Many poems are remembered by their first lines rather than their titles, and often are indexed that way in poetry collections. Some examples include Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways;” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Listen, my children, and you shall hear;” Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s “The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;” and Gellett Burgess’s “I never saw a purple cow.” And then there is the infamous purple prose line with which Edward Bulwer-Lytton began a novel (not a poem), “It was a dark and stormy night.” Write a poem that uses another poem’s first line as your own first line or your title. You can choose any poem, well known or not, but please tell us where the line came from.



I whispered, “I am too young”
So softly, it escaped hearing

So lightly, it drifted

Exchanged with
“I do.”

First line from “Brown Penny” by William Butler Yeats

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.
Not having a road map, there I stood,
shivering and lost, freezing in the frost
and GPS utterly no good

because there was no wi-fi for miles
and cell service was moot in these isles.
To gain my reprieve I was forced to leave
via atrophied wits and dead wiles.

First line from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”

© copyright 2013, William Preston




When love speaks, it speaks softly.
Aspiring to lofty things, of how hearts sing
in harmony that warms and soothes.
It moves them to a pinnacle
that other cynical people cannot attain.

When love speaks, it speaks softly.
A language that needs not word,
nor intention. Or any mention of past
indiscretions. Love expresses in a way
that says all it ever needs in a breathless sigh.

When love speaks, it speaks softly,
o’er the expanse of time, o’er the length
of distant miles. O’er fathoms of seas and lakes
it takes a tender thought to conjoin two souls
across an eerie connection in poetic perfection.

When love speaks, it speaks softly,
When love speaks, it is heard loudly.
When love speaks, knowing hearts believe.
When love speaks, nothing else needs to be said
when love speaks.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

Taken from “Love Speaks” by Marie Elena Good

358 thoughts on “PROMPT #121 – SEED LINES

  1. Tomorrow, I’ll have to try something bit more …. challenging, I was just captured by the first line you offered from Gellett Burgess’s poem, maybe because I spend a number of years on a dairy farm. 🙂 (Cascade)

    I never saw a purple cow
    while wandering down country lanes,
    but found one in a child’s book.

    While I saw bright purple flowers,
    baskets of purple grapes and plums,
    I never saw a purple cow.

    I searched for them while traveling
    through towns, cities, parks and zoos, and
    while wandering down a country lane.

    Directed to a a building tall,
    I could not find one on a shelf,.
    but found one in a child’s book.

  2. Healing

    Calm is all nature as a resting wheel,
    And stilled the plaintive crying of the wind;
    A hush descends, a hush that soothes and heals,
    And lulls the frantic working of my mind;

    The moon drifts silently across the sky,
    The stars aligning brightly in her wake;
    My breath creates a rhythm as I lie,
    And stare into that starry midnight lake;

    I feel each breath that Mother Nature makes
    In time with mine, and hear her gentle song
    In every turn and every spin earth makes,
    And never cease as night drags slowly on;

    And how I wish that all the world could feel
    The peace that comes with Him, that comes to heal.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

    From “Calm Is All Nature As A Resting Wheel” by William Wordsworth

  3. Marie, I real like the feel of yours. Uncertainty to joy.
    WP, Exchanging the ‘old’ (horse and buggy) for the ‘new’, (Wi-Fi)
    Walt – Beautiful.

      • OH, Sorry Marie – again the reader sees other than the writer wrote. Hope that the situation resolved to good.
        Good writing, like any good art, invites a response from the observe – never cut and dry or black and white.

        • No apology needed, Marjory! Truly … it’s all in what we as listeners bring to the table. It just interests me when someone interprets something different from the original intent. As the writer, it’s up to me to make the intent and message clear … or intentionally muddy.


    I never saw a purple cow
    but this is better, anyhow,
    for Walt has graced us with his grace
    and so the blog seems complete now within this space

    and, eerily, his own first line
    is from Marie, and so is fine.
    He’s welcome as the blooms in May,
    for when he’s here he makes the day rise up and shine.

