Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 413

For today’s prompt, write a recognition poem. A recognition poem could be about public recognition, like an award or a declaration in front of or directed to a group of people. Or it could be about recognizing something for the first time–like an epiphany. Or recognizing a person, place, or thing that you haven’t seen in a while.

Also, don’t fail to recognize that today is Random Acts of Poetry Day! Click here for a few ideas on how to celebrate.


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Here’s my attempt at a Recognition Poem:

“Hello Darkness My Old Friend”

It’s been a while, though it’s never quite long
enough between visits. Who have you been
troubling as I’ve wandered about in light?

So much sun, my skin feels singed; so much fun,
my heart feels binged; now, it’s time, with your help,
to purge the excess illumination.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He does listen to a little Simon & Garfunkel from time to time.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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83 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 413

  1. Alphabet Architect


    The face I daily scrub, pluck,
    Moisturize, conceal,
    Smooth, bronze, and
    Highlight is familiar;
    Pleasant even.
    Why then am I shocked
    By the face peering
    From this photo-
    So unlike
    The one that grins
    From my mirror
    Of a morning?
    This face is pale, splotchy,
    Lined, wrinkled, old…
    Much like I remember
    My grandmother’s.

  2. Uma

    In the pause
    between contemplation and action,
    you muse, will we fit?
    I think about flesh and bone
    curves and planes
    and sketch lipstick lines
    on the napkin to bare my heart

    They twist and bend into each other
    smudging the gaps into a whole
    You look at the meshed squiggles
    a smile tugging at the corner of lips
    I ache to feel on mine
    gently crush my clumsy attempt
    in hands I envision drawing me into you
    Our fingers fit into each other
    And I know, so will we

  3. Marie Elena

    Epiphanies (inspired by My Favorite Things)

    Toddlers that “get it,”
    That first sense of humor!
    Ultrasound showing
    There’s two in her womb, or

    Suddenly noticing
    His shy, sweet stare.
    These are some things
    That are special and rare.

    Seeing my mother
    In my own reflection.
    More often noting
    Decreased recollection.

    Pleasant occasions
    In which I take part.
    Still finding plenty
    To capture my heart.

    Years fly quickly,
    Oh, so quickly!
    Decades swiftly pass.
    So value your loved ones,
    Your home, and your life.
    Acknowledge your brim-
    full glass!

    © Marie Elena Good, 2017

  4. taylor graham


    We drove there to see the old barn, relic
    of the canyon’s history—once a gold-strike
    mining town, now a road to somewhere
    else. What memories in the crevices?

    Across the way stood a house behind a trellis,
    so well-groomed and flowered, I hardly
    recognized. But passing through the gate,
    I saw paint fall away from walls,

    hedges from lot-lines. The guest-house
    became a shed with rusted tub for washing.
    I found a discarded apron in my hands
    to show my dog: “find Gracie!”

    The road shook off its pavement,
    beckoned up the hill
    toward a wooded ridge where wind spoke
    in its native language, Ghost.

  5. Sara McNulty


    She peered out
    from under thick
    coal lashes. Caught
    a glimpse of chocolate
    eyes darting away
    then dancing back.
    A flicker, a softening,
    slight raise of eyebrows–
    enough to recognize magnets
    of equal desire. She peered
    out from under thick
    coal lashes, and met
    his eyes, and knew.

  6. MET


    I never wanted the lauding…
    Given to me in my last years…

    Just did my job every day
    The best I could with as much kindness
    And patience though I was short of patience
    My finger that I let the pen rest against
    Had a ridge in the bone, and sometimes
    I felt so tired the blood
    Just drained from me breath by breath
    Drop by drop…

    For my work, I dried many tears,
    Let the broken cling to me as they sobbed,
    And let my heart bleed a little more
    For I knew I could not heal all wounds
    Especially those cut by cruelty
    That never heal, and
    Break open with the least provocation…
    I know, I had my own wounds that bled
    Drop by drop
    Cut by cut…

    There I stood getting an award, and
    I thought of those who worked
    As hard as me…and cared as I did
    And bled as I did;
    I wanted them there with me.
    These people who worked with me,
    Warriors, we were,
    And now that is behind us.

    But still on that day,
    It would have been good if one person
    From my immediate family
    Had been there cheering me
    But I was used to that…
    I went to music recitals alone…
    Ma had not felt well,
    But as my friends and two cousins,
    And other people
    I did not know
    Clapped their praise…
    For a moment like all the other moments
    I felt alone, but it was fleeting,
    And then I felt thankful
    That all that bleeding had been noticed,
    Worthy of all my efforts.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    October 4, 2017

    1. MET

      In 2004 I was named Social worker of the year for the state of SC…by the Foster Parent Association…. a dear friend had nominated me to help restore my good name…. these are some of my thoughts that evening when I was recognized…I worked with really wonderful people

  7. Maria Grace

    The Mouse
    (The library during renovation)

    A little brown and sudden swiftness:
    a mouse, an upturned refugee,
    unhomed and looking for a space
    of solitude and quietness.

