April PAD Challenge: Day 29

Wow! More than 450 comments are already posted to the sestina prompt. You guys are tough to shake or rattle. I promise the last two prompts of this month will be softballs compared to yesterday.

For today’s prompt, I want you to title your poems “Never (blank)” with you filling in the blank with a word or phrase. Then, write a poem based off your title, which could be “Never look both ways when crossing the street” or “Never blush in public” or “Never ever” or “Never write a poem with the word never in the title.” You get the idea, right?

Here’s my attempt for the day:

“Never let them find you in love”

Reason: There’s no upside
when everyone starts
kite high in a branch-filled

forest. There’s no reason
behind love anyway:
Either you do or don’t

believe. No questioning
someone’s faith, not upon
this topic we call Love.

We either snag or get
snagged. We can hide our eyes,
count, shout “Ready or not,”

and hope we can be found.

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787 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 29

  1. Babs Loyd

    Day 29 Never

    Never Say Never

    Because God has a sense of humor
    it’s best to never say “Never” or
    “My child/husband/dog/cat would
    never do that!”

    Because, first thing you know, they’ve
    done it!

  2. Tara Hooper

    Never Drink Too Much Caffeinated Tea

    Don’t drink too much caffeinated tea
    Because you won’t get a chance to sleep
    You’ll go on and on like the energizer bunny
    Running around the house, cleaning, preening and screaming cause you can’t sleep

    Tick tock the clock doesn’t stop
    The night draws on
    You try to think of someone to call in a different time zone
    You lay down in the bed, on the couch, even on the ground

    Still no reprieve
    You’re in disbelief
    How could something so sweet be so mean
    The night drags on and you know that soon the dawn will come

    To began a new day without rest
    You can’t possibly be your best
    So to prevent your shutdown
    You begin to guzzle down more tea
    And the saga continues . . . . . .

  3. Carolyn Chase


    NEVER date a camel, especially one with stripes
    NEVER wear one black sock, one brown two days in a row
    NEVER kiss a night crawler, not in daylight anyway
    NEVER tell a doctor you are perfectly fine, you just dropped in to say hello.
    NEVER read Martha Stewart’s mag if you are more than fourteen inches under water NEVER write a poem after six Hershey kisses, two Margaritas, and a sloppy Joe
    NEVER, a word loaded with impossibilities.

    Carolyn Chase
    April, 2009

    My final, late entry:) Thanks again for the inspiration and challenge.

  4. JL Smither


    Never approach two raccoons
    fighting in mid-air as they swing
    from ivy vines on a swallowed
    sycamore tree, one masked face
    poking out from the trunk, stretching
    his stubby arms to scratch the other
    who is gripping with his life
    onto a loose vine swinging
    around the trunk and both screaming.

  5. Maureen Hurley

    after a photograph

    A smiling Japanese woman
    leans into the camera lens
    holding her right hand up to the sky
    never dreaming she was a waitress
    offering the belly of a lavender fish
    swimming in a billboard sky
    with neon green lettering like scales
    pointing the way to the next fishy bar.
    Her head blocks the "et" in Market
    so it reads Mark, in tall red letters
    as in X marks the spot or maybe
    she’s waiting for ET to phone in for sushi.
    As the sun sinks over her shoulder,
    hanging from the fishmonger stalls,
    small fairly lights like the braille ellipsis
    of an unfinished thought lighten
    the end to a perfect day in Seattle.
    Perhaps she was thinking of a sushi sunset
    done up in salmon and wasabi.

  6. Karen H. Phillips

    I am so bummed out. I forgot about/or didn’t notice in the first place that we had a noon deadline today. Well, I know I’m finishing, and that’s what counts!

    Never Close Your Eyes

    If you do
    you won’t see the dogwoods
    burst open like popcorn
    or notice the first violet
    poke shyly through the grass
    by the sidewalk.

    You won’t observe the baby
    start to toddle
    nor the toddler break into a run
    nor the preschooler learn to skip
    not the gradeschooler shine
    in a talent show.

