On Friday, we celebrated the wedding of my daughter Melissa and her husband, Ryan. In bringing two disparate families together we were able make a connection that allows us to strengthen the supportive bond for the two young adults just starting out.

This week we want you to take two very dissimilar objects/subjects and try to find a common thread that ties them together and then write the poem. If that task seem daunting, make up a connection but you have to sell your point.



are kites.

We wait for the wind
to be right and delight to bring
them out to fly and display, and we
play like children, releasing our words into
the air. Sometimes they struggle to lift off the ground,
and we run dragging them behind us. Stopping
and starting until the wind shifts and it catches.
It stretches our muse like a taut string,
a connection from our common
grounding. High and higher
still, bounding; seeking
altitudes that defy
logic, and find-
ing attitudes
that mimic
delight to
into the
are kites.

271 thoughts on “GET IT TOGETHER – PROMPT # 109

  1. Beggars, Dreamers & Devoted Followers

    One sits cross-legged, shivering, cup in hand in a doorway;
    another in a desk-chair, feet out, ankles crossed, eyes glazed over
    and the third crosses themselves, down upon their knees;
    a trinity of pleaders, wishing their lives away.

    Each one is asking for that they have not:
    a coin for a cup of tea, a pie, a loaf, a crust;
    a life that they would like better, free from turmoil,
    the strength to stand up, to live the life they have.

    Each succeeding and failing in their own way,
    the tea drunk, the crust gone, the beggar is still cold;
    the dream made real the problems remain within,
    the strength found, the devout still lack courage.

    Teach a person to fish and he will feed himself,
    learn to face the demons and they will fade away,
    find the strength inside you; give thanks for what you have;
    the beggar, the dreamer, the devoted: cast from the same mould.



    and liniment
    coexist when the bride
    is thirty and the groom has turned

    Copyright 2013, William Preston


    There once were a rat and a cat
    who were trapped in a slippery vat;
    they attempted to breed
    but they failed to succeed,
    for they flailed and they slipped in their scat.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  4. Pingback: A Brief Phrase in a Long Book | Misky

  5. A Brief Phrase in a Long Book

    He’s cormorant fishing on the fertile Li River,
    fluid water like glass in sun, shifting layers
    of yellow silt that connect his circles of life
    and keep his heart from chasing dreams.
    He knows this phase of life, he knows its
    limits just as a soft breeze knows its own,
    he knows he’s a brief phrase in a long book,

    and time by range or chase is meaningless.
    And so without rush he drops the anchor,
    beam close and tight to the current as he
    retrieves his companion and the river’s yield.
    These three drift on the long line of time –
    the river, the cormorant, and the fisherman
    all dependent on each other to survive.

    (note: There’s also a piccie that goes with this poem on my blog, if you’d like to visit.


    The moon and the sun in the sky
    are as varied as heaven is high
    but, as strange as it seems,
    when they send forth their beams
    they are one in their size, to the eye.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  7. Compare/Contrast Double Dactyl #1

    Snickety Pickety
    Apples and oranges?
    Tough to compare, except
    when you think fruit.
    they are the norm by which
    contrasts are made when
    the question is moot.


  8. Compare/Contrast Double Dactyl #2

    Humpily Grumpily
    Zombies and thespians?
    Not much in common save
    vocal refrains.
    parallel could be this:
    actors chew scenery;
    zombies eat brains.


  9. Compare/Contrast Double Dactyl #3

    Zippity Hippity
    Scissors and biting wit?
    What could be weirder than
    linking these? Pressed?
    Nay, I say. Both can cut.
    One can score paper; the
    other makes jest.


  10. Good and Bad

    By David De Jong

    I held my whiskey as I traveled the road
    Kept a straight face when my soul was sold
    Found it quite simple to make my mother mad
    Mom always said, I was good at being bad

    Laughed at the devil when he pulled all his tricks
    Took more than my share, selfish just for kicks
    Youngest of five, spoiled, red headed lad
    Mom always said, I was good at being bad

    Stole from the store when it only cost a dime
    By and by they discovered it all with time
    When dad would spank me, said it made him sad
    Mom always said, I was good at being bad

    Learned to cheat death, life, and everything real
    Lost touch, lost contact, lost that loving feel
    Smoke and a drink were the only friends I had
    Mom always said, I was good at being bad

    Rescued by a woman who loves me still now
    Must be God’s angel that’s the only way how
    No one else could connect me the way she had
    Mom always said, I was good at being bad

  11. Mockingbird Choir

    Resting soundly
    until I hear
    your twitter,
    your tweet
    And all at once you
    my eyes to a hundred
    different songs
    of morning.

