Prompt #1: Headlines

April is National Poetry Month.  For fun, and in honor of great poetry the world over, I’ll provide a writing prompt each day.  Feel free to respond to the prompt, or ignore it if it doesn’t suit you.  The goal here is to write a little every day, if for no other reason than to experience the joy of writing.  I imagine that not every prompt will inspire a full poem, but like Natalie Goldberg espouses, we’re going to write for the practice of writing. 
Many of you may already have a poem or piece that fits the prompt, but try to write and share something new.  Flex muscles.  Write.  You can always revise later.

 Prompt #1: Headlines

I’ve often heard fiction writers espouse the benefits of using the day’s headlines to inspire their next story.  But this could as easily work for poets.  Here are some recent headlines from the Wichita Eagle:

“Girlfriend describes how boyfriend disappeared after police chase”

“Volunteers take on scourge of Wichita parks”

“Simplicity leads to surprising depth in the “Life of Objects”

It might not be the headline that inspires you, but instead a particular sign or advertisement.  Have fun looking at the world around you with new eyes.


April’s Effort:

or Lightening Strikes St. Peter’s Basilica the Day Pope Benedict Resigns*

You say, It’s a good thing I don’t believe in that shit.
I cringe a little, blinking up at the sky for the jagged
exhalation of God’s wrath.

But the sky remains pristine.
You continue, Black cats, broken mirrors, Jesus:
it’s all hoo-doo voo-doo for the weak.

I worry that God will pay attention at all
to my little corner, on my little street, in my little world.

Science! You expound.
Now THERE is the magic of our day.

* Headline from The Washington Post, Feb 11th, 2013

This poem is short–and I think it’s meant to be longer, but as a first draft, I’m pleased.

2 thoughts on “Prompt #1: Headlines

  1. Jodi Pyle says:

    Under Water
    or Girlfriend describes how boyfriend disappeared after police chase

    Breathing quickly as I ran away,
    Don’t look back, just try to make it to the next turn,
    Where’s Eric? His footfalls are suddenly silent,

    The pond is still and looks like a silver tray,
    this would be such a nice place to visit
    under different circumstances.

    Stop! You’re not going to escape,
    Spread your arms and legs
    wait for the search, custody, questions, confinement

    Green all around, no longer grass and moss
    institutional off-lime paint
    is he here too? somewhere in another pod

    Or is he still out there, enjoying the fresh smells,
    stillness, sunshine, solitude, freedom

    Thanks for the inspiration, April. Rough effort on my part but I wanted to join in!

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