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

  2. LindaTK

    Day 24

    Seconds Later

    Photograph of family
    A moment on the space-time continuum
    Seconds later
    years have passed
    Fond Memories
    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…


    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


    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

  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


    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


    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


    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


    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
    reconnaissance photo
    in one of their last

    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
    the grays from the dark grays

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

    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


    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
    sits underneath
    the knees
    of scoffing
    in the heyday
    of polyester,
    and sexy, ceramic

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

    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


    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


    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


    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.


    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.

  33. Tonya Root

    Tiny Heartaches

    Your whole tiny body
    is brilliantly red
    except for your white
    and purple healing
    belly button.

    Your tiny, beet red face
    scrunched up with eyes
    screwed shut and
    toothless mouth wide
    in a pitiless wail.

    Your tiny, chubby arms
    are flung up by
    your head with clenched
    fists while your little
    feet are thrown up in the air.

    Your tiny lungs
    always held more air
    than I thought possible
    and cried forth with
    incredible strength.

    Your tiny heart was
    broken in that moment
    and I don’t remember
    what had happened
    to cause such pain.

    Your tiny heartaches
    always devastated me.
    But at least back then
    I was always able to kiss
    and coo your tears away.

  34. Sara Diane Doyle

    You can see the photo I used here: http://www.sashadesign.com/img/weblog/small_meal.jpg

    This was fun, something I’ve done before- and I laughed when I saw the prompt because it is the same prompt we gave our teen writers on a forum where I mentor (but we gave them a specific photo to use).

    The Unexpected

    I’m sure the frog had no idea
    what he was getting into—literally—
    when he wrapped his sticky pad
    around the thorn on the branch.
    And I can see by the size
    of his pupil that he was a bit unnerved
    when the tree he was climbing lifted
    and revealed another eye—
    a larger eye, set high
    in a triangular head.
    So thorn becomes tooth,
    branch becomes jaw,
    and there is a chance
    that our hero
    will become lunch.

  35. Nancy

    No Complaints

    There are worse jobs than this.
    I’ve had worse jobs than this–
    dishing out salad at minimum wage
    as my co-workers flirt for tips,
    staring at computer screens
    for hours on end, prehistoric Sudoku,
    matching misplaced credits to debits.

    Sometimes I imagine the people
    who do the jobs that must be done;
    if, as I’ve heard, most turkeys
    can no longer procreate–or even stand–
    toppling over from the weight
    of their augmented breasts,
    who has the dreadful chore,
    the minor details of turkey insemination?

    In the pre-Pampers, I suppose I thought
    that clean diapers appeared magically
    at my door, replacing the soiled ones
    left outside in the pail. Someone,
    I finally realized, drove that truck
    in August heat, swapping Downy-fresh
    swaddling for yesterday’s worst.

    Should I complain when someone says,
    for what must be the millionth time,
    "It must be nice to work
    just eight to three,
    with summers off" or should I
    slap them up the side of the head
    with this bag of eighty papers
    waiting to be scored before the
    next eighty hit my desk?

  36. anne

    My friend said, wow, that picture
    You e-mailed of little Charlie
    looks so much like Rich.
    So I dragged out the dusty album
    And found, a picture of my husband at 6 months
    Smiling up from some silly swaddling
    in a yellow photograph;
    Someone had perhaps dropped a stuffed animal
    off his head to catch that grin
    some 67 years ago.
    My lost boy-child
    I wanted to pick him up,
    Through the years and cuddle him
    To me the way I do Charlie now
    Making him scrunch and giggle.
    And now I think of him
    And wonder if he hasn’t come
    back, after all, to bring me comfort.

  37. Maria Jacketti

    I’m sorry; I need to paste this again. The first time only part of the poem came through.

    My Mother’s High School Graduation Photo
    Circa 1939

    While in my similar photo, I am clearly all baby –face,
    with my 70’s afro and algebraically square glasses,
    she is a pin-curled woman,
    the red of her lipstick shining
    through black and white paper,
    almost 3- D, her soul at that moment
    bulges out
    from the photo: lush, buxom, pure
    Hollywood and opera,
    glamour so apple-like,
    her beauty already accelerated under siege
    and preparing for world war.

  38. Maria Jacketti

    My Mother’s High School Graduation Photo
    Circa 1939

    While in my photo, I am clear all baby –face,
    She is pin-curled a woman,
    The red of her lipstick shining
    Through the black and white,
    She is lush, buxom,

    Maria Jacketti

  39. Devon Brenner

    Today we were to look at a picture. I actually went to find my picture, after hearing about Darwin’s should I get married pro/con list on the radio. Technically, I followed the directions because there IS a picture of this on the page where the journal entry is transcribed. My favorite reason to marry: "Object to be beloved and played with. Better than a dog anyhow" didn’t fit into the poem.


    "Constant companion (and friend in old age) who will feel interested in one’

    Darwin inked onto the pro-side of his should-I-marry? T-chart

    considering the advantages—"these things good for one’s health"—

    and the concerns—"but terrible loss of time"—

    as if marriage another scientific endeavor to plan methodically

    same as he provisioned the Beagle for its five-year voyage—

    "if many children forced to gain one’s bread"

    vs. "home, and someone to take care of house"

    as if the motions of the heart could be mapped out in third-person

    like tracing the lineage of finches to prove their transmutation,

    "cannot read in the evenings"

    to be weighed against

    "charms of music and female chit-chat,"

    the pleasures of the institution—

    "only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire"

    compared objectively to the consequences

    "fatness and idleness—less money for books etc.,"

    missing from the lists the true concern,

    no premonition of the risks,

    the way scarlet fever stole even the remnants of faith

    as he knelt beside his daughter’s grave.

    ‘My god, it is intolerable

    to think of spending one’s whole life,

    like a neuter bee, working, working, and nothing after all—"

    he wrote in his journal, but it could have been me,

    it could have been you,

    though the loss my strand us

    bereft as orphans shaking in the doorway,

    we try anyway.

    "Marry, marry, marry, Q.E.D."

  40. Chris Granholm Jr.

    She’s just come from work
    To grace me with her presence
    She sits on the couch
    Watches TV
    Glad for her day to be over
    She’s dying to be free of her uniform
    And get comfortable here
    In her second home
    I grab the camera
    And she exaggerates her exhaustion
    Slumping over onto her side
    And I smile from ear to ear
    Even in her drab outfit
    Her wonder still doesn’t escape me
    Even in that picture

  41. TaunaLen

    take a bow
    you deserve
    all the applause
    for many sticky
    sloppy kisses
    for many sandy
    dirty feet dances
    for all the laughter
    all the tears
    the entertainment
    you’ve provided
    the way you’ve
    enriched my life
    as a mother
    as a parent
    as a person
    all five of you
    take a bow
    on your way
    out into
    the world of
    I’ll be right here
    front row center
    for the reprise

    TLS, April 2008

    (to see photos that inspired this wwwDOTtaunalenDOTblogspotDOTcom)

  42. Terri

    A split second before your peanut butter kiss
    daddy snapped the camera
    eyes closed, lips pursed
    your peanut butter breath filling my nostrils
    Now, 13 years later, the picture lies
    in my box of mommy memories
    The scent still lingers in my mind
    and I long for just one more
    peanut butter kiss from my baby

  43. Lorraine Hart

    The Crossing

    She inches forward
    on the fallen log
    creek raging, roiling
    just inches below
    hiking boots, shorts
    and bright red tee
    a face set with
    machete clenched
    between her teeth
    she caterpillars across
    me with her focus

  44. Maureen

    Relative Photo

    Eight of us, all related
    Nanna, Pop – deceased now
    cousins I don’t know
    my brother, sister
    and almost out of the picture – me.
    A little girl smiling
    cute in my summer dress
    white socks and sandals
    curly dark hair
    and that’s where the problems begin.
    They all have fair hair
    so why is mine dark?
    Why am I on the edge?
    I appear okay in this photo
    but it doesn’t tell the true story
    it’s a lie.
    It doesn’t tell my fear
    my loneliness
    my pain.
    It doesn’t show how already
    I wish I wasn’t here.

    © Maureen Sexton

    The Debutante

    My daughter
    in her white lace dress
    white gloves, shoes
    coral flowers in her hair.
    Proud of herself
    she can’t stop smiling
    and the cameras keep clicking.
    This is her night
    and I’m so proud
    tears flood me.
    But you can’t see that
    you can only see her.
    You see a debutante,
    I see a bride that will never be
    an ongoing struggle
    eyes that reach into my heart
    a smile that breaks me
    and for a moment
    I don’t see the wheelchair
    I see her dancing.

    © Maureen Sexton

    Sorry I got a bit carried away with this prompt.

  45. JL Smither

    Photo on my desk

    In this old photograph, they lean
    into each other, smiling.
    A month or so later, he would leave
    for Japan, and she would stay in Florida.
    He would date lots of Japanese girls, and she
    would listen on the phone to how much
    he missed her. She would wait
    as one year turned into three, and he would let
    several women narrow into only one,
    but not her. Separately now, they’re both smiling again.

    In this old photograph, you stand
    behind me stone-faced
    with your hands shoved
    into your pockets, but I’m smiling. I know
    you must be smiling by now too.

  46. Dee IKJ

    Were Did He Go 4-24-08

    Against the bed his cane does rest
    Were is Grandpa he was the best

    On the bed a boy so small
    To his Grandpa he does call

    In this bed these two did snuggle
    One so weary of the struggle

    Grandpa who is gone so weak
    Now the boy alone does seek

    Looking out the window he does stand
    Dog by his side looking for Grandpa’s hand

    Were did Grandpa go
    Little boy this I do not know.

  47. Sally DiUlus

    PAD Challenge Day 24, Poetic Asides Photograph Poem
    PAD #24

    April 24, 2008

    You should have seen

    The size of those paws!

