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November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

Categories: November PAD Chapbook Challenge, Personal Updates, Poetry Prompts.

I’ve noticed that a person or two has asked what I’ve got planned for after November. And here’s what I’m thinking: After November is over, y’all can have December to revise and organize and select poems for your chapbooks. If needed, you can even add a new poem to fill a hole or two. Then, I want you to submit your 10-20 page manuscript (only one poem per page) by January 5, 2009. Tammy and I will go through the entries and choose the first official November PAD Chapbook Challenge champion! I’m not sure what being the champion will mean, yet, besides bragging rights, but I bet I’ll come up with something between now and then (the winner will be announced on February 2–Groundhog Day).


Stay tuned for more specific submission details in the beginning of December.


So, anyway, that’s the post-November plans for this challenge. On to today’s prompt.


*****


Today, I want you to write a something-overlooked poem. Think about something that is often overlooked–as it relates to your theme–and then shine some light on it.


Here’s my attempt for the day:


“Nessie”


Maybe because I’m from Scotland
and hang in Loch Ness. Maybe because
I don’t breathe fire as I smash up Tokyo
or beat my chest on top of the Empire
State Building in Manhattan. Maybe
because I’m camera shy, sure. But then,
Bigfoot is, too. Of course, he’s got more
fur–so he’s cuter and cuddlier, of course.
Anyway, I’m not complaining, but maybe,
just maybe, I’ve been playing hard to get.


 

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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

71 Responses to November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

  1. Juanita Snyder says:

    “To the desert go prophets and hermits; through deserts go pilgrims and exiles.”
    –Paul Shepard, Man in the Landscape

    Oregon Outback
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Desert blooms of yellow fill the seams of Painted Hills,
    a land exiled by sagebrush hermits, their gray-green leaves
    bitter and aromatic, but rich in proteins and minerals
    holding its own on both slope and plains
    against thieving winds and hungry antelope spirits
    pawing and nibbling by first snow.

    Dramatic canyons of blue-green volcanic ash form
    crazy badlands in the Oregon Outback, hiding
    secret streams, squirreled away like jealous lovers
    amid stands of aspen, mahogany, and ponderosa pine,
    their pilgrim offspring of trout and steelhead
    loitering in the watery filter of sun like prophets.

    Had he known that 2/3rd of Oregon is actual desert,
    he would not have picked this state in which to end his life;
    as it were, the upthrust of mountains and its multi-hued vistas
    pried the once entrenched sorrow from his widowed heart
    and sent it tumbling over the edge of Carroll Rim so that he
    could no longer bear the thought of leaving this hallowed place.

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. Terri Vega says:

    I must dig and till the dirt
    needs its strength, so I will
    nourish it with compost
    and organics

    Blending the richness
    into the clay, the sand or
    even
    the perfect garden soil

    My back will be angered
    and lash out its scorn
    at the labor but
    sun and water lend
    their grace

    Toil must take its turn
    in the succession of
    beauty blooming into
    the world around

  3. Jolanta Laurinaitis says:

    One Match

    One million matches
    Are made by one tree
    But how much do you
    Think about that
    One match
    As you light your candles
    To light your home
    Instead of electrics
    How much do you think about
    How the fumes
    Penetrate the air
    How much do you think about
    That one tree
    Can make one million matches
    But one match
    Can destroy a million trees

  4. Rodney C. Walmer says:

    Sorry I am late, please forgive me, if I miss any days please let me know. Here is the belated day’s entry.

     The Proposal

    He wanted to impress
    find a way to profess
    what he felt for her
    she was his everything
    when she was in the room
    life was just a blur

    He thought of;
    sending flowers with a note
    taking her out
    giving her a ring
    finally deciding on using the words he wrote
    anything else
    well, would it really mean a thing?

    That evening
    at the dinner table
    they talked through the screening
    at least when they were able
    when out of the blue
    he did something he would never do
    took out a poem
    tears filled his eyes
    he read her every word
    about how he wanted to build a home
    and though he’d never, he would get it right
    no matter how many tries
    with these words he proposed
    from the very poem he’d composed

    With trembling fingers
    he placed the ring on her hand
    as the rush still lingered
    she too started to well up in tears
    hoping she’d understand
    he bravely faced all his fears

    It was an often overlooked poem
    that finally led
    to the two being wed
    a talent he’d never shared
    so to her unknown
    making all the more special
    that he cared
    enough that she was the very first
    to whom one of his poems was shown. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 11/29/08 overlooked poem.

  5. For Want of a Horse

    Money was born
    when Farmer Gray
    bought Farmer Black’s mare
    and paid for it
    with a tablet IOU for
    8 bushels of wheat.
    By the time Farmer Gray
    harvested his crop,
    the tablet had changed
    hands six more times
    and Farmer Gray realized
    he was onto a good thing.

  6. k weber says:

    Hallelujah

    You’re in that imaginary
    space between here
    and nowhere, ‘cos I don’t
    believe in that made-up Jesus-
    man you made me visit
    on country Sundays
    or opalescent fences
    flanked by cherub cheeks

    Can’t seem to comprehend
    and Kingdom other than
    that of the animals I see
    on the face of the ground
    wearing their binomial
    nomenclature like a mouthful
    of twisted tongues and tacks
    and some are with their young
    and some are with briefcases
    and some are riding the subway
    and some are grazing grasses

    Grandpa, you showed me Jack
    Hanna and his treasure trove
    of furry beasts on television;
    somewhere between that show
    in the Crystal Cathedral
    and then later, The Cosby Show
    and many open-wide acres
    of Hee Haw episodes

    Grandma kept her little wrinkled
    nose in a book and sold everyone
    Avon; my little dirty lips chapped
    and soothed by her lipstick
    samples, the famous cigar box
    of unlit possibilities

    I can’t seem to find myself
    or any kind of religion but from
    what you both once sat me
    down in front of, I can’t seem
    to forget a feeling
    or look it in the eye: that
    goddamned "In the Garden"
    hymn– I can’t hear it without
    falling into a wet mess

    It reminds me of some kinda
    beauty albeit intangible
    and highly imaginary; somehow
    it makes you within reach
    and me safe, and still 10
    with knobby knees– I get
    glimpses of you hand in hand
    with some carpenter hippie
    and a veritable shit-zoo
    of animals Grandma would
    try to swat off her heav’nly
    porch

    It’s a mess down here, my
    long-gone Medway relatives
    but I can’t imagine how wondrous,
    terrifying, awe-filled, angry
    and/or comedic it must be, trapped
    eternally in one of those
    levels — akin to a video game — of
    heaven, hell or purgatory
    or reincarnation
    or whatever door you opened
    when you saw the bathroom light
    left on

  7. Kate Berne Miller says:

    I’m still on cruches with a wierd mystery infection in my foot, so I’ve gotten behind, but maybe I can still catch up before the end of the month!

