2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 22

Okay, the weekend was a little wild and unpredictable–from wiping out comments to not letting me post any prompts (and then eventually posting multiple prompts). Hopefully, we can get back to a little normalcy for the final week or so of poeming. Time to make a stand.

No, really, the prompt today is to write a poem that takes a stand. This could be a political stand, religious stand, personal stand, or I guess a poem about the ability to stand–or setting up a stand (think vegetable stand or newspaper stand, etc.). Whatever your thing, be sure to take a poetic stand today.

My own personal stand: Please play nice–everyone has their own stands, so please try not to stand on anyone’s toes just because your stand is different than their stand. Remember: We’re all poets here.

Here’s my attempt:


I never could do a handstand.
First, my body was always built
for running. It wasn’t until
high school that I could do pull ups,
not until college I perform
dips with my triceps, and by then,
I wasn’t properly balanced
to try lifting my inverted
body off the ground and holding–
fingers first and feet last. Not all
is lost. There’s something to be said
for keeping my feet on the ground
and viewing the world right side up.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


Cover your nightstand in poetic instruction with these titles:

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161 thoughts on “2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 22

  1. S.E.Ingraham

    In the Woods, the Stand

    Trees mean as much to me as people
    Sometimes even more, I venture
    Especially the ones that take a stand

    Birches are particularly strong and reliable
    Known for their beauty of course
    But also for their strength and durability

    There are many hardwoods but birches
    Are in a class of their own; in the forest
    It is not unusual to find the tress grouped

    In quite military-like configurations
    Rows of these stately tall trees aligned
    As if ready to march, or stand at attention

    Birches – be they silver, paper-white
    Or even weeping – are gracious, lovely trees
    Never more so than when found, in a stand.

  2. Mike Bayles

    Band Stand

    Music is rated for danceability
    as teen boys and girls meet
    under spot lights, and in the limelight,
    and all the world’s a stage.
    New pop groups seek the light,
    The Cowsills and other troubadours
    for the country to notice.
    Music shared rings true,
    for effervescent youth,
    and within every note lies a truth,
    and within every beat, beats a heart,
    songs claimed by generation new.

  3. Margaret Fieland

    One Among the Many

    One among the many,
    one among the few.
    When your heart comes calling,
    what will you chose to do?

    Stand up to be counted,
    sit and hide your head.
    When your heart comes calling,
    will you hide or strike ahead?

    Will you cling to safety,
    will you stand or fall?
    Will your heart hold steady,
    when you hear the call?

  4. Megan

    Never too late to start, right???
    The good thing is I have lots of prompt to keep me busy over the holiday weekend.
    Thank you everyone for your fabulous poems! YOu are all so talented. I love reading them.

  5. Megan

    Open Your Eyes
    (A Daughter’s Stand)

    Open your eyes and don’t tell me what you see.
    A world full of yous will never see me.
    I could spell out each thought, moment, word, touch, each blink,
    The only truth to you is what you do, say, and think.
    I keep thinking it’s my fault, but it doesn’t matter what I do.
    In your world we’re all mirrors reflecting only you.
    You do and say whatever you want, and then hide behind intent.
    As if it’s my fault that I’m hurt and didn’t understand what you meant.
    I’m so tired of this game. I don’t know why I still play.
    I guess I keep hoping that you might grow up someday.
    For once take responsibility for the thoughtless things you do.
    Open your eyes, please, and see someone else besides you.

  6. Monica Martin

    Alright you creepers,
    you pigs. You are not
    clever or coy, so stop
    trying to be. You smile
    when you see me, dripping
    with charm, revolting me.
    You stare with your rat
    eyes as if I couldn’t see
    you. I have a boyfriend.
    I am not interested in
    a pig, a rat like you.
    Shut up and move on.

  7. Debra Elliott

    Great words my friends.

    Here is mine:

    All Your Life

    All your life
    you are told to
    stand on your own
    to feet…
    don’t give in or
    give up;
    don’t admit defeat.

