November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

I’m so excited about Day 30 of our November PAD Chapbook Challenge that I’m going to go ahead and post now, instead of waiting until later this morning. It’s November 30th in the ATL, so here we go.

For today’s prompt, I want you to write a resolution (or lack of resolution) poem. This is the poem that puts THE END on your collection. Maybe you can wrap it up with a pretty bow, or maybe it’s open-ended. But today is definitely Day 30 of the challenge–and your last poem of November. Great job!

Here’s my attempt for the day:


His body is always missing,
whether we burn him in a house
or throw him under a train;

when we check for his remains,
all that remains is a mystery–
no blood, no head, nothing

but a vacuum sucking
the edges of our rib cages,
leaving behind nothing

but fear.


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77 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

  1. Juanita Snyder

    (the conclusion on my theme of "stories from the Pacific Northwest") –spidey

    Why I Love Oregon
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    If Oregon was shaped by the ocean and wind,
    rain and volcano, then too you must then count Merfolk
    who originally came seeking safe harbor in which
    to free themselves for a few hours from the salt tides.
    Never in their wildest dreams would they have
    thought Man would bring his bibliothecary and read
    epitaths like fresh bread thrown to hungry gulls
    high above the jagged and caving cliffs;
    counterwords to impress and empathize,
    motivate and tickle, frighten and intimidate,
    bruise and even impale themselves upon the
    heavy wooden door many a Soul cowers behind.
    It is here that I come prepared to rhyme and reason
    gathering audiences below like Evita on a balcony,
    palms up, in full song bloom, my heart bursting
    like rose petals the color of Argentine Skies,
    to rain clipped words like confetti upon upturned faces.
    For years I’ve interpreted prose for ampitheaters
    from Crater Lake to Christmas Valley,
    served as thesaurian for the Painted Hills
    and castle spirals high atop the Steens,
    waxed poetic from pitched tents along the Rogue,
    the Metolious, and the mighty Umpqua,
    played my many versions of clothed librettos
    only to have Oregon dry her hands on her apron,
    grab at mine warmly, draw me close and whisper
    “Good to have you Home again,
    you’ve been missed.”

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. Juanita Snyder

    Well, better late than never. Feels good to finally be wrapping this challenge up. Actually wrote two poems for this particular prompt but couldn’t decide which one I liked better so am including them both (tho they couldn’t be more different – one silly, one seriously melancholy). –the Spidester

    My House
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    I want my house to tell stories behind my back,
    throw wild parties that involve police,
    give snoopy neighbors an eyeful,
    play “Living la Vida Loca” a little too loud,
    scare away potential neighbors,
    and make even stray dogs cross the street.

    I want my house to build disturbing
    Calvin & Hobbesque Snowmen out front,
    play Poltergeist when my back is turned,
    switch appliances on & off,
    overflow tubs and overload circuits,
    cook in the summer, freeze in the winter.

    I want my house to stand out on the bloc,
    pick loud obnoxious colored siding,
    make strange sounds late at night,
    harbor bats, mice, and juvenile delinquents,
    steal garden hoses and path pavers,
    litter the front yard with kitchy yard gnomes.

    I want my house to choose my friends and enemies,
    argue with the Colonial in the lot behind me,
    shock the Victorian prude next door,
    go head to toe with the Craftsman across the way,
    and even thumb his gutter nose at the
    modern architectural down on the corner.

    I want my house to throw eggs come Easter
    then sparklers & firecrackers over 4th of July,
    become the bloc’s Urban Legend over Halloween,
    pop a few buttons (& bubbles) over Thanksgiving,
    haggle over lights & flocked reindeer at Christmas, and
    surprise me with grilled brats & a cold one on Birthdays.

    But of most, I want my house to remember we’re family,
    and tell great stories behind my back all day long.