    Inventory of the Past #1 Toolshed

    Two discarded birdfeeders that are hard to clean, the remnants of moldy shelled sunflowers crusted on the insides.

    The wooden nesting box for Barred owls made for us last Christmas by our good friend Janine, waiting for us to buy a ladder tall enough to install on that first branch of the Douglas fir behind the shed.

    A plastic spray bottle of DeerFence, alternately called “Not Tonight Deer”, smelling of putrid eggs, that we sprayed on all of the Native plants deer aren’t supposed to eat.

    A crate of high-end slate tiles we bought cheap at Second Use, too dark for the front hall.

    The frame of the porch swing put away reluctantly when the rainy days outnumbered the sunny ones six to seven and the wind started to blow the rain onto the deck.

    Droppings from the mystery birds that nest under the eves, I’ve crept out at night with the headlamp on numerous times, yet I’ve never seen them.

    A can of Moss-Off Duct taped to the end of the 15 foot pole that Jeanne came up with to deal with our furry roof, a compromise to pacify my recurring nightmare where she slips on the wet moss and falls, sustaining serious brain damage like Crazy Colby who’s still sleeping on the streets.

    The Montana license plate Judy Moon and Bryher brought back as a souvenir from a long ago road trip and gave to me as a joke because a stranger once stopped me in a Belltown Laundromat (or was it a bar?) saying “Excuse me, aren’t you Montana Sue?”

    Kate Berne Miller

  8. Tyger says:

    The Overlooked

    My son and others like him
    Who live
    By a mother’s fierce determination
    Whose future rests
    In the skillful hands of nurses
    Whose medical care lapses
    Due to a deplorable lack of funds
    Whose mother sits at home unemployed
    Although she has skill and education
    To contribute meaningfully to society
    But has no one to watch over him
    While she goes to work
    Mr. President,
    Please tell me that you won’t overlook
    As so many others have
    This small segment of humanity
    Although with their simple minds
    They may never vote for you or any other
    Or be gainfully employed
    Or excel at any skill or task
    Please, take notice, Mr. President
    Their voices are small but they are human
    Do we not judge a society
    By its moral conscience?
    And by how it treats its most frail?

  9. Nancy Posey says:

    Scott Whitaker,
    Loved your call to action! How timely and needed.

  10. Shann Palmer says:

    Change

    Some of us like snow settling on
    the pine trees and dry grass out back,
    the sigh winter whispers under the door,
    the pleasure of warm wooly socks.

    When there is nowhere we can go
    disagreements are softly covered
    under a thick blanket, where we can
    overlook hurts, conveniently blind.

    The sun will soon melt this goodwill,
    sharp rocks of anger poke up, ugly
    as bare limbs, the sullen ache of bones.

    If spring tries too hard to impress, summer
    waves like a flag, and fall blows us apart,
    winter is a marriage, cold, but convenient.

  11. SaraV says:

    The Constant

    So many other birds
    Ducks, geese, egrets
    And of course
    The Great Blue Heron
    Need I say more?
    Obviously no ego
    Issues there
    But me
    I’m a heron too
    Just not so
    Noticed
    I’m green you know?
    And my throat
    It’s very lovely
    White, brown streaks
    Though I don’t show off
    Too much
    Have to keep a low profile
    Or the fish may notice
    My tasty little meals
    Ha!
    I have them all fooled
    And my emerald green crest
    That’s the best
    Don’t get me wrong
    I may be overlooked
    But I don’t let anyone
    Step on me
    I squawk, I flap
    They know
    Still no one notices
    Me
    Not even the fish
    And that’s just the
    (gulp) way that I like it

  12. PSC in CT says:

    Thanks Jane! You made my day! It’s just been a couple of mad, crazy days with no time to read and I’m falling behind. Personally, I can’t wait ’til Dec 1st, so I can breathe! ;-)

  13. Vanessa O'Dwyer says:

    Who Tends the Flowers?

    In a far off place
    Where the flowers bloomed
    There were a people
    Who made it so.

    The people loved their
    Flowers and they taught
    Their little boys and girls
    To tend the petaled ones.

    And their days were
    Fragranced and colored
    By the life they so
    Lovingly nurtured.

    But some came in and
    And found this wicked
    And did declare that mingling
    Was really just an evil.

    The girls were locked away
    The boys were made scared
    That they would fight
    The demons fed to them.

    And the gardens that were
    Tended were abandoned
    And there was no longer
    Fragrance or color in their lives.

    For when they were fooled by
    Authority to keep from being “evil”
    They overlooked the fact
    That their beloved flowers died.

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  14. Connie says:

    Jane, yes I’ve been thinking along those lines, though for the most part I write whatever I can think of the prompt. Hopefully I’ll be able to in the next five days.

  15. Jane penland hoover says:

    Connie,
    The domino theme has made for such interesting poems – I love when our obsessions also become projects for our writing – I was expecting the ending to go more toward domino and the thrill/fun of falling show. No idea as to how to say though.

  16. Iain D. Kemp says:

    Thanks for the comments folks – so many good poems here today.
    Especially liked both of the Rachels & Judy.

    Crikey, we’ve nearly done it!

    Iain

  17. Jane penland hoover says:

    PSC – this may be my favorite from your pen – partly for the content – so soothing and scheduled – like that clash of contrast a the language is such a treat throughout.