    Elephant size

    His body seemed big too,

    What did I know?

    At three months old and 50 pounds

    He weighed more than my six-year-old child

    When he stumbled into me

    And stepped on my feet


    Those gigantic paws

    Made me wonder just how big

    Would he get?

    Perfect little German Shepherd puppy

    White as snow

    Little black nose, curious as all heck

    First night home, he got tangled out back in a bush.

    The size of those paws

    Made me wonder just how big

    Would he get?

    His eyes were curious

    He kept watch for “his” little girl

    They played hide-and-seek

    Running ‘round a long sectioned gate,

    But his favorite game was football –

    And if you had the ball – Watch out!

    He would tackle you and like a linebacker

    You would be flat as a pancake on the ground.

    He lay near her bed at night

    And stayed all through prayers

    They would both fall asleep during the lullabyes

    Those gigantic paws

    We wondered just how big

    Would he get?

    It was his eyes that grasped all of us

    Deep and understanding

    And his mouth – yep! He was almost

    Always smiling!

    But, those gigantic feet

    We wondered just how big

    Would he get?
    Sally DiUlus sdiulus@cefe.org

    (My first dog was an incredible journey. Eventually he weighed out at 130 lbs.)

  48. Mike Padg

    Happiness, tranquility, love
    imprisoned as she squeezed her finger.
    Sometimes we can never go back,
    but the thousand words that come to mind
    somehow take me to that better time,
    away from the stress that is now,
    into my surreal escape,
    where time stands still.

  49. Robin Morris

    She focuses her gaze on the baby
    whose eyes peer out from below a wooly,
    pom-pommed hat at the camera.

    My grandmother tilts backwards,
    giving the baby a solid hip to rest on
    moving herself into the background,

    though her luxurious hair is swept back
    and her sleeves almost look diaphanous.
    It’s hard to tell in this photocopy

    of a black and white photograph from
    1920. But I have been told her hair was red
    and her tastes formed in Moscow

    as we can see from the shined shoe. She looks like some
    glamorous visitor bestowing blessings on this baby,
    not the mother who lives in that rustic log and stone

    cabin she stands in front of in Lewiston, Montana.
    The shadow of the photographer, my grandfather,
    lurks like a small mountain peak in the lower corner.

  50. Joe

    A Change

    We’ve been together
    a dozen years now
    and things
    just aren’t the same

    it’s always
    the same ol’
    same ol’

    I’m getting tired
    of looking at you
    Time for a
    new frame

  51. Iain D. Kemp

    Tonya, glad you approve, half thought I might upset someone with that one.

    Everyone, great poems today, thanks for all the kind words.

    The first time I ate snake was on that Rt66 road trip, in tortillas ona Navaho reservation.

  52. Barbara Ehrentreu

    Oops! For some reason the title printed twice. This is really only one poem.Ignore the second title. Also wanted to commend everyone for the great poems. I am almost always posting late so I get to see all of them at once.

  53. S. E Ingraham

    Day 24

    Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

    Her tiny fist curls ‘neath her cheek
    her eyes are softly closed and
    even filmed in black and white
    this baby’s skin just glows.
    She’s perfect in every way
    Except for size and breath
    For this child was stillborn
    And photographed in death
    Cradled in her Daddy’s hands
    for one precious moment more
    Immortalized in print
    before her spirit has to soar.


    I came by this photo the way many people do but was fortunate in that the child was not my own; I cannot imagine that particular hell.
    nowilaymedowntosleep.com is a site developed for people looking for these very special professional photographers; mostly volunteers who will work with the parents of dead or dying infants or children so that they have lasting memories of their loved ones. It is a profoundly touching and moving site and their photographs continue to haunt me.

  54. Barbara Ehrentreu

    A Moment in Time

    You wanted to take my picture
    in the middle of the courtyard
    while pigeons flew over my head
    in the hot New Delhi sun.
    My instinct to cover my hair
    with my left hand looks bizarre
    since the pigeons didn’t photograph
    except one which looks
    like a gray blur or a smudge.

    In my new red see through tunic
    and bell bottom jeans I didn’t
    realize how much attention
    a crazy American girl holding
    her hand over her head attracted.
    What could they have been thinking
    in their functional hooded
    garments, the women wearing
    their saris comfortably over
    their shoulders like I carried
    my handmade handbag

    A Moment in Time

    That day in the glaring sun
    in an ancient mosque standing
    on red clay tiles burning
    through my thin sandals
    I didn’t notice the white robed man
    who stopped in the middle
    of the courtyard to stare at me
    or the children spaced far apart
    from him on each side their eyes
    gaping at this strange woman
    worried about pigeon dung
    landing on her hair.

  55. Lorraine Hart

    The morning glowed warm that Easter Sunday,
    we ran out of the house in our frilly finery
    followed by Grandpa and his adoring camera,
    pink profiles and French braids,
    my wee girl digs her hands into mine and
    leans forward for a sweet angel kiss,
    captive moment that speaks forever of
    mothers and daughters in faded gentle light.

  56. Mike Barzacchini

    A boy and a dog asleep on the floor

    I must be 10 or 11.
    I’m asleep on the floor.
    My faithful dog, Lady Jane
    Curled at my side.
    Her head rests on my leg.

    I hold the picture
    And shut my eyes,
    Trying to remember
    What it was like
    To feel that safe,

    We grow up.
    Or so we say.
    But instead of
    Something of worth,

    We constantly
    Complicate life
    With things that matter
    Much less than a boy and
    a dog asleep on the floor.

  57. Khara House

    "In college she was Black and white"

    Her face is smooth with youth,
    But grey. Cheekbones arching
    High in contrast
    Against the white lights
    Beaming down

    A halo on her thick black hair.
    Glasses reflect the camera
    Her smile is bright—her teeth look white
    And her sweater might be brown.

    This is based on a photograph of my mother in the dining hall of our shared college and soon to be shared alma mater (2 weeks!)

  58. Diane

    Marcus, your poem reminds me of the times I have disregarded someone else’s concern because it wasn’t my own. Thank you for sharing it and with it the wisdom you have gained.

  59. Diane

    Heather, maybe you need to adopt a macho cat to hunt down your snake. My husband would go berserk with a poisonous snake in the house, and I don’t think I would do any better!

  60. Karen



    What I named the photograph
    I took as I walked to pick up my lunch
    On a preview of spring kind of day.
    Because the skeleton of the young tree
    Spread over the sunny sidewalk
    An intricate hand with many graceful fingers
    Caressing the unexpected warmth
    In perfect shape and proportion.

  61. Marcus Smith

    "I held her soul in my hand"

    Traveling in Macau many years ago
    I stopped to take a photograph of an
    old Chinese woman as she hurried past
    the ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral. She covered
    her face, turned away then continued down the
    rock walkway. "Too late, I got her soul" I remember
    telling my wife as we resumed our tour of the remnants
    of the 17th century church destroyed by fire two centuries
    later. I was digging through old photographs this
    morning when I came across the unmistakable
    image of the old woman looking at me but I
    hadn’t noticed the look of fear in her eyes
    before. Now older and wiser I understood
    and respected her superstition and felt a
    heavy burden as I
    held her soul In my hand.

  62. Sheryl Kay Oder

    Kimberly, what a poignant and descriptive poem! Elizabeth, if that poem is awful in comparison to the picture, that must be some picture.

    I loved the variety of today’s poems. I wish I had time to comment on more.

  63. Joannie Stangeland

    Yellowstone, Already Years Ago

    On paper, the sun illuminates
    the water tumbling down
    into Yellowstone River
    and our faces, a few years younger
    and smiling with the teeth
    of surviving. Only the white veil
    of water suggests the roar
    that filled our ears. Only the railing
    and the metal floor reveal
    the flights of stairs we descended,
    steep and maybe slippery.
    I gripped the railing as children
    I didn’t know fluttered up and back
    down. In the picture, you will not see
    that, finally, I am breathing.

  64. Tonya Root

    Iain – Being from Arizona, I love your Winslow poem. Rt. 66 is a wonderful old road.

    Lots of really good stuff on here tonight. I will have to catch up with this in the morning. Seems like the ends of weeks always get hectic around here. GREAT STUFF, EVERYONE!

  65. Bonnie

    Our Wedding Photo
    The photo has been on the wall since the day we married
    Though many years have passed
    the picture still makes my heart race.
    You in your tuxedo and I in my wedding gown
    with your arms around me and the look of utter contentment of each of our faces
    I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing by getting married that day
    Vowing to give yourself to another for better or for worse. . .till death do you part
    is one of the biggest decisions a person can make.
    But now, thirty three years later, as I look at that photo
    I think of all things we have been through together
    The times I ran into those strong, but gentle arms
    I remember all the times when the only thing that I could truly count on was the love we had for each other,
    And I know that sharing your life has been my greatest blessing.
    I thought I loved you on the day this photo was taken,
    but the love I have now could not have been contained by an eighteen year old girl
    with a heart full of romance.
    You are my love, thank you for making my life complete.

  66. IleanaCarmina

    Jade’s Birthday

    The eyes can be lifeless
    In photos as people will pose
    And portray

    Sometimes the eyes hide
    Condemn the lens
    Run away

    You’ve been both
    When the camera is out
    But here

    This one second, you’re you
    Eyes alight with soul
    So near

    I touch you when I hold it
    Rub my thumb over your smile
    And cry

    Because I wasn’t there

  67. Diane

    This prompt is bringing out a lot of depth in everyone’s poems. Thanks Robert. Thanks everyone for sharing.

    The Unexpected Gift

    I’m looking at Anderson.
    Oh how I miss him!
    His plush fur of chocolate swirls and stripes
    His gold eyes outlined in charcoal and cream
    The lines on his face giving him a perpetual smile
    His huge purr…
    like an out-board motor with a squeak!

    I woke up that morning unable to move
    but I had to get up for the children.
    I rolled to the carpet and crawled to the door.
    I didn’t know grief could be that heavy.

