2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

Before I forget, please check out a review of my limited edition chapbook, ENTER, over at Maureen Doallas’ blog (click here to read). I have fewer than 10 left, so if you’d like to snag one of the final copies, click here to learn how to do that.


Today is the final “Two for Tuesday” prompt(s) of the month:

  1. Write a leader poem.
  2. Write a follower poem.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide what a leader or follower poem might be. You can either lead the way in figuring that out, or follow the lead of another.

Here’s my attempt:


Take me to your leader.
I want to be a follower.
I want to follow you
through whatever you’ll lead me.
I promise I won’t
abandon you when times get tough.
I’ll be committed
if you’ll only commit me.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

That’s right, I said follow me. Then, we can share our April PAD Challenge progress on Twitter by using the #aprpad hashtag.


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358 thoughts on “2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

  1. Salvatore Buttaci


    Alphas lead the pack
    just because they can.
    Weaker dogs follow.
    They know a leader
    when they see one.
    So, falling in line,
    they trust the top dog,
    never challenge him,
    never dare to snarl.
    “He does a great job”
    seems the consensus.
    “Keep it ‘status quo’.”
    Alphas sometimes wish
    they could abdicate,
    shake off power,
    become omega
    At the line’s end.


  2. ideurmyer

    Follow the Leader

    I hope one day my epithet shall read,
    She followed in His steps in all she did.
    Jesus said I do what I see my father do.
    A reflection of His glory was His due.
    We become duplicates of those we admire
    To become gold we are tested with fire.
    I am pressing ahead to hopefully become
    A copy and type of the Father and Son.

  3. AC. Leming

    Fight Club Rules

    the dojo,
    safety is enforced

    from the top down.
    Fight club

    broken students,
    broken promises, broken

    dojo. To hurt
    for the

    pain itself
    is not The Way.

  4. Yoly

    Her Flavorful Essence

    I’m a disciple of how Mami cooks.
    Olives, sofrito, fresh cilantro, salt,
    pepper, bay leaf, achiote sautés
    in corn oil. Water is added, brought
    to a boil. Rinsed rice is poured in
    the cauldron until most of the water
    evaporates: in goes pigeon peas.
    The red rice simmers.

    The ebb and flow of her routine, unrecorded
    gospel bourn from self and culture, the woman
    I became being a girl at her feet, ushered me
    to the lead role in my kitchen chronicles.

  5. Sheree Rabe

    The Lunar Lander Leader

    Her mother was
    the principal,
    she thought she
    was too.
    She told us to sit
    while she talked.
    I got bored and
    rose to leave.
    She said I couldn’t
    unless she agreed.
    Startled, I sat
    for a moment
    before rising again.
    Screaming as I left
    about my disrespect.
    Maybe someday
    she’ll learn,
    in a free world,
    a leader can’t lead
    until she learns
    how to follow
    and lunar lander
    dictators rarely succeed.

  6. Domino

    Kings and Parents have Much in Common

    What makes one a leader?
    A king cannot be king
    without the belief of his followers.

    A sword does not make a king,
    the belief of his people do.

    Just so,
    a parent cannot teach
    children who will not listen.

    So how does one get their “followers”
    to follow?

    Kindness, understanding
    love, compassion
    and care.

    These things are needed
    as well as a moral code
    that they can believe in, for if
    one cannot follow a moral code,
    one will lose others’ respect.

    And there will always be
    those dissenters
    who have their own reasons
    for what they do
    no matter how good a leader you are.

    As some children rebel regardless
    of the quality of their parents.

    Blind Leading the Blind

    How many of us
    follow blindly,
    do as we were taught
    without reflection
    and without thought?

    We hear the
    on our tvs
    and have to go out
    to buy endless

    And consume as greedily
    as retailers want
    putting ourselves into
    just to make
    think we’re more special
    more important
    more something
    and it really doesn’t

  7. stephanie barbe hammer

    do you want to succeed?
    do you want to make money?
    do you want more hair?
    listen to me honey, i know
    how to get cash for gold,
    how to make that old bed new
    with 6 different settings for you
    and your husband or do you want
    to suck all your clothes into these
    tiny bags? you just buy these knives
    and you just buy this spray wash, or
    if you prefer, you can buy this ticket
    to salvation california (or new york or
    ohio — we have many locations) so call
    now for your free estimate your discounted
    coupon your trial subscription or your
    extra totebag.

