along this shore
disguised by tides which promise more.

Relentless rain confuses night
as shadows chase the raging plight
and shifting winds forbid a stance
in this ferocious circumstance.

Each sinking slip upon this sand
demands deep steps to firmer land.
I keep the beacon in my sight
and strive inside its righteous light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image (person in storm moving toward a lighthouse) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752619-Dark-images--38
Submitted: June 13, 2020

Butterfly Mindset

I crawled too far
through dirt
and hurt
to disregard

this urgency

to overgrow
all former selves
alight my spirit
on new winds

with weightless wings

pure buoyancy

to soar me there
where I could be:

among the blossoms

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

40 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image (pensive woman surrounded by butterflies) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752609-Brevity-Image-Prompt--306-
Submitted: June 12, 2020


This armor

my suit of faith
as I move toward
those dragons


dispatch them before
they consume
my world with fears
and fumes or flames.

The battle cry inside my eyes
says this believer does not flee.

And so I stride into the storm
with wisdom, strength, and bravery.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Brevity image (knight, faith) quote challenge:
Submitted: June 12, 2020


mere needs
esteem and deeds

potentials lit
with knowing's glow:

you thrill completely
in this bliss
of having

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image challenge prompt (ecstatic person, embracing self, with eyes closed) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751923-Write-To-Image
Submitted: June 11, 2020

Through the Dreamcatcher

In willow wrapped
a web

a nightmare
upon a strand

as feathered dreams
float through
to you.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

19 words (20 the prompt limit).  Dreamcatcher brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752487-Brevity--20-words-or-less

Free image adapted from Pexels:
Submitted: June 11, 2020


Seasons like wizards
dueling through time, reversing
spells others conjured.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Haiku - Magic theme - challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752444-Haiku---Magic
Submitted: June 10, 2020

To Faux Flowers

Enduring blooms
unvaried hues

ascendant stems
that waxy scent

no petals lost
unblemished leaves



mistaking nature's
for perfection
none possess.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Fake Flowers brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752362-25-words-or-less---k.-tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: June 9, 2020

Mot Juste

Well-placed verse
cold stone


compounding gaps

two bricks

then ten

collapsing limits


emancipating blinded sight


good morning's light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Dylan Thomas quote inspiration (poems changing the world) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752276-25-words-or-less---Dylan-Thomas--noguest

This poem is, in a way, a response to Thomas' famous "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night" poem ( https://poets.org/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night ), alluding partly to the "blinding sight" while offering counterpoint to the "that good night"  with "good morning's light."

This poem also embodies the spirit of Thomas' verse in not "going gently" but rather being bold - there, at the end, while, here, at the beginning.
Submitted: June 8, 2020


Entwined inside this midnight tapestry,
rich threads of finespun interstellar light
edged with planets, moons, and nebulae:
your constellation dawns to set me right

so I may pilot outside yellowed charts
of olde worlds we would coolly navigate
to plot new routes through strange and unknown parts
where others fled or dread to speculate.

You schooled me how to hoist these royal sails,
deflect from tempests, read these unclear skies,
respect the oceans, every wave, the whales,
and never capsize in my heavy sighs.

A savvy captain, steering clear with might,
I maintain faith throughout the doubtful night
and seize again upon your sage advice:
avoid all sirens, pirates, ice,

observe auroras, sea birds, any sign
of prospect, risk, deceit, or mutiny
confusing neither gold, desires, wine
as honest compasses toward destiny.

I sometimes glimpse you beaming past the moon
inclined and kind to mind me motherly
intent that nothing, nowhere, should maroon
your only son within this ruthless sea.

With every new adventure you remain
the wind inspiriting every enterprise.
When all is lost, I scope those steady stars
in hopes to spy your proud and guiding eyes.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Poem inspiration prompt ("Starry Eyes" by Unicornroar: https://allpoetry.com/poem/15198249-Starry-Eyes-by-Unicornroar )
challenge - link:
Submitted: June 8, 2020

Cast Off

Her motley tin
of buttons mixed
with unused spools
of sewing thread
and needles
still in cellophane.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (prompt limit).  Buttons brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752243-Brevity...-17-words-or-less
Submitted: June 8, 2020

Earth Dreams

Each night
this fragile world
still dreams
of resting gently
in the safe
embrace of those
who searched the stars
and galaxies
for perfect twins
of planet Earth
and finding
nearly nothing there
began to fear
and care.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 lines.  Image challenge prompt (person sleeping, holding glowing globe) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752212-write-what-inspires------8-only
Submitted: June 7, 2020


Prodigious words
glossed over




seldom prized

now silence speaks
its sleepy spells:

Step forth, my poets.
Rings the bells!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Brevity challenge quote  (words failing, where poetry comes in) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2752087-22-words-or-less---Eric-Ellingsen-noguest
Submitted: June 6, 2020

Pandora of All Gifts

Atonement for Prometheus
   who procured Olympic flames
   for mortal cause
   ungodly throes

you stray from clay
   divinely blithe
   Athena's breath inspiriting
   refined by Aphrodite's hands

(in wedlock key to afterthought)

two vengeful vessels: you, the jar
and beauty's ruse, the Trojan Horse.

Once curious, the lid removed,
   all curses surge without remorse.

Yet, Grecian Eve
      vamped face of blame

   your final gift
       this remnant hope

       leaves but the least
    we need
to cope.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Image challenge (woman peering curiously into a box) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751976-8-only-----write-what-inspires
Submitted: June 5, 2020

Zeroth Quartet

West Coker


The hour hand has reached its peak
Now all falls still behind these drapes
Except for breathing beneath sheets
Where fingers chilled enfold in knots
The flattened pillows fail to soothe
While I prepare my sleepless stare
Through moonlit dust in dusky air.

Outside the baying dogs have gone
No passing cars, no hammers pound
A stretch of fence posts in the ground
Which nocturnal deer exploit
To feast upon those ceasing blooms
You planted by the iron gates
Where nothingness may soon arrive
To claim the unfulfilling day
And steer it past all memory
As Charon ferried endless souls
Of dead across the River Styx
The taste of coin within my mouth
As sun bends west and birds wend south.


Inside a lush and younger dream
You reappear arrayed in white
Your wedding dress an elegance
I never saw before or since
As I recall how you would wince
Adjust my collar, tie, and smile
Smooth my hair back with warm hands
Pausing gently at the nape
Such wonders rushing eye to eye
The roses flourished by the stairs
The willows wallowing in sun
Baptismal fountains surging free
As records from another floor
Whispered music through our door
And perfume tinged the musky den
When we waltzed three-quarter time
In the moment all was prime.


I shall not sip from Lethe's flow
To forget before the end
Commence from you and every friend
Without the past to speak your names
To amble, having long explored,
In absence of remembrances

The time we laughed in April rain
The time we toured the long Great Wall,
Forbidden City, Paris, Bruges,
Unnumbered bridges we would cross
The time you dived upon a dare
Those hours we walked anywhere
The years of fearless travel plans
The buses, boats, and rusted vans
The moment you first saw me weep
The futures we could never keep.

At tea how we would reminisce
And close a moment with a kiss.


What time is it?  Where has it left?
Is the heat on?  Does it snow?
I'll wait for spring, and then I'll go.
Abide with me, draw up a chair
Come sing a song you once did sing
In stronger voice, in opera halls
Upon a stage with swelling strings.

What was it?  Faust?  Ophelia?
And I, Hamlet.  Was it Lear,
Diminished king?  Prospero, then,
The tempest, wreck - my Ariel,
Your true name, yes?  Come work a spell,
Release us from this island plight
Restore us toward another night.

Am I as yet your sorcerer?
More Merlin trapped inside a tree
Enchanted for eternity.
And you, my Lady of the Lake,
Do not withdraw yourself again
But let me glimpse Excalibur.
Grant me chance to heave its helm
For we have one more war to wage
Between the pillars and the page
Where Arthur starts from Avalon
To clash with specters of the past
That we might grasp our Grails at last.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

T. S. Eliot homage / inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751940-Homage-to-one-of-the-Greats-T.S.-Eliot

Poem inspired to function as a possible prelude to Eliot's Four Quartets.
Submitted: June 5, 2020


This jigsaw puzzle
life's become

arrived without
a cardboard box

and lacks that picture
giving clues

and sometimes feels
less than complete

where no two edges
seem to meet

yet look how much
was found to fit.

Please don't even
think to quit.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com
Submitted: June 4, 2020

Every Thing in Time

Behind the mechanistic rust,
disorder's din, confusion's dust,
a reason leaps without a sound
from the moment it was bound
to usher in unseen effects
and not in ways a mind expects.

For many, this is randomness
a game of chance, not one of chess,
some senseless series of events
removed from meanings and intents
- a world where unrelated change
lies inclined to disarrange.

Ecclesiastes reassures,
at any hour, cause endures,
ascribing seasons to all things
- those winters, autumns, summers, springs
alive and promptly, as designed,
with purpose and results aligned.

How comforting to contemplate
how everything shall culminate
however well I understand
what holds within the second hand
and why some minutes change the day
as time abides or flies away.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.  Favorite Scripture challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751527-Favourite-Scripture-
Submitted: June 4, 2020


From windows
smartphone screens
the bystanders
watch silently

of horrors heard
and deaths displayed.