    NB: The first line is from Burgess, but the inspiration is the beauty of Walt’s work and Marie’s haunting, almost ethereal piece. Wonderful work from these partners, together again in presenting the prompt, as they should be.


    Still as
    an ancient death,
    the cat sits at the cusp
    of the field, waiting for the first

    First line from Moon Shadows, by Adelaide Crapsey

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  6. Marie…wow…this is unsettling and the brevity is perfect here.

    William…your poem had me chuckling…this day and age so many would be lost without all their gadgets!

    Smiles for miles to all in the garden this (rainy-cloudy-gray), day…hope the sun is shining in your hearts where you are!


    because I could not stop for death
    it kindly stop for someone else
    and left me to my own device
    which means I put death on the ice
    and not the other way around
    but now and then when life is sound
    and life it seems goes all to well
    I wait to hear that gentle tap
    upon my soul’s ethereal door
    I’ll rise from this my earthly nap
    and leave this place for evermore
    but now because there’s much to do
    now because death is kind
    it gives me time the years a few
    to finish all I need to do
    I swear that when death knocks again
    I’ll greet him like a long-lost friend


    The first line “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson, from
     The collection, Poems: Series 1, posthumously published in 1890.


    Though you know it anyhow,
    you must remember this:
    a marriage isn’t just a vow
    or nothing else but bliss.

    But, even so, you have to know
    a promise should be kept:
    the vow you made in love’s first glow
    admits of no except.

    First line from Ogden Nash’s Tin Wedding Whistle

    copyright 2013, William Preston.

  9. Pingback: You Got This | Metaphors and Smiles

  10. You Got This
    When everything finally has been wrecked and further shipwrecked
    and you’ve found yourself half-strangled on the sand
    demand of life to shape up,
    don’t give it an option;
    pull yourself together
    one shiny seashell shrapnel piece at a time.
    Reconstruct this spherical hell
    into the ever revolving door of heaven
    where blessings are just a foot-fall away…
    Pray a little
    or a lot
    give her all you got
    or not
    whatever works for you
    but please, puzzle together those parts.
    This which has been deconstructed
    by so many mounting minutes,
    years of mist inking
    missed thinking
    wished and vanished
    kissed and lost
    washed and beaten
    it it’s broken
    chuck it-
    pull a “start-over” card
    push the “re-do” button.
    What is there to lose?
    I think I might know one thing
    (creepy crow on the wire told me-
    silent spider on the wall says),
    if you’re not happy
    only you will stand in your way
    of true remedy.
    So start small
    change one tiny thing
    at a time;
    place a new stroke of luck on your life,
    load your bristles with gladness
    and assemble a smile on that face,
    create a beautiful new portrait.
    Grin a little
    even if you’re the only one there to witness it-
    it works.
    Trick your brain,
    fake it till you make it
    and suddenly you’ll realize
    hey, I feel happy!
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013
    “When everything finally has been wrecked and further shipwrecked,” by Joanna Klink

  11. Within

    The women in my family
    may wobble like gelatin
    on the outside,
    quiver with fear
    and even cower
    in sight of chaos
    and affliction,
    but deep within the cherry goo
    lies a backbone strong as steel
    and determination
    to do what it takes to help,
    to love, to thrive, to win.

    First line from “Eating the Bones” by Ellen Bass

  12. Doctor Doctor

    What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for
    I’m sick of your
    America. Cure me.
    America’s your medicine, your pharmacy
    confound the cynic, compound me
    a remedy of well-met nouns
    and verve. Astound me, Walt Whitman.
    Stun me into joy with common man
    and common man or woman making
    common love uncommon; say, proclaim, declare
    us generous and fair.

    *Allen Ginsberg
    “A Supermarket in California”

  13. As a Cloud

    I wandered lonely as a cloud.
    Watched it all. Steadfastly vowed
    to view the world through brighter eyes
    as I drifted ‘cross the skies.

    I felt a warm and gentle breeze,
    caressing me, as if to please.
    A lovely cloud came floating in.
    Something special would begin.

    There in the bright light of the sun
    two gleaming clouds became as one.
    So high above a distant crowd
    we wandered together as a cloud.

