Kicking off the first Sunday prompt in 2013, we’re setting you up for some word play.

Here is a list of words:

challenge, common, mask, skill, origin,
love, night, drink, beauty, death

Now, here’s the twist:

Write your poems using these words. BUT, none of these words can appear in your poem. Get reacquainted with your old friend Roget and use your thesaurus to find an alternate word for each, and then use THOSE words to write your poem. You choose the right word for what it is you want to say.


Taste and see the Lord’s goodness –  
His grace will not pass away.
From the foundation of the world,
His devotion to mankind was unveiled.
Since He spoke light into the darkness,
It has exposed no ordinary cosmos.
Evidence of His magnificent handiwork
Defies creation’s denial.
Taste and see His goodness.
His grace will not pass away.



It was his major bone of contention,
that all familiar things seemed to conceal
his emotion. His proficiency with words,
though pleasing and alluring, never neared extinction.
From his conception until eternal darkness comes to shroud,
life remains his to imbibe, an intoxicant making him a drunkard
for this existence, never being quenched. The inebriation 
of every last breath lightens his thoughts and step. His mind
is free and so is he. Life is good!

261 thoughts on “FRIENDS WITH WORDS – PROMPT # 89

  1. I’m doing this on my iPod so I don’t really have a way to underline or change the color of the words I used so I just put stars around them. That way you can tell which alternate words I used.😊

    And Follow Him

    I walk in the shadows,
    Veiled by *blackness*,
    Mocking the *Dawn*,
    The Light, the Truth.
    I can do it myself,
    My *simple* mind says,
    I have the *ability*.
    Until I am driven,
    By the gnawing voice of the law,
    To the *end* of myself;
    ‘Til I come to *thirst* for His word,
    To *cherish* His doctrines,
    To *deny* myself,
    Take up my cross,
    And follow Him.

  2. Presenting a HAIBUM

    He confronted her with his customary embryo of charm, and weak veneer of feeble-ability to sip passion in the bewitching hour, thus his annihilation of hope.

    He lost because of
    inept ability in
    the bewitching hour.

    In other words

    He challenged her with his common origin of beauty and weak mask of feeble-skill to drink love in the night hour, thus his death of hope.

    He lost because of
    inept skill in
    the night.

  3. To Pray Is…

    To defy prevalent unworthiness and fear
    To lay aside façades and be exposed before Him
    To develop the knack of knowing God cares
    and He is the source of all things good
    To shine light in hours of darkness
    To bring on the demise of hopelessness and despair
    To sip the splendor of God’s glory and grace

    defy, prevalent, facades, knack, cares, source, hours of darkness, demise, sip, splendor

  4. Defiance

    I refuse to allow our culture to pass away.
    If I had the ability to reveal the true nature
    Or those who seek to do us harm –
    They would flee, screaming,
    Back into that barren darkness
    Where their tribe began.

    No gentle touch, no caring, no lovely
    Words, no potion to imbibe, no ordinary
    Routine – they lack the grace to
    Understand the nature of our steadfast
    Courage, that in the end, prevails.

  5. I just love this prompt – I always keep the online thesaurus open at the side while writing poetry, because it makes me so conscious of the importance of word choices. I will probably take about a week to answer this one!

  6. I love word prompts… thanks for the extra zing! This is just for fun right now, though:

    Classic Story

    The story of her demise went like this:
    demur girl born into wealth falls
    for ubiquitous allure, steps down
    class ladder at dusk and up to the bar,
    searching for amore in a glass of Chardonnay
    shreds the veil Emily Post engrained in her mind
    only to find she lacked the knack for that lifestyle.


    Just what PROVOKED the need in you to lie?
    To utter HACKNEYED words to hack this heart
    As if it were a toy? What PRETENSE ply,
    What CUNNING trick, what unseen poison dart
    To SPRING upon a trusting fool who believed
    the FLAME within would never disappear,
    That DARK would not come leave me so bereaved.
    Why in that devil’s cauldron toss my cheer,
    My dreams, the color of my world? A SIP
    Perhaps to quench your thirst, bolster your CHARM
    To leave another fool with trembling lip,
    Someone like me who hungered for your arms.
    “I love you,” you swore. “Look into my eyes.”
    I saw blue oceans, never my DEMISE.


    (C) 2013 Salvatore Buttaci

  8. Procession

    Sorrow swallowed,
    dreaded darkness
    stayed, weighed heavy,
    heavier still.

    Until firm slab,
    ancient granite,
    held, failed further
    retched demise,

    no drearier depth
    to know. The mind
    alive refused
    to be silenced,

    Yet attraction
    to a dawning
    light dissolved
    resolve to hide.

