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Poetry Prompts

Monday Poetry Prompt: Epigraph, Machine, Race

This week let’s write a poem with the words epigraph, machine and race in it. 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.


20 thoughts on “Monday Poetry Prompt: Epigraph, Machine, Race

  1. Interchange
    The interchange before me
    like a tangle of yarn
    filled with people and dreams
    concrete and red iron
    reflective signage
    grooved roadways
    pilings rising from fecund tidal marshes
    gleams level upon level
    in the afternoon’s light
    hard and yellow

    an epigraph
    this thing of beauty
    to the machine of our civilization
    a race forward to the future
    only imagined
    an interchange of what is and what could be
    surely someplace higher

    all the while
    we keep falling back to dark places
    the tidelands keeps the time
    and the score
    far longer than we care to remember

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Chris Clarke | July 28, 2022, 1:49 PM
  2. Predestination

    The human race are not machines.
    Grease and grime don’t feed us.
    Electricity or coal don’t power us.
    Carriage or container don’t move us.
    We are flesh and blood bear sins.
    There was epigraph written long before our birth.
    We are with love, power and sound minds.

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Cassa Bassa | July 25, 2022, 11:14 PM
  3. I didn’t use the word “epigraph” but I included an epigraph to the poem. Did I cheat?

    The Great Race

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Bartholomew Barker | July 25, 2022, 9:02 PM
  4. Sotto Sorrow

    The day is overcast and cool
    leaves drop woefully into the pool
    gray-green pallor robes the sun
    in some dull crepuscular ill omen,

    A day aligned for the forgetful mind.
    Work laid aside, book spread along the spine
    eyes droop and waver, the indolent heart
    slows its race, begins to savor

    A bass note, from a machine nearby,
    my own work laid aside, no use for industry this tide,
    the inner ear scans seas of warning
    gaps in rhythm, a glitch of mourning.

    Thus defenseless, lay down your day
    the best laid plans in disarray.
    Huddle there, an afghan for your chair,
    and watch the day fade into its lair.

    So much was promised to be done
    work denied with denied sun, the epigraph
    has come undone, the subdued heart can not rise up
    as barely damp the chasmal cup,

    Idleness goes finest with this flow;
    Ah, I have learned
    n­ever to put off until tomorrow
    what you can do, sotto sorrow,
    the day after tomorrow.

    Liked by 3 people

    Posted by ts19page | July 25, 2022, 1:48 PM
  5. hellbent on power over all
    the human race creates
    robots and machines
    to do their bidding
    except sometimes these mechanical slaves go haywire
    accidentally chopping off little kids’ fingers in chess matches
    “what a piece of work is man”
    ( a suitable epigram methinks ! )

    Liked by 3 people

    Posted by Cressida | July 25, 2022, 9:02 AM

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