Doors & Passageways: Dancers and Dreams Poetry Prompts

Doors & Passageways Poetry Prompts

1. Write a poem that includes both a dancer and a door. How will the two interact? Are you outside watching the dancer, or inside hearing the sounds and seeing the shadows beyond the door?

2. Or, write a poem in which you find yourself needed to do some kind of performance to get the door to your dreams open. Who will you be? (Dancer? Clown? Painter? Truck driver?) What will you do to get the door open?

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


Take-out coffee found a photograph.
An edge of wilderness town, rough and poor –
Who knows what happened to this store
with fancy bricks above white plywood nailed

Take-out coffee is always too hot.


Photo by Aimanness, 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


    Through a door suspended
    A narrow space
    Width of a just new virgin moon
    Appearing in an ebony sky
    Carried light
    Across a worn out floor
    One of heavy wooden beams
    She, solitary, alone
    Gathered all she’d need
    To carry on with her well-worn dreams
    En pointe she was
    Or so it always seemed,

    From failing
    Raised up, head in the clouds
    En pointe
    Queen for a day
    She, her dreams of mastering
    Her passion, her love, her ballet
    Squeezed through a narrow door
    Suspended between

  2. says

    The Mind’s Door
    Julie A. Olson
    January 27, 2014

    She danced in her mind, the
    only place
    she could cut a rug anymore.
    Even there the
    door slammed shut
    without warning.

    How was it, that what
    seemed like yesterday
    was in truth
    a life time ago?
    And today
    has already been forgotten?
    Posted by juliea at 9:04 PM

  3. says

    I got the beat.

    I was weaned on Cash and cut
    my teeth on Kristofferson. I ate
    Presley like other children
    ate peanut M&Ms and stuck
    tongues inside Twinkies.

    I got the beat.

    I shaved my pits and
    nicked my legs to Springfield,
    and Springsteen. I cruised Friday
    night beach routes with my girls
    Aretha and B. Raitt.

    I got the beat.

    I tended to my upper
    learning with country boys.
    I guzzled hot shots
    of Strait and chugged down LeDoux, yes
    in my 2-steppin’ cowboy boots.

    I got the beat.

    I might be old enough to know
    better (& pluck the random
    gray hair), but I don’t give
    a rip as I blow dust and crank
    it up with all my friends.

    I got the beat.

    My son stares in
    wonder, horror, delight –
    he giggles as I swing him
    western-style, then runs for his bedroom
    and shuts the door when he’s full up

    because his momma won’t let go of the beat.

  4. says


    from the hallway
    fade with every step.
    in my soul
    screaming louder
    yet, this journey-
    to or away or
    as far as I can get
    from or within?
    I don’t know.

    The silvery
    click of metal and hasp
    secures the knob to
    an almost empty room
    Shelves, a chair
    high windows surround,
    my steps,
    a muffled sound
    there’s no one else here
    or around.
    I can breathe.

    So it seems.
    Afraid? Maybe.
    Weary and worn out.
    I don’t mind the silence.


    It’s the Light that
    startles me
    catches me
    by surprise.
    It’s the Light
    shining around
    beneath and
    between the cracks
    through the dimness-
    the almost darkness-
    it’s the Light
    drawing me to my feet.

    To see
    a door
    a knob
    a key
    pressed into my palm
    the Light that
    calls me to come….
    And play?

    To step through
    a bigger, a wider,
    an opener space
    where heart and mind
    never dreamed
    of a place… so full.

    Of Word and wordlings
    Of sharers and dreamers
    Ministers and the gleaners
    from the fields of endless grace.
    Ready to feed.
    my need
    and yours.

    Ready to reach
    and teach
    each one here…
    called out
    drawn out
    by the Light
    into the Light
    for the Light

    Space enough for me, my heart
    my baggage and the fine lines
    of wisdom forming around my eyes…
    my now smiling eyes.

    Because I am one too
    having passed through
    the Door.

    Named and claimed and known:

  5. carise says

    She is ready.
    Nervous amongst the competition.
    The door to back stage is open.

    Here she stands.
    Neck stretched long.
    Like a swan.
    Her thin frame yearns.
    She breathes. Deep.
    Waiting, her fingers caress the air.
    Practicing. Going over what is now rote.
    Striving with each muscle to personify bursting passion and coolness of beauty.
    Her ears grope for her que.
    When she can become a dream in reality.
    For a moment.
    She waits in the dark.
    Big black walls on each side creating short halls to the stage. The wings.
    Her ear perks up.
    The violin has begun.
    Her heart brims with desire.
    No longer a mere girl. She is a woman.
    A queen. A heavenly being.

    Leaping forward she is spun into the heavens.
    Her point shoes kissing the floor with each step.
    No longer tired.
    No longer lonely.
    No longer in need.
    As the music sweeps and carries, she is alive.
    Bursting with love and purity the music slows.
    Breathing hard.

    She changes.
    Her hair comes down.
    Picks up her old car keys.
    She looks back.
    The stage door is closed.

  6. says

    She pushes past coats in the wardrobe, like Lucy seeking light from the lamp post
    that stands stalwart,
    looks to the whirl of flakes in that hidden place,
    the unfolding mystery of choreography

    It’s a struggle to the center of things because this room
    with wood floors and long drapes is not all,
    and a near middle-aged lady too can wonder what lives beyond
    woolen and water-repellant nylon and
    long ago scents of mothballs,
    through that door

    In the late afternoon, this same woman might watch water
    run down a cutting board for longer than you might imagine,
    rivulets cutting lines through her middle,
    lost at the kitchen sink in thoughts of aches that don’t fade
    and ways humans stuff holes with dirty rags
    to keep the wind from rushing in straight,
    and she’ll sway

    And later she might find herself sitting behind a closed bedroom door
    for silence sake listening
    to clattering branches and roars that force themselves down streets,
    waiting for a storm and snow to fill holes,
    make a scribbled page fresh

    • says

      This poem stirs a lot of emotion for me, all the way through. I particularly love these words, Ashley…
      “lost at the kitchen sink in thoughts of aches that don’t fade”

      and these
      “for silence sake”

    • says

      Ashley I am lost in your words making it hard for me to find the ones that hold the most power and beauty. I find myself burrowing in the lines. Wonderful to see you here. You and your art always add soul-full beauty to my days.

  7. says

    13 DOORS

    He stands in the room with thirteen doors
    and mutters to himself
    as he turns to face each one in turn.
    Pachelbel’s Canon sways lazily about,
    notes, hand in hand
    clad in purple robes
    and dancing in unison.
    His eyes reflect deepest amethyst
    as the song concludes it’s movement.

    He steps forth to the nearest door.
    In the room beyond
    frolic skateboard dreams and hopscotch pies.
    The corners of his lips turn in a wistful smile
    but the crash of the door closing
    echoes with aubergine finality.

    He returns to the center of the room
    But his chair is gone
    and twelve doors still beckon.

    The next frames brake-light perfume
    and walls painted with violet anticipation.
    Boy bands cavort with sexpot divas
    atop a bass-speaker laden trunk.
    All strangled to silence
    at the click of a lock.

    Through the third can be seen a bar
    lined with shot glasses
    filled with desperation and desolate tears.
    Shut forever behind solid carved oak.

    One by one the doors slam to
    and the handles melt into the walls.
    Piece by piece the furnishings fade away
    until the room is bare
    and one door remains.

    Through the door, lavender fog eddies,
    formless, shapeless potential striving for shape.
    But the door silently shuts
    and seals it off evermore.

    He stands alone in a room with no doors
    and slowly fades away.


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