    From “I wandered lonely as a cloud” by William Wordsworth

    By Michael Grove
    Copyright 9/22/2013


    O hushed October morning mild,
    you have the ambience of child:
    a soft demeanor tinged with wild
    to usher in the day.

    The corn is yellow in the field;
    the beanfields whisper up their yield;
    the grapes, now purple, stand revealed
    as baubles plush and gay

    and all about seems fresh and fair:
    the land seems not to have a care
    as swallows leave the changing air
    and juncos come to play.

    In weeks to come, the winter days
    will change your gold to hoary ways,
    but you have planted springtime’s baize:
    the seeds will have their say.

    First line is from Robert Frost’s October

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  15. When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

    P atience, my dear.
    U nder this veneer,
    R evved up and raring to go,
    P arting the Red Sea with her audacity is a
    L ittle old lady
    E xercising her flair for fantasy.

    P reparing for free-fall.
    A nchored by silliness
    S pontaneity being tailor made.
    S uiting her every whim.
    I gnorance won’t help you now.
    O bjections over-ruled.
    N otice given—you have been warned!

    First line from: When I am an old woman I shall wear purple by Jenny Joseph

    Ellen Knight 9.22.13
    For Poetic Bloomings

  16. Our Rose

    By David De Jong

    Roses are red, violets are blue
    The rose I love, I planted with you
    Blossoms of crimson, beauty to view
    It speaks of our life, a love so true

    Planted in song, encircled with love
    While tears of angels, fell from above
    Hearts whispered in rhythm of a dove
    While planting this symbol of our love

    It grows on the hill, beneath the cross
    Another symbol, of love and loss
    It bares its thorns, its disease, its dross
    All covered in shadows of the cross

    As blossoms grow and open to view
    Reflecting our hope, our love anew
    Taking nourishment from drops of dew
    Focused on Grace from a Love so true

    Seasons will change and the leaves will fall
    Heeding their Creator’s dormant call
    Tis seasons we face and faced by all
    This time of stillness, we’ll still enthrall

    As winter comes and buries in snow
    This vine of life with no life to show
    We too shall rest and humbly know
    By the Grace of God there shall I go

    Once winter done and new life be born
    Far from our gloom its clutches be torn
    Warmed by the sun, watered by the storm
    New life, new growth, new blossoms will form

    This, our rose, shows us enduring life
    This bond we make as husband and wife
    Its blossoms of beauty, thorns of strife
    How they represent, our walk in life

    Sorry I don’t know the origin of that old line: “Roses are red violets are blue”
    When we renewed our vows, we planted a rose

  17. Walt! So good to see you, hear your voice!
    Marie – another WOW!
    William – made me smile as yesterday we were quite at the mercy of our GPS on a little day trip.

  18. L’ve been working on this off and on all day, and it’s still over-simplistic. The first line comes from Shakespeare’s Sonnet15, so I stuck with the Shakespearean sonnet format.


    When I consider every thing that grows,
    in  kingdoms, classes, order, family, genus, 
    and species diverse, too various to know,
    that interlock in independent ethos.

    I wonder at the being that conceived
    of such a complex program for creation.
    It brings reluctance in me to believe
    in random chance: beyond my expectation

    Darwin thought of it as evolution,
    development of habitat and climate
    but he missed the ultimate solution
    of what produced a human from a primate.

    He failed to answer how it all began,
    this world of ours that is so very grand.

  19. “Awaiting the storm”

    Thunder blossoms gorgeously above our heads.
    The smoky night sky explodes with the glow of
    Irish daisy lightening.

    Come. Sit with me. Listen to the swarming cicadas
    as they harvest the Old Maids of summer. Hear the
    bullfrogs applaud the good tidings of the Autumn moon.

    Hear the honeyed slaps of the river against the
    war-painted piers where the sleeping schools of
    sunfish safely bed in the gray tangles of coontail.

    Hear the warning song of the hoot owls alerting
    the wild night-time gangs that the coyotes are
    on the run again along the Wisconsin line.

