April PAD Challenge: Day 10

Shoooooooo, doggies! We’ve made it to double digits! One-third of the way to pay dirt! Thirty-three point three percent!

In other words, we’re well on our way to the barren wasteland of the middle of this month and the real (really real even) gut-check time for any PAD challenge challenger. I’ve been having a lot of fun so far, and I hope you have, too.

Last night, I was up until the witching hour catching up on my laundry at the local laundromat. While folding up my warm T-shirts, I started thinking about the importance of location in our poems. Many people (not just poets) form their identities based off where they are born and raised, or even where their ancestors were born and raised. From favorite sports teams to music tastes, location can often play a major role in who we are.

Today, the poetry prompt is to write a location poem. You can write about a city, a building, a planet, etc. I suppose the poem doesn’t necessarily need to be “about” the place, but the location should play an important role in the poem.

Here’s my attempt for today from, naturally:

“The Laundromat”

There is, of course, the hum and throb,
the anonymous faces wandering in and out
with arms wide and full of warm clothes.
This is where she called me twice in one day
just because and to say she loved me.


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180 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 10

  1. Carol Bachofner

    Harbor Beach, York Maine

    It was my place. At 15
    I learned about love there, or else
    it was infatuation, love training.
    I burned day after day, the tide
    teaching me about out and in, about sizzle
    and fizz, about loyalty to a shore.
    I learned to stretch myself out, to wait
    for the danger of coming too close,
    to then dash away before being overcome.
    I closed my eyes and waited,
    listening to my transistor radio, swooning
    to Paul Anka, Elvis, Johnny Angel.
    At 15 I knew nothing about love. I only knew
    I wanted to feel like the sea touching the sky.

  2. Tanja Cilia

    Once, In Wastness…

    See Neil MacCodrum,
    Handsome and rich, old-young man
    Not wanting a wife

    Old before his time
    Blamed Adam for Man’s doom
    And losing Eden

    Old woman warned him
    He might be bewitched himself
    Somewhere in Orkney

    One day in the ebb
    He chanced a crowd of selkies
    With their seal-skins off.

    Bodies white as snow
    They frolicked in the water,
    Relishing the sun.

    Goodman crept closer
    They fled off in disarray;
    Left one pelt behind.

    Seal-maiden bereft
    Of her means of going home
    Had to marry him.

    Bore him seven kids
    Orcadian yet half Selkie;
    Yet remained home-sick.

    Four sons went fishing
    In their boat with Goodman dad
    Youngest girl stayed home.

    Eldest gathered whelks
    Selkie Wife searched but and ben
    For her long-lost skin.

    Peedie lass asked mum
    If she could join the hunt-game
    And what was its aim.

    "Bonnie skin for shoe
    That would cure your wee sore foot"
    Was the vague reply.

    Bairn’s face brightened up;
    She had seen Goodman hide it –
    "He gloured at it for aye!"

    Selkie wife felt bliss
    Took the skin and fled to sea,
    "Fare thee weel, buddo!"

    Goodman and sons saw
    Two Selkies amid the waves;
    Wife and Selkie Man.

    "Goodman o’ Wastness
    Aye, I liked thee weel enough
    But my life’s the Sea."

    Goodman haunts the shore
    To this day, looking for her;
    She will not return.

  3. S.E. Ingraham

    While not the place of my birth, I have grown to love this city, referred to jokingly (or maybe not so jokingly!)as being on the lip of the Arctic circle, and write about her often. Her are a short collection in her honour.

    Edmonton, oh Edmonton

    At prairie rainbow’s end
    Board flat land
    Curves greenly
    Then steeply steeply, down
    Salutes the mighty North Saskatchewan
    And glancing back
    Beholds a crown of metropolis so unexpected
    It will take your breath away.

    My hometown’s downtown
    Feels big city-small-town
    It depends
    If I’ve only just emerged, stunned,
    stuporous – awed beyond belief – from the symphony or
    the Art Gallery
    It’s got that big city patina for sure
    But if I bump into an old friend
    (this happens more often than you’d think in a city this size)
    Then it’s definitely got that small town feel.

    Festivals squared
    Capitalized government
    Dramatized Citadel
    Bibliophiles’ heaven
    Gallery home central
    Dutch-treat chimes
    Steep hill? Use stairs…
    Baseball, burial grounds
    It’s all good…
    Hardware store/grill
    Take a spin up high
    See the town

    Churchill’s magnetic square draws all
    Down the halls of commerce
    Another festival?
    Yes – dance us round
    Your next incarnation Edmonton
    Light the canons
    Coloured splashes curl
    Sound back into the sky
    And proclaim
    “This city’s pulse beats strong.”

