2010 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

I make all the prompts for these challenges in advance of the actual month. It’s often hard enough to write a poem each day, so I don’t want to freeze up on creating prompts, too. However, I do often make a few adjustments as the challenge plays out. Such is the case with today’s prompt, which was inspired by the recent issues with the problems posting.


For today’s prompt, write a “more than 5 times” poem. Of course, I’ll let you decide what that means. Maybe you’ll write a poem about something the narrator does more times than preferrable; maybe you’ll write a deja vu poem; or maybe you’ll just write the same line and/or stanza more than 5 times. I just know that multiple poets recently said the “More than 5 times” subject line would make a great prompt, so I’m listening to the group. Have at it!


Here’s my attempt:


“More than 5 times”


More than clouds graying the day;
more than animals hunting prey;
more than holding girls’ hands;
more than making small demands;
more than getting things right;
more than talking all night;
more than kissing and telling;
more than my own misspellings;
more than saying, “I love you”;
more than suffering the flu;
more than shaking like the earth;
more than understanding birth;
more than the rising and the fall;
more than anything at all.


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239 thoughts on “2010 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

  1. Nancy Wearne-Navarra

    Day 26 More than 5x (Corrected Date)
    Did you brush? Did you flush?
    Did you wash? Wipe your tush?
    Be polite. Hug me tight.
    Stay out of the road! Are you cold?
    Get dressed! Is that your mess?
    Pick that up. Don’t spill your cup!
    Watch out! Don’t pout!
    Ssh! Not so loud. You make me proud.
    Good night. Sleep tight.
    Do good in school. I love you.

  2. Nancy Wearne-Navarra

    Day 25 More than 5x
    Did you brush? Did you flush?
    Did you wash? Wipe your tush?
    Be polite. Hug me tight.
    Stay out of the road! Are you cold?
    Get dressed! Is that your mess?
    Pick that up. Don’t spill your cup!
    Watch out! Don’t pout!
    Ssh! Not so loud. You make me proud.
    Good night. Sleep tight.
    Do good in school. I love you.

  3. Monica Martin

    More than five times turning off the lights,
    more than five times locking the door.
    More than five times testing the knob,
    more than fifteen minutes to leave the house.

  4. Angie Bell

    More Than Five Times

    More than five times I invited
    I called
    I emailed
    You responded once
    More than five times I’ve lost
    Jobs
    Friends
    But never hope
    More than five times I’ve felt so all alone
    When I was a kid I told my dog
    When I was a teenager I hid it from my friends
    Now I sometimes tell my husband
    More than five times I’ve said
    “If you do that one more time…”
    “If I was her…”
    “I wish I could turn back time.”
    Now, more than five times
    I’ve said, “more than five times”
    So, enough is enough
    Do I stop inviting, calling, emailing?
    Will I ever learn to stop losing things and people?
    Can I stop repeating myself?

  5. G. Smith

    REQUESTS
    (c) 2010 – G. Smith
    ===================
    One more time, Daddy,
    One more time…
    Push me in the swing;
    Give me a piggy-back ride;
    Read me Winnie the Pooh;
    Throw me the ball;
    Give me a kiss and a hug,
    One more time.

  6. S.E. Ingraham

    Five is more than a number

    More than five times I called out to any god or goddess
    To save me from myself and they seemed unable to hear
    More than five times I prayed to the sun, the moon, and then Jupiter
    The planet most closely linked to this number, this number five –
    To take me away, lead me on an adventure, set things in motion
    All to no avail

    Then, learning that the ancient Greeks considered the number five
    Somewhat perfect in that to them it represented so many things
    Beginning with a star encased within a circle – the pentagram –
    Drawn in a unicursal fashion – that is, one continuous loop – thereby
    Making the symbol itself perfect and powerful and possessing divine grace

    I began again to consider the possibilities inherent in number five
    The number of harmony and balance, as the ancients were convinced,
    Never mind that they also warned it foretold instability and unpredictability
    In equal measure – I preferred to dwell on the positives, even going so far
    As to lean toward religions for which I normally have only passing interest

    Surely there must be something important about five being connected
    To the fifth verse in the Holy Bible and the fifth day of creation
    – after all
    God called the light Day and the darkness Night – and the evening
    and the morning
    Were the first day and night – surely there was significance here …

    However, never one to favour one religion over another, I moved quickly
    Along to the Koran only to be reminded of the five pillars
    of Islam and remembered
    Too how my Muslim friends are called to pray to Mecca five times
    a day – again,
    Significant – important – no more or less than what the Christians believe,
    Of this I am certain