    You won’t watch for your spouse
    to come home and kiss you hello
    or do some thoughtful deed no one
    else would notice
    or get a little grayer around the
    edges while still grinning like a youth.

    If you close your eyes,
    everything is dark and grainy.
    So never
    close your eyes.

  7. Dione

    Never wear a blindfold –
    you’ll make a fool of yourself,
    and let everyone else laugh.
    Travel without a map if you want,
    but with refusal to see you’ll go nowhere.

  8. Linda Napikoski

    Never Forget

    The bandgage for your blister
    The time for your exam
    The train, either

    Never forget to take advantage
    of a giant swim center,
    custom made blinds,
    or other things you’ll leave behind

    That loss brings a new chance at gain
    And you did all right

  9. Rachel L

    Never Miss the Deadline

    Never miss the deadline
    because your kids were up screaming
    half the night with ear infections
    and increased bodily function.
    Never walk in late with spit-up
    on your shirt and pablum
    in your hair.
    Pull it together because the world
    doesn’t care.

  10. Cresta McGowan

    April 29, 2009

    Never let Them See you Cry

    Never let them see you cry,
    keep your eyes held high and dry
    tears are weakness on your face
    bringing nothing but disgrace
    behind closed doors you may sigh
    and let drops flow down from your eye
    but in their presence pass them by
    and never let them see your cry.

  11. Elise Huneke Stone

    Never Leave Without Saying I Love You

    Because you don’t know.
    It could be an ordinary day.
    It could be a Tuesday, a payday, raining.

    The last time I saw you, unexpected in the airport,
    You said, “It’s an omen. Whose plane is going down?”
    I said, “Never joke about a plane crash.” You sort of laughed.
    It wasn’t a plane, it was your heart. And a part of mine, too.

  12. Kimiko Martinez


    She told me her secrets in
    my backyard play-
    house; she’d confess what-
    ever was on her mind. Bare-
    ing her soul I always knew
    just how perfectly power-

    less she felt. How his power-
    ful hands could injure her in-
    nocence and daily renew
    a hatred my petite play-
    mate could rarely, barely
    contain. We’d much What-

    chamacallit bars and what-
    not while listening to power
    ballads, trading embar-
    rassing stories about boys that in-
    terested us. We remembered play-
    in with the girl who made new

    rules mid-game so as not to lose; New
    York dreams and doing what-
    ever those big city girls did. Plain
    Janes they were not, in their power
    suits and stocking walking beside in-
    vestment bankers. She recalled Yogi Bear

    giggling with Boo-Boo as he bar-
    relled his fist into her new-
    ly healed ribs. She winced within
    herself but didn’t let him see what
    he’d done to her. That power
    was hers. She yielded like Play

    Doh to his assault, her only option to pla-
    cate a rage she couldn’t understand. Strawber-
    ry Shortcake smiled from pillowcases as POW! Her
    eye began to swell. She moved to New-
    port Girls’ Home when they learned what
    he’d done. I think he went to prison.

    She plays with new friends now.
    Unbearable weight lifted, healing the
    remaining scars and releasing fresh power
    from within.

  13. samantha karren

    *never rose*

    when we were two young
    girls strolling a Spring evening
    you stopped stooped said smell these
    roses drink them in they will not last
    and neither will us in this evening light
    right now but promise
    we will stay friends and
    never forget to smell roses
    just nine and ten years along
    we felt already dread of oldness
    and loss of roses so

  14. Olive L. Sullivan


    take me for granted,
    say, "This is what women like,"
    or "This is a man thing, darlin’."
    In fact, don’t call me darlin’
    or hon or sugar or sweetie–
    you don’t know me that well yet.
    Don’t tell me to calm down
    or be quiet or sit still.
    Look at me and see *me*,
    not all the other women
    who’ve paraded through your life.
    If you can’t do that,
    then you might as well hit the road, baby,
    and I can guarantee
    I’ll never look back.

