Bottles and cans are for preservation and transport. We move iced tea from Colorado to New York in bottles. We can our tuna and ship it off to store shelves. For the most part, we know what our labeled bottles and cans contain; the contents hold no secrets.
Think of a secret you want or need to preserve. Maybe you would like to ship it to another universe. Or to the other side of the world. Put it in a bottle or can. Will it go in easily? How will you do the job? This is poetry. We don’t need to know the actual secret. Give it a shape, liquid or solid. Give it a color, a taste, a fragrance, a sound. Your poem will hold whatever you need it to hold.
Thanks to our participants in last week’s poetry prompt. Here’s a recent poem we enjoyed from Nance…
What is in there?
The voice of the small girl
The old tin can found,
while digging for fishing worms.
Marked with edges of rust.
A few small holes
poked into one end.
Appearing to have never been opened.
The label lost to decay.
The boy held it in his hand.
It felt light as if empty.
Heavy with resolution,
he dropped the can to the ground
and kicked it all the way home.
Call for Tattoo Photos for September Poetry Prompts
Do you have a tattoo? Are you willing to photograph it and share the photo with us, for possible use for our September poetry prompts? (Our September theme is going to be… tattoos.) If so, please share via Twitter or Pinterest and give us an @tspoetry or @EDaypoems, so we can find the share.)
Photo by jafsegal Creative Commons, via Flickr.
Sometimes we feature your poems in Every Day Poems, with your permission of course. Thanks for writing with us!
Browse poets and poems
Browse more writing prompts
Browse more Bottled & Canned poems
- Poetry Prompt: Scribble a Poem for “Scribble Day” - March 27, 2023
- Celebrate! A Christmas Carol Illustrated + Poetry Prompt - December 7, 2022
- Making Peace With Paradise—Celebrate + Poetry Prompt! - September 15, 2022
Maureen Doallas says
Lovely to read “The Find” again!
Monica Sharman says
Code-write it in a cryptogram
with disappearing ink. Roll
the parchment in a tight, tight scroll
then tie it with string in a knot as good as
Stuff it in a bottle’s narrow neck
(and it has to be the dark amber glass
you can’t see through)
then transport it by boat far, far out
to unknown coordinates where ocean depth
and fling it out to the sea where
it will sink so deep
the pressure will surely
be too much for any diver.
Above all, make sure the cork is fitted
L. L. Barkat says
oh, I did like that surprise at the end. 🙂
And the whole process of getting that secret in the bottle was so wonderfully methodical yet vivid.
You shouldn’t need a plan B.
I’m inspired to give it a try…thanks…
L. L. Barkat says
ah. 🙂 Can’t wait.
Richard Maxson says
The girl with the sleeves moves
near you in the chandelier light.
Clouds caught in an unseen mistral
begird the tilting moon, as she fills
the water glasses at your table.
At her touch, flames arc out from stars
and hearts of darkest garnet, like wells
of ink that spill her stories in blood that flows
beneath the silk tempestuous skin,
into to the blue cruets of her finger tips.
A dragon emerges in terrible splendor
out of the rocky hillside, then disappears
behind a wing of brindled Swallowtail.
The girl speaks, rising from a Hokusai,
a hidden sea beneath her neckline.
This world grounded in the skin draws you
in. The delirium of your wine says to dive
into her ocean, profane and sublime,
but the Maître d’ imposes in his tuxedo
and asks if you found the meal to your liking.
You imagine later how the girl would sleep,
her dreams coiling themselves around
each limb, arriving at last on the precipice
of her breasts, where slumber must be deepest,
in the calm of her still immaculate flesh.
L. L. Barkat says
Beautiful, Richard. I love the coiling dreams, the delirium of wine, the blue cruets.
a rude awakening from the Maître d’
but, you don’t stop there…
imagination dances the last dance
a fine spring
warm and dry
time and care
hearts and tears
flow into a bottle
for the future