Doors & Passageways: Playlist & Poetry Prompt

Doors and passageways poems and playlist. What better way to get you started on new journeys?

Yes, that means we had to include the band Journey on our Doors & Passageways playlist. And The Doors, of course. Don’t ask where the phoenix came from; somebody thought it somehow loosely fit in with the idea of passageways.

What you might notice most about the playlist is how it works in extremes. That was an interesting surprise for the playlist creators. Somehow the very idea of a door or a passage conjures up music that is bold in either one direction or the other (very soft, or very dramatic—we spared you the absolute hardest rock, in case you are not that… extreme).

Now we’re wondering about these extremes: Maybe that’s how it works with doors? You’re either on one side or the other?

Poetry Prompt

Listen to our new Doors & Passageways playlist, then write a doors or passageways poem, including a line of the lyrics if you like. Will you work in extremes? Maybe make your poem very soft or very loud? (How would you do that? Explore.)

Thanks to our participants in last week’s poetry prompt. Here’s a recent poem we enjoyed from Glynn…

Night Train

Standing outside,
darkness, she watches
him settle
in his seat

newspaper, magazine,
candy bar,
captain’s hat perched
carefully above

bathed in light
he turns and sees her,
smiling, he
places his palm
on the window for her
to fit her palm against

as the train begins
its first lurch

—Glynn Young

Photo by Katie@!, Creative Commons, via Flickr.


Sometimes we feature your poems in Every Day Poems, with your permission of course. Thanks for writing with us!

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  1. says

    Revolving Door

    Perhaps she could hear you better
    If you stood closer to the door
    And shouted through the
    Locked passage
    To which you threw away the key
    To all words
    Between you
    Lies a closed door, sealed shut

    People are strange
    Sometimes the greatest distance between two
    Is the other side of a one inch
    Wooden portal, hanging by a thread
    Ferme la porte as you go
    And let the cat out one more time

    People are strange
    Just two doors down lives
    A widower who would give his right arm
    To have her back
    And there you go
    Spinning in and out
    A revolving door gathers no moss

    Or was it stones and sticks and bones
    That would never harm.
    No it was words, I believe.

    A revolving war
    Of words
    The door to her heart
    Permanently shut.

  2. says

    Watching Sam Clemens Watch

    I hurried down the street certain
    that I was late, that Dr. Grant
    had started the procedure
    without me. I slipped in the back

    door of the building that housed
    the pharmacy, knowing
    there was a door off the hall
    into the back room, the makeshift

    lab where Dr. Grant conducted
    experiments with my help. Down
    the dark hall, I rounded the corner
    and in the light of the frosted window

    I saw a young boy leaning down
    intently watching the room beyond
    through the keyhole. I knew
    immediately that it was Sammy,

    that he was watching Dr. Grant
    conduct an autopsy on his father.
    Paralyzed, I clung to the wall
    and watched in my mind what

    I knew Sammy was seeing,
    the examination of the offending
    organ, the search for the lesion,
    incriminating as Hester’s scarlet

    letter, the careful incision revealing
    the kidneys damaged by an excess
    of Calomel, John’s self-medication
    with Cook’s pills, the mercury

    poisoning, the vascular sacs, notations
    of syphilis in the man believed
    to be Puritanical in morality, the victim
    of pneumonia. I watched the hunched

    back of the eleven-year-old boy shudder
    at the desecration he did and did not
    understand. He turned, passed me
    in the hallway with unseeing eyes.

  3. says

    Thank you so much, Richard.

    Here’s a little something just penned:

    Heaven Knockin’

    It’s no secret: Love’s
    at the one end, hate

    at the other, ’cause every
    passage leads two ways.

    It’s choice guides you
    to ’em, and knowin’ gets

    you through ’em; they’re
    heavy, revolvin’ all day.

    Swing this way or that,
    in the darkness or light

    but keep you head up
    and high, your eyes lookin’

    to the sky. ‘Cause when you
    come out of hidin’, you’re

    gonna hear a knockin’. It’s
    heaven reopenin’ its door.

    Feel free, anyone, to set to music. I hear it in my head as a song.

  4. Marcy Terwilliger says

    Shirer runs down my spine,
    goose bumps raise hair
    on my arms.
    Try to lose this chilling feeling.
    The door opens
    I back up a step,
    not knowing what to expect.
    Been a long time he says,
    I know, speaking in a raspy voice.
    You kept the old place,
    She leans against the door for support.
    He comes closer as she reaches up
    and pushes the hair from his face.
    You think I need a haircut?
    No, I say.
    She tucks it behind his ear,
    I’ve always liked it long.
    He reaches up and leans his body
    against the door next to mine.
    Some things never change, I agree
    as he draws me near.
    Longing for that embrace,
    I’ve missed you for years.
    Your not here!
    This is all just a stupid dream.
    I’m standing in front of a vacant
    house and you’ve been gone for years.
    Tears stain my face,
    The door is nailed shut.
    It happens every time,
    just when I think life can go on.
    I come back here,
    Walk up to the door,
    and let you back into my mind.

