Here we are again! Time to change the clocks for Daylight Savings. In the Fall, we fall back; Spring has us Spring Ahead. Choose your direction and write it into your poem!


Waiting in the thicket
eyes focused and nerves steeled,
in the field of schemes
you anticipate the moment to strike.
You like your odds, the cards in your favor.
You savor your dominance,
a chance to spring ahead.
It's either pounce or be left for dead.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2021

If you’ve noticed, Marie has been missing in action as she is recovering from illness. Keep her in your thoughts and prayers. She’s a tough cookie. She says she’ll be back when she builds her strength back a bit. Get well soon, Pard!

122 thoughts on “PROMPT #359 – FALL BACK / SPRING AHEAD


    The birds are going back once more,
    taking the autumn past my door
    while seeking warmth under the sun
    that bids the creeks continue to run
    so rivers may flow on as before.

    Winter will play its muted score
    while waiting for springtime’s hoarded store
    of green-graced growth that banishes dun;
    rhe birds are going back,

    and as they go they leave a corps
    of winter birds on the forest floor
    to bid the sky and land, as one
    all join the chorus newly begun
    till north-bound life appears once more.
    The birds are going back.


    It’s time to fall back—
    in time once again?

    Then does time travel
    truly exist?

    Or is it dismissed as
    taking back old refrains?

    Or is it more revisiting
    old stains on familiar garment?

    Or could it be a miracle?
    A new lease on life?

    To right one’s wrongs
    committed in the former strife?

    It seems that nobody knows
    the answers to such riddles cast.

    Either way, here we are,
    thrown into the throes of the past.

    Benjamin Thomas


    Falling back on the heels of time,
    resting in dire constraints set before us,
    the harsh guardrails faithfully confine the wildest
    of aspirations.

    Falling back on the ruthless wheels that grind—
    personal attestations of a future foretold,
    are naught, but purport to be no new revelation.

    Benjamin Thomas

  4. Thinking of you, Marie Elena, and thank you, Walt, for letting us know. Yes, she is missed!


    What holds us back
    What picks up the slack

    If we go forward
    Do we outdistance the herd?

    If we stall
    Do we risk it all?

    If we spring ahead
    Will there be dread?

    If we fall back too far
    How do we reach that star?

    What really pushes us this way or that
    Who chooses our scarf or our hat?

    Where is the balance
    Staying mindful, every chance

    Going forward, a small step at a time
    Taking a little step back, turning on a dime

    Aiming for that middle ground
    Keeps us healthy, wealthy, and sound

    Which way or that shouldn’t bother us
    Just don’t spring ahead right into that bus

    Maybe just keep that even keel
    Walk straight up, toe to heel

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2021

  5. Peace, Please

    Jumping on the Veterans bandwagon,
    the one with fire and dreams,
    where we fight and we aspire,
    at least that’s the way it seems,
    to never create another Veteran,
    at least not the combat kind.
    No more wars, please,
    at the least, if you don’t mind.

  6. Forward or Back or Forward

    leaves turn colors
    november winds swirl
    strip limbs
    they shed leaves
    leaves dance
    and fall
    late afternoon
    a slant of light
    a spell cast
    skies bleed
    the mourning moon rises
    and remembers seasons past
    but readies itself
    for winter’s cold
    and we
    dream of those lost
    after killing frost
    indian summer
    but for how long
    old stories long
    to rise from shadows
    and seek new life
    time falls
    back on itself
    a clock reset
    so we can linger
    under covers
    in early light
    but time
    must move on

  7. Tangled Skein…

    Tillie my rambunctious cat,
    Claimed my yarn as her own.
    In a flash she had tangled it
    And was proud of her accomplishment.

    I groaned as I picked up the mess,
    But this was for a friend,
    And for days I unraveled the mess
    Going back and forward
    Whenever it was needed.
    I would work for an hour,
    And put it up
    Before I stood up and screeched.

    Tillie watched as I undid
    Her masterpiece, and
    I think she was glad
    That she had given me
    Something to do
    For she marched up to me
    With her eyes gleaming
    A glint of her pride.