  18. PSC in CT says:

    Must begin my Thanksgiving preparations, so entering my draft here "as is" for now. Thank you Robert, for clarifying that our goal will really only be 10 – 20 good pieces in the end! And allowing a month for edit & polish — that takes some of the pressure off. (Phew!) So, for now, this is my entry for yesterday. Hope I can get back to pick up today’s topic in order to have some time to mull it over (maybe while I make my mulled cider?) Happy Thanksgiving — to those of you who celebrate it this week!

    Sunrise

    My days of meetings and minutes
    Schedules, plans and
    agendas are
    Done

    Yet, today, again
    I rise before dawn

    Late, I am rushing still to
    Make my schedule
    I mustn’t be late
    This meeting will not wait

    Facing east I am
    Barefoot and smiling
    Through my salutations
    To the sun

    I am glory, wonder, awe

    I write pages and pages into journal
    Meticulously taking minutes
    Capturing every nuance
    Seizing each intrepid pink
    Gifted gold, salient silver

    Hours later closing journal
    Wrapped in shawl of peace and gratitude
    I set a similar schedule for tomorrow and
    Marvel

    How can it be that
    This meeting has been
    Here
    Every day
    And I have not
    Been attending?

  19. Thanks Earl and Susan B for your comments.

    My favorites today: Lori, Rachel (Tiny Candle), Jane (Clean out Day), Peggy (African Rd.)

    Ian love the CPD and Earl the brain poems

  20. Mary K says:

    This is only the core of a poem I hope to develop. I am posting it as it is though in order to keep up to date with the prompts. I will work on it again in December when I have more TIME.

    Time

    Young time ahead of us seems infinite
    Old we count the years we think are left.

    Young each year brings new possibilities.
    Old each year possibilities fade away.

    Young we are often idealistic
    Old we are more likely realistic

    Young we save money to buy a house
    Old we save for a a nursing home.

    Young we experience many firsts
    Old we experience many lasts.

    Young we realize we will outlive our pet dog
    Old we hope our pet dog will not outlive us.

    Young the future is decades ahead
    Old the future is next year.

  21. SusanB says:

    Never ever let it be said that Robert Lee Brewer’s theme does not have a life of its own, for he has indeed created a MONSTER in me. Poetry that has a life of its own and writes itself has sprung up in me. My conversation is sprinkled with artifacts that I would never use, taking over the landscape of slang that is my normal speech.

    Watch out, Robert, that the boogie-man doesn’t get you! That boogie-man is going to hunt you down
    … and THANK YOU!!! :) Seriously…many many thanks for the inspiration…it’s a rush like no other.
    and in keeping with the spirit…here’s the poem that wrote itself this morning:

    I.

    I have been lost for so long
    Trying something new
    Never sticking with anything
    Either bored or afraid
    I wouldn’t be
    Any good at it

    River of thought
    Running through my brain
    Just a small vein from
    Humanity’s big collective brain
    Funneled into mind as experience

    I let the wild horses of my thoughts
    Run free across the page
    While I watch
    They fly hungrily out of the corral
    Like a meteor zooming by
    But to who knows where?
    Does the universe have any walls at all?

    If I am careful and stand back
    I won’t be trampled by them
    So many colors, so many spirits, so many facets
    Of those horse-thoughts chasing something
    I cannot see

    II.

    Each person craves
    Validation
    The one little thing that says
    I was here
    I am connected
    The inner world we carry
    And the outer world we share
    As a human being
    Joins us all as One

    Ego is so fragile
    Recoiling and cocooning us
    From criticism, that we forget
    Even “bad press” is still press
    Validation that somebody was
    Paying attention

    III.

    There is so little time to stake your claim
    On humanity’s consciousness
    Time runs through the sieve of life
    So precious
    And we only know it
    When we feel it running out

    Like a seamstress working
    with the finest material – experience
    We fashion together a stunning garment
    One everyone else can and will want to wear
    And call it Life

  22. Bruce Niedt says:

    Bass

    My young son, the budding musician,
    has taken up the electric bass.
    Now, whenever there’s a rock song
    on the car radio, he’ll say,
    “Dad, listen to that bass.”

    But we don’t usually really
    listen to the bass, do we?
    It hovers on the threshold of awareness,
    at the bottom of our ear’s limit.
    In jazz, where the bass is upright,
    we notice the guy who plays it,
    big and imposing, and usually when
    he gets a solo, he grunts along
    to the harmonics of his strings.

    But in rock, the bassist is usually
    the one back near the stacks,
    plunking along unobtrusively,
    unless he leads the band,
    like McCartney or Sting.
    But famous or not, they’re the reason
    we don’t realize why we tap our feet
    to the beat, or bounce our heads
    in some empathic dance.

    If the singer is the soul of the band,
    and the guitar is the muscle,
    and the drummer the heart,
    then the bass is the pulse,
    and without him, or her,
    nothing would flow,
    and the music would
    stop dead in its tracks,
    no pressure, nothing
    coursing through the veins.
    So yes, now I turn it up.
    Now I hear the bass.

  23. Ronda Eller says:

    maybe the onset of christmas is affecting my brain … this one follows the rhythm of Twas the Night Before Christmas, :-$

    We are often unaware of the things that go on around us while sleeping yet we incorporate them into our dreamscapes. Unless they actually wake us up eventually (like a ringing alarm clock would) they carry on overlooked.

    The Housefly, the Spider and I

    While fleeing from danger
    asleep in my bed,
    a little wee spider
    took rest on my head
    and met me in dreamland
    where we spun some tales
    of fly fishing fancies
    and weaving webbed veils.

    When musca domestica
    caught up to me,
    much to his surprise
    I had no urge to flee
    ‘though he was a giant
    in this oddish land
    my wee spidey friend and I
    had him in hand.

    My new fishing line
    was the strongest of threads
    and my spider friend’s talent
    was put to the test
    but he spun a great netting
    all covered in goo
    and stuck that mean housefly
    ‘til morning broke through!

    ~ Ronda Eller 2008

  24. Connie says:

    Thanks Earl and Susan B for your comments.

    My favorites today: Lori, Rachel (Tiny Candle), Jane (Clean out Day), Peggy (African Rd.)

    Ian love the CPD and Earl the brain poems

  25. Dave Barber says:

    Windows

    The way it starts remains the same
    Shake the hand, say my name
    So glad to meet you, go your way
    Until wind passes by again.

    And we snap our fingers
    Pretending to recall
    Where your name was hiding
    Behind all the lost memories

    We used to be saying
    We used to be praying
    Holding hearts each morn
    But now we turn the page

    Close the book for safer times
    Staring through the latice window
    Until goodbye
    Until goodbye is all we know.

  26. S Scott Whitaker says:

    STUART DIDN’T FIGURE

    Stuart sold the copper wire
    In Delmar before he was caught.
    He had the money in his pocket,
    Some two thousand dollars,
    And tin snips. The coke in his skull
    Kept him going, and kept Calvin
    From sullying up his thoughts,

    Calvin who was already being
    Stitched up, couldn’t help
    But spit out fractured truth,
    Stuart’s lawyer would later
    Try to overturn. But the judge
    Knew the widow, mourners,
    And farmers whose houses
    They’d stripped. Stuart didn’t figure

    On feelings and relationships
    To reach out to him, like a web,
    And pull him under so far
    That he’d have to kick and punch
    The very air about himself
    To feel safe, which in prison
    Was a lie. Stuart didn’t figure

    On Calvin, half-dead, turning
    Evidence, and then turning
    Into stone, silent, and immobile
    His nerves and tissue scorched
    And popped. And he didn’t figure

    The widow and the young couple
    Would show up at trial
    With pictures of their loved ones,
    And property damage receipts,
    All those loose leaf papers
    Drifting about the courtroom,
    The jury looking at him
    With hateful eyes,
    Punishment on their minds.

  27. S.E.Ingraham says:

    Will You Cry for Me Then

    They keep on saying why, why, why
    And shaking their heads as they cry and cry
    And I try to hold onto both their hands
    But they don’t seem to see me at all
    No matter how carefully I creep up
    Beside them, or pat Mommy on the shoulder
    I can tell she’s not listening, when she just runs
    Her fingers through my hair, then looks over at Daddy
    But he’s looking at the box where my brother is sleeping
    Only I know he’s not really sleeping, cause I heard Grandma say
    He won’t ever wake up; that’s why they’re sad
    That’s why they’re all paying attention to my big brother Bobby
    Now when he can’t even hear them, now they’re listening
    Just as hard as they can, now when he can’t talk at all
    But me, I could shout as loud as a lion, as loud as a whole
    Bunch of lions or some other loud animals
    I could make the loudest noise there is in the world, I bet
    And no-one would hear me at all, so I think what I need to do
    Is the same thing that Bobby did; I can see why he did it now
    Why he got so tired of trying to make them listen,
    To make them hear him when he wasn’t very noisy,
    He wasn’t even bad, just kind of quiet,
    and Dad said not too smart
    And now not very much alive, in fact, I guess, he’s very dead
    But he looks very peaceful, so I’m not going to try anymore
    I can’t get them to notice me, I can’t
    So I’ll just take the belt from my housecoat and I know
    I’ll stop crying as soon as I figure out
    How to get it around the clothing rod
    Then loop it round my neck – there –
    That wasn’t very hard – I wonder if they’ll
    Miss me, will they be finished crying for Bobby
    - will they have any tears left for me?
    Or will it be like always -
    They won’t even notice that I’m gone?

  28. Van says:

    I know I haven’t posted very often, but I have kept up with the challenge. I thought I’d share this one:

    Pappy

    Van met a pretty girl named Fern
    at the skating rink.
    This was 1920.
    Knew at once he wanted to marry her.
    But he was poor, without parents.
    Her father, a prosperous farmer,
    set an insurmountable obstacle:
    when you are earning $2,000 a year
    you may have her hand.
    So Van left Simcoe
    to work at Ford Motor Company.
    The next year he was earning $5,000
    and brought Fern to Windsor
    to marry him.

    This was Pappy
    whose name I took
    who cherished me
    his youngest grandchild,
    and teased “You don’t eat enough
    to keep a chickadee alive.”
    As he pushed forward mince pie
    with vanilla ice cream.
    After dinner we retreated from family
    to the upstairs den
    where we pored over his stamp collection,
    and he told stories from his youth
    going west to work as a harvester each summer,
    and the pretty girl he met skating.

    You never met your great grandfather.
    He died when I was 20.
    But we all have his high forehead
    sentimental vein
    and disposition toward storytelling.

    ~~~~~

    Cheers,
    Van

  29. Earl Parsons says:

    Penny – You know what they say: A brain is a terrible thing to waste. Thanks for the comment. I hope you didn’t strain your laugh muscles.

  30. Sara McNulty says:

    Patti,
    I would love to have your chapbook. Let me know how to purchase it.
    thanks,
    Sara (a fan)

  31. Michelle H. says:

    Rachel and Susan B. – Thanks for the comments! I was stumped at first because my theme (Nature) is so broad, but then it just jumped into my head – I just love that when it happens.
    Thanks again. Michelle

  32. A~Lotus says:

    Triangles

    We seek stability
    through art, science and philosophy
    in a series of reactions
    as how earth and air react
    to make fire dance.

    And so we dance with passion
    round and round in circles,
    holding hands, feeling assured,
    wanting to explain that something
    always precedes the other
    as how the chicken
    came before the egg,
    dinosaurs before humans.

    We convince ourselves
    that there is a certainty to everything
    as how A squared + B squared = C squared,
    or how water and grace
    fall from Heaven in soft touches
    of light and life from God,
    when we sometimes doubt ourselves,
    our own being and existence,
    and knowledge becomes useless trivia.

    We resolve the tensions
    of every heart and subtle glare
    by adding one more of something
    as how one would save face and dignity
    by the third wheel,
    or to form a crowd for it to be merrier
    as how flocks of geese fly together
    during wintertime, safety in numbers.