  5. Marcy Terwilliger says

    Light shines off the uneven stones,
    suddenly I come to a halt
    the pathway ends.
    The sound is that of my heart
    beating wildly against the
    chambers of my chest.
    They all look alike!
    These narrow streets with ends
    that go nowhere.
    I saw him, yes, he’s here,
    it was him.
    Many years have passed
    but he stood there,
    our eyes touched
    we both felt it
    he knew, he knew it was me.
    Rushing to wear he stood,
    making my way through the crowd,
    I stop.
    Where is he?
    There, he just rounded the corner.
    What’s wrong?
    Why has he turned his back on me?
    Our love?
    Following the path of stones,
    uneven, wet from rain.
    Slow are my steps.
    I see him go inside a door.
    I walk to the end of that street.
    My hand is on the door handle,
    I’m going in
    nothing can stop me now.
    I open the door.

  6. says

    On The Threshold

    Two rooms shared a single door,
    One my past, one the now,
    But yet to see the future, How?
    Eyes strained, brow furled… Nevermore?

    In final collapse to my finitude,
    I threw open the single door,
    Stood on the threshold of then and now,
    Screamed at the Future… Nevermore!

    And silence let in, as I there stood,
    Having fixed my mind on those two rooms,
    To reveal a third, open windowed, view,
    Of a world awaiting for me to join…

    And then I saw my future there,
    Yet not as made, but waiting to be,
    And through that window, I had not seen,
    I set the past and present free…

    Slipped through that window, into the world,
    To find the future waiting for me.
    … What We Read, Is Where We Go…

    • Marcy Terwilliger says

      Kenneth, that was so beautiful, I felt like I was in that room and suddenly I just flew out the window like a bird set free.

      • says

        Thanks Marcy – I the photo of the red door and doorknob at the head of this writing prompt reminds me of so many inviting, yet antiquated doors of the homes here in Charleston, SC – in that single image of the inviting door, you also see the history of it’s wood – the past, the bright, hurried vibrance of the now in it’s red paint… and yet, the invitation to find the future, in the solid, never changing beckoning of it’s brass doornob to be turned. Never know what is behind door number three, until you open it. I appreciate your comments as always – hats off to the photographer of this image – it is ripe for the writing…

  7. JoyAnne O'Donnell says

    Natures Door

    The timeless thoughts
    of graceful birds
    chanting lullabies
    and seeds of homemade pies
    grown from the fruit of poems
    with homemade fudge
    made from pure sugar cane
    draped in curtains of taste
    taking us to a bountiful hue
    the door to a flavor filled chew.

  8. JoyAnne O'Donnell says

    Doors Noise

    When the wind
    can open and shut
    times door
    the lines of poems
    keep a score
    coming from wings
    of heaven
    knocking with true meanings
    and wonderful human beings.

  9. says

    The Origin Deep

    Seraphic faces, shapes slicked in rubber,
    With Iron Lungs strapped to their back,
    Terra Firma’s tether, now growing slack,
    Frog footed adventurers adrift in space,
    As they slip from this world’s iron bonds,
    Down the sapphire glide, of the Mother’s face.

    The needles on their compass, steady…
    Their heart’s desire, magnetic north…
    To find in full this life’s embrace,
    To see it’s bounty surging forth,
    And back, into the cool blue keep,
    Of the Mother’s womb, the Origin Deep.

    To mend the split of time and space,
    That mutes our ancient, inner voice
    And molds us, holds us, in our place…
    To transcend the blog of buzzing noise…
    We here descend, our souls complete,
    With our counterpart, the Origin Deep.

    All thoughts provoked, illusions stoked,
    Settle now into a listless sphere,
    Where life’s divergence flows into one,
    With all its’ member cast, revered.
    To dance the rim of our first keep,
    And unify in our Origin Deep.

    Here, rivers of air, so breathe your lungs,
    Here, bottomless blue, so breathes your soul,
    A map of coral dot ladder rungs,
    Here guides your thrust-kick vortex bold,
    Pushed down, held up of nature’s law,
    Of nature’s God, now drift in awe.

    Then return thou, man, to landed cares,
    Crawl back upon my outpost shores,
    To feel your weightless flight a dream…
    But leave your fins there at my door…
    A manmade webbed foot monument,
    To your long lost lover’s deep lament.

    For token, I’ll hold your souls with me,
    To find them, will your bodies yearn…
    I’ll feed and clothe them as my kin,
    Till you collect them on return.
    When you my chamber curtains part,
    And merge with me again as one…

    To run the rim of life’s first keep…
    And find again your Origin Deep.
    What we Read, is Where we Go…

  10. says

    Being a diver, I cannot think of a more dramatic and inviting doorway or passage than the ocean itself. There is a thirst within us that is only satisfied when we slip the bonds and laws of terra firma and descend into the sea. We dive to find our souls’ completion in the depths – we cannot find them only on land – they collect their earliest memories in the depths, and that is where they are made whole – in the bosom of the Origin Deep.

  11. JoyAnne O'Donnell says

    Doors And Sunlight

    Doors open the light
    with beautiful sight
    growing flowers
    roses showers
    among the green light of day
    passageways to walking joys array.


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