There is an old Irish tradition that says as the new year arrives, you open your back door to let out the old year and open the front door to let in the new. Doors symbolize entrances and exits. Write an ”open door” poem, or a ”closed door” poem. Either way, Happy New Year to all and here’s hoping 2022 is an improvement!


May God open doors
meant for me, close those not, and
lock my steps with His.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022




remember all doors are trap doors, and our fires
should be barely more than sticks. We must remember
remembering is always futuristic.

~from “Post-Apocalyptic” by Stacia M. Fleegal

All doors are trap doors.
Some lead to destinations,
others to other trap doors.
A mind’s cavernous hollow
lets you follow where knowledge
and memory lead. Knowing bears
a confidence to pursue. Memory
plays in a constant loop
revisiting that which we have left
behind or forgotten. Yet, ignoring
the past becomes a destiny to repeat it;
a step forward from where recollection
is buried. Step away from the past,
remembering is always futuristic.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik

135 thoughts on “PROMPT #367 – OLD OR NEW


    The year 2022 wasn’t an optional door.
    None of them are—as the years go by.

    Year after year, door after door.
    One opens, then another one closes.

    One opens, then another one closes.
    Apparently, an endless loop of doorframes.

    What’s behind them? Nobody really knows.
    Until they step forth and enter—

    The realm of unknown possibilities.
    A realm of seeming chance and uncertainty.

    But one thing is always a certainty.
    Time and tide, wait for no man.

    Benjamin Thomas


    Sometimes it seems the days
    are a revolving door.

    Weee! Are we coming or going??
    Is someone pushing me?

    I don’t know but…
    Round and round we go!

    At a dizzying pace at odds
    for the natural human mind.

    Always on the—go, go, go!
    Always constant movement.

    Suppose life is truly a connected
    kinetic chain of events?

    One by one, setting off a ruthless
    inevitable, chain reaction.

    Is it a revolving door?
    Or a merry-go-round?

    Benjamin Thomas


    An open door
    admits the world without ado;
    an open door
    can be a threshold to the floor
    where love can flourish, fresh and new,
    if hate can also exit through
    an open door.

  4. Almost Open Door

    It’s Sunday morning again, once more,
    time to open my spiritual center door,
    no longer driving to a physical space,
    making it work at home, my perfect place.
    Struggle and strife are left at the door,
    I’m centered in peace and love and much more,
    choosing my service with each little tap,
    finding wisdom and joy with my pad on my lap.
    I do miss the feelings the sanctuary brings,
    the smiles, the hugs, the community things,
    but until the world heals at some future date,
    it will be my home where I pray and meditate.

  5. anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi, 2022
    In the year of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, 2022

    Fling wide the gate! Release the padlock!
    “Behold, I stand at the door and knock”
    How oft to our era His voice says anew?
    Two thousand times and twenty-two!

    anno Domini, this fresh new year’s word
    from Domini nostri Jesu Christi is heard,
    “I am the gate!”; His voice calls to His sheep.
    “I am the door!” awakes us from sleep.

    Fling wide your gate! Begin the unlocking!
    Run to the door; answer His knocking!
    Fall to your knees, cast-off aged scrapheap
    embrace Him, He lays down His life for His sheep.

  6. Pingback: Unlocking New Doors | Experience Writing

  7. An Open door…

    Has since I was small
    Meant an adventure to be had…
    And as I moved in a serpentine
    Rambling to chase that butterfly
    Or climb a tree to touch the wind…
    I found my ordinary adventures,
    And told stories involving
    Starfish and fairy kingdoms
    Where I rode on dragonflies.

    Even now as I have slowed down,
    I know outside my door
    Are adventures to be found
    Hidden within the forest in which I live,
    Or behind the door
    Sitting at my computer
    Telling stories to places
    I have not been…

    Adventures are there to be had…
    You just have to take that step
    And believe they will be there waiting…
    When you open that door.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    January 2, 2022

  8. Knocking

    “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

    I’m knocking on Your door
    sounding like a woodpecker
    on a shaggy cedar tree,
    trusting You will give me my heart’s desire—
    what You want for me.
    Thank You for open doors
    and closed ones,
    though I may not like them at the time.

