2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 23

Wow! We’re only a week away from completing another November PAD Chapbook Challenge. Of course, for many, this is likely to be the busiest week of the month. But I’m sure everyone can push through and hit the finish line. Let’s do it!

For today’s “Two for Tuesday” prompt, write one of the following (or both if you’re an overachiever):

  1. Write a form poem. This poem can cover any subject you want, but it should be written using a poetic form. Could be haiku, sestina, triolet, shadorma, paradelle, or some other poetic form. (Click here to see a list of 35 poetic forms.)
  2. Write an anti-form poem. This poem doesn’t have to follow a poetic form, but it should communicate the poet’s distaste for poetic forms.

(Also, just in case you need a subject to help get you started on the form poems: Write a poem about magic. Note: This is an optional prompt.)

Here’s my attempt:

“Going to the zoo”

Going to the zoo
looking for a moo
cow or at least a bear;
they have them there.
Maybe a baby panda
or goose from Canada
or monitor lizard
with a turkey gizzard.
Animals in cages
on different stages
for us to all gawk;
maybe we’ll see hawks
or tigers and lions
or seals and sea lions.
So many things to see
we have to pay a fee.
Going to the zoo
to look for kangaroos
and maybe ride a train
if it doesn’t rain.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

(Tweet your November PAD Chapbook Challenge progress on Twitter using the #novpad hashtag; also tweet poetic on Tuesdays using the #poettues hashtag.)


I wrote Skeltonic Verse above. Click here to learn more than 30 other poetic forms.

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142 thoughts on “2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 23

  1. Yoly


    Christmas selects the good
    wine. We inhale, swirl
    and think likely.

    Oh to sip, detect
    and revel from December’s
    frosted glass!

    Hope thrives like a moth orchid on a luminous sill.

  2. Michelle Hed

    The Artist ( A Triolet)

    He performs magic with his hands,
    giving life to cold, dead stone
    as his medium does as he commands.
    He performs magic with his hands,
    creating as the stone demands
    a work of art formerly unknown.
    He performs magic with his hands,
    giving life to cold, dead stone.

  3. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    (It’s been awhile since I’ve written a "Prose poem," so here goes).

    The Gypsy Girl
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    I want to run away to the coast and become a Gypsy, dangle bare tribal legs over the belly sides of a Gypsy cob with feathered feet, feel the sting of a long tangled mane silver against my cheeks, smell the dappled chocolate of his coat as it slowly dampens in the salt air. I want the rhythm of muscle and bone beneath me, and arms that ache from the holdback of reins as he fights the bit. I want narrow-minded gulls and terns to grumble and scatter upon approach, and foamy seawater to fill in the depressions left behind us. I want blue skies to suddenly redden on the horizon and faraway dogs to sense us, wag tails, and bark. I want tall, coarse sea grass to stand up and take notice and later tell great embellished stories to anyone that will listen, about the runaway Gypsy Girl that once galloped past, on a horse the color of dappled chocolate, golden coins jingling in their thick silver manes.

    © 2010 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  4. annell livingston

    Poem Without a Form
    Of forms I know little,
    It is the song I hear,
    I hum along,
    I listen…
    With pen in hand,
    I write.

    Really not much to it.
    Seek the essence of the moment,
    Select the words carefully,
    Read them back to myself.
    Have I caught the melody?

  5. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Defining Moment


    At Uluwatu the water boiled green.
    Su was with me in the temple on the cliff.
    Was there anything more beautiful I’d ever seen?
    At Uluwatu the water boiled green
    and the froth was lacy. I had not foreseen
    that gorgeous abyss, the unspoken ‘What if?’
    At Uluwatu the water boiled green
    as Su and I stood on top of the cliff.

  6. S.E.Ingraham

    A Skeltonic Poem

    The 10,000 Word Essay

    The story to be told
    Was neither big nor bold
    But I knew it cold
    And wanted it sold
    More than that
    I had it down so pat
    I was afraid it’d go flat
    So I wrote where I sat
    I’d stocked up on ink
    And I started to think
    Using ideas to link
    But then started to drink
    Just wondering about
    Getting 10,000 words out
    Had me starting to doubt
    Had me wanting to shout
    But what good would it do
    If I began to stew
    If I goofed off in lieu
    Of jotting down a line or two
    So just like a journey
    It’s the same with an essay
    It starts off real easily
    One step at a time
    It will be sublime
    You don’t need to rhyme
    Just treat it like a climb
    And it will end up prime.