    As divinity is found in the beauty of nature,
    we notice how the shapes of trees are fluffed
    with wings of forest green leaves during the spring.
    And whenever the wind whips through the trees,
    it sends the leaves from the branches fluttering
    like bats in the starlit sky,
    like the heartbeat of someone in love.

    Before we overlook something,
    the three seconds it takes before the sun sets
    over our eyes,
    capturing our breath,
    trying to find
    the triangular shape of someone’s mouth and chin
    folding into a genuine smile
    is the best curtain closing
    over a troubled heart.

    Le fin. Bon nuit.
    Encore not necessary.

  33. Penny Henderson says:

    Rachel–It’s called Grafitti from the Narrow Road, but the easiest way is just to search by author, Penny Henderson. Thanks for asking.

    Earl–your last stanza had me in stitches–yeah, I know–the poor old brian–last thing he needs is to be laughed at, but if I could still get up off the floor, I would have been rolling on it! Don’t ask why, I have explanation.

    Day 25–something overlooked

    Why, there’s my pen-
    the one I wrote that poem about.
    I wonder where its been?
    I’ll use it–ha–it still works!
    I’ll write about time–
    all its twists and quirks.
    This pen has a rich heft–
    made me wonder back then
    If some swag’s best left
    behind–but I’m off to chase time.
    ummm–that was it–life’s too short
    to chase but rhythm and rhyme.

    try #2 my own prompt of things that make you smile

    Things that Make me Smile

    Boys and dogs running silent circles of joy
    in my new mown pasture.
    Horses blowing smoke and stamping snow.
    My Johny in jeans and boots.
    Old shoes that don’t creak or rub.
    A stack of fabric, and time to cut.
    Far church bells in the Sunday silence.
    Laughable lyrics stuck in my head.
    Bread, butter, and jam.

  34. Sara McNulty says:

    Individuality

    The hope of each
    to be unique,
    easily outlined
    from the rest
    of the fabric
    life’s sameness

    When we are
    children we seek
    friends to play
    with, share secrets,
    tell tales. Comfort
    is knowing we
    found someone
    like us.

    When we are
    teens, we think
    we’re rebels,
    railing against
    parental advice
    wearing the
    outrageous,
    striping hair,
    piercing navels,
    tattooing snakes,
    all to become
    each other.

    In working years,
    you strive to fit,
    show the person
    the company sees
    as part of a team
    working as one.

    `See me’, you say
    `notice my work,
    my style, my
    sense of humor,
    flair for fashion,
    best in show,
    quick to learn,
    get-ahead fuel
    in my tank.’

    Inside you see
    bright, bold
    shade of red,
    purple mystery,
    green as new
    growth of grass,
    pink and delicate
    as a budding rose,
    black shiny satin,
    white lily of
    the field.

    Who are you?
    You.

  35. Dusting Off

    Every once in a while Neal needs to get off
    his knees, brush off, climb back on the horse
    and ride. Sometimes it’s the neighbor saying hello
    or the children asking him for their stray ball back
    or stepping on a pen fallen to the floor
    that makes him snap back. Sometimes it’s marriage
    between close friends, or a gathering where men
    and women drink too much, clash glasses
    and smile all night. Neal reacts to it all.
    Yet Neal is rendered prostrate when, in passing,
    he opens the paper to see a woman he once worked
    with passed in a car crash, or an old school friend
    lost his legs in a warehouse incident, or some
    other such six degreed move. But what forces
    him into appreciation unmatched is sometimes,
    no matter the circumstance, learning
    about the death of fathers.

  36. Judy Roney says:

    Gifts

    When he died so many proclaimed
    he left you gifts, all you have to do is
    find them. I don’t know how they knew
    these people who have walked this same
    path, knew what I was going through
    tried to help. Look for the gifts they’d

    say.That infuriated me at first, the only
    gift I wanted was my son, his now and his future.
    Acceptance is a beautiful thing, its worth the
    wait and the fight to get there. You can rest
    when you find it and you will after the long
    and harrowing journey through grief. Its then

    that I found the gifts.. No fear. That doesn’t
    sound like a gift at first, but from one who
    wouldn’t travel by herself it was colossal.It
    gave me the gift of freedom to experience life
    to be where I wanted to be, see who I needed to
    see, work through grief in my own way. I dreamed

    over and over that I could paint. Not just paint
    but re-create my son on canvas. I’m not an artist
    but the dream re-occurred each night until I bought
    the paints and began my project.I painted my son, my son
    just the way I saw him in my dream. He won 2nd prize
    at a juried art show and I haven’t stopped painting
    since.I still can’t paint or draw, but when I get
    something in my head, I can’t rest until the vision

    is on canvas. I wrote letters to family and friends,
    they said they enjoyed them, hat I had a gift for
    writing. After my son died I couldn’t not write.
    It was my lifeline. I bled ink from my veins for years
    as I got down what was in my heart. I wrote each
    day until it drained me of thought and form. Then
    an online writer’s group invited me to join them. I
    had never written poetry before but they encouraged me
    and I wrote. I’m still at it. Poetry is my therapy,
    my catharcise, my joy. the first poem I wrote was
    the one I recited at his funeral. Don’t ask me how.
    I still don’t know, maybe that was another gift.

  37. SusanB says:

    Loved the moss one Michelle. Lori, I’m always looking at the nurse’s dilemma…so interesting. Always look forward to CPD’s and Dominoes …like some kind of sick addiction.
    dzzz And I loved the B side today. Great work you guys…lovin’ it.

    Peggy, I had the same problem with posts not connecting after I typed in the little code. Now I type the poem into a word processor, and cut and paste it into the window. That way I always have a copy.

    If you don’t see your poem at the end of the line, you can always hit your back button as well and try again. I often have to type two of those codes to submit. I know how frustrating it can be to lose a poem.

  38. SusanB says:

    DAY 25 PAD
    SOMETHING OVERLOOKED

    Did you lose that earring
    Found laying in the puddle
    A lonely fan-shaped bauble
    By itself, makes me wonder
    Where’s the other?