    But what of the five wounds of Christ, my Episcopalian friend queries me?
    And I, growing weary of all the fives and more than fives – reply – there are so many
    Things connected to five – did you know that five has long been considered
    The human number in that we have five digits on each of our extremities – five fingers, five toes
    And, we have five senses too – sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste – plus, it is thought
    We experience five major initiations in life: birth, adolescence, coitus, parenthood and death …

    There are so many extrapolations that you can do using this number
    – it makes me
    Tired and confused even to think of it – and I have thought of it more than five times, believe me.
    Now I need to stop – take five, so, give me five, high five, low five – be back in five – I’m out of here.

  7. S.E. Ingraham

    Five is more than a number

    More than five times I called out to any god or goddess
    To save me from myself and they seemed unable to hear
    More than five times I prayed to the sun, the moon, and then Jupiter
    The planet most closely linked to this number, this number five –
    To take me away, lead me on an adventure, set things in motion
    All to no avail

    Then, learning that the ancient Greeks considered the number five
    Somewhat perfect in that to them it represented so many things
    Beginning with a star encased within a circle – the pentagram –
    Drawn in a unicursal fashion – that is, one continuous loop – thereby
    Making the symbol itself perfect and powerful and possessing divine grace

    I began again to consider the possibilities inherent in number five
    The number of harmony and balance, as the ancients were convinced,
    Never mind that they also warned it foretold instability and unpredictability
    In equal measure – I preferred to dwell on the positives, even going so far
    As to lean toward religions for which I normally have only passing interest

    Surely there must be something important about five being connected
    To the fifth verse in the Holy Bible and the fifth day of creation
    – after all
    God called the light Day and the darkness Night – and the evening
    and the morning
    Were the first day and night – surely there was significance here …

    However, never one to favour one religion over another, I moved quickly
    Along to the Koran only to be reminded of the five pillars
    of Islam and remembered
    Too how my Muslim friends are called to pray to Mecca five times
    a day – again,
    Significant – important – no more or less than what the Christians believe,
    Of this I am certain

    But what of the five wounds of Christ, my Episcopalian friend queries me?
    And I, growing weary of all the fives and more than fives – reply – there are so many
    Things connected to five – did you know that five has long been considered
    The human number in that we have five digits on each of our extremities – five fingers, five toes
    And, we have five senses too – sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste – plus, it is thought
    We experience five major initiations in life: birth, adolescence, coitus, parenthood and death …

    There are so many extrapolations that you can do using this number
    – it makes me
    Tired and confused even to think of it – and I have thought of it more than five times, believe me.
    Now I need to stop – take five, so, give me five, high five, low five – be back in five – I’m out of here.

  8. Juanita Snyder

    Deepwater Horizon
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    I. Explosion
    An oil drilling rig goes nova 50 miles out to sea and sinks,
    taking 11 men with her. Strong winds push the slick
    back towards Gulf states while British oil giant BP
    declares, “No problem, we got ‘er!”

    “Five times more potential than the Exxon Valdez”
    reads headlines the world over.

    II. Economic disaster
    “Only three miles from shore,” shouts one shrimp
    fishermen to another, as they race to harvest before
    the spill wipes oily hands on the dress of Miss Louisiana.

    “Five times more potential than the Exxon Valdez”
    reads headlines the world over.

    III. Environmental disaster
    Hundreds of fish, turtles & dolphins, porpoise & whales
    line up for their obligatory X to add to the class action suits
    while volunteers clad in rubber gloves and aprons
    continue to scrub sea birds as the toll rises.

    “Five times more potential than the Exxon Valdez”
    reads headlines the world over.

    IV. Response
    The Coast Guard and BP deploy floating booms
    and set controlled fires to liberate oil from water,
    while Seawater Cowboys round up leftover tar
    and military ships watch from standby.

    “Five times more potential than the Exxon Valdez”
    reads headlines the world over.

    V. Finger pointing
    With everyone pointing the finger at one another,
    NOAA estimates a 200,000 gallon-a-day leak,
    while mounting lawsuits bonfire into outer space.

    “Five times more potential than the Exxon Valdez”
    reads headlines the world over.