    Plus, a poem with no form

    When Running On Empty turned Into Dreaming the Lake

    The story was creative non-fiction, of that I was certain
    I knew the beginning, the middle, the ending and much of the other bits as well
    Until I actually started to write the thing, or really, ‘
    until near the ending
    And then I saw that it wasn’t about what I thought it was about at all
    But was instead about another topic altogether
    and was maybe not entirely
    True after all, but just based in fact, and not a mere twenty-five hundred words either.

    What to do? Should I dig in my heels and try to write the truth is stranger than fiction
    Honesty angle? Stick to an unrealistic word-count that would mean leaving a good deal
    Of the story on the floor? Or what? It was hard to decide –
    so for a few weeks
    I didn’t. Decide that is.
    Then, a friend said – screw it. Why don’t you write it
    for someone else?
    Why limit yourself to such a low word-count?
    Are you really fixed on writing such a piddling amount?

    She had a point.
    I hadn’t really given much thought to writing a completely different type of thing at all
    Had never deviated from the original plan as if it was written in stone or some such ridiculousness
    She even had the name of an alternate contest that would accept a much longer essay
    Essay? It could be true or not true – I could work it into a poem if I were so inclined
    Was I so inclined?
    Given the state of my indecisiveness, I couldn’t really say
    But I was certainly ready to start thinking about it, at least

  7. Mike Bayles

    Drink the Wine

    With you, I want to drink the wine,
    a Heavenly concoction divine.

    With you, I want to share a toast,
    your wondrous beauty to boast.

    With you I want to share a story,
    tale of wonder, tale of glory.

    With you I want to spend time,
    a sense of peace sublime.

    With you I want to be,
    at ease, free to be me.

    With you, I’ve found love,
    a wondrous spirit calling from above.

  8. alana sherman

    Alternate Rhyming Quatrain

    In The Sunlight Crows

    The crows are moving
    through the grass
    From the porch
    I watch them pass

    When crows hop
    they caw and cackle
    In summer light
    their feathers sparkle

    I like to watch them
    as they walk
    ungainly crows
    so large and black.

    They always seem
    to come in threes
    fly up to sit
    atop the trees.

    As they fly home
    at end of day
    Crows sing
    a noisy rondelay

    Additionally, two limericks

    Macks was an Airedale quite brash
    in puddles he often would splash
    he’d run here and there and then bark at the air
    and for fun he would toss all the trash

    When Macks heard a noise in the hall
    It was a clarion call
    he’d run round the house
    in search of a mouse
    why he might even break down a wall

  9. Jeanne Rogers

    I’m very late posting for this prompt, too, but like Shari, I’m glad to be getting caught up and still participating!

    November 23, 2010


    She’s not well-read,
    gets the classics mixed up
    when explaining fictive pursuits.
    So, too, with poetic forms,
    lofting their lovely language:
    paradelle, sestina, haiku,
    shadorma, villanelle.
    she can follow the lines
    and curves, alliteration,
    rhyme and rhythm
    of a form, mold
    it to her explanation
    of poetic pursuits.

    But not today.

  10. Patti Williams

    Do I write in form?
    No, not ever.
    What I have to say
    Really cannot be
    Organized or as I see it,
    Form restricts,
    Guides the writer
    And dreamer into
    A corner.
    It is my goal to
    Go outside and let
    The lines flow as
    They wish.
    I let them guide me
    To the places I
    Should go.
    Certainly not the
    Other way around.
    I don’t want to miss
    The beauty of poetry
    From being
    Locked inside a box.

  11. Dennis Wright

    No Particular Thing to Say

    No particular thing to say.
    There is one particular way,
    I must write what is on my mind.
    Now I wonder how could I find,
    Words with no theme at all today?

    I could rattle on all the day;
    Fill these lines with nothing to say.
    Or blindly try to find a theme,
    As I write lines out in a stream.
    No particular thing to say.

    Standing in a stream my thoughts stray,
    To Watts, Zen, and a poetic dray,
    That hauls from here to there and back,
    Serving to show only my lack.
    No particular thing to say.

    Like Ill-Fitting Shoes,

    These forms cover my feet
    as I stumble from one place
    to another saying how I feel
    about a topic or some other.