    After two years of painful waiting
    every shred of hope I had held to
    evaporated that morning.

    Later, on the porch in the sun
    I watched the kids play.
    A stray cat joined them.
    One of the kids plopped him in my lap
    and he began his loud squeaky purr.

    The pent-up grief, tension and fear
    released like water from a broken dam.
    Tears rained uncontrollably
    and the cat purred on
    restoring my hope with each reverberation.

    We had another year of waiting
    but we had Anderson to distract us from our worries.
    He would run in circles,
    jump high in the air
    do twists and back flips.
    We had ten delightful years with him.

    I miss you Anderson.
    Most of all, I miss your loud squeaky purr.

  68. Sheryl Kay Oder

    I will attempt to describe two of our favorite pictures. The only picture perfect part of either one is our smiling baby daughter in the first shot. They are a snatch of real parenthood, although the first one is more genuine than the more posed second one. I could not resist adding a prop to the scene already before me. Of course, my hubby’s expression is not posed at all.

    This is not a rhyming poem, but somehow two of the lines do rhyme. Right now I cannot think of any better word choices, so I will just leave it alone.

    True Motherhood

    A bright-eyed babe
    looks at picture-taking dad.
    Maybe he will play with me.

    Bottle consumed,
    perched on mom’s lap
    she is contented indeed.

    Droopy-headed mom puts
    elbow on chair arm
    and leans face on hand for support.

    Both dressed for bed,
    only one needing it–
    true motherhood at 1 a.m.

    True Fatherhood

    Dad’s wide-open eyes ask,
    “How did this happen to me?”
    Mom records the scene with such glee.

    One leg supports
    a blackboard-writing daughter
    completely ignoring her dad.

    On the other leg rests
    a large floppy doll,
    legs outstretched on his own.

    He wonders how did
    fatherhood transform
    him into a two-legged shelf

  69. Ang

    Orders Acknowledged

    There he is tall and straight as an arrow
    The creases in his pants are perfect
    The buckle on his belt is spotless
    His shoes have a flawless shine
    And although you can’t tell from the photo
    I know there is not a speck of lint anywhere

    His left foot is forward
    In a perfect pace
    Centered on the mat
    One step among the 21 he makes
    During his walk
    As a sentinel at the Tomb
    of the Unknown Soldier
    This man – my son

  70. Virginia Snowden

    4/24/08 –


    She sits there in pure form, so calm, so pleasant, and so peaceful
    She, our mother, our strength, our courage
    You see her still and never able to stray away from such powerful eyes.
    Beautiful, was she, happiness was then with them and me

    She sits right beside, the girl I wanted to be
    The first daughter, the big sister, the idol in a little girl’s eye
    Her beauty from her mother, untouched and priceless
    She is that, which once was her; she was all that is perfect to the little one

    The littlest of the three sitting between wisdom and beauty
    So happy was she in a time that will never again be
    Her mother and her sister, for her the perfect family
    Now a grown woman, she sits and sees this picture she so loves the picture of them three

  71. Susan M. Bell

    A Picture of You and Me

    The photo was taken at a bad time.
    You were getting ready to move
    out. We didn’t know if our marriage
    was going to make it. And you so hate
    to get your picture taken anyway. But
    it was a free gift, an employee appreciation
    thing, and we’d never had our picture taken

    together. So off we went, dressed in out
    “Sunday best,” nice smiles plastered on
    our faces. We look so happy. A few weeks
    later, you were gone.

  72. Lin Neiswender

    The Water Cathedral

    The canal snakes between cypress giants
    Meeting overhead, a tunnel forming,
    Silky ferns leaning over mossy stones
    Small fry flicker in clear cold water
    Which laps the ragged walls of the brown boathouse
    Sunlight filters through moss, benedicting
    Stands of escaped bamboo and magenta bougainvillea
    A quiet cathedral for the gar and the alligators

  73. Earl Parsons

    The Picture
    I’ve been asked to pick one picture
    From the many thousands I’ve shot
    One single picture
    To write about
    Which picture could I possibly choose?

    Perhaps I could pick from my Disney collection
    Hundreds and hundreds to choose from
    The Magic Kingdom, Epcot or MGM Studios
    All to pretty to leave out
    But to only pick one
    Would be an insult to the others

    Perhaps I could select from my travel photos
    Germany, Japan, Hawaii, Okinawa, and more
    I’ve seen 47 states, many that I’ve shot
    All to pretty to leave out
    But to only pick one
    Would be an insult to the others

    Then there is the extensive family collection
    My children, my wife, and the relatives
    All ages and places we’ve visited and lived
    All to pretty to leave out
    But to only pick one
    Would be an insult to the others

    So, I guess if I have to pick one
    It would have to be very, very special
    Like the one over our mantel
    Of the family six
    All dressed up and pretty
    In our Sunday best
    Smiling and happy
    My wife and me
    And our four lovely children
    A day to remember
    In a picture to remember it by
    Thank God for my family
    And that picture of us all

  74. Judy Stewart

    here is yesterday’s poem about getting old, as I was writing it I decided to use this as my setting for todays prompt Hope it is ok!

    Age is just a number!

    27, 47, 57, 97!
    Each of these numbers mean something different.
    27, my youngest son now with twins of his own
    turning 47 tomorrow, a friend, married, a teacher, has 3 grand kids
    57, now that is me! feeling old some days
    but tell everyone I am 27
    97, now that is friend whose birthday is today
    she is the one who inspired me to live a whole life
    we became friends when she was 89
    she embraced ballroom dancing like she was
    29, we danced and we traveled the roads
    oh what stories she told of her younger years,
    now she is unable to do all of those things
    her mind is willing but her body is not able
    as she sat in her chair tonight I remembered
    all of those things she would say,
    that age is just a number you make the most of it!

    Day 24 poem poem from a picture

    The picture

    The picture was taken tonight
    a grandmother, a daughter, a son in law
    a granddaughter, and two grandsons
    time is for sure marching on
    The grandmother is 97 today,
    all of her family gathers around
    who knows what the future will bring
    her apple pie with numbers 97
    a reminder of the time that goes by
    so fast as we all take it for granted
    The picture was taken tonight
    a friend and her friend of 97
    oh what memories they have of
    the times they spent
    dancing and watching ballgames
    time well spent and hopes of more time
    and more pictures to take!

  75. SaraV

    Why I love my sister

    It was a longer trip
    Than we thought
    Anxiously waiting
    To reunite with
    Our parents and favorite
    Canyon, Bryce

    The GPS said
    Two hour to ETA
    But what it didn’t say
    Was that route was
    A dirt road
    Through the mountain

    Change of plan
    Six hours now
    The boys howl
    Tired of desert
    And no radio

    So my beautiful sister
    (The cool aunt)
    Takes my son’s toy
    Raccoon, white and purple
    Relic of a carnival prize
    And before my boys wondering eyes
    Balances it on her forehead

    No more whining
    Now giggling and games
    "Let me try, let me try!"
    Both boys cry
    They and their toys become performers
    Barnum and Bailey would have been proud
    Can you balance a truck?
    Can you balance a Pikachu?
    On your elbow, on your knee?

    Boredom, turned to glee
    And all because my sister
    Held the key
    In a purple and white raccoon
    Placed strategically

  76. Liza

    Dragon Trance

    The dragon gleamed
    with suppressed power
    as the mighty wizard
    used his wand to freeze him.

    The dragon bowed his head
    indicating supplication,
    but there was hint
    of the fiery power to rage.

    This was the dragon’s lair
    that the wizard decided to visit.
    If the wizard didn’t have that wand,
    the picture would be entirely changed.

    (Based on the DragonLord poster)

  77. Corinne

    No sale, Iain, I’m a vegetarian!

    Thank you, Kevin. Your poem really touched me.

    Michelle, it was a playful apology, but thanks.

    Another great day, gang!

  78. LBC

    Walk This Way

    We three walked away
    arms around each other
    at the end of that day.

    We three walked this way
    into tomorrow
    away from today.

    No smiles for the camera;
    No practiced pose.
    Impossible to tell
    how our story goes.

    We three walk this way
    together, forever
    in the photo we stay.


  79. maeve63


    In this one, two cardinals
    contemplate one another from their perches.
    The male in a large flowering dogwood.
    The female gazing at him from another.
    There is a Magnolia tree in the backdrop
    balancing the scene

    Here my beautiful seed has enwrapped
    her caring arms around
    her love.

    In this one, two bats
    flutter in the twilight.
    High above the trees
    up where the wind touches their
    faces and carries them into a world
    where free will of the soul – is known in the heart

    Here he and I are holding one another, falling
    into each other’s eyes seeing
    our depths.

    In this one, the bats loop above
    the cardinals. Watching, as if to say
    join us, feel the wind and the Cardinals
    reply, look at our Magnolia tree
    know our constancy – air flows and branch
    is rooted – both meet in the skyline

    Here the four of us embrace, two generations
    different as cardinals and bats
    forever entwined.

  80. Jeanette J. McAdoo


    The patients wait it’s Christmas time,
    Three friends get together to share.
    Magic tricks, presents, carols in line,
    The friends bring to show they care.

    The patients join in they’re having fun,
    Surprised at the tricks from the show.
    Every patient is happy Christmas bingo they won,
    The magic of Christmas they all know.

  81. Shana

    His hand
    Smooth, bronzed, young, powerful, controlling the shot
    Reaches into her face
    His middle finger
    Thrust deep into her mouth
    Gags her

    It’s all we see of him
    I guess it’s all we need

    Is made up to the hilt
    Huge black sunglasses
    Hair pulled back
    Shiny red lipstick
    To perfectly showcase
    Her perfect white teeth
    Around his middle finger
    Gagging her
    Or, I’m sorry, maybe sucking him
    Gosh, but it’s hard to tell

    Now, that’s what I call a sunglass ad
    My, what progress we’ve made
    My, isn’t that funny
    Oh, it’s actually an ironic or serious or deeply layered social commentary?
    My, isn’t that effective
    Brings me right back to that Virginia Slims slogan
    Oh, my gender, we’ve come a long way, babies, haven’t we?

  82. Beth Browne

    NC DL 40739884

    Although I am smiling in the photo,
    I am not happy.

    Four years ago my hair was much
    more brown.

    I still have the bags under my eyes, but
    now I don’t

    need the turtleneck to conceal any aspect
    of the damage.

  83. Linda S-W

    The First Supper
    (For my daughter)

    The late afternoon sun
    slants through the window
    and lands on your golden head
    of curls, your sauce-smeared cheeks,
    toddler digits plunged in the bowl,
    smooshing, mashing,
    eyes laughing in surprise
    at the never-ending noodle
    slurping between pudgy pink lips,
    captured for eternity
    in this Technicolor triptych.

    Oh to keep you always amazed.

    My husband took a series of wonderful photos of my young daughter the first time she ate a ‘real meal’ of spaghetti. Her joy: priceless. Peace, Linda

  84. Mario Jaime

    Such Innocence

    One of my brothers, back then he was three
    He had boots on that went up to his knees
    His hands held an empty bottle of beer
    He’s in college now, very far from here

    My Older Sister (prompt#4)

    She’s more than a little crazy
    She speaks more than a little fast
    But I’m pretty sure I was made for her
    I’m a pretty slow talker myself
    But even when firing off eighty words a second
    I can still understand her when no one else does
    Maybe that’s symbolic for something else
    Every once in a while, I’d wish she meant it when she says "I totally love you"
    I’m her brother! I know when she means it
    And she’s usually joking
    She can tell me everything, and she does
    But I still feel uncomfortable around her
    She knows everything I do, but not what I think
    She’s supposed to be protecting me
    But even then, I get paranoid about leaving her
    What if she end’s up stabbing her wrists?
    But then I hear a snippet of her rambling
    "I only look hyper because I’m perfectly happy"

  85. Deb Hill

    April 24th, day 24 A Photo

    Logs and Falls

    Sturdy plastic form, floating on a
    prefabricated river on a rolling line
    rectangle opening in center holds
    three “go by myself” shapes,
    in the front with long brown hair, she
    smiles uncertainly gripping the sides,
    in the middle, the brave dark haired blue
    shirted boy, hands raised, eyes wide,
    the third in back under soft blonde curls,
    with raised hands fearless as if to touch sky.
    they pause at the cliff’s edge, teasing, leaning
    toward the 200 foot falls, it spills itself over
    taking them past a blinding flash, capturing
    this memory, then soars on air down,down
    down, to the ear splinting screams of . . .
    their Momma’s “HOLD ON!”

  86. Callan Bignoli-Zale

    Cause and Effect

    I was sixteen
    and beautiful
    then: my uncut
    orange curls fell
    halfway down
    my narrow back
    and my skin
    was a perfect
    contrast, clear
    and so soft.

    I felt human
    for the first
    time in years –
    how couldn’t I?
    The Irish Sea
    spanned on and on
    like Forever itself,
    glistening, near
    golden with the
    cool sun of a
    summer just begun.

    Something strong
    was building up
    and brimming inside
    of me, something
    like joy, like
    happiness, something
    so foreign that it
    was fitting I’d
    only feel it
    four thousand miles
    away from home,

    something that took
    control of me
    and found that
    vile vial amidst
    my personal things
    and undid the lid
    and took out all
    two dozen of those
    fucking tiny little
    seafoam green pills
    and tossed them

    over the edge
    of the cliffs
    of Anglesey.
    Maybe they floated
    across to Eire,
    but I bet the poor fish
    got to them first,
    and they must’ve died
    like finned zombies,
    too tired to survive.

  87. Michelle H.

    Corinne – no need to apologize ~ glad to hear you godson is thriving!

    Iain- Glad to see you where able to write another poem today.

    Good Night everyone!

  88. Kevin

    Play Day Photo

    And you are the whale today,
    And I the sea.
    These games we play,
    captured in polaroid
    for our children’s children.
    You, the whale,
    cardboard box, painted blue,
    and I, the sea,
    flaring in the wind
    with my magic wands of waves
    floating out behind me.
    The grass beneath us,
    glaring in its green,
    incongruous truth
    that we are not adrift,
    but merely mariners
    of our own imaginations.

  89. mjdills

    Edges peeling, almost crumbling;
    Cracked and peeling,
    Almost two pieces now.
    Maria in the middle,
    Big bow in her hair.
    Lena with her arm flung around Maria.
    Toothless gaping grin,
    Anklets bunched around her scuffed maryjanes,
    Slip showing.
    Anna, her twin,
    Smiling like a little lady.
    Just a tiny step apart.
    Maria, Anna, Lena.
    Cows with heads bowed
    Rest on the edge,
    Almost out of sight,
    Almost like shadows.
    Simple flowers
    Like a child’s drawing,
    Pop up on the border.
    From another time and place
    Not knowing what sorrow ahead.
    Only joy
    Grinning out from childhood;
    Soon to be torn.
    Leaving in tact
    Only a picture.

  90. Bruce Niedt


    It took twenty-eight shots,
    my wife’s sister said,
    to get that picture right.
    The photo, black-and-white,
    sits framed on my desk.
    My four sons, aged thirty down to twelve,
    are gathered around her couch,
    late afternoon sun behind them.
    They look like brothers, yet different –
    straight or wavy hair,
    gangly or stocky build,
    bearded or clean-shaven.
    Yet you can feel the bond in their smiles,
    which took all afternoon
    for my sister-in-law to synchronize.
    The oldest, natural and kind,
    the second-born, just this side of mischievous,
    the third, smug and confident,
    and the youngest, caught in a hearty laugh.
    They look like they are sharing a joke –
    maybe it’s their conspired elusiveness,
    or a silly remark one of them made,
    or maybe they’ve just realized that collectively
    they can conquer the world.

  91. lynn rose

    "My little angel"
    My little Kevin, you are around two years old and favorite food was spaghetti. You couldn’t tell by the picture. You are standing in front of the coffee table, face covered with spaghetti and your blue and white stripped shirt too.Your hands are helping the spaghetti get into your mouth faster, even though you have a fork. Your little belly is round and you are enjoying that spaghetti so much. I love this picture, I think it is my favorite of you when you were a baby.When I look at it,it brings me so much joy. I miss seeing you at this age, now that you are nineteen and married.

  92. Omavi


    (Inspired by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/da-alkhemist/2166340844/in/set-72157603633300565/)

    Weathered and old, beaten and used
    Laid out and left behind

    Remember the time, shiny
    A beauty to behold
    Carrying the weight of many
    Moving the word
    Reliably performing
    Those were the days
    When the feeling of need was strong
    And the glimmers in wanting eyes
    Looking achingly, pining
    Remember those days

    Forgotten and left to disintegrate, putrefy
    No longer those days
    Just the degradation of all held precious once
    Everything decays

  93. Bonnie MacAllister


    We’ve been scanning photographs
    Posting them to college groups,
    Critiquing ourselves ten years away.
    Back then we taught each other nicknames,
    A code for when the person was distant.

    I am so excited each time you upload
    A formal picture—
    Me in a gown, those boys in a tux.
    I barely remember our dorm life,
    When we lived on top of each other.

    Today my students decided to play a prank,
    To call me “Gus,” a term I could not decode.
    Perhaps I’m ugly gus or asparagus or
    They hate my guts.

    One girl whose parents
    Named her after a tacky automobile
    Would not stop staring at me,
    A few girls giggled without stopping.
    One child even threw clay at my shoulder.

    Now I am the age when I could be their parent,
    And I know I’ll never conceive
    How they’ll spend their days
    Forming those terms that taunt.

  94. patti williams

    Not my best work, but it was a damn good time.

    Heather – whatever dish SSSammy SSSnake becomes, I hope it’s a good one!

    “Friendly Margaritas”

    Colorful sombreros on top our heads
    Happy smiles covering our faces
    Margarita glasses empty

    Hearts full of friendship
    On vacation in Mexico
    Without a care in the world

    I can still hear the mariachi band
    Playing today
    And it sounds as happy today
    As it did back then

  95. Carol Brian


    The girl is five in a pink and purple rain
    coat with a bright yellow hood, her back
    to the camera. One of those rare occasions
    when she allowed her mom to fuss with her
    hair. A single blonde braid, anchored with
    pink elastic top and bottom, hangs past her
    shoulders. She stands on her porch, the same
    porch where her great grandmother sat on hot
    summer evenings, and gazes across the green
    grass into the wet street beyond. Half the picket
    fence is gone.

    Carol Brian

  96. Sue Bench

    Baby Swallows

    I don’t know who, Bill or I,
    took the photo that hangs in our hall.
    We were passing the camera
    back and forth that day.
    I’m the better birder,
    but he shoots much better pictures.

    Drinking our morning coffee
    on a lovely summer morning,
    we were interrupted by baby swallows
    as they lined up on the electrical wire
    just 50 feet in front of us.
    We could tell when the mama was near;
    They’d all start chattering and chirping,
    ‘My turn!’ ‘Me next!’

    We watched for about an hour
    as she brought the bugs
    that she caught on the fly
    for her babies breakfasts.

    Then suddenly she began
    swooping back and forth
    past the wire.
    She gently nudged each child.
    ‘Time to fly kids!’

