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    Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 247

    Categories: Poetry Prompts, Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, What's New.

    For today’s prompt, write a gift poem. Giving gifts, receiving gifts, coveting the gifts of others, admiring gifts, planning gifts, and so on. Consider this prompt a gift from me.

    Here’s my attempt at a gift poem:

    “Haiku”

    Each morning a gift–
    the outline of tree branches
    conducting bird songs.

    *****

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    *****

    Robert Lee Brewer

    Robert Lee Brewer

    Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, author of Solving the World’s Problems, and happy to celebrate the gift of his family today (and every day). Santa visited last night and left plenty of goodies for the kiddos this morning, though he enjoyed his gift of cookies and milk (or so his note indicated). Robert would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year! Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

    *****

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    About Robert Lee Brewer

    Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

    99 Responses to Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 247

    1. lisad says:

      From the Window

      She is a woman who looks out the window; she sees many beautiful sights
      To those that she waits for, we too wait for her.
      We see each other in our dreams,
      But our dreams drift away with the light from the moon.
      We dream together about sharing the same view,
      My hand in hers.
      What she sees out the window, we see it all too
      We embrace each other; she smiles from the window pane

      She is a mother who watches out for her son and daughter
      She is an aunt who looks out for her niece and nephew
      She is a daughter, reunited with her father; they long to touch the cheek of her mother.
      She is a sister who admires her brothers
      She is a grandmother now too; she watches her grandson learn and play
      She is a gift to all of those who look up at her, and we wait for the day
      That we can all be together again.

    2. seingraham says:

      GIFTS

      Genetic is it?
      That’s what they say
      Somewhere in that
      Beautifully sculptured
      Spiralling, twisting
      Out, then back in
      Upon itself
      Double helix
      Barely understood
      Even by those
      Who profess
      Scientific knowledge
      Of such things -
      “They” say
      Hidden Deep
      within the recesses
      of our DNA or RNA
      or some such genome
      is the proclivity
      to pass along,
      or have passed along
      The disorder,
      the illness,
      the weakness

      Curiously, seldom,
      if ever do we seem
      to blame DNA
      for genius, compassion,
      or even just
      plain goodness.
      And so,
      here I wait…
      Broken mind
      holding up
      surprisingly well
      this year
      Might risk jinxing
      all to put it
      in black and white
      Surely tempting some
      Black Dog
      or other.

      But as well
      as my scarred
      and battered mind
      is managing to stay
      stitched together
      this time…

      My DNA
      has betrayed me
      in the worst
      possible way;
      my first-born is
      downstairs
      right now
      having his
      head shrunk,
      and not for the
      first time.
      I’m not
      conceited enough,
      nor ignorant
      enough,
      to think
      ‘tis all my fault.
      Still – I would not
      have had
      him follow
      these particular
      footsteps
      for anything.

    3. Thomas says:

      Have you counted God’s gifts to you?
      Our Life
      Our Family
      Our Friends
      Our Food
      The Earth
      The Sun
      And Stars
      The Moon
      His Love
      His Son
      Just to name a few.

    4. ewdupler says:

      Friendship’s Gifts

      A helping hand,
      perhaps a smile;
      Caring thoughts,
      staying a while.

      Careful words,
      lovely letter;
      Speaking softly,
      listening better.

      Friendly banter,
      never rough;
      Sticking ‘round,
      though its tough.

      Never lie,
      meaning all;
      There to catch me,
      when I fall.

      Little things,
      appreciated;
      To me you are,
      ingratiated.

      Being friends,
      gives me a lift;
      This my friend,
      is quite the gift.

    5. BeckyJoie says:

      “The Gift That Came Back to Me”

      The best gift I gave that gave back to me
      Was love to a child who needed a family.
      Such a difficult gift both to give and unwrap
      But so blessed and now I am getting it back.

      For somehow when I gave it, it opened MY heart
      and made room for the child whose life fell apart.
      He had learned that “to love” meant to hurt and to cry
      He struggled to re-learn and how he would try!

      But then when fear would rear it’s ugly head
      He would run and scream, hide his face in the bed.
      Not sure he could trust me, but wanting so much
      To believe and to trust, to feel real love’s touch.

