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Poetry Prompts

Monday Poetry Prompt: Boat, Enter, Neruda

This week let’s write a poem with the words boat, enter and Neruda in it. (Yes, that’s Neruda as in Pablo Neruda.) This is another of those prompts where I randomly choose three words from a list of the top 1000 words in the English language plus a few of my favorites. Post your poems 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.


34 thoughts on “Monday Poetry Prompt: Boat, Enter, Neruda

  1. Down past the Big dick
    Round a’enter they go
    Trumping in their boat boots
    Shined up and a’jacked
    Like Puffin hard and mean

    Kennys eek out a’day
    A look so naruda
    Know the Comms a’coming
    And the frequency of course
    For bustingtime to shoot the first three

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Chris Clarke | June 14, 2022, 5:35 PM
  2. The Boat People

    “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
    I love you straightforwardly without complexities or pride.
    I love you because I know no other way than this.
    So close that your hand, on my chest, is my hand.”

    You recite Neruda to your dying husband
    in the storm this boat cannot withstand
    We may not enter the safe haven after all
    My last sight of this calamity is love on display
    I thank you fellow refugees
    When I close my eyes,
    I know the goodness of God

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Cassa Bassa | June 13, 2022, 6:59 PM
  3. Literary icon
    I can’t read Naruda in Spanish
    so enter his world in translation

    We are all in the same boat
    Regardless of language


    Liked by 3 people

    Posted by JeanMarie | June 13, 2022, 3:27 PM
  4. New Love

    Hi everyone happy Monday

    Liked by 3 people

    Posted by larry trasciatti | June 13, 2022, 3:04 PM
  5. Unfastened

    We all had our separate boats, except for you and me.
    Some were large, some plastic life rafts,
    yet it was still random who would
    find land
    for the wind was the only momentum
    left and it blew
    where the wind will.

    You and I alone, after the first few hours,
    strained our sun-steamed eyes
    for land by day, but only under cloud cover,
    in long red evenings we scouted
    in all directions
    at least I did, you,
    opened the soaked pages
    of the paperback with an artistic touch
    to find the page
    where Neruda spoke.

    We sat motionless on the wet floor,
    naked, since we saved our clothes
    for night,
    and listened, as the sea when it was quiet
    and when the small waves lapped
    eager for us, or was it for Neruda,

    ….and suddenly I saw
    the heavens
    and open,
    palpitating plantations,
    the darkness perforated,
    with arrows, fire, and flowers,
    the overpowering night, the universe…

    You read this and we cried dry tears
    thinking that if we learned it by heart
    we could bring rain, the heavens
    would open for us because of Neruda.

    I began, as the days passed and we lived from
    two cups of rain water a day
    and raw fish we caught with our hands,
    to feel that Neruda was the name of the sea god
    and the sky god too.

    ‘Ner’ I said, or
    maybe I just thought I said this out loud,
    for you did not move a muscle to let me
    know you heard,
    means ‘sea’ or ‘ocean’
    I was sure of this
    And ‘uda’ is the name of the ancient rain god.
    I thought this through my dreams.

    We slept in the day under a tiny
    tarp and at night we lay in salt water
    and dreamed it was
    a swimming pool.
    You whispered, You can drink water
    from a pool, and lowered your face
    to sip,

    No, I said, reaching out to your sore-covered arm,
    No, it is deadly to drink the salt,
    you will go mad.
    Too late. you said, and tried to smile
    with cracked lips;
    the water ran down your beard.

    The next day, or one after, or after that,
    we saw land.
    It is not land, you rasped, It is heaven.
    Where we may enter with Neruda.

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by ts19page | June 13, 2022, 2:44 PM
  6. I’ve been launched adrift
    my boat pierced by sorrow
    water entering faster than I can bail
    failure seems certain
    all I have to plug the holes
    are the words of Neruda
    precious pages
    keeping me afloat
    in this sea of discord
    as long as I retain his wisdom
    I won’t sink

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Amy Hadley | June 13, 2022, 10:42 AM
  7. he just says it better

    I was surprised
    she agreed to meet me
    I could see her standing
    on the deck of the boat
    she was holding a book
    clutched tightly in her fingers
    she was smiling at me
    it seemed like a life time
    as the seaman
    pulled the ropes ashore
    I couldn’t hear her words
    just watched her lips
    saying hello
    twenty feet became ten
    and then five
    our eyes trapped in a gaze
    as the gangway was secured
    and the passengers were allowed
    to enter the island
    I saw the book she was holding
    It was the book I had sent her
    The Poetry of Pablo Neruda
    judging by her smile
    once again another man’s words
    have won me a heart

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Dennis Gray | June 13, 2022, 8:18 AM

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