Write this poem:


Park Bench

As I near my autumn days,
I think of all I have not experienced.
No trips abroad.
No vacation home.
No award-winning book.
No fame.
No second-glance beauty.
I think of all I have not experienced.
Yet, let the autumn leaves summon,
For I am content to sit side-by-side,
In dappled sunlight or soaking rain.



Screw the cake.
It is awash with memories
as are these trees. Misted shadows
fall to decay, a way of saying your days
are numbered or done. No one comes to this place,
there is no space for solace to rest its weariness.
It is best that no witness was present; sent scurrying.
A thick moss came to blanket where love once prospered,
leaves over-bearing their branches drooping to offer
privacy and seclusion. The illusion of serenity was feigned
by the spectrum of an Autumnal palette. Murky shadows
fall to decay. And it is beginning to rain.

75 thoughts on “VIEW FROM A PARK BENCH – PROMPT #15


  2. Pingback: Benchwarmers « echoes from the silence


    each morning
    they strolled hand-in-hand
    stopping to rest here
    some days
    they sat in silence
    not needing to say a word
    other days
    they reminisced
    about the life
    they had shared
    one day
    they stopped coming

    P. Wanken

    ** I love the new site, Marie and Walt! WordPress is great. It will be fun to comment directly on one another’s poems, too. 🙂

  4. The Garden Bench

    It’s beginning to rain.
    The garden bench is plastered, thick with drought-yellow leaves
    and whole brown bouquets, twig-ends the cicadas killed.

    It’s beginning to rain,
    easing the knots from clenched jaws, washing down dust
    enough to fill the flower bed with someone else’s topsoil.

    It’s beginning to rain.
    And if it is no second spring, rewriting first chances,
    there’s room for second chances in long summer afternoons.

  5. Deep in the House

    My curtains are drawn shut.

    I have condemned myself
    to endless puttering
    dusting my brick-a-brac,
    the miscellaneous objects,
    furniture and curios
    I raked up over the years.

    Till coffee brews
    to dispel my fog
    allowing me to finally see
    where what I value
    has been shit upon.

    So I scrub it all
    within an inch of its life
    for it is all I have
    and if God is willing,
    it will shine again.

    But God help me
    for my arms are tired.

  6. Natural High

    Towering trees with green leaves
    Filter dappled sunlight
    While multiple birds’ songs
    Accompany pink-tinged clouds
    Scuttling through baby blue skies.
    If I could package and sell this
    I would be a millionaire.
    And there would be no sad or lonely people;
    Only happy customers waiting
    For their fabulous doses of natural high.

  7. Tawny

    “O Tawny,” sings Fall morn.
    Some copper-colored leaves
    and weathered-beaten wood adorn
    the forest. She believes

    amber has charisma
    and cinnamon has charm
    and the Autumn-mist melisma
    will keep her safe from harm.

    From her bench she dreams of
    a time from long past now…
    distant memory and themes of
    old love, beneath this bough.

    She was a mourn of Fall,
    with brilliant bursts of hue.
    It came to her with late recall;
    then like the years, passed through.


    Note: The form is called Common Measure. Thanks for the ‘golden’ inspiration.

    And also…the new site looks really lovely.

  8. From the talented Jane Shlensky:


    She says this bench has regard
    for feng shui, the sun just right
    on her chilled bones, the breeze
    from behind her, the trails just
    far enough from her that runners
    and skaters don’t frighten the birds
    as she feeds them from her hand.

    She brings her old toast and a few
    seeds in a zip-lock baggy, pocketed
    in her thin coat, patting it repeatedly
    until she arrives and takes her seat.
    She likes to wait until the birds
    recognize her and come free-willed,
    rather than her being simply a meal.

    She wants to be their friend,
    a friend with snacks, as they
    warble up to her and posture and
    ruffle their feathers for her,
    turning their heads to look at her
    one eye at a time, sometimes sitting
    with her on the bench, in the sun,

    even perching on her knees
    to eat from her open palm,
    sometimes flying up around her,
    a luminous maelstrom of wings
    their feathers dappled in the light,

  9. Fall nibbles away at summer’s
    Potential as the sun fights its way to the
    Piebald ground,
    Bartered for shadows by nearly lifeless leaves, knowing
    All too soon they will lie in
    Bleached heaps and be blown into gutters,
    Soaking up sunbeams while they still can.

    That season of openness, of tank tops and
    Candor, closes. Hidden
    Now behind coat buttons and scarves
    Wrapped round and round and round.

    A park bench sits empty and thoughtful, its wooden slats
    Remembering the warm,
    Cloudless days when young lovers
    Sat with thigh pressed against thigh and made their
    Summer promises.


    why aren’t we sitting there
    catching fall leaves in our hands,
    the two of us at the entrance
    of the woods, laughing again?
    Another autumn bites the dust
    and all that stands is the house
    where we once lived and loved
    and the empty bench where once
    in a dying summer we swore
    a forever life, the two of us
    exchanging rings fashioned
    from dying sycamore leaves,
    so blissfully in love
    our laughter stilled the trees
    and for those moments
    brittle leaves held on
    for dear life, something
    we just never learned to do.