Among them
desire change

and sadly
think it strange.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Stand brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751869-30-words-or-less--Prompt-is-Stand
Submitted: June 4, 2020


How you transform me

remind me I may witness

embrace unknowns
and rearrange

outgrow this chrysalis
of self

to summon strength
and burst upon
the weathered world


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Image brevity challenge (butterfly near pale cracked hand reaching out) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751855-Brevity-Image-Prompt--288-
Submitted: June 3, 2020

Neural Forest

Within this realm
all branches speak
in idioms transcending sound

emotions flowing
wash around
with energies no senses see.

In any tree
such memories
their roots steeped deeply in this space

where leaves collect another light
and seasons reach across a life
and spring renews and thrives all day.

At night these woods awake to play
as constellated dreams emerge
from shadows and forgotten thoughts

and inspirations ignore time
to sing and dance when they prefer
while images and ideas stir

to shake the forest from its blur.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Synapses / mind challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751820-Synapses
Submitted: June 3, 2020


Impaling eyes?

when we refuse
each other's views.

Suppose we trade
perspectives then


I see as you.

Perceive through me.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (prompt limit).  Gandhi quote (eye for eye leading to worldwide blindness) inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751758-23-words-or-less---Mahatma-Gandhi-noguest
Submitted: June 2, 2020

Moonlight Sonata

Adagio through lunar light,
this pensive serenade lends flight
to musings strewn amongst the stars
enwrapped in blackness, Venus, Mars.

This incandescent rhapsody
gives intimate astronomy
as chaos fades and reason nears
supernal songs of sacred spheres,

inspiriting ascendant soul
to contemplate the cosmic whole.
Within these moments outside time,
go know thyself, the bright sublime

ere melodies shall evanesce
and raucous worlds would repossess
these lucid dreams as waking sleeps.
For now, attend as music sweeps.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Classical Music inspiration challenge - Beethoven "Moonlight Sonata" prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751656-Classical-Music-Inspired-Poems
Submitted: June 2, 2020


In ageless arcs
  through mortal time
this serpent curves
   of mythic chase
       from charging mouth
    to rattled tail
ever centering the cause
   restless death from life
evolving ends
    again commence
invert reversions to regain
in rampant transit to sustain
      and consuming all
   as fires climb
and forests fall
in the balance of its scales
   where moons enfold
       and sunlight trails
   till night revives another day
the snake shall swallow anyway
   its ceaseless bait
       eliminating to create
  such undulations
  thus oscillating vertebrae
    with liberty

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Serpent Symbolism challenge prompt - link:

More about Ouroboros:
Submitted: June 1, 2020


Rose petals
pale and scattered
across the cemetery
like a thousand hearts

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Roses brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751631-Brevity...-15-words-only
Submitted: June 1, 2020

On Transience

Through ruins of another age
we tramp and trace ancestral paths
through corridors collapsed by quakes
and buckled walls concussed by wars

such histories consigned to dust
dispelled by blusters since dissolved
as we ascend careening steps
of stone once thought to long endure

now cracked and haggard as the past
while rattled shadows slant and cast
their choral curse across this scene
where parapets and towers lean.

So tempting to invent the tale
when we reach the crumbled throne
imagine dancers, chanting, crowns
high polished armor, gilded gowns.

Our tour guide wrecks the reverie,
returns us to our constancy.
Back home, we walk down wooden stairs
and flooring, hallways, unawares.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Image challenge (walls and stairs made of stones which have cracked, loosened, and fallen out of place) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751448-Fantasy-803
Submitted: May 30, 2020


Amid the sonnet
of this heart
you pirouette
upon that point
where beauty veers
from graceful sight
toward revolutionary light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words.  Brevity challenge (24 words or less) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751433-brevity-prompted--6

More about the Volta in Sonnets:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volta_ (literature)
Submitted: May 30, 2020

The All-Poet

We are Whitman
and the rest

and Frost




all Eliots
and Dickinsons

Williams, too:

we're poetry
of multitudes

alive by any other name
renown without an ounce of fame

our voices versing through the night
to lend some meaning
and light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

I'm Nobody, Who Are You (Dickinson) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751426-Im-Nobody--Who-are-you-
Submitted: May 30, 2020

Superstring Theorist

Ten dimensions!

Unifying forces.


My quandary
questing supersymmetry.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

11 words (prompt requirement).  11 words brevity challenge (pulling strings) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751403-11-word-poems---I-feel-like-everyone-is-pul
Submitted: May 30, 2020

Mimic Octopus

now coral
lion fish

any way you wish

camo master


like Proteus


as you feast
or flee.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt requirement).  Camouflage brevity challenge prompt - link:

More info:

Submitted: May 29, 2020

Bottled Up

Survivor of a capsized wreck
you find an island in the night
and fashion shelter from debris
between your vigils by the sea
anticipating rescue boats.

And when none sail you spell it out:
a plea for help across the beach
so pilots sighting turn to land
and soar you back to continents
or anywhere you might belong.

But now this moon, these crashing waves,
that famishing us castaways
confront with savage honesty
as notes we've curled in bottles hurled
drift distant toward uncertainty.

And who should read them, understand,
or swim from nowhere, take our hand?

Left answerless, you leave the shore
alone and floating as before
except you now entrust the flow
and navigate the vertigo
to steer outside the cryptic blue
affirming truths inside of you
commend a message all should hear:
we must survive and persevere.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

140 words.  Image prompt (person inside of a bottle in the ocean) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751321-write-to-image
Submitted: May 29, 2020

Trevi Fountain

Prima facie grandeurs grip
as columns bolster majesty
Corinthian rich symmetries
cresting with triumphal arch
where from his charging chariot
Oceanus oversees
new tempests welling in his waves
with heaving steeds reared up to lunge
as Tritons tense to rein them in
this ancient frame of raging myth
while tourists pour to photograph
and plunder jackets, pocketbooks
for no less than three coins apiece
to grasp at dreams with each release.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Fountains challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751300-Fountains

More about Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi):


Submitted: May 28, 2020

All the Same

When labels fell off
candy jars

the licorice
each sugared treat

lost no flavor
piqued as sweet.

Now should you soon
forget my name

vaguely place
this face in time

our love's no less
retains its rhyme.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

37 words.  Romeo and Juliet brevity quote inspiration (rose by any other name smelling as sweet) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751244-Romeo-and-Juliet--prompt-brevity
Submitted: May 28, 2020

Excavation of a Self

You boast of prospects
prize yourself
yet expect the others dig
to delve your cryptic industry

uncover all you circumvent
under years of sediment.

In tunneling
what shall we find
past the strata of that mind?

Rubies? Diamonds? Amethyst?
Something on no list?

Artifacts of artistry?
Momentous ambiguities?

Of course:
your stubborn mysteries.

What else my friend?
I say

Accept this shovel.
Mine with me
or call this archaeology

unearth remembrance time interred
preserving fading histories
exhuming hints from megaliths
or piece-together fractured wares
proposing high society
rich mythologies.

no more waiting


We're excavating

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

100 words (prompt limit).  Anne Sexton inspiration prompt (Furies of Jewels and Coal) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751182-Brevity---Anne-Sexton---The-Fury-of-Jewels-
Submitted: May 27, 2020

On the Contrary

To rest in sunlight, revive night.
To rally courage, banish fright.
To embrace love, relinquish hate.
To answer freely, question fate.
To enter pleasures, exit pain.
To savor rainbows, suffer rain.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

31 words.  Quote brevity (25+ words) challenge (withstanding rain to see rainbows) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751141-Quote-prompt-25-plus-words
Submitted: May 27, 2020

Lantern Festival

At the springtime festival
people flock to higher hills

free paper lanterns
lit with wishes

watching them
ascending slow

unto night.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt requirement). Lantern theme brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751175-22-Words---Lantern
Submitted: May 27, 2020

Eyes to Eyes


fleeting wonders

parlous glances

darting sprees

optics nervous
cool aversions

sham diversions

feign unseen

hurried winces
second glimpses

iris lithe


blinkers staring
eyelids daring

lashes flaring
hidden raring

subtle caring
vision sharing
soulful baring



euphoric eyes.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Art of Eye Contact challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751091-The-art-of-eye-contact
Submitted: May 26, 2020

Halcyon Bridge

Halcyon bridge born of Monet's dreams
its modest arch assuaged in pastel haze
embracing gradients of gauzy greens
commingling with dappled lavender

a mossy span absorbed in sunburst rays
angelic auras streaming down through trees
bookending steps across the frothy brook
toward storied realms now suddenly in reach

should you conceive a journey either way
and hazard captivation, reverie,
as narrow path augments to poetry
and you turn toward your missing rhyme

to meet the secret sonnet of this scene
with breath born of transported sighs
and arms now wings of buoyant butterflies
aflutter past all you have known or seen.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Lilac Bridge challenge prompt - link:

Photo source/credit:
Unsplash / Time Traveler
Submitted: May 26, 2020

That Necessary Nexus

the secular cannot secure

no sciences substantiate

deeper meanings
do emerge

then your yenning
to converge

encompass cosmos


each star
established family.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit).  Spiritual Awakening brevity prompt (#2 "you crave meaning and purpose") challenge - link:
Submitted: May 25, 2020


A somber
this pole
fabric from
its sag
midway up
where they
would wag.

For today we honor those
who sacrificed unsparingly
defending freedom to oppose
besiegers of democracy.