    © 2008 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  3. k weber

    finally submitting my final poem for the challenge. sorry i got a bit behind… looking forward to going back through these and reading them all over again!


    you held me
    there, in the space
    between ribs

    for a moment
    or perhaps
    never, our flesh

    there are girls
    and men
    and boys
    and women
    who’ve torn
    through me

    who left me
    alone, whether i
    needed to be
    or not

  4. Vanessa O'Dwyer

    Human Rights
    In Fin…

    I hope I had you look
    I may even have upset you
    Did I step on toes?
    But what does it mean to all life
    When one’s life may be
    Well lived and prosperous?
    For some time I have looked
    From the high down into low
    Such lowest depths I dared to go
    But in looking I’d chase a
    For just out of reach
    There seemed to be
    Something possibly a bit
    And I hope that what I passed to you
    by word, gesture and symbol
    Inches you toward
    Pro-survival action
    And betterment of man
    By man,
    By you.

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  5. Iris Deurmyer

    The last spaceship leaves
    Headed for a distant sight
    For a planet with oceans and rivers
    We have little water for the flight

    The earth is all desert now
    The forecasters were right
    Their predictions were called dire
    Doom and gloom, too uptight

    We wasted and contaminated
    Used and abused this great resource
    Our greatest assest has disappeared
    And few are left to mourn.

  6. A~Lotus

    @PSC in CT: Thank you kindly for the feedback! It is very much appreciated. 🙂

    @Robert: Although I did not participate in this chapbook challenge, I was more drawn to the prompts as I was hungry for them! I wrote a total of 39 poems (minus 2 that were drafts, so 37 officially) for this month. Maybe I’ll join in the challenge next year and get a chance to know everyone on here. 🙂

  7. Peggy Goetz

    You Win River

    OK. So be it.
    I do what I can
    To mend my craft
    Stay afloat, pull others
    Onboard, let others go,
    But ultimately we ride
    With the current.
    I do what I can.
    OK. So Be It.

  8. PSC in CT

    Sorry!! It looks like I will be taking a page (or three!) out of T.S. Eliot’s book. (If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter – T.S Eliot )

    If I had more time, I would have written one poem. As it is, I am entering 3 here.

    My morning walk got me a lot of notes, scribbles and ideas, but I could not get them to gel into a single poem (maybe over the next month I will?!), but for now, I need to close out November before I can move forward, so . . . the first draft(s):

    1) I’m Still Learning

    Sometimes, I miss much of what I have –
    Taking for granted
    What is all around me (mine to enjoy)

    And, sometimes, I let fear
    (of losing all that I have, all that I am)
    Steal away some of the joy I’ve managed to capture

    But I’m learning to
    Be patient


    Even myself

    2) Getting Better

    I’m getting better
    At finding peace
    (it’s not so elusive these days)
    At giving thanks
    (more often and louder)
    At sharing smiles and laughter
    (every chance I get)

    I’m finding it easier to
    Say I love you

    I’m not perfect
    (never will be – but I got over it)
    I’m getting better

    3) Never Too Late

    It’s never too late to say those
    All Important Words

    (I love you
    I’m sorry
    I forgive you)

    Often someone will say
    If only I’d told him
    While he was still alive . . .

    It’s a fallacy
    An illusion
    A misunderstanding

    The conversation isn’t over
    It’s never too late

    Say the words

  9. Rodney C. Walmer

    Well, here is my ending poem, on my chapbook about poems.
    I decided to go with a bit dreamlike and discombobulated, as opposed to straight forward and serious as most of my others have been. Enjoy. Full circle for me, I will explain at the end of the poem what that means. Ahh, you peeked!

    Deja Vu

    It feels as though I’ve been here before
    when one closed, I turned
    then opened another door
    Though, nothing here is real
    but, a sense of Deja vu
    It’s not so much what I feel
    more so that I learn that which I never knew

    The writing style
    of those whose smile
    ever contagious
    reflect’s their heart in their poetry
    though sometimes outrageous
    their words are never what others pretend to be

    Time and time again
    the poet is
    while another pretends
    what he writes is his
    whether it begins or ends
    a poet is always conscientious
    never pretentious. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer December 1, 2008, ending poem for end prompts. This was my original writing style, long long ago, I have grown beyond it, though, I like to revisit for a poem every now and a again. Enjoy.

  10. PSC in CT

    OK, trying to pick up (more or less) where I left off last night. Still need to write my last entry. (Maybe something will come to me on my walk today – I hope!) I’m still hoping to get back and read all I missed as I was scrambling to keep up with the mad rush of days. For now, just a few (?!) more comments before I go:

    Lori – cynic, cheerleader, soldier, poet — always so perceptive.

    Patti – “Surviving the storms of /Life is not as easy as it looks/Nor is it as hard.” Really liked this one! Sums it all up nicely.

    Judy – beautiful, strong and positive. Bless you.

    Margaret F – such a small poem with such a large concept! Nicely done!

    S Scott W – sad and touching.

    Van – loved your “Generations”. Wish you’d posted more online!

    Earl – your “Ode to 30 Days” – excellent! 😉

    Paul W.H. – Good luck in your December search.

    Monica – I liked your theme too, and wish I’d read more.

    Bruce – I know someone will be humming your tune on the way home. Very nice.

    Sharon – I love “We Will” — so simple and honest and heartfelt. You will.

    Shann – It’s true – the holidays (and all the rest of life too!) are so much more magical through a child’s eyes. Everything old becomes new again.

    I’m off to try to find my last poem. Keep writing & editing, everyone. Let’s make Robert’s task of choosing just 1 book a very difficult one! (Sorry Robert! 😉 )

  11. Penny Henderson

    Okay, some final comments first.

    Judy–I know it doesn’t help, but want you to know that you have given some of us the gift of cherishing our children while we still can.

    Earl–30 days perfectly expresses what I’m feeling.

    Paul–happy hunting! Seek and you will surely find.

    Okay–here’s the rest of my efforts.

    Day 27 piece de resistance (still intimidated. Tried to ignore the word "brilliance" in the prompt)

    Let’s sort the colors,
    find connections.
    Ask if memory’s keeper
    will release that edge piece.
    Pray about rainbows and geese,
    meditate on time.
    recall the surprises.
    Celebrate the gifts–
    dogs,friends, kaliedescopes.
    Let’s squint our eyes
    to see if the picture
    will coalesce.
    Seek out the painter,
    to find the meaning

    Here’s 28, celebrate your theme

    Day 28
    Chasing fireflies
    in the twilight–
    joyous pilgimage.
    A glow in the fingers
    now flies away.
    Lights glide higher,
    legs grow tired.
    Daddy calls us in.

    Day 29 Outsider

    There is no picture on the box.
    What do you think you’re making?
    Struggling to connect
    the unconnected–bah! humbug!
    A waste of time, a self deception.

    I think that bit of green
    fits over here.

    Day 30 resolution

    First day, New Year.
    Where in the world
    will we go from here?

    The markets are busted.
    My old car is rusted.
    The weather’s uncertain,
    shall I lurk behind my curtain,
    or boldly venture forth
    on a quest to find True North?

    Well–I won’t promise bold–
    I’m growing slightly old–
    but I’ll get up and hobble,
    find surprises to cobble
    into a treasure map,
    and resist the urge to nap.

  12. Linda

    Just came back in to read the posts and noticed an error in mine. The end of the first stanza of Artists should say
    to make pictures THAT speak a thousand words…… not pictures than speak a thousand words which would totally change the context all together. SORRY.

  13. Shann Palmer


    I used to hate December- the noise,
    the expense, the false good cheer-
    until I thought about having a baby-
    decorating the nursery, humming
    soft lullabies to my swelling belly,
    going to showers, buying special toys;
    how in the month before I counted
    days, awake with anticipation, my
    own advent vigil for a miracle child
    who would save me from sadness,.
    give me the opportunity to do what
    my parent’s couldn’t- raise a child
    in love with life, self assured, strong
    enough to take on the world, for me.

