November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 8

Good morning! I’ve been hanging out with my stepson all morning (he just turned five yesterday!), and he’s being kind enough to let me throw up a prompt real quick while he sings the Transformers theme song (guess what he got for his birthday last night?). Soooooo, I’m going to make this one pretty quick and easy.

Know how we had a prompt yesterday for a myth poem? Today, I’d like you to write a fact poem. Research a fact (or facts) about your theme and create a poem. Or make up a fact. Or spin a myth into a fact. Or, well, you get the idea.

Here’s my attempt for the day:


–“London calling to the zombies of death…” -The Clash

We do exist,
though only from full moon to full moon,
our howls shaking the night
into fantastic madness.

We do exist,
though we spread from village to village,
only to be killed by villagers
and swept under a rug of superstition.

We do exist,
though we spread from person to person,
our howls haunting the night
as people hide in fear.


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84 thoughts on “November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 8

  1. Amanda

    Heat and light
    Combustion reaction
    Intense color varies
    Feel the burn

    Heat and light
    Forging iron
    Weapon of warfare
    Feel the burn

    Heat and light
    Cremation and birthdays
    A celebratory observance
    Feel the burn

  2. Lynne

    Halt – Take Note!

    before you spray noxious mist upon
    my golden head consider the
    pearl-bordered fritillary
    ponder honeybees early in the season
    think of my gift of delight to children
    as small puffs of breath send white
    umbrellas afloat in the breeze

    I’m not a pesky weed to be
    wiped out but a vital source
    of nectar and pollen
    brew a steamy pot of tea
    make dandelion wine
    add tasty nutrition to your salad
    draw on my roots for herbal remedies

    Still, if you must destroy me
    I plead for hand-weeding,
    never mind rumors about my
    deep twisted brittle taproots
    regenerating if you don’t get
    every piece and don’t listen when
    told the more you dig and break
    off pieces of root, the more
    likely I’ll come back another day
    relinquish the toxic fumes
    that are poison to you too
    grab that hoe and dig me up

  3. Kathy Kehrli

    VIII. At the Cellular Level

    “Brain cells are extremely sensitive to oxygen deprivation and can begin to die within five minutes after oxygen supply has been cut off.”

    As if a coveted arcade prize
    Clinging for dear life
    To the mechanical arm manipulating it,
    The question fell from my lips:
    “Will there be residual damage?”
    Like my high-school SAT scores,
    Shrouded beneath a security flap,
    I both wanted—needed—
    And dreaded the answer at once.
    Even after intubation,
    Oxygen saturation reached only 70%.
    How many minutes did
    His brain cells gasp for breath?
    More than five?
    Professionally speaking,
    “There could be. We can only
    Wait and see.”

  4. Taylor Graham


    A dog’s sense of smell is 100 thousand times
    keener than his handler’s. Bodies alive and dead
    constantly give off scent. Scenting conditions
    are better at night. The handler’s job
    is to calculate terrain and microclimate
    to use his dog to best advantage.
    He needs to know where he is on the map
    while fighting his way through under-
    brush at midnight in the rain.
    The dog sees better in the dark
    and has his own search strategies.
    His greatest joy is finding somebody
    alive. At every step the handler worries
    about what he’s missing. In this team
    the handler is the weakest link.

  5. Tyger

    He Could Shine

    An outgoing president
    in a meeting to save the world
    Why does he not go up
    and as one last act
    of his miserable, failed term
    do something grand
    and support the nations?
    He could shine
    could go out with a bang
    and be remembered
    as something other than
    what the cat dragged in

  6. Monica Martin

    Many things are true when
    any couple shares a home.
    There will be happy memories,
    and tests of patience and
    love. But we know each other
    and love each other
    enough to know
    we can make this work.

  7. Vanessa O'Dwyer

    It’s a Fact

    I just found out this fact
    That a man can make a pact
    That all people are sinners
    And nobody are winners
    And that thinking like this he won’t act.

