Prompts Hour One

For the first time ever we’re trying something a little different this year. The first prompt every hour will be text based (with occasional variations), and the second, if you scroll down, will be image based. You can choose either prompt or not use prompts at all (or only sporadically). All images are either taken from unsplash, or contributed by a poetry marathoner with credit.

Text Prompt

Write a poem about something ending. It could be a relationship, a stage in life, or the apocalypse. The details are up to you.

Image Prompt

12 thoughts on “Prompts Hour One

  1. Hour One of 2021 Marathon

    In January 2021 I began the journey
    hundreds of miles trekking in pilgrimage
    to a virtual Santiago amid the small houses
    of my safe community where invisible threats
    came into the very air we breathed.

    An e-route with guideposts and imagined sunflowers
    along with hundreds of miles opened before me
    as I walked darkest mornings
    when the owl perched in my front yard
    harmonized with the train whistle miles away.

    The road continued
    as I walked tired in the afternoons
    following students’ queries and fears and hopes
    their zoomed voices echoing odd harmonies
    with birds and barks of surrounding houses.

    A few evenings I walked a few more steps
    as the sun shone upon iced winter roads,
    muddy spring parks, and now summer’s opening fields.
    Today no harmonies come from increasing traffic,
    crowded stores, drowned out animals’ cries, my heart.

    One hundred final on this pilgrimage
    now open before me, and the ultimate arrival
    will take me back to my classrooms, into the chaos,
    buildings and streets busier and filled with people
    clamoring with unsettled nerves and angst.

    This journey has been sad.
    Step upon step were designed for intentional peace.
    Finding stillness full of painful, tender unknowns,
    I’m older and wizened from the pivots and strains.
    Yet miles remain as I finish this journey.

  2. you never see it coming, ya know?
    even when you kinda expect it
    there’s a way
    it sneaks up
    jumps you
    all around
    alert expectation
    yes, people out here
    are trying to kill you
    ha! empty effort –
    no amount of preparation
    can avert
    the sudden assault

    the body will crumble
    you will not remember
    the impact
    the split seconds
    of flying
    through the air
    the second crash
    the slam
    and slide
    flesh a poor rival
    to concrete
    small bits of stone
    and glass
    into what
    you knew
    as you
    your body
    the moving
    of you

    now a mass
    of damage

    after that
    you remember
    the body

    and what of it?
    there is no
    it is just now
    always now
    beginning again
    and then
    again/starting line
    heading hazy
    each step
    a promise.

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