      Then one day it happened, love opened his eyes.
      He saw that to trust did not mean he would die.
      He saw that our love was like sunrays on flowers
      Then he opened his heart and he became ours.

      The patience, the waiting, the pleading and tears
      Trying to show him he was worth it, he could let go of fear.
      He had a hope and future, a God-designed plan
      Not as a hurt little boy but a powerful man.

      He finally received it, the gift that I gave.
      He knew that I loved him and it made him brave.
      He opened his heart, felt the warmth of my love
      And he gave me a gift better than any I could think of.

      (Dedicated to my foster-adoptive son.)

    6. A Present
      It has been three years
      Since she lost her husband,
      Followed by any desire to face life
      Sober.

      Christmas Eve,
      A small box,
      Gracefully ribboned,
      Arrived nearly unnoticed.
      It bore her name.

      It felt empty,
      But its contents were
      Weighty –
      A simple strip of photos -
      An ultrasound.
      Her first grandchild.

      A present -
      A future.

    7. CHRISTMAS EVE

      Layers of measured time
      like steps from inner door to belfry,
      like climbing out of canyon from river
      up eons of rock that water erodes;

      rising toward night sky, its moon
      a waning cat’s eye skewing shadow
      among stars that have a different birth
      the closer you get, reaching

      for that gift, its confluence of stars
      rising out of dark till it dims to dawn,
      the solstice balancing toward light,
      no longer looking down.

    8. Glory says:

      Haiku

      a small silver box
      tide with a green striped pink bow
      a gift to treasure

    9. Glory says:

      The Gift

      It came by post,
      sat on the hall carpet,
      has sat, for more than an hour.

      Wrapped in brown paper
      with a pink ribbon bow
      wth the words –
      ‘To a loved one.’

      How did I resist;
      with fingers itching
      with heart racing,
      I declined – had too.

      Or once again,
      be beguiled by
      words, tender words
      to melt my heart.

      And so it lay, and
      lay, until the fine
      pink ribbon bow
      faded, the years passed.

      It came by post,
      sits on the hall carpet,
      has sat, long forgotten like
      the love I once knew.

    10. De Jackson says:

      Shhhhhh…

      I am listening to these trees.
      They know a few things. They speak
      in breeze, and they have wisdom
      to impart. See all that
      blue? They’ve seen it, too, for years.
      They’ve wrangled tears from sky
      and sent them down this hill
      to spill into indigo center. I know
      I’m just a renter of this skin, but
      there are things I’d like to know,
      quiet gifts I’d like to be given.
      If I wait here long enough, breath
      held, eyes closed, they might whisp
      -er what I seek. If I stay still and
      small and bid them all good morning,
      these fine pine magi might just set
      me free.

      .

    11. PressOn says:

      THINK IT OVER

      When a miser is giving a gift,
      it may yield not a smile but a rift
      for it comes with strings and grim mutterings;
      best to give his faux gifting short shrift.

    12. bjzeimer says:

      Robert Brewer– I like your poem. It seems perfect for the season. How many times I have seen birds in the bushed outside the window. How lovely a gift. Thanks for the poem.

    13. bjzeimer says:

      haiku

      Christmas comes again
      family comes together
      then comes gifts of love

    14. Cin5456 says:

      BullyforDogsBlog

      Grandpa Jones was a widower
      who lived with us after she passed.
      Dad should have given us warning
      that our tranquil days were past.
      Grandpa grumbled and griped.
      He always made a big stink
      about how much we spent
      and what the neighbors would think.
      He complained about holiday traffic
      and cursed commercial holiday greed,
      but he fussed like a maiden aunt
      draping lights on our Christmas tree.
      One Christmas morning it all ended
      and he never made a big fuss again-
      his mumbled complaints suspended.
      The change came over him suddenly
      with ribbons and wrapping torn open.
      He smiled and laughed like a kid
      just like we had been hoping.
      So our dad gave him the box
      the gift that mellowed him out.
      When he opened this present,
      we expected a curse and a shout.
      He took the top off and choked up.
      He cooed like a dove roosting
      in a soft voice I’d never heard.
      Tears wet his lashes, and his chin
      wobbled, but he said not a word.
      I’d never seen him speechless-happy.
      The choice we finally made for him
      was a thin homeless puppy,
      a rescued pit bull – his forever dog.
      Winsome Winifred was four months old
      when Grandpa began BullyforDogsBlog
      keeping local rescuers informed.
      That was ten years ago this winter.
      Now everyone loves Grandpa Jones
      and the work he does year-round
      finding forgotten dogs forever homes.

