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Poetry Prompts

Monday Poetry Prompt: Hell

This week let’s write a hell poem. Is Hell other people, as Sartre wrote, or is it not being able to get a decent cup of coffee? Let us know in the comments below.


About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.


20 thoughts on “Monday Poetry Prompt: Hell

  1. For the very curious…


    Posted by Chris Clarke | October 28, 2021, 11:27 AM
    • The ultimate disappointment: tiny ‘pops’. Silent, cold, numb. What kind of whimper would that be? Now we all may breathe a sigh of relief. The explosive end that seems our due will come at last. Passion at the beginning of time, passion throughout the middle earth ages, and finally, fiery death stars at the end of time. Now that’s a real universe! (Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.)


      Posted by ts19page | October 28, 2021, 1:06 PM
    • The Boss Got a PR Guy

      Boss, our image needs an update
      Puritan fire and brimstone – incomprehensible
      What’s a brimstone anyway?
      Dante’s seven levels – too complicated
      Souls get lost

      Our hell will be sleek, spa-like
      Full of beautiful dead people
      Needing to relearn those kindergarten Bible school lessons
      No consequences for cruel and uncivil behavior – only second chances
      Just like 44

      Ps -Trump may have been 45. Please perform your own substitution

      Liked by 3 people

      Posted by Catherine Penafiel | October 29, 2021, 10:08 AM
  2. Intense.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Gypsie | October 27, 2021, 11:01 AM
  3. Hell is never what you think it is going to be
    Far worse than any imagination can conjure

    I wanted to know everything
    I wanted to be wise beyond all

    So my wish was granted
    as angels wept
    for the fate I had chosen

    Oh, I have seen it all!

    I have felt the death of each cell in my body
    As blood and oxygen
    coagulated in my vessels

    I have known the loss of
    everyone I have ever known
    I was there the last time
    my name was ever uttered
    I have watched my language
    change, fade, and disappear
    I saw the last book be destroyed
    along with it
    the last things I knew before coming “here”

    I have seen the passing of
    the last person ever
    the loss of my species
    and then my planet
    and star that fed life

    I have known loneliness
    true senses
    no imagery to ease me

    only the truth

    I have waited for all things to happen
    So that I would know everything
    The last wisp of the last proton’s decay
    The evaporation of the last black hole
    My tutorage of a google

    And wisdom too I was given
    Too late for any use
    Too late to assuage
    the tears of the angels
    who too have passed beyond
    (whatever that is)
    in merciful release

    Hell is never what think it is going to be
    Far worse than any imagination can conjure

    That, I can assure you
    I know

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Chris Clarke | October 27, 2021, 10:49 AM
  4. Thank you for the comment, appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by ts19page | October 27, 2021, 8:29 AM
  5. Hell

    Hell is a permanent stage of rejection.
    Just try to imagine everything you ask for
    the answer is always ‘No!’

    Liked by 3 people

    Posted by Cassa Bassa | October 26, 2021, 5:21 AM
  6. I will make certain there are quantities of chocolate there! 🍫

    Liked by 3 people

    Posted by Gypsie | October 25, 2021, 5:38 PM
  7. Blissful Hell
    Response to Bartholomew Barker’s Monday Poetry Prompt: Hell

    No Elysian Fields for me
    Nor blissful nights full of
    midnight moviethons
    and chocolate covered BonBons

    While others flit and fly about
    donning bright costumes
    with gourds full of candies
    so spiffy and so dandy

    Heaven is not where I will be
    a few cold days before November
    The dungeon is where I hope to be
    blissful hell for you and me

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Gypsie | October 25, 2021, 11:13 AM
  8. Strollers in the Parks of Kali

    Well, no wonder they run after heartache

    as a thirsty man runs after the ice cream truck

    not exactly apropos, but wet and cold,

    And the children, those who have been let to lead like angels,

    are running, and deep inside we are all still children

    are we not?

    Yelling for I scream, You scream We All Scream for Ice cream.

    Group identity is very important, and that is because..

    It is all we have.

    Everything else is too deep to dig for

    Golden shovel or not.


    gold bends, and would not be so rare

    if it were not so scarce.

    The earth has only yielded 35 million dollars

    worth of gold ever. Other planets in our solar system

    don’t have gold, which is one reason we

    would not risk being frozen to get there.

    We look farther afield and wait for a worm tunnel

    which means we are o k with

    worminess and that shows.

    You can see wormholes everywhere,

    when you are nearly ninety

    you get vision,

    better late than never.

    Soon you will be set high on a pyre

    and burned to the birds of the hot wind,

    you who know how to dodge

    the flames and have a taste for satva.

    Buddha was better than Kali that’s for sure

    though it irks that once again the female

    gets the devil’s part. O, yes, and the Mother role-

    which is marked by bouquets in May.

    Who cares about motherhood anymore

    young men are better at nurturing now

    they push strollers with one in and one on the chest

    to the park, a dog on a leash. The invisible leash

    around their necks sings sweet songs of

    virtue in their ears, and makes them feel

    that being a man is more manly than ever.

    Sirens have lost their touch, the lyric has changed-

    and eternal niceness still nets corpses.

    Wives wear suits, hail cabs

    and bring home chopsticks to go with the

    ginger flavored stuff in boxes.

    They all love themselves very much.

    Happy having proved the point

    that their war-fighting fathers could not prove-

    that to hold a baby, is not just for bad dreams in the night,

    that soldiers returned, who got out of bed to soothe,

    that one who had met death in the face,

    was not enough.

    Did never love you enough

    impossible to love you enough.

    Love me enough.

    Enough. Love me More.

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by ts19page | October 25, 2021, 9:22 AM

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