Editors Blog

April PAD Challenge: Day 18

I’ll pick back up on the highlights on Monday. Spent last night working on my Writer’s Market book, which goes to production next Friday. By the way, isn’t it cool? We’ve made it 60% of the way through April–once you write today’s poem. I’m sure anyone who’s made it this far will be able to cross the finish line on the 30th.

Today’s prompt is to take a line of my choosing and incorporate it into your poem in some way. You can use the line as the title of your poem, as the last line, as the first line, or even drop it somewhere in the middle–but you must use the line somewhere. And a special note to you “rule benders”: No, you cannot break up the line into individual words or phrases. The whole line must be used, though you can definitely insert a linebreak or two if you wish.

So, what’s the line anyway? It is: There is no connection.

No connection to what? And who is speaking? And in what context? These are questions you should ponder before tackling this prompt.

Here’s my poem for the day:

“Convergence”

We arrive late in Atlanta to learn,
“There is no connection available
from Hartsfield-Jackson to LaGuardia
tonight.” Some of us head to hotels
as others loiter, stranded south
of the Mason-Dixon line. A man
holding his cell says, “I can’t talk
in here. There’s no connection.”
One woman tells another, “It tears
me up to hurt him like I do, but
whenever we’re together there is
no connection. It’s like, ‘Okay.
Let’s get this over with already.'”
Those of us who stay and don’t
talk listen to those of us who do.
This is what happens when things
don’t go according to plan. One
person unloads all his frustrations;
another acts as if she might be
somewhat interested; and there is
no connection between the two.

 

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182 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 18

  1. Tanja Cilia

    There is No Connection… Is There?

    Thick as a brick…
    Utilitarian.

    A compliment, not… a brickbat.

    Because brick walls have a reason –
    Building blocks of homes and prisons, churches
    And convents… or missiles through a window…
    and debris of a war, or an earthquake.

    The brick wall to which we talk or against which we bang our heads
    Separates us from something that we desire –
    to be inside it or the freedom there is outside it.

    Headers and stretchers… a collective memory… weigh on the mind like a tonne of bricks.

    Does the clay in the brick outhouse remember the sheer cliff face?

    Do the fly ash, coke, slag, charcoal and grit
    in the bricked-up cavity wall remember the coal face?

    Does the mud remember the gentle kiss of the waves over the river bed?

    Does the quartz remember the womb of the earth, and the volcano
    that gave it birth?

    Do the dropped hot bricks care that they are left stone cold?

    There is no connection between hay and straw, and bricks and mortar.

    Because hay is delicious nutritional fodder and
    Straw is tasteless hollow stalks for bedding… and bricks…..

    And the angry Pharaoh forbade his men to give the Israelites straw… they had to gather it themselves.
    And the arris would have preferred to be a part of a cathedral…
    Rather than a forgotten chapel in the back of beyond.

  2. Carol Bachofner

    Ejucation

    She cannot spell or pronounce
    words like “tylenol,” “education,” common
    words everyone uses. Her spelling is off
    by a few letters, or sometimes so alien
    I have to guess by context. Her grammar
    by all accounts is only a distant cousin to accurate.
    Same age as I, educated in the same state,
    she missed something. Was it her teachers?
    What about the difference in our towns? Parents
    pushing me and not her? Ever hurrying to the next task,
    the next idea, maybe she never stopped to suss
    out the rules, the process of proper English.
    She sees herself as inferior, somehow flawed
    in comparison, calls me the educated one.
    Counting her bad grammar, poor spelling, odd diction
    would be a mistake. There is no connection
    between eloquence and friendship, no link
    between spelling and neighborliness.
    At every bizarre turn of phrase, I cringe,
    keep reminding myself there is no connection.
    No connection, not connected. Not.

  3. S.E. Ingraham

    A verrrry late submission for this prompt

    "There is no connection…"

    After she is rear-ended
    She sits ramrod straight
    Still as a stop-action
    Figure on film
    She sees her unblinking eyes
    In the review mirror
    Wonders idly
    Where her hat is
    Why her skin is so white
    Why she can’t hear
    Anything
    Why she can’t seem to move
    Anything
    Tries futiley to remember
    What is happening
    Comes up with
    Nothing
    Way way off
    She thinks she hears
    A tiny tinny
    Voice
    She strains to hear
    She imagines
    It is saying
    Something about
    About an
    Ambulance
    But
    There is no connection
    She can think of
    To the voice
    To her eyes
    And still she cannot move.

    S.E.Ingraham

  4. Laurie Kolp

    The Conclusive Connection

    There is no connection
    between here and there,
    look up in the sky.
    You may wonder where
    it all ends,
    or simply begins,
    between here and there.
    Does counting start at zero?
    There are negatives
    and positives, too.
    Numbers, that is
    between here and there.
    Does life begin at conception,
    or end when you die?
    Is heaven or hell
    a fairy tale?
    There is no connection.

  5. Sarah

    The price of oil
    keeps rising per barrel
    conveniently it seems
    at the highest travel
    times of the year
    but ‘there is no connection’
    the oil barrens say
    it’s the war or a
    shortage of storage
    but one has nothing
    to do with the other
    and ‘there is no connection’
    with the fact that
    the green folk
    have people searching
    for alternate fuels
    which will eventually
    eat into their profits,
    but by then what will
    anyone care?
    since they’re rich
    in a day
    it’s the American way!
    never mind if
    folks can’t get to work
    they’ll just sit by the pool
    as they try to stay cool
    and not care who they hurt
    to get there.

  6. Kate

    Alternate

    In sleep I dream another landscape, an entire
    country, with cities I visit and college dorms
    and trailer parks I live in and husbands and
    wives and that job in the train tunnels repairing
    tracks. Over the years I re-visit old haunts,
    remember places like old friends. I have dream
    lovers, dream break-ups, I’m always moving,
    dreaming up new dream houses, climbing towers.
    If I’m happy in my waking world, nightmares fill
    my sleep. If life is hard I escape to dreams where
    the map is in fragments and there is no connection.

  7. Charlene, Age 10

    Animation

    Though I like Phineas and Ferb
    With its twists and turns
    And inventions
    The platypus Perry,
    Cute as he may be
    While saving the world,
    He can’t really exist.

    "There is no connection
    Between animation and the real world,"
    Says my friend, Sierra
    I try to deny
    This fact of life
    But I can’t get it out of my mind

    After the episode of Phineas & Ferb ends
    I realize though I have a crush on Perry,
    We can’t really go on a date
    Because there is no connection
    As an afterthought, I added,
    "By the way, I’m not old enough to date Perry!"

  8. LindaTK

    Day 18
    There is no Connection

    There Is No Connection

    Allegedly, a butterfly flaps it’s wings
    And it is felt halfway around the world.
    It’s a way of saying that all things are connected.
    A serial killer stuffs his eighth victim in a garbage bag
    Thrilled, excited, in control
    Headed for the deep woods
    Eager to find the perfect spot
    Satisfied for the moment.
    A Buddhist Monk meditates in the monestary
    Quiet, serene, in control
    Headed for a higher consciousness
    Eager to find enlightenment
    Satisfied with the moment.
    There is no connection.

  9. priya

    Hands reach out
    Over miles, over seas,
    Trying to form
    What they already know
    Should be real.
    But the distance between
    Is too much,
    Blood rivers carve the land…
    They try, but
    There is no connection:
    Their fingers never touch.

  10. M. Schied

    Gone

    I want to see him
    standing before me
    holding his arms open
    waiting to enfold me
    I want to be there
    now and forever
    but there is no connection
    between us anymore

  11. Hope Greene

    Summertime, Chicago

    Every day in the afternoon
    The eloteros comes honking
    Down the street behind
    Two bicycle tires bolted
    To a rusty refrigerator box.
    With a handpainted sign
    “ELOTES” it says, and then
    Some other Spanish too small to read.

    It’s true that elote means corn
    But corn is not what he’s selling as
    I found out one city afternoon
    When I gringoed up to him and asked for some.
    With nothing in his face
    He handed me a limp
    Cob that must have been cooked last year
    solely as a prop for the fuzz
    If needed.

    I think the rest of the sign must read:
    There is no Spanish?
    There is no connection.

  12. Justin M. Howe

    Connection

    “oh, what tangled web we weave
    when first we practice to deceive.”
    -William Shakespeare

    Lying is not forgivable
    Especially to one you love
    There is is an anecdote I
    once heard;

    ‘A lie is like a nail in wood
    you can take the nail out
    by saying you are sorry.
    But the hole remains.’

    Baby, you must feel perforated.

    I wonder why you’re so quick to
    get upset
    I try to tell you there is no connection
    Between a decade ago and now
    I almost convince myself as well

    But the connection is the past
    The past shapes the future
    How, then, can we let go of the past
    And still hope for the future?

    We can’t
    Can’t let go
    It is in our nature

    So we press on
    We continue moving
    We hope for the best
    We do our best
    And everything will come out okay
    in the end.

