Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ What if . . . ?

“Every novel begins with the speculative question, 
What if "X" happened? That's how you start.” 

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Erin Hanson Poetry

Midweek Motif ~ What it . . . ?

"What if  . . . ?" is a wondering question.  It could be speculation,  anticipation or regret.

On the one hand, it leads me to science fiction and fantasy.  On the other, it leads me to strategize like a chess player, a teacher or a writer.

Where does it lead you?

Your Challenge: Write a new poem that poses "What if" questions.  You need not use the exact words.  You need not provide answers.

"What if "- Reba McEntire

by e.e.cummings

what if a much of a which of a wind
gives the truth to summer’s lie;

bloodies with dizzying leaves the sun
and yanks immortal stars awry?
Blow king to beggar and queen to seem
(blow friend to fiend:blow space to time)
—when skies are hanged and oceans drowned,
the single secret will still be man

what if a keen of a lean wind flays
screaming hills with sleet and snow:

strangles valleys by ropes of thing
and stifles forests in white ago?
Blow hope to terror;blow seeing to blind
(blow pity to envy and soul to mind)
—whose hearts are mountains,roots are trees,
it’s they shall cry hello to the spring

what if a dawn of a doom of a dream
bites this universe in two,

peels forever out of his grave
and sprinkles nowhere with me and you?
Blow soon to never and never to twice
(blow life to isn’t:blow death to was)
—all nothing’s only our hugest home;
the most who die,the more we live

by Ellen Bass

What if you knew you’d be the last
to touch someone?
If you were taking tickets, for example,
at the theater, tearing them,
giving back the ragged stubs,
you might take care to touch that palm,
brush your fingertips
along the life line’s crease.
When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase
too slowly through the airport, when
the car in front of me doesn’t signal,
when the clerk at the pharmacy
won’t say Thank you, I don’t remember
they’re going to die.
A friend told me she’d been with her aunt.
They’d just had lunch and the waiter,
a young gay man with plum black eyes,
joked as he served the coffee, kissed
her aunt’s powdered cheek when they left.
Then they walked half a block and her aunt
dropped dead on the sidewalk.
How close does the dragon’s spume
have to come? How wide does the crack
in heaven have to split?
What would people look like
if we could see them as they are,
soaked in honey, stung and swollen,
reckless, pinned against time?

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community.
(Next week Susan’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Charity.)


  1. Cheers for the excellent prompt Susan.
    Hope everyone has a happy day.
    Anna :o]

  2. Welcome, welcome, dear Poets United! Happy week and weekend to you.

    In the USA, this is the first week back to school for teachers and students, followed by the Labor Day Holiday weekend. May it be a calm time and peaceful time with lots of Love in it!

  3. what if indeed? so many unknowns, so many possibilities, what if? what if?

    thanks for the excellent prompt Susan, and the wonderful sources you've offered within the prompt for inspiration ....

    need to sit and wonder, what if? and maybe try to shake some focus or direction into my brain .... or not?

    Happy Mid-week and poeming everyone - and remember, be safe.

    1. I'm happy the prompt touched you like this!

  4. Aha...Sooo enjoyed writing to this grand prompt. Thank you Susan. Hello everyone :)

  5. " I don’t remember
    they’re going to die."

    Very powerful. If only I could get out of my own skin.

    Hope everyone is doing well.

    1. Very well, thank you. (You do in other ways.)

  6. Hello everyone. It has been a very trying morning for me. Having been up since 2:30 am, when Star and Venus decided to stage a boxing match between themselves. The correct postings are, as follow: therisa 3000th ipoem, Therisa2 and Therisa3 corrected.

    On a happier note, I have surpass the 3000th poem mark, last week. Only about 6 months later than I had hope to do so. Sigh.

    1. Hope your day got better! Congratulations on 3000!

  7. Wow, this is a fabulous prompt and I LOVE the poem by Ellen Bass! Congrats, Therisa, on the 3000th poem. Yay! I am a bit under the weather but "what if?" is a question I looked at this week. Smiles. I will be back with a poem.

  8. Loved the prompt, Susan💞 sharing my poem "Forever is a feeling misunderstood" ... this is one of those days when words just flew onto the page. Happy Midweek everyone!💞

    1. Thank you! I love when words flow without a struggle.

  9. just a note to say: that is all for my day -
    I've dipped and read and have found words penned, and thank you for sharing, it's been interesting - a pleasure.

    but I'm tired of infinite possibilities in "what if" - direction less I drift ... so I will simply state: right now is enough, for it is all there is.

    thanks again Susan for the interesting prompt; it was/is of infinite possibilities - and I'm tired for the thinking (laughing) - so no writing today, but I've enjoyed my stay ....

    a dios vos acomiendo

    until next time ... happy wording everyone :)

    1. You are lucky to enjoy the enough of now, since that is what we have.

  10. What a wonderful prompt! Thank you. Happy midweek all!

  11. Susan, I'm completely in love with this prompt (and all the poetic "what ifs" you've shared with us). I'm away from home, so I'm a bit late to add my response and won't be able to read everyone's yumminess until later this evening. Thanks so much for the inspiring prompt.

    Happiest Wednesday, everyone!

    1. You are very welcome! I love that you are in love . . .

  12. Afternoon, Poets! Thanks, Susan, for the inspiring prompt!

  13. Thanks for a lovely prompt Susan. Happy Wednesday poet friends

    much love...

  14. What a wonderful post! Will I get a chance to write for it? Probably not. But it was treat to read and listen to anyway. Thank you!

    1. Aw! Thanks for stopping by, Rosemary, and for your kind words! I check back all week, so if a poem comes, bring it here.

  15. I'm a bit late to the prompt as I've been a little busy but this one came to me in the early hours of this morning and I got up extra early to get it down before it disappeared.

    1. I pressed enter before I'd finished - apologies! What a prompt, Susan! it really got me thinking. So many possibilities.


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