    Pulse marked
    By tower bells
    Ringing out
    The square

    The Grande dame MacDonald
    Sighs a welcome
    To the government’s Pink Palace,
    And a crystal-tiered showplace,
    plus skaters-on-the-square;
    A carillon peals on high with its
    Dutch bells ringing
    “World-class city here”


  4. lyn

    my space is more than a place
    a networking zoo free-for-all
    with daily requests for friendship
    where I can get lost and can’t be found
    except by the identity I choose

  5. mjdills

    doctor’s office

    The distinct odor of the doctor’s office;
    Scent of alcohol in the air.
    Photos of his very own children
    Stare at me from behind his desk.
    As I wait in an uncomfortable chair.
    I’ve been here
    As a patient,
    A mother,
    A grandmother.
    All in the same place but
    As a different person.
    Sunlight sneaks through the window blinds
    Making snaky patterns on the floor;
    Tiled, clean, shiny.
    Boats sail in a pastel print on the wall
    Soothing, non-descript, nowhere, anywhere.
    Spying the water tank in the corner,
    Licking lips of dry mouth,
    Reaching for the jellybeans
    Tempting in a glass topped dish.
    Chatter from the hallway;
    Other families wait.
    A baby’s wail.
    A child’s whine.
    The TV, suspended on large ugly metal brackets, drones.
    Clinking, clanking, murmurs
    From the other room;
    The inner room.
    Unidentifiable music drifts across the ceiling
    Rises and falls;
    Some notes landing on my ears.
    I flip through the magazine
    Seeing little,
    Absorbing nothing,
    Pages flipping;
    Wetting my fingers to turn them faster.
    Clock ticking audibly.
    I shift in the chair.

  6. Laurie Kolp

    Shangrai Lai
    (Botanical gardens)

    A garden full of colors bright,
    pink, purple, orange and green,
    cypress trees with knobs and moss,
    a sight to be seen.

    Butterflies and birds
    being born, flying free,
    an owl and snake and caterpillar
    are some things you will see.

    Ride a boat through the marsh,
    or watch a play as you tour,
    a scavenger hunt will help you,
    see things fresh and pure.

    It is good for meditating,
    teaching science, environment,
    so if you get the chance to go there,
    you will be glad that you went.

  7. Karen Masteller

    Holy Ground(s)

    That day no burning bush grabbed my attention
    But rather the cell phone jangle.
    "The Breakthrough plays tonight at Holy Grounds…"
    "On holy ground! Like Moses?!"
    "Nooo…Holy Grounds Coffee Lounge…"
    "Do I have to remove my shoes? Will God speak to me?!"
    Tolerant silence…"See you at 7."

    That night no burning bush drew me in
    But rather the inviting warmth, the amber lighting glow,
    The blending of voices of friends.
    The band played, we ate, we drank coffee, we listened to CD’s.
    There was no breakthrough voice from God, but He was there.
    No, I won’t be leading any Israelites out of slavery
    But am I doing anything to rescue those in desperate conditions?

  8. Hope Greene

    Community Church, Mirfield

    Somehow it’s like a big heart
    With large and small entrances
    Rounded and working,
    The little fellows flowing in and out
    Right on schedule.

    The swish and echo of their steps
    Commingle up the walls to fill the whole chamber.
    They come in burdened,
    To commute
    And leave, carrying more
    But mutual cargo-
    Nothing more or less than love for the whole world.

  9. Nancy

    April 10: Zip City

    Long before the Drive-by Truckers
    evoked that sense of place,
    before the Lynard Skynard gang
    crawled up along that wooden bridge,
    an album cover photo shoot,

    But long after the first
    inhabitants had carved
    out rock, to form the basin
    visible still beneath
    the ice-cold stream,

    My grandm0ther, just a girl then,
    picked up arrowheads,
    so plentiful in the new-plowed field
    she skipped them like rocks
    across the creek .

    Without the bane of MTV
    my musical memories came
    without video. The sound
    from the turntable in the
    huge wooden cabinet left
    me to fill in the pictures,
    a Rohrshach test
    in High Fidelity.

    "I’ve Never Been to Spain"
    brings back images of
    my red shag carpet.
    "Candida" is a van ride
    to the bowling alley,
    our chaperone ignoring
    the necking on the back seat.

    When Emmylou starts "Feeling Single,
    Seeing Double," I’m years and miles away,
    leaving my college dorm, fake ID in tow,
    sign-out sheet falsified. I wish she’d
    thought ahead and sung "Love Hurts"
    with Gram instead.

    I’m adding this late because I didn’t know it had never posted. It usually takes me two tries to get anything to show up on the page.

  10. Grace

    Can someone please email me directly and let me know whether its too late to post my poems from the poetry prompts? I have been searching for an email for one of the people who run the site to no avail.