    Solid footings
    now invite a
    new tenderness
    devoid of fear

    aware of more
    shared solitude,
    now grown whole.

    Jane Penland Hoover
    January 6, 2013

  9. This is so much fun. I will return to read later as we are headed out to friends, but I couldn’t wait to try this out:)

    Man is master of disguise
    Though clever he may be
    Two mutual traits he cannot hide
    Pride and humility

    The beginning of a man
    Is not by height or stature
    This test of merit will begin
    With our human nature

    Man’s devotion is not shown
    By well-shaped words he voices
    Darkness and light each are made known
    As action proves our choices

    He who seeks wisdom from the Vine
    Will be filled with good measure
    While he who consumes lust’s cheap wine
    Will never find its treasure

    We tread toward mortal demise
    And brothers all are we
    For there are none who can disguise
    Pride or humility

    © Janet Martin

    Challenge= test
    Love=devotion and lust

  10. Great prompt today. A good way to work through a miserable cold. Happy New Year, friends!

    The Competition

    He swilled his beer and called aloud,
    an invitation to the crowd
    of average folks, of regulars,
    in matters purely secular,
    to test their acumen and stealth
    (and wagers toward minor wealth),
    to be the first that eventide
    to tell a tale of heart and pride,
    a tale of gorgeous winsome ways
    disguised as menace, ends of days
    a tale to joy and loss and pain
    to break then make them whole again.

    He laid his fifty dollars down
    for the best story to astound
    them all, and gave them several hours
    to summon muses, herald powers.
    Imagination ran its course
    as drinkers drank and checked the source
    of lives and truths they drank to hide
    that now at last were satisfied
    to add pathos, to be of worth
    for broken hearts are first to birth
    tales of betrayal, tales of woe.
    To whom would fifty dollars go?

    To homeless drunk or hapless drone,
    to friendless souls who drink alone,
    to wanderers in town a while,
    to loud buffoons who make us smile,
    to women working night (and day)
    to keep the hungry wolf away,
    to struggling student, weary dad
    who gave his son the best he had,
    to aging pirate, dentist, cop,
    who make this bar their daily stop?

    My fellow poets, tell me now
    the story-teller you endow
    with language, heart, life’s twist and turn
    to win the prize as we watch and learn.

  11. Life seems to DEMAND that each take a stand——challenge
    To know what is CURRENT thus avoid getting burnt.-common

    In life we’re on GUARD to avoid what is hard————mask
    while our days we CRAFT to not appear daft,———–skill
    but keep a firm BASE so in life we can taste————-origin
    of what is DELIGHT and leads us to might.—————-love

    Then just BEFORE DAWN we wave a trick wand, —–night
    with which we can BREW a tasty big stew—————drink
    that is so first CLASS, we can serve it to brass———beauty
    then just at day’s END, slip round a big bend———–death

  12. I posted this once and it disappeared, so I’ll try again.

    La Muerte

    Along life’s path
    Gauntlets are flung
    At our feet, picked up
    At our will with communal
    Knowledge of possible outcomes.
    We look for the exquisite,
    A thirst-quenching sip
    For parched souls.
    Behind facades peered,
    Seeking the source of all our needs
    Satisfied by momentary passion,
    And in a moment’s flushed heat
    We cry out well-versed lines
    To someone within range who
    Might remember us long
    After la muerte visits.

  13. “…We cry out well-versed lines/To someone within range who/Might remember us long/After…” Powerful!!

  14. Melvin’s best

    Melvin, what in tarnation did
    you all put in this hooch?
    It sure ain’t your run-of-the-mill
    passion prune juice. No sir.
    That stuff is so strong, it could make
    the good General himself

    fall straight out of his saddle.
    I poured a couple of shots for
    me and Connie at sundown
    and last thing I remember is her
    ample pulchritude swimming
    before my eyes, as you might say.

    I can’t hide it from you, old friend,
    I thought I’d done my last rodeo.
    But Connie, what a woman.
    When I came to, she just looked down
    at me on the kitchen floor and laughed:
    “That’s strong stuff…Hit me again!”

  15. You’d Never Know Her Now

    Gotta give it to her–kudos
    for evening imbibing beginning
    at dusk, and concluding at
    dawn. Infatuated with any
    uncouth youth who saunters
    into the bar, daring her with eyes
    that flash, a facade of wise guy
    painted on his face. And she?
    Well, she used to be a bombshell,
    breaking hearts all over town.
    Ah, but that was thirty years
    ago, and booze has dimmed
    her deftness, ravaged her
    face, and the demise
    of her soul is nigh.

