Reader Poem — Micki Blenkush

Micki Blenkush wrote this poem in response to the December Poetry Prompts:

Engine Red

When the Master who cast us
tires of our absurd stage
will directions come forth
beyond the signs foretold?
Not just the seven horseman
or the white buffalo calf
but actual words written on beasts.
Skunks with caution striped
across their backs or fish with listen
stitched in their scales.

Any language can already predict
propaganda past meaning
even as wolves and panthers arrive
with grief spelled down their sides.
In simple English we’ll call it luck
each time there’s a storm
and all we have to worry about
is what to eat first
when the power goes out.
No one yet at our door
with a machine gun
tells us how to believe.

This is the red of emergency.
Of persons stalled in the turn lane
unsure what to do for the sirens.
This is the color of a woodpecker’s head
persisting along the eaves
despite my banging at windows
and inspecting for holes.
This is the hue of a grandmother’s grief
when she wept my name.
I never heard that color before,
but wanted to move everything back
to let it pass through.


Reader Poem by Henry Medina

I’m taking a poetry workshop in Whittier taught by Eric Morago (check out his web site He gave us this prompt: write a poem in which you imagine/describe your own death. Here is what I wrote:


I will die
at 3 a.m.
trying to escape
the third-story apartment
of a sociopath
who swears
both parents
fucking him
in his crib
at age one,
cutting him
with blades
& even
inviting their friends
to the
bloody baptism.
having to pee
to exit his bedroom,
I will lunge for
the front door,
after being
tormented by his
ice pick,
two heavy butcher knives,
an arthritic gun
& dark rats
in that order.
I survived.)
I will run
into his courtyard,
him pursuing me
like an unstoppable memory.
As a last recourse,
I will climb
an eight-inch ledge,
cars honking
& fading far below me.
My right shoe
smeared in shit
from a streetwise cat
(that perhaps
in another life
could have been
loved indoors
by a caring family)
will slip
on the ridge,
& without time
to form a prayer
to accuse
or excuse my stalker,
without fully conceiving
the loneliness
that placed me on that edge,
I will fall
my heart
& beating
& faster,
a parachute
to open.
My head
made soup
will hear
the ambulance’s
distant howl,
“At last

Reader Poem — Dalwyn

Dalwyn wrote the following poem in response to the December Poetry Prompts:

Simple English

In very simple English they call it good luck
On an old silver platter it is often served up
In old fashioned English they call it fortuitous
In just plain old English it is always gratuitous

Some call her Tyche, Some call her Lakshimi
Most call her the Lady who hasn’t come lately
I asked the Gypsy she said make no mistake
Luck is the place where destiny meets fate

In very proper English they advise you to bless it
Drop a coin in the well and then simply confess it
In very simple English they call it good luck
Took mine to the laundry and told them to press it


We invite readers to submit their own poems based on this month’s poetry prompts. The best poem we receive before December 31, 2015 will win a $25 prize. All poems are posted to this blog.

Reader Poem — Daniel de Cullá

Daniel de Cullá wrote this poem in response to the December Poetry Prompts:


O sin i
My business daily
With the Seven Deadly Sins
Lust with the Sky
Gluttony with all its pearls on dishes
Envy with eye traffic
To facilitate explosions of creativity
In our king Pride day, livelong
Greed on a fried egg
On the floor of the Rainbow
Wrath blazing medieval shields
Of lives forgotten on a Planet drum
Bucking the Sloth
To begin this poem with a name.

Deadly Sins rise
From the Life’s current
Within the necessities of all the living
From sin to sin biting
As glad omelet from branch to branch
¿Why don’t we joy sins
If we’ll die tomorrow?
Says the scintilla of Life:
It’s lovely the Idolatry of Self¡
As Max Stirner said
In his “The Ego and It’s Own”
Knowing “the age of the mases”
And in his “The False Principle of Our Education:
Humanism and Realism
Are the history of the present experience
And tragedy of our time:
There is but one necessity for us all:
“Going On Sins”.
Everyone sin; Jesus sinned also:
“What is lovely? To sin for God”
Cheering us on his way to be full.
In a complete state of sin
One is in a sense with haughty eyes
Pride going before.