    Vanessa O’Dwyer

  8. PSC in CT

    High School Chemistry Lesson

    Glass breaks one molecule thick at the edge
    (That’s what he told us)

    A simple touch –
    From razor-smooth stroke
    Will draw blood
    Before you even sense the slice

    There is much I have forgotten
    I am sorry to say
    From my high school chemistry classes

    (It’s been many years
    And a lot of shards of glass
    Under the bridge)

    But, to this day,
    Whenever I encounter
    Broken glass
    I recall those words and
    Remember this lesson.

    And I think too
    That perhaps
    Broken people sometimes
    Are like broken glass

    Exercise care
    When picking up the pieces –
    And don’t be surprised
    If you find yourself
    Bleeding –
    Before you even
    Feel the slice

  9. lynn rose

    "Love can conquer all"


    It was like their bodies were talking to each other, they came together as one.
    Two naked bodies tangled together each speaking to the other.
    They knew just how to touch each other, every movement made more pleasure.
    Their touches made their bodies ache for more. Two bodies coming together as one.
    She sank into the warmth of his chest, feeling as if her body entered his.
    His kiss’s were so gentle and tender almost feeling of love.
    Two bodies lost, lost in the pleasure of love.

  10. Terri Vega

    Poem 8

    Willows came before aspirin
    Foxgloves before digitalis
    Medicine’s marvels approach
    on the backs of sturdy young
    and leaves
    and flowers

    Our bushels of golden miracles
    owed to natural splendor

    And we flaunt her and claim her
    majesty as our own; yet –
    not a one of us can hold a

  11. Kate Berne Miller

    The Space Between Us

    In my earliest fantasies you were still almost a child, young, unmarried and pregnant, poor and urban, living on the streets of NYC. The letter in my hand says you were a waitress living in the rural south, thirty-five, divorced, already
    a mother with two children, the boy ten and the girl twelve, that you had kept.

    I imagined my father a poet and a musician; writing you love lyrics in a tree in Central Park, singing them to you while you slept. In the letter I read he was 31, in the air force, an Irishman with wavy hair, married. You knew him from child hood. He knew you were pregnant. He didn’t come north with you to the big city.

    I knew I was part Indian, probably a tribe in New York, maybe Mohawk, or Seneca, though I always hoped I was Onondaga. I loved the way the name
    rolled off my tongue. Yet you were from the south, Eastern Band Cherokee
    and Amish, a dark-skinned woman pregnant with a mixed blood baby, me.

    I looked for you but the hospital was gone, records sealed, state laws protecting your anonymity, whatever trail there was gone cold. I wished I would find you like my best friend’s daughter found her. I dreamed you would search for me. The truth is the space between remains the same, as deep and wide as when you first left.

    Kate Berne Miller

  12. satia


    Your body grooving against mine—this is how
    We met on a dance floor, dank with sweat and need.
    Your palm pressing into the small of my spine
    Where wet meets sweat, unsure if it is yours or mine
    And either is fine with me caught as I am in the net
    Of your heavy blue eyes and the movement of we.

    but in the cave
    of my subconscious
    the beast has my face,
    knocks me with ease to my knees
    the rocks and rubble of the ground
    scrape and I crawl my way
    to the light
    unable to stand or walk
    even when I reach
    the blue sky in your eyes

    Swinging and swaying to the music in my head
    Your arm alone holds me down, keeps me from flying
    Along with the bed. You say I whimper in my sleep.
    I say keep me safe until I wake up from this dream.

    PS: I broke 25k this morning. Woohoo!

  13. Terri French

    They call it “intimate partner” violence
    Yes, it is for sure up close and personal

    This shouldn’t be happening
    We are upper middle class,
    white, church-going people–
    model citizens. . .
    but inside I am dying

    I read that 25% of women are physically assaulted of raped by
    dates, boyfriends, spouses, or ex spouses every year
    and every 21 days a woman is killed
    by domestic violence–
    er, excuse me “intimate violence”

    Yes, we are a very intimate couple
    We are so close it could someday
    kill me

  14. Iris Deurmyer

    The earth is 70% water and should be enough to last indefinitely til infinity
    Somehow we have polluted, wasted, and taken it for granted
    Many in the world die for lack of this prevalent liquid
    At the rate we are dumping wastes and poisions into ground water
    We may be the next country crying for just one drop of potable liquid
    Do we think we are so sovereign that we can create new water
    or do we just not care about tomorrow

  15. k weber

    educational field trip

    without kids
    we roamed
    the children’s
    like the bell
    for recess
    had just sounded
    and we were
    finally free
    but in the fake
    cave in
    the science
    wing we are
    alone and full
    on biology
    and i wanted
    you to bend
    me over
    beside stalagmites
    while we
    the periodic
    table of elements

  16. Jane penland hoover

    Billy, – this poem is so powerful – in sensation and image – I wanted to stay – not turn away – witness waiting for all to be saved – waiting – the chilling cold at my back too. WOW!

  17. Spidey

    Oregon Ghost Town
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    Once a thriving community, now just a shadow of it’s former self
    Oregon sports more ghost towns than any other state in the union.
    An estimated 50,000+ cattle towns, mining camps, fishing villages,
    lumber towns, and historic forts scatter helter skelter across America.
    End of the trail for many a pioneer, thousands of emigrants headed west
    Circa 1800’s in pursuit of the American dream: land, freedom, a fresh start.
    Abundant rainfall grew Paul Bunyan sized trees, and lumberjacks with
    size 12 boots to fill ‘em. Didn’t take long for a logging industry to
    clog up river and roadways, and make a name for itself internationally.
    Farming communities and fishing villages multiplied along rivers and
    Coastlines, while gold mining camps further threw their hats into the ring.
    Military posts developed to protect the mouth of the Columbia River,
    Railroads came and went along with their construction camps and stations,
    with whistle stops becoming scrapbook memorabilia as modern diesel
    locomotives supplanted old steamers. Winding stagecoach ruts were
    replaced by freeways, and little Mom & Pop dives gave way to Strip Malls
    and big chains, leaving behind rubble and old cemeteries like bottle deposits.

  18. Judy Roney


    Life goes on
    a merry-go-round
    of happenings
    life affirming.

    I don’t know how
    when tragedy strikes
    our world stops. Its
    unfathomable that
    others go on with
    daily life things.

    Life goes on
    with or without us
    there’s never a hault ,
    a pause so we can catch our
    breathe or refigure things
    so they make sense again.

    The most we hope for
    those of us who greive
    who have an added trauma
    of loss of child, loss to
    suicide or murder, unexpected
    loss,is that we will hop back
    on the spinning sphere of
    life when we are able.

    The world goes round
    but there are hands
    reaching out to help
    us back on board. The
    world doesn’t stop revolving
    but we can get back on
    with help, our friends, our
    families, professionals,
    all the hands reaching
    out when we can see them
    again. Grab on when you can.

  19. Billy Angel

    The Youngest

    My father laid me in the snow,
    ran again into the burning theatre
    to grab Carroll balanced on the second
    floor window ledge in his Roy Rogers
    pajamas, smoke’s heavy hand
    on his back. In photographs
    my brother posed like John Atlas,
    or wore a cape and drew a six gun.
    He was crazy enough to jump.
    Sometimes I think I feel the cold
    on my back, lying in that drift,
    helpless, while Carroll imagined
    landing on his feet unscathed.

  20. Don Swearingen

    The long drive north to the big city
    Stretches out before us, the road
    A black ribbon, dark and gritty
    In the rising sun, our progress slowed
    Only by the lumbering eighteen-wheeled
    Monsters climbing the hills. We swoop down the other side,
    Conversation for the moment congealed
    By the spectacular view through which we ride.
    The early morning promises another day
    Of Indian Summer, golden sun, blue skies,
    Even enough breeze to blow away
    The scum above the town that dyes
    The air with brown. The journey is long
    And tiring, even with friends, for without you, I don’t belong.

  21. Mary K

    It is a Fact

    It is a fact that past leads to present
    and present leads to future, also
    a fact that all we have is the present.
    We can never experience again what we
    experienced yesterday nor can we know
    what will happen tomorrow. We have
    only one moment, this moment
    to live. If we ignore or waste this moment
    it is lost forever, never to be reclaimed.

  22. kate


    The chidren carry in the cats
    hoist by an arm
    under a furry armpit

    hindlegs dangle ungainly
    they want us to see
    how they tame the wild animal

    how it sits still on their lap
    while they scratch under its chin
    stays even when released.

    Tiger striped, one sleek
    one a shaggy rug, they tolerate
    the attention until food time.

    He asks me to look the other way
    I know he tests the pressure
    of his foot on its tail

    squeezes it too hard, forces its legs
    this way or that, its face
    remains closed

    only expressing its discomfort
    by slipping through the door crack
    at the first chance.

    Some evenings, when the twins
    are asleep, they come to bid goodnight
    to the older boy, they appreciate

    his gentleness, but he
    just wants them gone from his room
    to sleep undisturbed.

  23. S.E.Ingraham

    Empirical Data

    Scientific American did a whole issue
    Devoted to the brain and not just the physiology
    Of the thing, but including the elusive nature of that
    Which is thought of as the mind, and where it’s housed

    The seat of the soul or spirit, some say; S.A. showed
    Many photos of MRI’s of so-called normal brains
    Beside MRI’s of the brains of clinical depressives
    Highlighting the areas in the brains of the latter that
    According to the various hues, the experts agreed,
    proved conclusively
    The malfunctioning of those particular organs’ chemicals

    It was a monumental breath-through
    After years of not being able to prove the diagnoses
    Of depression or mania or, sometimes even schizophrenia
    Now – the researchers said – they would be able to point out
    The problem right on the screen of their fancy new machine

    Dancing in the streets, there should have been dancing
    But the mentally ill are a cautious lot, reticent by nature
    Used to being built up and let down all too often
    So many, held their collect breath, and council too
    Waiting, as it were, for the other shoe to drop

    And sure enough, some months later, the MRI findings
    While not entirely debunked, were exposed as not as encouraging
    As first thought, the manipulations possible and indeed
    Used with each patient, left the data less than reliable
    and even though there was some cause for hope
    And things were somewhat better than before
    It did seem as if the problem was still, all in the head.

  24. jared david

    rachel green- great poem today, i was walking behind her trying to stay in the light myself

    victoria- i like it. i wish i could add more, but i’m running out of thoughts today…

  25. jared david

    having some fun with this one

    The F Word

    Fear, framed in effigy, for all to see:
    Four consensus facts about fear
    and my fifth, conclusive, in which
    I have figured a method to fight
    that which frightens us.

    Fear lives in the future.
    That is, it exists on anticipation,
    an affect of consideration, of the after.
    What happened before is finished.
    The present, in and of itself,
    cannot be feared, because of
    the constant state of flux,
    perpetually morphing into the past.
    Real fear is knowledge of the
    unknown, only what follows
    from here until forever.
    And the farther in time from
    the object floating in your mind’s eye,
    the further you sink into a
    feeble ball on the floor.

    Fear is foreshadowed by desire.
    This is the ‘what if?’ of life;
    the fundamental conflict between
    what we fancy and what life affords us.
    We often allow fantasy, rather than
    reality, to influence our foolish notions
    of need, and suffer the difference.
    This may sound familiar, it is.
    This is a fragment of the above.
    The struggle to resist the flow
    in favor of something more beautiful,
    goes against the forces of nature,
    but falls in line with human behavior.
    Anticipating the refusal of nature,
    we fear the interference with our desires.