  16. Pingback: All-Consuming | Metaphors and Smiles

  17. OK, folks, prepare for melodrama. I had very few creative ideas, so my poem is about my reaction to today’s challenge (demand)

    As I Stare

    As I stare at three thesauri
    I wonder if today’s demand
    will pry the word passion
    from my weakening grasp.

    As I gulp too many meanings,
    not always the run-of-the-mill
    ones, is there a danger whatever
    mastery I have will expire?

    Or will I still be attuned
    to the loveliness of language
    and the delight in words that
    dawned so long ago?

    Nothing can camouflage
    the stress I feel as I strive
    to finish this, but I refuse
    the sunset of word joy.

    • Sheryl here! here! We can SO relate to these words. thank-you for spelling them. this really struck me…’is there a danger whatever
      mastery I have will expire?
      Or will I still be attuned
      to the loveliness of language
      and the delight in words that
      dawned so long ago?’

      …and then ‘the sunset of word joy’ Perfect!

      • I’m so glad some of you related. I usually love word play and did get into the spirit of the prompt, but some days tiredness turns delight into tedium. Janet, I had not thought of this as anything but fulfilling the prompt. I’m glad you liked some of my lines.

    • I love it. This is lovely and something that many of us probably can relate to on a daily basis for one reason or another. I’m with Janet on this one. The lines of as liquid crystal, flowing through the poem to magnify those feelings of inadequacy we all face from time to time when putting word to paper.

      Excellent work, Sheryl.

    • Nicely done, Sheryl. I especially like the last bit.

      “…Nothing can camouflage
      the stress I feel as I strive
      to finish this, but I refuse
      the sunset of word joy.”

  18. challenge, common,mask,skill, origin
    love, night,drink,beauty,death


    The thing about it is this, when confronting your own mortality
    There is no more pretense and no light in the darkness to guide you
    No matter how talented you may be at using your considerable assets
    To hide your feelings, your adoration of the mundane, the everyday
    Once you’re forced to stare hard at where you came from
    And ultimately, where you’re headed, there will be nothing
    Strong enough to knock back, to dull the reality, nothing to quash
    That still, soft voice that is getting louder all the time – nothing

    *ah – I italicized the words I used in place of the originals but that didn’t transfer over … sigh

  19. Doubt the formatting will hold (HOW do you do it, Walt?!), but here goes:

    The word without itself

    you are the face made for hiding
    you are with life constantly. consuming cells and stars, you
    create what will be filled with comets and chicken dinners.
    life’s one certainty makes anything else an anxious joke.
    you are nothing in yourself, everywhere a mind can find you
    you are ordinary, everyday, 
    normative, normal, the center
    what all have together
    you are the bond that supersedes need, the joint
    forming one thing without diminishing the parts
    you are sustenance in liquid, and a command
    you come to man only with practice, in time
    you are insurmountable
    a goad, a goal, a test, a trial;
    beat you, and you slip away to tease
    from ever higher
    you are only the shadow of the earth
    you are all first things: all things first

      • I sometimes, when I want to indent – I will put a few periods or dashes at the start of the line. Yes, They ‘show’ but the first word is indented (Am sure this is NOT the way Walk does it.). May be walt will do an In-form Poet form to teach us how to do ‘shapes’ (????)

    • My favorite part of this is:”you are with life constantly. consuming cells and stars, you create what will be filled with comets and chicken dinners.” I am still struggling to comprehend who the you is. I think I would be superimposing my own meaning to think of it as Christ, the Word, and yet words themselves don’t seem to fit. This poem is still a puzzle to me, which is not a bad thing at all.

    • You outdid yourself with this one, Barbara. Depending on who reads it, it takes on many meanings, each equally valid. I do know what you were driving toward, but for me, the fact that it can be so much more as well, makes it even more special.

      Terrific job.


    Fractured rapture
    broken hearts
    dark mantles veil our simple starts.
    We spring defiant when told to stop,
    time defying our strident halt.
    For this heart, a life entwined –
    we so dote. For this eternity

    we do devote our end, every
    cherished long sip to life behold.
    This splendored heart so simple
    be our fate, a brush awash
    with grace, and upon this newly
    crafted dawn I rest my torn and worn
    heart for you to unravel.

    Words Given: Words Substituted
    Challenge: defy, defiant
    Skill: craft
    drink: sip
    common: simple
    origin: spring, dawn, start
    night: dark
    mask: mantle, veil
    love: rapture, dote, devote, heart, cherish
    beauty: grace, splendour
    death: fate, end

  21. This is my first poem for exactly 5 months – I’m going to try being a poet again 🙂

    The Silent Devotion of the Sergeant-at-Arms

    The ORDEAL had its BEGINNING so long ago,
    so long it has become ROUTINE,
    his HEART hidden by a VEIL of service
    and serenity.

