2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving! Click here to read a special Thanksgiving message on my personal blog, where you can learn a special new announcement from me and a brand new picture–plus other stuff.


For today’s prompt, write an animal poem. Your poem can mention an animal in its title or somewhere in the body of the poem. The animal doesn’t have to be the main focus of the poem, but your poem should mention an animal somewhere in it. For instance, my poem from yesterday would’ve counted, because it mentioned a blue jay. However, I’ve written a new poem for today (as you should too).

Here’s my attempt:

“Gobble, gobble, gobble”

Even turkeys are getting into it–
applauding the happy consumption of
the other white meat. We know that cows love
milking the situation; they won’t quit
offering quick alternatives to their
red meat. Then again, cows aren’t fowl. So how
endlessly frustrating that birds–not cows–
chirp, “Eat more chicken!” Thanksgiving brings fear
hot as chicken pot pies from the oven
involving turkey and mashed potatoes.
Cows or chickens, turkeys won’t hesitate
kicking them onto the serving plate.
Even this time of year, all turkeys know
never risk your own neck for a chicken.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

(While on Twitter, you can tweet your November Chapbook Challenge progress using the #novpad hashtag and/or tweet poetic and follow other poets using the #poettalk hashtag.)


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121 thoughts on “2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

  1. S.E.Ingraham


    Like St. Francis of Assissi
    There are times
    When I find myself
    More inclined to favour
    Animals over people

    Perhaps favour is not
    The correct word
    Nor attitude—after all
    Saints, even Francis
    Must have had to stay
    Unbiased, non-partisan

    Still, beasts—especially
    Those we have domesticated
    Beyond all reason
    Give us unconditional
    Love and loyalty instinctively
    Unlike many people

  2. S.E.Ingraham


    Like St. Francis of Assissi
    There are times
    When I find myself
    More inclined to favour
    Animals over people

    Perhaps favour is not
    The correct word
    Nor attitude—after all
    Saints, even Francis
    Must have had to stay
    Unbiased, non-partisan

    Still, beasts—especially
    Those we have domesticated
    Beyond all reason
    Give us unconditional
    Love and loyalty instinctively
    Unlike many people

  3. Yoly

    The Lion and the Lamb

    My Lamb, You recruit mercy.
    The depth of love for the weak
    drowning in human-centeredness
    is in every story sharing the title
    that only Your scars can ascribe.

    My Lion, You employ justice.
    The depth of love for greatness
    heralding the Godhead
    cuts the small branches
    of human contemplation.

  4. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    middle earth
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    this is my poem
    dug from the earth,
    full of worms
    and castings
    and coffee grounds
    and dead things
    that help make
    other things grow,
    like cauliflower
    and daisies
    and toadstools
    and bacteria.
    fat, juicy
    night crawlers
    product of newsprint,
    pooping poetry and
    current events
    among broccoli
    and ladybugs
    and sports-minded
    carpenter ants
    who gather round
    toadstools eager to
    catch the latest scores.

    © 2010 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  5. Taylor Graham


    500 miles of interstate,
    I’ll sluice the dust off in the motel
    shower. First things first,

    I walk my dog.
    She leads me past the dumpster –
    so much trash we humans make –

    and then behind it, she wags
    her tail, smiles. Here’s a man’s face
    by reflected security lights.

    He squats by the cardboard box
    that will be his room tonight.
    His breath halos

    in the cold. Of course I don’t
    know him. My dog licks
    him in the face as if she did.

    Happy Thanksgiving, she says
    in Dog. Tomorrow we’ll drive on
    to a laden table, warmth

    inside the walls;
    not-quite-strangers greeting
    me by name.

  6. Dennis Wright

    Cows and Things

    Yes to being half cat, half cow.
    No, for sure to being cow-towed.
    Where to dump?
    Do you use lumps?
    In your litter pan?
    If that’s so, then the place to go,
    Is out along some pasture path.

  7. Sam Nielson

    Wild Turkeys

    They burble among themselves that
    Comforting chatter all
    Creatues seem to use assuring
    All is right with their world.

    They talk as women do
    When sitting at the harvest table
    Snapping green beans or
    Paring pears for canning.

    They tic cluck about their business
    Scratching at the recent snow.
    A couple flare, jump and wingbeat
    Air into the maples to roost.

    The rest feed on trying to fill
    Up the last sunset-orange moments
    Before the dark as the sun smiles
    Its last toothy shadow smile of the day.

  8. ideurmyer

    Kiss of Death

    Doe, buck, or fawn,
    beseeching eyes staring at dawn,
    Making me slam my brakes on.
    Grazing on wheat meant for cattle
    hiding at night is half the battle.
    Headlights blind you to stand still
    til you receive the kiss of my grill.

