2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 27

I apologize for the late prompt this morning. I’m battling either a severe cold or the flu and was having trouble even getting out of bed this morning to take medicine and drink liquids. Sigh.


For today’s prompt, take the phrase “In the (blank) of (blank),” replace the blanks with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Some possible titles might include: “In the Heat of the Night,” “In the Heat of the Moment,” “In the Middle of a Heated Argument,” etc. Of course, you don’t have to use the word “heat” in your poem title; blame my fever for coming up with all those sample titles.

Here’s my attempt:

“In the poem of the poem”

There’s a string that connects one can
to another, but I can’t make
out any words. I know trying
doesn’t mean doing, but I keep
making my bed in the morning
and dreaming throughout the day. I’m not
sure what else I can really do.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

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309 thoughts on “2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 27

  1. Claudia Schönfeld

    in the dead of the night

    while you were sleeping,
    i moved on,
    filled bits of sunshine
    into tiny bottles
    and squished some
    of the spring ’11 rain
    into my trenchcoat pockets

    find me sitting on a bench
    i’ll pour you wine from
    new blown glasses
    my walls will soon be
    smeared with ink

    between my teeth the graphite
    of a sharpened pencil
    when poetry’s invading me

    i’m spraying graffiti on you
    and watch the wet paint
    running down your neck and

    from my tongue drip words,
    form puddles on new spaces,
    whistling with color-coated lips
    i’m jaywalking the moon

    you’re in…?

  2. shann palmer

    In the weft of the universe

    all stars have one name,
    yours or mine, or a stranger.

    Every dog measures time in laps,
    air or water, it makes no difference

    “to the dog goes the bone”
    it’s said, yet you found me.

    alas, I have been forced to abandon the conceit of naming my poems after musicals (you may not have noticed) because the site is use for prompts (poetic asides) threw this one at me (I did it it with Maybe (Okay) – the prompt was the word maybe and there is a great song <aybe from the show Oh Kay!). Anyway, catch-up is a bitch).

  3. Kris K

    In the middle of a cornfield
    I stood
    Abdomen pulled in
    Tight to find room
    Myriad of scents
    Dirt, mold, green, fertilization
    Sounds of birds, whisping leaves, a distant tractor
    Not a soul knew I was there
    Not a thing I could do
    But stand
    A place of peace
    In the middle of a cornfield

  4. Diane

    In the Mist of Early Morning

    In the mist of early morning–
    the sun barely lights the sky;
    before it climbs enough to warm the land.
    Myra walks in the dim chill,
    her face and hands damp with the breath
    of clouds sleeping on the ground.

    She shivers in the cold endured–
    the price of finding calm.
    Soon the sun will warm the land
    and wake the wind.

    The wind will barrel in to punch, shove and harass.
    Myra will be driven to shelter in confining walls.
    Even there it will bully her,
    pushing against the house,
    startling her with the shattering
    of sand and leaves against the windows,
    scraping roof and walls with tree branches,
    and taunting her with hollow raspy howls.

    Now the sun begins to evaporate the low lying clouds
    and warm her skin.
    Myra refuses to be lulled into complacency.
    She dare not indulge the pleasure of the sun’s warmth.
    She hurries her steps home
    before the wind finds her out.

  5. Penny Henderson


    In the still chill of morning
    I walked the dry threshing floor
    to where I’d laid out a fleece
    of soft lanolin rich wool.
    Sure enough it was dripping.
    I could wring the water out.
    Wait a minute now, I thought.
    Furry things attract the dew.
    Maybe I’m fooling myself.
    This covered dusty work floor
    has no power to draw the dampness
    from within the cold night air.
    How ’bout this, I said to God.
    This time do a switcheroo,
    and let the floor be dew damp,
    while the fleece is dry as dust.
    Feeling sure I’d dodged the draft,
    I slipped peacefully to sleep.
    But God always has His way.
    Dry fleece tied across my back,
    like some crazy reverse shield,
    I rallied my men to war.

  6. Caren E. Salas

    In the Center of the Universe

    In the center of the universe
    The stars have all aligned.
    The galaxies have all agreed
    To sparkle in my mind.

    The meteors and comets
    Are showering ice and stone,
    And exploding supernovas
    Send me to the "Twilight Zone".

    But amidst this space I realize
    Something I already knew,
    That the center of the universe
    Is after all, not you.

  7. Taylor Graham


    after the Brothers Grimm

    I was the one they neglected in that tale,
    The Hut in the Forest. I’m the Dog, faithful
    to the old man, my Master.
    With cock and hen, and brindled cow,
    we shared that good-enough hut
    deep in the woods. From time to time,
    lost girls wandered in; frivolous
    as apple-petal fall in May, they never
    stayed. Until one came, so dutiful,
    she woke to our hut magic-collapsing –
    such a crack and grating, ruination
    of home to make a palace! – and then,
    contented, she went right back to sleep.
    They say, the same fairy-spell changed
    my Master to a prince, our animal-
    friends to servants. Perhaps
    a cock and hen, a brindled cow
    might take to servitude. But not a Dog.
    I’ll have no stranger-prince.
    I run deeper into woods, sniffing for
    the spoor of my true Master.
    If I find he’s been truly enchanted away,
    I’ll search out new comrades –
    without the gift or curse of human
    speech and its happy-ever-after fairytales.

  8. Jay Sizemore

    In the veins of the Earth

    there are slippery sounds,
    where the water gets shallow,
    rippling over piles of rocks
    and loose dirt, swirling brown.

    There are silver flickers of light,
    scattering from tails of fish,
    hexagonal patterns of rainbow scales,
    the blood cells, the tea spoons.

    There are banks nested in root and mud,
    where the oxygen breathes in and out,
    turtles carry their homes in from the flood,
    bull frogs singing the current to sleep.

    Running down hills, or just before cliffs,
    the glass sheen breaks into chaos,
    white suds and thunder, careening
    into a cascade of prismatic humility.

    There is a science that dwells in simplicity,
    all things returning to their source,
    legs nestled in the soft grass and breeze,
    listening to the erosion.

  9. Melissa Rossetti Folini

    “In the Garden of Stone”

    In the Garden of Stone
    no seeds ever are sown.
    No water is needed for
    there are no fragile seedlings.
    This ground tho it’s hallowed
    will never be furrowed
    as in these careful rows
    no crops ever will grow.
    This garden is not made to produce a harvest
    but is instead where all gentle souls go to rest.
    Among marble and granite in this garden of stone
    Is where loved ones now come, walk, and leave alone.

  10. Yoly

    In the Face of Being

    I am becoming
    soft and hard-boiled,
    grounded and airborne
    cluttered and spacious,
    ill-assorted and congruent.

    I am labor and natural,
    sound and aloof,
    briny and sweet,
    reflection and on the surface,
    clapping and clenched,
    quiescent and zip.
    I transpire and recede,
    buzz, kiss and love.

  11. Salvatore Buttaci


    pretend in the palm of your hand
    you can balance the world
    have it lie still in the crease
    of your life line for one moment

    how powerful like God you’d feel
    but then you’d grow weary
    the novelty wearing away
    until bored you toss it aside


  12. ideurmyer


    Clutter from the funeral is evident everywhere.
    Plants, flowers, some shedding leaves and dead blossoms.
    Fridge overloaded and cabinet overflowing with food.
    Trash can full of paper plates and uneaten fragments of lunch.
    Cards and mail continues to flood the hall table.
    Hustle and bustle is receding and in the midst is quiet and longing.


    This is a tribute to my friend and son’s mother in law whose funeral we celebrated yesterday.