  8. Laurie Kolp

    I am
    In the silence
    Of nothingness. I revel
    In the mere state of being
    Perfect refuge from an ill-fated
    Day. A quick glimpse in the rearview
    Mirror reflects moisture-glistened skin
    My tongue sweeps across the beady moustache,
    A salty treat for my parched mouth.
    Sweat slowly slips into deep dark
    Crevices, the innermost secrets
    Of my curvaceous body. I
    Slowly wiggle closer to
    The open window
    Hoping for some
    Stifling air
    Remains inert, a prisoner
    In the hot afternoon sun. Two crows
    Play in grassy sand- jumping, poking and
    Then flying away. My eyes follow their
    Paths to clear blue sky, and land on an
    Array of cumulus clouds. A perfect
    Cloud angel comes into focus.
    Cottony wings are opened
    Wide, inviting me
    Inside. Suddenly
    I know this day
    Has not been
    In vain.
    I am.

  9. ChapLynn


    Cadence caller
    keep ’em in line
    dress right dress
    keep ’em in time
    stay alert
    safety first
    know your creed
    verse by verse
    up before dawn
    down before Taps
    tightly tucked
    everything folded
    I instruct
    your newly molded
    ready for the world
    from civilian to soldier
    time after time

  10. ChapLynn


    Cadence caller
    keep ’em in line
    dress right dress
    keep ’em in time
    stay alert
    safety first
    know your creed
    verse by verse
    up before dawn
    down before Taps
    tightly tucked
    everything folded
    I instruct
    your newly molded
    ready for the world
    from civilian to soldier
    time after time

  11. Penny Henderson


    Sometimes it seemed a funny way to lead,
    always on his knees to pray or serve.
    He never bothered being too PC,
    but spoke the raw truth–took a lot of nerve.

    Dying’s not the way to revolution
    normally. He turned life inside out.
    The last are going to be first, he said.
    His heroes told us what it was about.

    A widow donated her bread money.
    A harlot washed his feet with her hair.
    A woman who left the work to her sis
    was praised as the smart one of the pair.

    It seemed the whole world got it wrong somehow.
    Women are equals before the Lord,
    and revolutions work best without swords.

  12. Diane

    Follow the Leader

    I used to want to be the leader–
    be the one in charge.
    I had all the best ideas,
    I was most ingenious.

    I would rather follow now.
    My ideas aren’t so great.
    Others know as much as me.
    I can better help than lead.

  13. Scott Mesrobian

    An Unknown Path

    Show me the way and be a light
    for me to follow. The path is
    rough and unmarked; in the darkness
    I take each step with caution and
    am afraid of the unknown that
    lies beyond the limits of my
    sight. Help me to trust more than what
    my eyes can see or my hands can
    touch. Give me courage to take each
    step on unseen paths, following
    you so that others may follow me.

  14. Margot Suydam

    Let Me Follow

    The smell of the desirable
    changes across tidal waves

    as they peak and crash
    never lose scent under

    water, lining nostrils wet
    Salt chalking. Cracking lips

    I will not speak: White washes
    Past and present drift,

  15. Lynn Burton

    Follow the Leader

    Line up and follow the leader
    was the playground rules of the game
    but I wasn’t much of either.
    Line up and follow the leader.
    I always stopped for a breather.
    Can we play something that’s not lame?
    Line up and follow the leader
    was the playground rules of the game.

  16. Lori Thatcher


    Where will I lead you today my love
    Where will I lead my child?
    Into the darkness of a closed back door
    or out into the wild

    Will I try to tell you who you are
    or let, yourself, you find
    will I encourage you to go ahead
    or push you down behind

    For I am the leader like it or not
    what I do will set the scene
    for a life well lived or a dark plot
    rich or contented or mean

    It’s not the only thing, I know
    your life is your own and will be
    what you decide and where you chart
    You’ll sing in your very own key

    So I pray I can give you a good start
    and be sure to step aside
    your life is your own I only pray
    That you know I really tried

  17. Sam Nielson

    PKP, Sara McNulty, and de,
    Thank you for the mentions. The muse has been getting a little anorexic for me lately, and that one popped out of a couple word juxtapositions. I had to have the five pound maul to get that far with it, and I’m not sure it’s images or framework is finished yet. It yet may get a little botox or amputation, surgery a la Frankenstein.
    Thank you for reading.

