May 14, 2010
By Big Tent Poetry

by Carolee, Deb & Jill

It’s show time! It’s time to post your original poem, written in response to Monday’s wonderful prompt — we can’t wait to read what fabulous-sounding words resonated in the ears of all your muses! — or any other inspiration from the week. (We love it when you write to our prompt, but we also love it when you write on a whim. We all know how fickle that muse can be.)

So leave a link to your blog post, or leave your poem itself, in the comments!

Let the show begin! This post is “sticky” — it will stay right here in the spotlight for you all weekend.

Here’s how prompts work under the Big Tent

You’ve got all week to write your poem, based on this week’s prompt. Come Fridays (today!) you’ll find a “Come One, Come All” post (this one!) where you can 1) leave a link to your poem or 2) leave the poem in its entirety.

We want to give you all weekend to post your work and read each others’ work. Take your time. Enjoy all the poems that are new to the world.

Some hints

Hint: We’ve set Big Tent Poetry to Central Time.

Hint: An easy way to check on new post comments is via a RSS reader, if you use one. Here’s the address you would add to your reader:

Hint: Since we’re a new site, and you’re new to it, your comment(s) will be held for moderation for your first few posts. We’re checking the filters often, so don’t despair! That said, if it takes more than a half a day to see it come live on the site, do email us at info (at) (But be patient, okay?)

Circus etiquette

We figure you know how to play in the poetry community, but here are the basics:

Be nice. Have fun. Remember we aren’t a critique forum. We want to support each other as we bring more poetry into our lives. Only provide critique if someone specifically asks for it.

Although we love seeing our badge in the sidebar of your blog, we would appreciate it if you would also link back to the site in each of your poem posts. Linking within your post helps people travel back and forth from your site to the Big Tent Poetry site, and it helps perpetuate Big Tent Poetry “findability” in Google searches — and that helps us all.

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74 Responses to “ COME ONE, COME ALL / May 14 ”

  1. Deb on May 14, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Hi, hi! Remember: until the site learns who you are it will mark your comment as spam. If you enter it more than once, it *really* believes you are spamming. Please be patient as we fish them out. It *should* only happen until we tell the filter: “hey filter, that’s not spam, that’s a circus-goer!”

    If you don’t see your comment after half a day or so (we ringleaders have to sleep sometime), send us an email. The address is on the main page.

    Be patient, have fun, read each other if you can!

  2. Tiel Aisha Ansari on May 14, 2010 at 12:04 am

    I grabbed some words from the language of my childhood, for this prompt: words I Don’t Hear Much Any More

  3. throwshiswords on May 14, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Here’s a little bit o’ silliness that’s all about the sounds: “say what?” It may not be new, but this is the first time I’ve found a comfy place where it might find a home :-).

  4. Stan Ski on May 14, 2010 at 12:23 am

    UK politics dominate the airwaves: CHANGE

  5. barbara on May 14, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Listening for sound–that is hard! I picked up quite a bit of miscellaneous information along the way, though.
    Until I find a better title, this is Rites

  6. Jeeves on May 14, 2010 at 12:27 am

    • vivienne blake on May 14, 2010 at 5:18 am

      Jeeves, What a fun poem. We used to call my mother Mugwump when we were little, but had no idea tat’s what it meant! She was anything but indecisive…

      • Jeeves on May 14, 2010 at 5:33 am

        Thanks Viviene. Even I didnt know the meaning till the prompt “prompted” me to search for the meaning.

    • Deb on May 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

      I liked your words — vamoose has always been a favorite.

      I liked the sound of the poem, too, without any meaning needed to enjoy it!

    • Carolee on May 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm

      very interesting words, jeeves! it’s only the second time i’ve ever heard mugwump. :)

      • Joyce Ellen Davis on May 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm

        When I was a new leaf, my dad used to call me “mugwump.” That was one of the words that came to mind when I read Tiel’s words from her childhood!

  7. Victoria Hendricks on May 14, 2010 at 12:52 am

    I found my worda on the playground, while watching my grandson play.My link is

  8. Deb on May 14, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Well! That was not as easy as I thought it might be. :-) Here’s my strange little poem, Sitting in a Storm Cloud.

    Thanks for playing along everyone. Hope you got some joy out of the prompt! Maybe a new word or two that you have a crush on now. Word crushes. Yay.

  9. Ron. on May 14, 2010 at 4:19 am

    If it’s quacking, it’s a duck; not an alleged duck. Read all about it at: Scrambled, Not Fried

  10. nan on May 14, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Here is what I came up with. It’s called, after the car accident.

  11. vivienne blake on May 14, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Darnit I’ve boobed again! I posted the link to my poem on the prompt page instead of on here. Maybe I’ll get used to the protocol by the time you get round to blackballing me!

    • Deb on May 15, 2010 at 9:15 am

      No blackballing! :-)

      • Carolee on May 15, 2010 at 8:49 pm

        deb’s right! i admire your determination. it does take a while to sort everything out. soon you’ll be a pro, guiding the new folks!

