Free Writing: The Life of A Basketball

Today’s writing is done by my good friend Nick. I gave him the prompt to write a poem about the life of something that is important to you. Not surprisingly, he decided to choose basketball.

From Nick:

Every day, I go to the park to play basketball with my friends and my brother, so the sport holds a truly special place in my heart. If you like basketball, I hope that my poem will inspire some feelings for you, maybe even some tears. I put my heart and soul into this poem, so I really hope that it turns out to be a SLAM DUNK!

Shooter, driver, dribbler,
Throw me against the board and make it quiver.

Call me the rock and give me away,
Go on defense, and get me back anyway.

I touch everyone that comes in contact with me,
Because of physics, I fall with gravity.

Throw me in the hoop and I will feel joy,
Doesn’t matter if you’re a man, girl, or boy.

I might just be a ball, but you know what they say:
If you love to ball, then ball is your whole day.

You might just think I’m an inanimate object,
But when ball is life, I’m your greatest project.

If that poem made you feel like playing some basketball, then you’re not alone. All I can think about now is going to the nearest park and shooting some hoops with the boys/girls. Please don’t forget that poetry is here for us to talk about what we love, and for nothing else. Don’t care about what others people say about your poetry: if you love it, that’s all that matters. I like to think of myself as an athlete just as much as I am a poet, so I thought I would give you a little insight as to what life would be like as a basketball. If you want some more basketball content, please watch this video:

Free Writing: Life After Death

This week’s creative writing prompt comes from Creative Writing Now. I had my friend select a number between 1 through 20 and he chose number 7, which states: Write a poem based on your belief about life after death… or about what you WISH you believed.

This prompt has me thinking a lot more than any of the other free writing prompts that I’ve done before. There’s a lot of directions that this could take. I think the natural response would be I wish that we could all be immortal, but think of the potential ramifications of that, we’d use up all the natural resources on earth fairly quickly. It also reminds me of the best book I’ve ever read called Elsewhere, when you die you go to heaven and age backward and then are reborn as a baby. How cool would it be if that happened? And then there’s this theory that my family has that my grandfather was reincarnated into a white butterfly. I know that sounds really strange but it’s true – there’s a white butterfly that follows me around on important occasions and sits on my grandfather’s gravestone. This theory totally led to my parents getting a divorce but I still think it’s true!

There are a lot of famous incarnation stories that can be seen here, mine is a little wacky too, but not as wacky as this:

Meanwhile, I should probably actually write something.

I see you.
I know it’s you.
I don’t care if people don’t believe it’s true.
Whether it’s my SATs or the day I moved.
You have been there – watching me, guiding me, loving me.
When I see you I know it will be OK.
That all is right in the world.
One day I will join you to help guide the rest of our family.
Being reborn for a greater purpose.

What do you think? Do you think I met the challenge?

Free Writing Prompt: Bad Dream

This week’s writing prompt comes from Creative Writing Now. This prompt states to write a poem based on a bad dream that you had. Try to reproduce the sensations of the dream. Little did you all know that I suffer from terrible nightmares. The subject matter from me to choose from is actually endless, so it’s not like I had to sit and rack my brain on what my last nightmare was.

One of my all-time top nightmares happened in 2010. I know this because I was working at a television production company and we were doing a show about nightmares, so I got to share this nightmare to the producers. I had a dream that my Cookie Monster stuffed animal came alive and murdered my entire family and then was coming to murder me. I distinctly remember the red blood on his fur and him knocking on my bedroom door as I lied under my covers terrified for my life. That’s really all I remember from the dream itself, but I remember feeling freaked out. It’s not every day that your beloved stuffed animal from childhood has a blood lust against you. In fact, I could never look at that doll the same way again.

But Cookie Monster cracks me up still:

Here’s my attempt to write a poem about the bad dream I had back in 2010:

Deep and sudden betrayal.
My childhood ruined.
My childhood gone.
Muddled images of death and destruction.
Such betrayal.
Whatever you think I did – it’s simply not true.
I love you more than them.
I don’t even care that they are gone.
Why me?
I would never hurt you.
I love you.
Deep and sudden betrayal.

Again, I am not the greatest poetry writer but based on the information above, I think the poem aligns itself with that and portrays the feelings that I was feeling. What do you think?

Poetry Writing Prompt: Love Letter

This week’s poetry writing prompt comes from Kelli Russell Agodon again. This prompt states:

Write a poem that is really a love letter to an old flame. To make sure it doesn’t slip into sappy, make sure one or more of these words are in the poem: dung beetle, politician, nuclear, exoskeleton, oceanography, pompadour, toilet. 