  18. Khadija Anderson


    lederhosen hoosier fusion in the basket tisket
    tasket from now on you will who will what will
    here no no no yet there is a sound and a sound
    found when i make a mistake it’s hard to type and i
    just keep following along along a long long time

  19. Joseph Beckman

    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 26

    Today is the final "Two for Tuesday" prompt(s) of the month:
    Write a leader poem.
    Write a follower poem.
    My Father’s Son
    Which way up the steep, steep hill,
    which way up to where time stands still,
    and the scent of a father, passed long ago,
    leads this dad’s heart to where it must go.
    Which way down to the dark forest floor,
    which way down to where I must go,
    through darkest regrets of unrealized dreams,
    leads this dad’s hope for a future unseen.
    Which way do I follow to show him the way,
    which way do I lead, so his heart will stay,
    true to the path that stands in good stead,
    leads through times darkest and brightest ahead.
    Which way, to follow or lead him along,
    if I follow my heart, will my leading be strong,
    the whisper or ghost of dear father’s soul,
    leads me and my son on our dear sweet road.
    © April 26, 2011 by Joseph Beckman

  20. PSC in CT

    Ooops! My mistake! It’s still yesterday’s prompt. (That’s right de — I don’t know what day it is. :-O Oh well,…) Guess I’ll try to finish up reading & commenting here.

    Michael Grove – “Teddy” made me smile. Love your questions & conclusion. :- )
    Pamela Murray Winters – “Middle-Weeds” – describes it perfectly – especially how it must be lived in order to be comprehended!

    Jerry/Chev – I love the dandelion poem you resurrected for Marie! Lovely! But… milkweed works too. 😉
    mbschied – “A academic’s rebellion” – perfect! Right down to the title! :- ))
    MiskMask – “Following a Toddler” – cute… and real. :- )
    Nancy Posey – “Advice for the Yellow Brick Road” – wise words!
    J. D. Mackenzie – “PADDING Along” – excellent! :- ) I confess, I too, am looking forward to the respite of May. I’ve been spending so much time at the computer, I am growing roots! :-O

    Buddah Moskowitz – Ahead of Our Time – made me laugh at the truth of it.
    Taylor Graham – “School Leaders” – haunting.
    Daniel Ari – “Us” – made me smile. Simple & well done!
    Emily Ferguson – “..Collapsible” – intriguing!
    Pearl – I found “First Grade” heartbreaking. (Reminding me of an old Harry Chapin song: “Flowers Are Red”.)
    Michael Grove – “Perseverance” – awesome & inspiring message.

    ACD – I love these: “Take off the bandages, and/Let the wound shine.” and: “A path is a path./And love is love./I can lead you there.” Very nice!

    Daniel Paicopulos – “Aiming to Please” – :- ))
    Kendall A. Bell – alarming, well described.
    Nina B Lanctot – FALLOW (haiku) – indeed! Simple & complete.
    Bruce Niedt – “DWTM (Dancing with the Muse)” – cute, funny — made me smile.
    Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea – “Hide and Seek” – bits of cute, with lots of creepy & scary.

    Jacqueline Hallenbeck – a sweet tribute to Shel! :- )

    Patricia A. Hawkenson – “Seasoned Breadcrumbs” – lovely! Well done.
    Sandra Robinson – your two perceptive pieces – make up a whole.
    annie mcwilliams – “the return” – heartbreaking.
    Tilly Bud – short, complete, message received.
    Linda Simoni-Wastila – “The Third Man” – interesting, appealing. (I’ve never heard it called that before.)
    Benjamin Thomas – (…PA Street) – sweet!
    RJ Clarken – loved your pieces! Great sneakers you’ve got on! :- ))

    NOW, I see today’s prompt. I’m done here – and the day’s half over. Off to try to write something. Only a few days ‘til May….

  21. Nina B Lanctot

    Ah, after sleep, reading! Thanks to all, and kudos to…

    Sandra Robinson

    Melissa Rossetti Folini

    Sally Jadlow

    Buddah Moskowitz

    Kendall A. Bell

    Stephen S Whitaker

    Cresta McGowan

    PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik CHANGE THE ORDER

    PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik UNTITLED

    Taylor Graham

    Sara McNulty LEADERS

    Nancy Posey


    Patricia A. Hawkenson

    de jackson WARNING SIGN


    Andrew Kreider SACRIFICES

    Gil Gallagher

    Catherine Lee WHY I CHOOSE TO FOLLOW

    Michele Brenton/banana

    Dare Gaither ALPHA AND OMEGA

    Andrew Kreider DATELINE LONDON


  22. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    LOL De, I’m in my 40’s, not a spring chicken either. I just hadn’t discovered him yet back in ’99.
    Thanks Catherine, I went on his site and discovered this awesome bookmark that you can do for yourself:
    Isn’t this the coolest poem ever? I also love his poem that goes up the neck of a giraffe. I love him tons. I marked your blog to go visit soon. =0)
    Thanks, Pearl. =D

  23. Pamela Murray Winters

    Hey, Buddah–

    I didn’t find your first poem self-indulgent at all, but I though that the second one worked better as a poem, so much tighter. But I was going to come here and comment after reading your first one–great observations there.


