Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 130

It feels like forever since we’ve assembled to poem with a new prompt. However, I’m pretty sure it’s only been four days. I’ve been catching up on deadlines that passed last week while I was sick, but I still managed to sneak in some lines here and there.

For this week’s prompt, write an “on the other hand” poem. This kind of poem already supposes there is a certain view and then goes about exploring the other (or another) angle. For instance, maybe it seems like crossing the street without looking is a bad idea; on the other hand, it may (or may not) be advisable to take your chances if you’re being chased by a masked guy holding a knife. Anyway, have fun thinking on this one.

Here’s my attempt:

“Stood up”

Maybe she was detained at work
and forgot my cell phone number
and couldn’t look up the number
for this restaurant, because her
Internet access crashed and then
when she finally decided
to leave the elevator stopped
between floors and since the other
employees had left she was stuck
there until a janitor heard
her cries for help, and then he called
maintenance, which sent someone in,
though it took a while, and once she
was finally freed she realized
she needed to call a new cab
and just went home, because she knew
a cool guy like me wouldn’t wait
all night–until even the bar
closed–before heading home alone.

*****

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*****

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201 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 130

  1. Megan

    oops just saw the bottom line did not go through

    Fractions

    You lose the smile
    the fraction of a smile that shines
    behind the fog of the daily immersion
    in lostness in a solitary break
    you miss the flash
    the streak
    of mind shorn free of blankness
    and it is gone and again
    the glass eyes of frosted thought
    greets you

  2. Julieann S Powell

    But I’m Not

    I’d quit playing cards
    and my poetry would be avant-garde

    I’d quit being a flirt
    and stop wearing my mini-skirt

    I’d quit dancing the Latin style
    and we’d walk down the aisle

    If I were the kind of girl, you think I am.

  3. Taylor Graham

    THERE’S ALWAYS TUNA CASSEROLE

    But I’m bringing Yankee pudding.
    Two quarts of milk from Millie, our red cow.
    A quart of Indian-corn from the garden,
    hand-ground to meal, scattered like seed
    into boiling water, lest it clump.
    A pinch of salt, dainty or brazen, to taste.
    A cup of sugar. At the very last, nutmeg
    (don’t ask how much – there’s stories
    about nutmeg!). Hot oven, three hours.
    Partway through, a gill (again, don’t ask)
    of Millie’s sweet milk
    to soften the crust and form a yummy whey.

    I’ve heard some folks cheat with skimmed
    (what would Millie say?), molasses
    and other stuff, and eggs beaten
    till they stand alone. But mine is the real
    thing. Genuine Revolutionary.
    Plain, home-grown, hand-made.
    Nothing like it, to stir a potluck up.

  4. Salvatore Buttaci

    LOVE COMES AND GOES

    On the back of his right hand
    he sports a bright-red tattoo
    of a woman walking towards him
    to represent all the lovers
    he has known in his lothario life

    on the other hand
    the obverse of the right
    he demonstrates a goodbye tattoo
    the walking-away back of that same woman
    now dressed in a wake’s black dress

  5. Pam Redmer

    On the eve of the next Wednesday, just want to add a big thank you for all poetical expressions. Thank you Robert. Walt, I will explore Poetic Bloomings as well. I remain delightedly yours,
    Pam Redmer
    P.S. Just found "How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love With Poetry" by Edward Hirsch. There was the message in the bottle, the postcard!

  6. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    john doe
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    he was frozen when they found him,
    a glacial christ with arms outstretched
    cuts and welts, well past healing
    underneath the stubble, the dirty nails
    the mites trailing flesh to new fallen snow.

    he’d been there for some time
    by the look of his gaunt corpse,
    taking in sin and the best barbarism
    the city could ever hope to muster up
    in the projects.

    on the other hand,
    in a land far far away
    a woman and her son would go on
    picturing him on an exotic beach,
    palm trees, white sand, shades
    umbrella drink in each hand
    celebrating his new found freedom.

    © 2011 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  7. Sam Nielson

    (Methinks he is a bit teechy about it!)

    On the Left Hand

    Sinestra, a mano nero,
    The less holy one,
    That appendage on the
    End of my left arm,
    Does its duty there.

    So far it has not
    Failed me in writing
    My name, waving like
    Or unlike the queen
    (Hand-hand, elbow-elbow).

    Somehow socially it has
    A cast, something out-
    Cast-ishness to it,
    Don’t know where that comes
    From, but like Popeye

    I yam what I yam, and
    I still roam at large
    In public with it freely
    Uncovered and I offer no
    Apology for it.

  8. MiskMask

    … and of course I understood that, Pearl. Thank you for your heartwarming comment. Emma is my joy, and even though we live on opposite sides of this planet, I always feel she’s close by in my heart. But better yet, she and her baby brother and her parents are coming here to see us in 3 weeks. I can hardly wait! Sometimes life can be very, very good.

  9. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    MiskMask…… Emma Discovered the Telephone……! Frame it …keep it for her! You melted if course, but I melting? Great poetry! Kudos and happiness to you….wonderful encapsulation of an ephemerally beautiful moment. I still feel like I can hear her. " sweet voice so petite floating" AWWWWWW melting………

  10. Chimnese

    On the other hand of both sides

    There are always two sides to every story,
    It’s always the other hand compare to the other
    So it goes in relationships
    The one always blaming the other for their
    mistakes for what went wrong.
    You give them one hand and they want to take the other.
    To be on the other side of the hand
    Is never a good thing when you know
    There is no turning back.

    09/05/2011

  11. Walt Wojtanik

    PRECIPICE

    The crossroad ends at this juncture,
    a puncture to you psyche; a stab to
    the heart and soul. Toes straddle
    the point of no return, it is up
    to you to discern your next best move.
    Not long ago, you held your groove
    slotted for success. But lest you forget,
    you are now in a rut and your voice
    cannot hoist you out of every predicament
    you encounter. The pressure mounts
    and you can count on one hand every stand
    you had ever taken; shaken to your core
    and wanting more. The chasm is wide.
    Can you afford to ford its expanse?
    Then again, can you afford not too?

  12. MiskMask

    Thanks to Amy and Autumn for your kind and supportive comments. :)

    The following doesn’t come across entirely clear as to the thought perking in my head, that a little girl’s first phone call to her nana is a very special milestone … but …. on the other hand she’s apt to want her own phone soon. :)

    EMMA DISCOVERS THE TELEPHONE

    A first for me
    perhaps not for her.
    Perhaps for her
    the first of more.

    "Hi, Nana," her sweet
    voice so petite floating
    through the telephone line.
    Down and under the sea

    kisses in my ear.
    I melted. Our first
    phone conversation, long
    distance, short but sweet.

    A first for me, for us.
    Confidently speaking
    to my voice against her ear.
    A first, I think, of
    many more to come.

    Emma discovered the telephone.

  13. Joy Cagil

    Toolbox

    Pliers, wrench,
    chisel, screwdriver,
    hammer, nails,
    nuts and bolts,
    glue…
    Such useful tools
    to repair kitchen cabinets.
    On the other hand,
    none of them
    can fix a life
    when it goes awry.

  14. Kim King

    Still reeling from April and trying to catch up. Some really great poems here this week. I am impressed with the vigor that PAD poets have shown.

    I wrote a poem, but now I don’t think that it fits the prompt. I’m too tired to create another one, but it’s my take, "on the other hand"…

    The Astronaut

    He shouldn’t look, he knows, or meet her gaze,
    but eyes that blue are cosmic dusty stars
    that draw him near. The vortex spins, he’s weak
    again, those lips, that skin, her body taunts
    his vow to keep away. She pulls, he steps
    outside the ship, immersed in deepest space,
    to touch the planets, Milky Way and moon.

    His breath condenses–– vacuum icy void.
    The pressure aches, auroras tease, the Earth
    so far, so small. But tethered lines are hooked
    to ship and home, so orbits soon must end.
    The gravity releases cosmos, dark
    and endless universes. Cold, he floats
    and shuns those eyes that burn his empty soul.

  15. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    This will appear on my blog later, but I’m on a community ‘puter that won’t "download" WordPress.

    Cat of Nine

    In a cafe on a blissful Madison spring morning.
    I sip coffee and poem peacefully,
    A harpist sets up his hand-crafted instrument,
    intricately carved, and he plays with his heart on his sleeve.

    Spying his technique from the side,
    I see calluses, thick pads on his finers
    as he deftly navigates the strings
    to bring forth delicate melody.

    His other hand surely must bear the same scars
    of practice, of pursuit of that elusive
    perfection – real musicians know
    it’s ever out of reach, but the muse still coaxes us on.

    I look again at that other hand;
    he has only four fingers. He’s a vet
    who lost his ring finger in combat but
    chose beauty over bitterness on his long road home.

    See nine strumming fingers thrumming Celtic chords.
    Watch the strings continue to vibrate as sound reverberates.
    Feel his joy, throw a few bucks in the tip jar,
    and take that love with you as you leave.

    (With a nod to Phil Keaggy as well, a guitarist who lost a finger in his youth and is a master at acoustic playing.)

  16. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Pearl Girl, loved your simply delightful "Left Hand," and your tribute to your mom was amazing. Rough road produced a wonderful child.
    Brenda, "Maybe," touching.
    Mike Bayles, reflecting on clapping, great. All musicians and actors LOVE YOU!!
    Stacy, sorry for your loss, but what a beautiful poem was brought forth from the ashes of grief.
    Sharon, my sister is a southpaw; teachers tried to force her to use her right. My mom was in the classroom THAT afternoon to set them straight. Great thought about "the other hand."
    Sally J., I’ve had a lot of those, but I hope I’m not one.
    Walt I was self-taught as well and know how much pleasure that brought my folks… and gave me a career for many years. Great, and thanks for that one.
    Sara V., loads of Muslim women in my new apt building, and they can’t wait to unveil their faces when they get home, no matter the wrinkles, but I get where you’re coming from! We should talk sometime, by email…
    Michael G., your meditation on money and values is well done.
    Benjamin T., first time reading you. God, I thought I was the only one who wrote that way! Literally…
    Arielle, your take on truisms is biting and funny as hell.
    Nikki, I always remind myself I don’t have one two cheeks to turn, but four, and the mooning is the best part, LOL.
    Misk, the painting is vivid, compact, and moving. Thank you.
    Buddah, "and it’s OK to let the sun catch you crying…" Loved this, bruddah, even with its bittersweet – make that truly sad – end.
    Randi, I know what you’re talking about, in detail. Glad we spoke…
    J. Harker, the End Times as "a moveable feast, always next year," is so true. I’d copy my Fundie sister on it, but it would just make her mad, and that would be mean… You nailed it!
    De, too many moments of loveliness (and conquered regret) to count today. Glad I had time to do some reading…
    Peace to all, Amy

  17. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Bruce – only have a second here, because I’m going off to church, but wondered why you don’t post your PA poems to your blog. I clicked on the red name and found only a few. Your poetry about the hysterics over bin Laden’s death was spot on and deserves a wide viewing.

