Editors Blog

April PAD Challenge: Day 24

Today’s prompt is to use a photograph to create a poem. You can raid your dusty photo albums, look through your daily newspaper, scour the Internet, etc. But you must use a photograph. Them is the rules, yo!

(Sorry for the brevity today, but my book is soooo close to being done!)

Here’s my poem for the day:

“Take a picture; it’ll last longer.”

She smiles at me through the mirror
applying her makeup with a towel
wrapped around her hair. She’s dressed
for the office, and I haven’t decided
upon my Manhattan game plan while
she’s out. She’s wearing a green sweater
pulled over a white button-down, and
I say, “I love you,” before pressing
the button, waiting for the flash.

 

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184 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 24

  1. Hope Greene

    Snapshot, 4 May 2008

    All the elements are there
    Sun, yellow flowers, good exposure
    Your breezy hair holding
    A nimbus, the season’s last sweater weather
    And you in your hand-knitted sweater; the first
    Time you ran on uncertain turf;
    The first flower successfully plucked
    By the stem and not mangled in the attempt.

    The elements are there, the film illuminated
    The image imprinted, but incomplete

    Because three seconds later
    You thrust that flower into my hand and
    Ran away laughing laughing
    laughing

  2. LindaTK

    Day 24
    Photo

    Seconds Later

    Photograph of family
    A moment on the space-time continuum
    Frozen
    Seconds later
    years have passed
    Nostalgia
    Fond Memories
    Realizing
    that in another second
    more years will have passed
    Again, the photograph will be the same
    Again, the family won’t

  3. A.C. Leming

    I posted this on day 29 too…

    Ron

    Still wet from diving into the quarry,
    he stands by his Yamaha and fixes
    his hair in the right rear view mirror,
    looking like a GQ model with his
    six pack, near hairless chest and
    biceps flexing in the Texas air
    cooling him down as the water
    evaporates off the line of his lats.

  4. Kate

    Generations

    Mom and Dad in the park
    in Sitka, under majestic
    spruce and ancient cedar,
    along the stream bed littered
    with decaying salmon, listening
    to the eagles squabbling over supper.
    She’s wearing his old sweater, he’s
    pulled down his shapeless beige hat,
    their clasped hands swing between
    them as they walk down the path,
    moving farther away from me
    with every step

  5. Barbara Torke

    On my desktop
    In photo-grays and black and white
    My great-grandfather stands
    Hand to hip
    Watch-fob across his vest
    Holds my great-grandmother’s hand
    Dressed in long black tucks
    And wrapped buttons
    A mirror of me
    If only she wore
    jeans and my father’s shirt
    Great uncle Chris peers down
    at his new shoes
    clogs wrapped in thongs
    his cheeks my son’s lash-brushed
    cheeks at tenuous ten
    unsure of permanence
    and proud
    Before the stone wall
    Where my grandfather sees me
    across the century and a half
    aware only that the lens
    is trained on the 1900s
    Danish and identical
    To my father
    Long legs
    And high pockets
    I meet him
    finally

  6. Linda Hofke

    Written quickly since I am playing catch-up.

    Photo of my Graduating Class

    There we are,
    my old classmate and I,
    enjoying our senior class trip.
    Looking back now
    it seems so appropriate
    that we went to Disney World.
    Afterall, we were living in
    a land of make-believe,
    pretending to be Prince Charming,
    pretty princesses, wicked witches,
    all of the seven dwarves,
    and other funny characters.
    When the fairy tale ended
    we all set off in search of
    our own character,
    our own selves,
    and chapter by chapter
    we each wrote
    our own stories.

  7. Amanda Caldwell

    Photoshop disaster

    Poor Heidi,
    too chubby with child
    for all but your head
    to grace a DVD.

    You might parade
    undies like an angel,

    but that doesn’t make you
    good enough
    for the likes of fashionistas
    and Bravo fans.

    We are an airbrush culture,
    rubberizing even
    our runway models
    into Stepford acceptability,

    blurring out
    what makes us ugly.

  8. Charlene, Age 10

    Pippi

    A small girl
    Held a small white puppy
    The girl, Charlene
    The pup, Pippi

    They both have something wrong
    With them
    Pippi, liver defect
    Charlene, Asperger’s Syndrome; Autism

    Pippi was euthanized due to seizures
    Charlene was homeschooled due to bullies
    Two different paths
    Separated lives

    This picture is all I have left of my dog
    Pippi, this is for you.

