April PAD Challenge: Day 9

Today’s prompt is to choose a word (any word) and then write a poem either about that word or using that word in different ways. Be sure to point out which word you’re writing about.

Here’s my go at it using the word “twister.”


I never played the game Twister as a boy,
though it always looked like fun to contort
bodies on a plastic mat covered in bright-
colored dots. “Sex in a box.” That’s what
Milton Bradley was accused of selling, and,
well, it’s hard to argue. As a teen, I didn’t
need instructions or experience to imagine
what that game might lead to with the right
girl. Born in the 60s. Like “The Twist”–a dance
that involved not touching your partner, but
instead, putting out an imaginary cigarette
and wiping your bottom with an imaginary
towel. A dance floor filled to capacity with
people who don’t touch using their imaginations
to quit smoking and dry off. My brother
could relate chasing his twisters across
tornado alley. Always chasing with his
camera pointed to the skies. Never wanting
to touch or get tangled up. A voyeur
until the end. Another thing I’ve never tried.

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196 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 9

  1. Tanja Cilia

    The Pound

    Pound pound pound – will this headache never stop?
    I never knew that when I had kids it would be
    In for a penny, in for a pound, and that they would
    Seek their pound of flesh, and more, from me.
    The pounding beat goes on; stereophonic echoes as they and their friends
    Pound down the stairs like elephants in search of sustenance… again.
    I pound my fists upon the table, literally,
    And pound my head, against a brick wall, figuratively,
    (for houses are made of stone in Malta).
    I think I’m the Titanic, as I pound through the heavy seas of life
    Doomed, pounded, dashed and broken against the rocks like Saint Paul’s vessel.
    Pound weights attach to my eyelids but I can’t sleep.
    Caught like a kitten in a dog-pound with snarling beasts;
    Confined in pinfold of my own making whence I cannot stray.
    Caught like a koi carp in a pound net, doomed for someone’s table,
    I cannot flee.
    Caught in a pound between two locks, I feel I’m drowning, I cannot escape.
    My heart pounds like staccato gunfire music.
    My breath comes in jarring gasps like a pounding engine running off kilter.
    My headache pounds like a legato slur of heavy infantry boots.
    Penny for them? I’d gladly give you a pound to take them away.

  2. mjdills

    Twisted Words

    They’re there with their spare
    On the side of the road.
    They spared an hour, this pair,
    To see if they could get there.
    They rode with a debonair flair,
    Not a moment to spare;
    But now they’re there with their despair.

  3. Laurie Kolp


    The reflection in the mirror
    was distorted, it did not see
    a beautiful girl
    with curves
    and muscle;
    just the right size.
    No, looking back
    from the mirror,
    the girl was fat,
    an image
    full of terror.
    Why must she see
    that image, not real
    and be
    true to herself,
    loving what
    God made her to be.

    Reflecting back,
    to that time long ago,
    the woman
    now can see who
    God made her to be.

  4. LindaTK


    Break Wind
    Float an Air Biscuit
    The gurgle that announces
    its arrival
    When you least expect it
    At the worst possible time
    Can you imagine this phenomenon
    happening to Prince Charles?
    How about his sidekick Camille?
    The Queen?
    George Dubya?
    The Dalai Lama?
    It’s not selective
    It one more thing
    that we all have
    in common
    It kind of levels
    the playing field
    Just Imagine

  5. S.E. Ingraham

    As you can see, playing a great deal of catch up, for which I apologize. My word for this prompt is, of course, Asylum.


    Keep me safe
    Give me sanctuary
    Shelter, refuge
    Let me stay
    In this country
    In this church
    No, no
    Not my faith
    But – what?
    Yes, yes
    I will speak, I do
    In tongues, I speak
    The voices, they
    Speak to me
    In this place
    In my head
    Death, they chant
    Death, death
    As surely as your father’s
    Should you
    Go back
    But what’s this you’re telling me?
    Another asylum…
    I don’t understand –
    A special asylum
    for my head
    My head filled with voices
    Voices of death
    I’ll be
    Safer, safe, safest
    There with
    Locks upon locks upon locks
    In that special Asylum.