    All your life
    you are told to
    stand up for what
    is right…
    don’t back down or
    back away;
    don’t run from
    a fight.

    All your life
    you are told to
    stand for something…
    don’t waste your time or
    your money;
    don’t be a

    All your life
    you are told to
    stand tall and proud…
    don’t be a follower or
    don’t be part of the

    Don’t stand
    if you choose…
    sit on your laurels
    and lose.

  8. Linda Cosgriff

    My take on free speech, inspired by a murdered Russian journalist; but I think we’re all in danger.

    Just Ask Anna Politkovskaya

    Speech exists,
    but it’s not free:
    every word that’s unapproved
    incurs implacability.
    People die for what they say.
    Fearful governments
    defend to your death
    your right not to say it.

    You’re right not to say it
    if you like breath and life and health.
    Don’t expect happiness:
    it left with your liberty.

  9. Walt Wojtanik

    Misk, after November, we’ll still meet here every Wednesday for the weekly prompt and continue what we do here at a less frantic pace. I’ve always said that Poetic Asides is the common thread in all of our fabric.

    Thanks Jacqueline. I believe that if a picture paints a thousand words, then words can be used to paint the picture inversely. I knew I had you at "Sleigh".

  10. MiskMask

    Elizabeth, a chicken Chapbook is a brilliant idea. I’ve been constantly curious about something though. I’m familiar with the word book, and I’m familiar with the word chap, but when they’re stuck together as a single word I’m a bit clueless. I understand that it’s a book of poems, but what’s the basis of the word — and why chap?

    Pearl, thank you, and a I hope that your Thanksgiving is enjoyable.

    Nancy, Nightstand is lovely. Mine is similar which made me wonder if everyone’s nightstand might be the same.

    Buddah, I notice your work every time that you post. It’s always top-drawer. Funny that I also thought, "Wow, he thought all this up a month in advance? He had a month to come up with his lovely poems? LOL!

    bc, very cute. I have an urge to ruffle your hair and say, Now, now dear. 🙂

    Walt, I just adore your Santa poems. Your Stand Up & Be Counted is very much the way I feel about this group of people also. I feel oddly stitched into the binding of this place, and wonder what will happen when November ends.

    Sara V, your Standish is very clever. Well done.

    Michelle, your Wallflower Haiku is stunning.

  11. alana sherman

    And She Looked Back

    Lot: He asked
    Noah to build an ark,
    Abraham for his son,
    but of me so little,
    just that I leave this place.
    A man’s ear must be turned
    towards his God.

    What more could the righteous want?

    Lot’s That God is a man I have no doubt!
    Wife: After all, to a woman home is everything:
    floor swept clean
    a thousand times,
    mallow flowering outside
    my window, the small garden
    in the yard behind.
    I am not good
    at taking orders,
    even from God.
    I know what it is to give
    life, understand what it means
    to see what I hold dear taken.
    I must look back.
    Let him turn me
    to a pillar of salt.

    What else is a woman but her tears?

    Alana Sherman

  12. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Apologies….. This one was and is for you Buddha….

    Beautiful dry poetic wit no wonder why with out mutual poetic friend
    Sharp Little Pencil – so well did you sit. You could never be invisible..

  13. sara gwen

    More Of Poetics, Circum Stance

        Some poets attempted concrete
        but except for short, simple, or sweet
            their efforts were foiled
            unless they recoiled
        to web-empowered sides of the street.

    whatev. the stand here being that the internet should give poets more flexibility, not less than publishers made commonplace centuries ago. it’s been more than a decade since most poetry sites permitted such basics as <pre> formatting, italics, bold, font sizes and everything else one need not be eecummings to want as a godgiven right. i’m maybe just short on sleep and in a bitchy mood, but if my stand is the same when i wake then i might go stand in some other corner next time i want to go anything beyond the most rigid text more characteristic of stone age printing than ought be basic if we’re as far into the millenium as my calendar says we are


  14. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Beautiful dry poetic wit no wonder why with out mutual poetic friend
    Sharp Little Pencil – so well did you sit. You could never be invisible..