    When you did the laundry and
    You paired up all the socks
    Why is there one left out
    Without a partner to cuddle up to
    In the drawer?

    Ski clothes on the hallway floor
    In a pile: goggles, boots, hat and bib
    I hang them up to dry, but oh,
    A single mitten forlorn and soggy
    It’s mate still on the hill.

    Deserted playground; kids gone home
    I board a swing in hopes of recapturing
    Childhood days of fun and frolic
    And realize how incomplete it feels
    Where is my playmate of yesteryear?

  39. Earl Parsons says:

    Walk On By

    So many times I’ve wanted
    To simplify your life
    By giving you the answers
    To that which worries you
    But then, I think
    I’ve already given you
    All the answers you need
    But you just walk on by

    You’ve messed up this thing called life
    You’ve failed time after time
    To get your life straightened out
    To return to the righteous path
    Or get on it for the first time

    Is it that you don’t trust Me
    Perhaps you don’t even know Me
    Like you thought you did
    I’m here for you
    Don’t walk on by

    The guidance I’ve provided
    For everything in your life
    Collects dust
    On a shelf
    Begging you to pick it up
    And read
    And study
    And learn
    But instead
    You walk on by

    It’s the most printed book
    In the whole wide world
    Yet the least read

    It has the instructions
    I have the wisdom
    All you have to do
    Is read
    And ask
    And yet you just
    Walk on by

  40. Earl Parsons says:

    Day 25 for SS:

    So Unappreciated

    You don’t have to thank me
    For seeing that car
    Out the corner of your eye
    And sending your foot
    To the brake pedal
    And making your hand
    Steer away from that idiot
    It happened so fast
    That you probably didn’t know
    I just saved your life

    And you don’t have to thank me
    For shutting your trap
    When the boss came in
    And asked your advice
    On a simply stupid matter
    You could have made everyone laugh
    But you need the paycheck

    And then just six weeks ago
    You almost answered that email
    From a credit card company
    That turned out to be a hoax
    They wanted access to your account
    But I smelt something out of place
    And made you delete it
    Did a thank you cross your mind
    No, it didn’t
    I’d know if it did

    I am
    Sadly
    Pathetically
    And depressingly
    So Unappreciated

  41. patti williams says:

    Iain – you did it! Once again, proud to know ya’!

  42. Jane penland hoover says:

    Nancy, I so enjoyed the reminder of flip-sides – very clever and enjoyable read.

  43. Jane penland hoover says:

    Peggy, this really delivers the image for us and the emotion – the space between like that smile wide as a river. very effective

  44. Iain, a brilliant CPD poem today!

    I’m going to miss reading new poems from all of you when December arrives. Thanks again, Robert, for your faithful prompts and encouragement.

  45. Peggy Goetz says:

    I spent some time working in an African village a couple of years ago. There were so many things overlooked there.

    On a Red African Road

    Looking at her the first time
    you might not even see it,
    nested in her thick hair, a shiny
    charm on a plastic barrette
    her clothes limp unmatched
    worn, feet dusty bare, walking
    for water on a red African road.
    If you saw her every day
    perhaps you would finally
    see it, catching a ray of sun
    by the plastic water bottle
    and on another day you
    might ask and she would
    smile as wide as the river
    and say, my daddy, he loves
    me. And you might know
    and maybe she does too that
    he’ll never be back, but you
    smile too and agree,
    surely he loves you.

  46. William J. Glackens, American (1870-1938)
    Bathing at Bellport, Long Island, 1912

    Watching

    Other children and the adults
    scatter through the water,
    bits of red and blue
    of their swimsuits
    visible
    like so much flotsam.
    Some wade at the edge,
    others venture out.
    Some swim,
    some boat,
    while two sit on the narrow dock.
    One bather clambers the ladder
    to get out.
    On the shore a mother kneels in her dress
    with two children seated beside her.
    Nearby stands a girl in a dress,
    wearing socks and shoes.
    Hand on hip,
    she watches the water play.
    She is wistful,
    she is left out,
    but no one seems to notice.

  47. Jane penland hoover says:

    Clean Out Day

    Stepping off the final stair
    into his basement
    we three girls paused,
    as if to rehearse our stories,
    as if to notice one last time,
    as if to breathe in his love of us,
    his love of hammers, levels,
    screws, and measure markers.

    Everything that Dad had touched
    was here as it had been the
    day before, precisely hanging,
    placed, or stored.

    So easy he had built our days,
    and now we would not have to
    sort or dust a single implement.

    We would have far too much
    to do without forever now.

  48. Iain D. Kemp says:

    Dear Greek Jimmy,

    Thanks for your note
    you southern half-wit. It appears
    that you have made the same mistake
    as those moronic women I live with.
    My usually generous and kindly disposition
    means that people often over look the fact
    that my patience is not limitless. Getting
    to the point, as I realize reading is not
    one of your better skills, take your
    scrawny unwanted ass back to Georgia.
    I know I said the end of the month but
    you have pushed me too far and this is
    close enough as I could give a good goddamn!
    I’m picking da Moose up at seven. Be gone when
    I get back.

    Yours showing unreasonable restraint

    Ringo the Howler

  49. Iain D. Kemp says:

    Cats, Poetry & Death #28

    Perfectly Permitted

    It’s not against the rules
    (there aren’t any or very few)
    So you can do it
    When you like
    It’s called freedom of expression
    And it’s a right we
    All still have

    We all do it sometimes
    When we run out of things
    To say
    For the muse is so elusive
    And often goes astray
    So it’s good to have
    A fall-back
    On which we can rely
    Even better if you have three

    Writing about the art itself
    Is one of the commonest forms
    We curse the muse
    We often lose
    And praise the forms of verse
    We use
    We quote our heroes and follow
    Their lead
    And finally strike a chord

    Death of course is known to all
    And often drives our pens
    We lament the dear departed
    And praise their
    Immortal souls
    We salute their lives
    And share our tears and ease
    The unbearable pain

    But writing about Cats is a strange
    Business and harder than it looks
    They spend so much time
    Doing nothing
    That they are hardly inspirational
    At all, except when they’re small
    And bundles of fun and joy
    And mayhem

    So it might seem a bit of a cop-out
    Resorting as I do
    To three simple
    Muses but
    It isn’t always easy to write about
    Cats and Poetry and not much rhymes with
    Death.