    S. E. Ingraham 04.23.08

  6. Debra Elliott

    I’ve been going through the days I didn’t get to write a prompt and wanted to play catch-up
    So here is my poem for the 9th about War:


    Why are we at war?
    why do we have to fight?
    War is the cause
    of some much plight….

    It angers and can destroy,
    war has become just
    another ploy.

    Why are we at war?
    do we have a choice?
    War has taken away
    our voice…

    It takes our daughters
    and our sons,
    war hurts

  7. Karen Masteller


    With my son, I played a short-lived text message war.
    I got in the last word…"Word up!"
    I think he let me win.

    Word games woo me–
    Crossword puzzles, scrabble, balderdash, scattergories…
    The pleasure of playing with words.
    The endless possibilities of arranging words into meaning.

    The power of words to hurt or heal.
    The almighty power of the Word incarnate come to heal as Savior.
    The Word is to be lifted up, praised, and exalted.

    So yeah…"Word up!"

  8. M Schied


    A state of being the same as everyone else
    Bah, what a wasted term
    An expression without meaning
    for all the replicated mortals swarming
    on a blue-green celestial marble
    Society, morality, conformity
    wilderness, integrity, rebellion
    Perception versus internal veracity
    Will common bring love?
    Empty promises from those who collect normalcy
    A better word

  9. Hope Greene

    The word is "fly".

    Time Flies

    Today’s the day we’re flying.
    I’ve got the Boy packed-bag, bed, blankets, Bear-
    God. The last time we flew he was inside
    and well packed in.
    Do you remember that flight? Dublin
    to London to…nowhere. The last Tube
    was a big risk, but the alternative was
    a sure night in Camp Terrorist Heathrow
    sleeping on a bed of strangers’ umbrellas.
    We took the train, sans everything.
    Thank God the fellas were home, unfortunately
    Jonathan was trying to have a date
    until our little Nativity scene
    arrived –clear plastic bags with a thin sheen
    of rain, proving our innocence to the security
    team that even made you pull down your fly.
    Remember? We stayed four days, wearing
    Jonathan’s workout clothes,
    the only things he had to fit my gravid form,
    until finally a sure flight left for home.
    Almost two years since-now I have to think-
    Okay: Food, nappies, toys, various other
    boy supplies, keep him dry, keep him whole
    Somehow keep him from eating flies.

  10. Shannon Rayne


    As pudgy adolescents
    pressed thin into denim
    two sizes too small
    we shushed our giggles
    with cupped hands
    whispering to friends
    ‘I am drunk.’

    Drunk as a skunk.
    Drunk as a sailor.
    Drunk as a virgin on her wedding day.

    I grew up drunk on jolts
    of firecracker love
    drunk kon the swirling whirl
    of my feet spinning to jazzy rock beats.

    Others grew up to raise voices
    when a glass of whiskey was raised to lips
    mixing shots with staggering insecurities
    ‘I am drunk’
    the excuse given
    after arriving 2 hours late
    after spending 5 days wage on parties
    and hang over remedies.

    ‘I am drunk’
    the phrase I no longer want to hear
    no matter the meaning.

  11. Vivienne Mackie

    #9 On a word. "Goldfish"

    Summons many images.
    Dr Seuss’s "One fish, two fish,
    Red fish, blue fish".
    But he didn’t have gold fish.
    wonder why?
    Goldfish, not always peaceful—
    territorial chasing in the fishtank.
    The huge koi in the Botanical Gardens
    are also gold fish.
    They swarm to the wooden bridge,
    where kids have bags of fish pellets.
    mouths gaping open,
    "Feed me, feed me".
    Fish pellet snacks. We also have
    "Goldfish" snacks—salty yellow fish shapes.
    We’re all fishing for gold.

  12. Lorien Vidal


    As is justice laid forth by fate
    To seal a karmic wish

    Poetic is the sound of your voice
    As you kiss each dainty, painted toe

    It seems to be a word for every setting sun,
    Every world begun
    And every one – poetic

  13. Connie Meng


    Sound: the vibrations
    of the mallet against
    the drum, or the speedboat’s
    motor as it pulls
    a skier across the sound.

    After the show, even
    better than the critics
    made it sound, the ring
    of applause resounding
    in the playhouse.

    Next door, my neighbor
    sounds the bell that
    calls her children home
    from the grassy shore
    where they played
    all day, and I relax
    in the early twilight,
    thinking of last week,

    at the business meeting
    where I was trying to sound
    out a potential partner,
    feel my way to a sound
    decision, and at the bar,
    later, with my co-workers,
    each sounding off in turn.

    When he told me
    that we could work things out,
    that too was sound.

  14. Jennifer Terry


    Bloomin’ idiot-
    a term of endearment
    Bloomin’ Onion-
    I get sick on them
    each visit to outback

    My sister was a late bloomer
    so immature, and tom-boyish
    Not now, very womanly
    and beautiful
    like a flower in the spring
    set into motion- into full bloom
    not afraid for the world to see its
    every curve

    Then my favorite-
    Orlando Bloom
    what a masterpiece!

  15. Kate

    Buffleheads are my favorite ducks, small black and white
    toys bobbing on the lake, their white buffle heads seem
    bigger than their bobbing bodies, there one second
    and gone the next, diving under water, ducking for
    cover. Sometimes all I want is to be that duck, to have
    the daily grind slip away like water off a duck’s back.

  16. Crystal Cameron


    It seemed easy.
    We walked the shining tile floors
    with a grace, unnatural
    for those about to rob a bank.
    But it seems we didn’t bank
    on banks of tellers hardened
    from years of finding
    folded notes slipped across the counter,
    like an 8 year old boy
    sends to his second grade lover.
    The cool gazes cast our way
    told us we weren’t the first,
    that there would be no cherry-popping delight
    of fresh fear and money
    handed over easily. The shining tile floors-
    mentioned once here before-
    became muddied river banks
    of soft sucking clay, reeling
    in our feet, feeding off
    the jello-pools of our stomachs,
    we were done. Our hands already tied
    and our eyes already seeing
    long neat banks of prison bars
    and the dirty-tiled shame
    of prison floors.

  17. Bonnie MacAllister


    In the kitchen, Victor transferred
    Ravioli into colander. The pot skidded
    Into a beer stein, shattering shards
    And catching a ceramic mug into chunks.

    “Maybe we can do a mosaic,”
    She says, “Insert some caulk?”
    Pretending it was a skip of the tongue,
    She grasps broom handle,
    Scoops glass onto a slip of paper.

    He stares back, foot in a puddle
    Of water, shell, and cheese.
    “I think I could dry these off,
    But I’m not sure it’s the same.”

    When we reassembled the pasta,
    The tea leaked into the sauce,
    But it didn’t matter anymore.
    I yielded my portion to him.

    He was shivering, thin arms
    Spread over the sink basin.
    I spoke, “I almost slipped
    And unmentioned your mentionables.”

    That might be clever, he thought.
    “At least we’re not both
    Standing in blood, sausage, and pulp.”

    (Playing on the title word, "slip.")

  18. Rebecca

    Sorry this is so late:-( Being traveling far from internet access.


    Fast fingers flying past my
    Bedazzled eyes and uncomprehending

    Making the impossible probable
    The improbable believable
    The unbelievable commonplace

    Presto, chango
    What was is no more and what
    Could be is lying in front of me

    Ropes cut and join
    Rings collapse into each other
    Animals grow from latex

    Digits of numberless skill
    Pull roses from an old woman’s ear
    Silk scarves from a baby’s smile

    Prestidigitator agitating thought
    Keeping truth at bay
    Fast fingers hiding crying eyes

  19. Sara Diane Doyle


    –deliberately faithless; treacherous; deceitful—false, disloyal; unfaithful, traitorous

    Even the sound creeps up the spine
    and stumbles out the mouth
    as if the bitterness and shock
    must slither in order to be understood.
    While Penelope spun her lies
    to stay true to Odysseus,
    Clytemnestra arranged a bath
    for Agamemnon so she could strangle
    him as he washed and purified himself.
    Humanity refuses to learn the lesson—
    Judas did the same thing with his kiss.