    -Justin M. Howe

  13. Judy Roney

    I genuinely look forward
    to our time together
    each time we meet
    I embrace her and smile

    I listen intently
    as she shares her life
    ask questions when silence
    lies so heavy between us
    I’m always hopeful for that time
    we find a common ground

    Why do I try so hard to
    reach her, what draws me
    to this task, is it disbelief
    that two lives that converge often
    can’t find syncrinicity
    that there is no connection
    or do I simply love a challenge.

  14. Raven

    butterflies…

    a butterfly
    with wings so slight
    a brisk wind blowing
    surrendering
    to the flow
    of the volcanic current
    dipping down below
    to where cherry blossoms
    bloom
    where petals fall
    along with dew
    and silver drops
    of rain
    patter against
    old tin roofs
    extruding mud
    and joy as seeds
    burst forth
    rebourn
    beneath the glaring sun
    one can reach
    but never know
    for there is no connection
    not any more

    By TK Kietero

  15. Lynn

    There is no connection
    between us anymore.
    We bicker and fight,
    unable to rest.
    There is nothing left
    of what used to be.
    A love once treasured
    has become empty.
    Awake late at night
    I’m lonely, longing
    for love that once was…
    Meanwhile, knowing
    it’s lost forever…
    Both of us claiming
    we’re misunderstood.

  16. k weber

    Speaking in tongues

    I hide my illness well; explain
    in codes and hushed tones
    and do my best "deep Russian"
    accent to accent that there
    is no connection between me
    and myself on my depression
    days

    I have deep Russian: said thick
    and European, slicking through me
    like borscht or a sickly, grey
    and unrelenting afternoon

    There is no connection from
    me to you when the phone
    is unhinged and I am sleeping
    under my pillow; there is no
    connection when your hug
    harnesses my torso
    and I am a million
    miles from feeling even
    incomplete and real

  17. samantha altman

    Longing

    Why do you only haunt my dreams?
    Why can’t I ever see you?
    I miss you and there’s an ache inside,
    A pain that burns all the way through.
    If I could only see a glimpse,
    That would be my resurrection.
    Instead I’m like a dropped phone call,
    Lost and there is no connection.

  18. Mike Padg

    There is no connection to a past
    that holds no future.
    Reality suppresses visions
    of bliss in surreal fashion.
    Show me the present connected to us…
    …There is no connection

  19. Laural

    Pardon me for the above poem. It’s a catchup for third person, but I posted it on the wrong comment trail. Here’s the real poem with a forced card:

    We Read Together

    I read my book
    Feet propped up
    Back tilted just perfectly
    Fuzzy green chair
    Welcomes me to its
    Warm embrace.

    You study your book
    Feet propped up
    Back more tilted than mine
    Smooth navy chair
    Holds you close.
    There is no connection.

  20. Laural

    3rd Person is Her

    She can’t wait
    For flowers to bloom
    For love to come her way
    For everything to make sense
    The way Dick and Jane
    Used to make sense.
    For her to know who
    She’s going to be someday.

    She has to wait
    Because the universe
    Doesn’t run on her time
    But ticks along humming
    Its own tune, fast and slow
    Without a look to see
    How she’s handling the
    Flow of time around her.

  21. Rebecca

    Teaching Poetry

    Adolescents in heat stare at me
    glassy-eyed, slack-jawed.

    There is no connection.

    "What does this haf to do wit us?
    Sandberg’s confusin’"

    There is no connection.

    "How can I Listen Actively
    if I am reading a book?"

    There is no connection.

    Impassivity like a dial-tone
    droning in my ear.

    There is no connection.

  22. Monica Martin

    Thanks to everyone for your kind words. Now that the ground has stabilized, I’m going to get caught up.
    A.C. Leming, your piece was brilliant!

    "There is no Connection"
    There is no connection
    Between her death and mine.
    We’re two different people,
    Unaware of each other,
    Killed one week apart.
    Different M.O.,
    Different dump site.
    No fibers, no prints,
    No bloodstains, no witnesses.
    How do you catch a killer
    If there is no connection
    Between her death
    And mine?

  23. Linda Hofke

    Tonya, the Two Mes speaks to me. Love it!

    Unfortunately, this was the best I could do. Perhaps I can salvage it in May.

    What they don’t Realize

    They say there is no connection
    between you and me.
    Is it because I read poetry
    and you read mysteries?
    Is it because I prefer tea
    and you drink coffee?
    Is it because I work in a school
    and you in a mashine shop?
    Are these the reasons they say
    that you and I
    are like night and day?
    Is this why they see
    no connection?