    © 2010 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  9. Jean T Quinn

    There were six verses to the silly ballad
    About six horses eating too much salad
    More than five times, the chorus
    With lyrics just to bore us
    I made six curses I believed were valid

  10. Rose Anna Hines

    F or every time I tried to enter holly Comment Grounds
    I nevitable code rejection caused
    V ital organs to quicken, quiver, quake, query, and get queasy
    E mergency Room Diagnosed, “Five Attempt Syndrome” and gave me 5 aspirins.

  11. shannpalmer

    Excess ( no more than)

    More than five times, more than a hundred,
    more often than not I am late wherever I go.

    It’s not that I don’t value your time, I do,
    but no matter how hard I try, I end up behind.

    My excuses, real and creative, are legion-
    traffic, phone calls, supper cooking, lost my way-

    I get lost in my own house, of course, the car can stupify
    me in a crunch, have you ever been to the crunch?

    Last night I pulled on cotton pants over cotton panties-
    nothing would move, I was already late but had to change.

    I couldn’t bear to be seen like that, walking in late
    was less embarrassment than bunchy pants in bad places.

    Usually it’s supper- don’t other women cook for their families?
    And directions? I once lost an hour between Cary St and Patterson.

    So many neighborhoods have streets, coves, courts, lane,
    drives, and who-knows-what with the same name!

    Tuckahoe, Shockoe, Bellevue, Short Pump are all neighborhoods,
    stores, teams, and areas that lack geographical specificity

    Sometimes I need a nap before some event or rehearsal,
    often, it’s all I can do to motivate myself to be with you,

    or them, or in that part of town, or Southside- I am sorry,
    sincerely, the best idea is to tell me it all happens an hour earlier.

  12. Mike Bayles

    More than Five Wishes
    by
    Mike Bayles

    More than five wishes offered on an April day
    call for growth and wellness and memories
    of more than five cousins far away.
    More than five spirits stir in the wind
    and the warmth it brings,
    and spring is a time to forget many things.
    My heart has died more than five times
    to winters’ descent,
    and more than five times, I’ve learned to live
    with the coming of spring.

  13. Susan Brennan

    Five Times

    the cat has looked for the moon
    in the blue ink sky

    the hatchling has gulped air
    and mushrooms

    the Siberian Irises have doubled
    their fists

    the neighbors have dried their faces
    and covered their hands for funerals

    the vine has reincarnated across
    our bedroom window

  14. Megan

    More than 5 times faster

    Couriered message was slow
    Mail was leisure
    Phone calls civilized
    Faxes an irritant,
    But emails are five times faster
    Than all other work options.
    And only slow the work.
    Email then PDF a letter,
    A minute, a second later
    And a return form completed.
    Then a follow-up –
    I sent an email have
    You processed it yet.
    5 times faster only they want
    It sooner faster
    NOW.

    Nooo its five times fsster
    interruptis
    aaahhh click next next next next
    next

  15. Richard B. Walker

    more than 5 times

    I’ve told that student
    to take his time
    on tests

    but he just won’t
    listen
    he’s always the first

    one done
    and I know – just know
    he didn’t do well

    I won’t see the results
    until next school year
    but his is the first

    printout I’ll look for
    I’ll take no pride
    in being right

    about how poorly he did
    it will be a sad
    satisfaction

  16. Clay Strickland

    Forgetting

    Putting the saying to test,
    repeating the new names
    of rock bands five times,
    repeating them while Octane
    played through loud speakers,
    repeating while paying attention
    more to the guitars and lyrics,
    repeating them when sidetracked
    with thoughts from past weekend,
    repeating them being a good driver
    down 95 not wrecking to remember,
    repeating four and a half out of five
    when I finally make it home , it works.

  17. Patti Williams

    I know I’ve said it a thousand times,
    I mean over and over and over
    But they don’t listen to a damn
    Thing I say.

    “Pick up after yourself, use your
    Arms and legs to load the dishes
    In the dishwasher, put the dirty
    Clothes somewhere else other
    Than the floor, make the bed
    For one morning in your life!”

    Jeez Louise! I’m not a maid
    But I love them and
    I know I’ve said that
    A thousand times too,
    Over and over: “I love you,”
    Cause that’s what Moms do.

    But really, pick up!

  18. AC Leming

    FIVE TIMES & MORE

    five times & more
    you raised your voice

    five times & more
    you lifted your hand

    five times & more
    you slapped me down

    five times & more
    I let you, but no more

  19. Darryl Willis

    This is the End of the World

    This is the end of the world:
    sitting on the porch sipping
    coffee with the scent of wisteria
    floating by. Wondering why
    The world can’t seem to slow itself down.