  20. Nikki

    A clear blue
    Or inky black
    Filled with clouds
    Sun and moon
    Sunrise, sunset
    Pigments casted
    Everything affecting perception
    There even when not seen
    "The sky’s the limit"
    It really isn’t
    Exists, but doesn’t
    Nothing "falls" from it
    And yet we say it
    Because it is what is seen
    Much easier to speak of
    Simpler than void
    Even in the most miserable of weather
    Because it’s tangible
    Something we can see
    Even if it’s not truly there

  21. TaunaLen


    March winds
    bluster and blow
    as I walk
    down this road
    that winds through
    my neighborhood

    strands of hair
    wind around
    each other
    like pieces of string
    tangling in the wind
    as I walk along

    stepping in time
    like the ticking clock
    in the library
    of my home

    don’t let me forget
    to wind it
    with the brass key
    when I get back there
    winded but glad
    I walked today

    TLS, April 2008

  22. Tad Richards


    Today’s code word is “night”
    I get it
    over short wave
    radio at 10:
    45 every night

    “night must fall”
    means the border
    is closed don’t try it
    “cows often move at night”
    means I can

    make it across
    if I can procure
    an armored vehicle
    –like a cow?
    I see myself

    a knight in armor
    my childhood fantasy
    where honor
    was everything
    and one rode bravely

    into the teeth of war
    Sir Gawain
    Sir Lancelot
    General Custer
    Night of the Living Dead

  23. ck

    (Day 9 post)


    I can still see my bobber,
    the two-tone orb,
    One hemisphere bright red,
    The other yellow,
    That my father lovingly tied
    To hook and line
    And then cast for me,
    His little girl,
    As far as it would fling
    Into a lake of fresh-water dinner.

    It bobbed up and down on the current.
    It bobbed from the teasing fish that nibbled
    But didn’t bite the worm-disguised hook below.
    It bobbed on a catch of weeds.
    It bobbed in my imagination,
    Sometimes even going under
    When I stared at it too long
    And couldn’t see it anymore
    With my exhausted eyes.

    And I sometimes bobbed from the fatigue
    Of anticipation and optimism,
    Of waiting for my bobber to go under
    And signal a catch.
    Then Dad would walk back
    From his position on the lake
    Not far from me
    And catch me before I went under.

  24. Darla Smith


    Spring is the joyous season of renewal,
    Pretty flower are blooming everywhere.
    Robins are singing their cheerful songs,
    Incredible beauty is covering the land.
    No more freezing cold nights ahead,
    Gone are the harsh days of Winter.

  25. Anahbird

    It was fall
    And like every fall
    We took a fall foliage trip
    Up into the hills
    This year
    We hit the peak
    And leaves blossomed
    On the trees in
    A rainbow of colors
    Everything from
    Deep red
    Bright yellow

    Our favorite place
    Was a stream that ended
    In a small waterfall
    We would picnic there
    On the banks of the stream
    And gaze to our hearts content
    At the fall foliage
    And its reflections in the water

    This year
    A cold mist blew over the hills
    And rain began to fall on our picnic
    We rushed to gather our things
    But I slipped on the wet leaves
    And began to fall
    Over the edge of the waterfall
    I flailed in the seconds that seemed minutes
    But found nothing to grab onto
    Thankfully the waterfall was
    Not far from the ground
    I landed in a heap
    Drenched to the bone
    But found something worth the fall

    Hidden behind the waterfall
    Was a little cave
    And inside were paintings
    From the local Indian tribe
    From the time when they ruled this land
    Before their fall

    That night as I tried to fall asleep
    It wasn’t the beautiful fall leaves
    That danced in my head
    But those faint pictures
    Painted on the cave walls.

  26. Nathan Everett

    The End

    We are nearing the end
    of this ghastly drama in which we pretend
    civility to each other and endeavor
    to convince the masses that we blend
    perfectly with their sense of enduring
    bliss; while beneath we tend
    to seethe, and rush to bend
    the ears of our stalwart and faithful friends,
    wishing nothing more than to rend
    the facade of perfection, sending
    their ideals to Hades — lending
    strength and finality to The End.

  27. priya


    i pine for you every day
    whenever i eat an apple
    or freshen my car’s smell
    or clean my wooden surfaces.
    i pine when i breathe fresh air
    in the middle of a forest,
    when i listen to certain rock…
    and whenever you’re away.