O sin i
I sin many a day
“I have yet to ask to myself
What do we use for Lifeboats
When the Ship goes down?” (My)
And answering:
Women have in her Bust two lemons
And more down the devil
Near the lemon tree’ flower:
I want to sleep with him¡
As a little sea boat
I’m coming and going with ups and downs
I’m going away from World
My lust unloved¡

Reader Poem—Jennifer Hernandez

Jennifer Hernandez wrote this poem in response to the November Poetry Prompts:


Huaraches across the borderlands or
dinghies on the open sea. Which shall
we choose, people of color — infantilization
or demonization? Migrants. Refugees.
Illegals. Terrorists. The rhetoric bears only
a partial relationship to reality.
Swaddle us and stick a big old plug
in our mouths. Restraint and silence.

You want to know why Latinos
like horror films? Maybe
because we know that kind of scary
is fake. We got enough real. Los narcos.
La inmigrácion checking for papers.
Le deportaron a mi tío. His baby girl cries
herself to sleep. Hatemongers splash venom
like red paint. Why can’t they see that the rapists
are the pinche coyotes that steal our money
and leave us in the desert?

So the Day of the Dead dances on.
Esquéletos draped in marigolds spin
clackety-clack before altars to the music of mariachi
and banda. If we stop dancing, we’re already dead.

Reader Poem — Melodic Rose

Melodic Rose wrote this poem in response to our September Poetry Prompts:


Not By Works Of Law
Would you deviate your hand
from the bowel of this contemptible deceit
that you would squander my flesh
with all the parlance
of a martyr at the cusp of his
unintelligible nature.

That you would stare into the face
of your past
and remember not the lie
Remember not the brazen antiquated
observance of men who cast their hands
over the desolation of a woman’s
bare skin, leaving stretch marked
lines of indifference.

But this is where we have fought
and died.
This is where we raise arms
and lower flags
This is where metallic steel toed tongues
and the lucidity of passionate boots
have made declarations
of manifested belligerence

this is where the trite maleficence
of her eyes will reach out into the universe
beckoning the stars into formation

and this is where her history falls,
a towering deity of opportunity
in the midst of the sea

So that not even time could erase it.
Not even the eclipsed stench of
the whip could leave it’s signature across
her back

As if to say my lady
bares her darkness with no fear
and little shame

and she would write her name on the earth
only her words bleed like the nudity
of one whose body has become impaled
by the eyes of the masses

Paraded before all men
to be crucified on the deck
of a ship.

Her story veering off into the horizon
so that she would lay down to sleep
in the bosom of Abraham

and simply

R e m e m b e r.

Reader Poem — Daniel De Culla

Daniel De Culla wrote this Reader Poem based on the September Poetry Prompts:


Receiving letters like receiving books
As Hans Christian Anderson’ “The little mermaid”
Or Giambattista Basile’s “Sleeping Beauty”
Without a hand or eyes
That cannot see the blood of the seaboard towns
In one’s life about the tale
When one re-encounters one’s self alone
With a gentle wind in a boat of sunshine to sail
Into our welcoming heart
Opened by itself and died abruptly.
It is steel as the Sea Witch’ knife
To kill the prince and lets his blood drip
On the mermaid’ feet
The “Daughter of the air” committing suicide
As a passing accident
Which is at the same time
The crux of a destiny
Delineating the future concrete tense.

Reader Poem — Trista Hurley-Waxali

Trista Hurley-Waxali wrote this poem based on the September Poetry Prompts:


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.

Reader Poem — Michelle Sydney

Michelle Sydney wrote this untitled Reader Poem in response to the prompt: “Not by works of law.”

Not by works of law
Nor might of muscle
Shall my will be bent
Into submission

Not by words or swords
Nor threats of harm
Shall my spirit bow
To your god or mission

Only by fair hearing
Shall my verdict be decided
And only by my pen
Will my misdeeds be confided

Reader Poem — Mellanie Crouell

This untitled poem was written by Melanie Crouell in response to one or more of our September Poetry Prompts

Standing at this door
Don’t know how I got here
I feel this breeze
As if
It welcomes me
Continue inhaling this
Breeze turns into an aroma
Earthy, sweet, sexy
I want to eat this sweetness
Lust over the sexiness
Watch the double Dutch God gave
Over and over
And over
Over, over, over, over
Did I say over again
The aroma knocks at my door
I look up
Coming towards me
Like a dream from a music video
He tips his hat and
I do too!
This darn cowboy