    Sara M. so enjoyed the image of your father standing behind you… that will stay with me as these eyes close tonight.

    To all happy poeming… I finished NaNo today, was a phenomenal experience and I would recommend it to anyone who has felt like giving it a try. Terrific learning experience. And now as I wrote in my Facebook status just wonder if it is appropriate to serve "fried brains" for Thanksgiving. Have gotten together two chaps for PA and will now have time to give them a look before deadline.

    Goodnight all. Write through….

  15. Patti Williams

    I guess I’m standing tall
    Or at the very least,
    Still standing.
    Despite the blows,
    The whole entire
    Mess of it all,
    I still have a voice,
    I still write,
    I am Patti Bone Williams
    And proud to have
    My voice, my opinion,
    My own say as to what
    The future entails.
    My kids are close,
    My puppy snoring
    As I write while listening.
    The world blesses us.
    And I am thankful.
    Will read tonight the
    Story I’ve begun
    And pray for blessings.
    But bottom line is …
    I’m still standing tall.
    All five feet is solid strong.

  16. Cara Holman

    Taking a Stand

    From Tadasana, I cross my left leg over my right,
    bending at the knees slightly. I’m feeling pretty good
    so far, my gaze fixed on a pine tree I can see
    through the studio window. Next, I cross my left arm
    under my right, bend my elbows, and snug my right
    elbow into the crook of my left, my palms lightly
    resting together. Slowly I lift my elbows up towards
    the ceiling, trying hard to stay as rooted to my spot
    as the crow that just landed on the tip of the pine.

  17. Walt Wojtanik


    Writers of a like mind
    banded together in heart and muse,
    using words at our disposal,
    in the proposal of our poetry.
    So it shall be, that we rise above
    the norm, forming a bond that
    unites and ignites us, giving us
    the strength to stand tall.
    We all require the chance to shine.
    We will find ourselves side-by-side
    safe in our numbers. It humbles me
    to be counted among such talent.

  18. sara gwen

    bleah, bad enough that it takes so much unnecessary work in the comment screen itself, but it never looks in the posting itself like it had in the comment
    if i do any further concrete poetry, i’ll do so where the <pre> tag – and italics and all the other things internet poetry ought have – are automatically provided

  19. sara gwen

                                                    - images of fallen shadows as –
                                        — mistaken ghostly faces with mouths empty —
                    as though caught posing nude for sketching down in our blueprint diagrams
                   offDARKMOON           SECRETS    STRIP                 ESCAPE      FANTASIES/out
      oo         outDRAWNTO    DROP   DEAD      STOP     HEAD    QUIET        UNBROKEN/off     oo
    d     l       offBYSTORM     FADINGINTO   A   MUTE     FLAT     ROCK    A   SKELETON/out     l     d
        b         outOFWORMS     DRIEDOUT   SET   ICY       HARD     SET   RAW   CARRION/off       b
     kýrie      offIN  NOTHING    ROOTED  /PUT  OUT     OUT    HELL  /NOT  SAFE  TO/out    kýrie
    eléison   outGET STANDING    FOR                OR              AFTER                 AN  ACT/off  eléison
     peace    offOF  GODHIMSELF   TO   CURSE    TO      AN     EDGE    SHARP   CUT  OF/out  peace
     peace    outRUSTYSERENITY   AS    INERT     AS      NOT     YET    TAKEN    REFUSE/off   peace
       ete      offYIELDED     BUT    IN     GUILT     TO     QUIT      BY    DEATH    VICTIM/out     ete
         r        outPRISONER         AND    SPOILS     OF     RAPE     ON     FETID     DEBRIS/off        r
      peace   zizzaging crisscrossing ragtagging topsyturvyed mishmashing helterskeltering   peace
    as though her accident had just happened as though nothing hers had changed nor moved since
    except our memories aging like vinegar to keep mine in step with where her own would’ve been
    floating off motionless  like a shroud out above her cold black earth  below her starless black sky
    as i act over it  not meant to carry on  for her standing so still as  though she  had  not departed

  20. Sara McNulty

    Four from me

    Stand Firm

    If you do not take
    a stand, no one
    will know you are here.