  24. PSC in CT

    Some time to comment, since today’s prompt isn’t out yet:

    Joseh Harker – your descriptions – defy description! I was right there with you — dancing in the storm. Thanks for the fun ride! (I especially liked: “twisted itself closed like a morning glory” and “throw our ancient glee up to the ceiling,/see if it sticks”)

    Jay Sizemore – “Change” – beautifully sad, poignant.
    Rox – Both poems are wonderful, but I particularly love this line: “… spinning our own whorls of words in your wake/rippling out after you in unexpected hues and/patterns long past the month of April.” – Lovely! (And a fine “thank you” to Robert! Can I second it?) :- )

    Marie – Uncle Jim’s tribute – simple & beautiful. He must have been amazing. So sorry for your loss.

    J.lynn – “learning to follow” is excellent. I especially like “just leave your scent somewhere/where I can find it”.

    Hannah Gosselin – “Appreciation” – Wish I’d said that! (Another message I’d like to second.) :- )
    de jackson – “warning sigh” – sad, lonely, uncertain & beautiful.
    Mike Bayles – “Down the Path” – says a lot in just a few words.
    Katie Dixon – I like “If” – it’s honest & perceptive. :- )

    Oops! I see today’s prompt’s been posted. Gotta run. Back later, I hope, but before I go:
    Shannon Lockard – Thank you for the mention!

  25. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik


  26. RJ Clarken

    Sorry I missed posting yesterday. I was in Philly, researching historical material for a (prose) book. Tryin’ to catch up, so…here’s a follower and a leader poem.

    A Leader Hosin’

    Can you lead in lederhosen?
    Possibly, but that’s supposin’
    you have leader attributes
    (and some other business suits.)
    So I’ll say but this in closin’ ~
    think of what you’ll be exposin’


    Horrible Sneakers

    “My verses, I cannot say poems. I was following in the exquisite footsteps of Miss Millay, unhappily in my own horrible sneakers.” ~Dorothy Parker

    How does one follow in the exquisite footsteps of say
    a Walt, or a Daniel, or an Andrew, or a de, or a Taylor or a Joseph Harker?
    It seems I am merely wearing my own horrible sneakers,
    following in their footsteps, a la Dorothy Parker.


  27. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Just a few more pearls’

    Angel V. St Patrick,s an absolute WOW… elegant and moving!
    Her highness of vileness…..fascinating images begs for another reading
    Mike m, Dare, Michele
    Gil….those fingers on lids!
    Rob…lemmings! perfect note of the inherent ignorance in blind following-wrapped in a smile!

    Onwards to today’s!

  28. M.A. Dobson

    Thank you for mentions De, Pearl, Jo, & Linda; didn’t think I was going to have any poem time yesterday; ended up posting three. What the hey? Of course, didn’t get enough time to read . . . hoping to comment later.

  29. Melissa Rossetti Folini

    Tuesday "Two For"

    “Job Description”

    Listen when people speak to you
    Every voice you hear should
    Always be louder than yours.
    Defend their rights
    Ethically, honestly, and passionately and
    Respect will have been earned.


    Do not follow blindly, naively
    follow because it is not your time to be in front.
    Follow because it is a conscious choice on your part
    not because it’s the fad or trend
    waiting to strip your individuality from
    your fragile, willing grasp.
    Follow because you wish to learn the way
    Not because you think there’s no other way.

  30. Michael Grove

    I fell early last night and finishing up reading as I wait to be prompted this morning… not uncommon I suppose.

    Thanks for all the great work here yesterday.
    Really Enjoyed Mike Maher, Walt, Pamela Murray Winters, Buddah, de jackson, Patricia Hawkenson, Jane Shlensky, Catherine Lee, Joseph Harker, MiskMask, Janet Rice, PKP, Nancy Posey…

    Thanks for the mentions Sara McNulty, Shannon Lockard, Janet Rice, Pearl, Benjamin Thomas, Marie Elena, Ivanius, Melissa Hager and Jo Lightfoot.

    Happy poeming everyone… We are in the home stretch now!

  31. de jackson

    Benjamin Thomas: you’ve been leading yourself down this street, and beautifully. It’s been a pleasure to have your voice here both pounding the pavement and meandering the sidewalks. Hope you’ll stick around long after April.

  32. Kim King

    Thanks again to De and Pearl. Your comments give me fuel to write and write, even when it seems in vain.

    From the bottom of my heart, a huge hug to you and the other poets who share their creativity through Robert.

    BTW- Wait, sooooo sad about the Sabres:( Hoping there was a chance of some victory in Buffalo sports land this year. Booo Hoooo.


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