    15. dford says:

      Renewed Focus

      For years, I continuously fought my way out of a thin, damp paper bag, going round and round with the same issues. Until one day, I decided to shift my focus. I intentionally, though, not easily, began anew. I only shared my time with my writing, without thought to external opinions. My writing was, after-all, my first love. In addition, I discovered a love for photography.

      I will never go back to once was Used to be’s are just that–used to be’s!

      So, in summary, if you can’t let go; wrap your heart around something new. And that, my friends, is my gift to you……

    16. Misky says:

      This Gift

      This sun
      This wake
      This morning break
      This smile
      This gift
      This hope you lift
      This love
      This day
      May all you wish be yours today

    17. Julieann says:

      Love’s Gift

      Love is a many splendored thing
      Defying description and definition

      Love glistens like diamonds on a frosty morn
      It warms the soul like a Southern summer sun

      Love crashes in like white-cap breakers
      Or glides in undetected and with stealth

      Too many people live without love
      Too many people twist it to their own desires

      Love is a gift from above for us to treasure
      In all its many forms and conventions

      Love should be nurtured and given away freely
      Not clung to with a death’s grip

      Love asks nothing in return
      But to be enjoyed, accepted, and cherished

    18. Regalos Poéticos
      [After the Minilalaloopsy doll "Lady writes a Poem"] {which I’m going to buy soon for me}

      Lady writes a poem.
      Puts it in your stocking.
      Lady mails a poem.
      The postman comes a-knocking.
      Lady knows a poem
      won’t make her rich or famous.
      Lady shares her poems.
      We love them! Who can blame us?

    19. Cin5456 says:

      at checkout

      a miserable man
      rude & wearing
      an entitlement suit

      her cheek twitched
      our pseudo-smiles adjusted
      as our eyes met

      sisters know
      understanding went unspoken
      but our smiles became genuine

      our brown eyes met
      - shared minds
      and empathy evident

      our gazes support
      - have strength
      - keep faith with sisters

      • Cin5456 says:

        (I’ve revised this in the last few minutes. I posted too soon. I think this version is better.)

        at checkout

        a miserable man
        rude & wearing
        his entitlement suit

        her cheek twitched
        our pseudo-smiles adjusted
        as our eyes met

        we sisters aware
        understanding went unspoken
        but our smiles became genuine

        our brown eyes met
        shared minds
        and empathy evident

        her irises resembled
        a memory of sweeping
        and mopping until dawn

        we care
        gain strength from me
        keep faith with each other

    20. This holy day
      each gift
      a welcome
      vice
      freely given
      by a giver
      torn in two
      by the giving
      socks from a forgotten aunt
      forever wanting to be
      useful
      tins of candied popcorn
      from co-worker
      friends too stressed
      by the season
      to pick a personal gift
      for a personal you
      they never really
      knew
      god, the earth
      sighing
      with the expectations
      and regrets
      of oceans
      for each unearned
      breath you take
      being taken
      from you

    21. JRSimmang says:

      CONVERSATION BECOMES CHAMPAGNE

      Found in the bottom
      of his old magic bag,
      Santa found folded
      a paperly rag.

      On it, he guessed,
      would be childlike scrawl,
      asking for Gameboys,
      skateboards, basketballs.

      He unfolded the paper,
      and adjusted his glasses,
      (old eyes barely notice
      when words quickly passes),

      and read out aloud
      the wishes inscribed,
      but quickly dwindled off
      for what was contained inside

      wasn’t a list, laundry
      or otherwise. There
      wasn’t a toy, pot or pan,
      unicorn or bear.

      It said, simply put,
      My tired fingers can’t grip
      the glittery pages,
      more often than not I’ll rip

      the hard wrought wrapping.
      I usually like to save it,
      and always to remember
      to thank the ones who gave it.