    Will come back and read more later, even if I don’t post. Peace to all, and yeah, I’m with Bruce about not high-fiving over the death of bin Laden. Spilling blood won’t avenge anything or bring back a single soldier – or limb, or mind ravaged by PTSD. Peace, Amy

  18. Brenda Olmsted

    Maybe

    I saw him once at the supermarket
    Buying baby formula and diapers,
    A child tucked under one arm, another
    In the cart securely strapped to a car seat.
    The ring on his finger proclaimed he was still married
    or maybe he dreamed of a life that would never be.
    He looked so harassed and forlorn
    I smiled as I passed, but I did not speak,
    Too caught up in my own list of needs.
    Later though, after the market was closed
    And I was driving home from work, I
    Remembered his weak smile and the dirty
    Faces on those two bundles.
    Maybe it was the color of their eyes,
    One brown, the other gray.
    They reminded me of my own sweet babies
    tucked away in bed the last night I saw their shining faces.
    The next morning I was half way across the state.

    Maybe one day, when I am old enough
    To be brave, strong enough to be someone’s mom—
    Maybe that day—I will walk back into their lives.

    Maybe

  19. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    An On The Other Hand Mothers’ Dsy

    To the girl who had every understandable reason to open her hands and let me go
    Or perhaps to lock me in a prison of resentment for her foreshortened horizons
    For that girl who instead, held on and, with wide flung arms – opened
    a door onto limitless tomorrows, brightly lit by her competence and her dazzling smile…
    For my mother, singer and believer in the sanctity of "Que Sera, Sera"
    Thank you, for being assumimg the mantle of mother when not more than a girl, and in turn raising a girl who always fervently believed that no matter what else she might achieve, her greatest joy would be creating life and being a mother. It is nice to know we were both right!
    Thank you for being there on both ends of this journey of love fantastic.
    HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY ♥

    a few seconds ago · Like

  20. Taylor Graham

    SAFE

    A hilltop fort –
    earthworks entrenched
    in British history’s dawn.
    Who dug them? Why?
    We speculate
    as sun moves history on

    and on. Romans,
    Saxons, Danes? I’m
    dizzy with thought. A swan
    passes over
    battle trenches.
    The men who dug them? Gone.

  21. Lori Thatcher

    Walt, I have to admit that I started reading comments from the bottom up and was really curious to see the poems "Designer Watch" and "Tiffany Jewelry," after your comments. Duh.
    You are so funny.

  22. LBC

    137th Kentucky Derby Day Luck

    Months, Weeks, Days, Hours of
    Anticipation
    Decided in the two minute Run for the Roses
    Fortune, Fame, Future
    Riding
    On the grace and beauty
    Of horses bred to run
    Study past performances
    Calculate
    Handicappers pick the odds on favorite
    Confident
    Claiming to know who will win
    Unless
    Ticket in hand
    For the horse of favorite color
    Has the luck to win.

  23. Mike Bayles

    To Clap

    One’s not enough,
    this futile swing of one hand
    stirring empty air.
    It takes two
    to make the sound
    like thunder
    to draw attention
    to my thoughts and intentions,
    or to create the rhythm
    for The Beatles’ song
    I Want To Hold Your Hand.

    One’s not enough,
    this futile grasp
    to complete the embrace,
    no, not one,
    but two.
    Two is the number
    of two hands
    clasped together
    around a loved one,
    and the oneness of me
    is never enough
    to satisfy the longing
    of one soul
    seeking unity,
    and when alone
    it falls silent
    like one hand
    stirring the air,
    never enough
    to clap.

  24. Heiberg

    SINGING SONGS

    I sing the song of blues.
    I sing it while I
    watch you
    catching my eyes
    and now
    I sing it
    just
    for you.

    Oh, little baby,
    I’d sing whatever tune soothes your
    little
    ear.
    I’ll have your right leg
    tap
    the rhythm
    ever so
    gently.

    I sing the song of blues.
    Just on
    the other hand,
    my poems
    sound better.

    Oh, listen

  25. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    BRAVO! STACY KERSTEN!! BRAVO

    " an iced nail on which her dreams would hang"
    her mythical" smile
    the image of this great, genteel lady with the strength to hold up the sky!

    Thank you Stacy for opening my tightened chest, with your love….
    You have done your grandmother beyond proud…. Please submit this somewhere…
    I am melted with tears
    Perfect for Mothers’ Day….my sympathy for your profound loss that you have transformed into a thing of immortal beauty!

  26. Stacy L. Kersten

    This poem was written in memory of my beautiful grandmother who passed away just last week. Though my words probably don’t suffice to the light she brought into so many lives, this poem is my honor to her.

    On The Other Hand

    Her smile was as bright
    as the most piercing
    of sun-stretched day light,
    an overhead screen
    for which one’s worries
    could display before the fade.

    She was a southern belle
    so beautiful that even
    the sky would wonder
    if each birth of star
    weren’t just an iced nail
    for which her dreams would hang.

    The gentle enlightenment
    of an old lady’s stare
    where you’d debate what
    rumination lay behind tired eyes,
    sagging at the corners
    though still dancing
    as forward was the only step she knew.

    Even amidst the throws
    of anger, as she sometimes was
    over fried potatoes
    or the moonshine smell
    of her third husband,
    her smile was as mythical
    and broad as a moon stream.
    And the sky used to wonder
    the strength she had to hold it up.

  27. Walt Wojtanik

    Great to see that Pearl is keeping pace. Some good work flowing even after the PAD (no lull in quality).

    And I see some new names here as well:

    Designer watch and Tiffany Jewelry, both decent efforts, albeit rather rambling. I suppose poetry is an acquired taste. Keep working at it. And remember, not everyone can be poetic. Maybe your calling lies somewhere else.

    christian louboutin – just too many syllables in your monoku for my liking. I know we all take advantage of our poetic license from time to time, but yours sir should be revoked!

    Coach – Everyone double clutches on the prompt from time to time. A little lighter touch on the "Save Comment" button might prevent this in the future. I do like the repetition within the poem itself. Is that a French form?

    Great job poets!

  28. CJillFriend

    The House of Vera The Mouse

    Nan once told me to practice 111111
    Pause the One
    A poinsettia about patience

    The Art of the Cross Sticth….something of
    Practical Practicality, patience born upon a women
    Of everlasting spelling moths and
    An age of Living. Garden sisters calling out
    To the wanted Sister…

    In pure mice holes, had could you had seen that at one time you did see that you
    Cared for me?

  29. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    The Two-Handed Princess

    There once was a princess in Faraway -A princess who had every intention forever and more single to stay
    She would not give her hand -to any man in the land, nor yield to her father or the demands of her mother
    Instead taking to emerald hills she escaped with her young stallioned muscle ripped lover
    Riding him bareback, bare-legged, pumping air with one hand and then the forever free other
    In unbridled joy, head back in free-hair blowing wind, she shouted skywards " Forever Free and Away"

  30. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    It would have been nice

    It would have been nice
    if they both had been there
    former and current
    standing in the bright
    sunshined blue sky
    So reminiscent of the indelible day
    It would have been nice
    For all, family members, rescue heroes,
    bystanders, those gone and those here
    and viewing the scene in faraway lands
    It would have been nice if
    they both had been there
    Completing an arc from
    threat through horror to
    this ultimate halt
    it would have been nice

    On the other other hand
    there were those that would
    say that the former was not
    giving the current his one single day
    Others viewed the declined invitation
    as a not subtle rebuke

    Finally, on reflection of this other hand
    squandering a second opportunity for
    a moment of authentic unity against hatred is truly
    more than enough to make any rational
    empathic lover of possible peace
    quite simply, quite basically, quite despairingly
    puke

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  32. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    The Pocket Hand

    Keep it there inside
    your sweater out of
    sight remember
    on this first day of
    school keep it there
    out of sight
    Let your other hold your
    lunch, your crayon
    whatever you might need
    to reach
    Keep that other there
    inside, though the
    stove-top burns
    stick to the wool
    keep it there
    unless you want
    a matching one
    Remember, home business stays
    at home
    Keep it out of sight

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  34. Cameron Steele

    Rob Halpin – "Peter" so sharp, so good.

    Sara V – adored "The Eyes Have It"

    Joe – "Wrestling Match" I read several times, full of a feeling I know well, and Anders’ "Oh really"

    Thanks so much to De and SE Ingraham. Thanks to all of you, for the happy reading.

