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

  30. Margaret Fieland

    History Class

    I didn’t know my history.
    I had to check it out,
    read the encyclopedia,
    learn all I could about

    Christopher Columbus
    and those who wailed the sea,
    what happened to the Mayflower
    and Plymouth Colony,

    check out the revolution,
    read about the civil war.
    One thing led to another;
    I kept on reading more.

    What seemed so dull in history class
    was now, oh, so exciting,
    and so I wrote it all on down.
    I hope it seems inviting,

    so maybe when you sit in class
    your mind’s not on vacation,
    and when you’re big you’ll know about
    the history of this nation.

  31. Nancy Posey

    “Let fiction cease to lie about life; let it portray men and women as they are, actuated by the motives and the passions in the measure we all know.”—William Dean Howells

    After I figure out fact from fiction,
    I’ll try to tell fact from truth.
    They’re not the same, you know.
    I can verify a fact, a list of facts,
    and never come within spitting distance
    of the truth. I’ve seen enough of politics
    to know what isn’t truth. Whether in
    a court of law or the human heart,
    truth matters most; unverifiable,
    you should feel it in your marrow.

    Once I shared a book I loved, hoping
    you could see it spoke to me of you.
    Instead, you focused on minutia—
    the wrong bird sang at morning—
    and you split hairs—no full moon
    shone when man first walked there.
    Quite the cynic, you refuse to
    exercise the willing suspension
    of your disbelief. Can you trust
    me when I tell you what is true?

    Nancy Posey

  32. Earl Parsons

    Day 8 for SS:

    Cerebellum Certainty

    I store your thoughts
    That’s what I do
    I remember everything
    You ever knew
    I control your eyes
    Your ears, your nose
    I even control
    Your fingers and toes
    I make darn sure
    Your heart pumps on
    ‘Cause if it stops
    We’d all be gone
    I’m very complex
    Some think me odd
    But I’m just an amazing
    Miracle from God

  33. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    Adderbolt’s Stats

    Odonata Anisoptera
    Feeding on pests
    That buzz in the air
    Larva a free moving,
    Water dwelling nymph
    Dodging Gaia’s predators
    Winged or slimy tongued
    Despite much myth
    Averse to the bite

    Azure Hawker
    Yellow-winged Darter
    Downy Emerald
    Red Veined Darter

    ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))Such iridescent colours…

    Masai Sprite
    Dancing Jewel
    Natal Sprite

    )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))Such myth surrounds…

    Nature’s perfect math equation
    Abdominal segments
    Asymmetrical wings
    At an angle of 180 degrees
    Adroit to change

    )))))))))))))))))))))Comrades with Gaia…
    ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))Since she was born.

  34. Michelle H.


    It is a fact
    That we have four seasons
    But here in Minnesota
    We like to say
    That we only have two

    Oh, don’t get me wrong
    We have our autumn
    With beautiful colors
    And we have Spring
    With pale, new buds
    But sometimes those
    Two seasons can be
    Covered in snow

    We’ve had snow as
    Early as September
    And as late as May
    That is why we like to say
    Here in Minnesota
    We have two seasons
    which is nine months long

  35. Steve LaVoie

    I finally get to do my one-week celebration! I think this has actually turned out to be one of my favorites.

    Your true desire

    Let me tell you what you want,
    You like being belittled
    And uncared for.
    Everyone knows that a man
    Brave enough to express his true feelings
    And not being ashamed of it
    Is a total wussy.

    Don’t give me that crap about
    You being independent and strong.
    You know that all that is thrown aside
    When the lights go down.
    Believe me I wish it wasn’t true
    How can I show my strength to you
    When steroid freaks say I am

    Weak and frightened?
    How come no one questions their courage?
    No one ever asks them what they are running from.
    They always pass your misguided, useless tests,
    And then you wonder why they always fail you.

  36. S Scott Whitaker

    For the Shame of Doing Wrong

    “I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men.”—Marlene Dietrich

    His knuckle missed my nose
    But his shoulder caught and we tumbled
    Backwards, and I got my hands on his neck
    And bent him over me and broke his nose.

    And it was over, stumbling I,
    Jumping, hyper-bouncing-upwards.

    Shane withdrew and gave me the finger.

    “I’m gonna fuck your girl,” I growled, and meant it
    Because Shawna and I were eager to exchange essences,
    She let me wear her panties and she wore my boxers
    We entered into this after a quickie,
    After she’d given Shane an excuse.

    Shane didn’t punch me because I was fucking his girl,
    He was punched me because he caught sight
    Of panties and ran it out on a rail, with a jealous stick.

    Imagine his gut when he heard they were Shawna’s panties.

    Shawna eventually dumped me
    For Shane who’d gotten a new car,
    And I was left with her underwear,
    And a blouse, and levels of reputation
    Only large high schools can germinate:
    “He wears them to karate.” “He’s like a perv.” “Gay, definitely gay.”
    “I think he’s part of that cult, you know that deputy got busted
    for stealing panties last summer. Asshole.” “I bet
    he wears them everyday.” “He’s funny, though.”


    I did wear them. And fancied myself her, and myself and her,
    And no one, and forgot about myself for a while.

    I socked the panties in a drawer, and tried to forget them
    Because I was hurt, and wanted to hurt,
    But not hurt anyone like Shane, or even Shawna.
    I turned it inward, and dressed, instead of for myself, for the void.

    My head kicking around all those murmurs,
    White noise of water running over white stones,
    The winter snow melting enough for ground to show.

  37. Iain D. Kemp

    Thanks Patti. Linda, good to have you back. Amazed you remember the reference from that poem of mine in April. Its one of my favourites.

    As always great work today fromm too many to list. Excellent!


  38. Sara McNulty

    Red Data

    I’m a wavelength, baby–
    longest light seen by
    the naked human eye.

    I’ve been diagnosed, baby–
    I bring you heat, energy
    blood that flows in your veins.

    Sea water absorbs me first, baby–
    All those fish and mermaids
    who look red? Honey, they are black.

    And that’s the facts, baby–
    You could look it up.

  39. Connie

    Safety Gaps

    It can take weeks to build a domino display
    in elaborate designs and bright colors,
    meticulously arranged.
    Give them a little tap
    and it’s over in minutes.
    To prevent them from falling prematurely
    builders leave safety gaps every few meters.
    Just like in dominoes,
    our lives need spaces
    every now and then
    so things don’t tumble down.

  40. patti williams


    Cracking ( I did not research, but my gut tells me this is true)

    It’s always the
    Nice quiet ones
    That crack.
    The rest of us
    Hot heads
    Live on and on,
    Letting the pressure
    Off whenever
    We need to blow.

  41. Lori

    Though I get annoyed
    that tv replaces nurses with doctors
    the fact is that doctors are a vital
    part of the healthcare experience.

    Good ER doctors are easy to spot
    because they are the ones
    who can tell you the patient’s
    name after they walk out the room
    and are thinking at that moment what
    to do to help them instead of
    what football game is playing that night.

    Sometimes those years of schooling
    pays off and every day, at least once,
    I am impressed.

  42. Shann Palmer


    She is itinerant musician, sings
    God’s praise in tents, and plays
    the untuned pianos she encounters

    there. At night, studies up her bible
    seeking solace, reassurance, blessed
    revelation to explain the dark, why
    she sleeps alone in shabby hotel rooms.

    Sometimes she’ll reckons comfort
    from a preacher given in to weakness,
    caught in sin and fleshly yearning,
    forgiveness is their stock-in-trade.

    That night real tears give credence
    to her voice, and sinners come,
    the truth, at least in that, she sings.

  43. patti williams

    Iain – I’m not sure which one I liked better! At first I thought it was Ringo and Moosehead but your latest Cats, Poetry and Death is pretty awesome … so I think it’s a tie …

    Heather – another good lesson.

    Ronda – I used to be an insomniac, now I just drink a bunch of wine … I find it fits the bill … all kidding aside, great poem.

    Cheryl – I enjoyed, very good work.

  44. Linda H.

    Hey,everyone from April PAD. I just got back from my trip. (Went home for my father’s 70th but he spent it in the hospital with thrombosis. He didn’t know I was coming home so it was a great surprise to see me when he got home. Plus I could take him to doctor visits and cook and all. I know it sounds blah but it was great to be in the States again and see everyone.)Anyway, I just checked email and damn! I’d forgotten about the November challenge. Maybe I can make up the last week and jump in. Give me a day or two. Things, as always, are a bit crazy here.

    Rachel, the poem was short but said a lot. I like it. Hope you beat your depression soon. I have a friend who had it. Took a while but she beat it and you can too.

    Steve, loved your first day poem. Patti and Heather, I knew your poems before I got to your names at the bottom! Iain, please don’t put the cats in the refrigerator again!!!!

    Linda H.

  45. satia

    Jane, I must confess that I did not realize how universal my experience is. The symptoms, the causes, may vary but there is something sadly communal about experience. Thank you.

    I got chills at your last stanza in today’s PAD. I think anyone who has learned to save themselves in words can understand.

  46. Jane penland hoover

    Karen – you paint well with your words
    Susan – way to be strong and inclusive
    Victoria – so much movement and sound reverberating
    Heather – setting us inside the terror and we’re ready to fight

    good work – got to be away a while

    thanks Robert

  47. Peggy Goetz

    When I thought about facts I thought about scientific writing and how important it is to clearly define what you’re talking and thinking about. And thank you for commenting on my other poems.

    You Choose

    Change, the constant, comes at us
    slams us in the gut so we puke
    something we pull in muscles strained
    or drift into one arm in the stream.
    Transition comes inside
    in a beating heart, a joyous
    thought, gripping panic
    when you know things will
    not stay the same, but there
    is always a choice,
    accept, adapt or resist.

    Nov. 8, 2008

  48. patti williams

    I’m writing about The Great Storm again (link back to Day #1 for me). Facts are: The Great Storm that hit Galveston Island is still the greatest natural disaster the United States has experienced. Many women and children were lost, therefore many men were left behind to rebuild, remember and drink government issued whiskey and sleep in government issued tents. If any of you believe in past lives, I’m pretty sure I was there in 1900 when the ocean washed upon her shores. And with Ike’s devastating blow, my thoughts are with the ones left to rebuild yet again.

    Day #8: Fact

    The fact of the matter was
    He ached inside when
    He looked out at the horizon,
    The water now so calm
    And still, unapologetic for bringing
    The Great Storm
    To the Island.
    The wall of water that claimed
    His love with her soft white skin
    Had betrayed him.
    The whiskey he drank
    With the other men
    Burned his throat going down
    But nothing what the salt water
    Must have felt like when it
    Invaded his love, filling
    Her lungs with death
    Until she was simply, no longer.
    The other men sat by the fire
    Each in their own misery,
    Alive, but not really,
    How could they be when their
    Own families were gone too.
    The Great Storm was over
    But the storms inside their hearts
    Would rage on and on
    Even after the fire had died down
    And they slept in the white tents
    They now called home on the beach.
    They would sleep on the sand until
    The men could rebuild Galveston
    And make her whole again.
    Then they hoped they could forget
    What they saw, the loss the men felt
    With so many Galvestonians washed away.

    His own love was now more a part of the
    Ocean he slept by
    Than the memories he kept inside
    His dreams.

  49. Jane penland hoover

    satia – love this poem – you capture both the abyss of invisible illness and the raging hiding out as well – good stuff – wish I knew less about it all – just smiles and hugs to us all

  50. Jane penland hoover

    A Shadow Is

    A reflected silhouette projected
    by an object obstructing light
    rushing to illuminate the space.

    And I wonder if a thought
    might be sufficient substance,
    standing in reflection, to be
    viewed through a distance angle.

    Like that bedroom we first shared
    back there in that country now far
    gone but for slash pine and azalea

    flourishing beyond the windows
    then, looking in and watching out,
    as we slept side by side

    peaceful, resting comfort once
    before stroke, invading terror,
    stripped the room of all we knew

    leaving stumbling silence
    deepening confusion painting
    darkness, walling us apart.

    Still the image of that room
    the sound of children’s footsteps
    running to wake Mom and Dad,

    to see if Santa had delivered,
    or that Mythic Bunny had left eggs,
    or remind of early soccer games.

    Shadows falling warm beneath
    my moving pen, backlit by years,
    silences grown soft, girls strong.

    Jane Penland Hoover
    November 8, 2008
    Writers Digest PAD 8

  51. RJay Slais

    What The Kid Can Do

    ten tries till too
    practiced in the art
    of stipulation
    add in that one word
    on sentence end
    to let all meaning
    reverse the tide
    back up the flow
    until generational flood
    covers the gap
    the impact of air
    separated by hand
    guides the waters
    murky with silt
    toward the area
    runoff can occur

  52. Rachel

    Try as I might, I could not expand on this one. I have been struggling so hard with depression and this is really all that would come. And some days, all that I own. So here it is:

    Jesus wept.
    Silent tears
    in tandem with my own,
    and I
    am not alone.

  53. Ronda Eller

    REM Breakdown

    the light that shone
    on the back of your knees
    and reset your mental clock
    to know sleep in its time
    and reawaken
    on proper schedule.

    How did you lose your normal cycle
    to begin with?

    Was it the lure of the Internet’s
    24 hour café
    or the barbiturates
    you took instead of grieving?
    Did you know you digested dreamland
    each time you induced
    your own REM phase

    Snoring all night long
    also tossed you,
    turned you up
    inside a tailwind
    where you couldn’t grasp
    REM to make it stop,
    couldn’t even beg it
    for a nightmare

    to make it stop

    and when your heart
    threatened mutiny,
    to abandon continuous
    apnoeic interruptions,
    did you finally see the error
    of six possible dream years
    bleeding away
    on a cross?

    ~ Ronda Eller 2008

    – Scientists have not been able to explain a 1998 study showing a bright light shone on the backs of human knees can reset the brain’s sleep-wake clock.
    – Some sleeping tablets, such as barbiturates suppress REM sleep, which can be harmful over a long period.
    – In insomnia following bereavement, sleeping pills can disrupt grieving.
    – Ten per cent of snorers have sleep apnoea, a disorder which causes sufferers to stop breathing up to 300 times a night and significantly increases the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
    – Snoring occurs only in non-REM sleep
    – Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet.
    – Research has shown that, even though they may not remember them, everyone dreams several times a night. In fact, during a typical lifetime, we spend over six years dreaming!

  54. Kateri Woody

    … This prompt totally stumped me for some reason. Crap. I’ll do a better one later.

    My face is not really scarred,
    no, not at all. If you were
    to ask dearest padre Jerry Robinson,
    he’d tell you what really happened.

    All of you sanctimonious
    movie goers don’t even understand,
    rewriting my mythos to fit your
    disillusioned thoughts is wrong
    to say the very least.

    Let’s keep this chatter to a minimum,
    please; yes, I did have a wife,
    but no, she did not gamble
    nor was her face carved into
    like a jack-o-lantern.

    Nor was my father an alcoholic,
    a raging asshole with a kitchen
    knife pressed into my face
    Because it was the Bat that made
    me what I am today.

    So thank you, Christopher Nolan,
    for getting my message out there
    that chaos truly trumps all,
    but please, next time leave
    my face out of your destruction
    of comic books.

  55. Iain D. Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,

    Half-wit! Why are you always saying:
    “…and that’s a fact”? You wouldn’t know the facts if they
    jumped of the E-train and bit you on the ass. Your
    mother’s just the same, always thinks she’s in the right.
    and talking of rights, your no-good sister is not within
    hers to take liberties with my freedom of expression nor
    will I put up with that harlot slandering the sacred name
    of the New York Yankees. Facts! Bah! I’ll give you facts!
    We can talk about Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig. We can discuss
    Joltin’ Joe or the M&M Boys. We may get into a factual debate
    regarding Reggie Jackson & Daryl Strawberry. One thing that
    cannot be argued is the pedigree of the greatest team in the world.
    Founded for real in 1913 after changing their name from the
    Highlanders. Those goodfo’nuffin Mets played their first season in
    1962. How Amazin’!!! Oh yeah! And if you want more: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7,
    8, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 23, 32, 37, 42, 44 & 49. The Yankees retired numbers
    list. You can amaze me later by listing their wearers and saying
    “…and that’s a fact!”
    Pick ya up at seven, numbskull. Wear your NY jacket or I’ll punch you.

    Yours statistically correct

    Ringo the Howler

  56. satia

    Karen, Your compassion is sweet and I appreciate your unintentional compliment. This morning I made breakfast for my family, wrote 2000 words for nano, played with the puppies, and just felt good about the lovely weather so I was/am in a very contented place. That I wrote something that is so raw with pain doesn’t reflect my present mood at all, I am happy to say. :)

    "the reality of river"

    So lovely!

  57. Rachel Green

    Lucy’s Hammer

    “Cold Iron!” she shouts, creeping stair by stair
    down cautious cellar steps and one by one
    the spirits shrink away from golden hair
    each fearful her threat of harm be done
    For in the darkness of the cellar here
    this little girl of seven holds the key
    and though she’s filled with nameless dread and fear
    with weapon held aloft for all to see
    she is quite safe. The ghouls and spirits shy
    away from words yet gather at the edge
    of lantern light with whispered mournful sigh.
    She hears them all but crosses still the ledge
    with power of the full and silver moon
    in simple weapon of a polished spoon.

  58. Paul W.Hankins


    Floral sprays
    can be delivered
    the day they are ordered –
    on the day of a birth
    and on the day of a passing.

    They are cut and bound
    and arranged in moss most fitting
    to stand erect from a Grecian urn
    or synthetic basket;
    the simple daisy becomes ornate
    when paired with the chrysanthemum
    quieted by the soft hush of baby’s breath,
    before they are adorned,
    wrapped in a white silk banner.

    They swarm in vans
    looking for signs of life,
    they weave street and parking lots
    and move deftly through criss-cross traffic.

    On any given day, flowers
    move from place to place,
    like the bees they have known
    to be affirmed of their beauty,
    kissed in joy by the recipient on the ward –
    or pollinated by mourning tears.

    Leaving behind the summer
    facade and scent,
    November flowers
    look like fall
    and smell
    like the coming winter,
    garden harlots clamoring
    for attention arriving
    just in time
    to be the center of attention.

  59. Iain D. Kemp

    Cats, Poetry & Death #11

    The Uncertainty of Taxes

    Few things in this life
    can be taken for granted.
    Every day throws challenges our way.
    Work place issues cloud the mind;
    relationships become complicated and unclear.
    Even children are forbidden from
    the assumption that play days will last
    for ever. Eternal summers turn to dust
    as crushed dry leaves under foot. Snowy Christmas
    times are memories kept to deceive. The innocence of youth
    shattered by maturity ‘til in old age little
    remains constant except the
    waiting game.
    The franchise comes with the coming of age
    and even our Lords and Masters do not claim
    to tax us ‘til we set foot upon the ladder
    of toil and strife, ceasing finally this burden
    as our dotage approaches.
    Yet in truth we may find comfort in
    the permanence of a few treasures, for in this life
    as good times come and go, as pleasures turn to pain
    some things remain the same; the presence of familiars,
    the joy of verse and crafted word.
    Good health may be lost and long years of illness sent
    to burden us but at least we may be comforted by
    the simple fact that the only things certain in this life are
    Cats, Poetry and Death


  60. LKHarris-Kolp

    TRUE Love

    A man can impress a girl with material things,
    like fancy cars and diamond rings;
    tell her he is rich, not a care to worry.
    But if he lies, cheats or steals; get out in a hurry.

    Broken promises, broken dreams,
    can confuse and hurt her, so it seems.
    Will she ever trust or love again,
    or is she destined to one more sin?

    True love should never be complicated or with doubt.
    If love is real, it will always work out.

    Laurie K.

  61. Cheryl Chambers

    Robert, sounds like a fun morning! Enjoy. :) And thanks for taking the time out for the prompt.