  9. Yoli

    The Photograph

    Your exterior so calm as you stand there
    Hands in the pockets of your black slacks
    Pressed to perfection
    Crisp white button down shirt
    Tucked in
    Top two buttons undone
    Everything tied neatly with a black leather belt.
    Black dress shoes shined to a high gloss
    Not one strand of your thick brown
    Perfectly coifed hair out of place.
    Dark brown eyes shine like glass
    A smile too charming for words
    Good thing, too.
    This picture is all I have left.

  10. Lorien Vidal

    "About-Face"

    Digging through to the bottom of the box
    Looking for that pic that ties me to you
    Even before we met
    Through the dust and papers
    We danced at a Sweet 16 and he looked just like you
    Your face, your eyes and even glasses like you wear
    Was dying to show you
    How I’ve always known you
    Your name has followed me forever
    But you couldn’t see him –
    He was turned around not facing you
    But nevermind what was in that picture
    Because you’re here with me and will always be
    Whether I’ve heard your name a hundred times
    And captured your likeness in a hundred photos,
    There’s no replacing you

  11. Carol A Stephen

    Remembrance Photo

    It doesn’t look like an urn,
    that photo frame.

    He would have loved the pic
    I chose to remember him by:

    Giant marguerita glass
    raised to toast the day,

    slurping tequila from a straw,
    smiling across the table.

    Just the sort of irreverence
    He would have loved.

  12. Jay Sizemore

    Clockwork

    He likes his milk
    served with a dash
    of speed,
    senses sharpened
    so that his eyes gleam
    like razors
    in the soft light
    of incandescence.

    He likes his violence
    set to the music
    that enters his mind
    in the blood and poetry
    of a rape,
    nude limbs thrashing
    on the stage
    of indifference.

    Innocence is perverted
    and lost in his smile,
    which he wears
    like a latex condom
    while fornicating
    with murder.

    But, at least
    he’s happy.

  13. Justin M. Howe

    Avatar

    She holds the camera up
    Creating an odd angle
    Almost bird’s eye
    but false
    She purses her lips
    Is that a kiss or a pout?
    And posts it on the internet
    for all to see

    The corruption of a teenager
    in digital splendor?
    Or just a young person
    finding herself?
    Should I be concerned
    or elated that she’s
    expressing herself at all?

    -Justin M. Howe

  14. M. Schied

    Photographic whim

    You can tell she’s not a professional
    it’s out of focus, half in shadow
    and the angle is all wrong

    but what defies capture
    is the sheer joie-de-vivre
    the camaraderie of these two lighthearted companions
    each supremely confident that they are stunningly beautiful
    to all who can see past the superficial

    The camera tilts
    one leans back, the other rests her head
    and in a flash
    kindred spirits last forever

  15. Laural

    Loving Lost

    He’s lifting her up
    Wrapped in the tiny blanket
    Laughing with delight
    Mouth open, eyes alight
    He’s laughing too
    Love flashing and spilling
    All over the place
    Running down like
    A root beer float with
    Too much ice cream.

    She used to look at that picture
    Puzzled, wondering
    Where did it all go?
    How could I tell her
    It’s so easy to love a baby
    A child is more complicated
    Harder on the quiet man
    Harder still after the scotch.

  16. Tad Richards

    They sent me an
    aerial
    reconnaissance photo
    in one of their last
    transmissions

    the key targets
    the safest escape routes
    partisan taverns
    safe houses
    willing wives but

    they encrypted it as
    a jigsaw puzzle
    I’ve spent nights
    separating
    the grays from the dark grays

    because they’re all gray
    trying to
    isolate the
    railroad yards munitions
    factories bank vaults

    hospitals
    I’ve had to force
    recalcitrant pieces
    when it’s finished I’ll
    make my move

  17. lyn

    Energy Dilemma
    the photo on page 3 of the business section
    shows truckers are no longer free to drive into a gas station
    and say, "fill ‘er up"
    the green handle on the diesel nozzle implies go ahead
    the red paint on the truck cab a symbol of stopping limits
    the truck driver wearing a baseball cap and plaid flannel shirt
    leans over to stare at the gas pump
    balancing an equation in his head
    the amount of fuel necessary
    to deliver the load within budget
    and eventually we all share his pain

  18. Judy Roney

    He looks at me from a grainy photo
    not as clear as I’d like
    he has a sadness in his eyes
    his smile doesn’t quite make it there.

    I wonder what he’d tell me if he could.
    I wonder what he’d say.
    Would he tell me what haunts him, why
    he’s sad, or would he keep covering up.

    I wonder if he knows how much I love him
    how much a mother loves her son
    he never had children of his own
    I wonder if he could know.