  12. Dan Wilcox

    For November 23

    It’s a date we no longer celebrate
    though tonight I play those LPs
    we listened to new, half-naked & drunk
    in that basement apartment, the space heater
    gasping like our breaths in ecstasy.

    You wrote my name on those old records
    & as they spin now in this mis-imagined future
    I think of you again in the pops & scratches of the past.

    (This is written in the form of a "giambone", a Portugese West-African form in which there is no set line length; no noun may be repeated, verbs may be repeated once; there can be no more than 6 adjectives & 3 adverbs; unlimited use of prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions, etc.)

  13. Sue

    An Elegy for Magic

    Seven was a magical time,
    waving my wand,
    for the door to open.

    Stubborn door,

    From I can
    to I can’t.
    From faith to
    From I can’t
    to so what if I can’t.

    My wand was banished
    to the Gulag,
    forgotten darkness
    at the back of a drawer.

    The wand
    was never the problem.
    The magic lost
    was that I
    lost faith

    No power,
    no control,
    just existing.

    dried up
    like that stick
    at seven.

  14. Terri French

    My anti-form poem

    I have always been the one determined to fit
    that damn square peg into the round hole;
    I strut around in my black wool coat proudly,
    while dancing free-style to the beat of that
    different drummer.

    I write like I live,
    throwing my words on the page willy nilly
    honing them only ’til I break out
    in that first bead of sweat,
    refusing to turn my creative pleasure
    into a tedious boring task
    that leaves me less that satisfied.

    And, now, as I feel the struggle rising
    and that bi-polar muse of mine
    pulling me this way and that,
    I simply choose

  15. Nancy Posey

    Close Reading: A Triolet
    A thoughtful reader must be on her guard
    without bypassing some small keen detail
    that hides some truth she shouldn’t disregard.
    A thoughtful reader must be on her guard
    reading a symbol like a tarot card
    or hidden clue along a culprit’s trail.
    A thoughtful reader must be on her guard
    without by passing some small keen detail.

  16. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik


    Finished completed in day twenty two
    On this first attempt writing right through
    Respect for discipline, attention to each morning’s walk down the Street
    Magical appearance of Kaitlin into a novel did meet


    Float like a butterfly, leave out the fight
    Onward always forward falling drifting along with unknown mystical might
    Releasing the words into this gentle magical musical flight pure driven fall snow
    Moving with, in, and of the flow until, there in day 22 finished NaNo
    Loose and free letting each snowflake fall each into its call
    Easy, easy not needing to know where, when or how it would all
    Sift like soft flour pouring in unclumped singularity piling tall
    Secure in the safety of the ultimate structure of the formless free-fall

  17. Diane Truswell

    Winter is Coming


    Winter is coming
    The blizzards will free themselves
    Over three feet will come.

    Winter is coming
    The temperature will drop
    Minus ten degrees.

  18. Uma

    Blow That Star Dust ( The Bop )

    It’s been raining stars all night, silver dust
    like crust of bread falling from the table.
    Shooting stars bring luck if there’s one at a time
    but when there is such a profuse shower
    with hundreds of them descending on my roof
    I appear like a ghost with a silver halo.

    Oh for a full moon night with a starless sky.

    Catch each one of them: use glass bowls with water,
    hear the celestial visitors hiss angrily, sigh as they choke.
    Don’t let them scar, char your roof; blow the carbon dusts,
    the soot that settles on your bougainvillea flowers
    before they smother the magentaness that the seeds carry.
    Persuade jasmines take the stars into their scented bosom,
    caterpillars spin the luminescent jewel into their cocoon
    to birth silver butterflies that light up a moonless night. But now,

    for a full moon night with a starless sky.

    That magical night I collected all stars but one,
    the faintest one that I made my wish on,
    sent prayers to the blur of energy dissipating in space.
    Vacuum of emptiness sucked me to the quiet centre
    where the wind dropped, earth stopped its throb,
    heart beat slowed and the blood in the veins stilled

    on that full moon light with a starless sky.

