Heart, Soul, and Rough Edges — A Gypsy Journey of Words and Wonder

Where do poems come from: poetry prompts

Prompts are one of the ways that I generate poems, and one of the subjects I return to again and again is coffee.  Yes, that hot, black (I like mine black), bitter, caffeinated beverage that I gulp down every morning.

I keep my poetry in Google documents, so just for grins, I searched through my documents for poems that mention coffee. I stopped counting after I reached twenty. At least three of those poems were written in response to prompts. Nope, make that at least four.

I am well and truly addicted to coffee. At various times in my life, I have drunk up to twelve cups a day. When I cut way back, now many years ago, I was tired for a month. I drink a cup every morning. If I’m working at the computer, I often pour myself more — and am just as likely to take a couple of sips and forget about the rest. I’ll drink it hot, cold, and anywhere in between. I like mine black and strong, unless it’s iced, and then I like it with half and half. It’s my favorite excuse for memory lapses. I can always think of something to say about coffee.

The poem below was written in response to the April, 2010  day 25 prompt on Robert Lee Brewer’s blog. The prompt: write a poem inspired by a song, and to include song title and artist. Most of the songs in the poem below  are from Chicago’s album, “Chicago 17.”  In order to end the poem in the way I wanted to, I had to use one song from BoyzIIMen.  The poem appeared in Summer, 2010 issue of Cyclamens and Swords .

Road Work

Cars creep along Route 6,
sign reads,
Road construction.
Expect delays,
while Chicago’s “Stay the Night”
blares on my radio.

Headlights illuminate
bits of fog,
rain blows through
open window
while Peter or Bill
sings “Remember the Feeling.”

Swig cold coffee,
get a mouthful of grounds
as “Something About You”
drifts out my window.

Jacket’s wet,
no place to pull over
while someone’s singing
“Something was Wrong.”

Car cuts in front of me,
I stand on my brakes.
Chicago’s crooning
“Please Hold On.”

Sirens sing
up the highway
while Boyz II Men belt out
“End of the Road.”

This is another that was  written in response to a prompt from Robert Lee Brewer’s Poeticasides blog. The prompt was to write a poem in which someone (or something) is stuck somewhere.

Out of Stock

At the coffee house
I order a large inspiration,
cream, no sugar,
but they’re out,

so I pull out my notebook,
sketch connected circles,
large to small
across the page,

add squiggly lines,
then rows of dots,
finally a trace
of a tree,

and wait for something
to fill in the blanks.


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One thought on “Where do poems come from: poetry prompts

  1. Hi Peggy, coffee is so useful to writers, I’m surprised they haven’t outlawed it yet! Great post!

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