    (Happy Sunday, all 🙂 ! )

  12. It’s Just a Game

    Our lives are like a game
    Played out on a board
    Players with unequal powers
    Playing by certain rules
    Though able to play
    Within them however we please.
    Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose
    And sometimes it’s a stalemate,
    But when the game is over
    The pieces all go back in the same box.

    “When the chess game is over, the pawns, rooks, kings and queens all go back into the same box.” Old Italian Proverb

  13. He from the country,
    she from the city;
    Fifty-one years
    of growth
    from tears, sweat,
    and trials
    one heart,
    four children,
    fourteen grandchildren.

  14. Based on actual event during opening festivities of the local Farmers Market…

    “START of RACE”

    Track is set for the big race.
    Dignitaries dressed in lace.
    Racers, tense with solumn face,
    wait to learn assigned place.

    Each plans this contest to ace,
    study their opponents face.
    Rim of disk denotes home base.
    Time to start garden-slug race.

    When it’s known the fastest slug,
    to give market a NEWS plug,
    camera’s set to shot its mug
    as judge gives winner a hug.

  15. Rednecks

    They made the road into Shipshewana
    extra wide, so that the Amish could drive
    their buggies without obstructing traffic,

    not that I think Charlie Daniels noticed,
    arriving in his air-conditioned bus
    through the flea-market and the tourist traps.

    Charlie’s a proud man, proud of his homeland,
    the sweat of his brow, the sun on his neck,
    his guns, his faith, and the U S of A.

    The Plain Folk would never say they are proud,
    but they are – just as proud as that great man,
    of their land, their faith, their large families.

    Just like Charlie, the Amish are red-necks.
    But there were no buggies tied up outside
    no black hats indoors to match the Stetsons.

    These strange relations passed without meeting
    on 250 North, black horses laughing
    as the devil went back down to Georgia.

  16. Another totally cool prompt, Walt, and your gorgeous ‘sample’ blows my mind. I love your concrete poems.

    Strange Rain

    The cloudless day when frogs fell down
    like summer rainstorms, brief downpours,
    defied all logic, emptied stores
    of explanations, theories,

    Of scientific reasoning.
    Some people blamed it on the spring—
    a cloud mass scooping bullfrogs up
    and dropping them vast miles away.

    Dooms-dayers claimed the end of days,
    time for mankind to mend its ways.
    Cajun chefs looked on and saw
    a feast of frog legs to prepare.

    And those (for whom amphibians
    are icky) shrieked and stayed indoors.
    Musicians composed snappy tunes
    for leaping dancers; voices popped;

    comedians jumped on board with jokes;
    pop culture redefined hip-hop.
    For every frog, a leap of faith
    was proffered by the populace.

    But one thing every witness knew:
    Frogs should not fall from out the blue.

  17. In a Spider’s Eye

    a rail of deck, a twig of oak
    a spider with a silken yoke
    a sheltered corner with a light
    the world asleep on quiet night
    a morning web across my face
    connects me with arachnid grace

  18. This was an actual news story last Memorial Day. You have to love a practical rodent with a flare for the patriotic.


    Small flags were placed
    on veterans’ graves:
    Memorial Day honor,

    but morning found
    no flags in sight—
    some vandal working harder

    all through the night.
    Flags were replaced
    and nanny cams recorded

    the theft outright
    A groundhog lined
    his burrow with old glory.

    End of story.

  19. Tigger, Tambourine and Kisses

    I hear Tigger growls,
    noisy tambourine rattles,
    and clicks and shuffles
    approaching from the hallway.
    Hugs and kisses are coming.

  20. Pingback: The Real Thing… | Metaphors and Smiles

  21. ~
    The Real Thing…
    True love is untouchable;
    a prehistoric flower frozen,
    in a bit of golden-tinted amber.
    yes, and miraculously ordinary,
    in a breath-coveted.
    Double helix-
    placed in a petri
    under close observation,
    Replica of a replica
    of a replica;
    true love is untouchable.
    abiding in a sunlit bubble,
    an idea once conceived-
    utterly magical.
    There it stays,
    A concept to strive for,
    a notion trapped
    in a timeless tawny potion.
    Once it’s exposed-
    cracked free from its casing
    and shown to the world
    it begins its slow decay;
    true love cannot be replicated,
    drop of resin gripped between fingertips
    light reveals-
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

  22. It’s obvious I am not rid of my bad poem jag. This doesn’t deserve a title. Together? Only in imagination.

    Tweedledum and Tweedledee
    One ain’t you, and two ain’t me.

