Monday, June 11, 2018

Poetry Prompt - Commencement

Photo by Amy McGrath

Yesterday, like many parents, I sat in an auditorium and bore witness to a rite of passage. My older son donned his cap and gown, processed to "Pomp and Circumstance", and walked across the stage to receive his high school diploma. It was the most bittersweet feeling I have ever experienced. I was simultaneously yearning to hang on to my little boy and bursting with pride at the kind, caring, talented man that he has become. 

I remember watching him take his first steps when he was a toddler. I encouraged him, helped steady his balance, and cheered him on. When he stumbled or fell, I was there to help him back onto his feet. Now I am in awe as I watch him take his first steps into adulthood and my task as his mother is the same now as it was before. Encourage him, steady him, cheer for him, and be there to assist when he stumbles or falls. 

The Prompt:

Free write about beginnings or first steps. Use what comes up for you to create a poem.

Word Prompts:

First Steps
Getting started

Please share the link to your poem (or post your poem) in the comments below. If you're on Facebook, you can share your poem in the Poets on the Page group. 

 Amy McGrath is a mixed media artist and writer in Virginia Beach. She is a regular contributor here and volunteers at The Muse Writer's Center in Norfolk. Her current writing project is a memoir about her experiences as an adoptee and about the journey to find her birth parents. 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Poetry Prompt: What does it mean to be a socially responsible member of American Society?

Photo from the Public Domain
Writers of Kern, the writing organization of which I am a member, seeks to encourage writing among youth through an annual essay competition for middle and high school students. The 2018 topic for the Young Writers of Kern Writing Competition was "What does it mean to be a socially responsible member of American Society?"

“Socially responsible” and “socially responsible member of American Society” hold many possibilities for thought and expression these days. 

Using these ideas for this week’s Poets on the Page prompt, we are invited to investigate our feelings and thoughts: About social responsibility. About being a socially responsible member of our society. About whatever comes to mind when you see these words.

Do poets have a social responsibility for illuminating society’s interests, ailments, accomplishments, wrongs? What do you see or think that needs to be said?

How has American society changed? Developed? Presented itself?

Word Bank Prompt:
Social Justice

Poetic Prompt:
From “What Would Gwendolyn Brooks Do?” by Parneshia Jones

                    “Hold On, she says, two million light years away.

She’s right.
Hold On everybody.
Hold On because the poets are still alive—and writing.”
Read and hear the full poem at

Share your poem or provide the link to your blog in the comments below. We'd love to read your ideas. Thank you. xoA

Annis Cassells is a writer, poet, life coach, and teacher.  She divides her time between Bakersfield, California and Coos Bay, Oregon, where she conducts memoir writing classes for senior adults. She is a member of Writers of Kern, a branch of the California Writers Club. See Annis’s blogs at and and her website at