  35. S.E.Ingraham

    A few (very few) comments:
    "Plant Three Thousand Trees in the Desert" – Pam Redmer, I’ve been MIA lately and so your work is relatively new to me – now, I’ll be watching for it … this is, IMO, brilliant!
    Cameron Steele – "The other man" – "…letters sharp on my tongue along my throat rolling between teeth and lips the way bodies did …" – delicious words and phrases to turn over and over and I do, again and again.
    Dearest Pearl – what vat of prodigious-output pills did you dip into? So many and all of them so fine! You go girl …
    Nancy – yours is simply wonderful; as others have said (here and on that other site) the last stanza is a special surprise and gentle lesson wrapped into one …
    Patricia – "Angels" has me weeping every time I read it …

    There is so much good work here – hard to comment on everything – oh, one last I must mention – Sara V – "The Eyes Have It" – yessssss

  36. S.E.Ingraham

    On the Other Hand, What’s Left

    There are parts of the world, still
    Where the left hand is reviled
    Or used for things like wiping
    Your ass so don’t dare offer it

    To shake another’s; there are
    Parts of the Dark Continent where
    You might even suffer having
    It hacked clear off – the left

    Is considered that much evil
    In places there still and the history
    Is apparent in languages throughout
    The planet – some examples:

    “Gauche” in French, of course
    Has commonly come to mean
    Awkward, clumsy, or other things
    Of this ilk, even to many English
    Speaking folk – for what could

    Be cooler than to be cruel
    En francais? In Hindi, “Ulta Haanth”
    Literally translates to the opposite,
    Wrong, or bad hand …

    And the Indonesian’s “Kidal”
    While sounding cutesy with their
    “Lefty” actually means something
    Quite impolite …

    Mexican’s “Chueco” means
    Twisted or non-straight but
    That’s nothing compared
    To the Portuguese’s take

    “Canhoto” there is a popular
    Name for the devil and when
    Not being bandied about
    As a moniker for Satan

    Means simply clumsy or badly done
    Still nothing very nice;
    In Italian, the left-side is “sinistra”
    For – what else? Sinister

    And of course, Latin is right
    Out there with it – sinister
    The root of it all …
    The Italians will also use “Mancini”

    On occasion – meaning
    Crooked or maimed – giving
    A sinister meaning even unto
    The lame …

    The Irish say “Citog” for left,
    Or stupid – although how
    The two are synonymous
    Is beyond me …

    On the other hand
    Perhaps the lefties
    Of the world should unite
    And go to Argentina or Sweden

    To live, as both of
    these countries regard
    Left-handedness in a positive
    Light …

    The Argentineans with the “zurds”
    Who are seen as quite intelligent
    And the Swedish, who call
    Theirs “vansterhant”

    “Vanster” means the “favourable side”
    And is related to the word “friend”

    In fact, both of these countries
    Wonder if there might
    Be something about the right-handed
    That’s not quite – well, right.

  37. Daniel Ari

    "One possible answer"

    Beside and beneath the rows of wheels,
    the crow moves her crumb with a sound like “mine!”

    At last, I’m in short sleeves again, a Hawaiian print
    that attracts bees. The neglected sidewalk back
    to my desk, cars pass above and beside me.
    This is Marin and the world. Summer promises
    a tiredness, the urge to unplug while deadlines
    turn brittle; anyway, I’d just as soon get fired,

    drop to sand as warm as wintertime flannel or
    into grass to become the tomato in the salad,
    to penetrate the backyard, treasure map in hand,
    and stop there by the broken statue, twining
    cobwebs around my pinkie. Setting out to rake
    the leaves from the library of last autumn,
    I stay to the shaded stacks, then let the piles sit.
    They could melt away while I rest on a stucco wall,

    using the stillness to try to unknot this feeling,
    this urgency, this incessant incessantness
    that something must be done, now and always,
    faster, more efficiently, for the good, for me,
    for you, to make everything worthwhile.

    Such is the knot. Such is the shady spot.
    The smell of jasmine will move me
    when we are ready. There is no energy crisis.

    DA

  38. Joe

    Wrestling Match

    I wrestle with demons
    in my exorcise routine.

    I pin them to the mat,
    but they always bounce back.

    It bothers me to see we’re so evenly matched.
    Maybe it’s a good thing, I don’t know.

    I should write a mental fitness guide
    to help people get rid of their own;

    on the other hand, the devil you know…

  39. Mike Bayles

    Some Day

    She said she left the painting at home
    I said I was glad to see her again.

    She said she had been working hard on it
    from the red and blue splotches on her hands
    I could tell.

    She said she’d bring me a poem
    and I was sure
    it would be as good as the others.

    We spent the night holding hands
    and talking about plans and promises
    some kept and some not.
    While I was under the spell
    of the music that played
    I thought of a dance
    if not now
    maybe some day.

  40. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    The Hand

    Not always did she understand
    Not always did she, in support squeeze your hand
    Yet on the other hand
    Hers was the first you felt
    From inside out
    I’m just saying
    On the other hand….

    Happy Mothers’ Day

    HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY KICKOFF…. SURELY A SLEW ….OF MOM RELATED
    " ON THE OTHER HANDS"

  41. Melissa Hager

    Thank you, Autumn! And Corinne, you remind me so much of my sister-in-law. She would be having a hernia if one of her nieces or nephews was doing what your niece is doing.:) It is great to have an aunt that loves you that much!

  42. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Thank you MiskMask, Andrew, and Mike G.

    Walt good fun today….

    Mike …of course I’m still on a roll can’t help it …in the nature of round objects…lol

    Night to all:). ( or Night " tonsil" if IPAD had its way.)

  43. Autumn N. Hall

    So funny, which poems strike home; many thanks to Nancy Posey, Andrew Kreider, Ivanius, Melissa Hager, de jackson, Connie Peters, Jane Schlensky, and Miskmask for the kudos and support re. my daughter’s messy room!

    Melissa Hager (Devil’s Advocacy) what a great way to spell out a call for compassion (the literal definition of which is "suffering with" another).

    Laurie Kolp (Dictatorship on the Other Hand) loved the opening "Gypsies spin colorful yarns;" very lyric expression of some tough ideas.

    Catherine Lee- What about "Earning Your Stripes" for a title with dual meanings? You have the stars of the flag represented in the poem, so the stripes might make a good counterpart.

    Walt-so THIS is the Hotel California; I always wondered what it would be like to stay there…

  44. Jane Shlensky

    Hiho, Friends. Sorry it took me so long to get back to read, but I must say it was worth the wait, with wonderful poems here. I especially liked the poems of Rachel, Autumn, Nancy, MiskMask, Michael G (God’s Left Hand), Joseph H, de Jackson (she’s got 3 more cheeks to go, but who’s counting?), Bruce and Joseph B (good use of quotations as launches), Catherine Lee (love your images), WyomingD, Buddah, RJ (I’m also a revisionist), and PKP (good job getting us going). Walt, your comment about a month-long family reunion deserves a poem of its own. I’ll get back to you, ha!

    Also thanks so much for mentions from Nancy, Joseph H, de J, MiskMask, Andrew K, Melissa H, PKP, and Ivanius (you’re so right about travel filling blanks while it introduces others). And yes, friends, I took that swim many times over, in the nicest possible way;-D.

  45. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    No Off Switch

    Could stay awake
    And see where this might take
    You and I, to see where we might land

    Whether in rhyme or no
    Hold my hand and go

    Or, let go, for on the other hand
    The sleep man has arrived sprinkling sand

  46. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Through the sounds of silence

    At the end of the street
    Where the park starts to green
    The tip of a thrown baton can be seen

    The poets writing on pads, pcs, and Blackberries
    Stilled for a moment at the approaching pleasant cacophony
    At first some miffed to have this intrusion stop their collective hand

    Until one to the other
    Recognized the joyous strands of the PA marching band

  47. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    She believed the messiah had already lived, died and been resurrected
    He believed in a legacy born of history not faith

    They both believed in each other
    On the other hand

  48. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Then there’s that

    You are too stout
    your breath often far from sweet

    Well you are the lumpiest
    woman that did I ever meet

    Yet both would remark on the self same feat
    When eyes lock, and hands move, and stout meets lumpy
    There is only pure symphonic under cover elegance, each breath matched
    In wild love, beat for beat

    So on the other hand
    then there’s that

  49. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Counting on fingers and toes

    Decided to count by hand as they say
    Poems written this month for PA ONE A DAY
    one a day did I say?
    was that what I said?
    Then how wind up did I with over 250 from this mushed head

    On the other hand, to a quick conclusion I came
    The PAD challenge is not a cumulative numbers game
    ONE A DAY that is written both stylistic and emotionally terrific
    Beats hands and feet down thrown words empty of all but prolific

  50. Sally Jadlow

    The Friend

    5/5/11

    You’re the best friend ever.
    Always there, attentive.
    Within earshot at ever need.
    Loving, kind, sympathetic.
    A sterling example
    if there ever was one.

    On the other hand,
    maybe not.

  51. Walt Wojtanik

    THIS OR THAT

    Live by your choices.
    Your voice is clear and concise,
    a device to express all
    that beats within your chest.
    The best case scenario is scary,
    but oh, what an adventure it presents.
    Take your pick and stick with it.
    This or that, the choice is yours.
    Live by it.

  52. Walt Wojtanik

    THE HANDS THAT PLAY

    Self-taught at an age
    that said I should not know.
    But I’d go to the keyboard
    poking and prodding, with my father
    nodding his approval.
    There was never a removal
    when I finally left home.
    Mom requested I leave it
    for my father to hone his skills.
    It was a thrill to play for them
    and to know I had a hand…two hands
    in bringing pleasure to their ears.
    Over the years, I still play the
    songs that touched their hearts.
    It’s where I got my start,
    poking and prodding, still
    holding the hands that played.

  53. Sara V

    The Eyes Have It

    The eyes are windows
    To the soul
    Not the nose, not
    The mouth, or the chin
    Features that age a face
    Faster
    Than the eyes
    So, perhaps a veil
    Just below, the low-
    Er lashes
    May be better
    Than Botox

  54. Hannah Gosselin

    Laurie and Andrew! Thank you both so much! I’m glad I have all week to read and think about some more poem writing @ here.Everyone have a great night!

    Smiles,

  55. Cameron Steele

    The other man

    Yes, I will name you.
    Each morning I feel your
    letters sharp on my tongue along
    my throat rolling
    between teeth and lips
    the way bodies did.

    I am sounding it all out:
    When I threw Vodka-tumbled
    bones into you first
    and the other night we wound
    ourselves around something not
    entirely sweet
    but good and sweaty –
    also the evening flight along
    roads I didn’t know
    my head against you – we are
    breathing, aren’t we?

    On silted, rainy noons
    I will call out to you or
    murmur.
    Feeling is carried by names
    wiped upon my lips like a kiss.