    As for me, I’m never late,
    You most often forget the date.

    Everything I touch is neat.
    You forget that toilet seat.

    Can’t you ever ask with please?
    Must you always tease and tease?

    If it’s glass it soon will break.
    The china’s gone before I wake.

    Must you wear those sloppy clothes?
    They look like ones in which you doze.

    The words you use are simply clamor.
    Can’t you use no proper grammar?

  23. I really could not do this properly, so I was silly instead.

    Giraffe Fetches Pen

    If you throw a pen
    and it lands
    on tree branch
    while you’re strolling through the zoo,
    giraffe may fetch it.

    He is eating leaves
    anyway, and has no use
    for a pen,
    does not write,
    so drops it for you.

  24. Him And Me

    Two separate,
    Distinctly opposite
    Human beings:
    He’s tall and dark,
    Very handsome, she thinks,
    Always talking, laughing,
    And joking around;
    She’s short and
    Rather plain,
    She prefers to let her pen
    Do her talking for her,
    Isn’t very good with jokes;
    These two separate,
    Distinctly opposite
    Human beings
    Find themselves connected,
    Two minds, one thought,
    Through their love of music,
    Particularly piano,
    And their strong roots
    In God’s word.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  25. The Stone Bird

    The stone bird had no feathers
    So it could not fly.
    Whoever had carved the stone bird
    Had cut small indentations where
    A bird’s feathers are supposed to be.
    The bird rested as if it were sitting
    On a nest.

    It was not sitting on a nest, but on
    A pillar in front of the entrance
    To the hospital for the study of
    Incurable illnesses. It did not look
    Content. Some said it looked
    Angry. Others said it looked sad.

    Some birds have gray feathers and
    Look beautiful, but this bird, who was
    made of stone and had no feathers
    only looked uncomfortable.

    If it were in a tree, it would probably
    Be a tree in winter, with bare branches
    Beneath a sky that was the same color
    As its body

    One morning, some of the people who
    Worked at the hospital for the study of
    Incurable illness decorated the stone bird
    With the colors of their school’s football
    Team. The next week, others decorated
    The bird with their colors. Then they
    Began to decorate the bird for seasons
    And holidays and special occasions.

    Now, all the people who went in and out
    Of the hospital for the study of incurable
    Illnesses looked forward to seeing the
    Stone bird. Some said the stone bird
    Had begun to look happy. They said
    That some day, it might even fly away.

  26. Pingback: Milk Shakes and Enemas | Sharp Little Pencil - Amy Barlow Liberatore


    Milk Shakes and Enemas

    Some doctors are too strict about
    a pregnant woman’s “dos” and don’ts”
    So I went to a good midwife
    so didn’t issue “can’ts” or “won’ts”

    I kept up with my calcium
    the folic acid, fruit treats, too
    But when the temp hit 1-0-3
    I called her, whining “What to do?

    “I’m sweating like a roasted pig
    I’ve showered cold three times today
    I need the consummate relief…
    I need it NOW, without delay!”

    “You’re nine months in, due any day
    May I suggest, indulge yourself
    Choose something cold and make it sweet
    Go get the blender off the shelf”

    Now Baby kicked up quite the storm,
    I took it as an omen good
    Some chocolate ice cream, Hershey sauce
    The ultra in forbidden food

    Plopped by the air conditioner
    set on Freeze Off My Toes,
    as Baby did the Caffeine Dance
    my smile bloomed like a perfect rose

    Of course, that night, my water broke
    and labor quickly did commence
    with my intestines like a brick…
    The milk shake, oy! No common sense

    Now, enemas are never fun
    Less so when huffing through the pain
    Were I another babe to bear,
    no third-trimester shakes again

    © 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

    Poetic Bloomings wanted a poem about two contrasting things. This was the first “odd couple” to come to mind, and it’s a true story, ugh. The only good thing that came out of that ordeal (I spared you the boomerang Gatorade!) was Riley.

  28. Is the meaning milk shakes AS emenas or did I miss something? No answer needed if it would be too graphic. I loved the poem and the picture on your site.

  29. Pingback: Tomatoes and Tornadoes | echoes from the silence


      When our small plane took flight,
      it was mid-afternoon,
      but the sky looked like night.

      Not long into the trip
      we realized the danger,
      the plane rolled and dipped,

      setting of warning lights and bells.
      Our pilot fought for control,
      and our stomachs rose and fell.