  28. Monica Martin


    The wind is howling all around
    Winding its way through
    the trees and building,
    trying to find its way
    out of the cold.
    The wind is ferocious,
    And there’s no chance
    Of it winding down.

  29. Matthew Falk

    You did not specify that the word had to be English.


    obscure original ovum,
    ovidian oven of oblivion,
    offering oysters, opals, or offal—

    measure my motives,
    misunderstood mistress;
    mangle my marginal music.

  30. Barbara Malcolm


    He’ll work for peanuts.

    This is not a compliment
    unless he’s a squirrel
    or an elephant.
    Just about anybody can
    afford the peanuts to
    feed a squirrel
    but it would take a
    rich man to buy
    enough peanuts to
    feed that elephant.

    So it seems that the meaning
    of the word peanuts is
    all a matter of

  31. Lynn

    My pursuits have taken me around the globe.
    Not literally, but Literatur-ally speaking.
    I have been to more places, seen more things,
    and learned about more topics
    than I ever dreamed I would.

    I love to play Trivial Pursuit!
    It uses the accumulation of knowledge
    I have gained over the years,
    rewarding me for the useless information
    I have stored up in my brain.

    My pursuit to attain recognition
    as a published author
    has not yet been fully realized.
    I persevere, unable to let it go.
    I am determined to succeed.

  32. Lyn

    A childhood game passing the ball back and forth
    Until in grade school I became catcher of the softball team
    Not passionate enough about the game to play in high school
    My locker became a catch-all
    For clothes, makeup and magazines with pictures of hot guys
    Those with the look in their eyes that challenges, catch-me-if-you-can
    I discovered sex, the power of pleasure and the concern about AIDS and STDs
    Diseases we learned the answer was yes to the question Is it catching
    Flirtation, infatuation, passion, led me to the man of my dreams
    And I deserve the right to brag he’s quite a catch

  33. Yoli


    Heaven knows if I have a say my desire would be to avoid the eternal fire of damnation.
    Though, between heaven and hell I certainly would not sell my self for either option.
    The act itself indicates the result would be the fire for to my knowledge no fee is required to enter the pearly gates. But wait!
    Is it not a prerequisite to pay your due while of the earth to ensure the retirement of your everlasting self to a glorious space?
    Or is that the story we are told to keep us in our place?
    Should it be a guarantee for any action we do?
    Or should we do any damn thing simple because we want to?
    As for me, it’s my desire should I have the voice to stay away from the fire, but that’s just my choice!

  34. Amanda Caldwell


    It’s a flexibility,
    a willingness to bend
    with the weighty body
    of your son
    flinging himself
    onto you
    like a present.

    It’s a surrender
    to the present,
    to focusing in
    on your son
    as he babbles
    his wordless offerings.

  35. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    All In the Interpretation?

    ‘You’re on crack cocaine!’ he accuses,
    or, ‘What kind of crack are you taking?’
    I am offended. He explains:
    ‘Where I live it’s a common expression.
    It means, "You’re in la-la land"
    or, "What planet are you on?" ‘

    This he said by way of exposing
    the cracks in this edifice I call my life.
    ‘Fair crack of the whip!’ I thought,
    ‘It’s really not that bad,’ but
    when I opened my eyes
    just a crack wider, I could see them too.

    Now my questions are,
    should I have a crack
    at papering them over,
    or let them fall apart with a mighty crack –
    and which option
    will see me crack up quicker?

    © Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

  36. Maureen

    The word I have chosen is season.


    It was the rainy season
    so she chose to roast duck for the dinner party
    seasoning it with sage, thyme, marjoram
    cinnamon, parsley, pepper and salt –
    she was a seasoned cook.
    It had been a good season for vegetables
    so she had many to choose from
    deciding on Autumn Gold pumpkin
    Yukon Gold potatoes
    and sautéed cabbage.
    Seasoned by experience
    She planned the evening –
    conversation seasoned with wit:
    One of her guests had lived in Paris for a season
    so she polished up on her French;
    The seasoned timber she had imported for her flooring –
    she had all the brochures ready;
    Her dog was in season, but they wouldn’t discuss that;
    They would discuss the coming Christmas season;
    And most definitely her tenth season as Arts Director.
    One thing she hadn’t anticipated, though
    was her guests’ failure to attend
    but luckily she was well seasoned
    in disappointment
    and she was hungry.