    Hear the prairie wolf choir of mezzo-sopranos
    croon in high C, the director snapping at the
    bellies of young pups who lag a half beat behind.

    Hear the red-tailed fox bolt his door leaving
    a royal flush of chicken claws, his favorite
    midnight meal, at the foot of his den.

    Hear the jittering luna moth lost in the shadows
    of abandoned scrub trees. Hear the titterings
    among cliques of acne-scarred birch trees as
    bats whoosh between their branches tickling their
    silver fingers.

    Hear the thunder gather behind the old cemetery
    thrilling the marauding feline bandits.

    Bring the blankets. I’ll warm up the cocoa.
    Listen with me as nature assembles for tonight’s show.

    First line taken from: Storm Ending
    by Jean Toomer
    Thunder blossoms gorgeously above our heads,

  20. The Orange

    “At lunchtime I bought a huge orange –”
    Now, why would you begin a poem that way?
    Nothing really rhymes with said orange.
    Still, I think it’s tastier than gray.

    Most colors seem more appetizing
    than a wintery shade that’s quite bleak.
    But a poet can write whatever, you see.
    Who am I then, to offer critique?

    So, if an orange makes you happy,
    have your orange. Have two – or have three!
    In the end, it is simply a navel gaze
    but it makes for some sweet poetry.

    (First line from ‘The Orange’ by Wendy Cope)


  21. A Moment in My Day

    Stay, I said
    here for now.
    Forever found a way around

    “The Promise”, Jane Hirshfield

  22. Celery

    Celery, raw
    is often a draw
    when spread with cream cheese.
    I’d like some. Yes, please.

    But ‘though sounds I’d muffle
    with spread, herbs or truffle,
    I must admit proudly
    I still chew quite loudly.

    (The first line is from ‘Celery’ by Ogden Nash)


  23. I enjoyed the “samples” from Marie, Bill, and Walt, so much more than good examples to us. So good to see Walt back.

    Daddy’s Dance

    The whiskey on your breath
    combines with aftershave
    and cigarettes, with your own warmth–
    a flannel hugging Daddy smell.

    You arrive late and loud
    the world nipped in jubilation,
    your cheeks and nose fallen petals
    of rose, mother narrow, watching,

    angry, mortified that the secret
    we’ve kept so long, the revisions
    we’ve made to protect us all will be
    punch lines to your slurred jokes.

    Everyone will know, we think
    in fear and relief. The jig is up,
    but you’ve pulled an ancient lady
    into a dance hold, your jig just begun.

    (after “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke)

  24. Petal Perfect

    Oh, my love is like a red, red rose
    pruned back before the season’s end,
    the new growth that produced a bud
    cut short as snappish words to send

    a message of the fall of things—
    Autumn a time of letting go,
    of change and slowly cooling nights,
    of dormant feelings’ barren show.

    I pick up scattered petals dropped
    to make of love a potpourri,
    retain the scent of rose red days,
    maintain hope rooted deep in of me.

    (after Robert Burns’ poem)

    • I know what you mean, but in this magnificent poem I never noticed. The phrase, “cut short as snappish words”, startles with double-edged meaning. The conclusion, where you “retain the scent of rose red days,” dulls those edges. Or so it seems to me.

  25. Aloft

    My heart leaps up when I behold
    a wedge of geese slice through the dawn,
    a flash of feathered indigo,
    as mingled flocks fly on and on.
    I hear that shrill distinctive call
    of pileated yodeler,
    and, although common, wings of gold
    with rich black epaulets for show,
    can thrill me like red leaves in fall.
    Bluebird and hummer, cardinal–
    birds lift my eyes where’er I go
    and make of me an ogler.

    (after Wordsworth’s poem)

  26. This is a rerun…I’ll be back with something new…


    turn the quiet up
    you will hear
    than you can imagine
    in His echoes

    “turn the quiet up” is taken from the first line of “Smoke A Little Smoke” by Eric Church.

