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Life: Poem and Discussion Inspired by a Word Prompt from Brenda Arledge


Ann loves to write poetry and also enjoys responding to prompts. A challenge is always interesting!

Wheel of Fortune

Spin the wheel and make a choice - or change each day's position to suit yourself!

Spin the wheel and make a choice - or change each day's position to suit yourself!


‘Life is a minestrone’, according to 70s English rock band 10cc. Is it? Does that mean it’s a few long strands to explore, to consume, and then it’s gone, ‘served up with parmesan cheese’ if we’re lucky, or anything else, palatable or distasteful?

We battle our way into this world, we exchange a sheltered, muffled, warm liquid within our mothers for a terrifying world of noise, texture and maybe warmth or cold. We have no choice of where we land. It’s pot luck; minestrone or dust, nutrition or starvation.

‘Life is what you make of it.’ Is it? Seems to me that it’s where our parents placed us, for a start. Then it’s how they dealt with us, for better or worse. Only then can we start to think about making something of it for ourselves, if we have the intelligence, the ability, a measured outlook. So much is left to fate, and so much is put before us to make of what we will.

Given all that, if we made it that far, if we were dealt a good hand, what do we do to mould it for ourselves? How do we deal with situations, people, climate, temperature, good and evil?

‘Life is just a bowl of cherries.’ Is it? Maybe there are lots of plump, succulent cherries to relish, when life puts sweet choices and beautiful things in front of you. Maybe there are a few bad cherries in the bunch, so you have to taste the bitterness of things that go awry. Maybe the hard stones inside give you problems, break your teeth, or you have to spit out the unpleasantness that is served up to you. Does that teach you a lesson? Does it make you realise that all is not what it seems? Or does it make you resent it, as you wanted it all to be plain sailing, because you think you deserve everything good on a plate?

So much to think about! So much to work out! So much to do! How on earth do so many of us survive?

Well, I can only speak for myself.

My life story is not remarkable, not that different to many others. Its path up to the present is a mixture of what I’ve been dealt and how I’ve played it. I was dealt a wonderful hand at the beginning, I’ve had a few hiccups but, all in all, I have been lucky and known some wonderful people.

Me and my Dad!

This Bond was Strong!

This Bond was Strong!

Life of Ann

Second of May 1951,

my life in England had just begun.

Mum and Dad, a joy for me,

taught me much, how to run free,

how to play and care and learn,

ask those questions, energy to burn.

Riding bikes, making friends,

hugging Teddy when day ends.

Family is second to none,

school is interesting, fun.

Secondary to get my grades,

then, oh no! my confidence fades.

What to choose, which path to follow,

so I can make it a great tomorrow?

Boyfriends, now it’s complicated,

how do I know which one’s fated?

Now I’ve found the one for me,

And my joy’s my family.

Life has given me lovely treasures,

jobs and friends and nature’s pleasures.

Choices bad and choices good,

what we could and what we should,

confidence to make it work,

make an effort, never shirk

any chance to make a difference,

even when there’s awful penance

when it all goes wrong - and then,

pick yourself up and start again!

That’s Life!

It's up to you!

This latest word prompt to inspire us to write presented many different ideas for me. In some ways, that makes it more difficult to choose. In other ways, I can be more diverse. Whatever we choose, we need to make the most of it, be it in poetry or in life. I hope I’ve illustrated that here.

May you choose the right paths and follow the sun. If the darkness gets in the way, shine a light of hope and you’ll get through. Life may throw a wobbly but you can catch it out and win the day.

Ripples of Life

Paths in the Sand

Paths in the Sand

© 2021 Ann Carr


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 06, 2021:

Thats great, Mary! We have much in common then. I'm pleased to have encouraged you. Thank you.


Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 06, 2021:

We were born on the same year, Ann, and it is 70 for us this year. So much to reflect and you have encouraged me to do so.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 05, 2021:


That is such a lovely thing to come up with for her.

You have a wonderful heart.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

Thank you, Pamela, for your comments about my Proof of Today poem. It was a bit more of a challenge this time but I'm glad it worked and I appreciate your lovely comments, as always. It's a great compliment when the reader thinks it flows well.

I hope you're well.


Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 05, 2021:

I loved everything you wrote about today and proof, Ann. The poem was excellent. Your garden sounds lovely as well. I love the way you talked of today, tomorrow and tonight. The words just flowed and you certainly met Brenda's prompt.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

EK Jadoon: Thank you for your kind comments, especially regarding the flow. I'm glad you like this and I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.


EK Jadoon from Abbottabad Pakistan on May 05, 2021:

What a beautiful poem, Ann. I like the flow of poem. Great food for thoughts here. Thanks for sharing.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

Thank you Vidya. I appreciate your kind comments and your summing up of 'life'. So many things which contribute, some under our control, some not! Good to see you here.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

Thank you, Lorna. Yes, definitely like a book - one that takes a long time to write and one which we don't want to finish! I appreciate your kind words.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

Thank you, Charlie, for your kind words.


VIDYA D SAGAR on May 05, 2021:

You gave us a true insight into the actual meaning of life with this poem and discussion Ann. At the outset it depends on our fate where we are placed and how we are taken care of. Later it is up to us, what we make of our life. You rightly said 'Whatever we choose, we need to make the most of it, be it in poetry or in life' This is great read.