Can someone please explain to my why I keep doing this to myself? What has this website done to me? The problem currently is that I am madly in love with my fianceé, so to even think of a former flame, I laugh at what I once thought was love.

The word pompadour also makes me think of this terrible musical I was a part of in Junior High called Pompadour and Poodleskirts. I can’t find our version on YouTube but here’s one from another school. It’s terrible yet also absolutely amazing:

Anyway, here’s what I came up with for this poetry writing prompt.

You peeled the lawyers away,
You removed my exoskeleton.
Leaving me vulnerable,
And exposed.
I peeled your lawyer away,
I removed your exoskeleton.
Leaving your vulnerable
And exposed.
You ran.
I stayed.
I loved what I saw.
You hated what you saw…
So you claim.
But that is not the truth.
You were scared of the nuclear explosion,
Scared that you showed your soul to someone,
Scared that I would run…
But I stayed.
You’re such a dung beetle.
That’s the last time I will let you sting me.

Well, I was able to slip in 3 words into the poem (4 if you count exoskeleton twice). I think that’s an accurate depiction of my last relationship. We became incredibly closed and commitment sometimes scares people away. But without that experience, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and for that, I couldn’t be happier.

Poetry Writing Prompt: Southern California

Southern California has a ton of imagery already associated with it (see below), that writing a poem describing the place probably will not do it justice. Either way, I decided to rise up to the challenge and see without being literal if I could incorporate the feeling and essence of Southern California in a nonsensical way using words and rhythm.

Before I began writing the poem I jotted down a list of things that instantly came to mind when I thought of Southern California:

  • beach
  • palm trees
  • wave
  • ocean
  • sand
  • coconut
  • surfboards
  • skater boys
  • sunglasses
  • red hot chili peppers
  • TJ miller
  • silicon valley
  • pavement
  • chillax

As I said, I was trying to write a poem that didn’t have a literal story but rather gave the sense of being in Southern California relying on nonsense and perhaps and also trying to emphasize rhythm. I had to figure out what the rhythm of the ocean was. And I couldn’t really like of a way to do that in regards to iambs, so I decided the best way to do that was actually through line breaks and word count.

Burning Sun,
Alleving Water.
Scortching Sun,
Relieving Water.
Blazing Sun,
Comforting Water.
Charing Sun,
Rescuing Water.
Incinerating Sun,
Giving Water.
Melting Sun,
Supporting Water.
Smoldering Sun,
Calming Water.
Torching Sun,
Abating Water.
Baking Sun,
Cooling Water.
Broiling Sun,
Chilling Water.
Cauterizing Sun,
Hushing Water.
Cremating Sun,
Sedating Water.
Roasting Sun,
Quieting Water.
Scalding Sun,
Assauging Water.
Singe-ing Sun,
Appeasing Water.
Smoking Sun,
Blue Water.

Well, it’s not the best piece of poetry that I have ever written. The opposing themes reminded me of the ebb and flow of the waves. I get sunburnt and there’s nothing greater than going into the ocean to cool off from the hot sun. I hope you agree that I captured the essence of California. As they say “It Never Rains In Southern California”

Poetry Writing Prompt: Superhero Poems

I decided that I would try a poetry writing prompt and write with you an original piece of poetry. The prompt is by Kelli Russell for National Poetry month and states the following:

Write a poem about a superhero coming to your house and confronting you about something. Somewhere in the poem, you have to say what your superpower is.

Here goes nothing!

I gasp for air as I am startled awake.
The sound of the window – Crash it makes.
A figure mysteriously appears in front of me.
He is in silhouette, his face I can’t see.
His shape is none other than the Caped Crusader!
Why has he come to my personal dwelling? This invader!
Has he no consideration?
To what do I owe this unexpected visitation?
He moves away from the window. He comes into view.
My eyes adjust enough to see the scowl on his face. Something is askew.
Has he learned my secret?
Has he learned my superpower?
My ability to eat as much as I want and not gain any weight!
Oh! What could he want at this hour!
Does this make me targetted?
Is he here as friend or foe?
Is there anyone else after me?
I do not know!

Well, I don’t think it’s too bad considering that I just made up most of that stuff on the spot. When I knew I had to write about a superhero I knww that Batman was going to be somewhat involved. He’s my favorite superhero of all time. I also knew that if Batman was going to go visit someone it would have to be at night time and the room would be dark. So I tried very hard to get that imagery within the confines of the poem. I personally like to write rhyming poetry even though I know my meter and rhythm are not consistent throughout the piece. I am not Shakespeare. I am Batman!