Writing prompt for tinywords 18.2

There’s nothing like a good summer thunderstorm to set the hairs on your arm on end. When the dark night sky flashes bright with lightning you know you’re alive.

For this issue’s photo prompt we present just such a scene. Your challenge is to pen an original poem or two in response to this dark and stormy night. Leave your best efforts in the comment box below and the?tinywords?editorial team will share the best of the best in?tinywords?18.2, which is due out in late September.

Keep in mind, we will continue to?accept regular submissions?for the next issue (issue 18.2) through the end of August at our?Submit page.

Thanks for dropping by and for sharing your poems.

151 Responses

  1. Alan Summers Says:

    late power outage
    Andersen’s Little Match Girl
    cuts away her strings

    Alan Summers

  2. Arlene Teck Says:

    monsoon summer
    another dark day

  3. Alan Summers Says:

    Those dark days, no light in the house, awful!

  4. Helen Buckingham Says:

    lightning strikes
    no room at the barn
    for a tawny owl

  5. Alan Summers Says:

    Or a Brown Owl. :-)

  6. mani shanmugham Says:

    tiny house nation –

    lightning penetrates the darkness

    in a zigzag way.

  7. Alan Summers Says:

    Ah, the TV series. In Britain we have 'George Clarke's Amazing Spaces' plus he has a separate series about sheds.

  8. Polly Says:

    fire and water
    a primal combination
    a hidden frog croaks

  9. Alan Summers Says:

    I remember in the downpours this, when I lived in a Queenslander house (Australia):

    sudden rainstorm
    the queenslander’s plumbing
    reverberates with frogs

    Alan Summers
    Anthology: Azami Special Edition ed. & ill. Alan Summers (Japan 1997)
    Collection: sundog haiku journal: an australian year (sunfast press 1997 reprinted 1998)


    I don't know if you can see an edit option but I wonder about instead of:

    fire and water
    a primal combination
    a hidden frog croaks


    fire and water
    a primal combination
    of hidden frog croaks

    So that you have a fragment and phrase?

    Just a thought.

  10. Polly Says:

    Thank you. Lovely idea.

  11. Fred Flohr Says:

    wartime?s stormy night

    my mother?s face lit by a

    sudden gun barrage

  12. Alan Summers Says:

    Oh gosh! My mother barely told me anything. My father only two or three things, and only one of them a truly horrific experience:

    my father's war
    a story of the dark
    collecting its own

    Alan Summers
    Presence issue #55 2016

  13. Barbara Kaufmann Says:

    distant thunder
    loneliness roars
    in my ear

  14. Alan Summers Says:


  15. Barbara Kaufmann Says:

    Thanks, Alan.

  16. studiomicks Says:

    Very effective, if rather sad :)

  17. Barbara Kaufmann Says:

    I am glad the sadness came through. The photo reminded me of an Andrew Wyeth painting – Christina’s World.

    storm clouds
    all I can do is sit here
    and watch

  18. Sari Grandstaff Says:

    for just a moment
    then the veil drops again

  19. mikemosall Says:

    frightening lightning

  20. RD McManes Says:

    lightening flash
    the old barn stands alone
    in the meadow

  21. Alan Summers Says:

    Just for fun, as it's previously published etc…

    heat lightning
    the rain on the grass
    reflects each strike

    Alan Summers
    1st Prize The Liverpool Virtual Book Fair Twitter Haiku Contest 2014
    (part of the International Festival of Business)

    Accepted later:
    tinywords ISSUE 14.2 | 12 NOVEMBER 2014

  22. karinlfrank Says:


  23. Garry Eaton Says:

    the loneliness
    of a single old age
    distant lightning

  24. projectwords11 Says:

    lightening flashes
    through the empty barn

  25. Alan Summers Says:

    Do you mean 'lightning' or lightening?

    Congrats on your SECOND PRIZE haiku for the 2018 Creatrix Prize, brilliant!

  26. projectwords11 Says:

    Oops and thanks Alan!

  27. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    Alan corrected me on the very same thing several years ago, Rachel!

    Yes, many congrats.

  28. projectwords11 Says:

    thanks Marion…and glad I'm not alone !

  29. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    :) :) :)

  30. projectwords11 Says:

    thunder clouds
    a warning bark
    from the black dog

  31. Barbara Kaufmann Says:

    Well done!

