Sometimes a simple quote can inspire a whole new way of see things. Benjamin Franklin seemed to come up with some bits of worded wisdom that were certainly thought provoking. Here are a few of his quotes to feed your muse:

A penny saved is a penny earned.

Eat to live, and not live to eat.

An empty bag cannot stand upright.

Lost time is never found again.

A stitch in time saves nine.

The cat in gloves catches no mice.

Choose one quotation as the basis for a poem. Or use as many of them in your poem. Either way, it’s all about the Benjamins!



We miss those times
those fleeting moments
that we held so dear.
The sound of a baby’s laughter.
The smell of a mother’s kitchen.
The savor of a lover’s kiss.
The moment love touches two hearts.
We wish for another chance
to laugh like a child,
to be comforted by a mother’s caress,
to kiss that first kiss of love.
But, all we’re left are memories.
Lost time is never found again.


(C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2014

87 thoughts on “PROMPT #173 – ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS

  1. Mornin’ y’all

    The cat in gloves catches no mice
    He could have said “can catch no mice”;
    He could have said “will catch no mice.”
    The cat–iambic foot. In gloves,
    Again, an iamb. But: catches,
    Pounces. A trochee (stomp, relax)
    Gives the spondee “no mice” more punch.
    A meter set, then reinforced
    Is upset for effect. Old Ben
    Knew how to work a metered line:
    But cats in gloves don’t scratch your couch.


    living an empty life
    leaves us vulnerable
    to the slings and arrows
    of outrageous pitfalls
    that make it so easy
    to trip in slightest wind

    the empty life is not sweet
    a far cry from worth living
    it lacks steadfastness
    it turns dreams to billows
    tossing us like rag dolls
    or paper bags in awkward flight

    in the absence of spine
    how can we stand for truth
    how can we raise our arms
    Against the evil one
    who collects vagrant souls
    and stuffs them in burlap

    living an empty life
    we lack the rhythmic feet
    to dance through the moments
    find delight in sunsets
    peaceful sleep in sun downs
    give and accept love’s gifts

    inhale the morning air
    you will not burst at the seams
    envision yourself strong
    and up to the task
    go fill yourself with hope
    live at last the upright life


  3. To Do or Write

    Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. -Benjamin Franklin

    If we did nothing but write,
    before long, we’d have nothing to write about.
    If we never wrote,
    our learning
    our memories
    our appreciation
    would suffer.
    Let’s do both,
    write something worth reading
    and do something worth writing
    so we may thrive.

  4. A beautiful poem, Walt. I can’t top that (well, I never can). But you captured the spirit so well

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  6. “Time and Tide Wait for no Man”

    It can’t be done
    Don’t even try
    Wipe away your tears
    I’ll tell you why.

    Have you heard that time
    And his buddy “Tide”
    Wait for no man
    Or girl or bride?

    Or cat or dog or horse or ass?
    Congressman, general., lad or lass?

    You can watch the tide
    Flow in and out
    But you can’t see time
    Though you scream and shout

    Pick yourself up,
    It’s what we do
    Find a spot that’s private
    For your Boo-hoo-hoo.


    No matter wise Ben’s words
    Lost time can be found again
    An hour lost in April regained in November
    A sixty minute coin spent on early rise
    Not wasted on a binge of late night TV
    Ben’s words early to bed, early to rise ignored
    A culture addicted to evening events
    Demands an extra share of sunshine
    Acquired, squandered and squeezed
    Until it falls back upon nature’s timetable
    Delights of daylight diminish daily
    Until equinox returns
    A single hour, once a year
    Pocket change or prize–my choice

  8. 30-DAY PLAN

    Poems and
    novels in thirty days
    are tasks not to be taken lightly.
    A degree of endurance must face the blank screen
    with a cat’s curiosity for
    capturing treasures
    without gloves.

    For words are
    also treasures to save,
    not to claim a place in history
    but for the thrill of watching unfettered fingers
    aggressively capture hidden thoughts,
    assisted by resolve
    and coffee.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  9. I tried to figure out a way to write 50K this month and keep my sanity and decided it was impossible. Too many have to editing tasks to manage writing that much.

    Well said.

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  11. Hunger is the best pickle;
    My favorite Ben Franklin quote.
    I was never sure what it meant,
    But it was something he wrote,
    in his later years, possibly cynical,
    Surely whimsical, maybe rabbinical,
    must be astute if penned by Ben.
    Still sure to cause a chuckle at dinner.
    “Hunger is the best pickle”, is a winner!

