Writing Prompt 9

Welcome to the ninth day of our 30/30!

Your prompt today is:


When I step into the boat I can hear
Alternatively: When I step into the car I can hear…
When I step onto the train I can hear…
When I step onto the trail I can hear…



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Guidelines, if you want them:

  • Posting your response is not required
  • Feel free to post your response   🙂
  • This is not meant to be the perfect first draft – respond without hesitation for 5-7 minutes, then keep going if you want to
  • While our prompts are geared towards poetry, we welcome all kinds of artists
  • Tips & encouragement are here


  1. A Matter of Motion

    When I step into the boat I can
    feel my heart race with the slap
    of water against the sides even
    though we are still moored.

    When I step onto the train I can
    sense my body begin to sway
    with the rhythm of the rails even
    though we have not switched tracks.

    When I set foot on the trail, I am
    grounded and confident, the leaves
    a welcoming layer of surety even
    though I have never hiked here before.


  2. If I’m quiet I can hear the sound of stay against mast –
    metal on metal, but soft – in time to the lap of waves.
    The lake is calm. Later we’ll sail, when wind stirs the water,
    the sailboat rocks – but not too much – the rhythm of stay
    against mast picks up. Life jackets, water, snack and oars
    for the rubber dinghy. I long for a dock, for the ease of stepping
    onto the deck. But no. He rows us from shore in the dinghy,
    brings it alongside the boat, I heave myself onto the deck.
    I pant like a beached whale, but laugh as I catch a breath,
    ease my legs up and over, pause to find balance. I offer
    him a hand as he clambers up beside me. We are still.
    A loon is crying – we scan the lake, hear its mate call from afar.


  3. When I step into my boots, I hear the creak
    Of old leather and old knees, the click of trekking poles,
    Pack buckles, a stiff ankle.
    The whisp of rain pants whispers the loss
    Of my animal self.
    I hear the heavy breath of my past, the future, this moment.

    In this moment I am strong.
    In this moment I am unafraid.
    In this moment I carry my own weight.
    In this moment I call out the flowers and the trees.

    Only my spirit was stabbed when JC was murderd
    On the trail to Ozette.
    Only my courage disappeared with the mother and daughter
    Vanished at Granite Falls.
    Only I allowed the illusion of obligations
    To deprive me of the wilderness.

    Once, I was too ignorant to accept
    The risks of going alone.
    Now I am too old to care.


  4. just pulled my head out of a funk and trying to catch up…

    30/30, Day 9 (late)

    subway car

    those crazy boxes moving on tracks
    underground, in the sky and over
    bridges, metal containers of human

    cargo caught up in city dramas, up
    close, in each other’s face, hearing
    each sigh and breath, while others

    tell all about their goings on, up
    unto this moment, with a backdrop
    of children’s complaints and beggars

    providing us with polite reasons
    why our money could help them out.
    some with pictures and cups, some

    with limbs made short or missing
    or skin melted or cards explaining
    how life has not been fair. while

    others beg with a growing voice
    move from a please help into an
    ought to, because you have more

    so much more and you are not in
    need nor hungry nor jobless nor
    lonely, without help from on high

    when, really, we, mirroring, reflect
    one another on this subway car, on
    our way from where we were to here.


  5. last of my weekend catch-ups:)

    When I slide into my driver’s seat,
    close the door and click the belt,
    I hear a vacuum, a waiting.
    This vehicle is the bubble, the sphere
    that allows me privacy, queendom,
    a waterless shower where I can sing endlessly,
    a confessional where I cry and pray,
    a skin I’m in for a long or short time
    during which only the sounds I choose are audible.
    Close the windows, open the windows to
    road sounds and bird song. Engine puffs and farts
    only enhance the song, the prayer,
    backup for the lead singer.
    In the driver’s seat, the waiting ends and I begin.


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