Writing Prompt #16: A Word List

I don’t always have great results with writing poems from a list of words, but occasionally it works really well. This is my favorite word list that I’ve used for a poem, and I think fitting for November!

Use this list of 10 words to create your poem, and feel free to cheat with tenses/prefixes/etc.:

  1. November
  2. tea
  3. abandon
  4. water
  5. breathe
  6. crack
  7. yellow
  8. guardian
  9. tattoo
  10. glass

This is the poem I wrote from these words:

Abandoned Farmhouse

Where did they go,
those whose frayed gingham curtains
still snap in November winds,
whose kitchen table is still set
for the men to come in,
whose house still stands
in the silence of a drawn breath?

Where did they go?
In the fields, glass bottles wink
in the sunlight like water.

Where did they go?
Those singers of the season’s change,
low chants rising from the yellow fields,
their tobacco left drying
in the decaying wooden barns
tattooed with graffiti and time,
and now harboring a murder
of crows.

Where did they go?
Dust felts the floorboards
and furs the Sunday dishes.

Where did they go?
Those guardians of the rusted metal tractor,
of the fifty pound feed sack
and the trampled grey dirt.

Where did they go?
Did they read this end in the tea leaves
still clinging to their cracked white cups?


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