NAPOWRIMO 2020 – Prompt 15

By on Apr 14, 2020 in Poetry

Stick house by Alyce Wilson

April is National Poetry Writing Month, and many poets like to challenge themselves to write a poem a day. With that in mind, Wild Violet will be sharing poetry prompts each day: one geared towards adults and one for kids. 

If you write a poem based on this prompt, feel free to share a link to your poem, or the poem itself, in the comments. Poems appearing in the comments are not considered published in Wild Violet, and you retain all rights to your work. 


Neighborhood Poem

For adults:

If you were to describe your neighborhood to someone who’d never been there, what would you say? What unique traits or characteristic of the people who live there? What landmarks? What buildings? How does your neighborhood look and feel? What does it bring out in you, as a person? Write a poem either about the neighborhood where you live today or a place you’ve lived in the past. Or travel back in time to the place where your parents or ancestors lived, and describe it from what they’ve told you about it. For examples, read “Visiting the Neighborhood” by P. Ivan Young, “Kitchenette Building” by Gwendolyn Brooks, “Three Addresses” by Terence Winch and “Produce Wagon” by Roy Scheele


For children:

Some of the best poems come from things that are important to us. Think about the place where you live and use your observations to write a poem, using the following steps.

  • Observe your neighborhood, either through your window or from taking a walk. Look around you and observe the buildings, the trees and plants, the people and animals.
  • Afterwards, write down a couple things you remember. Did somebody do or say something interesting? How would you describe the place where you live to strangers? How does your neighborhood make you feel? What’s the first thing you think of when you think of home?
  • Write a poem based on some of these observations.

Our Apartment Complex, April 2020

In the courtyard, someone has left a tiny stick house
built from tall trees that ring the brick buildings.
A basketball hoop hangs crooked from a trunk,
the ball abandoned near a bike rack with one scooter.

Down at the creek, the geese have returned,
chatty and poking their beaks into the grass.
That’s how you know it’s spring, here
where squirrels jump onto our concrete patio.

Don’t know how many people live here. Dozens?
A hundred or so? Tucked away right now,
staying at home. We have the courtyard to ourselves
in this place that’s normally so vibrant.

We nod to neighbors as we give each other space.



Alyce Wilson is the editor of Wild Violet and in her copious spare time writes humor, non-fiction, fiction and poetry and infrequently keeps an online journal. Her first chapbook, Picturebook of the Martyrs; her e-book/pamphlet, Stay Out of the Bin! An Editor's Tips on Getting Published in Lit Mags ; her book of essays and columns, The Art of Life; her humorous nonfiction ebook, Dedicated Idiocy: How Monty Python Fandom Changed My Life, and her newest poetry collection, Owning the Ghosts, can all be ordered from her Web site, In late 2019, she published a volume of poetry by her third great-grandfather, Reading's Physician Poet: Poems by Dr. James Meredith Mathews, which also contains genealogical information about the Mathews family. She lives with her husband and son in the Philadelphia area and takes far too many photos of her handsome, creative son, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda.