2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 4

If you missed it for any reason, click here to check out my interview with the 2010 Poet Laureate Walt Wojtanik. He gives some great advice and explains how getting involved in a supportive poetry community can make or break a poet.


For today’s prompt, pick a type of person and write a poem about him or her. To help set the scene, you may want to title your poem as who the type of person is. For instance, you could write a poem titled “Firefighter,” “Cynic,” “Optimist,” “Teacher,” “2-year-old,” etc. The list is endless.

Here is my attempt:

“The Poet”

The morning escaped
as he covered the floor
in white paper balls.

Through the afternoon
he chased idea after
idea without luck.

By the evening
most people found comfort
in their beds. That’s when

he saw what he’d been
searching for: two yellow
eyes cut from the night.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

Also, keep the April PAD Challenge conversation going on Twitter with the #aprpad hashtag.


Do you write fiction at night?
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0 thoughts on “2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 4

  1. Rose Anna Hines

    Back Stabbing Person

    Perhaps today I should say the Judas Man
    Yet, in my experience it has more often been the Judessa Damnsel

    In high school, the first back wound came
    it was a sudden attack
    which even now drips blood when I remember

    My best, dearest friend.
    We met in church where being honest truth tellers was a commandment.
    We knew each other’s hopes and dreams
    our loves and fears and
    each others secrets
    We had seen each other in heels and bonnets
    wrapped in towels and pajamas.

    She knew there was only one guy at church I wanted to date.
    Ken was the man for whom I would wait.
    Then, I found out it would not be my fate
    for Judessa had held his hand and his lips had kissed.

    I could have dealt with him picking her.
    because for whatever reason, his eyes had not been drawn to me.
    What came as the blow, was her thinking a guy she didn’t even know
    was worth more than a friendship forged of years
    and worst still was that she didn’t tell me what was happening.

    There were Judessa Damnsels number 2, 3, 4, 5…….
    those are stories for another day.
    But be sure for me, when trust is broken
    secrets violated, dreams shattered and no truth told
    a door closes
    unfortunately back skin doesn’t thicken.

  2. Mr. Walker

    The Father

    thing number two wants lasagna
    thing number one wants pizza
    i feel like thing number zero

    i’m hungry too, but i feed
    the boys first, and feel guilty
    that i called them things

    i didn’t say it out loud, but
    it’s at that point i realize
    i’ve misplaced my patience

    milk in the cupboard
    cereal in the refrigerator
    it must be around here somewhere

    maybe i can cook some up
    find it again in the zen
    of mise en place

    the feel of the blade
    cutting the carrots into brunoise
    the blade dulling by molecules

    the tiny chimes the carrots
    make as they fall
    into the stainless steel bowl

    i’m putting the third bite of my
    dinner into my mouth when
    thing number two asks for dessert

  3. G. Smith

    (A Triolet)
    (c) 2011 G. Smith

    The sun rises beyond the window
    The way it set the night before,
    Unnoticed, hidden by sorrow.
    The sun rises beyond the window,
    Overcoming the hall light’s glow.
    Asleep in the chair, things on the floor.
    The sun rises beyond the window
    The way it set the night before.

  4. Holly Matison


    You’re a liar
    The only people you fool are those you pretend to care about
    What will you do with yourself the day they realize you left them behind
    The day you chose yourself over them
    Your own flesh and blood
    To provide selfish necessities for yourself
    Selfish! Selfish! Selfish!
    You fill your children with lies
    And promises you can’t keep
    You blame your downfalls on others
    Check yourself…
    You’re a big girl – acting as a child, yes!
    But, you alone made these decisions
    You must lie in the bed
    In those filthy sheets
    Soaking in all that you know is true
    You’re a liar and you can’t hide your face
    The one you wear outside is corroding
    Your true colors shine through
    How does it feel as they all walk away?
    Selfish! Liar!
    They shout
    You cry
    Keep walking
    And don’t look back
    Your lies are like demons
    They chased you and now consume you
    Good riddance!

  5. ChapLynn


    I am willing to sacrifice
    the very essence of my life
    for a freedom with no promises or guarantees
    training requirements that brings most to their knees
    War requirements that brings most to their knees
    to which many protest, while others believe
    Yet all want to be free
    but few want to be me
    but few want to see me
    when I come home draped in tragedy
    when I come home and they play the bugler’s horn
    then their hearts are torn
    then their hands cover that place of pain
    A soldier gave his life again
    She gave her life again
    Now they hear freedom ring
    Now the ramparts gallantly stream
    I am a soldier
    and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  6. Scott Mesrobian

    The Choir Director

    She leaned to her left
    To cue the pianist
    And raised her hands
    To guide the choir.

    Her face reflected the song
    In her sharp blue eyes;
    Skin flushed with pink,
    Her narrow lips in a parted smile.

    Her hair, blonde and silver
    Fell across her brow;
    The sleeves of her robe
    Moved like the wings of a bird.

    Her fingers pulled the notes
    And held them in the air,
    Until the end of the song
    When she mouthed the word, “perfect.”

  7. LBC

    Seventh Grader

    Striding into English class,
    Fashionably late (as a movie star arriving at an after party)
    Candidly asking, “Oh, did the bell already ring?
    I had to go to my locker.”
    A look of innocence in know-it-all eyes
    Without pencil, paper, book, nor binder
    “I think I left them here yesterday.
    Can I go back to my locker?”
    Needing a bathroom break (crossed knees and jiggling prove the point)
    Homework done, but left at home on the kitchen table
    HONEST, I swear
    Refusing to take a zero – “But I DID my homework.”
    Ignoring the mantra: Homework is not done if it isn’t HERE.
    Taking extreme exception to impending parent notification
    “Go ahead, there’s no one home.”
    Carrying on a conversation of gossipy importance
    Distracting the learning objectives
    Interrupting, “Did you bake us brownies?”
    Watching the clock tick off 42 minutes
    Forgetting to be cool because the novel is intriguing
    Generating an intelligent text to self conversation
    Vowing to write something that good some day
    Possibly next year as a more mature eighth grader.

  8. S.E.Ingraham

    Not Yet Two, Already Jaded

    Franklin is having a bad day
    Dropped at daycare
    He is throwing a major fit

    His nose is crusted over
    His big brown eyes swollen
    Shut almost, he screams

    Unremittingly, outraged
    Is he hurt? Did someone
    Hit him? Diaper too tight?

    Or is it the sight of Daddy
    Headed back to the car
    And the sure knowledge

    That Mommy and Daddy
    Have the day off
    And Franklin is at daycare

  9. alana sherman

    The Art Student

    Across from me
    in the quiet gallery,
    a young woman
    with sketch book.
    Picture perfect
    and adoring,
    a face like Leonardo’s
    Dama del Armino,
    her long red hair
    falls over shoulders
    I imagine pale and white.
    Her pencil races
    over the page
    as she sketches the David.
    Handsome, lithe and beautiful,
    more perfectly proportioned
    than any man I’ve ever seen,
    the statue and the girl
    make me wish I could paint
    since words can’t do him justice.
    When I ease my way over
    to peek at her work,
    she has illustrated, not muscles
    or veins or that delicate wrist,
    but his little toe
    so realistically deformed.

  10. Joseph Beckman

    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 4
    pick a person type

    wife, and now mother,
    whichever comes first.
    Is it love or the other
    her pain, is the worse
    for to give of herself,
    so freely and spent,
    from wife to the mother,
    life, blood, energy lent.
    when giving is done
    this year or next, or
    next to the following
    forever, no end,
    the gift of the mother
    to wife is returned,
    as life’s gentle fruit
    lives past her dear end.
    © April 4, 2011  Joseph Beckman

  11. Jay Sizemore

    The nobody

    does his job, tries to do it well. Tries to
    make his shadow have a face,
    tries to grab the corners of his reflection’s mouth
    just to give them a tug, but cuts his hand instead.
    He slinks along sidewalks, motor ways, halls,
    a single blood cell in the vein of a ghost
    that doesn’t know it is dead. His clothes change,
    his shoes make different sounds on different grounds,
    he signs his name until it’s meaningless
    for things that truly are. The songs he hums
    are wordless, the poems he writes are song-less.
    He knows if he falls, the road will just swallow him up,
    and someone else will find a use
    for the spaces he almost inhabited,
    another shadow on the wall,
    wishing for light.

  12. Cara Holman

    People Who Don’t Signal for Lane Changes

    They dart willy-nilly from lane to lane
    like frogs trying to escape predators.
    Do they truly not make up their minds
    until the very last minute, or they simply
    trying for that aura of je ne sais quoi?

  13. Deb Brunell

    Man of the House

    Lives with three women; teenagers are two
    Patient, thoughtful, likes to shoot pool
    He’s the conqueror of spiders and bugs
    The provider of my most essential hugs
    A creative chef with a frying pan
    A DIY mechanic & handyman
    Co-housekeeper and coupon clipper
    A fisherman at heart, seldom time for a day tripper
    To cast out his flies
    A man sensitive and wise

    The man of the house
    Is the man of my heart

  14. Goforia Caledesia

    Mystic – Spoken by Goforia Caledesia

    In the thick mangroves
    shrill morning birds do not deter
    the munificient, diffuse
    concentration of Greta on the trailer porch
    a bayou mystic.

    There is nothing more
    numinous than filtered light.
    Never sunny, she floats out on the fog waters.

    If you see the way the air fills with water
    slithering on top of the reed beds and out over open
    water, that’s her, snaking along the currents.

    She says it’s a faster way to travel,
    smaller carbon footprint, don’t have to pay for gas,
    mystic roamer.

  15. Dana A Campbell

    The Plastic Surgeon

    In his hand
    a black marker
    a highighter
    of your

    He is judge
    and jury
    pronouncing you

  16. Jolanta Laurinaitis


    Blue eyes gazing
    Aimlessly about the room
    Children laughing
    Talking and writing
    She glosses over them
    She looks down
    At her scribbled writing
    And is proud of her work
    But why does it not look
    The same as everyone elses?
    Her whole life is surrounded
    By difference and
    Forced sameness
    Cheeky little smile
    Spreads across her
    Round little face
    What does she think?
    What does she know?
    She grips the over sized
    Pink pencil
    And dances it
    Across her page
    Like her acceptance
    Depended on it

    ~This is dedicated to a little downs syndrome girl I taught last year in my class, I’ve only used initials to try and hide her privacy~

  17. Susan M. Bell


    The years pass by
    Without you really seeing
    What you mean
    To that one particular child

    So many come through
    Your classroom door
    And you try your best
    To reach them all

    You may not realize
    What you have done
    For that one child who hears
    Your voice
    For the rest of their life

  18. Arrvada

    Master of makeovers
    Taking over processed tresses
    Transforming them into glowing, locks
    Wading through the expectations of
    The masses
    Making limp hair look thick
    Taking home botched dyes and making them shine
    She is fashion guide and emotional counselor
    She listens better than any bartender or psychologist
    She is sassy or sleek, conservative or prim
    She takes pictures of models and converts them for moms
    She’ll spend 12 hours standing behind her chair
    All to make you love, the look of your hair

  19. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    martini vampire
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    she is one of the beautiful people,
    blonde with strawberry streaked
    bangs cascading overtop
    thick white foster grants
    and pink frost lipstick,
    a fast talking
    olive skin
    you want
    to suddenly
    grab just below
    the jugular and suck dry

    but then her crypt keeper shows up
    with his own gin and tonic fangs
    and suddenly three’s a crowd.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  20. Salvatore Buttaci


    at parties he tells them
    he’s a sanitary engineer
    just in case the sheepskins
    start waving their weight
    about being professional
    assets to the community
    those bloated egos
    whose hands never did
    one filthy lick of work

    the mornings come
    he dons his gray gloves
    his spotted overalls
    and rides the big truck
    from door to door
    leaping off from where
    he rides shotgun
    getting his hands
    into a little of everything


  21. Erinne Magee

    Little Girl

    so glad you found me
    sitting there
    looking for a reason
    to stay
    you dont know this
    but you told me
    to be strong
    and when i wanted
    to go back to
    do it all over again
    you were ok with that, too
    tell me, little girl,
    how is it that you’ve
    steered me so subtly
    into everything i’ve
    ever wanted?
    if there’s ever
    a question in my mind
    i look at you and
    that’s all i need.
    i dont ever want to see
    the world through
    anyone else
    but you

  22. Ronda Levine

    The Philosopher

    Curled up on a couch with a cat
    She ponders whether we really know
    whether our world is flat
    Time ticks by, but what makes it go slow?
    Is there a God and
    Will he ever show?
    How is it that lightning creates glass out of sand?
    When does sea become land?
    What is the point rain becomes snow?
    Can we solve all problems with math?
    When can we justify a war?
    And just as she decides to draw a bath,
    She’s hit a paradox – can she ever reach the bathroom door?

  23. vanessa mayes

    the girl with the cell phone

    I posed a question.
    My Barista staff and I can’t decide whether or not you ignored me
    Or had the attention span of a dullard
    As you click-clacked on your
    “Super Cool iPhone 5,” or 6, or was it 4?
    Probably asking your classmate if that assignment was due today or on Friday,
    Explaining that your best friend was texting you when you were in class that day
    so you simply couldn’t ignore her ‘and stuff like that’
    to listen to your teacher talk about ‘politics n junk’,
    hoping that you’d make “like an A or whatever”

    Respectfully “ma’am, what size did you want your white chocolate mocha?” I asked,
    for the third time, when I’d really rather lose my job, explaining the meaning of common courtesy.

    “Huh? Oh, Grande. K- thanx- bye.”

  24. Daniel Paicopulos

    Eli and Ely and Me

    Eli can read now,
    says his name is wrong,
    he’s an Elijah.
    He’s become seven,
    becoming who he’ll be.
    Should I argue he is Eli,
    Ely the Eel just a fiction?
    Should he rule, or
    ought I let him lose?
    Can we find perfection?
    Not that this is really
    about communication.
    This is Eli becoming Eli.
    This is me loving Eli.
    This is me loving Ely.
    This is me becoming me,

  25. Amy T-P

    the unreliable one

    you’re at the top of
    my “least likely to return calls”
    my “wouldn’t count on her”
    my “doubt she’ll show up”

    and my enthusiasm for you
    is waning

  26. Elizabeth Oakley


    Role model. Teacher.
    Self-medicate sad thoughts.
    Feelings of inadequacy
    which followed with binge eating
    and self-loathing.
    So all you want
    is to eat more.
    Whenever my mother felt depressed
    she would buy potato chips and dip,
    crackers and pretzels
    and eat until she fell asleep.
    And the next day
    cry over her image in the mirror
    and proclaim it was time
    for a new diet.
    And we would do it together
    because my mentality
    was the same as hers.
    And she would set me up
    for failure and fallback
    on destructive behaviors
    whenever life got too hard.
    I always wanted out,
    to change my life
    because I was destroying
    myself, my own body
    by following her example.

  27. Kinga Sanford

    The Prostitute

    girl of wide hips like mountains
    you have carried men
    and babies have slithered out of you

    you yearn for plainness
    but instead you get tacky clothes
    and layers of makeup
    that you wear like a mask

    your childhood slipped away
    like water through your fingers

    you wait abnegated
    for what comes next
    your misfortune has turned you
    into an old soul already

    life was stolen from you
    it sits on a man’s head
    and you belong to him

    night after long night
    the silver moon witnesses
    the damnation that replaced
    your unworldliness

    when you parted ways with daytime
    and your eyes ceased to see daylight


    the greatest calamity of all

    is that you feel at home

  28. Diane

    Thanks Amanda!

    I’ve come back to read more. Some of the many I enjoyed are:
    Marie-"Smiles", profoundly true
    Zeb-I love your picture of the signal man
    Carol-"The Addict", I relate
    Marcia Gaye-"The Writer"
    Rachel Cornell-I love your description of Robert’s prompts in your comment.
    Nina-I have one of those!
    Lori Thatcher-"The Girl Who Never Gets Picked"
    Michele-"The Sensitive"

    I still haven’t gotten to read them all, or comment on all I like! Thank you everyone.

  29. Lori P

    Nursing Supervisor

    She may be a stickler for the rules sometimes
    And give us two nurses when the acuity calls for 2.9
    And toss you patients left and right
    But when this ones pupils are fixed
    And that one isn’t breathing right
    And 6 other have pushes and blood
    (that only an RN can do),
    With her clear head and nurse-protecting attitude,
    There’s no one else I’d rather have at the
    Other end of my panic button.

  30. Carole Katsantoness


    Self stripped naked,
    spiraling down.
    Darkness envelops the
    shriveled being.
    Demons of despair
    torment, lurk near
    consciousness, diffuse
    will from the soul.
    Anguish rages like
    a runaway fire leaving
    charred hope to fight
    the rush of fear.
    Second by second
    crawls like snails,
    searing burn smolders
    beneath the stilled spirit.
    Rise to tell the story,
    fight barbed hooks that
    diminish, resist the
    verge of extinguished.
    Human kindness smooths
    jagged edges while gaping
    holes linger, suspend until
    wounds finally fold with
    weighty balm into faded scars.

  31. Sally Jadlow



    Thirty-seven years ago today
    I fasted, prayed,
    “Lord, what do You want me to do
    with these poems You’ve set my hand to?”

    “Whatever you will,”
    came my answer from the still,
    small voice.

    Now, thousands of poems later in a look back,
    I marvel at His knack
    to guide my thoughts to write a poem one day
    that finds its way
    to the heart of another,
    be it sister or brother,
    who needs the very thought penned earlier
    by this awed courier.

  32. Jane Shlensky

    Nice People

    You are such a nice person, but
    always victimized, hurt by unkind comments.
    I see you perse your lips and bite your tongue,
    apostle of restraint,
    not wanting to start a fuss,
    not wanting to ‘give people ideas’,
    not wanting to be the object of gossip,
    not wanting to draw fire.

