Write.as Cues

Weekly encouragements to help you express yourself.

By Barry Graham

She came into the kitchen with the sky crumpled in her hand.

That’s the sky, I said. Don’t throw it away.

It’s empty, she said and tossed it in the trash.

A response to our National Poetry Month 2021 prompt

#Poetry #NationalPoetryMonth #NationalPoetryMonth2021

By Sam Whited

The fiddle player sat upon the stage Surveying all she saw; The dancers pranced upon the floor As many more came through the door And walked on down the hall.

Beside the band the caller stood, He looked at his cards and frowned: Circles and squares raced through his head As the new dancers stood around in dread Or fell down on the ground.

The banjo was played by a drunken fool Who’s wits were drowned in booze; But even Ale couldn’t make him so daft That he would forget his banjo craft Or cause him his skill to lose.

Beside him sat a mandolin, His hands o’er the strings took flight He’d stamp and stomp in time to the beat While his fingers tried to keep up with his feat And his eyes watered with delight.

There also played a sweet guitar, Without a penny to his name, But he was rich in other things, Music and dance were his diamond rings And he loved them all the same.

Far upstage the drum stood tall But its player was fast asleep; He always woke before his cue And with the rest he’d pay his due And work to earn his keep.

The bandmaster glanced into the crowd, Then signaled the fiddler to start With a neck-breaking tune By the light of the moon To quicken the pace of every heart.

The banjo and guitar strummed madly away, With a squawk and a screech they played, In the key of G, To a veritable sea Of dancers well arrayed.

The fiddler started to quicken her pace And the dancers became a blur Of tapping feet and moves so neat That the caller ran off down the street, Forgetting just where they were.

No matter that the caller dropped out; His dancers now knew the drill. Each petronella and dosido They executed with much gusto, Never allowing their feet to still.

The mandolin made a mournful twang, As all its strings did snap; With a whoop and a holler he jumped from the stage And started to dance with a passion and rage Til his feet could no longer tap.

Faster and faster the band played on, The fiddle player kept the time, With a start and a yalp the drum player woke He thought the whole thing a mighty fine joke So he played without reason or rhyme.

As the next phrase started up again With a faster pace than before, The drum head broke with all the strain Of beating hands like falling rain, So he threw it right out the door!

The bandmaster knew their time had come They couldn’t keep up with the pace, So he threw up one hand To stop the band But only the guitar fell out of the race.

The fiddle and banjo still played on Paying no heed to the crowd With a yip and a yaw, and a mighty yee-haw They played both soft and loud.

Finally the banjo could endure no more His fingers had all gone wrong With one last strum And a bit of drop thumb He finished up his song.

Now only the fiddle player could still be heard She bowed with all her might Playing away, Till the slow break of day Gave her quite a sight!

Daylight crept into the hall, (The clock read half-past four) And though the dance was finished at last The dancers into sleep had passed And were lying on the floor!

A response to the National Poetry Month prompt

#Poetry #NationalPoetryMonth #NationalPoetryMonth2021

By Barry Graham

It is almost exactly ten years since we shared drunken kisses in an unheated bar in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Later that night, drunker still, a kiss broke into laughter when we rolled off my bed and fell to the floor.

Ten years later: you still in Tennessee, in Nashville, me in Phoenix, Arizona. A catch-up conversation: You told me about your kidney transplants, addiction to pain medication, recovery, getting engaged, breaking it off, buying a house, rescuing dogs, traveling, getting happy. “I learned a lot and am so not afraid of things. It’s pretty great!” you wrote. You said your health was the best it had ever been, and we laughed about the new series of Beavis and Butt-Head. You had just found a new boyfriend: “I am absolutely nuts about him.” Seventeen days later, you died in your sleep, forty-six days past your thirty-seventh birthday.

Writing to someone who will never read it—a worn-out poetic convention, still in use only because of its necessity. Elegies, like funerals, are survival tools for the living. I write these words of love, beautiful Danielle, because silence fails me.

A response to the National Poetry Month prompt

#Poetry #NationalPoetryMonth #NationalPoetryMonth2021

By Adam Piggott

I Look Up, outstretched arms yearn aloft towards that mellifluous lunar Muse forever far from touch save for the sweet caress of words.

Her distant, haunting inspiration brings forth rivers of verse ‘to which plunges my Soul Reserved drenched in the words will reach

the ocean vast past the beach and the Girl With the Skinned Knees stalking the beach for shells whispering wise words from her future self.

Into the inky waters I float amongst the stars arranged just so with Little Bear craning her ear towards the silent Moon’s song

accompanied by gentle melodic waves and serenaded by this September Stardust each poem a lunar dapple of crepuscular Moonlit words.

A response to the National Poetry Month prompt

#Poetry #NationalPoetryMonth #NationalPoetryMonth2021

By Germán Padilla Díaz

Una idea consiste en una imagen y no me gusta que se pierda en el olvido. Trato de mantenerla viva, esa imagen, y para que sobreviva la escribo. De hecho uno de mis grandes miedos al escribir, es aburrir al lector, para eso, no me gusta escribir grandes textos, sino, lo fundamental en pocas palabras.

English Translation

An idea consists of an image and I don't like it to be lost in oblivion. I try to keep it alive, that image, and so that it survives I write it. In fact, one of my great fears when writing is to bore the reader, for that, I do not like to write great texts, but rather, the fundamental thing in a few words.

A response to the Writing prompt

By Ulhar

(For context, questions from the prompt are listed prior to my answers.)