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt limit).  Flag brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751018-Flag---brevity--Wwpc-members-only
Submitted: May 25, 2020

Fine-Tooth Comb

(as the mirror magnifies)
she sweeps pink teeth
across her scalp
so slowly

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt requirement).  Comb brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751047-22-Words---Comb
Submitted: May 25, 2020

Solving for X

Equations demand symmetry:
operations exercised
left and right of equal signs
to isolate the quantity
which will solve for x.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  "Rules" theme brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751045-20-words---Nightcap

A mathematical meditation on the matter of "what you do on one side of the equation, you must do to the other," as in:

2x - 4 = 0 (our initial algebraic equation)
2x - 4 + 4 = 0 + 4 (adding 4 to both sides)
2x = 4 (the result)
2x / 2 = 4 / 2 (dividing by 2 on both sides)
x = 2 (the result)
now checking that by putting the number back in where x was:
(2 x 2) - 4 = 0
4 - 4 = 0
0 = 0
Submitted: May 25, 2020

Flora, Restorative

Over rotted leaves and roots
and brittle branches cast aside
by forests dying for rebirth,
you spring ahead in sprightly dance
to reawaken slumbrous earth,

your liberated locks aswirl
invigorating instant blooms
while you may lean and leap to turn
through music none attend but you
as grays grow rosy pink or blue
and yellows, reds and purples surge
in fields freed from winter's dirge:

so frozen waters flow from time
birdsong quickens back to chime
and foliage fills barren plains
where seedlings push past old remains
as death departs this vital rite
of evergreen and lavender
and butterflies emerge to flight
restoring beauty, hope, and light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo prompt (woman in forest with leaves and flowers emanating from her whirling hair) challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750987-8-poets-write-to-creative-art-prompt

More about Flora (Roman Mythology):


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flora_ (mythology)
Submitted: May 25, 2020


This injury
no sutures bind

inflaming pain
within my mind

and reconciles

when medicated
by your smiles.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 words (prompt limit).  Medicine brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750914-Brevity...-18-words-or-less
Submitted: May 24, 2020


No borders
subdivide this heart.

No oceans ebb
our souls apart.

No fault lines slice
or time zones shear.

For we are one world:
come cohere.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (prompt limit).  John Donne quote ("no man is an island") challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750091-26-words-or-less---John-Donne-noguest
Submitted: May 24, 2020

An Ode to Resplendence

While wicked intimations bid
and sweet deceptions dance amid
beguiling smiles drenched in red
and spicy eyes forbiddance fled

you step sublime with subtlety
bestowing truths and dignity
your stately art and silent grace
born of beauty none debase

serene as sirens strike and curse
and clamor madly to coerce.
Your peace preserves our inner light
to peer above all flesh and fright

with eyes for essence past the faux
where qualities obscured must glow
when sought by wisdom absent sense
to know a soul beyond pretense.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Ode to Beauty challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750922-An-ode-to-beauty
Submitted: May 24, 2020

The Debatable Debate

They argued well
through noon and night
debating who stood
wrong or right

reciting reasons
without end
(and not to ponder
but defend)

and so they droned
and never heard
in hopes to have
the final word.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Three-Word prompt ("the final word") challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750891-Three-word-poetry--3
Submitted: May 24, 2020


In heaven
yet to covet earth

enough to trade your wings
for birth

becoming mortal
knowing pain

entertaining the profane
and relish the ephemeral:

when an angel starts to fall.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit) Image brevity prompt (angel looking with a yearning expression over a cloud down towards Earth) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750884-Brevity-Image-Prompt--271--adult
Submitted: May 24, 2020

Balance, or Bust

Thrown stones shatter mirror-lakes
scatter skies to seismic quakes:

reflections of our disregard
to damage, disarrange, discard
where timeless paragons survived

until we raided and contrived

polluting where the pure once flowed
without concern what could corrode
those meadows, streams, this open air
the creatures, trees, and all that's fair.

When waters still
and tremors rest
in atmospheres no more possessed
and hurtled stones erode to dust

have we balanced?
Did we bust?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Balance / conservation / reducing environmental impacts to zero challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749755-Innovating-to-zero--
Submitted: May 24, 2020


Though acts and chapters swiftly turn
toward vacant pages past "The End"
and covers close on characters
whose deeds and speeches must suspend,

our script, abridged, seeks denouement
through memories, fragmented dreams
to reach completions past this play
where life (exeunt) has no more scenes

and leaves the worldly stage behind
to improvise within this mind,
the heroine of this lone heart,
where love subsists and none depart.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com
Submitted: May 23, 2020

Water Cycle

after you evaporate
how would you
return some day?

Water breaking?
Perfume sprayed?
Fountains spouting?

April snowflakes?
Steam of trains?
Rivers misting?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  If You Return brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750828-Brevity...-25-words-or-less
Submitted: May 23, 2020

Growth Rings

Inscribed inside these ancient stumps
long-rolling tales of centuries

reciting climates


vicious bouts
of windy shifts




conditions whispered
every band

historians of limbs and land
their chronicles our own concern

how chainsaws razed
or forests burned.

Epiphanies - how nature sings
and centers us within its rings!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

54 words.  Rings challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750813-Brevity-series-182---ring

More about tree rings:





Image source:
Submitted: May 22, 2020

Seagulls at the Mart

Parking lot
adoptive sea

no fish)

coruscant squeals




View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Bird brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750627-Birds-brevity-contest--15-words-max
Submitted: May 22, 2020

Astral Asylum

Above this village gripped by mist
some sleepless wonder does resist
the strapping crush of summer heat
and slips from hindrance toward a street
and climbs the binding pining hills
to find a vantage where time stills.

Within this sky, a writhing spark:
a pixel twitches in the dark.
One, then many disabuse
and spiral earthward to suffuse
this night with bright vitality
- such cosmic immortality.

Now shadows flee serrated stones
which cut loose all the echoed moans
which drift away in silent flight
while whirlpools draw lost eyes to light:
irradiating universe
shelters, comforts, like a nurse.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750573-Starry-Night
Submitted: May 22, 2020


Shimmered flicker
        liquid sheen
  silver silken

          glossy shows
    glimmer imaged

        mirror stream

        effervescent flows
    limber rippled

      limpid lights
  clearer crystal

       skyward sights.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 words (30 the prompt limit).  Reflections in the Water challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750606-Brevity-Contest-Reflections-in-the-Water
Submitted: May 20, 2020


steps into blood


a panic

immune system


neutralize the difference



waging war

chain reactions
to restore
all things
where they were before

once vicious symptoms gain a grip
and vital signals slur and slip
as would-be healers turn to please:

their cures become the new disease.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Under Attack challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749351-Under-Attack
Submitted: May 20, 2020

Paper Birch

you pen your poems
to the wind, which reads and leaves,
inspired to fly.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Birch Trees haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749984-Haiku----Birch-Trees
Submitted: May 19, 2020

Dream Wedding

Young Salvador dreams up such things!
Come see three dishes marry bowls
best men being tableforks
our coffee cups now flower girls
while frying pans officiate
and china closets celebrate!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image (cup spilling flowers) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750531-Brevity-Image-Prompt--264-

Salvador could be anyone, of course, perhaps even a young Mr. Dali well on his way to becoming a famous Surrealist.
Submitted: May 19, 2020

Five Percent

Convulsing visions





so little time
to say goodbye

when batteries
begin to die.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

19 words (20 the prompt limit).  Death brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750511-Death
Submitted: May 19, 2020

Far from Over

Though vultures

this injured deer
is far from

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

11 words.  Brevity (15 words or less) Circle theme challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750535-10entries---15-words-exactly
Submitted: May 19, 2020

Faith's Awakening

Awakened from her plaintive haze
with latent powers now ablaze
aglow with love and what she knows
Faith stands firm as shadows close
and clang their chains to conjure fear
while demons creep and specters near.
Impassioned by newfound belief
no longer slave to doubt or grief
she faces all with sharpened eyes
invincible at last, and wise.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

58 words.  Image challenge (woman, fearless, aglow with confidence and strength) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750530-Brevity-to-Image-
Submitted: May 19, 2020


The jagged pieces
and asked

how I wound up
in this box

a dove among
a hundred rocks.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

19 words (20 the prompt limit).  Brevity challenge (not fitting in) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750236-20-words-or-less---Terri-willingham-noguest
Submitted: May 19, 2020

Purple Orchid

Postured regal
the purple orchid
leaning east
awaits some sign
its sun returns.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Purple brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750502-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: May 19, 2020


Injured treetop
seeping sap

glazes wound
assuaging gap






flummoxed bugs
in sludge:

four million years


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Brevity syrup theme challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750478-Brevity-25-words-or-Less

Interpretation of the topic focuses on the "syrupy" nature of the prehistoric resin secreted by trees which, after many years, became fossilized amber.

For more about this:

Submitted: May 18, 2020

Thunder: Bolt

A bursting blaze
but muffled skies.

My weather expert counts to five
computes the storm's a mile off.

Another bolt rings silent

- crash -

blusters crushing

branches lash:

we rush from torrents

flee forecasts

craving havens.