  9. Another Chance

    The sun shines as the new year
    opens its door to me.

    The fresh fall glistens
    while a life well-lived
    rests under six inches of snow.

    The touch of cold invigorates
    as I awaken from my dreams
    to live and live again.

    In the morning
    I step out the back door
    to recycle something old
    and make room for the new.

    A resolution stirs my mind-

    given another chance
    and a promises
    to live a better life


    a set of footsteps
    in the snow
    leads to places unknown.

  10. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! Enjoyed both poems today, Walt and Marie. Great use of the prompt and showing the different directions to go with this week’s idea! Beautifully timed prompt, by the way!


    As a kid
    we had a door
    that could swing back and forth
    from the dining room
    to the kitchen
    easy to maneuver
    with things in your arms
    meant for one side
    or the other
    we all used it going back and forth
    after the nicer meals
    in the dining room
    with company
    especially the grandparents
    as I grew older
    my father and I used to do the dishes
    and while we did
    he would confide in me
    things about his life
    on one memorable night
    he was sharing his philosophy
    on marriage
    telling me what works
    and doesn’t work
    suddenly that door flew open
    making us both jump
    my mother heard us talking
    making her disapproval known
    bright red face
    the color of her hair
    strong tones in her voice
    feeling as if Dad was spilling
    very personal things to me
    about their life together
    reassuring her
    that was not the case
    she calmed down
    pushing back through that door
    Dad and I didn’t move
    until that door stopped swinging
    hoping silently
    we wouldn’t see it open like that
    with her in full rage

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2022

  11. A Year Swept Away

    Closed doors and closed rooms
    are best swept out with brooms
    to dismantle cobwebs, dust,
    and any troubled spirits who must

    move on from the trappings of this life.
    So open those doors, let in the light.
    Breathe in fresh air–Winter or not–to
    clear out last year’s dark black blot.


    The mind can have many
    trap doors.

    That slide down a long, long shaft,
    into oblivion.

    Where light escapes upward,
    as thoughts cascade—


    Where sight of reality is

    There—the darkness overtakes
    every sensibility.

    Until you lose—the capability,
    to discern between the two.

    Until there is no difference,
    between it—and you.

    A place where light cannot

    Any longer.

    Or reach.


    the rabbit

    © Benjamin Thomas


    I am of the age
    where knocks at the door did not
    need to be scheduled.

    This was a time when
    hospitality welcomed

    A time when one was
    made to feel valuable –
    greeted with a smile

    and a hand gesture
    first ushering you in, then
    offering a seat.

    I wish I could say
    that is a custom I still
    embrace. But it’s not.

    Feeling unprepared
    makes me uneasy, and it
    seeps right through my smile.

    I hope to become
    genuinely embracing
    of a friendly knock –

    to swing wide the door –
    no thought of untidiness;
    no eye on the time.

    © Marie Elena Good, 2022

  14. Hopefully that dam “smile” (pun intended) will hold-back your “unprepared feeling, from “seeping right through”. We love the Goods!

    • And we love the Puffers!

      Oh, and I meant to tell you, I once met Ricardo Montalban (sp?), and got his autograph. I was in high school, and met him when I was in the hall between classes. He asked me directions to the auditorium, and then asked if I wanted his autograph. I had zero clue who he was at that time, but got it anyway. When I showed it to my mom, she definitely knew who he was. 😀 I no longer have it, which is kind of a bummer.

  15. Which Door

    You open the door
    to sub-zero ice and snow
    but there’s a porch to sweep
    and the outdoor cat’s bed
    to shake out de-ice the tarp
    bring in the empty food-bowl
    where kibble disappears
    sometime between nine
    and eleven p.m.

    paw prints leading into
    the kitty cube baited with treats
    but where he’s yet to stay
    overnight although the door’s always open
    he seems to fear a trap
    that would take away
    his freedom

    grassy stubble making it
    surrounding the porch
    making it hard to track his comings
    his goings
    impossible to decipher
    into which barn he might’ve spent
    the night perhaps warmed
    beneath the breath of horses
    wooly coats of sheep and goats
    or tumbled between paint cans
    and car parts in the abandoned shed
    one farm over

    this marmalade cat mysterious
    as Eliot’s Macavity a free spirit
    wild feral pure citrus
    tangy and brave owned by none
    and every night deciding
    which door is which.

