Another way to write a poem is to start with a PROMPT.  We do this in my poetry group; at the end of the evening, we choose a topic for our next meeting.  While it’s not mandatory to follow it, the prompt acts
as an idea generator.  The variety of ways different people approach the same subject always proves interesting.  Prompts can come from many sources–writing guides or classes, internet sites, etc.  I found the list below on WordPress, on the blog of a friend of a friend.  I greatly admire anyone with the discipline to write a new poem every day for
a month.  I am slowly working through, and my current prompt is #5, Blue.  That reminded me of a short piece I did for Writerrific last year.  Our assignment was to choose a color and personify it (assign human characteristics to something non-human or abstract).  It’s not a poem, so I’m not off the hook on my project, but I thought I’d dust it off and share it.  Listen as Miss Navy coaxes the Blues right outta that horn…



I’m the middle child of the Blues, a deep but underappreciated color whose name nobody remembers.  I hoped things would change when I won a place on the American flag but found victory empty when I was reduced to a number (70075), the backdrop for the fifty “real” stars.  A second chance at fame took a painfully ironic turn when I learned that the “Dress Blue” uniform of the Navy is actually black.  If I really apply myself, I can shrink an ample bedroom to the dimensions of a prison cell, a magnificent parlor trick no one cares to witness.  The smallest box of crayons to even include me is the 64-pack, where there is a high probability I will never leave my assigned seat, let alone rendezvous with the built-in sharpener.  I envy Teal and Cerulean and Cobalt their flashy popularity, making guest appearances on sports cars and swim- suits and Kitchen Aid mixers while I remain eternally in the shadows, a lackluster hue woven into the pleated tartan skirts of Catholic school- girls.  Only the most discerning eye sees me for what I am, an enduring classic with potential to steal the show, my smoky voice matching the saxophone note-for-note as I belt out them Birth Order Blues.

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  1. Hajira. January 15, 2017 / 3:28 am

    I’ve never read such a beautiful personification! I love this. 😍
    The daily poem challenge is a great idea! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan January 15, 2017 / 12:22 pm

      Thanks, Hajira! Glad to have you aboard. A daily poetry challenge is a great way to get to know your inner self. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Joanne Miller January 15, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    Well, I love the blue of the sky, the blue of the ocean, but most of all “The Birth of the Blues”. Haven’t read many of yours recently, but now that holidays are over, I shall return… always admire how you find amazing ways to express yourself and bring light to those things I take for granted. Happy New Year Joan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan January 15, 2017 / 3:14 pm

      Glad to have you back on board, Joanne! There is a quick-list along the right-hand side of the blog, if you want to go back and peruse the posts you missed. 🙂


  3. Marissa Bergen January 15, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    You are lucky to find prompts that work for you. I’ve tried to write from prompts but found that many do not inspire. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan January 15, 2017 / 3:18 pm

      Some do, some don’t. Which is why our poetry group comes up with a theme, but doesn’t insist that everyone follow it. They prompt me to think about subjects I might not otherwise. 🙂


  4. chevvy8 January 15, 2017 / 11:23 pm

    Thanks for the shout out Joan. I love your write on blue a very interesting take and quite deep as well. You are so right about how differently we could approach the same prompt. But that bears testimony to how much scope there is for individuality.creativity and innovation. You’re a wonderful writer Joan.

    I’ve thought about doing another challenge – but I’m still thinking. It is quite a commitment not just in the discipline but in the emotions it draws out of you.

    Still, I like the point you make about how a prompt gets you to think about something you may not have.😀


    • Just Joan January 16, 2017 / 5:37 pm

      You are most welcome, Chevvy. Music (especially jazz and horns) are meant to be shared. Navy blue is actually my favorite color, but as I researched for tidbits of info that made her unique and special, it all fell apart. The color on the flag is not called “navy,” it is just assigned a number! Etc, etc, etc. That’s when I got the idea to look at the downsides of navy… there were so many that I decided to make her the forgotten middle child and have her sing the blues.
      I’m working a private challenge using that list of prompts. I can’t manage one every day, but I plan to finish them all. I wrote my BLUE piece today, it will be featured on the blog on Sunday 1/22 to demonstrate yet another new-to-me form. You’re right, these challenges are an emotional rollercoaster, hills of anger, humor, guilt, relief, realizing you are in love with your dog and have waaaay too many condiments in your refrigerator. I like to set each new prompt on the back burner and let it simmer a while… my mind will come up with something sooner or later. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • chevvy8 January 16, 2017 / 10:52 pm

        Well, I might borrow from the prompts when I need the inspiration. I admire your tenacity in perfecting your work. I am more impulsive – tend to write in a stream of consciousness kind of way – as the spirit moves me or an idea pops in my head. I suppose there’s merit in both. But I like very much your final product!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter Klopp January 16, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    Well written, Joan! Even though it is not a poem, it has all the ingredients of a good one. At the end you were even singing the ‘blues’. I would give the color blue a more positive twist.Blue is my favorite color. I love it from the bright summer skies down to my own blue eyes. Thank you for all your lovely posts!


    • Just Joan January 16, 2017 / 5:44 pm

      Thanks, Peter. Blue is my favorite color (any my eye color), too. I find it far more positive than negative, but wound up taking a different stance on this piece. See the above comment to Chevvy8 for details. My BLUE poem will be featured on the blog on Sunday 1/22, written in another new-to-me form called The Blitz.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. T. Wayne January 16, 2017 / 11:25 pm

    Hi Joan! Thanks for the shout out! I have to admit, while I was reading your post, I was smiling, as I now see what you meant when you commented on my After Hours post.

    This is a well-thought out post, giving the navy blue some personality. Though I must admit, if I look at it wrong, it looks like black to me. Ergh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan January 17, 2017 / 9:13 pm

      A well-deserved shout-out it was, T Wayne. I am a middle child myself, so writing Miss Navy’s story wasn’t too hard. Glad she brought a smile to your face. I have gotten black and navy confused too, once wore one sock of each color to work. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. L. T. Garvin, Author January 17, 2017 / 7:06 am

    I love Miss Navy….she’s got an attitude. Can’t beat the blues….Both in color and song. Great work, Joan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan January 17, 2017 / 9:16 pm

      Thanks, Lana. Miss Navy’s got the perfect background to know the Blues and sing ’em from the heart. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Heartafire January 21, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    Fabulous writing Joan, from a prompt, it is amazing, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan January 21, 2017 / 6:03 pm

      Thanks, Holly. This piece was done last year in an online class where our assignment was to personify a color. The new BLUE piece will be released tomorrow. Appreciate the read and comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Heartafire January 21, 2017 / 10:27 pm

        My pleasure !

        Liked by 1 person

  9. kamunde January 24, 2017 / 10:02 am

    Well written. Prompts are an ideal way of going deep in our imaginations and creativity. You have inspired me to try out a variety of prompts. I have been getting prompts from pictures/images that capture my attention and stir my emotions but I’m willing to venture into new. Way to go Joan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan January 24, 2017 / 7:58 pm

      For me, prompts push me to think about things I might not otherwise consider. I highly recommend the 30-day poetry challenge… even if it is too personal to share, you will learn a lot about yourself, venture deeper into the maze. Good luck! Thanks for visiting, always a pleasure to see you here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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