    Fear is just a feeling.
    And phobia is an ‘overblown
    emotion,’ a catastrophic failure
    of defenses set in place for the
    safety of your psyche.
    This phenomenon of mentally
    fabricating false effects, or intensifying
    the otherwise common feelings to a
    stimulus, is, unfortunately, hard to fix.
    Pharmaceutical intervention has
    been found to provide relief of symptoms,
    even a significant reduction of dreadful
    thoughts, but ignores the foundation
    of the feelings, forcing the patient
    to cope with slightly deflated fears.

    Fear is always about loss.
    The belief that a function of your
    actions will lead to the forfeit
    of something [in the future].
    This is why the feathered Indian
    fleas from the photographer.
    Also, this is where failure, everyone’s
    favorite fear, comes out to play.
    You know, the fleeting sense of
    defeat, the idea that your efforts are
    futile, insufficient or ineffective.
    But I find some fault in this theory.
    What of the fear that you will inflict
    harm on [a female, for me] you care for?
    I would rather forgo her company,
    than risk tears on her face.
    I guess no theory is perfect.

    Fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    People are afraid of the physical,
    mental and metaphysical
    manifestations of their fears.
    Fear is infectious, retrofitting itself
    in an infinite cycle until the first
    instance is identified and eliminated.
    You want freedom from fear?
    Confront that which you are afraid of,
    defy the feeling, so that it cannot
    suffocate you, and see to fruition.
    Once you become informed on the
    future of your fear-ridden anticipations,
    and see the falsities of your anxiety-driven
    expectations, the epiphany should allow
    you to move forward with your life.

    *This information brought to you by the
    letter F, with a special appearance by P & H.
    Recommended by four out of five physicians.
    Funding and support provided by Kashi brand
    blueberry waffles, fermented hops (Shiner),
    and the fear of feigning a poet and exposed
    as a fraud.

  26. Rodney C. Walmer


    Sometimes when we feel life is out to get us
    we feel the need to vent
    it’s a fact that Robert will let us
    though not his intent
    he will not only aid but abet us. . .

    ©Rodney C. Walmer 11/08/08 Fact Poem

    I am not certain if this qualifies, though, it is a fact.


  27. A.C. Leming

    Heisenberg’s Uncertainty

    Slinging around it’s trajectory
    attracted to the positive despite
    its negativity, I introduce the electron.

    Content in the knowledge that
    a neutral observer can measure
    either it’s velocity or it’s position

    with some scientific certainty,
    never both. As it zooms around
    it’s nucleus at unclocked speeds,

    it must wriggle with joy to know
    how little it gives away to the
    scientists attempting to pin it down.

    Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle (as paraprased by and English Lit major now!) One can detrmine either the momentum or the position of a partical in a system, but not both. Not because of the limitations of the abitily to measure it, but because of the nature of the system itself. I think I have the jist of it.

  28. Bruce Niedt

    Paul is Dead

    When the rumor circulated around my college,
    I put a Beatles album on my record player,
    not so much to buy into the myth,
    but to satisfy my own curiosity.

    I dropped the needle between the tracks
    and nudged the turntable backward.
    The sound rumbled up from low bass
    to a strange distorted woosh,
    like a voice being pulled through a sleeve.

    But it was gibberish, some alien language,
    nothing about the secret death of a Beatle,
    no hidden morbid messages. Someone
    with an active imagination might have put
    a few inverted syllables together
    and interpreted them as “Paul is dead”.
    I didn’t buy this false gospel, at least not this time.

    But we tend to hear what we want to hear,
    or what others want us to hear.
    Suggestion is a powerful language –
    it wells up inside and latches onto
    whatever the outside world holds out to us
    saying, yes, I want to be a part of all this,
    I speak this too.

  29. SaraV

    Goose Grief

    He was tangled in the weeds
    Upside down
    Irony of ironies
    A goose drowned
    In the element he loved best
    Diving and splashing
    He’d disappear from sight
    And then pop up in another place
    I never knew geese could do that
    I never knew they could drown either
    And I never knew the depth of grief
    That their mate carries for so long
    Twenty-four seven, for days and weeks
    She cried; calling, calling
    Incessantly honking, for
    The one who would never return


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