September Poetry Prompts

These prompts were each drawn from some printed text within Descanso Gardens — signage, brochures, books in the bookstore, even an interaction with another visitor who was carrying a Bible.

Terry Wolverton offered these prompts to collaborating poet Donna Frazier:

• Cowboy cologne (Descanso Gardens interpretive pamphlet)

• Deer are particularly fond of roses (Descanso Gardens signage)

• Garden Dancer Cha Cha (taxonomic sign – plant name: Cordyline)

• Extreme Snakes Tattoos (book title)

Collaborating poet Donna Frazier offered these prompts to Terry Wolverton:

• Babies may dangle temporarily (From interpretive exhibit on Descanso’s animals. The babies in question are opossums.)

• Reflected light, right-side up (From exhibit text on camera obscura)

• Hooker’s manzanita (arctostaphylus hooker, “wayside): Plant label

“Not by works of law” (Text from a garden visitor’s Bible.)

(Walking near the Haaga Gallery, I spotted a man carrying something under his arm that might be a journal, might be a book.
“Excuse me, is that a book you’re carrying?”
“Yes, it’s the Bible?”
“Would you mind opening it and turning to a random page?
[Pulls book from under his arm and starts to open it.]
“Are you seeking guidance?”
“No, it’s for a project.”
“So could you pick a random passage?”
“How about a NOT random passage? [turns with some intent to the back of the Bible.]
I glance at the pages he’s opened to and let my eyes focus on something. “Not by works of law” is what comes to the surface.)

We invite readers to write poems in response to one or more prompts (or the fevered writing that results from these prompts) and submit  in the Comments section. The best Reader Poem we receive by September 30 will be awarded a $25 prize.


3 thoughts on “September Poetry Prompts

  1. Placement
    by Trista Hurley-Waxali

    Before he’d say,
    the nectar was too sweet for him to enjoy.
    But that changed after Samantha left.

    Seasons came and went as he’d roam,
    leaving her to nest in their range of land.
    Rumor was that she never got over her first love-
    the buck who lost
    that she’d walk the border, hoping to pick-up
    his scent.

    So when Carl came home that night
    and saw his doe was no longer there,
    we all knew where she went.

    We watch him now, grieving the loss,
    unsure of her death,
    unsure of her life.
    Moving the petals with his cloven hoof
    trying to frame the floor-bed
    they once shared.

    Liked by 1 person

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