  97. Lillian V. Grant

    "Divine Order" – a painting by W.A.K

    He’s my rhythm, I’m his flow
    like sarah to her abraham
    Where u go, I go
    Foot step follower to remain at yr side
    And be the one in which u confide
    Not losing myself or forgetting my identity
    Just setting myself aside
    All while exuding
    Finding freedom in doing for you
    Providing to my hearts content
    Considering you because you’re considering me
    And making decisions to benefit the whole family
    Making haste to be your compliment
    Your second in command
    Always available with a helping hand
    Embracing you while you embrace me
    I live and die for Family

    I’m her rhythm, she’s my flow…
    i cant believe she wants to go where i go
    a rare flower she is indeed
    and her strong voice i humbly take heed
    her stance at my side adds strength to my back
    and the depth of my love for her i never lose track
    my queen she is
    the mother of my children
    my wife
    and the strength of her heart envelopes my family
    filling my home beyond capacity
    she accepts her role in the scheme of this life
    and devotes herself
    with the power of an unyeilding warrior
    my own Queen Nefertari
    she’s my compliment
    my second in command
    My protector, my shield
    My guide
    and without her
    there is no me


  98. Joe

    Ten Most Wanted

    Every year
    They make a list
    Of ten fugitives
    By name

    Hard-nosed criminals
    All masters
    At their game

    Their photographs
    Stain the walls
    The vicious and insane
    Shouting out for all to hear
    The words
    “I’ve been framed”

  99. Cheryl Wray

    And a final one (sorry for there being so many)…

    "the favorite"

    This one would have to be
    my favorite
    of the thousands he took.

    Partly because of the composition;
    more because of the illumination in the lighting;
    but most-of-all because of
    the moment captured
    (never to come again)

    of a granddaughter with a wispy look, a sly smile;
    a grandfather with a weathered look,
    and a mouth that’s half-opened
    saying something.

    saying something during this moment in the sun,
    saying something that’s forgotten all these years later,

    but saying something that sounded something like,
    "I love you."

    (and, because I’m self-indulgent and I think the words work best with the photos, I’m going to post the pics sometime tonight on my blog. http://www.lifewithcherylwray.blogspot.com)

    Now I’m off to read everyone else’s creations! I’m already anticipating their beauty!!

  100. Cheryl Wray

    A third one (of my brother and I, right after he’s home from the hospital. Sheesh…35 years ago!)

    "Newborn Brother"

    he came home,
    tiny and wriggling and slippery and loud,
    and she was fascinated with him,
    loved him from the get-go

  101. Cheryl Wray

    And a few poems about individual pictures that Dad took…


    she holds tightly onto Susie,
    the doll with the wild, blonde, 70s-toy-story hairstyle,
    with a look of sadness in her eyes.

    But she’s me and I don’t recall being sad.

    perhaps I was frustrated at Dad for taking

    or feeling ugly because I had that
    on my nose.

    whatever I felt then I don’t know,
    but what I feel Now is
    affection for that doll
    (now in my daughter’s toy box),
    an abiding love
    for my childhood.

  102. Cheryl Wray

    Okay…this prompt ROCKS!! Mostly because my husband is a photographer, and my Dad was a photographer when I was growing up. I have wonderful memories in the pictures he made. And I was inspired to write a series of poems on several of the pictures my Dad took. So, just ignore my three poems I’m going to post if you need to (ha!).

    "photos from Dad"

    a photographer and small-town editor,
    Dad took thousands of pictures
    when I was a child.
    mostly black and white,
    with us
    standing in front of old barns,
    old churches,
    anything that reeked of "architecture."

    we’d play in the leaves,
    then illustrate an article about
    autumn in rural America.

    we’d romp in the drive-in playground,
    then appear in the essay about
    the demise of the golden age of
    movies and community.

    but my favorites remain…
    and now live on my hall walls..
    the ones of

    me and
    my newborn brother
    my doll
    my dog

    images that never made the newspaper,
    but live even now in the frames of my

  103. KP

    I smile,
    in my chocolate
    brown dress, holding a bouquet
    of lilac roses, facing the bride, but
    looking back at him, thinking how much
    I love this man about to take my picture. I know
    he’s not thinking ‘Always a bridesmaid, never a bride’
    And neither am I, not yet. But he will later tell my niece
    That maybe I can do something about her becoming a flower girl.

  104. Kateri Woody

    "Jim Lee’s Batman"

    All graceful movement and just a little unease,
black and gray liquid movement captured
with edges blurred slightly with
sulfurous, vaguely yellow tinted pollution that creeps
    slowly, slowly, slowly up your cape and thighs.

    You’re stuck in my frame now,
    cloaked in your darkness backlit
    by a full moon that illuminates the very ends
    of that harsh line of your mouth –
    the ever pleasant displeasure evident even
    in the hastily snapped picture.

    Such a strong figure, holding the society
    of degenerates and elite on kevlar covered shoulders…
    an effigy of hope wrapped in a transluscent sticky
    candy wrapper that crinkles yet never makes a sound
    but only tarnishes with blood of enemies
    and hopefully my own, your love’s, as well.

    Such pride you exude in your very stance,
    even as you stand stock still, chest
    puffed and prominent as you make good on your promise
    to pose, silent, before leaping at me – aiming
    to take me out, knock me down – you know
    how good you are at what you do,
    and I’m just thankful I have this eternal reminder
    to show me this little bit of painless heaven.

  105. Elizabeth Keggi

    Three Wishes

    What is the essence of this Man
    sitting between his lightning white
    horse and sleek, dark dog, the sky
    low and sifting, the water moody,
    rolling into the shore, into this
    gravely edge of the continent?

    The Man and horse lean together
    in silent communication, while the dog
    patiently waits at the Man’s feet.
    Horses ran wild here once, storming
    the surf with reckless passion—
    Every horse remembers.

    Grant me three wishes:
    1)To be a powerful horse, now tamed by love.
    2)To be a devoted dog, eager to play and please.
    3)To be the one who loves them both.

    Elizabeth K. Keggi

    I dislike using photographs as prompts because the photographs that interest me speak for themselves. This poem is awful by comparison to the portrait!!!

    See link below for slightly cropped version: http://www.geocities.com/kenwatanabe13o/Print_ad_01_large.jpg

  106. Matthew Abel

    The Gift that Keeps On Giving

    The picture my mother
    gave to my lady
    to remind her of me
    features me as a tot
    in a diaper.
    My face is obscured
    by snorkel and mask
    with the face of a frog.
    "Her frog prince"
    she might say.
    She just laughs.

  107. Kimberly K


    A Polaroid transfer
    noble cat
    sitting majestically
    on an maroon afghan

    The second great cat
    that I have had in my life.
    Self assured, confident.
    Grateful to have been
    salvaged by a human.

    Even as you lay
    across the urban sidewalk
    covered with ants
    pretty darn thin
    you did not beg.
    you just waited.

    Even as your teeth fell out
    your T cell count dwindled
    to nothing
    you strolled our home
    until the day
    you walked out the door
    into the woods
    your ninth life

  108. Renee Goularte


    At six years old
    her wide dark eyes stare out
    from a grainy black and white.
    In her young life
    she has already known
    the uncertainty
    of being whisked from home
    the clatter of a non-stop train
    the delivery into hope of sanctuary
    holding her mother’s hand.

  109. Iain D. Kemp

    Ileana, thaNk you for your kind words.

    I was standing on a corner…

    I was standing on a corner
    In Winslow, Arizona…
    No, really! I was and I have the photo
    To prove it. It wasn’t just any corner
    It was THE corner. There was even a
    Sign over my head that said “Takin’ it easy”
    The previous night had been surreal
    Dancing barefoot on a pool table with
    Miss Flatbed Ford 1994 and around
    3:30a.m. Little Bear Frederickson
    A full blooded Hopi became the first
    And only person to offer to become my
    Blood brother. I was nearly drunk enough
    To say “Yes”!
    Winslow, Arizona (where I stood on the corner)
    Is not a one horse town, it’s a two horse town
    Shame that one horse left and the other was
    Last seen coughing up blood on the wrong side of the tracks
    (where I was warned not to go).
    It was also abandoned by I40 leaving the remnants
    Of Route 66 to wanderers like me and my red convertible.

    There were 13 other days just as good!

    Memories of Route 66, July 1994. L.A. to Chicago
    in fourteen driving filled days and dance hall filled nights.
    Don’t even ask about Elk City, Oklahoma but if you ever get there
    check out Katy Junction. If there’s ladies underwear hanging from the ceiling fan…
    It has nothing to do with me…. This time!

  110. Iain D. Kemp

    Ileana, thak you for your kind words.

    I was standing on a corner…

    I was standing on a corner
    In Winslow, Arizona…
    No, really! I was and I have the photo
    To prove it. It wasn’t just any corner
    It was THE corner. There was even a
    Sign over my head that said “Takin’ it easy”
    The previous night had been surreal
    Dancing barefoot on a pool table with
    Miss Flatbed Ford 1994 and around
    3:30a.m. Little Bear Frederickson
    A full blooded Hopi became the first
    And only person to offer to become my
    Blood brother. I was nearly drunk enough
    To say “Yes”!
    Winslow, Arizona (where I stood on the corner)
    Is not a one horse town, it’s a two horse town
    Shame that one horse left and the other was
    Last seen coughing up blood on the wrong side of the tracks
    (where I was warned not to go).
    It was also abandoned by I40 leaving the remnants
    Of Route 66 to wanderers like me and my red convertible.

    There were 13 other days just as good!

    Memories of Route 66, July 1994. L.A. to Chicago
    in fourteen driving filled days and dance hall filled nights.
    Don’t even ask about Elk City, Oklahoma but if you ever get there
    check out Katy Junction. If there’s ladies underwear hanging from the ceiling fan…
    It has nothing to do with me…. This time!

  111. Heidi Kortman

    three years before my birth
    spent part of a day at a studio for
    the sake of the tradition.

    Willingly complied with directions:
    "Turn a little more to the left, good."
    Waited for the adjustment of a light,
    "Would you lower your chin just a bit, please?"
    Faced the lens with calm intention,
    "Now look up."

    A steady gaze despite the flash.