    You will not speak for yourself, then/there where it counts for something.
    No, you are a nice person:
    you tell me how hurt you are,
    tell me who has used you, abused you, and how,
    tell me how you’d like to tell the thoughtless of their thoughtlessness,
    how you’d like to make it all stop.

    You are such a nice person that you cannot see
    that I am victimized by your victimization.
    And I am angry for you, about you, with you.
    Shall I hear you without response?
    Love your tolerance?
    Praise you for being a nice person?

    Use your damned voice.
    Say NO.
    Shout STOP.
    Write wrongs.
    Learn to curse, long and foully.
    Why must I do all the work?
    Shall I fight for you when you refuse to fight for yourself, being nice?
    Must your silence become my voice?

  33. Virginia Snowden VSBryant

    The Paper Doll

    She flows in the wind, bounce from place to place, dancing in a simple pace
    She is loved and she is hated, so toyed with, she is praised
    She is and she is not, whole and weightless, weightless and whole
    She is dancer, a lover, a mother, a daughter
    She is the bringer of good dreams, the conqueror of bad
    She is the best gift I ever had
    She is all and nothing; the paper doll from the box of cereal my big brother stashed.

  34. Laurie granieri

    All the things you long to tell her
    as she awaits
    a price check
    on your
    frozen waffles:
    the tantastic tan,
    the Tweetie-bird
    tramp stamp,
    be bold
    and let the eyebrows
    grow wild again,
    become wingéd creatures,
    soften their shape
    of perpetual surprise.

  35. Tamara P

    I did write this yesterday… i just hestitated a long time to post it..

    The lover

    Painted his waterfall all shades of blue. Washed coffee cups over by the hens. Let her pull out the grey hairs. Put the soft mattress on top of the hard one and slept without pillows. Played the mandolin for the first time. Swept out the onion. Talked back to the radio. Lent her this thongs. Played with the purple pillow shaped like horns. Quietly sipped his cereal and watched her laugh. Saw the musical yet again. Explained a betrayal at 3am with his feet falling out. Dared to mention love to her. Lost his torch. Said anda nene with sun in his voice. Insisted he missed her more. Said goodbye with arms flapping, legs galloping, and his eyes still on her.

  36. K Kerns


    The Thief
    by K Kerns

    Most people think you steal ‘things’
    But you steal so much more
    Like a sneaky cat you steal
    Security and contentment in ones’ own home
    You steal peace of mind and the ardent
    Need to feel safe somewhere from something
    You steal a good night’s sleep night after night
    After night and insomnia is your baby
    So when you are standing on your own merit
    Or the lack thereof you the thief will be culpable
    And accountable for all those ‘things’ you’ve stolen
    And for so much more ~

  37. Jan Kuykendall


    Her world is rich with texture
    filled with light and dark
    fog enchants her
    rain challenges
    and colors are her tapestry
    People intrigue
    nature fills her with wonder
    Everywhere she looks
    her mind creates photographs

  38. Sheila Deeth

    The doctor says
    You’ll be okay
    Take aspirin, go away.
    The doctor’s tired.

    The doctor says
    Go home and sleep.
    Tonight he works more hours
    Than clocks can keep.

    The doctor says
    He’ll be okay
    Don’t worry Mom as if
    Mothers can stop.

    The doctor works
    A lot. Mom prays.

  39. Dheepikaa

    Snap, snap, snap
    bite, bite, bite
    with tip toe tip
    slippery tongue
    and slinky fang
    bit by bit,
    snip by snip,
    you chip away
    any esteem of self
    by making me elf
    while naming calls
    and calling names
    your eyes roll
    round and round
    my hands cold
    yin and yang
    your day will come
    bitch by bitch
    just like mine did
    twitch eye twitch.

  40. ann

    "One day without shoes"

    Feet padding
    over pebbles,
    gentle pink soles
    torn raw,
    heels rubbed
    and toes, soft
    curled toes,
    scraped until each
    step hurts…one day
    …one day
    trudging up one hill
    and down
    over stick
    and rut, grass and
    On this
    one day
    without shoes,
    my tender feet,
    strong feet
    grabbing stone,
    on, dreaming of

  41. Katrin Talbot


    It’s all in the spelling,
    isn’t it?
    An ‘l’, a ‘y’, and
    an extra ‘r’ away
    from lonely
    A ‘v’ instead of ‘n’,
    would have found them
    in another’s arms

    But the loner seems comfortably
    in her solo journey,
    within his friendless orbit
    And the state of By Oneself
    is populated with the solitary,
    their brittle enigmatic shells
    shining with an almost unbearable glare
    in the hot hot sun
    on the frigid, barren,
    high plateau


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