November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

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:


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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71 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

  1. Juanita Snyder

    “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

    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
    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

    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

    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. Margaret Fieland

    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


    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

    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

    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

    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. Shann Palmer


    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.

  10. SaraV

    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
    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
    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
    Not even the fish
    And that’s just the
    (gulp) way that I like it

  11. PSC in CT

    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! 😉

  12. Vanessa O'Dwyer

    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

  13. Connie

    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.

  14. Jane penland hoover

    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.

  15. Jane penland hoover

    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.

  16. PSC in CT

    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!


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

    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

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

  17. Mary K

    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.


    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.

  18. SusanB

    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 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


    Each person craves
    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


    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