  56. Pam Redmer

    Plant Three Thousand Trees in the Desert

    Nine one one is the national call for help
    Now that anger, shock and horror
    Have begun to be mitigated with a big death

    What was it all about, really?
    What hurt so deeply felt promised
    Acting out so spectacularly?

    The atomic bomb ended a world war
    and also let mankind know
    at last he had the power

    to annihilate himself
    his unborn children, his pets
    his borrowed world.

    Is it too soon?
    How many years must pass
    Before humanity asks and

    responds beyond reacting,
    with spectacular acts
    in lively lovely ways?

  57. Mike Bayles

    Some Day

    She said she left the painting at home
    I said I was glad to see her again.

    She said had been working hard on it
    from the red and blue splotches on her hands
    I could tell.

    She said that she’d bring a poem,
    and I was sure
    it would be as good as the others.

    We spent the night and holding hand
    and talking about plans and promises
    some kept and some not
    while I was under the spell
    of the music that played.
    I thought of a dance,
    if not now,
    maybe some day.

  58. Michael Grove

    Thanks de jackson and Melissa Hager.
    Pearl, you are still on quite a roll…

    Codicil

    A penny saved
    is a penny earned.
    Time that’s wasted
    is a lesson learned.

    But you can’t take it with you.
    Nor neither then can I.
    I’ll give it all away,
    before the day I die.

    It’s wise to plan ahead
    and have a will,
    Your change of heart
    prepares the codicil.

    Good fortunes of the past
    were planned for two.
    Now only one remains
    here thru and thru.

    It’s me who will decide
    where it will go.
    All cautions to the wind
    about to throw.

    Happiness it’s clear
    can’t buy you money.
    Not happy here my dear?
    Now, that is funny.

    Money isn’t everything.
    Desires are not needs.
    It can’t buy you love.
    It can buy me seeds.

    Just look inside your soul
    as I most certainly will,
    and hold my head up high
    as I prepare the codicil.

    By Michael Grove

  59. Walt Wojtanik

    ONE HAND WASHES

    One hand washes the other,
    and this truly makes sense.
    Because one hand washing itself
    is awkward and contorts,
    you resort to rubbing your hand
    against something else
    and in the process you are washing
    that which you rub with your dirty hand.
    One hand can wash everything else,
    but one hand can not wash itself.
    On the other hand…

  60. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    To work now…reaching for balance between heart wrenching of Rachel and smiling Walt’s chiding of begatting… Remember this is an on the other hand poem… not all are in the valley of crash and not all have no kill switch….on the other hand….. :)

  61. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Oh Rachel… Started just a few moments of bottom up reading… You stopped me on my tracks. Riveting wonderful writing…the. child ‘s innocence and the holding of the trsy…truly stunning.moved to tears.

  62. Rachel Green

    She’s Just Sleeping, Aye?

    Perhaps she’s sleeping – taking a nap in the afternoon isn’t uncommon
    and my sister is white-faced and calm-voiced for no reason at all.
    “I’ve phoned for an ambulance,” she says but there was no need –
    not if mum was just sleeping on the floor of the sitting room
    with her head resting on one crooked arm.

    “Go to the bottom of the drive and wait for them.”

    perhaps the ambulance men have something to wake her up and tell her
    “Your kid’s home from school love. Time to get up.”

    I stand on the roadside, waiting, looking down the hill for the ambulance.
    It’d come from Redditch, wouldn’t it? So up the hill from the village,
    not over the canal bridge from Longbridge or King’s Norton.
    We have a long drive with an obscured entrance so I stand opposite
    and point when the van comes into sight, then run after them back to the house.

    “She’s just having a little sleepy, no?”

    The two men are jovial, friendly; careful to make light of everything.
    “Someone’s been doing a bit a first aid, aye?” One smiles at my siter.
    Probably he’s flirting with her, not trying to put her at ease. Not
    forestalling the hysterics that will come when he can’t wake our mum up.

    “We’ll pop her to the hospital, aye?”

    They load her onto a gurney and down the front steps into the van. My sister goes too
    and as the head down the drive my dad turns into it from the bottom
    and has to back out again to let them past, then waits and follows them away.

    I’m left alone, still holding the wooden tray I’d spent all term time making for her
    as the house falls silent around me and the dogs wag their tails at me.

    I never saw her again.

  63. Tracy Davidson

    Faithless

    On one hand
    I’ve never believed
    in God or
    the Bible
    or in the existence of
    any afterlife.

    Then again,
    on the other hand,
    I’d be glad
    to be wrong
    if it meant I’ll see my mum
    again when I die.

  64. Joe

    Mind You

    I know where I’m going.
    I’ve been there before.
    I could give a lecture
    on taking the best route possible.
    I know sometimes I seem
    a little lost, like a hunter
    in the woods without a compass.
    But, you gotta have faith
    and a lot of persistence
    to reach your destination.
    Mind you, a map would be
    so much quicker.

    Don’t Mind Me

    Don’t mind me, I’m just getting
    your bearings straight
    Mind you, it’d help if you just
    learned to focus
    Don’t mind me, I’m just collecting
    your thoughts
    Mind you, I haven’t perfected the art
    of mind reading
    Don’t mind me, I’ll figure it out
    for myself
    Mind you, it’d be so much easier
    if you just helped me

  65. Walt Wojtanik

    Pearly, Looks like there’s a whole lot of begattin’ goin’ on! When is this let down supposed to happen? I’ve been revving since ’09 and this "energy" has fried something for sure, but not my kill switch. Someone stop me before I rhyme again!

  66. Kris K

    On The Other Hand
    She was sent to the streets to beg
    Children in tow
    Signs poised, scarves in place
    Lowly dog aside her family
    They sat as statues
    Downward facial features
    No joy, frivolity, fun
    Their job was to work the streets
    Dropped off, sent out
    Observed and protected from a distance
    Later to be retrieved, a job
    A ploy, a scam
    Regardless, the sculpture of their faces
    Couldn’t hide the pain
    On one hand, they were being groomed, groomed
    To work the streets, a system
    Part of their way of doing business
    On the other hand, women
    Children, people with needs
    Seekers of love
    Chasm-ed between the demands of their culture
    And a world with needs just like you and I

  67. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Annie ….wow…. Kudos to you
    De… Looks like you are doing it.. great image threads from sweat socks
    Jane…Ah that trip…a vacation in more ways than one….thank you for taking us along….will I ever forget snaked German frisbee players… What a wonderful image of complete comfort in one’s skin and could feel the water calling you…

    A note on being burned out…. Think it is interesting that we functioned as a group…..high energy days begat high energy …. Some individuals difficulty poem selection begat others indecision….now the sense of as I believe Robert put it and well, the " marathon" ending has begat some self reflection and a bit of general malaise….
    On the other hand…..think we’re all in the valley of the after crash….which follows intense periods of collective energy….

    Or on the other hand……

  68. Iain D. Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Chewed up and spat out by Tigers!!
    Grrrrr!!! What the heck was that all
    about. Jeter better get that hip fixed
    and someone better start hitting balls
    real soon or there’s gonna be a riot in
    the Bronx. On the other hand we may
    all be dancing in the streets of NY, NY
    if they can get their act together. Man
    I am spitting blood, though! Pick ya up
    at 12, it’s an early start. Off to Texas
    tomorrow bro, god help us!

    Yours howlin’ mad again
    Ringo the Howler

  69. MiskMask

    Pearl, that typo reminds me of my husband’s battle with his iPad until I turned-off its auto-spell-thingie for him. :)

    I am a long-time supporter of the Mouth and Foot (Painting) Artists charity http://www.mfpa.co.uk/ I have a great affection for them. Not only are they remarkably talented people but they’re also wonderfully fun to be with.

  70. Andrew Kreider

    Being a late bloomer, it took me an extra week to get strep. I blame April – can you catch this stuff over the internet?

    Great writing as always. Every one of you amazing poets. Here’s a few that really caught me:
    Pearl’s shining gold band; Bruce’s protest; Joseph’s small hinges; RJ, still revising even now; Nancy’s brand new hand; Autumn’s chaos theory; Dare unmasked; Jane’s par broiled naked Germans; Joseph by just this much; Domino, coin in the air; Arielle ice cream and sand – loved it!; MiskMask’s prize-winning slugs. And, Hannah, they were all good – you can’t miss, just hit submit.

  71. annie mcwilliams

    Custody

    Maybe she really couldn’t survive
    without the extra income he gave freely
    and her first husband wouldn’t listen
    to punish her, because the divorce
    broke his heart and revenge is a dish
    best served cold and he was iceberg
    thick with seething and left
    his children too, setting off in new
    direction, stopped loving like
    his cold harsh mother taught him
    to and since the other family lived
    out of town she was stuck between
    keeping her children in one home,
    same school, no upheaval like her
    childhood, and dying on her feet
    to give what she never had, fiercely
    independent, so poor one outfit, too
    tired to do more than feed, clothe
    and clean. Maybe no one noticed
    or heard their silent cries for help,
    and then the chaos of the hyper son
    with nearly severed hand took years
    of focus to repair, he’s normal now
    thank God at six foot six they’re equal
    size, it took a while, and once she
    finally realized some things were possible
    and went on to start a business, to leave
    a legacy for children, her daughters had
    become ungrateful bystanders accusing
    her of never noticing what their step father
    did with his two good working hands.

  72. Corinne Dixon

    Thanks so much, de! And Melissa, it’s actually my niece and all I have been thinking the past week or so is HOW DO YOU BIOLOGICAL PARENTS DO IT??? I’m a mess and I am only an aunt. She’s a Buddha child, always has been. I’m totally behind her. I just may have to be hospitalized in the process. :)

  73. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Just a few as I read too quickly for sure….

    Miskmask …a shirt poem with a huge story

    Laurie … Powerful with a brutal edge matching the subject

    Anders ., Adore-able!

    RC … Personally came as a good lesson on a day it was needed

    Buddah… Great contrast between first and second half giving extra layers to " on the other hand"

    Shannon….love jumps off the page into my lap

    Nikki…. The ahhhhhh of the morning…lovely poem and a sweet longing

    Thanks for the mentions Nikki and Laurie….
    Enjoy the day to all!