  14. S.E.Ingraham

    "The final test of fame is have a crazy person imagine he is you," Anonymous
    "Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives,"Charles Fisher

    We Will

    We’re growing older, don’t you know
    Against the direst of predictions
    And even though there are still some days
    When I rail against the fates and think
    I’ll not be able to shrug off the cloak of depression
    There are many more days, when I am now
    Able to fight back and kick open the drapes
    Defy the wrath of this disorder, or that one and
    A year without a hospital stay in it is a banner year –
    There have been more than one in a row now
    Isn’t that something? It is, believe me
    And, totally unexpected, if you listen to the experts
    I know that a big part of the reason I even exist
    Is that man that’s sleeping on the couch over there
    Pretending to be watching the football game
    While I’m over here with my laptop,
    Pretending to be a famous poet
    Something he unabashedly encourages
    After more than four decades,
    He’s never given up, not ever
    Has not once thought about throwing in
    the proverbial towel
    Even when I was running amok
    and spending the family savings
    Or doing even more outrageous,
    unforgivable things, all he really
    Cared about was my physical well-being
    and that I didn’t hurt myself
    Inadvertently, while my manias
    ran their course – and they
    Ran some pretty awful courses,
    they did, and whenever I worry about
    The future and will we make it –
    he always just hugs me, holds me tight
    Keeps reminding me how much
    he loves me and says simply,"We will."

    What a great ride this month of poems and poets has been. Thanks to all of you for sharing of yourselves so richly. I look forward to continuing to read your work. And a huge vote of appreciation to you Robert – your prompts were thoughtful and provocative and gave me, for one, just the impetus I needed to get some stuff done that needed doing.Here’s to Wednesdays. Sharon I.

  15. Earl Parsons

    Paul – I can’t imagine life without Christmas or without Christ. I feel very confident that you will have no problem at all finding Christmas through the synoptic gospels, but you also have to reference Isaiah, Psalms, and even Genesis for more on the story of the birth of Christ. Of course, if you want to simplify things greatly, rent the Nativity Story and read Luke 2. You might be surprised just how close you’ve been to the Truth all along.

    God bless.

  16. Bruce Niedt


    It’s the final movement,
    last dance,
    the fat lady’s about to sing.

    The crowd is on its feet,
    the band’s breaking up
    their instruments on stage.

    The whole cast assembles
    to reprise the show-stopper
    and takes their curtain calls.

    The needle’s about to slip
    off the record and return
    to its perch. The infrared eye

    of the CD player scans
    its dervish disc, comes to
    the end, winks out.

    How do you want to be remembered?
    Going out on a feedback-soaked
    power chord, a dramatic high C,

    or just you and an acoustic guitar
    doing your solo encore
    under a single white spotlight?

    We all want to leave an impression,
    not be forgotten, when the snow melts
    and streams of life trickle on.

    What matters most is legacy,
    what good you’ve done, and whether anyone
    hums your tune on the way home.

  17. PSC in CT

    Kate Berne Miller – Thanks so much for the kind words about "If it’s Glowing in the Window, It’s Forgiveness". It’s so nice to hear! And to think I wouldn’t even written it if it hadn’t been for Robert’s unusual prompt.

    Tyger – Michelle is a lovely poem – a beautiful tribute.

    A~Lotus – very interesting poem!

    Nancy P – Rewrites – what a wonderful viewpoint! I like this – a lot!

    Rod – I’m with you! Spent all day today at an 80th birthday party for mom-in-law and gave not a single thought to last day of PAD – or how to finish up. I made it this far, however, so I WILL get to it – but it may be a few days before I’m there.

    In the meantime, I’ve only read about halfway through what’s here (so far) – but it’s past my bedtime — eyes are bleary & I’m exhausted. Tomorrow’s another day. Until then, Goodnight all!

    ps: Thanks Robert – for the inspiration! It’s been a very long, busy, frustrating, fulfilling month, and this has been a great experience! (Though I’m happy to see November come to an end!) Read lots of good stuff from everyone this month! Good luck everyone, pulling the chapbooks together! (Be back soon!)

  18. Monica Martin

    We’ve finished fixing up the house,
    the decorating is finished.
    The boxes are unpacked,
    the welcome mat is on the porch.
    All that’s left
    is to live happily.

