April PAD Challenge: Day 5 (& possibly 6)

Okay, apparently libraries are not open in Eastern Tennessee on Saturdays. I’m currently coming to you live from an arcade in a tiny mall on the main strip of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Woo-hoo!

The Day 5 prompt is to write a poem of worry. Also known as a worry poem. Anything that causes you worry can be used to help you write this poem. For instance, are you worried about clowns? Because I know I am. Write a poem about your worry of clowns.

Here’s what I’ve got for today–written across the street at the Gatlinburg Pizza Hut. 🙂

“Gone Fishing”

And when we got back,
there was a message waiting for me,
but I was told to sit down first,
it was something bad,
and so I knew it had to be something to do with my wife,
or with our son she’d been carrying for six months;
I knew it had something to do with one of them,
or both of them;
that’s the only reason someone would call
up to these fishing cabins in Canada–
because no one had ever called in more than 20 years
of fishing trips.
So I knew it was something bad–
they were both dead–
in a traffic accident–
or she lost Ben in some complication–
or Ben was born but she was dead.
I knew;
I knew;
it was something bad,
but I breathed a sigh of relief
when I realized
it was just my grandfather who’d died.

Now this story above is true. The poem is bad. But I should mention that I immediately felt guilty and cried myself to death while taking a shower before driving from Northern Canada to where I am today–Eastern Tennessee. But for a brief moment I was so concerned with my family unit that I did have a moment of relief that it wasn’t one of them. Okay–enough of that. Heavy stuff.


Day 6’s prompt needs a little warning, because it is a prompt where you record events that happen to you during the day and then create a poem from them. I’m going to post my poem sometime tomorrow, though I don’t know if it will be in the morning, day time or evening. I will be back in Ohio tomorrow night–so if I can’t find a connection before then, well, you know. Keep an eye out for me. 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. I know I am. Now, time to head up into the mountains and hike around.


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215 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 5 (& possibly 6)

  1. S.E. Ingraham

    I don’t think I’ve posted this – apologies if I have.

    Fear of Losing One’s Mind

    Panic first creeps insidiously
    Then gallops recklessly
    Through my veins
    Leaping brainy synapses
    Ignoring disconnections
    Without pause or hesitation
    And racing thoughts
    I cannot switch off
    My heart’s rapidity
    Almost as
    Cords grow taut in my neck
    Breaths shorten in my chest
    This pace will kill me I’m sure
    And still I fear it won’t.
    What should I shall I do?
    Would anything, will anything
    Make a difference?
    Improve the situation?
    Or failing that, at least,
    Change things…
    How can I calm myself?
    Collect my scattered, frenzied
    Unrecognizable thoughts
    And pin them
    With butterfly-collector’s
    Even cruelty…
    Hold them together
    Keep them

    “Almost 6 Weeks Later”

    Still straddling the lip
    Of the abyss
    After brief spates when
    Both legs were outside
    the bottomless bowl
    And some lengthier periods
    Much, much lengthier
    When they dangled
    limply inside
    Twitching to jump
    Or at least push off
    But always
    Fearful of the
    Unknown vastness
    End up clinging with simian tenacity
    To the infinite known sadness


  2. Laurie Kolp

    Why Worry?

    Worry gets you nowhere,
    a waste of time it is,
    can make you sick,
    full of fear.
    So rather than
    just worry
    turn it over
    in prayer.

  3. mjdills

    Don’t worry

    The needle didn’t seem to hurt.
    She didn’t notice it.
    Maybe just a little curl at the corner of her upper lip.
    Stark still, flat on her little back.
    Dark eyes darting
    From the drugs, the fear, the uncertainty.
    But she trusted the hands that held her, moved her, shifted her.
    Crick, crick, crick, the wheels of the gurney
    Back out of the x-ray
    Back to Mama, who can’t come because of the bulge under the clean pink checkered shirt.
    Little short breaths.
    Panting like an animal caught in a trap.
    Broken, they said. The femur. The biggest bone in the body.
    Not yet three years old?
    A half body cast.
    Twelve weeks.
    In our minds flashed
    Thanksgiving, Third birthday, Christmas, New Year’s Eve?
    Glancing at each other.
    It’s okay.
    This, too, shall pass.

  4. LindaTK

    Yes, No, Maybe

    Will my health fail me
    Will my mind become dull
    Will my husband cheat on me
    Will my children abandon me
    Will my grandchild forget me
    Will my friends ignore me
    Will my money run out
    Will my car break down
    Will my appliances wear out
    Will my home fall down around me
    Will my writing get published
    Will my worries ever end

  5. Karen Masteller

    Ah, the laugh-one-minute, cry-another joys of being mom to 3 boys.

    Yes, the good and the challenging together.
    Although too often the scale tipped to the challenging.

    Wakeful worries stole time, energy, and hours that should have
    been sleep-filled.
    My concern for their well-being was endless.
    Physical health and safety
    Emotional well-being
    Spiritual maturity
    Mental stability
    Educational advancement
    Relational ease
    Recreational opportunities

    When will my mom worries not be necessary?
    Won’t I one day cash in on my investment and be livin’ on
    Carefree Street?

    Grandma, a wise woman who lived to be 99, answered my questions.
    In a simple conversation one day, it was clear her vested interest
    in family never ended.
    As mom of five, her care and concern never diminished
    As grandma of ten, the same extended to them
    As great grandma of fourteen, the same and more was evident

    Thankfully, there is no retiring from the business of family.

  6. Vivienne Mackie

    #5 Worry Poem
    They say, "don’t worry, it’s okay".
    They say, "No, it’s not that".
    But how do they know?
    How can they be sure without testing?
    Without checking?
    I worry and I make it worse.
    I know that.
    But how to break the cycle?
    Some days are good—
    no pain or sugns at all.
    But others, it’s there, back again.
    Niggling. Nagging at my mind.
    Why? what is it?
    The dreaded "c" word loom s large.
    A specter, An omen. A sentence?
    Or merely a figment of my imagination?
    How will I know?

  7. CJ Hines

    I can fix that for you, the doctor said
    Your nose is crooked and your uvula is too long
    It will be out-patient surgery
    You’ll be fine in no time

    But I found something wrong, the doctor said
    Your blood isn’t clotting
    I’ll send you to a specialist
    Then we can operate

    Your blood is fine, the specialist said
    But let’s draw more samples
    Send them to Mayo
    So we’ll know for sure

    Then you can have your surgery
    You’ll be able to sleep all night
    Be like a new person
    Or like the person you used to be

    We don’t do anything in a hurry, the doctors said
    You’ll just have to wait
    Could take weeks, we don’t know for sure
    Don’t worry, you’ll be fine in no time.

    Do I believe what the doctors said
    Do I have a choice-not really
    All I can do is wait and try not to worry
    Hoping I’ll be fine in no time

  8. Diana

    What me worry, why yes of course I do
    all day long and half the night too

    some nights I don’t sleep
    cause I’m overcome
    with all the things
    done and not done

    some nights it’s cause
    I’ve been watching tv
    the news really does a number on me

    some nights I’ve had
    too much to eat
    other times it’s cause
    I have cold feet

    And just when I think all the worrying is through
    I happen upon something new

  9. Bonnie MacAllister

    Worry Poem

    When I was fifteen,
    My sister bought me
    Guatemalan worry dolls.
    She told me to place them
    Beneath my pillow to transfer
    Those frets.

    Wires to affix,
    Each coppery layer
    Concerns away.
    I told her they’d have to
    Eat doom through screws,
    Or I’d flush out
    Spread on a stretcher,

    Whispering my sacraments,
    Seeking a playful penance,
    I’d pet their toggle bolts,
    Recanting the day’s woes.

  10. Jesse Rose


    Night leaves me troubled –
    Shadows of men moving
    about in the darkness,
    ready to leap forth
    and destroy at any minute.
    I panic
    and switch on the light…
    the men made of gloom
    dissolve in its brilliance.

  11. Monica Martin

    (For Richie Darling. Again.)

    It’s one AM and
    I haven’t heard from you.
    But that’s okay,
    Because sometimes you
    Text late.
    At three o’clock I
    Begin to worry,
    So I send you a
    Note to check on you.
    Six AM and I’m
    In a Panic.
    No text, and you
    Aren’t answering
    My calls.
    At seven- thirty AM
    You answer the phone
    And my panic falls
    Along with my tears.

  12. Connie Meng

    What If The Worst?

    What if the tornado comes
    before I’ve finished
    building my shelter, what if
    my mother’s marigolds
    die in an overnight frost, what
    if the doe who begins
    her summer with two fawns
    ends with just one? What if

    I have no livestock to offer
    the troll guarding the bridge
    between my past and my future,
    and then an out-of-control forest
    fire incinerates that bridge?
    What if, oh what if life
    hands me starfruits
    and pomegranates and all
    I can make is the sourest
    lemonade imaginable? What if
    my secondary school teachers
    regret the accolades they
    penned in my old yearbooks,
    what if I never win
    the Nobel, never own my own
    business, never become
    a professor? What

    if I go bald so thoroughly
    in middle age that I find myself
    trying to braid three individual
    hairs on an otherwise bare head?

  13. Corinne

    Since I did not believe
    I would live long enough
    to grow old,
    I have not done anything about
    it. Financially, I mean.
    And if I think about it
    too much, it quickly begins to feel
    like I may not have to worry,
    after all.


    sorry for the lateness, it’s the only one I missed.

  14. K. K. Todorovich

    Worry Poem Day 5

    My once-robust adventuresome husband
    has been unable to walk for four years
    a friend’s husband has gone postal
    another’s rained all insurance and won’t work
    insomnia plagues another friend
    my brother, alone in poverty, manages a terminal illness
    while my sister robs Peter to pay Paul
    X’s husband flies about their house at night
    celebrating multiple imaginary best-sellers
    my dearest first friend in New Mexico grieves
    the death of her first friend in New Mexico
    Intractable pain from war wounds
    hold my landlord hostage from joy
    the most loving joyful friend I have
    lives with tests and trials of liver failure
    how can I help?
    what might I even say
    to ease such suffering?
    When I surrender myself to sleep
    I ask: Into they hands, Lord, I commend
    my worries and cares. Bless these friends
    I have in mind and help me to see
    the way I can help them.


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