  74. Melissa Hager

    God bless your daughter though, Corinne. It takes a lot of heart to do what she will do.

    Love your twisty wisdom, Arielle!

    Nancy and Autumn, There is hope? Loved your poem, Autumn, and can commiserate on the teen boy thing. Ewwwwwww….

    Nancy, loved your "On the Other Hand" – Randy’s too! There’s nothing like seeing someone who may have had no choice for another hand. Thank God for ever improving prosthetics!

    Jane S., You go girl!

    Michael Grove, I like the idea of God’s left hand. Very nicely put forth.

  75. Walt Wojtanik

    Catherine,
    Just never take sides with anyone against the family. ;)

    Thanks all for the comments. Good work as expected all around.

    De, if you’re not careful, you’ll be tagged as press agent for the "Garden".

  76. MiskMask

    An Annoyance

    Lawks-a-mussy such a fuss
    my neighbour’s at it again.
    Day by day my new fence goes up,
    and day by day that woman annoys
    in various and imaginative ways.

    Last night with a torch in hand
    she paced the border between us,
    shining her light on posts old
    and new, scrutinising our
    border lines. From post to post,

    she and her torch carefully surveyed
    each one, and then with a ruler
    in her other hand she measured
    each and every one, however and
    maybe or on the other hand…

    Perhaps with her torch in hand
    she was pursuing prize-winning
    slugs and snails, measuring for
    the largest one to display
    at the village fête.

    In a pig’s eye, and when they fly….

  77. vivienne blake

    RJ your poem should be printed and stuck on the wall beside every writer’s desk. Painful, isn’t it?

    Robert, I empathised with yours – being stood up must be one of life’s more painful humiliations – on the other hand…

    I’m still feeling punch-drunk from April, but I’ll be back.

  78. MiskMask

    A lot of top-notch pieces so far. These touched me in paticular:

    RJ, Nancy Posey, Autumn, de, Jane Shlensky (hoping that you took that swim), Walt (as always), and Andrew (‘Dear Laura’ should be in parenting books and Pearl.

    Thank you Catherine and de!

  79. PKP aka Pearl Ketover Prilik

    Been quite a day , just one of those
    And at this point laughter I have chose
    Not chosen because that would be a grammatical fit
    And nothing in this day has known where to sit
    Just finished nearly a long humorous self deprecating mess
    On the various instances of hubris, hanging haikus and indulgent confess
    Was telling of how I had anticipating scrolling with my mouse of purest white
    Certain that the joy pouring would yield a healthy measure of delight
    I wrote of coffee making and even just this morning adding in the cream
    So anticipatory of my self selection no desire to finish a woken up from dream
    But when I sat done ready at my desk and reached behind the new computer
    To be faced with a brilliant world
    The day starting out so hopefully began and ultimately unfurled
    It started with a thievery my lyric, language lush and lovely was not there
    Under my name numerous posts prolific but the poetic lyricism….where?
    There were silly poems, and doggerels, a shadorma thrown in time to time
    And through it all and I do mean ALL there was a parade of unending rhyme
    But this is not the part that has my head banging on the wall
    Because on this tale of self critique I realized I had not saved at all!
    And so I copied the post , the poem that was perhaps a tiny bitest clever
    Highlighted in blue and watched it vanish gone onto the forever
    Perhaps it was for the best…this self indulgent cutesy mess confess
    But on the other hand the draw to post is strong
    And here on the marble throne I’ll post the post that speaks of a month stretched mess and wonder why I am awake so long!

    Goodnight ….. ( again)

  80. de jackson

    This one was gonna haunt me in my sleep if I didn’t get it down. Want to revisit it later…

    Poem Written with Her Left Hand

    Fool.
    Put the pen down.

    This business of forging phrase is not for the faint
    of heart or the quiet of spirit or your cheap blue

    Walmart Bic pens or the measly 7 ½ minutes you
    have while the kids get dressed for school. You

    can’t write epics with your hair in hot rollers or
    weave fables from the threads of old sweat socks

    or etch anything of worth into the world through
    some aching alchemy of Windex and ink and sweat

    and tears. It takes years to hone this quilled sword,
    and even longer to be sure it’s worthy of the fight.

    Then again,
    you might be right.

  81. de jackson

    Gotta hand it to these poets:

    Michael Grove: love “God’s Left Hand,” both visually and poetically.

    Bruce Niedt: Thought the same thing when I watched the footage on Sunday. Poetically put.

    Autumn N. Hall: Don’t have teens yet, but could still totally relate. Love “Living Example of Chaos Theory.”

    Dare Gaither: “lips set in red concrete.” Nice.

    WyomingDiva: love the cadence of the line “a variable and veritable
    posse of grandchildren.”

    Connie L. Peters: great “–itions!”

    Jane Shlensky: just your first line made me SO happy, and it only got better from there… “filled the blank/though not my imagination”… “sun fed and sea smoothed…” ahhhh. Wonderful.

    MiskMask: Loved yours, poignant title appearing at the end. Like an upside-down poem. Perfect.

    Walt: Liked your poems, lovin’ your new site with Marie!

    Catherine Lee: Holy cow to this line:
    “An ugly constellation
    Of sinewy stars
    Collapsing
    Into supernovas
    Of space between
    Time and tissue
    And skin.”
    Plus also: Wow.

    Corinne Dixon: Oh, my, this line:
    “siphoning out entire chambers of my heart
    as you go.”

    On the other hand, loved everybody’s, and if you did the April PAD Challenge and you’re still here this week with pen and heart in hand: KUDOS. Now, how about a group nap? Or that glass of wine Michael Grove promised?

    Gracias: PSC in CT, Ivanius, Joseph Beckman, Lori Kolp, Connie L. Peters.

    Everybody rocks my world. Write on.

  82. Benjamin Thomas

    "On the other hand Poem"

    My prompt has arrived
    my heart, content
    my palate, satisfied
    with the delivery
    of another dainty
    morsel of
    poetic asides

    The day has passed
    the hour late
    Shall I post a poem?
    For this I debate

    My eyes are heavy
    Vision, foggy
    Thoughts, cloudy
    Endurance depleted
    But in my chair
    I’m still seated
    Still trying to decide
    Sleep or post?
    On Poetic Asides

    In my left hand is my forehead
    In my right is my pen
    I’ve decided
    I must write, and write,
    and write again

    I’ve been torn in half
    Right down the middle
    One half is sleep
    the other rhymes in riddle

    On one hand is my head
    upholding its weight
    On the other hand poem
    even though its late

  83. John Pupo

    Temperance

    Blasé attitudes
    combined with
    quick judgments.

    Formulaic disaster
    making up the bulk
    of my 38 years.

    A reality shell game
    where the ball isn’t
    under any of the cups –

    always coming up short.
    Regroup, reconfigure –
    somehow managing.

  84. Michael Grove

    REALLY Enjoying Bruce Niedt, Buddah and Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea.
    Interesting formats and similar takes but very unique reading. Cuodos and a glass of red wine for all.
    Nikki Markle- Karma is very good.
    Domino – Alone is the other hand, isn’t it?
    Got a charge out of Nancy Posey and RJ Clarken as well.
    Welcome back poets after 3 unprompted days.

  85. Corinne Dixon

    I like ‘em all! Anders, yours reminds me of that 10CC Song "We’re Not in Love."

    I, too, am both energized and exhausted. I didn’t finish it off despite my conviction. Somewhere near the end of the month, something just descended on me and I felt completely drained of any original ideas. I did pop in and read some, though (which only convinced me, LOL). But I never intended to submit. I was only challenging myself.

    See you around!

  86. Michael Grove

    Thank You Ivanius, I figure "Gods’ left hand" has to do the real tough jobs.
    Thank You Nikki Markle, Connie Peters and Laurie Kolp for the sweet comments on "Broken Record" I hadn’t thought of that as a song, but I guess it could work.
    And Walt… you weren’t/aren’t going anywhere.

    On the other hand, the wind just rustled this one up out of nowhere today…

    There’s Something In The Wind

    I must admit there’s something,
    in the wind today,
    blowing me a kiss,
    helping light my way.

    There’s something in the wind today.
    I can feel it’s powers.
    Brought pigment to my face
    within these past few hours.

    A rustling of last falls leaves.
    A kite without a string.
    A silent voice is writing,
    a song for me to sing.

    There’s love within its’ breath.
    I chuckled and I grinned.
    A fresh warm breeze is whistling.
    There’s something in the wind.

    By Michael Grove

  87. Corinne Dixon

    She might shrink back from life, refusing
    to embody her brilliant mind,
    squander her audacity and 19 year old passion.
    If she’d just content herself with a part time job
    at McDonald’s, never leaving the nation’s capital,
    snuggling up to Harlequin novels and
    glorying in trips to the mall, like normal girls.
    At some point she’ll figure out that one person
    can never make a difference in South Africa
    or prevent AIDS, and save her money for
    Justin Bieber tickets and that Coach purse.
    A pedicure is what she needs, not malaria shots
    and a passport. Don’t board that plane, let alone
    take off, siphoning out entire chambers of my heart
    as you go. It’s not worth it; life’s too short
    to risk it in post-Apartheid Africa, exposing yourself
    to harsh realities and strife. Remain in privilege,
    swath yourself in blankets of mediocrity, work for the pension.
    Don’t leave home.

    Corinne

  88. Sara McNulty

    Bruce, I admire and agree with your piece (peace)?
    Buddah – Loved Wisdom

    I am feeling completely drained and glad that others have noted the same.

  89. Connie L. Peters

    My favortes: Michael Grove (God’s Left Hand), RJ Clarken (Revisionist History), Nancy Posey (On the Other Hand), Autumn Hall (Messy Room), De Jackson (Exit Strategy), Domino (Alone), Anders Bylund (Oh Really?), Elizabeth Johnson (Moreover), Patricia Hawkenson (When Special Angels Perform), Bruce Neidt (On the Other Hand), Shannon Lockard (She is the Sun)

    Thanks Ivanius and Laurie. Laurie, look at the photo on my blog.

