Tag Archives: Poem

NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 29


Today’s prompt is to write your own two-part poem that focuses on a food or type of meal. At some point in the poem, describe the food or meal as if it were a specific kind of person. Give the food/meal at least one line of spoken dialogue.

The Quintessential Movie Theater Treat
by ARHuelsenbeck

once you’ve paid for your ticket
move to the concession stand
and choose your popcorn
it’s calling your name
not with words but with its irresistible aroma—
(you know you want me
you must have me)
choose buttered or un- 
(who eats unbuttered popcorn, crazy people?)
salted or un-
(are you kidding me? unsalted popcorn?)
small, medium, large, or gargantuan
(almost the price of a bicycle)
but you must have it
can’t watch a movie without it

fresh popped corn at home
a marvel of modern technology
3 minutes in the microwave—presto! pop-o!
before microwave ovens,
hot air machines 
blew the fluffy little clouds
into your bowl
before hot air machines
Jiffy Pop expanded under aluminum foil
on your stove
before Jiffy Pop
kernels in oil in a lidded pot on the stove
or maybe you cooked the kernels
in a closed metal mesh basket 
on a metal pole with wooden handles
over a flame in the fireplace

NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 24


Today I’m using the Writer’s Digest prompt for Day 23: write a fear poem.

Recurring Nightmare
by ARHuelsenbeck

I look for my purse
and I realize I left it in a store.
I retrace my steps
and of course it’s not there.

My heart pounds.
I think of the money
and credit cards
and identification
and keys
in my purse
and how hard it will be
to safeguard or replace them.


I look for someone 
to help me.
Did anyone turn in a lost purse?
The store employee 
is no help at all.

I want to go to the bank
to cancel my credit cards
but I can’t drive there
because my keys are in my purse.

I want to call someone 
to come get me
but I can’t 
because my phone is in my purse.

What’s the matter with me?
Why did I put my purse down?

I start walking,
but why?
I’m miles away from home.
Too far to walk.

What do I do now?

Terror rises in my throat.
I just know someone
is happily maxing out my credit cards.
I walk in circles
as my panic escalates.
I talk to myself
and sob.
This is a disaster.

NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 23


Today’s prompt is to write a poem of your own that has multiple numbered sections. Attempt to have each section be in dialogue with the others, like a song where a different person sings each verse, giving a different point of view. Set the poem in a specific place that you used to spend a lot of time in, but don’t spend time in anymore.

Parks and Recreation
by ARHuelsenbeck

We used to go to the park
to swim in the river,
my mother and I.
I remember her pink towel
and the scent of her lavender perfume.

The slide must have been
twenty feet tall.
It had a big bump in the middle
that could make you go airborn.
Sometimes kids would bring
sheets of waxed paper
and polish the slide with it—
which made it superfast!
Sometimes you’d land
so hard on your backside.

there were activities for kids.
My favorite was “molds.”
You’d pay your coin—
nickel, dime, or quarter,
depending on the size—
and choose your mold.
Mr. Olshan would fill it
with plaster of paris.
After an hour or two in the sun,
it would be dry and hard.
Mr. Olshan would turn that rubber mold
inside out and present you 
with a statue or figurine or plaque
all ready for you to paint.
Good times.

As I got older
(junior high age)
I was allowed to participate in
the end-of-summer dance.
A band of teenagers
played guitars and drums
and sang songs from the radio.
I hoped and hoped
a boy would ask me to dance
but no one ever did.

NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 21


Today’s prompt – choose an abstract noun from the list, and then use that as the title for a poem that contains very short lines, and at least one invented word.

by ARHuelsenbeck

a baby’s
the aroma
of snickerdoodles
a two-

snail mail
a friend
an unexpected 

a funny 
a song
a rom-com

an extra
day off
and whipped

these are 
things that 
excite me
dynomite me
delight me

NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 20


Today’s prompt: In poetic form, explore what a far-off future archeologist or scientist might conclude about our society from examining a contemporary artifact.

Marine debris
Photo from NOAA.gov
The Fish Traps
by ARHuelsenbeck

These floating structures
are primitively constructed.
From the number of skeletons
and decaying bodies,
their purpose seems to be 
to trap and kill sea creatures
and also flying animals.
Apparently, the "intelligent" lifeforms considered the animals
invasive pests and exterminated them.
Unfortunately, they did not value them
as potential food sources.
No wonder the sentient lifeforms died out.

Clearly, the sentients (if they can even be called that)
had limited imaginations and engineering skills.
The fish traps display no artistry whatsoever.
They are made largely
of membranes of various colors
decorated with nonsensical symbols,
possibly some form of written communication.
Tangled in the membranes are 
vessels, possibly designed as floats 
to give the traps some buoyancy.

Other random materials are also 
present in the traps,
and their functions cannot be

Perhaps this planet was
doomed from its creation.
It had no ozone layer to 
protect its atmosphere.
Accordingly, the temperature
was too extreme to support life for long.
We observed little vegetation
on the landforms.
We found that the earth 
was scorched and radioactive.
There is no evidence that the 
beings of small intelligence ever built dwellings.

Our recommendation is
to drop this planet from
consideration for colonization.

NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 19


Today’s prompt is to cast your mind back to your own childhood and write a poem about something that scared you – or was used to scare you – and which still haunts you (if only a little bit) today.

Abandoned house
The Witch House
by ARHuelsenbeck

On the street where I grew up
three doors down
was an abandoned house.
It had the look of a haunted house,
old and worn out and dark.

One day I climbed the front steps
of the old house and
turned the doorknob.
Surprisingly, the door
was unlocked.
I went inside.

It was dark and dirty
and deathly quiet.
The rooms held no furniture,
only a few dingy, discarded items.
I went up the stairs,
and the second floor 
also showed no signs of life.

At that point I felt
uncomfortable, like the
trespasser I was.
I went back downstairs and
let myself out, closing
the door behind me.

At home, I told my mother
where I’d been.
“Don’t ever go in there again,”
she immediately warned me.

“Why doesn’t anybody live there?”
“There were two old brothers
who lived there until they 
As if that explained anything.

Years later, I saw a woman
wearing a long dark dress
standing on the front porch
I could tell
she was a witch.
She looked at me accusingly
as though she knew 
I had been in the house.

From that time on,
I called it the witch house.

NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 18


Today’s prompt is to write an abecedarian poem.

Alphabet blocks
You’re So
by ARHuelsenbeck


NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 16


Today’s prompt is to write a poem that involves describing something in terms of what it is not, or not like.

You are not my friend
by ARHuelsenbeck

Would a friend see me walking to school in the rain and not stop to offer me a ride?
Would a friend borrow my favorite sweater and return it with a big stain on it?
Would a friend tell me I look great and then make fun of my outfit behind my back?
You are not my friend.

Would a friend borrow my book and return it with the corners chewed off by her dog?
Would a friend invite me to a slumber party and then tell me she’s sick and can’t have the party, but then have it anyway without me?
Would a friend borrow my homework and then turn it in with her own name on it?
You are not my friend.

Would a friend beg me to go to the movies with her and then ditch me when she sees a boy she likes?
Would a friend borrow $20 and never pay me back?
Would a friend ask Jake Winters to the Sadie Hawkins Day dance when she knows I was going to ask him?
You are not my friend.

Have you ever asked me how I am?
Have you ever been there for me?
You only talk to me when there’s something you need.
You are not my friend.

NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 15


Today’s prompt: Begin by reading June Jordan’s “Notes on the Peanut.” Now, think of a person – real or imagined – who has been held out to you as an example of how to be or live, but who you have always had doubts about. Write a poem that exaggerates the supposedly admirable qualities of the person in a way that exposes your doubts.

Not Naming Any Names
by ARHuelsenbeck

He's not a politician
(that could explain his ineptitude)
He tells it like it is
(but who can understand what he’s saying)
He puts America first
(by alienating our allies)
He’s charismatic
(he gets other people to do his dirty work for him)
He’s a successful businessman
(with one failed business after another)
He has all the best people working for him
(until they’re arrested)
He’s accomplished more than any other president
(well, he certainly has more indictments)

NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 13


Today’s prompt is to try writing a short poem (or a few, if you’re inspired) that follows the beats of a classic joke. Emphasize the interplay between the form of the poem – such as the line breaks – and the punchline.

Three short joke poems
by ARHuelsenbeck

Why did the poet
cross the road?
To get to 
the end of the line.

What’s black
and white
and red
all over?
A poem
that met
a violent

An editor, a poet, and benevolence
walk into a bar.
The bartender looks at benevolence and says
we don’t serve you’re kind here.