The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

The Daily Prompt – May 20

Rules:

1. Use the prompt in the way it’s intended (starting a sentence, the title of the piece, theme, etc)

2. You may write in any format you see fit (fiction, non-fiction, poem, song, script, etc.)

3. Post your piece of writing in the comments section of the website to be considered for the ‘Best Of’ section.

People are often asked about what three items they would have with them if they were to be lost on a deserted island, but no one asks how they got there, or didn’t lose those three items along the way.

Your prompt for today:

How did you end up on the deserted island in the first place, and how did you keep those three items safe while getting there? Give us the story.

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

23 comments on “The Daily Prompt – May 20

  1. J. Gabriel Allan
    May 20, 2013

    Have you ever seen Lost? Pretty much like that, except I was travelling with MacGuyver and he brought the avocado, toothpicks, and nail file.

  2. Pingback: An endless prayer | Life Out of a Box

  3. Kathryn Tyler
    May 20, 2013

    The ship I was on crashed into a coral reef. I had to swim to the island, wasn’t going to get eaten by sharks. My items are basic. A knife that was in my pocket. matches which I kept in my hat that I would be wearing.

  4. Matthew Groves
    May 20, 2013

    I fled for the Cuban border when i was 15
    with a knife, a guitar and my notebook.
    I met up with my brother thirty miles
    to the shore where we spoke to a merchant.
    Oh to this day I can remember it very clear.

    We drifted away to the horizon.
    leaving everything behind us.
    All we needed was each other.
    Nothing could tear us apart.
    Oh to this day i can remember it very clear.

    We ran from the Cuban revolution.
    In 1849.
    To die for our country and freedom.
    We couldn’t afford to give what we didn’t have.
    Oh to this day i can remember it very clear.

    We stopped on the shores of a foreign land.
    Where the English trade slaves for another.
    Now we are taken in as refuges
    To do work for the powerful.
    Oh to this day I can remember it very clear.
    Oh to this day I can remember it very clear.

  5. Megan Askey
    May 20, 2013

    I crash into the sand, tired from the boat ride. Wait, SAND!! I couldn’t believe it, not for one second. I remember a storm, although it wasn’t that bad, it just seemed to be worse then what I thought it actually was. I get up from the sand, at least from the stuff that wasn’t stuck to me. I look across the ocean to find that the sea had calmed down and that it seemed to just at peace now. I couldn’t see anything else, just the usual blue and care-free ocean. I just don’t understand, where have all my things gone? I look from the beautiful ocean, to the sandy beach and the palm trees. I find that there a bag siting close to the trees. I run, or what seems like a slow jog, up to the bag, unzipping the bag to find three little, but hopefully meaningful things. I find a swiss army knife, some clothes that seem to be really big, but will have to do, and a couple of matches. I think that should help for now, but I think I should get off of here soon.

  6. austin simas
    May 20, 2013

    castaway remake, i had my pal wilson, a haircomb and a carton of cigarettes that will spoil my body faster than the island i’m stranded on.

  7. Kassy Deverell
    May 20, 2013

    My boyfriend bought us tickets to go on a cruise. I was super excited because I had never been on a cruise before and never left the US before so this was a new adventure for me. I loved trying new things. While we were on our cruise I always thought in the back of my head what would happen if the boat were to sink just like the Titanic did? I never told anyone that I thought this because they probably would have thought I was a nervous freak. Well guess what, the ship did end up sinking and what’re the odds they don’t have enough life boats for everyone. My boyfriend and me swim for what seems like forever until we reach a little island. Before the ship was going down I grabbed my photo album, my necklace and couldn’t leave with out my boyfriend. These three things is what I thought would help me with my journey. My photo album to remember everyone in my life, and the necklace that my mom got for me.

  8. Cameron
    May 20, 2013

    It was barely half past midnight, and the ship was going under
    but I was not concerned, for I had all I needed.
    A knife, some matches, and my bag of gold
    would keep me company.
    My friends and woman were left behind
    for the gold was much too heavy.
    Over the side and into the water
    I struck out for the shore.
    But my body was far too laden
    that knife weighed quite a lot.
    I didn’t need it anyway
    it was time to let it go.
    But still I struggled to stay afloat
    because the matches weighed me so
    I cared not for fire anyway
    to the bottom they would go.
    Without that weight I did fare better
    But my gold was still quite heavy.
    I kicked and swam as best I could
    To the bag I held on tight
    Oh how I love my gold.
    But the weight proved far too much
    and my ego dragged me under.
    Still I clung, tight as I could,
    to all I had ever known.
    But it was far too late, my soul was sold
    to die a death by gold.