  9. Michelle Hed

    Death of a Chickadee (A Sonnet)

    I love to watch my little, feathered friends
    perched upon a branch, darting to and fro.
    I watch with my naked eye and zoom lens
    as they gather seeds to share with their beaux.

    There are birds of all colors and sizes
    sharing the branches and space at the seed,
    and sometimes a glance will show surprises,
    such as a Pileated eating feed.

    But my favorite bird is a small, sweet one,
    with a black cap, the merry Chickadee.
    He sings to my soul, never overdone,
    he hops and darts with a fiddledeedee.

    But sadly, there came a cat with one pounce,
    The death of a Chickadee, I announce.

  10. Jeanne Rogers

    November 25, 2010

    Thanksgiving Dinner

    The blue jays steal dog food,
    their tracks imprinted in the skiff
    of snow on the deck.
    Don’t they fly south?
    A few weeks ago, two birds ate
    at the bounty of the dog bowl;
    today only one sidles down from the roof.
    The other is, where? Safe in a nest?
    Caught by the neighbor’s cat? Hit
    by a car on the highway?
    My wish is not grandiose
    or even original: Please let the bird
    be safe, a refrain for blue jays
    who know how to strut their stuff
    and feast at the table of dogs.

  11. Pam Winters

    Oh my gosh, I’m very much behind. Running to catch up. Here’s a draft.

    Felis Domesticus

    Molly’s by the hearth, like all Mollys before all hearths
    since Molly’s kind came indoors. Fur soft as breath on snow,
    perfect face, she seems so safe. Rescued from the crate
    where she spent her first year, she has now been loved by us
    for a decade. Lift her, and she expels a surprised prrr
    that has been in abeyance, waiting for her to need it.
    I have never seen her kill, but I have no doubt
    that she could. Green eyes closed, showing
    kohl lids. She rolls over in the waves of heat,
    showing her fat belly with its stripes, like ribs, half-encircling.
    I watch her face, wonder if she dreams of the red nights
    she never had, musky umami mouse,
    the sweet sparrow, oh, so sweet to the fang,
    the crickets and all the shrieking things. I watch
    as one lone whisker quirks. I watch until the fire
    has gone dead and we all drowse with its ghost.

  12. Rosemary Nissen-Wade


    At night, the island was full of spirits.
    There were no street lights in those black lanes
    only lamps on the verandas below the thatch,
    or hung on poles beside the gates.

    While the gekkos rustled in the cabin walls
    we stayed indoors. ‘Don’t go out tonight,’
    our friends said. ‘This is not a good night.
    There are ghosts.’ On some other nights,
    they whispered the names of demons.
    They meant it seriously, and we believed.

    It was not our country. Our rules
    were absent here. This place lived
    by its own reality. Besides, you could see
    shapes in the shadows, and in the tendrils
    of trailing smoke from the cooking fires.

    I was glad, therefore, to meet the Barong
    with his wild sunburst mane of a head
    and the good face in the middle. I didn’t see
    that face as animal or fierce. To me
    the Barong was friendly, his gaze direct.

    Everything falls into place as I reminisce.
    ‘Who is that great animal with you?’
    clairvoyants often ask. I assume they have seen
    that protector Lord Narasimhadeva,
    half man half lion. But I met him later.
    It must be the Barong, still looking after me.

    ‘He wouldn’t let me near you,’ complained one —
    who proved to be a bad friend. But that was in Australia.
    In Bali I watched as villagers danced with the Barong
    and Mendra hammered its image into beaten metal.

    Note: The Barong is a protective spirit which can take the form of a lion-tiger hybrid (the most common), goat, pig, bull, moose, etc.

  13. Arash

    Rainbow Lorikeet

    The metallic blue crown of Indian peafowl
    and the pale yellow breast of Emperor Penguin.
    Rainbow Lorikeet in the rain and the shy
    Orange-headed Thrush, in the sun.
    Cactus Wrens, Wood Warblers, Straw-headed
    Bulbuls, jays and crows.
    Yellow-browed Woodpeckers, gulls and doves,
    falcons and eagles, pelicans and flamingos,
    some pretty, some delicious, some kept in
    crowded cages behind black bars.
    they do not belong.

  14. Mike Bayles

    In Heaven’s Winds

    In Heaven’s winds
    they seek their formation
    while passing over contours of land
    fields and forests and cities
    of their passing
    a change of season at hand.
    In and out of their “V”, they shift,
    as they make their way
    on a gray October day
    and they silhouette the sky.
    Their honking song proclaims
    a time of season’s change,
    and they are led to another land
    by an unsung leader
    on one side of the formation.
    Underneath skin and feathers
    hearts beat in skyward figures
    made to bear the journey at hand.

  15. alana sherman

    Since I haven’t done a two for tuesday yet. I am using what is in my "account" to post some extra poems today.