    Fifty years later, I hold framed
    one of the black and white reasons
    That I
    who once played "dress-up" in that very cast-off formal gown
    now actively avoid having my own photo taken,

    Because I
    Will Never
    Measure up.

  112. Lyn Sedwick

    Photograph: two kids and a mom

    Holding soft crabs–four of them!
    My son picked that candid shot for
    His high school yearbook page
    And I wondered whether he was
    Just too lazy to look further (that
    One has been posted on our kitchen
    Glass front cabinet for years) or
    Whether it had special meaning
    For him. It did for me. All the
    Summers I spent in my childhood
    At the Chesapeake, catching crabs
    For fun but soft crabs for my mom, who
    Ate every one, right away–I remembered
    Those summers when I took my kids
    To the same house, same creek,
    And taught them how to catch crabs.
    And that wonderful afternoon when
    We caught those four, well, it deserved
    A photograph, which my sister took
    Right before we decided, all of us,
    To let them go.

    Lyn Sedwick

  113. Laurie Kolp

    The Holiday Photo Soiree

    I see all three
    staring back at me,
    so beautiful and sweet.

    My children, my joys,
    one girl, two boys;
    they are a delightful treat.

    If you only knew
    what pain we went through,
    to get each smile, these three.

    But we do it each year,
    to send Christmas cheer,
    in the holiday photo soiree.

  114. Corinne

    By the way, my poem captures feelings I had the first time I saw that photo after William (my godson) was diagnosed with autism (last summer). I’m happy to say that all of the effort is paying off and he is really beginning to thrive.


  115. Corinne


    Gerber baby boy, you are
    18 months old or so, a twinkle
    of impish alertness in your blue lagoon eyes.
    So engaged in life, the direct contact with the camera, knowing
    your picture was being taken, so eager to entertain,
    without self-consciousness.

    That was before the veil of autism swept over you.
    Over us all. Where are you, are you still there under that blanket?
    We are blanketed too, in a world we never conceived of –
    vocabulary, books, specialists, support groups, workshops,
    with one goal: to snatch you back to the future we know is yours.

    Sorry to Michelle H., for the Gerber baby thing, I wrote it before I read yours.

    Iain, from kitties to snakes? Yikes!

    Glad to hear you had a great birthday, Patti.

    Robert, the 28th is a Monday, isn’t that enough? :)

  116. Bill Kirk

    Photo taken in 1975 near Pozzuoli, Italy (Naples) along a path into the active volcanic bed at Solfatara.

    By Bill Kirk

    There they were—two souls.
    They were oblivious, really,
    About where they were
    In that instant so many years ago;
    An instant now frozen in time
    By a single shutter snap—
    Light waves captured on film.

    So long ago, these two young compatriots
    Strolled in common cadence
    Down a cool, tree-shaded lane—
    The dusty, bleached-white path,
    Dappled by the mid-morning sun.

    He, peering straight ahead,
    Searches the horizon with each halting step.
    She, older and wiser, places a
    Confident yet consoling arm
    Around shoulder and waist
    With a knowing glance at the
    Brave pioneer beside her,
    She urges him onward
    Down the cindered path before them—
    A path with no apparent end.

    Each step taken without caring,
    Or I should say without knowing,
    About the lurking, unseen dangers,
    That had come before and
    Might come again, even without warning.

    Each step taken as if these two souls
    Were supposed to be in this place
    At precisely this time, with no regard
    For the heat underfoot or the malodorous fumes
    Arising like a poisonous mist around them.

    He was two and she, but four.
    Their journey thus begun
    Still continues….

    Word Count: 189

  117. halfmoon_mollie

    those three children
    don’t look alike
    and yet there is
    something about them
    that shows they are
    related none of them
    have the same colored eyes
    hers are green
    the middle child, one of the
    boys, brown and the youngest
    boy, blue. She wears a dress
    tinted pink in the photo (yellow
    in real life) with a sailor collar
    looking elegant, as opposed to
    the two males in the picture
    who try very hard to look
    as though they inhabit dress
    shirts and that washed behind
    the ears look but are sheepishly
    unable. Freckles sprinkle across
    two noses and missing front teeth
    are evident in the smile of
    the middle child

    The picture was taken
    on a hot summer afternoon
    in the fifties
    the photographer came to
    the house and, sweating
    through his shirt, unpacked
    a large case full of
    filters and umbrella shades
    and other stuff that
    young children found

    that may be why
    we all have a
    hint of desperation
    in our for-the-camera
    smiles, my two brothers
    and me

  118. IleanaCarmina

    Iain, thank goodness your "little sister" has someone like you to help her through and care so much. I’m glad, too, that you’re not at work, mainly because you had this opportunity to put down that wonderful poem and share it with us!

    Nancy, I loved the subtle, non-judging way you captured how friendship can sometimes unintentionally waver and skew, like a bad signal, and then return to clarity in a moment that you luckily had captured in that photo. It reminded me of similar moments in the past and gave me a smile this morning.

    Yay, Patti! Glad to hear that your birthday was done right and in the company of a good friend!!

    Paige – you’ve hit on something that I find so charming about photos. They are the perfect cue for your mind to recall its own captured memories of that event, usually the utmost moment of emotion, which is evoked so well from seeing the photo again.

    I’ll post my poem ridiculously late, as usual, since all my photos are at home. Yesterday’s was done with me at work late, burbling into a Kleenex and hoping no patients came wandering by, so I’ll try to avoid that in the future – hehe!

  119. Sara McNulty

    He stood patiently
    feet firm on the floor
    red eyes rolled up, silky
    ears drooped down as I

    quickly snapped the photo
    of poor Walter having to
    endure the indignity of
    a proud Basset in reindeer ears.

  120. Carla Cherry

    At Teotihuacan

    There were twelve
    to march
    the Street of the Dead.
    Hands bound.
    Mouths stuffed with beads.
    Buried alive
    a falcon
    and rattlesnakes,
    their commingled
    suffering muffled
    by screaming
    teeming thousands
    around the Pyramid of the Moon.

    Their faces
    in poses of pain
    for eternity,
    they are now
    poked and prodded
    for fragments,
    to be strung
    into narrative.

  121. Emily Blakely

    “Time Delayed”

    The jungle, lush and green
    shrouds a still moment
    eyes of only one had seen

    A soldier, out of war’s foray
    caught himself perfectly poised
    with a three-second delay

    It was a time I never knew him
    the place may no longer be
    a memory now grown dim

    Welcome home, my soldier, from Vietnam

  122. Michelle Cooper

    Spring Photo

    I can vividly imagine the perfume of the

    Fresh wild flowers in my crystal clear

    Spring photo, aroma therapy is only a

    Partial description of my viewing.

    All colors so deep but cautiously bright,

    Any selected bunch would be perfect

    For a cherishable date tonight.

    Every stem and bloom is stretched

    So far, strong and wide leaving no

    Space for even the smallest bug to hide.

    H. Michelle Cooper

  123. Paige


    Gazing through photographs I pause and recall,
    sweat droplets on your brow, running down your neck.
    Arm muscles flexing, so intent on a job.
    Shinning bright, sun, gleaming on water’s mist.
    Bubbles and foam on hot concrete, I still smell them.
    Green eyes that spot me,
    Smiling lips whose memory warms mine, giving me tingles
    even now.
    Funny that a normal, mundane task of washing a truck
    was snapped, leaving a priceless photograph,
    captured by my mind.

  124. Marcos Cabrera

    Santo Domingo Skyline

    In the horizon a curtain of fog.
    Looks like Los Angeles covered with smoke
    from the Columbus Lighthouse the wide view…
    To the left, clear with its red, white and blue,
    the mighty flag flying from its thin pole.
    The buildings in the distance are like ghosts
    crawling up silently to the gray sky
    here and there in a foggy broken line
    within their own shadows standing alone.

    Everywhere the green of the laurel’s tree
    like the flag nearby, beautiful and free.

    My panoramic picture does not shows
    but the end of the Ozama river,
    though with that little part it delivers
    its dark waters and bridges to my thought.
    Pictures are a clue for your mind to glow
    to bring up what the camera can’t see
    because in its mechanism you can’t fit
    the lines of nature with dynamic flow.
    This picture is a sweet sap for my soul.

  125. patti williams

    Oh – and a thank you to all of my poet friends! I had a great day with my wonderful friend who made me feel so special. Hopefully the poem I write today will be a little lighter!

  126. Margaret Fieland

    A Moment in Time

    The dress, jade, turquoise and gold
    hangs off one shoulder, your dark
    hair is coiled at the nape of your neck.
    One arm lies across the back of
    the leather banquette, the other
    around your brother’s shoulders.
    Forever young and beautiful,
    you smile into the camera.

  127. Heidi Williams


    Damn he was handsome
    But nonetheless a lunatic
    So I Thank God and him for my sick whit
    So I can laugh at the irony of this old Polaroid pic
    With him smiling, showing full teeth
    And Holding me, like I meant something to him
    And Maybe I did then
    Or maybe, it was just the gin, nestled between his legs
    Or maybe, like most people
    He was just smiling for the camera
    With no understanding of what true happiness is
    Just a pretended bliss captured in a single shot
    Thanks Dad, this is all I have got
    To continuous remind me of what your not
    What you will never be
    But guess what
    Today I am sending you a picture of me
    With two beautiful daughters smiling genuinely
    Just so you can see
    So you can catch glimpse of what could’ve been
    If you would’ve been

  128. Linda Brown

    This is todays. Funny, but even tho it’s about a photo, it’s also about getting older.


    See us on the hotel staircase,
    fourteen women who have
    loved each other for more
    than twenty-five years.
    This is about you, Nancyjean,
    You were the the first
    of us to die, but it doesn’t
    make us love you less.
    We prearranged our
    Christmas picture in your honor,
    each of us in black, mourning your passing.
    You were a fun and colorful person,
    so around each arm a ribbon is tied,
    each ribbon a different bright color. The wine
    flows freely tonight. The stories. The love.
    Your spirit lives on.
    The lives you’ve touched
    bear the imprint of your smile.