  15. Tara Vaughan-Williams

    Never too late to start loving yourself

    Never in my life
    have I felt so comfortable
    living in this skin.

    My waters and wine
    Were never this refreshing.
    I can’t stop drinking.

  16. amanda

    Never Again

    I’m alive, I cried, and open—now
    thrown wide my rib cage doors.
    Here soon, I’ll take off, jet-like, white
    and spew the gray exhaust of now
    from out the crowning of my legs.
    The horrid poison clouds will join
    the waxen orange dome of filth
    that shrouds this tired city—
    wave good-bye to L.A. sky.

  17. Melanie

    Never Write Poetry on the Train

    Never write poems on the train
    Because people look over your shoulder
    And paper falls out of your folder
    Your handwriting looks like you were in pain
    As the train shakes
    Or hits the brakes
    Thoughts are disrupted by chatter
    Good ideas form, then shatter.
    And just as you are about to be brilliant,
    You have to stop and dig out your ticket.

  18. Beth K

    Never put your favorite red wool coat in the washing machine

    Never put your favorite red wool coat
    in the washing machine.

    When you take it out and put it on again,
    it is two sizes too small, making you
    feel two sizes too big, and it

    is even itchier,
    scratchier, and it
    smells like wet cat,
    and it’s an uneven orangey color,
    not the daring and smart red
    you loved so much.

    Never put your favorite red wool coat
    in the washing machine.
    Just shell out the cash for the dry cleaner already.

  19. Ivy Merwine

    Never mind.
    I didn’t want to talk to you anyway.
    When I talk, you always act
    like you are listening,
    but I know you aren’t.
    I can tell you that I’m running
    off to Paris with one of those guys
    that model for erotic romance covers and you
    wouldn’t care.
    I talk.
    You don’t hear me.
    I’m tired of not being heard.
    I’m leaving.
    Never mind me.
    I’ll let myself out.

  20. Sharon Spielman

    Never Say Never

    Such an infinite word, never.
    When you were younger, maybe you thought you
    Would never
    Find yourself in a precarious situation
    Not you
    You are too smart for that.
    And then you awake one day
    Unable to believe that you got yourself in a
    Hot fine mess.
    I never thought that would happen to me!
    Something like that could never happen to my family!
    Never say never…it will bite you in the
    Big soft ass you swore you would never have.

  21. LindaTK

    Day 29:
    Never Talk to Strangers (Kyrielle)

    Never talk to strangers, my child
    Look both ways when crossing the street
    Listen to mommy and daddy
    Your life is important to me

    I wish you sunshine and blue skies
    Your smile is so pretty and sweet
    Be good to yourself every day
    Your life is important to me

  22. Christiane C Brossi

    Never look at me

    Never look at me
    When you want to tell me a lie
    Because I will read it
    In your eyes

    Which will leak
    The dark stain of deceit
    Onto your cheeks
    Blemishing your face

    Ruining the outcome
    Of your deception
    Tinting the face
    Of your fraudulent self

    Never look at me
    With darkness in your thoughts
    Because I will see it
    In your expression

    Which will reveal
    The roughness of your intent
    Spoiling the effect
    Of your ruse

  23. Kristin

    my grandmother’s nevers

    never go out by the shed, there are snakes back there and weird
    people in the woods
    never go in the pool if you’ve just eaten, you have to wait sixty
    minutes, check the kitchen timer
    never go in the deep end unless Grampy is here
    never stay under water for long periods of time
    never sit on furniture with a bathing suit on, even if it’s dry

    never drink milk out of the tall metal cups
    never drink soda out of the small clear glasses
    never invite someone in without offering them, multiple times,
    something to eat
    never set a table for guests without a table cloth and the best
    china and silver
    never have a holiday dinner without pearl onions

    never wear white before Memorial Day
    never go barefoot in public
    never pay retail
    never purchase a gift for a baby that has not been born yet

    never drive in the car without a bag of hard candy, preferably
    lemon drops
    never have a refrigerator without bags of Snickers and Milky Ways
    and complete supplies for hot fudge sundaes
    never say her granddaughters are anything less than spectacular

  24. Kelly Ellis

    Some Say

    Never ask.
    It doesn’t matter.
    We come to the edge
    of our limitedness
    and fall over.