    This is the end of the world:
    single mom cursing the absent
    baby daddy for leaving them
    behind for some rainbow ride
    with no looking back in love or regret.

    This is the end of the world:
    some politician selling his soul
    to keep the money rolling in
    holding on the reins of power
    forgetting the people who put him there.

    This is the end of the world:
    some preacher preaching the end of time
    selling his books and schemes on gold
    and stock, while in vestments holds
    the body and blood of Christ hostage.

    This is the end of the world:
    where the lion lies down with the lamb
    the child will play in the den of the snake;
    a world renewed for humankind
    where man and woman live in peace.

    This is the end of the world.

  20. Shadrack

    Parental forge

    More
    than five

    is the forge

    of the parent

    the hammer
    and push of the infant

    the stretch of the bounds
    without cuffs

    the tongs
    and the words
    dashed in the face

    the hiss and the steam
    of the quench
    in regret

    and anvil strong
    sometimes you must stand
    beneath the blows unbowed,
    the rage and furnace

    tears in the flaked sinter,
    the pokes in the eye,
    the wield sometimes in bellows
    of that jagged tool called truth

    stoic, detached, seeming aloof
    we stand, parental noblesse oblige
    watching the writhes and the moans,
    the trips and the falls, the grazes
    to hearts, to knees alike

    and more than five times, far more
    will we be there, suffering every
    strike tenfold in our hearts, offering
    comfort, advice and feeling poor
    in our feeble ministrations, inept

    for thus is the forge
    of a parent

    and thus
    do we

    temper well

    © Shadrack K. Shadrack 2010

  21. paul grimsley

    one more river
    ————–

    wake into the everyday
    sisyphus twenty four seven
    because the wage sucks
    and the rage bucks
    up through you and into your mind
    but what can you find?
    the newspaper lies

    this is not an economic slump
    there is no recession
    your depression belongs to you
    and your money mismanagement
    accounts for your poverty
    the situation burns you
    pushing against the tide til it returns you

    no one should have to work
    more than five times a week
    even god rested
    this groove of return, repeat
    calendared, diaried, timetabled
    swearing more than five times
    dragged down more than five times

    Acheron
    Cocytus
    Phlegethon
    Lethe
    Styx

  22. Reesha

    Being in Love

    They say insanity is marked
    by individuals who repeat
    the same action over again
    and expect different results.

    I’ve forgiven you
    more than five times,
    expecting something different.
    But I must be insane.

    Every time you ask for forgiveness,
    just know I wouldn’t change a thing.
    I happen to like being driven crazy
    every now and then by who you are.

    Better that you’re always
    saying sorry for not taking out the trash,
    than me having to forgive you
    for something worse.

    Oh, and by the way,
    I can tell by your silly smile
    and star-struck eyes
    that, just like me,
    you’re a little insane too
    for putting up with me.

  23. SusanB

    26 MORE THAN FIVE TIMES

    More than once a year
    Depression stalks me
    More than twice a year
    I fight it
    More than three times a year
    Inspiration comes with breakthroughs
    More than four times a year
    Both knock me on my ass
    More than five times a year
    I get up and start again

  24. Barbara Ehrentreu

    Joseph Harker thank you for saying what so many wanted to say. You are awesome!
    Walt, please don’t leave. Your poetry inspires me every day!
    I don’t come here for drama. It is more a comfort zone for me and occasionally when someone recognizes my poem it is an ego booster.:) I am so in awe of most of you and as I’ve said several times, love being part of this community. Let’s not spoil a good thing. 🙂

    I Close My Eyes

    I close my eyes and see you as a toddler,
    short legs flying down the concrete sidewalk
    I close my eyes and see you in kindergarten,
    bright eyes smiling holding hands with Jose,
    whose five year old heart belonged to you.
    I close my eyes and see you at twelve falling off
    that horse, breaking your nose, and months later
    trussed in plaster cast from hip to toe from your hip operation
    I close my eyes and see you graduate high school,
    already a depression veteran, but on your path
    I close my eyes and see you the last time you were
    happy, laughing with your friends
    I close my eyes and see my daughter grown.

    I Cried Five Tears

    I cried one tear for the loss of your affection
    I cried two tears for the loss of your attention
    I cried three tears for the loss of your laughter
    I cried four tears for the loss of your touch on
    my skin
    I cried five tears for the loss of your body fitting
    Next to mine in a flesh jigsaw puzzle.