  32. projectwords11 Says:


  33. studiomicks Says:

    I really like this!

  34. projectwords11 Says:

    thank you!

  35. Sam Bateman Says:

    approaching thunder
    our dogs ears
    listen up

  36. karinlfrank Says:


  37. Anne b grote Says:

    Porch candle quivers

    The oldies still play and I sing

    Through thunder and static

  38. Elizabeth Moura Says:

    shattered dreams

    it took lightning

    for me to see you


    each downpour

    a brush with death

  39. Marie Louise Munro Says:

    summer doldrums . . .
    the sudden roar
    of thunder

  40. papagreenbean Says:

    not yet
    the boom of muse
    but a crack

  41. Marie Louise Munro Says:

    stifling heat . . .
    the sky breaks
    its silence

  42. Scott Reesy Says:

    For an instant

    There was nowhere left

    For shadows

  43. Sabra Says:

    Brilliant! (No pun intended…)

  44. Sam Bateman Says:

    approaching thunder
    our dog's ears
    listen up

    (grammar correction, oops)

  45. lucywhiteheadpoetry Says:

    lightning strike
    small faces brighten
    at the window

    advancing storm
    we watch it
    on our smartphones

    Lucy Whitehead

  46. studiomicks Says:

    I really like this – great social comment!

  47. Garry Eaton Says:

    sunset glow
    a soldier hardens himself
    for the night to come

  48. Sam Bateman Says:

    an old barn accepts its fate lightning strike

  49. Helen Buckingham Says:

    thunder and lightning
    first love still standing

  50. Sari Grandstaff Says:

    prairie lightning

    the old cabin

    remains stoic

  51. karinlfrank Says:

    weathered barn
    endures prairie lightning
    townspeople cringe

  52. karinlfrank Says:

    weathered barn
    survives prairie lightning
    townspeople cringe

  53. th. vandergrau Says:


    my firstborn

    finds his voice

  54. Barbara Kaufmann Says:

    Ah that first cry of indignation from a healthy newborn. This brought me a feeling of joy, in spite of the photo!

  55. th. vandergrau Says:

    Joy and wonder; that is what I was trying to convey – thank you!

  56. projectwords11 Says:

    Correction … thanks Alan!

    lightning flashes
    through the empty barn

  57. Bob Whitmire Says:

    hunkered in the bunker a rain of rockets

  58. Alexa Selph Says:

    a wrong turn
    on a lonely road
    lightning points the way

  59. Joanna M. Weston Says:

    ghosts howl
    lightning strikes
    the old barn

  60. Nan Bagwell Payne Says:

    nothing but
    the sound of thunder…
    his last breath

  61. painterly2 Says:

    what happens when_I repress_all that anger_

  62. Bob Kimberly Says:

    Threatening clouds build
    Lightning rents the roiling sky
    A wild summer storm.

    The old wooden barn
    Leaning into the prairie wind
    Distant lightning strikes

  63. Bob Kimberly Says:

    Storm on the prairie
    Bright lightning and driving rain
    Where do creatures hide?

    Lighting in grey clouds
    Little barn on the prairie
    Dark and stormy night.

  64. Lisa Frank Says:

    the scent of electrified earth turning cold

    a blue pail

    full of rain

    all the horses

  65. Lisa Frank Says:

    This is really two separate poems – the first being a single line haiku.

  66. Barbara Tate Says:

    incoming storm
    sheltering in place
    a prairie wolf


    warrior spirits
    restoring harmony between
    here and beyond

  67. Marita Gargiulo Says:

    battered barn
    an illusion of safety
    lightening strikes twice

  68. Marita Gargiulo Says:

    Sorry, it incorrectly autocorrected. Should be:

    battered barn
    an illusion of safety
    lightning strikes twice

  69. Marita Gargiulo Says:

    Very much enjoy #43

  70. Marita Gargiulo Says:

    Very much like #43

  71. Mick Francis Says:

    dark brooding tension snaps
    igniting swollen air
    nature breathes a sigh

  72. MrsRappReads Says:

    distant thunder
    inside the open garage
    smells like Dad

  73. satinekatharine Says:

    I love this.