    Doggy Mediations


    It is raining
    I sit on the porch
    and I am dry
    Animals in the Barn
    Be ready.
    Tomorrow I will hunt.


    A run through tall grass
    sniffing fox, and mice. Then home
    to nap on my rug.
    I live a dog’s life
    and it is good.

    Old Horses

    In June the air
    is mountain laurel, and clover.
    At the fence line along a washboard road—
    in their retirement—two swayback horses
    munch alfalfa and daisies.
    The summer dusk
    is filled with fireflies.

  16. Monica Martin

    I want a pet, something
    small, soft, cuddly.
    Instead, we have a snake.
    Two, in fact. They just
    aren’t that cuddly. I don’t
    care what my boyfriend says.

  17. Diane Truswell

    My Dog Is My Dog

    My dog is my dog 
    Starting three years
    Ago when I had my
    First knee replacement
    I had my second knee
    Replacement fourteen
    Months later and my
    Dog just cuddled in
    My lap snuggling in. 

    She still was comforted in 
    My lap today of all days
    And is polite when I eat
    My food sits back mannerly
    And waits for her food
    She always settles in cozily
    In my lap sometimes
    Covered with a blanket
    My dog snuggles with me. 

  18. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    First of all happy Thanksgiving to all who so celebrate… And to  all who do not thanks you for kind wishes!

    Secondly Thank you Sara M for your mention yesterday… I did not get to comment but thought each of your collection on yesterday’s prompt were lyrical lovely and memorable 

    Thirdly and fourthly WOWS …. To Walt… Although frankly even thinking of the concrete poem gives me brain fatigue…. Your creations have been wonderful fun…Snoopy today just took the cake for me. ( although your sleigh was a close runner up!)

    Finally for today…. Sara Gwen… Is there a beyond Wow maybe Wow +…. Very different for you….and filled with fun and a joyful integration of the month!

    Whoops I fibbed….( about finally).   Robert … Your poem  today. Poignant, haunting and evocative of a different aspect of you that I have never heard before…..    

    Mareya you might have already crossed the ribbon in NaNo… Enjoy!

    And now my little contribution for today 

    Lost and Found

    In the marsh 
    Tall wheat grass blows
    Cats and kittens onto
    Streets. Onto gardens
    Sunning themselves on back porches
    Climbing onto high decked
    One once peered down upon
    A sitter through a bathroom 
    Slinking, parading, skittering, running, 
    Birthing kittens, that appear
    And in a connected glance
     Return to the marsh
    To the tall wheat swaying
    Returning after the hard rains fall
    Picking delicately on the tops of
     Snowdrifts eluding kind hands
    And open hearts in favor 
    Of the marsh spreading 
    Favors of feline freedom
    Two of all queen and king of colony
    Long ago trapped neutered released
    Separate in color and courage
    Come to feed to visit to enter a home now
    And again, to seek and enjoy
    Their brief encounters with humans
    And return to rule the marsh
    In the tall swaying grasses of wheat
    And the kittens appear and disappear quickly
    At night gorged raccoons appear, the imagined
    Hint of kitten on their drawn lips
    Kitten blood on their exposed teeth…
    The kittens are taught early to avoid
     All contact, no matter how friendly, 
    All traps, no matter how humane, 
    Returning to the marsh 
    To the tall grass swaying…
    If one should be seen, even inches long
    It will be neither cute
    Nor cuddly , truly a wild creature
    Given to sibilant hisses and flat ears
    Until one day a small meow
    Almost a mirage of a meow
    And there at the door, after the
    Rain, tiny ball of ebon fluff
    Emerald neoned eyes
    That neither, ran, nor hissed 
    But stood tiny and waiting and
    As the door opened
    The mailman came stomping
    Good naturedly, " cute kitten" 
    Said he to its disappearing…
    Back to the marsh?
    To the wild grasses swaying?
    To the winter coming?
    To the fattened raccoons?
    And then moments later
    As Kaitlin ran from fingers
    Onto the screen, haunting
    Haunted murdered innocent
    Muse child
    Came a mirage mewling
    And there at the door again 
    Accompanied by the King of the Marsh
    This ebon emerald fluff of spirit sown
    And I bent slowly and lifted this
    "familiar" melted purring onto my breast…
    Lifted this bit of soft marsh grass swaying
    into the future of forever as this 
    Oliver twisted his way free from the
    waiting jaws of predators and winter
    unschooled and somehow innocent
     In the ways of wild
    No mystical muse as simple as Kaitlin
    A complicated fellow, as synchronized in
    Temperament and spirit as a witch’s familiar
    Arriving, mystical, magical, lost and found
    Releasing all negative energy
    Bringing a stretching wheat swaying
    Marshland of endless possibilities
    Of life swaying with the faint
    Perfume of salted grass
    Flowing to the screen
    Providing that simple unexpected twist

    Oliver is home….


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