Your powers of observation are at random states of acuity. Do you always trust them? For this exercise/prompt close your eyes for about five minutes and get acquainted with your surroundings. Is it warm/cold? Are you comfotable/uneasy? Aromas? Sounds? Do not let your eyes deceive, let your remaining senses take command. When you feel very aware, write your poem.



The patter of rain,
a steady downpour, more
monsoon than shower.
Hours spent huddled
warm under a soft throw.
Temperatures have fallen
the condensation thick
on windows and steam lifts
from soup kettle to nostril,
it fills you with reminders
of mom’s kitchen. You’re itching
to recapture the comfort.
Eyes beckon to doze through
the next few hours as the showers
do not relent. You are spent
and it’s mid-afternoon.
You hope the rain stops soon!

(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014

175 thoughts on “PROMPT #169 – “A SENSE OF BELONGING”


    The barn
    is old and cold
    with winds lapping the slats,
    but still I sense permeating
    horse scents.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  2. Good morning, all.

    Wee Hours

    The house is still asleep.
    It’s dark outside.
    The stove light seems bright,
    as well as the green numbers
    on the clock, stereo and microwave.
    I sit in my comfy chair
    with my laptop glowing
    and my cat purring on my lap.
    There’s a chill in the air
    and my bare legs are covered
    by an afghan my sister had crocheted.
    The only sounds are the clock ticking
    the refrigerator humming
    and an occasional creak of the house.
    Knick-knacks, furniture, pictures on the wall
    are all just shadows.
    I sip the last of my hot tea with cream and sugar.
    Maybe I can get some more writing in
    before the troops arise.

  3. Morning Meditations

    There is a hum but I can’t tell
    whether it is in my head or not.
    The heat pump hasn’t been turned
    on yet though it is cool enough as
    my husband keeps reminding me.
    He calls me Ruby after my thrifty
    aunt but he means, teasingly,tight.
    I hear the clock tick… tick…
    it recalls to me Grandpa’s small black
    fake pendulum clock that sat
    on the shelf in the living room,
    proudly purchased with S&H
    green stamps.
    The coffee pot has stopped
    gurgling and like in a cartoon
    I envision tendrils of compelling
    fingers weaving around my head
    tugging me to the kitchen.
    I can taste that first hot swallow
    warming all the way down.
    Ahhh, crisp October morning-
    Sunday’s blessings of another day.
    A gift.


    The canons of mind are put to sleep; fierce red dragons of anxiety are slain at ease. It’s walls testify of a lasting peace, the corridors hum rhythmic liberties, while the pain has ceased.

    An abundance of rest blankets the battlefield, gently arrays the dead with hope. It’s soldiers dream their heart under its comforter. While the war is over, they still cope.

    The winter is past, the rain is over and gone, and the time of singing has come.

    Benjamin Thomas


    This time of night I hold most dear:
    the moon is new; the stars are bold;
    the light-years meet the minutes here

    and I can feel, here in the cold,
    the photons dancing on the snow.
    The moon is new, the stars are bold,

    and in their timeless afterglow
    I sense a tingling on my arm;
    the photons dancing on the snow

    invade my face, a gentle swarm.
    They say, “Open your eyes and see.”
    I sense a tingling on my arm

    and then, in serendipity,
    I feel the snow and stars unite;
    they say, “Open your eyes and see

    the wonders of this winter sight.”
    This time of night I hold most dear:
    I feel the snow and stars unite;
    the light-years meet the minutes here.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  6. The Reluctant View

    Swivel my swivel chair one quarter turn
    Away from the screen of the world and into
    The screen of the life I live now which I
    Think of as “Not my real home” but here I am
    And lucky to be here with my kitty-cat
    Sprawled out on the coffee table which is
    The first object my eyes are drawn to.
    And I love her (and I am really glad to be
    Here instead of some nursing home which
    Is where I would be if not for my kids getting
    Together and arranging for me to rent this
    Little cottage attached to a bigger cottage
    Where a bachelor son lives. Well, back to the view…
    Behind Kitty is a basket of gourds. On the window
    Sill are houseplants brought in for the winter after
    Their carefree summer outside, Next, the new skinny
    TV the grandkids got for me, turned off now
    Cause I’m listening to the radio and next to
    The closed front door, the bookcase of history
    Books with family pictures on top. It is really
    A nice place and I am luckier than I realize.
    Perhaps “Blessed” is a better word.