    Iain

  50. A.C. Leming says:

    Hard freeze

    At the end of our ‘dead end’ road,
    beyond where the pavement stops
    and gravel disappears into the ditch,
    I walk the dogs almost everyday.

    After a hard freeze, it amazes me to
    observe along our path the forms water
    takes in its expansion from liquid to solid.

    Puddles dry up into the ice sheet
    that covers the dimple in which it
    used to lie. Water in mud builds
    red clay cathedrals an inch high.

  51. Paul W. Hankins says:

    Thank you to ee cummings for his skillful and playful use of words that helped me to create today’s piece about what we had overlooked before. . .

    H.

    “Before Even When”

    When they tell you things:

    where the accounts are kept,
    the checks and the balances—
    so many codes— that blend
    in with the dates and addresses
    and the people who will need
    to be called in the morning. . .

    When they give you things:

    a trinket that belonged to some
    other him or her who gave it to them,
    always on some thin chain
    presented upon a span of fingers
    that seem to point—beginning to end—
    marked in fleshy, bloated directional signs:
    the way they cam and where they’re going;
    the middle part looks golden
    and we always miss the tarnish
    and thus are not prepared for when the when is now

    and when they leave you things:

    part and parcel, random pieces,
    in currency and the non-spendable items
    like old teapots and photo frames
    binding pictures of the they who knew another when
    and left things for the left
    who held them in their hands, the last tangible parts
    wondering where the next when would be
    and how could we have known what?

    When they leave us without a why. . .

  52. Rachel says:

    Interesting Michelle.. you are right, I never considered such a small thing as moss. Nice work

  53. Michelle H. says:

    Moss

    I’m sure you’ve met me once before
    Perhaps I was growing near your door;
    I’m quite soft and short in height
    You may seek me either day or night;

    You’ll never know I’m there
    For I won’t make a sound;
    I like to sit in the shade and damp
    That is where I can be found;

    There are Twelve-thousand varieties
    Throughout our societies;
    I’m quite a useful fellow to have around
    During World War II your wounds I bound;

    In Finland I have been used to make bread
    In times of famine and living with dread;
    All this and more is what I am for
    I’m sure you’ve met me once before.

  54. The Scrapbook

    She never wanted to forget
    the old flames that she knew,
    so she created a scrapbook
    in their honor so true.

    Each and every page
    she decorated with care,
    making sure each boyfriend
    had a tribute standing there.

    She treated each remembrance
    like a favorite book worn through,
    and carried the scrapbook with her
    through the years as she grew.

    Now a memento it is in the attic
    and simply a sweet memory,
    of how her life once was
    before she was finally set free.

    Laurie K.

  55. Rachel says:

    Penny, what is the title of your chapbook again? And how do I find it on Amazon?

  56. Rachel says:

    Tiny Candle

    One candle in a thousand flames
    do you even see it burning?
    Surrounded by the light of those
    whose lives just keep on turning.
    Touching one and reaching out
    to meet and find the light,
    the candle slows to flickering
    near fading out of sight…
    Heave! and push! and blow up big!
    send sparks into the air!
    silent screams for victory
    yet,
    no one seems to care.
    The candle keeps on burning
    keeps on burning burning long,
    almost snuffing out and yet
    forever burning on…

    Precious candle, small and blue,
    it’s I who light your fire.
    I see you lost within the throng
    but still you’re My desire.
    Your tiny wick aglow for Me
    is surely not concealed,
    though many seek the pompous flames,
    for you, My love’s revealed.
    Don’t give up or burn in vain
    thinking that I do not see.
    I ignite you from within,
    My candle, Mine at Calvery.

  57. Rachel Green says:

    Lucy’s Little Pricker

    In a locked drawer in the study
    is a little leather case
    I know just where the key is –
    on the stuffed iguana’s base.
    Inside, for I have seen it,
    is a single glass syringe
    with seven vials of poison
    and a very rusty hinge.
    If I got the critter out
    and used its little sticker
    the Manor would be mine alone –
    Thanks to my poison pricker.

  58. Peggy Goetz says:

    Darn another post eaten by the cyberspace monster (that may deserve to be in one of your poems Robert). So I will try again here.

    Judy, all of your poems have been heart-wrenching. You will have an amazing collection by the end of this challenge. Hugs.

  59. Connie says:

    Pips

    Pip is a funny word.
    We think of pipsqueak meaning a small
    insignificant person or thing.
    Pip the character of a Dicken’s novel
    shows us that love is often ranked below wealth and status.

    Pip is also a small hard seed of a fruit
    A section of a pineapple skin
    A rootstock or flower of some plants
    A disease among chickens
    A single symbol on a playing card
    An insignia showing rank on a British soldier’s uniform
    A speck
    A spot on a die or domino

    In playing the game of dominos,
    pips are all important,
    the more pips the more points.
    For the most part in domino toppling
    pips aren’t present at all.

    Pips become pipsqueaks,
    depending on their use or what they represent.

  60. patti williams says:

    How could she not have seen it?
    But she hadn’t, ever before.
    She’d walked through
    The rain, the snow,
    The darkness.
    She’d carried her worries closely
    In the bag so heavy
    It almost toppled her over.

    Her puppy had seen it,
    That was obvious.
    She ran to it, sniffed,
    Wagged her little tail.
    But her puppy was always happy,
    Oblivious to the storms
    Steadily rolling in from
    Wherever it was dark clouds
    Grew from.

    She stopped walking,
    Dropped her load,
    Felt the breeze tickle
    Her tear stained face.
    She sat beside it,
    Almost feeling foolish,
    Then completely lighthearted.