    After days of going back and forward
    Or was it forward and back,
    I untangled the mess,
    But today she found another yarn ball
    To capture for I needed
    More to entertain me.
    I shook my head at my lovely
    But very bad girl.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 7, 2021

  8. Road Map

    I’m led by deer and loping coyote
    matted grass on flattening trails
    these lines my only direction
    and the depth between the grasses
    the best allure for deciding which
    way I’ll go today

    from the main trail they radiate
    like the blue highways backroads
    immortalized by William Least Heat Moon
    theirs the real way to traverse
    the planet like these where drying awns
    still tremble with liquid notes
    from last night’s baying concert
    hoof prints gouged into the damp
    between clumps the heft of buck
    and doe read easily even
    in this growing dusk

    I travel light but far along their roads
    open to their suggested destinations
    until each disappears in hardpan
    along the wash and I have to
    reorient then, pick a new one
    herds having converged at the slough
    and moving out and away again
    to forage on rich honeysuckle
    and cedars’ blue berries as belly
    and wanderlust inspires

    as chill begins to tinge air I turn
    double back onto my breadcrumb path
    stopping only now and then to sight
    ahead as shadows deepen trusting
    to these trails far more than memory
    striding confidently from knowing
    at least one will lead back to
    last night’s deer beds and from there
    I’ll find my way unerringly back home.

  9. The prompt reminds me of something attributed to Golda Meir:’ “By the way, did you ever realize that if Moses would have turned right instead of left, we’d have had the oil, the Arabs would have had the sand?”

  10. Standing at Attention for Marine Corps Birthday 246

    Thinking today about
    my fellow Marines.
    All gave some.
    Some gave all.
    There are no
    especially me,
    even now at 77,
    still at home,
    ready and awaiting orders.

    My fellow Marines did not,
    contemporary Marines do not,
    fight for some higher authority.
    Nearly never.
    They fought and fight for each other,
    keeping their pledge,
    abiding by their oath,
    operating with ruthless honor.
    They fought and fight together,
    my brothers and sisters,
    protecting the living and
    attending to their higher obligation,
    remembering the dead.
    My brothers and sisters.
    The Marines.
    Even when I have not met them,
    I know them, I appreciate them, and
    I love them.
    Semper fidelis.


    A tickety-tock
    A tickety-doo
    Time has changed—
    What’s a proper clock
    to do?

    A tickety-tock
    A tickety-doo
    Time has sprung—
    Again? That’s a shock,
    but it’s true.

    Benjamin Thomas


    Time has sprung—
    a leak it seems.

    Barreling down the drain
    in dreams.

    Seeping through, the fabric
    of reality.

    Weeping in pain,
    as a wounded man.

    Bleeding out, as slowly
    as it can.

    Until, it’s too late.


    Until, it dissipates.





    Benjamin Thomas

  13. Just a Thought at 1:59 A.M.

    If I should e’er expire
    before the changing hour
    would credit be forthcoming
    for my too-soon home-going?

    I’d be cheated by a sliver
    of my given time delivered
    if appointed, I’m selected
    before time has been corrected.

    My brief obituary
    would list my shortened tarry
    in this life, quite out of line,
    if when at, 1:59
    (A.M. that is, of course)
    I should fall off of a horse,
    or step into a hole,
    of trip on a travelling mole,
    or drown while in a bath,
    or fall off of a steep path.


    I hope that they will keep
    time-changing during sleep.

    © Damon Dean, 2021

  14. Any of you on FB with me can see the pictures I made of this walk…

    Autumn Walk

    A trail had been cleared
    By my father fifty years before,
    And again, by his grandson.
    That grandson asked me to walk
    That trail with him.

    I had a bit of trepidation
    For each day I felt weaker.
    My heart wanted to do it,
    And my heart won.

    The autumn comes slowly
    While summer lingers,
    And it was a lovely day
    With a sky blue
    And hints of gold and red
    Throughout the forest.

    Along the way the moss
    Had grown bright velvet green,
    Covering rocks
    And scaling walls of red clay
    To glisten in the sunlight of autumn.

    We had to climb over fallen logs,
    And in my mind, I worried,
    I could not do it
    For my knee needed fixing,
    And was not always willing,
    But I did….

    We traveled forward until the end
    Where there was a field golden green
    With tiny bugs flying in the sunlight
    Their last dance of summer,
    Before their lives ended with a freeze.