  13. Mariel Dumas

    In the night of the morning

    You lay still;
    I’m on the ground still
    With clouds
    Dawn breaks faintly;
    As faint as a whisper
    Two limbs intertwined in time
    Lay your head still; let warmth invade
    Our momentary confession
    In a forest of dreams
    You run and I’ll chase
    Begin to breathe with the sun
    As blackness opens the gate

  14. Domino

    In the Dead of the Night

    I wake
    stumble to the bathroom
    do my business
    get a drink
    and fall back to sleep

    In the Eye of the Beholder

    I don’t think
    I look like much
    A chubby girl
    Glasses and such

    Yet those that love me
    Seem to think
    I spin the world
    With my smile.

  15. Nancy Posey

    A World without Similes

    Imagine a world without similes,
    without metaphors, a world
    in which everything is simply
    what it is, nothing more or less.

    Even the worn but clever clichés
    would elude our grasp. Language
    once peppered with apt
    comparisons would sit blandly
    in the bowl. Shakespeare must
    have imagined such a world—
    at least once—finding how far
    short any figure of speech comes
    to capturing his love, but the mere
    possibility, though rejected,
    gave him power to picture her
    at least by what she was not.

  16. Lynn Burton

    In the Back of Ally’s House

    Ally’s bedroom can detect every
    footprint ghost hallway. Inside,
    jingling keys land mindlessly near
    opaque pitchers, quietly reaching,
    softly touching under various windows,
    xylophones, yarn, zippers.

  17. mbschied

    In the middle of a movie

    The world falls away
    vision centers on an image
    separated from your reality
    by a plexiglass membrane

    the here and now may be
    here and now
    or decades ago
    even worlds away

    you are a spectator they will
    never see
    they play for audiences
    feats of theatrics
    that effortlessly evoke
    colors on the emotional spectrum
    one after another

    when you are in a movie
    nothing else exists

  18. stephanie barbe hammer

    in the heart of the matter
    (yes i know it’s "at")

    in the heart of the matter is —
    ideas? passions?

    no, in the heart of the matter is
    the heart only,

  19. Pamela Murray Winters

    Annie McWilliams, I’m stunned by "In the back of a magazine." Just lovely.

    Jane, I’ve been there, all be-furred by rescue cats…such a warm feeling!

    Melissa, I’ve been "in the pulse of music" as well…not at Merlefest, but so many other places…when the weather gets warm I think "It’s festival season" and my heart leaps…you captured it well.


  20. Pamela Murray Winters

    Annie McWilliams, I’m stunned by "In the back of a magazine." Just lovely.

    Jane, I’ve been there, all be-furred by rescue cats…such a warm feeling!

    Melissa, I’ve been "in the pulse of music" as well…not at Merlefest, but so many other places…when the weather gets warm I think "It’s festival season" and my heart leaps…you captured it well.


  21. Pamela Murray Winters

    Annie McWilliams, I’m stunned by "In the back of a magazine." Just lovely.

    Jane, I’ve been there, all be-furred by rescue cats…such a warm feeling!

    Melissa, I’ve been "in the pulse of music" as well…not at Merlefest, but so many other places…when the weather gets warm I think "It’s festival season" and my heart leaps…you captured it well.


  22. Pamela Murray Winters

    Annie McWilliams, I’m stunned by "In the back of a magazine." Just lovely.

    Jane, I’ve been there, all be-furred by rescue cats…such a warm feeling!

    Melissa, I’ve been "in the pulse of music" as well…not at Merlefest, but so many other places…when the weather gets warm I think "It’s festival season" and my heart leaps…you captured it well.


  23. Sandra Robinson

    In the face of shout outs

    Many heartfelt thank yous to those who have mentioned me in Shout Outs. It is so exciting, I must admit. Brings sunny smiles on a stormy day.

  24. Tracy Davidson

    A few more short late ones. I made the mistake of trying to think of as many titles as possible for this prompt. I ended up with over 30 of them and no time to write the actual poems!

