Red Pen: A response to the Monday Poetry Prompt

posted in: Poetry | 1
EnerGel pens are like crack at my school. So much so, that the English Department spent $600 on pens alone.  Good job, EnerGel.
EnerGel pens are like crack at my school. So much so, that the English Department spent $600 on pens alone. Well done, EnerGel.

Holy crap. I haven’t written a poem in years. I used to write poetry all the time back when I was still young and unfazed by what others thought about my eclectic combinations of words and emotions. Now that I’ve been tainted by age and experience, I care far too much about what people think.

BUT, since my goal is to improve my creative writing skills, I figured I should participate in the Monday Poetry Prompt I stumbled across while perusing the most recent posts tagged with “writing”…particularly since I need practice in order to write a creepy sing-songy rhyming thing for Josiah Remington’s character to whisper maliciously in the next chapters of The Six Provinces of Debris.

Anyway, since I’m supposed to be grading right now instead of writing (naughty teacher), I figured I would write something related to success and failure, as dictated by my iconic (though neglected) red pen.

Here were the rules:

  • You have 20 minutes or less
  • The title should be an item (instrument, utensil, etc.)
  • A call to someone/thing
  • The phrase “what will you say”
  • A type of bird
  • At least 25 lines
  • And the words: plum, nearsighted, string, open, gate, slip.

Red Pen

What will you say

if I don’t make the grade?

If I just fly away

like a raven?

Or a dove?

What will you say

if I slip?

if I fall?

Nearsighted – candor,

tethered to dreams?

I know what I’d say

if you couldn’t appease –

if you were tied

by string

to a withering dream.

I know what I’d say

if you dyed your face

like a plum

from wondering right

while stepping wrong.

I’d say “open a casket”

or “unlock a gate,”

the only importance

is what you make

of your fate.

One Response

  1. Hey Kelly! Thanks for trying out the poetry prompt. I hope it helped open a door back to poetry!

Leave a Reply