  27. Signing the Blues

    Psychics can see the color of time it’s blue.
    But if there are small subtle changes in hue,
    does that mean that cerulean and navy
    and aquamarine are finding a way through

    time? ‘Cause if not, what do all those blue tints mean?
    Another thought: what if a psychic sees green?
    I know there are some greens which kind of look blue.
    Does that indicate a place that runs between

    the time/space continuum? Or is it rot?
    I often think it’s all real, but sometimes not.
    Psychics and physics: is this a common ground?
    It contradicts a few things that I was taught.

    If time is blue, is this a panacea?
    In a way, I really like this idea.

    (First line: Ronald Sukenick, Blown Away, 1986)


  28. A Major Annoyance

    I have wished a bird would fly away,
    who on the rain gutter drilled one day.

    The ratta-tat-tat fair made me jump,
    my pulse was racing and heart a thump.

    A woodpecker, living jack-hammer,
    on my roof making such a clamor.

    I waved my arms and shouted at him
    hoping he’d fine a nice buggy limb.

    First line from “A Minor Bird”, by Robert Frost

  29. Once I started this silly thing, I could not stop. I picture this as a poem inspired by a teacher wanting her students to learn to be creative, but one of them was too down-to-earth, simply wanting finish the assignment. This seed is a weed. If we have another bad poem prompt, I have had practice. 😉

    Bird Dropping

    “I caught this morning morning’s minion”
    —Well, at least I caught his pinion.

    I saw him as he flew so high.
    Then it fell right from the sky.

    OK, it did not fall; it floated down.
    It would not have hit the ground.

    Unlike Hopkins no fancy word
    escapes my brain about some bird.

    Well, maybe “pinion” is a bit sublime,
    but what else could I use to rhyme

    with that first line minus king
    while seeing a falcon on his wing?

    My teacher thinks that I should write
    of seeing a falcon in fancy flight.

    Yes I can rhyme and alliterate
    but knowing her she will hate

    these lines I thought up in my head
    wanting my imagination to soar instead.

    Here I stand so hot in the sun.
    I’m not poet, but I had some fun.

    — with sincerest apologies to Gerard Manly Hopkins for degrading most of the first line of The Windhover.

  30. Pingback: Two Voices, One Song | At Peace In Seattle #FWF

  31. Cosmic Connection
    By: Meena Rose

    And it was at this age … Poetry arrived
    Neither a he nor a she but something more
    Neither sight nor sound nor exquisite touch
    And it was at this age … Cathryn woke up

    She found herself embracing life
    Smoothing wrinkles upon a trampled garden
    Furrowing brows as she kissed skinned knees
    Smiling coyly at one watching behind the tree

    And it was at this age … Poetry arrived
    Neither a word nor a verse but something more
    Neither form nor medium nor lyrical note
    And it was at this age … Aaron woke up

    He found himself being pulled without
    Sketching nature’s beauty divine
    Biting lips as he captured frowning eyes
    Braving jitters behind the tree

    And it was at this age … Poetry arrived
    Neither delicate nor shy but something
    Neither hesitant nor timid nor mild pastel
    And it was at this age … they discovered love

    First line from Pablo Neruda’s “Poetry”
    I have a good number of pictures posted here in case you wanted to take another look.

  32. My Daddy

    My daddy is a golfer
    At least he’d like to be
    If he could hit the fairways
    And stay out of the trees
    If he could hit a sand shot
    Or putt in a straight line
    My dad would be a golfer
    And all would be just fine

    My daddy is a singer
    His voice is very loud
    The trouble is his singing
    Could dissipate a crowd
    I like when he sings to me
    I try and sing along
    But I can’t sing and laugh
    When he sings a funny song

    My daddy likes to tickle
    My feet and wiggle my toes
    And when I am not looking
    He likes to steal my nose
    He smiles and laughs and jokes
    He’s happy night and day
    My daddy is the bestest
    That’s all I gots to say

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

    First line from “Quality Time, by Shel Silverstein

  33. Questions

    I ask – can water keep from loving stone,
    From smoothing it with iridescent sighs,
    From coursing gently, sweetly on its own
    Across this pebbly surface, never dry?