    In the Cups of my Bra

    rolled-up pairs of socks
    giving me extra cleavage
    and men’s attention

    In the Middle of a Sneeze

    as my poor battered bladder
    leaks a little bit

    In the Queue of the Donut Shop

    police officers make
    their selection, ignoring
    next door’s armed hold-up

    In the Mind of Gaddafi

    victory is his
    however many people
    he has to murder

  25. de jackson

    For Daniel Pai: Prompt is up. Here you go:
    For today’s prompt, write a "the world without something else" poem. If you remember on Day 3, I had everyone write a "the world without me" poem. This prompt imagines the world without something else, whether a person, place, thing, etc.

  26. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Oh Nancy ….. You have a wonderful talent for leaving writing in fir ever remembered ink…this no pun seriously so beautifully written struck a chord


    she was sixteen when finally
    She got a seen better days upright
    For her birthday
    She had wanted to play with a
    Passion burnt since age three
    The upright could have been the grandest Steinway
    Found Dr. kulach’s a Viennaisno teacher
    In a small studio above the place where the sold pizza
    He had a metronome a chair, silver mustache and thick accent
    And understood classical serious classical music her bent
    You will not play a recognizable line for ten years
    You will play scales and exercises, You understand there will be no tears
    With a commitment only a fervent sixteen year old can make
    She begins and with full heart and three daily hours of practice dud lessons take
    For three weeks and came on a day quite cold
    Sat at the metronome and he stopped her with her name written in bold
    In a program for first years
    A piano recital on January
    Play a single line of a brahms lullabye would she
    This was not their contract the others were six
    She was respectful but pleaded do not humiliate me in this mix
    The programs were printed the line she would learn her name there printed in bold
    She would not disrespect him, he would nit accept this said he icy cold
    He gave her the line simple , she told her family they were not to attend
    At the school that evening she sat a young woman with breasts
    Amongst tiny talented kindergarteners all by proud mommy’s very best dressed
    Finally after the little ones went one then another again and again her name on the page
    It was called and stun stumbled to the center of that vicious floor creaking stage
    Took a deep breath it was line only she could do
    And on the third nite hut it wrong
    And was through
    She stood and calmly with there with a heart drained pounding and wan
    Walked to the front if the stage offered apologies said she could not go on
    Turned and walked quickly trying to find the opening curtain
    The exit would be there of that she was certain
    It was nit and she wandered in nightmare rush
    Until eventually found a door to the outside to push
    She did not see. Dr kulach’s until a woman with a babe if her own
    Met at a produce section when she returned home fir a all grown
    Do you play? he asked her holding onto his cart
    No not really, just scales, although still in my heart
    It was my mistake you were all children to me
    I did not notice the serious young woman, I did not see
    In the bright light of the market in that flourescented aisle
    Her heart filled with music as the hard embraced with crescendoed smile

    ( sorry typos here but wanted to share will clean up later maybe promote is up! Thank you Nancy!)

  27. ChapLynn

    In the moment of realization

    You better make a choice
    make some noise
    raise your voice
    reveal your source
    stay your course
    have some remorse
    know who you are
    follow that star
    stay on par
    leave that bar
    buy that car
    go that far
    stay that long
    sing that song
    REmain strong
    know where you belong
    take somebody in
    repent of your sin
    go back and do it again
    enter in

  28. PSC in CT

    Another busy day for me today, so I’ll be falling still further behind in reading & comments, but I had to check in for a prompt — and also to make sure I didn’t offend anyone with my “In the back seat of his Chevy” poem. :-O What a nice surprise! So glad you all have a sense of humor! :- ) Thanks to the following folks for reading & commenting on it:

    Hannah Gosselin (!!), Jane Schlensky (LOL), Nina B Lanctot (I slept unaware last night – thanks!), Buddah Moskowitz (always an honor to make your distinguished list! And thanks for the cookie!).

    Now it’s off to try to get some work done. (Hope there’s a prompt when I exit from here, but even if there isn’t – keep writing.) Hope you’re feeling better, Robert! :- )

  29. Michael Grove

    Thanks so much for your encouragements and kindness all.
    Special gratitude today to Kim King, M.A. Dobson, MiskMask, Hannah Gosselin, Buddah, Janet Rice, Sara McNulty, de Jackson and Lori Thatcher.