    Neal’s life disowns him daily, with spits and shouts
    and he composes lists of attributes he’d like
    under the tree. Neal believes in God. He dislikes
    it, though, due to its restraining power
    the retraining of the mind to hope and faith
    not justifiable in the life of daily bread. It was
    on sale at the store this morning and he loaded
    up the cart in order to heave his weary load
    home and feed mouths to shut them up.
    Neal doesn’t like himself in certain solitary moments
    when no one seems to listen. He is just type
    on a page and someone left the window open.
    He is defenestration. He knows a move will be
    made and this disturbs his religious sensibilities
    as if he’s wearing a dress. His body is color,
    his mind is grey. It’s a duty to shine brilliant
    amongst brunette heads. He’s going to hell
    when the time is right. But first he decides
    that a drink and a call are in order. The first
    to recognize His phone number and the courage
    to call. The second to display distress
    as the phone will be disconnected by the time
    he is ready. Goodbye is never soon enough.

  62. Heather

    Lesson #8: Rights

    Most every holiday
    He made their lives
    A living hell

    He liked to pull his “stunts”
    When they least expected it
    Mostly it was when he was drunk

    She remembers coming home
    To him reading a book,
    Upside down
    He denied it,
    After a quick flip
    And change of page

    She still shudders to recall
    Christmas Day,
    The day he decided to wrap
    His blue collar hands
    Around her throat
    To choke the life force
    From the child
    He hated most

    Cornered in the bathtub,
    She put up her best fight
    With her sister’s aid
    And Mom calling 911

    He said, “He brought her into this world,
    He was going to take her out”

    Lesson #8: No One Has a Right to Harm Another

  63. Victoria Hendricks


    Open doors can be shut.
    Shut doors can be opened.
    Closed minds can crack open.
    Open minds can slip shut.
    Closed hearts can heal open.
    Open hearts can be shocked shut.
    Resistant souls can open to hope.
    Open spirits can shut in pain.
    Even locks have keys.
    Open and shut transitory states.

  64. jared david

    Robert- no worries, even when he goes to college, he’ll still be watching transformers. that’s what i’m doing this morning and i’ve already graduated

    poem later…when cartoons are over

  65. SusanB

    Hi Robert…enjoy that little guy…he will be leaving home for college before you can post your next prompt! Thanks for taking time out to do the prompts. I wish I knew what the theme from Transformers sounded like, but alas alack!


    God really exists
    Goddesses and gods all alike
    In ONE
    Christian, Jewish, Muslum,
    Hindi, and all the others
    (too numerous to name in this small volume)
    Even atheists
    folded into one big oleo of
    All natures unleashed
    The thing we called life is all a
    Grand illusion
    Because WE ARE GOD

  66. Karen H. Phillips

    Satia, your poem made me sad. I hope you’re okay.

    Charles Francois Daubigny, French (1817-78)
    The River Seine at Mantes, c. 1856

    Photographic, But Not

    Influenced by the camera?
    A new thought,
    that the predecessors and the
    Impressionists themselves
    would follow the lead
    of a new device
    and capture light, shadow,
    and everyday subjects
    of real life
    in their moment.

    Daubigny strikingly contrasts
    the peaceful depiction of the woman
    standing in the grass at the
    river’s ragged rushy edge
    and the tree shapes facing opposite
    her side.
    Deep green, one tree resembles
    a peacock.
    Around the river’s bend,
    a factory huffs out black smoke,
    which billows in another direction.

    He has captured, by painting outdoors,
    the natural details,
    the everyday life of the woman,
    the reality of river,
    the unchanging smoke
    from a factory,
    an unromantic yet beautiful
    day in the life.

  67. satia

    Oops. I forgot the title: To Tell the Truth

    And I could explain the cultural references but most are probably obvious and the more obscure one I would hope can stand on its own without context.

  68. satia

    It gets weary explaining the differences between
    Vestibular and cervical, and google searches
    Lead to U2 mp3s and graphic novels
    Not to anything close to an answer.

    And maybe someday I’ll learn to forgive
    Bono and Gaiman for confusing the issue
    But that will only be somewhat before
    I forgive the doctors for not knowing
    How to make it all go away forever.

    And Miss Jackson and Meatloaf may not need me
    To come to their defense but I’m the one who hides
    Afraid that people will think it’s all in my head
    Some psychosomatic psychosis unable to cope
    With the reality of getting old or being sober.

    The audacity of invisible illnesses,
    Misdiagnoses and inconclusive tests.
    Point a finger of blame and nothing stands
    Where beliefs sway with the wind of judgment
    And death is humanized to feel grounded.