We are always looking for ways to aggrandize our language and terms of expression. The use of adjectives colors our verbiage in a different way. Devices like similes and metaphors bring a varied point of view to how we see the world. Here is where your poetry finds its root this week. Using an animal or creature in nature as a metaphor for an emotion or an attribute (a tiger could be anger; a lion as courage…), write your poem.



Who knows? Who knows who?
Wide-eyed wisdom perched
in the mid-summer’s night.
Calling to see who would respond,
who would find answers to the questions.
Who? If you knew would you care,
would you dare question the what,
the why, the where? Who are you to challenge
the wisdom which took years to amass.
No tome bound in leather could contain
what weathered wisdom resides in feathers.
No matter how wise the owl, it can run afoul
of what we’ve learned; what we’ve earned.
Who? Who knows? Who knows who?

(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

52 thoughts on “PROMPT #166 – “ANIMAL HOUSE”

  1. Bromelia Frog – a heroic travelogue

    A strawberry coloured heroine
    carries, one by one,
    six tadpoles up six Everest
    trees to find moisture so hard won.
    Every six days she does it again
    to lay food for each infant frog
    in a different Bromelia pool.

  2. Wood Borers

    You are persistent in your boring job
    and effective in your slow, gnawing way
    you go to my very foundation of belief
    and chew fiber by fiber tunneling till
    I’m wobbly and weak. Doubt, indecision,
    uncertainty veins through me like tiny
    cracks in my underpinnings. Not good enough
    banal, a cliché of wannabe, you numnumnum
    your way through my resolve and leave me
    a crumbling mass of woody pulp and fragile
    paper mache dreams… I’m infested.


    The beast that I become
    can change from day to day.
    On Monday I’m a kitten
    famished for more play.

    On Tuesday fangs are flashing
    as I attack my work.
    I try real hard to do my job,
    a task I never shirk.

    On Wednesday I’m a camel,
    my hump you’ll plainly see.
    I can go for miles
    before I stop to pee.

    On Thursday I’m a sheep dog
    corralling weekend dreams.
    I keep them all from rushing
    and bursting at the seams.

    On Friday I’m a porcupine
    quite anxious day will close.
    I sit on pins and needles;
    my need for freedom grows.

    On Saturday these paws of mine
    will race from jungle cages.
    I’ll live life as a hero
    like in Rud Kipling’s pages.

    On Sunday comes the lamb in me
    to spend some time in prayer.
    It’s in God’s house I am at peace
    No beastly creatures anywhere.


  4. Indecisiveness

    Egg laying
    young nursing,
    furry but waterproof
    Seems like it’s not quite sure what it wants to be.
    Just like me.

  5. I read these all earlier, and went from ah to ah on each one. I will try to give them the honor they deserve.


    A squirrel am I
    Driven from slumber to eat
    Driven to slumber by heat

    A mask I wear for I am shy
    I don’t wake up, not even to tweet
    I snore through wind and snow and even sleet

    To reach “the end” means do or die
    Snail-like, I rest once the birth is complete
    I hideaway, my sleep a retreat

    The snake am I when I want others nigh
    Stay but don’t touch, don’t even greet
    When naptime ends, alone I slither down the street

    A queen bee, can that be mine?
    With stories offering themselves to compete
    The mating continues nonstop until called to a stop by me

    More than any other beast, I want to fly
    Bats need warmth and water, and we share a heartbeat
    And maybe, like them, I’m indiscrete

    Where can I go such a life to buy?
    I’ll work, I’ll hide, and then revive, to cheat
    The ever-threatening self-defeat

  7. Easy Does It

    He toddled along
    at a slow, steady
    pace. Others sped
    past him as if it were
    a race, but he remained
    calm, cool, sticking
    his neck out only
    when he had to. Let them
    rush past their lives,
    he thought, what fools.
    Sure, I know they say
    I am too cautious, but
    green tends to blend
    into the landscape,
    and I do not intend
    to wind up as
    anyone’s soup.

  8. The Glory of a Hummingbird

    A daily awakening greeting
    a welcome sunny breeze
    compact, divine perfection
    an ingenious talented tease

    Forward backward, side-to-side,
    choreograph her playful wings
    dancing a swinging Number 8,
    sweet nectar, she hungrily drinks

    She flitters and flutters excitedly,
    suspended with loving devotion
    tenacious, determined velvetty wings
    expressing rhythmic motion

    The blossoms forgivingly invite her in
    giving her all that they can
    intoxicated with this grace,
    she follows Nature’s plan

    An insatiable desire that’s wired in
    for syrupy sugary stuff
    patiently working relentless arms
    with a pointy licking puff

    With hasta visits and opening lilies
    she earns frequent flyer miles
    my energizing ‘Morning Glory’,
    as I organize my files

    Defying gravity, she journeys on
    as life mysteriously unfolds
    this warrior bird’s my teacher wise
    unique, beautiful and bold

    I can’t help but ponder, gaze
    at this mesmerizing rapture
    A wonderful start filling my day
    precious moments to encapture——

    • This is delightful. I am especially intrigued by “hasta visits,” which strike me as a play on hasta la vista, though it might be a typo.

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  10. the heron

    this morning
    the sun erupts in
    yellow and pink,
    and i feel i’m the
    only one awake
    in the world.

    i walk to the sea
    in awe as the
    light sets the
    clouds on fire and
    wraps the sea
    in a golden blanket.

    i consider the
    sunrises that i’ve
    missed – asleep
    and unaware of
    the glorious
    reasons to wake.

    i sit, breathe,
    watch and listen,
    and i notice that
    i’m not the only
    one giving praise
    to this new day.

    the blue heron,
    lithe and daring,
    alights in my
    sanctuary, and we
    create the silence,
    alone together.

    i rise and the
    heron sets off,
    leaving me to hope
    that one day we
    will once again
    share our solitude.

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  12. Settling

    Pretending the highway traffic is Roaring Brook.
    This September day is a bear stretching
    frustrated and longing for One Hundred Mile Wilderness,
    hungering for open starry skies
    Northern Lights,
    longing for a forested breath
    and wishing for broad granite peak reaching
    filled to brimming with summer’s late blueberries.
    Yes, these hours are flavored with close memories
    and dreams set legs to motion
    the climb resides in muscles still –
    lungs remember fresh
    pure thin mountainous air…
    everything here seems so contradictory.
    Simplicity woos in wind stirred woods
    a cry for wild rises within;
    this September day is a bear with a low growl
    unfulfilled-unappeased –
    teased by the brief taste of authentic nature,
    not ready yet for the long unconscious slumber
    and not willing to close its eyes against all that beauty.
    It’s unprepared for silent white stifling normalcy –
    this everyday life
    in the cave again.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

    Just returned from a rare and amazing hiking trip with a group of ladies at Baxter State park…bitter sweet to leave…


    You look at me and
    see a gray body bloated with memories,
    wrinkled by the worries of
    a life too well remembered

    You see no beauty in
    the bulk of my weight, hips that
    have carried our children into
    this dusty, drought-weary world

    little ones who gaze at
    their mother through elephant-thick eyelashes and
    see only the fierce matronly
    love beneath the rough hide


    Its mission to injure is clear.
    The lack of mere contrition
    is staggering.
    On wings, it comes swaggering
    up to its victim
    with a self-righteous dictum
    written in blood.
    At first just a drop, then a flood
    down my arm of glistening red.
    Before it could harm with another bite,
    I would smite it dead.

    © Susan Schoeffield

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