    He lays down his cloak that she may pass dry-footed.
    He lays down his sword that she may sleep without fear.

    Each SUNSET brings the same dream,
    the same forlorn, empty hope
    vanishing with the dawn
    and stoicism

    He lays down his sorrows that she may live in trust
    He lays down his aspirations that she may rule respected

    With cunning ART he ignores her perfume
    as he QUAFFS of her RADIANCE.
    Dedicated to his Queen until
    the BITTER END.


  22. Here is my offering

    challenge, common, mask, skill, origin, love, night, drink, beauty, death

    The *gorgeous sight* on the dance stage
    before my eyes
    is a harsh *ordeal*
    beyond my *ability*, yet
    I have to overcome it
    while wearing the *dull* *disguise*
    of one seeking *escape of life* –
    its boredom and *affection*.

    My ability abandons me
    *from dusk till dawn*.
    I have to sit and *sip* in lonely gulps
    what someone brings me,
    of *nature* unknown,
    just to see my leering mirror reflection
    and remember the gorgeous sight on the dance stage.
    That was great fun!

    • Mariya – commented on this elsewhere but it bears repeating … such a good poem and the words are sewn seamlessly, so much so, except for the asterisks, I would have forgotten they were there for any special reason …

    • I agree with the others, Mariya. I had images swimming in my mind that painted such a tragic picture; one of loss and pain, as much of identity as of anything else. Excellent use of wording for effect.

  23. I am just reading this before going to bed, so no poem. But I just wanted to say that this prompt is awesome. Great idea.

  24. Among the Many Reasons I Cherish the Rabbits

    All ordinary rabbits, from the moments of their birth,
    Brave peril and extinction’s frightful face,
    Yet as I watch them thrive it’s clear they recognize the worth
    Of living in the now with joy and grace.

    With deftness born of instinct, they disguise themselves as rocks
    Until the moment’s deadliness has gone,
    Then frolic in the clover, lap the dew from hollyhocks,
    And race each other through the budding dawn.

    I wouldn’t be a rabbit, for my life would be too stark
    Sans words and books and countless other things.
    Still, could I be a rabbit, I should dance across the dark
    And hear the silver moonlight when it sings.

    Love – cherish
    Common – ordinary
    Origin – birth
    Challenge – brave (verb)
    Death – extinction
    Beauty – grace
    Skill – deftness
    Mask – disguise
    Drink – lap
    Night – dark

    (P.S. When I speak, “birth” and “worth” rhyme quite nicely, as do “gone” and “dawn.” If they don’t for you, well, all I can say is that you have my sincere sympathy! ;-D )

  25. Imbibing on Life

    She had a knack
    for disputing the ordinary,
    for finding the light in the darkness,
    for turning each new day into a beginning,
    for removing the cloak from our eyes
    and for imbibing with a passion on the grace
    of our own mortality.

    I strive to be her.

  26. So here’s another one. I’m loving this game!😄


    *Morning* comes suddenly,
    Unable to remain *hidden*,
    *Defying* *darkness*,
    *Killing* shadows and fears
    With her fiery *radiance*;
    In her own *artful* way
    Coloring the earth beneath
    With *liquid* gold and red,
    Bringing proof of God’s *devotion*
    To we poor *simple* creatures.


    Her rare allure,
    behind the veil,
    source of his infatuation.

    No ordinary woman,
    she had the ability
    to consume his every thought.

    In darkness, she was consumed.


    challenge –> dare
    common –> ordinary
    mask –> veil
    skill –> ability
    origin –> source
    love –> infatuation
    night –> darkness
    drink –> consume
    beauty –> allure
    death –> fatality

  28. Pingback: Fatal Dare « echoes from the silence

  29. Pingback: Cross-pollination « Rough Words

  30. The Inception of Less

    a four letter word
    held no *allure for her.
    An *infatuation she’d held for years
    resulting in a broken-heart
    and tears.

    She developed the *ability to neglect
    the image the mirror reflected.
    Mounds of flesh
    meant to *suppress
    A *familiar darkness
    to play hide and seek
    hoping just to hide.

    The *inception of less crept up on her
    waiting for the moment to pounce,
    to *dare her to change.

    It was not *attractiveness
    inciting her lust for less.
    Less pounds
    less flesh,
    a smaller self.
    It was a desire for more.
    More health
    more experience,
    avoidance of her ultimate *demise.

    Skinny still tasted bitter on her lips,
    a *cocktail of stale yearning and
    hopeless desire.
    But, life filled her lungs.
    Sweat soaked her path.
    And she kissed her old self-image

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