    We traveled back down the same path.
    I felt joy that I was making the journey,
    And did not say to him who guided me
    How my body wanted to rest.

    I stopped to pick up dogwood seeds
    For me to plant along my driveway.
    I may never see their glory,
    But I am planting them
    In remembrance of she who loved them,
    And not for me.

    We talked about the sugar maples
    That were beginning to show their fire…
    Golden rose with a hint of orange…
    How magical they were,
    Of other maples the red and gold.
    I thought how I still miss the hickory
    That used to make my living room glow
    As it radiated the golden light
    Throughout the forest.

    The walk over, and I tried
    To stay up for I am a night owl,
    But before nine I was asleep
    Dreaming of the forest
    That I love so much.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 10, 2021
    I also posted this on Writer’s digest…. because their prompt is a nature poem

  15. We are tied to the clock…

    Listed on our birth certificates
    Is not only the date,
    But the time of our birth,
    And at the end of our time,
    Will be listed a date and time
    That this life of ours has ended.

    We are fed on a schedule
    From the time we are born…
    We sleep on a schedule,
    And so do my cats.

    We look back at our lives,
    And memories live there,
    And we can visit the memories,
    But not the people
    For they are not there.

    We can plan forward
    To where we will be
    In the future,
    But somehow
    We never get there…
    Goals we may reach
    But that mystical hour
    In the future
    Doesn’t yet exist,
    And as soon as it passes…
    It will be a memory
    Just beyond our grasp.

    In this hour I write this
    Is nine plus two in the evening,
    Yet last week it would have been just eight.
    Still that time is gone, and
    No matter how I want
    I can’t retrieve it.

    What matters is in this moment
    Have I been kind?
    Have I been patience?
    Have I told you
    That I love that
    You are in my life…

    It is not the time that matters…
    It is the life we are living that does.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 10, 2021

  16. Falling gracefully into formation yet again

    One Veteran’s Veterans Day Story

    I write, inspired by the writing of others,
    especially the words of Veterans,
    my sisters and brothers,

    As age has flattened me,
    as humility has claimed me,
    I write less of combat,
    more of my Spiritual mission,
    about oneness, unity and transition,
    what some call God, universal cognition.
    Not knowing what tomorrow will bring,
    I’ll still write about it, in my own voice,
    allow my heart and soul to sing,

    I don’t always
    cross bridges
    with joy and ease.
    I am still a work in progress,
    sometimes struggling,
    but always thrilled by
    my fellow veterans’ 
    achievements and triumphs.
    I enjoy seeing their success,
    especially because I only
    hang out with people I love,
    comrades who support me.

    I have made many mistakes 
    but none of them 
    involved loving too much.
    The longer I live,
    the more I see
    everything is Divinity.
    Every thing I have.
    Every thing I do.
    Every thing I achieve.
    Every thing I am.
    Every thing I will be.

    How far I have come.
    How wonderful this life is.
    When I look into the mirror,
    I sometimes laugh out loud.
    I’m funny that way,
    recalling that foreign objects
    enter oysters to make pearls.
    How it is with my many scars.

    Guilt, shame, sadness and remorse 
    moved my past life, but no longer,
    as age, experience and truth
    have softened and humbled me,
    I know that whenever answers elude me,
    when success seems to run from me,
    even if I forget to be grateful for what I have,
    the Grace of Spirit will carry me home.

    • For me, this magnificent piece recalls the original term for the holiday, Armistice Day, especially the second stanza.

      • For what it might be worth, I once wrote a poem about Armistice Day. The form is something I once saw described as a ranivilla, but I haven’t been able to find that term used in usual lists of poetic forms.


        The Great War
        would end all war.
        So said the President.
        But as I look at history,
        it seems to me a mystery:
        did he mean what he meant?
        For, as we know,
        wars reign, and so
        the world with grief is rent.


    Resting on cold steel
    coiled in anticipation
    harnessing powers

    of potential energy until
    an explosive release
    kinetic power unleashed
    chain of events forward

    springing forth greenery
    roots stem leaves flower’s
    power is spent dying

    hating to fall back in time
    sighing repeating perennial
    life cycle’s feat of change.

    Benjamin Thomas

    • Fascinating title; recalls the unity of space and time, as I see it anyway. I admire the reverent tone.

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