  11. I attempted Daniel Ari’s Queron form with this prompt.

    Memories from an Empty Bench

    Once filled with laughter, echoes
    now linger near aging trees.
    She wonders, “Where did he go?”
    Their secrets drift on the breeze;
    relics of time gone. Wind blown

    dreams fallen like autumn leaves.
    Swirls of gold collapse under
    their broken promises. Leased
    love repossessed. She wonders
    each day, when she’ll let go.

    Or will he return, wander
    their park, sit on their bench,
    take back his hurtful blunders,
    hold her close again, clench
    the remnants of love with ease.

    She hoped so, but time wrenched
    her dreams away inch by inch.

  12. Unter den Linden, 1985

    This whole city is falling apart
    Patched with flaking concrete
    Painted Communist grey.

    Heavy-lidded on cabbage soup
    We press our backs to a bench
    And count the money we cannot spend.

    Beneath the trees, we seem invisible
    To the flaking grey people who ghost
    In and out of their concrete flats.

    Dappled interlopers, we doze
    On privilege, while grey faces
    Steal glances behind closed blinds.

  13. Pingback: The view from up there. | Vivinfrance's Blog


    Sitting up there, He sees everything we do,
    hears all we say, knows everything we think.

    It must be confusing
    sorting out the rights and wrongs,
    deciding what to do, whose prayers to answer,
    who to help.

    There’s Mister F who wants Man U to win
    and young A, rooting for City.

    X & Y are fighting –
    couldn’t he persuade them
    to kiss and make up?

    And then there’s the big picture,
    the overall view.
    What will he do about wars and killing,
    crime, and all that evil?

    How does he deal with climate change,
    eruption, tsunami, drought and flood.

    How does he decide on who should be rich
    and who the unhappy poor?
    Does he make the rich unhappy
    and the poor have lots of fun?
    He can see from up there
    what a mess we’ve made,
    what a selfish, stupid mess.

    To sort it all out
    Will take a serious use of omnipotence:
    errare humanum est.

  15. Her Bench

    It’s my bench,
    her bony fist clenched
    in anger, and by now
    everyone should know it.

    Eunice thought most
    young people rude,
    public lewd displays,
    discarding food

    and littering
    the ground around
    her rain-soaked
    wooden bench.

    She’d shout, she’d
    beg but they never
    heard what she said.
    Music blaring

    in their ears,
    tones searing her
    thoughts so she
    can’t think clearly.

    Eunice thinks
    it’s a mockery
    of her memories,
    a foul debauchery

    by the young.
    This is her bench,
    she reads the brass
    plaque engraved

    In Memory
    of Eunice Sproul

  16. Pingback: The Bench « Miskmask

  17. Colm MacNish Gets His Wish

    Grief, she’s a loyal mistress
    to a fault, but not hers.
    Colm MacNish has been
    both suitor and antagonist,
    an anarchist in the ways
    of a fond and common heart.
    A quiet alcove, a point where
    rendezvous met passion,
    fashioned from a molted overhang.
    But interludes of his romantic
    crassness, served no purpose
    of self or otherwise. Her eyes
    Haunt him: pleading, beckoning,
    luring him to despair’s crumbled edge.
    Her melody plays within him,
    a din whose volume rises
    with each sordid thought of her.
    Her hands, no longer caressing,
    lay resting acrost her still chest.
    Gentility abandoned in stark reality.
    And grief has replaced her.
    Colm longs for her countenance,
    a remembrance most sad,
    had he paid heed to her supplicant
    cries, she may have averted
    deaths forceful grasp. But alas,
    gone she was. Colm MacNish
    had an eternal wish. A projectile
    befitting a man of his caliber
    burst from its chambered rest.
    Their bench sits now, vacant and decrepit,
    worm meal in their absence.

  18. This is a different one for me. Call it a rough draft, if you will. I just felt the need for something different today.

    Spirit’s Observation

    Languid lavender, sitting so sweetly
    Aside season’s mums as September’s offerings,
    Masked by mist moving away from water’s waves,
    To blanket benches and branches, gates and grasses
    While winking at those seeking seclusion.

    I’ll be back later to really study all the offerings so far. They look fantastic.


    Weathered and worn from the seasons of life,
    stories unfold on the bench.

    Lovers promise, propose and break hearts
    Children eat lunch, tie shoes and have boo-boos kissed.

    Joggers rest, refresh, take a pulse
    Dogs sniff, snack and relieve.

    Old men converse, scratch and tell tall tales
    Old women crochet, read and reflect.

    Rain, sun, snow and wind take a toll,
    but the respites of life give the bench a soul.

