Day 17 Highlights

Before we get into the highlights: I’m going to be posting the Wednesday prompts here on the blog starting tomorrow. Let the good times roll!

Also, the community is buzzing along in the Poetic Asides forum at It’s free and easy to sign up and start talking with your fellow poets.


As far as the highlights, we’re up to Day 17 now, which was to write a poem in the third person–with the subject open to whatever. The poems you wrote were great, great, GREAT!!!

They’re provided below.



Virtual Reality


She leans forward half off the couch

twisting the Wii remote,

using different muscles than when

she makes her bed or plays her flute.


AiAi or MeeMee or YanYan

roll across the screen

in plastic protective bubbles

racing across the dessert

or the jungle or a volcano

always to the rainbow-circled goal.


Yesterday she realized she was

steering the half-eaten pizza slice

in her hands while watching

someone else play the game.


“I should be able to beat this world

this afternoon,” she declares

as she powers down

and heads off to seventh grade.



Carol Brian |csp2000AT NOSPAMearthlink dot net






Her pink platform sandles click

on the stone path as she rubs

legs shaved smooth for her lover’s

delight. She smiles to herself,


drives home through the summer

night while the man in the moon

hangs by a silver thread halfway

down the sky, Her lover


washes the sheets, then drifts down

to the bar for a last draft ale with

the guys who hang out on the corner.

The next day he buys a jeep,


dark green, detachable roof,

packs it full of bits of

a soon to be former life, then

leaves without saying goodbye.



Margaret Fieland |infoAT NOSPAMmargaretfieland dot com




The Lurker


They call him the ‘lurker’

He slinks door to door

His feet are so greasy

They slide ‘cross the floor


She tries to ignore him

To hint that she’s working

But he hangs like a vine

He keeps right on lurking


He looks out her window

He mindlessly yaks

He sneaks peaks at her chest

He touches her slacks


He’s hard to get rid of

He won’t go away

‘ oh please, let the phone ring,”

she silently prays.


There’s no easy way

To get rid of this jerk

Cuz it seems he gets paid

By the hour to ‘lurk.’



Carol -Amherst, Mass |cboudreauAT NOSPAMhampshire dot edu




In the Dairy Aisle


Some people long for what they can’t have,

but she feels a little guilty

because she doesn’t much want

what she can’t abide.

Tempting–so many delectable flavors.

She has tried them all, but not even

strawberry cheesecake or coconut cream pie

could entice her now.

It’s supposed to be good for digestion,

but something always holds her back–

that bite, the tang

of live and active cultures.

She admits it. She hates yogurt.



Sarah |MusicToKnitToAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com




Pride Don’t Pay the Rent


He leans to the left as he walks to the desk –

scoliosis, he tells the worker –

it bent his spine like a green twig.

Back in the day, he was a drummer,

did a lot of gigs in the Sixties, even

sat in with Miles once in the Village.

Played Newport in ’68, Montreux in ’72.

“You must be proud of all that,” the worker says.

“Pride don’t pay the rent,” he replies.

He still wears a beret, his striped shirt

is neat but faded. White stubble

dusts his dark chin. The worker

peppers him with questions,

then pushes some papers across the desk.

The jazzman signs them

with an arthritis-gnarled hand.

“It must be hard to ask for help,”

the worker says, trying to be sympathetic,

“after all you’ve done in your life.”

The jazzman stands, pushing himself

up on his cane, and says, “Yeah,

but the worst part is, I’ve lost the rhythm.”



Bruce Niedt |jackbugsAT NOSPAMcomcast dot net




Up Up and Away


He thought he was pushing her

The way she wanted to be pushed,

Sometimes going under the swing to give it

That extra umpphh–

So it was a complete surprise when she

Fell off, out, crying–Daddy why

Do you want to hurt me?



Lyn Sedwick |LASMD925AT NOSPAMaol dot com




Southwest Story



She was surprised

When Orlando showed her his cast.

He told her that Monday

He’d been in a coma.


His father and he rode on motorbike,

Over the hood of a car.

Orlando swore he’d never ride again.

His father is still in the hospital.



After school, Rakeem tried to juggle apples,

He’d bite them and expel the juice.

Kaihla flipped them like flags,

Manipulating hands unbalanced.


The teacher allowed the two

A contest of push ups.

Each boosted arms,

Jutting up with breaths.



Something told her to speak in the third person

When describing Ulea,

The little girl who clamored protests

Constantly for little reason,

No girl could pierce her more.