  74. Sari Grandstaff Says:

    flash of lightning
    a field mouse takes refuge
    in the abandoned cabin

  75. Sari Grandstaff Says:

    lightning on the horizon
    the earth and sky
    join forces

  76. Susanna Lee Says:

    from a sound sleep
    lightning streaks and thunderbolts
    terror ?til dawn

  77. Kristen Lindquist Says:

    late night
    summer storm

    summer storm
    his snoring
    competes with the thunder

  78. Scott Reedy Says:

    a streak of light
    across a prairie
    of faces

  79. m. shane pruett Says:

    sunburnt grass sways to
    echoes of distant thunder
    grandfather's bones
    that old barn
    all that remains

  80. JackieMaugh Robinson Says:

    This hauntingly beautiful poem defied me to be content with a single reading. Like the echoes of distant thunder, it reverberates with the memories of the distant and not so distant past. Not so long ago the grass, new and green, was swayed by fresh winds; perhaps the grandfather was young when the barn was new. You now memorialize their remaining bones and dry, aged timbers. I’m reminded of the line from a song, “long ago and far away”. Your echoing images will long stay with me. So very well written m.! I look forward to reading more of your work.

  81. Sam Bateman Says:

    the thrill
    of being afraid

  82. Scott Reedy Says:

    on the porch
    commiserating with a sky
    tearing itself in half

  83. Scott Reedy Says:

    never too old
    for a game of flashlight tag
    with fate

  84. Scott Reedy Says:

    middle of nowhere
    only the lightning here
    knows how to leave

  85. angiolainglese Says:

    of a mosquito-
    thunder night

    in a flash

    Angiola Inglese-Italy

  86. angiola inglese Says:

    I apologize, but I put like an error to my comment, and then another trying to take it off

    angiola inglese

  87. angiola inglese Says:


  88. angiola inglese Says:


  89. williamgottlieb Says:

    lightning strike…
    throwing away another
    lottery ticket


    lightning flash…
    the widening pupil
    of the moon


    lightning bolt…
    how dare

  90. Thom Norgang Says:

    in the tall grass
    the quail tense
    and wait

  91. Thom Norgang Says:

    after the ache
    and shudder
    your hand in mine

  92. Thom Norgang Says:

    in the tall grass
    the quail tense
    and wait

  93. Ernesto P. Santiago Says:

    playing poker
    even further
    the other one

  94. Michael Henry Lee Says:

    heat lightning
    the weight of the world
    crashing down

  95. Jackie Maugh Robinson Says:

    deafening crescendo
    a thunderbolt
    splits the night

  96. Tracy Davidson Says:

    clearing the air
    a raging storm passes
    from my father's eyes

  97. Tracy Davidson Says:

    our old barn
    reduced to splinters
    the tramp who sought refuge there

  98. Michael Henry Lee Says:

    approaching storm
    a one one thousandths
    of silent prayer

  99. Helen Buckingham Says:

    our world
    on a spit

  100. williamgottlieb Says:

    Crazy, true, striking, direct image; feels like the world is being roasted and eaten by some force that is relishing the experience…though I'd never have said that before reading your apt poem. Lovely and lyric, too: the o's and r's of "our world"…the n's and t's in lightning echoed in "on a spit". Beautiful ku.

  101. Helen Buckingham Says:

    Thanks so much William – I reckon we're all implicated in that force to a greater or lesser degree…..

  102. Julie Warther Says:

    yellow jacket nest
    we discover each other

  103. Michael H. Lester Says:

    her flashing eyes
    and explosive laughter
    attract all men—
    I would tell them to seek shelter
    but why rain on her parade?

  104. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    end of summer
    the growing fear
    of what’s inside

  105. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    finding myself
    in shadow-shelter
    hiss of sweet rain

  106. AskariSkill Says:

    My word rocks
    as the sky splits
    clouds are torn asunder
    the following brightness
    burns the last of my fear

  107. Katrina Says:

    a leap of joy
    through my ancestors' hearts
    summer lightning

  108. Claudette Russell Says:

    flashes of anger
    cooled by
    summer rain

  109. Claudette Russell Says:

    summer romance
    a storm forming
    in the distance

  110. Claudette Russell Says:

    jagged sky
    kids pedal their bikes

  111. Barbara A. Taylor Says:

    summer storm
    sudden power outage

  112. Ron Moss Says:

    flicker of light
    darkness comes inside
    with the storm

    Ron C. Moss
    Tasmania, Australia

  113. Suzanne Niedzielska Says:

    a creek in the sky
    over dry earth

  114. Claudette Russell Says:

    without warning
    a thunderstorm of grief
    builds in my heart

  115. Sam Bateman Says:

    electrical magic
    fills the night sky

  116. Helen Buckingham Says:

    wild night wringing the rain from our thermals

  117. Claudette Russell Says:

    a rumble of thunder
    breaks the silence
    between us

  118. mcchilds Says:

    Warning: Clichés may
    Retain their power
    To strike

  119. mcchilds Says:

    Purple prose
    Purple rain
    Snapchat filter

  120. mcchilds Says:

    It was a dark night
    When Snoopy lost Sparky.
    The Ace thunders on.

  121. Boruch Merkur Says:

    the night touched by a gleam of white hilltop accolade

  122. Eva Limbach Says:

    the cigarette stub
    he threw away
    summer thunderstorm

  123. kim881 Says:

    gorged with raindrops
    black migraine of thunderstorm
    tight and fit to burst

  124. Dru Philippou Says:

    heat lightning
    the way the cabin
    holds the silence

  125. Dru Philippou Says:

    heat lightning
    the sudden scent
    of wild mint

  126. satinekatharine Says:

    Chaorite fills the sky
    Opalescent zaps strike us
    You want to see more

  127. Frances Jones Says:

    the sky wracks open
    to crashing thunder
    the nurse whispers

  128. RashmiVesa Says:

    lightning strikes—
    I stop growing new excuses
    for old fears

    quiet at home
    thunderstorms outside
    for a change

    Rashmi Vesa

  129. Irina Guliaeva Says:

    I just noticed
    father patched the roof

  130. Irina Guliaeva Says:

    on and off
    lights in the abandoned house
    night thunderstorm

  131. Blessed Ayeyame Says:

    the door shuts
    against the wind


    a bird twitches
    at my stare

  132. satinekatharine Says:

    My leg out of bed
    The drapes twist with the monsoon
    The lightning shines through

  133. satinekatharine Says:

    fragmented woman
    waiting for a lightning strike
    to go home through

  134. ron scully Says:

    lightning whip
    the field barn's moment
    flight or fight

  135. A.J. Anwar Says:

    a split-second lightning flash
    caught in a picture
    stays forever

    lifeless countryside
    lightning charges down
    to energize

    life in countryside
    completes the full circle
    when thunderstorms arrive

    A.J. Anwar
    Jakarta, Indonesia

  136. A.J. Anwar Says:

    A refinement on the earlier version, if allowed, should read:

    a split-second lightning bolt
    caught in a picture
    flashes forever

  137. Jeffrey Ferrara Says:

    light through the crack —
    a barn left to fall
    stands on its own

  138. Susan Schulz Says:

    thunderstorm at seventeen
    for sparks to fly


    weathering the late
    summer storm
    without her

  139. Marjie Fitterer Says:

    instant accident
    – like a lighting bolt
    … now he?s an angel

  140. Jeffrey Ferrara Says:

    for a moment
    what once was bright
    made brighter

  141. seg Says:

    Summer days depart the planes.
    Lightening strikes less often -but autumn
    thunder wakes within the waves of wheat
    a trembling like no spring that came before.

  142. Marie Louise Munro Says:

    lightning storm?
    between the bolts I count
    the breaths of my newborn

  143. Gaby Bedetti Says:

    barn hesitates
    between a flash
    and the dark sun

  144. kjmunro Says:

    fire in the sky
    our stormy past
    haunts us

  145. A.J. Anwar Says:

    Really like this, KJ, 'haunting'.

  146. Joanne van helvoort Says:

    a cold wind
    ruffles my hair
    clouds gather
    a far wind
    slams the door

  147. jasminonajourney Says:

    summer sighs a storm
    cool waters
    soothing concrete

    under this swollen thunderclap
    i am only a raindrop

    asleep you frown
    at storms that waking
    you'll shrug off

    by @haikurkbride

  148. satinekatharine Says:

    he looks up in awe
    at the storm and he
    knows the earth knows how he feels

  149. martin1223 Says:

    night storm
    through the empty lamp
    passing shadows

  150. Jim Roberts Says:

    sitting on the roof
    to see lightning

  151. rob flipse Says:

    the face-off
    a barn-owl in the window
    looks at you

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