    But all is noise. This library,
    no place for things of peaceful tastes
    and you, with your unsettledness
    are lured and caught. In sympathy

    I meet the mirror of your face
    reflecting my own wildness:
    We are kindred, you and me
    –I bid you, go in peace.

  8. candy

    this poem ….
    would like to recognize
    the lined paper and pink-ink pen
    that made my appearance possible
    without their support I would
    be a random thought escaping
    into the atmosphere
    they pushed and prodded my
    words into being
    arranged them and rearranged
    them until they were ready
    to shine a light in the darkness
    to offer hope to the hopeless
    to make a wish for peace for
    all who read
    this poem

  9. Jrentler

    Graze Anatomy

    lids rise
    or shut

    eyes see
    or not

    ears hear, mouth opens
    tongue tastes, lips kiss
    or close

    lungs fill with air
    or smoke
    time permitting

    & though
    my blood
    most days

    reluctant to commute
    its forever loopty-loop

    it still can
    while this bone chapel stands
    till not

  10. JRSimmang

    (from each other)

    were up
    to us, we’d
    turn off the static
    mudding the air, making the
    sky a uniform grey, and relax into sublime
    recognition of the infinitesimal space between us. Isn’t it up to us?

    -JR Simmang

  11. SarahLeaSales

    The Brown-Haired Scholar

    She was a brunette Elle Woods,
    with her retro candied apple lipstick
    & Eighties crimp,
    filling out the vintage colors she wore
    a little too snugly.
    Through 12 semesters
    of caffeine binges,
    math lab hours,
    writing tutors,
    solidifying soft skills,
    sharpening hard ones,
    & breaking her own records;
    through changing her mind
    (if no one else’s) &
    learning from examples,
    as well as her own,
    inspired by those examples,
    she found herself more capable
    than she had ever allowed herself to be.

  12. Eileen S

    Reunion Sorrows

    End of the class reunion
    will it be well attended?
    Or will it be disunion
    with no bad feelings mended?

    Bad feelings are like nightmares;
    growing bigger over years.
    Communications can help
    shed love’s therapeutic tears.

  13. taylor graham


    Her progress here seemed slow as a glacier,
    but the queen of shadow – I recognize her
    now, sitting in the strip-mall’s only sunny spot.
    First Tuesday of October, 44 degrees
    by the clock atop the bank downtown. But
    this is upper Broadway. It’s early, nothing’s
    open, no one’s about except the other shadows.
    The only traffic’s going somewhere else.
    In thrift-store faded black she sits considering
    her one banana which she’ll save for later,
    when she’s hungrier. Soon more traffic
    will begoing somewhere else. She’ll
    cast less shadow as the sun climbs higher,
    till you’d think she isn’t there at all.

    1. tripoet

      I could see this lady so well in many different towns and places in the US. I like how you used thrift store and dollar store for Place and the way you used time with the change in shadow which mirrors her prospects– less sun — “till you’d think she isn’t there at all”. Well done.

  14. Daniel Paicopulos

    Dr. Seuss Does Panic Attacks

    From the halls of Montezuma to a hedge-lined nursery, I’d no idea what it was, what was happening to me. It was a beautiful day, early in May, children at play, free to be free. There were flags unfurled to a mid-Spring breeze, no reasons to fret, and all was at ease. Such a sunny scene, no fear of showers, no nerves at work, I was just buying flowers. Suddenly it hit me, bright lights, roaring sound, the flowers went flying, me too, to the ground, with chest beating wildly, gasping for air, no idea what to do, I just had to leave there. Eventually I calmed, tried looking back, realized this wasn’t the first such attack, with thoughts of death, pure fight or flight, with no clue as to cause, try as I might. Later, in treatment, I learned what it was, it became all too obvious, the reasons, the cause. The children that day were all Vietnamese, no danger to me, nor their families, but that has little to do with the truth, don’t you see, there’s no logic to emotions in PTSD. I’m better now, but I’ll never be free. It’s a life sentence, this thing, this PTSD. I have coping skills now to assist, and people who know, and little by little, it improves as I grow,, a little bit older, a lot more wise, so now when the attacks start, I just close my eyes, notice my breathing, count the beats of my heart. It’s not a total solution, but hey, it’s a start.

  15. tripoet

    Happy “Random Acts of Poetry Day”, poetry mates. For my random poetry act, I will try to keep my computer close by and read each person’s poem today!

  16. PressOn


    With a start of delayed recognition,
    amazed at his social position,
    she banished all guile
    and she flashed him a smile,
    though she wished him consigned to perdition.