  90. PSC in CT

    On the Other Hand

    I made it through the April PAD;
    I’m beaten down and bleary,
    fatigued, tapped out, exhausted, tuckered,
    pooped, wiped out and weary.

    I’ve struggled for a bit too long
    and still this poem’s going wrong.

    I could persist and rack my brain
    (though every thought has fled);
    on the other hand, I think I’ll just give up
    and go to bed.

  91. Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea

    Bruce’s poem inspired me to do a proverb laden prompt poem. One of the lines is pilfered from a Placebo song, so some credit to Brian Molko on that line.

    On the other hand

    Proof is in the pudding,
    but what if you want ice cream?

    The grass is always greener on
    the other side,
    but what if you’re looking for sand?

    A friend in need is a friend indeed,
    but a friend who’ll tease is better.

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder,
    unless you sneak in his window at 2am.

    An apple a day keeps the doctor away,
    but a cold beer on a hot day is bliss.

    Don’t let the bastards grind you down,
    punch them in the face first.

    Finders keepers, losers weepers,
    until I steal it from you and run away.

    Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,
    until you piss me off, then it’s even worse.

    If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,
    jump in your car and pick up a pizza.

    It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,
    but I’d rather stick with lust.

  92. Laurie Kolp

    Just a few comments here:

    Pearl- A perfect start

    Michael- Great tone and rhythm in Broken Record

    RJ- Love it… I can so relate!

    Nancy- Poignant and touching AND…

    …Annelle- You two were right on target… love that song. Great imagery, Annelle.

    Cute, Connie- love "broom ballet"

    de- A short and sassy treat!

    Hannah- heartfelt… well said

    Nikki- A somber and reflective truth.

    Patricia- Vivid images, uplifting

    Everyone else– keep up the good work!

  93. Taylor Graham

    OR A SIGN FROM HEAVEN

    Looking up at the sky, then down
    on the map, a weatherman
    could draw a cause-and-effect arrow
    from thunderhead to vacant lot
    directly across from the firehouse.
    Storm’s booming ever-closer;
    aiming to score a Thor-shot.

    Pure physics: lightning strikes
    sparks. Nature’s quicker than
    a first-responder.

    But look!
    That palm tree’s suddenly
    a pillar of fire, its fronds
    a flower ablaze,
    flames running up and down
    the trunk
    like Jacob’s ladder-angels.

  94. Shannon Lockard

    She is the Sun

    To me she is the shining sun
    and I am the earth and each breath she takes
    leads me in a new and adventurous way.
    There has not been a day yet where she doesn’t shine.
    Not a day where I don’t search for her warmth.
    Not a day when she doesn’t mesmerize me
    while I watch her setting; a magical swirl of
    orange and red and yellow.
    But to you, she is a child
    and I am her mother and each breath she takes
    is the same as any other.
    There has not yet been a day when you noticed her shine.
    Not a day when you searched for her warmth.
    Not a day when she mesmerized you.
    But she is more, and you’ll know when you meet her.

  95. Buddah Moskowitz

    Wisdom

    Maybe the grass is greener on the other side
    and you can judge a book by its cover
    and the first restaurant you see may be the best
    and it’s ok to let the sun catch you crying
    and pride doesn’t always go before a fall
    and love is not all you need
    and the good don’t always die young
    and the Lord doesn’t help those who help themselves
    and the free market system isn’t best
    and the early bird doesn’t get the worm
    and he who hesitates is not always lost

    but on the other hand

    I have only four fingers
    because of a
    freak industrial accident
    which
    for all my wisdom

    I could not foresee
    nor prevent.

  96. Bruce Niedt

    On the Other Hand

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder,
    but out of sight, out of mind.

    Birds of a feather flock together,
    but opposites attract.

    Haste makes waste,
    but he who hesitates is lost.

    A penny saved is a penny earned,
    but you can’t take it with you.

    Many hands make light work,
    but too many cooks spoil the broth.

    Keep your nose to the grindstone,
    but all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

    Good things come to he who waits,
    but the early bird catches the worm.

    Tried and true,
    but a new broom sweeps clean.

    Better safe than sorry,
    but no pain, no gain.

    You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,
    but you’re never too old to learn.

    Beware of Greeks bearing gifts,
    but don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

    Clothes make the man,
    but you can’t judge a book by its cover.

    The squeaky wheel gets the grease,
    but silence is golden.

    The pen is mightier than the sword,
    but actions speak louder than words.

  97. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    When Special Angels Perform

    Someone else has to hold his hand
    pressing his fingers into a grip
    around the plastic hand clappers.

    They have to help lift his arm
    up and down to make it sound
    as he grins deep, his head tipping.

    The audience knows he is off
    the tempo of the music and his collide.
    We grin deep inside our hearts.

    Someone else is crying
    pressing our hands together,
    he has lifted us.

    Can he feel the floor shifting,
    the applause thundering
    with our standing ovation?

  98. Elizabeth Johnson

    I can’t decide whether the PAD challenge wore me out or energized me. Depends on the day. And since it’s only been four days, you can imagine the flip-flopping I’ve been doing!

    Moreover

    I need to write, to
    flex my poetic muscle, to
    stretch my fingers and mind…

    but the inkwell has run dry, the
    muscles are sprained and tired,
    the fingers are uncooperative.

    I need to be discipline, to
    persist in writing, for if I write
    nothing at all, then I will never
    write anything great at all…

    but if I force the words out of
    wordless conception, overwork
    the muscles, push duty over delight,
    it could do more harm than good.

    So I may just not write at all…
    or maybe, I just did.

  99. Nikki Markle

    Michael…your "Broken Record" could totally be a song! Great flow!

    Catherine…"An ugly constellation/Of sinewy stars"…wow…just wow.

    RJ…I’m beginning to think you’ve sold your soul to the poetry gods…do you ever write anything that’s bad?! cuz I’ve yet to see it….

    Laurie…what images! loved it!

    Anders..you said SO MUCH with so few words…thats my favorite kind of poetry

    Hopefully I get the chance to read more later. I sure did miss my PA friends :)

  100. Katrelya Angus

    PIE WAGON

    "Fresh py-eyes!
    Strawberry Py-eyes!"
    Cried the pie man at Faire-
    But I had just used the money
    That would have bought three pies
    For a much-needed gossamer veil.
    I took my veil to Faire the next day
    All the better to delight others’ eyes,
    Rather than my own selfish mouth.

  101. Nikki Markle

    “Karma”

    She’s the kind of person
    Who doesn’t think
    Twice about dropping
    All the coins in her
    Pockets into the jingling
    Cups of the homeless,
    Takes in strays and
    Gives them silly names, and
    Never forgets her grandmother’s
    Birthday. At the checkout,

    She offers to pay for the
    Items the family with the sad-
    Eyed little girl can’t afford,
    Lets people out in traffic, and
    Sends notebooks, pens, and
    Crayons to the troops in the
    Hope that they can help spread
    Kindness before the children are
    Taught to hate. She mails
    Big Red soda to the troops from
    Texas, because she knows
    What its like to be far away and
    Crave the comforts of home.
    She doesn’t expect a reward

    And yet

    Shouldn’t the Universe
    Protect her from the her
    Opposite? Shouldn’t their
    Natures would be so
    Disparate that they wouldn’t
    Even be aware of the other’s
    Existence?

    There are only so many
    Cheeks to turn, so

    She shakes her head and
    Writes a poem and dreams of
    Surrounding herself with
    Only with the kind ones.

    ***************

  102. Hannah Gosselin

    SUBMITTING

    This one’s good
    speaking of dance
    and celebrate.
    Maybe this one
    my ultimate fate?
    I loved writing these,
    osprey soaring,
    nature exploring,
    what will I send?
    Nothing too boring.
    Five poems?
    Oh, this is harder
    than I thought.
    On the other hand,
    go with your gut
    and just press send!

    ©2011 Hannah Gosselin

    Smiles to everyone! Happy Wednesday poeming and submitting for tomorrow!

  103. Catherine Lee

    I, too, am still hungover from April’s free flow. Why do I feel like I’ve joined the Army, and April was boot camp? :)

    On the Other Hand

    You wear scars
    Like a badge of honor,
    Memorials of valor
    And manhood
    As if these things
    Could be distilled
    Into surface fibers.

    I only see pain
    And permanence
    And more pain,
    An ugly constellation
    Of sinewy stars
    Collapsing
    Into supernovas
    Of space between
    Time and tissue
    And skin.

    *I may change the title, but don’t have the mojo to think of one yet.

  104. Laurie Kolp

    Dictatorship, On the Other Hand

    Gypsies spin colorful yarns
    while rain dancing stirs
    languished souls into
    perfect replicas
    idealistic puppets
    mouthing orders
    slinging insults
    that like boomerangs
    slap two-faced morons
    who crater in a pile of shit
    yearning for complete control.

  105. Joseph Beckman

    RJ funny and true:); Nancy- gave my mind the aha tickle that is so fun;
    de Jackson liked the structure as much as the content; Joseph Harker, nice to have a thought so long in the head so well put to paper instead. If we only knew how close we are to real oblivion versus our created versions….Domino we will have to use that one this year in the family:)

    thanks Gloria and Ivanius

  106. AC Leming

    Robert, how long did it take to get over last year’s 365 PAD challenge you set yourself? A measly month shouldn’t be THAT bad, right?

    And, yes, I still feel drained, but then I started the last three PAD challenges feeling that way…;(

  107. AC Leming

    Sinister

    On my right hand I wear
    the Navajo inspired ring
    my father cast for my mother
    years before my birth.

    On the other hand, I wear
    the wedding set my husband
    designed around the yellow
    sapphire we purchased before

    he popped the question. Twice.
    Where would we be now if I’d
    refused his offer? Never
    changed my name, never moved

    three times in nine years
    for his opportunities?
    Would I regret the ‘might
    have beens’ as much as I do now?

    *It’s weird how often these ideas are sparked as soon as I start driving. There’s nothing like endangering me and everyone else scribbling a quick note to keep the idea alive until I find a place to pull off the damn road!*

  108. Ivanius

    "There and back again", as Bilbo would say. Many thanks to Joseph Harker, PSC in CT, De Jackson and Buddah Moskowitz for their comments on my Day 30 prompt. It feeels great to receive a mention and share screen and words with such dedicated poets. April was great, and so was to learn about Wednesdays. Congrats to one and all, and to Mr. RLB, first and foremost.