    She was grandstandin’
    on the bandstand
    when a cane appeared,
    hooked round her neck
    and pulled her away.

    Picture (shardoma)

    The picture
    rested on a stand
    with others
    of its ilk.
    The little girl who smiled down
    smiled now from beyond.

    Big Girl

    She remembered
    the kickstand
    on her bicycle, how
    hot the metal felt
    if she brushed
    a bare leg against
    it in summers
    of impatience.
    She remembered
    her father
    insisting that she could
    ride the bike
    without training
    wheels. She sat
    on the seat; he stood
    behind her.

  21. Melissa "Missy" McEwen

    First Apartment

    You lived on so many streets in so many cities
    before you settled down on the street
    where you live now. Your first apartment
    was an apartment over a pizzeria in the capital
    city. Your mother couldn’t stand it because of the "bums
    with their cups, hanging around, smelling." Not only
    that, but the sirens she could hear in the background
    whenever she phoned. But you liked it. It was right
    on the bus line and I’d take the last bus to see you. I’d stand
    on the sidewalk waiting for you to buzz me up. I remember
    the graffiti walls in the dim hall, the shaky staircase banister
    and the splintering wood steps that I thought would give way
    any minute. Other than you, the knocker on your door was
    the handsomest thing in the whole building. Leftover from when
    the place was respectable, I suppose. That street, your grandmother
    told you, was the street a 1930’s film star (whose name I forget)
    was married on, in her mother’s apartment, to a famous actor
    (whose name slips my mind). It doesn’t matter, just that
    once upon a time that street was the site of a fairytale -–theirs, yours
    and mine, and today, it’s all gunshots and drug busts.

  22. Mary Kling

    No Stands, Thank You

    I’m not interested in stands anymore.
    I’ll take care of my life,
    you take care of yours.
    I’ll go to my church
    and you go to yours.
    You vote for your candidate
    and I’ll vote for mine.
    If we disagree
    I will just shrug it off.
    Today I prefer to smell flowers.

  23. Walt Wojtanik


                                I love
                              the cold.
                         The more crisp,
                    the better. It is
                        fitting that  Dec
                       ember brings  the            chilly
                   temps. I surely could use a vacation, but
                   it   will  have to wait until after the New
                    Year. As sure as I stand here, I can see the
                entire world with a blink of an eye. A great van-
             tage point; much work to do. Between me and you,
           I love the cold. As I get older, I become more comfortable
        with my life’s work. Saturated with spirit and hope; performed
       through acts of charity and love. Above all else, given from the
    heart of all that is Christmas. At the top of the world, I rule the night.
    With the help of my mini-minions, craftsmen all, I call upon them to
    provide all that my chubby hands cannot manipulate. I am grateful
    for their support. These cohorts of this blessed night, they are
    right here at my side. I can’t hide my exuberance. This night
      excited me. I count on my antlered    behemoths to move
         me along. They help keep a song    in my heart from
          start to end. Reindeer as friends?    Why not?
              It’s a trust we share, and I care          for
                 their well being. From roof top
                 to roof top, we never stop
                    until the first morning
                         light. On a bright
                           Christmas Day,
                              I stand for
                              peace and
                             goodwill for
                               all.    It’s
                               what   I
                      Cold.   I love the
                      cold. I  am  Santa.