  12. Mary Kling on May 14, 2010 at 6:09 am

    I found my words while at the YMCA watching television while walking the treadmill:

  13. Iain D. Kemp on May 14, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Hi there Circus Goers!

    Here is the link to my poem for the prompt:

    For further redaing and today today’s new `podcast poem click on my name.

    Happy Poeming All…back tonight (European night!)

    • vivienne blake on May 14, 2010 at 7:22 am

      This poem’s a cracker – reflects beautifully the confusion, boredom and cynicism aroused by the election.

      I still haven’t worked out how to leave a comment on your blog!

    • Cynthia Short on May 14, 2010 at 10:05 am

      Couldn’t find a way to comment on your blog…
      I really enjoyed this piece…I think many of us in many countries feel the same way.

      • Iain D. Kemp on May 14, 2010 at 5:57 pm

        Thanks for the compliments…sorry about the confusion over comments…the thing is it’s not really my’s a page within another blog who invited me to post poetry some months ago & who gave me my own page as a birthday present along with the domain name…Chris is working on how to put a comments section on my page without putting it on all his pages…. long winded I know!!!

        Still, if you want to comment…just do it here for now…I’ll update when I have news

        Thank you again for being so kind


        • Carolee on May 15, 2010 at 8:53 pm

          i like the sound of hyperbole and superlatives one right after the other.

    • Linda Goin on May 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      Yes, yes. The boredom, the political foreplay, the who cares about it all. I think your sentiment is global, Iain (figured out how to post a comment on your blog, but will wait until you have an easier go of it).

    • Deb on May 15, 2010 at 9:25 am

      I love reading political poems, especially from countries other than my own (universality, unfortunately!) — so well done, the use of polispeak & frustration, wondering what has really happened!

      • Iain D. Kemp on May 15, 2010 at 11:57 am

        Thank you for the compliments.

        I now have a comments section on my homepage which has no log-in or you can register for the main site :Almerimar Life & log-in & post comments to the poem on the community forum: available for the whole world to see.

        It’s still not perfect but it’s better & after all the whole thing was a gift from Almerimar Life who have been publishing me for a few months now.

        I had to work today, hope to do some reading later



    • Joyce Ellen Davis on May 16, 2010 at 2:36 pm

      The last three lines: a great summation!

  14. Nathan Landau on May 14, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Deviated a little after reading the newspaper, then wandering around my college campus that is deserted after graduation and move out. This one’s looking for some critique, so have at it:
    The Sign Said

  15. Cynthia Short on May 14, 2010 at 6:40 am

    This prompt pointed out my lack of writing talent! Here is what happened when I gave up…

    • Carolee on May 15, 2010 at 9:00 pm

      it did not point out your lack of talent! it may help you to do something i do with some of my poems: i assign them a category of family or perpetuity poems. that means i am not worried about their literary merit but i am pleased to indulge the sentimental for a bit and capture some important bit of family history/emotion. your piece really really gives a gift like that to your family!!!

  16. Diane Truswell on May 14, 2010 at 6:47 am

    I tried listening (to CNN lol) but that didn’t work (knew all the words) so I randomly selected pages in a dictionary and chose words I’d never heard of. Then put them together for my poem.

  17. Linda Watskin on May 14, 2010 at 7:02 am

    I’m always overhearing conversations—some people might say eavesdropping. I knew one of the men talking, a physicist teaching in a local college. So I incorporated some of the “overheard” words into my poem.

    Linda Frances

  18. derrick2 on May 14, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Here is my short contribution!

  19. Ana on May 14, 2010 at 8:16 am

    I am afraid my poem is guility of ‘promptantagonism’.
    I tried to write about something that was overheard in a dream, but it ended up to be about silence.
    Anaïs: Big Tent Poetry: step 1

    • Carolee on May 16, 2010 at 7:59 am

      i love that word: promptantagonism. :) do we need a sign that says, “don’t poke the prompts”? ha ha.

      glad you decided to listen to your muse — that’s listening, right?

      • Ana on May 17, 2010 at 10:08 am

        Right :)

  20. Rachel Barenblat on May 14, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I didn’t manage to write to the prompt this week, but did manage to write another in my ongoing series of “mother poems”:

    Eating the apple

  21. pamela on May 14, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Well, I listened to “Philosophy Talk” and came up with a few words.
    Thanks for the prompt.

  22. gautami on May 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Here is what I offer:

  23. Tumblewords on May 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for the prompt!

    Payday Friday

    • vivienne blake on May 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      For some reason I was unable to post my comment on your blog, so I’ll put it here.

      The way your images flit about through this piece is really interesting. The last line says it all. Ditto the lovely title.

  24. Elizabeth on May 14, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    The New Silk Road based on an old NPR podcast.

  25. Wanda McCollar on May 14, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Hello! So glad I found you. I’m seeing many familiar names – and the prompt for the first time. I’ll work at it, will post something this weekend. Hooray!

    • Deb on May 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm

      Welcome Wanda! It’s nice to see you here.