  9. Keyra Butler
    May 20, 2013

    I was on a flight headed to wherever people go to get away from everyone else and problems in the world. The pilot lost all control of the plane and we were spiraling down into a black whole, coming to our doom of life we know it about to end. I reached for my notebook and pens and keep them safe in my bag so there will not be any damage. I would grab these things because it making it, I would write my experience of life living through this tragedy. Saving everything I write with signatures down and all I have running through my mind to save it in the bag I have with me.

  10. Kristofer Greenfield
    May 20, 2013

    we were flying over the beautiful pacific ocean and i was enjoying the sight of the sun reflecting off of the sea. i see a small spec coming ahead but i ignore it. suddenly the plane starts swaying from side to side and i am being thrashed around the cabin. i get on my feet to see whats going on and i know see that the pilot is having a major heart attack. his straining body finally goes limp and the plane slowly starts to dip down. i immediately grab all i can open the side door and as i look down my heart flys into my throat. it is a good twenty to thirty foot drop plus the speed is a huge factor. i look again and see the island approaching: this is my only chance before i hit shallow water. i grab the first three things i see and jump out and curls into a ball. i hit the water with a surprisingly moderate impact and as i am under water i see the plane explode. i swim upwards and see that i am ten feet away from shallow water. i look at the possessions i grabbed and see that when i curled into a ball thats what saved them. i barely made it. but i did.

  11. Genevieve Cammer
    May 20, 2013

    The curved sword tip touched the folds of my clothes as I struggled to balance at the edge of a wobbly plank. “Jump,” the pirate snarled, pressing his cutlass closer to me. I fell off the plank into the warm water and swam. I can’t tell you how far I swam, or for how long. I simply kept my eye on the small sliver of land in the distance until I was laying on the beach, too tired to stand. I smiled. The pirated scum didn’t find the knife, water bottle, and string I had hidden in my boot. When I was swimming, I was careful not to lose these three things because I knew they were going to save my life. I was going to get back to England, and when I did, the pirates of the world would flee from the very sound of my name. Just you wait.

  12. Kendra Virgin
    May 20, 2013

    I’ve been here for what I can only guess is about 3 years, on this island I like to call Myland. I call it that because it it’s mine, and well there’s no one here to argue with me about it. I’m not sure how i got here… I remember water, and light, and a tightness in my chest as my head longed for oxygen to function correctly. So we can probably assume that I was on a boat, it sank, and I’m a strong swimmer. But the actual memory is foggy.
    I like to spend my days tanning on the beach while I chat with my friends on my cell phone. The number one item I must have to remain sane. If I wasn’t able to text, check email, peruse pandora, or play on useless apps what would my life become. Boring thats what! But when Im not in the sun I’d usually be in my super awesome tree fort I built with my bare hands. It’s the only place I could store my super cushy bed with goose feather pillows. I don’t understand how anyone can sleep at night when they don’t have a bed or pillows as soft as mine. And my third “item”, the one that makes life here on Myland possible is Scruffy my pomeranian poodle mix. Without him, I would have given up years ago. He cuddles with me in my bed at night and chases crabs along the shore as I tan.
    But the funny part is when I open my eyes… everything disappears… and I wish i wasn’t alone. And the world grows darker. But thats just a dream. Right?