  16. This may not fit but this is how I became a better friend…

    It’s too late to say happy birthday…

    Do you remember when we were small?
    I got you into trouble all the time.
    My best childhood friend,
    Until you weren’t…
    You were a princess
    And always beautiful,
    And my braids were more often undone
    Than not, we were so different,
    But you didn’t mind.

    You married early,
    And was heartbroken…
    Left with two children to raise.
    I heard you did what
    Women sometimes do
    To survive,
    And where was I…
    Off at college shooting pool.

    But every Christmas got a card,
    And sometimes I wrote back
    To wish you happy birthday…
    Many times, I did not.

    You wrote me letters
    About your schooling
    To be a nurse…
    You worked hard to get there.
    I told you I was proud of you…
    And I didn’t tell you
    I wasn’t a very good friend.

    The Christmas I didn’t get a card.
    I knew you were gone…
    You would never forget me
    Even if I had forgot you.
    I found the news
    That you had died.
    Your two boys by your side.
    I felt the guilt and made a promise…
    I won’t forget another friend.

    I looked at the calendar this morning,
    And saw it was your birthday.
    I wondered if I could send you my love,
    And wish you happy birthday,
    Just to tell you that I was wrong
    Ever forgetting you
    For I did love you,
    And still have the picture
    You gave to me
    When you were homecoming queen,
    And I was lost somewhere
    Just trying to find myself.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    January 3, 2022

    • Oh, Mary … this touches me deeply. I have been this person who has not been a good friend. I hear you. Your story resonates. It is well told, as always.

    • Very touching Mary. There’s always that person that never forgets us. We have that too in our family. They never forget a year, birthday, or holiday, and yet, we so easily forget them.

      • thank you and sometimes I think we forget them because they are so constant… what fickle creatures we humans are.


    I know not the iron door I’ve entered,
    it closed with solemnity and a click.
    I suppose my wits may have surrendered,
    unless I prevaricate mighty quick.

    ‘Twas love’s gravitas through an open door.
    The strain against gravity much too fierce.
    The pull of moonlight’s tide against the shore—
    an open heart, nay a shadow, was pierced.

    But the great aspect of love is a vault;
    once its grand chamber is closed once for all,
    reverberant echoes they doth exalt,
    hearts telltale music—as vines do they sprawl.

    For the heart is not made for one, but two.
    Their strings now—pleasantly attuned anew.

    Benjamin Thomas


    The human eye can be an open door.
    It admits light like an open window
    ready for things to be perceived as reality.

    Many objects enter in through the door—
    far into the realm of the mind,
    making its mark unto the scrolls
    of one’s memory.

    Benjamin Thomas


    The king was drunk on the day of the queen’s
    arrival from foreign lands. Her flaming
    hair was the splendid taste of fine cuisine,
    the epiphany of red wine’s taming.

    Her flowing flocks of red spiced wine was fire.
    Laced with emeralds, rubies, finest gold—
    The richest heir with eyes of pure sapphire.
    Seeing her majesty, his heart was sold.

    Yet, she was not one to suffer a fool.
    A court jester who dressed like one’s king.
    He thought of her as the greatest jewel,
    chancing favor, still her heart did not sing.

    Tearing her dress as she left the king’s door.
    But seeing her leave—his heart tore even more.

    Benjamin Thomas

    • A couple of swell sonnets here. They are tough for me, so i appreciate both of these all the more. I tend to like the Petrarchan form a bit better, but they are still hard to write.For me anyway. Well done.


    Once there was a time for openness
    and naïveté.

    There was no need to ponder
    the unexpected.

    Once there was a time for warmth,
    simple congeniality.

    There was no need for self defense,
    sleeping with one eye open.

    There was a time when a friend,
    was truly a friend.

    There was a time when a Good Samaritan,
    was a Good Samaritan.

    There was a time when a neighbor,
    was a neighbor.

    There was a time when a sheep,
    was still just a sheep.

    There was a time when people
    were, who they said they were.

    There was a time for simple trust—
    but I closed that door a long time ago…

    With locks and bolts.

    Benjamin Thomas

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