Thunders blast.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

39 words.  Brevity Lightning (without mentioning "lightning") challenge prompt (under 40 words) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750438-Brevity---Dont-Name-That-Word---lightning--
Submitted: May 18, 2020


No diplomas rolled tonight
no mortarboards
or lofty speech
of destinies within our reach

just failed exams
more courses dropped
professors gone
commencements stopped

as no one stands to graduate
or reads to see or memorize
nor wields a will to concentrate
or crams enough to summarize

those histories too few recall
defining every rise and fall
repeating now to learn or curse
a world turned bad to even worse.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

70 words (prompt limit).  Goodbye brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750246-Brevity---one-word-inspiration-
Submitted: May 17, 2020

A Touch of Salt

Osculating waves adore
two battered boats
by tattered oars

along a shore
disclosing bones

fingers clasping
shattered frames

washed-out photos:
that one miss

a sailor braves three seas
to kiss.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Kiss brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750254-Best-Brevity-Piece-Kiss-in-30-words-or-less
Submitted: May 17, 2020


Old thinker statue
by the sea

burnished bronze
now gaining green

weathered in
warm salty airs

caught in


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Green brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750304-Brevity--20-words-or-less

More about Verdigris
Submitted: May 17, 2020


The wind sits in your rocking chair
and for some moments
you sway there

tilting back and forth
in song

while I walk the lawn

observing me
bag falling leaves

and laughing when
they fly from me

yet when I turn
you're gone
once more

and I return
from years before

then close the gate
one final time

walk past the trees
I used to climb

and find our bench
beside the lake

and rest a moment
in the wake.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com
Submitted: May 17, 2020

Wisdom Doors

Their buildings


wisdom doors

eventual discoveries

open only
by your hand

once you come
to understand.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Behind Closed Doors brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749151-40-words-Brevity-Abstract-Behind-Close-Door
Submitted: May 17, 2020

At the Liftoff

Ten:  the countdown comes at last.
Nine:  smoke rising.  Such a blast.
Eight:  the skies so wide and bright.
Seven:  heaven's next in sight.
Six:  the quivers grip the ground.
Five:  the rocket's roaring sound.
Four:  some day we will be there.
Three:  in space suits through the air.
Two:  Mars and moons and endless stars.
One:  to soar beyond the birds.
Liftoff:  know the universe.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image challenge (young person staring at billowing clouds in the distance) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750204-8-for-8---Picture-Prompt
Submitted: May 16, 2020

Cave Painters

Torchlit painters









View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Paintings brevity challenge prompt - link:

More about cave paintings:
Submitted: May 16, 2020

Her Thesaurus of Words to Be

More priceless than the finest art

ascendant past celestial

promising beyond all dawn

majestic over royalty

exceeding life's vitality

profounder than
unfathomed seas

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (prompt limit).  Quote challenge (nothing beautiful as you, insufficient metaphors) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750141-26-words-or-less---S-Mittal-noguest
Submitted: May 16, 2020

Ten Thousand Things

Shadows flaring blazing chills
distance dwindles listless thrills
order chaos vacuum fills.

Lenience ceasing grievous flows
rainfall rising withers lows:
opposites no ways oppose.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Yin-Yang of Life challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747891-The-Yin-Yang-Of-Life

As required:  2 stanzas, 3 lines each, 12 words per stanza.
Submitted: May 14, 2020

Crystal Glassware

Arranged along the windowsill
you queue and wait so patiently
standing tall to take your fill
of sunlight when it drenches all
its liquid gold swished in your rims
as rays cascade, collect, refract
across dry walls like waterfalls
flowing towards the living room
replenishing what shadows drank.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

48 words (prompt limit).  Glass brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749956-Brevity-series-180---glass
Submitted: May 13, 2020


Convulsing tides
   exacting wrath

the unseen scourge
   lambasts the path

of wayward vessels
   in its scope

unleashing forces
   drowning hope

with tentacles
   as legends told

by few survivors
   of its hold

who'd caution captains
   and their crews

to turn back ships
   or bear the bruise

of this behemoth's

to reign the waves
   and repossess

and flood the ocean
   with its dread

feed where monsters
   fear to tread.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Kraken challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749549-Its-the-Kraken-
Submitted: May 12, 2020


That moment in the fairytale
you realize

The Story's You

those chapters read
all paths that wound toward here and now
mean more than words observed
or heard

yet emptiness

a vacant page
sets your fictions on a cliff

and you wonder how
and where
or if
your narrative advances here

since rails and signposts


until you spot the ink and quill
and pen the endings
as you will.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

19 lines.  Image brevity challenge (young reader on stairs holding a book pensively) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749829-write-what-inspires---8-only
Submitted: May 12, 2020

Queen?s Gambits

Your stratagem: swift sacrifice

to forfeit shelter

risking realm

an early blow imposing will
(should opponents take the bait)

commanding centers

reigning ranks

frighten files

demand defenses
while you climb

more pawns
to strike and slice through any line

in flawless wars.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Chess free verse prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748603-Art-of-Chess--Free-Verse-
Submitted: May 12, 2020


Beside me
on this balcony

- before that diva Luna bursts
with arias of tawdry glow -

come take your place
let's attend
an opera ancient
more than Greece
than Aeschylus had ever dreamt

come quickly
it's started now

or rather began long ago
when time walked slower than itself
and could not sing of hours yet

so gone ago when day was night
thence nighttide dayspring

(ere Eve deceives)

and in this way enters our play:

ten constellations
- nameless then

before befores
when when none asked -

this evening like a time machine
calls back all yawning yesteryears

(bid space return)

and so these lights


that I shalt dub thee Cygnus
or Capricornus
Orion (hunter!)
Ursa my -

my angel, did we fall asleep?

under such a darkly sky?

that mattress of most restless depths?

Why Draco has not breathed a flame!
Look Lyra has not plucked a note
and Taurus just inhaled to snort
and Leo's yet to turn and roar!

Astronomy, wherefore thy lures
if nothing else to whet dry shores
where minds pry seashells from their beach
while cosmic secrets hang in reach

- but pluck just one
that tree

green Edenleaves snagged in your hair

forbidden fruit (whisper a prayer)

(midnight sugar-glazed perfumes)
(each galaxy a lotus blooms)

Go gorge until you've wakened eyes

go know thy garden


this precious petalled paradise
petitions immense sacrifice.

Will ewe wander?
Turn away?

Will ye wonder?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

249 words. James Joyce inspiration quote ("heaventree of stars...") challenge prompt (number five) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749241-how-do-you-re-Joyce--....-After-Midnight
Submitted: May 11, 2020

Untrained Savior

Without blueprints or masonry
you arranged the cornerstones
and poured foundations for my world.

With little more than hands and pans
you improvised delectably
and conjured feasts improbably.

Without charts or stethoscopes
you rallied me from languished legs
and helped me stand and walk again.

With no theories or degrees
you analyzed my moods and dreams
so I could conquer phobias.

Without equations, rulers, proofs
you multiplied my depth and worth
then mended when I would divide.

With intuition, spirit, flair
you graced my eyes with ageless art
stirred symphonies within this heart.

Without rites or chalices
you blessed my life, forgiving all
and gave me faith to strive toward light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Why Your Mother Is a Hero prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749758-Why-is-your-mom-your-hero-
Submitted: May 11, 2020

Memories Outlasting Time (Her Endless Renaissance)

Magnanimous and muse each day,
openhearted, mind to weigh
the least or best with equal ears,
hilarious beyond your years,
exemplary until the end,
remaining my forever friend.

tolerating all
resonating call.

Meticulous down to the dot,
observing what I failed to spot,
teacher eager to apprise,
honest when you'd analyze,
enlightener when darkness neared,
residing in my heart, revered.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Mother's Day Special acrostic prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749349-Mothers-Day-Special
Submitted: May 10, 2020

Netherworld View

Where water burns, declines to drench
or chills the touch, neglects to quench
or flames may freeze in focused smoke
as sparks char hearts with searing fears
and open air starves every breath
while mind revives relentless death:

here rives the river known as Styx
of ferried souls no peace afflicts
adrift toward novel netherworlds
when shadows steer and shivers curl
beside that gate all hopes go lost
were you to wait until you crossed.

And yet we see no prospects died:
escape and break against that tide.
Evade this Hades you conceive.
Embrace good truths you can believe
and salvage sense before this night
drowns out the stars and all your light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Anne Dillard inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749235-Annie-Dillard-Quote-Prompt
Submitted: May 8, 2020

Improbable Blossom

  desiccation's rage

       ruthless scourge of suns

           sandstorms handily


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit). Desert Flower brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749520-10entries---15-words-exactly
Submitted: May 8, 2020

Guardians of the Understory

With loyal limbs
and weaving leaves

trees bow and braid
their widespread net

intent to nourish
then protect

as branches gather
feasts of light

or cast a current
out of sight

or temper heat
as summer strains

or shield grounds
from rampant rains

while plants expand
as food or homes

so any creature
eats or roams

beneath these breathing

preserving Earth
for centuries.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Dense Forests prompt challenge - link:

More about the "Understory":

Submitted: May 8, 2020


this prominence
draws ghostly cloaks
toward borders scored
which some consider time described.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Shadow brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749422-10entries---15-words-exactly
Submitted: May 7, 2020

Eternal Entanglement





        none divide our quantum tie

      not cosmos

   much less quietus

shall disunite this love from us.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Miles Apart brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749409-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: May 7, 2020


Wings emblazoned

     ascendant on
        late April whiffs

          I, drifter

embrace bouquets
  life's appetite
    for nectar
            the fleeting sweetness

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words.  Butterflies Rising brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749356-27-words-or-less---butterflies-rising-noguest
Submitted: May 7, 2020

The Roads to Now and Tomorrow

The roads to now posed many twists
by mileposts and restless stops
near intersections where I'd pause
to blame or claim some sense of cause

down avenues unrecognized
exceeding maps I memorized

long paths of choice and consequence
when exits left me to commence
or circle back about anew
until I passed a point of view

and took a bold or absurd turn
intent to move but slow to learn

no distance gives its wisdom free
except in that proximity
where you arrive outside the known
and peer behind what sight has shown

and gauge no journey in amount
or stand by what you must discount

but leave your compass on a post
impelled instead by what means most
divesting quest of old deceits
to mind and stride those unseen streets

unmarked nor paved beyond our routes
when we desert dead dreams and doubts

for destinations past the glow
as clouds combust and sun leans low
toward ventures yet to test our hearts
once we embark and night departs.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

What We Are Today, Will Be Tomorrow prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748072-What-We-Are--Today--What-Will-We-Be-Tomorro
Submitted: May 6, 2020

Conundrums to Cosmos

Such sights you must
seclude from us

beyond majestic tapestries
enriched with myths

persistent fingers flick and fray
as hinting glimmers drift away

and light slips through
loose haggard threads

and questions dance
about our heads

and suppositions disappear
into black holes.