    I ask – can stately trees forget the earth,
    Forget their roots entangled far below,
    Forget the breast that fed them at their birth,
    Forget that without her they’d never grow?

    I ask – can God not hear my heartfelt pleas,
    Not hear the sadness in my voice and tears,
    Not see me falling desperate on my knees,
    Not feel the dreadful terror of my fears?

    But when I’ve come to rest inside His heart,
    I ask no more, and let my doubts depart.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

    From “Stirred” by Hannah Gosselin


    I see the boys of summer in their ruin
    convening here to play the game again:
    they scarcely seem to know what they are doing;
    they seem as men who played but now and then.

    Their halting movements mock their former grace
    for many are infirm, or slow, or lame.
    I see them, but I see another place:
    another time; another baseball game,

    and then they are the masters of it all
    and there they play with boundless verve and joy,
    for then and there the ancient cry, “Play ball,”
    is once again the summons to the boy.

    The diamond glitters, freshened by my tears,
    today and yesterday, through all the years.

    First line is from Dylan Thomas’s I See the Boys of Summer.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  35. Listen

    Listen my children and you shall hear
    Of love and hope and grace so dear
    Of sacrifice and suffering pain
    All endured for unselfish gain
    Listen my children; lend me your ear

    It all started in a stable so cold
    So long ago in a faraway land
    The Babe was born as was foretold
    To a virgin protected by God’s own hand

    This Babe was sought by some so wise
    While others, this new born Babe despised
    But God had plans He must fulfill
    To save mankind was God’s pure will
    Not yet would He trek up that hill

    The shepherds came and knelt on knee
    Three Wise Men traveled far to see
    The One sent down from God above
    The One to teach us pure true love
    The Son of God would set us free

    He grew to be a mighty man
    He worked and built with such strong hands
    At thirty He started His ministry
    The true path of His destiny
    The message that would save all man

    Three years He walked and spread the news
    Of love and salvation we could choose
    Disciples followed Him everywhere
    Marveling at just how much He cared
    There was no one that He’d refuse

    But some refused His message of grace
    Some despised the sight of His face
    Mobs united by claiming blasphemy
    Unknowing, of course, it was His destiny
    The time had come; this was the place

    Listen, my children, this message of love
    Christ was sent down from our Father above
    Tortured and crucified for you and for me
    The Lamb sacrificed on that terrible tree
    He died, but now He lives in Heaven above

    You see, my children, the message is clear
    Our Heavenly Father loves you so dear
    He sent His own Son to show us the Way
    He loves us and prays for us every day
    We just need to love Him; to trust and obey

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

    From “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  36. Important Things
    The heads of roses begin to droop
    in the vase on the table… (though she’d
    crushed an aspirin in the tap water
    then placed each bud one by one, clipping
    stems and snipping leaves, taking great care
    with the lovely, fragile, fragrant blooms.)

    … speckled with brilliant points of fractured
    sunlight from cut glass prisms, sprinkle
    of rainbow colors on the polished
    hardwood surface (her mother’s cherished
    dining table in burled olive wood –
    lavishing love on cold possessions.)

    She thinks of him, (absentmindedly
    picking the petals, curling and brown-
    edged from the table where they lay dead.)
    shivers, hugs herself in tight embrace,
    thinks of his spicy aftershave and
    remembers to change the potpourri.
    *First line from Billy Collin’s “In the Evening”

  37. “When Death Comes”

    When Death comes like the hungry bear in Autumn
    When his frosted breath withers the last of the garden greens
    And the earth is hardened and bare and all the flowers gone

    When Death swings his mighty scythe and all the trees
    In the forests topple down like toys tumbling
    From the hands of a cranky toddler

    When death comes and steals all the pretty colors from
    The sunrise and sunset and leaves ruins of cities and towns

    When he snuffs out the twinkling stars and sucks all the oceans dry

    Then will I lie myself down with all of humanity and sleep through
    Ages of silence
    Remembering what was and what is and waiting for What Is To Be.