      But, recently, my tree has
      grown barren, a shadow,
      picked clean and hollow
      reflected through the window.

      This house, once full and warm,
      is now my depository.
      I’m a book, dusty and lost,
      where the last pages of my story

      have started falling out.
      My voice finds the walls just fine,
      I suppose. So, to whomever
      picks up this note, remember to dine

      every night at the dining
      room table with the candles
      lit and the voices of children
      being loud and carefree and hard to handle.

      Remember to say to them
      all the things your mother said
      to you when she loved you enough
      to tuck you into bed.

      And, most importantly,
      do not forget. Do not forget
      the feeling of heat in your heart.
      That, you’ll never regret.

      Santa pulled his sleigh over,
      and breathed in the winter air.
      He pulled the deer around.
      He had to get back there.

      Through the chilly winter storms,
      snow and sleet and ice,
      he found her little cottage,
      frozen into place.

      He alit on the roof,
      quiet as a lamb,
      and slid down the chimney
      to where it began.

      She was sitting in the kitchen,
      eyes peering outside,
      the tree was lit up bright,
      glowing, abundant pride.

      He walked ever so quietly
      and sat next to her,
      reached out his hand
      and patted her shoulder.

      She turned, and saw Santa,
      though she wasn’t surprised.
      She hadn’t been since
      she knew her parents lied.

      “My dearest madam,
      my evening’s up.
      Would you mind so much
      if we shared a cup

      of coffee? I’d like to talk
      to a person for once.”
      She obliged, of course she would.
      She hadn’t had a friend over in months.

      They spent the night talking
      of elves and reindeer,
      travel and food.
      School and kids, fears

      and desires. And when the sun
      rose, they were still sharing.
      All night, she laughed,
      which felt like baring

      her soul in her lungs.
      He saw her years fall off
      her back, her burdens burning
      to ash, her abandon sloughed

      into a pile on the floor.
      He felt the north calling his name,
      so he bade her farewell.
      “‘Tis a pity and a shame,”

      he called back as he lept
      to the hearth.
      “But I must be going,
      for this revolving earth

      waits for none. Not even I.”
      She took his hand, and his arms,
      and held him tight, graciously,
      where she was safe from harm.

      “Thank you for your time,
      familiar friend.
      Perhaps next year,
      we’ll do it again.”

      And he realized that the
      greatest gift he’d given
      cannot be wrapped
      and gets us close to heaven

      while keeping our feet
      firmly planted on the ground
      below us. He was drunk
      on conversation as he found

      his way back to swirling snow
      and the lights of the world below
      flickered in Christmas glow.

      -JR Simmang

    22. pmwanken says:

      FOR ALL MANKIND
      (a piku)

      The greatest
      gift,
      born a Savior.

      2013-12-26
      P. Wanken

    23. elishevasmom says:

      The Gift of Song

      Sing a sad song.
      It is a song that must be sung.
      Songs can touch a place
      in the soul that words cannot.

      And if you say you have
      no soul—it is for you
      especially—it must be sung.
      Whether or not you believe

      in his divinity, the faith
      of his teenage mother—her
      belief in his divinity—that
      is a song.

      Have you ever held a belief
      so strongly? Have you
      ever had such a faith?
      In anything?

      In a mere spark of light
      a life is born,
      a belief takes breath,
      a faith is fed.

      The song must
      be sung.
      But it need not always
      be sad.

      Ellen Evans 12.26.13
      (collected thoughts the day after Christmas)

    24. Gift of Grace

      The gift of grace came
      Wonderfully wrapped in Christ
      Bestowed upon all

    25. Cin5456 says:

      priceless

      an arm offered to an arthritic elder
      a smile for parents of an unruly child
      good morning – to a harried coffee vendor
      happy holidays – to a frazzled lunch waitress
      thank you – to a distracted bus driver
      you are so kind – to the man bagging groceries
      hope you make it home safe – to an upset driver
      to everyone – tell your (wife/husband/mother/father )
      they are lucky to have you in their life

      priceless gifts from the heart
      absent-minded gestures of kindness
      given as gifts and received in kind
      smiles lift hearts and raise spirits

      (To all the poets at Poetic Asides: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope you received lots of smiles today.)