Theories veer
toward vague


so no one shows
or yet possesses
plain enigmas
you preserve
behind the spectra we observe.

Like planets
we play wanderers
roving wells of gravity

their lenses bending distant glow
round galaxies
if wormholes flow
across vast interstellar breaks
a potent supernova wakes
with elements of fierce surprise
new particles and probes revise.

In time
some take much closer looks
matured since adolescent books
parading constellations named
in dizzy fictions glibly framed
to forfeit facts and jolly hearts
with folly's misbegotten arts.

Envision Einstein beaming glee
beside him Hawking smirkingly
as colleagues wipe mad blackboards clean
remove their glasses
sigh and lean
and rise from chairs
still mystified

from mysteries more magnified
toward wonders greater than accounts
no noted science soon surmounts.

each system's proofs
left undefined by truant truths.

Then comets curve to lend some dust
as constants all were forced to trust
could constitute concealed flaws
should physics disobey their laws.

Uncertainties prevail again:
to know a place
or gauge the when

contending quanta fluctuated.

No neutrinos obligated
(neglected sensors would agree).

None speak their secrets easily.

Adapting tired eyes by night
we riddle through the recondite
to sift for inklings in the dark
and pin our hopes upon a quark.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Neil deGrasse Tyson quote inspiration (the universe not being obligated to make any sense) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747697-Neil-deGrasse-Tyson-quotes
Submitted: May 3, 2020


Some phrases raid
 a vacant page

  so unprepared
yet unafraid

   with anxious arms
  and boisterous voice

    such spectacles
      ungainly legs

       bounding over

 stumbling under
question marks

     exclamation points

   like kids dropped off

 at candy shop s

 or tykes invading

    circus tents

or youngsters
    rushing through a mall
       to game the new arcade

   or hoodlums


  inside their spree

    content to run
        without a clue

     and limp back home
all black and blue.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Benjamin Franklin quote (in failing to prepare, preparing to fail) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747596-Quote-prompt-25-plus-words
Submitted: May 1, 2020

Of Fulcrums and Leverage

I. Mary Anning, Paleontologist

Emancipating specimens
fossils not obstinate enough
to deter earthy fingertips
palpating edges to be pried

as long ago she pressed to learn
of dinosaurs and skeletons
then dug up one of sundry skulls
and excavated ages lost.

II. Ada Lovelace, Pioneer of Programmers

As analytic engines hum
her notes forebode a greater sum:
to leverage advanced designs
incite machines beyond their lines
commanding them to jump and run
computing as was never done.

III. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Suffragist

Declaring sovereign sentiments
demanding lasting parity

compelling movements with your voice
so women could possess their choice.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Counting everything, 100 words (the prompt limit).  Archimedes quote ("...I will move the Earth") challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746636-Quote--38

More about the historic women referenced here:

Mary Anning

Ada Lovelace, Mathematician and among the First Computer Programmers

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Suffragist
Submitted: May 1, 2020


Returning to our first garden
I recall each seed you pressed
in dirt with gloveless humble hands
which covered them so cautiously
and watered all with Mason jars.

We waited weeks for stems to peek
with tiny leaves through fertile earth
painstakingly prepared for them.

Now here I pause, your blossom poised
to birth and nurture as you did.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

59 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image (lady pausing pensively with a parasol in the middle of a large flower garden) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748823-Brevity---Picture-Prompt---8-poets-only
Submitted: April 30, 2020

Renewer of Hope

Horizonsighs and rising suns.
Sandstorms rage. Revealing stuns
then sudden steps to larger worlds
with swords of light as vision hurls
your eyes toward unknown destiny
to save a princess - galaxy -
discovering an enemy
relates in ways you must accept
as you reflect, become adept,
until you can defeat the dark,
redemptive love your secret spark
that casts a demon toward its doom
and spares a soul while fires fume,
returning once this journey's done
a victor in more ways than one
as celebrations, friends, and hosts
attended by familiar ghosts
cheer on as fears and battles cease
restoring balance and a peace,
serenity to every star,
because you choose to brave this far,
renewing hope as heroes should,
increasing faith in all that's good.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Luke Skywalker Inspiration theme challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747902-Star-Wars-QuickieLuke-Skywalker-Everyone-Wi
Submitted: April 30, 2020

At the Terminus

Anticipating billowed steam
beyond remotest evergreens

swelling sound


envisaging you might return

from all I yearn.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit). Train Station brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748777-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: April 30, 2020


In obscure rays
dense dust suspends
this myriad of mystic tomes

in cryptic script
forgotten tongues
hermetic leaves

long yellowing in crackled spines
of unknown age

left desolate
unbound by time

ascend in legion rows of shelves

by cobwebs
candles long extinct
past shattered panes

as shadows arch
toward vaulting heights no ladders reach

where secrets taunt the curious
to hazard all

climb up to wrench
some esoteric volume loose

unleash designs no mortals grasp.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

75 words (prompt limit).  Image (vast vertical library in a Gothic architectural setting) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748672-brevity-picture-prompt.
Submitted: April 30, 2020

Within the Presence of Your Absence

Those pillows where you wedged your head
cannot relax or convalesce

like me
by lasting weights

as if much pressure hesitates
both there and here
within these ribs

there sorrows caged still dent their pen
and jolt the bolt restraining them

the lock no looser for the pain
however they may rage or strain

impressed ingrained imprinted


thick influence
much metal heft

your indentations shape the day

they occupy where you stand not
can drive shrill silence from all halls
or empty rooms from rugs to walls
or shove old shadows out of sight
and clear the clocks of noon and night

because you're present
then you're not

while I'm not game for hide and seek

although I search

too often speak
as if you'd hear me
might reply
or wait to see what else I sigh

retorting in a wordless way

through curios
daft artifacts
handwritten lists
cool candle wax
you left behind one Saturday

confined by times
which loose the mind
to redefine that lack enshrined
in everywhere you glow no more

and though it seems I leave through doors
or step out boxing calendars

each entrance sends that absence round
inverting exits to surround

negating spaces none contain

beyond departures
we remain.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

207 words.  W.S. Merwin quote (2nd quote inspiration: "Your absence has gone through me..." - from Merwin's "Separation")  challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746398---w.s.merwin-
Submitted: April 28, 2020

Her Motherly Hand


reassuring grip

before I'd slip
on frosty glossy ignorance


all's right.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (22 being the prompt limit).  Kindness brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748486-Brevity---22-words-or-less
Submitted: April 27, 2020


Each nuance drawn defines new depths
intensifies embellished flesh:

majestic guests in common dark
their lordly lanterns burning stark

discerning curves accenting edge
asserting windows, fountains, ledge

where mirrored marbled columns fade
and shadows mask this masquerade

and blushing duchess coyly waits
as glassy necklace overstates

and chandeliers shall domineer
this ambiance of lofty halls

dividing dancers, floral walls
from blasting bands and subtle calls

to slip outside this sharpened night
and sigh by muted lunar light

near silhouettes of weaving trees
past stars too far for dreams or pleas.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

90 words.  Beautiful Words and Splendid Diction prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748523-Beautiful-Words-and-Splendid-Diction-

Like almost all of my poems, this is carefully written to be read aloud.  I hope you enjoy reading this.

More about chiaroscuro...


First version of this poem:


Tonalities dimension depths
to vivify quiescent flesh

which promenades across the dark
with lithesome light burned bright and stark

discerning curves preferred to edge
before long windows and a ledge

as mirrored marbled columns fade
and shadows mask this masquerade

where blushing countess glides to wait
while dress and tresses scintillate

neath chandeliers that domineer
this atmosphere of umbral halls

dividing dance from blazoned walls
and brazen band from subtle calls

to slip outside this outlined night
and lose your sighs to lunar light

by silhouettes of weaving trees
and stars too far for clarities.
Submitted: April 27, 2020

The Mermaid and the Thief of Seas

Thrown overboard, or did he leap?
Perhaps a storm tore through to sweep
this hapless chap right off the deck
or dashed him in a crashing wreck

she wonders while they slowly sink
from hazy waves above the brink
where sharks and shadows hide and seek
and skeletons, if they could speak,

would warn all sailors not to dive
for no one here escapes alive
with treasure chests of pearls and gold
as fabled yarns of yore foretold.

Her fingers feel no pulse in kind
as notions swim and skim mind.
Suppose she breathe him back to life.
Imagine if he had a wife.