    Some thoughts so far:

    Michael Grove: Interesting take about the left hand of the gods. Many would not be so comfortable resting there.

    Bruce Niedt: Thought-provoking, to say the least. And here comes Joseph Beckman…

    Joseph Beckman: "Small hinges" starts a very welcome train of thoughts: gratefulness.

    Katie Dixon: "In the snooze button time lapse" reminds me why I used to read in bed. Without a timer.

    RJ Clarken: So many words to check, so little time. But such is the nature of the, let’s say, game.

    Nancy Posey: "On the other hand" brought a surprised smile.

    Autumn N. Hall: I remember some of my own messy trademarks, and those who showed me how to clean–and fly. Thanks.

    Connie L. Peters: Bittersweet, but charming.

    de jackson: Ouch.

    Jane Shelsky: Traveling brings opportunities to fill the blanks and swim.

    Walt Wojtanik: Ouch! It´s good to see that poetry can grow from almost anything. Will visit Poetic Bloomings for sure.

    Joseph Harker: "a movable feast that is always next year". Great image! On the other hand, I mean.

    With poetic muscles warmed and ready, let’s keep poeming. Cheers to you all!

  109. Autumn N. Hall

    Nancy Posey-here’s to hope for the future! Thanks for that reassurance re. my DAUGHTER’s (I know, hard to believe!) room! Smiles…

    To those in poetic recovery: I (on the other hand:<), having been INVIGORATED by the PAD Challenge, am still faithfully poem-a-daying. Many thanks to Robert et al for helping to create, in just 30 days, a habit I hope to keep.

  110. Michael Grove

    Thank You for your kind words Gloria. And thanks for a bit of inspiration for this one Bruce.

    osama

    Did we shoot osama?
    Is he really dead?
    I’m not going to celebrate,
    ‘Till war is put to bed.

    There are ranks behind him.
    Someone to step up,
    continue with his hatred,
    Peace on earth to corrupt.

    Until we join together,
    until we all can see,
    until peace prevails,
    we are not set free.

    There’s nothing yet to celebrate.
    So much more work to do.
    We need to look inside ourselves,
    to find out what is true.

    By Michael Grove

  111. Walt Wojtanik

    PArt of the reason that Marie Elena and I embarked on our new project (Poetic Bloomings – http://poeticbloomings.blogspot.com ) was to keep the momentum going. It was imperative to begin on May 1st to avoid the malaise that the day (days) after the PAD always brought. As we tweak and nudge the blog, I have less time to think about the lack of a daily prompt. But I agree with Robert, usually it takes me a week to ten days to feel my muse stirring again.

    We are really blessed to have this familial atmosphere here. It’s like heading back to our corners of the world after a month long family reunion. We’ve reconnected in the emotions of our poetry and solidified our ties even more. Leaving that behind takes some getting used to. Thankfully as well, we have Wednesdays to stay tight. Thanks for the chance to bond in such a way Robert. It has made us all much better at our craft than we would have been without it.

  112. Walt Wojtanik

    SCREENPLAYS CAN WAIT

    Four years on and I’m
    just not ambitious to finish.
    The story is great; it excites me.
    But my diversion is now
    a passion worth pursuing.
    So in eschewing my dialogue,
    I stalk poetic blogs and pen
    in snippets of meter and rhyme.
    Time and again, I’d rhyme and again
    be energized to propose one more poem.
    "I’ll show ‘em what I’ve got" was not
    what I had in mind. But I find
    a willingness to forego the show,
    and muse all I can… on the other hand.

  113. PSC in CT

    So glad to hear I’m not the only one who feels all wrung out after completing a PAD. :-O Back later, maybe, if I can come up with something. For now, kudos to: Robert, Bruce, Nancy, annell & de. :-)

  114. Robert Lee Brewer

    Joseph, my experience is that it takes a week or two before I get over that "drained" feeling myself. Coming from a track background, the first couple Wednesday Prompts usually feel like cool downs after racing through April.

  115. Joseph Harker

    Some morning favorites: Bruce, Nancy (and thanks!), Barbara, Jane, Andrew…

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m still feeling pretty drained. Is four days enough time to recharge the batteries?

  116. Domino

    Alone

    Tears drop down
    and shimmer on my lap
    until they
    disappear
    into the fabric.

    I thought I loved him
    but I must have been
    mistaken.

    I gave too much again
    and now I feel
    that nothing’s left
    of me
    anymore.

    Is it just me?
    My high expectations?
    My neediness?
    My intense version
    of love?

    Am I some kind of
    poison
    to any relationship?

    On the other hand
    maybe he’s just a jerk.

  117. Andrew Kreider

    Celebrity

    I know I really shouldn’t sign my name
    For you, or put my arm around your wife
    To pose for photos which throughout your life
    You’ll show to friends and tell them: “You want fame?
    Well check this out! One summer, guess who came
    Into our store to buy a hunting knife –
    Hugh Grant! A star who in this era rife
    With phoniness and scandal is the same
    Eccentric gentleman in person as
    He is on film.” This hero-worship lands
    Me in a bind of false identity
    Because a crowd is forming and this has
    Already hit the internet. My hands
    Are tied: Oops, I’m a fake celebrity.

  118. Joseph Harker

    CLOSE CALLS

    This planet’s going to hell: either wrapped up
    in a suffocating shroud of coalsmoke
    or boxed away between six thick planks of sin,
    maybe starved of liquid capital
    or drowned with disease: one way or another.
    The End Times are a moveable feast that is always
    next year.
    Though,
    given all the times we played chicken on the racetrack
    with atoms and nuclei, the bottles of plague
    just waiting to be shattered and re-debuted,
    comet fragments blowing out boreal candles on a
    Siberian birthday cake (rather than smashing into
    Berlin or Beijing), it’s a wonder
    we haven’t been burnt to a memorial cinder
    already.
    We could
    keep worrying about either side of the present, but
    imagine how foolish we’d feel if we almost
    lived our lives, and missed it, just by
    this
    much.

  119. Walt Wojtanik

    ON THE OTHER HAND…

    I type right-handed,
    pecking and poking at plastic
    hoping to convey what I want to say.
    But today, my early adventure
    had me ER bound after I had gotten around
    to slicing through my thumb.
    I feel rather dumb confessing,
    but these stitches and bandages
    make my left hand less useful
    than I’m used to. But, on the other hand…

  120. Jane Shlensky

    On Traveling Alone

    I was not raised for nude beaches,
    as I imagine these European
    tourists were, entrusting their gentle
    parts to the cruelty of midday Thai sun.
    Flaming painful red by end of day,
    there is no body part left to them
    on which to rest, all raised blisters
    from tops of feet to balding heads.

    I sit in shade, drinking my slow drink,
    swathed in sunscreen and broad-brimmed
    hat, writing a card to my mother who
    taught me that nice girls don’t ___.
    Her significant look filled the blank,
    though not my imagination. That blank
    could just as easily be filled with
    “get caught doing blank” as with
    joyfully “blank.” The economics
    of nakedness forbade giving gazing
    rights away when, clearly, exposing
    the forbidden was delightful,
    even in Eden, causing no end
    of imagination. I had already
    taken outrageous liberties with
    that blank, knowing that anything
    that causes hesitation is off limits
    to nice Bible belt girls, never alone
    with their nakedness—that I would
    discover precisely the sort of woman
    I was when I was most alone.

    So, here I sit, watching par broiled naked
    Germans throwing Frisbee on the beach,
    whooping when they catch, laughing when
    they miss, using their retrieval of that
    flying disk as a missile into conversation
    with oiled supine women spread on sandy
    towels like a buffet waiting to be enjoyed.
    No, not for me, bare butt for strangers…
    On the other hand, I am traveling alone
    in Thailand, among people I am not likely
    to see again, especially in their entirety,
    the day is mild, a small breeze soothing
    the flat sea, shallow a quarter of a mile out
    past the cove, and swimming, I can
    see below me, suspended in blue,
    colored fish darting up to catch the light
    of the sky lying mirrored on the water,
    and I can move among them, skin to fin,
    eye to eye, sun fed and sea smoothed,
    just as God made me.

  121. de jackson

    ‘Mornin’ all. Quick one. Still madly choosing poems for the challenge. Hopefully back to read later.

    Exit Strategy

    She is going
    going
    gone.

    Got one foot out that door
    Got some money in the cookie jar
    Got a plan: gonna leave that man.

    She’s finally ready
    to make the right
                                    turn,

    gonna find the peace she seeks.

    On the other hand,
    she’s still got
                                    another cheek.

  122. barbara young

    Kate and Em, a pair of roans
    as like as sisters, hauled corn, potatoes,
    firewood, hay as a two mule hitch;
    Kate the gee mule, Em the haw
    for twenty-seven years in peace.
    A man would be a fool
    to set the left hand mule to right
    or build a roof on upside down.

  123. Connie L. Peters

    On the Other Hand

    On the other hand of spending the day
    in resting, and leaving the house in disarray,
    I intend to make it my mission
    to beat my housework into submission.
    On this, my resolve will not sway.

    But it would be nice to hit the hay
    to relax with a book, come what may
    and put myself out of commission,
    on the other hand.

    My laziness I must allay
    and begin my broom ballet.
    But so much for that rendition.
    Has anyone seen my ambition?
    It must have gone on its merry way,
    on the other hand.

  124. Autumn N. Hall

    Bruce Neidt-(Ding Dong the Witch is Dead)-you make a valid point which I hope will lodge in minds well beyond this forum, along with your excellent question: "are we any better than the fanatics
    who cheered and war-whooped and shot automatic weapons in the air when the Twin Towers fell?" Thank you for this provocative piece.

  125. WyomingDiva

    I am always amazed at what ‘comes out’ when I consider poetry prompts. Thanks, Robert!