      My sister got sick
      losing her lunch. I hadn’t eaten,
      because I couldn’t pick

      out all the chunky tomatoes.
      It’s a good thing, because
      they don’t go well with tornadoes.

      P. Wanken

    • Yep — airplane was sucked up in the air current, went into a stall, and we dropped like a brick…fortunately, the pilot (and my dad as co-pilot) pulled us out of it and we made it to the ground safely.

  30. A Child, a Buzzard and a Pulitzer Prize

    Many people know the connection between these three
    seemingly disparate things
    And I suppose that should disqualify them from this
    challenge, or prompt
    But I have just now finished watching the movie
    that covers this story
    And am struck anew by how sad the whole thing is
    And want once more to speak to it, even if only in a poem.

    Having also just completed a challenge that concerned the
    Pulitzer Prizes awarded novels for the last eighty some years
    The topic of the prizes themselves has been much on my mind;
    When I saw a photograph that garnered much controversial attention
    when it won the coveted award, I found myself again interested to what
    seemed a disproportionate degree

    A tiny black child in the foreground, so skinny and parched looking
    that even in a mostly colourless photo, it was not difficult
    to imagine the breath leaving this one very soon…and if a viewer
    needed further convincing
    The vulture in the background, unbelievably looking as large as the
    child, that bird hunkered down, waiting ominously
    For how else could one describe a vulture looking but
    “waiting ominously”…
    Well — that damned bird would put paid to any hope anyone
    might hold out that the bit of life in the child was going to last…

    Even before I had a chance to research the photo,
    I noticed a movie had been made about it, “The Bang Bang Club”
    with its unlikely title was being shown on an almost regular basis
    on one of our movie channels…
    So, with well-placed misgivings, I tuned in to watch
    and as is often the case, like it would be should I come
    upon a horrific accident, a house ablaze,
    or some other catastrophe better left unseen
    then viewed and so tattooed forever behind my eyelids;
    I watched with rapt interest as the story
    of several brash young photographers unfolded
    while they travelled to the world’s hotspots
    or war zones, living on sleeplessness, risk,
    alcohol, and drugs.

    There was a certain cachet, I suppose,
    the way there always seems to be with these types
    living on the edge for the sake of a photo,
    the same way Hemingway did for a story…

    The way the movie tells the story, the photographer
    who took the prize-winning photo, Kevin Carter, was a loose cannon,
    a good photographer but a casual type person;
    a hard-drinking, hard-spending, partying, good-time boy…
    who liked to take photographs and was as competitive
    as the next guy.

    However, further research—and I should say much of it is conflicting—
    indicates that Carter was maybe some of these things,
    maybe all of them,
    plus a deeply troubled young man.
    He reportedly said often, he needed to live on the edge,
    said if he hadn’t been a photographer,
    he likely would have been a race-car driver.
    He only photographed things that inflamed his passions
    such as the resistance to apartheid, and as documented,
    it was a bloody awful resistance ;
    the horrors I learned from researching Kevin Carter’s life
    were by far the worse things I’ve seen of anything I’ve researched
    thus far in my life and I’ve researched some pretty horrible things.

    As is not too unusual in personalities with Carter’s make-up,
    at least in my experience, he also experienced wide mood swings
    that included deep depressions.
    In fact, shortly after he won the Pulitzer, he and a fellow photographer
    and friend, Ken Oosterbroek were responding to violence in Thokoza
    when Oosterbroek was killed by friendly fire.
    It is believed that Carter plunged into a depression after that from which he was unable to recover.

    While many would like to believe it was the flack and fallout he received
    over the Pulitzer prize winning photo that led to his suicide—
    There are varying reports that say he let it be believed that he stood by and let the child die without helping her,that in fact, he sat beneath a tree, smoking a cigarette, waiting for the buzzard to be the right distance from the child for the shot—these reports are unconfirmed and Carter’s actual suicide note indicates his despair went much deeper than that one incident
    My personal feeling is that it was probably the icing
    on a very gory cake…

    • Oh Sharon, I cried reading your poem. As a photographer, I have of course heard this story before, but it still brings me to tears. I cried for the poor, starving little child, for the starving people all over Africa, and also for Kevin Carter and the sad life he led. There are different reports of the incident when he took the Pullitzer Prize winning photograph. The one I choose to believe was told by a friend of his, who was there at the time. He says that Carter snapped several pictures from about ten meters away, and then chased the vulture away. He goes on to say that the child was able to reach the food center where its parents were, and where it had been headed when it collapsed. I don’t know if this is true, or if the other report is true. I firmly trust and pray that he did help the child. I can’t bear to think that he didn’t, and that the baby might have died.