    26. writinglife16 says:

      The Gift

      The cat looked at the tree.
      Ooh, a present for me.
      All shiny and bright,
      with sparkling lights.
      A special gift for me.
      He took a sniff and then a nibble,
      but it wasn’t like kibble
      so he let it be.
      Later, as he walked by his human,
      she gasped and then sighed.
      He heard her say
      next year I’ll kiss the tinsel goodbye.

    27. Gift

      What better augur than the aurora
      a belt of blue and green to cinch
      in the waist of some sky I couldn’t
      possibly capture all by myself.
      I’ve never been that far North
      but I know all the stories:

      Old men read newspapers
      in the darkest part of the world
      without squinting because everything,
      as they say, is illuminated, and what
      else would a girl or a woman across
      an ocean expect from the kind of energy
      that can harness the name of a goddess?

      It’s terrifying, really, to think
      of every girl I was between yesterday
      and now, the week before I knew you
      and everything that came after, every
      second I spend counting and tonguing
      my own dry lips until I can sigh, until
      I can see your name light up the
      black screen of my cell phone
      as if your intentionality can charge
      and change the mundane particles
      that have always, in any time,
      made up a cold and thoughtless night.

      I am no goddess and who’s to say
      any woman ever was, but I don’t
      need a beaky man with his dirty bird
      to tell me what is different about
      this December.

      I used to spend the hours,
      after the gifts were unwrapped
      and my sisters were drunk or at the
      very least asleep, by myself, nursing
      the old wound of my own reflection:
      those round hips and full cheeks,
      the brownness of my hair and
      the way that even the best glass of
      wine couldn’t make my eyes shine
      the way I wished they would.

      It’s funny because I’ve never
      seen the Northern Lights, I’d never planned
      to until you and we haven’t even gazed
      into each other’s eyes or steadfastly pretended
      we weren’t trying to. It’s funnier because
      my mother says the Internet is a bad omen
      or, at the very least, something to make
      sure a girl like me will never be happy
      unless she has someone like you,
      some boy or man who tells
      her to look up pictures of Iceland,
      who knows she will stumble
      across an image of the dawn
      dancing in the middle of the night,
      who knows she will fall in love and
      forget she ever cared about
      proving her mother wrong.

      I can’t even remember my
      mother’s name or why she
      or any other woman in the world
      would hang her daughter’s hopes
      on the gestures of some grandfather
      who thought he saw a sign in the sand.
      On other Christmas nights, I’d be tucking
      into bed, sure that I’d wake up richer in the
      morning but no more happy.

      Let’s get poor, darling, and move to the North,
      not to read newspapers or shadows on the ground,
      not to shuffle our feet like our forefathers,
      but to dance with the one who brung us,
      torn between wrangling with the heat of the sky
      or the gift of watching and touching the other,
      planning to live forever or, at the very least,
      until morning comes around.

    28. Best Gift

      Every year we learn the lesson but forget
      before the holidays roll around again—
      no matter how many packages Santa leaves
      beneath the tree, once the gifts are opened,
      the wrapping paper, boxes, bows
      thrown away, the one gift that cost the least,
      the one picked up on impulse, the last minute,
      ends up being the hit. Sometimes, in fact,
      while the uncles are scrounging around
      for batteries, reading the instruction manual,
      the assembly directions, the kids play
      in the back of the house with the boxes.

    29. Tom B says:

      Christmas morning
      our house gift wrapped
      with fresh snow

    30. Jane Shlensky says:

      Gift at Daybreak

      Sunrise nudges the birds,
      paints the horizon
      rose and grey,
      sends clouds skittering.

      Coffee warms my hands,
      my throat. A warm cat
      purrs watching the world
      wake up.

      My loves sleep
      snug in their beds,
      safe for now,
      blessed.

    31. NoBlock says:

      Hours passed in stores
      To find just the right one,

      Hours waiting in lines
      You did it for the ones you love,

      Hours spent wrapping
      Corners taped with precision,

      The day has finally come
      Kids drool with anticipation,

      The frenzy has begun
      15 seconds and it’s all undone!