  13. Gretchen Torrey
    May 20, 2013

    ‘ I’ll see you in a week’, Alistair told me as he kissed me goodbye. The only reason I had gotten on the ship was because of that promise and knowing that I could trust him. Otherwise, someone would’ve had to drag me kicking and screaming onto this bark. He was the only one who knew how my parents had died; the reason I was deathly afraid of being on boats. Staying shut up in my cabin was probably the only reason I had stayed sane this far thorough the voyage. And of course I was sleeping (tucked away in a dark corner of the baggage area) as all of the life boats left with the passengers and a few if the crew stayed behind to pray that they were saved by a passing ship. I’d figured out what was going on when the tilting of the hull woke me. I scrambled out of a door in the hold and fell face first into the water. The flares burst into the sky much too late for anyone’s sake as I slide through the water and pray that I reach the island before the suction from the ship grabs ahold of me and pulls me to a watery grave. The knife is tucked in it’s sheath on my belt, the locket from my sister is clasped around my neck (probably becoming throroughly tarnished from the salt water), and my sketch book is secured under my shirt with a sash. I kick for all that I’m worth and all I can hear is the crashing of the waves around me. I keep telling myself that it’s only a few more feet to go so that I don’t become mentally fatigued before i can reach safetyt. The salt is stinging my eyes as I raise my head and I glimpse land a few yards in front of me. Arms burning, I churn the water and collapse as soon as I feel the sand beneathe me . I turn onto my back, gasping for air and giddy with the high of realizing that I’m alive. As I look at the night sky, the stars have never looked more glorious.

  14. Bryan Pajari
    May 20, 2013

    I was wake boarding on the island of Peru as I disconnected in to the water I felt the smack of a wall, like I just got hit by a truck going 70 miles per hour witch matched the boats speed. When I came up from the water I was in the middle of know where. My boat was gone; I was left alone, as the song, “Lonely, I’m so lonely,” played in my head. I felt dizzy, as I swam to shore like a wounded walrus. As I got to shore I set my water proof bag by my side, witch had my nife, emergency fire lint kit, and Cheetos. I laid they as the Peruvian bird chirped away. I new I was going to dye on this island, because it was getting dark, so I mad a fire. As I sat there…

  15. Selma Kadric
    May 20, 2013

    It was the beginning of summer and I’m on my way to my flight to Vegas. I’m at the airport saying my goodbyes to my family and brothers, watch them leave into their car. I stand there for another 5 minutes to smoke a cigarette before the flight cause I was actually pretty nervous. I’ve never been on an airplane since I was like 4, so I don’t remember much of it. So I’m going into the airplane, take a seat and put my luggage away. I’m sitting down listening to my music, wishing I had a glass of wine or something to completely relax me from this feeling of being alone for the first time on a flight. I can finally feel the plane going up into the air and my stomach just starts to twist. But I’m excited.
    It’s been a couple hours now. Everyone seems like they’re in a panic, like there’s something wrong. So I’m getting kind of scared, not having my dad next to me to hold me and keep me calm, I get all these thoughts running through my head. What if I die? My brothers..my dad..aunt..cousin..I won’t be able to see them anymore. The plane all of a sudden crashes, there’s screaming everywhere. The plane apparently crashed right into the sand of the desert. Luckily, I didn’t have to swim all the way otherwise I wouldn’t be able to bring my luggage, music, and phone with me. Even though there’s no good any of this could do for me since I’m in the middle of no where. Not quite sure when I’ll get out of here, or how long I’ll be able to survive.

  16. Trevor Ebert
    May 20, 2013

    A crazy old man told me about the secluded place, the classic “deserted island” that everyone talks about in a mythical sense. I made my way there with a crazy on his old crusty fishing boat and a bunch of off beat individuals: a supposed necromancer, a failed alcoholic opera singer with a high interest in early metal, and a “retired” mod boss. Oh, there was that mildly lovely gray haired goat faced women with character similar to the ship owner she married. I barrowed the necromancers dried eye of newt, the singer’s copy of Dio’s Holy Diver, and the mob bosses five shot revolver to fend off the goat women. It was a great little trek across the ocean!

  17. Nora Timmerman
    May 20, 2013

    I was on a large boat, one with the smaller life boats. I can’t remember who I was with, or what kind it was; it’s been too long. I remember there was a sudden storm, and that a leak sprung down below the deck. It kept getting bigger and bigger, until the whole area was flooded, and people were clamoring over each other to get off. There wasn’t time to grab anything but essentials. I already had my necklace that was flint (I never left home without it at the time), so I grabbed my bag and pocket knife. As I climbed into one of the last life boats, I stuffed the necklace and knife into my bag, secured it, and put it on my back.

