Tag Archives: writing prompts

“Decadent” and “Downfall”

“Verbal Ticks” Prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/verbal-ticks/

“Decadent”
While I grant that common usage can change words’ meanings, I object to using a word that means “in a state of decay” to signify richness of flavor. It seems that people at some point associated rich food with the extravagant, wasteful spending that ruined some empires. Perhaps people read about the decadence of the Roman Empire, for example, and associated “luxurious food” with the luxuries owned by the wealthy.

Examples of misuse: 1.This chocolate is rich and decadent.
2.
Oh, how I enjoy decadent sweets!

Downfall”
Many people seem to think that “downfall”—a term best reserved for the literal or figurative destruction of powerful nations and people—has replaced all the words meaning “trivial flaw,” “slight misfortune,” and “minor weakness”.
Examples of misuse:1.He is a nice person, but he is sometimes late . Tardiness is his only downfall.
2. Although he is lactose intolerant, he could not resist drinking milk. One day he drank some and had an upset stomach. His love of dairy products was his downfall.

[Ambition led to the downfall of Julius Caesar. To be assassinated at the peak of one’s powers is to experience a downfall. The milk-drinking protagonist of “Example 2”, on the other hand, will most likely enjoy a long, healthy life after recovering from his minor bout of gastrointestinal discomfort]

 

A 3-D Scene at the Park

In Response to the following prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-nine/

a 3-part poem in blank verse

“Joe”
He hated letting Alma see him cry
But knew the tears would flow against his will.
Remaining silent, Alma squeezed his hand—
A gesture barely noticed by the man.
The aging woman knitting on the bench,
Who had reminded him of Mother, turned
Revealing features not a bit like Mom’s.
Then, suddenly, it dawned on him.
…The sweater, small and red, his mother had begun
To knit for John—the child in Alma’s womb!

“Alma”
She always felt uneasy when he cried.
It seemed attempts to comfort often failed.
Making matters worse, she didn’t know
Why Joe was crying when he had been fine.
Unsure of what to do, she squeezed his hand.

“Perhaps he misses his mother,” Alma thought,
On seeing the old lady on the bench
With yarn and knitting needles in her lap.

“Old Lady Knitting on the Bench”
“I knew I shoulda stayed at home to knit
And watch my stories ‘stead of comin’ here…
I got some cryin’ sissy-baby-man
A lookin’ like I’m sweet old Granny Smith
Who used to bake him pie and knit him scarves.
A granny? Please! I learned me long ago
That kids would send me early to my grave.
No siree…knittin nothin’ ‘cept for Chip
Who’d never send me to no nursin’ home.
He never sasses me, jus’ wags his tail.
Now, Sissy, carry’in on like a brat—
If kin to me, I’d go upside his head
To cure him of his cryin’, starin’ ways.”

“Life: A to Z”

A prose poem in response to the following prompt:
http://zealousscripts.com/2014/06/03/114/

Achievement is not the child of conquest
Bravery is not the brother of aggression
Courage is not the spouse of violence.

Do not underestimate the mundane
Experience the miracle of breathing
Feel the breaths come and go.

Getting even—becoming an account in need of balance
Hurting those who hurt you
Injuring those who injure you, is never
Justice.

Kings are often miserable
Lords just as sad, but
Maids might smile sincerely.

Narcissism drowns people in themselves.
Obsession drowns them in others
Paranoia drowns them in delusions about themselves and others.

Quiet when listening
Respectful when speaking
Silent when enraged.

Termites bring down houses
Unseen amoeba destroy humans
Vices bury heroes
Water erodes mountains.

Xenophobia freezes hearts to stone
Young smiles gently melt them to soothing liquid
Zealotry boils hearts, leaving a dry pot.

 

I planned to write this in series of 3, but I noticed too late that I had left two letters out…I ended up adding those two to existing sets of 3.

 

P.S. This is a first draft. I welcome feedback.

“Exiled from the Planet of Apes” [a Sonnet from Mars]

By Paul Burgess (in response to the prompt: “Longing for Gravity”):http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/longing-for-gravity/

I now regret insulting you, dear ape,
With adjectives including “dirty,” “damn,”
And others lips won’t allow to escape.
If only words expressed how changed I am,
How diff’rent from the man you sent to space—
That man was arrogant and full of hate;
This one desires a primate’s warm embrace
But finds his change has happened far too late.

While mourning Earth from lonely, distant Mars,
I think of all the fun we could have shared—
Enjoying jokes and drinks at monkey bars
And seeing who would do what others dared.
I hope you’ll find you can one day forgive
And peacefully on Earth we all will live.