    The first line of this poem is from “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver

  38. I Hate That You Couldn’t See

    I hate that you couldn’t see
    your elder daughter
    blooming in face,
    and heart, devoted
    to the art of poetry.

    I hate that you couldn’t see
    my new home,
    and life out here
    in the Pacific northwest,
    nature lover that you were.

    I hate that you couldn’t see
    our new dogs, and enjoy
    throwing toys for them,
    with your love of animals.

    I hate that you couldn’t see
    how much of you there is in me.

    Taken from Misk’s, Sometimes You Can’t keep A Store From Sinking.

  39. Killing Me Softly

    Kindness glides about my house
    attentive to my moods
    Compassion shares my space as well
    Wrapping me in shards of slivered
    silver pretending to be safe
    As it slices into places I forget
    to shield, places vulnerable
    to honed sharp edges disguised
    as sweet, sweet caring

    “Kindness glides about my house (from Sylvia Plath’s, ‘Kindness'”)

  40. ASTERS

    In your
    deep purple hue
    you punctuate the strew
    of goldenrod, and banish all
    I rue.

    First line from Adelaide Crapsey’s Blue Hyacinths

    copyright 2013, William Preston

    NB: It does seem a bit unchallenging to borrow a two-word first line, I must admit.


    Pale amber sunlight falls across
    a landscape once alive in greens.
    And now, as summer days are lost,
    the autumn hues repaint the scenes.

    In crimson, orange and golden leaves,
    the artist’s view is well expressed.
    But autumn soon to winter cleaves.
    Idyllic beauty goes to rest.

    © Susan Schoeffield

    first line from “Autumnal” by Ernest Dowson


    I saw the sunset-colored sands
    swept away, engulfed by waves
    as nature’s fury met the lands,
    sending them to watery graves.

    With seabed tremors set to shake
    in pounding rhythms on the shore,
    the cresting peaks began to break
    and claimed me for the ocean floor.

    In twilight’s arms, I fell to death
    by plunging through the black abyss.
    Before I took my final breath,
    I kissed the cheek of Atlantis.

    © Susan Schoeffield

    first line from “The Wanderer” by Sara Teasdale

  43. Your Time Will Come

    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    across the shattered sky,
    gazing at all and nothing
    just drifting by.

    I thought I was invisible
    just a wisp of fading smoke,
    when next to me sat
    a most charming bloke.

    His mouth opened
    and words began to fly,
    like a bluebird in the sunshine
    I myself gave it a try.

    We talked for hours
    and made a future date,
    I was finally noticed
    and it wasn’t too late.

    Like the bluebirds heading south
    I know how to forage ahead,
    but no longer lonely
    I look forward without dread.

    First line from “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth

  44. Pingback: Praxis | Whimsygizmo's Blog

  45. Praxis

    Expect no
    -thing. Live frugally
    on surprise. Ask your
    heart no questions,
    require of it no lies.

    Accept all
    -things beautiful
    as the breeze. Wield blades
    of grass as promises,
    woven thick as thieves.

    Respect one
    thing, stranded
    from the start: own your
    fingers loosely, and
    let them spill their art.

    First “seed” lines are from Alice Walker’s “Expect Nothing.”

  46. Walt, welcome back with your thoughtful offering. Marie Elena, your meaning whispered, too. It took a second reading to get its meaning. Well stated. William, I love your humorous use of Frost’s first line.

  47. Pingback: After Dark | echoes from the silence

  48. AFTER DARK</strong

    the storm
    is howling.
    Angry are the sounds
    carried through the darkness of night.
    Battered and beaten
    she waits for

    P. Wanken

    “Once more the storm is howling” is the opening line of A Prayer for My Daughter, by William Butler Yeats.

    • phooey – sorry about my bold move, here… 😉
      Though, it makes it much easier to read on my computer. I have a difficult time with the font being so light! lol

    • This is pure power in a little package. The storm and the battered (I presume) woman seem one and the same. As written, I’m not sure there’s a rainstorm outside, but it hardly matters, the imagery is so strong. I won’t say I love this, because it scares me a bit, but it is an excellent poem, in my view.

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