    What they don’t realize
    is that your words
    speak to me
    like a well-written poem
    and that you read
    my mysterious ways
    like an open book.
    What they don’t realize
    is that I thirst
    for your conversation
    and you for my humor.
    What they don’t realize
    is that you have taught me
    how to truly love
    myself and others
    and that together
    we have found the pieces
    to build a relationship
    not just on lust
    but trust and care.
    What they don’t realize
    is that when night turns to day
    the sun rises to kiss the moon.
    They cannot see the connection
    of our souls but to me,
    it is as certain
    as night and day.

  24. Lin Neiswender

    There Is No Connection

    There is truly no connection
    Between the title of this poem
    And what the poem says
    Just a convention that says
    There has to be one
    Has been broken- aha

    I spit on your convention forsooth
    Sorry to be so gross but I
    Had a momentary lapse of good
    Judgment in the process of word-selection
    And whatever came out, came out

    It seems this poem has no theme either
    No coat rack of ideas, no framework or
    scaffolding or skeleton to hang the words on
    Except black squiggles on white paper
    That people try to make sense of

  25. Jay Sizemore

    Had some trouble with this prompt, struggled to find a unique voice for it, finally got it today, but now I am behind again and playing catch up. I did not cheat, the line is in my poem, you just have to look for it. 😉

    Alzheimer’s

    Thoughts escape through cracks,
    holes in the synaptic
    equilibrium of transience best
    remembered as the broken down box
    existing folded inside the mind

    inside the empty lost spaces of
    someone that used to be someone,

    now clinging to fragments
    of a former life like a handful of loose

    change, everyday a battle with her
    own tongue, to force the word “spoon” or
    “nephew” through lips that have
    no memory of ever forming syllables to
    express hunger or love, her face blank,
    chalk white as she stares
    through the window of glass, locked
    inside the walls of her
    own body, an existence trapped forever
    naked.

  26. Jennifer Fagala

    She sees me as "different"
    I see her as intolerant
    She speaks little to me
    and I seem to follow
    Anger rides patiently
    Discrimination emanates
    even while she holds
    a prayer book in her hand
    this I will never understand
    and have lost most of my hope
    of changing our directions
    because
    there is no connection

  27. AlaskanRC

    ~It Would Be a Lie~

    Our past is what sets
    us up for the future.
    With out our past-
    both good times and bad,
    happy and depressing,
    painful and riddled with misfortune-
    a future there could never be.

    If I must be logical
    it would be a lie
    for me to say that
    there is no connection,
    between my past and the
    woman I’ve become.

    Try as I might to forget
    and burry my past it is useless.
    For I know deep down without my past
    I wouldn’t be who I am today.
    I’ve been blessed with
    a strenght that brought me through
    proud to be the woman I am today.

  28. Crystal Cameron

    "Spaghetti On Mars"

    Two trains pass in the night,
    both traveling at warp speed
    and carrying

    commuters shuttling between
    Albania and Giligan’s Island.
    And vice versa.

    But the question is:
    do we have time enough to stop
    and smell the roses?

    And if the trains crash,
    who will stay behind to tell
    the others there is no connection

    between the dryness in your mouth
    and global warming?
    Did Hitchcock write this script,

    For sheep rather than actors?
    And do we sleep together
    despite the fact

    that my mom will be home soon
    and you have to be to work
    at ten tomorrow morning?

    The stars never sleep.
    They stay up to watch the trains pass.
    And while they’re passing,

    each bullet shaped car
    a blur of yellow light,
    and while we’re fucking,

    The polar ice caps are melting,
    and there’s not a damn thing
    we can do about it,

    Despite Al Gore’s early warning.
    So let’s hop a train to Romania.
    The weather’s better in Eastern Europe,
    anyway.

  29. Tiffany B

    The Affair
    The end, so much like the beginning,
    I cannot tell the difference.
    She looks up at you with tears in her eyes and asks why.
    There is no connection, you reply.
    But, somewhere we lost our connection.
    I lay on a couch desiring only one thing.
    Once it was you, now it is him.
    You cannot deny me what I want, even if it isn’t you.
    You could not deny me her, because I asked you to get rid of her.
    You cannot deny me him, because I came to you to ask.

  30. Lyn

    There is no connection between candidates and issues
    "Say again?"
    A rally to support a democratic candidate
    drew supporters to the stone benches in the park
    A "legalize marijuana" campaigner drifted through
    handing out fliers inviting people
    to attend the next day’s protest
    Many of the rally volunteers
    tossed the fliers away
    "There is no connection
    We might be liberal but drugs are immoral"
    Au contraire, connections abound
    same weekend
    similar timeframes
    police presence
    stumping for a cause
    a gathering of street people hoping for a handout
    Can you really believe there is no connection?

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