    • Carolee on May 16, 2010 at 8:42 am

      hi, wanda! hooray!

  26. Brenda W. on May 14, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    My piece this week is entitled “being’s demise.” I listened to and viewed several videos by John Trudell, a Santee Sioux activist, for inspiration.

  27. Linda Jacobs on May 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    This was a cool idea. Here’s what I came up with. Thanks!

  28. Francis Scudellari on May 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I took my inspiration from the Philosophy Talk discussion of Infinity:

  29. Francis Scudellari on May 14, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Oops… I messed up the link. Here it is:
    Infinite potential of a finite mind

  30. rob kistner on May 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Deb — You said “be playful! Let the sound of the words carry the weight (of the poem)” — so here is my playful poem of sounds… Oh Brother!

    • Deb on May 14, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      I always get a little worried at a phrase that starts “Deb — You said…” BUT I look forward to reading your poem! :-)

  31. dale on May 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Here’s mine

  32. Deb on May 14, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    So glad to see you all here! I’ll be visiting you all weekend! xxoo

  33. Linda Goin on May 14, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    You all give tough prompts! But, in the process, I had a great time with an NPR podcast, where I learned about flavored Kit-Kat candy bars — available only in Japan:

    • Deb on May 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm

      (Monday’s is not so hard! I am glad, too!)

  34. Uma Gowrishankar on May 15, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Here is my poem –

  35. irene on May 15, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I did listen to a podcast but not sure about the sound part of the prompt.

    the truth and nothing but

  36. Kim Yonne King on May 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

    After listening to a boring commentary on the euro crisis in Greece, I moved on to health physics. Remember, These words are NOT being used int he appropriate context. They are my interpretations about how they sound to me:)

    “As Low As Reasonably Practicable”

    ALARP is a lithe limbo dancer, back arched
    feet spread, hair sweeping under a bamboo
    pole until the contortionist shimmies buttocks
    with the inverse square law across the line.

    The Gamma grocery store has specials on ALARPS
    this week, gm/cm2 and avocados two for one dollar.
    Use your dosimetry card for extra bonus buys. Bring
    the kids to see our laser safety officer Tim on Saturday.

    The ALARP temperature this week is expected
    to affect the East when the particle accelerator
    collides with the scattering cold front after midnight.

    • vivienne blake on May 16, 2010 at 3:16 am

      What a great use of out-of-context words – the idea of the particle accelerator colliding with the scattering cold front would startle a meteorologist, but really appealed to me! I also liked the shimmying buttocks of your lithe limbo dancer.

    • Joyce Ellen Davis on May 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm

      What a wonderfully FUN poem to read! I loved it!

    • Deb on May 16, 2010 at 3:21 pm

      Terrific poem, Kim! The lithe limbo dancer, indeed! What might be out of context becomes a new reality, one close to a truth we may not know is there, I suspect. Well done!

    • Carolee on May 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm

      it takes great imagination to use the words as you hear them and resist the proper/accurate usage!

  37. Carolee on May 15, 2010 at 11:36 am

    oh, i can’t wait to read! i was in NYC all day yesterday and returned just now from a half-day lacrosse tournament. hoping to post a piece i worked on while on the train and read your poems this evening! back soon!

  38. Mallery on May 15, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    My first poem in response to a Big Tent Poetry prompt: Lip to Lip I’ve been a bit rocky since NaPoWriMo ended. How has everyone else found themselves getting back onto track after writing a poem a day?

    • Deb on May 16, 2010 at 3:42 pm

      Well, I am always a little bit in a daze after April. This year was particularly tough because of mourning RWP, but was softened by planning BTP.

      I miss the daily short poems most, and think I want to try to do those again. They really help center me.

    • Carolee on May 16, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      i’ve been rocky after napowrimo, as well. my magic had started to fade the last week and a half of april and i don’t have it back yet! but, i did re-learn that i can write when i sit down to it.

  39. Joyce Ellen Davis on May 15, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    ok, Here is mine, Please click on my name to share my confession about my words.

  40. Carolee on May 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    i’ve made it more than half-way through AND procrastinated on actually writing mine. oopsie! well, it was time well-spent anyway. i’ll read more tomorrow. ‘night all you circus-goers. thanks so much for writing with us!! xo

    • Deb on May 16, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      You’re forgiven, although I always love reading what you come up with. xxoo

      (And ditto everyone, on the thanks!)

  41. Nate Hile on May 16, 2010 at 2:33 am

    Here is mine, click on my name to read my poem.

    • Deb on May 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Nate!

      Found it! For those of us who might not get to all the posts very quickly a link to the specific poem you’d like to share would be helpful!

      (That’s true for everyone who leaves their name as a link, actually. :-) )


  42. Carolee on May 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    phew! back from yet another poetry field trip and finally wrote a poem for the prompt. it was one of those big deal poems, not because of its quality, but because i hadn’t written in a few days and if i fought too hard to get it just right, i would stay stuck. so i’m letting it be where it is: go see!

    • Carolee on May 16, 2010 at 7:55 pm

      off now to finish reading your pieces!


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