April PAD Challenge: Day 2

Completely and utterly flabbergasted; that’s right–flabbergasted! You’re all so great. This challenge feels like it’s gone from being a house party to a block party–for poets no less. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that y’all rock!

Today, I want you to write an outsider poem. You can be the outsider; someone else can be the outsider; or it can even be an animal or inanimate object that’s the outsider. As usual, get creative with the prompt and don’t be afraid to stretch the limits.

Here’s my poem for the day:



My first trip down, I thought a road crew

had stripped all the pines along the highway.

Come to find that’s just how they grow

with little puffs of branches on top, nothing

down the sides. Was impressed by the war

monuments, though I missed Stone Mountain

and The Varsity. Rained the whole time

even as the whole area suffered a serious

drought. Not enough to kill the kudzu or

the humidity. Hiked up Kennesaw Mountain.

Walked around Helen. Ate my first hot

boiled peanuts. But mostly I remember

lurking in the fiction section of that one

Barnes & Noble waiting for you to find me.


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1,218 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 2

  1. JL Smither

    Dog Park Loner

    He keeps to the fence line, sniffing,
    ears back, with eyes on the other dogs. Food
    scavenging, maybe, from starvation
    memories. Or just awkward, afraid
    of getting snapped at again. As the other dogs roll
    through the dusty park, jaws at each other’s throats,
    he sniffs out a good stick, runs with it
    for a while, then drops it to pee on a solitary tree.

  2. Natasha Gruss

    Well, using the new search tool, I saw my poem for this day wasn’t on here. So I did a 20 minute scroll through and didn’t see my name. I have honestly written this poem long ago, and 1/2 way through the month I had checked to make sure all my poems were posted, and back then this one was:

    Thursday, April 02, 2009
    11:38 PM

    Crack A Book

    Read a story,
    Think it was supposed to scare me.
    Called "Outsider"
    Found it more fascinating really.
    Doubt people really were so scared he was ugly.
    They probably ran screaming ’cause he jumped in the window instead of taking the door.
    Only thieves do that,
    Even villains can be beautiful.
    Stop the derogatory,
    Too bad he thought he had to go hide back in the dungeon.
    He was probably a Supermodel.
    Read inbetween the story-lines.
    Wasn’t it fascinating?

    By: Natasha Gruss

  3. Kimiko Martinez


    Hard to love
    Too lovely to touch, taste, smell
    Too lonely to smile, laugh, yell
    at the people who tried

    Hardened to life
    Too careless to care, call, scream
    Too loveless to sense, accept, dream
    of the people who could
    love her

  4. Kelly Ellis

    The Writer Spies on Sheherazade

    First she makes him coffee.
    He likes it
    hot and sweet and Turkish,
    like his women,
    downed easily.

    Then there’s the nookie
    which is hard
    because he isn’t. Anxiety,
    maybe (his ex-wife’s orgies
    not to mention an execution
    to order in the morning).

    But it isn’t enough
    to make coffee and act horny
    (though quite a feat, given her position).
    The real seduction of the evening
    is the part you don’t see. I don’t mean
    the magic of Merlin, the delivery
    of George Carlin—but what precision!

    A diver off the red sea cliffs, she
    takes three steps, clasps her breath,
    closes her eyes—Every dive’s a tryst with
    death, each word—not a pearl—instead, a crystal
    bead. It is the safe she wraps in chains, the place
    she hides her need—
    then casts it in that placid river
    where he threw the others.

  5. Lissa

    I Could Run Too

    A balletic circle in predawn.
    Silent whirlpool of grace-touched bodies
    cloaks the inlaid brick
    russet beneath the elder live oak
    of Poe Elementary.
    A ritual unseen by most,
    most like a coven.

    They prepare to run
    and I understand briefly
    how men
    have feared gatherings of women.

    I didn’t feel the rain coming.

  6. Amanda Caldwell


    Everyone has a story in junior high
    — well, I say everyone,
    but obviously it’s only unpopular folk
    like me.

    Some of us, then, have a story
    of being kicked out of a group,
    or never asked to belong
    in the first place.