  24. bc

    Parents just don’t underSTAND

    It was like a freaking
    Theme night as she
    Blasted out lyrics to
    Stand by Me as if she
    Was singing to her bestest
    Friend and followed it
    Up with Stand in the
    Place where you are
    As she bounced up and down
    So much there wasn’t a
    Male even listening to
    Her belt out her next
    Rendition of I saw
    Her standing there. I can’t
    Begin to tell you how
    Mortifying it was. Does
    One act more embarrassed
    By her tight slutty shirt, her
    Swaying drunkenness, her
    Off-key karaoke, or her
    Genetic make-up that makes
    Her related to me?

  25. Jackie Schicker

    The Crane
    I believe in the balanced, obscurity
    That suits cranes fine in high waters
    It echoes my training as a young ballerina
    Of finding your center unlike the others
    I take pride in standing like the crane
    After all who wants to be the same?

  26. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Children’s Sidewalk Stand
    (a palindrome)
    We sold flowers, mother’s:
    sidewalk stand; small chair,
    nickel or dime
    dime or nickel
    chair, small; stand, sidewalk:
    mother’s flowers sold we.

    She was totally unaware.
    Flowers gone, garden empty
    upset mother
    mother upset
    empty garden, gone, flowers.
    Unaware, totally, was she.

  27. Buddah Moskowitz

    I Am Not Writing to The Prompt

    Robert says
    he plans these prompts
    a month in advance.

    He’s kidding, right?

    I thought he just
    made them up on the spot

    just like he expects all of us
    to jump and write to the prompt
    just because he says:

    “Today’s prompt is ‘write a poem about water ’
    or ‘being in the middle’
    or ‘write a goodbye to your childhood poem.’”

    I’m sick and tired of acting
    like a programmed monkey
    every time
    the prompt comes out,

    and I’m also sick of
    checking the website to see
    if anyone commented on
    what I wrote
    and finding
    I’m still invisible.


    but I’ve had enough of this
    “creating art
    with a gun to my head”

    I am not writing to the

    Is that clear enough?

  28. Nancy Posey


    The nightstand holds
    my stack of books,
    teetering from the weight
    of my optimism,
    along with a pen and pad
    to scribble scraps of poem
    and bits of dreams
    remembered. My glasses
    rest within easy reach,
    and the alarm clock,
    just beyond, set
    five minutes ahead,
    time I squander daily,
    and in a silver frame,
    a photograph of you
    and me, so long ago,
    so young then. I reach,
    turn off the light,
    and roll toward you,
    toward peaceful dreams.

  29. sara gwen

                      Stood up against that far wall
                      to take down names, a roll call
                      of leftovers and leftbehinds,
                      each answering to our own minds
                      as was authorized by city hall
                      rewound back, what started all
                      us sorting out, made it fall
                      out, placed where their kinds
                                  stood, up
                      for renewal, slowed to a crawl,
                      twisting parts to angry scrawl
                      they’d think unlikely, blinds
                      pulled down, then alone finds
                      our words’d gone into a stall,
                                                    stood up.

  30. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Pam… Just finished NaNo challenge and came to the Street for a quiet walk… Broken dissolved me into tears.. truly masterful .. and yes it did respond beautifully to the prompt in an implicit and yet powerful way.. the stand not taken and its grim consequences. Thank you for the sweet release.

    Janet.. yes to bend is the true beauty of the stand…

    To MiskMask… good for you on mastering this form
    To Walt, De, RJ. Sara Gwen and others who have been flexing their concrete muscles so delightfully … not going to be "my thing" but just WOW!
    Trains, Sleighs, Esses, and of course that delicious heart.

    To everyone coming here every day, reading the familiar and the new faces has been a delight. Have a goodnight and happy pre-Thanksgiving to all.

  31. Judy Roney

    Who’s Right

    Why do so many people take such rigid positions,
    Become adamant, rigid, know their way is right,
    believe that everyone should think just like them.

    Who is so sure that they are right, that they bank
    their life, their friendships, their ability to enjoy
    or even participate in a full life so they can be right.

    Who are these people who have all the answers,
    need no help, won’t listen to other people, other
    views. They are closed, they took their stand.


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