Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads:  Out of Standard – Photo Finish
For today’s prompt, I am going to provide you with images, and you get to write a poem around them.


This wouldn’t be the out of standard without a teeny, tiny twist. Under each photo is an phrase that doesn’t exactly match the photo. Your challenge is to write a poem inspired by the photo, while using the seemingly nonsensical words.

Old factory

Smoke and mirrors and electro-shock therapy

Under a clear sky,
even abandoned warehouses
have a certain charm.
She is not disarmed, not fooled
by a smoke and mirrors pretense
of a nice day. Stands on roof
of the old textile building
where her father and grandfather
had been employed, before
her town was snatched away
by builders, and contractors.
She is resolute in her decision.
Vision remains unchanged
despite medications,
and her hellish introduction
to electro-shock therapy. Winds
of change had blown her friends
away, scattering them like leaves
to distant cities. Pity. By the time
anyone finds her, skies might
be filled with storm clouds.


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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12 Responses to Hopelessness

  1. Jim says:

    I like this, Sarah. It reminds me of a calmer, “Big Yellow Taxi” aka “Put up a parking lot”. You may not remember it but YouTube reminds us. Pity. I do feel pity, she is having a hard, hard, time.


  2. Wow. Clever piece.Those clouds might tell a tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. By the time anyone finds her,
    skies might be filled with storm cloud

    It is not easy to stay connected when everyone seems to have moved away.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was really much darker than I was used to read from you… but I love dark.


  5. So smooth a transition between photo and phrase – I wouldn’t know what was hard about this challenge if I hadn’t tried it myself. Well done!


  6. Isadora Gruye says:

    Hiya Sara and sorry for the delayed response. I like how you used the photo as an internal and external landscape. Thanks for posting and viva la!


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