    I also need to know if I can do them all at once or do I need to do them one at a time? Please help.

  11. Lin Neiswender

    Not Fashionable

    Land of pecans and peaches,
    Blazing hot summers and alligators
    Ponds and fishing poles and people named Bubba
    Drawled-out accents and pithy sayings
    Wisdom distilled along with fine dark whiskey
    Hanging moss on trees and armadillos, even
    Possums with their curly tails
    All call it home around here
    Some people leave it behind,
    Shaking it off their feet, cursing,
    Like red clay ruining their shoes
    We know it leaves indelible marks on the soul
    And we like that, even if
    It’s not fashionable

  12. Linda Hofke

    To Sheryl Kay: Thanks for your input. I will consider The Piggy Pen as a title. And I agree, I don’t want to give the ending away in the title.

    Also, I shifted the emphasis at the end from me to Dad because as a child we are all egocentric- it is all about us. But as an adult, though I sometimes wish he’d stayed, I realize that he wasn’t leaving me, just mom. And even though that is sometime difficult to get by, as he had it made in the shade, I think he was somehow unhappy in the marriage. Guess he was just doing what was right for him and I have to respect that in a way too. I’ve learned to accept the things I cannot change….but I can still wonder.

  13. Connie Meng

    On the Other Side of the Sea
    for Carina

    Here is how the world unfolds:
    a steady hand draws a red
    marker line across the map.
    Here is the path to Europe,
    Google says: you need only to swim
    the Atlantic! Twenty-nine days
    alloted to the task, and think
    how much awaits on the other shore!

    At the post office, I stand
    between rope dividers, in line
    behind a woman with a letter
    for Finland. In my hands, a little box
    bound for Mongolia. "Here I am,"
    I think, in the land of padded
    envelopes, self-sticking stamps,
    packaging tape splashed with
    the USPS emblem, "thinking of
    you," my friend in a ger
    outside of Ulaanbaatar, running
    out of new ways to cook mutton.

    Here is the hub that connects us.


    Note that while Google Maps no longer instructs you to "Swim across the Atlantic Ocean: 3,462 miles" when you ask for directions from North America to Europe, I am not making this up: http://consumerist.com/consumer/google/google-suggests-you-swim-across-the-atlantic-ocean-248199.php 🙂

  14. M Schied


    Amidst the city of dreaming spires
    Sits an edifice, bronzed with age
    A weathered dome caps the effervescent wisps of knowledge
    Gently swirling within its substantial structure
    Sixty decades of humoring instructors, tutors, wastrals and deans
    Alice, Aslan, and Frodo all products of illustrious patrons
    Wooden ledges inspired revolts and precipitated martyrdoms
    Intellectual opinions transferred from vellum to cranium
    But still
    The golden light streams, glazed with time and history
    The dust of understanding leaves its mark, gentle and at peace
    Waiting for the next blank leaf to float through the door

  15. Barbara Malcolm


    No phones, cell or landline,
    ring there, no one knocks
    on the door to sell you
    cookies or Jesus,
    there’s no laundry or
    dirty dishes waiting
    to be done. All is
    liquid flowing color
    sensuous silky cool
    water buoying you
    sometimes pushing you along
    unfolding the reef’s treasure
    to your eager eyes
    your Darth Vader breaths.

  16. Amanda Caldwell

    Under the canopy

    At once itchy and soft
    under our backs,
    billowing up around our collars
    and into our armpits,
    tickling our ankles
    where our jeans have hiked up.
    Above us, a backlit, sunlit
    spread of silhouetted gold,
    and below a cushion of
    autumn’s finest mattress.

    We sang and held hands,
    as children, one fall
    outside the church,
    our friendship cohering
    into one crystal moment,
    present and timeless.
    When did we finally stand to walk home,
    brushing at brittle leaf fragments
    caught in each other’s hair,
    this memory beyond each transient season?

    Over ten years ago now,
    and about ten years later,
    I pushed you into a pile
    and followed, soft and unexpected.
    Our fingers barely touching,
    we lay and talked
    and watched the sky beyond the tips
    turn the branches darker
    until each black twig pointed to a star.

    I turned to whisper I’m cold.
    Will you marry me? you said.
    And what could it be but yes?

  17. Shannon Rayne

    At the Folk Club

    Tonight I feel lonely
    like these old blue grass songs
    drifting from mandolin to ear
    ear to banjo
    songs spilling from mouths and guitar holes
    with no one listening.

  18. Sheryl Kay Oder

    Bill, I loved your Here and There poem.