She thought of them on the subway

When the old, blue-eye African man

Asked her if her school had tennis courts.

She wondered how her kids would thrive.



Bonnie MacAllister |bmacallisterAT NOSPAMearthlink dot net




The Reluctant Politician


He didn’t want to run for office

But he wanted to be elected

So he campaigned and he

Lost but he filed a protest

And paid for a re-count and

This time he won by eight votes

And he was sworn in

And the next week he resigned

From office because he said

He just wanted to prove

That he could win.



Alfred J Bruey |ajbrueyAT NOSPAMaol dot com






Unshod hooves thud and tamp

against the metal chute.

“Huuurrrraaaahhhh” echoes

as the weight of the parasite

settles on his back. A violent

shift left, the weight lifts

then settles. Ears flap and

horns strike the bars of the

chute encasing him as he

shakes his head, angry now.

“Bzzzzzz,” and the barrier

disappears. Two tons of

Brahma bull shoots forward.

Tail swivels as he jackknifes.

His attempt to throw the felon

successful a mere five seconds

into the Angola Prison Rodeo.



A.C. Leming |fackorfAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com




The Wife or Sooner or Later


He couldn’t wrap his mind around

the idea that she was gone. The door

wasn’t opening, no matter how long

he stared at it. She wasn’t coming

home. He kept thinking that sooner

or later she would realize her mistake.

Sooner or later she would return, tell

him how sorry she was, then cook


his dinner. She would have to go to

the grocery store first. The cupboards

were nearly bare. And he’d sat in front

of the TV every night, listening to his

stomach growl. Sooner or later, she would

have to come back to take care of him.


Someone had to.


Sooner or later.



Susan M. Bell |maylandwritersAT NOSPAMgmail dot com






The doorbell rings

just as the phone

starts to buzz

and the kids run

through the room,

voices shrieking on high.

The dog joins the chorus

and she shakes her head

as she watches the words

that were almost a poem

sail quietly out the window.



Sara Diane Doyle |saras dot sojournsAT NOSPAMgmail dot com






She picked up her camera

walked out to the garden

photographed every flower

and leaf

she could see.

Hours went by

noticing colours

shades, patterns

light and shadows

tiny insects

she didn’t know the names of.

She felt the warmth

of the sun

through her shirt

and noticed pictures

in the clouds.


Then she returned

to the house

and saw

what she’d almost forgotten –

the opened bottles of pills

by her bed.



Maureen |sajwriter06AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com dot au




At the Boat Show


Fuzzy newspaper photograph

taped to her refrigerator.

They might be her nieces

or just two random girls

with their dad,

at a boat show.


From the blur, only the redhead

whose hair color caused so much

family confusion is visible.

The only recognizable feature.

Not the brother or sister,

uncle or niece for sure.



Tiffany B |tbullenAT NOSPAMgmail dot com




Beach Day


They were sitting on the shore

making castles in the sand

never seeing the two sharks

that had stopped by to play

a game of ‘chase the people from the water’

there was sadness in their eyes

as the people trampled by

crushing their dreamhouse

in their wake of fright

And the sharks swam away

laughing merrily

with joy and glee

another beach day




Sarah |safbail_2writeAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com




Photographic Memory


Sitting in the parked car in the dark after turning off the engine, the rain hammering on the roof, she rolls down the window and smells cedar, woodsmoke, wet earth. She leans her head back and closes her eyes, seeing the six-point buck by the side of the road, his eyes just beginning to film over, the possum dragging it’s crushed back legs into the bushes, baring needle-sharp teeth in a grimace, a dead garter snake slowly turning itself inside out, the ladder of its spine laid bare by the steady work of slugs.


She wasn’t there when they put her father on life support, didn’t see him blackened and bloated, lungs breathing, heart beating but no longer there. She wasn’t present when they finally turned off the machines and stood around his bed in the silence, released. She doesn’t have the image all the rest of her family carries, staining their memories forever. She can see him now, on the deck of the Alaskan ferry, eyes squinting into the sun, binoculars around his neck, hat brim turned up, laughing.



Kate |kberne50AT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

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4 thoughts on “Day 17 Highlights

  1. Bruce Niedt

    Another great batch – thanks, Robert, for starting this up again. "Mischance" was good for a knowing chuckle, and "Photographic Memory" was quite moving. I think each day of the challenge, the quality of the poetry seemed to get better and better.