    Mine was being shamed by communal silence
    and the unison turn of backs,
    for crossing some line
    unknown to me,
    so that I couldn’t make it right
    and get back into grace.

    And one person,
    one of them,
    came alongside me,
    abandoning her friends,
    and even her twin,
    to stand in the shadow
    of my humiliation.

    I still don’t know why.

    And I don’t know why
    I don’t have any stories
    of being that one.

  7. Karen Perry

    (i am not sure my poems posted correctly. i couldn’t find mine on day 1 so i posted again, and now i am posting again here, just in case. sorry for any duplicates).

    The rain falls

    particularly hard
    on that small rock
    out there in the driveway
    beating down onto it’s
    raised surface, indenting the
    middle over eons,
    as if life could be diluted out
    of it and drizzled onto the
    earth, leaving that rock
    high and dry until time
    itself gives up.

  8. K.E. Ogden

    K.E. Ogden
    Outsider Poem
    April 2, 2009


    A cricket’s empty hull of body, each front leg
    chewed away. I pick it up, place it in my palm.
    Like an old man, I think, thin antennae, paper-
    ripped body light as a single, wooden match. Black,
    adopted street-cat, my Wyatt, sleeps on the arm
    of the sofa, chin flat, one green twig of leg on
    the nubby chin. Sun pulses through vertical blinds–
    a cell around his body. The cricket rides my
    palm. How long did the cat taunt and torture?
    I exit the apartment as Wyatt yawns.
    The smell of a honey afternoon. I wish
    to say I’m sorry. I wish to say a prayer;
    but the cricket’s body is so light I can’t think.
    I leave it atop wet dirt beneath the
    African violets. Each purple petal wilting–

  9. Ivy Merwine

    I stand outside alone and unloved.
    I am broken and left out in the rain.
    I long for the suns embrace, but I am left to rot under the branches and brambles.
    How I wish I could tumble like the leaves in the wind, or fly like the birds, or crawl like the bugs.
    I can not. I have no transport.
    I await kind arms to move me.

  10. Sheila

    I looked through all the day 2 poems and couldn’t find it. Although it had been checked in on 4/2/2009 with entry code 5HLBL
    I am shattered as they say in UK but I don’t want to be disqualified so will enter it again to be sure.

    Challenge Day 2
    Being on the outside

    My birthday is soon
    then I’ll be three.
    I’m the only boy
    in our family.
    There’s Mommy and Daddy
    our dog and me.
    They are just so happy
    with just one little boy.
    I had a friend called Tommy
    and was sorry for the kid.
    Then he told me a lie
    I just know he did!
    His mom had a baby
    another little boy.
    I was sorry for Tommy
    no more "a pride and joy".
    He told a lie,about my Mommy
    Said she had a baby too
    inside her big fat tummy.
    They don’t need another baby
    The’ve got me.
    They’ll send him back
    Just wait and see!

    Mommy had a baby
    Little, and so sweet
    Ten tiny toes on her feet.
    On the baby’s head
    there’s one little curl.
    I hope they want to keep her
    for she’s a baby girl.
    I’ve given her a name,
    I call her Joy.
    I’m still Mommy’s helper
    But I’m Daddy’s BIG boy.

  11. Stacey Cornwell


    White wings flutter in the cool breeze
    She pulls them further about her shoulders
    And curls closer into herself for warmth

    She sits atop the tall building
    And watches the people below
    As they travel back and forth

    One in particular she watches
    As the girl sits at a fountain
    And talks animatedly with peers

    The winged lady smiles
    At her charges enjoyment
    She wishes that for once

    It could have been her
    Sitting there talking to friends
    And simply enjoying the day

    But she knows her duty
    Is simply to watch
    And protect where need be

  12. Lytton Bell

    Washing the Corpses

    None of the other nurses or aides could stand
    washing the corpses
    of the dead patients, so they delegated
    the task to the newest, and youngest employee
    at the nursing home – me

    After the doctor had examined the cadaver
    but before the funeral home came to pick it up
    certain steps had to be taken
    certain duties were performed