  25. Laura Hohlwein

    More than five times

    Maybe six I have been to Germany
    Does it take so little to build an identity?
    The window pulls out at a slant from the top
    and the air lifts in cool
    to rouse me from my traveling state
    as it always did

    always
    more than five times

    Deep voices rise from the stairwell
    and my aunt has brought afternoon tarts out to the patio
    More than five times,
    six maybe, ten, twelve
    I have come here, near here,
    home to these home-like places where the windows
    pull open on a slant and the air
    lifts in cool from the garden
    where I’ve played and later, formally sat

    My Oma’s breakfast table has moved to a new house
    since she is no longer in the old one
    to arrange her shoes in a long row in the kitchen
    or peel potatoes
    or close the books in Latin
    and her backyard has grown intricate, wild, impenetrable.
    As, in some ways, have I.

    The chairs are around her table exactly the same
    but somewhere else.
    The whole room, just moved
    I sit in one, tear brötchen
    I have made from some yeast of memory

    Today, we will ride horses at Britta’s
    In the evening, we will walk behind Opa
    in the woods where the first time
    the first of any, maybe any, dimming edge
    of possible fairytale memory
    – we hunted in the dark wet woods
    for wild mushrooms

    One moment is enough, maybe,
    to seed a hybrid sense of self, if you find
    a wild morrel underneath a forest fern
    but have no right words
    for any of it, muddy shoes, muddy trim on
    your little dress, someone blonde
    moving there, someone with a basket near
    but your Vati is there,
    almost on the outer edge of his true youth,
    speaking words you can’t understand.

    One doesn’t need to understand the words
    to know when they are loving, to know
    when you are good
    and belong
    and always will

  26. Eben Atwater

    Having just read some of the… stuff that was flowing around, may I please point out, formally, that I am not in any way, shape, or form related to anyone else here that has the same surname as I…

  27. Eben Atwater

    More Than Five Times

    I have done really stupid things,
    farted in public,
    embarrassed the hell outta my wife,
    made her laugh.

    More Than Five Times a day
    I hear somebody say
    “did you know you’re out
    of ______ roast coffee?”

    More Than Five Times I have wondered
    just what the hell that idiot driver
    is thinking.

    More Than Five Times a day
    people I meet or greet,
    or my critters
    make me smile.

    More Than Five Times an hour
    our youngest would ask from
    the back of the car,
    Are we there yet,” and every time
    I would answer
    “Just a little bit further.”

  28. Margaret Fieland

    Six Things Not to Do

    If you lend someone a hand
    they might fail to give it back
    However would you compensate
    for five fingers you would lack?

    Don’t ever lose your head.
    It would be hard to find.
    You’d have no way to look around
    because you would be blind.

    When you shake a leg,
    it might keep right on shaking.
    You may never get to sleep
    because you’ll keep on waking.

    If you lend someone an ear,
    try not to lend them two.
    You would never, never hear
    me whispering to you.

    If you have a sudden fright,
    your stomach’s at your feet.
    Don’t bother going out to lunch.
    You’d have no way to eat.

    Don’t jump down someone’s throat.
    Remember Jonah and the whale.
    However could you find your way
    out and be whole and hale?

  29. Kyhaara

    Too Much Litter:

    Leaving home, I take time to observe
    The perfectly manicured lawns,
    And discover a dingy Kitkat wrapper.
    In another breath, I step on an abandoned toy.
    At the bus stop, tapping my legs in time
    To the music within my head,
    I see a handful of cigarette butts.
    Another glance reveals the box,
    Nestled by the stop sign’s post.
    On the bus, I move to sit down,
    But freeze upon realising that
    There is a piece of hot pink bubble gum
    Stuck to the fabric in the centre of the seat.
    By my feet, I see another piece of garbage,
    A ripped Tim-Horton’s cup;
    The dregs look like sludge as it oozes out
    And onto the grooved floor of the bus.
    That’s more than five times,
    In less than five minutes,
    That litter contaminated my life.

  30. mjdills

    When Spring Called

    Five times winter called for him.
    Fives times he said no.
    Then one spring
    When the fields were yellow
    He thought it was a good time to go.

    It was like him not to linger
    Nor put up a fight.
    As was his habit
    He said his prayers
    And kissed his mama goodnight.

    All the angels who held him
    Under their wings once more
    Welcomed him back to his home
    Upon the Golden Shore.

    Cheeks on earth were moistened.
    Many eyes were sad.
    But most of all were thankful
    For the little joy they had.

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