    32. Jane Shlensky says:

      Gift as Deed

      Sometimes just spending time’s a gift
      and doing something thoughtful,
      kind the other person wants
      but doesn’t know it yet.

      They washed and waxed her car,
      cleaned her gutters, raked her leaves,
      and let her feed them dinner
      on her best china.

      She baked his favorite pies
      and put his pictures in an album,
      one a digital copy with music
      he loved. She brewed coffee
      and waited.

      The men arrived at half past five
      and built a ramp for him to glide
      in his wheel chair. Now they’ll
      take turns driving him
      into the world again.

      They take music and go around
      to those who need a song to sing,
      sometimes in hospitals or homes.
      They spend some time
      remembering, playing
      the oldies.

      That woman can cook anything
      and will, taking goodies
      here and there. Taste this, she says,
      and let me know what it needs,
      knowing already, it’s perfect gift.

      Thought, mindfulness,
      remembrance
      is the gift we long for,
      the one we recall
      and smile.

    33. PowerUnit says:

      Chandelier trees and snapping trunks
      Line the road to the world.
      Access to gas, food, and our mailbox
      Cut off. Ice storms ravaged.
      Yet Santa still came with presents.
      The children still visited their parents.
      The gift of family. Christmas lives on.

    34. OUR CHRISTMAS TREE

      Twelve years ago we bought this tree –
      a dollar – trimmed with words for free.

      The Xmas tree’s lost seven words
      the kitten ate instead of birds.

      Bright paper rings, picked one by one,
      they make a poem when we’re done.

      The four of us still full of cheer;
      how many poems in a year!

      Each line a gift, a set of wings.
      The kitten purrs, the old dog sings.

    35. priyajane says:

      The Greatest Gift

      Give yourself the greatest gift
      Forgive, forgive, forgive
      Then let the spindle roll you out
      Across the sky of rainbow sprouts

      A tangled web just takes you south
      So much is lost in thoughts that pout
      So let it go and watch the flow
      Of what comes in to shine your door

      Give yourself the greatest gift
      Forgive, forgive,, forgive

      Thank you Robert and everyone, for the gifted expressions weaving this thread–

    36. Merry Christmas!

      *

      Christmas tree star–
      the sparkle in your eyes
      a treasured gift

    37. priyajane says:

      invisible gifts
      Wrap flavors from my kitchen
      And words from the heart—

    38. PressOn says:

      Robert, Thank you for that wonderful haiku, for this site, and for your caring attention to it. Merry Christmas.

    39. PressOn says:

      FLURRIES

      Two birds;
      four passing deer;
      six hours of snowfall;
      eight inches of white wonderland:
      one gift.

    40. PromptPrincess13 says:

      The Best Gift of All

      Under the tree the presents all a glimmer,
      The bows wrapped atop all a-shimmer,

      From the peak of the tree, the angel sees and smiles,
      Knowing what lengths it took for them,
      Miles and miles.

      She looks at the six surrounding the tree,
      Their laughs tinkling and faces bright as can be,
      Shining with love and the will to be merry,

      In their eyes, she can see they know,
      That even if the pile of presents had been low,
      Their Christmas would be as jolly as ever,
      For they had family,
      And that is a gift that lasts forever.

    41. SPECIAL GIFTS

      I unwrapped the mystery package
      under the tree. For weeks I’d puzzled
      over its golden sheen, its intricate bow.

      Inside was nothing
      I needed nor wanted, nor had a place
      for in the kitchen.

      Outside, morning dawned.
      I walked to the barn
      to release the sheep to daylight.

      And there was Christmas,
      a nubbly gray lamb newborn
      with Freckles his mother standing guard.

      I’ll bring them alfalfa hay,
      warm water, corn-oat-barley grain.
      The best gifts come unexpected.

    42. Gift

      G raciously, You gave the greatest gift
      I thank You for sending Your Son
      Father, thank You for providing
      T he way for us to come to You

    43. annell says:

      Gift
      My favorite
      Christmas song
      This year is
      All I want for
      Christmas is You
      And
      You will be
      My favorite
      Gift this year
      2013

      Merry Christmas!

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