Lorna Lamon on May 05, 2021:

A wonderful poem Ann detailing your life's journey. I feel we can control our destiny, however, fate is a one-way street. I enjoyed reading this timeline full of honesty and inspiration. To me life is like a book whose pages we haven't read yet.

Charlie Halliday from Scotland on May 05, 2021:

You did a great job on Brenda's prompt Ann. Poem was really good.

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

Chitrangada: Thank you for your wise words and for the compliment. I'm pleased that you liked this.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

Thank you, Linda. The wheel is a recent thing, as I explained to Brenda, and it seemed to fit this article, so that was luck! Glad you found some of the lines inspiring; that's encouraging for me too.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

Thank you, Brenda, for your lovely words and great input. I tried to think of the phrases and expand them - it worked better than I thought it would!

The wheel of life, as you put it, was something I did the other day for my youngest granddaughter. She wanted ideas of how to get to sleep so I gave her three choices for each evening and a wheel she could move so that the days could be changed to suit her mood if she wanted some of the other ideas. Fortunately she likes it! I thought it fitted in with this theme too, so I'm glad you liked it.

Thanks for the link.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

Hi John! Thanks for reading and commenting and I'm glad you liked the poem.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

Thank you, Peggy, for your insightful comment. I love that photo too, as it is so rare to have a photo of me with my Dad - he was more often on the other side of the camera! It is also so 50s with that little bandana on my head!


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

Amara, thank you for your lovely words. Much appreciated.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

Thank you, Pamela. I appreciate your warm comments and I'm glad you liked the poem.


Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 05, 2021:

Shauna, thank you for your kind and perceptive words. Yes, life is grand indeed! When I read that, I read it with a Yorkshire accent as 'grand' is often used there instead of very good and my Dad was a Yorkshireman! It took me by surprise (in a good way).

Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to read this.


Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 04, 2021:

Life is a mix of pleasure and pain, joy and happiness, and it is certainly not a bed of Roses. You bring out this theme about Life, in a beautiful way, through your own example.

All of us have our share of uncertainties, struggles etc. But then, there are brighter days, happier times also. Fate is a significant factor, even if we try our best to live well. One must try to do our best, and leave the rest.

Your poem is well expressed and beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 04, 2021:

I love the wheel that you made. You have some inspiring lines in your article. Thank you for sharing them, Ann.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 04, 2021:


I love your Wheel of Life in the picture. It's an amazing idea.

You definitely give us food for thought. We are sort of fated from the beginning since we have no control over who are parents are or what geographical place we live.

Yet as we grow we can make choiced for ourselves, but often we are limited to our surroundings.

Life a bowl full of cherries..I like the way you described that one.

It's not always, is it?

I love your poem.

It's perfect...even the part where your confidence fades.

No worries there...you have teddy.

Life is what we make it or so they say...but it certainly does depend on a lot of other factors as you point out.

Great picture of you & your dad.

Loved the way you ended it.

"Life may throw a wobbly but you can catch it out and win the day."

I will post a link.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on May 04, 2021:

Yes, Ann, life is a bit of a lottery. Where we are born, the type of people our parents are, and the situation determines largely how our life will develop. From there it is up to us to take the right path and hopefully make the right decisions or learn from our mistakes. I enjoyed reading this, your poem was great.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 04, 2021:

You are so right when you mentioned that it is pot luck how we start out in life. If we have good parents, food in our bellies, and a roof over our heads, we are luckier than most. Then life takes us on a journey. Most people do not escape without a few bumps and bruises along the way. Our attitude and how we approach life count as we move forward. That photo of you and your dad is so cute.

Amara from Pakistan on May 04, 2021:

Ann it was a joyful read.. Beautifully expressed emotions..

God bless you..

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 04, 2021:

I loved this article and the picture of you with you dad, Ann The poem was terrific and more than met Brenda's prompt. I also agree with the things you wrote. Wonderfully done, Ann!

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 04, 2021:

Thank you, Misbah, for your super comments and for picking up the details. I appreciate your support and your enthusiasm is inspiring.


Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 04, 2021:

Ann, your poem is awesome. It flows well. Your strength of character comes through in the choices you make and how you deal with those choices - good or bad.

It always helps to be raised by loving parents who have a strong moral compass. That's a great foundation on which to build. The rest is up to us.

Life is grand, isn't it, my friend?

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on May 04, 2021:

Hi Ann,

I enjoyed reading your poetry and the way you questioned at the beginning, ‘Life is what you make of it.’ Is it? ‘Life is just a bowl of cherries.’ Is it? Wow. Ann. Super Bravo!!

I loved your words," Riding bikes, making friends,

Hugging Teddy when the day ends. " So beautiful and natural it is, Ann. I like your picture with your dad and the spin wheel too.

You ended it very well with a motivational note. I loved the way you responded to the word prompt "Life". Super Brilliant!!

Thanks for sharing

Blessings and Love

Ann Carr (author) from SW England on May 04, 2021:

Thank you, Liz, for your kind comment.


Liz Westwood from UK on May 04, 2021:

This is a great autobiographical poem, surrounded by interesting musings on life and excellent illustrations.

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