    Dry throat begs for relief
    Cool mint eases dryness
    Comfortable cotton of skirt and blouse
    Shoulders and waist itch
    Legs move, in, around, up, down
    Land on metal bar
    Cool air brushes my skin
    Toes tap as sappy song plays
    Thankful that I can’t smell
    Mildew and urine pass unnoticed
    Alarm blares but no running feet
    Pestle pounds loud and long
    Two voices raised
    The friendly, giggly nurse
    A cantankerous resident
    On TV, man bites into hard cookie
    Ahahah, hoo, hoo–hoo. . .cough
    Brightness overhead paints eyelids
    Falls into shadows on the floor

  8. the chase

    you see, the days are
    shorter now, so
    the sun drops behind
    that one tall tree,
    casting a long shadow,
    before i’m ready.

    over and over, i change
    my position, but the
    the uninvited shade
    shrouds me again;
    i can’t seem to hold onto
    this fickle warmth.

    for now, as the tide still
    ebbs, i’ll try a little longer,
    though the shadows
    seem to chase me,
    and soon i’ll have
    nowhere else to go.


    There is a stillness that only exists
    between midnight and four a.m.
    It is a quietude beyond silence.

    A time when my heartbeat sounds
    loud in my ears
    and even blinking my eyes,
    I swear I can hear my lids
    smacking together, the lashes
    making a scratching noise as they
    cross my eyeballs.

    The brittle willow branch I have
    sworn is not close to the house
    is squeaking, making a noise that
    announces it’s ready to fall on the roof.

    The dog yips, panicky, dreaming fiercely
    for a few long minutes…
    In the ensuing hush, I realize I’m holding
    my breath, and hear a solid tick-thunk
    —the movement of a digital minute
    flipping over on my clock-radio.

    I imagine I hear some teeny-tiny voices
    coming from somewhere in my bed,
    start searching in the sheets,
    am really begin to think I’m losing it
    when at last I spot my glow-in-the-dark
    ear-buds, still plugged into my nano-pod
    which is on, and turned to loudest…

    Clicking it off, I sink back against
    my pillow, stare into the dark
    before drifting off to sleep, listen
    to the silence.

  10. First Frost

    The pasture lies beneath an early frost
    until fierce sunlight melts away the night,
    the first signs that a rest comes at a cost.

    The hummingbirds are sipping at slant light
    as feathered flocks prepare for warmer zones
    until slant sunlight melts away the night.

    I feel a great migration in my bones,
    a nip of air that urges me to fly
    as feathered flocks prepare for warmer zones.

    Such days each breath is poignant as a sigh
    that sings me to a harvest in my mind,
    a nip of air that urges me to fly—

    to carry little, leaving much behind.
    Fall makes me wistful, reason with no rhyme
    that sings me to a harvest in my mind.

    I’ll don a sweater made of knitted time,
    for pastures lie beneath an early frost.
    Fall makes me wistful, reason with no rhyme,
    the first signs that a rest comes at a cost.

  11. I’m restless tonight. And though tired and aware — promptly in a meditative state of mind when I closed my eyes — this prompt still took me in another direction (per usual).


    If we aren’t
    made of stardust
    then why do
    we fly through
    space and see
    the swirl of
    galaxies form each
    time we squeeze
    our eyes shut

    … also posted on my poetry blog:

  12. Pingback: Via Bee’s Wing Beat and a Sun Ray | Metaphors and Smiles

  13. Via Bee’s Wing Beat and a Sun Ray

    Skin’s warmed by sun streaming down
    an autumnal womb-red behind eyelids
    a slight wind stirs leaves and caresses flesh.
    Cars communicate in rumbles across roadways
    conflicting with Nature’s unsullied-song
    sung in part by chickadee busy in pine trees above.
    Apple slices and honeyed spice tea greets me
    and rise of worry on wings of sting-bearers –
    relentless yellow jackets hover uncomfortably close,
    they search out our sweet scents
    buzzzzing too near too often – they cause a rush –
    heart pulses blood – churns a burdened beat.
    I catch a glimpse of me – reflected in this portal
    gold flecks of sun captured in hair,
    tresses still glisten with rays of late summer.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  14. Pingback: Testing Sounds | echoes from the silence

    (a shadorma)

    With eyes closed,
    my ears are filled with
    the crinkling
    sounds of a
    paper gown draped around me.
    My heart is pounding.