    I touch the face in the photo
    kiss the paper image
    look at his handsome face and
    wonder what I could have done.

  19. Darla Smith

    YOUR PHOTOGRAPH

    I remove your photograph from the album,
    and trail my fingertips over your image.
    I long to have you here by my side,
    but instead you are so very far away.
    You look so handsome in the photograph,
    dressed in your sexy camouflage uniform.
    You’re standing proudly next to an Army tank,
    with a large gun clutched in both hands.
    You’ve been sent overseas to fight in the war,
    please return home to me safe and sound.
    I’m missing you more with each passing day,
    your absence has left my world so empty.

  20. k weber

    somewhere in dayton, ohio, circa 1970

    a blurry
    blonde
    sits underneath
    the knees
    of scoffing
    brunettes
    in the heyday
    of polyester,
    mini-skirts
    and sexy, ceramic
    lamps

    the room
    is alive
    or dead
    in mint green
    and the girl
    on the right
    on the couch
    casts an eye
    downward
    toward the beauty
    in glasses
    on the floor
    and smokes
    judgmentally

    the mirror
    reflects nothing
    while the man
    with no face
    looks at the hazy
    woman, too,
    while someone
    else is sleeping
    near the zig-zag
    of a green and well-
    worn blanket

    it is an afternoon
    or just before
    sunset; a sunday
    or everyone
    has arrived
    just after
    a long workday
    in a week
    of apathy
    and velveteen

    **this is based on a photo from a series of slides my friend joe and i found in a slide tray at the valley thrift store. the photo is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jgl/100707907 and more scans of the slides we found can be seen on that site as well. there were some amazing photos in the lot. what a find!

  21. ck

    (Day 24 Post)

    Novice Monk

    Standing in Thailand
    on a strip of emerald grass
    that runs through a field of straw.
    Standing under a Thai sky
    of blue infinity
    of impossible vastness.
    Standing on one side of the plain
    in the foreground
    balanced by a single tree on the other
    in the background
    both stretching toward the blueness
    but one in a russet wrap
    thrusting a russet and cane umbrella
    high above his head
    into the air
    the umbrella an extension of his arm
    his neck straining upward
    face visible only from above
    and twirling twirling twirling the parasol
    until it almost lifts him off the earth
    into the blue.
    Novice monk. Almost there.

  22. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Serendipity

    He comforts me, this little dog
    in the picture, big ears cocked
    (the sort of ears you need
    if you’re mostly wolf)
    and his eyes fixed on me
    quizzical, knowing.

    He sits by a set of drums
    on the floor of a desert –
    white sand and stones,
    pale, tangly scrub –
    and waits for a word
    from his human comrade.

    I’ve had a wild five months!
    Old friends ill or troubled,
    my marriage uncertain,
    my cousin dead. And all that
    trouble with my son. I’m glad
    when this dog pops up.

    © Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

  23. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    I wrote this one of a picture with me and two of my best friends taken not too long ago.

    Best friends

    The three of us
    So much history
    So many fights
    So many laughs
    So many drunk nights
    We can’t remember
    The three of us
    Smiling happily
    At the camera
    Drinking, smoking
    Living it up
    Like we always do
    But the image
    Doesn’t show
    Th secrets we whisper
    To each other
    The love we show
    To each other
    The insecurities
    We don’t have
    When we are together
    Amigos, Lovers, Bandidas
    We’ve been called them all
    But all we see
    Is us in fifty years
    In another picture
    With the same smiles
    Drinking, smoking
    Like we always did
    But with many more wrinkles
    And many more secrets to share.

  24. S.E. Ingraham

    Finally – a chance to read all of the poems, get caught up. I feel as if I’ve been on some sort of life-long roadtrip in a way,all of it captured in a poetic photo album replete with joy and sorrow, minute details, broad strokes,and the plethora of other things that combine to make up lives. Exhausting but well-worth the trip. Thanks to all. Sharon Ingraham

  25. Essa Bostone

    Running as fast as my little poetic legs can type
    herewith the
    Prompt for April 24

    PHOTOGRAPH

    Lime rhinestone glasses like eyes of a cat
    White daisies adorning the frame
    Hair that is curly and purple
    This lady is well beyond tame

    Three-quarter-length tunic jacket
    Classic bell sleeves fall to the wrist
    A mini-skirt peeks from beneath it
    Hold on, and I’ll get to the twist

    The jacket and skirt are large panels
    In solid bright orange or lime
    And brilliant white daisies at collar and hem
    Brings you back to a funkier time

    Think 60s and hot neon flashing
    Take a page out of Austin Powers
    Abstract designs to knock out your eye
    Magnified dazzling flowers

    Nine-mile long legs in sexy striped tights
    Repeating the orange and green
    Yellow piping to highlight and contrast
    Not subtle, but definitely lean

    Remember a go-go, then look at her feet
    For a gal, they’re unusually long
    Shod in open-toed boots of shiny white plastic
    What about this picture is wrong?