  37. A.C. Leming


    I never flew solo — too young to put my hands on the yoke,
    even with Dad in the plane. But in life, we all flew solo,
    thrown to the malamutes to scrap and snap our way through
    the land mines of race and politics, too young to understand.

    Hands off parenting for his own children, my Dad had helped
    to raise his younger siblings, so his mother wouldn’t have
    that solo duty as a young divorcee in the 40s South. Sick to death of responsibility, he fled with his new wife to the

    untamed wilds of Alaska. His blushing bride finally digging
    in her heels when she realized it was a life sentence.
    Solitary confinement, except when he needed her input or
    support or to cook when the skies unloaded a charter plane

    full of unexpected overnight guests. Solo, soloist,
    solitary, flight plans are what he should have filed
    with the FAA, the family adminitrative assitant and
    saved us all the ill feelings of divorce.

  38. Alfred J Bruey


    Sing, sing a song,
    Sing with the song in your heart,
    Sing for your supper,
    Sing, you sinners,
    There’s music everywhere,
    Keep yourself happy,
    Keep singing,
    Sing through the storm,
    Sing through the fire,
    Don’t ever stop,
    Sweet singer.

  39. LBC


    Manipulate words
    to control minds,
    block thoughts from
    reaching the paper,
    write out in long hand,
    cramp my style,
    submit a write-up,
    only to be written off,
    but somewhere inside is the write stuff,
    so write on.

  40. Raven


    That pugnacious little prick
    All high and mighty
    Suffering us fools
    So rash and disastrous
    Flinging his affairs in our faces
    As if we could ever care
    Bullying his way through the meetings
    Pushing past us all in the halls
    Striding along in his own world
    Feeling he has the right to all
    The turn-coat
    The yellow belly
    Starting fights he cannot win
    Then bellowing when he loses
    He’s all piss and steam
    With nothing left between
    And nothing there to save him
    God how we hate him

    by Raven Tk

  41. SaraV


    A happy smile
    A hug
    What I am
    When my friends
    Get good news
    or have a happy day
    The opposite of its
    Rhyming pair Sad
    And who can forget
    The man from Glad?
    Everything was always
    Wrapped up nice and neat
    I always wanted to be
    From that happy place
    Forget the plastic
    Just give me a smiling face

  42. Shana

    as in, oh my
    once upon a time,
    then, everyteenagerspeak
    now, everyonespeak


    an exclamation
    potent emotion
    spilling out


    church tones, spiritual beings

    then there’s

    throes of ecstasy
    of a different sort

    don’t forget

    damn it
    profaning the sacred
    language juxtaposing

    not to mention

    of ancient
    living among mortals
    to be caretaken
    sacrificed for

  43. Jenny


    Expressive and useful
    As body parts go
    Without lips
    Catastrophes abound

    Tasty morsels escape
    As crumbs fall upon your favorite blouse
    Never making it to the swallow

    Teeth would remain
    in a permanent state of chill
    from the popsicle bite

    Lipless teen love
    Results in dental injury
    Frightful emergencies involving orthodontic devices.

    Lip dependent devices
    Banished and obsolete
    Inoperable without their fleshy buzzers.

    Orchestras go brassless, woodwindless
    Dependent upon the bangers, clangers and pluckers
    Of percussion and strings.

    Devoid of lips the smile frightens
    A menacing show of dentine bathed in drool
    Displaying unflossed corned beef from lunch.

    Children’s play silenced
    Unable to raspberry, motorboat
    Or bubble in the swimming pool and bath.

    Work would go whistleless
    Mundane and humdrum
    Dwarves without song.

    Maybelline and Max Factor
    Making sticks with no purpose
    A world missing rosy red kisses

    The pout of displeasure
    Erased from the face
    Replaced by the throaty intrusive growl

    Oh lips! Thank you for
    Keeping the world safe and expressive
    I Chapstick you with gratitude
    I gloss you with pride.


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