What good would he be then to her?
She schemes intrigues temptations blur
and probing pockets as she plots
then grabs a gem - her stomach knots:

this pirate did defraud her clan.
He feigned the famished fisherman
who starved a week without one fish
and prayed to eat - his dying wish

and so they lead him to their lair
then lavished him with feasts and care
while he beheld their sacred jewels
and turned her kin to searching fools

one evening all slumped deep in sleep.
He thieved what was not his to keep.
Relaxing grip, she lets him drift
where currents verge and waters shift

to face that face she yearns to hold
grow pallid stiff with frigid cold.
One instinct shouts, "Let him depart!"
But it's too late:  he steals her heart.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

240 words.  Mermaid image challenge (mermaid holding a well-dressed man seemingly drowning underwater) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748252-Write-to-Image-
Submitted: April 26, 2020

Beyond Horizons of Our Eyes

As fathomed facts escape each gauge
and truths pursued evade the page
then bolt outside our bridled sight
to lose us in a lesser light

profundities still tantalize
beyond horizons of our eyes
where cosmic fog wells with a glow
of revelations none may know

until we map all boundaries
of theories walled by falsities
and chart strange routes through unnamed space
to seek the real we must face.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

The Universe (dark matter unseen affecting our ability to define the cosmos) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748389-The-Universe
Submitted: April 26, 2020


This cardboard box, some treasure chest:
no gleaming gems or gold to wrest

no tokens of unchecked expense
or artifacts of proud pretense

frayed wrappers, change, some pale receipt
a broken watch now obsolete

but here's my prize: her doting note
those words which keep this heart afloat.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

48 words (50 being the prompt limit).  German word (habseligkeiten / belongings) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746916-50-words-on-prompt--3
Submitted: April 25, 2020


Those words reserved for further days
which never would arrive in time
reiterate with speechless grief
in rooms where silence says enough
among two empty chairs and dust
a vacant vase bouquets adorned
the corner lamps unlit since March
unopened tomes on warping shelves
where photos fade by curtain light
and shadows blather through the night
of those no longer seated here
their raucous laughter nowhere near
that absent scent of cinnamon
in this defective denouement
where dialogue comes by a clock
metallic clacking of a lock
sometimes a rare soliloquy
as wind slips through invisibly
to stir a certain manuscript
unfinished so then never gripped
now emblematic in a way
of all the things I meant to say.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Unspoken Words prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748319-Unspoken-Words

My mother, Jeannette, who passed away very recently, never got to read most of my poems from the last year or so.  I had hoped to print them out and present them to her as a gift one day.

I am grateful to have been able to read a very few of them aloud to her in recent months, but it will always be a point of much sadness that these "unsaid" things (much like the manuscript mentioned by the speaker of the poem) will not be attended by her eyes and smiles.

She was my best friend and an honest reader, always a fan yet ever ready to be truthful, critical in the scholarly sense, and encouraging with her brilliant insights.  I will miss that forever.
Submitted: April 25, 2020

Solving for Two

Wiping sweat
from furrowed brow

dilemma solver
puzzled now

as no answer
can withstand:

the helpful helper
needs a hand

and next to set
all pride aside

concede the quandary
and confide

rely upon
another mind

eyes to find

solutions right
within their sight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

45 words.  Self-Reliance brevity challenge (person who usually helps now needing help) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748246-45-words-or-less---self-reliance--noguest
Submitted: April 25, 2020

Searching the Engines

Exponential neural nets
harvesting dark data sets
consuming inputs rapidly
enlisting every inquiry
to crush equations yet unknown
with stamina above all bone
and merciless exactitude
to multiply this magnitude
with every hour as we sleep
to seize the world we cannot keep

unless we wake and take a vow
that from this day we disallow
machines to dominate our souls
remembering all those controls
we forfeited for speed and ease
with hidden knowledge and its keys
to all the doors and all the vaults
of understanding and our faults.

Debug your hearts and minds, and fast!
Examine present errors passed:
futurity is history
awareness of that mystery
of how a people disappear
when inventions trend too near
to overtaking anything
commanding even worshiping.

Upgrade your days beyond the screen.
Let nature's networks intervene
for we are not the cyborgs yet
until we choose to be and let
computers rule our every thought
enslave ourselves to what we wrought
then bow to powers all have lost
because of lines and wires crossed
and hail the Algorithmic King
whose problems solve for everything.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com
Submitted: April 24, 2020

The Tigress to Her Loving Cub

Together on this outcropping
we mind the wild world in spring

those heavy hooves and hungry howls
the dusty scuffles, savage growls

pursued and prowlers in the reed
the yawning fawn and tumbleweed

vast stampedes spurred to burst in fear
should crocs or jackals creep too near

the zebras feeding far from harm
as mosquitoes swoop and swarm

nine elephants in sluggish stride
as vultures loop and meerkats hide

serene giraffe, their feast of leaves
the pregnant mare who huffs and heaves:

how each partakes a primal role
completes the circle, makes us whole.

Too soon my son you'll join them there
with paws and claws, your awesome stare

while I will watch from near or far
proud of the tiger that you are.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Image challenge prompt (female tiger and her baby sitting calmly together) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747979-Fantasy-755

Image credit/source:
Submitted: April 24, 2020


  yet you do persist

      within these hands
      this stricken heart

     behind my eyes

  genetic art

   how much we've

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Rumi brevity challenge quote prompt ("I am inside your looking") - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748167-22-words-or-less---Rumi-noguest
Submitted: April 24, 2020

Side View Mirrors

You caution

left or right:

reflections lie

your sight!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

11 words.  Caution challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748065-One-word-poetry-19
Submitted: April 23, 2020


Daydreams bring us back:
wandering fair blooming paths
we've not traveled yet.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Haiku challenge prompt image (path through vivid flowers surrounded by a well-let forest) - link:
Submitted: April 23, 2020

To a Propagandist

Repeat those lies
reprise false cries

until the "ayes"
eclipse their eyes

so this they see:
your dim decree

dull doublethink
until some blink

discover doubt
then turnabout

to topple you
with all that's true.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

35 words (prompt limit).  Brevity challenge prompt (lies told long enough believed by people) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748116-In-35-words-or-less-noguest
Submitted: April 23, 2020

The Torture Song of Endless Ifs

To stagger back upon a yen
and croon that torture song again

conditioned ifs with histories
fictitious possibilities

what could have stood
if simply now...

who would remain
if only how...

the brain's refrain of choral thoughts
beatifying whys and oughts

crescendos venting discontent
of chances cast or past lament.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt limit).  German word (sehnsucht - longing, yearning) brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746855-50-words-on-prompt--2
Submitted: April 22, 2020


Drifting where slow waters wend
bounding down around each bend
while shadowed branches dance with light

- then floating flows through passage rite
past currents surged with urgency
when placid visions purged will see
this river shifts to rapids rushed

receding shores
full moments flushed
of much control

as bearing veers
to goals unknown

new mutineers
seizing craft

careening forwards
fore and aft

until impending

where air
and prayer

your call.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

75 words (prompt limit).  Photo (person drifting on water in an inner tube) brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747910-Imagery---brevity-picture-prompt
Submitted: April 22, 2020

The Fisher King

The Fisher King
upon his throne
expects a question
to heal the land
and him to free
one seeker's quest
from mystery
beyond all walls
which disappear
when answers speak
and visions clear
discerning Grail
from waste to show
eternal truths
few live to know.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

46 words.

Quest for knowledge which must be acquired - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748248-Knowledge

Perfectly symbolized in each  individual knight's quest for the Holy Grail.  Only when they speak the compassionate question before the Fisher King at the Grail Castle can they even begin to acquire the knowledge of the grand mysteries they seek.

Original prompt: Photo (Kingfisher bird sitting calmly on a flower, looking out across the land) brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747506-Picture-prompt-

More about the Fisher King, the Grail Quest, Grail Castle, and the unasked Question he awaits which would heal the waste land:



(Arthurian lore, King Arthur, Knights, Sangraal, The Holy Grail)
Submitted: April 20, 2020


Sustaining rain
without a tear

enduring ice
preserving warmth

suffering gusts
yet standing firm

confronting floods
with buoyant hope

outlasting drought
with thirst for life

surpassing fog
to be the light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

31 words (32 being the prompt limit).  Joel Osteen quote prompt challenge (being in storm without letting storms get in you) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747626-32-words-or-less---Joel-Osteen-noguest
Submitted: April 19, 2020

Where Nothing Sleeps





an emptiness
the lost heart

within this room
where nothing

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image prompt (bare bedframe in an empty room) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747395-Image-Prompt-
Submitted: April 16, 2020


Magenta sweater
yellow skirt

lilac jacket
crimson shirt

scarlet stockings
turquoise flats

cyan handbag
chartreuse hat

like vying prisms

or rainbows wrestling
clouds can

or rival painters

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

32 words (35 being the prompt limit).  Battle of Colors brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747376-Brevity-topics--22
Submitted: April 16, 2020

Echo and Narcissus

You call

  he feels faint ripples roll
      reflections spreading

         sterile pond

            his inward eyes

   submergent selves

two loves   unheard:

  you    fade

                     he     blurs

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (prompt limit). Unloved brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747359-Brevity...-23-words-or-less-
Submitted: April 15, 2020

Flower Girl Wonder

You savor nature's fragrant grace
wrench wildflowers round your face
immersed in purples, pinks, and greens
and rarely care what "normal" means

detached and yearning to become one
with meadows, mountains, morning sun
and rush bare legs through weeds and wheat
the wind your comb, your soul replete

to strive outside a world too tame
and hazard all to find your name.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

62 words, 10 lines (prompt limit).  Quote prompt (striving to be yourself) challenge (with photo of young woman, eyes closed, in a field holding wildflowers around her face) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747309-Quote-Prompt
Submitted: April 15, 2020

Emma and George

Enamored with all loves but hers,
abrupt to run where whim prefers,
she meddles with abundant means,
engaging matches made of dreams.