    Never grieve
    at love’s diminishing
    It was only
    the reflection we imagined
    in another’s eyes.

    I say

    Never listen
    to such rubbish.
    Shake love down. Demand.
    Is that all you got? Is that all?
    What else is there? What?

  25. Ellen McGrath Smith


    Never take the ring out of this finger.
    Never put the washer in the clothes.
    Never grind the pasta in the pepper.
    Never keep a book inside your nose.

    Never store a cold, dry place in rice,
    and never have a port in every ship.
    Never offer friends to your advice
    or be a block off the old chip.

    Never rub the wound into the salt;
    never hide your bushel under a light.
    Never blame the others on your guilt,
    and never start your mother with a fight.

  26. Lee Kottner

    Never On Time

    In physics and clocks
    there is only one sort of time:
    measured, precise, and unmalleable.
    It moves always forward
    at a steady pace
    marking entropy and decay.

    Inside our heads
    it’s a different matter.
    Each moment is elastic, ecstatic
    or a dull crawl.
    We see the semi bearing down on us,
    the bullet leaving the gun,
    between breath and breath
    when we should see
    nothing at all.
    A child’s summer is short as a shout,
    the school year infinite.
    We grow older,
    our lives fuller and shorter,
    hurtling hurtling hurtling
    that moment when
    what is elastic
    snaps back to
    the one precise moment
    we will never
    be late for.

  27. Julie Hairston


    Don’t sit among the ashes
    and wonder, “Is that all there was?”
    Sweep them up and scatter them
    and belly laugh – just because
    Meet each day with kickin’ gusto
    Some days, smack it in the face
    and stand up to each member
    of the whole frickin’ human race
    With power and belief
    That you are who you are
    and there never was a better one
    No brighter stickin’ shining star
    Only you hold the device that makes
    Your lickin’ clock tick
    Hold your candle oh- so- high
    Then light the cotton- pickin’ wick
    Fight for something remarkable
    To happen in your brickin’ life
    Even if it takes a hundred sickin’ years
    Marked with toil and dicken’ strife
    Make it worth the frickin’ memory
    Give it your fullest crickin’ shot
    Never say die! NEVER!
    Then give it every fuckin’ thing you got!

  28. Pearl

    "Never Ever Heard Such Nonsense"

    In his closing argument
    the cocky defense attorney
    "I’ve always heard, all my life,
    if a woman acts like a lady,
    she’ll be treated like a lady;
    if she acts like a tramp,
    she’ll be treated like a tramp."
    It is no wonder
    the cries of victims
    fall upon
    deaf ears.

  29. Maryann DeLeo

    Never let them see you sweat
    it was winter
    I stood outside
    firemen came to my building
    something was burning
    I took my camera
    something for my stories
    and you on the sidelines
    shouted at me
    to stop.
    I didn’t
    I screamed back,
    the fireman looked at me
    and said,
    never let them see you sweat.

  30. Lissa

    Never Diss the Apricot Jam

    Tony has a customer
    who stockpiles the marmalade
    and complains that his broccoli
    are practically minced
    when they
    bloom proudly
    from his 6-egg omelet.
    Tony still gives Mike double onions.
    But don’t tell Tony no one likes apricot jam.
    Tony knows his little tubs of jelly and he orders
    almost as much as the strawberry.

  31. Kel L.R.

    Never Will I Wake

    never will i wake
    from this illusion that is you
    smoke and mirrors
    distracting gestures
    nonsense words proclaimed magic
    a spell cast gone too far
    watched through a veil
    unable to see what is really there
    nothing but song and dance
    superficial tendencies
    i want what is underneath
    get to the truth
    know that it is truth
    or accept the lie


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