Is writing a natural process for you or a forced act?

Generally speaking: – Creative writing is almost always awkward for me, and almost always feels forced. (Oddly, this doesn't seem to hold true with visual mediums. Some say “pictures can speak a thousand words” or the like.) – Objective writing, particularly in regards to mathematics, feels natural. However, I generally find awkwardness increases as variables in the subject increase.

Do ideas rush out of you or constantly stuck?

I generally find that I lack ideas when it comes to writing. This is particularly true with creative writing (but again false with visual mediums???). I find my writing is at its best when I am given prompts to work with, such as these questions.

What benefits do you get out of writing?

Practice? I feel I have much room to improve. There's also satisfaction, if I do something right. (even if “something” is just being able to do creative writing... that's probably my most under-developed form of writing)

A response to the Writing prompt

By Seastar

My first response to putting down strokes of my ink pen in writing is satisfaction. The mark of ink on the paper proves to me that I exist in the real world. Stringing together the characters for the word and for the finished work soothe my consciousness. In other words, my nervousness and discontent leave me. I have little knowledge and ability for writing, though I write in English gratefully. The feedback shadows myself, and writing is a good as conversation. That helps me in plague time. If a publisher stumbles upon my writing and then chooses my writing, I have peace and I have a sense of accomplishement. I feel fortunate for the response to my writing. Unlike the fighter in the Twittersphere, expressing thanks in writing is the matter for me and a reflection of my consciousness on the page.

A response to the Writing prompt

By penelopetoot

Better than I deserve. I’m grateful to be alive; have two legs; eyes to see; and ears to lend to others. I’m grateful to have the comprehension of how important it is to take responsibility for oneself. I’m grateful to have a roof over my head and clean water to replenish my body. I’m grateful for the opportunity to choose what I can fuel my body with. I’m grateful to be talking to you all and to be able to exchange our philosophy on life. Above all, I’m grateful for my God, higher powers who challenges me and rewards me with life’s greatest lessons.

I’m so tired of sorrowing over the decisions I have made for myself. Allowing work to shadow over me and interrupt my inner-peace. It’s been a hard year for everyone. The biggest take away for me is to just—stop. Make time to listen to the birds and the trees dancing in the wind. Make time to enjoy the little things.

We have all seen how instantly our life can change. I’m so tired of being tired. What I'm thinking is how short life is to not just enjoy it. Exchange smiles with a stranger passing by. Lend a hand to your neighbor. Tell someone how much they mean to you. It’s all about love. No matter how tough our days may go, just remember the difference it would make to your bad day if you had someone who was kind enough to sit down and listen. Be that person.

A response to the Now prompt

By Bryan Kehua

Rushing ideas and struggling at the cliff face for even the faintest glimmer of inspiration are both alternate and common facets of my writing experience. These are also disproportionately influenced by whatever mood I find myself in. Through both journalling and creative writing, I find both extremes have been my experience. Journalling can see me write pages and pages or it can be that I sit in front of the book with nothing to add. The same has been true for my writing in more creative senses.

At times, inspiration comes at the most inconvenient of times. I can get this great idea in middle of my work day and by the time I get space to act on it, I have forgotten all but a vaporous waft of what the idea was.

Writing is a cathartic release of all that I am frightened of in myself. Many of the characters who appear in my short stories are modeled on the inner fears and terrors that I find in my own soul and heart. This is actually a good thing for a budding horror writer, in my opinion. Where once I depended on long distance running to cope with the inner turmoils at some superficial level, the writing that I do allows me to expunge the darkness that lurks and seeks to overcome and overwhelm.

The creative energy is also a euphoric boost to the heart. The act of taking people on a journey that they would never have previously been on is something that is laudable and wonderful. In some ways, having you understand some, even a minuscule, portion of the terror that lurks in me is a healing salve to my own heart and soul.

Welcome to my journey. And thank you for braving it with me.

A response to the Writing prompt

By Grey

My knees give out.

I kneel on the floor. Alone. Tired. And frustrated.

Why can't I even do something this simple?

I roam my eyes around and I see others standing to their full height, smiles on their faces as they touch the golden light. Something I wasn't able to do even after a hundred tries.

My chest feels heavy as I avert my eyes to the golden light in front of me, looking so near yet so far.

I close my eyes. Why can't I do it?

“Stop trying.” A voice from behind stated.

I open my eyes and turn around, and there I saw a black light. My brows furrowed. “What do you mean?”

“Don't you want your suffering to stop? Come, and your pain will end.”

My pain will end?

It can do that?

I stayed on my spot, doubting this light's words.

It seemed to sense that. “Look around.”

I did. And among the others that touched the golden light, there are more people that held the black light. They also held smiles on their faces. They look happy, despite the golden light was behind them, and this confused me.

“But why are they choosing you? Aren't we supposed to reach the golden one?” I ask. I sound lost, and that's because I am lost.

The black light's voice became different. “Because if you choose me, you will never feel pain. You will drown in pleasure. All you have to do is touch me, and everything you will ever want will be yours.”

It sounded wrong.

It sounded wrong in everything I know.

But I'm tired.

So I stand up and reach out my hand. “Okay. I trust you.”

My hand touched the black light.

It added, “Once you choose me, you can never turn back.”

Then I felt something. My hand that touched the light slowly became black, crawling on my skin, darkening every part of me.

I instantly regret what I've done when I knew what was happening.

It consumed me.

A response to the Now prompt

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