    • Now you have me pondering your (Ben’s) word puzzle. Perhaps he was thinking that hunger, like a pickle, should accompany a meal—that it gave a special relish or zing to the food. My dad used to talk about how the Pennsylvania Dutch always served “seven sweets and seven sours” with meals. That was one up on Benjamin! Enjoyed your poem. Judy

  12. In a Pickle

    “Hunger is the best pickle.” ~Benjamin Franklin

    There’s Bread & Butter, Kosher dill,
    and even pepperoncini.
    There’s sweet and also barrel sour,
    which goes awesome with a weenie.

    There’s also little cornichons
    and onions for a martini.
    There’s pickle chips for sandwich buns
    which go awesome with a weenie.

    If Franklin praised the hunger pang
    with gherkins great or teeny,
    you know that pickles give food bang:
    they are awesome on a weenie.

    There’s Bread & Butter, Kosher dill…
    they are awesome on a weenie.


  13. Wendell and Wendy

    Wendell woke, first thought was dinner
    Wendy drank a glass of water
    Hero for lunch, Wendell’s no beginner
    Tried new one each day, then ate Tum’s, assorted.

    Wendy told Wendell, your talk is boring,
    you live from one meal to the next.
    There’s a world out there you are ignoring,
    why, you would rather have food than sex.

    Eat to live, and not to eat
    was a motto Wendy lived by.
    Wendell ate all day–snacks and treats,
    while Wendy found another guy.

  14. Memories of Jerry

    Lost in a fog of memories,
    Time rolling back with each photo.
    Is this my golden boy, love of my life?
    Never, I thought, were we this young, I’m
    Found…ering in a sea of emotional baggage –

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  16. Fragrant and Just Fine

    Lost time is never found again. – Benjamin Franklin

    Flowers wilted…
    won’t return
    petals to stem
    blooming full again…
    time’s passed.
    Petal by petal –
    beautiful unfurling
    graceful release…
    stems wade pools
    color fades
    stark remains.
    crushes question
    leaves no wondering
    whether season’s ended.
    Time for next phase…
    naked blooms nod in unison.
    Time we move on
    become again…
    transform again….
    it’s agreed.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014


    If I could wrap myself in ribbons of wind,
    I would whisk myself over the river
    and slip under a window at your house
    Then tour softly around in the night,
    after the boys were tucked up in bed,
    kiss them behind their sweet ears
    Pause over your dog, your darling
    dear dog
    But not overly long because dogs
    are sensitive to things like folks
    being wind
    I’d just pat his hard velvet head
    before whooshing upstairs and
    into to your room
    Where you’d be nursing the babe

    It would be a night when your man
    was away…so you’d be completely
    You’d be dozing, singing gentle
    tunes to your son
    And at first not notice the warm
    zephyr whispering close
    to your neck, and tickling your ear,
    as I caressed the side of your face
    How many times would I need to stroke
    your cheek, or your hair,
    light as angel wings, feathered and fine
    Before a memory would flit through
    your mind
    I’d hover close by, near the baby’s mobile
    Watching you carefully for signs – I’d be
    waiting and hoping
    Trying hard not to stir over there
    Giving you time to notice and care.

    If I had to, I’d start shooting small
    puffs at the babe
    Just enough so he’d know I was there
    For babies are even more prescient
    than dogs
    He’d open his eyes; he might smile
    But for sure, he’d not sleep and he’d
    keep you awake…he’d make you
    stay up for sure too…
    Babies are wiser than those of us
    older than they
    Knowing how fleeting the hours
    can be
    Your son would be certain on an
    instinctive level
    Lost time is never found again…

    • I’m getting an image of a loving grandparent here. The attention to detail in this poem — the asides about the dog, for instance — make this especially endearing, in my opinion.

    (a shadorma)

    For my man
    in red (toes to head),
    placed stitches
    made just in time will save nine
    when he’s on the fly.

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  20. “Lost time is never found again.”
    —Benjamin Franklin

    “But found time is never found again, either.”
    —Judy Dykstra-Brown

    Lost Time

    Oh what beautiful time we lost in times past,
    when there were not
    so many things to do and places to be
    in the same minute.
    An army blanket from WWII
    thrown over the clothesline
    afforded hours of privacy
    for fanciful imaginings with paper dolls
    or real dolls or
    ourselves as large dolls
    with a little toy oven that really baked
    a child-sized iron and ironing board
    and that small mop and broom
    we rode
    to places of our own creation,
    trading turns acting out
    the lovers who would look for us.

    Did I ever find the man I wanted
    who wanted as much of me
    as I wanted of him?

    Did she ever find the one to walk her away from home?

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