    Keep up the great poeming everyone. Celebrate National Poetry Month!

  30. Stephen S Whitaker

    Pad 27 in the blank of blank
    In the Middle of Things
    In the middle of things
    supine, awash in a muddle,
    watching the fan’s lazy turns
    as the house unfolds around.

    Am I an island of meat.
    there is no feeling except that of the hard floor
    under the spine, the buttocks, the heel.
    Children poke me with sticks.

    Dogs and cats sniff and leave, turn and return
    before ignoring me altogether.
    This is what being struck mute is like,
    a voice that cannot whisper

    a heart that cannot go on its nerve,
    a body that is just a body
    as trees blow, houses collapse,
    lovers love, and children sting.

  31. Nancy Posey

    Here’s one more (before today’s prompt). I kept thinking I had an "In the Path of the Tornado" in me, but with friends and family amid the furor, I couldn’t go there. This memory kept coming back to me though:

    Sixth Grade Piano Recital

    In the middle of her song,
    halfway through the recital,
    she stopped playing, hands
    hovering, frozen above the keys.

    Although we could not see
    her face, we read the panic
    in her posture, perched
    on the edge of the piano bench.

    After holding our breath
    through renditions of Fur Elise,
    The March of the Wooden Soldiers,
    The Baby Elaphant Walk,
    some tender and beautiful,
    some so painfully deliberate
    our untrained fingers reached
    for imaginary keys before us,

    we had almost settled in,
    relieved at disaster averted.

    Only three more, our program
    promised; Surely she’d saved
    the best for the last. Then
    Debbie froze, unable to will
    her muscle memory to overcome
    her nerves. She backed up,
    played the last few measures
    again, then turned and fled
    the stage—surely in tears,
    we reasoned. Another girl
    approached the bench, her
    pale yellow Easter dress, floating
    around her like a crinoline cloud,
    and played, not missing a note.

    Then before the next child
    could take her place, Debbie
    entered from stage right, clutching
    her sheet music in her hand.
    Taking her place again, opening
    the pages, she began again,
    playing through her song,
    commanding our full attention.

    She stood, gave an awkward bow,
    and beaming, returned to her
    folding chair in victory.

  32. Lexi Flint

    Day 27 In the middle of making love
    The morning sun is streaming through the blinds
    blinding me
    I refuse to open my eyes
    I feel you caress
    warming my body with you gentle touch
    (I may never go to work if you keep doing that)
    I stretch, yawn and pull you closer to me
    longing to feel your touch
    but in the middle of making love
    there is a knock at the door
    I open my eyes and laugh
    for it happens every time
    kids just seem to know the perfect time to interrupt
    our time of getting reacquainted.
    “Just a minute!” I sing.
    “But mommy I have to go potty!” the little one says through the door.
    “Go downstairs!” Daddy says
    “But Mom…!” a muffled voice replies, “It’s occupied!”
    I open my eyes, kiss you on the cheek and laugh
    as I get out of our soft warm bed.
    Before unlocking the door I turn back and give you a little squeeze.
    “When is our next vacation?”

  33. Marie Elena

    Hi ya’ll! Humble thanks for Day 26 comments from Marcia, Janet, PSC, Jane, Shannon, Sara, and Buddah! Yesterday (Day 27) got lost for me. Zero writing/reading time. Today will be another killer. Hoping to catch up!

  34. M.A. Dobson

    PKP aka, you made my day — thank you, and right back at ya — you are among the distinctive voices on this site who often go w/o comment from me because I’d be commenting all the time — and I figure you already have enough fans! 🙂 But I have very much enjoyed reading you over the course of this challenge; your lively, generous spirit pervades this space.

    And thanks for mentions Andrew Kreider and Lori Thatcher.

    And De, sorry to cause the puddle but it couldn’t be helped; I’ve been meaning to effuse for days now and it just came spilling out. So there.:-)


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