I’m writing poetry this month

I’m writing poems while a group of beta readers reviews my  novel draft. And I’m loving it. Again this April I’m taking the prompts from Robert Lee Brewer’s April Poem A Day challenge, though not especially concerned about entering the challenge. I’m a little poetry rusty after spending so much time this past year revising my novel. I’m satisfied just to have a poem prompt to write to every day. I’m in it for the practice.

That said, here’s a couple that might pass muster (with Brewer’s prompts). I’d love your thoughts.

4. Write a departure poem. Many people depart to school and/or work every day, and they depart on a plane, train, or automobilesome even walk or ride a bike. Of course, that’s keeping things rather physical; there are also emotional and psychological departures. You may even decide to make a departure from your normal writing style in tone or structure today.

farewellThe Long Departure

On the platform
she, in a flowing white dress
with gloves, shoes, and hat to match,
he, in his new gray pin-striped suit,
shiny wingtips,
and perfect bow tie
in a backward embrace
that makes people gape
as they go by.
When they finally stand,
bodies still touching
he takes her face in his hands
kisses both her cheeks
and they clinch again.
She entwines her arms
around his neck
and nuzzles her face
into his chest.

But, she must leave him.
Teary eyed
she turns to go to the train.
No. He’s not ready to let her go.
He clutches her hands,
then, as she backs away,
their fingertips touch
until they can reach each other no longer.
As she steps onto train
she blows him kisses.
He takes his handkerchief
from his breast pocket
and shakes it out to wave.
He keeps waving,
all the while saying
farewell, farewell,
until she is out of sight.


12. Write a damage poem. Since my baby brother is a storm chaser, my mind usually jumps straight to storm damage. However, there’s more than the physical damage created by things like hurricanes, trains, and war planes. There’s also the emotional and psychological damage we inflict, survive, and conceal. The bright side of any damage is that it can be transformed into a poem.


Last year I binged on
five seasons of Damages
salivating over the cunning and ambitious
Glenn Close and Rose Byrne.
Each episode more evil than the last
I couldn’t put my fork down.
These two women vied
with each other for power
and for the next rung on the ladder
while teetering over
what’s best:
a career or family?
In the end
one retained her career
but wound up damaged in life and love.
The other quit the race
to live an idyllic life
with her husband and little girl.


  1. I’m late getting to reading this post, but I liked both poems very much.

    • Madeline Sharples says:

      I’m so glad you found this post, Elizabeth. Why don’t you join me for one of Brewer’s 30-day challenges? He does them in November and April.

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