    Not the smile that is brilliant,
    The sweet dainty pose
    Not the extra large chin or
    The masculine nose

    Not the blocky big hands
    Nor the girth or the height
    Just look a bit closer
    You’ll notice a sleight

    Underneath all this poof and bright color
    Lies a lesser-known truth, hard and cold
    Barry Humphries channeling Dame Edna
    He’s outed, his(/her) story’s been told

  26. Rebecca

    Who would have guessed
    as we slept on that couch that
    the seeds of a new family
    were being sown.

    Who would have guessed
    as we dreamed or slept
    dreamlessly that two who
    are so different would joyfully
    become one

    Who would have guessed
    that me, smack in the middle,
    would not be the arrangement
    for life.

    Who would have guessed
    that a snooze in January
    2006 would become
    Mr and Mrs Gambill
    April 2008?

  27. Anahbird

    Cake

    He smiles
    His silly little playful smile
    It is time for cake
    And he gets a piece
    And begins to eat it
    While everyone else
    Is focused on the bride and groom
    He turns toward me
    And I stand ready camera in hand
    And capture his
    “I’m going to get you for this”
    look in his eyes
    while his mouth is filled with cake.

  28. Cindy

    I am so over with awkward silence.

    Our family loves talking,
    eating and talking,
    and laughing,
    at the long wooden table
    with a fine, burnished finish,
    high backed chairs, carved feet,
    we love resting our arms on the table,
    amidst half empty plates
    and platters and glasses,
    smiling with shared satisfaction.
    I only hesitate a second,
    maybe a few seconds,
    and utter the words
    “gay and lesbian”
    and get that look
    and that unreadable silence.
    that I’ve been getting for 30 years.
    I am so over awkward silence.
    We got over the alcoholism thing, but this one still hangs.

  29. AlaskanRC

    This one just came to me. It is more light hearted and funny then anything I’ve written lately and it makes me happy to end my late night on a humorious note. Here is my prompt for Prompt 24.

    ~Caught~

    Never would I believe
    such an impossible statement!
    I don’t recall being in such a
    compromising predicament.
    Surely, mother must be
    making a mistake. It had to be my sister
    she is thinking of, I think to myself.
    Never would I be caught so unaware.
    Could I have been so distracted?
    Me, surely not I claim….yet the film is in.
    The evidence is laid out before me
    and sure enough William and I where caught..
    kissing completely unaware that Thanksgiving Day.

  30. Shirley T.

    Photo on the Waiting Room Wall

    Little boys love
    Little girls with
    Spiraled curls.
    It doesn’t take
    the latest fad
    To drive them mad.
    Small boys sigh for
    those dear sweet things
    with locks of rings.
    It would be bliss
    To steal a kiss
    From such a miss.
    He leaned over.
    To his surprise,
    she shut her eyes.
    And so he pecked
    her dimpled cheek;
    Rode on air at least a week.
    ###

    Hoping for Thaw

    March maples never flutter,
    but they yield a golden glory
    by the bucket, sap like melting butter.
    A picture to remember
    While shivering and chill
    In the depths of cold December.
    When snow piles to the pane
    And icicle armies surround,
    An image brings back spring again.
    ###

    Shirley T.

  31. Sarah

    Bogey and Me

    I had just read The African Queen,
    hadn’t seen the movie but still pictured
    his seamed face and basset hound eyes.
    When I saw him in the museum,
    I had to have a picture with him.
    Of course, he is trench-coated, rumpled,
    hat tilted just so, his quarter-inch thick
    body soaked in charisma.
    I have short hair and a hole in my jeans.
    My hands rest on his shoulder,
    and only my upper body leans in,
    bending toward him at the waist,
    twenty-two and afraid to be so close
    to a man, even a cardboard one.

  32. Kimberlee Thompson

    Everyone in Edison Has Lost Something

    A lost cat’s picture
    on a telephone pole,
    white fur with tabby swatches.
    A block away,
    a driveway bears its own
    street sign in memory of
    Pfc Edward Meeker,
    a post and a metal swatch
    of block letters.
    Elsewhere in Edison,
    where I once lived,
    is a swatch of myself
    hanging from a pole
    and whipping in the wind.

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