  20. “Soft focus”

    Monique, you and I clung there. 1994.
    I think you took in the beauty of the whole scene:
    marine layer, early autumn chill, leaf-strewn floor,
    and the unprotected bench that pressed us close in
    a cuddle—all a chapter from D.H. Lawrence.

    There are no shoulds. Oh, but that scene should have ended
    underneath your enormous comforter. But I
    was looking at each leaf, each blinded window pane,
    the scars on the logs and the freezing Frisco sky.
    In all that detail, I lost the heat from your flank

    and the great American novel in your eye.
    Funny how glimpsing a scene can bring it all back.
    You can observe the tree rings in a “humble guy
    with healthy desire” (to quote a song by Frank Black)
    and read the changes of weather and growth therein.

    Does a duck ever recall with a surprised quack
    the memory of its egg when the shell first cracked?


  21. Well worn, well worn
    In rusty solitude in sits
    Painted by pigeons
    Cuddled by rustling leaves
    With a fallen log for company
    A simple spot to sit
    Welcome wanderer
    Release your burdens
    Rest your laurels
    On this well worn wood

    • Sara, I like the “painted by pidgeons,” et. all. I picked up on that detail too! Smiles

  22. Even the birds refuse to return
    to park bench once occupied
    by two who were lovers, unkown to all
    ’til one spurned the other, one died.

    Their sins and iniquities,
    transgressions, many,
    paraded, the whole world to see.

    No soul was the wiser
    not one ever knew
    the perpetrator
    was me.

  23. falling

    he kissed her here

    under the mossy trees
    with the breeze in her hair
    and her heart in her throat
    breathless dreams leaned against
    umber bark

    softer, slow
    knees brushed together
    on a bench carved with so many
    names before, and she can taste
    the questions on his lips
    but does not yet know the answers.

  24. Desolate Bench

    No one sits here anymore
    No one comes to this place.
    Only birds and their droppings.
    Once a charm, now a disgrace.

    No one smiles here anymore.
    They’re all to busy to sit down.
    They scurry past here on their way
    wearing a sad and gloomy frown.

    No one cares anymore.
    The wear and tear has surely shown.
    No one will take care of this place.
    They’ve all got troubles of their own.

    By Michael Grove

  25. Their Special Place

    She sat there on the wooden bench.
    He got down on his knees.
    He placed her hand inside of his
    And started out with please.

    He told her that he loved her.
    They shared a memory.
    He said, “You are my whole world.
    Will you marry me?”

    They both were so excited.
    It gave them both a thrill.
    She didn’t have to think to long.
    She said, “Yes, I will.”

    By Michael Grove

  26. Amber

    amber follows gold
    and antecedes the days when blue and gray
    chase one another

    gray, when it wins,
    is long, but nothing lasts,
    not even endings.


    She is feeling like the old worn bench;
    tired, battered, splintered, used.
    Pausing only for a moment, the past
    creeps up and engulfs her.
    Streaks of sunlight cause her eyes to
    water, masking the tears already there.

    Would the rough, painful memories continue
    to strip the veneer of subtle growth
    she has dared to embrace.
    “a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of
    joy instead of mourning”. She will rest
    allowing that salve to refresh.

  28. Where She Once Held My Heart

    It was a grand estate,
    and she knew she had me.
    My heart lay nestled
    in her palm and we walked the grounds
    existing for one another.
    ‘Neath the hemlock branches
    love blossomed; upon the bench
    where she once held my heart.
    It was a Summer to remember,
    but come September she loosed her hold
    and the winds turned cold. The bench
    where she once held my heart
    sits abandoned and alone
    with Autumn windblown.


    I watched as the dandelions turned to daisies.
    Daisies made way for clusters of clover.
    Clover moved over for the radiant Queen.
    Queen Anne’s lace left space for golden rod,
    Golden rod nodded to black-eyed Susan.
    Susan sniffed summer a farewell, changing foliage,
    Foliage landed lightly and welcomed the dew.
    Dew bid me adieu the morning I sat waiting,
    Waiting on the bench we knew so well.
    Well and good that each flower has its season
    Season seeded and fodder for the next round of “watchers.”

    © Hannah Gosselin

    • Though I don’t recall seeing this form before, you wield it with expertise and flare. Loved this, Hannah. It ave me a movie in my head, which is always a good thing since I don’t go to the theater. All I have to do is read something like this and I feel as if I’m at a premier.

  30. I am very much enjoying the comments here. I believe wordpress, with its nesting comments feature, is conducive to response and encouragement. 🙂


  31. Awesome poems again this week and I am loving the new site.

    I got caught up on this one. The first one I wrote (with horrible language skills) was about a Spanish assassin killing a woman in a park. The second one was about a spy sitting on a bench and made terrible, choppy use of homonyms.

    I don’t know why I can’t do clouds and trees with this one. **Sighs..

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