    Absentee father

    On the other hand,
    he’s probably just busy mourning his
    bride’s death and
    dealing with the ensuing paper storm.
    Certainly, he is hyper-involved in religious stuff
    (did you know he’s becoming a lay monk?)
    Carving a headstone for the grave
    Babysitting a variable and veritable
    posse of grandchildren.
    Physical therapy for his back.
    Shuttling various ‘old’ ladies to
    church and medical appointments.
    Dating after forty eight years off the market.
    Daily Mass to top off his spiritual tanks.
    Mowing the yard.
    Feeding the geese.
    Plotting a pilgrimage abroad.
    Just like all the years he was
    in the military
    working twelve hour days
    hunting game in the mountains
    traveling all week for a job
    serving his wife’s every need and demand.
    Checked out.
    Yes, that’s why his children never hear from him
    even now that she-who-must-be-obeyed is gone.
    He’s just busy,
    not mad at or avoiding or indifferent.
    Every single day
    a year later.

  126. annell livingston

    On the Other Hand
    The words come back to me
    From a country western song
    A favorite
    Simple direct
    Easy to hum along

    A golden band
    On the left hand
    A union
    Holy and sane
    Applies only in dreams
    Of young girls
    Dancing round the May pole
    Dropping red and pink
    Searching for security
    Promise forever
    When no one
    Has forever to give
    No matter the song
    Or how easy to hum along

    On the other hand
    The hand given
    In companionship
    A loving partner
    Is indeed a gift
    To be treasured
    Simple direct
    Perfect union
    Easy to hum along

    "Forever" will take
    Care of itself
    Do, do, doodle, do
    Easy to hum along

  127. Gloria Bostic

    Robert, Has it only been four days, really?!? Thanks for the prompt and your response. :)

    PKP, funny! Congrats on the new computer.

    Wow, Michael, "God’s Left Hand" that is amazing!!! Just brilliant!

    Bruce, well said. I admit to relief and the feeling that, just like Hitler, the world is better off without him, but the shouts of USA seemed inappropriate. Let’s save that for the Olympics.

    Joseph, you’ve written this so effectively…wow…very moving.

    Kate, love it! ;)

    RJ, oh, how I relate! At the end of NaNoWriMo I thought I’d done quite well, then I read and began to revise. LOL, don’t know if I’ll ever be done…..but..

    Nancy, very inspiring!!! Excellent in the telling.

  128. Nancy Posey

    For future reference, Autumn, my boys–now grown–were the same way. Once they had their own apartments, they became so much more particular. My older son had three roommates, two he called the "leave it on the table twins."

  129. Autumn N. Hall

    Nancy Posey-excellent set-up to a powerful last-stanza punch. That I was not expecting the turn made it all the more poignant. Thanks to your poem, I will think anew about this young generation of prosthetic limbed vets every time I grip the steering wheel of my gas-powered vehicle; a hand is an awful price to pay for oil.

  130. Dare Gaither

    UnMasked

    Harsh lines crease her brow
    lips set in red concrete
    eyes burning embers
    Why is she mad
    at me?

    Flashing fear as a phone rings
    quick relief that it’s not hers
    sadness slips from her face
    as she falls back
    into her creases
    Invincible behind mask of anger

  131. Autumn N. Hall

    Regarding My Teenager’s Messy Room

    Could it be this living example of Chaos Theory
    is a sign of genius, the creativity required
    to find a matching pair of socks on par
    with seeking solutions to global warming,
    war in the Middle East, or the world hunger crisis?
    Could the moldy remains of last week’s lunch,
    now impressed with the Converse star,
    yield up the cure for Alzheimer’s disease?
    Perhaps the invention of a self-cleaning toilet
    will result from this lack of flushing, and a new
    species of spiders will evolve to feed entirely
    on fruit flies. It is possible that this wee bitzy
    hamster will at some point acquire the mental
    dexterity necessary to prompt the piling up
    of all his worldly possessions—water bottle,
    wheel, pottery food dish—such that he might
    climb up and out of his Rubbermaid room. Or
    perhaps, like my teen must—any day now—
    he’ll simply grow wings and fly.

  132. Nancy Posey

    Randy Travis performed at Merlefest last Thursday and sang his old country classic, "On the Other Hand," so now I’m going to have to exorcise that earworm!

    On the other hand

    Too lazy sometimes to applaud,
    frustrated when my hands are full,
    embarrassed by my penmanship
    relying on the other hand,
    when suffering from a sprain,
    I must admit I do forget
    the blessing of the pair,
    not quite a matched set,
    but working in tandem, unparalled.

    There’s no redundancy in
    right and left. One alone may
    work quite well for a casual wave,
    but stranded on a desert isle,
    I’d put them both to use,
    flagging frantically ships
    sailing into sight or search planes
    circling overhead. Even with two,
    threading a needle, braiding hair,
    typing a paper prove a challenge;
    I sometimes borrow someone
    else’s hand—a finger at least—
    to hold a knot in place.

    Today as I rushed for the elevator,
    the arm thrust out to stop
    the door surprised me: the hand
    stretched toward me, a prosthetic
    one, belonged to a young man.
    Reading my face for surprise
    he revealed, with a bittersweet
    hint of pride, the hand’s brand
    new, and though he much preferred
    he one he’d left behind somewhere
    along a roadside in Iraq, this new
    bionic one (he demonstrates
    with a fist which he unfurls)
    he’ll value in ways he never did
    the two he had before. Going up?
    he asked, pushing the button for third.

  133. RJ Clarken

    Revisionist History

    I wrote and wrote, ‘til I was done.
    It seemed a great tale I had spun.
    Reviewed with a fresh set of eyes,
    I knew at once I must revise.

    I changed a paragraph or two,
    then killed off adverbs; gerunds too.
    I thought, ‘That’s it.’ To my surprise
    I knew at once, still more: revise.

    Restructuring the story’s flow,
    I rewrote more, since apropos
    of plot, I found some holes. Unwise.
    I knew at once (oh crap!) – revise

    I wonder if I can submit
    this manuscript, or should I quit?
    But on the other hand, ‘the prize’
    is all I’ve wanted, so…REVISE!

  134. Katie Dixon

    Amen to "Ding Dong the witch is dead" I actually have some oz allusions in a poem on a similar theme I wrote earlier this week, and a "hand" I thank you for sharing.

    On a lighter note :)

    "In the Snooze Button Time Lapse"

    Looking at twelve hours
    at least, and some change
    of being alert, productive,
    of being coffee fueled,
    of being meaningful,
    knowledgeable and all sorts
    of other -fuls and -ables.
    But these covers are warm
    and the mattress perfectly dented.
    The house is finally quiet, and
    were those puppy-dog eyes I just saw?
    The coffee must be twenty-five feet
    away and my book only one.

  135. Joseph Beckman

    Small Hinges
    .
    .
    The usual break, coffee, cookie, hello to familiar faces,
    On the other hand, I didn’t look at her face, she behind the wheel.
    It’s always fun to make that walk where caffeine deficits become history,
    On the other hand, the sensation of more weight than I ever imagined, on me.
    The oftentimes only break in a day of work, childcare and life management,
    On the other hand, surreal sounds, screams, “Oh my god” did I say that?
    What are my next plans for the day, week, year, new office? work location,
    On the other hand, always thought my thoughts would go to my loved ones, but make, year of the car?!
    Let’s see only 90 more minutes to get my boy, love of my life (except for wifey),
    On the other hand, christ, just a quick glance by me or her, christ the pain.
    Great, almost there with minutes to spare, to spare 5 year old’s tyranny, “You’re Late!”,
    On the other hand, wow, fire hat just like my boys since he was two.
    Hugs behind us, at home, ready for evening, wife home now, hugs behinds us, ahhhh, life, ahhhh life,
    On the other hand, are they doing anything?! God oh god, ahhhh life!, ahhh life.
    .
    .
    .
    I researched this quote after writing this as it has stuck in my mind for years.
    .
    "It has been said that the gate of history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. The choices we make determine our destiny."
    .
    T Monson
    .
    © Joseph Beckman

  136. Bruce Niedt

    Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead

    I have never killed anyone,
    but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.
    – Clarence Darrow

    I expect no one here to shed a tear
    for the death of a man so reviled
    that his bearded, turbaned image
    burned in us long after we turned off the TV.
    Some say it’s justice, and if that gives them closure,
    so be it. But don’t invite me to your victory party.
    Maybe it’s my pessimism –
    there are ranks behind him,
    eager to fill the void and continue the jihad.
    Our troubles may have only begun.
    Or maybe it’s my humanity –
    I don’t celebrate killing another human,
    no matter how despicable.
    Yes, the world is a little better without him,
    but when we march in the streets,
    waving signs and flags and shouting “USA!”
    are we any better than the fanatics
    who cheered and war-whooped and shot
    automatic weapons in the air
    when the Twin Towers fell?

    [A bit preachy, perhaps, but it was the first thing that came to mind. By the way, the Mark Twain quote that has been circulating is incorrect - and I was misled by it too - the actual source and quote is found above.]

  137. Michael Grove

    Gods’ Left Hand

    There’s all this talk about Gods’ right hand.
    Who’s seated there and all the work it’s done.
    He must have a left hand then as well.
    The helping hand for His favorite son.

    I think perhaps my name is written there.
    I’m hoping I am on His list somewhere.

    I’m gonna speak of love and take a stand.
    And sit here in the palm of Gods’ left hand.

    By Michael Grove

  138. Michael Grove

    Broken Record

    You say, make my world perfect just for me.
    Change your world the way I want it to be.
    There’s only me and I there is no we.
    Everything for me, selfishly.

    Do everything I dream of and then more.
    It’s never good enough. So, there’s the door.
    If I can’t have my way then just get lost.
    Your silly hopes and dreams will all be tossed.

    I’m not a willing compromiser here.
    I live alone and dwell in all my fear.
    I have no faith or trust in anything.
    I’m better off myself without your ring.

    I don’t care about you any more.
    I never did, just leave your money by the door.
    I was only using you for my needs
    I never appreciated any of your deeds.

    The broken record skips the song it sings.
    Not like I didn’t blindly see it coming.
    One last hard slap across my face.
    To all who wonder why, such a disgrace.

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