    The orderlies carried the body down into a dark room
    in the basement
    And there, all alone
    I would undress the dead person
    placing all clothes and personal effects
    into labeled baggies for the next of kin
    And then the deceased would have his or her
    last bath

    How can I describe to you to way it felt –
    to a nineteen-year-old virgin, whose
    only experience of death included
    a hamster, a cat and one lizard
    to stand there in the dim light
    by myself (or was I?), in silence
    with a washrag, a bin of warm water
    (why did I warm the water?)
    and a bar of Lubriderm soap
    and lather the pale, cool, naked, heavy limbs
    of the newly departed?

    It wasn’t scary, or disgusting or sad
    or any of the things I was expecting
    And the dead did not seem peaceful, or happy
    or unhappy, for that matter
    They seemed to be changing, and rapidly too
    I had always thought of death as such a static finality
    The brick wall that you hit at the finish line, when there is nowhere left to travel
    But there, washing the corpses, I saw past that ending

    I saw how a life becomes inert, inanimate, how
    a creature begins to have more in common with dirt and rocks
    than with birds and trees – or even statues
    They are not at all like statues
    And they do not seem to be asleep

    And I suppose you are hoping for some kernels of deeper wisdom
    I gathered up into myself there, like pomegranate seeds, such as:
    does consciousness survive death, and, if so, in what form?
    But bathing a carcass provided no simple answers
    and left me rather more perplexed than I began

    I did not feel a presence
    I did not see a ghost
    There was no tunnel
    no breeze, no voices, no tinkling bell
    Just questions rising like mist into a glowing orb
    that hovered over us
    like an angel

  13. Daunette Lemard-Reid

    The Outsiders

    Our lives will change, dear mother said,
    Uncertainty clouding her eyes. Sitting
    There beneath the mango tree,
    She held her children close,
    Imploring God, please come
    Down here and help us understand,
    Everyone is just plain wrong, who fail to see we’re


  14. PriscillaAnne Tennant Herrington


    The poet comes inside, shares
    our space every Thursday
    unless we are locked down.

    The poet helps us share our stories,
    gives us poems to read, helps us
    make our stories into poems.

    Every Thursday (unless we are
    locked down) we write. When
    the hour is up the poet leaves.

    The poet says we are all women
    sharing lives, sharing stories,
    with more in common than not.

    The poet tells us we are all
    poets and we are but
    the poet is not one of us.

    ©Priscilla Anne Tennant Herrington

  15. lynn paden

    "try to see it my way"

    you hum a tune while working hard
    half-smile upon your face
    you walk around with spring in step
    and live life with such grace

    you giggle madly about nothing
    and yet try to explain
    you warm me like the sun outside
    and dance out in the rain

    i watch in darkness, clad in black
    heart firmly on my sleeve
    drowning in my emo ocean
    just wishing you would leave

    inside my house it’s safe about
    inside my room is better
    i never have to comb my hair
    or wear a matching sweater

    you knock upon my window pane
    and call me on the phone
    you send me winding long emails
    and won’t leave me alone

    my life is filled with much to do
    my books are all i need

    and yet . . .

    i’d rather be on the outside of you
    than in the inside of me

  16. chris.m

    just in time to submit a revised version of today’s prompted "outsider" poem…

    it looks so nice in there .. look how cosy they all are,
    muffled laughter bubbling through the thin frosty glass;
    eyes shining with light of togetherness.

    i could go in, they all know me, they’re probably expecting
    me to join them, but something keeps me fixed in this cold dark place,
    outside, with ice forming on my face.

    now they’re singing, i know the words and my voice can’t hold back;
    the melody rises, cracked and out of tune it tries:
    i open my mouth but it flows as tears from my eyes..

    "hello! what are you doing out here? are you crying?"
    i turn sharply, shame bursting like a scream –
    "no, no .. umm, it’s the wind. cold night, isn’t it? how have you been?

    shall we go in?"
    a nod and i follow to three loud raps on the door.
    it opens and i enter, smiling, saved from myself once more.