  19. barbara young

    Running a bit late. I think a Cento counts as a form (the attributions are on my blog)


    Do you remember still the falling stars
    And acrid night of autumn
    The dignity of woods in rich decay
    O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
    The hue — of it — is Blood —
    It will come to such sights colder
    Do you remember still the falling stars

    He said. ‘I am no longer passionate,
    White mist around the hollows of the hills
    Mesmeric fingers softly touch
    a worm digs silently
    while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
    He said. ‘I am no longer passionate.

    And yet you will weep and know why
    And night sends up her pale cold moon, and spills
    All my life, in a rush
    For the stars to probe
    It will come to such sights colder
    And yet you will weep and know why
    Do you remember still the falling stars

  20. Karen Legg

    A last-minute offering: an acrostic bell-curve fibonacci with a cheat in the middle. Awkward, really, but what can I do?

    Amazing a word
    Now fills my cold heart –
    Kindling flames in a wasteland frozen long ago
    In one who turned from grace by choice
    Veered from home and family
    Into only herself

  21. de jackson

    Fall Form-al

                 f   e    e    t            h    e    r    e

                                 say the forms
                                          like the fake feet on the floor
                         in dance class

           1   -   2   -   3
           A   B   A   B
                                                     rhyme this             r h y t h m   that
                         too many syl-la-bles
                                                                      not enough

    a                                          d

                    that’s right
                                  repeat refrain
                                 and start again.

                I try an
                     abecedarian pose
                                           slip on my
                                                                     and fall on my ass
                                 in an acatalectic seizure

                           participle d

                                                   by a thread

                                                                           dactyl didactically

                              Sometimes there are days
                                             when the words
                                                                         just wanna
                                                                                          have fun

                                                              my   t r i p s i d o o d l e  feet
                                                                              simply must

                             d            a            n            c            e

                                                                                                                    where they may.

  22. Vicki Wilke

    Worms (I mean Words)

    it’s painful trying to stuff
    errant and ADHD squirmy worms
    (I mean words)
    into a neat box
    (I mean form)
    they always try to escape
    to do their own worm
    (I mean word)
    stretch out on the sidewalk
    embrace their own slime
    hang with other worms
    (I mean words)
    and just be silent

    it’s so formidable

  23. Sara McNulty

    Hummingbird Ghazal

    Hummingbird propels through air, lands on blue feeder
    We promised her nectar when cold winds blew, to feed her.

    A delicate bird with neck ring of red, chases
    away those nasty blues, perched upon her feeder.

    A simple potion of sugar and water will nurture
    whirling hummingbird, no bluejays at her feeder.

    She hones in on metal flowers painted colors
    of ocean and sky blue to decorate her feeder.

    As a storm starts to roar and clouds turn steely,
    hummingbird flies away, leaves bare her blue feeder.

  24. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Christmas in The Hood (a cascade poem)

    Santa is coming to The Hood
    I’m not worried; I was good
    Through the fire escape He’ll come

    Got spoiled milk and cookie crumbs
    I’m pretty sure He’ll understand
    Santa is coming to The Hood

    Naughty kids will get no toys
    Christmas for them will be no joy
    I’m not worried; I was good

    Got no chimney; please, don’t mock
    Doors are closed; windows padlocked
    Through the fire escape He’ll come

    (c) jh 11/23/10 11:43 pm.
    Phew! Just made it. ^^

  25. June

    mad, sad, glad
    emotions are tokens broken by
    ephemeral change and all
    rearranges and patterns
    keep hitting that will not
    flip and al is isometric drip
    calibrating an iron grip reach
    in the tip jar and take a
    bill formless capitol hill.

  26. Michelle McEwen

    (a villanelle)

    Soda-Pop Love

    This love ain’t the soda-pop kind
    that’s gonna go flat just like that.
    See, I am yours & you are mine.

    Some folks got love that ends on time—
    not us, we forever like tats.
    This love ain’t the soda-pop kind.

    Never no flat-fizz here to find
    ‘cause it’s always fresh where we’re at.
    See, I am yours & you are mine.

    We don’t have no Sprite-lemon-lime
    love; we ever-always, we bad.
    This love ain’t the soda-pop kind.

    Some folks got love quick to flat line,
    but what we got gon’ last & last.
    See, I am yours & you are mine.

    This ain’t cola-love-undivine—
    it’s forever like Miles on wax.
    This love ain’t the soda-pop kind.
    See, I am yours & you are mine.