  129. Linda Brown

    This one is yesterday’s, on getting older.

    The Buddists believe all time coexists.
    I like to look at it that way.
    A bluebird doesn’t know it’s age.
    It simply sings its whole life long.
    A grape doesn’t realize it can shrivel on the vine.
    It grows gladly and takes radiance from the sun.
    The clouds don’t know rain until it is within them.
    Spirit means for everything to give it’s best.
    Besides, there is no death.
    That’s because there is no past, present, future.
    Everything is NOW.

  130. Marin Christensen


    In this photograph, the one in my
    head, it looks like rain and the
    skies are puffed up with atom
    bomb-like clouds;

    I keep running a song from my
    sixteen year-old self, a song left
    precariously on the shelves of memory;
    shelves that are stacked high in
    an abandoned house that is soon
    to be swept up by the atom
    bomb-like clouds;

    Def Leppard at their peak, and the
    only lyric I remember is “all I
    want is a photograph;” a melody
    plays, a melody from memory; and
    the atom bomb-like clouds
    in the photograph in my head
    dance to the heavy beat and the
    amped-up guitars;

    My abandoned house soon collapses
    under the weight of thump,
    thump, thump in the air;
    in the photograph in my head.

  131. Barbara Tzetzo Gosch

    Memory Bank

    Your both in my Memory Bank
    not as money, something much greater—
    YEARS filled with snapshots of better days.

    This particular picture—of you and your
    brother at the lake at the lake. How I love it!
    Your arms wrapped around each other.
    You were so close.

    I treasure your smiles, always will
    and what we had.
    You’re both grown up now—disabled and ill.
    It’s very sad.
    Nevertheless I’ll remember you Still.


  132. Heather

    Abbie and Me

    My freshly bronzed arms
    Form a perfect “V”
    Draped over your tiny little shoulders
    What contrast the sun has created
    Between you and me

    My head atop yours
    We cling endlessly
    “Take the picture already!”

    Sheepish eyes, perfect blue ice
    Sweetest 8 year old smile
    Refusing to show absence of teeth
    Innocence, pure heart

    Purple dance costume
    Sequins reflect the light

    We are captured
    Forever in time

    Abbie, you are my delight

    So, about "Sammy" . . . he has not made another appearance. I would have loved to be able to say that he would be but had "lost his head" and would be unavailable. Sadly that is not the case. I will report, that to my dismay, when I arrived home last night, a disaster of sorts was revealed. My husband is TERRIFIED of snakes and he decided to "foam up" the area "Sammy" was last seen. (Of course, "Sammy" had the entire day to roam the house unnoticed so I am assuming he was no longer behind the cabinets.) My husband, bless him, made the biggest mess with the foam . . . all over the rug, walls, you name it, it’s foamed.
    Thanks everyone for your concern. We continue to keep an eye out . . . and we bought a hoe.

  133. Cathy Sapunor

    To the Nice Lady We Met September 29, 1995, at Lassen Volcanic National Park

    At Manzanita Lake, you saw us snapping pictures of each other
    and you stopped to ask, “Would you like me to take a picture
    of the two of you together?”
    We looked at each other and handed you the camera.
    “Push here,” I indicated. We posed. You held your finger
    over the button. Click!
    You returned the camera to us and walked on down the trail.
    As we called out our thanks, you replied cheerfully, “I hope it turns out okay!”

    Here’s what you captured: the water’s still reflection of Lassen Peak, trees and sky … geese and coot bobbing among wind-blown grasses … a man and a woman smiling shyly for a stranger.

    It did turn out okay — the picture, that is. And we — engaged for just a few hours when that picture was taken — turned out okay. We return each year to Lassen with our children, and take their pictures. Click.

  134. Michelle H.

    Okay I’ve posted three today – I will stop. I’ve actually written four but decided not to post the last one.
    Maureen – good one on Robert!

    Iain – very powerful poem. I’m sorry for your pain and hers.

    Heather – Where are you? Did you find that snake?

    Thank you very much Rodney! You’ve made my day!

  135. Iain D. Kemp

    Rod, thanks for the comment although I’m now sure that the poems doesn’t work. I’ve always loved her as a sister, it was never any different even 27 years ago. Its her pain that pains me.

  136. Jane Penland Hoover


    It is hard to say
    Who had the most faith that day for
    We planted in hard ground ten bare sticks
    Exchanged Christmas tree
    Watered, waited, and giggled
    At the hopelessness
    Of what we were about
    Yet today
    Ten bushy red maples

    ©Jane Penland Hoover
    April 9, 2008

  137. Connie

    The Shoe

    There it is in all its glory
    Dirty, scruffy sneaker
    Amongst pictures of the Grand Teton
    In all its glory.
    Amongst the bubbling hot springs and
    Steaming geysers of Yellowstone
    The castle-like Mammoth Springs, Montana
    The wild Columbian River
    The frothy ocean path from a whale watching boat
    The majestic Space Needle in Seattle
    The other-worldly Salt Lake of Utah
    The small plane wing over Flaming Gorge
    There it is reminding me
    Of the fun my grown daughter
    And I had touring the northwest
    Last summer, 3,000 miles in 10 days.
    The shoe
    The picture she took
    When she dropped her camera
    Hiking around Jenny Lake.

  138. Lisa McMahan

    My Gift

    Sweet, cherub-like face
    Housing eyes of brilliant blue
    A pure and innocent heart
    With a touch of mischief found in you.

    My angel, my princess
    Never far from my side
    Sometimes my best friend
    For to me you have not lied.

    We’ve been through a lot together
    Enduring heartache and pain
    We’ve weathered many a storm
    Without being caught out in the rain.

    Our road ahead is sunny
    Our path radiated in sunlight
    The love we have for each other
    Will keep our future bright.

    You are my youngest daughter
    Given to me from heaven above
    My gift sent directly from God
    A blessing for me to love.

  139. Rodney C. Walmer

    Wow, Iain, that really hits home. I once (age 16 or so) had a girl like that, though she was already pregnant with someone else’s child(not mine, we never got that far). I think she was my first true love, but she did not feel the same. Your poem brings back memories. I had it all planned out, silly as it may sound, but at 16 these things sound realistic. I was going to run away with her, raise her child as my own, get a job doing anything, so that I could take care of her. Of course that dream shattered when she said the words to me "I love you, but I will never be in love with you!" I got over her, married, and was happy for a time, then divorced, remarried and now, I am very happy for the last 14 years. Why am I telling you all of this, well just to let you know, that it gets better brother, it truly does, the pain goes away, and all you have are the good memories. To be honest, I am thankful that she did not take me up on my plan, she ruined her life, and I would have ruined mine too. Every time, I hear Garth Brooks, "Unanswered Prayers" I am reminded of how lucky I was that she did not reciprocate my feelings. Then again hindsight is 20/20, and at 50 what makes sense, certainly did not at 16.

  140. Michelle H.


    Early morning sunshine
    Lake as smooth as glass
    Forrest all around the lake
    Eagle soaring pass

    No one else is up
    Nature and you are one
    Sitting still and breathing
    Nothing to be done

    Blue sky and white clouds
    Reflected on the lake
    Natures’ perfect stillness
    Provides a double take

    This is my perfect peace
    Please God let it never cease

    April 24, 2008
    © Michelle H.

  141. Rodney C. Walmer

    Photography is my wife’s hobby, I get copies of all of the pictures she does. So, you can imagine how many photo’s I have. I have so many I can write about, but I will try to limit this, since I am not sure how much I am allowed to post.


  142. Rodney C. Walmer

     Family Photo

    There’s a family photo
    that sits upon my wall
    we’re all out in the yard
    getting together these days
    just seems so hard
    We had just finished the shed
    could have gone in
    but sat out instead
    there’s my wife, my child,
    the family dog, and cousin Sam
    and of course in the center
    there I am
    A big old hat blowing in the wind
    a cold Molson’s in one hand
    what a memory
    one the likes of
    I may never be a part of again
    Though the photo was unplanned
    just one look, makes me reminisce
    about days gone by
    And the fun, I miss

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 4/24/08 Prompt #24 Poem about a picture

  143. Christa R. Shelton


    Putting makeup on never looked so sexy
    He is captivated by her femininity
    He eyes her neck as she dabs on scents of lavender and primrose
    She applies her look for the evening in the most relaxed pose
    She moves with such precision but her body language comes off aloof
    He resists the urge to stop her mid lipstick application
    but remembers they are already late for the dinner party
    Upon completion of her master transformation
    She stands up grandly to face him for his once over and praise
    to only then ever so seductively exclaim
    Honey, there is no dinner party

  144. Iain D. Kemp

    Prompt: A photograph.

    I have taken the liberty of using quotation marks in lieu of italics.

    My Best Friend

    A photo sits upon my desk of
    A beautiful young woman
    Professionally taken, perfectly lit
    A warming smile, happy eyes.
    It shows “you” her face
    It tells “me” the story of her soul

    She was just seventeen
    (If you know what I mean)
    When we first met and one certain day
    That I remember quite distinctly
    She threw her arms around my neck
    And kissed my cheek and said I love you.

    I love you but I will never be “in love” with you
    You are my best friend and I will always need you
    So I can never be “in love” with you
    And so it was and so it remains
    Apart from a few lost years (my fault)
    That I re-bridged with a simple call

    I have always tried to be there for her as
    She has been my rock. Her strength
    Her steadiness a counter to my mania
    We have been, I hope a balance
    A constant that remains when all else
    Fails. When life itself flounders

    She tells me of her yearning, longing
    Suffering, failing to become a Mother
    Her heart is breaking, her sadness shatters
    My computer screen into a thousand barbed
    Shards splintering into my soul to remind me
    Of my futility, of just what words “can’t” do

    My “little sister” is so far away now
    So distant but still I feel her pain
    Her anguish reaching across the ether
    To grip my heart and there is nothing
    Absolutely nothing that I can do to help
    Except to tell that I love her …

    And that’s what I have done.