Both farmer and the gentleman,
he bides but warns with acumen
and reprehends officious art
when she defies his jealous heart.

They turn and lead in equal dance:
two hearts espousing rare romance.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 lines (prompt limit). Perfect Couples challenge prompt - link:

Inspired by Jane Austen's famous characters Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley from her novel Emma:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_ (novel)

Submitted: April 13, 2020

The Peril or the Prize

What waits around
the next big bend?
What risk or promise
will it lend?

To wait for someone
else to see
and then tell me:

I must confront it
with my eyes
accepting peril
or the prize.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Curiosity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747147-Curiosity
Submitted: April 13, 2020


Digesting me
within this shell
dissolving self
to bid farewell
to all I was
so I shall be
not that which crawls
but what flies free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (prompt limit).  Butterflies Rising brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747153-26-words-or-less---butterflies-rising-noguest

Concerning the metamorphosis of a butterfly:
the caterpillar quite literally digests (some say "recycles") itself, dissolving its body into "imaginal cells" which establish the basis for the future body of the butterfly eventually to arise as this truly transformative event unfolds.

This poem also honors my mother's love of butterflies.  Jeannette J. Tiess passed away on April 8, 2020.

Some links for further exploration:


Submitted: April 12, 2020

Children of the Mother of Exiles

You lift her torch when she will slip
on ice no winter leaves behind,
securing her so she may mind
the golden door and light the way.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Saving Lady Liberty challenge image prompt (person helping to carry a faltering Lady Liberty) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747138-Save-Lady-Liberty.-Do-a-Haiku-as-a-response

The title connects with the "Mother of Exiles" - the Statue of Liberty as famously named in Emma Lazarus' poem (inscribed on the statue) "The New Colossus":

The "golden door" reference also alludes to that very entrance referenced in Lazaraus' verse.
Submitted: April 12, 2020


What once was gone
shall now live on

exceeding earth
above all birth

surpassing death
beyond all breath

surviving night
with lasting light:

the Sun does rise
before our eyes

as clouds depart
and we take heart.

Let us rejoice
in deed and voice

embracing day:
begin to pray

through faith to be
and hope to see

with gratitude
your world renewed.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

In observation of Easter, Jesus Christ, and in memory of my mother and best friend Jeannette J. Tiess , who passed on April 8, 2020, and is now preserved in God's light and love and in our many wonderful memories.  As God is love, our love is eternal.
Submitted: April 12, 2020


May your soul blossom
in the full light of God's love
where spring's eternal.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

For my dear Mother and lifelong Best Friend, Jeannette J. Tiess, who passed away on April 8, 2020.


Submitted: April 11, 2020

Loss, Last, Lost

Our memories
which one day may
convey me through
these unknown roads
reveal to me
how far I drove
without a map
or one wrong turn
because you did
believe in me
and trusted my
to never get
as lost as this.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com
Submitted: April 9, 2020


Your curatives would rid disease:

across such seas and centuries
what alchemists pursued you with
elixirs of eternal lives
and promises of timeless youth

- until you crumbled into myths
as moonstruck stuff of mania
which quests for the untouchable

not that it lay beyond our reach
but since it will subsist nowhere
except those gold utopias
where perfect things expect to find
acceptance in that scarcest mind
immune from doubts all can be well
yet prone to "the impossible."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Impossible Dream (End of World Diseases) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745649-The-Impossible-Dream
Submitted: April 7, 2020

You Lotus-Eaters

You languid lotus-eaters of the moon
so lush from supping honeyed lunar light,
your slow ambrosial feasts of stars each night
and chilled desserts glazed with hazy whims
- they leave you starved for wholesome solemn days,
for which you think you'd have no appetite;
yet look: you're frail, regard how sapped and slight,
as fastings from the real world deprive
much rarer daring dreams from waking alive.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Claire de Lune challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745446-Claire-de-Lune
Submitted: April 4, 2020


Some unfamiliar radiance
oozes through the cirrus veil

pulsing points of white to blue
new constellation on the move

its slow descent behind the woods
irradiating rising fog

stampeding shadows past the fence
where property turns wilderness

while sweeping beams appear to scan
these fields reaped but days before

then lightning darkness and a gust
to tremble every blade of grass

a streak of motion toward the skies
gone beyond these blinking eyes

which skim the stars in vain to know
where was it from, where would it go.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744898-Unidentified-Flying-Objects
Submitted: April 3, 2020


Your softest sayings
fingers dipped
in mirrored skies
adrift within
this placid lake

which is my peace:

observe what ripples
speech incites

how they suffuse
escaping sight

and understand
no word is slight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

33 words (prompt limit).  Ripples theme challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746272-Brevity-a-word-in-33-
Submitted: April 1, 2020

First Responder

Because a tempest
none forecast
collapsed your soundproof
velvet walls
and left you lit by EXIT signs
too far and faint
past mangled rails and busted seats
in rising dust
all while the film of your short life
did flicker on
a shattered screen as static rasped
from speakers blown
within the theater of your fright

I now arrive here
lanterns clutched in numbing hands
to call your name
and hear you breathe above the drums
of heartbeats rushed
while I wade through oblique debris
intent to rescue:

as I see
Admit One still within your grip
and wake you gently
uplifting you from ruptured dreams
and usher us
beyond the rubble's troubling sight
ascending stairs
with inward prayers all may be right
returning us
back toward ourselves at last to bask
in truer light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Be a Beacon challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745167-Be-a-Beacon

We each can be emotional and spiritual "first responders" to those who face tough times and have experienced tragedies.

While they wait in the debris and darkness of their shattered worlds, we can come, as human lights, and lead them from that seemingly endless night back to day and safety.

We can be their light.
Submitted: April 1, 2020

Your Masterpiece

Aglow with Mona's
known mystique

that elegance of
Madame X

those scintillations
in a Klimt

Pearl Earring 's eyes
to empathize

like Venus coiffed
to mesmerize

direct as Frida's

but look: no Warhols

no Lichtensteins
can illustrate

and no Picassos

no pointillists
will punctuate

elusive truths
of your pure art

much less the splendor
of your heart.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Mona Lisa photo prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744639-The-Mona-Lisa-Look-alike--photo-prompt-

Famous artworks and artists referenced in this poem:
+ Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa"
+ John Singer Sargent' "Madame X"
+ Gustav Klimt
+ Johannes Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring"
+ Sandro Botticelli's "Birth of Venus"
+ Frida Kahlo (e.g. "Self-Portrait" )
+ Andy Warhol (e.g. his Soup Cans )
+ Roy Lichtenstein (e.g. "Girl at Piano" )
+ Pablo Picasso , Cubist/Cubism (e.g. "Girl Before a Mirror" )
+ Pointillism / Pointillists (e.g. Georges Seurat) (e.g. "A Sunday Afternoon..." )
Submitted: March 31, 2020


Encircled worlds
inertias hurled
from epochs lost
revolve around
a sparkling star

until by chance
within this dance
one glides before
that stellar light
immersing earth
in fervent night:

a shadow gone
as quickly cast
attesting darkness
cannot last.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

40 Words Abstract Brevity (Shadow theme) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746010-40-words-Brevity-Abstract--SHADOWS
Submitted: March 30, 2020

The Sustenance of Your Pure Love

As embers tend these trembling hands

    which pray for warmth above a glow
    from lowly flames raised in your name

        while winter splinters thick resolve
        to weather nights beside myself

        inside this frigid wilderness
        of self-inflicted solitudes

all thoughts of you, such things you said
enkindle hopes I'm far from dead

    that darkness proves a fleeting spell
    and I am nowhere close to hell

    because your love preserves me here
    where shadows waltz away with fear

    beneath a full moon looming near
    too luminous to disappear

    before my mindless eyes see clear
    how much your touch makes me revere

    what most you mean to me, my dear:
then I begin to persevere.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

111 words.  Poem written to be read aloud.

I am requesting a reader. Thank you.

Pablo Neruda Quote (love of people, a fire that feeds our lives) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745928-Pablo-Neruda-Quote-Contest--4
Submitted: March 28, 2020


As a mirror breaks
    black cats hiss at thirteen crows
        beneath three ladders

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

13 words (prompt requirement).  Written for: Superstitions brevity challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744777-Friday-13th-Brevity-poem-Superstition--13-W

Prewrite submission for Superstitions Contest - link https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744792-Superstitions-Contest

Haiku form.

- broken mirror (bad luck)
- black cats
- crows (sometimes seen as ominous omens in some cultures)
- walking under ladders
- three ladders (things happening in threes)
- thirteen words

Submitted: March 27, 2020

Birth of Sea Turtles

in secret sand
one hundred plus eggs

nothing planned

but instinct wells
from fragile shells
to fracture

await the light

then desperate pressures

you storm the breakers
pray your waves
bear mercifully
by certain graves

submissive drifters


too mere to steer
where you
will go.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt requirement).  Brevity image prompt (baby sea turtle at edge of beach as waves approach) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745672-Brevity-to-image
Submitted: March 25, 2020

Watching Dawn at Sea

Armada stars
     embarking night

cold indigo
     tows ocher light

          cloudlets scatter

xanthous skyline
     molten red

          tepid zephyrs
     waking flows:

   crests luminous:
gold ocean glows.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt requirement).  Gradual brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745587---25-words-on-gradual----27--
Submitted: March 24, 2020

Make; Believe

As algorithms scan and gauge
a famous painting's data points
computing colors, shapes, and strokes,
perspectives, pressures, densities,
they learn in days to replicate
what took a lifetime to express

while next floor up, a restless boy
sets down his plastic robot toy
to stand before The Starry Night
with much amazement and delight,
his finger running round the skies,
imagining it's there he flies.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Einstein quote (imagination, knowledge) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744730-Albert-Einstein-Quote
Submitted: March 23, 2020


When darkness stole

I tried to play the modest spark
igniting candles in your mind

but frigid winds
extinguished flames.