    Rodney, this is day 17 when I am reading some of these poems. I have vacillated between a poem a day and a couple of poems a day. It has been a taxing month, you know. Grin. If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise (Credit Tennessee Ernie Ford) I will be here until the end.

    It sometimes takes two or three attempts to post a poem. On the rare occasions it has taken only one time, I have been amazed.

  19. Justin M. Howe

    At Home

    The television is teaching us how to share
    to read to think to cooperate
    We laugh at different times
    There’s no place I’d rather be
    Except maybe to turn this thing off
    and go outside to play.

    -Justin M. Howe

  20. Sheryl Kay Oder

    Linda, I loved your poignant poem. Even though you shift your emphasis from you to your dad at the end, the poem is mostly about you and your reaction when the "big piggy" left the pen.

    You might use the concept of the pen in your title. The problem I have in thinking of a title is not giving away the ending too soon. You could use something similar to The Piggy Pen. There is security there, and it is some of that security that was lost.

    I wish I could be of more help here, but that is the best I can do.

  21. Vivienne Mackie

    #10 Location
    My Bank

    Persian carpet, comfy chairs,
    Hushed atmosphere, quiet voices
    Under a high glassed atrium.
    Intimidation? A little.
    Men push in two carts, creaking,
    Loaded with safe boxes.
    Big money here,
    But it’s not mine!
    Our bank securities office
    Where I want to add our meager saving
    —these difficult times.

  22. Lorien Vidal

    Unfortunately, since I’m catching up there hasn’t been chance enough for me to read some of the good stuff that’s been posted. Hope to, once I’m all caught up… 🙂


    Was told by my mother that she can’t be everywhere at once,
    But have also heard tell from the spiritually zen that
    We are all everywhere and everything at once

  23. Rose Morand

    DAY 10 – Location (Cranbrook)

    A place famous around the world
    For architecture
    For academics
    For culture
    And for science

    Nestled, among mansions
    And those who make the money

    In the center of it, woods
    Along a lake
    But today mine alone

    When the world rushes all around
    I come for the stillness of this place
    And know that woods
    Can be the most valuable real estate around

  24. Linda Hofke

    Can anyone help me with a good title for my poem above? It’s all true and I concentrated on the "this little piggy" because my dad did that every night and Sunday morning and we were 5 children as well. But the poem is more about his the different stages in growing up and his leaving at a crucial time for me (I was the younger). So I didn’t think a piggy slant would be propriate. I’d appreciated ANY ideas.


  25. Linda Hofke

    Location: my parent’s bedroom

    When I was 5, pigtailed and giggly,
    I’d wake early on a Sunday morning,
    hoof it over to my parent’s bedroom
    and begin the day squealling with delight
    as Daddy performed "this little piggy"
    on my delicate toes.

    At the age of 8, full of both wonder and worry,
    I’d often scurry off in the night,
    taunted by the creepy critter crawling on the wall,
    the venomous vampire who lurked in the cellar,
    or the current boogeyman of my dreams.
    Dad would let me slip in next to him,
    safe and warm as I hogged the blanket,
    drifting off into peaceful slumber
    dreaming this little piggy went to market,
    this little piggy stayed home.

    As a rapidly changing and confused 12-year old
    his words hit me like a big down pillow
    in the midst of a schoolgirl sleepover.
    I was sitting on the edge of their bed,
    next to his packed suitcases,
    feeling like the little piggy who
    cried all the way home.
    The big piggy went to market,
    the little piggy stayed home.

    Even now, 28 years later, I sometimes wish
    he’d been the little piggy who ate roast beef
    and I the little piggy who had none.
    I wonder what he thinks?
    Is he happy with the bed he’s made
    or does he wish he hadn’t left his pen
    and his five little piggies
    that long ago summer day.

  26. Sheryl Kay Oder

    Library Interlude

    Relaxing today is needful,
    so here I sit on this couch
    Reading Good Housekeeping.
    Julie Andrews has written
    a memoir excerpted there.

    It is grand
    to live her life
    while fleeing
    the recent tedium
    of my own.

  27. tara

    Mid-Manhattan Library

    Ah this is bliss there
    Is old carved wood
    And plants and
    Hanging brass lamps
    With bulbs like stars
    Outside the window
    The city buzzes like
    An Insect but in
    Here it is quiet
    And I write.

  28. Kate

    Dog Park

    Airedale anarchy
    Beagle bedlam
    Corgi chaos, collie commotion
    Dachshund din
    Elkhound excitement
    foxhound fuss
    Husky hullabaloo, Havanese hue and cry
    Labrador lawlessness,
    Malamute mayhem, Mastiff melee
    Newfie noise
    Poodle pandemonium
    Rottwieler racket, Ridgeback rumpus
    Samoyed scuffle
    Terrier tumult


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