    P. Wanken

  16. A Boastful Wind

    There is such a boastful wind
    in this place that it serves
    a constant companion to the sun,
    where neither outshines the other.
    Fallen leaves gather themselves
    into crisp memories, chestnuts
    laugh off baldness, perfectly slicked
    and varnished. And amongst it all,
    I am its brief visitor, quiet
    as a soundless day, and wholly
    restless as that boastful wind.

  17. What a lovely collectio of poetry – and it’s only Monday!
    Can’t wait to get Viv’s collection in my hands & Walt, can you come up with more prompts like this that really bring out the super-poet in our responses?

  18. Short Term Thoughts

    Soft snores of dog
    at my side, baseball
    announcers telling tales,
    as the action seems
    to have slowed. Remnants
    of garlic from last night’s
    pesto, pass a light reminder
    past my nostrils. Sunshine
    filters through closed blinds.
    I feel its warmth on my
    shoulders, although the room
    is air-conditioned
    on this unusually hot day
    in October. In my mind,
    Autumn is here, and I am
    inclined to sniff apples
    and bake pies.

  19. There is so much good poetry on this page this week — I can’t comment on every poem and that saddens me…believe me when I say, every single poem warrants praise…wonderful, wonderful words!

  20. Waiting for a gift

    The Veggie Tale Clock pinned to the bulletin board
    metronomes me into a sudden panic that I’m
    late for some trivial mundane responsibility—
    I’ve left the oven on or forgotten a child somewhere.
    Something is undone. I stare at the hostel matte
    walls that are supposed to be Wheatgrass Sun
    but are now sponged in blue cumulous shadow,
    trying to remember. I hear the crows in the yard—
    the bullies of the channel—chanting, nagging,
    bragging, nagging, chanting bragging at the tips
    of sagging willows. The chipmunks that tunnel
    through our garden stonewall doping on acorns
    with Hefty bag cheeks, scratch at the sliding doors
    with an important message—a storm is coming.
    I feel it behind my eyes, the sense of a gift,
    a silence that creeps stone-to-stone, tree-to-tree,
    wind-upon-wind creating the space to abandon
    the trivial for a delicate winking of time.

    I shiver as a dainty rain patters the window.

  21. On day six
    I lay myself down
    In light cotton comfort
    My gray t-shirt
    Tethers me
    To this body
    To this rub
    Of ribs against rug
    A wriggle on the floor
    Once and once more
    As if dog or a cat
    And I hear myself
    Tell myself
    Oh, never-
    Mind that


    A relentless grizzly just behind the eyes;
    an achy brain that begs for relief,
    who’s the thug that stole my peace of mind? And replaced it with mischief?

    A crowd of lumbar woes greet me, a gang of ailing carpals wish me good night,
    two flat feet sizzle like bacon, my skin, the only thing that feels right.

    A slow rumbled snore just over the shoulder, a gentle breeze at the foot of the bed. A faithful spinning fan seeks to console me, just as the days pages unfold in my head.

    The stoic walls well encompass me,
    with them there is no veil, no disguise,
    The roof even seeks to cover me,
    from the steady precipitation of my own eyes.

    Benjamin Thomas


    I’ve never driven
    with my eyes closed.
    Now must be a first.

    My ears are wide open
    to receive, thirst,
    for the tidings of the day.

    They tell me,
    that objects in the mirror
    are closer than they appear.

    But my eyes are closed,
    and the things left behind,
    are far removed.

    I sense that a strong storm
    is coming, and the rain is already on the windshield.

    But my car is still running,
    though my eyes are closed,
    I know exactly where I’m going.

    Benjamin Thomas

  24. Pingback: On Day Six | angieinspired


    Last night, a wicked storm came through
    and suddenly our power blew.
    When in my state of fast asleep,
    upon my bed the cat did creep
    to ask me, in his loudest mew,
    if there was something I could do.
    From under covers safe and warm,
    I ventured forth to face the storm.
    The heater died with power loss.
    I could have sworn the room had frost.
    No going back, no place to hide.
    The dogs were keen to go outside.
    The time was lost in darkened clocks.
    I slipped cold feet inside of socks
    and stumbled to the kitchen door
    through which I heard the thunder roar.
    Though not yet dawn, my nerves were fraught.
    I longed for working coffee pot.
    A nice hot brew would warm within.
    It’s time to let the pups back in.
    No smell of coffee could compete
    with those wet dogs and muddy feet.
    I dried them off with puppy towels
    ignoring all their playful growls.
    I would not join them in this game.
    The unmade bed called out my name.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  26. Pingback: A Sense Of Chaos | Words With Sooze

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