You wandered out
the rusted gates

where I became the firefly
to glitter in your dismal field.

An absent dawn
you noticed most.

And so the beacon I became
with radiance enduring dusk.

Your eyes embraced
vacated skies.

The lodestar there, yes, that was me
to lead you from the shadowed path.

The vaster void
consumed your view.

Aspiring to find your sight
tonight I send you all my light

a blazing quasar to observe
across your inner universe

to testify I will be here
that you were never once alone

companioned past a worldly thought
with clarity you often sought

before, beside, beneath, above,
beyond condition:

selfless love.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com
Submitted: March 22, 2020


Life's grand arts revived:
lily, iris, classic rose.
Florence florescent!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

A Spring Haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743795-A-Spring-Haiku
Submitted: March 21, 2020


My greatest teacher,
yellowbird now soaring free
bright beyond this sun

- still, glimpses of you
gliding by the evergreens
with wings like daylight:

did you sing just now
deep from that further forest?
Songs lauding silence.

Lessons left, exams;
one gold tome - life, yours - too brief
for this fledgling finch.

Swift and far we'd climb
rivers past mountains, skies, stars,
transcending blurred Earth.

Once I sailed like you
- feathers flexed outside of space
whence time shall not fly.

I kept the nest, brave
rain and flames, remembering
your course:  rise with faith.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

A haiku sequence in memory of my father, RJT, Sr.
Submitted: March 20, 2020


Objects inadvertent

neglected moments threading fates

presaged by rain

history turned horoscope

symbols winking prophecies

some trivial

such prescience in

music swelling from silence

curtains grazed
in shadow

brief cameo, the Oracle.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Letter F in free verse challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745165-Letter-F-in-Freeverse-
Submitted: March 19, 2020

Seasonal Cues

Frosted panes no more:
budding branches, warmer breeze,
deer fur lightening.

Breath invisible,
hints of green - birdsong returns!
Days grow long again.

Dry boots by the door.
Bolder mountains frame the view.
Geese like arrows point.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

37 words. Spring Memories prompt challenge - link; https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743798-Spring
"Prompted Thoughts" prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743976-Prompt-thoughts-are-your-Prompt
Submitted: March 18, 2020


Good night, worries, get to sleep.
No more time for us to weep.

Let's be happy, smile tonight,
wake tomorrow calm and bright.

Farewell, troubles, let us rest.
Peace be with you, and be blessed.


Goodbye, problems, we must go.
Now the stars begin to show

up above our Earth so bright
by the big moon full of light.

So long, sadness. All is good.
Now we're dreaming as we should.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Nursery Rhyme challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743758-Write-me-a-Nursery-Rhyme

A lullaby nursery rhyme.

The calming approach to this poem was inspired by the recent heightened global anxiety of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

I imagine it could be something a parent or guardian could sing to a child at bedtime.

Imagine reading this according to the tune of the 1806 classic nursery rhyme "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star":
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twinkle ,_Twinkle,_Little_Star

- the melody of which was based on an older (1761) tune yet:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ah !_vous_dirai-je,_maman
Submitted: March 18, 2020

c# d# f# g# a#

Past Key of C, sharps,
flats: five black keys unlocking
every song to learn.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

"In the Black" challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744674-Three-word-poetry-1
Submitted: March 14, 2020


Distanced walkers

- space -

panic shoppers, nervous pace

sanitizers: ALL SOLD OUT

travel limits

certain doubt

vaccine prospects
in a year

washing hands
no shaking fear

symptom vigils

// breaking news //

bleak previews

outside calmly
gardens grow

flowers dancing
far from woe.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Coronavirus prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744756-----Coronavirus----
Submitted: March 13, 2020

Ancient Library of Alexandria

Your fabled ranging knowledge sought
collecting scrolls and tablets brought
from any angle rounding Earth
and every ship within your berth

Euripides and Sophocles
Homer, Plato, Socrates
Aristotle, many more
repleting chambers roofs to floor

till evanescent blazing years
would make you that which disappears
when time and fires do collude
consuming treasures you accrued.

What dateless plays and verses lost,
extinguished wisdoms too few glossed.
Such dust lends lessons from the past:
preserve yet share what may not last.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

80 words (the prompt limit).  Library prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744493-Topic-Library

More on the ancient Library of Alexandria:


Submitted: March 9, 2020

Toy Tales



- box unlocked

such joy prevails:

toys still playful
full of tales.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Toys brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744502-20-words

Poem inspired by a retrospective meditation on Toy Story, where memories of one's old toys long stored away and then found again can still produce joy.
Submitted: March 9, 2020

Be Phototropic

Leaves outstretching

garnered light:

how every green thing
on this mountain

follows sun across the sky

as neither night
nor shadows
give them
necessary sustenance.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  See Good in Everything brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744416-25-words-or-less---train-your-mind-noguest
Submitted: March 8, 2020

Old Folks' Lore

Their self-aggrandized fabrications
thrilled our captive ears

tilling fertile minds
overeager to observe
fantastic stories germinate

too young to wonder
were it true.

They harvested our yielding hearts

greenly leaning listeners
envisioning endearing pasts

where everything's
so unlike today.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

40 words (prompt limit).  Brevity Typewriter Poetry challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744360-Brevity-typewriter-series--9
Submitted: March 8, 2020

Medusa Renewed

Sprung from your cursed blood
white-winged Pegasus flies high:
lost beauty reborn.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Medusa prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743395-Medusa
Submitted: March 7, 2020

Ant Bridge

Scurrying to reach the brink
where a human stoops to think
"no way to cross this gaping breach"

ants assembled step to teach
extending selfless mutually
engaging limbs collectively:

their living bridge to symbolize
collaborative enterprise
relating past opposing sides

new unities through old divides

to band together when you must
and cultivate enduring trust

that "out of many, one" is all
we need remember

lest we fall.

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68 words, 15 lines.

Ant Poems challenge - link:

Bridge prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744351-Word-prompt-Bridge

Note: "out of many, one" ("e pluribus unum")
Submitted: March 7, 2020


Organizing what day brings
particularly fragile things
another might neglect to place
she rearranges all toward grace

her elegantly handsome hands
bound by gowns and barren bands
conserving as discretion calls
by cabinets and papered walls.

Decorum wrought of quondam age
while inwardly upon a stage
she fancies dancing daring free
sheer fabric flowing manic glee:

she's pirouetting in a song
with leaping legs alive and long
unfettered hair swung in her strut
through melodies indelicate

as scores applaud her brazen art
increasing pride to glide her heart
beyond this room's regressive gloom
where music stews and orchids bloom.

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100 words (prompt requirement).  Photo prompt (elegant pensive lady in gray arranging something to the side) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743375-picture-prompt
Submitted: March 7, 2020

Fortune Cookie

Who seeks
starves for
feast of

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11 words.  Fortune Cookie brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744326-Fortune-Cookies
Submitted: March 6, 2020


As many drop
on knees to

fresh mercy fills
this stormless

Beside the river

fragmented windows
frame the

with wholesome light
some find

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29 words (30 being the limit).  Image (window in sunlit water on a sunny day) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744321-Brevity-Image-Prompt--165-
Submitted: March 6, 2020

Utopia Simulation 1415926535

Within this version, most accept
perfected Earth without reserve:

no worldly warring devilish tech
or monetary promised lands,

impartial light to temper sight
gold glory yawning every dawn

all life relieving grievous strife
delicious dreaming any night

- except that fails reality.
I've seen the software, sorrily,

faux algorithms fixed to please;
I'd know because their maker's me.

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Simulations of the New Earth (free of suffering, war, money, technology) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744264-Simulations-Of-The-New-Earth-
Submitted: March 6, 2020

Snail's Pace

Hindered in gridlock,
crawling forth in metal shells
on this hot June night.

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Travel haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744273-Haiku-On-Travel
Submitted: March 6, 2020


Ten million years
through haloed night

three tumbling crumbs
mere nuclei

elliptic compass
planets mass

folding stellar detritus
into what becomes this land

oceanic flowing skies
each gentle crease along your hand

those lustrous blossoms in your hair
which dances with the wind tonight

reflecting moon your knowing eyes
there my world revolving warms

with limbs aligned unwinding time
three hearts entwined refining rhyme

designs inclining life divine
once we entrust eternal dust

to recombine and soon enwomb
a sacred space where new minds form.

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20 lines.  Dust of Eternity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744182-maximum-25-lines--Abstract---DUST-OF-ETERNI

Poem inspired by the gradual creation of planets from dusty disks surrounding stars and the cosmic stardust from which complex matter and even life may arise.
Submitted: March 5, 2020

Tourist Class

through canals

tour guides droning
dated names

our smartphones poising

immortal selfies
framing days

while other travelers
watch us pass.

A disbelieving native sighs,
"Magnificence escapes their eyes."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Image (tour boat through canal surrounded by ornate and impressive architecture while others lean over rails on the right to watch on) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744157-Brevity-Image-Prompt--161--
Submitted: March 5, 2020