    The storm blew us away from the rest of the party, and we didn’t find land until the sea calmed down. I was the only one who deemed it right to grab essential items, and nothing worthless like photos, or jewelry. If I had time, I would have grabbed them, but surviving was the first thought that night, as it is now, and will be until we are rescued or die, whichever comes first.

  18. Andrew White
    May 20, 2013

    Crashing into a over sized rock, our ship quickly began to sink. The ship striking the side of the boat, scraping and cleaning the whole right side of the boat having it fill with water instantly and start sinking sideways. I had no other choice but to jump off the boat as far as i could and swim in the direction of a little tiny island from being so far away. After reaching the island which felt as if it took days, the sun had just hit the horizon and falling fast. My first thought is shelter where will i be sleeping before its dark. I look into my pockets pulling out a knife, wet matches, and my wallet with 5 one dollar bills. I take the matches out the box and lay them out to air dry, while there drying i began to collect sticks, branches, and dried leaves. I use my five dollars to light on fire after the matches have dried to start my fire with the sticks and branches. At least ill have a fire for the night.

  19. Caesar Delaney
    May 20, 2013

    Tired up with my eyes covered. Only thing i know right now is I’m flying on a helicopter, and i had just been kidnapped. i have a huge bag on my back like a parachute. I hear a voice to tell me ” pull the cord on you bag now. ” Before i get the chance to say what, they cut my ropes and i find my self pushed out falling from above. I pulled the cord and slowly drifted to an island. i had no clue where i was or what was going on. I had a note tied to my shoe saying 3 golden items 2 miles north. Only problem was i had no way of knowing which way that was… i was screwed.

  20. Nathan Whitehead
    May 20, 2013

    It all started with growing up. Slowly, I started to drift away from the continent that was my life. Everyone was close, and knew each other. People had the same religious views, even if they were all completely dictated by their parents. Life was simple, and the phrase “be yourself,” had some meaning to it. I was my own person and did my own things. I wasn’t quite a gamer yet, but I played on the Super Nintendo, went outside and played four square. It wasn’t until the street lights came on that I went inside. My parents knew everything in the world, and I should listen to every word that was there’s. What more could a child ask for? Well, I found the paddle my life was without. I discovered that my parents did not know everything, and that they only pretended to keep us safe. Being lied to about what was truth, hurt me. It nearly broke me. I started to change, however afraid I stayed hesitant.

    Being the independent person I was becoming and a Freshman in high school, I started to explore religion. I was told I was a Christian, but I never felt it. I was ready to talk to my parents, however that day my parents sat me down, and accused my friend, who I had known since we were five, of being a Neo Nazi. They believed that he was an Atheist, and that his recent interest in German, (which is part of his nationality,) was of concern. My mother claimed some horrendous things about Atheists, and ever since I felt like Antarctica after it was separated from Pangaea. It was such an instant action it took me some time to react. I was an out cast in my family, and arguments occurred daily about simple matters. During my travel to separation, bonds between not only family, but friends strained. My imagination was kept to myself, as for the time being, no one was trust worthy of hearing my words. Was everyone like my parents? The four square enlarged ten fold. My common friends, remained at the bottom of the square, however they separated to the left and right.

    Now we’re 18 and people still argued against each other. Aren’t we supposed to be fixing the fuck ups of our elders? We want a world with more respect, however the reason why we do not have it, is because we’re becoming what they are. While pulling people back onto their feet while getting spit on represented my individuality. My ability to work with others is like no other compared too many in our society. The lights never come on anymore and I’m still outside waiting, lost, until recently. I’ve done the hardest thing and found Polaris in the middle of the shining lights of the big city.

    (Polaris is the ‘North’ Star.)