    Ever after?

  19. Paul W.Hankins

    Nicely crafted, Earl. . .moving on, poet. . .moving on. . .into December. I was raised without Christmas, so I am taking December to do a technique called Found Poetry to find Christmas. I will be using the synoptic gospels to find the pieces. This may be a surprise to November Challenge Writers as my theme this month did little to acknowledge our spiritual helps through and throughout my theme of my wife’s mother’s death. So, Earl. . .and others, I thank you for this time. . .I am off to find Christmas. . .


  20. Earl Parsons

    Ode to 30 Days

    Thirty days has November
    Thirty days we’ll all remember
    Thirty poems for the boys and girls
    Sixty poems for Iain and Earl

    Most got through this P. A. D.
    Some disappeared, such a mystery
    Some made comments, some stayed mute
    Most were nice, some just plain cute

    Some wrote death, others love
    Some wrote ‘bout their Father above
    Some political, some on neglect
    Some just babbled, what to heck

    Far too many poems to read
    But we all tried, yes indeed
    Now it’s over, what to do
    I feel empty, how about you

  21. Paul W.Hankins


    It is the best time of year
    to purchase old calendars—
    at the end of November
    and the beginning of December.

    I have a used calendar for sale;
    the November has been slightly used
    as we moved from day to day
    very cautiously, so as not to leave
    heavy marks upon the month;
    it was the least we could do
    knowing how tender November can be:

    see how the page flips to December,
    bright, crisp, unspent days filled with promise,
    while through the grid of days,
    November looks forlornly
    waiting at the window
    mourning its own passing—
    this taker deceiver November—

    Passively, aggressively,
    we disown you as we decorate

    for a new season
    see how merry we have become
    in one day without you.

    We see you over the hill,
    waiting just past summer,
    motioning us to come to you
    with one hand,
    holding a black umbrella in the other.

    We see you waiting at the door
    of an ornately decorated black car
    and we know where you are going.

    And time will come again,
    and we will heed your call,
    but today we are December,
    and will be deeper still
    its crisper days.

  22. Van

    Robert, thank you, what a journey this month has been. I didn’t always post here, but wrote a poem for every prompt. I stuck pretty well with my theme–poems for and about my daughters. I had written a few earlier in the year, and several of those ended up getting rewritten in response to certain prompts. I am excited about the results, and look forward to rereading and revising some of them in the next few weeks. My final poem:


    From hands that held me
    you never knew
    I learned to hold
    and now in stages
    must release you
    to cycles of embracing,
    coming and going,
    creating, dying,
    cycles of leaving.

    Each generation
    the book of wisdom closes,
    and somewhere
    another volume opens.



  23. LKHarris-Kolp

    Judy- I cry for you…that was so moving I am at a loss of words. My good friend commited suicide last March and it has been so hard for me- I can only imagine how hard it is for the mother. I’ve loved every poem you’ve written this month- they are all so heartfelt and sincere. Suicide sucks.

    Laurie K.

  24. S Scott Whitaker


    Tiresias collects stone carvings of men and women
    And arranges them to match
    Upon his cheap checkerboard.
    Lonely and misunderstood
    He has only the earthen figures for counsel.
    These days he doesn’t even understand himself,
    For when in tune as the oracle,
    The voice, the eye, the very fabric of spirits
    For when the other side speaks through him
    He is effaced,
    For how could the personality and weakness of a man
    Withstand the holy pressures of gods.

    At back table in the rec room he fingers the stone bust of a girl.
    He imagines what they would feel if they were flesh.
    I remember well, he barks at no one
    And every one, how he too once molted into something
    Other than man.

    That was how he learned that man created
    Beauty’s rules, because
    Why not? Shape, paint, shave, sculpt, dress
    What they were not,
    And force women to follow,
    As if to level the playing field in their favor.
    For woman’s great secret
    Is that she is beautiful without anything,
    Especially a husband, or child.
    Whereas man needs a wife,
    Bragging rights, the will to shape women
    Into what pleases them,
    As if this proves that he exists.


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