  31. Dogwood and catnip:
    one lives in the other’s shade;
    sight and scent in leaf.

    Copyright 2013, William Preston

  32. I tend to agree with you Erin. The other story, the one where he talks about sitting under a tree smoking a cigarette sounds like a beleaguered man who had been asked one time too many why he didn’t do something for that child…It’s my understanding that the photographers were not really allowed to go near the Sudanese at all because of a risk of disease and that they were all snapping photos. It occurred to me that Carter might not even have known what he had actually until afterwards…In ’93 or ’94 when this shot was taken, digital cameras weren’t as sophisticated as they are now and even so, photo journalists might not have been using them. If they’re like many photographers (me being one of them) sometimes you really don’t see what a unique photo you have until you pull it up on a computer screen. There are so many variables to this story…it just saddens me that Carter was sort of scape-goated over it when it won a prize that brought untold attention to a problem that needed a light shone on it. It was too bad that more couldn’t have been made of THAT story while he was alive, and less about any actions he did or didn’t take at the time….
    Thanks for reading and commenting Erin. You always have insightful things to say and I appreciate your thoughts.

    • I know what you mean. Why did they have to all fuss over what he could or should have done? I also heard the thing about him smoking a cigarette under a tree, but he himself said that was afterward, and he sat there crying because of his inability to do anything to help. I feel so sorry for him. I have heard of the movie, but I don’t think I could bring myself to watch it. I cry far too easily during movies (I even found myself crying while watching Black Beauty the other day 😉 ).

      I appreciate your words as well. This is such a wonderful garden – we get little glimpses into everyone’s mind. Hugs to you, Sharon!

  33. Kind of late with this one. Been to WDW for our annual anniversary weekend. Went to the 24 hour event at Magic Kingdom. Haven’t been that crowded since riding the Tokyo subway.

    Opposites Attract

    She was raised in the concrete jungle
    Her mother trying her best to survive
    A poor child familiar with the streets
    Scraping and scrounging day by day
    Always looking for a way to escape

    He grew up in the cold Northeast woods
    The next neighbor a mile down the road
    Raised in poverty, but he didn’t know it
    Loving grandparents showed him the Way
    Always looking for something better

    This Midwest girl tried to better her life
    A college degree would light her path
    Off on her own, she had to work to survive
    Landed a waitress job at the local base
    Working the lounges at the NCO Club

    This Northeast boy had joined the military
    Already been to Japan and Germany
    Looking for a part-time job for more money
    Got a job at the base NCO Club
    You see where this story is going

    Northeast boy saw Midwest girl one day
    At the time clock punching in for work
    Couldn’t get her out of his mind all night
    On his break he strolled to the other lounge
    Asked the head bartender who the new girl was

    That night Midwest girl moved into his head
    Northeast boy could think of no one else
    Then she came around the corner of his lounge
    Bellied up to the bar with her drink tray
    Smiled and asked for a strawberry daiquiri

    That was the night that Northeast country boy
    First smiled at this cute little Midwest city girl
    No knowing, of course, that that first little smile
    Would be the beginning of a life of happiness
    And love for two of the most opposite people

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  34. Chocolate Ankles
    “Life is like a box of chocolates…” – Forrest Gump

    You never know what life will throw at you next –
    It’s a surprise, like the unknown center of a piece of chocolate.

    Sometimes life takes you for a smooth ride,
    melting away the layers of ignorance with each new experience.

    Sometimes the road of life is fill with bumps and pits,
    challenging us to complete this moment before moving on.

    Sometimes life just is…
    sweet contentment from one minute to the next.

    Sometimes we get surprises we don’t like (I’m thinking coconut filling here),
    like ligaments stretched and sprained in an ankle, requiring rest, elevation and ice.
    Slowing us down to a snail’s pace, only to find the sweet surprise of fulfillment,
    As more writing and observation is accomplished in a single day compared to the entire last week.

  35. Butterfly Kisses

    Poems are like butterfly kisses,
    the thoughts and ideas flit and flutter
    around in our minds,
    until finally landing solidly
    in the palm of our hands.


    When I was young I knew two girls
    who seemed like night and day:
    one was sultry, yet was dour;
    the other, bright and gay.

    A date with one was bound to be
    quite different from the other,
    for one would stay out through the night;
    the other, home to Mother.

    Yet, when it came to making out
    and playing the pursuit game,
    the two, like polar opposites,
    were very much the same.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

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