  27. Michelle McEwen

    (a villanelle)

    Soda-Pop Love
    This love ain’t the soda-pop kind
    that’s gonna go flat just like that.
    See, I am yours & you are mine.

    Some folks got love that ends on time—
    not us, we forever like tats.
    This love ain’t the soda-pop kind.

    Never no flat-fizz here to find
    ‘cause it’s always fresh where we’re at.
    See, I am yours & you are mine.

    We don’t have no Sprite-lemon-lime
    love; we ever-always, we bad.
    This love ain’t the soda-pop kind.

    Some folks got love quick to flat line,
    but what we got gon’ last & last.
    See, I am yours & you are mine.

    This ain’t cola-love-undivine—
    it’s forever like Miles on wax.
    This love ain’t the soda-pop kind.
    See, I am yours & you are mine.

  28. sara gwen

    Robert Penn Warren — Milton: A Sonnet — An Ovillejo
                                         — upon reading Phyllis McGinley
                            Am I content where I stand now?
                                  Consider how.
                      What tells me if it’s wrong or right?
                            My light.
                So where’s what spare time I’d been lent?
                      It’s spent,
          but there’s no choice I need repent.
          What’s night need not go dark and die,
          is how I judge my day when I
                consider my light, how it’s spent.

  29. Vicki Wilke

    F ormidable as form is for me
    O f course I’ll format formally
    R eform was the forum for
    M y former decorum…

    (Is this now fait accompli?)
    Yikes – I have no idea but it was fun!

  30. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    This is not my entry for the challenge (still working on that)
    Just feeling a little silly


    On Monday, I told a lie
    On Tuesday, my nose grew
    On Wednesday, I got tongue-tied
    On Thursday, I felt blue
    On Friday, I could no longer hide
    On Saturday, I fled for Perú
    On Sunday, the week had flown by
    and the lie, in my eyes,
    had grown bigger in size
    so the Gods in the sky
    unanimously agreed
    and invented T.H.A.Y.T.H.O.R.R.Y.
    a day to say "SORRY"
    and that’s just what I did

    (c) jh 11/23/10

  31. Jackie Schicker

    A cascade poem for today’s prompt.

    Oh, how I love the wind on my face
    Inspiring me to take flight right now, high and true
    For waiting even a single moment more we lose so much

    Standing in the dark tunnel I adore the sound
    Of the rushing trains and here one comes
    Oh, how I love the wind on my face

    I walk above ground now, breathing fresh air
    Something pulls my eyes to a bird in the sky
    Inspiring me to take flight right now, high and true

    He and I meet on the park bench and I see it
    The love in his eyes and so I embrace him to share that love
    For waiting even a single moment more we lose so much

    I used to shudder and rack my brain
    For the right words to rhyme
    And it started to be so very repetitive
    The way I would rhyme this word and that
    The classic “above” and “love”
    And some days still do, in desperation
    And yet I love those poems too
    Perhaps for that sacred struggle
    That I put through paces as many have before

  32. Judy Roney

    Shadorma Form

    I’m Mimi
    bo my grandchildren
    and great grands.
    I just melt
    every time I hear that word
    spoken by loved ones.

    I am Mom
    to my two daughter’s
    and Jeni,
    two beautiful women grown
    up and on their own.

    I’m Honey
    To my handsome spouse
    A blessing
    I love him
    More each day for fourty years
    I’d like fourty more.

  33. sara gwen

    Hard To See
          It’s hard to see what more
                I could’ve done. Much worse,
          I’m sure, but as in any war,
          it’s hard to see. What more
          could’ve been called for?
                Past losing you, of course,
          it’s hard to see what more.
                I could’ve done much worse.

  34. Mary Kling

    (a Cascade Poem)


    Life is not easy
    there are simple joys
    I go to bed tired

    Sometimes it seems
    difficulties multiply,
    life is not easy.

    Grandchildren are special
    so innocent and trusting,
    there are simple joys.

    At the end of each day
    I am exhausted, and
    I go to bed tired.

  35. Margaret Fieland

    Ode to My Father

    When I was very small child
    you were as tall
    as the stars.

    When I was boy-high
    you had shrunk
    to the height of a large tree

    When I became a man,
    you shrank to the size
    of a fist.

    When I became a father,
    you rose again.
    Your head touched the sky.

    Now you are gone.
    I take my small son
    and point heavenward.

    “There is your grandfather.”


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