  21. MorrisCode
    May 20, 2013

    It wasn’t a dark and stormy night. in fact it wasn’t even night. it was a pretty normal day to be honest. But some how whether because of pure coincidence or fate, all the dots connected to make the reality that I was headed into an intense situation. The boat I’m in is not top of the line but it still smells of my fathers tobacco he smoked out of his wood pipe while we sat eager for a fish bits vibration to make it up our line, down the rod, and into our hands, waiting so patiently. The memories were to cherished to just trade in sell or get rid of. I often come out to fish. I’m older now and my dad has been in a better place for a few years. I sit in my seat with my dads empty chair next to me and fish the night away as if me and my father were spending time together. However this time, nature had a different plan in mind for me. I end up falling asleep watching the tip of my pole for the slightest motion. When I awoke I was surrounded by the oceanic abyss as far as the eye could see. Although there was what looked like an island floating in the distance. I did not know how far away the nearest land was so decided to make way for the island. My fathers boat worked as hard as his it could to get us close to the island. But the fact of the matter is that it had been running the whole time I had been asleep. We made it two thirds of the way there. I had no form of a paddle to help me along the rest of the way so I figured I would have to swim the rest if I ever wanted to see land again. I dropped my anchor and grabbed some things from the boat. I opened up the box under the seat where I had a revolver with 1 bullet. A put the barrel in my belt and strapped it in tight. I took the bottle of vodka and put it in my bag. Along in my bag, I had a little wood box in a zip lock bag to accompany the bottle on the journey. I made it to the island and drank that night away. I began thinking of my father who had taken me on many boat rides before he passed. The truth is I have missed him more than I thought but for some reason it took me until now to realize. I opened my bag and reached in there until the cold steal of my revolver kissed my fingertips, sending a cool chill up my hand. I grabbed the revolver and checked the chamber. 1 bullet. I put the barrel in my mouth. It was my father. The kiss he gave me before bed. The kiss I gave him when they closed his casket. I took the little wood box out of its zip lock bag. I opened it up. Its my dads pipe. I take in the smell of the tobacco that settled into the wood of his boat. Then I hugged the trigger as the gun gave me my last kiss. Now I can go fish with my dad

  22. Jenn Crowder
    May 20, 2013

    Homesick at Home

    In my mind I never thought I would leave.
    Like the ocean, I’ve come and gone and come back again.
    The faces change with each sunrise.
    Familiarities allow me to navigate with my eyes closed and my trust wide-open.
    Then, like an unexpected storm, a sudden crash and life is jolted.
    The waves lap over my head as I struggle to breathe.
    Hands stretched out, but are never in reach.
    My tears are saltier than the water that drags me away from my comfort.
    As the clouds burn away and the voices of others dwindle,
    I remember I always have three things:
    life, love, and the promise of a future;
    This, like the storm will pass and I will regain my footing.
    For now my island is deserted.
    The feelings of loneliness and isolation will disappear with the moon in the morning.

  23. Jordan Katz
    May 20, 2013

    A “Vacation” from Vacation

    The first noise that registered in my ears was the sound of gentle waves washing along pretty absorbent sand, the noise making a “whooshhhh… ssssss” sort of sound. The said waves brushed up against my bare feet, tickling my soles with warm waters and soft foam. Something else that was soft and warm was the sand beneath my fingertips and… my face? I must be lying down. I can’t see too… Ah, my eyes are closed… Duh! Hmm… funny. The last time I was lying down was back at my cabin on the cruise liner I was on because the many Long Islands I got at the great on-deck BBQ. I had downed one too many I think and that is was had given me the whirls-and-hurls when I went back… Man though, that party was epic~! The only other thing I remember from last night is a lot of shouting, dancing and whats-her-face who flirted with me and stuff… She was cool. Ah man, all this remembering stuff is giving me a headache! I wonder where I am? Must be at that “indoor beach” thing they have somewhere deeper inside the ship. It feels so real here! Lets check it out… Opening my eyes I quickly get blinded with bright light and inhale fast in reaction, sucking up some very unwanted sand into my nose. Automatically, I sit up and sneeze, batting at my nose with a soggy, sea-soaked and puke-stained sweatshirt sleeve. Opening my eyes once more, I suddenly gasp. Lying before me was the vast and crazy big ocean! Like, seriously. THE. OCEAN. Isn’t this nice! I get a vacation FROM my vacation! Right on! After I look for just a little longer, I turn my gaze down to see a small box of wet matches sitting near me and a pair of soaked Crocs coming to shore now… Ugh! They’re powder blue too! But that’s besides the point! I totally gotta call the guys and tell them what happened to me! Now where’s my phone…? Aha! Still in my back pocket! …No signal… Ten percent battery?! Dang it! Stupid T-Mobile! Well, maybe I’ll play some Temple Run for now and figure this whole thing out…

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