    The little white daisy bravely
    Growing in the barren field
    Told her life was good.
    And it was okay to let
    Go of her worries
    And just enjoy the beauty
    Of life for a while.

    She didn’t know how,
    But she’d always missed it.
    Except for today in the field
    With her puppy
    Sitting right beside her.

  61. Penny Henderson says:

    I just finished reading all of yesterday’s posts–some great stuff, guys–too numerous to mention all. but man, RObert, you should have given a prompt like "silliest thing you’ve ever seen" or "things that make you smile" to counteract the effect of all those blues

    Earl–thanks. Bookstores will have nothing to do with me, but you can find me on Amazon.

    I may write on one of my own prompts, as well as Robert’s.

  62. satia says:

    Home Sick

    You can feel it in the curling of the toes first, sometimes
    The way the ball to heel weight shifts ever so slightly,
    Or the ankle curving in modification, contorting to oblige
    That roll to the outside of one side of one foot. These are
    The subtle signs before the bobble, the imbalanced reach
    For something stable. The arch reaches up for maintenance
    As if seeking an answer that will explain how the world
    Just dropped impossibly, falling in some mental turbulence.

    It almost always begins in the toes, though, the overcompensation
    Overthrowing my already good balance into imbalance, arms waving
    A tightrope desperation to catch something too ephemeral and catching
    The countertop, wall, or something anything solid. Then pause—
    To catch my breath. Mindful movement, microscopically giving
    Meaning to every choice and a New York minute shrinks into yesterday.
    Today is slow and steady responsibility, consciously choosing to
    Not touch upon, lean into, nor need to catch myself before I fall.

  63. Monica Martin says:

    Not much of a piece of furniture,
    I’m just a lowly ottoman. If I’m
    not around, the coffee table
    is used instead. Sometimes I’m
    covered in silky scarves- other
    times, I’m strewn with junk
    mail. Low is the life of the ottoman.

  64. Judy Roney says:

    Had to add another stanza to make it more theme worthy. :)

    If I Could

    If I could I would make sure that each day was a blessing
    and life was good for the rest of your days.
    I would deem that pain and sadness had visited enough
    to last the rest of your life, I’d give you smooth sailing now.

    If I could I would make sure that I made the right choices for
    this passage through the next twenty years or so of life
    that you would see sunshine each day and feel it in its absence
    every day would bring forth a new gardenia, a newness to life.

    If I could I’d heal our families and cancer would be ousted
    and the entire emotional trauma throughout life would be negated
    so that we and our families could heal in the way that we need to
    every illness would be met head on and conquered.

    If I could I’d make sure you never suffered another deep loss
    that grief would pass you by and let you listen to music again
    You’d have your son with you and you and I would be the first
    to go this time and we’d have a houseful of grandchildren
    we’d be sharing this wonderful world with. If I could, I would.

  65. Nancy Posey says:

    one more
    That Man You Don’t Know in Your Picture

    You don’t know me. You think
    I probably wandered unaware into
    the background of your photo—
    your group shot posed by Eros’ statue
    in Piccadilly Circus, strolling past
    the Lincoln Memorial, obscuring
    your view of Abe. As you tried
    to catch the heron taking flight,
    I strolled by, the blur you
    caught instead. In the only shot of you
    to prove you saw the Eiffel Tower,
    I am there, towering between you
    and the sight you hoped to freeze.
    Later, looking through the slideshow,
    at my cluelessness you’ll wonder;
    What you won’t know, my being
    there—it was no blunder.

    Nancy Posey

  66. Judy Roney says:

    I Would If I Could

    If I could I would make sure that each day was a blessing
    And life was good for the rest of your days
    I would deem that pain and sadness had visited enough
    To last the rest of your life, I’d give you smooth sailing now.

    If I could I would make sure that I made the right choices for
    This passage through the next thirty years of life or so
    That you would see sunshine each day and feel it in it’s absence
    Every day would bring forth a new daisy to look at, a new bloom to watch

    If I could I’d heal our families and cancer would be ousted
    And all the emotional trauma throughout life would be negated
    So that we and our families could heal in the way that we need to
    And every illness would be met head on and conquered

  67. Nancy Posey says:

    B Side

    All the changes in the world,
    improvements in many ways,
    rob us of vocabulary, not
    just those blips on the cultural
    horizon—Betamax and 8-tracks—
    but well-worn, useful words.
    Though thumbs are decidedly
    more dexterous, no one dials
    a phone anymore. If papers
    aren’t handwritten and aren’t
    typed, what exactly are they?
    With digital downloads,
    what becomes of the flip side,
    the rare hits—“Revolution”
    or “The Tennessee Waltz”?

    Nancy Posey

  68. Lori says:

    Discovery

    In the back closet under
    sheets and blankets and hospital gowns
    there’s a strange piece of plastic
    that no one could identify
    like a bowl that got flattened and left behind
    But I knew it instantly from my days of
    private patient care
    One groove for the head to rest
    while all the hair fell into the bowl
    to be washed.
    It seems strange now that we tried for so
    long to wash bedbound hair without it
    Making things harder on ourselves
    just because we didn’t take time to look
    in the back closet under
    sheets and blankets and hospital gowns.

  69. Taylor Graham says:

    A CLUE

    They went through much too fast,
    daylight on the go, sunset a sudden flush
    between green-black mountain and charcoal clouds.
    In a hurry to get back to base, to report
    what they didn’t find. What was it
    they missed? A broken branch,
    a scent of fear? that bit of dog-hair
    caught on a twig?
    Did any of them remember
    the little boy had a dog with him?
    What kind of dog? Did anyone think to ask?

  70. Don Swearingen says:

    Another sunny day in November
    And there are things to do.
    The yard’s been a mess since September
    And before the neighbors sue
    I need to get out and dismember
    The tree that threatens to fall
    And reduce each branchy member
    To a stick that won’t land on us all.
    And the lights need to go up for December,
    Or did I leave them up last year?
    I’m thinking, but I disremember
    Is that the first sign of something here?
    I don’t think so. For the glowing ember
    Of our love is something I can easily remember.

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