    When I saw the prompt I instantly knew which photo to write about but then I got an upsetting email & so this is where I end up. A pile of soggy Kleenex surrounds the tear-stained keyboard. Thank god I’m not at work.

  145. Debra Elliott

    Good one today…
    I wrote this poem while comparing myself at thirteen and forty-three. I have thos two photo’s of myself on classmates.com under Ashvill Highschool, Ashville Alabama if your are curious as to what I look like at thirteen.

    So here is today’s prompt about photo’s:

    Now and Then

    I look at the photo,
    is that really me
    at thirteen…
    it’s can’t be.

    A young school girl,
    bright eyed and full
    of awe…

    Fast forward thirty years….

    I look at the photo
    is that really me
    at fourty-three…

    I look old and worn,
    like the picture
    of thirteen…

  146. Robert Brewer

    Maureen, I should’ve (but didn’t) guessed that someone would use my photo above. I would reserve judgement on whether I’m a sadist or not until after Day 28’s prompt. Now, you have 4 days to worry what THAT prompt will be. ;)



  147. Michelle H.

    My Abbey Road

    The fab four
    With their mop tops
    Walking across the road
    An unforgettable image prop

    My fab five
    With their long hair
    Running across the lawn
    Cousins playing completely unaware

    The photographer
    Is sitting in her chair
    Capturing memories
    Of summer days and laughter in the air

    April 24, 2008
    © Michelle H.
    This is too fun!! Photography is a minor hobby of mine! Thanks for the prompt!

  148. Maureen


    Every day I see his face
    smiling out at me
    that dark hair falling across his face
    so cool
    that neat beard and moustache
    framing those shiny white teeth
    casual white shirt
    sitting just slightly askew
    and a background setting
    of lovely green leaves.
    You wouldn’t think
    from looking at his photo
    what a sadist he is
    torturing us with almost impossible tasks
    expecting the world from us
    and all the time
    he keeps on smiling.

    © Maureen Sexton

    The photo of Robert on Poetic Asides of course. I don’t really think you’re a sadist. :)

  149. Rodney C. Walmer

    One Man

    He had three sons
    all by a different wife
    he raised them alone
    as each wife had died
    was he bitter about his life
    no, he made a wonderful home
    each day he tried
    making certain love was shown
    no one knows, if alone he cried
    he always had a brave face
    standing tall
    He had to
    no one could take his place
    if he fell,
    The Ponderosa would fall
    He carried quite a load
    If anyone could bear the burden
    it was Ben Cartwright
    It seemed that little could hurt him
    no matter what the story
    you always knew in the end
    things would turn out alright
    because on the Cartwrights
    you could depend

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 4/24/08 Prompt #24 More on the same Picture of Ben Cartwright. Guess, you can tell I liked Bonanza. :-)

  150. Teri Coyne

    Chris and Matt
    Behind the Townhouse in Bartlett, New Hampshire

    “Make a scary face,” I said
    on the last day in our vacation house
    Mom and Dad are cleaning their
    way out and into the car

    I am waiting with the boys
    we are kicking up rainbow colors of leaves
    that have surrendered from their branches
    revealing the white mountains in the distance

    Matthew is in front stepping toward me
    Christopher is hovering close behind
    together they stick their fingers in their ears
    and flap their fingers at me like antlers
    they dance
    with no fear
    of the camera
    or the future

  151. Monica Martin

    At my graduation party
    At open mic,
    Kelly was using her
    fancy new camera.
    We were able
    to talk you into
    posing with me.
    Looking at our faces
    seeing our smiles,
    I know I’ve never
    been happier.

  152. Rodney C. Walmer

    Time Moves On

    She was so innocent
    and helpless back then
    she would have to face a world
    that was intent
    on testing her again and again
    She was just so small
    how would she deal with it all
    just a hint of a smile
    betrays a fearless soul
    in just little while
    she will be growing old
    these precious days gone
    after all time moves on
    will she remember
    perhaps, just Christmas
    all the toys, the cold December
    If, I could have just
    kept her this way
    But, Time moves on
    and we all grow up someday. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 4/24/08 Prompt #24 Poem about my daughter from a picture taken while
    she was only 2 days old.

  153. Marin Christensen

    Mr. Fluffy

    She was eight and my
    mirror image from a time
    of a more innocent youth;

    Enthralled as a butterfly
    as big as her hand watched her
    from its perch on her palm;

    A stuffed rabbit lay perilously over
    her lap, ready to pounce at her feet;
    a gift from her aunt two Easters ago.

    Its fur had been trimmed and then
    colored with a pink marker,
    she called it Mr. Fluffy.

  154. Rodney C. Walmer

    Her wedding day

    Looking at my wife’s wedding photo
    I try read her face
    Little did she know
    I would forever cherish that place
    She stands there so beautiful
    Wearing her wedding gown
    Her life will change forever
    So, dutiful
    taking care of a husband
    when he’s down
    Have to be clever
    want to keep him around
    Just a hint of fear
    shows in her eyes
    She’s certain that’s clear
    time to shed the disguise
    You know,
    the one we all wear
    when were dating
    Time to grow
    the time is here
    no more waiting. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 4/24/08 Prompt #24, I took this from my wife’s wedding picture I keep in
    my wallet. This was all from the look on her face, the truth is, I have no idea what she was
    thinking that day.

  155. Nancy

    Grip and Grin

    One press of the button
    and the moment is preserved.
    It’s one of those grip-and-grin shots
    that fill college scrapbooks
    but never win the Pulitzer.

    What the pictures doesn’t capture,
    but my memory does: you and I
    stand on the dormitory steps,
    arm in arm, grinning like the
    cat that ate the canary.

    All semester, we’d been out of sync:
    You’d have a good date; I’d have a bad day.
    I’d have a breakout; you’d have a breakup.
    Then one week before commencement
    both our stars aligned.

    We’d both slipped in just after curfew,
    crawled into our bunkbeds, then we began
    the late night ritual that lasted all that
    summer long: but this time we both had
    happy endings to our short short stories.

    We decided that with the first light,
    we’d pose for a photograph, snagging
    the first reluctant volunteer to come
    through the door to capture our
    synchronized smiles. What irony:

    My great date ended up a next-to-last
    date, before graduation and job offers
    called me away; The man of your dreams
    stood at the front of the church a year
    later–the best man, not the groom.

  156. Rox


    There she is
    Beaming at me with that crooked smile
    Brazen blue and red tourist visor,
    Glasses covering half her face;
    My chest clenches every time.
    Hands in that familiar
    Half-dainty longshoreman’s grip
    Holding a stringer of bass
    In front of the scrub brush,
    Poles propped oh-so-carefully behind –
    She’s had a good day.
    I told her I loved her
    A lot
    But I miss her anyway.

  157. Don Swearingen

    In addition to my regular entry following my original plot, here is one on photographs.
    I hope an extra entry won’t hurt.

    Faded faces in old photographs,
    Black and white and shades of gray,
    Not one of them seems to laugh,
    I can’t find one of them who seems to say,
    “You must know me. I am someone.”
    And so I don’t know any of them at all,
    They’re just shadows squinting at the sun
    Unsmiling, staring through a pall
    Of decades, not saying anything to me,
    What they dream, they hope, they fear.
    Blank stares are all I see.
    All I can know is once they were here
    As I am now to croak this song,
    That here is short and gone is long.

  158. Carol -Amherst, Mass


    I used to call you Peanut
    At three, you could fit inside a
    brown grocery bag
    plopped in the middle of
    Grandma’s kitchen.

    You wore red Oshkosh overalls
    and a dark blue plaid shirt
    You peered out over the top
    with that impish smile

    God, I love this picture
    It makes me sad for
    the good ole days
    when Grandpa was still alive
    and I could still carry you.

    I would pick you up
    in my arms, and the two of us
    would sway around the
    living room to
    ‘La Isla Bonita’ by Madonna

    You are a man now
    and there’s no lifting you up
    at least not physically
    But I will be there for you
    to help raise your spirits
    or to offer words of encouragement

    I know you hate when I say this
    and I can see how it embarrasses you,
    You’ll always be my baby boy

  159. Rodney C. Walmer

    His Picture

    I see his picture
    though he’s long gone
    I remember so much
    family times,
    watching together
    Sunday scripture
    Turning on that tv
    Watching the clock
    Just to see
    what this weeks story
    would be
    Man he rocked
    his was a true family
    He set the stage
    for good parenting
    though often enraged
    he never took it out on his sons
    when one had a fight
    they all went to town
    wearing their guns
    to bad he’s no longer around
    he gave so much to so many
    his was always a fair fight
    to the very end
    rest in peace
    Ben Cartwright
    there’s no longer
    a Ponderosa to defend. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 4/24/08 Prompt #24, inspired by a look through the available new movies
    on the net, and coming across a cover with Bonanza on it.

  160. Don Swearingen

    Another Twist?
    Or Just Another Excuse?

    Today, is the twenty-fourth day
    Is there anything left to say?
    I’m trying to figure it out,
    This story of mystery and doubt.
    Which way will it go?
    I really don’t know.
    Just don’t get in a stew, ma,
    I’m figuring out a denouement!

  161. Alfred J Bruey

    Sculpture Exhibit (#24)
    The smallest sculpture over
    six feet tall, the largest
    over ten and even in a small
    photograph they look massive,
    and many weigh over a ton, all
    steel, and their prices match,
    the bargain piece at $7,000,
    the most expensive at $45,000.
    Are any of them worth that? I’ll
    let you be the judge – I’m not
    a critic, just the photographer
    and the poet.